Hands-On The HTC Thunderbolt

It’s HTC’s first 4G phone for Verizon and it’s due out in the next few months:

Specs include:

  • 4G LTE on Verizon Wireless
  • 4.3-inch display
  • 8MP camera with HD video capture
  • Front-facing camera with Skype video chat
  • No pricing or availability announced

Verizon Wireless Unveils Suite Of 4G LTE Smartphones, Tablets, A MiFi, Hotspot And Notebooks
World’s First Large-Scale 4G LTE Wireless Network Expands to More Than 140 Additional U.S. Markets in 2011

01/06/2011

LAS VEGAS, NV and BASKING RIDGE, NJ — The operator of the fastest, most advanced 4G network in the United States unveiled a suite of 10 consumer-oriented devices that will run on its 4G LTE network by the middle of this year.

At a news conference at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) today, Verizon Wireless announced a suite of 10 forthcoming 4G LTE devices – including smartphones from HTC, LG, Motorola and Samsung; tablets from Motorola and Samsung; a MiFi from Novatel Wireless and a mobile hotspot from Samsung; and two notebooks from HP – which will transform the wireless experience and offer consumers new ways to connect and share their lives at blazingly fast speeds. Verizon expects these consumer-oriented devices to be available by mid-2011, with some available as early as March 2011.

The company also announced it is expanding its 4G LTE network to an additional 140 markets by the end of this year.

Dan Mead, president and chief executive officer of Verizon Wireless, said, “Today, we’re unveiling the next evolution of 4G LTE for consumers. During this three-year journey, from acquiring spectrum to launch, we not only transformed our network, but also our business by engaging in a strategy of collaboration and openness, while driving partnerships that will make 4G LTE successful across the globe. The result is true magic – the sum of a powerful network, applications, software systems and devices that bring 4G LTE to life.”

Marni Walden, vice president and chief marketing officer of Verizon Wireless, said, “For consumers, our 4G LTE network isn’t about simply doing things faster. It’s about doing things we couldn’t do before. In the consumer electronics arena, it’s not just about devices. It’s about those powerful devices with deeply integrated applications and how our 4G LTE network truly transforms the wireless experience with rich multimedia and real-time response intervals.”

4G LTE devices available from Verizon Wireless by the middle of 2011 include:

Smartphones

HTC Thunderbolt (exclusive to Verizon Wireless) – HTC Sense 2.0, Skype mobile™ with video, 1GHz Snapdragon processor, 4.3″ WVGA display, Dolby surround sound, 8-megapixel camera and HD video recording, wireless DLNA capability.
LG Revolution – HD support for streaming, playing and recording video, large 4.3-inch touch screen, Android™ 2.2, video telephony support with front-facing camera and mobile hotspot capability to share a 4G connection with up to eight Wi-Fi-enabled devices.
DROID Bionic 4G – Android with Adobe® Flash® and HTML5, front-facing VGA camera and See What I See video feature, rear-facing 8-megapixel camera, 4.3-inch HD quality screen, HDMI connectivity, dual-core 1GHz processor, 512 DDR2 RAM.
Samsung 4G LTE Smartphone – Android 2.2, Google Mobile services, including Google Search™, Google Maps™ and Gmail™, YouTube™, brilliant 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus touch screen display, powerful 1GHz application processor, HTML5 Web browser, rear-facing 8-megapixel camera with LED flash and front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera to support video chat capabilities, Samsung Social Hub and Media Hub.
Tablets

Motorola XOOM – 10.1-inch HD 4G LTE upgradable tablet, Android™ Honeycomb, 1080p HD video, Adobe® Flash® Player, front-facing 2-megapixel camera for video chats and 5-megapixel camera to capture video in 720P HD. Mobile hotspot capability provides connection for up to five Wi-Fi-enabled devices.
4G LTE-enabled Samsung Galaxy Tab™ – 7-inch enhanced TFT display with 1024 x 600 WSVGA resolution, Android 2.2, Adobe® Flash® 10.1, 1.2GHz Cortex A8 Hummingbird application processor, rear-facing 5-megapixel camera and front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera and camcorder enable video chat capabilities.
MiFi and Mobile Hotspot

Novatel MiFi® 4510L Intelligent Mobile Hotspot – Small enough to fit in the palm of the hand, share Verizon Wireless’ 4G LTE and 3G networks with up to five Wi-Fi-enabled devices.
Samsung 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot – Dual-mode device works as a wireless access point to connect up to five Wi-Fi-enabled devices to Verizon Wireless’ 4G LTE or 3G networks.
Notebooks

