Google Nexus 4 now available at Fido

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Feb 212013

Google Nexus 4

After a false start earlier this month, the Google Nexus 4 is now available from Fido. According to MobileSyrup, Fido reserved its first supplies for current customers, allowing them to obtain it through their reservation system. With supplies now improving, the Nexus 4 is now back on its website and available to new customers as well.

Pricing has not changed: Fido will offer the Google Nexus 4 for CA$100 with a two-year contract or CA$425 outright.

Read more: Fido

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.

TELUS launches LTE network in Charlottetown, PEI

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Feb 172013

TELUS this week announced that it has launched its LTE network in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. Customers can now expect to see peak download speeds of up to 75Mbps with average speeds ranging from 12 to 25 Mbps.

“TELUS’ ongoing commitment to offer the best experience for our customers continues with today’s launch of our 4G LTE service in Charlottetown,” said Ken Power, director of sales, TELUS. “Whether it’s on the latest smartphone like the BlackBerry Z10, on a tablet or wireless Internet key, even more of our Atlantic Canadian customers will enjoy blazing fast connections as we continue to expand this new technology, community by community, throughout 2013.”

TELUS LTE coverage for Charlottetown, PEI

Among the LTE devices that TELUS offers are the new BlackBerry Z10 as well as the Samsung Galaxy S III, Samsung Galaxy Note II, LG Optimus G and HTC One X+ among others.

TELUS plans to further expand its LTE footprint to additional communities in the province “in the coming months.”

Read more: TELUS

WIND Mobile launches Windows Phone 8S by HTC

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Feb 152013

Windows Phone 8S by HTCWIND Mobile this week launched another Windows Phone device, the Windows Phone 8S by HTC. The smaller sibling to the Windows Phone 8X by HTC, it comes with a 1GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4, 4-inch WVGA (800×480) super LCD display and a 5MP camera.

“Everyone at WIND is very excited to be offering this Windows Phone 8 device to our customers.” said Mirko Rugarli, Chief Marketing Officer of WIND Mobile. “The 8S is a great smartphone that is perfect for those who want speed, accessibility and reliability. At WIND Mobile, we have always worked hard to bring our customers the very best selection of new handsets to match our truly unlimited plan offerings. Our real unlimited data plans are perfect to team with the 8S’s ‘Live Tiles’ feature to ensure our customers can stay on top of every update without having to worry about data overages and hidden fees.

WIND Mobile is offering the Windows Phone 8S by HTC for free on WINDtab with their CA$40 plan, CA$99 on WINDtab with the CA$30 plan, CA$199 on WINDtab with the CA$20 plan or CA$299 outright.

Read more: WIND Mobile

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.

Eastlink confirms February 15th wireless network launch

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Feb 132013

Canada’s Maritimes will have a new wireless carrier come Friday. Eastlink today confirmed that it will launch its wireless network on February 15th as earlier rumours had suggested. Unlike other new carriers, Eastlink will launch with an LTE network. “There are a lot more devices available if you have LTE,” explained Matthew MacLellan, Eastlink’s wireless president.

As expected, Eastlink’s network will focus on Novia Scotia and Prince Edward Island with coverage to blanket both provinces almost completely within 18 months of the launch:

Eastlink wireless coverage

Eastlink’s smartphone lineup will include the Sony Xperia T, Samsung Galaxy S III, LG Nexus 4 and two BlackBerry 7 devices. The BlackBerry Z10 will be offered starting next month. One flagship device that will not be offered will be the Apple iPhone 5.

As for plans, Eastlink has only confirmed that it will offer wireless services as part of bundles that offer customers discounts when they sign up for multiple products. Monthly price plans are also likely but we may have to wait until Friday to learn more about them.

Read more: The Globe and Mail

Google Android 4.2.2 begins rolling out

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Feb 122013

About Google Android 4.2.2

It appears that the rumoured Google Android 4.2.2 update is indeed real and starting to roll out to devices today. A growing number of users are reporting that an upgrade is hitting the Galaxy Nexus (GSM model) as well as the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 tablets and updating them to version 4.2.2.

A changelog outlining the changes to be found in build JDQ39 is not yet available. The description that comes up during the upgrade process promises only “performance and stability” enhancements. One expected fix should address the Bluetooth A2DP audio streaming issue will be included.

Let us know if you’ve received the update and what changes you have noticed.

Read more: AndroidPolice

Canadians to buy 2.6 million BlackBerry 10 devices over next year?

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Feb 112013
RIM BlackBerry

The love affair between BlackBerry (formerly Research In Motion) and Canadians does not appear to be waning. A poll conducted earlier this month by Forum Research Inc. found that about 8% of Canadians are “almost certain” to buy a BlackBerry 10 device over the next year. Another 19% were “very likely” to buy one as well. That could translate to sales of between 1.2 million and 2.6 million BlackBerry 10 devices in Canada alone.

The survey also found that BlackBerry 10 devices were most popular with those aged between 35 and 44 and making CA$100,000 or more a year.

While that part of the survey is encouraging, BlackBerry will have a lot more work to do with the 64% that said that they were “unlikely” to buy a BlackBerry 10 device.

