Want a TV that can excel at gaming, movies, kdrama and work? Here’s one.

[This is a sponsored post with Samsung Malaysia.]

If you’re in the market for a new TV to watch your favourite TV shows or to catch up with new ones like Squid Game, then the Samsung Neo QLED 8K Smart TV (QN800A) might be worth a look.

It comes in three sizes: 65-inch, 75-inch, and 85-inch. Coupled with its sleek Infinity One Design that shows off the TV in all its slim glory, it’ll look great on a TV stand or mounted flush against your living room wall. 

If you’re not a fan of messy wires behind the TV, Samsung has included a Slim One Connect box to act as a hub for the cables of all your consoles and TV boxes. After that, simply connect the provided wire from the One Connect box, and you’ll have a clutter-free TV experience.

The screen of the QN800A is also coated with an anti-reflection layer, so you can watch your horror movies without worrying about bright lights bouncing off the TV and ruining your cinematic experience. Not to mention, the TV is also HDR10+ certified—so you can clearly see the distinctive colour difference between the blackest of blacks and the brightest of whites. 

The TV can also display images and movies to an upscaled 8K resolution. If the movies or shows you are watching are not in native 8K resolution, the TV’s AI will also automatically adjust 1080p, 2K, and 4K videos into 8K resolution.

For gamers, like some of us here at Vulcan Post, the QN800A can also game at 120Hz at 4K resolution. If you wish, you can enable Game Motion Plus for a smoother gameplay experience. And if you want the full immersive experience for your games, the TV can switch to a 32:9 aspect ratio or known as Super Ultra Wide Game View for ultrawide gaming goodness.

When the QN800A is paired with the Samsung HW-Q600A Soundbar, you can enable Samsung’s Q-Symphony virtual surround technology for a more immersive, positional audio experience.

While we understand that TV can be a getaway from work, it can still be a powerhouse for those who want a bigger screen to work from. Equipped with the Samsung DeX function, you can connect your mobile phone to the TV and work wirelessly from the comfort of your couch. In addition to that it has a Multi-view function, enabling users to work, watch a clip on YouTube, or check the stock market all on the same display.

To see how the Samsung Neo QLED 8K Smart TV (QN800A) works in real life, watch the video below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=puDrUNYAEVs

  • For more information on the Samsung Neo QLED 8K Smart TV (QN800A), click here.

The Samsung Galaxy A42 5G Is The Company’s Most Affordable 5G Phone. Here’s How It Performs.

[This is a sponsored article with Samsung.]

Although we may not have full access to 5G capabilities in Malaysia yet, it’s something that could happen in the next few years. It still makes sense for people to buy phones that are 5G capable now and get access to that feature when it’s available here. And 5G-enabled phones don’t have to be expensive.

Samsung just recently launched the Samsung Galaxy A42 5G, which is currently the company’s most affordable 5G phone—priced at RM1,599.

The Brand’s Most Affordable 5G Phone Yet

A key benefit of 5G is improved download speeds. According to Intel, it can go up to 10 Gbps in download speed which is a 100x increase compared to 4G networks. This means that you’ll no longer have to wait for your Twitch stream or even YouTube to load on mobile.

That said, 5G networks also solve one of the main issues plaguing mobile gamers, lag. With lower latency, you won’t see any lag while playing demanding mobile MOBAs or FPS games. And speaking of demanding, the phone does come with a hefty battery.

Built To Last

The Samsung Galaxy A42 5G has a massive 5,000 mAh battery and using the PCMark Battery Test, the device lasted 23 hours and 43 minutes. With average usage, you could potentially even squeeze two days of use from a single charge.

To the phone’s credit, we have seen a lot of more high-end devices with smaller batteries, so it is always nice to see a phone with decent battery life. If you do find yourself low on battery in the middle of the day, you could also utilise the 15W fast charging to give the phone enough juice to last you through the day.

Testing The Camera Capabilities

One of the most important features of a phone is its ability to take good pictures. There’s even a saying in the photography circle: “The best camera is the one you have with you.” 

The fact is, phone photography has gotten so much better over the years, and this has allowed many people to forgo buying a proper camera and just stick to the ones they have on their phones (me included).

That said, the Galaxy A42 5G does come equipped with a quad-rear camera setup of a 48-megapixel main camera, a 5-megapixel macro camera, a 5-megapixel depth camera and an ultra-wide camera.

I tested out the camera in my apartment area as there was some lush flora with contrasting colours.

As you can see from the pictures, they’re quite vivid and feature the trademark Samsung colour palette of refreshing greens and striking reds. The macro cam is also capable of giving out some nice close-up shots, provided that you can get close to the subject.

The other good news is that the phone’s camera bump isn’t too bulged-out and that allows for a more stable on-the-table experience.

Features To Note

With the pandemic still ongoing, many have shifted to making payments via e-wallets and cards to avoid handling cash. 

The Galaxy A42 5G comes with NFC capabilities and that means you can pair your cards with Samsung Pay and make payments that way. This’ll save you the hassle of using physical cash and the annoyance of digging out your card from your wallet. Samsung Pay is accepted at any payment terminal that supports NFC.

The display on the phone is no slouch either. It comes packaged with a 6.6-inch Super AMOLED Infinity-U display, with the notch in the middle of the screen, carved out in a u-shape. 

Gaming and watching Netflix is fine on the device, however, I did find the single speaker setup at the bottom of the phone something I had to work around. When gaming, you’ll have to wear earphones or else you won’t be able to hear much of the game when your fingers are covering the speaker.

-//-

That said, the Samsung Galaxy A42 5G is a decent phone for those who are looking for a mid-ranger that’s built for the future. Its performance isn’t flagship level, but it handles games and daily tasks well-enough for those who aren’t laser-focused on just gaming capabilities. 

  • For more information on the Samsung Galaxy A42 5G, click here.
  • Read more on our past reviews of Samsung devices here.

Also Read: Prep Your Business To Be Future-Ready With The SME Digitalization Grant Via Boost

A Review Of The Samsung Galaxy Note20 5G In The Hands Of A Mobile Gamer During WFH

[This is a paid review with Samsung.]

Now that most offices in KL and Selangor are in MCO, we’d have to all stay at home once again to work, play, and for some, exercising from home.

But I did find myself lacking in new games to play lately, and the itch to try out a new game did get a little overwhelming.

Luckily for me, I was given a unit of the Samsung Galaxy Note20 5G to review, so I thought to review the phone based on a mobile gamer’s perspective. 

Coincidentally, Genshin Impact has just launched not too long ago, and from the reviews that I’ve seen, it had Zelda: Breath of The Wild-like gameplay. So I was definitely intrigued.

Exynos VS Snapdragon

One of the hotly discussed aspects of the phone, the Galaxy Note20 5G comes equipped with an Exynos 990 processor. Yes, it is different from the Snapdragon 865+ variant that the USA or Korea received, and it is still a powerful processor.

According to Antutu, a popular benchmarking software, the Snapdragon variant offers only a 6% increase in terms of CPU performance. 

I tested it on my own and you can see the benchmarks I achieved below.

Some of the benchmarks I managed to get on the phone

Using the phone as my daily driver, I ran into 0 issues when it comes to playing games or browsing the net. The Samsung One UI is still one of my favourite Android UI, bar the Pixel’s. So far, I’ve not encountered any lags while switching between games to replying to messages.

It is still a zippy phone.

The Display Is Still Gorgeous

One thing for gamers to note: the Galaxy Note20 5G only comes with a 60Hz refresh rate. However, this doesn’t mean it’s unusable.

The phone is still packaged with a gorgeous 6.7-inch Super AMOLED Plus with HDR10+ display. The colour reproduction is still spot on. I personally am a little biased when it comes to Samsung colours so there’s that.

Binging on my favourite shows on YouTube and Netflix was no issue, even under the bright sun as the display does get fairly bright, albeit not as bright as the Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G.

Unlike the Ultra, the Galaxy Note20 5G comes with a flat display, which is great as I didn’t enjoy using a phone with curved edges.

And if you’re a mobile gamer, curved edges do tend to get annoying and it could cause miss-clicks, so a flat display is a benefit to me.

