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    by Published on 12-11-2012 06:12 PM
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    Hot on the heels of the sexiest phone on the market; the HTC Windows Phone 8X is itís smaller sibling, the 8S.

    Like the 8X, the 8S is quite a looker. Itís easily one of the best looking phones on the market. Iím sure HTC will sell a lot of these just based on how it looks. Itís minimalist, expensive looking and original. All at the same time.



    Physically, it looks and feels just like a smaller version 8x. The only difference is the 8s has the bottom snaps off to reveal the MicroSD and MicroSIM slots, just like on the HTC Titan and Titan II. Also, the Ďedgesí of the 8s are a little more rounded than the 8x. It makes the 8s shape more organic and comfortable to hold.
    ...
    by Published on 12-10-2012 11:18 AM
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    2. Devices,
    3. HowardForums,
    4. Contests and Giveaways



    And now on to part 2 of our holiday giveaway!

    This time we're giving away:

    * One 16GB Nexus 4
    * One 16GB Black iPad mini
    * One 16GB White iPad mini
    * One Nokia Lumia 920** (that Rogers Wireless has gratuitously supplied for our giveaway)

    You can enter by leaving a reply to this post with your favorite phone from Howard's Holiday Gift Guide, by liking the link to this post on Facebook, and by following @howardforums on Twitter and tweeting about it using #HowardForumsGiveaways and posting a link to this blog entry. Any one of the methods will give you an entry, additional methods will give you that many more entries and increase your chances of winning something. Only one entry per method allowed.

    Contest Rules: Contest is open to U.S. and Canada users who do not reside in Quebec. Forum staff and their families are not eligible. The winners must answer the skill testing question: What two phones are Howard's top picks in his Holiday Gift Guide?

    **The Nokia Lumia 920 may be locked to Rogers. If so, winner will be responsible for unlocking if the device is not to be used with Rogers.

    Contest ends on Friday December 21st at 9:00 PM PST. The winners will be chosen randomly and announced after being selected. If the winners do not respond to us within 24 hours of being announced, new winners will be chosen. Note that each winner will only win one of the mentioned devices and that the devices will be randomly assigned to the selected winners.

    Good luck and Happy Holidays!
    by Published on 12-08-2012 08:41 PM
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    One of the great things about Android is the breadth of choice you get when it comes to hardware. Whether itís a small phone with 2.6Ē display or something huge with a 5.5Ē display there should be something for you. Do you want a huge 3000mAh+ battery or maybe something with a physical keyboard. 1 core? 2? 4? 2GB of RAM? Variety is the spice of life.

    Android even has water-proof, ruggedized phones. In Canada we have the Sony Xperia Go, Motorola DEFY PRO and now the Samsung Rugby LTE. While the Go and DEFY are lower-end devices the Rugby has the same processor as the Galaxy S III so itís got considerably more horsepower under the hood. ...
    by Published on 12-07-2012 10:18 PM
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    2. Devices,
    3. HowardForums,
    4. Contests and Giveaways



    ***CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED***

    We're doing a couple giveaways for this holiday season!

    First up is a Maximum Signal In-Vehicle Amplifier.

    You can enter by leaving a reply to this post, by liking the the link to this post on Facebook, and by following @howardforums on Twitter and tweeting about it using #HoFoAmp and posting a link to this blog entry.

    *Contest Rules: Contest is open only to Canada users who do not reside in Quebec. The winner must answer the skill testing question: What does HSPA stand for?

    Contest ends on Tuesday December 11 at 9:00 PM PST. The winner will be chosen randomly and announced after being selected. If the winner does not respond to us within 24 hours of being contacted, a new winner will be chosen.

    Good luck!

    P.S. Standby for other great holiday surprises (for U.S. as well) next week!
    by Published on 12-07-2012 10:28 AM
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    *Edit* it's blue. The price is $279.99 on a 30 day or $79.99 on a no term contract.

    The entry-level HTC Windows Phone 8s is now available from Virgin Mobile Canada.

    It runs Windows Phone 8 and looks similar to the 8x but the 8s has a smaller 4", 800x480 Super LCD display, dual-core 1Ghz Snapdragon S4 (2 x 1.5ghz on the 8x), 512MB of RAM (1GB on the 8x), 5MP camera that shoots 720p video (8MP and 1080P w/8x) and 4GB of storage that can be expanded with MicroSD cards (vs 8 or 16GB non-expandable).

    While the processor is 'only' clocked at 1Ghz it's important to remember than the 8s' display contains about 2.5x less pixels than the 8x. While it means the 8s display will look a little more coarse compared to the 8x it also means that 8s' graphics processor doesn't need to work as hard. This means that the 8s could be faster than the 8x at running 3D games.

    Anyways, it's a nice looking phone. Anyone interested in one? ...
    by Published on 12-06-2012 01:54 PM
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    Looks like the iPhone is coming to T-Mobile next year.

