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Bell has just introduced their push-to-talk network which runs on their HSPA+ network, providing decent download speeds alongside push-to-talk functionality. They have also released their first handset specifically for use on the network ? the Sonim XP5520 BOLT. The BOLT is an incredibly durable device that ?goes well beyond MIL-SPEC ruggedness? and is water proof, dust proof, and shock proof. It can withstand drops from 2 meters onto concrete and is scratch and pressure resistant as well, and has the warranty to back it up. Sonim offers up a 3-year comprehensive warranty to those who purchase the unit.

As for other specifications, the BOLT has a 2? (240 x 320) display, and supports HSPA, A-GPS, and Bluetooth 3.0 connectivity. According to official specs, it can get up to 12 hours of talk time, and also has an LED torch light and 2 MP camera with flash.

If you?re looking for a handset that can survive the harshest conditions and modern push-to-talk functionality, the Sonim XP5520 BOLT is definitely worth checking out. You can pick one up for $99.95 on a 3 year term, or $399.95 outright.


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Bell and Virgin Mobile have gone ahead with the launch of two new BlackBerry handsets, the Bold 9900 and Torch 9810! These BlackBerry 7 devices mark a new generation of handsets from RIM, and offer significant improvements in specifications over existing BlackBerry models.

The Bold 9900 features a 2.8" (640x480) touchscreen display, along with a full QWERTY keyboard, and maintains the traditional Bold form factor. It is powered by a 1.2GHz processor and 768MB of RAM, and comes with 8GB of storage. It offers up a 5MP camera with LED flash and 720p video capture, and includes connectivity options including Wi-Fi (b/g/n, hotspot), bluetooth, and GPS. It runs on BlackBerry OS 7 which fine tunes many of the features introduced in OS 6, including an improved browser experience, voice activated search, and more.

The Torch 9810 also runs on BlackBerry 7, and features a 3.2" (480x640) touchscreen display, and vertically sliding QWERTY keyboard, maintaining the recently introduced Torch form factor. Most of the features are identical to the Bold 9900, including a 1.2GHz processor, 768MB of RAM, and the 5MP camera with LED flash and 720p HD video recording capabilities. Connectivity options are also the same, with Wi-Fi (b/g/n, hotspot), bluetooth, and GPS.

Bell is offering up the Bold 9900 for $599.95 outright, or $169.95 on a 3 year term. The 9810 is available from them for $149.95 on a 3 year contract, or $599.95 outright. No word on whether all stores have received stock, but they are available for online purchase.

Virgin Mobile has both handsets priced the same (basically), with the Bold 9900 priced at $169.99 on a 3 year term, or $599.99 outright, and the Torch 9810 priced at $149.99 on a 3 year term, or $599.99 contract-free.


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Telus has recently introduced a sale, discounting 3 of their most popular handsets until May 8th. The Samsung Nexus S has been reduced to $99.99 on a 3 year term, while Fascinate (3G version) has been made free, also with a 3 year contract. The BlackBerry Torch 9800 has seen a price drop as well for the duration of this sale, coming in at $79.99 with a contract. Unfortunately outright costs haven't been changed, but it's still great to see sales of any kind.


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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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Exciting news came to us yesterday, when we found out that RIM is working on 3 new devices planned for launch later in 2011. The new devices add NFC (near field communications) technology, and are expected to launch with an OS version of 6.1.

The BlackBerry Curve "Apollo" is the next generation handset in the Curve series, and comes in at just 11mm thick. Featuring a full QWERTY keyboard, an HVGA (480x360) display, and a 5MP camera, the Apollo should make a great addition to RIM's handset line-up.

Next up the BlackBerry "Dakota", which looks like it may be the next generation in the Bold series. The Dakota has been rumoured for about a year now, but with more information finally surfacing on the internet, it looks like it may become a reality. The Dakota features a 2.8" (640x480) touch screen display, while retaining the typical BlackBerry form factor including the full QWERTY keyboard. The Dakota also comes with a 5MP camera with LED flash and HD video capture capabilities, and measures in at just 10.5mm thick.

Last in the list of new BlackBerry devices that were recently leaked is none other than the Torch 2, a BlackBerry with specs that compare to top end Android/iOS devices. The Torch 2 will be powered by a 1.2GHz processor, and features a 3.2" (640x480) display, a 5MP camera (presumably with HD video recording capabilities), along with 512Mb of RAM, 8GB of onboard internal memory, and NFC technology just like the other two devices.

No definite word on when we can expect to see these devices launch, but speculation is pointing at Q3 or so this year. With these devices launching with OS 6.1, it's unlikely that we'll see the PlayBook's QNX OS come to BlackBerry handsets this year, so if you're holding out for that, it may be quote the wait.


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Sasktel has recently introduced the red variation of the BlackBerry Torch 9800, a nice colour arriving just in time for the holidays. The red version comes in at the same price as the standard black version, which is $180 on a 3 year term, or $665 contract-free. The Torch is possibly RIM's most popular device right now, featuring an impressively responsive touchscreen, slide-out full QWERTY keyboard, and BlackBerry OS 6 featuring a new UI and WebKit browser.


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Right on time, Bell and Virgin Mobile have launched the BlackBerry Torch 9800 in red. The red version has the same specs as the black and white versions, but is a nice alternative for those who like red. Pricing is the same as the black version with the carriers, with Bell offering it for $179.95 on a 3 year term, and $599.95 outright, while Virgin Mobile has it listed at $179.99 with a 3 year contract, and $599.99 contract-free. So now Canadians can choose between standard black, white, or red when purchasing a Torch 9800. Which do you prefer?


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We recently let you know you could expect the BlackBerry Torch 9800 to arrive in white at Rogers, and today they've gone ahead and launched it! The white version comes in at the same price of $229.99 on a 3 year term, but makes a great addition to Rogers BlackBerry line-up. We should see the Bold 9780 launch in white soon too, so stay tuned for more news!


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Tbaytel has officially launched their HSPA network, and along with the launch comes 25 new devices. The line-up matches Rogers pretty spot-on, but here's the full list of devices now available through Tbaytel:

Smartphones: Acer Liquid E, Apple iPhone 4 (16GB or 32GB), BlackBerry 9100 Pearl, BlackBerry 9300 Curve, BlackBerry Bold 9700, BlackBerry Torch 9800, BlackBerry Bold 9780, HTC Magic +, LG Loop, Motorola Flipout, Motorola Quench, Nokia N97 Mini, Samsung Galaxy S Captivate, Samsung Wave S5800 Sony Ericsson X10, Sony Ericsson X10 Mini

Cell Phones: LG Shine Touch, LG Xenon, Motorola VA76R, Nokia 6750, Nokia 6790 Surge, Samsung Corby Pro, Samsung Corby Touch, Sony Vivaz Pro

Portable Data Devices: Rocket Stick ZTE MF668, Novatel MiFi 2372R


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Rogers typically gets the exclusives on white BlackBerry models in Canada, but as of recently we've seen Virgin Mobile and Bell offer up some white versions. Rogers hasn't stopped with the white models, however, and recently white dummy units of the BlackBerry Torch 9800 and Bold 9780 began arriving in stores. While no definite information is available regarding pricing or launch date, pricing should come in as the same as the standard black versions, and these versions should launch fairly soon. What do you think about the white versions of the Torch and Bold 9780? Let us know in the forums!


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