T-Mobile is stepping up their game with a brand new marketing campaign (that I’m not sold on) and the pending launch of HTC’s new flagship phone – the HTC One S. At last week’s HTC event I had a chance to hold and play with the phone’s bigger brother The HTC Sprint EVO 4G and was blown away by how beautiful that phone was. The One S is a slightly smaller version of that phone but has the same gorgeous industrial design and is rocking the new HTC Sense 4.0 and one of the first phones to feature, Android’s latest and greatest operating system (AKA, Ice Cream Sandwich). The phone includes an 8-megapixel back-side illuminated camera with Instant Capture, built-in Beats Audio and access to 25GB of free cloud storage from DropBox. The only thing that I don’t like about the HTC One line of phones is they are going the iPhone route and not including external storage or removable batteries. What is the point of an Android device if you can’t have more control and hardware expandability? Yes, the 25GB of DropBox storage is nice and all, but let’s be real, with the draconian cell phone data caps most people wouldn’t be dumb enough to actually use this service over a “severely” limited data plan. Check out the full release after the break.
4G and LTE devices and network expansion announcements are all the rage at CES this week. T-Mobile is not one to be left out of the fray. Today T-Mobile unveiled plans to double the speed of its 4G network this year, which will be capable of delivering peak download speeds of up to 42 Mbps. Moreover, the company announced that in 2011 it will launch at least 25 new 4G devices, starting with its first 4G tablet — the Dell™ Streak 7, expected to be available at T-Mobile stores across the country in the coming weeks. The company vowed to aggressively expand and evolve its 4G smartphone portfolio, launching additional devices capable of delivering peak download speeds of up to 21 Mbps in the first half of 2011, and smartphones capable of delivering peak download speeds of up to 42 Mbps in the second half of the year.
Yesterday Tmobile announced that they will carry the Android-Honeycomb powered 4G Tablet. The T-Mobile G-Slate will be among the first 4G tablets to fully benefit from the tablet-optimized Android 3.0 platform, which was designed from the ground up for devices with larger screen sizes and addresses the unique aspects of tablet use cases and form factors. The Honeycomb user experience improves on Android favorites such as widgets, multi-tasking, browsing, notifications and customization. It will also feature the latest Google Mobile innovations including Google Maps™ 5.0 with 3D interaction, collection of more than 3 million eBooks and Google Talk™ with video and voice chat. And we have video!
I generally don’t read press releases all that closely, especially ones that say “We’re testing some super cool new tech,” usually in some no-name markets that don’t include DC. However, this time, DC is going to be in on the test. We’re one of the first markets to get T-Mobile’s new “Blazingly fast HSPA+ Network.” If everything in the press release is true, I may be kicking AT&T to the curb this summer. I really would love to get the HTC 2, it’s one sexy phone but the fact that it won’t be upgradeable to Windows 7 Phone in the fall and Sprint’s recent HTC EVO 4G makes me want to wait. Especially since, yesterday, T-Mobile finally announced the pricing – $199 on Contract – which is great, but the phone is barely out and it’s already “old.” T-Mobile likes Eclipse, sort of, so I’m sure I’ll probably get one of these for review – in 7 months.
T-Mobile successfully launched its HSPA+ network service in Philadelphia last fall providing customers access to one of the fastest and most modern wireless networks in the U.S. T-Mobile now has made HSPA+ commercially available in new markets including major areas of New York City, New Jersey, Long Island and suburban Washington, D.C., with deployment in Los Angeles coming very soon. The company will continue to aggressively expand the availability of HSPA+ in additional 3G markets, putting the necessary backhaul capacity in place to support the very fast speeds. Today, its 3G high-speed data network covers more than 206 million people. T-Mobile’s HSPA+ network is outperforming competing 3G wireless networks with speeds up to three times faster. Blazing fast actual peak download speeds3 were demonstrated today in Las Vegas using both new and current mobile broadband devices, including the T-Mobile webConnect Rocket™ USB Laptop Stick, the first HSPA+ capable device from a national U.S .wireless carrier; the Dell Inspiron Mini 10; the HTC HD2; the Motorola CLIQ XT™ and the T-Mobile myTouch® 3G.
Google’s Android is getting better and better with each new T-Mobile phone. I really enjoyed using the G1 early last year; over the summer T-Mobile released the MyTouch 3G phone. I finally had a chance to play around with it for a few weeks and to take it with me to CES; I’ve come away from the experience liking Android and this particular phone a lot.
A lot of people complain about the T-Mobile network, but frankly I’ve never experienced any major issues with it during my travels and testing. T-Mobile needs to improve it’s network speeds – their 3G isn’t noticeably faster than their Edge network which I found myself connected to at least 60 percent of the time. This happened when I tested out their Blackberry Curve (which was an Edge only phone) in Orlando, the G1 in NY and now the MyTouch in Vegas. Here’s the thing, Edge is slow but at least it’s reliable.
I used both the MyTouch and my iPhone while at CES. My iPhone was an epic failure – dropped every single call and 90% of the time I couldn’t connect at all to the network, there were moments I was screaming at the phone at the convention center and wanted to literally throw it at the wall. People were looking at me like I was a crazy woman. What’s the point of having an iPhone if the thing doesn’t work in environments where there are more than 10 people around using the same network? Meanwhile the MyTouch was the little engine that could. It never gave me any issues other than taking "awhile" to download my email.
