AweSoMe! Acer Liquid Jade Z and Liquid Z Series Smartphones Starts from RM299 in Malaysia

Acer Liquid Smartphones and Acer Aspire E series
Acer Liquid Smartphones and Acer Aspire E series
Models together with Johnson Seet, Head of Mobile Notebook & Smart Handheld, Acer Sales and Services with Jeffrey Lai, Product Manager, Mobile Notebook & Smart Handheld at the launch of the Acer Liquid Smartphones and Acer Aspire E series.

Acer Malaysia launches new Liquid Jade Z smartphone with 64-bit processor, 13MP F1.8 camera and 4G Dual SIM, as well as new members of Z-series smartphones: Liquid Z520 and Liquid Z220. Read on for their specs and official prices in Malaysia.

Liquid Jade Z specs

Acer Liquid Jade Z
Acer Liquid Jade Z

Acer Liquid Jade Z is 5-inch HD display Android smartphone featuring F1.8 big aperture cameras for both 13MP rear camera and 5MP front camera. It is powered by Mediatek 64-bit quad-core processor, 2GB RAM, 16GB storage (support microSD card up to 32GB).

With only 7.9mm slim and 110 grams weight, Liquid Jade Z is one of the slimmest 4G LTE dual SIM smartphone in the market. The retail price of Acer Liquid Jade Z is RM799 (inclusive 6% GST) in Malaysia.

Liquid Z520 price

Acer Liquid Z520
Acer Liquid Z520

Acer Liquid Z520 is another 5-inch Android smartphone in Z-series. With only RM499, you get a smartphone with quad-core processor, 2GB RAM and 16GB storage, 8MP rear camera and 2MP front camera. Liquid Z520 supports 3G Dual SIM and DTS Studio Sound.

Liquid Z520 price in Malaysia is RM499, available in black and white colours.

Acer Liquid Z220

Acer Liquid Z220
Acer Liquid Z220

If you are looking for cheap smartphone from branded company, check out the Acer Liquid Z220. It is only RM299!

Liquid Z220 is a 4-inch Android 5.0 Lollipop smartphone powered by Qualcomm dual-core 1.2GHz Snapdragon 200 processor, 1GB RAM and 8GB storage, supports 3G Dual SIM. 5MP rear camera with flash and 89-degree wide angle view, and 2MP front camera for selfie.

6 Unique Features of Acer smartphones

Acer smartphones comes with some useful features to enhance your user experience:

  1. Acer Quick Mode — 3 different modes for children (Basic), senior citizens (Easy), and personal use (Standard). You can set password lock and limit app usage in Basic mode. Easy mode features easy and clear user interface.
  2.  Acer Float Apps — launch floating apps on top of your current apps. 9 floating apps are Buttons, Text, Stopwatch, Browser, Camera, Maps, Notes, Calculator, Calendar.
  3. Acer Build Your Own Cloud (BYOC) — Acer free cloud solution enable you to sync your music, video, files between computer with phone/tablet.
  4. Acer Reading Mode — adjust screen colour to reduce Blue Light rays to protect your eyes.
  5. Acer EXTEND — link your Acer smartphone to computer and share content in between, drag & drop files, copy & paste links.
  6. Voice Camera — simply say a word to switch camera mode and take pictures. Say “Cheese” to take a picture. Say “Selfie” to switch to front camera and take selfie photo with 3 seconds countdown. Other voice commands also available, “HDR”, “Bright Magic”, “Panorama”, etc.

LiewCF’s Thought

With many smartphones in the market, Acer Liquid Jade Z stand out from the crowd with its slim and lightweight body with F1.8 big aperture for both front & rear cameras and support 4G Dual SIM, yet still keep its price under RM800. AweSoMe!

Also, I am surprised by the Acer Liquid Z220 price. For only RM299, you get a smartphone with latest Android 5.0, 1GB, 8GB storage, 5MP rear camera and 2MP front camera, plus 3G Dual SIM!

