• howard

    by Published on 07-03-2013 11:23 AM
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    Recently my home internet connection went down and was unreliable for about 2 weeks. I suspect it was due to a fiber cut though I have no proof.

    During that time I had to figure out a way to keep the 20 or so devices I have at home connected to the internet. When something like this happens the first thing that I’ll do is grab some phones and tether off of them. While good in a pinch, it’s not a long term-solution. Data costs aside, many of my devices are wired plus the wireless ones aren’t configured to attach to my phone’s hotspots anyways.

    Ironically, a day after my problems were fixed, a box with the Hauwei B890 showed up. It’s a router with both a WAN port and a LTE modem. Would it have helped during my outage? ...
    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, I’ve found some of their lower-end offerings leave much to be desired. You just don’t 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 620’s 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. It’s available for $149 from Rogers and Koodo and $129 at TELUS. At this price point, I have no idea why more carriers didn’t pick this up.

    On paper, it’s 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 Father’s day just around the corner you might be thinking of getting him a new phone but aren’t sure which one you get. Don’t worry, I’m here to help with my top 5 picks for father’s day.
    ...
    by Published on 06-13-2013 02:11 PM
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    Just got some info on when and how Bell is going to behave itself now that we have the Wireless Code of Conduct.

    First off, they're going to start on Dec 2nd 2013.

    To me the most interesting points are that Bell can't charge you a monthly fee, if you device is under warranty repair. While Bell has to unlock your phone after 90 days, you have to pay Bell's fee (which presumably won't be cheap). When you cancel, it now happens immediately, you don't have to give 30 days notice.

    When your data usage goes over $50/100 (domestic/roaming) Bell will ask you for permission before they continue to charge you.

    Here are the point:

    • Roaming data - data is cut off once you hit $100 of overage unless you agree to pay additional charges
    • Domestic data - data is cut off at $50 overage unless you agree to pay additional charges
    • Unlocking - you can get your device unlocked after 90 days at Bell's rate
    • Repairs - no monthly charges while your device is under warranty repair
    • Early termination fees - Cancellation fee cannot exceed value of device subsidy. Each month, the device cost/(number of months of contract up to 24 months) is taken off the remainder of your subsidy balance.
    • Cancellation - When you want to cancel it happens IMMEDIATELY. No more 30 days notice BS. Now we need a cable and telephone service code of conduct
    • End of contract - The contract continues on the same terms after expiry. They have to notify you 30 days before the end of term.
    • It looks like larger business accounts are excluded from the rules.
    ...
    by Published on 06-10-2013 10:46 PM
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    Apple just announced iOS 7 today. It's for iPhone 4, iPad 2, iPod Touch 4 and iPad Mini or newer. Sorry 3Gs and iPad 1 users. Here are my first impressions of iOS 7 on my iPhone 5:

    The new look is a big pretty change but overall they've done a good job with it. So far with regards to the user interface it all feels pretty polished.

    Apple has replaced the signal bars with dots (or are they nipples). Anyways, I don't like it but I guess I've already gotten used to it. Maybe it's time to update the HoFo logo with those idiotic dots:

    "AT&T: More dots in more places"

    "I have full dots of reception" ...
    by Published on 06-06-2013 08:34 AM
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    Hey guys, we're having a HoFo meet this Saturday 6PM June 8th at Mr Green Jeans at the Eaton Center.

    I'll bring a bunch of HoFo T-Shirts. Hope to see you all there! ...
    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 we’d 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. It’s weird because Blackberry once ruled the Smartphone market with their QWERTY phones.

    Still it’s 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 spec’d entry level devices. There’s 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 03:58 PM
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    Our very own HC - NO "i" just handed my his review for the ZTE F160. No, it doesn't have a 5" 4K display, 16 core processor or 8GB of RAM with dodeca-band LTE support. Instead, it's a feature phone (AKA dumbphone). Here it is:



    It's inevitable. Now that smartphones have out shipped feature phones for the first time. Mundane usage like voice calls and even SMS are declining for many subscribers as these activities are being replaced by social networking (e.g. Facebook, Google+), on-the-top messaging (e.g. WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger) and VoIP calls (e.g. Skype, Google Talk).



