Category: Sprint wireless


White HTC EVO 4G now available from Sprint and authorized retail partners

For those of you holding out on getting the white HTC EVO 4G but simply couldn’t bear the thought of going to your nearest Best Buy, we have some great news.  Over the weekend, the white HTC EVO 4G has been made available at all Sprint stores, online, and at authorized retail partners.  The price for the white EVO is still set at $199.99 after the $100 mail-in rebate and two year contract.

Just out of curiosity, how many of you have actually purchase the white EVO 4G over its black counterpart?  I’ve spotted a few in the wild, but the number of sightings appears to vastly favor the black model

 

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When the Palm Pre disappeared from Sprint’s website last week, many speculated that the world’s first webOS phone was probably gone for good. Now, a leaked document obtained by enthusiast blog PreCentral.net puts another nail in the smartphone’s coffin. According to the document and accompanying report, Sprint’s Palm Pre has been designated as EOL (End of Life) by the carrier, meaning it will no longer be sold. Remaining inventory, which is said to be in the hundreds, will be depleted by physical Sprint stores and telesales, and then Sprint’s Pre is off to the great gig in the sky. Though no announcement has been made, this could mean that Sprint will soon offer the Palm Pre 2 as a replacement to the original. Of course it could also mean Sprint is shifting focus away from Palm devices for the time being, and onto the Android platform where devices like the EVO 4G have done quite well for the carrier. Sprint did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

 

Sprint said it was coming, and lo and behold, the carrier has proven to be true to its word. Here on the final day of September, the year 2010, Sprint has issued a highly anticipated firmware update for the Epic 4G. We’re told that it’ll be pushed automatically to phones, bringing along four major fixes: WiFi standby battery drain, Amazon MP3 cannot download in 4G, large emails lag in upload speeds and increased 3G upload speeds. The new version is S:D700.0.5S.DI18, should take seven or eight minutes to download and will be beamed across The Now Network over the course of the next few days. Is that a congregation celebrating off in the middle distance? Sure is.

The CDMA-equipped Samsung Galaxy Tab has so far been nothing more than a sticker in a random snapshot and some whispers about Verizon, but Boy Genius Report is saying that the Tab’s also bound forSprint‘s network this November, on both its 3G and 4G (i.e. WiMAX) network — à la the Galaxy SEpic 4G. No word from Sammy HQ on this one, but it’s worth noting that in our briefing, a Samsung rep mentioned that an American carrier could put Qik on it and, well, that’s kind of Sprint’s thing.

Reserve your Sprint Epic 4G now

Sprint’s customers can now reserve their Samsung Epic 4G, the first 4G handset with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard. Quantities are limited so heard over to Sprint.com/Epic4G to stake your claim before it’s too late.

Those who reserve the Epic 4G will be able to complete their purchase on August 31st by visiting a local Sprint location. You’ll have until 6:00 pm on September 1st to get your phone and then your reservation will be canceled and the phone will be made available to the next purchaser.

The Epic 4G will cost $349 plus taxes and fees with a 2-year contract, but Sprint is offering a $100 mail in rebate. Current customers who are not eligible for an upgrade will have to pay the full price of $499.99.

Like the HTC EVO 4G, the Epic requires Sprint’s $10 per month Premium Data add-on. Sprint offers 4G service in over 40 markets and counting so visit Sprint.com/4G to check your coverage.

Well the phone is coming officially on August 31st. Pre orders start tomorrow which is August 12. The price of the phone is $249.99 after an instant rebate and mail in rebate. I think i will pick me one up i like the Galaxy S phones. Please let me know what do you think ? Is this one going to be better then the EVO or not ?

Here is a video of the phone from sprint:

We’ve just gotten a deluge of tips that EVO 4Gs are starting to get blessed with the official update to Froyo — a few hours prior to the promised August 3 rollout — so if you’ve got one handy, you’re going to want to start checking it right this second. Seriously, now that it’s got a trick flashlight app included in ROM, what could you possibly be waiting for? On a related note, if you happened to apply that early update that HTC posted and pulled late last week, the company’s working on a fix so that you aren’t out of the over-the-air update loop and promises to “get back” in “the coming days.”

Our friends over at Android Police are working on getting their Detective badges in a post about the possible release date of the Sprint Epic 4G.  Using their formidable policing skills, the boys in blue have figured that we can deduce a launch date on the Epic from the date that Samsung is posting their videos about the different Galaxy S handsets from the different carriers.

Both the Vibrant and the Captivate had their videos released on launch day for both handsets. (The Vibrants original launch day was the 21st of July, but got moved to compete with the Droid X) So it stands to reason that the day the Epic video is going to be released could quite possibly be the day the Epic will drop on Sprint customers.

According to the Samsung site, the video talking about the Epic is going to release on August 20th, giving us a potential launch date if Samsung keeps to form with releasing the handset videos on launch day.