I could not find other branded smartphone under RM300 with the similar specs. Last week, my friend bought a RM380 smartphone with similar specs, but only 0.3MP front camera! Wish Liquid Z220 was launched earlier!

6 Best Features of Samsung GALAXY S6 and GALAXY S6 Edge Smartphones [Sponsored]

Samsung GALAXY S6 and GALAXY S6 Edge
Samsung GALAXY S6 and GALAXY S6 Edge
Samsung GALAXY S6 and GALAXY S6 Edge

Samsung unpacked the flagship smartphone of the year – Galaxy S6 / S6 Edge – at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2015 in Barcelona on 2nd March 2015.

The Samsung Galaxy S6 edge received the special honor of “Best New Handset, Tablet or Device” from the GSMA at Mobile World Congress 2015. [SamsungTomorrow]

LiewCF was invited to watch the live telecast together with other media and blogger friends in the early morning event hosted by Samsung Malaysia. And we had hands-on S6 and S6 Edge sample units!

Here are the 6 best features of Samsung GALAXY S6 / S6 Edge:

1. Glass and Metal Body

Samsung GALAXY S6 / S6 Edge looks different than all previous GALAXY S series models. First thing you will notice is the seamless glass panel at the front and back and the metal body. The slim phone body is only 6.8 mm/7mm (edge) thin.

The glass panels uses Corning Gorilla Glass 4, which is tougher and withstand more drop damages “up to 2X better than competitive glass designs”.

Samsung S6 Edge has the world’s first curved display on both sides, made possible by Samsung’s glass crafting technology and quality control.

2. Wireless charging and Fast Charging

Today we have two major wireless charging standards: Qi by Wireless Power Confortium (WPC) and Powermat by Power Matters Alliance (PMA).

Samsung GALAXY S6 / S6 Edge supports both WPC and PMA wireless charging technology. Meaning, you can use (almost) any wireless charging pad in the market with your GALAXY S6 / S6 Edge.

They also support fast charging, which is 1.5 times faster than the GALAXY S5. Low battery warning? Charge GALAXY S6 / S6 Edge for only 10 minutes and they can provide up to 4 hours of usage!

3. Better cameras

Samsung GALAXY S6 / S6 Edge equipped with fast F1.9 lenses for both front (5MP) and rear (16MP) cameras. The big aperture allows more lights to sensor for better image quality, even in low light conditions.

Galaxy S6 Rear camera
Galaxy S6 Rear camera

The GALAXY S6 and GALAXY S6 Edge camera supports smart Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) to reduce action blur image and record stable video footage. Plus, the phone camera has real-time High Dynamic Range (HDR) and use IR Detect White Balance that provide advanced light sensitivities and crisp camera solutions. These camera features help you to take clear and superior photos and videos quality in any light condition.

Moreover, “Quick Launch” features will launch camera app in only 0.7 second when you double-click the S6 / S6 Edge home key button.

4. Top Hardware

Inside GALAXY S6 / S6 Edge slim body (6.8 mm / 7.0mm Edge) is the word’s first 14nm with 64-bit octa-core (4×2.1GHz + 4×1.5GHz) processor. The fast processor is back with 3GB LPDDR4 RAM and UFS 2.0 flash memory (32GB/64GB/128GB) providing high performance, fast memory speed but lower power consumption.

5. Ultimate Screen Experience

The 5.1-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED screen offers 1440 x 2560 pixels resolution (577ppi pixel density). The display also brighter (600cd/m²) to enhance visibility under sunlight. Did I also mention that it’s the World’s First Dual Edge Display? Yes DUAL! When you view images or video on the curved display, it’s as if you’re watching them on a wide screen TV. Not only that, you get to manage up to five favourite contacts on the edge screen by color coding and illuminating each of their notifications even when your Samsung Galaxy S6 is face down. Thus, checking messages, emails & missed calls has never been easier.

