Posts Tagged ‘smartphones’

tech4xmas 2017 gift ideas review: Google Pixel 2 XL phablet

Thursday, November 2nd, 2017

The new Google Pixel 2 XL phablet in the tech4xmas 2017 gift list not just because it’s the latest, but mostly because it’s up there among the best, and whoever you’re giving this to as a X’mas present is going to be absolutely delighted. Available in Singapore from 15 November, 2017.

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My take:

“The Google Pixel 2 XL has one of the best cameras I’ve tried among the flagship models of other smartphone makers and it does it with a single lens!”

Made by Google, the Pixel 2 XL ships with Google organic apps installed and most significantly, the phone will be the first in the market to receive Android updates from Google.

Having tried out the phablet, it truly has a superb camera.

The rear camera has a 12.2-megapixels sensor with f/1.8 lens while the front camera has 8 megapixels and a f/2.4 lens. Measuring 6.2 x 3 inches, the phablet comes in just black or black & white.

In fact, it has the highest DxOMark of 98 for its camera performance – higher than all other smartphone cameras today – and it does it with a single lens!

Photos turned out crisp and clear even in low light.

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The aluminum unibody of the Google Pixel 2 XL makes it water/dust resistant IP67 standards. That means the Pixel 2 XL – like the Apple iPhone X, iPhone 8 & 8 plus – can withstand immersion in water up to one meter for 30 minutes.

It offers the popular Portrait Mode, boasting background blur if you keep the background relatively far behind the subject you’re shooting.

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New arrival: Huawei Mate 10 & Huawei Mate 10 Pro smartphones unveiled

Tuesday, October 17th, 2017

The new Huawei Mate 10 Series is based on the Kirin 970 AI mobile chipset; and comprises the 5.9-inch Mate 10 (S$888), 6-inch Mate 10 Pro, & Porsche Design Huawei Mate 10. Full pricing & availability to be announced on 26 October, 2017. Pre-order and registration of interest information below.

Update (26 October, 2017):

Huawei launched its Mate 10 series of Android smartphones in Singapore this evening.

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Huawei Mate 10 Pro (left) is slightly longer while the Mate 10 (right) is broader. The Mate 10 Pro does not have a home button, a headphone jack nor an external memory card slot.

Prices & availability for Singapore were released.

  • Huawei Mate 10: S$888
    • Mocha Brown, Black (28 Oct)
  • Huawei Mate 10 Pro: S$1,098
    • Mocha Brown (11 Nov), Midnight Blue (25 Nov)
  • Porsche Design Huawei Mate 10: S$2,298
    • Diamond Black (24 Nov)
The Kirin 970 in the Mate 10 Series was unveiled during IFA Berlin last month and is Huawei’s first AI (artificial intelligence) mobile chipset.

The Kirin 970 in the Mate 10 Series was unveiled during IFA Berlin last month and is Huawei’s first AI (artificial intelligence) mobile chipset.

The new phones will sport Huawei’s EMUI 8.0 user-interface and new Leica dual camera technology.

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New arrival: Sony Xperia XZ1, XZ1 Compact & XA1 Plus smartphones

Thursday, September 28th, 2017

Recently announced at IFA 2017, Sony Mobile is launching the Xperia XZ1 (S$898), Xperia XZ1 Compact (S$668) & Xperia XA1 Plus (S$498) in Singapore on 7 Oct, 2017.

5.2-inch Sony Xperia XZ1 Android 8.0 Oreo smartphone. S$898, 3D scanning, 19-megapixel Motion Eye camera for predictive photos & super slow motion videos, Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 CPU, 4GB RAM, 64GB memory, front-facing stereo speakers, 2700mAh battery. 2 colours: White Silver, Black.

All three Android smartphones can be pre-ordered from now to 6 October.

The 5.2-inch Xperia XZ1 and 4.6-inch XperiaXZ1 Compact are top tier smartphones and will be among the first smartphones in the world to ship with Andoid 8.0 Oreo.

The Xperia XZ Premium remains the Xperia flagship in Sony’s smartphone product line.

Media preview for the new Xperia XZ1, Xperia XZ1 Compact & Xperia XA1 Plus Android smartphones in Singapore. In the photo, Sony Mobile staff is doing a 3D scan of the model’s head using the new Xperia XZ1.

The two phones will feature continue the Motion Eye camera for capturing detail and super slow motion video, as well as a new capability to capture 3D scans of faces and objects.

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New arrival: Apple iPhone 8 & iPhone 8 Plus in Singapore

Friday, September 22nd, 2017

Apple’s iPhone 8 & iPhone 8 Plus have arrived in Singapore. Telcos in Singapore saw long queues forming with customers vying to be the first to get their hands on the latest smartphones from Apple.

