As a writer and director, Luc Besson has come up with some truly engaging heroines. He previously directed Michelle Yeoh as Aung San Suu Kyi in The Lady, and he tackled French comic book heroineAdèle Blanc-Sec. Going back further and we have The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc and The Fifth Element with Milla Jovovich, he introduced us to Natalie Portman in Léon: The Professional, and then there’s his most resilient creation La Femme Nikita (1990) which spawned a US remake in 1993, a Hong Kong remake in 1991 (that had a sequel), a TV series with Peta Wilson (5 seasons) and a current TV series with Maggie Q. For a track record, there are hits and misses.
The HTC J Butterfly, the best-selling smartphone in Japan and Taiwan has gotten itself a successor in the form of the HTC J butterfly “HTL23″ and its making a Japanese debut. Of course us here in SEA shouldn’t moan though as it should be reaching us but marketed as the HTC Butterfly 2. So what is this fluttery new HTC offering us?
First there’s the design. Blending design cues from the HTC One and Desire line, the J butterfly features a unique double curve ergonomic design, an evolution from the previous HTC J. There’s three available – Rouge (red), Indigo (blue) and Canvas (white), with the white being called by HTC as “the purest white with anti-stain finishing”, that does not fade or discolour over time. Measuring at 145.4 x 70.2 x 9.99mm it also weighs a lightweight 151g.
Of course it isn’t just all design though. There’s also what’s been crammed in it. The latest generation HTC J butterfly features very similar underpinnings to the HTC One M8, packing in a super fast quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 running at 2.5Ghz, 2GB RAM, 16/32GB of storage, NFC, WiFi, DLNA, Bluetooth 4.0 and microSD expansion. And as it was co-developed with Japanese telco KDDI, as a result of the collaboration it offers AU carrier aggregation, a new communication technology – integrating 4G LTE (TDD and FDD) and WIMAX2+, offering speeds of up to 150Mbps.
How about the screen? It has a 5-inch Full HD 1080p display is brilliantly crisp and bright. Of course we can’t forget the camera either. You’ve seen the unique Duo Camera on the HTC One M8 and the latest E8 and yes it is also present on the HTC Butterfly 2 but unlike the former two, it instead utilises a new non-UltraPixel 13MP module.
HTC has even water and dust proofed the HTC Butterfly 2, IP57 certified in fact, but unlike the Sony Xperia Z2 and Samsung GALAXY S5, there are no flaps. We can’t forget the sound part either, as the Butterfly 2 has HTC BoomSound that offers 25% louder sound and supports HD audio – 24bit/192Khz lossless audio. The phone will come loaded up with Android 4.4 of course together with HTC Sense 6 UI. Other HTC apps included are HTC Zoe, HTC Blinkfeed and Motion Launch.
So when can we expect this brand new HTC entrant? Well it will available exclusively from KDDI in Japan from 29 August 2014 with a Taiwan release on 2 September. Markets like Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand are to follow though dates have yet-to-be-announced.
Mi fans should rejoice at this piece of news. Xiaomi has partnered Lazada Malaysia to offer its most affordable Android device – Redmi 1S for sale on lazada.com.my. As you know, Xiaomi sells primarily online through its website mi.com, and this move with Lazada marks a new strategy to expand its distribution network.
We’re only days away from the New York unveil of HTC’s new Windows Phone and looks like its going to be wrapped in a pretty familiar package.
Yep, HTC’s next Windows Phone, what is now known as the HTC One W8 is sporting some familiar and sexy lines like its Android sibling the HTC One M8. You’d be forgive if you were to mistake it for the HTC One M8 at first glance and we don’t blame you. Based on this high-res image leak, we can see that the One W8 is following HTC’s One M8’s design to a T. Not that we’re complaining cause if this is really what it looks like, then the HTC One W8 would be the most premium looking Windows Phone to hit the market (sorry guys we just can’t bring ourselves to call the colourful Nokias “premium”).
