If you use the stock browser on the Sprint Samsung Galaxy S4, you may notice the strange button in the corner. That, ladies and gentlemen, is the Lumen Toolbar. It shipped on the S4, but Sprint is just now detailing it as part of the carrier's Pinsight Media+ mobile advertising program. You know those obnoxious toolbars that programs are always trying to cram on your PC? This is the same thing, but your carrier is doing it to you.
While the Big Four have been able to tout the GS 4 for several months now, customers of most smaller carriers have been left wanting. Today marks the launch of the device for two such carriers: MetroPCS and C Spire Wireless.
Available exclusively on MetroPCS' 4G LTE network, the GS 4 is available today in select markets – Atlanta, Hartford, Philadelphia, Boston, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Dallas-Ft. Worth, and New York – for $549.
The upcoming DROID MAXX for Verizon Wireless has been rumored for a while now, but @evleaks has just posted an image of the device. Here it is in all its glory.
The design doesn't look like a radical departure from past Verizon DROIDs made by Motorola. It looks a bit closer to the RAZR M than the DROID RAZR MAXX HD, though. The kevlar texture wraps around a bit and the corners aren't as pointy.
It's not much of a surprise at this point, but the Federal Communications Commission has approved the tri-company merger deal involving Japanese carrier SoftBank, Sprint, and Clearwire. The FCC ruling follows Justice Department approval several weeks ago, and some delicious drama that ended with Dish Network being shut out of the deal.
SoftBank is throwing $21.6 billion at Sprint to acquire a 78% stake in the company. Sprint is now also free to buy the remaining 49% of Clearwire it doesn't already own, giving it a big juicy slice of wireless spectrum.
If you bought into the ruggedized LTE device hype and picked up a Kyocera Torque on Sprint, then good news is afoot: your little tank is getting its taste of Jelly Bean beginning in just three days' time. According to Sprint's update blog, the Torque should begin receiving an update on July 5th that not only brings Android 4.1.2 to the rough-and-tough handset, but also international calling, the ability to "power cycle," email sync fixes, and enhancements to sleep mode.
If you've been clinging steadfastly to one of the tiny number of iDEN Android phones ever produced, you better have backup plan. Sprint shut off the old Nextel iDEN network yesterday (June 30th) just like it said it would. That juicy Nextel spectrum will be worth much more to Sprint as the backbone of its ever-expanding LTE network. Sprint is still happy to take you money, but only if you use the CDMA/LTE network.
With only 9GB of user-accessible storage, the 16GB variant of the GS4 simply won't do for many users. Sure, you can throw a microSD card in it for movies, music, pictures, etc., but that won't help in the slightest if you need more space for apps (for now, at least). The solution? Get the 32GB version. And if you're on AT&T, Amazon just knocked the price down by $40, making it comparable to the 16GB version's retail subsidized price.
If you're traveling between countries in the European Union, there's good news for your wallet: it won't be quite so thoroughly mugged by international roaming charges starting today. After a vote by the European Commission last month, wireless roaming charges for text, data, and voice usage are being forcibly reduced across its 28 member states. Today's policy change will lower maximum roaming charges to 45 European cents per megabyte, 24 cents per outgoing call minute, 7 cents per received call minute, and 8 cents for a text message, plus value-added tax in all cases.
If you're in the market for a gigantic, tablet-like smartphone that doesn't start with the word "Galaxy," you'd be hard-pressed to find a better candidate than the LG Optimus G Pro. And if you want it on AT&T, you won't find anywhere that has it cheaper than Amazon. The 5.5-inch phone is just $49.99 for new contact signees and returning customers whose 2-year re-up has come, with free two-day shipping to boot (you don't even need Amazon Prime).