sony xperia z1 waterproof

You might have heard about this new wonder device. It’s not just a phone, but a high quality digital camera! It has everything except the kitchen sink…which leads us to the next point. Xperia™ Z1 is not just water resistant, it’s waterproof! To illustrate that point, I have submerged it in 6 inches of running water in my (you guessed it) kitchen sink.

xperia z1 waterproof

It still works perfectly and I have sent a joke text to my better half asking her where my phone is. Haha! It’s actually waterproof up to 1.5 meters for 30 minutes. This is achieved by flaps covering the microSIM, microUSB port, microSD card slot. In a smart move by Sony, the headphones jack in the Z1 doesn’t have a flap you need to keep closed. It’s rated at IP 55 and IP58 which means it’s not just waterproof, it’s also dust resistant!

sony xperia z1

Yup, this beautiful smartphone has been called “an almost perfect balance of form and function” by Forbes Magazine. The Xperia Z1 has it all:

20.7 MP camera with BIONZ™ for mobile

xperia z1 camera

The Xperia Z1 is powered by a large 1/2.3” 20.7 MP Exmor RS™ mobile image sensor, Sony’s award winning G Lens (the same kind you’ll find in their conventional compact digicams) and their tried-and-true BIONZ™ for mobile image processing engine.

I bought the Sony Xperia S when it first came out and one of the things I noticed is that the night mode takes a huge toll on the processor, which causes the screen to lag. This doesn’t happen anymore – the Xperia Z1 has its own dedicated processor!

The Xperia Z1 takes awesome photos, and handles the tricky light-and-dark situations well with the HDR mode. It also has four major Social Camera Applications to deliver new experiences and there’s a widget which allows you to put that right on the screen by default.

info eye

Info-Eye™
This is a “visual search” feature that provides related information on landmarks and other items such as books, wine or even groceries simply by capturing them with the camera. It’s like Google and Wikipedia combined, except you don’t type in your search string but take a photo instead!

info eye search results
Info Eye search results using bar code…

info eye search
…and the Image results! It works perfectly!

Social Live
This broadcasts the shots that you take to Facebook and the best thing about it is that you’ll get your friend’s comments right on your camera screen! This is the best in-house app I’ve had the pleasure of using and I’ll write about this in more detail soon – you need to be at an awesome event like a concert or while traveling to get the full impact of what this can do and what it means! :)

Timeshift Burst
My favorite feature by far – the Xperia Z1 takes 61 images in 2 seconds – a second before and after pressing the shutter – so you can scroll back and forth to find the perfect image. This is for all those times you “missed a shot” coz you took out your smartphone too late, it’ll never happen again.

AR Effect
There’s also a range of overlays that automatically detects faces and people and creates pictures using augmented reality app. I’ll dedicate a post to the camera and video features of the device – there’s just too many awesome features to describe in a general review.

ar effect

The Xperia Z1 also can shoot full 1080p HD video with stereo sound!

(and you can take a still image while the video is recording too)

5” Full HD screen

The Xperia Z1 has the latest Sony BRAVIA™ technology optimized for mobile. The beautiful and rich 5” screen uses a Full HD TRILUMINOS™ display which results in vibrant and incredible viewing experience. It’s the best screen I’ve ever seen on a smartphone!

sony xperia z1 screen

You can try it out at any Sony Center and be blown away at the crisp text and wide palate of natural colors. The Z1 also includes X-Reality™ for mobile and ClearAudio+™ for optimized video viewing. These are technologies usually found in their high range LCD TVs!

Software and performance

The Xperia Z1 is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor with 2.2 Ghz quad-core CPU and 4G LTE. It’s the first consumer smartphone to come up with this latest and super fast quad-core processor. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 features a GPU and dual ISP for incredible graphics and 3D performance – you’ll notice this if you play Unreal Engine based games on Android.

xperia z1 screen

Sony has also made changes to the stock version of Android and there’s four toggles in the notifications drop down that’s set to sound, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, brightness and settings by default. Swiping to the right in the app drawer brings up a menu that allows you to sort apps and also uninstall apps – you no longer have to go to the exact page in Google Play to do that anymore.

The Xperia Z1 also has 4 shortcuts at the main phone screen to reflect Sony’s concept for this phone- WALKMAN™, Album, Movies and PlayStation® Mobile. Yup, it’s an MP3 player, camera, video recorder and gaming device all rolled into one portable smartphone!

It does all those tasks very well too – there is no lag or slowdown of any kind even with intensive widgets on the screen that pulls Facebook and other social media feeds, multiple tabs open on the default browser (Chrome) and it tackles the most graphically intense Unreal Engine games with ease.

