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Tags : unique



Bell, Telus, Virgin Mobile, and Fido have all recently launched the HTC One S, and Sasktel isn?t going to leave Saskatchewan residents behind. They have released their own unique version of the One S, the Roughriders edition. It comes with a Riders widget and the official app pre-installed, along with a customized Saskatchewan Roughriders body.

All of the other features are identical to the standard version released by other carriers, including its 4.3? (540 x 960) Super AMOLED touch screen display. It runs on Android 4.0, and features Beats Audio, Sense 4.0, and an 8 MP camera with LED flash and 1080p HD video capture. The One S is powered by a dual-core 1.5 GHz processor and 1 GB of RAM, and comes with 16 GB of internal storage.

If you?re in Saskatchewan and want this unique device, you now pick one up from Sasktel for $99.99 on a 3 year term, or $549.99 monthly or prepaid.


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Possibly one of the most anticipated Android handsets since the OS was first introduced by Google, the Samsung Galaxy S III has been officially announced. It features a 4.8? (720 x 1280) Super AMOLED touchscreen display, and is powered by a quad-core 1.4 GHz processor. There will be two variations, an HSPA+ model and an LTE version. It comes with an 8 MP camera with LED flash and 1080p HD video recording, along with a 1.9 MP front-facing camera capable of 720p video capture. Other noteworthy specifications include its 1 GB of RAM, and its Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, and NFC connectivity options.

Some of the features that make the S III unique in the Android market include SmartStay and S Voice. SmartStay uses the front-facing camera to detect when you are looking at the screen, preventing the display from timing out. S Voice allows users to give voice commands, and is somewhat similar to Siri on the iPhone. Those who purchase a Galaxy S III will also get a whopping 50 GB of extra Dropbox storage, and will have a wide array of accessories to purchase.

As for design, the Galaxy S III?s huge 4.8? screen rests inside an 8.6 mm thin body. The handset is going to be made in black and white versions, though it hasn?t been confirmed that we?ll see both in Canada. What has been communicated by Samsung, however, is that we will see the device sometime this summer! Pricing and carrier availability are unknown currently, but it?s likely that Rogers, Bell, and Telus will each offer the device, in one variation or another.

If you?re interested in this Ice Cream Sandwich device, you?re surely not alone. Check back soon as we?ll keep you updated on any further information pertaining to its launch!


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Motorola has sent out a press release officially announcing that the MOTOLUXE is heading to Canada, with a scheduled Q2 release. This new Android handset from Motorola features a new user-interface that ?learns? about your use and tailors certain parts of your home screen to your behaviour. For instance, the contacts you interact with most often will have larger icons than the rest on your home screen, and the ?Activity Graph? will display your most used applications. The device also has a multi-coloured LED indicator, something BlackBerry handsets (with the use of 3rd party apps for advanced customization) have had for some time.

Other features include its 4? (480 x 854)) touch screen display, and 8 MP camera with flash and HD video capture. It has an 800 MHz processor, 1 GB of internal storage, and 512 MB of RAM. The current version of the handset available outside of Canada runs on Android 2.3 Gingerbread, so we?ll probably see this at launch as well.

Pricing and carrier availability are currently unconfirmed, though rumours around the internet point to Bell and Virgin Mobile picking this device up. With the modest specifications and unique, software-oriented approach, we should see the Motorola MOTOLUXE on the lower end of the pricing spectrum.


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Motorola has officially launched a fairly unique product to Canadians, the Motorola MOTOACTIV. The device looks much like a watch, but features a 1.6? touch screen made of Gorilla Glass, and advertised to be sweat-proof, rain-resistant, and scratch-resistant. So what?s the big deal?

The MOTOACTIV is powered by Android and is a ?cutting-edge GPS fitness tracker, heart rate monitor-enabled, and smart MP3 player? in one. Using GPS and AccuSense technology, it can track your running, walking, cycling, and other workout data including time, distance, speed, calories burned, and heart rate (if paired with a heart rate monitor). It features tight integration with your smart phone as well, allowing you to pair it to receive calls and text messages on the go, in addition to mobile and online access to their ?Training Portal?. As far as MP3 functionality, the MOTOACTIV comes with 8GB of built in memory, and it also offers FM radio capabilities. If you?re looking to extend the device?s functionality even further, you can also pair it with pedometers and bike sensors for more details on your workout or exercise.

The MOTOACTIV is available now in limited quantities Running Room stores, and online at thesource.ca. Motorola let us know that the device would retail for $249.99, though The Source has it listed (and currently out of stock) for $259.99. As for accessories, there are several, including the wristband for $29.99 which is supposed to be included by default. You can pick up a universal clip or soft armband for more wearing options, each for $29.99 as well.


