Wednesday, June 30, 2010

HTC Smart Review

Recently I got my hands on a brand new HTC Smart phone, and here is the review.

HTC Smart comes in a very small box. Great form factor.

The way the phone is packed seemed pretty efficient, you get the battery (in the phone) a charger, headphone and data transfer cable, and some instruction manuals.

This way of packing saves space!! You need to remove the plastic, and the battery can be used!

After inserting in the SIM card, here is the review!

The phone powers on, and the intro screen seemed pretty simple. The phone looks very basic and neat.

The back of the phone shows a neat 3.15MP Camera and flashlight...

The following are the specifications of the phone:

GENERAL2G NetworkGSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
3G NetworkHSDPA 2100

SIZEDimensions104 x 55 x 12.8 mm
Weight108 g
DISPLAYTypeTFT resistive touchscreen, 256K colors
Size240 x 320 pixels, 2.8 inches
- Sense UI
SOUNDAlert typesVibration, MP3, WAV ringtones
- 3.5 mm audio jack
MEMORYPhonebook1000 entries, Photocall
Call recordsYes
Internal256 MB RAM, 256 MB ROM
Card slotmicroSD, up to 16GB, buy memory
DATAGPRSClass 10 (4+1/3+2 slots), 32 - 48 kbps
EDGEClass 10, 236.8 kbps
3GHSDPA, 3.6 Mbps
BluetoothYes v2.0 with A2DP
Infrared portNo
USBYes, miniUSB v2.0
CAMERAPrimary3.15 MP, 2048x1536 pixels, LED flash
CPU300 MHz processor
MessagingSMS(threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Email, IM
RadioStereo FM radio with RDS
JavaYes, MIDP 2.1
- MP3/eAAC+/WAV/WMA9 player
- MP4/H.263/H.264/WMV9 player
- Organizer
- T9
BATTERYStandard battery, Li-Ion 1100 mAh
Stand-byUp to 450 h (2G) / Up to 600 h (3G)
Talk timeUp to 7 h 30 min (2G) / Up to 6 h 10 min (3G)

Here are a few points to note:

1) This phone runs on Brew MP (A Qualcomm OS)
2) It comes in 3 colors
3) This phone is cheap, even without a contract
4) On Brew MP, apps are hard to find and install.
5) The micro-SD slot is pretty nice to have, and allows songs, movies and photos to be stored easily.


In terms of looks, size and feel of the phone, this phone looks pretty good from all angles, has a great form factor, and is relatively light.

The talk time and standby time is descent, and even when I am listening to music (the 3.5mm headphone jack comes in handy) the phone could easily last more than a day.

The phone functions are pretty basic. With 4 buttons below the screen, Call, back, cancel and menu, it is not very hard to use, and yet is enough to perform most tasks. Anyway, its a touch screen, and you use the screen to input other information.

The display is pretty sharp, even in bright daylight, you can view it. The HTC sense, is quite intuitive, however, without multitouch and finger gestures found in iPhone and WM 6.5, this phone functions as just a basic phone with a touch screen with nothing more.

The Smart supports 256MB ROM and 256MB RAM, but there's a microSD card slot for increasing storage space up to a maximum of 32GB. A nice touch is that the card slot is accessible without having to remove the battery.

It takes descent photos, though the camera does seem a little slow on the shutter, and the video mode is pretty bad.

With a dataplan, you can access friend feeds (Facebook and Twitter), Gmail and surf the web, though it is pretty slow. Still, for something basic, its not too bad.

Flashlight mode
Good battery life
Cheap for a new handset
Stylish design
Compact form factor

No Wi-Fi
No Exchange support
Poor browser
Slow data performance
No GPS or map application
No app store for adding functionality
Terrible shutter lag on camera
Low quality video recording

Basically, this is a low end smart phone. If you are just getting into using a smart phone, this is very much an entry level which can help you get used to the different features, and access some emails, and browsing.

Rating 5/10

-- Robin Low

Sunday, June 27, 2010

#TweetMeetSG Review

TweetMeetSG event is for creating awareness for Infocomm Accessibility Centre (IAC) to make IT courses available to people with disabilities to bridge the digital divide and to increase the employment opportunities of people with disabilities.

This is a picnic at SMU Campus Green on 26 June, where everyone, regardless of abilities, will have the unique opportunity to interact with each other.

There are goodie bags, music, a tent and lots of equipment. Pretty standard stuff you will expect in an event.


SMU Campus Green
(located between School of Information Systems and Li Ka Shing Library)

+ The location is very centralized and easy to get to.

- Picnic area is on a muddy patch, not really suitable to sit on.

+ The location has electricity and necessary shelter for equipment.

- The muddy patch has a narrow walkway for handicap access, and it is otherwise inaccessible by wheelchair. (If a wheelchair is on the walkway, another one could not get by.)


A crowd of more than 400 people were expected, but the actual turnout seemed to be around 100 people, way below the expected turn out, though the weather was good.

There was ample supporters and handicapped people there to support the event, however, the participating people were not present. The event does not seemed to be promoted well.

I've asked many people at TweetMeetSG, and about 80% were apparently unaware that this was for a good cause until they arrived, and the #hashtag that was used was not very descriptive on what the purpose this event was for. I believe if the word got our properly, and if there was more time to promote the event, more people would turn up.

