27
Aug
samsung-stratosphere

If you have a Gingerbread phone, you want ICS. There's no arguing that fact. Even if you're happy with Gingerbread and have never used ICS before, you may not realize it, but you still want it.

Unfortunately for Stratosphere owners, it doesn't looks like Samsung wants to give you the full ICS experience; instead, they want to put Ice Cream Sandwich all over Gingerbread. Kind of like the "Galaxy S Suite" that was to bring some of the best features from ICS to GB, the Stratosphere is getting a cosmetic (and perhaps slightly functional) update that brings face unlock, a better app tray, new incoming call GUI, and a photo editor.

27
Aug
2012-08-27_06h49_20

First we caught a glimpse of the Samsung Jasper, a mid-range device slated for Big Red. Then Droid Life was leaked a photo of the price card for the Samsung Galaxy Stellar. Now we know they're one and the same,courtesy of a full product listing that has cropped up on Best Buy.

2012-08-27_06h49_20

Though the Stellar is listed as available for store pickup beginning today, it's actually unavailable in stores at this point.

20
Aug
1

We don't normally make a fuss over budget phones, and we definitely don't readily recommend that people buy them (even when they're free). For the Pantech Marauder on Verizon Wireless, however, we'll make an exception. Its Snapdragon S4 processor, slide-out QWERTY keyboard, and 4G LTE connectivity make this a budget device that stands out from the pack.

For the unfamiliar, the Marauder is a new offering from Verizon, packing some very respectable hardware (for the most part, anyway):

  • Processor: 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4
  • RAM: 1GB
  • Storage: 4GB
  • Display: 3.8" 480x800
  • Battery: 1680mAh
  • OS: Android 4.0
  • Dimensions: 5.07" (H) x 2.57" (W) x 0.46" (D)
  • Camera: 5MP rear, VGA front
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.0, 802.11b/g/n, WiFi Direct

The clear downside of the Marauder is its smaller-ish 3.8" display, but if you loved the OG Droid and no other phone has been able to fill that void since, the Marauder is your best choice.

17
Aug
128734-050-2AF822A1

We've just received an email from Motorola announcing an event to be held on September 5th in partnership with Verizon Wireless. We all know it's the RAZR HD, Moto. You can say it. Is it possible we'll see some other surprises from the new, leaner, meaner, Google-owed Moto? Sure, but given Verizon's inclusion on the invite, we're definitely leaning toward the HD being the star of the show.

Considering we've already seen the RAZR HD on blurrycam with full Verizon regalia, we know the device has to be ramping up for release soon.

16
Aug
image

Remember the sudden 4.03.605.1 OTA update that unexpectedly hit some HTC Rezound devices earlier this week and brought global roaming with it? And the 4.03.605.2 full RUU that we followed up with shortly after? We've just gotten a hold of the full low-level Verizon changelog for these releases (the .2 one to be exact), so here's what's different compared to that final ICS OTA from only a few weeks ago (remember, half of the changelogs' value comes from knowing what to not expect):

Features/Enhancements

  1. Global support enabled

Issues Resolved

  1. Let’s Golf 2 v1.2.1
  2. Skype video call – color incorrect
  3. Lockup
  4. Mobile Hotspot shows incorrect number of devices
  5. Time displayed after powering off and then right back on
  6. BUA+ read requests
  7. BUA+ not displaying in Landscape mode
  8. Data stall
  9. Mobile IM removed
  10. Guided tour video can now be found in “Basic Set-up and Usage Videos”
  11. Location settings pop-up removed
  12. Data widget updated
  13. IPv6 default set to “Enabled”
  14. VMM version updated to 0.37
  15. Static IP
  16. VVM notification in “all Messages” tab after deleting
  17. VCAST Music – removed MP3 purchase references

We're also hearing that the end date for this trial is September 3rd - presumably, that means that if everything goes well, that's the date it's going to get approved and possibly roll out to everyone shortly after.

16
Aug
verizonwirelesslogo

The US Department of Justice approved a sale of unused wireless spectrum to Verizon today, marking one of the largest spectrum sales to a single corporate entity in history. The unused portion of the AWS spectrum is owned by a number of cable companies (known collectively as "SpectrumCo") that bought it during the FCC AWS auction back in 2008.

Of course, back in the old spectrum heydays of, uh, four very long years ago, those megahertz were a lot cheaper.

15
Aug
image

Despite Verizon's best efforts to keep their own variant of the Galaxy SIII locked down, ingenious users haven't been deterred in rooting, flashing custom ROMs, and even bypassing the device's locked bootloader to use custom kernels. The fact remained, however, that VZW's SIII had a locked bootloader which, in general, is a hassle for developers and tweakers hoping to customize the SIII to its fullest potential. It was this fact that made Samsung's promised Developer Edition SIII appealing to many.

15
Aug
vzlogo

It's time for Verizon to do its monthly LTE thing, and it looks like 34 new cities are getting the 4G hyperspeed treatment, which finally includes the town in which yours truly resides: Texarkana, TX.

New Markets:

  • Hot Springs, Ark.
  • Redding, Calif.
  • Valdosta and Waycross, Ga.
  • Centralia and Danville, Ill.
  • Parsons, Salina and Topeka, Kan.
  • Alexandria and Monroe, La.
  • Pittsfield, Mass.
  • Battle Creek and Muskegon, Mich.
  • Mankato and Worthington, Minn.
  • Joplin and Sedalia, Mo.
15
Aug
250588

This morning, Verizon announced that Samsung's Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 has been infused with LTE, and that the mobile data-fied cheap-slate will be available on August 17th for a rather appealing $350. The Tab 2 may not be our favorite 7" Android tablet anymore (hey, who can blame us?), but when Eric reviewed it back in April, he found it to be a highly capable little device. And that's surprising, because he hates things with stupid names.

15
Aug
wm_IMG_1463

While everyone loves to gush over flagship phones, the truth of the matter is that for many customers, cheaper phones - be they last-gen's flagships or this-gen's budget devices - are the route of choice. Traditionally, the former route tended to work out better, especially for enthusiasts; after all, generation-old flagships tend to still outperform and out-feature current-gen budget devices. Plus, high-end devices generally have a ton of developer support and are usually better supported by the manufacturer.

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