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TCL Creates New Stylus Phone for US

Jun 2, 2022, 8:00 AM   by Rich Brome

TCL is entering a new category in the US phone market: affordable phones with a built-in stylus. The new TCL Stylus 5G is roughly similar to company's TCL 30 V 5G for Verizon, but with a stylus and going on sale today with T-Mobile and Metro. Motorola has found some success in recent years with affordable stylus-oriented phones in the US market; this new model from TCL is designed exclusively for the US market. The TCL Stylus 5G has a huge 6.8-inch FHD+ display, 50 megapixel camera, NFC, and is powered by MediaTek Dimensity 700 chip. It comes with 4 GB RAM, 128 GB storage, and accepts memory cards up to 2 TB. The 4,000 mAh battery supports 18-watt fast charging. Users can take notes by removing the stylus, without first waking the phone. Two specific third-party apps are included that make use of the stylus: Nebo, for handwriting recognition and taking notes, and MyScript Calculator 2, an app for math equations. There are also specific features for e-signing documents, and a magnifier function. TCL claims its stylus has 38% better latency compared to the competition. The TCL Stylus 5G is available now from T-Mobile and Metro, for $258 or $269 (respectively).


T-Mobile to Offer OnePlus Nord N20 5G

Apr 19, 2022, 10:05 AM   by Rich Brome   updated Apr 19, 2022, 10:09 AM

T-Mobile will launch the OnePlus Nord N20 5G next Thursday, April 28th. T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile will be the exclusive US carriers for this mid-range Android phone. PCMag confirmed that the phone will sport a 6.43-inch, FHD+ AMOLED display with an in-display fingerprint reader. T-Mobile will offer the N20 for $282. AMOLED displays are uncommon in this price range. The Verge reports that the phone will be powered by a Snapdragon 695 chip paired with 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage. Other specs includes a 4,500 mAh battery, 33-watt fast charging, and a 64 megapixel main camera.


TCL's 30 XE 5G Launches This Week for Under $200

Feb 22, 2022, 11:51 AM   by Rich Brome

The recently-announced TCL 30 XE 5G will launch with T-Mobile this Friday for $198, and with Metro the same day for $199.99. The 30 XE has 90 Hz display refresh, fingerprint reader, and fast charging.


Nokia Phones Coming to New US Carriers in 2022

Jan 5, 2022, 11:12 AM   by Rich Brome   updated Jan 5, 2022, 11:13 AM

HMD Global is teasing its lineup of Nokia phones for the US for first half of 2022. The five new phones will bring the company's presence to two new US carriers, representing "its largest U.S. expansion since launching in the market more than four years ago". The claim seems to refer to the number of phones launching across all US carriers, not the number of carriers, since the list does not include previous partners Verizon, AT&T, and Cricket. Instead, Nokia will launch new phones with Dish (Boost) and Consumer Cellular, while keeping T-Mobile, Metro, and TracFone on board. The first two phones to launch (in the first quarter) will be the most affordable: the Nokia 2760 Flip 4G feature phone for $79, and the Nokia C100 4G smartphone for $99. In the second quarter, the Nokia G400 will be the company's next affordable 5G phone. It will offered by T-Mobile and/or Metro, TracFone, Dish (Boost), and Consumer Cellular. It has an MSRP of just $239. The company will also bring the C200 and G100 4G phones to US carriers in Q2, for $119 and $149, respectively. Specs and further details are being withheld until closer to launch.


TCL 30 Series Headed to Verizon, T-Mobile

Jan 4, 2022, 9:00 AM   by Rich Brome

TCL has announced the first two models in its new 30 series for 2022, both of which are coming to major US carriers. Both models are affordable 5G phones.

  • The TCL 30 XE 5G will come to T-Mobile and Metro first, followed by other carriers. It has a 6.5-inch HD+ display with 90 Hz refresh. It's powered by a MediaTek Dimensity 700 chip paired with 4 GB RAM and 64 GB storage. It has a 13 megapixel main camera plus macro and depth cameras, and an 8 megapixel front camera.
  • The TCL 30 V 5G is a somewhat higher-end model coming to Verizon. It has a 6.7-inch Full HD+ display and is powered by a Snapdragon 480 chip paired with 4 GB RAM and 128 GB storage. It has a 50 megapixel main camera plus macro and 5 megapixel wide-angle cameras, and a 16 megapixel front camera. It supports both mmWave and C-band 5G.
Both phones have 4,500m mAh batteries, fast charging, and fingerprint readers. Both phones also accept memory cards for expandable storage and have headset jacks. Pricing is yet to be announced and launch timing for both is "in the coming weeks".


Motorola's Affordable New moto g power has 90 Hz Screen

Nov 17, 2021, 9:00 AM   by Rich Brome

Motorola has announced a new moto g power, just ten months after announcing the last one. The new moto g power (2022) has two key upgrades over the old 2021 model: a display with 90 Hz refresh, and a 50 megapixel main camera. It specs are otherwise comparable to the 2021 model, including a huge 5,000 mAh battery, fast charging, 6.5-inch HD+ display, 4 GB RAM, and 64 GB storage (expandable). The new model is powered by a MediaTek Helio G37 chip. The phone also has a rear fingerprint reader, headset jack, FM radio, dual-band Wi-Fi, and IPx2 water resistance. The phone launch soon with Metro by T-Mobile and Republic Wireless, followed by Verizon, Boost, Xfinity, AT&T, Cricket, US Cellular, and Google Fi. It will also be available unlocked for $200, or $250 for a version with 128 GB built-in storage.


Nokia Brings Affordable 5G to T-Mobile

Nov 9, 2021, 9:00 AM   by Rich Brome

HMD Global had announced the Nokia X100, a 5G phone starting at $249, exclusively for T-Mobile and Metro. The phone includes a Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset, Nokia OZO Audio, and Zeiss camera optics. Specs include a 6.67-inch full-HD display, 4,470 mAh battery, Snapdragon 480 chipset, 6 GB RAM, 128 GB storage, and a 48-megapixel main camera. It also has a 5-megapixel wide-angle camera, 16-megapixel selfie camera, NFC, side fingerprint reader, fast charging, headset jack, and memory card slot. It supports T-Mobile's current sub-6 GHz 5G network. It goes on sale November 19th in Midnight Blue. T-Mobile will sell it for $249, while Metro will sell it for $259.


