Info & Phones News Forum
iPhone 14 Plus Offers a Big Screen For Less
Apple has revealed the iPhone 14 series, with new features, improved specs, and new size options. In place of a Mini option, the iPhone 14 will come in the same 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch screen size options as the Pro models. The larger model is called the iPhone 14 Plus, while the Pro models keep the same screen sizes and naming scheme (Pro and Pro Max) as last year. All of the new iPhone 14 models include at least 2x better low-light performance on all cameras, including front cameras. They also include Emergency SOS via Satellite and Crash Detection, and move completely to eSIM, eliminating physical SIM cards. The Pro models move from a notched display design to a "pill" shape for the TrueDepth camera-and-sensor system, which changes shape via software in a feature Apple calls Dynamic Island. Emergency SOS via Satellite uses a low-bandwidth satellite data network. It requires you to point the phone at the satellite, which the interface guides you through. It only supports short messages sent at low speed, even using 3x compression. Messages may take 15 seconds or up to a few minutes to send. The interface guides you through creating a concise message that contains the info emergency responders will need to provide help. For 911 call centers that can't receive text messages directly, Apple will call that center and relay your message. The service also supports non-emergency usage, but only in the form of location sharing. The feature will be available first in the US and Canada starting in November, and will be free for the first two years. Crash Detection utilizes a new high dynamic range gyroscope and dual-core accelerometer to automatically detect a car crash and alert emergency services. The new dual eSIM works with all major US carriers and can be set up even without Wi-Fi. The 12 megapixel main camera has a larger sensor and faster lens for 49% better low-light performance in low light via hardware alone, while Deep Fusion has been improved and renamed Photonic Engine, boosting low-light performance 2x on all cameras, for a total boost of 2.5x on the main camera. The front camera is also improved and now has auto-focus. A new Action Mode provides gimbal-like stabilization for video. The iPhone 14 and 14 Plus do not feature an all-new chip like the Pro models, instead using an A15 Bionic chip like last year's models. However, Apple has redesigned the aluminum body to provide better thermals, which may improve peak chip performance. Apple says the iPhone 14 Plus has the best battery life ever for an iPhone. The 14 series will come in five colors: blue, purple, Midnight, Starlight, and Product Red. The iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max have all the features of the standard iPhone 14 models, plus the new Dynamic Island display design, always-on display, better display specs, better cameras, a new A16 Bionic chip, and stainless steel bodies. The Dynamic Island takes up 30% less space than Apple's notch. Via software, the black pill area can expand a little to the sides to show background activity status, or split in two to show two different activities. For more important alerts or interactive controls, it can expand vertically as well. An API will allow third-party apps to access the Dynamic Island display area, such as a sports app showing a live-updating game score. The always-on display uses LPTO dimming and refresh down to 1 Hz to keep battery life in check. Unlike some always-on displays, it supports widgets and can show wallpaper over the whole display. The display also has thinner bezels and is (Apple claims) the brightest display on any smartphone, offering up to 2,000 nits peak brightness outdoors. The main camera is now 48 megapixel, enabling a high-quality 2x tele mode while leaving the dedicated telephoto camera to 3x. The camera also offers a 48-megapixel ProRAW mode. The wide camera offers 3x better low-light performance, while the other cameras offer 2x better. A sophisticated new LED flash offers nine discrete LEDS shining through a special lens that lets it effectively "zoom" to match the current focal length. The new A16 Bionic chip engages the whole chip for photography, able to perform 4 trillion operations per photo. It uses a 4nm manufacturing process that improves power efficiency. The Pro and Pro Max will be available in black, silver, gold, and purple. The iPhone 14 will start at $799, the iPhone 14 Plus: $899, the iPhone 14 Pro: $999, and the iPhone 14 Pro Max: $1,099. All models will be available with 128, 256, or 512 GB of storage, while the Pro series also gets a 1 TB option. Pre-orders start Friday, September 9th. Most models ship September 16th, except the 14 Plus which will ship October 7th.
