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printed February 11, 2016
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Sprint Planning Virgin Mobile Revamp

Jan 26, 2016, 11:00 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Sprint says it has a new strategy in mind for its prepaid brand Virgin Mobile. During a call with analysts today, Sprint execs said the company is de-emphasizing Virgin at the moment in favor of Boost Mobile, and has gone so far as to pull Virgin advertising ahead of a the new strategy's debut. Sprint did not say what it plans to do with Virgin, though it did admit it is not pursuing the pre-paid space as aggressively as rivals Cricket and MetroPCS. "You've got to figure out where do you want to fight and where do you want to grow," said CEO Marcelo Claure. "We are keeping the customers that matter." Claure also took the opportunity to reassure investors and customers that its network improvement plan will not be disruptive. "This is not a rip-and-replace strategy," said Claure, calling the implementation a "progressive build" that will make changes for the better. The company is expected to relocate some cell towers and make greater use of small/macro cells to densify its network. It may also shift some backhaul operations to microwave in order to cut down the fiber carriage fees it pays to AT&T and Verizon. Claure still believes Sprint can become the No. 1 or No. 2 network in terms of absolute performance in 80% of the country's markets within two years.


Boost Mobile Adjusts Family Plans, Offers Ad Deal

Jan 26, 2016, 10:19 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Boost Mobile today unfurled new multi-line plans for families. There are now two basic tiers for families. The first includes unlimited talk/text and 1.5 GB of high-speed data per line, while the second includes unlimited talk/text and improves data to 5 GB per line. The first tier costs $70 per month for two lines, $90 for three lines, and $100 for four lines. The second tier costs $70 for two lines, $95 for three lines, and $120 for four lines. Boost Mobile throttles users who exceed their monthly data cap, but doesn't charge overages. In addition to the new plan rates, Boost revealed several other promotions. For example, it debuted Boost Dealz, a way for customers to earn credit each month by watching ads. The free app is available to Android phones and shows ads and special offers when users unlock their handset. Boost will reward customers with $5 for every month the app is active on their phone. For a limited time, new customers can get up to two free smartphones when activating a family plan. Customers can gain unlimited talk/text to and from Mexico with 8 GB of data for $5 more per month. Boost says customers can pay their bills up to 14 days late before seeing their service disrupted, and can receive incoming calls/messages even when accounts are 60 days past due. Customers who enroll in Auto Re-Boost will receive $5 off their current plan. Moreover, customers who make on-time payments will receive 500 MB more high-speed data for every three timely reimbursements. Last, Boost Mobile offers free mobile hotspot on all plans, and offers unlimited music streaming with Pandora, Slacker Radio, iHeartRadio, Samsung Milk Music, and 8tracks.


Chrome Browser to Get Boost from Brotli Compression

Jan 21, 2016, 8:48 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Google is about to make its Chrome browser much faster. The company is ready to use a new compression algorithm called Brotli, according to Google engineer Ilya Grigorik. Brotli can compress web sites in a way that makes them up to 26% smaller than Chrome's current algorithm, called Zopfli. Smaller web sites take less time to transit wireless networks. Brotli will be added to the next version of Chrome for desktop and mobile devices, though Grigorik did not say when that might be. It's possible Google will push a Brotli-equipped build of Chrome through its beta channel first.


MetroPCS Goes After Sprint Customers with Discounts

Jan 20, 2016, 11:37 AM   by Eric M. Zeman   updated Jan 21, 2016, 12:47 PM

T-Mobile-owned MetroPCS is targeting Sprint customers with new service and handset discounts. Starting January 21, Sprint, Boost Mobile, and Virgin Mobile customers who switch to MetroPCS can save up to 50% off Sprint's Family Share Pack pricing. For example, a single ported line can save between 22% and 48%, while two or more lines can save between 23% and 50%, depending on a number of variables such as existing plan cost, new plan pricing, and local taxes. Customers who switch can keep the low rate plans as long as they remain with MetroPCS. The promotion includes unlimited talk and text, Music Unlimited, Data Maximizer and mobile hotspot. MetroPCS is offering switchers a free LG Leon LTE, Kyocera Hydro Wave, Samsung Core Prime, LG K7, or $50 rebate that can be applied to any phone sold by MetroPCS. Last, MetroPCS is offering its existing customers a $20 discount when adding an extra 5GB line. T-Mobile said the promotion will be available for a limited time, but didn't provide an end date.