Hands On with the TCL 20 XE and TCL 20 A 5G

Oct 29, 2021, 12:23 PM   by Rich Brome   updated Nov 4, 2021, 11:25 AM

TCL has two new affordable phones for the US market: the entry-level TCL 20 XE, and the $200, 5G-enabled TCL 20 A 5G. While the price is certainly right, are they truly a good value, or just cheap? US carriers have trusted TCL's affordable phones for many years (often under the Alcatel brand), so the company should know what it's doing. Read on for our hands-on report and first impressions, to find out how these models turned out.

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TCL Intros Two New Affordable 5G and 4G Phones for US

Oct 28, 2021, 12:52 PM   by Rich Brome   updated Oct 29, 2021, 12:29 PM

TCL today announced the TCL 20 A 5G, a 5G phone for under $200 coming to Visible next month. The company also announced the TCL 20 XE, an entry-level 4G phone coming to Metro by T-Mobile tomorrow, and Boost next month.

  • The TCL 20 A 5G is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 480 chip, paired with 4 GB RAM, and 64 GB storage (expandable). It supports sub-6 5G, including C-Band (band 77). The 6.52-inch display has HD+ resolution. The battery is rated 4,500 mAh and the phone supports 18-watt fast charging. The 16-megapixel main camera is joined by a 5 megapixel wide camera and 2 megapixel macro camera. A 13 megapixel selfie camera sits in the display notch on the front. It ships with Android 11 and also features a fingerprint reader, Bluetooth 5.1, dual-band Wi-Fi, a dedicated Google Assistant button, headset jack, and USB-C with OTG. It has a matte gray finish.
  • The TCL 20 XE is a similar size, with the same 6.52-inch HD+ display, rear fingerprint reader, fast charging, headset jack, dual-band Wi-Fi, and Android 11. However, it's powered by a MediaTek Helio P22 chip with 3 GB RAM and 32 GB internal storage (also expandable). The battery is 5,000 mAh. The main camera is 13 megapixel, with a 2 megapixel macro camera, depth camera, and 5 megapixel front camera. It also has a matte gray finish. Metro is selling it for $160, while Boost will sell it for $120.
These phones represent an expansion of TCL's brand to more US carriers, as the company gradually phases out its Alcatel brand.


Motorola's New Budget Phone is Already Very Popular

Oct 7, 2021, 8:00 AM   by Rich Brome

Motorola today announced the moto g pure, the company's latest entry-level phone. The phone will be sold by essentially every carrier in the US, including Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Cricket, Metro, Boost, US Cellular, and Xfinity. Verizon will be the first to offer it, for $150 starting October 14th. Other carriers will offer the phone "in the coming months". Motorola will sell the phone unlocked for $160, with pre-orders starting October 14th. The phone will come in two variants: one for AT&T, Cricket, and Verizon — with support for AT&T's unique bands 14 and 30 — and the other for all other carriers, supporting T-Mobile's network and overseas 4G networks. Both variants will be powered by a MediaTek Helio G25 chip. The phone's features include a fingerprint reader on the back, basic water resistance, headset jack, and dual-band Wi-Fi. The HD+ display measures 6.5 inches. The 13 megapixel main camera is joined by a depth camera for portrait shots and a 5 megapixel front camera. Motorola claims two days of battery life from the 4,000 mAh battery. It has 3 GB RAM and 32 GB of storage, which is expandable with a memory card. It comes with Android 11 and Motorola promises one major OS upgrade plus two years of security updates (at least quarterly).


TCL Brings It Newest Flip Phone to Four US Carriers

Sep 16, 2021, 11:00 AM   by Rich Brome

Verizon today launched the TCL Flip Pro for prepaid customers. The same phone launched recently on US Cellular as the TCL Flip, and earlier this week as the Alcatel Go Flip 4 on T-Mobile. (Alcatel is a brand of TCL.) TCL says the Go Flip 4 is also coming to Metro by T-Mobile. The phone is an update to the Alcatel Go Flip 3, with a larger battery, new shortcut buttons on the keypad, and a modern USB-C connector. Other key features are similar, including KaiOS, which has its own app store and enables smartphone-like features such as Google Assistant and Google Maps. The phone also sports a 2-megapixel camera, memory card slot, headset jack, Wi-Fi, and a 1.44-inch color outer display. US Cellular and Metro sell the phone for $100, and T-Mobile for $96. Verizon sells it for $70 on prepaid and will bring it to their postpaid lineup "in the coming weeks".


T-Mobile Intros New 5G REVVL for $200

Jun 30, 2021, 9:49 AM   by Rich Brome   updated Jun 30, 2021, 3:39 PM

T-Mobile's new REVVL V+ 5G will offer 5G for just $200 on both T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile this July. The T-Mobile-branded REVVL V+ 5G follows the REVVL 5G, which broke new ground by offering 5G for just $400 when it launched a little less than a year ago. The new model uses a MediaTek Dimensity 700 chipset paired with 4 GB RAM and 64 GB storage (expandable). It also has a 5,000 mAh battery with 18W fast charging and a large 6.82-inch display. It has NFC, a side-mounted fingerprint reader, and comes with Android 11. The rear cameras include a 16 megapixel main camera and 5 megapixel wide-angle camera. The phone is manufactured by Wingtech, a leading ODM company based in Hong Kong that has also manufactured phones for Samsung. The REVVL V+ 5G will be available first from Metro on July 12th, followed by T-Mobile on July 23rd.


