Archive for the ‘reviews’ Category

Star Buy for 10.10 Online Sale: Huawei MatePad Pro (10.8”) Tablet

Sunday, October 9th, 2022

Every month of the year, we see a major online sale eg. 9.9, 10.10, 11.11 sales. For October’s 10.10 sale, the bargain has got to be the Huawei MatePad Pro 10.8-inch tablet which is going for less than half its original launch pricing from a year ago.

The best bargain for Huawei’s 10.10 online sale and year-end promotions is the MatePad Pro 10.8-inch tablet.

The best bargain for Huawei’s 10.10 online sale and year-end promotions is the MatePad Pro 10.8-inch tablet.

My wife has been using the Huawei MatePad Pro 10.8” tablet since it was launched in August last year.

At launch, its RRP was S$998, excluding S$206 for the optional Flip Cover (S$58) and Huawei M-Pencil (2nd generation, S$148).

Check out Huawei’s promotional discounts for 10.10 sale on Shopee and Lazada. Click to enlarge.

Check out Huawei’s promotional discounts for 10.10 sale on Shopee and Lazada. Click to enlarge.

For this year’s 10.10 online sale, Huawei is selling the MatePad Pro (10.8”) on Shopee and Lazada at only S$498 from 10-12 October 2022.

And if you head down to Huawei Authorised Stores at 313@Somerset and Westgate, you get the Flip Cover and M-Pencil free as part of Huawei’s year-end promotions which last for the entire months of October and November.

Huawei also has a year-end promotion for the months of October and November 2022. Click to enlarge.

Huawei also has a year-end promotion for the months of October and November 2022. Click to enlarge.

Besides the MatePad Pro, many other Huawei devices are also on offer at steep discounts (up to 50% off) accompanied by freebies (up to S$496) – for both the 10.10 online sale and the year-end promotions.

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Review: Google Pixel 6a Mid-Tier Android Smartphone with Tensor

Friday, July 22nd, 2022

The Google Pixel 6a (S$749) and Pixel Buds Pro (S$299) are now available for pre-orders in Singapore. Both will physically hit the shelves on 28 July 2022. Thanks to Google Singapore, I have been trying out the Pixel 6a for the past month. Here’s a quick 5-min review of its highlights.

The Google Pixel 6a and case freshly unboxed. I like the sage colour and glass back although none of that is visible once you slap on the phone case.

The Google Pixel 6a and case freshly unboxed. I like the sage colour and glass back although none of that is visible once you slap on the phone case.

The Google Pixel 6a ships with Android 12 and is positioned as a premium phone at a more affordable price.

It is priced higher than the previous mid-tier Pixel “a”-subseries phones (eg. the launch price for the Pixel 4a was only S$499) and sits at the top of the mid-range market in terms of price tag.

Google Pixel 6a coming to Singapore.

Google Pixel 6a coming to Singapore.

The Pixel 6a is powered by Google Tensor – the same chip behind Google’s flagship Pixel 6 phones.

Some of the features that the Pixel 6a shares with the flagship Pixel 6 Pro include Magic Eraser, Real Tone, Night Sight and live translation.

So in a sense the Pixel 6a can be also seen as Pixel 6 “Lite” ie. the starting model of a flagship model.

In reality, it straddles the gap between the flagship phone segment and the mid-range segment.

For those hesitant to purchase the Google 6 series, you can consider the Pixel 6a with slightly lower feature set, at a correspondingly lower price.

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Review: Philips Hue Play HDMI Sync Box for Immersive Surround Lighting

Wednesday, July 13th, 2022

Having jazzed up my home entertainment space with smart accented lighting by two Philips Hue Play light bars, I decided to up the ante to sync the lighting effects with the movies that I was watching on my TV, as well as my music and gaming – to achieve a more immersive experience.

The Philips Hue Play HDMI Sync Box is a fantastic way to liven up your entertainment space for movies, gaming and music. Before (bottom) and After (top). Note how the corresponding coloured light leaps off the TV onto the surroundings.

The Philips Hue Play HDMI Sync Box is a fantastic way to liven up your entertainment space for movies, gaming and music. Before (bottom) and After (top). Note how the corresponding coloured light leaps off the TV onto the surroundings.

We are all familiar with surround sound, where the sound is expanded beyond a mono or stereo speakers to encapsulate the listener for a more immersive audio experience.

Signify is offering surround lighting with its Philips Hue Play HDMI Sync Box (RRP: S$419) – extending the visual experience from the confines of the television (or computer monitor) to beyond the display itself to the surroundings.

What you’ll need to set up a synchronised surround lighting from scratch (sold separately): Philips Hue Play HDMI Sync Box, Philips Hue Play light bars, Philips Hue Bridge. You’ll also need the free Philips Hue app and Philips Hue Sync apps to set up and program the lights and synchronisation.

What you’ll need to set up a synchronised surround lighting from scratch (sold separately): Philips Hue Play HDMI Sync Box, Philips Hue Play light bars, Philips Hue Bridge. You’ll also need the free Philips Hue app and Philips Hue Sync apps to set up and program the lights and synchronisation.

