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US Cellular blog including device reviews, apps, and leaked information!

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snodrog742

You know those days that you just want to go back to bed? Yea, we all have them. How about those WEEKS!? I think you can safely say I've had one of those so let's get a little light on the subject.

Monday, Dec. 24:

IP.Chat (little Chat button at top) goes to an error that our license has expired. Odd, my records show valid license until June 2013. So, I reinstall it thinking they might've updated code and such - no luck. At the same time, I receive a message that the Facebook chat thingy has also expired.... again, odd, my records show I have until the 25th. Whatever, I was getting full version for site anyways so I proceed to do that. Somebody should've sat in my face screaming "DON'T DO IT!!!"

Well, purchased it, cool no big deal. Well, I unpacked the zip file, saw a folders inside a folder and went "oh, ODD, usually it says "Upload" so you know exactly which ones to upload." Well, I went to the multiple folders and started uploading rather than the one single large folder - no bueno. Essentially, it overwrote key admin directories and such. Okay, no biggie, we have a backup. :)

Message our host and he starts extracting the backup but this is a good 3 hour process and could be longer. :( He says it's in good hands and just get some sleep since tomorrow's Christmas.

Tuesday, December 25:

I wake up at 10 AM to a message that the backup didn't work but also that none of my logins will work. The core server was completely wiped, meaning our site plus at least 2 more I know the host has. Server company has started entire restore but that could take 12+ hours due to multiple sites now.

(Where's that eggnog??)

Oh, yeah, timeout here for an hour while I go open presents!

Ok, time in. While I was opening presents I came up with the idea of just picking up our old host, HostGator, for the time being just to get us through. Cool.... not. As I'm sure most of you saw the majority of the week, "Server currently under maintenance." Yea, no.... that was us blowing up resources with so many connecting at once! So I commend you all there. They removed our restriction twice but we still just kept hitting it within hours. Too late that night to do anything as I thought we would've been good since we were there before but guess not.

Wednesday, December 26:

Wake up to account still blocked due to resources. Come onnn, couldn't you have been forgiving HostGator?? So, off to hunt for a server. Settled on 1and1.com as many friends recommended them as well as jokersax awhile ago. Well, any server is at least 1+ hour set up and then get you login credentials and then however long it takes you to upload files. Got login about mid-afternoon and started uploads right away, BUT (yea, who saw that coming?), I noticed my upload speeds were nowhere near what they should be. Like, my connection maxed is 360 KB/s upload constant and i was getting 80 KB/s to them. I repeat, COME ONNNNNNNN. Call them up - nothing on their end, send diagnostics, etc. Uhhh, no. I've had plenty other places and THIS IS THE ONLY ONE HAVING ISSUES! Off to find another server, weeeee! Pick up KnownHost VPS before heading to bed again to wait for login.

Thursday, December 27:

Woke up to logins, created cPanel, email, directories needed to at least start uploads and set off again WITH correct speeds this time... :) Had a few issues getting links to work right and was going to get everything uploaded just right this time not just front page. A few support tickets later, a few friendly site owners at IPS, a lot of cussing, a lot of fiddling, and I finally had it functioning on an IP address. Gave it a night to upload basic necessities and hit a few roadblocks Friday...

Friday, December 28:

A few modifications wouldn't install so had to remove, reupload, reinstall for 4-5 of them. Not all of them are back including Rewards but I have it all backed up. This was when I released the IP address and started forwarding any teamuscellular.com traffic to the IP address exclusively. Tweaked a few cookie issues so that people could stay logged in (again, me fiddling because the instructions were wrong) and most the traffic was returning. Good thing, because this literally was 30 minutes before my family started arriving. Left the Downloads system restoring while I took a much needed time off to play games with my family until 2 AM.

Saturday, December 29:

Up at 10 AM (woken by children :() and quickly check to make sure everything is still restoring. All good, off to seize the day! Midday I got a break and quietly switched the domain back active so most should have been able to use it once again. I will be switching TapaTalk back to the domain as well so if that stops working please remove the forum and search again.

Throughout the whole ordeal I definitely learned a lot. I know we will always have 2 SERVERS now as shared hosting will not fit us ever again. The support has been incredible. Even if the site was up for 10 minutes there was a constant 50 people active on the site. I swear you all wore out that refresh button. Anyways, thank you and sorry such a long recap!

Sunday, December 30th:

Everything actually ran pretty well from VPS box for almost 24 hours.

Monday, December 31st:

VPS box started freezing. Storage became critical due to temporary files not deleting correctly. Site crashed repeatedly. Purchased dedicated server as I still hadn't heard from original host. Issues getting it set up so desperately messaged original host and he pushed quickly to get us back on his server successfully but all backups we had on server were corrupted which would've made restore faster. No worries - I have local backup, however, pictures will be missing and will just need replaced as I've uploaded all the pictures/thumbnails I have. My local backup was around the 9th, hosts backup was the 14th but was corrupted. Obviously the 9th to the 25th had a lot of pictures/thumbnails added but I just don't have them. Posts and downloads were the priority and they all seem mostly intact. Report something you see broken and offer an alternative if possible and I'll try to fix the original. :)

Tuesday, January 1st:

Still up and good. Waiting for domain to resolve correctly on mobile devices. Computers see the site correctly but mobile devices still do not. Not sure how long that will take. http://199.193.117.243/~nodrog/Forum works as well as Tapatalk is set up to that currently. Bad part - guests and bots are not tracking correctly so stats are pretty low. Still restoring downloads as well. 112 GB + my 3 Mb/s connection = will take awhile. Fixing little things as I see them as well but will just take me time. Give me a few days and if still see something major PLEASE shoot me a PM and I'll get it fixed ASAP. Again, thanks for the patience and continued support.

snodrog742

SMS Tax

Today USCellular (USCC) announced via their updated Commercial Terms that beginning January 1, 2013, SMS providers will be hit with a new message tax when sending messages to USCC customers. This tax will be applied to all incoming messages to the US Cellular network (SMS marketing, not texts to your Aunt Millie).

