HUAWEI P30 and P30 Pro’s Dual-View Camera Mode is now available

SINGAPORE, MAY 9, 2019 Yesterday, Huawei rolled out their latest EMUI 9.1. updates. As part of the update, HUAWEI P30 and P30 Pro users will be accessing to one of the most exciting and innovative features offered in the smartphone camera space: dual-view camera mode.

With this capability, users can create split-screen videos by simultaneously using the phone’s primary camera and zoom lens, showing two perspectives at once on the screen.

Huawei is bringing professional-grade photography and videography functions to its users through the award-winning HUAWEI P30 Series camera. Top features of the dual-view mode in the P30 and P30 Pro include:

  • Capturing a wide view with more of the background and surrounding objects
  • Simultaneously zooming in on desired subjects via the split screen
  • Shooting two different angles, panoramic and close up, at the same time
  • Ability to adjust the magnification level
  • Taking artsy and creative shots for a vivid recollection of special moments

These camera features are expected to be popular among Huawei P30 series users. However, this technology utilizes both the zoom lens and primary lens simultaneously. As such, it is only available exclusively to the P30 series smartphones. However, EMUI 9.1 updates are available to a wide range of both Huawei and Honor smartphones. See below

Huawei 9.1 Update – Eligible Devices

The following are the list of Huawei and Honor devices eligible to get EMUI 9.1 update –

Huawei EMUI 9.1 Supported Devices

  • Huawei P30 Lite / Nova 4e
  • Huawei P20
  • Huawei P20 Pro / P20 Lite (Nove 3e)
  • Huawei Mate RS Porsche Design
  • Huawei Mate 20 / Mate 20 Pro
  • Huawei Mate 20 X / Mate 20 RS Porsche Design
  • Huawei Mate 20 Lite
  • Huawei Mate 10 / Mate 10 Pro
  • Huawei Mate 10 Porsche Design / Mate RS Porsche Design
  • Huawei Mate 9 / Mate 9 Pro / Mate 9 Porsche Design
  • Huawei P10
  • Huawei P10 Plus
  • Huawei Nova 3 / 3i
  • Huawei Nova 4
  • Huawei Nova 2s
  • Huawei Y9 2019
  • Huawei Maimang 7
  • Huawei Enjoy 9 Plus / 9S / 9e
  • Huawei Enjoy 8 Plus
  • Huawei Enjoy Max
  • Huawei Enjoy 7S
  •  

Honor EMUI 9.1 Supported Devices

  • Honor 10
  • Honor 10 Youth Edition
  • Honor View 10 (V10)
  • Honor 9 / 9N
  • Honor V9
  • Honor 9i / Lite
  • Honor View 20 (V20)
  • Honor 20i
  • Honor Play
  • Honor 8X
  • Honor 8 Max
  • Honor Play 8A
  • Honor 8 Pro
  • Honor Note 10
  • Honor 7X

Disclaimer: The following list of devices are just assumptions to get EMUI 9.1 update. However, the final confirmed list of Huawei devices will be revealed by the company soon.

LG Has A Different Approach in Folding Phone

Samsung excites the world with its Galaxy Fold but Huawei steals the stage with its Huawei Mate X, the most expensive foldable phone. Both phones have foldable screens and that shocks the global tech community, but LG seems to have a different way to fold the phone. Simple, put 2 screens on a same device. LG Electronics (LG) introduced its first 5G phone, LG V50ThinQ 5G.


LG V50ThinQ 5G. Source: LG Singapore

Dual Screens for Richer 5G Experience

To take user immersion and convenience to new heights with its first 5G smartphone, LG developed Dual Screen as an optional accessory for the LG V50ThinQ 5G. Designed to resemble a cover case, Dual Screen opens up to give LG V50ThinQ 5G owners a second 6.2-inch OLED display for double the viewing, gaming and multitasking experience. The Dual Screen display and the LG V50ThinQ 5G can be used independently, allowing for many interesting usage scenarios. For example, users can watch a movie on one screen while simultaneously searching IMDB on the other.

With Dual Screen attached, an icon appears on the display of the LG V50ThinQ 5G which can be tapped to power on the second display or switch effortlessly between the two screens. A multi-window feature divides each screen in two, making it possible to display and use multiple applications at the same time. In select games, the Dual Screen can be used as a dedicated controller, resolving the age old problem of thumbs getting in the way of the action. The Dual Screen can be positioned in two convenient angles – 104 and 180 degrees – and because it runs off the phone’s battery, there’s no need to charge it separately.

