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    by Published on 02-25-2013 03:42 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. News

    Wow, looks like LG just bought WebOS from HP. Apparently they're going to use WebOS on their SmartTV's.

    This means that when HP gets back into the tablet/phone market they're probably not going to use WebOS. Is this the first step in HP selling off their PC and hardware business? Also, while LG is going to use it in their TV's and other connected devices will this affect their focus on Android?

    Also, for existing WebOS users:

    LG will assume stewardship of the open source projects of Open WebOS and Enyo. HP will retain ownership of all of Palm’s cloud computing assets, including source code, talent, infrastructure and contracts.
    HP will continue to support Palm users.
    Of course, part of me wonders what would have happened if LG (or anyone else) had purchased WebOS in the first place instead of HP?

    Here's the release. ...
    by Published on 02-25-2013 03:30 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. News
    Article Preview

    Sony just announced the Xperia Tablet Z. It's a 6.9mm thin (iPad 4 is 9.4mm thick) tablet with a 10.1" 1920x1080 display (2048x1536 on iPad 4). It weighs 495g (iPad 4 is 652g).

    Probably the most interesting thing about it is that it's water and dust resistant.

    Under the hood is a quad-core 1.5Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4, 2GB of RAM. It's available both with and without LTE. It's currently running Android 4.1.2 with an Android 4.2 upgrade coming later.

    You also get built-in infrared so you can control your TV plus other devices. The camera has a resolution of 8MP. There are stereo speakers with four 'speaker halls'. You can use MicroSD that are up to 64GB in size.

    I'd consider getting it just for the water resistance alone - now I won't be bored when I take a bath. How about you? ...
    by Published on 02-25-2013 03:29 PM
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    2. Devices,
    3. News
    Article Preview

    Samsung just announced the Galaxy Note 8.0. It's a 8" tablet with 1280x800 display (169ppi), 1.6Ghz quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, 5MP camera and Android 4.1.

    Since it's a Note it comes with Samsung's S-Pen. You also get a bunch of S-Pen apps plus multi-view and pop-up video.

    Do you think it's a good alternative to the iPad Mini? ...
    by Published on 02-21-2013 11:23 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. News,
    4. From The Forums

    100k signatures and climbing.

    Thanks to everyone who supported this petition!

    To view and sign the petition click here

    Discussion thread here
    by Published on 02-20-2013 11:40 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. News,
    3. Carriers
    Article Preview

    TELUS just released their Network Experience application for Android, iPhone and pre-OS10 Blackberries. It can be downloaded in each platform's respective app store. Just search for 'TELUS'

    Sounds like a really cool idea but how do you report no service if there's no service?

    Actually, I gave the Android version a try and the app is pretty easy to use. It automatically knows where you are. If you want, you can tap the map and select another spot. ...
    by Published on 02-19-2013 10:51 AM
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    2. Devices,
    3. News
    Article Preview

    HTC just announced their HTC One.

    Hardware-wise it has a 4.7" 1920x1080 display with a mind blowing 468 PPI pixel density. 1.7Ghz Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor with 2GB of RAM, 32 or 64GB of RAM and a 2300mAh battery. It will be running Android Jellybean.

    It will be coming to TELUS, Bell, Rogers, Virgin Mobile Canada, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Cincinnati Bell and Best Buy (in the US). North American availability is 'late March'. Both black and silver will be available in North America each with either 32GB of 64GB of storage. Exact configuration is up to the carrier.

    It's wrapped in a beautiful aluminum unibody. The only fly in the ointment is the 2300mAh battery. What was HTC thinking? Unless the One is able to capture screen presses and turn them into energy 2300mAh will probably lag behind what everyone else is shipping. The trend is moving towards 3000ish mAh which for some people, means full day usage. 2300mAh will get you close but probably won't last the day.

    HTC is trying to differentiate their product but emphasized 3 aspects of the One: HTC BlinkFeed, the Camera which has HTC Ultrapixel with HTC Zoe and the built-in speaker with HTC Boom Sound.

    HTC BlinkFeed displays sources from your favourite content on the home screen. This includes sources like Associated press, Al Jazeera, Facebook, etc. You can choose from over 1400 content providers.

    HTC Ultrapixel refers to the sensor. The sensor itself can capture 300% more light. It's able to do this because it has a larger pixels. According to HTC, many 8MP cameras contain 1.4x1.4um pixels. the One's sensor has 2x2um pixels. That means each pixel on the One's sensor is 2x the size of a standard 8MP sensor. The sensor itself is 1/3" in size.

