OnePlus Admits To User Data Collection, Promises To Stop By End October

Carl Pei himself has confirmed that OxygenOS – the operating system used on OnePlus smartphones – has been collecting private user data. He, however, claimed that the company will be ending the data collection by end October.
Pei commented in a forum thread that OnePlus was collecting data,”so we can better understand general phone behavior and optimize OxygenOS for a better overall user experience.” That said, OnePlus did not specify what kind of data was collected, but the CEO did say it includes telephone numbers, MAC Addresses and WiFi information.
OnePlus said the reason of the data collection is to “provide better after-sales support to its customers.”

Users can opt-out of the usage analytics collection program by navigating to ‘Settings’ -> ‘Advanced’ -> ‘Join user experience program’. By November, all phones running OxygenOS will feature a prompt in the initial setup wizard that will ask users if they want to join in the user experience program.
That said, OnePlus should already have collected all the information available from its customers. So opting out of the programme probably won’t do much at this point.
(Source: OnePlus )
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iPhone X Price in Malaysia Starts From RM5,149

The Apple online store in Malaysia has revealed the retail price for the iPhone X, and it isn’t good news for those looking to get the iconic tenth anniversary iPhone.
The base 64GB model of the iPhone X is priced at RM5,149 in Malaysia, while the 256GB model is priced at a whopping RM5,899. This easily trumps the Samsung Galaxy Note 8’s RM3,999 price tag, as well as the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus’ retail prices as well.
The iPhone X is the company’s most advanced smartphone yet. It has a unique edge-to-edge display that has a notch at the top portion, which houses an advanced FaceID module, which analysts say is 2.5 years ahead of the competition. In terms of hardware, the iPhone X is also catching up to flagship Android smartphones, with a blazing fast A11 Bionic processor paired with 3GB of RAM, a 2,716mAh battery, and a 5.8-inch TrueTone bezel-less display with a resolution of 2436 x 1125.

What is interesting to note is the fact that these retail prices are quite inflated when compared to their official prices in the US. The iPhone X 64GB retails for $999 (about RM4,200), while the 256GB model goes for $1,150 (about RM4,850) – that’s almost a RM1,000 premium on each phone. This may be due to a variety of reasons – our weak currency may be one of them – but nevertheless, it is quite painful to see.
The Apple online store hasn’t yet revealed the availability dates for the iPhone X in Malaysia, but now that the price has been revealed, it may not be too long down the line. The real question would be: will it be worth paying above RM5,000 for a smartphone?
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Apple Watch Series 3 Priced From RM 1,549 In Malaysia From 20 October

After announcing the price of the iPhone X and the iPhone 8, Apple also announced the price for the new Apple Watch Series 3. There is only one model available, and it is not the cellular option.
Customers looking to get the updated smartwatch from Cupertino will be presented with two options – the 38mm and 42mm wrist band. The price for the former is RM 1,549 while the larger band will be RM 150 extra at RM 1,699.
There are a few colour options available on the website, as well as the exclusive Nike+ model. The new Apple Watch Series 3 boasts new features such as improved heart-rate monitoring, faster processor and better Siri support, in a case that is only slightly thicker than the outgoing Series 2.

Unfortunately, Malaysia is not getting the cellular model, which allows iPhone-free connectivity and calling with the new Apple Watch Series 3. Only the GPS-enabled model is available for order here for now. We have no idea if this will change in the future.
On a surprising note, the new Series 3 watch is cheaper by about RM100 when compared to the discontinued Series 2, which started at RM 1,649 when it first made available here.
Apple will start accepting orders for the Series 3 starting from 20 October. With the price reduction, it may be a good time to invest in the Apple Watch Series 3.
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HP Envy 13 Review: A Premium, Versatile Ultraportable That Punches Above Its Weight

Premium ultraportables are aplenty in the market. In this segment, some manufacturers focus on releasing the thinnest possible laptops, while others put emphasis on versatility with convertible offerings.
The HP Envy 13, on the other hand, looks to be an “ordinary” laptop. It’s not the thinnest laptop in the market, nor is it as versatile as a convertible. It does, however, nail the essential parts of a laptop very well, and that’s what makes it such a good ultraportable.
Specifications

