T-Mobile recently announced that its mid-band 5G network now covers over 200 million people, a threshold that the industry acknowledges as "nationwide" coverage. (Mid-band 5G offers an ideal balance of fast data speeds and broad coverage compared to 5G in other bands.) In an interview with Phone Scoop, T-Mobile executives detailed how they plan to maintain the company's lead in mid-band 5G even as Verizon and AT&T launch mid-band 5G early next year. According to Ryan Sullivan, VP, Device and Technology, and Karri Kuoppamaki, SVP, Network Technology Development & Strategy, T-Mobile plans to expand mid-band 5G coverage to 250 million people by the end of 2022. That will further expand to 300 million "in the next two years". The company has already launched 5G CA (Carrier Aggregation) across its low- and mid-band 5G networks, allowing users to experience faster data speeds by accessing both bands simultaneously. Now, the company is working to enable 5G CA within its mid-band frequencies, allowing customers to access over 100 MHz of mid-band bandwidth at once, for even faster data. The executives also revealed that the company is "deep" into testing VoNR and expects to launch that technology soon. VoNR allows voice calls to take place over 5G, which in turn will enable customers to access 5G in SA (stand-alone) mode across the whole network. Currently, T-Mobile is only using 5G SA technology to expand 5G data coverage into areas where 5G NSA (non-stand-alone) is not feasible due to specific local frequency band constraints. VoNR is also a critical step toward the eventual phase-out of 4G LTE, although the executives stressed that that phase-out is far in the future.
Samsung today announced the Galaxy A13 5G, its most affordable 5G phone yet at $250. Typically, the two most affordable phones in Samsung's annual lineup are the A1x and A0x models, leaving the new Galaxy A03s as possibly the only model in Samsung's 2022 US lineup without 5G. Key features of the Galaxy A13 5G include a 50 megapixel camera, 90 Hz adaptive refresh display, 5,000 mAh battery, and NFC. It also has 15W fast charging, 64 GB of expandable storage, a fingerprint reader on the side, headset jack, macro camera, and depth camera. It's powered by a MediaTek Dimensity 700 chip. It launches this Friday with AT&T and on samsung.com. T-Mobile will also launch it in January. The Galaxy A03s will sell for just $159. It has "a long-lasting battery, triple camera system, and fingerprint security". It launches in January with AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon.
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.
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.
There have been a number of "smartwatches" for kids in recent years. They all have GPS and let you keep tabs on your kid's location, and offer some limited forms of communication. Beyond that, they can vary quite a bit in implementation and additional features. The new SyncUp Kids watch from T-Mobile is one of the more full-featured options available, packing in two-way calling and texting, and even video messaging thanks to a built-in camera. It has a full on-screen keyboard plus emoji. It includes a step tracker, task manager (so parents can set a to-list of chores, etc.), and some basic games. There's an SOS function and it comes with a real charging dock. It even includes some basic "smartwatch" functions like alarm, stopwatch, and timer (most kids watches do not). You can even customize it with standard 20mm watch straps, and it's rated IP68 for dust and water. T-Mobile is offering it for free if you make a two-year commitment, or $174 full-price. Continue to our hands-on for a quick tour of the actual hardware and unique software, and first impressions.
CAT has a new rugged phone for T-Mobile. It's a rugged flip phone, but that's not the most interesting thing about it. What's wild is that this is a flip phone that runs full Android. Well, Android Go, but it has the Play Store and can run third-party Android apps. This possible because the main display inside is a touch-screen. It's an interesting prospect, potentially improving productivity for certain kinds of field workers. We checked it out in person. Read on for our first impressions.
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.
