I’m back (huh?)!

Hi all,
I’m having some free time now, and thinking of kicking start my blog, again. Currently I’m in the midst of gathering stories to tell you lot.

Stay tuned!


Melkco Limited Edition Jacka Type for my Galaxy S II

Melkco for Samsung Galaxy S II (Limited Edition)

Melkco for Samsung Galaxy S II

I’m a sucker for all leather cases, and it’s only befitting that I got one for my new Samsung Galaxy S II (SGS2) mobile phone. But I’m also a bit fussy of what type of leather case will adorned by my new phone.

I like a “closed” type of protective leather case. Translated: the case must be made from cow’s leather (I like the smell), should be padded enough to protect against scratching and accidental drop, should cover the whole phone, easy to operate and the colour must be ferrari red.

Melkco for Samsung Galaxy S II (Limited Edition)

Hand-made

After much soul-searching via bread-and-mortar and online shops, I’ve decided to go for my old brand, Melkco. And it’s not a normal Melkco leather case, it’s a Melkco Leather Case Limited Edition Jacka Type (Red/White) for the Samsung Galaxy S II.

Melkco for Samsung Galaxy S II (Limited Edition)

Distributed in Malaysia by xpeak

I bought it online at a Malaysian online store called “momoBoxx.com” (they have lots of cases for iPhones too!). Their prices are quite reasonable and I got my Melkco for only RM88 (most shops sell for RM128 – RM150). What a bargain! You can pay for your merchandise by using your credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, AMEX or PayPal) or your MayBank2U online banking.

Melkco for Samsung Galaxy S II (Limited Edition)

Still made in China, which is not a bad thing

Check out the photos after the jump (lots of ‘em), and my comments at the bottom of this page.

Melkco for Samsung Galaxy S II (Limited Edition)

My SGS2 ready to be dressed

Melkco for Samsung Galaxy S II (Limited Edition)

The leather case out of its box

Melkco for Samsung Galaxy S II (Limited Edition)

Limited Edition for this case, but how limited is it?

Melkco for Samsung Galaxy S II (Limited Edition)

Embossed into the leather...

Melkco for Samsung Galaxy S II (Limited Edition)

Melkco make sure that it was designed by them

Melkco for Samsung Galaxy S II (Limited Edition)

Melkco branding was everywhere...

Nice protective plastic covering the case

Voila! The case itself!

xxx

The leather case was hand made in China

Leather all over

The hole for the camera at the back of the case

What a craftsmanship!

Hole for the volume button

The phone is in the case! Takes about 3 seconds and it's in.

When opened, the miniUSB/charging port is exposed

The case looks like this with the phone in. Do check out the white threads surrounding the case. Isn't it beautiful?

The volume button is easily accessible through the hole

You can't see the miniUSB/charging port when the case is fully closed

The power button is also accessible through the hole

Top part of the case. The earphone port is uncovered and readily accessible. Please note that the hook of the case is adjustable.

The back is fully covered, except for the holes for camera and speaker

Eventhough the camera's hole is exposed, the surrounding is slightly raised to protect it.

Same goes to the speaker's hole

There you go! It's a beautiful crafted leather case and nice to look at!

The front screen is unobstructed

Pros: Quality leather case; nice fit for your SGS2; as thin as your phone; quite cheap (if you find the right place to buy); sturdy and light; nice leathery smell; nice texture and colour.

Cons: Might be expensive at some places; quite difficult to pry open after some time; top part of case might hinder your perfect usage; hook might not be tight enough.

My opinion? If you got the SGS2 or any other smartphones, go and get this leather case from Melkco! Unless you’re the type that only loves the jelly case that only covers the rear of the phone, you can’t go wrong with Melkco Jacka Type leather case.


SGS2 Teardown…

For whatever reason you wanted to open up and disassemble your Samsung Galaxy S II, I don’t want to know. But if you want to, here’s the video:

I just can’t imagine how easy it is to disassemble/assembled the SGS2 phone, or any other phone for all it matters. The manufacturers are making sure their products are put together as efficient as possible, and at the same time easy to repair too.

Good to know.


A Fridge Magnet From Australia!

