Welcome to the 411, my column answering all your questions about cell phones and cell phone accessories. I receive plenty of questions about these subjects via e-mail, so I figured many of you might have similar queries, too. At times, I might solicit answers from readers if I'm stumped. Send your questions and comments to me at email@example.com. If you prefer to remain anonymous, let me know in the e-mail.
Germany will soon be able to say hello to the Samsung Wave 723, the newest model of the smartphone built on Samsung's open Bada platform. Samsung will release the Wave 723, also known as GT-S7230E, in Germany in September, and then it will gradually release it to other countries in Europe, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and Africa.
The Wave 723's specs include a 3.2-inch WQVGA TFT-LCD screen, a 5.0 megapixel camera, 3G and 802.11 Wi-Fi support, and QVGA video recording and playback that includes support for H.264 HD video.
Of course, the phone … Read more
AT&T isn't shy when it comes to padding its lineup of quick messaging phones. These are typically cell phones in the middle of the feature range, with a healthy quantity of social media apps on board in addition to optional AT&T services like the AT&T Navigator and a music store.
We've rounded up five top picks of AT&T messaging phones, some of which include a touch screen in addition to QWERTY keyboards, and all of which are 3G-capable. All cost $150 or under, so there's something for every budget.… Read more
Microsoft's Bing for Android may not technically be the first Microsoft-made app for Android phones (that honor belongs to the rather obscure Microsoft Tag Reader,) but the Bing is its highest-profile app.
Released on Monday, Bing for Android closely resembles Bing for iPhone, with an image of the day marking the backdrop, and a pop-up menu to search by images, movies, maps, news, or what's nearby. There's also an option for directions. A search field sits at the top, next to a voice search button. Bing for Android hides your history, settings, and favorites in the phone'… Read more
We apologize for not posting FCC filing on this blog for the last few weeks, but the end of August was a good time to come back. Last week, a lot of cell phones passed through the Federal Communications Commission's certification process including two Windows Phone 7 devices from LG. Phonescoop sighted the LG GW910 on August 23, and CNET's Ina Fried weighed in with her analysis later that day. The GW910 should have a keyboard while the LG C900 will have just a touch screen. Also in smartphones, the FCC saw an HTC handset equipped for T-Mobile'… Read more
We knew the BlackBerry Curve 3G would be available from T-Mobile, but we didn't know when. T-Mobile has announced via its Facebook page that it will begin offering the BlackBerry Curve 3G--also known as the Curve 9300--on September 8 for a very affordable $80 with a new two-year contract. The Curve 3G is an entry-level smartphone, but it does have 3G support. It's similar to the other Curve 8500 handsets as it has a 2-megapixel camera, 624MHz processor, 256MB internal memory, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS.
Though it ships with BlackBerry OS 5, you will be able to … Read more
The HTC Desire finally makes its long-awaited American debut today through U.S. Cellular. The carrier has been promising to bring the smartphone to its network for a few months as it plans to bolster its Android offerings. The Desire runs Android 2.1 and has a 3.7-inch Super LCD, a 5-megapixel camera, and the ever-popular 1GHz Snapdragon processor. The phone costs $199.95 with a two-year service agreement and a $70 mail-in-rebate.
Best Buy announced Friday morning that the Samsung Fascinate will be available for preorder starting Sunday, August 29. Verizon Wireless' version of the Galaxy S smartphone features a 4-inch Super AMOLED display, a 1GHz Hummingbird processor, and runs the Android 2.1 operating system. As an added incentive, Reward Zone members can reserve the Fascinate today at a nearby Best Buy or Best Buy Mobile location.
There's no word as to what the actual release date is for the phone, but everywhere I turn, the speculation is it will launch on September 9. As far as price goes, I'… Read more
Al Moschner probably wouldn't blame you if you've never heard of Cricket Wireless. But if he has his way, you'll know about his company soon enough.
As the executive vice president and chief operating officer of the nation's seventh-largest wireless carrier, Moschner directs marketing and branding efforts for Cricket's products and services. A subsidiary of Leap Wireless International founded in 1999, Cricket serves 5.3 million prepaid customers in select communities in 25 states, or about a third of the country. Though that focus has served Cricket well over the past year--total revenues for parent company Leap Wireless increased 10.2 percent from the second quarter of 2009 to the same period this year--the carrier isn't standing still. Even as it stays true to its prepaid roots, it is embarking on plans to attract new customers, expand into smartphone content services, and develop the network necessary to become a national carrier.
Last Tuesday, just before Cricket released its first smartphone, the Sanyo Zio, Moschner dropped by CNET's San Francisco offices to talk about how his company and the wireless industry is changing. We covered a range of topics, including the growth in prepaid, an impending music service, cheaper data plans, and, of course, a CDMA iPhone.
Q: You operate your own network, yet you also act as an MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) for Sprint. Why be an MVNO, too? Why not just funnel people onto your own network? A: It's about national reach. An important part of our strategy is to become national. We're not going to stop building out our own infrastructure, but given that real growth in the industry is with prepaid users, we need to be a national carrier today. And more importantly, if you believe that a significant shift of sales is moving to a national carrier footprint, the only way for us to be relevant is to be national.
Q: What's driving the growth in prepaid? Is it just the economy? A: The economy is a very significant piece of it. It's forcing people to question if they can afford a $100-per-month wireless bill. The second is that folks are looking for value. We provide value in our space. We can offer voice and data much cheaper than other carriers. The third point is that consumers are no longer viewing prepaid as something that only someone else buys. There used to be that overhang in [prepaid] for good reason. If you go look at what prepaid was 15 years ago, it was more expensive than postpaid, it offered crummy devices, and it was difficult to get. Now, all of that has changed and prepaid has gone mainstream. We're offering just about everything that the major carriers offer, but at prices that are very compelling.
MetroPCS has plans to launch its LTE network in September using Samsung networking equipment, according to Jaebeom Choi, a Samsung executive in charge of systems research and development. The Wall Street Journal reports that MetroPCS will also have a Samsung phone called the Samsung Craft (also known as the Samsung SCH-R900), which promises to be the first LTE phone. The first two markets to see MetroPCS' LTE network will be Las Vegas and Dallas.
If launched, this will be the first LTE network in the country. Verizon has said it plans to launch its own LTE network in 25 to … Read more