#TBT: Facebook Unveils the HTC First, No One Buys It

On April 3 of 2013, I went hands-on with the HTC First, also known as the Facebook Phone. For complete transparency, I wasn’t actually allowed to hold the phone because the software was still in development, but a very nice Facebook employee held it for me and took me on a hardware tour. Little did I know at the time, April 3 would also be the last I ever saw of the HTC First, as once it was announced, hardly a single soul, relative to the smartphone market as a whole, decided to purchase it.

Launched with a price of $99 on-contract, no one bought this thing, even with a few big tech sites giving it decently scoring reviews. Fast forward not even a month, when AT&T, the only carrier in the US to offer the phone, slashed the price to $0.99 on-contract. This was the first sign that literally no one wanted this thing.  (more…)

AT&T Wastes No Time Matching Verizon’s New $20 Upgrade Fee

On Monday, Verizon introduced a new “upgrade fee” for those customers who buy new phones on device payment plans or at full retail. We spent a good handful of hours over the past week trashing all over the fee, because it seems like an incredibly slick move for a major wireless carrier who is always on the cutting edge when it comes to bleeding you dry at every angle. Of course, Verizon isn’t the only carrier with an upgrade fee – both AT&T and Sprint have them as well.

Speaking of AT&T, their upgrade fee was set at $15 just last August, but now that Verizon has gone with a $20 price point, they are wasting no time in matching the greed. That’s right, as of today, AT&T now has a $20 upgrade fee in place, because why not. We’re talking two days after Verizon pushed theirs live. How awesome.  (more…)

LG G5 Now Available at Your Favorite US Carriers

It’s LG G5 day! I know that doesn’t ring as loudly as it did on Galaxy S7 day, but the G5 is still a big phone, a big deal, and worth your consideration now that it is available for purchase and in stores. We’ve unboxed one, done a non-unboxing and tour, compared it to the S7, and given you our seven favorite features. We have actually talked a lot about it leading up until today.

So if you have seen enough and are ready to purchase the G5 before our review is up (which should arrive next week), you will find all of the links below to your US carrier of choice.  (more…)

Report: AT&T Might Sell a Bloatware-Infested Cyanogen-Powered ZTE Phone

According to a report out of The Information, AT&T is looking into a Cyanogen-powered phone, because it thinks that Cyanogen could make a compelling Android-alternative option to its customers. That may be better put as, AT&T thinks that by partnering with Cyanogen, it can load up even more garbage bloatware on phones to help push you into their other services, like DirecTV.  (more…)

Netflix has Been Throttling Verizon and AT&T Streams to 360p

Last week, as a part of YouTube and T-Mobile’s joint announcement that YouTube was joining Binge On, T-Mobile CEO John Legere released a video to help sell the news. During that clip, he made reference to Netflix streaming on T-Mobile that was dropped to DVD-like quality with BingeOn enabled, but noted that the 480p resolution was better than what you would see at AT&T and Verizon, who were only “delivering” content for Netflix at 360p (clip here). The news was somewhat shocking, because no one had heard this before and either assumed Legere was talking out of his ass or knew something no one else knew. As it turns out, he may have had the inside track to information that even Verizon and AT&T weren’t aware of.  (more…)

LG G5 Pre-Orders Open Today at AT&T, Watch Urbane 2nd Edition LTE Returns

At the end of last week, we saw LG G5 pre-orders open up at Best Buy for select carriers, while individual carriers either announced later dates or remained quiet. AT&T was one of the silent few, but has switched gears this morning by announcing that pre-orders are now live for not only the G5, but the Watch Urbane 2nd Edition LTE as well.

The LG G5 can be had for as little as $22.97 per month on AT&T Next or $688.99 without a contract. AT&T has four colors up for grabs, including silver, titan, gold, and pink. As they have done with all recent flagships, the G5 is participating in their BOGO offer that will land you a 2nd G5 for free should you pick-up two through AT&T Next plans.  (more…)