You can set this up by emplacing Philips Hue smart lights around the TV and then syncing the colours and intensities of these lights to whatever is displayed on the TV screen.

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Review: Philips Hue Play Light Bars for Instant Smart Lighting

Tuesday, July 12th, 2022

Want to jazz up your home or entertainment space with smart accented lighting that enhances the ambience and atmosphere? The Philips Hue Play light bars transform your living space instantly and easily provide immersive lighting to better enjoy your movies, games and music.

The Philips Hue Play light bars are an easy way to set up smart accented lighting to enhance the ambience of your entertainment space. Before (bottom) and After (top).

The Philips Hue Play light bars are an easy way to set up smart accented lighting to enhance the ambience of your entertainment space. Before (bottom) and After (top).

I’d installed a 65-inch Android TV from Prism+ in my living room a few months back and had been enjoying the big screen experience at home.

The basic box set for the Philips Hue Play light bar comes in a pack of two at an RRP of S$209. Currently selling online at S$146.

The basic box set for the Philips Hue Play light bar comes in a pack of two at an RRP of S$209. Currently selling online at S$146.

But that living space was a tad boring with the TV sitting on a plain cabinet against a blank wall – even though the yellow wall had been painted with an arty sponge effect.

To add some coloured ambient lighting, I got a pair of Philips Hue Play light bars and stood them on either side of the TV, atop the TV cabinet.

The light bars were really easy to set up and took all of five minutes: simply plug each light into the smart plug that came with the Hue Play light bar double pack, stick that plug into the power socket and switch on.

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Accessory Review: Belkin BoostCharge Pro Flex USB-C Cables

Monday, July 11th, 2022

Tech-U-Can-Use (TUCU): Need rugged and durable USB-C cables with USB-A or USB-C connectors for your Android devices or PCs? Check out these two cables from Belkin.

The Belkin BoostCharge Pro Flex USB-C to USB-A Cable (S$34.90) and USB-C to USB-C Cable (S$39.90) are available at Belkin LazMall and Belkin Shopee Mall.

The Belkin BoostCharge Pro Flex USB-C to USB-A Cable (S$34.90) and USB-C to USB-C Cable (S$39.90) are available at Belkin LazMall and Belkin Shopee Mall.

When I got the BoostCharge Pro 4-Port 108W GaN Charger from Belkin, I also got two USB-C cables along with it, for charging my Android smartphones, tablets, PCs and other gadgets like smartwatches and earbuds.

  1. Belkin BoostCharge Pro Flex USB-C to USB-C Cable (S$39.90)
  2. Belkin BoostCharge Pro Flex USB-A to USB-C Cable (S$34.90)

These cables are more durable and flexible compared to generic cables – they are supposedly up to 30x more durable and are more resistant to tangling, fraying and kinks.

They have been tested to survive more than 30 thousand bends.

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Accessory: Belkin BoostCharge Pro Flex Lightning to USB Cables

Sunday, July 10th, 2022

Tech-U-Can-Use (TUCU): Need charging USB cables with Lightning connectors for your Apple devices? Check out these two cables from Belkin.

The Belkin BoostCharge Pro Flex USB to Lightning cables are available for S$39.90 each at Challenger stores and online, Belkin LazMall and Belkin Shopee Mall.

The Belkin BoostCharge Pro Flex USB to Lightning cables are available for S$39.90 each at Challenger stores and online, Belkin LazMall and Belkin Shopee Mall.

Over the weekend, I got these two cables for my nephew who is an Apple fan.

  1. Belkin BoostCharge Pro Flex USB-A Cable with Lightning Connector
  2. Belkin BoostCharge Pro Flex USB-C Cable with Lightning Connector

Why use these cables instead of those generic cables that came with the devices?

Because of greater durability and flexibility.

Belkin boasts that the BoostCharge Pro Flex USB cables are up to 30x more durable than ordinary cables, so that they are more resistant to tangling, fraying and kinks.

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Review: Huawei Sound Joy Wireless BT Speaker with Devialet

Monday, July 4th, 2022

Huawei has just launched its latest wireless Bluetooth speaker in Singapore. Co-engineered with audio expert Devialet, the Sound Joy offers good punchy sound, long playback battery life and IP67 waterproofing/dustproofing rating to deploy the speaker in the fun outdoors.

The Huawei Sound Joy will be launching exclusively on Lazada at an introductory promotion of S$168 (U.P. S$188). Available from 11 July 2022.

The Huawei Sound Joy will be launching exclusively on Lazada at an introductory promotion of S$168 (U.P. S$188). Available from 11 July 2022.

The Huawei Sound Joy is targeted at the young who are active outdoors and need a portable and chic wireless speaker that produces powerful sound and which can withstand the elements.

The Sound Joy comes in two colours, the boring Obsidian Black and the lovely Spruce Green which I prefer.