In terms of gaming, I tested the phone with Genshin Impact on just 30FPS and it maintained fairly well with no hiccups. I did try out the 60FPS version of the game and it worked smoothly.

A Sufficient Battery Life

The phone does come with a 4,300 mAh battery which should last you a day or more, but if you’re a heavy mobile gamer, the phone will need topping up every now and then.

To put the battery to the test, I left the phone on at about 88% before I went to bed, with Masketeers running. By the time I woke up, the battery was at 43% and the screen had been on for about 7 hours.

So if you were to let your idle game continue running overnight onscreen, you’ll still have enough juice left to keep it running for at least half a day.

Went to bed at 10:16 PM with almost a full battery, woke up with 43% after leaving the game on idle

You Don’t Have To Be A Gamer

Unlike most gaming phones out there, if you do opt to get this phone you’re not just getting a good mobile phone to game on, you’ll also be getting the S Pen which can be helpful in many instances as well.

I recently shifted my bedroom to see if I could make a better sleeping arrangement and to see if I could fit my desk in the room. I could take a picture in Panorama, then draw up a blueprint for the room and check to see if there’s any better way I could fit my table in.

If needed, the S Pen could also be used to take notes and using the Samsung Notes app, you could even straighten handwriting if you have cakar ayam (bad handwriting) like me.

The camera is no slouch as well. While I must say the camera notch is slightly raised, but it is still usable on the table without issues. I managed to take some sample shots even during MCO to showcase the camera’s capability.

-//-

My experience with the Samsung Galaxy Note20 5G was a pleasant one and I do believe this phone will still attract attention, especially for those who love the S Pen but do not want a big phone like the Ultra variant.

It is a good daily driver, and I do personally like the feel of the back of the phone, it has a much better grip compared to the metal and glass counterparts.

  • Find out more about the Samsung Galaxy Note20 5G here.
  • Read up on our previous reviews here.

https://www.facebook.com/VulcanpostMY/posts/3834871526579191

Also Read: This M’sian-Based Company Works Behind The Scenes To Customise The Food We Regularly Consume

“Who Pays More Than RM2K For A Phone?!”, I Say As I Hold The RM5.1K Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G

[This is a paid article with Samsung Malaysia.]

Despite flagship prices going above the RM5k line nowadays, some people in the market are still willing to pay the premium price because they want the best and the latest devices they can get their hands on. 

When you think about it, a mobile phone is something that we use daily, so it could be worth the money to some. But, a pricey flagship does have its advantages and uniqueness. And that’s what the Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G offers.

Priced at RM5,100, you would expect a phone that is as powerful as a laptop and in this case, it can be. In fact, the Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G can be your laptop, tablet, and camera all squeezed into a rather large mobile device.

An amazing display? Check. An upgraded S Pen? Check. And a decent battery with a powerful processor? Check and check. But instead of going through the regular list of specs, here are a few reasons why I like the Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G.

1. Take Notes Like A Pro

Depending on your profession, the Samsung Notes app can be a very useful feature. Even if you’re not a note-taker, having the option to do so could just convince you to pull out the S Pen and start jotting down notes and ideas.

The app got an upgrade in the form of note-straightening, writing-to-text and voice notes capability built into it. If you’re like me and struggle with writing straight notes or even recognising your handwriting, these could be useful for you.

We’ll have to write neater for the AI to detect what we’re trying to write

On top of that, let’s say you’re in a business meeting and you’re recording audio and taking notes on the Samsung Notes app. The new voice notes feature allows you to go through the recording later and pinpoint exactly when you made any notes during the meeting.

As you listen back to the voice note, it shows you what notes were taken at that time

2. Reduced S Pen Latency

The 9ms latency of the new Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G S Pen now rivals the Apple Pencil. It also provides a more intuitive and natural writing experience.

The Mystic White Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G S Pen comes in white too

This means that the ‘ink’ that you’re trying to draw with on the phone is reflected as close to the nib of the S Pen as possible. The difference is noticeable compared to the S Pen on the Galaxy Note8.

Writing with the S Pen of the Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G, you can see that the ‘ink’ shows almost immediately

You can see a trailing effect on the Galaxy Note8’s S Pen when I wrote the ‘a’

3. Use Your Phone Without Pulling It Out Of Your Pocket

Born from the collaboration between Samsung and Windows, you can now seamlessly link your phone to your Windows.

Note: The ‘Your Phone’ is an app present in the Microsoft Store on your PC, but it comes with some new features and it even allows you to access other apps on your phone thanks to the collaboration between the two companies.

To link your phone to your Windows, all you have to do is fire up the ‘Link To Windows’ feature on your phone, sign in to your Microsoft account, then go to the ‘Your Phone’ app on your PC and link them together.

Once that’s done, you can launch mobile apps via the ‘Your Phone’ app. And this means that you can reply to WhatsApp messages, fire up Instagram, copy and paste photos from the phone into the PC and vice versa in a simple and easy manner.

I was able to control the phone’s camera on the laptop

And this brings us to the next addition.

4. Connect Wirelessly To Smart TVs

Depending on the make and model of your Smart TV and monitor, you can now pair your phone wirelessly via Samsung DeX. The benefit of this is that you no longer have to be tied down by the length of your HDMI cable.

You don’t even have to get up to bring out your laptop. 

Just connect your phone to your Smart TV via Samsung DeX and control it using your phone. Alternatively, once linked to your Smart TV, you can play mobile games or even watch Netflix mirrored onto a bigger screen.

5. A Display Brighter Than My Future

The display is one of the best that I’ve used for a while now. Without sounding too cliched, the blacks look darker and the colour reproduction is superb to my eyes thanks to the new Dynamic AMOLED 2x display.

The display on the Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G also comes equipped with 1,500 nits of brightness, so you can easily use it under direct sunlight.

Not to mention, with the Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G, you can get up to 120Hz of refresh rate on the display. Going through menus and playing high refresh-rate capable games has never looked smoother on a Galaxy Note series device.

6. Shoot Better Photos

As per usual with Samsung phones, the Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G is capable of taking amazing shots that are crisp and clear.

But because of the large 108-megapixel rear main camera, you’ll have to readjust yourself accordingly. For example, instead of going up close to shoot a close-up shot, you just have to take a step back, shoot the picture and then zoom in post-shot.

Another added advantage to the Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G, like the previous Notes, is the benefit of using your S Pen to shoot wefies and selfies too, so your pictures will look more natural.

Samsung Galaxy Note20 Series Launch Promotion

If you do purchase the Samsung Galaxy Note20, Samsung Galaxy Note20 5G or Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G at launch, you are entitled to these free gifts worth RM508:

  1. Samsung UV Sterilizer with Wireless Charging (RRP: RM299)
  2. Samsung Wireless Charger Convertible (RRP: RM209)

Do note that these gifts are on a first-come-first-serve basis, so if you do purchase it from any participating outlets, make sure you redeem these gifts.

But if you’re like me and just want an upgrade from the current phone, you can trade-in your preloved devices and get instant rebates of up to RM4,005 for you to purchase the new Samsung Galaxy Note20 series devices.

  • For more information on the Samsung Galaxy Note20 series, click here.
  • The Samsung Galaxy Note20 series launch gifts are limited, so get it while it lasts and the trade-in program ends on October 31, 2020.

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Also Read: I Tested Out A M’sian-Made Mattress Meant For Couples. Yes, I’m Still Single.

I Gave My Mom A Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra To Play With During MCO, Here Are Her Best Zoom Shots

As someone born in the early ‘90s, tech is something I pick up fairly easily. But, the same can’t be said of our parents or the older generation.

Luckily, my mum is quite tech-savvy because of her job in administration. She’s used to inputting numbers and what surprised me was her ability to use the mouse ambidextrously. Her mouse can be on her left hand and she could still be as good with it.

Too bad that tech-savviness doesn’t extend to phones.

When Samsung added the smart call feature, she was frightened at how the phone knew who was calling her, despite it being an unknown number.

But, she’s still pretty interested in what new innovations have to offer. So since I have a Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra on hand, now that we’re all under MCO (Movement Control Order), I thought to give her the phone for a spin to take some images with.

