Category Archives: Mobile Devices Reviews, Articles & News

This section is where you will find everything on mobile devices – smartphones, tablets, phablets! We will share with you our reviews, articles and the latest news on these mobile devices.

HUAWEI P20 Pro Pearl White Edition Hands-On Preview!

HUAWEI P20 Pro Pearl White Edition Hands-On Preview!

Of all of the colours the HUAWEI P20 Pro launched in, the Twilight Edition was our firm favourite. But at IFA 2018, HUAWEI announced a new P20 Pro Pearl White Edition, and today, we had the opportunity to get some hands-on time with the new HUAWEI P20 Pro Pearl Edition. Check it out!

 

The Huawei P20 Pro Pearl White Edition

The HUAWEI P20 Pro Pearl White Edition has a 6.1″ OLED display with a Full HD+ resolution of 1080 x 2240 pixels. It is powered by the HiSilicon Kirin 970 octa-core SoC, with 6 GB of LPDDR4 memory128 GB of internal storage, and a 4,000 mAh battery.

The front camera has a 24 MP sensor, with f/2.0 lens. The “killer feature” is its Leica-branded triple lens camera, which is made up of a high-resolution dual-lens camera, and a separate telephoto camera.

The high-resolution dual-lens camera pairs a 40 MP RGB camera with f/1.8 lens, with a 20 MP monochrome camera with f/1.6 lens. The separate 8 MP RGB camera with f/2.4 telephotos lens is capable of 3X optical zoom, and 5X hybrid zoom.

 

HUAWEI P20 Pro Specification Comparison

SpecificationsHuawei P20 ProHuawei P20Huawei P20 Lite
Display6.1" Full HD+ OLED display
- 1080 x 2240 pixels (408 ppi)
- 18.7:9 aspect ratio
5.8" Full HD+ IPS display
- 1080 x 2244 pixels (428 ppi)
- 18.7:9 aspect ratio
5.8" Full HD+ IPS display
- 1080 x 2244 pixels
- 18.7:9 aspect ratio
Operating SystemAndroid 8.1 Oreo with EMUI 8.1Android 8.1 Oreo with EMUI 8.1Android 8.1 Oreo with EMUI 8.1
System PlatformHiSilicon Kirin 970HiSilicon Kirin 970HiSilicon Kirin 659
Processor4 x ARM Cortex-A73 cores (2.36 GHz)
4 x ARM Cortex-A53 (1.8 GHz)
i7 co-processor + NPU
4 x ARM Cortex-A73 cores (2.36 GHz)
4 x ARM Cortex-A53 (1.8 GHz)
i7 co-processor + NPU
4 x ARM Cortex-A53 cores (2.36 GHz)
4 x ARM Cortex-A53 (1.7 GHz)
Graphics ProcessorARM Mali-G72 MP12 (850 MHz)ARM Mali-G72 MP12 (850 MHz)ARM Mali-T830 (900 MHz)
Memory6 GB LPDDR44 GB LPDDR44 GB LPDDR3
Storage128 GB internal storage
microSD card (up to 256 GB)
128 GB internal storage
microSD card (up to 256 GB)
64 GB internal storage
microSD card (up to 256 GB)
Front Camera24 MP sensor with f/2.0 lens24 MP sensor with f/2.0 lens24 MP sensor with f/2.0 lens
Rear CameraTriple-lens Leica 40 MP camera system
- 40 MP RGB sensor with f/1.8 lens
- 20 MP monochrome sensor with f/1.6 lens
- 8 MP RGB sensor with f/2.4 telephoto lens
- 3x lossless zoom + 5X hybrid zoom
- laser auto-focus
- dual tone LED flash
Dual-lens Leica camera
- 12 MP RGB sensor with f/1.8 lens
- 20 MP monochrome sensor with f/1.6 lens
- laser auto-focus
- dual tone LED flash
Dual-lens camera
- 12 MP RGB sensor with f/1.8 lens
- 20 MP monochrome sensor with f/1.6 lens
- laser auto-focus
- dual tone LED flash
ConnectivityWiFi : 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (dual band)
Bluetooth v4.2, A2DP, EDR, LE
USB 2.0 Type C
WiFi : 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (dual band)
Bluetooth v4.2, A2DP, EDR, LE
USB 2.0 Type C
WiFi : 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (dual band)
Bluetooth v4.2, A2DP, EDR, LE
USB 2.0 Type C
GPSYes, AGPS, GLONASSYes, AGPS, GLONASSYes, AGPS, GLONASS
NFCYesYesYes
Battery4,000 mAh lithium-ion battery3,400 mAh lithium-ion battery3,000 mAh lithium-ion battery
Colour OptionsCeramic Black / TwilightCeramic Black / TwilightMidnight Black / Klein Blue / Sakura Pink
Fingerprint SensorYes, Front MountedYes, Front MountedYes, Rear Mounted

 

HUAWEI P20 Pro Pearl White Price + Availability

The new HUAWEI P20 Pro Pearl White Edition is available for purchase at RM 2,949 / ~US$ 1,075 beginning 14 September 2018.

This is a limited edition colour with only 500 units available in Malaysia. Check for availability in the official Huawei store – Web | Mobile App.

 

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Use Samsung Super Slow-mo To Add Drama To Any Video!

One of the key features that the Samsung Galaxy Note9 brings to the table is Super Slow-mo. It automatically adds drama to even the most mundane activity, and brings out the action when it matters the most!

In this article, we will explain how the Samsung Super Slow-mo mode works, and show you some examples of how Super Slow-mo makes our videos better!

 

Samsung Super Slow-mo

Super Slow-mo is a new video recording capability first introduced in the Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+. It allows you to record 720p video at an astounding 960 frames per second!

Here is a short video we created to showcase how easy it is to use Super Slow-mo to create really interesting and fun videos to share with your family and friends!

If that is not enough, you can check out the Super Slow-mo video we created using the Samsung Galaxy S9+ (Price Check).

These Super Slow-mo videos can be instantly edited, with a random selection from preloaded choices. Or you can use your own music / songs. You can also create a GIF from the recorded video, with three style of looping – reverse, forward or swing.

There are some caveats though – Super Slow-mo is limited to 0.4 seconds of recording and 12 seconds of playback for single Super Slow-mo shots. If you opt for the multi-shot mode, each Super Slow-mo segment in that video is limited to 0.2 seconds of recording and 6 seconds of playback.

If you are interested to know how they accomplished this, read on further…

 

How Is Samsung Super Slow-mo Possible?

Super Slow-mo is only made possible by a new Samsung ISOCELL image sensor, and the very fast Samsung Exynos 9810 (or Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 in the US) SoC. Hence, it is currently only available in the Samsung Galaxy Note9 (US | MY Web | MY App), the Samsung Galaxy S9 and the Samsung Galaxy S9+.

Samsung ISOCELL Fast Image Sensor

Samsung used the new ISOCELL Fast SAK2L3 image sensor in the Galaxy Note9 (US | MY Web | MY App). First introduced in the Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+, it is a 12 MP sensor with large 1.4 µm pixels for excellent low-light performance.

The Fast designation means it comes with Dual Pixel and Super PD capabilities. It also boasts a 3-stack FRS (Fast Readout Sensor) that allows high-speed capture of Full HD video.

The Dual Pixel technology is an autofocus technology that uses the dual photodiodes in every pixel on the image sensor for phase-detection autofocus. This allows for faster and more accurate focusing, because it uses the entire image sensor for autofocus, instead of just a few dedicated pixels (usually less than 5% of the total).

Flagship-Class Processor

When paired with the Samsung Exynos 9810, the new ISOCELL Fast image sensor is said to be fast enough to record slow-motion 1080p video at 960 fps / 4K video at 120 fps.

However, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 is not fast enough, so Samsung limited the Super Slow-mo capability to ensure a consistent experience worldwide.

So now you know why you are limited to 720p videos at 960 fps, and only for up to 0.4 seconds. Even so, the Super Slow-mo capability adds a new creative tool that was not available in many other flagship smartphones.

 

Where To Buy The Galaxy Note9

Here are some direct links to purchase the Samsung Galaxy Note9 in Malaysia.

  • Samsung Galaxy Note9 with 128 GB storage : RM 3,699 (Web | App)
  • Samsung Galaxy Note9 with 512 GB storage : RM 4,599 (Web | App)

Here are some direct links to purchase the Samsung Galaxy Note9 in the US.

  • Samsung Galaxy Note9 (128 GB, International Unlocked) : $849
  • Samsung Galaxy Note9 (128 GB, US Unlocked) : $999.99
  • Samsung Galaxy Note9 (512 GB, International Unlocked) : $1,214
  • Samsung Galaxy Note9 (512 GB, US Unlocked) : $999.99

For more details, read our in-depth Samsung Galaxy Note9 review!

 

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Samsung Galaxy Note9 Review – Quietly Revolutionary!

We know just how eager everyone is to read about the new Samsung Galaxy Note9 smartphone. Is it the best Note Samsung ever made? Is it much better than the already impressive Galaxy Note8? Is it worth buying?

Here is our comprehensive review of the Samsung Galaxy Note9 smartphone. Let’s see if it’s an evolutionary upgrade, or a revolutionary device… and find out why it won our Editor’s Choice Award!

Updated @ 2018-09-10 : A major update of the review with many new photos and videos added. We also updated many aspects of the review, adding new details about the Galaxy Note9.

Originally posted @ 2018-08-24

 

Samsung Galaxy Note9 Colour Options

The Samsung Galaxy Note9 (US | MY Web | MY App) will come in FOUR colour options, but the Lavender Purple colour will be limited to certain countries, at least initially. The other colours are, from left to right : Midnight Black, Ocean Blue and Metallic Copper.

The Ocean Blue colour is the most interesting because it features an S Pen in a contrasting yellow colour.

 

Where To Buy The Galaxy Note9

Here are some direct links to purchase the Samsung Galaxy Note9 in Malaysia.

  • Samsung Galaxy Note9 with 128 GB storage : RM 3,699 (Web | App)
  • Samsung Galaxy Note9 with 512 GB storage : RM 4,599 (Web | App)

Here are some direct links to purchase the Samsung Galaxy Note9 in the US.

  • Samsung Galaxy Note9 (128 GB, International Unlocked) : $849
  • Samsung Galaxy Note9 (128 GB, US Unlocked) : $999.99
  • Samsung Galaxy Note9 (512 GB, International Unlocked) : $1,214
  • Samsung Galaxy Note9 (512 GB, US Unlocked) : $999.99

 

Unboxing The Samsung Galaxy Note9

The Samsung Galaxy Note9 (US | MY Web | MY App) comes in a premium black box, which is virtually the same used for the Galaxy Note8 (Price Check).

Once you fully unbox it, you will find the following items :

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  • One Samsung Galaxy Note9 smartphone
  • One clear TPU bumper case
  • One set of Samsung Galaxy Note9 documents
  • One 15 W Samsung adaptive quick charger
  • One USB Type A to USB Type C data and power cable
  • One micro-USB to USB-C adaptor
  • One USB Type A to USB T Type C adaptor
  • One pair of AKG earphones with spare earbuds
  • One S Pen nib extractor with spare nibs
  • One SIM tray extractor pin

Next Page > Samsung Galaxy Note9 Up Close + Key Features

 

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Samsung Galaxy Note9 Up Close!

The Samsung Galaxy Note9 (US | MY Web | MY App) has the largest Infinity Display ever – a 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display. It is slightly wider, thicker and heavier than the Galaxy Note8 (Price Check), and comes with the dual camera system from the Galaxy S9+ (Price Check), albeit in a horizontal arrangement.

Just like in the Galaxy S9+ (Price Check), they shifted the fingerprint sensor into a central position. Otherwise, the new Galaxy Note9 looks deceptively similar to its predecessor, the Samsung Galaxy Note8 (Price Check).

That has led quite a few pundits to call it a minor or evolutionary upgrade, rather than a distinctive device in its own right. Are they right? Let’s find out!

 

New Bluetooth S Pen

The new Bluetooth S Pen looks deceptively like the S Pen from before. In fact, it features the same basic design with a 0.7 mm tip and 4,096 pressure levels as the S Pen from the Galaxy Note8 (Price Check) and the Samsung Galaxy Note FE (Price Check). But that’s where all similarity ends.

The new S Pen is a Bluetooth Low Energy device that lets you use the shutter button to remotely perform a variety of tasks. For example :

  • Hold the shutter button to open any app you wish. By default, it launches the Camera app.
  • When the camera is activated, press the shutter button once to take a picture, or twice to switch between the front and main cameras.
  • Press the shutter button once to go forward in an app or browser, or twice to go backwards.

Its Bluetooth capability also allows the Galaxy Note9 to sense when you forget your S Pen and warn you. This will greatly reduce, if not eliminate, the chance of losing your S Pen.

Samsung also introduced a new S Pen Signature Colour for the Galaxy Note9 (US | MY Web | MY App). Every S Pen will now write in its signature colour when you are using the Screen Off Memo mode.

The only problem with the Signature Colour feature? Samsung has not updated its Samsung Notes app to include the ability to change its background to black – the colour of the Screen Off Memo mode. So currently, whatever you write in the Signature Colour will be quite hard to read in Samsung Notes. Samsung needs to address this quickly!

You don’t need to worry about powering it. Hidden inside is a tiny Seiko K8373 supercapacitor. The expensive supercapacitor is not only highly durable and withstands extreme temperatures, it recharges in a flash – just 40 seconds of charging will give you 30 minutes of use!

Photo Credit : iFixit

It is also simple to recharge – the new S Pen recharges automatically when it is docked. You can even check the power level, but you really don’t need to worry about running out because :

a) the supercapacitor only powers the remote control feature, and

b) the stylus itself is still powered electromagnetically by the Galaxy Note9, and will never run out of power!

For more secret features of the new Galaxy Note9 S Pen, read The 7 Secret Galaxy Note9 S Pen Features You Never Knew!

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4,000 mAh Battery

The Samsung Galaxy Note9 (US | MY Web | MY App) comes with a 4,000 mAh battery – 21% larger than the 3,300 mAh battery of the Galaxy Note8 (Price Check. Yet the Galaxy Note9 is just 0.2 mm thicker and 6 grams heavier.

The Samsung Galaxy Note9 (US | MY Web | MY App) naturally supports fast charging in both wired and wireless (WPC and PMA) modes. It continues to use the standard 15 watt Samsung fast adaptive charger, so expect a longer charging time for its beefier battery.

Later in this review, we will examine its battery life, and battery recharging speed…

Next Page > Samsung Galaxy Note9 Camera Features

 

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Samsung Galaxy Note9 Cameras

The Samsung Galaxy Note9 (US | MY Web | MY App) retains the same 8 MP front camera with the Samsung S5K3H1 sensor, and f/1.7 lens from the Samsung Galaxy Note8 (Price Check). It is capable of recording 4K videos at 30 fps, and has great low-light capability. It doesn’t come with an LED flash but uses screen flash for more even lighting.

At the back, the Samsung Galaxy Note9 (US | MY Web | MY App) inherits the awesome dual camera system from the Samsung Galaxy S9+ (Price Check) smartphone. It consists of a dual aperture camera, and a telephoto camera.

Unlike other dual camera systems, it works like two separate cameras that captures images simultaneously! This allows it to create pictures with amazing adjustable bokeh through its Live Focus feature, while giving you the Dual Capture option to capture photos from both cameras simultaneously!

The dual aperture camera uses the superb Samsung ISOCELL SAK2L3 image sensor, and has a large mechanical aperture that automatically switches between :

  • a large f/1.5 aperture, for incredible low-light performance and bokeh, or
  • the f/2.4 aperture for a greater depth of field.

The f/1.5 aperture is the widest aperture so far in a smartphone, offering just over ⅓ stop more light than the f/1.7 aperture of the Samsung Galaxy S8‘s camera and twice that of most flagship smartphone cameras. This translates into better low-light photography with less noise.

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The secondary camera has a smaller 12 MP sensor (without Dual Pixel capability) paired with a telephoto f/2.4 lens. This telephoto camera does not just give you a 2X optical zoom capability, it delivers the Samsung’s signature Live Focus and Dual Capture capabilities.

Best of all, you can switch between the two cameras in the midst of recording a video! This is an incredibly useful feature that is only available in two other smartphones – the Samsung Galaxy Note8 and  the Samsung Galaxy S9+.

And because both the wide and telephone cameras have OIS lenses, the video will be stabilised irrespective of which camera you choose to use at any time. This is why the

 

Samsung ISOCELL Fast Sensor

Samsung used the same ISOCELL Fast SAK2L3 sensor that was used in the Samsung Galaxy S9+ (Price Check). This is a 12 MP sensor with large 1.4 µm pixels for excellent low-light performance.

The Fast designation means it comes with Dual Pixel and Super PD capabilities. It also boasts a 3-stack FRS (Fast Readout Sensor) that allows high-speed captures of Full HD video.

The Dual Pixel technology is an autofocus technology that uses the dual photodiodes in every pixel on the image sensor for phase-detection autofocus. This allows for faster and more accurate focusing, because it uses many more autofocus pixels, instead of just a few dedicated pixels (usually less than 5% of the total).

 

Super Slow-mo

Like the Samsung Galaxy S9+ (Price Check), the Samsung Galaxy Note9 supports the Super Slow-mo feature, which allows you to record 720p video at 960 fps.

The Super Slow-mo videos can be instantly edited, with a random selection from preloaded choices. Or you can use your own music / songs. You can also create a GIF from the recorded video, with three style of looping – reverse, forward or swing.

The new ISOCELL Fast sensor, when paired with the Samsung Exynos 9810, is said to be fast enough to record slow-motion 1080p video at 960 fps / 4K video at 120 fps. However, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 is not fast enough, so Samsung limited the Super Slow-mo capability to ensure a consistent experience worldwide.

There are other caveats too – Super Slow-mo is limited to 0.4 seconds of recording and 12 seconds of playback for single Super Slow-mo shots. If you opt for the multi-shot mode, each Super Slow-mo segment in that video is limited to 0.2 seconds of recording and 6 seconds of playback.

 

Built-In DeX Capability

Samsung DeX is a promising effort to deliver a desktop working experience using a smartphone. The Samsung Galaxy Note9 takes that one step further with its built-in DeX capability!

The Samsung Galaxy Note9 (US | MY Web | MY App) does not require a separate DeX Station or DeX Pad accessory. All it requires is a simple USB-C to HDMI adaptor or cable! It does not even require a Samsung-branded adaptor (looking at you and your MFi bullshit, Apple!) – ANY USB-C to HDMI adaptor or cable will do.

After you use the USB-C to HDMI adaptor or cable to connect the Galaxy Note9 to a TV or monitor, you just need to link a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse to use it like a PC. Best of all – you can continue to use your Galaxy Note9 while Samsung DeX is running!

Next Page > More Samsung Galaxy Note9 Features

 

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More Powerful Processor

The Samsung Galaxy Note9 (US | MY Web | MY App) will come with a faster processor – the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 in the US, and their own Exynos 9810 SoC worldwide. They are both the fastest SoCs in the world, so you should feel a noticeable bump in performance.

 

More Memory + Storage!

Samsung first introduced 6 GB of RAM in the Samsung Galaxy Note8 (Price Check). The Samsung Galaxy Note9 comes with that as the minimum, and offers 8 GB of LPDDR4 memory for higher capacity models. They also doubled the internal storage! Samsung offers the Galaxy Note9 in three variants :

  • 6 GB RAM + 128 GB storage
  • 8 GB RAM + 256 GB storage
  • 8 GB RAM + 512 GB storage

 

Hybrid SIM + 512 GB microSD Card Tray

The Samsung Galaxy Note9 (Price Check) has Dual SIM, Dual Standby capability, and comes with a hybrid SIM tray. This gives you some flexibility – you can choose to use either a second SIM card, or a microSD card, but not both at the same time.

The microSD slot supports microSD cards of up to 512 GB in size, allowing you to obtain up to 1 TB of storage! Samsung will be announcing a new 512 GB microSD card to pair with the Galaxy Note9, but you can immediately purchase and use the following high-capacity microSD cards :

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New Fingerprint Sensor

Samsung moved the fingerprint sensor to a central location right beneath the main camera at the back. This is a much better location, especially if you are left-handed. But that’s not all.

Samsung also used a new touch fingerprint sensor. It is much easier and faster to register your fingerprint with this new sensor. This addresses a major criticism of the Galaxy S8 and Note8 smartphones.

The location of the fingerprint sensor under the horizontal layout of the dual-camera system means the bumper case has a T-shaped cut-out that helps to guide your finger to the fingerprint sensor. However, its close proximity to the rear camera means you will still have to regularly clean the camera lens to avoid blurry pictures.

