sprint

This is actually been at this price for about a month now, but it was news to us, so perhaps news to you.

If you're looking for a cheap and halfway decent Windows starter phone, the Snap is completely free at Best Buy (down from $149, then $99) with a 2-year contract. See our full review for a refresh.

We'd say the phone is about worth that with a 2 year contract and it's actually a fun device, especially if you slap WM6.5 on it before that official release comes down the road.

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Good news, Sprint peeps. Gone are the days of the 20-cents per minute charge for forwarding your calls to a service such as Google Voice.

Our Sprint-loving pals at Precentral spell it out:

Conditional call forwarding uses the *28xxxxxxxxxx code, where the xxxxxxxxxx is your phone number. Note that your original number still rings before forwarding happens and you'll need to futz with your Google Voice settings if you want to send calls directly to voicemail before ringing your Google Voice number. There's plenty more information in this forum thread. Dial *38 to turn it off. Direct *72 call forwarding still costs you $.20 per minute.

That's it, folks. We'd still like to see Sprint drop the fee for direct call forwarding, however. But we all know how carriers feel about us messing with their voicemail.

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Well, many frayed nerves and hours hunched over one of the most popular Windows phones has finally paid off: The "unlocker" which we mentioned a few days ago has been completed, meaning users can now install custom ROMs to their beloved Touch Pro 2s, specifically Verizon, Sprint, U.S. Cellular and all other CDMA versions.

At least for Sprint, it sure beats waiting till "early 2010", eh?

Having this tool now, all the custom ROMs which are literally waiting in the wings (e.g. Energy, Mighty, CFay, Juicy, etc.) can be installed -- this includes WM6.5 and WM6.5.1 builds with all that custom goodness from your favorite 'Chefs'.

A big congrats to everyone for this achievement (donations are in order) and now if you pardon us, we're off for some ROM flashing ourselves! ...

Go HERE to grab the HardSPL!  Here for the SIM Unlock and here for support.

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Touch Pro 2 just to advanced and lightweight for you?  Never warmed up to Windows Mobile 5, 6, 6.1 or 6.5?  Does lack of 3G, a massive 128MB of RAM and nearly 3.6hrs of talk time sound amazing?

Then fork over $350 because have we the phone for you!  That's right, the Audiovox PPC-6601 is cutting edge technology for today's trendsetter and it is now available to order direct from Sprint.  (It was spotted on TV in this season's "Alias" making this device especially coveted for Abrams fans).

Impress your friends! Considering this phone is nearly an ounce heavier (7.35oz) than a Touch Pro 2, you will surely be the life of the party when you show up with this in your pants.  "Wow, is that the Internet...in your pocket?"

There is also a rumor that this phone will be getting a firmware update from Sprint to enable EvDO, a revolutionary new radio technology that will enable high-speed data transfer akin to your DSL line at home.  Some in fact have already "hacked" this onto their phones already.  We know Sprint won't disappoint with this update!

However, be warned. We are already hearing rumors of a replacement device called a PPC-6700 aka Apache with a revolutionary new OS from Microsoft.  Stay tuned...

Thanks Richardrk

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Sprint Exec David Owens took part in a virtual chat today, and Gearlog kibbitzed. Here's the pertinent Windows Mobile info:

  • They're currently testing official Windows Mobile 6.5 updates for the HTC Touch Pro 2 and other phones. Look for them early next year.
  • They want Windows Mobile 7 "as soon as possibly, but dependent on Microsoft."
  • No tethering for any phone that needs a Simply Unlimited plan, which means smartphones.

So, absolutely nothing there we couldn't deduce ourselves, but it's nice to get it from the horse's mouth. Read all of Gearlog's bullet points here.

Via PhoneScoop

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Most of us running Windows Mobile 6.5 have been more than a bit disappointed that Microsoft'S TellMe service has been omitted from the OS, unless you're using a Sprint Samsung Intrepid.

Of course, it only was a matter of time before TellMe was stripped from the Intrepid ROM by pixelwix at PPCGeeks and set free for all to enjoy. That said, things are a bit buggy, as this is far from an official release. Touchscreen functions are missing. Some users say they can't even get it to load. So ymmv. And it looks like you need to have .netCF 3.5 installed first.

So if you're in the impatient type, hit up the link below and give it a go.

PPCGeeks via pocketnow

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8

Touch Pro 2: Head to Head to Head to Head

The HTC Touch Pro 2 has now landed at all four major U.S. carriers; AT&T, Sprint, Verizon and T-Mobile. For the most part, the choice of which Touch Pro 2 to go with is tied into your carrier service contract.

