A Quick Look at the iPhone XS, XS Max and the XR

September 19, 2018  by Chenchen Wang



Both the iPhone XS, XS Max and the XR are available for preorder! The iPhone XS and XS Max ship on the 21st of September, while the XR arrives nearly a month later. These phones have replaced the iPhone X as Apple's newest line of luxury phones, but at what cost? Let's delve a little deeper into their specifications to decide which phone is best suited for you.

In terms of pricing, the iPhone XS Max starts from $1519 CAD, while the XS follows at $1379 and the XR at $1079, setting a landmark for the most expensive iPhones ever made. All three phones are equipped with Apple's new A12 Bionic chip, which features a 15% increase in speed and a power usage of 50% less than its predecessor—kind of relevant given the iPhone's short battery life. Aside from the chip, the XR differs vastly from the XS and the XS Max, who only differentiate in terms of their size.




The iPhone XS features a 5.8" Super Retina HD display, as opposed to the XS Max's larger 6.5". If you have deep pockets, the XS Max will suit your needs, pun-intended. Each phone has a rear camera of 12MP and 2x optical zoom, along with a front camera of 7MP which will provide pristine-looking selfies. The pixel size has increased in comparison to the iPhone X, and their HDR algorithm has been optimized so your pictures will always look bright and crisp.

Battery life has also increased, but only ever so slightly. With the XS, it'll last you 30 minutes more than the iPhone X, and 90 minutes with the XS Max. They're also the first iPhones with the option of 512 GB of storage, matching the storage size of laptops and even Macbooks! That's a lot of photos and random junk you could store on a little device. Remember when 8 GB was a thing? Or when 64 GB was the max?




On the contrary, the iPhone XR is much more affordable, albeit with some drawbacks. For starters the 6.1" display is only Liquid Retina HD, meaning image quality will be less sharp (326 ppi as opposed to the XS' 458). It also only has a singular 12MP camera as opposed to the XS' dual wide-angle camera, but luckily it's front camera is the same as the XS, so you can still snap some of those fabulous selfies. There's also a lack of 3D touch functionality, so don't expect to get anything from pressing icons a little harder on your screen. The XR does have some of its own pros, including better battery life, and a pallet of flashy colors ranging from yellow to red to blue and even coral; it also has a 128 GB model that fits the bill for the average user who might desire the sweet spot between the XS' 64 GB and 256 GB.


Now that you know the quick details, which phone do you think you'll get? Remember, Samsung's newest phones are around the corner as well. Choose wisely!


It's easy to get overwhelmed with all of the different phone plans and providers as a Canadian. There are tons to choose from! Different provinces have different plans and providers, but British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and the Atlantic Provinces share the same Bring Your Own Device plans. Rate plan providers are unique, each with their own perks, but often offer similar plans because of their competition with each other. Like gas stations and fast food restaurants, they're constantly in battle—when one provider changes a plan or pricing, others quickly follow.

Yet not all rate plan providers compete against each other, in fact, they're broken up into different tiers, aimed towards different audiences. For example, Rogers, Telus and Bell are the premium tier providers and appeal to larger families or businesses, so you might have noticed that their plans are a lot more expensive than Fido, Koodo, or Virgin Mobile. The latter three are cheaper, provide less benefits and are aimed towards individuals or students. When Rogers changes their prices, Koodo doesn't necessarily follow, and vice-versa. They only compete with other providers in their own tier. A good analogy is like shopping for clothes at Wal-Mart as opposed to Lulu Lemon or Aritzia, a shirt is a lot cheaper at Wal-Mart but of lesser quality, because it's targeted at a different customer.

When people think of service providers, the first three that jump to mind are likely Rogers, Telus and Bell. These three companies rule the Canadian wireless industry and set caps on things like pricing and data bonuses. They offer the largest variety of plans with the best coverage, customer service, and flexible options like sharing data. But they're also the most expensive out of any rate plan provider for these reasons.

