Huawei's Honor sub-brand has always been focusing on the budget-end of the market but their new Honor V9 that they just unveiled in China hopes to change that. Just like a lot of Huawei and Honor phones released last year, the new Honor V9 also comes with a dual camera setup in the back. Huawei says, the camera setup on the Honor V9 allows the device to do 3D modelling activites like 3D photos and prints.

The company is saying this is the first smartphone in the market capable of doing this.

Huawei Honor V9 Key Specifications

— 5.7-inch 1440P LTPS LCD display
— HiSilicon Kirin 960 SoC
— 4/6GB RAM
— 64/128GB expandable memory
— 12MP + 2MP rear camera
— 8MP front camera
— Android 7.0 Nougat with EMUI 5.0
— 4,000mAh battery
— 150.9 x 72.6 x 6.97mm
— 162g
— Dual SIM LTE
— Gray, Blue

In terms of other features, the Honor V9 comes in a metal jacket and features both a USB-C port and a 3.5mm headphone jack. There's also no camera bump on the rear of the device. Huawei will begin rolling out the Honor V9 in China on February 28. for a starting price of CN¥ 2,599 (~US$ 377 / ~MYR 1,680) and that goes up to CN¥ 3,499 (~US$ 510 / ~MYR 2,260).

Expect to see the Honor V9 to be introduced in Malaysia in the coming months ahead.



ORIGINAL SOURCE: ANDROID POLICE

Late last year, Snap Inc, the company behind the Snapchat announced Spectacles which is the company's first hardware product. Back then, the only way to get one of the Spectacles was to wait for the 'Bots' that randomly appeared in cities but as of today, the company is allowing everyone to buy a pair of Spectacles through their online store.

The price is still the same at US$ 129.99 and it is still restricted to shipping inside of the United States. If you're in the US, head over to https://www.spectacles.com/ to buy one yourself.

ORIGINAL SOURCE: RECODE


The age old question is whether Samsung or Apple is dominating the market. Well, according to data from IDC which compared smartphone market share last year, Samsung had a significantly larger sales volume compared to Apple and other smartphone makers.

Samsung's success in the Malaysian market was due to the popularity of their budget focused Galaxy J series that stood up despite problems that the company had with the Galaxy Note7. Other companies like Oppo, Huawei and Asus continue to thrive in the Malaysian market with their affordable flagship devices like the Oppo F1, Huawei P9 and ZenFone 3.

IDC estimates that there were over 2.7 million smartphone shipments in Malaysia during Q4 2016 and that rounds up to about 8.8 million shipments in the whole of 2016.


ORIGINAL SOURCE: DIGITAL NEWS ASIA


Back in October, Huawei took the stage to reveal their new budget smartphone, the Honor 6X. The device has since then been available in countries like the US. But today, Honor Malaysia has announced that beginning this Friday, the Honor 6X will be available for the Malaysian market.

Huawei Honor 6X Key Specifications

— 5.5-inch 1080P IPS LCD display
— HiSilicon Kirin 655 SoC
— 3/4GB RAM
— 32/64GB expandable memory
— 12MP + 2MP rear camera
— 8MP front camera
— Android 6.0 Marshamllow with EMUI 4.1
— 3,340mAh battery
— 150.9 x 72.6 x 8.2mm
— 162g
— Dual SIM LTE
— Gray, Silver, Blue, Rose Gold

The Honor 6X which is the successor to last year's Honor 5X now comes with a dual camera array on the rear to create sharper, crisper and more detailed photos. The secondary sensor is also used to provide depth of field information to images to create more professional looking photos. Huawei also bumped up the battery capacity and promises that users can expect up to 2 days of battery life. 

As mentioned earlier, the Honor 6X will be available in Malaysia beginning this Friday (February 17) but the company is accepting pre-orders from today till February 16 through DirectD's Lazada's storefront. The first 50 users to pre-order the Honor 6X will receive freebies worth over RM100. 

The Honor 6X will start at RM 1,199 for the 3GB RAM / 32GB storage model and that price goes up to RM 1,399 for the 4GB RAM / 64GB model. 


