If you were planning to buy a smartphone from Verizon Wireless soon, you may want to hold off for one more month. It looks like there are a number of high-end smartphones that are set to launch this spring; at least, according to a tipster who leaked an internal document to Phandroid. The leak suggests that Verizon Wireless will release the Casio Commando, an Android powered smartphone, and the Samsung DROID Charge — capable of running on Verizon’s 4G LTE network — on April 7th. The next week, Verizon Wireless will purportedly launch the Sony Xperia PLAY and the Windows 7-powered HTC Trophy. On April 28th, the HTC DROID Incredible 2 may also make its debut. Verizon Wireless’ other 4G phones, including the LG Revolution, Motorola BIONIC, Motorola DROID X2, and Samsung Galaxy 2 (presumably the Galaxy S 2), and are reportedly scheduled to launch in May. Again, this is all speculation, and given that the source’s Excel file looks a bit shoddy, we wouldn’t place too much stock in this… but the timing does make sense. More →
Remember that vaguely named “LTE Smartphone” being flaunted at CES by both Samsung and Verizon Wireless? According to intel gather by blog PocketNow, it looks like that very same handset will henceforth be known as the DROID Charge. Originally codenamed Stealth, the DROID Charge (also known as the SCH-i510) packs a 4.3 inch Super AMOLED Plus display, 1GHz Hummingbird processor, 8 megapixel rear-facing camera with 720p video recording, 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera, LTE/CDMA radios, Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth, aGPS, HDMI-out, and Android 2.2. Neither Verizon nor Samsung have confirmed the device’s new nickname, and “April” is a popular release-date rumor circulating the intertubes. More →
BGR has obtained a memo being sent around to third-party Sprint retailers that sheds a bit more light on the company’s recently announced $10 Premium Data fee. The fee will be applied on all lines that upgrade to or activate a new smartphone after January 30th. The $10 tariff will apply to all individual lines and all family plan lines — so three smartphones on a family plan using equals an extra $30 per month. The memo states that the move will allow Sprint to “offer simple and affordable unlimited data plans” while “maintaining a wireless network able to meet the growing appetite for mobile data.” The only customers exempt from the new fee will be those customers tied to select corporate accounts. Hit the jump for the full memo and make sure to sound off in the comments!
Thanks, Tony! More →
We’re not sure if we should blame U.S. wireless carrier Sprint for coming up with this idea, or Bell Canada for running with it. BGR has just obtained a memo that indicates Bell customers will have to fork over a $10 per month premium for access to the company’s HSPA+ wireless network. The memo seems to indicate that the first set of devices to succumb to this fate will be a “Turbo Stick” and “Turbo Hub”; the memo is vague enough (mentioning “high speed devices”) that it could include smartphones. This may be the unfortunate reality we’re all going to have to deal with as carriers go to 4G; or in this case “4G.” If you’re a Bell customer, feel free to sound off and let us know what you think.
Japanese electronics manufacturer Brother is stepping outside its printing and sewing machine roots to explore motion-powered battery technology. The Japanese company is unveiling prototype AA and AAA batteries that are comprised of a rechargeable battery and an accompanying generator which produces power from vibrations/movement. The system can generate up to 180mW and is designed for low power devices like remote controls and LED flashlights. No word on when, or even if, these batteries will hit mass production but folks in Japan can get a sneak peek at this shake and charge battery system during the upcoming Techno-frontier 2010 being held July 21 to 23 in Tokyo. More →
Self-powered cell phones may become a reality if M2E Power has their way. The company has developed and tested batteries that are powered by human motion. The batteries are housed inside a charger which can be thrown in your purse or pocket and pulled out when you need to charge a device. Right now efficiency is marginal as it takes about 6 hours of cumulative motion to provide 30 to 60 minutes of call time. That is a lot of movement for not a lot of talk time but you have to start somewhere we guess. With cell phone companies seeking “green” alternatives to power, this battery charging technology may someday find its way into your phone. We’d prefer built-in solar panels though, that way we don’t have to walk around too much…