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BT launches new 4G LTE service in the UK

Posted by wicked March - 25 - 2015 - Wednesday Comments Off

BT brand identity

Whilst it’s waiting on approval for its £12.5 billion acquisition of EE, BT has decided to take full advantage of the 4G masts it will soon acquire by launching its own SIM-only LTE service in the UK.

The tariffs are as follows:

  • £5 per month — 200 minutes, unlimited texts and 500MB of data.
  • £12 per month — 500 minutes, unlimited texts and 2GB of data.
  • £20 per month — unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 20GB of data.

All plans are 4G-enabled and will require you to sign a one-year contract. They’ll also give you access to all of BT’s OpenReach Wi-Fi hotspots.

However, there is a catch. The aforementioned prices are only valid if you have an active BT Broadband subscription, if not, you’ll need to pay an additional £5 per month for each one.

The full press statement can be seen below:

“The three new BT Mobile ‘bring your own phone’ (SIM Only) plans offer an unrivalled combination of fast 4G on the UK’s biggest mobile network and unlimited access to the UK’s largest wi-fi network of over 5 million BT Wifi hotspots.

If you’re in a BT Broadband home, you can get the best value 4G tariffs, saving up to 50% per cent on your BT Mobile bill compared to non-BT Broadband customers. Each account holder can have up to five discounted SIMs on their account – up to total of 10 per household.

The new 12-month contract deals are ideal if you want to keep your current phone but add a great value bundle of 4G data, minutes and texts. You can can also use your own 2G or 3G phone, or buy a new 4G phone from the BT Shop from just £99 with an exclusive voucher offer.

BT Mobile gives you control over your mobile spend and the flexibility to make the most of your plan. This includes a monthly spend cap that you can set yourself to avoid surprise bills, and the ability to monitor your spend through the BT Mobile App.

And if you find your usage changes, you can move to another plan without extending the length of your contract. This applies even if you move to a cheaper plan.

BT Mobile customers can also get free BT Sport via the BT Sport App, even if they don’t have BT Broadband, and enjoy live and exclusive Barclays Premier League football matches.”

Source: BT

Come comment on this article: BT launches new 4G LTE service in the UK

LG Announces LTE Version of Its Watch Urbane, Ditches Android Wear

Posted by Kellex February - 26 - 2015 - Thursday Comments Off

Remember that brand new all-metal, “luxury” watch that LG unveiled a week or so ago, called Watch Urbane? Forget about it. They have a new one! It’s still called Watch Urbane, but this one has LTE, a big ol’ battery, three buttons instead of one, and a full 1GB of RAM. Oh, it also ditched Android Wear for LG’s own wearable platform. That’s right, no Android in this little guy. 

Overall, the new Watch Urbane LTE is very similar to the original Watch Urbane. It has a 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 processor, 1.3-inch P-OLED display, 4GB storage, and dust and water resistance. But as I mentioned, it differs because of its LTE radio, 3-button setup, and upgraded battery (now 700mAh) and RAM. Actually, LG is calling this the world’s first LTE-enabled smartwatch. Why we need LTE in a smartwatch is beyond me, but it is now a thing.

Thanks to its LTE capabilities, the Watch Urbane can make and receive calls, send and receive text messages, and even do that push-to-talk thing, assuming the carrier you have attached it to supports it. Walkie talkie on your wrist! Dick Tracy, get down.

As for the 3-button setup, this is how LG describes the need for them:

Three physical buttons on the right side of the smartwatch allows for easy access to a number of functions without having to swipe through multiple menu screens. The top button accesses the Quick Setting menu where the user can check and adjust battery usage, brightness, volume and connection settings. The main center button switches between the watchface and list of installed apps. The bottom button acts as the “Back” function when depressed quickly but becomes a safety beacon when long-pressed, automatically dialing any preset phone number as well as sending the location coordinates of the wearer.

Finally, the Watch Urbane LTE allows users to “make payments for meals, movie tickets and even transit fares,” but also has “specialized features for golfers, cyclists and hikers.”

Sounds like the quite the watch. Of course, we have no price tag, but expect it to be in the kidney range.