After months of waiting, Google is finally showing off the final version of Android Wear 2.0. Since the announcement last year, not much has changed, Android Wear 2.0 is still focusing on simplifying the core experience which is interacting with notifications and tracking fitness data. To showcase the new features of Android Wear 2.0, Google has partnered up with LG to create two new smartwatches. The LG Watch Syle and LG Watch Sport will be the first to run Android Wear 2.0.

Probably the biggest addition to Android Wear 2.0 is the Google Assistant which has been available on several other google devices like the Pixel phones and Google Home hub. The Google Assistant on Android Wear 2.0 works like it does on other devices meaning that saying 'ok google' will activate it.
Besides that, Android Wear 2.0 is finally capable of downloading apps directly from the watch interface without the need of accessing a phone application to download an app. What this means is that, iPhone users will be able to download third party apps and watch faces when they pair their Android Wear 2.0 device to an iPhone.

Google says that Android Wear watch makers will begin rolling out the Android Wear 2.0 update to compatible devices in the coming weeks. Below is a list of devices currently eligible for the update.

Android Wear 2.0 compatible devices:
— Asus ZenWatch 2
— Asus ZenWatch 3
— Casio Smart Outdoor Watch
— Casio PRO TREK Smart
— Fossil Q Founder
— Fossil Q Marshal
— Fossil Q Wander
— Huawei Watch
— LG G Watch R
— LG G Watch Urbane
— LG G Watch Urbane 2nd Edition LTE
— Michael Kors Access Smartwatches
— Moto 360 2nd Gen
— Moto 360 for women
— Moto 360 Sport
— New Balance RunIQ
— Nixon Mission
— Polar M600
— TAG Heuer Connected

ORIGINAL SOURCE: GOOGLE


During a launch event in India, Xiaomi showed off their new budget smartphone dubbed the Redmi Note 4. This device is the spiritual successor to last year's Redmi Note 3 which sold millions in both India and China. The new Redmi Note 4 builds upon last year's success with a a new software package based on Android 7.0 Nougat.

Additionally, the device support VoLTE and Xiaomi has included a massive 4,100mAh battery with the Redmi Note 4 and they are promising battery life up to 2 days with the phone. Beyond that, the design of the Redmi Note 4 is still the same unibody aluminium build but the company has tuned the design to include tapered edges for a better feel in the hand.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 Key Specifications

— 5.5-inch 1080P IPS LCD display
— Snapdragon 625 SoC
— 2/3/4GB RAM
— 32/64GB expandable memory
— 13MP f2.0 rear camera
— 5MP f2.0 front camera
— 4,100mAh battery
— Android 7,.0 Nougat
— Dual SIM LTE
— 151 x 76 x 8.5mm
— 165g
— Black, Gold, Gray

Xiaomi will begin offering the Redmi Note 4 in India on January 23 through their online partners. The baseline model will cost as low as Rs. 9,999 (~US$ 146 / ~MYR 6,70). Expect to see the Redmi Note 4 launch in Malaysia in the coming months.



ORIGINAL SOURCE: XIAOMI


The Honor 8 is what I would call an underdog of a smartphone. Sporting a Kirin 950 SoC and Dual camera system, this device hopes to sway buyers away from flagship devices. For RM1699, you will get a 32GB version of the phone, and for RM1899, you'll get double the amount of storage

In the month that I had the chane to use the deivce, I've learnt about the Honor 8's good and bad side. The Honor 8 comes in a variety of color options and we received the 64GB gold model and do note that the memory configuration is the only difference between the two storage tiers.

Huawei Honor 8 Key Specifications

— 5.2-inch 1080P LTPS Display
— HiSilicon Kirin 950 SoC
— 4GB RAM
— 32GB/64GB expandable memory
— Dual 12MP f2.2 rear camera
— 8MP f2.4 front facing camera
— Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow w/Emotion UI 4.1
— 3000mAh battery
— Dual SIM LTE
— 145.5 x 71 x 7.5mm
— 153g
— White, Black, Blue, Gold


As you may have already noticed, the Honor 8 has a dual rear facing camera setup. Before the Honor 8 officially launched, the 8 was put sideways, teasing the Dual Camera setup. Both camera's are of 12 Megapixels with an f2.2 aperture and in real world situations, the camera produces excellent photos for the price that it's going for.

