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25 Dec 12 Christmas surprise for Droid Razr, Razr Maxx

Motorola Droid Razr Maxx, Motorola Droid Razr

Motorola Droid Razr Maxx (L) and Motorola Droid Razr (R)

Sarah Tew/CNET)

The original Droid Razr and Droid
Razr Maxx have begun receiving their over-the-air update to
Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean, according to a report at Android Central.

The update is clocking in at more than 300 MB, so it’s recommended that you upgrade over Wi-Fi only, unless you’ve got a high or non-existent mobile data cap. Many people are reporting in the Android Central forums that their updates are failing to complete install on first try, too.

To check if you’ve got the update, go to Settings, About Phone, and then System Update.

The update comes follows on the heels of the Droid Razr HD and Razr Maxx HD getting their update to Jelly Bean at the beginning of December, and keeps Motorola’s promise to update their phones more frequently.

There’s no word yet on whether the original Razr or Razr Maxx will see Android 4.2.

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16 Jun 12 Verizon confirms Android 4.0 for Droid Razr on the way

Razr owners who have been waiting a long time for another helping of an Android dessert will soon be served.


Motorola has promised Razr and Razr Maxx owners that Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich upgrades will start sometime in the second quarter, and now it looks like Verizon and Moto are scrambling to make that self-imposed deadline.

For the past few months I’ve been reporting internal leaks from sources inside Verizon on the scheduled roll-out date that were repeatedly pushed back. Most recently, the word was updates would begin June 12. When that date came and passed, I checked back with my sources who told me the date on the internal calendar remained June 12 — the hold-up was apparently in another department.

Then today the picture got a little clearer with a text message sent to some Razr users from Verizon:

Free Verizon Message: Your phone will soon be upgraded to
Android 4.0. At that time we will remove your Verizon Wireless Mobile IM app because it is not supported in Android 4.0. Please download a new instant messaging app to use IM on your phone. Thank you for using Mobile IM!

So, so long Verizon Mobile IM — we never got to know each other very well and I’m sure you’re a very nice app, but I’m quite happy to trade you for Ice Cream Sandwich.

Thanks for the tip, Shafer!

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05 Jun 12 Android 4.0 for Droid Razr delayed, Verizon says June 12

Soon to be a little sweeter…

Last month I reported that Motorola Droid Razr and
Razr Maxx users might get to taste the sweetness of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich as soon as May 21, while Xoom 3G and 4G owners seemed stuck in Honeycomb thanks to an upgrade holding pattern for the foreseeable future.

That was then. Today, Verizon began pushing the Android update to Xoom users while Razr owners like myself are still hanging out in our digital gingerbread houses waiting for the next course of mobile OS dessert.

I got in touch with a source within Verizon to ask for a status report on the Razr update and was told that over-the-air updates are now expected to commence June 12.

Apparently the cause of the delay was a need to update the servers delivering the goods from
Android 4.0.3 to Android 4.0.4.

If you just can’t tolerate the wait any longer, you can get a little shot of Droid-based sugar with this leaked, and not fully functional, build of ICS for the Razr.

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06 May 12 Verizon hard sells LTE Android over iPhone says report

A look into the trends of salespeople in Verizon Stores has discovered that the company may be training its employees to tout the benefits of 4G LTE on Android so that it makes the iPhone pale in comparison, with some sales personnel even being quoted as calling the iPhone “outdated.” CNN found a notable number of users who had stories of going into a Verizon store wanting to buy an iPhone but being convinced to buy something like a Droid Razr instead.

Reporter David Goldman wrote, “I had 10 conversations with Verizon sales representatives in New York stores, on the phone, and in online chat sessions, asking about my options for a new smartphone.” “Here’s what I found: Next time you walk into a Verizon store looking to buy a smartphone, expect the hard sell on a 4G Android device,” he continued.

