Project Ara: Google starts offering developer boards

Project Ara

Project Ara

Revealed in more detail at the recent Google I/O, Google‘s ground-breaking modular smartphone platform Project Ara, gets an official lift-off. Google has opened its doors to developers for its first development boards.

Maxis lets you “Raya dengan Gaya” with RM100 off on all its devices

Maxis is offering RM100 discounts off all their devices
Maxis is offering RM100 discounts off all their devices

It’s time to have some Raya cheer and Maxis is giving you a chance for some of it with some pretty decent discounts on the devices they’re carrying.

Sony enters the selfie game a bit belatedly with the Xperia C3

The so called PROSelfie Xperia C3 from Sony
The so called PROSelfie Xperia C3 from Sony
The so called PROSelfie Xperia C3 from Sony

Oh Sony, Sony. A bit late to the game aren’t you? Well no matter. Selfie-ing is still an in thing and it’s better late than never right? And if Sony is to be believed, maybe being late isn’t such a bad thing, especially if you’re going to be the best. That seems to be the case with their new Sony Xperia C3 which Sony is labeling the “Best Selfie Smartphone” in the world.

So let’s see what it’s packing that makes it the “Best Selfie Smartphone” in the world. It’s pretty obvious that Sony is going with some pretty souped up imaging/camera features for this smartphone for the narcissistic. The back camera of course packs what would now be a standard 8MP Exmore RS sensor. Not that much of a standout since it’s about what you’d expect from most mid-range smartphones. Since this IS a selfie smartphone though, it’s the front camera that’s the highlight.

What the C3 packs in front is a 5MP sensor that comes with a 80-degree field view. It even comes with a front “soft” LED flash. And to add to it’s selfie credentials, Sony is packing the C3 full of selfie-taking apps. There’s other additional features that make the front camera such a selfie-taking machine. It has a Superior Auto mode that recognises four different scene types and automatically adjusts its settings for better shots and lighting situations. There’s also a Potrait Retouch V.2 feature that’ll automatically adjust your selfies in real-time before capturing an image. How’s that for some over-narcissistic features.

Of course your other imaging features usually reserverd for the back, main cameara are also available for the front camera as well including Timeshift-Burst (just in case you want multiple selfies) and AR Effect (what’s a selfie without some fun effect thrown in?). Heck even the HDR mode can be activated for the front camera.

The cameras are all good and all but it still smartphone so we’re also curious about what it’s packing in terms of power. For a mid-range phone, it is decent enough. Processor wise you’re getting a Qualcomm Snapdragon 1.2GHz quad-core processor and Adreno 305 GPU, supported by 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage. It’ll be pointless if the screen wasn’t up to spec either so the X3 does come with a decent 5.5-inch 720p display which also features Sony’s Triluminos display for mobile and Mobile BRAVIA Engine 2. 

As for your baery life, the C3 comes with a 2500mAH battery, which is decent enough though with it also being LTE enabled, you might want to be packing a powerbank with you.

So when can we expect this PROSelfie smartphone (as Sony would call it) to be available? It’s expected to be out globally in August though an exact date for our local roll out isn’t clear yet.

Source: Sony Mobile

Motorola G LTE is coming to Malaysia

The Motorola Moto G LTE
The Motorola Moto G LTE
The Motorola Moto G LTE

The refreshed version of Motorola’s really value Moto G is coming over to Malaysia really soon courtesy of Brightstar.

When the Moto G was launched in November last year, it wowed everyone with it’s really value pricing. All skepticism that us here in Malaysia wouldn’t be getting a similar price was put to rest when it hit our shores earlier this year, and at a pretty decent price of RM698 for the 8GB version and RM798 for the 16GB version.

