This news has been some time coming, but it finally looks like the time is nigh: Sprint WiMax will soon be available in three of America's hottest of hot-spots. While Sprint has had 4G-capable devices out for several months now, the country's two main technology centres have been starved of WiMax coverage. Sprint may fear the same backlash AT&T received when their network got hammered by the iPhone, so they must be hoping for a more positive reception.
Hot in the heels of the incredible $100 Amazon deal on Sprint's flagship EVO 4G, we found ourselves looking at the same price tag on an even more expensive and more recent 4G device - the Samsung Epic 4G. Retailing for $249.99 at Sprint, the best deal we've seen on an Epic so far was $200 at both Amazon and Wirefly.
What we're looking at today is a brand new Epic 4G for $99.99 on a new 2-year contract, with free 2-day shipping and no tax.
We have good news and bad news for Samsung Galaxy S owners. The good: the Froyo update source code released a few days ago is now officially being rolled out by Samsung. The bad news: they're starting with the Nordic countries... then "gradually" moving across Europe, Asia, North America, Africa, and everyone else.
The word "gradually" isn't exactly encouraging, and neither is the fact that North America is towards the end of the list.
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A few days ago, a new version of Universal Androot was released with support for Froyo, but a number of devices were still incompatible.
Well it isn't CyanogenMod 6, but according to our tipster, it's close - one of the Epic 4G's first ROMS has just gone live on xda-developers, and it looks... promising, if nothing else.
While we haven't had a chance to test this ROM out ourselves, the forum post states that the ROM's standout features include:
- Sprintware Removed
- Modified MMS/SMS app
- Bootup/Shutdown sounds ported from the Samsung Galaxy S I9000
- Changed shutdown display screen
- Choice of 4 launchers
- ADW Launcher
- Launcher (Vanilla)
- Car Home
- GenieWidget (News & Weather)
- AOSP Lockscreen
- EVO YouTube App
- Spare Parts
- Google Maps & Google Street View are up to date
- Pandora Compatible
Live Wallpapers ported from the Samsung I9000 & Samsung Fascinate:
- Blue Sea
- Layers Of Light
- Ocean Wave
As with most other ROMs, a full wipe of both the data and cache partitions is required, but since one of my wife's main gripes with the Epic has always been its lack of an option to play YouTube videos in HQ (something my EVO is capable of), I think the Epic Experience ROM might just be worth a try.
The fact that it is actually running on the device is encouraging, but we could still be pretty far away from a testable version: no downloads are available yet, and if you look at the notification bar, you'll see a pretty significant bug in this build.
We learned this evening that there were administrative issues getting this software loaded to Google's servers. We don't yet have an expected time when this will be available but will update you as soon as possible. Please see the statement below that was sent by the Sprint Product Management team:
We were planning to release an update for your Samsung Epic 4G on 9/30. The file was delivered and on track for distribution but late this afternoon, we learned that an administrative issue prevented Google from releasing the update as we had planned. We are working to resolve the issue and will provide an update as soon as we understand the new delivery schedule.
To offset the not so successful news of the Samsung Vibrant's supposedly (but not actually) GPS-fixing update, Samsung has just rolled out software version S:D700.0.5S.DI18 for the king of the Galaxy S ring, the Epic 4G for Sprint. It isn't FroYo, but it does introduce a number of important fixes, including:
- an issue where the battery would drain as a result of the cell modem continuously searching for available networks while on standby
- an issue with 3G upload speeds
- an issue with Amazon not being able to download music over 4G
- an issue where large emails would be slow to upload
The update will be rolling out over the next few days and will be available in typical over-the-air fashion, with Sprint citing download times of around seven to eight minutes.
Sprint continued its 4G announcement marathon this morning with the official launch of WiMax service in Minneapolis-St.Paul, MN, also known as Twin Cities, and Pittsburgh, PA. Welcome to the fast lane!
Users of the only 2 aforementioned devices capable of running on Sprint’s 4G network are charged an extra $10 "premium data" fee, no matter whether 4G is available in their area or not.
If there's one man with an inside line in the mobile industry, it's mobile-review.com's Editor-in-Chief Eldar Murtazin. This guy has a network of informants rivalling any national security agency you'd care to name.
The latest subject of his (occasionally spurious) tweeting is Samsung's family of Super-AMOLED phones, namely the Wave and Galaxy S. Eldar seems to have some insight into the production and stock of S-AMOLED panels, leading him to think that neither of the two aforementioned phones are in production anymore because of S-AMOLED scarcity.