Monday, September 29, 2014

iPhone 6 Plus "Bend-gate" = Samsung Galaxy Note 4 "Gap-Gate"?

No phone is perfect.  In fact, even the perception of perfection standards of the iPhone brand was blemished in the latest iteration of their phone.  As many of you have already read about and seen pictures of, the iPhone 6 Plus bends.  However, Samsung has a possible problem, at least in the first couple of thousand deliveries, primarily in South Korea, of their phones having a gap between the frame of the phone and the display/screen.  Purportedly, you can stick a business card between the gap.  This is a major no-no as dust and water may be able to seep in and damage the pricey device.  This issue is already known by Samsung.
(source: Twitter - @iamdjdarryl_868)

My conjecture would be that Samsung simply rushed the launch of the device in their home country to hopefully curve iPhone 6 Plus sales in South Korea.  A smart move, unless of course, your device has not passed final inspection.  No one should release a phone with design features in Beta mode.  In all honesty, during CellPhonius' preview of the device, the issue went un-noticed, giving us hope that only the first batch of devices had this issue.  The last thing Samsung wants is its next big thing to have any time of "gates".  We will learn more as the launch date of the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 gets closer and we get our unit for unboxing, review, and first impressions.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

"Facetime" for Android? - Verizon Advance Calling 1.0

Verizon says that "The future is crystal clear", even though CellPhonius' own Danny thinks it's an old trick, straight out of the HTC Evo's launch.  You remember the Evo's video chat capabilities, right?  Well, just in case you don't, the Evo was THE first consumer mobile handset that allowed users to perform video calls over WiFi at first, then over Sprint's mobile 4G network.

Well, Verizon is announcing their new service called Verizon Advance Calling 1.0 which touts the ability of ANDROID users with either a Samsung Galaxy S5 or an LG G2 to perform Voice over LTE calls.  From the call screen, you will be able to simply pick Camera to begin a video call between two people who have these specific devices for an HD experience beyond just voice.  Of course, the caviat is that you must live in an LTE/VoLTE market.

This is really a move in the right direction for Verizon's network. It would be nice to see T-Mobile, AT&T and Sprint also enable this on their networks.

Would this be a feature you would likely use or is it just another unnecessary gimmick with so many video chat applications available?  Too, given that this is not yet cross-platform nor cross-network, is it worth all of the noise?  No doubt that like advancements will continue to come to light as competition heats up.  But, being data throttled as we are, I cannot imagine this being something that can be sustainable, for the moment being.  Networks need to figure out how to provide their patrons with truly unlimited, un-throttled access to data to truly enjoy the full capabilities of their handsets.

TRUE freedom; one that only comes from two of the three providers: T-Mobile and Sprint, for the moment being, albeit at a price.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Hey T-Mobile, AT&T says... "I Can Do It Too"

att logo
AT&T is taking a page, no wait; a chapter out of T-Mobile's UNcarrier move... in fact, it looks like it is in direct response to T-Mobile's latest announcement.  While T-Mobile is not the only US carrier with the capacity to offer WiFi calling, it definitely beat all of the other carriers to the punch, implementing WiFi calling to the masses like no other carrier has, to date.

Well, CBS partner site CNET is saying that Ralph de la Vega, the CEO of AT&T Mobility, says that his company will, too, offer WiFi calling, but will wait until next year to launch their initiative.  The reason is that AT&T has not began offering VoLTE (Voice Over LTE) to scale the project initiative accordingly.

Some analysts would say that since AT&T's network is not suffering as much as T-Mobile in the HSPA/4G department, AT&T is not in as much a hurry to implement this initiative.  We like to have fun and say that they don't want to appear to be copying T-Mobile's strategy, which we really think they are doing... he he he.... ;)

Google and Asus preparing the Nexus Player, FIRST Android TV devices


I heard it through the webvine that Asus and Google are releasing, right along with Android L, this fall, Android TV which is similar to its mobile OS, but it is engineered to run on smart TVs and set-top boxes.  As you may expect, this (Roku-like) device will be super-optimized for watching YouTube but will also feature services from Netflix, multiple radio services and a whole range of video options.
I know, I know... we keep hearing of Google TV, but this times, Google is serious about proliferating these great quality devices at a low price and bring it to the masses.  You'll be happy to know that this device will respond to voice commands for those who are too tired to reach for a remote, which will likely, too be a component of this offering.

