New Sony Xperia’s Series Smartphones Impressed The Market With 3D Scanning Capabilities

Sony Mobile Communications Singapore launched three smartphone innovations in Singapore, the Sony Xperia XZ1, Xperia XZ1 Compact and Xperia XA1 Plus.

 

The Xperia XZ1 and Xperia XZ1 Compact will be among the first smartphones to launch with Android 8.0 (Oreo), available exclusively for at all Sony Store, Sony Centre and on Lazada Singapore website.

These flagship models along with the super midrange Xperia XA1 Plus, will officially launch on 7 October at authorised local retailers.

The new Xperia XZ1 and Xperia XZ1 Compact target at the mid to premium segment of the market (RPP SGD 898 and SGD 688) whereas the Xperia XA1 Plus is designed for the more budget-conscious consumers (RPP SGD498) .

Let’s just zoom in to what’s on the plate for the new Xperia XZ1 and Xperia XZ1 Compact.

Super Low Motion: Following through the success of their predecessor Xperia XZ Premium, both devices are equipped with Sony’s Motion Eye cameras that allow video recording at super slow motion. In case you are new to the Sony’s Motion Eye technology,  the “Predictive Capture”, as the name suggested, actually captures the images before the user tap on the shutter button of the camera; this means that it is highly unlikely that you will miss the moment for the perfect shot.

3D Scan: I think this is the highlight of the new Xperia. For the first time, we see 3D technology built-in to the smartphone. Sony has developed in-house algorithm that are able to generate high quality 3D scans of objects in just one minute using four scan modes; head scan, face scan, food scan and freeform scan.

The 3D renders can be shared via messenger apps as stickers or online 3D communities such as Sketchfab. They can also be brought to life as fun avatars using the camera’s AR effects option, 3rd party apps or set as a one-of-a-kind live wallpaper. Those interested in creating memorable keepsakes may also easily send their scans directly to 3D printing companies like Shapeways.

 

Difference between Xperia XZ1 and Xperia XZ1 Compact

Notably, both phones are armed with Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processors and 4GM RAM so in terms of speed and performance, these 2 devices are essentially the same.

The key difference lies on the front facing camera – The Xperia XZ1 sports a 13MP camera higher than the 8MP camera on the Xperia XZ1 Compact. This may matter to those who do a lot of video conferencing or selfie with their phone.

 

When comes to the display, both devices are packed with Sony’s proprietary TRILUMINOS technology which is modified from Sony TV display technology.  However, the Xperia XZ1 has a bigger 5.2 -inch IPS LCD than the Xperia XZ1 Compact’s 4.6 – inch IPS LCD.  In addition, the resolution on the XZ1 (424ppi) is higher than XZ1 Compact (319ppi). If you are super anal about the display, this is something that you need to know.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Google Pixel 2 XL will arrive in Singapore  exclusively with Singtel

Singapore, 5 October 2017 – Singtel (stock quote: Z74.SI) today announced that it will bring the highly anticipated Google Pixel 2 XL to Singapore as its official telco partner. Singtel customers will be the first in Southeast Asia to purchase the brand new device when it is launched on 15 November.

 

Mr Yuen Kuan Moon, Chief Executive Officer, Consumer Singapore, Singtel, said, “We’re excited to bring the Pixel 2 XL to Singapore. It is a device that many Android fans here have been eagerly waiting for, and we are sure they will be amazed by its innovative features. With our extensive 4G network speeds and new Combo plans, coupled with our unlimited data options, customers will enjoy the optimal Google Pixel 2 XL experience – they can take and upload as many selfies as they want and ask Google Assistant endless questions!”

 

On the fastest mobile network in Singapore, the Pixel 2 XL, a Cat 11 4G LTE device, allows customers to experience data speeds of up to 500Mbps island wide.