    Bigger pixels can mean less noise plus more dynamic range. A greater DR can mean better light sensitivity. Of course, bigger pixels can also mean lower resolution. The One's sensor has an effective resolution of 4 megapixels.

    Now I think that Megapixels are one of the most misleading ways to measure image quality. My observation is that the public as a whole seems to realize this too now since the number of megapixels hasn't been changing much in recent years. Still, you get some who wonder why their point and shoot takes inferior pictures to a SLR because the P&S has more megapixels.

    While 4 megapixels is probably sufficient most of the time, it will allow less flexibility if you need to crop. Since there's no zoom lens and you can't always get closer this is one of the downsides.

    Like last year's One series the One comes with a f/2.0 lens.

    When you snap a picture the One X takes 20 pictures plus a 3 second video clip.

    There's a 8 frame per second burst mode. While 8 fps is plenty, part of me is a little disappointed it's not higher since the processor only has to chew on 4mp images. When you do the math, that's 32mp of imaging data per second. Last year's One X did 8MP at 5fps; that's 40mp of data. Still, it's a very minor complaint.

    There's also optical image stabilization. This should be a huge advantage for video and also low-light photography and in my opinion is one of the best things about the camera.

    Speaking of video, there's also video HDR feature which increases the dynamic range of video from ~54db to ~84db. This means better low light video. My only complaint is that the video HDR records 1080p at an oddball 28 frames per second. This might be hard to edit initially.

    Lastly, HTC BoomSound addresses one of my biggest complaints about HTC phones with beats logos on them. When I see the beats logo I figure they'll be loud. While HTC has addressed the loudness of the headphone amp with their second crop of 2012 phones they still came with anaemic speakers that you can't hear in public. Now BoomSound means that there are dual, stereo speakers in front with a more powerful amplifier. I wasn't able to attend the event due to health problems so I'll have to try this feature out later.

    Another feature is that there is a built-in infrared port for remote control. While most smartphones are able to control recent TV's and other devices via Wi-Fi, typically they're not able to turn them on which limits their usefulness. With an infrared port you should be able to control everything just like you do with a regular remote. Neat.

    From a marketing perspective, I wonder whether too much stuff has too many names. I mean you need some marketing names that don't really mean anything - retina, touchwiz, etc but the One has HTC Zoe, HTC UltraPixel Camera, HTC BoomSound, HTC BlinkFeed, Sense Voice, HTC Sense and Beats. There might be too many names here to connect with consumers.

    Part of me also wishes HTC would ditch the One name. While I'm really glad they've moved away from giving their phones real names (Raider, Amaze, Legend, etc) Simply calling their phones 'One' makes it harder for them to describe the positioning of their phones. Is the One X better than the One V? What about the S?

    The 4 megapixel camera seems like a great idea. Megapixels mean almost nothing after all. Still, it's a risky move. There's a reason why everyone else is using more megapixels. But is it the right time now?

    All, in all, the HTC One looks like a really strong entry. In typical HTC fashion, they screwed up one feature. Last year it was the One X's 16GB of storage. This time around will it be the 2300mAh? Still, Infrared and a more usable camera are pretty enticing upgrades. I'm also glad that while HTC includes Sense, they're introducing other new features.

    Will it connect with consumers? Certainly, HTC has done a top-notch job. ...
    by Published on 02-14-2013 09:24 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. News,
    4. Carriers

    Just got word that the Sony Xperia ZL is coming to Canada beginning in April.

    It will be available on Rogers, Bell, Mobilicity, Wind, MTS and Videotron.

    It's the first in what should be many phones from Android OEMs in 2013 with quad core (or more) processors, 5"+ screens with resolutions of 1920x1080, 13MP cameras and 2GB of RAM.

    It will be available in black. No word on pricing. My guess would be that it will be priced at around the Galaxy Note 2's level. ...
    by Published on 02-08-2013 07:02 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. News,
    3. From The Forums,
    4. Carriers

    Starting Feb 10, Bell will be aligning with Quebec and Manitoba (and the other carriers) with their launch of the Subsidy based cancellation fee model.

    This will affect clients entering into an agreement on or after February 10, 2013.
    This will affect Consumer - Personal and Corporate - EPP accounts only.
    All other accounts (Corporate, Corporate-INDV (which many of you have), and Small Business) remain on the current model.