6. Enhanced Security and Fingerprint Reader

The GALAXY S6 and GALAXY S6 Edge are build on the upgraded Samsung KNOX and already integrates with leading Mobile Device Management Systems (MDMs). The improved fingerprint scanner (the Home button) is touch-type, instead of swipe-type. Simply place your finger on the scanner to for quick authentication. GALAXY S6 / S6 Edge fingerprint scanner can be used for Android security, unlock safe files in Samsung’s private mode.

*This is a sponsored post.

Huawei Ascend P7 Review in Malaysia

Huawei Ascend P7 review by LIEWCF
Huawei Ascend P7 review by LIEWCF
Huawei Ascend P7 review by LIEWCF

Huawei Ascend P7, launched in Malaysia in June 2014, is the company’s flagship smartphone in 2014. The world’s slimmest 4G LTE Android smartphone has unique 8MP front-facing camera, dual antenna, and some other interesting features.

Read on for my Ascend P7 review below to know more about the phone’s features, performance and camera photo samples.

What’s in the box?

Huawei Ascend P7 package
Huawei Ascend P7 package

In the Huawei Ascend P7 white package box, you will find the smartphone, a charger, micro USB cable, headsets and two NFC stickers.

The NFC stickers allows you to quickly change phone settings with a tap. Example: turn on WiFi when you are home; silent phone when you are ready to bed.

Design

Huawei Ascend P7
Huawei Ascend P7

Huawei claims that Ascend P7 is the world’s slimmest 4G smartphone with 6.5mm thin. It is indeed slim and lightweight in hand.

Huawei Ascend P7 has square look with metal bumper and glass cover at the front and back. Glass covers may pick up oily smudges but easily wipe off with a cloth (hint: your shirt/pants). I prefer this than cheap plastic phone cover.

The phone has flat edges on every side, except the “waterdrop curve” bottom. The flat edges may not look less comfortable but actually not. Instead, the flat sides increase your grip to give a sense of secure, despite of the slim phone body.

I do not notice any benefit of using curved bottom. Maybe Huawei simply want to differentiate Ascend P7 from other similar shape smartphones, like Sony Xperia Z series?

Ascend P7 has no physical button on front, you only see a Huawei logo at the bottom. The front-facing 8MP camera has higher resolution than other smartphones, yet it looks the same with other smartphones’ front-facing cameras.

While the phone’s left side is blank, the opposite side is crowded by volume buttons, power button, MicroSD card slot and MicroSIM card slot.

Huawei Ascend P7 volume rocker, power button, microSD slot, SIM
Huawei Ascend P7 volume rocker, power button, microSD slot, SIM

Power button is in the middle of right side for ease of access, but it is too close with the volume button. I happened to press the wrong button couple times.

At the top is headphone jack and mic, another mic is next to middle microUSB port at the bottom. Dual mic is used to reduce background noise for clearer phone calls.

Ascend P7 back glass, according to Huawei, is made with “7-layer surface treatment using ‘spin effect’ micro-pattern design”. Frankly, I do not see anything significantly different than other smartphone with glass back cover. One thing for sure is that the back glass is tough because I dropped (accidentally, I swear!) it couple times but no crack or scratch.

The 13MP camera with metal ring is located at the top left corner of the back, with LED flash under it. At the bottom corner, you will see a small speaker grille.

Huawei Ascend P7 looks simple, clean and classy. I like the smartphone design.

Huawei Ascend P7 photo gallery

Display and Sound

Huawei Ascend P7, like other flagship smartphones in 2014, has Full HD 1920×1080 pixels fit in 5-inch display. The high DPI mobile display is crisp, bright, rich colours. The screen viewing angle is good too.

Though Ascend P7 equipped with large camera sensors (13MP & 8MP) but it has only a small speaker at the bottom back. Surprisingly, the small speaker has loud output volume. The sound quality is better than most smartphones’ mono speaker. No significant distortions at the max volume but a bit muddy.

Huawei Ascend P7 speaker
Huawei Ascend P7 speaker

Due to the flat glass back design, the speaker output is blocked when you place it on a flat surface like a table. It is fine when you are holding it, as the sound wave will bounce toward you after hitting your palm.