The Pixel 2 XL is equipped with powerful features such as a camera that takes beautiful photos and standout videos in any light, unlimited cloud storage1 for all your photos and videos in Google Photos, and a long-lasting battery with 7 hours of battery from 15 minutes of charge2. The Pixel 2 XL also comes with Google Lens, a new set of visual smarts that helps you learn about the world around you and get things done, and a localised version of Google Assistant, which will be launched later this year for use with Singaporean English.

 

Customers can register their interest for Google Pixel 2 XL at singtel.com/googlepixel, from 9am today.

Singtel’s No. 1 iPhone 8 Plus Customer Bought The Phone For His Mum

Singapore, 22 September 2017 – Singtel this morning launched the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus with great fanfare at its exclusive event at Marina Bay Sands Exhibition Hall C. Mr Eng Guan Theng, 30, was the first in line at 6am, waiting eagerly to purchase two iPhone Plus phones, one for himself and the other for his mother.
A Singtel customer since 2008, Mr Eng’s first iPhone was the iPhone 3G. “I’m very excited to be the first Singtel customer in Singapore to get the new iPhone 8  Plus. I got one in Space Grey and another in Gold – I’ll let mom choose which colour she wants!”

An annual highlight on Singtel’s calendar, iPhone launches are always an exciting time for the telco. This year’s two-day event features 40 sales counters, and an entertainment, connectivity and family zone where customers can explore services such as Singtel Circle, Singtel Dash and MobileSwop Unlimited. Customers will also be entertained with live streaming of Singtel TV while they wait for their appointments.

Samsung Launches Galaxy Note8 in Singapore

Singapore – 24 August 2017 – Samsung Electronics Singapore introduces the Galaxy Note8. With the Galaxy Note8, Samsung claims that consumers can get a bigger Infinity Display that fits comfortably in one hand, an enhanced S Pen that allows communication in a more personal ways, and improved camera for better photo experience.

The Galaxy Note8 is equipped with two 12MP rear cameras with Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS) on both the wide-angle lens and the telephoto lens.

Enjoy and Do More on the Infinity Display 

Featuring a 6.3-inch Quad HD+ Super AMOLED Infinity Display that allows users to see more and scroll less, the Galaxy Note8 has the biggest screen ever on a Note device, yet its narrow body makes it comfortable to hold in one hand. With the new Galaxy Note8, users are equipped with more room to watch, read and draw—making it the ultimate multitasking smartphone.

 

Live Messaging with Enhance S Pen

Samsung introduces Live Messaging that allows users to create animated messages and this works on any apps that supported animated GIF files.

 

Better Pictures with Galaxy Note8’s Camera

The Galaxy Note8 is equipped with two 12MP rear cameras with Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS) on both the wide-angle lens and the telephoto lens. Whether users are exploring a new city or running around their backyard, OIS allows them to capture sharper images.

 

For more advanced photo-taking, the Galaxy Note8’s Live Focus feature lets users control the depth of field by allowing them to adjust the bokeh effect in preview mode and after they take the photo.

 

In Dual Capture mode, both rear cameras take two pictures simultaneously and allow users to save both images; one close-up shot from the telephoto lens and one wide-angle shot that shows the entire background.

 

The wide-angle lens has a Dual Pixel sensor with rapid Auto Focus, so that users can capture sharper, clearer shots, even in low-light environments. The Galaxy Note8 is also equipped with an industry-leading 8MP Smart Auto Focus front-facing camera for sharp selfies and video.

Local Pricing and Availability

Interested buyers can place their pre-order from 25 Aug 2017. The Galaxy Note8 will be available from 15 September 2017 at a recommended retail price of $1,398 including GST. Available in MidnightBlack, Maple Gold and Orchid Gray, the device will be available at all local telecommunication operators, major consumer electronic stores, authorised mobile retailers, Samsung Experience Stores and Lazada Singapore.

