T-Mobile got into the phablet game a little late when it released the Galaxy Note back in early August. Then, some three weeks later, all traces of the giant Samsung phone inexplicably disappeared from T-Mo's site, and third-party retailers were "out of stock." The latter incident lead us to believe one thing: T-Mobile was canning the original Note and would be getting the Note II soon after it launches in the U.S.
This morning, Verizon officially announced the Galaxy Stellar 4G, a mid-range handset that will be available beginning on September 6th. Samsung is running two steps ahead, as the company just released the kernel source code for the device. This basically means that ROM devs and kernel hackers can download the source and have tweaks in place before the device is even released.
Also newly available on Samsung's Open Source Release Center is the kernel source for the Galaxy S Duos, a dual-SIM handset recently announced for the European market.
It's not often we find ourselves excited about prepaid here in the US, but if any store can get people excited about saving money, it's Walmart. And what Walmart and T-Mobile just announced is actually pretty exciting if you're looking for a way to get on the smartphone bandwagon with low monthly overhead.
For $300, Walmart will sell you a contract-free T-Mobile Galaxy S II. That in and of itself probably isn't very exciting.
When Sony announced its newest tablet last week at IFA, the Xperia Tablet S, we wondered how they'd price the device. It didn't take long before we learned that info, and as expected, it was priced out of the market. At $399 for the 16GB version, $499 for the 32GB, and $599 for the 64GB version, it was clear that Sony didn't take into consideration the competition.
Today, in an interview with Reuters, an executive VP with Sony, Kunimasa Suzuki, verified exactly that to be true.
Well, look what we have here. It appears an observant shopper got in touch with Android Central this morning with a link to a piece of evidence that is so random it must be real.
A British online phone store called phones4u (shudder) put up some product images for its Xperia T page. What it didn't notice, apparently, was that at least one of the images Sony sent along was for the wrong phone.
Chances are, most of you only ever hear about Epix in an article discussing streaming rights (like this one). Epix is an online streaming video service a la Netflix that you can only get access to if you have a cable bundle that includes the site. Or, you know, if you have Netflix. For now anyway. The real value of Epix is the stable of movie rights it brings to the table, and now the joint venture is sharing its media library with Amazon Instant Video for all of the online retail giant's Prime customers.
This morning, AT&T announced a new entry-level addition to its smartphone lineup, the Pantech Flex 4G LTE. Extraneous network tech acronyms aside, this phone actually seems to be a fairly serious offering on the budget end of the spectrum.
At just $49.99 on contract, even as someone who dislikes to notion of budget phones in general, the Flex really does look impressive on paper. A large-for-a-cheap-phone 4.3" qHD SAMOLED display accompanies the now near-ubiquitous MSM8960 dual-core processor, which should make for a legitimately speedy experience.
When we last heard about the Samsung Galaxy Stellar, a mid-range device coming to Verizon, Aaron was left wondering why this device was alleged to cost more than the Galaxy Nexus on contract. Well, now we have the answer: it doesn't! The 4" LTE device will be free with a 2-year contract, though that's after a $50 mail-in rebate.
The device packs the specs you would expect from a phone that's launching with a (mostly) free price tag:
- 4G LTE – customers can expect fast download speeds of 5 to 12 megabits per second (Mbps) and upload speeds of 2 to 5 Mbps in 4G LTE coverage areas
- 4-inch WVGA display (800 x 480)
- Android™ 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich – support for Google Mobile™ Services including Gmail™, YouTube™, Google Talk™, Google Maps™ and access to more than 600,000 apps available to download from Google Play
- Suite of Amazon apps includes Kindle, Shopping, MP3, Zappos, IMDB and Audible
- 1.2 dual-core GHz Snapdragon™ application processor
- Front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera for video chat and 3.2-megapixel rear-facing camera with auto focus
- Backup Assistant Plus – media management and online storage service designed to help customers store and access media content such as music, videos, pictures, documents and contacts.
Three short days ago, we heard that Verizon could be launching the behemoth LG Intuition - America's version of the Optimus Vu - beginning on September 6th. Looks like that leaks was pretty much dead-on, as Big Red just officially took what wraps were left off of this oversized monstrosity.
Available online from September 6th and in-stores on the 10th, the LG Intuition packs a massive 5" 4:3 display, 1.5Ghz dual-core Snapdragon processor, 1GB RAM, 8MP rear shooter, 1.3MP front camera, and Android 4.0.
In a gesture of good faith, Sony, on its developer blog, has announced the company is releasing the software binaries for the Xperia S. It has done so explicitly in support of Android developer JBQ's "experimental" support for the device in AOSP (found here). If you're unfamiliar with the project, we covered it earlier this month when it was announced.
- Download: Xperia S software binaries
The software binaries Sony released consist mainly of drivers for the hardware on the Xperia S's chipset.