HTC One now available through Rogers Reservation System

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Feb 262013
HTC One in silver

HTC One in silver

Rogers announced today that the HTC One is now available for pre-order to its existing customers through the Rogers Reservation System. A CA$40 deposit is required.

When HTC announced the HTC One, it indicated that its latest flagship smartphone would begin to ship in late March. We’ll let you know when it lands at Rogers.

Thanks, Sarah!

Read more: Rogers Reservation System

HTC unveils the HTC One

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Feb 192013

HTC One in silverAs expected, HTC today unveiled its latest flagship smartphone, billing it as “a bold step forward” rather than simply another specification bump. Along with it, HTC also introduced the latest version of HTC Sense. Called New Sense, it comes with a number of new features including HTC BlinkFeed which acts as a live homepage, HTC Zoe, a camera app, and HTC BoomSound for improved audio.

“People today immerse themselves in a constant stream of updates, news and information. Although smartphones are one of the main ways we stay in touch with the people and information we care about, conventional designs have failed to keep pace with how people are actually using them,” said Peter Chou, CEO of HTC Corporation. “A new, exciting approach to the smartphone is needed and with the new HTC One, we have re-imagined the mobile experience from the ground up to reflect this new reality.”

HTC BlinkFeed will provide live content on your homescreen. Along with some 1,400 partners who will provide content, it can also display information from your social networks.

Declaring the “era of the megapixel” over, HTC also unveiled its UltraPixel camera which gathers some 300 percent more light than a traditional one, promising “astounding low-light performance.” It also introduced HTC Zoe, a new camera app that can capture photos and a short 3 second video simultaneously. Much as the BlackBerry Z10 does, it also allows you to eliminate blinking eyes from your shots. Other features include enhanced 360′ panorama, time sequencing and object removal.

HTC BoomSound consists of dual front-facing stereo speakers with a dedicated amplifier, Beats Audio integration, and HTC Sense Voice which can boost call volume and quality in noisy environments.

Here is a closer look at the HTC’s One specifications:

  • Processor: 1.7GHZ quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 600
  • Operating system: Google Android with New Sense
  • Cellular connectivity: LTE/HSPA/EDGE/GPRS
  • Other connectivity: GPS/GLONASS, 802.11 a/ac/b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC
  • Display: 4.7-inch Full HD (1920×1080 / 468 PPI)
  • Memory: 2GB RAM
  • Storage: 32GB / 64GB onboard
  • Rear-facing camera: HTC UltraPixel with F2.0 aperture, 28mm lens and 1080p video capture
  • Front-facing camera: 2.2MP with 1080p video capture
  • Connectors: 3.5mm audio jack, micro-USB 2.0 port
  • Battery: 2,300mAh
  • Dimensions: 137.4 x 68.2 x 9.3 millimeters
  • Weight: 143 grams
  • Colours: Black or Silver
  • Other: Dual BoomSound stereo speakers, dual microphones, “zero-gap aluminum unibody” construction

The HTC One will launch in 80 countries with 185 carriers. It will begin to ship in late March. In Canada, Bell, Rogers, TELUS and Virgin Mobile are all onboard. Pricing was not announced today. In the U.S., AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile will offer the HTC One.

Rogers President and CEO to retire in January 2014

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Feb 152013
Rogers Communications

There is some surprising news from Rogers this morning. Rogers Communications today announced that Nadir Mohamed, the company’s President and CEO, will retire in January 2014. Mohamed will continue to lead the company until then and will work with the board on transition activities.

“Nadir is a highly regarded executive who has delivered strong results and substantial value for more than a decade,” said Alan Horn, Chairman of the Board, Rogers Communications Inc. “Thanks to his disciplined and strategic management approach we’ve strengthened our core business, solidified our financial position and set Rogers up for long-term success. The board is grateful for his significant contributions and looks forward to working with him to ensure a seamless and orderly transition.”

Rogers will appoint a search committee and search firm to begin looking for a successor. Neither Edward Rogers, Deputy Chairman and Chair of the Rogers Control Trust, or Melinda Rogers, Senior Vice President, Strategy and Development, will seek the position. Both, along with Mohamed, will participate in the selection process.

No reason was given for Mohamed’s decision to retire.

Mohamed took on his current role in March 2009, succeeding the late company founder Ted Rogers. He has been with Rogers since 2000.

Read more: Rogers

Sony Xperia ZL coming to Canadian carriers “this Spring”

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Feb 142013

Sony Xperia ZLSony Mobile confirmed back at CES 2013 that the Xperia ZL would launch in Canada but gave no further details. It announced today that it will launch with a number of Canadian carriers this spring. Bell, Mobilicity, MTS, Rogers, Videotron and WIND Mobile will all begin launching the device starting in April.

“With the highest screen to phone size ratio available today, the Xperia ZL represents over half of a century worth of Sony innovation in TV, imaging, music, film, gaming and design.” said Peter Farmer, Vice President of Marketing North America, Sony Mobile Communications. “Loaded with Sony’s One-touch functions and media applications, the Xperia ZL will provide an unparalleled entertainment experience whether on-the-go or as a central device within the home.”