The Perfect Smartphone for the 5G Era

Giving consumers the ability to enjoy all 5G has to offer as soon as service becomes available, the groundbreaking LG V50ThinQ 5G has been carefully crafted to provide an exceptional user experience. LG’s first 5G handset will exceed expectations, offering uncompromising reliability and allowing users to experience high-quality content at 5G speeds, expected to deliver up to 20 times the speed of 4G.

LG has gone all out to boost the display and audio performance of LG V50ThinQ 5G. A 6.4-inch QHD+ OLED FullVision Display with 19.5:9 aspect ratio offers users a heightened sense of immersion whether they’re viewing a video or enjoying a game.

Audio has been upgraded to produce a superb stereo performance that can be enjoyed with or without headphones. With DTS:X technology onboard, LG V50ThinQ 5G allows users to experience surround sound that enhances the quality of any content to create a realistic soundscape with suburb clarity and depth. The phone also supports Qualcomm® aptX™ and aptX HD audio technology for premium Bluetooth audio quality and low latency ideal for immersive listening experiences over headphones or earbuds.

LG’s 5G smartphone features optical innovations that enable users to take extraordinary pictures and videos of the highest quality. Looking beyond still images, LG implemented Video Depth Control in both the front and rear cameras to ensure that moving subjects remain in focus. By analyzing distance and depth with Dual FOV technology, users can capture exactly what they see making it possible to produce videos that look incredibly polished and professional.

LG’s first 5G device is powered by the newest Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 855 Mobile Platform with the Snapdragon X50 5G modem and LG’s optimized software to deliver the advanced processing power required for 5G. The phone is also equipped with a 4,000mAh battery, 20 percent larger than in the V40ThinQ, and a new Vapor Chamber heat-dissipation system which is more effective than conventional heat pipes to keep internal temperatures low and support sustained apps processing performance even when multitasking.

Inheriting the V series’ thin, stylish design, the LG V50ThinQ 5G is only 8.3 millimeters in thickness and weighs only 183 grams. To maintain its sleek profile with uninterrupted lines, the rear lens housing on the new V smartphone are completely flush with the back of the phone. All this is achieved without sacrificing the durability of the LG V50ThinQ 5G, which continues to comply with 14 U.S. military MIL-STD 810G standards.

In preparation of the rollout of its first 5G phone, LG is partnering with 10 major carriers in markets where 5G service will be launched this year, including the United States, South Korea, Australia as well as a number of European countries.

Source: LG Singapore

Key Specifications:

LG V50ThinQ 5G

  • Chipset: Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 855 Mobile Platform with Snapdragon X50 5G Modem
  • Display: 6.4-inch 19.5:9 QHD+ OLED FullVision (3120 x 1440 / 538ppi)
  • Memory: 6GB RAM / 128GB / microSD (up to 2TB)
  • Camera:

–  Rear    16MP Super Wide (F1.9 / 1.0μm / 107˚)

              12MP Standard (F1.5 / 1.4μm / 78˚)

              12MP Telephoto (F2.4 / 1.0μm / 45˚)

–  Front   8MP Standard (F1.9 / 1.12μm / 80˚)

              5MP Wide (F2.2 / 1.12μm / 90˚)

  • Battery: 4000mAh
  • Operating System: Android 9.0 Pie
  • Size: 159.2 x 76.1 x 8.3mm
  • Weight: 183g
  • Network: 3G / 4G LTE-A / 5G
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 a, b, g, n, ac / Bluetooth 5 / NFC /

    USB Type-C (USB 3.1 Compatible)

  • Colors: Astro Black
  • Other: Full-range Stereo Speakers / Boombox Speaker / AI CAM / Google Lens / Google Assistant / Super Far Field Voice Recognition / 32-bit Hi-Fi Quad DAC / DTS:X 3D Surround Sound / IP68 Water and Dust Resistance / HDR10 / Face Recognition / Fingerprint Sensor / Qualcomm® Quick Charge™ 3.0 Technology / MIL-STD 810G Compliance / FM Radio

Dual Screen for LG V50ThinQ 5G

  • Display: 6.2-inch FHD+ OLED FullVision (2160 x 1080)
  • Size: 161.6 x 83.4 x 15.5mm
  • Weight: 131g
  • Contact Type: Pogo Pin (3)
  • Colors: New Aurora Black

