ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro Hands On: Featuring A Very Peculiar Set of Two Front Cameras

Despite being part of the 4th generation ZenFone family, the new ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro is actually a second-generation product – a follow-up to the original ZenFone Selfie that was launched in 2015. While the objective of the phone is still about bringing the best selfie experience to users, ASUS has slightly changes its approach for ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro as well as its lower-end sibling, the ZenFone 4 Selfie.
In the original ZenFone Selfie, its front camera is generally a slightly modified version of the camera on its back. With the new ZenFone 4 Selfie devices, the implementation is totally different altogether as ASUS has opt for a set of two cameras on the front while using a traditional single camera setup on their back.

That’s not to say that the rear camera of the phone was abandoned to the pits but after using it for around 31 hours around Taipei prior to the launch event, it is quite clear to me that ASUS engineers have indeed spent a little bit more time on the two front cameras. That being said, the setup that ASUS has choose to implement for the front camera on ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro is rather peculiar.
Case in point: ASUS has touted phone’s main front camera as the 24MP DuoPixel camera. However, the native resolution of the Sony IMX362 sensor in the camera is actually 12MP but the team behind the phone claimed that the sensor has twice the number of light-capturing photodiodes per microlens as compared to conventional 12MP sensor.

In other words, the sensor apparently able to capture more data than most 12MP sensors out there to the extent that it allows ASUS engineers to implement an algorithm to enable ZenFone 2 Selfie Pro to combine those information together and produce 24MP images. Furthermore, the company claimed that its DuoPixel technology able to produce better output than using standard interpolation technique.
As for the role of the secondary front camera which utilizes a 5MP sensor from Omnivision, it is pretty much made for group selfie (also fondly referred to as wefie) due to its wide-angle 120-degrees lens. Technical details aside, what more important is how the end results looks like:

From my 31 hours experience with ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro, I noticed that the phone’s front camera has an excellent face tracking capability. Not only that it able to lock to one’s face very quickly most of the time but is also able to continue to do so even when the subject is moving around to certain extent:

Additionally, it also takes less than two seconds to switch from one front camera to another. However, I’m not fond of the fact that the phone not only goes directly into selfie camera but activates it beautify mode as well when launched from the lock screen. While it made sense for a selfie-oriented smartphone to be set in that manner but it would better if users are able to set the option themselves.
How about ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro’s rear camera? Equipped with 16MP Sony IMX351 sensor and f/2.2 lens, its PDAF system generally works rather well regardless of the lighting condition. That being said, its output seems to be prone to underexposure and has rather average performance under low-light conditions although it does shine from time to time:

Featuring a metal chassis with a thickness of 6.85mm, the ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro is quite light and comfortable to hold. However, its physical design might seem rather generic and not as distinctive as previous ZenFone devices.
All in all, the decision made by the team behind ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro to take additional time to craft this selfie-oriented phone seems to be quite fruitful although there are still a lot of rooms for improvement especially in camera quality which can be delivered through software updates from time to time.

At RM 1799, it’s a very competitive price tag and I would say that the new ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro might able to make a mark in the growing selfie smartphone market in Malaysia.
The post ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro Hands On: Featuring A Very Peculiar Set of Two Front Cameras appeared first on Lowyat.NET.

Continue reading

ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Series and Max Pro Coming To Malaysia On 25 Aug, Starts At RM 1099

Right after their official debut at the series launch event in Taipei, ASUS has confirmed that its newly launched ZenFone 4 devices will be making their way into our market very soon. For starters, the ZenFone 4 Selfie and ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro as well as ZenFone 4 Max Pro will become the first batch of ZenFone 4 devices in Malaysia.
Starting from 25 August, consumers in Malaysia are able to get their hands on ZenFone 4 Selfie with 5.5-inch display for RM 1,099. As for the higher-end model, the ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro will cost RM 1,799 while ZenFone 4 Max Pro can be obtained for RM 1,099.
(L-R) ASUS ZenFone 5 Selfie and ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro.
Meanwhile, users that want to secure a unit of Selfie Pro, Selfie with 5.5-inch display, or Max Pro, they are able to do so later today through Lazada Malaysia or Shopee. Each pre-order will be accompanied with free ASUS ZenPower 10050mAh power bank alongside selfie stick, OTG cable, micro USB cable, and screen protector.
Selfie Pro pre-order customers will also receive 16GB micro SD card as an additional bonus as well. Meanwhile, if you wondering what the ASUS ZenFone 4 devices are all about, check out our previous report right here.
The post ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Series and Max Pro Coming To Malaysia On 25 Aug, Starts At RM 1099 appeared first on Lowyat.NET.

