Big Phone Week

It has been a big week for phones.

iPhone

The iPhone 5c and 5s have been launched and as usual the craze over those phones have overwhelmed most people. However, it is also worth noting that this year’s iPhone launches have attracted a much more muted response compared to previous years, with focus being placed mostly on the new iOS 7 operating system as well as the emergence of new colours for both the iPhone 5s and 5c. Whilst I was unable to attend Singtel’s launch day festivities as I usually did for the past couple of years, there was no less of a brouhaha this year over the iPhone product launch.

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(Image Courtesy of Singtel)

Note 3

Samsung’s latest competitor in the smartphone space has also emerged, with the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 launching coming to Singapore soon. Singtel has announced their pricing for a two year contract and they are as follows. It is expected that their Starhub and M1 competitors to provide similar price points for their mobile phone price plans.

Plan Lite Value Plus Premium
Monthly Subscription $39.90 $59.90 $99.90 $239.90
Local Calls (minutes) 100 200 500 Unlimited
Local SMS 800 900 1,000 Unlimited
Local Data 2GB 3GB 4GB 12GB
Samsung GALAXY Note 3 32GB $618 $348 $98 $0

(Price Plans Courtesy of Singtel)

Finally: BlackBerry

BB has announced the coming of BBM or BlackBerry Messenger to the iPhone and Android. In a growing sign that things are not all that great down in the BB camp, BlackBerry has finally opened up their crown jewel BBM client for use by their former mortal enemies of Android and iPhone. The BBM Client comes to Android 21st September and iOS 22nd September. At the same time however, it is also worth noting that BlackBerry has launched the Z30, an update to the Z10. With a bigger battery and bigger screen, it presents a rather run of the mill effort, that would struggle even against second and third tier Android manufacturers. This does go to show how far this former market leader has fallen in the smartphone races.

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A New Way to Sell your Phone

So it looks like Singapore has its very own new online mobile phone selling platform. The company called Bounce Mobile purports to add a price match component, quick transfers of funds as well as a courier pick up of the phone you intend on selling.

Based on a quick look at the website, the iPhone 5 32 gig is being bought at S$525 on Bounce Mobile, and as a matter of comparison, the price you can get on Mobilesquare is S$550. Whilst the Samsung Galaxy S3 is going at S$268 on Bounce, it is being bought at S$260 on Mobilesquare. All this really means is that this website brings an extra element of competition to the mobile phone selling and purchasing space, and it is still advisable to do your shopping around in order to know what is best for you and whether the convenience of receiving a direct transfer to your bank account as well as a courier service, is a benefit you find valuable to you.

iPhone 5s & 5c

This morning, Apple announced their newest iPhones and whilst this product has been leaked to the high heavens with almost every prediction being spot on.

The 5c is basically a cheap slightly improved version of the current iPhone 5 which is now discontinued.

The 5s comes with a new processor chip, supposedly better battery life and a much improved camera. Other new features include a thumbprint scanner for better security and a special processor that measures the movements of the phone, and other such data. Also significant is the transition to 64bit, which promises to make things even faster. All these announcements were anticipated and were pretty much predictable even without the massive leaks.

If you are a Singtel customer who wishes to renew his contract and get a new iPhone, the registration of interest page may be found http://www.singtel.com/iphoneroi

Sony’s BACK! – Massive Launch @ IFA

Sony has announced a massive swathe of products at this year’s IFA conference in Berlin. From cameras of all sorts to curved TVs to new cellphones and earphones, there’s something for everyone. Do check out my flickr here¬†for pics of my favourites from the announcement!

One of the biggest standouts for me this year is the introduction of the Lens Cameras, the QX10 and QX100. A truly unique new concept that pairs Sony’s awesome lens and sensor technology with the device that everyone has in their pockets already, their smartphones. The lens cameras are compact in size, which is a major selling point as they are paired to the smartphone via Wi-Fi. This then allows for the ability to take some truly unique shots, in hard to reach places, or of selfies without the trouble.