The 3000mAh battery performs well too – I can easily use the Xperia Z1 for a full day without having to recharge. That’s largely due to the highly effective Battery STAMINA Mode which uses a lot of useful tricks to preserve battery life. It shuts off certain apps when you’re not actively using them (you can customize this so that your favorite apps will run all the time) and turns off functions you don’t need until you wake up your screen again.

Design and other features

The entire phone has a premium feel to it from the single piece of aluminium (which also acts as an antenna) surrounding the front and back tempered sheet glass. The Sony Xperia Z1 is a long rectangle shape with an impressive build quality.

xperia z1

The On/Off button is now located on the right hand side in the middle instead of top right. All the buttons are placed right and the headphone jack is the lone item on the top which is perfectly situated to prevent snagging or accidental pressing of buttons while listening to an audio book in MP3 (which is what I do more than listen to music).

The speakers produces surprisingly well-defined sound too.

The Xperia Z1 weighs 170 grams which might seem a tad on the heavy side for people not used to it but I’m loving mine – it’s a high quality digital camera, gaming device, and smartphone in a sleek package that gets double takes. It not only looks good, it feels good too – and the fact that it’s also waterproof and shock and dust resistant is just icing on the cake.

xperia z1 unboxing

The Sony Xperia Z1 retails for RM 2,399 and if you purchase it now, you’ll get three months of free unlimited music streaming from Akazoo, a preloaded social media music app. This is valid from October till December 2013. You can also download six (6) movies (offer valid till 31st December) via Xperia Privilege app, which is also preloaded into the device.

There’s a lot more to talk about but this is already way over 1,000 words so I’ll write more on the awesome 20.7 MP digital camera, 1080p Full HD video recording, nifty apps like Social Live and other apps. I’ll also do a special on underwater photography and my annual Chinese New Year fireworks and firecrackers roundup. I also have the SmartWatch 2, which is a NFC/Bluetooth watch that can sync via NFC to get Facebook updates and allows you to control your phone remotely from your wrist.

smartwatch2

I love my new toy(s)! :D

Check out the Sony Xperia Z1 experience!

slide out

I literally *slid* out feet first, like a baseball player sliding into the home plate. I wanted to get out of the obstacle house within 5 seconds so that I could win an instant RM 50 note and an adult ticket to Sunway Lagoon. I was at the Nestle Drumstick Most Adventurous Challenge at Sunway Pyramid and I really wanted to win!

rm50

I had analyzed how the previous people who attempted the challenge did on the LCD video screen outside. There’s a camera attached to the helmet of every person who went into the wet adventure tent and live footage was beamed to the TV.

drumstick extreme challenge

The rules are simple – get out within 5 seconds or less.

gearing up

I geared out in safety knee and elbow pads, donned a helmet with a small camera attached and got ready to dash into the tent. I had only seen one guy who managed to get out within the allocated 5 seconds…all the others took slightly longer.

safety gear

It was really dark inside – I had to take a second to orient myself but I knew the countdown wouldn’t start until I actually picked up the Nestle DRUMSTICK EKSTREM CHOC.

I saw the “treasure chest” (which is actually an ice cream freezer) in front of me and rummaged around for the single drumstick inside. I looked back at the exit to plan a speedy exfil.

helmet

That was my mistake. The countdown started and I frantically swiped around, got the Nestle DRUMSTICK EKSTREM CHOC and ran hellbent for leather.

run in

5 seconds….

I had planned to just muscle through all the obstacles – after all, I had enough safety gear on to push through the padded obstructions.

4 seconds…

That plan went south however, since I tripped on a wet patch. I had been warned that I’ll need a change of clothes since the theme of the challenge will involve water.

3 seconds…

I tried to get up quickly and was slimed with starch and powdered with several handfuls of flour.

2 seconds…

I managed to get up on one knee, with a slightly mashed Nestle DRUMSTICK EKSTREM CHOC clutched tightly in my hand – the exit was in sight!

