Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Sprint Announces Samsung Epic, First 4G Phone With Slide-Out Keyboard

4G Samsung Epic showing off full QWERTY keyboard

There are people out there that prefer using a full QWERTY keyboard over a touch screen keyboard. For users that wanted a 4G capable phone this was a problem because the HTC EVO is the only current 3G/4G capable device, and it's touchscreen only. Samsung has filled this void and announced the Samsung Epic, the world's first 4G device with a full physical QWERTY keyboard! Samsung designed the Epic with power in mind and comes with all the multimedia, messaging and social networking tools you'd expect from a high end smartphone. Aside from the 4G capabilities and full QWERTY keyboard, the major other selling point is the 4" super AMOLED touch screen. When it comes to interfacing with this beautiful display you'll find it's powered by Android 2.1 and features touch screen gestures.

Notable Samsung Epic features:
  • Samsung 1GHz Cortex A8 Hummingbird Application Processor
  • 3G/4G capability
  • Simultaneous voice and data capability in 4G and Wi-Fi coverage areas, enabling Web surfing and more while talking
  • 4-inch Super AMOLED capacitive display with pinch-to-zoom
  • 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot capability - connects up to five Wi-Fi enabled devices
  • Dual camera: 5 MP camera/camcorder with autofocus, Power LED flash and 3x digital zoom for HD video (720p) recording for capture and playback on an HD television and front facing VGA camera for video chat and more
  • Digital compass, six-axis motion sensor, proximity sensor, light sensor, GPS
  • Expandable memory: 16 GB microSD card included; supports up to 32 GB

These are just some of the features the Samsung Epic will have - you can view the Samsung Epic 4G Fact Sheet or read Sprint's announcement of the Samsung Epic 4G.

The Samsung Epic will be launching on Sprint's network in the coming months (no official launch date has been announced yet).

Friday, June 25, 2010

Sierra Overdrive 3G/4G Hotspot Update: Test Results with Firmware 2.06.06

The Sierra Overdrive is much-improved with firmware 2.06.06

When the Sierra Overdrive 3G/4G hotspot first became available from Sprint, many users (including our testers) experienced a number of frustrating problems: problems switching between 3G and 4G, trouble accessing the MicroSD card, random disconnects, and more. Other users has no problems at all, but the folks whose Overdrives weren't performing properly were understandably quite frustrated.

Almost immediately after the Overdrive's release, Sierra Wireless (the manufacturer) acknowledged the problems and began working on a firmware update that would solve them. Earlier this month, they finally released firmware version 2.06.06, which was intended to address many of the key problems Overdrive users were experiencing. Our 3Gstore tech staff were among the unlucky users who were experiencing problems with the original Overdrive firmware, so we were very eager to install version 2.06.06 and perform testing to see if the problems were indeed solved.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Using Mobile 3G/4G WiFi for iPhone 4 FaceTime Video Calls

iPhone 4 users can make FaceTime calls by clicking "FaceTime" on their contact's page (left); you can also switch a voice call into a FaceTime call while a call is in progress (right)

FaceTime is one of the new and highly-anticipated features included on Apple’s iPhone 4 that allows iPhone 4 users to video chat with other iPhone 4 users over WiFi. There are definitely a lot of great potential uses for FaceTime, and Apple makes it very easy to use. The only downfall to FaceTime is that it only works over WiFi - you CANNOT use Facetime while your phone is connected to AT&T's 3G network. This isn't an issue if you want to make video calls at home or at the office where you have a WiFi network set up, but what about folks who want to use it while traveling? Here at EVDOinfo/3Gstore, we understand that people want to be mobile with their mobile devices, and we have a number of solutions that allow you to use FaceTime while you're on the go!

Read our recommendations for mobile WiFi for FaceTime and watch our video demonstrating using Sprint 4G: Using Mobile 3G/4G WiFi for iPhone 4 FaceTime Video Calls

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Sierra Aircard 250U 3G/4G USB Modem Review

The Sierra 250U will be available from both Sprint and CLEAR in July

The Sierra Aircard 250U is the latest dual-mode 3G/4G USB modem to hit the market and the first from Sierra Wireless. CLEAR released their version of the 250U - which they call the "Series S 4G+" modem - in three test markets in June and will make it available to all customers in July, and Sprint announced that their version of the modem will launch nationwide in July as well.