Nokia Brings New Affordable Phones to T-Mobile, Boost
HMD Global this week finally launched its Nokia G400 5G with T-Mobile. Way back in January, the company announced that the launch was planned for the second quarter of the year. HMD also just announced that Boost will offer its Nokia C200 and G100 4G phones "in the coming weeks". Those phones were also part of the January announcement, although carrier partners were not disclosed at the time. The G100 is arriving later than planned, but at a lower price of $140. The C200 is already available from TracFone. Further, HMD was named "the #5 Smartphone company in the U.S." according to IDC. "Nokia smartphones now account for 2.9% of the U.S. smartphone market". The company released new details of the G100 and G400 5G:
- The G100 improves on the C200 with a larger 6.5-inch display, larger 5,000 mAh battery, a more powerful Snapdragon 662 chip, a fingerprint reader, and an 8 megapixel wide-angle camera. Other specs are similar, including a 13 megapixel main camera, 8 megapixel front camera, 3 GB RAM, 32 GB storage (expandable), fast charging, and a headset jack. It will sell for $140.
- The G400 5G steps up to FHD+ display resolution with 120 Hz refresh, a 48 megapixel main camera, 16 megapixel front camera, NFC, 4 GB RAM, 64 GB storage, and of course, 5G. T-Mobile is selling it for $234.
Boost Mobile Lets Customers Earn Free Service
Boost Mobile has rolled out a new app called BoostOne that lets customers earn credits toward their bill by playing games, watching videos, and "engaging with ... partners to complete offers". By playing games like "Spin & Win", users earn blockchain-backed "Boostcoins". Boostcoins can then be redeemed for discounted and free wireless service. "In the future, Boost expects the coins may be used for additional goods and services like free phones, other third-party products and exchanged with other users." The BoostOne app is available now for Android and iOS.
Motorola Adds 5G to its 2022 Mid-Range Lineup
Motorola has announced two new mid-range phones with 5G. Both are essentially 5G upgrades of existing 4G models already announced for 2022. Both will come to a wide range of US carriers, including AT&T, Cricket, Boost, US Cellular, and Xfinity Mobile. Both have a 50 megapixel main camera, 5,000 mAh battery, 10-watt fast charging, fast-refresh display, water resistance, fingerprint reader, expandable storage, and a headset jack.
- The moto g stylus 5G (2022) has a three key upgrades compared to both last year's model and this year's 4G model: a 120 Hz display (a first for the g series in the US), a Snapdragon 695 chip, and NFC. The LCD display measures 6.8 inches with FHD+ resolution. The phone also has an 8 megapixel wide/macro camera and 16 megapixel front camera. Naturally, it has a built-in stylus. While the base version has 4 GB RAM and 128 GB storage, versions will also be available with 6 or 8 GB RAM and 256 GB storage. Verizon will also offer a version with mmWave 5G. Motorola will sell it unlocked for $500 starting April 28th. Carriers are expected to sell it for less, at dates to be announced. It will come in two colors: seafoam green and steel blue.
- The moto g 5G is essentially a 5G version of the moto g power (2022). Like that model, it has a 6.5-inch LCD display with HD+ resolution and 90 Hz refresh. The selfie camera does get a bump up to 13 megapixel. Extra rear cameras are a depth camera and 2 megapixel macro camera. It's powered by a MediaTek Dimensity 700 chip paired with 4 GB RAM and 64 GB storage. An unlocked version will also be available with 6 GB RAM and 256 GB storage. Motorola will sell it unlocked for $400 starting May 19th. Carriers are expected to sell it for less, at dates to be announced.
First Phones With Dish's Band 70 Approved by FCC
The FCC this week approved two new Motorola phones that support 5G NR in band 70, the unique band definition created specifically to combine the unique collection of frequency bands that Dish Network has won in FCC auctions over the past decade. These are the first phones approved by the FCC that support band 70. Such phones will be needed to utilize Dish's own nascent 5G SA (stand-alone) network. Band 70 is unusual in that it's an asymmetric paired band, with separate uplink and downlink frequencies, but more bandwidth set aside for downlink. The downlink spans 1,995 – 2,020 MHz (H block and AWS-4), while the uplink spans 1,695 – 1,710 MHz (AWS-3). Currently, phones operating under Dish's Boost brand rely on other networks, and Dish will continue to rely on other networks to fill in coverage gaps as it builds its own network. The FCC is requiring Dish to launch its own 5G network covering 20% of the population by the middle of this year, and 70% by the middle of next year. Dish says it's on track to meet the first deadline by launching its own 5G service in 25 major metro markets and 100 smaller cities by June. The company is already beta-testing its own 5G network in Las Vegas. This week's FCC documents reveal little about the two new Motorola phones, although one has NFC while the other does not, implying that that these are two distinct models and one is higher-end.
