• Reviews and Hands-on

    by Published on 03-27-2014 12:35 PM
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    2. Devices,
    3. Reviews and Hands-on
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    I was playing with the Samsung Galaxy S5 earlier today. I'm getting one later so for now I'm just going to post some pictures I took.


    The biggest difference over last year's GS4 is that the GS5 is IP67 water and dust resistant. While it resists water, it's not meant to be submerged. I'm sure it will handle a quick dip in the toilet but that's it. Check out the water tight gasket on the back cover. ...
    by Published on 03-27-2014 07:40 AM
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    2. Devices,
    3. News,
    4. Reviews and Hands-on
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    This week saw the release of possibly the most-leaked Android smartphone ever, the HTC One M8. It's only been out for a few days but the web has been quick to respond, with lots of videos and write-ups about HTC's 2014 flagship.

    As one of my duties here is to gather up the daily news for the general mobile discussion forum, I've cherry-picked the best content that I've seen about the M8 and put it here in one place for your reading—and viewing—enjoyment.

    Let's get to it! ...
    by Published on 03-25-2014 08:28 PM
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    2. Devices,
    3. Reviews and Hands-on
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    If you asked me what my favorite Android phone was last year, my first or second choice would be the LG G2. It’s almost the complete package plus, as far as Android phones go, it’s probably the easiest to use.

    Now there's the LG G Flex which is sort of a bigger version of the G2. However, there’s a twist; the is G Flex also flexible. Let’s check it out.
    ...
    by Published on 03-21-2014 08:52 AM
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    2. Reviews and Hands-on,
    3. Carriers,
    4. Apps
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    The big story for mobile in Canada this week was carrier price hikes. In case you missed it, check here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here. I think you get the idea.

    In the midst of this hostile environment I caught a tweet from forums member Ben Klass about a new Android app (iOS version soon) called Snoobe, which promises to deliver the perfect mobile phone plan to the palm of your hand.

    The team behind Snoobe is based in Montreal; thus the current Play Store version of the app is optimized for Canadian consumers. Users in the U.S. are encouraged to download a beta from the company website.

    This Canadian installed Snoobe on his Nexus 5 yesterday and tried it out. ...
    by Published on 03-14-2014 08:26 AM
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    2. Reviews and Hands-on,
    3. Apps
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    I've ranted before about the sorry state of mobile wallets in Canada. It's a bit pathetic that the overwhelming majority of mobile transactions on this continent occur not through a standardized NFC tap-and-pay system, but instead a Starbucks app.

    While the future of tap-and-pay languishes in the hands of carriers and credit card companies, Toronto-based startup SmoothPay is attempting something pretty clever—to make a Starbucks-like app that you can use anywhere.

    I read about SmoothPay just yesterday in a feature on blogTO; the comparisons to Starbucks are theirs, not mine:

    We haven't seen anyone doing what we are doing here in Canada. There are many payment companies and many loyalty companies, but no one that effectively combines both (except for Starbucks, but they aren't really our competitor). Mobile apps like theirs are actually great for us since it helps consumers become accustomed to using their phone to pay. If you know how to use the Starbucks app you use regularly, you'll know how to use SmoothPay.
    I myself have never used the Starbucks app, but yesterday I tried out SmoothPay at Red Eye Espresso in downtown Toronto. ...
    by Published on 03-12-2014 10:25 AM
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    2. Devices,
    3. Reviews and Hands-on
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    I don’t know about you but I can never get enough storage. When it comes to my phones, In the past I’d go out and buy the biggest card I could find and immediately, I’d regret it because I wish it was bigger and faster. I can’t tell you what size card you need but maybe I can help you figure out whether you should spend extra and buy a faster card.



    To compare, Sandisk sent me two 64GB MicroSDXC cards; One is a Sandisk Ultra card while the other is an Extreme Pro. In Sandisk-speak, Ultra is the next step up from plain Sandisk cards. On the other hand, Extreme Plus represents the fastest MicroSD you can buy from them. ...
    by Published on 02-28-2014 01:14 PM
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    2. Devices,
    3. Reviews and Hands-on
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    First and foremost I'd like to thank Limefuel for providing this case for review.