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Quite some time ago we let you know that Telus would be launching the LG Optimus Black Skype Edition, and that day has come. This Android-powered handset features a 4" (480x800) touchscreen Gorilla Glass display, and is powered by a 1GHz processor and 512MB of RAM. It has a 5MP camera with LED flash and 720p HD video capture, along with a 2MP front-facing camera. With Skype built in, users can make unlimited Skype to Skype calls, or charge the purchase of Skype credits directly to your Telus bill.

If you're interested in this unique handset from Telus, it is available now for $49.99 on a 3 year term, or $399.99 contract-free.


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While Bell has been stacking up their Android line-up, Rogers has been fairly quiet with theirs, until now. A few days back, Rogers confirmed that they will be launching two Android-powered 3D handsets, the HTC Evo 3D and the LG Optimus 3D. Both have impressive features as Android devices alone, but the addition of the 3D display and stereoscopic/3D capable camera are definitely unique and will set these handsets apart from others.

The HTC Evo 3D features a 4.3" (540x960) 3D LCD touchscreen display, and runs on Android 2.3 Gingerbread with HTC Sense. It's powered by a dual-core 1.2GHz processor and 1GB of RAM, and comes with 1GB of internal storage. It comes with a dual 5MP camera with dual-LED flash that can take 2MP stereoscopic photos, and record 720p 3D video, or full 1080p HD video. It also has a 1.3MP front-facing camera, and supports Wi-Fi(b/g/n, hotspot), bluetooth, and GPS connectivity, in addition to TV-out functionality.

The LG Optimus 3D has similar specifications, with a 4.3" (480x800) 3D LCD touchscreen display, and Android 2.2 Froyo initially. It's powered by a dual-core 1GHz processor and 512MB of RAM, and comes with 8GB of internal storage. The Optimus 3D also has a dual 5MP camera with LED flash, and can record 720p 3D video or 1080p HD video. Connectivity options include Wi-Fi(b/g/n, hotspot), bluetooth, and GPS, in addition to an HDMI port.

Existing Rogers customers can reserve either of these devices online by logging into their Rogers account, and using their newly introduced Reservation System. No word yet on pricing or an exact launch date, but we should see both of the devices come available soon.


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Looking to take advantage of all that Android and Skype have to offer, LG has created a Skype Edition of the LG Optimus Black, and Telus is set to carry it. They officially announced that the device is Coming soon, though no specific date has been provided as of yet.

The Optimus Black runs on Android 2.2 Froyo at launch, and features a 4" (480x800) touchscreen display. It is powered by a 1GHz processor and 512MB of RAM, and comes with 2GB of onboard storage. It also features a 5MP rear-facing camera with LED flash and 720p HD video capture, in addition to a front-facing 2MP camera. As for connectivity, the Optimus Black has Wi-Fi (b, g, n, and hotspot), bluetooth, and GPS.

No word yet on pricing for the "first Skype branded phone on the Canadian market", though you will apparently get 60 minutes worth of international Skype calling credits at purchase. Additional credits can be billed to your monthly Telus invoice, making this a truly unique option for Skype users.


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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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With Telus revamping their hardware upgrade program quite some time ago, and Rogers recently following suit, it doesn't come as much of a surprise that Bell is doing the same. Telus and Rogers have stepped up to offer early upgrade options for those who can't wait the full 2+ years to get another device at a discounted cost, and Bell's new program is looking similar.

According to recently leaked information, Bell will be making the changes tomorrow, May 22nd. The leaked document shows that "Select clients will have the opportunity to upgrade early by paying a fee on their Bell Mobility monthly invoice." They go on to say that the early upgrade fee will be calculated based on their eligible hardware upgrade date and can be paid either monthly or in one lump sum. Unfortunately the monthly option won't be available at launch, but should be active shortly afterwards. The monthly payment option is unique in Canada for device upgrades, and will hopefully be the center of Bell's focus when marketing this new program.

In addition to early upgrade eligibility being introduced, the document also makes mention of an "Eligible for Special Hardware" option. Basically, select clients will be able to upgrade to a device from a pre-determined list of special hardware. No word yet on what makes a customer eligible for this special early upgrade, but it's bound to have something to do with revenue generated and the type of device you own.


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KOODO Mobile has launched the Samsung Evergreen, their first eco-friendly handset for those want to have as little impact on the environment as possible. The Evergreen has a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, a 2.4" (240x320) display, and 2MP camera with video recording capabilities. The unique thing about this device is that is made from 70% recycled material, and is packaged in 80% recycled material. The Samsung Evergreen is available now from KOODO Mobile for free on the tab, or just $150 contract-free.


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