AT&T

AT&T

AT&T 5G ‘Evolution’ network coming to Austin and Indianapolis, offering 400Mbps speeds

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AT&T has been talking up 5G for a while now, with whispers of big plans for testing out the technology in Austin this year. At a special press conference today, AT&T has further elaborated on its 5G plans and will be paving the way for the next-gen tech in the US with an initial rollout of what it is calling “5G Evolution” in Austin and Indianapolis.

What is 5G Evolution? Basically, its the name of a new high-speed network that is supposed to reach top speeds of around 400 Mbps. This isn’t quite ‘real’ 5G, which is said to hit 1Gbps with ease, but it is a push in the right direction. AT&T says this is just the beginning and that it will continue to do special tests of its 5G technology in the months to come. AT&T also claims that this network could even potentially reach the gigabit range by the end of the year.

There’s no word on exactly when the 5G Evolution network will first go live, though it sounds like it could happen relatively ‘soon’.

See also:

5G networks – state of the industry

August 18, 2016

AT&T’s 5G tests and the 5G Evolution network are just a small part of a broader initiative that AT&T dubs Network 3.0, aka Indigo. Basically AT&T’s Indigo efforts aim to use software upgrades as a means of improving existing hardware’s performance, allowing for faster speed and better performance with much smaller upgrade costs than would be evolved if they had to make major hardware investments.

Lastly, AT&T also plans to add two new 5G testbeds in Austin, which will go live this spring.

Bottom-line, AT&T is working hard to be the first U.S. carrier to break the 5G barrier. So far it certainly is making the right moves towards this goal, though we imagine Verizon and the rest of the major carriers won’t be too far behind.

T-Mobile slams both AT&T and DirecTV Now with new free Hulu offer

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In late 2016, AT&T officially launched its DirecTV Now internet TV service. At the time, T-Mobile decided to throw a carrot over to AT&T users, offering them a free year of DirecTV Now (kind of) if they switched over to the “Un-carrier”. Today, T-Mobile launched a new promotion for those same customers, while at the same time slamming AT&T over issues with the launch of DirecTV Now.

See also:

Best T-Mobile prepaid Android phones

1 week ago

The new offer will give ex-AT&T customers a free year of Hulu, in addition to the free year of DirecTV Now. T-Mobile’s press release notes many of the media’s reviews of AT&T’s streaming TV service since it launched, with reports of buggy and slow performance from reviewers and many users. John Legere, the always-quotable president and CEO of T-Mobile, stated, “Even I can’t believe AT&T spent $67 billion on DIRECTV and still couldn’t roll out a streaming service that worked!”

If you had already switched over from AT&T to T-Mobile to get the free DirecTV Now service, the carrier says it will be sending out a code sometime in the next few weeks that will give you that free year of Hulu as well. Keep in mind that this code is for the “Limited Commercials” tier of Hulu that normally costs $7.99 a month; the version of the service with no ads costs more at $11.99 a month.

AT&T subscribers who have yet to jump ship to T-Mobile can still get their free year of DirecTV Now, along with the new Hulu promotion.  Those customers have to activate two lines of service on the carrier’s T-Mobile ONE plan and then they will get a $35 bill credit each month for a year, which is the equivalent to paying for DirecTV Now’s service every month. More info on this promotion can be found on T-Mobile’s support page.

AT&T ditches roaming charges with new $10 International Day Pass

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We have all read horror stories on the internet about US citizens who go abroad and bring their mobile phone with them, only to discover their bills explode with thousands of dollars in international data roaming charges. It looks like AT&T wants to make those kind of bad bill surprises go away with its new International Day Pass program, which officially begins on Friday, January 27.

See also:

Best AT&T Android phones

5 days ago

Under this new program, AT&T customers can get unlimited talk and text, along with the ability to use their current data plan, for just $10 per day. The plan is available in over 100 countries in all, spanning Central and South America, along with a number of countries in Europe and Asia like the UK, Italy, China and more. It’s also available in Australia and New Zealand and a number of Caribbean island nations.

