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Mobilicity is looking for another growth spurt, and has introduced a referral program aimed at promoting Multi-Month plans. For each person you refer who signs up for a Multi-Month plan (3, 6, 9, 12 month options), you'll receive anywhere from $10-$30 as a credit applied to your "My Wallet" account. Your friend can also receive a credit, if they sign up for the $35 or $45 plans, they will get anywhere from $10-$15. To really make this a great opportunity, they are allowing each customer to refer as many people as they want/can, with no limit to the number of credits.

In order to take advantage or the program, the person you referred must provide your name, phone number, and e-mail address when signing up in-store, and 8-10 days later you should see the credit deposited into your account. They are also offering a few prized for the top 3 referrers, including a PlayBook, free Mobilicity service, and a $250 Prepaid gift card.


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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 recently let you know that Fido was preparing to launch the Sony Ericsson J108 Cedar, an eco-friendly entry-level cellphone. The Cedar features a 2.2" (240x320) display, 3.5mm headset jack, along with a 2MP camera, and social networking integration for Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace. The Ericsson J108 Cedar is available now from Fido for $10 on a 2-year term, or just $110 contract-free.


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KOODO Mobile has launched the Samsung Evergreen, their first eco-friendly handset for those want to have as little impact on the environment as possible. The Evergreen has a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, a 2.4" (240x320) display, and 2MP camera with video recording capabilities. The unique thing about this device is that is made from 70% recycled material, and is packaged in 80% recycled material. The Samsung Evergreen is available now from KOODO Mobile for free on the tab, or just $150 contract-free.


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We expect Mobilicity to launch in another few cities by the end of November, and so it doesn't come as much of a surprise that they have extended their Friends and Family program to November 30th, giving access to this plan to many others in the first couple weeks of launch. The Friends and Family pricing will get customers who know a Mobilicity employee the $45 plan for just $30/month, or the $65 plan for just $40/month. Stay tuned for more information regarding the Edmonton and Vancouver launches!


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Telus has recently launched an "eco-friendly" mobile device called the Samsung Evergreen, which is made from 70% recycled plastic, and the packaging is made using 80% recycled material. The Evergreen is an HSPA handset, featuring a 2.4" (240 x 320) display, sliding QWERTY keyboard, and 2MP camera. Memory can be expanded up to 16GB via microSD card. The Samsung Evergreen is available now from Telus for $29.99 on a 3 year contract, or just $149.99 for outright purchases.


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We recently let you know that new entrant Mobilicity confirmed plans to expand to Edmonton and Vancouver in November, and now it seems Ottawa can be added to that list. No word yet on exactly when the networks will go live in any of these 3 cities, but we also received word that Calgary and "southern Ontario" would be coming as well, but at a later time than Edmonton, Vancouver, and Ottawa. Hopefully we'll see these 3 cities go live by November 7th so residents can take advantage of the Friends and Family program that expires on that day. Keep expanding, Mobilicity!


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Mobilicity has recently confirmed via Twitter that their Edmonton and Vancouver networks will be launched sometime in November, which is great news for residents of either of these cities looking to save big on their monthly costs and avoid contracts. No word on exact launch dates, though they did confirm that Edmonton will be getting 40 retail outlets in total (consisting of outlets, stands, etc). With any luck, we'll see these cities launch before November 7th when the Friends & Family promotion comes to an end, or at the very least see some launch-specific promos released for new customers in these areas.

Edmonton and Vancouver residents - will you be signing up with Mobilicity at launch?


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We recently let you know that Mobilicity had launched a Friends & Family program, where they are offering up a couple highly-discounted price plans to anybody who knows a Mobilicity employee. The promotion/program has been officially extended to November 7th, giving everybody a few more days to take advantage of some incredible savings. The program offers up $45 plan for just $25, or the $65 plan for just $35 - savings of over 40%! If you know someone who works with Mobilicity, be sure to contact them quickly to take advantage of the program, as it's unlikely that it will be extended for a second time.


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Today, HTC unveiled 5 of their upcoming Windows Phone 7 devices, and among them is a Telus exclusive in Canada - the HTC 7 Surround. The HTC 7 Surround features the newly designed and announced Windows Phone 7 operating system, along with some impressive, and highly competitive hardware specifications to back it up.

Featuring a 3.8" (480x800) touch screen, 5MP camera capable of recording 720p HD video, and 16GB of internal storage, this Telus exclusive is perfect for capturing or experiencing media of any kind. One of the most unique features is the slide-out speaker system that offers up virtual surround sound and high quality audio so users can use the device to experience media along side others, rather than cutting themselves off from friends by popping in headphones. Powered by a 1GHz processor, you can be sure that device certainly won't lack power or speed, and should easily compare to top of the line handsets running on other platforms.

Expected sometime later this month, there is no definite word on pricing as of yet, but it's likely to come in around the $200 mark on a 3 year term. What do you think about the HTC 7 Surround and Windows Phone 7? Let us know in the forums!


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