Motorola's new Edge+ has Dual 50 Megapixel Rear Cameras and 60 on the Front
Motorola has announced its new flagship phone for 2022: the Motorola edge+ (2022). Its most unique specs are the camera resolutions: 50 megapixel for both the main camera and wide-angle camera; the selfie camera also clocks in at an unprecedented 60 megapixel. The wide-angle camera doubles as a macro camera, delivering both auto-focus and 50 megapixel resolution for both wide and macro shots, which is a first. The new edge+ also has new and advanced support for an optional stylus. It also supports multiple scenarios connected to an external display, which Motorola calls "Ready For". This includes desktop-replacement and TV/entertainment modes, where the optional stylus can act as an "air mouse". But it also includes a new webcam mode where the phone's high-quality main camera can be used as a webcam for desktop video calls. This feature works both wired and wirelessly, and includes a subject tracking feature. As a flagship phone that will run $1,000 unlocked, it includes expected flagship specs such as a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip, 6.7" FHD+ HDR10+ OLED display with 144 Hz refresh, 4,800 mAh battery, 30W fast charging, two-way wireless charging, Wi-Fi 6E, and Android 12. Motorola promises two years of OS upgrades and three years of security updates. It can capture 4K video in HDR10+ and still photos in 10-bit RAW. The phone is powered by a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip (Qualcomm's best) and comes in several (somewhat-unusual) memory configurations: The unlocked model (for $1,000, or $100 less for limited time) has 8 GB of RAM and 512 GB storage. The phone does not accept memory cards. Motorola has yet to announce the launch date for the unlocked version (or any version). Verizon, Boost, and Republic will also offer the phone "in the coming months". Verizon will offer the phone with either 8 GB RAM + 128 GB storage or 12 GB RAM + 256 GB storage. Pricing for US carriers has yet to be announced, but in recent years Motorola phones have reached US carriers at far lower prices that what Motorola offers initially (unlocked). The Motorola edge+ will be available in "Cosmos Blue" or Stardust White".
Nokia Phones Coming to New US Carriers in 2022
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.
Motorola's Affordable New moto g power has 90 Hz Screen
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.
Hands On with the TCL 20 XE and TCL 20 A 5G
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.
TCL Intros Two New Affordable 5G and 4G Phones for US
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.
Motorola's New Budget Phone is Already Very Popular
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).
Boost Gets Its Own Affordable 5G phone
Boost Mobile has introduced the Celero5G, a white-label affordable 5G phone with a unique launch promotion attached. Like T-Mobile's REVVL V+ 5G, the Celero5G is manufactured by Wingtech and powered by a MediaTek Dimensity 700 chipset, (but the two phones differ in size and specs.) The Celero5G has a 6.5-inch display, 4,000 mAh battery, 4 GB RAM, and 64 GB storage, expandable by up to 2 TB. The main camera is 16 megapixel, along with a 5-megapixel wide camera and 8-megapixel front camera. It also has a side fingerprint reader, 15W fast charging, and a headset jack. The "premium design" has a glass back and metallic frame. Until October 31, customers can get a free year of service when paying the full $280 retail price for the phone. The free year of service includes unlimited talk, text, and up to 35 GB of 5G/4G data per month. Boost's web site shows the phone as shipping October 17th. Boost also offers the Samsung Galaxy A32 5G with a list price of $280 but currently selling for $130, and the Motorola g stylus 5G with a list price of $250 but currently selling for $200. Boost is a brand of Dish Network. Boost is currently transitioning from T-Mobile's network to AT&T's network, while also building out its own 5G-only network.
Dish Prepping "Beta" 5G Network in Las Vegas
By the end of September, Dish Network will launch a 90-day "beta" of its own 5G network covering Las Vegas. Anyone interested in participating is invited to sign up at the company's "Project Geni5is" web site. Dish currently operates the Boost Mobile brand, which it bought from Sprint as a condition of the T-Mobile merger. Dish has promised to build its own nationwide 5G SA network from scratch to create a new fourth national carrier, an ambitious project.
Dish Turns to AT&T as New MVNO Partner
Dish has struck a 10-year deal to use AT&T's network to provide service for Dish's mobile customers. Dish's mobile brands include Boost Mobile, Ting, and Republic Wireless. Until now Dish has relied on T-Mobile's network, an arrangement put in place when Sprint sold Boost to Dish as a condition of Sprint's merger with T-Mobile. Dish's deal with T-Mobile was for seven years, giving Dish time to build its own 5G network. That the new deal with AT&T spans ten years calls into question Dish's commitment to fully building out its own network.
