We met up briefly with HTC on Tuesday to check out all of the company’s latest smartphones and had a chance to snap a few photos of the Sensation XL, one of the most attractive devices in the bunch. The Sensation XL has a massive 4.7-inch display, which was excellent for viewing photos and browsing the web. We also love the overall design of the phone; it is built with glossy white plastic and aluminum. The metal definitely adds a premium feel and certainly kicks the overall build quality up a notch. The Sensation XL is powered by a 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, supports HSPA networks, has an 8-megapixel camera and is loaded with 16GB of storage. Music fans will also love the Beats technology under the hood that enhances audio playback, and the set of Beats earbuds that come in the box. Unfortunately, HTC confirmed this phone will never land in the United States in its current form, but we definitely can’t wait for future iterations that might. Be sure to check out the gallery below.
AT&T senior vice president of mobility and consumer markets Pete Ritcher took the stage during the Oppenheimer Technology and Communications Conference on Wednesday, where he confirmed that AT&T will launch its first 4G LTE smartphone by the end of this year. Ritcher reaffirmed AT&T’s intention to deploy its LTE network in 15 markets covering 70 million people by the end of 2011, and it hopes to continue its roll-out on a market-by-market basis, Fierce Wireless reported. AT&T will initially only offer laptop cards alongside the new LTE network, and AT&T is expected to launch 4G LTE in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio this summer. “We are the only carrier with LTE and HSPA+,” Ritcher said. “When you don’t have LTE you will fall back to faster speeds than our competitors,” he added, noting that Verizon’s 4G customers fall back to the slower EV-DO network when LTE is not available. More →
Verizon Wireless and American Express announced on Monday that Verizon Wireless will begin to integrate American Express’ “Serve” mobile payment solution into its phones and tablets. The agreement will allow Verizon Wireless customers to make mobile payments from their phones, provided that they have an existing Serve account. “Our collaboration with Verizon highlights the speed at which Serve is evolving to reach a wide audience,” said Dan Schulman, group president, Enterprise Growth, American Express. “Verizon Wireless customers will soon be able to complement their busy lifestyle with a trusted payment platform that delivers a fast, flexible and secure way to manage their day-to-day mobile purchases, and together we’re taking the necessary steps to make mobile commerce a reality.” Serve is similar to PayPal and allows users to send or receive money for goods and services. American Express announced the service in March in tandem with Serve apps for Android and iOS. Read on for the full press release. More →
Verizon Wireless announced a new partnership with Payfone on Monday that will soon allow its customers using phones, tablets, and PCs to make online purchases easier. Once the partnership’s new service is deployed, customers will be able to make more secure purchases online and charge them to their Verizon Wireless bill or use other standard forms of payment. “Our relationship with Payfone complements the part of the mobile payments equation we’re already working on with our Isis joint venture,” said Greg Haller, marketing vice president, Verizon Wireless. “We approach the mobile payments arena from a customer’s perspective. As we move forward, the most important goals will be security, privacy and simplicity. Through our relationship with Payfone, we will be able to quickly offer value to our customers by offering them greater choice and a simple, safe and secure purchasing experience when shopping online from their smartphones, tablets and PCs.” Hit the jump for the full press release. More →
HP is working on phones and tablets with built-in near-field communication (NFC) technology for mobile payments, Bloomberg reported on Monday. Much like Google Wallet, which will soon launch for the Nexus S and eventually other Android devices, HP hopes its customers will be able to use the company’s products to make mobile purchases in retail outlets. Similarly, HP has a plan to create an entire ecosystem where users will be able to to receive coupons or other benefits, such as loyalty points, from NFC-enabled advertisements. While sources told Bloomberg the products could launch by year-end, HP hasn’t been known to deliver new mobile devices to the market very quickly in the past. It’s also still unclear who the company’s mobile payment partners will be. More →
Motorola has produced several iconic handsets during its storied existence. The DynaTAC, the Vader, the v60 and of course, the Motorola RAZR. What Nokia did for the candy bar-style mobile phone in the 1990’s, Motorola did for the flip phone in the early 21st century. Thin, sleek and stylish, the RAZR was initially brought to market in early 2005. The handset was light, easily fit in the pocket and packed a flat, backlit keypad that proved itself to be a formidable text messaging obstacle. The device was so popular, in fact, that just over 1-year ago we were still talking about the handset — the RAZR3 — before it was scrapped by Moto in favor of Android-based smartphones. During its four year reign of terror, where it retailed for nearly $200 on-contract, over 110 million RAZRs were sold by dozens of carriers the world over. We still have an AT&T V3 lying around BGR HQ for posterity sake, and although its utility is diminished, the handset’s mystique remains. How about it: how many of you cell phone junkies were proud RAZR owners?
