Sony has two new phones to announce here at CES in Las Vegas: one specifically for the purple people over at T-Mobile, and one meant to appease users who want a premium phone without the bulk. The Xperia Z1s is T-Mobile's branded variant of the slightly older Xperia Z1. Aside from the extra letter and doubled storage, it's identical to Sony's international flagship. The Xperia Z1 Compact is a smaller 4.3" phone that keeps most of the premium features.
It's that time of year when consumers are shown a near overwhelming array of new electronics, and many of them will undoubtedly need to connect to a cellular network in order for the real fun to happen. So AT&T has announced 24 new areas around the continental US that should now have access to 4G LTE speeds, along with two more in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. We have a pretty even spread of markets this time around, with faster connections popping up on both coasts, along with parts of the South, Midwest, and the Rockies.
Does it ever bother you that you have to pay for the bandwidth that companies are using to show you advertising? How about the fact that you have to pay for a PDF policy download from your insurance company? AT&T is hoping to make those bits of your data cap (or overage charge, as it may be) disappear. Today the wireless provider is accepting applications from other companies that wish to sponsor data.
T-Mobile has rapidly expanded its LTE footprint in the last year, but there is only so much the carrier can do with existing spectrum licenses. It was previously rumored the Un-carrier was working on a spectrum deal with Verizon, and now its official. T-Mobile will hand over AWS licenses worth $950 million and throw in another $2.365 billion in cash to get its hands on new Block A 700MHz licenses.
Update: AT&T, welcome to the party.
At the LG CES press conference the company let loose some welcome news for the American market: their unique G Flex smartphone will be coming to AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint carriers at some point this year. (Sorry, Verizon customers, looks like you're last one out again.) If you'll recall, the G Flex is LG's high-end flexible, curved-display phone announced late last year. T-Mobile has confirmed that they will carry the G Flex in a separate press release.
Update: It looks like some signals got crossed. This is the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact - the "Z1s" is a T-Mobile branded variant of the original 5-inch phone.
It's been said that those who want a powerful modern smartphone with a non-gigantic screen don't have a lot of options. If a new post from the tireless Evleaks is to be believed, they'll have at least one more on T-Mobile very soon.
If you're in the market for a powerful phone that can take a few hits, then eBay's Daily Deals portal should be your first stop today. Well, so long as you need that phone to work on the AT&T network and don't mind a refurbished model. The AT&T version of the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active is on sale for just $349.95 with free shipping to the US. You can have it in any color you want, as long as you want teal.
There's quite a bit of tension between AT&T and T-Mobile. America's two largest GSM carriers have gone after each other in ads, on Twitter, and in court. Now AT&T is willing to
bribe pay customers who switch to the carrier from T-Mobile up to $450 in credit per line.
Starting today, customers who take advantage of this limited-time offer can receive a promotional card worth up to $250 by trading in a smartphone.
Update: Best Buy has reached out to us to confirm that the $99.99 no-contract Verizon Moto G will go on sale as shipments arrive at the retailer's stores, which will apparently be as soon as today for some locations. If you're looking to get in on this $99 deal, it may be worth giving your local Best Buy a call to see if they have any in stock. Online availability will follow at a later date.