BlackBerry Priv Makes its Way to T-Mobile

BlackBerry Priv Makes its Way to T-Mobile

Jan 26, 2016

It’s fairly old news that BlackBerry has tossed its hat into the Android ring with the atypical device dubbed the Priv; unfortunately, Stateside folks looking to get their mitts on the well-received slider have had to be on a solitary carrier AT&T.

Now, the Priv is available on T-Mobile. Woohoo!

Jump around! Actually, just jump over to T-Mobile starting Tuesday, January 26th to get the PRIV™ by BlackBerry® for $0 upfront and just $34/month with JUMP! On Demand. With JUMP! On Demand, Un-carrier customers can switch to the latest devices without worrying about waiting periods or upgrade fees – all on the nation’s fastest 4G LTE network that now covers 304 million customers.

BlackBerry’s new super-secure PRIV (p.s. PRIV stands for privilege and privacy!) is powered by Android and rocks an awesome18 megapixel dual-flash camera, a powerful battery built to withstand up to 22 hours of use, and two keyboards: a virtual on-screen keyboard AND BlackBerry’s signature physical keyboard in slide-out form giving users the best of both worlds.

The Priv can be had for $719.99 upfront, and zero-down contract prices are also available.

On an added note, T-Mobile chief John Leger is giving away a few Privs on Twitter. Hurry!

[Source: Android Central.]

Cellhire Mobile Hotspot Hardware Review

Cellhire Mobile Hotspot Hardware Review

Aug 3, 2015

While I admit my appreciation for tablets is still in its infancy, I like the affordability of wi-fi-only models. Of course, this leaves a pretty gaping whole with regards to connectivity, especially on the go; one is at the mercy of locations with public wi-fi access. Now, beyond the inconvenience factor, one has to be concerned with security as well, so signing into the first open network at the truck stop might not be the smartest thing to do. Yes, one can use one’s smartphone’s hotspot, but it might not be fun using it with GPS running… and boy, do those things overheat.

One option that is gaining steam is the personal wi-fi puck, a unit that harnesses phone signals and spits out wireless connection strong enough to connect mobile devices. Brilliant, yes, and so we did look forward to checking out Cellhire’s service. Cellhire does a lot with mobile connectivity, and mobile router’s are right up its alley.

The puck Cellhire sent us was the Samsung V100T 4G LTE Mifi Hotspot, a small, dignified piece, mostly red and black, branded Samsung and packing a T-mobile data SIM. The review package also contained a micro-USB cord and power adapter.

The unit is fairly compact, coming in at 5.15 ounces on a 3.53 x 3.53 X 0.52-inch frame. It has a micro-SD slot for carry-on media, as well as a wrap-arounf cable for connecting to computers via USB or charging smartdevices with its built-in battery pack.


In practice, it is a great solution… in practice. Streaming off of T-Mobile network was pretty smooth when in range, but it lives and dies by proximity to the towers. On the road trip it was tested, it did go in and out a fair amount, but it did do well closer to major metro areas, which isn’t entirely unexpected. The review unit was tested with seven devices simultaneously, and when a solid network condition existed, it handled multiple Netflix streaming with aplomb.

The connection speeds were beyond tolerable (4G is swift), and the charge time was pretty decent; it lasted through a 4-hour trip easily, with plenty of battery life to spare. It’s also worth noting that the unit works while charging, which is great.

Using it as an internet device more locally, it really flourished, especially deep in its home network area. Speeds were consistent, and it even beat the local library wi-fi speeds. It was stubborn during reconnection at times, but for the most part, it was pretty effective.

To do a lot of management, one does need a browser, and the on-device controls are button-based.

As it is, it worked a bit better than I envisaged. I’d rather use it locally, and it confirms my opinion that it is only as good as the service it is connected to. All in all, Cellhire’s service (details and pricing here) was an engaging revelation.

The Hills Are Greener: Why Android is Here to Stay

The Hills Are Greener: Why Android is Here to Stay

Dec 10, 2012

So, it seems like iPhone, at least in the US, is finally reaching a point of ubiquity among the major carriers. Not only has T-Mobile been rolling their network out to start supporting the iPhone’s cellular hardware, but there are reports from their investor meetings that they will start selling Apple hardware in 2013. What this means and when is unclear, but it means all 4 of the nation’s biggest carriers will be going iPhone.

The immediate reaction might be to despair for Android fans: the last bastion of Android-exclusivity has become corrupted by the Cupertino colossus. Yet, that is missing out on why Android has gotten to this point where it is the primary competitor to Apple: because it took on all comers in the smartphone OS world and has won.

Think about why Apple succeeded with the iPhone. In a world of user-unfriendly smartphones, largely focused on business customers, Apple introduced something that was very intuitive. Android followed with something aiming for the same goals, while being open-source. BlackBerry was king of the smartphone mountain, but didn’t have the kind of usability that iOS and Android introduced. Windows Phone never really dominated, Windows Phone 7 has floundered, and Windows Phone 8 is a total reboot. Even well-appreciated hardware like the Lumia 900 wasn’t enough to popularize the platform. WebOS…it existed.

