Xiaomi’s Second 18:9 Smartphone May Be the Redmi Note 5

Xiaomi’s next smartphone looks like it has been outed by TENAA, the China certification authority. Speculated to be the Redmi Note 5, it looks quite different than the previously leaked photos.
The listing at TENAA shows a very familiar looking Redmi design on the back, with only a single camera sensor. There looks to be two different models under the same design – MEE7 and MET7. The differences seems to be on features rather than looks.
The Redmi MEE7
An octa-core processor will be at the heart of the two phones, running at 2GHz. When paired with the 5.99 inch LCD screen 2160 × 1080 pixels, this information points to the upcoming Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 as the CPU on the new Redmi.
One model will have a 3GB RAM and 32GB storage combination, while the other is a 4GB/64GB combo. The listing also shows that the Redmi Note 5’s infrared sensor will be present, as well as a large 4000mAh battery built in.
The Redmi MET7
Imaging will be done via a rear 12-megapixel camera sensor, and selfies through a 5-megapixel front shooter. We can also expect dual-SIM support, as well as microSD support up to 128GB. A wide selection of colours will also be available: Black, Gold, Rose Gold, While, Blue, Red, Pink, Gray and Silver are up for grabs.
We can expect Redmi Note 5 to be launched sometime by end of the year, or early next year. If Xiaomi can keep the phone in the affordable Redmi price range, it could be another hit for the Chinese brand.
(Source: TENAA 1, 2 )
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Mysterious HTC Smartphone Gets Certification in China

A new HTC smartphone has appeared on TENAA, the Chinese certification agency’s database. Interestingly, it doesn’t look like the upcoming HTC U11 Life nor the rumoured U11 Plus.
The listing on TENAA shows a 5.5-inch 1440 x 2560 pixel IPS display dominating the front of the phone. Unlike the HTC U11, this phone is without a fingerprint scanner on the front. HTC has moved it to the rear, just below the camera sensor.
The mysterious HTC smartphone
On that note, the sensor on the back is a 12 megapixel unit – most likely the same as the one on the U11. However, the selfie shooter has been downgraded to a 5 megapixel unit according to the listing.
At the heart of the phone is an octa-core processor, paired to either 4GB or 6GB of RAM, with a maximum 128GB storage option available. The battery on this unit is a 3850mAh unit – which should be enough to power the phone throughout the day.
This could be a market-specific model for HTC – a China-only release may be a possibility here, especially since these specs don’t tally with those leaked by @evleaks (even if he also refers to the TENAA listing later). Plus, we look forward to the 2 November event to see what they are dishing up after the partial acquisition of their smartphone team Google.
(Source: TENAA via GSMArena)
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Huawei To Join The Foldable Smartphone Race

Foldable smartphones may be the second big trend of 2018. According to CNET, Huawei already has a working foldable smartphone prototype and may be releasing it to the market next year.
Richard Yu was quoted during the Mate 10 launch that the company has a working device using foldable screen. The biggest limitation to release is the foldable screen itself. Huawei is waiting for a better flexible screen technology to emerge, and also still deciding on the mechanism of the folding action.
The current prototype features two screens – similar to the design idea of the recently launched ZTE Axon M. However, Yu said that there is still the gap between the two screens that needs to go, and he has the R&D team working hard in figuring out how to achieve that.
Huawei will be joining Samsung and ZTE in creating foldable smartphones. Samsung is still finalizing their design concept, while ZTE has gone ahead and launched the Axon M to limited markets. Will 2018 be the year of the foldable smartphone? We’re about to find out soon.
(Source: CNET)
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Digi Now Offering Huawei Mate 10 from RM999

It looks like Digi has also opened its preorder for the latest Huawei Mate 10. Sign up for a contract with the telco and get the latest flagship smartphone from Huawei from as low as RM999; that’s 63% off the retail price of RM2,699. As with the regular preorder from Huawei and from other telcos, Digi will also offer freebies worth a total of RM999 when you preorder the Huawei Mate 10.
Digi is offering the Huawei Mate 10 with its Digi Postpaid 78/108/138 plans. These plans are equipped with unlimited calls to all networks, and up to 24GB of monthly data in total.

