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Every summer, we see the major carriers re-launch the $30 6GB data package, typically coinciding with the latest iPhone launch. Rogers and Telus are ahead of the game this year, with internal documents stating that they are each offering it up effective immediately. To get the package, you'll need to sign up for a new 3 year term or renew your current contract, as usual. Additionally, it must be added to a voice plan, and cannot be used as a stand-alone data only package. No word on exactly when the promotion will expire, but as always, you can expect it to be available for a limited time only. We'll likely see Bell follow suit in the near future, as the re-introduction of this plan is usually aligned among the major carriers.


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We recently let you know that Rogers was set to launch two 3D Android handsets, the HTC Evo 3D and LG Optimus 3D, and that they were accepting pre-orders from existing customers. Now, they have opened up pre-orders to everybody, including new customers. According to the pre-order details, the "Offer" expires on August 15th, indicating a launch immediately after. With that, we can expect to see these handset come available on the 16th, or very soon afterwards.

The HTC Evo 3D has a 4.3" (540x960) 3D LCD display and is powered by a dual-core 1.2GHz processor and 1GB of RAM and has 1GB of internal storage. It has a dual 5MP camera with dual-LED flash that is capable of taking 2MP steroscopic photos, and recording 720p 3D video or full 1080p video. It runs on Android 2.3 Gingerbread, and also offers TV-out, a front-facing 1.3MP camera, and Wi-Fi, bluetooth, and GPS connectivity.

The LG Optimus 3D has a 4.3" (480x800) 3D LCD display, and runs Android 2.2 Froyo at launch. It's powered by a dual-core 1GHz procesor and 512MB of RAM, and comes with 8GB of internal storage. The Optimus 3D also has a dual 5MP camera with LED flash, and can record 720p 3D video or 1080p HD video. Connectivity includes Wi-Fi, bluetooth, and GPS.

Along with the hint of an August 16th release date, the pre-order page also shows off 3-year pricing. The Evo 3D will be $149.99 with a 3 year contract, and the Optimus 3D is set at $99.99 on a 3 year term.


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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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At Google I/O last week, a variety of announcements came our way regarding Android. Ice Cream Sandwich, Movie Rentals, and more were announced. One of the other items unveiled at the event was Honeycomb OS 3.1, the next update in the tablet-specific OS. Included in the update are a variety of new featurs, including resizable widgets, USB accessory support, and more.

Unfortunately, like with most events of this type in the U.S., Canada wasn't really discussed a whole lot. U.S. Motorola XOOM owners began seeing the update shortly after the announcement, while there has been no sign of it north of the border. Finally, Motorola Canada came forward on Facebook and declared that the update is coming soon. No specific dates were provided, but they did say:

"Some of the feature upgrades include basic external SD card support for general SD file and media access, expanded support for USB-connected accessories, additional Bluetooth support and Picture Transfer Protocol to enable easier transfer of photo files to your PC."

Certainly great news for Canadian XOOM owners!


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Fido has officially launched the Nokia C6, though pricing comes in $20 higher than we previously reported. With big box retailers jumping the gun with pricing, the C6 was expected to come in at $30 on a 2 year term, but has launched with a $50 price tag. Contract-free pricing comes in at $275 though, which is exactly what was expected.

The C6 has a full slide-out QWERTY keyboard, 5MP camera with LED flash, and a 3.2" (360x640) touchscreen display. It runs on Symbian 60 OS v.94 and offers Wi-Fi, bluetooth, and GPS connectivity. Additionally, this new Nokia handset can hold up to 16GB via microSD card to hold your music, photos, or other media.


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The wait has finally come to an end for Canadians looking to get their hands on the Motorola Atrix, the first dual-core handset available in Canada. Launching just a few days ago, the Motorola Atrix features a 4" (540x960) touchscreen display, dual-core 1GHz processor, and 1GB of RAM. Coming with a 5MP camera with LED flash and 720p HD video capture, the Atrix also has a front-facing camera. Connectivity options include Wi-Fi, bluetooth, and GPS, but what really makes the Atrix stand out are the accessories.

Users are able to purchase the LapDock for $329.95, which will provide on-screen access to the Atrix' features and functionality, while the HD Multi Media dock will run you $129.95. Alternatively, users can also pick up a Multi Media Desk Dock for just $49.95.

The Motorola Atrix is available now from Bell for $169.95 on a 3 year term. Though a contract-free price point is listed at $599.95, Bell isn't selling the handset without an upgrade or activation. So if you're looking to grab an Atrix, you'll have to have an active account with Bell.


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We recently let you know that Telus was getting set to launch the Nokia C3-01 Touch and Type, which is now officially available. The C3-01 features a 2.4" (240x320) touchscreen display, in addition to a standard phone keypad, offering up a few options for navigation and data input. Additionally, this new Nokia handset has a 5MP camera with LED flash and video capture capabilities, and support Wi-Fi and bluetooth connectivity, along with an FM radio. For media fans, the C3-01 can be upgraded to a maximum of 32GB of memory, using a microSD card purchased separately.

This S40 6th edition Symbian based handset is available now, for a very reasonable $159.99 contract-free, or $59.99 with a 3 year contract.


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Rogers customers who own a Dell Streak are in luck today, as the Android 2.2 Froyo update is being rolled out OTA(over-the-air). The update, which brings Adobe Flash support and Dell's "Stage" software, is available now, and Streak users should be prompted to update the next time their phone is rebooted. The other main benefit users will experience with this new OS version is significantly wider compatibility with recently released apps, as many developers are designing their products to function with Android OS 2.0 or higher only.

Note: Some users are experiencing issues when updating their Streak's OTA, stating that they experience repeated "Force close" problems immediately after the update. Be sure to manually back up your crucial data before performing the upgrade. Lastly, if you do experience the "Force close" problem after updating, try navigating the menus and perform a Factory Reset on the device, as this reportedly fixes the problem and leaves you with a fresh Android 2.2 Froyo install.


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Telus has had the INQ Chat 3G available on Prepaid for quite a while now, with the price staying at a pretty consistent $149.99 until now. Effective immediately, the Chat 3G is now set to a low $69.99 price point if purchased/activated on Telus' prepaid service. The INQ Chat 3G features a 2.2" (320x240) display, full QWERTY keyboard, and a 3.2MP camera with auto-focus. The Chat 3G also features GPS and bluetooth connectivity, though Wi-Fi is not supported. Expandable up to 8GB via microSD card, the Chat 3G is a great option for those looking for an affordable messaging device on prepaid.


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