OnePlus Nord N200 Will Offer 5G Starting at $216

Jun 15, 2021, 8:00 AM   by Rich Brome   updated Jun 15, 2021, 8:22 AM

OnePlus today released several key specs and launch plans for its new Nord N200 5G phone. In the US, the phone will be available from T-Mobile for $216, Metro for $230, as well as unlocked for $240. The N200 has 5G, a 6.49" full-HD display with 90 Hz refresh, 5,000 mAh battery, and 18W fast charging. Like the moto g stylus 5G announced last week, the Nord N200 uses Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 480 chipset, which is specifically designed to bring 5G to more affordable price points. A few other specs were revealed, including 4 GB of RAM, 64 GB storage (expandable), 13 megapixel main camera, and 16 megapixel front camera. But OnePlus is withholding additional specs for now, such as details of the other rear cameras. The phone will be available June 25th in "Blue Quantum" from T-Mobile, Metro, and unlocked from oneplus.com. Best Buy, Amazon, and B&H will also sell the phone. T-Mobile will offer the phone for free with a trade-in or new line, via bill credits over two years. Metro will offer the phone for free to new customers via instant rebate, or for $60 for existing customers adding a new line.


Motorola Adds 5G to the Moto G Stylus

Jun 9, 2021, 8:00 AM   by Rich Brome

Motorola today announced the moto g stylus 5G, a version of this year's moto g stylus with 5G and a larger battery, for $400. The new 5G model has excellent support for all 5G and 4G networks in the US, (except mmWave 5G.) The battery has been bumped up from 4,000 mAh to a whopping 5,000 mAh. The 5G model has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 480 chipset instead the Snapdragon 678 in the 4G model. Although the 480 is a 4-series chip, it's newer than the 678 and offers similar performance. The 48 megapixel main camera offers access to the full 48 megapixel resolution, and the fingerprint reader is located on the back instead of the side. Other specs and features are similar to the 4G model, including a huge 6.8-inch full-HD display, wide camera, macro camera, 16 megapixel selfie camera, fast charging, memory card slot, and headset jack. The software is Android 11 with a nearly stock Google interface. Added stylus-oriented software includes the Moto Note app, Coloring Book app, and a customizable shortcut bar that appears when the stylus is removed. The stylus itself has been redesigned to be easier to remove and replace, and has a new feature that can help you find the stylus if you lose it. New features in the camera app include Spot Color for video and Dual Capture, which combines video from the front and rear cameras. The moto g stylus 5G will come in Cosmic Emerald. AT&T, Cricket, T-Mobile, Metro, Boost, Xfinity, and Spectrum will offer a version with 4 GB RAM and 128 GB storage (launch timing and pricing TBA), while the unlocked version sold by Motorola (plus B&H, Best Buy, and Amazon) will up that to 6 GB RAM / 256 GB storage. The unlocked version goes on sale for $400 on June 14th.


Samsung Reveals Galaxy A42 5G, A02s for US

Apr 7, 2021, 10:18 AM   by Rich Brome   updated Apr 7, 2021, 3:01 PM

Samsung today announced the US launch of five new phones in the company's affordable Galaxy A series, including three 5G models. The Galaxy A32 5G will be the most affordable 5G model at just $280, and will be exclusive to T-Mobile (and Metro) at launch. Samsung is able to offer 5G at this prince thanks in part to the MediaTek Dimensity 720 5G chip in the A32 5G, whereas the two pricier 5G models use the Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G. Samsung announced the A32 5G and A52 5G a few weeks ago, but withheld US launch details at that time. The Galaxy A52 5G will run $500 and come to both AT&T and T-Mobile (including Metro). New is the Galaxy A42 5G, which is similar to the A32 5G but adds mmWave 5G for Verizon. It also swaps the 90 Hz LCD display for a 60 Hz Super AMOLED display, switches to an in-display (optical) fingerprint reader, and has double the storage at 128 GB. Most other keys specs are identical to the A32 5G. The A42 has a unique design on the back divided into four equal parts. Verizon starts selling the Galaxy A42 5G tomorrow for $400. All three 5G models will be available by the end of this week. The two more affordable 4G models are the A12 and A02s. We reported on the Galaxy A12 for AT&T on Monday. That model will also come to T-Mobile this week, and Verizon on April 29th. The most affordable model is the new Galaxy A02s (shown), "starting at" $110, although Verizon will sell it for $150 and T-Mobile says "Stay tuned for pricing details." The A02s has the same 6.5-inch HD display and huge 5,000 mAh battery as the A12, but with expected cost-trimming on the cameras (13 megapixel main and no wide-angle), processor (Snapdragon 450), and RAM (2 GB instead of 3). The A02s also loses NFC and the fingerprint reader, but keeps 15W fast charging, USB-C, memory card slot, and the headset jack. The A02s is distinguished by its textured design on the back, divided into sections diagonally. Verizon starts selling the A02s on April 29th; T-Mobile has yet to announce a launch date.


T-Mobile Extends T-Mobile Tuesdays to Metro

Mar 24, 2021, 10:28 AM   by Rich Brome

Metro by T-Mobile customers now have access to T-Mobile Tuesdays, the rewards program that gives out freebies and special deals on a variety of products and services every Tuesday. Next week's T-Mobile Tuesdays deal is a free, season-long subscription to MLB.tv, a $130 value. T-Mobile claims that the combined annual value of T-Mobile Tuesdays deals is almost $1,000. To access the deals, Metro customers need to download the T-Mobile Tuesdays app, available for both iOS and Android.


2021 Motorolas Start Hitting Carrier Stores

Feb 12, 2021, 11:21 AM   by Rich Brome

Metro by T-Mobile today announced the launch of the Motorola one 5G ace, a relatively affordable 5G phone at just $280, a significant discount from the $400 Motorola charges for the unlocked version. T-Mobile will also launch the one 5G ace soon. The more-affordable moto g play (2021) also just launched on both T-Mobile and Metro, for $150 and $160, respectively. Motorola charges $170 for the unlocked version. Separately, Cricket just launched the moto g power (2021) for $120 (plus $25 upgrade fee for existing customers). The g power sells for $250 unlocked. Metro is offering launch deals on the Motorola 5G ace for a limited time: New customers can get the phone for just $20, while existing customers adding a line can get the phone for $90. All three phones were announced in early January and went on sale unlocked January 14th.


