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LTE is quickly growing in popularity and availability in Canada, with the big 3 carriers offering connectivity in varying major urban areas. Rogers customers in Calgary and Halifax can now join in the LTE fun, experiencing significantly faster data speeds when in coverage areas.

In all, Rogers? LTE network is live in Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa, and surrounding areas for each. They also recently launched it in St John?s, Newfoundland, and now Halifax and Calgary can be added to the list. In the press release for the Halifax/Calgary launch, Rogers also mentioned Edmonton will see the network soon as well, sometime ?in the coming months?. Hopefully the expansion doesn?t stop any time soon!


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Research in Motion officially announced their intentions to launch an HSPA+ and LTE equipped PlayBook around this time last year, but nothing has made an appearance as of yet. Today, however, some good news surfaced ? The FCC (United States) has officially approved the device, which brings us one step closer to its release. To top it off, leaked information that has been floating around the internet recently points to Bell intending for an ?early April? launch, though they clearly state that launch dates are subject to change.

Rumoured features and specifications for the HSPA/LTE enabled PlayBook include a dual-core 1.5 GHz processor and NFC capabilities. Unfortunately, further details are currently unavailable, and rumours are even proving sparse. We?ll keep you updated on any new information as it becomes available!


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Sony, which recently took over on the Sony Ericsson side of things, has officially announced another addition to their Xperia line-up, the sola. The sola has one feature that stands out in particular, its ?floating touch? display. It measures in at a pretty standard 3.7? (480 x 854), but lets you browse the web by hovering your finger to control a ?cursor?, and tapping to click. If it works fluidly, this could be especially helpful when clicking small links, and will bring the Xperia sola one step closer to desktop-like browsing.

Other specifications for the sola include its dual-core 1 GHz processor, 512 MB of RAM, and 8 GB of internal memory. It features a 5 MP camera with LED flash and 720p video capture, along with the usual Sony features like the Mobile Bravia Engine. Connectivity includes HSPA, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, and NFC for those early adopters.

The Sony Xperia sola will be available in white, black, and red when it launches globally in a few months. No confirmation as of yet that it will be launching in Canada, but with most Sony handsets hitting our soil early, we?re hoping for a prompt and quick release here. Interested? We?ll keep you updated as more information is made available!


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Samsung has been busy announcing new devices these past few weeks, and they finished the series of reveals with the Galaxy Tab 7.7 LTE and Galaxy Note. No word yet regarding which devices will make it to Canadian soil, however we've had fairly decent luck getting their top end devices recently, so it's very possible.

The Galaxy Tab 7.7 LTE features a stunning7.7" (1280x800) Super AMOLED Plus display, and is powered by a dual-core 1.4GHz processor and 1GB of RAM. It has a 3MP camera with LED flash and 720p HD video capture, and a front-facing 2MP camera. There is a lengthy list of connectivity options, including LTE, HSPA+, Wi-FI (a/b/g/n, hotspot), bluetooth 3.0, and GPS, along with physical connectivity to televisions via its TV out feature. This Honeycomb device measures in at just 7.89mm thick, and comes with a 5100mAh battery.

The Galaxy Note is a smartphone/tablet crossover, offering up a 5.3" (1280x800) Super AMOLED HD display. It too, is LTE enabled, an is powered by a dual-core 1.4GHz processor and 1GB of RAM. It has an 8MP camera with LED flash and 1080p HD video capture, and a front-facing 2MP camera. The Note runs on Android 2.3 Gingerbread at launch, and also features the "S Pen", which is more or less a stylus used for note-taking, drawing, etc. It also comes with TV out, HSPA+, bluetooth 3.0, Wi-Fi (a/b/g/n, hotspot), and GPS.

No word yet on pricing for either of these devices, or if/when they'll make it to Canada. With more news recently about Rogers' LTE network deployment, hopefully we'll see one or both of these devices make it into their line-up.


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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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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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The Samsung Galaxy S II is sure to be a truly amazing Android handset, boasting top-end specifications and Google's latest version of Android, 2.3 Gingerbread. Today, Bell, Virgin Mobile, and Sasktel all officially anounced that they will be launching the handset via press releases. No official word on launch dates for any of the 3 carriers besides "in the coming weeks", however recent rumours online are pointing to mid-July. Pricing is also still unconfirmed for Bell and Virgin, however Sasktel did mention in the release that 3-year pricing is set to be $79.99, with the outright cost yet to be released.

The Samsung Galaxy S II has a 4.3" Super AMOLED touchscreen display with Gorilla Glass, and features TouchWiz UI 4.0, and an 8MP camera with LED flash and 1080p video capture. It also has a secondary 2MP front-facing camera, and is powered by a dual-core 1.2GHz processor and 1GB of RAM. It has been branded as the "Galaxy S II 4G", and is capable of 21Mbps download speeds.

We'll be sure to keep you updated on any further launch information made available, so stay tuned!


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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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Videotron truly is on a roll with handset launches, with their most recent device addition being the LG Optimus 2X! This incredibly powerful device is powered by a dual-core 1GHz processor, and runs on Android 2.2 Froyo, though it is expected to get Gingerbread 2.3 at some point.

The Optimus 2X has a 4" (480x800) touchscreen display with Gorilla Glass, and features an 8MP camera with LED flash and both 720p and 1080p HD video capture capabilities. Other features include a secondary 1.3MP camera, an HDMI-out port, 8GB of internal storage, and all of the standard connectivity options (Wi-Fi, bluetooth, GPS).

If you're located in Quebec and looking for a top-end Android handset, be sure to consider the LG Optimus 2X from Videotron. It is available now for $199.95 "reduced price", or $529.95 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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