We stopped by Kyocera’s CTIA booth to get a second tour of the dual-screen Echo from Sprint. The device, which will be available on April 17th for $199.99 with a 2-year agreement, really does have some innovative features. Applications and games that are optimized for the echo can leverage the second screen to display an enormous, thumb-friendly keyboard, provide more on-screen information, and enhance game-play. Kyocera assured us that the hinge on the device is ready for battle, and should stand up to most of the use and abuse inflicted by teens and tweens — the two main groups the phone will be marketed towards. The hinge itself was a bit finicky when we handled the device, however. Hit the break for more, including a video, and don’t forget to check out our Kyocera Echo photo gallery.More →
Microsoft on Tuesday confirmed that its first major update for the Windows Phone 7 platform is now being rolled out to users. Internally referred to as “NoDo” — which is said to be short for “No Donuts,” mocking Google’s first Android update dubbed “Donut” — the update adds much sought after copy/paste functionality to Windows Phone 7 devices. It also adds support for “tombstoning,” improves Marketplace searches, fixes a variety of bugs and adds support for CDMA devices. “We’ve begun to gradually roll out the Copy & Paste update, starting small with open market phone customers in parts of Europe this week,” a Microsoft spokesperson told BGR in an email, adding, “More to come.” Sprint’s HTC Arrive was the first device to feature NoDo when it launched this past Sunday with the update pre-installed. Microsoft has not yet detailed its plans for a U.S. rollout, so we are unsure when other U.S. carrier-branded devices will begin receiving NoDo. Users will receive notifications on their devices once the update becomes available, and they will need to connect to PCs in order to install it.
Sprint Users forum member r0fl is at it again. This time, the sleuthy Sprint user has posted an image of what appears to be a Sprint-branded Motorola XOOM tablet. The device, which is currently offered with cellular connectivity exclusively by CDMA carrier Verizon Wireless, should carry the same set of specifications as the model currently being sold. What is not clear, however, is if the device will ship WiMAX-enabled or WiMAX upgradeable. R0fl has a proven track record when it comes to unreleased Sprint hardware — back in December he leaked images of Sprint’s MiFi 4082 and HTC’s EVO Shift 4G prior to their release. More →
HTC often likes to highlight “firsts” in its marketing messages. While the days leading up to the launch of HTC’s Arrive are noticeably devoid of any relevant advertising, Sprint and HTC could have easily kept the “first” theme alive had they chosen to raise awareness. The Arrive is Sprint’s first device to run Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 mobile operating system. In fact, it’s the first modern Windows Phone in the world compatible with a CDMA network. Finally, HTC’s Arrive is also the first phone to launch with Microsoft’s “NoDo” update for Windows Phone 7 — a prerequisite for CDMA compatibility. But do all these firsts add up to a first-class smartphone experience, or are Sprint customers better off waiting to see what’s announced next week at CTIA before making any buying decisions? Hit the break for our full review and find out.More →
In a press release today, Sprint announced the successor for its push-to-talk (PTT) iDEN network, Sprint Direct Connect. Running on the company’s nationwide CDMA network, Direct Connect will offer users a larger coverage footprint, improved in-building coverage, and increased voice and data capacity. The new protocol will also add several new features, including 200 participant Direct Connect sessions, Land Mobile Radio (LMR) interoperability, and availability notifications. The company expects the move to increase the number of devices that incorporate the Direct Connect service — the press release specifies that an “Android smartphone” along with sets from Motorola and Kyocera are due in the near future. “During the nationwide implementation of Network Vision, Sprint expects to continue operating the iDEN network at current best-ever performance levels,” reads the press release. “As the customer base shifts to more broadband-centric push-to-talk applications on the CDMA network and Sprint launches Sprint Direct Connect, iDEN cell sites are expected to be phased out in 2013.” The Direct Connect service will launch later this year. The full press release is after the break. More →
Look, I have been dreaming about a Verizon iPhone since the original announcement was made in 2007. I’ve always admired Verizon’s insanely solid and reliable wireless network, even before it was Verizon (someone tell James Earl Jones I said what’s up). I had the first digital phone Verizon Wireless offered (following countless analog phones prior to that), and I’ve had many more since then. But I switched away from Verizon Wireless as soon as I saw that the handsets available in Europe were becoming more advanced, because these new phones typically didn’t become available from Verizon for months or even years later, if at all. As soon as I saw that I could switch my SIM card from phone to phone myself, I was on a tear — first on T-Mobile, then AT&T when I realized how much better AT&T’s coverage was in my area, even five years ago. More →
Apple, AT&T, Verizon Wireless confirm tomorrow’s 5PM retail launch of iPad 2; online sales at 1AM Pacific
Apple, AT&T, and Verizon Wireless have independently fired off press releases letting us know exactly how and when we can acquire yourself an iPad 2 tomorrow, March 11th. Starting at 5:00 p.m. local time, interested parties can head to an Apple, AT&T, or Verizon Wireless retail store to purchase the 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB tablet in white or black. Verizon will be offering four data plans for the iPad 2:
- 1GB per month – $20
- 3GB per month – $35
- 5GB per month – $50
- 10GB per month – $80
While AT&T will be offering just two in both the pre-paid and post-paid formats:
- Monthly statements: $14.99 for 250 MB or $25 for 2GB. Customers who exceed their monthly data allotment will be billed $14.99 for another 250MB on the $14.99 plan or $10 per 1 GB of overage on the 2 GB plan [AT&T is offering consumers who choose monthly statement billing one free month of service].
