We are big fans of the Sprint Overdrive, especially because here in Seattle, we’ve got 4G coverage. The network is speedy, and the Overdrive pretty much comes with us wherever we go. We use it as a WI-Fi hotspot for the iPhone, iPad, and laptop. We can even let friends hop on the network if need be. That said, there have been a few annoyances every now and then—it would crash once or twice a day, requiring a reboot. Starting the thing up took forever. Random disconnects would have us questioning why we weren’t getting data.
Well, a new firmware update for the Overdrive was released yesterday, and it seems to fix everything we had a problem with. Here’s the full list of fixes and improvements:
- Improved device stability, eliminating all known freeze-ups and lock-ups
- Wi-Fi enhancements that improve Wi-Fi stability and eliminate Wi-Fi disconnects and crashes
- Significant improvement in 3G & 4G WAN stability, eliminating most 3G and 4G disconnects
- Some improvement in overall battery life and battery life in poor coverage; for more information on how to improve battery life, see the “Overdrive Battery Tips” document on DSP
- Faster boot-up time (10-12 seconds faster)
- Improved response time when changing the WAN Mode setting - time savings of approximately 1 minute, 20 seconds; no reboot required (includes switching from 3G to 4G and vice versa)
- Tool Tips added to GPS settings screen to help the users understand the GPS settings
- Faster response time after canceling an operation on the Advanced Settings screen (device reset is no longer required; offline time decreased by 1.5 minutes)
- The ability to now enable or disable the microSD card and the TRU-install™ feature in addition to DataLink support
Just log in to your Overdrive admin console and check for updates. You’ll get the new hotness in short order.
Read More | Sprint Overdrive
Sprint has finally made their plans for the launch of the drool-worthy HTC EVO 4G public knowledge. The company’s first 4G smartphone will go on sale on June 4th for $199 after mail-in rebate. Before rebate, you’ll be paying $450, but if you pick it up at Best Buy (you can pre-order from them now) you get the rebate instantly with no waiting.
As a refresher, the HTC EVO 4G is an Android-powered phone that has WiMAX built in. That, alongside the 1GHz Snapdragon processor are what account for the phones tremendous speed. It also has an 8 megapixel camera for taking photos and videos, and a 1.3 megapixel camera on the front that will allow for video conferencing. Oh, and it has a ridiculously huge 4.3-inch touchscreen.
Aside from the typical Sprint unlimited plan, this phone has a mandatory $10 per month fee for the 4G access. The nice thing there is that, with that plan, you don’t get any bandwidth cap on 4G or 3G access. Seriously, truly unlimited. The other major feature that the EVO 4G sports is the ability to act as a 4G hotspot for up to eight other devices. As it turns out, that is an option that will cost $30 per month. Still, though, when you consider that $30 per month to tether up to eight devices at a time to the speedy Sprint 4G network, that isn’t really that bad at all.
Read More | Sprint HTC EVO 4G
We give you a first look at the Sprint 4G Case for the iPad in this episode. Sprint, trying to capitalize on all the iPad buzz, and the fact that they are the first carrier in North America to offer 4G service, released this case as a method to push their Sprint Overdrive 4G mobile hotspot. You can get it free with purchase of an Overdrive device at Best Buy. You can also check out our written Sprint 4G Case review, along with the Sprint 4G iPad Case gallery.
Update: Check out our Sprint 4G Case video review as well!
A few days ago, we applauded Sprint for the way they were promoting their 4G service in conjunction with the launch of the iPad with their Sprint 4G Case. Obviously marketed towards the iPad buyers to get them to choose using a Sprint Overdrive 4G device rather than AT&T’s 3G plan, Sprint teamed up with Best Buy to give these cases away for free to anyone who’d purchase an Overdrive mobile hotspot at a participating Best Buy location.
Since we are in a 4G-enabled area, we figured we’d head on over to Best Buy to see if we couldn’t finagle one of the Sprint 4G Cases from the store. We weren’t going to be buying an Overdrive hotspot (we already have one,) but we were willing to just pay for one if that’s what needed to happen. The first surprise came when Best Buy told us that we certainly could just buy one outright, and that it would cost us a full $0.01. A penny. For an iPad case! We gladly paid for it, and were on our way.
Now, I didn’t recall exactly what the case that was advertised from Sprint looked like, but we did immediately think “Huh, this feels kinda cheap - I thought it would be better than this.” When I got back, I took a look at the Sprint 4G Case promo again, and it was obvious - the case that Sprint is promoting on the site is not the same case that you will actually receive at Best Buy.
Update: Looks like a couple of people have tracked down the folio version of the case. We did some more calling around this morning to a total of 6 participating Best Buy locations, and none of them had a clue about the folio—however, they’re out there somewhere. We recommend calling up your local Best Buy before heading over, to make sure they’ve got the one you want in stock!