He said that in 100% of his discussions, the sales reps pointed him toward the Droid Razr, the Droid Razr Maxx, or the Lucid – all of which are powered by Verizon’s high-speed LTE network. Not once did he receive the iPhone as a recommendation. In response to Goldman’s report, Verizon released a statement saying, “Our sales force’s mission is to ensure customers are familiar with our product line and to match the customer with the right device to best meet their needs.”

[via CNN]

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03 May 12 Verizon reps push 4G Android over iPhone

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Want to buy an iPhone? Verizon would really, really like you to consider an alternative.

Anecdotal evidence is stacking up on chat forums and other outlets from people who say that Verizon Wireless’ sales representatives actively discouraged them from buying an iPhone and instead pushed hard for rival smartphones.

“Went in to buy an iPhone 4s… but walked out with a Razr,” is the headline of one typical post.

“Do sales reps hate the iphone?!” another asks.

I decided to find out for myself. I had 10 conversations with Verizon (VZ, Fortune 500) sales representatives in New York stores, on the phone, and in online chat sessions, asking about my options for a new smartphone.

Here’s what I found: Next time you walk into a Verizon store looking to buy a smartphone, expect the hard sell on a 4G Android device.

In each of the 10 discussions, representatives steered me toward either the Motorola (MMI) Droid Razr Maxx, the Droid Razr, or the LG Lucid — all 4G-capable phones running Google’s (GOOG, Fortune 500) Android software. When I asked if those devices were better than the iPhone, they responded that the iPhone was an inferior alternative because it only runs on the company’s slower 3G network.

It’s true that Verizon’s iPhone is 3G-only. Apple doesn’t yet make a version compatible with Verizon’s 4G network, which potentially offers download speeds up to 10 times faster than on 3G.

“The iPhone is a great phone, but it’s on 3G,” said one representative at a Verizon Wireless store in midtown Manhattan. “I’m not going to recommend a phone that’s outdated.”

“The only drawback to the iPhone is it doesn’t have 4G, and Verizon is really pushing 4G,” another rep said on the phone. “Don’t get me wrong, the iPhone is a great phone. It just costs the company a lot of money for returns when customers find out that a faster 4G network is available and the iPhone’s only on 3G.”

I initially told half the representatives that I wanted “a new smartphone,” and half that I was interested in an iPhone.

When I said up front that I wanted an iPhone, none tried to talk me out of it. But when I followed up by asking if it was the best smartphone, they all said no.

“If that’s what you want, absolutely we’ll order it,” one rep said over the phone. “But my recommendation is 4G. I’d want the fastest, best technology that’s not going to be outdated when I buy it.”

“The Droid Razr Maxx is the faster of the two,” another rep said in an online chat after I asked whether he thought the iPhone was my best bet.

Is Verizon asking its sales force to focus on iPhone alternatives? A company spokesman declined to give a direct answer.

“Our sales force’s mission is to ensure customers are familiar with our product line and to match the customer with the right device to best meet their needs,” Verizon Wireless spokesman Tom Pica said in a written statement. “At the end of the day, our goal is that every customer is delighted with the device that they have chosen.”

Carriers have motives to favor some smartphones over others. Verizon and its rivals all pay much heftier up-front subsidies for the iPhone than for other devices. Verizon is also trying to ease congestion on its 3G network by promoting its more capacious and more efficient 4G service.

Yet ATT (T, Fortune 500), which faces similar margin and capacity constraints, pointed me directly to the iPhone each time I posed as a potential smartphone customer.

“It’s all about the 4S now,” one ATT rep said over the phone, unprovoked. “The iPhone is the most popular phone, you know what you’re getting, and it’s a status symbol you can’t get anywhere else.”

A spokeswoman from Apple (AAPL, Fortune 500) declined to comment for this story, but CEO Tim Cook addressed some of the company’s general issues with carriers on a conference call with analysts last month.

The iPhone has some distinct advantages for carriers over competing smartphones, he said, including “far better data efficiency.” He added that iPhone customers are the least likely to leave their current carrier and defect to another, something Sprint (S, Fortune 500) CEO Dan Hesse also said in a recent interview.

