Samsung Galaxy S 4 mini (regional)
AT&T recently pushed out a system update to the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini. The primary new feature added to the phone is support for AT&T's VoLTE service. The update must be downloaded and installed via WiFi, but it is free. AT&T expanded the availability of its VoLTE service earlier this week. It is now available in select regions across 18 states.
AT&T today formally announced that the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini will go on sale May 23, coinciding with the launch of AT&T's HD Voice service. AT&T is asking $50 for the GS4 Mini with a two-year contract. Alternately, customers can choose 18 payments of $14.24 or 12 payments of $18.50 with zero down via an AT&T Next plan. AT&T's HD Voice will be available in a very limited number of markets at launch, centered around the Minneapolis and Chicago metro areas. Samsung first announced the GS4 Mini in 2013. The GS4 Mini has a 4.3-inch 1080p HD screen, 1.7GHz dual-core processor, 8-megapixel camera, NFC, and 16GB of internal storage.
AT&T today announced the limited launch of HD Voice service in select markets around the country beginning on May 23. AT&T's HD Voice service uses VoLTE to pass high-definition calls through its LTE data network rather than its voice network. To start, the only device capable of delivering HD Voice calls is the Samsung Galaxy S 4 mini, though AT&T says more devices will follow shortly. AT&T provided few details about the requirements of the service, such as whether or not both devices need to be HD Voice-compatible and located in markets that support HD Voice. Nor did AT&T say if it will charge extra for HD Voice service. AT&T did say that its network can support concurrent use of HD Voice and LTE 4G data, so customers will be able to surf while they talk. HD Voice will first be available in select areas of Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. AT&T will add more markets over time. AT&T's web site lists the Galaxy S4 mini as "coming soon," though AT&T told Phone Scoop the device will be available when the service goes live on the 23rd.
Sprint today announced the availability of Wi-Fi calling from select smartphones. The Samsung Galaxy Mega and the Galaxy S4 Mini will be the first two handsets able to use the service. Sprint says Wi-Fi calls can be made over any Wi-Fi network, such as those in the home, office, or in public. The Wi-Fi calling service includes unlimited, free voice calls and messaging in the U.S. Sprint says the ability to use Wi-Fi networks rather than its cellular network resolves issues such as in-building coverage. The application and service can be set up by device owners in a few simple steps. Galaxy Mega and S4 Mini owners will be notified through an over-the-air update when the service is available to them. Sprint said the update will be pushed out over the coming weeks. Sprint expects to add more phones to the service throughout the rest of the year.
Verizon Wireless today added both the Galaxy S III Mini and Galaxy S 4 Mini to its Android smartphone lineup. The S III Mini costs $49.99 with a new contract or $10.56 per month with Verizon Edge. The S 4 Mini costs $99.99 with a new contract or $16.81 per month with Verizon Edge. According to Verizon, both phones are compatible with the just-launched Isis mobile payment service.