Boost Mobile Begins Selling LG Tribute 5

Jan 19, 2016, 11:13 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Boost Mobile today said the LG Tribute 5 is now available online and in stores. LG announced the Tribute 5 as the K7 earlier this month. It features a 5-inch screen, quad-core Snapdragon 210 processor, 5-megapixel front and rear cameras, and a 2,125mAh battery. LG-sepcific functions include Gesture Shot, KnockON, and Knock Code. The Tribute 5, which runs Android 5.1 Lollipop, costs $99.99.


Boost and Virgin to Sell Samsung Galaxy J3

Jan 15, 2016, 10:17 AM   by Eric M. Zeman   updated Jan 15, 2016, 12:10 PM

Sprint today said its prepaid brands Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile USA will soon sell the Samsung Galaxy J3. This inexpensive Android handset includes a 5-inch 720p HD screen, a 5-megapixel main camera with LED flash, and a 2-megapixel selfie camera. It is powered by a 1.2 GHz quad-core processor and carries 1.5 GB of RAM and 16 GB of storage. It supports memory cards up to 128 GB. The phone ships with Android 5.1 Lollipop and includes Samsung's Easy Mode for novice users. It packs a 2600mAh battery. The Galaxy J3 reaches Virgin Mobile stores today and Boost Mobile stores next week. It costs $179.99.


LG K7 Coming to T-Mobile and MetroPCS, Too

Jan 6, 2016, 6:26 PM   by Rich Brome

T-Mobile and MetroPCS will both sell the K7 Android phone recently announced by LG. LG previously announced that Boost would carry the same phone branded as the Tribute 5.

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Hands-On with the LG Tribute 5 for Boost

Jan 5, 2016, 1:15 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

LG introduced two mid-range phones today as part of its new K Series. The K7, which is the smaller of the two phones, will be sold in the U.S. as the Tribute 5. Here are our first impressions of this camera-centric Android smartphone from LG.

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LG's K7 to Reach Boost Mobile As Tribute 5

Jan 4, 2016, 9:48 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

LG today said the newly announced K7 Android smartphone will be sold in the U.S. before too long. Rather that use the global K Series branding, Boost Mobile will sell the device as the Tribute 5. LG expects the K7/Tribute 5 to hit stores during the first quarter of the year. Boost Mobile has not confirmed pricing nor availability.

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Sony Hoping to Boost Battery Capacity By 40%

Dec 18, 2015, 8:58 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Sony is looking at sulfur to help improve the performance of rechargeable batteries. Sony says using sulfur as an electrode material can increase the energy density from today's limit of 700Wh/L to 1,000Wh/L. This boost would give a lithium-sulfur battery 40% more capacity when compared to a lithium-ion battery of the same volume. Sony would use sulfur for the positive electrode and lithium for the negative electrode. Sulfur has low voltage, but much greater capacity potential. The company is also investigating magnesium-sulfur batteries. Sony hopes to commercialize the Li-S batteries in smartphones by 2020.


Free Music Streaming Comes to Boost Mobile

Dec 9, 2015, 12:44 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

Boost Mobile today said customers can now stream music from several different services over its cellular network without impacting their monthly data allotment. Unlimited music streaming is available through Pandora, iHeartRadio, 8tracks, Slacker, and Samsung Milk Music. Customers who subscribe to Boost's 2GB, 5GB, and unlimited data plans can stream as much music from these providers as they wish each month. Boost said song downloads, video content, non-audio content, and other data sent via the music services (ads, images) will count against monthly data caps. Virgin Mobile, which has offered free music streaming from several services since October, added 8tracks and Samsung Milk Music to its supported streaming apps. Moreover, Virgin is now selling the LG G Stylo and the Tribute 2. Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile are both owned and operated by Sprint.