 

Intelligent Scan

The Samsung Galaxy Note9 (US | MY Web | MY App) has a “new login method” called Intelligent Scan. This is not really a new feature, but a combination of the existing facial recognition and iris scanning capabilities.

In bright conditions, Intelligent Scan uses facial recognition to login. But when it gets too dark, the iris scanner kicks in. This allows for easier and faster logins in low light or super bright conditions.

Intelligent Scan addresses the key problem with the iris scanner – it doesn’t work in bright conditions. However, it is easier to fool than a point cloud facial recognition system like Apple Face ID, and future honor smartphones,

Intelligent Scan is a great convenience, especially if you need to log into the Galaxy Note9 while it’s attached to a car mount. But security-conscious users should stick to a password if possible, or rely on the iris scanner and fingerprint sensor.

Next Page > Samsung Galaxy Note9 Durability, Ergonomics, Setup, Available Memory + Storage

 

 

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IP68 Dust & Water Resistance

Like the Galaxy Note8, the Samsung Galaxy Note9 is IP68-rated for dust- and water-resistance. Best of all, you don’t have to prepare it in any way before you dunk it into water! For more information how how Samsung achieved this feat, take a look at The Samsung IP68 Engineering Explained.

Officially, the Samsung Galaxy Note9 (US | MY Web | MY App) can withstand complete immersion in water up to 1.5 m in depth, for up to 30 minutes. That means you can take it for jogs in the rain, or reading in the bathtub. Heck, you can even take it for a swim!

There are some caveats though. The IP68 rating applies to a specific set of test conditions : 15-35 °C, 86-106 kPa, 1.5 metre, 30 minutes. Water may enter and damage the Galaxy Note9 if it is exposed to “water moving with force“, like running water from a tap or waterfall, or ocean waves.

In other words, this is not a waterproof phone like the Oukitel K10000 Pro or the Kenxinda ruggerdised smartphones. It is IP68 water-resistant, so you need to be gentle with it. You can read more about this in our article – The Samsung IP68 Engineering Explained.

 

The Ergonomics

You would expect the Samsung Galaxy Note9 (US | MY Web | MY App) to be a large phablet. After all, it has a large 6.4-inch display. Yet, it is about the same size as a 5.7-inch smartphone like the Samsung Galaxy Note FE (Price Check).

That said, this is still a two-handed device, because of its height. If you prefer to use only one hand, you can turn on the One-handed mode option.

The Super AMOLED display is beautiful as always. However, the WQHD+ resolution of 1440 x 2960 results in a non-standard 18.5:9 display ratio. Watching movies will result in some pillarboxing – a black bar on each side of the movie.

The Gorilla Glass 5 back looks fabulous… at first. It is easily smudged by oily fingerprints, because it lacks the oleophobic coating of the front Gorilla Glass 5 cover protecting the display. The smudges are particularly obvious on the Ocean Blue and Midnight Black models. Perhaps that’s why Samsung threw in a clear TPU bumper case – it protects the Galaxy Note9 while keeping the shiny back smear-free.

 

Setting Up The Samsung Galaxy Note9

The Samsung Galaxy Note9 (US | MY Web | MY App) runs on Android 8.1 Oreo out of the box, and is very easy to set-up. If you are setting it up as a new device, it should take you only 5-7 minutes to finish the setup process.

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Available Memory & Storage

The Samsung Galaxy Note9 (US | MY Web | MY App) base model comes with 6 GB of LPDDR4 memory. Those who hated the bloat in the Galaxy Note8 (Price Check) will be glad to know that the Note9 has far less bloat.

Out of the box, the Samsung Galaxy Note9 has 3.3 GB (55%) of memory available for use – significantly more than the 2.8 GB (37.5%) free memory of the Galaxy Note8.

The Samsung Galaxy Note9 (Price Check) base model comes with 128 GB of internal flash storage, with 108.8 GB of free space for you to use. That is enough space to store about 24,500 photos, or 13.25 hours of 1080p videos, or 5.25 hours of 4K videos.

If that’s not enough, you can top it up with a microSD card (up to 512 GB), for a total storage capacity of 1 TB!

Next Page > Samsung Galaxy Note9 Camera Performance – Photos

 

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Samsung Galaxy Note9 Camera Performance – Photos

The Samsung Galaxy Note9 (US | MY Web | MY App) uses the superb 12 MP Samsung ISOCELL Fast SAK2L3 sensor in the dual aperture camera. It is capable of automatically or manually switching between the f/1.5 aperture, and the f/2.4 aperture.

The maximum 12 MP resolution is attained with the 4:3 aspect ratio, with 4032 x 3024 pixels, and a file size of between 3 MB and 5 MB.

Here are 14 high-resolution unedited samples for you to check out. Click on them to load the full-sized photos, which you can also download to examine.

The resolution and detail in the Samsung Galaxy Note9’s photos are incredible. You can see the intricate detail of the pepper seeds, the flower pollen, even the individual buds of the broccoli florets.

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It also did a great job of bringing out the colour of the subject matter. Every colour is accurately rendered and automatically “amped up” by AI algorithms. If you do not like the increased vividness though, you can turn off the Scene Optimiser feature.

The f/1.5 aperture naturally creates a very narrow depth of field, with a nicer bokeh effect. But if that’s not enough, you can use its Live Focus feature which allows you to create really awesome bokeh for the background.

No doubt, the Live Focus bokeh is artificially created, but the dual camera design allow for precise separation of the subject from the background. Live Focus also allows you to adjust the amount of bokeh for the background.

 

Awesome Samsung Galaxy Note9 Photo Samples From Taipei

One of the first things we did with the Samsung Galaxy Note9 (US | MY Web | MY App) was to take it on a photo trip.

This time, we took it to Taipei, where we got a bunch of awesome Samsung Galaxy Note9 photo samples. Check it out!

Next Page > Samsung Galaxy Note9 Camera Performance – Video Recording

 

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Samsung Galaxy Note9 Camera Performance – Video Recording

Like its predecessor, the Samsung Galaxy Note9 (US | MY Web | MY App) is capable of recording 4K videos from both front and back cameras. However, Samsung still limits the 4K recording time to just 10 minutes. This was likely done to ensure that the sensor does not overheat the battery.

Video Recording Test #1 : Piano (1080p)

In this video, you can see the amount of detail the sensor captures, even at just 1080p. You can also see how well its OIS capability worked, even when we switched between the main camera and the telephoto camera.

The audio quality is still a bit bright and lacks bass, but it’s still one of the better non-Hi-Res Audio recordings we have heard.

Video Recording Test #2 : Piano (4K)

The resolution at 4K is incredible. You can clearly read the small text on the sign under the piano! Samsung also solved the seeking issue we noted when we reviewed the Samsung Galaxy S9+ (Price Check), which uses the same camera.

Video Recording Test #3 : Street Market (1080p)

The combination of OIS and EIS allowed the Samsung Galaxy Note9 (US | MY Web | MY App) to deliver really good image stabilisation.

Video Recording Test #4 : Street Market (4K)

Its image stabilisation capabilities were not diminished with the higher resolution. Overall – very good OIS and EIS performance.

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Video Recording Test #5 : Night Dancing (1080p)

The singers on the platform are well-lit, but the dancers are not. Watch how well the Samsung Galaxy Note9 adapts to the changing lighting conditions. You wouldn’t think that this was a low-light condition.

Video Recording Test #6 : Night Dancing (4K)

The resolution is just amazing… and so was its control of the highlights. You can see right into the restaurant in the background even though it’s much brighter than the dancers in the foreground!

 

Samsung Galaxy Note9 Camera Performance – Low Light

We created a separate article looking at the Samsung Galaxy Note9’s camera performance in low-light conditions. Check it out!

Next Page > Samsung Galaxy Note9 Performance, Battery Life  + Recharging Speed

 

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Work Performance – PCMark

We tested the Samsung Galaxy Note9’s performance using PCMark, which simulates work applications like web browing, playing video, writing text and editing photos.

Work 2.0 Honor 10 Samsung Galaxy Note8 Samsung Galaxy S9+ Samsung Galaxy Note9
Performance Score
(Average)
7106 5617 5590 5557
Web Browsing 7295 5433 6037 5763
Video Editing 5159 4872 5332 5410
Writing 6732 5696 4713 5421
Photo Editing 12910 8563 6847 5898
Data Manipulation 5524 4329 5253 5316
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This Samsung Galaxy Note9 (US | MY Web | MY App) is powered by the same Exynos 9810 SoC used in the Samsung Galaxy S9+ (Price Check), so Its performance in work application was no different.

 

Gaming Performance – 3DMark

We tested the Galaxy Note9’s gaming performance using 3DMark, using the Ice Storm Unlimited test.

Ice Storm Unlimited Samsung Galaxy Note9 Samsung Galaxy S9+ Samsung Galaxy Note8 Honor 10
Gaming Score 42598 42489 32584 30560
Graphics 51199 49852 36927 34801
Physics 26825 28009 23083 21423
Graphics Test 1 330.2 fps 308.6 fps 185.5 fps 206.2 fps
Graphics Test 2 167.9 fps 167.0 fps 141.5 fps 119.5 fps
Physics Test 85.2 fps 88.9 fps 73.3 fps 68.0 fps
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What the Samsung Galaxy Note9 (US | MY Web | MY App) lacked in work performance, it more than made up in gaming performance. Its ARM Mali-G72 MP18 graphics processor was 44% faster than the ARM Mali-G71 MP20 used in the Galaxy Note8 (Price Check).

The Samsung Galaxy Note9’s CPU cores also delivered 39% faster physics processing than those of the Galaxy Note8 (Price Check).

 

Battery Life – PCMark

We then tested the Galaxy Note9’s battery performance using PCMark. It basically ran the PCMark work tests until its battery capacity dropped to 20%.

Work 2.0 Samsung Galaxy Note9 Samsung Galaxy S9+ Honor 10 Samsung Galaxy Note8
Battery Life 10 hours 15 mins 9 hours 5 mins 8 hours 56 mins 8 hours 50 mins
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Will you look at that! The Samsung Galaxy Note9 (US | MY Web | MY App) delivered a battery life of over 10 hours. This is not just screen-on time. It’s running the Work 2.0 benchmark over, and over again, for over 10 hours!

The Galaxy Note9 lasted 70 minutes longer than the Samsung Galaxy S9+ (Price Check), and 85 minutes longer than the Samsung Galaxy Note8 (Price Check)!

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Battery Recharging Performance

The Samsung Galaxy Note9 comes with an adaptive fast charger with a power output of 15 W. Take a look at how fast it recharged the 4,000 mAh battery.

It took the Samsung Galaxy Note9 (US | MY Web | MY App) just under 107 minutes (1 hour 47 minutes) to recharge its battery from 20% to 100%. That is a battery life : recharging ratio of 5.8 : 1 – a good ratio. A rule of thumb – for one hour of battery life, charge it for 10.5 minutes.

The fastest recharging happened up to the 85% level. This took just 72 minutes. Then the recharging speed slowed down, and it took a further 35 minutes to top up the remaining 15%.

Next Page > Samsung Galaxy Note9 Verdict & Award, Price, Availability + Specifications

 

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Our Verdict & Award

In our review of the Samsung Galaxy Note8 (Price Check), we pointed out that it was in a class of its own. This remains true with the new Samsung Galaxy Note9. Nothing else in the world comes close to it.

So the question really isn’t whether the Samsung Galaxy Note9 (US | MY Web | MY App) is the best Note ever, but whether it is an evolutionary upgrade, or a revolutionary device in its own right. The answer – it is both. Let us summarise why.

Evolutionary Improvements

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  • Faster CPU and GPU
  • Doubling of storage capacity
  • Improved fingerprint sensor
  • Larger battery capacity

Revolutionary Features

  • Dual Aperture Camera
  • Bluetooth S Pen with remote control
  • Supercapacitor in the S Pen
  • Built-in Samsung DeX capability

Many pundits predicted an evolutionary device. Yet Samsung continued to push the envelope, delivering several revolutionary features. Perhaps there is much to be said for their strategy of focusing on making their core features better, Instead of resorting to gimmicks like display notches and pop-up cameras,

The Samsung Galaxy Note9 (US | MY Web | MY App) is, without doubt, a magnificent piece of smartphone technology. It’s unbelievable how much technology Samsung packed into such a compact device. We would like to congratulate Samsung for a work well done, and award the Galaxy Note9 our Editor’s Choice Award!

 

Samsung Galaxy Note9 Price + Availability

Here are the Samsung Galaxy Note9 (US | MY Web | MY App) prices in the UK and Malaysia. Note that the UK price includes the VAT of 20%.

  • 6 GB + 128 GB : £899 / $999.99 / RM 3,699
  • 8 GB + 256 GB : £999
  • 8 GB + 512 GB : £1,099 / $1,249.99 / RM 4,599

The Galaxy Note9 is available worldwide starting 24 August 2018. In Malaysia, it will only be offered in Midnight Black and Metallic Copper with a matching S Pen, and Ocean Blue with a Yellow S Pen.

 

Where To Buy The Galaxy Note9

Here are some direct links to purchase the Samsung Galaxy Note9 in Malaysia.

  • Samsung Galaxy Note9 with 128 GB storage : RM 3,699 (Web | App)
  • Samsung Galaxy Note9 with 512 GB storage : RM 4,599 (Web | App)

Here are some direct links to purchase the Samsung Galaxy Note9 in the US.

  • Samsung Galaxy Note9 (128 GB, International Unlocked) : $849
  • Samsung Galaxy Note9 (128 GB, US Unlocked) : $999.99
  • Samsung Galaxy Note9 (512 GB, International Unlocked) : $1,214
  • Samsung Galaxy Note9 (512 GB, US Unlocked) : $999.99

 

Samsung Galaxy Note9 Specifications Compared

In this table, we compared to the Samsung Galaxy Note9 to its predecessor, the Samsung Galaxy Note8 and the Samsung Galaxy Note FE.

SpecificationsSamsung Galaxy Note9Samsung Galaxy Note8Samsung Galaxy Note FE
Display6.4" Super AMOLED dual-edge display
- 1440 x 2960 pixels (516 ppi)
6.3" Super AMOLED dual-edge display
- 1440 x 2960 pixels (521 ppi)
5.7" Super AMOLED dual-edge display
- 1440 x 2560 pixels (577 ppi)
ProtectionCorning Gorilla Glass 5Corning Gorilla Glass 5Corning Gorilla Glass 5
Water & Dust ResistanceIP68IP68IP68
Operating System (At Launch)Android 8.1 OreoAndroid 7.1.1 NougatAndroid 6.0.1 Marshmallow
System PlatformSamsung Exynos 9810
or
Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
Samsung Exynos 8895 Octa
or
Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
Samsung Exynos 8890 Octa
Memory6 GB LPDDR4 SDRAM6 GB LPDDR4 SDRAM4 GB LPDDR4 SDRAM
Storage Options128 GB / 256 GB / 512 GB internal storage
One microSD slot (shared with SIM 2) - supports up to 512 GB
64 GB / 128 GB / 256 GB internal storage
One microSD slot (shared with SIM 2) - supports up to 256 GB
64 GB / 128 GB internal storage
One microSD slot (shared with SIM 2) - supports up to 200 GB
Front Camera8 MP sensor with f/1.7 lens8 MP sensor with f/1.7 lens5 MP sensor with f/1.7 lens
Rear CameraDual Lens Camera with Dual OIS and dual-tone LED flash

Dual-Aperture Camera
12 MP (1.4 µm) Dual Pixel sensor with f/1.5 lens, optical image stabilisation (OIS) and f/1.5 or f/2.4 apertures

Telephoto Camera (2X optical zoom)
12 MP (1.0 µm) sensor with f/2.4 lens, and optical image stabilisation (OIS)
Dual Lens Camera with Dual OIS

Wide-Angle Camera
12 MP (1.4 µm) sensor with f/1.7 lens, optical image stabilisation (OIS) and LED flash

Telephoto Camera (2X optical zoom)
12 MP (1.0 µm) sensor with f/2.4 lens, optical image stabilisation (OIS) and LED flash
12 MP Sony / Samsung (1.4 µm) sensor with f/1.7 lens, optical image stabilisation (OIS) and LED flash
Dual SIM capabilityHybrid dual SIM (dual active capability)
- SIM 2 + microSD shared slot
Hybrid dual SIM (dual standby capability)
- SIM 2 + microSD shared slot
Hybrid dual SIM (dual active capability)
- SIM 2 + microSD shared slot
ConnectivityNetwork : LTE Cat. 18 (1.2 Gbps / 200 Mbps)
WiFi : 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 GHz & 5 GHz), MIMO (2 x 2)
Bluetooth : Version 5.0 LE, ANT+
Others : USB 3.1, NFC, GPS
Network : LTE Cat. 16 (1 Gbps / 150 Mbps)
WiFi : 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 GHz & 5 GHz), MIMO (2 x 2)
Bluetooth : Version 5.0 LE, ANT+
Others : USB 3.1, NFC, GPS
Network : LTE Cat. 16 (1 Gbps / 150 Mbps)
WiFi : 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 GHz & 5 GHz), MIMO (2 x 2)
Bluetooth : Version 5.0 LE, ANT+
Others : USB 3.1, NFC, GPS
Fingerprint SensorYes, Rear MountedYes, Rear MountedYes, Home Button
Iris ScannerYesYesYes
Other SensorsAccelerometer, Proximity, RGB Light, Geo-magnetic, Gyro, Barometer, Hall, HRMAccelerometer, Proximity, RGB Light, Geo-magnetic, Gyro, Barometer, Hall, HRMAccelerometer, Proximity, RGB Light, Geo-magnetic, Gyro, Barometer, Hall, HRM
BixbyYesYesNo
S PenYes, Bluetooth LEYesYes
Battery4,000 mAh lithium-ion battery (non-removable)
- fast charging capability (wired & wireless)
- wireless charging (WPC and PMA)
3,300 mAh lithium-ion battery (non-removable)
- fast charging capability (wired & wireless)
- wireless charging (WPC and PMA)
3,200 mAh lithium-ion battery (non-removable)
- fast charging capability (wired & wireless)
- wireless charging (WPC and PMA)
Dimensions76.4 mm wide
161.9 mm tall
8.8 mm thick
74.8 mm wide
162.5 mm tall
8.6 mm thick
73.9 mm wide
153.5 mm tall
7.9 mm thick
Weight201 g195 g169 g
Colour OptionsOcean Blue, Midnight Black, Metallic Copper, Lavender Purple (limited countries)Midnight Black, Deepsea Blue, Orchid Gray, Maple GoldBlue Coral, Silver Titanium, Gold Platinum, Black Onyx

 

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How To Check If You Have The Real Nokia 8110 Banana Phone

The Nokia 8110 Banana Phone was famous for being featured in The Matrix. Needless to say, nostalgia ensured that the revived Nokia 8110 was an instant hit for HMD Global. However, its popularity ensured a steady stream of counterfeit banana phones. Can you tell which is the real Nokia 8110 banana phone?

 

Deluge Of Fake Nokia 8110 Banana Phones

HMD Global is right to be concerned about counterfeit banana phones. They eat into the sales of their hit model, and could negatively impact the Nokia brand if people have a bad experience with these fake banana phones, but believe it’s the real banana phone.

 

Will The Real Banana Phone Please Stand Up?

At a recent exclusive session, HMD Global shared with us two fake banana phone examples. Take a look and see if you can tell the difference.

 

How To Identify A Fake Nokia 8110 Banana Phone

HMD Global shared with us some tips on how to identify the fake banana phone models.

While the fake banana phone models may look similar to the real Nokia 8110 4G, they have poorer build quality, with smaller, duller displays. They also have less capabilities than the real banana phone.

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How To Identify The REAL Nokia 8110 Banana Phone

Here in Malaysia, the real Nokia 8110 4G banana phone is distributed and sold by AVAXX Corporation (M) Sdn Bhd. So you should always look for the AVAXX sticker on the packaging.

The real Nokia 8110 4G banana phone is available in two colours – Traditional Black (the Matrix phone!) and Banana Yellow (for you monkeys!), with a recommended retail price of RM 285 / ~US$ 70.  Sp be VERY SUSPICIOUS about any banana phones being sold for much less!

