BlackBerry Impresses with New Devices, But Not Revenue

December 19, 2014  by Allan Pulga

BlackBerry's new Classic and Passport devices were fairly well received by critics, but revenues announced today were disappointing.

On Monday (Dec. 15), I stumbled on a Forbes article whose author (an investigative attorney and physical security specialist) professes to prefer the BlackBerry Passport over his iPhone 6. He cited security (of course), larger/hi-res display, real keyboard (of course), heavy duty battery, solid construction, among a few OS and UX preferences.

BlackBerry unveiled its new Classic smartphone (pictured above) on Wednesday (Dec. 17). CNET reported that although AT&T still hasn't begun selling the Passport (which launched in September), it and Verizon will sell the Classic in the U.S. Bell, Rogers and Telus will sell the phone in Canada.

As for revenue, the Financial Post reported today that BlackBerry's "latest quarterly results showed positive cash flow ahead of schedule, better than the US5˘ loss per share forecast by analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. However, revenue was far below the US$931-million expected by the market, as smartphone revenues were lower than what analysts forecast."

In BlackBerry's defence, the company was unable to generate much revenue from new devices this quarter because the Passport (which did not sell well) just launched and the Classic was yet to be announced.

"This quarter was focused on clearing out BlackBerry’s old inventory of phones," wrote the FP's Armina Ligaya, "which brought down the average selling price (ASP) of each device sold, said (BlackBerry CEO John) Chen. But going forward, as sales of Passport and the newly-launched Classic ramp up, the ASP will start 'ticking up,' he said."

It's also worth noting that less than half of BlackBerry's revenue from the quarter was generated by hardware. The revenue breakdown was as follows: 46% for hardware, 46% for services and 8% for software and other revenue,

Best Canadian Smartphones & Plan Recommendations for the Holidays

December 18, 2014  by Andrew Cook
Looking to buy or upgrade to one of the best smartphones for the holidays with a plan to match? We've compared plans and pricing to save you both time and money.

Recommended Smartphones

We chose the Apple iPhone 6, Samsung Galaxy S5, Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and Sony Xperia Z3 as they are available from most carriers across Canada. All are considered the current "flagship" smartphones for their respective manufacturer. You can compare these phones on our site by clicking here.

Best Canadian Smartphones for the 2014 Holidays

Monthly Plan Requirements

A plan had to have the following to make our recommended list:
  • Unlimited Canadawide Minutes (made an exception for MTS & SaskTel)
  • At least 3 GB of data
  • Unlimited Text & Picture Messaging
  • Voicemail, Call Display

Average cost of the Monthly Plans we picked

If you live in Saskatchewan, Manitoba or Quebec you pay 25% - 30% less per month than the rest of Canada for your smartphone. Average cost of the monthly plans we picked by Province:
  • $62.22 in Saskatchewan
  • $62.77 in Manitoba
  • $67.77 in Quebec
  • $88.75!! in BC, Alberta, Ontario and the Maritimes

Smartphone & Plan Pricing for BC, Alberta, Ontario and the Maritimes

There is no regional competition for most of Canada so we pay the most per month for our smartphones.
Carrier Best High End Voice & Data Plans for these Phones Apple iPhone 6
Apple iPhone 6 64GB
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Image
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
Sony Xperia Z3 Smartphone Image
Sony Xperia Z3
Samsung Galaxy S5 Smartphone Image
Samsung Galaxy S5

Bell

Personal Shareable + Plus device - $110/month
  • 4 GB data
$374.95
on 2 year contract
$199.95
on 2 year contract
$99.95
on 2 year contract
$99.95
on 2 year contract

Rogers

Share Everything Talk, Text & Data - $110/month
  • 4 GB data
$374.99
on 2 year contract
$199.99
on 2 year contract
$99.99
on 2 year contract
$99.99
on 2 year contract

