AT&T announced early Wednesday morning that it will offer three new BlackBerry smartphones this year. It will first launch the 4G HSPA+ capable BlackBerry Torch 9810 in August. AT&T promises to then launch the 4G BlackBerry Bold 9900 later this year, as well as the full-touchscreen BlackBerry Torch 9860. The BlackBerry Torch 9810 packs a 1.2GHz processor, a dual-microphone, a 640 x 480-pixel display, 8GB of storage, 768MB of RAM, HSPA+ support, a digital compass and a 5-megapixel camera capable of recording 720p HD video. It’s unclear at this point what pricing will be unfortunately, and AT&T didn’t provide branded images or a complete spec list for either of the other two BlackBerry devices it announced. Thankfully, we’ve already shown you exclusive leaked images of the Torch 9860 and we published a hands-on look at the Bold 9900 back in May. We also have a feeling we’ll be getting up-close and personal with these new devices again very soon. In the meantime, read on for AT&T’s full press release. More →
AT&T has confirmed with BGR that it will launch the LG Thrill 4G “in the coming weeks” for $99.99. The Thrill 4G will be the second smartphone with a 3D display to land in the United States, and it features a 1GHz dual-core processor, 8GB of storage, the ability to record 1080p video in 2D or 720p video in 3D, a forward-facing camera for video chat and 512MB of RAM. AT&T has also included several pre-loaded 3D games including Asphalt 6, Let’s Golf 2, and Nova. We’ve been testing the Thrill 4G for the past few days and will be bringing you our full review shortly.
A new page on T-Mobile USA’s website makes some fairly bold claims about the carrier’s premier Honeycomb tablet, the LG G-Slate. In comparing the sleek device to its steepest competition at AT&T and Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile says the G-Slate is “more than two times faster than the Apple iPad 2 on AT&T and Verizon, and three times faster than the Motorola XOOM on Verizon — and it’s less expensive, too!” At $399.99 with a 2-year data contract or $599.99 off contract, there is no question that the G-Slate is cheaper. Apple’s 3G iPad 2 is $729 with the same 32GB of storage and the Motorola XOOM is $599.99 on contract or $799.99 contract-free. Regarding the speed-related claims, some questions have been raised as to how T-Mobile came to those conclusions. “An independent third party conducted testing to compare T-Mobile’s G-Slate, AT&T’s iPad 2 and Verizon Wireless’ Motorola XOOM,” a T-Mobile spokesperson told BGR in an email. ”The testing was conducted in two cities – New York and Seattle – across 30 locations and at least five repetitions with each device per location per market. The total sample size was 300 tests encompassing at least 70 percent of a market.” T-Mobile has once again pitted its 4G HSPA+ service against comparable networks from its two largest competitors, and according to this third-party study, the nation’s No. 4 carrier has again come out on top. BGR reviewed T-Mobile’s G-Slate tablet this past April and found that the hardware was best-in-class, though we were not impressed with Google’s initial build of Android 3.0 Honeycomb.
Samsung on Thursday announced that an AT&T-ready version of its Nexus S smartphone will be available from Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile Stores beginning on July 24th for $99.99 on contract. The Nexus S offers a “pure Google” experience and is the first device to get new Android updates. It runs Android 2.3.x (Gingerbread), is powered by a 1GHz processor and is equipped with a 4-inch Super AMOLED Contour display, a 5-megapixel camera, a forward-facing VGA camera for video chat, and a 1,500 mAh battery good for up to 6.5 hours of talk time. Pre-orders for the Nexus S for AT&T begin today. Read on for the full press release. More →
If you’re looking forward to the possibility of flip-flopping your smartphone’s SIM card between a Verizon Wireless 4G phone and an AT&T 4G phone, we have some bad news for you. Verizon Wireless spokeswoman Brenda Raney confirmed to PCMag on Friday that the carrier’s 4G LTE phones will not be compatible with AT&T’s 4G LTE network because the phones “run on different frequencies.” PCMag explained that while the two carriers operate within the 700MHz frequency band, AT&T will operate mostly within the 704-746MHz bands while Verizon’s 4G LTE will utilize the 746-787MHz frequencies. Additionally, Verizon still routes its voice calls over its 2G/3G CDMA network while AT&T uses GSM/HSPA. That means, until both networks are fully utilizing voice-over-LTE, it just won’t work. Sascha Segan, the article’s author, notes that it is possible for phone vendors to create devices that operate with the frequencies used by both AT&T and Verizon Wireless, but it would likely require the carriers to ink out some sort of agreement first. More →
According to a new report from Retrevo, consumer “confusion and skepticism” could impede the adoption of 4G devices. We’re not surprised. The labeling on 4G devices is apparently so confusing that 34% of iPhone 4 owners and 24% of BlackBerry users actually believe they have a 4G-capable device, but neither RIM nor Apple currently offer a phone capable of running on any 4G networks. 30% of those polled said data plans currently cost too much for them to upgrade to 4G, and 19% said they didn’t know enough about the new technology. The study also found that less than 25% of the respondents had plans to jump to using a new 4G device or network in the near future. Retrevo’s report came from an online survey of more than 1,000 people across the United States. More →
