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

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blueandigo

blog-0771218001348065605.pngWith the recent announcement of The Samsung Galaxy Note II, US Cellular has now opened their website to take pre-orders. The price is $299.99 and you will get it in a titanium colour. The nice part about the pre-order is that the $299 is an instant rebate!

Just like the Galaxy SIII, the pre-ordering option is exclusive to the web only. The estimated ship date is by the end of October.

http://www.uscellula...ge Hero Slide 1

John Vincent

blog-0793156001348061638.jpgDon't have a whole lot of time to throw a post together, so today we're linking you to PC Magazine, who is telling us that Samsung has confirmed what had been previously reported - that US Cellular will be among the 5 carriers launching the Galaxy Note 2 in mid-November.

Specs are killer, to say the least. I'll let you look them up for yourself. Almost makes me consider returning my Galaxy S 3 to wait for mid-November. How about you? Anyone else still in their 14 day trial, thinking of returning and waiting?

No word on cost yet. The article mentions that the current Note is selling for $199 and $249 on ATT and Tmobile. I'm guessing that for the Note 2 we're going to see $299. We'll let you know more details when we get them.

Source: PC Magazine

blueandigo

blog-0579788001347580658.jpgGetting tired of your phone searching for Wi-Fi after 2 to 3 minutes? Well wait no more, US Cellular just released a new application that makes finding hotspots much easier. The free application is called, "Wi-Fi Now", this connects the phone to hotspots easily wherever they are.

U.S. Cellular's Vice President of Sales and Marketing Operations released the following statement, "Our goal is to create a better wireless experience and with the surge in demand for more data, this free app will help customers manage their usage and save money."

U.S. Cellular customers can download the app from the Google Play store to Android devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S III or Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 . The app will also be available in the Amazon App Store. Moreover, it will come pre-loaded on Android-powered devices from the carrier in the future.

Once downloaded, you will be prompted to add your own home wi-fi networks and it will automatically connect you to public hotspots when available.

How far is the range for this application? That is not known, but you can download the application and give us an estimate of it.

http://www.pcmag.com...,2409693,00.asp

smpark3

blogentry-2056-0-43661100-1347505236_thu

I’m in a rhyming kind of mood today. If you haven’t heard, a company named Apple launched a new phone this afternoon. It was a pretty big deal. iPhone 5 is the device name.

A story about the Apple iPhone on the front page of TeamUSCellular blog you ask? Uncharted territories, I know. I’m feeling a little courageous.

First, the continuous leaks pretty much nailed it on the head. Not much was a surprise at this afternoons unveiling. Tim Cook, Apple CEO, stated at D10 conference that “we’re [Apple] is going to double down on secrecy on products.” Obviously he meant after the iPhone 5 was revealed.

Let’s get to the specs for those technical geeks!

External:

  • Glass and Aluminum outer body in Black/Slate or White/Silver.
  • 7.6mm thick; a full 18% thinner than the iPhone 4s.
  • 112 grams; 20% lighter than the Galaxy S III.
  • 4” Retina Display – width is still the same, but the phone is a tad taller to accomplish this.
  • Retina Display at 1136x640, this translates into 326ppi
  • Longer screen = additional 5th row of apps
  • The ratio puts the display as close to 16:9 when held horizontally

Internal:

  • A6 processor; 22 percent smaller than the dual core A5
  • 1GB RAM
  • 802.11 a/b/g/n (dual band 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz)
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • LTE (we’ll have more on this in a moment)
  • nanoSIM card (yes, Apple is redefining the SIM card)
  • 16GB/32GB/64GB internal storage options

Other features:

  • Primary Camera: 8 megapixel sensor with a 5 element lens and f/2.4 aperture for you camera nerds!

o Panoramic Shooting (effectively providing a 28 megapixel photo)

o 40% increase in shutter speed

o 1080p video recording
  • Secondary Camera: 1.2 megapixel at 30fps (720p and hi res Facetime chats)
  • Facetime over cellular
  • Microphone upgrade which should improve voice quality on networks that support it.
  • New dock connector called…wait for it….Lightning!! (Apple will be charging $29 for an adapter for devices using the older connection….Apple sure does know how to suck every last cent out of their customers.)
  • 8 hours talk time on 4G (LTE); 10 hours using WiFi

What the phone didn’t have:

  • NFC (Apple says it’s not clear that this will be the standard going forward. AKA we can add this to the next iteration)

Phil Schiller, Senior VP of Worldwide Marketing said, “iPhone 5 is the most beautiful consumer devise that we’ve created. We’ve packed an amazing amount of innovation and advanced technology into a thin and light, jewel-like device with a stunning 4-inch Retina display, blazing fast A6 chip, ultrafast wireless, even longer battery life; and we think the customers are going to love it.” Android users just puked (and I know there are a lot of you in the forums). Can't we all just get along?

I’d like to touch on the LTE a bit. Back in November, 2011, US Cellular turned down the Apple iPhone 4s. At the time it did not make economical sense to the company. Later, in December, it was learned that the iPhone would be considered if it had ”cutting edge” technology (interpret as LTE). Today, we have the iPhone 5, which will offer LTE on various bands. I was curious to see if any of those bands are what USCC currently utilizes, 700/850/1700/1900MHz. Here is what I found:

iPhone 5 CDMA Model

  • 2100MHz
  • 1800MHz
  • 850MHz
  • 700cMHz
  • 1900MHz

I believe that the 700MHz that USCC utilizes is of the A variety, but 850MHz matches up. Does it prove anything? No. Does it put a little hope out there? Absolutely.

