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

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L0st1nTr4nsl4ti0n

Passed down through my grapevine, it looks like US Cellular may be starting throttling data, following in the "Big 4" and thier footsteps. While this may not come as too much of a surprise, an interesting fact I learned today, was that for every 200mb of data used, the company needs to spend $50. That would break out to a lot of money for your 5gb data plan you are maxing out each month.

The good news in all of this? It will only affect 2% of customers. Why? Because (for now) they will only start the throttling at users that exceed the 5gb plan. This to me, is no where near as bad as the carriers that do it at 2gb, and in all honesty, with the way the tiered data works, you only pay $10 more for each gb overage, so putting the "speedhat" on 5gbs, seems fair?

What do you guys think?

snodrog742

Guess what folks, the pricing appears to be hidden in the website source code.

This is for the 16gb version - it is lines 2190 - 2215 in the code for those who wanna see for themselves.

<input type="hidden" id="standard-retail-value" value='599.99'/>

input type="hidden" id="standard-discount-value" value="350.00" />

<input type="hidden" id="standard-price-value" value="249.99" />

32gb version is $700, $400, $300 respectively.

Didn't know if this was solid enough for a tip but wanted to share!

Source: GS III Pricing

Well, there you have it folks. The only details left were pricing - and that seems to have been decoded within what, 12 hours? These prices seem to be pretty on track for other devices that have launched and not even considered "flagship" devices.

So, $599.99 retail price if you're determined to buy it outright.... $350 before rebate.... and the infamous $249.99 after lovely MIR.

If I had the $350, I'd be jumping all over this. Not much more than the Electrify was and we'll be gaining 4G, plus a plethora of other features reported today. Who's excited!? Also, who's springing for that 32GB version!?

John Vincent

blog-0322368001338855140.pngMan it feels good just typing that title. I can't recall a time when US Cellular customers were able to celebrate a flagship release with the other major carriers. Let me once again say kudos to US Cellular for pulling this off. This restores my faith in the carrier and hopefully is a sign of things to come.

Now, with all the mushy stuff out of the way, let's take a look at what we will be getting on our version of the GS3. I haven't taken the time to look at what the other carriers' versions look like, but I'm hearing that they are pretty close across the board. US Cellular was kind enough to put up a page on their websitewith the delicious details, so let's take a look.

ScreenClip3.png

As most everyone knows by now, the GS3 is a 4.8in HD Super AMOLED screen, running on US Cellular's 4G LTE network. For those of us not under 4G yet, it'll run just fine on 3G until they light us up. Another well-known fact is that the US variants of the GS3 are sporting a 1.5ghz dual core processor, due to LTE not playing nice with the current quad-core processors. However, most people think it shouldn't make a noticeable difference.

ScreenClip4.png

But what else do we got here? Well, 2 things that really caught my eye were the removable microSD storage, which supports up to 64gb microSD. If you were to spring for the 32gb SG3, and add a 64gb, you could have close to 96gb of storage. The second thing is the removeable 2100mAh battery - extra power for all that Ice Cream goodness! Also, for US Cellular customers, we will have our choice of white or blue in the 16gb variety, but if you want 32gb of storage you'll have to make do with white. It's awesome that we're getting so many choices right out of the gate.

Not mentioned on the product detail page, but present in the press release this morning were a few cool features that caught my eye:

The Galaxy S III is a cutting-edge device designed to enhance your life and make it easier to do the things you need your phone to do, such as messaging, taking pictures, multimedia activities and sharing information. Using revolutionary technology, it’s capable of doing things never seen before with other smartphones. With Share Shot, there is no longer a need to email or download photos. Photos taken can be immediately shared with up to 5 others by synching devices. Photos, calendars, documents and video can be shared simply with S Beam by touching Galaxy S III phones together. The large screen with Trace technology makes text messaging a breeze by swiping between letters instead of typing, and the eight megapixel camera means you can leave your point-and-shoot camera at home.

Highlighted features:

Pop Up Play: picture-in-picture video capability that enables multi-tasking with other applications such as email

S Voice: voice control capabilities for applications and the device including taking pictures by saying “cheese,” turn the music player up or down, accept or reject calls and to “snooze” an alarm

Smart Stay: Intelligent display with eye tracking to ensure the phone stays on when in use

Share shot sounds really cool. Of course, for now it's limited to those with GS3's. But I can see myself using this quite a bit with family pics and such.

Pop Up Play - this sounds interesting. Without knowing too much about it, it sounds like a true multitasking ability to read emails and such while watching a video.

S Voice - lots of info on the web about this. Taking pictures by saying "cheese" - gimmicky but also cool at the same time.

So we definitely have a lot to look forward to. The excitement is definitely going to build over the next month, as preorders get going and more and more news develops. As always, keep an eye out here for any new news. If you see something USCC related, let us know on the tip line.

And to kill time while you're waiting, come chime in on our GS3 forums; let us know if you're going to be one of the first USCC customers in history to preorder a flagship device, or just get the conversation started. These are exciting times! (and I think it's gonna be a long month!)

John Vincent

blog-0568092001338812246.jpgScroll down for update

CNet is reporting this morning that Samsung has announced that the Galaxy S3 will launch this month on 5 carriers in the US - the "Big 4", and US Cellular. Keep in mind this is unconfirmed from our end, but I'll let that sink in for a second...Galaxy S3 this month?

