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    by Published on 07-03-2013 11:23 AM
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    2. HowardForums,
    3. Reviews and Hands-on
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    Recently my home internet connection went down and was unreliable for about 2 weeks. I suspect it was due to a fiber cut though I have no proof.

    During that time I had to figure out a way to keep the 20 or so devices I have at home connected to the internet. When something like this happens the first thing that I’ll do is grab some phones and tether off of them. While good in a pinch, it’s not a long term-solution. Data costs aside, many of my devices are wired plus the wireless ones aren’t configured to attach to my phone’s hotspots anyways.

    Ironically, a day after my problems were fixed, a box with the Hauwei B890 showed up. It’s a router with both a WAN port and a LTE modem. Would it have helped during my outage? ...
    by Published on 06-19-2013 01:17 PM
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    2. Devices,
    3. HowardForums,
    4. Reviews and Hands-on
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    Looking around at the mobile phone market, Android and iOS dominate the top end of the market. Interestly though, I’ve found some of their lower-end offerings leave much to be desired. You just don’t get much phone for $150.

    However, if you add another $150 then you can get yourself a Nexus 4.

    The Nokia Lumia 620 I reviewed a while back is a great phone for 250 dollars. Of course the problem is that for another 50 bucks, you can get a 8GB Nexus 4. While the Nexus 4 lacks the Lumia 620’s memory card slot, it gives you more of everything plus it runs Android. So, if have to buy your phone off contract then the 620 is a harder sell.

    To address this shortcoming, Nokia now has the Lumia 520. It’s available for $149 from Rogers and Koodo and $129 at TELUS. At this price point, I have no idea why more carriers didn’t pick this up.

    On paper, it’s quite similar to the 620. You actually get a bigger screen and battery, same resolution camera minus the flash, same processor, RAM, storage, etc. On paper, it looks like an awesome deal.

    Does anything else even come close? ...
    by Published on 06-13-2013 06:06 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Commentary and Analysis
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    With Father’s day just around the corner you might be thinking of getting him a new phone but aren’t sure which one you get. Don’t worry, I’m here to help with my top 5 picks for father’s day.
    by Published on 06-13-2013 02:11 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. News,
    3. Carriers
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    Just got some info on when and how Bell is going to behave itself now that we have the Wireless Code of Conduct.

    First off, they're going to start on Dec 2nd 2013.

    To me the most interesting points are that Bell can't charge you a monthly fee, if you device is under warranty repair. While Bell has to unlock your phone after 90 days, you have to pay Bell's fee (which presumably won't be cheap). When you cancel, it now happens immediately, you don't have to give 30 days notice.

    When your data usage goes over $50/100 (domestic/roaming) Bell will ask you for permission before they continue to charge you.

    Here are the point:

    • Roaming data - data is cut off once you hit $100 of overage unless you agree to pay additional charges
    • Domestic data - data is cut off at $50 overage unless you agree to pay additional charges
    • Unlocking - you can get your device unlocked after 90 days at Bell's rate
    • Repairs - no monthly charges while your device is under warranty repair
    • Early termination fees - Cancellation fee cannot exceed value of device subsidy. Each month, the device cost/(number of months of contract up to 24 months) is taken off the remainder of your subsidy balance.
    • Cancellation - When you want to cancel it happens IMMEDIATELY. No more 30 days notice BS. Now we need a cable and telephone service code of conduct
    • End of contract - The contract continues on the same terms after expiry. They have to notify you 30 days before the end of term.
    • It looks like larger business accounts are excluded from the rules.
    by Published on 06-10-2013 10:46 PM
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    3. Commentary and Analysis,
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    Apple just announced iOS 7 today. It's for iPhone 4, iPad 2, iPod Touch 4 and iPad Mini or newer. Sorry 3Gs and iPad 1 users. Here are my first impressions of iOS 7 on my iPhone 5:

    The new look is a big pretty change but overall they've done a good job with it. So far with regards to the user interface it all feels pretty polished.

    Apple has replaced the signal bars with dots (or are they nipples). Anyways, I don't like it but I guess I've already gotten used to it. Maybe it's time to update the HoFo logo with those idiotic dots:

    "AT&T: More dots in more places"

    "I have full dots of reception" ...
    by Published on 06-06-2013 08:34 AM
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    2. HowardForums,
    3. From The Forums

    Hey guys, we're having a HoFo meet this Saturday 6PM June 8th at Mr Green Jeans at the Eaton Center.

