Case and Tempered Glass

iPhone 6S Plus tampered glass protector + case (both cheap) – 1 year later

When I purchased my iPhone 6S Plus I decided to purchase tempered glass protector and case. There was many choices that I had. I ended up going with:

Leesentec iPhone 6s/6 Plus Case Transparent Protective Case for iPhone 6 Plus 5.5” Soft Crystal TPU Case [Ultra-Slim] (Crystal Black)
– CA$6.99


Y&M(TM)iphone Tempered Glass,9H Hardness Ultra Thin Scratch-resistant Tempered Glass Screen Protector Protective Front Film For iphone 6 Plus/6s Plus (iphone 6 Plus/6s Plus)
– CA$6.99

Grand total for the order was CA$13.98. Pretty cheap investment, but how would it hold up 1 year later?

The results were pretty darn good for such a cheap investment. Tempered glass took most of the beating and did have issues, whereas the case did its job without any noticeable damage on the phone or the case itself.

Here’s the image of the tempered glass:

Tempered Glass


Let me explain the yellow circles. The circle on the left hand side at the top is an air bubble. I have no idea how it got there. It occurred about 6 months after use. There is also another small air bubble which I didn’t circle. It is located in the same area as the large air bubble (top left).

The circle just below large air bubble, was a drop via pavement. There was no damage on the body or the screen, but the tempered glass did damage fairly well. You can say that it did its job.

Last but not least is the bottom right corner circle. That occurred about 6 months after use as well. There was no drop invovled it just simply started to chip away.

In summary, I would definitely recommend a tempered glass and some sort of a case. You can cheap out just as I did, however if you do encounter MANY drops, I would HIGHLY recommend a better quality tempered glass and case.



Rogers SureTap Wallet Review

Paying by tapping your phone instead of your credit card seems like a great idea. The technology has been around ever since NFC came out, and there are a few banks that have applications that are capable with it. Now Rogers is getting into the banking game. Since they are a telecom the process should be easy? Right? What’s required:

1) NFC capable phone
2) NFC Sim card
3) Application that will tie all this together
4) A card that’s compatible with the application

Lots of requirements are required, not to mention there are some phones that are NFC capable however are not included with the application which automatically excludes the user. At the time of writing these are the handsets that are compatible with the Rogers SureTap Wallet App:

Samsung GALAXY Alpha™
Samsung GALAXY Note 4™
Samsung GALAXY Note 3™
Samsung GALAXY Note II™
Samsung GALAXY S4™
Samsung GALAXY S5™
HTC One™
HTC One (M8)
LG G Flex
LG Optimus G
BlackBerry® Z10
Sony Xperia® Z3
BlackBerry® Z3
Samsung Core LTE
BlackBerry® Z30
BlackBerry® Q10

I went to the Rogers store and picked up a NFC sim card listed at $9.99+tax at the time of purchase. Rogers (over the phone) was offering free NFC sim cards, however I wanted a NANO sim card and I had a feeling because I was testing it with Z10 that Rogers would mail me Micro sim card instead.

Swapping current nano sim card to NFC nano card was fairly easy on My Account. The change was instant, took less than 2-3 minutes to do.

Next was to download the application. Since I was using a BlackBerry Z10 I went to the BlackBerry World app and download Rogers SureTap Wallet. I registered and apparently during the registration process there is additional information that is burned on the NFC sim card. The process was easy and I had my Rogers SureTap Wallet successfully installed. The security involved is a 4 pin password requirement along with two security questions.

Now to add a card, at the time of posting Rogers was offering their branded Rogers MasterCard with additional credit included. I added the card and this process did take a bit for the card to be downloaded (approximately 2 hours). Once that was done I was set. Time to test.

Here’s the list of merchants that is successfully worked:

  • Metro
  • McDondals
  • Tim Horton’s
  • Pizza Pizza
  • Harveys
  • LCBO

The list of merchants that did not accept suretap (seem to accept only swipe or chip insertion):

  • Target
  • Walmart
  • Wendy’s

How to get SureTap to work:

When the merchant tells you the total, and asks you how you are paying. Simply say Master Card. The merchant will usually tell you “go ahead when ready”. On your phone click on the SureTap Wallet app, type in your 4 digit password, click on your Rogers MasterCard and click on Pay Now. Place your handset over the terminal (rest it on top of it if you can). Wait for the “beep”, and leave it for additional 2-3 seconds. That is. The coin term “TAP”, does not work. I find it that the transaction would initiate, however time-out after the beep.

Please note that I had the application pre-loaded each time with my 4 digit code entered, the only step left was to click on Pay Now. I found that on Z10 it took a while to do it from scratch, and one of the merchants cash register actually timed out while I was trying to load the application. For full proof use, load it ahead of time while the merchant is scanning the merchandize.


The most common scenario is that people will end up switching phones, or wipe the phone clean (format it). What happens to the SureTap Wallet then? Also what if I wanted to run SureTap from a backup, was it possible? Here we go.

