Verizon has added detailed maps of its mmWave 5G coverage to its web site. The maps show where 5G is available on a block-by-block basis in the cities where Verizon has launched the service. Verizon started offering 5G in April, but has not offered any coverage maps for the service until now. Because Verizon's 5G network so far uses only mmWave frequency bands, coverage is limited to small areas near each base station, and can vary wildly from city block to city block. T-Mobile was running an ad campaign attacking Verizon's unwillingness to share 5G coverage maps.
Samsung will sell a Star Wars Special Edition of the Galaxy Note10+ this December, with Star Wars-inspired design elements and digital content. The phone will be bundled with a specially designed case, a metal badge as a collector's item, a red S Pen, and Galaxy Buds. The design features a First Order logo on the back. The phone comes loaded with exclusive Star Wars-themed content including wallpapers, shutdown animations, icons, and sounds. Engadget reports that the (unlocked) phone will go on sale in the US on Dec. 13th for $1300. This special edition coincides with the release of The Rise of Skywalker film on December 20th.
FCC Chair Ajit Pai this week announced a decision on how to auction new radio spectrum for 5G that will be reclaimed from satellite operators. The FCC will conduct a public auction of spectrum licenses, as it has done with most bands used for mobile services to date. A group of satellite operators that currently have rights to the band had been lobbying for permission to conduct their own private auction instead. The spectrum in question is called the C Band, and it's near 4 GHz, a higher frequency than most bands used for mobile networks today, but much lower than the mmWave bands that some carriers have deployed for 5G in the US. The part of the C Band that is planned to be auctioned for 5G in the US is 280 MHz wide, spanning 3.7 GHz – 4.2 GHz.
Verizon has launched 5G service in three new cities, bringing the number of cities with Verizon 5G to 18. The service is uses mmWave frequencies, which generally offer high speeds but limited coverage. It's available in "parts of" Boston, Houston, and Sioux Falls. In Boston, initial 5G coverage is concentrated in Fenway, along Brookline Avenue near Beth Israel Hospital, and several university campuses. In Houston, initial 5G coverage is concentrated in East Downtown, Uptown, Greenway Plaza, Museum District, Rice Village, and around select major stadiums and malls. In Sioux Falls, initial 5G coverage is concentrated around Levitt at the Falls, Orpheum Theatre, Washington Pavilion, State Theatre, and the US Federal Courthouse. Verizon has already launched 5G in Dallas, Omaha, Chicago, Minneapolis, Denver, Providence, St. Paul, Atlanta, Detroit, Indianapolis, Washington DC, Phoenix, Boise, Panama City, and New York City. Verizon plans to bring its 5G city count to 30 by the end of the year, with planned launches in Charlotte, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Des Moines, Kansas City, Little Rock, Memphis, San Diego, Salt Lake City, and more.
Google has updated its Maps app with the ability to speak aloud the name and/or address of your destination in the local language when traveling abroad. The feature is designed to be used when hailing a taxi or asking a local for directions. The feature appears automatically when in a country where the local language doesn't match your device's language setting. A speaker icon appears next to the place name in each listing. Tapping it brings up a new box with the option to speak the place name in the local language, speak the address in the local language, or jump to Google Translate to continue a conversation with a local. The new feature will be rolling out this month on Android and iOS with support for 50 languages and more on the way.
Google today announced the US rollout of Google-operated RCS for its Messages app for Android, making RCS "broadly" available to Android users in the US by the end of the year. RCS is the new industry standard for messaging designed to replace SMS and MMS. It brings advanced features similar to iMessage, including the ability to send and receive high-resolution photos and videos, and see if people have received your messages. Although the Messages app has supported RCS for some time, it has relied on carrier support on a phone-by-phone basis, which has been slow to roll out. Google's new service announced today side-steps carrier infrastructure and gives Android users RCS without waiting for carrier support. Google launched a similar service in the UK, France, and Mexico earlier this year. Just three weeks ago, the top four US carriers announced a joint venture to accelerate the launch of carrier-run RCS in the US in 2020. It's unclear if these two efforts might conflict in the coming months, but Google says it is "committed to working with our partners, including carriers and device makers, to provide a consistent and interoperable experience for everyone on Android."
