Five Best Smartphones of 2016

December 21, 2016  by Andrew Cook
Top 5 Smartphones 2016 

Continuing our wrap up of 2016 we've picked the five best Smartphones released this year. Of the 36 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 7 Plus

Apple did just enough this year with their latest iPhone to warrant it making our list. 
  • 5.5" HD Retina Display
  • 12MP rear camera - the highest rated smartphone camera by DxOMark Mobile.
  • Built in Google Assistant
  • Available from Rogers (+Fido), Bell (+Virgin mobile), TELUS (+Koodo Mobile), SaskTel, MTS, Videotron, WIND Mobile (unlocked retail) 
  • Released in September

Pixel - Phone by Google

The new Pixel, Phone by Google has a stunning, minimal design and an even better feature set.  
  • 5" display
  • 12 MP camera with laster autofocus, dual LED flash and UHD 4K video recording
  • 8.0 MG front-facing camera
  • Available from Rogers (+Fido), Bell (+Virgin Mobile), TELUS (+Koodo Mobile), and Google Store
  • Released in October


iPhone SE

The iPhone SE gave us the power and features of an iPhone 6s in a familiar, convenient package.
  • 4" Retina display
  • 12.0 MP camera with 4k video recording
  • 720p front-facing Facetime video
  • Available from Bell (+Virgin Mobile), Rogers (+Fido), TELUS, SaskTel, Videotron, WIND Mobile
  • Released in March


LG G5

The LG G5 improved on the LG G4 with a better camera and faster processor.
  • 5.3" Quad HD display with 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • 16.0 MP autofocus camera with a Wide Angle Lens and 8x digital zoom
  • Ultra HD video recording (3840 x 2160)
  • Modular Design with removable battery and camera attachments
  • Available from Bell (+Virgin Mobile), Rogers, TELUS (+Koodo Mobile), SaskTel, Videotron
  • Released in April


Samung Galaxy S7 Edge

Samsung improved on the S6 by introducing a cutting edge smartphone with a curved design.
  • 5.5" 534 ppi, Quad HD Super AMOLED
  • Dual 12 MP autofocus camera with enhanced low light performance
  • 5.0 MP front-facing camera with dual video call
  • HD video recording (2160p @ 30fps, 1080p @ 60fps, 720p @ 240fps)
  • Available from Rogers (+Fido), Bell (+Virgin mobile), TELUS (+Koodo Mobile), SaskTel, MTS, Videotron, WIND Mobile 
  • Released in March

 


Phones & Smartphones released in Canada in 2016

December 20, 2016  by Andrew Cook
With 2017 just two weeks away we are taking a look back at all of the phones & smartphones that were released in Canada in 2016. Some of the more interesting things we found in the numbers were:
  • A total of 36 phones or smartphones were released in Canada in 2016, which matches the number of phones that were released in 2015. This number is down from 2014 and 2013 release totals.
  • For 2016, LG was the #1 phone manufacturer releasing 5 devices.
  • Where fall is historically the most popular release period for smartphones, we see that the same number of devices were released between March to June (39% of total devices) as were released in September to November (39% of total devices).
  • January, May, and December saw no phones released in 2016.
 

Phones & Smartphones released in 2016 by Month

Smartphones released in Canada by Month 2016


Phones & Smartphones released in 2016 by Manufacturer

Smartphones released in Canada by Manufacturer 2016


List of Phones & Smartphones released in 2016 by Month



Top Canadian Google Technology searches of 2016

December 20, 2016  by Andrew Cook
Google A year in Search 2016 
 
Google 2106 Year in Search Smartphones 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
Google has released their annual look back at a year in search for 2016. Of the top technology related searches by Canadians it included the Apple iPhone 7, Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, Samsung Galaxy Note 7 and Pixel - Phone by Google. It also included the Nintendo Switch, the Oculus Rift and other popular devices.
 
See Google's youTube video below.
 
 

Google - Year In Search 2016




#MadeByGoogle: Google's Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones

October 4, 2016  by Jessica Linnay

This morning (or afternoon, depending on where you reside in the world), Google held a keynote where they introduced the world to a slew of new products including a VR headset, 4K-enabled Chromecast, a revamped AI assistant, and two new premium smartphones: the Pixel and Pixel XL, which replace the Nexus line of devices.

Among the hoopla surrounding the event, it was noted that the Pixel has received a DXOMark Mobile rating of 89, the highest rating ever received by a smartphone. This honour means that the Pixel smartphone camera is "the best that has EVER been made”, to date.

Take a look at some of the other specifications revealed today by Google:

Key Features:

Google Pixel

  • Full HD display: Text and images look crisp and vibrant on a 5.0" display with 1920 x 1080 resolution
  • Quad-core processor: Surf, chat, and watch all at once without lags thanks to a powerful processor
  • 2770 mAh battery with fast charging: Get up to 7 hours of use after only 15 minutes of charging
  • 12.3 MP camera: Shoot 4K video or brilliant portrait and landscape shots in any lighting condition

Google Pixel XL

  • Quad HD display: Text and images look stunning on a 5.5" display with 2560 x 1440 resolution
  • Quad-core processor: Surf, chat, and watch all at once without lags thanks to a powerful processor
  • 3450 mAh battery with fast charging: Get up to 7 hours of use after only 15 minutes of charging
  • 12.3 MP camera: Shoot 4K video or brilliant portrait and landscape shots in any lighting condition
See the full list of specifications for the Google Pixel XL. 
 