While the Xperia ZL will launch with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, Sony Mobile has already confirmed that an upgrade to 4.2 is in the works. There are no details as to when it will be released though.

The Sony Xperia ZL was unveiled at CES 2013 alongside the Xperia Z. There is no official word yet that Sony will launch the latter in Canada alongside the Xperia ZL.

Details such as pricing were not announced today. It is likely that individual carriers will announce these details when we get closer to the launch.

Rogers to launch new U.S. data roaming plan this spring

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Feb 102013
Rogers Communications

Rogers on Friday announced that it will soon launch a new roaming rate for customers travelling to the United States. The CA$7.99 pay-per-use plan will give customers 50MB of data in a 24 hour period while they are travelling in the U.S. Rogers estimates that this is nearly twice the average customer’s daily domestic usage and should be enough for about 50 maps, 200 web pages, 1,000 emails or over 5,000 tweets.

“Our customers have consistently told us they want certainty and peace of mind when using their wireless devices to access the Internet while travelling,” said Raj Doshi, Rogers Senior Vice President of Products. “Canadians’ connected habits are evolving, and our new roaming model is an important step in addressing the changing needs of our customers. With this simple and affordable roaming rate, customers will be able to use their devices while travelling just as they would at home.”

To help customers manage their roaming costs, alerts will be sent out before the 50MB threshold is reached.

The new Rogers U.S. data roaming plan will launch this spring.

Read more: Rogers

BlackBerry Z10 launch described as “best day ever” for BlackBerry

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Feb 062013

BlackBerry Z10BlackBerry appears to be quite pleased with yesterday’s BlackBerry Z10 launch. In short statement issued today, BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins called yesterday the “best day ever” for the launch of a BlackBerry smartphone in Canada. Here is the full statement:

“In Canada, yesterday was the best day ever for the first day of a launch of a new BlackBerry smartphone. In fact, it was more than 50% better than any other launch day in our history in Canada,” said Thorsten Heins, President & CEO of BlackBerry. “In the UK, we have seen close to three times our best performance ever for the first week of sales for a BlackBerry smartphone.”

The statement does not make specific mention of any sales figures.

For its part, Rogers added that it “sold more BlackBerry smartphones on February 5th 2013 than any other day in Rogers history” and activated “activated thousands of BlackBerry Z10 smartphones yesterday.”

It appears that BlackBerry’s BlackBerry 10 launch is off to an auspicious start.

Canadian Motorola RAZR HD LTE Android 4.1 upgrade rolling out

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Feb 062013

Motorola RAZR HD LTEMotorola Canada yesterday announced that it has begun to roll out the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean upgrade for the Motorola RAZR HD LTE which is carried by Rogers and Fido.

Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) is the latest Android operating system. It’s packed with new features and apps to help you tackle your busy day, like Google Now, Voice Search and better notifications. So no matter what life throws your way, your phone helps you stay one step ahead.

As usual, you can check manually if you have not yet received your upgrade notification: Settings -> About phone -> System Updates -> Check now.

Read more: Motorola Canada [via Twitter]

BlackBerry Z10 goes on sale in Canada today

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Feb 052013

BlackBerry Z10Just in case you did not already have this date booked in your calendar, the BlackBerry Z10, the first BlackBerry 10 device, goes on sale today. Here is a list of carriers offering it today:

  • Bell: CA$149.95 with a three-year contract
  • Fido: From CA$350 with a two-year contract to CA$600 outright
  • Koodo: From CA$400 with CA$150 Tab to CA$550 outright
  • Rogers: From CA$139.99 with a three-year contract to CA$599.99 with a monthly plan
  • SaskTel: From CA$149.99 with a three-year contract to CA$599.99 outright
  • TELUS: CA$149.99 with a three-year contract / Shipping begins February 12th
  • Virgin Mobile Canada: CA$149.99 with a three-year contract

Mobility, MTS, Videotron and WIND Mobile have also confirmed that they will carry the BlackBerry Z10. They will not launch it today but in the near future.

While the BlackBerry Z10 will be offered in both black and white, the white version may prove difficult to find as initial quantities appear to have been more limited and reserved for those who reserved it ahead of today’s launch.

Canadian Samsung Galaxy Note II Jelly Bean upgrade rollout begins Wednesday

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Feb 042013

There was good news from Samsung Canada yesterday among all the tweets about the Super Bowl and The Next Big Thing. The Canadian arm of the manufacturer announced that the Jelly Bean upgrade for the Galaxy Note II would begin rolling out on Wednesday, February 6th:

As you can see from the tweet, it will include Samsung’s Multi Window function as well as Chinese language support.

While Samsung did not provide additional details, the rollout will likely be staggered by carrier (as we have seen in the past). With the Note II carried by Bell, Mobilicity, Rogers, SaskTel, TELUS, Videotron, and WIND Mobile, it may be a few more days at least before everyone sees it on their device. As usual, you will be able to check manually to see if the upgrade is available yet: Settings -> About phone -> System Updates -> Check now.

