Posts filed under 'Rogers Wireless'

Rogers and Fido customers can text HELP to 1291 to donate $5 to help Haiti

Rogers and Fido customers can text HELP to 1291 to donate $5 to Partners in Health: Haiti.

1 comment January 13th, 2010

HTC Magic and Dream to get HTC Sense + Magic to get Android 2.1 upgrade later this year

Just got an email from HTC saying that the HTC Magic and Dream on Rogers will both get upgrades which add the HTC Sense user interface. This upgrade will keep Android at version 1.5

Later this year the HTC Magic (NOT the Dream) will get another upgrade which will bring Android up to version 2.1.

1 comment January 5th, 2010

Some thoughts on Rogers 21.1Mbps service

Where I live the only choice for broadband internet is Rogers cable. When I first moved in you could choose to get DSL via FCI broadband or cable via ACI. Then Rogers bought out FCI followed by ACI and Rogers-ized them. After, they disconnected my house’s demarcation point so I can’t get DSL anymore so my only choice is cable.

Now as far as cellular service goes I get strong Rogers GSM/HSPA and TELUS CDMA service in my house. TELUS HSPA, BELL CDMA/HSPA signal are extremely weak in my house (to the point that phones with poor RF performance get no signal in my house while strong phones with strong RF work intermittently). Wind cuts out just before my house according to their coverage map. So my choices are TELUS CDMA or Rogers.

Now Rogers cable plans go up to a respectable 50Mbps downlink but the uplink maxes out a measly 2Mbps – and you have to pay 100 bucks a month if you want 2Mbps plan. I don’t feel like spending that much coin so I only have the 25/1Mbps plan. 25Mbps is pretty darn fast but the 1Mbps kills me when I’m uploading HD videos to YouTube.

So I got an idea, Rogers new 21.1Mbps service has and uplink speed of up to 5.76Mbps, nearly double their fastest cable plan. I ran out and got a ZTE MF668 21.1Mbps USB modem (AKA the Rogers HSPA+ Rocket Stick) thinking I could get upload speeds of almost 6x faster. Now I realize that mobile plans have much smaller bandwidth allotment but I have 6GB available and I don’t upload THAT much stuff to YouTube.

Anyways I’m faced with a few challenges, first off I actually use Fido and not Rogers. While Rogers owns Fido, Rogers phones are usually locked and  don’t always  work on Fido without first being unlocked. Secondly it’s a slight grey area when it comes to whether I can upload GB’s worth of stuff without getting a huge bill… I’ll find that out soon enough.

It turns out the ZTE MF668 is locked – it asked me for the subsidy code when I stuck a Bell SIM in. Not suprisingly it took a Rogers SIM just fine but the good news is that it also likes my Fido SIM and even comes preloaded with settings for Fido. Just remember to tell the ZTE MF668 to use the Fido settings since it uses the Rogers one by default and won’t connected with them if you’re using Fido. Now I can’t say whether all Rogers ZTE branded MF668′s will work with Fido but the one I bought was.

Now before I start YouTubing I thought I’d run a speedtest at

I don’t get anywhere near 21.1Mbps down but I do get a very respectable 3.18Mbps up. YouTube’s next.

To test, I uploaded a 50 second 1080p video clip that weighs in around 73MB. On my Rogers cable connection with 1Mbps up it took about 10 minutes to upload, that translates to around 120kbps which is pretty much my connections  maximum. That’s a pretty consistent. Speaking of consistency my cable does slow down during the evening when everyone else is on (lately it’s gotten a lot better), so I ran the test during the day. On to the ZTE MF668.

Long story short, the ZTE MF668 didn’t work out. Whenever I tried to upload the video to YouTube the upload would stop and get stuck. I tried it on 2 different computers with the same results. It wasn’t a Firewall/Antivirus problem because the computer I tried it on didn’t have either plus it can upload to YouTube just fine when I switch to WiFi or plug an ethernet cable in.

So, while I was happy that the ZTE MF668 worked with Fido, for me there was little point to it. While it has relatively fast upload speed there’s some strange issue that keeps me from uploading videos to YouTube. I’m going to speak to Rogers to see if they have an explanation and will update this if I hear anything interesting.

