Malaysia

Best Midrange Smartphones in Malaysia below MYR 1,500

Q3 2018 Edition

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Let’s be honest here: Flagship smartphones are not all that. They come with hefty price tags, and most certainly can be overkill to the basic needs of some consumers. Not everyone needs the latest Galaxy or iPhone. What’s the next best thing? Midrange smartphones. Better yet, this list of midrangers might be tailored just for you with a MYR 1,500 cap, so you’ll get bang for your buck.

Do be warned though, some of these smartphones are truly no-brainers for their respective price tags.

Huawei Nova 3i (MYR 1,249)

This smartphone could very well be the most attractive one on this list. Fresh off the shelf earlier last month, the Huawei Nova 3i takes design cues from the company’s flagship twilight-colored P20 Pro. Not to forget, this sharp-shooting quad-cam beast screams premium with its glass design.

ASUS ZenFone 5 (MYR 1,299)

ASUS is looking well oiled now with its latest ZenFone series. The ZenFone 5 has proven to be a worthy contender among midrange smartphones in 2018. This time, the company has even opted to keep bloatware to themselves, with only core Android apps pre-installed. Coupled with a solid set of cameras and more natural-looking selfies, this phone is worth your attention.

OPPO F7 (MYR 1,299)

OPPO has had a long history of promoting its selfie-centric devices. If selfies are your thing, the OPPO F7 is most likely your best bet for a midrange smartphone. The AI-equipped front-facing camera is excellent for the crisp selfies you need. The F7 is quite the endurance champ too with its 3400mAh battery, so if you take a ton of selfies yourself, you’ll know what to do.

VIVO V9 (MYR 1,199)

This is the other selfie warrior on this list. The VIVO V9 has only contributed to the company’s rise to fame in recent months with what it offers. Stutters and lag are the least of your worries with the solid Snapdragon 626 processor and the ample 4GB of RAM. The V9’s dual rear cameras and 24-megapixel selfie camera among everything else, make it a strong option in this spectrum.

Nokia 7 Plus (MYR 1,499)

Like stock Android? Look no further. All the nostalgia surrounding Nokia and its great comeback makes the Nokia 7 Plus all the more attractive to have in your hand. The dual rear cameras’ optical zoom capabilities, powerful Snapdragon 660 processor, and whopping 3800mAh battery all make it hard to turn your back on this one.

Samsung Galaxy A6+ (MYR 1,299)

If Samsung can produce the great Galaxy S9 series, you wouldn’t be expecting less from their midrange offerings. Enter the Galaxy A6+. Packed with Samsung’s signature Super AMOLED display at 6 inches, media consumption will be a more common activity. The main 16-megapixel shooter of the two rear cameras has a bright aperture of f/1.7, and the 24-megapixel selfie cam packs a punch, too.

Xiaomi Mi A2 (MYR 999)

Xiaomi’s second-ever stock Android handset shouldn’t be overlooked. Yet another budget smartphone running stock Android, the Mi A2 has been promised two years of software updates by the company. The dual rear camera setup has been upgraded from its predecessor, and the front facing 20-megapixel camera coupled with an LED flash provides much-needed assistance under low light.

Malaysia

Nokia goes all-in on more Android One phones

HMD Global confirms

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More than two years ago, Nokia started its comeback story. After selling out to Microsoft, the former market leader resurrected its properties under a new direction. Now, after setting up shop anew, Nokia is one of recent history’s success stories.

With success in the bag, Nokia has set its sights towards the future. In a recent interview with Neowin, Vijay Thangavelu, HMD Global’s country manager for Malaysia and Myanmar, described the company’s plans for future success.

Among others, Nokia’s plan includes a stronger dedication to its current market. Notably, the company earned back a lot of respect because of its current feature phone lineup. Rather than attack the lucrative premium phone market, Nokia injected a lot of volume into the budget-friendly market. The company created affordable but memorable feature phones across the two years.

Spotting this key strength, Nokia will reinforce this lineup in the future. “Our smartphones in the Android One family offer a high-quality software experience designed by Google,” Thangavelu said. “At this point in time, we are confident that the Android One programme will continue delivering the best user experience on a Nokia smartphone.”