This service is similar in nature to one that AT&T’s rival Verizon offers called TravelPass, which also charges the same $10 a day fee for unlimited talk and text, and a user’s current data plan, in over 100 countries. The exception is in Canada and Mexico, where Verizon only charges $2 per day.

The one minor caveat to this International Day Pass is that AT&T could remove it from your device if your voice, text, or data usage while overseas exceeds 50 percent of your of total voice, text, or data usage for two consecutive months. Obviously, the carrier doesn’t want you to use this day pass service beyond just a quick vacation trip.

AT&T losing more postpaid subscribers than other carriers, but that is part of the plan

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Losing often results in winning, a phenomena AT&T seems to be currently experiencing as they continue to see postpaid subscribers go faster than any of the other 4 major carriers in the USA. A new survey from Cowen and Company Equity Research shows most people who recently switched to Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint come from AT&T.

“When asking postpaid subscribers that have been with their carrier (less than) two years which carrier did they previously have, the top answer for current Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon respondents was ‘previously AT&T’, whereas in previous surveys it’s been more mixed.” -Cowen and Company Equity Research

While this sounds like bad news, it is AT&T’s plan for growth. The carrier has been letting go of customers in exchange for a more lucrative crowd. Many of AT&T’s lost subscribers owned simple feature phones, which equates to a lower ARPU (average revenue per user). Instead, they are focusing on smartphone users who will spend more for services.

Is it all paying off? Well, it seems to be. While postpaid subscription numbers continue to drop, AT&T is still making pretty good money. The carrier’s Q3 report shows $40 billion in revenue, which is a 4.6% increase over the previous year. Net income also rose by 11.2%.

Meanwhile, AT&T continues to be the second largest carrier in the USA. But will it be the case for much longer? How many of you are leaving AT&T to go with other carriers? Why?

AT&T will reportedly raise its activation and upgrade fee to $25 on Jan. 20

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AT&T customers who are thinking about getting a new phone or upgrading from a previous device might want to do that now to save a few bucks. A new report claims that the carrier plans to raise its current activation and upgrade fee from by $5, from $20 to $25, starting on Friday, Jan. 20.

See also:

Best AT&T Android phones

15 hours ago

The report comes from the usually reliable Droid Life, citing unnamed sources. However, it has yet to be confirmed by AT&T so take this story with a small but noticeable grain of salt. AT&T did confirm earlier this month that it plans to charge their currently grandfathered unlimited plan customers an additional $5 per month starting in March.

If AT&T does increase its activation and upgrade fee, it will be following a similar move by Verizon Wireless, who quietly boosted its own phone upgrade fees from $20 to $30 earlier this month. This move affected new customers who were paying for their new phone on Verizon’s device payment plans or if they paid in full for their new phones. Verizon also has ditched its two-year contract options for all of its customers.

How do you feel about AT&T possibly raising its upgrade and activation fees for new phones? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

Best AT&T Android phones (January 2017)

AT&T and Verizon have been engaged in a bit of a cold war for the top carrier spot in the United States for some time now. While both carriers have a great selection of phones, many folks claim AT&T’s selection is a bit broader. AT&T has everything from the best flagship devices to mid-range phones, all the way down to budget friendly options. So if you’re looking for the best AT&T phones, we’ve got you covered.

In the list below, we’ve also added a couple unlocked options at the bottom of the post if you’re interested in going off-contract. Without any further ado, let’s get started!

Editor’s note – We will be updating this list as more devices hit the market.


Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge

See more Galaxy S7 photos | See more Galaxy S7 Edge photos

Samsung did a killer job with their 2015 flagship smartphones, the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge. Design-wise, many would say those two phones were close to perfect. The company forwent a plastic design and instead included glass front and back panels with an aluminum frame. They weren’t without their flaws, though. The S6 and S6 Edge didn’t offer expandable storage or removable batteries — two features Samsung has been known to include in all its smartphones for years.

