3GPP Long Term Evolution Stories February 7, 2013

There have been rumors of an upcoming Optimus device from LG, dubbed the “Optimus G Pro”.

Official press material for the device leaked last month alongside some specs that included a 5-inch 1,920-by-1,080 display, 1.7Ghz Snapdragon S4 processor, and a 13-megapixel camera. Japanese carriers recently confirmed that device, but today PhoneArena posted images and specs for an Optimus G Pro variant with a 5.5-inch display.

Apart from the slightly larger display on the device pictured above, which could be headed to United States and European Union markets, the majority of the specs for the device are the same as previous leaks.

According to the report, the device will include a 5.5-inch 1,080-by-1,920 full HD IPS-LCD screen, LTE, 2GB of RAM, a 13 megapixel rear camera, 1.7 GHz quad-core Snapdragon processor. Other specs include a 3,140-mAh battery, microSD card slot, 32GB of onboard storage, and slim port for HDMI out.

There’s a good chance we’ll get our first official look at the device next month at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

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3GPP Long Term Evolution Stories January 24, 2013

att-sign-28AT&T just announced its fourth quarter results highlighting record smartphones sales and a record 8.6 million iPhone activations. In its results, the company said it had its best quarter ever for Android sales, but didn’t highlight specific numbers like it did for iPhone. It all added up to record sales, the most ever among any U.S. carrier, with 10.2 million units sold during the quarter:

In the quarter, the company activated a record 8.6 million iPhones, with 16 percent new to AT&T. The company also had its best-ever sales quarter for Android smartphones.

AT&T also reported its largest increase in three years for subscribers with 780,000 wireless postpaid net adds and a total increase in total net wireless subscribers of  1.1 million. As for LTE, the company said 55 percent of postpaid smartphone customers were 4G-capable devices while LTE should be rolled out to 250 million or more people by the end of 2013: expand full story

3GPP Long Term Evolution Stories January 20, 2013

pic01

From Sony Japan comes news of Sony’s latest and most impressive Android tablets. Apparently, the Tablet Z wasn’t quite ready for CES earlier this month, but it is, at 6.9mm thin, svelter than Apple’s iPad mini while using a “Bravia”, “Retina” 1080P display. Also a high point for a tablet, Sony will incorporate an 8-megapixel CMOS sensor.

The Z is no slouch in the CPU department, with a quad-core 1.5GHz processor and 2GB of RAM, and it will somehow support NFC and LTE within its 6.9mm thick constraints.

It will also come with Android 4.1, but hopefully Sony gets more serious about updating its Android devices here. Prices and shipping times are still not determined.

Update: Look already a spy video:

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3GPP Long Term Evolution Stories January 18, 2013

LG-OptimusG-ProThe image above comes courtesy of Engadget and shows what appears to be some official promo material for the LG’s next Optimus G device, the LG Optimus G Pro. While we don’t get a lot of specs from the image itself, the report passed along rumored specs from BlogofMobile. It claimed the device will sport a 5-inch, 1,920-by-1,080 display, a 3,000-mAh battery, LTE, 32GB of memory, 2GB of RAM, and a 1.7Ghz Snapdragon S4 Pro APQ8064. Other specs mentioned in the report include a 13-megapixel main camera, 2.4-megapixel front-facing camera, and dimensions of 139-by-70-by-10.1mm. It’s a possibility we’ll hear more about the device at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next month.

In related news, Korean news agency Yonhap reported today (via TNW) that the LG Optimus G sold over 1 million units since its launch in September. We’re guessing that doesn’t include the estimated 375,000 units it sold of the Nexus 4, which is essentially the same device. expand full story

3GPP Long Term Evolution Stories January 9, 2013

Galaxy-Camera-Accessories-03

During IFA last year we showed you some of the accessories and future accessories launching alongside the Samsung Galaxy Camera. Today at the Las Vegas Convention Center Samsung was showing off its latest iterations of the accessories for the launch of the LTE variant on Verizon, as pictured in the gallery below:

3GPP Long Term Evolution Stories January 2, 2013

one x+

If a new rumor is to be believed, the launch of HTC’s new flagship may be coming sooner than we thought. Prominent XDA Forum member Football4PDA tweeted that the One X+ successor, the HTC M7, may be announced at a CES 2013 event by HTC and not at Mobile World Congress. The M7 is rumored to feature “several industry firsts,” boasting a 4.7-inch display with a pixel density of 468PPI and a number of visual improvements. It will also sport a second-generation 1.7GHz quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of internal flash storage, and LTE. There are also believed to be several camera improvements, with a 1080p, 13-megapixel rear-facing camera and 1080p front-facing camera. A CES announcement may give the device a quicker launch, with Sprint and Verizon looking to be the destination stateside. We will cover CES from the show floor next week and will bring you the latest as we get it. expand full story