*Update* I just tried the same thing with an unlocked Novatel Wireless MC950D USB modem I have lying around. Same thing – it won’t upload.

3 comments January 2nd, 2010

LG Eve Video Editor

Happy Holidays everyone! I hope you all got the phone you wanted for Christmas.

I reviewed the LG Eve last week. While I wasn’t crazy about it LG asked me to take a look at the built in video editor. Check it out:

While the the quality of the Eve’s recordings aren’t good I was pretty impressed with the video editor. Here’s the video I shot AND editing using the Eve:

1 comment December 25th, 2009

LG Eve review

LG Eve

Here’s the LG Eve, their first Android powered phone. It has an amazing 5 row QWERTY keyboard, Android 1.5, 5 megapixel autofocus camera with flash, WiFi, Bluetooth, micro SDHC card slot. On paper it’s a solid device. Let’s check it out.

One of the things that really attracted me to the LG Eve is that I’ve recently been looking for a replacement for my HTC Fuze. Don’t get me wrong, I still love my Fuze and I think that Windows Mobile is a fairly solid platform with quite a lot of very solid apps. No UI is better than SPB Mobile Shell 3.0. Even HTC TouchFlo has come a long way since it’s initial launch on the HTC Tytn II. What has been frustrating me lately is the lack of newer apps that I would like to try like foursquare and Yammer. I don’t love the iPhone for work leaving the Android the only OS as a viable alternative for me. Since Android is the new kid on the block, there is a lot of current development on the Android platform.

My work phone NEEDS to have a keyboard because I actually do a lot of writing and texting making a hardware keyboard mandatory. I hate the Dream/G1 because of the awkward lip that it has. While it seems like a small deal, if you type on it long enough, the hand positioning required to work around the lip causes stress on the hand. From a form factor perspective, the LG Eve is ideal. The screen is a beautiful 3 inches. It sports a 5 row keyboard which is really nice but it took me a while to get used to. I’m so used to 4 rows and I automatically press the alternate key to want to use the numbers which is unneeded. Everything is fairly well placed. It comes with a dedicated headphone jack which is a nice touch in comparison to the HTCs.

Unlike the Dream, the Eve allows you to use a soft keyboard when you don’t have the hardware keyboard open. It chooses a T9 keyboard which is not a bad choice. The screen is fairly narrow and fitting any more keys would make it really hard to type. It would have been nice if it implemented Cootek’s keyboard for the Android but the LG keyboard works decently well because it’s assisted with an auto-complete/auto-correct. The auto-complete/auto-correct feature however is cumbersome to use with the slide-out keyboard because of its implementation. I had a really frustrating time with the auto-complete feature with the hardware keyboard for a number of reasons. The first is that the only way I could select a word on the screen is to use my finger to select the word that I want. Intuitively, I would expect to be able to use the arrow key to select the word I want. I found that pressing the right arrow key, it would select the word. Secondly, you need to press the space bar twice to select a word and move on. While it seems like a small deal, it’s not intuitive and becomes cumbersome when you’re using an instant message client. The end result is that the last word is repeated as an extra IM in the native Google Talk client. So for instance, if I intend to type “The end is near”, what you’ll see on the screen is “The end is near” followed by “near” in the next line because it’s executing the auto-complete after the fact. The good news is that it forces you to use proper punctuation and help with your English grammar.

LG made a few interesting design choices. For one, it forgoes the dedicated answer and end button along with a navigation pad. The only buttons in front are the back, home and menu buttons. The menu button is a physical button that you can actually press while the back and home buttons are the annoying touch sensitive buttons that ‘press’ if you accidentally brush your finger on them. The home and back buttons means something unexpected will happen  anytime you hand the Eve to someone – I hate touch sensitive buttons.

Anyways I wasn’t sure how I’d like it but it actually worked out decently because it compensated itself with some good choices on it’s customized home screen UI. It has a very different design and function from the HTC Sense but it works well in its own right. It has a sticky panel which follows you from screen to screen the same way the iPhone interface does. This is particularly useful because there is no dedicated phone button. I also like that the home screen rotates through – if you scroll to the left home screen and scroll left again it will take you to the right home screen.  I’ve always found it a bit annoying that the default Android screen doesn’t do this.