Press Release – Huawei Launches HUAWEI Mate X, the World’s Fastest 5G Foldable Phone

BARCELONA, Spain—February 24, 2019—At Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2019, Huawei Consumer Business Group (CBG) unveiled the the World’s Fastest 5G Foldable Phone, HUAWEI Mate X, redefining smartphone design with a foldable form factor. Reflecting the innovative DNA of the HUAWEI Mate Series, the HUAWEI Mate X features the Falcon Wing Mechanical Hinge, 7nm multi-mode modem chipset Balong 5000, a high-capacity 4500mAh battery supporting the world’s fastest 55W HUAWEI SuperCharge and the brand new Interstellar Blue finish. When folded, the device is a huge display smartphone with a 6.6-inch screen, and when opened, it turns into a slim tablet with an 8-inch screen. The new multi-form factor revolutionizes both productivity and entertainment experiences on a mobile device. 

Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei CBG, said, “The HUAWEI Mate X’s revolutionary form factor is achieved by Huawei’s relentless effort in R&D. It represents a voyage into the uncharted. As a new breed of smartphones, HUAWEI Mate X combines 5G, foldable screen, AI and an all-new mode of interfacing to provide consumers with an unprecedented user experience. The HUAWEI Mate X will be the first key for consumers to open the door to 5G smart living.”

Falcon Wing Mechanical Hinge Strikes a Balance Between Technology and Aesthetics

A result of Huawei’s bold testing with novel smartphone form factors, the 2-in-1 smartphone and tablet HUAWEI Mate X features a high strength flexible OLED panel and a falcon wing mechanical hinge. 

The 6.6-inch dual display panel equipped on the HUAWEI Mate X is a true FullView display. When unfolded, it transforms into an 8-inch tablet only 5.4mm thick. Images are displayed with great clarity and detail, and the panel itself is safe, durable and features outstanding cooling performance. As light as it is appealing, the foldable smartphone comes in a new Interstellar Blue that epitomizes the beauty of technology and sets a higher bar for future smartphones.

With an exemplary design that blends style with technology, the revolutionary Falcon Wing Mechanical Hinge supports movement, balancing between the overall aesthetics and technology. When unfolded, the screen is a perfectly flat surface; and when folded, the two halves of the screen fit snugly to the frame. The two modes—smartphone and tablet modes—transition seamlessly from one to another. 

5G Smart Living with a Bigger Screen

HUAWEI Mate X is a multi-form factor that unlocks a new page of 5G interfacing era to reinvent productivity and entertainment. The innovative flexible OLED foldable FullView display, unique falcon wing mechanical hinge and the industry’s best  5G modem chipset Balong 5000 combine to deliver a new mode of interfacing, in which the large-screen experience and portability co-exist in harmony.

The expansive viewing area lends well to both productivity and entertainment scenarios—everything from editing a document to reading feels better on a larger screen. In addition, consumers are able to drag images from their photo gallery to their emails in split-screen mode. The larger screen allows consumers to do more with their time. 

Huawei’s flagship smartphones have always come with powerful cameras, and the HUAWEI Mate X is no different. Inside the smartphone’s slim body is the latest Leica cameras, supporting the most advanced imaging features to date. The foldable design makes it possible for the camera system to play the role of both front and rear cameras. When folded, the HUAWEI Mate X shows a view finder on both sides, so even the subjects in the frame can contribute to the creative process. 

Moreover, the HUAWEI Mate X comes with an integrated Fingerprint Power Button that enables users to power up the device with one tap, offering a secure and convenient experience.

Powered by Next-Generation 5G Modem Chipset

Equipped with the world’s first 7nm 5G multi-mode modem chipset Balong 5000, the chipset has unprecedented 5G download speeds, at 4.6Gps on the Sub-6GHz band (theoretical). Balong 5000 is also the world’s first chipset to support both SA and NSA architectures, users will not need a device upgrade to continue enjoying 5G connectivity. The HUAWEI Mate X’s dual SIM feature supports both 4G and 5G. 

Massive Battery Supporting HUAWEI SuperCharge

A new, purpose-designed 4,500mAh battery is packed in HUAWEI Mate X’s 5.4mm-thick body, combined with the AI smart power saving technology, fulfilling the demand for greater battery performance in the 5G era. 55W HUAWEI SuperCharge tops the battery up quickly to minimize downtime for those who prefer a fast-paced lifestyle. In just 30 minutes, HUAWEI SuperCharge is able to charge the battery back to 85 percent.

