Posts tagged Verizon
Everyone knows about the Droid Incredible on Verizon and the HTC Evo on Sprint, and how, because they both run on CDMA-spec networks, they are incompatible with any other network. Contrast this to, for example, a Nexus One, which out of the box comes unlocked and compatible with multiple GSM carriers around the world (in two versions, however) as long as the radio bands are compatible. That means that if one should need to travel overseas, his or her Nexus One (or any other GSM-compatible device; I am just using the N1 as an example) should work to make phone calls and send text messages on a local network, as long as one buys a SIM card.
Up in Canada, we have are in an Android drought. Sure, the HTC Desire is coming to Telus shortly and the HTC Legend was just released on Bell, but it is unlikely that any Evo or Incredible-like devices are going to make their way up north any time soon. Canada’s carriers are phasing out their CDMA infrustructure, and it seems that the two aforementioned CDMA devices are US-exclusive.
So what happens when HTC decides to take those designs and port them over to make them GSM compatible? They could potentially go to a lot more places around the world. Sure, the EVO 4G will likely just be an HSPA device, but the world could use more Android handsets, period. According to Pocket-Lint, one of their tipsters mentioned that an HTC device, code named “Ace,” is going to be released later in the year in the UK, and has a striking similarity to the HTC HD2 (a sexy, Sense-covered Windows Mobile 6.5 device). Whether this is going to be a strict port of the Incredible or EVO, or a unique device altogether, we don’t know, but if it’s released in the UK, a Canadian/South American/European release can’t be too far off.
One has to wonder whether, by the time these ports are completed and released, the high-end specs (1GHZ Snapdragon 512MB RAM, etc.) will seem a bit antiquated. Newer dual-core Snapdragon processors are being released later in the year, and HTC surely has them already planned for devices. Personally, I’d like to see the EVO ported to GSM to run on Bell or Telus’ new HSPA+ network. That would be hot.
I remember how excited I was to ditch my Pearl 8130 for a proper BlackBerry, the Tour 9630, when it was finally released last summer. I had been waiting in anticipation after many rumors of its existence and rushed out to buy one the week it was released. At the time, the Tour was arguably the best BlackBerry RIM had released and without a doubt the best CDMA BlackBerry available.
The Tour had a few shortcomings however, the biggest being the lack of WiFi on the device. When the Bold 9700 appeared later that year, sporting a trackpad instead of a trackball, many began to wonder why the Tour (which had been plagued by trackball issues) didn’t come with the trackpad. The Curve 85XX devices also featured the new trackpad furthering the suspicions that perhaps the Tour was rushed to market and therefore missing a few key features.
Inevitably, talk of a successor to the Tour began. At first the name mentioned was Essex and of course the Tour 2, but as the phone finally came to market, RIM did some last-minute rebranding, leaving us with what we now know as the Bold 9650.
I was fortunate enough to swap out my trusty, but sometimes problematic Tour 9630 for a Bold 9650 for free as mentioned in GuruBlake’s post. Now that I’ve had a chance to get a feel for the device, I feel prepared to give the comprehensive review that only a previous Tour owner can give.
Read on for the full review.
- Optical trackpad for easy and fluid navigation
- Built-in Wi-Fi® (802.11 b/g)
- Push to Talk feature
- VZ Navigator® version 6
- VZ Navigator Global capabilities
- Mobile e-mail and messaging capabilities
- Large (2.45″) high-resolution display (480 x 360 resolution at 245 ppi)
- 3.2 megapixel camera with flash, variable zoom, image stabilization, autofocus and video recording
- Advanced media player for videos, pictures and music; a 3.5 mm stereo headset jack; and support for the Bluetooth® Stereo Audio Profile (A2DP/AVCRP)
- BlackBerry® Media Sync to easily sync music as well as photos
- Easy mobile access to Facebook®, MySpace and Flickr® as well as popular instant messaging services, including BlackBerry® Messenger
- Support for BlackBerry App World(TM), featuring a broad and growing catalog of third-party mobile applications developed specifically for lackBerry smartphones
- 512 MB Flash memory and an expandable memory card slot that supports up to 16 GB microSD(TM) HC cards (a 2 GB card is pre-installed)
- Full HTML Web browser, streaming audio and video via RTSP
- Built-in GPS with support for location-based applications and services as well as geotagging
- Premium phone features, including voice-activated dialing, speakerphone, and Bluetooth (2.1)
- Support for high-speed EV-DO Rev. A networks in North America as well as single band UMTS/HSPA (2100 MHz) and quad-band EDGE/GPRS/GSM networks abroad
- Removable and rechargeable 1400 mAhr battery for up to 5 hours of CDMA
If you have ever used a Tour you will be right at home here. On the outside everything feels exactly the same except for the trackpad which replaced the Tour’s trackball. That said, as someone who used the a BlackBerry Tour every day for nearly a year, I can attest to all the small things that RIM has done to improve the experience with this device. For starters, the keyboard juts out more than the Tour’s did. While this might sound obtrusive and ugly at first, I assure you it’s not. In fact, it makes it much easier to type on because each key is more accesible. The bottom row of keys is also smaller from top to bottom than on the Tour. This gives the other rows more room while also making the four buttons in line with the trackpad larger and more finger-friendly.