So with the updated version of the Moto G, what can we expect? Specification wise, it’ll still retain almost everything the original Moto G had. So everything from the Snapdragon 400 quad-core processor with 1GB of RAM, a 4.5-inch 720p display, 5MP rear camera and a 2070mAh battery still remains the same. So what the heck do we get in this refresh anyway you might ask? Well just one simple addition, which is LTE connectivity. And will we still be getting the same value for money price? Well at RM799, it only costs RM1 more than the 16GB version of the Moto G so it might seem so. However that price isn’t for a 16GB LTE version. Instead it’s for the 8GB LTE version as there isn’t a 16GB version. Not much of an issue though with the microSD slot it comes with. As for the RM100 more you’d have to pay for LTE, considering it’s still a sub-RM1000 LTE enabled phone, we think it’s still a decent enough buy.

And in case you’re wondering about accessories, you’ll also be able to get the Flip cover and Cover shell as well, both going  for RM129 and RM69 resepctively. When is the Moto G be available? It’s hitting our shore on July 11, so get your wallets ready.


The International 2014 prize pool is now a whopping US$10 million

The International is the biggest DOTA 2 tournament that is held yearly
US$10 Million in prize pool money. It's good to be a professional gamer now
US$10 Million in prize pool money. It’s good to be a professional gamer now

Who says it doesn’t pay to be a professional gamer. At least in the field of DOTA 2, they pay off looks mighty tempting.

The International, the holy Mecca of all DOTA players worldwide. Every year the prize pool has steadily increased and this year, competing players might just hit the mother lode if they win. With a whopping prize pool of US$10 million, it’s the biggest amount of money ever seen for a competitive eSport event.

But it’s not ending at that amount yet. With another 2 more weeks to go before they end the Compendium sale, Valve could still raise more money for the tournament. If you head over to the DOTA 2 Compendium page, you’ll notice that they’ve already reached the full stretch of their goals. Don’t be surprised though if more goals were added since there’s still a whole month before the tournament starts.

Looks like eSports has certainly come a long way since its early days and hopefully this will continue on in subsequent years to come.

You gotta watch this: New Jupiter Ascending Trailer

Chaning Tatum Jupiter Ascending Poster

This year is shaping up to be a pretty good year for geeks out there, at least movie wise. With what seemed like a huge bunch of Sci-fi themed movies hitting the big screen, we were really hyped up for a rolling good summer. Unfortunately, one of the more anticipated Sci-Fi movies this year, Jupiter Ascending, which was scheduled for a July 25 release this year was pushed forward half year later to February 2014.

Google shows off project Ara at I/O

Imagine not needing to buy a totally new smartphone every time some new tech comes out. A faster processor? Better camera? No problem, just switch out those hardware from your phone with new ones. Well at least that’s what Project Ara do and in the recent Google I/O it looks like that concept might be edging closer to reality with a somewhat working prototype (and by working we mean it actually turns on) being shown off.


Well actually working is a bit of a stretch as the phone only managed to boot up momentarily and then freeze at the Android logo before going any further. That being said, it still managed to work, and given the complexities involved in the concept, at least Google has show that a modular smartphone is possible… once they actually get the kinks worked out.

And it seems that Google is pretty confident that they’ll work out those kinks pretty soon as they’re saying a developer preview of Project Ara would be ready by the end of the year. Of course what’s a platform if there isn’t going to be any developers?

To up the ante and make Project Ara a lot more attractive, Google is even offering up a US$100,000 prize and a trip to Ara’s next developer conference for any developer who builds a working module that, as they would put it, “lets a phone do something that a phone has never done before”. Now that’s a pretty juicy bit of prize though we’re pretty sure if the concept really take off, US$100,000 might just be a small drop in an ocean of profits these concept will be able to turn over.

Source: Extremetech

Samsung brings in the Galaxy Tab S into Malaysia

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S

Gee, we wonder how many tablets Samsung is going to release before they feel they’ve cornered every segment in the market. Obviously, what they have now isn’t really enough with their latest launch of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S here in Malaysia.

Not that we’re complaining since the Galaxy Tab S brings some absolute goodies to the tablet playing field.

