A few months ago, I reviewed the Droid X2 and came away unimpressed. Performance was mediocre despite the powerful dual core Tegra 2 CPU, and more importantly, the PenTile display used by Motorola was a step up on paper and a huge step back in practice. Fast forward a few months and I've landed a Motorola Photon 4G (slightly behind schedule thanks to a few logistics issues, but better late than never!) I'm happy to report that despite seeming like it's almost the same device inside, it's quite a different beast this time around.
The newest version of Sprint's weekly "playbook" has been sent around to employees, and as usual, we have a copy. Sadly, this week's edition doesn't exactly inspire confidence for the future of the nation's third-largest carrier - in fact, one of Sprint's primary benefits, the Premier program, will be disappearing down the drain shortly. It's not all bad news, though, so let's dig in and see what's up and coming in the world of Sprint.
Sprint's Motorola Photon 4G, one of our favorite devices on this network, is receiving a small over-the-air update that will bring it up to version 4.5.1A-1_SUN-154_6/45.2.7.MB855.Sprint.en.US. The only publicized fixes are related to Wi-Fi, with users over at Android Forums reporting improved performance.
As always, wait for the update to pop up or force the check by going to Settings > About phone > System updates.
Sprint's LG Optimus S may be a budget Android device, but apparently that isn't going to stop Sprint and LG from providing Android updates going forward. Today, Sprint announced via its Community Forums that an update to Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) is rolling out to some devices beginning today, with all devices being updated within 10 days.
Sprint announced its version of the LG Optimus Black earlier today, which will be known as the LG Marquee. It's a solid mid-range phone, with an appropriate pricetag:
- 4-inch 480x800 NOVA display
- 1GHz single-core processor
- 512MB RAM
- 2GB built-in storage
- 5MP and 2MP cameras
- Android 2.3
- $99 with a two-year agreement
This definitely seems like a worthy contender if you're looking for a solid smartphone on Sprint but don't need the power (or pricetag) of the Photon, EVO 3D, or Epic 4G Touch.
The Samsung Galaxy S II (SGSII) has been one of the most highly anticipated devices in recent memory - perhaps second only to the annual new iPhone. There are two very good reasons for this: first, the original Galaxy S devices were hailed as some of the best on the market. Second - and more importantly - from its start as an on-paper proof, to its run on the trade show circuit, through its international release, the Galaxy S II been hailed as one of (if not the) best phone on the market.
Sprint's variant of the Samsung Galaxy SII has already gotten an irresistible price slash thanks to Walmart Wireless before even being released. The sleek new powerhouse has been dropped to the price of just $99.99 for a new 2-year contract. To top it off, Walmart Wireless is offering free shipping.
If you've forgotten the Epic 4G Touch's impressive specs, here they are again:
4.52" Super AMOLED Plus Display
- 1.2GHz Dual-Core Processor
- 8MP Rear Camera & 2MP Front-Facing Camera
- Android 2.3 Platform
- 3G/4G Hotspot Capabilities
- 1080p HD Video Recording
- Expandable memory up to 32GB
Getting such a discount on the Epic 4G Touch before its release is almost too good to believe, but if you want to get your hands on this deal check out the sale at Walmart Wireless.
The crown jewel of Sprint's service is undeniably its "truly" unlimited data, so when rumors of the Sprint iPhone started surfacing, customers of the Now Network immediately started questioning what would happen to data plans as a result.
The other two carriers currently offering the iPhone, Verizon and AT&T, both switched to tiered data plans shortly after they started carrying the device, so it was an understandable fear coming from Sprintsters across the nation that they, too, may end up on the same [horrible] system.
Just in time for its September 9 release, Sprint has officially announced the mid-range Kyocera Milano. The specs can't match up to some of Sprint's heavy hitters like the EVO 3D and Epic 4G Touch, but it's certainly a step up from some cheap feature phones:
- 3" display
- 3.2 megapixel camera
- 800 MHz processor
- 512 MB RAM
- Android 2.3
- Sprint ID
- 1490 mAH battery
It also includes an "Eco Mode," which appears to be custom software by Kyocera designed to help manage battery life - probably not much different from many apps in the Market that already do the same.
Update: It looks like Sprint decided to extend the Open Enrollment for another month, so if you missed it last month, you get another chance!
Thanks, Captain Anonymous and Raj!
In light of Sprint offering protection plans on all notebooks, netbooks, and tablets, the Now Network has also decided to allow all customers to enroll in a protection plan during the month of August, if they so choose.
In the past, users could only enroll in a protection plan within the first thirty days after purchasing a new device, but from August 1st thru August 31st, you'll be able to snag an insurance policy on an applicable device (though we're not sure how they're defining "applicable" here), regardless of how long you've had it.