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Device Update: Many many new news.

‘Tis very nearly the season. So it is that this device update is a pretty hefty one. Let’s dive in head-first without first checking the depth. What’s the worst that could happen?

Coming soon

Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini compared side-by-side with the Samsung Galaxy S4 Not At All MiniSamsung Galaxy S4 Mini

Take most everything you love about the Samsung Galaxy S4, shrink it to mini proportions and you have the, wait for it, Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini.

The S4 Mini can fairly be considered a more budget-friendly remake of the S4. It’s not as powerful as its older sibling but it is immediately apparent that it’s of the same lineage. At 124.6 x 61.3 x 8.9 mm (4.91 x 2.41 x 0.35 in), 109 g and around $400, it’s much more pocket friendly in both the literal and figurative sense.

We expect to have it available on the Ting devices page between late December and early January, barring any supply chain issues outside of our control.

Samsung Galaxy Mega. Totally not to scale.Samsung Galaxy Mega

If you thought the Samsung Galaxy Note line was big, prepare to have your mind blown. The Samsung Galaxy Mega is positively massive. Where “phablets” blur the line between smartphone and tablet form factors, the Mega leans much more toward the latter at 6.3-inches. Suffice it to say, you’re going to need a bigger pocket when this lands in the Ting lineup around late December/early January at under $500.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3

We’ve received requests to make connected tablets available in the Ting lineup. Not ones to disappoint, we’re happy to report that we’ll offer the Samsung Tab 3 early in the new year, if not sooner. We have yet to receive finalized pricing but we’ll update as soon as possible with that important detail.

The Tab 3 is a powerful tablet with a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor. Clocking in at 7-inches and if current smartphone trends bear out, it’ll be considered a smartphone as opposed to a tablet before too long.

Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatches.

Samsung Galaxy Gear

Who needs a smartwatch? Listen, we’re not here to wade into super important philosophical debates. We’re here to get the devices people want.

If you’re interested in the Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch, it’s coming in about two weeks at around $300. If not… well, it’s still coming in two weeks, it just doesn’t affect you in any way, shape or form.

LG G2 showing off its rear-mounted power and volume buttons.

LG G2

If only to break Samsung’s streak in this Device Update, the super powerful LG G2 is coming soon to Ting. We expect to have it early in the new year if not sooner at a price that’s yet to be determined… but likely around $540. The G2 is notable for many reasons.

First, it runs a largely unadulterated version of Android: Not much in the way of add-ons or skins here. Next, it’s super powerful with a 5.2-inch display at an unprecedented 423 PPI, a 13 MP camera, 32 GB of internal storage and a full 2 GB of RAM. Finally, the LG G2 flouts smartphone convention and places the power button and volume rocker on the back of the device. It will take a little adjustment, but it feels much more natural than the traditional smartphone button layout.

ZTE Fury, looking all furious.

ZTE Fury

This is a lower-end smartphone and an ideal step up from the always popular LG Optimus S. At about $70 new, it fills a gap in the Ting lineup that’s been there since the aforementioned Optimus S rode off into the sunset. It’s obviously not a top of the line smartphone. What it is though is a capable device and an ideal entry point into the world of smartphones.

Data devices

MiFi 500

Novatel MiFi 500

The Novatel MiFi 500 will be among the first LTE data devices Ting will offer when it hits the site in a couple of weeks. Where the LTE network is available, it offers super fast wireless speeds. Where LTE is not available, you can still connect on 4G WiMAX or on the more sedate but broader 3G network. The MiFi 500 offers access to up to 10 Wi-Fi devices like laptops, tablets and shares its status at a glance with its small and battery-friendly 1.54-inch OLED display. Expect this device to hit the Ting devices page soon at around $155.

Netgear Zing looking distinctly like a portable gaming system.

Zing Hotspot

If you’re looking for the ultimate in mobile hot spots, this is it. As demonstrated by the color touch screen, this isn’t your typical hotspot.

Aside from allowing up to 10 Wi-Fi devices to connect, it also features an unlocked SIM card slot. If you’re a world traveller, there’s no need for expensive international roaming. Just grab a SIM card and a travel data plan in the airport and connect wherever you need to.