Moto g stylus 5G Comes to AT&T, Cricket, Boost with Heavy Discounts
Boost Mobile started selling the new Motorola moto g stylus 5G this week. Cricket starts selling the phone today, and AT&T will start sales July 16th. All three brands are offering the phone for far less than the $400 that Motorola is asking for the unlocked version. Boost's web site lists the full price as $250 but is currently selling it for $200. Cricket's price is $100 for new customers or $150 for existing customers. AT&T is selling the phone for $180 on a 36-month installment plan ($5/month) with an unlimited plan (for both new and existing customers, for a limited time). The version offered by carriers has 4 GB RAM and 128 GB storage, while Motorola's pricier unlocked version has 6 GB RAM and 256 GB storage (though the phone has expandable storage.) T-Mobile and Metro are also slated to sell the phone soon.
Motorola Adds 5G to the Moto G Stylus
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.
Wiko Drops a Better Ride for Boost
Wiko this week launched the Ride 3, an updated entry-level Android phone that Boost Mobile will sell for just $35. Compared to the Ride 2, the Wiko Ride 3 has a taller, more modern notched display, larger 3,400 mAh battery, faster MediaTek Helio P22 processor and more RAM (3 GB), 13 megapixel main camera, USB-C, and Android 11. It also has a headset jack and memory card slot. The Ride 3 is available now from Boost's web site. It will hit Walmart June 12th and Boost stores by the end of June. Wiko first entered the US market in 2019 with a single model for Boost Mobile: the original Wiko Ride. Although Wiko has yet to grow its presence in the US market, the company has consistently offered a new model in the Ride series each year.
Boost Mobile Adds Telemedicine as Perk of Premium Plan
Boost Mobile today announced a partnership with K Health to include a telemedicine offering as part of the company's Unlimited Plus plan. New subscribers will receive free, 24/7 access to health services via the K Health app on their phone. Specifically, this will include the opportunity to chat with a doctor directly; use K Health's AI-powered symptom checker to understand what is wrong and decide what to do next; and get treatment, including medications prescribed. Boost's "Unlimited Plus" plan offers 35 GB of high-speed data and 30 GB of mobile hotspot for $60/month. Boost Mobile customers on other plans will be able to add K Health "for a discounted service fee" of $8/month. The service will launch early this summer.
Dish Buys Republic Wireless
Dish is acquiring Republic Wireless and its 200,000 customer relationships. This will help grow Dish's customer base beyond Boost customers. Both Republic and Boost use T-Mobile's network, but Dish is working toward building its own 5G network from scratch. The deal is subject to closing conditions and regulatory approvals, and is expected to close in the second quarter of 2021. "Once acquired by DISH, Republic customers will not see any immediate changes to their experience or plans, and there is no need for customers to take action."
Motorola Unveils Full Affordable Lineup for 2021
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.
Boost Launches LG K22 for Under $100
Boost has launched the new LG K22, an affordable, entry-level phone with a large 6.2-inch HD notched display. Normally priced at $90, Boost is currently offering the phone for just $70. Other specs include a 3,000 mAh battery, Android 10, Qualcomm 215 processor, 2 GB RAM, and 32 GB of internal storage plus a memory card slot supporting up to 32 GB more. Its 13 megapixel PDAF rear camera is accompanied by a 2 megapixel macro camera. The front camera is 5 megapixel. The camera app supports full-HD video capture and Google Lens. Like most current LG phones, it has a dedicated Google Assistant button on the side. It also includes a 3.5mm headset jack.
Boost Offers New $10 Plan
Boost has sweetened the value of its cheapest plans, temporarily offering 2 GB of high-speed data with unlimited talk and text for just $10/month. The offer is only available to new customers who bring their own unlocked phone compatible with the T-Mobile network. Further, the 2 GB of monthly data is only for the first three months, after which it becomes 1 GB of monthly data. A step-up plan with similar terms runs $15/month for 4 GB of monthly data, stepping down to 2 GB after three months. This limited-time offer is available until the end of the year.
