HTC U Ultra Released in Canada for a Lofty Price

March 21, 2017  by Ayla Ylanen
Up until now, the HTC U Ultra was only available for pre-order in the US, and orders were just shipped out 2 weeks ago. But Canadians can now unexpectedly purchase an unlocked HTC U Ultra smartphone directly from HTC's website for $999 CAD. There are three colour options: Brilliant Black, Ice White, and Sapphire Blue.

Key Features:

  • Reflects U - Designed to reflect the best U; The Ultra’s molded glass front and back accentuates the symmetrically fluid blend between polished metal and stunning glass.

  • Puts U on Top - Get updated, not interrupted. The U Ultra’s second screen gives you the info you need, at your fingertips. The big 5.7" screen is great for everyday use, while the new second screen is perfect for fast, convenient access to the things you use the most—top contacts, app shortcuts, event notifications and more.

  • Listens to and Hears U - Because your inner ear is as unique as your fingerprint the HTC USonic audio platform analyzes your inner ear and automatically adapts the sound profile to optimize your listening experience. Four high-sensitivity omnidirectional mics capture positional sound in your video and audio recordings, allowing you to record 360-degree immersive audio that’s just like being there.

  • Captures U - Improving on our highest-rated camera yet, the new U Ultra gives you photos with less blur, super-fast laser focus, new Phase Detection Auto Focus (PDAF) and bigger pixels for better photo quality at night. The new selfie camera on HTC U Ultra lets you easily switch between the high resolution detail of 16MP and the unparalleled 4x light sensitivity* of new UltraPixel™.

  • Learns From U - Introducing HTC Sense Companion - the personal companion that’s always learning from you, and the things you do every day. Paired with built-in voice recognition, it’s able to recognize your voice and respond. Just say the word to take or reject incoming calls, snooze or dismiss an alarm, send messages and even begin hands-free navigation.

Freedom Mobile's Coverage in the TTC Expands

March 20, 2017  by Ayla Ylanen
  • Talk - call and make dinner plans right from the platform.
  • Text - send a message and let them know you're running late.
  • Data - check a restaurant's review to make sure it's worth the trip.
If you have an LTE-ready phone and plan, you can now connect to Freedom Mobile's LTE network in even more of the TTC Subway stations. You will need a Band 66 compatible device such as the Samsung Galaxy A5, the LG V20, or LG G6, and will be able to talk, text, and use data on the home network. Station coverage includes platforms, mezzanines and toll booths.
Testing is still in progress so there might be some small bumps to smooth out, but the Toronto Transit Commission announced that there is cellphone coverage between Wellesley and Queen subway stations on the Yonge-University line. This makes 39 subway stations with coverage across Toronto, and the TTC plans to keep expanding until the entire subway system has coverage. BAI Communications has been doing the work, and is paying the TTC $25-million over a 20-year span. All underground subway stations are estimated to have Wi-Fi access by the end of 2017, and full wireless in every TTC tunnel is expected by 2019.


Active Stations:

Bathurst • Bay • Bloor-Yonge • Broadview • Castle Frank • Chester • Christie • College • Coxwell • Dufferin • Donlands • Dundas • Dundas West • Dupont • Greenwood • High Park • Jane • Keele • King • Lansdowne • Main • Museum • Old Mill • Osgoode • Ossington • Pape • Queen • Queen's Park • Royal York • Runnymede • Sherbourne • Spadina • St Andrew • St. Clair West • St George • St Patrick • Union • Wellesley • Woodbine

3G and LTE networks are available at the following stations:

Union, King, Queen, Dundas, College, Wellesley, Bloor/Yonge, Sherbourne, Castle Frank, St. Andrew, Osgoode, St. Patrick, Queen’s Park, Museum, St. George, Bay, Spadina, Dupont, Bathurst, Christie, Ossington, Dufferin, Lansdowne, Dundas West, and Keele

3G network is available at the following stations:

Broadview, Chester, Pape, Donlands, Greenwood, Coxwell, Woodbine, Main, High Park, Runnymede, Jane, Old Mill, Royal York, St. Clair West

Visit Freedom Mobile's website here to see the full TTC coverage map.