As previously mentioned here, the US variant of the S3 will use the 1.5 GHz dual core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor due to LTE compatabilities. The S3 will sport a 4.8-inch HD Super AMOLED display, 8mp shooter on the back, 1080p video capture and playback, and of course Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0.

One note that caught my eye was that Samsung is including a whopping 2GB of RAM and a monster removable 2100mAh battery. Kudos to Samsung for thinking about battery life. The S3 is also topped off with Gorilla Glass 2.0, which is supposed to be stronger and thinner.

We've already seen here at TUSCC that the S3 has been spotted in the system, so I'd imagine it's not too far fetched to think that this really could launch in June. It's hard not to get overly excited, without some kind of USCC confirmation, whether official or unofficial. But this is definitely a great way to start off a Monday.

Update 1: And just like that, Verizon has announced they will start taking pre-orders June 6...yes, that's like, the day after tomorrow. No word though on actual release date, but their 16gb model will be $199 and 32gb model $249. Would love to hear something from USCC soon.

Update 2: Preorders start June 12 with pricing available that day. We will be getting the 16gb in white and blue, and a 32gb version in white. Read on for full press release. May I be the first to congratulate US Cellular on this; we've been waiting for them to launch a flagship device at the same time as the major carriers, and it appears they've done it. Congrats are in order; I'm more than happy to give credit where credit is due.

U.S. CELLULAR CUSTOMERS GETTING THE SAMSUNG GALAXY S III IN JULY

Online presales begin June 12

CHICAGO (June 4, 2012) – U.S. Cellular (NYSE: USM) and Samsung Telecommunications America (Samsung Mobile), the No. 1 mobile phone provider in the U.S. and the No. 1 smartphone provider worldwide, have announced that the 4G LTETM Samsung Galaxy S® III will be available for customers to preorder on June 12 and will be in stores and online in July. Customers will have the option to prepay for the device beginning June 12 and sign up for updates on June 5 at uscellular.com/gs3. The Galaxy S III smartphone will be offered in a 16 GB version in Marble White and Pebble Blue and a 32 GB version in Marble White. Pricing will be available when the presale begins on June 12.

Customers who purchase the Samsung Galaxy S III from U.S. Cellular receive benefits no one else offers, including new devices faster without resigning contracts, free Battery Swap and the only points-based rewards program in the industry.

“We’re eager to get this iconic smartphone into the hands of our customers so they can experience the 4G LTE network on a powerful device with lots of new, unique and cool features,” said Edward Perez, vice president of sales and marketing operations for U.S. Cellular. “Whether you are a first-time smartphone buyer or a seasoned user, the Galaxy S III makes it easy to stay connected to the people and information that are important to you.”

The Galaxy S III is a cutting-edge device designed to enhance your life and make it easier to do the things you need your phone to do, such as messaging, taking pictures, multimedia activities and sharing information. Using revolutionary technology, it’s capable of doing things never seen before with other smartphones. With Share Shot, there is no longer a need to email or download photos. Photos taken can be immediately shared with up to 5 others by synching devices. Photos, calendars, documents and video can be shared simply with S Beam by touching Galaxy S III phones together. The large screen with Trace technology makes text messaging a breeze by swiping between letters instead of typing, and the eight megapixel camera means you can leave your point-and-shoot camera at home.

Highlighted features:

Pop Up Play: picture-in-picture video capability that enables multi-tasking with other applications such as email

S Voice: voice control capabilities for applications and the device including taking pictures by saying “cheese,” turn the music player up or down, accept or reject calls and to “snooze” an alarm

Smart Stay: Intelligent display with eye tracking to ensure the phone stays on when in use

AndroidTM 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) with TouchWiz enhancements

Advanced 1.5 GHz dual-core processor and 2 GB of RAM

U.S. Cellular, in partnership with King Street Wireless, currently offers 4G LTE service in select cities in Iowa, Maine, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas and Wisconsin. In the second half of this year, 4G LTE coverage will expand to cover select cities in Illinois, Maryland, Missouri, New Hampshire, Oregon, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia. By the end of 2012, 54 percent of U.S. Cellular customers will enjoy faster 4G LTE speeds. For more information about the 4G LTE experience, visit uscellular.com/4G.

Source: CNET

Source: AllThingsD

Photo: Samsung

John Vincent

blog-0492128001338485590.jpgOn any given day (or hour), you can venture over to the US Cellular Facebook page and be amused by the dozens of posts asking when USCC will be getting the iPhone, and the anger and hate directed toward those questions by a handful of people. As has been well documented, US Cellular turned down Apple's offer back in 2011, and in hindsight it probably was a good business decision for USCC at the time.

But today, Fierce Wireless is reporting that Cricket provider Leap Wireless will be offering the iPhone as a prepaid option. Leap will begin selling the iPhone 4S and iPhone 4 on June 22. The 4S will sell for $499.99 for the 16gb model, and the iPhone 4 will be available in an 8gb model for $399.99. Where things get interesting is in the plan details: $55 a month for unlimited talk, text, and data plan, with data throttling after 2.3gb of data used. (although the article does mention that the plans will be refreshed in the second half of the year - probably meaning the monthly cost will go up)

Could this be a possibility for US Cellular, to carry the iPhone as a prepaid option? From US Cellular's financial standpoint, it doesn't make sense to carry it as a postpaid option. However, as you will find here and on USCC's Facebook page,

"Customers want it" (the iPhone)

...to quote Leap spokesman Greg Lund. Even if you hate Apple, even if you hate the iPhone, you have to admit that this could be a feasible possibility for US Cellular to meet customer demand, avoid churn due to not offering it, and avoid the host of financial problems that could result from selling it postpaid.

