Meet The Galaxy Note II, Samsung’s Most Important Phone Yet


The original Samsung Note was huge — in both physical size and popularity. Samsung sold over 10 million units of the huge phone, or rather, if you prefer, mini tablet. The Note II is more of the same, really. It sports a much more capable mobile SoC, which should make the Jelly Bean Android build run as smooth as, well, butter. Strangely, the new model features a lower resolution screen than the original, but that likely won’t hurt sales.

In all, the new Note is like the old Note. Engadget likes what they see so far. That’s a good thing. It’s still a massive thing, likely too big for some users. But that’s fine with Samsung. The Note II shows Samsung’s swagger. It might not be the best selling phone in Samsung’s lineup, but it’s the most important.

Samsung is fresh off a huge court loss that could have sweeping effects. Early reports from phone resellers indicate that users are actually dumping their Samsung phones twice as often as normal., a site that buys old phones from owners, reports a 50% increase in Samsung smartphones buybacks over the past three days. That’s just nuts. But Samsung is plowing forward even though some devices could face a ban in the U.S.

The Galaxy Note II is the successor to the widely popular Galaxy Note. The original Note wasn’t the first 5-inch touchscreen phone, but it was the model to make it big. The 5-inch Dell Streak busted into the market in the summer of 2010 but failed to make much of an impact. The Streak shipped with outdated Android software and Dell failed to provide updates in a timely fashion. Plus, unlike the Note, the Streak wasn’t marketed to the general consumer; the Streak was intended for the business crowd.

Samsung announced the Galaxy Note one year ago at IFA 2011. The phone hit the European market in late October and went on to sell one million units prior to launching in the U.S. the following February. Samsung went big with the Note’s marketing and went as far as showcasing it at CES in a huge booth by having artists draw caricatures of show goers. It was a widely popular stunt, and the booth often had a massive line.

Samsung is likely to go even bigger with the Note II’s advertising. The original’s success shows that there is a big market for large screen phones. With the new iPhone using a larger screen, Samsung’s argument for huge screens could be made easier this time around. If nothing else, the Galaxy Note II is a fine halo device, designed to draw consumers’ attention to the Samsung brand — and to the Galaxy S III.

Consider the Chevy Corvette — it’s too expensive and not practical for every buyer, but it brings people into car showrooms and that’s the Note II’s job too. The Note II is physically huge. It’s not for everyone. But Samsung would argue that the Galaxy S III, the Note’s smaller and cheaper counterpart, is for everyone. Where the Note II is Samsung’s Corvette, the Galaxy S III is the Chevy Camaro, an everyday driver.

At $199 with carrier subsidies, the Galaxy S III is Samsung’s mainstay. The phone still features a large screen, but it’s rather small compared to the Note II. The GSIII lacks a stylus, tablet-ish flappy cover and, most important, the negative connotation that it’s too big.

Samsung clearly knows what it’s doing. It’s the largest phone manufacturer in the world and the Galaxy S III will rival the new iPhone in sales; the Note series will not. But it doesn’t have to in order to accomplish its mission. The Note II gives Samsung’s lineup a bit of variety while still keeping the manufacturing simply by using parts similar to that found in the Galaxy S III. This way Samsung can offer more models while keeping manufacturing costs down.

Expect to hear a lot about the Note II in the coming months. It’s scheduled to hit Europe in October, with a wider release to follow shortly.

To view some pictures of the Note 2 click here

How to Buy a Nexus 7 in Malaysia



Ever since Google launched the Nexus 7 in Google I/O 2012, every Malaysian has been searching high and low for a way to purchase the Nexus 7 , and for a reasonable price at that. Because of that I’ve tried my best to search through the internet and all the online stores to try and find possible ways for us to get our hands on Google’s latest and greatest.


IPMart has been one of the fastest local resellers to offer the Nexus 7 , priced at RM949 for the 8GB version and RM1149 for the 16GB version. Yes , this might be RM300 more than the RRP price from the Play Store, but its the only option that ships fast and the only store locally selling it. I have gotten confirmation from Google Malaysia that they have no immediate plans to release the Nexus 7 here yet, so this may be a viable option. You have an option to pay either by Bank In, Credit Card , PayPal or even Cash On Delivery ( select States). Click here for more details.