Though video quality is nothing to write home about, it isn't bad either. Back to still shots, with good lighting, the smartphone takes detailed shots. One would expect that in low light the photos produced be noisy and bad, the shots taken by the Honor 8 aren't as bad and noisy as one would expect in most situations I put it through
Immediately visible are big stars, but when zoomed, more smaller stars show themselves
In short, you wont be disappointed by the camera's performance. Switching the camera into manual mode fully unleashes the camera's performance. With the ISO set to 3200, exposure time to 5 seconds and manual focus, I was able to take a photo of the night sky with the stars visible which is something most phones struggle with

Moving on, the Honor 8 has a HiSilicon Kirin 950 SoC powering the device. In the recent past, we reviewed the Honor 5C and that had a Kirin 650 SoC, which is pretty snappy for everyday tasks. The SoC's we have in current generation devices have matured a lot compared to what they used to be in say 2012-2014
The camera application also has a light drawing mode
The same attempt at light drawing was taken on a DSLR. Its clear that the phone only takes in strong rays of light and blocks out the rest, software magic is also applied


The Kirin 950 employs ARM's big.LITTLE architecture, using four Cortex A72 cores and four more Cortex A53 cores. Pair the Kirin 950 with 4 Gigabytes of RAM and we have a pretty speedy device. Note that not all of the four gigabytes are usable by end users as some of the RAM has to allocated to GPU RAM and System RAM, and then we have our remaining memory for us to play with ( about 2.9GB )

Huawei chose ARM's MALI T880MP4 graphics processor for this SoC, one equipped with 4 cores, hence the 'MP4'. During my time with the device, the graphics processor earns its right to stay by delivering smooth visuals in Google's Cardboard app as well as some graphics intensive games, I played CSR 2 quite a bit on this device
The recently opened McDonald's branch in Cyberjaya
The software does a great job at stitching the frames together
The Honor 8 also manages pretty good battery life, as do most new devices. There is a fault with the phone. During charging, oh and the device comes with Huawei's QuickCharge adapter in the box, the phone has this static feeling on the metal parts of the phone. I noticed this on the Honor 5C as well so it may have something to do with metal frames and charging.

My New 3DSXL Galaxy Style, taken with the camera application. Snapchat's shot of this had the colours off and my MSI keyboards lighting show more white than the actual colours
With a camera setup this good, we figured that sharing some of the shots on social media be the next thing to do, and we did. Using Instagram's integrated camera did okay, with the focusing and exposure being a hit and miss but great when things go well. Using Snapchat's integrated camera was absolutely horrid, focusing would miss almost all the time and white balancing would be off

Shutterbugs who love sharing their photo's to social media will have to use the smartphones camera app to take balanced and detailed shots and then share it. Note that this issue is NOT Huawei's fault but instead the respective applications issue. Moving on to the not so good parts of the phone, the display. Its a great 1080p display, but its still on LCD technology. Competing solutions, like the One Plus 3 and the ZTE Axon 7 both use AMOLED technology, with the ZTE even using a 1440p AMOLED display

The speakers are also somewhat a letdown. It doesn't get as loud as the Galaxy S7, the S7 has waterproofing measures built in and its still louder. Though apart from sheer decibels, it is otherwise a good mono speaker with good low end delivery as well as mid tones. the high ends paired with almost the maximum volume will introduce some distortions
Assigned launching the camera with the single tap of the Smart Key and it takes a photo as well
Conversely, we absolutely love the positioning of the fingerprint reader. And I also love the fact that there is a button Huawei calls the Smart Key, which you can assign to launch apps with single and double taps. Fingerprint scanning is also very fast on the Honor 8. With the readers positioning as such, unlocking the device whilst taking it out of my pocket was a single swift move

There is also an option for you to reduce the Honor 8's screen resolution from its native 1080p to 720p HD resolution. What this does is quite significantly increase your battery life on a single charge as well as boost performance for games and apps that render to native 1080p


Coming to the conclusion of whether I would buy this phone, I would but i'm leaning towards a no given the ZTE Axon 7 exists. If the Honor 8 had a dual front facing speaker setup, I'd have no issues picking it up. The screen technology doesn't push me away as much as the speaker setup did. Also, potential buyers of this phone WILL want to get a screen protector for the front and a protector for the back, as the rear glass picks up smudges really easily

Last October, Nintendo revealed that their new Switch console which combined the functionality of a dedicated gaming device and a entertainment console into one device. At a launch event in Tokyo last week, Nintendo officially launched the new Nintendo Switch Console and released final details about the device. 

