Locked Bootloader part of T-Mobile’s G-Slate 3.1 Update

If modding is your cup of tea, you might want to hold off on updating your T-Mobile G-Slate with the 3.1 update that’s currently rolling out as it is being reported that the new update carries with it a locked bootloader.

With a locked bootloader making the flashing of ROMs impossible, is the “update” even worth it? Is the 3.1 update better than what can be accomplished now with 3.0.1 + a custom ROM? It comes down to whether or not you value the access that an unlocked bootloader gives you and whether or not that access is worth the price of an update.

Prior to this update, G-Slate had been one of the more developer friendly tablets on the market. Its both sad and frustrating to see this happen when other manufacturers are taking positive steps in the opposite direction.

[via phandroid]

Samsung Gem and HTC Merge added to US Cellular’s Prepaid Lineup

US Cellular has announced two new additions to its prepaid plan, the HTC Merge and the Samsung Gem.  These additions give customers more options as they join the LG Optimus U and the LG Apex in US Cellulars prepaid lineup.

The HTC Merge brings with it the following specs:

  • 3.8″ WVGA touch screen with full QWERTY Keyboard
  • AndroidTM 2.2 (Froyo) with HTC Sense
  • 5MP Camera and HD Camcorder with flash
  • Full HTML Browser with Adobe Flash support
  • 8GB SD Card included, expandable up to 32GB
  • Access to thousands of apps through Android Market
  • World Phone Capabilities
  • Wi-Fi capable

The Samsung Gem joins the lineup with these specifications:

  • 3.2″ WQVGA Touchscreen
  • AndroidTM 2.2 (Froyo)
  • 3.2 MP Camera + Camcorder
  • Full HTML Browser
  • Stereo Bluetooth Capable
  • One-Touch Speakerphone
  • Video and Music Player
  • Wi-Fi capable  

Saygus VPhone finally goes through Verizon Wireless’s open development initiative

We first told you about the Saygus VPhone back in 2009, but never heard a thing about it until now. It should have been on the market by June 2010, but it took way longer to get approved than anyone expected.

Verizon’s open development program (ODI) was designed for machine-to-machine devices like power meters and thermostats, but 9 phones have been approved before the VPhone. The fact that it took this long to get approved shows you how difficult it is for mobile phone companies to pass through the carrier labs.

What does any of this mean? You will be able to buy the phone and use Verizon Wireless’s network, but it won’t be supported by them. That means it will be free of bloatware so it will be the closest thing to a Nexus device.

Unfortunately the specs are nothing to rave about. As for what Android version, we have no idea, but wouldn’t be surprised if it is a Froyo device. Hit the break for the rest of the specs.

Today’s Deal of the Day at Best Buy, free smartphones

It’s now Wednesday the 17th and Best Buy has kicked off their Deal of the day. Todays deal is free smartphones. Which ones you ask.? Lets see there’s the Verizon branded Samsung Fascinate, the AT&T branded Motorola Atrix, and the Sprint branded Nexus S 4G.

Yesterday we mentioned that Best Buy was increasing their staff in preparation for the increased customers they should be seeing. And now we see the reason for this. Three free Android devices are being offered without cost from Best Buy with the signing of a 2-year agreement.

You can get this deal in stores or online, so take your pick. If you’re in the market for an upgrade or looking to switch from your old carrier this may be your chance to get an ever so awesome Android phone for the amazing price of FREE!

[via bestbuy]

HTC Ruby might be branded as the Amaze

There has been a lot of talk about the HTC Ruby as of late, and I think HTC and T-Mobile expects you to be “amazed” by this phone because it looks like it will be called the HTC Amaze.

HTC has been filing a lot of trademark applications lately, and one of them was to protect “Amaze” in Europe. We have already told you to expect this beast to land on T-Mobile on October 26 alongside the Samsung Hecules (Galaxy S II variant). If this holds, it will be an “amazing” day for sure.

[via pocketnow]

Best Buy planning to increase staff August 17 and 22 but details are scarce

Best buy is planning for increased traffic on August 17th and August 22nd – a request that includes that Mobile managers and leads to be scheduled wherever possible. The only indication of how much of an increase is a statement that says to expect “weekend-like traffic and activity levels”. Outside of the two days mentioned and the expected traffic levels, not much else is known at this time.

Could it be a new phone? There are several highly anticipated devices on the horizon but the information available on them at the time would seem to rule them out for the dates mentioned:

iPhone 5 – Way too early.

Galaxy S II – This looks like it is going to be announced by Samsung on August 29th in New York.

Any phone by Verizon: Verizon has a very long trend of releasing new phones on a Thursday. The 17th is a Wednesday and the 22nd is Monday.

Motorola Bionic – Very Doubtful – still looking like a September time frame for release.

It’s fun to play the guessing game but in the end thats all we have – only a guess. The only thing we know for sure is that with this being only a few days away, we won’t have to wait long to find out what Best Buy has planned for the extra people showing up for work on the 17th and 22nd.

Update: Its has been mentioned that a number of Best Buy folks are under the impression that this will just be one of their uper-cheap deal days.

[via droidlife]

HTC EVO 3D now available in Europe

There have been numerous reports that the HTC EVO 3D would not make it to Europe due to delays. Vodafone said they would not carry it, while HTC said they would.