The fact that AT&T had the iPhone exclusive for over three years does count for a lot. But think about it: Android is still going strong, right? There’s still reasons for people to go Android, and the carriers still love it. Bloatware and various carrier-specific customizations are there for many reasons. Just because a carrier has gotten the iPhone doesn’t mean that it’s been a death knell for Android. And the iPhone becoming available on seemingly every carrier only means that it’s an option for more people.

And Android in and of itself, because it is really just a common OS that these disparate devices use, still represents options. It is the backbone of increasingly-capable low-cost prepaid options. It still has bigger phones than Apple may be interested in making. And for those on the cutting edge of network speed, Android has been first at 4G. It’s not as clean and crisp of an experience as iOS is, no. But just because iPhone exists doesn’t mean that Android can’t coexist. Maybe because Apple allowed Android to gestate through its AT&T deal. But there are reasons why the battle is iPhone vs. Android and not Windows Phone or BlackBerry.

The Hills Are Greener: You Down With LTE? Google Says No.

The Hills Are Greener: You Down With LTE? Google Says No.

Nov 5, 2012

The Nexus 4 has one glaring omission from its otherwise-impressive list of specs: no LTE. After all, the iPhone 5 has it, so why shouldn’t Google’s flagship Nexus phone have it, especially after the iPhone 5, which arrives fashionably late to cellular network technology, had already made the jump? Well, blame the current state of the carriers in the US.

Thanks to the CDMA and GSM protocols, and the different frequencies that even GSM carriers like AT&T and T-Mobile use, interoperability is difficult to cram into one phone model. LTE makes it even harder with many new frequencies to communicate on for each carrier. There’s no LTE equivalent for something like the iPhone, which supports the 1900 Mhz GSM band, to work on T-Mobile, for example. The best way to get LTE support is to work with the carriers, which Google is largely opposed to after bad experiences with Verizon and Sprint with the LTE-enabled Galaxy Nexus. They want to release new versions of Android immediately; the carriers want them tested and probably don’t even want phones to really be updated for too long, after all, if someone is satisfied with their current phone, what reason will they have to buy a new one?

The US market is just not used to unlocked phones yet, in part because Sprint and Verizon make it difficult to use said phones on their network, and the 2-year-contract model is a stopping point on GSM networks. T-Mobile, however, is likely a big driver of this phone. After all, the beauty of buying a phone unlocked is that it can be used on cheaper pre-paid plans, and T-Mobile has some of the most exhaustive pre-paid options, including the fabled $30 plan that offers only 100 minutes, but unlimited messaging and 5 GB of 4G data. That will likely be a big seller for the Nexus 4.

Of course, they’re selling it as a contracted option as well, at $199 on a 2-year agreement, which is silly considering the phone is $349 unlocked! However, for those looking to buy it with HSPA+ 42 on T-Mobile, that’s the only option, is to go directly through them. Why they’re not selling the phone as a driver for their prepaid plans, the only real reason for T-Mobile to still exist at this point, is unknown.

Now, is the lack of LTE something that Google should get a free pass on? No, it is a lacking feature considering that it’s becoming standard in high-end phones. But Google’s doing something different here. They’re selling a phone directly to consumers for $349, no contract. This is something that hasn’t really been tried with a flagship smartphone. If the market is going to change to be more friendly to unlocked phones, there first needs to be a demand for them, and that appears to be what Google is doing with the Nexus 4. LTE and CDMA appear to be the sacrifices to make this sea change happen.

T-Mobile Bringing Anti-Malware Pre-Installed to Android Devices

T-Mobile Bringing Anti-Malware Pre-Installed to Android Devices

Oct 25, 2012

Well, here’s some bloatware that might actually come in handy: according to Mashable, T-Mobile is partnering with ssecrity firm Lookout to load some anti-malware software on T-Moblie phones with with the LG Optimus L9 and Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 when they’re released.

Now, why would a carrier want to load anti-malware software? Well, it likely would help them out with technical support, as if people download a bad app, then they’ll likely complain to the carrier, presuming it was their fault. Such is the nature of technical suppor.t Plus, phones that don’t wind up messing up? Means that people may be more likely to buy their next phone from T-Mobile. It’s potentially a winning combination from T-Mobile, and may actually be a useful piece of pre-installed software for a change. After all, there are so many iffy permissions that it can be hard to tell what’s actually legitimate and what’s selling my contact information to every sketchy data mining firm under the sun.

Samsung’s Galaxy S II is Coming to the US, at Last. Here Are 5 Things to Know.

Samsung’s Galaxy S II is Coming to the US, at Last. Here Are 5 Things to Know.

