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Full Touch Blackberry Torch 9860 now with Celcom

September 13, 2011 Comments Off

Just a couple weeks ago it was the launch of Blackberry Bold 9900 here in Malaysia, and now Celcom brings in the Blackberry Torch 9860. For the fans of Blackberry who loves full touch screen, this is the phone to grab, and Celcom does have some really good deals.

Blackberry Torch 9860

First, lets look at the specification of this latest installment of Blackberry. While it is branded under Torch, do not be confused, the
Blackberry Torch 9860 comes with full touch screen and does not have a slide out QWERTY keyboard (that sometimes can be cumbersome to use). There are 4 physical buttons and a touch pad for quick navigation, but everything else is on the touch screen.

  • 1.2 Ghz processor
  • 3.7″ high resolution 800×480 WVGA pixel color display
  • Transmissive TFT LCD
  • 768 MB RAM memory
  • 4 GB eMMC expandable to 32 GB with MicroSD card
  • talk time up to 6 hours, standby time up to 11.8 days
  • Wifi, GPS
  • accelerometer, digital compass
  • 5 MP camera with 720p HD video recording (continuous auto focus)
  • zero shutter lag

Check full specs here

Blackberry Torch 9860 from Celcom

Very impressive specifications in all. Blackberry has been criticized for not having low processing power, low memory/storage, and small/low resolution screen size. It seems like the Torch 9860 has finally put all these to rest, this model is right up there with all the other smart phones in terms of raw power.

Then there’s the new Blackberry 7 OS that has a much improved browser that supports HTML 5 video with seamless scrolling and zooming. Of course, the stronghold of BB – Blackberry Messaging, and the superior email integration are all there too.

Celcom postpaid plans
Celcom Exec plans for Torch 9860

Celcom has come up with some very attractive packages for the Torch 9860. With Celcom Exec, you can get the device at as low as RM 1088.

And for those with Celcom Biz, check out the table below. Package 188 with 24 month contract lets you get the Torch 9860 for only RM 588. Now that’s a proper bundle.

Celcom postpaid plans 2

As if these days are not already good, if you attend the launch event, there are even better deals you can grab:

  • 1st 200 customers can purchase it at only RM688 (RRP: RM1,588) when they subscribe for any CE50/P48 voice + BlackBerry® plan with 12 months contract from RM88 a month
  • 20 of these lucky customers will be selected to get the BlackBerry® Torch™ 9860 smartphone for only RM88!
  • BlackBerry® Bold™ 9900 + BlackBerry® PlayBook at only RM2,188! Limited to 1st 100 customers and valid with new 12-month subscription to CE50 + Blackberry® Pro (5GB) plan with a monthly commitment of RM168/month or P148 & BIS plan with monthly commitment of RM188/month
The event is on 15th Sept 2011 from 10 am onwards at Red Carpet, The Strands, Kota Damansara. Don’t miss it!
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For the hardcore Blackberry fans out there, this is definitely a great news. The Blackberry 9900 is finally here, and this is a model that signifies Blackberry’s commitment in the battle of smart phones.

The 9900 is a beautiful device, and most of all, the hardware is now up to date with the best out there, while the previous models have sometimes been criticized as a little dated, there is no such problem at all with the 9900.

Here’s the short specification for this new BB:

  • 1.2 GHz processor
  • 768 MB RAM, 8 GB eMMC
  • up to 32 GB uSD memory card
  • 640 x 480 2.8″ high res display
  • 5MP camera capable of 720p HD video capture
  • Tranmissive TFT LCD (touch screen)
  • QWERTY keyboard (35 keys)
  • 6.3 hours talk time, or 12.8 days standby
  • Blackberry 7 OS

Of course, within every Blackberry is that unbeatable email system and BBM, not to mention a host of other applications you can now get via their app store. I have experience using other platforms but frankly speaking, Blackberry still does email better than anything else, it is fast, simple, and very very efficient.

BBM too is still the best chat client there is, very stingy in data usage, and seemingly never ever had downtimes. It is as reliable as you can get (even better than SMS I think).

The 9900 is now in Malaysia and you can get it with the widest network coverage in the country under Celcom – for as low as RM 1,288.


With Celcom Exec


With Celcom Biz

I used to have the Blackberry 9700 and always thought that it’d be a perfect phone if only the processor was a bit faster, has a better camera, and if it comes with a touch screen. The 9900 seems to answer that call and then some.

Check out www.celcom.com.my/smartphones for more information.

For those of you who are Torch fan, Celcom is also bringing in the Torch 9860 pretty soon. To get the inside scoop, check out www.facebook.com/xpaxfb

When we think of fast food, what comes to mind would usually be the big American chains. Burgers, fried chicken, and maybe even of porridge and sandwiches are usually to be expected.

However, one of the truly fastest dinner you can get is at a Chinese tai chow style eatery located at SS2 by the name of New Paris Restaurant.

Restaurant New Paris
KY, Rachel, Horng, Kimberly, and Kerol at New Paris restaurant

New Paris had a humble beginning, many years ago this was an operation with tables and chairs sprawling under a tree. Today, the restaurant has grown to occupy three shop lots and three floors.

The ambiance might have changed, but the one thing that stays true is the speed of service.

Business is often pretty brisk despite the size of the restaurant. Once customers leave a table, the workers will simply detached a layer of plastic table cloths together with all the plates, and new diners can take their seats within about 10 seconds.

german pork knuckle, vegetable, guinness pork
pork knuckle, spinach, Guinness pork ribs, four types of beans

Here’s the blow by blow account of our dinner at New Paris, time stamp gathered from JPEG EXIF data.

8:22 p.m. – we were ordering our final dish.

