Visible Reinvents Family Plans with "Party Pay"

Visible, the online-only MVNO backed by Verizon and operating on the Verizon network, just launched Party Pay, a new kind of discount for families and groups that works more like a simple discount, or, for the company, perhaps a referral program. Instead of groups sharing a joint account, each individual keeps their own account and pays their individual bill. They simply receive a discount for joining a group of up to four people, which any Visible customer can create and invite any other Visible customers to join. The discount increases the larger the group: $5 for each person that joins a group after the group is created. So each person in a 4-person group would only pay $25/month, instead of the usual $40/month without Party Pay. Visible offers a single unlimited plan with service on Verizon’s network. The company has no physical locations, offering activation, support, and all customer interactions via its app.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

AT&T Tweaks Unlimited Plans

AT&T is introducing new unlimited plans that drop the live and on-demand TV package included with the existing Unlimited &More plans. Accounting for that and other minor changes, pricing stays about the same, with unlimited plan choices (and price points) increasing from two to three.

  • The new entry-level plan is called Unlimited Starter and costs $65/month for a single line, down from $70/month for the old Unlimited &More plan. Multi-line discounts can bring that down to $35/month/line for an account with four lines. As with the plan it replaces, data, voice, and texting are unlimited across the US, Canada, and Mexico, and texts from the US to over 120 countries are free, but video is limited to SD quality and mobile hotspot is not allowed.
  • The new step-up plan is called Unlimited Extra, replacing Unlimited &More Premium. The new plan is cheaper, but does not include a premium streaming service of choice, nor HD video streaming. It does include everything in the Starter plan plus 15 GB of mobile hotspot data. Unlimited Extra will run $75/month for a single line, (down from $80/month for the old Unlimited &More Premium plan.) Multi-line discounts can bring that down to $40/month/line for an account with four lines. Both Unlimited Starter and Unlimited Extra will launch on November 3rd.
  • Unlimited Elite is AT&T’s new top-end plan, and AT&T’s only unlimited plan to allow HD video streaming. It also includes 30 GB of mobile hotspot data. Instead of a choice of premium streaming service, HBO is included. AT&T owns HBO. Unlimited Elite will cost $85/month for a single line. Multi-line discounts apply, such as $50/month/line for four lines. This plan will be available “in the coming weeks”.

All of the pricing cited above is after applying AT&T’s discount for auto-pay and paperless billing, (which was true of AT&T’s existing plans as well.) AT&T offers an additional 25% discount for military, veterans, and first responders and their families.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

Razer Intros Gaming Accessories for 3rd-Party Phones

Razer this week launched two new phone accessories focused on the gamer market: Hammerhead True Wireless earbuds and the Junglecat, a dual-sided gaming controller. Both are designed to work with the company’s own Razer Phone 2, as well as other phones. The Junglecat includes cases to fit the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, Samsung Galaxy S10+, as well as the Razer Phone 2. The Junglecat can be used attached to one of those three phones, or attached to a dedicated controller grip and used with any Android phone or Windows PC. It uses Bluetooth LE and charges via USB-C. The Hammerhead earbuds use a customized Bluetooth 5.0 connection for ultra-low latency of just 60ms. The earbuds offer 3 hours of battery life by themselves, and 15 hours with the included charging case, which charges via USB-C. The buds also sport touch controls, voice assistant compatibility, and IPx4 water-resistance rating. They’re compatible with both Android and iOS devices, with an app available for both platforms. Both the Junglecat and Hammerhead True Wireless earbuds are available now for $100 each.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