Now the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge have made their way to the masses, and they fix many of the problems the S6 line introduced last year. While they don’t offer removable batteries, Samsung included expandable storage on both handsets in case the 32GB of on-board storage isn’t enough. Samsung mostly stuck to the same design this time around, though they did shrink down the camera bumps on the back and made the devices a little thicker to make room for larger batteries.

In terms of specs, these are top-of-the-line smartphones. They come with Quad HD Super AMOLED displays, Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processors, 4GB of RAM, great 12MP rear-facing cameras and run the latest version of Android. Instead of featuring the same screen sizes this time around though, Samsung kept the S7 at a smaller 5.1 inches, while the S7 Edge has been bumped up to a larger 5.5-inch panel.

Seriously, these are some incredible smartphones. They are a little pricey, but all in all, we think the high asking price is worth it.

Specs

Samsung Galaxy S7

  • 5.1-inch Super AMOLED display with 2560 x 1440 resolution, 577ppi
  • Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 32GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 200GB
  • 12MP rear camera, 5MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3000mAh battery
  • Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow
  • 142.4 x 69.6 x 7.9mm, 152g

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge

  • 5.5-inch Super AMOLED display with 2560 x 1440 resolution, 534ppi
  • Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 32GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 200GB
  • 12MP rear camera, 5MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3600mAh battery
  • Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow
  • 150.9 x 72.6 x 7.7mm, 157g

Read more

Buy the Galaxy S7 from AT&T
Buy the Galaxy S7 Edge from AT&T


LG V20

Best AT&T Android phones (January 2017)

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The V20 is basically the phone for power users. It has a a big Quad HD display, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 processor, plenty of RAM and on-board storage, dual 16MP rear-facing cameras, and a removable 3,200mAh battery. Of course, the unique Second Screen makes a return this year, along with the addition of Quad DAC, military standard durability, and it’s already running Android 7.0 Nougat.

If top-of-the-line specs and an impressive feature set is what you’re looking for, you can’t go wrong with the V20.

Specs

  • 5.7-inch IPS LCD display with 2560 x 1440 resolution, 513ppi
    • Secondary display: 2.1-inch IPS LCD display with 160 x 1040 resolution, 513ppi
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 32/64GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 256GB
  • Dual 16 and 8MP rear cameras, 5MP front camera
  • Removable 3,200mAh battery
  • Android 7.0 Nougat
  • 159.7 x 78.1 x 7.6mm, 174g

Read more

Buy now from AT&T
Buy now from Amazon

Samsung Galaxy S7 Active

Best AT&T Android phones (January 2017)

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You’re constantly dropping your phone. You always use one of those indestructible phone cases. Your phone has taken a swim more than you have this summer.

Does this sound like you? If so, you should probably pick up the Galaxy S7 Active.

It has mostly all the same specifications as the standard Galaxy S7, but this one comes with a handful of improvements for those who need a more rugged device. It’s IP68 certified for dust proofing and water resistance, and also comes with a MIL-STD-810G certification for salt, dust, humidity, rain, vibration, solar radiation, transport and thermal shock resistance. Oh, and it comes with a massive 4,000mAh battery that’s extremely difficult to kill in a single day.

Specs

  • 5.1-inch Super AMOLED display with 2560 x 1440 resolution, 577ppi
  • Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 32GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 256GB
  • 12MP rear camera, 5MP front camera
  • Non-removable 4000mAh battery
  • Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow
  • 148.8 x 74.9 x 9.9mm, 185g

Read more

Buy now from AT&T

LG G5

Best AT&T Android phones (January 2017)

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While the Galaxy S7 series is a minor refresh in terms of design, the LG G5 sees a massive departure from the design language used in the G series, ditching the rear volume/power setup that first debuted with the LG G2. The G5 also adopts a unibody metallic design that has a removable cap for access to the removable battery and a port for modules that allow users to expand the phone’s capabilities by adding a camera grip and other special accessories.

