• Cauchon

    by Published on 09-12-2012 07:40 PM
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    Today Apple announced the new iPhone 5. I was a little surprised that most of the leaks about the new iPhone 5 were correct. I remember everyone was sure that there would be 2 iPhones when the 4s launched. I guess Apple's security isn't what it used to be.

    Anyways, the 5 biggest changes about the new iPhone are that it has a taller (longer) screen, a new A6 processor, LTE support, a new proprietary accessory connector named "lightening" and a new SIM card format.

    The screen retains it's 326pixel per inch density but it's now 4" and has a resolution of 1136x960. It has the same horizontal resolution as the 4 and 4s but now the aspect ratio is 16:9. So now there's room for another row of icons.

    Personally, I like the width of the iPhone 4 and 4s. They're the perfect size for me to use the iPhone with one hand since my thumb can reach across the screen easily. It's very difficult to do this on my Galaxy S III's. So I'm happy that Apple kept the same width and just made the screen taller.

    Otherwise the screen retains the same 800:1 contrast ratio and 500 cd/m2 brightness of the 4s.

    Physically, the 5 measures 7.6mm thick and weighs 112g. To compare the Galaxy S III (which is a substantially bigger phone) measures 8.6mm thick and weighs 133g. The thinness should make the 5 a great phone to be put in a case.

    It's available in 2 colours, Black/Slate and White/Silver. Both have aluminum backs, the Black one is anodized while the White isn't. The metal backs should make the new iPhones very tactile though I always though the 4 and 4s' glass backs were pretty nice too. The parts of the back that aren't covered with aluminum are covered in glass.

    There are actually 3 versions all of which support LTE. There are 2 versions for GSM carriers and one version for CDMA carriers. The 2 GSM versions differ in which LTE bands they support. Basically there's one for here and one for overseas.

    The iPhone 5 will have both voice and data from a single chip. Most LTE phones have separate chips for this. Not a big deal to the end user but it's worth mentioning.

    The WiFi now supports dual bands (2.4 and 5Ghz), the 4s didn't support 5Ghz.

    The new A6 processor is supposed to have 2x the graphics and CPU performance as the older A5 chip.

    There'a new accessory connector called 'lightening'. It's 80% smaller than the older connector though it looks bigger than a microUSB connector. Don't you just love proprietary connectors? Apple is selling a old style to new style accessory connector.

    The camera resolution is still 8MP but the software supports panoramas. Apple was showing off a 28MP panorama. I'm not sure if the 4s also had this but the 5 has a sapphire crystal lens. That's the same glass you find on luxury watches. Sapphire crystal is extremely hard and doesn't scratch easily.

    The iPhone's camera software can finally walk and chew bubble gum at the same time I mean you can shoot video and take pictures at the same time.

    The front facing camera now supports 720p facetime so I'm guessing is either a 1.3mp camera or maybe the less impressive 720x640 camera from the iPad 2.

    I'm not happy that Apple is introducing a new SIM Card format with the 5. While most companies are now using MicroSIMs the 5 takes a nano SIM. As someone who switches phones regularly I hope that there will be adapters available so that I can use nano SIMs in other devices.

    Apple didn't discuss how much RAM the new iPhone 5 has. Part of me assumes it will have 1GB of RAM though the other part tells me "don't say anything if you have nothing good to say". So maybe it has 512MB like the 4s did. 512MB isn't a deal breaker but it would have been nice. I'd be able to switch between more apps and games without having to relaunch them.

    They also didn't discuss the battery's capacity. Not sure what to make of this one. I'm sure it will be bigger than the 4s' 1400mAh battery though I have no idea how much bigger.

    The mapping software now supports navigation. I've been using the new maps on my 4s which is running OS6. On my 4s the maps app is obviously not complete but it does look very nice. What effect this will have on navigation provider's stock prices remains to be seen.

