We’ve got news on some awesome refurb smartphones and feature phones, and a look a little further out, at some of the truly top-end smartphones that will be available on Ting in the Spring and beyond. We’ve also got some great news on the bring your own device front.
We’ll get right to the point.
Straight into the action. No delays, no wordplay, no stalling. We’ll jump right in to the thick of things. Into the fray. Headfirst. Or headlong. No dipping toes, testing the waters, mincing words or mixing metaphors. No watering down the message with a lot of cruft or fluff (or amusing parenthetical asides).
Nope. Right to the point.
Bring your own HTC One or Samsung Galaxy S4… soon
There are some limitations on the devices that can be brought over to Ting and the Ting network service provider maintains a window of exclusivity on some top-tier devices.
While we’ve been able to offer the HTC One and the Galaxy S4 for sale from Ting at the same time as the major carriers, they weren’t on the “whitelist” of devices that could be turned into Ting devices.
We’re happy to announce that as of April 30 of this year, Sprint network compatible Samsung Galaxy S4s and the HTC Ones purchased from somewhere other than Ting will be able to make the move to Ting.
This news is good for a couple of reasons. First and most obviously, would-be Ting customers sporting a Sprint Galaxy S4 or HTC One can see a light at the end of the tunnel for making the move to Ting.
Second, and more important in the grand scheme of things, this is the first time we’ve had a timeline for a BYOD restriction being lifted. We’ve always had an answer as to why certain devices can’t be brought to Ting. Now, we’ll be able to offer some insight into when “exclusive” devices can be brought over.
The short term device plan
We’ve got a bunch of devices in the pipe, set to hit the Ting device page either imminently or within the next couple of weeks.
(L-R): HTC One Mini, HTC One and HTC One Max.
HTC One Max
With major smartphone makers pitching Mini versions of their flagship phones, it only stands to reason that Maxi versions would hit the scene too.
The HTC One Max is one massive smartphone. It takes the undeniably awesome HTC One aesthetic and phabletizes it. It’s physically larger (obviously) but that’s not the only thing that’s changed. The HTC One Max incorporates a fingerprint scanner so you can forget lock patterns and PINs (don’t even get us started on the ill conceived face unlock feature of Android). It boasts the latest version of Android and the newest version of HTC’s own Sense UI (version 5.5). It’s got a more capacious battery than its older but smaller sibling.
We’ll have it on offer for under $600 new, and we expect it to hit the site before the end of February. As it’s a fairly niche device (to say nothing of the price tag) we don’t expect it to sell like the proverbial hotcakes. Still, for bringing the HTC attention to detail and build quality to the phablet space, we figure it deserves a spot in the Ting lineup.
LG Rumor Touch refurb
This inexpensive but capable QWERTY slider messaging phone is more connected than your average feature phone.
The Rumor Touch has a 3-inch touchscreen display with access to some social media and smartphoney type things like maps and a small selection of apps. It’s a good interim step between a clamshell feature phone and a full smartphone.
At less than $40 refurbished for the black or red options, available very soon in limited quantity, we don’t expect they’ll be hanging around our warehouse for long.
Sanyo Mirro (3810) refurbished
An imminent arrival, we snagged a small quantity of this simple clamshell feature phone in black and red.
The market for flip phones has dried up as entry-level smartphones have dropped in price. That said, there’s still demand for these simple phones from people that just want an easy to use device that makes phone calls and doesn’t do a lot else.
I don’t have the copywriting chops or penchant for fibbing to make it sound like more than it is. If you’re looking for a simple phone, that’s precisely what the Sanyo Mirro is and you should probably buy one when it hits the Ting device page early next week for around $50.
Samsung Galaxy SIII refurb
The SIII has been usurped (and the Roman numeral numbering system eschewed) with the Samsung Galaxy S4. At under $300 refurbished though, this is a sweet deal on what is still a powerful and well designed smartphone.
It’s an LTE device. It boasts a big 4.8-inch Super AMOLED display at 1280×720. It’s got an 8 MP camera, S Voice, S Beam and a whole bunch of other neat features.
Expect to see the SIII refurbs hit the Ting site in both blue and white (sorry, Pebble Blue and Marble White) in the very near future: By the end of next week.
A look at the longer term
Switching on future vision, plans become a little more subject to change. With that said, here’s how things look to be shaping up into the spring and beyond.
LG G Flex
LG is pushing smartphone design forward with this bent screen beauty. In addition to that characteristic curve, the G Flex is, as the name implies, a bit flexible too. While you won’t want to be smooshing the screen flat at every opportunity, the G Flex can stand up to life in your back pocket. And bending your curved smartphone flat is a pretty neat party trick, if nothing else.
In addition to being flexible enough to bend without breaking, the G Flex can also stand up to keys and coins: If it gets scratched, the unique self-healing material that makes up its body will bounce right back.
Pushing the design envelope apparently doesn’t come cheap: The price we’re seeing on the G Flex is north of $600. It’ll hit the Ting devices page early in the second quarter of this year.
Tri-Band Samsung Galaxy S4
Take everything you love about the Samsung Galaxy S4 (and there’s a fair bit to love) and add on access to the awesome Tri-Band LTE network and you’ve got even more of a powerhouse on your hands. Or you will, when we add this device to the Ting lineup in late March.
Operating on three distinct bands, Tri-Band LTE offers broader coverage and better building penetration than typical LTE.
If you’re in a Tri-Band LTE market and you’ve had your eye on an S4, you may do well to wait this one out.
What the heck is a Coolpad and why would you want one?
Fair question. Coolpad is a pretty big deal in China, where they’re the third biggest player in a market that values value. Behind only the Asian market majors Samsung and Lenovo, Coolpad is carving out market share by offering well equipped devices at low cost. They have 10.2% of the Chinese market, according to Forbes.
So, for less than $200, Coolpad offers a 4G LTE smartphone with tech specs that, while middling, are more than capable.
The Quattro isn’t going to set the mobile world ablaze. That said, Coolpad’s wider entry will, at best, serve to shake up the mobile market in North America and at least, provide some more pricing pressure on lower-end smartphones.
See (and maybe win) new devices on YouTube!
The Ting YouTube channel is in full swing. In addition to App of the Week, Behind the Scenes, Ask an Exec and other shows, we’ve also introduced device unboxings. If you want to take a close-up look at phones and other devices as they hit the Ting lineup (and for a chance to win the device we unbox) just subscribe to our YouTube channel.