1 second…

…and flew through the exit feet first!

slimed

It turned out that I had clocked 6 seconds so I didn’t qualify for the RM 50 note. However, everyone who attempted the Nestle Drumstick Most Adventurous Challenge got an adult ticket to Sunway Lagoon and the new Nestle DRUMSTICK EKSTREM CHOC – that’s a great consolation prize. :)

win

This challenge was held on a Sunday at Sunway Pyramid and there are still heaps of prizes to be won! There’s mini tablets and Sunway Lagoon Entrance Passes up for grabs each week in addition to the RM 30,000 cash grand prize with RM 10,000 and RM 3,000 for the first and second runner ups and RM 300 consolation prizes for 97 people! You just need to text:

DRUMSTICK ADVENTURE CODE POP CODE MyKad

contest

to 36300 the first time to register yourself. After that just send:

DRUMSTICK ADVENTURE CODE for the Grand Prize and
DRUMSTICK POP CODE for the Weekly Prizes.

rules

The Adventure Code is the alphanumeric code that can be found on Nestle Drumstick Ice Cream Freezer in various stores. The POP Code is the code you find under the top cover of your Nestle Drumstick. The campaign period for the contest ends at 10 November 2013 so submit your entries now! I have eaten quite a lot and submitted all the entries.

extrem choc drumstick

The new Nestle DRUMSTICK EKSTREM CHOC is sinfully delicious too! There’s lots of chocolatey goodness inside that ice cream plus you’ll get a chance to win those nifty prizes while you enjoy the latest offering from Nestle Drumstick! Get more details at the Nestle Drumstick Facebook and the Nestle Drumstick Most Adventurous Challenge Website.

This is a paid advertorial by Nestle.

Check it!

eye test

I bet you didn’t know I have problems with my eyesight. I have shortsightedness of -2.50 on my right eye with astigmatism of -1.25. No, I don’t wear spectacles. I’ve never done any form of vision correction surgery. I don’t wear contacts either. It has constantly been puzzling people how I can function visually.

aud hb

It’s coz I’m heavily left eye dominant and my left eye has close to perfect vision. However, I do experience a lot of eye fatigue and dry eyes especially since I’m in front of a notebook almost 16 hours a day! The worst thing is, I didn’t even realize the eye irritation and general fatigue until I started wearing my new ByWP frames with Hoya BlueControl lens.

Tips & Tricks for Healthy Eyes #1: Staring at your screen for too long will cause your eyes to water. Remember to blink!

I’ve already known about the -2.50 myopia and -1.25 astigmatism on my right eye. I just came up during an eye test when I was a kid and my mom forced me to wear specs when I was 12 years old. I didn’t want to coz they made me very dizzy so I stopped wearing them after less than 3 days.

Fast forward 19 years later (yes, I’m 31) and I decided to drop in to get my eyes checked. I’m a heavy user of digital media – I’m on computers most of the day! I decided that having BlueControl lens will help me in my eye troubles.

prescription lens

I was torn between the Reykjavik Eyes MR 12 (RM 1,100) which is a frame made out of a solid piece of titanium so is just a single piece and the ByWP BY11031MB (RM 1,280) which is handmade with stainless steel in Germany and uses a hinge instead of screws on the side and finally went with the latter after viewing it through one of their machines which photographs you with different lenses so you can choose what looks best.

frames camera

It came back in just a few days. The Hoya BlueControl lens actually has a bluish-purple coating on it that can be seen at an angle. I thought that was really cool. I have worn it for a week and I’m glad I finally went in to get my vision fixed. The Hoya BlueControl lens works very well if you’re a heavy user of digital media. I’m probably the one of the heaviest digital media users around!

Tips & Tricks for Healthy Eyes #2: Take regular breaks! Looking away from your screen at something green for 20 seconds every 20 minutes will make a *huge* difference.

BlueControl is actually an anti-reflection coating that reflects part of the harmful blue light emitted by flat screen displays, indoor energy savings lights and sunlight. I am exposed to either of the three during my 16 wakeful hours per day. Blue light is also known as High Energy Visible (HEV) light and comes from the blue end of the visible spectrum.

reykjavik eyes

It’s known as the strongest light as blue light passes through the cornea and crystalline lens directly into the retina. I have LCD and LED computer and television screens, smartphones, tablets and GPS devices. I didn’t realize how tired my eyes were before wearing the BlueControl lens. It’s one of those things that you realize in hindsight.

old team

It’s a “Hey! I’ve been missing out on all this comfort!” moment.

hoya bluecontrol

It not only neutralizes the harmful blue light from the digital media world we are in now but also reduces glare. I found out that wearing my ByWP frames with the Hoya BlueControl lens makes me *a lot* more comfortable. It requires a double affirmation technical grammatical error coz I feel wonderful now when I’m in front of the notebook.

ByWP-BY11031MB

It’s the small things that you notice – chatting in Whatsapp on your smartphone doesn’t fatigue or strain your eyes too much. Watching movies on the LCD screen doesn’t make your eyes dry. I found out that it actually helps regulate sleep too! I’m always up late and staring at the notebook and the excessive blue light can cause sleeplessness.

blue control

Tips & Tricks for Healthy Eyes #3: Keep your distance!

