Thursday, December 19, 2013

Ninetology U9Z1 Review

At first glance, I would say this new Gem by Ninetology would be a good phone to own. Was given this gadget to play around for about a week now and so far I have no major regrets.

Quad Core 1.2 GHz(yes that's 4 times the power and a smoother screen transition compared to my HTC Sensation XE with Beats Audio dual core 1.5 GHz 4.3" Gorilla Glass) 5.7" IPS HD Gorilla Glass and 12 MP Camera. Cheaper than phones of near same specs (MYR 1199 for U9Z1 vs MYR 1599 for my 2 years old Sensation XE limited white edition which could be so much cheaper now)

Comparing the screen between U9Z1 and my HTC sensation XE, this screen definitely win hands down due to the size and clarity of the color. Built on Android 4.2.2 Jelly Beans compared to my Sensation XE's Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich. I really liked the colors on U9Z1. Top that up with a 5MP front camera for a better video call experience.

What is more is that it supports dual sim cards which definitely helps if you want a work life balance or keep 2 sides of your life separated(if you know what I mean) compared to the single sim HTC Sensation XE. The major difference is the U9Z1's camera uses a single flash while Sensation XE uses dual flash(which has it pros and cons as it would use up more batt power while at the same time giving double the brightness)


One major difference would be the keyboard. I find the Sensation Xe's keyboard is more user friendly as an avid texter as I even reply to work emails using my phone and the commonly used symbols on the keypad which will activate as you press and hold vs U9Z1's extra screen for the symbols. This is just a minor problem which could be resolved by downloading one of the keypad aps.



The other thing I noticed is when the USB cable is plugged in, U9Z1 has the CD-ROM option which is good for plug and play softwares and in the IT world, this is one good advantage. The only problem I have is when I want to use the connection over my PC to my phone. Sensation XE provided me with this solution where I could use the PC's internet connection which is not available in U9Z1. Note that I am using a broadband USB connection.



The next thing would be the initial autofocus as the camera is started up. I feel the Sensation XE's autofocus wins hands down on this despite being only an 8MP camera compared to U9Z1's 12 MP camera. Pictures taken are more sharp and less noisy at faster speed during startup of camera which is needed for those who does not want to miss a shot.

Nevertheless if you could take your sweet time getting the perfect shot, the U9Z1's camera would do good on manual auto focus(manually select focus points)

The other plus point is the superb video quality in U9Z1 compared to Sensation XE. Both does recording at HD and 30fps but quality wise, playback and effects, the U9Z1 out beat Sensation XE. It somehow gave me the urge to even start my own videoblog.

To Summarize the pros and cons:-

PROS:
  • Superb colors and large screen
  • Video clarity, effects and playback(preview of video in gallery)
  • Large screen for movies
  • Faster processing(startup of apps like facebook) with Quad Core and 1GB RAM and GPU
  • Cheaper compared to phones of near same specs) retails at MYR 1199
  • Memory usage is good as I don't feel any lags despite multitasking on several apps
  • Comes with 2 casings (half, back casing and one full flip over casing) and screen protector
  • Dual Sim
  • 5mp front camera for video calls

CONS:
  • No external SD card slot(only 16GB internal memory)
  • Noisy picture, less focused auto focus at first startup of camera
  • Too large(yes this is a problem for me to even fit this into my jeans pocket while driving
  • You can't change it's batteries(I tried but apparently the batt casing is apparently sealed(let me know if this is otherwise)
  • No internet passthrough

Monday, December 16, 2013

Penang Gartien Pineapple Cakes for CNY 2014

Having headaches on what to give your friends, parents, mother in law(or laws) or even your sam gu luk poh(translation: any relatives or aunties) this coming Chinese New Year? Well first you would need something that is presentable and of a Chinese tradition right? Why not something more pineapply tasty than pineapple biscuits/tarts? Try pineapple cakes or 鳳梨酥 instead. Pineapple is called "Ong Lai" in Hokkien which translate to Wealth Coming. So what is more appropriate than this?

Gartien (小田佳園), a local Penang pineapple cakes manufacturer came out with its new CNY packaging designs with Peony/Mudan Flower/牡丹 motives in gold on it's red gift box of set of 10 pieces of individually wrapped cakes with chinese ink paintings of Mudan flowers. These are limited edition packings as there are only 1000 of these auspicious gift sets left.

What I loved is that each cake is individually packed to retain it's freshness and hygiene. One or two packs is good to go along with a cup of your favorite tea on a lazy evening.

Bite sized that is fit for hand carry serves as a snack on the go.

Each box is priced at RM45/box effective 30 December 2013 onwards. However, if you make your pre-order before the start of 2014, you would still be given a promotional price of RM38/box. Due to its limited auspicious gift set edition, only 250 boxes would be available weekly for 4 weeks effective 30 December 2013. For Walk ins, it's priced at RM45 per box (Now until 26th Jan 2014 - last day for collection before CNY)

What is more tempting now is that with order of every 10 boxes, you could choose for free delivery to any part of Peninsular Malaysia or another box of pineapple cakes free if you opt to collect them yourself.