 

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The coloured light circle on top of the Sound Joy jazzes up the wireless speaker and complements the vibrating passive radiators.

With a length of 202mm and diameter of 73mm, and mass of 680g — the speaker is about the size and weight of a water bottle.

Co-engineered with Devialet, it features the audiohouse’s 2-way speaker system and its Devialet SAM technology which produces good sound quality for any audio type.

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Review: Huawei P50 Pocket Fashionista Folding Smartphone

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2022

The Huawei P50 Pocket is part of the latest flagship P-series lineup of smartphones from the Chinese phone maker. The folding smartphone offers a large display when unfolded yet offers a compact form factor when folded into half.

When folded, the Huawei P50 Pocket becomes compact and fits snugly in the trouser pocket or a ladies purse.

When folded, the Huawei P50 Pocket becomes compact and fits snugly in the trouser pocket or a ladies purse.

The design of top-end smartphones is fraught with trade-offs between desirable characteristics that tend to contradict each other in terms of manifestation.

Most of us desire a large display and long battery life yet baulk at the resultant bulkiness and weight.

My Take

The Huawei P50 Pocket is a head-turning flagship smartphone that offers a large display when unfolded and a compact form factor when folded – along with a stunning design that befits any fashionista.

We desire powerful performance and beautiful design yet keel over at the higher price tag.

So the design process by the phone maker and the buying decision often comprises a set of trade-offs between the things we desire in a smartphone.

The Huawei P50 Pocket removes the need for some of these trade-offs.

It offers a large 6.9-inch display when unfolded yet folds into a compact form factor that fits snugly in the trouser pocket without poking at uncomfortable places and threatening to slip out.

At 190g, it is not particularly heavy and has a large 4000mAh battery with 40W Huawei SuperCharge capability. Only wired charging is supported.

And as a flagship smartphone, has top-tier hardware for top-notch performance, including Huawei’s forte in smartphone cameras.

 

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Freshly unboxed Huawei P50 Pocket. Even the box is exquisitely designed.

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#tech4WorkFromHome: ApeosPrint C325 dw Printer by FUJIFILM Business Innovation

Friday, January 21st, 2022

What’s the home printer of choice for my #WorkFromHome setup? It’s the ApeosPrint C325 dw colour laser printer from FUJIFILM Business Innovation Corp.

The compact ApeosPrint C325 dw single-function duplex and wireless colour laser printer from Fujifilm Innovation Corp makes a suitable printer for a #WorkFromHome workspace and at front-facing counter-tops of businesses.

The compact ApeosPrint C325 dw single-function duplex and wireless colour laser printer from FUJIFILM Innovation Corp makes a suitable printer for a #WorkFromHome workspace and at front-facing counter-tops of businesses.

First off, FUJIFILM Business Innovation Corp is actually the new name for the former Fuji Xerox after the joint venture company (between FUJIFILM and Xerox) came under FUJIFILM.

As you may know, Fuji Xerox was a global leader in laser printers, especially for enterprises and business users.

My Take

The ApeosPrint C325 dw single-function laser printer is a suitable printer for #WorkFromHome and small businesses.

Its print quality and speed, ink economy, ease of use, as well as compactness, duplex and wireless capability make it a versatile printer for the home and at customer-facing counters.

The ApeosPrint C325 dw single-function printer is the smallest and lightest printer model in their lineup and is targeted towards counter services, clinics and small businesses.

I have been using the printer for the past few months and find it a suitable printer for the #WFH workspace considering its performance, economy, ease-of-use, reliability and compact footprint.

The key requirements I have for a home printer (for work) is print quality and compactness, as well as the ability to print colour, double-sided, and from a wireless network.

Naturally, factors like print speed, ink/toner economy, and maintainability also weigh in.

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Preview: Samsung Electronics Brings The Freestyle to Singapore

Tuesday, January 11th, 2022

Following the announcement of The Freestyle at CES 2022 less than a week ago, Samsung Electronics shipped a unit of The Freestyle to Singapore for a sneak preview for Singapore media.

The Freestyle is a 100-inch smart TV in disguise and includes a projector, speaker and ambient light rolled into one.

The Freestyle is a 100-inch smart TV in disguise and includes a projector, speaker and ambient light rolled into one.

Samsung describes The Freestyle a portable projector, smart speaker and lighting device all rolled into one.

To me, it’s essentially a 100-inch smart-TV rolled into a lightweight (830g) and portable “canister” that you can carry around to a BBQ or a hotel staycation.

Driven by Samsung’s Tizen OS and controlled by a remote control, it doesn’t have an in-built battery so you’ll either need access to a wall outlet, or a USB-PD battery bank that can put out 20V and 50W.

So without having to lug a 100-inch TV around, you can just fish out The Freestyle, plug it (USB-C port) into a power source – in front of a flat surface (which can be a wall or the ceiling) – and you’re in business … you have effectively a 100-inch smart TV in front of you to stream content from the Web.

There is an in-built 360-degree speaker included.

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