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.
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Google finally officially revealed the Pixel 4a last week, and if you're still on the fence about buying one, you should definitely read our review. With an outstanding camera, great battery life, long software support, and a really aggressive price tag, Google's new budget phone is in a class of its own. And if you want to find the best deals and places to find Google's new budget phone, we've got a guide.
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.
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.
It was bound to be another summer of Samsung budget smartphones and, by golly, we've got more to add to the list. The Galaxy A51 and A71 still await their 5G-enabled counterparts, but we do have widespread availability now of the Galaxy A11 and A21.
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.