We've heard rumors that Sprint is considering outbidding T-Mobile for MetroPCS's affection. Just in case that doesn't work, though, Sprint wants us to know that there is another plan in the works: being purchased by Softbank. Since most of you likely aren't up to date on Japanese telecoms, here's the deal: Softbank is a Japanese telecom. The third largest wireless carrier in the country, so a bit of a kindred spirit with Sprint. Now, the Japanese company may be interested in purchasing big yellow. Rumors broke earlier today, and now Sprint has sent out this brief press release to confirm:
Good morning, owners of the Sprint Samsung Galaxy S III Epic 4G Touch. When you get your breath back, check your device's update function in the settings menu. Sprint's got a maintenance update, assuming that you're running the latest stock and non-rooted version of Ice Cream Sandwich. Software version S:D710.10S.FI27 adds only a few bug fixes to the email, MMS, and VPN apps, so don't get your hopes up for Jelly Bean any time soon.
ZTE Fury owners, you get to join the somewhat reserved party as well. The software update (N850V1.0.0B14) for the budget device boosts the volume for the speakerphone, adds a few network options, and purportedly boosts battery life.
Before you ask, no, we don't know how much, and we don't know when. Yeah. Sorry. Anyway, if you've been looking forward to the first mass-market Snapdragon S4 Pro smartphone, you're in luck. Because at some point in the future (wooooooo) you'll be able to get it on AT&T or Sprint! That smartphone, of course, is the LG Optimus G. Which, if you haven't heard about it, must mean you've been living under a rock for the last month while LG has personally gone door to door making sure literally everyone has seen it.
To give you a brief overview of the device, here are some key specifications.
Sprint has some presents for you, especially if you live in the midwest. For starters, several cities are getting their shiny new LTE networks lit up today including Wichita, KS, Waukegan-Lake County, IL and more (listed below). As an added bonus, the #3 carrier also announced that the Network Vision rollout is beginning in Chicago, New York City, and Los Angeles. For those who are unaware, the Network Vision plan provides for significant improvements to the existing 3G infrastructure, in addition to eventual LTE upgrades.
Here's the list of markets that will see LTE activated in their area:
Waukegan-Lake County, IL
It's not a huge rollout, but the improvements to the 3G network in Chicago, NYC, and LA should be welcome as Sprint makes ready LTE coverage in those cities.
Sprint just began pushing an OTA to its variant of the Galaxy S III that brings a few bug fixes and enhancements, as well as the inclusion of the SWYPE keyboard.
- Inclusion of SWYPE keyboard
- Improved LTE connectivity
- SMS Messaging improvements
- EAS sync improvements
This update, which is build number L710VPLI3 for those who like to keep up with that sort of thing, is rolling out in stages beginning now. To see if it's available on your phone, head into Settings > About phone > System Update > Update Samsung Software > Update Now. Otherwise, you'll be notified when it hits your device.
We knew it was happening, but now things are official. The Samsung Galaxy Note II is coming to Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and US Cellular. This is going to be a big deal, and not just because this phone is physically massive.
The centerpiece of the Note II is the 5.5-inch Super AMOLED HD panel at 1280x720. This screen uses Wacom inductive technology so you can make use of a pressure-sensitive S Pen, which docks neatly in the body of the phone when you're not using it. Whereas the US Galaxy S III used Qualcomm's Snapdragon S4, the Note II will run Samsung's own Exynos quad-core chip.
According to an internal document sent to us by a tipster, Sprint will be turning on the four-gee taps in two major US cities this week - Boston and Chicago. As we know, Sprint is in something of a panic-mode in regard to its 4G rollout, and has decided to begin bringing its network online in some locations before it's fully ready. As you can see in the document below, that is exactly what's happening here.
While Sprint isn't ready to call it "launch" time, it's telling employees that they should be informing customers that 4G coverage is being rolled out, and is accessible in "certain areas," but that the experience may not be "optimal." This basically lines up with a press release Sprint sent out earlier this week, which stated that LTE may be available in some regions before an official launch, and that customers are "free to use it" (read: don't complain if it sucks).
Samsung and Sprint let loose the Galaxy Victory today, a not-quite-budget phone that we saw leaked back in May, then again in July. The official announcement basically seems to confirm what we already knew about the device: that it's not exactly anything to get excited over.
The Victory is packing a 4" WVGA (800x480) SAMOLED Plus display, powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core processor of unknown lineage (we're guessing a clocked-down version of the Qualcomm MSM8960 S4). Our earlier leaks suggested 1GB of RAM and 4GB of internal storage, and that still appears to be the case. There's a microSD slot on board, as well, to expand the latter figure.
Looking to switch up your carrier situation? Today might be a good time to look into doing just that, as Amazon Wireless has put the AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon versions of the Galaxy S III 16GB (any color) on sale for just $99 with a new 2-year agreement (upgrades are not eligible).
But seriously, don't buy the red one. Please.
You can see the eligible phones here (the 32GB models shown are not part of the deal, unfortunately). You'll notice T-Mobile's Galaxy S III isn't included, but that's probably because Amazon doesn't sell it in the first place. Here's a full list of eligible models:
All things considered, this really is a great deal on what is probably the best Android smartphone (at least for most people) currently available.
You may remember Samsung's Galaxy Victory 4G LTE (formerly known as "Gogh") from some training materials we caught sight of just a few days ago. Well, while the device is still unannounced, good old Sammy has decided to drop the Victory's kernel source ahead of time for anxious developers and tweakers to get started on.
Samsung has had a good track record lately of releasing kernel source just after a device is announced, but releasing the code before we're even supposed to know about a device is pretty impressive.
While we still aren't sure exactly when users can expect to see Samsung's 1.2GHz dual-core wielding mid-range Victory 4G for sale, those looking to get a head start on development for the device can grab its kernel source from the link below.