Sony Mobile To Downsize Swedish Office; Will Cut A Quarter Of Its Workforce

There’s no denying that the last several years have not been financially kind to Sony Mobile, the Japanese brand’s mobile and telecommunication division. To that end, it has been reported that the company will be letting go of some of its staff from its offices at Lund, Sweden.
To be precise, Sony Mobile is cutting 200 people from its Swedish offices; a quarter of its current workforce in that offices. The process is expected to done in stages, with the process expected to be completed by March 2019. Beyond that bit of information, there isn’t a lot of details over how or what sort of severance package the retrenched staff may be getting.
“It is clear that Lund will be affected by cost savings. But how it goes and what kind of costs it will be about, we cannot say yet, because the work is still underway to look at all cost components,” Stefan Olsson, Deputy Chairman, Sony said about the downsizing.

In terms of performance, Sony Mobile’s only sold 13.5 million units of its Xperia smartphones in 2017. The Japanese brand forecasted sales of 10 million units this year, but as of its third quarter report, the brand has also sold only seven million units.
(Source: Xperiablog via GSMArena)
The post Sony Mobile To Downsize Swedish Office; Will Cut A Quarter Of Its Workforce appeared first on Lowyat.NET.

Continue reading »

unifi Mobile Unveils New Postpaid Plans; Start From RM 19 Per Month

TM today has officially announced new postpaid plans for its unifi Mobile service. Grouped together under its Value Plan offerings, these plans will co-exist with its existing unlimited plan which priced at RM 99 as well as the unifi Mobile Bebas prepaid plan.
Since they are not unlimited plan, naturally these new plans come with their own set of quotas for 4G data, 3G data, calls, and SMSes. Here is how the new unifi Mobile plan looks like when compared to each other:

Developing…
(Source: unifi Mobile)
The post unifi Mobile Unveils New Postpaid Plans; Start From RM 19 Per Month appeared first on Lowyat.NET.

Continue reading »

unifi Mobile Unlimited Plan Now Open To Everyone

Alongside the announcement of the new unifi Mobile postpaid lineup, TM has also announced that its existing unlimited postpaid plan, the unifi Mobile 99, is now open to everyone. Prior to this, the unlimited plan which made a return back in July was only available to TM customers.
Developing…
(Source: unifi Mobile)
The post unifi Mobile Unlimited Plan Now Open To Everyone appeared first on Lowyat.NET.

Continue reading »

MCMC Officially Reveals Malaysian 5G Taskforce; Involving 31 Members and 4 Working Groups

Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) today announced that the Malaysian 5G Taskforce (5GT) has held its first meeting at the agency’s headquarters last month. While its establishments have been mentioned by the Minister of Communications and Multimedia, Gobind Singh Deo back in October, we believe that this is the first time that MCMC has provided in-depth details regarding this taskforce.
According to the media release from MCMC, 5GT has 31 permanent members from a variety of field within the industry including business associations, educational institutions, related government agencies, telcos, and infrastructure vendors. Here is the list of Malaysian 5GT members:

During its inaugural meeting, 5GT has formed four working groups that will be looking at the main factors that are related to the deployment of 5G in Malaysia:

MCMC further added that Malaysian 5GT is required to produce a monthly report to the Minister of Communications and Multimedia. Furthermore, the taskforce is also expected to come out with 5K Key Challenges and 5G Nationwide Implementation Plan by the third quarter of 2019.

In addition to the national-level 5G trial in Putrajaya and Cyberjaya that begun last month as well as the call for 5G collaboration, the establishment of the 5GT can be seen as yet another milestone toward the deployment of 5G in Malaysia. This shouldn’t be the last of it though as the local industry preparing for the first national-level 5G showcase in March 2019.
(Source: MCMC)
The post MCMC Officially Reveals Malaysian 5G Taskforce; Involving 31 Members and 4 Working Groups appeared first on Lowyat.NET.

