HONOR 9X Pro Hands On: The First HMS-Powered HONOR Smartphone

The HONOR 9X Pro isn’t a brand new device, by any measure of the description. The phone made its debut in China last year, alongside its non-Pro sibling. Unfortunately, the phone didn’t see a simultaneous release with its sibling and the current trade war between the US and China didn’t help its case.
Nearly a year after its launch, the phone is very nearly here in Malaysia and we got a chance to lay out hands on it.
Let’s start with the shape and design of the HONOR 9X Pro. In all honesty, the phone is identical to the HONOR 9X, save for a couple of things. For a start, the phones comes with a side mounted fingerprint sensor, which also serves as its power button. Second, that three dimensional, dynamic “X” pattern looks more pronounced than its non-Pro sibling.

On that note, it should be noted that HONOR is only bringing in the model with the Phantom Purple colour scheme and not the Midnight Black version.
Even its 5.69-inch Full HD+ display is identical to the HONOR 9X and even employs the same mechanised pop-up selfie camera that’s nestled at the top of the phone.

The HONOR 9X Pro (Left) and HONOR 9X (right).
Aesthetics aside, let’s move on to the internals of the HONOR 9X Pro. Unlike the HONOR 9X, the phone runs on the more power-efficient and more powerful 7nm Kirin 810 SoC, has 6GB RAM, and 256GB of expandable storage.
The bad news is, because the Kirin 810 is one of several Huawei components on the US’ ban list, the HONOR 9X Pro is the brand’s first smartphone to ship out without the much venerated Google Mobile Services (GMS), and the first roll out with Huawei Mobile Services (HMS).

The absence of GMS being a shame and notwithstanding, just having the Kirin 810 inside the HONOR 9X Pro makes a difference; interactions felt smoother, apps load faster, and even browsing through the internet felt snappy.
Then there’s the HONOR 9X Pro’s main triple camera module and its 48MP sensor. According to the brand, one key difference between the HONOR 9X Pro and its non-Pro brethren is the NPU (Neural Processing Unit) that comes with the Kirin 810. Saying that this enables the main camera to retain more detail when taking pictures, as well as reducing noise.

Sadly, that wasn’t what I saw during my brief session with it. In the few pictures I captured with the phone, I found one pretty major flaw with the phone: image distortion. Specifically, the image distortion seems centre-focused, which means that many subjects in the picture look as if their edges were being pulled – sucked in, even – to the middle. I would like to tell you that this is unnoticeable to the untrained eye, but the fact is that it is a rather glaring issue.
The distortion issue is quite plain to see, as you can from the areas circled in red.
At the time of writing, the product testing engineer that was present tells me that it the distortion issue could be software-based and that he would look into it. Hopefully, by then, HONOR will have rectified the issue before its yet undetermined launch in Malaysia.
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HONOR 9X Pro Hands On: The First HWS-Powered HONOR Smartphone

The HONOR 9X Pro isn’t a brand new device, by any measure of the description. The phone made its debut in China last year, alongside its non-Pro sibling. Unfortunately, the phone didn’t see a simultaneous release with its sibling and the current trade war between the US and China didn’t help its case.
Nearly a year after its launch, the phone is very nearly here in Malaysia and we got a chance to lay out hands on it.
Let’s start with the shape and design of the HONOR 9X Pro. In all honesty, the phone is identical to the HONOR 9X, save for a couple of things. For a start, the phones comes with a side mounted fingerprint sensor, which also serves as its power button. Second, that three dimensional, dynamic “X” pattern looks more pronounced than its non-Pro sibling.

On that note, it should be noted that HONOR is only bringing in the model with the Phantom Purple colour scheme and not the Midnight Black version.
Even its 5.69-inch Full HD+ display is identical to the HONOR 9X and even employs the same mechanised pop-up selfie camera that’s nestled at the top of the phone.

The HONOR 9X Pro (Left) and HONOR 9X (right).
Aesthetics aside, let’s move on to the internals of the HONOR 9X Pro. Unlike the HONOR 9X, the phone runs on the more power-efficient and more powerful 7nm Kirin 810 SoC, has 6GB RAM, and 256GB of expandable storage.
The bad news is, because the Kirin 810 is one of several Huawei components on the US’ ban list, the HONOR 9X Pro is the brand’s first smartphone to ship out without the much venerated Google Mobile Services (GMS), and the first roll out with Huawei Mobile Services (HMS).

