Opening statement giving a broad overview of device updates. Introduction of specific manufacturer, carrier, and model. Expression of dissatisfaction at the state of Android updates. Date comparison of release of specific Android version and the latest version. Specific call to action for carrier and/or manufacturer. Lamentation on behalf of affected users. Grudging link to documentation of software update. In case you couldn't tell yet, we do a lot of these overdue carrier update posts on Android Police, and they aren't any more fun for us to write than they are for you to read. Read More
If you've ever gone to a foreign country with a carrier-branded phone, or tried to use that phone on a different operator in the US, you've probably encountered the problem many have: it's locked. While most carriers did honor unlock requests in the past, or sell their handsets unlocked (like Verizon, mostly), there was no universal policy on the practice in America. As of February 11th, that's changing - the CTIA (basically, the wireless industry's special interest group) is laying out a set of phone unlocking (that is, SIM/network unlocking) principles that AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, and US Cellular will abide by in the wake of the congressional un-banning of phone unlocking. Read More
US Cellular has announced that it's lowering the price of its Simple Connect Prepaid plans. Customers can get 1GB of 4G LTE for $45 a month, 2GB for $55, and 4GB for $65. The carrier won't cut off data after you hit any of these limits, but it will slow your connection down.
The prepaid game is heating up. Boost Mobile announced roughly a week ago that it will soon offer its cheapest prepaid smartphone plan for $35, with users getting 1GB of high speed data. Cricket has decided that it can not only match that price, it will do one better and offer 2.5GB for the same amount of money. Read More
If you have a late-model Samsung phone on US Cellular, odds are pretty good that there's a software update waiting for you. The Galaxy S5 and Galaxy Note 4 flagships are getting an updated build of KitKat, along with the last-gen Galaxy Note 3. Don't get your hopes too high: all three phones will still be running Android 4.4.2 after the update. But Samsung is pushing out a few incremental changes, notably for the dialer and camera.
According to the update notes, a lot of the tweaks are specifically for Google-related services, notably the ability to "search for nearby places and businesses, your contacts, or people in your Google Apps domain." The new builds have Google Hangouts included, complete with SMS integration (not that you couldn't do it for yourself before). Read More
Samsung's experiment made consumer product, the Galaxy Note Edge, is already available in international unlocked versions and through AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint. The next American carrier to bite on the device with the curved screen is US Cellular, which will start selling the Note Edge on Wednesday. A standard two-year contract will get you the phone for a hefty $399 (which is actually in line with AT&T and Sprint's contract pricing), or you can split the payments up into undisclosed bits with no money down. The press release didn't mention a non-contract price, but the unconventional phone runs between $850 and $950 elsewhere. Read More
Update: U.S. Cellular will carry the LG G Flex 2 too this spring. No more details at this time.
Hot on the heels of its official announcement at CES, US carriers have started unveiling their plans to offer the LG G Flex 2 on their networks.
The phone, which features Qualcomm's Snapdragon 810 processor, a 13MP camera with OIS and laser autofocus, in a 5.5" bendable body with a self-healing back, will be available sometime in Q1 2015 on Sprint. The operator will exclusively sell the "Volcano Red" color, and the phone will be able to take advantage of Sprint's 2.5GHz LTE network. Although price and availability will be announced later, pre-registration is already open for Sprint customers here. Read More
Much of the innovation in Android right now is happening on the budget side of things. At a time when high-end phones are making largely incremental improvements over previous models, low-end handsets have gone from being barely functional iPhone sales pieces to compelling devices that make for great starter phones.
The original ZTE Imperial was certainly not top-of-the-line, but the phone was affordable and its specs weren't particularly embarrassing at the time. Now a successor is available from US Cellular that delivers more phone for even less money.
The ZTE Imperial II comes with a larger, 5-inch qHD display that replaces the previous 4-inch, 800 by 480 offering. Read More
ROM flashers and root fanatics who own a few more obscure Android devices have new options this morning. Official, straight from the source builds of the ubiquitous Team Win Recovery Project custom recovery are now available for the unlocked, dual-SIM card version of the HTC One M7, the carrier-customized version of the LG G3 for US Cellular, and the LG Optimus Fuel. Wait, the what? Let me check my notes... yup, says right here, "Optimus Fuel."
Not ringing any bells here.
The One M7 and G3 variants should be pretty self-explanatory, but the Optimus Fuel is so uninteresting it flew under Android Police radar when it was released for the Tracfone budget carrier way back in June of this year. Read More
The Galaxy Note Edge is now available in the US from most of the major carriers, and to anyone out there who wants its intriguing curved strip of extra screen space, well, it's going to cost you. If you missed our last report, then you might want to sit down. This handset comes in at roughly $900 off-contract, and even if you're thinking of making a two-year commitment, you will still have to hand over the cost of one 32GB Nexus 5.
Let's start with AT&T. The carrier's on-contract price is $399.99. That amounts to a full $100 more than the already expensive Galaxy Note 4. Read More
The Nexus 6 looks to be Google's most widely-released phone ever, at least in the context of United States carriers. While the company has taken an "unlocked first" approach to carrier partnerships since the ill-fated Verizon Galaxy Nexus, it has offered at least some of the traditional phone sales on the Nexus 5. For the new Motorola Nexus 6, every major American carrier will have a phone option, though whether that means there's one phone that will work with all or there will be multiple versions, we can't say at the moment.
Google's promotional page lists greyed-out pre-orders for Google Play, Best Buy, and the five biggest United States cellular carriers. Read More