Maybe it is better that the Canadian launch of the iPhone 4 has been delayed. It looks like early adopters in the United States are having signal problems with their devices. Instead of me explaining the problem to you, take a look at the video below.
It looks like Apple Canada has removed the “Coming in July” banner on the device from the online store. This change could mean one of two things: either the July launch has been fast-tracked or it has been pushed back.
The Canadian carriers have always said that the iPhone was launching in the “coming week”, if the launch was planned for July why did they no say the device would launch next month. Also, the end of July is still 6 weeks away, giving Apple plenty of time to catch up to demand. This leads me to hope believe that “Coming Soon” is referring to sometime this month, after all it would not make sense for Apple to say “Coming in June” as the month is already half over.
The iPad and iPad 3G have just launched in Canada. If you don’t know what the iPad think of it this way: The iPad is to the iPhone like a Big Mac is to a cheese burger; a Dr Evil to Mini me, that sort of thing. It’s basically a large iPhone with a 9.7″ higher resolution display with a faster processor (1Ghz vs 600Mhz) and no ability to make calls over the network in a tradional sense anyways. There are 2 versions; one with WiFi and another with WiFi and HSPA. You can choose from 16GB, 32GB and 64GB versions which cost $549, $649 and $749 while adding 3G costs $129.
3G services requires a micro SIM card which you can get from Bell or Rogers. 500MB of data costs $15 for 30 days or $35 5GB. If you use up all your data before 30 days is up you can purchase more. Both include unlimited WiFi at Rogers and Bell hotspots. Apparently you can sign up for Rogers plus purchase more data using just the iPad. There’s no need to phone in. Both provide tools to let you view your usage from the iPad.
Bell is allowing use of their Mobile TV until August 31st. Rogers is working on letting you share data from your Rogers phone’s existing data plan (that might come later).
You can pick up a Rogers or Bell micro SIM card from the Apple store, Best Buy or Futureshop. I just checked the Apple online store and it seems you can only choose to include a Rogers micro SIM for an additional $0.20.
Here’s the Samsung Messenger. It’s a Windows Mobile 6.5 phone with a QWERTY keyboard, 320×320 display and a 3.2MP camera. It’s available on Bell for $0 on a voice an data plan or $50 on Rogers.
With Windows Phone 7 just around the corner it’s hard to get excited about WinMo 6.5 phones. That was my initial reaction when I got the Messenger (I took it out of the box and then forgot about it). Later I realized some people are used to WinMo 6.5 personal/Microsoft Smartphone and aren’t interested in moving to a new platform.
Like I mentioned the Messenger runs Windows Mobile 6.5. I’ll be honest I haven’t used many WinMo Personal (MS smartphone) devices lately. I do own a HTC Snap but to be honest it was so boring I don’t remember where I put it nor do I remember anything about it other then that the the keyboard was nice. The last MS Smartphone I used for a time was a Motorola Q9h which was running 6.0.
Smartphone has not aged well at all and while it has decent basic functionality it feels really dated. It’s like when my sister in law makes a big turkey. First we all enjoy it, then after 4 days of eating turkey left overs we’re sick of it. That’s how I feel about Smartphone.
While it’s powered by a 528Mhz processor (standard stuff), device speed feels adequate to slightly sluggish at times. I do wish it would scroll faster in Internet Explorer. One nice upgrade is that you get a 320×320 display instead of the usual 320×240 – so you can see 33% more. It’s still not enough but it is a welcome change.
Check out my unboxing and hands on video to see the Messenger:
The keyboard is very good. The keys stick out a lot and have a nice feel to them. I thought about the keyboard a lot about how the keys stick out compared to the keyboard on a Blackberry Bold 9700. At first I thought I liked the Samsung’s keys better but after typing on it for a while I realized the 9700′s fretted keys are better for fast typing because it’s harder to accidentally press neighboring keys. I wish there were a few more shortcut buttons as I’ve always found Smartphone’s menus to be a mess so being able to skip the menu is always a nice thing.
The home screen is customized with Samsung’s WizPro (sounds like something you’d find in a men’s bathroom) software. With Wizpro the home screen is split into different sections which you can scroll between sideways. There is a home section, communities, contacts, music, photo, shortcuts, settings Yahoo finance, Yahoo search and AccuWeather.
The home section shows information like the date/time, new text messages, missed calls, new emails and Windows Live messenger messages. Communities has a link to a Facebook application along with links to the Friendster, Myspace, PhotoBucket, Flickr, Picasa and YouTube websites. Contacts is actually more of a speed dial where you choose your favourite contacts. I find the contacts feature to be pointless since typing in someone’s name on the today screen is faster. Shortcut allows you can define your own shortcuts to any programs on the Messenger.
While I didn’t fall in love with WizPro it isn’t a bad feature -especially if you don’t want to spend a lot of time setting up your phone. That said I did find it slightly laggy at times plus it also makes the home screen a bit of a mess.
