T-Mobile’s LG G-Slate priced at $529.99 with a two-year contract

T-Mobile’s LG G-Slate priced at $529.99 with a two-year contract

By Joanna Stern posted Mar 22nd 2011 12:50AM

Well, here ya go! T-Mobile has finally decided to come clean with the pricing on its 8.9-inch, 3D-capable LG G-Slate, and well, it isn’t cheap. The Honeycomb, Tegra 2-powered tablet will set you back $529.99 after an $100 mail-in-rebate and that’s only if you agree to a two-year contract. Of course, this thingcan record 3D video, connect to T-Mobile’s “4G” HSPA+ network, and output 1080p video, but that still seems like quite a bit of money when you consider you’re also locked into paying at least $20 in data every month. Ready to grace us the WiFi version, LG? Hit the break for the short press statement. 

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AT&T: T-Mobile 3G phones will need to be replaced

via Neowin.net by Michael Collado on 3/21/11

After word that AT&T had entered into a definitive agreement to buy T-Mobile USA, the company stated today that all T-Mobile customers that are using 3G phones will need to replace their handsets if the deal ever comes to close. 

T-Mobile yesterday updated its website to communicate what the acquisition meant for its customers. They said that the two carriers would run as independent companies until the merger is completed and that all contracts entered into before it was would be honored, especially in terms of pricing. This was only a few short hours after AT&T announced that it had agreed to buy T-Mobile USA, as reported by Neowin. 

In a statement, via the Associated Press, AT&T said that when the deal closes (expected in 12 months) they would rearrange how T-Mobile’s cell towers work to repurpose 3G airwaves for 4G. It would mean that current T-Mobile 3G phones, which aren’t compatible with AT&T’s 3G airwaves, would need to be replaced either with 4G phones or ones that can be used with AT&T’s 3G. 

Ralph de la Vega, AT&T’s head of wireless and consumer service, said “there’s nothing for [consumers] to worry about” since the transition of T-Mobile’s cell towers would take several years. He said it will happen as part of the normal phone upgrade process.

5 reasons you should consider a 3G iPad 2

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5 reasons you should consider a 3G iPad 2

via Resources | ZDNet by Matthew Miller on 3/21/11

Back before the iPad 2 was released to consumers Robert Scoble recorded a CinchCast message that said no one should buy a 3G iPad because you can just use the WiFi hotspot capability on your smartphone. Brian Chen, from Wired, also recently posted an article on why you can skip 3G on the iPad 2. This idea sounds reasonable and I admit to being a part of that camp for a couple of years, but after using my Samsung Galaxy Tab with integrated 3G I realized that integrated 3G is actually the way to go for power users and I have five reasons you should consider a 3G iPad.

There are 18 variations of the Apple iPad; black or white, 16GB/32GB/64GB, Verizon 3G, and AT&T 3G. Thus, it isn’t easy to make a choice, unless you end up like me and have no choices left. It has now been over a week and I love using my iPad 2 with integrated 3G service and am happy that is what I was led to purchase. I have been traveling a lot to Alaska for work and get 3G data even up in Ketchikan where I was able to watch March Madness live.

Here are five reasons why you should consider a 3G iPad:

Battery life: Using the mobile hotspot on your phone is convenient, but 3G and 4G kill the battery on phones faster than just about anything while the iPad models can go 10 hours. If you actually ever want to use your phone to make and receive calls or text messages, you won’t have much luck if you kill it through tethering. To support the devices you carry for WiFi hotspot functionality you will also have to carry a means to charge up your phone and maybe your iPad if you use them paired together extensively.

Integrated saves time: Today’s smartphone WiFi hotspot utilities are much better than the ones I started out using a couple years ago, but it still takes several steps to launch the hotspot and get connected with your iPad while integrated 3G is just always there and good to go. Also, it can cost you money or be a pain to find other WiFi hotspots at hotels, airports, and such while integrated 3G is always there with you and ready to go.

iPad has large antenna system: The iPad 2 has a larger antenna than your smartphone and it is possible that you may see a stronger signal to let you connect in more places. I have only seen 4 or 5 bars on my iPad 2 and the experience has been terrific.

iPad 3G has a GPS receiver: Unfortunately, Apple does not include a GPS receiver in the WiFi only models. GPS is slick with Google Maps, Navigon, and a number of other 3rd party clients that let you roll down the road with a large screen GPS navigation display.

Integrated 3G could be cheaper: WiFi hotspot services on your smartphone can range from $15 for 5GB (T-Mobile), $20 for 2GB (ATT and Verizon), up to $29.99 unlimited from Sprint. 2GB of data on AT&T is $25 for the iPad while Verizon has a 1GB option for $20, 3GB for $35, 5GB for $50 or 10GB for $80. The monthly data cost differences between the integrated or WiFi hotspot options are fairly close so monthly price should not be much of a factor in your decision.

