Previously in The Diary of an Android Virgin – Touched for the very first time.
Sexy Beauty – Design and form factor
The latest Samsung Google Nexus S is definitely a looker. It’s got a slate form factor but it also sports a Contour Display that gives it a bit of a curve compared to say an Iphone 4 or the Samsung Galaxy S. Overall the look is very clean, but the choice of material – all plastic construction – does give it a less premium feel and less striking look compared to the iPhone 4, with its glassy surface and brushed metal sides. The all plastic construction also makes it a fingerprint and smudge magnet as well as prone to scratches. The plus side about the choice of material though is that the Google Nexus S is lighter than its competition, weighing in at 129 grams.
I have to confess, I’ve never been with an Android before. I’ve heard so much about it, though. And everyone who’s had experience with an Android say that they had (and are still having) the time of their life.
The Google Nexus S was officially launched by Maxis in Malaysia on Friday, 18th March 2011 and the people at Maxis were nice enough to loan a unit to GreyReview for the purpose of this exclusive review.
So this will be my first time with an Android. I hope it will be gentle with me just as I will (try to) be gentle with it.
First Base: Undress… errr… Unboxing
For those not familiar with this amazing gadget, the Google Nexus S is a phone built and designed by the folks at Samsung. It is the second Android phone that Google has assisted with a manufacturer to produce, with the first device being the HTC Nexus One.
It is the first device to offer users a taste of Google Android 2.3 aka Gingerbread, it is also the first device to support NFC (Near Field Communication) in its hardware and software. Indeed, this smartphone is literally packed to the brim with features.
Yep, a Maxis bag.
But it’s what’s inside it that’s got us giddy like schoolboys.
The Google Nexus S.
The successor of Nexus One, Nexus S is Google’s second exclusive phone that is developed by Samsung. In addition, it is the first mobile device that is running on Android 2.3 (Gingerbread). It has a 4-inch Super AMOLED screen with 480 x 800 resolution and a contour display with curved glass screen. Other features of the Nexus S include a 1 GHz Samsung Hummingbird processor, a 16GB internal storage, a 5-megapixel camera and supports Near Field Communication (NFC).
Zynga and MOL AccessPortal today announce the launch of Zynga Game Cards in Asia, which will be available for purchase in more than 500,000 outlets in six Asian countries – Malaysia, India, Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. (An estimated total of 100.7 million Facebook users in these six Asian countries.)
With the partnership, Zynga leverages MOL’s vast network of physical and online channels to make available the Zynga Game Cards to social gamers across Asia:
- Popular retail chains such as 7-Eleven stores in Singapore and Malaysia, and Singapore’s Comic Connections;
- MOL affiliated cybercafés such as India’s Sify Cybercafes, Philippine’s Netopia Internet Cafes and Thailand’s Fun Loader Cybercafes;
- Electronic payment kiosks, online channels, banking and telco partners such as Malaysia’s Maybank2u, Singapore’s GXCredits and Indonesia’s Gudang Voucher.
Mention Malaysian animation to me and the first thing that pops to my brain are those various animated public service announcements on TV in 80s, such as the anti-aedes and anti-dadah campaigns and the Sang Kancil animated stories and age-old parables inculcating various social values.
Fortunately, the state of Malaysian animation has come a long way since those shorts. 3D style animation is the way forward and a Malaysian animated show currently riding high is the much beloved Upin & Ipin, which features the adventures of 5 year old twin brothers in a fictional Malaysian kampung (village). Originally a side project for the blockbuster animated film Geng: The Adventure Begins (Malaysia’s first CGI-animated feature film which is one of the highest-grossing Malay-language films in history), Upin & Ipin was introduced on TV9 in 2007 as a six-episode Ramadhan month special, to instill significance of the Islamic holy month amongst children. To date, the series has reached its fourth season, including another Ramadan special season in 2008. Its third season which was more secularized and went under the new full title Upin & Ipin dan Kawan-Kawan and which premiered in early 2009, was picked up by Disney Channel Asia for the international market (airing in November 2009) with dubs in English (the official dub, as the credits and episode titles are in English as well), Mandarin and other languages.