TELUS

TELUS Your Choice with Premium Smartphone - $105/month
  • 3 GB data
$375
on 2 year contract
$300
on 2 year contract
$100
on 2 year contract
$100
on 2 year contract

Virgin mobile

Platinum - $105/month
  • 3 GB data
$374.99
on 2 year contract
n/a n/a $99.99
on 2 year contract

Fido

Max - $105/month
  • 3 GB data
$355
on 2 year contract
n/a n/a $300
on 2 year contract

Koodo Mobile

Tab Large - $105/month
  • 3 GB data
$375
on 2 year contract
$650
on 2 year contract
n/a $225
on 2 year contract

WIND Mobile

$60 Plan + Premium data - $70/month ($60+$10)
  • Unlimited data (may be throttled after 10 GB)
  • Unlimited US calling
  • Unlimited US roaming
$859
through Apple
$299
on $400 WINDtab
$199
on $400 WINDtab
$179
on $400 WINDtab

All of the above plans come with Unlimited Canadawide Minutes, Unlimited Text and Picture Messaging plus Voicemail and Call Display.


Smartphone & Plan Pricing for Saskatchewan

With competition from SaskTel in Saskatchewan monthly plan pricing is significantly cheaper as well as the amount of data included.
Carrier Best High End Voice & Data Plans for these Phones Apple iPhone 6
Apple iPhone 6 64GB
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Image
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
Sony Xperia Z3 Smartphone Image
Sony Xperia Z3
Samsung Galaxy S5 Smartphone Image
Samsung Galaxy S5

SaskTel

Ultimate 70 plan - $70/month
  • 10 GB data
  • 150 long distance minutes
$374.99
on 2 year contract
$199.99
on 2 year contract
$0
on 2 year contract
$49.99
on 2 year contract

Bell

Personal Shareable + Plus device - $65/month
  • 5 GB data
$374.95
on 2 year contract
$199.95
on 2 year contract
$99.95
on 2 year contract
$99.95
on 2 year contract

Rogers

Share Everything Talk, Text & Data - $65/month
  • 5 GB data
$374.99
on 2 year contract
$199.99
on 2 year contract
$99.99
on 2 year contract
$99.99
on 2 year contract

TELUS

TELUS Share Unlimited Nationwide Talk & Text 5GB - $65/month
  • 5 GB data
$375
on 2 year contract
$300
on 2 year contract
$100
on 2 year contract
$100
on 2 year contract

Virgin mobile

Platinum - $65/month
  • 5 GB data
$374.99
on 2 year contract
n/a n/a $99.99
on 2 year contract

Fido

Max - $105/month
  • 3 GB data
$355
on 2 year contract
n/a n/a $300
on 2 year contract

Koodo Mobile

"Heavyweight Canada-Wide with Tab Large - $55/month
  • 5 GB data
$375
on 2 year contract
$650
on 2 year contract
n/a $225
on 2 year contract

WIND Mobile

$60 Plan + Premium data - $70/month ($60+$10)
  • Unlimited data (may be throttled after 10 GB)
  • Unlimited US calling
  • Unlimited US roaming
$859
through Apple
$299
on $400 WINDtab
$199
on $400 WINDtab
$179
on $400 WINDtab

All of the above plans (except SaskTel) come with Unlimited Canadawide Minutes, Unlimited Text and Picture Messaging plus Voicemail and Call Display.


Smartphone & Plan Pricing for Manitoba

With competition from MTS in Manitoba monthly plan pricing is significantly cheaper as well as the amount of data included.
Carrier Best High End Voice & Data Plans for these Phones Apple iPhone 6
Apple iPhone 6 64GB
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Image
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
Sony Xperia Z3 Smartphone Image
Sony Xperia Z3
Samsung Galaxy S5 Smartphone Image
Samsung Galaxy S5

MTS

Talk & Surf Unlimited Voice & Data Plan - $75/month
  • Unlimited data
  • No long distance minutes
$294.99
on 2 year contract
$199.99
on 2 year contract
$99.99
on 2 year contract
$99.99
on 2 year contract

