We were hoping that the lower-priced Galaxy S21 FE (for "Fan Edition") would be here by now, but Samsung seems to be hesitant to pull the trigger on its release. If a fresh set of retail leaks are any indication, it's right around the corner. Verizon has apparently prepared the ubiquitous "quick start" insert for its carrier version of the phone, and someone got their hands on it.
The announcement's out. In the U.S., the Galaxy Z Flip3 is priced at $1,000 for the 128GB version and $1,050 for the 256GB version while the Fold3 with 256GB or 512GB of storage sits at $1,800 and $1,900. Both come up for pre-orders today and they'll ship from August 27. Now comes all of the ways to cut down that total and fill up your cart from your friendly neighborhood carrier, retailer, and/or Samsung itself.
Carriers and phone manufacturers might be talking about nothing but 5G lately, but when it comes to the infrastructure that keeps most of us online, day-in and day-out, the US still very much runs on LTE. While such 4G coverage is fantastically strong in many places, that's still far from the case everywhere, and it hasn't always been easy to get straight answers from the carriers about exactly what kind of reception you can expect, and where. Thankfully, the FCC has just taken a big step towards fixing that, publishing its first standardized nationwide map of 4G coverage.
By this point, we know pretty well what to expect from Samsung when it comes to monthly security updates. Usually some international market will get the next month's release a little early, still in the waning days of the previous month — exactly like we just saw happen for the July release right at the end of June. And then if we're very good and patient, a few days later we start seeing the first releases start to appear for US carriers — just like what's happening right now.
And another one's down. Following similar announcements for AT&T and T-Mobile, Verizon has announced that as of 2022, all its Android devices will come with Google Messages and RCS enabled by default. That gives Google the trifecta of major carriers in the US, at least as far as Android hardware is concerned.
Opensignal is an analytics company that uses aggregated data from smartphones to generate reports on carrier performance. For the July edition of its US metrics, in both its overall mobile experience and 5G-specific reports, T-Mobile edged out its competition in the "big three" US carriers. It seems the acquisition of Sprint has truly leveled the playing field, as no carrier between AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile was able to make a clean sweep of either report.
I've had the same phone number since Google Voice launched back when I was in college, over a decade ago. I've moved (lemme think) seven times since then, and not a single person I still know is calling me from the Bryan-College Station area. So when spammers copy my area code in a lame attempt at engagement, I only answer the phone if I'm in the mood to waste time and mess with some criminals.
Oh, Yahoo. How the mighty have fallen. It seems like only yesterday you ruled the internet, handling mail, search, and news for hundreds of millions of internet users across the globe. But things have changed, and while the Yahoo brand has continued to live on, it's currently being sold off by Verizon to Apollo Global Management. The future of Yahoo Mobile — a carrier you definitely remembered existed — wasn't disclosed when Verizon announced the sale last month, but unfortunately for its customers, the service is shutting down in August.
Samsung's June security patch rollout may be in full swing, but there are quite a few phones and tablets that still await their April patch. Over the last couple of weeks, AT&T and T-Mobile bumped many of their remaining Galaxy flagships and mid-rangers to the April security level, covering devices like the Galaxy A12, the Tab S5e, and more.