Razer Unveiling Its First Smartphone On 1 November

After sharing a tantalizing tease on social media, Razer is set to announce its newest venture this 1 November. Razer’s CEO, Tan Min-Liang, said that the project has been in development for years, and he is excited to reveal all to the world soon.
A glimpse of the project was teased on Senior VP/GM of Mobile at Razer Tom Moss’s Twitter page, as we reported before. In Min-Liang’s pocket, there seems to be a smartphone-like device with a Razer logo embossed on it.

Now a website teasing “Our biggest unveiling” has appeared, with a page where interested parties can sign up for updates and news. The image on the site shows a man, holding what seems like a smartphone enjoying content on the go – which we suspect will be focused on gaming and entertainment.
Will a gaming smartphone work in today’s environment? We look forward how Razer will integrate Nextbit’s DNA into its smartphone, when it launches on 1st November.
(Source: Razer )
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Israeli Hackers Find NSA Surveillance Tools On Kaspersky Servers

Suspicions of Kaspersky’s involvement with Russian espionage agencies have picked up steam over the last couple of months. Of late, the reason for the suspicion has become clear. It turns out that the Americans only became aware of a potential security leak through the anti-virus company after a group of Israeli spies hacked into the Kaspersky network and began looking around.
The hackers had supposedly discovered hacking tools that did not look like they were developed by the Russian based company. Instead, the tools looked suspiciously like they came from the National Security Agency. The information was promptly passed along to the NSA, and security agencies began to look into Kaspersky for potential ties to Russian espionage efforts.
Since then, the Department of Homeland Security has instructed all federal civilian agencies to remove Kaspersky Lab software found on their networks. It stopped short of calling Kaspersky a malicious agency, saying that there is “the risk that the Russian government, whether acting on its own or in collaboration with Kaspersky, could capitalize on access provided by Kaspersky products to compromise federal information and information systems directly implicates U.S. national security.” Since then, the security software has been removed from the list of approved vendors for the US government.
The search for the leak lead to an employee in the Tailored Access Operations division. A group that collects intelligence (i.e. spies) on foreign targets. The employee in question happened to be using Kaspersky anti-virus on his home computer. Which is where the information is said to have escaped. No malice is being suspected on this part; as investigators believe that the employee was only trying to do his job.

Kaspersky, for its part, maintains its innocent. It instead believes that the NSA hacking tools ended up on its network due to being detected as malware. Which, to be fair, is precisely what they are.
Security experts are not necessarily convinced of this explanation. While there is a chance that Kaspersky is telling the truth, there is also a high degree of certainty that the company is under surveillance from the Russian FSB. This is because the company must obtain a license from the state intelligence agency to deal with encrypted information. A condition that leaves it extremely open to being spied on.
An industry official says that it doesn’t matter if Kaspersky is working with the FSB or not. Instead, the company’s maintaining its servers in Russia leave it extremely vulnerable to surveillance. The company is sharing all its data with the Russian government, whether it wants to or not.
[Source: Washington Post]
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Celcom Unveils iPhone 8 Plan, From RM83/Month with EasyPhone and From 1,748 with Regular Contract

Apple has yet to announce their official price for the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, but it looks like Celcom’s iPhone 8 phone bundle is already out. Get the iPhone 8 from as low as RM83 a month on Celcom EasyPhone, or from only RM1,748 when you sign up for a traditional contract under Celcom First postpaid plan.
Celcom is offering the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus with its latest Celcom First postpaid plans – First Gold Plus, First Gold Supreme, First Platinum and First Platinum Plus. All of these postpaid plans come with unlimited calls to all networks, and plenty of monthly internet data. Sign up for a 24 months contract and get the iPhone 8 from as low as RM1,748, the prices are as shown below:

For those of you who would rather opt for Celcom EasyPhone instalment plan, get the iPhone 8 from only RM83 a month. The price varies depending on which Celcom First postpaid plan you subscribe to, and whether you wish to opt for device protection.
Click on image for larger version
These latest iPhones will go on sale officially starting from 20 October 2017, but preorders will start tomorrow, 13 October 2017. Authorised Apple resellers as well as major telcos in Malaysia will be taking preorders. If Celcom’s prices are final, it means that the retail price of the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus will start from RM3,598 and RM4,098 respectively; that’s cheaper than 11street’s preorder which started about two weeks ago.
Check out Celcom now to find out more about its iPhone 8 bundle with a traditional contract or with EasyPhone.
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700MHz Bands To Be Repurpose For Mobile Broadband With Minimum Speed of 30Mbps

The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) recently has published a document regarding the government’s plan for 700MHz frequency bands. This particular part of the spectrum was currently occupied by terrestrial analogue TV broadcast which will be deactivated in 2018 as Malaysia fully embraces digital TV broadcast through myFreeview.
In the document, it is quite clear that the government want the 700MHz frequency bands to be used for mobile broadband. Potential owners of these new bands are expected to implement LTE technology or beyond to the service with minimum speed of 30Mbps by 2020 as targeted by the 11th Malaysia Plan.