Premium looks however ought to have some premium innards as well and the HTC One W8 purportedly has them as well. It’ll supposedly come with a 2.3 GHz quad-core, Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, 2GB of RAM, a 5-inch Full HD screen with Gorilla glass, HTC’s Ultrapixel camera with a 5-megapixel font facing camera, 32GB of storage and even support for HTC’s Dot View case. Those are definitely some specs to look forward for. Of course it’ll be running the Windows Phone 8.1 OS as well.
Considering how small the Windows Phone space is, HTC’s sexy new entrant would definitely bring some life into it. Honestly we’re kind of tired of the whole vomit-the-rainbow cheery colours scheme from the platform. Give us sexy metal and we’ll come running.
There’s some bad news though. It seems that this release might be a Verizon only release, which means we here in Malaysia might not even see the HTC One W8 hit our shores. Hopefully this is only an initial release exclusive because seriously, its about time someone brought sexy back into Windows Phone.
I’m absolutely chuffed that I’ll be on a plane on Saturday, 16 August, to Tokyo, Japan, where I will be spending some time with HTC senior execs and members of the HTC design team at HTC Frequencies Asia III. The third installment of the HTC Frequencies series centres around open conversations surrounding design, technology and of course, all things HTC.
So how many music streaming services do we really need here in Malaysia? Guess Spotify and Deezer isn’t enough as now a new competitor has entered our shores to stream sweet, sweet music to our PCs, phones and tablets.
So who is this new player? The name’s Guvera and they’re based out of Australia with the service offered in multiple other countries. Now they’ve set their eyes on Malaysia.
In a market with Spotify and Deezer as players however, just how is Guvera going to set themselves apart from the competition you might ask? Well, there’s a few ways one of them includes the support of local content. Guvera is in the midst of reaching out to the local music community to grow the local music catalogue and they’ve also created specialised playlists that feature local Malaysian artist like Joe Flizzow, SonaOne, Altimet and Faizal Tahir, just to name a few. However according to Guvera, the support doesn’t just limits itself to music promotion either. They intend to go beyond just music marketing, intending to work closely with local music artist and music makers that may even extend to on ground promotions and more.
So that’s great for our local artists, but how about users and listeners here? What do we get that differs from the other music streaming services out there? There’s Guvera’s unique feature that allows users to tailor their music based on their current mood, activity or preference by searching for music using hashtags. That’s not all though, Guvera also rewards users with offers and what they call “money-cannot-buy experiences” from their music partners. What this “money-cannot-buy experiences” are though isn’t really specified, but considering the music business they’re in, we foresee stuff like fan meets with artist and maybe even backstage meets at concerts. We’ll try to dig up a little more and update you guys.
That’s all great and good but there is one thing that has gotten us a bit perplexed which is that Guvera doesn’t allow you users to play specific tracks they’ve searched for when they’re using the free Guvera Play service. Instead you have to subscribe to the Guvera Platinum service in order to enjoy on-demand music. Considering that Spotify and Deezer already offers users access to on-demand music on their free services, not having that option kind of limits Guvera’s appeal to users. Hey we love discovering music or having them recommended to us but sometimes we’d just want to listen to things we want to listen, without having to pay for it.
To kick things off in Malaysia Guvera is also starting pretty big by having a concert here in KL which is happening today (15 August). The headliner will be hip hop star and actor Mos Def, now known as Yasiin Bey and will also showcase Joe Flizzow and SonaOne among others.
Guvera has also entered buddied up with Lenovo as their World Wide Music partner, so you’ll be seeing the Guvera app pre-installed in the Lenovo mobile devices including their tablets and smartphones.
So interested in trying this new music streaming service? Guvera Play is free and you can download their apps on iOS and Android. Rather use a PC? You can head over to www.guvera.com. As we mentioned before, Guvera has a premium called Guvera Platinum and from RM14.99 a month, you’ll get unlimited access for online and offline music listening as well as on-demand music, all of which comes without any of those pesky ads.