Galaxy Note8 Product Specifications:

  Galaxy Note8 
OS  AndroidTM 7.1.1 (Nougat)
Network  LTE Cat. 1623
Dimension  162.5 x 74.8 x 8.6mm, 195g
Processor  10nm, Exynos 2.3GHz Quad + 1.7GHz Quad
Memory RAM: 6GB

ROM: 64GB

External Storage: microSD slot up to 256GB

Display 6.3” Infinity Display, Quad HD+ 18.5:9, 2960×1440
Camera Rear: Dual Camera [Wide] 12MP Dual Pixel OIS AF (F1.7), [Tele] 12MP OIS AF (F2.4) Front: 8MP AF (F1.7)
Battery  3,300mAh
Charging  Ultra Fast Charging, Fast Wireless Charging (built-in)
Connectivity  Wi-Fi® 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4GHz + 5GHz), VHT80, MU-MIMO, 1024-QAM, Wi-Fi Direct®, Bluetooth® 5.0, USB 3.1 Type-C, NFC
Audio Format Supported:

UHQ 32-bit audio & DSD (Direct Stream Digital) 64/128

Video UHD 4K (3840 x 2160) | @30fps
Water

Resistance 

Water & Dust Resistance (IP68) – Note 8 and S Pen
In-box

Accessories

Transparent clear cover, Micro USB Connector, Earphones Tuned by AKG by Harman, Travel Adaptor, Type-C USB Cable, Ejection Pin

 

Singtel’s Dash adds Visa virtual account to mobile wallet

Singtel is launching Singapore’s first virtual Visa account on its all-in-one mobile payments app, Dash. The new and existing Dash customers will automatically receive a Dash Visa Virtual Account that can be used for mobile payments at over 50,000 merchant points across the island.

Dash Visa Virtual Account is a prepaid account. All new and existing Dash customers are eligible for a Dash Visa virtual account on Dash app v4.5. Using compatible NFC-enable mobile device, this virtual account also allows users to pay with VISA payWave and it should work on existing payWave terminal that merchants are currently using.

Spinelli demonstrates the use case on customer making contactless payment with VISA virtual account via Singtel Dash. Source Instagram user @weewu

Furthermore, the 16 digit virtual account works like any other VISA cards that allows customers to pay on local e-commerce sites such as Qoo10, Zalora and HungryGoWhere.

Singtel also announced future plans for Dash to be included in global wallets such as Apple Pay, and enable QR code payments to expand into hawker centres. In addition to Nanyang Polytechnic, Ngee Ann Polytechnic and Singapore Polytechnic, Dash is also working towards adding more educational institutions to its merchant list to widen its reach in the youth segment.

Payment aside. The Singtel Dash also offers remittance services to facilitate users in small local and international money transfer.

As of now, Singtel claims that it has over 500,000 customer base transacting via Singtel Dash.

To celebrate the launch of Dash Visa, customers will be able enjoy the following promotions from 21 July to 20 August 2017:

  • New and re-contracting Singtel postpaid mobile customers will receive S$50 discounts or free accessories when they purchase the following handsets with Dash at any Singtel Shop:
    • Sony Xperia™ XZ Premium, Huawei P10/P10 Plus and HTC U11 (S$50 handset discount)
    • Samsung Galaxy S8/S8+ (Free S Clear View Standing Cover)

 

  • All Dash customers will also enjoy these exclusive partner deals (terms and conditions apply):
    • S$1 Short Grain Rice or Instant White Coffee at Sheng Siong
    • S$1 for any 8oz Hot Espresso-Based Beverage (U.P. S$4 to S$5.70) at Spinelli
    • 18% off a minimum S$120 spend, plus S$5 Cashback on Zalora
    • S$1 deals across various items and discount coupons on Qoo10
    • S$10 Cashback with S$180 spend across merchants on Shopback
    • S$5 Cashback with every S$50 top-up on GrabPay

 

 

Singtel Scores Big in Fintech Scene with its Dash

Ever since the announcement on the rebranding of the company in 2015, Singtel has been transforming its business from a conventional telco to ICT solution provider. Personally, I think it is not easy for a big infrastructure-based business like telco to change their business model but I think for the past 2 years, Singtel has improved reasonably in turning around their business.