Sony today revealed the Xperia PRO-I, an $1,800 phone with the same 1-inch camera sensor found in Sony’s line of RX100 standalone cameras. The 12-megapixel Exmor RS sensor has dual apertures (f/2.0 and f/4.0) and ZEISS Tessar T optics. The main camera is joined by 12 megapixel wide and telephoto cameras on the back, as well as a "3D iToF" and RGB-IR sensors. The front has an 8 megapixel camera and 6.5-inch 4K OLED display with 120 Hz refresh and HDR, protected by Corning Gorilla Glass Victus. The PRO-I is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 chip alongside 12 GB RAM and 512 GB storage, expandable with memory cards up to 1 TB. The battery is 4,500 mAh and the phone supports USB-PD fast charging. The phone has excellent support for 4G and sub-6 5G networks of Verizon and T-Mobile, including new C-Band networks coming soon to the US. It does not support mmWave 5G like the original Xperia Pro. Other features include IP68 rating for water and dust, USB-C 3.2 Gen 2, DisplayPort and HDMI video output, NFC, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2, fingerprint reader, and a headset jack. For vlogging, Sony will offer an external monitor accessory that lets you see yourself while using the rear cameras. The phone will launch in "some regions" by the end of this year, and elsewhere in 2022.
The Orbic Magic 5G is now available with TracFone. This is the first Orbic phone for a US carrier other than Verizon. According to the company, this "shows that Orbic is growing as brand into other channels." Orbic got its start in the US making entry-level phones for Verizon. The Orbic Myra 5G for Verizon launched recently and was the company's first mid-range phone, and first 5G phone. The Magic is identical to the Myra save for network frequency band support and the Snapdragon chipset inside. The Magic supports sub-6 5G and 4G on both the Verizon and T-Mobile networks, and uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon 690 chipset. The Myra supports Verizon's mmWave "Ultra Wideband" 5G network, which required the higher-end Snapdragon 750G. The company confirmed this as the reason for the two different chipsets. Like the Myra, the Magic 5G has a 6.78-inch HD+ display, 5,000 mAh battery, 48 megapixel main camera, 8 megapixel wide camera, 6 GB RAM, 64 GB storage (expandable), and Quick Charge 3.0. TracFone is selling the Orbic Magic 5G for $300. Orbic is a brand of Reliance Communications.
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).
The FCC today started Auction 110, the third in a series of auctions to sell licenses for valuable C-band (mid-band) radio frequencies that offer a good mix of data speeds and coverage when deployed for 5G networks. All three major US wireless carriers have registered and qualified to bid in the auction. The most recent auction in the series was Auction 107, which was for the highest and widest range of frequencies in the band. In that auction, all three major carriers spent billions, with Verizon spending the most. Before that, Auction 105 — for the middle range of frequencies — saw Verizon and Dish Network come out on top. The current auction is for the lowest range of frequencies in the band: 3,450 – 3,550 MHz. The US government only decided a little over a year ago to allow commercial service in this new range of frequencies. The Department of Defense currently uses this radio spectrum for radar operations that support missile defense, counter-mortar capabilities, weapons control, electronic warfare, air defense, and air traffic control. Auction proceeds must cover 110% of the expected sharing and relocation costs for federal users currently operating in the band, which in this case is estimated to be over $14 billion.
Telecom infrastructure provider Syniverse recently disclosed to the SEC that it discovered a hack of its systems this year, which appears to have been ongoing since 2016. The compromise affects the Electronic Data Transfer (EDT) environment for 235 of its customers, including Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile. The EDT handles a wide variety of sensitive customer data, including the content of SMS text messages, call records, data usage records, and billing details. Ninety-five of the top 100 mobile carriers in the world are Syniverse customers. Syniverse's systems allow different carriers around the world to connect to each others' networks, exchanging text messages between networks and enabling roaming agreements and billing.
