Lazada Pledges to Cultivate Eight Million eCommerce Entrepreneurs and SMEs by 2030

“Our vision is to help small businesses globally.”

Jack Ma, Founder of Alibaba

Lazada Group, an South-East Asia based e-commerce company that Alibaba acquired, has pledged to support eight million eCommerce entrepreneurs and small-medium enterprises (SMEs) in Southeast Asia to grow and thrive by 2030. The company also announced its commitment to create an inclusive and sustainable eCommerce ecosystem in the region and champion opportunities in technology and logistics infrastructure to benefit its ecosystem of sellers, consumers and local communities.


At the opening speech of a panel discussion hosted by Lazada on the state of eCommerce in Southeast Asia, Lucy Peng, Executive Chairwoman and Chief Executive Officer, Lazada Group, said: “Having overcome the early challenges of building up the business and industry in a nascent landscape, we now want to lead our ecosystem through the era of robust digital transformation. Our focus is on creating a trusted platform connecting sellers to the Southeast Asian consumers. By enabling sellers with our technology and logistics capabilities, we want to help sellers flourish, to become sustainable businesses that will contribute to Southeast Asia economic growth in the long run.”

 

Building entrepreneurs into thriving businesses in the digital economy 

 

As the region’s leading online shopping and selling platform, Lazada is committed to establishing eCommerce as a prolific facet of the evolving digital economy. Healthy and flourishing SMEs are key components of a thriving eCommerce ecosystem – their existence helps unlock the full potential of Southeast Asian nations, allowing the region to digitize.

 

An area that came under spotlight during the panel discussion was SMEs’ eCommerce knowhow and access to local consumers. To help sellers reach more customers, Lazada has developed various initiatives, comprehensive tools and dedicated trainings that enable sellers of all sizes to attract, engage and convert more consumers into sales.

 

That being said, Lazada continues to aspire to do more. “New generation of sellers no longer view eCommerce as a good-to-have, but a necessity in order to drive success. And eCommerce players like Lazada can be strategic partners to sellers who are committed to their professional and business growth.

 

 

On cross-border trade, another common challenge faced by SMEs raised at the panel, Simon Baptist, Global Chief Economist and Managing Director, Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU) in Asia, said, “Singapore has led the way in actively pursuing an agenda for open trade borders. However, there are still challenges for SMEs, especially in Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam, due to a lack of access to financial and support services, as well as a need to develop capacity in e-payments and eCommerce.”

 

Supporting digital consumer growth with improved infrastructure

 

Faced with limited fulfilment players, a small and fragmented transportation sector, as well as vastly different infrastructure landscapes, logistics remains a huge challenge for eCommerce players big and small across Southeast Asia.

 

“Our research showed that logistics is a challenge, particularly in archipelagos like Indonesia and the Philippines. Road networks, as well as the retail and distribution network, came up as higher-risk areas for eCommerce firms,” said Baptist.

 

On customer experience, data and technology are the two key factors that will dynamically evolve the experience for online shoppers, due to Southeast Asia’s heterogeneity.

 

eCommerce businesses that can leverage data to navigate specific local consumer tastes and direct consumers to take desired actions are well-poised to succeed.

 

 

Singtel Brings Razer Phone 2 To Singapore

Singapore, 30 October 2018 – Singtel today announced that it is the exclusive carrier partner of the Razer Phone 2 in Singapore. Singtel customers will be among the first in Asia to enjoy the gaming lifestyle brand’s new flagship phone when it is released on 3 November. Prices for the Razer Phone 2 start from S$98.

 

Ms Gan Siok Hoon, Vice President for Mobile Marketing and Sales at Singtel, said, “We are delighted to bring the new Razer Phone 2 exclusively to our customers. We observed that many of our Razer Phone customers use two times more data than the average customer, so we are offering them free six months of DATA X 4. Now, they will have the huge data allowance and super-fast connectivity critical for mobile gaming. We will continue to expand our suite of e-gaming products and services to provide the ultimate gaming experience at home and on the go.”

 

At Singtel’s exclusive Razer Phone 2 launch event this Saturday, customers will get a first look at the Razer Phone 2 and also get to experience it on Singtel’s superior network by taking part in Arena of Valor (AOV) and Contra mobile gaming competitions. The first 100 customers who purchase the phone will receive a limited edition #TEAMRAZER Gaming Pack.

