BenQ Dynamic SW271 Monitor Promises Picture-Perfect Performance For Pros

BenQ has a new 4K monitor designed for professional photographers. The 27-inch Dynamic SW271 monitor features built-in AQCOLOR technology, which is a colour control system used by professional photographers in Hollywood.
The Dynamic SW271 is HDR10 enabled, so high dynamic range videos and images will be right at home displayed on this monitor. The colour calibration is done via hardware calibration and BenQ’s own Palette Master Elements software. This ensures the colours displayed are as true to life as possible.

Connectivity is plentiful, coming in the form of DisplayPort 1.4, HDMI 2.0, SD card reader, USB Type-C and USB 3.1 ports. It even comes with a removable shade to reduce glare from overhead lights.
Be ready to spend big on the BenQ Dynamic SW271, as the sticker price for the monitor is $1,099 or about RM4,643.
(Source: DPreview )
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The HTC U11 Life Is an Android One Phone with IP67 Rating & Premium Looks

Aside from the HTC U11 Plus, the Taiwanese company also unveiled a more budget-friendly offering, and it’s also an Android One device. From a distance, the HTC U11 Life is almost indistinguishable from the higher-end U11, but it does feature a more modest set of hardware.
Much like the U11, the U11 Life is IP67-rated, giving it dust and water resistance to an extent. On top of that, the latter also comes with the U11’s Edge Sense feature: squeezing the phone’s frame can launch apps or perform certain actions. Given the fact that the U11 Life is a mid-range smartphone, these features are pleasant surprises.
However, there are certain hardware of the U11 Life that reflect its budget-oriented price tag. Instead of the U11’s glass back, the Life has an acrylic rear panel; the metal frame has been swapped for painted plastic too.

Aside from that, other specifications of the U11 Life include a 5.2-inch 1080p display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 chipset paired with 3GB or 4GB of RAM, up to 64GB of expandable storage, as well as a 2,600mAh battery. In the camera department, the U11 Life is equipped with 16MP rear and front cameras.
For the global market, the HTC U11 Life is an Android One device running on Android 8.0 Oreo out of the box; the North American market, on the other hand, will receive a different variant with HTC’s Sense software. The U11 Life retails at $349 (about RM1,475) in the US, and it still remains to be seen if the Android One device will be available in Malaysia.
(Source: The Verge)
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OPPO F5 Goes Official In Malaysia: Features 18:9 Display and 20MP Selfie Camera with AI Beautification

As promised, OPPO today has launched its new F5 smartphone in Malaysia. Just like many of previous OPPO devices, the new phone sill revolves around the company’s “Selfie Expert” mantra.
For F5, OPPO has paired a 1/2.8-inch 20MP sensor with f/2.0 lens for its front camera which is further enhanced by a set of tech that the company referred to as A.I Beauty Recognition. Said to be years in development, the company claimed that the tech scans more than 200 spots on users’ face in order to deliver the best natural-looking selfie based on their own facial features.

The algorithm for F5’s A.I Beauty Recognition technology is apparently based on a global database that involves millions of faces throughout the world. It also helps the tech recognize user’s skin tone, skin type, gender, and age.
The same tech is apparently used for F5’s facial recognition feature that can be used to unlock the device alongside the phone’s fingerprint sensor that is located on its back. At the same time, the OPPO F5 also carries 16MP f/1.8 rear camera.

Other parts of the phone also include 6-inch FHD+ (2160 x 1080) 18:9 display, MediaTek Helio P23 MT6763T octa-core processor, and 3200mAh battery. Price-wise, the variant with 4GB RAM and 32GB storage goes for RM 1,298.
OPPO Malaysia has also revealed the F5 6GB which features 6GB of RAM and 64GB internal storage alongside F5 Youth that comes with lower resolution 16MP front camera. However, the availability and pricing details for these devices are not available at the moment.
OPPO F5 is available for pre-order starting from today onwards through OPPO Concept Store and authorized sales points throughout Malaysia. Alternatively, users can do so through OPPO Malaysia’s own online store as well as Lazada, 11street, Shopee, and other participating e-commerce platform. Celcom and Senheng will be offering the device as well.
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Moto X4 Is Coming to Malaysia Soon

The Moto X4 marks the revival or Motorola’s X series of smartphones, and chances are, the X4 will be releasing in Malaysia very, very soon.
A couple of months ago, we spotted the Moto X4 in SIRIM, suggesting that the device will be arriving on our shores soon. Well, it may have taken the company quite some time, but Motorola Malaysia just posted a rather interesting teaser on its Facebook page.
Although the teaser doesn’t reveal too much, it’s very likely foreshadowing the local availability of the Moto X4. Motorola’s emphasis on the “X” is quite an interesting clue, and a picture of the pool may be a reference to the X4’s IP68 rating.

