The coolest tech gadgets seen at MWC Shanghai 2016
The coolest tech gadgets seen at MWC Shanghai 2016
Our trip to MWC Shanghai 2016 introduced us to many brands that are alien to our local scene. We’ve had the chance to try cool gadgets that are difficult to attain in Singapore, such as the Snapdragon 820-equipped Lenovo ZUK Z2 Pro and the VR headset HTC Vive. Besides these hot products, there were many more that deserved an honorable mention. The following products are daring enough to try something different at a large scale. Others are unthinkable as a marketable device (but made it anyway). So, without further ado…
Akyumen Hawk Projector Smartphone
First seen at CES 2016, the Akyumen Hawk is an Android 6.0 OS (Marshmallow) smartphone with a built-in HD projector. The HD projector’s brightness is rated at 35 lumens, and it is capable of displaying videos and images between 50 to 100 inches. The last anyone attempted such a product in a larges scale rollout is Samsung's Galaxy Beam from 2010; there was also a newer edition from 2012, but that's the last we've heard of this series.
The smartphone itself uses an octa-core MediaTek Helio X10 processor clocked at 2.2 GHz paired with 3GB RAM. For reference, The Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 uses the same processor at a different clock speed. The display sits at 5.5-inch, with HD resolution (1,280 x 720 pixels resolution). On the back is the 13-megapixel rear camera, and the front features a 5-megapixel camera. For a phone that’s supports video projection, it has a small battery capacity at 2,600mAh. The Akyumen Hawk has microSD card support too.
Getting this projector smartphone will net you a slew of accessories to go with it. Getting the 128GB Akyumen Hawk at US$750 will get you a Sabertooth 4-in-1 Bluetooth digital stylus with mic control, a pair of earphones with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, and a proprietary Saber Stand for mounting your phone with five additional hours of battery life. The US$850 (256GB) version gets you all the accessories above plus a proprietary Bluetooth speaker, and the US$950 (300GB) version tops the 256GB package with a proprietary game controller and portable projection screen.
The Akyumen Hawk can be ordered from their website (with a 60 day delivery), and their CEO, Aasim Saied, said that they are doing a product launch in Malaysia later this year. They have not decided if the projector smartphone will come to Singapore yet.
In case you didn’t know, Meitu – the company behind the selfie touch-up app that started it all – has their own line of smartphones. The latest in the mix is the Meitu V4s. Going by its appealing faux-leather look, it’s clear that the Meitu V4s sports the same design language as its selfie-beautifying app. The design seems unique for a smartphone, but it also resembles the Casio EXILIM EX-TR70 selfie camera.
Profile pictures are important to anybody who would remotely consider the Meitu V4s, and the phone doesn’t disappoint with its 21-megapixel front camera, and an identical camera on its rear. Both cameras use a Sony IMX2320 sensor, which further emphasizes the value of OOTDs for Meitu and its users. It uses an octa-core MediaTek Helio X10 processor, and it’s paired with 3GB RAM. The generous 128GB internal storage would be helpful for storing a large number of photos too. The phone has a 2,650mAh battery capacity.
The Meitu V4s is available outside of Singapore at RMB3400 (~S$686.20). There’s also the real leather option, and it goes at a tune of RMB4500 (~S$908.21).
Monster Diamondz On-Ear headphones
If you looked up the definition of “tacky” in any dictionary, you’d be greeted by a picture of these headphones instead. This plastic (no it’s not real diamond) pair of audio cans supports Bluetooth wireless (AAC and Apt-X), and it boasts three hours of continuous talk or music time. Somehow, we’re glad this only exists in China, for now. Behind lays the in-ear version with its clamshell case.
SD Association LGM microSD card
The SD Association is the de-facto standard setter for all your SD and microSD cards – if you’re looking at cards with bigger storage and faster transfer speeds, these are the guys who make it all possible. At the show floor, they showed us their latest market-ready invention – the LGM Card, a microSD card with a built-in NFC antenna and two secure chips.
The NFC element on this microSD card is built to support contactless payment, and these services are independent from the phone model. With the launch of Android Pay upon us, the LGM Card can be practical for the numerous Android OS smartphones that come without integrated NFC. The NFC element can also support other close-proximity uses, acting as storage for personal medical records and supporting digital loyalty cards for banks and merchants.
Security-wise, the LGM Card features two independent secure chips that come with independent keys and independent control of these keys. Control is held by the card issuer. These secure chips are tamper-resistant, and they support proprietary micro-payments.
As you probably guessed by now, SD Association is actually waiting for more merchants and banks to come forward and purchase an order of these LGM Cards, in order to incorporate them into the latest cashless payment service. We’ll have to give it some time before it hits the mainstream market.
Snail Mobile Snail Gold SIM Card
One of the quirkier objects to grace the show floor of MWC Shanghai 2016 is this 24K gold SIM card. It is made of real gold, but no one will know once the card goes inside the phone, right? There are only 170 pieces around the globe, so this makes the SIM card a collector’s item, more than anything else.
Snail Mobile W3D glasses-free 3D gaming smartphone
The Snail Mobile W3D is a smartphone built with 3D content-viewing and gaming in mind. The 5.5-inch Full HD (1,920 x 1,080 pixels resolution) display has built-in 3D visuals that work with its eye-tracking camera. The latter takes note of your viewing orientation and the W3D will automatically adjust the video or game to make the 3D effect comfortable for the viewer. This PlayStation Vita look-alike comes with a full set of game-friendly controls on its sides. We’re looking at a a pair of joystick directional controls, a D-pad, shoulder buttons, and physical controls that can be bound to the on-screen buttons in your game.
The W3D is a decent smartphone as well. On board is an octa-core MediaTek MT6595 processor clocked at 2.2GHz, paired with 2GB of RAM. It uses Android 4.4 OS (KitKat). This allows you to play your Android mobile games without compromising on ergonomics, which is what the W3D stands for. To help your gaming binges along, the phone itself comes with a 4,200mAh battery capacity.
It will be available in the second half of 2016, and it will retail at RMB999 (that’s just ~S$201.63). Availability is at best hazy even for Amazon pre-orders, so we’ll likely hear about it again when it’s ready to market.