Read more: Samsung Canada [via Twitter]

Rogers begins taking BlackBerry Q10 reservations

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Jan 312013

As promised yesterday, Rogers today began to take reservations for the BlackBerry Q10, the first BlackBerry 10 device with a physical keyboard. There is one caveat: Reservations are only open to current Rogers customers.

Rogers BlackBerry Q10 reservation screen

More good news: The usual CA$40 reservation fee has been waived.

Specific BlackBerry Q10 launch and pricing details have not been announced. It could launch in Canada this spring.

Read more: Rogers

BlackBerry Z10 to launch in Canada on February 5th

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Jan 302013

BlackBerry Z10Canada will be among the first (but not the first) to launch the new BlackBerry Z10 smartphone. Following the device’s unveiling this morning, carrier availability and pricing announcements are coming in fast and furious. The launches will begin on February 5th with the following carriers already on board:

Pricing starts at CA$149.99 for most carriers with a three-year contract. Rogers is offering it for CA$139.99 for a limited time. Contract-free pricing will fall in the CA$550 to CA$650 range.

Rogers customers will also be able to pre-register for the upcoming BlackBerry Q10 starting on January 31st.

Rogers delays some Android Jelly Bean upgrades

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Jan 182013
Rogers Communications

Rogers has once again updated its OS Upgrades Schedule found on its Community Forums. All devices on the list are scheduled to receive Android 4.1 Jelly Bean but ETAs for many have slipped a bit.

The Motorola RAZR HD is now slated for its update in early February (from late January). It will be followed by the Sony Xperia T (LT30a) in mid-February. Bringing up the rear are the the Samsung Galaxy S II (SGH-I727R) and Galaxy Note (SGH-I717R) with late February ETAs.

On a more positive note and just in case you have missed them somehow, the Samsung Galaxy S III and HTC One X updates are now available.

Rogers does warn “release dates are subject to change.” There could be more changes so you will have to hang on (patiently) a bit longer. If nothing else, kudos to Rogers for updating the timelines regularly.

Read more: Rogers Wireless

Rogers the first North American carrier to offer LTE roaming

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Jan 172013
Rogers Communications

Rogers Communications today announced a new bilateral LTE roaming agreement with carrier 3 Hong Kong. Customers travelling to Hong Kong with a 2600MHz device will be able to roam on LTE speeds while in Hong Kong. The agreement makes Rogers the first carrier in North America and one of the first in the world to offer international LTE roaming to its customers.

“Rogers was the first carrier to launch an LTE network in Canada and today we are adding to our proud history of innovative firsts by being the first carrier in North America to launch LTE roaming,” said Raj Doshi, Rogers Senior Vice President of Products. “We know that Canadians travelling, whether for business or pleasure, want access to their device, email, documents, and the Internet. By offering LTE roaming, our customers can stay connected while travelling at the same blazing fast LTE speeds they experience in Canada on the Rogers wireless network.”

Rogers is planning to launch LTE roaming in additional countries throughout 2013 but did not provide additional details.

Rogers already offers a number of data roaming options. For example, International Data Day Passes start at CA$25 for 5MB.

Read more: Rogers

Nokia Lumia 920 in red, white and yellow coming soon to Rogers

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Jan 152013

Nokia Lumia 920Good news for those who don’t like their smartphones in black. Rogers today announced that it will soon offer the Nokia Lumia 920 in three new colours: Red, white and yellow. Rogers customers can now reserve it through the Rogers Reservation System (CA$40 deposit required) and will be available in Rogers stores “in the coming weeks.”

Rogers is also running a contest that will see three winners, one for each colour, walk away with a new Nokia Lumia 920. Head over to the Rogers Red Board to enter.

Rogers was the first carrier in the world to launch the Nokia Lumia 920 when it did so back on October 29th, 2012. It currently offers it starting at CA$99.99 with a three-year contract.

Read more: Rogers RedBoard

Rogers secures option to buy Shaw AWS spectrum in 2014

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Jan 142013
Rogers Communications

Rogers today announced an agreement that sees it securing an option to buy Shaw Communications’ unused AWS spectrum in 2014. The deal covers spectrum licenses in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Northern Ontario and comes with a price tag of CA$50 million. According to Nadir Mohamed, Rogers’ President and Chief Executive Officer, “We’re investing in spectrum to ensure our customers continue to enjoy the incredibly fast speeds and throughput they crave, while ensuring our continued network leadership.”

The purchase will help Rogers maintain its “network leadership position,” particularly in Western Canada where Rogers has a significant share of the wireless market. It includes 188 million MHz POPs including 20MHz across B.C., Alberta and Manitoba and 10MHz in select B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan and Northern Ontario markets.

Rogers will be in a position to buy the spectrum in question once the transaction is approved by Industry Canada and the Competition Bureau. It could be late 2014 before the purchase closes. The option is set to expire in March 2015 but could be extended “in certain circumstances.”

The announcement comes ahead of the 700MHz spectrum auction set to take place sometime in the first half of this year.

Shaw announced in September 2011 that it would not build out a wireless network as originally planned. Shortly after, it announced plans to build a managed Wi-Fi network.

Read more: Rogers