At MWC 2019, Huawei launched a series of new products, including the an updated HUAWEI MateBook X Pro, new mainstream notebook PCs HUAWEI MateBook 13 and HUAWEI MateBook 14, as well as the HUAWEI 5G CPE Pro. At the advent of the 5G era, Huawei is committed to delivering new all-scenario smart living experiences to consumers.

Source: Huawei Singapore

Samsung Galaxy S10 – More Choices For Consumers

The wait of the new Galaxy S10 is over. This year, Samsung is doing a little different from the past. Instead of introducing 2 variations of Galaxy S10 (standard S10 and S10+), they are launching another a more affordable S10e.   

The Galaxy S10 is designed for those who want a premium smartphone with powerful performance and sets the stage for the next generation of mobile experiences. For consumers looking for a supercharged device, Galaxy S10+ takes every spec – from display, to camera, to performance – to the next level. Galaxy S10e is built for those who want all the premium essentials in a compact package on a flat screen. Anticipating the implementation of 5G network this year, Samsung also introduces an extension of the Galaxy S10+ – Galaxy S10+ 5G.

Display

Samsung’s stand for front camera is clear – no notch and so, to get full edge-to-edge display experience or Infinity-O display as coined by Samsung, the company has developed a “punch-hole” front camera that flushed with the display panel. The notification bar blends well with the front camera without affecting the viewing experience of the display.  Galaxy S10’s unique Infinity-O Display packs an array of sensors and camera technology into a hole-in display – so you can maximize your screen real estate without any distractions.

Galaxy S10’s display also includes the first-ever in-display Ultrasonic Fingerprint Scanner that reads the 3D contours of your physical thumbprint – not a 2D image of it – for improved anti-spoofing. With the world’s first FIDO Alliance Biometric Component certification, this next generation biometrics authentication offers vault-like security to keep your device safe

Camera

Galaxy S10 introduces new camera technology and advanced intelligence that makes it easy to take epic shots and videos:

  • Ultra Wide Lens: A first for the S Series, Galaxy S10 offers an Ultra Wide Lens with a 123degree field of view, like the human eye, so what you see is what’s in frame. Perfect for impressive landscape shots, big panoramas and even fitting the entire extended family into the photo, the Ultra Wide Lens ensures that you’ll always be able to capture the full scene. 
  • Super Steady & High-Quality Video Recording: Galaxy S10 offers Super Steady recording with digital stabilization technology. Whether you’re dancing in the middle of an amazing concert or trying to record every detail of a bumpy bike ride, Super Steady allows you to capture the moment. Both front and rear cameras can shoot in up to UHD quality, and in an industry first, the rear camera gives you the flexibility to record in HDR10+.
  • AI Camera: Galaxy S10 makes already smart features more accurate with a Neural Processing Unit (NPU) so you can get pro-grade shots worth sharing without having to manually select any advanced camera settings. Scene Optimizer can now recognize and more accurately process additional scenes because of the NPU. And with Shot Suggestion, Galaxy S10 offers automatic composition recommendations so you can frame your photo better than ever. 
Galaxy S10 Camera AI Capability

Other Improvements

  • Wireless PowerShare: Samsung introduces Wireless PowerShare on Galaxy S10, making it possible to easily charge Qi-certified smartphones and even compatible wearable devices. In addition, Galaxy S10 is capable of charging itself and a second device simultaneously via Wireless PowerShare, while connected to a regular charger, enabling you to leave your second charger at home while on a trip.
  • Intelligent Performance: The new AI software on the Galaxy S10 automatically optimizes battery, CPU, RAM, and even device temperature based on how you use your phone and continues to learn and get better over time. Leveraging AI-capabilities, Galaxy S10 also learns how you use your device to launch your most frequently used apps faster.

Local Pricing and Availability 

Galaxy S10e, S10 and S10+ 

The Galaxy S10e, S10 and S10+ will be available in Singapore from 8 March 2019, at local telecommunication operators (M1, Singtel and StarHub), major consumer electronics & IT stores, Samsung Experience Stores and Lazada Singapore. The respective recommended retail prices for the devices are as follows: 

Model Built-in Memory1 RRP (S$)
Galaxy S10e 128GB $1,078
Galaxy S10 128GB $1,298
Galaxy S10+ 128GB $1,398
Galaxy S10+ 512GB $1,798
Galaxy S10+ 1TB $2,198 

The Galaxy S10e, S10 and S10+ (128GB1) will be available in Prism White, Prism Black and Prism Green. The Galaxy S10+ (512GB1 and 1TB1) will be available in Ceramic White and Ceramic Black.

