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HTC 8XT running Windows Phone 8 hits the Ting device lineup

First!

Ting is now taking pre-orders of the HTC 8XT running Windows Phone 8. It’s an awesome phone at a great price contract-free. That’s exciting in its own right.

More though, with all Ting smartphones to this point being Android devices, this addition is momentous as a +1 to supported smartphone OS count. Sure, we’ve been able to offer some Windows Phone devices under the bring your device to Ting program. This is bigger. A +2 perhaps?

If you’ll forgive us for a little horn tooting, we’re coming up on 18 months old (Ting launched publicly in February 2012). We were the first MVNO on our network to offer LTE. The first to offer the Samsung Galaxy SIII and first with the S4 and the HTC One too. The first to offer bring your own eligible device. Now, we’re the first to launch the HTC 8XT which means more than just adding a new device to our lineup. It also means adding a new platform that we’ll be offering support for in the classic Ting style (that is to say, honestly and with human beings as opposed to phone trees).

We’re proud of the things we’ve accomplished thus far but we’re a long way from finished and there’s a lot more yet to come.

We always envisioned Ting as being, as they say, device and platform agnostic. We want to provide the service and let you use it as and on which device you choose. Not to overstate things, but this is certainly another step in that direction. Soon, we’ll be adding another Windows Phone device to the lineup with the Samsung ATIV.

A little on Windows Phone 8

Give any but the most staid or devoted Android or iOS user a Windows Phone 8 handset to try out and you’ll consistently hear a few adjectives and turns of phrase used to describe the experience: Fluid, intuitive, clean, clear and a breath of fresh air among them.

It’s a fair assessment. That’s why Windows Phone 8 enjoys a relatively small but very vocal minority of smartphone users. You may have run in to a few of them on the various online message boards and in the comments section of popular consumer tech editorial outlets. They’re nothing if not passionate and dedicated to their chosen cause.

Windows Phone 8 offers more and more varied device options, much as Android does. This compared with iOS your options essentially consist of the newest or nothing at all. Not that we’re knocking the strategy. It does seem to be working out pretty well after all.

Windows Phone 8 also offers an integrated environment (some might call it a walled garden) in many ways similar to the iOS approach. It keeps things simple, integrated, clean and controlled. While some may argue the approach is restrictive, there are certainly benefits to a curated experience… as anyone that works tech support for less than tech-savvy friends and relatives might attest.

In short, we’re happy to have the HTC 8XT in the Ting device lineup for a number of reasons. Not least of all being that it’s a pretty spiffy smartphone at a reasonable price and on Ting, completely contract-free.

Device Update: A feature phone update + One

Just in case you haven’t stepped outside, you don’t have a weather app on your phone or a window anywhere nearby, let us be the ones to tell you: It’s summertime. Typically, that means that device news is hard to come by, right?

Not so much. We’ll have a major Windows Phone update to share in short order. Until then though, feast on this our feature phone update + One.

HTC One Black

Just this afternoon, we added the super stealthy black HTC One to the Ting lineup. This phone features the same unibody design, milled from a single slab of (black?) aluminum. It features the same killer specs as its silver counterpart. It’s got the same dazzling 4.7-inch full HD screen, the same HTC Sense improvements. Its camera snaps the best pictures and videos you’ve seen on a smartphone. HTC Zoe turns those pictures and videos into awesome montages that beat any slideshow you’ve ever seen.

All in all, a very solid smartphone and now, 100% more blackerer.

Feature phones

The soon-to-be latest additions to the Ting feature phone lineup are a QWERTY slider text messaging phone and a super rugged flip phone.

LG Rumor Reflex

A QWERTY slider feature phone for the the text messaging set, the LG Rumor Reflex fills in for the Samsung Array QWERTY messaging phone in its temporary absence from the Ting lineup.

The Rumor Reflex offers a responsive touchscreen and a spacious QWERTY keyboard. It’s a great interim step on the move from a pure feature phone up to the world of the smartphone. A good choice if your kids text message non-stop.

The LG Rumor Reflex will hit the Ting devices page next week for under $160.

Kyocera DuraXT

Barring anything unforeseen, the refurbished Kyocera DuraXT will hit the Ting devices page as soon as next week. The DuraXT sports a 3.2MP camera and improved Bluetooth capabilities. It’s also got a rudimentary web browser and a small but serviceable two-inch, 240×320 pixel screen.

The best part? It’ll come in at less than $50.

Whether you’re specifically looking for a military-grade (MIL-STD 810G) phone to satisfy a latent sadistic streak toward technology or if you’re just looking for an easy to use flip phone and ruggedization is a bonus, the DuraXT could fit the bill.

Please note that while the DuraXT can claim Push To Talk (PTT) among its features, the Ting network does not support PTT and the walkie-talkie-like PTT cannot be used on Ting.

Device Update: Windows Phone 8
and data devices

We’ve got some Windows Phone 8 news to share. If you’ve been waiting to learn more about Windows Phone’s debut on Ting, read on. If you’d like to express your feelings for Windows Phone 8 devices on Ting and give us a bit of an idea as to how many Windows Phone 8 devices we should look to get in our first order, please register your vote in the Windows Phone 8 poll below.

