The Droid Bionic has been a long drawn out saga. It was supposed to be out at the beginning of the 2nd quarter, then it was cancelled, and it was eventually replaced by a completely different device. We are expecting it to launch this summer and it looks like it is getting closer.
A Motorola device with LTE and CDMA just passed though the FCC yesterday. Although we cannot confirm for sure that it is indeed the Droid Bionic, we know of no other Motorola LTE phone. The big question is when will it be released? The Droid 3 passed through the FCC June 15th and the launch is July 14th. The Droid X2 was a little longer. We should see this dual-core LTE beast released somewhere between July 28th and August 18th.
We reported earlier that due to bugs, all Motorola Gingerbread updates might have been rejected by Verizon. Some training documents recently leaked which state the following:
Android 2.3 expected to be available soon after Droid 3 launch.
We really don’t know when this document was produced so it is hard to say if this is likely. All I can tell you is the Droid X Gingerbread update is awful, and the bottom line is Motorola cannot release any more updates unless they have things ironed out. It is also possible that Motorola’s goal is to fix all the bugs by the time the Droid 3 launches and that is why it is on this document.
In my opinion, they should be fixing the Droid X update before other devices get updates.
Back in May, the Droid X received the Gingerbread update so we expected to see updates by now for the Droid 2, Droid 2 Global, Droid Pro, and Droid X2. A couple of weeks ago testing had begun for the Droid 2 Global for Motorola User Group members, but still no official rollout.
Rumor has it that Verizon has rejected all Gingerbread builds from Motorola. The Droid X Gingerbread build is plagued with bugs like constant reboots and data connection drops. This news does not surprise me because I have experienced these bugs with the Droid X, since I own one. From what I am seeing, don’t expect any updates for a while. Let’s just hope that the Droid 3 and Droid Bionic, which will be released with Gingerbread, will not be this buggy. If they are full of the same bugs, we may be seeing delays in them as well.
The above picture is the Samsung SCH-i405 QWERTY slider. It resembles the Epic 4G and is expected to launch on Verizon. It will most likely be a mid-range device which would give it a single-core processor and WVGA (800 x 480) display.
It has already received Bluetooth and Wi-Fi certifications. The only thing left is the FCC so we are still a couple of months away from release.
More pics after the break.
Over at BGR, sources have told them some hardware specs which will be included into the next Google flagship device which should be running Ice Cream Sandwich, the next major Android OS. The device should come without any physical menu keys and will have a 720p resolution display using Super AMOLED HD technology, which we know to be Samsung manufacturing. Also confirmed is the processor, which will be the OMAP4460 1.5GHz dual-core seen also in the ARCHOS G9.
The Samsung device running Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) will be void of any specially designed UI’s or OEM/carrier overlays on the OS, which has been the trend thus far for Google’s Nexus devices. The Device is confirmed from BGR’s sources codenamed “Prime”, which lends itself to be called the Google ‘Nexus Prime’. This device, along with others later this year will be the beginnings of an onslaught of Android devices hitting several carriers and many OEM’s pushing the Android 4.0 OS onto many devices for timely launches around the same time.
Obvious Android OEM’s would include LG, Motorola, HTC and Samsung, and should be a blanket across many carriers such as T-Mobile, Sprint, AT&T, and Verizon among others. This will be an interesting year for Android spanning Operating systems from Android 2.1 – Android 4.0.
We have been hearing rumors that the Motorola Droid 3 will release in early July. It has already cleared the FCC and the Milestone 3 was already announced for a summer release in China. The most rumor was July 7th, but since that is the day that Verizon switches to tiered pricing, it does not make sense to launch a phone on the same day. So why not 1 week later?
According to a leaked Best Buy inventory screen it should be in stock for July 13th for a release on July 14th. Before you mark it in your Google Calendar, you should note that this is not official until Motorola and/or Verizon Wireless announce it. If the 14th holds, expect that announcement to be some time the week of the 4th.
We will of course report to you if this date does become official, Stay tuned.
Motorola has been promising unlocked bootloaders, but not until later in the year. We also never expected that they would unlock existing phones.
We reported that a leak of a Gingerbread update surfaced, but we just found out that it will allow users to unlock the bootloader using the traditional command: “fastboot oem unlock.” The update is expected in July and when users receive that update they will be able to boot their Atrix into Fastboot mode and unlock from there.
We reported on Tuesday that Verizon would be eliminating the unlimited data plan in favor of tiered pricing. You will see from the above image the pricing is now confirmed:
- $30 for 2GB, $10 extra for every 1GB
- $50 for 5GB, $10 extra for every 1GB
- $80 for 10GB, $10 extra for every 1GB
- Hotspot add on will be $20 for 2GB.
Pricing is for both 3G and 4G.
A lot of people are going to be upset, but at the same time, no one can be surprised. For a long time Verizon Wireless customers have been paying $30 for unlimited 3G and 4G data.
On July 7th this will all end and it has been confirmed by Verizon.Verizon spokeswoman Brenda Raney said that the company is making changes to its data plans, including those for new smartphone customers.
“We will move to a more usage based model in July,” Raney said in an e-mail. “We’ll share more later.”
The plans are expected to be $30 for 2GB, $50 for 5GB, and $80 for 10GB. A tethering option of 2GB can be added for $20. These prices have not been confirmed, but it is looking more and more like they will hold. It also expected that this pricing will be for both 3G and 4G.
For those under contract now, it is expected that you will continue to receive unlimited data until you buy your next phone. For those that are eligible for a new phone, it might make sense to grab something now to lock in. You can then sell it and pay full retail for what you really want.
The Motorola XOOM 4G and Droid 3 is getting closer day by day. We saw the Milestone 3, which is the same phone as the Droid 3, announced last week for China Telecom, and the Droid 3 cleared the FCC last week. The XOOM 4G has been promised for this summer, and there is no reason to believe this won’t happen.
Now we have more evidence that the release for both devices are that much closer. They have both hit Verizon Wireless’s MAP (minimum advertized pricing). Recent past history puts them at around 7 weeks. The Droid X2 hit MAP around April 13, but it was not released until May 26th. We are hoping for quicker releases this time around. The Droid 3 is rumored for early July which is only a couple of weeks away. We will let you know more info as it comes.