Updates, patches, and bug fixes are included in version VS910ZVB
Many of Verizon's recent OTA updates have included the removal of pre-installed applications, commonly referred to as 'bloatware.' The LG Revolution's latest update (SW Version VS910ZVB) includes one of the longest lists of apps being removed from a Verizon Android device:
A few Android security patches are included in the update as well, which is always good see -- especially since it is very possible that the Revolution will not get a newer version of Android from Verizon. The VZW Family locator app has been updated and now has working GPS, and Google Maps Services has been updated as well. A bug involving large file sizes on the network also gets a fix.
As always, help a fellow Revolution owner out by posting in the comments when you start seeing this update going live.
Samsung Galaxy S4 supplies have been lower than expected at launch, which has affected multiple carriers -- with Sprint being no exception. In a recent note we received from Sprint, we learned that the carrier's Galaxy S4 orders would be limited mainly to online and over-the-phone orders, with in-store supplies being very scarce due to low supplies.
The new note we received from Sprint today contains much better news: increased Galaxy S4 inventory is now starting to make its way into Sprint sales channels, thanks to increased production from Samsung. New shipments are expected on a daily basis, which will make things much easier on those looking to score one of the year's hottest phones. If supplies continued to be replenished, it shouldn't be hard to find one of these phones in a Sprint store relatively shortly.
$149.99 up-front, then $20 per month on 24-month not-a-contract
Following AT&T and Sprint's launch last week, the Samsung Galaxy S4 is now available from T-Mobile USA. Right now the device is only available online -- brick-and-mortar stores won't begin stocking the T-Mobile Galaxy S4 until May 8.
T-Mo's GS4, which comes with 16GB of storage in "white frost" and "black mist" color options, will run you $149.99 up-front, followed by installments of $20 for the next two years. That's a total of $629.99, and under the carrier's new pricing arrangements, you'll need to add a service plan on top of that.
Naturally, the Galaxy S4 also includes support for T-Mo's burgeoning 4G LTE network in addition to its more widespread 42Mbps DC-HSDPA.
For more on the Galaxy S4, be sure to read our full review. And if you're ordering a T-Mobile Galaxy S4 today, shout out and make yourself known in the comments.
Samsung designers tell how they brought the Galaxy S4 to life
In the latest installment of its "design story" series, Samsung cracks open the Galaxy S4 design process for all to see, revealing some of the thinking behind the looks and features of its new high-end smartphone. Narrated in sound bites from Samsung designers, the Galaxy S4 is simultaneously described as "not a radical difference, but more of an evolution" and "like nothing you've ever seen before." Samsung's "life companion" branding gets name-dropped more than a few times, too.
Externally, the Galaxy S4 is described as having "natural elements" at its heart, including the new reflective battery cover, said to resemble "precious stone glittering in the dark, or countless stars sparkling in the night sky." So no shortage of flowery language to describe Samsung's latest lump of plastic, glass and silicon.
Check out the video above, and if you've not yet read it, find out what we thought of the Galaxy S4's design in our full review.
Stability fixes, as well as Zoe, camera, Beats Audio and location service tweaks in first OTA
After a limited roll-out in some European countries this past week, the update to software version 1.29.401.12 is now live for unlocked HTC One users in the UK. The update includes stability improvements and bug fixes, in addition to tweaks to the location service, HTC Zoe, camera "parameter tuning" and Beats Audio.
Upon first inspection we're not noticing any significant differences between this and the previous 1.28 firmware, but we'll take HTC at its word that it's been busy on improvements throughout the firmware. The update weighs in at a substantial 229MB, suggesting an abundance of new stuff has made its way into the code base.
The firmware is still based on Android 4.1.2, so it looks like the HTC One will have to wait some more for its 4.2 update.
To grab the new firmware on your unlocked UK HTC One, simply head to Settings > About > Software updates and hit the button. As always, carrier-branded devices may have to wait a little longer for their update to start rolling out. Be sure to hit the comments if you've spotted any significant changes in the new firmware.
3 weeks ago
LG Optimus GK brings things back down to a more manageable 5 inches
The Optimus GK is a tad taller and thicker than the Galaxy S4 -- and as of this announcement it's only destined for South Korea. But we've been pleasantly surprised by the larger Optimus G Pro, and chances are its little brother will be equally well-designed. It's got a 5-inch IPS display at 1,080 by 1,920 resolution, a 3,100 mAh battery and is running Android 4.1.2 on a Snapdragon 600 platform.