Testing Out The Camera

Since we have house pets, it’s obvious that she would start taking pictures of those first. She’d seen the zoom function advertised, and so she experimented with it a bit too.

[gallery type="slideshow" ids="693695,693699,693698"]

She found the option to just tap to zoom much more reliable, compared to selecting the zoom herself. She liked how the pictures turned out, even with the Space Zoom (100x zoom) as you can somewhat see what you’re capturing.

Like most people say, a shot not taken is a shot missed. In the shots below, she tried to take the logo of the building opposite us, which can barely be seen with the naked eye.

With the 100x zoom, we can actually make out the name.

Because we live in a small apartment, the use case scenario for 100x is limited, so she stuck with the 10x and 30x zoom instead for most of the time.

[gallery type="slideshow" ids="693702,693703,693704,693705"]

Dustiness Around The House

With a better zoom camera, she now decides to zoom around places that we rarely clean and nag for me to clean it.

Luckily with the WFH (Work From Home) order, I can just tell her that I’ll clean it on the weekends instead.

However, we do live in an apartment, so cleaning rarely takes up a lot of time. Usually, two hours of consecutive cleaning can get everything done.

Speaking of apartment living, our ceiling also had some holes from leaky roof tiles. While we have reported to the management, they’ve yet to fix it as far as we know.

[gallery type="slideshow" ids="693707,693706"]

So my mum took some images of them as well and reported the damage to the management again.

What Can We Do Doing MCO

With the MCO, there’s not much we could actually do. My family has resorted to trying to make bread with the resources that we have, and they’ve actually been quite successful.

Red beans buns and some sausage rolls. Taken with the 5x zoom

With most of our time spent inside, we sometimes step out to the balcony to get some fresh air.

Aside from people watching, we’ve also kept an eye out for birds. Birds are a little hard to photograph because they move quickly and you’d want to use a tripod if you want to get the right shot, as shaky hands can ruin the shot.

Taking a break on our neighbour’s balcony. Shot in 50x zoom

We first noticed the Eurasian Tree Sparrow, the type of brown bird that we see on a daily basis. But according to Cornell University, the birds form bonds in their first year, and remain monogamous for the rest of their lives, if both survive. 

A very noisy crow. Shot in 100x zoom.

Around our apartment, we also get a good number of crows, cawing about, making noises, and dirtying our cars with their poop.

Crows are actually pretty intelligent animals, and if you’ve seen videos of them solving puzzles, you’d know exactly how smart they are.

Fun Fact: Crows will sometimes perform ‘Anting’. Anting happens when a crow rubs ants all over its feathers and skin to get rid of parasites. Ants can also sometimes get birds drunk by releasing acid from their bodies.

Pigeons waiting for my neighbours to feed them. Shot in 30x zoom.

We also noticed a few Rock Pigeons around our areas, because our neighbours do feed them seeds every now and then.

-//-

It’s safe to say the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra is not for everyone, especially if you’re not used to stretching your hands to reach the bottom of the screen. It comes with a price to match the size—but with the specs to back it up, especially in the camera department.

Speaking of the massive 6.9-inch display, my mom said it was nice to watch videos with, but too big to be used regularly and comfortably. The Galaxy S20 is probably a better option for her instead.

At least in this movement restricted times, we still have the technology to kill time with. This experiment was actually a pleasant bonding experience with my mum, and I got to have a peek into her head and see what she’s interested in while we’re all in close quarters here.

  • Read our other Samsung reviews and news here.
  • Get the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra here.

I Have No Girlfriend, So I Took The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra On A Late Night Date Around KL City

As someone in their late 20s who’s struggling to look for a date, I tend to simply stick to what I know. Games, Movies, Netflix and YouTube take up most of my time alone when I’m not working.

However, I wanted to do something different to break the routine and go out on a date in the middle of KL at night.

But, instead of waiting around or browsing dating apps, I decided to go out on my lonesome and take pictures of my escapade with the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra out as my date.

The pictures in this article are all captured with the Galaxy S20 Ultra on Bright Night mode and not edited, besides some occasional cropping.

Note: Some of these photos did have to be taken with a tripod, or you need very steady hands.

I Thought I Was Meeting Up With A Miss But Ended Up With Mist

My first stop for the night was the River of Life. When I reached there, the river was filled with mists. It was beautiful… and I was all alone.

However, my colleague revealed to me later on that the mist was there to keep the river and its surrounding area cool. But, this project did take up a very large amount of money (RM4.4 bil) to complete.

Anyway, focusing on the pictures, the Galaxy S20 Ultra’s Bright Night mode managed to capture the mists and the colourful lights.

While some of the surrounding areas around the river were under construction, it was a beautiful spot to just sit and chat with your date, if the weather permits. I did see some couples doing just that.

Right Here Waiting For You

I’m sure you’ve been left waiting for a date to come. Just like me in this instance, I’ve tried calling my date, but they never came (because they don’t exist).

This shot was taken at the Avenue J Hotel, right across the River Of Life. The hotel had an interesting design that made it stand out compared to the other buildings in the area.

Calling my imaginary date after being stood up.

KLCC Park Got Me Feeling Lonelier Than Akon

On the way to KLCC Park, I stumbled onto a wall with some pretty colourful lights, taking out the phone and snapping in Bright Night mode, the phone was able to capture the different colours. However, it did blow out some of the lighting of the ad signs on the road.

The camera picked up the colours quite nicely.

In the picture, I also spotted a lone water bottle. Just like me, it is waiting to be picked up and dumped.

Luckily for me, the weather gods found joy in my loneliness.

The skies were clear and taking pictures of KL was not a problem. The problem was with me not having a date to do so.

Also, after taking a picture of the Petronas Twin Towers in the clear night sky, I realised the Maxis Tower looked a little like Barad Dur (aka Dark Tower from Lord Of The Rings).

After being rejected by a tree, I decided that the best course of action would be just to walk away. But, my loneliness didn’t get better as I stumbled onto a bridge with a clear view of the twin towers, with many couples taking pictures there.

Around the KLCC fountains, there were plenty of spots for people to just sit, chill and talk while waiting for the fountain show. So I did just that and decided to take some selfies with the fountain in action.

Not long after, a couple entered the shot and they were quite lovey-dovey, taking pictures of each other and holding each other in an embrace. Thanks, guys.

Filling The Lonely Void Of My Heart With Food

After being tired of all the lovey-dovey couples, I decided to walk further up, this time all the way to Jalan Alor where I know I’ll get good food to fill up the void of my heart.

Did you know: There used to be streams and rivers in Jalan Alor that flow to Klang River?

Drinking businessmen, tourists snapping pictures of the bright lights and street vendors hollering at you are quite the norm in Jalan Alor.

Walking along the stretch, I thought to get some spicy food to spice up my night, and I knew I could always rely on Thai food to give me the right kick.

Stopping in one of the stalls, I ordered a bowl of Seafood Tom Yum and a side of fried chicken, topped off with a refreshing glass of watermelon juice.

Once the food arrived, of course as a gentleman, I’d serve my date first before helping myself. I also had to take an image with me feeding my date a bite of the chicken.

Dreaming Of A Future Where I’m Not Alone

After the delightful meal, it’s always a good idea to walk off those pounds. Even though devouring the soup and chicken by myself wasn’t an issue.

While Jalan Changkat is a known party-goer location, as a non-party animal, a good date idea would be to walk around the surrounding areas of Changkat to look at the gorgeous graffiti splattered around the place.

Here I am, holding hands with my potential date as we take in the beauty of the night.

Ending The Night On A High Note

Truth be told, KL still has plenty of activities to do alone, just like me—you could pose with your imaginary date and still have fun.

For me, my date with the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra turned out quite nicely, bright night pictures were taken with the phone and if you have a date (unlike me), having a good phone to take gorgeous pictures even in dark nights is always good to have.

  • Find out more about the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra here.
  • Read our previous review of the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra here.

