Cricket today showed a sneak peek of two Samsung phones coming this summer. The Admire 2 sports a 4-inch screen and 4G LTE, while the Galaxy Discover is more basic with its 3.5-inch screen and stock Android interface. We checked them out. Read on for our first impressions.
At a press briefing this morning, Cricket revealed that it plans to enable LTE roaming later this year on bands 4 (1700) and 25 (1900). Band 25 LTE is used exclusively by Sprint in the U.S. Band 4 (AWS) is used by many carriers, including T-Mobile, AT&T, and soon, Verizon. The Samsung Galaxy S 4 will be Cricket's first phone to support band 25 roaming.
Cricket today announced plans to offer two new Samsung Android phones this summer: the Admire 2 and the Galaxy Discover (already offered in a GSM variant by Net10.)
- The Admire 2 is a new, mid-range Android phone with 4G LTE, 4-inch display, 5-megapixel camera, memory card slot, and Samsung's TouchWiz interface and camera features on top of Android 4.1. U.S. Cellular carries it as the Axiom.
- The Galaxy Discover is a basic Android phone with a 3.5-inch display, 3-megapixel camera, memory card slot, and stock Android 4.0 interface.
Cricket today announced that it will start selling the Samsung Galaxy S 4 on June 7 for $599.99. A financing option starts with a $59.99 down payment, plus monthly payments.
Cricket Wireless today announced two new sets of plans, one for multiple lines and another for iPhones. The new family plan offers two smartphone lines for $40 per line per month. The plan includes unlimited voice minutes and text messages, 1GB of full-speed data (throttled thereafter), and Cricket's Muve Music service. Cricket also altered its iPhone service plans to match those it offers with Android smartphones. The base iPhone plan costs $50 per month and includes unlimited talk and text (domestic), 1GB of full-speed data, and Muve Music. iPhone customers can also choose a $60 plan to get 2.5GB of full-seed data and unlimited international messaging, or a $70 plan to get 5GB of full-speed data and unlimited international messaging. All three of these plans include mobile hotspot. The new plans, which went into effect April 21, are available at Cricket stores and select retailers.
Cricket Wireless today announced the Kyocera Kona, a flip phone very similar to Kyocera's Coast for Boost. The Kona can be paired with any of Cricket's low-cost feature phone plans. The Kona runs on Cricket's 1X network and includes a 2.4-inch QVGA internal display, a 1.44-inch external display, a 2-megapixel camera, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, and a standard stereo headphone jack. The Kona includes a large dialpad for placing calls and large fonts for easier viewing. The Kyocera Kona will be available online and at Cricket stores beginning April 21 for $59.99. Service plans start as low as $35 per month.
Samsung today announced that the Galaxy S 4 will be available from seven different wireless network operators before the end of April. The four national carriers, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile USA, and Verizon Wireless, as will smaller carriers U.S. Cellular, Cricket, and C Spire, will each have customized variants of the device specific for their 4G LTE and 3G networks. Samsung said that individual carriers will announce exact availability and pricing during the course of the next few weeks. In addition to carrier availability, the GS4 can also be purchased at various electronics stores, including Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile, Costco, Radio Shack, Sam's Club, Staples, Target, and Wal-Mart. The Galaxy S 4 has a 5-inch FHD display, 1.9GHz quad-core processor, 13-megapixel camera, Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, and tons of Samsung software, including Air View and Air Gesture, Drama Shot and Eraser Shot, and Easy Mode and a customizable notification tray. Last, Samsung revealed a few more details about accessories for the GS4. The S View Flip Cover has a window through which GS4 owners can read text messages, answer or reject calls, and view the battery status. The S View Flip Cover, which is sold separately, retails for $59.99. Availability details of the cover were not shared.
The FCC today approved Sprint's version of Samsung's flagship Galaxy S 4 phone. The approval documents show support for GSM and WCDMA, in additional to Sprint's CDMA and LTE networks, indicating that the phone is intended to have global roaming capability. Last year's Galaxy S III for Sprint was the only Galaxy S III for a top-tier carrier without global roaming. The FCC also approved the Galaxy S 4 variant for U.S. Cellular (and, most likely, Cricket); it does not appear to support overseas networks.