T-Mobile Offers $200 to Sprint Customers

Nov 25, 2015, 9:47 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

T-Mobile today said Sprint customers can score $200 when porting their lines to T-Mobile during the holidays. T-Mobile will give Sprint, Boost, and Virgin subscribers an extra $200 for every line they switch to a T-Mobile Simple Choice plan, with no trade-in required. T-Mobile is also targeting subscribers to Sprint's unlimited plan. These customers can get access to T-Mobile's unlimited LTE plan for $45 per line for a family of four. These offerings will be available starting Nov. 26.


Google Updates Android Wear SDK

Nov 18, 2015, 1:28 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

Google today released a new version of the Android Wear SDK for developers. The SDK boosts the API level from 22 to level 23, which introduces the new runtime permissions required in Android 6.0 Marshmallow and up. Google revised how Android handles permissions in order to give end users more control over what features apps may access. Google has been aggressively pursuing developers to make sure their apps are compatible with the new permissions model. The SDK adds support for sound to Android Wear apps, which means smartwatches equipped with speakers will be able to offer sound effects. The SDK also includes support for the x86 architecture, which is vital for the Tag Heuer Connected smartwatch, which uses an Intel, rather than ARM, processor. The SDK includes a new emulator for developers, as well. All new watches need to run the most current version of Android Wear (v1.4, based on Marshmallow). Google said it will soon mandate that existing Android Wear watches be updated to comply with API level 23, but it has not yet decided when. The revised Android Wear SDK is free for developers to download.


ZTE Prestige Graces Boost Mobile's Lineup

Nov 10, 2015, 10:46 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Boost Mobile recently added the ZTE Prestige to its roster of inexpensive Android smartphones. The Prestige has a 5-inch display with 854 by 480 resolution, and is powered by a quad-core 1.1 GHz processor with 1 GB of RAM and 8 GB of storage. It supports memory cards up to 32 GB. The Prestige features a 5-megapixel main camera with 720p HD video capture and 2-megapixel front camera for selfies. The phone has a 2,300mAh battery and supports Boost Mobile's LTE 4G network. The ZTE Prestige runs Android 5.1 Lollipop and is available online for $99. Boost Mobile does not require contracts. Service plans start at $35 per month.


Boost Mobile Debuts the Huawei Union

Oct 19, 2015, 11:35 AM   by Eric M. Zeman   updated Oct 19, 2015, 12:17 PM

Boost Mobile today announced a trio of inexpensive handsets, including the Huawei Union. The Union has a 4.5-inch screen, 1.1GHz quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM, and 8GB of storage. It includes a 5-megapixel camera, 2,000mAh battery, and support for memory cards up to 32GB. The Huawei Union runs Android 5.1 Lollipop and costs $79.99. Boost Mobile also announced pricing for the HTC 626s and the Motorola Moto G (3rd Gen), which cost $129.99 and $149.99, respectively. All three smartphones go on sale today.


Siri May Get a Boost Thanks to Apple's Acquisition of VocalIQ

Oct 2, 2015, 4:10 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

Apple today said it has purchased a startup called VocalIQ. The U.K.-based firm has been working on artificial intelligence and human-computer interactions. Its software employs deep learning to help computers speak in a more natural way by taking cues from their interactions with humans. Adding VocalIQ's technologies to its own could help Apple improve the way Siri responds to and interacts with iPhone owners. Siri is Apple's voice-activated personal assistant. Apple confirmed the acquisition, but did not say what it intends to do with VocalIQ.


Boost to Reward On-Time Payments with More Data

Oct 1, 2015, 10:00 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Boost Mobile today announced "Growing Data" plans that will increase the amount of data available to customers who make their payments on time. The plan starts at $35 per month (or $30 with reboost), and includes 2GB of data and unlimited talk and text. After customers make three on-time payments, their monthly data bucket will increase by 500MB to 2.5GB. Awarded data will grow to 1GB after six on-time payments, 1.5GB after nine on-time payments, and so on up to a maximum of 3GB of extra data after 18 on-time monthly payments. Growing Data is available to the $35 and $45 monthly plans at no additional cost. Boost's $60 plan already includes unlimited data, talk, and text.