The absence of GMS being a shame and notwithstanding, just having the Kirin 810 inside the HONOR 9X Pro makes a difference; interactions felt smoother, apps load faster, and even browsing through the internet felt snappy.
Then there’s the HONOR 9X Pro’s main triple camera module and its 48MP sensor. According to the brand, one key difference between the HONOR 9X Pro and its non-Pro brethren is the NPU (Neural Processing Unit) that comes with the Kirin 810. Saying that this enables the main camera to retain more detail when taking pictures, as well as reducing noise.

Sadly, that wasn’t what I saw during my brief session with it. In the few pictures I captured with the phone, I found one pretty major flaw with the phone: image distortion. Specifically, the image distortion seems centre-focused, which means that many subjects in the picture look as if their edges were being pulled – sucked in, even – to the middle. I would like to tell you that this is unnoticeable to the untrained eye, but the fact is that it is a rather glaring issue.
The distortion issue is quite plain to see, as you can from the areas circled in red.
At the time of writing, the product testing engineer that was present tells me that it the distortion issue could be software-based and that he would look into it. Hopefully, by then, HONOR will have rectified the issue before its yet undetermined launch in Malaysia.
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SOCAR Malaysia To Launch Trevo, A People-To-People Car Sharing Platform

Hailing from South Korea, SOCAR car sharing service offers a different approach to transportation in Malaysia. Interesting enough, the company is now working to officially introduce another car sharing platform called Trevo in our market later this month.
Even though both SOCAR and Trevo are essentially car sharing service, they are still fundamentally different from each other. Operated by Future Mobility Solutions which is a subsidiary of SOCAR Malaysia, Trevo’s service revolves around vehicles from other users while SOCAR operates its own fleet of vehicles.

This way, Trevo has also injected a interesting element into the car sharing market which comes in the form of the ability to rent out your own car via the platform:

In terms on how much can one earn when they rent out their vehicles through Trevo, the company didn’t provide an exact price range but then again, there is already a handy calculator on its official website. As an example, a 2011 Proton Saga can apparently make around RM 360 per month if it is booked for 10 days in a month via the platform.
On another hand, everyone’s favourite supercar Perodua Myvi of same age can gain around RM 550 per month according to the calculator. As for the rental rate, you can apparently get a car from RM 65 per day depending on the specific model and age.

While the official introduction might only take place sometime next week, Trevo has actually begin its operation since a few months ago. In fact, you can actually experience the service yourselves through its Android as well as iOS app right away.
That being said, we believe that SOCAR Malaysia who has just received an investment of USD 18 million (~RM 75.2 million), might have additional things to say about Trevo at its official launch next week. So, stay tuned.
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HONOR 9X Pro: The First HWS-Powered HONOR Smartphone

The HONOR 9X Pro isn’t a brand new device, by any measure of the description. The phone made its debut in China last year, alongside its non-Pro sibling. Unfortunately, the phone didn’t see a simultaneous release with its sibling and the current trade war between the US and China didn’t help its case.
Nearly a year after its launch, the phone is very nearly here in Malaysia and we got a chance to lay out hands on it.
Let’s start with the shape and design of the HONOR 9X Pro. In all honesty, the phone is identical to the HONOR 9X, save for a couple of things. For a start, the phones comes with a side mounted fingerprint sensor, which also serves as its power button. Second, that three dimensional, dynamic “X” pattern looks more pronounced than its non-Pro sibling.

On that note, it should be noted that HONOR is only bringing in the model with the Phantom Purple colour scheme and not the Midnight Black version.
Even its 5.69-inch Full HD+ display is identical to the HONOR 9X and even employs the same mechanised pop-up selfie camera that’s nestled at the top of the phone.

The HONOR 9X Pro (Left) and HONOR 9X (right).
Aesthetics aside, let’s move on to the internals of the HONOR 9X Pro. Unlike the HONOR 9X, the phone runs on the more power-efficient and more powerful 7nm Kirin 810 SoC, has 6GB RAM, and 256GB of expandable storage.
The bad news is, because the Kirin 810 is one of several Huawei components on the US’ ban list, the HONOR 9X Pro is the brand’s first smartphone to ship out without the much venerated Google Mobile Services (GMS), and the first roll out with Huawei Mobile Services (HMS).

