Tag Archives: Google Android

Android Wallpaper Malware Explained + Solved!

Android Wallpaper Malware Explained + Solved!

Ice Universe shared a really interesting problem earlier today – a wallpaper that would set certain Android smartphones into a boot loop. Literally wallpaper malware!

Find out what this wallpaper malware is all about, and how to prevent it from bricking your Android smartphone!

 

Android Wallpaper Malware Explained + Solved Video

For a quick run-down, we prepared this video that explains what the wallpaper does, and how to solve the problem.

 

Android Wallpaper Malware : What Is It?

The wallpaper was first shared by Ice Universe whose friend was affected by it. As you can see, there is really nothing remarkable about it.

If you set it as a wallpaper on a vulnerable Android smartphone, it will force the device to go into a boot loop.

Once that happens, there is nothing more you can do, except to factory reset your smartphonedestroying all of its data.

 

Android Wallpaper Malware : The Cause

Ice Universe paved the way to discovering the cause when he noted that the wallpaper’s colour seemed to changed when he uploaded it to Weibo.

So we looked into the metadata of the wallpaper, and discovered that it has a specific ICC colour profile for Google Skia – E3CADAB7BD3DE5E3436874D2A9DEE126

That ICC colour profile appears to trip the Google Skia graphics engine for certain Android devices, causing them to reboot.

Technically, com.android.systemui.glwallpaper.ImageProcessHelper crashes from an ArrayIndexOutOfBoundsException while trying to load the wallpaper with the embedded colour profile.

And because the wallpaper loads when Android UI loads, it triggers another reboot. Your smartphone is now stuck in a boot loop – it will keep rebooting on loading the wallpaper.

 

Android Wallpaper Malware : The Solution

The solution is surprisingly simple – remove the ICC colour profile. You can do that by using a photo editor (like Photoshop) and simply saving the wallpaper without embedding the colour profile.

Alternatively, you can use an EXIF remover app or software to strip the wallpaper’s metadata. That should strip its colour profile as well. Just make sure you check before you load it into your phone!

The only problem is that stripping the colour profile makes the wallpaper look less vivid.

But the best thing to do is really just avoid the wallpaper altogether. Don’t even download it.

Google really needs to look into how such a bad colour profile in a picture can trip Google Skia and force the phone into a boot loop.

We should consider this a shot across the bow. Not only should we question whether we really “need” that nice wallpaper, we should be more proactive and :

  • offload our data from our smartphones on a regular basis
  • keep constant backups of our smartphone data
  • consider recording our photos and videos to a microSD card

This way, even if another wallpaper or picture malware comes along and bricks your phone, you won’t lose all of your data.

 

Recommended Reading

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The HUAWEI Trump Ban – Everything You Need To Know! 5.5

Rumours have been fast spreading on instant messengers and social media about the HUAWEI Trump ban, leading to a ton of misconceptions, misunderstandings and outright BS.

In this article, we will explain the HUAWEI Trump ban, and what it means to HUAWEI and to you, the customer.

 

The HUAWEI Trump Ban Timeline Updated!

The US government’s distrust of HUAWEI goes back many years, and only grew as HUAWEI became one of China’s biggest and arguably, most visible global companies with over $100 billion in revenue and over 180,000 employees worldwide.

Circa 2010 : US intelligence officers began claiming that HUAWEI was serving as a proxy for the Chinese government

2011 : The US government squelched HUAWEI’s attempt to acquire 3Leaf Systems, a US company that offers server virtualisation solutions.

2012-10-08 : The US House Intelligence Committee released a report about its investigations into HUAWEI and ZTE, which also questioned their dealings with Iran.

2018-08-13 : US President Trump banned the use of HUAWEI and ZTE products by US government agencies.

2018-12-01 : Meng Wanzhou, HUAWEI’s global chief financial officer and the daughter of its founder, Ren Zhengfei, is arrested by Canadian authorities at the request of the United States.

Photo Credit : Darryl Dyck, The Canadian Press / PA Images

Early 2019 : The Trump government begins earnestly pressuring allies to stop using HUAWEI telecommunications equipment, particularly in building new 5G networks.

2019-05-10 : The US-Chinese trade talks failed, and President Trump immediately raised tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports.

2019-05-15 : President Trump signed an executive order barring US companies from using telecommunications equipment from sources that are “national security threats”. The US Commerce Department also added HUAWEI to the Entity List of US national security threats.

2019-05-16 : ARM issued a memo instructing their employees to suspend business with HUAWEI. Read our full report and analysis.

2019-05-19 : Google announced that it would suspend business with HUAWEI to comply with US law.

2019-05-20 : Intel, Qualcomm, Broadcom, Micron and Western Digital announce that they will stop supplying HUAWEI. German chipmaker Infineon also stopped some shipments.

2019-05-20 : The Bureau of Industry and Security of the US Commerce Department announced a 90-day temporary licence to HUAWEI, partially restoring their access to US technology and suppliers.

2019-05-21 : FedEx in Singapore and Hong Kong withheld two HUAWEI packages for “delivery exception“. Read our full report and analysis.

2019-05-23 : Two packages from Japan bound for HUAWEI in China were diverted to the FedEx HQ in the United Stataes instead. Read our full report and analysis.

2019-05-25 : The SD Association removed HUAWEI as a member, but the NM Card gives an extra workaround. Read our full report.

2019-05-26 : The WiFi Alliance temporarily suspends HUAWEI, but this only affects future Wi-Fi standards. Read our full report and analysis.

2019-05-29 : HUAWEI announced a legal challenge on the constitutionality of the HUAWEI Trump ban, but it will be too late to help them. However, China has a Trump card!

2019-05-29 : Just as quietly as HUAWEI was removed as members of the the WiFi Alliance, the SD Association and the Bluetooth SIG, its membership was restored!

Even the HUAWEI Mate 20 Pro was put back on the Android Q beta programme! Read our full report and analysis!

2019-05-29 : Malaysian Prime Minister (and the world’s OLDEST prime minister) Dr. Mahathir Mohammad said that Malaysia has no intention on shunning HUAWEI, and that they will “try to make use of their technology as much as possible“.

2019-05-29 : The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) told its editors to stop using HUAWEI scientists and engineers to review scientific papers for fear of “severe legal implications”.

2019-06-02 : The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) reversed their decision to ban HUAWEI scientists and engineers from reviewing scientific papers! Read our full report and analysis!

2019-06-12 : HUAWEI confirmed that they were postponing the launch of their refreshed MateBook laptop indefinitely, because they are unable to purchase the necessary components from US-based companies like Intel.

China’s Global Times reports that HUAWEI will instead launch a different laptop in July that will run Windows 10 on an ARM-based processor. Read our full report and analysis!

2019-06-14 : HONOR is moving ahead with the sale of the HONOR 20 smartphones, starting 21 June 2019. Read our full report!

At the same time, Broadcom slashed its annual revenue outlook by a whopping $2 billion, as a result of the HUAWEI Trump ban. Broadcom shares fell 6% as a result.

2019-06-17 : Microsoft starts selling HUAWEI MateBook laptops again, after removing them from the Microsoft Store when HUAWEI was added to the Entity List.

In their statement, they stated that “[Microsoft] will continue to respond to the many business, technical and regulatory complexities stemming from the recent addition of Huawei to the US Department of Commerce’s Export Administration Regulations Entity List”

2019-06-21 : FedEx refused to deliver a HUAWEI P30 Pro smartphone to a US resident, citing the HUAWEI Trump ban. Read our full report and analysis!

2019-06-22 : FedEx reversed their stance, now claiming that it was “an operational error“. Read our full report and analysis!

2019-06-23 : HUAWEI calls the repeated delivery mistakes by FedEx “a vendetta“. Read our full report!

2019-06-24 : Despite the HUAWEI Trump ban, HONOR reported that they sold their first batch of HONOR 20 smartphones in 3 hours in Malaysia, with over a million units in China in two weeks. Read our full report!

2019-06-25 : FedEx sued the Trump Administration to block trade restrictions (like the HUAWEI ban) that force it to act as enforcement agents. UPS declined to join the FedEx lawsuit.

2019-06-29 : President Trump stunned everyone by reversing the HUAWEI ban, stating that it was “no great national emergency”; and agreeing not to introduce more tariffs… all without a trade agreement with China. Read our full report and analysis!

2019-07-14 : Reuters reported that the US Commerce Department could start approving licences for US companies to start selling again to HUAWEI in a matter of weeks.

2019-07-22 : Impatient with the US Commerce Department, the CEOs of Google, Cisco, Intel, Broadcom, Micron and Western Digital pressured Donald Trump to force the US Commerce Department to issue licenses allowing them to sell to HUAWEI once again. Read our full report and analysis!

