Tech round-up for April 18: BlackBerry's Motion, Dominos' driverless delivery, Amazon's Echo Spot, and PlayStation's God of War

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Categories Consumer technology | Video games

This week, the BlackBerry brand continues to eke out an existence with the Motion handset, Dominos Pizza wants to half deliver your supper, Amazon’s Spot, the video capable Echo, comes to Canada, and God of War is an exceptional game.

BlackBerry tries again with Motion smartphone

The Motion Android handset doesn’t come from the BlackBerry you remember, but BlackBerry Mobile, operated by Hong Kong-based TCL Communications, which has the license to create BlackBerry smartphones. (BlackBerry is now a software and services company.)

The BlackBerry KeyOne, released in the spring of 2017, was the first under the new licensing agreement, included the physical keyboard that has set BlackBerry devices apart from other smartphones

The Motion, released in Canada last fall, doesn’t have the keyboard. It looks like many of the other premium handsets on the market with a 5.5-inch edge-to-edge display. It’s square edges set it apart, as does the soft textured back.

The key benefit to the Motion is the battery, which will give you about two days of moderate usage. It also has quick charging functionality, which can get you a 50 percent charge in a little over half an hour.

Some of BlackBerry’s software also distinguish the Motion. In particular, BlackBerry Hub, which consolidates notifications into one feed, and DTEK, a security overview.

Aside from that, the Motion is average at best. Average camera. Average storage capacity (32 GB). Average screen.

The BlackBerry Motion costs $600 unlocked, so it’s not exactly competing with the Samsung Galaxy S9 ($960) and Google Pixel 2 ($900). But when compared to other mid-range devices like those that come from Asus, Motorola, and OnePlus, the Motion lacks the same specs at a higher price.

Amazon’s Echo Spot comes to Canada next week

Alexa has been officially supported in Canada since the end of 2017, but the latest device from Amazon doesn’t arrive until next week.

The Echo Spot, which adds a screen to the digital assistant and speaker, is available for preorder now, and ships on April 25, 2018.

The Spots each cost Can$170, but for a limited time you can save $50 when ordering two.

You can use the Spot in the same way that you use other Echo devices, to make calls, play music, control smart home functions, and ask Alexa for information.

But the screen means that you can now make and receive video calls and you can see the weather forecast.

You can even use the Spot as an alarm clock.

Dominos wants to deliver you pizza in a self-driving car

Last year, Ford Motor Company started testing its autonomous vehicles in Ann Arbor, Michigan in partnership wth pizza maker Dominos.

The two companies are taking things further now with news that the program is being launched in Miami.

There are drivers in these vehicles but they will not be interacting with customers.

Really, this seems to be more about testing how well the vehicles, which have a special compartment in the vehicle that can be unlocked by customers with a code so they can retrieve their order.

Sounds fine for Miami, but I don’t know how well this halfway delivery will work in Winnipeg in December, or Vancouver in April.

Kratos grows up in new video game God of War

God of War is a game only a parent could make. And it’s a game only parents will truly appreciate. Read more about the PS4 exclusive in my review at the Straight.

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