Other carriers have tried to pull this in the past, and ended up backing off due to the customer backlash. If SMS providers are going to be hit with extra taxes on top of what they are already paying, then it stands to reason that they will not offer their services to USCC customers.

How do you as a USCC customer feel about this? Does it matter to you? Do you not even use SMS services? Would a lack of those services be enough to make you switch carriers? Let us know in the comments.

More:

http://www.mobilemarketingwatch.com/us-cellular-creates-taxing-problem-for-sms-marketers-27539/

http://www.tatango.com/blog/us-cellular-increases-sms-rates-for-sms-marketing-providers/

snodrog742

Engadget Roundup

Thanks to our very own resident Adam.... no, not me.... the other Adam - apristel - we were kindly featured on Engadget's weekly roundup. Not once were we referenced but actually twice! I'm sure you're asking, "For what!?" Well, for what we are known for sillies! Not only did we get Samsung Galaxy S II Stock Ice Cream Sandwich update more than a week before it was released but we also got Samsung Galaxy S III Jelly Bean update practically on it's heels. Apristel submitted this info and got us mentioned here: http://www.engadget.com/2012/12/16/refresh-roundup-week-of-december-10th-2012/

THANKS ADAM AND ENGADGET!

iR1O

Last night was a HUGE night for us here at TUSCC.

It's been a long time coming for the Jelly Bean update to hit our devices, and as the "caboose" carrier branded GS3, we felt a little left out...

Not anymore! Last night our very own Adam (Snodrog742) along with atronin uploaded the official release to the site, and it is now available to EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU!

(Are you going to update YOUR GS3 to JB before USC even announces it!?)

Downloads:

LK5 Jelly Bean - JELLYBEAN

Guide to install - WALKTHROUGH

Guide to ROOT new LK5 - (See post #10 in above link)

(will edit OP for easier find if need be)

Additionally, USC hasn't officially announced the date for this to go OTA - but rumor has it that it should be on the 21st.

Could the OTA be different that this build? We don't know, but a very large number of retail locations were given this same build to distribute, so it's very unlikely.

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snodrog742

Christmas 2012 Prices!

It's that time again! Here is the Christmas sale prices from US Cellular for 2012!

3G Markets

  • HTC OneV - $50 - INSTANT
  • LG Splendor - $50 - INSTANT
  • Motorola Defy - $50 - INSTANT
  • ZTE Render - $50 - INSTANT
  • Motorola Electrify 2 - $100 - INSTANT(BOGO)
  • Motorola Electrify M - $150 - INSTANT(BOGO)
  • Galaxy S2 Both Colors - $100 - INSTANT(BOGO)
  • Galaxy S3 Both Colors 16GB - $150 - INSTANT
  • Galaxy S3 32GB - $179.99 - INSTANT
  • Galaxy Note II - $299.99 - INSTANT

4G Markets

  • HTC OneV - $79.99 - INSTANT
  • LG Splendor - $79.99 - INSTANT
  • Motorola Defy - $99.99 - INSTANT
  • ZTE Render - $50 - INSTANT
  • Motorola Electrify 2 - $149.99 - INSTANT(BOGO)
  • Motorola Electrify M - $79.99 - INSTANT(BOGO)
  • Galaxy Axiom - FREE - INSTANT
  • Galaxy S Aviator - FREE - INSTANT
  • Galaxy S2 Both Colors - $129.99 - INSTANT(BOGO)
  • Galaxy S3 Both Colors 16GB - $99.99 - INSTANT
  • Galaxy S3 32GB - $129.99 - INSTANT
  • Galaxy Note II - $299.99 - INSTANT

Doesn't look like too bad of a sale. Nothing spectacular but a few more options over the Thanksgiving promo. What do you all think? Anybody special getting a new phone for Christmas?

:)

snodrog742

It's here! Yea, you're going to say, "But, it's not December 19th!" I don't care. Thanks to our amazing team and supporters here it is a week early!

While there are some minor UI changes, tweaks, etc. the major changes are under the hood. Below is a list of major changes:

  • Soft buttons from Android 3.x are now available for use on phones
  • Separation of widgets in a new tab, listed in a similar manner to apps
  • Easier-to-create folders, with a drag-and-drop style
  • A customizable launcher
  • Improved visual voicemail with the ability to speed up or slow down voicemail messages
  • Pinch-to-zoom functionality in the calendar
  • Integrated screenshot capture (accomplished by holding down the Power and Volume-Down buttons)
  • Improved error correction on the keyboard
  • Ability to access apps directly from lock screen
  • Improved copy and paste functionality
  • Better voice integration and continuous, real-time speech to text dictation
  • Face Unlock, a feature that allows users to unlock handsets using facial recognition software
  • New tabbed web browser under Google's Chrome brand, allowing up to 16 tabs
  • Automatic syncing of browser with users' Chrome bookmarks
  • A new typeface family for the UI, Roboto
  • Data Usage section in settings that lets users set warnings when they approach a certain usage limit, and disable data use when the limit is exceeded
  • Ability to shut down apps that are using data in the background
  • Improved camera app with zero shutter lag, time lapse settings, panorama mode, and the ability to zoom while recording
  • Built-in photo editor
  • New gallery layout, organized by location and person
  • Refreshed "People" app with social network integration, status updates and hi-res images
  • Android Beam, a near-field communication feature allowing the rapid short-range exchange of web bookmarks, contact info, directions, YouTube videos and other data
  • Support for the WebP image format[52]
  • Hardware acceleration of the UI[63]
  • Wi-Fi Direct[64]
  • 1080p video recording for stock Android devices

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Android_version_history#Android_4.0.x_Ice_Cream_Sandwich

snmp

This was taken from Knoxville News Sentinel.