 

SG Smartphone Tech Updates – Highly-Secured Google Pixel 3, 4-camera Samsung Galaxy A9 & Blockchain-powered XPhone

Singaporean love gadgets. In this small island-state with no more than 6 million people, we have one mega electronic fair in every 2 months approximately. It is also not surprising to know that we have one of the highest smartphone penetration rates in the world. On average, one Singaporean is carrying 1.5 smartphones; no wonder many international brands choose to launch their smartphones in this tiny red dot.

 

There were so many smartphones launches recently in Singapore last week and the consumers have been spoiled for choices. If you have yet to find time to read out all the press releases, this article serves as a summary to make sure you are in the know.

 

Google Pixel 3/Pixel 3 XL

The Google Pixel 3 is probably the most high-profile launches recently. The Pixel UI has won praises in the market and a handful of tech reviewers has commented that the UI used in the Google Pixel line of phones are better than the “stock” android.

 

Besides improvements in the hardware from the earlier pixel phones, the biggest highlight of the Google Pixel 3 is the use of a new security chip called the Titan M. This is the same chip that Google used in their data centre which means that Google is bringing enterprise-level security technology to smartphones.

 

Google has also ditched 3.5mm port joining the likes of Apple to push for adopting new cable standard for our audio devices. For those who are still using the conventional headphones with the standard 3.5mm audio jack, the Google Pixel 3 and 3 XL are shipped with USB-C 3.5mm audio jack adaptor. You could still use your old expensive headphones with Google Pixel 3.

 

iPhone users, listen up! Before you feel like converting, you may wish to look on the CNET video below for comparison.

Samsung Galaxy A9

The rise of budget phones in recent years has prompted Samsung to launch mid-range Galaxy A series. Consumers has certainly benefited from the intense competition among the smartphone brands. At a lower price-point, the Galaxy A9 is offering specifications that are very comparable to those so-called “flagship phones” are offering.

 

The Galaxy A9 has caught attention from the media of being the first smartphone in the world that has not 2, not 3 but 4 rear cameras! Every camera sensor has its own purpose – ability for better optical zoom (2x to be exact), able to take wider images, better depth of field and better image qualities under low-light conditions.

The rationale of having 4 camera sensors is to give flexibility to the users who could toggle across different camera sensors to suit the users’ requirement – for instance long shots or wide shots.

 

Blockchain-powered XPhone

Pundi X, a Singapore-based blockchain start-up, has announced their very own smartphone called XPhone that runs on their own Function X OS based off Android OS 9.0. Essentially, it is still an Android phone powered by their own Function X blockchain; that means the data transmitted via your phone i.e. apps, pictures, video, messages, calls or any types of file are being stored or distributed through a network of decentralized nodes.

 

Traditionally, phone users go through the centralized mobile carrier to make a call via a number that is unique to every phone user. With Pundi X’s proprietary FXTP, users could by-pass the conventional internet protocol (http) completely to transmit data to another device. To put it simply, X Phone could potentially work independently at places without mobile signal. You should look at their product demo here.

The idea of X Phone is revolutionary. However, Pundi X comments the viability of its blockchain infrastructure depends largely on the spread of nodes (in this case, number of XPhone users).

Singapore Company goGame Collaborates With The Walt Disney Company; Developed Mobile Game Disney Epic Quest

 

At GameStart Asia 2018, goGame and The Walt Disney Company (Stock Quote: NYSE.DIS) Southeast Asia revealed a first look at the gameplay of Disney Epic Quest, an original mobile title that brings Disney and Pixar characters into one action-packed digital experience for all ages. Developed and published by the Singapore-headquartered goGame, Disney Epic Quest is the first Disney mobile game to debut in Southeast Asia. The free-to-play game will be available on both Android and iOS devices and will launch across the region in 2019.

David Ng, Founder and CEO, goGame

David Ng, founder and CEO of goGame, said “As a mobile game company with a strong Asian presence, it’s a great honour to work on a Disney game that’s developed by, hosted in and published for our fastgrowing Southeast Asia region. And as fans of Disney and Pixar, we’re proud to be able to bring the magic of their characters from the movie screens to mobile screens and ultimately, to the heart of our players.”

 

Dan Dossa, VP & GM, Consumer Products Commercialisation The Walt Disney Company South Asia

“At the heart of everything we do at Disney is great storytelling, and we draw upon the most beloved stories and characters from Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars to create high-quality interactive game experiences for fans of all ages,” said Dan Dossa, Vice President & General Manager, Consumer Products Commercialization, The Walt Disney Company South Asia. “Our collaboration with goGame underpins our commitment to our Southeast Asian fans to deliver games unique to local tastes and preferences”.