So what does Christmas have to do with this? A lot actually. An anonymous little birdie tipped TUSCC with some tantalizing information. Remember, it isn’t official till USCC says so.

  • Expect a launch of the iPhone 5 on USCC!!
  • When: expect it around the holidays (Santa will be busy)

The next details are sketchy and, from a business perspective, would alienate a whole lot of customers.

  • Initial launch in 4G areas only with Iowa being first as this is where most of the testing occurs.

Honestly, I can’t see that last tidbit happening. Customers in areas where 4G is not expected soon (Chicago I’m talking to you) would be outraged! USCC would benefit from launching in 3G only areas as well.

Thanks Anonymous for that information, I’m sure there are a few happy USCC customers out there that have been flooding USCC’s facebook page with nonstop “When is the iPhone coming to USCC?” comments.

iR1O

blog-0358287001347475795.png

We heard that the Samsung Galaxy S III Jelly Bean update would be rolling out internationally in October. However, those who own U.S. versions of the device should temper their expectations when it comes to a release date in the United States.

Samsung has apparently confirmed the Galaxy S III Jelly Bean update will hit the international version of the device at some point next month. But what that means for the U.S. isn’t quite clear.

Read: Samsung Galaxy S III Jelly Bean Update Confirmed for October.

Unlocked Galaxy S III First…

Unless Samsung devised a new way of rolling out major Android updates to its devices around the globe, the Jelly Bean update will likely play out like updates of the past. The first Galaxy S III device that will get the update will likely be the unbranded and unlocked version of the device. This is how it went down with the Galaxy S II and the Galaxy Note Ice Cream Sandwich updates and we expect Samsung to follow a similar path with the Galaxy S III. Owners of this device will more than likely see the update roll out in October.

Then Carrier Branded…

Next, carrier branded Galaxy S III devices in places like the United Kingdom will see the update. How long after the unlocked version? We can’t be sure, but we definitely expect the UK to be at the forefront of the carrier-branded Jelly Bean update process. Hopefully, the UK sees its Galaxy S III Jelly Bean update roll out in October but nothing is for certain at this point.

Then the U.S.

After those roll outs, the U.S. should see its Android 4.1 Jelly Bean roll out begin. Just when that will be though is a complete mystery. U.S. carriers are generally extremely slow to get their devices upgraded to the latest Android software and at this point, there is no reason to believe that the Galaxy S III will be a special case.

What say you TUSCC?

John Vincent

blog-0575997001347245374.jpgWell this weekend turned out nice; the Bears won handily, the weather took a turn for the cooler, someone in the area is burning leaves, and things are about to get crazy in the world of smartphones.

If you haven't been living under a rock, you know that every headline that isn't still talking about the Samsung/Apple lawsuits and verdict has been talking about Apple and their big shin-dig in...some place in California this coming Wednesday, when at which time Apple will supposedly announce the new iPhone. Now around the Team US Cellular forums, iPhone and Apple seem to be dirty words; in fact, it often seems that a person has to prove his level of Android nerdliness by how much he hates Apple and the iPhone.

Of course, it is well documented that US Cellular turned down Apple's offer of the iPhone 4S, and for good reasons. However, there is much scuttlebut and rumors that US Cellular will be getting the iPhone 5. In a way, this makes sense, as the new iPhone is reportedly going to have 4G LTE. This article seems to indicate that a USCC iPhone 5 is already a done deal, and will come once the Big 3 carriers have been taken care of.

So what's the point, you ask? After all, we don't like the iPhone here, right? Well, keep in mind that what works for you doesn't always work for everyone else. And what works for everyone else, might not work for you. But after tossing around this subject with a few people, I think USCC needs the iPhone 5 if it is going to stop the customer bleed. Not everyone wants an Android device. Not everyone trusts Google. And if USCC wants to start climbing back up the "number of customers" list instead of continuing to drop down, they'll need to offer some top of the line devices running different OS's. And yes, in my opinion, this includes Windows Phone 8 and BlackBerry 10.

Moving on, before the readers take me out and stone me, the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 has been making some headlines as of late, and this weekend is no exception. A couple of articles HERE and HERE are indicating that US Cellular will once again be part of a national launch with the Big Guys, as we were for the Galaxy S 3.

Take a minute and vote in our poll: Is the 5.5 inch screen of the Note 2, too big for you? Or does it do away with your need for a tablet to go alongside your phone? Those of you sporting the Galaxy S 3 - Is 4.8 inches the sweet spot? Or are you looking for more screen real estate? I'm giving it some serious thought for the S-Pen and it's note-taking-on-the-go abilities; but where would you store it?!

Well that'll do it for this first edition of Weekend Notes. Look for a couple app reviews this week from our talented team of writers, as well as a wrap-up of coverage from Apple's announcement on Wednesday.

John Vincent

blog-0440182001346985827.pngSo the last few days, my Google alerts has been exploding with articles all over the web about an mysterious new LG smartphone that made an accidental appearance on the web, and was then pulled. Much ado has been made the last few days about the fact that it will be arriving on US Cellular's network, with one blog even going so far as to say it would be "...the first LG smartphone on the US Cellular network." I guess the poor ol' little LG Genesis wasn't a smartphone.

Anyhow, as those alerts started pouring in, I thought the name sounded a little familiar, and sure enough...back on July 26, almost a month and a half, smpark3 included the LG Splendor in an article on upcoming phones. So, yep, Team US Cellular scooped 'em all! Hat tip to smpark3 and thanks to Anonymous!

