Samsung Galaxy SII Non Camera – Spotted!

M1 is doing the camera removal service for the Samsung Galaxy SII. This is indeed a smart way to clear whatever stock they are holding for the Galaxy SII now that the Galaxy SIII has launched.

The pricing for the non-camera Samsung Galaxy SII White for M1 is below based on my understanding and you can enquire for the availability of the phone through their corporate sales enquiry.
  • Mass plan $418
  • ValueSurf $268
  • LiteSurf $118
  • ExtremeSurf $18

Currently, the Samsung Galaxy SII is still an M1 exclusive and only for those with contracts to be renewed. It is quite expensive in comparison to the Huawei Honor for albeit slightly better specifications only but the Samsung branding is much stronger than Huawei and in terms of custom ROM support, the Galaxy SII stands out with it being ICS ready and likely to be Jellybean compatible as well.
 

LEGO Hacks: Simplistic yet Functional

DIY lego keyholder

credit: http://www.minieco.co.uk/diy-lego-key-holder/

At GadgetReactor, we are constantly on the lookout for brilliant ideas. This idea is so simple and functional. Concurrently, it brings back good childhood memories. Lego, a simplistic toy, yet the nature of it brings forth so many possible innovative ideas. Just imagine, with spare lego bricks, how about a lego iPhone or Samsung Galaxy SIII dock?

This is so going to my new home.

There’s an entirely new world of possibility that can be DIY-ed with the simple Lego block. If only we still have the imaginative powers of kids.

Or.. how about taking the original key holder mod and combining it with a thumbdrive?

SSD Fever

Solid State Disks or SSD Prices have been on the downtrend with discounted prices reducing from approximately US$1 / GB to the current US$0.75 / GB. Amazon is currently selling the Crucial M4 SSD at less than $200. The Crucial M4 SSDs have been on the market nine months, and have built a good track record around mainstream value and reliability in that time. It has fantastic read speeds and strong write speeds as well. The Marvell controller is one of the better reliable ones and at the 256GB price range, this is currently one of the best deal.
However, prices in Singapore are still significantly marked up compared to US! A check on prices in Sim Lim showed that the same model Crucial 256GB SSD is currently retailing at S$379! That’s a significant $120 or 50% more expensive. Foregoing the warranty does seem like a viable alternative to buy from the US. Furthermore, with shipping concierge companies like VPost and ComGateway, make full use of their services plus the lower prices in the US to get an SSD for yourself. The average shipping price should be around S$15-$20 and for first time subscribers to both services, the initial discount should offset the price by approximately S$10, so do make full use of the first time offer! (DBS offers $10 off and 10% for first time ComGateway user.)

If you are considering a lower price point, another alternative for a great SSD is the Mushkin Chronos 120GB. You can buy it directly through Amazon through our Top Deals page. The Mushkin Chronos 120GB is an excellent performer and is currently one of the lowest priced SSDs around. I am using one myself and I am amazed by the speed boost it offers over a traditional SATA harddisk. After shipping, you would still save approximately 40% off the local retail pricing.

Most people tend to neglect hard disk speeds and focus on the storage capacity. An SSD, compared to a normal HDD, has no moving parts which limits the speed of the normal HDD. Similar to system memory, SSDs are microchips designed to store information. However, these are nonvolatile memory chips that can retain information the way hard drives do. For this reason, a computer that uses an SSD as the main storage device boots and shuts down very fast and can resume from sleep mode instantly. Software applications, including heavy ones like a 3D game or video-editing application, also take significantly less time to start and operate, compared with when the computer uses a hard drive as the main storage. For the amount of time we spend infront of the computer, application loading times, waiting for access to files, they all add up. Adding an SSD would reduce this time significantly and with the lower prices available today, now’s a good time to join the SSD fever and find out what you have been missing. A number of my colleagues have hopped on the bandwagon recently and they are enjoying the new found speeds!

A new SSD would help to speed up your computer in several ways:

  • Boot times will be significantly reduced.
  • Launching applications will occur in a near-instant.
  • Saving and opening documents won’t lag.
  • File copying and duplication speeds will improve.
  • Overall, your system will feel much snappier.

Huawei Honor ICS Update – Malaysian Version

The Huawei Honor is out of stock currently but be a little patient. Rumours are that M1 and Singtel would start offering this phone soon so for those non-Starhub contract people out there, there’s hope! Also, apparently during the first day launch, there were a couple of fortunate souls who bought the phone without contract at $428, it is unlikely that Starhub would continue to sell the phone without contract but perhaps one can try when M1 and Singtel launches. Confusion tends to exist with first day chaos.

Since there are more users out there now, here’s an ICS video showing off the capabilities off the phone with ICS loaded. The Huawei Honor comes with pretty decent specs and why restrict it with Gingerbread? Free your phone :)

The malaysian version of the 4.03 ICS ROM has also been recently launched and you can get it from the Huawei Malaysia website here. Apparently this version is non-beta and comes with more features than the Cambodian one. When would there be a Singapore version? 