    Take your total subsidy, divide it by the total of months in your term, and multiply it by the months remaining to calculate your cancellation fee.

    E.G. Client receives a $500 subsidy when activating on a 36 month term. Client wants to cancel 20 months into their contract.
    $500 / 36 = $13.89. $13.89 x 16 months remaining = $222.24 cancellation fee.

    If a client does not receive a subsidy when activating, but still took a term, their cancellation fee is 10% of their monthly recurring charges, multiplied by the # of months remaining, to a maximum of $50.

    Clients wishing to perform an early upgrade (not eligible for an upgrade) will pay their remaining subsidy and then be eligible for an upgrade. Clients that upgraded or activated before February 10 will be based on the old (current) early upgrade fee model. ...
    by Published on 02-08-2013 02:37 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Reviews and Hands-on
    Article Preview

    It’s been a tough 2 years for Blackberry users. Around 3 years ago, Android and iOS were really starting to eat into Blackberry’s market share. 2 years ago, Blackberry (then known as RIM) promised to deliver their next generation OS. Since then, the shipping date was postponed multiple times while Blackberry's market share plummeted.

    Heck, things got so bad that there was a point when I figured we’d never see the new version of Blackberry. Either RIM would get carved up and sold, or they’d go out of business, or maybe they’d even adapt another operating system.

    So, I’m really pleased to present to you my Blackberry Z10 review. The first phone running the new Blackberry 10 operating system. ...
    Published on 02-05-2013 02:26 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Reviews and Hands-on

    Now that the Blackberry Z10 is available in Canada have you given it a try yet? Post your thoughts, questions and impressions of the Z10 here!

    Personally, I've been using one for a few days now for most part, Blackberry has done what they needed to do to make a compelling device. It's not perfect but they've differentiated it enough that it's an intriguing alternative to it's competitors.

    They've also done a decent job with their app ecosystem. Yes, it's still starting out but it's not totally dead like the Playbook's was when it first launched.

    Hardware wise, the Z10 doesn't disappoint but at the same time, it's not absolutely cutting edge either. They've done enough, in the hardware department that most people aren't going to complain about it unless they spend all their time looking at spec sheets and reading reviews rather than using it.

    Menu keys anchor of the experience of Android and iOS, so the lack of menu soft keys (and on-screen softkeys) can be a bit confusing at first.

    I really like how they've taken Blackberry's signature (the messaging) and made it one of the cornerstones of the experience without making it feel like they're forcing it down your throat. Actually, the messaging (email, text, Facebook (including groupchat), Twitter, LinkedIn, BBM) is bundled in with your calendar, and phonebook into a feature called 'Hub'. To access the Hub you swipe up and then without letting go, swipe to the right. It's an interesting idea that's intuitive to use.

    Even better is that the hub has hooks for programmers. I was looking around the App store and noticed that there's a GTalk app from Blackberry which presumably hooks up with hub.

    The other Blackberry signature is the keyboard. These days, everyone has a good keyboard. If I was to rate them, I'd say Android 4.2's is the worst (say it's 8/10), Windows Phone is a 8.5 while the iPhone gets a 8.6. With that in mind, the Blackberry's is 9+ easy.

    Whether you use the 'brute force' method like me where you type as fast as you can and let the auto-correct sort it out or if you type slowly the Blackberry keyboard works really well.

    I've always found that Blackberry's came with inferior cameras. The camera isn't class leading but it's not terrible either.

    One feature I like is the Z10's share feature. Yes, the same one you find on Android. Blackberry even took the share icon! Anyways, it allows you share files and media with other devices - even via NFC!

    Battery life is phenomenal Part of the reason why is because Blackberry doesn't allow the screen to get insanely bright (like on the iPhone 5), the other is because the screen has auto-brightness which you can't turn off. Even some heavy users will be able to use it an entire day.

    Another feature I like is the file share feature. It's not the same as the share feature I mentioned earlier. This one lets you access your Z10 via SAMBA (Windows file sharing). You can copy files to the Z10 wirelessly.

    I copied some 720p mkv and 480p DIVX avi's to the Z10 and noticed that it has decent codec support! No need to use handbrake first like on Windows Phone or iOS! There is (what I assume is) a bug where the video player's maximum volume is very low. Hopefully they'll fix that soon.