3GPP Long Term Evolution Stories December 11, 2012

Some Nexus 4 users get LTE working on AT&T in select markets

We told you last month that Nexus 4 owners in Canada were able to enable LTE on their Nexus 4 using a few relatively easy steps. Now, users posting in XDA developer forums claim to have LTE service up and running on AT&T’s network in select areas. However, that doesn’t exactly mean any Nexus 4 user on AT&T can get LTE working… As explained by AndroidPolice, those utilizing LTE on AT&T are likely on band 17 operating at the 700 MHz frequency, but AT&T also has band 4 AWS spectrum only in select cities and possibly not even deployed:

in some, very select areas, AT&t utilizes band 4. Also referred to as AWS, the carrier has holdings on this spectrum in select markets including Phoenix, Raleigh, San Juan, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Oklahoma City, Dallas, Chicago, Charlotte. Also Athens, GA and College Station, TX. That being said, the fact that AT&T owns spectrum here doesn’t mean it’s deployed.

3GPP Long Term Evolution Stories November 1, 2012

AT&T’s LG Optimus G

Sprint just announced customers could pre-order the LG Optimus G starting today for $199.99 with a new two-year contract or eligible upgrade.

So, what’s so special about this particular LTE Android smartphone? Well, it has a 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 processor. It also features a 4.7-inch True HD IPS Plus display, 2GB of RAM, 32GB built-in storage, NFC, and a 2,100mAh battery.

Unfortunately, this powerful handset boasts the aging Ice Cream Sandwich OS. There is also no mention in the announcement of an upcoming upgrade. Take a look at 9to5Google’s hands-on review of the AT&T version for a full spec refresher.

Oh, but we must note the LG Optimus G’s cheese shutter. Yeah—you heard that right. The smartphone’s camera is voice-activated by words like “cheese” and “smile”—eliminating the need for a shutter button. Um, interesting?

AT&T folks should keep an eye out for availability too, as the competing Sprint carrier previously said it would open the pre-order gate Nov. 2.

Sprint’s press announcement is below. 

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3GPP Long Term Evolution Stories October 15, 2012

LG Optimus G (AT&T)

AT&T is officially launching the LG Optimus G, its first quad-core LTE smartphone, on Nov. 2 for $199. Not only is it the first quad-core device launching on the carrier’s LTE network, it’s also the device that many expect the yet-to-be-announced LG Nexus 4 to be based on. The carrier confirmed that pre-orders for the device start tomorrow on its website. Of course, the $200 price tag requires the usual two-year contract and approved mobile plan.

In the case of the LG Optimus G, the 1.5 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, 2GB RAM and AT&T’s 4G LTE network means this phone can fly.  Not literally of course, but tasks you perform on the phone will be much smoother. From loading web pages, to apps and games, it will get you to what you want, faster…So check out powerful yet elegant Optimus G in our stores on Nov. 2!  We’re excited to put it in our customers’ hands so they can try it out for themselves.

We recently got hands-on time with AT&T’s LG Optimus G when the device was officially launched at a media event in New York City earlier this month. Sprint also announced earlier this month that it will add the LG Optimus G to its smartphone lineup, but it did not provide specific launch dates or pricing.

Update: Sprint has also revealed the Android handset will be available to the masses November 11th for $199. The Sprint version will be equipped with a 13-megapixel camera, unlike the AT&T’s 8-megapixel camera.

3GPP Long Term Evolution Stories October 9, 2012

Sprint just announced it is adding three new Android-powered devices to its 4G LTE lineup, as well as expanding its 4G mobile broadband portfolio with a new USB dongle.

The Android devices include:

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 features a 10.1-inch 1,280-by-800 display, front-facing VGA camera, and rear-facing 3-megapixel on the back, while the inside touts a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 1GB RAM, 8GB of storage, and a 7,000 mAh battery. The Ice Cream Sandwich-powered tablet also comes with Sprint LTE connectivity and mobile hotspot support for up to 10 devices.

The LG Optimus G offers a 4.7-inch 1,280-by-768 True HD IPS Plus display, 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, 13-megapixel rear-facing camera, 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera, 32GB ROM, 2GB RAM, and a 2,100 mAh battery. It also touts Ice Cream Sandwich OS, but it further includes LG software like QSlide and QuickMemo.

The LG Mach boasts a QWERTY and slide-out physical keyboard with only a .48-inch thick body. The Ice Cream Sandwich-powered, 4-inch smartphone also packs a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 8GB ROM, 1GB RAM, microSD slot, and a 1,700 mAh battery.

As for the USB dongle: Sprint’s Plug-in-Connect Tri-Mode USB will support 3G, 4G WiMAX and 4G LTE connectivity. The stick even houses a foldaway USB connector, LED service indicator, and it is both Windows- and Mac-compatible.

Sprint said pricing and availability for each new addition will surface “at a later date,” but further specs and details are available in the press release below.

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3GPP Long Term Evolution Stories October 4, 2012

AT&T announces ICS update for Pantech Burst and Element

Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich is now available to AT&T’s Pantech Burst and Pantech Element.