    Here at HoFo, we mostly focus on smartphones these days. Smartphones like my brand spanking new Samsung Galaxy S 4 which is the very definition of ‘all the bell and whistles’.



    So when I told my fellow HC that I wanted to check out the F160 candy bar handset from ZTE, he wondered if I was really serious. ...
    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. ...
    by Published on 04-25-2013 12:50 PM
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    Samsung has done so well with their Galaxy S line that a) many people don’t know what Android is b) people think other Android phones are copies of the Galaxy S series (the irony).

    So, without a doubt, one of the most important phones of the year is the Samsung Galaxy S4. It’s a 5” 1920x1080, quad core monster with a 13 megapixel camera and a giant 2600mAh battery.

    However, there are a number of alternatives like the HTC One and Sony Xperia ZL with similar specs that are cheaper alternatives. So, let’s see if the GS4 has what it takes to stay on top. ...
    by Published on 04-22-2013 07:00 PM
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    Three years ago, when thought of a high end Android phone, the first name that would come to most people’s mouths would have been HTC. HTC has always had a heritage of releasing great hardware. While people were ooh-ing and aww-ing over Blackberry Bold’s, HTC was releasing monsters like the HTC TyTN II. In fact, even though HTC hasn’t been doing so well in the marketplace lately, they’ve never stopped releasing awesome hardware.

    Here’s their latest, the HTC One. A phone with a 1920x1080 display wrapped in a sexy metal body. HTC has bucked the trend and gone with a ‘less is more’ approach with the One’s camera. It also has a new version of Sense and louder speakers.
    ...
    by Published on 04-19-2013 02:19 PM
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    Today is the big day! The HTC One is launching across North America today!

    Check out our HTC One threads:


    The T-Mobile version will be coming soon.

    It's got a 4 megapixel camera which in HTC-speak is called an 'Ultrapixel'. So Ultra means '4 million'. It has a quad-core Qualcomm processor that's clocked at 0.425 Ultrahertz (1.7Ghz). You also get 500 Ultrabytes of RAM (2GB), 8 Ultrabytes (32GB) or 16 (64GB) of storage. You get a 4.7" display with a 1920x1080 display, 2300mAh battery running on Android 4.1.2.

    I got a HTC One the other day and I've been comparing it with the Samsung Galaxy S4 and I must say, the One more than holds its own. It's ultra-competitive.

    Who's getting one? ...
    by Published on 04-13-2013 09:26 AM
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    Just got word that the Samsung Galaxy S4 is coming to Bell on May 3rd for $699.95 straight up or $199.95 on an eligible 3yr contract. It will be available in either Black or White (I think). Pre-orders launch on Monday. If you pre-order you can get it as soon as April 27th.

    Check out the banding. Apparently it supports LTE on 700/AWS/850/1900/2100/2600Mhz. I'll have to double check that but if that's the case that's amazing. DC-HSPA+ (42Mbps) on 850/1900/2100 too.

    Now the big question: Coke or Pepsi? I mean do you get the HTC One next week on the 19th or do you wait another 2 for the Galaxy S4? One things for sure, HTC's One delay is going to cost them. ...
    by Published on 04-04-2013 10:33 PM
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    2012 was an exciting year for phones. High definition 1280x720 displays became common along with quad core processors. A few years ago, I would have never imagined that phones would sport specs like this. Just when you thought things couldn’t get any better, we now have phones with even higher 1920x1080 displays. That’s right, the same resolution as the TV hanging in your family room. ...
    by Published on 04-04-2013 01:04 PM
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    HTC, AT&T and Facebook have just announced the HTC First. It's basically an Android 4.1 phone with what sounds like an overlay made by Facebook. From the specs it sounds like a mid-range phone with a 4.3" display, Snapdragon 400 processor and LTE. It will be an AT&T exclusive.

    The overlay is called Facebook Home so it sounds like a Facebook-centric homescreen that has cover feeds (friend's news feeds), notifications, chat heads which sounds like the ability to Facebook messenger without leaving your current app, App Launcher and built-in Instagram.