So what do we get?

It is the lightest and thinnest tablet from Sammy to date and it brings with it the most advanced display tech to be seen on a tablet. How light and thin? How about a 6.6mm profile and 294g and 465g for the 8.4-inch and 10.5-inch respectively. Pretty decent right?

All right so it isn’t just looks and weight for you. So let’s get down to the nitty gritty. Here’s what you can expect.

That advance display we mentioned? Well the Tab S has a WQXGA (2560 x 1600, 16:10) Super AMOLED screen for both the 8.4 and 10.5 inch versions. With the adaptive display tech, the gamma, saturation and sharpness is automatically adjusted based on not only the current running app, but also the ambient temperature of the environment and ambient lighting. Now how’s that for a smart tablet. And if you think your normal contrast ratio isn’t enough, the Tab S comes with a 100,000 : 1 ratio that ought to bring some highly realistic images to life.

That’s all the screen bits though. How about the power? Does an Octa core processor sound tasty enough for you? The Tab S comes with the Exynos 5 Octa (1.9Ghz quad-core and a 1.3Ghz quad-core) processor and that’s not all. There’s 3GB of RAM and 16GB of storage to back it up as well. And though 16GB seems a bit on the tiny side for storage, don’t fret, you’ll still be able to expand its storage up to 128GB via microSD.

How about battery life you ask? Well you can expect a 4900 mAh battery for the 8.4-inch version while the 10.5-inch version will be getting a 7,900 mAh battery. And if those specs aren’t enough to whet your appetite for the Galaxy Tab S, you can also expect a fingerprint scanner and Android 4.4 Kit Kat on it.

Still not enough? Well Samsung’s packaging in some exclusive content just for us Malaysians as well. Here’s just some of it.

  • Free 12-month subscription to eight lifestyle magazine titles from SPH Magazines worth RM1,920.
  • Free 6-month subscription to Star e-paper worth RM150
  • Free 500 songs from My GALAXY Music, available within 6-month period
  • Preloaded GALAXY Life app – source of personalised, curated and exclusive content with over 120 offers and deals from 50 partners.

Accessories Galore

A variety of covers and cases for the Galaxy Tab S
A variety of covers and cases for the Galaxy Tab S

Of course you can’t have a new Samsung tablet without some accessories to go with it and Samsung isn’t slacking off in that department. There are three main accessories you can expect for the Galaxy Tab S starting with the Book Cover that provides three different display angles while providing some protection for the Sammy slate. There’s also a simplified version of the Book Cover in the form of the aptly named Simple Cover which is lighter and slimmer. Then there is the Bluetooth Keyboard which is specifically designed for the Tab S and comes with clasp for protection.

Let's not forget the specially designed keyboard for the Galaxy Tab S
Let’s not forget the specially designed keyboard for the Galaxy Tab S

Pricing and availability

So when can we expect the Galaxy Tab S to pop up in the retail outlets here? Samsung says we’ll be able to get our grubby paws on them starting 11 July. And how much you ask? Well the 8.4-inch Tab S is going for RM1,699 while the 10.5-inch version is going for RM1,999.

Both will be available in Titanium Bronze and Dazzling White.


The Xiaomi Redmi 1S and Redmi Note will be hitting Malaysia soon

Xiaomi isn’t letting up when it comes to bringing value for money mobiles to Malaysia. Hot on the heels of their Mi3 launch, the Chinese mobile upstart is bringing in their super value Redmi 1S, and their first phablet, the Redmi Note.

Samsung takes on Apple in the audio game with its Beats competitor Level

Samsung's new Level series, the company's shot a Apple's bow
Samsung's new Level series, the company's shot a Apple's bow
Samsung’s new Level series, the company’s shot a Apple’s bow

Ah Samsung, where Apple goes, you’re not too far behind eh? With Apple’s purchase of Beats, we were just waiting when Sammy would make their move. It looks like they have with their new premium portable audio line, Level.