Aug 31, 2011

The Samsung Galaxy S II has been out in Europe for months now, but the US is about to finally get their hands on the smartphone that has been a big seller across the pond. Here are 5 important things to know about the Galaxy S II’s launch in the US:

  • All 3 phones share similar hardware specs: 8MP rear camera with flash and 1080p video recording, 2MP front camera, 16GB memory, gyroscope, HDMI adapter support, and the Samsung Exynos dual-core 1.2GHz processor. On the software side, the phone runs Gingerbread, comes with the TouchWiz launcher, Samsung Media Hub, Samsung’s Task Manager, an easy screen capture feature by pressing power and home simultaneously (amen!), and a voice command feature called Voice Talk.
  • All of the US Galaxy S phones will be classified as “4G” phones, though the actual connection speeds will be defined by whatever the carrier defines 4G as.
  • Unlike the last generation of Galaxy S phones in the US, the phone will actually be called the Galaxy S on AT&T and T-Mobile. The Sprint variant will be called the Epic 4G Touch, and will be the first Galaxy S II phone available in the US, starting September 16th. The other carriers’ phones should be available this fall.
  • Notably missing from that list of carriers is the other major carrier in the US, Verizon. There is no word on if or when they will be offering the Galaxy S II, but this hurts Samsung’s presence in the US with making the Galaxy S line universally available, one of the strengths of the first-generation Galaxy S phones. TheDroidGuy points out that this may be because Verizon classifies LTE as 4G, and there’s no LTE-capable Galaxy S II model yet.
  • The phones all share the same 800×480 AMOLED screen, though T-Mobile and Sprint are using a 4.5″ screen. AT&T’s going slightly smaller, with a 4.3″ screen that is the same as the international variant, and the battery they’re using is 1650 mAh versus T-Mobile and Sprint’s 1800 mAh batteries. This will also make the AT&T phone thinner, though.
  • Source: Engadget

    AT&T To Buy T-Mobile for $39 billion – What Could It Mean for Android?

    AT&T To Buy T-Mobile for $39 billion – What Could It Mean for Android?

    Mar 23, 2011

    AT&T recently announced its agreement to buy T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom for $39 billion with the German company receiving $25 billion in cash and $14 billion in stock, giving it an 8% stake in AT&T, assuming all goes well and the merger happens.

    It’s important to note that while the two companies have reached an agreement, it could take up to a year for the deal to go through, essentially creating a GSM monopoly within the United States. Obviously, the regulatory commission will be taking a special look at this situation and will have the final say in any proceedings.

    T-Mobile Now Accepting Pre-Orders for G2

    T-Mobile Now Accepting Pre-Orders for G2

    Sep 24, 2010

    If you’re an existing T-Mobile customer and looking to get your hands on the sexy successor to the G1 (Father to the Android Revolution) then head over to T-Mobile’s website where pre-orders are now available. Make sure to pre-order your phone by October 4th if you want the October 6th delivery date.

    The 2-Year contract price will be $249.99 with a $50 mail in rebate and full retail cost will be $499. You can also try your luck at Best Buy (also selling the G2 on October 6th) with a contract price of $249.99 with the added value of a $50 instant rebate. Prepare for possible disappointment if you try the in-store route, for supplies are sure to be limited.

    The G2 will be the first smartphone to deliver T-Mobile’s highly anticipated Super-Fast HSPA+ Network capable of delivering 4G speeds. The G2 will come equipped with Android 2.2, a 3.7″ touchscreen, a full QWERTY keyboard and will be powered by a Qualcomm MSM 7230 “Snapdragon” processor at 800MHz. It is pure Vanilla Android at its best and will feature a plethora of Google goodness fully equipped with dedicated Quick Key access. Add with that a 5-megapixel camera, 720p video recording, Swype along with Sprint’s free kids until 2012 family packages and you may just have enough reasons to upgrade or switch over to the Sprint network.

    We want to know, how will the G2 compare to its competitors and will you be picking one up? What do you think?

    Source: T-Mobile

    T-Mobile Officially Introduces The G2

    T-Mobile Officially Introduces The G2

    Sep 9, 2010

    It’s finally official folks. T-Mobile began this Android mobile revolution when they announced the world’s first Android-powered mobile phone, the G1. It was with this device that the cuddly little green robot we know only as “Android” began its quest for ‘WORLD DOMINATION!’ Two years later the invasion continues with more and more mobile consumers becoming assimilated. Android has grown to become one of the most popular smartphone platforms and doesn’t seem to be slowing down.

    The G1’s successor has officially been unveiled and brings with it another breakthrough for T-Mobile. The G2 will be the first smartphone to deliver T-Mobile’s highly anticipated Super-Fast HSPA+ Network capable of delivering 4G speeds. The G2 will come equipped with Android 2.2, a 3.7″ touchscreen, a full QWERTY keyboard and will be powered by a Qualcomm MSM 7230 “Snapdragon” processor at 800MHz. It is pure Vanilla Android at its best and will feature a plethora of Google goodness fully equipped with dedicated Quick Key access. Add with that a 5-megapixel camera, 720p video recording, and other goodies such as Swype and I almost want to switch to T-Mobile.