    From its specs it sounds like it's not aimed at phone nerds but rather people who less concerned about specs and more interested in Facebooking.

    Pre-orders start today and will be available on April 12 for $99.99.

    Who's getting one? Quick! Someone make a MySpace phone! ...
    by Published on 04-01-2013 08:53 AM
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    This just in, the webcast is still going on but at the urging of the American Heart Association, Google is going to stop naming future releases of Android after desserts. A spokesperson at Google had this to say:

    While we all love Google’s lighthearted names for Android; Cupcake, Donut, Eclaire, FroYo, Gingerbread, Ice Cream Sandwich and Jellybean, since we’re in the middle of a war against obesity here in America we feel it’s our duty to help the cause. Going forward, future releases of Android will now be named after heart-healthy fruits and vegetables.

    The next versions of Android will be known as “Kale”, “Lettuce”, “Mushroom”, “Nectarine”, " Orange", "Pear".

    Our hope is that giving Android healthier names will encourage Americans to make healthier food choices.

    To help lead the way we’re also happy to announce our new Android Mascot. While the old’s very cute and round stomach was a result of an unhealthy lifestyle. The new one is trimmer and healthier. He will most certainly, live longer which means he’ll be able to buy more Android devices over his lifetime.

    What do you think of Google’s Android overhaul? Should they just stick to computing? Who liked the old, chubbier mascot?


    ...
    by Published on 04-01-2013 08:48 AM
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    I didn’t see this coming but Industry Canada has just approved a surprise merger between Bell and TELUS.

    While Bell and TELUS have been sharing networks for a few years, they’re separate companies that compete with each other.

    A Bell spokesperson had this to say

    “A merger of equals will create unparalleled value for our shareholders. By consolidating the market we’ll be able to increase ARPU substantially while at the same time cutting costs. Further, the combined company will be able to dominate the upcoming spectrum auction. We can start charging extra for LTE, introduce 4 year contracts, 250MB ‘unlimited’ data and a new Network Access Fee.”

    You’re probably wondering why Industry Canada would approve such a merger given that they’re trying to increase competition. Turns out one of Industry Canada’s key conditions for the merger is that the newly merged company not operate under the name Bell or TELUS. That’s right, the new company won’t be known as Bell or TELUS.

    In order for the merger to be approved Bell will transfer their trademark to Wind Mobile which going forward will be known as Bell Mobility while Mobilicity will now be known as TELUS.

    Besides being able to merge, the combined company will be allowed to keep their combined spectrum.



    That leaves a big mystery as to what the new company will be called. My sources say that there is a shortlist including: Bellus and Canadian Regional Telecom (CARTEL). In the meantime, they’re going with the name “TELL”.

    It will also be interesting to see what will happen to Koodo and Virgin Mobile. Rumor has it that they will also combine into Voodoo Wireless.

    More details on the merger will follow shortly.

    ...
    by Published on 04-01-2013 08:43 AM
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    Huawei has had a challenging time breaking into the US market. Distrust of the Chinese owned company and lack of brand recognition have been blamed for their struggles.

    One reason why they’ve been struggling is their name. While Chinese speakers have no problem pronouncing Huawei, most people here think it’s pronounced “Hua Way”. Patriotic Americans don’t need to be reminded that they’re not buying American when they look for a phone. Nothing alienates potential customers more than having to correct them when they try to pronounce the brand.

    As part of their new assault on the American market, Huawei America will be changing their name to WahWay thus bringing the pronunciation in-line with the rest of the world.

    “Our hope is that in a few years, Americans will think that WahWay will be seen as American as Apple Pie, Hamburgers, Pickup Trucks and Baseball.”

    Good luck Huawei I mean WahWay!
    ...
    by Published on 03-21-2013 01:22 AM
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    Just read over at PocketDial that you can now redeem codes on the Canadian Google Play site.

    Does this mean you'll soon be able to buy cards or is this how Rogers' $35 Google Play vouchers will be redeemed?

    Hopefully we'll be able to buy Google Play cards soon. I've been waiting forever for these.

    Thanks Logical_guy! ...
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    Nice Post thanks a lot

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