Gone is the wobbly, loose battery door of the Tour, and the screen rippling caused by pressing the buttons below the screen too hard. Overall everything feels tighter and more refined with none of the loose or cheap-feeling qualities of the Tour.
If you were hoping that the microUSB jack had moved from the awkward spot directly next to the keyboard making it impossible to type and charge, then you’re going to be disappointed. RIM did however, move the jack up on the device about an eighth of an inch. I’m not entirely sure what this was making room for (WiFi, extra memory) but I can report that the cases I used on my Tour still work fine on the Bold.
The two biggest additions on the Bold 9650 hardware-wise are the inclusion on WiFi 802.11 b/g, and 512MB of memory, which is a significant boot from the Tour’s 256MB. WiFi works just as one would expect, while the doubled memory makes the software side of things much speedier and certainly roomier as far as application space is concerned.
One other thing to take note of is that the Bold 9650 supports OpenGL for 3D gaming, unlike the Tour. If you’re into playing Need For Speed on that tiny screen with no accelerometer controls, then this is your chance.
There aren’t any surprises as far as software goes. The Bold 9650 came loaded with 18.104.22.1689 but I wiped it immediately and installed the newest official OS from Verizon (22.214.171.1242) on it. Boot time is considerably faster than the Tour 9630, with boot times usually in the 2-3 minute range which is likely due to the boost in memory on the device. While we are on the subject of device memory, it is certainly mentionable what a difference there is in the amount of memory leaks between the Tour and the Bold. On the Tour I would typically see 15-20MB leaks during the duration of a day. With the Bold, my memory hardly fluctuates. The most I’ve seen it drop over the course of a few days is maybe 2MB. Even with this slight drop, my device has over 300MB free compared to a typical 110MB free with the Tour.
Due to the larger amount of device memory, I rarely see slowdowns or stalls even when running several intensive apps at the same time. With the Tour, stalls were a fairly common occurrence which I have heard were caused by the system trying to allocate room for files to be stored temporarily. Because of the extra memory in the Bold, it seems that allocation is much smoother, rarely slowing down the operation of the device.
Battery life is fairly comparable to the Tour but when making good use of the new WiFi radio I was able to get some great battery life. For example: today the Bold has been off the charger for 20 hours and it is currently sitting at 40% which is pretty excellent considering it is using the nearly one-year-old battery from my Tour.
While OS 5.0 is fun and all, and certainly does get the job done, what is really exciting about the Bold 9650, is that it is slated (as far as we know) to run RIM’s upcoming BlackBerry 6 operating system. The jury is still out on just how good BlackBerry 6 will be (especially on non-touchscreen devices). Still, it’s exciting to at least have the chance to run the next big iteration of the BlackBerry OS.
While my general impression of the Bold 9650 is positive, I did find a few things to nitpick on. First, the trackpad on my unit is crooked and raised slightly on the left side. The worst thing is, it isn’t just my device. The majority of people in CrackBerry’s Bold 9650 forums are reporting similar crookedness which apparently results from the cable connecting the trackpad being too tight. The trackpad thing is fairly minor, but definitely noticeable after a while and it’s a shame that RIM couldn’t show some better quality control skills here.
Secondly, the speaker volume is significantly weaker than the Tour’s at the exact same settings. I find that an alert on the Tour set at the volume rating 5, is comparable to the Bold with the same tone set at 7 or 8. You may think it’s not a big deal, and that I should just crank the volume and quit complaining. Don’t get me wrong, I have, and it works just fine for customizable profile options. However, for things such as playing music out of the speaker, using the speakerphone, and touchtones, everything is quieter than it was on the Tour. It’s not unbearable by any means, but it certainly is perplexing. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can dive into the engineering screen and tweak sound settings to boost system output. Hopefully we will see a software update to fix this issue soon.
