Archive for February 2013

Sony 20mm Pancake Lens

Since today is International Pancake Day, I guess I should talk about pancakes. No, not the pancake that you eat. I’m talking about Pancake Lens. (OK, that is a pretty lame joke)

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Anyway, Sony recently announced the E 20mm F2.8 pancake wide angle lens, a new interchangeable lens for E-mount cameras. This bring the total number of E-mount lens to thirteen, inclusive of two teleconverter lenses.

Measuring just 20mm from lens front to back, the E 20mm F2.8 pancake wide angle lens is an ultra-slim yet tough. With its wide angle of view and bright F2.8 aperture, the lens is great for everyday shooting. Being small and light makes it great for street photography. And I also like to say, easier to hide from your wife or girlfriend.

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Unfortunately, you can’t get the new E 20mm F2.8 interchangeable lens for International Pancake Day. It will be available in Asia Pacific from March 2013.

Samsung TecTiles at Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

Samsung is collaborating with The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf (CBTL) in Singapore to reward its customers with a partnership to place Samsung TecTiles in 51 outlets in Singapore. The Samsung TecTiles are Near Field Communications (NFC) stickers the size of postage stamps.

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In the first business implementation of TecTiles in Southeast Asia, CBTL customers will be able to enjoy a free drink upsize from 8 February to 7 March 2013. All they need to do is tap their NFC enabled Samsung GALAXY S III or GALAXY Note II LTE on the Samsung TecTile found at the CBTL store and ‘Like’ the CBTL Facebook page for an instant drink upsize redemption.

It seems like the Samsung TecTiles at CBTL is just directing you to CBTL’s Facebook page. That is just one of the basic feature of the Samsung TecTiles. There are many other uses for it. The Samsung TecTiles can be programmed to automate everyday functions of a smartphone including silencing the phone when entering a meeting, setting an alarm, and dimming the smartphone display when going to bed. Or launch an app like Facebook or Twitter so that you can update your status quickly. Program the TecTile to send a SMS or phone call.

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The Samsung TecTiles are available at most Samsung retailers at S$28 for a pack of five TecTiles. You can download the Samsung TecTiles app from Samsung Apps or Google Play.

Something is coming alive soon at HTC

HTC is expected to announce their latest flagship phone (codename HTC M7) on 19 February 2013 at an event in London. The company recently released a teaser picture with a big red heart implanted on a chip.

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We don’t know if the heart has any connection with the new phone that HTC is launching.

The internet is full of rumors regarding the HTC M7. Rumors say that the phone will be called HTC One and comes with a 4.7-inch 1080p display, a 1.7GHz quad-core processor, 2GB RAM and 2,300mAh battery.

The camera is rumored to be a 13 megapixel Ultrapixels camera. Ultrapixels is a special type of sensor that has 3 layers of 4.3 megapixel sensor. This will result in sharper images and more accurate colour reproduction as information found on the 3 layers is processed down to 1 pixel. More information per pixel means better picture.

Well, all these are still rumors. We will find out on 19 February, 11pm Singapore time.

Sony Xperia Z water resistant test

I just received the Sony Xperia Z review unit yesterday. And like most bloggers, the first thing I did was to dunk it into water.

How often do you get to review a water resistant phone?

Just a disclaimer, the Sony Xperia Z water resistant level is IP 57. This means that when all the ports and covers are firmly closed, the phone can be kept under 1 meter of freshwater for up to 30 minutes. It is not intended to be used under water. Capacitive screen doesn’t work when underwater. But this is a good demo to show you the water resistant feature. You don’t need to worry when caught in the rain or accidentally pour water on it.

All phones should have this feature.

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OK, I’m going back to my annual Chinese New Year Spring Cleaning. Will blog more about the Xperia Z later.

mophie juice pack helium for iPhone 5

Finally! A mophie juice pack for iPhone 5. For a moment I thought mophie gave up on making juice pack for the iOS device.

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The mophie juice pack helium is a iPhone 5 battery pack that also acts as a iPhone case. mophie juice pack helium is 13% thinner than the previous mophie juice pack. The 1500mAh battery gives you additional 6 hours talk time or additional 6 hours LTE internet usage.

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Like all mophie juice pack, the mophie juice pack helium have a LED indicator to check battery levels and a on/off switch. The juice pack uses microUSB port to recharge and can also be used to charge your iPhone at the same time when plugged in to the wall socket.

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I know there are lots of battery pack out there in the market and some of them can go up to 5000mAh. But I still like the mophie juice pack because you can recharge your iPhone without any cable and battery pack hanging out. I had the mophie juice pack air for iPhone 4 and I love it. I highly recommend my friends to get the mophie juice pack helium for their iPhone 5.

The mophie juice pack helium comes in Dark Metallic and Silver colour and retails at US$79.95. Dark Metallic will begin shipping on 25 February 2013 while Silver will ship beginning March.