The absence of GMS being a shame and notwithstanding, just having the Kirin 810 inside the HONOR 9X Pro makes a difference; interactions felt smoother, apps load faster, and even browsing through the internet felt snappy.
Then there’s the HONOR 9X Pro’s main triple camera module and its 48MP sensor. According to the brand, one key difference between the HONOR 9X Pro and its non-Pro brethren is the NPU (Neural Processing Unit) that comes with the Kirin 810. Saying that this enables the main camera to retain more detail when taking pictures, as well as reducing noise.

Sadly, that wasn’t what I saw during my brief session with it. In the few pictures I captured with the phone, I found one pretty major flaw with the phone: image distortion. Specifically, the image distortion seems centre-focused, which means that many subjects in the picture look as if their edges were being pulled – sucked in, even – to the middle. I would like to tell you that this is unnoticeable to the untrained eye, but the fact is that it is a rather glaring issue.
The distortion issue is quite plain to see, as you can from the areas circled in red.
At the time of writing, the product testing engineer that was present tells me that it the distortion issue could be software-based and that he would look into it. Hopefully, by then, HONOR will have rectified the issue before its yet undetermined launch in Malaysia.
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Samsung Hits Galaxy Phones Worldwide With A Weird Push Notification (UPDATE)

UPDATE (20 Feb / 7:00PM): Samsung Malaysia has responded to the issue.
ORIGINAL STORY (20 Feb / 6:20pm):
Samsung Galaxy phone users received a weird notification from the company on 20 February 2020. The push notification simply stated the number “1” twice, and seemingly came from Samsung’s Find My Mobile feature.
It’s not known what this may represent, but it is likely an accidental error from Samsung themselves. Various sources have reported that the strange notification was sent to Galaxy S, A, J and Note devices around the world at different times.

I received it on my Note FE at 3:40pm, while our friends at Amanz received the notification on their Galaxy device at 1:58pm. However, the push notification vanished when tapped on for inspection, but did not cause anything suspicious.

Recently, a notification about “Find My Mobile 1” occurred on limited number of Galaxy devices. This notification was confirmed as a message sent unintentionally during internal test and there is no effect on your device.
— Samsung Malaysia (@SamsungMalaysia) February 20, 2020

Samsung has responded on Twitter regarding the odd occurrence, stating that the push notification was indeed accidental. The company confirmed that it was a message sent unintentionally during internal testing, and will cause no effect on devices that received it.
(Source: Amanz / The Verge / Android Central.)
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Shell Malaysia Waives TnG Top-Up Fee At Stations Along PLUS And East Coast Expressways

Shell Malaysia announced that it is waiving the RM0.50 Touch ‘n Go (TnG) fee at all of its stations along PLUS expressway (NKVE and ELITE) and East Coast Expressway (ECE). The company previously launched this initiative back in January, where it also forgo the top-up fees at stations along the North-South Expressway (NSE).
Managing director of Shell Malaysia Trading Shairan Huzani Husain states that the company understands the challenge against the rising cost of living in Malaysia. Shell is hoping that this initiative will help Malaysians to save and get more out of their journeys, he adds.

The company also recently signed a memorandum-of-understanding (MOU) with TnG to support fuel payment for the former’s RFID users. Once rolled out, fuelling bays at Shell stations will have overhead RFID scanners that will subsequently deduct the fuel amount from the user’s TnG eWallet.
The RM0.50 top-up waiver at Shell stations is effective immediately. Alternatively, users could also use Waze to navigate to surcharge-free TnG top-up locations all across Malaysia.
(Source: The Edge Markets.)
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Sabah Court Passed Four Sentences With AI Assistance

The Kota Kinabalu magistrate court meted out sentences with assistance from artificial intelligence (AI). This is a first for the Malaysian judiciary. The Malay Mail reports that four cases were heard by magistrate Jessica Ombou Kakayun, who meted out sentences to two accused after reviewing recommendations from the AI.
The AI itself doesn’t pass any sentences, but merely provides recommendations. These are made based on precedence found in the courts database between 2014 and 2019. This is so that sentences are consistent from one case to another, which is a common complaint.