 

Disney Epic Quest is an action role-playing mobile game that brings together Disney and Pixar characters in a digital universe. Players will assemble a squad of three Disney and Pixar characters who embark on a journey to save their digital realm from a menacing virus that has infected the land.

 

The game will launch in 2019 in Southeast Asia, and will be available in English, Bahasa Indonesia, Simplified Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese.

 

Starting today, fans from around the world can pre-register their interest on the official website at www.playdisneyepicquest.com to be notified when Disney Epic Quest is available in their region. Those who are eager to try the demo for themselves may also visit the Disney booth at GameStart Asia 2018, Suntec Convention Centre from 13–14 October 2018.

Super X-Fi is cool! But What’s Next For Creative?

This is the follow-up post on the article I have written in March (If you have yet to read the article, you could access it from here). The Creative stock (stock quote: C71.SI) has sky-rocketed since then. In Oct 2018, the first Super X-Fi Amp launches exclusively in Singapore. The market response is overwhelming. 600 units sold within the first 20 minutes. This is a huge success for Creative considering this is only the sales number from the small Singapore market. Given the amount of press coverage on this product, I believe this product could also sell well in the region. Now, the next multi-billion-dollar question is,” How is Creative going to unlock the value of Super X-Fi technology?”

 

Super X-Fi AMP – A Good Head Start

3D immersive sound is not something new in the headphones market. In fact, a lot of brands has jumped into the bandwagon but after so many years, we didn’t see a clear market leader in this space. Creative manages to rejuvenate the market interest with their Super X-Fi technology. Tapping on the success of the Super X-Fi Amp, I believe the upcoming Super X-Fi Air wireless headphone which is targeting at the Apple users will be doing well too. In the short term, I am rather confident to see a minor positive impact on the Creative’s financial.

 

 

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I was not entirely correct when I said Super X-Fi Amp works only with Android Device. If your computer supports USB Type C, it should work as well! Once plugged in, your PC will recognize it as speakers automatically. For early adopters, you could get Super X-Fi certified #Aurvana SE Headphones worth SGD99 for free!! While stock lasts…. Access through my referral link, you will get $20 off from the purchase price! Now you only need to pay SGD199!!! My referral link http://sxfi.refr.cc/weewun Upon check out, you should see promocode FRIEND-RH6L72K applied. If not, you could apply manually. #instagadget #Singapore #instatech #sgtech #creativetechnology #promocode #audiophile #instamusic #instaaudio #headphones🎧 #headphones #sgx

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That’s the juicy business story of Creative in the short term. On the flip side, the big boys are not going to sit there and do nothing. They are going to response as well. Selling a Super X-Fi branded headphones is the way to go? Personally, I don’t think so.

 

Audio is not a product. It is an experience!

Most consumers won’t have any idea of what a good sound is, and they are largely dependent on what has been marketed to them by the brands. That’s the reality of mass production. What sets Super X-Fi apart from others? It is giving control to user to do personalization for their headphones. At present, none in the market could personalize sound profile like Creative. The Super X-Fi App maps the structure of the user’s ears and head and the information is then transmitted to the Super X-Fi Chip that is embedded in the product (Headphone or Amp). In another words, the product is personalized to you and to you only. That’s the kind of experience other brands cannot offer but on the flip side, how does Creative going to stay ahead in the market before other brands do the same?

Mapping on Super X-Fi App

Focus A Specific Group of Users and Build a Community

Super X-Fi has aroused the market and the media coverage has brought Creative stock back into the radar of the investors. It is a good start but here comes the real challenge for Creative. Once the product is out, it is as good as opening door to your competitors to see what’s inside your house. This is unavoidable and now, the best thing Creative could do is to place focus on specific group of customers – the early adopters.

 

The early adopters are usually the one who are technically inclined and to some extent, they are what the market called “audiophile”. These are also advance users who demanded the most and because of that very reason, they are also very willing to provide feedbacks on how the product could be further improved. Engaging these users and keeping them interested in the community will help to build a strong brand attachment towards Super X-Fi. These are also influencers that could help to sell the products. It may not come as the surprise that the most powerful salesperson comes from this community.