AT&T revealed the announcement this morning for the lower-end LTE-powered smartphone and tablet on its consumer blog, where the carrier further explained the mobile OS would add a bevy of new features to the dual-core processor devices.

A few of the software features include:

With this update, Pantech Element customers will have resizable widgets and an updated Setup Wizard with additional training information. Android 4.0 will provide support for Burst users with Native Sync for AT&T Address Book, as well as expanded camera options such as Self-Mode and Panorama Capture. Also featured is the new Recent Apps button, which lets users move directly from one task to another using the list in the System Bar.

Download the ICS update:

3GPP Long Term Evolution Stories August 15, 2012

Verizon: You might be a Redneck if you still don’t have LTE, opens 34 markets and now covers 75 percent of the US

Verizon Wireless’ 4G LTE network will blanket more than 75 percent of the United States population after it lights up 34 new markets and expands 38 other markets, bringing the carrier’s total U.S. LTE markets to 371, on Aug. 16.

The new markets include (via Verizon Wireless):

Hot Springs, Ark.; Redding, Calif.; Valdosta and Waycross, Ga.; Centralia and Danville, Ill.; Parsons, Salina and Topeka, Kan.; Alexandria and Monroe, La.; Pittsfield, Mass.; Battle Creek and Muskegon, Mich.; Mankato and Worthington, Minn.; Joplin and Sedalia, Mo.; Bismarck, Grand Forks and Minot, N.D.; Chillicothe, Ohio; Reading, Pa.; Aberdeen, S.D.; Laredo, Odessa and Texarkana, Texas; Brattleboro and White River Junction, Vt.; Charlottesville, Va.; Longview, Wash.; and Eau Claire, La Crosse and Manitowoc, Wis.

The expanded areas include (via Verizon Wireless):

Los Angeles and Santa Barbara/Santa Maria, Calif.; Orlando, Fla.; Macon/Warner Robins, Ga.; Bloomington, Champaign/Urbana, Decatur/Effingham and Springfield, Ill.; Elkhart, Ind.; Des Moines, Iowa City and Sioux City, Iowa; Dodge City, Garden City and Great Bend, Kan.; Lexington and Louisville, Ky.; New Orleans, La.; Boston, Mass.; Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minn.; Missoula, Mont.; Las Vegas, Nev.; Manchester/Nashua, N.H.; Las Cruces, N.M.; New York, N.Y.; Cincinnati, Ohio; Greenville/Spartanburg, S.C.; Sioux Falls, S.D.; Chattanooga, Tenn.; and Salt Lake City/Ogden, Utah; Roanoke, Va.; Charleston, W.Va.; and Green Bay, Wis.  Additional areas include: Little Rock, Ark., expanding into Batesville, Ark.; Tallahassee, Fla., expanding into Thomasville, Ga.; Burley, Idaho, expanding into Twin Falls, Idaho; Chicago, Ill., expanding into DeKalb, Ill.; and Cedar City, Utah, expanding into St. George, Utah.

“Our 4G LTE network is currently in more markets than all other U.S. wireless providers combined, and our team is continuing to expand the network so that more customers across the nation can take advantage of 4G LTE speed and capabilities,” said Verizon Wireless’ Chief Technical Officer Nicola Palmer. “We are ahead of schedule with our 4G LTE market roll out and will provide 4G LTE network coverage to more than 400 markets in the near future.”

It looks like folks only in the most rural of areas will lack LTE after tomorrow’s massive rollout.

Read all the individual pressers at Verizon Wireless.

3GPP Long Term Evolution Stories July 18, 2012

Verizon extends 4G LTE to 33 new markets, touts more coverage than competitors combined

Verizon Wireless plans to expand its 4G LTE coverage tomorrow to 33 new U.S. markets. The carrier will then boast 337 LTE markets, which places it ahead of competitors by a wide margin, and it hopes to reach 400 total by the end of 2012. Verizon also announced it is broadening coverage in 32 existing markets.

Check out the list below (via Verizon Wireless): 

  • The 33 new markets: El Dorado/Magnolia and Russellville, Ark.; New London County, Conn.; Fort Pierce/Vero Beach and Melbourne/Titusville, Fla.; Columbus and Rome, Ga.; Burley, Idaho; Mattoon, Ill.; Anderson and Muncie, Ind.; Manhattan/Junction City and McPherson, Kan.; Lafayette/New Iberia, La.; St. Joseph, Mo.; Bozeman/Livingston, Kalispell and Missoula, Mont.; Goldsboro/Kinston, Roanoke Rapids and Rocky Mount/Wilson, N.C.; Zanesville, Ohio; Meadville and Punxsutawney/DuBois/Clearfield, Pa.; Orangeburg, S.C.; Sherman/Denison, Texas; Cedar City and Logan, Utah; Rutland/Bennington, Vt.; Lynchburg and Winchester, Va.; Bellingham, Wash.; and Beckley, W.Va.
  • The 32 expanded markets: Mobile, Ala.; Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco, Calif.; Washington, D.C.; Fort Lauderdale, Miami and Sarasota/Bradenton, Fla.; Hilo, Honolulu and Kahului/Wailuku/Maui County, Hawaii; Blackfoot/Idaho Falls/Rexburg, Idaho; Peoria, Ill.; Indianapolis, Ind.; Wichita, Kan.; Baton Rouge, La.; Baltimore, Md.; Kansas City and Springfield, Mo.; Akron, Cleveland, Columbus and Toledo, Ohio; Allentown/Bethlehem, Harrisburg and Scranton/Wilkes Barre, Pa.; Columbia and Greenville/Spartanburg, S.C.; Provo/Orem and Salt Lake City/Ogden, Utah; Fredericksburg, Va.; and Seattle, Wash.

