• Devices

    by Published on 07-22-2013 03:49 PM
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    Just got word that there's a new update for the Samsung Galaxy S4 being pushed over-the-air. It weighs-in at a hefty 315MB so best to wait till you have WiFi to grab this.

    Samsung's servers are being slammed right now so it might take a few tries.

    Thanks Treatz! ...
    by Published on 07-11-2013 10:46 AM
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    Nokia just announced the Lumia 1020 with a 41 megapixel camera. The camera has optical image stabilization with a 1/1.5" sensor and a Xenon Flash.

    When you take a picture the 1020 can save it at full resolution as well as re-sample it down to a 5 megapixel image for sharing.

    There's an optional camera grip shell that ads a large grip, 1200mAh battery and a tripod mount for $79.99.

    Qi Wireless charging is available via an optional accessory.

    Video is recorded at 1920x1080 with what Nokia calls Stereo High Amplitude Audio Capture

    It will feature a new camera software with features like manual focus, manual shutter speeds and exposure control.

    Despite the monster camera, the 1020 is a reasonable 130.4 x 71.4 x 10.4mm and weighs 158g.

    The screen is a 4.5" AMOLED display with a brightness of 600 NITS (!). Resolution is 1280x768.

    The North American variant supports quad-band GSM, 850/900/1900/2100 HSPA and LTE on band 2, 4, 5 and 17 (1900, AWS, 850 and 700).

    It's powered by a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 MSM8960 (like the 820, 920, 925, 928) with 32GB of storage, 2GB of RAM (most of any Windows Phone). The battery weighs in at 2000mAh.

    Available on AT&T on July 26 $299.99 on a 2 year agreement.

    This quarter in China, Europe and South America.

    It will be available in Yellow, white and black.

    Who's getting one? Is anyone not getting one because it's running Windows Phone? ...
    by Published on 07-10-2013 08:42 AM
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    I recently raved about the Nokia Lumia 520. It was the first $150 prepaid phone that Iíve tried that didnít suck. Of course now that you can buy the 520 for $150, many entry-level Android phones are going to have to drop in price to stay competitive.

    So now we have a pair of $78 Android phone: the Huawei Ascend Y210 for TELUS which is available exclusively at Walmart and the Huawei Ascend Y201 on Virgin Mobile. Weíll be looking at the Y210 today.

    Before I start we need to have a reality check. The Y210 is a $78 phone. That pretty much makes it the cheapest Android phone you can buy. With a fancy phone, a review is usually about its fancy features and what you get. With the Y210 itís more about what compromises have to be made to hit the $78 price point and whether theyíre acceptable.

    Itís also worth exploring whether the Y210 and itís ultra-low price point are a worthwhile alternative to a feature phone. ...
    by Published on 06-19-2013 01:17 PM
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    Looking around at the mobile phone market, Android and iOS dominate the top end of the market. Interestly though, Iíve found some of their lower-end offerings leave much to be desired. You just donít get much phone for $150.

    However, if you add another $150 then you can get yourself a Nexus 4.

    The Nokia Lumia 620 I reviewed a while back is a great phone for 250 dollars. Of course the problem is that for another 50 bucks, you can get a 8GB Nexus 4. While the Nexus 4 lacks the Lumia 620ís memory card slot, it gives you more of everything plus it runs Android. So, if have to buy your phone off contract then the 620 is a harder sell.

    To address this shortcoming, Nokia now has the Lumia 520. Itís available for $149 from Rogers and Koodo and $129 at TELUS. At this price point, I have no idea why more carriers didnít pick this up.

    On paper, itís quite similar to the 620. You actually get a bigger screen and battery, same resolution camera minus the flash, same processor, RAM, storage, etc. On paper, it looks like an awesome deal.

    Does anything else even come close? ...
    by Published on 06-13-2013 06:06 PM
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    With Fatherís day just around the corner you might be thinking of getting him a new phone but arenít sure which one you get. Donít worry, Iím here to help with my top 5 picks for fatherís day.
    by Published on 05-28-2013 01:39 PM
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    12 months ago was a tumultuous time for Blackberry. Back then, many people had written off Blackberry (then RIM). Most of us expected that RIM would be split into two or three companies and sold off. Many figured weíd never actually see BB10. You get the idea.

    Anyways, recently I get the feeling that things are starting to turn around. Back in January, Blackberry finally announced the first device powered by their new operating system BB10.

    Oddly enough, their first BB10 device, the Z10 is a touch-screen only device. Itís weird because Blackberry once ruled the Smartphone market with their QWERTY phones.

