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?
Yesterday, Motorola officially announced the arrival of the Moto E to Malaysia. Featuring decent hardware and Android 4.4 KitKat out of the box, let’s see what can RM369 buy you if you’re in the market to get a super affordable smartphone – and see what compromises would there be.
As you might have heard, TM today has launched its own 4G broadband service which is called TMgo in Alor Setar, Kedah. While we are still working to provide you plenty of details regarding the new service, we have managed to do a quick speed test using TMgo LTE USB dongle which is a D-Link DWM-221 as shown above.
To determine the speed during our test, we utilized the ever popular Ookla SpeedTest web platform and targets selected test servers in Malaysia as well as abroad.
Not everyone can afford to get the latest flagship smartphones. Fortunately, this year we’ve seen a trend where the battle between the smartphone companies isn’t just focused on the flagship models, but also on the lower end of the scale. These phones offer exceptional value for money, packing a combination of hardware and software that is really hard to disagree with.
With that in mind, we thought, which is the best budget Android smartphone you can buy? We take a look at four candidates: the Huawei Honor 3C, ASUS ZenFone 5 and the Xiaomi Redmi 1S and Redmi Note.
HTC’s excellent One (M8) remains one of my favourite smartphones of this year. It managed to get a lot of things right, from the beautifully-designed chassis, very light software skin and surprisingly good battery life, but stumbled a little at the final hurdle: the camera. Many bemoaned the fact that HTC retained the 4MP UltraPixel sensor, while adding the depth sensor for some genuinely cool effects. Don’t get me wrong, it is a much-improved camera compared to last year’s HTC One, but I personally wished it captured images at higher resolutions.
It is a criticism HTC has heard many times, and perhaps it is for that same reason the company has come out with the One (E8): a similarly-designed smartphone featuring a polycarbonate shell and a large 13MP rear camera sensor. It is also priced significantly cheaper too: the One (E8) is rumoured to be priced at RM1,699 when it is launched later this year. So how’s the One (E8) like?