verizon

The HTC Snap can't claim to be the first Windows Mobile Standard phone to announce it'll get the Windows Mobile 6.5 upgrade — that honor goes to the Samsung Jack. But an upgrade is an upgrade is an upgrade, and if the above shot from the Bluetooth Special Interest Group [via wmpoweruser] is any indication, the CDMA version of the HTC Snap also may be rocking 6.5 in the near future. (You'll recall that the codename for the Sprint and Verizon versions of the Snap was the Cedar.)

As for when the Windows Mobile 6.5 update will become available? That's still anyone's guess. But summer's churning by, and we're still expecting 6.5 sometime this fall.

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Just a reminder that the Verizon Ozone is on sale today, online anyway. It'll be in stores in a couple of weeks. Here's what $50 and a two-year contract gets ya:

  • Windows Mobile 6.1 Standard.
  • World phone.
  • 1500mAh battery.
  • 4.5 x 2.5 x 0.5 inches.
  • 256MB ROM/192MB RAM
  • WiFi b/g
  • Bluetooth 2.0.
  • 2.4-inch screen.
  • 2MP camera with autofocus and video.
  • MicroSD.
  • VZ Navigator.

Head here to snag one. And if you do, let us know if the GPS works on apps like Google Maps or Bing Mobile (previously Live Search), or if it's locked down to just VZ Navigator.

And, Verizon, thanks for fixing the Touch Pro and the Saga, but we haven't forgotten. We're still waiting on the official ROM update to unlock the Omnia's GPS.

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Verizon Wireless today officially announced the HTC Ozone (a variant of the Snap). We're not learning anything, really, that we didn't already know, but official is official, and that's a good thing.

  • Windows Mobile 6.1 Standard.
  • 1500mAh battery.
  • WiFi
  • Visual Voice Mail, for $2.99 a month.
  • VZ Navigator, for $9.99 a month (no word yet on whether the GPS will be slaved to it).
  • The Ozone will cost $49.99 with a two-year contract.

Full presser after the break. As we already knew, the Ozone will be available online and by phone on June 29; in stores July 13.

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The march of the HTC Snap continues. Sprint's got it in Best Buy stores (and it should finally be in Sprint stores on Sunday), and now the Boy Genuis Report says that Verizon customers can get the Ozone online starting June 29. It'll be in stores a couple weeks after that, on July 13. No word on pricing. We're still looking for the T-Mobile variant in the coming weeks, too, so that just leaves AT&T the only of the big four U.S. carriers lacking a firm Snap sighting.

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Verizon Ozone will have $70 rebate

Not exactly an avalanche of news here, but look at the bottom right of this rebate form from Verizon and you'll see the HTC Ozone, which is getting a $70 discount on top of the other bones the big V is throwing our way en route to the low, low price of $49.99 with a two-year contract. That's not anything we didn't already know from that leaked document we saw a few days ago, but it's always nice to see something official. We're still expecting the Ozone online on June 29 and in stores July 13.

Via Crackberry

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A ROM update has been released for the Samsung Saga on Verizon, and it might just have a little gem in it for which we've been waiting quite a while. First, the fine points of the upgrade:

  • The Latest Microsoft AKU Update 1.5.1.
  • Enhanced zoom for Internet Explorer
  • Slight UI Modifications.
  • Various additional improvements to improve handset function.
  • Open Standalone LBS Supported & Performance Enhanced. (This may Support 3rd Party Applications)
  • MMS Over GPRS Supported. (GSM Mode)
  • Softswitch For GSM (Allows handset to select correct network overseas)
  • Multiple Qualcomm Patches Applied To Improve Phone Performance.
  • VZ Access Manager Supports Bluetooth Connection (SPP).

Notice the fifth item there? LBS, of course, is location-based services. That could be cell-tower triangulation, or, GPS! So, that'd unlock two of the three phones that Verizon promised to unshackle in the first half of the year, with the other being the HTC Touch Pro. We've got a week left. Will we see the Omnia get an official update soon?

Go here to get the upgrade, and make sure you follow Samsung's overly complicated upgrade process.

Thanks, again, to cplush for the tip!

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3

Verizon Ozone specs in detail

For you Verizon-types looking longingly at the HTC Snap on Sprint and (soon) T-Mobile, here's a tasty morsel: Specs, specs and more specs, courtesy of the Boy Genius Report.