While the Moto X4 isn’t part of the flagship series anymore – that would be the Moto Z lineup now – it has pretty respectable hardware. These include a 5.2-inch 1080p display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 chipset paired with 3GB of RAM, 32GB of expandable storage, as well as a 3,000mAh battery. It also comes with a dual-camera system (12MP primary + 8MP wide-angle) and a 16MP front-facing shooter.

Motorola Malaysia has scheduled a launch event for the Moto G5S Plus on 6 November. Hopefully, the company will share more details on the Moto X4 at the G5S Plus’ launch event this coming Monday.
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The New HTC U11 Plus Upgrades The U11 In Meaningful Ways; Coming To Malaysia December 2017

As expected, HTC has unveiled its final flagship of the year in the shape of the HTC U11+. It’s a souped-up version of the U11 released earlier this year, building on the best parts of what was already a solid flagship.
In our review of the U11, we described it as missing quite a few 2017 smartphone trends, such as the 18:9 display, slim bezels, and a dual-camera setup. Well, HTC fixed two of the three on the U11+, which sports a 6-inch 18:9 2880 x 1440 Super LCD panel with minimal side bezels.
As for the camera, the HTC U11+ still uses the same 12MP UltraPixel 3 sensor from the U11 – but that’s not exactly a bad thing; in our review the camera was a pleasant surprise, with super fast autofocus and better than expected overall performance.

Another notable addition on the U11+ is the significantly larger battery; it packs a massive 3,930mAh battery – 31% larger than the 3,000mAh cell on the U11. Given that the U11 already had a solid battery life, the larger battery could mean “real” two days of battery life.
These are on top of the other flagship level hardware: Snapdragon 835 processor, 4/6GB of RAM, 64/128GB of expandable storage, 8MP front camera, BoomSound audio (which is now 30% louder), Gorilla Glass 5, and an improved IP68 rating (from IP67).

The software sees a few upgrades too, with Android 8.0 Oreo out of the box. HTC’s Sense UI has slimmed down greatly over the years, and Edge Sense has also been enhanced with the addition of the Edge Launcher. It is a circular app launcher that activates with a squeeze on the phone’s sides, allowing you quick and one-handed access to apps, contacts, and even toggles for some settings.
As with the U11, HTC also bundles the USonic in-ear earphones, which creates a custom sound profile after mapping the user’s inner ear. These earbuds also have active noise cancelling, making them actually pretty good value as a pair of bundled earphones. There’s also a USB Type C to 3.5mm audio jack dongle, and a U11+ Clear Shield case, which works with Edge Sense.

The HTC U11+ will be coming to Malaysia in December 2017, but its price has not been revealed. It is priced at 799 Euros (it won’t be available in the US), and will come in Ceramic Black, Amazing Silver, and a unique Translucent Black colourway, which Android Authority reports will only be available in January or February 2018. Unfortunately, there’s no word yet on whether that option will be coming our way.
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Xiaomi Launches the Redmi Y1 & Y1 Lite: Affordable Selfie-centric Smartphones

Xiaomi just launched two new smartphones in India, and both devices belong to the Chinese company’s new Redmi Y series of smartphones. Basically, the Redmi Y1 and Y1 Plus are selfie-focused smartphones, and as is always the case with Xiaomi products, both devices are priced very competitively.
Let’s start with the higher-end Redmi Y1: it comes with a 16MP f/2.0 front-facing camera complete with an LED flash, which should help to get those low-light selfie shots. The rear camera, on the other hand, is a 13MP f/2.2 shooter with phase detection autofocus.
Other specifications of the Redmi Y1 include a Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 chipset paired with 3GB of RAM, as well as 32GB of expandable storage.

And then we have the more affordable Redmi Y1 Lite. It features a 5.5-inch HD display, a Snapdragon 425 processor, as well as a 3,080mAh battery.
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Sharp Aquos R Compact Is Another Smartphone with 120Hz Refresh Rate

The Razer Phone was made official just this morning, and among its list of hardware, the 120Hz display is one of the phone’s main appeals. Well, there’s actually another smartphone with a similar display in a more compact form factor: the Sharp Aquos R Compact.
Initially launched a couple of weeks ago, the Aquos R Compact features a smaller – and arguably sleeker – 4.9-inch 2032 x 1080 120Hz IGZO display with minimal top bezel. In fact, it even has a notch at the top of the display like the Essential Phone. (To some extent, similar to the iPhone X‘s notch as well).
Its other hardware, however, are decidedly mid-range. The Aquos R Compact comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 chipset paired with 3GB of RAM, 32GB of expandable storage, a 2,500mAh battery, a 16.4MP rear camera with a hybrid autofocus system, and an 8MP front-facing shooter.

