Review: HTC One S for T-Mobile

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Although today has been chock full of Apple news, I thought this might be a good time to share my thoughts on HTC’s mid-range smartphone: The One S for T-Mobile.

I have already spent quality time with HTC’s flagship One X with AT&T, and now it is time for me to shine some light on this extremely powerful device.

Although this smartphone is technically “mid-range” compared to the One X, the specs and placement in T-Mobile’s lineup really make it a flagship phone for the carrier.

Similar to the One X, buyers of this device will be treated to Android 4.0 ICS with Sense 4, Beats Audio™, an 8MP shooter with 1080p video support and 1GB of RAM. However, unlike its big brother, the One S doesn’t boast LTE (T-Mobile offers HSPA+ but does not currently offer LTE compatibility), has a smaller 1650mAh lithium-ion battery and a smaller 4.3″ qHD Super AMOLED display.

However, trading down for a smaller display and battery made it possible for HTC to keep the exterior ultra slim and trim. Weighing in at 4.3 ounces, this device really feels like the right size for a smartphone.

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T-Mobile’s network does not compare to Verizon’s reliability or AT&T’s data speeds, but their affordable rate plans and features such as mobile hotspot and wi-fi calling make T-Mobile a suitable competitor in today’s carrier wars. Both of these features bailed me out on a number of occasions during my review period.

I completely lost my Xfinity cable and internet connection last weekend (Turns out that was due to a loose connection in the apartment building’s wire box that only affected my apartment) and the mobile hotspot feature on the HTC One S quickly snapped in to save us, providing internet access for streaming Netflix and the Watch ESPN app.

The Wi-Fi calling feature proved itself extremely useful on more than one occasion. Of course you can rely on this to supplement T-Mobile cellular service if you don’t get very good signal in your house, but what about places with no signal at all?

I work at a hospital and I don’t get signal inside of the hospital on any carrier no matter how nice of a phone I am using. With T-Mobile, I can flip the Wi-Fi calling (Technical term: UMA, or Unlicensed Mobile Access) feature on and still have the ability to make/receive calls and send/receive text messages using my regular phone number. Sure, you can make the argument that by using Skype or some other VoIP app you can do the same thing, but it is not as easy as using your regular cell number to make these calls.

Unfortunately, the Wi-Fi calling is not fail safe, as Wi-Fi to cellular handoffs were not consistent and dropped quite a few calls.

Overall, the HTC One S is an amazing device that I really enjoyed using for the month that I reviewed this device. I have already recommended this phone to one person that bought the phone and loves it as well.

However, with the pending release of the Samsung Galaxy S III and T-Mobile’s “accidental” support of HSPA+ on the iPhone, there will soon be heavy competition for HTC in this market and I am really pulling for HTC to continue this kind of innovation.

You can purchase the HTC One S for as low as $49 from T-Mobile.

Galaxy Nexus banned from sale, Apple pays $96 million bond

Galaxy Nexus banned from sale

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ABC News has reported that the Galaxy Nexus was banned from sale and locked out of Google‘s Play store Tuesday, by a court ordered injunction in a current lawsuit regarding infringement from Google and Samsung on Apple‘s patents.

The patent battle has been going on between the companies for years, notably over design concepts and patents allegedly emulated by other smartphone and tablet manufacturers. Joanna Stern reported California Judge Lucy Koh granted the injunction to Apple if they agreed to post a $96 million bond. This bond was posted Tuesday and the sale of Galaxy Nexus smartphones is currently halted.

One of the most popular Android phones around and highly acclaimed, the Galaxy Nexus is the first to have Google’s latest version of the mobile OS of Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0) aboard. Google also told ABC News they have the intention to resume sales of the Galaxy Nexus next week with the software update 4.1 Jelly Bean installed on the device, which resolves infringement issues cited in the lawsuit.

Source: ABC News

Via: The Verge

Verizon share everything data plans go live today

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As a public service, it is important to note that Verizon Wireless subscribers can now sign up for the new “Share Everything” data plan for smartphones and tablets; a feature many Verizon Wireless customers (including me) have been wanting for a long time.Announced earlier this month, this plan offers users on a family plan a plethora of options to share not only minutes and text with each other, but now data as well; a first in the cellular industry.

“When developing these plans, we first asked customers what they wanted in a wireless service plan,” says Tami Erwin, vice president and chief marketing officer for Verizon Wireless. “We also looked at the technology and how customers were using it to manage their lives. And last, we took into consideration the evolution of the technology and how customers would use wireless in the future.”

To get started on a Share Everything Plan, customers first select the devices they want on their accounts. Then, choose a plan that includes unlimited minutes, unlimited messages and a shared data allowance that begins at 1GB for $50. If you are like me and need more than 1GB of data, you can get 2GB for $60, 4GB for $70, 6GB for $80, 8GB for $90 and a whopping 10GB for $100.

These data plans can be shared with up to 10 devices including tablets. Customers adding a tablet on their Share Everything Plan can do so for an additional $10, with no long-term contract requirement.

Potential customers of the Share Everything Plan can calculate their estimated cost of ownership by using this nifty tool courtesy of Verizon.

For what it is worth, I calculated what my monthly usage would be for two devices with comparable minutes/text usage and a 5GB shared data plan and I would save roughly $10 each month if I made the switch. Add in an extra tablet and the savings are increased even further.

Learn more about Verizon’s Share Everything Plan here.