We've looked at all four Touch Pro 2's on the market and found each to be an impressive Windows phone. But, does one stand out above the other? Or has HTC produced a phone so impressive it doesn't matter what carrier offers it? Follow the break for a completely non-scientific comparison of the Touch Pro 2 versions.

Note: For the purposes of this article, any general reference to the Touch Pro 2 should be taken to include the AT&T Tilt 2.

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Not to stir up too much attention, but the unlocker (Hard SPL) for the CDMA Touch Pro 2 is expected to drop sometime this coming week.

Like the GSM version, this will allow users to flash the much coveted custom ROMs onto their phones.  The 'CDMA Rhodium Elite Team' has been hard at work cracking this latest HTC device and evidently it hasn't been an easy job, so give them some thanks when it drops.

What is even better news is the expectation that a separate SIM unlocker will be released at or near the same time as the Hard SPL.  The will allow the CDMA Touch Pro 2 to reportedly work on any U.S. GSM network (e.g. AT&T and T-Mobile) as well as for flashing of different radio firmwares.

The Sprint Touch Pro 2 is already SIM unlocked for oversea GSM carriers (unlike the Verizon and Telus versions), but all CDMA devices are barred from U.S. GSM networks, making this accomplishment, if accurate, truly astonishing.

The Hard SPL (for custom ROMs) will of course be free but the SIM unlocker is reportedly going to cost a license of €14 (~$21), which we suppose is fair for such a bonus feature.

We'll keep you posted as soon as either are released!

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10

Review: Sprint Samsung Intrepid (sph-i350)

Sprint’s first official Windows Mobile 6.5 Professional phone is the Samsung Intrepid, a front-qwerty CDMA/GSM world phone with WiFi. It was released on Oct. 11 and fetches for $149 with a 2-year contract. (See our earlier hands-on).

We’ve played with the device for the last 10 days and have reached our conclusion: it ain’t terrible, but it’s not the best. Samsung basically nailed some aspects but goofed on others and the device feels quite underwhelming.

On the other hand, for the price, perhaps that’s the point.

After the break, read our full review with lots of pics and even a video mini-review for those tight on time.

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We're still not entirely sold on the whole voice command thing when it comes to mobile phones (though admittedly it's very helpful while driving). But you've gotta admit Microsoft's Tellme service (whose purchase allowed Windows Mobile to put the old Voice Command out to pasture) looks pretty compelling. Sure, it's a few extra steps to do basic functions, so it's probably not something we'd use while walking down the street. But it absolutely would be handy in a car, and you have to admit the speech-to-text is pretty cool.

Bing blog

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Yeah, that $199 HTC Touch Pro 2 on Sprint ain't happenin', at least not for us normal customers, according to a Sprint rep who spoke with Brighthand.

Starting tomorrow, the price drop for HTC TouchPro2 from Sprint is only available to corporate liable customers with 100+ lines. All other channels will sell at original price $349.99 with a two-year service agreement and after $100 mail-in rebate.

Don't know about you, but we sure don't fall into that category.

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It's been no great secret that the Sprint version of the Touch Pro 2, which is listed at $349 after two-year contract and rebate, can be had for much less. We learned that from the get-go thanks to our outstanding commenters (that's you guys!). But a rumor coming through the long series of tubes (that's the Internets) has it that Sprint may be dropping the official price down to $199 to fall in line with the likes of Verizon. We may find out on Thursday.

We'll see. There also are rumors that for you early adopters who paid full price, some sweet talk with Sprint eCare reps could score you a $100 credit.

Now, then. Will T-Mobile, which is still offering its Touch Pro 2 at $349, be dropping its price anytime soon? And where will AT&T land when it (hopefully) eventually launches the Tilt 2?

ppcgeeks via BGR

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Hot on the heels of the Sprint Treo Pro's custom ROM comes one for the Sprint Snap, a device which I love and hate (hint: the KB drives me nuts).

As usual, credit goes to those mavericks at XDA.  Specifically jockyw2001, who did the HardSPL to unlock the ROM and ookba who brings a beautiful WM6.5 custom job with all sorts of goodies loaded up.

It's a pretty basic install:

  1. Run HardSPL
  2. Run SDA Application Unlock,
  3. Install Custom ROM

So how is WM6.5 for Standard?  Pretty. It's zippy, looks nice and works.

Ookba has done a great job of cooking all sorts of customizations, including Titanium Weather (similar to NRG Weather), button configuration utility, HTC UI Tweaks, IE keymaps, HTC Comm Manager, Skyfire, Opera Mini, HTC's Unlock screen...basically it feels more like the Verizon Ozone now (except the KB).

