Good news for those using the free version of Spotify, the Wall Street Journal recently reported that Spotify is working on bringing its free music screaming service to mobile devices. According to “people familiar with this matter”, the free Spotify for mobile will, like the free desktop version, come with advertisement. Spotify for Android and iOS is currently only available for Spotify Premium members paying RM15/month for an ad-free version, which also gives users the ability to save songs for offline listening.
Spotify is reported to have wrapped up deals with three major music companies – Sony, Universal and Warner, and could be launching this service as soon as next week at an event in New York City. Are you looking forward for free Spotify on your mobile or are you already a premium user? Maxis users can also enjoy further discount of RM10/month inclusive of 150MB of internet data.
Benchmark scores of what is supposedly the Samsung’s 2014 flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S5, appears to indicate that the Korean giants are preparing to pack a 2K resolution display on the next-generation device. The Galaxy S5, as some speculate, could see an earlier release compared to previous years.
The benchmark score also lists another aspect of the device’s hardware: a 2.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad-core chipset, which is the highest clockspeed of any Snapdragon 800 chipsets in any mobile device to date. In addition to the 2560 x 1440 display, the device will also ship with Android 4.4, which should not be much of a surprise, considering that every flagship Samsung Android device will run on the latest version of Android. There is also word that Samsung may finally move away from plastic and finally adopt a metal chassis for its 2014 flagship. The Korean company has approached Taiwanese company Catcher to supply up to 30 million metal housings, as well as approaching two other suppliers.
As mentioned earlier, the Galaxy S5 may be announced several months earlier compared to previous releases, with a Q1 release mooted. But then again, this benchmark score may not even be referring to the Galaxy S5 at all: Samsung is also rumoured to be working on a more-premium-than-premium Galaxy F series, and it was initially rumoured that this device may be announced in Q1 of 2014 as well. All there is for now is a model number, SM-G900S (the Galaxy S4′s model number is SM-I9500, while the Note 3 is SM-N9000), and the promise of more leaks to come.
Samsung’s Galaxy J, the Korean giant’s flagship device that was exclusive only in Japan, looks likely to be heading out to international waters. Members of the Taiwanese press have received an invitation about an upcoming launch event that is likely to feature the Galaxy J smartphone.
On paper, the Galaxy J is a hybrid between the company’s two flagship devices, the Galaxy S4 and the Galaxy Note 3: a 5-inch Full HD Super AMOLED display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 chipset with 3GB of RAM, 13MP rear camera, 2600mAh battery, and 32GB of expandable storage. The Galaxy J is also water and dust-proof too; a feature that is a staple among Japanese smartphones.
Now, the press invite may only indicate a Taiwan release on December 9, but it does bring about the possibility of a global release. Since the Galaxy S4′s release, other companies have released more powerful and arguably better flagship smartphones. Certain reports also indicate that sales of the Galaxy S4 have been below the company’s initial expectations, so it may be that Samsung may release a “Galaxy S4 refresh” ahead of its upcoming Galaxy S5 flagship next year.
We’ll be keeping a close eye on this one regarding the possibility of availability here in Malaysia.
Samsung is rumoured to be preparing a launch for a lower-end variant of its flagship phablet, the Galaxy Note 3. The device, which may be called the Galaxy Note 3 Lite, is set to make its debut early next year, at the Mobile World Congress which is held in February.
Early reports prior to the Note 3′s launch indicate that Samsung had been testing different screen sizes for the Note 3. In addition, there were also rumours that Samsung were working on an “Active” variant for the phablet, not unlike the Galaxy S4 Active. SamMobile’s insider seems to have it on good authority that the Korean company will indeed be bringing a lower-end Galaxy Note to the market with the Note 3 Lite.
SamMobile further speculates that the phablet, whose model number will be SM-N7505 (the Note 3′s number is SM-N9000/9005), will be available sometime in February or March in black and white colourways. It is likely that the device may feature a 5.5-inch LCD panel and a smaller 8MP camera, while the S Pen should also be included – it is after all, a Galaxy Note.
As you might know, the newly announced LG G Flex smartphone have gained quite some attention from users throughout the world due to its curvy design and self-repairing back cover. Not long after that, it was Motorola’s turn to be in the spotlight after announcing their budget-oriented Moto G smartphone.
In Malaysia, Brightstar happens to be the distributor for both companies and thanks to the recent activities on their Facebook page, we have a reason to believe that the company are about to release both devices into our market. By activities, I mean the recent posting of product videos for LG G Flex and Motorola Moto G over there as shown below.
Before you pointed out that it might be a random positing by the well-known distributor, I took the liberty and checked out the company’s previous postings on their page. It turns out that Brightstar Malaysia generally don’t highlight products that they are not under their distribution.