Third and finally, the colored numbers on the Bold’s keys are a faint pink when backlit in a dimly lit room. The end key is a nice dark red, but the number keys are definitely a much lighter hue. This is also a really minor detail, but I find the lack of consistency confusing.
There isn’t much more to say about it. If you’re on Verizon or Sprint and you are looking for a workhorse BlackBerry, then look no further than the Bold 9650. It’s a rock solid device that has a bright future with support for BlackBerry 6 when it is released. That said, if you’re currently using a Tour, you aren’t missing a whole lot. Unless WiFi is absolutely crucial, or you can’t take the trackball’s shenanigans any longer, then I can’t really recommend throwing down the cash to get a device that is only marginally better. If you managed to score a Bold as a free replacement for your Tour, then congratulations. For a free, no strings attached upgrade this is a pretty sweet deal.
The Verizon iPhone drum is beating again, and it’s louder than ever. The official report from Bloomberg suggests that “it’s totes for real this time, I promise!” Bloomberg supposedly has unnamed sources (how convenient) that support the claim that the vPhone will launch in January 2011. They go on to imply that “pressure” from Android and RIM is “forcing Apple” to move multiple carriers to compete. That last bit is pure analyst conjecture. Actually, the entire article is pretty devoid of anything useful. Bloomberg provides no evidence, then changes subjects to how it would be a good business decision — this, to me, is just not conclusive enough. Especially when Verizon is still mounting their massive anti-iPhone campaign… We’ve been here before people. Until I see some real evidence, I choose not to believe this.
After seeing the Motorola Droid X’s teaser page go live there was little doubt that we would see the handset become official very soon. Today at an event in New York City the phone was made official by Motorola and Verizon. As expected the Droid X will boast a 854×480 4.3″ screen, an OMAP processor clocked at 1GHz, 8 gigs of built in storage with an included 16gig microSD card, 512MB of RAM, HDMI out, and an 8 Megapixel camera with 720p video recording. Even with all these features the Droid X is only 9.9mm thick. Verizon has also announced the ability to tether via WiFi to five devices (just like the Palm Pre) but use is capped at 2GB for the feature and will cost an additional $20 per month.
Surprisingly the Droid X will come equipped with three microphones–one for noise cancellation, one in rear for video recording, and one down low for regular use. Battery life will hopefully be comparable to the current Motorola Droid by including a 1570mAh battery with the Droid X.
Unfortunately the Droid X will not come with Android 2.2 (it will come in “the latter part of the summer”) and will instead roll out with Android 2.1 and a new rendition of Motorola’s Motoblur skin. Don’t tune it out just yet, as Motorola has promised that it is much better than the version on phones like the Cliq, Devour, and Backflip.
In a move similar to AT&T’s early upgrade option for iPhone buyers, Verizon is offering the Droid X on-contract to anyone whose contract ends in 2010. Look for the Droid X on July 15th for $199 after $100 mail-in rebate.
Peep the press release after the break and take a look at the Droid X’s official page here.
July 2010: DROID X By Motorola Lands On The Nation’s Largest & Most Reliable 3G Network
DROID X Delivers More Browsing, More Connectivity, Personal HD Video and Enterprise Features – All on a 4.3” Widescreen
June 23, 2010
BASKING RIDGE, N.J., and LIBERTYVILLE, Ill. – Verizon Wireless, the company with the nation’s largest and most reliable wireless 3G network, and Motorola, Inc. (NYSE: MOT), a pioneer in the mobile industry, today unveiled DROID X by Motorola. DROID X does more with ultra high-speed Web browsing; a fast 1GHz processor; 3G Mobile HotSpot capabilities; loads of memory; intuitive social messaging; Adobe® Flash® Player 10.1 ready; and access to Android Market™, which has more than 65,000 applications, along with a host of unique Verizon Wireless applications such as NFL Mobile, Skype mobile™, V CAST Video, EA Need for Speed Shift™ and more.
