Personal ramblings; and

Mobile technology news from Hong Kong and Japan that actually matters; hours & hours earlier than big sites
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phones previewed/reviewed by Samuel Chan at Mobileburn and Gearfuse

HTC Athena/ Dopod U1000

Qtek 8500/Dopod S300

LG KE800

LG KG810

LG KG920

LG KE970 Shine

LG KF600

LG P7200

LG S5200

LG U830

Motorola E6

Motorola MS550


NEC N840

Nokia 1265

Nokia 1325

Nokia 5300

Nokia 5500 Sports

Nokia 8800 Sirocco

Nokia N76

Nokia N95 cam vs SE K800

Palm Treo 750v

Panasonic VS7

RIM Blackberry 8700v

Samsung D800

Samsung D830

Samsung D900

Samsung F300

Samsung F500

Samsung G1000

Samsung i600

Samsung P850

Samsung P9000

Samsung SPH-G1000

Samsung U600

Samsung X820

Samsung Z300

Sharp 903

Sharp 910SH

Sharp SX862 (new!)

SonyEricsson J110/J120

SonyEricsson K200/K220

SonyEricsson K530

SonyEricsson K550

SonyEricsson K770

SonyEricsson K810

SonyEricsson K850

SonyEricsson T650

SonyEricsson W610

SonyEricsson W880

SonyEricsson W850

SonyEricsson W900

SonyEricsson W910

SonyEricsson W960

SonyEricsson Z320

SonyEricsson Z550

SonyEricsson Z610

Toshiba TS30

Toshiba TX80

Questions? Comments? email me

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Other related articles:

ITU World 2006 coverage

3G World Congress 2005 coverage

Introduction to the Japanese Mobile Market

An interview with NTT DoCoMo Jpn

An interview with Sharp Jpn

An interview with SonyEricsson Jpn

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VIP: bigger sis

1. flying with wings

2. nick et al, the equipians

3. jon recreates

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6. philthy stuff

7. d scribble

8. andrew preaches with generous boredom

9. CCL

10. freddie lost his teddie

11. kenyon's fire

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14. dudette de elisa

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37. will yam

38. vic wan

39. louuu

40. michelle sugazz

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confusing Kongl-iljm phrase of the moment:

"shins' ushiroj kor mirj kleh" ;

eat your heart and pay attention

and here's my animated msg board

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what i was thinking
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samboard int'l top 10:

1. underground - elva hsui

2. tell me where you want to go - lorraine

3. let go - frou frou

4. crazy - seal

5. be my last - udata hikaru

6. persona - kangta

7. xie yi shou ge - shunza

8. smoke - natalie imbruglia

9. goreki - lamb

10 hide and seek - imogen heap

samoffice top pictures:

1. memento

2. eternal sunshine for the spotless mind

3. minority report

4. fight club

5. girl; interupted

6. catch me if u can

7. crash

8. miss congeniality

9. shiri

10. the saint

11. the hours

12. butterfly effect


1. korean shinramyeon

2. congee + ja lern

3. filet o'fish

4. zinger and eggtart from KFC

5. carlB pizza flavor

6. eel sushi+ lots of wasabi

7. cheddar cheese+ baked potato

8. mom's lemon chiken

9. italian delight (pizza hut)

10. meat lasagna with extra cheese

and for the umpteenth time...
Sunday, September 18, 2011  
Guess it's about time to move to Twitter.

trapped in the maze of time..8:09 AM

Monday, July 14, 2008  
The sharp SX862 review has been published

trapped in the maze of time..4:54 PM

Monday, July 07, 2008  
too much has happened recently, most of the stuff I can't write about here... may be when things are more settled.