Next, there's Fido, Koodo and Virgin Mobile, who are actually owned by Rogers, Telus and Bell, respectively. These companies are smart and want to cater to the whole spectrum of demographics, so they can gain more customers and maximize profits. It's a lot like how Banana Republic, GAP and Old Navy are owned by the same company. Banana Republic is the most expensive and trendy, GAP in the middle, and Old Navy the cheapest. Likewise, Fido, Koodo and Virgin Mobile are much cheaper, but have less customer service and no options, like shared data plans.




There are also some smaller providers like Freedom Mobile, Chatr and Lucky Mobile, which are even cheaper than Fido, Koodo and Virgin Mobile, but with a catch: they have limited coverage. This means that you'll only get service when you're within their "zones," which often comprise of larger cities, or in Freedom's case, only a few specific major cities. Chatr and Lucky Mobile also only offer 3G data, which is a lesser version of data that is ideal for reading emails or checking text-based websites and social media, but too slow for streaming music or videos.




Let's take a look at the pricing between these providers. We'll examine their ~4 GB plans with unlimited Canada-wide calling and texting, a sizable plan and a good medium to compare.

A plan with unlimited Canada-wide calling, Canada-wide texting and 4 GB of data costs a whopping $90 with Rogers, Telus or Bell. Meanwhile, the same plan with Fido, Koodo, or Virgin Mobile is only $55, and comes with unlimited international texting. That's almost half the price of the former! The trade-off is less customer service, deprioritized coverage, and the lack of some data-sharing flexibilities. Seems worth it, if you aren't in dire need of anything that specific.




Next, there's Freedom Mobile, which provides plans with the largest amount of data for the cheapest cost, but with some serious drawbacks. First and foremost, the coverage; Freedom's coverage is restricted to a few major cities: Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, the Greater Toronto Area, and Ottawa. When you leave the boundaries of the city, your plan instantly becomes a mere shell of its full capabilities; for example, the Big Gig + Talk 8 GB plan will only have 500 MB of data as opposed to the regular 8 GB.

Chatr and Lucky Mobile are two competing brands on the lower end of the spectrum that offer cheaper plans with slower 3G data as opposed to the regular 4G LTE that every other provider has. 3G data is great for text-based apps, reading articles, sending iMessages or checking email; it'll get you by, just so long as you aren't an avid music or video streamer. Their plans are also restricted to zones, albeit on a broader scale than Freedom Mobile (includes smaller cities along the coast). Their plan with 4.5 GB of 3G data, unlimited Canada-wide calling and unlimited international texting is only $40 as opposed to Fido, Koodo and Virgin Mobile's $55. But the trade-off is limited coverage and only 3G speeds. Is it worth saving $15?

There are also some other less conventional options, like Public Mobile and Eastlink, depending on your province. Bonus data and pricing is always changing, so who knows? Maybe this comparison will swing in a different direction in a week or two. Always be sure to do your research!

Best Rate Plans for Back to School

August 28, 2018  by Chenchen Wang

School is rolling around the corner and with it, comes a bunch of wonderous plans and bonus data. Let's take a look at some of the best BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) plans in your province.


British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario & the Atlantic Provinces


Fido, Koodo & Virgin Mobile


Fido, Koodo and Virgin Mobile have cheaper plans with 4G LTE data, and some of the best coverage. Their plans are quite flexible and can be tailored to your data usage. You can also add $5 a month for unlimited calling. Plans in B.C., Alberta, Ontario and the Atlantic provinces are among the highest in Canada, and start at $45.00 for 2 GB of data.


Cost per Month Minutes Texting Data
$45.00 500 Unlimited International 2 GB
$50.00 500 Unlimited International 4 GB
$60.00 500 Unlimited International 6 GB


Lucky Mobile & Chatr


Lucky Mobile and Chatr have some of the cheapest plans out there, but with some hefty drawbacks. For one, their coverage isn't nearly as good, so expect to lose your data as soon as you leave your "zone," or your residential area. Their data also only operates at 3G speeds, meaning it'll be nearly five to ten times as slow as 4G LTE that other providers have to offer. Perfect for chatting or checking your email, but not ideal for streaming videos and music. Their plan pricing is consistent throughout Canada.