Also Read: 7 Ways You Can Access Vital Services & Survive The Partial Lockdown

We Tried Samsung Galaxy A51 & A71’s Macro Cam Against These 8 Geli-Looking Creatures

While I’m not exactly weirded out by them, I am not a fan of bugs, at all.

But since I got the Samsung Galaxy A71 to review, I thought to test out the phone’s camera chops by getting up close and personal to creepy crawlies and capturing them using the phone’s macro mode.

The new A-series features two phones, the Galaxy A51 and the Galaxy A71. Both come packaged with a 5-megapixel macro lens, along with a host of other impressive specs.

I’ll be rating the creepy crawlies on a Geli-scale of 1-10 to find out which of them creeped me out the most while taking pictures of them.

The images shown in this article were not edited in any way, aside from cropping.

All of the shots of the creepy crawlies are taken with the Galaxy A71 in Macro Mode except the one below.

This was taken with the normal photo mode, as I couldn’t resist this photogenic Iguana.

Specifications Samsung Galaxy A51 Samsung Galaxy A71
Processor Exynos 9611 Qualcomm Snapdragon 730 
Storage 128GB 128GB 
Battery 4,000mAh 4,500 mAh
Camera Rear: 48MP (Wide), 12MP (Ultra-Wide), 5MP (Macro), 5MP (Depth)
Front: 32MP
Rear: 64MP (Wide), 12MP (Ultra-Wide), 5MP (Macro), 5MP (Depth)
Front: 32MP
Display 6.5-inch Super AMOLED 6.7-inch Super AMOLED Plus
Dimensions 158.5 x 73.6 x 7.9 mm 163.6 x 76.0 x 7.7 mm

A big thanks to Reptiles Planet & Pet Studio for giving me the chance to photograph their huge roster of reptiles and crawlies.

The owner did inform me that these critters are legal to be sold and they have the necessary documents for them. So, I jumped straight in and captured the first thing on my mind—spiders.

1. Tarantula (Geli-scale: 10/10)

I wonder if you can feel each individual hair if it’s crawling on you…

Spiders are definitely the creepiest crawlies in my books, and getting closer to them for this shot did no favours for my fear of them. 

This shot was taken through the glass, with the tarantula in the enclosure, as it’s not advisable to handle a tarantula if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Without paying attention to the sheer size of it, I focused (heh) on the hairs on its legs. 

I learnt that the joints connecting the legs of the spiders are called trochanters and no, even after taking these shots, I would still never want to touch any of these bad boys.

2. Budgett Frogs (Geli-scale: 5/10)

Oh so slimy.

The store also stocks a few Budgett frogs and without asking why, I originally thought they’re bred to be fed to something else far, far larger, thus the name budget.

They’re actually called Budgett frogs because the breed was discovered by John Samuel Budgett back in 1899.

While they’re not exactly geli to me (my colleague was disgusted by them), the owner told me they’re quite aggressive and would make loud screeching sounds

Fun fact: It is the frog used in the ‘It is Wednesday, my dudes’ meme.

3. Egyptian Sand Scorpion (Geli-scale: 9/10)

Deadly sting included.

This is probably one of the deadliest creepy-crawlies in this list, so, naturally, I tried my best to get a good shot without being too close to it.

If you look closer, you’d notice the eyes underneath the sting, but scarily enough, scorpions could have up to five pairs of lateral eyes (on the sides). 

Naturally, after getting a clear shot, I immediately moved away in fear of being stung. I give it a fear-of-death-scale of 9/10.

4. Three-Horned Chameleon (Geli-scale: 5/10)

While I wouldn’t say that the chameleon is a geli creepy-crawly, I had some trouble capturing a clear shot of it because it kept moving around. 

The focus is on the chameleon’s cheeks, so the areas surrounding the cheeks are slightly blurred.

The camera successfully captured the variety of colours the chameleon had. However, the eyes did weird me out a little as it looked like a tiny watermelon. 

A chameleon’s eyes can move independently in different directions and its binocular vision allows it to determine the exact location of its prey.

Actually, it was pretty cute and it didn’t look aggressive at all.

5. Ball Python (Geli-scale: 3/10)

Rather than geli, I found this tiny ball python quite cute. The owner was able to handle it safely and assured me that it was safe to do so.

Little fun fact, they’re called ball pythons because they like to curl into a ball and they can live up to 50 years too!

Looking closer, the camera could actually pick up the individual scales on the snake too.

6. Crickets (Geli-scale: 7/10)

Chirp chirp chirp.

Personally, crickets are one of the more geli insects in my own list. Notice the web-like details on the wings of the cricket.

If you put crickets in lower temperatures such as an air-conditioned room it’ll reduce the chances of them chirping. Only male crickets chirp as they use it to attract mates.

7. Albino Iguana (Geli-Scale 5/10)

Albino Iguanas are just like Green Iguanas, just with recessive colour genes. If you look closely at its eyes, you can see a hint of redness to it. The camera on the Galaxy A71 was able to capture the scales of the iguana quite nicely too.

Depending on the species, they could live up to 60 years.

8. Sandfish Skinks (Geli-Scale 4/10)

The sandfish skinks were quite erratic when I tried to take a photo of them. As soon as I opened their enclosure, the skinks quickly disappeared into the sand as they burrowed into it.

In the picture I finally got, one stayed still and even had some sand on its head which was captured by the camera. I could also clearly see the skink’s black and yellow bands around its body.

Just like lizards, if a skink’s tail breaks off, they can be regrown.

What I Think

Of all of these geli looking things, I’m still not a fan of tarantulas. They’re big, hairy, and their eyes are creepy too. I’m definitely fine with the reptiles, just not the insects.

For phones that cost less than RM2,000 (RM1,299 – Galaxy A51 / RM1,799 – Galaxy A71), it performed fairly well when it comes to pictures.

The macro camera could be useful if you’re thinking of taking detailed pictures of flowers or insects. But do note that for macro photography, your subject has to be very still.

If macro photography is not your thing, you could still utilise the Galaxy A71’s 64-megapixel lens to take gorgeous shots. And if you’re into videos, you could record videos in Super Steady Mode that reduces shaky recordings.

Which of the creepy crawlies geli-ed you out the most?

  • For more info, check out the Samsung Galaxy A51 here and the Samsung Galaxy A71 here.

Also Read: As An Avid Tealive Fan, I Volunteered To Be A Tearista For A Day

We Shadow A Pet Sitter For A Day—Is It Really THE Dream Job?

As a huge animal lover, I’ve always wondered what it would be like to pursue a career that allowed me to be surrounded by pets all the time.

In my fantasy, how bad could it be being in a business that let me spend time with animals constantly while getting paid for it?

But like any other industry, there must be cons that come with the pros.

To find out whether a career in the pet industry is really as ideal as it sounds, we got in contact with Jo Anne and William, the couple behind a 5-star pet hotel called L Residence.

They kindly agreed to have me over and follow them as they go about their day as professional pet sitters (and we brought along the Galaxy S10+ to test out its camera capabilities with the cute pets we’d be seeing).

A Day In The Life Of A Pet Sitter

Stepping into the private bungalow, I noticed it was a little quiet except for a bit of soft barking.

Granted, I did come over around 11AM which is their downtime. We were given a quick tour around where we were introduced briefly to a few of the pets around.

The “Blur” effect from the Live Focus option really makes the dogs stand out more.

Jo Anne and William shared that they both stay at the facility themselves and their day normally starts as early as 7AM and the dogs go to the garden to ease themselves (fitting as they’re bound to have a lot of energy from having a good night’s sleep).

Image Credit: Vulcan Post

Afterwards, breakfast is served around 8AM. Clients get two options; they can opt to have their own food be served or they can choose to have home-cooked meals prepped by the couple.

“We have a menu for our clients where they can choose which meal they’d like for us to make for their pet. We have options like pasta, salmon, fruits (like bananas), and more,” explained William.

Once that’s settled, the next few hours are reserved for “free time” where the pets can have some play time or they can stay in their rooms and enjoy some TV.

Yes, you read that right.

According to Jo Anne, this “TV Therapy” time is well-suited for pets who may be feeling a little anxious being at the facility for the first time.