Don’t Wait for The OnePlus 5G, OnePlus 6T is The Phone

We all know that 5G is coming soon and I am sure every OnePlus fan is as excited as I am. OnePlus has already announced their next phone that is 5G-Ready and all the OnePlus fans can’t wait to own the phone. Wait a second, are we saying that 5G is going to happen soon? Personally, I don’t see the full roll-out of 5G infrastructure happening in 2019 (at the very least, not in Singapore). Even it does roll out this year, I foresee the price of the 5G service is going to be expensive. The switching cost from 4G to a better-latency and faster 5G may not be worthwhile. Then, what’s the point of waiting for OnePlus 5G?

Back of OnePlus 6T

Those who have read our article on the OnePlus 6 knows we have very good impression of the phone. OnePlus 6 has almost all the ticks in our checklists but not quite there yet. Now, the OnePlus 6T is even better than its predecessors.

Better Battery Life

OnePlus 6 and OnePlus 6T are run on the latest Android Pie version. (Note: The OnePlus 6 does not ship with the latest Android ver. 9 installed but OnePlus has been known for keeping up with the OS update much faster than other brands. The phone got updated shortly after the OnePlus 6T was launched). User interface and graphic performance are similar on both phones given that they are running on the same OS version and Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor.

The notable improvement is the battery life. OnePlus 6T is shipped with 3700 mAh battery capacity giving 10% more battery life than OnePlus 6. After a month of heavy usage, I have observed that the phone could last slightly more than a day. I have never once used a power bank to charge the OnePlus 6T while I am on the move.

Better OTG/USB Type C Experience

Given that the OnePlus 6T has no 3.5mm audio port, the OTG will automatically activated once a Type C device is inserted. This is another improvement from the OnePlus 6 where you need to manually activate the OTG each time you inserted.

OnePlus has removed the 3.5mm audio port.

When you insert the Type C port for the first time, the OnePlus 6T will automatically activated the “Earphone mode”, a popular feature among OnePlus fans. In this mode, you could activate a “Speak Caller ID” feature when connected with the headphones. This feature will read out to you the incoming call number and if the incoming call happens to be in your phonebook, it will read out the contact name.

Other customization such as “Auto Play” to resume music playback and “Smart Answer for Bluetooth” to connect to Bluetooth audio to answer incoming call are also found in the “Earphone mode”.

In-display Fingerprint Sensor

OnePlus 6T has shifted the finger print sensor from the back to the front and replace it with a in-screen one. To some of you out there, the technology may seem redundant but if you think deeper, this could give us a quick glimpse on how we could better secure the phone in future. Imagine the technology gets better in years to come, the fingerprint sensor may not be at fixed location and it could be anywhere on the screen or at the back of the phone. Instead of single fingerprint, the phone could be equipped with multiple fingerprints or a palm-print sensor just like the Judge Dredd’s “Lawgiver”. How cool is that?!

Currently, OnePlus 6T is one of the few Android phones in the market equipped with this feature. I can see that more phones maker will follow suit to add this technology as part of their product offerings. Sidetrack – It is rumored that Apple will not add in-display fingerprint sensors in their phones. So, that is something OnePlus 6T owners could brag about to their iPhone friends.  

Top Price vs Value

You have read many reviews about the many similarities of OnePlus 6T against OnePlus 6. From the hardware perspectives, I agree (at least most of them). Both the OnePlus 6 and OnePlus 6T use the same chip and camera sensors. But I am not agreeing to the fact that you should buy the cheaper OnePlus 6 over the OnePlus 6T.

Don’t get me wrong. Both OnePlus 6 and 6T offer top specifications in the market and they are selling at very reasonable price. A quick check across the key e commerce sites in Singapore – OnePlus 6 (8GB Ram/128GB ROM) is selling at SGD 699 and the OnePlus 6T (8GB RAM/128GB ROM) is SGD738. Note that the OnePlus 6T is selling at only about 5% more expensive than the OnePlus 6 in the Singapore market.

First, the battery life of OnePlus 6T is more than 10% of OnePlus 6’s. That itself justified the 5% premium over the OnePlus 6.