Cost per Month Minutes Texting Data
$40.00 Unlimited Canada-wide Unlimited International 4.5 GB (at 3G speeds)


Freedom Mobile


When it comes to quality and cheap, Freedom Mobile can't be beat. Their plans frequently offer some of the biggest data, at the lowest prices. Like Chatr and Lucky Mobile, Freedom has it's drawbacks in the form of terrible coverage. The moment you leave your zone, your data instantly becomes a fraction of its original, and you'll often lose signal among trees or thick walls and tunnels. That being said, they still offer data at 4G LTE speeds, so their plans are perfect for those city dwellers who travel infrequently. Freedom Mobile is only available in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and the Greater Toronto Area (including Ottawa).


Cost per Month Minutes Texting Data
$50.00 Unlimited Canada-wide Unlimited International 4.5 GB (at 3G speeds)


Saskatchewan & Manitoba


Fido, Koodo & Virgin Mobile


Fido, Koodo and Virgin Mobile offer great coverage at reasonable costs. Plans in both Saskatchewan and Manitoba are rather limited, but 5 GB for $53 is pretty decent.


Cost per Month Minutes Texting Data
$53.00 Unlimited Canada-wide Unlimited International 5 GB


Lucky Mobile & Chatr


Lucky Mobile and Chatr have some of the cheapest plans out there, but with some hefty drawbacks. For one, their coverage isn't nearly as good, so expect to lose your data as soon as you leave your "zone," or your residential area. Their data also only operates at 3G speeds, meaning it'll be nearly five to ten times as slow as 4G LTE that other providers have to offer. Perfect for chatting or checking your email, but not ideal for streaming videos and music. Their plan pricing is consistent throughout Canada.


Cost per Month Minutes Texting Data
$40.00 Unlimited Canada-wide Unlimited International 4.5 GB (at 3G speeds)


Quebec


Fido, Koodo & Virgin Mobile


Fido, Koodo and Virgin Mobile are all cost-efficient and provide good coverage. Plans in both Quebec are the cheapest in Canada and are great deals with their back-to-school bonus data promotion!


Cost per Month Minutes Texting Data
$35.00 Unlimited Canada-wide Unlimited International 2 GB
$45.00 Unlimited Canada-wide Unlimited International 4 GB
$49.00 Unlimited Canada-wide Unlimited International 8 GB


Lucky Mobile & Chatr


Lucky Mobile and Chatr have some of the cheapest plans out there, but with some hefty drawbacks. For one, their coverage isn't nearly as good, so expect to lose your data as soon as you leave your "zone," or your residential area. Their data also only operates at 3G speeds, meaning it'll be nearly five to ten times as slow as 4G LTE that other providers have to offer. Perfect for chatting or checking your email, but not ideal for streaming videos and music. Their plan pricing is consistent throughout Canada.


Cost per Month Minutes Texting Data
$40.00 Unlimited Canada-wide Unlimited International 4.5 GB (at 3G speeds)

Be sure to capitalize on these plans as quickly as you can! They'll be gone into mid-September, but don't fret if you miss out—there are always new deals to come.



Comparing Rate Plans: Canada vs. the U.S.

August 1, 2018  by Chenchen Wang

It's no secret that rate plans in the U.S. are a lot better than Canada, in part thanks to their immense competition. After all, there are more people in the just state of California than the entire country of Canada, so it makes sense that they have far more providers. Canadian plans also differ in price across provinces, where most U.S. plans are nation-wide. Their plans also include "unlimited data" that is throttled after 22 GB on average, along with tons of other perks like complimentary music and video streaming—all at a fraction of the price. What happens when we compare plans?

For starters, let's take a look at the U.S. rate plans. Their plans range from a standard plan with unlimited calling and data, to an upgraded plan with the same features, along with some additional perks like mobile hotspots, video streaming, and access to more data before being throttled. In contrast, unlimited data in Canada is relatively unheard of (save for a few exceptions among cheaper provinces like Saskatchewan through Sasktel).

