Carriers

T-Mobile Sidekick 4G root already discovered

The T-Mobile Sidekick 4G has only been on sale since Wednesday, but that hasn't slowed down the rooting masters at xda-developers. They've already come up with a root for the messaging-centric smartphone, opening the door to custom ROMs and other juicy hacks. The root is the handiwork of "josby", but according to other xda members there are several ways to hack the Sidekick 4G. Next up is stripping away some of the preinstalled apps T-Mobile load onto the handset, which may give it an extra turn of speed. We found the Sidekick to be something of a unique proposition among Android devices, doing a darn good job of following in the footsteps of its unusual predecessors and differentiating itself for a pretty specific market. More on the Sidekick 4G in the full Android Community review. [Thanks Kenny!]
1) enable debug USB mode on your phone 2) install Samsung drivers for the phone - right now Samsung's site seems to not have a choice for the Sidekick 4G's model (SGH-T839), but I grabbed the drivers for the Vibrant (at www .samsung.com/us/support/downloads/SGH-T959ZKDTMB) and they worked. 3) get adb shell working on your PC (Google it) 4) download the rageagainstthecage-arm5.bin and Superuser packages from the links in this page: wiki.cyanogenmod.com/index.php?title=HTC_Hero_%28CDMA%29:_Full_Update_G uide (be sure to unzip the files into the directory where your adb.exe program is unless you've put it in your path) 5) reboot your phone and plug it in 6) adb push rageagainstthecage-arm5.bin /data/local/tmp 7) adb shell 8) cd /data/local/tmp 9) chmod 755 rageagainstthecage-arm5.bin 10) ./rageagainstthecage-arm5.bin 11) wait until you get booted back out to your DOS command prompt 12) adb kill-server 13) adb start-server 14) adb shell 15) you should now be at a # prompt. The first few times I tried, I wasn't - I was at $. Doing this from a fresh boot seemed to be the trick. Reboot your phone and try again if you're getting a $. 16) mount -o remount,rw /dev/block/stl9 /system 17) exit 18) adb push su /system/xbin 19) adb shell chmod 4755 /system/xbin/su 20) adb push Superuser.apk /system/app 21) adb shell mount -o remount,ro /dev/block/stl9 /system 22) exit 23) reboot the phone then run an app that requests root, such as Root Explorer, to verify

Vodafone HTC Wildfire S hands-on [Video]

The HTC Wildfire S is not exactly unfamiliar to us - we fondled its compact curves back at MWC 2011 - but we won't pass up an opportunity to have a second play. Vodafone offered us some hands-on time with one of its special edition versions; the carrier will offer not only the general white Wildfire S, but a grey model and a purple model. Our initial positive impressions of the Wildfire S remain. The handset feels far more high-quality than its plasticky predecessor, with the chassis and design more like that of the Desire S. The UI may not be Sense 3.0 as on the HTC Sensation but v2.1 is at least smooth-running and as consistent as we're used to. The 600MHz processor feels equally capable, and the HVGA display is bright and crisp. We can see the Wildfire S being a particular success among those looking for a super-compact device that can easily drop into a pocket or purse when it arrives on the market this coming summer. Update: It's worth remembering that this is non-final software, and we can probably expect an even slicker experience when the ROM is polished. [vms 045e91288b430794814c] [gallery]

Vodafone UK releases Samsung Galaxy S Gingerbread update

Vodafone UK has begun to push out the update for the Samsung Galaxy S, updating the smartphone to Android 2.3 Gingerbread. Vodafone looks to be the first UK carrier to offer the update. The first signs of Gingerbread for the Galaxy S were spotted over the weekend, with the new firmware being flagged up in several Nordic countries. According to Vodafone's change-list, the handset will get a "simpler and slicker" UI, the new Gingerbread keyboard, boosted power and camera management, and the ability to lock it into 2G mode. To install the new firmware, you'll need to hook your Galaxy S up to a PC running Samsung KIES. Let us know how you get on in the comments! Press Release:
NEWS: Update for the Samsung Galaxy S A new maintenance release for the Samsung Galaxy S is now available for Vodafone customers. This is an Android platform update to 2.3 Gingerbread which introduces a number of fixes and improvements which include; Ul Enhancements (simpler and slicker) New Android Keyboard, with easy copy/paste feature Improved Power Management Multiple Camera Management (front and back) The ability to switch the device to GSM (2G) only mode has been restored in this update. How will you get the latest software? This can be done manually by connecting your handset to your computer via USB and opening the Samsung KIES application. You will be prompted that an update is available and should then follow the onscreen instructions. Checking the software version To check which version of the software you have on your handset you need to dial *#1234# The new software version will show as i9000BUJV4

Vodafone confirms HTC Sensation: 1.2GHz dual-core and qHD display

Vodafone UK has prematurely announced the HTC Sensation, the device formerly known by its codename of HTC Pyramid, and not expected to make its official debut until HTC's event later on today. Confirmed is the 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 4.3-inch 540 x 960 touchscreen and 8-megapixel camera with autofocus and dual-LED flash. There's also a front-facing webcam, 3G, WiFi b/g/n and GPS, along with a unibody-style chassis. We can spy a microUSB port too, and Vodafone says there'll be 4GB of internal storage and an 8GB microSD card bundled in the box. No word on pricing or availability - all Vodafone say on that point is that the HTC Sensation is "coming soon" - but we expect to hear more later on today at the event-proper.

