Droid Turbo (Moto Maxx) review: The Moto X plus extras impresses us for days

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When you hear the word Droid, you probably think of two things: Star Wars and Android. While both items are a correct association, the latter comes with a bit of a twist. Armed with a licensing agreement with Lucasfilm, Verizon launched the Motorola Droid in the fall of 2009. To make a long story short; the device went on to become one of the first commercially successful Android smartphones, but with one small carryover. Verizon ran a very aggressive, but highly successful marketing campaign for the Motorola Droid and as a result, casual tech consumers started referring to Android phones and tablets as “Droids.”

Up until now, Verizon has typically released a few Droid-branded phones each year. But here we are at the end of 2014 and its hardware partner Motorola Mobility has been busy working on its own smartphones like the Moto X, which recently launched across multiple wireless carriers, including Verizon. With the exception of a questionable camera and a few small quirks, the former Google company’s flagship handset is truly sublime. So when Big Red and Motorola announced the Droid Turbo, we saw a device that looked to right some of the Moto X’s wrongs, at least on paper. However, is it really enough to lure us away from the phone that made us feel all warm and fuzzy just two short months ago?

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Google Voice adds Verizon MMS support, native MMS for photo

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Google Voice has been granted a pretty decent update today, bringing the service to support MMS via a new carrier: Verizon Wireless. Additionally, Google has added native MMS support to the service for photo messaging and—if you choose to opt for Google Voice in Hangouts—you’ll be able to send photos as MMS like you would with any other normal attachment.

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Verizon now accepting orders for LG G Watch

 

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We already knew that the LG G3 was on its way to Verizon and today the carrier has made it official. Big Red is now accepting pre-orders for LG’s flagship smartphone and will begin selling the device at its retail locations on July 17th for $100 on a two year contract. In addition to orders for the G3, Verizon is now offering the LG G Watch online for $230 and will be bringing the high-tech timepiece to its brick and mortar locations on July 17th as well.

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Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 launches on Verizon for $750 on-contract, $850 outright

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The new line-up of Galaxy Tab Pro and Galaxy Note Pro tablets went up for sale in the United States last month, but only in WiFi variants. Today, however, the monstrous 12.2-inch Galaxy Note Pro has been made available from Verizon Wireless here in the states. The device went up on the carrier’s website this afternoon without any prior warning or even press release, but we’ll take what we can get.

As far as price goes, it isn’t cheap. With a two-year service agreement, the Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 will cost you a whopping $750. Should you want to go the off-contract route, be prepared to spend $850 for the device. For these high price points, you get 32GB of internal storage. For comparisons sake, a 32GB iPad Air on Verizon would run $729 without a contract.

The big selling point of the Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 is of course its 2560×1600 12.2-inch display. Other specs include 3GB of RAM and a Snapdragon 800 processor. Note that the processor is different from the WiFi-only model do to issues with the Exynos chip and LTE connectivity.

If you’re looking to drop $850 on Samsung’s latest tablet, head over to Verizon’s website now. If you’d rather get the WiFi only model, it’s available on Amazon for $750.

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Verizon no longer the gold standard for mobile data?

Photo: Jessica Dolcourt/CNET
Photo: Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Verizon Wireless, once the gold standard for LTE, has admitted that it is struggling to keep up with demand in the big cities – with some users being dropped down to slower 3G speeds. The carrier’s Chief Financial Officer Fran Shammo said yesterday:

There are certain pockets where we’re absolutely going to experience that down tick from the LTE network down to 3G because of capacity constraints …  Read more

AT&T & T-Mobile preorders for Galaxy Note 3/ Galaxy Gear kick off Sept. 18

Update: Sprint announced today that the Galaxy Note 3 will become available on October 4 for $349.99 on the usual two-year agreement. It will also have the Galaxy Gear companion smartwatch for $299.99 in Jet Black, Oatmeal Beige and Wild Orange.

AT&T has announced today in a tweet that preorders for the new Galaxy Gear smartwatch, which will act as a companion to the new Galaxy Note 3, will go up for preorder starting Wednesday, September 18. The carrier previously announced that the Galaxy Note 3 would begin shipping from its website on October 1. Through AT&T, the Note 3 sells for $299 on the usual two-year agreement. Samsung originally announced that the device would launch on partners around the world starting September 25.

T-Mobile also made things official for the Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Gear today with a press release confirming that preorders, like AT&T, will also begin on Wednesday. On T-Mobile the device will sell for $199.99 down with 24 month payments of $21 with preorders expected to ship by October 2.  Read more