There really is something to this BlueControl lens. It’s like the movie Hackers where the main character Zero Cool wears shades to cut what he calls “razor burn” (more like CRT glare). This has actually come to effect with the LCD and LED screens of computers and smartphones today

rach vanda hb

Wearing my BlueControl lens makes me feel much more comfortable with none of the eye fatigue I have actually *gotten used to*.

bluecontrol

It’s the best RM 600 I spent! Those are for the ByWP frames, the BlueControl lens are kindly furnished by Hoya for review. You can’t change the digital media world that we’re in so maybe these lens would help you too. Get more tips & tricks on healthier eyes at the BlueControl website.

lion dance

Every good launch needs a lion dance.

Check out the awesome lion dance video above! I filmed that at the flagship showroom opening and official launch of BISON Savanna. I arrived quite early and caught sight of the lion dance troupe preparing to do their thing so I followed them into the garage.

bison lion dance

This is the new flagship showroom of BISON and the lion dance troupe was at the back – doing a private ceremonial dance before the event started.

ribbon cutting

BISON Savanna was officially launched at the Angka-Tan Motor Sdn Bhd flagship showroom at Jalan 225, Petaling Jaya on the 11th September 2013. The showroom itself is the first dedicated BISON showroom in Malaysia and has a layout of 12,000 square feet.

bison showroom

The BISON Savanna is quite an interesting pickup – it’s manufactured by the Beiqi Foton Motor Co. Ltd. – which is one of the largest commercial vehicle manufacturers in China (which usually means the world as well). The China market for commercial vehicles is huge!

bison atm gift exchange

The collaboration between Beiqi Foton Motor Co. Ltd. and ATM brings the world’s largest commercial vehicle manufacturer to Malaysia (ATM is a subsidiary of Warisan TC Holdings Berhad) and Angka-Tan Motor Sdn Bhd will be the sole distributor of their vehicles.

bison savanna launch

Official BISON Savanna unveiling in Malaysia!

drive beyond borders

The BISON Savanna in particular is a highly anticipated vehicle in the powerful pickup truck segment. It’s packed with well-known and proven components so don’t let the Made in China label fool you.

bison

There’s a robust ISF 2.8 diesel engine designed by Cummins Engine Co. Ltd (US) and manufactured by Foton Cummins, 5-speed manual GETRAG transmission, DANA USA rear axles and BorgWarner USA 4WD transfer case with a BOSCH common rail system fuel system inside the BISON Savanna.

foton bison engine

That’s an impressive list of proven and reliable systems.

bison savanna interior

I took a look under the hood and inside the car and there’s also anti-lock braking system (ABS), electronic brake force distribution (EBD), dual air bags, and electronic tire pressure monitoring system – the last of which is usually only available in premium brands.

ride

The pickup truck has changed a lot since the last several decades and has a lot of features you’ll expect in a car like air bags and EBD/ABS. I see a lot of people from Sarawak (where I come from) using pickups as a primary vehicle instead of a car. This is from the evolution of the pickup from bare bones practicality to luxury and comfort sedan-like interiors.

lion dance orange

There’s on-board audio entertainment systems with USB, AUX, CD player and 4 speakers, power windows, overhead lighting and storage and a sporty and adjustable three-spoke steering wheel like you’ll see in a car.

Bonus video: Watch the lion dance troupe pass an orange during the BISON Savanna launch!

bison savanna dual cab

I can see why a lot of people from my hometown uses pickups like this as a primary family vehicle. I would too, considering it has sedan features in a 4WD and double cab format with 210 mm of ground clearance!

bison savanna

Beiqi Foton Motor Co. Ltd is less known here but they’re actually one of the most successful commercial vehicle brands in the largest market right now – China. They also got into an international joint venture last year that created Beijing Foton Daimler Automotive Co. Ltd.

bison showroom opening

I really liked the BISON Savanna. The ISF 2.8 diesel engine is turbocharged and it’s very competitively priced at RM 71,888 for the 4×2 Double Cab and RM 79,888 for the 4×4 Double Cab variant (prices are OTR). The best news for people in East Malaysia is that since this is from ATM, there will be 27 designated locations nationwide under the Tan Chong Express Auto Service (TCEAS) network so you’ll have 24-hour break-down service.

Get more details!

ice cream pint

Me and my girlfriend watch a lot of movies at home. It’s nice to be able to eat whatever you want instead of crappy concession stand food. We also eat a lot of ice cream so that has become a weekly tradition – snuggling up in bed with blankets and a pint of ice cream.

Bliss!

concession stand food

It also has a lot of practical upsides – we can pause the movie whenever we want to go to the toilet or keep an eye out on whatever’s cooking on the stove. Another common reason to pause a movie midway is to put the ice cream back in the freezer and take a different flavored pint out. Haha!