Cricket Wireless recently made the ZTE Engage LT available for sale via its web site. The Engage LT is a stripped-down version of the Engage, and includes entry-level specs for an Android smartphone. The Engage LT features a 1GHz processor with 1GB of RAM and 4GB of internal storage; a 4-inch WVGA display; a 3.2-megapixel main camera and VGA user-facing camera; and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. The device is compatible with Cricket's Muve Music service and includes SRS WOW HD sound and supports microSD cards up to 32GB. The Engage LT costs $179.99 after discounts when purchased from MyCricket.com. The original Engage, which debuted in 2012, is still available from Cricket and offers better specs (1.4GHz processor, 8-megapixel camera) for the same $179.99 price point.
Cricket Wireless today said that it plans to separate its Muve Music service from its main wireless business and offer it other companies that might wish to license it. Cricket already has one licensee ready to access the service, though it did not name that company. According to a Cricket executive, the spin-off entity would offer Muve Music as a white-label service, running all the functionality behind the scenes while allowing the licensee to rebrand it as their own service and charge their own fees. Muve Music is used by about 1 million of Cricket's customers, as it is bundled into the top-tier Cricket smartphone plan. Cricket did not say when Muve Music will officially become its own company.
According to documents seen on the Federal Communications Commission web site, the HTC One SV may soon be sold by Sprint. The FCC recently approved an HTC device with the model number PL80110. This is nearly identical to the model number of HTC One SV for Cricket Wireless, which is PL80120. HTC has a very consistent internal model number scheme for its devices. Based on that scheme, the PL80110 and PL80120 are most likely variants of the same device or chassis. Additionally, the PL80110 approved today supports CDMA and LTE spectrum used only by Sprint. However, one page of a single document in the FCC's filings refers to the PL80110 as a "Windows Phone." The model number and Windows Phone reference conflict with one another. The FCC documents do not include images of the PL80110 to make a direct comparison between the One SV for Cricket or any other device. Neither Sprint nor HTC have announced a variant of the One SV, nor has HTC announced any new Windows Phones for any carrier.
HTC's One SV is a high-end handset for prepaid provider Cricket. Though slated for the prepaid market, it's quite the looker and would do fine at any major carrier.
Cricket Wireless and HTC today announced the One SV, a new Android smartphone for the pre-paid provider. The One SV, which runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich with Sense 4.0, follows in the One Series footsteps with its simple design and features. It has a 4.3-inch Super LCD 2 display that is protected by scratch- and fingerprint-resistant Gorilla Glass. The One SV is powered by a dual-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor. The main camera rates 5 megapixels and has an f/2 lens with backside illumination for better low-light performance. It can capture video at 1080p HD, as well as take still images while recording video. The front camera rates 1.6 megapixels and has an f/2.2 lens. Other features include Beats Audio, LTE 4G, support for 32GB microSD cards, NFC, and HTC's new Sync Manager software. The HTC One SV is exclusive to Cricket Wireless. It will be available online and in stores beginning January 16 for $349.99.
Cricket Wireless and MetroPCS have both begun offering handset financing programs that allow customers to pay off cell phone purchases over time. Both companies are working with a firm called Progressive Finance, which pays the carrier for the handset and then collects payments from the subscriber for their phone. According to Cricket Wireless, its financing program will cover up to 90% of the cost of a handset and then allow customers to pay for it over a maximum of nine months. Leap's Tyler Wallis, senior vice president of marketing and product development said, "We're really excited about it. Consumers are really excited about our rate plans, but they're struggling with the fact that an iPhone 5 is $500 upfront." MetroPCS did not provide details concerning its financing plan. In either case, the financing company does not perform a credit check. Cricket Wireless and MetroPCS do not require contracts. T-Mobile USA recently announced the end of device subsidies. Its program works differently in that customers make a downpayment on the cost of their cell phone up front and then make a monthly payment for it to T-Mobile throughout the life of their service contract.