The 140-foot cell tower/flagpole that will soon go up in the Alice Bell/Springhill neighborhood serves as a first for the city in several ways.

A U.S. flag will flap at the top, and 4G cellular equipment will run inside the pole. It's one of the first 4G towers in the city, and one of the first here disguised in such a way.

The story of how it came to be could be replicated elsewhere in the city as 4G networks proliferate in Knoxville.

"It may not be a flagpole, but something to make it more attractive than just a cell tower sitting there," said Ronnie Collins, president of the Alice Bell/Springhill Neighborhood Association.

When his group heard that U.S. Cellular planned to install a tower at the neighborhood's entrance along Washington Pike, they sought the company to ask what could be done to avoid an ugly industrial tower.

"The community knew when to find a compromise rather than just fight," said Nick Della Volpe, who represents the North Knoxville area on City Council.

With digital communications' pervasiveness in American life, the federal government generally allows companies to place towers where needed.

"The locals have power to nudge and shape that. They rarely can flat out bar someone," Della Volpe said. "That's needed to provide a service."

So the company and neighborhood association worked together, through attorneys. On Oct. 30 both groups met before City Council and showed what they had drawn up: a flagpole with a 20 foot by 30 foot flag surrounded by a brick wall to protect the equipment.

And night display of the U.S. flag requires illumination, per federal law, so the flag will be lit.

Whether cell tower/flagpoles will proliferate in Knoxville is uncertain, but the negotiation between residents and a company bodes well for future agreements.

"I hear there's other ways of doing this with covering to make them look like trees," Collins said, "something that would make it more appealing than just cell towers sitting all over the place."

At the very least, reception should be better.

Hopefully these towers are being built concurrently and not consecutively. Might be able to meet the deadline of before Christmas!!!

snodrog742

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Three major updates we've ALL been waiting for, right? Well, GOOD NEWS!!! And.............. oh, you already guessed, BAD NEWS!!!!! Read below for more:

Galaxy S II

December 19th - update will drop.

Galaxy S III

(hide your children, hide your wife)

Update ​now has been put on hold due to an issue with mobile TV..........

Galaxy Note II

Update is ready but no time or date for drop.

So, there you have it. Especially you Galaxy S II owners should be pretty happy here as you seem to be the only winners, for once. Galaxy S III owners I can hear the riot starting now. Anyone have a bomb shelter the TUSCC Admins can come to? And how about Galaxy Note II owners? What do you think - it's ready, why isn't it released? Post thoughts about all 3 devices below and maybe some guesses on when the last 2 updates will drop.

ForzaManny

U.S. Cellular has gone on record supporting Windows Phone 8 Devices. If reports about HTC not offering the HTC 8S in the U.S are accurate, then this really does leave us scratching our heads.

We first expected US Cellular to launch the HTC 8S during Q4 of this year after internal documents revealed it as tentatively being released before the years end.

However, If this story posted on Engadget is correct.... Then USC is not launching the 8S - No one is in the US at least.

Having gone on record as supporting windows phone 8, what phone will USC be launching?

Currently, Samsung, HTC, and Nokia are the companies pushing Windows Phone 8 with American Carriers. We all know ATT has an exclusivity on the 920 from Nokia, Verizon has an exclusivity on the 822 CDMA version.

That leaves us with HTC and Samsung as potential partners. Are we getting the 8X? Has U.S. Cellular actually made a great decision for its customers and went high end with the Windows Phone 8 Signature Phone?

As hopeful as i am, I highly doubt it.

USC seems to be on a Samsung shopping spree lately, adding no less than 8 new Samsung phones to this years line up, more than any other manufactures phones.

Could the Samsung ATIV be on the cards for USC?

Mums the word for now.

We have gotten word straight from the horses mouth that USC WILL launch WP8 in Q1 of 2013.

Let us be hopeful its the 8X or the Galaxy ATIV

ForzaManny

Good Morning!

Quick heads up, USC has started a new promotion today. The main course , being that of a new BOGO offer.

The offer starts today and runs through the 12th of December:

Full details as follows.....

4G Markets

  • Motorola Electrify 2 - $129.99 after MIR - BOGO (2nd phone free after MIR)
  • Samsung Galaxy S 2 - $129.99 After MIR - BOGO (2nd phone free after MIR)
  • Motorola Electrify M - $99.99 INSTANT - BOGO (2nd phone free INSTANT)
  • Samsung Galaxy S3 16GB - $149.99 INSTANT - NO BOGO
  • Samsung Galaxy S3 32GB - $179.99 INSTANT - NO BOGO

3G Markets


  • Motorola Electrify 2 - $99.99 after MIR - BOGO (2nd phone free after MIR)

  • Samsung Galaxy S 2 - $99.99 After MIR - BOGO (2nd phone free after MIR)
  • Motorola Electrify M - $149.99 INSTANT - BOGO (2nd phone free INSTANT)
  • Samsung Galaxy S3 16GB - $149.99 INSTANT - NO BOGO
  • Samsung Galaxy S3 32GB - $179.99 INSTANT - NO BOGO

BOGO Guidelines

  • Requires 2 Eligible Lines for promotional price.
  • Eligible defined as NEW or UPGRADE with or without Belief Points.
  • 1st phone MUST be purchased at promotional price, cannot use belief points to get phone for free.
  • Cannot mix and match BOGO offer, requires 2 identical models be taken on both ELIGIBLE lines.