Boost Launches New $100 Phone from Coolpad
Boost this week launched the Coolpad Legacy Brisa, a new Android phone for $100. It replaces the original Coolpad Legacy released in the middle of last year. It has similar design and features, but improvements include a Snapdragon 665 processor, 16 megapixel selfie camera, and a slightly larger display at 6.53 inches, thanks to a more modern notched design. Like the original Legacy, it sports full-HD display resolution, large 4,000 mAh battery, 3 GB of RAM, 32 GB storage, memory card slot, 16 megapixel main camera, rear fingerprint reader, and USB-C.
Verizon, Dish Top Winners in FCC's First 3.5 GHz Auction
The FCC today published the winners of the recent Auction 105 for part of the 3.5 GHz band. Verizon shelled out $1.9 billion for 557 licenses covering 157 counties, likely covering major cities. Dish Network (bidding as "Wetterhorn Wireless") shelled out $913 million for 5,492 licenses covering 3,128 counties. Several cable companies also participated, but for fewer and/or less-valuable licenses. In this part of the 3.5 GHz band, each license covers 10 MHz of bandwidth in one county. The FCC auctioned off a maximum of seven licenses in any given county, with each company allowed to own a maximum of four licenses per county. Verizon appears to have approached that maximum in the counties it bid for, gaining 40 MHz of spectrum in a slight majority of its 157 counties, and 30 MHz in all or most of the rest. Dish won spectrum covering many more counties, but likely in more rural areas since it paid less for those licenses. Dish appears to have averaged closer to two licenses (20 MHz) per county. Dish currently operates the Boost brand using the T-Mobile network, but is preparing to build its own 5G SA network over the coming years. Auction 105 is the first of three FCC auctions for different parts of the 3.5 GHz band. This auction covers 3550-3650 MHz. The next 3.5 GHz auction starts in December.
Boost Intros New, Cheaper Plan Options
Boost has added three new entry-level plans for those on a budget and/or with limited mobile data needs. They are: $10 for 1 GB of high-speed data, $15 for 2 GB, and $25 for 5 GB. All offer unlimited talk and text. The company is also launching new high-speed data add-on packages, which can be one-time or recurring. They run $5/GB, available in 1 or 2 GB. The three new base plans join the company's $35 and $45 plans announced a month ago, which offer 10 and 15 GB high-speed data, respectively. The $45 "$hrink-It!" plan can be discounted down to $35 after six on-time payments. The company also offers "unlimited" data plans for $50–60/month, offering 35 GB of high-speed data and varying amounts of mobile hotspot data. Only the $60 plan allows HD video streaming. Boost was recently acquired by Dish Network. All of the new plans run on T-Mobile's network, which Boost refers to as their "Expanded Data Network". Other plans are also still available that run on the legacy Boost/Sprint network, which Boost refers to as their "Nationwide Network". Those plans generally offer a lesser value. Dish is encouraging new and existing customers to move to the "Expanded" (T-Mobile) network.
Dish Buys Ting Mobile
Dish Network has made a unique deal with Tucows, the owner and operator of Ting Mobile. Dish is buying the Ting brand and its customers, who will join Boost customers under the new Dish wireless umbrella. Dish is also entering into a long-term deal for Tucows to provide billing, activation, provisioning, and funnel marketing services for Dish's wireless customers, starting with existing Ting customers. Dish will move Boost customers to the Tucows platform in the second half of 2021. Dish recently purchased Boost as part of a deal that facilitated government approval for T-Mobile to merge with Sprint. Dish uses the T-Mobile network for the time being, but has started building its own 5G network.
Wiko's new Affordable Ride has Better Specs
French phone maker Wiko has announced the Ride 2, its second phone for the US. Like the original Ride, the new Ride 2 is an entry-level Android phone exclusive to Boost. Step-ups compared to the original Ride include an HD resolution display, 32 GB of storage, 8 megapixel main camera, and a 5 megapixel selfie camera. Unchanged are the 5.5-inch display size, 2 GB of RAM, and a memory card slot. Other specs include a 2,500 mAh battery, Mediatek Helio A22 processor, IP52 water resistance, FM radio, headset jack, and micro-USB connector. The Ride 2 is available now directly from Boost for $40 (for a limited time, normal price $90). Starting August 1st, it will be available from Walmart for $35.
Samsung and LG Launch New Affordable Phones on US Carriers
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 $200. It has a similar display and battery compared to the A11, but has upgraded cameras, MediaTek Helio P35 processor, 3 GB RAM, and NFC.