Continue reading

edotco Deploys Distributed Network To Keep The KL 2017 SEA Games Connected

The Kuala Lumpur 2017 SEA Games is set to officially begin in two days and final preparations are being put in place. As part of this, the Malaysia Communications and Multimedia Commission began testing the expanded telco network deployed in the KL Sports City.
edotco Mobility Solutions, the company responsible for the network infrastructure upgrades, installed a distributed antenna system (DAS) designed to boost telco signals while within the Axiata Arena. This involves multiple small antenna arrays located on pillars and on the ceiling. Distributing the network across a larger area allows the network to cover the arena more evenly, reducing signal loss due to the architecture of the building.
The DAS is designed to allow mobile network operators to provide service to everyone in the stadium; even while it’s at full capacity. According to edotco, this is the first time that the technology is being deployed in this region.

MCMC Head of Infrastructure Nor Azhar Hassan, edotco Malaysia Director of Corporate Affairs Abdurrahman Othman, and MCMC Communications and Digital Ecosystem Sector Chief Officer Mohd Ali Hanafiah Mohd Yunus conducted a walkabout of the Bukit Jalil sports complex to test the deployment of the DAS. Thus far, it appears that the network is more than capable of handling the crowd at the official opening of the 29th SEA Games and ninth ASEAN Paragames.
The post edotco Deploys Distributed Network To Keep The KL 2017 SEA Games Connected appeared first on Lowyat.NET.

Continue reading

The Major League Dota 2 Tournament Brings International Teams To Johor

The Major League is set to bring professional Dota 2 to Johor. Organised by the Livescape Group, the tournament will see eight teams battling for a share of the RM300,000 prize pool.
Seven international teams are being invited to join the tournament, with former TI finalist Ehome being the most prominent among them. Also announced was the upcoming participation of Indonesian team Evos, Filipino Clutch, and MVP Revolution from Kyrgyzstan. The remaining four teams are of yet unconfirmed.
One spot in the tournament is being reserved for a Malaysian team. The Major League will hold a secondary qualifying tournament to determine our local representatives. The preliminary rounds of the qualifier is set to be held in participating cyber cafes; although the schedule has not been released yet. That said, the final round will be held at the Academy of Esports in Afiniti Medini in Iskandar Puteri.

This tournament is part of a esports push from Iskandar Investment Berhad, the company behind the Iskandar development region in Nusajaya, Johor. It’s the first step in establishing Iskandar Puteri as an esports hub for Southeast Asia.
Celcom’s participation in the tournament is largely as a main prize sponsor; putting up the majority of the prize pool. The telco has noted the enthusiasm among local youths for esports, and is doing its part to help the fledgling industry grow.
The post The Major League Dota 2 Tournament Brings International Teams To Johor appeared first on Lowyat.NET.

Continue reading

Waze Now Lets You Request for Help from Other Users with New Roadside Help Feature

The next time you are having some car trouble when you’re out on the road, you might be able to get help from fellow Waze users. Waze recently introduced a new Roadside help feature that lets you request for assistant from other Waze users.
The update is available on Waze for Android users. Simply tap on the visual reporting button, and you will see a new “Roadside help” feature. Waze did not officially announce what exactly this new button does, but it presumably allow users to request help from other nearby Wazers.

Waze may be owned by Google, the company who also has a similar navigating app, Google Maps. However, Waze is superior to Google Maps thanks to their reporting features that allow users to report sightings such as accidents and road works, and even alerts about police sightings. Now, with the addition of Roadside help, it is more useful than ever. That said, do use Roadside help with caution because certain people could misuse it for malicious intent.
Roadside help is available for the latest Waze version on Android, so if you don’t see it yet, head on to the Play Store to update your Waze app. The feature is not available for Waze on iOS at the time of writing.
(Source: 9to5Google)
The post Waze Now Lets You Request for Help from Other Users with New Roadside Help Feature appeared first on Lowyat.NET.