Bell

Personal Shareable + Plus device - $65/month
  • 5 GB data
$374.95
on 2 year contract
$199.95
on 2 year contract
$99.95
on 2 year contract
$99.95
on 2 year contract

Rogers

Share Everything Talk, Text & Data - $65/month
  • 5 GB data
$374.99
on 2 year contract
$199.99
on 2 year contract
$99.99
on 2 year contract
$99.99
on 2 year contract

TELUS

TELUS Share Unlimited Nationwide Talk & Text 5GB - $65/month
  • 5 GB data
$375
on 2 year contract
$300
on 2 year contract
$100
on 2 year contract
$100
on 2 year contract

Virgin mobile

Platinum - $65/month
  • 5 GB data
$374.99
on 2 year contract
n/a n/a $99.99
on 2 year contract

Fido

Max - $105/month
  • 3 GB data
$355
on 2 year contract
n/a n/a $300
on 2 year contract

Koodo Mobile

"Heavyweight Canada-Wide with Tab Large - $55/month
  • 5 GB data
$375
on 2 year contract
$650
on 2 year contract
n/a $225
on 2 year contract

WIND Mobile

$60 Plan + Premium data - $70/month ($60+$10)
  • Unlimited data (may be throttled after 10 GB)
  • Unlimited US calling
  • Unlimited US roaming
$859
through Apple
$299
on $400 WINDtab
$199
on $400 WINDtab
$179
on $400 WINDtab

All of the above plans (except MTS) come with Unlimited Canadawide Minutes, Unlimited Text and Picture Messaging plus Voicemail and Call Display.


Smartphone & Plan Pricing for Quebec

With competition from Videotron in Quebec monthly plan pricing is significantly cheaper as well as the amount of data included.
Carrier Best High End Voice & Data Plans for these Phones Apple iPhone 6
Apple iPhone 6 64GB
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Image
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
Sony Xperia Z3 Smartphone Image
Sony Xperia Z3
Samsung Galaxy S5 Smartphone Image
Samsung Galaxy S5

Videotron

Premium - $79.95/month
  • 6 GB data
$349.95
on 2 year contract
$199.95
on 2 year contract
n/a $49.95
on 2 year contract

Bell

Personal Shareable + Plus device - $80/month
  • 4 GB data
$374.95
on 2 year contract
$199.95
on 2 year contract
$99.95
on 2 year contract
$99.95
on 2 year contract

Rogers

Share Everything Talk, Text & Data - $80/month
  • 4 GB data
$374.99
on 2 year contract
$199.99
on 2 year contract
$99.99
on 2 year contract
$99.99
on 2 year contract

TELUS

TELUS SharePlus 4GB - $80/month
  • 4 GB data
$375
on 2 year contract
$300
on 2 year contract
$100
on 2 year contract
$100
on 2 year contract

Virgin mobile

Platinum - $75/month
  • 4 GB data
$374.99
on 2 year contract
n/a n/a $99.99
on 2 year contract

Fido

Max - $75/month
  • 4 GB data
$355
on 2 year contract
n/a n/a $300
on 2 year contract

Koodo Mobile

Tab Large - $70/month
  • 4 GB data
$375
on 2 year contract
$650
on 2 year contract
n/a $225
on 2 year contract

WIND Mobile

$60 Plan + Premium data - $70/month ($60+$10)
  • Unlimited data (may be throttled after 10 GB)
  • Unlimited US calling
  • Unlimited US roaming
$859
through Apple
$299
on $400 WINDtab
$199
on $400 WINDtab
$179
on $400 WINDtab

All of the above plans come with Unlimited Canadawide Minutes, Unlimited Text and Picture Messaging plus Voicemail and Call Display.


All of the above is subject to change without notice. Information was assembled on December 18, 2014.