Negri Electronics

Negri Electronics is well known for offering all the latest devices the fastest and they ship internationally – including Malaysia! The 8Gb version is RM780 and the 16GB model is RM1000 . It is slightly cheaper than IPMart, but when you take into account the shipping costs and delivery time, it comes up to the same. More info here.

Google Play Store

This is the cheapest but hardest option, as it requires you to ship to a US address, and have your friend ship it to you. You have the advantage of buying it with the RRP price of $199 / @249 but it’s quite troublesome to find a friend who is willing to go through the trouble to ship it to you. You will also have to get your friend in the US to purhase it for you, as the Play Store website isn’t accessible from Malaysia.

I hope these options certainly help you to get your hands on the much coveted Nexus 7 . We ourselves are working on purchasing one and we’ll definitely review the device when we get it. Stay tuned.


iOS App Review: Plague Inc

Plague Inc [$0.99] is a strategy title from Ndemic Creations with a pretty dark goal: launch a disease somewhere in the world and slowly infect the population, eventually infecting the entire world and eradicating humanity.

Sure, it’s just a video game, but there’s something about it that gets under your skin. First it’s fascination as you watch your creation spread and the number of infected skyrocket, then a sense of awe and sadness as that number slowly begins to reflect the number of deceased by your own doing.

It can be unsettling playing Plague Inc, but also hugely satisfying due to the many different ways you can go about accomplishing your goal. You control the evolution of your plague, its resilience, and the manner in which it spreads by way of various upgrade trees.

There are 7 different kinds of plagues in the game, and as Ndemic has revealed there’s a special new plague called the Neurax Worm coming in the next update. If you’re curious what this worm does, well, it burrows into the brain of its host and is able to take control over their bodies. Sounds pretty unpleasant.

The Neurax Worm option will come with new infection behaviors and new options for evolution. Since it can control the minds of its hosts, a new feature called Trojan Planes allows you to get a host to fly to the country of your choosing and begin infections. There will also be more ways to win besides just eradicating humanity, and new graphics and sounds to accompany the Neurax Worm.

There is a tiny catch: you’ll have to have beaten the game on Brutal difficulty in order to unlock the new Neurax Worm content for free. Alternately, you can purchase it for 99¢. Seems like a good idea, offering a paid expansion pack but having the ability to earn it for free by accomplishing a goal in the game. I like that.

Whether you buy the new expansion or not, there is still a ton of stuff in this update that all players will receive, including new events and achievements, an improved interface, better graphics and AI, Twitter and Facebook integration, and a host of other tweaks and fixes.

Plague Inc is one of those strangely compelling titles. There’s not a ton of interaction while you’re watching your plague overtake the world, but the choices that you’re given and how you utilize your resources are crucial for success.

If you think you can live through the guilt of murdering billions of people through devious and likely painful ways, then make sure you check out Plague Inc and keep an eye out for the Neurax Worm update which has already been submitted to Apple and should be coming soon.

App Store Link: Plague Inc

Best Football iOS apps: Essential 2012-13 season downloads

Looking for the best football apps for your iOS device? These are the apps to help you follow the new 2012/13 football season on your Apple iOS device.

1. Live Score Addicts

The slickest football scores app on the App Store already covers over 400 leagues and has been tracking the Premier League action since last season. As well as offering video highlights during and after the match, Live Score Addicts now offers live tables, starting line-ups, match statistics and key head-to-head information. The push notification service will let you know as soon as the matches kick off and when the goals begin to pour in.

Platform: iPhone, iPad and Android | Price: Free | LinkLive Score Addicts iPhone app now I Live Score Addicts iPhone review


2. Sky Go

Sky’s live TV app gives you access to Sky Sports 1 and 2, bringing you all the Premier League football action you could want. Oh, and there’s Sky Sports News – so you can keep on an eye on all the transfer deadline day drama.

Platform:  iPhone, iPad, Android | Price: Free | LinkDownload Sky Go iPhone app now

3. FourFourTwo Football Stats Zone

After taking care of stat-related matters at the EUROS, the Opta Sports-powered app turns its attention back to the Premier League providing the same detailed insight into tracking match data. From pass completion to player influence, you’ll be able to share it all on Twitter and Facebook so you can back up your booze-fuelled assessment that Mario Balotelli spent more time sulking than he did trying to get into dangerous positions in the box.