 

Where To Buy The REAL Nokia 8110 Banana Phone

To make sure you get the real deal, here are some purchase links of the REAL Nokia 8110 banana phone :

  • Malaysia (Black or Yellow) : RM 285 (Web | App)
  • United States : $128.99 (Black | Yellow)

 

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The Acer OJO 500 Windows Mixed Reality Headset Preview

At IFA 2018, Acer revealed the Acer OJO 500 –  the world’s first VR headset to feature a detachable design, as well as sound pipe and inter-pupillary distance adjustment technologies. What does that mean to us – the users? Let’s find out!

 

The Acer OJO 500 Windows Mixed Reality Headset

The new Acer OJO 500 headset brings several new features to the Windows Mixed Reality platform. It now features a one-of-a-kind detachable design, as well as new patented audio and visual adjustment technologies.

The Acer OJO 500 Detachable Design

The Acer OJO 500 has a unique detachable design that enables the lens and head strap to be individually removed. This makes the headset easy to store and clean – especially beneficial for businesses who want to provide customers with clean headwear for each use.

Available with either a hard or soft head strap, both options provide a snug yet comfortable fit. The soft head strap is machine washable (for a limited number of times), and the extra-large padding on the hard head strap helps the headset fit securely and firmly in place.

In addition, the mask can be flipped up, eliminating the need to remove the entire headset to answer the phone or converse with people in the room.

Inter-Pupillary Distance Adjustment Wheel

For maximum clarity, the Acer OJO 500 includes a built-in inter-pupillary distance (IPD) wheel and a patented smartphone app to measure IPD distance (the gap between the eye’s pupil and the display).

The software-assisted IPD measurement app, Acer IPD Meter, along with Acer IPD Indicator software lets you modify this distance for sharper, clearer images and a more enjoyable experience.

High-Speed, High-Resolution Displays

Two front-hinged 2.89-inch high-resolution liquid crystal displays provide a wide 100 degree field of view and deliver a 2880 x 1440 resolution.

A fast refresh rate of up to 90 Hz delivers clear and realistic images for an immersive mixed reality experience.

Sound Pipe Design Eliminates Need For Earphones

In a first for VR headsets, the integrated audio system uses a patented sound pipe design that directs sound from the built-in speakers toward the wearer’s ears. The unique sound pipe design means you can hear audio without wearing earphones, allow you to remain aware of your surroundings while still enjoying an immersive experience.

This is ideal for use in public spaces where you may not want to be totally cut off from their surroundings. The integrated audio system consists of embedded speakers, a patented sound pipe, and a built-in mic array. If you require more privacy and deeper immersion, you can use the built-in earphonethat come with the hard head strap, or an earphone of their own choice with the soft head strap.

Easy Set Up with Inside-Out Tracking

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Featuring inside-out tracking, the camera is on the headset so there is no need to drill holes in a wall or set up extraneous hardware. As soon as the headset connects to a Windows Mixed Reality-ready PC, it installs the required software. Setup is quick and easy taking about 10 minutes.

The 6 degrees of freedom positional tracking includes forward / back, up / down, and left / right as well as pitch, yaw and roll. The headset comes with a 4 meter (13 feet) cable allowing a wide range of movement, and connects to a PC via HDMI 2.0, while a USB 3.0 connector downloads data.

Optional Motion Controllers

The Acer OJO 500 comes in an optional configuration that includes two Bluetooth-enabled motion controllers that sync with the headset; a Windows 10 button, touchpad, and grab button to letusers interact with digital objects in mixed reality.

The Acer OJO 500 Price + Availability

The Acer OJO 500 will be available in North America in November, starting at $399; and in EMEA in November, starting at €499.

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Samsung Galaxy Note9 Photo Samples From Our Taipei Trip!

We were one of the fortunate few in the world to receive the new Samsung Galaxy Note9 smartphone right after its big reveal. One of the first things we did – take it out for a trip to Taipei! Enjoy our Samsung Galaxy Note9 photo samples from Taipei, and see for yourselves just how awesome both its front and main cameras are!

 

Samsung Galaxy Note9 Photo Samples (Day 1)

Day 1 : Preflight

We flew to Taipei in the morning of 16 August, taking a quick selfie before boarding our flight. There was no preparation, just a quick shot. Joshua at the back didn’t even realise we were taking a selfie!

The Samsung Galaxy Note9‘s front camera has an 8 MP sensor and f/1.7 lens. Unsurprisingly, it did a great job of making sure everyone’s faces were well-exposed. No filters and no DSLR were required to take this instantly-Instagrammable Note9 photo.

Day 1 : Tamsui River

After we landed in Taipei, we took a bus over the New Taipei Bridge. While the bus was rumbling over it, I took this quick snapshot of the Tamsui River.

If you peek closely, you can see some reflections off the window, but otherwise, a nice scenic shot to kickstart our Taipei sojourn.

Day 1 : Stewed Pork Rice

The first thing we did in Taipei? EAT!  

This is a traditional Taiwanese comfort food of stewed pork on rice, with assorted side dishes – soy-stewed eggs, tofu, and vegetables.

No filters were applied. Despite the yellowish lighting, the colour balance of this Galaxy Note9 photo was still quite good – the white rice was white, not yellowish.

Here is a close-up of the bowl of rice with minced stewed pork on top, with a slice of what is probably pickled radish. The stewed pork was so sinfully soft, and the sauce… utterly heavenly!

The minced stewed pork was not enough, so we ordered slices of stewed pork belly. It was EXQUISITE! The meat was so soft, it literally melted in our mouths!

Look at the detail captured by the Samsung Galaxy Note9‘s Dual Aperture camera. Remember – it only has a 12 MP sensor, but it’s an AWESOME sensor with large pixels. That’s why it takes such great detail with so little noise under less than ideal lighting.

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Day 1 : Ximenting

Ximenting is arguably the most popular tourist’s area for night shopping. Every night, and more so on weekends, it’s packed with people.

The Samsung Galaxy Note9 (Price Check) has a new Dual Aperture camera with an incredibly wide f/1.5 aperture. This gives it ⅓ stop more light than f/1.7 of its predecessor, the Samsung Galaxy Note8, and ⅔ stop more light than f/2.0 used in many flagship smartphones.

Hence, taking instant shots like this, without a tripod, is not a problem. Note the lack of motion blur in this Note9 photo, both from my hands and of the people walking past.

Why Rebrand when you can Debrand?

Not only was this brand name interesting, you can see the lack of motion blur from the car on the left and the motorcycle on the right. Thanks to its wide f/1.5 aperture, the Galaxy Note9 (Price Check) can take such photos at high shutter speeds in low-light conditions.

This is the Red House at night. It’s a stark contrast – dark exterior with a very bright interior. Yet the Samsung Galaxy Note9 (Price Check) has no problem bringing out the best of both.

This is thanks to its built-in Auto HDR feature. It’s enabled by default, and kicks in when it detects a big difference in brightness. It basically takes three photos with different exposures in quick succession and merges them into one photo.

Next Page > Our Samsung Galaxy Note9 Photo Samples (Day 2 Part 1)

 

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Samsung Galaxy Note9 Photo Samples (Day 2 Part 1)

Day 2 : Ximenting

Good FREAKING HOT morning, Taipei! 

This Samsung Galaxy Note9 photo is a great example of its Auto HDR capability. I took this picture “blindly” because the sun was so bright, I could not even look at it.

Yet the Note9 photo  turned out much better than anyone had any right to expect. Thanks to its Auto HDR feature, it managed to reduce the incredible intensity of the sunlight, and yet preserve the details in the shadows.

You can actually see both the sun AND people hidden in the shadow of the MRT station! Heck, even the blue sky and wispy clouds are clearly visible in such an intensely bright sky.

Day 2 : Marshal Zen Garden

The Marshal Zen Garden in Taipei is a really picturesque location. The following Samsung Galaxy Note9 photo samples were unedited (other than being cropped in Instagram) and had no filters applied.

The zen path to inner peace…

The detail the 12 MP Samsung ISOCell sensor captured is readily apparent, even in this reduced sized photo. In the original, you can make out the detail of the tiny leaves.

In such bright conditions, the Samsung Galaxy Note9‘s Dual Aperture camera switches to the f/2.4 aperture.

Again, this was a very hot day, with a scorching hot sun. Because it’s so bright, the Dual Aperture camera automatically switched to the f/2.4 aperture. This ensured that the mountains and buildings in the background would not be blurred out.

The Auto HDR feature also kicked in, keeping the highlights in full control, while preserving the details in the shadows. You can actually see the blue sky and white clouds in this Note9 photo. Yet you can also make out the details of the leaves and even the roof tiles in the shadows.

The stairway to zen…

If you want a dramatic photo to show your friends just how freaking hot it is, you need to turn off Auto HDR. Otherwise, you will end up with a nice well-lit HDR photo like this. 

Without Auto HDR, the rooftop would be brightly-lit, but you won’t be able to see the white dog at the bottom of the stairway, much less the large pot behind him.

Thanks to Auto HDR, you can see deep into the shadows at the bottom of the stairway. Heck, you can even see the tiny figurines hidden in the shadows of an alcove under the roof!

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These are two owl dolls at the Marshal Zen Garden. In the original Note9 photo, you can make out the fine details of their faux feathers.

Here is a close-up Note9 photo of another owl pair, this time in direct sunlight. It was VERY BRIGHT, yet the owls were perfectly exposed. There was very good control of the highlights, and you can see the intricate detail of these owl dolls.

Later in the evening, it started raining at the Marshal Zen Garden, which gave me the opportunity to capture this shot. Completely unedited (except for cropping), and certainly no filters were applied.

The Auto HDR feature kicked in this shot, and preserved both the bright floor lamps and the details of the floor planks and the rocks in the dark areas on the right side.

Next Page > Our Samsung Galaxy Note9 Photo Samples! (Day 2 Part 2)

 

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Samsung Galaxy Note9 Photo Samples (Day 2 Part 2)

Day 2 : Marshal Zen Garden Fine Dining

The Marshal Zen Garden has a fine dining restaurant. However, the restaurant has VERY DIM lighting. We didn’t expect very good photos, but the Samsung Galaxy Note9 (Price Check) surprised us.

Note : These Samsung Galaxy Note9 photo samples were taken without flash or additional lighting support. Only some exposure adjustments were made, if necessary, but no filters were applied.

This is King Grouper jelly. In real life, it was so dark, you can barely identify the vegetables at the bottom!

Handmade tofu with Japanese dressing.

Look at how much detail the Samsung Galaxy Note9 managed to capture in such dim lighting!

In real life, you can barely make out that there is even a colour difference between the two mushroom slices.

This is Fried Shrimp Cake and Watermelon with Citrus Sauce.

The depth of field is appreciably narrow at f/1.5, so you need to be careful at what you want to focus on, especially in close-up shots.

The shrimp cakes were rectangular in shape, and arranged standing vertically on a watermelon cube. Focusing on them meant that the bottom of the plate, and the citrus sauce, looked slightly out-of-focus.

But look at how much detail the Samsung Galaxy Note9 (Price Check) could record in such dim lighting.

Steamed King Grouper and Truffle with Seaweed Sauce

Again, the narrow depth of field means you have to be careful in what you focus on, but I think this Note9 photo turned out pretty well, especially considering the really dim lighting…

You can make out the detail of the vegetable stalk with fried shallots on top, and the rolled fish slice.

This is a plate of three pieces of Shaoxing chicken arranged on a rectangular plate.

The f/1.5 lens’ narrow depth of field is readily apparent – only the first piece is in focus. But it gives us a great opportunity to check out the bokeh quality of the background.

Remember – this is not software bokeh, but actual optical bokeh from the very large f/1.5 aperture of the Samsung Galaxy Note9‘s Dual Aperture camera.

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Normally, soups are not really exciting subjects to shoot. But this Green Papaya Chicken Soup came in a cute little clay pot, and hey, it turned out pretty nice!

I focused on the soup, so you can clearly see the oil micelles floating on top of the clear broth. In real life, I could only make out the piece of chicken, but in this Note9 photo sample, we can also make out the piece of radish at the bottom of the pot.

This is a plate of seasonal vegetables with red carrot sauce.

I’m impressed by the detail that we can make out in this Note9 photo – the criss-cross pattern on the cracker, the striations on the surface of the mushroom stalks, and even the tiny patterns on the slice of cucumber.

Finally, dessert – Orange Cheese Pie with Dragon Fruit.

Look at the detail and colour of the dragon fruit. It is really hard to get both right in the dim YELLOW lighting. The flesh of the dragon fruit is the perfect tone of white, and you can make out the individual seeds. Amazing!

Next Page > Our Samsung Galaxy Note9 Photo Samples (Day 2 Part 3)

 

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Samsung Galaxy Note9 Photo Samples (Day 2 Part 3)

Day 2 : Taiwanese Hot Pot

Late at night, we went for another Taiwanese favourite – the hot pot. It’s basically steamboat with a variety of soup options. Here, we have Mala (chilli oil) soup on the left half of the pot, and herbal soup on the right half.

Note how well the colour turned out. The Samsung Galaxy Note9 (Price Check) uses built-in AI algorithms (Scene Optimiser) to automatically identify the subject and apply the best colour correction to make sure the colours are correct and “pop”.

In the second hot pot, we had pickled vegetable soup in the left half… and scallop soup in the right half.

Again, the Samsung Galaxy Note9 had no problem getting the colours just right.

Look at the detail captured by the Samsung Galaxy Note9‘s Dual Aperture camera. You can see the striations of the muscle tissue in the foreground.

In this Samsung Galaxy Note9 photo sample, you can see the wisps of the evaporating dry ice, and the marbling of the meat.

This is the seafood platter. Look at how the colours “pop”, and how they accurately reflect real life colour. The Samsung Galaxy Note9 (Price Check) accurately identified this as “food”, and made the right colour corrections.

This platter has assorted beef innards. Completely different colour from the seafood platter but the Galaxy Note9‘s Scene Optimiser algorithms correctly identified them as food too.

Assorted meatballs on ice.

Note that these are quick shots, as we were all ravenous. A second or two to frame the shot, and that’s it.

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Quick shot of our hungry party! Notice the lack of motion blur. It’s not magic – the fast f/1.5 lens allows for faster shutter speeds.

Look at this slice of meat! It’s bigger than the iPhone 6 Plus!

Again, another quick shot without preparation. The Samsung Galaxy Note9 (Price Check) did a great job of bringing out the colour of the meat, while giving the background a nice bokeh.

This is ice-blended lychee vinegar in a unique metal cup… Delicious!

The f/1.5 lens is great for low-light conditions, but has a narrow depth of field. So you must make sure you focus on what matters, and live with a bokeh effect for the rest. Either that, or switch to the f/2.4 aperture.

Here is a selfie with the front 8 MP camera with f/1.7 lens. It did a great job of making sure everyone’s face was well-lit. But you will note that it’s not as wide as many selfie-focused front cameras.

Next Page > Our Samsung Galaxy Note9 Photo Samples (Day 3) + Summary

 

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Samsung Galaxy Note9 Photo Samples (Day 3)

Day 3 : Oyster Mee Sua

It’s another hot morning in Taipei, and it’s time for the Taiwanese breakfast of champions – oyster mee sua! Mee sua is a very fine salted wheat noodles, with a starchy consistency.

Look at the detail of the mee sua in the foreground, and the nicely blurred background of the guy serving another bowl of mee sua.

One thing about the Taiwanese… they’re so organised.

There is a bucket for leftovers; a tray for the cardboard bowls and a garbage can for everything else.

Cheers? Slurping oyster mee sua in the morning.

This was taken with Vyncent and Huang Jo (both in black t-shirts) in the shadows. But the Auto HDR feature of the Samsung Galaxy Note9 made sure their faces were clearly exposed.

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Our Galaxy Note9 Photo Samples Summarised

It is obvious by now that the Samsung Galaxy Note9 (Price Check) is our favourite smartphone for mobile photography. It boasts the same excellent Dual Aperture camera as the Samsung Galaxy S9+ (Price Check), with the ability to switch between the f/1.5 and f/2.4 apertures.

The f/1.5 lens is incredibly useful – making low-light photography a breeze. Its narrow depth of field can get tricky, so you have to make sure you focus right in close-up shots. Otherwise, it’s smart enough to adjust the focus, shutter speed and aperture to make sure you get the perfect shot, even if it was a quick shot off-the-cuff.

The new Samsung Galaxy Note9 has an advantage over the already excellent Galaxy S9+ though. It boasts the new Scene Optimiser feature, which uses AI algorithms to identify elements of a photo. It then optimises the saturation, white balance, brightness and contrast.

Without a doubt – the Samsung Galaxy Note9 (Price Check) delivers the best mobile photography experience we have seen so far, out-of-the-box. No tweaks needed. The default Auto HDR and Scene Optimiser settings will take care of everything for you.

We hoped you enjoyed our Samsung Galaxy Note9 photo samples from Taipei, and they would prove to be useful in helping you decide on upgrading to the Samsung Galaxy Note9 (Price Check)!

For more on the Samsung Galaxy Note9, read our Samsung Galaxy Note9 In-Depth Review!

 

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Why PUBG Mobile Is Best Played On The Honor Play!

PUBG Mobile is the hottest mobile games of 2018, and the Honor Play smartphone is specifically designed to bring out the best in PUBG Mobile. Find out why PUBG Mobile is best played on the Honor Play!

 

Why PUBG Mobile Is Best Played On The Honor Play

Large 6.3-inch FullView Display

The Honor Play (Price Check) smartphone has a large 6.3-inch FullView display with a Full HD+ resolution with an ultra-wide 19.5:9 aspect ratio. It also boasts very thin bezels, with an incredible 89% screen-to-body ratio.

The larger and wider FullView display is designed to give you a more immersive and enjoyable mobile gaming experience. Pity those who still have to struggle with tiny displays!

CRAZY FAST Kirin 970 With AI NPU

The Honor Play is CRAZY FAST. It is powered by the Kirin 970, which is a top-of-the-line processor used in flagship smartphones. It easily handles even the most graphics-intensive games, but that’s not all.

It comes with a dedicated AI Neural Processing Unit (NPU) that further boosts its performance, while conserving power for longer gaming sessions. This is why the Honor Play is perfect for playing PUBG Mobile!

Better Gaming On PUBG Mobile With GPU Turbo

One major reason why the Honor Play is such a great gaming smartphone is GPU Turbo. It is a proprietary hardware and software combination that delivers 60% better GPU performance efficiency, with 30% lower power consumption!

Working together with Tencent Games, Honor made sure that GPU Turbo would work perfectly with PUBG Mobile right out of the box! If you love playing PUBG Mobile, the Honor Play is perfect because it guarantees the ultimate gaming experience with longer play times on PUBG Mobile!

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4D AI Gaming Experience

For an even more immersive mobile gaming experience, Honor Play (Price Check) delivers a 4D AI Gaming Experience with Smart Shock and Histen 3D Gaming Audio

Smart Shock is an exclusive Honor Play feature. The Kirin 970‘s AI Neural Processing Unit (NPU) automatically recognises images and sounds of your game in real-time, and vibrates the Honor Play to give you directional cues and a more realistic gaming experience.

It is so advanced, it recognises 30 different scenarios, and 10 different weapons. Now, you get to feel the kickback of your gun, and get alerted to gunfire and approaching enemies. Boost your situational awareness with Smart Shock!

Histen 3D Gaming Audio, on the other hand, envelopes you in an ultra-wide 3D sound space, with three modes – near, front and wide. – to deliver a more cinematic and immersive gaming experience.

Supporting both wired and wireless earphones, Histen 3D Gaming Audio also helps you accurately determine the azimuth of everything you hear – footsteps, shots, explosions. Now you will have an edge over your PUBG Mobile opponents on less capable smartphones!

#PlayMorePayLess

PUBG Mobile will run on every flagship smartphone without a sweat. But why pay more, when you can play more and pay less?

Despite packing flagship-level performance and advanced gaming features, the Honor Play (Price Check) only costs ⅓ as much as any flagship smartphone! Can you beat such incredible value?

Be smart – #PlayMorePayLess with Honor Play!

 

Where To Buy The Honor Play

The Honor Play is available for purchase at these incredibly low prices :

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Disclosure

This article was sponsored by Honor Malaysia.

 

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Xiaomi Unveils The POCOPHONE F1 Smartphone!

POCOPHONE, a new sub-brand from Xiaomi, made its debut today with the launch of the POCOPHONE F1 smartphone! Here are the full details!

 

Xiaomi Unveils The POCOPHONE F1 Smartphone!

Created by a highly-experienced team within Xiaomi, POCOPHONE seeks to redefine the smartphone experience by offering the ultimate performance with no frills.

Its very first smartphone unveiled today is the POCOPHONE F1, which features the flagship Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 platform, a LiquidCool Technology cooling system, up to 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of UFS 2.1 storage and a long-lasting 4000 mAh battery.