“With more markets than all other U.S. wireless providers combined, our customers are the first to learn of the great advantages of the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network for streaming video, downloading files, uploading pictures and so much more, at consistently reliable fast data speeds,” said Verizon Wireless’ Chief Technical Officer Nicola Palmer.

This article is cross-posted on 9to5Mac.

3GPP Long Term Evolution Stories July 10, 2012

Motorola announced its much-rumored Atrix HD today exclusively for AT&T’s LTE network.

The smartphone, previously codenamed “Dinara” among the blogosphere, sports a Kevlar backing and 8.4mm-thick body, while the specs include a 1780mAh battery, 1 GB of RAM, 8 GB of internal storage, and a 4.5-inch, 720p HD display with Motorola’s ColorBoost. It also boasts a rear-facing 8-megapixel camera that shoots 1080p, 30 fps video, and it even comes quipped with an HDMI-out port.

This $99.99 device, on a two-year contract, sports Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich right out of the gate. Oh, and it arrives July 15 in Modern White and Titanium flavors.

The press release is below (via MarketWatch).

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3GPP Long Term Evolution Stories June 25, 2012

T-Mobile signs AWS spectrum agreement with Verizon

T-Mobile just announced plans to exchange and purchase spectrum from Verizon Wireless in a deal the carrier claimed would improve its “spectrum position in 15 of the top 25 markets” that covers 60 million people. T-Mobile said the spectrum would help enhance its 4G network and advance the rollout of its LTE service. The agreement includes spectrum that Verizon planned to acquire from several cable companies, so T-Mobile will first have to wait for the Federal Communications Commission and U.S. Department of Justice to approve the deal:

“This agreement will provide T-Mobile with critical AWS spectrum, enhancing both network capacity and performance and allowing us to meet the growing consumer demand for 4G mobile broadband,” T-Mobile CEO and President Philipp Humm said. “This is good for T-Mobile and good for consumers because it will enable T-Mobile to compete even more vigorously with other wireless carriers. We anticipate FCC approval later this summer, in time for us to incorporate this new spectrum into our network modernization and the rollout of LTE services next year.”

T-Mobile mentioned a few of the cities that would benefit if the agreement goes through:

T-Mobile will gain spectrum covering 60 million people — notably in Philadelphia; Washington, D.C.; Detroit; Minneapolis; Seattle; Cleveland; Columbus, Ohio; Milwaukee; Charlotte, N.C.; Raleigh-Durham, N.C.; Greensboro, N.C.; Memphis, Tenn.; and Rochester, N.Y

3GPP Long Term Evolution Stories May 24, 2012

Original EVO 4G, left, new, less 4G EVO ONE, right

When the original HTC EVO launched on Sprint two years ago, it was a game-changer of a phone. It was the first Android device with a 4.3-inch display, 1GHz Processor, 4G WiMAX, and a host of other new technologies including something important that is often jokingly overlooked: a kickstand.

Consider this: Nokia’s current flagship Windows Phone 7 device carries the same 4.3-inch 800-by-480-pixel resolution and single core processor with 512MB of RAM. This is two years later, mind you. And, there are still lots of other phones that lag behind the original EVO. In fact, in one important way, today’s review-ee, the HTC EVO One, also lacks the original EVO’s ability to do 4G data. (Oh, and what perfect two-year contract renewal timing otherwise!)

Sprint finds itself in the middle of a debilitating transition from WiMAX to LTE on its mobile network. I will not go into the details, because it is water under the bridge, but the long story short is that Sprint is migrating to LTE from its previous 4G technology called “WiMAX.” Sprint has a host of phones running WiMAX now and needs to keep the lights on those devices until 2015 (including offloading some bandwidth to its pre-paid customers). At the same time, it has to eek out some spectrum for a new type of 4G service and still keep those 3Gers happy.

The One Family: Evo One(Sprint), One X (AT&T) and One S (T-Mobile)

Unfortunately, Sprint is only now ramping up its LTE offering as AT&T and Verizon already have many major cities covered. When the EVO One is released today (after a longer than expected layover in customs thanks to Apple), it will not be able to use LTE 4G anywhere. Worse yet, it does not have WiMAX radios, so it is basically on the same level as the iPhone for Sprint customers network-wise.

