Apple iPhone SE Just got a Major Upgrade

March 24, 2017  by Ayla Ylanen
Apple's entry-level iPhone SE just got an upgrade. The storage capacity has been doubled from the 16GB and 64GB options that were released last year, to 32GB and 128GB. Still a small phone, but now much larger on the inside.

The new models still have identical features; a powerful A9 processor, convenient small size, 4" retina display and 12-megapixel camera with the ability to capture 4K videos. You also still choose between silver, gold, space gray, and rose gold colour options.

The new and improved iPhone SE only just hit stores today. You can buy one directly from Apple for $579 CAD for the 32GB version, or $709 for 128GB. You can also check here to see which Canadian carriers have the new SE available.

Freedom Mobile Has a New 'Ready to Go: South' Add-on

March 24, 2017  by Ayla Ylanen
Freedom Mobile (formerly Wind Mobile) has a new roaming add-on option called "Ready to Go: South".

As of March 23rd, for $20 per month, Freedom customers can get 1GB of data, unlimited text messaging to Canada, and 2,400 minutes of calling to Canada from Mexico, parts of the Caribbean and select areas of Central and South America. Countries included are:
Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Aruba, Barbados, Bermuda, Bonaire, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, Curacao, Dominica, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Montserrat, Nicaragua, Panama, St Kitts & Nevis, St Vincent & Grenadines, St. Lucia, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and Turks & Caicos

To easily activate this new add-on, Freedom customers can just dial *123# or log in to My Account.
Freedom has also renamed the pre-existing U.S. roaming add-on option to "Ready to Go: U.S." The add-on still has the same low price of $15 per month and comes with the same useful features as before; 1GB of data, unlimited text messaging, and 2,400 minutes of calling to Canada/USA calling while visiting the U.S., Hawaii, and Alaska. AT&T is Freedom's partner for roaming network coverage in the U.S.


Apple iPhone 7 & 7 Plus now come in Red to fight HIV/AIDS

March 24, 2017  by Ayla Ylanen

Out today! The new special edition iPhone 7 and 7 Plus come in a vibrant cherry red aluminum finish, and are available in 128GB and 256GB models. This new colourway celebrates over 10 years of partnership between Apple and (RED), and every purchase contributes to the Global Fund to support HIV/AIDS programs and help deliver and AIDS-free generation.

$1 can provide 3 days of lifesaving medicine.

"Since we began working with (RED) 10 years ago, our customers have made a significant impact in fighting the spread of AIDS through the purchase of our products, from the original iPod nano (PRODUCT)RED Special Edition all the way to today’s lineup of Beats products and accessories for iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. "The introduction of this special edition iPhone in a gorgeous red finish is our biggest (PRODUCT)RED offering to date in celebration of our partnership with (RED), and we can’t wait to get it into customers’ hands.”

"Apple is the world’s largest corporate donor to the Global Fund, contributing more than $130 million as part of its partnership with (RED),” said Deborah Dugan, (RED)’s CEO. "Combining the global reach of the world’s most loved smartphone with our efforts to provide access to life-saving ARV medication in sub-Saharan Africa, customers now have a remarkable opportunity to make a difference and contribute to the Global Fund through the purchase of this new beautiful (PRODUCT)RED iPhone.”


You can get the new red iPhones directly from Apple for $1029 (CAD) for 128GB version, or $1179 for the 256GB. They are also available through many Canadian carriers: Bell, Bell MTS, Eastlink, Fido, Rogers, Sasktel and Telus are already all on board!

Along with the new iPhones, there is already a large selection of other (PRODUCT)RED Apple gear, including iPods, iPhone and iPad protective cases. You can view them all here!
Sources: (RED)   |   Apple

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
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