    I'll bring a bunch of HoFo T-Shirts. Hope to see you all there! ...
    by Published on 06-04-2013 08:37 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. News,
    3. Carriers

    The looks like the Canadian government isn't going to allow the TELUS purchase of Mobilicity to go through. Also; the license transfer denied, and the 700Mhz spectrum auction is now delayed until January.

    What does this mean for Mobilicity and the other incumbents?
    by Published on 06-03-2013 08:55 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. News

    The CRTC has announce new rules to take effect later this year. Is it a good first step?


    Wireless code to help Canadians make informed choices and contribute to a dynamic marketplace]2[/h]OTTAWA-GATINEAU, June 3, 2013 — Today, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) issued a wireless code that will make it easier for Canadians to understand their contracts and sets out their basic rights. The code will apply to new contracts for cellphones and other personal mobile devices starting on December 2, 2013.
    “Every day, Canadians rely on wireless devices while in their homes, at their jobs, at school or travelling abroad,” said Jean-Pierre Blais, Chairman of the CRTC. “The wireless code will contribute to a more dynamic marketplace by making it possible for Canadians to discuss their needs with service providers at least every two years.”
    The wireless code addresses the main frustrations that Canadians shared with the CRTC, which included the length of wireless contracts, cancellation fees, roaming charges and other industry practices. Among other things, individual and small business consumers will be able to:

    • terminate their wireless contracts after two years without cancellation fees, even if they have signed on for a longer term
    • cap extra data charges at $50/month and international data roaming charges at $100/month to prevent bill shock
    • have their cellphones unlocked after 90 days, or immediately if they paid for the device in full
    • return their cellphones, within 15 days and specific usage limits, if they are unhappy with their service
    • accept or decline changes to the key terms of a fixed-term contract (i.e., 2-year), and
    • receive a contract that is easy to read and understand.

    The wireless code will apply to all service providers in Canada. In particular, the code will apply in full to postpaid services (where customers pay a monthly bill after using their services), and where applicable to pre-paid wireless services.
    “The wireless code is a tool that will empower consumers and help them make informed choices about the service options that best meet their needs. To make the most of this tool, consumers also have a responsibility to educate themselves,” Mr. Blais added.
    The participation of a large number of consumers and the collaboration of the wireless industry will ensure the wireless code’s successful implementation. The CRTC’s public consultation attracted over 5,000 participants, including individual Canadians, who shared their views on an online discussion forum, in writing and at the public hearing held from February 11 to 15, 2013.
    For more information about the wireless code, please visitwww.crtc.gc.ca/wirelesscode.
    by Published on 05-28-2013 01:39 PM
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    2. Devices,
    3. HowardForums,
    4. News,
    5. Reviews and Hands-on
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    12 months ago was a tumultuous time for Blackberry. Back then, many people had written off Blackberry (then RIM). Most of us expected that RIM would be split into two or three companies and sold off. Many figured we’d never actually see BB10. You get the idea.

    Anyways, recently I get the feeling that things are starting to turn around. Back in January, Blackberry finally announced the first device powered by their new operating system BB10.

    Oddly enough, their first BB10 device, the Z10 is a touch-screen only device. It’s weird because Blackberry once ruled the Smartphone market with their QWERTY phones.

    Still it’s very surprising that in the 18 months or so since Blackberry released their last QWERTY flagship the Bold 9900 none of their competitors have really released a serious competitor. Sure there were a couple of QWERTY Android phones but they were mostly low spec’d entry level devices. There’s a bit of a vacuum in the market for this class of device.

    So in the ultra-competitive Smartphone market Blackberry managed to catch quite a break. Their first BB10 QWERTY phone, the Q10 comes to market with virtually no competitors.

    The Q10 I'm reviewing here is running on the TELUS LTE network. ...
    by Published on 05-26-2013 07:59 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. News

    Tracfone Inc. , the largest prepaid mvno, owned by Carlos Slim, one of if not the world's wealthiest men is taking over Page Plus a major independent Verizon mvno. Jobs with the US company will be outsourced overseas.

    This is the second major independent mvno (built on the backs of small time mom and pop dealers) that has been bought out in the last two years alone (the other was Simple Mobile, a Tmobile mvno).

    Please help to keep further consolidation and potential monopolization in the US prepaid wireless industry in check by signing this petition to bring it to the attention of the White House: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/pet...p-inc/cjQGHVyl

    A petition like this helped them to reconsider the recent laws which basically outlawed phone unlocking. We need your consideration and help to try and achieve something similar with this petition.

    We have only a short period of time and a lot more signatures are needed.

    Thank you all for your support. ...
    by Published on 05-16-2013 08:53 PM


    Vancouver, B.C. – TELUS has entered into an agreement with Mobilicity to acquire the company for $380 million. If the deal receives the required approvals, it would ensure continued service to Mobilicity’s 250,000 customers without the risk of disruption.