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 has started selling the CAT S22 Flip, a unique phone that blurs the line between smartphone and flip phone. The S22 Flip has the size and design of a typical rugged flip phone, but its 2.8-inch main display is a touch screen that provides access to the full Android interface, including third-party Android apps. Several other basic phones on the market leverage the open-source version of Android (AOSP) but rework the interface to operate without a touch screen, which makes them incompatible with the third-party apps available in the Play Store. By including a touch screen, the S22 Flip is able to keep the Play Store and access to most Android apps. As a smartphone, the specs are basic, including Android 11 Go Edition, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 215 processor, and 2 GB of RAM. Other specs include a 2,000 mAh battery, VGA screen resolution (480 x 640 pixels), 5 megapixel main camera, 2 megapixel selfie camera, a memory card slot, and an outer display. Like all CAT phones, it has a rugged design, rated IP68, water-proof, washable, drop-proof, and Non-Incendive Class I Division 2 Group A-D T4. It has "extra loud speakers", large buttons, and a programmable PTT button on the side. It comes with a 2-year warranty. T-Mobile is selling the phone now for $234.
T-Mobile phones will soon display a new icon in the status bar to indicate when they are connected to 5G in a higher frequency band that offers faster data speeds. The icon will appear first on the newest iPhones, and the company is working with phone makers "to include this update on as many devices as possible". The icon says "5G UC"; UC stands for Ultra Capacity, the company's name for its mid-band and mmWave 5G networks. Those networks offer much faster data speeds than 5G operating in lower frequency bands. All three major national carriers offer 5G in both low-band and higher frequency bands. The low-band 5G networks offer the broadest coverage, but typically offer data speeds that are not much faster than 4G. T-Mobile has been aggressively rolling out 5G in mid-band frequencies (band 41) that it gained access to in its merger with Sprint. Verizon and AT&T will start to roll out their mid-band 5G networks (in band 77 AKA C-Band) by the end of this year or early next year.
Sonim's newest rugged flip phone is the XP3plus, launching today with T-Mobile. This new model is a significant upgrade over the original XP3 from 2019, featuring larger displays and a battery that's over 50% larger (2,300 vs. 1,500 mAh). It introduces a new button configuration and interface with three soft-keys below the main display. It also adds the unique feature of two soft-keys below the outer display, one of which can be customized to user functions. The processor, memory, and (optional) camera have also been upgraded compared to the XP3. Like all Sonim phones, the XP3plus is ultra-rugged with IP68, military, and Non-Incendive ratings. It also has large, glove-friendly buttons — including dedicated push-to-talk and SOS buttons — and a 100dB+ ultra-loud speaker for noisy environments. Sonim offers a range of accessories for the phone, including vehicle kits, rugged headsets, and charging docks. The company also offers a three-year warranty. T-Mobile is selling the phone for $210. Sonim's web site says the phone will be "available at other carriers in Fall 2021."
For the first time, T-Mobile has won the title of Fastest Mobile Network in PCMag's annual nationwide drive test. T-Mobile's 5G network was the fastest in 24 out of 36 tested cities and regions. PCMag attributes the win to T-Mobile's use of mid-band spectrum (band 41, around 2,600 MHz) for 5G. This unique frequency band was originally owned by Sprint, and T-Mobile has been aggressively re-deploying it for 5G since merging with Sprint. Mid-band frequencies are ideal for 5G, offering a good balance of coverage and potential data speeds. AT&T and Verizon recently purchased C-band spectrum that will let them deploy mid-band 5G networks like T-Mobile starting by the end of this year. Verizon's "Ultra Wideband" mmWave 5G network is the fastest 5G network, but has very limited coverage. AT&T and Verizon's sub-6-GHz (non-mmWave) 5G networks are often barely faster than 4G. Looking only at 4G networks, AT&T was once again the winner.
T-Mobile today announced a new promotional perk included with its Magenta and Magenta Max plans: 12 months of Apple TV+ for free. The offer is available to both new and existing customers. Also eligible are customers on the Magenta 55+, Magenta Military, Magenta First Responders, and small T-Mobile for Business customers. Only customers on the most-affordable Essentials plan are ineligible. Legacy Sprint customers on the Unlimited Plus or Premium plans are also eligible. Magenta and Magenta Max customers already receive Netflix for free.
