30
Sep
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Sprint continued its 4G announcement marathon this morning with the official launch of WiMax service in Minneapolis-St.Paul, MN, also known as Twin Cities, and Pittsburgh, PA. Welcome to the fast lane!

This announcement follows the Nashville 4G launch 2 weeks ago, Orlando launch last week, and the introduction of Epic 4G in the beginning of the month. Sprint’s 4G service now covers 55 markets.

Users of the only 2 aforementioned devices capable of running on Sprint’s 4G network are charged an extra $10 "premium data" fee, no matter whether 4G is available in their area or not.

29
Sep
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Here's a device that's been making some waves in the UK Android community. Over at MoDaCo.com, founder Paul O'Brien picked up Orange's rebranded ZTE Blade for £99 ($160) with a pre-paid SIM. Judging from his video, it seems that you get quite a lot of device for your money, including that aforementioned 3.5" AMOLED screen. Despite being burdened with a silly name and an abundance of network shovelware, the Blade/SanFran's 600 MHz CPU appears to run Android 2.1 pretty nicely.

28
Sep
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Ever wanted to know what exactly it takes to roll out a whole new cellular network? Sprint, being one of the first companies in the US to do it (well, Clearwire is doing all the leg work), today launched a new video series which will explore just what exactly it takes to provide a large metropolitan area with 4G coverage.

The first video, "Wiring up 4G in NYC: Rooftops," is out now, embedded below.

28
Sep
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The T-Mobile G2 is one of the most anticipated Android devices to hit the market this fall, and while the release date is still a bit over a week away (October 6th), T-Mobile stores are already receiving their stock.

The following pictures appeared on TmoNews today showing the G2 in its full glory. Feast your eyes on this bad boy (oh, why must it look so sexy?) and then grab your own via the best deal on the web: the Wirefly preorder for $150 out the door (no tax or shipping charges).

27
Sep
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BoyGeniusReport just got a nice clear photo of the HTC Merge, a device we may or may not have seen pass through the FCC with a red keyboard, better known as the dual-mode QWERTY slider for Verizon. The phone appears to be running Sense, and is now rocking a rather svelte brushed-metal style keyboard - one with a markedly different layout to the G2.

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There's also the whole Bing thing.

27
Sep
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Not many phones come at the on-contract price of $249, save for the Epic 4G, and now, the latest addition to the Droid family - the R2-D2 edition of the Droid 2. At $249 it's not exactly cheap, but then again, that buys you not just the Star Wars-themed phone itself, but also:

  • a box designed to look like carbonite
  • a special Star Wars dock
  • the interactive live wallpapers we caught sight of earlier
  • a bunch of custom sounds, photos, and widgets
  • a "binoculars" app (your guess is as good as mine as to what that's for)
  • an Empire Strikes Back app that will be available from the Android Market for $2.99 for this device and all other Android phones on Verizon running Android 2.1 and above

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Of course, the software side of this phone should be ported over to other Android devices soon enough - look no further than the clever hackers developers over at xda-developers for proof of that - but who could say no to an R2-D2-themed phone?

27
Sep
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It looks a lot like Verizon is going to follow in the much-criticized footsteps of AT&T and their tiered data plans, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal. Before you scream "travesty!", consider this: Nielson (the company that analyzes everything so others don't have to) has reported that 99% of the 60,000 phone bills they had looked at would benefit from a tiered pricing structure.

The average monthly consumption of mobile data has risen from last year's 90MB up to 298MB this year.

26
Sep
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While T-Mobile's G2 may support calling over WiFi, according to TmoNews, it won't support one of stock FroYo's best features: turning the phone into a portable WiFi hotspot.

T-Mobile's official statement on the matter?

“T-Mobile does not currently support handset tethering or offer a tethering rate plan. Though tethering and Wi-Fi sharing will not be initially supported on the T-Mobile G2, we know that consumers are interested in these features and we are working to develop a solution to support them in the future.”

A flawed explanation at best, especially since the Nexus One, which runs on T-Mobile's network (unless you've got the AT&T version of the phone), supports the WiFi hotspot feature.

26
Sep

Back in the good old days, before our fantasies were crushed by manufacturer-carrier partnerships and vested interests, we dreamt of being able to make calls over whatever medium we damn well pleased. T-Mobile fed that desire further, with “Hotspot Calling” in 2007, subsequently causing temper tantrums with levied surcharges in a way that now reminds us of Ma Bell and their ludicrous femtocells. It’s such a pity they never took it any furth-

… wait, what?

25
Sep
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Wirefly is notorious for its aggressive pricing when it comes to new phones, and we can't blame them: being an online-only seller, they need to offer something exciting to win customers over from the carriers themselves and other retail locations, such as Best Buy or Radioshack.

The T-Mobile G2 preorder deal that went live today is no exception - it beats out all competition:

  • $149.99 for new accounts ($199.99 for existing ones).
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