Budget smartphones are a lot like those miniature cans of Coca-Cola you'll find on supermarket shelves - cheaper by the half-dozen than their higher-volume counterparts, but with the obvious catch that you're getting less sweet, delicious corn-juice for your dollar. It doesn't take more than 30 seconds to stop, think about this, and realize that even if you won't finish the big 12oz can during your lunch (or don't want to drink that much soda), you're still basically paying more for choosing to buy less. Read More
In a fascinating new video titled "Get to know the HTC EVO 4G LTE," HTC explains the ins and outs of Sprint's One X variant, from the conceptualization of its design, to decisions surrounding build quality, materials, and a pretty interesting explanation of the new EVO's soft-touch unibody form.
Senior Director of Advanced Materials Chris Porter details the EVO's soft-touch feel in the video, explaining that the device has a "warm, velvety, soft-touch feel as opposed to a harder, rougher, cold metal feel." Porter explains that creating the effect involves sand/grit-blasting the device's frame, followed by a light chemical etching process to remove the sharp "peaks." The EVO's design also utilizes around 100 custom-designed machine cutters, used to create exactly the right geometry and feel for each device. Read More
Sprint just announced the OTA update that all Nexus S 4G owners have been waiting for: the update to Ice Cream Sandwich.
This OTA brings a whole slew of features, all of which come directly from ICS:
- Customizable favorites tray visible on all 5 home screens just above the hard keys
- Contacts application replaced with a People application that provides improved integration with Gmail, Email, Google+ and other apps
- Multitasking allows users easy access to switch between recently used applications by tapping and holding the Home key
- Create folders on the home screen by dragging and dropping one app onto another to create a folder
- New lock screen actions allow users to jump into the camera or pull down notifications to check messages, without unlocking the device
- Swiping from left to right can dismiss individual notifications, close apps from the recent apps list, and close browser tabs
- Data usage provide controls for monitoring and managing network data usage
- Camera enhancements include capturing panoramic photos, continuous focus, zero shutter lag exposure, stabilized image zoom and decreased shot-to-shot speed
- Android Beam allows two NRC-enabled devices to exchange favorite apps, contacts, music, videos and more
It should be rolling out now and finish up within the coming days. Read More
Back in February, U.S. Cellular announced its LTE network, along with the Samsung Galaxy S Aviator as its first LTE smartphone. The Aviator is officially available today for $199.99 after $100 mail-in-rebate and the signing of a two-year agreement. If you happen to be in one of U.S. Cellular's LTE coverage areas, however, you can snag this device for $99 after a $100 mail-in-rebate for a limited time.
While the Aviator may be the flagship device of U.S. Read More
Looks like Motorola cancelled the soak test due to "deployment issues." Word has it that the update could still happen sometime next week.
DROID RAZR and RAZR MAXX users excited for an Ice Cream Sandwich update by last week's Best Buy screenshot should brace themselves for some bad news – it looks like the aforementioned devices won't be getting Ice Cream Sandwich just yet after all.
According to a letter being sent out to members of Motorola's Feedback Network, the soak test slated to begin tomorrow simply brings an update to build number 6.12.181 with various enhancement and bug fixes. Read More
We've been hearing rumors about Sprint's version of the HTC One X for a few weeks now, and the pair just took the wraps off the device. Simply known as the HTC EVO 4G LTE (okay, so I was off by one letter and a number on the name speculation, whatever), this will likely be Sprint's flagship device at the time of launch, and will be one of the premier devices on its LTE network. Read More
Owners of the Samsung Conquer 4G on Sprint may have received notification of a small OTA update this morning that brings a couple of little changes to the device, including a "security fix." Like with past updates, that basically translates into "removal of Carrier IQ software."
Aside from that, it also removes the Magic, Smoke, Maps, Nexus, Spectrum, Water, and Waveform live wallpapers (does anyone actually use those, anyway?). The update should be rolling out now according to Sprint's online documentation and will hit all devices within the next ten days. Read More
Looks like Sprint's first LTE handset, the LG Viper, will be available for pre-order from Sprint beginning on April 12th for a reasonable $99 after $50 mail-in-rebate, and will be available in all channels "later this month."
The Viper was originally announced alongside the Galaxy Nexus earlier this year at CES as one of Sprint's premier LTE devices and is packing some reasonable specs for the price:
- 4-Inch 480x800 display
- 1.2Ghz dual-core processor
- 1GB RAM
- 5MP rear shooter, VGA front-facing camera
- 4GB built-in storage, microSD card slot
- NFC and Google Wallet
- Android 2.3 (will likely be updated to Android 4.0)
Last we heard, the Viper was said to be released on April 15th, but that seems unlikely with pre-orders beginning on April 12th. Read More
Mid-last month, AT&T announced that it would bringing LTE to 12 new markets in "April, May, and into early summer." It appears to be making good on those plans beginning now, as it's going to flip the switch in three new markets on April 8th:
- Muncie, IN
- Bloomington, IN
- Bryan-College Station, TX
This gives AT&T a total of 31 LTE markets now, putting it pretty far behind Verizon's "more than 200 cities."
There's no word as to when it should roll out the rest of the promised markets, but it's nice to see it getting an early start delivering the goods. Read More