And yes, the specs we were given did bear out:

4.3” display

8.8 mm thin

Android ICS

5mp camera

Further information that has been leaked tells us that it will sport a 1ghz processor, 2GB of internal memory, and room for a microSD card.

Sure, it’s midrange, and won’t get most people here excited. But it sure beats the HTC Wildfire S, right? And it sure feels good to scoop the big guys!

smpark3

Slightly misleading, definitely enticing. Today at the Google "Motorola" Mobility launch event in New York, Motorola head Dennis Woodside made the pledge that the company will attempt to upgrade all new and existing (since 2011) Motorola android handset to Jelly Bean. If upgrading the phone would degrade performance, then the company would offer a $100 credit on a new phone purchase.

The misleading part, the $100 credit can only be applied to one of the 3 new phones launched at today's event. The Droid Razr HD, Droid Razr Maxx HD and Droid Razr M. Which may or may not make their way to USCC.

Bigger picture, for those USCC customers with a current Motorola phone such as the Electrify 2, expect a Jelly Bean update. Going out on a limb, the Defy XT might see some love as well as the original Electrify (barely sneaking in to the 2011 cutoff). Of course, the new OS update would have to make it's way through USCC's fingers before being deployed.

Google truly know what the customer wants, access to the most current android OS features. Through the addition of Motorola Mobility, they are able to offer these type of upgrades. And If the company can't deliver they are willing to cough up some cash to entice the customer to upgrade. Other phone companies should take note.

And who knows, maybe those who are unable to upgrade will see the "Motorola Electrify HD 2" in stores this holiday season and put that $100 credit to use.

Let us know your thoughts on Google/Motorola's pledge to chip in for a new phone if they are unable to upgrade your current phone's OS. Should other phone companies implement this type of offer? As a consumer, would this cause you to upgrade to a new phone faster?

Update: Motorola rebate site is live and lo and behold the Electrify and Electrify 2 are listed in the drop down box.

https://motorola-glo...an-rebate_en-US

Thanks SuBzErObLuE (fun to type that) for the link.

Update (10/20/12): Motorola has released a list of phones that will be eligible for the $100 rebate. This looks like an initial list and phones will continue to be added. The Electrify will not be receiving Jelly bean, so it is eligible for the rebate, BUT you must by the Motorola Electrify 2 or any of the phones on the Must Purchase List. Contract terms and conditions still apply, so you will still be responsible for that early termination fee if you choose to upgrade. Hit the link if interested in the trade-up program.

http://www.motorola.com/tradeup

blogentry-2056-0-65801500-1350754031_thu

John Vincent

blog-0996862001346709391.pngSmartphones are supposed to make our lives easier, right? I can recall carrying around a flip phone and PDA, thinking it would be nice to have a converged device that I could get email on anywhere, anytime. Now, people complain that their smartphones don't have enough cores, or megapixels; they demand more and more processing power and bigger screens, and then root their devices so they can underclock to get better battery life (ok, got sidetracked there!)

But the point remains that smartphones should make our lives easier. So with that in mind, I've got a few apps here that can help you find better prices on fuel, help you plan your end of summer road trip, and more.

Gas Buddy

SC20120903-155611.jpg

If you aren't already using Gas Buddy, or haven't heard of it, allow me to hold your rock up while you crawl out from under it! Gas Buddy is a cross-platform app - it's even on BlackBerry for crying out loud. It allows you to find cheapest gas prices around you, and navigate to the nearest, cheapest station.

SC20120903-155623.jpg

If you feel like signing up for an account, you can even update the price while your car is sucking up your paycheck (i.e., filling up the tank). I hadn't had a desire to do this, until the other day I went to a station that Gas Buddy purported to have the lowest price. To my chagrin, it was 20 cents a gallon more than Gas Buddy said. When I paid attention, I found the price was 9 hours old. A quick account sign up and log in, and I updated the price in Gas Buddy.

As gas prices continue to rise, saving even 5 cents a gallon can pay off in the long run, and that's where Gas Buddy can save you a few minutes and a few dollars. Gas Buddy is free in the Google Play store.

(Download Gas Buddy from Google Play)gasbuddy.png

My Pilot

SC20120903-155530.jpg

Recently I pulled a 40ft trailer down to Florida from the Chicago area. Needless to say, with a rig that was as long as a semi, there was no way I was pulling into the local gas station to fill up. Truck stops were a necessity, and on my trip down I was sweating a couple times hoping there would be a Pilot or Loves coming up. While on vacation down there, I had the genius idea of looking for an app to figure this out. Never mind that every time I walked into a Pilot store to pay, there were big signs saying "Download our Android app"; kinda just slipped past my eyeballs somehow (hey, no one ever accused me of being smart!)

SC20120903-155523.jpg

The MyPilot app was wonderful for the trip back. It allows you to sign in with your My Pilot rewards card and earn points on things like beverages. Depending on your Rewards card, you can also get fuel discounts. The feature I used most was the trip planner.

SC20120903-155434.jpg

Trip planner allows you to enter your starting and stopping points, and it will show you all the Pilot/Flying J stations along your route. For me, this was a lifesaver. It allowed me to figure out ahead of time where I was going to stop for fuel, and gave me peace of mind that a fuel station would be where I thought it was.

