Friday, August 29, 2014

Xiaomi Mi3 3 months down the road. Still the killer?

So it has been a 3 months journey now after getting my Mi3 from the first batch flash sale in Malaysia. How did the phone flare in comparison to my old HTC Sensation XE, Ninetology Z1 and other phones? Did it give me much headaches? Note that this is not a boring specs post but more of a user experience post. If you want specs, go find uncle Google =)

Simplified minimalist packaging. Phone in box, Manuals and the Sim tray pin right under the phone(see the flap just below the phone), cable hidden in the side of the box. If till now you still fail to find it, go do a lion king shaking the box till kingdom come and follow the source or the noise. First batch comes with extra sim trays to cater for different sizes and also the charger. I ordered mine with casing and screen protector.

Fits perfectly on one hand. Not too big, not too small. Just nice. How did I end up with this phone? My old Sensation XE is dying and is lagging despite the flashing and stuff. I am tight on budget and Mi3 just launched below 1k in Malaysia. Proven track record in Singapore(well known for kicking brands who did not do well)

Silver back finish for the elegant look.

So how did it do compared to other phones in the market? The Antutu X benchmark here says it all.. It has been the fastest phone in the world for quite some time. Some would shove the score right into your face(yes, there are certain "local/ASEAN" phone companies with around 20k benchmark doing just that and around the same price too) but for me it's just a number despite whatever others say. As long as my phone could perform without any hangs and lags, I am a happy man.

The first attraction is the phone comes with an online theme store fully customizing how you want your phone to look like down from icons, lock styles to backgrounds and even transitions etc. Did I mention free transformers, ironman and batman themes?

Custom widgets with high user experience.

I feel more Chinese now despite not being able to write much with the Chinese ink theme.

Some minimalist themes available for those who prefers simple and easy.

Customizable easy toggles in MIUI 5

Sound quality from the music player was superb with Dirac

13 Megapixel camera for the shot you don't want to miss with build in editor. It's like a mini photoshop in your hands.

Front cam auto gender and age detection. Trust me when I say this thing is real good. My friend with long hair still shows as male. Age also very "accurate" till it shows me as 24 *grins

HD video watching experience on the go. Helps as I am always traveling and on the go.

Easy to get casings with stands. Actually I bought this second casing cos I loved the color. The original flip case comes with the stand feature too.

My first update experience? From V13 to V14 OTA(over the air) update. It was updated without a glitch. Smooth transition there.

Then there's the MIUI 6 release. This phone is fully flashable (changing android versions and UI). Was selected as part of the Beta Tester team for MIUI and never looked back. The experience the new MIUI 6 brought was too good. Kit Kat ready for Android L, stand up compass(usually you have to lie flat on the table)

Good user experience in terms of functionality with improved RAM usage.

Did I mention online music? Life gets better with every update.

Anyway the only headache is that mine comes with only 16GB memory and near half goes to programs and OS or that was what I was thinking when I got this phone. At least till I discover I also get the cloud account. Easily I could move my files now without a worry. Oh and about LTE? The guys in Malaysia couldn't even get 3G rolled out right. Need I say more? I think by the time LTE is a good thing, I would be already getting my next Xiaomi phone.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Tree Bar @ G Hotel Penang "Not just a tree, it’s a bar"

Do you know there's this new hangout spot in Penang which was recently opened in the Gurney area? Yes it's Tree Bar at G Hotel Penang. Not just any tree bar but it's the only Tree bar where you could sit next to the tree and chill out with your favorite drinks.

The best time to visit this place? Right after work around 6.30-7pm when the sky is still bright but not hot, cold and breezy till late at night.

Dip into the selection of draught beers available: asahi, connor's, stella artois, Löwenbrau and Hoegaarden. The current promotion is buy 1 get 2 free before 9.30pm and buy 1 get 1 free after 9.30pm.

There's also a wide selections of cocktails available to choose from like this Atlantic Breeze at RM24

My personal favourite is their Mojito Breeze, mixed with rum, mint leaf, lime, brown sugar & soda water at RM24

Want something to go with the drink? Didn't have your dinner and want something to chew on but wanted to be healthy at the same time? Try the Thai Beef Salad at RM16

Not a fan of greens and wanted to feel manly with some grilled meat? Try their best seller the Moroccan Spiced Lamb Skewer at RM21. Trust me when I say this is a must try.

Want some fish? Try the Nicoise Salad with pan seared tuna at RM16

or some Golden Chicken Wings served with sweet chili dip at RM21

Those who wanted an even lighter bite could try the Guacamole & Tortilla Chips with pico de gallo at RM15

Those who wanted some fresh seafood could try their Bucket of Chilled Shrimp with homemade cocktail sauce at RM25 (250gm) / RM49 (500gm). Serving the freshest shrimps, this is another must try. Squeeze some fresh lemon juice on the shrimps and it's a taste you will never forget.

Want to taste some fusion of Japanese food while having some Japanese Asahi Beer? Try the Smoked Salmon Roll with horseradish cream, capers & dill at RM28

Want something to share with your partner? Get the Cheese Fondue Madness at RM25. Served warm in the mix of cheese are gruyere, emmental & swiss. Dip them with the assorted bread and it's one of the best tasting thing ever.

Didn't have your dinner yet? Someone once told me that you shouldn't have alcohol with an empty stomach. Grab their big buns selection from RM 18-22(not including add-ons) for a selection of chicken or beef. You can select from the choice of bread: ciabatta, sesame bun or sundried tomato and choice of potato: truffle fries, spicy wedges or french fries. The one shown above is my selection of chicken sundried tomato bun Guac with spicy wedges.

This is chicken ciabatta with french fries. Looks delicious right? What are you waiting for?

Their opening hours are from 11am until 1am daily. Wait!! Want something specially for you my valued blog readers? Below is a voucher you could download, print, photocopy and use when you visit Tree Bar. Right Click, Save As.

Golden Chicken Wings with any purchase
- Valid for dine-in only
- Photocopied voucher is acceptable
- Voucher needs to be presented when making the order
- Valid till 31 August 2014
- One voucher per receipt per table
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