Prepare to temper your expectations, HTC One owners on Sprint. In the coming days you will see the update notification pop up, but it's not Android 4.2. It's not even a very substantial update. But hey, it's still an update, and that's more than a lot of phones get.
At a time when T-Mobile is trying to redefine the less-than-stellar reputation of wireless carriers, it looks like regional player US Cellular has taken a big step backwards. The company is no longer allowing customers to access the upgrade reward in the Belief Project, which allowed those who had completed an eighteen month contract to buy a new phone at the subsidized price without signing another contract. After July 27th, US Cellular customers will have the same old contractual ball and chain if they buy a new device at the advertised price.
It's time for Verizon to roll out its next wave of exclusive devices, as the company has just sent out invitations to its upcoming press event. Verizon will hold the shindig in New York City on July 23rd, where we expect the carrier to announce the latest generation of its DROID handsets. Likely candidates include the DROID Ultra, the DROID MAXX (an Ultra with a bigger battery), and the DROID Mini (convenient travel sized).
If you're having reception issues or dropped calls at your home or office, Verizon Wireless (and other carriers) might recommend you pick up a femtocell. This is a small device that plugs into your router and acts like a miniature cell tower. However, a pair of security researchers have revealed how they managed to use that same device to snoop on phone calls and other communications.
Late last night, AT&T began promoting its new "Next" smartphone upgrade plan in earnest. And earlier yesterday, a leaked training document revealed Verizon's "Edge" upgrade plan. Both are very obvious four-letter copies of T-Mobile's new Jump plan. Let me give you the breakdown on these Jump competitors as quickly as I can.
AT&T will allow you to finance (0% interest, no down payment, no finance charges) a phone for 20 months, pay it off monthly, and after 12 months of payments, will let you trade it in and start financing a new phone, and remaining payments on the old phone will be forgiven.
T-Mobile's version of the Sony Xperia Z is now available on the carrier's website in both black and purple. We were previously under the impression this was just the pre-order date, with wide availability following tomorrow, July 17th. The device appears to actually be ready for purchase, though. If you jump on it now, you get free overnight shipping and a Sony Bluetooth wireless speaker. These are limited time, online-only offers.
Whether or not you want to partake in T-Mobile's "Uncarrier" experiments, they're obviously having an effect on the wider American carrier landscape. Today AT&T announced plans to counter T-Mobile's JUMP! upgrade/trade-in plan with one of their own, called Next. The Next plan will allow similar installment payments on new phones with no money down, and users will be given the option to trade in their existing phone and begin paying off a new one.
Droid-life has gotten its hands on some leaked Verizon employee training materials, and they reveal the existence of something called "VZ Edge" - what can only be described as Verizon's four-letter answer to T-Mobile's new Jump upgrade plan. The gist is this: Verizon will allow you to upgrade your phone every 6 months, with strings attached. Here's what we know so far.
Edge is part of Verizon's existing device payment plan program.
The Sony Xperia Z might be a few months old now, but it's about to officially arrive in the great white north as an exclusive on Bell Mobility. The Canadian carrier will begin selling the Xperia Z later this month (July 2013) in white, black, and purple.
This is going to be the proper Xperia Z, not that watered down, non-water-resistant Xperia ZL. In case you need a refresher on the Z's specs, here they are:
- 5" 1080 x 1920p full HD Reality Display with Mobile BRAVIA Engine 2
- 13MP Fast Capture camera with Exmor RS sensor
- Water and dust resistant (IP55 & IP57) with a durable glass display
- 1.5 GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 processor
- 2GB RAM
The Xperia Z is no slouch, but it's starting to look a bit dated next to the HTC One and Galaxy S4.
If you're one of the lucky few with a T-Mobile-branded Galaxy Tab 2 10.1, there's an update headed your way. It's based on Android 4.1.2, just like the last one was, but it adds one notable new feature: LTE. Yes, the tablet's latent LTE radio has been enabled with this update.
The new version of the software is starting to hit devices today, but mashing the update button won't help. It's going to be arriving in waves until all tablets have gotten the notification around July 19th.