In what can only be described as a real sphincter-clencher for Sprint customers, the nation's last true unlimited smartphone data provider has made a move that may signal the eventual end of that philosophy.
Yesterday, Sprint announced that customers on its Virgin-branded pre-paid arm, Virgin Mobile, will now be subjected to data throttling after 2.5GB of usage in a month. Sprint claims this will only affect 3% of all Virgin mobile data subscribers.
What day is it? Technically, you'd be correct if you answered "Thursday" or "July 14th," but in the smartphone realm? Why, today is the DROID 3's official release date, of course!
Now, the phone has been available from VZW's website for just about a week now, but if you have an eye for deals, you'll have steered clear of that venue and instead held out hope that some third-party retailer would be able to offer the device for less than $199.99.
Nearly a month ago a Gingerbread build for the Samsung Epic 4G leaked, and if Sprint's website is any indication (and it is), the finalized update may be nearly ready to go. The official product listing for the Epic now says the device ships with Android 2.3 - a pretty strong suggestion indeed, and not likely to be a typo.
We don't have any indication of when, but given Sprint and Samsung's history on updates, anything we did hear - even if official - would probably get pushed back anyway.
Sprint's newest dual-core device, the Motorola Photon 4G, is set to land on The Now Network sales floor on July 31 for the now industry-standard price of $199 with a two-year agreement. This is the first WiMax phone to come out of Motorola's camp, and it sports some rather impressive specs:
1GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual-core processor
4.3 inch qHD display
16GB onboard storage
8MP rear shooter, VGA front facing camera
Advanced, enterprise level IT security
Judging by the official press release, it looks like the Photon won't be lacking any accessories either.
Sprint has been making great strides to bash its competitors and show us who has the real unlimited data plan as of late, but this new ad puts it all on the table: Verizon and AT&T charge overage fees for anything more than 2GB and T-Mobile throttles your speed after a certain amount of consumed bandwidth, but The Now Network gives you unlimited data, sans-catch for one price. Have a look:
Yesterday we heard that the Sony S1 tablet could be available for pre-order in the UK in early September, and now Engadget is reporting that the S1's brother, the Playstation-branded Sony S2, will be hitting the States on AT&T's HSPA+ network. Don't expect it to carry the same (lame) S2 name, however, as Sony made sure to note that's just a codename.
What Sony execs didn't note, though, is price, availability, or any other important information that consumers usually want to know.
T-Mobile's faux 4G network, also known as 3G HSPA+, is receiving a major update today in 56 more markets, which should double the maximum theoretical data throughput from 21MBps to 42MBps for compatible HSPA+ devices.
In addition to increasing connection speeds, T-Mobile is promising improved network capacity and reliability in the upgraded areas.
Also noteworthy is the bottom half of that screenshot - specifically, the two bullet points about the Samsung Transform and its EF09 update, which began rolling out about a week ago but has now been pulled.
Get ready, on-the-go photographers - come July 27th, you'll be able to pick up the myTouch 4G Slide, which, according to T-Mobile's presser, will be the best camera phone yet.
As a reminder, the latest iteration in the myTouch series will cost $199.99 with a new two-year contract and will pack:
A 1.2GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor
A 3.7" SLCD 800x480 display
Android 2.3 with Sense 3.0
An 8-megapixel camera with dual-LED flash and 1080p video capture
A full QWERTY keyboard
"4G" (HSPA+) connectivity
You'll be able to pre-order the device starting July 19th, and while we're not so sure about that 3.7-inch WVGA display, we doubt that'll stop you if you're serious about great keyboards or mobile picture-taking.
Side-by-side with the $50 credit promo that I mentioned above, it turns out that the company is running a different deal in parallel that pays you for a month of free service right back to your account upon contract renewal for 2 more years.