Digi’s Huawei Mate 10 bundle comes with a 24-month contract. Orders placed from today will be delivered from 30 October 2017 onwards. The telco will also offer freebies from Huawei including a Huawei body scale, a Mate 10 premium gift box, and a premium VIP card worth a total of RM999.
Check out our hands on post for a closer look at the Huawei Mate 10. Huawei officially launched its Mate 10 series just last week at an event held in Munich. Check out our video to see the launch event.
Visit Digi now to order the Huawei Mate 10 from the telco.
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(UPDATE: Delayed) UniFi Lite 10Mbps Now Available For RM 99 Per Month: Valid Till End Of The Year

UPDATE 21/10: TM has confirmed that its UniFi Lite plan has now been delayed indefinitely. No official reason was provided.
It has come to our attention that TM is now offering UniFi Lite for RM99 per month. Originally, the 10Mbps download/5Mbps upload plan was being offered at RM129.
However, details regarding the new promotion is rather scarce at the moment. For now, the promotion has yet to appear on UniFi’s official website and this banner is the only proof of its existence.

@TMConnects @amanz minta pencerahan…. betul ke ni ? pic.twitter.com/x4qox8se8I
— ▲hm▲d ▲niq (@aniq8676) October 20, 2017

Nevertheless, TM’s customer service has actually confirmed that this banner is real and the offer will be available until the end of the year. Additionally, this offer is valid only for new installations.
We have reached out to TM to obtain further information regarding UniFi Lite RM99 promotion. So, stay tuned.
UPDATE 21/10: It appears TM has pulled the UniFi Lite RM99 promotion. On its @TMConnects twitter account, the company announced that “due to reasons that cannot be avoided”, the UniFi Lite RM99 plan has been delayed. The company did not elaborate further.

Hi. Atas sebab yang tidak dapat dielakkan, kami akan menangguhkan kempen UniFi Lite RM99. Kami mohon maaf di atas kesulitan ini.
— TMConnects (@TMConnects) October 21, 2017

(Source: aniq8676 // TM Connects – 1, 2 via Amanz)
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Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 Review: A More Practical, But Less Exciting Sequel

Killing the bezel is one of the main focus points of smartphones this year. Some of the most notable phones that did this include the Samsung Galaxy S8+, the LG V30, the iPhone X, and of course, the one that arguably started it all, the original Xiaomi Mi Mix. Now, we have its successor, the Mi Mix 2.
Naturally, the Mi Mix 2 is more refined than its predecessor. It has hardware befitting of a 2017 flagship smartphone, it has better camera performance, and most importantly, it has a more practical form factor. However, the Mi Mix 2…is just not as exciting. It’s not a bad device, of course, but it’s not as impressive as its predecessor.
Specifications

Packed with Qualcomm’s best chipset yet, the Mi Mix 2 is one capable smartphone. This, together with 6GB of RAM and up to 256GB of fast UFS 2.1 storage, the Mi Mix 2 is without a doubt a well-equipped phone. That being said, there is one hardware that doesn’t quite fit in: its 5.99-inch 2160 x 1080 FHD+ IPS display.
In a market where other smartphones with similar 18:9 displays have higher resolution panels, the Mi Mix 2’s 1080p display certainly doesn’t come off as impressive. Nonetheless, there is an advantage to this – it’s not very power hungry, which helps in the battery life department.
Design

One of the Mi Mix’s key design elements is brought over to the Mi Mix 2: the ceramic back. Not only does the rear ceramic panel look and feel great, it adds a premium touch to the device. After all, how many smartphones have a ceramic back?
Premium ceramic back, but not without its downsides.
Then again, the Mi Mix 2’s ceramic back does come with a couple of issues. Not only is it a fingerprint magnet, it is also very slippery. To make matters worse, the phone’s aluminium frame with matte finish is equally slippery too. Thankfully, the Mi Mix 2 comes with a thin, rubberised case in the box. I find myself using the phone exclusively with the case on, and it’s certainly better than the thick, leather case bundled with the first Mi Mix.

