How YouTrip Helps Singapore Police Force to Uncover Credit Card Fraud?

Recent years, market has developed and people are keeping their money online with the help of e-wallet. E-wallet could link with our credit card and that makes online transaction cheaper and faster. The technology brings us convenient but it also opens door for fraud.

On 13 February 2019, the Singapore Police Force charged 4 individuals with syndicated credit card fraud. These individuals were charged for stealing bank credit or debit card information via external means, and using these stolen cards to top up their YouTrip accounts. Another 15 are currently also under investigation.

These suspects were initially flagged out by YouTrip’s Fraud Monitoring System, which continuously analyses transaction patterns and detects early signals of suspicious activities. We immediately handed over the case to the police to expedite investigations, which include a total of 18 suspects with more than 85 fraudulent credit card top up transactions.

Investigating & tracing transaction patterns using Data Analytics

Throughout late December and January, YouTrip’s Fraud Monitoring System, which traces and detects early signals of suspicious transactions, flagged out two key signals:

  • Signal 1: High top up amount followed by immediate purchases or cash withdrawals to deplete the account balance
  • Signal 2: High frequency of failed top up with incorrect credit / debit card credentials

By combining these two key signals and using Data Analytics techniques, YouTrip traced these signals to a specific small group of users who exhibited both behaviors. A special task force made up of Fraud Monitoring specialists and engineers was immediately set up to carry out detailed investigations. Through these investigations, they found out more transaction and usage signals that have high correlation to potentially fraudulent activities, including concentration on common merchant names (e.g. overseas ATM locations), common transaction locations, chargebacks, and citizen’s reports received, etc.

They concluded that there is a high chance that a group of 18 users may have fraudulently obtained information or cards of more than 85 fraudulent credit or debit card top up transactions used to top up YouTrip accounts. The accounts were immediately suspended.

Enhancing security measures

While investigations were underway, YouTrip rolled out a security update last week that requires mandatory OTP verification via SMS (to be sent by your credit card issuing bank), whenever a new credit or debit card is added for the first time on the YouTrip app.

This helps to further eliminate cases of fraudulent use such as to perform top-ups on YouTrip accounts using stolen credit or debit cards, in addition to the existing fraud monitoring systems and customer due diligence processes.


Security Update: mandatory OTP verification via SMS when adding bank credit/debit card on YouTrip App

“Fraud prevention and security will continue to be YouTrip’s core mission to our users. We will continue to work closely with the authorities and community to ensure a secure and seamless payment experience for all YouTrip users,” said Mr Kelvin Lam, Country Manager (Singapore), You Technologies Group.

The case is currently under litigation and YouTrip is working closely with the authorities in the ongoing investigations. YouTrip will be working with the relevant institutions to ensure a proper arrangement for affected individuals in this case.

YouTrip users can rest assured to use YouTrip as per normal, as the suspicious activities have been contained to the current identified suspects. Users can reach out to YouTrip’s  customer support team at customer@you.co, if they detect any suspicious activities in their accounts.

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)

Singapore ISP – SpaceRoam Partners 7-Eleven To Offer 59 Collection Points For Pocket Wi-Fi Rental Island Wide

Wednesday, 21 November 2018 – Internet service provider Spaceroam Pte Ltd (“Spaceroam”) and 7-Eleven, the leading convenience store in Singapore, will be partnering to make travel more convenient for all travellers residing in Singapore. With Pocket Wi-Fi devices becoming an essential to stay connected 24/7 anywhere and anytime when travelling, convenient travel starts when the Wi-Fi devices can be picked up and dropped off conveniently.

SpaceRoam Pocket Wi-Fi is packed in a water-proofed bag that contains the charger and instruction

 

 

This will be made possible by the end of the year when Spaceroam partners 7-Eleven to place Wi-Fi devices in 59 7-Eleven outlets. This partnership marks the widest distribution network and largest number of collection and return points for rented pocket Wi-Fi devices in Singapore.

