• Devices

    by Published on 01-08-2013 09:16 AM
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    Huawei just announced the Ascend D2. It's the latest phone from an Android OEM with a 5" 1920x1080 display. It has a pixel density of 443PPI which is higher than most of last year's 4.x" 1280x720 displays which weighed in at around 3xxPPI. Huawei calls it a "super Retina display".

    It also comes with a 13MP camera, 2GB RAM, Android 4.1, 32GB storage (yeah!), no MicroSD (boo!), a 3000mAh battery (why does the HTC Droid DNA only come with a 2100mAh?), dual-band 802.11 ABGN (finally) and is available in blue and white (sound familiar?)

    It's also listed as being water resistant but I'm not sure how water resistant it will be. Will I be able to use it while I shower?

    I'm not sure how the banding is going to work but according to this page it only supports HSPA. My guess is that the North American version will be HSPA only too but with more band support.

    The dimensions are listed as 140 mm x 71 mm x 9.4 mm. 9.4mm is a bit thicker than the Xperia Z's 7.9mm but from my experience, anything under 10mm is thin enough. If the extra 1.5mm allows for the 3000mAh battery then I'm all for it.

    Under the hood is a Huawei custom quad-core processor. It's listed as a "1.5 GHz quad-core Hi-Silicon K3V2 + Balong V7R1 ". I recently reviewed the Huawei D Quad XL which had the same processor core but a different GPU. If this is indeed the same processor then it should provide similar non-graphic performance as other Cortex A9 chips. That means performance will be adequate but will lag A15 (not sure if any current or 'coming soon' phones have an A15) and quad-core Qualcomm Kraits.

    Looks like a nice device. The 3000mAh battery is a really nice surprise as is the water resistance. Can't wait to try this one! ...
    by Published on 01-07-2013 08:09 PM
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    Sony just announced the Xperia Z at CES. It sports a 5" 1920x1080 display, quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, 2GB RAM, NFC and 13 megapixel camera. It's only 7.9mm thick

    The camera has a Exmor RS sensor which supports HDR video (high dynamic range). Sony says it allows for clear images against a strong backlight. I wonder if it also helps in low light?

    Also interesting is the fact that it's water and dust resistant (IP55 & IP57). IP55 means that it's able to be submerged in up to 1M of water for up to 30 mins. Does this mean I can use it while I'm taking a bath or shower?

    Sony didn't reveal the size of the battery but it does have 'Battery STAMINA' mode which shuts down certain apps when the screen is off and turns them back on when you turn the screen back on.

    Sweet phone. Anyone gonna get one or are you going to wait to see what other OEM's 5" 1080P devices are like? ...
    by Published on 01-04-2013 09:44 PM
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    Hereís the Samsung Galaxy Camera (Iím going to call it the ďCameraĒ with an uppercase ďCĒ). Itís basically the result of a wild night between a camera and a smartphone. Itís a digital camera with a 16 megapixel sensor and 21x zoom lens with a Samsung Galaxy S III complete with HSPA modem and 4.8Ē screen grafted onto the back.

    Itís safe to say that these days, most pictures end up on the web and will never be printed out. So, digital cameras have it rough these days. You see, theyíre just too inconvenient.

    What would you rather do? Snap a picture, wait till you get home, download it to your PC before you upload it to the web and then tag it with the location? Or would you rather snap a picture with your Smartphone and then choose to upload it to the web complete with location information.

    Why would anyone bother using a dedicated camera if itís so much less convenient to use? There are 2 reasons; dedicated cameras usually have higher quality plus they usually offer you more flexibility/capabilities. ...
    by Published on 12-21-2012 11:23 PM
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    ***UPDATE: New winner chosen for the Nokia Lumia 920***

    ***UPDATE 2: All the prizes have been claimed. Thank you all for participating***

    The giveaway winners have been chosen! Please join us in congratulating the following:

    • Forum member tk_chan - Nexus 4 winner!
    • Forum member dakar8 - iPad mini (white) winner!
    • Twitter follower @jhaymoney - iPad mini (black) winner!
    • Forum member greenxgoblin - Nokia Lumia 920 winner!


    Winners, to claim your prize you must log in to your forum account and send a private message to administrator frail (click here) with your answer to the skill testing question and a valid shipping address. You have 24 HOURS to do so, otherwise your prize will be given to someone else.

    Congrats and Happy Holidays!
    by Published on 12-11-2012 11:20 PM
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    Please join us in congratulating jwslam for being selected as the winner of the Maximum Signal In-Car Amplifier! Howard will be in touch soon with the details.

    For those who didn't win you still have a chance to win other great prizes in our second holiday giveaway!

    Thank you everyone for participating and Happy Holidays!
    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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    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,
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    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. ...
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