Domestically, the Zing connects you to the super fast LTE network where available. When out of LTE range, 3G is a fallback position. The Zing will be hitting the Ting Device page in the coming weeks at around $165.

Airave refurbished

If you find your mobile network connection is less than ideal at home or in the office, the Airave steps in and acts like your own personal cell phone tower. Just plug it into an available Ethernet port on your home router and you’ll get full bars on your phone over an up to a 5,000 sq. ft. area. The refurbished Airave returned to the Ting devices page recently at $84 and is available now.

Samsung M400: Sturdy.

Samsung M400

Whether you’re looking for a backup device (did you know you can easily switch your Ting number from one device to another with the latest code rollout on Ting?) or you’re simply not interested in stepping up to a smartphone, this one’s for you.

The Samsung M400 will be coming back to the Ting lineup very soon at about $100.

LG Optimus Elite

The LG Optimus Elite is stepping back in to the Ting lineup. At around the $170 mark, this isn’t a top of the line smartphone. It is, however, a very capable device at a compelling price. The Elite will return to take its rightful place on the Ting devices page later this week.

Kyocera Milano, jauntily showing off its landscape QWERTY keyboard in a raked 3/4 view. Saucy!

Kyocera Milano

If you’re looking for an Android smartphone with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, your options are limited. Fortunately, the Kyocera Milano is one such option and it’s coming back to the Ting lineup very soon.

The Milano is a decently spec’d low-end smartphone and it makes its triumphant return in a couple of weeks at around $70.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals
no sidewalk camping required

super-sale-hatWe’ll spare you the preamble and just jump right in: We’re having a pretty crazy device sale that runs from midnight ET on November 29 (Black Friday) through 11:59pm ET on December 2 (Cyber Monday). At the same time, anyone that opts to bring a device over to Ting gets a bonus $25 in Ting credit.

Device sale

We’ve put just about every new device we offer on sale. There are very few devices left untouched: Only ones where, if we cut the price, we’d end up paying you. While we’re all about shaking up the industry, that in particular would be what “experts” call an unsustainable business practice.

Hit the Ting Devices page to see what’s on offer. Here are but a few highlights:

As we’ve said, that’s just a taste of what’s on sale. Browse the Ting Devices page to get the full story!

Extra Credit

We dug deep to take between $50 and $100 off just about every device in the Ting lineup. We realized though: Those device deals, great though they may well be, leave out the huge contingent of people that don’t want to buy a device from us. People that would rather activate one they already own on Ting.

Sorted!

Everyone that brings their own device to Ting between 12:00am ET on November 29 (Black Friday) and 11:59pm ET on December 2 (Cyber Monday) gets a one-time bonus $25 in Ting credit.

Read on for the FAQ

It’s time to bring your Nexus 5 to Ting!

Nexus-5Wow, what a week! Last Thursday, a handful of savvy denizens from around the country began activating the very first Nexus 5 devices on Ting. We have heard from those early adopters loud and clear: they really, really love their Nexus 5 — and they’re stoked to have their dapper Nexus 5 smartphones up and running here on Ting.

Which is why we are really excited to say: it’s time to bring your Nexus 5 to Ting! (In our humble opinion, of course.)

So, here’s the game plan to get a snazzy new Nexus 5 on Ting…

  1. Go order your Nexus 5!
    • Because of sheer demand, there is a bit of a wait right now over at Google Play, so go lock in your shipping date. We’re doing everything we can to get SIM cards out the door as quickly as possible, which brings me to…
  2. If you have not already, go get on our SIM card priority list right now!
    • We have begun shipping initial batches of SIM cards out. We are emailing small groups of folks at a time to find out if they are ready for a SIM card and, if so, where they would like their SIM card shipped. Please be patient with us, as these SIM cards are still in very short supply.
    • If you are in a mad dash to get your Nexus 5 up and running on Ting, you can also check out the early adopter thread for random ideas on where else you might be able to snag the necessary SIM card.
  3. Once you have your Nexus 5 and a SIM card, head over to this rapidly evolving support article for the play-by-play.
    • And, as part of our newfangled Nexus 5 open beta, our staggeringly awesome support folks will be able to provide guidance starting later next week, should you run into roadblocks large or small.
    • In the meantime, if you run into any issues, our awesome community has done a great job figuring out the occasional Nexus 5 quirks right here.