The programs chosen to be played on the TV are specially curated by the couple to help calm the pets and make them feel more relaxed.

A nice view of the private room, thanks to the ultra-wide angle.

L Residence also has “Pet Music Therapy time” where unique music is played about 4-8 hours every day to calm down the pets and help soothe their minds.

“The music we choose is specially tailored to minimise the pets’ anxiety, which is really helpful for first-time pet boarders,” shared Jo Anne.

Before lunch time at 1PM, it’s grooming time for the pets where they get their coats brushed by the couple.

Image Credit: Vulcan Post

Afterwards, it’s nap time for the pets, which comes easy when the rooms are all air-conditioned and there’s a nice human-sized bed ready for them to sleep on.

Image Credit: Vulcan Post

2 hours later, to help re-energise them for the rest of the day, snacks are given to the pets. This is when things start getting a little crazy.

After the treats, the pets are then free to have some more play time with other pets or they can have a one-on-one session with Jo Anne and William.

Video credit: Vulcan Post

It was all fun and games at first but being young dogs, they got a little too hyperactive and started getting a little rough with each other (but not aggressively of course).

Luckily the general shared area is quite spacious so it was more than enough for them to run around and enjoy their toys or chase each other.

Image Credit: Vulcan Post

If that wasn’t enough, the hotel has a 1000sqf “Doggy Garden” where they were given more space to go wild and have fun. This is when I got to test out the HDR10+ super steady recording feature on the S10+.

It definitely made it easier to capture shots of the dogs when they’re in their hyperactive moods and running around amok.

Video Credit: Vulcan Post

When outdoors, I found the S10+’s Scene Optimiser exceptionally good in making the colours pop out. The camera’s intelligence helps apply the optimised colour when recognising a subject or scene automatically, which enhances the effect and quality of the photos.

Image Credit: Vulcan Post

Once the sun starts setting around 7PM, the pets are fed dinner before they start to prepare for bedtime around 10PM.

“Since we started this hotel, this has been our daily routine. There’s no public holidays or weekend concept for us but honestly, we don’t mind. It’s pretty cool that we’re able to start and end our day with the pets, it makes us feel like we’re a real family,” added Jo Anne.

From Pet Lovers To Pet Experts

Jo Anne and William have both been in the pet sitting industry for 9 years, after leaving their corporate careers to manage their hotel full-time. Through the many years, they’ve gained a lot of experience in all aspects of taking care of pets.

Image Credit: Vulcan Post

“We’ve been pet owners since we were young, so we already had a lot of experience. But we learned a lot of new things on-the-go, such as providing senior care for pets. We had to learn things like giving insulin jabs every 12 hours and how to handle pets on drips,” shared Jo Anne.

Gems is one of their senior dogs who has a lump below the chest, skin problems and minor arthritis.

Besides cats and dogs, the couple also handles rarer pets like scorpions, sugar gliders, parrots, and iguanas.

When asked if they consider this a dream job, there was no hesitation.

“Of course! We left the corporate world to work with animals because we feel like they appreciate us sincerely. We’re simple people that prefer to stay away from office politics, so we’re much happier with this decision,” said Jo Anne.

William then added, “Pet hotels can be lucrative but it comes with a lot of high responsibility. These aren’t just pets, they’re children as well so we have to be careful. We have experience so it helps.”

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A lot of effort and dedication is needed to really run a successful pet hotel. I may love animals, but after seeing what L Residence’s daily routine is like, I’ll stick with taking care of my own pets.

I did really enjoy being surrounded by cute pets for an entire day, and thanks to the Galaxy S10+, I was able to capture a lot of the adorable moments. I particularly enjoyed playing with the Live Focus effect which let me mimic photos that looked like it was taken professionally.

The “Colour Point” option on the Live Focus feature.

Maybe it’s time to consider starting that Instagram account for my pets.

  • For more information on the Samsung Galaxy S10, you can click here for the official website.
  • For more information on the services and room rates provided by L Residence, you can click here for their official website or here for their Facebook page.

This article was written in collaboration with Samsung.

Also Read: 6 Real Questions That Gen Zs Need To Ask Themselves (Inspired By These 3 Role Models)

3 Stress Tests That Really Push The S10+ To Its Limits

When you’re choosing between the huge number of smartphones today, often times it’s easy to get carried away. What do you prioritise? Battery? Camera? Or aesthetic appeal? It really depends on what you’re looking for in your device.

For us, what makes or breaks a smartphone can be summed up in one word: performance. But for most devices in the mid to top end of the smartphone range, it can be a little hard to discern what good performance really is. Out of the box, most phones today seem snappy and look shiny enough.

So how do we gauge how well a phone is truly performing? More importantly, how well the phone continues to perform as it inevitably gets loaded up with apps, pictures, and everything else?

With that in mind, we’ve put the S10+ through a series of stress tests—all designed to help you decide if the S10+ is really the powerhouse it supposedly is.

1) Geekbench 4 – Power

First, we put the phone through the Geekbench 4 benchmark, which measures the overall performance of the phone.

Screenshots of the test.

According to the results, the S10+ scores at 10,238 for its multi-core performance—compared to its predecessor’s score of 8,295 (Galaxy S9). This is evidence of a phone that has some serious power.

This translates to a really snappy experience whilst using the phone, with demanding apps such as PUBG and video editing software not an issue for the Galaxy flagship. If you’re like this writer and you’re used to having a thousand tabs open simultaneously, good news.

How the S10+ model compares with other devices.

Relatively speaking, the S10+ is very much at the top-end of its class.

2) Battery Life

There’s no point in having a super-powerful, amazing smartphone if it can’t last long enough. And Samsung has clearly taken that into account with the 4100mAh they’ve included with the Galaxy S10+.

With that, you should easily expect the S10+ to be a multi-day device. Putting the S10+ through a pretty power-draining daily routine, we got around 13 hours of usage out of the device.

Around 30% of the battery was drained while binging on some of our favourite tv shows, while the remaining 70% was drained with a combination of activities; taking pictures, listening to music, playing a few mobile games, and others.

Protip: To get even more usage out of a single charge, make sure that you change the resolution of the display from 1440p to 1080p.

When the resolution of the display is switched to “just” Full HD (1080p), the battery life of the smartphone was extended—by about an hour. We also tried watching HDR content on Netflix on the S10+, and found the smartphone still lasted for around 7-8 hours. Very impressive.

A thing to note is we enabled the S10+’s Adaptive Power Saving Mode, which might have affected the performance since the phone prevents apps from sucking the battery while it’s not being used.

It’s a handy intelligent feature that doesn’t let you lose any functionality or miss notifications because it’s meant to adapt to how you use the phone. It will keep learning and keep making your phone more battery efficient as you keep using your apps.

When using the Wireless Powershare feature, we noticed that the battery life did drain a little faster but that shouldn’t be an issue as this is mainly use to charge other devices in mainly urgent situations.

FYI: Charging of other devices will stopped to prevent to drain the Galaxy S10’s battery when its battery level is below 30%.

3) Gaming Benchmark

Image Credit: Vulcan Post

A device’s gaming performance isn’t always perfectly correlated with its hardware specs on paper, as any serious PC gamer will tell you. Smartphones aren’t that different in this regard, so we put the S10+ through the 3DMark, a benchmarking app that pushes the S10+, but from a gaming and graphics perspective.

The results from the test.

There are a few options to choose from in the benchmarking app, depending on how hard you’re looking to push your device. We opted for the “Slingshot Extreme”,that is typically only used to benchmark flagship, premium devices.

The results of the Sling Shot Extreme test was not decent enough, but not exactly field-topping. As you can see above, its score was ranked at a disappointing 37th on the benchmark app.

However, this may be due to the fact that the set we have is using the Exynos 9820 SoC. The S10+ that comes with the Snapdragon 855 chipset however, scored impressively—right at the top end of the table.

It’s worth mentioning that even while pushing the smartphone through these benchmarks, the phone barely even heated up at all. Yes, heat doesn’t exactly affect gameplay, but tell that to someone that spends hours a day gaming on his/her device. Comfort is key.