One March 3rd, Nintendo will begin rolling out the new Nintendo Switch console globally with a US$ 299.99 (~MYR 1,340) price tag. Inside the box, Nintendo will provide the Switch console itself paired up with the dock and the two Joy-Con controllers will also be included. There is an option to have the Joy-Con controller in the blue and red color configuration as shown above.

And probably the most interesting thing about the Nintendo Switch is that it will charge via USB-C which is an impressive feat as previous Nintendo devices charged through a proprietary interface. Nintendo rates the battery life of the Switch at 3-6 hours and the battery life heavily depends on the game being played. 

Speaking of games, Nintendo has prepared several first party games specifically for the Switch like a new version of Mario Kart, a version of the Legend of Zelda, a sandboxed version of Super Mario and many more. Learn more about all the games and features of the Nintendo Switch here.

ORIGINAL SOURCE: NINTENDO


Taiwan smartphone maker HTC is kicking off the year with a brand new smartphone series that they are calling HTC U. Two devices under this new series are the HTC U Play and HTC U Ultra. Both devices are expected to hit the markets in both February and March respectively. 

What makes the new HTC U Play and U Ultra unique is that they come in a brand new glass and metal design. This is by no means the first time we're seeing such a design but HTC's approach introduces striking color options that make it look more mesmerizing than any other glass backed smartphone out there. And to top things off, the bigger 128GB HTC U Ultra comes covered with sapphire crystal glass which is one of the most durable glass out there.

HTC U Play Key Specifications

— 5.2-inch 1080P Super LCD display
— MediaTek Helio P10 SoC
— 3/4GB RAM
— 32/64GB expandable memory
— 16MP f2.0 rear camera
— 16MP f2.0 front camera
— 2,500mAh battery
— Android 6.0 Marshmallow
— Dual SIM LTE
— 146 x 72.9 x 8mm
— 145g
— Black, Pink, White, Blue

HTC U Ultra Key Specifications

— 5.7-inch 1440P Super LCD5 display
— 2.05-inch 160 x 1040 secondary display
— Snapdragon 821 SoC
— 4GB RAM
— 64/128GB expandable memory
— 12MP f1.8rear camera
— 16MP front camera
— 3,000mAh battery
— Android 7.0 Nougat
— Dual SIM LTE
— 162.4 x 79.8 x 8mm
— 170g
— Black, Pink, White, Blue

Beyond the glitz and glamour, the new HTC U smartphones also come with a USB Type-C port which is a critical spec because HTC has not included a 3.5mm headphone jack with the device. But HTC is including a pair of USB-C earphones in the box.

Moving on to more positive aspects of the HTC U series, both devices come with a new voice unlock feature that works hand in hand with the 4 always-on microphone on the device. There's also the trusty fingerprint sensor on the front. Other than that, the HTC U series looks like a pretty compelling smartphone.

At this point we're not sure if this is HTC's flagship devices for the year as the pricing for both these devices are placed at a premium.


ORIGINAL SOURCE: HTC


After the long wait, the company that has bought the rights to sell Nokia smartphones, HMD Global is announcing the first Nokia branded android smartphone. Dubbed the Nokia 6, this new smartphone coming exclusively for the China market marks the beginning of the new Nokia brand. Unlike older Nokia phones, the Nokia 6 only comes in black and it runs on Android.

In terms of hardware specifications, the Nokia 6 is a pretty mid-range device by today's standard and bucking up on the trend of budget devices these days, the Nokia 6 features an aluminium unibody design.