SC20120903-155506.jpg

Keep in mind that Pilot/Flying J is not just truck stops, they have regular fuel islands and (most of the time) fast food offerings such as Arbys, McDonalds, or Subway. This kind of info can be found in the station listings. This is a great app for a road trip, and I wish I'd have had it the whole time. Maybe next time I'll pay attention to the signs!

(Download MY Pilot from Google Play)mypilot.png

Thorntons

SC20120903-155818.jpg

Not all US Cellular customers will be familiar with Thorntons; they operate in some of USCC's coverage areas. Locally, they usually have the best prices. For my family, we use them because more often than not they have the best prices on E85; plus, 69 cents for a 32oz beverage? Can't beat it! (Makes an easy and inexpensive treat for the kids too: "OK, slushies for everyone!")

The Thorntons fuel app allows you to find stations near you, check in via foursquare, and see deals for local stations. Most of the time they have giveaways or free items that require a coupon, which you can scan right from your phone. One perk is that you can log your Thorntons Rewards card into the app, and scan the barcode to get every 7th drink free. I think it's a geek thing, but I find it to be cool.

I do have one negative about the Thorntons app; you can't view the station prices from it. It seems to me that Thorntons has a company policy about giving out their current prices; I once called a station to see what their E85 price was, and she refused to tell me. So you can always resort to Gas Buddy for something like that.

Overall, this app is handy for the Rewards barcode function, and locating stations around you. But outside of the deal coupons and Rewards bar code, it doesn't do anything that Gas Buddy won't tell you. But those two functions earn this app a place in my "Automotive" folder on my homescreen.

(Download Thorntons from Google Play)thorntons.png

How about you? I know there's tons of apps out there. Maybe you've got a regional fuel company that you use, or another price finder app that you prefer. Let us know in the comments!

Badger48

blog-0652197001345314794.jpgSo news is starting to come out about Nokia's Windows Phone 8 phone, and if it sounds as good as advertised, I pray to the telecom gods that U.S. Cellular gets their hands on it.

Before we get into it, I know US Cellular doesn't have a great track record with Windows phones so far. For Windows Phone 7 there was only 1 option (HTC 7 Pro) and from what I've heard and from my own experiences, the employees and agents weren't pressed too hard to learn about it or sell it. It was a great phone and has had tons of good reviews, it just never gained the traction. Plus they haven't dropped the price in, uh, ever?

To U.S. Cellular: WTH!! If you aren't selling this phone much, drop the price so those who want it will buy it outside of contract upgrades and can help spread the word! Sometimes I wonder if your marketing team should focus less on Facebook and more on research and Marketing 101 classes

Anyways, back on track.... 8)

So with Nokia appearing to be set to announce their new phone on Sept. 5th I am tenatively hoping that U.S. Cellular will give us Windows phone fans some redemption. The Nokia "Lumia 1000" (I'm stealing CNET author Jessica Dolcourt's name for it) sounds like a great phone!

Her guesses / assumptions about the phone are below. She wrote a great article over on the CNET.com Dialed In page that I am getting most of this from. Also check out our poll and let us know what your thoughts are on purchasing this phone if USCC is able to offer it.

And remember, corrections/info are always welcome, and keep the comments friendly :D

(I will update this if more specs become available.)

Design:

- Will most likely match the Nokia Lumia 900 (see photo with the article).

- Might (*should) have an slot for a microSD card).

Specs:

- 4G LTE

- "Qualcomm's dual-core Snapdragon S4 Plus processor" :: This already powers the Samsung Galaxy S III so I see no reason it will not be working for a USCC version of a Nokia phone, although this depends on if they go with a top end or mid-low end phone

Photo: The new Windows Phone start screen on a Nokia Lumia 900.

(Credit: Josh Miller/CNET)

Read more: http://www.cnet.com/.../#ixzz23vFYyntx

blueandigo

Samsung (005930) will reportedly update a number of its flagship smartphones to the latest version of Android by the end of the year. According to SamMobile, the Galaxy S III will be the company’s first handset to be updated to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, followed by the Galaxy S II and Galaxy Note. The website notes, however, if Samsung suddenly decides not to update the Galaxy S II, owners will receive a “value pack” update. The Galaxy S III is expected to receive an update by the end of the third quarter of 2012, while the Galaxy S II and Galaxy Note will receive an update sometime in the fourth quarter. According to the website’s sources, the Galaxy Note II was being tested on Android 4.0 and it is unclear if the “phablet” will launch with Jelly Bean or Ice Cream Sandwich. If it is the latter, however, an update is expected to arrive early in the fourth quarter. Samsung is reportedly scheduled to announce the Galaxy Note II on August 29th at the IFA trade show in Berlin.

http://www.sammobile.com/2012/08/06/jelly-bean-updates-by-samsung-for-sgsii-sgsiii-note-and-note-ii/

iR1O

blog-0262101001343782803.jpgVerizon Wireless has agreed to pay $1.25 million to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission to resolve a complaint that it blocked third-party tethering applications on Android phones, the FCC said Tuesday.

Verizon denies blocking any third party apps in a statement released the same day.

The FCC’s decision relies on the fact that Verizon purchased 700MHz spectrum from the U.S. government in 2008. As part of the deal, Verizon had to guarantee that it would not restrict the types of devices or applications used on that spectrum.

Because the FCC’s ruling is based solely on this “C-Block” spectrum deal, the same rules do not apply to AT&T, Sprint, or T-Mobile, all of which charge users a fee for using wireless tethering apps.