And then we have the Mi Mix 2’s almost bezel-less display, which…isn’t quite as impressive as its predecessor’s. See, the Mi Mix 2’s top bezel is actually slightly thicker than the original Mix; we imagine some space had to be made for the earpiece. The bottom bezel, on the other hand, isn’t quite as minimal too. The Galaxy Note 8, for example, has thinner bottom bezel. Of course, this isn’t exactly a fair comparison considering the fact that the Note 8’s top bezel isn’t as thin as the Mi Mix 2.
Not quite as impressive bezel-less display, but an improvement nonetheless.
But the Mi Mix 2’s display is definitely an improvement over the first Mi Mix. Instead of a 6.4-inch 17:9 display, the Mi Mix 2 comes with a taller and smaller 5.99-inch 18:9 display. This, in turn, make for a more compact and easier phone to use with one hand.

Beyond the display, the Mi Mix 2 is a solid smartphone. It looks and feels premium, it’s very well-built, it has a nice heft to it. In theory, the Mi Mix 2 should be more durable than the Mi Mix too; its aluminium frame should be able to take more dings than the Mi Mix’s more brittle ceramic frame.
In recent times, Xiaomi smartphones are equipped with very quick and accurate fingerprint sensors, and the same remains true for the Mi Mix 2. I can unlock the phone quickly with the sensor, and its placement is just nice for me to reach with my index finger.

By today’s standards, the Mi Mix 2 isn’t quite as awe-inspiring as its predecessor; other smartphones already sport sleeker-looking displays and design. That is not to say it’s not a well-designed phone: the Mi Mix 2 is one of the sleekest devices in the market now – it’s just not as groundbreaking as the first Mi Mix. Oh, it also lacks a 3.5mm headphone jack.
User Experience

On the surface, MIUI 9 isn’t all that different from MIUI 8. There’s no app drawer, there are some bloatware here and there – though they’re easily organised into a single folder – and…MIUI 9 feels pretty lightweight and zippy, which doesn’t really come as a surprise considering how capable the Mi Mix 2 is.
There is, however, one feature that’s new to MIUI 9: Split Screen Mode. As its name suggests, it allows two applications to run side-by-side, and thanks to the Mi Mix 2’s 18:9 display, there’s more screen real estate to take advantage of Split Screen Mode. Then again, Android 7.0 Nougat – which debuted last year – already had a similar feature.

Beyond Split Screen Mode, there are still quite a number of oddities that still persist in MIUI 9. I still can’t expand notifications by swiping down with one finger (I’ll have to swipe down with two fingers or pinch to zoom instead), it’s only possible to remove notifications with a right swipe, and some apps such as Facebook Messenger and Telegram don’t show their notifications on the lock screen.
MIUI 9 still needs work on how it handles notifications.
These are by no means huge issues with MIUI 9, but they are unintuitive; most versions of Android don’t have these niggling issues. That being said, note that our unit of the Mi Mix 2 is running on a beta version of MIUI 9, but these oddities have been present for the longest times in MIUI.

Software aside, the Mi Mix 2 is one powerful smartphone. It’s very responsive throughout the review period, there’s no noticeable stuttering at all, and it’s very pleasant to game with. After all, it’s powered by Qualcomm’s powerful Snapdragon 835 chipset: this level of performance is really expected.
Fast, powerful smartphone.
Chances are, the Mi Mix 2’s 1080p display helps in the performance department too: there are less pixels to push. Despite not having the highest resolution display in the market, the Mi Mix 2’s display isn’t bad at all. It looks sharp enough, colours are vibrant, and it can get plenty bright.

There’s also an added advantage to the Mi Mix 2’s 1080p display: long battery life. Although the phone only has a 3,400mAh battery, it can return some impressive battery life. On average, I was getting anywhere between five to six hours of screen on time.
Fast charging on the Mi Mix 2 is pretty impressive too: within 30 minutes of charging, I managed to get 50% of battery life. Not the quickest charging rate I’ve seen, but still good nonetheless.