Huawei Emotion UI and Apps

Ascend P7 is running Android 4.4.2 (KitKat) with Huawei’s Emotion UI 2.3. It features rounded corner app icons with shadow, you can arrange apps into folders.

Emotion UI does not have app drawer, all installed apps are sitting on home screen pages. It may looks familiar for iOS users but existing Android users would prefer cleaner home screen pages.

It has a time saving feature that you can shake the phone to automatically align app icons on home screen pages.

Emotion UI supports themes. It has 9 official themes for you but do not have theme store (yet?). The default “Balance” theme will automatically rotates a collection of beautiful wallpapers on lock screen.

On lock screen, you get 4 handy app shortcuts: calendar, calculator, torch, and mirror.

Mirror app is interesting and I think girls will like it. It is a simple app make use of Ascend P7’s 8MP high resolution front camera to mimic a mirror. You can pause the screen, switch to close-up shot with one touch. Perfect for checking pimples and blackheads on your cheeks.

Swype is the pre-installed keyboard input method. It is a good input method supporting multiple languages but Huawei does not include Chinese language for the keyboard. I also did not find Chinese language in the list of downloadable languages. This is weird because Huawei is a China company and the phone is also made in China.

Huawei Emotion UI Simple home screen style
Huawei Emotion UI Simple home screen style

For elderly users, the many app icons on home screen could be confusing. Ascend P7 supports Standard and Simple home screen style. The latter has a simple layout and large icons.

Huawei Ascend P7 Phone Manager screenshots
Huawei Ascend P7 Phone Manager screenshots

Phone Manager is powered by DU Speed Booster (Google Play link), a popular Android optimizer and cleaner app. It optimizes your phone by closing apps and cleaning junk files to free up memory and storage space. In manual optimisation, you can close apps that keep running after the screen is turned off to save power.

Suspend button is a on-screen virtual button stick to the screen edge. Tap it to open quick menu: back, home, small apps (music, message, note, calculator, calendar), lock screen, clean up memory.

Huawei Ascend P7 suspend button and calculator mini app
Huawei Ascend P7 suspend button and calculator mini app

Camera

Standing out among other smartphones, Huawei Ascend P7 equipped with a 13MP F2.0 main camera and a 8MP front camera. 8MP is the highest resolution for smartphone’s front camera I ever try.

You can take a quick snapshot while phone screen is still off by double pressing the lower volume button. The fastest time is 1.2 second, or less than 2 seconds. You will see the camera launch time after taking the snapshot.

Quickly launch Camera app and capture first photo in less than 2 seconds may sounds useful but the result photo is often blurry and out of focus. I only use the camera shortcut to take a quick picture of parking lot number to remember where I park my car.

List of Ascend P7 camera modes
List of Ascend P7 camera modes

The Camera app is simple to use, it does not have scene modes but camera filters. It can take pictures automatically using Audio Control when it detects a voice reaches preset decibel level. Meaning, you can shout any word to fire the shutter. This wikipedia ‘say cheese’ page will gives you some ideas.

Watermark mode allows you to add 1 out of 10 predefined watermark images to your photo. You can customise watermark text and location. Too bad, you cannot add your own image (company logo) as watermark.

The Camera app has a Beauty mode with 10 level auto-facial enhancements for you to take more beautiful photos of persons. Don’t overuse it. Level 10 will result very fake portrait photo. I think Level 3 is good enough.

Compare different Beauty Mode levels
Compare different Beauty Mode levels (click to enlarge)

Want to take group selfie? Ascend P7 is the first smartphone to enable you take a panorama selfie (“grouphie”, “wefie”) with 8MP front-facing camera. It will take and merge 3 photos into a single 1952×1274 (2.5MP) photo. The panorama selfie has a fisheye effect where center objects will look larger. Make sure you are not standing in the center, should you mind about your head size in the photo.

Huawei Ascend P7 Panorama Selfie (grouphie) sample photo
Huawei Ascend P7 Panorama Selfie (grouphie) sample photo

Both 13MP and 8MP cameras take good photos in good lighting but have some issues under low light environment. Photos I took using front-facing camera in room with curtain down (low light) are reddish. Indoor photos taken by rear camera have high noise level.