  • Chipset: 1.2GHz Qualcomm® SnapdragonTM 400
  • Operating System: LG Wearable Platform
  • Display: 1.3-inch P-OLED (320 x 320 / 245ppi)
  • Network: LTE
  • Memory: 4GB eMMC / 1GB LPDDR3
  • Battery: 700mAh
  • Sensors: 9 Axis / Barometer / PPG / GPS
  • Connectivity: WiFi 802.11 b, g, n / Bluetooth 4.0LE / NFC
  • Color: Silver
  • Other: Dust and Water Resistant (IP67) / Speaker / Microphone

lg watch urbane lte4

lg watch urbane lte3

Via:  LG

LG Announces LTE Version of Its Watch Urbane, Ditches Android Wear is a post from: Droid Life

LG Watch Urbane gets LTE, NFC, and battery variant

Posted by wicked February - 26 - 2015 - Thursday Comments Off

It isn’t uncommon for companies to try and squeeze all they can from a winning product, but LG might again be going overboard just a wee bit. Just a week after it unveiled the classy LG Watch Urbane, which has still to make a public appearance at MWC 2015, it is announcing a new variant that might make you think twice about reaching for that new smartwatch. As the name suggests, the LG Watch Urbane LTE adds 4G connectivity, but it is also adding a lot more than that.

You won’t be browsing web pages on it, that’s for sure. The wireless connection here is geared more towards voice functions, particularly VoLTE. But more than that, the Watch Urbane also has some special walkie-talkie function, also known as Push to Talk these days. Aside from LTE, this variant also adds an NFC chip inside, making it one of the very few, if not the only, smartwatch to do so. The purpose of this added hardware is for mobile payments, according to LG, though it hasn’t exactly detailed where those can be used. Lastly, the Watch Urbane LTE also has one of the biggest wishes of most smartwatch owners: a larger battery. In fact, it almost doubles the conventional battery size to 700 mAh. That said, given the added functionality, the battery life might not be boosted too much.

These are just the internal, invisible changes. Buyers might notice more readily a slight difference in design as well. The LG Watch Urbane LTE sports three buttons on the side. The top one is used as a shortcut for quick settings. The middle is your home button that switches between clock face and app list. The bottom one is used for going Back to previous pages. Other than that, you get pretty much the same LG Watch Urbane, with it’s 1.3-inch plastic OLED display, 1.2 GHz Snapdragon 400 chip, 1 GB of RAM, and 4 GB of storage.

Now for the bad news. Given the features above, particularly the hardware buttons and the NFC, there is a good chance that this smartwatch doesn’t run Android Wear. In fact, it looks suspiciously similar to the custom-made LG smartwatch that Audi was flaunting at CES 2015. If so, then this could very well be LG’s first WebOS smartwatch in the wild. At least the LG Watch Urbane LTE will be compatible with Android 4.4 or later smartphones. Expect to hear more about this surprise wearable at MWC 2015.

SOURCE: LG

Surprise, surprise! 2nd gen Moto E available worldwide

Posted by wicked February - 26 - 2015 - Thursday Comments Off

So Motorola has just dropped a bombhsell before MWC 2015, and a very good one at that. The long awaited super budget 2nd generation Moto E has been unleashed and its coverage goes beyond the usual developing markets that the first Moto E catered to. It’s coming not just to the US but to a total of 50 countries world wide, bringing the sweetness of Android Lollipop in an affordable package.

Of course, for only $150, that’s the US price for the LTE version, don’t expect to have blazing fast specs. But the 2nd gen Moto E does manage to hold up on its own, with a 1.2 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 410, that’s 64-bit for you, 1 GB of RAM, 8 GB of internal storage, a 2,390 mAh battery, and an improved 4.5-inch qHD screen. And yes, it comes with an LTE model as well as a plain 3G one, costing only $120.

Tech specs aside, Motorola doesn’t want you to feel like you’re buying a dumbed down version of its smartphones, so it’s bringing some of its unique software features to the table, like Moto Display for notifications or Moto Migrate for easily moving over from an older smartphone. In terms of customizations, you won’t get the same options as, say, a Moto X, but you can get to choose your choice of colorful shells, called Grip Shells. New to this Moto E are the Motorola Bands, basically colorful bumpers that you can wear on the smartphone’s edges for added protection.

moto_E_Accessories_Bands_card28wvw54f9

If you’ve been wondering why Motorola even has a Moto E when it already has a somewhat wallet-friendly Moto G, then this Q & A video might satisfy your curiosity.