-//-

We know how difficult it is to choose a smartphone these days. In Malaysia, a decent smartphone can cost anything from RM1,000 to RM5,000 (or more). But sometimes, all that’s needed to make your decision is trial and error.

The good thing is that most smartphones now offer a variety of customisations when it comes to certain features such as colour and storage.

The S10+ for example, comes with storage from 128GB up to now 1TB (up to 1.5TB with expandable storage), which is a lot. From a very rough calculation, you can look at having about 20,000 videos, 10,000 apps and over 300,000 photos all stored on your phone without ever needing to delete anything.

After running the S10+ hard over the last few weeks, the numbers definitely add up to prove that the Samsung Galaxy S10+ isn’t just here for its looks, or unique hole-punch front camera.

It’s a beast.

  • For more information on the Samsung Galaxy S10+, click here.
  • If you’d like to read our content on the smartphone, click here.

This article is written in collaboration with Samsung.

Also Read: Is The Samsung S10+ Genuinely Hack-Proof? We Put It To The Test

Is The Samsung S10+ Genuinely Hack-Proof? We Put It To The Test

Nowadays, most smartphones are released with a variety of security features, designed to protect your phone and the valuable data within from prying eyes.

The importance of these features has grown drastically over the last few years or so, with smartphones holding more and more critical information like credit card data, work documents, and even embarrassingly compromising selfies.

These features include fingerprint scanners, facial recognition locks, and other protective measures. However, how much protection they actually offer depends very much on the smartphone itself.
As a result, most smartphones are released with a barrage of security features advertised—and the Samsung Galaxy S10 series is no different. Boasting some of the most premium hardware on the smartphone market today, we tried to bypass some of the main security features using a few methods.

1. Face Unlock

The S10 series is famously notchless, with a cut-out camera utilised to maintain as much of a screen ratio as possible. This means that the Samsung flagship relies on software-based facial recognition, as opposed to more secure infrared sensors.

However, that’s all on paper. Since the S10 series was released in March, there have been a number of online sources claiming that they could spoof the S10 phones using photos/videos (here’s an example).

No luck here.

With that in mind, we attempted to pull off the same trick—with an entirely different result. Despite multiple attempts, multiple angles, and multiple subjects; we couldn’t get the S10+ to unlock.

FYI: In your phone settings, make sure you turn off “Faster recognition” if you want added security for face unlock.

Despite that, the S10+ proved itself to be very secure even with the “Faster recognition” feature turned on. This is doubly impressive when you consider the fact that this is done using cameras, and not IR sensors.

2. The Ultrasonic Fingerprint Reader

Samsung’s in-screen fingerprint is unique for one reason: It uses ultrasonic waves to read your fingerprint. This ensures that it’s more difficult to bypass as opposed to other in-screen fingerprint readers that are based on optical sensors. In addition to that, the ultrasonic sensor also works in different conditions; including sunlight, humid settings, and others.

The sensor actually relies on the bumps and ridges on your thumb whenever you unlock your phone. With that in mind, we tried two methods using everyday items from around the office: some tape and some white-tac.

It felt rather like a spy movie, to be honest.

While there have been others who have gone to greater lengths to spoof the S10+’s fingerprint reader (such as 3d models and printing), ultimately simpler methods such as pictures of fingerprints and white-tac imprints failed to unlock the smartphone.

Not even once.

Do note that Samsung recently released an OTA (over the air) security update in April which further improves the fingerprint reader—increasing accuracy and speed. This is something that we noticed for our unit as well, as our initial impression of the S10+’s fingerprint reader was that it was secure, but a tad slow.

3. Fort Knox, or just Knox?

The S10+ also comes with Knox, Samsung’s “guarantee” that your device will be secure. The Knox platform is built into the S10+ during the manufacturing stage, which means that the device is secured out of the box.

Image Credit: Samsung

According to Samsung, the protective mechanisms afforded by the Knox platform protects the phone from intrusion, malware, and other malicious threats. We didn’t have the opportunity (read: skills) to attempt a hack through this security feature, but it’s rather important nonetheless.

4. Traditional Pin/Password

This, in our opinion, is the most secure of the security features that the smartphone offers. As a user, you’ll have to weigh that against the convenience of the fingerprint scanner and face unlock; but simplicity and reliability of having a secure pin number as your password is still unrivalled.

Using a variety of everyday items, we put the Samsung Galaxy S10+ and its security features to the test.
Image Credit: Vulcan Post

As expected, after making a few educated guesses at my pin number (birthday, IC number, etc.), my colleague was prevented from making any more attempts for a certain period of time.

Samsung’s “Find My Mobile” feature still allows for remote access to your phone. But this is still a secure option, as you’ll need to have access to the Samsung account that your phone is logged into.

The one way to totally bypass any of these security features, even the pin/password, is to do a hard reset of your phone. However, even in such instances, your data would still remain protected—a hard reset will remove all data and accounts from the phone.

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In summary, Samsung has clearly placed a lot of importance upon security features in the Galaxy S10 series, with the above features having been designed to stop virtual thieves/pesky friends from accessing your private information.

However, it’s always important to keep your phone backed up at all times and to utilise the security features available. In the unfortunate event of losing your smartphone, you can always log into Samsung’s Find My Mobile and remotely wipe all of your data off the phone.

  • For more information of Samsung’s S10 series, click here.

This article is written in collaboration with Samsung.

Also Read: SS15 Is Too Crowded To Go Get Bubble Tea, So We Decided To Make Our Own

SS15 Is Too Crowded To Go Get Bubble Tea, So We Decided To Make Our Own

As Malaysians, it’s pretty much normal in our culture to line up for food and drinks.

Being a foodie community, it won’t come as a surprise to see long queues at restaurants, cafes and even hawker stalls due to a certain trend that blew up on social media. The latest one we can all see is bubble tea, and if you’ve been to SS15, Subang Jaya recently, you’d agree.

Here at the Vulcan Post office, we’re all enthusiasts of bubble tea but the thought of needing to wait in line for hours just for that one cup doesn’t seem so good.

So we thought to ourselves, why not make some bubble tea ourselves? Personally, I thought that it wouldn’t be too much of a challenge—we’ve got the internet on our side.

Armed with a few YouTube videos and an online tutorial, I confidently assured my colleagues that we’d best head back to the office for my homemade rendition, once we picked up the necessary ingredients required for the drink.

As I’m sure that you’d like to know how well (or badly) I fared, I took the liberty of documenting the entire process (in 4k!) on the Samsung Galaxy S10 we had in the office—let me know if you’d like a private tutorial session on how to make homemade bubble tea.

The Preparation Stage

I was pretty surprised (and relieved) to discover that the list of ingredients needed for the recipe is relatively simple:

Photo taken on the Samsung Galaxy S10

  1. ⅔ Cup Tapioca Starch
  2. 1 Cup Brown Sugar
  3. Black Tea Bags
  4. Milk/Cream

https://youtu.be/D7iYKf4rt4k
I may not have been the best cameraman, but the S10 keeps my shot steady with VDIS (video stabilisation).

Sounds simple enough, right? Well, the ingredients were easy enough to find, although I must admit that I used organic cane sugar as a substitute for the brown sugar mentioned in the recipe.

https://youtu.be/NK10Xsik5XQ

1. Dissolve sugar into boiling/simmering water

This seemed like a simple enough step when I was still researching recipes, so I jumped right into it. However, I learnt a few things right off the bat. Firstly, make sure that your water is boiling as you’re tipping sugar into the saucepan.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aYqXXawsH3M
Video taken in FHD – Notice how stable the video is? On this particular setting, the VDIS is up to 3 times as stable as normal VDIS

Secondly, find out what the difference is between simmering and boiling. It’s a very important distinction, apparently.

Once you’ve emptied the sugar into the pan, you should bring the heat down just a tad, and keep it to a simmer. Make sure that all of the sugar has fully dissolved, before moving onto the next step.

2. Add in tapioca starch

Keep the mixture simmering, and add in your tapioca starch. In Malaysia, perhaps it would be best to ask for Tepung Ubi Kayu—I had a fair bit of trouble getting stores to get the difference between tapioca flour and starch.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E6281U8eMVE

For me, I found this process a lot more difficult than I had initially anticipated. Thankfully, I was saved by my colleague’s #protip: mix more tapioca starch in until the mix resembles a gooey-like substance.