Virgin Mobile Gives Customers More LTE Data

Sep 17, 2015, 11:48 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Virgin Mobile today updated its service plans with more 4G LTE data. The entry-level $35 plan bumps the monthly high-speed data bucket from 250MB to 1GB, the $45 plan improves from 1GB to 3GB, and the $55 plan improves from 3GB to 8GB. Virgin throttles data speeds down to 2G once the data bucket is exhausted in a single billing period, but customers can purchase more high-speed data for $5 per 1GB. Virgin also announced availability of the LG Tribute 2, a $100 Android smartphone. Boost Mobile, run by Virgin parent Sprint, has sold the Tribute 2 since July.


SoftBank Invests Another $73 Million in Sprint

Aug 19, 2015, 9:10 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

SoftBank has purchased yet more shares of Sprint stock, boosting its stake in the company to just over 80%. SoftBank shelled out $73 million for about 16.8 million shares. Earlier this month, SoftBank made an $87 million investment in Sprint. The moves have helped Sprint's stock price rally, increasing the company's value by about $6 billion. SoftBank believes Sprint's turnaround plan will work and CEO Masayoshi Son said he sees the light at the end of the tunnel. Sprint recently fell behind T-Mobile in terms of subscribers.


ZTE Brings Warp Elite to Boost Mobile

Aug 18, 2015, 9:00 AM   by Eric M. Zeman   updated Aug 18, 2015, 9:14 AM

ZTE today announced the Warp Elite, a big-screened Android handset for Boost Mobile. ZTE calls the Warp Elite an update to the Warp Sync, which is also sold by Boost Mobile. The Warp Elite features a 5.5-inch screen protected by Gorilla Glass 3 with 720p HD resolution. The phone is powered by a quad-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor with 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, and support for Qualcomm's QuickCharge 1.0 technology. The main camera has a 13-megapixel sensor and the selfie camera has a 5-megapixel sensor. The phone is compatible with Boost's LTE network and supports HD Voice. It also includes Bluetooth 4.0 and WiFi, and the battery has a capacity of 3,000mAh. The ZTE Warp Elite runs Android 5.1 Lollipop and is available beginning today for $179.99.


Qualcomm Refreshes Adreno GPUs and ISP Tech

Aug 12, 2015, 7:32 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Qualcomm today announced its next-generation graphics chips, which it claims deliver significant performance improvements compared to the previous generation. The company also showed off new image signal processing technology that will boost smartphones' imaging abilities. The Adreno 530 and 510 are the first two 5xx series GPUs. Qualcomm says they are 40% faster and 40% more power efficient when compared to the Adreno 430 GPU. The new GPUs offers a wide range of graphics and compute APIs, such as OpenGL ES, Renderscript, and Vulkan. The GPUs offer support for 64-bit virtual addressing, shared virtual memory, and co-processing with 64-bit CPUs. Other features include improve fine-grain power management, new compression techniques, and the ability to push 4K video at 60 frames per second over HDMI 2.0. Qualcomm Spectra ISP is the company's new image signal processing unit, which Qualcomm claims brings dSLR-quality image capturing to smartphones. Qualcomm Spectra ISP produces more natural skin tones thanks to 14-bit ISPs. It supports up to three simultaneous cameras, and image sensors up to 25 megapixels at 30 frames per second with no shutter lag. Qualcomm says its hybrid autofocus framework and new algorithms support "next-generation computational photography." The new ISP is also more power efficient and produces less-noisy images. The Adreno 530/510 and Spectra ISP are being introduced with the forthcoming Snapdragon 820 processor. Qualcomm says devices with the Snapdragon 820 are expected to reach consumers during the first half of 2016.