Current U.S. Rate Plans


Virgin Mobile
The Innercircle
$50 Sprint
Unlimited Basic
$60
Boost Mobile
Unlimited Gigs
$50 AT&T
Unlimited&More
$70
Cricket
Unlimited
$50 T-Mobile
ONE
$70
U.S. Cellular
Unlimited
$60 Verizon
gounlimited
$75


U.S. plans average to about $60 which is already a good deal, but these plans are even cheaper with additional lines (devices) that you can add onto your plan. Nearly every plan offers 4 lines at $120.00, which means only $40.00 for unlimited calling and data per device. But we'll use their base prices for now. Since standard U.S. plans are bare-bones and don't include a new phone, we'll also be using the Bring Your Own Device/No Tab options in Canada to compare. Let's take a look at plans from Bell, Rogers and Telus, or the "Big 3" providers currently control the Canadian market.



British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Atlantic Province Plans


TELUS, Bell, & Rogers - BYOD
Unlimited Canada Calling
Cost
3 GB $110
4 GB $115
8 GB $130
10 GB $145
12 GB $155
15 GB $185


As you can see, rates for BC, AB, ON and ATL are quite high. They're among the most expensive provinces in the entire country and it doesn't help that we're looking at the Big 3 either. Rogers, Bell and TELUS traditionally have significantly higher rates than the minor rate plan providers like Koodo, Fido, Virgin Mobile and the others, because they offer 24/7 support and have data is shareable between devices. They frequently offer bundles and deals with Internet and TV, not to mention the sheer size of these companies allows them to freely dominate the Canadian wireless industry.

Luckily, there are much cheaper alternatives through minor rate plan providers. These providers offer standalone packages with data that isn't shareable and their support is often self-serve; but cheap is cheap, right? Let's inspect our options:

"
Koodo, Fido & Virgin Mobile - BYOD
Unlimited Canada Calling
Cost
2 GB $55
5 GB $65
7 GB $75
10 GB $90


The prices with Koodo, Fido & Virgin Mobile are significantly cheaper than Bell, Rogers or TELUS. The same 10 GB plan costs a whopping $145 with the Big 3 and only $90 with a minor rate plan. That's a difference in price by $50 a month, or $600 a year (which is roughly equivalent to 75 Booster Juices in savings, mind you). All of this in mind, it's still hard to compare with the U.S. plans, which are significantly cheaper and offer far more data.



Chatr & Lucky Mobile
Unlimited Canada Calling
Cost
5.5 GB $45
6.5 GB (with U.S. Calling) $50


Chatr and Lucky Mobile are relatively new minor carriers that have even cheaper plans, but only data at 3 G speeds (enough to browse the internet, but stream music and videos at much slower speeds). Consider their 5.5 GB plans, which include a bonus 500 MB of data, and at $45, is cheaper than Koodo's $65 5 GB plan. But is $20 worth sacrificing 4G LTE speeds for?

Fortunately, there is one rate plan provider that offers plans with 4G LTE data for cheaper, albeit with some strict limitations. Freedom Mobile's Big Gig + Data plans include high-speed data and unlimited nationwide calling with super low prices—but only with coverage in B.C., Alberta and Ontario (Sorry Atlantic!), and with the drawback of a tiny coverage zone that only spans big cities like Vancouver and Toronto. If you leave the boundaries of the Home Network, you lose the perks of your plan and are restricted to a tiny fraction of your features (for exsample, unlimited calling becomes 2400 minutes and your data becomes a mere 500 MB or 1 GB over multiple GB). Freedom also has no hidden fees and offers unlimited 2G data if you ever go past your data limit, much like U.S. providers.




Freedom Mobile (Data + Talk Plans)
Unlimited Canada Calling
Cost
8 GB $50
13 GB $60
18 GB $80
23 GB $100

The 18 GB plan is especially comparable to the unlimited U.S. rate plans which have a threshold of 22 GB before throttling. Along with a sizable chunk of data, this plan from Freedom Mobile offers unlimited Canada-wide calling all for $80— quite close in price to U.S. plans.