    Apple will be taking pre-orders on Sept 14th. It will be available in-store on the 21st. Pricing for Americans will be $199/$299/$399 on a 2 year contract for the 16/32/64GB versions. Canucks will be paying $699 for an unlocked one. I'm guessing contact pricing will be similar to what Americans will be paying but with a 3yr contract. Frankly I'm surprised and a little annoyed that Apple is raising prices slightly. On the other hand, them raising prices gives Android makers some breathing room. If the 5 started at $599 unlocked it would mean that most Android phones couldn't cost more than that which would really hurt their profit margins so I guess kudos to Apple for throwing their competition a bone.

    Personally, since the iPhone is sort of in the driver's seat right now it doesn't need to smash the competition feature-wise. That said aside from the LTE support and I suppose the slightly bigger, higher resolution screen it's not a huge upgrade from the 4s.

    I'm disappointed that there's no support for NFC but at the same time, while NFC is becoming more useful it's not quite a "must have" feature just yet. My guess is by the time the next iPhone rolls around it will have NFC support then.

    LTE is a nice new feature. I tell people that LTE support is important not because they need their phones to transfer at 100mbps but because LTE networks (at least the ones here) tend to be less congested than their HSPA counterparts. Given that the new iPhone is probably going to set new sale records I'm uncertain what effect this will have on LTE network congestion...

    So, who's getting ready to line up now? While I love my Android phones (two S3's a One X and a Note) I also love my 4s so I'll definitely be getting one.

    -Howard ...
    by Published on 04-07-2012 02:18 PM
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    Boost Mobile recently added the LG Marquee to its lineup of Android smartphones. Prepaid carriers differ in many ways to the postpaid carriers like AT&T or Verizon. There are no contracts and lower monthly fees but the cost of the phones are usually higher because there is not subsidized pricing. This is the case with Boost Mobile who is charging $279.99 for the phone, but the monthly fee is only $55 for unlimited everything.
    ...
    by Published on 08-31-2011 06:22 PM
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    Apple today released iOS 5 Beta 7 to developers. This beta is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices for registered developer. Check out the full change log over at Smartphone Nation
    by Published on 08-30-2011 07:21 PM
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    Samsung today unveiled the Galaxy S II phone today during an event. The phone will finally be making its way to the United States, becoming available on AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile. The Samsung Galaxy S II has been popular internationally, selling over 5 million in 85 days.

    The Galaxy S II packs a 540 x 960 Super AMOLED Plus display, a 8MP rear-facing camera, a 2MP front-facing camera, Android 2.3, 1 GB of RAM, and a dual-core 1.2GHz processor. The phone will be 4G-compatible among all carriers, with it supporting Sprint's WiMAX and T-Mobile's and AT&T's HSPA+ networks.

    Check out the full press release here.
    by Published on 08-16-2011 11:36 PM
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    T-Mobile today announced the availability of the BlackBerry Bold 9900. This phone is the first 4G compatible BlackBerry and runs on RIMís latest OS, BlackBerry 7. The BlackBerry Bold 9900 is arguably the best BlackBerry available right now with a 1.2 GHz processor and a beautiful display.

    The phone is available today for pre-sale for T-Mobile business customers. It will be available in stores beginning on August 31. Of course, you have to be willing to shell out $299.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate while signing a two-year contract.

    Read more at Smartphone Nation.
    by Published on 05-30-2011 08:24 PM
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    The HTC HD7S isnít scheduled for release until June 5, but we managed to get the device a bit early. We have been testing it out for about a week now and are ready to get the full review up. The HD7S will be released on AT&T soon and will be an addition to its current Windows Phone 7 portfolio. Get your eyes and your brains ready because Smartphone Nation has the full review.

    Full review at Smartphone Nation
    by Published on 05-23-2011 11:01 PM
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    It looks like Motorola is bringing the Android 2.3 Gingerbread update to the Droid 2, Droid X, and Droid Pro. Today a Motorola representative confirmed that the update would be coming to these phones but could not give exact dates. However, he explained that the Droid X update is coming by the end of Q2 or sooner and the update for the other phones is coming by the end of Q3 or sooner.