Sales of the first BlackBerry 10 device were off to a solid start in Canada. While no specific numbers were provided, company CEO Thorsten Heins described the BlackBerry Z10’s debut as the “best day ever” for the launch of a BlackBerry smartphone in Canada. It would appear that, at least at this early stage, BlackBerry does have a chance to establish itself as Canada’s third-largest mobile platform in 2013 as predicted by IDC Canada late last year.

Analysts such as National Bank’s Kris Thompson and Byron Capital Markets’ Tom Astle expect that BlackBerry could ship between 35 and 40 million devices in 2014.

Read more: The Globe and Mail

Image: Is this the HTC One?

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Feb 112013

Another day, another HTC One (also known as the HTC M7) rumour. The usually reliable @evleaks is back today with a leaked press render of the HTC One:

Rumoured HTC One

The image is very similar to one leaked in mid-January. The major difference is that this time we see the screen and the new HTC Sense 5 user interface. It also shows a new navigation key configuration that drops the multitasking button, keeping only the Back and Home ones. It also hints at an aluminum chassis.

HTC is expected to unveil the HTC One as its latest flagship at a dedicated event on February 19th. Aside from its rumoured 1.7GHz quad-core processor, Google Android Jelly Bean with HTC Sense 5.0 and 4.7-inch Full HD (1920×1080) display, it will reportedly sport a new “ultrapixel” camera with three 4.3MP sensor layers.

Read more: @evleaks [via Twitter]

Samsung to announce Galaxy S IV on March 15th?

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Feb 102013

If most rumours agree that Samsung will use a dedicated event to unveil its next flagship smartphone, they cannot agree on when this event will take place. According to SamMobile, which has proven reliable in the past, the event will in fact take place on March 15th. Its “trusted insider” adds that the Unpacked event will take place at a “still top-secret” location.

The report adds that event invitations will be sent out when the Mobile World Congress wraps up. At the event, Samsung will unveil the Samsung Galaxy S IV (model GT-I9500) in black and white variants. The Galaxy S IV will then go on sale in early April but not globally. It appears that North America will have to wait until May or June.

Reinforcing the April launch, a number of accessories, including a number of cases and a wireless charging kit, are expected to launch in calendar week 15 which just happens to fall in early April.

The Samsung Galaxy S IV is expected to come with Samsung’s new Exynos 5 Octa processor with Mali-T658 GPU, Android 4.2.1 Jelly Bean, a 4.99-inch Full HD (1920×1080) Super AMOLED display, 2GB of RAM, a 13MP rear camera and a 2MP front camera and a 2,600mAh battery.

Read more: SamMobile

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

Eastlink to launch wireless network on February 15th?

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Feb 092013

Canada could have a new carrier by the end of the next week. According to TechVibes, Eastlink will finally launch its wireless network on February 15th. Initial coverage will include Nova Scotia, the company’s home province, and Prince Edward Island.

At one point, Eastlink had been expected to launch its wireless network in 2011. But it has not been in a rush to launch with company CEO Lee Bragg explaining last year that, “There’s no first to market advantage for us, we’re not in a big panic. We really want to do this right.”

There are no specific details about the launch yet (especially as Eastlink has not announced it yet). Information about devices available, plans offered will come with the imminent announcement. With Eastlink offering other services such as cable and internet to customers, you can count the company offering new service bundles that include wireless.

Read more: TechVibes

Microsoft Surface Pro now available in Canada and U.S.

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Feb 092013

Microsoft Surface Windows 8 ProAs promised and despite the latest snow storm derailing launch plans in New York, today is the day that the Microsoft Surface Windows 8 Pro or Surface Pro as it is now known makes its debut in Canada and the U.S. Unlike the Surface RT, it runs Microsoft Windows 8 and allows users to run full gamut of Windows applications. As a tradeoff though, it will be slightly thicker and heavier and have a shorter battery life.

The 64GB version of the Surface Pro will sell for CA$919/US$899 and the 128GB version for CA$1019/US$999. Both versions will come with a Surface pen with Palm Block technology. Accessories including the Touch Cover (CA/US$119.99) and Type Cover (CA/US$129.99) will be sold separately.

The Microsoft Surface Pro is available through all Microsoft retail stores and It will also be carried by chains such as Staples and Best Buy.

Read more: Microsoft Store

Has Google sold 1 million Nexus 4 smartphones?

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Feb 082013

Google Nexus 4Google Nexus 4 sales may just have topped one million units. The announcement comes not from Google or LG but from xda-developers where some enterprising forum users developed a formula that lets them to estimate how many smartphones have been manufactured based on crowd-sourced IMEI numbers. It so happens that a recent submission suggests that the million unit milestone has been reached. According to forum user draugaz who has been tracking the numbers:

Ladies and gentlemen, we have just reached the millionth device!

(of course just judging by serial number, i.e. minus gaps)

ATURBK 302KPSL999998 20130205 TURKEY

Which means, IMEI prefix 35391805* is now officially complete and the next one will be started.

The same tool has been used to estimate production run totals by month. The results show that from a run of 70,000 in October, LG has ramped production up to 550,000 or more in January.

Considering that the Google Nexus 4 has been sold out more often than available and that it only went on sale just over two months ago, the million unit milestone is pretty impressive. With production volumes catching up to demand and availability being expanded to carriers (Videotron and WIND Mobile now offer it in Canada), we may be hearing about new sales milestones in the near future.

Read more: xda-developers (Source: TechCrunch)