work has been busy, the sharp sx862 review is still waiting to be published, you can see MB has a great number of reviews lined up to be published throughout the last 2 weeks

shinhwa's 9.5 album was pretty good, check out track #3 huen juk; beautifully sung, especially when hyesung and dongwan pushed their vocal range

eason chan's new album is not bad as well, track #10, I heard that on the maxicab back to my place

browneyes' 3rd album's out as well, excellent album, highly recommended, if you're into korean r&b

trapped in the maze of time..8:52 AM

Wednesday, June 11, 2008  
samsung f480 touchWiz UI preview

trapped in the maze of time..9:03 AM

Friday, June 06, 2008  
working on sharp sx862 review right now, should go live in a week at
here's a video of the phone in action, showing u the amazing screen, the full screen VGA videos as well as video calls

been extremely busy, over 50 phones were announced in Japan this week
crazy eh

tonnes of phones lining up for review as well, 2 from LG, 2 from samsung, 2 from SE and a couple more from Nokia. and Samsung is also making an important announcement in singapore in 2 weeks (same for a few other companies as well)

it's a WAR

if I have time i'd snap some videos of the 906i

trapped in the maze of time..6:41 AM

Thursday, May 15, 2008  
yes, the sh906i has touch screen
you should see how it flips, before you start hating it because you heard some "rumors"
touch cruiser is in place, but taking a much smarter form, as oppose to a lot of "rumors" you hear, it's there it's there.

sh906itv has the screen upped to 3.3", not much breakthrough

saw a lot of AU phones, candybar season it is :) Kyocera has something that I really like, Casio is disappointing.

trapped in the maze of time..10:18 AM

Monday, May 05, 2008  
aight, some sample pics and a sample video taken by panasonic lumix fx36 (fx35)

Pics are zipped here (rapidshare)

you can download the raw video file here (rapidshare) ore preview the video below, keep in mind that youtube would have deteriorated the video quality very very massively (this looks worse than nokia N82's VGA videos, so only the raw file can do justice)

the question is, how would this match up with Samsung NV24hd?
the samsung uses Mp4, so it'll save a helluva space (the sound on NV seems to be better too), but if you want to cut stills off the video, motionJPEG might be better (as found on panasonic and Kodak cameras).
I've looked at the NV25hd pic quality, noise control seems to be better, but i felt that the color is all wrong... and there's more barrel distortion with the lens

I'll be very interested to see what Canon (and Casio) can do with 720p videos on tiny DCs

trapped in the maze of time..10:56 AM

Sunday, May 04, 2008  
Bought a Panasonic FX36 (= FX35) white, with white 4GB SDHC class6 card and white leather case (yes, all white heh, I'm sick of silver and black)

The whole reason for buying this camera was to have something pocketable on top of my EOS dSLR. Out of all the other consumer cams out there, here's why the FX36 kills

1. 720p movie recording. Not a lot of cams can do that out there, the Canon TX1 videos are really soft (so soft that it looks like 640x480), the Kodak ones do not have O.I.S during recording (not sure about the newest Z series)
2. 25mm wide lens, which would have cost ~>HKD3000 on its own. Besides, the amount of barrel distortion on the FX36 is really really really acceptable, it won't make you look fat, I promise. Useful or group photos, architectural and landscape photos... or when you have someone random to hold the camera for you.
3. having high ISO plus O.I.S reduces the need for using xenon flash; that means less blinking photos and fat photos.
4. semi-auto low light compensation, not talking about the usual EV+-, which only washes everything, but what's found on the FX36 virtually widens the dynamic range (with some extra noise and extra processing time, of course), but very useful as it gives you less dark faces when you have a bright source behind your back (and when you just hate to use the flash)
5. acceptable noise level at iso400. For this camera size, this price, this sensor size, I would not complain. iso800 is still okay for 3R print if you took it at 10MP. You can always "hide" the noise by shrinking the picture if you are lazy (3MP is still very usable), or use photoshop... I would prefer noisy-sharp photos over blurry-clean photos anytime
6. on camera stills capture from videos, you can actually cut 1280x720 pics off your videos, picking them frame by frame, no need to spend time in front of the puter

Reasons I bought the FX36 (FX35) over FX520 (FX500)
1. HKD800 cheaper
2. focus speed is faster (try for yourself at the shop)
3. smaller, since I wanted to buy a pocketable camera on top of my dSLR
4. battery lasts longer with the smaller screen
5. more colors to choose from

All in all, I'm very satisfied with this camera, minor set-backs are listed below.

