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3G enabled iPhone goes official, available in 22 countries on July 11, 2008. June 10, 2008

Posted by stvchang in Apple, gadgets, handphones, iPhone.
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The highly leaked but much anticipated iPhone 3G is official, revealed yesterday during Apple‘s WWDC 2008.

iPhone 3G will be available in 2 flavors, 8GB at US$199 (RM700) and 16GB at US$299 (RM1000), in the US via AT&T in a 2 year contract, beginning July 11. 2008.

In a strange move, the new iPhone 3G will not be available from Apple‘s online store nor can you activate it yourself from home. You will now have to walk into an AT&T store to buy and activate it in-store while you are there. AT&T have said that activation can be done in a few minutes, but its still a departure on how Apple traditionally sells its stuff.

Packed with new features are: 3G (duh), Firmware 2.0, GPS (A-GPS that uses cellular signals to complement satellite signals), Wi-Fi (still at 802.11a/g, no N support), new dock (to fit the new shape), 300 hours standby, 8-10 hours of 2G talk, 5 hours of 3G talk, 7 hours of video and 24 hours of audio, 3.5mm flushed headphone jack, and the back is completely in black plastic. Better still, it is also available in full WHITE, way cool!

Pic from Laptogmag.com.

It will be available in 22 countries by next month July 11, 2008. These countries are Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK and the US.

Another 48 countries have been identified to receive the iPhone 3G “later this year”: Argentina, Botswana, Brazil, Cameroon, C. African Republic, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Estonia, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Greece, Honduras, Hungary, India, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Macau, Madagascar, Mali, Malta, Mauritius, Nicaragua, Niger, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Senegal, Singapore, Qatar, Slovakia, South Africa, Turkey, Uruguay.

You will notice that Malaysia is not listed, damn! Look like I’ll have to wait for the unlocked version then.


iPhone available in MY, but don’t work with Maxis. October 30, 2007

Posted by stvchang in Apple, gadgets, handphones, iPhone.
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Local handphone shops have the unlocked iPhones! Prices range from RM2000++ for the 4GB version and RM3000++ for the 8GB version.

While the stop sales reps are unsure of the iPhone firmware version, I am pretty sure its the V1.02 Sim unlocked with the tools available from the internet. Be warned that if you upgrade the firmware to V1.1.1, you are guaranteed to brick your new toy.

Contrary to earlier reports, these sim unlocked iPhone will not work well with Maxis where you can only make outgoing calls and not receive incoming calls (defeats the purpose of having a handphone, doesn’t it??). Its report that this is apparently a Maxis internal problem and its not native to the iPhone itself. This was confirmed by several readers as well.

These sim unlocked iPhone works well with Celcom and DiGi, so if you are a subscriber and have deep pockets, get your paws on one today from the local shops.

Samsung’s Armani phone revealed in Milan. September 26, 2007

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Samsung’s collaboration with Armani to roll out a couture phone has resulted in the above pictured product, the Samsung Armani phone. Similar to LG Prada phone, the phone is designed for the fashion conscious market.

Samsung Armani phone features: Tri-band 900/1800/1900 GSM, 3 megapixel camera, 2.6-inch 262K color QVGA touchscreen LCD, Bluetooth 2.0 with A2DP support, 50MB onboard memory, microSD expansion, full Internet browser, and support for H.263, AAC/MP3/WMA audio and MPEG-4 video. Dimensionally, its 87.5 x 54.5 x 10.5-mm and weighs 85-grams.

It will also feature haptic feedback user interface, meaning it gives out small vibration cues when the icons on the touchscreen are touched, confirming that your action was recognised. This is a very important feedback for many touchscreen user, with Motorola Razr2 V8 using similar haptic feedback too.

No news on the availability outside Europe, where it will be available in November 2007 for rumored 400 Euros (RM2000).

Motorola Razr2 V8 will be in MY stores next week? September 18, 2007

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Several handphone retailers are informing me that the latest and very anticipated Motorola Razr2 V8 and V9 will be available in their stores sometime next week. They had also told me that the prices for V8 is in the RM1500ish region, while the V9 is in the RM1900ish region.

I am skeptical of the prices and the arrival date, but most shops do have the Razr2 V8 posters up on their walls and advertising flyers readily available for reading. Perhaps what they say holds water, we shall know next week.