Continue reading »

AMD Ryzen 3000 Series CPUs Teased By South Korean Sales Agency

AMD’s third generation Ryzen CPUs are still miles away from an actual release date. However, that hasn’t stopped a South Korean sales agency and AMD affiliate from offering up both a Ryzen 7 3700X and Ryzen 5 3600X as prizes in a local contest.
The specifics of the contest requires its participants to take a shot at guessing what the Cinebench scores for the two aforementioned CPUs would be. The duration of the contest ends on 14 December. Before you get all excited; no, that isn’t the official launch of the new CPU, and is only the contest period. However, it’s obvious that the sales agency running the contest will only be able to vet the winners after the launch and initial benchmark release of the CPUs. To which there aren’t any at this point in time.
Further, while the sales agency does promise the winners a free Ryzen 3000 series CPU, Videocardz points out that this promise can only be actionable upon the availability of the CPU. That’s going to be a long wait, especially no official launch date has been announced by AMD.

Information about AMD’s Ryzen 3000 series CPU has been relatively scarce, to say the least. Rumours online hint at the brand’s next-generation processors being built upon a 7nm die lithography, and will have a new X570 AM4 chipset that will also support the new PCIe 4.0 standard.
While there isn’t an exact date, it is possible that the winners of the contest may only have to wait until Computex next year. As rumours also suggest that AMD might reveal new information or announce its new CPU then.
(Source: Videocardz)
The post AMD Ryzen 3000 Series CPUs Teased By South Korean Sales Agency appeared first on Lowyat.NET.

Continue reading »

U Mobile Extends Its 3G Network Sharing Deal with Maxis Till June 2019

In late June 2017, it was revealed that U Mobile has decided to progressively terminate its 3G network sharing with Maxis after U Mobile decided to focus on its own network infrastructure. However, both telcos have revealed earlier today that the network sharing agreement between the two companies has now been extended.
Originally said to end on 28 December 2018, the deal’s new expiry date has now been set to 30 June 2019. That being said, U Mobile pointed out that the extension only involved certain areas although the company didn’t specifically point them out.

U Mobile further added that the telco has spent more than RM 5 billion on its new network infrastructure that was part of its network replacement exercise for the past 18 months. The exercise was done in order to take advantage to the additional spectrum slots within the 1800MHz and 900MHz bands that the telco has received from the government last year.
Currently, it is still not yet known when U Mobile will complete the replacement work on its network infrastructure although the telco has acknowledged that it is now already in the final roll-out phase. Given the extension of the telco’s deal with Maxis though, it is likely that the completion date will take place in June 2019 as well.
(Source: U Mobile, Maxis)
The post U Mobile Extends Its 3G Network Sharing Deal with Maxis Till June 2019 appeared first on Lowyat.NET.

Continue reading »

South Korean AMD Ryzen Sales Agency Teases Ryzen 3000 Series CPUs; Asks Participants To Guess Cinebench Scores

AMD’s third generation Ryzen CPUs are still miles away from an actual release date. However, that hasn’t stopped a South Korean sales agency and AMD affiliate from offering up both a Ryzen 7 3700X and Ryzen 5 3600X as prizes in a local contest.
The specifics of the contest requires its participants to take a shot at guessing what the Cinebench scores for the two aforementioned CPUs would be. The duration of the contest ends on 14 December. Before you get all excited; no, that isn’t the official launch of the new CPU, and is only the contest period. However, it’s obvious that the sales agency running the contest will only be able to vet the winners after the launch and initial benchmark release of the CPUs. To which there aren’t any at this point in time.
Further, while the sales agency does promise the winners a free Ryzen 3000 series CPU, Videocardz points out that this promise can only be actionable upon the availability of the CPU. That’s going to be a long wait, especially no official launch date has been announced by AMD.

Information about AMD’s Ryzen 3000 series CPU has been relatively scarce, to say the least. Rumours online hint at the brand’s next-generation processors being built upon a 7nm die lithography, and will have a new X570 AM4 chipset that will also support the new PCIe 4.0 standard.
While there isn’t an exact date, it is possible that the winners of the contest may only have to wait until Computex next year. As rumours also suggest that AMD might reveal new information or announce its new CPU then.
(Source: Videocardz)
The post South Korean AMD Ryzen Sales Agency Teases Ryzen 3000 Series CPUs; Asks Participants To Guess Cinebench Scores appeared first on Lowyat.NET.