“At the end of the day, I think that carriers — the vast majority of carriers, or maybe even all carriers — want to provide what their customers want to buy,” Cook said. To top of page

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28 Apr 12 Verizon Leak Reveals Android 4.0 ICS Upgrades for May

Three Verizon 4G LTE phones are slated to eat Google’s Ice Cream Sandwich in May.

If you’re one of the many, many Verizon subscribers waiting on your upgrade to Google’s Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, chances are you’ll be waiting for quite a while if you even get the upgrade at all.

Last we heard, Verizon was merely giving a short list of 4G LTE devices a frozen treat, consisting of 14 smartphones and tablets from HTC, Motorola, Samsung and LG. So far 3G smartphones aren’t even on the radar despite what manufacturers are reporting such as Sony which claims its 2011 Xperia smartpones will receive the ICS upgrade any day now. We’ll see if Verizon is that generous.

“It’s a frozen snack that many in the Android community have been eager to try since ICS launched in December 2011 on the Galaxy Nexus by Samsung,” Verizon teased back in March. “The redesigned user interface includes many cool enhancements, including upgraded multitasking capabilities, notifications and Web browsing.”

We now have a little more information about Verizon’s ICS rollout thanks to a leaked roadmap. According to the plan, the HTC Rezound will receive an over the air update on May 9th, with the Droid Razr and Droid Razr Maxx following on May 21st. Both the 3G and LTE versions of the original Xoom tablet are currently in testing with no delivery date set as of yet.

Unfortunately, that’s it. Nothing else is currently on Verizon’s immediate roadmap, meaning that development and testing probably hasn’t started on the company’s other devices in the lineup. As for other qualified devices not on Verizon’s Lucky 14 List, the Big Red said last month that it will continue to update the ICS upgrade lineup as additional details become available throughout the year.

Outside the ICS upgrades, Verizon’s roadmap for the week of April 24 shows that the LG Revolution, HTC Rhyme, LG Spectrum and Droid Bionic have updates in testing, or updates on hols and ready to be rolled out. These updates are expected to do nothing more than squash bugs rather than upgrade the entire OS.

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27 Apr 12 Verizon Android 4.0 push-dates leaked for Razr, Rezound?

Users of the Droid Razr and the Rezound may finally get their sweet tooth for an Android update satiated.

The wait for an update to
Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich may finally be over for a number of Verizon smartphone users, as of next month. That’s if we take for genuine some leaked screens of what appears to be Big Red’s device upgrade schedule, posted to Reddit.

The anonymous poster claims to “work, in some capacity,” for the carrier and posted screen shots showing that Verizon plans to push Ice Cream Sandwich over the air to HTC Rezound users on May 9 and Droid Razr / Razr MAXX users on May 21. If you’re one of the few rocking a Xoom 3G or 4G
tablet, it seems your update is unfortunately on hold.

It’s also noted that Verizon typically pushes out updates in batches over a two-week period, so Rezound and Razr owners probably shouldn’t expect to see that little Android icon unpacking the update on the exact dates above.

The anonymous poster who captured this screen shot claims to be on their way out at Verizon.


I don’t plan to hold my breath for the next sweet little taste of Android, though. For the past few weeks, I’ve been keeping a close eye on my own Razr on Verizon looking for that friendly Android to give me the good news. And yet, other rumored upgrade dates have come and passed. Then, earlier this week, I got the notification on my phone that a system update was available — the moment had come! Hallelujah!

The update soon downloaded and installed, and my Razr restarted itself and seemed to be unchanged on reboot. I quickly tapped over to the system settings to see what was up and indeed I had been updated… to Gingerbread 2.3.6.

You are quite the tease, Big Red. Nonetheless, I’m sure I’ll be keeping a close eye on my phone next month for the delivery of the next bit of Android dessert.

If you’re an Android user, let us know in the comments when you think you might get 4.0 or when you got it (please no gloating from the Galaxy Nexus crowd).