“Nine months ago, we made a commitment to our customers to bring the openness of Android to the Verizon Wireless network,” said John Stratton, executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Verizon Wireless. “Since then, we have introduced the top-selling Android phone in the marketplace today – the DROID by Motorola. DROID X takes that commitment to another level with exclusive content, faster processing speeds, and, of course, the reliability of our network.”
Sanjay Jha, co-chief executive officer of Motorola and chief executive officer of Motorola Mobile Devices and Home business added, “Motorola designed DROID X to push the extreme limits of Android innovation, and enable you to do even more with your mobile device. We are breaking down barriers so that you can experience the Web the way it was meant to be and create, share and view content like never before, either in your hand or in your home. Enterprise users will also find DROID X appealing with features including push e-mail and live widgets for e-mail and calendar updates.”
DROID X gives customers a 4.3-inch high-resolution screen for viewing the latest movies and video from BLOCKBUSTER On Demand® presented by V CAST Video, the newest addition to the Verizon Wireless V CAST application, which also includes access to favorite TV shows. The DROID X video capabilities let customers capture spontaneous fun, combining a dual-flash, 8-megapixel camera, HD camcorder, as well as DLNA and HDMI connectivity to download, stream and share personal HD content.
DROID X customers will also receive Android 2.2 and Adobe Flash Player 10.1 with an over-the-air update in the latter half of the summer. With the update, the Flash Player will allow mobile users to experience hundreds of sites with rich applications and content inside the browser, including games, animations, rich Internet applications (RIAs), data presentations and visualizations, ecommerce, music, video, audio and more.
“It has been an exciting time for Android momentum and global consumer adoption since the announcement of DROID by Motorola nine months ago,” said Andy Rubin, vice president of engineering for Google. “There are 160,000 new Android-powered devices activated daily and Android Market has grown to over 65,000 applications. Plus later this summer, Verizon Wireless and Motorola will update all the DROID by Motorola phones to the latest 2.2 software. For customers, this means great new features and improved browser performance. For developers, this will provide new tools such as cloud-to-device messaging and enhanced enterprise functionality.”
“We are excited about full Flash support coming to the DROID X and other devices from Motorola,” said Shantanu Narayen, president and chief executive officer of Adobe. “Flash Player 10.1, which is one of Adobe’s most anticipated releases ever, has been redesigned from the ground up to deliver the kind of highly engaging experiences that consumers now expect from their mobile devices.”
Once updated to Android 2.2, business customers will find DROID X offers the features that turn the device into a workhorse with support for both Exchange and Gmail™ for business. Corporate users can enjoy push delivery of e-mail; live widgets that stream messages to the home screen; filter widgets to differentiate work and home e-mail; corporate directory and Global look-up along with a unified calendar for Enterprise and sync with Google Calendar™. Security protocols allow remote password control and wipe via Exchange server.
Pricing and Availability
DROID X by Motorola will be available at www.verizonwireless.com and in Verizon Wireless Communications Stores beginning July 15 for $199.99 after a $100 mail-in rebate with a new two-year customer agreement. Customers will receive the mail-in rebate in the form of a debit card; upon receipt, customers may use the card as cash anywhere debit cards are accepted. In addition to subscribing to a Nationwide Talk plan or a Nationwide Talk & Text plan, customers will also need to subscribe to an Email and Web for Smartphone plan. Nationwide Talk plans begin at $39.99 monthly access. Email and Web for Smartphone plans start at $29.99 for unlimited monthly access.
Customers can add the optional 3G Mobile Hotspot service to their DROID X for $20 per month. The 3G Mobile Hotspot allows customers to turn the phone into a wireless modem for up to five compatible Wi-Fi devices. In addition, current Verizon Wireless customers who have contracts ending by December 31, 2010, can upgrade to any smartphone, including DROID X, without penalty.
For more information on DROID X by Motorola, go to http://phones.verizonwireless.com/droid/x/. For information about Verizon Wireless products and services, visit a Verizon Wireless Communications Store, call 1-800-2 JOIN IN or go to www.verizonwireless.com.
I’m glad to see that some of TheCellularGuru readers and our in-house writer GuruJustin, took advantage of the Verizon free Bold 9650 upgrade! Keep in mind, all BlackBerry devices have a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty. As long as you don’t have excessive drop or water damage, you can have your device replaced if there is a hardware issue. It is very rare for a carrier to be out of stock on current replacement devices when they are ALL less than a year old, but lest call this a lucky loophole.