 

I am pretty sure Creative has thought of this before. The launch of Super X-Fi Amp is well-planned with meeting sessions to educate the consumers who have just bought the product. That level of engagement should continue.

 

Super X-Fi App is More Than Just An App

The core of Super X-Fi lies on the data and that’s the only barrier Creative has against their competitors. The strategy that Creative has adopted is to make the Super X-Fi App available to all; that helps Creative gather a wider spectrum of database which could further enhance Super X-Fi experience in the future update. Unfortunately, I have yet to see any benefits of keeping the app installed in my phone after I have set up my Super X-Fi Amp.

 

It is a pity. I believe the Super X-Fi App could do much more than just setting up my device. First, it could be a way for community to discuss about their experience with the products. Second, the app could equip with advance features that targets specifically at audiophile. Back to the earlier part of the article, I have mentioned that those early adopters are probably audiophile. They would love to explore more about the product and Super X-Fi App could be the channel for them to do so. For instance, Super X-Fi app could also be a tool to fine-tune their sound profile after the mapping process. It may sound counter-intuitive but giving the control back to user may not be necessary a bad thing. These data could be valuable and form an important customers’ insights that could further be used in future product development.

 

Build a Brand Around Super X-Fi

During my interview with Nikkei Asian Review, I said, “Creative as a brand is not selling very well. It is seen as value for money rather than a name for high tech equipment”. Although the Super X-Fi Amp is selling well, my view on Creative’s branding strategy remains unchanged since then. I believe it is important to run SXFI Pte Ltd like a startup and dissociate it from any Creative’s branding strategies.

 

Things look positive for Super X-Fi. There is no need to tag along Creative’s brand and worse, it might backfire Super X-Fi’s branding strategies in the future.

 

Making Frienemy is the Way to Go

The goal is to make Super X-Fi a standard in the headphone market. In general, consumers switch brands because they just love to have choices. Keeping Super X-Fi proprietary to only Creative’s products won’t stop consumers from switching; instead, forming partnership with other headphone makers to bring Super X-Fi’s experience to the mass makes make more commercial sense for Creative.

 

The idea is to establish new standard in the audio product market. Once that is established, Creative can spread its tentacles to even wider spectrum of industries be it music, movie or gaming.

 

Key Takeaway – Users’ Experience and Data

Data is the only way for Creative to fend off competition in the headphone market. Imagine a use case of an XXX brand headphone that is Super X-Fi certified and it must be activated by Super X-Fi app on the phone.

 

Community-based marketing builds brand value through interaction with the users. This interaction provides data of what customer wants. Engage, Entice & Empower users in the community is the only long-term branding strategies for Super X-Fi.

 

 

 

Are We Seeing X-Mini’s Turnaround?

Poor financial management & failure to adapt to market dynamics are by-far the most serious mistakes that we learn to avoid in Business 101. However, we still heard established companies making these mistakes. Few years back, X-Mini committed all these mistakes.

 

Now, they are making a comeback with their latest range of products. In September 2018, XMI, the company that shocked the world in 2007 with their ionic capsule speakers X-Mini, made a global debut of their first earbuds series. This is their latest product development after XMI’s parent company Insonotech took over listing status of Technics Oil & Gas (stock quote: 5CQ.SI) . The latest round of SGD 5m funding also sees the reshuffling of the key management in XMI – Mr Hoong He Hin takes over from co-founder and former CEO, Ryan Lee, who now serves as the brand’s Chief Technology Officer (CTO).  Mr. Keith Wong is appointed as the new Chief Operations Officer. The share (5CQ.SI) is still suspended pending for the Exchange’s approval at the point of writing.

 

Formerly, the Group CEO of Onwards Media Group Pte. Ltd., Mr. Hoong brings with him 16 years of business development experience in content distribution signaling a change in X-mini’s business direction away from a pure audio speaker maker to an audio specialist in consumer space.

 

“X-mini became a success story for Singapore consumer technology and innovation when it launched its groundbreaking capsule speaker in 2007,” says Mr. Hoong He Hin. “We look forward to taking X-mini to new heights by expanding into new product categories, as well as providing more digital content to our customers in the future. We also plan to double total staff strength from 20 to 40 to build our engineering, product management and sales and marketing teams, in order to meet market demand for new product offerings.”