At the time being, Brightstar Malaysia have yet to explain why both videos were posted on their Facebook page. In addition to that, LG G Flex is yet to be listed on LG Malaysia’s website and we can’t really verify Moto G status for our market as Brightstar Malaysia is the only official link to Motorola Mobility in our shores since the company no longer have official presence here.
Well then, let’s hope Brightstar Malaysia are able to clarify this particular matter very soon especially now that the year-end shopping season is already here. We’ll keep you in the loop once we hear any concrete information from the company, so stay tuned.
A couple of months ago, Facebook was reported to be working on a Flipboard-style news feed called the Reader and it looks the social network has already started working on it and is testing some features. According to several leaked screenshots shared by MyTechSkool blog, Facebook is working on a “Save for Later” feature that would allow users to save links into a list for later reading. The saved articles will be stored into a dedicated menu whereby users will be able to see all the saved posts at their own convenience.
News would have to be shared onto Facebook first and according to the screenshots, users will then be able to click on a bookmark-like icon to save the original article into a reading list. All saved posts are stored under a “Saved” app, which can be accessed in the menu located on the left side of Facebook’s interface. On top of storing the link, other information saved includes time, thumbnail, link title, website name, meta description and the privacy type would be store.
But this is not the first of its kind, about a year ago, Facebook tested a similar feature for its iOS apps, which allows users to save articles for reading later simply by long pressing it. Considering how people love to share news on Facebook, especially breaking ones, this may be very useful indeed; I know at least one person who could find this useful because he won’t need to share a post twice anymore – once to “save for later” and another time if he finds it interesting. This feature could be particularly useful too if it allow users to save Facebook videos to view at a later time, especially when one has limited or slow, unreliable mobile data. Check out the source links for the rest of the screenshots.
Update: ASUS Malaysia has reached out to us regarding the retail prices. With the exception of the MemoPad 8, all retail prices shown here are correct.
Back at Computex 2013 and IFA 2013 a few months back, ASUS announced several new tablets: the MemoPad HD 7 and FHD 10, as well as the MemoPad 8 and FonePad Note 6. While the MemoPad HD 7 is already available in Malaysia and the FonePad Note 6 was teased to arrive in October (which did not happen), there is no word on the others about their upcoming availability in Malaysia.
However, a leaked image sent to us revealed that these devices will be heading to our shores very soon. The MemoPad 8 and FHD 10 as well as the Galaxy Note competitor, the FonePad Note 6, are all set to be available next month. More importantly, the prices for these devices have also been leaked.
To recap, the ASUS MemoPad HD 7 is powered by a quad-core 1.6GHz processor, and has a 7-inch display with 1280 x 800 resolution, a 5MP rear camera and a 1.2MP front facing HD camera, as well as dual stereo speakers with ASUS SonicMaster technology. It measures 127mm from side to side and weighs only 350g. The MemoPad 8 will retail for
RM699 (Update: it’s RM649 according to ASUS) and will be on sale from next month.
As for the MemoPad FHD 10, the tablet is powered by an Intel Atom Z2560 1.6GHz dual-core processor and has a 1920 x 1200 Full HD IPS 10.1-inch display. There’s also a 5MP rear camera and a 1.2MP front-facing camera, all in a body that is 9.5mm thick and weighs 580g. It will be sold at RM1199, and will also be available from next month.
Finally, the FonePad Note 6 was one of the highlights of ASUS’ IFA announcements. With top tier specs such as a 6-inch Full HD IPS display, Intel Atom Z2580 2GHz dual-core processor with 2GB of RAM, dual frontal stereo speakers with SonicMaster technology and a bundled digitizer stylus, it was soon touted as competitor to the Samsung Galaxy Note. And, given our shock at the leaked retail price for Malaysia, it could very well be. The ASUS FonePad Note 6 FHD will be available in Malaysia next month for a jaw-droppingly affordable RM1399. We’re not sure if that’s a typo, but at that price, that’s one hell of a device.
Given that the new devices will be available as early as next week, we’ll soon find out for sure.
Thanks for the tip, Anonymous!
Huawei is working on a refresh for the Ascend Mate, one of the first smartphones to break the 6-inch display barriers earlier this year. The giant 6.1-inch phablet was announced back in January this year at CES 2013, and it looks like the Ascend Mate 2 is ready for a CES 2014 debut.
The refresh of the original Ascend Mate, which made its way to Malaysia in May this year, looks to retain the 6.1-inch display but with a sharper full HD screen replacing the now-dated 720p panel. The processor will also naturally see a bump in specs, to a 1.6GHz quad-core HiSilicon processor and Mali-450 GPU with 2GB of RAM. Software-wise, the Ascend Mate 2 will run on Android 4.2.2 with Huawei’s Emotion UI skin on top.
With CES 2014 just a couple of months away, it’s likely we’ll be hearing more from Huawei on the Ascend Mate very soon.
(Source: Unwired View)