At the end of this process, you should have something that looks like this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dn-34CDM8ys

3. Shaping the pearls into little balls

For lack of a better way to say it, yes. This was probably the part of the process I was most looking forward to while watching tutorial videos. The online recipe basically told me that I had to knead the flour mixture for a few minutes, before cutting the dough up into smaller sizes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yV2UUjCfdWA
*cough

As you can see, it didn’t go entirely as I had imagined it. Thankfully, after tweaking the mixture a little and warming it up again, I managed to achieve a mix with just the right viscosity—sticky.

Following that, my next step was to cut up the dough into smaller pieces, which I then proceeded to roll into small, ball-shaped pearls.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F62R8wldUPE

Protip: Make sure you coat each pearl with flour/tapioca once you’ve shaped them. This is to avoid the pearls from sticking to each other.

To be honest, it was a relief to be done with the dough-kneading part of the recipe. It’s a lot more exhausting that it appeared to be on Youtube, so lesson learnt.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GWQNU17HKys

As per my instructions, I popped the pearls back into a boiling pot of water, and waited for approximately 5 minutes. Once the pearls had gone translucent, they were cooked and ready.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjoNkUr3vT0

Protip: If you’d prefer for your pearls to be dark in colour, make sure you use dark brown sugar in the mix. In my case, I used cane sugar, which resulted in golden-coloured pearls. 

4. Completing the drink

This was the part that I was well prepared for: the tea. My favourite kind of tea is Earl Grey, but given that I was attempting to make the conventional Taiwanese Bubble Tea, I opted for English Breakfast tea.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BCTZJSGbWGU

Yes, I know. It doesn’t exactly look like the ready-made pearls from your favourite bubble tea shop. Yes, they aren’t perfectly round in shape. Yes, they’re oddly-coloured.

But guess what? They tasted pretty damn good, if I may say so myself. My colleague, on the other hand? I don’t think she was too impressed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jP0icLZah4c&feature=youtu.be

-//-

So maybe bubble tea (or cooking in general) isn’t my thing. But if there’s one takeaway from this little tutorial, it’s that the videos sure as heck look good.

For example, while my colleagues and I recorded the process, we had to deal with a few problems: a hugely messy kitchen area, and dirty hands. Thankfully, the Samsung S10’s video stabilisation (VDIS) software ensured that the shakiness of our hands wasn’t translated to the end-video.

In addition to that, the wide-angle lens on the S10 came in useful for us—the wide field of vision helped us capture the entire, huge, messy table.

And of course, I still can’t get over how amazing the videos look in 4k, especially with the 60FPS settings turned on. There’s no noticeable drop in framerate throughout the videos, despite the multiple moving objects in some of the videos.

The lesson to all of this? If you’re going to record a failure, you might as well record it in the best quality available.

  • If you’d like to know more about the Samsung Galaxy S10 series, click here.

This article is written in collaboration with Samsung.

Also Read: 5 Strategic Upgrades That Grab Has Made To Become The Everyday Super App Of SEA

M’sians Confess The 6 Most Unconventional Ways They Binge-Watch Their TV Shows

Nowadays, most Millennials can agree that one of their favourite pastimes is to sit in the comfort of our own home and binge-watch a good TV series.

With popular streaming sites making thousands of international and local shows accessible to us, we can now easily find time out of our busy schedules to enjoy some entertainment without needing to head to the cinemas.

There are many ways we watch our shows, but a popular method is simply through our phones because of how it’s always with us anyway.

But at what lengths do Malaysians go to in order to binge-watch their favourite shows?

We talked to a few Malaysians and found out 6 unconventional methods that they do to watch their TV shows. We’re also partnering with Samsung to find out what features from their latest flagship model, the Samsung Galaxy S10, would be helpful in their unique binge-watching ways.

1) “I like to watch my shows alone while eating out.”

Eating out is a very common Malaysian activity, because it’s become a part of our culture where we bond the best with our peers by eating together.

But even though it’s a nice activity to do in a group, sometimes there are moments when it can be prime time to catch up on our TV shows.

Chen, 26, mentioned that because of his career as a nomad journalist, most of his time is spent at home where there are many interruptions from family and work. So for his binge-watching sessions, he likes to go out to a cafe and enjoy his TV shows over good food.

“I’ve even rejected invites from friends to ‘yumcha’ and gone out to cafes on my own. It’s quite funny seeing the waiters give me funny looks when I spend about 2 hours at their cafe just staring at my phone,” shared Chen.

An S10 feature he’d appreciate: “The HDR 10+ is a pretty cool feature, because I’d love to watch my shows in a more dynamic display. Especially because Netflix added HDR10 certification for all S10 devices.”

2) “I put my phone on the sink and watch my shows while washing clothes.”

Chores can be a bore, that’s why most of us try to use that time to also play something entertaining so that it doesn’t become such a monotonous errand.

Kim, 29, finds washing her clothes more therapeutic now because she plays her TV shows on her phone while doing it.

“I like to hand-wash some of my more delicate clothing so I get it done now while also enjoying my show. I don’t even realise I go through a whole tub of my laundry by the end of an episode sometimes,” said Kim.

An S10 feature she’d appreciate: “The Infinity-O Display is what I’d enjoy because even if I put my phone far away, I can still get a proper full view of the whole show.”

3) “I purposely take longer routes to finish my episodes while driving home.”

Lily, 27, has an office commute of an hour because she lives all the way in Sepang, so to keep her journey entertaining, she enjoys playing shows on her phone while its on her car mobile holder.

“I know it sounds dangerous but I make sure to never actually play shows that have intense plots. I play more comedy shows because it’s just background music, just like those of us who play songs on Spotify while driving,” said Lily.

An S10 feature she’d appreciate: “The stereo speaker sound by AKG would be what I’d look out for because I rely a lot on my audio being clear to enjoy my shows while driving. Think that’ll help make my car feel like a moving theatre haha!”

4) “I play my shows while showering.”

Some of us are guilty in having our phones in our hands all the time. Luqmal, 28, has this habit to a point where he brings in his phone during his shower sessions.

Image Credit: Vulcan Post

“I’ve found ways to keep my phone in waterproof cases, even putting it in clear bags, so that I can put it near my shower area. My friends think I’m crazy for risking my phone getting water damage but I’ve had no issues with what I’m doing so far,” said Luqmal.

An S10 feature he’d appreciate: “Honestly, the fact that it has an IP68 rating makes it impressive to me because then I won’t have to worry about the phone not being water-resistant enough.”

5) “I focus better at work when I have my TV episodes playing in the background.”

Being a video editor, Reshnu, 29, finds herself stuck at her office desk most of the day. She often stays back in the office late to finish up work, so to keep herself occupied, she’s enjoyed having TV shows play in the background while she finishes up an assignment.

“I realised that I focus better at work when I have TV episodes playing in the background, probably because I like to play interesting documentaries that help my creativity flow. My boss has seen me do this and she has no complaints, because I get all my work done,” said Reshnu.

An S10 feature she’d appreciate: “The long battery life is what I’d appreciate because of the fact that my TV shows play all day, so I wouldn’t want my phone to be dead by the end of the day.”

6) “My friend and I download episodes on two different devices and sit side by side and press play at the same time.”

Ven, 31, and Elly, 27, enjoy the same type of TV shows so they try to find time in their schedules to meet up and watch these programmes together.

Because of circumstances, there’s no one location where they can enjoy watching their shows freely so they now dedicate a day of their week to meet up at different cafe locations so that they can watch together then.

Image Credit: Vulcan Post

“What we do is basically play the TV show on two separate devices (either phone or laptop) and then we press play at the same time,” said Ven. “It’s quite funny when one of us has a lag in our episode, so we download the episodes to make sure that no one’s ahead of the other.”

The S10 feature they’d appreciate: “Because of the fact that we watch our shows in a number of locations, the Dynamic AMOLED Display is great so that we can a great view of our screens always.”