Obviously this is all speculation; the article said that "US Cellular has said it was given the chance to sell the iPhone but chose not to offer it because it would not work financially." The article did not specify if that was refering to the previously mentioned postpaid offer, or if it was chance to offer it prepaid.

We will see. It might not ever happen, but then again, you never know. At least there is a glimmer of hope for people who would like the iPhone.

L0st1nTr4nsl4ti0n

Samsung_Galaxy_S3_03-580-75.JPG

According to insider sources, the S3 has appeared in US Cellular systems! This, means most likely, the device is in testing, and could be in customer hands by the end of the year!

Lets talk about what we know currently..

We know its a Exynos 4212 Quad-core 1.4 GHz, and with the Aviator out already, we know Samsung can make a chipset to use US Cellular's LTE network, so assumption be darned, we should get that processor.

We also know, its a Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, with 16million colors running at 720 x 1280 pixels, and is 4.8 inches.

We know that it has 16/32/64gb of onboard storage (iPhone haters rejoice!) With 1gb of RAM.

With a forward facing 1.9mp camera, 8mp rear, Samsungs promise to make the camera better, all the TouchWiz bells and whistles, and a fresh taste of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, we are looking at one of the best phones that we have ever seen from US Cellular. A full run down of specs (For the spec needy!) can be found here.

So now the discussion remains... When? Leave a comment below and tell us when YOU think!

Source http://www.unwiredview.com/2012/05/29/samsung-galaxy-s-iii-will-be-released-by-us-cellular-too/ and thanks to @Grant9812 and this find.

L0st1nTr4nsl4ti0n

This may not be affecting us directly now, but you've got to think we will be getting this phone!

Samsung-Galaxy-S3.jpg

Speculation has been flying that the launch of the international version of the Samsung Galaxy S III is going to be delayed. The reason might have something to do with the news from Tweakers.net that 600,000 pebble blue battery covers for the device had to be destroyed by Samsung because they were defective. Originally, the handset was to have a global launch at the end of this month followed by a summertime launch for the the three countries hosting the LTE bversion of the phone: the U.S., Japan and Korea. Of the trio, the U.S.is expected to receive the device next month. A Scandinavian gentleman who pre-ordered the Samsung Galaxy S III, told Reddit that he had received an email telling him that his pebble blue Samsung Galaxy S III has been delayed from the original shipping date of May 29th because the supplier has stopped all deliveries in Scandinavia.

"Dear customer, Thank you ordered a Samsung Galaxy SIII Blue Pebble of us. We are sorry to announce that we will not deliver it on release date, which is on 29/5. This is because the supplier has suddenly stopped all deliveries of the blue mobile. This applies to all retailers and operators in Scandinavia, and is not something that only affects CDON.COM . We have tried to maintain a dialogue with the Samsung, but without success. Samsung says that the preliminary shipping date is week 22, but this is unfortunately not something that we are yet to confirm. CDON.COM will compensate all affected customers by sending out a free coupon for the license to Samsung Navigator (value of 599 €). We would again like to emphasize that there are some blue models to Scandinavia before the release, nor any dealer or any operator. We apologize for the inconvenience. Sincerely CDON.CO"

Strangely enough, Phandroid received an email from retailer Negri Electronics confirming that there will be a delay in launching the international version of the Samsung Galaxy S III. The strange thing about it is that the email says it is the white version that is going to be released later than expected.

"To many, being first is a necessity. To us, it is a requirement. While we do not have great news for our customers, we still anticipate to be the first to carry the

Galaxy S III, but the date has been set to the 29th. Our supplier originally gave us a firm date of arrival for the 25th, but has failed to follow through with the promise- putting us in a compromising position with our reputation and name. We anticipate having the Blue, 16GB Galaxy S III before the White. At this time we are not trying to assume a delay from Samsung; but the White is expected to arrive June 1st."-Negri Electronics

We are unsure whether or not this delay will affect the launch of the U.S. model. Earlier Friday, we told you that a leak reported by T-Mobile called for a June 20th launch of the phone on that carrier. That matches the date that the Samsung Galaxy S III will launch in Canada according to a leaked ad. And while the phone has already been launched in Dubai and the UAE, only the white version is said to be available. And according to AndroidNZ, a number of carriers and retailers are announcing that their launch of the Samsung Galaxy S III will initially consist of the white model only.

Before looking for the tallest building to jump from, we'd suggest waiting to hear Samsung's take on this as there are conflicting stories. Some U.K. retailers are saying that there is no delay at all. Once the Korean based manufacturer weighs in on the story, and you are not happy with their answer, then you can resume looking for skyscrapers.

source: Reddit, Tweakers.net (translated), AndroidNZ via TmoNews phonearena.com

L0st1nTr4nsl4ti0n

blog-0065132001337982150.jpg

Huawei Ascend P1 coming soon?