Even though the Aquos R Compact isn’t exactly a flagship smartphone, it also features Bluetooth 5.0. On top of that, it ships with Sharp’s own Android skin based on Android 8.0 Oreo out of the box too.
The Sharp Aquos R Compact will go on sale sometime in December, but unfortunately, it will be sold exclusively in Japan through Softbank. Its retail price has not been revealed yet at the time of writing.
(Source: The Verge)
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Microsoft Hololens Certified As Protective Eyewear For Industrial Use; Expands Availability

Microsoft’s Hololens may not be available to consumers, but it’s making massive waves in the manufacturing industry. The augmented reality headset has passed basic impact tests for protective eyewear standards the US and Europe; in addition to receiving an IP50 dust resistance rating.
Conforming to regulations allows the Hololens to be used in more industrial applications. Something of a big deal for Microsoft as it has also announced that the Hololens is being made available in 20 European countries; at the request of several large conglomerates of course.
Companies like Ford and thyssenkrupp have been pushing Microsoft to expand availability of the mixed reality equipment for their factories in Spain, Sweden, and Turkey. Which only goes to show that maybe not every piece of advanced technology should be aimed at consumers.

One more thing coming from Microsoft is the Hololens with hard hat accessory. The product received a demo earlier this year, opening the option for mixed reality applications on construction sites. Something that may be useful for plumbers and electricians; with an overlay of the necessary plans for them to do their work in the real world.
[Source: Microsoft]

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Samsung Electronics Will Soon Increase Its DRAM Production

Samsung Electronics will soon ramp up its production of DRAM units. The company, which also happens to be one of the largest manufacturer of memory chips, is expected to increase the output of DRAM modules by the first quarter of 2018. This, of course, will affect the prices of DRAM-equipped components significantly.
Samsung Electronics’ efforts in increasing the production of its DRAM modules is aided by the company’s recent expansion of two of its manufacturing plants; located at Hwasung and Pyeontaek, South Korea. According to a report, Samsung’s Hwasung manufacturing plant will be repurposing a section (16 lines) of its 2D NAND flash area to make way for DRAM fabrication.

ETNews mentioned that in 2018, both the Samsung Hwasung and Pyeontaek manufacturing plants will produce about 60,000 units of DRAM. In 2019, it’s said that Samsung Electronics may be able to produce an additional 235,000 units, thanks to improvements of the company’s equipments. Increasing the production of DRAM modules will also help Samsung Electronics gain an advantage over its competitors like Micron Technology and SK Hynix.
Most importantly, however, is the fact that an increase in supply of DRAM will significantly affect the price of memory modules. To put it simply, RAMs and other memory-based products will become much more affordable once this happens. That said, one should only expect RAMs to only get “cheaper” sometime in the second quarter of 2018.
(Source: ETNews via TechPowerUp)
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Uber Is Pushing For More Efficient Use Of Cars And Roads

Uber’s latest campaign is something a little different from the usual corporate marketing pushes. “Unlocking Cities” is meant to start a conversation on how ride-sharing services can solve traffic and parking problems in urban areas; taking some pressure off the need to constantly build more parking spaces.
The company commissioned a study from the Boston Consulting Group to measure the impact of ride-sharing could have in Southeast Asia. A large portion of this study was done under the assumption that ride-sharing would not replace the existing public transportation networks, but rather operate as a complementary service.
According to the BCG, demand for public transportation in the SEA region outstripped supply some time in the mid-2000s. While some countries have scrambled to address this imbalance, the study concluded that the current amount spent on infrastructure is severely insufficient. According to the report, governments need to spend at least three times as much as they plan to do to avoid future problems.

Ride-sharing’s value proposition in this is to reduce pressure on public transportation networks by offering more mileage from existing assets, i.e. privately owned vehicles.
“The efficient use of some public transport networks is not what it needs to be. That’s what we’re really after. If we were just building a ridesharing busines in a silo, we would have nothing to with where trains ended, bus systems didn’t cover, or where bikes didn’t take you the last little bit up a trail. We have to do that as a coordinated effort,” said Uber Chief Business Officer APAC, Brooks Entwisle.

The idea is that personal vehicles are an inefficient use of roadspace. Every car driven by one person has at least one spare seat; and this creates a lot of wasted room on roads. This inefficiency results in traffic jams and parking issues.
According to Uber, Kuala Lumpur and its surrounding areas only need 60-percent of the current 5.8 million vehicles to properly service the population. On a regional scale, the number of cars on the roads could be reduced by as much as 50-percent and still sustain the needs of the people.
“You need technologies that can make the most of that infrastructure. You can’t just build expressways and trains and just do it forever. First of all, you don’t have the funds. Second of all, if you’re not using them and they’re sitting empty or not being optimised. That’s not something we want to be a part of,” said Entwisle.

The caveat of this is that the number of ride-sharing drivers must hit a critical mass. At the moment, ride-sharing adoption is low in Asia; only 1.6-percent of kilometres travelled across all studied cities. According to the BCG, this number needs to grow to 10-percent by 2022 to maintain current levels of congestion. Needless to say, additional growth would be needed to actually reduce traffic problems.
One note that the BCG touched upon was the inefficient use of public spending thanks to the never-ending need to build more infrastructure. Uber argues that allowing ride-sharing to take on its share of the problem solving would free up governments to spend taxes on other things like education and environmental issues. Which, in theory, represents a win-win situation for everyone.
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