Second, the display of OnePlus 6T is made up of Gorilla Glass 6, an upgrade from the OnePlus 6’s Gorilla Glass 5. In terms of scratch resistance, both Glass 5 and Glass 6 are equivalent. The main difference is that Glass 6 is designed to withstand multiply drops from greater heights. In other words, the OnePlus 6T is supposedly tougher than OnePlus 6. That’s a plus point for clumsy phone users (like me).

Third, there are several software enhancements that may or may not relevant to phone users. Nonetheless, it is worth mentioning if you are considering buying the OnePlus 6 or the OnePlus 6T. For instance, OnePlus claims that they use new algorithm in the 6T to better optimize photo setting even though it is using the same camera sensors as the OnePlus 6’s.  

Conclusion

If you are one of those who are still holding to your old OnePlus 5T or older, you should consider upgrading to the OnePlus 6T. No doubt the OnePlus 6 is cheaper and gives similar performance. The small price premium justified the added features against the OnePlus 6 based on the latest price comparison.  

A Continued Love Affair With BlackBerry KEY2

Author: Poisonvine.com

Everyone who knows me knows that I am a hardcore BlackBerry fan. Therefore, please expect this review to be biased in the favour of BlackBerry. If there’s something you don’t agree with, let’s just agree to disagree.

 

Despite the prevalence of full touch screen phones, and admittedly there are many very good options out there, there are still a bunch of us who are willing to sacrifice a 16:9 4K stereo sound movie experience on a giant phone for features which makes a phone more usable as, well, a phone.

 

For me, my phone is primarily a communications device – Telegram, WhatsApp and email. I am totally happy to use my tablet to watch movies and play games (I just got a Mi Pad 4 recently which is really good value-for-money and I have no complaints with it so far). As such, the typing experience on my phone is really important to me. I like to be able to type and walk at the same time and still be able to keep my eyes on the road. I like to be able to type confidently without having to check my phone for spelling errors (or worse, stupid autocorrects which can be potentially more embarrassing than some innocent spelling errors. If you have no clue on how serious or hilarious autocorrect mistakes can be, you can see them here).

BlackBerry KEY2’s keyboard is not the best by far in my memory but it is 80% there

This is where a keyboard comes in.

 

BlackBerry KEY2’s keyboard is not the best by far in my memory. That accolade still goes to the good old BlackBerry Bold 9900 (back then, they manufacture their own phone. Now TCL is the manufacturer of all BlackBerry phones) but I think KEY2 is 80% there. The KEY2 certainly made a few improvements over the KeyOne. The keys are angled in such a way that it matches how the thumb would “hit” the keyboard. What I didn’t like so much was that in order to keep a slim profile for the phone, the right “shift” and “alt” key had to go, which at times is a bother if I need to type numbers. For example, to input “7”, I have to hold down the “alt” key and press the “z” key at the same time which is really difficult. Luckily it is possible to lock the “alt” (or the “shift” key for that matter) by double-pressing the “alt” key, but I definitely still prefer to have the alt and shift key on both sides. It is possible to customise the currency key so that it works as “shift” key, but now I chose to use it as “ctrl” key so that I can use it to do my cut and paste easily.

 

Another feature I like about BlackBerry KEY2’s keyboard is that it is possible to create a multi-language keyboard which gives predictive words for up to 3 compatible languages (read: similar writing systems). This could be useful if you regularly communicate using different languages (or better yet, a mix of them). Instead of having to change the input language all the time, you can now simply type away. That said, switching languages on the keyboard (say, English to Chinese) is super easy. Just hold “alt” and press “enter” to toggle between the available languages.

One of my favourite features on legacy BlackBerry devices was the global search feature. Instead of having to go into the contacts app to start looking for someone, I can simply type the person’s name and the phone will show me search results related to the person, including contact details, email conversations with the person, or social media stuff.

 

This feature is still available on the KEY2, but the setting is difficult to find. To enable the global search, tap the centre button (BlackBerry launcher), and click the “Settings” button on the top right hand corner, then “Typing action”, then select “Start a search”.

I have found this feature to be useful, unfortunately it is slow. I really hope that this will be improved going forward.

