Sprint

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Sprint Announces The Kyocera Torque, Its First Ruggedized 4G LTE Smartphone

Sprint this morning announced plans to offer a new ultra-rugged Kyocera smartphone with Direct Connect "this spring." The device – dubbed Torque – offers the standard features expected from a ruggedized phone, including water resistance, dust prevention, and drop protection. That means you'll be able to drop it in the toilet, use it during a sandstorm, or throw it out of frustration without fear of shattering it into pieces.

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If you want specifics, the Torque can be submerged in meter-deep water for up to 30 minutes, handle temperatures from –22 to 140 degrees for three hours, stay safe from "heavy dust" for up to six hours, and be dropped more than 20 times from a height of four feet.

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Leak: Sprint Offering $400 Device Credit If You Port In A Family Plan With At Least 3 Lines Starting January 18th

There might be more appealing national networks to run your phone through, but Sprint is hoping to lure in more customers with some free money. A leaked internal Sprint doc indicates that a previously popular promotion is coming roaring back on January 18th. If you meet the qualifications to take advantage of this deal, it can mean big savings on a couple new smartphones.

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Before you get too excited, you have to be opening a new account with Sprint, along with the following eligibility requirements:

  • IL [Independently Liable] customers activating 3-5 new handsets [read: phones only] on new lines of service
  • At least one line must be a port-in from another carrier
  • Customers must activate all phones on an Everything Share or Simply Everything Share plan

The independently liable stipulation is just referring to a line that you own, not one handled through an employer.

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Sprint Galaxy Nexus Android 4.2.1 OTA Update (GA02) Available For Download Right Now From Google

The official OTA update to Android 4.2 for the Sprint Galaxy Nexus has just hit Google's servers, and you can grab the build (GA02) right now. Here's a direct download link, originally found on XDA. Sextape at SXTP Developers posted yesterday indicating that a leaked version of this build would end up as the final OTA release. Here's the detailed build info:

post-build=samsung/mysidspr/toroplus:4.2.1/JOP40D/L700GA02:user/release-keys

md5: 4a023ce78c17c8256dfec8ae0615707f

File size: 102,838,616 bytes

So, now you're wondering how you go about flashing this build, right? Well, you can do it now, but it's not a one-step affair. I've placed instructions below, but proceed at your own risk - the OTA update will probably be going out through Sprint fairly soon, too.

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Sprint Announces 28 New LTE Markets Going Live 'In The Coming Months'

LTE is probably like getting a glass of ice water in hell for Sprint customers after the flop that was WiMAX, so announcements of expanded 4G coverage are doubly welcome on the Now Network. Sprint let fly today that 28 new markets will be getting the four-gees in 'the coming months,' and here's the list.

  • Albany, GA
  • Anderson, SC
  • Bay City, MI
  • Branson, MO
  • Bremerton/Silverdale, WA
  • Columbus, GA
  • Columbus, MS
  • Decatur, AL
  • Florence/Muscle Shoals, AL
  • Gadsden, AL
  • Gaffney, SC
  • Gettysburg, PA
  • Glasgow, KY
  • Homosassa Springs, FL
  • Hot Springs, AR
  • Lake City, FL
  • Lake Havasu City/Kingman, AZ
  • Midland, MI
  • Nacogdoches, TX
  • Opelousas/Eunice, LA
  • Oxford, MS
  • Paris, TX
  • Pittsfield, MA
  • Saginaw, MI
  • Spartanburg, SC
  • The Villages, FL
  • Waycross, GA
  • Winona, MN

This particular portion of the LTE buildout seems focused on the southland, though there are a few outliers sprinkled in there as well.

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Sprint Pushing Small OTA Updates To The Flash And Epic 4G Touch

A couple of small OTA updates - both of which are primarily bug-fixers - are making their way to the Flash and Epic 4G Touch on Sprint this morning.

Flash owners, you can expect LED blink timing improvements, camera enhancements, better text input with Swype, and a tweak to the information provided in Settings > Applications > Running applications.

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The list is actually shorter for the Epic 4G Touch, with only two things in the OTA: it adds Sprint's Connection Optimizer, and brings some security updates. Exciting, I know.