Image Credit: BAI Communications
Sources: BAI Communications   |   CBC News   |   Freedom Mobile   |   Toronto Transit Commission

Deciphering Device Elemental Resistance Ratings

March 16, 2017  by Ayla Ylanen
Smartphones come with a resistance certification called an Ingress Protection Code or IP rating. This rating specifies the type of protection offered by the device, and what kind of environments the device can be used in. The rating is assigned to each device after multiple tests have been run. Device manufacturers do not assign the ratings - it is up to the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). (For those of you who are new to this, an IP rating is completely different from Internet Protocol IP addresses - which have nothing to do with water resistance.)

The IP rating is made up of "IP" followed by 2 numeric digits. The first number indicates protection against solids (dust), and the second number indicates protection against liquids. The higher the rating, the better the protection. Keep in mind that water pressure also comes into play, and damages will be more significant if a device is under pressure like deep water or at the mercy of a jet, as opposed to raindrops or a quick splash in the toilet bowl.

Even if a smartphone is completely protected against dust, it doesn’t mean that it is necessarily water resistant - especially not under pressure. A device with a IP67 rating is not any better than a IP58 rating - The IP67 can withstand dust, but the IP58 can be immersed under water for longer. It all depends on your specific needs. Current "waterproof” smartphones usually feature an IP rating of IP68 and use either physical seals or a nano-coating of ultrathin polymer that acts as a hydrophobic barrier. There are numerous companies researching and providing liquid-repelling nanocoating and this technology will no doubt continue to improve in the near future. 

A quick guide to IP ratings, as defined in international standard IEC 60529:

First Digit - Solids (From X to 6)

  • X     Not tested yet
  • 0     No protection against any contact and ingress of objects
  • 1     Protection against solids measuring up to 50 mm
  • 2     Protection against solids up to 12 mm
  • 3     Protection against solids up to 2.5 mm
  • 4     Protection against solids up to 1 mm
  • 5     Protection against dust contact, but ingress of dust is not entirely prevented.
  • 6     Complete protection against dust, and no ingress of dust.

Second Digit - Liquids (From X to 8)

  • X     Not tested yet
  • 0     No protection
  • 1     Protection against dripping water (condensation or vertically falling drops)
  • 2     Protection against dripping water when vertically tilted at 15°
  • 3     Protection against spraying water at any vertical angle up to 60°
  • 4     Protection against splashing water from any direction
  • 5     Protection against water jets from all directions
  • 6     Protection against powerful water jets against the enclosure
  • 7     Protection against immersion in liquids between 15 cm and 1 m in depth​​​​
  • 8     Protection against immersion in liquids for long periods, and also in deep water pressure


  • Most resistance testing is done in fresh water. Devices aren't guaranteed to survive salt water, unless specifically stated.

  • Temperatures lower or higher than 15-35 degrees Celsius (60-95 Farenheit) could also cause damage

  • Make sure any flaps or ports on the device are closed before submerging! Also avoid pressing any buttons while the device is submerged or water could enter and cause damage.

  • Make sure any device is completely dry before charging!

  • Not all IPX8 rated devices are created equal! Consult the manufacturer’s specifications if this is an important feature for you.

Below is an (incomplete!) list of some of the devices with dust and water resistance. If you want to add anything to list, let us know at
  • CAT S30 - IP68
  • CAT S60 - IP68
  • Crosscall Trekker X2 - IP67
  • HTC Bolt - IP57
  • HTC Butterfly 3 - IP67
  • iPhone 7 - IP67
  • iPhone 7 Plus - IP67
  • Kyocera DuraForce PRO - IP68
  • Kyocera DuraForce XD - IP68
  • Kyocera Hydro AIR - IP57
  • Kyocera Hydro Reach - IP57
  • Kyocera Hydro Shore - IP57
  • Kyocera Hydro View - IP57
  • Motorola Moto G Turbo Edition - IP67
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 Active - IP67
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 - IP67
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 Active - IP67
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini - IP67
  • Samsung Galaxy S7 - IP68
  • Samsung Galaxy S7 edge - IP68
  • Samsung Galaxy Xcover 3 - IP67
  • Samsung Galaxy S7 Active  - IP68
  • Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017) - IP68
  • Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) - IP68
  • Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017) - IP68
  • Sony Xperia Z - IP57
  • Sony Xperia Z1 - IP58
  • Sony Xperia Z2 - IP58
  • Sony Xperia Z3 - IP68
  • Sony Xperia Z3 - IP68
  • Sony Xperia Z5 - IP68
  • Song Xperia Z5 Compact - IP68
  • Sony Xperia X Performance - IP68
  • Sony Xperia XZ - IP68
  • Sony Xperia XZ Premium - IP65/IP86

Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) Launches in Canada this Friday

March 15, 2017  by Ayla Ylanen
Launching in Canada this Friday, the Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017)! Elegance in its purest form. Crafted with minimalism in mind for maximum enjoyment, its highly resistant rear 3D Glass and optimal 5.2” display fuse together flawlessly to provide a remarkably seamless design. Design that is a delight to hold. Sitting perfectly level with the rear casing the absence of any camera protrusion allows for uniformly smooth and symmetrical design from all angles.

Key Features:

  • Metal Frame and 3D Glass - Drawing on Samsung's premium design heritage. With a sleek camera and home key, these devices are more seamless than ever and comfortable to hold and use.

  • Enhanced 16-Megapixel Cameras - Capture important memories with the enhanced front and rear cameras, which are now more stable with accurate autofocus, resulting in vibrant and clear photos and selfie even in low-light conditions. The camera offers a simplified UX, including easy swipe to quickly change modes or instant filters to activate picture effects.

  • Safeguarded for the Unexpected - Galaxy A takes the hassle out of everyday tasks. For the first time on the A series, these smartphones offer IP68 water and dust resistance, allowing them to withstand the elements, including rain, sweat, sand and dust, making the devices suitable for nearly any activity or situation.

  • Samsung Pay - Make safe and secure mobile payments almost anywhere through Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST) and Near Field Communication (NFC) technology.

  • Mega Memory - Seamless balance, signature performance. The Galaxy A provides expanded, larger memory, as well as expandable storage with microSD support up to 256GB. Also back up, upgrade and sync your data across all your Galaxy devices so everything is right where you need it. Even better, every Samsung Cloud account comes with 15 GB of storage.

Compare the Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) and the A5 (2015)

Compare other Samsung devices

 Availability & Pricing:

Bell Mobility | Available March 17th, 2017

  • Full price: $999.99
  • 2-year term: TBA

Fido | Available March 17th, 2017

  • Full price: $999.00
  • 2-year term: TBA

Telus | Available March 17th, 2017

  • Full price: TBA
  • 2-year term: TBA

Rogers | Available March 17th, 2017

  • Full price: TBA
  • 2-year term: From $0

SaskTel Continues to Expand LTE Coverage in Rural Saskatchewan

March 13, 2017  by Ayla Ylanen
SaskTel has been busy executing their plan to invest over $300 million in capital into Saskatchewan throughout 2016 and 2017, and another $1.4 billion through until 2021. Most recently, 146 towers that serve rural communities across Saskatchewan have been upgraded to LTE coverage. Locals now have access to speeds up to 10 times faster than on the older 4G network. Southern Saskatchewan is now up to speed, and 92% of the province as a whole. Full coverage is expected by next month.
"Our government understands the unique challenges Saskatchewan's rural areas face and enhanced cellular service will provide rural customers with a valuable tool for continued success in today's world of commerce,” said Dustin Duncan, Minister Responsible for SaskTel.
Ron Styles, SaskTel President and CEO said, "SaskTel is committed to investing in infrastructure that will position the company to lay the groundwork for future network enhancements, such as the introduction of Voice over LTE (VoLTE). We understand that rural customers want access to the highest speeds available and we are working hard to deliver a world class cellular network in all rural areas.” 

