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The latest models coming to Canada

It’s an interesting season for smartphones. Everyone is launching something new – spiffy hardware, mobile operating systems, or both. Here's a peek at what to expect in Canada over the next few months, starting with Nokia, which has two new Windows Phone 8 models arriving in November. The flagship Lumia 920 has a 4.5-inch, high-definition-plus-WXGA display, a touchscreen that can be operated while wearing gloves, plus near-field communication (NFC) and wireless charging. But its main claim to fame is the image-stabilized 8.7-megapixel camera that, though it doesn’t quite live up to its now-infamous simulated demonstration video, gives excellent results. Expect it in the fourth quarter, likely November, with price and carriers to be announced.

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The Nokia Lumia 820 is the 920’s little brother, with a 4.3-inch screen. Like its sibling, it offers NFC and has a clip-on back that allows it to charge wirelessly. It’s coming in the fourth quarter, likely November, with price and carriers TBA.

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Motorola is tossing its hat into the Android ring with the new RAZR HD LTE, which not only has a 4.7-inch Gorilla Glass screen, it promises all-day battery life. Coming soon to Rogers, price TBA.

Thomas Burke

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ATIV is Samsung’s new branding for its Windows devices, and the Windows Phone 8 model is the ATIV S. With its 4.8-inch, high definition Super AMOLED display, it boasts the biggest screen in our roundup. It also offers NFC. It will be available after Windows Phone 8 hits the market later this year. Carriers and pricing are to be announced.

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Samsung’s current flagship Android model is the Galaxy S III. It, too, has a 4.8-inch Super AMOLED screen, NFC and an 8-megapixel camera. It starts at $599.99 for the 16-gigabyte model, without contract, at Rogers, $650 at Telus and $649.95 at Bell.

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The Sony Xperia Ion is yet another Android offering, exclusive to Rogers. Its 4.6-inch high definition display is driven by Sony's Bravia engine. It has the highest-resolution camera of the bunch, at 12.1 megapixels, and records full 1080p HD video. An optional dock allows it to interact with your TV. The no-contract price is $549.99.

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HTC has hung its star on the Windows Phone 8 operating system. Its colourful flagship model, the 8X, boasts a 4.3-inch high definition screen protected by Gorilla Glass 2, and it plays tunes using Beats Audio. It will be available in November from Bell and Rogers. Pricing is TBA.

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HTC also announced the slightly smaller 8S with a 4-inch screen with Gorilla Glass. It, too, will be available in November. Carriers are TBA.

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Apple’s iPhone 5 features a 4-inch Retina display and is thinner and lighter than the iPhone 4S, but taller. There are 3 models: 16 gigabyte, 32 GB and 64 GB. Available from Bell, Rogers and Telus starting at $699 (no contract) for the 16 GB model.

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LG’s new Optimus G is arriving in Canada in November. Running Android Ice Cream Sandwich (a Jelly Bean upgrade will arrive in the second quarter of next year), it has a quad core processor and a 4.7-inch WXGA display.

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RIM has been doling out bits of information about its BlackBerry 10 devices, which are expected in January. The BlackBerry Peek feature (above) will let you take a quick look at another app (say, incoming messages) with a simple thumb swipe, without leaving the app you’re in, or pop into that app by continuing the gesture. More information will come as the launch approaches.

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