Continue reading »

GSC Brings ScreenX To Malaysia: Offers 270-Degree Viewing Experience Via Extended Wall Projection

Golden Screen Cinemas (GSC) earlier today has revealed that the company has signed a deal with ScreenX in order to bring the latter’s unique cinema experience into Malaysia. Hailing from South Korea, ScreenX’s solution is designed to provide a more immersive experience to cinema goers via multi-projection method that goes beyond a standard, front-facing cinema screen.
Instead, ScreenX offers a 270-degrees viewing experience as movies that are shown through its solution is projected into the side walls of a cinema. According to its website, content creators or movie studios are also able to utilize ScreenX unique solution to provide a multi-angle or multi-scene approach for their creation.

The website also contains a list of movies that have been adapted for ScreenX and judging from it, we can generally see that the platform has been well received by both Asian and Western movie makers. Among those that were featured in the list including Ant-Man and The Wasp, Black Panther, Bohemian Rhapsody, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, The Nun, Train To Busan, and many more.

Meanwhile, GSC has also stated GSC 1Utama will be the first among its cinemas to receive ScreenX and cinema-goers can look forward to experiencing it over there sometime in early 2019.
(Source: GSC – 1, 2 // ScreenX – 1, 2)
The post GSC Brings ScreenX To Malaysia: Offers 270-Degree Viewing Experience Via Extended Wall Projection appeared first on Lowyat.NET.

Continue reading »

Doom Creator Celebrates 25th Anniversary With SIGIL; Features 18 New Levels

If you’re one of the many gamers who grew up playing the original Doom, you’ll be happy to learn that John Romero, one of the creators of the game, is releasing a new expansion for the game. In conjunction with its 25th anniversary.
The expansion is called SIGIL, and has been described as a spiritual successor to the original Doom title. The game picks up directly after the end of the fourth episode of the original Doom. As described on the game’s official page; “After killing the Spiderdemon at the end of E4M8 (Unto the Cruel), your next stop is Earth – you must save it from hellspawn that is causing unimaginable carnage”.
The entire SIGIL package – known as a Megawad – contains nine single player levels, as well as nine deathmatch levels. To play these levels, you will need to own a copy of the original 1993 Doom, which you can download via Steam. If you don’t happen to own it.

That’s not all the content Romero is offering with SIGIL either. To make it worth our while, Romero is teaming up with Limited Run Game to create two limited edition fan boxes; a standard edition box and a more deluxe edition called Beast Box. These boxes will include a CD containing the game’s music, which is composed by legendary musician Buckethead, Along with cover art by Christopher Lovell.
For those purchasing the Beast Box, you’ll also be getting a 16GB 3.5-inch floppy disk-theme USB filled with megawad data and extras, SIGIL-themed coin, an 8″ x 10″ art print signed by Christopher Lovell, an XL-sized SIGIL T-Shirt. The highlight of the list, however, is a pewter statue of John Romero’s head on a spike.

Pricing for the boxes are listed at US$39.99 (~RM167) for the standard edition, and US$166 (~RM695) for the Beast Box. Preorders for both boxes started on 10 December and will end on 24 December. With the orders expected to ship out to fans by mid-February. To be absolutely clear, the megawad itself will be free come February, so what you’re essentially paying for is the extra merchandise within the two boxes.
(Source: Romero Games)
The post Doom Creator Celebrates 25th Anniversary With SIGIL; Features 18 New Levels appeared first on Lowyat.NET.

Continue reading »

Honor 8X Review: A Phone With Battery Life For Days

Months after the launch of the Honor 10, the brand has made some concerted effort in trying to corner the mid-range market. To do that, the company launched its new mid-range flagship, the Honor 8X.
There’s a lot to love about the Honor 8X. But as these things usually go, there are some issue that do require ironing out.
Specifications

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, but the hardware in the Honor 8X is a near mirror image of Huawei’s Nova 3i. It sports the extremely efficient Kirin 710 SoC, a subject that we’ll discuss at great length later on.
The phone also comes with a mere 4GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage, which can be expanded via a microSD card slot. Should you feel the on board storage to be lacking. I should point out that there is actually a 6GB variant of the Honor 8X, but at this point in time, Honor isn’t officially bringing in that model.
Design

One of the most striking points of the Honor 8X is its really reflective and mirror sheen back. It makes the phone look really gorgeous, no matter which angle you look at it. In fact, that factor is is amplified by the bright contrasting blue and red colour variants that it comes in.
A notch that partially obscures notifications.
Alas, like most smartphones today – and seeing how it’s the trend – the Honor 8X’s display features a notch. To be precise, The notch is technically smaller than other notches I’ve seen, and yet it somehow manages to obscure some of the notifications icons. Yes, you can hide it and make it blend via the on-board software, but frankly, it makes next to no difference.