2019-08-19 : The US Commerce Department extended HUAWEI’s temporary general licence by a further 90 days. They also added 46 more HUAWEI affiliates to the Entity List. Read our full report and analysis!

 

Who Does The HUAWEI Trump Ban Affect?

The HUAWEI Trump ban covers both HUAWEI and its sub-brand, HONOR. As it so happens, HONOR is launching their HONOR 20 smartphone today.

Together with the success of their P30 and P30 Pro smartphones, the ban could not come at a worst time.

 

What Exactly Does The HUAWEI Trump Ban Do?

Many pundits wrongly quoted Trump’s executive order as the basis for the Google and other US companies suspending supplies to HUAWEI. That is only partly true.

His executive order does not mention HUAWEI at all. In fact, it actually applies to every company listed in the US Entity List, which is over 270 pages long!

It basically prohibits “any acquisition, importation, transfer, installation, dealing in, or use of any information and communications technology or service (transaction)” by “any person… subject to the jurisdiction of the United States” to “persons owned by, controlled by, or subject to the jurisdiction or direction of a foreign adversary“.

It was really the US Commerce Department’s action of adding HUAWEI (and its 68 affiliates) to the Entity List that forced US companies to stop doing business with HUAWEI.

Even without Trump’s executive order, US companies are generally prohibited from doing business with companies listed in the Entity List. They will have to apply for a licence to export products to those entities.

 

The HUAWEI Trump Ban Effects

Google

Google rescinded HUAWEI’s Android licence, as well as access to Google Play services and the Play Store. But what does that mean?

  • Current HUAWEI and HONOR devices that run on Android and were launched on, or before 16 May 2019 will continue to have access to Google Play services, and the Google Play Store..
  • HUAWEI and HONOR devices launched from 17 May 2019 onwards will not have access to Android, Google Play services, or Google Play Store.

  • HUAWEI and HONOR will continue to receive Android software updates and patches until 19 August 2019.

In other words, if you own a HUAWEI or HONOR smartphone that was launched before 16 May 2019, you have nothing to worry about… at least until August 2019.

ARM

The suspension of business between ARM and HUAWEI has no real effect in the short to medium-term, because HUAWEI can continue to manufacture existing and completed designs.

Read our full report : The HUAWEI ARM Business Suspension – How Bad Is This?

Processor Suppliers : Intel, Qualcomm, Broadcom

HUAWEI has long worked on creating their own mobile SoCs, like their flagship-class Kirin 970 and Kirin 980. They have been pretty successful in this regard – all of their top smartphones run on Kirin processors.

They do not have a replacement for the Intel processors that power their MateBook laptops. However, they have apparently prepared for this eventuality by stockpiling 3 months worth of chips.

Memory Suppliers : Micron, Infineon

Fortunately for HUAWEI, most DRAM manufacturers are not US companies, or subject to US law. Whereas Micron (a US company) can no longer supply HUAWEI with memory chips, there are other DRAM companies that can make up the shortfall… including their competitor, Samsung.

Tech Organisations : WiFi, Bluetooth, SD New!

Initially, HUAWEI was quietly but unceremoniously booted from the Wi-Fi Alliance, the Bluetooth SIG and the SD Association. But two weeks later, their memberships were quietly restored. Read our full reports :

Perplexingly, the IEEE announced and retracted their ban on HUAWEI scientists and engineers serving as peer reviewers and editors in just four days.

Read our full report : The IEEE Reverses HUAWEI Ban After Just 4 Days!

 

How Does The HUAWEI Trump Ban Affect YOU?

If you own a HUAWEI or HONOR smartphone sold on or before 16 May 2019, you have NOTHING to worry about.

  • Your HUAWEI or HONOR smartphone will continue to work normally
  • You will continue to have access to Google Play services, and the Google Play Store.
  • You will continue to receive updates and security patches

If you are planning to purchase a future HUAWEI or HONOR smartphone, you should wait and see.

  • Despite the ban, HUAWEI still has access to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP).
  • They can still produce smartphones that run on Android, but won’t be able to install Google Play services, the Google Play Store, or apps by US companies like YouTube and Facebook.
  • HUAWEI has been working on its own mobile operating system, HongMeng OS, which is said to be undergoing trials right now.
  • Future HUAWEI smartphones may run on HongMeng OS and their own slew of apps, but there will be a dearth of third-party apps, at least initially.
  • If the ban persists, HUAWEI will likely be forced to ship future smartphones with stock Android and HUAWEI apps to replace Google Play services.

 

What About New Devices?

The partial licence from the US Commerce Department only permits “service and support” for “existing” devices that were “available to the public on or before May 16, 2019“.

HUAWEI and its affiliates can create and sell new devices. However, they will not be covered by the temporary licence, and therefore…

  • they cannot have Google Play services or Play Store, or any US apps like YouTube and Instagram, installed
  • they are not entitled to Android software updates either

That said, US companies or companies that use substantial US technologies can apply to the US Commerce Department for special licences to sell to HUAWEI. As of July 2019, over 50 applications were submitted for consideration.

 

How Will This Affect HUAWEI’s Business?

This is, no doubt, a really serious problem for HUAWEI. Losing the ability to include Google services will be detrimental to the success of future devices.

The disruption of their supply chain will start to bite if the ban persists beyond three months – that’s when their stockpile runs out. They will also lose the ability to support existing customers with software patches.

However, the issuance of the temporary licence, just days after listing HUAWEI as a foreign adversary and a national security threat, signals that the HUAWEI Trump ban is just another bargaining chip in the US-China trade war.

In all likelihood, Trump is using the HUAWEI ban to force China to accept his terms for a trade deal. He badly needs a face-saving win after numerous failures in recent months.

 

Why This Is Bad For The Global Economy + Security

President Trump’s persistent pressure on HUAWEI is forcing a decoupling of the Chinese and American economies. This is bad for the global economy, as well as global security.

The intertwining of US and Chinese economies is a form of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) that was once guaranteed by nuclear weapons.

Photo Credit : News.com.au

But with an erratic US President cutting off supply to US products and technology essential for their companies, China will continue to turn inwards to insulate their economy, even adopting a form of economic Juche.

The more their economies decouple, the more the US loses the ability to engage China positively on a variety of geopolitical issues. In fact, it may eventually lead to an outright Cold War between the US and China, if not military confrontation.

Recommended Reading : HUAWEI Legal Motion Too Late, But China Has A Trump Card!

 

The HUAWEI Trump Ban Revision History

Updated @ 2019-08-19 : Added details about the extension of HUAWEI’s temporary general licence (full report).

Updated @ 2019-07-24 : Added details about Trump agreeing to issue licenses for US tech companies to start selling again to HUAWEI (full report).

Updated @ 2019-07-15 : Added details about the slow action by the US Commerce Department

Updated @ 2019-06-29 : Added details about Trump’s shocking reversal of the HUAWEI ban (full report).

Updated @ 2019-06-25 : Added details about the FedEx lawsuit against the Trump Administration.

Updated @ 2019-06-24 : Added details about HONOR 20 sales despite the Trump ban (full report), and FedEx’s refusal to ship a HUAWEI P30 Pro to the United States (full report).

Updated @ 2019-06-20 : Added details of the diverting of HUAWEI packages by FedEx (full report).

Updated @ 2019-06-17 : Added details of Microsoft’s decision to resume selling HUAWEI MateBook laptops.

Updated @ 2019-06-14 : Added details of the upcoming HUAWEI laptop that will run Windows 10 on ARM (full report), the upcoming sale of the HONOR 20 smartphone (full report), and the impact on Broadcom.

Updated @ 2019-06-03 : Added IEEE’s reversal of its earlier decision to ban HUAWEI employees from reviewing scientific papers (full report).

Updated @ 2019-05-31 : Added many updates, including what Malaysian Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir said about maximising the use of HUAWEI technologies. 

Updated @ 2019-05-29 : Added details of HUAWEI’s legal motion and Trump card (full report), as well as the restoration of their Bluetooth, WiFi, SD and Android Q rights (full report).

Updated @ 2019-05-26 : Added details of the HUAWEI WiFi Alliance suspension (full report)

Updated @ 2019-05-25 : Added how HUAWEI outsmarted the SD + microSD ban with their NM card (full report)

Updated @ 2019-05-23 : Added details about the HUAWEI ARM business suspension (full report)

Originally posted @ 2019-05-21

 

Recommended Reading

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Why Apple iPhones Are So Expensive Rev. 2.0

Whenever Apple releases a new iPhone, it has become tradition for rabid Apple and Android fans to trade barbs in a childish display of fandom rivalry. Facebook and blogs will be replete with taunts and jeers on both sides. It was not good enough that they didn’t like the rival platform, they had to make sure the other side knew how much they hated their platform. Check out some of their work when Apple launched their new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus smartphones :

Now that Apple has officially announced the iPhone 7, there is a new comparison out :

Of course, the comparison is hardly accurate, since the Nexus 6 is not water-resistant, just splash-resistant. The iPhone 7, on the other hand, has IP67-rated water resistance. It is also a fact that Apple iPhones have always lagged Android smartphones in features and specifications. In fact, Apple iPhones will always cost more… often far more, than an equivalent Android smartphone.

