When Sony introduced the original Xperia Z smartphone to the world, it also introduced a manufacturing and philosophical shift in its flagship smartphone strategy: to have a six-month cycle for its Z series of flagship Android smartphones. As a result, since the Xperia Z debuted at CES 2013, we’ve now got four Z-series smartphones in under two years: the Z, Z1, Z2 and now the Xperia Z3.
The company’s faced some pretty harsh criticism over this move, as many consumers feel that they are being short-changed for buying a premium smartphone that’s only going to be a flagship for six months. But since using both the Xperia Z2 and the Z3 almost back-to-back, I’m beginning to see some semblance of logic in Sony’s apparent madness.
Just moments ago, Acer Malaysia has taken the drape off a new laptop for our market but as opposed to most of the company’s other laptops which are usually made for mainstreams users, this particular model is designed for multimedia and gaming. It comes with feisty name too.
So, here it is: say hello to the new Acer Aspire V15 Nitro Black Edition.
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.
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?
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.
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.