The original EVO launched at the same time that Sprint’s 4G was rolling out, so you might be saying, “Big deal? The EVO had to wait for 4G and was a success.”

Things have changed immensely over the last two years. If you are buying a superphone in the U.S. now, you expect a super network. The EVO ONE will have to wait a long time to even access a two-year-old-type of 4G speed. Sprint is rolling out its LTE in Dallas, Atlanta, Houston, and San Antonio with some mystery markets, but it should have only 10 markets covered by July. That means only a small percentage of the U.S. is going to be able to really use this phone.

(As an aside, this is Sprint not learning from its WiMAX rollout. Sprint was ahead in its 4G tech by a year, but it chose to roll it out in markets like Baltimore and Portland. By the time it got around to major tech/news hubs like New York and San Francisco, Verizon had already announced LTE rollouts and swallowed Sprint’s tech lead.)

If I am a Sprint user (and I am), there is no way I am going to trade a WiMAX smartphone for a non-working LTE one until more of the network is rolled out. WiMAX works great in New York and San Francisco. In fact, I still use my original EVO as a hotspot, because the network is often better than the other carriers’ 4G in the area. There are no current plans for Sprint LTE in my area (New York City).

If HTC/Sprint could have built a phone with dual WiMAX/LTE radios, I would be all over this phone in a heartbeat. However, as it stands, and until Sprint’s LTE gets more mature, it is hard to recommend.

How is the phone itself?

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3GPP Long Term Evolution Stories May 16, 2012

Samsung’s shares dipped more than 6 percent yesterday, erasing $10 billion from the manufacturer’s market value, due to a rumor that claimed Apple ordered large amounts of chips with rebounding Japanese chipmaker Elpida.

According to Reuters, Taiwan tech website DigiTimes reported that the Cupertino, Calif.-based Company requested huge orders for dynamic random access memory chips with Elpida’s Hiroshima, Japan plant. Unnamed industry sources said the order fastened about 50 percent of the factory’s total chip production.

Samsung is the world’s foremost DRAM manufacturer, but its shares subsequently fell 6.2-percent to around $1,100 USD after the piping hot rumor circulated the blogosphere. The abrupt plunge is the stock’s 9-week low and sharpest daily fall in almost four years. SK Hynix is the second-largest memory chipmaker after Samsung, and its shares closed at 9 percent, which is a 20-week low and steepest slump in nine months.

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LG announced this morning that it developed a new LG Optimus 3.0 overlay.

The press release claimed Optimus UI 3.0 is “unobtrusive and simple” to use, and its primary design function has speed in mind. For example, a new memo function called “Quick Memo” allows users to jot notes on the screen in a “more convenient” method, and then users can share the scribblings through text messages, email, or social networks.

“With smartphone hardware becoming more and more similar, it’s important for manufacturers to differentiate their products from the competition through the user interface,” said President and CEO of LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company Dr. Jong-seok Park in the presser.

Other features include: an unlock function that allows users to drag anywhere on the screen; a preset Pattern Lock that enables the most frequently used function to automatically open; an easier method for organizing the primary applications, a new Voice Shutter for capturing images through voice commands; a camera feature for shooting the best picture within multiple images; an Icon Customizer that allows users to set their own images as icons and shortcut; and a Download category for the main menu.

The Optimus UI 3.0 is initially slated for Ice Cream Sandwich devices, because it debut on the LG Optimus LTE II that unveiling this week in Korea, and then it will roll out to the LG Optimus 4X HD in June.

LG’s full press release is below.

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3GPP Long Term Evolution Stories May 11, 2012

Verizon to launch LTE in horde of US cities May 17

Verizon is expanding its LTE rollout by giving the green light on May 17 for many northeast cities in the United States.

PC World tested 3G and 4G wireless data transfer speeds last month for the top four carriers —both indoors and outside with multiple devices across 13 major cities in 130 testing locations— and discovered some surprising results: AT&T won the 4G crown. It clocked the fastest speeds in all but four cities when compared to other 4G network providers. With that said, AT&T may soon lose its place as Verizon vastly continues to increase LTE presence in the country.

Check out Verizon’s full rollout list with each presser linked below:

  1. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
  2. Benton Harbor And St. Joseph, Michigan
  3. Mansfield, Ohio
  4. Oil City And Franklin, Pennsylvania
  5. Ashtabula, Ohio
  6. Toledo, Ohio
  7. Defiance, Ohio
  8. New Castle, Pennsylvania
  9. Lima, Ohio
  10. Bucyrus, Ohio
  11. Somerset, Pennsylvania
  12. Erie, Pennsylvania
  13. Northern Cambria County, Pennsylvania
  14. Youngstown And Warren, Ohio
  15. Canton, Ohio
  16. Fredericksburg, Virginia
  17. Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley
  18. Martinsville, Virginia
  19. Williston, North Dakota
  20. Dickinson, North Dakota
  21. Delaware Shore Points
  22. Northern Vermont
  23. Cape Cod, Massachusetts
  24. Lancaster And York, Pennsylvania
  25. Jersey Shore

