The folks over at Sony have now made the Xperia U device available for pre-order should you want to get your hands on one of Sony Mobile’s newest iteration to the Xperia lineup. The device is one of Sony’s more budget friendly handsets but offers plenty of competitive specs. The device sports a 1 GHz dual-core CPU, a 3.5-inch “reality display” and Android 2.3 Gingerbread. The handset will also sport a 5 meg camera also capable of capturing HD video, HDMI out and 4 GB of on-board storage. Like all of the other Xperia devices we’ve seen from CES and on, this too will sport the cool new transparent color bar which changes according to what’s on the screen. In addition, the exterior of the handset can also be modified with colorful caps that can be interchangeable on the device. The phone is now available for pre-order on O2, T-Mobile UK and Three UK. So far, it looks like the cheapest you can snatch the handset up for is on a 24 mo plan for £16.17 ($25.36) per month. Check out the video below from Sony to get a better look at the device. Feel free to leave your thoughts on the comments below.
Some of you may be dissapointed to read this, but it looks like T-Mobile is putting an end to the Sidekick era as they recently put down the good ol’ Sidekick 4G. That’s right, the trusty QWERTY device favored by many has unfortunately reached EOL (end of life) status.
According to a leaked T-Mo system screenshot obtained by TmoNews, Magenta discontinued the Sidekick 4G as of last Tuesday, March 6th. Since we haven’t seen anything along the lines of a replacement slide out QWERTY from T-Mobile, it leads one to believe that the Sidekick series of devices may actually be discontinued forever. Let’s hope they really do have something new in the works because it would be a shame to see such a loyal following go to waste.
Right now, Amazon is quite possibly offering one of the best smartphones sales of this year. From now until March 26th, all Sprint’s 4G smartphones are on sale for only.. wait for it… one lousy penny! That’s right, for one cent (and the usual contract obligations) you can get any one of the following 4G phones to use on the Now Network:
Samsung Galaxy S II Epic Touch 4G (white and black versions)
HTC EVO Design 4G
HTC EVO Shift 4G
Samsung Nexus S 4G
Samsung Epic 4G
HTC EVO 3D 4G (black and plum versions)
Motorola Photon 4G
Samsung Conquer 4G
That’s a total of eight 4G phones to choose from, all of which would make for a great new addition. The only catch? This deal only applies to new contracts unfortunately, so if you are in need of a new wireless carrier and have been eyeballing a new Galaxy S II then this is probably the time to get on board with the most successful Android device to date. Plus, the SGSII is scheduled to receive the illustrious ICS update sometime in the near future, too. Hit up the source link below for further details and to place you order.
While cell phone carriers in the U.S. are hurrying to implement 4G across the country, China is doing the opposite. On Chinese state-owned TV, an official has stated that China will not grant licenses required to deploy 4G LTE for two to three years. Miao Wei, the head of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, said carriers need to expand the current equipment for 3G, while also waiting for more vendor support for a variant of LTE called LTE TDD (also known as TD-LTE). This will also give vendors more time to create devices that will use the faster networks.
Right now, there are 220,000 TD-SCDMA (a variant of 3G) base stations in the country, and it needs to increase to 400,000 before China feels comfortable moving to 4G. Also, the ministry is doing trials for LTE TDD, which is one of two LTE variants. In the U.S., cell phone companies have been using the other variant, LTE FDD.
Miao noted the need for manufacturers to create LTE TDD phones, stating: “We need their active participation, to speed up development of the commercial trials.”
China Mobile, the largest mobile carrier in the country, is encouraging the expansion of LTE TDD. They unveiled the ZTE MT73 to run on LTE TDD. They have also sought out international business partnerships with companies such as Vodafone, Softbank Mobile, Clearwire, E-Plus and Bharti Airtel to push LTE TDD as the global standard.
There are almost 1 billion mobile phone users in China, but only 135 million of them are using the 3G networks that went live in 2009. China is ensuring that all the puzzle pieces are in place before they take the leap to LTE.