So far my AT&T service is really sucking in The Vegas, it’s dropped every call I’ve made. Luckily, T-Mobile finally sent me a MyTouch to play with and that’s been ok so far, even though the 3G has been spotty – but no dropped calls. It’s weird but T-Mobile isn’t doing much at CES this year, as far as I’m aware (I could be wrong, but I did ask) they are not having any press events, but I will stop by their booth later this week. They did send along a quick release saying their network reached some milestones including increased 3G coverage and they are the first carrier to launch HSPA+ which is supposed to be faster than 3G.
I really want to switch to T-Mobile. I like my iPhone well enough, but the fact that it doesn’t have multi-tasking capabilities makes a lot of the awesome apps available for it pretty useless and despite what Apple says the iPhone/iPod Touch is NOT a gaming machine. I’ve tried to play a few games and without buttons the experience is universally awful. T-Mobile and Motorola announced the Motorola CLIQ with MOTOBLUR, which will be available in the U.S. exclusively from T-Mobile later this fall. The CLIQ, the first device to feature Motorola’s MOTOBLUR service and Motorola’s first Android-powered device, joins T-Mobile’s compelling lineup of Android devices and underscores the company’s commitment to the open, customizable platform. The phone looks pretty darn hot. T-Mobile loves me, so I’m sure I’ll get a review unit sometime in the next 3 or 5 months – not timely, but hey, what can I do? We’re not Engadget or Cnet. Here’s the full press release.
Here’s one of the reasons I hate being on the low-end of the PR Press List (although I do generally get things after Engadget and Cnet gets done with them). While everyone else is out reviewing the new sexy Palm Pre (which I think is pretty ugly), I’m here reviewing the Blackberry Curve 8900 for T-Mobile. I Nothing against the folks at the big T but hey, what can you do. I’ve had the Curve now for about 3 weeks now and overall I like it but I think it’s now official I’m not a fan of the Blackberry, although I do think the Curve comes closest to what I would want in a Blackberry.
The Blackberry is one of those devices that always perplexed me. It’s the most popular smart phone in the world (yes, even more than the iPhone) and I’ve never had one or really even touched one. Sure my bosses had them but I always took one look at the interface and said, “Ugh, that’s one fugly looking UI.” So I’ve never understood its popularity, ok I do. The idea that you can run your business from the phone is compelling. Every time I travel to a conference, I always wish I had a smart phone. Then I get home and realize I wouldn’t use it enough to justify the outrageous monthly costs. I wish I could get one without being locked into paying almost $2,000 (over the course of a standard 2 year contract) for that kind of money, I’d rather just get a $400 Netbook with wireless broadband and carry that around (or take my Macbook everywhere I go).
T-Mobile and Blackberry have teamed up to bring us the first Blackberry Pearl Flip phone. I’m a huge fan of the Flip; all of my personal cell phones for the last several years have been flips. This is one beautiful looking and feature rich phone that is hampered by one janky, frustrating keyboard that made me want to throw it off my hotel balcony.
Let’s start with the positives, again T-Mobile, I don’t know why the network doesn’t get the love it deserves, it’s a solid network that hasn’t dropped a call on me, is clear, and reasonably priced. More so now that they have the new $50 unlimited call plan. By comparison, Verizon drops calls almost every time I get on the phone – seemingly, regardless of where I am. I know a lot of people swear by VZ’s network, but in the two years I’ve had their service, I’ve almost never had a good experience. I tested T-Mobile’s service here in DC and in Orlando, Fla and it worked fine for me. The data speed is slow, but then I don’t expect blazing speed on a mobile device. T-Mobile will most likely be whom I switch to when my VZ contract is finally over.
I’m one of those people who really hates paying for a cell-phone since I don’t like talking on the phone and rarely use it. I pay almost $100 a month for my current phone. That’s $2,400 for a two-year contract to use an average of 200 minutes a month (no music, ringtones, texting, internet, nothing) on a family share plan. That’s pretty disgusting. Most people are so hung up on the initial cost of a phone $200, egads! But don’t really think about the total cost of ownership and I think cell phone companies like it this way. So lately with all the iPhone hype, I’ve been thinking, “If I’m going to pay this ridiculous amount of money, I at least want to be able to check my email and get some smart phone goodness for my trouble.” I purchased an iPod Touch because I can’t stand AT&T (but Wi-Fi sucks and isn’t reliable), Sprint’s been on my hit list for 10 years and I probably won’t re-up with crummy Verizon when my contract expires in a few months, so I looked around and said, hmmm… T-Mobile has never screwed me and they have this brand new phone called the T-Mobile G1, the first phone in the US to feature Google’s brand new Android Open Source Operating System.
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I don’t understand why T-Mobile doesn’t get as much love as Verizon or AT&T. This has been my first experience with them and I loved it. For starters it actually works in my home. Neither AT&T nor Verizon works at my house. Everyone I talked to asked if I was using a land line, that’s how clear everything was. T-Mobile’s pricing plans are reasonable and straight forward they have pay as you go options, unlimited broadband Internet (although in the small print it says they’ll throttle your service if you go over 10Gigs), rollover minutes (which Verizon doesn’t have), and they don’t nickel and dime you over everything. I also like their 5 Family call thing, which lets you program up to five phone numbers that will be free regardless of what network they are on. There’s no visual voicemail on T-Mobile, which is disappointing.
If I purchased a Blackberry Storm from Verizon, I would have to pay my current minimum family plan amount, plus $30 for the Blackberry Data Plan, $30 to tether (with a measly 5 Gig cap), and $15 for Rhapsody (which isn’t connected to the Online Rhapsody service that I already pay $15 a month for). Plus, I don’t even get rollover minutes. So for all of these reasons and the most important one – T-Mobile actually works in my house, I will most likely switch to T-Mobile this summer. I’m just not convinced it’s going to be to the G1. Continue reading