Category Archives: verizon

Samsung Galaxy S3 Update



Samsung Galaxy S3About a month ago I retired my trusty Sprint Evo 4G (original Wimax version) and got a Samsung Galaxy S3.

My initial impression of the Galaxy S3 was quite positive. I’ve spent a considerable amount of time now with the Galaxy S3, so I want to give a bit of an update on my experience with it. I drive a truck over the road and also use it as a podcast aggregator and playback device, so I am spending even more direct time with my phone than the average consumer might.

The Sprint version of the S3 is currently using the so-called “Ice Cream Sandwich” Android 4.04.

Battery life is excellent compared to the three previous smartphones I’ve had over the past several years using the stock battery that came with it.

The large 4.8” inch AMOLED LCD high resolution touchscreen is superb, with excellent color saturation. The extremely thin form factor allows me to easily carry the phone around in a front pocket.

Performance remains excellent even though I’ve installed several dozens and dozens of apps. App performance is rock solid. I had many of the same apps on my HTC Evo that would sometimes crash or cause problems that run perfectly on the Galaxy S3. I attribute this performance increase to more primary phone memory and perhaps better overall hardware design architecture. It’ likely that people that experience problems with certain apps are really experiencing lack of enough physical memory in their device in the same way that desktop computers experience fewer crashes and more overall stability when they have more physical RAM in which to execute the program code.

The Galaxy S3 has excellent WiFi performance. Connected to a Verizon MiFi 4G WiFi hotspot the WiFi has no slowdown issues even when simultaneously using Bluetooth.

The Bluetooth functionality works pretty well overall, but not quite as good as the HTC Evo. I have a JVC Stereo-Bluetooth-capable stereo in my pickup that functioned just fine with the Evo in speakerphone mode that doesn’t work properly with the Galaxy S3. I can hear callers through the stereo speakers but they cannot hear me through the return channel microphone. I don’t know if there is a Bluetooth version number conflict that could possibly resolve the problem via a JVC firmware upgrade, or if the problem might be resolved when Sprint and Samsung release the next “Jelly Bean” version of Android for the Sprint version of the Galaxy S3.

This problem with the S3’s Bluetooth not working properly with my JVC stereo is even more perplexing, since it works perfectly well with the other Bluetooth devices that I own, including a Tango TRX high fidelity Bluetooth stereo speaker that also can work as a speakerphone.

Overall I’m extremely pleased with the Galaxy S3. This is one of the most amazing pieces of technology I’ve ever owned.

In my opinion, the Galaxy S3 is currently the best phone on the market today.


Verizon Touchscreen Jukebox



This year at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas Verizon unveiled something cool and unexpected – a touchscreen photo jukebox.  This isn’t what you would expect from the words “Verizon touchscreen”.  It’s actually a touchscreen jukebox with karaoke and a photo booth. all rolled into one large LCD screen.  The whole thing runs on the Verizon 4G LTE network so there are no wires involved in this setup.  It’s a plug-and-play setup.

TPN’s own Jeffery Powers stopped by the Verizon booth and got a first-hand demonstration of how it works.  The touchscreen allows for seamless scrolling through all of the music, but even better, you can snap a photo and immediately upload it to email, Facebook, or other locations.  The photo editor has multiple filters to allow the user to choose the exact photo they want.

Users may or may not like the fact that their video is also captured during karaoke, but that aside, the device is available right now, although it’s probably more for the bar than the home.  Users can even access the device from their phone, so there’s no need to walk over to the touchscreen.  Head over the Verizon Innovation site for more info.

Interview by Jeffrey Powers of Geekazine.

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Android 2.3 Gingerbread May Finally Reach the Droid X



motorola droid x

It looks like the Motorola Droid X may FINALLY get the latest and greatest Android – 2.3, also known as Gingerbread.  Supposedly Verizon received Motorola’s build about a month ago, but rejected it.  Now it’s rumored that Motorola’s second try has been given the green-light by the wireless overlord.  This news hasn’t been officially confirmed or denied by either Motorola or Verizon.

If it’s true then the rollout would likely begin in the next few days.  So far no users have reported receiving the update.  The Droid X currently runs Android 2.2.1 and system version 2.3.340 and still claims it is up to date when asked to check for updates.

For those users who have rooted their device and are running an unofficial version of 2.3, you can find instructions on an upgrade path over at MyDroidWorld.  Those running stock devices should begin making periodic checks for updates as it may available that way before being pushed.


