Does your phone support T-Mobile's Extended Range and VoLTE? This app will tell you if it does

Back in August, T-Mobile celebrated winning 45% of the 600MHz low frequency airwaves that the FCC put up for auction. The carrier spent nearly $8 billion to win all that spectrum. Combined with T-Mobile’s previous ownership of 700MHz spectrum, the carrier markets both low frequency bands as its Extended Range LTE service. T-Mobile, the leader in the industry when it comes to marketing, reveals that its Extended Range airwaves travel twice as far and penetrate buildings four times better than other frequencies.

If you’re a T-Mobile customer, your handset must be compatible with these bands …


Window to purchase AppleCare+ for the iPhone is extended to one year

Apple has made a significant change to extended warranty AppleCare+. Previously, those who purchased an Apple iPhone had 60-days after buying the handset to add the AppleCare+ plan. Starting now, that period of time has been lengthened to one year. For example, a person who had purchased an iPhone last December would be ineligible to purchase AppleCare+ after February. Now, with the change, this particular iPhone owner would have until the first anniversary of his/her purchase to spend the $129 in order to purchase the extended warranty plan. We should point out that this is the pricing for the …

Review: Synaps iPhone 4 Case with Extended Battery

The summer of 2010 had seen the release of many high end smartphones including the Evo by HTC, Droid X/Droid 2 by Motorola and the Galaxy S series by Samsung (which includes the Vibrant on T-Mobile USA, the Captivate on AT&T, the Epic on Sprint and Fascinate on Verizon Wireless). However, there was probably no launch larger than the fourth generation of the iPhone by Apple appropriately called the iPhone 4 which launched onto AT&T (and a CDMA version of this phone will be releasing to Verizon within the coming days). When the iPhone first launched in 2007, it completely changed the way smartphones are viewed throughout our society. The original iPhone was the first smartphone to feature a capacitive touch screen which opened up a new world of capabilities. The biggest being the abundance of apps including many very intuitive games, smooth browsing experience thanks to multi-touch (pinch to zoom, double tap to zoom) as well as a large selection of personal and corporate apps to make life easier. The iPhone app store currently boasts over 300,000 apps which is more than available on any other platform. Furthermore, Apple’s ability to demonstrate the potential of capacitive touchscreens forced all of Apple’s competitors to also offer smartphones with capacitive touchscreens (including phones which run on the latest versions of RIM’s Blackberry OS, Palm’s WebOS, Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 OS and the highly acclaimed smartphone OS by Google launched in 2008, Android). Despite this competition within a market which Apple pioneered, the iPhone quickly rose to the top as the most popular smartphone in the United States and has been remaining there over the past several years.

However, due to all of the competition also releasing phones with capacitive touchscreens and in some cases, phones that boasted better specifications than the iPhone, Apple knew they had to release something big. And they did just that. The first thing you would notice about the fourth iteration of the iPhone was the new design. This phone features a design out of glass (which Steve Jobs claims is the same glass found on the windows of helicopters and trains) and metal (including antennas on the outside for higher gain when insulated by a case) to provide overall outstanding build quality (which become expected by the iPhone series). Instead of the rounded shape featured by the previous three iterations of the iPhone (the original iPhone which only ran on EDGE, the iPhone 3G and the iPhone 3GS), this new iPhone features a more square shape and is also currently the slimmest phone on the market.

Despite the fact that this phone boasts less thickness, Apple was able to pack in many more new features. This phone features a beffier processor (it utilizes Apple’s A4 chip found in the iPad. It is a 1GHz chip which is a version of Samsung’s Hummingbird chip found in the Galaxy S series with customizations by Apple), more RAM (512MB), a new display (while it is still 3.5″, it features the Super LCD display by Sony that makes viewing easier in direct sunlight and an amazing 960v640 resolution which is the highest screen resolution found on any smartphone, this combination delivers over 300 pixels-per-inch which is similar to what is seen on magazines and books and more pixels than the naked eye can differentiate at a reasonable distance), a front facing camera for videoconferencing and self-portraits, an improved rear camera (high quality 5MP camera, dual LED flash and capable of recording video up to a resolution of a whopping 720p) a gyroscope to allow games to incorporate angular rotations and most importantly, a larger battery (according to teardowns by iFixIt, this new battery is 1420mAh which is roughly a 16% increase from the 1220mAh battery found on the iPhone 3GS). While this phone features outstanding hardware, Apple also introduced a newer version of their smartphone operating system, now named iOS. The new iteration of their smartphone OS allows for more customization (customizations of the wallpaper) and it was the first Apple operating system to feature some form of multi-tasking (while it is not true multitasking, it is intelligent, battery efficient multitasking which allows for seamless transition across various apps which is coded to multitask).

An outstanding superphone like this requires accessories in order to keep it in pristine condition as well as potentially adding functionality. This particular accessory for the iPhone which I discovered is able to do both of these things, and do them, very well. While the battery in the iPhone is larger than the ones found on previous generations, the new features (especially multitasking) and improved hardware (especially the 1GHz processor) in this phone can potentially cause for a higher battery drain. While most users are able to see at least one full day before being forced to charge the battery, there are many heavy users (especially corporate users and gamers) who require a better solution. Examples of usage that can drain the battery faster than normal include using the phone on 3G/WiFi, using Bluetooth/GPS, playing games for long periods of time (especially CPU-hogging 3D games), syncing with e-mail and/or calendars, streaming media plus many other ways which I am forgetting at the moment. One aspect of the iPhone 4 is that it has a design which does not allow for an easily replaceable battery (infact, replacing the battery should only be done by an expert, probably through warranty), so extended batteries or backup batteries are not an option. These heavy users are usually forced to carry a charger wherever they go and hope to find the opportunity to charge their phone long enough to the point where they can get enough juice to make it throughout the day. While this is a working option, it is not a convenient option (especially for somebody who is constantly on the go).

However, since the iPhone is easily the most popular smartphone on the market, one advantage is the huge selection of accessories available for the phone. There are many aftermarket accessory manufacturers competing to win this large market by releasing very advanced accessories. This particular accessory which I was able to get my hands on blew me away. It is a case that provides outstanding protection for the phone, attached to an external battery. While there are many similar products on the market to this, this particular case is actually very good looking unlike the others I have seen (it offers a rounded design and great grip that feels amazing in the hands), offers outstanding protection for the iPhone 4 (I even dropped the phone once when using the case and surprisingly, it was completely fine, the layers this case provides does make it highly durable), the signal from the iPhone with this case on was outstanding (the insulation offered for this antenna is perfect, probably due to the rubber coating), and the extra battery works highly intelligently. I say that because it includes an LED power indicator to show you truly the amount of battery life you have. The battery included with this case is 1300mAh and it works alongside (not instead of) the included 1420mAh battery to nearly double the battery life of the original phone. The case also features a push top to give ultimate protection for the rear camera as well as protection from potential color distortion to the phone by the double rubber casing. Overall, I came away highly impressed by the design of this case and feel that this case is a must have for any heavy user who is tired of seeing their superphone constantly on a charger. Also, this case works for both the GSM iPhone as well as the upcoming CDMA iPhone. If you are somebody who is having battery problems with your iPhone and in need of a sleek looking case, then you should take a very serious look at the Synaps JP-1300.

Want to find out more about iPhone case with battery, then visit Ahsan Currimbhoy’s site on how to choose the best cell phone accessories for your needs.

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