Updated @ 2016-09-13 : Updated the article for Apple iPhone 7, including new information on Apple iPhones and Android smartphones.

Updated @ 2016-01-26 : Ported it over to the new Tech ARP

Originally posted @ 2014-11-24

 

Apple iPhones Will Always Cost More

Frankly, the differences between an Apple iPhone and an Android smartphone have diminished in recent years, with both platforms borrowing features and ideas from each other. Arguing about who came up with which feature first will become nothing more than a pissing contest.

Whatever features that are unique to a particular platform will eventually be introduced in the competing platform. That’s what we want because it gives us the freedom to choose between the two platform without worrying about losing some key features we cannot do without.

Even so, one thing will remain certain – Apple will always price their iPhone models at a premium. That brings us to arguably the most vitriolic opinion that Android fans have about the Apple users – that they are all rich idiots who are getting fleeced by Apple into paying a ridiculously high price for the iPhones especially since they are using “dated” hardware or “older technology”.

Well, we are not going to go into why Apple iPhones are not using “dated” hardware or “older technology” in this editorial, but we are going to address this perception that Apple users are stupid to pay so much money for a smartphone. Then we are going to show you why Apple iPhones are so expensive.

Why Pay So Much For An iPhone?

Let’s take a look at the top 3 reasons why Apple users are willing to pay top dollar for their Apple iPhones.

1. It’s More Than Just A Smartphone

First of all, the Apple iPhone is more than just a smartphone. When you purchase an Apple iPhone, you are purchasing the iPhone ecosystem as well – everything from access to the 2.0 million apps (as of June 2016) in the Apple App Store to the free iMessage, FaceTime and iCloud services. Android users may argue that they have similar features but what they have is sometimes a pale shadow of what the Apple iOS platform currently offers.

For example, the Apple iPhone can automatically and continuously back itself up to iCloud since October 2011 with iOS 5. If something bad happens, the user can restore the entire contents of the iPhone using nothing more than an Internet connection. You don’t even need to use iTunes on a computer to perform this backup and/or restore process.

When we first wrote this editorial 3 years later in 2014, no Android smartphone could do that. Of course, we had no doubt even then that they would eventually implement something similar.  True enough, Android 6.0 Marshmallow introduced such an ability in October 2015 (4 years after iOS), although it only works with Android apps that “target API version 23“.

2. It’s About Software Assurance

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You are also buying “software assurance” in the form of iOS upgrades and updates. The recently released iOS 10, for example, was made available for the following devices, immediately and simultaneously :

Google also releases Android upgrades on a periodical basis. However, those upgrades are not made available for many Android smartphones (even if they are of the same generation), and often, they are made available long after Google releases them.

This is due to the fact that the Android platform is “highly fragmented” – there is a wide variation in hardware features and packaged software, as well as manufacturer preferences. This has resulted in significantly slower or shorter “software assurance”, especially for older or less popular models.

Google released Android 6.0 Marshmallow on October 5, 2015. It took Samsung 4 months to start releasing it for the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge smartphones. ASUS also took 4 months to start rolling out their Marshmallow update for the ZenFone 2 Laser and ZenFone Zoom smartphones. That’s actually fast, because in the past, they would take about twice as long to release a major operating system update.

Of course, many brands choose not to offer the upgrade at all. Some, like HTC, promise an Android 6.0 Marshmallow upgrade for several smartphones, but remain stuck in development hell. The Marshmallow upgrade for the HTC One M7 was even scrapped, after being announced. In the meantime, Android 7.0 Nougat was just released…

3. It’s The Apple Experience

When someone considers the cost of a platform, it should be done holistically because when you buy an Apple iPhone, you are really buying an experience.

Apple iPhone users (generally) want a smartphone that “just works“. They do not care so much about specifications, as much as they do the experience of using the iPhone. They do not care so much about the number of features, as they do the experience of those features that are available. For that, they are willing to pay top dollar.

The less fragmented nature of the iOS platform also makes it very easy for them to transition from one model to another. The user interface and apps work exactly the same, whether you’re using the new iPhone 7, or the much older iPhone 5.

The Android platform allows for a customisable experience, but Apple fans don’t really want that. Or at least they are willing to sacrifice that for the familiarity of a consistent user interface.

Now, let us show you exactly what they are paying so much for. The real reasons why Apple iPhones are so expensive…

Next Page > Why Apple iPhones Are So Expensive, Does This Mean That Apple iPhones Are Better?

 

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Why Apple iPhones Are So Expensive

Many people consider Apple elitist for selling the iPhone at very high prices, and there’s no doubt that they have the highest profit margin in the industry. However, their profit margin isn’t an accurate reflection of their nett profit per unit.

What most people forget is that the price of each iPhone includes a lot of ancillary costs, so comparing the profit margin of Apple iPhones vs. Android smartphones is like comparing apples to oranges (pun intended).

1. Apple iOS And Services Are Not Free

Android manufacturers can get away with low margins and therefore, lower prices, because Google provides the Android OS free of charge. On top of that, Google finances the infrastructure for free services that they provide to the Android platform, like Google Hangout and Google Drive.

With the exception of any custom software or services provided by the Android smartphone manufacturer, everything on the Android platform is being financed and maintained by Google.

Apple, on the other hand, has development teams working on the iOS operating system, as well as supporting software and services like iTunes, the App Store, iMessage, FaceTime and iCloud. They also build and maintain their own infrastructure to support those services.

All that comes at significant cost. Apple’s massive 500,000 sf data center in Maiden, North Carolina, for example, costs a whooping US$ 1 billion to build.

2. Apple Uses Their Own Processors

Apple designs their own processors for the iPhone – a cost that no Android manufacturer has to bear. On top of that, their processors cost more to make because they have a lower production run than the Qualcomm or MediaTek processors that most Android devices use.

3. They Just Cost More To Produce

All-in-all, the costs of the parts used to make an iPhone are consistently much higher than that of an Android phone. Here’s what research firm HIS calculated as the cost of manufacturing the iPhone 6 :

Apple iPhone 6 with 16GB of built-in memory costs $200 to build in parts and labor, while a 128GB model requires $247 to put together. The iPhone 6 Plus production costs on the other hand, range between $216 for a 16GB model and $263 for the 128GB version.

The most expensive component in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus is their display. Made by LG Display and Japan Display, the component costs $45 for the iPhone 6, and $52.50 for the iPhone 6 Plus. Corning Gorilla Glass 3 covers the screen of both models.

Apple’s 20nm A8 processor is made by TSMC and, combined with an attached co-processor, costs about $20. NXP Semiconductors provides the NFC chip for the iPhone 6 range. Combined with the rest of its built-in sensors, it costs $22 for both devices.

As you can see, the production cost of the Apple iPhone 6 is higher than what some Android smartphones are selling for, even if those Android smartphones have similar or even better specifications on paper. This is why the iPhone will always be more expensive than comparable Android smartphones, even if Apple somehow sees it fit to sell it at cost.

If you tack on their substantial ancillary costs, you can see why Apple has to sell their iPhones at a premium. The research firm HIS calculated the iPhone 6‘s profit margin as 69%, but that does not include ancillary costs. Apple’s nett profit is certainly much lower once you factor everything in, albeit still much higher than the industry norm.

 

Does This Mean That Apple iPhones Are Better?

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No. I’ve said it many times before, and I will say it again. Both platforms have their pros and cons, and they are getting closer in capability as they leapfrog each other in features. Whatever new idea or feature that’s introduced in one platform will eventually make it to the other platform, so it would be stupid to insist that one platform is significantly superior to the other.

It is this convergence of features and capability that will eventually limit Apple’s reach. If you can get a good Android smartphone with all of the key features you need at a much lower cost, it will be harder for many users to justify paying a premium for the Apple experience.

Ultimately, it all depends on the kind of user you are, and how much you are willing to pay. You won’t go wrong with either platform, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Just because Apple iPhones are so expensive does not mean they are better than Android smartphones. But it doesn’t mean you are not getting your money’s worth either.

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Travellers Rejoice! WorldKoins Is Here To Take Your Change!