You just can’t do that in cinemas.

Of course, cinemas are great for big budget releases that you want to watch in IMAX but those are few and far in between. The last summer action flick we watched was Star Trek Into Darkness. We haven’t been to a theatre since!

escape

I speak of this coz there’s an awesome new entertainment portal out, aptly called ESCAPE. It not only offers the latest Hollywood movies but also a whole online library full of Korean, Hindi, Indonesian and local releases. I checked it out and it’s become our favorite way to enjoy movies at home – all from just RM 0.80 per hour!

rent iron man 3

Even blockbusters like Iron Man 3 (with a production budget of USD 200 million) is there for your viewing pleasure at any time for just RM 9.

That’s less than a movie ticket (for one) and you can enjoy it with as many people as you can.

the little nyonya

ESCAPE not only offers movies though – there’s TV series like The Little Nyonya, live events, live news and even concerts!

featured movies

The method of browsing is very intuitive too – it’s sorted by genre so you can find the movie that you like easily. There’s also comments (and related titles) on the bottom so you can see what the movie is all about before watching it.

movie chat

However, the *best* thing about ESCAPE is that you can view it across multiple platforms! There’s a lot of times when we couldn’t finish watching a movie coz one of us is sleepy. Now, you can start watching a movie on your home computer or laptop and continue the next day on your tablet or cell phone! The app is a free download to boot!

kl gangster exclusive

That’s right – ESCAPE is compatible with Windows, iOS, Android and MacOS! There’s none of that clicking-to-guess-where-we-left-off nonsense either – the Pause & Play feature automatically saves where you last paused your selected movie and you can continue watching the same movie seamlessly…even on *another* device!

Yup, that’s Pause & Play – now you never have to miss your favorite show or guess which scene you last watched!

featured

I find this to be absolutely perfect for my needs as we usually watch our movies late at night with thick blankets around us on the bed while eating ice cream. However, if you prefer watching it on a bigger screen, you can always use the HDMI or A/V output on your notebook to connect to a large screen LCD TV!

No long lines at the cinema. No one telling you you can’t eat the food you want while you watch a movie. You can wear whatever you want. The world of entertainment in your hands sounds right!

I think it’s an awesome trend – I can select whatever movie I want to watch from a massive online library and it automatically gets deducted from my Celcom account. Escape is exclusively for Celcom subscribers so check it out at www.ESCnow.com!

cilantro

There was a lot of videos a while back where people guessed at what Project C is. I was thinking coffee or cilantro (the herb known as coriander). It’s quite an interesting shrub as all parts of the plant is edible. That’s innovation in nature!

project c

Interesting fact: 61,000 people visited the “What is Project C” website! 1 person won and walked away with a brand new Kia Cerato.

cerato launch malaysia

The Kia Cerato was just recently launched in Malaysia. It also shares some of the features – everything is innovative (was surprised at some of the nifty features of the car myself) except you can’t eat it. That’s what Project C is about. It’s the launch of the latest and greatest new car from Naza Kia Malaysia! A new benchmark for a sedan in Malaysia.

The Cerato was unveiled to the public with two variants – a 1.6 and 2.0 model (the latter comes with a sunroof and a 4.2-inch full-color TFT-LCD, amongst other features). Motor-driven power steering comes as standard with three settings – Comfort, Normal and Sport with audio and hands-free functionality.

kia cerato

On the aesthetics side, the Kia Cerato looks really awesome – there’s a “Tiger Nose” radiator grill that makes the front looks very aggressive. The projection-type lenses and LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL) makes for optimal visibility and also adds to the “cool factor”. The Smart Welcoming Light feature senses when you’re near the car (from the Smart Key) and automatically lights it up with puddle lamps and pocket lights on the door handle!

There’s also Push Start ignition, Bluetooth connectivity, a 4.3” touch screen TFT-LCD with rear camera display and a smooth 10-way power driver seat with memory functionality so you can adjust the seat to exactly the comfort settings that you want! :)

kia cerato features

Dual-zone auto air-conditioning with built in cluster ionizer, rear air vent, glove box cooling (so you can keep drinks and chocolate bars cool inside), front and rear parking assist system and an auto-defog capability that is automatically initiated when sensors detect misty conditions rounds up the standard package. That’s an awesome default package!

On the engineering side, the Kia Gamma 1.6 MPI D-CVVT engine produces 130 PS and 157 Nm of torque while the Kia 2.0 NuD-CVVT engine produces 161 PS and 194 Nm of torque, all mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with a sporty A/T knob. The fuel consumption of the Cerato on a combined cycle is just 14.7 km per liter with an environmentally friendly CO2 emission of 160g per kilometer!