Asus is not alone, though in the production of Android TV, other partners bring these devices to a Black Friday store near you include, TP Vision, Philips, Sharp, Sony, and others.  We expect that the Asus-made device will be available thru Google's Play Store, too.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

T-Mobile STRIKES all Carriers HARD with UNcarrier 7.0

Let's cut to the chase:

T-Mobile is Offers the following via their new initiatives:

  • WiFi UNleashed!!! Allways have 5-Bars Free Personal "CellSpot" device built by Asus, a WiFi router , for customers ($25 refundable deposit / must have a compatible cellphone)
  • Introduces Next Generation - WiFi Calling and Texting
    • Mobile Network to WiFi and Vice-versa Handoff (WiFi Off-Flow)
    • Every smartphone will be WiFi enabled

  • Open Enrollment into JUMP: to get a WiFi enabled phone

  • Simple Global Enhanced: Int'l Calling is now FREE for all WiFi Calling T-Mobile Customers

  • Partnered with Gogo for FREE In-Flight Texting using your WiFi Texting capabilities

They classify themselves, not as a Wireless Network Provider, they are a Data Network Provider, a Mobile Internet Company.

So, what do you think?

AT&T Goes for T-Mobile's Jugular via Cricket

Oh... It's on.  With +Cricket Wireless (owned by +AT&T ) now offering increased data caps for all of their tiered plans, We'll just have to see what +T-Mobile brings to the table during their UNcarrier Announcement.  

Here's what Cricket is now offering: 
Basic gets 1GB - was 500mb @ $40 with $5 autopay discount = $35
Smart 3GB - was 2.5GB $50 with $5 autopay discount =$45
Pro 10GB - was 5GB $60 with $5 autopay discount is $55

So, for just $5 more than T-Mobile's basic plan, you get 10GB of high speed 4G LTE data, T-Mobile will really have to show some good numbers to make its case to the customers.  Otherwise, Cricket will move to attempt to eat their lunch.

Here's my guess on UNcarrier 7.0:

Why Companies like T-Mobile and Samsung are Winning

Photo Credit: John Legere's Twitter Feed/Vine

Why Deutche Telecom still wants to rid itself of T-Mobile is beyond me. T-Mobile is yet to see its full potential. With the leadership of John Legere, customers are sure to get what they ask for, resulting in fat wallets for investors. Monopolies are no longer as powerful as they used to be. T-mobile, for example, has forced the two largest wireless companies in the United States of America to lower their prices and restructure their products, not to mention change their brand strategy. 

Both Samsung and T Mobile have been benefiting from listening to their customers. In fact, I would venture to say that all wireless customers are also reporting benefits whether they are T-Mobile subscribers, Samsung users or not.  The reason is that these two entities have forced the competition, as untouchable as they once were or thought to have been, to change their ways; all to the benefit of the customer. 

The bottom line, is the customer. Therefore, if you listen to the customer, you cannot fail. Companies will have to learn the easy way, or the hard way, that they are to listen to the customer's requests or demands in order to command greater marketshare. Case-in-point, Legere's UNcarrier strategy has propelled Magenta and their stock to the point where many companies have expressed interest in purchasing T Mobile.

So, you can thank John Legere for your wireless provider offering you more minutes, more text messages, and more data. Competition is what drives the market nowadays. No longer do one or two companies get to decide the price structure and set parameters for the industry. John Leger has shown that it IS possible to offer more for less, and start the force the industry to respond to customers demands. Who is leading the change will lead in marketshare at the end of the day.

Follow me on Twitter @maestroalvarez .... +Danny Alvarez on GooglePlus and of course, subscribe to my YouTube Channel: CellPhonius.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Sprint attempts to beat T-Mobile to the Punch

One day before T-Mobile announces their UNcarrier 7.0, Sprint says that the price fight is on! 

Ok, T-Mobile.  Let's see what you have to offer tomorrow to totally obliterate this deal.  

To be fair, T-Mobile's plan includes 3.5GB-5GB of Mobile HotSpot Data (at the average value of $10/GB of mobile tethering) T-Mobile still has the best deal.  

Also, this Sprint deal is ONLY available for new or renewing customers.  The vast majority of their subscribers likely will not benefit from the new price structure immediately.  When T-Mobile offers a deal, they extend the deal to ALL of their post-paid subscriber base. 

UPDATE:  Sprint just raised the bar!  They are offering a leased iPhone 6 or 6 Plus PLUS unlimited data, txt, voice for $70!!! This is getting good, stay tuned!!!

Will  beat  's deal tomorrow?  We'll just have to wait and see.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

The Galaxy Note 4 and Note Edge - First Look

You can get all of the specs of on these phones anywhere online now... but perspective is something you'll have to wait for if you are not lucky enough to get your anxious little hands on these two beautiful pieces of art....

