RootMetrics Publishes H1 2016 Report, Verizon Crowned Again

To no one’s surprise, Verizon has been crowned champion of the US carriers yet again by RootMetrics. For tests conducted throughout the first half of 2016, Verizon came out on top for all categories, including Reliability, Speed, and Calls.

Even though Verizon came out on top again, the tests performed show a bright side for AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint. According to RootMetrics, Sprint’s network has seen big improvements with regard to reliability, while T-Mobile continues to excel in metro areas.  (more…)

US Unlocked Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge Finally Get First Updates

Just last week, I spent a good minute complaining about Android software updates and how we can’t even expect unlocked phones from the biggest manufacturer in the world (that would be Samsung) to receive them in a timely manner most of the time. I talked about the fact that carrier-tied phones seem to be getting updates more regularly than unlocked phones, even if unlocked phones don’t have that extra party (the anal carrier) meddling in update affairs. And then this morning, almost as if Samsung reads Droid Life (not likely that they do), updates popped up on both US unlocked variants of the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge!  (more…)

PSA: Bug Won’t Let Some Customers Redeem T-Mobile Galaxy Note 7 Freebies, Fix in the Works (Updated)

This is a PSA for anyone who pre-ordered the Galaxy Note 7 through T-Mobile the night it went live on August 2 (9PM Pacific) and August 3 (12AM Eastern). If you have attempted to claim your free promotional goodies from Samsung, beware, they are experiencing a technical issue that will automatically deny your claim.

Take my story, for example. I was in New York (Eastern time, obviously) for the Galaxy Note 7 launch event, then caught a flight back to Portland, OR later that night. During my flight, the clock struck 12AM (Eastern) on August 3, granting us access to pre-order the device through T-Mobile. However, when the purchase was complete and we received our receipt, the date stated August 2 at 9:07PM. Thinking this would be no big deal, we went about our lives.

Yesterday, when I received the device, I attempted to claim my free promotional goodie from Samsung. Oddly enough, on Samsung’s promotions website, there was no option for August 2 when selecting which date I made my purchase. I assumed it was a bug and selected August 3, since technically I was mid-flight and still on Eastern time when I made the purchase. This is where things get messy.  (more…)

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Now Available in the US

The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is officially here and available at carriers and retailers across the US (and the globe). We like to call this “launch day.” If you took the plunge and pre-ordered, your phone should arrive today at the very least, if it hasn’t already. If you didn’t pre-order, well, today is the day to walk into a store, buy one, and walk back out the proud owner of what should be a hell of a phone. (more…)

Sprint Also Introduces New Unlimited Plan With Just as Many Drawbacks as T-Mobile’s

This morning, moments after T-Mobile unleashed their latest mostly-crappy unlimited plan, Sprint announced something very similar that is equally, if not more, crappy. The new Sprint plan is also pushing the unlimited angle and can even be had for cheaper than what T-Mobile is offering. Unfortunately, it carries many of the same downsides as T-Mobile’s.

Called Unlimited Freedom (‘Merica!), Sprint’s new plan will be available starting tomorrow, August 19. The plan includes “unlimited” talk, text, and 4G LTE data “for most everything.” It also features optimized (read: throttled) streaming video, gaming, and music. People, I am not making this up. Oh, Sprint is tossing in 5GB of 4G LTE hotspot data at no extra cost, though, so that’s a bonus. T-Mobile is charging you $15 for 5GB of tethering.  (more…)

T-Mobile ONE Isn’t Really an Unlimited Dream Plan

You may be still reading through the fine print on T-Mobile’s new ONE unlimited plan because there is plenty of fine print and drawbacks to try and wrap your brains around. T-Mobile is billing this as the end of data plans, but for real unlimited users who want HD or better video and data available for tethering, or sign-up for service as an individual, this might not be a great choice.

If you saw our initial write-up on T-Mobile ONE, hopefully you tracked down the section where we pointed out four critical sticking points. If not, we’re about to dive into each right here to give you an idea as to why each could be a deal breaker.  (more…)

T-Mobile Uncarrier 12 Arrives With T-Mobile ONE, a New Unlimited Data Plan

T-Mobile, only hours after AT&T added throttled unlimited data to their Mobile Share plans, dropped Uncarrier 12 on us with a real unlimited focus that “goes all in on unlimited.” That focus comes via T-Mobile ONE, the new “100%” unlimited data plan that starts out at $70 for a single line, but can drop to as little as $40 per line for a family of four with auto pay enabled.  (more…)

Verizon, T-Mobile Galaxy Note 7 Pre-Orders are Shipping Out

According to emails we have received over the weekend, as well as our own pre-order, Galaxy Note 7 units are beginning to ship out from Verizon and T-Mobile. Unlike what we saw earlier this year from T-Mobile, where those who pre-ordered the Galaxy S7 were receiving their device a solid week ahead of launch, carriers appear to be doing better (or worse, depending on who you are) about shipping phones out closer to the actual release date.

For the Galaxy Note 7, that date is still August 19 across the globe.  (more…)