Cricket Wireless today announced the ZTE Groove, a new Android smartphone that includes its Muve Music service. The Groove has a 3.5-inch HVGA display, an 800MHz processor, a 3.2-megapixel camera main camera with flash, and a VGA user-facing camera. The device runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread and costs $129.99, though it is available via Cricket's web site for $79.99. Muve Music smartphone plans start at $50 per month. The ZTE Groove does not require a contract.
The HTC Desire C is a wee little smartphone for Cricket Wireless. This thing may be small in size, but it's still got plenty to offer. Here are our first impressions.
Leap Wireless, the parent company of Cricket Wireless, made some changes to its executive ranks today. According to Leap, it is making the changes to ensure that the company has the right leadership to help it execute its long-term business plans. Jerry Elliott, who has been with the company less than a year, has been promoted to president and chief operating officer. Perley McBride has been promoted to executive vice president and chief financial officer, a position vacated by Elliott. Anne Liu has been appointed senior vice president and chief accounting officer. Elliott and Liu assume their new roles immediately, while McBride is expected to assume his in December. Cricket Wireless recently announced its first LTE smartphone, the LG Optimus Regard, and expanded the reach of its LTE 4G network to eight new markets, covering a total of 21 million POPs.
Cricket Wireless today announced a significant expansion of its nascent LTE 4G network. Its 4G service is already available in Las Vegas and Tucson. Those markets are joined today by Philadelphia, Phoenix, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, Laredo, Corpus Christi, and the Brownsville-McAllen-Harlingen area of Texas. Cricket says this expansion ups its LTE coverage to 21 million POPs. The company also launched two new LTE smartphones, the LG Optimus Regard and the Samsung Galaxy S III. The Regard is available starting today for $249.99. The GSIII will launch in several weeks, and will cost $549.99. Cricket's new LTE plans start at $50 per month and include unlimited talk and text, and 2GB of 3G and/or 4G data.
Cricket today announced the addition of two Android smartphones to its lineup. The LG Optimus Regard is a rebadged version of the LG Motion 4G, which is sold by MetroPCS. The Regard features a 3.5-inch display with 480 x 320 pixels, a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 5-megapixel main camera, and VGA user-facing camera. It ships with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and is the first smartphone to support Cricket's LTE 4G network. It is available starting today online and in stores for $249.99. Cricket also said the Samsung Galaxy S III will be available in the coming weeks. It will cost $549.99.
Cricket Wireless today announced the availability of the HTC Desire C. The Desire C is an Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich smartphone that includes HTC's Sense 4.0 user interface. The Desire C has a 3.5-inch HVGA display, 5-megapixel camera, Muve Music, and Beats Audio. It comes with Dropbox, which provides 25GB of online storage. The Desire C is being sold for $179.99 and can be purchased without a contract. It is available online and in stores starting today.
Cricket Wireless has ceased offering its daily PAYgo prepaid plans. Cricket spokesperson Greg Lund confirmed the change to Fierce Wireless, and said the plans were cancelled on October 21. Current customers of Cricket's daily PAYgo plans may remain on those plans for the foreseeable future. Lund said the company dropped the daily PAYgo plans so it could concentrate on its monthly PAYgo business. The monthly PAYgo plans start at $25 and range up to $60 depending on services and usage.
Cricket Wireless today officially announced the Samsung Comment II, which is a rebadged version of the Freeform 4 (sold by U.S. Cellular). The Comment II has a QWERTY keyboard for messaging, 480MHz processor, Bluetooth 2.1, and a 2-megapixel camera. The Comment II costs $89.99, and is available at both Cricket-owned and dealer stores.
Cricket Wireless today announced that LTE 4G service is now up and running in the Las Vegas market. Las Vegas marks the second LTE market for Cricket, which first launched in Tucson, Ariz., on a trial basis last year. According to Cricket, about 80% of the Las Vegas area has access to its LTE service. The company plans to cover 21 million POPs with LTE by the end of this year, and two-thirds of its current CDMA network footprint by the end of 2015. The only LTE device available is Huawei-made Boltz USB modem. Leap has not said when LTE-capable phones will become available. LTE data plans range from $35 to $80 per month.