Sources have led us to believe that a new Huawei device will be coming soon, rumors abound about its specs until yesterday, the FCC released this

That is the testing page for the newest Huawei device, U9200. If you look to see the bands it is being tested on, each one of them is a US Cellular band. Could this be the next handset from them? This looks to be the handset people have been waiting for, so all you holdouts, listen up! This phone is packing a dual core 1.5ghz processor, that makes it the most powerful phone US Cellular has. It also has 1gb of RAM, and 4gb of ROM. The 4.3" Super AMOLED Screen probably won't be too shabby on the eyes, all while you capture life from an 8mp rear camera in wonderful 1080p.

Oh, and did I mention, this will all come while tasting the best android has to offer in its ICS Android 4.0

No words on a launch date, but the assumption would be, within the next few weeks, I'd say, look for it in stores and publicly released by the 8th of June.

snodrog742

blog-0661248001337898271.pngWell, all good things come to an end.... or do they? Word is that US Cellular's prepaid plans are looking even better starting June 1st! Now, I know most just here "prepaid" and go ewwwww. But, looking at these prices and after the newest Belie Plans, these actually look pretty good to me. Let's take a look:

Plan 1: $35/month

  • 450 Nationwide Minutes
  • 450 Text Messages
  • 450 Picture Messages
  • $0.25 overage (I'm assuming for each, minutes, texts, and picture messages)
  • $20 activation fee

Plan 2: $50/month

  • Unlimited Nationwide Minutes
  • Unlimited Text Messages
  • Unlimited Picture Messages
  • 1 GB data (basic/feature phones only)

Plan 3: $65/month

  • Unlimited Nationwide Minute
  • Unlimited Text Messages
  • Unlimited Picture Messages
  • 2 GB data (smartphones only)

Now, the only bummer I see is smartphones are locked into the most expensive option. However, that's $5 cheaper than the current prepaid option. Plan 2 is $10 cheaper than the current option but offers 1 GB less of data but contrarily bumps minutes and messaging up to unlimited from the current 450. Plan 1 again is $5 cheaper, but loses the 200 MB data option and unlimited messaging that is currently offered. Overall, Plan 2 looks like the better deal for non-smartphone users and Plan 3 is cheaper than what is currently offered so also seems like a good move on US Cellular's part.

Keep in mind, Prepaid Plans do not earn Belief Points.

What do you think? Will you switch to prepaid even though they don't earn Belief Points? Let us know what you think below and whether you think US Cellular is making a good decision!

iR1O

Regional wireless provider U.S. Cellular has become the first carrier to offer its customers a list of curated apps from the Amazon Appstore. Announced today, these Android users will find a new menu greeting them when they launch the Amazon application.

Tapping the menu will result in a list of titles that have been handpicked by the carrier to provide a "practical and fun" experience. U.S. Cellular indicates that the selected apps will span multiple categories (games, business tools, and social media) and will be regularly updated.

While pre-installing the Amazon Appstore isn't new in itself, I've yet to see a service provider deliver a list of curated titles. Today's announcement is but the latest from U.S. Cellular that showcase the carrier's desire to impress its customers. This, along with other services such as Battery Swap and Rewards Program is why J.D. Power and Associates has chosen it as Customer Service Champion two years running. Frankly the bigger players in this space could learn a thing or two from U.S. Cellular.

Kind of neat to see that when you open up the Amazon Appstore there are several apps specifically aimed at USC customers. Have a look and let us know what you think!

John Vincent

blog-0574724001337622851.jpgMotorola has announced that it will be skipping the update to Ice Cream Sandwich, otherwise known as ICS or Android 4.0, for some of it's phones, including some that are still relatively new.

On it's Inside Motorola page, Motorola gives the following reasons:

"You may be wondering why all devices aren’t being upgraded to Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich). Here’s the deal. We work very closely with Google and cell phone carriers for every software update. And, obviously we want the new release to improve our devices. If we determine that can’t be done—well then, we’re not able to upgrade that particular device."

Obviously no details are given as to what qualifies or disqualifies a device for ICS. On the Motorola Owner's Forums, Motorola has posted a list of devices that will be updated to ICS, and also lists the status of other current devices. The Motorola Electrify, US Cellular's version of the Photon, is currently in the "Evaluation & Planning" stage, with further details to follow. According to the table given, this stage involves evaluating "...the benefits, technical issues and user experience of an upgrade."

Understandably, Moto can't justify throwing money at every device. I'm sure as they take a look at what the user experience would be, taking into account the memory and processor of a device, they feel it's not worth it to throw money at an upgrade.

But what about the customer? Is it wrong for someone who bought a Droid 3 less than a year ago to expect an upgrade to ICS? Granted, no update was ever promised. But taking into account the Android landscape, it wasn't an irrational expectation. Customer expectations should at least be included in the above list of things they at least look at.

With people already talking about Jelly Bean 5.0, it is beginning to seem as though Android consumers are becoming more and more subject to the whims of the manufacturers. From their viewpoint, why throw money at an upgrade when you can "force" the customer to just by a new phone to get the newest OS?

It will be interesting to see what Motorola will decide on the Electrify, seeing as the Sprint Photon has been promised an ICS rollout in Q4 2012. Given that the Photon upgrade is that late in the year, Electrify owners probably shouldn't expect an official ICS rollout until well after US Cellular has already launched newer Moto devices running ICS.

