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Tags : games



Rogers is preparing to launch a new Nokia handset, the X7, which is powered by Symbian Anna OS. It features a 4" (360x640) Gorilla Glass AMOLED touchscreen display, and an 8MP camera with dual-LED flash and 720p HD video capture. It is powered by a 680 MHz processor and 256MB of RAM, and comes with 1GB of internal ROM memory. The X7 is being advertised as an entertainment focused handset, and the box for it shows off Angry Birds. Apparently the device is set to come pre-loaded with Galaxy on Fire HD and Asphalt 5 HD, but no word if any other games will come with it. No word on pricing or an exact launch date, but with stock beginning to arrive at some retail locations, it can't be too long until we see this handset become available.


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Just under a month ago, Rogers launched the Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY, the world's first PlayStation certified mobile device. The PLAY runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread, and has an impressive range of features. It has a 4" (480x854) touchscreen display, and is powered by a 1GHz processor, along with 512MB of RAM. It has a 5MP camera along with a VGA front facing camera for video calling. Sony Ericsson has included their custom UI/launcher TimeScape, which has changed dramatically since the X10 line-up. The most unique feature is its PlayStation style game pad, which can be used for a variety of PLAY optimized games including PS1 Classics. So, how does the PLAY hold up as a smartphone and for gaming?

Beginning with the hardware, the PLAY is very nicely designed. It is a little bit thick compared to most current devices, but that is expected with the full game pad hidden under the screen. It has 3.5mm headset and microUSB ports on the left edge, while the right edge holds the volume and shoulder keys. Even though the casing is made of plastic, it feels relatively sturdy and durable, and the sliding mechanism is surprisingly solid. When you slide out the game pad, the PLAY really starts to shine, bringing that familiar PlayStation feel to your phone. The device fits fairly well in your hands when slid open, but might take a little bit of getting used to. The touchpads meant for use where joysticks or analog sticks would normally come into play, are a nice addition to the controls, though very strange to use at first. Like most gamers know, any new controller design takes some time to get completely accustomed to, and the PLAY's game pad is no exception. Still, it really brought a new element to mobile gaming, one previously found only in devices like the PSP or Nintendo DS. After using the Xperia PLAY, games on touchscreen-only devices seem weak and difficult to play, so beware when trying out your friend's new PLAY.




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The games themselves are entertaining, and the PLAY comes with 6 full version titles built-in: NFL 11, Star Battalion HD, Bruce Lee Dragon Warrior, Crash Bandicoot, Fifa 10, and Tetris. There are 5 more PS1 games available for purchase in Market for $5.75 USD each, and about 50 other PLAY optimized games and apps. Crash Bandicoot ran well and gives a great idea of what PS1 games will be like on the device. The sports games (Madden NFL 11 and FIFA 10) are great fun, and far more complex than you might think, and the other games were just as entertaining and immersive. Unfortunately Tetris didn't make use of the slide-out controls, but it is a simple enough game that the touchscreen is fine.




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As a smartphone alone, the PLAY runs just as well as most current Android handsets. OS 2.3 Gingerbread performs well, and TimeScape doesn't seem to have as strong of an impact on performance as with the X10. The application tray features custom sorting, and there are a variety of widgets pre-installed. There are media widgets that include music controls, shortcuts, and a scrolling image/video wheel. There are also a couple of clock widgets available, all of which can be used on any of the 5 home screens.

Other parts of the device that are worth mentioning include the display and camera. The display isn't very bright when turned all the way up, though it can get you by. To those who normally enjoy very bright and crisp displays like super AMOLED equipped devices may be let down however. The Camera is of decent quality, coming in at 5MP with an LED flash. It actually handles close-up shots very well, though mid and long range photos are of average quality. It can also record video at WVGA resolution, and surprisingly doesn't capture at 720p. Videos recorded with the PLAY are also average, looking great on your mobile screen but mediocre on larger displays.




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Lastly, battery life. The PLAY surprisingly held up very well, lasting longer than many devices in the current market. Even while gaming for a few hours, the battery indicator only dropped a sliver. Unfortunately it still doesn't compare to the life of the BlackBerry Bold 9700 or a few other devices, but considering its large screen and game pad, does very well.

