OK, I wish I could really get excited about this announcement, but I just don't have it in me right now – let me explain. I am very excited about VoLTE (Voice over LTE) and the HD Clarity that it offers – just listen to the video below and you will see what I mean – but its slow implementation and early restrictions takes away some of the excitement. Let's look at the highlight – AT&T is the first carrier to announce HD Voice and it will start on May 23.
Now that we got the excitement out of the way, let's talk facts – the HD Voice on AT&T will only be introduced in only TWO cities…Chicago and Minneapolis and the big debut device with VoLTE or HD Voice capabilities is the Samsung Galaxy S4 mini. This same device was announced a year ago and has been on the Verizon, Sprint, and US Cellular, although with no HD Voice. It has been reworked to include HD Voice and will come in either Black Mist or Valentine Pink – you can order it for $14.24 on Next 18 or $18.50 on Next 12 or $49.99 with a two-year agreement.
The Galaxy S4 mini is decidedly a mid-range device – it comes with a 4.3-inch qHD 960×540 Super AMOLD Display, Snapdragon 400 processor clocked at 1.7GHz with 1.5GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage with a microSD slot to add an additional 64GB of memory. The primary camera is 8MP with autofocus and LED Flash and a 1.9MP front-facing camera (FFC) for video chats and selfies. It does have an IR Blaster, S-Beam Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP, LE and EDR and NFC just like its big brother. Everything is powered with a 1900mAh battery to give you deceit battery life.
There are certain things you must remember in order to enjoy the VoLTE – BOTH people speaking must have an HD Device – secondly, both people speaking with HD Devices must be in a city the supports HD Voice, so if you leave the Chicago or Minneapolis area, it will not work. This will be a great innovation and I guess it has to start somewhere, but on such a small scale on a device that is over a year old with mid-range specs is just a little hard to get excited about right now.
Please jump on our Google+ Page and let us know whether you will be going out to grab a couple of these devices on AT&T or are you going to wait until your carrier gets VoLTE or wait until some higher end devices come with it already installed…as always, we would love to hear from you.