The Mi Mix 2 is a fast, practically-sized – especially in comparison to its chunky predecessor – and provides very good battery life; it’s really quite an enjoyable smartphone to use. The only thing that I don’t quite like is how MIUI 9 – well, MIUI in general – handles notifications.
Camera

Featuring the very same 12MP sensor as the Xiaomi Mi 6 (minus the telephoto lens), the Mi Mix 2…is a decent shooter. I can get some really good shots under ideal lighting, and the camera can lock in focus pretty quickly most of the time. Not surprisingly, the camera app is pretty responsive too, but only when the lighting is good.
The Mi Mix 2’s camera is good, but hugely dependent on good lighting.
In low light conditions, the camera performance of the Mi Mix 2 – much like the Mi 6 – deteriorates. The camera app feels more sluggish, focusing speeds aren’t quite as fast anymore, and images can get quite noisy too. Enabling HDR – yes, there’s no auto HDR here – definitely improves image quality, but there’s a good two to three seconds pause in between shots.

Much like how it was with the original Mi Mix, the Mi Mix 2’s front-facing camera is placed on the lower right corner. While I can take selfies in normal orientation by just rotating the phone upside down, this doesn’t work in third-party apps like Snapchat and Instagram, which…can get troublesome.

Nonetheless, the Mi Mix 2 isn’t a bad shooter by any stretch of the word. With some patience and good composition, the device can snap some really good shots – just don’t expect it to be effortless. The camera has never been Xiaomi’s strongest point, but the Mi Mix 2’s camera performance is still commendable.
Sample Images

Competition

Coming up with competition for the Mi Mix 2 is a bit of a challenge: it’s not officially available in Malaysia yet, although it will very likely arrive here soon. That being said, AP units of the Mi Mix 2 are already sold locally, so let’s take that as a benchmark.
All variants of the Mi Mix 2 have 6GB of RAM, and it comes in three storage capacities: 64GB, 128GB and 256GB. Retailing at RM2,499, RM2,699 and RM2,999 respectively, the Mi Mix 2 offers pretty good value for money, especially for its feature set.
Plenty of value for money.
At that price point, the most immediate competition to the Mi Mix 2 is none other than the Samsung Galaxy S8+. Although the latter retails at RM3,699 when it was launched here, it can be purchased for less than RM2,900 now.

For that kind of money, the Galaxy S8+ offers a sharper and more impressive 6.2-inch 1440p Super AMOLED Infinity Display, 64GB of expandable storage – the Mi Mix 2 does not have a microSD card slot – a much superior camera performance, as well as an IP68-rated body.
But the Mi Mix 2 does have its fair share of advantages as well. For one, it comes with more RAM at 6GB, and it has an edge in terms of battery life despite packing a slightly smaller 3,400mAh battery – its more compact and lower resolution display definitely help in this aspect too.

Another interesting competition to the Mi Mix 2 is the OnePlus 5. Retailing at RM2,388 and RM2,688 for the 64GB/6GB and 128GB/8GB variants respectively, the OnePlus 5 offers better value for money. It comes with the same Snapdragon 835 chipset as the Mi Mix 2, it has better camera performance – a dual-camera setup, at that – as well as a near-stock Android experience.
Then again, the Mi Mix 2 offers a sleeker design thanks to its almost bezel-less display, not to mention better battery life as well – Xiaomi definitely knows a thing or two when it comes to power efficiency.
Conclusion

The Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 is a sleek and capable flagship smartphone – it’s also much more practical and refined than the first Mi Mix. However, its finicky camera performance and software experience mar an otherwise excellent flagship phone with good value for money.
If you can live with the Mi Mix 2’s average camera and the oddities of MIUI 9, it’s certainly a compelling flagship. It’s not quite as exciting as its predecessor, but it’s the next logical step for the series – it’ll be interesting to see what the Mi Mix 3 will bring to the table.