Our review unit of the Envy 13 is the top-of-the-line model with a Core i7-8550U processor, a generous 512GB SSD storage, as well as a dedicated Nvidia GeForce MX150 GPU. All three variants of the Envy 13 are listed on HP Malaysia’s online store.
Design

Right off the bat, the HP Envy 13 is a sleek, premium-looking laptop. It sports a minimalist design, and its slim bezels give it a modern aesthetic. Thanks to the thin side bezels, the Envy 13 is pretty compact for a 13-inch Ultrabook too, although it is by no means as compact as, say, the Dell XPS 13.
But in comparison to the XPS 13, the Envy 13 is noticeably thinner. Measuring only 13.95mm thin, it’s a slim laptop. It also weighs about 1.38kg, which is par for the course for premium ultraportables. But what makes the size and weight all the more impressive is the fact that this laptop packs a discrete GPU (even if it is a low-end one).

Lift the lid of the Envy 13 and you’ll be greeted with a white backlit keyboard and a pretty narrow trackpad. Unfortunately, the backlit keyboard only has one level of brightness: it’s either on, or off. Personally, I don’t quite mind this, but I imagine some users will want the ability to customise the brightness of the keyboard’s backlighting.
When it comes to build quality, the Envy 13 is a well-built, solid laptop. It looks and feels premium, the hinge feels solid – though I can’t open the lid with only one finger – and the Silk Gold colourway looks really good. In fact, at certain angles, it doesn’t look like a gold laptop at all.
Connectivity is also one of the Envy 13’s strong suits. It features two USB-C ports, two USB-A ports, and a microSD card slot. It’s great to see that HP decide to retain USB-A ports on the Envy 13 instead of going all in with USB-C connections only.

In the design department, there’s no denying the sleek appeal of the Envy 13. It’s well-built, its slim bezels make it a compact ultraportable, and it boasts a rather generous connectivity option too.
User Experience

What defines a good user experience when it comes to ultraportable laptops usually comes down to one vital hardware: the keyboard. In the HP Envy 13’s case, it has a pretty darn good one. The keyboard has a good amount of travel, the keys have a nice tactile feedback, and the standard layout takes little to no effort getting used to. However, the keys do feel a tad too soft and pillowy, though it’s still a pleasant keyboard to type on.
And then we have the Envy 13’s trackpad, which is…decent. It is largely accurate, and it can recognise gestures like two-finger scrolling well. That being said, I do have one qualm with the trackpad: it’s too narrow. It’s a wide trackpad, yes, but I constantly find myself wanting more vertical space instead; it would’ve been easier to do two-finger scrolling.

Unlike most laptop makers – which opt for very high resolution displays – the Envy 13 is packed with a modest (but practical) 13.3-inch 1080p IPS display. While it’s not exactly as sharp as other premium laptops’ displays in the market, it’s more than a decent display. It can get bright enough, colours are vibrant, and most of all, it makes for very good battery life – I do wish it was a touch display though.
Nonetheless, battery life is certainly one of the Envy 13’s strong suits. While I didn’t record exactly how long the Envy 13 can last on a single charge, I can easily get through a typical day of work without plugging in the charger. I wasn’t even trying to conserve as much battery life as possible: I left the power plan at its recommended setting, and I set the display to be bright enough for comfortable use.
All that said, though, I highly doubt I would have been able to hit HP’s claimed 14 hours of battery life on this machine.

The Envy 13’s heat management is good as well. In normal usage, the palm rest area stayed cool, although the laptop does warm up a little bit in extended gaming sessions. On top of that, the Envy 13’s fan noise doesn’t get too loud either; audio from games can usually drown it out.
Speaking of which, the Envy 13 has a very good audio system. Even though it’s a slim and light ultraportable, I’m quite surprised by how good its sound system is. It can get pretty loud, audio quality is good, and…it’s just a really enjoyable laptop for media consumption.