    Due to health reasons I've been bed-ridden the entire time I had the Z10 so I wasn't able to use it outdoors and test RF. Sound quality is average, maximum earpiece volume and speaker phone volume are both good - similar to the iPhone 5.

    I'll have a full review in a few days. It's hard to review a phone from bed.

    Any questions? What did you think about the Z10? Honestly, Blackberry has done all they could do - it's better than I was expecting.

    -Howard ...
    by Published on 02-05-2013 02:05 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. News

    Works great !
    3 Mirror link for Howard Forums :

    Link: http://www59.zippyshare.com/v/52156675/file.html

    Link: http://www59.zippyshare.com/v/37260684/file.html

    Link: http://www59.zippyshare.com/v/45025314/file.html ...
    by Published on 01-31-2013 10:21 AM
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    2. Devices,
    3. News
    Article Preview

    Just heard that Canadian stores are getting their Blackberry Z10 stock now ahead of the Feb 5th launch.

    I've talked to a few stores and it sounds like while they're getting a lot of stock - 7 times as many Z10's as they got iPhone 5's - It sounds like most of the units are earmarked for pre-orders. So there's a chance that the Z10 may be scarce come launch day.

    Anyone got a Z10 pre-order in or thinking of picking one up launch day? ...
    by Published on 01-30-2013 08:17 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. HowardForums,
    4. From The Forums

    Just wanted you all to know that we'll be at the BB10 launch today. We'll be covering it live here:

    http://www.howardforums.com/showthre...7#post15046877 ...
    by Published on 01-29-2013 09:17 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. HowardForums,
    3. From The Forums,
    4. Commentary and Analysis
    Article Preview

    I was thinking about the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S4 when I decided to throw together a 2013 Hardware guide. While some of 2013’s Android flagships have already been announced I thought it would be fun to discuss upcoming features plus make a wish list for them. Anyone have any features they'd like to see on the upcoming offerings from Samsung, LG, Motorola?

    Like all phones, they all have to play the hardware game, so spec-wise, they’re all going to be similar.

    So far phones like the Huawei D2, Sony Xperia Z, etc have:

    • 5" 1920x1080
    • water resistance
    • quad-core processors
    • 2GB RAM
    • 2500-3000mAh batteries
    • 13MP camera

    To me, the most important new features will be the bigger batteries and water resistance. The Note II has a 3000mAh+ battery which makes it one of the only 'full day' phones I've tried.

    As for water resistance you no longer to worry about using your phone in the rain. You can send Tweets from the shower (Taking a shower! #clean #dropped the soap), post Facebook status updates (Howard is cleaning his junk), take pictures underwater when you're on vacation. Need I say more? ...
    Published on 01-26-2013 08:35 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. News,
    3. From The Forums

    It looks like starting today it's going to be illegal to unlock your phone in the US. Apparently, the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) prevents American from doing this.

    Now you need to ask your carrier first before you can unlock.

    Unlocking a phone has been part of the phone industry for years. I remember unlocking my Nokia 5190 around 10 years ago. So, it's a bit of a joke that it's now illegal.

    Mind you, in the US there isn't a great deal of mobility between carriers because each carrier uses either a slightly different technology and or frequency. Still, it prevents you from moving to a carrier's MVNO.

    So, if you unlock your phone now will some Jack Bauer type kick down your door?

    If you think this is wrong/ridiculous/stupid/outrageous/etc make sure you sign the petition here.

    May God help us all. Thoughts?

    Thanks berry_lthird!
    by Published on 01-24-2013 08:16 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. News

    Just got word that RIM's BB10 device will be launching on Feb 5th. It will be $650 no contract and will be available in black or white.

    Dealers should be getting stock Jan 30th.

    Who's excited? I'm pretty pumped for the launch next week. Anyone going to get one? Is your iPhone/Galaxy for sale right now? ...
    by Published on 01-23-2013 08:09 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. News
    Article Preview

    A few years ago, RIM was the top dog in the Smartphone arena. Since then, competitors like Android and iOS have emerged and surpassed Blackberry.

    Smartphones haven’t been a niche market for some time now, so the cost to enter the market is very high now. In fact, Android and iOS have become so entrenched through their platforms and ecosystems that it’s hard to imagine anyone muscling in on their racket.