Motorola today unveiled its new razr phone for 2020. In line with a long-running stream of teases and leaks, plus today's FCC approval, the phone matches the design of the original RAZR V3, but with an inner surface that is one continuous 6.2" HD touchscreen that bends at the hinge, like Samsung's Galaxy Fold. The new razr will be exclusive to Verizon in the US and cost $1500. Like the original RAZR V3, it has a "chin" that sticks out from the bottom half, and side keys located in the top half. The top half also contains a large outer display and a 16-megapixel camera. The 2.7" outer display is a touchscreen that lets users respond to notifications, take selfies, play music, use Google Assistant, and more. The flexible OLED main display has curved top and bottom edges, with a notch in the top. The phone is powered by a Snapdragon 710 chip. It has 6 GB of RAM, 128 GB of storage, 2,510 mAh battery, NFC, and dual-band Wi-Fi. It has a 5-megapixel selfie camera, although the main camera can also be used to take selfies using the outer display. To keep the phone thin, the phone lacks a 3.5mm audio jack or memory card slot. It also relies on an eSIM instead of a physical SIM card. It does have a USB-C port centered on the bottom that supports fast charging. USB-C razr earbuds are included, which are "professionally tuned" by Denon. Verizon is accepting pre-orders starting December 26th, with full availability on January 9th, 2020.
The unannounced new Motorola RAZR with a foldable display has been revealed in public documents for its FCC approval. Photos in the documents match previous leaks, including a very tall, narrow screen that folds in half, inside a body very much like the original RAZR, including a "chin" at the bottom. The outside sports a camera and large outer display in the top half. The chin section houses an oval button and/or fingerprint reader on the front, and a USB-C connector on the bottom. The draft user manual submitted to the FCC mentions Verizon, that the phone has an eSIM instead of a physical SIM card, and a fingerprint security option. The back includes "razr" branding. Photos of the internal components confirm that the RAZR is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 chipset. A battery rated 1185 mAh is also shown, although the phone may have two batteries, one in each half. The approval in question is not for the US version, as it supports neither LTE band 12 nor hearing-aid compatibility. But Motorola usually offers multiple versions of each model for different parts of the world, so a separate US version seems likely.
Minecraft Earth is now available in the US in an "Early Access" version. Users can walk around to explore a Minecraft version of the real-world map, collect virtual resources scattered around the map, and start building with Minecraft blocks on "buildplates", which can be placed on a tabletop like a virtual AR diorama. Buildplates can also be placed in the world using life-size AR. Both modes allow multi-player collaboration. The map also includes interactive Adventures at set locations on the map. Like Pokemon Go, the map is based on Open Street Map data.
A federal judge today ruled that US border agents can't search travelers devices without "reasonable suspicion". Although they can still search devices without a warrant, they now need a specific reason to do so. Previous searches by CPB and ICE without reason violated the US Constitution's Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches and seizures, according to the new ruling by US District Judge Denise Casper in Boston. The ACLU and EFF filed the lawsuit in 2017 on behalf of 10 US citizens and one lawful resident whose devices were searched without a warrant. Over 30,000 devices were searched at the border in 2018, according to the ACLU.
