This news has been some time coming, but it finally looks like the time is nigh: Sprint WiMax will soon be available in three of America's hottest of hot-spots. While Sprint has had 4G-capable devices out for several months now, the country's two main technology centres have been starved of WiMax coverage. Sprint may fear the same backlash AT&T received when their network got hammered by the iPhone, so they must be hoping for a more positive reception.
Hot in the heels of the incredible $100 Amazon deal on Sprint's flagship EVO 4G, we found ourselves looking at the same price tag on an even more expensive and more recent 4G device - the Samsung Epic 4G. Retailing for $249.99 at Sprint, the best deal we've seen on an Epic so far was $200 at both Amazon and Wirefly.
What we're looking at today is a brand new Epic 4G for $99.99 on a new 2-year contract, with free 2-day shipping and no tax.
HTC EVO 4G, our favorite 4.3 incher from Sprint, has revolutionized the mobile industry back in June. However, due to high demand and low stock, it was extremely hard to get at first, and when it did show up in stock, we were still looking at a $199 price tag. Sure, a $10 or $20 discount popped up here and there but no significant deals ever surfaced. Until now.
Amazon.com is offering a brand new EVO 4G for $99.99 to new customers signing up for a 2-year contract.
The first two of Sprint's latest three-phone, mid-range lineup are now arriving to various Sprint retailers, such as Best Buy, sprint.com, Wirefly.com, and others. While they aren't the powerhouses that we've gotten used to, the Sanyo Zio and the Samsung Transform are good introductory-level Android devices for people who want to dump their feature phones for smartphones without having to shell out the big bucks. They are joining the ranks of Sprint's other low-to-mid-range phones, such as the Samsung Intercept and the HTC Hero.
One of BGR's sources at Sprint just dropped them a note saying the Samsung Galaxy Tab will be launching on November 14... for $399 with a 2-year contract. They also say that full retail price of the Tab will be $600.
Seems pretty stupidly-expensive to me. I suppose that comes from the current plethora of crappy, low-end, low price Android tablets on the market. Sure, this is the first high-end Android tablet to hit the market, but come on, now: the retail price is $30 lower than the equivalent iPad, which is 3" bigger and has the Apple markup.
If anyone needed any more evidence that Android wasn't created exclusively for us power users who insist on having the latest and greatest, Sprint's latest announcements should be enough to convince even the most doubtful - the nation's third largest carrier just announced three new Android budget Android devices: the LG Optimus S, the Sanyo Zio, and the Samsung Transform. The first of those three devices will go on sale starting October 31, while the latter two will be available from October 10 forward.
Well it isn't CyanogenMod 6, but according to our tipster, it's close - one of the Epic 4G's first ROMS has just gone live on xda-developers, and it looks... promising, if nothing else.
While we haven't had a chance to test this ROM out ourselves, the forum post states that the ROM's standout features include:
- Sprintware Removed
- Modified MMS/SMS app
- Bootup/Shutdown sounds ported from the Samsung Galaxy S I9000
- Changed shutdown display screen
- Choice of 4 launchers
- ADW Launcher
- Launcher (Vanilla)
- Car Home
- GenieWidget (News & Weather)
- AOSP Lockscreen
- EVO YouTube App
- Spare Parts
- Google Maps & Google Street View are up to date
- Pandora Compatible
Live Wallpapers ported from the Samsung I9000 & Samsung Fascinate:
- Blue Sea
- Layers Of Light
- Ocean Wave
As with most other ROMs, a full wipe of both the data and cache partitions is required, but since one of my wife's main gripes with the Epic has always been its lack of an option to play YouTube videos in HQ (something my EVO is capable of), I think the Epic Experience ROM might just be worth a try.
The fact that it is actually running on the device is encouraging, but we could still be pretty far away from a testable version: no downloads are available yet, and if you look at the notification bar, you'll see a pretty significant bug in this build.
To offset the not so successful news of the Samsung Vibrant's supposedly (but not actually) GPS-fixing update, Samsung has just rolled out software version S:D700.0.5S.DI18 for the king of the Galaxy S ring, the Epic 4G for Sprint. It isn't FroYo, but it does introduce a number of important fixes, including:
- an issue where the battery would drain as a result of the cell modem continuously searching for available networks while on standby
- an issue with 3G upload speeds
- an issue with Amazon not being able to download music over 4G
- an issue where large emails would be slow to upload
The update will be rolling out over the next few days and will be available in typical over-the-air fashion, with Sprint citing download times of around seven to eight minutes.
Assuming this leaked image is real, Sprint has got two new Android devices in store for its customers, although one of them is hardly new at all: the Kyocera Zio, which will be branded as the Sanyo Zio, and the Samsung Transform, which appears to be another Android device, perhaps even from the Galaxy S series.
The Zio probably won't fire anybody up; it was announced last March, and even then it was considered a mid-range phone.