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Tags : simple


WIND Mobile has recently launched a new prepaid handset for just $59. The GoWell G328 is now available for $59, and is just about as simple as phones get these days. It comes with a 2? screen and features a 2 MP camera, and offers up FM radio functionality. The G328 is definitely for those who want something simple and easy to use and comes in very affordable. If this sounds like something you?re interested in, be sure to check out the GoWell G328 from WIND Mobile.


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Telus has recently launched a new trade-in program to encourage customers to recycle their unused devices, offering up to $200 in value. The program is relatively simple ? you can trade in up to 3 devices, for a maximum combined value of $200. You can use that ?credit? towards the purchase of a new device or accessory, though you must renew or activate a new account when doing so. The program is applicable to cell phones, mobile internet sticks and portable hotspots, but doesn?t currently extend to tablets, unfortunately.

In the press release, Telus mentioned they commissioned a survey to find out what Canadians do with their old devices. The results came in with 61% of Canadians saying they have between one and five old or unused cell phones laying around at home. This is a smart offering from Telus and eRecyclyingCorps in their collaborative effort, hopefully the appropriate value is given to those who want to take advantage!


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Perfectly in line with the launch of the new LTE enabled iPad, Virgin mobile has gone live with their LTE network. It piggy-backs off of Bell?s network, and is currently active in major urban areas including Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, Halifax, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, Yellowknife, and many cities in Southern Ontario including Toronto, London, Kitchener, and more. Of course, in order to support the new iPad, they are now offering LTE microSIM cards as well.

As for prices, they have decided to keep things simple and straight-forward, extending their existing Flexi-Data plan for tablets to include 4G LTE. This starts at $5/month for 10 MB, after which, it steps up to $15 for 250 MB. If you exceed 250 MB of usage, you enter the last tier of 5 GB for $35/month. Overages beyond 5 GB are charged at 1.5 cents/MB.


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We recently let you know that Nokia and Rogers are getting set to launch the Lumia 900, but recent information being discussed online points to more from Nokia as it relates to Windows. Apparently, Nokia is looking to build and send out a batch of Windows 8 tablets running in Microsoft?s ?Metro? UI by the end of the year. No word on a Canadian release specifically, but with the tablet market heating up and another strong competitor coming on board with Windows 8, we should see it eventually.

There aren?t many other details available, though it?s expected to be powered by a Quallcomm dual-core chipset, and offers simple but not seamless support for existing Windows applications. Windows 8 is expected to launch this fall, and manufacturers such as Dell and HP are expected to have a strong presence early on. Could Nokia compete with these manufacturers in such a crowded tablet market?


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The affordable Nokia C2-01 is now available from Bell, featuring a 2.2" (320x240) display, and standard phone keypad reminiscent of days passed. It comes with a 3.2MP camera and can record QVGA video. Connectivity options are limited to bluetooth for this simple handset, though it does come with an FM radio to listen to your favourite local channel on the go. The Nokia C2-01 is available now for free with a 3 year contract, or just $119.95 outright from Bell.


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WIND Mobile released the LG Optimus 2X, a device that's regarded as fairly hard to beat in Canada, but they aren't forgetting their roots. For those looking for a more affordable option, they have also launched the Huawei U6150, a simple device with a full physical QWERTY keyboard. It features a 2.4" (320x240) display, and comes with a 2MP camera and AGPS functionality, along with bluetooth connectivity.

The Huawei U6150 is available now from WIND Mobile for a very affordable price of $98 contract-free, or those looking to pick it up for free can do so using the WINDtab.


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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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Rogers has recently added a new handset to their Pay As You Go line-up, launching the Samsung T249. This vertical slider is a GSM/EDGE handset, and features a 2.1" display, 1.3MP camera, and low resolution video recording. The Samsung T249 is available now for just $79.99 from Rogers. According to their website, a bluetooth headset is included in the box, sweetening the deal a little bit. If you, or someone you know needs a simple prepaid handset, the affordable phone may be worth considering.


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We recently let you know that Virgin Mobile was preparing to release the LG 230 in pink, a basic and affordable flip phone. The LG 230 "Pink Pebble Kit" is now available, and features a 1.77" display, basic VGA camera, and a 2.5mm headset jack. While this device might not appeal to everybody, the contract-free price tag can make it an enticing option for those who just want a simple device for calls and text messaging. The LG 230 in pink is available now from Virgin Mobile for free using the SuperTab, or just $60 contract-free.


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HTC has just announced two new Android devices that will be hitting the European and Asian markets in Q2 2011, and the U.S. later in the year. The HTC ChaCha and Salsa both feature dedicated Facebook buttons, allowing users to access the popular social networking site with a single click of the button. It will also allow for speedy status updates, simple sharing, and quick photo uploads. No word yet on if or when these handsets will arrive in Canada, but we should see them around the same time that the U.S. does.

The ChaCha features a physical QWERTY keyboard located under the 2.6" (480x320) display, along with a 5MP camera with LED flash, and a secondary front-facing VGA camera. The Salsa has similar specifications, but has a larger touchscreen (3.4") and lacks the physical keyboard. Both devices will launch running Android 2.3 Gingerbread, and will be powered by 600MHz proccessors.


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