Rogers | Available for pre-order October 4; in-store October 20

  • Full price: Pixel 32GB $899, 128GB $1029 | Pixel XL 32GB $1049, 128GB $1179   
  • 2-year term: From $399

Bell | Available for pre-order October 5; in-store October 20

  • Full price*: Pixel 32GB $899 | Pixel XL 32GB $1049 
  • 2-year term: not yet listed

TELUS | Available for pre-order October 4; in-store October 20

  • Full price*: Pixel 32GB $899 | Pixel XL 32GB $1049
  • 2-year term: From $200

 Fido | Available for pre-order October 4; in-store October 20

  • Full price: Pixel 32GB $919, 128GB $1059 | Pixel XL 32GB $1079, 128GB $1219
  • 2-year term: From $400

Koodo | Available for pre-order October 4; in-store October 20

  • Full price*: Pixel 32GB $904 | Pixel XL 32GB $1054 
  • 2-year term: From $400


*Note: Full price reflects Google-set pricing as listed on 04/10/2016. Please verify with carrier websites for accurate and up-to-date outright device pricing.


Early Reviews:

Google Pixel camera review by DXOMark

Google Pixel review by TechRadar

Google Pixel review by Telegraph UK


Samsung Galaxy Note7: 7 Notes on Release and Recall

September 2, 2016  by Jessica Linnay
 
The launch and subsequent recall of the newest flagship smartphone from Samsung has been a whirlwind. Pre-orders, which took place during the beginning of August, astounded the market and exceeded expectations of the manufacturer. But only a few short weeks following initial shipments of the devices, Samsung has issued a worldwide recall. Here’s what happened:

1. On August 2, Samsung released the highly anticipated Samsung Galaxy Note7 for pre-order on its own website, as well as with select service providers including Rogers, Bell, Verizon, and AT&T in Canada and the United States.

2. The sheer "unprecedented” amount of pre-orders caused supply constraints, forcing the world’s largest smartphone maker to adjust release dates in some markets. Samsung released a statement saying it was aiming to increase production and meet the demand as "early as possible.”

3. The Note7 was made available to ship to customers from Canada and the U.S. who had placed pre-orders on August 19. Samsung Canada CMO Mark Childs warned that the "huge response” could result in limited retail inventory, as well as delayed order fulfillment, across the country.

4. Despite great early reviews, shortly after the phone made it to customers photos started surfacing online showing charred phone bodies following explosions of what appeared to be the Note7’s battery pack. Comments stated that the flare-ups occurred while the device was charging.

5. August 31 news reports advised that shipments of the Galaxy Note7 were being delayed "due to additional tests being conducted for product quality.”

6. Following reports of a second explosion and with 2.5 million units already reportedly sold around the world, Samsung decided to halt Note7 production and shipments. On September 2, the manufacturer issued a statement responding to the incidents, saying that it found a battery cell issue in 35 cases and was issuing a voluntary recall of all units of the device.

7. As of today, September 2, sales of the Galaxy Note7 have now been stopped in 10 nations and customers who have already purchased the Note7 have been advised that they can have it replaced in coming weeks. Customers without access to another device in the meantime are counseled to use caution, use OEM chargers only, and to not leave the phone charging overnight.

"For customers who already have Galaxy Note7 devices, we will voluntarily replace their current device with a new one over the coming weeks. Canadian customers may call 1-800-SAMSUNG for additional information,” Samsung told Mobile Syrup.

Moving out of the Mobilicity: chatr Sweeps Up Shuttered Carrier's Customers With Exclusive Migration Offers

August 24, 2016  by Jessica Linnay

On August 15, Mobilicity officially closed plan and device offerings on their website, and Rogers stopped activating new Mobilicity lines.

The end of this carrier’s era came as no surprise to the approximately 150,000 Mobilicity subscribers who received news in June that creditors had approved a $440 million deal allowing Rogers to acquire the entire company, while divesting certain spectrum licenses to WIND Mobile. Both TELUS and Rogers put in bids towards the acquisition.

Existing customer plans have not been grandfathered; customers were instead given the choice of signing onto a comparable plan with Rogers’ other value-brand mobile provider, chatr Wireless. Chatr is Rogers’ "deepest discount subsidiary brand”, launched in 2010 to directly take on the unlimited talk-and-text offers of then-new entrants to the national mobile carrier landscape - entrants which included Mobilicity.  

Rogers will also convert a "large number” of its 180 Mobilicity dealers to chatr-branded stores and kiosks.

Current Mobilicity customers should visit mobilicity.ca/mychatrmove to see their exclusive chatr plan options before September 29th, 2016 at 11:59 PM ET. Features offered by chatr include:

  • unlimited plans for one flat fee
  • no term contracts or credit checks
  • larger unlimited zones


Questions about your move from Mobilicity to chatr? Read the FAQ.

Curious if your area is covered by chatr? Check out the expanded unlimited zones

Want to see what else chatr has to offer? Review all chatr rate plans.

Need a new device with your new plan? Browse all chatr devices.


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