So there you have it,

Much better promotion than BlackFriday.

Mail in rebates are now $50 so defintely better out the door cost.

What do you guys think?

sound off below!

smpark3

Yet to be confirmed by USCC, but leaked via twitter account @evleaks, rumor has it that the Samsung Galaxy SIII Mini will be making its way to US Cellular shelves.

blogentry-2056-0-61587000-1353037566_thu

The phone will be known as the Galaxy Axiom and will come with the following specs:

  • Snappier 1.2 GHz Qualcomm dual-core processor (original S3 Mini comes with 1.0 GHz)
  • 4 GB internal memory (less than the original which comes with 6 or 8 GB)
  • 4" 800x480 LCD screen
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 5MP Rear/1.3 MP Front cameras
  • 4G LTE
  • Android Ice Cream Sandwich (bummer not Jelly Bean)

Consider it a mid level phone for those that like the look of the original Galaxy SIII, but are not a fan of the large screen.

Source:

Twitter: @evleaks

http://www.androidauthority.com/samsung-galaxy-axiom-leak-s3-mini-us-cellular-131211/

iR1O

WHAT WE'VE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR

We have solid info that the following updates are to be released on USC "VERY SOON" OTA:

(Sooner than the "Coming Months" killjoy)

Ice Cream Sandwich - Galaxy S2

blogentry-3240-0-40440700-1353005686_thu

Jelly Bean - Galaxy S3

blogentry-3240-0-92938000-1353005686_thu

Multi-Window Display - Note 2

blogentry-3240-0-31835400-1353005687_thu

In addition to these, VERY welcomed updates, the Electrify M will also be getting an OTA update (some already did) to fix the PRL issue.

-this will be updated as soon as info comes in - IF info comes sooner than the update,

snodrog742

With exceptions of course.... Who saw that coming? So, here's the details as we just received a screenshot. I'll outline below as not to compromise Anonymous' security.

  • Offer Date from Nov. 18 - Jan. 31, 2013 (screenshot says 2012 but I'll take the liberty of correcting that)
  • Wave 1 and Wave 2 LTE markets only
  • $40 regular Unlimited, $60 with tethering
  • Either of these plans EARN 200 Belief Points per month
  • 24 Month Agreement EVEN IF ON BELIEF PLAN!
  • Must have 4G device (duh?)

That's the jist of it. Month and a half to take advantage of this deal. Not exactly sure how the contract works with belief plan, if in conjunction or you lose your belief plan. What do you think of this deal? Excited or just "meh" about it? Let us know!

UPDATE: Belief Plan will stay intact and 24 month contract will only be for data.

iR1O

4G LTE Expansion *NEWS*

This is the latest info on the expansion efforts from USC.

Illinois

  • Rockford, Dixon, Freeport, and Sterling

Oregon

  • Medford, Roseburg, and Grants Pass

Washington

  • Richland and Yakima

Customers in these areas may begin to experience 4G LTE coverage as early as November 14 as 4G LTE sites are turned on. TeamUSCellular Thoughts - They've been pretty accurate with activation of 4G and usually earlier. You might be lucky to see it this weekend from other areas time tables and reports.

We are also pleased to share with you that we are able to accelerate 51 sites in Medford and 40 sites in the Yakima areas into the November 15 launch. The remaining 20 Medford sites will launch late November and the remaining 39 Yakima sites will launch mid-December. To support the acceleration of these sites, in store merchandising will be provided by November 14. TeamUSCellular Thoughts - looks like plenty more is planned. Maybe with selloff this will even accelerate more?

Due to unexpected delays, 13 sites in Iowa 12 (Independence area) will launch 4G coverage later in the year. Details will be provided for this area when the new launch date has been finalized. TeamUSCellular Thoughts - of course... delays. Not surprising for us here. Let's hope that new launch date is soon. Leave your thoughts below if any of this new info affects you!

iR1O

Motorola Electrify M *228 Issue

The Issue

If the customer dials *228 after the device is activated, all existing data from the handset (contacts, email accounts, pictures, etc.) will be erased.

When to Dial *228

During the activation process, we typically instruct a customer to dial *228 in order to program the device. We will continue to do so with the Electrify M, but once that initial activation is complete, we should not ask the customer to dial *228 (one exception is noted below).

Why:

  1. With our 4G LTE devices specifically, when a new PRL (Preferred Roaming List) is published, it is pushed directly to the device. This ensures the customer gets the latest version and automatically utilizes our desired roaming partners.
  2. Dialing *228 is not a valid troubleshooting step and will not alleviate any problems related to connectivity or reception.

Exception: It is necessary to dial *228 if a customer is changing their CTN or MSID. For customers in this scenario, please ensure you are helping them back up their contacts. This can be done through My Contacts Backup or through a cloud solution, such as Google. Also ensure pictures and other media are stored in the SD card and not the physical memory of the device. Instructions for this can be obtained from the user manual.