I’ll show you two of the features that impressed me the most: A highly feature-packed sedan!

Air-ventilated driver’s seat

air con seats

Yup, I’m not kidding! The driver’s seat is actually ventilated so you won’t have your shirt sticking to your back on hot, sunny days. I find this a nice, innovative touch. It’s all about the little things that adds to comfort. Air-conditioned seats!

I figured the driver ought to have this since he/she is doing the hard work. ;)

Smart Welcoming Light

puddle lights

The Puddle Lamp is part of the Smart Welcoming Light feature. It automatically detects when you’re near the car via the Smart Key and activates the light. It’s not only a security feature but a practical one as well. Having the floor near your car well light and the door handle illuminated makes for a feature that’s not just innovative, but cool!

The Cerato has five-star ratings in safety for NHTSA safety tests in the United States and it was chosen as the Top Safety Picks of 2013 by IIHS.

kia cerato launch

This is truly an innovative car. The Kia Cerato 1.6 is priced (OTR) at RM 99,888 while the Cerato 2.0 goes for RM 118,888. That’s not only auspiciously priced, but very reasonable considering the features that it has. It also comes with a five-year unlimited mileage warranty!

This is innovation!

siem reap

Siem Reap

phuket

Phuket

patpong

Bangkok

club med bali

Bali

…and many other places just by signing up! It’s a proper card for travelers! :D

boat

You have credit cards for gas, food and other dedicated stuff. There’s even dedicated cards for travelers but usually they don’t go across the board in airlines e.g. they’re fixed to a particular airline. Travelers like me like the flexibility to choose so this one is perfect for me.

The thing that really piqued my interest is the ability for you to convert your points to various airlines!

(actually, that wasn’t the first thing that caught my eye – it was the name in the sample credit card – the generic name they used is my brother-in-law’s name)

standard chartered worldmiles

The Standard Chartered WorldMiles card earns you 1 WorldMiles Point for every RM 3 local retail purchase or RM 2 overseas retail purchase. You can then convert the points on a 1:1 basis with three different frequent flyer loyalty miles/points (of which I own all three, amongst other frequent flyer cards).

1 WorldMiles Point can be converted to:

  • 1 Malaysia Airines Enrich Mile
  • 1 Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Mile
  • 1 AirAsia BIG Point

This is the ultimate selling point for me. I honestly got so excited that I want to make this my regular primary credit card.

kuta bali

As you all know, I travel quite a bit. It’s a hobby of mine. I’ll go so far as to say it’s my lifestyle. Thus, having a credit card that allows me to earn points for holidays and vacations and even convert those points to an airline of my choice is an *irresistible* attraction.

There’s even a 15% discount on Asiatravel hotel and land packages!

You use your credit card for large purchases, grocery shopping and bills anyway, so why not be rewarded while you’re at it? The best thing about the Standard Chartered WorldMiles card is that you get 25,000 BIG Welcome Miles instantly!

beach

You’ll need to sign up to the AirAsia BIG Loyalty Programme (it’s their frequent flyer miles card) and once you have a BIG account, you’ll get 25,000 BIG Welcome Miles credited within 5 working days upon approval of your credit card application. It takes less than 5 minutes to sign up for a BIG account.

I agree, this is really, the credit card that takes you to more places, more frequently! It’s good when your credit card gives you more holidays indeed.

bali

You can use the complimentary 25,000 BIG Welcome Miles to redeem AirAsia flights to Melbourne, Kathmandu, Seoul, Hong Kong, and many more. Thus, your first flight could very well be redeemed!

The 25,000 BIG Welcome Point promotion runs until 31st December 2013 but it’s good if you can get the credit card earlier so you can use the points on the various AirAsia promotional periods since the prices of tickets can fluctuate. I reckon you might as well keep it there for use when you’re planning a holiday!

kayaking

You’ll definitely see me using this card as my primary credit card. I just love to travel and for all the cards I’ve seen, this is the best one for travelers! The promotion is only open to new card applications so I’m going to go for it. Sign up for the Standard Chartered WorldMiles card here. I know I just came back from a holiday, but I want to go for another one.