Continue reading

AMD’s Vega 10 GPU Comes In Different Height And Finish; May Affect Custom Graphics Cards

A recent discovery was made by folks at Tweakers.net regarding a potential problem with AMD’s Radeon Vega 10 GPU. According to the tech site, Vega 10 GPUs are found to ship in different height and finish quality. This differentiation may not necessarily impact performance per se, but it may cause difficulties for AMD’s AIB partners when trying to design a cooling system for the GPU.
Image: Tweakers.net
The cause of this issue may be due to the fact that AMD is probably manufacturing Vega 10 GPUs at two different locations. That aside, when it comes to the GPU dies, one can clearly see (from the image below) that the Vega 10 GPU on the left features a “smooth” surface with black outlines that go around the HBM2 controllers and GPU; the GPU on the right comes with no black outlines and a GPU that’s positioned slightly higher.
Of course, these differences won’t be noticeable at all when thermal compound is applied onto the Vega 10 GPU. Again, as mentioned before, it remains to be seen how third party graphics cards manufacturers will come up with a cooling solution to cater for different build variations of AMD’s Vega 10 GPU – this could probably be the reason why there are little to no announcements of custom RX Vega 64 graphics cards yet.
(Source: Tweakers.net)
(Featured image: ComputerBase)
The post AMD’s Vega 10 GPU Comes In Different Height And Finish; May Affect Custom Graphics Cards appeared first on Lowyat.NET.

Continue reading

The Malaysia Esports League is the Biggest Dota 2 Event in Malaysia, Featuring RM500,000 Prize Pool

With the rise of esports exposure and the popularity of Dota 2 in Malaysia, U Mobile has partnered with Mineski Events Team to launch the Malaysia Esports League (MESL). Said to be the biggest Dota 2 league in the country, the event will have a prize pool of RM500,000, and will run for about six months starting in September.
It may be called a league, but the Malaysia Esports League is more of a combination of a standard tournament with a league format added in halfway through. The qualifiers will take place from 2 September, and will be held offline in cyber cafes across Peninsular and East Malaysia.
The top 16 teams from each qualifier will enter the group stages of the MESL league – this will run for three months. The top 8 teams here will advance to the playoffs stage to determine the final two teams. The grand finals is expected to take place before the 2018 Chinese New Year.

Interestingly, the Malaysia Esports League will be open to both professional and amateur teams. According to Yap Kenchi, President and CEO of Mineski Corporation, the only requirements for participating in the MESL is that each team must consist of at least three Malaysians. He also added that while the MESL will start with Dota 2, there are plans for more popular esports titles that may be added in the future.
With such a huge prize pool and an equally low requirements, the Malaysia Esports League definitely will attract top-quality participants. And if the RM500,000 prize pool isn’t enough, U Mobile has a sweetener: if every member in the winning team is an active U Mobile subscriber (either Prepaid or Postpaid) from the beginning of the MESL, U Mobile will add an extra RM50,000 cash bonus for the team.
If the winning team does not fulfill the criteria, the cash bonus will go to the second- or third-placed teams that fulfill the criteria.

Besides U Mobile, the Malaysia Esports League will also feature some very well known partner sponsors. Logitech G is the official gaming gear sponsor, while there are two official broadcasting partners in eGG Network and Twitch.tv.
More details for the Malaysia Esports League qualifier – as well as the team registration page – can be found at www.mesl.my.
The post The Malaysia Esports League is the Biggest Dota 2 Event in Malaysia, Featuring RM500,000 Prize Pool appeared first on Lowyat.NET.

Continue reading

Subscribe to Celcom’s New Plans to Get a Free Smartphone, Including a Huawei P10

At the launch of the telco company’s new postpaid plans, Celcom also announced a special promotion. From today until 30 September 2017, those who subscribe to certain First plans are eligible to get a free smartphone: this include even Huawei’s latest flagship device, the Huawei P10.
There are a total of nine smartphones up for grabs. For new First Gold Supreme subscribers, they’re eligible to get one of three phones: the 32GB iPhone 6, the Huawei Y6II, or the Samsung Galaxy J3 Pro. Those who opt for the First Platinum plan, on the other hand, can choose from two additional phones: the Oppo A77 or the Oppo A57.

Naturally, the best phones are reserved for users who subscribe to the new First Platinum Plus plan. In addition to the five phones mentioned above, subscribers to this plan can also choose between the Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro, the Huawei P10 Lite, the Vivo V5s, or the best of the lot, the Huawei P10.
Aside from this free smartphone promotion, Celcom also mention that First Platinum Plus subscribers are entitled to get up to 55% discount on the Samsung Galaxy S8 and iPhone 7 devices.