Five Best Smartphones of 2014

December 12, 2014  by Andrew Cook
Five Best Smartphones of 2014
Continuing our wrap up of 2014 we've picked the five best Smartphones released this year. Of the 43 phones released in Canada this year we feel that these are the best of the bunch. Compare all five right now through our site by clicking here.
 

Apple iPhone 6

Apple improved on last year's iPhone 5s and delivered the best and most popular smartphone on the market today.
  • 4.7" Retina display
  • 8 MP iSight camera with HD video
  • Available from Rogers (+Fido), Bell (+Virgin mobile), TELUS (+Koodo Mobile), SaskTel, MTS, Videotron, WIND Mobile (unlocked retail) 
  • Released in September

Nexus 6

We picked the Nexus 6 over the Samsung Galaxy Note 6 and Apple iPhone 6 Plus because it is slightly cheaper and comes with the new Android 5.0 Lolipop operating system. 
  • 6" Quad HD AMOLED display
  • 13 MP camera with optical image stabalization
  • Available from Rogers, Bell, TELUS, Videotron, WIND Mobile
  • Released in November


LG G3

The LG G3 has been one of the best reviewed Smartphones of 2014. It is a fairly large 
  • 5.5" quad HD display
  • 13 MP OIS camera with dual LED flash
  • Available from Rogers, Bell, MTS, SaskTel, Videotron
  • Released in May


Moto X (2014)

The new Moto X is a fantastic high end Android smartphone that's available at a low cost from TELUS and WIND Mobile. 
  • 5.2" display with 1080 x 1920 pixels, 16M colours, AMOLED Full HD
  • 13.0 MP autofocus camera with HDR, dual LED flash and 4x digital zoom
  • Available from TELUS, WIND Mobile
  • Released in September


Sony Xperia Z3

Sony continues to improve their flagship Xperia Z smartphones with the new Z3. It features one of the best cameras on the market along with being botth wateproof and dustproof.
  • 5.2” display with 1920 x 1280 pixels, 16M colours, IPS TRILUMINOUS with X-Reality Engine
  • 20.7 MP camera with Sony Exmor RS sensor
  • Waterproof and dustproof (IP65/IP68)
  • Available from: Rogers, Bell, TELUS, WIND Mobile, MTS, SaskTel
  • Released in October
 


Gizmodo Australia Names LG G3 'Best Smartphone' of 2014

December 11, 2014  by Allan Pulga
lgg3phoneoftheyear - Source - Gizmodo AU

2014 was a big year for flagship smartphones, as all the major manufacturers launched brand-new models. But LG's G3 was the cream of the crop, according to Gizmodo Australia.

"Not only was it practically perfect in every way, it was also quite affordable, and remains to be great value for money in the second-half of 2014 against the Galaxy Notes and iPhone 6s of the phone world," wrote Gizmodo AU's Luke Hopewell (Dec. 8).

"It’s well specced with its quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor clocked at 2.5GHz, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage, and LG’s emphasis on quality when it came to both the hardware and the software was second to none. Most impressive of all was its new screen. It’s a 5.5-inch QHD panel, which means that it’s a packing a resolution of 2560×1440, and an insane 538 pixels per inch. That’s almost unheard of in a phone these days. I didn’t want to look away from the panel once I started playing high-res video."

Canadian Phones & Smartphones released in 2014

December 4, 2014  by Andrew Cook
With 2015 just four weeks away we are taking a look back at all of the phones & smartphones that were released in Canada in 2014. Some of the more interesting things we found in the numbers were:
  • A total of 44 phones or smartphones were released in Canada in 2014. Down from 54 devices released in 2013.
  • Samsung & Sony released a total of 15 phones representing 35% of all new devices
  • 79% of phones were released between June and October
  • January, February and March saw no phones released
 
Updated December 18th: We didn't expect the BlackBerry Classic to be available to purchase until next year but BlackBerry surprised us and made it available yesterday. We've updated all of our numbers accordingly.
 