Plus, this one's got the same Photosphere feature -- called VR Panorama here -- as the Optimus G Pro (thanks, LG, but license that thing out already!) as well as the dual video recording that was first made available in an update for the Optimus G Pro and is also a feature on on the Galaxy S4. Yes, the back-and-forth feature battle is alive and well in the southern part of the Korean peninsula.
So if you're looking forward to AT&T's upcoming Optimus G Pro this week (we'll be at Wednesday's launch event in New York City, by the way) but don't want that oversized form factor, this might be the phone for you. Just hang tight and hope we get it here in the states.
Hit the link below for the full translation, and keep on keepin' on for the full specs.
France the first European country to have the device; South and Central America to follow
The LG Optimus F5, which is the first of the new F Series devices to be unveiled, is ready for a global debut following its unveiling at MWC in Barcelona. The device, which is targeted at a mid-range price point but still packing some high-end design and LTE, is set to be available in France starting April 29th with a whole host of countries in Central and South America as well as Asia to follow. The F5 runs a Qualcomm 1.2GHz dual-core processor, has 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage, a 540x960 (qHD) 4.3-inch display, 5MP/1.3MP cameras and runs Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean. LG is also working hard to bring some of the interesting elements of the Optimus G down to these lower devices, with similar hardware design languages and UX improvements like QSlide and QTranslator.
Pricing and availability will of course vary depending on the market, but LG has high hopes for its new device lineups which cover several different price points and feature offerings. Between the G Series, LII Series and F Series, LG is hoping to cover more ground in every different kind of market. That being said, we still wouldn't expect these to hit the U.S. in their current form.
One of the hottest phones of the year comes to two of the big four carriers in the states
We've all heard plenty about the Galaxy S4, and it seems like many of you have already made up your minds that the latest Galaxy device is indeed going to be your next smart phone purchase. Well today's the day if you're an AT&T or Sprint customer (or aspiring customer) to make it yours. Both carriers have the phone available in either "white frost" or "black mist", with 16GB of internal storage regardless of your color preference. Pricing is a touch different for each carrier, however.
If you are to order online, AT&T will be charging $199 on-contract for the S4, or $639 without a commitment. Sprint is looking like $149 on-contract if you're a new customer bringing your own number, or $249 for existing customers. Off-contract at Sprint is pegged at $599. As many are aware, there are often subtle pricing differences depending on the store you visit and the standing of your account, so it may be worth it to walk into a store today and find out. Pulled the trigger on one of these today? Many already have. Be sure to join the discussion in the forums.
A factory restore image is your way back to stock when you need it the most, so be sure to grab it and keep it handy
HTC has posted the 1.29.1540.3 factory restore images for the unlocked Developer Edition HTC One on the HTCdev site. Available in two flavors -- a zip file and a Windows RUU executable -- these files will allow anyone to restore their phone back to an out-of-the-box condition as long as there is access to the bootloader. That means no matter how bad you've screwed the system firmware up from monkeying around with it, you have an easy path back to stock settings. Then you can do it all over again.
Posting two different versions is pretty nice, too. The Windows only RUU is simple to use for folks running Windows (just plug in the phone and run the program), but not everyone uses Windows. For those folks who use a Mac or Linux computer, the zip file and fastboot makes it easy to go back without building a VM with Windows to do so.
Be aware that these images are only for the unlocked Developer Edition, so don't try to just flash them to your carrier model. Your favorite ROM developer will have something for you instead. It's recommended that everyone with one of the Developer Edition models have these files in a safe place "just in case", so grab the 980MB file at the link below.
Is it just reference hardware for Facebook Home, or a true candidate for your next smartphone purchase?
There are few things in the mobile industry that have been constant over the last few years, but one that has is the rumor of a mythical "Facebook Phone." The idea of a phone that could only interact with people and services around Facebook didn't make a whole lot of sense to most people -- and apparently it didn't make much sense to Facebook itself either. Because rather than a proper Facebook Phone, at a press conference on April 4th we were given this, the HTC First.
In many ways the First itself isn't supposed to be the big story. You wouldn't be alone for thinking it is simply a hardware platform to show off what seems to be Facebook's true end-game -- the Facebook Home software. There are far more users in the world that own one of the recent flagships from HTC or Samsung that will install Home from the Play Store than there are who will buy (or even be aware of) the First. This realization certainly calls into question why Facebook even bothered to have its own phone made in the first place.
So does Facebook actually care about the success of the First, or did it ask HTC to throw together a cheap device from the parts bin to show off Home at the press conference? After spending some time with the device, we think it may be a bit more substantial than that. There are a whole lot of intriguing aspects of the First that may just have you considering it as your next device.