For the couple of years, Samsung's cheaper, smaller handsets have been sold mostly on America's small regional carriers. It looks like Verizon is bucking that trend by bringing the Galaxy S4 Mini, a phone that's related to is big brother in name only, to US consumers. Engadget was tipped with some photos and screenshots of the phone "in the wild," with a pretty convincing set of Verizon logos and a boot-up sequence.
Update 2: Verizon has confirmed that it is in fact an update to Android 4.1.2, not Android 4.2, as the screenshot below now reflects.
Update: It sounds like this may be an Android 4.1.2 update, not Android 4.2. The build number JZO54M is, according to Google's own codename site, an Android 4.1.2 build (specifically, Android 4.1.2 R2.1). Sounds like Verizon done goofed. We've reached out for confirmation, but I'd be skeptical if the Verizon XOOM suddenly bunny-hopped from Android 4.0 to Android 4.2.
One of the coolest features for the Moto X is Motorola's Moto Maker system, a website that allows buyers to customize the color of the front, back, and accents for the phone. At launch it will only be available for the AT&T model, but Motorola is planning to expand availability to other carriers later in the year. Check out the video for the system below.
Verizon has already confirmed that they're getting access to Moto Maker, via a tweet from the official Verizon News account.
The Isis mobile payment platform backed by AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile hasn't exactly taken off, but that's to be expected: today it's only available as a trial program in Austin and Salt Lake City. The latest press release from Isis announces that the NFC-powered platform will expand nationwide later this year, though a specific date was not mentioned. Isis is widely regarded as the reason that Google Wallet remains inaccessible to most Android users on the networks of its three founding companies.
If you updated your Verizon Galaxy S4 to the latest over-the-air build, or bought one after it was already installed, you might already be aware that it's been especially resistant to root attempts. Savvy power users have stayed well away from the updated VRUAME7 firmware, which makes rolling back to an earlier build impossible. But as is so often the case, two enterprising XDA-Developers posters have solved at least some of the problems, and released a new rooting method for the latest OTA.
For many power users, 16GB just doesn't cut it any more, especially when the world's leading smartphone manufacturer insists upon using a third of that for its customized Android build. Combine that with a still-outrageous premium for those few models that of phones that include extra storage, and you've got a recipe for frustration. But the Galaxy S4 situation just got a little less rage-inducing, at least if you're a prospective Verizon customer: both Amazon Wireless and WireFly have dropped the 32GB version of the Galaxy S4 to $199.99 on-contract.
As previously leaked, Verizon has a new mahogany hue for its Samsung Galaxy S4, and it's also showing up on Best Buy's site. The 16GB brown version is now available online only, at the same $199 on-contract and $649 off-contract prices as the black and white versions. But wait, those preview shots on the Verizon home page look a little... off.
Compare the brown in the screenshot above to the much more subtle brown in the Evleaks press shot, to say nothing of the fact that only the front of the device is actually brown.
This is definitely one of the highlights of today's Nexus 7 presentation for me: multi-network LTE support in one device. No mucking about with carrier-specific models. This is really great, assuming your carrier is supported.
The new Nexus 7, if you opt for the LTE model, will support LTE data connectivity on AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile. That's just kind of awesome. There are some potential caveats, though. Google did not elaborate on which frequencies were specifically supported, or if 3G support would be available on all three networks.
As with some previous Verizon flagship devices, employees are being given a customized version of the new Motorola DROID Ultra. Well, "given" may be too strong a word - they get a reduced $99 price ($100 off) with a two-year contract. Verizon will also throw in some DROID-branded accessories, namely a free case and some SOL Republic JAX earbuds. Droid-Life spotted the Employee Edition, presumably on an internal store, set to ship on August 20th with the other DROIDs.
We've known for a while what Verizon was going to announce today, but the company just made it's new Holy Trinity of Motorola Droids official: the Droid Ultra, Droid MAXX, and Droid Mini. As expected, all three are successors to last year's Droid M, RAZR HD, and RAZR MAXX. While the Mini is basically in a league of its own, the Ultra and MAXX are kindred spirits, essentially only being separated by battery capacity and thickness.