At the same time, the government also hoped that these 700MHz frequency bands will be able to help achieves its target of having population coverage for mobile broadband at 95% and 98% by the year 2020 and 2023 respectively. That being said, the potential owners which will have 15 years ownership on these bands are expected to start delivering their mobile broadband service by end of 2019.
Not to forget, they also must ensure that the price for the mobile broadband service that they will offer through the new frequency bands will be more affordable that existing packages. This is going to be interesting since the frequency bands doesn’t come cheap, as what we will discuss in subsequent article.

With a total of eight blocks up for grab, the 700MHz frequency bands will be opened for application starting from 31 October 2017 up till 2 January 2018. All in all, we are eager to learn not only how all the applicants will strategize to obtain these bands but also to see if there are anyone else out there other than the usual big telcos would submit their applications as well.
(Source: MCMC. Images: Huawei UK, LiewCF, Foursquare)
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League of Legends World Championship 2017 Touch n Go Card Is Here (UPDATE: Sold Out)

(UPDATE – 707PM: The card is completely sold out. Read more for further details.)
Riot Games has released its League of Legends World Championship 2017 Touch ‘n Go card into the market. As per our previous report, the special edition TnG card comes with Malaysia-specific theme which incorporated wau bulan (moon kite) into its design.
Available immediately through Lazada Malaysia, the card is priced at RM 25. However, it doesn’t come with any pre-loaded value which means customers need to top it up themselves.

At the same time, Riot Games stated that only limited number of cards will be made available per day although it didn’t reveal on the exact number that the company will release on daily basis. Hence, LoL fans and TnG card collectors are advised to check the Lazada listing once again on the following day if the listing said sold out.
(UPDATE: the card has completely sold out. More explanations below.)
Riot has also pointed out that it will only be sold throughout Worlds 2017 period which will end on 4 November. With that, better make the move right away if you want to have your hands on the limited edition LoL Worlds 2017 Touch ‘n Go card.
(Source: Lazada Malaysia – the listing no longer exists)

That was fast. As it turns out, it only took few hours for the card to run out of stock which explained why it no longer appears on Lazada Malaysia.

Mark Sargeant, the Associate Marketing Manager for Riot Games has commented in the Facebook post above that the company has no plan to replenish the stock. However, it will also evaluate plans surrounding themed cards in weeks to come due to the positive reactions from fans.
(Source: League of Legends Malaysia)
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Geekbench and FCC Reveals More Information On The ZTE Axon M

As we reported previously, ZTE is close to release the Axon M, its first foldable smartphone. Now, Geekbench has revealed some of the specifications of the phone online. These include 4GB of RAM and an unspecified Qualcomm quad-core processor.
Geekbench scores – while synthetic – are good indicators on how a phone will fair in real world usage, and the ZTE Axon M looks to be a capable device. It got a single core score of 1677, which puts it in between phones with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 and 835 chipsets. Chances are, the Axon M may have a Snapdragon 821 on board.

Other noteworthy hardware include:

4GB of RAM
Two 1080p screens, combined to create a large 6.8-inch 2160 x 1920 screen
Possibly 32GB of storage
Android 7.1.2 Nougat

There is a filing with FCC showing how the phone will look like when fully deployed. The phone looks comparable to a 7-inch tablet when fully opened.
Image: FCC
With a launch event slated to happen on 17 October in New York, we will share more information once we have it in hand.
(Source: Geekbench, MobileExpose, ZTE )
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Lenovo Malaysia Launches Legion Y720 and Y520 Gaming Towers: Price Starts From RM 4,999

Lenovo Malaysia continue to showcase its commitment to gaming by expanding their Legion gaming line with two new gaming towers: the Legion Y520 Tower and the Legion Y720 Tower. Both were originally announced at gamescom 2017 in Germany few months ago.
Customers can choose to have their Legion Y520 Tower with Intel Core i3-7100, Core i5-7400, and Core i7-7700 processor. Lenovo provides four graphics cards option for this system: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 3GB, GTX 1060 6GB, and GTX 1050 Ti as well AMD Radeon RX 560.

In terms of memory and storage space, the system also comes with up to 16GB of DDR4 RAM, 256GB PCIe solid state, and 2TB hard drive. If these hardware not powerful for you though, then the Legion Y720 Tower might be more suitable for you.
Just like its lower-end sibling, the Y720 Tower can be obtained with several choice of processors including Intel Core i7-7700 and Core i5-7400. While the initial global announcement has listed AMD Ryzen processors, this particular options is not yet available in Malaysia at the moment.

