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T-Mobile’s 5G Network Lands Another Big Feature First

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T-Mobile announced a pretty major breakthrough for its 5G network today. Using its Standalone 5G network, T-Mobile has enabled Voice Over 5G, which means a “true” 5G connection at all times, even when making a phone call.

For now, Voice Over 5G (VoNR or Voice Over New Radio) is only in limited areas of Portland, OR and Salt Lake City, so this isn’t a technology you can all take advantage of right away. T-Mobile did say that they plan to expand to more areas and new devices throughout the year. To start, only the Galaxy S21 series can access VoNR, but the Galaxy S22 will join next.

The biggest thing you need to know here is that T-Mobile’s Standalone (SA) 5G network is allowing for this. Their SA 5G doesn’t need to be anchored to a 4G LTE network, so in general, you should get faster speeds, improved responsiveness, and overall better connectivity when on it. They are the only carrier with Standalone 5G at the moment. Neither Verizon or AT&T have launched it.

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T-Mobile suggests that voice calls over 5G should notice “slightly faster call set-up times” with less delay between the time you dial and when the phone starts ringing. It’s the small things sometimes, right? But really, the idea is to be all-in on 5G, without the need for LTE or to leave a 5G connection, and they are a step closer with this news.

So again, the first launch of VoNR is in Portland and Salt Lake City through the Galaxy S21 line. More areas and cities will get this goodness, as will the Galaxy S22 later this year.



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Did You Order a Galaxy Z Flip 4 or Galaxy Z Fold 4?

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Pre-orders are taking place for the new Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Galaxy Z Fold 4, and as we always say, there’s never a better time to order one of these phones than during this period. Seriously, you should do it.

If you have taken advantage of Samsung’s crazy-good trade-in values, store credit and free accessories, the last thing we want to know is which model you ended up going with. In 2022, both are very good options, seen as relatively minor upgrades over last year’s models, but still offering top specs, water resistance, improved hinge designs for more compact designs, and improved software.

I have been using the Z Fold 4 for a week now and have really been enjoying the experience. The battery life has been great, the displays are nice, and the cameras appear to be very good.

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Which option are you going with?

Best Galaxy Z Flip 4 Deal | Best Galaxy Z Fold 4 Deal



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How Good is Android 13 on Pixel Phones?

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The stable Android 13 update has been out since the beginning of the week and that means a couple of days for you to run it and establish first impressions. I’m curious what those are, as the update is somewhat minor in new features, but huge in terms of bug fixes from Android 12.

To recap, Android 13 dropped on Monday for the Pixel 4, Pixel 4a, Pixel 5, Pixel 5a, Pixel 6, and Pixel 6a. The update was available immediately if you felt like playing in adb, plus we’ve seen it rollout over-the-air as well to some phones. Tim, for example, says he can pull it yet I can’t on my Pixel 6 Pro. Rude, Google.

We talked about all of the new features in Android 13 that you’ll want to be on the lookout for and then spent a lengthy amount of time looking through the list of 150 bugs that Google fixed. Google says it was able to improve “performance, stability, and reliability,” fixed bugs related to charging and Gboard and touch screen palm detection and so much more. Google even says it addressed fingerprint reader performance on the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6a.

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After browsing through reddit, I can see that a number of folks have been quick to share that their fingerprint reader is indeed faster (Do people really believe this?) and that overall performance and stuttering has improved, especially on older Pixel phones.

What about you? How has Android 13 been running on your Pixel phone this week? Or are you still waiting for it?



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Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro Get Major Approval Ahead of Launch

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The Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro stopped through the FCC this week, marking a big step towards launch that should happen around October, if previous launches are any indicator. The filings don’t reveal much, other than supported network bands and the presence of UWB again, but they do give us model numbers to pin on each phone going forward.

There are four FCC filings of note to dip into under Google’s FCC ID. Those filings give us model numbers of GVU6C, GQML3, GP4BC, and GE2AE. After looking through several of the documents at the FCC, I’m pretty confident in saying that the first two are the Pixel 7 and the last two are the Pixel 7 Pro. The GVU6C Pixel 7 also has an alternate model number of G03Z5 alongside it, as does the Pixel 7 Pro’s GE2AE, where GFE4J can be added to its list.

To recap, we have Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro model numbers as follows:

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  • PIXEL 7: GVU6C (G03Z5)
  • PIXEL 7: GQML3 – mmW
  • PIXEL 7 PRO: GP4BC – UWB
  • PIXEL 7 PRO: GE2AE (GFE4J) – UWB, mmW

Each phone has all of the proper network bands to work well here in the US, with select models also supporting 5G mmW. The two models supporting mmW are GQML3 (Pixel 7) and GE2AE (Pixel 7 Pro). The others support sub-6 5G, just not the super speedy 5G mmW that you’ll never attach to anyway.

To tell the difference between Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro devices, we really are guessing (assuming) based on the fact that GP4BC and GE2AE have UWB or ultra-wideband support. In the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, only the Pixel 6 Pro had UWB and it looks like that’ll be the case again this year. UWB is used for short-range communications in things like luggage trackers or to help a digital car key talk to a car.

The rest of the big network stuff can be see below, where you’ll find WiFi 6E, NFC, and WPT (wireless power transfer aka wireless charging).

Pixel 7 network bands

GQML3 mmW

Pixel 7 Pro network bands

GE2AE mmW

There isn’t much else to take from this because Google already announced each phone. We’re really just waiting for them to go official, so that we can start playing with their cameras, test Google Tensor 2, and see if Google took are of all of the Pixel 6 line’s modem issues.

If you were hoping this arrival at the FCC would tell us when the Pixel 7 will launch, I’m not sure that it does. The Pixel 6 line hit the FCC in September 2021 and then arrived in October. The Pixel 6a showed up at the FCC in April 2022, was announced in May, and then didn’t ship until July.

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