Platform: iPhone | Price: Free (no-in app purchase required) | LinkDownload FourFourTwo Football Stats Zone iPhone app now

4. ESPN Goals

Whether a Saturday night out means missing Match of the Day, or you are desperate to see the action on a Saturday, ESPN Goals delivers, well, goals, and a whole seasons worth of them. There’s also live stats and goal updates, but this app is all about getting access to the goalmouth action quicker than you can sink that last pint, and now it’s free.

Platform: iPhone, iPad, Android and Windows Phone 7 | Price: Free | Link::Download ESPN Goals iPhone app now

5. MatchPint

Trying to find the perfect place to watch the season opener? This pub finder app will help you find the perfect place to watch the game, letting you know how many screens are available, whether the sound will be turned up and even if the food is up to scratch. So you don’t have to pack an extra round of sandwiches in your bag that day…

Platform: iPhone, iPad | Price: Free | LinkDownload MatchPint iPhone app now I MatchPint iPhone review

6. New Star Soccer

One of the biggest iOS gaming hits of 2012, this simple but epic uber-addictive footie sim is like Football Manager, Sensible Soccer and Be A Pro mode from FIFA all beautifully moulded into a Spectrum-esque touch romp that you will truly struggle to put back down. In-app purchases will make the beautiful game go longer, but it is well worth the money.

Platform: iPhone, iPad | Price: Free | Link: Download New Star Soccer iPhone app

7. Sky Sports Live Football Score Centre

When you can’t enjoy the Saturday afternoon’s entertainment with Stelling, Le Tiss and the rest of the boys, you can stay up to date with live results from every match in England, Scotland and from across Europe.

Platform: iPhone, iPad and Android | Price: Free | Link: Download Sky Sports Live Football Score Centre iPhone app now

8. FIFA 12

Until FIFA 13 lands, this is still comfortably the best footy sim to get on your iPhone. Sporting sharper graphics (courtesy of the new Retina display), refined virtual controls to make it easier to play on a touchscreen, instant replays now means you can re-live the most memorable sweeping counter-attacking moves or simply pulling off a Cruyff turn.

Platform: iPhone, iPad and Android | Price: £3.99 | LinkDownload FIFA 12 iPhone app now

9. Football Manager Handheld 2012

To the dismay of wannabe wags everywhere, Football Manager steps out onto hallowed iPhone turf every much as addictive as the PC and MAC versions. A new real world stadium finder means you can find you way around the San Siro or Alexandra Stadium, home to the mighty Crewe Alexandra.

Platform: iPhoneiPad | Price £6.99 | LinkDownload Football Manager Handheld 2011 iPhone app now

10. Live Football on the TV

Making sure you know everything there is to know about fixtures on the box whether it’s Premier League action, a European match or even a reserve game,  this app will ensure armchair fans never miss a game that is being televised in the UK. Our condolences go out to football-hating spouses everywhere.

Platform: iPhone, iPad | Price: Free | LinkDownload Live Football on the TV iPhone app now

11. iFooty World Plus

From the Bundesliga to the deepest depths of South American football, get league tables, post match results, minute by minute commentary and find out whether the other Ronaldo is still doing the business in front of goal.

Platform: iPhone, iPad | Price: £1.99 | LinkDownload iFooty World Plus iPhone app now

What to do with your old mobile phone?



It has been estimated that in the UK the average mobile phone user replaces a phone almost every two and a half years. Anecdotally, many mobile users talk of replacing their handsets every time a contract (which typically lasts for eighteen months) runs out. Given this, it is clear that there are a lot of discarded mobile phones out there – one estimate puts the number of unused mobile phones in UK households alone at eighty million. But rather than leaving your old phone to gather dust in a drawer, what else can you do with it?