John Vincent

blog-0016461001337608976.jpgOne of the really neat things to show up in the latest BlackBerry OS 7.1 leak was something called Parental Controls. As shown in the screen capture, this allows a parent to set limitations on the phone itself, limiting incoming calls to contacts (unknown callers will be rejected), text messages, Bluetooth file transfer, location services, browser, youtube uploader, and application installations.

This is handy for the parent who wants their young person to have a phone, but wants to have some control over what said young person is doing with their phone. Let's face it, kids are kids and they do childish things. Don't want them uploading that embarrassing video to YouTube? Done. Don't want them surfing the web on the phone? Done.

The good news is that this morning on the BlackBerry Helpblog, Research in Motion announced that they will be releasing this Parental Control app for free for BlackBerry OS 5 & 6 soon. Many parents (like myself) have handed down old devices to their kids (although the devices I've given my kids don't have service). Many young people love texting and are drawn to the physical QWERTY of the Curve line, and parents love the inexpensive price. A smartphone can be a good method of teaching a young person responsibility - such as using the Calendar to remind of school projects and events, Tasks for chores at home, etc.

Say what you want about RIM; yes they've made some boneheaded errors, and rested on their laurels too long. But there are still over 70 million subscribers around the world. It's great to see that RIM hasn't forgotten about their customers still using older devices. In fact, it makes a lot of sense to get this app out to the older devices, as I'm sure there are not too many kids using an OS 7.1 device.

I haven't actually played with the Parental Controls app, as I'm not running the most current leak. But I may upgrade my OS in a day or two to take a peek at it and come back with a full review on it.

For more info on how Parental Control works, check out RIM's Parental Controls info.

John Vincent

blog-0332240001337519423.pngLast night we received a tip on the tip line (Thanks, Anonymous!) that starting June 1, the 30 days we used to have to test out a phone will be cut down to 15. No word yet if this applies to new activations as well, or just upgrades.

Keep in mind, this is not official yet from US Cellular, but if it holds true, it is par for the course for US Cellular as of late. First it was battery swap (which they didn't care to inform customers about, until you went to swap your 5th battery for the year). Now, the 30 days going to 15. What is going to be next? Belief Points? Forcing grandfathered Belief Plans into the new, "improved" Belief Plans?

Listen, US Cellular, you are not Verizon. Please, stop trying to act like you are. If you keep this up, customers will lose all incentive to stay with you. Keep this up, and the only difference between US Cellular and Verizon will be the fact that Verizon gets better phones faster. If you think the exodus was bad when you announced that you rejected the iPhone, keep going in this direction - it will get worse.

iR1O

blog-0078291001336762174.jpgMotorola's site officially released the ICS timeline, and it looks like the Photon will be among the lucky ones!

Wait, where does this leave us "Electrify" users? Dubbed the "oddball", U.S. Cellular only says "further details to come" but the release remains confirmed!

The oddball device here is the Motorola Electrify, which is basically a U.S. Cellular-badged version of Sprint’s Photon 4G without a WiMax radio. The Sprint version is set to get the update in Q3 2012 where the U.S. Cellular version is still listed as “Evaluation & Planning” with “Further details to follow”.

-techcrunch

Screenshots:

blogentry-0-0-53872900-1336761810_thumb.

blogentry-0-0-05384700-1336761812_thumb.

So lets all keep our fingers crossed and hope that the Electrify is among the first official ICS devices. What do you guys think? What other devices would you like to see running an official 4.0 update?

Source of information:

http://techcrunch.co...-in-the-states/

snodrog742

blogentry-1876-0-45502900-1336617971_thu

Can anyone tell me what this device is? Anyone? I'm sure ya'll are screaming at your screen.... sorry, still can't hear you. Nanana! Okay, anyways..... did you guess the Motorola Droid Razr? Good job!

Yes, that's right. The tip line just buzzed that this device will be released this summer under the rebranding of "Electrify 2". Now, we've heard of this mysterious 2nd Gen Electrify but weren't quite sure on details. Not 100% confirmed on if keeping same specs as on VZW as the tip was vague... but this gives us a direction to head in. (Update just came in! 4G and Dual Core confirmed)

That being said....

Specs:

  • Android 2.3.5 at least... maybe 4.0 by summer time release?
  • 4.3" Super AMOLED Advanced screen
  • 4G LTE
  • Dual Core 1.2GHz
  • 16 GB Internal storage

Now, obviously those are pretty similar to the original Electrify, excluding the 4G LTE. Many have voiced opinions that they would be completely satisfied with the Electrify as long as 4G was added. Well, looks like that dream is coming true. Are you still excited or still left wanting more even though you SAID you would be happy? Let us know below.....

(Author's note - I'm excited... I love my Electrify and supposed to be in 2nd rollout of 4G.... this will be a top choice for me, even though it is Motorola)

John Vincent

e47cbba8dc0b09f76d2d217c6fad0cd2.png

Just saw on US Cellular's official Twitter feed that they are proud to be one of the carriers that will be carrying the HTC One V here in the US. We had seen US Cellular's name pop up when the One V was announced at Mobile World Congress earlier this year.

