• Devices

    by Published on 01-30-2013 08:17 AM
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    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 01-24-2013 08:16 AM
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    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 01-22-2013 12:56 PM
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    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 01-15-2013 10:42 AM
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    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? ...
    by Published on 01-14-2013 09:35 AM
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    Just got word that multi-view support is coming to the Samsung Galaxy Note II. This feature was previously found on international ...
    by Published on 01-08-2013 09:59 PM
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    Huawei just announced the Ascend W1 Windows Phone 8. It's a midrange device that's aimed at Nokia 820 and the HTC Windows Phone 8s.

    It's a HSPA+ device with a dual-core 1.2Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon 8230 processor. The 820's has a similar processor that's clocked at 1.5Ghz while the 8s' runs at 1Ghz. You also get 512MB of RAM and a 800x480 display - just like the 820 and 8s.

    There's a 5 megapixel camera on the back and a VGA front-facing camera. There's 4GB of storage which can be expanded with MicroSD cards. 802.11 abgn WiFi and considering it's specs, it's got a relatively large 1950mAh battery.

    It will be available blue, red, black and white though whether it gets picked up here and in what colour remains to be seen. ...
    by Published on 01-08-2013 09:32 AM
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    Huawei just announced the Ascend Mate. It has a gigantic 6.1" 1280x720 HD IPS+ display. Is it similar to the Nexus 4 and LG Optimus G display but only bigger? The other big number is the huge 4050mAh battery. That's almost as big as the batteries in many 7" tablets like the Nexus 7, Playbook, Kindle Fire, etc.

    Powering all this is a custom Huawei processor with a 1.5 GHz quad-core Hi-Silicon K3V2 + Intel XMM6260 GPU. I've never heard of the Intel XMM6260 but the K3V2 is a Cortex A9 design so it probably won't be as fast at non-graphic duties as a Quad-core Krait.

    Other specs include 2GB RAM (very nice), Android 4.1 and 802.11 ABGN dual-band WiFi. Like the Ascend P1 and D Quad XL it's listed as having penta-band support. Hopefully they'll bring out an LTE version for North America.

    Software-wise there's a one-handed mode which looks familiar, limited multi-window support (reminds me of the Xperia T). Guiding wizard is Navigation that uses the camera to overlay the directions over what you actually see. I've seen Navigation with augmented reality before but it was only a demo. I hope it works well because it's a feature I've been waiting for.

    The specs are interesting. It's got the biggest screen out there but it's not a 1080P display which makes me think it's a mid-upper range device rather than a range topper.

    Anyways, it looks like a great device for the 'mine is bigger than yours' crowd. Can't wait to check one of these one and lord of the poor saps squinting at their Note II displays. ...
    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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    2. Devices,
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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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    2. Devices,
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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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    2. Devices,
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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! ...
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