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LG Optimus L5 of Bell Bell lg

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For those who have been waiting, the LG Optimus L7 is now available from Rogers and Fido. First, Fido put the L7 up on their website for free on a 3 year term, or just $300 outright. Rogers followed up by making it officially available as well, but for $0.01 on a 3 year term, or $274.99 contract-free.

The LG Optimus L7 features a 4.3" (480 x 800) Gorilla Glass touch screen display, and is powered by a 1 GHz processor and 512 MB of RAM. It contains 2 GB of internal storage, as well as a microSD slot for up to 32 GB of extra storage. It also features a 5 MP camera with LED flash and runs on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

For such an affordable price, you can't go wrong with the LG Optimus L7. Be sure to check out Fido or Rogers websites for upgrade and purchase options.


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The last few months have been filled with rumours, but it's now confirmed that the Samsung Galaxy S III will be coming to Canada on June 20th. Samsung, along with most carriers, have officially confirmed they will be releasing it, along with the official specifications of the device. To go along with that exciting news, Telus and Rogers have officially released some pricing details, and leaked information reveals some Bell and Virgin Mobile price points.

As many Canadians suspected, we will not be getting the same quad-core version that was recently released in Europe, but rather, the power and speed of a Snapdragon S4 Dual Core 1.5 GHz processor and 2 GB of RAM. It comes in two versions, one with LTE for the major carriers and their subsidiaries (Rogers, Bell, Telus, Virgin Mobile, Sasktel), and a non-LTE version for the other carriers including WIND Mobile, Videotron, and Mobilicity. The LTE version will be available in 16 GB or 32 GB models, however all carriers won?t necessarily offer both. The non-LTE version will be available in only a 16 GB version for now, however both devices also have a micro SD slot capable of an additional 32 GB of expandable memory. The Galaxy S III also features a 4.8" (1280?720 or 306ppi) HD Super AMOLED Gorilla Glass touch screen display, an 8 MP rear-facing camera with LED Flash and 1080p HD video recording as well as a secondary front-facing 1.9 MP camera capable of 720p recording. Also confirmed, but expected, the handset runs on the latest version of Android OS v4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich with Samsungs own TouchWiz UI with Motion UX.

As for pricing, the following information has been made available either officially, or via information leaked online:

Rogers - $149.99 on 3 year term for 16 GB model
Telus - $159.99 on 3 year term for 16 GB model, $679.99 outright. $209.99 on 3 year term for 32 GB model, $749.99 outright.
Bell - $599.95 outright for 16 GB model, $649.95 outright for 32 GB model
Virgin Mobile - $599.99 outright for 16 GB model, $649.99 outright for 32 GB model

Unfortunately pricing for the other confirmed carriers is currently unavailable, however Mobilicity is offering a $100 credit (paid out over 10 months) for those who pre-order before June 15th. Regardless, if you?re interested in picking up a Samsung Galaxy S III, you?ll have many options to choose from on June 20th!


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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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Those looking to pick up a Wi-Fi only tablet now have another option to choose from in the Android field, the Toshiba Excite 10 LE. It features a 10.1? (1280 x 800) touch screen display with Gorilla Glass, and comes with a 5MP rear-facing camera and 2MP front-facing camera. The Excite 10 LE is powered by a dual-core 1.2GHz processor and 1GB of RAM.

This Honeycomb, soon to be Ice Cream Sandwich tablet, comes in at 1.2lbs and is only 7.7mm thin. Connectivity options include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS, along with micro-USB and HDMI ports for physical connectivity. The Toshiba Excite 10 LE is available now from major electronics retail stores for $549.99 for the 16GB model, while the 32GB version comes in at $599.99.



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Bell has been launching plenty of handsets lately, but it looks like they don't plan on stopping anytime soon. According to screenshots leaked online, the Nokia C2-01 will be exclusively available from Bell. It is a basic S40 handset that features a 2" (240x320) display, along with a 3.2MP camera and FM radio. The device can be expanded up to 16GB via microSD card for those looking for extra room for music, etc. No word on pricing, but this affordable Nokia handset is set to launch on July 14th.


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It looks like Rogers is preparing to launch a new entry-level Nokia handset, the X2-01. The X2 is an affordable device that comes with a full QWERTY keyboard, and runs on Symbian OS S40. It features a 2.4" (320x240) display, and a VGA camera, and can hold up to 8GB via microSD card. No word yet on exactly when it will be made available, or what the pricing will look like, but it should certainly be on the lower end when it comes to cost. It's also possible that the device is destined for Rogers' Prepaid line-up, but only time will tell!


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Videotron has finally launched the Nokia C7-00, which was originally expected to launch in late April or so. The C7 runs on Symbian^3 OS, and features a 3.5" (360x640) AMOLED touchscreen display, along with an 8MP camera with dual-LED flash and 720p HD video recording. It's powered by a 680MHz processor, and comes with 256MB of RAM, 1GB of ROM, and 8GB of internal storage space, expandable via microSD. Connectivity options for the C7-00 include Wi-Fi (b, g, n), bluetooth 3.0, and GPS. It also has TV-out functionality and an FM radio transmitter.

If you're looking to pick up the C7-00 from Videotron, it is now available for $89.95 reduced price, or $439.95 contract-free.


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Microsoft recently held a Windows Phone preview event, meant to show off some of the new updates coming to the platform. As expected, the topic of focus was Mango, the next OS version of Windows Phone. Apparently Mango will bring forward 500 new features to "push the boundaries of the smartphone experience around communications, apps, and the Internet."

One of the new features included will be "Threads", which will allow users to switch between text, Facebook chat, and Windows Live Messenger within the same conversation. It will also bring improvements to multi-tasking, make Live Tiles more dynamic and information-filled, feature Internet Explorer 9, and much more.

According to the press release, Windows Phone Mango will be available on new devices being shipped this fall, and while the update should coincide with that time frame, they state "update timing will be provided closer to availability." We'll be sure to let you know once more information is made available.


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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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