First test was, I backed up my Z10. I grabbed my BlackBerry Passport and tried to restore SureTap Wallet to it. Keep in mind that Passport is not on the accepted list of phones. The restore was successful, however the application would get stuck on the splash screen. SureTap wins this one.

Next, I wiped the Z10 clean and performed a restore of just the SureTap Wallet application. When I loaded the application I received strange errors, that the proper sim card wasn’t inserted, etc. SureTap wins this round as well.

Next, I wiped the Z10 one more time, and freshly installed SureTap Wallet application. It asked me for my 4 digit password. I entered it, and all of a sudden it presented me with the 1st security question (please note that you are only asked the 4 digit code when you setup) that I created a month ago. The odd part was that I actually forgot. Not to mention that the responses were case sensitive. I got my first response wrong, and then I was presented with a second security question. Needless to say, I typed that one wrong as well.  The application locked me out. SureTap wins. I was asked to call Rogers for them to unlock the application.

I phoned Rogers, and the rep unlocked it. A temporary 4 digit password was sent. However, here’s the kicker, when I entered the 4 digit temporary password, it said that the code was wrong. I typed in my own 4 digit and it accepted. Strange. First flaw in the SureTap system. What would happen if I forgot my 4 digit password?

Next, I had to guess if my 2 security words were case sensitive or not. I got the first security question wrong, the second one “I think” I got right, however I got stuck on verification for good 20 minutes. The verification eventually timed out and booted me back to my 4 digit password. After I typed in my 4 digit password, I managed to guess my first security word. The security verification passed and it went to this screen that I haven’t seen as of yet:

Updating Rogers Suretap Wallet

However, after about 5-10 seconds I receive the screen below(tested with LTE, 3G, EDGE and WIFI)

Rogers Suretap Wallet Try Again

After you click on “Try Again”, it takes you back to your 4 digit password. The process and the cycle are in the never ending loop. I tried reinstalled the application, reloading the operating system. Nothing worked.

I reached out on twitter to @RogersHelps (Really helpful staff at Rogers). The rep refreshed my account, and tried a few things out, however nothing really changed. The issue was escalated and it could take 10 days to fix.

Final Words (Review):

Rogers Suretap Wallet seems to work, I do find it slow on my Z10 (hence I had to have it pre-loaded while the cashier scans the product). I found it NOT to be a TAP solution, more like HOLD and WAIT to pay.

Word of warning, there doesn’t seem to be any contingency plan if you forget your 4 digit number. The temporary 4 digit number that was sent via text by Rogers never worked. And according to the SureTap Rogers rep the two security words if you forget them completely it is a pain to recover. I personally think that you are SOL if you forget the two security words. Kiss your wallet goodbye.

I’m curious how they will fix my problem, I have the 4 digit password and the security words. It seems to me that there might be a additional layer of security that has blacklisted my sim card or my IMEI. Unfortunately, I don’t have another approved device to try and test if the situation would change with a different IMEI.

I have to wait 10 days for them to fix the issue. When you think about it, 10 days is unacceptable, especially when money/paying is involved. I will keep you updated if my Wallet gets sorted.

UPDATE (January 14, 2015): Nothing from Rogers yet. However, I did mess around with the application a bit more. My intention was to lock myself out on purpose and give Rogers a call. I inputted wrong responses and got locked out. But I was able to get back into the application each time. Please note that the original lock-out, I was not able to get back into the application. This time around, I can get back into it each time. I didn’t want to mess with my 4 digit number though, that might be next if Rogers doesn’t solve this issue.

UPDATE (January 22, 2015): I called Rogers SureTap Wallet 1-855-640-7914 phone number. The rep I got told me that they no longer have access to accounts as of Monday. And that the back office team is working on the issues. My ticket has also not been viewed yet. Therefore, who knows how long until I see my SureTap Wallet again.

Please do note that I did try to access SureTap Wallet and the connection kept timing out. I got a new JAVA error which I’ll post later.

UPDATED (March 2, 2016): Rogers has officially decided to pull the plug with SureTap as of April 30, 2016. If you have funds, try to spend them or request a refund:

It was a very promising project that failed at launch. Too many different handsets, and every handset had some sort of an “App” issue. Its a shame. RIP Rogers SureTap

4 Operating Systems in 1 year (Review)

I took it upon myself to treat 2014 as a testing tool of trying out 4 different operating systems in 1 year. The idea was to try out each operating system for 3 months in everyday use without taking the SIM out and putting it back to my preferred phone (which was iPhone at the time). Therefore, do note that I “was” the biggest proponent of iOS. I was one of those users that jumped on iPhone early, having the 2G, 3G, 3GS, 4, 4S and last but not least 5. Therefore I was opposed to any other operating system.  My least favorite at the time was BlackBerry BB10 OS, I had hate for it without even trying the OS out.