Boost Mobile Adding Alcatel OneTouch Conquest and Elevate to Roster

Jul 29, 2015, 11:18 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Boost Mobile today announced the Alcatel OneTouch Conquest and Elevate, two low-cost Android handsets. Shared features between the two handsets include support for LTE, 5-megapixel rear cameras, 2-megapixel front cameras, and the Google Now launcher.

  • Conquest: The Conquest (pictured) features an IP67 rating for protection against water and dust. The larger of these two smartphones boasts a 5-inch 720p HD screen with Dragontrail Glass and 1.2GHz quad-core processor. The Conquest runs Android 5.0 Lollipop and costs $129.99.
  • Elevate: The Elevate has a 4.5-inch FWVGA display and quad-core 1.1GHz processor. It relies on a 2,000mAh battery to get it through the day. The Elevate runs Android 5.1 Lollipop and costs $99.99.
The Conquest is available today and the Elevate will become available in August. Boost Mobile operates on Sprint's network and does not require contracts.


Boost and Virgin Add Data Packs for Prepaid Plans

Jul 28, 2015, 1:16 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

Sprint's Boost Mobile and Virgin Wireless USA brands today made available new data packs for customers seeking a bit more data. The $5 pack provides 1 GB of high-speed data and the $10 pack provides 2 GB of high-speed data. Boost's existing plans offer unlimited talk, text, and 2G data, but limited buckets of LTE 4G data. Virgin's plans offer a variety of talk, text, and LTE data buckets ranging from 1 GB to 3 GB. The $5 and $10 data packs can be added to any of Boost's or Virgin's plans.


Qualcomm Intros Wireless Charging Through Metal

Jul 28, 2015, 7:48 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Qualcomm today announced new technology that allows metallic handsets to charge wirelessly. Most wireless charging pads are tolerant of some metal in the charging field, but Qualcomm says it was able to boost the sensitivity enough, via Near Field Magnetic Resonance technology, to allow for wireless charging through metal handset enclosures. Qualcomm's WiPower is based on the A4WP's Rezence standard and can deliver up to 22 watts of power to charge handsets wirelessly. Rezence pads can handle several different devices, with varying charging requirements, at a time. Qualcomm did not say when it expects to see the metallic device charging technology reach consumer handsets.


Sprint Spreads the LG Tribute 2 to Virgin and Sprint Prepaid

Jul 20, 2015, 10:02 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Sprint today announced the LG Tribute 2 is now available from Virgin Mobile and Sprint Prepaid. The Tribute 2 has LG's signature rear-placed buttons, 1.2 GHz quad-core processor, LTE, Bluetooth, and WiFi. It runs Android 5.1 Lollipop with LG's Knock Code, QuickMemo, and selfie camera tools. The screen measures 4.5 inches and offers 854 x 480 resolution. The Tribute 2 also includes a 5-megapixel main camera, VGA front camera, 1 GB of RAM, and 8 GB of ROM. Virgin Mobile is selling the phone as the LG Tribute 2, but Sprint Prepaid has rebranded it to the Tribute Duo. It costs $99. Sprint-owned Boost Mobile is already selling the Tribute 2.


ZTE Max+ for Boost Bumps Up Specs

Jul 17, 2015, 8:10 PM   by Rich Brome   updated Jul 17, 2015, 10:08 PM

Boost Mobile today listed the new ZTE Max+ for sale on its web site. The spec bump improves the memory, processor, and battery compared to original Max. The internal storage memory has been boosted from 8 GB to 16, and the RAM has also been doubled, from 1 GB to 2. The processor has been updated to the newer Snapdragon 410. The embedded battery receives a modest boost from the already-large 3,200 mAh up to 3,400 mAh. The design is also updated, featuring a rounded gold back. Other specs are similar, including the huge 5.7-inch 720p display, 8-megapixel main camera, 1-megapixel front camera, and memory card slot. The Max+ runs Android 5.1 and supports HD Voice. Like the original Max, the Max+ supports 4G LTE, but only in the primary band of the Sprint network, not the two other bands necessary for the faster Sprint Spark service. The Max+ is selling for $199, which is $100 less than the original Max at its debut.


