Budget smartphones are a lot like those miniature cans of Coca-Cola you'll find on supermarket shelves - cheaper by the half-dozen than their higher-volume counterparts, but with the obvious catch that you're getting less sweet, delicious corn-juice for your dollar. It doesn't take more than 30 seconds to stop, think about this, and realize that even if you won't finish the big 12oz can during your lunch (or don't want to drink that much soda), you're still basically paying more for choosing to buy less.
While the LG Lucid may have hit Verizon stores with an incredibly low price-to-hardware ratio, the good folks over at AmazonWireless took that to a whole new level: free. Okay, well, one cent (close enough). Normally, we tell users to avoid budget devices like the plague, but the Lucid is the exception to the rule. Why? Because while its price (or lack thereof in this case) may be budget, its hardware is anything but:
- 4-inch IPS display with Gorilla Glass
- 1.2GHz dual-core processor
- 1GB RAM
- 8GB built-in storage, microSD card slot
- 5MP rear shooter, VGA front facing camera
- Android 2.3 (will get Ice Cream Sandwich)
Looks like Sprint's first LTE handset, the LG Viper, will be available for pre-order from Sprint beginning on April 12th for a reasonable $99 after $50 mail-in-rebate, and will be available in all channels "later this month."
The Viper was originally announced alongside the Galaxy Nexus earlier this year at CES as one of Sprint's premier LTE devices and is packing some reasonable specs for the price:
- 4-Inch 480x800 display
- 1.2Ghz dual-core processor
- 1GB RAM
- 5MP rear shooter, VGA front-facing camera
- 4GB built-in storage, microSD card slot
- NFC and Google Wallet
- Android 2.3 (will likely be updated to Android 4.0)
Last we heard, the Viper was said to be released on April 15th, but that seems unlikely with pre-orders beginning on April 12th.
Do you have an LG Optimus S? Are you tired of running Froyo? Do you long for something newer, even if it's already outdated? Good news! Sprint plans to re-push Gingerbread to the Optimus S starting just two days from now, on April 4th. This time, however, it should be free of awful bugs that broke things like predictive text, charging, and USB mass storage.
As you can see, the update brings more than just Gingerbread to the device; it also brings quite a few other enhancements and fixes, including:
- Device not charging
- SD card un-mounting error
- Device not recognized by Windows XP, Vista, or 7 operating systems
- Predictive Text with Android Keyboard issue
- Voice call volume issue
- Android 2.3 (Gingerbread):
- Updated color scheme (includes darker notification bar and black-based menus)
- New on-screen keyboard (supports multi-touch input and a smart auto-correction function)
- Improved cut-paste functionality
- New integrated download application for ease in accessing downloaded files
- Updated camera application
- Power management and task killer applications
The update will rollout in stages, with all users having received it within 21 days.
If you're at all into TV, you've heard of Hulu. Chances are, you're watching something on Hulu right now on your PC, phone, XBOX360, Wii, Roku, PS3, iPad, 3DS, or any of the other supported devices. The list is pretty long, but until today it had one glaring omission - Android tablets. Sure, some tablets, like the Kindle Fire, HTC Flyer, or the Vizio VTAB, were already supported, but they were running Gingerbread and didn't have a proper tablet UI.
The LG Lucid, previously known as the Cayman, is available on Verizon Wireless starting today, March 29th. This decently spec'ed handset sports:
- dual-core 1.2GHz processor
- 1GB of RAM
- 4" IPS LCD reinforced by Corning glass
- 5MP rear and VGA front-facing cameras with 1080p video capture support
- 8GB internal storage with support for a MicroSD card up to 32GB in size (sold separately)
- 1700mAh battery
- Wi-Fi Direct
- Bluetooth 3.0 + EDR
- 4G LTE support (as will be the case with all future VZW phones)
- Mobile hotspot with up to 10 devices while on LTE or 5 devices on 3G
- Android 2.3, slated for Ice Cream Sandwich
- A whole slew of VZW
Looking at these specs, if I didn't know any better, I'd ballpark the price for this device somewhere around $150.
Looks like Sprint is pushing some OTA updates to a couple of all-but-forgotten devices: the LG Marquee and the Kyocera Echo. We haven't really heard much about the Marquee since it was announced back in September, but it appears that Sprint hasn't forgotten about it. A minor OTA update should be rolling out to the Marquee right now that brings a couple of bug fixes:
- Device may lockup while on call
- Security Update
Similarly, that quirky little dual-screened oddity known as the Kyocera Echo is also on the receiving end of a minor update that fixes some issues:
- MMS audio cuts off after 8 seconds
- Changes to roaming guard display
- Activation of Commercial Mobile Alert System
- Security Update
It's probably safe to assume that the security update portion of both OTAs is the removal of Carrier IQ, which Sprint has been removing from all of its devices over the last several weeks.
The AT&T Galaxy SII (i777) isn't the only Android device getting official CyanogenMod 9 nightly love today, as the first nightlies just went live for the HP TouchPad (codename tenderloin) and the LG Nitro HD (codename p930, also known as LG Optimus LTE on Bell Canada).
We've been hearing about an upcoming LG device for Verizon's LTE network called the Cayman for a few weeks now; that device is now officially official, and it's bearing the moniker Lucid.
At $80 with a two-year agreement, the Lucid will hit a sweet spot in many users' wallets; just because it's affordable, however, doesn't mean it's lacking in the feature department:
- 4-inch display with Gorilla Glass
- 1.2GHz dual-core processor
- 1GB RAM
- 5MP rear shooter
- Front facing camera
- Android 2.3, upgradable to Android 4.0
As you can see, it's packing specs comparable to top-of-the-line phones from just a couple of months ago, but at less than half the introductory price.
Seeing as how the HTC Vivid officially started getting its update to ICS this morning, AT&T thought it would be the best time to go ahead and tell everyone else who will (and won't) be getting the update as well. While this list holds few surprises when it comes to devices that made the cut, there are a few devices seemingly absent:
- LG Nitro
- Motorola ATRIX 2
- Motorola ATRIX 4G
- Pantech Burst
- Pantech Element
- Samsung Captivate Glide
- Samsung Galaxy Note
- Samsung Galaxy S II
- Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket
- Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9
...and there you have it, the story according to AT&T.