The new powerhouse will be available at an irresistible price tag of just RM 1,237 (~US$ 309) here in Malaysia on 30th August.

 

The POCOPHONE F1

POCOPHONE F1 is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 SoC paired with a highly-efficient LiquidCool Technology cooling system, which is 300% more effective than conventional, non-liquid cooling solutions.

The POCOPHONE F1 also features a 4000 mAh battery that can sustain 8 hours of non-stop gaming. Coupled with 6 GB of LPDDR4x memory and up to 128 GB of UFS 2.1 storage, the POCOPHONE F1 easily achieves an AnTuTu score that exceeds 290,000.

AI Dual Camera + 20 MP Front Camera

POCOPHONE F1 boasts an AI Dual Camera built around the 12 MP Sony IMX363 primary sensor with Dual Pixel autofocus. On the front, it deploys a 20 MP sensor featuring Super Pixel technology that combines the information of four pixels into one large 1.8 μm pixel for clearer images with less noise.

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Both the rear and front cameras are supported by AI features for photos, such as AI Portrait, AI Beautify, and AI Scene Detection.

It also comes with an infra-red illuminator and infra-red camera on the front, allowing the AI face unlock feature to securely unlock the device both in pitch-dark conditions as well as in bright daylight.

MIUI for POCOPHONE

MIUI has been deeply customized on POCOPHONE F1 for a lighter, faster, and smoother experience. it also introduces a system optimization feature called “turbocharged engine”, This allows the POCOPHONE F1 to deliver faster app startups, faster gaming performance, as well as a faster swiping experience due to enhancements in the screen response and animation frame rate.

It also features a new POCOPHONE Launcher, with an app drawer that can automatically categorize apps. Based on Android 8.1 Oreo, MIUI for POCOPHONE also prioritizes security with regular patches and updates from Google. It will receive the Android P update in the near future.

 

POCOPHONE F1 Price + Availability + Offers

Starting from 30 August 2018, POCOPHONE F1 will be available in two versions at the following pricing :

  • 6 GB RAM + 64 GB storage : RM 1,237 / ~US$ 309,  available on Lazada
  • 6 GB RAM + 128 GB storage : RM 1,428 / ~US$ 357, available at Authorised Mi Stores and Lazada.

Effective 10 September when the SST kicks in though, they will be repriced at :

  • 6 GB RAM + 64 GB storage : RM 1,299 / ~US$ 325,  available on Lazada
  • 6 GB RAM + 128 GB storage : RM 1,499 / ~US$ 375, available at Authorised Mi Stores and Lazada.

Both versions will come in two colours, Graphite Black and Steel Blue.

To celebrate the release of POCOPHONE F1 in Malaysia, Xiaomi Malaysia will hold a special promotion at the new Mid Valley Authorised Mi Store on 30 August 2018. The first 200 customers to purchase POCOPHONE F1 will receive a free Mi Sports Bluetooth Earphones (RRP: RM 93) and a game holder.

 

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Honor Play In-Depth Review – Mobile Gaming FTW!

The Honor Play debuted in China last month as a gaming-centric smartphone, and it’s coming to a store near you. Read our In-Depth Review of the Honor Play, and find out why it’s designed for mobile gaming!

 

The Honor Play – Designed For Mobile Gaming

The Honor Play is specially-designed for mobile gaming. From the front, it looks like the Honor 10 (Price Check, with a display notch and an ultra-wide FullView display. Instead of an Aurora Glass back panel, it features a metal unibody design and a larger 6.3-inch display.

Like the Honor 10 (Price Check), the Honor Play is powered by the Kirin 970 SoC, which features a Neural Processing Unit (NPU) that speeds up certain AI functions. To ensure that you get to play your games for hours on-end, it comes with a larger 3,750 mAh LiPo battery that supports 18 W fast charging.

 

Honor Play Full Specifications

Here are the specifications of the Honor Play (US Price Check | MY Price Check), compared against the Honor 10 (Price Check) smartphone.

SpecificationsHonor PlayHonor 10
Display6.3 inch Full HD+ IPS display
- 1080 x 2340 pixels (409 ppi)
- 83% screen-to-body ratio
5.84" Full HD+ IPS display
- 1080 x 2280 pixels (432 ppi)
- 19:9 aspect ratio
Operating SystemAndroid 8.1 Oreo with EMUI 8.2Android 8.1 Oreo with EMUI 8.1
System PlatformHisilicon Kirin 970Hisilicon Kirin 970
Processor4 x ARM Cortex-A73 (2.4 GHz)
4 x ARM Cortex-A53 (1.8 GHz)
4 x ARM Cortex-A73 (2.4 GHz)
4 x ARM Cortex-A53 (1.8 GHz)
Graphics ProcessorARM Mali-G72 MP12ARM Mali-G72 MP12
Memory4 GB RAM4 GB RAM
Storage64 GB internal flash storage
microSD card slot (up to 256 GB, shared with SIM 2 slot)
128 GB
No microSD card slot
Front Camera16 MP sensor with f/2.0 lens
- 1080p video recording @ 30 fps
24 MP sensor with f/2.0 lens
Rear CameraDual Lens Camera with LED flash
- 16 MP PDAF sensor with f/2.2 lens
- 2 MP depth sensor with f/2.4 lens
- 4K / 1080p video @ 30 fps
Dual Camera System
- 16 MP RGB sensor with f/1.8 lens
- 24 MP monochrome sensor
- single LED flash
SIM CapabilityDual SIM, Dual Standby
Hybrid SIM Card Slot (shared with microSD)
Dual SIM, Dual Standby
ConnectivityWiFi : 802.11a/b/g/n/ac dual band
Bluetooth : BT v4.2
USB 2.0 Type C
WiFi : 802.11a/b/g/n/ac dual band
Bluetooth : BT v4.2
USB 2.0 Type C
GPSYes, with A-GPS, GLONASS, BDSYes, with A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS
FM RadioYesYes
Fingerprint SensorYes, Rear-MountedYes, Front-Mounted
Other SensorsAccelerometer, Gyro, Proximity, CompassAccelerometer, Gyro, Proximity, Compass
Infrared EmitterNoYes
Battery3,750 mAh Li-Po battery (non-removable)3,400 mAh Li-Po battery (non-removable)
Dimensions74.3 mm wide
157.9 mm tall
7.5 mm thick
71.2 mm wide
149.6 mm tall
7.7 mm thick
Weight176 g153 g
Available ColoursBlack, Blue, VioletPhantom Blue / Phantom Green / Midnight Black / Glacier Grey

 

Unboxing The Honor Play

The Honor Play (US Price Check | MY Price Check) comes in a plain white box. It is, after all, a mid-range smartphone. Don’t expect bling.

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Once you fully unbox it, you will find the following items :

  • One Honor Play smartphone
  • One soft TPU bumper case
  • One SIM tray extractor pin
  • One 18 watt Huawei Quick Charge USB adaptor
  • One USB Type C cable

The package may be sparse but practical. Who needs cheap earbuds? What’s more important is that it comes with a free TPU bumper case so you can protect your new smartphone right out of the box!

Next Page > Honor Play Up Close, Cameras + Fingerprint Sensor

 

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The Honor Play Smartphone Up Close!

Designed for mobile gaming, the Honor Play (US Price Check | MY Price Check) is powered by the Kirin 970 SoC, which features a Neural Processing Unit (NPU) that speeds up certain AI functions. To ensure that you get to play your games for hours on-end, it comes with a larger 3,750 mAh LiPo battery that supports 18 W fast charging.

Because it is a larger device, the Honor Play is heavier than the Honor 10 (Price Check). But surprisingly, it is slightly thinner even though with a 10% larger battery!

 

Front + Rear Cameras

The Honor Play (US Price Check | MY Price Check) comes with a high-resolution selfie camera in the front. It has a 16 MP sensor, paired with a fast f/2.2 lens. There appears to be a laser diode on the other side, which is probably used for their AR emoji and 3D face lighting features. It doesn’t have a flash, but uses screen flash instead.

The camera at the back uses a dual-lens system that consists of a 16 MP camera (with a PDAF sensor and f/2.2 lens), and a 2 MP depth-sensing camera. The depth-sensing camera helps the main camera differentiate between the subjects in a photo and its background, allowing for more accurate software bokeh effects.

Please note that the main camera lens module will protrude through the TPU bumper case. The bumper case, therefore, cannot prevent damage to the main camera.

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Fingerprint Sensor

Honor opted to go with a rear fingerprint sensor with the Honor Play (US Price Check | MY Price Check). It is very fast and accurate, and allows you to trigger specific actions with different fingers.

The only downside? You can’t use it to unlock the device while it’s attached to a car mount. That’s when you need to use the Face Unlock feature. It uses the front camera and facial recognition algorithms to authenticate your identity, so it will work even with the Honor Play mounted on your car’s dashboard.

Next Page > Hybrid SIM, Display Notch, GPU Turbo, AI Game 4D Experience, Game Suite

 

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Hybrid SIM Tray

Unlike the Honor 10 (Price Check), the Honor Play has a hybrid SIM tray. This means the SIM 2 slot doubles as a microSD card slot. You can either use a second nanoSIM card, or a microSD card for extra storage capacity.

Its 64 GB internal storage capacity is plenty for many people, but microSD storage offers additional peace of mind – even if the phone is physically damaged or destroyed, you can still recover your data or photos and videos from the microSD card.

 

Display Notch

The Honor Play (US Price Check | MY Price Check) has a Full HD+ display with an aspect ratio of 19.5:9, and a resolution of 1080 x 2340 pixels. It features a display notch that is noticeably larger than that of the Honor 10 (Price Check).

The display notch allows for notifications to be confined to the top, giving you more space for your work… or really, your games. Heh… In games or apps that do not support the notch, it will simply “disappear” by turning black.

 

GPU Turbo

GPU Turbo is a hardware and software combination that increases the “efficiency” of the GPU by up to 60%. It does not mean you get a 60% boost in frame rate, although Honor says it will greatly reduce the jitter rate (variance between the highest and lowest frame rates), while appreciably increasing the overall frame rate.

Honor also claims that it will reduce the Kirin 970 SoC‘s power consumption by 30%, extending its battery life.  In a specific test using King Glory 1.34.1.11, the Honor Play lasted 4.5 hours – 30 minutes longer than the Apple iPhone X (Price Check).

How does GPU Turbo work? From what we understand, it uses a proprietary algorithm in the graphics driver to detect the change between the current frame being rendered, and the next one. This allows the Honor Play to boost CPU and GPU performance for completely new frames, and reduce them for frames with few changes.

The only downside? GPU Turbo support is currently limited. Extremely limited. From what we understand – it will only work with PUBG Mobile, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang and King Glory. Naturally, game support will be extended to more games over time.

 

AI Game 4D Experience

The Honor Play also offers an “AI Game 4D Experience” with a feature they call Smart Shock. In certain games (like PUBG), Smart Shock will vibrate the device according to the type of weapon used in the game.

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The AI Game 4D Experience also includes the 3D Gaming Audio capability. Basically, it’s a 3D spatial surround sound effect that helps you to judge the azimuth of a particular sound effect (like footsteps or an explosion).

 

Game Suite

This is a software feature that reduces network latency and game lag, and offers an uninterrupted gaming experience. Turning it on restricts the notifications that you receive, and allows you to play your game while receiving calls simultaneously.

You will only receive notifications for incoming calls, your alarms and low power alerts. Even these notifications will appear smaller, so they won’t disrupt your gaming experience.

Next Page > Setting Up The Honor Play, Ergonomics, Available Memory + Storage

 

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Setting Up The Honor Play

Setting up the Honor Play (US Price Check | MY Price Check) is easy, and takes no more than 10 minutes if you are setting it up as a new device. Take a look at a video of the initial setup process.

 

Ergonomics

The Honor Play (US Price Check | MY Price Check) is definitely much larger than the Honor 10 (Price Check). In fact, it is about the same size as the Samsung Galaxy S9+ – they both have similar-sized displays. It is a phablet that is a better fit for those with bigger hands and pockets.

The 6.3-inch IPS display is bright and brilliant even in daylight, which means you get to play your games wherever you go. The non-standard 18:9 aspect ratio of the main display section gives you more screen space for gaming, but you will get some pillarboxing while watching movies.

 

Available Memory + Storage

For a mid-range smartphone, the Honor Play (US Price Check | MY Price Check) comes with rather large memory and storage capacities. It has 4 GB of memory, of which 1.52 GB (38%) is available for use. That is a considerable amount of bloat, but still enough to run several memory-guzzling apps at the same time.

The Honor Play comes with 64 GB of internal storage, of which just under 51.2 GB (80%) is available for use. That’s enough for over 12,000 photos, or 5.5 hours of 1080p videos, or 2.5 hours of 4K videos.

Next Page > Honor Play Camera Performance – Photos + Videos

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Camera Performance – Photos

The Honor Play (US Price Check | MY Price Check) has a depth-sensing dual-lens camera, with a 16 MP image sensor paired with f/2.2 lens.  Photos from this camera have a 4:3 aspect ratio, with 4608 × 3456 pixels and an average file size of between 2 MB and 3 MB.

Photos from the wide-angle secondary camera have a 4:3 aspect ratio, with 3264 × 2448 pixels and an average file size of between 6 MB and 7 MB.

Here are 10 high-resolution samples from this 16 MP camera for you to check out. Click on them to load the full-sized photos, which you can also download to examine.

As you can see, the Honor Play’s main camera can take really great photos, with bright, vivid colours. And the software bokeh effect is much more accurate, thanks to its depth-sensing camera. However, note that its dual-lens design requires a greater distance to work, so it won’t be able to focus if the object is very close – less than 10 cm or so.

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Camera Performance – Video Recording

Despite its humble price point, the Honor Play (US Price Check | MY Price Check) supports 4K video recording. There is a 10 minute limit, and each clip is also limited to 4 GB in size. It even supports the newer and more efficient H.265 (HEVC) codec.

The Honor Play also supports electronic video stabilisation. However, it is disabled for videos that are recorded in 4K or 1080p at 60 fps.

Video Recording Test #1 : Piano (1080p)

The video stabilisation while recording at 1080p was very good. It’s not quite gimbal-level of stabilisation, but close enough. The Honor Play also showed good control of the highlights – you can see deep into the Padini Concept Store in the background. The recorded audio though was overly bright and lacks dynamic range.

Video Recording Test #2 : Piano (4K)

The 4K resolution is amazing, but there is noticeably less control of the highlights. The video is also jerky, because the Honor Play does not support video stabilisation at this resolution.

Video Recording Test #3 : Street Market (1080p)

The Honor Play’s video stabilisation is very good at this resolution. It felt like it was attached to a gimbal. There was minimal jerkiness even when we panned. There was also good control of the highlights. Very good!

Video Recording Test #4 : Street Market (4K)

Switching to 4K recording disabled video stabilisation, so the end result was a very jerky video. If you really want to record in 4K using the Honor Play, you should do so when it’s attached to a tripod or a gimbal.

Next Page > Work Performance, Battery Life + Recharging Speed

 

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Work Performance – PCMark

We tested the Honor Play’s performance using PCMark, which simulates work applications like web browing, playing video, writing text and editing photos.

Work 2.0 Honor Play Honor 10 ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 Samsung Galaxy S9
Performance Score
(Average)
7361 7106 6118 5618
Web Browsing 7695 7295 5815 5357
Video Editing 5499 5159 4898 5265
Writing 6649 6752 5722 4673
Photo Editing 13326 12910 10041 7560
Data Manipulation 5764 5524 5240 5616
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The HiSilicon Kirin 970 is a flagship SoC and it shows. Powered by the Kirin 970, both Honor Play and Honor 10 (Price Check) devices beat the ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 as well as the Samsung Galaxy S9 (Price Check)!

 

Battery Life – PCMark

We then tested the Honor Play’s battery performance using PCMark. It basically ran the PCMark work tests until its battery capacity dropped to 20%.

Work 2.0 ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 Honor Play Samsung Galaxy S9 Honor 10
Battery Life 14 hours 12 mins 9 hours 56 mins 9 hours 6 mins 8 hours 56 mins
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Despite its large 6.3-inch display, the Honor Play (US Price Check | MY Price Check) managed to deliver a battery life of just under 10 hours!

Thanks to its larger 3,750 mAh battery, it will last about one hour longer than the Samsung Galaxy S9 (Price Check) or Honor 10 (Price Check) smartphones. Only the ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (Price Check), with its phenomenal 5,000 mAh battery, lasted longer.

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Battery Recharging Performance

The Honor Play supports 18W fast charging, and comes with an 18W quick charger. Take a look at how fast it recharged its 3,750 mAh battery.

It took the Honor Play (US Price Check | MY Price Check) just 92 minutes (1 hours 32 minutes) to recharge its battery from 20% to 100%. This gives it a battery life : recharging ratio of just under 6:5.

Next Page > Gaming Performance, Our Verdict + Award, Price + Availability

 

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Gaming Performance – 3DMark

We tested the Honor Play’s gaming performance using 3DMark, using the Ice Storm Unlimited test.

Ice Storm Unlimited Samsung Galaxy S9 Honor Play Honor 10 ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1
Gaming Score 39588 31622 30560 19752
Graphics 45577 37351 34801 20707
Physics 27116 20576 21423 17008
Graphics Test 1 267.9 fps 208.9 fps 206.2 fps 113.5 fps
Graphics Test 2 157.2 fps 132.8 fps 119.5 fps 74.6 fps
Physics Test 86.1 fps 65.3 fps 68.0 fps 54.0 fps
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As expected, the 12-core ARM Mali-G72 used in the Honor Play (and Honor 10) is fast, flagship-class GPU. The faster Samsung Galaxy S9 (Price Check) actually uses the same GPU, just with 18 cores.

 

Our Verdict

As Huawei’s sister company, Honor has a reputation of offering similar models with better features at an even more affordable price point. The Honor Play (US Price Check | MY Price Check) is yet another example of the incredible value for money that Honor always offers.

The Honor Play is really an improved version of the HUAWEI nova 3i smartphone. They both have the same 6.3-inch FullView display with a notch, and the same 16 MP + 2 MP depth-sensing dual-lens main camera.

Where they differ though are mainly in five aspects.

  • The HUAWEI nova 3i has a 24 MP + 2 MP depth-sensing dual-lens front camera, while the Honor Play only has a 16 MP front camera.
  • The Honor Play features a flagship-class HiSilicon Kirin 970 SoC, while the nova 3i only uses a mid-range Kirin 710 SoC.
  • The HUAWEI nova 3i comes with 128 GB of internal storage, while the Honor Play only comes with 64 GB of storage.
  • The Honor Play comes with a larger 3,750 mAh battery, while the nova 3i only has a 3,340 mAh battery.

This is why Honor is far from being Huawei’s little brother. They are a key driver of Huawei’s phenomenal growth. By offering devices with even better features at a lower price point, Honor always has a price-performance advantage over its bigger brother.

We earlier reviewed the smaller Honor 10 (Price Check), which is a great smartphone in its own right. It too is great for gaming and comes with a gorgeous Aurora Glass back panel. The Honor Play is, in a way, a larger version of the Honor 10.

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Powered by the same flagship-class Kirin 970 SoC, which features a Neural Processing Unit (NPU), it offers a much larger display for greater enjoyment of movies and games. It also comes with a larger battery that gives you longer battery life.

The Honor Play (US Price Check | MY Price Check) also comes with GPU Turbo and “AI Game 4D Experience” with Smart Shock built-in. While both features currently have very limited reach, so don’t expect much from them just yet. However, they are steps in the right direction towards a more immersive gaming experience.

Overall, the Honor Play (US Price Check | MY Price Check) offers a great combination of a large high-resolution display with flagship-class performance and a large battery, in a svelte metal-glass chassis. In fact, when compared to the HUAWEI nova 3i, the Honor Play is obviously the better choice.

This is why we believe the Honor Play deserves our Reviewer’s Choice Award. Congratulations, Honor!

 

Honor Play Price + Availability

The Honor Play launched in China in June at RMB 1,999, which is about US$ 293 / MYR 1,189. Honor started rolling it out globally in August, with the following countries being first :

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  • Malaysia : RM 1,249 (10 August 2018)
  • Singapore : SGD 429 (8 August 2018)
  • Philippines : PHP 15,990 (13 August 2018)

You can now purchase the Honor Play at these online stores :

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Samsung Galaxy Note9 Low Light Performance Examined!