3GPP Long Term Evolution Stories April 5, 2012

If you really liked the Droid Charge’s look and feel, with its fast LTE speeds and physical buttons, but did not want to jump on Verizon Wireless, U.S. Cellular has a phone with a similar experience. The Samsung Galaxy S Aviator sticks out with the following features:

  • ·         Android 2.3.6 (Gingerbread)
  • ·         4.3-inch Super AMOLED™ Plus touchscreen
  • ·         8 megapixel rear-facing camera
  • ·         Front facing webcam
  • ·         HDMI port

I am surprisingly a big fan of real buttons, because you can feel them for navigation, and sometimes capacitance gets all out of whack.

Otherwise, the Charge is a solid phone on Verizon, and now U.S. Cellular owners will have a nice option too.

The press release follows:

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3GPP Long Term Evolution Stories March 19, 2012

Engadget shows us something it pulled from Chinese language forums:

What you see on the right is called the Droid RAZR “Fighter,” and it has a 4.6-inch 720P display much like HTC’s 4.7-inch One and the 4.65-inch Galaxy Nexus.

You will note that it does not have physical capacitive buttons, instead opting for the ICS-y soft buttons. That allows Motorola to push the screen further toward the edges, which is something we complained about in our review.

The smaller bezel and lack of physical buttons allows Motorola to break out a much bigger screen without increasing the footprint…much.

Other probabilities: LTE on board, lots more graphics power, and Ice Cream Sandwich.

Hopefully the Google buyout of Motorola cuts through the blur, but as with all Verizon phones, you will expect that Verizon will have its way with ICS.

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3GPP Long Term Evolution Stories February 19, 2012

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Coming on the heels of Samsung’s Galaxy Note, LG today is pushing its foray into the new Phablet market: The VU—a 5-inch 4:3 display device. The Vu will be shorter and wider than the Note due to the display ratio, and it seems to resemble the Nokia Lumia/older iPod Nano design.

LG today unveiled one of the most anticipated LTE devices, the Optimus Vu:. Equipped with LG’s advanced LTE and IPS display technology, the Optimus Vu: offers a unique combination of tablet-like viewing with smartphone portability. Running on a powerful 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 32GM internal memory and a large 2,080 mAh battery, the Optimus Vu: is a multimedia lover’s dream device.

“The Optimus Vu: was designed to maximize what customers could do with a smart-phone,” said Dr. Jong-seok Park, President and CEO of LG Mobile Communications Company. “By offering an optimal 4:3 ratio viewing experience, 5-inch display combined with superfast LTE technology, Optimus Vu: is just one example of what we can achieve when we combine our best technology with customer needs.”

Interestingly, this device is exactly one-quarter the size of Apple’s iPad with the same resolution. That means the screen resolution is likely the same as the likely upcoming iPad 3 with Retina Display.

One of the few downsides to the Galaxy Note was that it was hard to use in one hand. LG, making a wider version, will make it even harder.

The full-sized pictures and press release are below:

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3GPP Long Term Evolution Stories December 19, 2011

AT&T started rolling out LTE in California’s San Francisco market earlier this month, and now the company is moving south to Los Angeles. The Samsung Skyrocket with LTE capabilities that I am testing (great phone, by the way) started detecting LTE connection around the Los Angeles Airport (LAX) area. The speeds in this instance are not as fast as they are (yet) in other markets, but they are in line with the LTE speeds seen in San Francisco last week. In addition, they certainly beat HSPA+.

The speeds I am seeing in L.A. are around what is shown in the image above: 18mb/s up, 5mb/s down.

An AT&T spokesperson told 9to5Mac:

We’re continuing to expand our 4G LTE coverage nationwide. As part of our rollout, we’re regularly testing and turning up parts of our network, including in additional markets, so some customers with LTE devices may already see faster speeds.

Therefore, LTE in L.A. has not officially been announced, but now we know it is definitely in testing around the areas of L.A. This testing likely means an official rollout soon. As testing progresses, we should see LTE in more areas of L.A.

Let us know if you spot any LTE connection in unannounced regions.

Update: CNET also has reported seeing LTE in LA

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3GPP Long Term Evolution Stories December 16, 2011

Verizon Galaxy Nexus Review: Bigger, faster, cheaper and less Google

LTE makes Ice Cream Sandwich all the more tasty… The biggest difference philisophically is demonstrated in the logos above. No longer a Google phone, the Verizon Galaxy Nexus is a Verizon LTE phone – for all that is worth. After 24 hours with the Verizon Galaxy Nexus, I am not going to say something that […]

3GPP Long Term Evolution Stories November 29, 2011

The folks over at iFixit have torn-down the Galaxy Nexus, per usual, exposing what’s underneath. While they didn’t find anything we didn’t already know in terms of hardware, the team found that it’s fairly easy to get into the device — unlike the Droid RAZR — requiring only a few screws and a guitar pick. For replacing the 1750mAh battery users shouldn’t have any problem. The iFixit team does worn however that the screen is fairly hard to replace. They’re still working to identify a few power amplifiers and motion processing units , but we’ll let you know when iFixit finds them.