Powered by Google, the Android One program punctually delivers the latest Android software experience to participating phones. Over time, the program has become synonymous with the vanilla Android experience. Throughout its recent success, Nokia has partnered with Android One frequently. Given Thangavelu’s statement, Nokia will still go all-in on more Android One phones in the future.

Unfortunately, Thangavelu declines to comment on other potential developments. When asked about the recent PureView acquisition and the penta-camera phone, he asks everyone to just “stay tuned.”

Regardless, his statements have shed some optimistic light on Nokia’s future. Prepare for more of Nokia’s Android Ones in the future.

SEE ALSO: Android 9 Pie finally available for Nokia 8 Sirocco

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Her GadgetMatch

#ArtistsofSEA: Celebrate the diversity of Southeast Asian art

Plus tips on how to support your local creatives

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Image source: @porkironandwine

Need a little pick-me-up to start off the year? Have some more visual inspiration! In my previous article, I slightly touched on how Twitter is now the go-to social media site of choice for many in the artist community when it comes to sharing their work. While that article was written in the spirit of #Inktober, this one is a little different: we’re going local.

Filipino artist Caleb (@porkironandwine, whose work on Filipino mythology you may have seen around) saw an opportunity: to shine the spotlight on the oft-underrepresented diversity of talent from fellow artists in Southeast Asia.

His tweet blew up and now has more than five thousand retweets at the time of writing and nearly eight thousand likes — and the #ArtistsofSEA hashtag remains in full swing. Here are some of the amazing artists who shared their work using the tag.

Cambodia

Indonesia

Malaysia

Philippines

Singapore

Thailand

Vietnam

Finding adequate appreciation and just pay for their work are struggles that all creatives can relate to. Hashtags such as #Inktober, #PortfolioDay, #ArtistsofSEA, and more work to not only help artists network and build community through mutual appreciation, but also connect them with work opportunities. Our Southeast Asian cultures provide an amazing base for inspiration. Supporting local artists can help them share that in their home countries and the wider world.

Here’s how we can help:

  1. Buy their merchandise. Many artists sell prints, accessories, and wearable merchandise at local conventions. Some are stocked in specialty stores. Look out for events near you! Most of them also have online shops.
  2. Pay for commissions. If you find an artist whose style you love, consider commissioning them. Artists price commissions depending on how elaborate the work is and how many elements are included; you can have a unique piece at any price point.
  3. Hire them for projects. Whether it’s personal or for work, consider hiring local artists for bigger creative projects that last a longer term.
  4. Pass their information on. You can also share the contact details and online accounts of artists you think fit other people’s projects if they’re seeking recommendations. Someone wants a statement piece for their home? Refer them to prints. A friend needs a graphic designer for their business? Share what you know.
  5. Retweet their work — and NEVER repost without credit. For those on a budget, supporting local artists doesn’t always need money. Simply retweeting and sharing their work from their official accounts — NEVER repost without their permission and full credit — is enough to do your part to help widen their reach.

This list is definitely not exhaustive and represents only a portion of artists sharing their work. You can continue to follow it and see more over here. Happy browsing!

SEE ALSO: Local artists from the Philippines gather to tackle mental health stigma

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Gaming

5 video games shortlisted for esports at SEA Games 2019

For PC, mobile, and consoles

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One of the best news to come out of the upcoming SEA Games in 2019 — at least for gamers — is the inclusion of esports as part of the 56 total sports being held at the event.

The announcement was made late last month, but what it didn’t mention was the list of video games included in the tournaments. Well, we now have the shortlist.

As of now, there’ll be five games to look forward to. For PC, we have Dota 2 and StarCraft II; on mobile, they’ll be Mobile Legends: Bang Bang and Arena of Valor; finally, console gamers will see Tekken 7.

One more title will be inserted into the console lineup, which will be decided in the coming weeks. The games for PC and mobile seem to be locked.

A total of six medal events will be spread out — two for each platform. There’ll be no gender divisions, so male and female competitors will play for the same medals.

Because Razer is a major sponsor, chances are the mobile games will be played on the Razer Phone 2; the gaming company may also be providing systems for the PC division. The consoles will be either the PS4 or Xbox One X/S.

The 30th SEA Games will transpire in the Philippines in November 2019.

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