While Galaxy S4 pre-orders are already well underway for most other carriers, Verizon joins the party today – fashionably late as usual. You can get the 16GB version of Samsung's newest flagship on the country's largest provider of LTE for $200 – but you'll have to wait until May 30th to actually get the device in your hands. That's basically a full month later than most other carriers. Par for the course in Verizonland, though.
Looks like Verizon's on a roll – two OTAs in the same day! Earlier today, it updated the support docs for the original Stratosphere with details of an upcoming incremental update, and now it looks like Jelly Bean is getting ready to hit the airwaves on its way to the LG Spectrum 2.
Aside from Jelly Bean goodies, the update also packs a few fixes and tweaks:
+ Weather application and widget have been updated
+ NFC LG Tag+ help has been improved
+ Brightness option has been moved to notification panel for global access
+ Browser now loads Google account bookmarks
+ Improved readability for email conversation
+ Optimized Bluetooth® connect/disconnect and audio stream switching implementations
+ User can back up contacts when the SIM is swapped to a new device
+ Preloaded widgets including Social+, Today+, Finance, News and Power Control have been removed
Once Big Red updates its support docs, that usually means an OTA is imminent – this one should likely start heading out sometime this week.
If the phones that Pantech has released in America thus far have been your sole exposure to the South Korean manufacturer, you might be surprised to learn that the company has some legitimately awesome hardware in its home territory. The Pantech Perception... isn't. While it competes with the likes of the Galaxy S III on paper, at least in some respects, a combination of old software and expensive hardware makes this new Verizon phone a hard sell to anyone who wants a high-powered device.
Hey Stratosphere owners – think Verizon forgot about you? That doesn't seem to be the case, as the company has just updated its i405 support docs with details of a new OTA update that should begin rolling out shortly. It's mostly a bug fixer, which looks to fine-tune the experience after the most recent OTA.
Post-update, you should find that voice calls sound better, emails should send more reliably when using Outlook, and some of the Verizon-specific apps (like My Verizon and VZtones) have been updated.
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.