One option is to donate it to charity. There are many charities that can make good use of your old mobile phone. For example, Oxfam will either have the phones refurbished for use overseas or they will send them to a recycling company in exchange for cash. The UK based charity Refuge also refurbishes phones for use in developing countries. The Red Cross state that for every phone donated they can make up to thirty pounds, so this gives some idea of how valuable a revenue stream such donations are becoming to charities. Other charities make different uses out of old phones. For example, homeless shelters may provide refurbished phones to residents for emergency use.

Donating an old mobile phone to charity is a simple process. For popular charities the easiest way to donate might be to simply call into the store with the phone. Otherwise, most charities are more than happy to send out a stamp addressed, pre-paid jiffy bag: just pop the phone into the bag when it arrives and put it in the post.

If you donate the phone to charity you are not only helping the charity: you are also helping the environment. As the charities refurbish the donations, you are ensuring that an old phone doesn’t go straight to a landfill site and it means one less new phone is sold.

Alternatively, you can sell your old phone to a phone recycling company. Prices offered by these (mainly web-based) companies vary. The websites will state the price offered for a particular make and model of phone. If you accept, you can give your address via a form on the site and the company will usually post you out a pre-paid envelope. Send the phone on to the company when the bag arrives and they pay on receipt of the phone. While this option may be less altruistic than donating a phone, it is good for the environment – the phone will not end up in a landfill site just yet!




[Rumour] Samsung reportedly preparing Jelly Bean for Galaxy SIII, August 29th rollout?


After Google unveiled its latest flavor of Android during Google I/O 2012, everyone was anxious to know when their device would get the update, or IF? Samsung has been open about updating the Galaxy SIII to Jelly Bean, and reports are coming in from SamMobille and GSMArena that Samsung are working on the update and are expecting to release it on August 29. This date may ring a bell, as its the day that Samsung will be unveiling its Note 2 during the Unpacked event for IFA in Berlin. Looks like Samsung may have other announcements besides the Note’s successor.

Skeptics may say that this rumour may be just that, – a rumour – , as test builds of future OTA updates always end up leaking on XDA, with devs releasing the leaked updates to users. However, don’t take this with a grain of salt just yet, Samsung have certainly tightened up security on their part and are avoiding any leaks as far as possible. We haven’t even gotten a glimpse of the Note 2 yet, which clearly shows Sammy’s efforts.

The rollout is expected to hit international versions of the Galaxy S3 first, as carrier branded models have to go through their strict checks and “optimisation” process. Users in Malaysia can expect a brisk update as our models are part of the International rollout.

Stay tuned for more info on CrackTech.



Apple Still Crushing Competitors with 69.6% Share of Tablet Market in Q2

New iPad vs. Competiton

Amazon’s Kindle Fire might be a success, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab devices might be attractive and available in nearly every screen size imaginable, but Apple’s still crushing the global tablet market. A new report from iSuppli found that Apple’s share of the entire tablet market was 69.6 percent during the second quarter, up 44.1 percent from the first quarter of this year.

Apple shipped 17 million iPads in total, compared to Samsung’s 2.25 million units shipped and Amazon’s 1.02 million units shipped. Samsung’s share of the tablet market was just 9.2 percent, up 2.8 percent from the first quarter of this year. Amazon’s tablet share was just 4.2 percent, down 13.3 percent overall. ASUS and Barnes & Noble pulled up the rear with a 2.8 percent share and a 1.9 percent share of the global tablet market, respectively. It doesn’t look like Apple’s dominance will change anytime soon, either.

“Apple is making all the right moves to rebuild its dominant position in the tablet space,” Rhoda Alexander, director of tablet and monitor research for IHS said. “With the expected entrance of the 7-inch version of the iPad in September, Apple is sending a clear message that it plans to dominate this market over the long term. Apple’s major media tablet rivals, Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp., hope to challenge Apple in the second half of the year, but will be facing formidable headwinds with no sign that the market leader is backing off of its aggressive strategy in the market.”

Apple’s success is largely attributed to the iPad brand and its identity in the global tablet market, something that other device makers have struggled with. iSuppli also said that satisfied iPad owners return to the iPad for their next purchase, too. “Vendors must understand that customers are not buying hardware, but that they are buying an experience,” Alexander said. “Users then want to carry that experience across multiple devices, creating an opening for the savvy vendor into a much larger sales opportunity than a single tablet.”