As of January 01 2011, there are a total of 111.9 million Facebook users in Asia. The social network added almost 20 million new Asian users in the Quarter 4 2010. After increasing by 10 million users in the month of October 2010, Facebook experienced growth slow down between November 2010 and December 2010. Nevertheless, Facebook population grew by 21.4% in Asia in the last quarter of 2010.
In November 2010, Indonesia overtook the UK to become the world’s second largest market for Facebook (behind the United States.) In Quarter 4 2010, over 5 million new users from world’s fourth most populous nation joined Facebook. Indonesia also widened its gap with second-place Philippines over the last 3 months. In November 01 2010, the gap between Indonesia and second-place Philippines was 11,901,900 users. Now, the gap is 13,227,560.
Today, there are over 32 million Indonesians using Facebook. Philippines is behind Indonesia, with over 18 million, followed by India (16.9 million), Malaysia (9.5 million) and Taiwan (8.7 million).
Telekom Malaysia (TM) recently came under fire from frustrated Streamyx subscribers who alleged that the telecommunications giant had begun implementing a “hard cap” on their broadband accounts, specifically in relation to international traffic in order to curb P2P heavy bandwidth utilisation. This cap was allegedly applied by TM across the board, i.e. both low usage and high usage users are affected and irrespective of type of traffic (HTTP/HTTPS/FTP/P2P are all affected) so long as they are international.
A thread started by the owner of the popular VPN service, BolehVPN, in the Lowyat.net forum has grown to 109 pages, with subscriber after subscriber posting their bandwidth speed test results evidencing this cap.
Seven months after it was released in the US, the iPad finally (officially) arrives in Malaysia. Better late than never right? After all, we’re only getting it four months after it was officially launched in our neighbor Singapore.
The good news is that now Malaysians are finally able to buy an IPad that is covered by full official support and warranty, as opposed to those covered by shop warranty and support if you were to buy them from, say, Lowyat Plaza.
Below is a list of prices of the various iPads which will be made available through Mac stores and Apple shops in the Klang Valley and Penang:
- 16GB: RM1,549
- 32GB: RM1,849
- 64GB: RM2,149
On the data plan front, there’s Maxis who is offering three plans:
- Entry 3.5GB – RM70 per month (available for postpaid and prepaid)
- Super 6.0GB – RM90 per month (available for postpaid only)
- Premium 15.0GB – RM200 per month (available for postpaid only)
Ask any law student if the name Smokeball rings a bell and he or she will tell you about an old landmark English court case called Carlill v. Carbolic Smoke Ball Company, about misleading advertisements. Well, there’s nothing misleading about the online services provided by Smokeball Malaysia, which was launched in Malaysia in January 2010. An offspring of Smokeball Australia (which commenced operations in 2008), Smokeball Malaysia provides legal practitioners (aka lawyers) with practical, affordable and up-to-date legal practice guides and precedents, as well as free legal forms. According to them, these online guides are updated regularly and gives legal practitioners access to the most up-to-date precedents and guidance 24/7.
Over the past months, there has been a rapid emergence of various permutation of local deals startups. And GetToDo is joining the party. Still in the alpha stage, GetToDo sort of live streams deals and promotions, based on the users’ interests (what), time (when) and location (where). Essentially, it is trying to solve this problem, “What are the recommended best deals nearby me now?”
Leveraging on geolocation feature of modern browsers, the website displays latest deals in your area. You can easily change location to see deals in other places. There are two display modes – Timeline mode (a’la Plurk) and Map mode (see below images). Merchants can submit their promotions to be featured on GetToDo, for free. As of now, there is no self-service module for merchants. At this budding phase of GetToDo, the team is actively curating deals listed on the website.
If you were walking along the Bukit Bintang (Kuala Lumpur) area last weekend, you may have bumped into a group of Stormtroopers (or Yes Troopers), the faceless grunts made popular by the Star Wars original trilogy, patrolling the said area giving out flyers promoting yes, the latest 4G broadband service in the Malaysia. These stormtroopers, with a big “yes” emblazoned on their armor, is part of a marketing campaign adopted by the 4G operator to generate a lot of interest for the brand and its upcoming mobile service that is slated to be launched on November 19, 2010. Yes.my’s flagship store will be located at Lot 10, which explains why the stormtroopers are concentrated in the Bukit Bintang area.