The Resolution

Customers who purchase the Electrify M will be notified to download a new software package once it’s available, which could be as early as November 12. The download, which will be pushed over-the-air, will take less than five minutes to complete. After it has finished, there is no longer a need to back-up content before dialing *228 from the device. If *228 is dialed prior to receiving the update, please do not refer the customer to a store, as we do not have a way to retrieve any information that is lost.

TeamUSCellular Thoughts

Well, this is pretty interesting for a device that just released. One can only hope that agents are telling customers about this before they leave the store. What about telesales or online orders? *228 is a pretty common solution that most customers try before calling support or stopping by a store. Any guesses on how long this fix will ACTUALLY take? Leave your thoughts below!

Additionally - There are a LOT of bugs with this initial release. The widget on the main screen keeps "fuzzing" out, you have to long press and release for it to reset. I will add more as I find them.

snodrog742

blogentry-1876-0-12998200-1352344717_thu

Holiday prices have finally been shared with us! Now, with the recent news that broke with Sprint... this really is no help to that news. We can hope for better Christmas deals, right? Read below for prices. These are subject to change as thy're preliminary but probably won't see much change.

Instant:

OneTouch Premier - $9.99

Motorola Electrify M - $149.99 (non-4G markets)

Motorola Electrify M - $99 (4G Markets)

Galaxy S Axiom - $79.99 (non-4G Markets)

Galaxy S Axiom - FREE (4G Markets)

Galaxy Note 10.1 - $499.99 WIFI only Model

Aviator - $149.99

Galaxy S 2 White/Blue - $99.99

Metrix - $199.99

Note II - $299.99

ZTE Render - $50

After $50 MIR:

HTC OneV - $79.99

Splendor - $49.99

Defy - $49.99

Curve - Free

Torch - $99.99

What are your thoughts? Are you excited or just more bummed? I understand they need the money but these prices are pretty shameful in my opinion. We can't help but notice the Samsung Galaxy S III is suspiciously missing from this list. What do you think they could do better? Let us know your thoughts below!

- Added Axiom and Electrify M 4G market prices

ForzaManny

Reports are coming in this morning that U.S. Cellular has sold its existing customer base to Sprint Nextel Corp for 480 Million.

The sale includes PCS Spectrum and about 500,000 customers. Roughly 10% of all U.S. Cellular's customer base. If the reports are accurate, that would help explain many decisions U.S. Cellular has made up to this point, such as starting to sell through Walmart stores.

U.S. Cellular is stating that they will continue to have associates in Chicago and are committed to Chicago and their relationship to the Chicago Whitesox. How? We do not know.

The deal is not expected to go though until summer of 2013 and of course, is subject to regulatory approval. You can consider this deal done though, we don't see how this wont be approved.

We will report more as we get more updates, but the question remains simple. How do you feel about it? will you be staying on board?

It's hard to argue with some positive aspects of this deal. Better phone selection? 4G in Chicago?

What about the downside?

This has come as a shock to everyone at TUSCC. What does this mean for the remaining U.S. Cellular Markets? Is there a merger on the horizon? Will U.S. Cellular be carved out and taken over by other larger wireless carriers?

There's just to much uncertainty in the wireless world today, and it seems like unless you are ATT or Verizon, troubling times are ahead.

snodrog742

intro-top_01.jpg intro-top_03.jpg hero.jpg

As a current owner of MOTOROLA ELECTRIFY, you're eligible to receive a $100 rebate* when you purchase and trade up to one of our new Jelly Bean upgradeable devices.

Source: New Electrify "Upgrade Status"

It appears Motorola is trying to make nice with it's current consumers. What do you think? Too little, too late?

Along with this another anonymous source is telling us that depending on parts needed, an Electrify 1 could be swapped out for an Electrify 2 if sent in for warranty/repair reasons. This is due to some parts not being available to fix the Electrify 1. Also, they went on to say... if an Electrify 2 is not available (guessing stock related issues?) the customer might receive a Samsung Galaxy S Aviator. Again, no word on how that is actually determined. What are your thoughts? Which one would you rather receive if you got the chance? Let us know below!

iR1O

It's always an excitement when we see new devices appear in USC's lineup.

The latest information brings NO disappointments, and a few raised eyebrows!

10/26 - Electrify M info added.

11/1 - Electrify M goes live on uscc.com - info/pic updated.

11/12 - Galaxy S Axiom (potential) FCC link added

First up is what seems to be an entry level device - pure and simple:

Alcatel OneTouch Shockwave

blogentry-0-0-93763900-1349842762_thumb.

  • Android™ 2.3 (Gingerbread)
  • 3.5" HVGA Touchscreen
  • 800MHz Processor w/ 512M RAM
  • 3.2 MP Camera with flash
  • Wi-Fi Capable
  • Water, Dust, and Shock Resistant
  • Dragontrail™ Glass Scratch-resistant Display
  • 2GB MicroSD Card included - supports up to 32GB
  • 1GB On-board Memory

Source: USC

Now the device that is making waves in the US:

Huawei Ascend Y

blogentry-1876-0-43759900-1349843507_thu

  • 3.2 MP camera
  • 3.5" screen
  • Android 2.3 Gingerbread

On deck - A WP8 device already making a name for itself in the world of Smartphones:

HTC Windows Phone 8S

blogentry-0-0-69159500-1349842755_thumb.

Specs:

  • Qualcomm® S4 1 GHz, Dual-core
  • Total storage: 4 GB, available capacity varies
  • Expansion SD card slot supports micro™ SD memory card for additional storage (card not included)
  • 512 MB RAM
  • 4 inch super LCD touch screen with WVGA resolution
  • Studio-quality sound with Beats Audio™ built in
  • 5 megapixel camera with auto focus LED flash
  • 720p video recording
  • 1700 mAh Battery

-Looks as though this will be available in a wide range of color choices, too!

