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Saturday, March 31, 2018

Review - Dim Sum Streaming Service



I obtained six months free subscription for this service from my membership with TheStar website.

Selection

Dim Sum only provide Asian contents - Shanghai, Korean, Thai. Selection include movies, series and documentaries. So far I have seen a few Thai movies. The movies are quite innovative.

Download

Download for offline viewing are available for both movies and series. Downloads expire after 14 days. We cannot specific the resolution of the download but will prompt for language selection if there is more than one available (usually Mandarin or Cantonese).

Mobile Data protection

This is one area lacking in the Dim Sum application. When I tried downloading two movies, it ended up consuming 3 GB of my quota. I later found that a setting to restrict the use of mobile data in the setting. It is strange that this is not the default option.

Tracking view progress

View progress is tracked across devices similar to iFlix and YouTube.

Price

The subscription is RM15 per month. I did not find any discount options available. For iFlix, it was RM 10 per month if you paid monthly and RM 8 per month if you paid annually.

Summary

I love watching the Thai selection but I am unwilling to pay the monthly fee. I am unlikely to pay for the renewal after the free period expires.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Review - iFlix streaming service


I was reluctant to subscribe to any streaming service but since it was offered free, I decided to try it out. This is my impression of the service.

iFlix
iFlix Logo






Selection

IFlix provides a combination of Korean and English movies and television series. There is a collection of Marvel movies, of which Guardians of the Galaxy is the latest. Series includes shows from TLC, ABC, Nickelodeon, and ABC. The Korean selections are from O!k and tvN. There are also some Malay movies and Malay series as well as Malaysian Football.

I found some great Korean movies and series which I would not have found without this service.

Only one of two series are up to date - The Flash and Britannia.

The variety is enough to keep me occupied.

Download

Download for offline viewing is only available for series. Downloads are disabled for movies. Downloads expire after seven days.

When downloading, we are prompted for the resolution to download, so that we know how much storage will be consumed by the download.

Mobile Data protection

The application triggers a warning if it detects that streaming is on mobile data, we then have the option to proceed or not. The same goes when it comes to downloading.

Tracking viewing progress

Viewing progress is tracked across devices but it is not always accurate.

Price

Various providers such as Maxis, Telekoms and Digi provides free subscription. Initially, it was six months for Unifi but it was extended to one year. It is only RM 8 per month if you pay a one year subscription.

Summary

Given the price and flexibility, I think this is a great service especially for those that are not so technology savvy. I started the subscription for my dad so that he is able to easily watch movies and t.v. series; especially by casting the show to the television equipped with Chromecast.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Mobile@Unifi Review

Telekoms has been pushing the Unifi branding on all its products. The latest product to use this branding is a mobile prepaid service called mobile@unifi. During the three months promotion period, the sim card is given free (list price is RM10/-). Each person is allowed to request up to 5 sims.

The first one million sims come with 20GB data, 10 minutes talk time and 10 sms. To me it looks like a great deal. An excellent opportunity to test the dual sim feature on my new phone. However, using dual sim significantly reduces the the battery life due to the use both antennas. Initial experience was good in terms of coverage, probably because I was with the city limits. When I first started using the sim, it was H+ but turned to 4G when I went for lunch. While using for the past 3 weeks, I had only had two occasions where the 4G signal was on but I could not browse the internet.

However, when I tested the speed, it was disappointing; even though 4G was indicated but the download speed was only 1.1 to 3.0, upload speed was less than 0.1. Speed for hotlink was 8.7 for download and 4.3 for upload.



The idea of being able to carry forward the quota is great but the rules for keeping the line active was confusing. I suspect, I just need to top up RM 10 every 90 days for 2 months and then on the third month buy one add-on. However, I do not plan to try it since I like my existing service and am not willing to settle with the reduced battery life for using two sim cards.

Also, I am not sure if I set the unifi line for data, would it failover to my hotlink line in places with no coverage for unifi. If that happens and I do not purchase a data pass for my hotlink, it would actually cost more than the savings I hope to obtain by using unifi for my data.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Samsung A8 Plus (2018) Review

Finally purchased Samsung A8 Plus on the launch weekend on Jan 21, 2018 after getting frustrated with the need to keep rebooting my OnePlus One. As part of the launch, it was bundled with a 10,000 mAh power bank (which allows me to have two micro USB to USB-C adapter - one from the power bank and one that comes in the box) and 64 GB memory card. I planned to purchase A8 initially but bought the A8+ instead because of the additional memory (6 GB vs 4 GB) and storage. Difference between the two models are as follow:


A8
A8+
Battery
3000 mAh
3500 mAh
Weight
172g
191g
Screen
142.0mm
(5.6" full rectangle) /
140.2mm
(5.5" rounded corners)
153.6mm
(6.0" full rectangle) /
151.8mm
(6.0" rounded corners)
RAM
4GB
6GB
Storage
32GB
64GB
Price
RM1799
RM2499

Performance
Performance is great, I did not feel any lag even with after launching multiple applications. There a Device Maintenance options that allows me to clear the memory and also residual files. I noticed that the option to clear memory will not clear the recently opened applications (left software button at the bottom). Those applications will still occupy memory unless I clear it using the recently opened application options.

Split Screen

The recent application button can also be used to convert to split screen, allowing multiple applications on the foreground. It is a nice feature but when since the keyboard takes about ⅓ of the screen, it will cover most of the screen of the bottom application.


Battery

Battery is much better on this phone. In my previous phone, I had to charge the phone in the middle of the day but with this phone (if not the battery will be below 20%), I still have about 50% battery at 6 pm (starting with 97% at 6 am).

I had better battery life by keeping the phone on mobile data only (instead of mobile data and Wifi on). The battery life will probably depend on the stability of the signal.

Dual SIM with memory slot

The phone comes with SIM 1 + SIM 2 + MicroSD slots. Using both SIMs at the same time significantly reduces the life of the battery. Both slots use nano SIM. The tray feels fragile, probably not meant for frequent swapping.

Camera


In order to access the different modes for the camera, swap to the right when the camera is on. I did not know about this for the first month. Finally found it after some trial and error. Camera is speed is pretty fast. However, occasionally it is necessary to point on the object to force the focus. Majority of my photos were clear (but encountered a few blurred photos because I failed to force the focus).

Panorama mode:



I was not able to find the beauty mode (had it in Note 3 and also OnePlus One). Here are more photos taken using the phone.



Tried to get the flowing lights here but caught the plastic instead.


For Gif, only 20 frames are allowed. Unfortunately, the animation does not carry over in blogger.




HyperLapse mode is something new to me. Unfortunately, the animation does not carry over here, but you should be able to see the animation through this link.