Overall, the Xperia PLAY is a great device. It is a full-featured Android smartphone and really makes mobile gaming possible. Kudos to Sony Ericsson for producing a great, and very unique device! Hopefully they continue to create great handsets that stand-out and bring a new element to smartphones.

The Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY is available from Rogers for $99.99 on a 3 year term or $549.99 contract free.


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We have been keeping you up to date on the Samsung Galaxy 551 release on Bell, and just on time, it launched. Available today, the Galaxy 551 is available for free on a 3 year term, or just $249.95 contract-free. Featuring a full sliding QWERTY keyboard, the 551 comes with a 3.2" (240x400) touchscreen display, and a 3.15MP camera. This new Android handset is powered by a modest 667MHz processor, and offers connectivity including bluetooth, GPS, and Wi-Fi.

Bell is also offering up $10 Visa Reward gift cards to those who purchase the Samsung Galaxy 551, which can be used to purchase applications and games in the Android Market.


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WIND Mobile has been advertising that their mobile portal would be launching for some time now, and that day has finally come. Effective now, WIND customers have access to WINDWORLD on their handsets, which offers weather information, quick Facebook access, in addition to CBC stories, and more. Customers are also able to purchase ringtones, games, and graphics from the portal, which can be accessed by visiting m.windmobile.ca from your device. Access to the portal is free for a limited time, though no word yet on when access will begin costing customers.


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While BlackBerry App World may lack in numbers compared to Apple's App Store and Android Market, most who choose BlackBerry still make use of it regularly. Fortunately for Telus customers, they can now bill their App World purchases to their monthly Telus bill, making it convenient to get, and pay for apps, games, themes, and more. No word yet on when the other carriers will begin supporting this feature, but hopefully it will come soon.


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According to internal documents floating around the internet, Bell will be released the Nokia C6 entry-level smartphone on Tuesday, September 21st. The C6 features 3.2" (360x640) touchscreen, horizontally sliding QWERTY keyboard, and a 5MP camera with LED flash. Running on Symbian Series 60 OS, this handset provides users to access to Nokia's Ovi store, where they can download mobile content like applications, games, etc. No official word on pricing as of yet, but we'll be sure to let you know once more information is released!


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Apple has recently made iOS 4.1 available for download to the public, which fixes a number of bugs, and adds a few features to supported devices. The update, which is available in iTunes now, adds Game Center functionality, which is basically an online gaming community for compatible iOS devices, along the lines of Xbox Live or PlayStation Network. Compatible devices include the iPhone 4, iPhone 3Gs, and the 2nd-4th generation iPod Touch models, and allows users to play games online with friends, family, etc. Along with the introduction of the Game Center, Apple has also updated the App Store to include a specific section just for compatible games, and though the list is currently small, we should see it grow more and more as time progresses.

What do you think about Apple's "Game Center"? Would you be interested in playing mobile games online with others? Let us know in the forums!


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One of the major complaints from BlackBerry users recently is the lack of applications available for purchase/download, especially compared to other platforms such as iOS (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad), and Android (multiple devices). While it's still far off from Google's 50 000+ apps, and Apple's 100 000+ apps, this is still great news for BlackBerry users as the gap is slowly being closed. Among the 10 000 items now available for download are themes, games, and a variety of applications to help users get the most out of their handset.

BlackBerry users, what's your favourite game/application/theme? Drop by our forum and let us know! Forum


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Bell has announced an addition to their Mobile TV feature, offering up live CFL games to subscribers. Customers who subscribe for the service, which costs $8 monthly plus data usage charges, will be able to watch all regular season and playoff CFL games produced by TSN and RDS on their handsets. Bell has previously offered coverage of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, as well as the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs, so this latest addition should please Canadian sports fans even more.


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Rogers has launched an iPad application that will enable users to stream all remaining FIFA World Cup games for free. The application, which is available now, is free for Rogers customers to download and use - data used while streaming will not be deducted from your monthly package. To download the application now, simply search "Rogers LIVE 2010 FIFA World Cup" in the iTunes App Store.


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