Verizon

New Verizon Wireless Extender from Samsung wins FCC approval, brings EVDO support

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We’re not big fans of paying extra for a decent wireless signal, but if you’re on Verizon and need a bump in reception the Verizon Wireless Extender is a decent solution.  Verizon unveiled the Wireless Extender, made by Samsung, early last year.  However, the device had several limitations, including support for only three devices and no EVDO support.

Well, a new version of the Wireless Extender, above, passed through the FCC today.  This model, known as the SCS-2U01, is also made by Samsung and offers support for up to eight phones.  The user manual for the SCS-2U01 also mentions support for EVDO, below, making the device a nice upgrade for those craving improved wireless data reception.  The manual does note, however, that the SCS-2U01 will not work with MiFi wireless routers.

No word on pricing or availability, but today’s FCC approval signals a launch in the near future.

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Verizon iPhone rumors are bad news for the Motorola Droid X

Yesterday, Bloomberg reporter Amy Thomson reported that Verizon Wireless will start to sell the Apple iPhone in January 2011.  It has long been rumored that AT&T’s exclusivity deal with Apple will be ending soon, and Thomson’s unnamed sources confirm that this will be the case come 2011.  According to Thomson’s report, Verizon plans to release the iPhone as it rolls out its 4th generation LTE network in the United States.

While rumors of a Verizon iPhone have not panned out in the past, the Bloomberg report does appear to be much more credible than previous rumors.  Thomson appears to have solid sources that have provided specific details, and Bloomberg’s backing of the story does lend credibility.

The Bloomberg report also comes just a couple of weeks before Verizon releases its strongest iPhone competitor yet, the Motorola Droid X.  The Droid X features a large 4.3” screen, 1GHz processor and the Android OS, a solid feature set that will attract smartphone early adopters.

We wouldn’t be surprised if Apple leaked the news of a Verizon iPhone prior to the Droid X release.  This would likely encourage at least some prospective Droid X buyers to take a wait-and-see approach rather than signing up for a new two year contract with the purchase of a Droid X.

All of this is speculation, of course, but it does seem like a strong play on Apple’s part, especially considering that Verizon’s $350 early termination fee will make it tough for Verizon customers with existing contracts to move to a new device before their contract expires.

ZTE’s F350 slider passes through the FCC, coming to Verizon

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ZTE passed a slider mobile phone called the F350 through the FCC today.  The device measures 4” x 2” x 0.55”, and features a 1.3MP camera, Bluetooth and 240 minutes of talk time.

As you can see in the photos above, the F350 bears Verizon branding.  We don’t have info on pricing or a release date, but today’s FCC filing is a good sign we’ll be seeing the device on Verizon’s shelves soon.  This basic slider will likely be offered for free with a two year contract.

Verizon gets its own version of the Samsung Galaxy S, will be known as the Samsung Fascinate

Sprint and T-Mobile already announced versions of the Samsung Galaxy S Pro and Samsung Galaxy S, respectively, so why not let Verizon jump on the bandwagon as well?  That’s exactly what happened late this evening, when Verizon announced its own version of the Galaxy S called the Samsung Fascinate.

Like other iterations of the Galaxy S, Verizon’s Fascinate will rock a 4” Super AMOLED screen, 1GHz Samsung Hummingbird processor, 5MP camera with 720p video capture, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth 3.0.  Verizon also mentions the presence of the same six axis accelerometer that Sprint touted with their Epic 4G.  T-Mobile made no mention of the accelerometer with their Vibrant, but we’re guessing that all iterations of the Galaxy S will feature a six-axis accelerometer.

No word on pricing or availability, but we’d guess that Verizon’s Fascinate will come in at a similar price point as T-Mobile’s $200 Vibrant.

Motorola Droid X coming to Verizon on July 15th, for $200. Sports 4.3” screen, 1GHz TI OMAP processor

Verizon formally unveiled the Motorola Droid X today, and there’s a lot to like.  The device features a 4.3” screen with a 854 x 480 resolution, a 1GHz TI OMAP 3640 processor, 8GB of onboard storage with microSD cards up to 32GB supported, 8MP camera with dual LED flash, 720p video capture (again, this is just capture, not screen resolution), and HDMI out.

The specs are actually pretty similar to the HTC EVO 4G – the main differentiator that stands out at this point is the Droid X’s 8GB of onboard memory.  The Droid X will also come with a 16GB microSD card, compared to the EVO 4G’s 8GB card.

Like the HTC EVO 4G, the Droid X will come with wireless hotspot capabilities.  This feature will cost $20 a month, compared to the $30 that Sprint charges for the EVO’s wireless hotspot feature.

In terms of software, the Droid X will run Android 2.1, but the device will receive an Android 2.2, aka Froyo, update this summer.  Interesting, the Droid X will support on-demand video from Blockbuster, along with other obligatory VCAST apps from Verizon.

So how much will all of this cost you?  $199 after a $100 mail in rebate (in the form of a debit card), with a two year contract.  Verizon customers with contracts ending by December 31, 2010, will be eligible for an upgrade to the Droid X without penalty.  The device will go on sale July 15th.

Update: Motorola Droid X features 720p video capture, not screen. Loud sigh of relief heard throughout Cupertino.

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Apple would have looked pretty silly bragging about their fancy Retina Display if Motorola announced a 720P, 4.3" inch display just 10 days later.  That seemed to be the case earlier today when Verizon’s Droid X teaser site boasted a “720P Screen” on the upcoming smartphone.

Sadly, that was a typo – the corrected Droid X teaser website, above, now shows “Captures 720p" where the oh so succulent “720P Screen” once stood.  Verizon also change the capital “P” in the original site to a lower cased one.

Looks like the Droid X will feature a 854 x 480 screen, as originally suspected.  Not bad, sure, but not 720P.

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