One of the most irritating aspect of travelling is ending up with loose change at the end of the trip. Money changers just won’t take them, so they end up in jars or at the bottom of your drawer. With an average of 10 million people flying internationally every single day, millions of dollars are literally “lost” every day!

Fortunately, the solution is at hand, and it’s called WorldKoins.

 

What Is WorldKoins?

WorldKoins is a new crowdsourced service that allows you to convert your unwanted change into credit that can be used to redeem gift cards, vouchers or even donate to worthy causes.

At the end of your trip, just drop all of your change with any nearby DropKoins collector. This way, you will go home with usable credit, instead of unusable change. It’s that simple!

 

How Does WorldKoins Work?

  1. Download and install the free WorldKoins mobile app from Google Play Store or the Apple App Store.
  2. Open the app and create a new WorldKoins account, or sign in (if you have already registered before).
  3. Use the WorldKoins mobile app to locate and contact nearby DropKoins collectors.
  4. Drop off your leftover change with your preferred DropKoins collector.
  5. The DropKoins collector will validate your transaction on the spot with a verification code.
  6. Your account is credited immediately, and you now make redemptions.

If you do not have sufficient credit to make redemptions, you will be glad to know that the credit have no “expiry date”. Just accumulate until you have enough to make redemptions!

 

Screenshots Of The WorldKoins Mobile App

Here are screenshots of the WorldKoins mobile app, with step-by-step instructions on the process.

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Doogee T6 Smartphone Revealed

Doogee T6 Smartphone

The Doogee T6 is a 5.5″ smartphone with a super-long battery life, thanks to its 6,250 mAh battery! In many aspects, it is very similar to the Doogee Y200.

It has the same 5.5″ IPS display with a resolution of 720 x 1280, and comes with an 8 MP rear camera. The Doogee T6 is also powered by the same quad-core MediaTek MT6735 processor and runs on Android 5.1 with 2 GB of RAM.

Beyond that, the Doogee T6 trades the fingerprint sensor, the 5 MP front camera and half the storage capacity for a dual-tone flash to support its rear camera and a much larger 6,250 mAh battery. This allows it to take better flash photography and even serve as a power bank for other devices.

Again, Doogee quotes both cameras as having higher resolutions of 13 MP and 5 MP respectively. However, that is because they perform software extrapolation to achieve those resolutions (by default). Their true resolutions are 8 MP and 2 MP respectively.

The Doogee T6 smartphone is available in either White or Black colours, and is now available for sale on GEMFIVE with the retail price of RM 599 / ~US$ 149.

 

First Look At The Doogee T6

This video shows the key features of the Doogee T6 smartphone, as well as its available RAM and storage capacity.

 

[adrotate banner=”4″]Key Specifications

  • Runs on Android 5.1
  • Quad-core MediaTek MT6735 processor
  • 2 GB RAM + 16 GB flash storage
  • 5.5″ IPS display with HD resolution of 720 x 1280
  • 8 MP main camera with software extrapolation to 13 MP.
  • 2 MP front camera with software extrapolation to 5 MP.
  • 6,250 mAh lithium-ion battery (9 hour video playback / 3 days of normal use)
  • Available in black / white
  • 77 mm wide x 153.8 mm tall x 9.9 mm thick

 

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Doogee Y200 Smartphone Revealed

Doogee Y200 Smartphone

The Doogee Y200 is a 5.5″ smartphone is targeted at the youth market. As such, it has an ultra-slim profile with a thickness of just 7.6 mm, and a fast fingerprint sensor that can unlock the phone within 0.15 second. It has an IPS display with a resolution of 720 x 1280.

It is powered by the quad-core MediaTek MT6735 processor with the ARM Mali-T720 GPU, and runs on Android 5.1. It has 2 GB of RAM and 32 GB of internal flash storage.

It also features an 8 MP rear camera (with a Sony sensor and LED flash), and a 5 MP front camera. However, Doogee quotes both cameras as having a resolution of 13 MP and 8 MP respectively, because they perform software extrapolation to achieve those resolutions (by default).

The Doogee Y200 smartphone is available in either White or Black colours, and is now available for sale on GEMFIVE with the retail price of RM 699 / ~US$ 175.

 

First Look At The Doogee Y200

This video shows the key features of the Doogee Y200 smartphone, as well as its available RAM and storage capacity.

 

[adrotate banner=”4″]Key Specifications

  • Runs on Android 5.1
  • Quad-core MediaTek MT6735 processor
  • 2 GB RAM + 32 GB flash storage
  • 5.5″ IPS display with HD resolution of 720 x 1280
  • 8 MP main camera (Sony sensor) with software extrapolation to 13 MP.
  • 5 MP front camera with software extrapolation to 8 MP.
  • 3,000 mAh lithium-ion battery
  • Fast fingerprint sensor (0.15 sec detection)
  • All-metal unibody chassis (in black / white)
  • 77.1 mm wide x 155.5 mm tall x 7.6 mm thick

 

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Doogee S1 Smartwatch Revealed

Doogee S1 Smartwatch

The S1 is Doogee’s first attempt at a smartwatch. It checks off all of the key smartwatch features – dust and water-resistance, heart rate monitor, sports assist software, and the ability to change watch faces and install additional apps. On top of that, the Doogee S1 even comes with a 3G SIM card slot and a 2 MP side camera!

The Doogee S1 has a 1.54″ IPS touch display with a resolution of 240 x 240 pixels. It is powered by the MediaTek MT6572 dual-core processor, with 512 MB of RAM and 4 GB of internal storage. Although the battery lifespan is not known, we can confirm that the Doogee S1 has a large 600 mAh battery.

The Doogee S1 smartwatch is IP67-certified, which means it can be taken down into waters as deep as 1 m for at least 30 minutes. That makes it suitable to wear during showers or swims in a pool or the sea.

Interestingly, the Doogee S1 smartwatch also has a camera on the right side. Although Doogee quotes a 5 MP resolution for it, it has a 2 MP sensor that can create a 5 MP picture (by default) via software extrapolation.

The Doogee S1 smartwatch will be available at Q2 2016 with the retail price of RM 599 / ~US$ 149. It is only available in one colour – black.

 

First Look At The Doogee S1

This video shows the key features of the Doogee S1 smartwatch, including its side camera. Note the default setting of 5 MP for its 2 MP camera.

  [adrotate banner=”4″]

Key Specifications

  • Runs on Android 4.4
  • MediaTek MT6752 dual-core processor
  • 512 MB RAM + 4 GB flash storage
  • 1.54″ IPS touch display (240 x 240 pixels)
  • 3G data capability with one SIM slot
  • 600 mAh lithium-ion battery
  • IP67-rated dust- and water-resistance
  • 2 MP side camera, with software extrapolation to 5 MP
  • Health app support : Heart rate meter, sports statistics
  • Only available in the Black colour

 

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Neffos C5 & Neffos C5L Smartphones Revealed

TP-LINK may be the largest global manufacturer of WiFi networking products, but they aren’t resting on their laurels. Instead of fighting for an even bigger share of the same pie, they decided to branch out into the smartphone market with their Neffos C5 and Neffos C5L smartphones.

Yesterday, we were invited to the official launch of the Neffos C5 and Neffos C5L smartphones. At hand was also the Neffos C5 Max smartphone that would be launched shortly as well. Take a look!

Now, let’s take a look at the pictures, videos and specifications of the Neffos C5 & C5L smartphones! We will also show you photos and some specifications of the upcoming Neffos C5 Max smartphone.

 

Neffos C5 Smartphone

The Neffos C5 is an Android 5.1 smartphone that is powered by the quad-core MediaTek MT6735 processor with 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of storage. It has a large 5.0″ IPS display with a HD resolution of 720 x 1280, and weighs just 141 g.

It has a 5 MP front camera, and an 8 MP rear camera with a dual-tone LED flash. In case you run out of storage, you can add a microSD card (up to 32 GB). It has a launch price of RM 539 (~US$ 135). [adrotate banner=”5″]

 

Neffos C5L Smartphone

The Neffos C5L is an Android 5.1.1 smartphone that is powered by the quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 processor with 1 GB of RAM and 8 GB of storage. It has a 4.5″ display with a FWVGA resolution of 480 x 854, and weighs 154 g.

It has a 2 MP front camera, and an 8 MP rear camera with an LED flash. In case you run out of storage, you can add a microSD card (up to 32 GB). It has a launch price of just RM 359 (~US$ 90).