Huawei Ascend P7 photo samples

Here are some photos taken by Huawei Ascend P7 front- and back-facing cameras, click thumbnail image for original big file size.

Performance

Unlike other smartphones which powered by 3rd party mobile processor, Huawei Ascend P7 uses their own in-house 1.8GHz HiSilicon Kirin 910 quad-core CPU, paired with 2GB RAM and 16GB internal memory, support microSD memory card up to 64GB.

Ascend P7 performance is above average but not the top line. It is good enough to be my primary phone for everyday usage. Opening and switching apps have small delay, which you may not notice until you used a top performance Android phone.

Huawei Ascend P7 benchmark results (AnTuTu & Quadrant)

Huawei Ascend P7 benchmark results (AnTuTu & Quadrant)

Based on the benchmark results, Huawei Ascend P7 performance is above Samsung Galaxy S3 but lower than S4.

  • AnTuTu Benchmark: 25397
  • Quadrant: 6988
  • Vellamo Metal: 911
  • Vellamo Multicore (beta): 1314
  • Vellamo Browser (Chrome): 1861
  • Futuremark 3DMark (Ice Storm Unlimited): 7650
  • Futuremark 3DMark (Ice Storm Extreme): 5094

Dual Antennas

Huawei claims that Ascend P7’s dual antenna design can improve signal receptions and stabilized connection even during weak signal reception to minimize battery drain.

In my unscientific tests, Ascend P7’s WiFi connection performance is better and mobile network speed on highway is faster, when comparing with other smartphones.

But, I noticed that Ascend P7 will switch to offline mode (no mobile network connection) when mobile signal is weak and unstable. Perhaps it helps to save battery juice by not searching for network during weak signal reception.

Personally, I prefer my phone to stay connected all the time even only weak signal is available. I don’t mind to charge it with a power bank later.

Battery life

Huawei Ascend P7 uses a 2,500 mAh lithium polymer battery and supports advanced power-saving mode. It last for 13 hours for my normal usage. Glad that it is another smartphone last for a whole day.

In my battery drain test, playing 1 hour full screen video will drained 20% of the phone’s battery. Meaning, a fully charged Ascend P7 can play video continuously up to 5 hours.

(left) Ascend P7 power saving plans. (right) Ultra power saving mode
(left) Ascend P7 power saving plans. (right) Ultra power saving mode

Ultra power saving plan can almost double battery life (35 mins to 60 mins) but only basic call and message functions available.

Huawei Ascend P7 specs

  • 5.0 inch touch screen, Full HD 1920×1080 resolution
  • 1.8GHz HiSilicon Kirin 910 quad-core CPU
  • 2GB RAM
  • 16GB internal memory (support microSD 64GB)
  • Android 4.4.2 (Huawei emotion UI 2.3)
  • 13MP F2.0 rear camera with flash, 8MP front camera
  • 4G LTE, WiFi 802.11b/g/n
  • 124g weight
  • 2500 mAh battery
  • Price: RM 1,499

Conclusion

Many girls would love the camera features designed for them, such as beauty mode, group selfie, mirror app. Even if taking photos is not your thing, Huawei Ascend P7 is still a good smartphone choice.

The design is nice, battery life is good, and phone management for advance users. The phone switching to offline mode on poor signal is a bit annoying. The CPU performance is a bit lacking but I am willing to use it everyday.

I would like to thank Huawei Malaysia for the opportunity to review Huawei Ascend P7. This is a free product review with honest write-up. Interesting to submit your products for review? Get in touch with me.

New Moto G with 4G LTE and MicroSD Card Slot, No Dual SIM Capacity

Moto G with 4G LTE
Moto G with 4G LTE
Moto G with 4G LTE

When Moto G launched in earlier in February 2014, I said that it is a ‘Value for Money’ Android smartphone start from RM698 (8GB).