A good keyboard is essential for a productivity-focused laptop, and the Envy 13 definitely fulfills this criteria. It has a decent – albeit a bit too small – trackpad, a good display, and a surprisingly great audio system too. However, again, I do wish the Envy 13 had a touch display – I find myself tapping on the screen more often than I care to admit thinking it was a touch display.
Performance

Although the HP Envy 13 is really a productivity-focused laptop, it can be purchased with a dedicated GPU inside – rare for a 13-inch ultraportable laptop. The Pascal-based Nvidia GeForce MX150 is not quite as powerful as, say, a GTX-tier GPU, but it is capable for some casual gaming sessions. Even when I maxed out the graphics settings in Dota 2, I’m still getting very high and stable frame rates.
In games like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, however, I had to tone down the graphics settings quite a bit to get a playable frame rate. In retrospect, this is actually pretty impressive, especially considering PUBG’s unoptimised nature.

However, to get this kind of performance, I had to do some…tweaking. See, out of the box, the Envy 13 will stutter even with modest graphics settings in Dota 2. After some quick Googling, this Reddit thread pretty much solved my issue.
Once I’ve checked the “Disable Turbo” box on ThrottleStop, games run much, much smoother on the Envy 13. Chances are, HP implemented some form of thermal throttling to ensure the Envy 13 doesn’t overheat or exceed its power limit. Needless to say, tweaking with the CPU’s setting isn’t recommended, but it did net better gaming performance.

Beyond gaming, the HP Envy 13 is a fast, zippy laptop. Its Core i7-8550U processor is plenty capable, and its fast PCIe SSD definitely helps with keeping the ultraportable responsive; the 512GB of storage is just icing on the cake. If you’re using the Envy 13 as a productivity machine, you won’t miss a beat with it.
Competition

As a premium ultraportable, the HP Envy 13 has quite a number of competitors. One of the most noteworthy alternatives to HP’s offering is definitely the Dell XPS 13. Retailing from RM4,999, the base model of the XPS 13 offers a similar 13.3-inch Full HD non-touch display as the Envy 13, a Core i5-8250U processor paired with 4GB of RAM, a 128GB SSD, as well as Intel UHD Graphics 620; no discrete GPU here.
On the flipside, the base model of the Envy 13 offers double the RAM and SSD storage at 8GB and 256GB respectively; this particular variant also comes with the same Core i5-8250U and integrated graphics as the XPS 13. The best part is, this model of the Envy 13 goes for only RM3,999 – that’s RM1,000 less than the most affordable XPS 13.

That being said, the XPS 13 does trump the Envy 13 in several areas. For one, it is more compact than the Envy 13 thanks to its slimmer bezels. On top of that, it also offers a better trackpad and a more versatile connectivity options, thanks to the inclusion of an SD card slot. However, whether or not these benefits outweigh the RM1,000 price difference is up to each individual’s preferences.
Another interesting competition to the Envy 13 is the Lenovo Yoga 720; there’s currently only one variant of the laptop in Malaysia. It features a 13.3-inch Full HD IPS touch display, a previous-gen Core i7-7500U processor paired with 8GB of RAM, a generous 512GB SSD, as well as a convertible form factor; the Envy 13 is just a standard laptop.

However, the Yoga 720 retails at a whopping RM5,899. Compare this to the highest-end RM5,499 Envy 13, which comes with a newer Core i7-8550U processor, the same RAM and SSD capacities, as well as a GeForce MX150 GPU – the Yoga 720 only comes with Intel integrated graphics. Of course, the Envy 13 isn’t a convertible like the Yoga nor does it have a touchscreen, but it’s definitely a more capable machine courtesy of the dedicated GPU and newer processor.
Conclusion

The HP Envy 13 is a solid ultraportable with respectable gaming performance. It’s not quite on the same level as a dedicated gaming laptop, but its MX150 GPU is surprisingly capable; I reckon it can run most modern games with some graphics tweaking here and there.
However, the Envy 13 is of course not perfect. While I’m quite fond of its keyboard and sleek design, the aggressive CPU throttling can be an issue – but nothing third-party software like ThrottleStop can’t solve – and its smaller than usual trackpad as well as non-touch display do mar an otherwise excellent Ultrabook.
At the end of the day, the HP Envy 13 is still a very interesting productivity-focused laptop with very respectable gaming performance. Currently, it is also the only 13-inch laptop with a dedicated GPU; this factor alone makes it a very compelling ultraportable for those who want to do more than just productivity tasks.

