It takes a lot to remove a word from your smartphone model’s identity; evolving the Sony Xperia M series meant dropping the “Aqua” name on the Xperia M5 Dual. It’s going to take a lot more than product placement in a Bond film to revive the Japanese giant, or at least their mobile division, if they want to continue the Xperia brand.
|Android, Industry in General, Mobile Apps, Mobile Devices, Mobile OS, Product review, Sony|
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I never understood the need for a portable wireless speaker. Don’t get me wrong, I love my unnecessary gadgets. In fact I have an entire argument laid out about how I absolutely need a tablet/laptop hybrid even though I already have a laptop. desktop and phablet. That said, I just never saw the point of the Bluetooth speaker.
I’ll admit, I’m no audiophile. Nor was I born in the time frame where “Say Anything…” was a thing. So the notion of carrying around an extra, rather heavy and rather expensive device just to play my music out loud – something I personally detest – seemed incredibly perplexing.
What will it take to put HTC at the forefront of the smartphone market? Since 2011 their stock price has plummeted 90%, leading them to be pulled off the main Taiwan stock exchange market; TWSE 50. Is it pompous ignorance, bad marketing or just market strategies? A sharp fall from grace that has seen them at one time, account for 24% of all smartphone shipments when their stocks were valued at the highest.
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UPDATE: Both devices have had a minor price revision, the OPPO PM-3 now retails for RM 1,399 and the OPPO HA-2 at RM 1,699.
It might seem a little odd seeing one of the Chinese smartphone brands that we know and love suddenly out some high end audioware, but believe it or not OPPO had its roots in audio way before they started producing phones.
Here we have the OPPO PM-3 Planar Magnetic Headphones, the cheapest option of their high end series of headphones alongside their headphone amplifier-slash-battery pack the OPPO HA-2.
Xiaomi has really been branching out as of late, producing not only great budget smartphones but also powerbanks, wearables and now their very first set of premium headphones which was announced earlier this year alongside the Mi Note.
The company’s first foray into audio was with their Piston in-ear earphones, of which the second generation Piston was launched not too long ago sporting the same styling as the Mi Headphones. The Piston is priced very cheaply too at RM 50, following Xiaomi’s tradition of having insanely cheap prices.
UPDATE: We have a winning camera as chosen by you. Read all about it here.
Camera performance in a smartphone is a HUGE deal. It’s such a big deal that many place their purchasing decision predominantly on how well a smartphone takes pictures. So how good are the cameras in among the best smartphones you can get right now?
That’s where you come in.
We have here for you, a selection of pictures taken using five of the best smartphones on the planet: Galaxy S6 Edge, iPhone 6, Galaxy Note Edge, Galaxy S5 and the Xperia Z3. We want you to decide which of the five phones take the best picture. The samples are arranged randomly and what you need to do is rank the pictures from your choice of best to worst using the letters display.
For example, here’s how a reader might rank the pictures in Set 1, from best to worst: C, D, E, B, A. Then the reader proceeds to rank sets 2 – 4. Submit your votes in the comment section, we’ll tabulate your submission and reveal which phone, chosen by you, has the best camera.
Voting closes Sunday, April 5 and we’ll reveal the winner on Monday April 6. Enjoy.
|Android, iOS, iPhone, Mobile Devices, Mobile OS, Product review, Samsung, Sony|
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Shure is a brand more known for their impressive microphones and large scale audio setups, but not too many people are aware that they do make headsets for the consumer market as well.
We managed to get our hands on not one but two of Shure’s entry level headsets, the Shure SRH 144 and SRH 145 to test out to find out what exactly makes them different from the rest.
The two headsets may look the same, but under the hood there are some fine differences in terms of their hardware and price.
The SRH 144 has a sensitivity of 96dB and a frequency range of 30Hz-20kHz, while the SRH 145 features a sensitivity of 100dB with a frequency range of 25Hz-18 kHz. Both headsets have an impedance of 34 Ohms.
