The new Xperia Z1s on T-Mobile is almost identical to the international Z1, except for the radio bands and some software tweaks. One thing that definitely isn't the same is the bootloader – it appears that T-Mobile has requested Sony not allow bootloader unlocks on this device. For a company trying to upend the traditional carrier model, this is awfully old-fashioned carrier behavior.
If you're too impatient to wait for Samsung to get Android 4.4 to your carrier variant of the Galaxy Note 3 (or if you're just tired of TouchWiz), the indefatigable boys and girls of CyanogenMod are here to help. They've just released the first nightly builds of CM 11 (KitKat) for Samsung's plus-sized flagship, with support for the international LTE model (N9005), plus Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint versions.
As it happens, Samsung just started sending out the official 4.4 update for the N9005 earlier this week, so those of you who are on the unlocked version of the phone might want to go for the TouchWiz build of KitKat instead.
In between pointed jabs at the other national carriers, T-Mobile CEO John Legere announced the carrier's newest "Un-carrier" plan. As the rumors indicated, T-Mobile is going to pay the early termination fees (ETF) when customers switch to T-Mobile from Sprint, AT&T, or Verizon. Sounds great, but there are a few caveats.
Sony has two new phones to announce here at CES in Las Vegas: one specifically for the purple people over at T-Mobile, and one meant to appease users who want a premium phone without the bulk. The Xperia Z1s is T-Mobile's branded variant of the slightly older Xperia Z1. Aside from the extra letter and doubled storage, it's identical to Sony's international flagship. The Xperia Z1 Compact is a smaller 4.3" phone that keeps most of the premium features.
T-Mobile has rapidly expanded its LTE footprint in the last year, but there is only so much the carrier can do with existing spectrum licenses. It was previously rumored the Un-carrier was working on a spectrum deal with Verizon, and now its official. T-Mobile will hand over AWS licenses worth $950 million and throw in another $2.365 billion in cash to get its hands on new Block A 700MHz licenses.
Update: AT&T, welcome to the party.
At the LG CES press conference the company let loose some welcome news for the American market: their unique G Flex smartphone will be coming to AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint carriers at some point this year. (Sorry, Verizon customers, looks like you're last one out again.) If you'll recall, the G Flex is LG's high-end flexible, curved-display phone announced late last year. T-Mobile has confirmed that they will carry the G Flex in a separate press release.
Update: It looks like some signals got crossed. This is the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact - the "Z1s" is a T-Mobile branded variant of the original 5-inch phone.
It's been said that those who want a powerful modern smartphone with a non-gigantic screen don't have a lot of options. If a new post from the tireless Evleaks is to be believed, they'll have at least one more on T-Mobile very soon.
There's quite a bit of tension between AT&T and T-Mobile. America's two largest GSM carriers have gone after each other in ads, on Twitter, and in court. Now AT&T is willing to
bribe pay customers who switch to the carrier from T-Mobile up to $450 in credit per line.
Starting today, customers who take advantage of this limited-time offer can receive a promotional card worth up to $250 by trading in a smartphone.