If QWERTYs are your thing, the Samsung's Galaxy Stratosphere II on Big Red is one of the only choices left on the market. And while it may be nothing to write home about in general, it is getting a nice bump up to Jelly Bean right now. Announced officially on the Verizon Blog just a bit ago, the update has started making its way out in phases and brings all sorts of fun goodies like voice search, enhanced notifications, Google Now, and lots more.
Oh, Verizon. The company we all love to hate (aside from AT&T). You push updates ridiculously late all the time, have to Droidify every handset that comes your way, and charge ridiculously high prices. Still, we just can't stay away. It's the LTE – you know that, right? We love the LTE coverage, so we deal with all the crap.
When it comes to dealing with Verizon's crap, I can't say that any phone has gotten a worse hand than the Galaxy Nexus.
Verizon is just not letting up on the updates. Which is kind of a crazy thing to say about the carrier. Today's is an oddity, though, as the Droid Charge will be getting a mild upgrade. Yes, really. It's not a huge change, though. Unfortunately, it's not Jelly Bean (or even Ice Cream Sandwich), but it does bring a couple of the features from those platforms, including face unlock and a photo editor.
Update 3/18/13: AllThingsD dismissed the now-deleted claim by HTC's Twitter account that the One would not be coming to Big Red as bogus and reiterated that it is, indeed, in the works. As originally reported (see below), it's scheduled to arrive months after other U.S. carriers.
According to AllThingsD, America's biggest and reddest carrier will be getting HTC's One phone - but not for a while. Yep, Verizon has signed on as a distributor of the handset, but it won't be available for "a month or two" after the three other major wireless providers in the US have it.
Verizon has very surprisingly been killing it lately with Jelly Bean updates for various devices. Today, the Droid 4 is joining the pack with an imminent upgrade to Android 4.1. The rollout hasn't begun just yet, but support docs have shown up on the carriers website indicating that the update will be 'Coming Soon.'
Of course, the major benefits of Android 4.1 are obvious: access to Google Now (which can be updated directly from the Play Store after that), improved voice controls, expandable notifications, and voice transcription even when you don't have a data connection.
While Big Red may have just started pushing Jelly Bean to the OG RAZR/MAXX twins, the more modern HD variants of the devices are set to get a decent bug-fix-update as well. The details of the OTA just hit Verizon's support site, which generally means the update is ready to go and should begin rolling out within a few days.
Looks like it's going to bring fixes-a-plenty, covering everything from security to data roaming and Wi-Fi connectivity.
According to Verizon CTO Nicola Palmer, the company's gargantuan hoard of AWS spectrum will be put to use beginning this summer as part of the carriers' ever-growing LTE network.
Spectrum isn't the world's most exciting topic, but if you're concerned about making an informed choice when you choose your carrier, it's definitely the kind of news you should be looking out for. Verizon currently operates its LTE network exclusively on Band 13 (in the 700MHz range), a band it controls nationwide.
Owners of LG's Verizon-connected Intuition (otherwise known as the Optimus Vu) would be well-advised to avoid an update that began rolling out recently. The short version of this story is that the update is wreaking havoc on handsets –users who have already accepted the update are reporting constant app errors, an inability to connect to the Play Store, camera/gallery failure, and more. You can read users' impassioned responses to the flawed firmware here, here, and here.
In January, we saw Motorola's Droid Razr HD drop to just a penny on Amazon for customers looking to upgrade their old devices. Sadly, the deal didn't extend to new customers (though at $19.99, not much complaining could be done).
If you were hoping to hop onto the big red network with the Razr HD for a more enticing price, Amazon's got your deal – the phone is now just a penny for new customers (and additional lines).