The distinctly different design of the LG G5 may not be for everyone, but there’s little denying that LG has went out of its way to try and innovate in a market where big changes like this aren’t all that common.

Spec wise, we’re looking at a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 with 4GB RAM, a 5.3-inch display, and 32GB storage with microSD for expansion. The specs here are certainly impressive all across the board. It’s also worth mentioning that LG has revamped its software, making it faster and less bloated. One controversial move with the software, however, is the removal of the app drawer in favor of what LG says is a “simplified experience.”

Specs

  • 5.3-inch IPS LCD display with 2560 x 1440 resolution, 554ppi
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 32GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 200GB
  • 16 and 8MP dual rear cameras, 8MP front camera
  • Removable 2800mAh battery
  • Android 7.0 Nougat
  • 149.4 x 73.9 x 7.7mm, 159g

Read more

Buy now from AT&T

Going off-contract?

If you don’t mind buying your next smartphone through another retailer, you should absolutely go for Google’s new Pixel or Pixel XL. When you buy one of these phones through the Google Store, you’ll be able to activate it on AT&T’s network. Plus, if you don’t feel like spending $650+ outright, Google also has some decent financing options.

Google Pixel and Pixel XL

Best AT&T Android phones (January 2017)

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Google’s Pixel and Pixel XL are here, and they truly are some amazing smartphones.

Not only are they the first phones to ship with the Google Assistant on board, they also come with plenty of exclusive software features and some of the best smartphone cameras in existence.

Under the hood, they sport some killer specs, too. Both devices have an AMOLED display, a Snapdragon 821 processor, 4GB of RAM, plenty of on-board storage and long-lasting batteries. The overall design of these phones may not be the most unique, but they do feel like premium phones through and through.

There are a few things about these phones that will turn some people away, though. For starters, they only sport an IP53 rating for dust and water resistance, meaning they’re not nearly as waterproof as the Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge. There are ways around that, but none that will make the devices truly waterproof. Plus, if you buy the Verizon model, you’ll have to deal with a small amount of bloatware (though you will be able to uninstall it), you won’t be able to unlock the bootloader, and Verizon will be handling all Pixel and Pixel XL software updates (though the company swears it won’t delay them).

If you’re in the market for a new flagship Android phone and don’t mind spending over $650, you should buy the Pixel or Pixel XL… these are two of the best Android phones out there.

Specs

Google Pixel

  • 5.0-inch AMOLED display with 1920 x 1080 resolution, 441ppi
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 32/128GB of on-board storage, no microSD expansion
  • 12.3MP rear camera, 8MP front camera
  • Non-removable 2,770mAh battery
  • Android 7.1 Nougat
  • 143.8 x 69.5 x 8.6mm, 143g

Google Pixel XL

  • 5.5-inch AMOLED display with 2560 x 1440 resolution, 534ppi
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 32/128GB of on-board storage, no microSD expansion
  • 12.3MP rear camera, 8MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3,450mAh battery
  • Android 7.1 Nougat
  • 154.7 x 75.7 x 8.6mm, 168g

Read more

Buy now from the Google Store

How did you like our list of the best AT&T phones? Do you have any other suggestions? If so, feel free to voice your opinion in the comments below!

Next:

Best Android phones

2 weeks ago

Verizon and AT&T quietly make wireless plan changes

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While T-Mobile held a big CES 2017 press event to announce big new changes to its wireless plans this week, two of its competitors, Verizon Wireless and AT&T, were quietly making some changes of their own.

See also:

Best Verizon Android phones

2 weeks ago

Verizon Wireless has confirmed that it will be raising its upgrade fees from $20 to $30 for any customers on their device payment plans or if they pay in full for their new phones. Additionally, the carrier is no longer offering 2-year contracts for its existsting customers (it ditched contracts for new customers some time ago). That means when those folks come to the end of their current contracts, they will either have to get their next Verizon phone with a device payment plan or pay for it in full up front.

