Verizon has confirmed to CNET that it will be requiring all future smartphones to support 4G LTE. The carrier revealed that it would be an unyielding requirement for all upcoming 2012 mobile devices if they wish to run on Verizon's network. This includes smartphones, tablets, and even mobile hotspots and netbooks.
When the year 2011 is looked back upon by the Google historians, they'll mark it as the first time they officially made an effort to bring the Android platform to devices with displays larger than handheld smartphones - what we saw, as a result, was everything from the XOOM to the ASUS Transformer Prime. The folks at Google created a version of their mobile operating system Android titled Honeycomb and numbered version 3.0. This operating system began its life in the wild on the Motorola XOOM, a 10.1-inch tablet that by the end of the year would be replaced by the XYBOARD, a tablet which physically in weight and thickness to the iPad 2 - the dominant force in the tablet space throughout the vast majority of this past year.
Back a little less than a year ago when the first Verizon LTE-laden Android smartphone was released, that being the HTC ThunderBolt for all you kids out there, it had an awesome optional extended battery that you could pick up to extend the battery time to a plausible amount of time - this being more than the 4 hours of regular time you got with LTE back in the day. Now we've got another device, the Galaxy Nexus, with an extended battery appearing for it, and though this this isn't the only other extended battery of its kind, it does remind me of the whoa I felt at the hands of the rogue FedEx delivery man I was subject to back then the day before CTIA, spring 2011.
Though it seems like just yesterday that we were first unboxing the HTC ThunderBolt, the first smartphone to roll out on Verizon's still-impressive 4G LTE network here in the USA, it's been one year to the day that the network has been active. On the first day the network was officially deployed, it covered an already impressive 39 markets, this eclipsed at this one year marker by the current 190 markets the Verizon 4G LTE network sits in today. While the Verizon LTE network has been their "4G" offering since they originally started promoting the "4G" term, they mention the competition as being less prepared for the eventual oncoming of higher speed networks - sarcasm in tow, of course.
This month AT&T have revealed their first two 4G LTE devices, the Samsung Skyrocket and the HTC Vivid, the latter device being the one we're having a look at here today. This device is the next step in the HTC smartphone design evolution, and as you'll see in the video portion of the review below, it's almost as if they asked someone on the 3D mockup crew to cut off all the edges and make something sharp! We've already got AT&T 4G LTE speed tests from one of the few areas AT&T has its LTE network deployed (in Texas,) now it's time to see if the phone stands up to the pressure of the rest of the HTC family (and the rest of the AT&T family as well.)
At the moment, AT&T's LTE network is only a fraction of the size of its "4G" HSPA+ network, though it's scheduled to do some growing up on November 6th. Right now only San Antonio, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Atlanta and Chicago have AT&T LTE access, and come Sunday, the network goes live in Boston, Washington D.C., Baltimore and Athens, Georgia will also be supported. That's the day that the very first AT&T LTE smartphones also go on sale, namely the HTC Vivid and Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket. Since yours truly is only an hour away from the DFW area and I've so recently been blessed with review units for both phones, I took a short roadtrip to get some real-world tests.
The International Trade Commission (ITC) in the US has ruled in favor of Apple in HTC's original patent infringement complaint against the Cupertino company. Judge Charles Bullock issued the ruling today, stating that Apple did not violate any of the four patents in question. The complaint was filed back in 2010 and the patents involved basic functions like phone dialing and power management.
Presenting HTC's vision for the perfect 10-inch Android tablet, the HTC Jetstream, complete with a Qualcomm MSM8660 1.5 Ghz dual-core processor under the hood and a pricy $700 USD bill attached to it carried by AT&T. The question we've got on our minds, and have had on our minds since the pricing was first announced is: how could a 10-inch tablet enter an environment with several 10-inch tablets already having been out for several months with a significantly higher price and expect to do well for sales? As it turns out, this HTC tablet does not hold back - not in construction or content - but will its individual specifications be enough to create one product worthy of the price tag?
This week Verizon has announced a new wave of 4G LTE expansions and activations including one set on October 20th and another on November 17th, these together combining to one again solidify the USA's largest carrier as also the nation's "most reliable" 4G network. What we've got here is LTE activation in 22 new cities and network expansion in four cities on Oct. 20, then LTE activation in 13 cities and network expansion in five cities on Nov. 17, this making Verizon's LTE total at 178 cities active in their 4G network by December.
Now that we know what Apple is offering for this holiday season in the iPhone range, it's time we compare the device (the iPhone 4S) to the most comparable Android devices. This means, of course, that we've got to hit up each of the greatest dual-core processor creators for the platform, and with them the latest and best devices running on them. What follows is an exploration of what the best from both of these major players in mobile computing can offer. Let the fight begin!