I can understand if you have a group of people or a family with multiple iPads and you want to connect all of them at once with one smartphone then you can use that phone as a sacrificial phone and WiFi only iPads may be the way to go. However, after tasting integrated 3G on my Galaxy Tab and now on my iPad 2, I cannot go back to a two device tablet connectivity solution.

Can you think of any reasons to buy or not to buy a 3G iPad?

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HTC Touch Pro2 Review

via Boy Genius Report by The Boy Genius on 6/10/09

HTC has been seriously the little (now big) engine that could. Does anyone even remember what the T-Mobile Pocket PC (Wallaby) looked like? Now the number one Windows Mobile manufacturer in the world, they show no signs of stopping — they even added Android to their portfolio. But let’s be honest, you’re here to check out the much-awaited update to the viciously popular HTC Touch Pro, the HTC Touch Pro2. So let’s get to steppin’, hit the jump and find out what we really think of the TP2

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Design:

Design is always going to be subjective, right? But you can most of the time appreciate a phone’s industrial design even if it’s not something you’d drop a wad of cash on. The Touch Pro2 is probably one of the sexiest Windows Mobile devices we’ve ever seen. Rounded edges, chrome bezel, huge screen, minimalistic buttons — all great things. What’s even more exciting, however, is that the design is completely functional. There’s not one single thing the designers did that gets in the way of real usability and let’s face it, this device is really the high-end corporate user’s dream device, so there shouldn’t be any complaints in this department.

Hardware / Keyboard:

It’s really exciting to watch newer products being released but it’s a little bit more exciting to see evolutions of previous handsets morph into something else. HTC told us that people really missed not having the tilting screen of the HTC TyTN II so they incorporated that back in. Additionally, people thought the HTC Touch Pro was a little too small and cramped, so they practically made the Touch Pro2 a HTC Touch HD with slide-out QWERTY. And oh man, what a slide-out QWERTY it is. Shaquille O’Neal himself (also a very happy TweetGenius user, might we add) would have zero problems typing on this thing. The keys are very, very spacious and have a great feel to them. It’s a plastic feel which is totally fine, because it’s a quality feel. Something Palm should learn a thing or two from.

On a different note, have we mentioned how absolutely incredible HTC’s new soft keyboard is? Anyone using an HTC Magic or who has installed a non-Google build on their Android device (not a Google version) will know what we’re talking about. It’s almost as good as the iPhone’s keyboard and this is coming from using it on a resistive screen. Really top notch stuff here.

Screen:

If there was a such thing as the world’s greatest, the Touch Pro2’s screen would surely be in the running. It probably wouldn’t win, though. It’s really something HTC has no control over, but the fact that this is a resistive screen as opposed to a capacitive screen is a major strike against it. Really, they can’t do anything about it since Windows Mobile practically makes you use a fingernail to hit menu options. Once you accept the screen is resistive, though, it’s a damn good one. Unlike the Touch Pro where the screen wasn’t as responsive as everyone wished, the Touch Pro2’s screen is incredibly sensitive and responsive — paging through screens, sliding through TouchFLO menus and the like are all smooth as butter.

The actual resolution of the display is 800×480 and it’s a whopping 3.6″ measured diagonally. In addition to being highly responsive, it’s vivid, bright, clear and crisp.

TouchFLO 3D:

We have touched on TouchFLO 3D in many different sections of this review as you have read and will read below. But, to focus on just TouchFLO 3D, a lot has been added since the Touch Diamond and Touch Pro. For starters, it’s finally landscape! If that wasn’t enough, HTC has gone ahead and built upon the Touch HD’s TF3D by adding in a Stocks page, revamped Weather page and a new Calendar page. All extremely welcome additions.

Phone:

What good is a phone if the phone doesn’t work? While voice calling in very old versions of Windows Mobile was a pain in the ass, Windows Mobile 6/6.1 has made it bearable. Luckily HTC’s TouchFLO interface makes it rather enjoyable. Anyone who has used a recent HTC device knows this pretty well, but on the software side, everything is cleanly laid out. Your recent call log is integrated with the dialpad, and you have the option to flip between a standard voice call and a video call. Don’t get excited; that’s for international users only because it’s a carrier-supported feature.

As far as the hardware goes, calls we made and received came through loud and clear. Literally. The ear speaker on the TP2 is a little bit higher than you’d anticipate but you get used to it very quickly and it proved to work without any issues. Volume on the in ear speaker was sufficient enough to provide audible call quality on the streets of New York City and our callers could hear us quite well, too.