The Verdict: Canadian plans are most expensive in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and the Atlantic provinces. Freedom Mobile offers the cheapest plans for British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario, but with limited coverage. Chatr and Lucky Mobile offer the cheapest plans after Freedom across Canada, but only at 3G speeds and with a maximum of 6.5 GB data. Koodo, Fido or Virgin Mobile offer the best rate plan options with no strings attached. Stay away from Rogers, TELUS and Bell if you want to save!



Manitoba



TELUS, Bell, & Rogers - BYOD
Unlimited Canada Calling
Cost
2.5 GB $75
6 GB $85
10 GB $95
15 GB $105
20 GB $120
30 GB $135


Rate plan prices in Manitoba are much cheaper than the rest of Canada; their 10 GB plan only costs $95 as opposed to BC's $145. That's $50 cheaper each month! When it comes to their minor providers, unfortunately there's only a tiny range of plans available for the choosing.

"
Koodo, Fido & Virgin Mobile - BYOD
Unlimited Canada Calling
Cost
5 GB $48


Koodo, Fido and Virgin Mobile only offer a 5 GB plan for $48, which isn't terrible; but the lack of options is rather painful for the on-the-go Spotify or Twitch lover. Still not exactly comparable to U.S. plans, but we're getting closer.

Chatr and Lucky Mobile still have their same consistent plans in Manitoba, which are a lot worse in comparison to the rest of Canada given the cheaper rates in Manitoba overall. $45 for 5.5 GB at 3G speeds doesn't seem much better than $48 for 5 GB of 4G LTE data.



Chatr & Lucky Mobile
Unlimited Canada Calling
Cost
5.5 GB $45
6.5 GB (with U.S. Calling) $50


What if you want more data, but for cheaper than the Big 3? BellMTS fits this demand; they're a provider unique to Manitoba that offers highly customizable plans. Their BYOD tab starts with $25 base cost, upon which you can add data and calling options. We'll be using pre-created plans that include unlimited Canada-wide calling and different data buckets for comparison (the cost in the table below is the total cost of the plan). 15 GB with unlimited nation-wide calling for $85 is quite close to the average U.S. plan's unlimited (22 GB) plan for $60 USD. You can also choose province-wide instead of nation-wide calling to make things even cheaper (not pictured below). Unfortunately, if you want 20 or 30 GB, you'll have to stick with the Big 3.


BellMTS - BYOD
Unlimited Canada Calling
Cost
2.5 GB $55
6 GB $65
10 GB $75
15 GB $85


The Verdict: Manitoba's plans are much more comparable to U.S. They have cheaper rate plans, but a smaller selection of data to chose from. Koodo and Fido only have a 5 GB plan for $48, while Virgin Mobile also has an 8 GB plan for $60. Like the Big 3, BellMTS offers bigger data plans, but for much cheaper and with the benefit of being able to customize based on your needs.


Saskatchewan


TELUS, Bell, & Rogers - BYOD
Unlimited Canada Calling
Total Cost
2.5 GB $75
6 GB $85
10 GB $95
15 GB $105
20 GB $120
30 GB $135

Saskatchewan's plans and pricing are incredibly similar to Manitoba, save for a few small differences. The Big 3 still feature the same pricing, and Koodo, Fido and Virgin Mobile.


"
Koodo, Fido & Virgin Mobile - BYOD
Unlimited Canada Calling
Cost
5 GB $48


Chatr and Lucky Mobile are also present with their same rates, which pail in comparison to the 4G plans that are similarly priced.



Chatr & Lucky Mobile
Unlimited Canada Calling
Cost
5.5 GB $45
6.5 GB (with U.S. Calling) $50


Perhaps the most interesting thing about Saskatchewan's wireless market is their exclusive provider, Sasktel, which offers the only "unlimited" data options in the entirety of Canada. Wow! ... Except they're throttled after 15 GB, so really these are just 15 GB plans with fancy naming. Sasktel has a wide range of plans that are customizable, so you'd likely find one that fits your needs. Their pricing on the shareMORE plans isn't the greatest when compared to other providers in the province, but at least there are a variety of options.