Photography by Leon Lam.

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Razer Launches Kiyo Camera and Seiren X Microphone: Made For Game Streamers

Video game live-streaming has become an increasingly popular activity as of late. Hence, it is not surprising to see the famed gaming peripherals maker Razer has been coming out with products to tackle this market including the new Kiyo camera and Seiren X microphone.
Right off the bat, the new Razer Kiyo has been claimed as the first desktop camera in the world to come with adjustable ring light. There are apparently 12 levels of brightness on the ring light with color temperature rating of 5600K and 10 lux brightness at 1m.

Kiyo is capable of delivering 720p video output at 60fps as well as 1080p at 30fps and 4MP (2688×1520) still images. The USB-based camera is also equipped with an omni-directional microphone and game streamers should be happy to know that Kiyo is compatible with popular game streaming program such as Open Broadcaster Software and XSplit.
For those who prefer to have dedicated microphone, Seiren X could be perfect for the job. According to Razer, the new USB condenser microphone is apparently the first in the world to come with built-in shock mount.

Featuring a 25mm condenser capsule with supercardioid pickup pattern, it also comes with a 3.5mm headphone port for seamless monitoring. The removable desk stand helps Seiren X maintain its portability.
Available immediately through Razer’s online store, the new Razer Kiyo and the Razer Seiren X are priced at RM 499 each. With that, expect to see them at physical stores very soon.
(Source: Razer, Razer Online Store Malaysia – 1, 2)
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GALAX GTX 1080 Ti HOF Watercooled Graphics Card Now In Malaysia, Alongside EXOC White Models

GALAX recently has released several new top-of-the-line graphics card into our market. One of them comes in the form of GTX 1080 Ti Hall of Fame (HOF) Watercooled which the name itself might have already described its purpose.
Designed for users that are aiming to take full advantage of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti GPU, this particular card comes standard with full length water block. GALAX claimed that this helped the card to run at only 45C at full load and it even comes with customizable RGB lights.
GALAX GTX 1080 Ti HOF Watercooled graphics card.
Despite natively designed to be overclocked, the card’s standard clock speed is rather modest with base clock of 1569MHz and boost clock of 1683MHz. That being said, this is already higher than NVIDIA’s default clock speed. Complete with eye-catching white-colored 12-layers PCB and three 8-pin connectors, GALAX has also implemented 16 + 3 power phase setup into the card to ensure its stability.
At the same time, users are also able to get their hands on GTX 1080 Ti EXOC and GTX 1080 EXOC-SNPR White graphics cards in Malaysia as well. Both cards are equipped with Silent Extreme Technology thermal solution that feature two sets of LED fans alongside cooper heatpipes in order to provide high performance cooling capabilities to them.
(L – R): GALAX GTX 1080 Ti EXOC White and GALAX GTX 1080 EXOC-SNPR White graphics card.
Interestingly, the GTX 1080 Ti EXOC White comes with NVIDIA’s reference PCB design but the GTX 1080 EXOC-SNPR White features custom PCB alongside 5 + 2 power phase setup. Nevertheless, both cards are equipped with aluminum backplate as standard.
Price-wise, the GTX 1080 Ti HOF Watercooler card can be obtained immediately for RM 4699, while the GTX 1080 Ti EXOC and GTX 1080 EXOC-SNPR White are listed at RM 3799 and RM 2669 respectively. For more information on these cards or where to get your hands on them, you can reach out to the company via GALAX Malaysia’s official Facebook page.
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The Malaysian Data Breach – Vigilance and Public awareness key to keeping safe

Data is the new currency of the realm, and the data breach that happened earlier this week in Malaysia is not going to be the last.
Lets be frank here, Equifax, a US based credit score rating agency earlier this month acknowledged that hackers had breached the company’s system and stole over 145.5 million customers information ranging from credit reports, personal identification numbers and even credit card details.
This still pales in comparison to the 3 billion Yahoo accounts, and data which was compromised in 2013, or the alleged Apple iCloud breach that was supposed to involve 250 million AppleID’s.