First, the necessities:

  • Windows Mobile 6.1 Standard.
  • 1500mAh battery
  • 4.5 x 2.5 x 0.5 inches
  • 256MB ROM/192MB RAM
  • WiFi B/G
  • Bluetooth 2.0
  • 2.4-inch screen
  • 2MP camera with autofocus and video
  • MicroSD
  • VZ Navigator

Now, the fun stuff: Sign a two-year contract and you'll pay just $49.99 for the Ozone. Yep, you heard that right. Going sans contract, the Ozone will cost $430.

The Ozone has EV-DO Rev. A comes with a SIM card and is a "World Phone," so you can take it overseas, if you're so inclined. Also, Verizon will allow you to use the Ozone as a modem (for a yet unknown fee, natch), and it'll sport visual voicemail.

Again, look for the Ozone online come June 29, and in brick-and-mortar stores starting July 13.

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That Verizon Touch Pro ROM update that unlocks the GPS? It's now officially up on PCD's Web site (that's where the official Verizon releases congregate), and it's there as a Version 2. Apparently a GPS bug was discovered in the first update that PhoneNews was hosting, and PhoneNews now lets us know that this new version takes care of it. And since it's the official official version, here's the changelog:

  • Added Visual Voicemail support.
  • Added EVRC B capability
  • Added Standalone GPS Capability.

Go get it here. And as always, back up your info first. And happy flashing!

Update: Sorry, folks, looks like the update's been pulled again. And nobody's saying why. We'll keep you updated.

Update 2: It's up again! Only change anyone can tell is in the date of the file.

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Verizon unlocks Touch Pro's GPS

We've been pushing and pushing for Verizon to unlock the GPS on its smartphones, and it looks like they're finally starting to get the job done.

A new ROM has been released for the HTC Touch Pro, says PhoneNews. [via] Version 1.08 opens up GPS for use in Google Maps as well as Live Search for Mobile. A commenter also notes that the GPS even works in airplane mode. The update also gives visual voicemail and a new voice codec.

For now, PhoneNews has the only link to the update, but keep an eye out for one from Verizon itself. UPDATE: That previous ROM had a bug, apparently. New link here.

Now, about unlocking GPS on your other phones, Verizon ...

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Dear Verizon,

Last November we published an open letter exhorting you to stop limiting GPS functionality on Windows Mobile handsets. Our arguments were quite good, if we do say so ourselves. The competition you're facing right now is tough in large part because those competing carriers have platforms with GPS that works freely with any app. It makes for a better customer experience on your network and (this is nearer to our hearts) on Windows Mobile. If you feel like you're hedging on GPS, we really suggest you go back and read it again

So naturally we were elated when we heard in December that you intended on unlocking standalone GPS for the Omnia, Saga, and Touch Pro in the first half of 2009. Sincerely, that's really great news. So consider this a friendly reminder: there are only a couple of months left in the "first half of 2009" (trust us, we've been paying attention to that date elsewhere).

How about it, big V? Are we going to see some ROM updates soon? Will the rumored May 11 date pan out? We're able to go with unofficial ROMS and GPS hacks, but we're really not happy about it.  We like being happy – it makes us better customers.

Love,

The WMExperts Team

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Lo, how we dream of they day when a manufacturer will name a phone and a carrier will just use it. But that day is not today.

And so we bring you, courtesy of the Boy Genius Report, the Verizon Ozone — aka the HTC Snap/Willow/Maple. No release date or pricing, and it's safe to say it won't beat Sprint's variant out the door. But it does have WiFi, is a world phone (CDMA and GSM radios), and sports IE6, visual voicemail and VZ Navigator (which points to the dreaded locked-down GPS.)

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15

Review: Verizon Touch Diamond

After reviewing the HTC Touch Diamond 2, taking a look at Verizon's version of the original Touch Diamond felt like a step back in time. Why Verizon waited so long to come to the table with the Touch Diamond is a mystery. But as they say, "better late than never." Right?

The Touch Diamond isn't a new phone and while most will be familiar with it, once it's branded by a service provider a phone can take on a life of its own. It's no secret that the Touch Diamond runs Windows Mobile 6.1 and comes loaded with TouchFLO 3D. But what other changes did Verizon throw onto the Touch Diamond?

Find out after the break.

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Hey, you can't blame us (OK, this guy can) for joking that we didn't expect to see hide or hair of a Touch Pro 2 on Verizon in 2009. After how long it took VZW to get the original Touch Diamond out the door ... well, let's just say we weren't optimistic.

But we're swallowing our man pill tonight and are gazing at what appears to be a pretty legit-looking Verizon-branded Touch Pro 2, brought to us by d474rpr.com. And the green scheme doesn't look too shabby.