Flixwagon Mobile Video Broadcast and Social Networking Platform



Arie Offner and Roy Ginat present Flixwagon (http://www.flixwagon.com/), a mobile video broadcast and social networking platform. The product is aimed at business and corporate users. Verizon will be soon launching the Flixwagon Android application for selected Verizon Android phones.

Interview by Esbjorn Larsen of MrNetCast.com and Jeffrey Powers of Geekazine.Com.

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The Verizon 4G LTE HTC Thunderbolt



At CES 2011 Verizon was showing off the brand new HTC Thunderbolt, which will run on their 4G LTE network – the next generation network that is currently being rolled out.  With this new super fast network the device will be capable of such things as real-time multi-player online gaming.  The Thunderbolt will feature an 8 megapixel camera, a 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera, 1 GHz processor, 40 GB of internal storage, a 4.3″ screen (the same size as the Droid X), and it even features a kickstand (like the HTC EVO).

Like many things seen at CES, pricing and launch dates are not yet available.  In the video they also mention a couple of duel core mobile devices which will be coming out soon.  Exciting stuff.

Interview by Jeffrey Powers of Geekazine.
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Verizon And HP Introduce 4G Notebooks



Today Verizon partnered with HP to announce their new 4G LTE laptops – HP Pavilion dm1-3010nr Notebook PC and the Compaq CQ10-688nr.  They are claiming that customers can expect download speeds of 5 to 12 Mbps and upload speeds of 2 to 5 Mbps in 4G Mobile Broadband (LTE) coverage areas.

The Compaq CQ10-688 will offer a 10.1 screen, an Intel Atom N455 CPU, digital card reader, webcam (undisclosed resolution), and a veriety of connection options (presumably USB and HDMI).  It also boasts an 8.5 hour battery life.

The HP Pavilion dm1-3010 comes with an 11.6 inch screen, HP CoolSense technology (which they claim “combines advanced hardware and intelligent cooling software for a notebook that feels noticeably cooler”), a 1080p display, a 320 GB hard drive, digital media card reader, HDMI port, Dolby sound, GPS, and battery life of a stunning 9.5 hours.

Both the HP Pavilion dm1-3010nr and Compaq CQ10-688nr can be turned into mobile hotspots to allow other WiFi enabled devices to connect to their integrated “Internet Connection Sharing application”.

Like many things on display at CES there is no pricing or release date as of yet.  The HP certainly grabs a lot more attention than the Compaq, which seems completely average except for it’s LTE connectivity.  The HP is the real powerhouse here, but it’s likely there will be a noticeable price difference.  I don’t expect it to be too long before these are on the market – my guess would be mid-2011, but that’s just a guess.


Verizon’s Android Problem



With the release of the Motorola Droid and HTC Droid Incredible in early 2010 Verizon became the US leader in Android phones.  Later they came out with the Droid X, Droid 2, Droid Pro, and Samsung Fascinate to solidify their front-runner position.

But there’s a problem with how they are doing business now.  They are positioning themselves as PC makers have done, but with one major exception.  PC makers have a long history of installing “extra” software, what users have termed “crapware”, onto their PC’s – things like trial versions of antivirus.  But there has always been a way to uninstall it.

Now Verizon is trying the same trick, but without any uninstall option.  All Verizon Android phones come with a Blockbuster app and recently an update for the Droid X installed a trial version of Madden NFL 2011.  The kicker here is that these apps take up precious space on your phone and Verizon has ungraciously provided NO WAY to remove them.

I have not rooted my phone, but I have heard mixed messages regarding uninstalling these apps after rooting.  Some people have said it’s possible and some have said it isn’t.  But, rooting is complicated and certainly not for the casual user.

So Verizon finds themselves in a position where they really don’t want to be.  Yes, they are releasing the phones people want, but they are also angering their core users.  By not allowing any type of uninstall option they are going to drive away the base of users that has made the Android phones such a hit on their platform.  Really Verizon…Blockbuster?!  There may still be a user out there, but do you think the majority of your customers want this?  Do you think they want to pay $9.99 to get the full version of Madden?  Do you think Samsung Fascinate buyers want Bing for their search and maps as opposed to Google when they bought a  Google phone?

No Verizon doesn’t think any of that.  What they are thinking is only about the dollars they can earn from these deals.  But those dollars go away when users go away.