Sprint has been extremely quiet, almost too quiet, in this beginning of 2011. While AT&T went 4G, Verizon got an iPhone and also went 4G, and T-Mobile got a 3D tablet and even more powerful 4G phone— all we’ve really heard from Sprint so far is that they’ve gotten a mini-EVO with slide out keyboard (the HTC EVO Shift 4G).
Well this quiet streak looks to end on Monday, as Sprint along with master illusionist David Blaine will be looking to “make the impossible possible” with another “wireless industry first” (if you remember, Sprint was the first carrier to 4G). What exactly this could be is still a complete mystery (rumors are ranging on anything from some sort of dual screen tablet to a 3D Android tablet or phone to Sprint’s first Windows Phone 7 phone)– but whatever it is, you can make sure we’ll have it all broken down for you right here.
Today is February 3rd, and you know what that means– today was the first day the Verizon iPhone went on sale, as a pre-order for existing Verizon users. And pre-orders have gone so well that Verizon and Apple have stopped the pre-orders tonight because there were just too many (meaning if you are on Verizon and haven’t pre-ordered yet you’re gonna need to head to a Verizon or Apple store at 7 AM next Thursday and try to score a iPhone then).
And while that was expected, the bigger thing happened tonight– Verizon has begun a new war with AT&T, this time over who has the better iPhone. Just look at Verizon’s newest ad above.
Now the early reviews of the Verizon iPhone have it like this: if you want crystal clear calls and more reliable coverage Verizon hands down wins, but if you have a need for speed AT&T is a ton faster. So we ask you– with Verizon’s iPhone one week away from launch, which do you need most in your phone: blazing speed or crystal clear calling?
Inspire 4G not doing it for you? Really waiting for AT&T and Motorola’s 4G superphone the Atrix 4G? If so, your wait is almost up as AT&T has announced today that the Atrix 4G will finally be coming out on March 6th for $199 on a new 2 year contract and data plan (yeah, a little later and more expensive than what Amazon rumored but what can ya do). You also can pre-order the Atrix starting February 13th so you can insure that yours will come ASAP.
AT&T and Motorola have also announced bundles for the Atrix– such as $500 for the Atrix and laptop dock (remember you can dock this in that special laptop case and turn your phone into a full-fledged laptop). Compared to buying them separately this is a pretty good deal because buying the laptop dock add-on after you already bought the phone will cost you an additional $500 (basically, if you buy them both together it’s $500 on 2 year contract, separately it’s a whopping $700). Of course, to take advantage of this bundle you’ll also need to sign up for a tethering plan on top of the data plan ($45 a month for 4 GB of shared internet between your phone and devices you tether it to compared to $25 for 2 GB on only the phone). If you don’t plan on sharing your internet with other devices this may not be worth it to you in the long run.
Compared to just buying a laptop and phone separate of each other, this deal doesn’t look anywhere near as nice as you can buy some pretty solid full featured laptops with Windows 7 and much more power at a Best Buy, Walmart or Amazon for well under $500— though they don’t look as nearly as cool as this. If AT&T/Motorola lowered the price on this laptop dock to $100-$150 separate from the phone we’d see this as a much, much better deal (all the laptop is adding is a bigger screen and keyboard, it’s not like your getting more power).
AT&T also plans to offer an “Entertainment Access Kit” for Atrix customers which includes the Motorola HD Multimedia Dock (seen above), a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse, and a remote control for $189.99– perfect if you wanted to use this as a media center for your TV and have more money to burn.
So, what’s it gonna be– Inspire 4G or Atrix 4G?
Facebook over the past few days has begun rolling out a new security update for its users, an update that you really got to switch to ASAP! This new update allows you to connect to Facebook much more securely, reason enough for you to want to enable it ASAP.
What this new update, which can be found in Settings–>Account Settings–> Account Security, does is it turns your connection from HTTP to HTTPS (HTTP is the protocol needed to load websites, which is why you see it in your browser’s address bar on every site you go to. The “S” added to it makes your browsing much more secure and is used by sites like PayPal and Amazon to protect your info like your credit cards). Basically, this makes it much, much harder for hackers to spy on and take your information— like your password– particularly if you’re accessing Facebook from a public internet connection such as a WiFi network in your school, in a mall or at a Starbucks that doesn’t require you to enter a password to connect.
It takes literally 30 seconds to do (once you’re in Account Security all you’ve got to do is check a box saying “Browse Facebook on a secure connection when possible” and hit save– the box in the pic above). And seeing all the protection this offers, it is definitely worth it.
And if you don’t see the update on your profile yet, don’t worry, Facebook has said it should be available to all users by mid-February so check back periodically until then.
For more info on this and other new Facebook security updates, see Facebook’s site here.
Come on, you really didn’t think T-Mobile would be silent while AT&T announces more details on their first 4G phone and Verizon prepares to release the iPhone? And wow did T-Mobile have a lot to say today, announcing a whole bunch of new info on their upcoming LG G-Slate 4G tablet AND more info on an all new Samsung Galaxy S 4G phone (a successor to the Samsung Vibrant). Read on for all the info.
