4G is here - and it seems like all four of America's biggest carriers are more than happy to advertise the fact that they've got it. Sprint was first on the scene - offering their WiMax 4G, and T-Mobile shortly thereafter began its upgrade to HSPA+ technology. Verizon was next, providing mobile broadband LTE via USB dongle for laptops, though its much-awaited debut 4G handset, the Thunderbolt, has yet to hit shelves after numerous delays.
The Motorola XOOM: Ever since it was first teased at D: Dive Into Mobile, the Android community hasn't been able to take its eyes off the tablet's dual-core processor, gorgeous 10.1-inch display, and - last but certainly not least - Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) operating system.
Well now the device has officially gone on sale, and I've been
testing falling in love with a review unit for the last few days. Typically, I end up hating devices that I adore at first blush, but the XOOM is an entirely different story - the device is far from perfect (where are the tablet apps?), but I have yet to find anything truly upsetting about it.
Apparently the FCC has had a new Motorola phone submitted to it that sounds like it could possibly be the Droid X2. The phone carries the model ID IHDT56MJ1, which is all we have to work with since Motorola apparently requested that the device's name remain anonymous for 180 days (roughly six months for those who had trouble in math). If the conclusion of the period of anonymity coincides with the phone's launch, that would put it at August or September, which sounds reasonable to us for a Droid X2 launch.
While some people were unable to contemplate the possibility that Verizon's all-you-can-eat data plans would be coming to an end, Verizon's CFO Fran Shammo again affirmed the carrier's commitment to move to a tiered system today. When will life start to suck for new or upgrading Verizon customers? This Summer, apparently.
"But David, I already have an unlimited data contract, they have to honor that!" Why yes, they do. Until you want to upgrade to a 4G device, and you have to sign a completely "new" rate plan contract.
That's right, folks. Sending in your XOOM to Motorola while it's rooted will get it sent right back. Motorola will not provide 4G LTE upgrades to XOOM devices that have been rooted, plain and simple.
A forum moderator in the same Motorola support thread indicates that it's not quite as hard-line as the first responder indicated, and that your XOOM simply must be stock in terms of software functionality when Motorola receives it.
Over the last couple of weeks, there has been quite the uproar over the HTC Thunderbolt, Verizon's first LTE phone. Most of the talk has been centered around the shipping date, with a rumoured release that slid from February 14th to the 24th to the 28th, then on to March 4th and 10th. After all this anticipation and disappointment, we may finally have a clue as to what is keeping this beast in its pen.
If you began drooling from the very first murmurs of a "Pure Google" tablet running Android 3.0 'Honeycomb', to the buzz at CES, through the anticipation building up to launch: your day has arrived and you likely now have a Motorola XOOM in your hands. Congratulations. Of course that would be the $800 Verizon Motorola XOOM that's in your hands. But what about that $600 Wi-Fi-only XOOM? Not only is it not in anyone's hands, but there has yet to be a confirmed release date either.
Well, another day, another HTC Thunderbolt rumor. Today's addition to the Thunder-rumor-dome is a little different, but don't worry - it's still pretty upsetting. A new Best Buy Ad has shown up with an advertised price of $299 for Verizon's debut 4G handset. Yuck. The Android Police team already thought $249 was a little steep, but $300 for a phone based on a platform that's been around more than 4 months worldwide?
The good folks over at iFixit gave the Motorola XOOM a teardown this morning, and aside from the ridiculous 57 screws holding it together, it has been deemed pretty tinker-friendly, scoring an 8/10 on the repairability meter.
One interesting piece of information did emerge during the XOOM's disrobing, though - in regard to its much-touched LTE upgradeability. The teardown's author noted that the XOOM ships with a dummy mini-PCI board, presumably holding the 4G LTE radio's slot.
It's launch day for the XOOM, and already the major news outlets have had a chance to spend a few days with the much anticipated device. Not only does the XOOM bring a new standard in high-end to the masses (a la Tegra 2), but it's also the first device to ship with Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) on board. It's also really the second major Android tablet to launch (the Galaxy Tab being the first), and the first to match the 10" form factor of the iPad.