Dish Closes Acquisition of Boost Mobile, Unveils New Plans
T-Mobile US and Dish Network today announced that they have completed the previously-announced sale of Boost, the prepaid arm of Sprint. Dish now owns the Boost brand and takes responsibility for its 9.3 million customer accounts, hundreds of employees, and thousands of independent retailers. Boost customers are promised a smooth transition thanks to a seven-year agreement for Dish to use the T-Mobile network while Dish builds its own 5G SA (stand-alone) network. Dish unveiled two new plans for Boost customers. The "$hrink-It!" plan offers lower rates over time, to encourage customers to stay with Boost. It's similar to a plan Boost offered six years ago, as well as Verizon's new prepaid plans. It starts at $45/month for 15 GB of data, with a $5/month discount after three on-time payments, and an additional $5/month discount after six total on-time payments. The other new plan offers 10 GB of data plus unlimited talk and text for $35/month. Both plans will be available starting tomorrow, July 2nd. Dish also unveiled a new logo for Boost that blends the existing Boost logo with the Dish logo. Dish paid $1.4 billion for Boost, the same amount originally agreed upon when the deal was first announced. The sale was required by the government in order for T-Mobile to win approval for its deal to merge with Sprint. Dish has started building its own 5G SA network, having recently signed infrastructure deals with Fujitsu, Altiostar, and Mavenir.
Dish Having Second Thoughts About Buying Boost
Dish is trying to re-negotiate its deal to buy Boost Mobile, according to reporting from Fox Business. The US Department of Justice mandated that Sprint sell its Boost prepaid business as part of the company's deal to merge with T-Mobile. The agreed-upon purchase price was $1.4 billion, but Dish is now balking at that number. T-Mobile would need to find another buyer, and a major private equity firm may be interested. Dish was supposed to close the Boost purchase by June 1st. The DoJ has its own final deadline of July 1st for the deal.
New Moto e is a Big Upgrade Over Last Year's Model
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.
LG Stylo 6 Comes to Boost
Boost Mobile is the first US carrier to launch the LG Stylo 6, an update to the popular Stylo 5 series. Compared to the 5 series, the Stylo 6 has a larger display, larger battery, more storage, and more cameras. It's about the same width and thickness as the 5, but taller. This, plus a modern all-screen design, allow an increase in screen size from 6.2 to 6.8 inches. It also has a 4,000 mAh battery and 64 GB of storage. The 13-megapixel rear camera has been joined by a depth camera and 5-megapixel wide-angle camera. The front camera, which sits in a small screen notch, has been upgraded to 13 megapixel. The Stylo 6 is powered by Android 10 running on a MediaTek Helio P35 processor with 3 GB of RAM. Other features are similar to the Stylo 5 series, including a pop-out stylus, full-HD display resolution, NFC, rear fingerprint reader, memory card slot, and 3.5mm audio jack. Boost is selling the LG Stylo 6 for $180, starting today. The FCC has also approved a different variant of the Stylo 6 that seems designed for T-Mobile's network. The Stylo 5 series was offered by all major US carriers and most prepaid brands.
Boost Launches LG K51 for $90
Boost Mobile has launched the LG K51, a new affordable Android phone with triple rear cameras and a large 4,000 mAh battery for $90. It also has a 6.5-inch HD display with a small notch, fingerprint reader, 3.5mm headset jack, and USB-C. It's powered by a MediaTek Helio P22 processor and 3 GB of RAM. It has 32 GB of storage and supports memory cards. The three rear cameras are: 13 megapixel standard camera with PDAF, 5 megapixel wide-angle (115º) camera, and a depth camera for bokeh (portrait) effects. It comes with Android 9. It also supports VoLTE, which future-proofs it against the eventual shutdown of the legacy Sprint CDMA network.
T-Mobile + Sprint Merger Can Proceed, Rules Judge
A multi-state anti-trust lawsuit to stop the merger of Sprint and T-Mobile has failed. New York Attorney General Letitia James issued a statement saying "There is no doubt that reducing the mobile market from four to three will be bad for consumers, bad for workers, and bad for innovation, which is why the states stepped up and led this lawsuit. ... As we review our options, including a possible appeal, Americans should continue to hold the companies to account for their promises." If the states do no not appeal, the merger is likely to be completed as soon as April 1, 2020, according to a statement from the two companies. The ruling was issued today by the Hon. Victor Marrero of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. New York and California led the coalition of 14 state Attorneys General opposing the merger. The FCC and DoJ approved the merger last year. Some assets from Sprint — including the Boost Mobile brand and customers — will be transferred to Dish, which has promised to use them build its own new 5G network.