Motorola today announced a new premium-tier phone: the Motorola edge (2021). The headline features are a 108 megapixel main camera and a large 6.8-inch display with adaptive refresh up to 144 Hz. It also has a large 5,000 mAh battery, 30-watt fast charging, Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G processor, Wi-Fi 6E, and NFC. The 108-megapixel camera operates in 9-pixel pixel-binning mode by default, for excellent low-light performance with 12 megapixel output. It's accompanied by am 8-megapixel wide-angle camera, a depth camera, and a 32 megapixel selfie camera. Verizon will offer a version supporting its mmWave 5G network, while the unlocked version has excellent support for the 4G and sub-6 5G networks of both T-Mobile and AT&T. The unlocked version will be available in blue for $700. It goes on sale September 2nd with a special price of $500 for a limited time. Pre-orders start August 23rd. Verizon and Spectrum Mobile will offer the Verizon version later this fall; pricing for that version is yet to be determined.
T-Mobile today revealed the full extent of the recent theft of sensitive consumer data from its internal systems. The breach affects over 40 million people across three groups: people who applied for credit with the company (whether they became a customer or not), a fraction of its current postpaid customers (7.8 million), and 850,000 prepaid customers under the T-Mobile brand. Metro, Boost, and legacy Sprint customers are not affected. Two different types of data were stolen. For the credit-check and postpaid groups, the stolen data includes names, birth dates, Social Security numbers and driver's license information. It does not include phone numbers, account numbers, PINs, passwords, or financial information. But for prepaid customers, the stolen data includes names, phone numbers, and account PINs. T-Mobile has already reset all affected PINs. While T-Mobile confirmed earlier this week that its systems had been compromised, the company did not confirm that customer data had been successfully stolen until today.
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.
The FCC has launched a new interactive map showing 4G LTE coverage for the whole US. It includes Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T, and US Cellular networks. The data is sourced from the carriers, but is required to meet standards intended to make the data uniform and allow apples-to-apples comparisons. "Specifically, it shows where customers can expect to receive 4G LTE broadband service at a minimum user download speed of five megabits per second (5 Mbps) and a user upload speed of one megabit per second (1 Mbps) based on propagation modeling." Another "voice" layer shows where users should be able to get basic service regardless of data speed.
T-Mobile has confirmed that it will shut down the legacy Sprint 4G LTE network by June 30, 2022. Customers that will need new SIM cards and/or phones to use T-Mobile's own network are being notified directly by T-Mobile.
As T-Mobile continues to expand its 5G network, PCMag reports that the company has updated its coverage maps to differentiate between its faster "Ultra Capacity" 5G and its slower but more widely-available "Extended Range" 5G. T-Mobile's 5G Ultra Capacity network uses a mid-band frequency (2.5 GHz, AKA band 41, which was inherited from Sprint) that offers faster data speeds than most sub-6 GHz 5G, and much better coverage than mmWave 5G. T-Mobile this week announced that this faster mid-band network now covers 165 million people nationwide, up from 150 million just weeks ago. T-Mobile expects to reach 200 million people by the end of the year. T-Mobile also plans to increase the bandwidth allocated to its 5G Ultra Capacity network, from 60–80 MHz now, to 100 MHz by the end of the year, further improving capacity and data speeds. Verizon and AT&T won't be able to offer mid-band 5G service until they deploy C-Band spectrum that was recently auctioned off by the FCC. T-Mobile's Extended Range 5G is also known as sub-6 or low-band 5G. It uses existing frequency bands that are relatively narrow, low-frequency, and shared with 4G service. For these reasons, low-band 5G is sometimes no faster than 4G. Nonetheless, T-Mobile says its 5G Extended Range network now covers 305 million people across 1.7 million square miles.
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.