    The agreement between TELUS and the company is subject to conditions including approval by the Competition Bureau, Industry Canada, and Mobilicity’s debtholders. TELUS and Mobilicity have informed the government and regulators and both companies are fully committed to working cooperatively to secure timely approvals for the transaction.

    “A concern for our customers and employees led us to approach TELUS, which has a reputation for a strong customer focus, as evidenced by their industry leading client loyalty,” said Stewart Lyons, Mobilicity President. “I am confident TELUS will look after our employees and our customers, mitigating any disruption to their service, while offering the best outcome for all stakeholders.”

    William Aziz, Mobilicity Chief Restructuring Officer, continued, “Mobilicity has been losing a significant amount of money every month. The financial strength of TELUS will allow the business to be continued in a way that will benefit customers and employees. An acquisition by TELUS is the best alternative for Mobilicity.”

    The entire purchase price will be used to satisfy Mobilicity’s secured and unsecured debt.

    “We look forward to serving Mobilicity’s customers and welcoming their employees to the TELUS team,” said David Fuller, TELUS Chief Marketing Officer.

    If this transaction is approved, TELUS will retain all 150 Mobilicity employees as it integrates the Mobilicity operation into TELUS over the coming months. The employees would have the opportunity to review and secure permanent, long term roles with TELUS.

    TELUS has created 1,700 new jobs in Canada over the last two years alone while bringing 4G wireless coverage to 99 per cent of Canadians coast-to-coast.
    by Published on 05-15-2013 12:40 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. News

    Today at Google I/O Google announced a special version of the Samsung Galaxy S4 which runs stock Android (no touchwiz):

    • Will be available on Google Play in the US
    • LTE with support for AT&T and T-Mobile
    • 16GB
    • boot loader unlocked
    • $649.99
    • available June 26th

    Anyone going to get this and flash Touchwiz back on?

    More Android news:

    • 900 million Android users
    • 48 billion Google Play app installs
    • 2.5 billion installs in the last month
    • revenue per user is now 2.5x what it was last year

    They announced some new features (API's) for developers including:

    • low power location mode which uses 1% of battery life per hour
    • Geo-fencing which lets devs create bound areas (will this eliminate cheating on Four Square or maybe create auto check-ins?)
    • Activity recognition which users the acceleration to figure out if you're walking, cycling or driving.
    • Google+ sign in (like Facebook sign in but with Google+), it also gives you the option to install the app
    • New messaging features for GCM including syncing notifications across devices so when you dismiss a notification on one phone it dismisses it on your other Android devices.

    Google Play game services:

    • Google Play game services
    • Cloud save - allows you to save your game on your phone and start where you left off on your tablet
    • Achievments and leaderboards
    • These work on iOS and web too so they're cross platform
    • Multiplayer - quick match, invite friends, invitations

    These services are available via Google Play (as opposed to the version of Google) - FroYo and up.

    Google is also launching a new Music service: Google Play Music all access

    • subscription service
    • curated playlists
    • As you're listening to music you can select a song you like and it will create a play list of similar songs (called a radio station)
    • You can create libraries that include BOTH your songs and songs from the subscription
    • Google recommendations
    by Published on 05-14-2013 03:58 PM
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    2. News,
    3. Reviews and Hands-on,
    4. Carriers
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    Our very own HC - NO "i" just handed my his review for the ZTE F160. No, it doesn't have a 5" 4K display, 16 core processor or 8GB of RAM with dodeca-band LTE support. Instead, it's a feature phone (AKA dumbphone). Here it is:

    It's inevitable. Now that smartphones have out shipped feature phones for the first time. Mundane usage like voice calls and even SMS are declining for many subscribers as these activities are being replaced by social networking (e.g. Facebook, Google+), on-the-top messaging (e.g. WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger) and VoIP calls (e.g. Skype, Google Talk).

    Here at HoFo, we mostly focus on smartphones these days. Smartphones like my brand spanking new Samsung Galaxy S 4 which is the very definition of ‘all the bell and whistles’.

    So when I told my fellow HC that I wanted to check out the F160 candy bar handset from ZTE, he wondered if I was really serious. ...
    by Published on 05-14-2013 01:21 PM
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    2. Devices,
    3. News
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    Today Blackberry announced the Q5 - a lower cost QWERTY device.

    It has a 3.1" display like the Q10 and will be available in black, white and red.

