Early rumours indicated that the Samsung Stratosphere would be released in September, and there were even leaked press shots of the device. However, here we are in October, and Verizon has just now taken the wraps off of the Stratosphere.
Billed as the "first 4G LTE smartphone with a QWERTY keyboard," the Samsung Stratosphere packs a hefty package, including:
Android 2.3 Gingerbread
1 GHz Cortex A8 Hummingbird processor
4-inch (800x480) WVGA Super AMOLED display
5-row slide-out QWERTY keyboard
4GB on-board memory
4GB pre-installed microSD card (up to 32GB supported)
5MP rear camera, 1.3MP front camera (720p HD playback and 480p recording)
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n
The Stratosphere is clearly targeted towards the business user as alongside the QWERTY keyboard, the device will also have "enhanced B2B-enabled connectivity services from Cisco, the most comprehensive mobile implementation of Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) and support for secure remote device management from Sybase Afaria." Additionally, the device will support "Samsung’s Enterprise Platform enhancements such as VPN, encryption and Mobile Device Management (MDM)." This is a powerful phone that looks to attack RIM's enterprise stronghold and take-away market share from the BlackBerry by offering support for features corporate users find essential.
The HTC Rhyme, a stylish phone geared toward HTC's female demographic, has only been on the market for a short time, but it's already getting some pretty hot discounts thanks to Amazon Wireless.
Amazon Wireless is offering the HTC Rhyme for a paltry $79.99 on a new two-year activation, or $99.99 for those opting to upgrade from their current device.
The Rhyme is a sleek phone, and comes with a handful of nice accessories including a charging dock, tangle-free headphones, and a charm call indicator that can stylishly hang from your purse and glow to alert you of incoming calls.
When Verizon and T-Mobile filed amicus curiae briefs in favor of Samsung in the company's ongoing patent litigation against Apple in the Federal Court for the Northern District of California, we cheered inside a little. It's always nice to see Android and its handset partners have friends in high places.
However, the question of how the court would respond to these briefs remained - as the decision is an entirely discretionary one.
The DROID BIONIC, it's no secret, hasn't been launched bug-free. In fact, there's a number of bugs, particularly the dreaded data connection drop, that make using the BIONIC a major annoyance at times. Verizon has apparently been keeping track, and has a very detailed list of the glitches currently afflicting the phone, given to a customer in a support e-mail (weird, we know). The good folks over at Droid-life have compiled a "Top 10" bug list along with all the reported issues (here), and we've excerpted a few that we've noticed most:
1. Issue: 4G/3G Service – Data Connectivity
Marginal 4G to 3G transition: Loss of data connectivity – The device may display 3G service indication but no data connections are possible.
Everyone's getting on the peace train, it seems. T-Mobile, in concert with Verizon's filing last week, submitted an amicus curiae ("friend of the court") brief to the Federal Court for the Northern District of California this morning in regard to the ongoing patent and trademark suit between Samsung and Apple. Its contents? Basically the same thing Verizon's said - that denying Americans their 4G Samsung devices just for some silly little patent infringement will hurt 4G deployment in the US and decrease access to high-speed mobile broadband.
If you're having difficulty controlling your desire to get Gingerbread on your HTC Thunderbolt right now, you're not alone. But, if you've been waiting for the official release, you've probably grown very impatient by this point. It appears the wait is nearing an end, as Verizon's support site now contains a page for the Thunderbolt's long-overdue bump to Android 2.3.4. Here are the changes they've listed:
Verizon Wireless is pleased to announce a new software update, Build Number: 2.11.605.3; Baseband: 1.48.00.0906w_1, 0.01.78.0906w_2, for your ThunderBolt by HTC.
Well, this is certainly an interesting turn of events. In Samsung and Apple's ongoing attempts to sue the pants off one another in every court conceivable, an unlikely player has stepped into the arena as a voice of reason (sort of).
Verizon Wireless, the US's largest wireless carrier, has requested permission to file a brief in the Federal Court for the Northern District of California on the part of Samsung in one of the many lawsuits it is involved in with Apple.
Let's not beat around the bush here: the DROID X2 is hardly the star of Motorola and Verizon's DROID production, what with its PenTile display and CDMA-only radio. But then again, it's not a complete train wreck; and besides, who doesn't love a free phone? Oops, did I say free? I meant you actually get $50 back in the form of a gift card due to a promotion Amazon is currently running.