Not much options on flash comparing to Casio (e.g. soft flash)
Relatively slow focusing speed comparing to Canon Ixus
Average LCD visibility under the sun
No optical zoom during video recording

720p movie with optical anti-shake.
25mm wide lens with well above average barrel distortion.
low light compensation for no-brainers, not talking about just the usual EV+-
acceptable noise level at iso400

Will try to post up sample pics (flickr) and videos (rapidshare & youtube) soon.

If you have any questions, just ask, I'll try to answer but can't guarantee

trapped in the maze of time..6:07 AM

Thursday, May 01, 2008  
yep, so the earlier photo i showed u on apr8
is the NEC n906iu :)

if you haven't seen the blackberry flip phone, search it up
it looks really good

trapped in the maze of time..6:21 AM

Friday, April 25, 2008  

ladies and gentleman, the ntt docomo 906i series
spy shots, obviously
not showing u the sharp one yet ;) hehehe

fujitsu, panasonic, nec (n906i), nec (n906iu)

as for the so906i, you can search on easto ;)

trapped in the maze of time..9:28 AM

Wednesday, April 16, 2008  

KF 600 review published


"I have to say that I am disappointed with the KF600. The lack of 3G is not my biggest concern, neither are the durability issues. What I would take more seriously is actually the user experience, because this is exactly what it is being advertised for. The potential advantages of the InteractPad have not be fully exploited, whereas many disadvantages are obvious: the delayed button response, the slow haptic feedback, and the poor coupling of pop-up menus with morphing options on the screen. The outdated interface doesn't help much either: the inflexibility of file management and the phone book are all problems that should have been addressed 2 years ago when we reviewed the P7200.

In terms of multimedia, despite the good camera and loud ringtones, LG has made a number of blunders. The lack of background music play, together with a screen that is almost illegible under the sun, are all potential deal breakers. Comparably, the picture zooming screens and video player control panel are excitements that won't last very long, but the frustrations from those fundamental design mistakes will.

The document viewer, advanced calculator and fun games are pluses but not a lot of people will actually benefit from them. Yes the interface is good looking, and the device looks flashy from afar, but compared to its sibling, the VX8800 Venus, the KF600 would be more like an embarrassing Pluto. I really wish that I could have enjoyed using this device a little more, but after 10 days I really cannot recommend it."


trapped in the maze of time..4:09 PM

Tuesday, April 08, 2008  
NEC N905i hands-on. 8min
my personal favorite, out of the whole 905i series

trapped in the maze of time..10:13 AM

Thursday, April 03, 2008  

NTT Docomo's 906i series is scheduled to be announced on may20, and should start selling right before June1. There should be 2 phones from SonyEricsson: an update of so905ics with bigger screen, and a lot of cool software tweaks, improved multimedia experience as well. The other one would be a candybar, very good looking IMO

The most exciting one should be sharp's sh906i, more touch-interface, very cool illumination. very wow. backlight should be in yellow :) in the next few weeks you will be hearing a lot of conflicting description concerning this device, some would even go as far as saying that there're 2 screens: one at the front and one at the back (huh?), some will make it sound like an LG KF600, some will compare that to the linkface2... but once you've had the real thing in your hands, you'll see why people were so so confused ;)

panasonic p906i would stil use the same w-open style, the horizontal interface is improved. the design also looks smoother, with a hint of p904i; less "bits and parts" falling out when opened, won't scratch your face lol

nec, fujitsu: relatively minor updates. fujitsu considering adding water-proof function, nec debating between removing neuropointer to keep everything <14mm or release 2 models like what they did with 905i.

you can guess what's the picture i'm showing you here. a flip phone that opens flat? a candbar that feels more like a DECT at the back? how bout a listed slider? ;)

trapped in the maze of time..11:24 AM

Friday, March 28, 2008  
my NEC N905iu hands-on
again, the most detailed English hands-on you'll get for a while.