The new Samsung Galaxy Note9 features a unique dual aperture camera, with a mechanical aperture. It is said to deliver superior photos and videos in low-light conditions. Let’s put that claim to the test, and examine the Galaxy Note9 low light performance!

 

Dual Aperture Camera

The Samsung Galaxy Note9 dual aperture camera first debuted in the rare and expensive Samsung W2018 smartphone (available only in China), before Samsung introduced it in the Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ smartphones.

This dual aperture camera has a mechanical aperture that lets you switch between an incredibly bright f/1.5 aperture, and the f/2.4 aperture for a deeper depth of field.

The f/1.5 aperture is the widest aperture so far in a smartphone, offering just over ⅓ stop more light than the f/1.7 aperture of the Samsung Galaxy S8‘s camera. This translates into better low-light photography with less noise.

Let’s put it to the test…

 

Samsung Galaxy Note9 Low Light Performance

There will be many examples of low-light conditions, so we attempted to try taking shots in near complete darkness.

In this test of the Galaxy Note9 low light performance, we took pictures of two Minions in almost complete darkness. On the left, you have a Minion in a black Darth Vader costume, and on the right, another Minion in a bright outfit.

Samsung Galaxy Note9 Low Light Example

The Samsung Galaxy Note9 (US | MY Web | MY App) did remarkably well. You can make out the helmet outline of the Darth Vader Minion, and the colour of its lightsaber.

Its white balance is also good. The white t-shirt of the Minion on the right actually appears white. And you can see that it’s holding a red ball.

H Brand Low Light Example

This is a smartphone with a 16 MP PDAF camera paired with f/2.2 lens.

You can make out the Darth Vader Minion’s lightsaber, but not its colour.

You can see the red ball in the other Minion’s hand, but its t-shirt is yellowish in colour.

X Brand Low Light Example

This is a smartphone with a 12 MP PDAF camera paired with a bright f/1.75 lens.

The Darth Vader Minion is hardly visible, and if you stare hard enough, you can barely make out its lightsaber.

The t-shirt of the Minion on the right appears whitish, but you can barely make out its right arm… and you certainly cannot see the red ball in its right hand.

Summary

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The.Samsung Galaxy Note9 (US | MY Web | MY App) low light performance is obviously superior to the two other smartphones we compared it with. It is not just about how much more light its f/1.5 lens allows in, it also has a superior image sensor and image processing capability.

Its picture sample is not just brighter, it actually delivers colours that are not visible in the samples from the other two smartphones. Impressively, it managed to deliver very accurate white balance in such low-light conditions.

But wait.. that’s not all…

 

Samsung Galaxy Note9 Low Light Video Recording Performance!

Here is an example of a night dancing session at the Curve. The singers are on a well-lit platform, but the dancers are not lit by street lights. The Samsung Galaxy Note9 (US | MY Web | MY App) was not mounted on any gimbal.

Despite the changing brightness of the scene, the Samsung Galaxy Note9 (US | MY Web | MY App) did a great job of instantly adjusting the brightness of the subjects. This is not an easy feat when we switched focus to the dancers, because the background is much brighter.

What we ended up with is a happy balance of reasonably bright subjects without overly bright backgrounds. In fact, you can see right into the restaurant behind the dancers!

 

Recommended Reading

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The Spectacular Samsung Galaxy Note9 Launch Event!

Samsung really went all out in their exclusive, invitation-only Samsung Galaxy Note9 launch event at Arena Axiata in Bukit Jalil. 2,000 lucky guests witnessed the largest and most spectacular launch of any Samsung smartphone yet.

But don’t fret – we recorded EVERYTHING at the Samsung Galaxy Note9 launch. So check out the photos and videos it will be as if you were there yourself today!

 

Samsung Galaxy Note9 Launch Presentation

The Samsung Galaxy Note9 launch event kicked off with Samsung Malaysia President Yoonson Kim arriving in a McLaren supercar, escorted by nine super bikes and nine drones.

  • All Day Battery: The Galaxy Note9’s 4,000mAh battery, the largest ever on a flagship Galaxy phone for long-lasting power to use all-dayto talk, text, play games and watch movies from morning to night.
  • Store More, Delete Less: The Galaxy Note9 is available with two internal storage options – choose from 128GB or 512GB. And with the ability to insert a microSD card, the device is 1TB-ready, allowing users to have peace of mind, knowing there will always be enough room for favourite photos, videos, and apps.

  • Speed and Power: The Galaxy Note9 is a super powerful smartphone with a cutting-edge 10nm processor and support for the fastest network speeds available in the market (up to 1.2 gigabits per second) to stream and download without slowing down. The device also includes an industry-leading and Samsung developed Water Carbon Cooling system and an on-device AI-based performance adjusting algorithm to deliver powerful yet stable performances.

 

All-Star Endorsement of the Samsung Galaxy Note9!

Samsung invited an all-star cast of celebrities to share their experience using the new Galaxy Note9, and their trip to New York for the Samsung Galaxy Note9 Unpacked event! They include Jinnyboy, Reuben Kang, Limzy, Josephine Yap and Tian Chad.

The Samsung Galaxy Note9’s camera and new Bluetooth S Pen proved to be very useful to them :

  • New S Pen – With Bluetooth Low-Energy (BLE) support, it’s now possible to take selfies and group pictures, present slides, pause and play videos, with just one click of the S Pen!
  • Scene Optimizer : The Galaxy Note9’s camera is Samsung’s smartest yet. It uses intelligence to identify elements of a photo, such as the scene and subject, to automatically classify it into one of 20 categories and be instantly optimized. The result is a stunning, lifelike image with bold colours and dynamic definition.

  • Flaw Detection : The first shot doesn’t always come out right, but the Galaxy Note9 lets users know if there’s something wrong so they can take another picture without losing the moment. An immediate notification will appear if the image is blurry, the subject blinked, there is a smudge on the lens, or there’s backlight impacting the quality of the image.
  • Premium Camera : With the unique combination of advanced intelligence features and leading premium hardware, the Galaxy Note9’s camera is the best on the market. It comes with advanced noise reduction technology and a Dual Aperture lens, which adjusts to light just like the human eye. No matter the lighting conditions, Galaxy Note9’s top-tier camera delivers a crystal-clear shot.
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BONUS : K-Tigers LIVE!

The guests were also treated to an electrifying performance by the K-Tigers – the world’s leading Taekwondo demo team from South Korea!

The Samsung Galaxy Note9 launch then ended with a team dance. Then guests were invited to try out Samsung’s latest flagship smartphone!

 

Galaxy And Beyond!

The Samsung Galaxy Note9 comes with these premium Galaxy technologies – fast wireless charging, IP68 water and dust resistance and Samsung services such as Samsung Health and Samsung Pay.

Additionally, it features Samsung’s trusted, defense-grade Knox security platform and biometric security options including fingerprint scanning, iris scanning, and facial recognition capabilities to keep important information safe.

For more information, check out our Samsung Galaxy Note9 Preview!

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Neffos X9 vs Huawei nova 2 lite – Which Is The Better Deal?

TP-Link just launched the new Neffos X9 smartphone, which is being targeted squarely at the Huawei nova 2 lite. Let’s compare them both and see which is the better deal!

 

Neffos X9 vs Huawei nova 2 lite

The Neffos X9 (Price Check) and Huawei nova 2 lite (Price Check) are both mid-range smartphones with 5.99-inch displays, and a dual-lens main camera. But are they really that similar? Let’s take a closer look…

Display : Neffos X9

Both the Neffos X9 (Price Check) and the Huawei nova 2 lite (Price Check) come with a 5.99-inch FullView IPS display, with a resolution of 720 x 1440 pixels, and a pixel density of 259 pixels per inch.

But the Neffos X9’s display has two additional advantages :

  • it can dim to just 2 nits, allowing you to read and watch movies with minimal glare in the dark.
  • it has an Eye Protection Mode that reduces blue light emission by up to 89%, reducing eyestrain in low light conditions.

Performance : Tie

The Neffos X9 (Price Check) runs on the MediaTek MT6750, while the Huawei nova 2 lite (Price Check) uses the Qualcomm Snapdragon 430.

They both have octa-core ARM Cortex-A53 processors of roughly the same performance.

Memory + Storage : Tie

Both the Neffos X9 (Price Check) and the Huawei nova 2 lite (Price Check) come with 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of internal storage. They also have the option of adding a microSD card for extra storage.

Front Camera : Tie

Both devices have an 8 MP front camera with flash support.

The Neffos X9 (Price Check) features a soft light flash, which prevents harsh lights and creates more natural-looking selfies.

The Huawei nova 2 lite (Price Check), on the other hand, has a flash that automatically adjusts the brightness level according to the ambient light.

Main Camera : Neffos X9

Both Neffos X9 and Huawei nova 2 lite feature a high-resolution camera with a depth sensor that allows for more accurate bokeh effects. But the Neffos X9’s main camera is superior in many aspects :

  • Its faster f/2.0 lens allows for better low-light performance
  • Its higher resolution 5 MP depth sensor is better at depth-sensing
  • Its dual-tone LED flash delivers more natural skin tones

Wireless Connectivity : Neffos X9

Both Neffos X9 (Price Check) and Huawei nova 2 lite (Price Check) support the WiFi-N standard. However, the Neffos X9 has a key advantage – it supports dual band connectivity on both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. This is important for two reasons :

  • the 2.4 GHz has a longer range and better penetrates walls, but is prone to interference from nearby devices, like microwave machines, cordless phones and baby monitors.
  • The 5 GHz band has a shorter range, but offers much better transfer speeds.

Wireless performance is also greatly improved when data can be transferred over both bands, instead of just one band. So there is no doubt that the X9 is the clear winner in this aspect.

Price : Neffos X9

With its superior set of features, you may expect the Neffos X9 to be more expensive. Surprisingly, it is actually CHEAPER than the Huawei nova 2i lite.

The Neffos X9 (Price Check) is only priced at RM 599 / ~US$ 149, while the nova 2i lite costs RM 659 / ~US$ 165.

 

Neffos X9 vs Huawei nova 2 lite Summarised

SpecificationsNeffos X9HUAWEI nova 2 lite
Display5.99-inch FullView IPS display
- 720 x 1440 pixels (269 ppi)`
5.99-inch FullView IPS display
- 720 x 1440 pixels (269 ppi)`
Operating SystemAndroid 8.1 OreoAndroid 8.0 Oreo
System PlatformMediaTek MT6750Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 (MSM8937)
Processor4 x ARM Cortex-A53 cores (1.5 GHz)
4 x ARM Cortex-A53 cores (1.0 GHz)
8 x ARM Cortex-A53 cores (up to 1.4 GHz)
Graphics ProcessorARM Mali-T860MP2 (520 MHz)Qualcomm Adreno 505
Memory3 GB RAM3 GB RAM
Storage32 GB internal storage
microSD card slot (up to 128 GB)
32 GB internal storage
microSD card slot (up to 256 GB)
Front Camera8 MP with soft light flash8 MP camera with toning flash
Rear CameraDual Lens Camera with f/2.0 lens
- 13 MP main camera
- 5 MP depth sensor
- dual-tone LED flash
Dual Lens Camera with f/2.2 lens
- 13 MP main camera
- 2 MP depth sensor
- single LED flash
Network4G : LTE Cat4 (150 Mbps / 50 Mbps)4G : LTE Cat6 (150 Mbps / 75 Mbps)
SIM CapabiltyDual SIM, Dual Standby
SIM1 and SIM2 : 2G / 3G / 4G
Dual SIM, Dual Standby
SIM1 and SIM2 : 2G / 3G / 4G
ConnectivityWiFi : 802.11a/b/g/n (2.4 GHz + 5 GHz)
Bluetooth : BT 4.1
WiFi : 802.11a/b/g/n (2.4 GHz only)
Bluetooth : BT 4.1
Fingerprint SensorYes, Rear-MountedYes, Rear-Mounted
Other SensorsAccelerometer, Compass, Ambient Light, ProximityAccelerometer, Compass, Ambient Light, Proximity
Battery3,060 mAh lithium-ion3,000 mAh lithium-ion
Dimensions76.3 mm wide
159.4 mm tall
7.85 mm thick
76.7 mm wide
158.3 mm tall
7.8 mm thick
Weight168 g155 g
Availble ColoursSpace Black / Moonlight SilverBlack / Blue / Gold
PriceRM 599 / ~US$ 149RM 659 / ~US$ 165

 

Our Verdict : Neffos X9 Is The Obvious Choice

Both the Neffos X9 and the Huawei nova 2 lite are very compelling devices. They are highly-affordable, and yet, offer a ton of features with performance levels unheard of only a few years ago.

Yet, if you have to choose between the two, the Neffos X9 (Price Check) would be the obvious choice. Not only does it offer a superior set of features, it is actually cheaper. Hard to beat such a combination!

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Disclosure

This comparison was sponsored by TP-Link.

 

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The Maxis Zerolution360 Programme Explained + Analysed!

Maxis today unveiled a new worry-free phone leasing programme – the Maxis Zerolution360! Find out how Zerolution360 works, and how it might just be the ideal option for you!

Updated @ 12 August 2018 : Added the Keeping The Device Comparison.

Updated @ 11 August 2018 : Added the Value Comparison and Free Gifts section. Added the feature differentiation between the Basic and Premium plans.

Originally posted @ 10 August 2018

 

The Maxis Zerolution360 Worry-Free Programme

Maxis Zerolution360 is a phone leasing programme that is designed to eliminate all of the pain points and worries you may have when you purchase an expensive flagship smartphone.

With Zerolution360, you can choose any flagship smartphone offered under the programme and a MaxisONE plan to pair with it. There is ZERO upfront payment and NO contract. A credit card is not even needed. On top of that, you will enjoy these special benefits :

Zerolution360 Basic

  • Immediate one-for-one replacement for lost or damaged devices (within 2 hours in the Klang Valley)
  • Comprehensive device protection for accidental damages, including cracked screen and liquid damage.
  • Free flagship device upgrade every TWO YEARS, with annual upgrades available for an additional fee.

Zerolution360 Premium (RM 10 per month extra)

  • Priority Repair Service – as fast as 24 hours!
  • Free back-up loan device (within 2 hours in the Klang Valley)
  • One-time FREE screen replacement.

 

What Smartphones Are Currently Offered?

Maxis is starting with just five Android devices. They will add more Android devices over time, and even include Apple iPhones in the near future.

 

Zerolution360 Value Comparison

We compared the savings for each device in the table below. As you can see, Zerolution360 for the Samsung Galaxy Note9 and the Galaxy S9 offers incredible value. On top of enjoying the special benefits, you save ⅓ of the price!

Smartphones Zerolution360
(Per Month)
Zerolution360
(Two Years)
RRP Difference Savings
Samsung Galaxy Note9 (128 GB) RM 99 RM 2,376 RM 3,699 – RM 1,323 35.7%
Samsung Galaxy S9+ (128 GB) RM 145 RM 3,480 RM 3,769 – RM 289 7.7%
Samsung Galaxy S9 (64 GB) RM 89 RM 2,136 RM 3,109 – RM 973 31.3%
Huawei P20 Pro RM 116 RM 2,784 RM 2,899 – RM 115 4.0%
Huawei P20 RM 86 RM 2,064 RM 2,299 – RM 235 10.2%

 

What About The Free Gifts?

Some smartphones may come with free gifts, like the awesome Samsung Gear Sport smartwatch that comes free with the Samsung Galaxy Note9 pre-order,

However, Maxis Zerolution360 is a leasing programme, so technically you don’t own the device. Therefore, even the free gifts that come with the device would belong to Maxis as well.

In short, no, you won’t get any free gifts with your device under Zerolution360.

 

What If I Want To Keep My Device After 2 Years?

According to Maxis, you will be allowed to keep your device after two years for a fee. You will need to pay between 20%-25% to keep your device. Here is a value comparison between Zerolution360, and the regular Zerolution instalment plan, if you wish to keep the device after 2 years :

Smartphones Zerolution360
(Two Year + Devices)
Zerolution
(Two Years + Device)
Difference
Samsung Galaxy Note9 (128 GB) (RM 99 x 24) + 25%
= RM 3,300.75
NA, but RRP
= RM 3,699
– RM 398.25 (10.8%)
Samsung Galaxy S9+ (128 GB) (RM 145 x 24) + 25%
= RM 4,422.25
RM 157 x 24
= RM 3,768
+ RM 654.25 (17.4%)
Samsung Galaxy S9 (64 GB) (RM 89 x 24) + 25%
= RM 2,913.25
RM 129 x 24
= RM 3,096
– RM 182.75 (5.9%)
Huawei P20 Pro (RM 116 x 24) + 25%
= RM 3,508.75
RM 120 x 24
= RM 2,880
+ RM 628.75 (21.8%)
Huawei P20 (RM 86 x 24) + 25%
= RM 2,638.75
RM 95 x 24
= RM 2,280
+ RM 358.75 (15.2%)

As you can see, the only device that offers actual net savings under the Zerolution360 plan is the Samsung Galaxy S9. The other devices will cost you anywhere from an extra RM 350 to RM 650 to keep the device after two years.

Maxis does not currently offer a Zerolution instalment plan for the new Samsug Galaxy Note9, but it’s likely to cost more under Zerolution, than the new Zerolution360 leasing plan.

 

How Does Zerolution360 Compare?

If you are wondering how does Zerolution360 compare to the “regular” Zerolution, and a normal contract, this table summarises it all :

 

The Zerolution360 FAQ

What is Maxis Zerolution360?

Maxis Zerolution360 is a new, all-inclusive zero worries phone membership programme that allows you to fully enjoy the use of your favourite flagship device, with yearly upgrades and total device protection.

What is the difference between Maxis Zerolution360 compared with current Maxis Zerolution, or the Normal Device Contract offer?

Maxis Zerolution360 gives you the ability to use a flagship device with a low monthly subscription fee that includes total device protection and also the option to change your device yearly.

Is there any upfront payment required if I want to subscribe to Maxis Zerolution360?

No, there is no upfront payment required when you sign up for Maxis Zerolution360.

How often can I upgrade my device with Zerolution360?

You can upgrade your device any time after you have made 12 bill payments (from month 13 onwards). Once you upgrade your device, your commitment will restart with the new device that you have selected.

To be eligible for an upgrade, your device needs to be in a good working condition (to be graded by Maxis) and you would need to pay a one-time upgrade fee, which reduces every quarter and is free from month 24 onwards.

What happens to my Zerolution360 subscription when I upgrade?

Once you upgrade your device, your commitment will restart with the new device that you have selected. You will then need to pay the monthly fee for your new device, which may differ from your first device.

What happens if I want to upgrade and my device is not in good working condition?

If your device is not in a good working condition at point of upgrade, you can utilise the comprehensive coverage that comes with your Maxis Zerolution360 subscription.

If you have reached your claim limit, there is still the option to pay an excess fee, hence the zero-worry experience as you do not need to replace the damaged device with another device at the full retail price.

What happens if I don’t upgrade?

If you don’t upgrade your device, you will need to continue paying for this programme until you fulfill your 24-month commitment period. Once you reach your 24th month, you can either decide to keep using your current device and pay your current monthly fee, or upgrade to another device for free (during which time you would need to return the device in good working condition). Should you decide to terminate your subscription, you will need to return your device to us in good working condition.

Am I covered if I damage my device?

All Maxis Zerolution360 plans come with Device Protection (accidental damage, attended theft & quick turnaround times) already included in your monthly fee. For damage claims, simply call our Claims Hotline at 1800 886888 (Mon-Fri 9-6.30pm).

For enhanced Device Protection Benefits (repair option, free screen replacement, free backup loan phone & even quicker turnaround time) customers can opt for Zerolution360 Premium for an additional RM10/mth.

How is Maxis Zerolution360’s protection plan different from your current Maxis SafeDevice plan?

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Maxis Zerolution360 offers the most comprehensive protection plan, giving customers the choice between Basic or Premium protection.

For just an additional RM10/mth, customers on the Premium plan will be entitled to priority repair services with faster repair times, a free backup loan phone, and one-time free screen replacement.

Customers on the Basic plan will enjoy the same benefits as our current Maxis SafeDevice.

Who is eligible for Zerolution360?

Zerolution360 is open to new and existing Maxis customers.

Upon signing up onto this programme, we will perform a credit check to evaluate your credit rating. If you meet the criteria, you can immediately enroll for Zerolution360 and walk away with a new phone at RM0 upfront payment.

What happens if my device is stolen?

All Zerolution360 plans (Basic & Premium) comes with device protection that also covers attended theft. So, don’t worry – we’ve got you covered. You simply need to call our Claims Hotline and provide a police report to make your Attended Theft claim. Claims Hotline contact number: 1800 886888 (Mon-Fri 9-6.30pm)

What happens to my old device when I upgrade?