And in the same post from d474rpr.com we get a look at the HTC Cedar, said to be destined for Alltel. The Cedar, as you'll remember, is along the same line as the Snap and Willow, though it certainly sports a close look to the Palm Treo 800w.

The next question is: Will we see the Cedar on Verizon as well (possibly as the XV6175), since it gobbled up Alltel last year? It's certainly a possibility, and we've already seen a couple of them go through the FCC under the CDMA variety.

So, um, thanks to WMExperts commentor ckeegan for the snark tip. :)

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In a conference call late Wednesday, Verizon Wireless announced that it's shifting the planned rollout of its 4G LTE network to the second half of 2010, with national coverage in 2013 and complete coverage in 2015.

From Electronista:

Initially slated for early 2010, the Long Term Evolution (LTE) network is now said by wireless chief Lowell McAdam to be fully commercial for the second half of that year in 20 to 30 markets.

Also noted is that Verizon is scaling back its baseline speed to between 8Mbps and 12Mbps on average, which still should be faster than Sprint's upcoming WiMax network. But the near-term consideration is that as AT&T boosts its 3G network to HSPA+, Verizon and its EVDO Rev. A are going to be slower than its GSM competition.

And in other news ... We're still waiting on that promised GPS unlock. And, no, we haven't forgotten.

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Microsoft: No, no, no, no, no!

So a day after a Wall Street Journal piece gets everyone in a tizzy over a possible Pink-Verizon Windows Mobile thing, Microsoft's coming out and denying the whole thing.

No Zune phone. No Microsoft phone. No way, no how, get over it.

It's certainly not the first time we've gone through its, and it likely won't be the last. But, hey, it's cool. We're still looking forward to Windows Mobile 6.5, and we've got high hopes for Windows Mobile 7.

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One of the biggest arguments in the Windows Mobile world is whether Microsoft will ever build its own phone. We've repeatedly heard a resounding "NO!" from MS execs, but we've heard execs deny things before, only to do that exact thing later. (We're looking at you, Apple.) That said, we are still expecting to see the Zune creep into Windows Mobile.

And with that we turn to a brief Wall Street Journal story [via Engadget and BGR] in which Microsoft is rumored to be in talks with Verizon to launch a multimedia-focused touchscreen phone early next year to compete with the iPhone, if/when it actually comes to Verizon. And the the phone to do that is rumored to be none other than the fabled "Pink" project.

Microsoft's project, which is code-named "Pink," is aiming to produce a phone that extends the tech giant's Windows Mobile cellphone operating system, adding new software capabilities. It would also likely include Microsoft's new Windows Marketplace for Mobile, a mobile application store along the lines of Apple's, these people say.

Who "these people" are we have no idea, and the WSJ ain't sayin'. But, heck, we can tell you that any MS phone would have Marketplace access. That's a given. As for it being "along the lines of Apple's" App Store, we'll have to wait and see. Unless you mean that they both sell apps.

So for now, we'll put it to you. Should Microsoft attempt to take on the iPhone head-to-head? Or do you think this is all just another unsubstantiated rumor?

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A bit of a fuss is being made today over the emergence of the Motorola A4500 at the Federal Communications Commission. But here's the thing: The new documents we're looking at – radio specs and a bunch of pretty pictures – were all submitted back in October and just made available today.

Now allow us to put on our tinfoil hats for a minute: We know the A4500 (or Napoleon, or Q9n – whatever) made its way into the wild after a brief production cycle for a government contract. Hmmmmm. Government contract, docs not made available until exactly six months after the first submission ... See where we're going here?

The long and the short of it is we're really not expecting to see this thing out on Verizon – or anywhere else – anytime soon, if ever. That said, we could also be dead wrong and so we reward you with more pictures after the break, just in case.

PhoneScoop via BGR

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So there we were, perfectly content with T-Mobile rolling out the HTC Snap/Captain/Dash 2 sometime soon, when this had to come along and muck up the works.

According to Engadget, what you see here is the HTC XV6175. And as you might guess from the excellent and memorable brand XV6175, that'd make it bound for Verizon. This is pretty much in line with what we've seen from that leaked HTC roadmap as the Willow, which we've also heard could make an appearance as soon as June.

No word on pricing or actual availability. Let's just hope it's quicker than Verizon managed to launch the Touch Diamond.

And is it just us, or does that rendering here look vaguely like a Treo 800w from the waist down?

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