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.
TELUS Mobility is removing the bogus account set-up (activation) fee. According to the internal bulletin the removal of the fee on 3 year term activations is in direct response to Bell and Rogers. Got to love the competition in Canada’s wireless industry.
TELUS is also offering unlimited local calling for 6 months and early night and weekends starting at 6pm on new 3 year activations.
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.
As of today the follow price increases are in effect for new TELUS customers.
Caller ID OLD PRICE – $7 — NEW PRICE$8
Call Forwarding OLD PRICE – $2 — NEW PRICE$3
Local 5 Favourite Numbers OLD PRICE – $10 — NEW PRICE$15
Nationwide 5 Favourite Numbers OLD PRICE – $15 — NEW PRICE$20
Existing customers will not see their feature pricing increased.
I have something to admit, I really like the Curve Bold and Storm 2. I also have to admit that I hate the Pearl. While I’ve never posted a review for the Pearl I did get one to review a while back and I hated it so much I couldn’t use it enough to post a review. It was slow, I hated the Sure Type keyboard, didn’t like the low resolution 240×240 display and it was just a very dated design (I was playing with a 8120).
While the Pearl 9100 is powered by a 624Mhz processor and packs 256MB of RAM (both identical to the Bold 9700) plus it has a 360×400 display. I have to admit I was still skeptical. After all it still uses Sure Type and still has a smallish display.
The silicon cases in my video don’t ship with the 9100 but are optional accessories.
The 9100 I’m reviewing is a HSPA phone on Telus though Rogers and Bell will also be carrying it as well.
As I mentioned the display has a resolution of 360×400 which it’s a huge improvement from 240×240. You get more than double the number of pixels! I did find the color to be slightly washed out though it’s not a huge deal.
The keyboard has 5 keys across and uses Sure Type predictive text input – new for the Pearl 3G is the 9105; a version with a keypad that is 3 keys across. While I haven’t used a regular keypad in a long time I’m sure those who are will appreciate the the more familiar layout. Personally I’m not crazy about the 5 row keyboard since I grew up with a steady diet of regular keypads, I’ve never used a 5 row keyboard till I used the 8120. That said SureType works okay most of the time. The 9100′s relatively fast processor makes it easy to use.
As far as WiFi goes the 9100 supports 802.11n. So while I highly doubt the 9100 can utilize the extra speed you get with 802.11n it probably does a better job of co-existing with 802.11n networks in that it won’t slow your other 802.11n stuff down.
The 9100′s main feature is its messaging capabilities. You can configure the 9100 to push IMAP, POP, Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo! or AOL mail to your device. There’s also Blackberry Messenger which you can use to message with other Blackberry owners. Blackberry messenger will also let you create chatrooms.
You can download Yahoo Messenger, Windows Live Messenger, Google Talk, AIM, ICQ, Flickr, Twitter, MySpace, Facebook and even a TiVo program all from RIM via the Blackberry App World program.
There are multimedia keys on top of the 9100 in addition to the volume buttons on the right. On either side are soft keys whose functions can be redefined (by default the right is a camera shutter button) while the left is a voice dial key.
There are multimedia keys to control music and video playback on top of the 9100.
Speaking about the music player I’ve always like one of the 9700 so I like the 9100′s. It’s easy to use and has just enough features to keep me happy.
You get around 256MB of storage built in which you can expand to 16GB using Micro SDHC cards (you get 2GB in the box). The MciroSDHC card is located behind the battery cover – you have to remove the battery to access it. As far as write speed goes I got around 5 or 6MB per second. I have a feeling I would have observed better numbers if I had a faster memory card.
When browsing the menus I noticed how similar the 9100 is to the 9700 menu wise. You get pretty much all the same programs as the Bold. It was hard finding differences so I checked the RIM webpage out. Apparently the 9100 doesn’t have Bluetooth DUN and plus you get some additional audio and video codec support.
I noticed you get a few extra games with the 9100. Besides Brickbreaker, Wordmole (my favorite), Sudoku and Klondike you also get Word Trooper and Texxas Hold’Em King 2.
You get a 3.2MP camera which is pretty standard fare. Image quality is not that bad for a 3.2 megapixel camera. The video camera records at 640×480@24fps which is actually higher res than the Bold 9700′s. Video quality is also not terrible.
The Achilles heel of the current crop of Blackberries is their browser. It takes forever to render web pages plus you can only view one page at time. On the upside once a page has been rendered the scroll speed isn’t so bad.
While the 9100 comes with a 1150mAh battery (1500mAh on the 9700) you do get a smaller display. Like most Blackberries battery life is measured in days.
To test RF performance I compared the 9100 head to head with a 9700. While both are close I found the 9700 to be slightly better. In an area with low signal I found the 9100 blanked audio more where the 9700 didn’t.
Sound Quality is good on the 9100. It has slight hiss and is ever so slightly harsh.
Now normally I find I tend to write a lot more for my reviews but for the 9100 I don’t have that much to say. I guess much of what I’ve said about the Bold 9700 applies to the 9100 as well.
So while I hated the original Pearl I don’t find the new Pearl 3G to be all that bad. Now that I don’t mind the keyboard I’m actually beginning to understand the appeal of the Pearl – particularly it’s form factor. It’s just slightly wider than a feature phone but still narrower and noticeably lighter than a regular smartphone. Another thing to consider is that horsepower wise you don’t lose anything over the Bold 9700. You get a the same amount of RAM the same speed processor and a 3.2MP camera. Of course the fact that you get so many of the Bold 9700′s goodies are a good sign that the Bold should be getting an upgrade soon (for example the Bold 9650 gets 512MB RAM).
In the past if someone said: “Howard you’re going to have to use a Pearl as your daily phone” I’d probably think about chopping my hands off to get out of it. With the 9100 though I wouldn’t complain much if that were the case.
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.
The Motorola BACKFLIP is now available on TELUS for $99.99 on a 3 year. It’s a mid-range Android phone (480×320 display, 528Mhz processor, 3.1″ display, etc) which has Motorola MOTOBLUR social networking software.
It has an interesting design where the screen is on the front and a QWERTY keyboard is on the back. You can flip it open half way so it’s like a photo frame or all the way so it’s like a phone with a keyboard.