Looks like that Amazon leak last week had something to it after all. Today AT&T and HTC have announced the first AT&T 4G phone will be the Inspire 4G when it launches in just under two weeks, February 13th, for an incredibly solid $99.99 on new 2 year contract and data plan.
Just to recap the Inspire 4G’s features, we’re talking about a very impressive phone with not just that 4G but also a 4.3 inch high-res screen with aluminum casing, 8 megapixel camera with flash and HD video recording (but no front camera), ability to turn the 4G into a WiFi hotspot, HTC Sense 2.0 with new features like tracking down your phone, 12 GB of built-in storage, HTC Hi-Fi for surround sound (featuring Dolby and SRS surround sound for awesome audio quality), 1 GHZ processor, and Android 2.2.
All in all, this looks like a very solid deal particularly for $99.99. So, will this keep you from bailing on AT&T for the Verizon iPhone next week?
Well that was quick. Yesterday Motorola’s CEO Sanjay Jha said that the Atrix 4G will be coming sometime next month, and today we’ve got an appearance on Amazon— with a possible price and release date to boot. And it gets even better. The price? $149.99, which is ridiculously awesome for a phone like this (we for sure thought it would be the standard high-end smartphone price of $199.99, or possibly more considering all the power that’s in here). Oh, and the release is pegged at possibly February 11th, which is a lot earlier than the “late February” said by Motorola yesterday. Perhaps this is AT&T’s way of countering some other big cell phone launch a day earlier?
Oh, and HTC’s new 4G phone for AT&T, the Inspire 4G, has also been spied today on Amazon, and while we haven’t gotten a release date on this bad boy, a leaked possible price of $99.99 makes this one heck of a choice for a new phone too.
We’ve reached out to Motorola and HTC for comment and will update if we hear anything back. Until then, consider all of this to be just rumors and very subject to change. But if the Atrix and Inspire did launch for these prices would you go for it as your next AT&T phone (and if your thinking of switching to Verizon for the iPhone 4, will this help you to stay with AT&T)?
Gaming using the PlayStation Suite for Android
Can’t wait for the NGP/PSP2 to come to get your mobile PlayStation fix? If you’ve got an Android phone or tablet with version 2.3 Gingerbread or later (right now this means only the Nexus S), you’re in serious luck. Not only did Sony release those first bits of info on the NGP/PSP2 earlier today, but they also took the wraps off of their plans for an Android game platform called the PlayStation Suite.
The PlayStation Store in the PlayStation Suite on Android
The PlayStation Suite is kinda Sony’s answer to the Xbox Live app on Windows Phone 7, allowing Android devices to play first generation PlayStation games (the classics from the PlayStation One) while also offering a PlayStation Store for downloading new games. And as we said above, this will work on Android phones with Android 2.3 or later even if they don’t have special PlayStation controls like the Xperia Play (aka the still unannounced PSPhone) as there will be software controls like on the top pic of the snowboarding game above. The PlayStation Suite will also be available on the NGP/PSP2.
Sony didn’t announce which games will be coming the PlayStation Suite or when exactly it will come beyond the vague “before the end of the year,” but if you’re looking for a new Android phone (like one of those new, powerful upcoming Verizon and AT&T 4G phones) consider this a HUGE win.
Pix from Engadget
Excited for the Atrix 4G for AT&T or the Xoom tablet for Verizon? Well, it looks like your wait is almost over. On their earnings call yesterday (an earnings call for those who don’t know is where a public company, one that is listed on the stock market, announces how they’ve done over the past fiscal quarter– a span of 3 months such as January, February March or October, November, December etc.– so that investors get an official “status update” on how the company really is performing. Basically, it’s a lot of financial and business stuff though occasionally with some interesting stuff for us consumers) Motorola let slip some pretty big upcoming dates, well not actual dates but really timeframes. We’re talking about word finally coming out about the launch of two of Motorola’s biggest products of the year, the incredible Atrix 4G for AT&T and Xoom tablet for Verizon.
What is that expected time? Much closer than we thought– late next month for the Atrix and either late next month or early March for the Xoom (at first it was also late next month, but Motorola’s CEO also noted later in the call that while the hope and plan is next month, the Xoom may slip to early March).
No price was announced or solid dates for when you can walk into an AT&T or Verizon store to pick one of these up, but now that we have this info those bits can’t be far behind. In the meantime, start saving some cash, we can’t imagine all this awesomeness will be cheap.
(Oh, and for those wondering about the 4G LTE packing Droid Bionic or the Xoom with Verizon 4G LTE built-in– Motorola says we can expect those by the end of the second quarter. Think June time).
So by now you’ve heard the news. Sony’s finally back in the portable gaming space in a HUGE way with their announcement of their new Next Generation Portable/NGP/PSP2. You’ve also probably heard that Nintendo is planning to release their next big portable game system, the 3DS, in exactly two months from today. Both are major products and really usher in the next generation of gaming on the go. But what’s the big difference between the two you ask? A lot actually.
Read on for a everything you need to know about the NGP/PSP2 vs the 3DS.