Nokia N-Gage booth at CGA Asia 2007 September 10, 2007

Posted by stvchang in Game shows, games, games demo, gaming news, handphones, Nokia.
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Nokia’s N-Gage game is being displayed on LCD screens hooked to several N-series handphones. Although the games rather simple in gameplay and are pixelated on the LCD screens, they do show promise for games available on handphones.

Some of the games on show are:-

Hooked on: Creatures of the Deep (fishing game)

Asphalt 3: Street Rules (racing game)

Mile High Pinball (pinball game)

Space Impact: Kappa Base (side-scrolling shooter)

EA’s FIFA 08 (football game)

Nokia’s online suite, OVI. August 30, 2007

Posted by stvchang in games, gaming news, handphones, Nokia.
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Nokia’s OVI is a three in one internet services that will allow its members to access an online music store, the N-gage games as well as Nokia Maps. While N-gage games and Nokai Maps have been available from Nokia’s website for sometime now, the Music Store is a wholly new product.

In a move that competes with Apple’s ITunes Music Store directly, Nokia’s very own Music Store is obviously targeted for high speed users. Owners of HSDPA handsets can purchase 192KBps DRM protected WMA tracks from Universal Music Group and several other unnamed labels. Buyers will be able to stream their purchase over the cellular networks and two-way sync with their PCs, which is not available from Apple’s ITunes store, and this could be the edge Nokia OVI has over ITunes.

Other application within OVI includes the revamped and tuned N-Gage games, which is now dedicated to games on the N Series 60 handsets. PC users can head to http://www.ngage.com/ to download a free application that allows you to browse, try and buy the games for the said N Series handsets, which as of now are N73, N81, N81 8GB, N93, N93i, N95 and N95 8GB. Games currently listed as The Sims 2 Pets from Electronic Arts, Asphalt 3 from Gameloft and Crash Bandicoot from Vivendi Games Mobile as well as Nokia’s own titles like Snakes Subsonic and System Rush: Evolution.

Prices are not made known, so we will have to wait till November when OVI is made available in selected markets.

Nokia introduces OVI, and unleashes new multimedia models August 30, 2007

Posted by stvchang in games, gaming news, handphones, Nokia.
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In Nokia’s Go Play event in Singapore yesterday, Nokia have rolled out their own internet services brand, OVI. Meaning “the door” in Finnish, OVI will be the gateway to access Nokia’s Music Store, N-Gage games and Nokia Maps.

At the same event, Nokia also introduced four multimedia phones, all to be available in the last quarter of 2007. These models are the N95 8GB, N81, 5610 and 5310 XpressMusic models.

Details of OVI and the new models will be up shortly.

Nokia BL-5C battery may explode during charging. August 14, 2007

Posted by stvchang in handphones, tech news.
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Nokia have issued a product advisory for the Nokia BL-5C handphones battery, manufactured by Matsushita Battery Industrial Co. Ltd. of Japan between December 2005 and November 2006. Matsushita have produced a total of 46 million pieces of these batteries during the period stated above.

Nokia have stated that they “has identified that in very rare cases the affected batteries could potentially experience over heating initiated by a short circuit while charging, causing the battery to dislodge”, and “very rare cases”, the overheating could short circuit resulting in explosive burns. Nokia have went on to saying that they have only recorded over 100 such incidences worldwide, and in all these 100 cases, the overheating occurred during the charging of the batteries only.
Nokia have also made it very clear that other batteries in their whole range are safe, and have suggested for users of the BL-5C battery to “monitor” its condition during charging, if possible. The affected handphone models using the BL-5C battery is as below:-

Nokia 1100, Nokia 1100c, Nokia 1101, Nokia 1108, Nokia 1110, Nokia 1112, Nokia 1255, Nokia 1315, Nokia 1600, Nokia 2112, Nokia 2118, Nokia 2255, Nokia 2272, Nokia 2275, Nokia 2300, Nokia 2300c, Nokia 2310, Nokia 2355, Nokia 2600, Nokia 2610, Nokia 2610b, Nokia 2626, Nokia 3100, Nokia 3105, Nokia 3120, Nokia 3125, Nokia 6030, Nokia 6085, Nokia 6086, Nokia 6108, Nokia 6175i, Nokia 6178i, Nokia 6230, Nokia 6230i, Nokia 6270, Nokia 6600, Nokia 6620, Nokia 6630, Nokia 6631, Nokia 6670, Nokia 6680, Nokia 6681, Nokia 6682, Nokia 6820, Nokia 6822, Nokia 7610, Nokia N70, Nokia N71, Nokia N72, Nokia N91, Nokia E50 and Nokia E60.

