HTC Desire C of Fido Fido htc

HTC Desire C of Rogers Rogers htc

HTC Desire C of Sasktel Sasktel htc

HTC Desire C of Virgin Mobile Virgin Mobile htc

HTC One X of Telus Telus htc

Nokia Lumia 610 of Koodo Koodo nokia

LG Optimus L5 of Bell Bell lg

Tags : smartphones



Looking for an extra-durable Android handset? Then the Samsung Rugby could be for you. This Gingerbread handset is certified to be dust, rain, vibration, and shock resistant for working conditions that are too rough for typical, and sometimes delicate smartphones. It comes with a 3.7? (480 x 800) Super AMOLED touch screen display, and a 5 MP camera with LED flash and 720p video capture. The Rugby is powered by a 1.4 GHz processor and 512 MB of RAM, and comes with 4 GB of internal storage. Connectivity options are the usual, including HSPA, WI-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS.

As for pricing and availability, Bell is set to launch the Rugby on April according to leaked internal documentation. There isn?t a specific launch date for the handset with Rogers, though we expect to see it roughly around the same time. Pricing is unknown for both carriers; however talk around the internet points to $300 outright.


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Just as everybody expected, Apple announced their new iPad model today. It features a variety of minor upgrades over the iPad 2, but features a couple of major improvements such as the display and 4G LTE connectivity. The 9.7? screen, with an incredible resolution of 2048 x 1536, is being called the ?Retina? display despite it missing the mark that the iPhone 4 hits. This might not be the end of the world, however, since users typically hold the tablet further from their eyes than their smartphones. The other major plus is the 4G LTE option, with Rogers, Bell, and Telus already confirmed to be launching the tablet.

Other features include upgraded quad-core graphics processing and a 5MP rear facing camera with face detection, capable of 1080p video recording with image stabilization. As for battery life, Apple is claiming that it will get 10 hours of battery life, reduced to 9 hours for LTE connected iPads. Physical dimensions come in slightly bulkier than the iPad 2, at 9.4mm thin and 1.4lbs.

So when can you get your hands on one? It?s up for pre-order now on Apple?s website, and is confirmed to be coming to Rogers, Telus and Bell. On Apple?s website, they mention that pre-order shipments are expected for delivery between March 16th and 20th. Pricing for the Wi-Fi model comes in at $519 for 16GB model, $619 for the 32GB, and $719 for 64GB. The Wi-Fi + LTE option will cost you $649 for the 16GB version, $749 for the 32GB, and $849 for the 64GB. It will be available in both black and white. As a result of the near-future launch, Apple has reduced the price of the iPad 2 by $100 for each model ? good news for those looking for some savings!


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KOODO Mobile has already included a variety of Android handsets in their line-up, but one design-type we don't see nearly enough anymore with smartphones are QWERTY handsets. The LG Optimus Chat, which according to screenshots leaked online will be the next Android device for KOODO, has a horizontally sliding keyboard for easy typing. It features a 2.8" (320x480) touchscreen display, and a 3.15MP camera. It runs on Android 2.2 Froyo and offers up Wi-Fi, bluetooth, and GPS support.

While still unconfirmed, it looks like KOODO will be offering up the Optimus Chat for $200 outright, or $50 using their tab.


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While Sasktel has been doing a decent job keeping up with top-end smartphones in their line-up, it's great to see a variety of other mobile-related devices launch too. They have officially put the Novatel Ovation MC547 Mobile Internet Stick on their website, marking it as "Coming Soon!"

The MC547 is capable of download speeds reaching 42 Mbps, using dual-cell HSPA+ network technology. For the time-being, however, the device's max download speed on Sasktel's HSPA+ network is limited to 21 Mbps, pending network upgrades. Pricing for the data stick come in at $59.99 on a 3 year term, ranging upwards to $199.99 contract-free


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First Videotron launched the super-powerful LG Optimus 2X, and now WIND Mobile have gone ahead releasing the device as well. The 2X, for those who haven't kept an eye on it, features a 4" (480x800) touchscreen Gorilla Glass display, 8GB of storage, and an 8MP camera with LED flash and 1080p HD video capture. It also has a secondary 1.3MP front-facing camera, and is powered by a dual-core 1GHz processor and 512MB of RAM. Connectivity options include Wi-Fi (b/g/n, hotspot), bluetooth, and GPS, and the handset runs on Android 2.2 Froyo. Other notable features include its HDMI port and FM radio connectivity, which both seem to be hit or miss for recently released smartphones.

If you're looking to pick up the Optimus 2X from WIND Mobile, it is now available for the decent price of $445 contract-free. Customers also have the option of subsidizing a part of the cost using the WINDtab, which will reduce it down to $295 upfront, with the remainder being paid off monthly via your typical invoice. If you're looking for a powerful Android handset and like what WIND has to offer, the LG Optimus 2X might just be the perfect choice for you.


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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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While it's exciting to see new smartphones launch, it's always nice to see the Prepaid users get a bit of attention as well. Rogers isn't ignoring their prepaid line-up, and has recently added the Nokia E5 to their list available devices. Coming in at $159.99, the E5 features a 2.36" (320x240) display and full QWERTY keyboard, and runs on Symbian OS S60 v9.3. It has a 5MP camera with LED flash and VGA video capture, and supports bluetooth and GPS connectivity. If you're looking for an affordable device on a prepaid account, the Nokia E5 could make a great choice.


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Sony Ericsson used be known for their Walkman and Cyber-shot handsets, and were met with considerable success as a manufacturer before smartphones became popular. Lately, they have been placing most of their focus on Android devices, and it looks like the specialties might re-appear, together.

Images were recently leaked online of a Sony Ericsson Xperia handset that is branded with "cyber-shot" text. There isn't any Android branding on the device, that's visible anyways, but the button layout strongly hints at that it will be an Android handset. While this one is definitely still just a rumour, it makes sense that Sony Ericsson would make a move like this. Hopefully we'll see this device, or something similar, launch very soon!


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Google held their I/O event today, announcing a number of things pertaining to their mobile OS and platform - Android. Possibly the biggest announcement was the official confirmation of their upcoming OS version, Ice Cream Sandwich. This new version aims to bridge the gap between tablets and smartphones, bringing many of the higher-end features of Honeycomb to a smaller screen size. This promises richer widgets and graphics, better multitasking, and much more. Ice Cream Sandwich is expected to launch in Q4.

Another big announcement was movie rentals via Market. No word on when Canadians will see the feature released, but starting in the next few weeks, Google stated they will be rolling out movie rentals in the Android Market. These rentals will start as low as $1.99, but premium titles will likely be more.

Though Canadians haven't received any word on when it will be available to us, Google also announced Music Beta. Music Beta is a service that allows you to upload your personal music collection to the cloud for streaming on your computer and various Android devices. It was made available today to certain U.S. users by invitation, so hopefully we'll see it soon in Canada.

A few other announcements were made as well, including a promise of higher dedication to timely OS updates. They also discussed projects like the Android Open Accessory Toolkit and Android@Home so hardware creators can develop a broader range of products, and even offer connectivity between home appliances and your device!


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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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