Motorola Unveils Full Affordable Lineup for 2021

Jan 8, 2021, 9:00 AM   by Rich Brome

Motorola today unveiled a full lineup of four new affordable phones, including three g-series models ranging from $169 – $299 and one 5G model for $399. All four feature large batteries (4,000 – 5,000 mAh) and large displays (6.5 – 6.8 inches). All four also include a fingerprint reader, multiple cameras, headset jack, memory card slot, USB-C connector, and a "water-repellant design" that protects against accidental spills, splashes, sweat, or light rain. They ship with Android 10 and Motorola promises one full OS version update plus two years of security updates. Moto's latest camera app supports AI scene detection and optimization, Google Lens, portrait mode, RAW format, Active Photos, Auto Smile Capture, Gesture Selfie, time-lapse, and slow-motion on all models. All four also support gestures such as Lift to unlock, Flip for DND (Do Not Disturb), Pick up to silence, and Fast flashlight, where a quick double-chop motion turns the flashlight on or off. All four phones will be available unlocked as well as from many US carriers.

  • moto g play (2021): The most affordable at $170, this phone has a 6.5-inch HD display with notch, huge 5,000 mAh battery, Qualcomm Snapdragon 460 chipset, 3 GB RAM, and 32 GB built-in storage. Its primary 13 megapixel camera is assisted by a depth camera for portrait mode, and the front camera is 5 megapixel. It also has 10W fast charging. The new moto g play will be offered in the coming months by AT&T, Cricket, Boost Mobile, Consumer Cellular, Google Fi, Metro by T-Mobile, T-Mobile, Republic Wireless, Verizon, and Xfinity Mobile.
  • moto g power (2021): Upgrades compared to the g play include: Snapdragon 662 chipset, 4 GB RAM, 64 GB storage, up to 15W fast charging, "48 megapixel" main camera that outputs 12-megapixel photos using pixel binning, 2-megapixel macro camera, and an 8-megapixel front camera. The upgraded main camera enables a Night Vision mode and better low-light performance in general. The camera app also gains Cinemagraph mode, Group Selfie, and Spot Color for video. The fingerprint reader moves to the side and the display is slightly larger at 6.6 inches, with a corner hole-punch design. This new moto g power will sell for $250, although Best Buy will sell a variant with 3 GB RAM and 32 GB storage for $200. It will also come to Boost Mobile, Cricket, Consumer Cellular, Google Fi, Republic Wireless, US Cellular, Verizon, and Xfinity Mobile in the coming months.
  • moto g stylus (2021): This model adds a stylus that stows in the bottom-right of the phone. It comes with two special apps: Moto Note and Coloring Book. The stylus also offers system-wide shortcuts and works with third-party apps. This is the only model of the four to come with a smaller 4,000 mAh battery, which Motorola says was necessary to make room for the stylus. It has several spec upgrades compared to the g power, including a larger 6.8-inch display with full-HD resolution, Snapdragon 678 chipset, 128 GB storage, 8-megapixel wide-angle camera, 16 megapixel selfie camera, and 4K video capture. It will sell for $300 unlocked. Boost Mobile, Cricket, Consumer Cellular, and Republic Wireless will also offer it in the coming months.
  • Motorola one 5G ace: Combines the best of the g power and g stylus specs (minus the stylus) while adding 5G (sub-6 GHz only) thanks to its Snapdragon 750G chipset. Other upgrades include 6 GB RAM, NFC, and an official IP rating for water resistance: IP54 for the T-Mobile version and IP52 for other versions. The display measures 6.7 inches with a centered hole-punch design, and the fingerprint reader is located on the back. It will run $400 unlocked. AT&T, Consumer Cellular, Google Fi, Metro by T-Mobile, T-Mobile, Republic Wireless, Verizon, and Xfinity Mobile will also offer it in the coming months.
Unlocked versions of all four phones are available for pre-order starting today, with full availability on January 14th. Unlocked models can be purchased from Best Buy, Walmart, B&H Photo, Amazon, and motorola.com.


OnePlus Nord Series Coming to T-Mobile, Metro

Jan 5, 2021, 9:00 AM   by Rich Brome

OnePlus has announced US launch details for its more-affordable Nord series, the OnePlus Nord N10 5G and OnePlus Nord N100. T-Mobile and Metro will both offer both models, marking OnePlus' entry into the prepaid market in the US. The phones will also be available unlocked directly from oneplus.com on January 15th, with pre-orders starting January 8th. Both phones will also launch on T-Mobile and Metro on January 15th.

  • The Nord N10 5G is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 690 with 6 GB RAM. It has a 6.5-inch full-HD display with 90 Hz refresh. Its quad rear cameras include a 64-megapixel main camera, plus 8-megapixel wide-angle, macro, and monochrome cameras. The N10 5G also includes a 4,300 mAh battery, 30W fast charging, 128 GB storage, memory card slot, and a rear fingerprint reader. It comes in "Midnight Ice" and will sell for $300 unlocked or full price from T-Mobile (or $12.50 /month).
  • The Nord N100 uses Qualcomm's Snapdragon 460 paired with 4 GB RAM. It has 64 GB storage, expandable via memory card slot. It has a large 5,000 mAh battery plus 18W fast charging. Its triple rear cameras include a 13-megapixel main shooter, depth (portrait effect) camera, and a macro camera. Other features include a 6.5-inch display, rear fingerprint reader, and stereo speakers. It will come in "Midnight Frost" and sell for $180 unlocked or full price from T-Mobile (or $7.50 / month).
Best Buy, Amazon, and B&H will also sell the new Nord series unlocked in the US. Pricing on Metro is "coming soon".


T-Mobile's New REVVL Lineup Includes a 5G Phone for $400

Aug 27, 2020, 10:09 AM   by Rich Brome   updated Aug 27, 2020, 11:14 AM

T-Mobile today introduced three new models in its own-branded REVVL series: the REVVL 4, REVVL 4+, and REVVL 5G. The REVVL 5G will sell for $400 — or $200 with a new line of service — making it the most affordable 5G phone in the US to date. All three phones run Android 10 and have a fingerprint sensor.