The 250U is not the first 3G/4G-capable device, but it is the first to feature something potential users have been hoping for since the very first 3G/4G device: an antenna port for improving cellular signal. The 250U actually features two antenna ports: one for a 3G antenna, and one for a 4G antenna (which aren't yet available, but will be in the future). This really sets the 250U apart from its predecessors and makes it more accessible to a lot more potential users - mobile broadband users who rely on antennas to get a reliable signal for their 3G aircards have been hesitant to make the move to a 3G/4G device, but now users don't have to sacrifice the ability to easily boost 3G signal in order to get a 3G/4G modem!

Read our full review of the 250U on EVDOinfo.com: Sierra Aircard 250U 3G/4G USB Modem Review

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Sprint HTC EVO 4G Video Calling

Sprint HTC  EVO 4G Video  Calling

Qik has released a special version of their app just for the HTC EVO 4G that allows EVO users to make 2-way video calls using the front facing camera! Video calling on the EVO 4G can be used via 3G, 4G, or WiFi networks - unlike the iPhone 4's video chat app, Facetime, which will only work when you're connected to WiFi.

To read the full article & watch our video demonstration, checkout the full article: Sprint HTC EVO 4G Video Calling

Cradlepoint Firmware 2.5.3 for CTR350/PHS300 Now Available

phs300 and U301
Firmware 2.5.3 provides support for the new Sierra 250U 3G/4G modem (4G only works with the PHS300 - not the CTR350)

CradlePoint has released Firmware Version 2.5.3 that provides the CTR350 and PHS300 with official support more modems (including the AT&T Velocity and the new Sprint/CLEAR Sierra 250U), the ability for more modems to be activated within the router, and some bug fixes.

IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT THIS FIRMWARE: This latest release of firmware is for both the PHS300 and CTR350, but since the CTR350 is a 3G-only router (and always will be), updates relating to 4G devices or 4G functionality apply ONLY to the PHS300.

Firmware 2.5.3 adds support for the following devices:
  • Sierra Wireless 250U 3G/4G (CLEAR/Sprint) - 3G only on CTR350
  • AT&T Sierra Compass 888
  • AT&T USBConnect Velocity (iCON 461)
  • T-Mobile Huawei E181 (T-Mobile webConnect USB)
  • T-Mobile Huawei E1691 (T-Mobile webConnect Jet USB)
  • Telus Huawei E182E
  • Cellcom AxxessTel MV240
  • Additional newly-added international devices can be viewed in the release notes (PDF)
Read more details about firmware 2.5.3 at EVDOinfo.com: Cradlepoint Releases Firmware 2.5.3 for CTR350/PHS300

For those ordering the CTR350 or PHS300 from 3Gstore.com, starting 06/23/10, we will automatically include a CD that has the firmware version 2.5.3 on it.

Monday, June 21, 2010

3Gstore Now Shipping Support CD 2.0

3Gstore Support CD 2.0

3Gstore is proud to announce that we are now shipping version 2.0 of our exclusive Support CD that provides our customers with step-by-step setup guides, tipsheets on how to setup different services & applications, the latest firmware for your router, and exclusive support tools that our technicians can use to quickly resolve any problem if you run into any trouble. For more details on the release of 3Gstore's Support CD 2.0, read the full article: 3Gstore Now Shipping Support CD 2.0

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

BlackBerry Bold getting a new name

Upcoming RIM Blackberry 9800 Could be Called Bold or Torch

RIM (BlackBerry), are currently working on their next phone labeled either the BlackBerry Bold 9800 or possibly the "new" BlackBerry Torch 9800. Rim can't seem to decide if they want the 9800 to carry the traditional Bold name or change it to the Torch because of the new sliding keyboard feature.  There are other slider phones supposedly in the works down at RIM'S central plant in Guadalajara, Mexico which helps confirm the validity of this name change. However, there have also been reports of people seeing the Bold logo next to the camera icon on the new 9800. It's only logical for RIM to change the name because this model is different than their other models. They have the Pearls for slim line phones, the Bold lineup for quality, business and qwerty keyboards and the Storms touchscreen line. So, it only makes sense for RIM to make the name change official and start another line of phones that focus on slider keyboards. The only risk RIM runs by doing this is differentiating the new 9800 from the Bold line up and scaring users away from a new design concept.