I think we all knew this was coming but if you need more confirmation that there is a shift in the market on the horizon, then look no further than Verizon’s CFO John Killian. He expressed his opinion about the current cellular pricing packages and especially the availability of unlimited data in an interview with Bloomberg recently.
Here’s what he had to say:
“We [Verizon Wireless] will probably need to change the design of our pricing where it will not be totally unlimited, flat rate”
It seems safe to assume that Verizon will probably adopt something similar to AT&T’s model by bringing a tiered pricing scheme to their data plans. This could spell trouble for customers who are accustomed to using data liberally. Like AT&T, we may see the term “unlimited” disappear from Verizon’s vocabulary entirely, but it’s still up in the air as to whether or not they will allow current customers to keep their current plans. Either way you look at it appears the “datapocalypse” may finally be upon us.
LouiV over at BBLeaks wrote an article about Verizon having major issues with their latest Tour OS 126.96.36.1992. Their newest OS release apparently brought on more bugs than fixes.
It is said that if you are experiencing major issues with 188.8.131.522, and go through the troubleshooting process with Verizon tech support, the rep will likely send you a refurbished Bold 9650. To solidify this claim, one of BBLeaks’ readers posted a comment saying he just got off the phone with Verizon and their replacement Tours are out of stock! Verizon said they would call him back tomorrow and if they are still out of stock, they will send him the most comparable device!
If you’ve recently upgraded your Tour to OS 184.108.40.2062 and experiencing issues, you better get on the horn and tell Verizon what’s up. Chances are you’re stuck in your contract and you’ve been looking for a way to upgrade your Tour to a Bold 9650 anyway, which is arguably what the Tour should have been in the first place. Things have a funny way of working out, don’t they?
UPDATE: I’m glad to see that many people did recieve a Bold 9650 and new in box at that! I guess it was too early for Verizon to have refurbished Bold’s in stock. However, Verizon now has replacement Tour’s back in stock, so if you call in with issues, you will now receive a refurbished Tour as a replacement.
Our friends over at the Berry Reporter secured a copy of a Verizon email showing an online release date of Thursday June 3rd, and an in store release date of Thursday June 10th for the Bold 9650. This makes perfect sense being that Sprint released the 9650 via web orders a week ahead of their in store release. There’s no need to go over the specs again. You Verizon subscribers know what it is, and you know you want it. I know its been a long wait, but at least you’re no longer left in limbo over the release date. Luckily, in about another week you’ll be able to sleep again. : )
Via: Berry Reporter
Cellular users in the US including myself have had it pretty easy as far as data pricing goes. Granted cell service is probably more expensive than it should be but compared to many other countries, those in the US don’t have much to complain about. The word “unlimited” is thrown around a lot when exploring the terms and conditions of data plans in America, and though they aren’t truly unlimited, they are usually capped at 5GB. Unfortunately Verizon today confirmed our suspicions that the current pricing model is going to change come LTE.
Don’t get discouraged just yet, Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam said that while tiered pricing will be introduced that actual price per megabyte will be one-half to one-third the current price. When tiered pricing hits I guess we can only hope that said tiers will be reasonably priced. Tiered pricing in theory, could be really great for those users who haven’t followed GuruClark’s tips and simply don’t use much of their allotted data. The only people this will potentially hurt are those users who suck down GBs of data a month.
RIM co-CEO Mike Lazaridis talked a lot at WES about the “BlackBerry efficiency model” and how RIM’s devices use only a third of the data that other in-market devices do. Perhaps nationwide tiered pricing is what RIM needs to make their devices more compelling to users (and let’s face it, they need all the help they can get). Only time will tell how the whole LTE pricing scheme plays out but for now we have our fingers crossed that we don’t get burned by carriers.
(Via Phone Scoop)
White 9700′s, Pearl 3G’s, Sprint 9650. RIM really hasn’t been playing around lately. They’re truly gearing up for a nice strong summer. It’s nice to see that both GSM and CDMA devices are being favored this time around. As for you Verizon subscribers, our friends at Berry Reporter just confirmed that Verizon will have the 9650 available via their website on June 3 and in store on June 10th! I know it seemed like the wait has been forever, after watching Sprint announce and release the device, but at least you now have an answer. It looks like we will also be seeing a GSM and possibly CDMA 98xx this summer. And don’t forget about BlackBerry 6. Hit the jump for what you may have missed this week in BlackBerry. Everyone be safe and have a nice weekend!