The first 10 Singtel customers to get their new iPhones.

Singtel, the largest Telco in Singapore, held its launch at Marina Bay Sands Exhibition Hall C.

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New arrival: LG G6 Android flagship smartphone arrives in Singapore

Wednesday, April 5th, 2017

Available starting 14 April from M1, Singtel, StarHub and LG authorised retailers at S$988. Read my review of the LG G6 here.

First unveiled at Mobile World Congress 2017 in February, the LG G6 has just been officially launched in Singapore.

Each purchase of the LG G6 comes with a free flip case worth S$58 while stocks last.

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Review: LG G6 Android flagship smartphone in Singapore

Tuesday, April 4th, 2017

The G6 is LG’S flagship smartphone sporting a sleek 18:9 aspect ratio, beefed up rear dual cameras and a stunning display all ready for HDR movies. Price in Singapore: S$988.

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My take: The LG G6 packs a large display in a compact body, and is a strong flagship offering that goes back to basics to strengthen usability. Its 18:9 aspect ratio introduces new flexibility in terms of screen layout and user friendliness. The G6 also makes it easy to share the good photos it takes on social media through tight integration in the user interface.

The LG G6 sports a 5.7-inch QHD+ display with an 18:9 wide-screen aspect ratio.

The 2,880 x 1,440 pixels on-screen has a high resolution of 564ppi that’s similar to the 570ppi on its rival, the Samsung S8.

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The LG G6 was first unveiled at Mobile World Congress 2017 towards the end of February and will be officially launched in Singapore tomorrow. I have been trying out the G6 (pre-launch handset) to get a feel of the new smartphone.

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New arrival: Samsung Galaxy S8 & S8+ smartphones unpacked

Wednesday, March 29th, 2017

Samsung unveiled their new flagship Android smartphones at the Samsung Unpacked 2017 event in New York which was streamed live to fans all around the world. The Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ will be available in select countries from 21 April.

Update (5 April, 2017):

Registration of interest and pre-order for the Galaxy S8 and S8+ will commence from 7 April 2017 at all telecommunication operators, major consumer electronics stores’ websites, Lazada Singapore and Samsung Experience Stores.

Pre-order for the Galaxy S8 and S8+ will also be available at the Galaxy Studio at Civic Plaza, Ngee Ann City during opening hours from 14 April 2017.

The Galaxy S8 and S8+ will be available in colour options of Maple Gold, Midnight Black and Orchid Gray from 29 April 2017 at the recommended retail price of S$1,148 (S8) and S$1,298 (S8+).

The devices will be available at all local telecommunication operators, major consumer electronics stores, authorised mobile retailers, Samsung Experience Stores and Lazada Singapore.

The Samsung Galaxy S8 measures 5.8 inches while the S8+ is a bigger 6.2 inches. Both have Corning Gorilla Glass 5 on the front and back.

The Samsung Galaxy S8 measures 5.8 inches while the S8+ is a bigger 6.2 inches. Both have Corning Gorilla Glass 5 on the front and back.

The 5.8-inch Galaxy S8 and 6.2-inch Galaxy S8+ sport infinity bezel-less displays and offer a connected ecosystem of services and an intelligent interface.

The slightly-curved edges on the sides makes the phone appear bezel-less and sleek.

The curved edges of the S8/S8+ are much less pronounced compared to those of the S7 edge.

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New arrival: Samsung Galaxy A5 & A7 Android smartphones

Wednesday, January 4th, 2017

Samsung kick-starts the new year and unveils the first of its #Galaxy offerings for 2017 – the new Galaxy A series (from 21 Jan) mid-tier smartphones: 5.2-inch A5 (S$548) and 5.7-inch A7 (S$648).

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The Galaxy A5 (2017) and Galaxy A7 (2017) will be available in three stylish colours – Black Sky, Gold Sand and Peach Cloud. The Galaxy A (2017) Neon Flip Cover is available in Black, Gold, Pink and Blue at $78.

Also released today is the Black Pearl version of the Galaxy S7 edge (S$1,198) from 7 Jan.

Samsung Galaxy A3 has been excluded from the series in Singapore, probably because it’s too close to the S$398 Galaxy J7 Prime – the top end of Samsung’s entry-level series of smartphones that’s available in Singapore.

The new Samsung Galaxy A series smartphones were launched in Singapore at Cocotte, the farm-to-table French Kitchen in Little India.

The new Samsung Galaxy A series smartphones were launched in Singapore at Cocotte, the farm-to-table French Kitchen in Little India.