T9 English
Music interface
Camera interface

I cannot and will not answer all questions

trapped in the maze of time..10:18 AM

Thursday, March 27, 2008  
a few moments with sharp 912sh
probably the last sharp phone with CCD sensor. sighs
not much to say, this thing is not new (that's why i didnt say anything in the video)
but the WVGA screen is still way ahead of nokia motorola samsung
not unlockable even with hyperSIM

got a detailed n905iu hands-on later, 2am now, will edit that tomorrow

trapped in the maze of time..11:39 AM

Tuesday, March 25, 2008  
live pics of the non-japanese version of the 920SH, still unannounced. (read)

planting a smartcard onto your cellphone (read), i'm gonna try that myself later this week :)

trapped in the maze of time..10:08 AM

Wednesday, March 19, 2008  
sonyericsson so905ics cybershot phone made for NTT DoCoMo, my hands-on video
been really busy, would try to take some on other 905i devices. hopefully a fujitsu f905i in the next few days if i have time, and of course my personal fav the nec n905i and n905iu

trapped in the maze of time..10:52 AM

Monday, March 17, 2008  
this should be interesting, Toshiba+softbank sued for cloning Fujitsu's phone

trapped in the maze of time..8:06 AM

how easy is it to hire 2 poor kids to get on a plane, put 2 soda cans under the seat, buy some air hostesses to have them say that it smells like gasoline. how easy is it to create a horror over all the other countries' sportsmen, and point the arrow to Tibetan activists. how easy is it to get into the poorest province of Tibet using the newly built railroad directly from Beijing, and control all the people there who don't speak chinese, and don't even have money to eat.

props to beijing, the real drama queen.
why don't they use the talent to make better movies?

trapped in the maze of time..7:28 AM

Tuesday, March 11, 2008  

My SonyEricsson W910i review has been published on MobileBurn

trapped in the maze of time..10:48 PM

Friday, March 07, 2008  
see how rude it is if you cross out the correct parts
this is extracted from the Japanese Crown Prince's birthday press conference (yes, birthday press conference, I think I want one for my birthday as well)

問1  これまでの質問と直接関係しないことになって大変恐縮なんですが,国民の関心の大変高いことだと思いますので,あえてお聞きさせていただきます。先日,羽毛田長官が殿下の御所への参内の回数について異例の発言をなさいました。皇族にお仕えする立場である宮内庁の長官が,直接殿下に,言葉は微妙ですけれども,苦言のようなことを申し上げた。このことについては我々記者だけでなく,多くの国民も衝撃と共に多少の違和感というものを感じたと思うんですが,このことに関して殿下のご感想をお聞きしたいと,それともう一つ,これは私見になってしまうのかもしれませんが, (but I'm still acting stupid) 長官がご自分の一存だけであの発言をされたとは,私には到底思えないんですが,皇室のご家族の,ご家庭内のことをああした公式の場所で発言せざるを得ない,こういう状況が今の皇室のご家庭の中にあるというこの現状をどのように受け止めていらっしゃるのかお聞かせください。

皇太子殿下  両陛下の愛子に対するお心配りは,本当に常に有り難く感謝を申し上げております。(was I listening?) 御所に参内する頻度についてもできる限り心掛けてまいりたいと思っております。家族のプライベートな事柄ですので,これ以上立ち入ってお話しをするのは差し控えたいと思います。 (basically I took 2 minutes to say nothing at all)

問2  今の関連質問にまた関連するような質問で恐縮でございますが,長官会見の後に,皇太子様は両陛下にお会いになっていらっしゃると思うんですが,その際に,こういうお話,話題があったのかどうか(you were sure, come on)ということをお聞きしたいということと,それと殿下の今のお話なんですが,やはり国民が非常に気にしていると思うんですね,(pressure)そこのところで行かれない理由というのは,正にご家庭内の問題とか,(give you a chance to cover your butt, you can agree with me)いろいろとございましょうけれど,ただやはりそこのところをもうちょっと,なんというか抽象的でも結構なの(I'm offering you a deal)ですが,殿下のお口から直接国民の方に説明していただくと(is that a threat?),国民は安心するんではないかなというふうに思いますんで (more pressure),その2点をできたらお答えいただければと存じます。 (still pretending to be understanding)

