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Rogers has launched another LTE mobile hotspot, this time the LTE Rocket mobile hotspot, otherwise known as the Sierra Wireless AirCard 763S. It can create a mobile hotspot for up to 10 devices via Wi-Fi, offering ?typical? download speeds of 12-40 Mbps. It has an LCD screen, audible alerts, and can fall back to 4G HSPA+ when necessary. If you?re interested in picking one up, this new LTE mobile hotspot is now available from Rogers for free on a 3 year term, or $199.99 contract free.


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Looking to take advantage of all that Android and Skype have to offer, LG has created a Skype Edition of the LG Optimus Black, and Telus is set to carry it. They officially announced that the device is Coming soon, though no specific date has been provided as of yet.

The Optimus Black runs on Android 2.2 Froyo at launch, and features a 4" (480x800) touchscreen display. It is powered by a 1GHz processor and 512MB of RAM, and comes with 2GB of onboard storage. It also features a 5MP rear-facing camera with LED flash and 720p HD video capture, in addition to a front-facing 2MP camera. As for connectivity, the Optimus Black has Wi-Fi (b, g, n, and hotspot), bluetooth, and GPS.

No word yet on pricing for the "first Skype branded phone on the Canadian market", though you will apparently get 60 minutes worth of international Skype calling credits at purchase. Additional credits can be billed to your monthly Telus invoice, making this a truly unique option for Skype users.


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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 always prided themselves on being at the forefront of innovation and new technology in the Canadian mobile industry, and are looking to solidify that reputation this year. Rogers has announced through their newly created site iwantmylte.ca that LTE services will launch in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, and Ottawa sometime this year. 25 other cities will also get the new network, though it will come in 2012.

The upcoming LTE network offers maximum download speeds of 150 Mbps, and max upload speeds of 70 Mbps. Rogers states "Everyone will be able to watch streaming movies and live HDTV on their mobile devices, with crisp picture and virtually no buffering or delays". Now the real question is, what sort of compatible devices can we expect?

No word yet on which cities will get LTE in 2012, but we'll keep you updated, so stay tuned!


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The BlackBerry PlayBook has easily been one of the most anticipated devices to come to Canada, serving as a large step forward for Research In Motion. The PlayBook, which features a dual-core 1GHz processor and RIM's all-new QNX based OS, is now officially available via multiple channels.

You can pick up a PlayBook at Staples, Future Shop, Best Buy, Sears, and a variety of other retail stores. Numerous carriers are also offering the new BlackBerry tablet, though some, like Rogers, have been slow to update their website. Telus has updated their site to include the PlayBook, and Bell along with Mobilicity have created special offers where you can get a $100 mail-in rebate with the purchase of a PlayBook and BlackBerry smartphone at the same time. Bell's offer is effective until May 5th, while Mobilicity is keeping theirs available until May 15th.

If you've been holding out for the BlackBerry PlayBook, be sure to hit up one of the stores mentioned above or your favourite carrier to pick yours up today! The 16GB version is available for $499, while the 32GB comes in at $599, and the 64GB version is $699. [linki=http://www.mobileincanada.com/cellphone-994-en-bell-BlackBerry-PlayBook.html]


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Samsung's Google Nexus S has created quite a bit of excitement in Canada lately, with at least 8 carriers planning to release the handset. Thus far, 3 carriers have officially launched the Nexus S, including Telus, Videotron, and Mobilicity.

Telus originally put the Android-powered Nexus S up for $549 contract-free, and $179.99 on a 3 year term. While the 3 year price point has remained consistent, they did go ahead and drop the outright cost to $499.99. Videotron has launched it for $529.95 outright, and $149.95 "Reduced price". Lastly, Mobilicity has also made the Nexus S available, for $499.99 contract-free.

Those holding out for other carriers, Best Buy has put up the Rogers, Fido, and KOODO versions on their site, though they aren't available for shipping yet. Rogers and Fido will each be charging $99.99 on a 3 year term, or $499.99 contract-free. KOODO's version will be available for $274.99 using their Tab, or $424.99 outright. Bell and WIND Mobile are also set to launch the Nexus S, though we haven't received any definite information on pricing.

We'll be sure to keep you up to date on the remaining carriers to launch the Nexus S, so stay tuned!


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We're seeing Canadian companies take advantage of smartphones and popular mobile platforms more and more, and it's nice to see UPS Canada joining in. The UPS application is now available for free on Android and BlackBerry, through either Market or App World. If you're someone who ships or receives a number of items via UPS, this app is great as it allows you to track packages, find UPS locations, and get quotes. Those with UPS accounts can also create shipments and send themselves shipping labels via e-mail for printing once on a computer.


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It's no secret that RIM have created a follow-up device to the Bold 9700, and now it looks like we have a launch date for the new 9780 on Telus. Apparently the handset will be launching on October 21st, though no pricing information is available as of yet. The Bold 9780 is nearly identical to the 9700, but features BlackBerry 6 with the new WebKit browser at launch, a 5MP camera, and increased RAM up to 512MB.


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Chatr, Rogers new discount brand that launched in early July in Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa, and Vancouver, is set to launch on Thursday, September 16th. Chatr offers $35 and $45 unlimited price plans, along with four affordable devices to choose from, including the Nokia 1661, Nokia 2220, LG GB125r, and the Samsung Gravity. This should create some competition in Quebec, with Videotron's 3G+ network launching just a week earlier.


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BlackBerry recently released App World 2.0 to the public, but many were disappointed to see that the long-awaited carrier billing feature had not been implemented. Within the Telus Torch 9800 launch announcement, there's a small piece of interesting information - Telus will be the first to offer carrier billing through App World, and it will be available "prior to the BlackBerry Torch launch", though no word on exactly when that will be. Hopefully the easier payment method will encourage developers to create more apps for the platform, which currently lacks compared to iPhone and Android in that department.


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