As a refresher, specs on the One V are:

3.7 Inch screen, 800x480 resolution

Android 4.0 ICS

Single-core 1ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon S3 processor

Obviously not meant to compete at the higher levels, but definitely a replacement for the Hero S and a good phone to pull people into smartphones and data plans.

Something that will be of interest is the non-removeable battery, and how USCC will deal with that.

No word on pricing or date of availability, or whether it will be 3G or 4G LTE, but if USCC is officially saying they will be a carrier, then it stands to reason it has already passed testing.

Granted, this isn't the cutting edge, top of the line device most people on this blog are holding out for, but it's definitely a start. If USCC can get this out the door this quickly, it will boost hopes for some bigger and better devices.

John Vincent

blog-0108139001336241672.pngAs someone who does enjoy using both BlackBerry and Android devices (I know, call me weird), I do spend some time on other sites reading BlackBerry news, since most of the goings on here involve Android users. This morning over on another site which shall remain nameless, there was an alleged "joke" posted:

Q: What's the difference between Android users and BlackBerry users?

A: BlackBerry users have credit cards.

Now apparently it's supposed to mean that BlackBerry users are "rich powerful people that get things done and make millions of dollars with their Curves" and Android users are teenagers in their mother's basements. Ok, fanboy humor, ha ha ha. But reading through the comments, it seems the attitude is that "Android users refuse to pay for apps and will resort to stealing them rather than paying for them" and that "BlackBerry developers make more money that Android developers."

Now I don't know about that last statement, but I did take a bit of exception to the blanket notion that all Android users are cheap and refuse to pay for apps. I do realize that there are people out there like that, and a few bad apples (no pun intended!) paint the rest of us in the same light. In fact, I used the exact same Discover card to pay 2.99 for Angry Birds Space for my Asus ICS tablet as I used to pay 2.99 for Angry Birds Space for my BlackBerry PlayBook.

So I though this would be a good poll over here, since most of our TUSCC members are Android users. First question, do you mind paying for Android apps? If you do, what's your biggest reason for paying? If you choose to use a free ad-supported version over the paid version, what is your reasoning there (and the thought behind that question is similar to this: I purchase a lot of apps, but something like paying $3 a month for Pandora doesn't give me enough benefits to outweigh just using free Pandora, and listening to a commercial every so often.)

So go ahead and vote, and then sound off in the comments below. And remember, in no way shape or form does Team US Cellular advocate or even recommend getting pirated apps from the internet; in fact, we advise against it. If you get a pirated app and get a virus from it, you get what you deserve! :)

snodrog742

Well, I was just bombarded with some information. Some pretty good info if comes true in my opinion. We all know new devices are coming (duh?), it's just when and what devices. Well, let's start with the first one:

Samsung Galaxy S III

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Specs:

  • 4.8" HD Super AMOLED
  • NFC Technology
  • 16 GB, 32 GB, 64 GB internal storage options
  • 1.9 MP Front Camera, 8 MP Back

***This one is only backed up by Samsung listing US Cellular on the drop-down menu. No sources have confirmed this device yet.***

The devices below were sent in by an anonymous source. Our sources have usually been right on the money when submitted through our site. Read on....

ZTE Render

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Specs:

  • 1.2GHz dual-core
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 16 GB storage
  • 2 MP Front Camera, 5 MP Back
  • Android 3.2 Honeycomb

Huawei Skyfire

No picture or specs found.... not surprising as the Ascend was just as hard to find before released.

HTC One V

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Specs:

  • 512 MB RAM
  • 3.7" Screen
  • 4 GB Internal Storage
  • 5 MP Back Camera (no Front Camera?)
  • HTC Sense 4.0

I know the biggest device everyone has been wanting is the HTC One V. Well, sounds like we might be in line for it. What do you all think? Too high-end? Too low-end? Will we even see any of these? Let the debates begin!

PastorOfMuppetzQ

Google Drive

blog-0932461001335400906.jpgGoogle has officially launched Google Drive. Google Drive gives you 5GB of free storage space to start and paid options up to 16TB! Google Drive has absorbed Docs and added more sharing/storage options to rival Dropbox and the likes. Drive offers a PC client and an android app that are very similar in function and form to Dropbox.

Make your way over to https://drive.google.com/start#home to get started.

Leave a comment on what you think of Drive!

iR1O

Here is my contest logo. Tell me what you think, I will update regularly with new/improved versions.

Updated 4/25/12 - New design - gimme some feedback!

__Newest Update__

Beta 1.5.1 - Initial release - 04/25/12

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Alternate

*Previous designs and updates below*

alpha designs:

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Additional Note: If anyone wants the .JPEG file WITHOUT the "iR1O" watermarks I'd be glad to email them to you upon request.

I Will release the .PSD file after the contest is over so anyone can tweak my design, or have their own fun with it. (if you have PS CS5.5)

Source: TEAM USCELLULAR Design Contest

John Vincent

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With the new tiered data and minute plans coming soon, a question that has been frequently asked is "Will I be forced to switch?" Up to this point, the answer had been "no", as many of the USCC sales reps who are members here have said they have customers on old plans who are allowed to keep those plans.

Well, apparently, certain grandfathered plans are to be no more. This "new and improved" US Cellular no longer seems to be your grandfather's US Cellular, if you'll pardon the pun. Read on for more information on this.