Tan Sri David Wong, Chief Justice for Sabah and Sarawak, said the using AI also speeds up the judicial process. Having it go through previous cases means the magistrate doesn’t have to while listening to submissions.
Currently, the AI is being used for two offences. They are drug possession under Section 12 of the Dangerous Drug Act, and rape under Section 378 of the Penal Code. In the future, it will be used in civil cases as well.
This is definitely another interesting application of AI in Malaysia. An earlier, but very recent example was MyEG’s AI-powered coronavirus risk profiling system, which it made available to Malaysia and the Philippines.
(Source: Malay Mail)
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Alleged Sony Xperia 9 Images Shows Device With Triple-Camera Setup And A Thick Bezel

Sony, among other exhibitors, had planned on announcing its supposedly new Xperia 1.1 flagship at MWC 2020 before it got cancelled. Now a new leak is suggesting that the phone isn’t called the Xperia 1.1, but the Xperia 9.
The source of the rumour stems from a press render posted on Reddit recently. Interestingly, the render also gives us a glimpse what Sony’s next Xperia flagship looks like. Unsurprisingly, the legitimacy of the render is questionable at best.
From the image, it’s clear that the alleged Xperia 9 sports a main triple-camera module; initial reports suggested that Sony’s upcoming flagship would sport a quad-camera module instead. Complete with a 64MP primary sensor and a kind of periscope module for what could very well be a long-distance optical zoom function.

Then there’s the display of the Xperia 9. The image suggests that the phone will have a thick forehead bezel. Similar to Google’s own Pixel 4 smartphone. It’s a highly suspect design, especially when you take into consideration just how conservative Sony tends to be when it comes embracing new designs or trends for its smartphones.
In any case, Sony says that it will be hosting a live streaming event via its official YouTube channel to make up for this year’s MWC 2020, although it hasn’t said when. Until then, take this bit of news with a large grain of salt.
(Source: Reddit via GizChina // Image: Reddit)
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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip Passes SIRIM Certification; Local Launch Imminent

Surprisingly, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip did not make an appearance during the local launch of the new S20 series on 12 February. However, a recent discovery by Amanz has revealed that Malaysia will be receiving Samsung’s new foldable phone after all.
Amanz reports that SIRIM had granted certification to the Galaxy Z Flip, bearing the model number SM-F700F, on its E-ComM page. Surprisingly, the phone was approved on 31 January 2020, ahead of the S20 series which received their certifications later in early February.

To quickly recap, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip features a 6.7-inch Dynamic AMOLED FHD+ foldable screen, a Snapdragon 855+ chipset, 8GB RAM, 256GB interal storage, and a battery capacity of 3300mAh. The phone also features an external dual 12MP camera setup and a 10MP internal selfie camera.
The company’s second foldable phone is priced at US$1380 (~RM5702) in certain regions and is available in Mirror Black, Gold and Purple colours. Samsung Malaysia has yet to reveal the Galaxy Z Flip’s local release date and pricing.
(Source: SIRIM via Amanz.)
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Android 11 Developer Preview Features 5G Metering, One-Time Apps Permissions

Google has made available the developer preview version of Android 11. The company commonly does this before releasing a full version of its mobile OS. This time, the dev preview version came a little early. Though this is only available for the company’s Pixel devices for now.
From this, we get a sneak peek of what to expect from the full release later in the year. With the Android 11 developer preview, there looks to be better 5G awareness overall, and better low-latency video decoding for a better streaming experience.
There’s also quite a change in the way the OS grants apps permission. This can be sensitive features like your location data or camera. There’s a new option now to allow one-time permissions, which will make the app ask for it again the next time it needs it. Currently, you can choose to deny permissions requested by an app, allow only when the app is in use, or to simply grant it free access whenever it wants it.

Another major change comes in the way the OS handles messaging apps, your chats, and their notification. For one, your conversations will appear in Bubbles, sort of like the Facebook Messenger app. Notifications for them will also all be grouped together. And from there, you’ll be given the ability to reply using images.
Other changes that can be found on the Android 11 Developer Preview includes support for more screen types and biometrics, as well as the interaction between airplane mode and Bluetooth connectivity we reported on earlier.
(Source: Google)
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