FreedomPop Intros $99 Smartphone and New Plan
FreedomPop today announced the availability of its first smartphone. It is selling the HTC EVO Design for $99 without a contract. The smartphone, though several years old, can access Sprint's CDMA and WiMAX networks for data and voice services. FreedomPop is not selling new smartphones; instead, the EVO Design has been refurbished and loaded with FreedomPop's software. Rather than use traditional voice, FreedomPop's voice calls are sent over the data network through VoIP technology. FreedomPop offers 200 voice minutes, 500 texts, and 500MB of data free each month, and today introduced a plan that includes unlimited texting and calling for $10.99 a month. FreedomPop is an MVNO that uses Sprint's network. In August, it announced that it is transitioning from Sprint's WiMAX network to Sprint's LTE network, but it is so far offering only one LTE-capable product (a mobile hotspot). FreedomPop said that it will offer LTE-capable smartphones later this year, though price points will be closer to $200.
Hands-On with HTC Bolt for Sprint
The HTC Bolt is a mishmash of HTC's two best phones with a handful of unique features tossed in to give it some additional appeal. Under-the-hood specs such as three-channel carrier aggregation and a Snapdragon 810 push this unibody handset faster than many others.
HTC Bolt, with 3-Channel CA, Is a Sprint Exclusive
HTC and Sprint today announced the Bolt, the first smartphone to ship with support for three-channel carrier aggregation (3xCA) for Sprint's LTE Plus network. The HTC Bolt can aggregate three 20MHz LTE channels to improve wireless performance.
Review: HTC Bolt for Sprint
HTC's Bolt for Sprint is a larger, more grown-up version of the HTC 10. It pairs HTC's high-quality hardware with Android 7 Nougat and Sense UI for a flexible, powerful combo.
More Carriers and Phone Makers Agree to Adopt Google's RCS-Based 'Android Messages' Service
Google today said more wireless network operators and handset manufacturers will use Android Messages, its RCS-based messaging service, as the default SMS/MMS tool on their phones. (Android Messages was previously known as Google Messenger.) Some of the features of RCS, which is a global standard, include group chat, high-resolution photo sharing, advanced calling features, and read receipts.
RingPlus To Offer Free Phone Service
RingPlus today announced a new mobile phone service plan that is ad-supported, but completely free to the customer. The ads take the form of ringback tones, which RingPlus customers hear on outbound voice calls, after dialing but before the other party picks up.