For the first time on the Galaxy A series, the smartphones are equipped with IP68-certified water and dust resistant capabilities, allowing it to withstand elements including rain, sweat, sand and dust.

It also enables users to enjoy versatility in its use – with a longer battery life and Fast Charging capabilities, the smartphones are ideal for active mobile lifestyles.

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Review: SuperCharged Huawei Mate 9 Android flagship phablet

Friday, December 30th, 2016

The Mate 9 is Huawei’s flagship phablet boasting the fabulous camera from P9 that was co-developed with Leica and now improved, a fast Kirin 960 processor and Android 7.0 Nougat with EMUI 5.0 user interface. Price in Singapore: S$898.

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My take: The Huawei Mate 9 is another winner from Huawei. The Android 7 flagship phablet works swiftly as a smartphone and has a fabulous camera that churns out wonderfully toned black and white snapshots. Fantastic for monochrome shooters that want Leica-like photos without any post-editing.

The 5.9-inch smartphone has dual SIM slots capable of supporting 4G and 3G networks.

The Huawei Mate 9 ships with 4GB RAM and 64GB memory, and you can use the secondary SIM card slot to add up to 256GB from a microSD card.

Have been trying out the Huawei Mate 9 since its launch & availability in Singapore last month. Was curious to see whether the camera performance of the Mate 9 had improved over the P9, which had impressed me when I tried it (see the P9 photos here).

With the demise of Samsung’s Galaxy Note7, the Huawei Mate 9 is a strong candidate to take up the mettle left by the Korean flagship phablet.

The phone sports a Type-C USB socket – an adaptor to convert into a regular mini-USB is included in the box – and has a 4000mAh battery that can be SuperCharged for a day’s usage within 20 minutes.

I brought along the Mate 9 when I went on vacation in Taiwan to put it through the grind of daily usage, and to take some photos with its fabulous camera (see the Mate 9 photos here).

The highlights

  • Android 7 Nougat.
  • EMUI 5.0 user interface.
  • Latest Kirin 960 CPU for faster performance.
  • SuperCharge technology (full day’s charge in 20min).
  • 2nd gen Leica dual-lens camera with 12MP RGB sensor, and now with 20MP monochrome sensor and Hybrid Zoom, enabling 2x digital zoom.

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tech4xmas Review: Xiaomi Mi Max entry-level Android phablet

Friday, November 18th, 2016

There’s been much excitement surrounding the launch of the entry-level Xiaomi Mi Max phablet some six months ago. Oliver Ong Chor Yew bought one online to review it below.

Editor’s note

Xiaomi’s reputation for selling well-spec’ed phones at super low prices manifests itself in the Mi Max, offering huge value to the consumer.

I tried out the phablet too and found it was indeed slightly unwieldy to use one-handed.

But its huge and bright screen is great for reading ebooks, watching videos and surfing the Web.

And the battery life is the longest I’ve encountered – only the ASUS Zenfone Max is comparable.

You won’t get the same quality and feature set of the Samsung’s unfortunate flagship Galaxy Note7 – but at only a fraction of the price, Xiaomi’s Mi Max presents itself as an extremely value-for-money alternative to grab part of the market share vacated by the Note7.

Hence, I’ve included the Xiaomi Mi Max in the tech4xmas gift list.

Read Oliver Ong Chor Yew’s review below.

The Xiaomi Mi Max fresh out of the box (left), and the home screen (right).

The Xiaomi Mi Max fresh out of the box (left), and the home screen (right).

My Mi Max is a 6.44inch large-screen phablet with android 6.0 and MIUI 8.0 interface.

Overall verdict

With the $259 price tag and the huge screen size, the Mi Max is a good budget phone for every use.

The camera image quality is quite good.

Fingerprint sensor is extremely responsive and the device build quality makes this phone worth buying.

It is powered by a 4850mAh non-removable Li-Ion battery which is a standard for mid-range to high end phone nowadays.

The Mi Max has a Qualcomm snapdragon 650 chipset with Hexa-core processor (4 x 1.4GHz Cortex-A53 & 2 x 1.8GHz Cortex-A72) and 3GB RAM.

This model I am reviewing is the 32GB variant which costed me S$259 on Qoo10 at the time of this review was written.

There is a 64GB variant with Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 Octa-Core processor.

First impressions

The device is quite huge and it is quite difficult to use with one hand.

The build quality is quite sturdy and it feels like I am holding a premium device.

Sample shot of the cloudy blue sky, taken using the Xiaomi Mi Max.

Sample shot of the cloudy blue sky, taken using the Xiaomi Mi Max.

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