So there you are, at the end of the two-year agreement with your current carrier. You're at fork in the road. On one hand, you could drop a couple hundred bucks for a new phone, sign a new agreement, and start the cycle all over again. On the other, you could spend a couple hundred bucks with Virgin Mobile, nix the contract, and be a free man (or woman, whatevs). So what do you do?
It certainly seems like it. Yesterday, Microsoft announced via blog that it had concluded negotiations with Samsung and reached a licensing deal for the same seven patents it previously licensed to HTC for Android (along with other, smaller Android manufacturers). There were rumblings about just what royalty rate Samsung is paying, but the guess is anywhere from $5 to $15 per handset (it's likely on a percentage-of-MSRP basis - so think about 1-3% per $500 MSRP phone).
While the entire tech world is abuzz with news of the just-announced Kindle Fire, MetroPCS unveiled the latest smartphone to land on its 4G LTE network: the LG Esteem 4G.
The Esteem is sporting some nice mid-range specs, and looks to be the clear winner if you're considering MetroPCS as your carrier-of-choice:
- 4.3-inch 480x800 display
- 1GHz Snapdragon processor
- 5MP rear shooter, 1.3MP ffc
- 4G LTE connectivity
- Android 2.3
While it's not the most powerful device on the planet, the pricepoint of this device almost makes up for it: $250.
On September 14, Sprint revealed that an update to Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) was rolling out for the LG Optimus S. Seems like a good thing, right? Not so fast, actually - it turns out there are some fairly substantial bugs that weren't worked out before rolling out the update. Sprint is aware of the keyboard issue but has yet to acknowledge the other problems users seem to be experiencing, such as issues charging and using USB storage.
When I switched from AT&T from Verizon and swapped my aging, battered, and bruised Nexus One for a DROID BIONIC, the possibility of buyer’s remorse was not on my mind. I was coming from AT&T - America’s single least reliable network in terms of dropped calls. So, I thought the last thing I’d end up doing was wishing I was back there. And now, at least part of me does.
If you own a Verizon 4G LTE handset, you’ve probably experienced an issue exactly or approximately like this one: You put your phone in your pocket or let it sit overnight, take it out some time later or the next morning, and there’s no data connection.
Looks like the just-released Samsung Epic 4G Touch is dealing with a few new-device hiccups. Both issues are relatively minor, but are noticeable (and annoying) nonetheless.
For starters, the calendar app may (or may not) force close when multiple events are dismissed at the same time. Secondly, if you're using 4G hotspot and take a phone call, it will kill the 4G connection. Of course, you can easily just re-enable the service at the end of the phone conversation, so it's only a minor inconvenience.
While the lot of us are looking for the most modern, intense hardware we can get our hands on, there are still those who don't need all of the bells and whistles of powerhouse smartphones like the Droid Bionic or Galaxy S II. For the mid-range crowd, Verizon has just announced the LG Enlighten, a Gingerbread handset with a slide-out QWERTY.
The full specs are far from impressive, but it could be perfect for the tweener of the family, someone new to smartphones, or anyone who wants some Android goodness on a budget:
- 3.2-inch 320x480 display
- 800MHz processor
- 3.2MP rear shooter
- Slide-out QWERTY
- Android 2.3
The Enlighten will be available online beginning September 22 and in stores on September 29 for $80 with a two-year agreement after a $50 mail-in-rebate.
Interested to know what happens when LG and Capcom get behind closed doors? An exclusive deal regarding the Android version of Street Fighter IV seems to be the end result, judging by the announcement made by LG this morning.
Street Fighter IV will be available exclusively for three months on LG's 'upcoming HD smartphone', which is rumored to be sporting a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 1GB RAM, Android 2.3, and a 4.5-inch AH-IPS display running at 720p.
Sprint's LG Optimus S may be a budget Android device, but apparently that isn't going to stop Sprint and LG from providing Android updates going forward. Today, Sprint announced via its Community Forums that an update to Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) is rolling out to some devices beginning today, with all devices being updated within 10 days.