Right off the bat, let me say that *I believe* that all current Belief Plans are safe. Again, just my belief (no pun intended). Yesterday I spoke to two corporate RWC's who told me that no one would be forced to switch to the new plans.

Well, as you can see from the above screen capture from US Cellular's Facebook page (this is all public info on their FB page), certain customers are receiving letters telling them that their grandfathered plans are going away.

Here is the "official USCC" response from the Social Team:

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Let's break it down: "In order to provide the best customer service"...we are taking your plan away from you. Yes, the plan that saves you the most money, and giving you a plan that will make us more money.

"...enhance our products and services..." Again, we're hurting for money due to the fact that we're bleeding hemmorhaging customers, so we're going to put it on your back. Glad you're willing to help out!

"...we must modify and discontinue some of our older, outdated products and services..." Hmm? No, we're not doing away with products like phones that are 6-8 months old before they hit our shelves; products are only outdated if they don't make us more money.

"If your wireless needs have changed..." Of course, when we say your needs we really mean our needs.

Ok, I'm done being snarky. But seriously, I'm starting to detect a move away from "customer first" to "revenue first". To me this response to a customer's concern, while maybe the company line, is failing to listen to the customer. He said his needs haven't changed, what is changing is that you are taking away his plan and giving him one that is going to cost him more, even though his needs haven't changed. Then you tell him if his needs have changed, he should look at your other plans? Not cool, man, not cool.

I see this refusal to listen in many of the responses from the so called "Social Team", whether on FB or Twitter. Customers ask if USCC is going to get the BlackBerry Bold 9930, and the response is "Have you checked out our line of Android devices?" Now I'm not anti-Android; but as a BlackBerry user (i.e., a person who has evaluated his smartphone needs and felt that BB best fits those needs) it gets rather tiring being constantly pushed onto Android devices. I see customers on the USCC FB page ask if the iPhone is ever coming to USCC, and the response is "Check out our new 4G devices! It's 4G so it must be awesome!!" Of course, there's always the old standby response "Stay Tuned for more details!" Well it seems lately that all we're doing is standing by and staying tuned, and you are tuning us out.

Listen, for those of you who are going to blindly defend USCC, I understand that no plan lasts "forever." But the excuse that this is being done to "improve customer service" is just a load, plain and simple. It's being done to increase revenue. Then the argument will be made "Well once they have more revenue they can get better phones". I don't see it happening. USCC is too small to get phones released at the same time as the other carriers, especially when you throw in the extended testing periods. I don't use Android or iPhone, but I feel for the people who want to use those newer devices, and either never get the chance or have to wait 6-8 months after the other carriers.

US Cellular corporate, if you're reading this (and I suspect you are), start listening to your customers. You used to listen, but somewhere along the way, you quit hearing us. We realize you have to pay the bills (but so do we, and charging us more per month in this economy makes that more difficult.) We realize 4G LTE costs money. We realize Samsung and HTC and Motorola aren't exactly falling over themselves to supply you with US Cellular-specific devices. We get that. But we also get that you are starting to act like like you think you are AT&T or Verizon.

Many of your customers switched to you because you used to be a company that put the customers first. Well it seems that is going the way of unlimited data...or the way of former USCC customers.

Have any of our TUSCC readers received these letters? If so we'd love to hear from you.

Current customers, how about you? Ticked off? Ok with the new shift in policy? Sound off in the comments.

UPDATE: Thanks to Adam for posting an updated comment from the Facebook thread. I wanted to put it here in the article so people will see it. Basically it sounds like only the "1%" are being affected by these changes, and the rest of us in the "99%" are safe.

I still have an issue with the lack of communication though. This "clarification" from the Social Team came a whole day later. This same fellow could have posted this info earlier on in the FB thread, and diffused the whole situation. Maybe he didn't have the info to post; my point about lack of communication still stands.

Here's the update:

"Based on the conversations happening within this thread we’d like to take a moment to bring some clarity to the topic. Later this year we’ll be enhancing some of our internal systems, in this new environment some of our old plans will no longer be supported. Approximately 1% of customers will be impacted by this change and discontinuation of their older U.S. Cellular plan. All impacted customers have been or will be notified, via letter, outlining the basis of this transition.

Do know that the account of each impacted customer was reviewed in depth and a new plan which either provides similar, or in many cases even more value, was chosen. In the instance of a price increase of the monthly plan cost, U.S. Cellular will be applying a monthly credit to offset this difference in price for the duration of one year. This discount is highlighted in any letter where a price increase may have resulted. We want to ensure that any impacted customer has ample time to decide if this plan works for them without paying any more, or has the time they need to find an alternative plan that better suits their needs. Lastly we wanted to ensure everyone knows that we will still honor 99% of our "grandfathered" plans and have no intention to change that. ^ Sharif, USCC Social Team"

snodrog742

We all know the new "Belief Plans" are coming. Rumor has it May 1st. Well, rumors are looking to be true as I just received the brochure with details AND prices regarding the new options. Keep in mind, you are not being forced to switch and never will be as USCC allows you to be grandfathered in. Without further ado....

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Now, I see no reference to Shared Data so that is sort of a bummer in my opinion. Depending on the data options our family chooses, we are looking at saving about $20/month. Not too bad but with shared data, it would have been even better. What are your thoughts? Will you be saving any money?