Sprint recently launched Sprint Perks, a collection of plan discounts available to certain groups. The main offer is Sprint's top plan (Unlimited Premium) for the price of its middle plan (Unlimited Plus), a discount of $10/month/line. The discount is available to anyone employed in government, education, military, or healthcare. It's also available to small business owners and employees of specific other companies that have partnered with Sprint. In total, 130 million Americans are eligible. Sprint Unlimited Premium includes Amazon Prime, Hulu, and Tidal. It also offers 100 GB of mobile hotspot data and unlimited roaming in Canada and Mexico. The mid-tier Unlimited Plus plan does not include Amazon Prime and has less hotspot data. Unlimited Premium, normally $80/month, is $70/month with this offer. A second line runs $50/month. For lines 3-5 on a family plan, Sprint is running limited-time special pricing of just $10/month/line through January 2021. The special, limited-time discount on lines 3-5 is open to everyone, and varies by plan. Lines 3-5 are free for those on the cheaper Unlimited Basic plan, and $20/month/line for those paying full price for the Unlimited Premium plan (those not eligible for Sprint Perks.) Sprint Perks includes several other discounts and special offers, such as 50% off for military families, and special offers for members of AAA, American Airlines AAdvantage, Walgreens Balance Rewards, and credit unions.
Alcatel has revealed the 2019 edition of its 3V affordable Android phone for the US market, which will launch soon on Metro by T-Mobile. The phone has a large 6.7-inch HD screen and a large 4,000 mAh battery with fast charging via USB-C. It also has a 16-megapixel main camera aided by a depth camera for portrait effects, and an 8-megapixel selfie camera. It's powered by a MediaTek P22 processor paired with 3 GB of RAM. Its 32 GB of storage is expandable via microSD memory cards. Other features include a standalone fingerprint reader on the back, 3.5mm headset jack, stereo speakers, Google Assistant, and Google Lens. Pricing and launch date were not announced.
AT&T has raised the price of its Mobile Share Value plans by $10, forcing existing customers to pay the new rate even if they make no changes to their plan. The rate hike comes with an additional 15 GB of "bonus" data.
Google this week announced a new program to collaborate with other companies to screen apps for harmful code before they reach the Google Play Store, the app store for Android devices. The App Defense Alliance includes Google, ESET, Lookout, and Zimperium. "As part of this Alliance, we are integrating our Google Play Protect detection systems with each partner’s scanning engines. This will generate new app risk intelligence as apps are being queued to publish."
Verizon-back Visible has launched two new ZTE phones from the company's affordable Blade series.
- The ZTE Blade A7 Prime has a 6-inch HD display with a small notch, 16-megapixel main camera, 5-megapixel front camera, standalone fingerprint reader, 3,200 mAh battery, and MediaTek Helio A22 processor. It also has USB-C, 32 GB of storage, a memory card slot, and a 3.5mm headset jack. It's an LTE-only phone designed for Verizon's network. Visible is offering it for $99.
- The ZTE Blade 10 Prime has all of the features of the A7, but upgrades to a Helio P60 processor, 64 GB of storage, a larger 6.3-inch display with full-HD resolution, faster Cat. 6 LTE, and a 16-megapixel front camera. It also adds NFC and an extra camera on the back for depth (portrait) effects. Visible is selling it for $179. It's also available unlocked as the ZTE Blade 10, also for $179.
T-Mobile today announced plans to offer three new programs offering 5G service for free to certain groups, or cheaply for everyone else. The company is promising to launch the programs when and if it is allowed to merge with Sprint. Although the federal government has approved the merger, over a dozen state attorneys general are suing to stop the merger on antitrust grounds, claiming the move would lead to higher prices for consumers. The new programs are:
- Connecting Heroes Initiative: Free unlimited wireless service — including 5G data, talk, and text — for all first responders in the country. This would include every public and non-profit state and local police, fire and EMS first responder agency in the US. T-Mobile is promising to offer this program for 10 years, spending "up to $7.7 billion" on it.
- Project 10Million: In an attempt to address "the homework gap", T-Mobile will offer free mobile hotspots and 100 GB/year of free data to low-income families with children and no home internet access. The company promises to spend $700 million equipping 10 million households with free hardware, and spend $10 billion offering free service for five years.
- T-Mobile Connect: A $15/month prepaid plan available to everyone that offers 2GB of high-speed data plus unlimited talk and text. A step-up plan would offer 5GB of data for $25/month. T-Mobile also commits to increase the data limit of each plan by 0.5 GB every year for the next five years.