    Source: Smartphone Nation
    by Published on 05-23-2011 12:52 PM
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    Nokia is seeing its lowest market share since 1997. The industry is flourishing with mobile device sales jumping 19% year-over-year. So what is it that is making Nokia so unattractive right now?

    If you are from the United States, you may think that Nokia is pretty much irrelevant and already dead. That is the case in the states, where there are barely any Nokia phones available through our carriers. However, when I went over to London in September for Nokia World, you notice that Nokia is far from irrelevant. The manufacturer still has a lot of users in Europe but that is quickly declining. In fact, Nokia has went from 40.6 percent of the western Europe market share to 19.6 percent in the past year.

    First we need to take the competition into consideration. Apple's iPhone smartphone has grown its market share 114.9 percent when comparing first quarter of 2010 to first quarter of 2011. Meanwhile, Google's Android OS has 35 percent of the market share right now and has the advantage of being popular among other phone manufacturers. The growth of these two platforms have quickly begun taking away from Nokia's market share.

    It has been using the outdated Symbian platform for way too long. While it may have a loyal following, it is simply not as user-friendly and attractive as other platforms currently available on the market. Nokia needs to focus on attracting new customers, while retaining current customers at the same time. The company planned on transitioning to the MeeGo platform for its future phones, but that was recently scrapped by the company''s new CEO. We will see the launch of the Nokia N9 in the next few weeks, but that may be the first and only MeeGo phones we see come to the market.

    Secondly, Nokia is Finnish company and always has been. The company's last CEO, Olli-Pekka Kallasvou, was fired after his strategy failed to keep the company growing. The board brought in its new CEO, Stephen Elop, to replace Kallasvou. While Nokia's shares initially jumped 5.9 percent after the announcement of new management, it prompted several other top executives from the company to quit including Mobile Solutions head, Anssi Vanjoki.

    Stephen Elop came to Nokia and left his position as president of Microsoft's Business Division. As such, he was biased towards Microsoft products which included its new Windows Phone 7 smartphone platform. One of Elop's first major priorities was to abandon Symbian and MeeGo and switch future Nokia phones to the Windows Phone platform. We have been asking ourselves the same question since the announcement: Why wouldn't Elop choose Android as the Nokia's next OS?

    This is a loaded question, there are many different answers. First, it is important to note that Elop came from Microsoft and had connections with many of the company's top leadership. This likely made negotiations easier and had a big impact on the decision to use Windows Phone 7. But now we are greeted with the question asking if Android would have been a better option. Android's platform is already developed with over 200,000 apps currently available in the Market. Compare that to about 15,000 apps on Windows Phone 7.

    So what will the future hold for Nokia? We will likely see the introduction of one or two Windows Phone 7-powered Nokia phones by year-end. Analysts from Pyramid Research are saying that Windows Phone 7 will pass Android and become the number one smartphone platform in 2013 thanks to Nokia. Previously, analysts claimed that it wouldn't be until 2015 that Windows Phone 7 moved into the number one spot, but Nokia's announcement pushed that up to 2013.

    Source: Smartphone Nation.
    by Published on 08-27-2010 04:19 PM
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    Last week was an exciting week for us as we took a trip from Boston to Tampa. Instead of taking a plane down, we decided to do it the old fashion way with four wheels and eventually moved to the Amtrak auto-train. The two in party, including me, wondered what we would do to occupy ourselves over the three day trip. We figured what better way would there be to review a mobile hotspot than a long trip down the east coast. So we decided to get a Clear Spot 4G+ Mobile Hotspot and test it extensively over the period of a trip, with the majority of use during the three day trip.

    Now you may be wondering, what is a Clear Spot 4G+ Mobile Hotspot? ...
    by Published on 07-07-2010 01:55 PM
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    First there was the Motorola DROID that started the Android revolution on the Verizon Wireless network. ...
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