Source: HTC

Next is the little known device:

Samsung Galaxy S Axiom

Specs:

  • Display: 4" AMOLED
  • CPU: 1.5 GHz dual-core (probably the Qualcomm S4)
  • 4G LTE
  • Camera: 5 MP rear, and ?? front

This one was most likely the Infinite that appeared on the Rebate forms, and be mid-level priced $99.

Link to FCC approval - this may/may not be it: Here

-I will update info for this device as it becomes available.

Now, we all know about this one, but it needs mentioning:

Galaxy Note 2

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  • 8 MP camera
  • 5.5" screen
  • 1.6 MHz Quad Core
  • 4G LTE
  • 16 GB internal storage
  • Android 4.1 Jelly Bean

Source: USC

Finally, the one I've been waiting to drop the bombshell on...

Motorola Electrify M

motorola-electrify-m-small.jpg

http://www.uscellula...tId=prod1830171

New info: Price is said to be $99 after MIR. This IS identical to Verizon's Razr M according to our source.

- I can only imagine that this is the sister device to the Droid Razr M - The 4G Moto hybrid USC style.*

*Confirmed

  • 4g LTE,
  • 4.3 AMOLED screen,
  • dual core 1.5 ghz processor,
  • 8 MP 1080p camera.
  • Price confirmed to be $200

Lastly... Perhaps even better...

Every one of these devices are scheduled to launch ON or BEFORE November 11th 2012!

So, keep checking back - I will update the moment new info arrives!

It looks like the 11th deadline has come and gone - No WP8 or Axiom. IDK why, but USC has fallen behind.

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John Vincent

blog-0005698001349140792.jpgThe deeper I get into mobile technology, the more I long for the day when I can literally ditch my wallet. Drivers license, credit cards, you name it - all in one mobile device. No more getting a pain in the rear from sitting on a tri-fold! Technology is slowly progressing in this direction. Today I can walk into a Starbucks or Dunkin' Donuts and pay for my morning coffee with my phone...and very possibly this Wednesday I will be able to pay for items at other locations with my NFC-enabled Galaxy S 3.

That's right folks - Google Wallet is coming to US Cellular. Just one more thing that your iPhone-toting friends can't do.

images1.jpgA little birdie told us today that...no, not that birdie - a reliable birdie - US Cellular will be supporting Google Wallet on the Samsung Galaxy S 3, starting Wednesday October 3. The support, and likely the app, will be pushed to the phones in a "maintenance release".

Now if you're like me, this is the first time you've had a phone that can handle something like Google Wallet. So, I did a little digging (ok not a whole lot of digging - I used the first link Google gave me) and here's some basics about Google Wallet.

From Google's Wallet FAQ page:

  • What is Google Wallet? Google Wallet is a virtual wallet that securely stores your credit and debit cards, offers, and rewards cards. You can tap your phone to pay in-store using Google Wallet anywhere MasterCard® PayPass™ is accepted. You can pay online by signing into your Google Wallet account.
  • Where can I use the Google Wallet app? Currently, you can use Google Wallet in-store anywhere MasterCard® PayPass™ is accepted, at over 140,000 merchants across the United States.
  • How much does it cost to use the Google Wallet app? Google Wallet does not charge a fee to consumers to use Google Wallet in-store or online.
  • What payment cards can I add to Google Wallet? Google Wallet allows you to store all major credit and signature debit cards from VISA®, MasterCard®, American Express®, and Discover®. If you’ve ever bought an app or song from Google Play, or if you’ve ever used Google Wallet online, these cards will also appear in the mobile app. What are linked credit or debit cards? When you activate your credit or debit cards in Google Wallet, they are linked to your virtual MasterCard® card upon setup. Linked credit or debit card credentials are not locally stored on the phone, but rather stored online.
  • In what countries is the Google Wallet app available? The Google Wallet app is available in the United States on certain eligible devices and carriers. Learn more.

You can get more details at the FAQ page.

Now am I 100% comfortable with Google handling this info? I think so. They already have my credit card in a Google Wallet for the Play Store, and it is in their best interests to protect that info. The FAQ page goes into some of the security and safety details. I think an important key would be turning NFC off if you aren't actively using it.

So we shall see later this week; remember, it ain't official until USCC announces it, so if Wednesday comes and goes without Google Wallet, don't hyperventilate!

smpark3

They just didn't make a big deal about it.

With new phones launching like the Samsung Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note II, it would be hard to make a big deal about this low tier phone.

Back in July, an anonymous tipster tipped TUSCC with a list of phones that would be launching in the second half of 2012. One of those phones, to be launched in September, was to run Windows 7.5 (Tango). With two days left in the month, USCC has quietly listed the ZTE Render as now being available via US Cellular’s webpage for $80 (after $100 mail-in-rebate).

For those holding out for Windows 8 (maybe a certain Nokia made one), I suggest heading over to the forums and continuing your windows discussions. The ZTE Render will not be upgradable to full Windows 8, but there is mention of an upgrade to 7.8 that will add core capabilities such as an updated start screen.

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Here are the specs:

  • 4.0” WVGA Capacitive Touchscreen
  • 1Ghz Processor
  • 512MB RAM
  • 4GB onboard storage
  • 5.0 MP rear camera
  • Bluetooth 3.0
  • Office Hub (view, edit and share documents)
  • SkyDrive access with 7gb of storage
  • Weight: 4.82 oz.