Nokia will replace all batteries from Matsushita if you are affected. You will need to check that your battery is indeed the BL-5C as follows:-

At the front, “Nokia” and “BL-5C” is printed.

At the back, you can find “Nokia” and “BL-5C” on the top and take note of the 26-digit serial number at the bottom.

With this 26-digit serial number, enter to this Nokia site, scroll down to the bottom and enter the serial number into the box. Hit “submit” and you will be notified if you qualify for the battery replacement and how to go about getting it, or not.

Please note that this applies to only ORIGINAL Nokia BL-5C battery manufactured by Matsushita Battery Industrial Co. Ltd. of Japan. So please don’t bother if you own a “replica” version. If you do, please be aware of this situation as it may as affect your “replica” battery as well.

Saving your iPhone battery life. July 26, 2007

Posted by stvchang in handphones, tech news.
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For those of you out there who are absolutely rich and have landed yourself an iPhone, Apple’s recently posted a completely obvious guide to getting the most out of your iPhone’s battery lifespan. As an iPhone battery replacement will cost you to the tune of USD80 a pop, the guide is rather simple but very effective.

The trick is to putting your iPhone to sleep with the sleep / wake button when you’re not using it. According to Apple, “You will still be able to receive calls and text messages while it is locked, but nothing happens if you touch the screen.”

Very cool indeed. And now you have been informed.

LG Shine KE970 review. July 16, 2007

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LG Shine KE970, I had checked out this phone when it was just released, but had not the time to do a full review. Here it is, better late than never.


At 99.8 x 50.6 x 13.7 mm and 118 grams weight, LG’s KE970 “Shine” does indeed, err… shine. With full metal body, the phone is slightly on the heavier side, but fits in my pants pockets without much bulge either. Sporting a clean face with minimal buttons, the first thing that strikes you that the mirror display is indeed very… errr… shiny (geez, pun is intended). With the phone not active, you will use it for checking your hairdo frequently, if you are as vain as I am.

The face is completed with two buttons and a roller bar at the bottom, with two touch sensitive buttons on its side. Sliding up the phone proves simple as the slide is very firm, but you will find that you may smudge the mirror face very easily. The keypad hidden underneath is a Razr inspired metal etched type, which are big enuff to accomodate larger male fingers. Scrolling is achieved via the roller bar, but its a one line per roll and not auto scroll if u hold down the roller bar, strange.

 With 2.2 inches, the native of 320×240 is brilliant indoors, but can be a little difficult to see under the sun, with the screen being under the brilliant but smudge and oil magnet of the faceplate. Colors are lively, and the screen make taking pictures using the onboard 2MP camera a breeze.

Pictures taken on this phone is of acceptable quality for a 2MP camera phone. It uses a Schneider Kreuznach lens, autofocus, an LED photo light and a very small portrait mirror all at the back. Some of the camera’s more advanced settings include the ability to adjust the focus mode, set a timer, add a color effect, adjust the white balance and even take multiple pictures in quick succession. You can also use the camera to shoot videos with digital zoom only available on this mode (no zoom in photo mode). Strange.

Shine has a built in music player supports MP3, WAV, AAC, AAC+ and AAC++ files, with an equaliser and even shuffle mode. Shine has 48MB built in memory and is also shipped with a 1GB micro SD card for more storage space for your photos and music. LG has provided an inline remote with a 3.5mm jack adapter should you prefer to use your expensive headsets for your listening pleasure. Very well thought of LG. But no A2DP stereo bluetooh support. This tri-band EDGE (no 3G) phone also has flight mode, document viewer, as well as a cool world clock that displays a globe. Battery talk time is at 3 hours, and 280 hours standby period.

Summary: Cool phone to show off to, but smudges way too easy to maintain its pristine look. Has very standard phone feature, but at RM1399, its a very cool phone to show off to.
Rating: 8/10