 

Aside from the 7-Eleven partnership, Spaceroam has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with telecommunications operator M1 Limited today, the latest in a string of partnerships in Spaceroam’s bid to bring better Wi-Fi services to Singaporeans. This partnership will see M1 Limited becoming the preferred local data provider for all of Spaceroam’s Wi-Fi rental devices. This means that majority of the users of Spaceroam’s Wi-Fi devices or services in Singapore will be connected via the M1 local data network.

About Spaceroam Pte Ltd

Spaceroam Pte Ltd was established in 2010 to provide internet services and telecommunication support to local events and concerts. Since then, Spaceroam Pte Ltd has expanded its range of services to include providing corporate internet services and launching an international mobile Wi-Fi rental service.

 

Spaceroam has provided its IT services to over 20 events in Singapore, and has also worked with MNCs and Government Organizations and help install the infrastructure for Wi-Fi at factories and worker dormitories.

 

Previously known as Simply Unique Pte Ltd, Spaceroam’s Wi-Fi rental arm, Y5Buddy Singapore, started out with 15 Wi-Fi devices that served internet connectivity for seven Asian countries. To date, Spaceroam’s devices now provide travellers with Wi-Fi coverage at over 130 countries around the world. Today, Spaceroam’s Wi-Fi rental serves over 50,000 customers and over 80 companies, and the company seeks to expand and become the top global data and application company in Singapore.

 

 

 

 

SINGAPORE-BASED TC ACOUSTIC LAUNCHES SONOS-ON-DEMAND SERVICE

Audio equipment business has always been perceived to be lacking innovation and personally, I think it is true at least to a certain extent – how much can you change when comes to sound which you can’t touch, see and feel. However, my perception is starting to change in recent years. The Singapore-based Creative Super X-Fi, for instance, has impressed me with their personalized sound map. Now, another Singapore company Tat Chuan Acoustic (TC Acoustic) is rolling up new services hoping to lure more customers in this highly competitive audio equipment.

 

TC Acoustic has announced the launch of Sonos-On-Demand, a unique online service that offers music lovers and their families a fifteen-day free trial1 of the new gamechanging smart speaker Sonos Beam (RRP S$699). Consumers can simply place a refundable deposit of S$99 for the Sonos Beam at South-east Asia’s leading e-commerce platform Lazada, with the option of completing or cancelling the purchase fifteen days from the date of delivery.

 

Marching to the Beat of an On-Demand Generation

Catering to a new generation of tech savvy consumers who are used to on-demand services such as Netflix and Spotify, Sonos-On-Demand is a creative way to provide the same kind of convenience and access, allowing them to test and buy a music system at a touch of a button, without ever setting foot out of the house.

 

Sonos Makes it Home 

Based on a study that surveyed 30,000 people across the world, Sonos discovered that when music is played out loud in the house, it transforms relationships. Families are 25% more inspired, have 50% more hang-out time, and say “I love you” 18% more. Truly, Sonos makes it home.

Sonos-On-Demand aspires to deliver this promise right to the doorsteps of homeowners, quite literally. The aim is to usher them into their first foray of filling their homes with music and what it can do for them – more warmth, love, bonding, creativity, conversations and connections – and enable them to create the best sonic culture and atmosphere in their own homes.

Delivering a rich, in-home sound experience, the Sonos Beam is designed for the unparalleled listening of virtually any streaming content, from movies and TV shows to music and podcasts. Touted as the world’s most versatile smart speaker, the Sonos Beam supports over 80 music services, multiple voice assistants and Apple AirPlay 2.

“As technology continues to push the boundaries of how we live, work and play; a seamless customer journey means ensuring that consumers get what they want, when they want it. Through Sonos-OnDemand we’re giving our consumers complete control to create the perfect listening environment, whenever the desire takes hold”, said Christian Honegger, Chief Executive Officer of TC Acoustic, the official distributor of Sonos in Singapore.