Boomerang by Akmal Razlan 1 (aka Mabbutt)

Fresh from Australia

My best mate went to Australia a couple of weeks ago and got me an awesome fridge magnet in the shape of a boomerang!

Boomerang by Akmal Razlan 2 (aka Mabbutt)

In the shape of a boomerang

THe graphic depicted three animals unique to Australia: the Kangaroo, the Koala Bear and the long-nosed Bandicoot.

Boomerang by Akmal Razlan 3 (aka Mabbutt)

Animals and Ayers Rock

While in the middle of the fridge magnet is one of Australia’s great national landmark, the Ayers Rock.


An Android Convert (Samsung Galaxy S II)

After so many years being an Apple fanboy, it’s quite difficult to foresee my step towards being an Android Army. But I have my own reasons, and please read on to know about it.

Anyway, I bought the Samsung Galaxy S II (SGS2) (read the glowing review here) a few weeks ago after a prolonged search for the best Android phone, and has picked the phone with white as the colour of choice (slowpokingly thought that white is the new black).

Some info on the SGS2:

  • Quad-band GSM/3G;
  • 4.3″ 16M-color Super AMOLED Plus capacitive touchscreen;
  • 1.2 GHz dual-core Cortex-A9 CPU;
  • Android OS v2.3.3 with TouchWiz 4;
  • 8 MP wide-angle lens autofocus camera (front 2 MP) with LED flash, 1080p HD video recording at 30fps;
  • 8.5mm thickness and low 116g weight.
Samsung Galaxy S II Box (Front)

SGS2 in the retail box

The retail box is simple, mimicking the Apple iPhone’s renowned simplicity retail box. While the iPhone box is glossy, the surface of the SGS2′s box is velvety and feels like leather. Hmmm, something different.

Samsung Galaxy S II Box (Back)

Bottom of the retail box

The bottom part of the box explained what’s the phone is all about and its best features.

Samsung Galaxy S II (Inside)

White SGS2 in the box

The dimension of the box is slightly bigger than the phone itself. This will aids in keeping the cost of manufacturing down and more trees in the world. But to me, small box equals to small storage space. And the larger the storage space is, the more boxes can be put inside.

Samsung Galaxy S II (Front Brand)

The Samsung branding is proudly displayed on the top front of the phone. There's the speaker grill, camera, proximity sensor and light sensor holes at the front.

Samsung has becoming a force to be reckon with in the smartphone market. From a phone that is difficult to use years ago (too much Korean-inspired look and feel), to the simple Bada OS, and now to the current Android OS. The benefit of Samsung using the Android OS really shows here. With a specification that is more than the OS can handle, Samsung really sets the standard in the world of smartphones.

Samsung Galaxy S II (Actual Phone)

See how thin the SGS2 is!

This is one of the reasons why I skipped the iPhone 4S and got myself the SGS2. The screen size - 4.3″ 16M-color Super AMOLED Plus capacitive touchscreen. Acres of ‘em! That’s abundance of screen space to explore!

Samsung Galaxy S II (Back)

The flat back

The battery cover is coated in glossy white paint and it’s quite slippery to hold when you have oily fingerprints all over it. I don’t really have that kind of problem (not that I don’t have fingerprints) ’cause I’m using a leather case (more on this on the next entry) with my SGS2.

On the black version of the SGS2, the battery cover is full of dimples and gives the illusion of a grippy back. The battery cover for both the black and white versions is so thin you might think it will be easy broken. Well, based from the videos I saw of youtube, that is not the case as the cover is so flexible, you’ll be hard-pressed to be able to break it (see the video here).

Samsung Galaxy S II (Back Speaker)

Another Samsung branding at the bottom back and the speaker

The SGS2 is a thin phone (used to be the thinnest smartphone in the world) with 8.5mm of thickness. But the profile is slightly raised at the bottom of the phone to accommodate the speaker and reception assembly.

Samsung Galaxy S II (Back Camera)

It's 8 MP, baby!

The back camera is 8 megapixel (front is 2 megapixel) with LED flash and 1080p video capability. Awesome!

The photo capability of the SGS2 is probably 50% of the reasons why people flocked to buy the SGS2. The end result is a crisp photo with minimal artifact (check out an unedited sample here).

