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We just let you know that both Telus and Rogers were offering up discounts to those who sign up for their flex rate plans for tablets, and now Bell and Virgin Mobile have done the same. They?re offering basically the same thing as Telus, promising to limit your charges at the bottom tier, providing unlimited data with no overages. Additionally, Bell is offering to waive the activation fee for those who sign up as well. According to their sites, both Bell?s and Virgin Mobile?s offers expire March 31st.

If you have or are getting an HSPA or LTE enabled tablet but don?t have a service provider, you now have plenty of promotional offers to choose from!


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There are all kinds of things happening today as a direct result of the new iPad launch, and discounts are a part of them. Rogers and Telus have both come out with similar offers for their flex rate plans.

Telus is offering to waive the activation fee, and charge you for the bottom tier at $5 no matter how much data you use for the first 2 months. According to their website, the offer expires on April 30th, so those who couldn?t get their hands on an iPad today can still take advantage.

Rogers? offer is similar, waiving the activation fee, and offering up unlimited data for the first 2 months, promising no overages past the highest tier - $37/month. They will also double the amount of data included in each tier of their flex plan for 4 months after your unlimited period has ended. There is no clear expiration date for this promotion, but it is marked as limited time.

These are some great offers for those considering mobile data for their new or old tablet, including the new iPad. Head to Rogers or Telus to sign up!


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Ottawa residents, today you're in luck. Rogers has officially gone live with their LTE network in the Ottawa area, and released a compatible data stick and plans to go along with it. The network offers maximum download speeds of 150 Mbps, and maximum upload speeds of 70 Mbps. Coverage spans from Arnprior west of Ottawa, to Gatineau to the east.

Along with the network, Rogers has launched one compatible device, the Sierra Wireless Aircard 313U. This USB rocket stick is capable of the advertised network speeds, and is the first in Canada. Pricing comes in at $79.99 on a 3 year term, or $169.99 contract-free. Along with the internet stick, you'll need to sign up for their newly introduced LTE Flex Rate Plan as well, which starts at $45 or 1.5 GB of usage. Once you exceed that, the next bucket is $60 for 3 GB, then $75 for 6 GB, and lastly $90 for 9 GB with additional usage costing $10/GB. As an introductory offer, they are also offering up no monthly service fee or overage charges for your first two months.

If you live in Ottawa and are looking to pick one up, there are 4 retail stores currently selling the compatible rocket stick:

Rogers Plus at 1379A Woodroffe Ave.
Rogers Plus at 11 Selkirk St.
Wireless Express at 205 Richmond Rd.
Go Communications at 910 Carling Ave.



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Earlier this month, we let you know that Google announced Honeycomb 3.1 for tablets, and the Motorola XOOM got it almost immediately for U.S. customers. Soon afterwards, Motorola Canada let users know, via Facebook, that the update would be coming Canadians "soon". Now, they have come forward on Facebook once again, this time stating "Our best estimate is that it will be available in the next couple of months."

While the news that Motorola is still working on the update is good, it does come as a bit of a disappointment to XOOM owners that it will take a couple of months. Hopefully they will take action with all of the feedback they've received and push it out sooner, but only time will tell.


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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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With Telus revamping their hardware upgrade program quite some time ago, and Rogers recently following suit, it doesn't come as much of a surprise that Bell is doing the same. Telus and Rogers have stepped up to offer early upgrade options for those who can't wait the full 2+ years to get another device at a discounted cost, and Bell's new program is looking similar.

According to recently leaked information, Bell will be making the changes tomorrow, May 22nd. The leaked document shows that "Select clients will have the opportunity to upgrade early by paying a fee on their Bell Mobility monthly invoice." They go on to say that the early upgrade fee will be calculated based on their eligible hardware upgrade date and can be paid either monthly or in one lump sum. Unfortunately the monthly option won't be available at launch, but should be active shortly afterwards. The monthly payment option is unique in Canada for device upgrades, and will hopefully be the center of Bell's focus when marketing this new program.

