The sleek Samsung Galaxy Alpha will be launched in Malaysia this Friday, 19th September and retailer SenHeng has listed the device at RM1,899 outright. To make the Galaxy Alpha offer extra sweeter, Samsung is giving out its Gear 2 smart watch that’s worth RM899 for the first 100 buyers.
The free Gear 2 offer is applicable only at Samsung Experience Store at The Gardens KL and Gurney Paragon Penang. It is extended to Maxis Centre at KLCC as well.
To recap on the specs, the Galaxy Alpha is Samsung’s first Android device with metal frame construction which boasts an ultra-slim 6.7mm thickness and weighing only 115g. In terms of specs, it gets a respectable 4.7″ HD 720p Super AMOLED display and it runs on their own Exynos Octa-Core processor (4 cores at 1.8GHz / 4 cores at 1.3GHz) which appears to be frugal even with a smaller 1,860mAh capacity battery. It is mated with 2GB of RAM and on-board it gets 32GB of non-expandable storage.
The spec list continues with a 12MP + 2MP cameras and it also comes with a heart rate sensor, finger print scanner and 4G LTE connectivity as standard. You can see how does the Galaxy Alpha compares in terms of specs and dimensions in our comparison post.
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Oppo will be launching a new photography centric smart phone in October which is expected to be its new Oppo N3. This replaces its current Oppo N1 which is better known for its rotating 13MP camera for higher resolution selfie shots.
Now the folks at GSMArena claims to have an exclusive render of the upcoming N3. From the looks of it, the rotating camera has been retained and so is its dual-LED flash which is housed in a single module. The top end has a separate cylinder shape and what appears to be stereo speakers on both sides.
Picture from Gizmodo
If we were to talk about mobile devices, Dell has pretty much fallen off the radar screen. Take out their Windows 8 hybrid machines (if you want to consider those as mobile devices) then there’s nothing much on offer from Dell, but that could all change with the Venue 8 7840, Dell’s feature-packed, Intel-powered, 8.4-inch Android tablet.
Unveiled at the 2014 Intel Developers Conference in San Francisco by none other than Michael Dell himself, the Dell Venue 8 is impressive even if it is still in prototype stage. For starters, it looks like no other tablet in the market today, the offset surrounding the screen is almost nonexistent. According to Gizmodo, the Samsung-sourced 8.4-inch 2560×1600, 359ppi OLED display, is “gorgeous”, liking it to the out-of-this-world display on the Samsung Galaxy Tab S that’s similar both in both screen size and resolution. Dell’s newest slate is ultra thin too. At just 6mm thick, the Venue 8 — with its gunmetal-grey aluminium chassis — is 0.4mm thinner than the already wafer thin 6.4mm Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact.
The tablet’s calling card is its camera, the Dell Venue 8 has four of them. There are two for taking pictures and videos on the front and back, while the other two integrates with Intel’s RealSense technology to support features like telling distances between two points. On the most basic scale, you can use the additional cameras to refocus a picture as you would using HTC’s One M8 dual-camera setup. On a more advance level, the tablet can use its three rear-facing cameras to figure out the distance between two points in a picture by triangulation.
The Venue 8 runs Android 4.4 an is powered by a quad-core 2.33GHz Intel Atom Z3580 processor, there’s 32GB of on board storage that is said to be expandable via microSD card. The device goes on sale in the US and other markets by Christmas but there’s no word if it will make it to Malaysia.
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When the original Samsung Galaxy Note was announced in 2011, the then considered mammoth-sized 5.3 incher was criticised for being too huge as a phone. Holding a phone that stretches single handed use was quite new at that time especially with its 83.0mm width and it weighs 178g with just 2,500mAh capacity battery. As comparison, the latest Galaxy Note 4 despite its bigger 5.7″ screen is narrower at 78.6mm and is thinner at 8.5 mm (Galaxy Note: 9.7mm).
Not many believed that a phone this size would be a hit with consumers. Who could blame them especially when the pioneering Android phablet, the Dell Streak didn’t actually fly but that’s mainly due to its delayed launches and expensive pricing. Luckily for Samsung, they didn’t just increase the screen size but they have added extra features with its S-Pen to differentiate itself from a regular smart phone.
To the surprise of many, there are actually a lot of people digging the big screen Galaxy Note, and the rest is history. It doesn’t end there as people are even more receptive of buying 7-8″ tablets with telephony features and this segment is set to grow in emerging markets.
To gloat or to celebrate its success of making big screen smart phones that work, Samsung has released a video recapping what critics have said then and what they are saying now with the larger iPhones. Watch the video after the break.
HTC has yet to come out with a brand new tablet or a smart watch of their own. However a Bloomberg report suggests that they are making a portable rugged camera that would challenge GoPro’s HERO cameras.
According to their source, the new action camera that’s waterproof would have a 16MP sensor that’s mated to a wide angle lens and it will be compatible for both iOS and Android devices. The camera is said to have a tube-like shape and it uses WiFi and Bluetooth for connectivity.
Coincidentally HTC is organising an event on 8th October that’s dubbed as Double Exposure. It might be a new phone with a new imaging capability or it could possibly be the announcement of this new rugged action camera. It is interesting to see HTC trying to get into the camera business considering imaging isn’t exactly ground breaking on their smart phones.
