Vivo V15 Pro Will Be Available For Pre-Order In Malaysia Starting 26 Febuary

Aside from introducing the new V15 Pro to local media, Vivo has also revealed another important information regarding the release of the phone in our market. As it turns out, consumers in Malaysia are able to pre-order V15 Pro very soon.
Specifically, the V15 Pro is slated to be open for pre-order starting 26 February. That said, we still don’t know much about the phone.

Vivo Malaysia kept a tight lip when it came to details on specs, so what we know now is limited to what we found out earlier from Vivo India’s website. This includes the popup 32MP front-facing camera and a 48MP sensor among the three rear cameras.
With the pre-order opening on 26 February, it is likely that the company will reveal more details on that day. Hopefully said details will include specs, price and availability.

As for the standard V15, Vivo Malaysia has said that it will be launched at a later date. For now, the company is not yet sharing when that will be, what its specs will be like and what will its price be as well. Meanwhile, don’t forget to check out our initial hands-on impression of the new Vivo V15 Pro right here.
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Vivo V15 Pro Hands On: An Aesthetically Pleasing Full Screen Phone with Unique Selfie Camera

For the past few weeks, Vivo has been teasing the imminent arrival of its new V15 series which features a pop-up selfie camera. As if those teasers were not enough, we had early access to the spanking new V15 Pro at a media session earlier today.
To start, the most obvious thing about the phone is that the display has the front of the phone all to itself. This is a very refreshing sight, and not exactly a common thing anymore since the advent of notches and cutouts.

The phone itself sits quite nicely in hand. There’s a surprising amount of heft to it for something so thin. And it feels pretty obvious that it’s mostly in the top half of the phone, for reasons that will be clear soon.
Looking around, most things are where you expect them. Round the bottom, you see the Micro-USB port, flanked by the speaker grille and the SIM tray. The power button is on the right, with the volume rocker sitting above it.

Oddly enough, there’s another tray on the left. The tray is where you’ll put your microSD cards – that’s right, the SIM and microSD cards get their own trays.
There’s also another button on the left, just below the microSD card tray. pressing this brings up the Google Assistant. This makes for a secondary way to bring up the assistant. We’re not sure if it can be reprogrammed to do something else, or if it can be turned off, but it’s very much reminiscent of Samsung’s Bixby key.

At the top, you’ll find the 3.5mm jack and a segment that looks like it’s been cut out. The segment sits right where the rear camera bump is, which is pretty smart as far as aesthetic design goes.
And yes, the rear camera bump is still here although I personally not a fan of it. On the bump, you’ll see the three-camera array with an LED flash. At this moment, we are not privy to their actual specs but we do know from Vivo India’s website that one of the camera has a 48MP sensor.

Now, to get back to the question of the 32MP selfie camera. That’s what the cutout at the top is for, and it pops up whenever you engage the front-facing camera, or when you choose to unlock the V15 Pro using facial recognition.
Due to our limited time with the device, we not able to check out the potential capabilities of the V15 Pro though. Nevertheless, one thing we can tell you for sure that this phone is quite a looker not only due to the excellent Topaz Blue finish but also the two-tone effect that Vivo has applied to it.

After all the phones with notches on the screen, the V15 Pro is a breath of fresh air, what with nothing else taking up screen space. That, and the pretty Topaz Blue colourway may be reason enough to get one, but we’ll have to wait until we put it through its paces – and find out its price – before we decide for sure.
For now, Vivo Malaysia has yet to reveal the exact release date for the V15 Pro in our market. Nevertheless, it shouldn’t take long though since the phone will be made available for pre-order on 26 February.
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PlatinumGames Unveils Astral Chain: An Action Game Made Exclusively for Nintendo Switch

Nintendo has announced Astral Chain, an action game that will be made available exclusively for Nintendo Switch. Based on the early clips that were released earlier today, the game comes with a futuristic setting, starring what look to be police officers.
Made by PlatinumGames which are known for titles such as Bayonetta and NieR: Automata, so there’s no doubting the action segments of the game. In fact, from the looks of the trailer, it has very familiar elements from one of PlatinumGames’ previous title, the Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance.

Despite the police unit featured in the trailer, it looks like enemies will consist of monsters of some kind. These are apparently humanoid special weapons by Legion, a likely terrorist organization of some sort.
The game is set to be released on 30 August 2019, so there’s still quite some time before it launches. Hopefully, either PlatinumGames or Nintendo will share more details on the game by then.
(Source: PlatinumGames // Nintendo)
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Canon EOS RP Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera Is Coming To Malaysia; Price Starts At RM 5999

After the leak just a few days ago, Canon has now officially unveiled its EOS RP mirrorless full-frame camera. True to the rumours, the new model does indeed feature a more compact body without sacrificing the full-frame sensor.
The camera, similar in size as the EOS 77D, includes a 26.2 megapixel CMOS sensor paired to the DIGIC 8 image processor. The sensor also features Dual Pixel AF technology for precise autofocus in both photo and video mode. The AF covers 4,779 manually selectable AF points and a wide AF coverage area of 88% horizontal and 100% vertical in the image.

