Carrier subsidies are somewhat of a luxury in countries such as the US, UK and Australia where devices are heavily subsidized. Compared to countries such as Singapore and Malaysia where subsidies are marginal or not offered at all, it’s safe to say that US customers are spoilt for choice. Now as some of you guys might have heard, T-Mobile announced last year that they would be ending carrier subsidies and instead offer an installment plan where the full price of a device is repaid over the course of its contract. If you thought that this meant that you could always shift to carriers such as AT&T, Sprint or Verizon, you might be disappointed as AT&T and Verizon’s CEOs have stated that they are interested in the idea of installment plans.
According to AT&T’s CEO, Randall Stephenson, he was quoted as saying, “That’s something we’ve looked at on several occasions. I kind of like that idea […] It’s something we’re going to be watching.” Verizon’s CEO on the other hand did not sound as upbeat and admitted that while the idea was “very intriguing”, he was worried that customers might be turned off by the fact that they would have to eventually pay the full price of a phone on top of their monthly bills. Either way nothing has been confirmed yet so don’t worry, but what do you guys think?
AT&T Offers ZTE Zmax 2
Now here is a handset from the folks over at ZTE which intends to provide a sense of continuity, although this time around you will not be able to pick up the Zmax 2 from T-Mobile, as ZTE has decided on AT&T to be their US partner and mobile carrier for their latest phone. In fact, this device falls under the mid-range segment of things, where it will just cost $149.99 unlocked, now how about that for affordability?
That kind of pricing would see you end up with a 5.5” 720p touchscreen display, an 8MP camera with LED flash at the back, a 2MP front-facing shooter, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of expandable memory, a 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 4G LTE connectivity, Dolby Digital Plus Audio, and a 3,000 mAh removable battery, and Android 5.1 Lollipop as the mobile operating system of choice. [Press Release]
ASUS Zenfone 2E Becomes AT&T Exclusive
You can be forgiven for being confused about ASUS’ Zenfone 2 range to date, and here is yet another model that will add to the brouhaha. I am referring to the ASUS Zenfone 2E, where it has just been announced to be an AT&T exclusive, where you can pick one up for just $119.99 without any contract, and it is also offered by the carrier’s GoPhone prepaid brand.
At that price point, you would get a 5” 720p IPS touchscreen display in return, an 8MP camera with LED flash at the back, a 2MP front-facing shooter, a 2,500 mAh battery, a dual-core Intel processor, 1GB RAM, 8GB of internal memory, 4G LTE connectivity, and Android 5.0 Lollipop running underneath Asus’ own ZenUI. Opt from either black or white shades.
AT&T To Deliver LG Watch Urbane In Silver
If you have been hankering after the LG Watch Urbane for the longest time, while being an AT&T subscriber, then here is good news for you. This particular timepiece can be picked up for $349 a pop from AT&T, where it will arrive in a shade of silver to boot. This timepiece will run on Android Wear and is compatible with any smartphone that has Android 4.3 or higher as the mobile operating system of choice.
It is best to use the LG Watch Urbane within the confines of a Wi-Fi network all the time, along with your smartphone, so that you can keep track of notifications, send messages and make use of your Android Wear compatible apps at all times. Sporting a 1.3” circle P-OLED display, the Watch Urbane comes with replaceable 22mm stitched leather straps for more flexible fashion choices, while the integrated PPG Sensor (average pace, speed, heart rate, and distance) ought to keep fitness buffs happy, with a 410 mAh (non-removable) battery that has an all-day battery life. [Press Release]