The main menu has also been customized. Basically you can view all your apps from your main menu. There are different categories which you can put apps in. The idea is similar to LG’s stupid S-Class interface but it actually works on the Eve since you don’t have to scroll side to side to view each category’s apps.

Another small enhancement I like is you can turn WiFi/BT on and off by pulling down the top. It beats having to dig around the settings like you do on a plain Android phone.

LG includes Moxier Mail with the LG. Basically Moxier lets you connect the Eve to an Exchange server so you can have push email, contacts, tasks, calendar, etc. I didn’t test this.

If you use Google stuff like Google Mail, calendar, talk, maps then the Eve LG has apps for those.

You also get Quick Office so you can edit word, excel, power point. If you want to create those files you’ll have to pay extra. So do yourself a favour and save a couple of blank documents on a SDHC card.

The camera has a resolution of 5 megapixels. It’s capable of taking decent (for a camera phone) pictures. I did find that the camera uses relatively slow shutter speeds which makes it less useful if your subject isn’t posing. I tried taking a lot of baby pictures with the Eve and got many many blurry pictures because of this. The camera does have some nice features including ISO setting and even a manual focus!

Video recording is much less impressive as you’re limited to a maximum resolution of 320×240 – it felt like 2006-2007 when I saw the maximum resolution. You can use the flash as a video light but it has a very limited range.

The video editor allow you to trim video add sound or subtitles or change the video’s colour. Really, who cares when the maximum resolution is only 320×240.

Music playback is handled by the default android music player. It’s adequate.

I noticed a divx option in the settings. I didn’t test it much but the few divx files I grabbed off of the internet wouldn’t play.

Now LG is really pushing the Eve’s social networking capabilities. Out of the box you get a Facebook, bebo, twitter and Myspace programs. As far as instant messages goes there’s MSN messenger, yahoo instant messenger and Google talk.

There is a programmed called SN Manager which handles Facebook, Bebo and Twitter. I tested mostly SN Manager’s Facebook feature against the Facebook app you can download from the Android Marketplace.  I’m sad to say I actually preferred the one you can download from the Android marketplace.  SN Manager’s UI takes up too much screen space. SN Manager should allow you to read messages in your inbox but when I used this feature it showed my inbox as being empty.

While using the phone I had a few anomalies that drove me crazy. For one, the Eve would sporadically freeze or not wake up giving me a Black Screen of Death. The only way to get around it was to physically remove the battery which made it frustrating to use. It can take quite a while for the Eve to boot up after you remove the battery. Also, if you’re someone who keeps their finger nails very short you’ll have a lot of trouble removing the battery. I thought the crashing might be specific to my review unit but the second review unit is equally unstable. Hopefully LG will provide updates that fix this.

Another problem was that when I put in my work IMAP settings for mail, it would suddenly spawn hundreds of threads on the server causing me to hog up a ton of server resources. However, when I had a colleague put on their settings on the phone, it seems to work fine. I had no problems with the same settings on my Windows Mobile and iPhone. It also kept complaining that it was running out of memory every so often which I haven’t seen before on my HTC Magic.

RF performance is quite poor. I found the Eve’s incoming sound was breaking up badly in areas where a Nokia N86 barely had any problems.  Sound quality is quite good as is the maximum earpiece volume. One minor issue I noticed with the earpiece was that it was that the ear piece’s sweet spot is kind of hard to find and hold.

I really wanted to like the Eve, it’s got a relatively nice form factor. Aside from the idiotic touch sensitive buttons it has a very nice keyboard, fits well in your hand is has good build quality. However in the end the Eve was a big disappointment. What good is a phone if it isn’t stable? I wouldn’t be as bothered if say the browser crashed occasionally but for the entire phone to crash – well that’s unacceptable.

It’s been a long long time since I’ve played with a phone that crashes this much. Having to take the battery out to reboot it is even worse. What do you do if it’s really cold and you don’t want to take your gloves off to pop the battery? If it just happened to one unit I could blame it on that particular unit but I noticed this on 2 different ones. I was also disappointed with the video recorder, I mean the Eve has a 5 megapixel camera and a built in video editor so I was expecting a little more. The RF is also quite lackluster. RF performance may not be a deal breaker for everyone if they have strong signal everywhere they go but these days many phones have decent RF.