After the jump are a few screenshots. Remember, it's always nice to tip or at least give a thanks to these folks for all the hard work!

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Ever wonder what the inside of the Verizon/Sprint Touch Pro 2 looks like?  Want to see how to disassemble your $600 phone and void the warranty?  Then check out these posts

  • Santod, shows us the FCC internal shots of the Verizon Touch Pro 2, obviously taken in dirty garage (.pdf file)
  • JinxCA who goes one step further and strips his own Sprint Touch Pro 2 down, including directions & tools to do it yourself

As noted in my review, they are definitely using Broadcomm WiFi/BT chipset instead of Texas Instruments, which I found to be a great decision.  Other than that, these are pretty standard--tell us in comments if you see anything cool or uniqe!

 

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For those of you rocking the original HTC Touch Pro on Sprint, and we know there are plenty of you out there, an official ROM update was recently released. Here's what you get:

  • TouchFlo 3D updated to improve speed and stability.
  • Dialer application enhanced to improve the handling of incoming calls.
  • Resolves an issue using the “r” and “w” keys on the virtual keypad.
  • Improves contact searching performance.
  • Includes a variety of minor bug fixes.

This is a full-on ROM update, so be sure to back up all of your important data first because the device will be wiped in the process.

Also, HTC has released a hotfix for the Sprint Snap that "is designed to correct and prevent a memory block issue that can cause the Sprint Snap to lock up or freeze during boot up."

This one's merely a hotfix, like loading an app. That means your data should be safe (though we'd recommend a backup first, just in case), and you'll need to reload this fix should you ever hard-reset the Snap.

ROM update for Sprint Touch Pro
Hotfix for Sprint Snap

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There's been a lot of hype around the latest HTC Touch Pro 2, released just a few weeks ago on Sprint. The Windows Mobile 6.1 device is a significant upgrade from the original Touch Pro and offers quite the bang for the buck.

Here's an interesting question though: Is the Sprint Touch Pro 2 now good enough for this Black Slab™ skeptic? It should be no secret that I've been a critic of this style for some time now, instead preferring front-QWERTY types. Yet here I am, compelled enough to go out an buy one.

Lets just say ... I'm impressed.

Read on for my review and judgment of the Sprint Touch Pro 2 from the perspective of a non-believer!

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6

Touch Pro 2 Camera Revisited

We decided to revisit the Touch Pro 2's camera, this time using Sprint's version of the phone. The T-Mobile Touch Pro 2's camera was nice, and we were curious how Sprint's measured up.

Software associated with the camera was virtually identical. You still lack the presence of a physical shutter button and instead have a shutter symbol on the screen to tap. The focal point is movable and, as with the T-Mobile version, there is no front-facing camera.

Follow the break for some sample shots as well as a sample video.

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Well it only took about 12 months but the Palm Treo Pro  (full review) finally caved in today and had its finicky ext ROM unlocked thanks to cmonex and the first custom ROM by CFay, which just happens to be one of the latest versions of WM6.5.1 (Build 23409). 

CFay has also released a "clean" WM6.1 ROM, stripped of bloatware and tweaked for style and performance.

The Palm Treo Pro, designed by Palm but built by HTC, has much more in common with other HTC devices than previous Treos. However, unlocking the ROM files so new ones can be rebuilt has eluded many developers so far, proving to be as tough as Motorola devices.

And since we've heard nary a peep from anyone about an official ROM update from Palm, this is probably your only chance.

Users should be warned that this is in the very early stages of development and currently *only CDMA Treos* can do this, so let the dust settle before jumping, m'kay

Get all the goodies here:

A big congratulations and thanks goes to cmonex and CFay for their hard work.  Don't forget to show them some support via donations!

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There's been quite a bit of consternation over the initial prices that carriers are charging for the HTC Touch Pro 2. Officially, Sprint and T-Mobile are on the high end, at $349, and Verizon's undercutting them at $199. That's all with the usual rebates and contracts, of course and it's a bit moot because we all know it's fairly easy to sweet talk a rep into getting you a lower price.

And that's the whole game of subsidizing phones — they want to lock you into that much more lucrative two-year contract, where the data rates and voice charges really start to make money. (And don't even get us started on text messages.)

After the break, we take a look at ballpark total two-year costs for the T-Mobile, Sprint and Verizon Touch Pro 2. (AT&T, as we all know too well, is still MIA on the Touch Pro 2, save for a leaked pic and a possible FCC listing.)

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