Nokia 6 Key Specifications

— 5.5-inch 1080P IPS LCD display
— Snapdragon 430 SoC
— 4GB RAM
— 64GB expandable memory
— 16MP f2.0 rear camera
— 8MP f2.0 front camera
— 3,000mAh battery
— Android 7.0 Nougat
— Dual SIM LTE
— 154 x 75.8 x 8.4mm

HMD Global will offer the Nokia 6 in China through JD.com for a price of US$ 245 (~MYR 1,096). Expect to see more higher end Nokia devices coming out later this year.
ORIGINAL SOURCE: NOKIA


Starting off the new year, Samsung is taking wraps off their new mainstream line of Galaxy phones. Once again, the Galaxy A series is being refreshed with improved aesthetics and features from flagship phones. First and foremost is the design which takes inspiration from their flagship smartphones. The 3D glass back and metal frame makes the 2017 Galaxy A series a premium offering.

In addition to that, Samsung has also included features like a USB Type-C port, better software experience, an always on display powered by the AMOLED display, IP68 water and dust resistance and also Samsung Pay. The addition of Samsung Pay is a big one as Samsung will continue expanding their mobile payment service this year and having more devices support it will help it's growth.

Samsung will begin offering the 2017 Galaxy A series beginning February 2017. Stay tuned for details about the Malaysian launch

Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017) Key Specifications

— 4.7-inch 720P Super AMOLED display
— Octa-core SoC
— 2GB RAM
— 16GB expandable memory
— 13MP f1.9 rear camera
— 8MP f1.9 front camera
— 2,350mAh battery
— Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow
— Dual SIM LTE
— 135.4 x 66.2 x 7.9mm
— Black, Gold, Blue, Peach

Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) Key Specifications

— 5.2-inch 1080P Super AMOLED display
— Exynos 7880 SoC
— 3GB RAM
— 32GB expandable memory
— 16MP f1.9 rear camera
— 16MP f1.9 front camera
— 3,000mAh battery
— Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow
— Dual SIM LTE
— 146.1 x 71.4 x 7.9mm
— Black, Gold, Blue, Peach

Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017) Key Specifications

— 5.7-inch 1080P Super AMOLED display
— Exynos 7870 SoC
— 3GB RAM
— 32GB expandable memory
— 16MP f1.9 rear camera
— 16MP f1.9 front camera
— 3,600mAh battery
— Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow
— Dual SIM LTE
— 156.8 x 77.6 x 7.9mm
— Black, Gold, Blue, Peach

This post was done in partnership with CompareHero, Malaysia's number one financial comparison site. Learn more about their work at comparehero.my
Getting the fastest wifi speeds in Malaysia seems to be a challenging task as always, but there are some tricks you can use to get the best signal. First, you need to make sure you are already using the best broadband plan that would suit your needs.

Did you know? Mbps means megabits per second and it is used to measure the download and upload speed of your Internet connection. Mbps stands for megabytes per second and it is used to measure file size.

To make sure you enjoy the best of these two metrics, here are some things you can do at home to optimize your internet speed.

Place the router at the center of your house

Placing the router at the center of the house will makes sure that the signal covers every corner and you will not have to worry about losing signal on your device when you move around the house. Also, try to place the router on a higher surface, such as a table or coffee stand and avoid placing it near the wall.

Once you found the right spot, you can keep tweaking the antenna or the position of the router till you are sure that it gives out the strongest signal via the signal tracker app available on Android phones.

Get rid of distractions

Cordless or Bluetooth phones, walkie-talkies, remote control or microwaves are electrical items that send out electric wavelengths which interfere with your wifi router signal. Keeping these items away from your main router and modem will keep your wifi at its best all the time.

Reset your wifi router

If you are one of those who never switches off their wifi routers at all, you might want to consider doing that every week. This provides your router time to cool off and it can probably last longer under this routine.

Turn off your router for at least 20 minutes when the internet speed is low before you reset it. You can consider switching it off every night before going to sleep and turn it back on when you wake up in the morning or whenever you need it to save some electricity too.

DIY wifi signal booster

Yes, you can actually strengthen your wifi signal with a DIY booster made of tin foil only. Check out this video and make your own wifi booster in under 3 minutes.

With just these four tricks, you and your family can enjoy the best internet speeds under your subscribed broadband plan. The only question is, are you using the right broadband plan?

CompareHero.my is dedicated to raising financial literacy and helping Malaysians make wiser financial decisions by letting compare the best personal loans, credit cards and broadband plans, read their blog to learn more.