And to show off the features of the 2nd gen Moto E in moving pictures, Motorola has this demo to whet your appetite.

Moto E LTE Unboxing and Tour!

Posted by Kellex February - 25 - 2015 - Wednesday Comments Off

You already know that the Moto E with 4G LTE is now official, and yes, it was indeed Motorola’s mystery surprise for this morning. Our review unit arrived shortly after the announcement was made, so it’s now time for our unboxing and initial tour. 

Motorola took a unique approach to this product announcement. Instead of holding an actual press event, they created little mini press event boxes for select press. That will make more sense when you watch the video, but it was certainly a nice touch over the normal review unit process, which usually means a box with phone and a review guide.

As a recap, the Moto E with LTE runs $150, has been upgraded almost across the board from last year’s model (full specs), and comes running Android 5.0.2. To see the new Moto E in action and experience a press event with us, hit up our video below.

You can buy the Moto E with LTE today from Motorola.

moto e lte

Moto E LTE Unboxing and Tour! is a post from: Droid Life

Motorola Announces the New Moto E With 4G LTE and Other Upgrades, Available Now for $150

Posted by Kellex February - 25 - 2015 - Wednesday Comments Off

Motorola’s mystery announcement is official, and like we imagined the other day, it is the new Moto E. This time, though, it has 4G LTE, upgrades all around, and an even lower price. I know, how is that possible?

Where do we begin…how about with the upgrades? The new Moto E now has 4G LTE, a 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon processor, slightly bigger 4.5-inch display (still qHD), front facing camera, 2390mAh battery, and runs stock Android 5.0 “Lollipop” with Moto’s suite of useful apps on top. We are talking the best features from the Moto X, like Moto Display and Quick Capture Camera. Seriously, it has those two features now. The new Moto E is like a mini-Moto X. 

The full list of specs can be found here.

The new model comes in either black or white and can be customized with fun color bumper things and other shells, all of which are available through Motorola’s site.

We should have one in our hands shortly, so stay tuned for that coverage!

The new Moto E is available starting today, for just $149.99. You can buy it right here.


Keynote

Intro

Demo

Gallery

Moto E LTE-9Moto E LTE-4

Moto E LTE-2 Moto E LTE-1 Moto E LTE-3 Moto E LTE-6 Moto E LTE-7

Motorola Announces the New Moto E With 4G LTE and Other Upgrades, Available Now for $150 is a post from: Droid Life

Sony Xperia E4g: the same Xperia E4, now with 4G

Posted by wicked February - 24 - 2015 - Tuesday Comments Off

It hasn’t even been a month since Sony unveiled the Xperia E4, a rock-solid budget smartphones, surprisingly running on MediaTek’s chip, with a rock-solid two-day battery life. Now, with just a few days left before MWC 2015, Sony is once again busying itself with the device’s half successor. As the name would imply, the Xperia E4g is pretty much the same Xperia E4, except for one new feature: it now has support for 4G LTE connectivity, which, when paired with the long battery life, is perfect for keeping connected always.

For a quick spec sheet recap, the Xperia E4 ran on a 1.3 GHz quad-core MediaTek MT6582 and has 1 GB of RAM, 8 GB of storage and a 5-inch 960×540 qHD screen. The Xperia E4g, in comparison, is mostly the same, except for one minor detail. The processor has been bumped up a bit to 1.5 GHz, presumably still MediaTek’s chip. In everything else, the two are the same, which means you get to enjoy Sony’s unique design as well as software features.

The highlight, however, of the new variant is the LTE connectivity. This means faster download times, fewer buffering, and no holds barred social networking. This new feature goes hand in hand with the 2,300 mAh battery to keep you always connected and always with power. On the Xperia E4, Sony advertises two days of battery life, even without its STAMINA mode. On the Xperia E4g, it’s saying the same thing, though one has to also factor in the added power consumption from a 4G connection.

The Sony Xperia E4g will become available starting April, with a price tag of 129€. Like the Xperia E4, it will also come with a dual SIM variant. Sadly, this smartphone won’t be heading to the US any time soon, if at all.