T-Mobile has released a new app that lets iPhone users with other US carriers test out T-Mobile's network for free using their existing phone before switching. While T-Mobile has offered a free 30-day test drive using a mobile hotspot — and that program remains available for Android users — the new app leverages the eSIM capability in newer iPhones. Once the eSIM is activated with T-Mobile, both the eSIM and existing physical SIM remain active, letting users try both networks at the same time, without switching carrier, phone, or phone number. The offer includes 30 GB of data and access to 5G. T-Mobile has published a video explaining the app. A T-Mobile spokesperson called the service a "pilot program".
TCL today revealed the US launch details for its new 20 series of phones: the TCL 20 Pro 5G, 20S, and 20 SE.
- The 20 Pro 5G is an affordable flagship phone with 5G for $500. It has a curved-edge TCL AMOLED display, satin glass back, 48 megapixel Sony-made main camera, 16 megapixel wide-angle camera, and wireless charging. It's powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G chip with 6 GB RAM, 256 GB storage, and a 4,500 mAh battery. It has excellent support for all 5G and 4G US networks, including Verizon. It's available in Moondust Gray and Marine Blue.
- The 20S has a 64 megapixel main camera, 8 megapixel wide camera, huge 5,000 mAh battery, and 18W fast charging. It also has a Snapdragon 665 processor and 4 GB RAM. It has excellent support for Verizon and T-Mobile 4G networks, and decent support for AT&T. It runs $250 and comes in Milky Way Black and Frosted Blue.
- The 20 SE is only $190 but comes with 48 megapixel main camera, wide camera, 4 GB RAM, and huge 5,000 mAh battery. It has basic support for AT&T and T-Mobile networks, and comes in Nuit Black and Aurora Green.
US Mobile is once again offering a promo of 50% off the first year of service for new customers. The promo is available to anyone buying a US Mobile starter kit on amazon.com during Amazon's Prime Day sale, June 21–22. US Mobile did a similar promo for the launch of the OnePlus 9, but it was restricted to customers with that phone and US Mobile's "Super LTE" (Verizon) network. This new Prime Day promo is available for customers using any compatible phone, and for either network, including "GSM LTE" (T-Mobile). Customers will receive the discount as monthly service credits of up to $20.83, for a total of $250 over 12 months. Customers can choose from Custom, Shared Data, or Unlimited All plans. Customers buying the starter kit June 21–22 will receive a promo code that gets them the 50% off.
T-Mobile is rolling out a new feature that enables priority access to the network for approved first responders during emergencies. The feature provides some competition for AT&T's FirstNet, which also provides priority access for first responders. To use the new feature, a first responder organization must obtain approval for Wireless Priority Service from the Department of Homeland Security. Once approved, first responders can enter a special code before the call — or use a special dialer app — to enable network preemption. Intended for emergencies, network preemption will ensure the call goes through even when the network is at capacity, dropping other, non-emergency calls if necessary. The feature works only for voice calls, not messaging or data. T-Mobile also today announced its first rugged smartphone in several years: the CAT S62. T-Mobile already offers free unlimited service for first responder agencies through their Connecting Heroes program.
In a major win for Bullitt Group, T-Mobile will offer the CAT S62 rugged Android phone this summer. T-Mobile hasn't had any truly rugged smartphones in its lineup since it discontinued the Samsung Galaxy S8 Active in mid-2019. The only other CAT-branded phone to be picked by a major US carrier was the S48c, launched by Sprint late 2018 and offered Verizon business customers in early 2019. The CAT S62's rugged credentials include exceeding US military standards for high and low temperature, thermal shocks, salt mist, vibration and tumble. It's designed to survive 6-foot drops onto steel at any angle. It also meets requirements for potentially hazardous environments, certified to Non-Incendive, Class I, Division 2, Group A-D, T4. Its display is protected by Gorilla Glass 6 and responds to both wet and gloved fingers. It's rated IP68 to be fully submersible and washable. The 4,000 mAh battery can be charged via USB-C and Quick Charge 4, Qi wireless charging, or POGO pins on the back. Key features include a 48 megapixel camera, NFC, rear fingerprint reader, and a customizable shortcut button on the side. It's powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 processor accompanied by 4 GB RAM and 128 GB storage, which can be expanded with a memory card. The 5.7-inch display sports full-HD resolution. It will ship with Android 10 and upgraded to Android 11 in the fall. It comes with Android Enterprise support and Bullitt promises security updates for 2 years. The CAT S62 retails for $498 and will be exclusively available at T-Mobile "this summer".