Sasktel - shareMORE Nationwide
Unlimited Canada Calling
Cost
1 GB $65
5 GB $70
10 GB $80
15 GB $90
20 GB $110
35 GB $160
50 GB $210


Sasktel - Unlimited Plans
Unlimited Canada Calling
Cost
VIP 85
Unlimited Data
(Reduced after 15 GB)
[Only available for maxTV/Sasktel Internet Users]
$85
TOTAL 125
Unlimited Data
(Reduced after 15 GB)
$125


The VIP 85 plan is only available to select maxTV and/or Sasktel Internet users, otherwise you're restricted to the TOTAL 125 plan. Both are throttled after 15 GB, so again these are just 15 GB plans. And when you compare the $125 price tag to their regular 15 GB plan that costs $90, you'd essentially be paying an extra $35 for unlimited slow-speed data after your 15 gigs are up. This being said, like Manitoba, plans in Saskatchewan are somewhat closer to U.S. plans in terms of pricing. 15 GB isn't too far off from 22 GB, and the pricing is closer to $60 USD.



The Verdict: Plans in Saskatchewan are very close to the ones in Manitoba. Like BellMTS, they have their own rate plan provider in Sasktel with "unlimited" data options that are more comparable to 15 GB. The best rates are found through Koodo, Fido and Virgin Mobile in terms of pricing, but if you want bigger data, you're best bet is Sasktel.



Quebec


Rate plans in Quebec are priced closer to Manitoba and Saskatchewan. One thing to note is that there's varience between the Big 3; they offer a majority of matching plans, but also some that are exclusive to each other. It's also interesting to note that there are some price variations on identical plans (that will likely be fixed soon), like Roger's 4 GB plan, which costs $60, while Bell's 4 GB plan is only $50.



Bell - BYOD
Unlimited Canada Calling
Total Cost
4 GB $50
6 GB $55
7 GB $62
12 GB $85
16 GB $95


Rogers - BYOD
Unlimited Canada Calling
Total Cost
4 GB $60
7 GB $62
12 GB $85
16 GB $95


TELUS - BYOD
Unlimited Canada Calling
Total Cost
7 GB $62
10 GB $73
12 GB $85
16 GB $95


Like Manitoba and Saskatchewan, Koodo and Fido only offer a 5 GB plan for $48.


Koodo & Fido - BYOD
Unlimited Canada Calling
Cost
5 GB $48


Virgin Mobile also has its additional 10 GB plan, for $17 more, or $3.4 per GB. This plan is likely the closest in terms of value and data when compared to the U.S., considering they pay $60 USD for unlimited data (throttled after 22 GB). It's still only half of the data, but in the sea of expensive Canadian plans this is one of the best you'll get.


Virgin Mobile - BYOD
Unlimited Canada Calling
Cost
5 GB $48
10 GB $65


Chatr and Lucky Mobile also have the same plans with data at 3G speeds, but they don't really standout since Quebec's other plans are quite close in comparison (and with 4G LTE data to boot).



Chatr & Lucky Mobile
Unlimited Canada Calling
Cost
5.5 GB $45
6.5 GB (with U.S. Calling) $50

Quebec also has their own unique rate plan provider, much alike Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Vidéotron has a range of plans that are on the pricier side, but many of their plans include U.S. calling, and can also be bundled with their Internet and TV. They also end in .95s which will make your head spin a little bit everytime you read your phone bill.


Vidéotron
Unlimited Canada Calling
Cost
6 GB (with U.S. Calling) $67.95
7 GB (with U.S. Calling) $77.95
8 GB (with U.S. Calling) $87.95
9 GB $97.95
10 GB $107.95




The Verdict: Quebec is very close to Manitoba and Saskatchewan in terms of pricing and plan options. Their Big 3 has some variance in the different plans, but it's still cheaper to go with a minor provider. Koodo and Fido only offer 5 GB for $48, while Virgin Mobile has a 10 GB option for $65. Chatr and Lucky Mobile aren't really worth looking at. Vidéotron has some options that include U.S. calling, and there are ways to bundle your plan with TV and Internet.