This promotion is currently ongoing and will end on 30 September 2017. If you plan to get any of these free smartphones, do note that you will be tied down to a 24-month contract.
The post Subscribe to Celcom’s New Plans to Get a Free Smartphone, Including a Huawei P10 appeared first on Lowyat.NET.

Continue reading

redONE Introduces New Data Plan for its Prepaid Users, Offers Reload Bonus Data

redONE has just made its Beyond Prepaid pack a lot more interesting, with new data plans, as well as free data when you reload your redONE prepaid number. Together with free data upon activation, and free monthly data, you can get up to 20.5GB of data for just RM50.
The redONE Beyond Prepaid starter pack costs RM10, and comes with 500MB of high speed internet, as well as 1GB of basic internet when you activate the number. Just like before, you also get free calls among redONE prepaid numbers, and 30 days of validity. redONE prepaid also offers free 1.5GB of monthly data – 500MB 4G LTE and 1GB basic internet.

That’s not all, if you reload your redONE prepaid number, the telco will also give you free data. Reload RM10 and get 1GB (100MB a day for 10 days), reload RM20 and get 4GB (200MB/day for 20 days), all the way to RM50 for 9GB (300MB/day for 30 days). If you need more data, redONE prepaid has daily, weekly and monthly plans for you to pick from. Get 1GB of data for RM3 that is valid for one day, all the way to 10GB for RM50 valid for 30 days.

To make full use of all that redONE prepaid has got to offer, the telco suggests that you get the starter pack, reload RM50 to get 9GB of data, then use that RM50 to buy an additional 10GB of 4G LTE data. This will give you a total of 19.5GB of 4G LTE data, 1GB of free basic internet, RM6 credit balance, and free calls among redONE prepaid numbers.
Check out redONE now to find out more about its prepaid offerings.
The post redONE Introduces New Data Plan for its Prepaid Users, Offers Reload Bonus Data appeared first on Lowyat.NET.

Continue reading

This Is the Nokia 8: Dual-camera Zeiss Optics, Snapdragon 835, Conventional Design

After much anticipation and a number of very detailed leaks, the Nokia 8 is finally official. Yes, it is indeed Nokia’s long-awaited Android flagship smartphone, and it boasts hardware befitting of its status too – with a price to match.
One of the most interesting aspects of the Nokia 8 is its camera capability. Featuring Zeiss optics on both the two rear cameras and front-facing shooter, all three cameras are 13MP sensors. The dual-camera system is made up of a monochrome sensor and an RGB sensor – much like Huawei’s implementation – complete with optical image stabilisation, while the front-facing snapper features phase detection autofocus; a pretty unique setup for a selfie camera.

Interestingly, the Nokia 8 also features a “Bothie” Mode: both the rear and front cameras are activated at the same time, and users can record videos or take pictures in this mode. While this is something several phone makers have experimented with in the past, the Nokia 8 takes it up a notch: it can livestream to YouTube or Facebook natively through the camera app. We imagine some consumers will find the Bothie Mode useful (despite the rather gimmicky naming).
Beyond its camera capabilities, the Nokia 8…doesn’t look quite as sleek as other noteworthy flagship smartphones this year. Of course, it has a sleek, 7.3mm aluminium unibody, but its sizeable bezels aren’t particularly attractive. Nonetheless, the Nokia 8’s software experience should appeal to most consumers.

Not only does the Nokia 8 ship with a stock version of Android 7.1.1 Nougat out of the box, HMD Global also implemented an Always-on Display. It can show calls, text messages, emails, and in the future, HMD is planning to add social network notifications as well. Oh, this phone comes with Nokia’s Ozo Audio too: it can record 360-degree spatial audio.
Other specifications of the Nokia 8 are what you’d expect from a flagship smartphone. These include a 5.3-inch 2560 x 1440 IPS display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset paired with 4GB of RAM, 64GB of fast UFS 2.1 storage – further expandable with a microSD card – a 3,090mAh battery, and fortunately enough, a 3.5mm audio jack.

The Nokia 8 will be available for sale in Europe sometime in September 2017: it retails at 599 euro, which comes up to about RM3,030. As usual, it still remains to be seen if the Nokia 8 will be officially available in Malaysia, but we’re optimistic: HMD did bring its whole range of Nokia-branded Android phones here.
The post This Is the Nokia 8: Dual-camera Zeiss Optics, Snapdragon 835, Conventional Design appeared first on Lowyat.NET.

Continue reading