The first 4G cellphone?

Rumors of cell phones that run on the 4G network, which promises much faster downloads and uploads than today’s speediest networks, have been floating around for more than a year. Yet no phone maker or carrier has produced a 4G cellphone. That includes Sprint, the first and only carrier to actually have a 4G network in place. Its 4G network, deployed in about 30 major metropolitan areas, is exclusively for laptops at this point.

That may change as early as next week. A number of credible online sites have reported that Sprint will be unveiling a 4G phone next week at CTIA 2010, the leading annual wireless trade show in the U.S. The likelihood that this rumor will become a reality seems quite high, as other carriers, including Verizon, plan to roll out their own 4G networks as early as next year.

The handset will reportedly be made by HTC. Called the Supersonic, the 4G phone is said to sport a huge, 4.3-inch touch screen display and run on the Android operating system. There’s even a silent teaser video of the Supersonic on YouTube.

I’ll be covering the Sprint event at CTIA, and will provide details as they emerge.

—Mike Gikas

Daily Dispatch: Single-region MobileNavigator for $30; Could cosmic radiation be affecting Toyotas?


Combing through hundreds of blog posts and news articles daily, Dirk Klingner, our technology-trend watcher, sifts through the noise to bring you the tech news most important to consumers. If you have a tip on a story you want to share, leave a comment below.

Navigon chops MobileNavigator into three regions, pick any one for $30 (Engadget)

…For $30, Navigon's MyRegion gives you its premium MobileNavigator software at around one-third the price, with the simple caveat that you only get maps for one-third of the US (East, West or Central) to go with it.

Why the Feds Believe Extraterrestrial Rays Could be Messing With Toyota Vehicles (DailyTech)

…The feds are now examining a rather wild theory — that cosmic radiation may be causing some of Toyota's electrical issues. The feds received an anonymous tip from an industry source that Toyota's microprocessors, memory chips and software may be more sensitive to cosmic rays than its competitors, causing increased incidences of malfunctions. iPhone app review (Econsultancy)

Price comparison service has just launched an iPhone app to allow shoppers to find price and product reviews when shopping offline.

Lighter Side: Rock Paper Scissors Playing Glove (Made)

This is a glove that plays a very competitive game of Rock Paper Scissors against the wearer. It learns how they wearer plays and plays to their weaknesses.

AT&T goes green on St. Patrick’s Day

AT&T announced that in May it will begin selling a replacement phone charger it claims will be more efficient than other cell-phone chargers sold today. Called the Zero, the charger automatically detects when a phone is not plugged into it, and cuts off the power supply from the wall socket to save energy—something few electronics chargers do.

Besides saving on energy consumption, the Zero charger features a "block and cable" connector that will fit many future phones from the carrier, which AT&T says will eventually lower landfill waste. Also green will be its packaging, which will be smaller and made entirely from recycled paper. No price has been announced, though AT&T says it will cost the same as existing replacement chargers.

—Mike Gikas

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7 apps to keep March Madness in the palm of your hand

ncaa championshio march madness college basketball
CBS Sports NCAA March Madness
on Demand app

Just in time for the first round of the NCAA March Madness tournament, here's a list of iPhone apps—some free, some paid—to help you keep track of scores, stats, your bracket, and your teams' standings while on the go. All are available, with detailed descriptions, at the iTunes store.

1. The official CBS app—CBS Sports NCAA March Madness on Demand—is the priciest of the bunch at $9.99, but shelling out will buy you live, streaming video of each game on your phone, tournament news coverage, scores, team stats, and the ability to access to your bracket manager at CBS also offers a free "lite" app that has many of the same features as the for-pay version, excluding the streaming game coverage.

2. Bracket Madness 2010
($0.99) provides you with team stats to help you fill in your bracket,
then lets you email a copy of it to friends in a handy JPEG form.  The
app doesn't have real-time scores, but it updates several time per day.

3. PocketBracket ($0.99), an "Apple Staff Favorite" in 2009, lets you create brackets and share them with friends over Facebook or Twitter. It also lets you create and join pools, and automatically scores and ranks your bracket on its network as teams win and lose. A version is also available for Android phones.

4. If you're still creating your bracket and are good with numbers, Hooplytics ($1.99) is the statistical-guru friend everyone wishes they had this time of year.  Using statistics from 5000 player profiles, the app runs simulation games between teams to help determine winners and losers.

5. Keeping things simple, College Basketball Bracket Challenge
($0.99) is a no-frills app that lets you create a bracket, track its
progress, and invite friends to compete. Fans might also find simple
apps for their favorite team by entering the school's name into the iTunes
search bar.

6. For those participating in ESPN's Tournament Challenge (First prize: $10,000), it's accompanying free app lets you track your bracket's performance and watch live game updates with ESPN Mobile Gamecast.

7. Last, college hoops know-it-alls can test their mettle with the free Unofficial March Madness Trivia app. (Try this on for size: In 1985, Villanova became the worst seed ever to win the NCAA Championship. What was their seeding—6th, 7th, 8th, or 9th?)

Sorry, Android users. March Madness apps for your phones have proved disappointingly elusive, even as the number of such phones sold continues to grow. If you have an Android phone, have you found a good NCAA application that you like?

—Nick K. Mandle

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Daily electronics deals

Today's electronics deals, courtesy of The Consumerist:

  • Lenovo: Lenovo S10-3t (Touchscreen) Intel Atom N450 PineTrail 10.1in Netbook (1GB/160GB/Win7) $466.65
  • Plantronics Voyager 520 Bluetooth Wireless Headset (REFURB) $28.99 Free Shipping
  • Lenovo:  Lenovo B500 23-inch All-in-one + TV Tuner + Wireless Keyboard & Mouse $679 + free shipping
  • Lenovo: Lenovo IdeaPad S12 12-inch Netbook (White) $329 + free shipping
  • : Brother Wireless Color Inkjet All-in-One for $99 w/ Free Shipping
  • Newegg : Samsung 1.5TB SATA Hard Drive for $89.99 w/ Coupon EMCYPZT35 w/ Free Shipping
  • Dell : Dell 20" LCD HD Monitor for $109 w/ Free Shipping
  • Newegg: SiliconDust HDHomerun Networked Dual Digital HDTV Tuner $124.99 Free Shipping
  • Amazon: Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Collector's Set on DVD (40 discs) $105.49 + free shipping
  • Amazon: Rob Zombie's Halloween (2-Disc Unrated Collector's Edition, Blu-ray) $8.99

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Neither Consumer Reports nor The Consumerist receive anything in
exchange for featuring these deals; the posts are intended to be purely
informational. These deals are often fleeting, with prices changing or
products becoming unavailable as the day progresses.

These posts are not an endorsement of the featured products or
the Web sites that sell them—though some of the sites may be included,
and recommended, in our Ratings of retailers for computers and other major electronics (both available to subscribers). Price shouldn't be your only criterion. Be wary of lower-priced deals that seem too good to be true, and check return policies for restocking fees and other gotchas.

For general buying advice for many of the products on sale above, check out our free Buying Guides.