Phones & Smartphones released in 2014 by Month

Smartphones Released in Canada in 2014 by Month

Phones & Smartphones released in 2014 by Manufacturer

Phones & Smartphones released in Canada by Manufacturer

List of Phones & Smartphones released in 2014 by Month

APRIL


LG G Flex
LG G Flex

HTC One (M8) LG G Flex Samsung Galaxy S5

MAY


Alcatel OneTouch A392A Image
LG G3
LG G Flex

Sony Xperia M2 Alcatel OneTouch A392A LG G3 Sony Xperia Z2

JUNE

Nokia Lumia 635
Samsung Galaxy S5 Active
Moto G LTE


Huawei Ascend W2 Image
Huawei Ascend Y530

Nokia Lumia 635 Samsung Galaxy S5 Active Moto G LTE Moto E Sony Xperia E1 Huawei Ascend W2 Huawei Ascend Y530

JULY







Huawei Ascend Y330 Huawei U3900 ZTE Grand X Alcatel OneTouch Idol 2 S Samsung Galaxy Avant

AUGUST







Sony Xperia T3 Alcatel OneTouch Pop Icon Huawei Ascend Mate2 Alcatel OneTouch Idol X+ ZTE 432

SEPTEMBER








HTC Desire 510 Moto X Apple iPhone 6 Apple iPhone 6 Plus Samsung Galaxy Core LTE BlackBerry Passport

OCTOBER









Sony Xperia E3 HTC Desire 320 LG F60 Sony Xperia M2 Aqua Nokia Lumia 830 Samsung Galaxy Alpha Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Samsung Rugby 4




Sony Xperia Z3 Sony Xperia Z3 Compact Sonim XP7

NOVEMBER



Nexus 6 Kyocera DuraForce

DECEMBER


BlackBerry Classic

 

Droid Turbo: $200 Price Tag, Amazing Battery

November 21, 2014  by Allan Pulga
Droid Turbo - Source: Engadget

Motorola's latest phone has impressed many with its affordable price ($200) and exceptional battery life. The device, however, is currently only available in the U.S. (on Verizon).

Here's what the experts had to say about the Droid Turbo:

Engadget: Motorola Droid Turbo review: better than the Moto X, but only a little (Nov. 11)

  • Rating: 90/100
  • Pros: Long battery life; attractive Quad HD screen; powerful performance; camera a clear improvement over the Moto X's
  • Cons: Less charming design than the Moto X; no expandable memory; it's exclusive to Verizon

CNET: Powerful Droid with an enduring battery, at the right price (Nov. 18)

  • Rating: 4/5
  • "Even with its hefty design, the Motorola Droid Turbo's robust battery, powerful processor and vivid display put it on the short list for Verizon customers."
Droid Turbo - Source: CNET

PC World: Droid Turbo review: Motorola's big red phone is almost unkillable (Nov. 18)

  • Rating: 4/5
  • "If you’re locked in to Big Red and are looking for an all-around great phone that can do just a little bit more than your friend’s—and you don’t mind its uninspiring, utilitarian design—the Droid Turbo is worth your consideration."

The Verge: Motorola Droid Turbo review: More specs come with more compromises (Nov. 19)

  • Rating: 7.7
  • "Good stuff": Long battery life; useful software features; fast performance
  • "Bad stuff": Chunky, heavy design; lots of bloatware; slow camera

Now about that battery... Gizmodo's Darren Orf wrote (Oct. 30) that although Verizon advertised the phone as having a battery that lasts 48 hours, he tested it and said, "in my short time with the Droid Turbo, two days seems like a stretch."

Orf used the phone as he would any phone, unplugging from the charger at 8 a.m., using it throughout the workday (battery life was at 35% as he left work), a bit in the evening and didn't charge that night. "My phone was dead by 11 a.m. the next day."

So, we've been forewarned.

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