There seems to be a flurry of cheap & cheerful phone announcements this week. First the Lumia 530 and now Motorola is getting into the game as well with their super affordable Moto E smartphone.
We already got wind earlier on about the Moto E’s launch but now, it has finally reached our shores. So how cheap are we talking about here? How about RM369 cheap. Yep, you’re looking at a sub-RM400 phone. With this and Lumia 530, you can say bye bye to the feature phones of yore. And with the Moto E making its way to our shores, the mobile phone pioneer continues its partnership with online super store Lazada, who will be selling the Moto E exclusively online from today onwards.
With the Moto E, Motorola hopes to continue the success of the Moto franchise, with its star performer – the Moto G enjoying tremendous traction in the budget phone category. The Moto G, in fact, is Motorola’s best-selling smartphone in its history. So what does RM369 get you? Considering the price, you do get some decent innards in the Moto E. It comes with a dual-core, 1.2GHz Snapdragon 200 processor, 1GB of RAM, a 4.3-inch screen and a 1980mAh battery. There’s also a 5-megapixel camera, 3G connectivity, built-in FM radio and dual-sim support. You can also expect it to run the latest and greatest stock Android version, in this case, Android 4.4 KitKat.
We did mention that not only was it cheap, it was cheerful as well and that comes in the form of the Moto E’s interchangeable back covers called Moto Shells. You can get them in a choice of three colours; red, turquoise and yellow, so that ought to spicen the phone up a bit.
The Moto E is the third Motorola product available on Lazada, after the encouraging sales of the Moto G and flagship Moto X.
As we mentioned before, its priced at a featherweight price of RM369.00 perfect for the buyers thinking of moving on from their current feature phone. And if they’re thinking of sprucing up the Moto E with a little bit more colours via the Moto Shells, they can get them at RM39 each. Can’t wait to get them? Then just head over to www.lazada.com.my to get it, or if you’re lazy, just click here to go directly to the Moto E’s purchase page.
Nokia (we should really say Microsoft Devices Group) has just redefined “cheap and cheerful” again – with the new Lumia 530, the cheapest Lumia to date. For the price of RM355.00 (that’s a little over US$100) or equivalent to 30 Americanos, you get to take home a rather cheerful, feature-packed smartphone running the latest Windows Phone 8.1 update.
Just this year, they gave us the mouth-watering HTC One (M8), which we reckon is one of the flagship Android’s to beat in 2014 and now HTC has rolled out another one. This time a curvier, more affordable HTC One (E8) with new materials and funky, vibrant colours.
Don’t let our display image scare you. Facebook hasn’t been banned in Malaysia… yet. However this piece of news is likely to get Malaysia famous for all the wrong reasons again. Seems like the Malaysian government is studying whether it should ban Facebook here in the country.
This, according Communication and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek, is in response to the recent cases of “abuse” of the social network. Don’t panic yet, you’ll still be able to share all those “uplifting” stories, listicals and baby pictures since they’re only studying the matter.
Even the Minister himself said that the whole idea will be difficult since there are 15 million local accounts. As for the number of abuses reported? 2000. Just do the maths and you’ll see that even contemplating this idea shouldn’t have happened. That’s not the only issue though. Malaysia would have to take into account what the business community would think. There’s strong usage of Facebook by businesses here in Malaysia for marketing and PR purposes (let’s not forget our own government also uses it for outreach), so we think that trying to do away with Facebook here will be quite an undertaking.
So far only three countries have a perma-block/ban on Facebook at they are China, Iran and North Korea. Other countries have blocked the site at one time or another but eventually access was given back. Considering the backlash that’s going to happen in … oh now, we highly doubt that this will even come to pass. But just to be safe, if you do get approached by the people conducting the study for the ministry, we’re pretty certain you’ll know what to say.
Ok now back to sharing cute cat videos on our Facebook feed.