Sprint still has yet to announce an official launch date, so perhaps we will see an official announcement as we get closer to the 20th of August.  Hope you see your Epic handsets soon Sprint Android customers!

Japan’s Mugen Power Batteries has released one of he largest ever extended batteries for the HTC Evo 4G. The HLI-A9292XL battery has a capacity of 3,200mAh, or more than double the Evo 4G’s 1,500mAh unit. The Evo 4G has been criticized for its short battery life, but the new pack potentially solves the problem almost immediately.

The company released an 1,800mAh battery for the handset in June, though it only provided a 20 percent boost over the stock version. The new battery does add 20mm to the thickness of the Evo 4G handset, however.

The new, 3,200mAh battery will ship on August 13, priced at $97.

T-Mobile might be smallest of the big four national carriers, but their upgraded 3G network is going to top anything that their larger competitors have to offer this year. Sprint’s launch of the first 4G phone, the HTC EVO, has generated a lot of buzz (which is deserved) but I wanted to take a moment and cover a few simple reasons why I think T-Mobile deserves some more attention.

1. More coverage

T-Mobile HSPA+

What good is a super fast network if you can’t access it? Sprint is gradually expanding their WiMAX network and plans to cover 120 million people this year, but T-Mobile has already surpassed them in coverage area and will provide 4G speeds to 185 million people by the end of 2010.

T-Mobile has an advantage in coverage thanks to their late transition to 3G. They were the last major carrier to roll out a nationwide 3G network so their equipment was newer and able to support HSPA+ after a software update (and upgraded backhaul to their towers).

Sprint on the other hand chose WiMAX for their 4G strategy and this requires new network equipment to be installed in each market. Their 4G network will continue to grow, but it will be at a slower pace than T-Mobile’s HSPA+.

2. More devices

T-Mobile phones

One of the major benefits of T-Mobile’s new HSPA+ network is that it is fully backwards compatible with existing devices. This means that current T-Mobile customers with older Android phones can take advantage of advanced speeds when HSPA+ comes to their city.

T-Mobile currently offers 16 devices that support HSPA 7.2 Mbps, which includes their entire Android lineup. Many of our readers are already taking advantage of the network upgrade and havereported impressive speeds. Best of all, these faster speeds are available to existing customers with no changes to their calling plans or additional fees.

In the coming weeks, T-Mobile is expected to unveil their first HSPA+ handset which should launch later this summer.

3. Faster speeds

HSPA+ speedtest

There are many different types of WiMAX and HSPA+ that are capable of a wide range of speeds, but the implementation of HSPA+ that T-Mobile is using offers twice the theoretical speeds of Sprint’s WiMAX network. Sprint’s current theoretical max is 10 Mbps and T-Mobile is offering 21 Mbps.

Sprint advertises their 4G network is 10x faster than existing 3G networks and claims download speeds of 3-6 Mbps while capping uploads at 1 Mbps. I tested their network using the HTC EVO 4G and found it was extremely reliable, but I was unable to surpass 3 Mbps downloads.

When I tested my Nexus One on T-Mobile’s HSPA+ network in Houston, I found I was able to hit 5 Mbps down and over 1 Mbps up. Those speeds are impressive and they will only improve once a HSPA+ handset is available later this year.

Theoretical maxes and real world speeds can vary by quite a bit, but after spending hands-on time with both networks I have found that T-Mobile can be twice as fast as Sprint. Comments from our readers have also confirmed that people in HSPA+ markets are seeing faster speeds than those in 4G WiMAX areas.

If you need some more evidence, here are just a few hands-on reports from T-Mobile’s HSPA+ network. Kevin Tofel of jkOnTheRun was able to acheive speeds of 9 Mbps down and nearly 3 Mbps up when he performed his latest round of testing.

Closing thoughts

This post wasn’t meant to bash on Sprint, but I wanted to show that “4G” is not always better than 3G. Sprint offers some great calling plans, but they are limited to a single 4G handset that is currently sold out online.

While we are talking about carrier networks, we might as well mention AT&T and Verizon too. AT&T is also upgrading to HSPA+ in 2010, but they have a slower implementation (14.4 Mbps) than what T-Mobile is using. Their network could rival T-Mobile, but we don’t have any detailed timelines on the rollout or handset launches yet.

Verizon will roll out 4G LTE to 25-30 markets in 2010, but they are not expected to have any LTE handsets till the summer of 2011. There is a good chance they could eventually have the fastest 4G handset, but we won’t know that for another year.

The carrier landscape is always changing, but if you want an Android handset on the fastest network (this summer), keep an eye on T-Mobile. Of course I could eat my words several months from now, but another reason I stick with T-Mobile is because they don’t force me to. T-Mobile is one of the few major carriers to offer no-contract plans and I’ve saved quite a bit of money since I switched to their Even More Plus plan last year.