Sprint Lights Up 17 New 4G LTE Markets

Sprint lit up 17 new 4G LTE markets across the US this morning, bringing their total market count to nearly 500. Considering its LTE network launched in 2012, it has been a long road for Sprint, but now that it is live in Eureka and even Fortuna, CA, I can say that the rollout has pretty much made it to the end of the road.

Of course, Sprint will continue to deploy and enhance its network across the country, hopefully enabling additional bandwidth for data-hungry users. There is always work to be done on that front, and that goes for all US carriers, not just Sprint.

Take a look below at the full list of new LTE markets.  (more…)

T-Mobile Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy S5 Receive Updates

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy S5 from T-Mobile both received updates today, though we have no idea what the updates include. Changelogs for each haven’t exactly been updated, only noting that previous recent updates added VoLTE and “network improvements.” T-Mobile did announce that VoLTE is now nationwide as of today, so maybe this is activating that feature for everyone, everywhere. Otherwise, your guess is as good as ours.

The Galaxy Note 3′s new build number after the update is N900TUVUDNF4. The Galaxy S5 will end up at G900TUVU1BNG3.  (more…)

Samsung Will Soon Unveil a Phone With “New Materials”

Samsung had a terrible 2nd quarter. Last night, through their earnings release, they reported a 25% drop in annual operating profit and had to admit that the rest of 2014 was going to “remain a challenge.” Thanks to an overestimation of smartphone demand, along with growing competition, Samsung said that “Prospects for growth remain unclear as competition over global market share intensifies in the mobile industry.” Ouch.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Samsung will try to slow some of this slide by introducing two new phones over the coming months. One is expected to be a larger device that falls in the Galaxy Note category, likely the Galaxy Note 4. The other, well, will be made of “new materials.”  (more…)

Verizon Plans Response to FCC Over Throttling, Stands by Its Network Optimization

Yesterday afternoon, a letter from FCC chairman Tom Wheeler to Verizon Wireless CEO Dan Mead concerning the wireless carrier’s plans to throttle unlimited data users under its “Network Optimization” policy stole headlines. Wheeler was clear in his letter that he is both “troubled” by and concerned that this move is nothing but a chance for Verizon to add to its revenue streams. He finished by asking for a response from Big Red to three specific questions.

While we wait for Verizon to do just that, the company issued a brief statement this morning noting that it will respond, but also that the purpose of “Network Optimization” is to make sure everyone on their network always has capacity available for use.  (more…)

LG G Vista Now Available From Verizon for $99 on Contract (Updated)

Verizon has quietly gone ahead and made the LG G Vista available for order through their web store. For those not familiar with the G Vista, this is LG’s mid-range and affordable, yet oversized phone that sports a 5.7-inch display. We outed the official specs, price, and release date yesterday, but are still somewhat surprised that Verizon is already selling the phone without ever having mentioned it publicly.  (more…)

The Droid Life Show: Episode 65

The Droid Life Show returns this evening with Episode 65, at its usual time of 6pm Pacific (9pm Eastern). On tonight’s show, we will discuss our latest device reviews (SHIELD Tablet, OnePlus One, and LG G3), Samsung’s newly granted patent for circle watch faces, Instagram’s shot at Snapchat with the new Bolt app, and so much more.

Given that the Summer months are usually a bit slower in terms of major news, we have decided to cut our shows down to every other week, which means each show we will do from now on will be packed with additional news. At least, until news picks back up with Motorola, Samsung, and Google later this year.

We are live tonight at 6:00PM Pacific (9:00PM Eastern).  (more…)