The new Xperia Z1s on T-Mobile is almost identical to the international Z1, except for the radio bands and some software tweaks. One thing that definitely isn't the same is the bootloader – it appears that T-Mobile has requested Sony not allow bootloader unlocks on this device. For a company trying to upend the traditional carrier model, this is awfully old-fashioned carrier behavior.
The LG G Flex isn't the kind of phone you recommend to everyone. Sure, it has a curved screen, but what is that actually good for? Yet if you've been craving this phone since watching it heal itself (which is admittedly pretty cool), Sprint's gearing up to put one in your hands pretty soon. The handset is now available for pre-order at a price point of $299.99 with a two-year contract.
We were promised an update earlier this week, and AT&T is delivering. While the HTC One X+ is never going to reach KitKat (or even Android 4.3), it is getting an update to Android 4.2.2 with Sense 5.0. The update has started hitting the first devices now, so you can begin obsessively checking for updates any time.
Let's all pause for a moment to recall fond memories of Sprint ID. Done? Yeah, that didn't take long. If you're reading this, then there's a solid chance you have little interest in a carrier-installed app that screws with your homescreen by providing an obnoxious wallpaper with a preselected assortment of apps and widgets. Thankfully, Sprint is ready to take a new approach. The carrier will start to push Sprint Live on some of the phones it sells later this year, a new experience from Chinese company NQ Mobile that strives to be an always-on replacement for your wallpaper keeping you up to the date with various content tailored to the brands and news stories you're interested in.
If you're too impatient to wait for Samsung to get Android 4.4 to your carrier variant of the Galaxy Note 3 (or if you're just tired of TouchWiz), the indefatigable boys and girls of CyanogenMod are here to help. They've just released the first nightly builds of CM 11 (KitKat) for Samsung's plus-sized flagship, with support for the international LTE model (N9005), plus Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint versions.
As it happens, Samsung just started sending out the official 4.4 update for the N9005 earlier this week, so those of you who are on the unlocked version of the phone might want to go for the TouchWiz build of KitKat instead.
Netflix now covers the first 5GB of mobile app streaming for AT&T customers at no cost to you.
Beats Music: no data charge, no worries - only on AT&T.
Amazon Prime Members now get free Instant Video streaming on AT&T.
When put in the right light - that is, the light AT&T wants you to see it in - the company's new "Sponsored Data" program doesn't sound all that bad. In fact, it actually sounds pretty good, in theory.
After T-Mobile introduced the Jump early upgrade program last year, the other national carriers scrambled to create their own versions. Sprint was the last to deploy its take on the early upgrade, called One Up, but it has apparently decided that wasn't such a good idea. Sprint quietly killed the One Up on January 9th, suggesting the new Framily Plans are the way to go.
Like other annual upgrade plans, One Up promised customers no down payments on a new financed device.
If Pandora, Spotify, Google Play Music All Access, Rdio, Rhapsody, or any of the other streaming music services just haven't been able to deliver the experience you're looking for, make way for the newcomer to the scene: Beats Music. It's launching January 21st with support for Android, iOS, and Windows Mobile (aside from the desktop, of course), and actually brings a couple of features that the other guys should pay attention to.