Graphics-wise, the Y720 Tower can be equipped with either GeForce GTX 1070, GTX 1060 6GB, and GTX 1050 Ti 4GB graphics card. Featuring up to 32GB GDDR4 RAM, the system also features 512GB SATA solid state drive and 2TB SATA hard drive.
As for prices, the Y520 Tower starts at RM 4,999 while the higher-end Y720 Tower goes for RM 7,799 onwards. Both systems alongside the RM 12,999 Legion Y920 gaming laptop are readily available from Lenovo Exclusive Stores and Lenovo Multi Brand Stores all across Malaysia.
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Yashica Launches The Y35 Digifilm Camera That Uses Digital ‘Film’

Yashica is an old name in the photography industry, and it’s back with a new idea: the Yashica Y35. Set your ISO, colour and digital filters by changing what the company calls digiFilm. This interchangeable digiFilm is the heart of the new compact camera from Yashica.
Looking more like a retro camera than a modern one, the Y35 doesn’t have any dials or buttons on the top apart from the shutter button, a ‘winder’ to advance the ‘film’, and a shutter control dial. All photos are saved in a microSD card, and it uses two AA batteries.
Photo parameters are set using the digiFilm, like how old films are used. If you want to capture fast subjects, load in a ISO 1600 High Speed digiFilm. Low-light photography? Use the ISO 200 Ultra Fine digiFilm. There is even a ISO 200 “6 x 6” cartridge for square images – like in Instagram.
The specs of the Yashica Y35 are as follow:

1/3.2-inch 14MP CMOS sensor
Built-in viewfinder
F2.8 aperture
35mm equivalent focal length
1m minimum focusing distance
5 selectable steps shutter speeds 1s, 1/30s, 1/60s, 1/250s, 1/500s
SD card storage (wifi card compatible)
Micro USB connectivity for data transfers
Tripod mount
Power supply via 2 x AA batteries

Do note that the sensor on the rear camera of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is 1/2.44-inch, making the sensor on the Y35 smaller than Samsung’s latest phablet.

The Kickstarter project has just started, and at the time of writing, it managed to get pledges worth HK$4,204,596 or about RM2,271,487 with 39 days left to the campaign. Head there if you want to get one for yourself.
(Source: Kickstarter)
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Xiaomi Store in Suria KLCC Opening Its Doors on 13 October

A couple of weeks ago, we reported that the Xiaomi store in Suria KLCC is expected to have its grand opening on 27 October. Well, according to Xiaomi Malaysia itself, the company’s second official store in Malaysia will be operational from this Friday onwards – that’s two weeks earlier than the grand opening.
Xiaomi Malaysia divulged this information on Twitter, where the company wrote that the Authorised Mi Store in Suria KLCC will indeed be open for business this Friday on 13 October. However, Xiaomi elaborated that this is merely a soft launch; it’s meant to be a test run of sorts.

Jumaat ni bukak for business, bos. Hujung minggu ni mai lah
— Xiaomi Malaysia (@XiaomiMY) October 11, 2017

Naturally, the Authorised Mi Store in Suria KLCC will carry Xiaomi’s range of smartphones and accessories. If it’s anything like the store in Queensbay Mall, Penang, it will likely sell some Mijia-branded products under Xiaomi’s Mi Ecosystem too. Evidently, Xiaomi is strengthening its offline presence here in Malaysia.
The Authorised Mi Store in Suria KLCC will be operational this Friday on 13 October. If Suria KLCC is too far for you, fret not: another Authorised Mi Store is set to open in IOI City Mall.
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Rumour: Samsung Snapping Up Early Batch Of Snapdragon 845 For Galaxy S9

We are still a few months away from 2018 but naturally, manufacturers already begin to work on their flagship smartphone for next year. According to a report, Samsung is really aiming to put itself in the lead as the company is said to have snapped up the first production run of the upcoming Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chipset for the Samsung Galaxy S9.
The Galaxy S line typically sets the tone for Samsung’s lineup for the year, and by having the latest chipset inside, will ensure its dominance in the market. After the success of the Galaxy S8 and Note 8, Samsung definitely wants to keep up the momentum.

The same thing actually happened this year as well, since the America-bound Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ used the first production run of the Snapdragon 835. This resulted in many manufacturers pushing back their launch dates for 2017’s flagships and, in LG’s case, using the older Snapdragon 821 for the LG G6.
According to source, the Samsung Galaxy S9 will also be launching a month earlier, putting the global launch window squarely during MWC 2018. Is this a cost-saving measure as New York has traditionally been the launch location for Samsung Galaxy S series? We will just have to wait and see if this news pans out.
(Source: Twitter (eldarmurtazin) via GSMArena)
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