Alltel Wireless recently announced the addition of the Alcatel One Touch Ultra 960C to is lineup. The One Touch Ultra is a variant of the Alcatel Authority, which is sold by Cricket Wireless. The One Touch Ultra has a large, 4.3-inch WVGA display, 5-megapixel camera with 720p video capture, and runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread. It is powered by a single core 1.4GHz processor, includes the Swype virtual keyboard, and Bluetooth 3.0. The One Touch Ultra is available for $19.99 with a new two-year agreement, or $199.99 with one of Alltel's No Contract plans.
Samsung recently revealed that that R390, which is sold as the Freeform 4 by U.S. Cellular, will also be sold as the Comment II (R390C) by Cricket Wireless. It has a QWERTY keyboard for messaging, Bluetooth 2.1, and a 2-megapixel camera. Pricing has yet to be revealed.
T-Mobile USA, Leap Wireless, and Savary Island have finalized a spectrum swap that was announced earlier this year. Under the terms of the deal, Leap has acquired 10MHz of AWS spectrum in Phoenix, Ariz., and Houston, Galveston, and Bryan-College Station, Texas. In exchange, Leap Wireless and its subsidiary Savary Island gave T-Mobile and Cook Inlet spectrum in various markets in Alabama, Illinois, Missouri, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. The deal also includes intra-market swaps between Leap, T-Mobile, and Cook Inlet in Philadelphia, Wilmington, Atlantic City and several markets in Texas and New Mexico. In addition to these spectrum exchanges, Leap Wireless announced that Cricket Wireless has acquired the remaining outstanding equity in Savary Island, making it a wholly owned subsidiary of Cricket Wireless.
Cricket Wireless today announced that the ZTE Engage will be available starting October 2 for $249.99. The Engage is the altest smartphone compatible with Cricket's Muve Music service. The Engage features Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich), a 4-inch display, a 1.4GHz CPU and an 8-megapixel camera. It will be available in Cricket-owned stores as well as Cricket's web site. It can be purchased without a contract.
Phone Scoop spends some time with the ZTE Engage and the Alcatel Authority, two new Android phones headed to Cricket in the coming weeks.
Cricket Wireless will soon be announcing two new Android phones, the ZTE Engage and the Alcatel Authority. The Engage, which was spotted on the FCC web site earlier this month, features a 4-inch WVGA display, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, an 8-megapixel main camera with flash, and a user-facing camera. It also comes with SRS Audio and is compatible with Cricket's MuveMusic service. The Alcatel Authority has a larger, 4.3-inch WVGA display, 5 megapixel camera and runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread. Both have single core 1.4GHz processors. Pricing and availability details for both devices, which will run on Cricket's 3G network, will be shared by Cricket in October.
Cricket Wireless today announced that it will offer the Apple iPhone 5 beginning September 28, one week after the device goes on sale at AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon Wireless stores. Cricket didn't provide pricing details.
Documents seen on the Federal Communications Commission web site reveal details of an unannounced Android smartphone made by ZTE. The V8000, as it is referred to by the FCC, supports the cellular bands used by Cricket Wireless and includes Cricket branding on the hardare. The FCC also confirms that the device includes Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. According to photos posted by the FCC, the V8000 has an 8-megapixel main camera with flash and a user-facing camera of unknown quality. Other elements of the hardware visible in the images include a microUSB port and 3.5mm headset jack, as well as SRS Audio and MuveMusic logos. The four buttons visible on the front of the V8000 suggest that it runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread, but the FCC documents don't confirm the operating system details of this phone. Neither ZTE nor Cricket Wireless has released information regarding this device yet.
RadioShack today announced its own, branded prepaid wireless service that will run on Cricket Wireless's network. RadioShack No-Contract Wireless service will be available starting September 5 at RadioShack stores, and includes several smartphones, a feature phone, and services such as Cricket's Muve Music. The Huawei Pillar feature phone and the Huawei Mercury Ice smartphone will both be available this week, with two more devices to follow by the end of the month. The Mercury Ice (a white-colored Huawei Mercury) is a RadioShack exclusive and costs $149.99. Service plans mirror those of Cricket Wireless. They start at $25 per month and range up to $60 per month, depending on features and services.