Don’t forget, we’re still waiting on the launch of the Galaxy Nexus in the United States. The Ice Cream Sandwich device has been available in the U.K. for a little over two weeks now, and has seen positive reviews. It shouldn’t be too long until we see Verizon’s LTE in the mix. iFixit gave the device a 6/10 on the repairability scale:

Samsung Galaxy Nexus Repairability Score: 6 out of 10 (10 is easiest to repair).

  • Battery replacement is incredibly simple thanks to the removable rear panel.

  • Minimal adhesive makes removal of the motherboard and other components a snap.

  • Headphone jack and speaker assembly are not soldered to the motherboard, so replacement is easy.

  • The only soldered components are the volume switch and vibrator motor.

  • Removing the rear case to access the motherboard and other internals requires a lotof careful prying and guitar-picking.

  • The glass is fused to both the display and the display frame. So don’t crack the glass unless you’re good with a heat gun, or you’re fond of replacing the glass, display, and frame together ($$$).

3GPP Long Term Evolution Stories November 6, 2011

Remember when AT&T Wireless CEO Ralph de la Vega said that they’d bring tethering to the iPhone “soon” in 2008?  Yes, it was 2010 before it arrived.  So take the above video with a grain of salt.

AT&T SVP Larry Solomon told the Mashable audience that NYC would be getting AT&T’s LTE “sometime soon” (at 3:30).

Even with the background being sketchy, the math is in your favor NYCers.  AT&T says it will cover 70 million customers in LTE by the end of the year.  It is going to be hard to get there with their 15 markets if NYC isn’t one of them.

For good measure, AT&T was in NYC last week handing out to reviewers their impressive LTE smartphones the 4.5 inch HTC Vivid and Samsung Galaxy II Skyrocket.  We’ve got both phones in hand but won’t be able to offer up a comprehensive review until NYC LTE is lit up (or I visit Silicon Valley for the holidays – whichever comes first)

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3GPP Long Term Evolution Stories October 27, 2011

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As is usually the case, the next Droid leaks have started months before any product is released. Droid Life got their hands on a whole gallery of images of the new Droid 4 and it looks incredibly impressive. So impressive that those Droid 3s now selling in stores are looking like a waste of time and money. The Specs:

  • (smaller than RAZR )4″ screen (assuming Super AMOLED Advanced)
  • Full 5-row “illuminated” keyboard
  • RAZR styling
  • 4G LTE
  • Non-removable battery
  • Android 2.3.5
  • 1080p video recording (assuming 8MP)
  • Front camera
  • HDMI out
  • MotoACTV syncing

If you like your physical Keyboards, your Verizon and Motorola bloatware (already loaded so coming soon) then you may want to keep your ear to the ground.  Head over to Droid Life for a full gallery expand full story

3GPP Long Term Evolution Stories October 19, 2011

Just getting my barrings after a crazy day yesterday…and have to say that of the Ice Cream Sandwich and Nexus announcements, I was most blown away by the Motorola Droid RAZR.  Well the hardware anyway – we didn’t get to spend any time with the Software which is Android 2.3.5 with Motorola and Verizon Droid overlays.  All I can say about that is it is typical for the Droid line as far as I can see.  But let’s talk hardware really quick, shall we?

I’m going to say it: On hardware alone, this is the most impressive piece of mobile device equipment I’ve ever seen.  It is both impossibly thin and feels incredibly solid.  As you can see in the video above, when someone picks it up, there is a gasp.  It’s like picking up a material so light and strong (titanium?) with such a vibrant display that you can’t reconcile it with your past smartphone experiences.  Sure Samsung makes devices similar in size and weight, but they are plastic.  This is a super-light metal phone that doesn’t bend and whose back cover doesn’t fall off.

People will point out the bump at the top as making it thick – but even the bump is thinner than most smartphones (see below) and it is “so big” because it needs to house an LTE antenna and a 8-megapixel backlit CCD camera with advanced lens technology.

The display is also the best I’ve ever seen perhaps save for the tablet-phone tweener 5.3-inch Samsung Galaxy Note.  At a more pocket manageable 4.3-inch qHD 960×540 pixels Super AMOLED, it has amazing 180 degree viewing angles and looks incredible (the video above doesn’t do it justice).  I’m not sure how it will do outside but the presentation room had all kinds of lights which would have put a damper on early OLEd screens like the original Droid.  When compared to the Motorola Droid Bionic’s 4.3 inch display, it isn’t even close.  This looks like the highest end Samsung display.

For all of its thin-ness, Motorola still touts it as having a much better batter life than its competitors on LTE.