    It's meant for developing nation. No word if it will come here. ...
    by Published on 05-14-2013 10:52 AM
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    2. Devices,
    3. News,
    4. From The Forums

    The Nokia Lumia 925 looks like a lower-cost refresh of their previous flagship the 920. Looking at the specs the 925 gains some metal on the body and a removable back cover but now comes in a 16GB version - the 32GB is a Vodafone exclusive, no word which version we'll be getting here. The built-in wireless charging is now via an optional cover.

    It has also undergone a much needed diet. While the footprint hasn't changed much it's now 8.5mm thick compared with the 920's portly 10.7mm. Weight is now a very reasonable 139g down from 185g.

    From the press release:

    Published May 14, 2013 | By Nokia - Press Release

    Nokia introduces Nokia Lumia 925

    London, UK - Nokia today introduced the Nokia Lumia 925, a new interpretation of its award-winning flagship, the Nokia Lumia 920. The Nokia Lumia 925 introduces a metal design and showcases the latest PureView camera innovation, new features and third party applications coming to the Nokia Lumia range.

    The Nokia Lumia 925 includes the most advanced lens technology and next generation imaging software to capture clearer, sharper pictures and video, including the best low light images. The Nokia Lumia 925 also introduces the new Nokia Smart Camera mode, coming as an update to all Lumia Windows Phone 8 smartphones. Nokia Smart Camera offers an easy way to capture ten images at once and edit the pictures with options like Best Shot, Action Shot, and Motion Focus for creating the perfect high quality image.

    Nokia also announced Hipstamatic's new app, Oggl, will arrive on Nokia Lumia smartphones, allowing people to take and share high quality pictures with like-minded creatives and photography enthusiasts from around the world. In addition to sharing photos on Oggl, users can simultaneously share photos on social networks including Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Tumblr, Flickr and Instagram.

    "We keep innovating," said Jo Harlow, executive vice president of Nokia Smart Devices. "We're advancing experiences on the Nokia Lumia portfolio whether that means great new benefits for an existing Lumia owner, or bringing new showcase devices like the Nokia Lumia 925."

    The Nokia Lumia 925 introduces metal for the first time to the Nokia Lumia range, bringing appeal and unique benefits like increased robustness. The polycarbonate back comes in white, grey or black. A wireless charging cover can be clipped onto the back of the phone to take advantage of Nokia's extensive wireless charging accessories and ecosystem. Covers, sold separately, come in white, black, yellow, and red.

    Leading Nokia services, such as the HERE suite of integrated location and navigation services and Nokia Music for unlimited streaming of free music playlists, add to the great proposition offered by Nokia's latest smartphone.

    The Nokia Lumia 925 is being introduced into Europe with Vodafone, along with other operator and retail partners. Patrick Chomet, group director of Terminals at Vodafone said: "The new Nokia Lumia 925 is a sleek and sophisticated smartphone delivering great performance and outstanding imaging. We look forward to offering the Nokia Lumia 925 across our markets on Vodafone Red, as well as other tariffs, enabling customers to make the most of their new smartphone on Vodafone's fast and reliable network. Vodafone customers will also have exclusive access to a 32GB version of the Nokia Lumia 925, giving them even more capacity to store all their content for personal and business use."

    Terry Myerson, corporate vice president, Microsoft Windows Phone Division, added: "Together with Nokia, we continue to change the way people think about smartphone cameras. The work Nokia has done with the Lumia 925 further enhances the imaging capabilities of the Lumia smartphones."

    In addition to Europe, the Nokia Lumia 925 will be introduced into the US by T-Mobile and into China by China Mobile and China Unicom. Sales are expected to start in the UK, Germany, Italy, Spain and China in June, followed by the US and a number of other markets. The Nokia Lumia 925 will be priced around 469 EUR before taxes and subsidies. Country-specific pricing and availability will be announced locally.

    Nokia Lumia 925

    Operating system - Windows Phone 8

    HERE location and mapping services - Free global HERE Maps and HERE Drive+;Free HERE Transit available in the Store

    Display - 4.5" AMOLED WXGA (1280x768), 2.25 D sculpted Gorilla 2 Glass, ClearBlack, High Brightness Mode, Sunlight Readability, Super Sensitive Touch for glove and nail usage

    Battery - 2000 mAh battery, Wireless Charging supported via an accessory cover

    Processor - 1.5 GHz dual-core Snapdragon

    Main camera - PureView 8.7 MP with Optical Image Stabilization, Autofocus, short pulse high power dual LED flash, most advanced lens technology, 1080p HD video at 30fps with Optical Image Stabilization. Includes Nokia Smart Camera mode

    Front facing camera - 1.2 MP wide angle
    Memory - 1GB RAM, 16 GB internal memory; 7 GB free SkyDrive cloud storage
    by Published on 05-01-2013 08:35 AM
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    The Blackberry Q10 arrives today. For BB who have been waiting for a device with a physical keyboard this is the one they were waiting for.