  • REVVL 5G: Powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 765 chip and a 4,500 mAh battery. Key specs include 6.53-inch full-HD display, 6 GB RAM, 128 GB storage, and triple rear cameras. The main camera has a 48 megapixel sensor, joined by an 8-megapixel wide camera and 5 megapixel macro camera. A 16 megapixel front camera sits behind a corner hole-punch in the display.
  • REVVL 4+: Powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 chip and a 4,000 mAh battery. Key specs include 6.52-inch HD display, 4 GB RAM, and 64 GB storage. The main camera has a 16 megapixel sensor. A 16-megapixel front camera is located in a display notch. It will sell for $192.
  • REVVL 4: Powered by a MediaTek Helio A22 chip and a 3,500 mAh battery. Key specs include 6.22-inch full-HD display, 2 GB RAM, 32 GB storage, 13 megapixel main camera, and 5 megapixel front camera. It runs $120.
All three new REVVL phones will be available starting September 4th from both T-Mobile and Metro. As we reported two months ago, TCL is making some or all of these new phones. TCL also makes phones under the Alcatel brand and has made several previous generations of REVVL phones for T-Mobile.


Samsung's Most Affordable 5G Phone Hits US This Month

Aug 4, 2020, 2:42 PM   by Rich Brome

T-Mobile, Metro, and Verizon will all launch the Samsung Galaxy A51 5G this month, starting with T-Mobile on August 7th. The A51 5G is just $500, making it the most affordable 5G phone offered by US carriers to date. Verizon's model, which adds mmWave 5G, will run $550, according to a Verizon spokesperson. The A51 5G was announced in April. Compared to the 4G A51, the A51 5G adds not only 5G, but also a larger battery and more RAM. AT&T, Verizon, and Xfinity already offer the 4G version. Other specs include a 6.5-inch OLED display, four rear cameras, 32-megapixel front camera, fast charging, NFC, and a memory card slot.


T-Mobile Makes All Scam/Robocall Protection Free

Jul 16, 2020, 11:20 AM   by Rich Brome

T-Mobile launched a new initiative today called ScamShield. The program includes a suite of several technologies designed to combat scam calls and robocalls, all of which are now free for all T-Mobile, Metro, and Sprint customers. Advanced caller-ID is included, which identifies many callers even if they aren't in your contact list. This feature was previously called Name ID and incurred a charge of $4/month/line with many plans. T-Mobile also detailed its own proprietary technology which uses machine learning to identify suspicious callers at the network level. T-Mobile claims this technology performs 30% better than the offerings of competitors like Verizon. T-Mobile's list of suspicious numbers is updated every six minutes. All customers can choose to have all such calls automatically blocked today, for free, by dialing #662#. Starting July 24th, T-Mobile and Metro customers can download a free app called ScamShield that offers a number of additional options and features for managing such calls. Sprint's Call Screener app is also free. The new initiative also includes features for protecting and managing the privacy of your personal phone number. PROXY# is a free second phone number you can give out instead of your real, main number. On incoming calls, an indicator on your phone shows which number is being called, and the second number has its own voicemail inbox. Finally, NumberChange is a new option that lets you get a whole new primary number once, for free, for a "clean slate".


Samsung and LG Launch New Affordable Phones on US Carriers

Jul 13, 2020, 3:24 PM   by Rich Brome

US carriers have launched a flurry of new entry-level phones from LG and Samsung in recent weeks. The phones include three new models from each of the two manufacturers. They range in price from $60 to $260.

  • LG's new most affordable phone goes by many names and ranges in price from $60 to $160. It's offered by just about every carrier except Verizon. T-Mobile, Sprint, and Metro offer it as the Aristo 5. Boost offers it as the Tribute Monarch. U.S. Cellular offers it as the K8x. All of those versions come with 32 GB of storage. Only AT&T's version comes with just 16 GB of storage, which they offer from AT&T Prepaid as the Phoenix 5, or from Cricket as the Fortune 3. Oddly, Cricket also offers this phone as the Risio 4. The Risio 4 and K8x have a front camera that's downgraded from 5 to 3 megapixel. Key specs in common include a 5.7-inch HD display with notch, MediaTek Helio P22 processor, 2 GB RAM, and a 3,000 mAh Battery. It also has a 13-megapixel main camera, dedicated wide-angle camera, and a rear fingerprint reader.
  • LG Harmony 4: Currently available only from Cricket (for $140), this step-up model has a larger display (6.1-inch), larger battery (3,500 mAh), and more RAM (3 GB). It also has USB-C and a better front camera. Regulatory filings indicate it may also come to Verizon prepaid and TracFone using the Sprint network.
  • LG K51: Already available from T-Mobile, Metro, and Boost, this model is now available from Verizon for $168. Compared to the Harmony 4, it offers an even larger display and battery. It's powered by a MediaTek Helio P22 processor.
  • Samsung A01: First launched on Verizon in April, Samsung's most affordable phone is now available from AT&T, Cricket, and Metro, for $115, $60, and $160, respectively. It has USB-C and fast charging, but no fingerprint reader.
  • Samsung A11: A big step up from A01, this $180 phone is now available from AT&T and Verizon. It will launch with Boost on July 21st at a limited-time price of $130. It has a 6.4-inch HD display with a hole-punch design, 4,000 mAh battery, fast charging, fingerprint reader, and a dedicated wide-angle camera.
  • Samsung A21: Now available from Verizon, T-Mobile, Metro, Sprint, and Boost. While the standard price is $250, Metro is charging $260 while Boost is currently offering it for $200. It has a similar display and battery compared to the A11, but has upgraded cameras, MediaTek Helio P35 processor, 3 GB RAM, and NFC.