For those thinking of entering the world of Windows mobile operating system, this low cost, entry level alternative may be just what you are looking for. Those enthusiasts, that enjoy the latest and greatest, this phone is about as exciting as my Saturday night. Like USCC’s announcement, this article is being slipped in under the cover of darkness on a weekend.

snodrog742

Well, the tip just rolled in from our wonderful anonymous sources. Quite the awesome tip, in my humble opinion. The title covers most of it but let's cover a few things.

The Samsung Repp probably doesn't excite the majority of us but for a decent Android device and maybe for that parent or grandparent you'd like to convert to Android.... a FREE phone seems pretty unbeatable. Again, instantly free, even better. For all those that might want to remove a little US Cellular preloaded apps, this phone is also rootable if memory serves me correctly.

Now, the Galaxy S 3.... the hottest device being sold to date. Well, the sources say that rebate price will finally be offered instantly in stores. No more silly rebates, 8 weeks+ of waiting, resubmission if denied, etc. Just $200 (or $250 for 32 GB model) and out the door you go with a shiny Galaxy S 3. Now, I'm not sure US Cellular's motive here other than to boost sales quickly, maybe? For all of us that preordered and are STILL waiting on that rebate.... this is a bit frustrating.

Now.... I'm sure you're all wanting to know when these deals start? Well, read no farther..... TOMORROW! Yep, tomorrow could be your lucky day to score a hot new device.

That's all we have for now but we'll always keep our eyes and ears open. What do you think of these new prices? Any plans to score a Galaxy S 3? How about a Samsung Repp just for the fun of it? Let us know below!

John Vincent

Update 3: If you want to check your phone, visit this link in your stock browser. My USCC Galaxy S 3 showed as being safe.

http://dylanreeve.com/phone.php

UPDATE 2: It's sounding like this is something Samsung already knew about and had patched. Android Police are reporting that most SGS3 devices are no longer vulnerable to this exploit. Apparently Samsung pushed a patch out, but it is still at the mercy of the carriers. No word on other Samsung devices.

We've reached out to USCC to find out if the fix was in the update that we received earlier. We'll let you know when we hear anything.

Updated post title: Apparently this also affects the S2. Not sure about the mesmerize or Aviator.

Multiple sites are reporting that a security flaw has been revealed in the stock browser of some Samsung phones, including the Galaxy S 3. It involves malicious code from a website that can factory reset your phone and nuke your sim card.

Android central is reporting that Google Chrome is not affected by this, so if you haven't already ditched the stock browser for Chrome, now is a good time. Also, it's never a good idea to click on links from unknown senders, or to visit suspicious sites. Remember, the security of your phone begins with you, the user.

More updates later as they develop.

We've already got a thread going in our TUSCC forums so come discuss.

http://www.teamuscel...er-smartphones.

John Vincent

blog-0665805001348351379.jpgMany times, to feed my Smartphone ADD, I will purchase used phones online. In those situations, I usually don't care what they look like, and use them without cases. However, when I purchase in-store and spend a good deal of money on a phone, I like it to stay in pristine condition.

Down through the years, I've always really like Seidio's quality of cases, even though they tend to run a little on the pricey side. I've used their cases on several of my devices, and so for me it was a no-brainer to look to Seidio to protect my brand new Galaxy S 3. So let's take a look at the Seidio ACTIVE case.

2012-09-22_15-05-08_HDR_zpsbfe62889.jpg

Due to the size of the SGS3, I opted for the case/holster combo. Purchasing as a combo saves a few bucks. I've always like the ACTIVE cases, as they consist of 2 pieces: the inner rubber cover, and outer plastic skeleton which provides some rigidity.

The ACTIVE goes on pretty easy, and doesn't move around on the phone once the plastic skeleton is installed. This makes for easy removal if you're removing your battery frequently to use Odin to flash ROMs.

The ACTIVE has a slight lip around the front of the phone, but doesn't seem to hinder typing along the edges too much. That's something I look for in cases. You want a little lip to protect the screen if you set it face down, but not so much that you can't interact with the edge of the screen.

All of the ACTIVE's ports line up properly, and the headphone jack is accessible when using the holster.

2012-09-22_15-07-07_HDR_zps34532815.jpg

I do have one minor gripe about this case/holster. As you can see in the above picture, when putting the phone into the holster, the rubber likes to catch on the clip and mush up. At this point, it's more of a minor annoyance than anything, but I fear too much of it is going to create a tear in the rubber.

All in all, it's a good case if you don't mind putting out a few bucks. You can find more pictures and an information link below.

More info from Seidio

2012-09-22_15-07-41_HDR_zps0c3aa437.jpg

2012-09-22_15-06-21_HDR_zpsb99f96af.jpg

2012-09-22_15-05-46_HDR_zpsf85e6317.jpg

John Vincent

blog-0780407001348349223.jpgThe Samsung Galaxy S 3 has now been officially available in the US for approximately 2 months now. It's been available on US Cellular, along with the 4 major carriers, and a number of reviews have been done already. So why do a review here on TUSCC? After all, there's plenty of info available in the TUSCC forums - from hacking, to rooting, to ROMs and beyond.

So it is a good question. What info can we give here in a review that hasn't been given already? So I decided that this review is going to be from a purely US Cellular customer perspective. After all, we've got the Galaxy Note 2 coming down the pipe, as well as some rumored WP8 devices, and there's always iphone rumors. So hopefully this review will help you decide if the SGS3 is for you.

