Hands-on

Lenovo Yoga Book C930 first impressions: Still nothing quite like it

I don’t think any laptop has caught my eye the way Lenovo‘s original Yoga Book did. It was not a great laptop, nor was it a particularly excellent tablet. It sat somewhere between, but most importantly, it was a breath of fresh air. There was nothing quite like the Lenovo Yoga Book back in the day, and that’s not something you can say very often.

But now, it’s finally time for a refresh. While it was easy to forgive the original Yoga Book for a lot of its flaws — because it was a first-gen device — whatever follows does not have that same luxury. And that follow-up device is called the Lenovo Yoga Book C930, or as I like to call it: The Lenovo Yoga Book 2.

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Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro hands-on: Pretty, but for a pretty big sacrifice

I’m a total sucker for cool-looking smartphones — I can’t help it, I’m just naturally drawn to the device with the impractical motorised cameras, or the coolest new sliding mechanism. Or, in the case of the brand new Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro, the one with the most transparent back.

But the problem with a lot of these fancy smartphones is: There’s a high chance that you’re giving something crucial up just so you can own that cool new design or mechanism. And unfortunately for the Mi 8 Pro, it looks like you’re giving up something pretty significant — something I don’t think Xiaomi really needed to do with this line of smartphone.

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Fitbit Charge 3 impressions: Not quite all there

There are very few brands that have become so ubiquitous with what they make that a large majority of the public have begun simply replacing the product’s noun with the company’s brand. Companies like GoPro, Jacuzzi, Maggi and Google, are good examples.

Then, you’ve got Fitbit, who — perhaps to a lesser extent — once dominated the smart fitness tracker market in a similar manner. They’re probably the most well-known fitness tracker maker in the world, and today I’ve got their latest product with me. It’s called the Charge 3 and here are my first impressions.

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Xiaomi Mi MIX 3 hands-on: The magic is back

Since I started work at SoyaCincau, only two smartphones have really, truly blown me away. One of them was the OPPO Find X — with all of its motorised camera madness — while the other was the original Mi MIX. Yes, that jaw-dropping near bezel-less smartphone that was made almost entirely out of ceramic. It was horribly impractical, ridiculously fragile and had a really dumb selfie camera placement, but I loved that phone to bits because it pretty much spat in the face of convention.

That’s why I was so disappointed when I saw the Mi MIX 2 — because it felt like Xiaomi wanted to push sales numbers more than they wanted to push the envelop — and why I was also so worried that this philosophy would carry over to its successor, the Mi MIX 3. Today, I got to spend some time with the MIX 3 and I’m relieved to report that this isn’t the case…not entirely, anyway. In fact, it looks like Xiaomi found a neat way to balance the two philosophies.

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Huawei Mate 20 Pro: Better, faster, wider but is it a Note9 killer?

Huawei Mate 20 Pro First Impressions Malaysia

Since the very first model, the Huawei Mate series is always about having a large screen and a huge battery on a smartphone. In Huawei’s smartphone lineup, the Mate is positioned as a business phone while the P series is focused on photography.

When Huawei announced the P20 Pro with a large 6.2” FullView display and a massive 4,000mAh battery, the line that separates the two series is becoming less clear. Here’s what I think so far of the Huawei Mate 20 Pro.

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The Realme 2 Pro is a good phone but a missed opportunity

I’m a little on the fence when it comes to sub-brands. Part of me wonders what’s the point of launching an entirely new brand and starting from scratch again with branding, when you can just trade on the already established parent brand. But then I realise that this whole sub-brand business can actually be beneficial because it allows companies the freedom to reinvent themselves and plant a different image into the minds of the consumer.

At least, that has to be one of the strengths from a consumer’s standpoint right? And that’s why I was so perplexed by OPPO sub-brand Realme, because I don’t really see this whole reinvention angle.

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Fujifilm’s X-T3 is a great camera that’s hard to recommend

I’ve always had a soft spot for Fujifilm‘s X-series of digital cameras. Well, not so much the X-A, but definitely the X-T, X-H and X100. It’s that sexy combination of old-school good looks, excellent image quality and physical dials that give their cameras that X-factor, so to speak.

And today, I got to check out the latest entry into their line of X-T cameras. It’s called the X-T3 and I’m absolutely smitten.

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The ASUS ROG Phone has one of the craziest retail boxes I’ve seen

While I’ve seen this phone multiple times over the year, I never got to see the final retail unit nor did I get to see the final retail box. And boy was I not prepared for it. I mean, I’ve seen some fancy boxes before — the original Mi MIX comes to mind — but the thing I loved about the ROG Phone one was just how much it oozed “gaming”, yet managed to not be incredibly garish at the same time.

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What went wrong with the Nokia 6.1 Plus?

One of Nokia‘s big selling points when they relaunched into the world of Android smartphones under HMD Global, was that their phones would be built to last. That — alongside the promise of stock Android and fast updates — was one of the most alluring things about Nokia’s crop of handsets, so alluring that I would even have paid a little extra for them. Just hold a Nokia 7 Plus and you’ll get what I’m talking about.

And that is precisely why I was a little disappointed when I picked up the brand new Nokia 6.1 Plus and 5.1 Plus. They felt very…underwhelming.

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DJI Mavic 2 Pro & Zoom hands-on: What more do you want?

Everyone remembers the DJI Mavic Pro. At the time of its launch, there simply wasn’t a drone like it in the market. I mean, yeah there was technically the GoPro Karma, but I’d argue that even that drone is nowhere near as polished as the Mavic Pro.

Not only did the Mavic fold smaller, it also flew better and had all of DJI’s excellent intelligent flight systems and computer vision — it was much better as a standalone product. Meanwhile, the Karma was designed to fit into GoPro’s ecosystem — and I have to say they did a good job there — leveraging the company’s existing action cameras while also adding a touch of modularity with the Karma Grip. At least they were doing a good job, until Karmas started falling out of the sky.

So, I’d argue that the Mavic Pro was definitely in a class of its own. And when you’ve got such a game-changing device, the question becomes: How do you follow it up? Well, DJI thinks the way forward to is to have two versions of the Mavic 2.

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