    Are they going to call it the iTouch 4G? j/k

    Discuss. ...
    by Published on 12-06-2012 01:44 PM
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    When I tried the Huawei P1 a few months back, I thought it was good enough that companies like Samsung better take notice. Now hereís their follow up; the Huawei D Quad XL. Certainly, theyíre giving Samsung a run at worst sounding name. D Quad XL is up there with Galaxy S II HD LTE.

    Seriously though, whatís special about the XL is that it has a quad-core processor. While still quite rare, quad-cores have now been around for almost a year. Looking at Windís lineup, they have the Note II for $299, the LG Optimus 4X is at $199 while the XL is $99. For 99 bucks, theyíve also got the HTC One S and Motorola RAZR V.

    So the Wind and Huawei have found a good place in their lineup for the XL. Itís cheaper than the more brand name-y Note II and the 4X while you get more hardware for your money than the One S and RAZR V.

    So what do you get for $99? A quad-core processor from Huawei. Thatís right, itís not a Tegra 3, Exynos or a Snapdragon. The chip appears to have Cortex A9 cores (like the Tegra 3 and Exynos) but unlike them, the GPU is from Hisilicon. Weíll check out the GPU performance later in the review. ...
    by Published on 12-03-2012 12:36 PM
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    Just got word from Treatz that the Nexus 4 is going to be available to for order at 3PM EST today (Dec 3rd) for Canadians.

    Go Go Nexus Power! ...
    by Published on 12-02-2012 06:47 PM
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    *Edit* looks like it's only for the LTE GS3. I just checked on my Wind GS3 (I have both versions) and no update yet.

    Looks like the juicy Android 4.1 Jellybean update for Canadian Galaxy S III users is available a few days early. Users are reporting they're getting the 320ish MB update. Just go check manually:

    settings -> about device -> software update -> update

    I just checked and my GS3 is being updated as I type this.

    Go Go Go!



    Thanks Treatz, AllanVS and can3gsw!
    ...
    by Published on 11-29-2012 04:17 PM
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    Hereís the recipe for an Android phone. Take a phone, add Android and then customize it. This formula has worked really well for Google. The bodies of WebOS, S60, Blackberry, Windows Mobile now litter the landscape since since Android and iOS joined the mobile phone war.

    However, Googleís Nexus devices are slightly different beast. First off, while theyíre from Google, theyíre not made by Google. Instead theyíre based off of existing devices and contain no customizations or extras from their respective manufacturers.

    I think one of the reasons why Nexus devices are so popular is because many people have been using Windows PCís for years. Itís very common for PCís to come with all sorts of useless extras like trial subscriptions to 5 different ISPs, Anti-virus software that is constantly asking you to update your subscription, multiple toolbars, useless utilities and just a bunch of crap that no one wants. Weíve been conditioned to not trust manufacturers when it comes to what software they put on our devices.

    Hereís the Nexus 4, the sister phone to the LG Optimus G. It shares many of the Gís specs plus it has a similar glass covered body. Unlike the G itís running Android 4.2 and is a pure Google device.

    The fact that it doesnít contain anything extra is the appeal of Nexus devices. That plus the fact that the Nexus 4 with 8GB starts at $309CAN/299USD unlocked while the 16GB is $359CAN/349USD ...
    by Published on 11-29-2012 12:06 PM
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    *EDIT* you can also get them in store in the 'States now too.

    Just got word that unlocked iPhone 5's are now available in-store at Apple stores in Canada.

    Previously, you had to order them online and wait a few weeks.

    Anyone going to get one?

    Thanks Treatz! ...
    by Published on 11-26-2012 02:59 PM
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    While Tablets are now the norm, itís hard to believe that the original iPad only came out about 2 and a half years ago. Tablets have been around for years but it wasnít till the iPad came out, that they really took off.

    Now 2 and half years later, iPads have sort of matured to the point that you donít have to buy the fanciest one, to buy one thatís usable.

    Itís the perfect time for Apple to release an entry level iPad because it doesnít have to suck. Hereís the iPad Mini. Itís an iPad with a 7.9Ē display.
    ...
    by Published on 11-23-2012 01:02 PM
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    So thereís been some buzz that the Nexus 4 actually has a LTE chip in it.



    I figured Iíd test it out with my some of my SIM cards. Iíve personally tried this on Rogers and have gotten speeds of over 60Mbps. Wow.
    ...
    by Published on 11-23-2012 08:00 AM
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    One of the best phones for 2012 was the HTC One X. It was almost the total package. It was fast and had an amazing display. The camera was a blast to use. The only problem with it was that it only came with 16GB of storage. Itís like a sports car that can only seat one person. Itís a blast to use but itís not very practical.

    Thankfully, we now have the One X+. Itís similar to the One X but ups the storage to a much more useful 64GB of storage. You also get a quad-core processor, a slightly bigger battery, and Android 4.1. ...
    by Published on 11-21-2012 08:45 PM
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    One thing I admire about HTC is that their phones always have a very original design esthetic. Just like Nokia and Apple, you can spot a HTC phone immediately. While I admire their originality, I havenít connected with many of their recent phones. Last yearís Amaze reminded me of a bathtub while the One X had to profile of a banana... That is, till I laid eyes on the HTC 8X.