Gallery: Sprint 4G Case for iPad review
We’ve talked about the Sprint Overdrive 4G hotspot a bunch, including a look at a scenario where it saved us from the perils of AT&T in our Sprint Overdrive review. Well, in this episode, we review the Sprint Overdrive 4G mobile broadband hotspot, letting you know all the details on the device and what you can do with it. Seriously, this thing allows you to connect up to five devices (think iPhone, iPad, laptop, etc.) to Sprint’s 4G network at the same time in supported cities. The Overdrive will fall back to 3G if you leave a 4G area, still supporting up to five devices (albeit, a bit more slowly.) It’s a solid device, and it’s no wonder that Sprint’s trying to jump on the iPad bandwagon with the Overdrive.
Oh man, do we love how hard Sprint is pushing their 4G service, especially as it pertains to Apple devices! The latest is a new 4G iPad case, which is basically a sleeve-style cases for the iPad that also has a pocket that is specially fitted to house a Sprint Overdrive 4G hotspot. Now, Sprint is just referring to this as the “4G Case,” and they even say that it also fits the nook and other e-readers, but let’s call a spade a spade here, Sprint is trying to entice you to buy an iPad and Overdrive rather than an AT&T 3G iPad. We can’t say we disagree with that option either.
You can get a Sprint 4G case free with the purchase of a Sprint Overdrive at participating Best Buy locations. We called up four participating locations in the Seattle area though, and no one knew what the hell we were talking about. So, your mileage may vary.
Read More | Sprint 4G Case
Over at CTIA, Sprint just dropped the big announcement that we knew was coming, they will be launching the first 4G smartphone - the HTC EVO 4G - and they will be doing it “this summer.” The EVO 4G runs Android 2.1, and has a gorgeous 480x800 4.3-inch TFT LCD display and is powered by a 1GHz Snapdragon QSD8650 processor and 512MB of RAM. Onboard memory isn’t much to write home about at 1GB, but seriously, that is the only “flaw” we can find with the initial look at this device, if you want to even call it that. I mean, it ships with an 8GB microSD card, and is upgradeable to 32GB. Still, built-in is always nice.
Wanna talk about some of the more exciting stuff? Well, we’ve got an 8 megapixel camera on the back, which can shoot 720p HD video, as well as a 1.3 megapixel front facing camera. You know, the one we’ve been waiting for on the iPhone? Expect to be able to do video chatting on the EVO 4G. Also, expect to be able to view the content stored on it on a larger display, since this thing rocks HDMI out. 802.11b/g Wi-Fi support and an 8GB microSD card round things out, so as you can see, this thing is packed. Oh, and let’s not forget that whole 4G thing.
The HTC EVO 4G will be the first device outside of AT&T that will allow for both voice and data to be used at the same time, thanks to the phone running both EV-DO Rev. A and WiMAX alongside a CDMA antenna. Even cooler, in our opinion, is that this device acts similar to a MiFi or Overdrive device, where it becomes a mobile hotspot that allows you to share your 4G connection with your other devices wirelessly. However, rather than being limited to five connections, the EVO 4G can give that good 4G Internet lovin’ to 8 devices at once.
Sprint knows that those picking up a 4G device are going to expect a lot more from their connection their phones that are stuck on 3G, and they demo’d a few scenarios to show that they are serious. You can stream high definition content to and from the device, take pictures and stream them anywhere, get instant and live search results with Google Goggles, and much more.
Despite the torrent of info that Sprint provided as it pertained to the HTC EVO 4G, they did neglect to provide a solid release date, as well as the price of both the EVO 4G itself, or the associated 4G data plan.
Just yesterday we let you know that the Nexus One had made it to AT&T and Rogers Wireless, and that it would be hitting Verizon this Spring. Well, Sprint, not wanted to be left out of the party, announced today that the Nexus One would be coming to their network as well! They have no price, nor a release date, but hey - at least now we know that Google’s flagship device will be available soon on all four major US wireless carriers. That’s gotta count for something, right?
Read More | Sprint
I’ve been playing with the Sprint Overdrive 4G mobile hotspot device that the company sent me a few weeks ago, and I’ve gotta say, this thing has come in handy way more often than I thought it would. So much so, in fact, that I find it to be an essential tool and I carry it around in my left jacket pocket everywhere I go at this point, and charge it over USB when I am in the car driving somewhere. I’ll be giving a few examples of how the 4G Overdrive device has come in handy over the next few days, but I wanted to start with this one because I know so many iPhone, iPhone 3G, and iPhone 3GS owners out there that cry to the heavens to be saved from the vile clutches of AT&T and their constant network FAIL.
We caught up with Clear, who had just launched their new 27-city 4G mobile broadband network, at CES 2010’s It Won’t Stay in Vegas blogger party. We talk a bit about what 4G is, why it’s better (way better) than 3G, and also give you a look at the technology in action. Clear has partnered with Sprint on the rollout of 4G, so all that 4G that Sprint has been talking about recently? That’s thanks to the efforts of what Clear (formerly known as ClearWire) has been doing in the 4G space.
A big thank you to Bing for sponsoring Gear Live’s CES 2010 coverage.
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