"Verizon Wireless has always allowed its customers to use the lawful applications of their choice on its networks, and it did not block its customers from using third-party tethering applications," the company said in the statement. "This consent decree puts behind us concerns related to an employee's communication with an app store operator about tethering applications, and allows us to focus on serving our customers."

The consent decree shows that compliance with FCC rules is "not optional," FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said in a statement. "The open device and application obligations were core conditions when Verizon purchased the C-block spectrum. The steps taken today will not only protect consumer choice, but defend certainty for innovators to continue to deliver new services and apps without fear of being blocked."

The FCC's Enforcement Bureau launched an investigation after news reports suggested that Verizon Wireless had successfully requested that Google block Verizon's customers from accessing tethering applications from its online market, the FCC said. At that time, Verizon Wireless' terms of service required all customers who wanted to use their phones for tethering to subscribe to the company's Mobile Broadband Connect service, at an additional charge. Verizon Wireless said the additional fee was because customers who tether laptops or other devices have the capability to use more data capacity than others. But Verizon Wireless, at the time, required all customers, including those who paid incrementally for data use, to pay the fee, the FCC said.

As part of the agreement, Verizon will notify app stores that it no longer objects to third-party tethering apps, according to the FCC.

Free Press praised the FCC action. "Today's action makes it clear that Verizon was flaunting its obligations as a spectrum-license holder and engaging in anti-competitive behavior that harmed consumers and innovation," Free Press policy director Matt Wood said in a statement. "The FCC sent a strong signal to the market that companies cannot ignore their pro-consumer obligations."

What do you all think about this? Do you think it should only apply to C-Block spectrum? Will we see this on more carriers or even more lawsuits? Let's hear your thoughts below!

-note-

Tethering, for those of you wondering what the heck this is all about, allows users to access the Internet from other devices, like laptops, via their smartphone or tablet’s wireless signal.

smpark3

The launch of USCC’s flagship Samsung Galaxy SIII have most users content with their current phone selection (unless you are still holding out for that ever elusive iPhone).

What about those that have passed up on the GSIII and our waiting to see what is in store for the rest of 2012? Well, you are in luck (or not in luck depending on how you view this post).  Straight from the tip line and an anonymous source, a long list of new phones will be headed to USCC in the coming months.  For those with Android and looking for ICS, the tipster did not forget about you either.  Let’s get right into the info, because there is a lot of it.

Current phones expected to receive ICS later this year (If you follow the forums, these are not a surprise):

 

Samsung Galaxy SII

Electrify

 

The long list of new phones: 

blogentry-2056-0-86354300-1343352785_thu 

 

Huawei Ascend Y (September 2012) – Low Tier 3G

Android - Gingerbread

3.5” Display

3MP Camera

 

 

blogentry-2056-0-91956400-1343352820_thu
 

Alcatel One Touch Shockwave (September 2012) – Low Tier 3G

 

Water and Dust Resistant

Dragontrail (6x stronger than regular glass)

3.5” Display

 

 

blogentry-2056-0-45225700-1343352884_thu


Motorola Defy XT (July 2012) – Mid Tier 3G

 

Waterproof (up to 30 mins.) and dust resistant

Gorilla Glass

3.7” Display

5MP Camera

1GHz Processor

1700mAh battery

 

blogentry-2056-0-63693800-1343352915_thu


LG Splendor (September 2012 – USCC 1st in line for this phone) – Mid Tier 3G

 

4.3” Display

8.8mm Thin

Android – ICS

5MP Camera

 

 

blogentry-2056-0-79824800-1343352947_thu
 

Motorola Electrify 2 (August 2012) – High Tier 3G

 

4.3” Display

Dual Core 1.2GHz Processor

8MP Camera

VGA Front Camera

Android – ICS

SMARTACTIONS – turn certain functions including wifi, ringer, etc on and off automatically.


NOTE: Is this the previously talked about Motorola RAZR?? It definitely looks like the RAZR. Conflicting reports from previous post and sources suggesting that the Motorola RAZR coming was going to be 4G.

 

 

blogentry-2056-0-14918700-1343352992_thu
 

Samsung Metrix – (August 2012) – Mid Tier 4G

 

Slider with QWERTY

4” Super AMOLED

5MP Camera

1.3MP Front Camera


For the lovers of Windows, you were not left out:

 

 

blogentry-2056-0-12715600-1343353040_thu

 

ZTE Render (September 2012)

 

Windows 7.5 (sorry boys and girls, no windows 8 for you)

4” Display

1GHz Processor

Wi-Fi Hotspot


For those text messengers out there:

 

blogentry-2056-0-95645000-1343353100_thu


Alacatel One Touch (August 2012)

 

Messaging Plus: enhanced messaging device

Matched with specific $15 data plan

Bar-QWERTY

Custom made for USCC

GPS+3G+Wifi

 

 

blogentry-2056-0-75779400-1343353152_thu


LG Freedom (October 2012)

 

3” Display

QWERTY Slider

2MP Camera

Captive Screen


There you have it readers.  Personally, after looking at that list, it’s hard to be impressed when the Samsung Galaxy SIII just launched and all the excitement is still in the air.  Those seeking mid level phones and QWERTY keyboards should be happy.  

Give us your thoughts on what could be the new phone lineup for the rest of 2012.  Remember, it’s not confirmed till it’s confirmed.

blueandigo

blog-0578917001343003578.pngAndroid 4.1 which is also known as Jelly Bean has only been out a month, but everyone is going crazy over it. A lot of phones are just getting Android 4.0(ICS) and now we're in for another treat soon. As of now the only phone to have 4.1 is the Galaxy Nexus and that is only in it's beta stage, but the stable version is expected to drop in August. With all the talk going on one would wonder if it was coming to the Samsung Galaxy SIII and Samsung confirmed that it WOULD! Luckily, it is looking like SIII owners won't have to wait too long. Rumors say that Samsung has allegedly finished the refresh and should be pushing it out in August or September!