Next Page : Neffos C5 & C5L Specification Comparison, Neffos C5 Max, Availability

 

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Neffos C5 & C5L Specification Comparison

Here is a specification comparison of the Neffos C5 & C5L smartphones :

SpecificationsNeffos C5 SmartphoneNeffos C5L Smartphone
Display5.0" IPS HD display (720 x 1280)4.5" FWVGA display (480 x 854)
Platform (SoC)MediaTek MT6735Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 (MSM8909)
Processor4 x ARM Cortex-A53 (1.3 GHz)4 x ARM Cortex-A7 (1.1 GHz)
Graphics ProcessorARM Mali-T720 MP2 (450 MHz)ARM Adreno 304
Operating SystemAndroid 5.1Android 5.1.1
Memory2 GB1 GB
Storage16 GB (internal flash storage)
microSD card slot (up to 32 GB)
8 GB (internal flash storage)
microSD card slot (up to 32 GB)
CameraFront : 5 MP
Rear : 8 MP with dual-tone LED flash
Front : 2 MP
Rear : 8 MP with LED flash
NetworkLTE FDD Cat4 (150/50 Mbps)
DC-HSPA+ (42/11 Mbps)
Connectivity802.11b/g/n (2.4 GHz) WiFi
Bluetooth 4.2
802.11b/g/n (2.4 GHz) WiFi
Bluetooth 4.0
Dual SIM CapabilityDual SIM, Dual Standby
Battery2200 mAh lithium-ion battery2000 mAh lithium-ion battery
Dimensions72 mm wide
144 mm high
8.8 mm thick
67.7 mm wide
136 mm high
10.15 mm thick
Weight141 g154 g
Available ColoursPearl White / Dark Grey
[adrotate banner=”5″]

 

Upcoming Neffos C5 Max

The Neffos C5 Max is an Android 5.1 smartphone that is powered by the octa-core MediaTek MT6753 processor with 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of storage. It has a large 5.5″ IPS display with a full HD resolution of 1080 x 1920, and a large 3,405 mAh battery.

It has a 5 MP front camera, and a 13 MP rear camera with a dual-tone LED flash. In case you run out of storage, you can also add a microSD card (up to 32 GB). Its launch price and date has yet to be announced.

 

Availability

Both the Neffos C5 and Neffos C5L will be available in both Pearl White and Dark Grey colours, at RM 539 (~US$ 135) and RM 359 (~US$ 90) respectively from Lazada Malaysia on April 12, 2016 onwards.

 

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LINE Introduces New Group Call Feature

March 14, 2016LINE Corporation today announced the addition of a new group call feature to the latest version of the LINE app (iPhone and Android v.5.11, and Windows Desktop v.4.5), enabling users to participate in voice calls within their group or multiple person chats.

LINE was released in June 2011 as a group communications service available across multiple devices and network carriers, enabling users around the world to easily keep in touch with friends, family, and coworkers. It launched its free voice call service in October of the same year, and video calls in September 2013, all in an effort to improve the lines of communication between people.


Today, with the release of LINE 5.11 for iPhone and Android, LINE now includes support for voice calls within groups or multiple person chats. The group feature update is also supported on LINE Windows desktop version (v.4.5.)

 

Free Group Call

The feature offers free voice chats with up to 200 people. Calls can be initiated from within group chats or multiple person chats, and a notification message will be sent to all of the users participating in the chat. The number of people currently participating in the call can also be confirmed from within the chat. An icon is displayed above the user icon of the person currently speaking at the time, enabling users to easily communicate with each other.

The group call feature can be utilized for no charge as long as the user has the LINE app installed, allowing easy communication with a worldwide community of users. The service is perfect for catching up with friends and family, and also for use at work for important conference calls. The possibilities are endless with this tool designed to eliminate the traditional barriers to effective group communication.

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“We are constantly innovating the way our users communicate with their friends and family, and this new feature provides an additional way for our users to be closer to their friends and family. At every update we look towards refining the experience to keep up with our users’ needs and demands,” said SunHaeng Cho, the lead planner for group call.

In addition to the new group call feature, the LINE version 5.11 also has a redesigned More screen. The layout of the menu icons in the user interface has been modified for increased visibility and an even greater user experience. The new layout is available for both Android and iOS.

LINE Corporation will continue to develop new features and services and enhance existing ones in order to make it easier for users to communicate around the world.

 

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Kaspersky Discovers Triada – A Mobile Trojan

4 March 2016 – Kaspersky Lab experts have detected Triada, a new Trojan targeting Android devices that can be compared to Windows-based malware in terms of its complexity. It is stealthy, modular, persistent and written by very professional cybercriminals.

Devices running the Android 4.4.4 and earlier versions of the Android OS are at greatest risk.

According to the recent Kaspersky Lab research on Mobile Virusology, nearly half of the top 20 Trojans in 2015 were malicious programs with the ability to gain super-user access rights. Super-user privileges give cybercriminals the rights to install applications on the phone without the user’s knowledge.

This type of malware propagates through applications that users download/install from untrusted sources. These apps can sometimes be found in the official Google Play app store, masquerading as a game or entertainment application. They can also be installed during an update of existing popular applications and, and are occasionally pre-installed on the mobile device. Those at greatest risk include devices running 4.4.4. and earlier versions of the Android OS.

There are 11 known mobile Trojan families that use root privileges. Three of them – Ztorg, Gorpo and Leech – act in cooperation with each other. Devices infected with these Trojans usually organize themselves into a network, creating a sort of advertising botnet that threat actors can use to install different kinds of adware. But that’s not all…

Shortly after rooting on the device, the above-mentioned Trojans download and install a backdoor. This then downloads and activates two modules that have the ability to download, install and launch applications.

The application loader and its installation modules refer to different types of Trojans, but all of them have been added to our antivirus databases under a common name – Triada.

 

Getting Into The Parental Android Process

A distinguishing feature of this malware is the use of Zygote – the parent of the application process on an Android device – that contains system libraries and frameworks used by every application installed on the device. In other words, it’s a demon whose purpose is to launch Android applications.

[adrotate banner=”4″]This is a standard app process that works for every newly installed application. It means that as soon as the Trojan gets into the system, it becomes part of the app process and will be pre-installed into any application launching on the device and can even change the logic of the application’s operations.

This is the first time technology like this has been seen in the wild. Prior to this a Trojan using Zygote was only known of as a proof-of-concept.

The stealth capabilities of this malware are very advanced. After getting into the user’s device Triada implements in nearly every working process and continues to exist in the short-term memory. This makes it almost impossible to detect and delete using antimalware solutions. Triada operates silently, meaning that all malicious activities are hidden both from the user and from other applications.

The complexity of the Triada Trojan’s functionality proves the fact that very professional cybercriminals, with a deep understanding of the targeted mobile platform, are behind this malware.

 

Triada’s Business Model

The Triada Trojan can modify outgoing SMS messages sent by other applications. This is now a major functionality of the malware. When a user is making in-app purchases via SMS for Android games, fraudsters are likely to modify the outgoing SMS so that they receive the money instead of the game developers.

“The Triada of Ztrog, Gorpo and Leech marks a new stage in the evolution of Android-based threats. They are the first widespread malware with the potential to escalate their privileges on most devices. The majority of users attacked by the Trojans were located in Russia, India and Ukraine as well as APAC countries. It is hard to underestimate the threat of a malicious application gaining root access to a device.

Their main threat, as the example of Triada shows, is in the fact that they provide access to the device for much more advanced and dangerous malicious applications. They also have a well-thought-out architecture developed by cybercriminals who have deep knowledge of the target mobile platform,” said Nikita Buchka. Junior Malware Analyst, Kaspersky Lab.

As it is nearly impossible to uninstall this malware from a device, users face two options to get rid of it. This first is to “root” their device and delete the malicious applications manually. The second option is to jailbreak the Android system on the device.

 

Kaspersky Lab Products Detect Triada Trojan Components As :

  • Trojan-Downloader.AndroidOS.Triada.a
  • Trojan-SMS.AndroidOS.Triada.a
  • Trojan-Banker.AndroidOS.Triada.a
  • Backdoor.AndroidOS.Triada.

 

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Interview With New Samsung Mobile President, Dongjin Koh

February 17, 2016 – Samsung Electronics’ Dongjin Koh will unveil the company’s latest mobile products at Unpacked in Barcelona on February 21, challenging consumers to rethink what a phone can do. Koh, who was appointed President of Samsung’s Mobile Communications Business in December 2015, is responsible for driving Samsung’s global mobile business, from smartphones and smart wearables to emerging mobile services.

Having joined the company in 1984, Koh has worked for Samsung for just over 30 years now. Prior to being named president, he served as the Executive Vice President and Head of the Mobile R&D Office within the Mobile Communications Business. As the Head of the Technology Strategy Team from 2007 to 2015, he created strategic alliances with partner companies to help bring innovative technologies to market as well.