 

#singtel #everydaybetter

A post shared by Neo Wee Wu 梁威武 (@weewu) on

Payment business has been tightly-linked with the Telco but nobody has ever expected a telco to do well in this space. Surprisingly, Singtel has invested a lot in this space with its Singtel Dash, a cashless payment solution using smartphone ( even you are not Singtel subscriber).

 

I think Singtel’s effort has paid off. Today, it announces that its Singtel Dash has been recognised for excellence in FinTech with two industry awards, Seamless Awards Asia’s “Best Asian B2C Payments Initiative” and “FinTech Innovation of the Year” at the FinTech World Forum.

 

Seamless Awards Asia honours excellence in the payments, e-commerce and retail industry in Asia. Selected for its unique ecosystem that makes mobile payments accessible to everyone in Singapore, Singtel Dash was mentioned for its mobile remittance services which offer unparalleled convenience to customers sending money to over 13,700 cash-out points across the Philippines, Indonesia, India and China.

 

Singtel Dash also took home the “FinTech Innovation of the Year 2017” at the FinTech World Forum, held in Shanghai in the same month. Organised as part of the FinTech World Forum by FinTech Alliance (FTA), the FinTech Innovation Awards honour the highest achievements in the global FinTech and financial industries. It is a global competition to showcase companies who are paving the future in financial services and innovative technologies.

 

Ms Gan Siok Hoon, Vice-President of mCommerce, Consumer Singapore, Singtel, said, “We are extremely pleased to receive industry recognition for our contributions to FinTech. Since its launch in 2014, Singtel Dash has evolved to meet the demands of Singapore’s increasingly digital economy and our customers’ connected lifestyles. These two awards affirm our efforts to revolutionise payments for our customers’ convenience. We look forward to delighting them with more innovative features and contributing to Singapore’s journey to Smart Nation by developing the mobile payments ecosystem in Singapore.”

OPPO Launches New 6″ R9s Plus

OPPO announces the launch of the OPPO R9s Plus in Singapore, with the phone retailing in stores at SGD 779. Available in Gold, the camera phone will also be released in Black on 3 March.

Enhancement from the 5.5-inch R9s, the R9s Plus is equipped with an all-new OIS+ image stabilizer technology which OPPO claims that the technology detects unwanted vibration caused by shaky hands; resulting clearer shot.

 

Testing the front-facing 16MP camera. Source: Instagram user @weewu

The R9s Plus also comes along with an upgraded 6GB RAM, and larger 4.000 mAH battery capacity which means that user can get faster response and longer usage duration.

Availability

The OPPO R9s Plus is available today, in Gold for SGD 779 from the following retailers. The R9s Plus will be available in Black on 3 March 2017. 

 

 

A Swedish Company is Trying to Improve Singapore’s Retail Sector

Axis Communications (Axis, stock quote: STO:AXIS ), a Swedish maker of network cameras, aims to redefine local brick-and-mortar store operations and customer engagement, with the launch of its video network solution today. The new solution offers HD TV image quality, intelligent video functions and analytic capabilities. These will support retailers in their efforts to remain productive, reduce manpower reliance, gain consumer insights, and ultimately, win back customers from e-commerce players.

“The consumer shift from brick-and-mortar stores to e-commerce have undeniably impacted traditional retailers. However, we believe that brick-and-mortar shops still have a competitive edge over e-tailers, and that is the human aspect of a shopping experience,” said Mr Magnus Zederfeldt, Director, South Asia Pacific, Axis Communications. “Customers want authentic experiences today, and it is thus imperative for traditional retailers to leverage emerging technologies to enhance this. If implemented effectively, brick-and-mortar stores can flourish.”