    Still itís very surprising that in the 18 months or so since Blackberry released their last QWERTY flagship the Bold 9900 none of their competitors have really released a serious competitor. Sure there were a couple of QWERTY Android phones but they were mostly low specíd entry level devices. Thereís a bit of a vacuum in the market for this class of device.

    So in the ultra-competitive Smartphone market Blackberry managed to catch quite a break. Their first BB10 QWERTY phone, the Q10 comes to market with virtually no competitors.

    The Q10 I'm reviewing here is running on the TELUS LTE network. ...
    by Published on 05-15-2013 12:40 PM
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    Today at Google I/O Google announced a special version of the Samsung Galaxy S4 which runs stock Android (no touchwiz):

    • Will be available on Google Play in the US
    • LTE with support for AT&T and T-Mobile
    • 16GB
    • boot loader unlocked
    • $649.99
    • available June 26th

    Anyone going to get this and flash Touchwiz back on?

    More Android news:

    • 900 million Android users
    • 48 billion Google Play app installs
    • 2.5 billion installs in the last month
    • revenue per user is now 2.5x what it was last year

    They announced some new features (API's) for developers including:

    • low power location mode which uses 1% of battery life per hour
    • Geo-fencing which lets devs create bound areas (will this eliminate cheating on Four Square or maybe create auto check-ins?)
    • Activity recognition which users the acceleration to figure out if you're walking, cycling or driving.
    • Google+ sign in (like Facebook sign in but with Google+), it also gives you the option to install the app
    • New messaging features for GCM including syncing notifications across devices so when you dismiss a notification on one phone it dismisses it on your other Android devices.

    Google Play game services:

    • Google Play game services
    • Cloud save - allows you to save your game on your phone and start where you left off on your tablet
    • Achievments and leaderboards
    • These work on iOS and web too so they're cross platform
    • Multiplayer - quick match, invite friends, invitations

    These services are available via Google Play (as opposed to the version of Google) - FroYo and up.

    Google is also launching a new Music service: Google Play Music all access

    • subscription service
    • curated playlists
    • As you're listening to music you can select a song you like and it will create a play list of similar songs (called a radio station)
    • You can create libraries that include BOTH your songs and songs from the subscription
    • Google recommendations
    by Published on 05-14-2013 01:21 PM
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    Today Blackberry announced the Q5 - a lower cost QWERTY device.

    It has a 3.1" display like the Q10 and will be available in black, white and red.

    It's meant for developing nation. No word if it will come here. ...
    by Published on 05-14-2013 10:52 AM
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    The Nokia Lumia 925 looks like a lower-cost refresh of their previous flagship the 920. Looking at the specs the 925 gains some metal on the body and a removable back cover but now comes in a 16GB version - the 32GB is a Vodafone exclusive, no word which version we'll be getting here. The built-in wireless charging is now via an optional cover.

    It has also undergone a much needed diet. While the footprint hasn't changed much it's now 8.5mm thick compared with the 920's portly 10.7mm. Weight is now a very reasonable 139g down from 185g.

    From the press release:

    Published May 14, 2013 | By Nokia - Press Release

    Nokia introduces Nokia Lumia 925

    London, UK - Nokia today introduced the Nokia Lumia 925, a new interpretation of its award-winning flagship, the Nokia Lumia 920. The Nokia Lumia 925 introduces a metal design and showcases the latest PureView camera innovation, new features and third party applications coming to the Nokia Lumia range.

    The Nokia Lumia 925 includes the most advanced lens technology and next generation imaging software to capture clearer, sharper pictures and video, including the best low light images. The Nokia Lumia 925 also introduces the new Nokia Smart Camera mode, coming as an update to all Lumia Windows Phone 8 smartphones. Nokia Smart Camera offers an easy way to capture ten images at once and edit the pictures with options like Best Shot, Action Shot, and Motion Focus for creating the perfect high quality image.

    Nokia also announced Hipstamatic's new app, Oggl, will arrive on Nokia Lumia smartphones, allowing people to take and share high quality pictures with like-minded creatives and photography enthusiasts from around the world. In addition to sharing photos on Oggl, users can simultaneously share photos on social networks including Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Tumblr, Flickr and Instagram.

    "We keep innovating," said Jo Harlow, executive vice president of Nokia Smart Devices. "We're advancing experiences on the Nokia Lumia portfolio whether that means great new benefits for an existing Lumia owner, or bringing new showcase devices like the Nokia Lumia 925."