Sprint Reveals LG G8X Launch Details

Sprint has revealed its launch details for the new LG G8X ThinQ with its unique Dual Screen accessory. As we previously reported, the companies are offering a free Dual Screen accessory via rebate. This promotion is available until January 9th to any Sprint customer (new or existing) that leases or purchases a G8X. The free Dual Screen will ship from LG within six weeks. Sprint is offering the LG G8X for $750. Special pricing is available to new customers, existing customers that are upgrade-eligible, and customers adding a line. Those customers can get the G8X for $15/month on a Sprint Flex Lease (18 months to upgrade or 24 months to own.) The G8X ThinQ will be available for pre-order from Sprint on Nov. 1st, with full availability on Nov. 8. The G8X has a Snapdragon 855 chip, standard and wide-angle rear cameras, 32-megapixel selfie camera, 4,000 mAh battery, in-display fingerprint reader, 3.5mm headphone jack, IP68 water resistance, NFC, and wireless charging. The snap-on Dual Screen sports a full-HD OLED screen identical to that on the G8X. It also has an extra “cover” display on the outside. The Dual Screen hinge folds a full 360º.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

Samsung Teases New Foldable Form Factor

At its annual developer conference today, Samsung teased a new folding-screen form factor that it’s working on. The device resembles a tall standard smart phone that folds in half like an old clamshell phone, to form something small and square when closed. The example design shown has a single centered “hole punch” in the top of the display for a selfie camera. No other details were announced. Samsung offered a similar tease months before announcing its Galaxy Fold model.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

Samsung Brings Note10 Features to S10

Samsung has begun rolling out a software update for its S10 series phones that adds some of the advanced features first introduced on the Note10 series, including Live Focus video, AR Doodle, and Samsung DeX for PC.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

Apple Releases iOS 13.2 with Deep Fusion Photography

iOS 13.2 is now available from Apple. It adds the previously-announced Deep Fusion feature to the iPhone 11 (and 11 Pro) camera. The update also adds new emoji and Siri privacy settings. Deep Fusion takes multiple exposures with each shot, and uses machine learning to combine the best parts of each exposure, producing photos with “better texture, details, and reduced noise, especially for mid to low light scenes.”

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

Apple AirPods Pro Add Active Noise Cancellation

Apple AirPods Pro are the company’s new premium true wireless earbuds, adding active noise cancellation (ANC) to silence background noise. 200 times a second, the H1 chip uses an outer microphone to detect outside noise and generate a counter-sound. It also uses an inner microphone to cancel any remaining background noise. An optional Transparency Mode allows outside sound in, but “leaves just the right amount of noise cancellation active”, so users can hear announcements and safety hazards. Unlike standard AirPods, the Pro model is designed to seal against your ear canals. A special vent system equalizes pressure for comfort. Three sizes of silicone ear tips are included and an “Ear Tip Fit Test” feature measures sound levels to tell you whether you’re using the correct size. Adaptive EQ automatically tunes the low- and mid-frequencies of music to the shape of an individual’s ear. They’re rated IPx4 for basic sweat- and water-resistance. The buds are controlled via new “force sensors” on the stem. Like standard AirPods, the new model responds to Siri requests, supports Audio Sharing, and can be ordered with custom engraving. The buds themselves offer 5 hours of battery life. The included charging case — which supports Qi wireless charging — offers up to 24 hours of total battery life. The AirPods Pro are available to order online today for $249. They will start shipping and be available in stores on October 30th.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

Verizon Launches 5G in Dallas and Omaha

Verizon has launched its mmWave 5G service in two new cities: Dallas, Texas and Omaha, Nebraska. The brings Verizon’s number of 5G cities to 15. Because Verizon’s 5G network to date uses mmWave frequency bands, coverage is limited to specific blocks and landmarks. In Dallas, service will be concentrated in parts of: Knox/Henderson, Downtown Dallas, Uptown, Medical Center Area, Deep Ellum; and around select landmarks and parks. In Omaha, service will be concentrated around landmarks such as Old Market, Omaha Children’s Museum, The Orpheum Theatre, The Durham Museum, Heartland of America Park, Central High School and Creighton University.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News

Netflix Testing Variable Speed Playback on Android

Netflix has been quietly testing a variable-speed playback option in its Android app for some users. The new “Speed” toggle offers options for 0.5x, 0.75x, 1.25x, and 1.5x. The feature is similar to one offered by most podcast and audiobook apps. Unlike a fast-forward or slow-motion feature, variable-speed playback includes audio, which requires extra processing to correct the pitch.

Source: Phone Scoop – Latest News