Aside from the new name change, the 9800 is going to be similar to the iPhone with swiping screens and possibly the ability to pinch and zoom in on pictures. Stay tuned to EVDOinfo.com for more information on the upcoming 9800 Bold or Torch.   Look for the 9800 to be available later in 2010.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Cradlepoint Firmware 1.7.0 for CTR500/MBR900/MBR1000/MBR1200/CBA750/CBA250

MBR1000 and U301
Firmware 1.7.0 allows you to force 3G or 4G on a device like the U301

Cradlepoint has officially released firmware version 1.7.0 for the MBR1200, MBR1000, MBR900, CTR500, CBA250, and CBA750 routers.

This new firmware version provides official support more modems (including the AT&T Velocity and two T-Mobile devices), the ability for more modems to be activated within the router, and some new features.

Read more on EVDOinfo: CradlePoint Firmware 1.7.0 for MBR1200/MBR1000/MBR900/CTR500/CBA250/CBA750 Adds Support for New Devices and More

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Sierra Wireless & Sprint Release Firmware 2.06.06 for Overdrive 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot

Sierra Wireless & Sprint Release Firmware 2.06.06 for Overdrive 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot

The Sprint Overdrive received less than stellar reviews from some users when it originally launched - while some users had no problems at all, others experienced stability problems, trouble activating, problems using it with iTouch devices, and more. Some of the problems were fixed by a firmware update that was released in February (version 1.0.7), but many remained. This week, Sprint and Sierra have at last released the major firmware update that we've been waiting for - version 2.06.06. This firmware release is exciting news because it takes care of all of the major issues that users were experiencing with the Overdrive. With this update, users can finally rely on the Overdrive as a dependable solution for their 3G/4G data needs.

Firmware 2.06.06 Enhancements:

  • Improves device stability, eliminating all known freeze-ups and lock-ups.
  • WiFi enhancements to improve WiFi stability and eliminate disconnects and crashes.
  • Significant improvements in 3G and 4G WAN stability.
  • Some improvement (~10%) in overall batter life and battery life in poor coverage.
  • Faster boot-up time (~10-20 seconds faster).
  • Improved response time when changing the WAN mode setting with no reboot required. Eliminates need for a device reset when changing modes such as "4G preferred" to "4G only", "4G preferred" to "3G only", etc.
  • Faster response time after canceling an operation in the Advanced Settings screen (no device reset required and offline time decreased by ~90 seconds).
  • Added additional 4G channels for future growth.
  • For Enterprise customers, customization and Data Link support have been added. Please contact your sales rep for additional information on these Enterprise customer features.

The Overdrive is in stock at 3Gstore, and to make things easy for our customers we will automatically update the firmware to version 2.06.06 for all customers ordering the Overdrive with Sprint service! Click here to order the Overdrive from 3Gstore.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Sprint HTC EVO 4G Hands-On Review & Video

The grand unboxing of the HTC EVO 4G

Since it was announced earlier this year, the Sprint HTC EVO 4G has been one of the most talked about Smartphones in years. Like several other phones over the past couple years, the EVO has been dubbed a potential "iPhone killer", and thanks to its unique (and plentiful) features and functionality, the EVO could very well be the first phone to truly give the uber-popular iPhone some serious competition.

The EVO is packed with a huge assortment of features (email, web browser, FM radio, two cameras, Sprint TV, social networking apps, navigation... and much much more) and the Android OS makes the EVO nothing short of a dream to use. Everything is extremely intuitive, and the way the EVO handles multitasking is impressive. Our lucky EVDOinfo.com reviewer has extensive experience using other Android phones like the HTC Eris and Motorola Droid and of course the iPhone and various Blackberry models, and after putting the EVO through strenuous testing all week was so impressed with what the EVO could do and how well it performed that he was ready to ditch all his other phones - and mobile broadband aircards, because of the hotspot feature!

Read on to learn more about the EVO and our experience with it (and see our video review!) at EVDOinfo.com/evoreview