Windows Phone 8

It’s been possible to bring some Windows Phone devices to Ting since we launched the Bring your Device to Ting program. Soon though, we’ll be getting officially official with Windows Phone.

In mid- to late-July (later than the early July timeframe we were hoping for. Our apologies.) we’ll have the Samsung and HTC Windows Phone 8 devices we’ve hinted at previously. We have confirmed the HTC model that we’ll have available but we’re still waiting for official word on the Samsung device.

HTC Tiara

With all the pomp and pageantry we can muster, we’ll be bringing the HTC Tiara to Ting. We’ll also be hoping (but secretly, not all that much) that Tiara is a codename.

While it’s not been officially unveiled, the Tiara is expected to be the follow-up and an upgraded version of the well appointed HTC Desire SV.

Since it hasn’t been officially launched and so the spec sheet isn’t confirmed, we’ll stop short of detailing all the specs and capabilities of the Tiara except to say that it will be an LTE-ready device.

Samsung WP8 device

While we can’t yet 100% confirm the specific Samsung Windows Phone 8 device we’ll be dropping into the Ting device lineup in fairly short order, we do know that it’ll be an LTE device and it looks distinctly like it will have an unlocked GSM SIM card slot. Perfect for travellers with a Windows Phone bent.

We expect to offer this device at around the same time as the HTC Tiara hits and we’ll update with more info just as soon as we can.

Samsung Galaxy Note III?

We’re expecting a refresh of the Note lineup to hit later this year, likely in early fall. No word on what the next Note looks like. If you’re a phablet phan, all we can really say is stay tuned; we’ll have and share updates as soon as there are updates to be had and shared.

Data devices

We’ll be adding brand new data devices to the Ting lineup this summer. Both of our new data devices will be coming from Netgear. We don’t have names yet but we do know that one of these Netgear devices is an LTE + 3G device. The other is an LTE + GSM 3G device.

In other news…

We added the refurbished Samsung Galaxy SII white back to the Ting used devices lineup at $202. We added a limited quantity of refurb Titanium SIIs as well, but those sold through in the span of a couple of days. We do have the brand new Titanium SIIs that we added to the new device lineup recently still in stock at $251.

Bring your eligible device to Ting

We’ve been quietly adding devices to the officially supported devices list and said list now comprises 15 phones. To reiterate, “officially supported” devices are ones that we have the explicit instructions for every step you’d need to complete to bring your phone across. Devices on the “white list” are phones and data devices that can make the move to Ting but that we haven’t yet created the step-by-step instructions you might need to help your device make the move.

If your device is on the white list but not on the officially supported devices list, not to worry: It can still make the move. The process is pretty simple: Just go to the Ting activation page and follow the steps. The worst that could really happen is that your device doesn’t make the move and remains an inactive device until such time as we’re able to offer step-by-step instructions.

Device Update: A very Galaxy device update

A device lineup is like a police lineup: You take a long, hard look and then point out the one that mugged you.

Wait, no.

A device lineup is like the bathroom lineup at an outdoor concert: It’s muddy, people are getting ornery and… there are cell phones involved somehow.

This isn’t working.

Let’s dispense with the metaphors and just talk about what’s happening in the Ting device lineup.

Samsung Galaxy S4 shipping

Grey Samsung Galaxy S4s have been flying out of the Ting warehouse. When we initially added the S4 to the Ting devices page a little over two weeks ago, we set the ships in timeframe to two to three weeks. Now, all pre-orders have been fulfilled and the S4 grey is available for purchase, shipping the same or next business day.

White S4s have proven more difficult. That said, we’re still on track to ship white S4s within the three-week timeframe which was our outside shipping estimate.

Samsung Galaxy S III sale

We all knew this time would come. With the introduction of the Samsung Galaxy S4, the S III is, at least temporarily, riding off into the sunset. Once we sell through our current stock, we won’t be adding the Samsung Galaxy S III back into the lineup until / unless we can get a great price and, in turn, offer it up for a great price.

Speaking of great prices (see what I did there?) the last of our Samsung Galaxy S IIIs, the 16GB Pebble Blue model, are available now at $450. We won’t say that once they’re gone they’re gone forever… but we will say that once they’re gone, they won’t be back. At least for a while.

Samsung Galaxy S II Titanium

We’ll be adding the Galaxy S II in titanium to the Ting device lineup as soon as early next week. The price will be around $250. This is a brand new device; not a refurbished one.

If you’re signed up to received Ting device alert emails, you’ll be among the first to know when this device hits. If not, well, you can sign up at the bottom right of this page by clicking on Get Email Updates.

Samsung Galaxy Note II white sale

Just as the subhead says: The Galaxy Note II white is on sale now. It’s $30 off the original ask at $595.

Airave available refurbished

This isn’t brand new news. Still, it bears mentioning that the Airave is available now as a refurbished device for $120.

The fact that we can offer refurbished Airaves also means that certain existing Airaves purchased used can be brought to Ting.