However, everything went smoothly, and there were only some minor hickups. In terms of getting the crowds to tweet and tell their friends about it, it was a breeze.

For a good cause, everyone is tweeting!

I would consider the event rather successful in getting corporates to sponsor products, however in terms of getting a crowd, it does some lack marketing and promotion to get to real crowds.

In Singapore, mobilizing crowds to meet for events on Twitter has been successful for smaller events like Twestival, however only the same group of bloggers and markets turn up. For the rest of Singapore, mainstream media still plays a big role.

However, I do believe in terms of word of mouth, this event will probably get descent coverage and people on Twitter would talk about IAC and spread the word of mouth.

I do hope attendees could recommend someone they know who is handicapped to IAC for training, and spread the word!

More information on IAC:

The Infocomm Accessibilty Centre (IAC) is Singapore’s first centre set up to provide training in infocomm technology for people with all disabilities types. It is specially equipped with a wide range of assistive technology devices to cater to the different needs.

IAC also works with the IT Apprenticeship Programme (ITAP) to further train disabled people for specific jobs so as to get them to be work ready.

For more information, please visit their site.

I wish the IAC success, all the best for your future endeavors!

-- Robin Low

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Orchard River in Singapore

After an hour of rain or so, Orchard Road flooded.

This is the review of the flood that is still going on at Orchard Road in Singapore.

There are a lot of construction going on in Singapore, the new downtown line is getting built, and Singapore enjoys covering up the open drains, and even the Singapore river is no longer a river.

But now, we have a new river in Singapore -- Orchard River.

Video of Orchard River

Video of Orchard River 2

Video of Lucky Plaza, not so lucky now..

Singapore wants to be #1 in everything, We may have been #1 once in Port, Airport, Environmental Offender, Human trafficking, Table Tennis, etc.

With the success on Venice with their Gondolas, maybe Singapore may one day emulate it with the help of poor drainage systems and heavy downpours.

Pity that you will get wet if you are trying to enjoy a nice boat ride though, but I guess a slow boat ride down Orchard Road may prove to be a fantastic experience. Great transport experience when it rains, and then some shopping later.

Rating: 8/10

-- Robin Low

Thursday, June 03, 2010

《福星到》Happy Go Lucky Movie Review

I was in Malaysia, on a late afternoon with nothing better to do, and I decided to waste a few hours and watch a movie, but since I have seen all the other movies, I watched Happy Go Lucky (2010) with a few friends.

The word waste is an understatement. This is my review.

This is first-time director Harry Yap’s new film, Happy Go Lucky -- How bad can it be?

Fann Wong and Richard Low are veteran Singapore actors, even with their experience in this overused genre of Singapore movie, can they save it?

To cut it short and save you from watching it, here is the story I've endured.

Happy Go Lucky revolves around a hardcore gambler, Hock Lee Poh (Richard Low) who is very superstitious and at the start of the movie, he was gambling during his wife's maternity and Fann Wong was born. With her cries as a baby, he lost a few bets and lost his car, and all his cash.

In a cut scene, a thief steals the god of fortune from the set of "Fu Lu Shou" and runs away.

Then it cuts to Fu Xing (Fann Wong), Hock’s daughter who works in a foot massage parlor. She is very serious about her job. Donna (Patricia Mok) Fu Xing's sister (from another mother) is her opposite, and she is lazy, and not concerned about her job, just partying all night.

Fu Xing was seen as the helpful one, who helps her neighbors collect old junk, and she paid $150 for some "antiques" and kept it for herself when her "friend's" wife is injured. All the other cast does not really appear in the movie again. In the junk, is the god of fortune that was lost.

Fu Xing works hard and and cooks at home, Donna and Hock complains about her cooking and does not eat. Hock seemed to be gambling all the time and whenever he curses in Hokkien, people seemed to relate and enjoy themselves, even when there was not much need to curse.

Hock has 2 gambling buddies who seem to not win much with him together, and they seem to lose a lot throughout the whole movie. Everyone in the movie seemed very superstitious and there are at least 3 scenes of different fortune tellers who came to give advice which did not matter in the movie at all.

Many characters in the movies are introduced, and their actions seemed inconsequential. When Donna met a "China" Gigolo, she became drunk and he took a lot of photos of her when she behaved like a slut, but never used them at all.

When Hock's friends borrowed money from loan shark, and lost in their gambling game, nothing seemed to happen as Hock won 2 million from a ticket Fu Xing bought.

Hock rapidly gambled away his fortune, and since he has always lost gambling for many years, I don't see why he was "sadder" than normal as it seemed that he had the money for such a short period, and he "gave" $400,000 to a prostitute and bought a Mercedes "S" Class.

Then Hock and Donna seemed to have "lost" everything within 3 months and left to gamble more in Cambodia. Their idea of losing everything was still able to bet US$50,000 and owning Rolex watches. They stole the "God of fortune" from Fu Xing, and brought it to Cambodia, and quickly lost it in a bet.

Fu Xing then comes to the rescue, and found her father and sister and returned to the casino to bet. Of course she won.

The story ends with Hock kinda learning his lesson, and no becoming a problem gambler anymore.

There was no plot, everything was expected. The casts besides the main cast do not add to the story, and the only jokes were the swears in Hokkien.

This is Super Weak.

-- Robin Low