    To say that the 8X is beautiful would be giant understatement. Windows Phone is known for itís distinctive design and the 8X is a wonderful interpretation of it. Itís like one of the Windows Phone live tiles grew up and became a phone. ...
    by Published on 11-15-2012 08:52 AM
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    *EDIT*, I added some more pictures of the phone displays along with pricing.

    I'm at the Microsoft Store at Yorkdale right now.


    There are a few Windows Phone displays. The people at the store can actually hook up the Windows Phones to the displays in on the side of the store. The phones sold at the store will be carrier locked.
    ...
    by Published on 11-14-2012 10:22 PM
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    These days, movies cost a lot of money so itís not uncommon for them to have some promotional product tie-ins. While this can make a movie seem like a commercial, thereís usually a line between whatís acceptable and what isnít. For example, it would be a sham if Gandalf used a AT&T phone to call Frodo in the Lord of the Rings movie.

    Then we have the Sony Xperia T. The phone of choice for James Bond in the new Skyfall flick. If I were to guess what kind of phone James Bond actually uses my guess is that it would be something waterproof, but then again, the Tís a slick device - I could see him using one.
    ...
    by Published on 11-13-2012 11:09 AM
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    2. Devices,
    3. Carriers

    Verizon and HTC just announced the DROID DNA. The DNA has a 5" 1920x1080 display with a pixel density of 440 PPI. The retina display on the iPhone and other high definition phone displays hovers around 320PPI.

    It will have Qualcomm's Quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor with support for LTE. Other specs include a 8MP camera with a f/2.0 lens and a front-facing f/2.1 camera - better take down all your embarrassing posters! The headphone jack has a 2.55volt amplifier, I have no idea what kind of power other phones give you. It also comes with Android 4.1 Jellybean.

    I'm extremely disappointed that the DNA appears to only have 16GB of NON EXPANDABLE storage. If this is the case the DNA will only have around 11GB of storage available. I'm also annoyed that it's only available with a 2020mAh battery. Quad-core + a 5" display with a 2020mAh battery is a recipe for disaster.

    What is it with HTC and small amounts of non-expandable storage? Is it some scheme from carriers to put HTC out of business?

    ...
    by Published on 11-12-2012 03:05 PM
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    While itís been awhile since Iíve reviewed a pair of Bluetooth headphones but I jumped at a chance to try a pair of Parrot Zikís.




    Theyíre designed by Phillip Starck and are packed with goodies that make the phone nerd inside me drool! Besides Bluetooth, they also have NFC, a removable battery, touch sensitive controls, sensors that can tell when youíre not wearing them and upgradable firmware. Those features are all great but the Zikís PiŤce de rťsistance is that the Zik comes with its own app. Iíll talk more about the app later.

    I havenít even mentioned the design yet. Unlike all the colourful headphones you see these days, the Zik has a slick modern design. The plastic surfaces are all soft to the touch while the metallic pieces are actually metal. They look really cool and donít shout ďMy mom bought me these headphonesĒ like a pair of Beats headphones. ...
    by Published on 11-12-2012 09:25 AM
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    *EDIT* The Nexus 4 became available around 11:35 and was sold out around 5 minutes later. Did you snag one?


    Just wanted to remind you all that Nexus 4 orders start tomorrow on Google Play.

    The Nexus 4 will be available with 8GB or 16GB of non expandable storage. If you're thinking of a Nexus 4 do yourself a favour and get the 16GB version. 8GB doesn't cut it if you plan on using the camera, listening to music, storing videos and most importantly, downloading apps. Some games can weigh in at 100's of MB if not GB's.

    It will be unlocked and will cost either $299USD ($309CAN) for the 8GB or $349USD ($359CAN) for the 16GB.

    The Nexus 4 comes with a 4.7" 1280x768 IPS display, 2GB of RAM, a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 pro processor, 2100mAh battery and built-in wireless charging. While it lacks any LTE support it has penta-band HSPA so it will be compatible with all North American HSPA frequencies along with some international ones as well.

    Hardware-wise it's very similar to the LG Optimus G which I reviewed recently (great phone btw).

    One thing to keep in mind is that Google Play charges around $20 for shipping plus they screwed up the Nexus 7 launch badly. I had a friend who pre-ordered his Nexus 7 from Google Play like a good fanboy and he ended up getting his N7 DAYS after I got mine. I pre-ordered mine from Futureshop a while after he did. I was also able to get a N7 the day of the launch from the store. I also didn't pay for shipping.

    Personally I'm not sure if I'll order via Google Play and pay the extra 20 bucks or wait to see if a more reliable retailer sells it.

    The Nexus 10 Tab with an eye-popping 2560x1600 10" display and a state-of-the-art dual-core ARM Coretex A-15 processor will also be launching tomorrow in 16 and 32GB versions. It will be $409CAN for the 16GB and $509 for the 32GB. Take off $10 for USD pricing.

    Who's going to order one? ...