T-Mobile on Wednesday announced that it has doubled the theoretical download speed ceiling on its 4G HSPA+ network in 56 new markets. “America’s Largest 4G Network is now faster than ever and continues to deliver a fast and reliable broadband experience in more places than any other carrier,” said T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray in a statement. “Video streaming on T-Mobile’s network has more than tripled over the last year, and consumer demand for access to rich mobile content from anywhere continues to grow. T-Mobile is now supplying more than 170 million Americans with lightning-fast HSPA+ 42 speeds to feed that explosive demand.” For the time being, T-Mobile offers just one device capable of making full use of its new HSPA+ 42 service: the T-Mobile Rocket 3.0 laptop stick. The carrier has confirmed that it will launch its first HSPA+ 42-capable smartphone later this year, but it has provided no additional details or timeline. T-Mobile’s full press release follows below and it includes a list of each newly upgraded 4G market. More →
AT&T on Tuesday announced that it will launch the HP TouchPad 4G with a faster 1.5GHz processor (the original launched with a 1.2GHz chip). We recently reviewed a Wi-Fi-only version of the tablet and said we “prefer it almost every other tablet [we've] tested to date,” but did note the TouchPad has a number of drawbacks and, in its current state, is just “good.” The webOS-powered TouchPad 4G will offer 32GB of storage, a 9.7-inch display with a 1024 x 768 resolution, and support for AT&T’s HSPA+ network. AT&T hasn’t provided pricing details or a release date yet, but the carrier did confirm that the tablet will launch in time for the back-to-school season. Read on for the full press release. More →
According to a purported roadmap image obtained by PreCentral, HP will introduce a new 64GB version of its TouchPad this August alongside a 4G model on AT&T. The 64GB model will apparently offer a “glossy white” finish and could come equipped with a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor that’s clocked at 1.5GHz. AT&T’s 4G TouchPad is expected to come in a black finish and will offer support for the carrier’s HSPA+ network, but will maintain the 32GB capacity of the Wi-Fi model that launched last week. While early reports suggested that HP’s new 7-inch TouchPad, codenamed “Opal,” would launch in August, PreCentral says the tablet is expected to launch in the fall instead. More →
Let’s face it… not all 4G is created equal. When Verizon Wireless’ LTE launched in its first few markets last year, bloggers and media saw blazing fast data speeds in their tests that put other 4G networks to shame. So did we. In fact, on numerous occasions and in numerous device reviews, we called Verizon’s LTE the fastest cellular data service we had ever tested. But a common sentiment rang throughout the Internet: Verizon’s 4G LTE is fast now, but that’s because the network is empty. And Verizon Wireless’ competition mirrored the opinion, of course. In a private conversation about the discrepancy in performance between Sprint’s 4G WiMAX and Verizon’s 4G LTE, a Sprint executive told me that Verizon’s network was so fast because it was empty. “Wait until it fills up,” the exec chuckled. “Then we’ll see if the ThunderBolt still deserves its name.”
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Earlier this month we saw a few pictures of T-Mobile’s supposed upcoming myTouch 4G Slide smartphone. On Monday, clearer pictures and more specs were leaked. The phone — a follow-up to the original myTouch 4G that launched last year — reportedly sports a 1.2GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, a 3.7-inch WVGA display, support for 1080p HD video recording, a forward-facing camera for video chats, 768MB of RAM and, as its name implies, support for T-Mobile’s HSPA+ network. T-Mobile has been tight lipped on the myTouch 4G Slide, but the increasing leaks certainly suggest that the phone’s release is imminent. Hit the jump for a few more images. More →
T-Mobile on Thursday announced that it has doubled its network’s theoretical data speeds in 47 new markets including Albuquerque, NM; Cleveland and Columbus, OH; Sacramento and San Diego, CA; Salt Lake City, UT and San Antonio, TX. While the theoretical ceiling of T-Mobile’s 4G network is now 42Mbps in these markets, the carrier says the average download speed on its network is now approaching 10Mbps. The T-Mobile Rocket 3.0 — the only device compatible with T-Mobile’s HSPA+ 42 service for the time being — is said to offer peak download speeds of up to 27Mbps. T-Mobile’s full statement can be found below. More →
Research In Motion Co-CEO Mike Lazaridis on Thursday revealed that the 4G versions of RIM’s PlayBook tablets will not launch this summer, as the company had previously announced. The delays were mentioned in passing as Lazaridis mentioned how excited he was to be launching 4G PlayBook models this fall. RIM had previously stated that three 4G versions of its PlayBook — an LTE model for Verizon Wireless, a WiMAX model for Sprint, and an HSPA+ model for AT&T — would launch this summer. RIM also noted that the new BlackBerry Bold 9900 / 9930 would be delayed until the end of August. Like the 4G PlayBooks, RIM has said previously that the new Bold would launch this summer.