HTC Debuts New Desire 626 and 526/520 Range

Jul 15, 2015, 2:00 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

HTC today revealed a new family of Desire handsets. The 626 series (pictured) and 526/520 series share many features, though the former is a bit more mid-range and the latter is decidedly entry-level. Traits common to the 626, 626S, 526, and 520 include Qualcomm's 1.1 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 210 processor; 2,000mAh batteries; single-band WiFi, Bluetooth 4.1, and GPS/GLONASS; support for 2 TB memory cards; and Android 5.1 Lollipop with HTC Sense.

  • 626/626S: In keeping with prior Desire designs, the 626/626S are formed of polycarbonate and have variable color combinations. These larger Desire handsets have 5-inch 720p HD screens and 8-megapixel main cameras with 720p video capture. The 626 has 16 GB of storage, 1.5GB of RAM, and a 5-megapixel user-facing camera. The 626S has 8 GB of storage, 1 GB of RAM, and a 2-megapixel user-facing camera.
  • 526/520:The 526 and 520 share most design features, but differ in some key specs. They have a simple appearance and cheaper materials. The 526, intended for Verizon, has a 4.7-inch qHD screen, 8-megapixel rear camera, 2-megapixel front camera, 8 GB of storage, and 1.5 GB of RAM. The 520, intended for Cricket Wireless, has a 4.5-inch FWVGA screen, 8-megapixel rear camera, 2-megapixel front camera, 8 GB of storage, and 1 GB of RAM.
HTC said these phones will become broadly available from many U.S. carriers, including T-Mobile and MetroPCS, AT&T GoPhone and Cricket Wireless, Verizon Wireless, and Sprint, Boost Mobile, and Virgin Mobile. Pricing, colors, and availability will vary by carrier.

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Boost Mobile's Latest Hotspot Costs $50

Jul 14, 2015, 9:59 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Boost Mobile today debuted the Netgear Fuse, a mobile hotspot that can provide up to 10 hours of web surfing for up to 10 devices via WiFi. The hotspot has a 2,500mAh battery and a 1.77-inch display, which provides device status info. Alongside the hotspot, Boost has two new hotspot plans. Customers can access up to 1.5GB of mobile data for $25 per month or up to 10GB of data for $50 per month. The Netgear Fuse is available online for $50 starting today. It will reach Boost Mobile stores in August. Boost Mobile does not require contracts.


Boost Mobile Scores LG Volt 2 and Tribute 2

Jun 29, 2015, 11:22 AM   by Eric M. Zeman   updated Jun 29, 2015, 11:24 AM

Boost Mobile today announced the LG Volt 2 and LG Tribute 2, updates to two of last year's big sellers for the prepaid carrier. Both devices share several hardware features, such as LG's signature rear-placed buttons, 1.2 GHz quad-core processors, LTE, Bluetooth, and WiFi. They also boast similar software, such as Android 5.1 Lollipop with LG's Knock Code, QuickMemo, and selfie camera tools.

  • Volt 2: The second-generation Volt (pictured) improves the screen from a 4.7-inch qHD display to a 5-inch 720p display. The main camera has an 8-megapixel sensor and the front camera has been improved from 1.3 megapixels to 5 megapixels. It has a 2,540mAh battery.
  • Tribute 2: The less expensive of these two handsets keeps the screen at 4.5 inches, but improves resolution from 800 x 480 pixels to 854 x 480 pixels. The 5-megapixel main camera, VGA front camera, 1 GB of RAM, and 8 GB of ROM are carried over from last year's phone. It has a 1,900mAh battery.
The LG Volt 2 and Tribute 2 are available from Boost's web site beginning today. The Volt 2 cost $149.99 and the Tribute 2 cost $99.99.


