Looking for a great deal on the 32GB version of Verizon's Galaxy S4? Well, too bad - you aren't going to find one. Big Red is hoarding the supply of handsets like they're the only bar in a dry county, and it's their way or the highway. Verizon originally announced the 32GB S4 would be available for a staggering (but utterly believable) $299 on contract, $100 more than the 16GB edition, despite the fact that it was actually only $50 more off contract.
Sprint announced in a press release this afternoon that SoftBank's acquisition of the Sprint Corporation had officially been completed. The two companies announced a mutual interest back in October of last year. After struggling with competing bids from Dish Network, SoftBank received its final regulatory approval for the merger from the FCC just a week ago.
The merger gives SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son overarching control of Sprint as chairman of the Sprint board of directors, though Dan Hesse will stay on as the Sprint Corporation's CEO.
T-Mobile just announced its new JUMP! upgrade plan (no more caps after that, I promise), and it's really, really different. Really, really. As far as I am aware, no other mobile network in the world has a smartphone upgrade plan like this. If you haven't already read about the basics on Jump, let me break it down for you.
Jump allows you to upgrade your T-Mobile smartphone on one of the carrier's new Simple Choice plans every 6 months.
T-Mobile's "Un-carrier" re-branding changed the game. It took what those of us in the US know about wireless contracts, threw that out the window, and offered something different. And the company is excited about that. This morning, T-Mobile CEO John Legere took the stage in New York to not only talk about the tremendous growth the company has seen since launching its Un-carrier initiative, but also to announce more new features – the company's boldest moves yet.
While LG originally announced the Optimus G Pro "Value Pack" back in March, at the time it was in reference to the Korean version of the device. The G Pro has since been released on AT&T Value Packless, but it appears that's finally changing: LG has officially announced that the VP upgrade will be hitting AT&T G Pro handsets very soon. While it sadly does not include an Android version bump, it does add a host of new features.
Motorola has new phones for Verizon coming very soon, in case you hadn't heard. We've already seen a pretty convincing leak of the DROID MAXX, a Kevlar-cloaked updated version of Moto's DROID RAZR MAXX HD. Leakster extraordinaire Evleaks just posted another press shot, this time showing off the DROID Mini (or possibly MINI) next to the DROID Ultra and the nearly identical DROID MAXX with a bigger battery. The Mini and Ultra are assumed to be updated versions of the DROID RAZR M and DROID RAZR HD, respectively.
Samsung Galaxy S4 owners on Verizon, there's a new update available for your phones. But don't bother checking your Settings menu for an over-the-air prompt: it's only available via the Verizon Software Upgrade Assistant after connecting the device to a PC. Standard users should be fine, but rooted users (or those who intend to root or flash a new ROM sometime in the future) should avoid this one. According to several posters on XDA, the VRUAME7 patches existing root methods, and flashes a new version of the locked bootloader that prevents users from flashing a pre-release kernel, effectively blocking another path to root.
Verizon has announced a pair of OTA updates for the RAZR HD (HD MAXX) and RAZR M, bringing a suite of enhancements and bug fixes to the two handsets.
Both updates include new versions of Backup Assistant and Motorola's Smartactions, as well as improved GPS reliability, increased stability, improved Bluetooth connectivity, SMS fixes, and support for VMware Horizon Mobile. Various security fixes from Google are also included. If your device is rooted, as always, be wary of downloading these updates, which should be rolling out in the next week or two.
Samsung has been muddying the waters of the Galaxy brand ever since it launched, and the Galaxy S4 has been sent to new depths, with no less than three "S4" variants following the original's release by only a few months. But the Galaxy S4 Active - the sporty, tough, waterproof version of Samsung's flagship - is the first of the company's myriad extended line that actually deserves the same name as its more mainstream brother.
In case that Google Play Edition HTC One doesn't strike your fancy, or the price tag is too outlandish, there's always the subsidized carrier version. Amazon has chopped a bit more off the cost of the HTC One on both AT&T and Sprint. Both devices are now $49.99 with a new line on a 2-year contract.
This deal matches what WireFly did for the Sprint model last month, but that retailer doesn't offer AT&T phones at all.