Surprisingly, the Honor 8X still uses the aging micro USB port instead of the more current USB Type-C port that most smartphones – even mid-range models – use. If anything, the latter port is already an industry standard. I can’t help but think that this is a missed opportunity on Honor’s – and by extension, it’s parent company Huawei – part to standardise the medium across the board.

Moving on, the Honor 8X’s display is actually a big one, literally. It measures in at 6.5-inches, but more impressively, it’s a Full HD+ display, with an aspect ratio of 19.5: 9. Thanks to that, the display stretches side-to-side, and is nearly bezel-less. I say nearly because it’s still got a pretty noticeable chin. There’s also a 3.5mm headphone jack located at the bottom of the phone. A welcome feature that is slowly and clearly disappearing with new phones.

On the subject of audio, I find the location of the Honor 8X’s speaker grille at the bottom right of the phone to be – for lack of a better word – odd. If I flip it into landscape mode, my right thumb will, in one way or the other, end up covering it. The story’s the same if I flip it around, only this time, it’s the base of my palm that mutes any sound coming out from it. That said, it’s not huge issue, and I mitigate it by simply holding it from the back.
In regards to its design, the phone’s large size and polished glass back is also something of a flaw. In my hands, the phone feels a little cumbersome, and on occasion, there were incidents when the phone slipped out of my hand. As a plus point, the phone is incredibly durable and drop-resistant, and comes out virtually unscratched.
User Experience

While one would think that the Nova 8X’s Kirin 710 SoC would be slower than Huawei’s own Kirin 970 SoC, my time with the phone quickly shows that that wasn’t the case. Overall, the phone is responsive, but there is the occasional lag occurring with apps now and then.
Relatively fluid experience with EMUI 8.2.
Digging deeper into the experience, the EMUI 8.2 experience of the Honor 8X is very enjoyable. Yes, it’s not stock Android, and despite the numerous pre-installed apps, it still feels really polished.
I find it odd though that the Honor 8X does not have some form of an Ambient Display like its Nova 3 cousins. Still, the feature isn’t critical to my daily use, and therefore doesn’t affect me.

On another note, I thoroughly enjoy using the some of the gesture controls on the Honor 8X. Specifically, I find the three-finger “swipe down” to be the most used feature in my daily repertoire.
The Honor 8X’s Face Unlock feature is fast, but it isn’t always accurate. At times, I actually encounter literal face problems, where the camera just won’t recognize my facial details. On top of that, the feature only unlocks the phone, but never brings me to the Home screen. That privilege seems to be reserved only for the fingerprint scanner, which surprisingly happens to be extremely accurate.
Lackluster audio experience.
Beyond that, and as mentioned earlier, the phone’s experience feels good. The large display real estate helps when watching my favourite shows on YouTube and Netflix, along with the occasional mobile game thrown into the fray.
The only drawback to the whole experience was the Honor 8X’s audio system. Through its speaker grille, wired headphones, or a Bluetooth audio devices, the phone’s overall audio experience sounds hollow. But to be fair, audio immersion isn’t one of the brand’s strongest suits.