Messaging:

HTC has excelled at making Windows Mobile a more-usable platform. What in the hell would the world look like without it? What’s more interesting with the latest version of TouchFLO is the messaging integration. In addition to having phone calling, you’ve now got access to your entire communication history with all of your contacts. Once you click on a specific contact, you’re able to see all the recent calls, all recent emails, all recent text messages, and even Facebook updates all in a neat and clean interface. It’s rather remarkable.

Integration of these features isn’t just skin deep either — you can even click on a contact’s thumbnail image in an email and start a conference call that way as an example. Really cool stuff that’s incredibly useful.

Speakerphone / Conference calling:

This is one of the big selling points of the new Touch Pro2 — the speakerphone and Straight Talk. The brilliant part of HTC’s heavily-customized TouchFLO interface is what they’ve been able to do with conference calling. You can literally just hit 4, or even 5 numbers or contacts, and instantly, the Touch Pro2 will transform from a phone, to a mobile conference room and conference all parties together. You’ll also get options to individually drop certain parties from the call while it’s in progress. But, look, what good is some bad ass conference calling software without some business-grade speakerphone action? As soon as you flip the handset over so the screen is face down on your desk (or whatever surface really), the call will instantly change over to speakerphone. Ok, cool, we guess. Most speakerphones suck and you can barely hear them. Not here, though. Besides being super loud and clear for you to listen to, the Touch Pro2 has got dual microphones. One for noise-cancelling and one to actually pickup your voice for uh, talking. This makes for an absolutely wonderful conference calling experience — it’s the best we’ve ever used on a mobile phone. Plus, if that wasn’t enough, there’s a dedicated mute button right in the middle of the speaker so you can hurl insults and nasty words at your boss while he’s talking. While muted, of course.

Battery life:

The TouchPro2 ships with a large 1500mAh battery and it’s pretty good. HTC quotes talk time over a UMTS connection at a whopping six and half hours. Unfortunately, since our review unit is a Euro-spec unit, we weren’t able to participate in sexy 3G-calling voice tests. Their quoted EDGE talk times are listed at about eight and half hours, and we can pretty much say those numbers are incredibly close to being accurate.

On EDGE and Wi-Fi, our unit constantly got us through a full day of work. This included heavy email using a Microsoft Exchange Server with ActiveSync configured, a ton of web browsing using Opera and Skyfire, staying logged into IM with BeeJive for Windows Mobile, and some light to medium voice calling. On 3G, however, we’re pretty sure our battery life would have been reduced by at least 35%, let’s say. That’s an estimate, but a pretty conservative one. To make two paragraphs short: the Touch Pro2 has very good battery life but your usage patterns will obviously vary, thus your battery will as well.

Connectivity:

It’s pretty much a standard nowadays for any high-end device; quad-band GSM/EDGE, tri-band UMTS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.0 or higher and GPS. Unfortunately, the Touch Pro2 we reviewed didn’t have three UMTS bands, just two. These are the 900/2100MHz UMTS/HSPA bands that are incompatible with North America’s 3G bands. Since 3G is such a standard feature in today’s world, we couldn’t enjoy the TP2 as much as we’d have liked to. Don’t fret, though — when you get your own Touch Pro2 you’ll be pleased as punch with all the connectivity options loaded in here.

Minor annoyances:

There’s a few things that aren’t quite perfect here. The camera, while being a decent 3.2 megapixel sensor, didn’t get upgraded like the Touch Diamond2 did. We would have loved for a 5 megapixel shooter in here. Additionally HTC has removed the flash module. Handset makers don’t get it twisted — leave the motherloving flash in your phones.

This isn’t much of an annoyance since the hardware works quite well, but in fairness we figured we should point out that the Touch Pro2 actually runs more of the less the same internal hardware as the original Touch Pro did. It’s not a bad thing like we said, but anyone hoping for a major spec bump, you won’t really find it here.

Lastly, there isn’t a directional pad anymore on the front of the device. This isn’t the worst thing to happen, but it was really nice having that on the front part of the Touch Pro to make navigating a little bit easier. The trade off is that the screen is obviously larger which does help when using touch selections as opposed to hardware keys.

Conclusion:

It’s pretty apparent that there will be an HTC Touch Pro2 in your own carrier’s flavor pretty soon. In the U.S. alone, just from leaked photos and information floating around, T-Mobile, AT&T, Sprint and Verizon will all get their own version of the device. What’s even better is that they will all be roughly the same. The keyboards won’t range from usable to world’s dumbest configuration (cough, Touch Pro, cough) and we have a feeling the physical exterior will be pretty close to the stock HTC units as well.