Magnus Zederfeldt, Regional Director South Asia Pacific Axis Communications. Source: Instagram user @weewu

Key highlights of Axis’ network video solution

Axis’ network video solution is capable of helping retailers in two key aspects:

 

1.    Enhanced security

  • Axis network video solution provides high resolution store-wide image coverage that enables retailers to follow any suspicious behaviour inside and outside store, even after operating hours.
  • The new solution is able to distribute HD TV video over any kind of IP network or the internet, assisting investigators with crime and positive identification.

 

2.    Enhanced customer experience

  • When placed strategically, the network cameras can assist retailers in recording, measuring and better understanding consumer activity and buying behaviour.
  • Retailers will be able to identify the popular areas in-store and optimise the store and display layouts accordingly.

 

Axis’ had previously launch its retail solution in the region, and some of its key customers  include Hang Ten in Taiwan, and Volkswagen in China. Customers have feedback that the solution has not only helped to effectively reduce its operational costs, but also raised in-store surveillance and employee productivity.

 

“Competition against huge e-commerce players, such as Alibaba and Amazon, are heating up. As such, Singapore retailers must focus on delivering greater value to consumers through the implementation of digital initiatives in stores. This will enable local store owners to stand against e-tailers, and bring about enhanced experience for consumers,” said Mr Zederfeldt.

 

 

Review of Sony Xperia XZ – A Good Camera Phone

Build of the phone

Large screen might not be always better. The New Sony Xperia XZ comes with 5.2 Inch display with Full HD resolutions. Personally, I like the screen size. It is large enough for mobile entertainment and small enough to be held with one hand.

 

Another feature that surprised me is the fingerprint sensor; which is located on the power button. That makes a lot of sense since users are so used to wake up the phone by pressing the power button. As of now, I am rather neutral to the location and accuracy of the fingerprint sensor. Nonetheless, it is generally fine provided you don’t press and release your finger too quickly.

Sony Xperia XZ
Sony Xperia XZ

Stunning camera performance
There are several attributes of the camera that excites me. First, the 23MP of the rear camera which produce sharp and clear images. Second, its proprietary RGBC-IR sensor which Sony claimed it is capable to produce rich and vibrant colour. Ok, I am sold by the camera.

Well, pictures speak a thousand words. I have uploaded some of my photos below:

Night Scene of Singapore. Source: Instagram user @weewu
Night Scene of Singapore. Source: Instagram user @weewu
Captured moving car in front of Fullerton Hotel. Source: Instagram user @weewu
Captured moving car in front of Fullerton Hotel. Source: Instagram user @weewu
Selfie with
Selfie with “Rainbow Warrior” in Taiwan. Source: Instagram user @weewu
Rays of lights at Mt Maokong, Taiwan. Source: Instagram user @weewu
Rays of lights at Mt Maokong, Taiwan. Source: Instagram user @weewu
Jiufen, Taiwan. Source: Instagram user @weewu
Jiufen, Taiwan. Source: Instagram user @weewu

Don’t believe in the photo I’ve uploaded? Check out #shotbyxperia, #shotbyxperiaxz & #sonymobilesg for more photos

The camera also starts fast and responses quickly when u press the shutter. In my opinion, *it is so much better than the older Xperia phones.

*I didn’t own the older Xperia precisely because their camera are quite laggy. But, the new Xperia XZ has changed my perception).  

Front facing camera is packed with 13MP sensor which produces nice selfie photo. To a certain extent, I feel its front facing camera could perform as well as rear camera of mid-range phones currently in the market. **The handshutter feature could accurately detect your palm. Since you do not need to touch the shutter on the camera, it greatly reduces the chance of getting blur selfie photo.

Trying
Trying “handshuttle” feature on the front-facing camera. Source: Instagram user @weewu

Another feature by Sony Xperia XZ that most phones or even some DSLRs in the market could not offer – 4K video recording. I shot a night scene of Singapore in 4K and I was impressed by the amount of details even under a low light condition. Take a look of the sample video below.