Name: GARTIEN @ 小田佳園
Address: 68, Lorong Macalister, 10400 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-229 0068
Website: www.gartien.com
Email: info@gartien.com
FaceBook: www.fb.gartien.com/
Business Hours: 10.00am-5.00pm (weekdays), 9.00am-6.00pm (weekends)
GPS: 5.416195, 100.328433

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Brew Thirty Two Coffee House Review

Ever noticed that most coffee house or cafes in the heritage area in Penang seems to be so packed nowadays? Want a quiet place just to talk and share your thoughts with another person? Fret not. I found this little gem hidden at some back lane which is cosy and comfortable.

Located on Green Hall road(Jalan Green Hall - the small lane on the left before Royal Selangor), you could easily miss this but it's somewhere in the middle of the row.

You are greeted by Yu Far or Isabella in this wall painting asking if you want coffee, tea or Him/Her(whichever way you like it to be)

Christmas season decorations are up.. This could be one of the reasons why I felt at home and comfortable.

Their creative notice board

Coffee bean art











Lazy and comfortable chairs which could make you not wanting to leave the chair at all

Their menu. Not much of variety but enough to last you a whole day of lazing around on a Sunday morning

I ordered iced cappuccino served in their unique jar cup and just sat there in deep thoughts for about 2 hours. Did I mention they serve cake too? I feel there's lots more to explore here compared to those busy well known cafes in Penang. My suggestion? Give this place a try and you might love this place like I do.


Environment: 5/5 (No, I am serious. Top notch cleanliness, quiet, good lighting, relaxed seatings. What more could I ask for?)
Service: 4/5 (You sit and they bring your drinks to you with a smile)
Taste: 3.5/5 (Normal coffee but the place changes everything)
Consistency: ??/5 (This is really unknown but I am surely returning there)
Price: 3/5 (Usual Penang Coffee House price)
Address and Contact:
32 Jalan Green Hall, George Town, Penang 10200
Tel: +60 12-400 9633
Business Hour: 
Mon–Thu, Sun 10:30 AM–10:30 PM
Fri–Sat 10:30 AM–Midnight
GPS: 5.422206,100.339765 (Approx only)



Thursday, December 5, 2013

Lim Aik Chew Review

So what made me drop by this remote place far from the island of Penang? It was by chance that I was helping one of my scout leaders for a scout camp that I got introduced to this gem far south of the mainland Penang. Little did I know that it would capture my attention like no other due to the fact that the dishes served are fresh and one of a kind.

Fresh Water Prawns aka Lobsters

Look at the size of these prawns

Extra large sea water prawns for their famous curry prawns

Home made curry freshly made on a daily basis

Steamer for prawns and bread

 


While snooping around the kitchen, they prepared the fresh water prawns for steaming

The 3 flavoured fish is first fried before the secret sauce is poured all over

Hot piping bread fresh from the steamer. Imagine you were to open one slice from another and the steams starts coming out and the aromas fills the air around.

Fresh sugar cane drink to quench your thirst while waiting for the spicy curry prawns


The outcome... Curry prawns best eaten with fresh piping hot bread

Their 3 flavoured fish

And last but not least their Steamed Fresh Water Prawns

So now you are full and could hardly move, what do you do? Take a stroll around the area for the scenery. I would strongly recommend the bridge.






Environment: 3.5/5 (The olden days coffee shop style which brings back memories of the olden days, spacious, cooling but parking is limited)
Service: 4/5 (Extra friendly staff as it's a home run business)
Taste: 4/5 (Any fresher, you would need to cook on the boat itself)
Consistency: 4/5 (During my 2 visits they maintained their taste and freshness - home made)
Price: 3/5 (The normal seafood price but cheaper than Penang and Tambun side)
Address and Contact:
436, Tanjong Berembang, 14310 Nibong Tebal, Seberang Perai
Tel: 04 5932957 / 016 5904912 (Mr Lim)
Business Hour:  open for lunch only and do call and reserve for fresh water prawns
GPS: 5.150831,100.462559

Sunday, December 1, 2013

G Hotel Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

It's always been an annual tradition for G Hotel to hold their Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at the hotel lobby which officiated by Kevin Cheah, Director of Sales & Marketing and Nalinee, Director of Human Resources.

Xmas Tree all lighted up.



This year, the lighting up ceremony is also done with a kick start for their charity event program for the Salvation Army, Home for the orphanage.

Their Christmas Charity Program "A Time to Give". Salvation Army Boys children hanging their wish on the Christmas Wish Board.

Their Wish List with Christmas Wish Cards written with their name and wishes this Christmas

Want to make their dream come true? At the end of this post is the list of their wishes or go direct to the Hotel, Pick a card, the gift and place it under the Xmas Tree. Their wishes ranges from items such as clothes, pants, pen drives, stationary etc. For some of us these things may not mean much but trust me it means a lot to them. So why not make it a meaningful Xmas for them? "A Time to Give" would be held on 19th December where the children would receive their gifts.

The Salvation Army Boys performed the Christmas Carol for the Hotel and lobby guests.




Next up we have the women from International Women's Association Performing their Christmas Carol for the night




There's a free flow of Festive Season Christmas Cakes and Biscuits running all night long


Not to be missed is their Eggnog which is only available once in a year during the Christmas celebration.

We also have an array of wines, beer, juices and soft drinks served to us.


Xmas log cake!!



The Wish List. Make a child happy today.. What are you waiting for? Head on to G Hotel, pick up a card and leave your presents for them there!

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