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T-Mobile Introduces Crowd-Sourced Coverage Map

Posted by Kellex March - 30 - 2015 - Monday Comments Off

This morning, T-Mobile announced that it has taken its Uncarrier approach to coverage maps. What does that mean? Well, they are ditching the “predictive coverage estimations” that other carriers use to show network availability and are instead using crowdsourced, customer-verified network connections to show how far their network reaches. 

T-Mobile argues that other carriers are using estimates to show you their network coverage, but that there are now more advanced methods and technologies available to give accurate, current info on whether or not your area will have a connection to their network. I get that. I also like what they are going with this approach. Real-time data is always better than theoretical data. Unfortunately for T-Mobile, this new map only seems to hammer home the number one fear that potential T-Mobile customers have about joining the Uncarrier in some parts of the US – they won’t have great coverage.

And look, if you cruise around their coverage map, you’ll see that America’s cities are well covered by T-Mobile’s pink. No one should argue at this point against T-Mobile’s city coverage. Their speeds are fast and they seem to reach the far corners of the biggest cities we have. The problem is, once you leave a city, this map can often highlight the fact that you’ll be left on 2G or worse. It goes grey. Or white. Or light grey.

Take for example this picture of the Oregon coast and some of its bigger towns, Lincoln City and Newport. According to T-Mobile’s own map, you’ll be stuck on 2G if you decide to spend a weekend on the beach. This isn’t the middle of Montana that we are talking about here. This is the Oregon coast, a destination for many months of the year that sees thousands and thousands of tourists. Both AT&T and Verizon have full LTE coverage up and down the coast, basically following Highway 101. T-Mobile has zero in these two particular cities, and hit or miss coverage up the rest of the coast in Oregon.

tmobile oregon coast

Am I cherry picking this specific section? If that’s how you want to spin it. The point is, I live in Oregon, and like many Oregonians, I travel to the coast often in the warmer months of the year. So because of that, I want to make sure that the places I travel to will have coverage when I travel to them. In this case, it’s not looking good for T-Mobile. Your experience could be very different than mine and you may see great T-Mobile coverage everywhere you travel. But if I were to choose AT&T or Verizon, I wouldn’t even need to check a map at this point because I’m pretty damn sure they’ll have coverage almost anywhere I go. With T-Mobile, I still feel the need to check in the year 2015.

You can check T-Mobile’s new coverage map here.

Via:  T-Mobile

T-Mobile Introduces Crowd-Sourced Coverage Map is a post from: Droid Life

Bank your unused data with T-Mobile’s Data Stash for prepaid

Posted by wicked March - 17 - 2015 - Tuesday Comments Off

Data usage among mobile subscribers is not always the same every month. And yet, most carriers still charge us the same amount, whether or not you’ve used up all your data allocation, which sometimes seems a little too unfair. Storing your data is an option that only very few carriers offer, and T-Mobile is at the forefront when it comes to this. Now they’re offering even prepaid subscribers the option to do so with the Data Stash for Simple Choice prepaid subscribers.

The prepaid subscribers will also get a 10GB Start Stash so that you can start “saving up” your data allocation for each month so that if the time comes when you would need a heavy amount of data, then you’ve saved some for a rainy day. The Simply Prepaid plans have three tiers. The lowest is at $40/month with 1GB data/month at 4G LTE speeds. Next is a $50/month with 3GB and the last one is $60/month with 5GB allocation before they start throttling data. Technically, all the T-Mobile plans have “unlimited” data but they start throttling your data when you’ve reached your data allocation.

Data Stash lets you store your LTE speed data so that when you’ve used up your current allocation, you can use your stash so you won’t be throttled. You begin banking data when you’ve used up all the 10GB in your starter stash. You can store it for 12 months before you can start “peeling it off” and then all the unused data just rolls over onto your next month’s allocation.

This is a great move for T-Mobile and is one of the rare moments when a carrier would place the same importance with both their prepaid and postpaid subscribers. The prepaid data stashing begins this March 22.

VIA: SlashGear

T-Mobile surprising “a small percentage of customers” with unlimited 4G LTE

Posted by wicked March - 13 - 2015 - Friday Comments Off

John Legere

As of today, it seems like American carrier T-Mobile is offering upgrades to unlimited 4G LTE plans to some of its customers. There’s no word on how the company is making these selections, but some users have already confirmed to be getting the upgrade.

Of course, T-Mobile hasn’t made this public yet as it wants to keep this limited to a handful of “loyal” customers. Users who receive this offer will be able to browse unlimited 4G LTE data for the entirety of the year, so you have to be really lucky to get on this list.

Here’s what T-Mobile says to the customers who received the promo –

“To thank you for being a loyal customer, some lines on your account are being upgraded to Unlimited 4G LTE data, starting April 1, 2015 through December 31, 2015—at no extra cost and with no action required! Surf, shop, and stream with no limits on our nationwide 4G LTE network.

With this upgrade, starter stash and Data Stash will go away because with Unlimited high speed data there’s no need to roll your data forward. To keep your current plans, text “STASH” to 1508 by 3/17. Free message, text HELP for help.”

Are you one of these lucky customers? Let us know below.