Moto G had set a new hardware specs for budget smartphone. It was a good buy that I recommended to everyone. Apparently, Moto G is the best selling smartphone in Motorola’s history.

Few months passed, Moto G’s specs and price are no longer competitive. We already have many new smartphone models under RM800.

Moto G with 4G LTE

In July 2014, Motorola is working with Brightstar again and introducing Moto G with 4G LTE in Malaysia.

The new model includes two missing features in Moto G — 4G LTE and memory expansion slot (support up to 32GB).

However, Moto G with 4G LTE does NOT support Dual SIM and no 16GB model (in Malaysia).

Moto G 4G LTE specs

Besides what have mentioned above, Moto G with 4G LTE specs remain the same as Moto G (3G). Here’s the Moto G with 4G LTE specs:

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 @ 1.2 GHz quad-core CPU
  • 1GB RAM
  • Android 4.4 KitKat
  • Memory: 8GB, support microSD memory card up to 32GB
  • weight: 143 gram
  • 4.5 ” 720p HD, 329 ppi, gorilla glass 3, water-repellent coating
  • 2070 mAh battery (up to 24 hours)
  • Single SIM, 4G LTE
  • WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • 5MP rear camera with 720p video capture
  • 1.3MP front camera with 720p HD video capture
  • Dimension: 65.9mm x 129.9 x 6.0–11.6mm

Moto G with 4G LTE price in Malaysia is RM799 (8GB), available in Black and White.

Thought

Moto G with 4G LTE adds 4G and microSD card slot, but removes Dual SIM capacity. It is an affordable 4G smartphone at RM799.

The question is, how important is 4G LTE speed for you?

Personally, I do not online stream videos on smartphone, 3G or 4G speed does not matter for me. Plus, 4G network coverage is still limited in Malaysia and mobile data quota is expensive.

I would rather use the same money to buy a 3G smartphone with more storage space and better phone specs. Or, you can save money and buy the now cheaper Moto G 3G (RM618) on Lazada.

Brightstar

Here’s DiGi 4G LTE Plans and Coverage

DiGi 4G LTE banner

DiGi 4G LTE banner

At last, DiGi 4G LTE network is now available in limited areas in Klang Valley for all customers who subscribe to specific “DiGi Broadband and Tablet Plans with 4G LTE”. Read on to learn about the DiGi 4G LTE plans and coverage areas.

Tell me about DiGi 4G LTE plans

DiGi 4G LTE is not an automatic upgrade for customers. DiGi customers need to change their SIM cards to DiGinet+SIMs at selected DiGi Stores to activate 4G LTE service.

Only customers who subscribe to DiGi Broadband and Tablet postpaid plans with 6GB Internet quota and above (paying RM89/month and above) receives free 4G LTE service.

Customers with DiGi Broadband and Tablet plans with less than 6GB data quota do not receive free DiGi 4G LTE service. They will need to subscribe addtional DiGi 4G LTE On Demand 1GB Internet quota for RM8 per day or RM30 per month (Yes, RM30/month for 1GB data) to enjoy super fast wireless broadband in DiGi 4G LTE coverage area.

DiGi 4G for iPhone and other smartphones?

Sadly, just like Celcom 4G, DiGi 4G is data only at launch. It does not support smartphone nor iPhone 5.

DiGi 4G LTE coverage area

The first DiGi 4G LTE coverage areas, or “DiGi 4G LTE Zones” as they named it, is limited to a few areas in Klang Valley. Check out below DiGi 4G LTE coverage maps (click to enlarge) to see if you are lucky enough:

Thoughts

Disappointed that no free & auto network switching to DiGi 4G LTE network for all existing broadband customers. DiGi not only ask customer to pay for data quota, but now also ask customer pay for 4G speed. Not good.

Plus, DiGi 4G LTE coverage areas are very limited. In fact, it is only a few roads in Klang Valley. If you purchased DiGi 4G On Demand, make sure you stand where you are and do not walk outside the limited coverage area.

What do you think about DiGi 4G LTE? Do you think paying for higher speed is fair?