Prior to testing my uneducated, unscientific tests, this is how I thought they would rank up:

1. iOS
2. Android
3. BlackBerry
4. Windows (I thought because it was new, it would have lots of flaws)

The handsets I picked up were as follows:

1. iPhone 5
2. Samsung Note 2
3. BlackBerry Z10
4. Nokia Lumia 1520

The applications that I used on everyday basis are: email, contacts, SMS, Calendar, taking photos, voice notes, notepad (small notes), minor editing and emailing of Excel and Word, and of course phone calls. The only entertainment I have used is audio streaming, some youtube watching, and that’s about it. Therefore, you can consider myself a business user. I’m by no means a gamer. Take that into consideration as you read my final results.

My final rankings with a brief explanation:

1. BlackBerry Z10 – BB10 as an operating system is by far the easiest, and fastest to get the job done if you are planning to do business only tools. I found the keyboard to be the best and easiest to use, and navigating between the tasks required no effort or waste of time. Yes I was a hater, absolutely didn’t want to open my eyes to see a BB. However BB10 operating system changed my way of thinking.

2. Nokia Lumia 1520 – Windows Phone 8.1 is superb. It actually surpassed all of my expectations. It might have scored high because of Excel and Word editing (on a 6″ screen). However, I was able to do all of my tasks without a worry.  The OS is missing a few minor things, but overall it did the job.

3. iPhone 5 – When I was testing the phone I was transitioning from iOS 6 to iOS7. iOS6 was solid operating system, with the addition of iOS7 and since I used it mostly on iOS7 it scored low on my personal chart. For some reason it took significant amount of time to do things versus the top 2. I’ve become a lover of the iOS to a hater by trying out other operating systems. How the heck did that happen? In all seriousness, iOS is a great choice if you are planning to do business and entertainment. It would score #1 on my list if that was the case. But as I mentioned, I don’t do any entertainment/gaming. As a business device, it just doesn’t do the job as BB10 and WP8.1 did. At least for me.

4. Samsung Note 2 – Please take note that I’m not bashing the actual hardware. Samsung Note 2 is a beautiful handset, with amazing piece of hardware. The operating system is the worst piece of you know what. Wow! I think I found myself fixing things on it then getting the job done. If you are a business person, stay away from Android. If you want to play games and waste time, Android is the OS for you. If you are looking for just entertainment, I would say Android would score #1 on my list. Other then that, stay away.

Of course the rating above is a personal preference. However, I think people need to try other operating systems and not be committed to one. It might open up your eyes, like they have been opened up for me.

Microsoft Surface Pro vs. iPad

This is a personal observation since I had the opportunity to own both the Surface and iPad. You would be surprised to find out which device I actually kept. Can you guess? Microsoft Surface Pro was the one that I ended up keeping. I’m totally fond of Apple products and I still use them over “others”. For example, MacBook Pro is the primary laptop I use on daily basis, iPhone is the primary handset that I use for pretty much everything.

However, in the tablet world I was looking for a device that can do it all. Many will argue that iPad’s can achieve such, I strongly disagree after I gave Microsoft Surface Pro a chance.

With the Surface what you are running is a full blown version of Microsoft Windows 8. iPad’s are running a well designed but limited iOS version which essentially should only be used on handsets.

Second, I’m able to use a full Office products on the Surface. On the iPad I have tried various alternative “apps” such as: Pages, Office2, Smart Office2, and Docs2Go to name a few. Great apps don’t get me wrong, but neither of these applications could open a simple Word document that included, charts, and colour schemes. On the iPad the particular Word file in question looked like a mess. All I wanted to do was edit, and send it back to the sender. The program that came close was Smart Office 2, however after editing and attempting to save, the recipient could not open the document.  I’ve tried literally everything to edit this simple Word file. I almost threw my iPad out because of it. (I was highly disappointed in Apple’s Pages) What took hours without success, took only seconds with Microsoft Surface Pro.

Okay, some of you may be thinking, just because of a Word document he got rid of the iPad over the Surface. Well no. Essentially iPad will more then likely beat the Surface in the entertainment area. BUT, there is one interesting feature that the Surface has that has not been advertised or talked about over iPad (entertainment related).

I love music, for entertainment purposes I would choose music over movies, games, etc. On the iPad the only way I could play an entire song was to either go on Youtube or purchase the song from iTunes. Well on the Surface there is an app called “Music”. You can search for any artist and listen to the entire song for free. YES for FREE. Not only the entire song, the entire ALBUM!. Can your iPad do that? There is no jailbreak required, there is no “hack” needed, just simply click on on the Music icon, and listen away.

The conclusion what I came up with was, if you are planning to use any iPad for productivity (aside from replying to emails), forget about it. You are looking at a wrong device.

I won’t be purchasing an Apple tablet until they release iPad Pro (which hopefully includes a full blown MacOS).

UPDATE (May 7, 2014): Needless to say I never kept the Surface Pro. I felt as though it wasn’t very compact. I rather bring a full blown laptop. I also found that touch-screen when you are doing serious work is not required. I’ve used the touch function maybe 10% of the time. I still believe Surface Pro is much better overall functional unit than iPad, however I’m sticking to laptops until possible iPad Pro release.