T-Mobile has announced December 6th as the launch date for its low-band 5G network, which will use band 71 (600 MHz). The nationwide network will cover more than 200 million Americans and more than 5,000 cities and towns across the country. Unlike mmWave 5G networks that have limited coverage and building penetration, T-Mobile's low-band 5G network uses a frequency band already used for 4G, and will thus offer the same coverage and properties as the 4G network. Sprint is pursuing a similar strategy with its 5G network, and AT&T plans to add low-band to its 5G network in the coming months. T-Mobile has also launched mmWave 5G in parts of Atlanta, Cleveland, Dallas, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and New York. T-Mobile will offer three 5G phones. The Samsung Galaxy S10 5G only supports the mmWave networks. The Samsung Galaxy Note10+ 5G and OnePlus 7T Pro 5G McLaren only support the new low-band network launching Dec. 6.
Google has added a rewards program called Google Play Points to the Android app store. The program is free to join and members earn points for everything they buy through Google Play, and even for downloading "featured" free apps and games. Points can be redeemed for Google Play purchases, in-app purchases and discounts, as well as donations to charity. The program has four tiers, with higher levels offering weekly prizes. The program is launching this week in the US, but has been available in Korea and Japan for a year.
Microsoft has released a public preview of its new, completely revamped Office app for Android and iOS. A single Office app replaces the previously separate Word, Excel, and PowerPoint apps. It also includes the previously-announced features that let users take a photo of a document to create an editable Word document, and use the camera to import table data directly into Excel. It includes dedicated sections for non-Office documents: PDF, Media, and Notes. An Actions panel makes it easy to transfer files between phone and computer, or with nearby phones. It also includes shortcuts to create PDFs and add signatures to them. Anyone can try out the public preview, but it requires extra steps of enrolling in the testing program, a process that requires joining a group for Android, or using TestFlight for iOS.
Fitbit has agreed to be purchased by Google for $2.1 billion. Fitbit makes activity-tracking wearables, having sold more than 100 million devices, with 28 million current active users. Google has its own Wear OS smartwatch platform, which integrates with its Google Fit activity- and health-tracking service. Google said it sees "an opportunity to invest even more in Wear OS as well as introduce Made by Google wearable devices into the market." On privacy, Fitbit says "Fitbit will continue to put users in control of their data and will remain transparent about the data it collects and why. The company never sells personal information, and Fitbit health and wellness data will not be used for Google ads." Fitbit also pledged to continue supporting both iOS and Android.
Visible, the online-only MVNO backed by Verizon and operating on the Verizon network, just launched Party Pay, a new kind of discount for families and groups that works more like a simple discount, or, for the company, perhaps a referral program. Instead of groups sharing a joint account, each individual keeps their own account and pays their individual bill. They simply receive a discount for joining a group of up to four people, which any Visible customer can create and invite any other Visible customers to join. The discount increases the larger the group: $5 for each person that joins a group after the group is created. So each person in a 4-person group would only pay $25/month, instead of the usual $40/month without Party Pay. Visible offers a single unlimited plan with service on Verizon's network. The company has no physical locations, offering activation, support, and all customer interactions via its app.
AT&T is introducing new unlimited plans that drop the live and on-demand TV package included with the existing Unlimited &More plans. Accounting for that and other minor changes, pricing stays about the same, with unlimited plan choices (and price points) increasing from two to three.
- The new entry-level plan is called Unlimited Starter and costs $65/month for a single line, down from $70/month for the old Unlimited &More plan. Multi-line discounts can bring that down to $35/month/line for an account with four lines. As with the plan it replaces, data, voice, and texting are unlimited across the US, Canada, and Mexico, and texts from the US to over 120 countries are free, but video is limited to SD quality and mobile hotspot is not allowed.