- Credit card billing: $14.99 for 250 MB or $25 for 2 GB. Customers who exceed their monthly data allotment may choose to purchase another 250 MB on the $14.99 plan or purchase an additional 2 GB for $25 on the 2 GB plan.
All models of the iPad 2 — Wi-Fi and 3G — will also be available at Apple retail stores and select Walmart, Best Buy, Sam’s Club and Target stores nationwide starting at 5:00 p.m. AT&T and Verizon stores will only carry GSM and CDMA iPads respectively. If you’re not inclined to hit up a retail outlet, but are still interested in the tablet, AT&T and Apple will begin selling the iPad 2 online at 1:00 a.m. Pacific Time (4:00 a.m. Eastern) on the 11th. There you have it, if you’re jones’ing to get yourself an iPad 2, start formulating your game plan. More →
We first heard about the LG Revolution at CES back in January — if you’ll recall it was part of Verizon’s decagon of LTE device announcements. The 4.3-inch handset sports a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0, 5 megapixel rear-facing camera, front-facing camera, 16GB of internal storage, mobile hotspot capabilities for up to eight devices, Android 2.2, and, of course, a CDMA/LTE radio. Fast forward to today, and we see that the Revolution has finally been rubber stamped by the good folks over at the FCC. Still no word on when this handset will be available to the masses, but it’s always a good sign when a device becomes “street legal.” More →
Earlier today, Korea’s largest mobile operator, SK Telecom, announced the availability of Apple’s iPhone. Pre-registration for the smartphone begins on March 9th at 7:00AM via online and retail sales channels — the device will go on sale March 16th. “SK Telecom is proud to offer iPhone 4 on the nation’s top network,” said the company’s co-CEO, So Jin-Woo. “Our customers will benefit from flexible tariff plans tailored to their unique usage needs along with a high level of customer care.” The company plans to announce full pricing details “soon.” Hit the jump for the full press release.
U.S. wireless carrier Sprint was noticeably absent from both CES and MWC, but if this latest rumor comes to fruition, we think we know why. According to Engadget, the nation’s third largest wireless carrier plans to unveil no less than three high-end devices at CTIA Wireless in Orlando this month. What’s on the menu? The Samsung Nexus S 4G, a standard Nexus S with a WiMAX radio; the EVO 3D, HTC’s spin on the very successful EVO 4G with a 3D screen; and the EVO View, a CDMA version of the HTC Flyer tablet. The rumor is backed up by several Wi-Fi alliance filings from Samsung and HTC, but no concrete evidence has surfaced just yet. The CTIA Wireless conference runs from March 22nd to the 24th, and we’re sure as we get closer to that date, more information will make itself available. More →
Enthusiast blog wpcentral reported on Wednesday some new details surrounding what should eventually become Verizon Wireless’ first Windows Phone 7 device. Photographs of the phone obtained by the site reveal a few interesting tidbits, namely the apparent presence of both CDMA and GSM radios. We also get our first glimpse of Verizon’s My Verizon Mobile app for Windows Phone 7, which looks to shy away from Microsoft’s Metro UI in favor of a more typical layout. Finally, an image of highlighted text reaffirms the obvious — the Trophy is equipped with Microsoft’s first major software update for Windows Phone 7, which is a requirement for CDMA phones to function. Initial rumors pointed to a Trophy release in late March on the Verizon Wireless network, but wpcentral now reports that the phone might not launch until June. More →
With Apple’s iPad media event only a day away, many people are asking just what Apple is expected to announce tomorrow. We have heard rumors and seen purported next-generation iPad parts leak practically since right after the first iPad launched. Thanks to third-party case manufacturers, we have also been given renders and even physical mockups of the forthcoming iPad 2. We’ve tried to separate the nonsense from the plausible, and here’s what we’re expecting from tomorrow’s event:
- A much thinner and lighter iPad. We’re talking seriously thin.
- A slightly thinner bezel around the iPad’s display, making the device’s footprint just a tad bit smaller.
- A dual-core Apple processor, possibly named A5
- 512MB of RAM
- A front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera for FaceTime HD
- A rear-facing 2-megapixel camera
- Support for AT&T and Verizon Wireless networks out of the box
- Photo Booth for iPad
- Availability within 1-2 weeks, new price points starting at $399 for the entry-level Wi-Fi model
- Announcement and preview of iOS 5 to be released in the summer
We’ll know definitively tomorrow just after 1:00PM ET, but in the meantime, chime in with your own predictions and wishes, alright?
Here’s one straight out of left field. In a brief press release, HTC announced that its Merge handset — a device we thought was dead and buried — will be making its way to North America, via “multiple carriers,” sometime this spring. The Merge is most certainly going to land on Verizon Wireless and will compliment VZW’s global, Android handset lineup — which already consists of the DROID 2 Global and DROID Pro — quite nicely. The Merge isn’t the most powerful handset on the block, but it certainly isn’t a slouch — 3.8-inch touchscreen display, full QWERTY slide-out keyboard, 5 megapixel rear-facing camera with 720p video recording, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, and Android 2.2. Many have been waiting for this handset to drop since we first spotted it back in September (gallery). Is this the Android set you’ve been waiting for, or is it a little too late? The full press release is after the break.