Compaq CQ10-688nr – 10.1-inch diagonal anti-glare widescreen LED display, Intel® Atom N455 processor, up to 8.5 hours of battery life, multi-format digital media card reader, webcam and multiple connectivity options.
HP Pavilion dm1-3010nr – 11.6-inches, HP CoolSense Technology, HD 1080p, VISION Technology from AMD, up to 10.75 hours of battery life, 320 GB of storage, full-size, island-style keyboard, multi-format digital media card reader, HDMI port, Dolby Advanced Audio and GPS for mapping and navigation.
Verizon Wireless also introduced new applications that are being fully integrated into the new smartphones and run seamlessly over the 4G LTE network. An upgraded version of Skype mobile takes advantage of video capabilities enabled by 4G LTE’s incredible speed, allowing users to see and hear friends and family when making or receiving Skype-to-Skype video calls. EA’s ROCK BAND leverages the high-speed, low-latency 4G LTE network to provide the next generation of multiplayer gaming. At launch, this will be the first time the game can be played with friends over the mobile network, which means consumers can rock out with their friends like never before with 20 favorite hits – while on the go.

Since its launch 32 days ago, Verizon Wireless’ 4G LTE network has provided laptop users with speeds up to 10 times faster than the company’s 3G network. In real-world, fully-loaded network environments, laptop users experience average data rates of 5 to 12 megabits per second (Mbps) on the downlink and 2 to 5 Mbps on the uplink.

Tony Melone, executive vice president and chief technology officer of Verizon, said, “We will aggressively continue launching 4G LTE markets over the next 36 months. We’ll cover two-thirds of the U.S. population in the next 18 months, and by the end of 2013 we’ll offer our 4G LTE network from coast to coast – everywhere that we offer 3G today. In order to get there, we’ll add more than 140 markets in 2011, including Detroit, Raleigh-Durham, Memphis, Milwaukee, Honolulu, Boise, Mobile, Little Rock, Sioux Falls and Salt Lake City.”

(EDITORS NOTE: A list of initial 4G LTE markets to be launched in 2011 is located at the end of the news release.)

Verizon Wireless’ primary 4G LTE network vendors, Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent, are providing the underlying infrastructure for the 4G LTE network. Verizon Wireless’ 700 MHz spectrum gives the company specific advantages with 4G, including improved in-building penetration and a contiguous, nationwide network footprint.

Verizon Wireless is also working with rural companies to collaboratively build and operate a 4G network in those areas using the tower and backhaul assets of the rural company and Verizon Wireless’ core 4G LTE equipment and premium 700MHz spectrum. Rural operators are leveraging Verizon Wireless’ scale for infrastructure while they keep their customers on the cutting edge of technology. Bluegrass Cellular is the first rural wireless provider to partner with Verizon Wireless, and to date, more than 200 organizations have expressed interest in collaborating with Verizon Wireless to bring 4G LTE to rural America.

Since 2007, when Verizon Wireless jump-started the global 4G LTE ecosystem with its selection of LTE for its 4G technology, the company has developed deep partnerships to spearhead a broad LTE ecosystem, including the LTE Innovation Center in Waltham, Mass., and an LTE Applications Center, soon to open in the San Francisco area.

Melone concluded, “2011 will be a gang buster year, especially as we combine our growing 4G LTE network with our amazing lineup of 4G devices and applications that take advantage of high speed and low latency.”

Verizon Wireless’ 4G LTE network already reaches more than one-third of all Americans. A list of initial 4G LTE markets to be covered by Verizon Wireless’ 4G LTE network in 2011 include:

Huntsville, Alabama
Mobile, Alabama
Montgomery, Alabama
Little Rock, Arkansas
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Gainesville, Florida
Lakeland-Winter Haven, Florida
Pensacola, Florida
Sarasota-Bradenton, Florida
Tallahassee, Florida
Augusta, Georgia
Honolulu, Hawaii
Kahului-Wailuku, Hawaii
Lahaina, Hawaii
Boise-Nampa, Idaho
Carbondale-Marion, Illinois
Wichita, Kansas
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Hammond, Louisiana
Detroit, Michigan
Flint, Michigan
Fayetteville-Lumberton, North Carolina
Greensboro-Winston-Salem-High Point, North Carolina
Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina
Wilmington, North Carolina
Dayton-Springfield, Ohio
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Erie, Pennsylvania
State College, Pennsylvania
Charleston, South Carolina
Columbia, South Carolina
Greenville-Spartanburg, South Carolina
Hilton Head, South Carolina
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Clarksville, Tennessee
Cleveland, Tennessee
Kingsport, Tennessee; Johnson City, Tennessee; Bristol, Virginia/Tennessee
Knoxville, Tennessee
Memphis, Tennessee
Beaumont-Port Arthur, Texas
Bryan-College Station, Texas
Provo-Orem, Utah
Salt Lake City-Ogden, Utah
Centralia, Washington
Olympia, Washington
Charleston, West Virginia
Madison, Wisconsin
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