    So, with the imminent release of Blackberry 10 next week I can’t help but wonder whether this will be the last big Smartphone OS launch. Going forward, Android and iOS will probably only get stronger. After BB10, the only new entrants we’re going to see are niche players like Tizen, Ubuntu, Firefox OS or possibly something really cheap; not really aimed at the North American market. Though Android already has cheap covered. Actually, in the future we probably won’t have any new OS' but rather we’ll see companies fork Android and do their own thing with it like Amazon.

    But enough of Android, back onto RIM and BlackBerry 10. ...
    by Published on 01-22-2013 12:56 PM
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    2. Devices,
    3. News
    Article Preview

    Just got word that Microsoft will releasing the Surface Windows 8 Pro on Feb 9th in the 'States and Canada. It's Tablet that runs full Windows 8.

    I have a Samsung ATIV Smart PC 500T tablet that's running Windows 8 and a Asus Vivo Tab RT running Windows RT and to me, if you're going to get a Windows tablet right now a Windows 8 one makes more sense. I've only played with them for a few days but with Windows 8 and RT Microsoft has taken Windows and turned it into a touch friendly platform.

    The thing is, while they haven't converted EVERYTHING yet. I'd say 80% of the touch related stuff comprises about 30% of Windows. So 20% of the time you have to use the other 70% of the 'still touch-enabled but not that touch friendly' stuff. There's a reason why Microsoft leaves the classic desktop behind. Sometimes you have to use it.

    Since RT isn't backwards compatible with x86 it makes more sense to buy an x86 tablet at this point. Now, if Microsoft can get a lot of support behind RT things may change but to be honest. The difference between RT and regular Windows 8 is so confusing I don't think consumers understand the difference.

    In case you didn't know, RT runs on the ARM architecture - just like your iPhones and Galaxy S. Windows 8 is for x86 processors - just like your old laptop/desktop. Doesn't sound too complicated but it's not easy to explain to regular users.

    The Surface Windows 8 Pro will come with a 10.6" 1920x1080 display and either 64GB or 128 of storage. It will weigh 2lbs and feature an Intel Core i5 processor with 4GB of storage. You'll get 802.11abgn, dual 720p cameras and a 42 watt hr battery.

    The specs look solid - more so than the Samsung ATIV I have right now though the ATIV is probably cheaper.

    10.6" is a good size display. The ATIV has a 11.6" which is too big to use comfortably. The extra resolution will be welcome too as the ATIV looks slightly coarse at times.

    4GB of RAM and Core i5 are also big steps up from the ATIV's meager 2GB and wheezing ATOM processor. 64GB of storage is adequate if you don't crazy loading media and programs on it. 128GB is probably a better bet. The dual 720p cameras is weak when most Android and iOS tablets have 5MP+ on the back but I guess it's still adequate. The 42wh battery is also probably well sized for what you get.

    My only concern is the Surface Pro's weight. The ATIV weighs 1.7lbs which is borderline too heavy. The Surface is smaller and weighs 2lbs which some may find makes it tiresome to use.

    Microsoft will also be releasing a 64GB version of the Surface RT that doesn't come with the keyboard plus there will be new Touch Covers and a Wedge Touch Mouse Surface Edition. ...
    by Published on 01-18-2013 12:05 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. News,
    3. Carriers


    No names yet, but news broke internally, Tony Lacavera is out. Not bad for my estimates from last year (18 days off). We'll see more details hit probably soon with who is replacing him. It's someone from Orascom from what I heard.

    ORASCOM has bought out all remaining assets from Globalive, leaving Globalive with a 0.7% stake in the company. Which it pretty much only put in about that much from the start, if even that.

    EDIT: Further information is that any affiliation of Globalive and WIND are to be withdrawn as well. Leaving Tony with Globalive as his own asset, but otherwise nothing of value to Orascom and WIND. ...
    by Published on 01-15-2013 10:42 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. News,
    4. Carriers
    Article Preview

    Just got word that Rogers will be getting more colours for the Nokia Lumia 920. Right now it's only available in black but 'in the coming weeks' it will also come in red, white and yellow.

    *update - I made incorrect statements about some 920 colours being painted* ALL colours of the 920 are made unpainted. When you drop a black 920 and it chips the material underneath the surface is the same colour so it wears better.

    You can order the new colours for the Lumia 920 via Roger's Reservation System. Rogers is also doing a contest for the new colours on their blogs Redboard and Fil Rouge

    Personally, the yellow is pretty sharp and I lusted over it the moment when I first saw it back in Sept. Anyone want to trade my black for a yellow one? ...