-//-

Based on these responses, it seems like some of us have quite interesting ways to make sure we’re updated with our TV series and it’s good that technology now has enabled us to enjoy this activity freely.

But now more than ever, it’s become crucial to have gadgets that can support this habit of ours. For those of us who enjoy watching shows on our phone, the S10 becomes a great companion that covers a variety of features that you’d look for when streaming shows on mobile.

With the Galaxy S10, it’s a device that TV show buffs should have for a mobile but truly cinematic experience. Its HDR 10+, Dynamic AMOLED, new Infinity-O Display, and Dolby stereo speakers by AKG features gives the S10 gorgeously vibrant and crisp images, which really makes it the closest thing to the cinema you could have.

  • If you’re interested on purchasing a Galaxy S10+, it now comes with 1TB storage at a retail price of RM5,999 and entitled to a free Galaxy A9 worth RM 1,999 and Marvel’s superhero cover worth RM 159 upon purchase at participating Samsung Experience Stores and authorised merchants until the 5th of May.

  • For more information on promotions for the Galaxy S10 series, you can click here.

This article is written in collaboration with Samsung.

Also Read: So… My Boss Decided To Pay Me Via BigPay For This Month

8 Features On The Samsung S10 That Finally Convinced Me To Get Over My Outdated iPhone

I’m not a particularly big believer in brand loyalty when it comes to smartphones. Having been a user of both iOS and Android, I can say that each system has its pros and cons that gives you a different experience.

But after being an iPhone 6s user for the past 5 years, I was due for an upgrade and the new Samsung Galaxy S10 drew me in immediately.

I bought myself the regular S10 model in Prism White and so far after using it for close to two weeks, there are many features that I have been enjoying immensely (even with the painful transition process of transferring backups to Android).

Here’re 8 key features about the S10 that I believe make it a smartphone worth checking out in 2019.

1) The fit-to-hand feel.

As per its predecessors, Samsung kept with their Infinity Display with the S10 but altering it in a way where it’s now known as the Infinite-O Display (where the front-facing camera lens is embedded directly in the screen).

With a goal of having a smartphone with the best possible screen to body ratio, the hole-punch camera actually helps give off the impression of a borderless piece of glass.

Because of that, the phone can appear bigger than it actually is. The design is quite slim and light, which makes it really nice to hold (as someone who doesn’t particularly enjoy bulky big phones).

The S10 comes with a 6.1-inch diagonal display which actually makes it almost as big as some of the previous Plus models. I’ve been enjoying having more room to watch my movies, read books, and play games on the immersive 19:9 Infinity-O Display.

2) The precise display cutout.

Compared to the S10 Plus that has an oval-shaped cutout, the S10 sports a simple hole-punch-size cutout for its single selfie lens, which I find far less distracting.

GIF Credit: Vulcan Post

Reading articles is quite fun to do with the bigger screen space, and when taking selfies or playing games with the phone, the hole-punch never took away from the experience.

I will say that when taking photos of myself, the obvious cutout actually helped me focus directly at the lens which is a great feat for someone like me who usually can’t seem to have proper eye contact with the camera lens.

FYI: If you’re bothered by the hole-punch, try using one of Samsung’s cleverly designed wallpapers to hide it. It won’t help much when you’re streaming videos or browsing the web, but the disguise looks pretty damn good when you show it off to friends.

3) The Dynamic AMOLED display.

The S10’s screen comes with a Dynamic AMOLED display, which has gotten the highest grade from the screen testing experts at DisplayMate.

If you’re not really much of a numbers person (like me) and you can’t tell from those type of ratings, just take a look at the stunning brilliant colours of the S10 screen that shows why the S10 display is one of the best on the current market.

It supports HDR10+ content as well as HDR10+ video recording. Added with top-notch photo capture, the S10 does extremely well in making content pop on screen better than most smartphones.

GIF Credit: Vulcan Post

The S10 screen also has improved blue light filters, which do a better job of cutting down on the slice of colors that usually makes it harder for people to fall asleep. Overall, I’d say the S10’s display is pretty close to perfect.

4) The cameras.

One of my main criterias when choosing a smartphone comes down to its camera, and I was pretty intrigued by the S10’s camera that comes with a set of powerful lenses that helps capture photos in exquisite detail.

The S10 comes with Samsung’s all-new 123-degree Ultra Wide lens, along with 12MP, Wide-angle, Dual Aperture, Super Speed Dual Pixel lens. There’s also an additional 12MP Telephoto (zoom) lens and a 10MP, UHD, Dual Pixel front-facing camera that’s perfect for taking high-quality selfies.

I really like how the S10 can switch to the type of image users want to capture based on the scene, so you can go from zooms to portraits, to ultra-wide landscapes and group shots.

GIF Credit: Vulcan Post

But a feature that I’ve been appreciating lately has been the Instagram mode that’s integrated to Samsung’s stock camera app, meaning the photos and videos are taken with the phone’s camera instead of through the Instagram app which could decrease the quality.

It basically brings the filters directly to the camera software and I can upload my photos straight to my Instagram Stories without leaving Samsung’s default camera software.

GIF Credit: Vulcan Post

The feature also includes the usual Instagram stickers, editing tools, text, hashtags and more, but there’s little mode options such as the beloved Superzoom and Boomerang. Hopefully there’ll be an update soon to include those.

5) The PowerShare feature.

The S10 comes with a 3,400-mAh battery, which means that the device doesn’t last as long on a charge but it can still go a long time without needing to top off the battery.

So when it comes to the Wireless PowerShare function, I use it sparingly. This feature essentially lets me wirelessly-charge compatible phones and wearables just by laying it on the back of the S10.

GIF Credit: Vulcan Post

When charging other phones, it is a little slow so I mainly use this feature to charge my Galaxy Buds. It’s very efficient and saves me time in needing to find a port to charge my devices when I’m out and about.

GIF Credit: Vulcan Post

FYI: You can still use your S10 while charging the other phone, but do note that this feature will drain your phone’s battery faster. However, the charging is stopped to prevent draining the S10’s battery when its battery level is below 30%.

6) The in-display fingerprint scanner.

Being the first smartphone in the world to use an ultrasonic in-display fingerprint scanner, I was quite excited to test it out and so far, I’m impressed.

GIF Credit: Vulcan Post

As the scanner utilises ultrasonic waves to map out my fingerprint’s unique pattern, it’s been a speedy process in unlocking my phone. The scanner also features an anti-spoofing algorithm that lets it recognize my real, physical fingerprint and reject images or copies of it—which makes it faster and safer than an optical fingerprint scanner.

Instead of holding the thumb down, I usually like to just tap the scanner so that it can unlock faster and it’s been nice to not have to turn on the display to access this feature.

Protip: To help make the reading of your fingerprint better, you can add multiple versions of your own fingerprint at the “Biometrics and security” section in your settings.

7) The strong processor.

The S10 comes with Exynos 9820 and 8GB of RAM, making it one of the fastest phones on the market.

GIF Credit: Vulcan Post

Graphics-intensive games like PUBG have been great to play on the S10 as the phone handles the burden well—games hardly lag while the phone doesn’t really heat up.

8) The headphone jack.

Let’s get this out of the way since some may find it insignificant.

When researching on potential options for my next phone, looking for smartphones that still had the headphone jack was actually a big deciding factor. Even if I prefer listening to my playlists with wireless audio devices, having the 3.5mm headphone jack there gives me a sense of satisfaction because there’s an option of using it if needed.

I don’t need to bother with adaptors and I relish the fact that I can easily charge my phone and listen to music at the same time.

Worth An Upgrade?

For its retail price of RM3,299, I have no regrets getting the S10.

The S10 offers what I generally look for when upgrading smartphones; superfast performance, a beautiful display, wireless PowerShare, great camera quality and battery life, and with a less distracting camera cutout than on the larger, pricier S10 Plus.

If you’re looking for an all-rounder phone that’s packed with the latest technology, I’d say it’s worth a look.

  • For more information on the Samsung Galaxy S10, you can check out their official website here.

This article is written is collaboration with Samsung.

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