Samsung Galaxy A71 5G Coming to All Major US Carriers

Jun 15, 2020, 11:45 AM   by Rich Brome   updated Jun 15, 2020, 12:12 PM

Samsung's new mid-range 5G phone, the Galaxy A71 5G, will be available from T-Mobile and Sprint this Friday for $600. Samsung has also made it official that both Verizon and AT&T will offer the phone "later this summer", and that it will also be available unlocked. We broke the news about the Verizon version of the A71 5G a month ago. T-Mobile and Sprint will offer the Galaxy A71 5G in a "Prism Cube Black" finish. The A71 5G is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 765 chip, has a 6.7-inch full-HD Super AMOLED display, 4,500 mAh battery, 25W fast charging, quad rear cameras including a 64 megapixel main camera, and 6 GB of RAM. T-Mobile also announced today that it will carry many of the other models in Samsung's latest A-series of phones. The slightly cheaper Galaxy A51 5G will come to the T-Mobile, Sprint, and Metro brands this summer. The company will also offer the entry-level A01, A11, and A21, at prices ranging from $160 to $250.


New Moto e is a Big Upgrade Over Last Year's Model

Jun 5, 2020, 7:00 AM   by Rich Brome

Motorola is refreshing its entry-level lineup with a new Moto e for 2020 and a new model at the low end of its (mid-range) g series. The Moto e (2020) and Moto g fast will both be available unlocked and with Boost, and the Moto e will be available with several other US carriers as well.

  • Moto e (2020): This year's Moto e delivers several major upgrades over last year's e6. It has a larger display (6.2-inch vs. 5.5-inch) thanks to a modern notch design. It also has a larger battery: 3,550 mAh vs. 3,000 mAh, and it steps up to a 600-series Snapdragon processor (the 632) compared to last year's 400-series chip. It also offers 32 GB of storage — double last year's amount — and adds both a depth camera and a fingerprint reader. Keeping things affordable, its front camera is 5 megapixel, it has 2 GB of RAM, and it uses a micro-USB charging connector. It does, however, have water-repellent coating, 3.5mm headset jack, and a memory card slot. It will be available unlocked for $150, and later sold by Verizon Prepaid, T-Mobile, Metro, US Cellular, and Xfinity Mobile. There are two variants with different network support: The version for Verizon supports fewer LTE bands, but, oddly, full support for AT&T's LTE network is only found on Verizon's version.
  • Moto g fast: The $200 Moto g fast is a more-affordable cousin to the recently-announced Moto g power (2020) and Moto g stylus. Like those models, it has a 6.4-inch display with a corner hole punch design, Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 processor, water resistance, a fingerprint reader, and triple rear cameras (including wide and macro). Making it more affordable is the HD+ display resolution, 3 GB of RAM, 32 GB of storage, and an 8 megapixel selfie camera. It has the same 4,000 mAh battery as the Moto g stylus and the same 16 megapixel main camera as the Moto g power. Other features include USB-C, fast charging, 3.5mm audio jack, and a memory card slot. So far, Boost is the only US carrier that has announced plans to carry the Moto g fast.
Both phones will be available unlocked starting June 12th from Best Buy, B&H Photo, Walmart, Amazon.com, and Motorola.com. Pre-orders start today.


LG Phones to Come With Tubi App Preloaded in US

Apr 29, 2020, 11:57 AM   by Rich Brome

LG and Tubi announced a deal to preload the Tubi video-streaming app on LG phones. Tubi is a division of FOX Entertainment. The Tubi app offers over 20,000 movies and TV shows for free, with ads. The app is already loaded on LG phones sold by T-Mobile, and is coming soon to LG phones sold by Metro and US Cellular. Additional carriers will be announced soon. The multi-year partnership is expected to cover "tens of millions of LG mobile phones in the US and Canada".


T-Mobile Launches New, Cheaper Plans

Mar 23, 2020, 11:52 AM   by Rich Brome

T-Mobile is launching its cheaper T-Mobile Connect plans starting this Wednesday, March 25th, instead of waiting until its merger with Sprint closes, as originally planned. There are two plan options: $15/month (plus tax) for 2 GB of high-speed phone data, or $25/month for 5 GB of high-speed phone data. Both plans include unlimited talk and text, and include access to 5G with a compatible 5G phone. T-Mobile has also promised to automatically add a 1/2 GB of monthly data to each plan, each year for the next five years. The company also introduced new special offers for Metro customers to help them stay connected during the current pandemic. For the next two months, Metro is offering a $15 plan, half the price of the current most affordable plan. For 60 days after customers activate, it's $15/month for unlimited talk and text plus 2 GB of high-speed phone data. Also, new and current Metro customers with any voice line can also get a free 8" tablet with a new $15/month unlimited tablet data plan. Finally, Metro is offering half-off its dedicated mobile hotspot devices, and the $35/month hotspot data plan will include 20 GB — double the normal monthly data — for the next 60 days.


T-Mobile Temporarily Raises Data Caps in Response to COVID-19

Mar 13, 2020, 4:42 PM   by Rich Brome

T-Mobile today announced temporary plan changes to support workers and students operating from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. For the next 60 days, all T-Mobile and Metro customers will have unlimited and/or increased data allotments. The company is also making international calling free from the US to countries heavily impacted by the virus. All T-Mobile and Metro customers with any kind of data plan will have unlimited smartphone data for the next 60 days. Those same customers will also soon have an additional 20 GB of mobile hotspot data. Lifeline program participants on the T-Mobile network will receive an extra 5 GB of data per month during this period. The company is also increasing the data allowance for schools and students using the EmpowerED digital learning program. While T-Mobile stores will remain open, customers who are quarantined — or who prefer to avoid the stores out of caution — can take advantage of free two-day shipping for the next 60 days.


