5G was the leading factor making phones more expensive over the last year or two, but now that the new standard is starting to mature and becoming more widely available, 5G phones are finally getting cheaper. The TCL 10 5G UW is an example, packing a Snapdragon 765G processor and mmWave support for just $400, but now ZTE has undercut its competitor with an even more affordable 765G phone: The Blade X1 5G, costing just $384.
Mint Mobile is a popular MVNO carrier that offers discounts if you pay for multiple months at once. The company was purchased by Ryan Reynolds a little over a year ago (who is best known for playing Deadpool), and now Reynolds has released a video explaining the carrier's new pricing changes.
The Fossil Gen 5 LTE, announced earlier this month, is now for sale at Verizon for $349. There aren't many LTE smartwatches on the market, likely because most people have their phones nearby if they're wearing a smartwatch. But if you're a Verizon subscriber who's been on the lookout for an LTE Wear OS watch, this is worth checking out.
Sometimes, the best deals you can get on a phone come from the carriers. It depends on the person's situation, but it's true. Verizon-owned Visible, though, has a pretty good deal on the OnePlus 8 whether you sign up for its service or not. Of course, there are strings attached to what you do with it afterwards.
Android 11 is slowly starting to make its way to Samsung phones on US carriers, with the Verizon Galaxy S20 FE being the latest recipient. The update started hitting global S20 FE variants around a month ago, making its way stateside last week on the AT&T model. Now, it's Big Red's turn to send the OTA out.
One of the hidden gems in the MVNO sector was FreedomPop's free plan: for some people, 500 texts, 200 minutes, and 200MB of LTE (plus a pay-as-you-go overage rate of 2.5¢ per MB) goes far in a month. Recently, though, the company made sweeping changes to the so-called "freemium" plan by pushing Wi-Fi calling and messaging to the forefront and making drastic cuts to talk, text, and cellular data allowances. Worse yet is the sense of urgency put into place as those grandfathered into the old free plan have been told they will be kicked off of it after January 31.
Verizon used to be among the slowest carriers to update their phones, but that may not be true anymore. Big Red has just become the first US carrier to send out the Android 11 update to the Galaxy Note10, only a couple of weeks after it debuted on the Exynos-powered international Note10 models.
Samsung just revealed the Galaxy S21 series, consisting of three phones and the company's best mobile cameras to date. Just like last year, there are three models to choose from, ranging from the smallest S21 to the behemoth S21 Ultra. However, the phones are still roughly as expensive as the S20 series, so finding the best deal possible could save you hundreds of dollars.
If you're still using an old, non-LTE-capable phone on Cricket, we have bad news: the company will be shutting down its 3G UMTS networks in February 2022. Additionally, customers will no longer be able to activate their unsupported devices on Cricket starting January 19th, which is only a few days away. Because of the way Cricket handles BYOD phones, this is a real problem.
T-Mobile has started the process of merging its newly-acquired Sprint customers into its network, killing support for a handful of older phones some customers may still have ahead of the upcoming 2022 legacy network shutdown. Over the last day or two, some Sprint subscribers on specific plans have received notice that they'll be upgraded to improved T-Mobile-inspired plans. Perks of the change include tax-inclusive pricing, extra hotspot data, and a $50 credit if they buy a new device.