Koh was also responsible for bringing key innovations to software technology when he was Head of the Samsung R&D Institute in the U.K. His background also includes a decade’s worth of experience in Human Resources, where he learned the company’s efforts to increase employee engagement and operational excellence throughout the organization.

Koh sat down with Samsung Newsroom to discuss the business’ vision for 2016, as well as his own personal objectives, ahead of the highly anticipated launch of the next Galaxy device.

 

Video Of Interview With Dongjin Koh

 

Interview Transcript

Q1. As leading Samsung Mobile business, what would be your missions to overcome the stagnant mobile market?

The mobile market has entered a new phase of maturity.

As one of the mobile industry leaders, my biggest mission is to keep offer new values and extended benefits of new technologies to our customers.

I believe that the mobile industry is shifting from just competing to produce a technology-driven device to providing a more life-essential tool and a gateway to stay connected to the world.

We should try something new, something that’s never done before in order to provide a beyond-satisfactory mobile experience to our customers.

 

Q2. How will you bring sound changes to Samsung Mobile business by leveraging your hands-on experiences? 

Throughout my entire career and life, I’ve always put “people” first.

Having them in my mind, I’d like to encourage active discussions and sound debates within the company for further improvements.

It eventually lead to a “cultural transformation”… I am visioning something like venture spirit injected into this big company.

I myself always try to listen first, think deeper, be generous to everyone, and win people’s heart.

I’d like to share this with my whole team as an acting leader as well as a new culture influencer.

 

Q3. How do you envision Samsung Galaxy brand for the users and customers? 

[adrotate banner=”4″]Samsung Galaxy has achieved meaningful and relentless innovation over the several years.

We have not accepted the imposed limits.

We have enjoyed adventures.

We are not afraid of limits, or fear the unknown and will always keep moving forward.

Our Galaxy brand philosophy is to try new things, new inventions.

A great example is the Samsung Galaxy Note, which opened the so-called “phablet” market, and we’ve done the same again with the “dual edge experience” of the Galaxy S6 edge smartphone.

Our mobile vision remains the same; relentlessly pursuing technology development that will help enrich people’s lives.

Our competitive spirit and drive to challenge ourselves is already in Samsung Mobile’s DNA.

 

Q4. Please tell us about the upcoming announcement in February 21. 

Samsung is always pushing the frontier of what’s possible.

Galaxy S7 is created to deliver a unique mobile experience in many ways.

I am very confident about the result for our hard works for the past several months and can’t wait for our consumers’ feedbacks.

I’d like to express my sincere and deep appreciation to my fellow colleagues who devoted hard works to come up with the Galaxy S7.

 

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HTC One A9 & Four Other Smartphones Revealed

Last night, HTC invited us to an exclusive Chinese New Year dinner, which also doubled as an official launch event. Their tagline for the event was “Ready to bring your A_ game?“.

They also cheekily presented marshmallows for those of us who are still licking our lollipops… No guesses for what operating system the new HTC smartphone will be running! 😀

Of course, anyone who has kept up on tech rumours would have known that HTC was going to launch the HTC One A9 smartphone. What we didn’t know was that they would also reveal another four HTC smartphones at the event as well!

Neither did we expect such fantastic entertainment from our fellow members of the media. Be sure to catch the video we took of our friends with hidden talents!

 

HTC One A9 & Four Other Smartphones Revealed

Just after the tossing of the yee sang for luck in the new year, the star of the event was “served” to us on a silver platter. Presenting the new HTC One A9!

Manu Seth, Senior Director, Head of Marketing for South Asia, then took the stage to talk about the HTC One A9, before revealing the details of the other four new HTC smartphones – the HTC One ME, HTC Desire 828, HTC Desire 728 and the HTC Desire 626.

Before we could get our hands on the new HTC smartphones, it was time for some fun and games. Check out this video we took of some talented members of the media in a dance-off contest!

Seriously, our friends have hidden talents! Who would have expected them to dance so well? 😀

Okay, entertainment is over. Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty details of the five new HTC smartphones!

Next Page > The 2 New HTC One Smartphones

HTC One A9

The HTC One A9 will come in Carbon Gray and Topaz Gold colours. They will have a recommended retail price of RM 2,299 (~US$539).

SpecificationsHTC One A9
Size70.8 mm wide
145.75 mm tall
7.26 mm thick
Display5.0" full HD (1080 x 1920) display
Corning Gorilla Glass protection
Operating SystemAndroid 6.0 with HTC Sense
PlatformQualcomm Snapdragon 617
Processor4 x ARM Cortex A53 cores @ 1.5 GHz
4 x ARM Cortex A53 cores @ 1.2 GHz
GPUQualcomm Adreno 405
RAM3 GB
Storage32 GB internal flash memory
microSD slot (upgradable to 2 TB)
Main Camera13 MP BSI sensor
Sapphire covered lens
f/2.0 aperture, auto-focus
OIS (Optical image stabilization)
1080p video recording
Front CameraHTC UltraPixel
f/2.0 aperture, fixed focus
1080p video recording
Network Capabilities4G LTE : FDD Bands 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 20, 28
4G LTE : TDD Bands 38, 40, 41
3G : 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100 MHz
2 G : 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz
ConnectivityBluetooth 4.1
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac WiFi (2.4 GHz & 5 GHz)
3.5 mm stereo audio jack
micro USB 2.0 port
SensorsFingerprint sensor
Ambient light, proximity, motion, compass, gyro, magnetic sensors
LocationGPS + GLONASS
AudioDolby Audio
Hi-Res Audio
Battery2150 mAh lithium ion battery
Quick Charge 2.0 support

 

HTC One ME

The HTC One ME will come in Classic Rose Gold and Meteor Gray colours. They will have a recommended retail price of RM 1,599 (~US$379).

SpecificationsHTC One ME
Size71.99 mm wide
150.99 mm tall
9.75 mm thick
Display5.2" WQHD (1440 x 2560) display
Operating SystemAndroid 5.1 with HTC Sense
PlatformMediaTek helio X10
Processor8 x ARM Cortex A53 cores @ 2.2 GHz
GPUPowerVR G6200
RAM3 GB
Storage32 GB internal flash memory
microSD slot (upgradable to 2 TB)
Main Camera20 MP BSI sensor
f/2.2 aperture, auto-focus
4K video recording
Front CameraHTC UltraPixel
f/2.0 aperture, fixed focus
1080p video recording
Network Capabilities4G LTE : FDD Bands 1, 3, 5, 7, 8
4G LTE : TDD Bands 38, 39, 40, 41
3G : 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100 MHz
2 G : 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz
ConnectivityBluetooth 4.1
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac WiFi (2.4 GHz & 5 GHz)
NFC
3.5 mm stereo audio jack
micro USB 2.0 port
LocationGPS + GLONASS
AudioHTC Boomsound with Dolby Audio
Battery2840 mAh lithium ion battery

Next Page > The 3 New HTC Desire Smartphones

HTC Desire 828 Dual SIM

The HTC Desire 828 Dual SIM will come in Dark Gray and Pearl White colours.

SpecificationsHTC Desire 828 Dual SIM
Size78.9 mm wide
157.7 mm tall
7.9 mm thick
Display5.5" FHD (1080 x 1920) display
Operating SystemAndroid 5.1 with HTC Sense
PlatformMediaTek MT6753T
Processor8 x ARM Cortex A53 cores @ 1.5 GHz
GPUARM Mali-T720
RAM2 GB
Storage16 GB internal flash memory
microSD slot (upgradable to 2 TB)
Main Camera13 MP BSI sensor
f/2.0 aperture, auto-focus
OIS (Optical image stabilization)
1080p video recording
Front CameraHTC UltraPixel
f/2.0 aperture, fixed focus
1080p video recording
Network Capabilities4G LTE : FDD Bands 1, 3, 5, 7, 8
4G LTE : TDD Bands 38, 39, 40, 41
3G : 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100 MHz
2 G : 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz
ConnectivityBluetooth 4.1
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac WiFi (2.4 GHz & 5 GHz)
3.5 mm stereo audio jack
micro USB 2.0 port
LocationGPS + GLONASS
AudioHTC Boomsound with Dolby Audio
Battery2800 mAh lithium ion battery

 

HTC Desire 728 Dual SIM

The HTC Desire 728 Dual SIM will come in Purple Myst and White Luxury colours.