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 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.
T-Mobile today announced out new small business plans called Business Unlimited. The three new options offer a better value than the existing Magenta for Business plans in several ways. The cheapest option is as low as $25/line/month, cheaper than before. The most premium plan is now as low as $40/line, $5/month cheaper than Magenta Max for Business while offering similar features. The cheapest multi-line pricing also kicks in at just six lines instead of eight, and all plans now include much more high-speed mobile hotspot data. All include unlimited talk and text, as well as 5G access. The plans are:
- Business Unlimited Select: For $25/line/month (with at least six lines and AutoPay), this offers 50 GB of speedy "Premium Data", 5 GB high-speed mobile hotspot, unlimited talk, text, and 2G data in Canada and Mexico, and unlimited texting and 2G data overseas. Although T-Mobile advertises 50 GB of Premium Data for this plan, the fine print says "During congestion, ... customers choosing lower-prioritized plans (Select) may notice lower speeds than other customers". T-Mobile confirmed to Phone Scoop that this mean this plan has "a lower prioritization level, similar to Metro or T-Mobile Essentials" for data speeds. The other two plans do not have this limitation.
- Business Unlimited Advanced: For $30/line, this ups the Premium Data to 100 GB (with top priority) and the high-speed mobile hotspot to 40 GB. It also adds 1 hour of Gogo In-Flight Wi-Fi, 5 GB high-speed data in Canada and Mexico, Microsoft 365 on Us, and HD video streaming.
- Business Unlimited Ultimate: For $40/line, this steps up to truly unlimited Premium Data on each smartphone, 100 GB high-speed mobile hotspot, and Unlimited Gogo In-Flight Wi-Fi. It also offers 2x faster data internationally (256 kbps) and 4K video streaming.
As part of its quarterly earnings report today, T-Mobile provided an update on its 5G rollout and Sprint customer migration. The company's faster "Ultra Capacity" 5G network — the bulk of which relies on 2.5 GHz mid-band radio frequencies — now covers 140 million people and is on track to cover 200 million by the end of 2021. T-Mobile's Ultra Capacity 5G includes redeployed 2.5 GHz radio spectrum (band 41) it gained when the company merged with Sprint, as well as mmWave for even faster speeds in select urban areas. The company also offers "Extended Range 5G" which uses lower frequencies and offers lower data speeds (closer to 4G). That service now covers 295 million people across 1.6 million square miles. T-Mobile claims that is 4x more than Verizon's 5G service area and 2x more than AT&T's. T-Mobile also announced that 20 percent of former Sprint customers have been moved to the T-Mobile network, and those users represent 50 percent of Sprint customer traffic.
T-Mobile has announced a new tracking tag device that operates on its 4G LTE network. Like a Tile or Apple's new AirTags, the SyncUP Tracker is designed to help you track and find any item that is easily lost or stolen. While Tile and AirTags rely on specific types of devices being within Bluetooth range, the SyncUP Tracker works anywhere within T-Mobile's LTE coverage. The $60 device is rated IP67 for dust and water, and its 900 mAh battery lasts "up to 7 days depending on usage". Like competing devices, its location can be seen on a map and users can command the device to play a sound. The companion app also supports geo-fencing, so you can be notified as soon as it leaves an area you specify. Uniquely, it also has a light sensor so you can be notified if it's removed from a dark area (such as a locker or backpack). T-Mobile's SyncUP Tracker goes on sale May 7th for $60, plus $5/month for data service (with AutoPay). Verizon offers a similar device called the Verizon Smart locator for $100, plus $3/month after a complimentary first year of service.
