Apple making a large-screen smartphone? You must be joking.
But this isn’t Steve Jobs’ Apple any more. This is Tim Cook’s Apple, a company that’s more open to feedback from its users, instead of one that makes you believe its one phone is the best phone you’ll ever get…until the next year, when the new iPhone is the best phone you’ll ever get.
Now, there’s a choice. Last year there were the iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s; it wasn’t a difficult decision the last time. For 2014, there’s the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, a huge 5.5-inch phablet catered for those yearning for a big iOS-running smartphone that can do everything.
It can hardly be denied that the Apple’s next-generation iPhone, the iPhone 6, is one of the year’s most anticipated devices. With rumours about the device circulating for months before the actual release just a few weeks back, one can tell that this is perhaps also the most important iPhone ever made.
But when it was eventually announced, it was safe to say many were let down in more ways than one. I know I was. But that just made me curious, and I felt the need to judge it for myself. Thankfully, I stumbled upon an Apple store selling the new iPhones.
BlackBerry’s latest flagship smartphone, the Passport, is officially here. Announced in Malaysia less than 24 hours after it was unveiled globally in three cities around the world, it is clearly a statement of intent of the struggling company’s move to focus on its core target market. The Passport itself is a reflection of that same move: a device solely catered and fully focused for the “mobile professional”, and it is unashamedly designed to be so.
Earlier this month, Sony has unveiled a brand new limited edition PlayStation 4 at Sony Computer Entertainment Japan Asia (SCEJA) press conference which is called the Metal Slime Edition in conjunction with the upcoming release of Dragon Quest Heroes: Yamiryuu to Sekaiju no Shiro.
At that time, it was believed that the special edition console will not be available outside of Japan but that changes today as SCEJA today has revealed that PS4 Dragon Quest Metal Slime Edition will be released in Asian regions soon.
Lenovo’s smartphones may not be available for sale anywhere in Europe, but that hasn’t stop the world’s largest PC vendor from showcasing its latest smartphones here at IFA 2014. It’s even announced three new mobile devices here: the Vibe Z2, Vibe X2 and the Tab S8. Given that Lenovo smartphones are officially available in Malaysia, there’s one smartphone we’re particularly interested in: the Vibe Z2 Pro, one of the most powerful Android smartphones to date.
Apart from Nokia Lumia 830, Microsoft has also brought another new smartphone to IFA 2014 this week in the form of Lumia 730 Dual SIM and its LTE twin, the Lumia 735. Prior to the official launch, the smartphone has been fondly referred to as the selfie Lumia phone by almost all pre-launch rumours and leaks.
The Sony Xperia Z2 isn’t even a year old – and in Malaysia, it’s been on sale barely four months – but Sony’s six-month cycle for flagship smartphones means that there is a new Sony flagship: the Xperia Z3. This six-month cycle, Sony claims, lets it iterate faster and introduce new innovations in a manner that the competition can only catch months later. I’m not a fan of this policy since it makes new owners of Sony flagships have “the old version” within six months of purchasing one, but with the new Xperia Z3, I can at least begin to understand why.
As reported yesterday, Microsoft has officially introduced two new additions to its Nokia Lumia Windows Phone 8.1 family of smartphones. One of them is the Nokia Lumia 830 which has surprisingly been touted by Microsoft as an “affordable flagship” device.
For many of us, a flagship device is a reference given to products that are positioned at the top of their family members since they usually feature top notch hardware, features and design. In the Lumia series, that role is currently fulfilled by the Lumia 930 as well as the Lumia 1520.
Take a quick look at the Lumia 830’s specs, and you might be baffled to see that its hardware is nowhere near the Lumia 930 and Lumia 1520. So, how can the Lumia 820 be called a flagship device then?
Intel Malaysia and SNS Network have launched the Joi 8 tablet, which is the first locally-branded Intel powered Windows 8.1 tablet. Featuring a retail price tag of RM499, it easily puts the tablet as one of the most affordable choices for consumers who operate on a desktop operating system in a tablet.
Samsung. For the longest time, the world’s biggest Android smartphone maker has faced criticism over its Galaxy line of smartphones over its lack of imagination in design and worse, an over-reliance on cheap plastic materials for quicker manufacturing processes. As the competition produced sleeker, more handsome Android devices that made use of more premium materials, Samsung began to feel the heat.
Suddenly, it feels like the Korean giants isn’t the top dog anymore.
But, Samsung did not make its way to the top by chance. This is a company known for rapid iterations, and responds to industry changes quicker than most companies do. The result? The Galaxy Alpha, the first Galaxy device to use a metal frame. Announced officially only last month, it will make its debut to the world at next week’s IFA trade show…but we’ve had the opportunity for a quick peek.
Last week, Xiaomi surprised Mi fans in Malaysia by releasing its Xiaomi Mi In-Ear Piston Earphones to the market here. The premium quality piston earphones which retails at a super affordable price tag of RM50 was all the rage in the audio-savvy community.
Like every other Xiaomi device, the 2,000 units of the golden earphones sold like hotcakes in the flash sale and were all sold out within minutes. However, I managed to snag a spot in the queue and placed my order with a purchase.
I was interested in seeing how good these supposedly premium in-ear earphones offered, especially given the low retail price of RM50. How does it fare against in-ear earphones that are a lot more expensive from other established audio brands, or would it just match a regular pair of earphones that usually comes out of the box with most smartphones?