It was just a couple of weeks back that Instagram rolled out the ability to broadcast live video from their Instagram Moments feature. Today, the company is introducing a new feature that is designed to help users in the classic instagram experience. With the latest Instagram update, users will be able to save posts that they wish to review in the future through the bookmark icon on the bottom of an Instagram post. The saved photos and videos will then be stored in a section in the profile tab.

ORIGINAL SOURCE: INSTAGRAM


Earlier this year, the Facebook owned Instagram overhauled their app and introduced a new moments feature that is designed get users to use the app more often. Today, Instragram is rolling out two new features that users can take advantage. The two new features are live videos and disappearing photos.

Both the features are accessed through the existing moments screen and the update is now available for both iOS and Android versions of the app. Live videos work similarly like they do on Facebook and disappearing photos are basically Instagram direct photos/videos that will disappear after the image is viewed.

If these features sound similar, Instagram's moment feature is exactly like Snapchat minus the live video. Learn more about how all of this works out in the source link below.

ORIGINAL SOURCE: INSTAGRAM


For years now, Visual Studio has been a Windows exclusive application but beginning later this month, Microsoft will be bringing their popular IDE to Apple's MacOS. At launch, the new Visual Studio IDE on Mac will not support everything that the Windows version supports but this first release will include support for languages like .NET, C# and F#. It will also include support for Android and iOS development through Xamarin.

The Mac version of Visual Studio is built through an open source MonoDevelop IDE platform. While the classic Visual Studio design from Windows will not be inherrited from this first iteration of Visual Studio for the Mac, features like IntelliSense code completion and powerful debugging are included,

Download a preview of Visual Studio for the Mac today.

ORIGINAL SOURCE: MICROSOFT


Chines smartphone maker OnePlus today announced a new smartphone which is designed to replace their 6-month old OnePlus 3. The new OnePlus 3T will be replacing the existing OnePlus 3 and the newer model is mostly just a spec upgrade. It now comes with up to 128GB of flash storage and a 16MP front facing camera.

OnePlus 3T Key Specifications

— 5.5-inch 1080P Optic AMOLED display
— Snapdragon 821 SoC
— 6GB RAM
— 64/128GB UFS 2.0 memory
— 16MP f2.0 rear camera with OIS
— 16MP front camera
— Android 6.0 Marshmallow w/OxygenOS
— 3,400mAh battery
— 152.7 x 74.7 x 7.4mm
— 158g
— Dual SIM LTE
— Gunmetal/ Soft gold
Also highlighting this new OnePlus 3T is Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 821 SoC which the same processing package on Google's new Pixel phones. Last but not least, OnePlus also improved the battery size on the OnePlus 3T from 3,000 to 3,400mAh. But beyond that, the new OnePlus 3T is still the same affordable flagship that launched earlier this year and it is still running the Android 6.0 Marshmallow based Oxygen OS out of the box

OnePlus will begin selling the new OnePlus 3T in the United States beginning November 22 for US$ 439 (~MYR 1,900) and US$ 479 (~MYR 2,050) for the 64GB and 128GB models respectively. Learn more about the OnePlus 3T here



ORIGINAL SOURCE: ANDROID POLICE


Today in China, Lenovo is announcing the Moto M which is the latest budget offering from the company's phone divison. Similar to other Moto smartphones that Lenovo released this year, the new Moto M comes in a premium aluminium build and comes packed with hardware features like a USB Type C charging port and a 3.5mm headphone jack.

Lenovo Moto M Key Specifications

— 5.5-inch 1080P Super AMOLED display
— MediaTek Helio P15 (MT6755) SoC
— 4GB LPDDR3 memory
— 32GB expandable memory
— 16MP f2.0 rear camera
— 8MP front camera
— 3,050mAh battery
— Android 6.0
— 151.4 x 75.4 x 7.9mm
— 163g
— Gold, Silver
— Dual SIM LTE

In addition to that, Lenovo has also coated the Moto M with a nano coating that protects the device from accidental splashes from liquids. Lenovo will begin offering the Moto M in China from November 11 for CN¥ 1,999 (~US$ 300 / ~MYR 1,200).



ORIGINAL SOURCE: PHONEARENA