- The new step-up plan is called Unlimited Extra, replacing Unlimited &More Premium. The new plan is cheaper, but does not include a premium streaming service of choice, nor HD video streaming. It does include everything in the Starter plan plus 15 GB of mobile hotspot data. Unlimited Extra will run $75/month for a single line, (down from $80/month for the old Unlimited &More Premium plan.) Multi-line discounts can bring that down to $40/month/line for an account with four lines. Both Unlimited Starter and Unlimited Extra will launch on November 3rd.
- Unlimited Elite is AT&T's new top-end plan, and AT&T's only unlimited plan to allow HD video streaming. It also includes 30 GB of mobile hotspot data. Instead of a choice of premium streaming service, HBO is included. AT&T owns HBO. Unlimited Elite will cost $85/month for a single line. Multi-line discounts apply, such as $50/month/line for four lines. This plan will be available "in the coming weeks".
Razer this week launched two new phone accessories focused on the gamer market: Hammerhead True Wireless earbuds and the Junglecat, a dual-sided gaming controller. Both are designed to work with the company's own Razer Phone 2, as well as other phones. The Junglecat includes cases to fit the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, Samsung Galaxy S10+, as well as the Razer Phone 2. The Junglecat can be used attached to one of those three phones, or attached to a dedicated controller grip and used with any Android phone or Windows PC. It uses Bluetooth LE and charges via USB-C. The Hammerhead earbuds use a customized Bluetooth 5.0 connection for ultra-low latency of just 60ms. The earbuds offer 3 hours of battery life by themselves, and 15 hours with the included charging case, which charges via USB-C. The buds also sport touch controls, voice assistant compatibility, and IPx4 water-resistance rating. They're compatible with both Android and iOS devices, with an app available for both platforms. Both the Junglecat and Hammerhead True Wireless earbuds are available now for $100 each.
Sprint has revealed its launch details for the new LG G8X ThinQ with its unique Dual Screen accessory. As we previously reported, the companies are offering a free Dual Screen accessory via rebate. This promotion is available until January 9th to any Sprint customer (new or existing) that leases or purchases a G8X. The free Dual Screen will ship from LG within six weeks. Sprint is offering the LG G8X for $750. Special pricing is available to new customers, existing customers that are upgrade-eligible, and customers adding a line. Those customers can get the G8X for $15/month on a Sprint Flex Lease (18 months to upgrade or 24 months to own.) The G8X ThinQ will be available for pre-order from Sprint on Nov. 1st, with full availability on Nov. 8. The G8X has a Snapdragon 855 chip, standard and wide-angle rear cameras, 32-megapixel selfie camera, 4,000 mAh battery, in-display fingerprint reader, 3.5mm headphone jack, IP68 water resistance, NFC, and wireless charging. The snap-on Dual Screen sports a full-HD OLED screen identical to that on the G8X. It also has an extra "cover" display on the outside. The Dual Screen hinge folds a full 360º.
At its annual developer conference today, Samsung teased a new folding-screen form factor that it's working on. The device resembles a tall standard smart phone that folds in half like an old clamshell phone, to form something small and square when closed. The example design shown has a single centered "hole punch" in the top of the display for a selfie camera. No other details were announced. Samsung offered a similar tease months before announcing its Galaxy Fold model.
Samsung has begun rolling out a software update for its S10 series phones that adds some of the advanced features first introduced on the Note10 series, including Live Focus video, AR Doodle, and Samsung DeX for PC.
iOS 13.2 is now available from Apple. It adds the previously-announced Deep Fusion feature to the iPhone 11 (and 11 Pro) camera. The update also adds new emoji and Siri privacy settings. Deep Fusion takes multiple exposures with each shot, and uses machine learning to combine the best parts of each exposure, producing photos with "better texture, details, and reduced noise, especially for mid to low light scenes."
