ClearWire has opened up its 4G network connectivity in New York City and Los Angeles to select early adopters offering them a dual-mode 3G/4G network service. The 4G service, though it is not fully built, will be available to these early birds at a price of $35 for the initial two months that shall then be raised to $55 per month thereafter. While ClearWire has not indicated when the service is expected to be made publicly available, expect this to happen very soon.
Now, this also means Sprint 4G in NYC and LA should be coming soon. Sprint has been piggybacking on the ClearWire network for its 4G services and has traditionally opened up to 4G services a couple of months after ClearWire launches its own 4G network.
The news also corroborates to a report from earlier this year when we had written about Sprint testing out its WiMAX services in several areas of New York City and San Francisco. Many of the readers too had commented back then about having seen faster download speeds in certain areas. Now how long before this is made available for public consumption!
Now, Boy Genius Report has revealed that the device’s launch in USA could happen in November. Further, this is going to be a CDMA device and shall be carried by Sprint – the 4G network carrier that presently offers network to several popular Android smartphones like the EVO 4G and Epic 4G. Incidentally, the BGR report also notes that the Galaxy Tab could support both 3G and 4G networks.
There are two high profile 4G capable Android handsets from Sprint this season, the HTC EVO 4G and the upcoming Samsung Epic. Of course, considering the rate at which new Android handsets are being churned out, EVO 4G is not as “new” as the Epic is. And consequently, Sprint would not want to glorify a device that is already out in the market and ruin the market for an upcoming Sprint phone.
For instance, the new Epic 4G comes with a 5-megapixel camera whereas EVO has an 8-megapixel unit. Also, the EVO has a marginally larger display. Nevertheless, the Samsung Epic does come with some interesting features of its own. Firstly, the display is 4-inches of Super AMOLED goodness. Also, users uncomfortable with a virtual keyboard can instead use the slide-out physical QWERTY keyboard. But most importantly, Samsung Epic allows you to stream content from your phone to any DLNA certified device wirelessly. EVO on the other hand requires a wired HDMI output.
It is not surprising that Sprint has spoken mainly about the positive aspects of the upcoming Samsung Android handset. But I believe EVO will continue to give Epic a good competition thanks to some amazing features. Check out the Sprint video below.
So finally we have a spec sheet that comprehensively details the features that are to be seen on the upcoming Samsung Epic 4G phone on Sprint. The leaked document reveals the presence of some really interesting features that could make the Sprint Epic 4G as big as a hit as the currently hot Galaxy S.
Here is a lowdown on the specs. Primarily, the device will come with a 4-inches Super AMOLED capacitive display screen, a 1GHz Cortex A8 Hummingbird processor and an internal memory offering 1GB ROM space and 512MB RAM. Other specifications include a 5-Megapixel camera with autofocus and LED Flash. The camera can also offer 720p HD video recording. A front facing VGA camera is also on offer.
The device is expected to run on Android 2.1 and will come with all standard connectivity features including Bluetooth 2.1, Wi-Fi b/g/n and GPS.
Reports are coming in that Sprint may be testing their 4G WiMAX signals in the heavily populated areas of New York and San Francisco. An official annoucement over this is expected very soon. Engadget has noted that their testing of HTC EVO 4G showed intermittent connectivity to Sprint’s WiMAX. Also, several users have reported having seen download speeds of up to 5Mbps on their networks.
The news is not entirely surprising. New York and San Francisco are among the cities with the highest density of smartphones in the world and the high data consumption levels from these regions has virtually suffocated the bandwidth of the networks operating here. Consequently, Sprint’s announcement of 4G connectivity in these regions was quite anticipated.
Are you from one of these regions? Do you see 4G on your Sprint network? Tip us in the comments.
HTC EVO 4G – one of the most powerful Android handsets in recent times had a blockbuster launch in the US on Friday. The new 4.3 inches display phone with an 8 megapixel camera and Android 2.1 OS reportedly had such a massive opening that it has crashed Sprint’s cellphone activation technology. IntoMobile writes,
“Some reports even have Sprint’s entire system coming to a grinding halt, as the carrier straight up sold out of EVO handsets. It’s so bad that store employees are apparently writing receipts by hand.”
While a handful of customers have reported a hassle-free activation process, several other users had to go through 4 or 5 hours of busy servers before the activation could be complete.
Sprint has been flaunting its WiMAX powered 4G technology for quite some time. With competitor carriers like Verizon looking at LTE as an alternate 4G option, it now looks like Sprint too may be interested in exploring the LTE service.
According to reports, the company has issued a RFP (Request for Proposal) over LTE. This is possibly an indication that the company is now ready to look at the alternate 4G technology. While this is no confirmation of the same, at least it is heartening that Sprint is looking to consolidate its position on the 4G front soon enough.
There has been quite a bit of speculations of late that Samsung M350, aka Samsung Seek could be launching with Sprint pretty soon. According to the rumors, the price of the device is expected to be set at close to $30.
Here are the tech specs and features on offer
2.6 inch touch screen
Sliding QWERTY keyboard
1.3 megapixel camera
3.5 mm headphone jack
256 MB storage space (expandable up to 32GB)
1,000mAh 3.7v lithium ion battery
5.8 hours of talk time
The primary launch is expected to happen on May 9 and the device is expected to come in additional colors like Pink by June 6.
The sale of Palm Pre and Pixi handsets have not quite met expectations. A report on Softpedia reveals popular analyts’ speculation that the company plans to bail itself out of this situation by launching a WiMAX handset on Sprint.
However, not everyone thinks this is a possibility. Gartner analyst Ken Dulaney says a new WiMAX model will be poor leverage for the existing product portfolio of Palm and the company has to focus more on competing better with the iPhone and Nexus One. Dulaney says
“Palm needs to first and foremost build a phone that looks like the iPhone and the Nexus One and get rid of the Pre’s [physical] keyboard. Making it thin would be great with a touch screen that’s 3.7 in. to 4.3 in. They have to hit the next home run here.”
Neither Palm nor Sprint have commented on the speculations.
Folks at Android Central have reported that the first wave of upgrade to Samsung Moment’s Android OS could begin next week. According to their sources, Samsung Moment, which currently runs on Android OS 1.5 could directly be upgraded to the Android 2.1 version.
However, the first wave of upgrade beginning February 22 could require users to manually visit a Sprint store to get the update. The second round, which is expected to roll out on March 8 could be an over-the-air update.
These rumors are not confirmed, so treat it with skepticism for now.