Now I realize I might have come off a bit harsh in the review – if LG fixes the freezing I’d say the Eve isn’t a bad phone phone. But unless that happens all I can say is that the Eve is a decent first try but LG really needs to try harder next time.

Howard Chui and Kelvin Kang 12.17.2009

56 comments December 18th, 2009

Video: Very quick comparison of the LG Eve and Samsung Galaxy

I have a LG Eve and Samsung Galaxy sitting around. They’re both Android phones.

While they’re on 2 different carriers I thought I’d do a very quick comparison of the 2. Full reviews of each device will come soon.

3 comments December 15th, 2009

Video: My review of the Blackberry Bold 9700

Here’s my review of the Blackberry Bold 9700:

click more to get a quick run down of what I thought:

BTW most of my reviews are in high definition so check that feature.

I liked the Bold 9000 and while it has been a long time since it came out chances were I’d like the 9700 as well.

Turns out it was true. Here are some of the improvements the 9700 brings ot the table:

  • trackpad (no more replacing trackballs)
  • smaller form factor
  • better build quality
  • slightly high resolution display
  • OS 5.0 (unless you upgraded your 9000 too)
  • 3.2mp autofocus camera

You do lose a stereo speaker and I guess you might not like the smaller size if you have huge hands.

You still get

  • good messaging capabilities out of the box
  • pretty snappy performance (with the exception of the browser)
  • very efficient multitasking
  • reasonably good integration between apps
  • a good QWERTY keyboard
  • decent battery life for a HSPA smartphone

So while I really liked the 9700 I’d like to see a better camera. The 9700′s camera doesn’t really suck but it could be better. Especially 3.2mp is basically status quo. The browser needs to go – RIM, hurry up and bring a new faster browser out!

Howard Chui


3 comments December 8th, 2009

Rogers Launches LG Eve


Wanting to get as many new (almost in stock) devices launched before Telus and Bell turn on their new HSPA network, Rogers Wireless has launched the LG Eve.  The LG Eve is currently listed on the Rogers website as “out of stock” but will retail for $49.99 on a 3 year term, $299.99 on a 2 year term, $349.99 on a 1 year term, and $399.99 without an agreement.

The Eves slick S-class interface lets you navigate your social networks, contacts, multimedia and Android Market apps seamlessly. Link your Facebook™ and Twitter™ accounts with your contact list so you can manage your social networks quickly and easily. The integrated 5.0 MP camera combines with a gorgeous media gallery and video editor to provide an unprecedented multimedia experience from your smartphone. Once youve discovered all the great features that come with the Eve, explore the Android Market for new and exciting apps to customize your LG Eve.

Head to you local Rogers dealer to purchase the LG Eve.


Add comment November 3rd, 2009

Rogers: BlackBerry Bold 9700

Rogers Wireless is the first carrier in Canada to launch the BlackBerry Bold 9700.  Bell and Telus will also be launching the all new BlackBerry Bold, making it the first time that all three carriers in Canada are selling the same device.

The BlackBerry Bold 9700 offers sophisticated design coupled with high-performance features to offer users a premium smartphone experience. This 3G smartphone ensures you will receive your emails quickly and reliably. The new optical trackpad ensures easy navigation and the multimedia capabilities mean you can have fun and stay connected to the office. The Bold 9700 allows users to live their personal and professional lives to the fullest through power and performance.


Despite what the marketing team at Rogers tells us, the 9700 is commonly referred to as the “Bold” or “Bold 2″ and not the “Curve”.  With that cleared up, lets look at the key features of the device. 

3G data speeds
Large high resolution screen
Advanced 3.2 MP Camera with video capture
Built-in Wi-Fi and GPS
3 year: $299.99
2 year: $499.99
1 year: $549.99
no contract: $599.99

Add comment November 3rd, 2009

2009 Canadian Wireless Customer Satisfaction Study

Congratulations to Virgin Mobile Canada for being the J.D. Power 2009 Award Recipient for both Prepaid and Postpaid Service.



Virgin Mobile: 752
Fido: 654
Telus Mobility: 653
industry average: 662



Virgin Mobile: 758
Koodo Mobile: 755
SaskTel: 716
industry average: 642

Read the complete press release on the J.D. Power website.


Add comment October 27th, 2009

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