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You can see if the update is available on either device by heading into Settings > About phone > System Updates > Update firmware.

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Motorola Photon Q Receiving Minor OTA Update (Software Version ASA-14)

If you have a Motorola Photon Q, time to start the ritualistic checking for updates: a new OTA is headed out this morning. Software version 7.7.1Q-6_SPR-125_ASA-14, the first update since the ASA-10 maintenance release in October, will get your Q running the latest and greatest. And no, it's not Jelly Bean (though the Q will be getting Jelly Bean... at some point). The changelog isn't much of a log, either:

- Various fixes to improve overall device stability

But hey, bug fixes are bug fixes, and that's probably going to make someone somewhere happy. You can check out Sprint's blog post on the update (which has basically no additional info) here.

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Dish Network Ups The Ante And Outbids Sprint For Clearwire By $200 Million

Break out the popcorn, folks, it's time for some corporate drama. As we reported last month, LTE service provider Clearwire is looking to sell itself, with 50% stake holder Sprint Nextel the obvious choice. But while Sprint's $2.2 billion offer (plus another $800 million in staggered investments) sits on the desks of both Clearwire shareholders and the Federal Trade Commission for approval, satellite TV provider Dish Network has made another offer. They're putting $2.4 billion on the table, about $3.30 per share, and an 11% increase over Sprint's initial offering.

For the uninitiated, Dish has been gobbling up the rights to as much LTE spectrum as it can get, though its plans for leveraging those rights isn't immediately clear.

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Sprint's LG Optimus G Receiving A Small OTA Update To Build LS970ZV9

If you have Sprint's version of the LG Optimus G, you may want to head into Settings > About phone and see if the latest OTA is available on your handset. The update – which bumps the device up to build LS970ZV9 – is just a small one that brings a couple of fairly minor enhancements to the device:

  • Visual Voicemail update
  • Battery improvements

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This just started rolling out today, so don't stress if it's not yet available to you. Give it a few days – Sprint says that all users should have the update "within 10 days."

[Sprint]

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Sprint Will Begin Pay As You Go Service On January 25th, But Standard Sprint Phones Aren't Invited To The Party [Update: Sprint Confirms]

If you want to use Sprint's network without signing a contract, there are a lot of options out there, including its subsidiary Boost Mobile, the American MVNO Virgin, and hybrid provider Republic Wireless, among others. Sprint hopes that there are at least some prepaid customers left out there, because starting on January 25th, it will be offering its service in contract-free flavors.

Update: Sprint confirmed the new service to Fierce Wireless and provided some additional details. There will be no limits on data or bandwidth throttling, and LTE service will in fact be enabled on the Galaxy Victory.

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There are only two smartphones that will be available at the beginning of Sprint As You Go: LG's somewhat misnamed Optimus Elite, and the Samsung Victory, conspicuously absent of the "4G LTE" branding that's present on Sprint's current Galaxy model.

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[Deal Alert] HTC EVO LTE Now $0.01 For New Customers And Upgrades From Amazon Wireless

If you've been waiting for the best possible price on the EVO LTE, it's time to go ahead and buy. Why? Because Amazon Wireless is letting this handset go for a penny, and, well, it doesn't get much more affordable than that. This deal's good for both new customers and upgrades, so it's open for basically everyone (granted you're already eligible for upgrade). And of course, let's not forget that the handset was recently updated to Android 4.1, so now it's full of Jelly Bean goodness.

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Specs:

  • 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 MSM8960
  • Adreno 225 GPU
  • 1GB RAM
  • 16GB ROM (Partitioned: 2.09GB for Apps/9.93GB for Data) with microSDHC slot
  • 4.7-inch 1280x720 IPS LCD Display
  • 2000 mAh Battery (Non-Removable)
  • 8MP Rear Camera, 1.3MP Front Camera; Back Side-Illuminated Sensor
  • WiFi A/B/G/N
  • Bluetooth 3.0+
  • FM Radio
  • LTE, GPS, NFC (with Google Wallet!), and MHL 
  • Dimensions: 5.31" (L) x 2.72" (W) x 0.35" (T)
  • Weight: 4.73 ounces
  • Android 4.1 with HTC Sense

Head below to buy.

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