But on the other hand those who own the Galaxy SII might be in for a sweet surprise soon. The Galaxy SII is still popular even though the SIII has come out. The same sources who leaked information on the Aug-Sept release for the SIII say that it is being tested on the SII as well. While this doesn't come out and confirm anything, it may give you some hope.

Being a US Cellular customer you're probably wondering when can you get your hands on it, especially since they are always slow with updates. SII customers are just now getting the ICS update with Sprint, but US Cellular customers have yet to get an official upgrade.

ForzaManny

Technically that is possible if the new promo details we have been receiving are accurate.

We have been tipped of a new promo starting for U.S. Cellular on July 16th. New customers and existing customers adding a line will be receiving a $100 credit on their bill. So as long as it is a smartphone.

So if you want a Galaxy S 3 in the 16 GB model, you would be getting a $100 Mail In Rebate and the $100 Smartphone credit activation. That would be a $100 Galaxy S 3 after all credits and rebates. That's quite the bargain. Of course there is always fine print.

From what we have gathered:

  • You need to be a new customer, or existing customer adding a NEW line of service. No upgrades for the $100 Smartphone Credit.
  • The Credit is applied in $50 increments over the next 2 bill cycles.
  • You must pay your first bill before you see the first credit.

Overall quite the aggressive promo to get new customers to USC.

Phone prices seem to be changing too.... looks like starting next week, but this is what we're hearing:

  • Huawei Ascend II - FREE after MIR
  • BlackBerry Curve 9350 - FREE after MIR
  • HTC Wildfire (Grey) - $0.01 Instantly
  • Samsung Repp - $29.99 Instantly
  • Samsung Mesmerize - $79.99 Instantly
  • BlackBerry Torch - $99.99 after MIR
  • HTC Merge - $99.99 Instantly
  • HTC 7 PRO - $129.99 after MIR
  • Motorola Electrify $129.99 after MIR
  • Samsung Galaxy S Aviator - $199.99 Instantly
  • Samsung Galaxy S Aviator - $129.99 Instantly (4G areas maybe?)
  • Samsung Galaxy S II - $129.99 after MIR (Black)
  • Samsung Galaxy S II - $149.99 after MIR (White)
  • Samsung Galaxy S II - $149.99 after MIR (Black) (4G areas maybe?)
  • Samsung Galaxy S II - $179.99 after MIR (White) (4G areas maybe?)
  • Samsung Galaxy S III - $199.99 after MIR (White & Blue 16GB)
  • Samsung Galaxy S III - $249.99 after MIR (White 32GB)

We have also received details of some prepaid phone promotions.

  • HTC Wildfire will be $49.99 Instantly - No rebate required.
  • Samsung Repp $99.99 Instantly.
  • The Motorola Defy will be available for $199.99(New Model)
  • Motorola Electrify 2 for $349.99(New Model)
  • HTC Merge - $249.99 Instantly
  • Samsung Mesmerize - $249.99 Instantly
  • HTC One V - $249.99 Instantly
  • Motorola Electrify - $349.99 Instantly
  • Samsung GS II - $399.99 Instantly

Those are some decent starting points for prepaid customers looking to hop on the network but not sign the 2 year agreement required for contracts.

Those are the main highlights and it looks like pricing on other prepaid phones will remain the same for the time being.

As always, this isn't official until its official!

And... thanks to Anonymous for the info!

blueandigo

With the launch of the Samsung Galaxy SIII, consumers have been enjoying the device; however, some have run through some small problems. Before the phone even launched in North America, one customer stated his phone exploded while he was holding it. That story was debunked late last week as engineers figured out that the phone was put into a microwave, thus causing it to explode.

1. While US Cellular has yet to release the phone, customers from carriers such as, Sprint, T-Mobile, AT&T have complained that the wifi option causing a glitch that drains the battery down. To fix this switch from Auto to 2.4 ghz and also turn off the Wifi power save feature. And just another reminder, if you're not using your phone to surf the web then turn it on 3G to conserve your battery even more.

2. Before switching over make sure you back up your contacts using your google account. While it may create duplicates you can easily delete those. Also, use a 3rd party application such as, My Backup Pro or SMS Backup(free program that backsup your SMS' to your gmail account).

3. Some users have reported that their batteries don't last but a mere 3-4 hours. To make sure you're not one to fall in that category don't download any suspect apps. Make sure you're downloading apps that have great ratings or ones that may have a small price to them. Another thing you would want to do is download a spyware app such as Avast. It is better than the task manager that is on the phone and can save your phone from virus' as well.

4. Having a clean crisp phone is always neat, so dish out a few extra bucks to get you a case that will last. Don't reach for the first one you see in the Cellular store as they will possibly be overpriced and there are a thousand more you can choose for over the net. If you have a hard time finding one that fits your needs, visit the TUSC forum and ask around.

5. Most importantly make sure you purchase your phone at your local US Cellular so you won't have to suffer through radio issues like some Sprint customers.

iR1O

Folks, the LONG awaited Samsung Galaxy SIII Pre-Ordering is coming to an end.