皇太子殿下  そうですね。今もお話しましたように,これは本当に家族の内の事柄ですので,こういった場所での発言は差し控えたいというふうに私は思っております。

this is how you say "betsu ni" in formal language
I prefer sawajiri's way, crisp and straight forward

trapped in the maze of time..4:41 AM

Friday, February 29, 2008  
so what's up with the sharp sx8663?

if everything goes as planned, u should have all your questions answered by the week of mar4 the earliest (at an unrelated press conf).. if not mid/late march

how does the UI look like? not too bad, not as fugly as the sx833, but don't get too excited

trapped in the maze of time..1:10 AM

Friday, February 08, 2008  
Sharp to release highend phone outside Japan, finally. The SX862 for Smartone-vodafone (Hong Kong) and TX92 for Fareastone (Taiwan). Here are the first illustrations.

keep in mind that as of today Hong Kong hasn't licensed "mobile"-digital-TV services yet. and we will not hear much before late april/early may. but most probably in DVB-H (read: government's news release)
if that is true, why won't we see any hint of european release, where the market is a lot bigger. if it runs on DMB-T/H that means the phone is only for hong kong forever because mainland china does not use WCDMA and taiwan does not have DMB-T/H. if it runs on DVB-H, then it will only happen if it gets licensed properly in hk (after may/june the earliest?), singapore would be another potential market of release, and the T92 will have to be referring to the same sx863 and not something else.

does it look like the 920SH? yes it does
what is the difference? size, battery, DMB tuner (if any)
can it be exported? yes, expensive
will the DMB work in europe/taiwan? probably not, if they're sticking with DMB-T/H, which is different from the rest of the world
will the DMB work in Japan? no for sure, different standards in all cases
will the DMB work in mainland China? yes if it sticks with DMB-T/H, no if it goes to DVB-H
how ready is it? too early to comment, remember the lag between sharp 903 appearing at FCC to its release?
how much will it be? expect some HKD5000-6000 without contract. probably 3xxx with a 18-24month contract, SIM-locked no doubt.


trapped in the maze of time..10:54 PM

Thursday, January 10, 2008  

breaking news: Toshiba 920T is also unlocked!
pretty much same spec as 911t except
1. better screen (same size resolution), better visibilty under the sun
2. larger battery 930mah vs 800mah on 911t
3. different design, key alignment, and finishing (less fingerprint prone)
4. slightly thicker, less than 1mm; slightly lighter as well

about 30USD more expensive than the 911T

email me if you are interested
xumdeo at yahoo dot

trapped in the maze of time..7:20 AM

got a lot of people inquiring about the Toshiba 911T and Sharp 904
you can email me if you have any questions, with shipment and all
xumdeo at yahoo dot

trapped in the maze of time..7:01 AM

Friday, January 04, 2008  
the belated Sharp 904SH has been unlocked!

yes, but the story is not as straight forward as the 911T
at least you would be able to use ur 2G SIM cards as well


let me know if you want one ;)

trapped in the maze of time..5:18 AM

Sunday, December 30, 2007  
seriously, if you want to take Taiwan back, don't screw things up.






trapped in the maze of time..8:38 AM

Saturday, December 29, 2007  
almost towards the end of my well-earned christmas holiday, it came at the right time, just when I needed it the most. gonna be at a tough block in the coming 2 months, 7am every morning, imagine that.

gained back half of the lost 5 pounds, it's a lot of food of course, eating and cooking is what chinese are very good at doing after all.

coming up would be an article comparing nokia n82 and ku990, actually I also had the se k850 with me, but the results were too embarassing that I decided to remove it myself, the k850 is simply not worth mentioning.

so both the viewty and n82 were good phones, but I would defintiely fall for the n82, despite its suboptimal keypad (how bad is it? it's as bad as the k850, if not worse because it is literally quote painful unquote to use). the touchscreen on the viewty was a lot better than expected (well improved from the Prada phone). the only problem with the viewty would be it's relatively weak flash (yet overshooting in ALL macros), poor auto whitebalance indoor and unreliable autofocus. the video mode was simply amazing, and could squeeze some extra pixel comparing to the n82.