 

An important thing to note is that when this feature is switched on, in order to use the apps shortcut, you have to hold the bottom right key (the one with nine dots) in order to activate the shortcuts. Some may also notice that the options for creating “short press” shortcut is gone, which effectively reduces the available keys for creating shortcuts by half (long press vs short press). However, there is a workaround. If you create the “short press” shortcuts first, then switch to “Start a search”, the “short press” shortcuts will still work. So currently, I use a short press “T” for Telegram and a long press “T” for Twitter and still have the global search enabled.

 

The battery life on the phone is quite impressive. The battery easily last over a day with normal usage on the phone. That is despite the phone’s battery being only 3500 mAh. I am not sure, but I think it is because the processor Snapdragon 660 is a very power efficient processor.

 

But this brings me to my next point, while I will buy the phone, the price point vs the hardware specs makes it hard for me to recommend this phone to others. For Snapdragon 660, 6 GB RAM and 64 GB memory, BlackBerry KEY2 has a recommended retail price of SGD 899. It is currently possible to buy the Oneplus 6T at SGD 898 which has Snapdragon 845, 6 GB RAM and 128 GB memory. ( If you want to know how good the OnePlus phone is, read my review here)

 

I loved BlackBerry legacy devices, but the user experience on the android versions of BlackBerry hasn’t been quite as smooth so far. I still miss being able to swipe up and right from anywhere, any app to access the BlackBerry hub. That said, the KEY2 has proven to me that there is a future for BlackBerry in android, but admittedly it’s not for everybody.

 

Now I just gotta find the best discount I can get for this phone…

 

p.s. If you are keen to know more about my love for BlackBerry, read my older article on BlackBerry Passport here)

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.

OPPO Singapore Launches R17 Series

Teardrop Front Camera of OPPO R17 Series

OPPO Singapore announced the launch of two new R series products – OPPO R17 and R17 Pro in Singapore. Singapore is the first market globally to launch the R17 series following the Shanghai launch earlier this year.

 

The R17 series adopts Corning® Gorilla® Glass 6 for the first time, with a 91.5% screen-to-body ratio and Hidden Fingerprint Unlock for the R17 Pro. The Corning® Gorilla® Glass 6 is able to withstand a drop from a one-meter height to a rough surface for an average 15 times, doubled that of the Gorilla Glass 5 performance.

Although OPPO R17 Pro Sports 12MP f/1.5-f/2.4) +20MP (f/2.6) + TOF 3D Camera, no finger print sensor at the back of the phone

The R17 Pro also carries SuperVOOC flash charging technology, allowing users to enjoy the safest and most efficient charging technology in the industry. The R17 Pro also support NFC wireless payment, making the transition to mobile payments easy and convenient.

 

The R17 is equipped with a 6GB DDR4 RAM, with octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 670 mobile platform. It can perform multiple tasks seamlessly such as HD video playing or online mobile games. With 128GB storage space, users have ample space to store all their files.

 

The TOF Camera of OPPO R17 Pro is capable of capturing face image in 3D

The R17 comes with a 25MP front camera and a Sony IMX576 sensor with f/2.0 aperture equipped with real-time HDR support. The R17 series is able to provide up to 8 million different beautification schemes to intelligently match different users across the globe. Additionally, the customised beauty mode can now identify up to four people in the frame and enables users to adjust the facial features and preview the effects in real time. The rear cameras of the R17 series can intelligently recognise 23 photography modes and as many as 864 scenario combinations to ensure every shot taken is the best shot possible.

 

 

The R17 Pro is equipped with a variable smart aperture of f1.5/f2.4 which can automatically adjust to the lighting conditions making images sharper and clearer in both bright and low light situations. The R17 Pro has OIS (Optical Image Stabilisation), which can stabilise images and guarantee a longer exposure time to brighten night-time photography, especially with a 7P lens module. The combination of these two features further heightens precision in night-time photography.

 

Furthermore, with regards to sensors, the R17 Pro uses a Sony IMX362 as its main camera, which has 12 MP with dual-pixel for quick and accurate focusing, and 1.4micron pixels size and 1/2.55 sensor size, for brighter night shots and lower noise level. Overall, the whole hardware system of the OPPO R17 Pro is designed for night photography.

 

The R17 Pro also features TOF 3D camera, upgrading the camera from 2D to 3D and featuring users’ functions like 3D photos, somatosensory games, AR ruler and more.

The OPPO R17 6GB+128GB will be available in Singapore on 6th October at $699.

The R17 Pro 8GB+128GB with SuperVOOC is priced at $999. Pre-order will begin on 3rd November 2018 and it will be available from 10th November 2018.