John Vincent

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Well for those of you who don't care for hockey, in case you weren't aware, the NHL Playoffs kick off tomorrow with an intrastate rivalry of the Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburg Penguins. I've got a phriend from philly who is just ecstatic over this matchup and wants his Flyers to rub the Penguins out.

As I browsed through the Google Play store this evening, I saw that there appears to be a number of ways to keep up with the NHL Playoffs on your Android device. Read on past the jump for some apps and screenshots.

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First up we have Stanley Cup Race 2012 by MTAPF Designs. This is a simple but very nicely done app. It has 5 sections: The playoff bracket, the top 8 seeds, full team standings, active games, and pending games. As of tonight there were no pending or active games so I skipped screenshots of those two.

One nice feature in this app is that you can adjust the fonts, headings, and body text to suit your style. This app is free in the Google Play store, and I think it is going to be a mainstay on my homescreen for the next few weeks.

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blogentry-1876-0-89566300-1335132079.jpgNext up is NHL GameCenter (free edition). Unfortunately, this app wasn't "compatible" with my Asus Transformer, so I'll let Google Play tell you about this one:

Follow the game with the official app from the National Hockey League, the only app that offers video highlights!

Download the NHL GameCenter Playoffs edition app to keep you up to date all the way through the Stanley Cup. We've included additional content and features including:

- Complete round by round coverage of the Stanley Cup Playoffs with the enhanced series views

- FREE NHL Playoff videos "Stanley Cup Countdown" and "Melrose's Place" which provide commentary, highlights, and the top must-see moments from the night

- FREE Cisco NHL Live video content

- FREE live game radio during the Playoffs

NHL GameCenter™ 2011-2012: Scores, stats, game photos and more.

Features:

- Scores

- Schedule

- Play-by-Play

- News

- Stats

- Standings

- Game Photos

- Player Profiles

- Favorite Team Selection to Unlock Team Info

Upgrade to the PREMIUM version and you will also get:

- Live Game Radio

- In Game Video Highlights

- Condensed Game Videos

- Additional Video Content including Quick Picks & Best of the Week

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Of course, whats a hockey fan without his or her wallpapers, right? NHL 3D Live Wallpaper fits the bill. The main app is free, and comes with a basic generic NHL flag. If you want to unlock your specific team, it will cost you an extra $1.99.

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Finally, of the NHL Teams in the playoffs, some have their own apps, and there are plenty of unofficial apps for others. Keep in mind I didn't review each of these individual team apps:

So there you have it, a little bit of hockey love for your Android device. And in closing, may I just state, at the risk of offending some of my readers, Go Blackhawks! Bring the Cup back to Chi-town!!

TechFan5

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Just like most consumers when shopping for any type of goods or services, I want the best product, the best service and at the best price. That includes cell phone service. For more than four years I was a Sprint customer. We initially started with two lines that eventually climbed to five due to a growing family. I can honestly say that for 3-plus years of that time I was extremely happy with the service. That included the last two years with a ground breaking and all-around amazing phone – the HTC EVO. But, that satisfied customer experience began to dissolve away last fall. We began having reception problems in places we had never had problems before. That included our residence. At the same time I started noticing a painful slowdown in the Sprint network. Download speeds at best would only produce a horrendous 60 to 75kbps. The frustration would continue while trying to resolve the issues with customer service. While on hold for the next CS agent to discuss continued dropped calls, the proverbial light bulb clicked. There it was staring at me from the Sprint homepage. It was the reason for all of the frustration.

It was…the iPhone!

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Looking over my meticulous notes from my calls to CS and outlining the time frame from when the problems began it all coincided with the addition of the Apple phone to the Now network. I made a few calls to a couple of friends who work for Sprint including a high ranking regional manager. They all concurred with my thoughts. The addition of new iPhone customers was putting (and continues to put) a strain on the network. This problem seems to be wide spread across the country. Sprint CS agents are certainly getting hit hard by unhappy customers which is obvious when interacting with them while trying to get help

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Now fast forward a few months…After hours upon hours of research I have switched cell phone providers. We are now U.S. Cellular customers! We are still within our first 30 days of service, but I have to say the service coverage area has been nothing short of amazing. I have been able to carry on conversations in places that I could only dream about with my previous cell phone company. Granted I’m still concerned about giving up unlimited mobile to mobile minutes regardless of which cell phone company you call. Most of our calls are to other mobile phones, but with proper management we should be alright. A couple of calls to USCC customer service have also been amazing. My questions have been answered quickly by very friendly and courteous agents.

The reason I’m writing this review is nothing more than to try to help inform other people who may be on the fence searching for a new cell phone provider. I truly believe Sprint has a good plan for the future with their Sprint Vision, but they are certainly having problems now. In a world that is moving extremely fast, we need the service to work now. So far, USCC has the bases covered especially when it comes to coverage area. To borrow a quote from Casablanca, “I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”

John Vincent

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Just a quick note to let our Torch users know that US Cellular has released software version 7.1 for the Torch 9850.

If you haven't upgraded already, plug your Torch into Desktop Manager and go ahead and start the upgrade.

This is an official USCC release so you shouldn't have any issues upgrading.

If you'd rather download the software and install through App Loader, the software download can be found HERE.

Enjoy!

(Posted from my PlayBook)