    It's kind of funny that as recently as yesterday the Bold 9900 was actually the keyboard Blackberry to get. So, before today there's basically been a vacuum in the market because really, there was nothing else to buy.

    I tried the Q10 yesterday and I must say, if you're you're coming from a BB7 or older device you're going to some adjusting to do. While the keyboard will feel familiar, BB10 is a touchscreen optimized OS. As such, the physical menu buttons (send, blackberry, back, end and trackpad) are gone. To be honest, I felt a little lost at first even though I use a Z10 from time-to-time. I can live without the trackpad and send/end buttons but my fingers kept looking for the back and menu buttons.

    That said, it won't take long to get used to the new layout. BB10 is pretty intuitive to use.

    Size-wise it feels like a QWERTY BB. compared to the 9900 the front of the Q10 is a little more rounded like the Bold 9790. Since the menu buttons are gone the screen is now square shaped unlike the Z10's which is rectangular. I'm not sure what kind of impact the square shaped screen will have on which apps the Q10 can run. I hope BB knows what they're doing because too many screen sizes was one of the reasons why there weren't a lot of apps for previous versions of the BB OS.

    The battery cover appears to be carbon fiber or some sort of composite-fiber material. When you remove it, you can see the fiber on the other side of the cover too. It's pretty slick.

    If you get the Rogers version, it will have support for their 2600Mhz network which means it download over LTE at up to 100Mbps. More importantly, the 2600Mhz network is less congested than their AWS LTE network (which I find isn't terribly congested).

    Will it sell well? I think so. It will sell whether it's a good device or not because there's a pent-up demand for a keyboard BB which the Z10 didn't address. Luckily for BB there aren't a whole lot of comparable devices on the market so in that sense they're catching a break here. ...
    by Published on 04-29-2013 09:31 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. From The Forums,
    4. Carriers

    Man, Sprint can't get a break!

    HTC’s conscious decision to focus on premium design for its HTC One flagship may come with an unintended consequenc: reception problem if the phone is held a certain way. Though we haven’t been able to confirm if the problem affects all global and U.S. releases of the HTC One, we have found–and are able to repeat–the problem on at least two Sprint Nextel HTC One units, one in theSan Francisco Bay Area and another in the New York Metropolitan Area.
    by Published on 04-25-2013 12:50 PM
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    Samsung has done so well with their Galaxy S line that a) many people don’t know what Android is b) people think other Android phones are copies of the Galaxy S series (the irony).

    So, without a doubt, one of the most important phones of the year is the Samsung Galaxy S4. It’s a 5” 1920x1080, quad core monster with a 13 megapixel camera and a giant 2600mAh battery.

    However, there are a number of alternatives like the HTC One and Sony Xperia ZL with similar specs that are cheaper alternatives. So, let’s see if the GS4 has what it takes to stay on top. ...
    by Published on 04-22-2013 07:00 PM
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    Three years ago, when thought of a high end Android phone, the first name that would come to most people’s mouths would have been HTC. HTC has always had a heritage of releasing great hardware. While people were ooh-ing and aww-ing over Blackberry Bold’s, HTC was releasing monsters like the HTC TyTN II. In fact, even though HTC hasn’t been doing so well in the marketplace lately, they’ve never stopped releasing awesome hardware.

    Here’s their latest, the HTC One. A phone with a 1920x1080 display wrapped in a sexy metal body. HTC has bucked the trend and gone with a ‘less is more’ approach with the One’s camera. It also has a new version of Sense and louder speakers.
    by Published on 04-19-2013 02:19 PM
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    2. Devices,
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    Today is the big day! The HTC One is launching across North America today!

    Check out our HTC One threads:

    The T-Mobile version will be coming soon.

    It's got a 4 megapixel camera which in HTC-speak is called an 'Ultrapixel'. So Ultra means '4 million'. It has a quad-core Qualcomm processor that's clocked at 0.425 Ultrahertz (1.7Ghz). You also get 500 Ultrabytes of RAM (2GB), 8 Ultrabytes (32GB) or 16 (64GB) of storage. You get a 4.7" display with a 1920x1080 display, 2300mAh battery running on Android 4.1.2.

    I got a HTC One the other day and I've been comparing it with the Samsung Galaxy S4 and I must say, the One more than holds its own. It's ultra-competitive.

    Who's getting one? ...