    Let me start by stating the obvious.
    I Love my Nexu5. Love.

    I've had S3's, S4's and Note 3's and I've enjoyed all of them, but the Nexu5 they aren't.
    As much as I can understand and see the value that manufacturers place in putting their own touches to Android it drives me nuts.
    I want pure, unadulterated Google Android goodness. To be quite honest, Google almost always refuses to give that to me / us. Not so with the Nexu5. Finally we'd have a powerful spec'd phone with the goods to back up the vanilla Android OS we've been lusting for.

    With fevered anticipation I scoured www.howardforums.com and the general web at large for news and info prior to the launch of the Nexu5. As each day and week passed I was convinced that it would have a 3000mah option on the battery. "the G2 has it, LG makes the G2, so why wouldn't they include it" was the logic I had at the time, and it was sound logic.

    the Nexu5 finally launched and instantly threw me into phone nerd tech rage when it was confirmed it would pack a 2300mah cell.
    "2300mah, WHAT! Again!" I shouted towards the heavens with a clenched fist wondering what bean counter approved this battery. Why wasn't the 3000mah battery in the 32 gig model at least. I want more memory, and arguably more battery so make a slightly thicker model with 3000mah on board. Bah, all thoughts were in vain.

    Should've
    Could've
    Would've.

    Limefuel has stepped up with their L28N5 battery case to address our concerns friends. I'm going to assume that many of us here want more battery life from our phones, so that's a safe assumption to make.

    Howard approached Lime Fuel for a unit to review and they so graciously shipped one for review so let's get to the brass tax here.
    ...
    by Published on 02-28-2014 09:12 AM
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    2. Devices,
    3. Reviews and Hands-on
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    Since screen sizes have been creeping up with each new generation of smartphone, it was only a matter of time before companies started releasing smaller, less expensive versions of their flagship phones. The timing is perfect since Canadian carriers are now forced to offer 2 year contracts. Customers are forced to pick their poison.

    If you want a fancy phone you’ll have to pay more than you used to each month.

    This is where the less-costly smaller versions come in. If you don't want to spend so much each month you can opt for a cheaper plan and get a less expensive phone.

    I checked out the Samsung Galaxy S3 and S4 Mini a while back and now it’s time to give the HTC One Mini a twirl.
    ...
    by Published on 02-28-2014 08:23 AM
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    2. Devices,
    3. News,
    4. Commentary and Analysis,
    5. Reviews and Hands-on
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    With Mobile World Congress over and done I'd be remiss if I didn't bring to your attention some of the other notable announcements from the annual trade show. I've been following the news over the course of the week, and feel confident that the devices mentioned below are a fairly accurate representation of the other highlights from MWC.

    If it's not, you know what to do.

    ...
    by Published on 02-26-2014 10:50 AM
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    2. Devices,
    3. Reviews and Hands-on
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    This is the first tablet that I've ever tested and I went into it with a bit of an unfair bias AGAINST tablets. I've never really seen the need for one, because I find them too bulky to carry around, and so for me they don't work as a substitute for a smartphone. I'm also a software developer, and so I needed a full laptop to do development work on. My time with the Galaxy Tab Pro 10 didn't change my mind about tablets, but I promise not to let my bias stand in the way of a reporting on this device as I do for all Android smartphones.

    The Galaxy Tab Pro 10 that I tested is one of whole range of new tablets that is slated for release at the end of the February. This lineup will come in 3 screen sizes, which are 8.4 inches, 10.1 inches, and 12.2 inches. There will be WiFi-only versions (which I tested) and versions that offer cellular connectivity via LTE. These devices will also be available in Galaxy Tab versions (which I tested) and Galaxy Note versions. The latter differs from the Tab in that it offers the S-Pen (and its included functionality), but is otherwise essentially the same device. To make the choice even more bewildering, you will also be able to pick up 32 GB or 64 GB versions. ...
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