You can never be too rich, too thin, or have too many vacations. ;)

french house kl

I was at Maison Francaise a couple of days ago for a launch. The restaurant, literally translated, means “French House”. It’s located on Embassy Row and serves pretty decent Black Angus Carpaccio – thin slices of marbled beef topped with slivers of cheese and finely diced tomatoes.

black angus carpaccio

Oh, and they had really good organic pumpkin juice too but that was not the reason I was there.

headphones

The MICHELIN Primacy 3 ST Media Launch in Malaysia was the first to incorporate the use of headphones for the entire event. I was quite puzzled when I walked into the dark room and was handed a pair of noise-cancelling headsets with blinking LEDs.

headphones only

I was given a short primer on how to turn it on and adjust the volume and set down for the presentation.

michelin primacy media launch

The headphones are meant to illustrate the “ST” bit of MICHELIN Primacy 3 ST – the Silence Tuned part. These new types has a unique tread pattern that makes it run much more silently than all its competitors and the headphones used for the entire duration of the launch is a great idea to showcase this.

headphones wearing crowd

It was such a great idea that when I recorded a video of the interviews done with limo drivers who had gotten an advance set of these tyres, I didn’t realize that I could hear it coz I was on headphones but the rest of the room is silent.

I present to you this video I took. Haha! Apart from the occasional coughs and clearing of throats, the entire room was silent – coz everyone was on headphones. I was on them too and though it was recording as usual, not realizing that there isn’t any sound from the room at all. No worries though, it has subtitles coz the people were speaking dialects like Hokkien. ;)

headphones only event

The MICHELIN Primacy 3 ST tyres have several advanced features that provides you with silence, comfort and safety:

EvenPeak Technology
Gives you a ride 8% quieter than average of competitors with a greater variation in the size and position of the tread blocks, the noise power is spread across a wider frequency range, making no peaks of noise power.

CushionGuard Technology
Keeps the ride smooth, steady and comfortable. Cushion vibrations when the tread blocks contact the road surface using supple FlexMax compounds and absorbs bumps in the road using shock absorbent sidewalls.

michelin media launch

FlexMax Technology
With FlexMax technology, the tread adapts to the irregularities of the road surface for better connection and grip. FlexMax chamfer prevents the tread block from distorting and losing contact pressure under the centre of tread blocks, ensuring maximum rubber contact with the road when needed most.

StabiliGrip Technology
StabiliGrip technology uses self-locking bands inside the small grooves to minimise tread block deformation, improving handling and cut through water in the wet.

michelin primacy3 launch

MICHELIN Total Performance
At MICHELIN, we don’t just improve tyre performance one aspect at a time, but deliver all performance factors together. This means that you’ll experience the silence, comfort and safety of MICHELIN Primacy 3 ST tyres, whilst also enjoying 25% better longevity.

Yup, all the new performance enhancements comes with no degradation of longevity – in fact, it provides 25% longer lasting tyres when compared to the previous iterations. These are not tests done somewhere in Europe, which can cast doubts on their functionality here, but actually done on drives inside Malaysia!

michelin primacy 3 st

The Stabiligrip and FlexMax technology combines to achieve a 1.6 meter shorter braking distance in wet conditions compared to its predecessor and a staggering 2.9 meters compared to the average of leading competitors!

As drivers, I’m sure you all can fully understand the significance of even a single meter – it is a very practical and useful feature which you might thank the heavens for someday.

michelin primacy 3

On to less morbid topics, the new MICHELIN Primacy 3 ST is available in 16” to 19” sizes in Malaysia and distributed at all TYREPLUS and Michelin authorized dealers nationwide. It’s priced from RM 480 onwards.

maison francaise

Surf on over to the MICHELIN Primacy 3 ST site for more videos on how their technology works or Like the MICHELIN Facebook page and see photos from the unique launch event! :)

mosquitoes

I remember very vividly the first night I was in Phuket a couple of weeks ago. My buddy Marco kept insisting that there were mosquitoes in the room and they were biting him. I neither heard the tell-tale buzz of a mosquito nor felt the itchiness that ensued from a bite…

….until he sprayed some anti-mosquito repellent on himself.

phuket

Everything changed! The moment he sprayed the personal anti-mosquito I felt all the horde of blood sucking, disease carrying critters all over me.

I had mosquito bites in places I didn’t think was possible!!!

Now, that highlights a problem with personal mosquito repellent. It only works for one person. Thus, when he passed the atomizer to me and I started spraying, the mosquitoes went back to him. He had to spray again and the buggers came over to bite me again. We were just a couple of feet apart!

It’s a lot like this video except we neither managed half the great music nor a quarter of the dance moves in our efforts at insect pest control. Haha! It’s a funny one, I’m sure everyone in Malaysia has that experience of mosquitoes before, whether just irritating or dengue related.

aedes killer

I have since discovered a wonderful contraption that allows everyone in the room to be free of the pestilence. It’s called the Khind Magic Aedes Buster and it’s the best thing since sliced bread in the arena of insect repellent technology.