Recycling and sustainability is a key focus at Maxis. All returned devices will be wiped, then refurbished and reused.

Do I own the phone when I subscribe for Zerolution360?

No, you do not own the device with Zerolution360; this is a membership programme that allows you to use the device and enjoy additional benefits such as device protection and yearly upgrades. When you terminate your subscription, you must return your device to us in good working condition.

Can I enjoy this programme without the device protection? I don’t think I need it.

No, device protection is already included in the cost of your monthly subscription. You can, however, choose whether you want total coverage with our Premium protection plan, or opt for the Basic protection plan. It’s better to be safe than sorry, so do take a look at which options would be most suitable for your needs.

What if I cancel my subscription to Maxis Zerolution360 or terminate my Maxis line?

If you terminate within your 24-month commitment, you will be required to pay the remaining balance of your Maxis Zerolution360 fees as well as any relevant fees on your postpaid line. Additionally, you must return your device to us in good working condition.

Do I need to return my device if I terminate my Maxis Zerolution360 subscription after I have fulfilled my 24-month commitment?

Yes, you must return your device upon terminating your Maxis Zerolution360 subscription. A no-return device fee is applicable if you terminate and do not return your device to us in good working condition.

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Here Are The Samsung Galaxy Note9 Pre-Order Details!

Samsung just unveiled the new Samsung Galaxy Note9 smartphone, announcing that they will be available globally on 24 August 2018. They have also announced a Galaxy Note9 pre-order campaign with exclusive gifts! Get the full details below!

 

The Samsung Galaxy Note9 Pre-Order Period

The Samsung Galaxy Note9 pre-order will kick off at 12 PM sharp, on 10 August 2018, and end at midnight, 19 August 2018.

 

The Samsung Galaxy Note9 Pre-Order Offers

Samsung Malaysia will offer these LIMITED-TIME pre-order promotions :

Samsung Galaxy Note9 (512 GB)

FREE Gifts worth RM 1,531 : Gear Sport smartwatch + Gear Sport Strap + Wireless Charger Pad

Samsung Galaxy Note9 (128 GB)

FREE Gear Sport smartwatch worth RM 1,219

The Samsung Gear Sport smartwatch, Gear Sport Strap and Wireless Charger Pad will be offered only in the Black colour.

 

The Samsung Galaxy Note9 Collection

Samsung Galaxy Note9 pre-order customers will get to collect their devices two days prior to global availability, from 10 AM onwards on 22 August 2018.

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You don’t have to rush to collect from Galaxy Note9 devices t hough. You have until 2nd September 2018 to collect your pre-ordered devices.

You will have the option of :

  • self-collecting your pre-ordered Samsung Galaxy Note9 smartphone at selected Samsung Experience Stores, with a RM 300 deposit *, or
  • have your pre-order unit delivered (free of charge) to your doorstep with a full payment to their online store.

* Please note that the RM 300 deposit is non-refundable and non-transferable.

To make your pre-order, just visit the special Samsung Galaxy Note9 Pre-Order page!

Hurry and get your pre-orders in, because there are only LIMITED UNITS available for this special Galaxy Note9 pre-order promotion!

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Honor Play Price, Availability + Promotions Revealed!

honor just launched the honor Play gaming smartphone! Guess how much it costs? You will be very surprised! Here are the honor Play price, availability and promotions!

 

honor Play Gaming Smartphone Revealed!

In this video, George Zhao Zhi Wei, Head of honor Malaysia, reveals the key features of the honor Play gaming smartphone.

Don’t forget to read our in-depth review of the honor Play smartphone!

 

honor Play + PUBG Mobile Partnership

honor also announced their partnership with PUBG Mobile. This allowed the honor Play to support GPU Turbo, and deliver gaming features like AI 4D Smart Shock, and AI 3D Surround Sound in PUBG Mobile. Tencent and honor will continue to deliver even more features in the future.

 

honor Play Price, Availability + Promotions

In this video, George reveals the honor Play price for Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines. He also revealed exclusive honor Play accessories – a screen protector with nano-composite surface, and an anti-skid gaming case.

Don’t forget to read our in-depth review of the honor Play smartphone!

Here are the honor Play price and availability for various countries :

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  • China : CNY 1,999 (since June 2018)
  • Malaysia : RM 1,249 (10 August 2018)
  • Singapore : SGD 429 (8 August 2018)
  • Philippines : PHP 15,990 (13 August 2018)

Here in Malaysia, pre-order will start on 7 – 9 August 2018, with the following promotions :

  • Directly from hihonor : Chance to win a trip to Germany + Free Exclusive PUBG MOBILE voucher + Honor Play Gaming Screen Protector + Honor Play PC Case + RM100 hihonor voucher
  • From this Shopee microsite : Chance to win a trip to Germany + Free Exclusive PUBG MOBILE voucher + Honor Play Gaming Screen Protector + Honor Play PC Case + RM100 Shopee Coins

From 10 – 12 August 2018, honor will provide the following freebies with the purchase of each honor Play smartphone!

  • Directly from hihonor : RM100 hihonor voucher + Free Exclusive PUBG MOBILE voucher + Honor Play Screen Protector + Honor Play PC Case
  • From this Shopee microsite / Lazada / 11street / SenQ : Free Exclusive PUBG MOBILE voucher + Honor Play Screen Protector + Honor Play PC Case

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Huawei 2018 H1 Result Highlights After Surpassing Apple As No. 2

Huawei just announced their 2018 H1 business results. Let’s take a quick look at the Huawei 2018 H1 result highlights, and their recent success story of beating Apple to the no. 2 position!

 

Huawei Is No. 2 Smartphone Vendor

Just last week, Huawei proudly shared that preliminary data from IDC showed that they edged out Apple for the second position in the global market share for smartphones in Q2 2018. This is the first time they surpassed Apple in the number of smartphones sold in a particular quarter.

Powering their rise was the HUAWEI P20 series, followed by the release of their GPU Turbo technology. Their Honor brand of smartphones is also a key driver of growth for Huawei.

 

Huawei 2018 H1 Result Highlights

Huawei reported solid growth, with global smartphone shipments at 95+ million units, gaining a 15.8% market share as of Q2 2018. Here are the Huawei 2018 H1 results highlights – what led to their success in the first half of the year :

  • HUAWEI P20 Series : The global shipment of the HUAWEI P20 series surpassed 9 million units.

  • HUAWEI Mate 10 Series : The HUAWEI Mate 10 Series reported global shipments of over 10 million units.
  • HUAWEI nova Series : Globally, the number of nova smartphone users exceeded 50 million, with total shipments increasing 60 percent year-over-year.
  • Huawei Wearables : Global shipments increased 147 percent year-over-year.
  • Retail business has grown and now Huawei operates over 53,000 Huawei stores and 3,500 Huawei Experience Stores globally. The company plans to bolster its retail network by adding another 10,000 retail stores and 700 Experience Stores around the world before the end of 2018.

 

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Get iflix FREE + New Local Content With iflix 3.0!

At a star-studded event today, iflix kicked off iflix FREE with the newly-upgraded iflix 3.0 app. It now offers an all-new look and feel, with new local content absolutely FREE! Yes, the four-letter F word of the day is FREE!

 

iflix 3.0 Introduces Free + VIP Access with New Local Content!

Introducing iflix 3.0 was Diana Boo, Country Manager for iflix Malaysia and Brunei. It now comes with a plethora of new features and content.

 

iflix FREE

With iflix 3.0, iflix has made many of their most popular and exclusive content and features available for FREE! What do you get? Let’s see…

  • Movie of the Day – a new movie every day!
  • iflix Snacks – 50 new bite-sized videos are added every day, from QYou, Complex Media, local content creators, and iflix Originals like Caraoke Drift, Gila Gamers, Boleh Binge, and more!
  • Football Malaysia – every Liga Super, Piala FA, Piala Malaysia, Piala Sumbangsih match will be available LIVE!
  • Exclusive regional and international TV series, including The Grand Prince, My First Love, Poroporo, Tayo the Little Bus and more!
  • iflix Originals – exclusive, premium content including the upcoming KL Gangster: Underworld, Oi! Jaga Mulut, Jon Atherton: Disoriental, and Coconuts TV.
  • Download & Watch Offline allows users to download their favourite programs to enjoy offline!

Everything on iflix FREE is completely free for all iflix users, regardless of their subscription status.

 

iflix VIP

Those who want more premium content can level up and unlock iflix VIP. This is basically the old iflix subscription service. In addition to the iflix FREE content, you get :

  • Premium LIVE Sports, including more Football Malaysia, T10 Cricket League, 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia, the English Premier League, the Olympics, NBA and more!
  • Special LIVE Events – local, regional and international concerts and competitions

 

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Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite Price, Specifications + Features Revealed!

A year after Xiaomi released their first Android One smartphone – the Mi A1, they are now releasing TWO Android One devices – the Xiaomi Mi A2, and the Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite. Here are the Mi A2 Lite price comparison, availability and specifications!

 

What’s The Difference?

The two devices run on Android One, but are quite different in many ways.

The Mi A2 has a traditional rectangular 18:9 display, and is powered by the more powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 660. It comes with at least 4 GB of memory but lacks a microSD card slot. It is thinner and lighter, but only comes with a 3,000 mAh battery.

The Mi A2 Lite, on the other hand, has a wider 19:9 display with a notch, and is powered by the rather dated Qualcomm Snapdragon 625. It comes with at least 3 GB of memory, and a microSD card slot. It is thicker and slightly heavier, but has a much larger 4,000 mAh battery.

In addition to those display and performance differences, the two devices also differ in their photographic capabilities. The more expensive Mi A2 model comes with dual high-resolution cameras at the back, and a high resolution selfie camera in the front. The more affordable Mi A2 Lite has a 5 MP selfie camera and a dual-lens depth-sensing camera at the back.

 

Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite Specifications

Here are the specifications of the two new Xiaomi smartphones compared!

SpecificationsXiaomi Mi A2Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite
Display5.99-inch IPS display
- 1080 x 2160 pixels (403 ppi)
5.84-inch IPS display
- 1080 x 2280 pixels (432 ppi)
ProtectionCorning Gorilla Glass 5Unknown
Operating SystemAndroid 8.1 OreoAndroid 8.1 Oreo
System PlatformQualcomm Snapdragon 660Qualcomm Snapdragon 625
Processor4 x Kryo 260 Gold (2.2 GHz)
4 x Kryo 260 Silver (1.8 GHz)
8 x ARM Cortex-A53 (up to 2.0 GHz)
Graphics ProcessorQualcomm Adreno 512Qualcomm Adreno 506
Memory4 GB LPDDR4X SDRAM3 GB LPDDR3 SDRAM
Storage64 GB internal storage
No microSD card slot
32 GB internal storage
microSD card slot
Front Camera20 MP IMX376 sensor with f/1.75 lens
- single LED flash
- 1080p @ 30 fps video
5 MP sensor with f/2.2 lens
- 1080p @ 30 fps video
Rear CameraDual Lens Camera
Main Camera : 12 MP Sony IMX486 sensor with f/1.75 lens
Low-Light Camera : 20 MP IMX376 sensor with f/1.75 lens
- PDAF capability
- Dual-tone LED flash
- 2160p @ 30 fps video
12 MP Sony IMX486 sensor with f/1.8 lens and PDAF capability
5 MP depth sensor with f/2.2 lens
- Dual-tone LED flash
- 2160p @ 30 fps video
ConnectivityWiFi : 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (dual band)
Bluetooth : BT 5.0
USB : USB 2.0 Type C
WiFi : 802.11/b/g/n (dual band)
Bluetooth : BT 4.2
USB : microUSB 2.0
RadioNoNo
GPSWith A-GPS, GLONASS, BeidouWith A-GPS, GLONASS, Beidou
Infra-red EmitterYesYes
Fingerprint SensorYes, Rear MountedYes, Rear Mounted
Other SensorsAccelerometer, Gyroscope, Proximity, CompassAccelerometer, Gyroscope, Proximity, Compass
Battery3,000 mAh lithium-ion4,000 mAh lithium-ion
Dimensions75.4 mm wide
158.7 mm tall
7.3 mm thick
71.6 mm wide
149.3 mm tall
8.7 mm thick
Weight166 g178 g
Available ColoursBlack, Gold, Blue, Red, Rose GoldBlack, Gold, Lake Blue

 

Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite Price + Availability

Here is the Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite price comparison for a few countries. Please note that the Indian pricing is not yet confirmed, because they have not yet been launched in India. In fact, it is said that Xiaomi will bring in the Mi A2 but not the Mi A2 Lite.

Model RAM + Storage US Europe China India Malaysia
Mi A2 Lite 3 GB + 32 GB $210 €179 Rs 14,400 RM 699
4 GB + 64 GB $270 €229 Rs 18,500

 

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Neffos X9, C9, C9A + C7A Smartphones by TP-Link Revealed!

On the 26th of July 2018, TP-Link revealed four highly-affordable smartphones – the Neffos X9, the Neffos C9, the Neffos C9A and the Neffos C7A. With a price range of just RM 359-799 (US$ 89-199), these new Neffos smartphones are sure to rumble the market. Check them out below!

 

Neffos X9, C9, C9A + C7A Smartphones by TP-Link

TP-Link is making a major push with these four Neffos smartphones. Targeting the low-end mass market, these new smartphones are only priced between RM 359-799 (US$ 89-199)! Yet they offer an impressive set of features at those price points.

The Neffos X9

The Neffos X9 boasts a dual-camera system and a large 5.99-inch FullView display. It offers both a fingerprint sensor and a Face Unlock feature using the front camera.

Neffos is offering the X9 in two variants – 3GB RAM with 32GB storage at just RM 599 / US$ 149, and a premium variant with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage (available at the end of August 2018) for just RM 799 / US$ 199.

The Neffos C9 + C9A

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Both the Neffos C9 and Neffos C9A come with a 13 MP rear camera, but the C9 has an 8 MP Softlight Camera in the front, while the C9A has a 5 MP Softlight Camera instead.

They also have different screen sizes and battery capacities. The C9 has a 5.99-inch display and a 3,840 mAh battery, while the C9A has a 5.45-inch display and a 3,020 mAh battery.

Both C9 and C9A will be available in two colours – Cloudy Grey and Moonlight Silver. The Neffos C9A is available with immediate effect at just RM 429 / US$ 107, while the Neffos C9 will be available at the end of August 2018, at just RM 479 / US$ 119.

The Neffos C7A

The Neffos C7A is an entry-level smartphone with a quad-core processor, 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of storage. It boasts a 5-inch HD display, an 8 MP rear camera with f/2.2 lens and a 2 MP front camera with f/2.2 lens.

Available in Grey colour, it will start shipping at the end of August 2018, retailing at just RM 359 / US$ 89!

 

Neffos X9, C9, C9A + C7A Specifications

SpecificationsNeffos X9Neffos C9Neffos C9ANeffos C7A
Display5,99-inch FullView IPS display
- 720 x 1440 pixels (269 ppi)`
5,99-inch FullView IPS display
- 720 x 1440 pixels (269 ppi)`
5,45-inch FullView IPS display
- 720 x 1440 pixels (295 ppi)
5,0-inch IPS display
- 720 x 1280 pixels (269 ppi)`
Operating SystemAndroid 8.1 OreoAndroid 8.1 OreoAndroid 8.1 OreoAndroid 8.1 Oreo
System PlatformMediaTek MT6750MediaTek MT6759WWMediaTek MT6739WWMediaTek MT6737
Processor4 x ARM Cortex-A53 cores (1.5 GHz)
4 x ARM Cortex-A53 cores (1.0 GHz)
4 x ARM Cortex-A53 cores (1.5 GHz)4 x ARM Cortex-A53 cores (1.5 GHz)4 x ARM Cortex-A53 cores (1.25 GHz)
Graphics ProcessorARM Mali-T860MP2 (520 MHz)IMG8XE1PPC (570 MHz)IMG8XE1PPC (570 MHz)ARM Mali-T720MP1 (600 MHz)
Memory3 GB RAM2 GB RAM2 GB RAM2 GB RAM
Storage32 GB internal storage
microSD card slot (up to 128 GB)
16 GB internal storage
microSD card slot (up to 128 GB)
16 GB internal storage
microSD card slot (up to 128 GB)
16 GB internal storage
microSD card slot (up to 128 GB)
Front Camera8 MP with soft light flash8 MP with soft light flash5 MP with soft light flash2 MP camera with f/2.2 lens
Rear CameraDual Lens Camera
- 13 MP main camera
- 5 MP secondary camera
13 MP camera13 MP camera8 MP camera with f/2.2 lens
Network4G : LTE Cat4 (150 Mbps / 50 Mbps)4G : LTE Cat4 (150 Mbps / 50 Mbps)4G : LTE Cat4 (150 Mbps / 50 Mbps)4G : LTE Cat4 (150 Mbps / 50 Mbps)
SIM CapabiltyDual SIM, Dual Standby
SIM1 and SIM2 : 2G / 3G / 4G
Dual SIM, Dual Standby
SIM1 and SIM2 : 2G / 3G / 4G
Dual SIM, Dual Standby
SIM1 and SIM2 : 2G / 3G / 4G
Dual SIM, Dual Standby
SIM1 and SIM2 : 2G / 3G / 4G
ConnectivityWiFi : 802.11a/b/g/n (dual band)
Bluetooth : BT 4.1
WiFi : 802.11a/b/g/n (2.4 ghz)
Bluetooth : BT 4.1
WiFi : 802.11a/b/g/n (2.4 ghz)
Bluetooth : BT 4.1
WiFi : 802.11/b/g/n (2.4 ghz)
Bluetooth : BT 4.1
Fingerprint SensorYes, Rear-MountedYes, Rear-MountedYes, Rear-MountedNo
Other SensorsAccelerometer, Compass, Ambient Light, ProximityAccelerometer, Compass, Ambient Light, ProximityAccelerometer, Compass, Ambient Light, ProximityAccelerometer, Compass, Ambient Light, Proximity
Battery3,060 mAh lithium-ion3,840 mAh lithium-ion3,020 mAh lithium-ion2,330 mAh lithium-ion
Dimensions76.3 mm wide
159.4 mm tall
7.85 mm thick
76.6 mm wide
158.7 mm tall
8.45 mm thick
70.9 mm wide
146.5 mm tall
8.3 mm thick
72.9 mm wide
145.0 mm tall
9.45 mm thick
Weight168 g170 g145 g138 g
Availble ColoursSpace Black / Moonlight SilverCloudy Grey / Moonlight SilverCloudy Grey / Moonlight Silver8Grey

 

Neffos X9, C9, C9A + C7A Price + Availability

Here are their prices and availability summarised :

  • Neffos X9 (4 GB RAM, 64 GB storage) : RM 799 at the end of August 2018
  • Neffos X9 (3 GB RAM, 32 GB storage) : RM 599 starting 27 July 2018
  • Neffos C9 (2 GB RAM, 16 GB storage) : RM 479 at the end of August 2018
  • Neffos C9A (2 GB RAM, 16 GB storage) : RM 429 starting 27 July 2018
  • Neffos C7A (2 GB RAM, 16 GB storage) : RM 359 at the end of August 2018

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ASUS ZenFone 5Z Price + Availability Leaks CONFIRMED!

The ASUS ZenFone 5Z smartphone is almost here! We had earlier shared the leaked price of the 6GB ZenFone 5Z. We can now confirm the ASUS ZenFone 5Z price and availability of both the 6GB and 8GB models! Check out the full details below!

 

ASUS ZenFone 5Z

The ASUS ZenFone 5Z is a extreme-performance dual-camera smartphone, with a 6.2-inch all-screen display with a 90% screen-to-body ratio.

It is powered by the flagship Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 mobile platform, with the Qualcomm Artificial Intelligence Engine (AIE). Launch with a base price of €479 / $499, it will come with up to 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of flash storage.

Its dual-camera system is built around the latest flagship Sony IMX363 sensor with large 1.4µm pixels, an f/1.8 wide-aperture lens, 120° wide-angle secondary camera, four-axis optical image stabilization (OIS) and AI-enhanced camera features.

In our exclusive interview with top ASUS officials, we were told that the ASUS ZenFone 5Z was in short supply due to high global demand, and would only launch in Malaysia in early Q3 2018. Well, it’s about time!

 

Thank Lazada For The ASUS ZenFone 5Z Price Leaks!

