Sony Xperia T and Xperia V Android 4.1.2 upgrades begin rolling out

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Feb 072013

Sony Mobile today announced that it has begun to roll out its Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean upgrades for the Sony Xperia T and the Sony Xperia V. Both will also include improved Sony features. “We’ve been working to blend our Sony Xperia software with Google’s Jelly Bean release to create optimum user experiences.”

Aside from the OS upgrade itself, software versions 9.1.A.0.489 and 9.1.A.0.490 for the Xperia T and Xperia V respectively also include updated, more intuitive versions of Sony Media apps: WALKMAN, Album and Movies. There is also a new search function within the application tray to find local apps.

As is so often the case, the update comes with a caveat: “Availability and rollout timing will vary by market and customer variants.” In Canada, the Sony Xperia T is carried by Rogers which expects the update to roll out in “mid-February.”

Sony Mobile also confirmed that the Xperia TX upgrade will follow next month. If the schedule last communicated remains unchanged, the Xperia P, Xperia J and Xperia go will then follow starting in late March. The Xperia S, Xperia SL, Xperia ion and Xperia acro S will then follow in “the subsequent weeks.”

Read more: Sony Mobile

Samsung ATIV S now available at SaskTel

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Feb 072013

Samsung ATIV SSaskTel today launched its first Windows Phone 8 device, the Samsung ATIV S. With LTE connectivity, it is one more option for customers getting ready to jump on the carrier’s just launched LTE network.

The Samsung ATIV S is a new smartphone for both work and entertainment, offering a premium Windows Phone 8 experience.

The thinnest Windows Phone 8 device to date, this powerful smartphone comes loaded with Microsoft Office applications, powerful communication tools, and SkyDrive (with free cloud storage). The Samsung ATIV S has everything you want in a smartphone, making it perfect for both work and entertainment.

SaskTel is offering the Samsung ATIV S for CA$129.99 with a three-year contract, CA$499.99 with a two-year contract, CA$549.99 with a one-year contract or CA$599.99 outright.

Read more: SaskTel

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.

TELUS now taking BlackBerry Q10 pre-registrations

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Feb 062013

BlackBerry Q10One of BlackBerry’s first two BlackBerry 10 smartphones is now available in Canada. The BlackBerry Z10 went on sale yesterday with a number of carriers (and a few more to come as well). The second, the BlackBerry Q10, is set to launch in the April or May time frame.

Much as it did with the Z10, TELUS today began to take pre-registration for the BlackBerry Q10. Essentially people are signing up to receive TELUS updates about upcoming phones (not just the Q10) and other news if they so wish.

While we now have a general idea of when the BlackBerry Q10 will launch, there is no word yet on how much it will sell for.

On the pricing side, TELUS has already dropped the price of the BlackBerry Z10 to align with competitor pricing. It is now available for CA$139 with a three-year contract.

Read more: TELUS

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]

Fido launches Google Nexus 4 (or not)

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Feb 052013

Remember the days when the Google Nexus 4 was the most elusive of smartphones? Well, no more. Fido today became the latest Canadian carrier to launch the latest Google Nexus smartphone. It follows Videotron and WIND Mobile who made similar announcements recently.

Your best bet might be to check with your local Fido store in person. Earlier today, Fido’s website showed that shipments would start today but also indicated that it was currently out of stock. If you check back now, it is not even listed anymore and the page instead says “Sorry,the device you are looking for is not available.”

Google Nexus 4 on Fido

It’s not clear at this time when Fido will put the Google Nexus 4 back up on its website. It had promised an “early February” availability in late January.

As for pricing, if what was shown earlier today holds true, it will sell for CA$100 with a two-year contract or CA$425 outright.

Read more: Fido

Google Android 4.2.2 to launch as early as mid-February?

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Feb 052013
Google Android

Ahead of the expected launch of the next major version of Android at Google I/O in May, Google is reportedly readying another Jelly Bean update. According to The International Business Times, Android 4.2.2 is currently undergoing testing internally on a variety of Nexus devices, including the Nexus 4, Nexus 7, Nexus 10 and the older Samsung Galaxy Nexus. It was first spotted back in early January on a Nexus 4.