In addition to early upgrade eligibility being introduced, the document also makes mention of an "Eligible for Special Hardware" option. Basically, select clients will be able to upgrade to a device from a pre-determined list of special hardware. No word yet on what makes a customer eligible for this special early upgrade, but it's bound to have something to do with revenue generated and the type of device you own.


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Rogers is getting set to launch their Early Hardware Upgrade Program in just under a week, on Thursday, May 5th. The program, which will allow customers to upgrade to a new device early for an additional fee, is very similar to Telus' early upgrade process. Here's how it works:

Customers who wish to upgrade early will pay $10-$20 for each month remaining until they would officially be eligible, in addition to the standard upgrade cost of the device. Exactly how much you pay for each remaining month depends on what type of device you currently have, and Rogers breaks them down into three categories; 1) voice or quick messaging devices, 2) feature devices, tablets, and smartphones, and 3) premium devices (including iPhone and BlackBerry Torch). Those with voice/QMD handsets will be charged $10 for each remaining month, while smartphone/tablet users will pay $15, and premium device users will pay $20 for each remaining month. If the contract-free price for the device comes in lower than the early upgrade costs, you will pay the lesser of the two.

For example, if you have a BlackBerry Bold 9700 and have had it for 18 months, you would pay $15 (early upgrade charge) x 6 (months remaining until standard 24-month eligibility), in addition to the normal 3-year price of the device you're upgrading to. So, you would pay $90 + the upgrade cost of the device.

One more detail was revealed in recently leaked screenshots, stating "we are also changing the standard HUP wait period, which will now vary from 18-30 months depending on the customer's current device." While the early upgrade program comes as great news, this extra little bit is vague and could be a bad thing for some people. Rogers currently has a 2 year waiting period for upgrade eligibility, so this means some people will have to wait an extra 6 months, or at least pay 6 months more of early upgrade costs. Others may benefit from it however, reaching eligibility 6 months earlier than they currently would. We'll be sure to let you know once more details become available.


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According to screenshots recently leaked online, Rogers is getting set to launch an early upgrade option. Currently customers have to wait 24 months to upgrade their hardware, which is lengthy with today's rapid development in technology. Customers will be able to upgrade before the 24 month period has passed, but would be subject to a fee. There's no confirmation as of yet on how much the early upgrade fee will be, but we're guessing it's somewhere between $10-$20 for each remaining month before standard elgiibility.

We'll be sure to let you know once more information is made available.


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The tablet market has been exploding in recent months, with the iPad and Galaxy Tab having been available for a while now, and the highly anticipated BlackBerry PlayBook scheduled for release in the near-future. HTC is jumping into the tablet market now too, recently announcing the HTC Flyer, a 7" tablet that can also be used with a stylus for a natural writing feeling.

The Flyer features a 7" (1024 x 600) touchscreen display, and runs on Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread OS, along with a new version of HTC Sense that has been "re-imagined" for the tablet experience, including 3D effects. Powered by a 1.5GHz processor and 1GB of RAM, the Flyer comes with a 5MP camera with LED flash and 720p HD video capture, in addition to a 1.3MP front-facing camera.

No word yet on an exact release date, or pricing of the new HTC Flyer, but we should see it launch some time in the coming months on Telus.


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WIND Mobile has recently announced that they were preparing to launch the Huawei E1691 Data Stick, with pricing coming in at $80 contract-free. Now we've received even more information, pointing to a February 10th release date. For those who wish to reserve one of these data sticks, WIND Mobile is willing to secure one for you, as long as you purchase the SIM card and sign up for the $25 Infinite Laptop Special Edition plan. Once the devices arrive in-store, those who reserved one will be contacted, and will have 72 hours to pick up the stick and finalize the activation. At the time of activation and pick-up, you'll get a $40 discount on the price of the stick to compensate for the cost of the SIM card and any other activation fees that may have been incurred. For those in WIND Mobile coverage zones looking for a portable internet solution, the Huawei E1691 Data Stick is certainly one to consider.


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