Boost Offering to Slice MetroPCS, Cricket Bills In Half

Jun 19, 2015, 9:28 AM   by Eric M. Zeman   updated Jun 19, 2015, 12:23 PM

Boost Mobile today introduced a limited promotion aimed at enticing MetroPCS and Cricket Wireless customers to switch. Boost will cut the monthly service fees in half for Metro and Cricket customers that sign up for Boost service between now and July 20. Boost says the halved bills can save Metro and Cricket customers between $20 and $30 per month for up to one full year. For example, MetroPCS is charging $40 a month for unlimited talk/text and 2.5GB of LTE data. Customers who port their number to Boost can get that same service plan for $20 per month. Similarly, Cricket charges customers who have unlimited talk/text and 10GB of data $60 per month. Boost will charge only $30 for that same plan. After the year-long promotion expires, customers will automatically be migrated to the Boost plan with a comparable amount of monthly data. Boost operates on Sprint's network. Sprint is offering a similar promotion to customers who switch from AT&T or Verizon Wireless.


Samsung Releases Game-Recording App

Jun 17, 2015, 9:42 AM   by Eric M. Zeman   updated Jun 17, 2015, 9:45 AM

Samsung this month made available an app that smartphone owners can use to record their game play. Game Recorder+ lets users capture game play and face-cam commentary with one touch. Samsung says the app can record audio directly from the source app, negating background noise. It also includes a Game Boost feature that Samsung claims will optimize system memory for better gaming and game recording. Game Recorder+ is compatible with the Samsung Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, Note 4, S5, Note 3, S4, and Note 2 devices. Samsung said most games from the Play Store and Galaxy App store support recording. Game Recorder+ is free to download from the Google Play Store. Earlier this month, Google announced plans to launch a game-specific version of YouTube to highlight game play. Earlier this year, Amazon bought Twitch, which lets people record and share their gaming experiences. Samsung did not say if its Game Recorder+ app will be compatible with these services, but it can upload recordings to YouTube.


Alcatel Conquest Coming to Boost

Jun 10, 2015, 2:30 PM   by Rich Brome

The FCC today approved the Alcatel One Touch Conquest for Boost Mobile. FCC documents show an Android phone with a colorful design, tri-band LTE, Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor, a camera with flash, and a front camera. Slots on the side accept a memory card and the SIM card. The battery does not appear to be removable. The phone would be Alcatel's second phone for a Sprint brand, and first smartphone. Alcatel has made significant inroads into the U.S. market in recent years, mostly with T-Mobile.


iOS 9 Improves Battery Life

Jun 8, 2015, 1:13 PM   by Rich Brome

Apple's iOS 9 will boost iPhone battery life in two ways. A new low-power mode can be switched on to extend battery life up to three hours, according to the company. Additional under-the-hood changes improve battery life one hour in typical usage scenarios, in all modes.

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Boost Mobile Scores Live Sports App

Jun 2, 2015, 11:24 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Boost Mobile today announced the launch of BoostTV. BoostTV is a video service that offers limited content for free. The video is streamed over Boost's network. Boost is also offering a premium $10 add-on called BoostTV Live Sports. The sports package provides access to a handful of extra channels, including AyM Sports, Azteca America, BeIN Sports, BeIN Sports en EspaƱol, Fightbox, Latin American Sports, and TyC. The package also provides access to live soccer matches, such as the upcoming Copa America. BoostTV is available to the HTC Desire, LG Tribute, Motorola E, and the Samsung Galaxy Prevail LTE, Galaxy S5, and Galaxy S6. Boost Mobile said more handsets will be supported over time. The BoostTV app itself is free to download from the Google Play Store. Sprint is offering the same Live Sports TV service to its regular, postpaid customers, too. It is available to most Android and iOS smartphones sold by Sprint.


Boost, Sprint to Sell LG G Stylo for $199

May 13, 2015, 9:11 AM   by Eric M. Zeman   updated May 14, 2015, 3:17 PM

Boost Mobile today announced the immediate availability of the LG G Stylo. The G Stylo, also being sold by T-Mobile, features a 5.7-inch 720p HD display and a stylus. It also carries a 8-megapixel camera main camera, 5-megapixel user-facing camera, quad-core 1.2 GHz Snapdragon 410 processor with 1 GB RAM, and 8 GB of internal storage. The Stylo supports memory cards up to 32 GB and packs a 3,000mAh battery. The phone runs Android 5.0 Lollipop with LG's user interface, which includes Knock Code and QuickMemo. Boost Mobile is selling the phone for $199.99. Sprint Prepaid will also sell the device at $199.99 beginning June 7.