Using the new Canon RF mount, the RP can mount EOS-RF lenses, as well (when using adapters) all existing EF, EF-S, TS-E and MP-E lenses. As the new EOS RP is designed for ease of use, the EOS RP also features Visual Guide mode first seen on the EOS 77D. This mode gives easy-to-understand guides for beginner photographers in capturing great photos.
The new camera also includes support for 4K/24p and 1080/60p video recording, fully articulated 3-inch 1.04M-dot touchscreen, a 2.36M-dot OLED viewfinder, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Unfortunately Canon did not include and in-body image stabilization, so all anti-shake will happen in the lenses.

The camera comes with an array of ports including USB Type C, and HDMI, alongside headphone and microphone ports for videography. Not to forget, the EOS RP also relies on a single SD card slot.
Along with the EOS RP, Canon also announced a slew of new lenses. This includes the new RF15-35mm f/2.8L IS USM, RF 24-70mm f/2.8L IS USM, RF85mm f/1.2 L USM and the RD 85mm f/1.2 L USM DS with Defocus Smoothing (DS) for softer and smoother bokeh.
Comparing the new EOS RP (right) with the EOS-R.
Canon is pricing the EOS RP at RM 5999 for the body only, and RM 10999 for the body and the RF 24-105mm f.4L IS USM lens as a kit. Both packages will be available from March onwards. No prices nor availability was shared for the new lenses in Malaysia.
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Tetris Gets Roped Into Battle Royale Craze With Tetris 99

With the battle royale trend going strong, it’s really no surprise anymore when a new game of the genre gets announced. What is surprising though is when even Tetris gets roped into the trend through the new Tetris 99 for Nintendo Switch.
That said, if you’ve heard of competitive Tetris, then the idea should be a familiar one. You have to keep yourself from stacking pieces all the way to the top while getting opponents to do so. The only difference is that instead of two people battling it out, there are 99.

The iconic puzzle game #Tetris arrives, but with an online experience like no other–99 players enter, but only one reigns supreme! #Tetris99 is available to download now, exclusively for #NintendoSwitchOnline Members.
— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) February 13, 2019

It’s an unlikely game to get the battle royale treatment, but as what we can see here, it seemed totally feasible. If anything, it looks like a forced change of strategy for longtime Tetris players, who usually stack everything up and wait to score a Tetris (clearing four rows at once).

Tetris 99 is free to download for subscribers of Nintendo Switch Online. More importantly, you don’t have to wait long for it as Tetris 99 is available to be enjoyed right now.
(Source: Nintendo [1], [2])
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Metro Exodus To Still Be On Steam Despite Platform Switch

It’s no secret that Metro Exodus has been under the spotlight for all the wrong reasons of late, However, the most recent decision by the game’s developer, 4A Games, to allow the game the be pre-loaded on Steam is actually raising the eyebrows of many.
To be precise, 4A Games confirmed via its official Twitter account (@MetroVideoGame) that Steam users who pre-ordered the game back before it switched platforms to Epic Games Store will be able to pre-load the game. With more announcements related to the game to follow.
Pre-loading games prior to their official launch is not a new concept. The practice is widely and universally accepted by gamers alike, as the feature basically allows those with slower connections and internet speeds to download massive game files. Saving said gamers the pain and many hours of downloading the game at launch.

Just to confirm – Metro Exodus pre-load for existing Steam pre-order customers WILL HAPPEN, and we will announce expected start time in due course.
— Metro Exodus (@MetroVideoGame) February 12, 2019

The biggest, if not greatest irony in this situation is that while the game will now be a timed exclusive on the Epic Games Store, 4A Games has said (also via Twitter) that it has no intentions of allowing pre-loading on the platform.
To recap, Metro Exodus was originally supposed to have been released on Valve’s Steam platform. The game’s publisher, Deep Silver, then made a last minute decision to instead release the game on the Epic Games Store. Primarily because of the 88% cut it is willing to give to developers.