SpecificationsHTC Desire 728 Dual SIM
Size77.8 mm wide
157.9 mm tall
7.87 mm thick
Display5.5" HD (720 x 1280) display
Operating SystemAndroid 5.1 with HTC Sense
PlatformMediaTek MT6753
Processor8 x ARM Cortex A53 cores @ 1.3 GHz
GPUARM Mali-T720
RAM2 GB
Storage16 GB internal flash memory
microSD slot (upgradable to 2 TB)
Main Camera13 MP BSI sensor
f/2.2 aperture, auto-focus
1080p video recording
Front Camera5 MP BSI sensor
1080p video recording
Network Capabilities4G LTE : FDD Bands 1, 3, 5, 7, 8
4G LTE : TDD Bands 38, 39, 40, 41
3G : 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100 MHz
2 G : 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz
ConnectivityBluetooth 4.1
802.11 b/g/n WiFi (2.4 GHz)
3.5 mm stereo audio jack
micro USB 2.0 port
LocationGPS + GLONASS
AudioHTC Boomsound with Dolby Audio
Battery2800 mAh lithium ion battery

 

HTC Desire 626 Dual SIM

The HTC Desire 626 Dual SIM will come in Blue Lagoon and White Birch colours.

SpecificationsHTC Desire 626 Dual SIM
Size70.9 mm wide
146.9 mm tall
8.19 mm thick
Display5.0" HD (720 x 1280) display
Operating SystemAndroid 5.1 with HTC Sense
PlatformMediaTek MT6752
Processor8 x ARM Cortex A53 cores @ 1.7 GHz
GPUARM Mali-T760
RAM2 GB
Storage16 GB internal flash memory
microSD slot (upgradable to 2 TB)
Main Camera13 MP BSI sensor
f/2.2 aperture, auto-focus
1080p video recording
Front Camera5 MP BSI sensor
1080p video recording
Network Capabilities4G LTE : FDD Bands 1, 3, 5, 7, 8
4G LTE : TDD Bands 38, 39, 40, 41
3G : 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100 MHz
2 G : 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz
ConnectivityBluetooth 4.1
802.11 b/g/n WiFi (2.4 GHz)
3.5 mm stereo audio jack
micro USB 2.0 port
LocationGPS + GLONASS
Battery2000 mAh lithium ion battery

 

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2016 Samsung Galaxy A Series Exudes S6 Elegance

Samsung Malaysia launched the new Samsung Galaxy A Series (2016) smartphones to great fanfare at Sunway Pyramid yesterday. The new Galaxy A Series looks and feels eerily identical to the elegant Samsung Galaxy S6, yet is significantly cheaper. If you always wanted a Galaxy S6 but could not afford one, you will definitely want to check out the new Galaxy A series.

Fittingly, Samsung chose the elegant Choo Mei Sze and the fun Samsung Malaysia’s Mobile Division Product Manager, Go Benn Lee, to launch the new Galaxy A smartphones which are targeted at the hip youth market.

Look at how elegant the new Galaxy A (2016) smartphones look! They really look like the Galaxy S6, don’t they?

The Samsung Galaxy A Series (2016)

Kuala Lumpur, January 28, 2016 – Samsung Malaysia Electronics today is proud to unveil its latest Galaxy A Series (2016) smartphones in a unique lifestyle setting to underline the device’s core properties of camera and storage features.

Boasting the brand’s latest in innovative design and technology, the Galaxy A Series (2016) offers Malaysian consumers a platform to express their individuality with powerful performance in three screen size options: 5.5-inch for the A7, 5.2-inch for the A5 and 4.7-inch for the A3.

The Galaxy A Series (2016) continues the latest Samsung Galaxy design heritage, combining metal and glass to create a beautifully harmonious premium design. With superior viewing experience through a larger screen size, narrower bezel of 2.7mm and combined with improved battery life, the device has never been a better fit in the user’s hand.

All three variants come equipped with an enhanced camera system for both brighter and clearer photos and videos. This advanced system includes Optical Image Stabilization (OIS)* on the front camera to prevent image blurring, as well as a front and rear F1.9 lens to allow users to take the optimum photos in low light conditions.

Additionally, the stylish smartphone is also equipped with a Quick Launch feature – double clicking the home button launches the camera in less than a second. Consumers can also take their best selfie yet with features including Wide Selfie, Palm Selfie and Beautifying Effects.

A leap from its predecessor, the new Galaxy A Series (2016) comes with a built-in memory of 16GB and a microSD slot that can add up to 128GB of external memory.

[adrotate banner=”4″]To celebrate the arrival of this new fun device, Samsung Malaysia Electronics is offering a free 32GB microSD card for every unit purchased, which adds capacity for as many as 16,000 pictures and high-definition videos without the hassle of constantly having to clear older albums.

Available in Black, Gold, White and Pink Gold colour options, the new and refreshed Galaxy A Series (2016) is available at all Samsung brand stores nationwide from 28 January 2016 onwards at a recommended retail price of RM1,899 / ~US$439 (Galaxy A7 2016), RM1,599 / ~US$369 (Galaxy A5 2016), and RM1,299 / ~US$299 (Galaxy A3 2016) inclusive of GST.

From today until 31st January 2016, there will be a roadshow at Sunway Pyramid’s Blue Concourse for the general public to experience the features that the Galaxy A Series (2016) has to offer. A number of units are up for grabs for lucky winners.

* Available in A7 and A5 models only.

 

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Wiko Mobile Introduces 3 New Smartphones

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – January 28, 2016: Always working to ensure the right balance between technology, design, quality and price, Wiko Mobile officially makes its way to the Malaysian market. The French brand introduced three game-changing devices – the FEVER, HIGHWAY PURE and LENNY2. Inspired by the “French touch”, the smartphones are designed to provide users universal access to technology and fun in a single device.

“Wiko has been successful in adapting the latest technology trends as desired by mobile users into innovative products,” said Ken Ang, Business Development Director Malaysia, Wiko Mobile. He continued, “Today, we bring Wiko to Malaysia because of the fast-growing smartphone market and ideal demographic.”

With the FEVER, HIGHWAY PURE and LENNY2, Wiko Mobile continues to hold on to its beliefs of mobile telephony: to offer quality at the best price and to maintain a close relationship with all its users, anticipating their needs and expectations.

 

Wiko FEVER – A Complete Phosphorescent Design

FEVER has something crazy and pretty unexpected… a glow-in-the-dark effect. Showing off its true self, FEVER’s phosphorescent design absorbs the daylight and reflects it once in the dark, making it the first glow-in-the-dark smartphone in Malaysia.

More than just for the night birds, the FEVER is equipped with some serious performance such as a 5.2’’ Full HD display that provides vivid images and IPS technology that allows great visibility from any angle. The slightly rounded lines fit a 2.5D curved glass and the phone has a 5mm visual thickness and a premium look, accented with metal frame and soft touch leather-effect back cover. The Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3 will take charge in protecting FEVER from scratches and cracks.

The smartphone is the new way to immortalize everyday life and with FEVER’s 5-megapixel front camera and 13-megapixel rear camera, photo enthusiasts can definitely appreciate a good 16/9 landscape picture on Dual View mode. The faster the better, and FEVER comes with Octa-Core chipset and an integrated GPU for graphics optimization.

 

Wiko HIGHWAY PURE – Slimmer Than Ever

The measurement of this 4G smartphone stands at a breathtaking 5.1 mm thickness, weighing a total of 98 grams. The featherweight HIGHWAY PURE conceals a 1.2 GHz quad-core Qualcomm® Snapdragon 410 processor, providing fast and smooth navigation.

Its 4.8-inch HD screen comes to life with the AMOLED display technology, giving photos and videos an impressive realism. The aluminium contours of the HIGHWAY PURE emphasize its ultra slim profile and comes embedded with 16 Swarovski Zirconias.

The HIGHWAY PURE is supported with Snapdragon 410 and 1.2 GHz quad-core processor developed by Qualcomm®. Effortlessly slim and light, the HIGHWAY PURE can capture moving moments with its 8-megapixel main camera and 5-megapixel front camera.

 

Wiko LENNY2 – Bigger and Better Show-Stopping Encore

LENNY2 is loaded with a 1.3 GHz Quad Core processor, 8GB ROM which can reach 64GB with the micro SD card. This fun and colourful 5” device allows users to browse between apps seamlessly with no hassle. From black and white to coral, blue and bleen, LENNY2’s classic yet rock ‘n’ roll design and dual SIM slot will be well-loved by multitaskers or connoisseurs.

As the perfect entry-level device for newcomers, the 5-megapixel main camera and 2-megapixel front camera captures the shots in a matter of clicks.

