Samsung has been gradually rolling out the KitKat software update for international models of the Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3 over the last couple of weeks. But surprisingly, it looks like at least one American carrier is eager to get Android 4.4 on the latest Samsung flagships as well. Noted XDA Developers forum member Designgears has posted official leaked builds of KitKat for AT&T's variants of the Galaxy S4and Galaxy Note 3 - you can download and flash them right now.
These KitKat builds probably aren't the final versions that will eventually be sent out as an over-the-air update.
Sprint's mobile data is typically not the first, or the second, or even the third to come to mind when looking for a zippy connection in the US, but the company is looking to change this impression with its new tri-band LTE network, more memorably known as Sprint Spark. Unfortunately, only a limited number of the carrier's phones are able to take advantage of this new capability, with some of them requiring an OTA before they're ready. Today Sprint has announced that the LG G2's update is on its way.
The ZVA software update will enable the LG G2 to connect to Sprint Spark's LTE bands 26 and 41.
Do you want a phone that looks like a banana and sounds like a piece of home exercise equipment? Then you want to head on over to AT&T's website, where the LG G Flex just went up for pre-order. Three hundred greenbacks will get you the new phone on contract, while you'll need a whopping $694.99 to buy it outright or spread the cost over an interest-free Next plan. The phone will ship out for pre-orders on Tuesday, February 4th.
The G Flex is an odd machine, combining a unique design with generally high-end hardware, though LG had to make one compromise to accommodate the curved screen and body.
Earlier this month, AT&T passed the 500 mark in the race to expand the number of areas across the country with access to the carrier's 4G LTE network. The effort is ongoing, though, and the company has now officially added several more locales to the list. Customers in areas ranging from the West Coast to the Atlantic Ocean should all now notice faster data speeds when browsing on the go.
The Galaxy Note 3 is one of the more desirable high-end phones on the market at the moment, especially if you like your mobile hardware big and pleathery. If you also like your service from Sprint, then Amazon's wireless store has a heck of a deal for new customers: a Galaxy Note 3 for $112.49 on a subsidized plan. That's more than $200 off the retail price. Black and white models are available, and shipping is free with Amazon Prime.
If you're not a new customer or signing up a family member for a new line, the deal gets considerably less sweet: the price jumps up to $279.99, $70 cheaper than Sprint's $349.99 price for the phone.
T-Mobile is doing a lot of unconventional things for the mobile industry, and now it's branching out to banking as well. The carrier has announced a new service called Mobile Money that works like any number of other online banks. You set up the account, deposit your checks through an app, and use a Visa debit card to spend. As for the fees, most of them are waived for T-Mobile customers.
Samsung tends to introduce phones with two or three color options, then slowly branch out to all parts of the visible spectrum in time. It's time for the Note 3 to start shifting colors, and you can experience it on Verizon Wireless. The new Rose Gold version of the Note 3 is coming to Big Red as an exclusive device.
The Rose Gold color scheme is basically a white Note 3 with gold trim – it actually looks a bit like the gold iPhone. Aside from the color, this is the same device you can already buy in white and black.
So AT&T's Next plans, with their $0 down and phone trade-in/upgrade after a year, are nifty for customers who always want the latest and greatest. They're also a valuable tool for enticing new customers away from the likes of Verizon and the ever-advancing T-Mobile. But what about AT&T customers who are stuck in a contract? Ma Bell hasn't forgotten about you: starting today, at least some AT&T contract customers can switch to a Next plan with no penalty.
The only conditions are that you must be a contracted customer in good standing, and you must be at least six months into a contract.
Last week Sprint was proud to announce that it was the first carrier in the US that would let consumers pre-order the LG G Flex. All the company wanted was a $299.99 down payment and a two-year contract. Now AT&T is jumping in by delivering the same handset at the same price, though its customers also have the option to pay $26.74 for eighteen months or $34.75 for twelve with an AT&T Next plan. The carrier will begin offering pre-orders online and in stores on January 24th, with the actual availability date yet to be announced.
T-Mobile seems to be making waves in the industry as of late. Not even two weeks after the magenta carrier announced it would be paying customers' ETFs, Verizon is experimenting with a 30 day upgrade cycle on its Edge plan. However, it's not a free lunch – there is some fine print to contend with.
Verizon Edge is similar to all the early upgrade programs introduced in the last year like Jump (Tmo) and Next (AT&T). With Big Red's option, you simply finance the phone over 24 months and pay it off as you go. Previously, you had to wait a year before getting the free upgrade and starting the payments over.