The Bottom Line

Canadian plans are evidently quite weak in comparison to the U.S. There isn't enough competition to drive the prices down, especially in provinces like British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and the Atlantic. Meanwhile, in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Quebec, prices are more tame in part thanks to providers like Sasktel and BellMTS. Above all, it seems that our plans in the $60 range can only accomodate up to ~10 GB of data, while the standard U.S. plans include up to 22 GB or even more, depending on what the providers will allow before throttling the data.

If we want cheaper, we have to deal with the drawbacks. Freedom has a limited coverage range, while Chatr and Lucky Mobile only provide up 3G speeds. Koodo, Fido and Virgin Mobile have less quality of service and flexibility as Bell, Rogers and Telus, but are still the cheapest option for British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and the Atlantic without any significant downsides. Sasktel and BellMTS are worth looking at in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, depending on your needs. Quebec also has options, through Koodo, Fido and Virgin Mobile, in addition to Vidéotron, which has plans with bundles and U.S. calling. At the end of the day, Canadians still have little wiggle room when it comes to the wireless industry.

Photos of the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 have Leaked

July 17, 2018  by Chenchen Wang

Somebody’s getting in trouble. Pictures of Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy Note 9 smartphone have surfaced online, of a model that facetiously includes the factory sticker which reads “CONFIDENTIAL” and “NO PHOTOS ALLOWED.” Not surprisingly, the phone has a striking resemblance to its former counterpart, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, and is relatively indistinguishable save for a repositioned camera and fingerprint sensor—the latter of which has since been moved to the back of the phone.





The phone was also spotted in the hands of the CEO, who was using it in public earlier this week. It’s rumored to come packaged with a new S Pen, which was redesigned to be lighter and includes Bluetooth support, that will also be integrated with features for gaming. From the pictures and rumors, it's since been determined that the phone will be lighter, have a new horizontal dual camera, and include the return of its USB-C port and headphone jack.





It’s interesting to note the S Pen’s Bluetooth functionality will allow it to be used as a remote device to control music playback, long-range self-timer, and anything else that traditional Bluetooth products have made more convenient for phone users. The phone will likely have some upgraded hardware within, smoothing operations and making things a little faster than before. It's set to launch at the end of summer and will engage Apple’s new line of iPhones in a bloodthirsty battle, the victor of which shall be left to the consumer.

As we near the end of summer, Apple Canada has resumed it’s back to school sale that features some complementary Beats Solo3 wireless headphones with any purchase of a MacBook or iPad Pro. The headphones are available in Matt Black or Gloss White, just like last year, only this time it also features a 20% discount off AppleCare as well (ideal if you have butterfingers or will have your computer in the presence of sticky liquids… which will likely be the case given university).





The Beats Solo3 headphones are powered through Bluetooth and feature up to 40 hours of listening with a lithium-ion-powered battery, but they aren’t the most ideal wireless headphones for their overinflated retail price of $329.95; for one, they don’t feature active noise cancelling, newer technology available in this price range that uses phase cancellation to mute background noise from your surroundings.

They are marketed as noise isolating though, which means the cushions will muffle outside noise to some degree. At the end of the day, they’re decent enough for a free pair of headphones. One complaint of previous models is the small cushions, which makes for an uncomfortable listening experience across longer periods of time, but of course this depends on whether you have monkey ears.





There’s also a built-in mic that makes it easy for you to Discord with your friends or activate Siri on the go. The headphones come with a padded carrying case, 3.5mm RemoteTalk cable to convert them into wired headphones, and a USB-A to USB Micro-B charging cable.

Perfect for post-secondary freshmen or if you’re looking to replace your outdated computer—given that you can justify the hefty price of $1129 for a MacBook Air or $839 for an iPad Pro and onwards. Bear in mind that this promo is offered in addition to the standard Apple education discount, which can save you a few hundred bucks off your MacBook or iPad Pro (dependent on the price at final checkout). It’s likely that they’ll continue to offer a similar promotion in the coming years, but if you want a new computer, now might be the prime time to take advantage of this deal.

Check it out for yourself at Apple's Site.