Documents seen on the Federal Communications Commission web site reveal a few details about an unannounced phone headed to Cricket Wireless. The CDM-2035C, made by TeleEpoch, is a bar-style feature phone that has a standard dial-pad and small main display. According to the FCC, the CDM-2035C supports CDMA 1X in the 850, 1700, and 1900MHz bands, which are used by Cricket Wireless in the U.S. Cricket hasn't announced this device.
Cricket Wireless today announced sweeping changes to the rates it charges for services for both feature phones and smartphones. The cheapest feature phone plan now costs $35 and includes unlimited talk and text. The $45 feature phone plan adds more calling features, unlimited MMS, unlimited international texting, and unlimited 3G data. Smartphone plans start at $50 per month and include all of the above features, plus Muve Music and 1GB of 4G data. The $60 smartphone plan adds visual voicemail, tethering, and bumps the 4G data allotment to 2.5GB. The $70 plan increases the 4G data allotment to 5GB. Cricket's PayGo plans have also been updated to more closely reflect its standard plans. They start at $25 month for 300 voice minutes, unlimited messaging, and unlimited 3G data. The PayGo plans add more features at the $35, $45, $50, and $60 price points. All the new plans will be available starting September 2 at Cricket Wireless stores and online.
Cricket Communications today announced that it will offer the HTC One V starting September 2 for $269.99. The One V, also sold by Virgin Mobile, has a 3.7-inch display, a 5-megapixel camera, Android 4.0, Beats Audio, and Cricket's Muve Music service.
Cricket Wireless recently made the Huawei Ascend Q available for sale via its web site. The Ascend Q is a bar-style phone that includes both a 3.2-inch touch screen and full QWERTY keyboard for messaging. The Ascend Q runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread and is powered by an 800MHz processor. Other features include a 3.2-megapixel fixed-focus camera, Wi-Fi, GPS, and Bluetooth. The Ascend Q ships with a 4GB microSD card, and supports cards up to 32GB. The Ascend Q costs $140.
Leap Wireless recently refreshed what it charges customers for mobile broadband service. The company introduced a new top-teir plan that includes 8GB of data for $65 per month. Leap now also offers 4GB for $45 per month and 2GB for $30 per month. All three plans are capped, and users will be throttled if they exceed their monthly allotment. The mobile broadband plans max out at speeds of 1.8Mbps on its 3G network are aren't yet available to Cricket's LTE-equipped devices. In other Leap Wireless news, the company reported that COO Raymond Roman will leave the company effective July 31. The company does not intend to replace him, and will eliminate the position. No reason for the departure was provided.
The National Weather Service today announced that its text-message emergency alert system goes live starting today. The Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) service, a joint effort between U.S. wireless network operators and the federal government, will deliver text message warnings to cell phone users based on a number of potential hazards, including tornadoes, flash floods, hurricanes, tsunamis, dust storms, extreme winds, blizzards, and ice storms. The messages are delivered based on location, so even those who are traveling will receive alerts for where they are, not where they live, if there's danger. Carriers participating in the program include AT&T, Cellcom, Cricket, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon Wireless. The alerts are not sent via the traditional SMS pipes, and are instead delivered through a system that is not affected by network congestion. The WAE can also deliver both AMBER Alerts and Presidential Alerts. Wireless subscribers can opt out of AMBER and Weather Alerts but not Presidential Alerts.
Cricket Wireless today announced a new promotion that offers discounts on service and significantly reduced device prices for new customers who port their number in from another carrier. First, Cricket is offering all new customers $10 off its Muve Music monthly rate plans, dropping the rates to $45 and $55 per month. Second, Cricket is offering massive device subsidies for customers who port their number from a competing wireless carrier. Cricket is offering a switcher incentive rebate of up to $90.00, which is added to other instant rebates for significant savings. The ZTE Score, for example, is free after the combined rebates. It normally costs $149.99. The promotion will run for the remainder of the month.
Cricket Wireless today announced that its phones and services can be purchased at more than 1,200 Kmart stores nationwide. Cricket has been working to increase its retail availability, and this new footprint expansion gives it an even broader reach. Kmart customers will be able to purchase Cricket's smartphones and feature phones, and sign up for regular and Muve Music plans.