If you’re buying an Airave used in order to bring it to Ting, ensure it’s an Airvana Airave with a MAC address that starts with 00:05:B. You’ll find the MAC address on a sticker on the device. It’s a string of six sets of two hex characters (xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx). If you’re buying used, make sure you ask the seller for a picture of the MAC address sticker before you commit to buy!

Device Update: HTC One and Galaxy S4 shipping times, new SIIs and refurb Airaves inbound

It’s been a little while since our last device update. The irony is, we’ve been too busy working to update our device lineup to offer a proper device update. Last week, we added the HTC One to the Ting lineup. More recently, we added the Samsung Galaxy S4 to the mix. There’s more in the pipe.

HTC One

When we added the HTC One to the Ting device page, we set the ships-in time to two to three weeks. We hoped to hit the earlier estimate but unfortunately, forces outside our control conspired to make that unrealistic.

That said, HTC One devices will start leaving the warehouse today. If you were among the first about 50% of pre-orders, you’ll see a shipment notice hit the inbox of the email address we have on file when it’s loaded and on its way to you. The remaining pre-orders (and new orders) will be fulfilled throughout this week. After the pre-orders are shipped, the HTC One will be available to buy now, shipping the same business day.

For an estimation on shipping times to your neck of the woods, check out this article on the Ting blog. While it’s holiday themed, the shipping estimates stand up.

Samsung Galaxy S4

We recently added the latest in the Samsung Galaxy S family to the Ting lineup. The Samsung Galaxy S4 is available now in black or white at $596.

The first of our Galaxy S4 stock arrived and will be leaving the warehouse, on its way to pre-orderers, first thing tomorrow morning. Once pre-orders are shipped, the S4 will be available to buy now, shipping the same business day.

Samsung Galaxy SII

Next week, we’ll be adding the Samsung Galaxy SII 4G Titanium to the Ting devices page at around $250 brand new. The SII is a great mid-range device. While it’s been overshadowed by the latest in the Samsung Galaxy line, the S4, and it’s less than half the price, it’s not fair to say the SII is half the smartphone.

Galaxy SIIs seem to hold their value as used devices; we’ve seen used SIIs selling for more than the price we’re able to offer them up brand new.

Airave

In the last Device Update, we mentioned that some Airave devices can be brought over to Ting. It is only the more recent (version 2.0 or 2.5) Airvana Airave devices that can be activated. Samsung Airave devices cannot make the move at all. Airave devices made prior to 2009 (Samsung devices) are being decommissioned as of August 1, 2013 and will not work after this date.

A quick eBay search confirms that the listings are awash in Airave devices that will be decommissioned soon. As always it’s buyer beware when dealing in the used market.

How do I know if my Airave can make the move to Ting?

The simplest means of checking to see if an Airave can move to Ting is to check the MAC address. You’ll find the MAC address on a sticker on the device. It’s a string of six sets of two hex characters (xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx). If the first five characters of the MAC address are 00-05-B, it should be good to go. Give us a call and we’ll help you make the move. Otherwise, it’s likely among those that will be decomissioned as of August 1, 2013.

If you’re looking to buy a used Airave, make sure you ask the seller for a picture of the MAC address sticker before you buy!

We hope to add a refurbished Airave to the Ting device lineup in the next couple of weeks, in part to alleviate the possibility of confusion from the used Airave devices currently available for sale.

Windows Phone

We’re still on track to offer Windows Phone devices from Samsung and HTC in late June early July. There’s not a great deal more to say on the subject except that you might want to sign up for our Device Alert emails (bottom of this page, “Get Email Updates”) to ensure you get the latest device news as it hits.

iPhone

No specific news to report on the iPhone front. We do appreciate everyone that’s signed up for iPhone alerts on the Ting new devices page. It will help us as we continue to make our case. People that have signed up for iPhone alerts will be the very first to know when we are able to offer the iPhone, for sale and / or as a Bring your Device to Ting-eligible phone.

We don’t expect we’ll get a great deal of notice in advance of the iPhone’s arrival. That’s a big part of the reason we’re trying to lay the ground work ahead of time.

Afraid we can’t offer much more insight than that. If we had details, you know we’d share ’em!

Samsung Galaxy S4 in the flesh polycarbonate

Recently we received the first of several Samsung Galaxy S4s for the Ting help desk and test lab. Yesterday, we asked the Ting Facebook community what they’d like us to demonstrate in video form.

Samsung Galaxy S II, S III and S4 compared

First, we took a look at the physical differences between and evolution of the Galaxy line of devices.

New features and the camera on the Samsung Galaxy S4

The Samsung Galaxy S4 carries over some of the useful S- features from previous devices and introduces a several new ones.

The camera app on the Samsung Galaxy S4 has been very much overhauled too and includes a veritable cornucopia (always wanted to say that) of new features and additions.

Subscribe to the Ting channel on YouTube to get the latest video updates as they hit. If you’ve got any video requests, things you’d like to see on the Samsung Galaxy S4 juse let us know and we’ll do our best to get a video for you.