We're deep into summer and almost due for a couple of new phones from Samsung and Apple. Perfect time, then, for LG to finally bring around its new Velvet smartphone from overseas to the U.S. market. It came to AT&T late in July and is eventually going to make it to T-Mobile, but we now know exactly when Verizon will bring it to customers.
Verizon is making several changes to its Mix & Match unlimited plans that appear to be mostly for the better. Two of the plans are getting what the company calls "The Disney Bundle," which includes Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+. Others, however, are getting their Disney+ trials shortened from one year to six months. There are a couple of other minor tweaks as well.
Ting has been a popular MVNO carrier for years for folks who doesn't use their phones very much. Much like Google Fi, the network's pricing is oriented towards people who are close to Wi-Fi most of the time, but Ting does stand out with its choice of multiple networks to choose from (it added Verizon just this year). Dish today announced that it has acquired Ting's customer base, and will use Ting's parent company to kickstart its new carrier operation.
Samsung has been doing better with Android updates lately, often deploying monthly patches in lock-step with Google. That's only for the latest generation phones, though. Samsung's older devices will wait a bit longer, but it does still update them more reliably than a lot of OEMs. Case in point, the Galaxy Note9 got an update with One UI 2.1 back in June, and now the new experience has arrived on the Verizon variant of the phone, complete with the July security patches.
As we settle into mid-2020, 5G has soundly made its presence felt in markets stretching all across the US. What started off as extremely patchy deployment has been getting better, fast, as carriers both bring 5G support to new regions and switch on new frequencies to improve the quality of coverage. But the rapidly changing shape of the 5G landscape has also made it really annoying to keep of what kind of connectivity you can expect from what carriers, where. That's why we're taking a look at the availability of 5G in the US: where it is now, where it's coming next, and how to get it.
Verizon has agreed to pull advertisements that falsely imply its tiny 5G network is available nationwide. Two TV ads have been criticized by the National Advertising Division (NAD) of the BBB National Programs, the non-profit focused on industry-self regulation. The commercials in question were challenged by AT&T, which hasn't always been honest about 5G itself, advertising its "5Ge" network that's nothing but plain ol' 4G.
The first Galaxy S20 units are already receiving the July security patch in Korea and Europe, but in the US, the slow carrier rollout of the June update continues to arrive on many people's phones. People using a Galaxy S10 device on T-Mobile can look forward to the patch, which is only now starting to roll out to them. Along with the security enhancements, the phones are getting smaller system and performance improvements.
Samsung the A71 and its A-series cohorts this spring before launching them in Europe and Asia. The A71 launched in the US last month as a 5G phone on T-Mobile and AT&T. Today, it's also official on Verizon. The carrier says it will start taking pre-orders for the $650 phone on July 9th, and it will ship on July 16th.
Verizon is one of the biggest names in the game when it comes to wireless in the US. The company recently launched new options for prepaid plans, and just released its own credit card as well. Recently the carrier announced plans for some new student discounts, and today those deals are going live.
It's been at least a few months since Verizon changed its rate plans, and you know what that means. Yes, we are long past due for new Verizon plans. The carrier's latest prepaid plans offer several data tiers as usual, but now you get $5 discounts after three and nine months as a customer.