 

Change For Better

Few years ago, XMI was struggling financially and mostly, it was the management’s fault. In the interview with Straits Times in 2017, one of their co-founders Mr. Ryan Lee admitted that they have overspent and didn’t save enough during the good days. In 2010, they started their own factory in China and revenues has been good averaging SGD 30M a year from 2011 to 2014. However, they got arrogant – overpaying their executives, over-expansion of offices and manufacturing facilities and overproduction. These are some of the oversight from the management.

 

No doubt, Mr. Ryan Lee is a visionary leader but afterall, he is a tech guy who might be more suitable in developing new products. Placing Mr. Ryan as the CTO is the right move, at least in my opinion. His role as CTO will see him continue the core DNA of how the brand first made their name – innovation – across X-mini’s range of products. The brand’s founder says, “We are excited about exploring new technologies for X-mini: Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) provide a treasure trove opportunities for the brand, as we continue to innovate by leveraging on our expertise in audio engineering and delivering great sound to consumers moving forward.”

 

Diversity is Good but Lacks Focus

XMI is taking steps to rebuild the business and expand its product range, with new staff and management to drive the business forward. Since the fund injection in 2017, the company has turned a corner in terms of getting a whole new product range on the market and made significant inroads in re-establishing a market presence in this region.

 

This time, XMI launches 8 different earbuds; each of them selling at different price positioning themselves as a brand-for-all. You could get a good-quality, entry-level earphones slightly less than USD 15 (I am referring to the newly launched X-Mini Nova). The better model, the X-Mini Xtlas which supports Hi Res audio, is selling not more than USD 100. Marketers who are reading this part may have noticed this – the price difference between the high and the low-quality is a mere USD 85. In terms of pricing strategies, X-Mini is trying to sell different models to different market segments within this narrow price band of USD 85 and that could “confuse” the market value of the brand. Think of this scenario – the 15-dollar earbuds may sell well in developing economies, but the market will label “X-Mini” as a cheap brand and when that happens, how is the market going to response when XMI is also selling high-quality X-Mini earbuds but comparatively cheaper than similar products of different brands?  On top of that, how about the profit margin when you are selling below market price?

 

Market has changed even in our neighboring countries. The rise of middle-class presents an opportunity as they are demanding more and have the capacity to spend. Streamlining your product ranges and consolidating your resources to create one or two killer products to capture this market segment may be a better bet than trying to capture all. I have my doubts on the feasibility of their current strategies.

 

Being a tech writer, I am lucky enough to get first-hand information of the latest gadget in town. I know how to sniff out good product. Standing as a consumer’s point of view, X-Mini sells good products at attractive price-point. Unfortunately, most consumers don’t have the level of knowledge and usually make buying decision based on what they see, hear and feel about the brand. To put it in another words, X-Mini as a brand has yet to stand out against competition from the big boys. From a marketing prospective, I can’t identify the positioning of X-Mini.

 

Looking At The Bright Side

On the positive note, there are people in the market still believe in X-Mini. In

X-Mini Debuts Their First Earphones Series

2015, Polaris Ltd (Stock Quote: SGX:5BI) is one of the early investors who extended their help to XMI by investing 30% of equity interest through an unsecured loan of USD 1.5M. During the same period, XMI’s founders also sought help from 3Fs (the common term used in the business world to describe the kind of investors of a startup – 3Fs namely Friends, Family & Fools). In 2016, they managed to raise USD 8M. In the same year, they parted way with Polaris.  This year, they received a further SGD 5M.

 

If the funding round continues, XMI should be able to overcome their financial woes and even further entrench their business footholds in the region. Judging from their corporate action with the SGX-listed Technics Oil & Gas, I believe potential investors in Singapore or perhaps South East Asia will be interested in the company. I am expecting more fund-raising activities from XMI which I think it is by far, the most important factor to determine whether the company could be turned around.

Singtel launches iPhone Xs and Apple Watch Series 4

Singapore, 21 September 2018 – Singtel this morning launched the iPhone Xs, iPhone Xs Max and Apple Watch Series 4 at its Singtel Comcentre Shop.

A long queue of Singtel customers formed around the Singtel flagship store hours before the shop opened. First in line was Mr K. A. Ng, 37, who had queued since 5.30am to get his hands on the new iPhone before heading off to work.

 

 

“Singtel has provided top notch service to me over the years and the booking process for the iPhone this time round has been really smooth,” said Mr Ng, who has been a Singtel customer for more than 20 years. “I’m excited to be the first to purchase the new iPhone Xs Max and I love its gorgeous new Gold colour and advanced camera capabilities.”