Even though we have no word when ASUS will officially launch the ASUS ZenFone 5Z, Lazada Malaysia “accidentally” leaked the 6 GB and 8 GB ASUS ZenFone 5Z price list :

  • 8 GB with 256 GB of storage : RM 2,299
  • 6 GB with 128 GB of storage : RM 1,899

As you can see, this page was created by the official ASUS store on Lazada, so the leaked price is completely legit!

The leaked 6GB ZenFone 5Z price of RM 1,899 is RM 50 cheaper than the price in India, while the 8GB ZenFone 5Z price of RM 2,299 is RM 75 cheaper.

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ASUS ZenFone 5Z Availability

We learned from a reputable source that ASUS will officially launch the ZenFone 5Z on 30 July 2018.

Instead of a physical launch event, it will be live streamed. Sale of both models will kick off on the same day. ASUS Malaysia just confirmed this today!

 

ASUS ZenFone 5Z Specifications

Here is a comparison of the ASUS ZenFone 5Z against the ASUS ZenFone 5 (Price Check) and two ZenFone 5 Lite models.

SpecificationsASUS ZenFone 5ZASUS ZenFone 5ASUS ZenFone 5 Lite
(SDM630)
ASUS ZenFone 5 Lite
(SDM430)
ModelZE620KLZE620KLZC600KLZC600KL
Display6.2" Super IPS+ Display
- 1080 x 2246 pixels (18.5 : 9)
- 500 nits brightness
- 95.4% NTSC colour gamut
6.2" Super IPS+ Display
- 1080 x 2246 pixels (18.5 : 9)
- 500 nits brightness
- 95.4% NTSC colour gamut
6.0" IPS Display
- 1050 x 2160 pixels (18 : 9)
6.0" IPS Display
- 1080 x 2160 pixels (18 : 9)
ProtectionCorning Gorilla GlassCorning Gorilla Glass2.5D edge glass panels2.5D edge glass panels
Operating SystemAndroid 8.0 with ASUS ZenUI 5Android 8.0 with ASUS ZenUI 5Android 8.0 with ASUS ZenUI 5Android 8.0 with ASUS ZenUI 5
System PlatformQualcomm Snapdragon 845Qualcomm Snapdragon 636Qualcomm Snapdragon 630Qualcomm Snapdragon 430
Processor4 x Qualcomm Kyro 385 cores (2.8 GHz)
4 x Qualcomm Kyro 385 cores (1.8 GHz)
4 x Qualcomm Kyro 260 cores (1.8 GHz)
4 x Qualcomm Kyro 260 cores (? GHz)
4 x ARM Cortex-A53 cores (2.2 GHz)
4 x ARM Cortex-A53 cores (1.8 GHz)
4 x ARM Cortex-A53 cores (1.4 GHz)
4 x ARM Cortex-A53 cores (? GHz)
Graphics ProcessorQualcomm Adreno 630Qualcomm Adreno 509Qualcomm Adreno 508Qualcomm Adreno 505
MemoryUp to 8 GB LPDDR4X4 GB LPDDR4X4 GB LPDDR43 GB / 4 GB LPDDR3
Storage256 GB (UFS2.1)
microSD card (up to 2 TB)
64 GB (eMCP)
microSD card (up to 2 TB)
32 GB / 64 GB (eMCP)
microSD card (up to 2 TB)
32 GB / 64 GB (eMCP)
microSD card (up to 2 TB)
Main Rear Camera12 MP Sony IMX363 sensor with f/1.8 lens
- Dual Pixel autofocus
- 4-axis, 4-stops optical image stabilisation
- LED flash
12 MP Sony IMX363 sensor with f/1.8 lens
- Dual Pixel autofocus
- 4-axis, 4-stops optical image stabilisation
- LED flash
16 MP sensor with f/2.2 lens
- LED flash
16 MP sensor with f/2.2 lens
- LED flash
Second Rear Camera120° wide-angle 8 MP camera with f/2.2 lens120° wide-angle 8 MP camera with f/2.2 lens120° wide-angle 8 MP camera with f/2.2 lens120° wide-angle 8 MP camera with f/2.2 lens
Main Front Camera8 MP sensor with f/2.0 lens8 MP sensor with f/2.0 lens20 MP Sony IMX376 sensor with f/.1.8 lens
- Softlight LED flash
20 MP Sony IMX376 sensor with f/.1.8 lens
- Softlight LED flash
Second Front CameraNoneNone120° wide-angle camera120° wide-angle camera
AudioDual 5-magnet speakers
- with dual NXP Smart Amp
- Hi-Res Audio support
-DTS Headphone:X 7.1 virtual surround sound
Dual 5-magnet speakers
- with dual NXP Smart Amp
- Hi-Res Audio support
-DTS Headphone:X 7.1 virtual surround sound
Single SpeakerSingle Speaker
FM RadioYesYesYesYes
Network CapabilityLTE Cat18 DL : 1.2 Gbps
LTE Cat12 UL : 100 Mbps
LTE Cat13 DL : 600 Mbps
LTE Cat12 UL : 100 Mbps
LTE Cat13 DL : 400 Mbps
LTE Cat5 UL : 75 Mbps
LTE Cat13 DL : 400 Mbps
LTE Cat5 UL : 75 Mbps
SIM + MicroSD
Hybrid SIM Tray
- SIM1 : 2G/3G/4G nano SIM
- SIM2 : 2G/3G/4G nano SIM or microSD card
Hybrid SIM Tray
- SIM1 : 2G/3G/4G nano SIM
- SIM2 : 2G/3G/4G nano SIM or microSD card
Dual SIM Tray
- SIM1 : 2G/3G/4G nano SIM
- SIM2 : 2G/3G/4G nano SIM
Dedicated microSD tray
Dual SIM Tray
- SIM1 : 2G/3G/4G nano SIM
- SIM2 : 2G/3G/4G nano SIM
Dedicated microSD tray
Wireless Technology802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 GHz + 5 GHz)
Bluetooth 5.0
802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 GHz + 5 GHz)
Bluetooth 5.0
801.11a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 GHz + 5 GHz)
Bluetooth 4.1
801.11a/b/g/n
Bluetooth 4.1
NFCYesYesYesYes
GPS SupportGPS, AGPS, GLONASS, BDSGPS, AGPS, GLONASS, BDSGPS, AGPS, GLONASS, BDSGPS, AGPS, GLONASS, BDS
Fingerprint Sensor0.2 seconds unlock
Supports 5 fingerprints
0.2 seconds unlock
Supports 5 fingerprints
0.3 seconds unlock
Supports 5 fingerprints
0.3 seconds unlock
Supports 5 fingerprints
Face RecognitionYesYesNoNo
Other SensorsAcceleration, E-Compass, Gyroscope, Proximity, Ambient Light, RGBAcceleration, E-Compass, Gyroscope, Proximity, Ambient Light, RGBAcceleration, E-Compass, Gyroscope, Proximity, Ambient LightAcceleration, E-Compass, Gyroscope, Proximity, Ambient Light
Battery3,300 mAh lithium-ion battery
- 18 W fast charging capability
3,300 mAh lithium-ion battery
- 18 W fast charging capability
3,300 mAh lithium-ion battery3,300 mAh lithium-ion battery
Charger18 W charger (9 V @ 2 A)10 W charger (5 V @ 2 A)10 W charger (5 V @ 2 A)10 W charger (5 V @ 2 A)
Dimensions75.65 mm wide
153 mm tall
7.85 mm thick
75.65 mm wide
153 mm tall
7.85 mm thick
76.16 mm wide
160.62 mm tall
7.8 mm thick
76.16 mm wide
160.62 mm tall
7.8 mm thick
Weight165 g165 g168.3 g168.3 g
Available ColoursMeteor Silver, Midnight BlueMeteor Silver, Midnight BlueMidnight Black, Rouge Red, Moonlight WhiteMidnight Black, Rouge Red, Moonlight White

 

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ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 – Everything You Need To Know!

Here is everything you need to know about the new ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 smartphone – price, availability and specifications! Also find out how it stacks against the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5, and why we think ASUS has a real blockbuster in the Max Pro M1!

Updated @ 2018-07-23 : Updated the article, including the newly-released 4GB RAM model with 64 GB of storage.

Updated @ 2018-05-28 : Added a new ZB601KL vs. ZB602KL section, a new LTE + WiFi Capabilities section, updated specifications, and its incredible price!

Updated @ 2018-05-18 : Added the tech briefing and colour option videos.

Originally posted @ 2018-04-24

Don’t forget to catch our ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (ZB602KL) In-Depth Review!

 

The ASUS ZenFone Max Series

The ASUS ZenFone Max is the popular series of smartphones ASUS has even produced, and for very good reasons. They offer mid-range smartphones with good performance and an incredible battery life.

They practically hold within their slim frames a power bank. In fact, they are all capable of acting as a power bank to recharge other smartphones and portable devices! Hence, the Max moniker.

 

The ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1

The ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (Price Checkis the latest ZenFone Max model to be released by ASUS. It follows up on the success of the ZenFone Max Plus M1 (ZB570TL) we saw just a few months ago, and directly challenges the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5.

Despite its very similar name, the ZenFone Max Pro is a very different beast from the ZenFone Max Plus M1 (ZB570TL). It is, in fact, a leap ahead in features and performance, powered by the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 SoC, with up to 6 GB of RAM and a dual-lens camera

According to ASUS, the Snapdragon 636 is over 2.7X faster than the Snapdragon 430 used in the ZenFone 4 Max Pro (Price Check), and over 1.5X faster than the Snapdragon 625 used in the ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro (Price Check).

It also comes with a larger 6″ IPS display, with a Full HD+ resolution of 1080 x 2160 pixels. The ultra-wide 18:9 aspect ratio allows ASUS to fit a bigger display in the form factor of a traditional 5.5″ smartphone.

The ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (Price Check also comes with a dual-lens rear camera, with a main camera with a 13 MP sensor, and a depth camera with an 5 MP sensor. This set-up allows for better depth perception, allowing the Max Pro M1 to deliver better bokeh effects.

The eponymous feature is, of course, its large 5,000 mAh battery. That is the battery capacity of most power banks, giving you up to 35 days of 4G standby and 42 hours of 3G talk time! It also allows you to play games for up to 12 hours, or watch up to 20 hours of YouTube videos.

Isn’t the ZenFone Max Pro M1 impressive? Especially when you realise ASUS fit all that into a smartphone that is only 180 g in weight!

 

ZB601KL vs. ZB602KL

There is some confusion about the model numbers. When the ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 first launched in India, it had the model number ZB601KL. Subsequently, ASUS started shipping the ZenFone Max Pro M1 as the ZB602KL in other countries. So what’s the difference?

We checked with ASUS, and they confirmed that ZB601KL is an India-specific model, while ZB602KL is the model that ship worldwide. Here are the differences, as far as we can ascertain.

  • The main camera on the global model has f/2.0 lens, while the main camera on the Indian model has f/2.2 lens.
  • The global model supports faster 4G LTE speeds – up to LTE Cat13 DL (400 Mbps) and LTE Cat5 UL (75 Mbps). The Indian model only supports LTE Cat4 – 150 Mbps DL, 50 Mbps UL.
  • The global model may ship with earphones and/or a soft TPU bumper case, but the Indian model comes with a free ASUS Max-Box passive audio amplifier.

The other specifications of the ZB601KL and the ZB602KL are the same.

 

LTE + WiFi Capabilities

The ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (Price Check is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 whose X12 LTE modem is capable of :

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  • LTE Cat12 downlink speeds of up to 600 Mbps
  • LTE Cat13 uplink speeds of up to 150 Mbps
  • 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 GHz + 5 GHz) capability

However, ASUS has chosen to implement a limited set of those capabilities :

  • Indian ZB601KL model : LTE Cat4 150 Mbps DL, 50 Mbps UL
  • Global ZB602KL Version A model : LTE Cat4 150 Mbps DL, LTE Cat5 75 Mbps UL
  • Global ZB602KL Version B model : LTE Cat13 400 Mbps DL, LTE Cat5 75 Mbps UL
  • All Max Pro M1 models : 802.11b/g/n (2.4 GHz) only

Next Page > Colour Options, Specification Comparison, Price + Availability

 

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ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 Colour Options

The ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 comes in two colour options – Deepsea Black and Titanium Grey. Let’s take a quick look at both colour options.

 

ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1  vs. Xiaomi Redmi Note 5

Here is a specification comparison of the two ZenFone Max Pro M1 models against the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5.

SpecificationsASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (ZB602KL)ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (ZB601KL)Xiaomi Redmi Note 5
Display6" Full HD+ display
- 1080 x 2160 pixels
- 18:9 aspect ratio, 85% NTSC
- 450 nits, 1500:1 contrast ratio
6" Full HD+ display
- 1080 x 2160 pixels
- 18:9 aspect ratio, 85% NTSC
- 450 nits, 1500:1 contrast ratio
5.99" Full HD+ display
- 1080 x 2160 pixels
- 18:9 aspect ratio, 83% NTSC
- 450 nits, 1500:1 contrast ratio
Operating SystemAndroid 8.1 OreoAndroid 8.1 OreoAndroid 8.1 Oreo
System PlatformQualcomm Snapdragon 636Qualcomm Snapdragon 636Qualcomm Snapdragon 636
Processor8 x Qualcomm Kryo 260 cores (1.8 GHz)8 x Qualcomm Kryo 260 cores (1.8 GHz)8 x Qualcomm Kryo cores (1.8 GHz)
Graphics ProcessorQualcomm Adreno 509 GPUQualcomm Adreno 509 GPUQualcomm Adreno 509 GPU
Memory3 GB / 4 GB / 6 GB LPDDR4X memory3 GB / 4 GB / 6 GB LPDDR4X memory3 GB / 4 GB LPDDR4X memory
Storage32 GB / 64 GB internal flash storage (eMMC 5.1)
microSD card (2 TB)
32 GB / 64 GB internal flash storage (eMMC 5.1)
microSD card (2 TB)
32 GB / 64 GB
microSD card (shared with SIM2)
Front Camera8 MP front camera with f/2.2 lens and LED softlight flash8 MP front camera with f/2.2 lens and LED softlight flash13 MP front camera with f/2.0 lens and LED flash
Rear CameraDual-lens camera
- 13 MP image camera with f/2.0 lens
- 5 MP depth camera with f/2.4 lens
Dual-lens camera
- 13 MP image camera with f/2.2 lens
- 5 MP depth camera with f/2.4 lens
Dual-lens camera
- 12 MP Samsung sensor with f/1.9 lens
- 5 MP Samsung depth sensor with f/2.0 lens
Connectivity4G Version A
- LTE Cat4 DL : 150 Mbps
- LTE Cat5 UL : 75 Mbps
4G Version B
- LTE Cat13 DL : 400 Mbps
- LTE Cat5 UL : 75 Mbps

WiFi : 802.11b/g/n (2.4 GHz)
Bluetooth 5.0
USB : microUSB 2.0
4G : LTE Cat4 150 Mbps DL, 50 Mbps UL
WiFi : 802.11b/g/n (2.4 GHz)
Bluetooth 5.0
USB : microUSB 2.0
4G : LTE Cat12 600 Mbps DL, LTE Cat13 150 Mbps UL
WiFi : 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 GHz)
Bluetooth 5.0
USB : microUSB 2.0
SIM CapabilityDual SIM, dual standby capability (4G / 4G)
Dedicated dual SIM tray
Dual SIM, dual standby capability (4G / 4G)
Dedicated dual SIM tray
Dual SIM, dual standby capability (4G / 4G)
Hybrid SIM tray
Fingerprint SensorRear-Mounted, 0.3 Sec UnlockRear-Mounted, 0.3 Sec UnlockRear-Mounted
GPSGPS, GLONASS, Beidou, GalileoGPS, GLONASS, Beidou, GalileoGPS, GLONASS, Beidou, Galileo
Audio5-magnet speaker5-magnet speaker
Battery5,000 mAh lithium-ion battery5,000 mAh lithium-ion battery4,000 mAh lithium-ion battery
Dimensions76 mm wide
159 mm tall
8.5 mm thick
76 mm wide
159 mm tall
8.5 mm thick
75.4 mm wide
158.6 mm tall
8.05 mm thick
Weight180 g180 g181 g
Available ColoursDeepsea Black, Titanium GreyDeepsea Black, Titanium GreyBlack, Gold, Lake Blue
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ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 Price + Availability Updated!

Sales of the ZB601KL model are limited to India, with the following prices :

  • ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (3 GB / 32 GB) : Rp 2,299,000 / ~RM 647 / ~US$ 166
  • ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (4 GB / 64 GB) : Rp 2,799,000 / ~RM 788 / ~US$ 202
  • ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (6 GB / 64 GB) : Rp 3,299,000 / ~RM 929 / ~US$ 238

The ZB602KL model, on the other hand, are being sold in Malaysia and other countries at the following price points :

  • ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (6 GB + 64 GB) : RM 999 / ~US$ 251
  • ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (4 GB + 64 GB) : RM 849 / ~US$ 213
  • ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (3 GB + 32 GB) : RM 699 / ~US$ 176

If you are in the US, here are some purchase links :

Unfortunately, the ZenFone Max Pro M1 is not yet available in the US. Only higher-end models like the ASUS ZenFone 5.

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Five PR Lessons From The BlackBerry KEY2 Faux Pas! (Updated)

The PR team representing BlackBerry in Malaysia seems to have graduated from the Trump PR University. Tone deaf and arrogant, they shocked the Malaysian tech media last week with an offensive BlackBerry KEY2 email. Let’s take a look at what this BlackBerry PR team wrote, and find out what PR lessons we can learn from the BlackBerry KEY2 faux pas.

Updated @ 2018-07-20 : We added new information and viewpoints from both the media and PR practitioners on this issue.

Originally posted @ 2018-07-17

 

The BlackBerry KEY2 Faux Pas

On 13 July 2018 (yes, Friday the Thirteenth!), BlackBerry’s PR representative sent everyone who attended the media launch four days earlier an email on the BlackBerry KEY2 review samples. This was what they all received :

From what we understand, most took exception to the “cocky” way the email was written, including…

  • the portrayal that the Malaysian tech media are begging for a review unit.
  • the requirement that the BlackBerry KEY2 (Price Check) be collected and returned PERSONALLY at their office.
  • threatening to charge the media for the loss or damage of the BlackBerry KEY2 review sample
  • threatening to charge the media not just for the replacement of the KEY2, but also repairs costs. In other words, if they damage the review sample, they have to pay BlackBerry the cost of a new KEY2 AND the cost of repairing the damaged device.

To be fair, the last one may be due to bad grammar. After all, the email was replete with bad grammar and spelling.

A few PR practitioners we spoke to were horrified that such a poorly-worded email. Even if it was written by an intern or junior executive, it would have been vetted by a senior team member. It was, ultimately, an unfortunate email that could have been better written.

 

What Happened At The BlackBerry KEY2 Event?

We were not at the BlackBerry KEY2 (Price Check) media launch, but this was what we gathered… My media friends, please correct me if I’m wrong.

  • Everyone at the event was asked to fill in a review request form. So it was not so much they received a deluge of requests, they just got everyone to fill in a request form…
  • They were also asked to write their own media profile – what their publication is all about, their target audience, their STATISTICS, etc… which suggests that they did not do their homework… or have any idea who they invited to their own event!
  • At the event, a BlackBerry rep told the tech media that there are enough “seeding units” for everyone who attended. Yet in their email, they now claimed that they have more requests than actual review samples. Just some “truthful hyperbole” in Trump-speak?
  • The term “seeding unit” is used when the brand offers you a “keeper unit“, not a loaner. They should advise their clients not to use such terms, lest it leads to misunderstanding.

Naturally, that email offended many Malaysian tech journalists, many who spoke to us earlier about this, suggesting that perhaps we should write about it to start a conversation on such bad PR practices. Here are some choice quips :

“No wonder your phone is DYING sales wise. Good luck.”

“No thanks. We are trying to help you, not the other way around.”

“Pure nonsense. I loled at their email.”

The only similar incident in recent time to receive such derision from the Malaysian tech media was the Ming Hua News insanity. Just like we did back then, let’s take a look at what we can all learn from this BlackBerry KEY2 faux pas.

 

PR Lessons From The BlackBerry KEY2 Faux Pas

1. Humility Is ALWAYS A Great PR Investment

When you were top dog, sure, you can strut about and spit into the faces of tech journalists. But when you officially hit 0% market share in 2017, there’s no harm investing in some humility.

Frankly, humility is ALWAYS a great PR investment even when you’re at the top of the world. You never know when your fortunes may change, and the tables turn. Besides… humility is completely FREE! 😀

 

2. Do Your Homework!

Asking us to fill in our own profile means you have no idea who you invited to your event. Can you imagine inviting complete strangers to your daughter’s 16th birthday party?