Starhub launches the Huawei Honor Non Camera Version

Starhub has annouced that it will be selling the non-camera or camera removed version of the Huawei Honor U8860. This would benefit many Singaporean military personnel and those who work in sensitive locations where camera phones are disallowed. The price is only $48 with a low-end data plan and makes it very attractive to personnel in this industry whose other smartphone non camera choice is the Blackberry (RIM has been going downhill) and small numbers of the camera-removed Apple iPhone 4S which has since been discontinued. I’m quite certain that blackberry adopters would drop significantly with the launch of the Huawei as the Blackberry experience isn’t as good and forces people to sign up for a BIS plan.

Update: The phone has been selling well and has fast emerged as the non-camera phone for the military and other sensitive industry personnel. Gadgetreactor is consolidating a one-time mass buy for the phone at S$398! Details are available here.

 

The Huawei Honor is equipped with high end specs (1.4 GHz Snapdragon CPU with 512mb of RAM) which should be able to cope with many of the applications and demands today. Storage is expandable through a microSD card and it comes with 4.0″ LCD display. GPS, accelerometer and all the standard connectivity options are included. The provided battery at 1950mA is larger than its competitors and should see this phone lasting awhile longer. The OS is dated as it comes default with Gingerbread 2.3 but it is easily upgradable to ICS 4.0, by downloading the upgrade file here. Yes, it is the Cambodia version but it is an English ROM and works well.

After this, create a dload directory on your phone’s SD Card and copy the ZIP package to the directory.

Now, remove the connected USB cable and turn off the phone and then boot the phone into the idle mode.

Next, Click the Menu button to select the “Settings”> Storage> Software Update> SD card upgrade> select “OK” to perform the upgrade operation.

After this, when the screen displays “Upgrade Complete” means that the upgrade phase is completed, the phone will restart. It will likely take another 3 minutes for the boot process before it is completed.

Getting Google Music out of the United States

Google Music elevates your music media to the Cloud. It allows you access to all your songs anywhere in the world, purchase music (only when based in US), and download them back to your computer or phone for offline access when needed. The only catch: Google Music would not work in Singapore as you would need to be ‘based’ in US for the initial registration. And location can easily be spoofed.

The following is a quick guide to enable Google Music

  1. Download and install Hide-My-Ip which comes with a 14 day trial. Choose a US Proxy.
  2. Alternatively, try out http://www.superfreevpn.com/win7-free-vpn/ – preferred method
  3. Turn on Incognito mode or Privacy mode for your browser. This ensures a clean new connection without any pre-existing cookie or cache.
  4. Visit music.google.com or through play.google.com and start using the service. You can try adding a couple of the free playlists and upload a couple of songs through the music manager. The upload feature continues to work even after you deactivate the proxy.
  5. And that’s it. Google music activated. The Play Store limits access to the Google Music application if you are not in US but you can download it separately through the XDA Forums.Note: You can probably use other VPN services such as anonymisers or hotspot shield, but the easiest way for me was through SuperFreeVPN and then Hide-My-Ip.
Did it worked for you? Let me know through the comments, thanks!

I am in the process of moving my music collection on to Google Music.The free online storage locker for music has space for up to 20,000 songs that can be streamed through a browser on any computer or mobile device (including even iOS). With all my devices connected to the net, I don’t see a need for storing them on my hard disk offline and well, for those devices that I need to transfer music to, it shouldn’t be that much of a hassle to download a couple of albums or play lists for offline access. The quality of the music through the browser interface is good and it has a Pandora-esque instant mix function for quickly finding similar songs catered to your taste. It looks like it will take at least another two more weeks before I finish uploading all my songs, but the cloud does indeed seem the way to go.

The Complete Jailbreak Guide for iPod/iPhone/iPad

Jailbreaking lifts the limitations set by Apple and allows developers to expand the features on your iOS device (iPod / iPhone / iPad. More importantly, jailbreak is not illegal in the United States! However, with every iteration of iOS, there’s less reasons to jailbreak and increasingly, it has become harder too.

The below Jailbreak guide is for iOS version 8.4
Follow instructions at http://www.taig.com/en/tutorial.html.

The below Jailbreak guide is for iOS version: 5.1.1

The Quick 3 Step Guide to Jailbreak

  1. Update your device to iOS 5.1.1 through iTunes.
  2. Download Absynthe and extract the app to your desktop. Plug in your device, open Absynthe, quit iTunes (if its not closed automatically), and click the jailbreak button.
  3. Be patient. Your device will go into a fake restore session and reboot. When it reboots, DO NOT TOUCH IT OR UNPLUG IT. You will be notified on-screen when Absynthe completes the jailbreak. When it’s done, you can unplug your device from your computer.

And, it’s done. It IS really that simple.