Samsung is expected to cut down on its smart phone models by 30% next year, in a bid to improve its smart phone margins. The South Korean maker is likely to retain its Galaxy S and Galaxy Note series as their flagship products and the biggest change should be coming from the competitive entry to mid-range segments. If you look at their affordable offering, Samsung has a gazillion number of models that’s hard to keep track with.
In an attempt to streamline their offering, they have announced its Samsung Galaxy A line up which consists of Galaxy A3, Galaxy A5 and a newer Galaxy A7. Now here comes a new Galaxy E series which could be an affordable range that follows the same naming convention.
India is a huge market for Xiaomi where it has sold over 800,000 smart phones since its arrival in July. Before the year is out, the aggressive Chinese brand was slapped by a court order to cease imports and sales of its smart phones until February 2015. This is due to Ericsson’s allegation that Xiaomi has infringed 8 of its patents on 3G, EDGE and AMR technologies.
Xiaomi and its online retail partner Flipkart were ordered to provide details of its revenues made so far. If the court’s outcome goes in favour for Ericsson, Xiaomi might possibly follow MicroMax’s predicament of paying 1% of its retail price royalty.
To date, Xiaomi has been doing quite well with its Mi 3 and Redmi 1S handset and they have already captured more than 1% market share in India. Unlike in Malaysia where 5,000 to 8,000 smart phones take a few minutes to sold out, Xiaomi India enjoys having tens of thousands being snapped up in just a matter of seconds. Most recently they had sold out 75,000 units of its Redmi Note in just 8 seconds. As result, Xiaomi had to move stocks from other markets just to fulfil the huge demand.
A couple of weeks ago, Corning had officially announced its latest Gorilla Glass 4 which is tough enough to withstand 80% of accidental drops from 1 metre. As we look forward to durable displays for next year’s smart phones, it looks like Samsung is already using it on some of its devices today.
The sleek Samsung Galaxy Alpha is reported to be the first device to use the latest Gorilla Glass 4 which is only 0.4mm thick. Now it also appears that its latest Galaxy Note 4 too is getting the same durable protection as it is also listed for having Gorilla Glass 4. So hopefully this means that you’re less likely to replace the front glass of the Galaxy Alpha and Galaxy Note 4 after accidental drops.
If you haven’t seen it yet, check out the Gorilla Glass 4 durability test video after the break. Wondering how Corning is making a difference with glass? Don’t forget to watch The Glass Age video series presented by the folks from Mythbusters.
Alcatel claims it’s latest smartphone — the OneTouch Flash — that will be available in Malaysia soon, is “one of the world’s best selfie smartphones” that’s “perfect for selfie lovers”. It’s a big claim but with just a 5MP front camera we’re not sure how the Flash is better than other selfie phones like the HTC Desire Eye (13MP front camera with dual-tone flash and HDR), the Oppo N3 (16 MP auto-swivel, Schneider Kreuznach certified camera) and almost all other top-end smartphones from China has front camera that’s more than 5MP.
Anyway, let’s go into the details. The OneTouch Flash features a 5.5-inch 720p display with an 1.4 GHz Octa-Core processor, a 3,200mAh battery, Android 4.4.2 KitKat, a 13MP rear camera and a 5MP front facing camera.
There are plenty of affordable 4G LTE smart phones in the market but did you know that the BenQ F5 is able to give you more? Priced at RM699, this Android smart phone is not only affordable but it packs better hardware and features than other devices in the same price range.
If you want to stretch your ringgit further, here are 5 reasons why the BenQ F5 should be on top of your consideration list.
The Moto 360 is a pretty looking smart watch with its round display surrounded by a solid stainless steel frame. In a bid to separate themselves from other smart watches, Motorola has released a series of video commercials that looks like a parody of premium brand ads that exudes luxury.
The Moto 360 is coming to Malaysia but so far there’s no indication yet from the folks at Motorola. In the US, it is priced at US$249 which is about RM817 when converted directly. If you can’t wait, there are imported units currently listed on Lazada from RM1,145.
Watch the Moto 360 commercials after the break.
Our smart phones are taking over dedicated GPS devices with a variety of maps and navigation apps such as Google Maps and Waze. However it is only as good as your connection since it relies on online content. If you’re travelling somewhere with poor connectivity or to overseas without a local SIM card, you’ll appreciate Nokia’s HERE Maps offline capability which includes turn by turn navigation.
It now supports a total of 118 countries including Malaysia. Now it is available for Android users over at the Google Play Store. For iOS users, the app is still under development and they are targeting to release it in early 2015. If you need help to get started, HERE Maps has posted a simple guide for Android users over here.
Check out the HERE maps for Android demo video after the break.
The OPPO R5 is remarkably thin at only 4.85mm. With the recent bendgate issue surrounding the iPhone 6 Plus, OPPO wants to convince you that its hand polished steel frame is strong enough to chop fruits and can withstand being run over by a car. The steel frame is quite a solid that the overall device is quite heavy at 155 grams.
The OPPO R5 is priced at RM1,598 and it features a 5.2″ Super AMOLED Full HD display and runs on a newer Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 1.5GHz Octa-Core processor that’s mated to 2GB RAM. It gets 16GB of storage, 13MP + 5MP cameras and keeping the lights on is a 2,000mAh capacity battery.
Check out the R5 chopping video after the break.
The Xiaomi Mi 4 which was launched 6 months ago is finally available with 4G FDD-LTE support. Prior to this, the Mi 4 was only available in 3G (WCDMA), 3G (WCDMA + CDMA) and 4G (TDD-LTE) variants. For those who managed to get a unit locally had to settle for the 3G version.
The Mi 4 FDD-LTE (Unicom version) is priced at 1,999 CNY for 16GB which is about RM1,129 in our local exchange rate. At the moment, it isn’t available with 64GB of on-board storage. It will be going on sale in China on 16th December and there’s still no word of its international availability. For those craving for a 4G handset, the Redmi Note 4G is the only option right now and it is going on sale today for RM589.
The Acer Liquid Jade is sleek mid-range Android smart phone that’s both slender and light to hold. If you think its current specs of having a 1.3GHz Quad-Core MediaTek processor is quite low-rate, Acer has given it a jab of steroids with a newer Liquid Jade S.
From the exterior, the new Acer Liquid Jade S looks the same as its current model with a 5″ HD 720p display. However underneath it gets a newer 1.5GHz MediaTek MT6752M Octa-Core processor which supports 64-bit and faster 4G LTE. Like its latest smart phone line up, Acer is packing a generous serving of 2GB RAM and 16GB of on-board storage.