We have said it before, but it bears repeating: the excitement we’ve seen around the Nexus 5 from you Tingfolk (and soon-to-be Tingfolk) has just blown us away. So get yourself signed up for a Ting SIM card and then head over to our forums to follow the progress!

Ting’s Nexus 5 manifesto redux:
A Very Ting Roadtrip

(For the tl;dr action plan, skip to the last two paragraphs!)

Nexus-5Over the past few days, something changed. Guys and gals in big brown trucks started delivering snazzy new Nexus 5 smartphones to anxiously awaiting folks across America. For the first time, anyone with just this one awesome device could choose between at least three of the four major mobile networks in the United States.

We knew the Nexus 5 was a smartphone we wanted to have and support for the Ting community. We were, frankly, more than a bit surprised by just how many folks bought a Nexus 5 from Google Play and then showed up at our (virtual) door. We always try to be as open as we possibly can be about new devices and our plans (just take a look at our Nexus 5 manifesto from yesterday). So in that spirit, the redux: An update on our progress with the Nexus 5.

The fact Ting runs on the CDMA network has meant that a device you buy for, say, T-Mobile cannot be used with Ting or vice versa. But, pretty darned suddenly, you can head over to the Google Play store and buy a Nexus 5 and then take it to just about any carrier.

There is one roadblock. For a little while now, almost all new CDMA devices have supported LTE. LTE devices require a SIM card. Without exception, every LTE device we sell has a SIM card included (and some are even embedded). We have never before needed to provide a SIM card by itself. For our MVNO brethren and sistren that operate on GSM-based networks, providing a SIM card is routine. For us, it’s a new logistical question.

Set of color SIM cardsWhich leads me to my last-minute trip down to Buffalo, New York yesterday. We have quite a few older SIM cards here at Ting HQ for testing, but the Nexus 5 requires a fancy new SIM card (model SIMGLW206R if you’re keeping track). Inspired by our Nexus 5 manifesto, I found the nearest Sprint Store with SIM cards on hand, jumped in my sweet, sweet ride and made a run for the border.

And then I waited. You see, Ting HQ is here in Toronto. I grew up in West Virginia, where a traffic jam is a few coal trucks getting in the way on a long and winding mountain road. Between Toronto and Buffalo, however, there is the Queen Elizabeth Majestic Parking Lot Way. Her Majesty and I need to have a little chat because clearly she needs some new traffic management planning experts.

But, I digress. I left the office at 3:30pm and arrived at a buzzing Sprint Store in Buffalo right around 7:30pm, just a half-hour before they were scheduled to close. They gave me their last five SIM cards and I headed over to the Barnes & Noble next door to jump on their Wi-Fi network. Connecting to Ting HQ via VPN, we were able to get our first few Nexus 5 devices active on Ting.

This isn’t an announcement that the Nexus 5 can now come to Ting. We’re still testing and working on instructions for getting everything up and running. That said, things are looking very promising.

We are crazy excited about the Nexus 5. The demand is awesome, but the paradigm shift it portends for the old wireless industry models is especially exciting. Want to give T-Mobile a try? Want to give Ting a try? Want to head over to Sprint for unlimited data, instead? The more freedom you have, the happier we are here at Ting. Even though I didn’t get back home until well after midnight last night, I’d be saying the same thing — perhaps even louder — after a good night’s sleep!

Where we are right now

If you want to bring a Nexus 5 purchased from Google Play over to Ting, you have a couple of options.

  1. Take the blue pill and wait for a bit while we smooth the way for you to bring a Nexus 5 to Ting.
    We are working on getting a sufficient quantity of SIM cards to start shipping them out to new and existing Ting customers that want to activate their Nexus 5 purchased from the Google Play store. If you want to be notified once we have these ready, give us your details here and we’ll be in touch as soon as we can. Please keep in mind that bringing your own Nexus 5 will only be possible for Nexus 5 devices purchased directly from the Google Play store.
  2. Take the red pill and test with us.
    If you simply cannot wait and are willing to blaze a trail with us here, get your hands on a Sprint* SIM card and head over to this thread in our forums for the nitty gritty details. Before you swallow that pill though, please be fully aware that we’re still working on getting some things working and we can’t guarantee that everything will go perfectly smoothly: There may still be challenges ahead that we can’t yet foresee.