Sprint Kills Off Virgin Mobile
Sprint is shutting down its Virgin Mobile prepaid brand. Starting the week of February 2nd, Sprint will move current Virgin Mobile customers to Sprint's other prepaid brand, Boost Mobile. According to a Sprint statement to FierceWireless, "In most circumstances, customers can keep their current phone and will receive a comparable or better Boost Mobile service plan with no extra cost". All of Sprint's business plans are currently in a kind of limbo as the company awaits a court verdict on whether it will be allowed to merge with T-Mobile. The pending merger has put a pause on all major investments and strategic moves, which in turn has hurt business units such as Virgin Mobile.
Dish Details Deal to Become Fourth National Carrier
Dish Network will pay $5 billion to buy significant Sprint assets in an attempt to create a new national 5G wireless network, in a deal brokered by the US Department of Justice to win approval for T-Mobile merging with Sprint. The deal includes $3.6 billion for licenses to 14 MHz of nationwide 800 MHz spectrum. For its new 5G network. Dish will use the new 800 MHz spectrum alongside 600 MHz, 700 MHz, and 1,700 MHz spectrum it already owns. Dish will also pay $1.4 billion to acquire Sprint's prepaid business, including Boost Mobile, Virgin Mobile, and Sprint Prepaid. That purchase includes 9.3 million customers and 400 employees. Dish has made a new commitment to the FCC that it will build its own 5G network capable of serving 70 percent of the US population by June 2023. Dish will pay a penalty of up to $2.2 billion if it fails to meet that deadline. Dish will have access to the new T-Mobile / Sprint network for seven years while it builds its own network. Dish will also lease T-Mobile some of its 600 MHz spectrum for several years to smooth the transition. Dish will also have the option to acquire certain tower, network equipment, and retail assets that will be decommissioned as part of the Sprint / T-Mobile integration process.
DoJ Green-Lights T-Mobile / Sprint Merger
The US Department of Justice has given its blessing to the proposed merger of T-Mobile and Sprint. Several conditions — including a comprehensive deal with Dish intended to create a small fourth national carrier — have satisfied the federal government's anti-trust concerns. The FCC has already announced it will allow the deal, meaning the deal is cleared at the federal level. Five state attorneys general joined in supporting the deal. However, ten state attorneys general have filed suit to block the deal on anti-trust grounds, including those for New York and California. Those states are not signed on to the deal announced today. That action remains outstanding and could still delay or scuttle the deal. The required deal with Dish will see Dish acquire all of Sprint's prepaid business, including the Boost and Virgin brands and 9 million customers with those brands, along with radio spectrum licenses. Dish will also have "robust access" to the new T-Mobile/Sprint network as an MVNO for at least seven years, giving it time to build out its own physical network. T-Mobile/Sprint will also be required to "make available" at least 20,000 tower sites and hundreds of retail locations, in order to facilitate Dish building its new network and wireless business. Dish has a long history of hoarding spectrum licenses while promising — but failing — to build any significant network to use them.
Moto e6 Offers Portrait Mode for $150
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.
Samsung Galaxy A10e Launches on Boost, Coming to AT&T
Boost has started selling the Samsung Galaxy A10e, Samsung's entry-level phone in its newly expanded A-series. The $140 phone is currently offered for just $100 by Boost, in a two-day introductory sale. The A10e has an all-screen design with small notch in its 5.8-inch, HD LCD display. The phone has a USB-C connector, 3,000 mAh battery, 8-megapixel main camera, 5-megapixel front camera, 2 GB of RAM, 32 GB of storage, a memory card slot, and a 3.5mm audio jack. Samsung's web site also reveals a version for AT&T, which has not yet gone on sale.
Coolpad Legacy Comes to Boost
Boost Mobile now offers the Coolpad Legacy, a $100 Android phone with a premium metal design, a huge 6.36-inch screen, and several features not usually found on phones in that price range. Metro by T-Mobile launched the Legacy a month ago for $130 (now $180). The phone has a 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. Boost already offers the lower-end Coolpad Illumina, which has since been renamed "Legacy Go".