The synthetic benchmark of the Honor 8X is what you would expect of the mid-range Kirin 710 chipset. On AnTuTu, the phone scored 138248 points. With 3DMark, the chipset scored 959 points on the Sling Shot Extreme OpenGL ES 3.1 test, while the Vulkan version of the same test garnered 1126 points.
Real-time performance of the Honor 8X was nothing out of the ordinary. On most games, the framerates take a hit here and there. And this is with the phone’s GPU Turbo mode active. Interestingly enough, the phone never really heats up, even during intensive sessions of PUBG or Fortnite.
Outstanding battery life, moderately decent charging speed

If there is one thing that absolutely has to be pointed out about the Honor 8X, it’ll have to be its extremely long-lasting battery life. Thanks, on no small part, to the combination of the hefty 3750mAh battery and the power efficiency of the Kirin 710 SoC.
As my daily driver, I get two full days, before even needing to recharge the phone. Even then, there’s approximately 20% left in the tank. In a continuous usage mode (e.g. Netflix, YouTube, surfing the web, etc.), the phone gives me between six and seven hours of screen time, which is well beyond the average. Charging is somewhat decent, with a full hour only giving me 45%.
Camera

Honor isn’t a brand one would usually associate with mobile photography. However, given my experience with previous Honor smartphones and their respective camera system, I clearly expected the phone to turn out some relatively decent, if not impressive pictures. So then, does the camera disappoint?
Good daytime performance, pretty impressive Night Shot mode.
The answer is, no it doesn’t. In the daytime, the phone’s 20MP + 2 MP dual camera system delivers some really sharp and detailed images. But truth be told, that’s is primary expectation of most phones these days. Even mid-range models. What really impresses me is the camera’s low-light performance and its Night Mode.

Pictures I took in this mode looked outstandingly clear, even with a minimal amount of light from the surrounding area. The only drawback to Night Mode is the varying amount of time it takes to snap a photo. I say varying, because the feature captures an image based on the amount of light available. Simply put, the darker the environment, the longer it takes for the camera and the on-board AI to finalise the image.
Sample Images

Competition
At RM949, there’s no denying that the Honor 8X is one of the more affordable smartphones the brand has to offer the current mid-range market. But, as these things usually go, the Honor 8X does have a fair number of competitors to contend with.
Huawei Nova 3i

By comparison, the Huawei Nova 3i is practically a mirror image of the Honor 8X. Which is fitting, especially when you remember that latter is a sister brand to Huawei.
For the most part, both phones are equipped with the same Kirin 710 SoC, 4GB RAM. Even the same 128GB internal storage capacity. Further, the resolution of the Nova 3i’s dual main camera array is slightly bigger at 24MP + 2MP. Though the image quality produced on it had a tendency of looking fairly noisy, especially in low-light environments. It also uses a micro USB port for file transfer and charging, instead of a USB Type-C port.
Despite sharing near identical hardware, the Nova 3i currently retails at an SRP of RM1249. That’s nearly RM400 more than what the Honor 8X is going for. If nothing else, the price difference could be a decisive factor between them.
Realme 2 Pro

The brand may be less than a year old, but it’s hard to ignore the recently launched Realme 2 Pro as a proper contender to the Honor 8X. While available in three different variant and price points, the second variant is priced the same as the Honor 8X at RM949. For 6GB RAM, but half the internal storage capacity.
Specs-wise, the phone runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 SoC, a 6.3-inch Full HD+ IPS display, and a dual 16MP + 2MP main camera array. It’s got a slightly smaller 3500mAh battery than the Honor 8X’s 3750mAh, but as my colleague pointed out in his review about the phone, it’s got legs fit for a marathon.
Conclusion

When all is said and done, the Honor 8X has an undeniable set of charms. From its big display, to its extremely power efficient Kirin 710 chipset and large internal battery. It’s pretty clear Honor spent a lot of time in trying to make this a real bang for your buck device.
Granted, the dual camera system is not the best on the market, especially with the variable time for the Night Mode. But that’s a trade-off I can live with, especially when you consider the gorgeous night shots you get at the end of the day.
A phone for those who prioritise endurance over performance.
But if there should be one governing factor that would influence your decision to purchase Honor 8X, let it be its exceptional battery and its insane endurance. That, and the fact that this phone only costs RM949.
Photography by Soh Li Jin and Leon Lam
honor-8xHonor-8X-back-verticalHonor-8X-speaker-grillehonor-8x-notchhonor-8x-micro USBHonor-8X-laid-downHonor-8X-camera-performancehonor-8x-blue-red
The post Honor 8X Review: A Phone With Battery Life For Days appeared first on Lowyat.NET.

Continue reading »