 

Singtel is offering customers who buy the iPhones an exclusive Apple bundle that includes a new DataX4 add-on, MobileSwop Unlimited service and Apple Music, at a promotional price of S$26.90 per month, a 32 percent discount from the usual price of S$39.78. Customers who subscribe to this bundle will also enjoy S$100 off their new iPhone.

 

Singtel is the only provider in Singapore that enables cellular connectivity on the new Apple Watch. Customers can activate their cellular connectivity with a free 6-month subscription of Singtel’s NumberShare service (usual price S$6.90/mth).

 


Although Singtel is offering cellular services to the new Apple Watch 4, nothing has been confirmed with Apple to roll up cellular services through the new iPhone Xs’ embedded eSim. Singtel spokesperson’s reply, “We are getting more information from Apple to review the offering of digital eSim on iPhone Xs, iPhone Xs Max and iPhone Xr.”

 

 

 

Samsonite’s Study Found That Despite The Stresses of Business Travel, Most Singapore Travellers Still Enjoy It.

Singapore, 12 September 2018: Business travellers in Singapore have rated Tokyo and Bangkok as their top business and leisure travel destinations, in an exclusive study conducted by YouGov for premium luggage brand Samsonite.

 

The survey found that Hong Kong is Singapore’s third-favourite business destination, while London ranked third for leisure travel. Mumbai, Bangalore and Jakarta were the least popular, according to more than 500 respondents who participated in the Smoother Journeys Survey. London and Tokyo tied for the top spot among business travellers below 34, while Tokyo was the top choice for those between 35 and 44, and those over 45 preferred Bangkok.

 

No. Favourite Business

Destinations

Least Favourite Business

Destinations

Favourite Leisure Destination
1 Tokyo 16% Mumbai 19% Tokyo 20%
2 Bangkok 14% Bangalore 14% Bangkok 18%
3 Hong Kong 12% Jakarta 13% London 10%
4 London 8% Hong Kong 7% Hong Kong 8%
5 New York City /

Shanghai

8% Shanghai 6% Melbourne 7%

 

 

The Smoother Journeys study was undertaken to find out what drives Singapore business travellers, as well as some of the things they liked – and didn’t like. Overall, Samsonite found that one in five (22 percent) of Singaporeans enjoy overseas business travel a lot, 30 percent like it a little, and 37 percent are ambivalent.

 

“The Smoother Journeys survey revealed some surprising insights,” said Satish Peerubandi, General Manager – Samsonite Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines & IndoChina. “For starters, we were surprised to see how strongly Asian cities did. We were also happy to see that a majority enjoyed business travel, even as it has a reputation for being tough for those who travel often. Only 11% of respondents said they did not enjoy business travel, with the majority liking it for the opportunities it brings.”

 

The Advantages of Business Travel

 

The study found that many Singapore business travellers enjoy the opportunity to visit new places (94%), leave Singapore for a short while (91%), and work in new environments (88%).

 

While 60 percent said they believe they travel “just the right amount”, many still crave for their home comforts. Being apart from family and the fear of missing out on what is happening at home topped the reasons for people disliking business travel, at 57 percent and 41 percent respectively.

 

How Business Travellers Manage Stress

 

Business travellers identified traffic jams, flight delays and airport transfers as the most significant stress creators. When it comes to things they have control over, factoring in downtime and more effective packing and luggage are essential, they said. The study found that those who enjoy business travel are also those who are more likely to undertake activities that will help alleviate stress.

 

Many also allow for time to go to the gym or to shop, while close to half said they like to plan time for meals with colleagues or friends.

 

For a significant majority, efficient and effective packing was seen as a critical method to help ease stress, while many said that having a proper bag with easy access to laptops and toiletries when passing through airport security would improve their experience.

 

Other Key Findings

 

  • Younger women are more likely to travel then younger men (46% vs 26%).
  • About half (52%) of business travellers spend an average of 3 to 4 days on business trips.
  • Four in five admitted to working on the plane for some part of the flight, while 35% of business travellers put their time in the skies to productive use by working either 50% of the time or more.
  • Looking professional while travelling for work is essential for Singapore’s business travellers. Fifty-three percent of travellers said they wore business attire while flying either half of the time or more, of which 75% said this was because they would go straight from the airport to work meetings.
  • The desire for style also extended to luggage, with 90% insisting that having professional products reflected positively on their appearance as businesspeople.
  • Sixty-four percent of business travellers said that professional and well-designed luggage can help make their business trips smoother, and 68% are willing to invest in this.