Verizon Prepaid Offering 1GB Data Bonus for Auto-Pay

May 1, 2015, 9:30 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Verizon Wireless is offering its prepaid customers 1 GB of bonus data if they sign up for auto-pay. In order to qualify for the extra data, customers need to have the $45 or $60 prepaid plan. With auto-pay enabled, subscribers to the $45 plan will see their data allotment improve from 1 GB to 2 GB per month, while subscribers to the $60 plan will see their data allotment jump from 2.5 GB to 3.5 GB. Existing customers will see their bonus data appear after their next automatic payment. Verizon said this offer will only be available for a limited time. A handful of other pre-paid providers, including the likes of Boost Mobile and Cricket Wireless, also offer discounts for using auto-pay.


Boost Mobile Adds Miami-to-Cuba Calling Plan

Apr 16, 2015, 10:19 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Boost Mobile today introduced a new calling plan that lets people in Miami call relatives and friends in Cuba. Cuba didn't have cell phones until 2008, and U.S. government sanctions against the country have only recently been relaxed. The Boost Mobile Cuba Monthly Connect plan costs $50. It includes unlimited talk and text, 5GB of high-speed data, and 15 minutes of voice calls to Cuban numbers. For a limited time, Boost will provide an additional 25 minutes of calling time to Cuba during the first month of service when customers port their number to Boost. Existing customers can score 50 minutes of Cuba voice minutes and unlimited international texting for $15 above and beyond their existing plan price. The Cuba Monthly Connect plan is only being offered at Boost Mobile retail stores in the greater Miami area.


Sprint to Open 1,435 RadioShack Stores April 10

Apr 9, 2015, 10:49 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Sprint said it will re-open 1,435 RadioShack stores tomorrow that it acquired from General Wireless. The move will double the number of company-owned stores and give Sprint a much wider retail footprint around the country. The stores will be co-branded Sprint-RadioShack, but Sprint will be the main brand associated with each location. Sprint plans to build a store-within-a-store covering approximately one third of the retail space in each location. It will use this space to sell Sprint-, Virgin-, and Boost-branded hardware and service plans. Sprint said RadioShack's products and accessories will also be available at each location. General Wireless is holding into about 310 RadioShack stores. Sprint acquired the stores as part of RadioShack's bankruptcy restructuring.


Cricket Offering Free Service to Switchers

Apr 8, 2015, 7:42 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Cricket today said new customers who switch to Cricket from T-Mobile, MetroPCS, Sprint, Boost, and other competitors will receive one free month of service after completing two months of service. In order to qualify, customers must subscribe to a $50 or $60 rate plan. The offer will only be available for a limited time.


Sprint Offering Galaxy S6 and Service For $80 Per Month

Mar 26, 2015, 11:50 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Sprint is hoping to attract customers to its network with a combined promotion that includes the Samsung Galaxy S6 and a Sprint Unlimited Plus service plan for $80 per month. The plan includes the 32GB GS6 for "free" after a $20-per-month credit with a 24-month lease; unlimited talk, text, and data; international value roaming; and annual upgrades. Customers who want the 64GB or 128GB models can get them for $85 and $90 per month, respectively, with the same service plan. Families interested in the Galaxy S6 can score four of them with unlimited talk and text, and 20GB of shared data for a total monthly price of $200 per month. Annual upgrades would cost another $10 per line per month. Customers looking for the Galaxy S6 Edge can snag one for $85 per month ($5 per month after $20-per-month lease credit) with the Sprint Unlimited plan. Customers not interested in contracts or leases can pay full price for the Galaxy S6 ($649.99) and pair it with a Boost Mobile plan. The Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge go on sale in Sprint stores April 10, with pre-orders beginning March 27.


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