Whether you’re ready now or you want to wait it out, here’s to the Nexus 5 helping to make mobile make even more sense!

Device Update: Ting’s Nexus 5 manifesto

UPDATE: Success! You can now bring your Nexus 5 to Ting!.

Nexus-5What started as a simple device update post spiralled out of control and became a bit of a manifesto on the Nexus 5 and mobile business models instead. If you’re interested to know everything we know, please read on.

We’re hoping to have the Nexus 5 available in as little as a couple of weeks. As it stands, a Nexus 5 purchased from the Play Store probably won’t activate smoothly on Ting. The reason being, the devices ESN number will not be recognized as a device that can connect to network services on Ting (or on any other MVNO that provides network services on the Nationwide Sprint Network*).

The truth is, by offering a truly unlocked device that can access not just the GSM but also the CDMA network, Google is messing with the mobile status quo. While we’re fans of that kind of thing, as we’ve said elsewhere, it does complicate things for the “business as usual” systems we interface with.

We think that Google going it largely alone in selling with Nexus 5 will make service providers who haven’t had to deal with unlocked phones before take notice. We think that’s a very good thing. We recognize that there will be some rough spots along the way. Still, we’re excited about the Nexus 5 as a democratizer; a top-end smartphone that’s completely unlocked and cross-network. Not to mention: Who needs a contract when you can get a truly top-end device for $350?

We’ve said before that we’d be happy to be out of the selling devices game. We’d rather focus all of our attention on the service as opposed to on the devices that access it. That’s a little way off yet but we’re happy to see Google mixing things up.

As it stands, in order to activate a Nexus 5 on Ting, that Nexus 5 will need to have been purchased through Ting. The Nexus 5 devices that we will sell in the coming weeks will be sold at cost, not marked up. We will not interfere with Nexus 5 in any way. It’s not yet clear if the devices we offer will be the self same as the device offered through the Google Play store.

Sprint is offering the Nexus 5 off contract at $449.99. That’s $100 more than the same phone purchased through Google Play. We’re still waiting for clarity on our purchase price for the Nexus 5. Typically, our purchase price is the same as Sprint’s full, unsubsidized retail price. Obviously, we’re not eager to sell a device for $100 more than it can be bought elsewhere. We’ll continue to work on it.

We’re (very) actively working on being able to activate Nexus 5 devices purchased from the Google Play store on Ting. We hope to have good news to share in the near term. We’re optimistic (when aren’t we?) but we won’t go as far as to recommend you buy a Nexus 5 from the Google Play store with the expectation of activating it on Ting. At least, not yet.

As soon as we have news, we’ll share it, whatever the flavor. Follow our Device Update category here on the Ting blog and / or join us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or connect with us on Google+ for the latest.

* Although Sprint provides Ting subscribers access to its wireless network and to its wireless services, Ting is responsible to the Ting subscribers for the service. Please call Ting with any questions or comments about services.
* Sprint is a trademark of Sprint Nextel.

Device Update: Galaxy Note 3, Moto X, LG G2 and more!

There are a bunch of great new and refurbished devices hitting the Ting lineup that we’re excited to tell you about! Here’s a run down of everything we’ll be launching in the next few weeks.

 

Samsung Galaxy Note 3

note3

We’re excited to announce that the Galaxy Note 3 will be coming to Ting!

Sporting a 5.7-inch screen, 3 GB of RAM and a 13 megapixel camera, the Note 3 is a solid step up from its predecessor. With a redesigned S Pen, leather-like back and original features, you’ll love all the improvements that have been made!

Awesome new functions include Pen Window, which lets you open a window by drawing a box anywhere on your screen. Once drawn, you can instantly open the app of your choice for true multi-tasking abilities!

With My Magazine, view everything that interests you all in one place. You can customize your personal feed by syncing news sources, subjects (such as fashion, business, or food) and social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

samsung_galaxy_gear_render_520x300x24_fillAlongside the Note 3, we’ll be offering Samsung’s brand new smartwatch, the Galaxy Gear! This device is a companion to the Note 3 and can display notifications, control your media and much more!

