Do you like the idea of water and ingress protection on the Galaxy S5, but don't feel like ponying up for a flagship phone? Then Kyocera hopes you'll consider its Hydro Vibe smartphone, at least if you're a potential Sprint or Virgin Mobile customer. The "ruggedized" Android phone will be launching on Sprint on May 9th and Virgin on May 27th. Sprint is talking up its "Easy Pay" payment plan, where the phone costs ten bucks a month for two years, but Virgin will sell it outright for $149.99.
Verizon customers who want to indulge in the more in-depth parts of Android don't often get the chance, thanks to the carrier's tendency to lock down bootloaders and close off most of the avenues to custom ROMs. But for major releases, manufacturers often sell contract-free variants with an unlockable bootloader. Like the S4 before it, the Galaxy S5 now has the option, and you can buy one directly from Samsung. Verizon won't sell it to customers online or in retail stores.
Sprint got on the Google Voice train early – about when Google got bored and started ignoring the product. At any rate, things have been fine for users on Sprint, who get tight integration with Google Voice on their Sprint number. Well, except this last weekend. There's a pretty big thread going over at the Google Product Forums of Sprint users reporting strange behavior with GV.
People who bought the un-flattened LG G Flex on the un-carrier T-Mobile should be on the lookout for a chocolate dose of new features. The carrier has announced a software update is hitting devices starting today, bumping them up to Android 4.4 and software version D95920d.
“A mock-up image was mistakenly posted to the Sony Mobile Google+ page. The image has since been removed and we apologize for any confusion this may have caused. For our U.S. customers eager to find out more information about the availability of Xperia Z2, we are excited to share that the device will be coming to the U.S.
The Galaxy S5 runs Android 4.4 out of the box, and most of the US and international versions of the Galaxy S4 have been given the KitKat update as well, but millions of owners of the Samsung Galaxy S III from 2012 are still sitting on an outdated version of Android. Sprint seems to be the first US carrier to alleviate that: this support page says the update for the S III is going out starting today.
Bucking the status quo of American wireless companies seems to be working for Legere and Company. For the first three months of 2014 T-Mobile added 2.4 million new wireless customers, according to the company's financial report published this morning. In the crucial post-paid segment (as opposed to the less reliable prepaid segment) T-Mobile added 1.3 million new subscribers.
While T-Mobile is still a long way away from 800-pound gorillas AT&T and Verizon Wireless, it's safe to say that the lower prices and ceaseless "Uncarrier" promotions are having an effect.
Today Sprint unveiled a pair of partnerships it hopes will draw in music aficionados in need of a new phone. For starters, the carrier has teamed up with Harman to produce the exclusive HTC One M8 Harman Edition. This phone will come with a black and gold finish, along with enhanced sound (not that the M8 needs much help in that department). Sprint's also tossing in a pair of Harman Kardon AE-S headphones.
Sprint is continuing to bump up consumers across the country to relatively faster speeds. Today it has announced the arrival of 41 new 4G LTE markets, including Long Island, Minneapolis, and Phoenix. This brings the total number of cities up to 443. To see if your town is one of them, give this list a skim.
Sprint Spark has also expanded to six new areas: Oakland, CA; Orlando, FL; West Palm Beach, FL; Waukegan, Ill; Newark, NJ; and Tacoma, WA.