Like I mentioned you can start typing in a name or number from the home screen and the Messenger will automatically search your phonebook for matching results.
Samsung includes some extra programs:
Alarms (so you don’t have to go into settings to setup an alarm)
Anniversary (no idea why Samsung included this since there is already a built in Calendar which syncs with Exchange)
Smart Converter (a unit converter)
Smart Reader (business card scanner)
I tried Smart Reader and got mixed results. It works really well with simple business cards but doesn’t work so well with cards that have backgrounds. That said it tends to save time if you get a lot of business cards.
The camera has a resolution of 3.2 megapixel with no flash. You can start it up using the camera button on the right side. Image quality is not terrible but the autofocus takes a very long time to focus. There are a lot of camera functions available including burst mode and ISO settings. The camcorder records video at a resolution of 320×240 so it’s nothing special.
After you’ve taken a picture you can do basic stuff like email, MMS, or Bluetooth it. With the communities app you can also upload them to Picasa, Facebook, MySpace, PhotoBucket and Flickr.
The Messenger is a WinMo phone so you get the standard Exchange and Hotmail push email support plus IMAP and POP. There is support for threaded SMS.
Browsing is handled by Internet Explorer. While it’s better than nothing I found it to be slow at rendering pages plus it’s very slow at scrolling.
You get Mobile versions of Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Word which are useful for editing and viewing attachments.
Like I mentioned before the Messenger lacks a 3.5mm headphone jack so you’re stuck using micro USB headphones (or using a microUSB to 3.5mm adapter).
Battery life is not terrible, you should get about 1.5 days to 2 days of battery life so it’s best to charge it each night.
I found the Messenger sounded a bit fuzzy. Maximum earpiece volume is good.
I compared the Messenger’s RF performance with a Motorola Milestone. I found that the Milestone was noticably better in areas with weak signal. When I simultaneous placed calls and went somewhere with poor network coverage I found the messenger would blank audio where the Milestone still sounded fine.
In the end if you’re someone who really likes Microsoft Smartphone/Windows Mobile Personal, Maybe you have a HTC Maple/Snap, HTC S620, Motorola Q9h, Samsung Jack, etc and don’t really want to switch platforms give the Samsung Messenger a shot. The bigger screen alone makes it worth the upgrade. That said that that doesn’t describe you then you’re probably better of trying something else.
You can now pre-order your iPad on the Apple website in advance of the Canadian launch of May 28th. Although the iPad 3G will be compatible with all three major Canadian carrier (Rogers, Bell, and Telus) Rogers is the only one to officially announce data pricing.
Earlier today the Apple website did mention a $20 option that would allow you share your existing data plan with the iPad, but that reference has since been removed.
Effective May 7th, Bell Mobility will stop selling the Unlimited on Device browsing plan that is currently avaliable for dumb phones. The UMB plan will be replaced with a 50MB data bucket plan for $15/month.
Customers currently on the Unlimited on Device browsing plan will be allowed to remain on the plan. If the customers removes UMB they will be unable to add it back to their account.
MiFi® is your own cloud of connectivity: great for personal and business use providing instant access to email, download large files, and surf the web with your laptop while simultaneously allowing up to five computers or personal devices to be connected. Easily swap and transfer files with built-in microSDHC slot providing expandable storage capacity of up to 16GB.
The Novatel MiFi 2372 is currently being recalled by Bell, Rogers, and Virgin Mobile Canada. The MiFi 2372 is reportedly experiencing a problem with the battery which causes it to swell resulting in the device malfunctioning. Customers should be receiving a prepaid envelope from Novatel in the mail to send back their device for servicing.
Bell and Virgin customers will be without their device for 6-8 weeks but will receive a Novatel U998 Turbo Stick to use in the meantime. Rogers Wireless customers will be without their Rocket Mobile Hotspot for 7-10 business days. Rogers customers will not be receiving a loaner device but should be receiving a credit to cover a portion of their monthly data costs.
Users of the MiFi 2372 are urged to discontinue use of the device immediately and not to attempt to remove the battery cover to expose the faulty battery. Novatel is also recommending not to charge the 2372 until it has been returned from servicing.
It’s a WinMo 6.5 non touchscreen device with a QWERTY keyboard. It has a square 320×320 display so you can view 12 icons at once instead of the usual 8. It also has a 528Mhz processor, 170MB of RAM, ~300MB of storage, MicroSDHC card slot, 3.2 megapixel camera, WiFi and BT.
The screen is taller than most non touchscreen WinMo devices and the keyboard is very good.
It’s aimed at business users; it has no 3.5mm headphone jack and there’s no camera flash.
That said I don’t really recommend anyone buy a WinMo 6.5 device and with WinMo 7 around the corner it’s hard to recommend this device to anyone. That said the price is competitive ($0 introductory price on Bell on a 3 year) plus if you need a WinMo phone for work and don’t want a touchscreen then you should consider this one.