Both of these brand new Samsung gadgets will be coming to Ting in early October (*Update: Preorders will begin on October 18th, the device will ship in 2 to 3 weeks. I apologize for the confusion and delay). Exact price is TBD, but as always, it will be at or very close to the “unlocked” price.

Moto Xmotorola-x-black_large

Motorola’s new flagship device brings a ton of hype and for good reason. Running a tweaked version of Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, the Moto X has the polished interface of stock Android with superb additional features. Touchless Control is a Motorola exclusive that actively listens for your voice and activates with a specific phrase (“OK, Google Now”). Once activated, this personal assistant lets you do tons of hands-free tasks like emailing your friends, switching music and opening apps. Another great tool is Active Display, that uses sensors to automatically wake your screen when you flip it over or remove it from your pocket. What’s more, the Moto X comes with 50GB of free Google Drive storage for device owners for two years!

Your Moto X ships in two to four weeks, and we’ve locked it down in two classic colors: black and white. To preorder, head to the black or white Moto X device page!

LG G2

LG’s G2 is a high-end Android Smartphone that packs some useful features within a unique design. It holds a 5.2-inch 1080p display, 2.3 GHz quad-core processor and capacious 3,000 mAh battery that’ll last all day. The G2 runs a customized version of Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and supports LTE tri-band network technology. In practical terms, that means better coverage, even indoors!

lg-g2-0807-official-2-566x800

The G2 comes with some awesome tools like KnockON, which wakes the screen by double-tapping, and Optical Image Stabilization, which reduces blur and improves low-light shooting. It also includes an audio “zoom” feature, where it will focus on specific sounds while zoomed in during a video recording.

LG has also made an innovative move by positioning the Power/Lock and volume keys on the back of the device instead of the more common location. While this may take some getting used to, it’s a welcome break from the awkward finger stretching that has become the norm with big screen smartphones today.

Kyocera Hydro EdgeKyocera Hydro Edge hydro 2 kyocera hydro edge pvf

The Hydro Edge is a reasonably-priced rugged smartphone that’s IP57 certified, meaning it’s waterproof up to 3.28 feet of water for 30 minutes. The 1 GHz dual-core processor packs a serious punch for those looking to use some power-sucking apps. You’ll also have access to the new Smart Sonic Receiver technology that lets you hear callers in noisy environments, along with Eco Mode, which takes control of some phone settings to optimize battery life.

The Hydro Edge should be arriving in less than two weeks, so keep an eye out on our Devices page!

Zing Mobile Hotspot and MiFi 500 LTE

We’ve got two new wireless hotspots hitting our shelves in the next two weeks.Netgear-Sierra Zing World Kite

The Zing Mobile tri-band LTE Hotspot is a sleek and affordable wireless hotspot. It includes a 2.4-inch color display. You’re given several options to manage the device’s settings, including on-screen controls, a browser-based management console, and Android/iOs apps. It supports up to 10 wireless devices with a range of 50 feet.

Novatel Mifi 500 modem novatel wirelessIf you’re looking for an LTE hotspot with greater range (up to 100 feet), Novatel Wireless’ MiFi 500 LTE is for you. The attractive and compact MiFi comes with its own OS so you can run apps like maps and weather widgets, and includes a MicroSD slot so you can easily share files between connected devices.

Galaxy Mega

The Talktanic itself, this phone aims to satisfy those who like it large. It has a massive 6.3-inch display, runs at 1080p resolution, and launches with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. The Mega is actually so big that it even has its own blog post.

While we still don’t have an exact release date or price for the Mega, keep an eye out as we’ll be adding it in the near future!

Refurbished Feature Phones

Cricket_Kona_Front_Closed

The latest flip phones to be added to our refurb lineup includes the Kyocera KONA, a device never before offered by Ting, along with a familiar face, the Samsung M260. You’ll be seeing both of these devices live on our site in early October.

The KONA is a simple feature phone that will suit anyone looking for an inexpensive, sturdy flip phone. It includes a small external color display and a 2.4 inch internal screen, along with a spacious keypad. While the KONA doesn’t include any sophisticated features or components, it has a straightforward interface that’s a breeze to use.

samsung-m260

The Samsung M260 is a basic flip phone that’s compact, inexpensive and reliable. While it only includes the essentials, the M260 can accomplish your calling and texting needs with ease.