If you're looking for 4G LTE speeds without having to stay tethered to one carrier for the next two years, MetroPCS just announced a pair of new phones that may (or may not) make you want to hop over to the pay-as-you-go provider - the LG Connect 4G and Samsung Galaxy Attain 4G (sound familiar?).
Left: Samsung Galaxy Attain 4G; Right: LG Connect 4G. Twinsies!
The LG Connect 4G is Metro's most powerful phone to date, rocking a 1.2GHz dual-core processor under its 4-inch Gorilla Glass-protected NOVA display.
It has become obvious, thanks to some displays on the CES floor, that the Galaxy Note is indeed headed for AT&T, with a few tweaks. Namely, an AT&T logo prominently emblazoned near the top of the device, and four-button controls replacing the original note's layout. It may be worth noting that these posters (as pointed out by Engadget) appear to feature mock-ups of AT&T's Note variant, as there is no sign of a 4G indicator.
As we already know, Sprint is going to roll out its next generation 4G LTE network in four U.S. cities somewhere around mid-2012, and it would only make sense that they already have some of the towers undergoing testing. The first of such alleged tests surfaced online today:
While I can't promise you it's 100% legitimate, here's my analysis:
The device used is more than likely a dedicated LTE hotspot and not a handset (like the LTE Galaxy Nexus).
While Canadian carriers Virgin and Bell have had Google's newest flagship phone gracing their shelves since December 8th of last year (that makes it sound so long ago, doesn't it?), competitors Rogers and Telus are finally getting their piece of the Nexus pie on January 13th.
Rogers and Telus will begin carrying the Galaxy Nexus by Samsung starting January 13th!
There is no word on pricing at this point, but the competition launched the device for around CA$160 on a three-year agreement, so we expect the above mentioned duo to come out of the gate with similar pricing.
We've been hearing quite a few rumors over the past few weeks that the monstrous Galaxy Note is finally coming to AT&T, with one accessory manufacturer outing a possible release timeframe of "early 2012." Looks like that may indeed be the case, as an official press shot of the Note with AT&T branding has leaked with the date of Tuesday, February 14th prominently displayed on the homescreen.
We completely expect Samsung and AT&T to make the U.S.
Update: Anymode, after what we assume was a good-natured cease and desist letter from AT&T, has denied any of the information in its CES Media Alert (pictured below) is true. If we're being frank, they're 100% completely full of beans. Someone made available information they weren't supposed to, and someone got upset. Too bad official photos of the AT&T Galaxy Note were leaked this morning.
The stylus-toting Samsung Galaxy Note (or as I call it, the Samsung Galaxy S II: Andre The Giant Edition) has been quite successful overseas, and US consumers have been clamoring for a chance to get their hands (both of them, mind you) on the mega-sized 5.3" handset.
Update: Dow Jones Newswires apparently left out a key piece of information from Hesse's statement on throttling, in an example of truly stellar journalism and attention to detail (unfortunately, we have no audio or video record to verify Hesse's statements). Hesse was discussing throttling of those who are on networks that Sprint has roaming agreements with (which, admittedly, Sprint has a lot of - including with Verizon). While this still makes Sprint's ads technically misleading, the throttling really only applies to those who live in areas where Sprint's data network relies chiefly on roaming - not to those using primarily Sprint towers.
Update: The ad has been removed from CNET, but we've retained a couple images, below. Sounds like someone finally figured out the rather embarrassingly bad mistake they just made.
Well, it looks like someone doing ad-serving for CNET pulled the trigger a little early. If you head over to this CNET page (it may be taken down soon, in fact, it almost certainly will) you'll see an ad for the Sprint Galaxy Nexus, the first 4G LTE phone to hit Sprint's upcoming LTE network.
Who else wants a piece of the LTE pie? The Now Network does! Sprint CEO Dan Hessejust announced the markets that will kick off the company's LTE rollout, and, interestingly enough, they chose four of the same cities as AT&T did for its LTE-startup (cue conspiracy theories in 3... 2... 1...) - Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio, TX; along with Atlanta, GA.
Some users are speculating that this move is so Sprint can directly compete with AT&T, while others are suggesting that it's more technical than that and is actually about tower placements, locations, policies, etc.
AT&T started rolling out its 4G LTE network in September of 2011, and it has slowly been lighting up more and more cities across the nation since then. Eleven new markets are seeing the LTE treatment from Ma Bell this morning, including a couple of cities that started to see some LTE action early last month: New York City Metro areas, Austin, TX; Chapel Hill and Charlotte, NC; Los Angeles, Oakland, San Francisco, San Diego, and San Jose, CA; Orlando, FL; and Phoenix, AZ, bringing the total number of cities under AT&T's LTE umbrella up to 26.