For more information about Verizon Wireless’ 4G LTE network, visit http://www.verizonwireless.com/lte. To see a replay of the Verizon 4G LTE News Conference webcast from CES 2011, visit http://www.verizonwebcasts.com/ces/2011/news.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Media can access high-resolution images and video of the 4G LTE devices and other multimedia assets related to Verizon Wireless’ 4G LTE network in the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at http://www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.)

About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless operates the nation’s fastest and most advanced 4G network and largest and most reliable 3G network, and serves more than 93 million customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with 80,000 employees nationwide, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE, NASDAQ: VZ) and Vodafone (LSE, NASDAQ: VOD). For more information, visit http://www.verizonwireless.com. To preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at http://www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.

NOTE: This press release contains statements about expected future events and financial results that are forward-looking and subject to risks and uncertainties. For those statements, which may include or be preceded by such words as “expects,” “anticipates,” “intends,” “plans,” “believes,” “seeks,” “estimates” and similar expressions, we claim the protection of the safe harbor for forward-looking statements contained in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this presentation and we undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise them for any reason.

The following important factors, in addition to those discussed under “Risk Factors” in our Annual Report on Form 10-K (No. 333-160446), could affect future results and could cause those results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements: changes in economic conditions; our ability to complete transactions relating to acquisitions and dispositions, including the integration of the Alltel business; changes in the ratings of our debt securities or those of Verizon Communications; adverse conditions in the credit markets impacting cost or availability of financing sufficient to meet our capital requirements; our ability to acquire and retain customers; our continued provision of satisfactory service to our customers at an acceptable price; the effects of competition; our ability to adapt to changing conditions in the wireless industry; the ability of our key suppliers to meet their obligations to us; the effects of material changes in available technology, including technology substitution and the cost of deployment; the impact of continued unionization efforts with respect to our employees; adverse regulatory and taxation developments; the effects of litigation; the impact of equipment failures, natural disasters, terrorist acts or other breaches of network or information technology security; and the effects of any required future changes in accounting assumptions.

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EVO 4G Update

HTC has confirmed that a maintenance update is being pushed out to the Sprint EVO 4G customers. I’m sorry to inform you that it’s not Gingerbread. Sorry folks you’ll have to wait little longer for that.

This update inclues:

Software Version: 3.70.651.1
Release Date: 12/13/2010
Method: Available OTA + Retail
PRL Version: 60672
Version: 1.90_003
Hardware Version: 0002 / 0003
Fixes:

NEW FEATURES / SERVICES IN MR3
– Blockbuster (including WM DRM 10)
– Adobe Reader
– Kindle eReader
– Preloaded try/buy video game: NOVA from Gameloft
– Sprint Zone update
– Latest Telenav
– Latest VVM App
– Latest Sprint TV app
– SWYPE Keyboard
– Scan Now Widget for 4G (does not need to be available on any panel, just a widget option users could find and use).

EVO 4G update continues to roll out, new version for varying hardware models. If you are still awaiting the latest update for the HTC EVO 4G, don’t be alarmed or surprised if the version number varies from the one you expect. It appears that depending on which model number EVO you own, you are likely to receive a different version of the update. While this isn’t always typical, it isn’t too surprising given the number of hardware revisions floating around for the EVO.

If you haven’t received yours yet it may be worth checking your software update information under the ‘About phone’ menu.

As usual, if you do not wish to wait for the update to push out to your phone you can always manually install it. We advice you that you fully read all the details and specs before manually updating your EVO 4G. We do not take any responsibility of your phone or any actions you take in messing up your phone while updating it.

Follow these simple steps to manually install the update:

  1. Download the update from this link.
  2. Rename it to update.zip (but be sure not to rename it update.zip.zip). Save it to your Evo’s microSD card.
  3. Time to reboot into recovery mode. Turn the phone off. Then hold the volume down button, and press the power button. You should boot to a white screen with three Android guys on skateboards.
  4. Use the volume button to select RECOVERY, and press the power button again. The Evo will now reboot into recovery. You should see a render of a phone, with a red triangle and exclamation point.
  5. Hold the volume up button and press the power button. Choose applysdcard:update.zip. Let it do its thing.