U.S. Cellular announced Friday that the Pre-ordered devices "will begin shipping out next week!" As this has brought a lot of attention to the USC homepage over the last several weeks, very little information got out about when we would see it. As of Tuesday the word that ALL of the ordered devices will be shipped out by the 12th, and will be arriving in stores by the end of the week! GREAT news for everyone who pre-ordered, and everyone who didn't!

However, if you're one of the many who ordered the 32G version, the shipping appears to be delayed a bit. Expecting the 32G's to be shipped by the 23rd at the latest. The 16GB version will carry a $199.99 price tag, and will be immediately available, with the 32GB version to follow "shortly after that" for $249.99, both after $100 mail-in rebates. U.S. Cellular recommends that customers contact stores before going in, since some agent locations will receive shipments on Friday, meaning some will get SGS3's, yes, this week!

USCellularTweet.jpg

John Vincent

blog-0503984001341241049.jpgToday HTC officially announced that the HTC One V is now available in the US, via several wireless including US Cellular. The article makes no mention of availability, only that you should check carrier specific websites for availability. Of course, US Cellular's website makes no mention of it at this point, but in the past we have seen phones become available online on Wednesdays, and in stores the following Friday.

The question I would have is this - Would USCC launch the One V now? I've got a yes and a no reason. No, to not take away from sales of the Samsung Galaxy S III; yes, to fill the gaps left by SGS3 shortages and for customers who don't want a Samsung device. Will be interesting to see what they decide to do.

As a refresher, the HTC One V specs out with: (specs courtesy of HTC's website)

  • 3.7"

    WVGA super LCD2 480 x 800 (ironically same size as the Desire)



  • Android™ 4.0 (ICS) + HTC Sense™



  • 1500 mAh, Embedded Battery (No Battery Swap for you!)



  • 5 MP camera with autofocus ImageChip LED flash and f/2.0x Lens 720p Video Recording 30 frames per second



  • ROM 4 GB eMMC, RAM 512 MB LPDDR



  • 1 GHz Qualcomm MSM8655



  • Universal Beats Audio


For more info on the HTC One V, visit

HTC's website. For pricing and availability, keep an eye on US Cellular's website.

John Vincent

blog-0051501001340986981.pngPC Magazine today reported that US Cellular has told them they will be carrying Windows Phone 8 phones in the fall when the OS releases. Said US Cellular,

"We believe in giving our customers the latest technology and device options and we are excited about the Windows 8 phone. It will be an important part of our device lineup going forward."

The article also mentions that WP8 will support LTE, so that’s important for US Cellular. Personally I think it will be important for US Cellular to pick up an extra platform, especially on the heels of Research In Motion’s announcement yesterday that BlackBerry 10 will be pushed back to Q1 of 2013. It will be important for US Cellular to have a platform for the “business set” who don’t necessarily want to use Android.

Obviously no word on what manufacturers we’ll see here on USCC. I was impressed by HTC’s Titan, and would be interested in seeing a device of that size. Hopefully we’ll get more than one option, like we had with the HTC Pro 7. But what do our readers think? Will this news give anyone pause on upgrading to something like the Galaxy S 3? If I knew exactly what kind of model we'd be seeing, I'd give thought to canceling my preorder. I might have to play with upgrades come December!

Source:

PC Magazine

Hat tip to smpark3

in the forums

snodrog742
What: Effective July 1, 2012, a Device Activation Fee of $30 will be charged to existing customers when purchasing a device at promotional price.

Why: New customers pay an activation fee, which covers the cost associated with activating equipment. In order to offer value priced equipment to existing customers, a Device Activation Fee will be charged to existing customers to cover the costs associated with activating subsidized or promotionally priced equipment.

Educate customers on the Device Activation Fee every time

“With the purchase of a new device, there is a one-time $30 Device Activation Fee to activate this device on our network.”

“With the purchase of this device, there is a $30 Device Activation Fee applied to your next bill.”

During Needs Assessment – “Based upon your needs, I recommend this device. The device costs x and a $30 Device Activation Fee will be applied to your next bill. Would you like to take this home today? If so, I can get you set-up at my terminal and will show you how to work all of the features that we’ve discussed. “

“This is a standard fee we charge our customers anytime they are activating a new device purchased at promotional price.”

“New and existing customers are charged a $30 Device Activation Fee when purchasing a promotional priced device.”

“The device activation fee allows us to further invest in our award winning network, award winning customer service, LTE build-out, device lineup, rewards program, etc.” The Device Activation Fee should not be charged with the following customer transactions:

15-day equipment exchange for Prepaid Wireless Customers

15-day equipment exchange for Post Paid Customers

Advance Exchange replacement

Customer owned equipment

Device Protection

Devices purchased on the web

ESN Swaps

Full retail priced equipment

Loaner Phones (including eligible Customer Owned Equipment used as a loaner to temporarily replace a lost, stolen, or damaged phone)

Market specific initiatives as defined by Marketing

Phone Replacement

Phone Replacement due to fraud issues

Used pre-owned equipment

There it is folks, the official letter. This was sent in by Anonymous and clearly states when and why this fee is being implemented. This sheds quite a bit of light on the subject and as many have stated, the fee really has always been there, just not really laid out.

I must also note, it is also being reported that you will not be charged this fee if using Belie Points to upgrade either 1. using the points to buy the phone, or 2. using a Upgrade Accelerator. Not sure if there is a minimum on how this is working. I'm guessing if you even use the Upgrade Accelerator by one month, this fee will be waived. Maybe our friendly RWC's here can confirm this?