BGR’s Throwback Thursday is a weekly series covering our (and your) favorite gadgets, games, and software of yesterday and yesteryear.
In an interview with Reuters, Verizon Communications’ chief financial officer, Fran Shammo, reaffirmed several details about his company’s next iPhone offering. “Verizon’s [next iPhone] version will also work in as many countries as AT&T’s iPhone, which has global coverage,” writes Reuters, paraphrasing Mr. Shammo. The executive also noted that the inclusion of LTE in the next CDMA iDevice is not something Verizon has control over. “I think it’s a bigger issue for Apple than it is for us,” said Shammo speaking about the need for an LTE iPhone. “Depending on where Apple plays, that’s where we’ll sell.” The latest rumors have Apple releasing a refreshed version of its smartphone product later this fall. Most pundits agree that the update wil not include a Verizon-compatible LTE radio. More →
On Tuesday T-Mobile introduced its ‘Trade-in Program’ that will allow users to take used handsets to T-Mobile stores and exchange them for credit towards a new device. Potential customers can offset the price of a new phone by as much as $300, T-Mobile said, although devices will need to be fully functional, have an intact and working display, and be free of any liquid damage or corrosion. To participate, simply head over to your nearest T-Mobile store and a representative will provide you with a quote for the trade-in value of your device. T-Mobile wasn’t clear on how long the trade-in process takes, but said that after mailing in your used phone, you’ll receive a check from The Wireless Source — a T-Mobile partner. A website has been setup at http://www.mytradeins.com, although it doesn’t appear to be fully functional just yet. Hit the jump for the full release from T-Mobile. More →
A Verizon Wireless spokesperson has shed some light on the fate of the HTC Merge — an Android 2.2 handset first discovered last September. The device, which was officially announced by HTC in February, has fallen in and out of obscurity for months. Now, according to the latest report, users may finally get a chance to purchase the handset. Speaking with blog Phone Scoop, a Verizon representative explained, “The HTC Merge was approved for use on the Verizon Wireless network and is being sold by third party distributors, but not in Verizon Wireless stores.” The full-QWERTY smartphone also contains a SIM card slot — for use overseas — making it one of Verizon’s “world phones.” The company did not indicate if the handset would eventually make its way to Verizon’s retail outlets. More →
Famed Russian technology blogger and analyst, Eldar Murtazin, thinks he has a beat on global Windows Phone sales figures, and the results are grim. Murtazin notes that although the company has shipped 1.5 million handsets worldwide, it has only sold 674,000 to end-users. The article’s author never indicates where his information originates from, but Murtazin has a proven track record when it comes to providing accurate insider information in the mobile space. Selling 674,000 smartphones certainly isn’t anything to to be ashamed of, but we’re not sure it is cause for celebration either. More →
Reuters is reporting that Verizon Wireless is still debating whether or not to distribute Research In Motion’s new tablet, the BlackBerry PlayBook, via its sales channels. “We’re still evaluating the BlackBerry Playbook and have not made a determination as to whether we’re going to distribute it,” said a Verizon Wireless spokesperson speaking to the publication. The new tablet, which runs RIM’s QNX-based software, launched in U.S. and Canadian markets yesterday. The Waterloo mobile devices company had originally indicated that Verizon would be a distribution partner. More →
Nokia on Wednesday released an update to its Nokia Software Updater client for the Macintosh platform via its Nokia Beta Labs portal. The new bits will allow Mac users to update their Nokia phones’ firmware directly from their computers — as opposed to over-the-air. Nokia warns that the software is still in the development phase and that it will keep the trial going until further notice. The company hopes that users will provide feedback as they use the software, paving the way for future optimizations and updates. Other details on the software are slim, but hit the jump if you’re a Mac user looking to get the latest software goodness on your Nokia phone. More →
In response to last week’s tsunami, AT&T has announced that its wireless customers, in the United States and Puerto Rico, can call or text Japan for free through March 31st. AT&T has also said it will not charge its wireless postpaid customers for international long distance calls or texts to Japan that were placed after March 11th. Similarly, AT&T wireline customers can seek credit for up to 60 minutes of direct calls placed to Japan during the March 11th to March 31st time period. Anyone who wishes to donate $10 to the Red Cross can do so by texting “redcross” to 90999. More →