While Sprint's tri-band LTE network is far from a secret, the company's going on an all-out marketing offensive promoting the technology, which it's now given a name: Sprint Spark. Capitalizing on the unique capabilities of its newly-purchased Clearwire spectrum, Sprint is set to roll out what will likely be the US's largest LTE network in terms of spectrum usage over the coming years. That's primarily because Sprint's Clearwire acquisition granted it a block of wireless spectrum from 2500-2600MHz, the single largest contiguous frequency lease in use by any mobile data provider in the United States.
Verizon got it first (for once), but now it's time for Samsung Galaxy S4 owners on Sprint to get their Android 4.3 update on. The over-the-air download should be disseminating today, though we've yet to see confirmation from Sprint itself. Assuming that it is indeed going out, the update comes right on schedule, according to a leaked Samsung document.
In addition to the standard Android 4.3 features, the OTA download (L720VPUAMJA) delivers compatibility with the Galaxy Gear smartwatch and Samsung's Knox encryption system.
Reputed leaker of phones @evleaks is talking about the Nexus 5 again today, and this time we're hearing that the device will be available on the Sprint network. An image of the Nexus 5 was included in the Twitter posting, but it doesn't appear to be any different than the other renders of the Nexus 5. So how's this going to work?
Coming to Sprint. pic.twitter.com/dzxgIzBPXG
— @evleaks (@evleaks) October 29, 2013
Sprint support has been on the table since the radio listings leaked, so this isn't a complete surprise.
Sprint's network unfortunately sticks customers with the worst combination of variables, giving them both slower speeds than competitors while having less coverage. This situation is slowly changing, with the company rolling out faster spectrum to markets across the country that typically don't get first priority. The latest rollout brings 4G LTE to pockets scattered all throughout the country, including Lexington, Kentucky; Pensacola, Florida; and Farmington, Missouri - the perfect name for the type of locations where Sprint likes to introduce LTE.
Last week we reported that a truck transporting 22,500 LG G2 smartphones headed for Sprint was stolen at a truck stop in Gary, Indiana. WDRB reports that at least one man who committed this daring high-stakes robbery has been caught in Louisville, Kentucky along with the 18-wheeler he stole. How was this fiendishly clever criminal apprehended?
He drove the truck into a telephone pole.
No, seriously. Mr. Juan Perez-Gonzalez was arrested by the Kentucky State Police near the scene of the accident, where the truck apparently containing most or all of the LG phones was still sitting.
It ain't exactly Gone In 60 Seconds, but at least one thief is now sitting on a pile of electronics worth more than any sportscar. CNET reports that a truck stolen from a Gary, Indiana truck stop contained 22,500 LG G2 smartphones, originally intended for a Sprint distribution center in Kentucky. At the unsubsidized price, the combined value of all those phones is more than twelve million dollars.
At the moment there don't appear to be any leads in the case, though police in Indiana and Illinois are looking for the truck and the thief, and the FBI is aware of the situation.
If you thought that the Moto X was too expensive at $199 for an on-contract phone, you're in a vocal majority. After a couple of months on the market, Motorola would seem to agree. The Moto Maker customization site was updated with the banner below this morning, dropping the price for the customized AT&T model down to just $99.99 for the 16GB version. The AT&T-exclusive 32GB model is also cheaper at $149.99.
Sprint customers typically complain about the lackluster data coverage, but they at least have generally been able to make phone calls. Yet many customers who went out and bought the Galaxy Note 3 from the carrier found that even that ability was lacking. They suffered from garbled voices, popping sounds, and all about terrible audio quality leaving them wondering why they bought a phone over a tablet in the first place.
Update: Best Buy didn't waste any time updating their prices on the newly-reduced Moto X. The prices for the various carrier versions of the Moto X below are now $0, $100 off the retail value.
We're getting into the stretch of the calendar that deal hunters spend all year preparing for: the pre-Christmas consumerism smorgasbord. It seems to be happening earlier and earlier, and Best Buy is getting in on the action even before Halloween.
The Galaxy S4 is a neat phone, but man is it ever big. If a 5-inch device simply won't fit in your life, consider the Galaxy S4 Mini. This svelte device is headed to the US next month and it will be sold by AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, and U.S. Cellular. The carriers should announce availability shortly, but no pricing is available yet.
The GS4 Mini retains the visual style of the Galaxy S4, but the specs have been reduced a bit.