Another source sent in.... No more subsidized pricing - meaning, the prices of phones will now be the same if you are a current customer or brand new. Now, that's some good news to celebrate in my opinion. Many have complained about that... "I'm a loyal customer, why do I pay more....?" Now that is being fixed.

Next up, Early Termination Fees (ETF's) are being raised - only for smartphone users. This fee will be bumped up to $350. Basic (dumb) phones are staying the same at $150. Again, this is quoted as "helping to compete with other carriers to provide the latest devices, as well as expand the current network."

As reported earlier, Belief Point Upgrade Accelerators will also increase to 1,300 instead of 1,000 per month to bump up your upgrade date. Sources are saying this is due to many customers "hoarding" their points and this is US Cellular's way of getting some of those points out of circulation.

Last of all, intel is telling us that two new plans will be rolling out. A new Family Plan with unlimited voice and messaging for $99.99 touting a $20 add a line option. Also, a $69.99 Single Line plan with unlimited voice and messaging as well. These sound like great options for those families not needing data but heavy on voice or messaging.

Well, that's all the information we have for now. This has been quite a week of speculation and finally ending in confirmed information. Some good, some bad but that's just the way it goes. What do you think? Any good perks for you or your family? Think this will really get US Cellular competing with the bigger carriers? Let's hear those thoughts!

*Edit* Device Activation fee can also be avoided by ordering online. This was available at time of blog post but I accidentally left it out. Sorry!

snodrog742
Starting June 29th, us cellular will be charging a 30 dollar upgrade fee for all renewals.. the reasoning being 1) att, Verizon, and tmobile all do and 2) and i quote "to increase revenue to better invest in releasing high end devices in a similar time frame as competitors"

That's right, you heard it here first. Renewal fees for everybody!

Now, this comes on the heels of a great high-end phone release, Belief Plan Reward increase, tiered data, etc. Why not add something else!?

More and more lately, US Cellular seems to be using the logic of "if they Big 4 are doing it, why not us?" My response along with others I'm sure, "You are NOT the Big 4!" This renewal fee did not go over well for Verizon but they do offer a trade-in program to offset that fee. US Cellular also offers trade-in, but not the greatest last I checked.

Now, this fee really is a downer in my opinion. We pay for the phone (yes, subsidized but enough), plus our bill every moth, plus data which will keep going up, get our Reward points to be less in value, and now have to pay MORE just to get a new phone. What's next? Charge me a $1 just to restart my phone?

Anyways, be on the lookout and maybe try and get that upgrade squeezed in this week. Anybody have any thoughts or comments? Let's hear them below!

snodrog742

blog-0470282001339531937.jpg

as of July 1st, it takes 1300 points to accelerate one month of eligibility...

Yea! Wait, what!? Grrrrr! News is filtering in of Device Upgrade Accelerators are going up in price. Stupid economy.... So, 300 more points per month to upgrade and that's only one reward... what about the others? No idea yet here, but we can probably venture a pretty safe guess that they'll be going up to.

Now, US Cellular argued that with the new Belief Plans you'd be getting more points but your renewal time would go to 22 months instead of 18 months. Now, that balanced out pretty well I thought... more time, more points given. Now we get a month later and hear, more time, more points given to you, but more points to use that accelerator. See the common word there? MORE. The MORE is in US Cellular's favor and not the customers the way I see it.

Well, on the other hand, I suppose it is to be expected. We did just see a first time announcement of a flagship device the same time as the Big 4. I'm truly excited about that and hope USCC keeps that up. However, that phone that I could get next month... now gets pushed back 3 months due to this 300 point/month increase.

Here's to hoping in 3 more months another 4G device comes out.... not sure what else other than maybe a Motorola? Anyways, what are your thoughts on the points increase? Should there be more warning so customers could plan better such as me? Let us know below!

smpark3

Finally, a word from the Mother Ship. USCC has announced pricing on the Samsung Galaxy S III and they are bringing their A game. In keeping up with the "other" carriers, the price is as follows:

16 gb (Pebble Blue and Marble White): $199.99

32 gb (Marble White): $249.99

And now for the not so good news...sharpen your pencil and find a stamp because you'll need to send the $100 mail in rebate to get these prices. As a reminder, pre-order sales start June 12th.

galaxy-s-3.jpg?9d7bd4

snodrog742

Well, well, well... looks like Data Throttling (or Optimization if you like VZW's words) has caused some uproar - some good, some bad. I happily woke up to a bit more information today that seems to make it a bit more clear. First off, thanks to Anonymous and I will try and break it down for everyone here:

Throttling will only occur if you go over 200 MB while roaming. Okay, really, reread that a few times and put the pitchforks down. This is nice in two ways. This means throttling won't be constant.... kind of like Verizon and "optimizing" only when on congested towers, ours only happens on other companies towers. Let's be honest, if you're roaming that much to be throttled... not good. But, if you are roaming that much - USCC used to tell customers using 200 MB of data while roaming consistently that they needed to find a new carrier - no more of that, just throttling now.

No throttling on home network. EVER. Sorta. This applies to the NEWEST Belief Plans. As USCC has stated, you will just pay $10/gb if you go over. You will however, be throttled on the OLD Belief Plans until your bill cycle. Weird and I'd hate to be the tech figuring out all this, but it does make sense. Data was cheaper and bundled on the older Belief Plans so they need to control it a bit more.

This new info seems a lot better than what we were hearing before. No word on date that this is starting or if already started. What do you think of the new info? Will you be affected? Let us know!