Verizon and AT&T quietly make wireless plan changes Shutterstock

See also:

Best AT&T Android phones

3 weeks ago

AT&T has a smaller change in store that just affects any of their customers that have been grandfathered into their old unlimited plans. Beginning with their March 2017 bills, they will have to pay an additional $5 a month. Those same customers had their plan prices raised by $5 about a year ago. This latest rate increase will not change their download speeds, unless they exceed 22GB of data in a month and if they “are in a congested area”.

AT&T plans to launch its first 5G video network trials in 2017

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AT&T is offering more information on its plans to trial its 5G network service in 2017. The wireless carrier has already launched business customer trials for 5G speeds in Austin, Texas, and plans to expand its efforts in the next year.

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Best AT&T prepaid Android phones

2 weeks ago

AT&T says it will begin a new trial in the first half 0f 2017 for a number of residential customers in Austin, where they will be able to access the recently launched streaming TV service DirecTV Now via a fixed 5G wireless connection. The company says that this test will see how its wireless mmWave technology can handle video traffic. More mobile and fixed wireless 5G trials are expected to begin sometime in the second half of 2017, using the New Radio specification that’s being developed by the 3GPP standards group. However, it’s going to be several years before 5G speeds are available on a wide basis.

AT&T added that it will also continue to update its current 4G LTE-Advanced network, and says that some of its cell sites will be able to reach theoretical download speeds of up to 1 Gbps sometime this year. The company’s fiber network is also getting some improvements, and it currently supports speeds of up to 1Gbps at 4 million locations across 46 US metro areas. The plan is to increase those numbers to 12.5 million locations across 67 metro areas by mid-2019.

AT&T rolls out Marshmallow update for its ZTE ZMAX 2

AT&T first started selling the ZTE ZMAX 2 way back in September 2015. Back then, the phone came with Android 5.1 installed out of the box. This week, well over a year later, AT&T has started rolling out an update to the phone that finally upgrades the OS to Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow.

See also:

Best AT&T Android phones

2 days ago

The download for this update is pretty large; it has a file size of 1.1GB. That means owners without an AT&T unlimited plan will definitely want to grab this Marshmallow update via a Wi-Fi connection. Also, the ZTE ZMAX 2 only has 16GB of on-board storage, so it’s more than possible that owners will have to delete some apps, videos and podcasts so it can have enough free space to download and install the update.

Aside from the upgrade to Marshmallow, AT&T says this update has the November 2016 security updates from Google. Be aware that it may take a few days for the update to show up on your specific device.

As a reminder, the ZTE ZMAX 2 also has a 5.5-inch 720p display, 2GB of RAM, an 8MP rear camera, a 2MP front-facing camera and a 3,000mAh battery. AT&T is currently selling it as part of its prepaid GoPhone lineup for $59.99.

AT&T introduces Call Protect service to help customers avoid nuisance calls

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AT&T has launched a new scheme which aims to give its HD Voice customers more control over the calls made to their phones.

AT&T Call Protect introduces several protective features including “automatic fraud blocking”, which is said to reduce the chances of customers becoming the victim of scams. AT&T says it can prevent malicious calls at the network stage before they reach a person’s phone.

“Suspected spam call warnings,” meanwhile, can be used to highlight potentially harmful calls on the incoming call screen: allowing customers to choose whether or not they answer.

“Nuisance calls are an industry-wide problem that unfortunately affect many people,” said Jeff Bradley, senior vice president of Device and Network Services Marketing at AT&T. “AT&T Call Protect, along with others, will help put customers more in control of the calls they receive.”

See also:

Best AT&T Android phones (December 2016)

21 hours ago

There are several limitations on the features however, including the possibility that AT&T will inadvertently block wanted calls, though AT&T said the specific fraud blocking settings can be adjusted.

The free Call Protect service, as well as additional features like temporary call blocking, can be accessed by downloading the Call Protect mobile companion app.

For the full terms and conditions, visit AT&T’s call protect page, and visit www.att.com/fraud if you suspect you’ve already been targeted by such calls.