Review of Cinch Belts – A Belt Without Holes

Men always wear belt and it was used for the most practical reason – to tighten the pant. That’s in the past. This day, belt is not just a tightening tool; it is a fashion accessory for men.  Over the past decades, men is increasingly paying more attention to their attire and of course, more brand-conscious when selecting their belt (I am one of those). A quick glimpse on all the belts hanging in stores. We see tonnes of designs on the belt buckle i.e. some just simply putting their brands, some makes super big-(or I should say “super loud”) looking buckle. If you take a closer look on these belts, you see they have one thing in common – they still use holes in the belt.

 

This is something that I don’t understand. Holes are problematic. They need to be evenly punched (not too far or too near apart, usually 1”apart) otherwise, the belt will look ugly and it is not common to find that one hole that could fit comfortably on your waist and there is a high chance of over-tightening the belt.

 

Speaking about tightening the belt, you will notice that after we have pulled the belt through the buckle, we always tend to bend it outwards to find the right hole to fit and without you knowing it, that action will damage the belt eventually.

 

I have tried other hole-less belt before but the tightening mechanism on the buckle usually not very durable and the tightening mechanism which involves pressing the belt hard with a small metal piece underneath the buckle usually leave mark on the belt which I don’t really like it.

Fortunately, I was introduced to Cinch Belts, a start-up that invented an entirely new hole-less belt system that allows adjustment as small as 0.25” apart. This is a guarantee fit for your waist. On top of that, it is very easy to tighten – insert the belt through the belt and pull in the direction along your waist and you are done!

 

To release, just lift the buckle and pull the belt out. Simple.

 

Comfort, Easy to use and durability. How does Cinch Belts achieve that?

The trick lies on Cinch Belts’ InfiniTrack™ designs which can be found beneath the belt. Once it is correctly aligned, the latch on the buckle will “lock” with the tracks on the belt. This locking system has no direct contact with the surface of the belt and thus, minimizing the chance of damaging the belt.

Cinch Belts’ InfiniTrack

 

Why You should buy a Cinch Belts?

Cinch Belts has clearly illustrated to us that there is always a better way in doing things. You must be thinking the mechanism in Cinch belt will be a big sell point to me. Well, “Yes” and “No”. I bought pricy belts before because of their high quality of the material. (Alright. I was a little bit vain then but I don’t blindly spend money to chase after brands). Cinch Belts is not just selling you their solution. Their belts are made of 100% full grain leather. To those who might not know, full grain leather is made from the upper-most surface of the animal’s hide; the part which is the smoothest and strongest. As such, belt made of full grain leather is extremely tough and durable. You are getting quality stuff here.

Armed with powerful solutions and high-quality material, Cinch Belts is giving life-time warranty for every belt sold. That’s the level of assurance the company is giving to their customers.

 

Last but not least, Cinch Belts is running some promotion on their belts. Price has dropped from the usual USD 129.90 to USD 89.90 (That’s 30% discount!). On top of that, you will get free international shipping. To sweeten the deal, readers of The Neo Dimension could get additional USD 10 discount from the final amount if they bought the belts from this link http://buy-cinch.com/discount/NEODIMENSION. Once you are at the Check Out Page, you should see “NEODIMENSION” discount code applied. If you didn’t, you could manually type it in to receive your discount.

 

OnePlus 6 Review – A Phone That Satisfies (almost) All

Long story short: If I were looking to change my phone, this would be it.

The Good

OnePlus 6 sports a dual rear camera system. The main rear camera is 16 MP with Sony IMX 519 sensor. The secondary rear camera is 20 MP with Sony IMX 376K sensor

Smooth Operator

OnePlus 6 packs the powerful Snapdragon 845 (same as Samsung Galaxy Note 9) which makes everything oh-so smooth. Graphic intensive games did not pose any problems to the phone at all. For the gamers out there, you may be pleased to know that the phone has a gaming mode which gives you the option to block incoming notifications and to lock the screen brightness.

Not Huawei P20 Pro, but no complaints

Since everyone is focusing on cameras these days, let’s talk about cameras. OnePlus 6 sports a dual rear camera system. The main rear camera is 16 MP with Sony IMX 519 sensor. The secondary rear camera is 20 MP with Sony IMX 376K sensor. Both cameras have an aperture of f/1.7. The main camera has OIS and EIS.