It may not sound like much but you’ll hear the difference once you pop them on because the SRH 144 with its semi-opened design, is made for natural sound reproduction but the disadvantage here is that sound is going to leak out of the opened ear cups which means people next to you will be able to hear some of the music that you’re listening to, especially at higher volumes.
The SRH 145, with its closed-back design, has more kick in the bass to it than the SRH 144 and isolates noise better but both will still allow ambient noise to mix with your music. This is something of a bother if you’re really particular about sound but is not really an issue for most people.
In terms of price, the SRH 144 is retails for RM199 while the SRH 145 is quite a bit more expensive at RM299 which technically puts them in different price brackets though I don’t think the RM100 difference is necessary or even warranted given the two headsets are essentially the same.
The previous HTC One was one of our top smart phones for 2013. Its aluminium unibody design stands out from the barrage of plasticky smart phones that had been common with Android smart phones. For the new HTC One (M8), they have improved its build quality to a whole new level with better aluminium finish which extends all the way to the edge of its display.
Along with its new hardware, they have also added a couple of smart features including the ability to tap to wake and launch preset apps by swiping. Without further ado, watch our hands-on video of the new One (M8) after the break.
Tablets are usually the “betweener” device that slots right between your daily smart phone and the desktop computer. With the new Galaxy NotePro 12.2, Samsung Malaysia is calling this as a progressive tablet which is designed to take on most of your day to day work in a portable device. Priced at RM2,999, the Galaxy NotePro 12.2 is rather expensive for a typical Android tablet.
In the working environment, the desktop computer is simply irreplaceable even with the best tablet available. However for some high management folks, a tablet might just fit the bill provided that it comes with the right tools and features to get the job done. That’s an area where the NotePro 12.2 aims to accomplish.
Read on to find out more about Samsung’s high-end large screen tablet.
After its success with the original Pebble, the smart watch maker had announced the Pebble Steel, its premium version of its popular Smart Watch. We’ve placed our order as soon as it was announced during CES 2014 and it finally arrived last week. At US$100 more than the original plastic based Pebble, it maintains the same display and inner workings but furnished with more premium materials. The front comes with a similar 1.26″ ePaper display that does a 144×168 pixels resolution in black and white.
So what do you get out of the box? Firstly the smart watch body is more upmarket with a metal body and nice metallic buttons. The front surface is now glass which is toughen with Corning Gorilla Glass and Pebble now has also included a Tri-Colour LED notification light placed at the bottom left. It still charges using a magnetic cable dock which is of a different design that isn’t backward compatible with the previous version.
There are 2 colour options available – Brushed Stainless Steel and Matte Black. Whichever colour you choose, Pebble is giving a black leather strap as standard which is fastened by default out of the box. While the Pebble Steel comes with an instruction manual on replacing the strap, we are disappointed that the required mini flat head screwdriver isn’t included in the box. That’s as bad as buying an Ikea furniture without an Allen Key or buying a smart phone without a pin to eject your micro SIM slot. With a premium asking price, Pebble could have included a small screwdriver for ease of changing the strap.
When we compare the Pebble Steel with its predecessor, the overall footprint is smaller with narrower width and shorter height. However the weight of the new Pebble Steel is 56 grams with the leather strap and a rather heavy 99 grams with the steel strap. As comparison, the original plastic pebble is much lighter at 38 grams. One gripe which we would like to highlight is the rough edges where the metal frame meets the glass on the watch face. The sides are noticeably sharp and rough which could probably cause a minor cut on the fingers, something we didn’t expect with a “premium” product.
Overall, the Pebble Steel is a material upgrade over the original Pebble, but we would have expected more from its US$100 extra price tag. A new rival in wearables is Qualcomm’s Toq smart watch which we’ve previewed at Mobile World Congress. Also priced at US$249, the Toq offers more functionalities with direct access to contacts, address books and the display pushes colours with its Mirasol technology. The Pebble smart watch was one of our favourites for basic notification on the wrist, but with emerging choices it is hard to justify the price with competition like Samsung catching up aggressively with more features.
Watch our hands-on of the Pebble Steel after the break.