In a move that is likely to upset every single AT&T customer to some degree, the nation's number two carrier has decided that its current upgrade fee (a cost tacked on whenever a current customer renews their contract and gets a new phone) isn't covering the rising cost of subsidized smartphones. The current upgrade fee is $18, and will soon be doubled to $36, matching the current fee at Sprint.
Nowadays, it's not often that we come across some blurrycam shots of a device and don't know what it is, but that's exactly the case here. Luckily, the shots do reveal some information, and there a few other things we can surmise from there.
Assuming they make it into the final product (this is, after all, a prototype), here's what we're looking at for organs:
1.2GHz dual-core CPU
8MP camera on the back, VGA front-facing camera
WiFi (presumably up to 802.11n) and Bluetooth
Android 4.0.1 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
HTC's Sense 4.0
All in all, nothing really impressive, but a respectable showing for a mid-range smartphone.
The latest RAZR-looking, 5-row-keyboard-sliding, LTE-packing Droid incarnation - the Motorola Droid 4 - went live today on VZW.com and at Verizon Wireless stores nationwide. The Droid 4 is the first LTE-enabled device in the family which makes it much more appealing to those of you who have been shying away from Moto's iconic line due to data speed constraints.
The Droid 4's full specs include:
1.2GHz dual-core TI OMAP4430 processor
1GB of RAM
Android 2.3.5 (Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich upgradable in the future)
4-inch qHD "scratch-and-scrape resistant" display with Gorilla glass
16GB internal memory, up to 32 GB microSD card supported
Full 5-row LED edge-lit laser-cut QWERTY keyboard
8MP rear shooter with 1080p HD video capture
1.3MP 720p HD front-facing camera
802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi
2.8 (w) x 5.0 (h) x 0.5 (d) inches
CDMA 800, 1900 EVDO REV A/LTE B13 700
1785 mAh battery
Talk time - 12.5 hours, standby time - 8.5 days
Compared to the Droid 3, this device is faster and better all around - it has a faster processor, supports faster data speeds over LTE, and doubles up on the RAM (1GB vs 512MB).
Yes, we were excited too, but it looks like owners of Verizon's LTE Xoom still have to wait a bit for ICS. The tablet is about to receive a software update (HLK75H) "soon". Verizon's support page doesn't specify when. There's not much to the update, though. Your tablet will now support dual International Mobile Subscriber Identities (IMSI), as well as a bugfix for restoring data connectivity after exiting Airplane Mode.
In other words, this update is for the subset of the already small group of people who own Verizom Xooms that use their tablets for frequent international travel.
Sprint posted its fourth quarter earnings this morning, and they definitely painted a mixed picture of the company's financial position. On the one hand, the Alamo of unlimited data increased its subscriber base by 1.6 million in the last quarter, with big thanks likely owed to the addition of the iPhone to Sprint's lineup - giving them a significant advantage over their primary price point rival, T-Mobile.
Unfortunately, also because of the iPhone, the company managed a $1.3 billion net loss for the quarter, owed in large part to the massive cost of providing the device ($15.5 billion over 4 years) to customers at heavily subsidized price points.
If you're a BIONIC owner (sadly, I am), you've probably been itching for a major update to the device for quite some time now to fix a number of bugs, glitches, and other technological gremlins the phone has had since release. This latest update promises to excise quite a few of the BIONIC's worst software demons, including the dreaded black screen bug. The update has just hit Verizon's support site, so that means a rollout will likely be taking place in the next couple of weeks.
The rollercoaster ride that has been the Droid 4 release timeline is finally coming to an end. We first heard that this device would be released back in December, but Moto/VZW halted it for some reason, so we've since been waiting. Release date rumors have come and gone, but we caught wind of the 2/10 date about a week ago, and it turns out that it was spot on.
Similar to its earlier double data promotion, new or existing customers will get double the data (4GB in total) when they buy a 4G LTE smartphone from Verizon and sign up for a new $30 data plan, together with voice and texting.
When last we checked—mere minutes ago—ICS 4.0.4 source code hadn't been released to the public. Which is why we were surprised to learn that 4.0.4 was available unofficially for the Nexus S 4G. Today, the mysterious Android version that's forcing me to resist a "page not found" joke is showing up in a few forums, this time for the Galaxy Nexus.
Update #1 from Cam: After spending a bit of time with this update, one thing is for sure: it's stupid fast.