Again, based on hardware alone – I’ve yet to use it  – this is the best phone I’ve ever seen.  It goes on pre-order at the end of the month and hits stores some time in November (hopefully before Black Friday).  If Motorola has production delays like it did with the now obsolete Bionic, it will have missed a pretty significant opening.  If it delivers the product on time and without any glitches in the software, this will be its most significant phone since the original Droid, which put Android on the map two years ago.

 

3GPP Long Term Evolution Stories October 18, 2011

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We’re waiting in anticipation live from the Motorola and Verizon media event where we now know we’ll get a better look at the new Motorola RAZR unveiled in a series of teasers yesterday.

12:00 Sanjay Jha enters. Smartphones are a big deal. “Might of heard about some business news”

12:05 Talking Fitness.  Hardware – Music centric experience.  “Moto ACTV”  Little iPod Nano sized device to deliver Fitness and music to headses.

12:20 Demo-ing the Droid RAZR.  Pretty much as seen before. 7.1 mm thin except for the bump.  Lightest, Strongest, Fastest, Smartest.

Preorders Oct 27 pre order.  November delivery Price $299.

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3GPP Long Term Evolution Stories September 12, 2011

Ahhh.  Finally, an LTE phone with everything.  Motorola’s Bionic has been on everyone’s lips since its announcement at CES eight months ago.  However, Motorola’s first LTE phone underwent numerous facelifts, spec enhancements and delays pushing the phone out to last Friday.

We’ve had a week to play with this thing and can say that for all intents and purposes, this is the best Android device on the US market today.  Here’s the rundown of why: expand full story

3GPP Long Term Evolution Stories August 19, 2011

According to SprintFeed, the Sprint Samsung Galaxy S2, dubbed Epic Touch 4G phone will be announced by Samsung on Auguust 29th and released by Sprint two weeks later on September 9th.  But that’s not all…

Here’s what we’ve heard about the August 29th US launch:

Verizon will be a no show.  There are likely still some kinks to be worked out in the LTE version of the Galaxy S 2 which will be announced at a later date.

Sprint’s phone called the Epic Touch 4G or the  will be WiMAX and slightly thicker than the others with a grated plastic backing. 4.5 inch screen 480×800

T-Mobile’s version will also be 4.5 inch screen 480×800 and be the first phone to run on its (theoretical) 42Mb radio network.  It will require a Qualcomm dual-core CPU unlike the other devices which will use Samsung’s own dual core processors.

AT&T’s will be the most similar to the international version at 4.3 inches.

All of them will have the Netflix app ready on launch – only some will have it pre-installed however.

Even these incredible phones pale in comparison to the rumors of a 720P Ice Cream Sandwich phone on the horizon however.

The sickest of them all has to be the I9250 superphone. Probably your next handset, it rocks a monstrous 4.65-inch SuperAMOLED display with native 720p resolution (1280-by-720 pixels), the obligatory five megapixel camera (what, no eight-megapixels?) and Android Ice Cream, the latest and greatest version of Android due for release in the fourth quarter of 2011. expand full story

3GPP Long Term Evolution Stories July 26, 2011

Samsung officially announced the availability of the LTE Galaxy Tab 10.1 for July 28th at Verizon. Itdoesn’t appear that the LTE radios have added any depth or weight to the Tab.

Pricing and data plans (which include  a $25 Media Hub):

  • Verizon Wireless will offer two 4G LTE Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 models both priced with two year customer agreements: $529.99 or the 16GB model and $629.99 for the 32GB model.
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 customers will have the option to choose one of the following Mobile Broadband plans:
  • $30 monthly access for 2GB monthly allowance
  • $50 monthly access for 5GB monthly allowance
  • $80 monthly access for 10GB monthly allowance
  • A 16GB Wi-Fi-only Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 will also be available online at www.verisonwireless.com on July 28 for $499.99. The WiFi-only model will be available in Metallic Grey.
  • Full release follows: expand full story

    3GPP Long Term Evolution Stories June 2, 2011

    Thant didn’t take long.  Verizon just announced that it too will have a thin Galaxy Tab 10.1.  But this one will still be as thin and carry LTE 4G hardware.

    It is starting to get interesting. expand full story

    3GPP Long Term Evolution Stories May 15, 2011

    The Droid 3, likely pictured above, is getting a little more real this weekend as someone holding one of these beauts decided to run it through the NenaMark1 Benchmarking results (below).

    The Results:  The Droid 3’s Texas Instrument’s dual-core 1GHz OMAP4430 CPU boasts a PowerVR SGX 540 GPU, same 960×540/4-inch screen as the Motorola Atrix and is running Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread.  Also codenamed Solana, the model is known to be a XT862.

    Since these guys are being benchmarked, a release is likely coming soon – perhaps alongside the Droid X2 which is also expected to debut on May 26th with a qHD 4.3-inch screen and a Tegra 2.   Neither of these devices look to be LTE, so we’re still waiting on a rebranded Bionic?

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