The update is described as “minuscule at best.” New features are likely to be kept for Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie. Instead, Android 4.2.2 will instead focus on bug fixes and security enhancements. A changelog is not yet available but one fix mentioned will address the Bluetooth streaming issue on the Nexus 7.

Android 4.2.2 is reportedly set to launch in “a couple of weeks” with a release window of mid-February to mid-March.

Read more: The International Business Times (Source: BGR)

BlackBerry Q10 to launch in “April timeframe”

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Feb 042013

BlackBerry Q10The launch window of the upcoming BlackBerry Q10 got a bit narrower today. We first learned last week that BlackBerry would launch the BlackBerry Q10 in Canada sometime “this spring.” BlackBerry today confirmed that the global launch will take place “in the April time frame.” Confirmation came from Andrew MacLeod, Managing Directory for BlackBerry Canada, during a BlackBerry Experience Forum event taking place today. MacLeod added that “every market has different timelines and marketing windows.”

If the BlackBerry Z10 launch is any indication, Canada should be among the first countries to launch the Q10. One carrier, Rogers, is even already taking reservations for the BlackBerry Q10.

The BlackBerry Q10 will be BlackBerry’s first BlackBerry 10 device with a physical keyboard. Full specifications have not been announced yet but it will come with an AMOLED display offering a resolution of 720 by 720 pixels, the largest battery ever found in a BlackBerry smartphone, and LTE connectivity. It will use a “unique glass-weave material” that promises to be thinner and lighter, but stronger than plastic.

Read more: MobileSyrup

Google Nexus 4 now available from WIND Mobile

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Feb 042013
WIND Mobile

WIND Mobile today became the second Canadian carrier to launch the Google Nexus 4.

Nexus 4 is the new smartphone from Google. With cutting edge hardware, the latest version of Android, and the best Google apps — Nexus 4 puts the world’s information at your fingertips

WIND Mobile today also launched new monthly plans ranging from CA$20 to CA$40 per month. The WIND 20 plans offers unlimited Talk and Text for CA$20 along with CA$100 WINDtab subsidy. The WIND 30 plans offers adds unlimited data along with a CA$200 WINDtab subsidy. For CA$40 per month, the WIND 40 offers international unlimited data, talk and text as well as a CA$300 WINDtab subsidy.

WIND Mobile is offering the Google Nexus 4 for CA$249 on WINDtab with their new CA$40 plan, CA$349 on WINDtab with the CA$30 plan, CA$449 on WINDtab with the CA$20 plan or CA$549 outright.

Read more: WIND Mobile

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]

HP unveils first Chromebook

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Feb 042013

HP Pavilion ChromebookHewlett-Packard is jumping into the Chromebook market. Joining Samsung and Acer in offering inexpensive devices powered by Google’s Chrome OS, it announced the HP Pavilion 14-c010us Chromebook. It is the first Chromebook to come with a 14-inch display.

The HP Pavilion Chromebook gives you fast and easy access to the things you love and depend on, from a world of Google apps and services to your photos and social networks. The OS and built-in security stay up to date automatically. And since it’s the first Chromebook with a 14-inch diagonal design, you get full-size comfort without giving up full-on mobility.

HP Pavilion 14-c010us Chromebook specifications:

  • Processor: 1.1GHz Intel Celeron 847
  • Operating system: Google Chrome OS
  • Cellular connectivity: None
  • Other connectivity: 082.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi (dual-band), Bluetooth
  • Display: 14-inch LED-backlit HD (1366×768)
  • Input: Full-size QWERTY keyboard
  • Memory: 2GB RAM (upgradeable to 4GB)
  • Storage: 16GB SSD and SD cards
  • Rear-facing camera: None
  • Front-facing camera: Yes
  • Connectors: 3.5mm audio jack, three USB 2.0 ports, HDMI port, RJ-45 port
  • Battery: 4-cell (37WHr) Li-Ion
  • Dimensions / weight: 347 × 238 × 21 millimeters / 1.8 kilograms
  • Colours: Black

HP is offering the HP Pavilion Chromebook for US$329.99. Available in the U.S., there is no word on whether we will also see it in Canada or elsewhere.