New Moto g Series Lets You Choose: Stylus or Jumbo Battery

Feb 7, 2020, 9:00 AM   by Rich Brome

Motorola has unveiled two new g-series phones for 2020: the Moto g Stylus and Moto g Power. The two phones are very similar, except the g Stylus has a built-in stylus pen and higher-end main camera, while the g Power has a larger battery. Both phones have a 6.4-inch full-HD+ display with a "hole punch" in the corner for the 16-megapixel selfie camera. Both are powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 chip paired with 4 GB of RAM and running Android 10. Both have a water-repellent design, stereo speakers, dual-band Wi-Fi, fingerprint reader, memory card slot, USB-C, 10W fast charging, 3.5mm headphone jack, and FM radio. Both have excellent support for all US 4G networks — including bands 13, 14, 25, 26, 29, 30, 41, 66, and 71 — with LTE Cat. 13 speeds. Motorola also has a new feature that limits interruptions while gaming. The few differences between the phones are:

  • Moto g Stylus: Has a built-in stylus pen designed to help you edit photos, jot down notes, sketch artwork, copy and paste text, and mark up screenshots. Removing the stylus while the phone is idle will automatically start the new Moto Note app, which lets you take quick notes without unlocking the phone. It has a 4,000 mAh battery and 128 GB of storage. The main camera has a 48-megapixel sensor and f/1.7 aperture, with laser auto-focus. It also has a 2-megapixel macro camera and 16-megapixel "action" camera that takes ultra-wide video in landscape orientation while holding the phone vertically. The Moto g Stylus will be available unlocked "this spring" for $300, and subsequently at Verizon, Metro, and Republic.
  • Moto g Power: Has an extra-large 5,000 mAh battery that Motorola claims can power the phone for three days. It also has three rear cameras, but the main camera is 16 megapixel (f/1.7) and the wide-angle camera is 8-megapixel with standard orientation. Like the g Stylus, it has a 2-megapixel macro camera that can focus on objects just 2cm from the lens. It has 64 GB of storage. The Moto g Power will be available unlocked "this spring" for $250, and subsequently at Verizon, Xfinity Mobile, US Cellular, Consumer Cellular, and Republic.


Metro by T-Mobile Launching Nationwide 5G Dec. 6th

Dec 2, 2019, 1:36 PM   by Rich Brome

T-Mobile will launch the first 5G service for US prepaid customers on its Metro brand this Friday, Dec. 6th, the same day the company's nationwide 5G service becomes available to T-Mobile customers. T-Mobile "launched" its nationwide 5G network today, but compatible 5G phones won't be available with either T-Mobile or Metro until Dec. 6th. Metro will offer the Samsung Galaxy Note10+ 5G. T-Mobile will offer that phone as well as the OnePlus 7T Pro 5G McLaren. T-Mobile's new "nationwide" 5G network covers 5,000 cities and towns across the country, 200 million people, and more than 1 million square miles. It uses low frequency bands that have the same coverage as 4G service, unlike mmWave 5G that can only cover small areas.


New Alcatel 3V Offers Huge Screen and Battery

Nov 8, 2019, 8:30 AM   by Rich Brome

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.


New KaiOS Feature Phones for US Offer Google Assistant, App Store

Sep 19, 2019, 8:00 AM   by Rich Brome

Alcatel today announced the Go Flip 3 and SmartFlip, two variants of essentially the same clamshell-style feature phone. The phone runs KaiOS, and for the first time in the US, supports both Google Assistant voice control and the KaiStore for downloading third-party apps such as WhatsApp. The hardware is otherwise similar to previous KaiOS phones by Alcatel for the US, such as the Go Flip, MyFlip, QuickFlip, and Cingular Flip 2. Like those models, it has 4G LTE, a large screen and keypad, HD Voice, 2-megapixel camera, HD video capture, music player, memory card slot, 3.5mm audio jack, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and a color outer display. The model branded Go Flip 3 is for T-Mobile and Metro, and supports mobile hotspot, band 71, and Sprint bands; it replaces the original Go Flip. The model branded SmartFlip is for AT&T and Cricket; it supports band 14 (FirstNet) and replaces the Cingular Flip 2 and QuickFlip.


T-Mobile, AT&T Connect on STIR/SHAKEN

Aug 14, 2019, 10:00 AM   by Rich Brome

T-Mobile and AT&T can now securely confirm caller-ID info between the two networks, an important step in fighting number spoofing widely used by robocallers. Both companies have now implemented the STIR/SHAKEN protocol between their networks, allowing caller-ID info to be authenticated, resulting in a "Caller Verified" banner on the phone screen when a call is incoming. T-Mobile and Metro currently offer 12 phones from Samsung and LG that support this banner. The FCC has urged US telecom companies — under threat of new regulation — to implement STIR/SHAKEN as a means of combatting robocalling and fraud. Once adoption is widespread, consumers will be able to block calls that cannot be authenticated. Verizon has announced that it is also working to implement STIR/SHAKEN.


Moto e6 Offers Portrait Mode for $150

Jul 25, 2019, 8:52 AM   by Rich Brome

Motorola today announced the Moto e6, a $150 Android phone with a 13-megapixel main camera and portrait mode, in a new design that drops the iconic Motorola look in favor of something more like an iPhone. Motorola calls the design "unibody", although the battery is removable. Compared to the e5, the display and battery are smaller, at 5.5 inches and 3,000 mAh, respectively. The display offers HD+ resolution. The processor has been updated to a Qualcomm Snapdragon 435, which Motorola claims is 50% faster than last year's 425 chip. The improved camera has f/2.0 aperture, PDAF, auto HDR, an LED flash, manual mode, and RAW output. It can also record full-HD video and support both time-lapse and hyper-lapse. The selfie camera is 5 megapixel with f/2.0 aperture. The phone also has a micro-USB port, 3.5mm headphone jack, memory card slot, and dual-band Wi-Fi. The Moto e6 is available today from Verizon, and will also be carried by T-Mobile, Metro, Boost, US Cellular, Consumer Cellular, and Xfinity Mobile.


