Competition is really heating up in the low cost, off-contract smartphone market these days. Motorola's Moto G, revealed just last week, is the meteor that could potentially change the landscape here in the US when it strikes early next year, offering specs that far exceed anything we've been conditioned to expect for $179. But that's the future. As for now, Americans looking for an affordable but capable off-contract handset can now pick up the HTC Desire (or, more specifically, the HTC Desire 601) from Virgin Mobile for $279.
Remember that Android 4.3 update that started rolling out to the AT&T Galaxy S4 last week? Well, you can stop waiting for it and hitting the update button every 10 minutes – there's been a little hiccup.
Earlier today, we covered some interesting updates coming to Sprint's Galaxy Mega, Galaxy S4 Mini, and HTC One Max, all concerning LTE bands and "LTE UI Enhancements." These changes were of course related to Sprint's fledgling "Spark" tri-band LTE network which, according to Sprint, could potentially reach speeds of between 50 and 60 Mbps.
The network is only ready for a few cities (Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, and Tampa), but if you own a compatible device you'll get to enjoy Sprint's LTE UI Enhancement anyway.
The day you've been waiting for is here, "phablet" fans... assuming you're a prospective or current Sprint customer and you haven't already bought a Galaxy Note 3. The Now Network has launched its carrier-branded version of the HTC One Max (or "One max" if you're a brand manager) and it's currently available on the official online store for $149.99.
That's $149.99, if and only if you meet a few qualifications.
The Moto X is one of those rare devices that skips the spec war in favor of a more elegant approach. This device has interesting voice and notification features most other devices can't touch. If you're a Verizon customer with a hankering for active notifications and touchless control, today is your lucky day. You can grab a Moto X on Big Red for zero dollars with a new contract.
Remember when everyone was pissed off that the Verizon version of the Galaxy Nexus couldn't use Google Wallet because of "security concerns"? ISIS Mobile Wallet, the alternative carrier-sponsored NFC payment system (and the reason that last sentence was equipped with sarcastic quote marks) is finally available, just two years after Google Wallet was coincidentally blocked by the carriers that are pushing ISIS. Nice work there, fellas.
ISIS has been in a beta testing mode in limited markets for just over a year - the necessary Android apps have been available on the Google Play Store since then.
Today is a big day for Republic Wireless. After weeks of anticipation, the Moto X is finally up for sale alongside four new plans. The Moto X costs $299 from Republic, but that's without any kind of contract – the full price is $499 most places. You also get you choice of four super-cheap service plans on Republic Wireless.
This is only the second phone Republic Wireless has launched, with the last being the lackluster Motorola Defy XT.
So far Samsung has been right on the money when it comes to the much-anticipated Android 4.3 update for its major phones. Today customers with the AT&T model of the Galaxy S4 are getting the last version of Jelly Bean, according to this (very long) thread on XDA. It looks like the update file started going out to customers a few hours after midnight, so technically Samsung is a day late - then again, the schedule was leaked, so it's hard to hold that against them.
Motorola has made a splash in the mobile world today, thanks to a ridiculously cheap phone that appears to be pretty good. (Shocking!) The $179 Moto G was announced in a live event this morning, with availability in Brazil and parts of Europe today, and a worldwide rollout continuing into early 2014. The company published the first ad for the Moto G on its YouTube channel.
The ad highlights the phone's customizable backplates first and foremost.
Update: Welcome back to Android Police. And now, here's an AT&T representative with a report on the recent Galaxy Note 3 software update.
A software update for the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 was made available for AT&T customers today. It provides general performance improvements.
AT&T's Galaxy Note 3 is barely out of the starting gate and it's already got an OTA update, probably fixing a few issues discovered as the Samsung phone was disseminated to a few hundred thousand users.