That's where I come in.  Let me tell you that you will absolutely love the feel of the new Galaxy Note 4.  Why not the Edge?  I did not say that the Edge doesn't feel good in the hand.  As a matter of fact, the Note Edge feels slightly smaller and lighter, which alot of people not used to this breed of amazing devices will appreciate.  OK, back to the Note 4.  It is substantial.  You definitely will feel the very high quality of the workmanship and materials when this baby is in your hands.  It will feel slightly heavier than the Note 3, yet not too heavy.

As for the Note Edge, I bet this will be purchased more by the ladies, given that it is easier to hold with one hand, so said my wife ;)  The range of colors available will include pink which will make for a very chic, fashionable accessory.  As for the cameras, well, the videos on this page should give you confidence in the magnificent (upgraded) performance of the units.  On the back of each of the phones you will find a 16 megapixel camera shooting up to 4K video.  Optical Image Stabilization, a feature that they were not able to deliver to the Galaxy Note 3 devices, is finally making a poised appearance.  Don't let the "new" part of the feature fool you.  Samsung is, after all a seasoned camera maker.

OK, if you are like me, I was really doubting that the notification panel on the Note Edge would hold up to my big hands.  What I am trying to say is that I figured that I would be accidentally scrolling, tapping on the side notification panel often.  To my surprise, or maybe not, Samsung fixed this dilemma by making the notification panel static and non-responsive while using applications like the web browser.  In fact, it makes a very beautiful appearance while using the camera.  We will do a more in-depth review of the newcomers soon.  What features do you have questions about?

I cannot even begin to imagine what the next iterations will bring.  Meanwhile, your hands will likely come into contact with these devices at a store near you beginning in October 10th.  Which will you pick?  I appreciate the follows, likes, and subscriptions on my YouTube Channel!!! You guys are the best... Link with me on Google Plus at +Danny Alvarez    @maestroalvarez on Twitter

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

T-Mobile's UNcarrier 7.0 really WILL be personal!!! gears have been turning ever since the announcement.  Here are is my educated guess.  Bear with me, hear me out, then tell me what you think.

The clue was given by T-Mobile in its invitation: Password - Speakeasy. The fact is that T-Mobile is venturing into a NEW form of UNLIMITED communication. Via the iPhone 6, you will have the ability to make Facetime-like calls on T-Mobile's network to anyone who downloads the application onto their phones/tablets.
History: Speakeasy, an broadband internet service provider and Voice over IP carrier based in Seattle, Washington, United States are known for their liberal usage policies for home users whereby subscribers are explicitly permitted to run any number of serversand are permitted to resell their connectivity to others through the "NetShare" service. They are also known for their support of Linux and BSD-derivative operating systems (like iOS/Mac AND Android), and were the first provider to offer a customized version of Mozilla Firefox to customers, in January 2005.[3] Speakeasy merged with a company called MegaPath in 2010. Well, in July 2014, MegaPath announced a partnership with CounterPath Corporation to deliver CounterPath Bria desktop, tablet and mobile UC services through MegaPath’s Hosted Voice service. The Unified Communications features include screen sharing collaboration, text messaging, fixed-mobile convergence, and video conferencing. You'll be happy to know that the MegaPath network is an MPLS-enabled, all-optical IP network that serves over 235 U.S. metro markets. The company offers Internet connectivity services including Ethernet, T1 and Bonded T1, DSL, wireless, and cable.

 Soooooo.... The HUGE announcement is likely going to be that, since MegaPath (Speakeasy) completed a nationawide Ethernet over copper (EoC) network expansion in 2012, which means they are able to transmit WiFi signals through a network that spans the entirety of the United States, T-Mobile will likely either offer something like Republic wireless in that WiFi calling which ironically was implemented right around 2010, when Speakeasy merged with MegaPath. With the newest iteration of the iPhone now supporting WiFi Calling, a first for Apple Devices, what a better time to ride the wave of excitement than one day after the launch of such device to announce the NEW T-Mobile Broadband enhanced network for UNLIMITED talk, text, and TRULY unlimited data with no restrictions via their new alliance with MegaPath/Speakeasy!!! PLUS a new T-Mobile Exclusive App that allows you to make unlimited calls (without throttling) to anyone with the app.

This is a conjecture based on some research I have done, thanks in parts to our good friends at Wikipedia for the cited background info. What do you think? Would this be enough to JUMP into a plan that gives you more than ANY other US wireless carrier could ever give you. Your thoughts and comments are, as always, appreciated. Please subscribe to my YouTube channel: CellPhonius too and follow me on Twitter @maestroalvarez and on Google Plus +Danny Alvarez