VIA | AndroidCentral

Google Maps Updated to 5.0

It’s the moment we all been waiting for. Android users can finally get their hands on the new Google Maps 5.0 update. The next generation of mobile maps.

Two significant new features: 3D interaction and offline reliability.

 

Explore maps in 3D
Until now, Google Maps has always downloaded the map as a set of small, square images that we stitch together to form the map you see. (You’ve probably seen those gray squares getting filled in, block-by-block, as the images load over the network.) Starting today, we’ll use vector graphics to dynamically draw the map on your device as you use it, allowing you to interact with it in new ways:

  • Tilting: Drag down with two fingers to tilt the map. Tilt while zoomed in on one of the 100+ cities around the world with 3D buildings to see a skyline spring to life.
  • Rotating: Twist with two fingers to rotate the map. After tilting to see 3D buildings, rotate around them to gain a new perspective from any direction.
  • Smooth zooming: Slide two fingers together or apart, and see the map and labels continuously scale to any zoom level, stopping when your fingers stop.
  • Compass mode: Center the map on your location, and then tap the compass button in the top right corner. The map will flip into 3D mode and start rotating to match your perspective, while still keeping all the labels upright and readable.

Offline reliability
Google Maps has always been, and continues to be, a fundamentally Internet-connected experience, meaning you always get the freshest map and place data, search and voice search, live traffic conditions, satellite and Street View imagery, and much more. Still, we understand that mobile Internet connections aren’t 100% reliable. So today we’re happy to take the first steps toward greater offline reliability, so you can find your way even if you lose your connection.

In the past, you’ve probably had frustrating moments when you get stranded without a map, whether ducking into the subway, sitting at the back of a restaurant or traveling anywhere with a flaky Internet connection. But dynamically drawing maps requires 100 times less data to get maps across all zoom levels, so now we’re able to proactively cache (or store) large areas on your device based on where you use Maps the most. This way, you can rely on having fast, robust maps available to you where you’re most likely to need them.

Offline rerouting
If you’re one of the more than 10 million people relying on Google Maps Navigation (Beta), our free turn-by-turn GPS navigation feature, losing your Internet connection can be particularly painful. (This happened to me on a recent ski trip to Tahoe, and I was left trying to manually find my way back to my route.) So we’re also introducing offline rerouting. You’ll still need a connection to start a route, but if you miss a turn along the way, we’ll quickly get you back on track, even if you don’t have an Internet connection. We’ll be rolling this feature out gradually over the next few weeks.
These new features are just the first steps in maximizing dynamic map drawing technology to create a faster, more interactive experience where efficiency really matters: mobile devices. For example, we estimate that viewing maps now requires almost 70% less mobile network data overall than before. We can’t wait to take the next steps in making Google Maps faster, more reliable and even more useful no matter where you take it.

Dell Streak Now $99 through Best Buy

Dell_Streak_100

Aside from the Dell Streak’s big size for a phone, the other factor that might keep some away is its big price. But once again, the holidays come to the rescue with an offer that is just too good to refuse. $99.99 dollars and a two year contract with AT&T are all that keeps you from grabbing one from Best Buy. The only hard part to swallow about that is the AT&T contract, but we’re sure you’ll manage.

Both the white and black color options are eligible for the deal, so act now if you’re ready to stretch those tired hands around something sizable.

VIA |  MobileCrunch

HTC Desire Free Through End of Year at TELUS

The once supply-crushing HTC Desire may have given way to its beefier brothers, the Desire Z and HD, but it is still one of the better Android phones available throughout the world today. If you’re in Canada and looking for the most bang for your buck in an Android handset, TELUS has got you one hundred percent covered. We’re talking the most bang for no bucks at all, as the original HTC Desire is now free on a three-year contract until the end of 2010.

In case it sways you, the Desire has as good a chance as any at getting the Android 2.3 update due to its spec sheet matching identically in nearly everyone way to the Nexus One.

VIA | UnwiredView

All US Cellular Phones Free Dec. 17-24

Christmas is fast approaching and it’s time for you last minute shoppers to find the best deals on cell phones. US Cellular’s announced a promotion where, starting on December 17th and leading up to Christmas Eve, all of their phones will be free.  That’s five Android phones to choose from, if you didn’t know: The LG Optimus U, the LG Apex, the HTC Desire, the Samsung Acclaim, and the Samsung Mesmerize.

Not shabby at all. Not only are those phones free, but US Cellular will credit you $100. That’s, like, two free months of service depending on your plan.

droid-x-dell-600x310

Dell’s promotion isn’t as exciting, but you’ll still want to grab a Motorola Droid X from them if you fancy getting a $25 gift card back. The phone itself is free, so they’re essentially paying you to take this phone. (And I didn’t mean for that to sound bad at all.) Go ahead and take advantage of that deal at Dell’s site today.

