We all know that Huawei’s latest Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro will not come with Google Mobile Services and that mean customers outside China who bought their latest flagship phones will not be able to use Youtube or Google Maps.
In the early October, Huawei Singapore has finally released the price plan for the Singapore customers. The new Mate 30 Pro is selling at SGD 1,298. Customers can now register their interest for the Mate 30 Pro which comes in either Black or Silver color.
As part of its early bird special, interested buyers who bought the phone will be invited to an exclusive private event and on top of that, they will receive a set of free gift worth SGD 463.
We have heard good reviews about the Mate 30’s camera. No doubt, the Mate 30 is a high-quality phone. However, we don’t just use our smartphone for photography only. We use that for other purposes which is why we need Google Play to download other essentials apps to suit our needs.
Now, Google Play has been taken away and Huawei customers have to get accustomed to their in-house Huawei Mobile Services. To the Android users, this is a switching cost and that’s bring back to one question, “Is the Huawei Mate 30 Pro worthy enough for that switch?”
Personally, I am adopting a “wait-and-see” approach to see how Singapore market reacts to this. Please feel free to leave a comment below if you have some unique insights on this matter. I will love to hear from you.
For those who are interested in the phone, here are the key things to know to get your hands on the HUAWEI Mate 30 Pro:
STEP 1: Register your interest online here from 5 -15 October, 2019 STEP 2: You may receive a call or email between 16 – 24 October 2019 with an invitation to a private event (limited to 200 successful registrants, selected at random) STEP 3: Upon invitation, you may attend a private event to purchase the HUAWEI Mate 30 Pro and receive an exclusive gift bundle worth $463 NOTE: Those who did not receive the invitation will be informed of the next opportunity to purchase the HUAWEI Mate 30 Pro.
Thing isn’t pretty in Singapore. Mobile phone shops are lowering the price to attract more sales. In the secondary market, it is not hard to find Huawei smartphones selling at huge discount on the Popular consumer-to-consumer marketplace Carousell. A quick check – it is not hard to find Huawei P30 Pro selling at about SGD 600 (approx. USD 440).
Sound like a good time to snap the good deal if you are considering buying a new phone huh. Is it? Weeks ago, I gave my opinion during a Chinese TV interview about US boycott on Huawei. Although there are new developments since then, I believe whatever I have said still hold till now. I understand that some of my international readers may not understand so I am providing a translated transcript here. I have also embedded the video below.
Q1.Google is not going to support Android update for Huawei phones. To a Huawei phone owner, does that mean the phone is not longer “usable”?
My answer: Android is an open system i.e. to say, it is available to all phone manufacturers including Huawei. The situation arises when Google is not providing any technical supports to Huawei for the future Android updates of its phones. Huawei will have to provide the updates by its own but that does not mean the phone becomes “un-usable”. Current Huawei phone owners could still use their phones without the latest Android version.
Q2. What will happen to Google Services Application without those updates?
My answer: Google has been clear that future Huawei phones will not come with Google Services including YouTube, Google Maps, Gmail and etc. However, Android has commented that this will not affect the current Huawei phone models in the market. In other words, current Huawei owners could still enjoy their YouTube video even though the YouTube app is not running the latest version.
Q3.Will the security be compromised for Huawei phone owners?
My answer: Indeed, it is a risk for the Huawei users. Huawei is offering another solution – to release its own proprietary operating system. However, it is still too early to tell.
Q4.What’s the challenge that Huawei faces in developing their new OS?
My answer: Developing its own OS makes strategic senses. However, to build an entirely new ecosystem that could be as good as Android’s, I believe it is going to take a couple of years.
Back to the discussion, should you still buy a Huawei phone? Huawei has been very clear in their positioning – camera. Indeed, the Huawei P30 and P30 Pro have received very good critique (for the camera). If you are a camera-person, I believe you should take the advantage to buy the Huawei P30 or Mate 20 at a discount (Just make sure the one you bought from the e-commerce sites is 100% original and comes with local warranty).
A few days ago, Huawei Singapore has also rolled up EMUI 9.1 update for its Mate, P and NOVA series. I believe that gives more assurance to the current Huawei phone owners. Local electronic giant retailer Challenger has also shown their support to Huawei by giving 100% money-back warranty if you buy Huawei’s devices from Challenger from now till 31st August 2019. The warranty which is not given by Huawei Singapore guarantee Huawei users of 2 year protection of Google Apps.
To end off, I just want to tell current Huawei phone owners that they need not have to worry that much. To potential Huawei consumers out there, you might have been over-reacting. A good smartphone should be able to last you for the next 2 years. By the time is up, you probably would want to get a new one. Personally, I am still using an old Xiaomi phone (as a spare phone in the office) that goes without updates for the last 2 years! By the way, it is still functioning!
The future of Huawei phones
that come after the P30 series is very unpredictable. However, the ones you see
in the market now should be still “use-able” in the next 1 ½ year.
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
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.
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
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.
LG V50ThinQ 5G
Snapdragon™ 855 Mobile Platform with Snapdragon X50 5G Modem
Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 a, b, g, n, ac / Bluetooth 5 / NFC /
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
Screen for LG V50ThinQ 5G
Display: 6.2-inch FHD+ OLED FullVision (2160 x 1080)
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
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.
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
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
Galaxy S10 introduces new camera technology and
advanced intelligence that makes it easy to take epic shots and videos:
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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?
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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?!
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
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.
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.
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).
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)
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.
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.
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).