HTC is getting ready to launch the Butterfly 2 next week on September 19. This little-known phone boasts IP57 ingress protection rating making it water and dust resistant up to a depth of 1 metre for 30 minutes. Aside from the IP57 rating, the Butterfly 2 gets a 5-inch full HD 1080p Super Clear LCD display (440ppi) and a 2.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor with 2GB RAM.
On board storage is 16GB that’s expandable up to an additional 128GB with micro SD and there’s a rather large 2,700mAh battery to ensure a good full day’s worth of run time between charges. For taking pictures, the Butterfly 2 features a Duo Camera set up that shoots 13MP pictures and it is assisted with dual LED lights. Over at the front, it gets 5MP wide angle camera for selfies.
It’s good to know that the Butterfly 2 brings one of our favourite features on high-end HTCs, the Boom Sound front stereo speakers.
To add to that, audio is further enhanced with JBL LiveStage. Based on the South East Asia product page, the unit for our region lacks JBL Audio enhancement. The Butterfly 2 uses Nano-SIM and 4G LTE connectivity comes as standard.
The Butterfly 2 may not have been officially launched in Malaysia yet but you can already get the official units from retailers like DirectD for RM2,299 or from SatuGadgetDotCom RM2,020. With a lower price than the HTC One M8 with virtually simillar specs, the Butterfly 2 seems to be a better purchase than if you don’t the plastic body.
Viber, the mobile communications platform on Android and iOS that offers free messaging and HD-quality phone calls, had recently released their system wide update Viber 5.0. They have also released newer software updates for desktop applications on Windows and Mac OS X. Viber 5.0 comes with a slew of powerful new features and enhancements, including making video calls from your smart phone.
The Galaxy Alpha will be officially launched in Malaysia on September 19 and already stores are looking to secure your money. One of them is electronics and electrical chain store, Senheng who are quick to list the Galaxy Alpha on their website including the price. The 4.7-inch Galaxy Alpha, according to Senheng, will sell for RM1,899.
The Galaxy Alpha was apparently created to compete with the similarly-sized iPhone 6 and it looks like the Samsung device is the better deal being thinner, lighter, narrower with better specs (You can check out the comparison of the specs and dimensions of the new iPhone 6 versus the Galaxy Alpha in our comparison here). With a thickness of just 6.7mm, the Galaxy Alpha is probably Samsung’s thinnest smartphone to date. Finished with a polished metal frame, the Alpha packs a 720p Super AMOLED display pushing 312ppi.
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Almost everybody has a smart watch, including Apple which has just announced theirs a couple of days ago. Now Taiwanese maker HTC which planned to make a smart watch of their own is reported to be releasing theirs in early 2015.
This came right after recent speculations that HTC had abandoned its smart watch plans due to increased competition. It was rumoured that HTC was working with Qualcomm to release a Toq based smart watch. With Android Wear becoming the new platform for Android based players, using proprietary watch platforms like Toq doesn’t seem to be feasible in this day and age.
So is HTC able to compete and how will it stand out in this new competitive space? Samsung and Sony had an early head start in the wearable business and they had just released their 3rd generation of smart watches at IFA 2014. Even LG and home rival ASUS have an Android Wear based smart watch of their own. According to Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, Samsung commands 51% share for smart watches, followed by Sony at 17% and Pebble at 6%.
With the arrival of the new Apple Watch and its wide choice of finishing and accessories, the smart watch segment is going to get more exciting in 2015. Among these players, HTC has been holding on solely on their smart phone business. It is worth pointing out that they are the only mainstream player without a tablet and a wearable device. Let’s see if they can come out with something ground breaking for the wrist and we are not holding our breath for this one.
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UPDATE: Samsung Galaxy Alpha pricing officially revealed.
The ultra-slim Samsung Galaxy Alpha will available in Malaysia next week, 19th September. This is their first Galaxy smart phone that uses premium metal materials and it is incredibly thin at 6.7mm as well as ultra-light at 115g.
To recap the specs, the Galaxy Alpha gets a compact sized 4.7″ Super AMOLED display that does 1280×720 pixels resolution and it runs on their very own Exynos Octa-Core processor (4 cores at 1.8GHz / 4 cores at 1.3GHz). You’ll get also 2GB of RAM and there’s 32GB of on-board storage which isn’t expandable. The rest of the specs include 12MP + 2MP cameras, heart rate sensor, finger print scanner and 4G LTE connectivity. It also gets a 1,860mAh capacity battery.
Purportedly designed to take on the new iPhone, the Galaxy Alpha is thinner, lighter and narrower than the similar sized 4.7″ iPhone 6. You can check out the comparison of the specs and dimensions of the new iPhone 6 versus the Galaxy Alpha in our comparison post.
A couple of weeks back, the Galaxy Alpha was spotted in a newspaper ad by Harvey Norman carrying the recommended retail price tag of RM1,999. We are later told that this isn’t official yet as the device is not available in the market. So how much do you think the Galaxy Alpha would be?
Check out a couple of hands-on photos of the Galaxy Alpha after the break.