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Tags : voice



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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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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Every summer, we see the major carriers re-launch the $30 6GB data package, typically coinciding with the latest iPhone launch. Rogers and Telus are ahead of the game this year, with internal documents stating that they are each offering it up effective immediately. To get the package, you'll need to sign up for a new 3 year term or renew your current contract, as usual. Additionally, it must be added to a voice plan, and cannot be used as a stand-alone data only package. No word on exactly when the promotion will expire, but as always, you can expect it to be available for a limited time only. We'll likely see Bell follow suit in the near future, as the re-introduction of this plan is usually aligned among the major carriers.


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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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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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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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Beginning yesterday, the BlackBerry World 2011 event is where most expect new device and software announcements, and RIM lived up to those expectations. Announcing the BlackBerry 9900/9930 models and BlackBerry 7 OS, RIM stated that the Bold Touch is expected to be available from carriers around the world beginning this Summer.

The Bold Touch 9900/9930 are essentially the same device, though the 9930 operates on CDMA networks, whereas the 9900 is GSM and HSPA+ compatible. They feature a 2.8" (640x480) VGA multitouch display, while retaining the familiar BlackBerry design that comes with a full QWERTY keyboard. The Bold Touch is a significant improvement over current BlackBerry handsets, and is powered by a 1.2GHz processor and 768MB of RAM. It has a 5MP camera with 720p video capture, and supports NFC, Wi-Fi, GPS, and bluetooth connectivity. It comes in at just 10.5mm thick, making it the thinnest BlackBerry yet. Lastly, the Bold Touch runs on BlackBerry 7 OS, RIM's latest version of their platform. No word on pricing or exact launch dates, but we should see these launch by late Summer.

BlackBerry 7 OS brings with it several new features over the current 6.0 version, including a significantly improved browser with faster rendering and full HTML5 support. It also offers voice activated search, and integrates "BlackBerry Balance", a feature that helps separate personal content from corporate items on your device.

BlackBerry 7 OS will only be available for the Bold Touch 9900/9930, and will not be compatible with existing devices from RIM. There will likely be several newer devices announced with the OS in the near-future, but this new Bold series handset will likely be their flagship model. Those who purchase the device will also get the full version of Docs To Go out-of-box, so users will quickly be able to access all of their documents, including PDFs.


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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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Rogers has recently made an addition to their Pay As You Go handset line-up, introducing the LG Shine Touch. The Shine Touch features a 3" (240x400) touchscreen display, 3MP camera with video capture capabilities, and supports 3G connectivity for voice and data transmission. This bar-style handset can be expanded up to 16GB via microSD card, and also supports Wi-Fi and bluetooth, though it lacks GPS services. The LG Shine Touch is available now from Rogers on Pay As You Go for just $129.99.


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Telus has recently launched the Samsung Rugby II, which meets military standards for water, dust, shock, and temperature, making it a great handset for extreme conditions. The Rugby II has a 2.2" (240x320) internal display, along with a 1.3" external display, and 2MP camera. Other features include A-GPS, voice recognition, a media player, and expandability up to 32GB via microSD card. Bell and Rogers will also be launching this handset, with the expected release date for Bell being December 16th.Telus is offering the Rugby II for $99.99 on a 3 year term, or $229.99 contract-free, while Bell is giving it up at the same 3-year price ($99.95), but a higher outright price of $299.95. Rogers 3-year pricing comes in a bit higher at $129.99, with their contract-free pricing coming in at $279.99.


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