Samsung Galaxy S II (With Back Opened)

Inside, there are slots for the SIM and miniSD cards

The battery is rated at 1650 mAh and with normal use, it will last you about a day. But don’t expect the battery to last a day for the first few days of the phone’s ownership as you’ll suffer from the new-phone-syndrome, and this will eats your battery life away.

My only wish is for the battery capacity to be at least 2000 mAh, so my juice will probably able to last the whole day.

Samsung Galaxy S II (Battery)

Battery is rated at 1650 mAh but it could be a bigger capacity.

There’s a battery extended kit out there (read the review here) if you like to add more juice to your phone. But with the extended capacity (2000 mAh), comes the added thickness (about 1.6mm more), and with that Samsung has included an extra battery cover. Nice.

Samsung Galaxy S II (Earphone)

Unused Samsung mid-end earphone

The enclosed earphones looks premium enough to justify the high price of the SGS2. I haven’t got the chance to test the earphones as I’m using my trusty old Sony earphones for all my audio pleasures.

Update: I’ve been using the earphone for some time now and all I can say is: it’s crap! The build quality is quite good and comparable to other premium brands but the sound is thinny, virtually no bass (even when the bass equalizer is set to 80%) and full of echos. If you wanna use it for handsfree calls, it’s fine and you can hear the voice on the other end very clear. But as a music earphone, best avoid it like a plague. Invest in some higher-end earphones and you’ll never regretted it.

Samsung Galaxy S II (USB Cable)

USB cable

The USB cable is standard for all smartphones.For those living in a cave, this cable is for attaching the SGS2 to your PC/laptop.

Samsung Galaxy S II (Spare Earbuds)

Extra silicone earplugs

Your ear holes too big or too small? Fret not, Samsung is kind enough to enclose some silicone plugs for everyone.

Samsung Galaxy S II (User Manual)

Quick start guide

You call this a quick guide? It’s too thin, and too quick!

Samsung Galaxy S II (3-pin Charger)

Fast charger or weird charger?

The fast charger’s design is a bit weird. Rather than having a conventional charger, Samsung has gone all the way to make it weird, with the cable comes from the side rather than the bottom. Why Samsung, why?

Samsung Galaxy S II (Mini USB Charger Point)

MiniUSB

Using mini USB charger will minimise the size of the hole at the phone, thus enable the phone maker to make thinner phones. Really?

The SGS2 feels nice in my hand (but bigger than all my previous phones). There's a glimpse of my Melkco leather case here.

Pros: Well built phone; Android OS is superb; powerful processor; tons of free and paid softwares; great camera & excellent photo (even in macro!); nicely sized (try the Galaxy Note and you’ll understand); great screen; lots of third-parties accessories; IT’S SO BLOODY THIN!!!

Cons: Price too steep; battery life too short; white SGS2 makes the screen look small; minimal in-box accessories; shipped without a leather case (unusual for an expensive phone); slippery to hold for the white SGS2; crap earphone; screen in unviewable under sunlight.

Final Words - I’ve been using the SGS2 for about a month now and what can I say, it’s the best phone I ever bought! The Android OS is fantastic, easy to use, and the phone is well-built.

What I like most is the Android OS. There’s tons and tons of software available for SGS2 and most of them are free. The quality of the softwares are comparable to Apple’s and gaining.

But honestly, I think the SGS2 is over-spec and not many of the softwares available can take advantage of the duo-core power of the SGS2. Maybe the phone is ahead of its time but it seems that other manufacturer have come up with quod-core processors, which is double the processing power of the current chip in SGS2.

I, for one, likes to have something powerful I don’t really used, rather than didn’t have at all. What do you think about that?

Check out the videos by Samsung below:

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COMING UP NEXT: Melkco Leather Case for SGS2


What’s in your BlackBerry?

Are you using your BlackBerry (BB) phone just to chat (via BBM), check your emails, making calls or sending your SMSs? Well, to be honest, there’s more to just doing the basic things BlackBerry does.