This is an incredibly interesting summer, though. You’ve got this device, the Nokia N97, the Palm Pre, the iPhone 3G S, the Google G2, and a bunch more handsets to choose from. How will you make up your mind? Form factors are pretty similar with the aforementioned devices. Most have a physical QWERTY slide-out or flip up, and all have on screen keyboards except for the Palm Pre. We can’t say that one OS is better than the other for your taste and usage, but we can confidently recommend the Touch Pro2 as the best Windows Mobile device in the world. That might not make your decision any easier, but as long as you’re considering a Windows Mobile phone, the Touch Pro2 is going to be the reigning champ for a long, long time. Or at least until HTC releases the Touch Pro3.

Regardless of what phone you end up choosing, one thing is 100% certain, folks. It’s going to be a hot summer.

Details on AT&T’s 3G MicroCell: everything but the date and price

via Engadget by Chris Ziegler on 1/25/09

T-Mobile has HotSpot @Home, Sprint has AIRAVE, and Verizon has its Wireless Network Extender, leaving just AT&T among the States’ big four carriers without a launched WiFi or femtocell solution for extending signals into the home — but it looks like that’s finally getting close to changing. We know that they’ve been in the process of trialing some units recently, and tipsters have observed that there’s now a pretty slick site launched on AT&T’s domain for its 3G MicroCell, an indication that they might be looking to go retail eventually. There’s quite a bit of detail here; from the picture, we can make out that the unit comes from Cisco (versus Samsung for Sprint and Verizon), and like its competitors, the MicroCell will require a broadband connection to operate. It’ll cover up to 5,000 square feet, allow up to four simultaneous voice or data connections (locked down so that your neighbors can’t pilfer the signal), and most interestingly, will only work with 3G phones. We’ve heard that femtocells are more difficult to manage in a 2G GSM environment than in CDMA and WCDMA — hence the 3G requirement — but the cells offered by Sprint and Samsung only offer 2G coverage, so AT&T’s arguably got an advantage here. We still don’t know exactly when this is coming or for how much dough, but the site makes mention of a “3G MicroCell service plan,” so we’d count on a fee for the pleasure of extending AT&T’s network on their behalf. Follow the break for AT&T’s full rundown of the device.

Samsung’s upcoming US handset lineup exposed

via Boy Genius Report by Zach Epstein on 11/6/08

It looks like Samsung has a busy schedule coming up here in the US and while it goes without saying that we’ll be missing out on the cream of Samsung’s crop, there are definitely a few gems in store from our South Korean pals. AT&T, Alltel, Verizon and T-mobile are all covered here while Sprint is omitted. As such, we can probably expect a few additions to the list as 2009 rolls around. So let’s see what we’ve got here…

T-Mobile:

  • Behold T919

AT&T:

  • SGH-A777
  • Eternity A867

Alltel:

  • SCH-R600 Hue II

Verizon Wireless:

  • Saga I770
  • OMNIA I910
  • Renown U810

That’s a whole lot of Samsung right there. The upcoming T919, announced earlier today, and A867 are particularly sexy and will both sport TouchWiz along with 5 megapixel cameras which is a nice little clarification from initial reports. Following all of these press shots, we should see time lines emerge in the not so distant future.

[Via IntoMobile]

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AT&T won’t offer Android-powered handsets any time soon

via Boy Genius Report by Zach Epstein on 11/7/08

The key to Android’s success in the US will undoubtedly be carrier adoption which is still the only effective way to sell handsets in this country – just ask Nokia how its Nseries and Eseries lines are doing here. One carrier however, just isn’t going to cut it. The T-Mobile partnership was a great move for both parties involved and it was a tremendous start to Google’s mobile OS efforts here in the US. T-Mobile was all for it as it brought them hype and exclusivity and Google was all for it as, well, it let them launch a handset. Google has a long road ahead of it on its way to becoming a successful player in the US market however, and having its OS publicly rejected by two of the four major US carriers was surely not a goal. First Sprint CEO Dan Hesse made the now-famous comment that Android isn’t “good enough to put the Sprint brand on,” and now AT&T has made a similar sentiment public. AT&T Mobility CEO Ralph de la Vega told The San Fransisco Chronicle that while AT&T has been looking into Android for a while, it has no plans of offering an Android-powered handset any time soon. One of the reasons given, which may have been a nice little pot-shot at Google, was that Android needs to “open up more” and offer some “non-Google” applications. Burn. For de la Vega to publicly say that Google’s open OS needs to “open up more” isn’t a good sign. Hopefully next year when the app store is a but more flushed out AT&T will sing a different tune.

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