Happy Holidays: From Google, To Me, To You

Phandroid blog received this awesome video this holiday season from Google.

Phandroid is part of Google’s Adsense program that’s why they received this email from Google. The “Happy Holidays” message included this text:

Dear Rob,

Thanks to you, this holiday season Google is able to donate $20 million to charitable organizations around the world. They in turn will help improve the lives of over 50 million people. Click here to see how.

Thank you for being a part of what Google is today. All this is possible because of you.

Have a wonderful holiday.

Google

Message from Phandroid:

I’d like to pass the thank you on to YOU – Phandroid Readers – because you folks are the ones that make my partnership with Google possible. So yes… by reading Phandroid you are saving the world.

Happy holiday’s to you too Google. Thanks for another great year!

VIA | Phandroid

Hands on Madden NFL 11 for Android

EA Mobile’s Madden NFL 11 just came to Android in the recent Droid X update and now we are getting our first look at it. This game remains a Verizon exclusive where they are selling it for $9.99, but evidence suggests that EA Mobile will eventually start selling their games in the Android Market.

We already spotted that Need for Speed Shift was headed to the Android Market this year, so we would hope to eventually see Madden NFL 11 unless it remains a Verizon exclusive (which really wouldn’t surprise us).

For an idea of what you might be able to purchase and play one day, check out the hands on video from Kellen of Droid Life. The graphics don’t look that mind-blowing, but it’s the best looking football game I’ve seen on Android and I’m excited to one day play Madden on my phone.

Androidandme is conducting a poll on how much are people willing to spend for a premium Android game. So far 41.88% (majority) of  the voters say that they are willing to spend up to $5 – $10 on a premium Android game.  Madden happens to be at the top end of the range. We’ll just have to wait and watch what the verdict is on the final price  once it hits the Android Market.

VIA | Androidandme

Facebook Updated to 1.5

Facebook updated to 1.5, FINALLY gets Facebook Chat, Push Notifications

Facebook 1.5

It seems the Facebook for Android application has finally become all-encompassing, with the long-awaited features of chat and push notification finally making their way onto the Android platform. This is certainly a welcome addition to the Android application, as the lack of these features have been a gripe of many Android users for a long time. After spending a few minutes with the application, both the chat integration and the notification features seem to be done pretty well.

Just update your current Facebook app on Android and check out the new changes on Facebook 1.5. Test it out today and let us know what you think.

Google Introduces Latitude app for iPhone

Yes iPhone users, there’s an app for that. Earlier today Google announced that it’s release the Google Latitude app for iPhone.

“Where are you?”

Starting today, you’ll never again have to answer (or ask) that question when you’re on the go with your iPhone. With the new Google Latitude app for iPhone, you can see where your friends are and now, continuously share where you are – even in the background once you’ve closed the app.


 


Since launching last year, Latitude’s focus has always been on one goal: make it simple to stay in touch with friends and family by sharing where you are with each other. Simple setup. Simple sharing without fumbling for your phone. Now, you can use Latitude on your iPhone just like the more than 9 million people actively using it from Android, BlackBerry, Symbian, and Windows Mobile smartphones. Use the app to:

  • See where your friends are
  • Share your location continuously with whomever you choose
  • Contact friends by phone, text message, or email
  • Control your location and privacy


Watch the Latitude app for iPhone in action

You still get simple control over your privacy. Remember, Latitude is 100% opt-in. You must install the app and add friends (or accept requests) to start sharing your location. You can turn off background updating if you’d like and control the same privacy settings: share only city-level location, hide your location, or sign out of Latitude at any time. Learn more in the privacy tips video.

Though we released Latitude as a web application before the iPhone supported third party background applications, today’s Latitude app was built from the ground up using iOS 4’s new multitasking capability to support background updating. You’ll need iOS 4 and above on an iPhone 3GS or iPhone 4 to use the app.

Download Google Latitude now from the App Store in over 15 languages and 45 countries. It will be appearing in the App Store over the next day, but you can also find it directly now. Learn more in the Help Center or ask questions in the Help Forum.

Update (12/13/2010, 10:20am PST): The Google Latitude app will run on the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPad, and iPod touch (3rd/4th generation). However, background location updating is only supported on the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, and iPad 3G. We’re continuing to work on expanding support to more devices.

Let us know how the app works out for you.

VIA | Chris Lambert, Software Engineer, Google Latitude Team, and Google Mobile Blog