Blu G9 Offers Large Battery, Premium Look for Less

May 22, 2019, 9:00 AM   by Rich Brome

The Blu G9 went on sale today, offering mid-range specs and flagship looks for just $130 for a limited time on Amazon, and $180 thereafter. The phone has a metallic frame and glass-like metallic back with color gradient. Its 6.3-inch HD screen has a small notch and a 19:9 aspect ratio. Its large 4,000 mAh battery supports fast charging via USB-C. It also has dual rear cameras, Android 9 (Pie), a MediaTek Helio P22 processor, 4 GB of RAM, and 64 GB of storage. It also has a fingerprint reader, 3.5mm audio jack, and memory card slot. The G9, an unlocked phone, has Cat. 6 LTE in bands 2, 4, 5, 12, and 13, providing basic support for AT&T and T-Mobile networks.


Hands On with the Coolpad Legacy

May 13, 2019, 10:30 AM   by Rich Brome   updated Jun 18, 2019, 1:57 PM

Very affordable phones with huge screens have been a relatively popular segment in the US in recent years. ZTE used to address this market well. Now, Coolpad is stepping up to offer their take. The Coolpad Legacy indeed has a massive, sharp display, plus a few nice extras like a huge battery, USB-C, and a fingerprint reader. It also has a design with a little personality, carved from metal and Gorilla Glass. That's pretty good for just $130. But what's it like in person? We checked it out.

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Coolpad Legacy Offers Premium Features for $130

May 13, 2019, 10:00 AM   by Rich Brome

Metro by T-Mobile launched the Coolpad Legacy today, a $130 Android phone with a huge 6.36-inch screen and several features not usually found on phones in that price range. It has a metal frame with Gorilla Glass 3 front, fingerprint reader, full-HD display with 2:1 aspect ratio, 4,000 mAh battery, Quick Charge 3.0 fast charging, USB-C connector, and Android 9 (Pie). It also offers dual rear cameras, FM radio, and dual-band Wi-Fi. It's powered by a Snapdragon 450 processor, with 3 GB of RAM, 32 GB of storage, and a memory card slot. The phone is on sale starting today.


Justice Department Leaning Against Merger of Sprint and T-Mobile

Apr 16, 2019, 5:06 PM   by Rich Brome

Justice department staff reviewing the proposed merger between T-Mobile US and Sprint have informed the two companies that they're disinclined to approve the merger as currently proposed, on antitrust grounds, according to the Wall Street Journal. The $26 billion deal would reduce competition and likely lead to lost jobs in the long run, although T-Mobile and Sprint claim otherwise. T-Mobile and Sprint could propose alterations to the deal to win approval. Also, senior Justice Department officials could override the staff recommendation and approve the deal as-is, although several state attorneys general are preparing to sue on antitrust grounds if that happens. A final decision from the Justice Department is expected in a few weeks, and T-Mobile and Sprint are still aiming to wrap up the deal by the end of July.


Hands On with the Moto g7 Series

Feb 7, 2019, 8:00 AM   by Rich Brome

Moto's new g-series phones bring up-to-date features, upgraded specs, and clean Google software to three models ranging from $200 to $300. This year's series moves to a notched-screen design, steps up to a Qualcomm Snapdragon 632 processor, and supports USB-C across the board. They will all launch with Android 9 (Pie). All three will eventually come to US carriers, most by this spring.

  • Moto g7 play: The most affordable at $199, it has a 5.7" HD display, 3,000 mAh battery, fast charging, fingerprint reader, 13 megapixel camera, 2 GB of RAM, 32 GB of storage, memory card slot, 3.5mm headset jack, and FM radio. It will be available from Boost, Virgin, US Cellular, Ting, and Republic, as well as unlocked from most major retailers.
  • Moto g7 power: The main feature is its huge 5,000 mAh battery, which Motorola claims will last for three days. It builds on the specs of the g7 play, stepping up to a larger 6.2" display, 3 GB of RAM, and a higher-quality 12-megapixel camera. It will be available for $249 from Verizon, T-Mobile, Metro, Cricket, Xfinity Mobile, Republic, Ting, and Consumer Cellular, as well as unlocked from most major retailers.
  • Moto g7: Higher-end but with a normal-size (3,000 mAh) battery, this flagship of the g series has a curved glass back, full-HD 6.2" display with a smaller notch, 4 GB of RAM, 64 GB of storage, 4K video capture, and dual cameras for portrait effects. It also has a more advanced camera app, with new features like automatic group smile capture, hi-res digital zoom using multiple frames, hyperlapse video, and RAW output. The camera also integrates with YouTube Live and Google Lens. It will be available unlocked from most major retailers for $299 this spring, followed by launches with Google Fi, Republic Wireless, and Ting.
Read on for our first impressions, including photos and a video.

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US Gov't Indicts Huawei for Stealing Trade Secrets from T-Mobile

Jan 28, 2019, 5:55 PM   by Rich Brome   updated Jan 29, 2019, 12:23 AM

The US government is pursuing a criminal case against Huawei for stealing the design for — as well as actual parts and software from — a unique phone-testing robot developed by T-Mobile USA. The gov't alleges that Huawei offered bonuses for employees to steal such trade secrets, and obstructed justice in a related civil case. A Seattle grand jury returned a 10-count indictment for theft of trade secrets conspiracy, attempted theft of trade secrets, seven counts of wire fraud, and one count of obstruction of justice. The robot in question is called "Tappy" and simulates human fingers activating a set of actions on a phone being tested. The theft occurred in 2012 and 2013. T-Mobile pursued a civil case against Huawei in 2014, and in 2017 a jury awarded T-Mobile $4.8 for Huawei's breach of contract. In the civil case, T-Mobile alleged that Huawei employees authorized to use Tappy snuck another, unauthorized Huawei employee into T-Mobile's labs to photograph Tappy. A Huawei employee also stole one of Tappy's "fingers" and copied some of its software. T-Mobile provided surveillance photos to back its claims, and Huawei admitted to several of the allegations. Under the maximum sentencing provisions applicable to corporate entities, Conspiracy and Attempt to Commit Trade Secret Theft are punishable by a fine of up to $5,000,000 or three times the value of the stolen trade secret, whichever is greater. Wire Fraud and Obstruction of Justice are punishable by a fine of up to $500,000.


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