I’ve been using a BlackBerry phone since 2009, starting with the Bold 9000 (or famously known as Bold 1). And now I’m using the not-that-new Torch 9800. I’m loving every minute of it, so far.

BlackBerry is basically still a business phone, and the lack of quality softwares really shows. While other competitors (hello Apple and Android!) are moving forward with the multimedia themes, BlackBerry seems to miss the boat and still hangs on to its loyal customers, which is getting lesser and lesser by the minutes.

I, for one, while waiting for BlackBerry to really kick its competitors’ asses, managed to go by with using some of BlackBerry’s great apps (yeah, they really have some!), such as:

BBM

This is a strictly BB to BB chat service, and uses the BIS to transmit the messages without using the carrier’s credits (thus giving the impression that BBM is free).

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WhatsApp

This app is something like BBM, but it works across platforms (iOS5, Android and Nokia). Thus giving users with different OS to chat with each other. The software works by matching the phone numbers from your phonebooks and check whether he/she has installed WhatsApp or not. And the best thing is, it works on Wi-Fi!

You can use the app for a year, and after that you have to pay for it (you can’t cheat as it linked your phone number to the app, unless you change your number later on).

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Facebook

No need to explain this (unless you lives under a rock all these while). Now you can access your FB via your mobile. Marvelous!

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QuickPull
Your BB needs to be resetted from time to time to free up some memory (BB is not that good in managing memories). This app will simulate the action of pulling out the battery from your BB. But once resetted, you have to wait for about 5 minutes for the phone to be restored.
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Twitter

If you’re the kind who loves your tweets from your sweet, then installing the twitter app is another no-brainer. Now you can tweet on the go!

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App World

App World is where you can download stuff for BlackBerries, paid or free apps.

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BlackBerry Protect

This is the app to conveniently helped you making backups and restores your BlackBerry data (contacts, text messages, calendar and bookmarks) wirelessly, at a chosen intervals.

If you lost your phone, you can access BlackBerry Protect via browser and do a secure lock, or a secure wipe of your data. Misplaced your phone? Don’t worry, BlackBerry Protect can help find your phone.

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ScoreMobile FC

I’m a football addict (or soccer to the Americans). Installing ScoreMobile will enable me to find the scores of football matches, future fixtures and statistics of the games. Brilliant and easy!

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Call Blocker Pro

There are times when you don’t really want to answer specific calls from unknown callers, your mother-in-law, or your boss. Well, this is the software for you! You will be able to block all calls, or only private numbers, or the one not in your phonebook. Then you can direct them to voicemail or simply just hang up. Must have!

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BatteryWatch

For all you info addicts out there, here’s a software that able to tell some information about your phone’s battery. Knock yourself out.

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Vlingo

Too lazy to type? Well, here’s an app that enable you to talk to your phone. You can ask the app to write you an email/sms (a’la Siri), or update your Facebook/Twitter, or just pick a contact to make a call to. All these through an assigned button. Stupendous!

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SalatMK

Very useful app for Muslims. It will tells you the prayers time. Enough said.

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WordPress

Got yourself a WordPress blog? Nice! No access to your computer? Worry not! You can update your “Life as a desperado” blog on the go with this WordPress app for BlackBerry.

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foursquare

Wanna be a mayor at your favourite coffee shop? Loves to tell people where you are at any time and day? Check out foursquare for BlackBerry. Just don’t bother about your privacy.

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mydistress

This app will assist you to get help from the police, but it works only in Selangor, Malaysia. The Selangor Police is conducting a trial in Selangor for users of this app to seek help in case of distress. Once you activated the silent alarm, the police will be able to find you via GPS. Read about it more at mydistress site.

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Shazam

This is something that I experience recently. The app works by recognising songs that are currently playing, no matter where you are. For example, you heard a song while dining in a restaurant, and wanted to know the title of the song as well as the singer. Well, wait no longer. Just whip out your BB, open the Shazam app and touch away. Shazam will then try to compare the song that it heard with its database and if available, will give out the result. As simple as that. I kept asking myself, why didn’t I found this app sooner?

Please let me know if I missed any other good apps, paid or free. All of the apps featured here are either free or available free for a specific period.


Point to Ponder…

Which camp are you (Click to enlarge)?


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