NEC's first entry into the American Android market isn't exactly auspicious, but it does fill a much-neglected niche. AT&T is now offering the NEC Terrain for sale, right on time and online only. $99.99 on contract gets you the QWERY candybar phone with a miniscule 3.1" screen, or you can shell out $429.99 to own it outright. Considering its ruggedized, semi-waterproof build, that's not such a bad deal... but you will have to live with Ice Cream Sandwich, a year after Jelly Bean 4.1 was released.
If you haven't heard of Aio Wireless, here's the skinny: it's a new AT&T prepaid carrier (think of it as an MVNO), and it actually offers some pretty enticing features. Initially, we expected that Aio wouldn't offer LTE service since that would be reserved for a "premium" AT&T experience, but it looks like that plan has been changed – Aio just announced that it is activating LTE coverage for its current userbase (which is currently limited to a few areas in Texas and Florida).
I'm sure we all know the frustration of trying to take a bath with a smartphone only to have it stop working. Outrageous! Surely there must be some sort of technological solution to this conundrum? Liquipel is a possibility, but you usually have to send in your device to have it sealed up. Now you can grab a pre-treated Galaxy S III for Verizon at a subsidized price from Wirefly. Kind of neat, right?
Verizon pushed out an update at the end of May to add a number of enhancements to the Galaxy S III. However, after users flooded the Verizon forums with reports of broken LTE, Big Red pulled the update. A slightly tweaked version is about to roll out with a few more features, and presumably no LTE issues.
The update listing doesn't make mention of the data fix, but that's understandable. It should be noted that this update's changelog is a bit different than the last one.
A nice treat for Galaxy S III owners on US Cellular is dropping today. An update to version R530UVXAMD4 is going out via OTA soon, but you don't have to wait. US Cellular says you can pull the update manually from the Software Update menu. The full update can also (at some point) be downloaded from Samsung and flashed to the device over USB. US Cellular's link currently points toward to the last update.
Are you looking for a highly ruggedized QWERTY keyboard phone in a candybar form factor that runs a version of Android which was released almost two years ago? Of course you are! And that's exactly why A&T and NEC have announced the Terrain, so that when you get fed up with Android 4.0, you can throw it at a wall with complete and utter confidence. And type frustrated emails really, really quickly.
AT&T announced a few new LTE markets today, along with expanded cover in a handful of others. The respective areas are listed below, with expansions in italics and the specific areas which the expansion covers in parentheses.
- Florence-Muscle Shoals, AL
- Tuscaloosa, AL
- Gallup, NM
- Brownsville-Harlingen, TX
- McAllen, TX
- Tri-Cities, WA
- Salinas-Seaside-Monterey, CA expansion (King City)
- Atlanta, GA expansion (Fayette County)
- Atlanta, GA expansion (Alpharetta, north Fulton County)
- Boston, MA expansion (New Bedford)
- Athens, OH expansion (Hocking County)
- Allentown-Bethlehem, PA expansion (Easton) - Note: Market name now Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton.
If you're like me, you love smartphones, but you aren't willing to put up with an oppressive two-year contract just to have one. Unfortunately, unless you happen to have $600 lying around, that means you have to settle for hardware that leaves much to be desired. Thankfully, the times are a-changin'. The LG Optimus F7 is a pretty solid device, and while it's not quite the premium piece of high-performance hardware that Boost Mobile pitches it as, it's a great phone to pick up for carrier's launch price of $299.
On today's episode of All My Mergers And Acquisitions, the long-running Sprint bidding war between Dish Network and Japanese carrier SoftBank appears to be over, at least for the moment. After SoftBank increased its Sprint bid to 21.6 billion dollars for 78% of the company last week, and Sprint subsequently sued both Dish and Clearwire for getting in the way of its corporate matchmaking, Dish has withdrawn its offer. According to Reuters, the company stated that submitting a new offer by today's deadline was not practical.
There's a lot of speculation floating around right now about the "reactivation" of the DROID Landing Twitter account, which is typically used by Verizon to tease new DROID phones. Unfortunately, we're going to have to deflate some of that speculation. Here are the tweets from the account this afternoon:
Reactivation protocols initiated ::: Systems nearing operational status ::: Stand by for further instructions...
— DroidLanding (@DroidLanding) June 18, 2013
Augmented Reality imaging matrix is online ::: Scavenge mode detected…
— DroidLanding (@DroidLanding) June 18, 2013
These messages seem basically without meaning taken by themselves, but there's more here than meets the eye.