 

About TC Acoustic 

The exclusive regional distributor for Sonos and Klipsch, TC Acoustic has been the leading player in audio distribution since 1966. It underwent a change of management and strategic restructuring in 2010 and has since become one of the fastest-growing and highly innovative lifestyle technology distributors in Singapore and rest of Asia. Currently TC Acoustic has close to 500 distribution points across the region. Under its new management, its key brands have also garnered several awards from major tech media.

 

 

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

“Our vision is to help small businesses globally.”

Jack Ma, Founder of Alibaba

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


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

 

Building entrepreneurs into thriving businesses in the digital economy 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

Supporting digital consumer growth with improved infrastructure

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

Singtel Brings Razer Phone 2 To Singapore

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

 

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

 

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

 

Singapore-based Speedoc Wants To Disrupt House Call Services

A House Call is a visit to the patient’s home by a doctor and this practice used to be very popular in the early 20th century. However, betterment in transportation and more availability of medical services have led to a decline for the needs of such service in recent years. Ironically, this has not deterred a Singapore-based startup to bring this practice back.

 

Prided itself as a health-tech company, Speedoc aims to build a complete end-to-end system for doctors and patients, so that house call doctor services can be provided with ease and minimal burden to people in the community.

How it works

The Speedoc mobile app brings a house call doctor directly to the location of

A standard medical tool kit issued by Speedoc which GP will bring along during a house call.

your choice, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Doctors can be requested via the app, or by calling the patient support line. Speedoc offers a full suite of affiliated patient care services, including fast access to Farrer Park Hospital’s (FPH) Emergency Clinic and immediate consult with their specialists. Users can benefit from online, synced patient medical records for all visits, trustworthy home medical care when it is inconvenient to visit a GP clinic or hospital, and priority access to partner clinics.

 

During a patient call, patients are matched with a Speedoc doctor, an SMC registered medical practitioner, whose name and picture will appear on the app. Patients can contact the doctor through in-app messaging and calls, to communicate questions, concerns and relevant medical information. During a Speedoc house call, the doctor will diagnose a patient’s condition, and prescribe medication on the spot or provide a prescription to pick up at a pharmacy of choice.

 

Speedoc services are available island-wide in Singapore. Consultation fees are $150 from 8am-8pm, $200 from 8pm-12am, and $250 from 12am-8am. These prices exclude the cost of prescribed medication. There is also a $30 surcharge for house calls to locations like Jurong Island, Sentosa and Changi Airport.

 

Ever since its soft launch on1 Jan, 2018, the startup has seen 3,490 downloads, with 3,051 users, 671 consultations, and 524 unique patients, and sees an average of 8 patients per day.

The future of Speedoc

On September 11, Speedoc announced that it is now part of the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) regulatory sandbox – Licensing Experimentation and Adaptation Programme (LEAP). As one of the first mobile medicine providers to participate in the regulatory sandbox, Speedoc will work closely with MOH to review workflows, understand service models, and work through risk identification and mitigation strategies in healthcare, while promoting innovation in Singapore’s healthcare landscape.

 

Under the regulatory sandbox, Speedoc patients and caregivers will benefit from early access to new healthcare models consistent with the regulatory ethos of MOH. Speedoc will also be able to introduce new healthcare models or evolve its current models in a safe manner, with early visibility over the eventual regulatory environment. This will also help them to meet patient safety and welfare requirements, and transition more seamlessly into the eventual regulatory framework.

 

“In the future, we want to make Speedoc into a medical super-app; besides being a platform for booking house calls, we are working to implement in-app follow ups, and have plans to open up a chat and video-call module by early 2019,” says Dr Shravan Verma, MD & Founder of Speedoc. “For now, our main priority is to grow our customer base through hospital and insurance partnerships, and to prepare to scale up our business when more customers come on board, as we plan to grow by two or three times by the middle of next year.”

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.