Earlier today, Android Central caught word that the Epic and Zio would receive an over-the-air (OTA) update to Froyo on February 21, but had nothing more than copied and pasted text from the Sprint system. Fast forward a few hours, and we now have more concrete evidence in the form a screenshots from Sprint's internal system that confirm the update is coming:
Turns out the rumors were true - Sprint and Kyocera have partnered up to build the Echo, the world's first dual-screen phone.
The two 3.5" 800x480 screens offer 4.7 inches of real estate when combined, and can be used as:
- One huge display ("Tablet Mode")
- Combined displays, where one screen can show a keyboard while the other displays the email app ("Optimized Mode")
- Two individual displays with each running a separate app ("Simul-Task Mode")
- One single display, with the second hidden underneath ("Single-Screen Mode")
Unfortunately, the rest of the Echo's specs aren't nearly as innovative - its battery is puny (1370 mAh, though Sprint will include a spare), it doesn't have a front-facing camera, and there's no 4G connectivity to speak of.
This morning, the Wall Street Journal reported that Sprint's big announcement will involve a Kyocera-manufactured device called the "Echo," which features two 3.5-inch displays connected by a "pivot hinge." To be honest, I had a hard time believing the rumor - it sounded like the stuff of dreams (at least with the current state of technology) - but it looks like my fears were unfounded, for a search for "echo" on Sprint's site brings up the following result:
While the link below the promising text doesn't open an actual product page, it does lead to the following gem, which makes the possibility of an official unveiling tonight even more likely:
Guess we now know why Sprint didn't have anything to show off at CES (excluding the Shift 4G), eh?
The title says it all, people: those enterprising individuals over at XDA-Developers (where else?) have conjured up a permanent root for the EVO Shift. As this is the first method available, the process isn't quite so easy as it's become for other devices. Still, it's not too outrageously complicated, either.
ok download this file and extract it to the root of your sdcard
make sure you have adb properly setup on your computer before continuing
temp root using either visionary or z4root
open up command prompt and cd to your sdk platform-tools directory
then type adb shell then su
if you havent already u must press allow on your device to enable su perms
check the md5sum of both of the files to make sure they match
if these do not match do not continue redownload the files then check the md5's again
Flash the eng spl!!!
This morning, I noticed an interesting thread in the EVO subsection of the XDA forums that claimed to be able to fix music streaming (which was broken in some apps after the latest OTA), while boosting 3G speeds by .2 to .6 Mbps. As the process is very simple and easily reversible, I gave it a go - but decided that I was going to use SpeedTest to benchmark the changes.
HTC EVO Shift 4G is not even a month old, but this $150 (on-contract MSRP) mini-EVO slider was already discounted by Amazon Wireless to $119.99 at launch and today dropped another $30 to $89.99. Since Amazon doesn't charge tax in most states and offers free 2-day shipping, I think it's a pretty safe bet to say that you will not find a better deal anywhere else on the web. Unfortunately, only new accounts willing to sign a 2-year contract qualify for the promotion - those upgrading will need to shell out the full $150.
Although Sprint's data plans are significantly cheaper than their competition, there was still some outcry when Sprint decided to charge a $10 monthly add-on charge to phones with 4G connectivity, even if your area isn't actually covered by their WiMax network. Now, however, all smartphones activated after January 30 will be subject to the same charge.
Sprint's reasoning - that “building, maintaining and expanding wireless data networks isn’t free" - is sound, and you can't argue that they still beat every other carrier when it comes to the price of their data plans.
Certainly makes sense (get it?), doesn't it. Nearly every EVO owner I know has, at some point or another, complained about the fact that their battery life drops about 5-10% as soon as they unplug it. Well, it turns out that's because of there's an overcharge protection chip inside Li-Ion batteries.
XDA user willy900wonka decided to tear his extended EVO battery apart, and lo and behold:
As a loyal Sprint customer, I must say - I was disappointed by the carrier's lack of announcements at CES. In fact, the only new phone they introduced was the HTC EVO Shift 4G, which offered little that we haven't already seen in a million other phones. But as it turns out, the nation's third-largest carrier isn't resting on its laurels; it was merely saving the more important announcements for its own event.
Sprint's just sent out the official press release announcing the HTC EVO Shift 4G, and it looks like just about everything we've heard is true - right down to the price. Need a refresher on what this baby EVO is packin'?
- Android 2.2
- 3.6" 480x800 screen
- 5 MP camera
- 720p camcorder
- 2GB microSD card (support for up to 32GB)
- 800 MHz CPU (likely the same one found in the G2)
- 1 GB ROM
- 512 MB RAM
- $150 with 2 year contract, after $100 MIR
EVO Shift 4G: Now with 100% more keyboard!