Full list of most recently upgraded towers:
Alameda Corning Humboldt Norquay Spy Hill
Annaheim Crooked Lake Imperial Ochapowace IR St. Louis
Antler Crutwell Insinger Odessa St. Walburg
Arborfield Cudworth Invermay Ogema Star City
Archerwill Cupar Ituna Osage Stockholm
Arcola Dana Katepwa Outram Storthoaks
Beaufield Debden Kawacatoose FN Oxbow Sturgeon Lake (Deer Ridge)
Benson Denholm Kelvington Pangman Sturgis
Bertwell Dinsmore Kenosee Lake Pasqua Lake Tisdale
Bienfait Domremy Kipabiskau Park Peebles Tobin Lake
Big River Duck Lake Kipling Preeceville Vibank
Big River IR Dysart Lake Alma Punnichy Wadena
Biggar Edenwold Lampman Qu'Appelle Waldron
Birch Hills Edgeley Langbank Quill Lake Wapella
Blaine Lake Endeavour Lanigan Radville Warmley
Blewett Englefeld Lashburn Raymore Watrous
Bowlby Lake Esterhazy Leask Red Deer Hill Watson
Brendenbury Estuary MacDowall Redvers Wawota
Bruno Etomami Macklin Reserve Westbend
Buchanan Fairy Hill (Piapot IR) Maidstone Reward White Bear
Calder Fishing Lake IR Manor Ridgedale Wilcox
Cando Foam Lake Maryfield Roche Percee Wilkie
Canora Fort Pelly McLean Rose Valley Wishart
Canwood Fort Qu'Appelle Meacham Rosthern Wynyard
Carnduff Foxdale Melfort Saltcoats Yellow Grass
Carrot River Francis Midale Sandy Beach Yellow Quill First Nation
Ceylon Gainsborough Milestone Serath  
Charette Lake Goodwater Minton Shellbrook  
Coleville Hazel Dell Montmartre Southey  
Colfax Hirsch Naicam Spruce Home  
About SaskTel:  "SaskTel is the leading Information and Communications Technology (ICT) provider in Saskatchewan, with over $1.2 billion in annual revenue and approximately 1.4 million customer connections including 617,000 wireless accesses, 389,000 wireline network accesses, 273,000 Internet accesses and 111,000 maxTV™ subscribers. SaskTel and its wholly-owned subsidiaries offer a wide range of ICT products and services including competitive voice, data and Internet services, wireless data services, maxTV services, data centre services, cloud-based services, security monitoring services, advertising services, and international software and consulting services. SaskTel and its wholly-owned subsidiaries have a workforce of approximately 4,000 full-time equivalent employees (FTEs)." - From

Sources:  SaskTel  |  SaskTel Twitter

LG K4 (2017) is Now Available in Canada

March 9, 2017  by Ayla Ylanen

The LG K4 (2017) offers so much, but still fits in your pocket. The stunning 5.0" In-cell Display shows it all, while its 7.9mm slim form factor gives it a sleek look.

Key Features:

  • Improved Camera - Take crisp and clear selfies with the 5MP front camera. Steady the phone for a second and Auto Shot does the rest. No tapping or pressing required - smiles highly recommended. The 5MP rear camera captures moments you treasure in sharp and pristine colours, because you don't want to miss a thing.

  • 1.1GHz Quad-Core Processor - Have all your needs met with the LG K4's 1.1GHz Quad-Core processor capabilities and experience the power to effortlessly multitask.

  • Removable 2,500mAh Battery - Do more for longer by having the option to swap in a full battery for an empty one without stopping to recharge.

  • Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow - Packed with new features, Android 6.0 Lollipop brings an incredible look and feel that perfectly complements the LG K4

Compare the LG K4 (2017) and the LG K4 (2016)

Compare other LG Devices

Availability & Pricing:

Bell Mobility | Available March 9, 2017

  • Full price: $149.99
  • 2-year term: $0

Rogers | Available March 9, 2017

  • Full price: $120.00
  • 2-year term: $0

Tbaytel | Available Now!

  • Full price: $129.99
  • 2-year term: $0

Videotron | Available Now!

  • Full price: $149.95
  • 2-year term: $29.95
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