    The Nokia Lumia 925 introduces metal for the first time to the Nokia Lumia range, bringing appeal and unique benefits like increased robustness. The polycarbonate back comes in white, grey or black. A wireless charging cover can be clipped onto the back of the phone to take advantage of Nokia's extensive wireless charging accessories and ecosystem. Covers, sold separately, come in white, black, yellow, and red.

    Leading Nokia services, such as the HERE suite of integrated location and navigation services and Nokia Music for unlimited streaming of free music playlists, add to the great proposition offered by Nokia's latest smartphone.

    The Nokia Lumia 925 is being introduced into Europe with Vodafone, along with other operator and retail partners. Patrick Chomet, group director of Terminals at Vodafone said: "The new Nokia Lumia 925 is a sleek and sophisticated smartphone delivering great performance and outstanding imaging. We look forward to offering the Nokia Lumia 925 across our markets on Vodafone Red, as well as other tariffs, enabling customers to make the most of their new smartphone on Vodafone's fast and reliable network. Vodafone customers will also have exclusive access to a 32GB version of the Nokia Lumia 925, giving them even more capacity to store all their content for personal and business use."

    Terry Myerson, corporate vice president, Microsoft Windows Phone Division, added: "Together with Nokia, we continue to change the way people think about smartphone cameras. The work Nokia has done with the Lumia 925 further enhances the imaging capabilities of the Lumia smartphones."

    In addition to Europe, the Nokia Lumia 925 will be introduced into the US by T-Mobile and into China by China Mobile and China Unicom. Sales are expected to start in the UK, Germany, Italy, Spain and China in June, followed by the US and a number of other markets. The Nokia Lumia 925 will be priced around 469 EUR before taxes and subsidies. Country-specific pricing and availability will be announced locally.

    Nokia Lumia 925

    Operating system - Windows Phone 8

    HERE location and mapping services - Free global HERE Maps and HERE Drive+;Free HERE Transit available in the Store

    Display - 4.5" AMOLED WXGA (1280x768), 2.25 D sculpted Gorilla 2 Glass, ClearBlack, High Brightness Mode, Sunlight Readability, Super Sensitive Touch for glove and nail usage

    Battery - 2000 mAh battery, Wireless Charging supported via an accessory cover

    Processor - 1.5 GHz dual-core Snapdragon

    Main camera - PureView 8.7 MP with Optical Image Stabilization, Autofocus, short pulse high power dual LED flash, most advanced lens technology, 1080p HD video at 30fps with Optical Image Stabilization. Includes Nokia Smart Camera mode

    Front facing camera - 1.2 MP wide angle
    Memory - 1GB RAM, 16 GB internal memory; 7 GB free SkyDrive cloud storage
    by Published on 05-01-2013 08:35 AM
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    The Blackberry Q10 arrives today. For BB who have been waiting for a device with a physical keyboard this is the one they were waiting for.

    It's kind of funny that as recently as yesterday the Bold 9900 was actually the keyboard Blackberry to get. So, before today there's basically been a vacuum in the market because really, there was nothing else to buy.

    I tried the Q10 yesterday and I must say, if you're you're coming from a BB7 or older device you're going to some adjusting to do. While the keyboard will feel familiar, BB10 is a touchscreen optimized OS. As such, the physical menu buttons (send, blackberry, back, end and trackpad) are gone. To be honest, I felt a little lost at first even though I use a Z10 from time-to-time. I can live without the trackpad and send/end buttons but my fingers kept looking for the back and menu buttons.

    That said, it won't take long to get used to the new layout. BB10 is pretty intuitive to use.

    Size-wise it feels like a QWERTY BB. compared to the 9900 the front of the Q10 is a little more rounded like the Bold 9790. Since the menu buttons are gone the screen is now square shaped unlike the Z10's which is rectangular. I'm not sure what kind of impact the square shaped screen will have on which apps the Q10 can run. I hope BB knows what they're doing because too many screen sizes was one of the reasons why there weren't a lot of apps for previous versions of the BB OS.

    The battery cover appears to be carbon fiber or some sort of composite-fiber material. When you remove it, you can see the fiber on the other side of the cover too. It's pretty slick.

    If you get the Rogers version, it will have support for their 2600Mhz network which means it download over LTE at up to 100Mbps. More importantly, the 2600Mhz network is less congested than their AWS LTE network (which I find isn't terribly congested).

    Will it sell well? I think so. It will sell whether it's a good device or not because there's a pent-up demand for a keyboard BB which the Z10 didn't address. Luckily for BB there aren't a whole lot of comparable devices on the market so in that sense they're catching a break here. ...
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