Digital Zoom by OnePlus. It is hard to spot the monitor lizard.
Night Shot by OnePlus 6

 

Food Photo

Overall OnePlus 6 produces photos that are pleasing, if not exceptional. Night shots are decent but can be a bit grainy. Don’t bother with the digital zoom though.

No more eye strain

OnePlus 6 features a beautiful 6.28-inch AMOLED display which offers rich colours and a great contrast. If you prefer a more realistic colour representation, OnePlus 6 offers the possibility to change the display profile to sRGB or DCI-P3 palette. A new feature on the OnePlus 6 is the Reading Mode, which turns the display into a monochromatic one (so that it looks somewhat like a Kindle display) so that prolonged reading is easy on the eyes. I find myself loving this feature so much that I read tons of Wikipedia articles in the Reading Mode. I totally dig using Kindle’s Android app in the Reading Mode. I am now quite convinced that me that I can keep my actual Kindle in my drawer. Heck, I even switched to Reading Mode while watching some movies on the phone just for the fun of it. That said, if you launch the camera app or photo gallery, the software is smart enough to know that Reading Mode isn’t useful, and colour will fill the display. After you hit the home button or switch to another app, the screen will turn back to greyscale.

Headphone jack

Since my favourite Sennheiser headphones are not wireless, I need the headphone jack. So yay!

Usable right out of the box

You know how you cannot really use the phone properly during the first few days because you leave the plastic protector on the phone in case it gets scratched. The problem is only resolved when you finally get your screen protector and case to protect your purchase right? With the OnePlus 6, the screen protector is adhered already at the factory (flawless dust-free application) and a nice case comes in the box, so you can use your phone straightaway without fear.

The Not-so-good

Not enough juice for some

The OnePlus 6 comes with a 3,300 mAh battery which in my humble opinion, is not quite enough. For general use, it will easily last a day, but when I play Pokemon Go I find that I cannot play to my heart’s content. The phone does charge very quickly with OnePlus’s Dash Charge (around 60% in 30 mins) though so there’s an upside.

Not waterproof (at least officially)

It is noteworthy that OnePlus 6 does not have any IP rating for waterproof resistance. I conducted some informal and unscientific tests on my own and can confirm that OnePlus 6 will remain safe in the rain or by the swimming pool (BY, not IN). Some people have conducted more professional investigations (read: tear-down) and concluded that the OnePlus 6 has at least enough protection to give the device an IP67 rating. However, if you are tempted to submerge your phone in the water, keep in mind you are doing so at your own risk.

No room for expansion

OnePlus 6 does not have SD card support so you are restricted to the 64 GB or 128 GB that you buy. My concern isn’t about whether there is enough storage or not. I like to have everything on my SD card so that when I change phones I can transfer all my stuff via SD card quickly.

And no, I don’t want to backup my stuff to Google. They already know more about me than they need to.

Sometimes, I don’t know where I am

I find that the GPS signal is weaker on the OnePlus 6 than on my old OnePlus 3T. When playing Pokemon Go indoors, I find that the GPS signal is lost very often. That said, when outdoors without obstruction, the GPS gets a lock on the location very quickly and is accurate.

The “I can’t be bothered”

Notch

There is a notch on the OnePlus 6. It is possible to change the display such that you don’t see the notch. Some people love the notch, some people hate it. I don’t really care about it or care for it. I don’t find it distracting, yet I don’t find much benefit for it either.

Wireless charging

Personally, I don’t understand why people complain about the lack of wireless charging. I can use the phone while it’s charging with the USB cable, but I cannot use the phone when it is placed on the wireless charging pad. Wireless charging is slower anyway.

Until all my furniture have wireless charging pads built into them, I simply couldn’t care less. I rather have a lower price on the phone.

Speaker

As mentioned earlier, I use my headphones so I hardly find myself using the loud speaker on the OnePlus 6. But this point is probably worth a mention anyway. OnePlus 6 has a single, down-firing loudspeaker. The sound quality isn’t very impressive. Maybe it has got something to do with the case, but there’s some sort of a buzzing sound like something is shaking. I will happily stick to my headphones.

 

In conclusion, OnePlus 6 is a good phone that generally can satisfy most users. It is not the cheapest phone out there, but compared to other phones offering similar specs, you will be hard pressed to find another phone that offers better value than the OnePlus 6.

 

Article Contributed by Poisonvine.com