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Oreo on Asus Zenfone 3 (ZE520K)

Zenfone 3 Oreo

I must admit.

I was surprised to receive Android 8!

The phone was released in 2016 with Marshmallow, received Nougat and now it’s running Oreo!

I must say… I was impressed with Asus’ update.

My sister’s Zenfone 5 did not receive Marshmallow, my other sister’s Zenfone Selfie did not receive Nougat… Now Asus just update my Zenfone 3 to Oreo!

Right now, it’s not perfect.

Some app icons are round, while Asus’ apps icons are still unchanged.

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App shortcuts (press and hold) is a big plus.

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Honestly, my Zenfone is due for a replacement around 4th quarter of this year. I was thinking of getting either a mid-range Android One device or Samsung’s “A” series (2019). But receiving Oreo on my Zenfone made me reconsider and maybe I should just replace it with another Zenfone.

It’s February tomorrow, so I still have a couple of months to think about it…

Receiving Android P will make my decision easier!

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The Replacements: Google Wifi

5 years ago… Only PCs and 2 iPhones connected to my Airport Extreme.

It was a gift from my wife and since my home internet was only 2mbps, I felt like my router can last forever.

5 years later, my internet is now 200X faster and 7 devices at home are continuously connected to my router (more than 10 devices if we use our iMac and Laptops).

Videos, Apps and sites needed an extra time to load.

My router which once felt invincible started showing its age…

Google Wifi

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I know, there are cheaper routers in the market.

S$200 should be enough to buy me a router which looked like an evil spider.

But why did I choose Google Wifi? I basically wanted to use my phone to set-up and secure my network.

Buying a S$100 router will require me to do my settings using a PC.

(In Singapore) Google Wifi is exclusively distributed by Starhub. But a quick Google Search will show you that you can also buy it from 3rd party shops. I bought mine from Lazada which arrived in less than a week (even with free shipping).

Package included the router, adapter, and LAN cable.

You will also need to install the Google Wifi App to set-up the device. (Play Store | App Store)

Like my Airport Extreme… Google Wifi looks good

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LAN Ports and USB-C (for power) are at the bottom, so you’ll only see 2 cables outside the device (3 if you have a PC connected to it through LAN)

Starhub sells the pack of 3… For our 2 bedroom flat, we only needed 1 point.

The Google Wifi app has a function to test your internet speed and test the strenght of your connection.

The app also shows you how many devices are connected to it, and if you want to allocate more bandwidth to a specific device.

I’ve been using the Google Wifi over the weekend, heavy Full HD streaming of movies to my TV (Chromecast). 4K video viewing on our mobile devices. The router handled them smoothly.

I never thought changing my router will make such a noticeable upgrade on how my devices performed.

I guess we can no longer take our routers for granted.

The Google Wifi is not perfect, I would have preferred a black or gray color. Would have wanted an additional LAN port (it only has 1) and would want to have a control on the internet speed of the guest account.

But for the extra $$$ you’re spending on this device, you get simple set up and a router that looks good.

Xiaomi Mi Sports Bluetooth Earphones

Just purchased Xiaomi’s Mi Sports Bluetooth Earphones…

I find it strange that this is only my 2nd Xiaomi purchase. The first one was a Mi Band 2.

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I am not an expert on audio quality, I’ll have to leave that to experts…

As expected from Xiaomi, the item’s packaging looks familiar. It does not have the firm/compact feel of Apple, but it looks good.

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Inside the box, there’s a very sort charging cable, different sized ear tips and a manual.

It would be nice if Xiaomi updates the charging port to a Type-C cable, but since most of the powerbanks in the market still use a Micro USB, it’s not that big of a hassle.

I was not able to test it with an Android device, but I was surprised to see it’s battery level when connected to an iPhone.

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Pros

  • Comfortable fit
  • Can sync 2 devices at the same time
  • White subtle LED (turns red when shutting down)
  • *it will dictate the phone number of the incoming caller

Cons

  • Volume controls are the top of the earbuds (can be difficult to reach)
  • No next/previous song button
  • *it dictates the number of the caller… Not the name, even if the contact is saved in your device.

 

 

It was love at first sight for my daughter so I had to get her Skullcandy Smokin’ Buds 2 Wireless while she uses the Mi Sports…

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Battery life is so far so good…

My wife told me that sould quality is not as good as her Bose (she has the Apple Version)… But the Xiaomi costs less than half, and it’s wireless!