Source: TMo News

Come comment on this article: T-Mobile surprising “a small percentage of customers” with unlimited 4G LTE

Moto E (2nd Gen) LTE now available in the US for $149.99

Posted by wicked March - 4 - 2015 - Wednesday Comments Off

MOto-e-2nd-gen

Following last week’s announcement, the Moto E (2nd Gen) is now available to purchase in the US through Motorola’s online store.

There are three choices when it comes to network options. There’s the new 4G LTE handset and 3G options for global or US carrier bands. Here’s a breakdown of the differences between three, so that you can double check bands with your carrier. GSM/GPRS/EDGE bands are identical on each handset.

4G LTE – US GSM (XT1527):
UMTS/HSPA+ (850, 1700 (AWS), 1900 MHz)
4G LTE (2, 4, 5, 7, 12, 17)

3G US GSM (XT1511):
UMTS/HSPA+ (850, 1700 (AWS), 1900 MHz)

3G Global GSM (XT1505):
UMTS/HSPA+ (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz)

As well as LTE capabilities, the second generation Moto E comes with a few other hardware changes too. The new Moto E moves up from a dual-core SoC to a 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processing package, storage space has been increased from 4GB to 8GB and the screen is now also a little larger at 4.5-inches, rather than 4.3-inches. However, the display’s resolution remains the same at 960 x 540 (qHD).

The Moto E (2nd Gen) is available for $119.99 with 3G networking, while the 4G LTE variant costs $149.99. Both come in your choice of either a black or white case.

MediaTek launches MT6753 chipset with ‘WorldMode’ LTE

Posted by wicked March - 2 - 2015 - Monday Comments Off

MediaTek, makers of chipsets that are usually found in the more affordable smartphone products, is taking 4G connectivity and giving it to more people with the new MT6753 chipset. The plan is to make 4G LTE more affordable, and this might just be the chipset to seal the deal – with products who will pack this new chipset in their innards already lined up for the second half of 2015.

The new chipset will be highlighted by a 64-bit Cortex-A53 octa-core processor that turns at 1.5Ghz, in a 28nm form factor, the usual size for entry-level devices. There will also be a Mali-T720 graphics chip – not really bleeding edge, but it will do the job. But the star of the show is definitely the WorldMode LTE modem, which allows devices to connect to Cat 4 LTE, TDD LTE, 3GPP, HSPA+, TD-SCDMA, and EDGE, plus support for CDMA2000 1x/EVDO. So what does this mean?

In simple terms, the chipset will make devices compatible with most carriers internationally – giving manufacturers a cheaper solution for getting their devices to almost any market in the world. Imagine that – 4G connectivity for entry-level devices that will be compatible to almost any network anywhere in the world. That’s amazing.

The chip also offers advanced features like Bluetooth 4.0, dual-band WiFi, support for 16MP cameras, and 1080p recording. In plain terms, devices which will carry the MT6753 SoC can potentially boast of octa-core performance and 4G LTE connectivity – and the affordability of the solution means that manufacturers can start putting these on entry-level and low midrange devices.

VIA: PR News Wire

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.

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

Samsung outs Galaxy Grand Max in India, more 4G phones to follow

Posted by wicked February - 17 - 2015 - Tuesday Comments Off

Samsung has now updated its Galaxy Grand lineup, starting with the Galaxy Grand Max which has been officially launched in India. The South Korean manufacturer has also announced upcoming phones for the Asian market at a forum in Thailand yesterday – the Galaxy Grand Prime 4G, the Galaxy Core Prime 4G, and the Galaxy J1 4G.

The Samsung Galaxy Grand Max carries 5.2-inch HD (720p) display and is powered by a 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 quad-core processor. This is backstopped by 1.5GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage. There’s a microSD card slot for expansion, and as is par for Asian markets, it has dual-SIM support. There’s a 13MP/5MP camera combo, and all powered by a 2,500mAh battery. The Galaxy Grand Max will run Android 4.4.4 KitKat with TouchWiz UX. Pricing is around USD$257. See the image below.

samsung-galaxy-grand-max

The Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime 4G has a 5-inch qHD (540×960) display, pretty middling at this point. It is powered by a 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 quad-core processor, supported by 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage. There will be an 8MP/5MP camera combo and a 2,600mAh battery.

The Samsung Galaxy Core Prime 4G will be a 4.5-inch phone with a 480p display. It will possibly carry the same Snapdragon quad-core processor, although that remains unconfirmed at this point. There will be the standard 1GB RAM and 8GB internal storage, plus a 5MP/5MP camera combo. This will be powered by a 2,000mAh battery.

Lastly, the Samsung Galaxy J1 4G will be the weakest of the group in terms of specs, but it also carries the new “one letter” naming convention of Samsung. The J1 4G will be a 4-inch phone with a 480p display. This will most likely have the Snapdragon 410 as well, supported by 768MB of RAM and 4GB internal storage.

Samsung-Galaxy-4G-phones

Samsung is gearing up in anticipation of India moving up to 4G standards in data connections, hence all of these phones are LTE capable. The pricing will most likely start at USD$166, and move down from there.

VIA: AndroidOS (1), (2)

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