Stop pointing fingers
There is no use pointing fingers, or finding someone to blame. Its a useless exercise as in this day and age, data is handled and transacted by just too many people that lapses are bound to happen. The MCMC (Malaysian Communications And Multimedia Commission) can’t be making sure that every bit of data collected is secure, and neither was the recently passed PDPA (Personal Data Protection Act) meant to block the collection of legitimate data.
Companies who are in charge of storing mass amounts of data needs to take a hard look at their security practices to safeguard their data.
As long as there is a market, there will always be people who are willing to pay for huge amounts of personal data, and as long as there are people willing to pay, there will be somebody somewhere who will be willing to take a risk and sell it.
The rise of digital crypto-currencies like Bitcoin which provides a means of transaction with very little of a digital trail is just going to facilitate the sale of these illegally obtained data even more.
The MCMC as well as the PDRM, and other relevant authorities are investigating the source of the breach. Even if they are able to find a source, there is just no way of knowing how much of the data has already landed in the wrong hands. And this might not be the last time it will happen.

Source of Breach
Companies that are alerted of a data breach should immediately conduct a forensic audit to see how much of their systems have been breached. In the case of Equifax, a proper forensic audit was done and the information was made public.
They also set up a dedicated site to ensure that their customers were able to check if their information was involved in the breach, and what preventive measures they should take to avoid any misuse of their personal data.

Public Awareness
If an when a breach has taken place, each and every one who has had their data exposed needs to be alerted as soon as possible. Banks and financial institutions also need to be alerted on the individuals who’s data has been compromised. Otherwise, the people who have got hold of this personal information will be able to fake documents and details, and use it to apply for everything from personal loans to credit cards without raising an eyebrow.
Identity theft also becomes a very real issue if enough of your personal information is exposed. If you are a victim of a data breach, make sure that you monitor your credit card and bank accounts for any suspicious transactions or activity.

Cloned Sim Cards
In the case of the Malaysian breach, we noted that data from some telecommunication companies were also being sold. The data didn’t just include phone numbers, and personal details of the user – it also included unique International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI), unique International Mobile Equipment Identity or IMEI numbers as well as sim card numbers.
This wealth of information makes it extremely possible for sim cards to be cloned. If you notice any suspicious activity on your phone, or you receive unexplained text messages or phone calls, immediately contact your banks to alert them to temporarily freeze your account, as well as your telecommunications provider to get a replacement sim card.

Vigilance
Last week, in lieu of October being the Cyber Security Awareness Month, we highlighted the increase in spoofed calls from Banks which are virtually impossible to differentiate from an authentic call. Be extra vary of any incoming phone call, and as much as possible do not disclose any information to the other party. Whenever possible, walk into the bank or any other institution that made the call to verify whether they did indeed try to contact you.
Armed with detailed information, unscrupulous individuals will resort to social engineering (nothing to do with social media), to psychologically manipulate you to reveal information, or conduct transactions that you would not normally do. Always double check the identity of the caller, and be extra vigilant when you receive suspicious calls from people you don’t know.
No one person, or agency can be tasked with protecting personal and private data. Everybody needs to come together to ensure that when a data breach happens, the public at large is immediately notified, and remedial action is taken before the data is abused.
As we complete this article, another massive data breach involving 30 million citizens has been discovered in South Africa.
Extra vigilance, and awareness is the two best defenses we have right now.
Welcome to the age of high-profile data breaches.
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#LYTV: iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus Unboxing

The new iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus are now officially available in Malaysia. The new iPhones have a familiar design, but the new glass backs and colours give them a slightly different personality.
As before, there are a few differences between the iPhone 8 and the iPhone 8 Plus. The iPhone 8 has a 4.7-inch display and a 12MP rear camera, while the larger iPhone 8 Plus sports a larger 5.5-inch display with a 12MP + 12MP dual camera setup.
But, as the unboxing video above shows, the retail boxes are not much different from each other. Check out our first impressions of the new iPhones in our hands-on here.
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