T-Mobile G2x finally gets release date and pricing

T-Mobile USA has confirmed an April 20 release for the LG G2x, the carriers' version of the LG Optimus 2X. Priced at $199.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate, the G2x will require a new, two-year agreement (and likely a mandatory data plan). Your money gets you a 1GHz Tegra 2 processor, NVIDIA's Tegra Zone preloaded, and an 8-megapixel camera on the back. There's also HDMI connectivity and a sizable 4.3-inch WVGA touchscreen. The G2x arrives in-store on the same day as the T-Mobile Sidekick 4G, in fact, but unlike the messaging-centric phone will also be available from April 15 online via the carrier's online store. More details in our hands-on with the smartphone.

T-Mobile confirms Sidekick 4G release date

T-Mobile USA has confirmed that the Sidekick 4G will arrive on its network come April 20. The news comes as little surprise, however, since RadioShack already announced the launch date back at the end of last month. Still, we won't argue with official confirmation, and we know plenty of would-be Sidekick buyers who will likely feel the same way. The original series of devices built up a strong following, though it remains to be seen how many of them will follow the reskinned Android UI and familiar aesthetic over to the new-generation platform. Pricing for the messaging-centric handset will be from $99.99 with a new, two-year agreement including an unlimited data plan. For more on the T-Mobile Sidekick 4G check out our full hands-on.

Verizon and Sprint Galaxy Tab now sub-$200 as homebrew Honeycomb attempts continue

Sprint and Verizon have slashed pricing for the Samsung Galaxy Tab, with both carriers now asking $199.99 for the 7-inch tablet. The extra discounting makes the CDMA networks the cheapest in the US for picking up the Galaxy Tab; T-Mobile USA is asking $249.99, while AT&T offers the Tab agreement-free for $549.99. The move could well be a push to clear out Galaxy Tab stock ahead of the new range of Android 3.0 Honeycomb tablets that are expected over the coming weeks and months. Samsung is yet to confirm whether the Galaxy Tab will get Honeycomb or remain on Android 2.2 Froyo as it launched with. That hasn't stopped the third-party hacking community from attempting to do what Samsung seems reluctant to attempt; xda-developers already have a rudimentary Honeycomb ROM for the CDMA version of the Galaxy Tab [via The Unlockr]. However it's still lacking in most of the day-to-day functionality most users would require.

Sony Ericsson confirms XPERIA Play delays in UK

The Sony Ericsson XPERIA Play has encountered shipping delays and may miss its April 1 UK release at some retailers and on some carriers, the company has confirmed. Sony Ericsson has blamed "a freight issue" for the delay, which prompted Vodafone to contact pre-order customers and warn them their handsets wouldn't be arriving tomorrow as promised. According to our sources, the delay is "days rather than weeks" but will still mean XPERIA Play availability is tight. Sony Ericsson says some retailers will indeed have stock tomorrow, but there's no word on which. O2 has already delayed its own launch of the handset, having identified firmware bugs, though we're told that's a completely separate issue from the shipping problem. Sony Ericsson Statement:
We can confirm that the Xperia™ PLAY handsets are still planned to launch in the UK for 1st April, as originally communicated. However, as of today, we have experienced a freight issue that may impact the number of Xperia™ PLAYs arriving at some retail outlets. This said, consumers can purchase Xperia™ PLAY as of April 1st at a number of stores across the UK.
Vodafone UK Statement:
Sony Ericsson has advised us that it will not be able to supply the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play and Arc devices to meet their original launch date of 1 April. Unfortunately, this means there will be a small delay before pre-order customers receive their orders and the device is made available for sale in our shops. We're working closely with Sony Ericsson to ensure our customers' phones are delivered as soon as possible and we will contact people directly with specific timescales when we know more. We appreciate this is disappointing and are doing our very best to resolve this as quickly as possible.

Dell Streak 7 gets AT&T HSPA+ support

Dell Streak 7 owners hoping to use their 7-inch tablet on AT&T rather than T-Mobile have discovered the slate supports HSPA+ 4G on both networks. According to StreakSmart, after the T-Mobile USA carrier unlock is removed, the tablet's modem is revealed to support both 1700/2100MHz (AWS) and 850/1900MHz. That means HSPA+ on both carriers, as evidenced by the photo above. Unfortunately, right now there's no free way to unlock the Streak 7; instead you'll have to turn to an unlock vendor like UnlockStreak, which charges $49 for the hack. It apparently won't affect your warranty, and should take 1-3 working days to process.

O2 Sony Ericsson XPERIA Play delayed after firmware bugs found

UK carrier O2 has confirmed that the Sony Ericsson XPERIA Play will be delayed, after having "found some bugs in the software that, if they’re not fixed, means customers won’t have a great experience." According to Stuart Hibberd, head of O2's testing team, by the time Sony Ericsson has tweaked the firmware, the gaming smartphone will have missed its previously announced April 1 launch date. What's unclear is whether the same bugs will impact other carriers offering the XPERIA Play. O2 doesn't specify what, exactly, the issues are, but it does claim they're general flaws in the XPERIA Play's firmware rather than something to do with a particular build for the O2 network. For more on the XPERIA Play, check out our hands-on from CTIA 2011 last week. [Thanks Toby!]