My dear sleeps over sometimes and we need something that works for both of us (instead of the personal mosquito repellent that just moves the blood sucking insects back and forth). I unpacked it and assembly just takes a couple of minutes. The concept is easy – it works by mimicking the human body!

khind aedes

Odour
The CO2 produced by the Titanium Dioxide Coating mimics the same carbon dioxide exhaled by human beings. You can actually rub a ripe banana or it’s skin onto the exterior to enhance the scent to attract mosquitoes up to 100 feet away!
Light
The UV light attracts mosquitoes within 30 feet away.
Heat
Heat released by the UV lamps and the dark colored body of the buster mimics body warmth and lures mosquitoes within 10 feet to the buster.

What happens then is the the mosquitoes goes into the trap windows and gets directed down to the sticky mosquito collecting area where you can get it with the glue tray!

khind aedes buster

There’s also 2 x extra ultra-violet lamps and 2 x hygienic glue tray included – you only need to change the UV lights once a year if you use it 4 hours per day. There’s a timer which allows you to use switch it off after 4 hours too!

aedes machine

I really found it quite useful in providing restful sleep. I like how there’s already an existing pair of UV tubes inside in addition to the spare ones so it’s ready to go after placing the glue tray. I reckon it’s a lot cheaper when you calculate all the smelly insect repellent you have to spray over 2 years when compared to the Khind Magic Aedes Buster IK 610 which just retails for RM 132!

2 x Khind Aedes Buster Give-away!

I’ve got two (2) units of the Khind Magic Aedes Buster IK 610 to give away! Just leave a comment with an anecdote on the worst mosquito bite experience you have and two of the most creative answers will fear mosquitoes no more!

Contest closes 7th July (Sunday) so start commenting now to win a unit!

You must be able to pick the Khind Magic Aedes Buster IK610 from KL.

khind giveaway

The winners will need to require to provide their details upon being selected. It’s just that simple! I’ve been using it and lovin’ it so far so it was nice of the folks from Khind to provide 2 additional Khind Magic Aedes Buster IK 610 to giveaway to my readers! :)

new aedes buster

It comes in dark blue and maroon and there’s a 2 year warranty to boot. You can also go to the Khind Facebook page for their contest in addition to the two units I’m giving out on sixthseal.com. Just be sure to place it 3 feet off the ground and 10 feet away from you for best results! You want the mosquitoes to think it’s the human body, not you. :)

bugatti veyron

I’m part of the latter. I’ve driven my faithful Vios for 7 years now and I’ve found myself browsing around to see the latest car news and what car to buy. A lot of people gravitate to heavy news sites but I think the success of a car site is that it’s accessible to people who don’t know a lot about cars (or newbies rather) but yet is still fulfilling enough for the hardcore crowd who wants all the juicy, technical stuff.

live live drive

It needs to capture both sides of the market and I’ve found LIVE LIFE DRIVE to be one of the sites that I browse just about daily nowadays.

It has just about everything you’ll think of, from the latest news to a widget on the side with the most researched cars with immediate star ratings and a link to the review in question,

research cars

I found that feature most useful when buying a dSLR and loved the sites that has it – it shows what cameras (or cars in this case) are popular now – they’re popular for a reason, and shows you a quick rating with a review hyperlink. It’s perfect for those who’re strapped for time or just wants to see what the popular options are.

The other awesome feature which I first found useful when shopping for a dSLR (which come to think of it is a lot like a car) is this:

livelifedrive

You can browse News, New Cars, or Buy a Car by the manufacturer! This is very useful if you’re only interested in, say, Euro cars or have always bought from a Japanese brand like Honda.

The interesting thing about LIVE LIFE DRIVE is that it’s actually a print magazine. That’s where it’s origins are from but all the news and articles are also available online.

I found the Price List feature to be very useful too!

installement

It lists all new cars and shows the full price as well as the average installment price per month so you can quickly browse through and see what you can (or cannot) afford. smirk

That’s the research part of buying a car, or just browsing for news if you’re interested in automotives. There’s also a site where you can actually purchase a new or used car!

carlistmy

It’s called Carlist.my and the best feature of it is that it hooks you up with used car sellers. You can browse by various search parameters or just by price.

You can also choose whether to buy direct from a seller, dealership or sales agent. It’s very useful for when you want to make that step to purchase a new car. :)

carlist

There’s more than 119,000 cars for sale on Carlist.my and for those kiasu ones amongst us (hell, who isn’t?) there’s a feature to compare prices of the car you intend to buy too!

lamborghini miura

It’s a great sister site to LIVE LIFE DRIVE and the place you go when you reach the point where you stop thinking about buying a car and actually do something about it! ;)

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