And how can you ask publications to share their stats in such a public manner? Because they are private and confidential information, you will end up with conflated or completely fake numbers.

Many tech publications have media kits, with a bit of history and some recent stats. Even if you don’t have time to do your own research, try asking for their media kits.

 

3. You Need Us More Than We Need You

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This is an honest statement of fact. BlackBerry lost its cachet a long time ago, flailing from failure to failure. Now, more than ever, you need the media to give you a chance to rise from the ashes.

Burning bridges with the media, at this point, is the very epitome of PR harakiri. Utterly senseless.

 

4. Don’t. Ever. Threaten. Us.

Seriously.

Threats are never a good way to encourage the media to HELP YOU reach out to your potential customers.

Who on Earth is going to spend time, money and effort to help you if you are threatening to punish them?

Not helping you means less work, not less money. Think about that.

 

5. We Are Not Your Useful Idiots

Some tech brands and PR companies treat the media as their “unpaid marketing departments” or as the Russians would put it – “useful idiots“. Well, we are neither.

If you can’t treat us with respect, don’t expect any from us. Remember – your KPIs are not our KPIs. We don’t owe you anything, because guess what – we don’t work for you!

 

Who’s The Person / PR Company?

It does NOT matter. We censored the details because it’s not about the person or PR team or PR company. We are not in the business of targeting any person or company.

We brought up this issue because the Malaysian tech media community felt that this was the perfect example of the (occasional) bad practices they have had to deal with. It was meant to start a conversation on how things can be better executed, to avoid misunderstandings and cultivate a culture of mutual respect.

This conversation has been a long time coming. Now that it’s out in the open, it’s good to see PR companies and the tech media community actively discussing it. May it lead to a healthier relationship for everyone! 😀

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Maxis ONEder Parent Celebrates Single Parents!

All parents are awesome, but single parents are doubly-so, because they have to play dual roles – a challenge that most of us can only imagine. In celebration of Mother’s Day and Father’s Day this year, Maxis is paying tribute to single parents with the new ONEder Parent campaign.

 

The Maxis ONEder Parent Campaign

Maxis is celebrating Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Parent’s Day by paying tribute to single parents – both mothers and fathers – with their ONEder Parent campaign. Here is an awesome video about a single dad learning to understand his young daughter.

Maxis ONEder Parent x Parents Without Partners

As part of the campaign, Maxis is teaming up with Parents without Partners (PWP), a non-profit organisation that supports and empowers low-income single parents towards achieving financial independence. Maxis will help PWP reach more customers online through Maxis’ eCommerce platform.

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Since 2007, PWP has been raising funds for its programmes by operating Jumble Station, a store selling pre-loved donated goods ranging from books, toys and household items to garments and accessories, among others.

As part of the partnership, the Maxis eCommerce team will set up an online store for PWP to create more awareness and drive visits from online shoppers. Maxis will also train the PWP team to set up a digital product library, as well to pack and fulfil orders via tracked courier services. In addition, Maxis will sponsor a year of hosting, maintenance and support of PWP’s ecommerce site.

ONEder Parent Jumble Station

Later this month, Maxis volunteers, MSquad, will be taking part in the ONEder Parent campaign by donating pre-loved clothes, accessories and household items to be sold through the Jumble Station e-store. They will also be volunteering their time to help PWP curate and organise their e-store’s new online inventory.

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ASUS ZenFone 5 (ZE620KL) In-Depth Review

The new ASUS ZenFone 5 (ZE620KL) takes on the recently-launched Honor 10 and Huawei nova 3e (P20 Lite) smartphones. How well will it do against them? Let’s find out!

 

The ASUS ZenFone 5 Family

ASUS launched the ZenFone 5 family of smartphones at CES 2018, consisting of the ZenFone 5Z, the ZenFone 5, the ZenFone 5 Lite and the ZenFone Max Pro M1.

Here is a comparison of their key specifications :

SpecificationsASUS ZenFone 5ZASUS ZenFone 5ASUS ZenFone 5 Lite
(SDM630)
ASUS ZenFone 5 Lite
(SDM430)
ModelZE620KLZE620KLZC600KLZC600KL
Display6.2" Super IPS+ Display
- 1080 x 2246 pixels (18.5 : 9)
- 500 nits brightness
- 95.4% NTSC colour gamut
6.2" Super IPS+ Display
- 1080 x 2246 pixels (18.5 : 9)
- 500 nits brightness
- 95.4% NTSC colour gamut
6.0" IPS Display
- 1050 x 2160 pixels (18 : 9)
6.0" IPS Display
- 1080 x 2160 pixels (18 : 9)
ProtectionCorning Gorilla GlassCorning Gorilla Glass2.5D edge glass panels2.5D edge glass panels
Operating SystemAndroid 8.0 with ASUS ZenUI 5Android 8.0 with ASUS ZenUI 5Android 8.0 with ASUS ZenUI 5Android 8.0 with ASUS ZenUI 5
System PlatformQualcomm Snapdragon 845Qualcomm Snapdragon 636Qualcomm Snapdragon 630Qualcomm Snapdragon 430
Processor4 x Qualcomm Kyro 385 cores (2.8 GHz)
4 x Qualcomm Kyro 385 cores (1.8 GHz)
4 x Qualcomm Kyro 260 cores (1.8 GHz)
4 x Qualcomm Kyro 260 cores (? GHz)
4 x ARM Cortex-A53 cores (2.2 GHz)
4 x ARM Cortex-A53 cores (1.8 GHz)
4 x ARM Cortex-A53 cores (1.4 GHz)
4 x ARM Cortex-A53 cores (? GHz)
Graphics ProcessorQualcomm Adreno 630Qualcomm Adreno 509Qualcomm Adreno 508Qualcomm Adreno 505
MemoryUp to 8 GB LPDDR4X4 GB LPDDR4X4 GB LPDDR43 GB / 4 GB LPDDR3
Storage256 GB (UFS2.1)
microSD card (up to 2 TB)
64 GB (eMCP)
microSD card (up to 2 TB)
32 GB / 64 GB (eMCP)
microSD card (up to 2 TB)
32 GB / 64 GB (eMCP)
microSD card (up to 2 TB)
Main Rear Camera12 MP Sony IMX363 sensor with f/1.8 lens
- Dual Pixel autofocus
- 4-axis, 4-stops optical image stabilisation
- LED flash
12 MP Sony IMX363 sensor with f/1.8 lens
- Dual Pixel autofocus
- 4-axis, 4-stops optical image stabilisation
- LED flash
16 MP sensor with f/2.2 lens
- LED flash
16 MP sensor with f/2.2 lens
- LED flash
Second Rear Camera120° wide-angle 8 MP camera with f/2.2 lens120° wide-angle 8 MP camera with f/2.2 lens120° wide-angle 8 MP camera with f/2.2 lens120° wide-angle 8 MP camera with f/2.2 lens
Main Front Camera8 MP sensor with f/2.0 lens8 MP sensor with f/2.0 lens20 MP Sony IMX376 sensor with f/.1.8 lens
- Softlight LED flash
20 MP Sony IMX376 sensor with f/.1.8 lens
- Softlight LED flash
Second Front CameraNoneNone120° wide-angle camera120° wide-angle camera
AudioDual 5-magnet speakers
- with dual NXP Smart Amp
- Hi-Res Audio support
-DTS Headphone:X 7.1 virtual surround sound
Dual 5-magnet speakers
- with dual NXP Smart Amp
- Hi-Res Audio support
-DTS Headphone:X 7.1 virtual surround sound
Single SpeakerSingle Speaker
FM RadioYesYesYesYes
Network CapabilityLTE Cat18 DL : 1.2 Gbps
LTE Cat12 UL : 100 Mbps
LTE Cat13 DL : 600 Mbps
LTE Cat12 UL : 100 Mbps
LTE Cat13 DL : 400 Mbps
LTE Cat5 UL : 75 Mbps
LTE Cat13 DL : 400 Mbps
LTE Cat5 UL : 75 Mbps
SIM + MicroSD
Hybrid SIM Tray
- SIM1 : 2G/3G/4G nano SIM
- SIM2 : 2G/3G/4G nano SIM or microSD card
Hybrid SIM Tray
- SIM1 : 2G/3G/4G nano SIM
- SIM2 : 2G/3G/4G nano SIM or microSD card
Dual SIM Tray
- SIM1 : 2G/3G/4G nano SIM
- SIM2 : 2G/3G/4G nano SIM
Dedicated microSD tray
Dual SIM Tray
- SIM1 : 2G/3G/4G nano SIM
- SIM2 : 2G/3G/4G nano SIM
Dedicated microSD tray
Wireless Technology802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 GHz + 5 GHz)
Bluetooth 5.0
802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 GHz + 5 GHz)
Bluetooth 5.0
801.11a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 GHz + 5 GHz)
Bluetooth 4.1
801.11a/b/g/n
Bluetooth 4.1
NFCYesYesYesYes
GPS SupportGPS, AGPS, GLONASS, BDSGPS, AGPS, GLONASS, BDSGPS, AGPS, GLONASS, BDSGPS, AGPS, GLONASS, BDS
Fingerprint Sensor0.2 seconds unlock
Supports 5 fingerprints
0.2 seconds unlock
Supports 5 fingerprints
0.3 seconds unlock
Supports 5 fingerprints
0.3 seconds unlock
Supports 5 fingerprints
Face RecognitionYesYesNoNo
Other SensorsAcceleration, E-Compass, Gyroscope, Proximity, Ambient Light, RGBAcceleration, E-Compass, Gyroscope, Proximity, Ambient Light, RGBAcceleration, E-Compass, Gyroscope, Proximity, Ambient LightAcceleration, E-Compass, Gyroscope, Proximity, Ambient Light
Battery3,300 mAh lithium-ion battery
- 18 W fast charging capability
3,300 mAh lithium-ion battery
- 18 W fast charging capability
3,300 mAh lithium-ion battery3,300 mAh lithium-ion battery
Charger18 W charger (9 V @ 2 A)10 W charger (5 V @ 2 A)10 W charger (5 V @ 2 A)10 W charger (5 V @ 2 A)
Dimensions75.65 mm wide
153 mm tall
7.85 mm thick
75.65 mm wide
153 mm tall
7.85 mm thick
76.16 mm wide
160.62 mm tall
7.8 mm thick
76.16 mm wide
160.62 mm tall
7.8 mm thick
Weight165 g165 g168.3 g168.3 g
Available ColoursMeteor Silver, Midnight BlueMeteor Silver, Midnight BlueMidnight Black, Rouge Red, Moonlight WhiteMidnight Black, Rouge Red, Moonlight White
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ASUS ZenFone 5 Colour Options

The ASUS ZenFone 5 (Price Check) comes in two colour options – Meteor Silver and Midnight Blue. Let’s take a quick look at both colour options.

Next Page > ASUS ZenFone 5 Unboxing, Up Close, Tech Briefing

 

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Unboxing The ASUS ZenFone 5 (ZE620KL)

The ASUS ZenFone 5 (Price Check) comes in a premium dark blue box. ASUS made some variants Be sure to check the label on the bottom for the actual model (ZE620KL), and specifications, including the colour of the device inside (Meteor Silver).

The complete ASUS ZenFone 5 (Price Check) kit will consist of the following items :

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  • One ASUS ZenFone 5 (ZE620KL) smartphone
  • One ASUS ZenFone 5 soft TPU bumper case
  • One set of ASUS ZenFone 5 User Guide + Warranty Information
  • One set of ASUS ZenEar Pro Hi-Res Audio earphones + spare earbuds
  • One 10 W ASUS USB charger + USB Type C cable
  • One SIM tray ejector pin

The inclusion of the ASUS ZenEar Pro earphones are a really nice touch. They support Hi-Res Audio and have a gold-plated jack. Note that the TPU bumper case is an optional freebie that may not be available in other countries / regions.

 

ASUS ZenFone 5 (ZE620KL) Up Close!

The ASUS ZenFone 5 (Price Check) is powered by the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 SoC, just like the ZenFone Max Pro M1 (Price Check). It has 4 GB of the latest LPDDR4X memory, and 64 GB of internal flash storage.

According to ASUS, the Snapdragon 636 is over 2.7X faster than the Snapdragon 430 used in the ZenFone 4 Max Pro (Price Check), and over 1.5X faster than the Snapdragon 625 used in the ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro (Price Check).

The ASUS ZenFone 5 (Price Check) comes with a large 6.2″ IPS display, with a Full HD+ resolution of 1080 x 2246 pixels. The ultra-wide 18:9 aspect ratio and bezel-less design allow ASUS to fit this 6.2 display in the form factor of a traditional 5.5″ smartphone. Believe it or not – it is actually smaller in size than the ZenFone Max Pro M1 (Price Check), which has a smaller 6″ display!

 

ASUS ZenFone 5 (ZE620KL) Tech Briefing

Li Huai Pin, ASUS Malaysia Business Development Manager, explains the key features of the ASUS ZenFone 5 (Price Check), while Andrew Chan, Senior Manager of the ASUS Global Product Team, showcases the photographic capabilities of the ZenFone 5.

Next Page > ASUS ZenFone 5 Cameras, Fingerprint + Face Unlock, Hybrid SIM

 

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The ZenFone 5 Cameras

The ASUS ZenFone 5 (Price Check) has an 8 MP front camera with f/2.0 lens. This should offer better low-light performance, which would be useful since it does not come with an LED flash.

The ASUS ZenFone 5 (Price Check) has dual cameras at the back. The main camera has a 12 MP Sony IMX363 sensor with Dual Pixel autofocus capability, and 4-axis, 4-stops optical image stabilisation. This camera has a fast and bright f/1.8 lens, which means great performance in low-light conditions.

The secondary camera is a 120° wide-angle camera designed for group shots. It has an 8 MP sensor, which is very likely from Omnivision, and is paired with f/2.2 lens. Both cameras are supported by a single LED flash.

 

Fingerprint Sensor + Face Unlock

The ASUS ZenFone 5 (Price Check) has a Goodie FP fingerprint sensor built into the back. It is a fast and accurate sensor that takes 13 finger presses to register a fingerprint, and less than a second to identify it. It is rated with a 0.3 second unlock speed, and supports up to 5 fingerprints.

Its rear location allows you to quickly unlock the smartphone with your fingerprint, but prevents it from being unlocked while it is in a car mount. This is where its Face Unlock feature comes in handy.

Face Unlock uses the front camera and facial recognition algorithms to authenticate your identity, so it will work even with the ASUS ZenFone 5 (Price Check) mounted on your car’s dashboard.

 

Hybrid SIM Tray

To keep the ZenFone 5 compact, ASUS opted for a hybrid SIM tray. This allows you to use a second nano SIM card, or add a microSD card. You can’t use two nano SIM cards with a microSD card though. The good news is – the ASUS ZenFone 5 (Price Check) comes with 64 GB of internal flash storage, so there is plenty of storage space for your apps, photos and videos.

Next Page > Display Notch, WiFi + LTE, AI Ringtone + AI Call, Hi-Res Audio, Battery

 

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Display Notch

The ASUS ZenFone 5 (Price Check) has a Full HD+ display, with an aspect ratio of 18.8:9 and a resolution of 1080 x 2246 pixels. It features the display notch made popular by the iPhone X, albeit much smaller in size. This gives it a lot more space for notification icons.

Although the notification icons nearest to the notch can appear “cut-off”, the ZenFone 5 is smart enough to work around the notch. In games and applications that don’t support the notification area, it just displays the main 1080 x 2160 section.

 

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LTE + WiFi Capabilities

The ASUS ZenFone 5 (Price Check) is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 SoC, whose X12 LTE modem is capable of :

  • LTE Cat12 downlink speeds of up to 600 Mbps
  • LTE Cat13 uplink speeds of up to 150 Mbps
  • 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 GHz + 5 GHz) capability

Unlike the ZenFone Max Pro M1 (Price Check),the ZenFone 5 supports the full LTE and WiFi capabilities of the Snapdragon 636 platform.

 

AI Ringtone + AI Call

The ASUS ZenFone 5 (Price Check) has AI Ringtone – a feature that every smartphone should have! It will dynamically adapt the ringtone volume to the ambient noise level. This relieves you of the need to keep adjusting the ringtone volume, and ensures that you will never miss that important call, or needlessly disturb your partner or baby at night!

The ASUS ZenFone 5 (Price Check) uses two additional microphones to monitor ambient noise levels. The data is used to cancel out the ambient noise when you make calls, so your voice will always be heard clearly, even in noisy environments.

 

Hi-Res Audio

Audio is an oft-neglected aspect of modern smartphones. The ASUS ZenFone 5 (Price Check) supports Hi-Res Audio playback (sadly, not recording). It even comes with Hi-Res Audio-capable ASUS ZenEar Pro earbuds, so you can enjoy 24-bit / 192 kHz audio on the go!

There is also another advantage in using earphones – the ZenFone 5 supports DTS HeadphoneX, which delivers 7.1 channel virtual surround sound over earphones / headphones. Now you can enjoy a truly immersive experience with your movies and games!

The ASUS ZenFone 5 (Price Check) also boasts two 5-magnet speakers with metal coils, and 36″ larger sound chambers (compared to the ZenFone 4). These stereo speakers are driven by the latest NXP 9874 low-distortion smart amplifiers, delivering a louder and richer audio output.

 

BoostMaster Battery With AI Charging

The ASUS ZenFone 5 (Price Check) has a 3,300 mAh lithium-ion battery with BoostMaster fast charging capability. In fact, it supports up to 18 W fast charging, even though it only comes with a 10 W fast charger.

Even with the 10 W charger, it only needs a quick 5 minute charge to gain 2 hours of talk time. A 38 minutes charge would get the battery up to 60% capacity. If you need even faster charging, you can upgrade to an 18 W charger.

The ASUS ZenFone 5 (Price Check) also supports AI Charging, a feature that doubles the lifespan of its battery! It accomplishes this feat by intelligently maintaining the battery at 80% capacity throughout the night, and only charging it to 100% just before you wake up in the morning.

Next Page > ASUS ZenFone 5 Setup, Ergonomics, Available Memory + Storage

 

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Setting Up The ASUS ZenFone 5

Setting up the ASUS ZenFone 5 (Price Check) is easy, and takes no more than 10 minutes if you are setting it up as a new device. The Goodix FX fingerprint sensor was fast and accurate, so it was a breeze to setup.

 

Ergonomics

The ASUS ZenFone 5 (Price Check) is a surprisingly small device. It is actually smaller than the ZenFone Max Pro M1 (Price Check) which has a smaller display! Not surprisingly, it is thinner and weighs just 165 g. It is a better fit for those with smaller hands and pockets.

The 6.2″ Super IPS+ display is bright and vivid, with 500 nits of maximum brightness, and a wide 100% DCI-P3 colour gamut. The non-standard 18:9 aspect ratio of. the main display section, while useful in giving you more screen space, will result in some pillarboxing for movies.

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Available Memory + Storage

For a mid-range smartphone, the ASUS ZenFone 5 (Price Check) comes with rather large memory and storage capacities. It has 4 GB of LPDDR4X memory, of which 1.9 GB (47.5%) is available for use. That’s plenty to run several memory-guzzling apps at the same time. In fact, the ZenFone 5 has more free memory than the Samsung Galaxy S9!

The ASUS ZenFone 5 (Price Check) comes with 64 GB of eMMC 5.1 flash storage, of which just over 51 GB (80%) is available for use. That’s enough for over 12,000 photos, or 5.5 hours of 1080p videos, or 2.5 hours of 4K videos.

If you see the storage type listed as eMCP, that’s short for Multi-Chip Package. It merely means the eMMC flash storage was combined with the LPDDR4X memory in a single package to allow for thinner form factors.

Next Page > ASUS ZenFone 5 Camera Performance – Photos + Videos

 

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Camera Performance – Photos

ASUS used the excellent 12 MP Sony IMX363 sensor with Dual Pixel autofocus capability, with a secondary 120° wide-angle camera that is most likely using an 8 MP Omnivision sensor.

Photos from the main camera have a 4:3 aspect ratio, with 4032 × 3024 pixels and an average file size of between 2 MB and 3 MB.

Photos from the wide-angle secondary camera have a 4:3 aspect ratio, with 3264 × 2448 pixels and an average file size of between 4 MB and 5 MB.

Here are 10 high-resolution samples from the main 12 MP camera for you to check out. Click on them to load the full-sized photos, which you can also download to examine.