Will it also be on the epic store I wonder?
— subwolf21 (@subwolfgaming) February 12, 2019

As one would expect, the outcry and backlash from gamers who had pre-ordered the game a year prior on Steam were understandable. To date, the incident led to several retaliations, with gamers actually review bombing the last two Metro titles over Deep Silver’s decision. Followed by the publisher actually making an indirect and subtle threat, saying that the franchise may not see another sequel should its latest title fail to sell on the PC.
(Source: Techspot)
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Google Is Speeding Up Development Of Own Chipset; Seeks To Challenge Apple

Google has reportedly given the directive to ramp up the development of its own proprietary chipset for future Pixel devices. The chipset, currently referred to nonchalantly as “gChips”, when completed, would enable Google to go toe-to-toe with Apple and its own proprietary A-Series mobile chipset.
According to multiple sources, Google recently hired more 20 engineers from the “Silicon Valley” of India, Bengaluru. In order to double down on the production of its gChips. These aren’t just your run-of-the-mill engineers either; out of the 20, several of these engineers were formerly under the employment of Qualcomm, NVIDIA, and Intel.
Smartphone manufacturers that make their own chipset are nothing new. Wherever possible, companies like Samsung, Huawei, and (obviously) Apple ship out their mobile devices fitted with their respective Exynos, Kirin, and A-Series chipsets. Rather than using third-party mobile chipsets from Qualcomm or MediaTEK.

One major benefit of Google developing its own chipset means the likelihood of the component being equipped with Tensor Processing Units (TPUs). Enabling all future Pixel devices to perform machine learning and AI training.
For now, it still remains to be when Google will actually make the existence of its gChips official.
(Source: Techspot, Reuters)
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YTL and Facebook To Trial Terragraph Gigabit Wireless Network In Penang

YTL Communications which you might know as the people behind Yes 4G earlier today has sent a media invite to its upcoming launch event for Facebook Terragraph trial in Penang. The trial is said to be the first large scale trial for the new wireless technology in Asia.
Said to be able to deliver gigabit speed at a much lower cost than fiber, Terragraph is a multi-node wireless technology that runs on the 60GHz spectrum and based on WiGig standard. Even though it is designed to deliver street level connectivity, Terragraph system can be connected to internal Ethernet network within a high-rise building.

In an industry event a few months ago, YTL Communications CEO Wing Lee has claimed that it is able to achieve 1Gbps with a latency of under 1ms during its internal Terragraph trial. He also further added that the performance output is better than some 5G network test out there.
Aside for the info above, we have no other knowledge regarding YTL Communications and Facebook Terragraph trial in Malaysia. Naturally, we expect more details to be revealed at the launch event on 18 February. So, stay tuned.
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Sony Wena Is A Smart Strap That Can Be Attached To A Standard Watch

When you think of wearables, the usual things that come to mind are smartwatches or smart bands. Sony has other ideas, and instead has a smart strap called Wena. This essentially gives watches smartwatch capabilities, but on the strap instead of the watch face itself.
To be precise, the Wena bands are basically an add-on accessory. Designed to clip on to your already existing collection of watch straps. They only measure in at 20mm, but are compatible with 18mm, 20mm and 22mm watches. Sony’s new accessory is also compatible with most watch bands, metallic or non-metallic.

On the subject of band variety, there’s the Wena Wrist Pro metallic strap that comes in silver or black. These will for your dress watches. That said, they also come with water resistance of up to 50m, and some basic activity logging features. The final extra detail is support for contactless payment, but it doesn’t work with Apple Pay or Google Pay.

Then there’s the Wena Wrist Active which comes with a black silicone strap. It comes with more sports-centric features, like GPS tracking and heart rate monitoring. You’ll also be able to sync it with Apple Health or Google Fit.
The Sony Wena Wrist Pro is reportedly priced at GBP399 (~RM2095), while the Wena Wrist Active costs £349 (~RM1833). If you want an actual watch to go with the smart straps, they are available between £100 (~RM525) and £450 (~RM2363). That said, these appear to only be available in the UK. At the time of writing, Sony Malaysia hasn’t listed the new accessories on its official page, neither has the brand said if it will be bringing them into the country.
(Source: Sony UK via TechRadar)
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Blizzard Still Working On New Warcraft And Diablo Games

Despite the major layoffs affecting Activision Blizzard, the latter half of the joint-publishers is said to still be working on new games. It appears that whatever savings the publisher gains from the layoffs will be funneled into existing popular properties.
As you might have realized, quite a fair number of those titles belonged to Blizzard such as Warcraft and Diablo. While there might not be big releases from Blizzard at the moment, Activision Chief Operating Officer Coddy Johnson has said that the company will be making new Warcraft games.

As for Diablo, Coddy has stated that the company will be adding more people into the development team which does sound a little counterintuitive considering the massive layoffs.
That being said, it might seemed that the company couldn’t avoid having more people in the Diablo team since the COO also pointed out that the team is currently attached to several projects and is also getting ready to launch Diablo Immortal.
(Source: VentureBeat)
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