(Via The Verge)

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20 Apr 12 "Which is the best Android phone out there right now?"

By (@jr_raphael) G+

Best Android Phone

“Which is the best Android phone out there right now?” — the headline of this story — is the single most common question I get asked on a day-to-day basis. And it’s understandable; after all, budget considerations not withstanding, everyone wants to feel like they’re buying the best of the best.

Spoiler alert: There will be no definitive answer to that question provided here today. Or anywhere, any day (not one that matters, at least). While occasionally a device comes along that raises the bar in some exciting new manner — the Galaxy Nexus, for example — generally speaking, there is no single “right” answer for everyone. It all comes down to what you want.

In the case of Android, we’re at the start of what promises to be a spectacular streak of high-end device launches. With Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) out in the wild, manufacturers are finally starting to release their new flagship phones built around Google’s latest and greatest mobile OS.


One of the first such handsets to hit is HTC’s One S, which goes on sale for $200 (with a new contract, following a $50 rebate) next Wednesday on T-Mobile. I’ve been using the One S for a few days now, and as I wrote in my review, it’s a standout phone if I’ve ever seen one — a premium device that handily earns its spot among the Android elite.

So naturally, certain questions are bound to follow — questions like: “Should I get the One S instead of the Galaxy Nexus?” “What about the Droid Razr? Is it better than that?” And: “How about that elusive Galaxy S III? Should I maybe hold out for it?”

The answer to all these questions is the same: It’s a personal judgment call that ultimately boils down to what you want in your phone. (The same answer applies to the age-old “iPhone or Android” question, incidentally. Sure, we all have our own opinions on the matter — myself, ahem, included — but what’s right for one person isn’t necessarily right for the next. That’s the wonder of having all these choices in the first place.)

I think the HTC One S is a fantastic device, and I’ve really enjoyed using it. I’d wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who’s looking for a phone with the type of experience it delivers. I’d even go as far as to say it’s the best phone available in T-Mobile’s current lineup, which hasn’t had a truly impressive high-end device in quite some time. Does that mean I think the One S is better than the Galaxy Nexus, or any other current high-end device on the market? Nope — not at all.

As anyone who tests a lot of phones can tell you, overall performance and user experience mean a lot more than specs alone. And I can’t emphasize enough: It’s all relative to what you want. Now, of course there’s a dividing line between phones of different generations or different classes — recent phones vs. phones from 2010, for example, or high-end phones vs. lower-end devices — but when it comes to phones of the same general caliber, there’s a lot more to consider than just numbers on a paper.

The One S is a top-notch Android phone, and I wouldn’t hesitate to put it in line with devices like the Galaxy Nexus, the Droid Razr, or the S’s sibling, the HTC One X. All those phones have stellar performance and standout features; they’re just different types of devices with different types of appeal. For me, personally, I like the large screen and form factor the Galaxy Nexus provides, and I really value its pure Android experience and the accompanying benefits that delivers.

That doesn’t mean the Galaxy Nexus is better than the other phones, though; it’s just better for me. The One S, One X, and Droid Razr each brings something different to the table, and depending on what’s important to you in a smartphone, any of them could be best for you. The best suggestion I can offer is to read reviews from people you trust, then take a field trip to your favorite mobile-tech retailer (yes, one of those weird places with actual walls and a door). Hold some phones in your hand, see how you feel about their sizes and forms, and see how you like each one’s approach to the Android OS. That’s the only way you’re going to know for sure what suits you.

Android Power TwitterWe’re in an exciting time for Android development. Some very cool devices are available now, and several more promising high-profile launches are on the horizon. Unlike other mobile platforms, Android isn’t a one-size-fits-all kind of ecosystem. It can’t always be measured and ranked in any meaningful way — and believe me, that’s a good thing.

If you’re in the market for a new phone, get ready for a delightfully difficult decision.

JR Raphael writes about smartphones and other tasty technology. You can find him on , Twitter, or Facebook.

