Verizon officially launched its new Device Payment Plan today, an option more and more of its customers seem to be clamoring for, especially now that T-Mobile has allegedly "killed" its own smartphone contracts. In an ideal world, Verizon would respond in kind with interest-free, 2-year financing of any smartphone you want, contract-free on your existing plan, subject to credit approval. The reality is a little more complex, something I think most people kind of expected.
If you happened to be one of the less than 13 people who shelled out $550 to get Verizon's variant of the Galaxy Camera, then a nice update is heading your way. It appears to bring some pretty useful new features, like S Memo, a new Help App, four new Smart Modes, and a nifty remote view finder.
So far as the new Smart Modes are concerned, the update brings scenes for dawn, indoor parties, snow, and food to the device, for a total of 19.
Football season is an agonizing five months away, with only the slow, pedantic fields of baseball to satiate American sports fans until then. But every spring, the NFL throws a taste to football fans going through withdrawal, in the form of the NFL Draft. And the official NFL Mobile app is there to cover all of it (via the NFL Network cable channel) so long as you use Verizon.
The latest update to NFL Mobile prepares it for the Draft, beginning on Thursday, April 25th.
As if you needed another reason to hate cell phone contracts. For the last few years, Verizon's upgrade cycle has been 20 months long - that is, you bought a new, discounted phone on-contract, and you could upgrade after 20 months. (Not to be confused with the cellular contract itself, which is a full 2 years/24 months.) According to an official statement from Verizon Wireless, customers now have to wait the full 24 months before upgrading.
If you just can't decide which mid-range phone you must have, Verizon and LG are looking to make that quandary even more... quandary-ful with the Lucid 2. As the name suggests, this is the sequel to last year's "breakout" budget phone. And while the Lucid 2 may bump the specs, it's keeps the same low price tag: free.
Key Features Include:
- Large 4.3-inch qHD Advanced High Performance (AH) In-Plane-Switching (IPS) display
- Long-lasting 2,460 mAh Battery
- Android™ 4.1.2 Jelly Bean
- Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Krait 1.2 GHz dual-core processor
- Memory: 1GB RAM and 8GB on-board storage
- microSD™ Memory Card Support: up to 64GB
- Wireless charging capabilities (Wireless Charging Battery Cover sold separately)
- Customizable lock screens
- Advanced Camera Capabilities including Live Shot, Time Catch Shot, Panorama Shot and Cheese Shutter
- Mobile Hotspot to share a 4G LTE connection with up to 10 Wi-Fi-enabled devices
- QuickMemo allows users to capture screenshots and add their own personalized commentary or drawings with a finger
- Bluetooth® Version 4.0
It will hit Verizon's website and brick-and-mortars beginning April 4th, so there's only a couple days' wait if you plan on picking it up.
If all-day-and-maybe-all-night battery life is an important thing in your quest for a new smartphone, you'll have a hard time finding something that lasts longer than the Motorola DROID RAZR MAXX HD. The device's massive 3,300mAh battery should be enough to last you through the workday, the evening, a night out, and then some, while its 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 should keep everything humming along nicely on the 4.7" 720p display.
If all that sounds lovely, but you don't want to shell out a couple-hundred dollars to get one for yourself, Amazon Wireless has the deal that'll get a brand new one in your pocket for a mere $80 – so long as you're willing to throw your John Hancock down in agreement to be loyal to Verizon for the next two years.
The Thunderbolt has had one weird life. It was VZW's first LTE phone. But it was less than stellar, and had lots of problems. Then HTC promised that it would get ICS, which got delayed again and again. And again. But it finally came out, and Tbolt owners were kinda happy about it for five minutes.
Now the brick-of-a-device is in line to get another small OTA, which fixes some stuff that you may or may not use:
- Microphone now works with HAC enabled
- HTC Watch now shows titles available for viewing or purchase
- Amber alerts are now visible
- Text messaging app has been improved
- Improvements to Yahoo and Microsoft Exchange Email Connectivity
The details of the update just hit VZW's site a bit ago, which generally indicates the OTA is ready to go and should start hitting devices in the coming days.
Earlier today, the DROID DNA disappeared from VZW's site. This, combined with all the Verizon-bound HTC One rumors, prompted some in the Android community to wonder whether such a One variant is almost upon us - after all, why would Big Red take down one of its most powerful smartphones so suddenly? The vanishing act didn't last long, however, as the DNA just returned, seemingly alive and well:
It's unclear at this point whether the phone was briefly missing by mistake or Verizon put it back because people noticed, but we've reached out to the media relations team to find out and will update this space if they respond (which is unlikely to happen before Monday).
If you're a car nut, a paranoid parent, or a small business owner looking to do a little, uh, company vehicle economy analysis, Verizon's teamed up with Delphi to create the Vehicle Diagnostic system. It's actually pretty cool!
Verizon will sell you the Delphi hardware module, which should work with a majority of ODBII-compliant vehicles 1996 and later. You hook this little guy up to your vehicle's ODBII port, and it automatically starts sending data back to your web dashboard (and/or the Android app) via its built-in data connection.
If you've been waiting for an official means of recovering your Verizon or Sprint Galaxy Nexus should an emergency arise, Google's just fulfilled that need. The factory images for both devices – 4.2.2 (JDQ39) for the Verizon variant and 4.2.1 (GA02) for Sprint's – just hit the "Factory Images for Nexus Devices" download page.
These images allow you to return your device back to its stock state, which includes the stock bootloader and recovery if you choose to flash it.