Sprint Spark support is gradually rolling out to some of the carrier's devices, but there is something to be said for learning how to walk before learning how to run. Large swaths of the US still do not have access to Sprint's LTE network at any speed. Consider the state of Ohio, which until now has only had one city (Salem) on the complete list of supported areas, and that location only joined just last month.
If you've been holding your breath for LG's curved, flexible G Flex and... well, the somewhat less remarkable Optimus F3Q to come to Magenta, then you won't have to wait much longer. T-Mobile announced this morning that both smartphones will be available starting on February 5th online and at retailers. The G Flex will cost $672 ($28 a month on T-Mobile's two-year payment plan), while the budget QWERTY slider will cost $312 ($13 for 24 months).
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 S4 and Galaxy Note 3 - you can download and flash them right now.
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.
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.
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.
New LTE markets:
- El Centro, CA
- Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA
- Cedar Rapids, IA
- Jasper, IN
- Danville, KY
- Richmond, KY
- Somerset, KY
- Cadillac and Niles-Benton Harbor, MI
- Tunica, MS
- East Liverpool, OH
- Erie, PA
- New Castle, PA
- Aguadilla-Isabela-San Sebastian, PR
- Fajardo, PR
- Ponce, PR
- Barre and Burlington, VT
- La Crosse, WI
- Wheeling, WV
That's all for now.
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.
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.
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.