Who’s ready for another phone to be released without Ice Cream Sandwich? T-Mobile just contacted us to tell us the Samsung Galaxy S Blaze 4G will be available in select T-Mobile stores starting Mach 21, and eventually in all stores on March 28. This is no Galaxy S II successor, but more like a followup to the Galaxy S. It’s priced at $149 after a $50 mail-in-rebate and has the following features:
No mention of RAM, but I think it’s safe to assume 1GB. Either way, I have to say disappointment is an understatement when it comes to the fact that this phone is being released 5 months after the Ice Cream Sandwich SDK was released, but is going to rock Gingerbread.
AT&T plans on expanding their 4G LTE network to a total of 12 markets between now (or actually soon) and early Summer. Things will kick off with Cleveland, but no date was specified. I would expect the switch to be flipped by the end of this month. In fact, if you already own an AT&T LTE capable phone you might already be getting it since they’re most likely testing now. After Cleveland, the following 11 locations will receive AT&T’s blazing fast LTE network:
Baton Rouge, LA
New Orleans, LA
St. Louis, MO
Bryan-College Station, TX
Staten Island in New York City.
Again no specified dates or in what order, but separate launches are expected in April, May, and into early Summer. Upon completion of these 12 markets, the overall total for AT&T will stand at 40. Not bad, but Verizon Wireless holds a major lead with 196.
We love to pay as little as possible for our Android devices (especially if we’re on a 2-year contract) and will look for any (and every) deal or break we can get. However, while the majority of consumers live off subsidized devices, there are some who believe that mobile carriers who subsidize devices also hurt the mobile industry as a whole. While speaking at the GeekWire Summit in Seattle, Washington, T-Mo Chief Marketing Officer Cole Brodman believes subsidizing phones is a major problem and if he had it his way, would “wave his hand and wipe out subsidies.”
Brodman gives his reasoning for his thoughts and beliefs on subsidies while also talking about T-Mobile’s strengths. He states subsidies “actually distorts what devices actually cost and it causes OEMs, carriers — everybody to compete on different playing fields.” He also adds “it causes consumers to devalue completely the hardware they are using.” During the same talk at the summit, Brodman took some time to pump up how great T-Mobile is despite not having the iPhone and no plans to sell the device in the near future. He was asked about if T-Mobile can survive without selling the iPhone and here were his thoughts:
“Yes we can. We have fantastic alternate choices. And I think those (Android, Blackberry, Windows) devices — whether it is through the app experiences, through the network experiences or through the devices themselves — do things that rival the iPhone — and in many cases — do them better than the iPhone. So, I absolutely think we can be successful.”
Tell us how you really feel Brodman. What do you all think? Is it time for a subsidy-free future or do you folks prefer having your cheaper phones (while still being locked into multi-year contracts)? Sound off in the Comments section below or in our Forums.
Sure it was thought some GSII phones would have gotten the Android 4.0 update a few days ago, but hey— better late than never as they say. If you own a GSII and are on SK Telecom, do let us know how the update works out for you. Keep it locked with Talk Android for any further news or updates regarding any other markets receiving the ICS update for the GSII.
The dust is still settling over in Barcelona after the Android-fest that was Mobile World Congress 2012. We saw devices of all shapes and sizes and covering a mass range of budgets, so inevitably one or two devices have flown quietly under the radar. One such device is the ICS toting, LG Optimus L7 which is now winging its way over to Canada by way of Rogers Wireless. Canadian mobile website, mobilesyrup has received a tip suggesting that the device is set to join Rogers “Smartphone Lite” budget phone line-up.
As a quick reminder, the Optimus L7 is a mid-range, Android 4.0 ICS phone with a 4.3″, 480 x 800 display, 1 GHz single-core processor and a 5MP, LED equipped camera. There’s no word on price or launch date just yet however we’ll be sure to update you as soon as there is.