Article copyright 2012 JR Raphael. All rights reserved.

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03 Apr 12 Apple iPhone reportedly outselling all Android phones on AT&T, Sprint

The number of iOS phones being sold through ATT and Sprint is greater than the number of Android phones on either carrier, according to Canaccord Genuity analysts. That’s a figure that is pretty noteworthy considering there’s essentially one iOS smartphone – the iPhone – compared to dozens of Android handsets. Or is it? Perhaps this is more a sign that the iPhone isn’t really just a phone anymore – it’s an entire product line.

It is of course no surprise that the iPhone (whatever iteration it is) is the top-selling smartphone. It’s been that way almost since it debuted, and even since Android launched, there hasn’t been a single Android phone that has managed to outsell the Apple behemoth. But if you looked at the broader picture and compared all Android phones to all iOS phones – that is, all iPhones – the picture was a bit fuzzier, and there have been numerous stats that place Android ahead of iOS.

However, keep in mind that although “the iPhone” is usually meant to refer to one phone at any given time, there is certainly a growing market, where the iPhone 3GS, the iPhone 4, and the iPhone 4S could be compared to the Droid 2, the Droid Razr, and the Droid Razr Maxx (but no one just refers to each of those as “the Droid”). So we’re actually talking about multiple Apple devices at multiple price points taking down multiple Android phones and multiple price points. The total number of unique devices is obviously still very lopsided, but we’re no longer just talking about one phone taking on an entire platform. The iPhone is a brand now, not a phone.

[via AllThingsD]

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03 Apr 12 Android: It’s real and I am loving it

Most Android users don’t care what OS is on their phone. Most iPhone users don’t seem to care either (in my own anecdotal experience).

However, there are those of us, like myself, who want those updates because they do matter. My own situation is a bit unique, but allow me to briefly explain.

I had a BlackBerry Storm2 from almost the time it came out. I upgraded to it from the original Storm, which was a slow but reasonable device for my needs. I felt that adding 3G and WiFi to it would make it a better phone, and for the better part of 2 years it did.

Then late in 2011 it started failing. I was due an upgrade in August, but was waiting out the Galaxy Nexus. Eventually it released, but I wasn’t convinced it was the best device for me, and with CES coming up, I figured I’d wait to see what was coming before I moved on.

In the meantime, my wife who still had her original Storm1 desperately needed a new phone, and she opted for the Droid Razr. Unfortunately, it was 3 weeks before the release of the purple Razr, which she then wanted. I would have tried my best to wait out the time until the Galaxy Note made its way to Verizon, but instead, I got stuck with her Razr, while she took my upgrade to nab the purple version.

It has been about a month now, and I utterly despise the phone. Battery life is atrocious. I don’t even have ICS to at least make it worthwhile, and Motorola, despite saying the phone and my Xyboard tablet would get it, are still spinning their tires. Supposedly the phone will be updated in Q3, but the tablet is still in planning.

It’s infuriating. It’s also making me reconsider just whether paying for these devices is worth it. It’s not like ICS just hit the market last week. Google is already on the cusp of moving on to the next version! There really is no excuse for devices to not have current software.

I understand there isn’t money in updating a device they’ve already sold, but when you sell it while touting its “ICS ready”-ness, then lollygag your way to actually doing it, it’s poor customer service. It also makes me increasingly unlikely to purchase your products going forward.

I admit I’m a bit envious of your Note. For me, that’s the epitome of a mobile device. A large (but not bigger than my pocket) screen, with a quality stylus input method, is exactly what I’ve longed for. Unfortunately, the earliest I can upgrade is late next year (by taking my tablet’s upgrade).

P.S. For anyone reading Matthew’s column, I’ve found him to be the most even-handed reporter on ZDNet. If you haven’t listened to his podcast, I suggest you do. He simply loves mobile products, whether from Android, Apple, Microsoft, or whoever. I’ve knocked other authors on this site for bias, but Matthew seems to be exactly what I expect from a serious journalist.

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