PGYTECH DJI Mobile Adapter for GoPro

Yes I know… You can easily make a GoPro adapter for the DJI Mobile…

I’ve tried using an old iPhone case with some rubber bands… And a Styrofoam with AA batteries on the other side as counter weights 🙂

But I wanted something that will look better.

Found this from Lazada

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It’s not perfect, but it already looks way better compared to my iPhone case + rubber bands and styrofoam + AA batteries!

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Meike MK320 Flash for Micro Four Thirds

Yes, my camera needs a flash…

But since I’m now using an Olympus OM-D E-M10 (my daughter presently use a Olympus E-PL2), I needed something small…

After doing my research, I found the MK320 and bought one from Lazada at SGD 86.91.

Inside the box.

It came with a soft case, a stand, diffuser and a manual.

I have to admit that the box is well built… Plus points for me since it’s my first time to encounter the brand.

Features.

It has an LCD Display (with back light) and the usual buttons

And a charging port. You can plug a MicroUSB to charge your NiMH (as per manual) batteries…

This feature is a big plus for me since I will no longer need to carry a charger for my AA batteries when travelling.

Functions.

TTL, Slave mode and Manual.

It also has a “flash light” mode which is useful for your videos.

The Looks.

Size matters and I think this one is just fine.

I was surprised on how the MK320 took care of my lighting needs…

Battery life was a bit disappointing, but maybe I can blame my batteries for that.

Power was sufficient and it was ready to fire again whenever I needed it.

Highly recommended for those looking for an inexpensive flash.

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Anker PowerPort+ 5 USB-C with USB Power Delivery

Just purchased an Anker PowerPort+ 5 USB-C with USB Power Delivery from Lazada

I actually purchased it weeks ago, but this is the first time I’m using it…

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As you can see, my desk is a bit cluttered today.

You can actually see my Multi Plug Extension in the background…

Don’t get me wrong, I love using my Multi Plug Extension while travelling.

However, as new devices can accept higher voltage/ampere… A faster charger would be handy…

This is where my PowerPort+ 5 comes in… USB-C for my Nexus 6P and Zenfone 3 (and future devices)… Yes, my GoPro Hero 5 also uses a USB-C, but I have a few USB-A to C which should make the other USB Ports useful.

According to Anker (I’ve also sent them emails on this product), it also has enough power to charge a Macbook (including the Pro) and the iPad Air…

I’m not testing it with Ampere this time, but noticeably. It really charges my devices faster…

Zenfone 3 in less than half a day from less than 10% battery and less than 4 hours to fully charge my Power Bank (I needed 2 days to charge this using any of the chargers I have).

Physically, this thing looks and feels good… Even the packaging looks great!

It’s small, but it has a noticeable weight.

It’s tough to recommend this charger to anyone… Most people I know are just happy to use the free charger that came with their devices.

But once you’ve experienced using the PowerPort+ 5 USB-C… You will never find a reason to use your old chargers again.

I can even confidently say, if you use a a Power Bank that’s more than 10,000mAh, you need to have this charger!

Microsoft Wireless Desktop 900 (Keyboard and Mouse)

A year later, I received another keyboard for Christmas

No complains… Since I will be using the Desktop 900 for work.

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This is a keyboard and mouse wireless combo

Sadly, it will need a small USB dongle since it doesn’t use BT.

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Keyboard will require 2 AAA batteries.
Mouse will need 2 AA batteries.

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Both are included in the package.

According to Microsoft, batteries will last for 2 years.

I’ve been using this for more than a week and so far… Batteries are still ok…

It would be nice if Microsoft can show the battery life status from Window’s task bar… It’s are their hardware anyway…

Edges of the keys feel a bit sharp… Would be nice if they rounded it off a bit.

Space between the scroll keys and number pad is actually narrower than usual. There are times when I’m pressing the End key instead of Delete and the Insert key instead of Backspace.

Keyboard does not have an on/off switch. Although the mouse has one.

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You will also notice that the keyboard does not have LEDs to indicate CAPS, SCROLL and NUMBER lock.

Calculator, play/pause and volume keys are nice to have… Very convenient for those Skype calls…

I’ve tried a couple of keyboards on shop display and Microsoft’s Desktop 900 is the closest thing I found that has a “laptop keyboard feel.” I would prefer something that feels like Apple’s Macbook/Pro keyboard, but I think it’s too early for third party manufacturers to copy Apple’s “butterfly mechanism.”

The Desktop 900 is also quiet and the mouse doesn’t have an odd shape/size.

Highly recommended for office use… Especially if you need a number pad.