Apple AirPods Pro are the company's new premium true wireless earbuds, adding active noise cancellation (ANC) to silence background noise. 200 times a second, the H1 chip uses an outer microphone to detect outside noise and generate a counter-sound. It also uses an inner microphone to cancel any remaining background noise. An optional Transparency Mode allows outside sound in, but "leaves just the right amount of noise cancellation active", so users can hear announcements and safety hazards. Unlike standard AirPods, the Pro model is designed to seal against your ear canals. A special vent system equalizes pressure for comfort. Three sizes of silicone ear tips are included and an "Ear Tip Fit Test" feature measures sound levels to tell you whether you're using the correct size. Adaptive EQ automatically tunes the low- and mid-frequencies of music to the shape of an individual’s ear. They're rated IPx4 for basic sweat- and water-resistance. The buds are controlled via new "force sensors" on the stem. Like standard AirPods, the new model responds to Siri requests, supports Audio Sharing, and can be ordered with custom engraving. The buds themselves offer 5 hours of battery life. The included charging case — which supports Qi wireless charging — offers up to 24 hours of total battery life. The AirPods Pro are available to order online today for $249. They will start shipping and be available in stores on October 30th.
Verizon has launched its mmWave 5G service in two new cities: Dallas, Texas and Omaha, Nebraska. The brings Verizon's number of 5G cities to 15. Because Verizon's 5G network to date uses mmWave frequency bands, coverage is limited to specific blocks and landmarks. In Dallas, service will be concentrated in parts of: Knox/Henderson, Downtown Dallas, Uptown, Medical Center Area, Deep Ellum; and around select landmarks and parks. In Omaha, service will be concentrated around landmarks such as Old Market, Omaha Children’s Museum, The Orpheum Theatre, The Durham Museum, Heartland of America Park, Central High School and Creighton University.
Netflix has been quietly testing a variable-speed playback option in its Android app for some users. The new "Speed" toggle offers options for 0.5x, 0.75x, 1.25x, and 1.5x. The feature is similar to one offered by most podcast and audiobook apps. Unlike a fast-forward or slow-motion feature, variable-speed playback includes audio, which requires extra processing to correct the pitch.
High-end video camera company Red is ending Hydrogen, its adventure into making phones. The Hydrogen One phone was originally announced as part of a system of modular accessories that would offer high-end camera options and integrate with other Red products. Red's high-end cameras have been successful with a similar modular system. But modules for the Hydrogen One never materialized, leaving only its unique 3D screen as a selling point for the $1,300 phone. Red founder Jim Jannard also announced his retirement today.
Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint have formed a new joint venture to accelerate the adoption of Rich Communications Services (RCS) and ensure it works seamlessly across US and global networks. The venture is called the Cross Carrier Messaging Initiative (CCMI) and "is working to develop and deploy the standards-based, interoperable messaging service starting with Android and expected in 2020." RCS is an existing open industry standard for advanced messaging, designed to replace SMS and MMS. It supports high-quality media, read receipts, typing indicator, and more. Google has been pushing RCS heavily in the past two years, but US adoption has been slow due to delayed carrier deployments.
When T-Mobile launches low-band 5G later this year, the two phones that support it will also be capable of supporting Sprint's already-launched mid-band 5G network, should the two companies be allowed to merge. The OnePlus 7T Pro 5G McLaren and Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ will both support 5G in bands 71 (T-Mobile's 600 MHz) and 41 (Sprint's 2,500 MHz). Those two phones do not, however, support 5G in the mmWave bands, which T-Mobile has launched in several cities. T-Mobile does sell the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G which supports its mmWave 5G network but not the upcoming low-band network. When T-Mobile launches low-band 5G this year, it will cover 200 million people, far more than any other US 5G network to date.
It may not seem like phones have changed much since the first iPhone came out. But there are a few key trends in recent years that change the relationship between our phones and our hands. Phone cases exist precisely at that crucial interface point, and I argue that they haven't kept up with two key trends: wider phones and gesture-based interfaces. These developments clash badly with current case designs. But there's a better way....