Continue reading “Sony’s BACK! – Massive Launch @ IFA”

Xbox 360 2nd Anniversary Bloggers Meet

First things first, and even though the news IS already out but we WERE the first to hear this GLOBALLY so boo to Joystiq.com. BUT here’s the news Lucasarts’ new game, Force Unleashed will land September 16th in the United States, September 17th in Southeast Asia and Australia, and September 19th in Europe. YES. This game’ll be amazing and the videos we saw, but couldn’t take pictures of were ultimately incredible. The physics were out of this world and you really could see the power of the force completely unrestrained and unleashed. Amazing SICK stuff…

However, that was just one specific thing in an event that really did blow it out of the water for me. Interesting finger foods (though I have to ask, who serves chicken wings at an event without any cutlery/crockery at all…), great conversation, free flowing beverages, a TORRENT of things to do, see, interact with, talk about and finally a great looking location that was only slightly marred by its PHYSICAL location, a bit of a find if you ask me, but no matter. The people from Microsoft seemed genuinely interested in what we bloggers thought, and were actually reaching out to us and to try and get us psyched about the various Xbox games and so on, and I must say that the strategy worked!

One of the games that I want to talk about personally which really SPIKED my interest was this game Mirror’s Edge by EA. *Full Disclosure: Mom works there* This is a game based on the idea that in a world poisoned by an overbearing government, information has to get out, and this can only be done through Parkour-utilising, chop-socky Runners. I have not seen gameplay but from a video shown it involves lots of running round roof tops and fighting without ever picking up a GUN! Love the idea, hope the execution will be flawless and the record of DICE’s previous accomplishments (Battlefield series) inspires such confidence in me.

Let me round off by commending Microsoft for pursuing the blogosphere, and trying to reach out to the more unconventional sources of news and information. The microsofties have shown a LOT of love in general to us players in Singapore, with the sheer variety of games available, great product support in general and plenty of events to keep us interested. I had a PS2 and PS1 and I liked them, but its the Xbox 360 that I truly do love. So keep up the loving MSFT.

I’ve posted my pictures here. Please help me tag the photos properly!

The One Laptop Per Child Project

This simple laptop is built with one thing in mind, Kids. And not like some dinky laptop that has a 5 line dot matrix screen and loud beeps and wails, this is effectively a fully functional 433mhz Geode *basically really really really slimmed down Athlon*, 1200×900 black and white, 256 megs of RAMed laptop. This may sound like absolute piffle for the average techy, but know that this can be powered by simply cranking a crank, it can be read in BRIGHT sunlight, and this is the truly amazing bit, Wi-Fi capable through a mesh network. To use a car analogy, this is the Toyota Corolla to your Lamborguini Core Two Duo.

Another amazing feat is that this is based off a Linux Core. and makes use of a Graphical User Interface that is completely different from your windows or even Mac. Its designed for kids and for their education. The operating system has had ALL the fat trimmed away from it, and again just like your toyota corolla, its not fast, its not flashy, it goes from a to b and doesn’t drink fuel like its free. Whereas the Lambo can be frequently unreliable, it can go very fast, but needs to be well maintained and must be taken out to the clubs to please the ladies. This is an insanely practical piece of kit and has the potential to lift so many children out of poverty and give them a chance to compete in the future economy.

This is brilliant in its simplicity.While this clearly could not have been possible twenty years ago, today, it is an example of how incredible technology can come together and create something that will truly change the world. This project headed by Nicholas Negroponte, whose resume reads like a veritable “mama i want to be him when I grow up” list. He’s on the Board of Motorola, he’s the Co-founder and director of MIT’s Media Lab. The list goes on and on, and as he’s had his finger deep in the tech world since who know’s when and is ideal for heading up such a momentuous task!

By the way, MSFT has taken some of this kit and is working on it for something or other… And intel’s initial rejection of Negroponte’s has spawned their own attempt at targeting children as a Market?! Well, we all have to start somewhere, and I (Jerrick) is FULLY in support of this programme that could change the lives of so many.

N.B. This post was actually dated sometime in 2007. But for some reason it was saved as a draft. I’m posting this here now in all its glory.