As he tends to do, HTC VP Mo Versi has Tweeted details of a pending update for the M9. This time it's the Verizon version of the device, and it's getting Android 5.1 tomorrow. But it's more than just Android 5.1. This OTA also adds some LTE bands for roaming and patches Stagefright too. Read More
Is the 2-year smartphone contract dead yet? Not technically, but it probably won't hang on much longer. Sprint is the latest carrier to announce it's done with the contract approach to selling phones. This comes just days after Verizon made the same announcement. T-Mobile, of course, has been doing this for several years. Read More
Samsung isn't leaving its flagship of yesteryear completely high and dry in this age of Stagefright vulnerability. An update is being sent to the Verizon Galaxy S4 today that patches the Stagefright vulnerability, and adds a few more fixes for good measure. Read More
AT&T, a company with a reputation for evil such that placing their logo inside a Death Star has always seemed genuinely appropriate, has announced some changes to pricing on its mobile data plans today. While some of those changes are genuinely good if you're a subscriber with a large data bucket or have some pretty particular usage habits, many new customers can expect to pay $5-10 more a month under the new structure, which AT&T of course claims is a totally innocuous attempt to "simplify" things for customers.
Here's the deal - currently, AT&T charges $25 a month (plus $25 per phone if you BYOD or use Next) for 1GB of data, $40 for 3GB, and $70 for 6GB. Read More
If you've been watching today's coverage of the Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge+ with bated breath, you won't have to wait too long to pick one up from an American carrier. All five major US networks have confirmed that they'll be carrying Samsung's new flagships, with varying degrees of availability and pre-order status. The official release date from Samsung is August 21st, and AT&T is already selling phones. Here's the breakdown for the other carriers:
Big Red is already taking pre-orders for the Galaxy S6 Edge+ and the Galaxy Note 5. The S6E+ can be had for a whopping $768 in its standard 32GB model or $864 for the 64GB model (ouch) at unlocked prices. Read More
Here's something you already knew about the Galaxy Note 5 and S6 Edge+ before today's announcement—both devices are expensive. Samsung charged a ton for its massive phones before, and nothing about introducing more premium materials into this year's iterations says cheap. So you're looking at parting with uncomfortably close to a grand by the time taxes are factored into the equation.
AT&T, for example, wants around $740 for the Galaxy Note 5 and $815 for the S6 Edge+. You can divide those up into however many payments you want using AT&T Next plans, but it still amounts to a lot of money. Read More
HTC's Desire brand has hung on through two revisions of the "company-wide" One moniker, oddly adopting features and style queues from the flagship series while aiming for a lower price point. So it is with the latest Desire phones to come to Verizon, the 526 and 626. Verizon announced the pair earlier today, with the cheaper Desire 526 going on sale tomorrow (August 13th) and the Desire 626 available "in the coming weeks."
The 526 is the cheaper of the two phones, with a 4.7-inch 960x540 screen and an 8-megapixel camera (according to Verizon's short press release). HTC's website has rather more information, revealing a Snapdragon 210 processor, 1.5GB of RAM, 8GB of storage plus a MicroSD card slot, a rather diminutive 2000mAh battery, and a 2MP front-facing camera. Read More
Competition in Android smartphones is better now than it's ever been, and not just in the flagship segment. With devices like the Moto G, the ZenFone 2, and various Blu designs, the mid-range is heating up with phones that are jam-packed with value. But how about the low-end, entry phone segment? For those people who just want a device that runs a few apps, plays a nice round of Threes, and maybe browse for some sports scores? Before a few years ago, they were limited to whatever bottom-of-the-line, low-margin phones Samsung and LG would spare.
These days things are a little different. Read More
Verizon has begun rolling out an update for the Galaxy Note Edge that should address the vulnerability in Stagefright, one of Android's media libraries, that could potentially compromise a user's device. This is the first Stagefright-related fix we're aware of Verizon rolling out.
Of course, the changelog doesn't specifically mention Stagefright... but it's really obvious that's what it's for, given the timing of the update and terseness of the document. You can probably expect a slew of Samsung Stagefright fixes (as well as other OEMs, of course) on Verizon to follow, if this is any sign. Read More
Say goodbye to the era of the $200 on-contract smartphone. Verizon has just announced a new plan structure, and part of the change is an end to phone subsidies. From now on, you'll purchase phones from Verizon on a payment plan or at full price. The new plans aren't substantially cheaper, but they are a bit more straightforward. Read More