 

Sample Video of Singapore River (Night)

 

**I understand that I have mentioned on my Facebook before that the phone camera seems to be a bit laggy after playing with it for a while during its Singapore launch. I would like to take back what I’ve said. The fact is I have brought this device to Japan and Taiwan for a long holiday. The phone performs well under different environments be it up on the high mountain to wet conditions. I suspect an update was done to fix the issue.

Battery and Heat Management.

Battery capacity is only 2900 mAh which is comparatively lower than what most of the smartphones in the market offer. Well, I think it is unfair to judge the battery performance by just looking at its capacity.  Nonetheless, it will be still one of the key factors that determines the time of usage.

During my visit to Taiwan and Japan, I took hundreds of photos and videos. Battery life becomes exceptionally challenging. With lots of video and photo-taking, the phone could not last more than 10 hours.

Heat management has improved compared to the previous Xperia XZ. I have run tonnes of apps on the phone and I don’t remember experiencing any crashes or any heat issues.

The only time that I experienced heat issues is when I was doing a video recording with the device. The device gets hot and there was once, some camera functions were disabled (in-build safety feature to manage the heat and to protect the phone as well as the user)

 

Price

Price wise is competitive if you compare to other high-end smartphones in the market and it is certainly one of the models that you should be put in your radar. Recommended retail price – SGD 998/-

 

Likes And Dislikes

Likes: Camera and price (if you compare to other high-end devices in the smartphone market)

Dislikes: Heat issue

 

Who should buy?

If you are looking for a productive phone, the Sony Xperia XZ is certainly not designed for your liking. However, it is a good travel phone for people who love taking photos but do not wish to carry lots of camera equipment. The battery life issue could be solved with power bank (anybody don’t pack a power bank when out for tour? Don’t think so…)

The dual SIM cards slot also makes Xperia XZ travel-friendly. (The best part you do not need to use a pin to open the SIM card slot)

Smartphone Market Maintains Growth in South East Asia in 16Q2; Samsung, OPPO, True and ASUS Dominate

According to the latest International Data Corporation (IDC) Asia/Pacific Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, total smartphone shipments in the South East Asia (SEA) region is approximately 28 million units in the second quarter of 2016 reflecting an 18.1% increase quarter-on quarter (QoQ) and continued positive growth year-on-year (YoY) of 6.5%. Countries in the SEA region tracked by IDC’s local and regional analysts are Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

The report states that competitive price points and heavy marketing activities in a now crowded market are the key driving factors for the budget conscious SEA market.

In terms of market share, the overall smartphone market remains dominated by Samsung, followed by OPPO, True (an operator in Thailand), Asus and Lava.

 

 

  • Samsung retained its top position by relying on its price and spec competitive Galaxy J series which was highly suited for the budget conscious SEA market. Meanwhile, the flagship Galaxy S7 series saw better YoY performance in terms of unit shipments compared to the Galaxy S6 series launched back in 2015.
  • OPPO moved to second position for the first time. Despite Oppo’s continued marketing investments to build a solid brand equity for its F1 family, it was the Neo model that drove up its volume.
  • Asus’ position is supported by its highly affordable Zenfone Go model. Meanwhile, the growth of its flagship, the Zenfone 2 Laser, slowed down in preparation for the new Zenfone 3 targeted for launch in the third quarter.
  • Unit shipments for True and Lava were propelled by heavy operator activities to increase 3G subscribers nationwide in Thailand.

 

 

Meanwhile, 3G handsets still make up majority of the market share as they carry significantly lower price points as opposed to 4G ones, a pivotal factor particularly for SEA consumers. Furthermore, the slow uptake of 4G is largely attributed to the temporary rise of 3G devices in Thailand, where operators were in a rush to migrate subscribers from 2G to 3G, handing out large amounts of free or heavily discounted handsets.

Source: IDC