Read more: Hewlett-Packard

Bell launches Windows Phone 8S by HTC

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Feb 012013

Windows Phone 8S by HTCBell’s Windows Phone 8 device lineup got a little bit bigger today with the launch of the Windows Phone 8S by HTC. It joins the already available Samsung ATIV S and the Windows Phone 8X by HTC.

This affordable superphone comes equipped with a 1 GHz dual-core processor and runs on the new Windows Phone 8 operating system. Live Tiles allow you to fully customize your Start screen – and they let you see everything that’s happening in your life in a single glance. Plus, the HTC 8S comes equipped with Beats Audio™, delivering the most authentic audio experience available.

Bell is offering the Windows Phone 8S by HTC for free on a three-year contract or CA$279.95 contract-free.

Read more: Bell

Nokia begins Windows Phone 7.8 upgrade rollout

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Jan 302013

Nokia today announced that it is beginning to roll out its Windows Phone 7.8 upgrade to Lumia smartphones currently running Windows Phone 7.5 as these will not be upgraded to Windows Phone 8. The Nokia Lumia 510, 610, 710, 800 and 900 will all receive upgrade notifications during February.

With Windows Phone 7.8 installed, your Nokia Lumia gets even better.

The Start screen experience is completely refreshed with the ability to re-size your tiles: small, medium and large.

In addition, there are also new options available on your lock screen, such as having a daily background image from Bing; plus there’s improved pocket and child lock screen security.

Plus, there is increased language support, meaning even more people get to enjoy Nokia Lumia.

These new benefits, together with the new look Start screen, will make your Lumia feel like a brand new smartphone.

Once you receive your notification, you will need to connect your device to your computer via Zune for PC, or the Windows Phone app for Mac.

As usual, carriers will need to approve the update before they push it out to their users.

To make sure you don’t miss the update when it is released here, check that notifications are enabled by selecting Settings > Phone Update > “Notify me when new updates are found”.

Read more: Nokia

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.

Recap of BlackBerry 10 Experience Launch event

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Jan 302013

Research In MotionThe buildup is over. President and CEO Thorsten Heins took to the stage today for the BlackBerry 10 Experience Launch event. Here is a summary of today’s event:

  • Introduction:
  • The most challenging but also most exhilarating year in his life
  • Recognition for the RIM team for their hard work to get to this point
  • Today is not the finish line but the starting line: BlackBerry 10 will keep people moving.
  • Today is a new day in RIM’s history. Two years ago, RIM decided to go it alone with its own mobile operating system (based on QNX).
  • Company rebrands: “From this point forward, RIM becomes BlackBerry.” / “One brand, one promise”
  • Devices and BlackBerry 10:
  • BlackBerry Z10 and BlackBerry Q10 (with physical keyboard) announced
  • Irrespective of which one you choose, it will be the “best keyboard experience”
  • BlackBerry 10: Demonstration of “BlackBerry Hub” multitasking along with “BlackBerry Peek” and “BlackBerry Flow”.
  • BlackBerry 10: Demonstration of “BlackBerry Keyboard” – One thumb to do all your typing
  • Multi-language predictive ability. Able to deal with typos like missed spaces
  • BlackBerry 10: Demonstration of “BlackBerry Balance” to help separate work and personal work but applications coexist to facilitate switch back and forth
  • New features in BBM include BBM Video and BBM Screenshare which lets you share your screen
  • BlackBerry Remember demonstration
  • BlackBerry Camera demonstration with TimeShift
  • Picture Editor demonstration
  • BlackBerry Story Maker: Video creation
  • BlackBerry World: Over 70,000 applications available at launch including Skype, Amazon Kindle, WhatsApp, SAP, Angry Birds Star Wars
  • BlackBerry World: All major record labels, TV and movie studios onboard
  • Availability:
  • US: BlackBerry Z10 coming in March from major carriers
  • Canada: BlackBerry Z10 will be available starting February 5th. Pricing will start at CA$149.99 with a three-year contract.
  • UK: BlackBerry Z10 to launch on January 30th
  • BlackBerry Q10 expected to launch in April in U.S.
  • In closing, Heins announced that Alicia Keys has been hired as BlackBerry Global Creative Director.

And that’s a wrap. Specific details about devices and availability to follow shortly.