Sprint is Launching 20+ New 4G LTE Markets on February 19

Posted by Kellex February - 16 - 2015 - Monday Comments Off

On February 19, at least according to a Sprint’s recently updated list of 4G LTE markets, Sprint customers should see 4G LTE connections in 20+ new markets, including Washington DC, Vail, Colorado, and Maui, Hawaii.

Previous additions to Sprint’s growing LTE market list went live in December and October, so this is the first new batch of 2015.

Here is the full list of new markets:

  • Batavia, NY
  • Columbia, MO
  • Coos Bay, OR
  • Flagstaff, AZ
  • Jasper, IN
  • Lima, OH
  • Maui, HI
  • Norwalk, OH
  • Orange County, NY
  • Oxnard, CA
  • Port Townsend, WA
  • Poughkeepsie, NY
  • Pueblo, CO
  • Salisbury, MD
  • Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Goleta, CA
  • Springfield, IL
  • Statesboro, GA
  • Talladega-Sylacauga, AL
  • Terre Haute, IN
  • The Big Island, HI
  • Vail, CO
  • Warrensburg, MO
  • Washington DC
  • Wheeling, WV
Via:  Sprint

Sprint is Launching 20+ New 4G LTE Markets on February 19 is a post from: Droid Life

Verizon Once Again Dominates RootMetrics’ Latest Carrier Report, T-Mobile Falls to Sprint

Posted by Kellex February - 10 - 2015 - Tuesday Comments Off

RootMetrics, a company who takes network performance serious enough to “distill” thousands of “independent, consumer-focused” tests to measure and rank them, published their 2nd Half 2014 US carrier network report yesterday afternoon. The results, well, aren’t all that different from their first half results, other than the fact that T-Mobile dropped to fourth place behind Sprint for overall performance. On top, we still have Verizon, just like we did back in August. 

On a top level, Verizon cleaned house in just about every single major category. They won in overall performance by a full 2.2 points over AT&T, data performance by a full 3 points, call performance by 2.1 points, reliability by 1.7 points, and speed by a wide 3.5 points. The only category they didn’t capture the top spot in was text performance, which saw AT&T beat them by 0.8 points and Sprint by 0.3 points.

If we look to the state level, Verizon outright won or shared for the top spot in 48 of 50 states and won or shared 257 of 300 total performance awards. AT&T was a close second, while Sprint doubled its state awards to 32. T-Mobile, meanwhile, managed just four awards, though that was up from the single award in the previous report.

On a metro level, won or tied for 1st place in 113 of 125 of RootMetrics’ overall awards. AT&T, as is the case in just about every category, is a close 2nd. After that, we saw T-Mobile and Sprint in 3rd and 4th, respectively, but T-Mobile showed impressive results in overall metro areas after failing miserably at the state level. In other words, T-Mobile has clearly invested heavily in metro areas. According to RootMetrics’ report, T-Mobile moved to a neck-and-neck race with Verizon for median download speed performance, but also recorded the fastest median upload speed of any network (in metro areas).

In the end, as I mentioned in the opening, Verizon killed it once again.

rootmetrics scores 2014

rootmetrics scores 2014-3

rootmetrics scores 2014-2

Via:  RootMetrics [2]

Verizon Once Again Dominates RootMetrics’ Latest Carrier Report, T-Mobile Falls to Sprint is a post from: Droid Life

Cheat Sheet: US Wireless Carrier Bands for Unlocked Phones

Posted by Kellex February - 5 - 2015 - Thursday Comments Off

“Does this unlocked phone work with my carrier?”

How many times have you asked that over the last couple of years? I know we ask it often. In a time where prepaid services are very attractive, and more and more phones are available as unlocked models that work on a variety of LTE and GSM/CDMA bands, this a question you should be able to easily find an answer to. So since there doesn’t seem to be a quick reference guide for figuring out if a particular unlocked phone will work on a specific carrier’s network (trust me, I’ve looked), we decided to throw one together.

Below, we have given you a quick chart that shows each of the five major US carriers (Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, and US Cellular), along with 3G and 4G LTE bands and frequencies. By no means is this the most in-depth wireless carrier band and frequency chart, but it should help when you go to buy that next unlocked phone. 

us carrier wireless bands1

Sources:  Wikipedia [2] [3] [4]

Cheat Sheet: US Wireless Carrier Bands for Unlocked Phones is a post from: Droid Life