It has suddenly appeared in a number of UK retailers, but there isn’t a subsidized option yet. Your only option is the SIM-free version which retails at £500 (~$815). I can’t see grabbing this one unless you really want 3D. Sorry, 3D is just not that important to me to drop that kind of change, although the rest of the specs are nice:

  • Android 2.3
  • 1.2 GHz dual-core Snapdragon CPU
  • 4.3-inch 3D capacitive touchscreen with qHD (960×540) resolution
  • Dual 5-megapixel rear cameras for recording 3D video at 720p
  • 2D video at 1080p.
  • 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera for video calls
  • 4GB of internal memory, microSD expansion slot.
  • DNLA support and HDMI port
  • Dimensions: 5.0×2.6×0.48 inches

[via androidcentral]

[Deal] Get the Toshiba Thrive Tablet for only $368 At Walmart or Amazon

The best deal on an Android Honeycomb tablet has been the Acer Iconia Tab A500 for $299 at either Target or CompUSA, but both of those are really $399 with a $100 gift card. If you don’t want to bother with the hassle, then you might want to take a look at the Toshiba Thrive for $368 at Walmart or Amazon.

This is only the 8GB version, but seriously do you really need more? The Thrive offers a full SD card slot so expanding storage couldn’t be easier. This deal is a little more, but still very attractive.

[via walmart or amazon]

CompUSA will give you a $100 gift card with the purchase of either the 16GB or 32GB version of the Acer Iconia Tab A500

We already told you about some hot deals on the Acer Iconia Tab A500. If you are in the market for the 32GB version, CompUSA might have the best deal, which is $449 with a $100 CompUSA gift card. If you fancy the 16GB version, they are offering the same deal as Target, which is $399 along with the same $100 gift card. Who is grabbing one?

[via CompUSA 32GB or 16GB]

AT&T: Samsung Infuse 4G to get Gingerbread 2.3 this month

According to AT&T via their official Twitter account, the Samsung Infuse 4G will be receiving the Android 2.3 Gingerbread update at some point this month.

AT&T announced in July that all of its phones that were released in 2011 will be receiving an update to 2.3.x.  The Samsung Infuse 4G will join the HTC Inspire 4G, LG Phoenix, Motorola ATRIX, Pantech Crossover and the Samsung Captivate as the AT&T models that have already received, or will soon be receiving, the Android OS update.

[via twitter]

RadioShack clearing out T-Mobile for Verizon, pick up a free phone before the switch

Last month RadioShack penned a deal with Verizon to start selling Big Red’s phones on September 15th 2011. They also announced that they will no longer carry T-Mobile devices after September 14th.  Now, with September coming around the corner, RadioShack needs their T-Mobile stock gone ASAP.  They have decided to deal with that issue in a spectacular way. Starting August 12th every single phone is absolutely free, with a two year commitment.  Don’t bother rushing to the RadioShack website, however. This deal is only good in stores. No word on when the sale might end, though considering the circumstances, it is probably safe to assume the special will last until stock is depleted.

[via FaceBook]

Amazon will show Apple what is Magical with a $249 high-end Android tablet

We know that Amazon will be launching a tablet or tablets soon, and most analysts are predicting that they will have the best chance at putting a dent into Apple’s dominance with the iPad.

How do they plan on doing it? Well their name for starters, but lets be serious, if you want to come out with a splash then you severely undercut your competition with price. Creative Strategies analyst Tim Bajarin thinks the Amazon tablet will cost $300, but they will discount the price to $249 with the hopes of getting their money back with sales from the Amazon app store. It is expected that they could recoup the loss from each tablet within 6 months and make a profit of 10 to 30 percent per tablet over the next 18 months.

Not only would this effect Apple, but it would also affect all Android manufacturers. Pricing like this make sense because I am still asking myself why anyone needs to pay $400 to $600 for a tablet that gives you nothing more than a smartphone except for screen size.

I have already predicted that Android will own the tablet market share by March 2012. If Amazon decides to go with this lower price, it may happen by the end of 2011.

Are you guys ready to jump on board with Amazon if they come in at $249?

[via eweek]

Motorola Rep Shows Up at Verizon Store with a Droid Bionic and Dock [PICTURES]

Pictures have been taken of a live Bionic at a Verizon store. I hope the girl holding the device in the capture has small hands, otherwise this phone looks to be massive. There are some better pictures of the Bionic here in my opinion, but there is a nice shot of the Lapdock for this device.

The wait shouldn’t be much longer with September 8th right around the corner as its supposed release date. Who is going to be rushing out to get one of these bad boys? I’m a little sick of hearing about the Bionic at this point and moved on to the Hercules, but this sure is sexy live.

Hit the break for more pictures, including the Lapdock.

Dell Streak 5 is gone for good

Last month we reported that the Dell Streak was pulled, but the information we got was that it might be getting some sort of update and it would be back this month. It appears it might be gone for good. On the website it says, “Streak 5 is not longer available.” Then you see the above image of a woman in a car with the following text: “Goodbye, Streak 5. It’s been a good ride.”

Hopefully the Dell Streak 7 and the Dell Streak 10 Pro will make it to the U.S. for all you Dell fanatics out there.

[via dell]