Photography by Leon Lam.

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#LYTV: Samsung Galaxy Note FE Malaysia Launch

The Samsung Galaxy Note FE has been launched in Malaysia, and it will be available for purchase from 25 October onwards. Retailing at RM2,599, it’s quite a compelling alternative to the Galaxy Note 8.
Most of the Galaxy Note FE’s hardware is identical to the ill-fated Galaxy Note 7, except for its slightly smaller 3,200mAh battery. After all, the former really is a refurbished Note 7. Nonetheless, the Galaxy Note FE has a 5.7-inch 1440p Super AMOLED display, an Exynos 8890 chipset paired with 4GB of RAM, 64GB of expandable storage, a 12MP dual-pixel rear camera with optical image stabilisation, a 5MP front-facing shooter, as well as an IP68-rated chassis and S Pen.
If you’re keen to get the Samsung Galaxy Note FE, it will be available for purchase in Malaysia from 25 October onwards for RM2,599. Unlike how it was in South Korea, the Note FE is not a limited release in our market; it will be a part of Samsung Malaysia’s portfolio.
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Honor 6A Pro Now In Malaysia For Only RM699

Want a new smartphone but don’t feel like forking out a small fortune for an ultra-premium flagship smartphone? Well, with a price tag of only RM699, the Honor 6A Pro might just be the device for you.
Two days ago, Honor Malaysia teased a smartphone that will be arriving in Malaysia soon. Well, it appears to be the Honor 6A Pro. DirectD, one of the largest retailers here, is already taking pre-order for the device.

Considering the Honor 6A Pro’s hardware, you are getting pretty good value for money. The device sports a 5-inch 1280 x 720 HD display, a Snapdragon 430 processor paired with 3GB of RAM, 32GB of expandable storage, a 3020mAh battery, and a rear fingerprint sensor.
As for the camera, the Honor 6A Pro comes with a 13MP rear camera that can lock in just 0.5 seconds – according to Honor, anyway – which will be nice to have for action shots. The front-facing shooter, on the other hand, is a 5MP camera.

The Honor 6A Pro will run on EMUI 5.1 based on Android 7.0 Nougat, and the device comes with a metal body, which will give the device a more solid and premium feeling to it. Not too bad considering that the phone only costs RM699.
If you are interested in the Honor 6A Pro, DirectD is taking pre-order for the device. You can check out DirectD’s post on Facebook or its official website if you are keen in placing an order for the device.
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Photo Essay: Authorised Mi Store Suria KLCC

Xiaomi’s Authorised Mi Store in Suria KLCC is finally open for business today. Although it’s not the first Authorised Mi Store in Malaysia – that’ll be the one in Queensbay Mall, Penang – it is Xiaomi’s first physical store in the Klang Valley area.
Officially operational starting from today, here’s a quick look at Xiaomi’s Authorised Mi Store in Suria KLCC – it carries quite a number of interesting products, including Mijia-branded ones.

Naturally, Xiaomi smartphones are displayed prominently in the middle of the store.
The just released Xiaomi Redmi Note 5A.
The Xiaomi Mi A1 corner was one of the most crowded areas.

There are also quite a number other products, including this sleek Mi LED Desk Lamp.
All the power banks you’ll need.

There are some bags and luggage too.

The Xiaomi Amazfit smartwatch.

Unfortunately, the Mi TV is only for display here.

At the moment, the Mijia Rice Cooker, Water Kettle, Mi Drone, and Mi Notebook are not for sale in Malaysia. That being said, we were told that Xiaomi is planning to bring these into our local market by the end of the year.

Xiaomi has plans to bring in this Mijia Electric Scooter into Malaysia as well.