The popular Mophie Juice Pack Access battery case accessory is now available for Apple's iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max. The cases include a large extra battery that keeps the iPhone topped up via wireless charging, and can themselves be charged wirelessly. Wireless charging leaves the iPhone's Lightning port free. The Juice Pack Access includes its own USB-C port for charging. Pass-through charging will charge the phone first, and then the case. The versions for the 11 and 11 Pro add a 2,000 mAh battery to the phone, while the case for the 11 Pro Max contains a 2,200 mAh battery. All versions are $100. They're available now in black, and coming soon in pink and (PRODUCT)RED.
Sprint today announced that its 5G coverage has expanded to cover 16 million people in the nine cities where it has launched 5G so far, up from 11 million a few months ago.
OnePlus announced the OnePlus 7T Pro two weeks ago, saying that the phone would not come to the US. That was half true. The 5G version of the phone will come to T-Mobile later this year, and it will be the special McLaren limited edition of the phone. The OnePlus 7T Pro 5G McLaren is the second 5G phone to be announced by T-Mobile, after the Samsung Galaxy Note10+ 5G. The new OnePlus will support sub-6 GHz 5G, specifically in band 71, T-Mobile's low-band 600 MHz spectrum that reaches farther than most other frequency bands. The OnePlus 7T Pro is based on the 7 Pro, with updated specs to match and best the newer 7T. It packs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+ chip, 12 GB of RAM, three cameras (including a 48 megapixel main camera and 3x optical zoom), 4085 mAh battery, and Warp Charge 30T fast charging. Its 6.67-inch OLED display sports HDR, 90 Hz refresh, and quad-HD resolution; it's curved at the sides and covers the whole face with no notch, thanks to a pop-up selfie camera. The McLaren design sports a carbon-fiber back with a wood-grain look, and accents in McLaren’s "hallmark papaya orange racing tint." It comes with a case accented in carbon fiber and Alcantara. T-Mobile is not yet announcing pricing nor a specific release date.
Colorado's attorney general has dropped out of the multi-state lawsuit attempting to block the merger of Sprint and T-Mobile. In exchange, Colorado received a promise from Dish to locate the headquarters for its new wireless division in Colorado. Dish will create its new wireless division using assets being divested from Sprint and T-Mobile as part of their deal with the US Department of Justice to approve the merger. 16 states remain attached to the lawsuit challenging the merger.
LG is bringing its dual-screen concept to the US along with a new variant of the G8: the G8X ThinQ. The G8X drops the 3D depth camera and quad-HD display resolution in favor of a 32-megapixel selfie camera, full-HD display, stereo speakers, and a larger 4,000 mAh battery. It also has an in-display fingerprint reader instead of the standalone sensor on the G8. Other features of the G8X are similar to the G8, including a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chip, standard and wide-angle rear cameras, high-end audio chip, extra-loud speakers, 3.5mm headphone jack, IP68 water resistance, NFC, wireless charging, fast charging, 6 GB RAM, 128 GB storage, and a memory card slot. The snap-on Dual Screen sports a full-HD OLED screen identical to that on the G8X, including the small notch. It also has an extra "cover" display on the outside that shows notifications, date, time, and battery life. The hinge folds a full 360º, and locks in place at 120º, 140º, 180º (flat), and 270º (tent). The phone + Dual Screen together will sell for $700 unlocked. Both AT&T and Sprint will offer the LG G8X ThinQ. AT&T is including the Dual Screen for free for a limited time. Sprint will offer an online rebate form for a Dual Screen, which will ship from LG. Sprint will have "more details to share next week" on its launch offer. Pre-orders start Friday, will full availability on November 1st.
At launch, Verizon and T-Mobile won't support RCS on the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL. RCS is an industry-standard messaging protocol designed to replace SMS and MMS, offering many of the features of Apple's iMessage. Verizon supported RCS on the Pixel 3. T-Mobile has been a vocal proponent of RCS, but only supports it on Samsung phones.
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