i was not particularly impressed with then GPS on n82, i doubt the practicality of the so called urban-guide which is heavily marketed. you simply cannot get a wide enough projection angle (120') in the middle of nathan road (where else do you need it? in a mall with directory? hiking? driving? you would have bought a real map because the battery is crap)

nonetheless the n82 managed to fix a lot of weaknesses of the n73. the system is indeed a lot faster and stabler, the night shot purple fog is gone, ringtones are less squeaky (but softer), video ringtone is added, 3.5mm earphone jack WiFi GPS are added, microSDHC supported... but, the event LED is still nowhere to be found. so I'm really having second thought whether to pick one up myself.

speaking of event LED, that's exactly what makes the toshiba 911T shine on top of all sliders. it does feel amazing in hand, the keypad is very comfortable to use and the screen is awesome. the menu is only scaled from wqvga cuz the system wasn't ready back in spring (my theory is that some people are withholding something to make money out of an older model, but that somebody is not me because I personally do not possess the super power to unlock such phones). anyway, i'm seriously considering getting a silver or white 911t myself, (or a super cheap white 903sh), I really don't know... or should I save up for a minor-upgraded-N82 too? (whoops I did not just say that)

I was at the gym tonight, and guess what that girl using the treadmill was playing? Namie amuro! not just the CD, but a live DVD. I still think she's amazing. ayumi, kodakumi simply cannot match up. you have to see how amuro moves, she doesn't have to dress like a slut, or change her image for every single album. she's just her, wearing the same miniskirt and long boots, something that the Japanese are stll crazy about after 17+ years, because of her.

this is her last performance before she left to get married in 1997, and the song was about getting married, so it was quite emotional for her, to put down everything that she has worked for. she was at the top of her career at that time, the whole Japan was really REALLY crazy about her, more so than Ayumi at any time. I'm not saying that she's really pretty, neither am I saying that she can sing really well (I used to think she's really crap, until she went downhill LOL), but she's a huge part of the Japanese phenomena, in between the 100% materialistic ebichan + keitai generation and the rich-but-I-can-still-cook generation; or simply, the transition between normal to hyper-rejuvenilized-super-cutie gals in japan.

ah well, I'm getting old.

trapped in the maze of time..6:27 AM

Thursday, December 20, 2007  
the softbank toshiba 911T has been unlocked

but it will only run on WCDMA networks
so it's a bad idea if the place you live doesn't have good WCDMA coverage (which is most parts of the world, except hong kong singapore taiwan japan korea, some scandinavian countries and some city centers of big cities)

yes, the 3.2MP CMOS camera is alright, with autofocus, takes VGA 30fps movies
the 3" 480x800 WVGA screen is awesome.

1. GPS will not work
2. no luck with getting online just yet
3. MMS requires tedious manual setting
4. call in call out SMS no prob
5. one-seg DMB won't work, of course
6. neither would Felica electronic money work
7. some re-provisioning issues with early firmwares, still working
8. no MP3 ringtones, but yes to 3G2 (MP4) and MMF
9. music can be dragged and dropped with a card reader (as reported by itmedia)
10. A2DP works fine

let me know if you're interested, I can get pretty good deals I think

trapped in the maze of time..7:23 AM

Sunday, November 25, 2007  
SonyEricsson P3i leaked on MSN China site (read)

sorry guys, been extremely busy, didn't even have time to talk about the docomo 905/705i series. but NEC seems to be back on track with the N905iu and N705i. Sharp decided to go into CMOS whilst giving up CCD across all models for NTT and Softbank. So pick up a sh904i(s) if you're sentimental.

the LG Viewty KU990 doesn't look bad at all, easily makes a strong competitor for SE K850i. Nokia N82 pictures look good, I would have gotten any of these 3 phones if they have event-LED indicators (viz the nokia 7900/5300). The hinge on my v902T is getting old, I might i have to switch to a v903sh by xmas. Why old phones? why not samsung g800? (actually i might consider it if it has recurrent vibra for missed messages)

I just can't live without my darn LED notifier.

trapped in the maze of time..1:33 AM

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