 

Wiko Mobile Accessories

Wiko Accessories
All Wiko FEVER, HIGHWAY PURE and LENNY2 devices are packaged with a screen protector and back casing. Additional accessories are also available:-
Wiko FEVER Fever Slim Case Jetlines (Black) : RM59.00 (~US$ 14)

Fever Folio Back Cover Jetlines (Black) : RM79.00 (~US$ 18)

Wiko HIGHWAY PURE  Highway Folio Back Cover W Vision (Black / White) : RM79.00 (~US$ 18)
Wiko LENNY2 Lenny2 Folio Diamond (Bleen / Coral / Blue / Black / White) : RM59.00 (~US$ 14)

Lenny2 Optional Battery Cover (Bleen / Coral / Blue) : RM39.00 (~US$ 9)

 

Price & Availability

Wiko FEVER, HIGHWAY PURE and LENNY2 are available in Malaysia through Wiko Mobile authorised retail outlets starting from today, 28 January 2016 at RM799 (~US$189), RM999 (~US$ 233), and RM299 (~US$ 69) respectively.

 

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Alcatel Flash 2 Discounted For Chinese New Year!

We have been quite effusive about the Alcatel Flash 2 smartphone‘s performance and value for money. Our review of the Flash 2 pointed out why we called it a “hidden gem” in the sub-RM 700 (US$150) segment. To top it off, Alcatel isn’t resting on their laurels, recently announcing a slew of hardware and software upgrades for the Flash 2.

If that’s not enough, Alcatel just announced a joint promotion with Lazada Malaysia to offer the Flash 2 at just RM 499 (~US$ 119)! Check out the details.

 

No Excuse To Miss Flash 2 Promotion

During the Chinese New Year of 2016, Flash 2 will join hands with Lazada, the largest e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia, to launch a promotion event under the theme of “No Excuse to Miss Flash 2”, which offers to buyers at only RM499!

“Through this attractive price promotion, we want to express thanks to our customers and hope that Flash 2 will help them capture and share wonderful moments they spend with their dearest ones during the Chinese New Year,” said Yogi Babria, E-commerce Operations Director, Mobile Internet Group, TCL Communication. “Meanwhile, in order to meet consumers’ need to color up their phones, we will soon release two covers, one in Rose Gold and the other in Mica White, for Flash 2 to bring new joy to users.”

Flash 2 has become a hot-selling star product in Southeast Asia markets by virtue of its powerful camera features, much loved stock Android UI, and superior cost performance which cherished by local consumers, and has set a number of sales records. The first batch of Flash 2 was sold out in ten minutes after launch.

It became the bestselling smartphone at the USD150 price level in the entire Southeast Asia. In the just-ended Double 12 shopping festival at Lazada, Flash 2 became the bestselling smartphone at the USD150 price level and ranked second among products in all categories in terms of sales volume. “I believe that this big promotion for the Chinese New Year will push the popularity of Flash 2 to a new height in Southeast Asia,” added Yogi Babria.

[adrotate banner=”4″]Flash 2 is the third product of the Flash series, with the other two being Flash and Flash Plus. So far, the three products have shipped nearly 200,000 units in combined sales. Flash entered the Southeast Asia markets in 2013 and built a considerable user base within a short time. For a time in 2014, Flash Plus made a phenomenal success in the e-commerce platforms in Southeast Asia, setting the record of selling 1,000 units in one minute for four consecutive times in Indonesia and the Philippines.

Flash 2, launched less than half a year ago, has become one of the most popular smartphones in Southeast Asia. Recently TCL Communication announced that it sold 83.55 million mobile phones and other products in 2015, noting that 90% of the sales were contributed by overseas markets. And among the overseas sales, the strong sales performance of the Flash series in the Southeast Asia markets was one of the major drivers of TCL Communication’s overseas expansion.

How has Flash made its rise in the Southeast Asia in a short two years and became one of the most popular brands? In addition to its advantages in mobile photography and performance, one important reason is that Flash has successfully capitalized on the golden age of smartphones in Southeast Asia. According to statistics, since smartphones in Southeast Asia have already outnumbered the local population with many people owning more than one phone, there is a significant demand for smartphones.

 

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Alcatel Banks On Stock Android Operating System

At a recent media event, Alcatel revealed that their popular Flash 2 smartphone (Amazon) will be upgraded to Android 6.0 Marshmallow in March. This relatively quick update is thanks in a large part to their use of stock Android 5.1 Lollipop in their Flash 2 smartphone (Amazon).

They appear to be very pleased with the results of their strategy of using stock Android and focusing their efforts on the hardware instead. Take a look their new blog post on why they believe other smartphone manufacturers will start adopting their strategy of using stock Android.

 

Flash 2 User Interface : Gone With the Era of Thorough Customization

Thanks to its unique openness and customizability, the Android system has been undergoing a press of reconstruction by various vendors right from the date of its birth, calling it by a good name of “thorough customization”.

Though it is eye-pleasing and easy to use, the customized UIs developed on the basis of the stock Android system have nevertheless also resulted in bloated operating system, which cause endless user complainants against “buffering” and “poor compatibility”, since it has been pre-loaded a lot of Apps which take up a large amount of ROM space. To get a simplified, more fluent operating experience, some users even tend to reset vendors’ customized UIs back to the stock Android system directly after purchasing a new phone.

More and more vendors now have opted to return to the stock Android OS for an authentic Android operating experience. On top of its purer and simpler user experience for ordinary users, the stock Android system also provides the festive tech geeks worldwide with a broader platform where they can maximize their imagination.

 

Persisting on simplicity and purity, Nexus and Flash fully embrace the stock Android

Being the most representative among stock Android mobile phones, and as Google’s own product, every Nexus series handset is equipped with the current year version of the stock Android system and becomes the ‘barometer” of Android phones worldwide with the mission of setting both the benchmark and the trend in the industry.

Launched in September 2015, the Nexus 6P well carries every hallmark of a flagship Google phone. Thanks to its outstanding performance, it was named by foreign media one of the best Android phones of 2015, well on a par with the Samsung S6 and Note5. In addition, the Nexus 6P has achieved good sales performance in the market. It is reported that consumers in Canada and other regions have to wait to get a Nexus 6P due to sellout and supply shortages.

Besides Nexus, Flash is also an extremely typical fan of the stock Android OS. As an emerging brand highly popular in Southeast and South Asia, Flash introduced in September 2015 its Flash 2 (Amazon) mobile phone, which is equipped with the stock Android L OS. Android L is a brand new OS, unveiled by Google at its 2014 Global Developers Congress. At the time, Android L could well be said to feature the largest improvement and breakthrough in the Android system since the system came into being. It has made revolutionary changes and improvement in both user experience and system performance. Its smoother and purer UI experience has won Flash 2 (Amazon) the popularity among Android fans and tech geeks.

 

With the breakthrough improvements made by Android L, will stock Android mobile phones become a “general trend”?

Firstly, Android L adopts a completely new Material Design interface design solution and can support new animation, 3D view, real time shadow and other functions and provide more flattened interfaces, smoother and softer edge corners and more fluent interface switchover effects. Such outstanding touch screen interface interactive design is well known in the industry as running head to head with iOS.

Material Design features highly imaginative creativity in the texture, layers and logical relationship of the interface switchover experience. For example, when users open the interface, the new page will not just pop up, but instead , it will unfold from a center point and utilize the projection of the former page on the bottom to create a sense of 3D space, thus providing a visual, ease-to-understand operating experience.

[adrotate banner=”4″]Secondly, Android L features considerable optimization of user experience, including the unprecedented most powerful search functions, featuring automatic recording of users’ search results by Google. While users are using other applications to process their search results, they can still easily come back.

In addition, the Android L system possesses a more fancy notification function with messages opening up like a card in the notice center. Users can directly call out the messages even on the screen locking interface and remove the notices by sliding the screen. Meanwhile, these messages will also be smartly sorted and ranked with priority so as to prevent users from missing the important ones.

Android L also greatly improves system performance and can provide a more fluent, smoother operating experience. Adopting ART as the default operating environment,  the App can run 4 times faster than what the previous negation system can deliver and give Flash 2 (Amazon) higher efficiency in running complicated Apps with complex visual effects. In addition, users can enable Android L’s battery saver mode to gain an extra 90min of running time.

While “thorough customization” is still in vogue, it is only nature for the Nexus and Flash series to return to stock Android. This is the right choice to adapt to user demand.

“We noticed that most consumers do not like to see their mobile phones crammed with a lot of software. For true Android fans, the customized interfaces of many smartphones result in not only system buffering but also unnecessary stock system interface modifications. That is why Flash 2 (Amazon) is equipped with the stock Android L OS to provide simplified but not simple, fashionable but not superfluous user experience.” Michael Chen, Deputy General Manager, Mobile Internet Group, TCL Communication, once noted.

He also disclosed that Flash 2 (Amazon) will soon be updated to the Android 6.0 Marshmallow version to bring users new functions such as mobile payment and RAM optimization management, as well as more powerful computing and power-saving functions. It is believed that with the continuous optimization of the Android system, Nexus, Flash and other stock Android mobile phones will win more consumers.

 

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