Sony today announced its 2021 phone lineup for consumers: the Xperia 1 III and Xperia 5 III. The two phones are both high-end models with similar specs and features, with the 5 III being the smaller of the two. Both phones have OLED displays with 120 Hz refresh and three 12-megapixel rear cameras. While the standard and wide-angle cameras are similar to last year's models, the new periscope-style telephoto camera has its own optical zoom feature, offering both 2.9x and 4.4x zoom. The main and telephoto cameras include OIS (optical image stabilization). The phones are powered by Qualcomm's flagship Snapdragon 888 chip and offer excellent support for the (sub-6) 5G and 4G networks of T-Mobile and Verizon. Other specs include 4,500 mAh battery with 30W USB-PD fast charging, Android 11, NFC, memory card slot, headset jack, and IP68 water resistance. The stereo speakers are the first in a phone to support 360 Reality Audio. The Xperia 5 III has a 6.1-inch display with FHD+ resolution, 8 GB RAM, and 128 GB storage. The larger Xperia 1 III has a 6.5-inch display with 4K resolution, 12 GB RAM, and 256 GB storage. The 1 III also adds a ToF camera, wireless charging, Gorilla Glass Victus on the front, and speakers that are 40% louder than last year's model. The Xperia 1 III design consists of frosted glass and "blasted" metal, available in black or purple. The 5 III has a mirror finish and will be available in black or green. Both phones will be ship in the US "this summer". Pricing is to be announced.
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.
Bullitt Group today announced the CAT S62 Pro, the latest in its line of ruggedized phones for field professionals. The company is releasing the US version today, which has excellent support for T-Mobile and Verizon 4G networks, and will also work on AT&T. The S62 Pro is the third CAT-branded phone to feature a FLIR thermal imager, and sports the most advanced thermal sensor in a phone to date with full-HD+ resolution, a high-end spec for this type of sensor. It's also the first CAT+FLIR phone with a sleeker design instead of the odd hump hat extended from the top of the S60 and S61. The camera software includes FLIR's newest algorithms for combining thermal and visible imaging in real time, with several options and adjustable intensity. The software also includes new "analytic and reporting features typically found in higher end, dedicated thermal imaging products", including the ability to generate PDF reports of thermal conditions. The phone is also rated IP68 & IP69 for water and dust, as well as MIL-SPEC for thermal shock, high & low temps, vibration, humidity, and salt mist. It's fully washable with soap. The screen is protected with Gorilla Glass 6 and works with gloves and wet fingers. The phone is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 processor with 6 GB RAM and 128 GB storage (which is expandable). Other specs include a 5.7-inch FHD+ LCD display, 12 megapixel main camera, 4,000 mAh battery, and Quick Charge 4. Other features include 4K video capture, Android 10, NFC, fingerprint reader, and LED notification light. Bullitt promises an update to Android 11 and three years of security updates. The CAT S62 Pro is available today starting today for $699 unlocked.
T-Mobile is deepening its ties with Google in several new areas, including committing 100% to Google's solution for rich messaging based on the RCS standard. Going forward, all Android phones sold by T-Mobile will have Google's Messages app set as the default (RCS-based) messaging experience. T-Mobile will also be carrying and promoting more Pixel devices going forward, and pushing Google One "as the preferred phone backup and cloud storage solution". T-Mobile is also abandoning its own new live-TV service in favor of YouTube TV "as T-Mobile's premium TV solution".
T-Mobile today announced that it has completed implementing the STIR/SHAKEN phone number verification technology with all major US network providers. This allows T-Mobile to authenticate that an incoming call is coming from the actual phone number displayed in Caller ID. This helps fight phone number spoofing, a common tactic used by scammers and illicit robocalls to evade identification and enforcement. The FCC has mandated that all network providers in the US implement STIR/SHAKEN on their modern (IP-based) voice networks by June 2021.