The Authorised Mi Store in Suria KLCC isn’t exactly a Mi Home, but it does share similar-looking setup and design: clean and minimalist. The retail store is now open for business, so if you’re around Suria KLCC, it may be worth a visit. After all, it’s the first Authorised Mi Store in Klang Valley.
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Samsung’s New And Improved Bixby 2.0 Is Coming On 18 October

Samsung’s very own digital assistant, Bixby, hasn’t exactly been well-received; it faced quite a number of delays and isn’t quite up to par to its competition. This, however, may change in the near future: Samsung is said to be releasing an upgraded version of Bixby dubbed Bixby 2.0.
Expected to be announced on 18th October 2017 in San Francisco at Samsung’s annual Developer Conference, Bixby 2.0 will allegedly expand to third-party services as well as integration beyond smartphones. Chances are, Samsung could be looking at some form of smart home integration.

Comparing to other existing virtual assistants such as Google Assistant and Siri, Bixby is not really performing up to par with its rivals. The lack of third-party support and sluggish voice commands makes it feel like an unfinished product; even Samsung admits that its own digital assistant still has room for improvement. Hopefully, these shortcomings will be addressed with the next version of Bixby.
More information on the upgraded Bixby will most likely be available after Samsung’s Developer Conference on 18th October. It will be interesting to see how Samsung will improve its own digital assistant, especially since it’s working closer with more third-party developers.
(Source: The Korea Herald)
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Seagate 12TB Hard Drives Are Coming To Malaysia: Price Starts At RM 2199

Seagate recently has announced that selected hard drives under its Guardian Series can now be obtained with up to 12TB of storage space. If you have been wondering whether these 12TB hard drives will be making their way into Malaysia soon, Seagate’s representatives that we met at serverDNA II Gamers Gathering event yesterday have a good news for you.
In case you not familiar with the Seagate Guardian Series hard drives, they are generally divided into three main groups. One of them is the BarraCuda series which houses the family’s titular name as well as BarraCuda Pro, and FireCuda.

Seagate BarraCuda hard drives are meant for general consumers while BarraCuda Pro and FireCuda drives are designed for high-performance users and content creators although products under FireCuda do offer added performance due to their solid state hybrid nature.
In addition to that, there is also the SkyHawk series which offers hard drives for surveillance purposes while IronWolf hard drives are made for network attached storages. For enterprise-level as well as creative professionals, they can opt for IronWolf Pro drives too.

However, the 12TB option is only available for BarraCuda Pro, IronWolf, and IronWolf Pro series at the moment. Priced at RM 2499, RM 2199, and RM 2599 respectively, customers can expect to see them in Malaysia by late October or early November.
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Rumour: Custom GTX 1070 Ti Graphics Cards May Not Be Overclockable

A new rumour has surfaced regarding a possible “feature” of upcoming custom GTX 1070 Ti graphics cards. According to multiple sources, all custom Nvidia GTX 1070 Ti cards will feature the same frequency speeds, because they won’t be overclockable.
An industry insider was quoted by Eteknix saying that all custom GTX 1070 Ti graphics cards will not be overclockable. This means that all custom cards will come with the same clock speeds, regardless of the brand. That said, these cards may still vary in terms of pricing because of their cooling system and design.

Contrary to this statement, folks at Experview mentioned that despite having the same core clock speeds, custom GTX 1070 Ti graphics cards may still be overclockable via third party software. That said, if Nvidia decides that it doesn’t want people fiddling with the GTX 1070 Ti, then the company may enable “restrictions” on the GPU, which will make it incompatible with most overclocking tools.
According to previous rumours, Nvidia’s GTX 1070 Ti may likely come at base and boost clock speeds of 1607MHz and 1683MHz respectively. One shouldn’t forget, however, that Nvidia Pascal GPUs are endowed with a feature called “GPU Boost 3.0.” With GPU boost, the Pascal GP104 GPU powering the GTX 1070 Ti will “automatically” increase its max clock speeds based on the type of cooling system used – possibly up to 2GHz.

Still, disabling manual overclocking on the GTX 1070 Ti may put off some consumers from getting one; which is bad business for Nvidia. But, looking at it from Nvidia’s perspective, enabling overclocking on the GTX 1070 Ti may make the GTX 1080 “obsolete” in the eyes of consumers. Regardless, do take this rumour with a grain of salt, at least until the official launch of the GTX 1070 Ti.
(Source: Eteknix, Expreview)
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