Friday, November 11, 2011

Xoom LTE Upgrade

A bought a Motorola Xoom android tablet the day it came out and from the beginning there was the promise that it would be upgraded for free to 4G LTE. Last week I got the notice that I could upgrade. Here's how it went:

  • I signed up on Nov 2nd and quickly got a shipment traffic email from Motorola.
  • Nov 3rd I received a pre-labeled FedEx box with instructions and packing materials.
  • Nov 7th I got around to shipping it out.
  • Nov 10th I received the upgraded tablet.
The turnaround time for this was pretty staggering. I'm guessing the recognize that a lot of people depend on these things and wouldn't be happy having to be without their's for long.

The instructions with the returned tablet said I would have to turn it on and when I got logged in I would get a prompt for turning on 4G LTE after a few minutes. Somehow I had cancelled the prompt when it appeared. I found the settings (clearly indicated in the instructions had I cared to look) and then it was a waiting game.

The instructions said it might take a few hours for OTA registration to complete. I was occasionally checking the network connectivity indicator in the lower right to say "4G" instead of "3G". After three hours nothing happened so I went to reboot the device to try again. When it booted back up it immediately said "4G". It worked!

I haven't really played with the 4G much yet as I'm pretty much in WiFi range all the time during my week. I did turn WiFi off for a few and pulled up maps just to see if it was fast. Man those map tiles loaded fast. I even got a free OEM standard dock (power and audio connectivity, no speakers, USB, or HDMI) as a "while supplies last" deal. In theory they could have upgraded my Android Market to a newer version but my tablet was encrypted so I had to do it myself. I'm more comfortable with the encryption and an extra upgrade step.

Overall, Motorola did a fantastic job with this. The instructions they provided were clear and described exactly what would happen with the upgrade process. I was pretty floored by how fast I got my upgraded device back. If you bought a 3G Xoom from Verizon you should definitely take advantage of this.