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Tags : stick



Telus has recently launched a new trade-in program to encourage customers to recycle their unused devices, offering up to $200 in value. The program is relatively simple ? you can trade in up to 3 devices, for a maximum combined value of $200. You can use that ?credit? towards the purchase of a new device or accessory, though you must renew or activate a new account when doing so. The program is applicable to cell phones, mobile internet sticks and portable hotspots, but doesn?t currently extend to tablets, unfortunately.

In the press release, Telus mentioned they commissioned a survey to find out what Canadians do with their old devices. The results came in with 61% of Canadians saying they have between one and five old or unused cell phones laying around at home. This is a smart offering from Telus and eRecyclyingCorps in their collaborative effort, hopefully the appropriate value is given to those who want to take advantage!


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According to internal documents that have recently surfaced online, Telus is launching the Huawei E397 LTE Internet Stick tomorrow, March 21st. The stick, like others, has a maximum download capability of 75Mbps, with expected speeds of 12-25Mbps. Additionally, it falls back to Telus? HSPA+ networks when outside of LTE coverage areas.

The Huawei E397 LTE Internet Stick is set for release tomorrow, March 21st, and is expected to cost as little as $0 on a 3 year term, and $149.99 contract-free.


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We just let you know that Samsung had officially announced the Galaxy S II LTE, and already Rogers has come forward with confirmation that they will carry it. Their LTE network is currently live in Ottawa, and will expand to other major cities by the end of 2011, which is also when we can expect the Galaxy S II LTE. No word on pricing, but this handset is sure to sell well, especially when considering its improved processor and significantly faster data connectivity.

Additionally, Rogers will be launching 3 other new devices, including the Sierra Wireless AirCard 754S, an LTE tablet, and an LTE HTC device. These will add to the Sierra Wireless Rocket Stick, and of course, the LTE Galaxy S II. Other news from the release today includes a Toronto launch date for LTE, which is set for September 28th. Montreal and Vancouver will go live by the end of the year.


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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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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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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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Virgin Mobile has officially launched the Novatel Ovation MC547 mobile internet stick. The MC547 is capable of maximum download speeds of up to 42 Mbps, though users will typically average slower speeds. Regardless, this new internet stick from Novatel will give you fast data speeds on the go. It is compatible with Windows XP through 7, and Mac OS X 10.6 and higher.

The Novatel Ovation is available now from Virgin Mobile for $59.99 on a 3 year term or using their SuperTab. Those looking to purchase the internet stick contract-free will pay $199.99.


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A recently leaked photo of KOODO's internal systems show a test entry in their inventory called "Koodo Mobile internet key test". No word yet on which internet stick they will release, or what sort of pricing we'll see, but we'll keep an eye out for any new information. KOODO has been doing a great job of expanding their line-up to include more data-oriented devices, hopefully it doesn't stop any time soon!


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According to a recent release from Sasktel, they aren't just expanding their current 21Mbps network, but also working to launch a 42Mbps 4G network in Regina and Saskatoon this summer. No word yet on which devices might be available offering support for that speed, but it will likely start with a mobile internet stick.

Along with that announcement, Sasktel stated that by the end of 2011, their coverage will be available to 98% of Saskatchewan's population. It is already at 96%, according to the carrier.

It's certainly nice to see network upgrades and announcements, but one can't help but wonder their status regarding LTE deployment. With Bell and Rogers racing to launch their true 4G networks in a few major cities, we can only assume that's the future.


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Bell is stepping up their competitive edge by reducing the price of their Novatel Wireless U547 Turbo Stick to $0 on either a 2 or 3 year term, though contract-free pricing remains the same at $199.95. The U547 is capable of download speeds of up to 42 Mbps using Bell's dual-cell HSPA network, a service that Telus is getting set to launch next month, so it's no surprise that Bell is offering a price reduction now. In order to get this Turbo Stick for free on a 2-3 year term, customers will have to sign up for the 42 Mbps Speed Upgrade for $10/month, and fall within Bell's coverage area for the service.


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