Phone Unlocking is Now, Like, Super Legal Starting Today

Over a year ago, the FCC and the CTIA (organization who represents all of the big wireless carriers) reached an agreement on how each of the big wireless carriers in the US should approach phone unlocking and unlocking requests from their customers. We are bringing up the subject again today, because February 11 was the date set for all participating parties to be ready for every single one of you to flood your carrier with a wave of unlock requests, or something. OK, not really, but today is the day that carriers needed to to be in full compliance with that previously mentioned agreement, an agreement that included six bullet points for handling the unlocking of the phones (“Six Standards on Unlocking”). You will hear people toss around things like, “It’s now legal to unlock your phone starting today!” (Just like I did in that click-baity title.) But that’s not really the case. It has been legal for a long, long time, it’s just that today, carriers have to be more friendly about it all.

Let’s talk a bit about it.  (more…)

This is My Android: February 2015

Quite often, we get asked things like, “What icon pack or wallpaper is in that screenshot?” or “What is that widget?” or “What phone are you currently using?” To hopefully help provide answers to those questions in a more official capacity, rather than so casual through the comments section, we decided that going forward we would try and put together explanation videos in a new feature called “This is my Android.” As we change phones or launchers or icon packs or start using a handful of new apps throughout a year, you will see videos of us highlighting them along with the reasons why we made a switch or change. Pretty simple, right?

As you can imagine, these should come out much more regularly in the coming months as we see the new 2015 flagships from companies like HTC and Samsung. Until then, though, let’s kick this off with a first look at my current setup. This is my Android(more…)

You Decided: OnePlus One Tops LG G3 and Xperia Z3

On Tuesday, we started a new feature called “You Decide,” which is a reader-driven, vote-style competition between a handful of products decided upon by you, hence the name. “You Decide” could be a competition between phones or tablets or Bluetooth speakers or apps, but the idea is that the DL community uses their voices and opinions to pick a winner. It’s not necessarily the most serious of competitions. However, when someone is going to buy their next phone and starts comparing a handful of options, we would love to be able to present them not only our opinions on the matter, but yours too.

For our first “You Decide,” we picked three flagship phones that came out in 2014 that are all still very much relevant, the LG G3, Sony Xperia Z3, and OnePlus One. You could even argue that these three are very underrated, almost underdog type phones, especially when compared to the amount of coverage given to the Galaxys, Ones, and Nexus 6s of the world.  (more…)

Cheat Sheet: US Wireless Carrier Bands for Unlocked Phones

“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.  (more…)

Verizon is Shaving $10 Off Most More Everything Plans on Thursday, Adding New Options Too

According to a reliable source, Verizon is going to make changes to the majority of its More Everything plans this Thursday, February 5. The changes will include $10 discounts to most data options, a handful of new data tiers to choose from, and the $25 Edge discount starting even lower going forward at just 6GB of data. The full details can be found below.  (more…)

Samsung Galaxy S5 Lollipop Tour!

I still almost can’t believe it, but Verizon is the first US carrier to push the Android 5.0 “Lollipop” update to the Samsung Galaxy S5. The update started rolling out to all this morning, so naturally, we grabbed it and took it for a spin to see what Samsung has done with TouchWiz, Material Design, and Lollipop in a single package. We have seen previews of Lollipop running on international variants, but this is the first we are seeing it here in the States and in our own hands.  (more…)

Official: Samsung is Hosting an Unpacked Event for “What’s Next” at MWC on March 1 (Updated)

Samsung confirmed to us this afternoon that they are indeed hosting the next Unpacked event in Barcelona, at MWC, on March 1 to reveal “What’s Next.” The invite that was first posted earlier this morning is the same invite we received this afternoon.

Of course, we are assuming that we will see the Samsung Galaxy S6 at the event, but could see more. Rumors of a Galaxy S Edge have heated up over the last couple of weeks, with the invite potentially adding fuel to that fire, thanks to a swooping curve or angular line that runs across it.  (more…)

3 Android Apps Worth Owning: AfterShip, Reddit News Pro, theScore

Last week, in our first “3 Android apps worth owning” feature, Tim told you about Fenix, Zooper Widget Pro, and Mailbox, all of which are apps that the DL team can’t live without because of their ties to Twitter, phone customization, and organization. In this week’s version of the same feature, I’m going a little more personal, choosing instead three apps I use on a daily basis and can’t imagine not being included in the first apps I install on every single new device.

From better shipment tracking for all of the products that are sent my way, to keeping up on the latest in reddit, to staying up-to-date on my favorite sports teams, these are three apps worth owning (two of which are free).  (more…)