2012-09-22_14-55-18_HDR_zpsa28d5eed.jpg

Let me start out by just giving my first impressions of the device. Understand that I come from a long line of devices and platforms. Most recently, my daily driver has been the S3's big brother, the original Galaxy S, otherwise known as the Mesmerize on USCC. So moving from a 4" device to a 4.8" device was quite a jump. But it's a jump I'm glad I made.

Setup was a breeze. I did my main Google account setup in the car after we left the store, and was worried at first since I have the 2-step authorization set up on my Google account. No worries, I received a confirmation code by text and was able to set it up. When we arrived at our destination, connecting to wifi was simple and easy. I've heard a couple complaints that wifi on the S3 is really hard to set up and connect, but I never experienced any issues with either setup or staying locked on a network.

The dual-core processor made installing my apps from the Play Store a breeze. I couldn't believe how fast the apps were downloading and installing, and in no time at all I had my necessary apps downloaded and installed. Up to the writing of this review, I've yet to be able to bog down the processor, to get it to lag. Coming from the Mesmerize (where I was ready to hurl the thing through the wall), this was a welcome change.

2012-09-22_14-58-58_HDR_zps9760f7bc.jpg

There's no getting around the fact that the SGS3 is big. However, after using it for a week, I'm convinced that 4.8" is the sweet spot for me. I've used the Mesmerize (4.0"), Desire (3.7"), Merge (?"), and Electrify (4.3"). The 4.8" of the SGS3 allows for fast, easy typing in portrait mode, while allowing ample space for spreadsheets and word documents. I had the chance to handle a Galaxy Note 1, and I'm convinced that for me, the SGS3 is where it's at.

This isn't to say that it's for everyone. Some people might find it too big; some people might be holding out for the 5.5" of the Note 2. That's the exciting part of what's happening at US Cellular - we're finally getting the big name choices that we've been longing for.

2012-09-22_14-59-54_HDR_zps3a69a604.jpg

If you decide to go with the SGS3, you're going to find that Samsung has really improved TouchWiz.(Disclaimer: I never used a Galaxy S 2, so maybe some of these changes were present in that phone. If they were, forgive me; they are new to me!)

Screenshot_2012-09-20-10-44-32_zpsc7bef88e.png

Now I know, some people still really hate it. I couldn't stand it on the Mesmerize, and used a third party launcher. So far, I've been happy enough with TouchWiz that I've yet to download any of my launchers. That's not to say I won't down the road; that's the beauty of Android - tweak, tweak, tweak. I'd probably last only a couple days on an iphone, what with not being able to change things up. One of these improvements is the ability to customize the bottom dock - either with an app, or better yet, with a folder.

2012-09-22_15-04-07_HDR_zpsbea48d0f.jpg

Another nice, welcome change is the ability to change up the shortcuts on the lock screen. The shortcuts are similar to HTC's Sense, where you can swipe icons to the unlock ring to quick launch items such as messaging or camera. What I like about this iteration is that you can change them up. Yes, swiping to my text messages is nice, but I prefer to use a third party SMS app. I use Chrome instead of the stock browser, etc. So being able to set these up how I want is nice.

You'll also find some cool things that may not necessarily be "make or break" features, but they certainly add to the user experience:

  • Camera from lock screen: By tweaking a setting, you can tap and hold the lock screen while rotating the phone, and the camera will open. Keep in mind if you use a password, you'll have to enter it before the camera opens.
  • Swipe for Screenshot: By running your hand across the screen, you can easily take screenshots. I found it easiest to use the side of my hand from the pinky to the base of the hand.
  • Movie multitasking: If you're in the middle of a movie and you get a message or email you just need to answer, tap the little button at the bottom of the screen, and the movie will shrink to it's own window, and allow you to do what you need.
  • Auto dial: If using the stock SMS app, you can apply a setting that will allow you to call the contact you are viewing by simply bringing the phone up to your ear. This is pretty cool.

I'm sure there are more and more cool things I'll discover along the way. But that's the fun part.

Now the negative. A simple browse through the SGS3 forums will reveal that there are SGS3 units out there experiencing signal and phone call issues. In this area, I've been blessed. I've had the SGS3 for a week now and experienced no issues with loss of signal or missed/dropped calls. In my office (which is located in the middle of a big room), my Mesmerize would get 0-1 bars. Prior to that, my BlackBerry Curve 9350 would get 2-3 bars, and the SGS3 also gets 2-3 bars of 3G. Here in Chicago, there's no telling when we'll get 4G LTE, so I've had the LTE radio turned off since before I walked out of the store.

Supposedly USCC and Samsung are working on this and a fix is imminent. Depending on who you talk to the problem is either software or hardware; take yer pick.

So should you get a SGS3? It depends. Right now through the end of the month, USCC has a web-only sale going on with instant rebate; that's definitely something to consider. But should you wait for the Note 2? For the rumored WP8 phones? For the rumored newer Samsung 4G phone? For the ever-rumored iphone?

The way today's technology moves, if you wait for the next big thing, you'll always be waiting (apologies to Samsung- the next big thing is already on USCC and available today!!!) On the other hand, the Note 2 is confirmed and close enough that if you want the extra screen real estate, it may be worth waiting for it. From a pricing perspective, you could preorder the Note 2 and with the web-only preorder instant rebate, get the Note 2 for the same amount you'd spend to walk into a store and get a 16gb SGS3. It really boils down to personal preference - I really don't think you can go wrong with either phone.

So in closing, I'm glad I got this phone. My wife is hoping it will hold my attention for more than 6 months...and I think it just might.