8:24 p.m. – first dish arrived! The German pork knuckle (RM 38), one of their claim of fame, was crisp on the outside, but juicy and fatty on the inside. Very savory, very sinful.

8:27 p.m. - sautéed spinach with garlic and topped with salted dried “silver fish” (RM 9). Not anything particularly special, but provide balance to the meat dishes we ordered.

8:28 p.m.Guinness pork ribs (RM 18), one of my favorite new style Chinese dishes. Tender ribs soaked with the goodness of Guinness black beer, providing that hint of bitterness that is so addictive.

8:34 p.m.spicy squid with long bean (RM 15). A little bit of spicy seafood with the meat and vegetable dishes. This dish was somewhat a disappointment, squid tasted a little stale. I wouldn’t order this again.

9:03 p.m. – paid and left the building

map to restaurant new paris

Another famous dish at New Paris is their watermelon chicken w(Huai Bin blogged about it here) which we did not order this time around. Though the food at this place isn’t exactly the best nor they are very special, they are still pretty tasty. Of course, the super fast service makes up for any short falls.

Where else could you have a full Chinese tai chow meal within 45 minutes?

Address:
New Paris Restaurant
No. 62, 64, 66, Jalan SS2/72
47300 Petaling Jaya Selangor

GPS: 3.118758, 101.62938
Tel: 03-7955 9180

BB battery tips:

For the Blackberry addicts, including the newly converts from Xpax BB, one of the most tragic things that could happen is when you are out and the Blackberry starts to run low on juice.

For casual users, most BB models could last for 1.5 to 2 days under moderate to heavy usage. However, for the true addicts, you might find yourself left stranded with your BB notification light blinking amber before the late night is over.

Good news is, there are some adjustments you can make to prolong the battery life.

  • Turn the back light dimmer.  I set mine at 20%, you can also consider setting the back light to auto shut off in shorter duration.
  • Minimize the usage of vibration. Vibrating alerts consume quite a bit of power, use it only if you have to. I set mine to vibrate only when the phone is in the holster.
  • Switch off WIFI scanning when you’re not using. This seems obvious but a lot of people overlooked it.
  • Turn your bluetooth off when not using.
  • Set Twitter auto update to 10 or 15 minutes. Cheesie used to set her UberTwitter client to refresh at 1 minute interval and wondered why her Blackberry 8520 couldn’t survive past dinner time.
  • For models with 3G/HSDPA support, consider switching to only EDGE/2G. I get about 30% more life out of a full charge and don’t see a lot of performance impact unless downloading big files.

For all Blackberry users, and especially the new comers who’s just signed up via Xpax with their brand new BB Curve 8520, it’s time to update your Blackberry Desktop Manager (originally came with the CD).

blackberry desktop manager 5
notice the IP Modem icon?

With the latest update, the desktop manager not only allows the usual contact sync, backup, application installation, and media synchronization that some of you are familiar with, but also the new IP Modem functionality.

Modem tethering with Blackberry isn’t something new, but it used to be quite a hassle to set up and usually only someone who are quite well versed with the computer could get it done. With the latest Desktop Manager, setting up your blackberry as a modem is made very very simple.

BBdesktop_modem

Simply click on IP modem – Configure, then choose Celcom as the connection profile. To connect to the internet, click Connect! That is all.

Do note that data rate and caps apply, for example, Xpax has a quota of 1GB per day for unlimited access, while Hotlink capped their monthly BIS premium at 1.5GB per month. Use wisely, for more comparison, refer to the rate plan comparison post.

By now, you’ve probably read about the Blackberry 8520 that is designed with prepaid customers in mind from this blog and/or elsewhere.

Although I’ve been talking pretty much exclusively about the offer from Xpax (advertorial ma..), we do something a little different today, lets put Xpax and the offer from Hotlink head to head for an very direct and simple comparison.

Xpax blackberry plan
rate plan for Xpax from here

First, from Xpax, there are two plans to choose from, and they are pretty simple.

  • Blackberry Social - RM 1/day (from 12.00am to 11.59pm) you get facebook, Myspace, instant messaging such as YM, Windows Live Messenger, BBM, Gtalk, ICQ, and more
  • Blackberry Advance – RM 2.5/day, you have everything the BB 8520 has to offer,  push mail, web browsing and any application that connects to the internet, including my favorite – Twitter.

So in short, it’s around RM 30 to RM 75 per month.

note: although branded “unlimited”, the data rate is capped at 1 GB per day, additional data usage subject to RM0.10/10kb. Source.

hotlink blackberry plan
rate plan for Hotlink from here

Now lets look at Hotlink’s offer. There are four plans in total, so a direct comparison gets slightly more tricky.

  • BIS Social - RM 28/month, services are similar to Xpax’s Blackberry Social, but data is capped at 100 MB
  • BIS Messaging – RM 28/month, with instant messaging and push mail only, data is capped at 100 MB
  • BIS Weekly Premium - RM 28/week, this is everything, similar to Xpax’s Blackberry Advance, data is capped at 50MB
  • BIS Premium – RM 98/month, data at 1.5GB

Data cap is for Hotlink as per the subscription period of either weekly or monthly, additional rate is at RM 0.01/1kb peak and RM 0.005/1kb off peak. Source (pdf).

Conclusion:

In terms of pricing, Xpax is clearly cheaper with RM 75-77.50 vs RM 98 per month for Advance/Premium plan, while Hotlink priced their Social plan slightly lower at RM 28 vs RM 30/31 per month.

Hotlink has the Push mail + Instant Messaging plan that Xpax lack (at RM 28/month)

However, the biggest difference in these two offering is at the data caps. Xpax’s quota is on at 1 GB per day while Hotlink’s cap varies from 100MB to 1.5GB per month is just a lot lower in comparison. If you’re a heavy user, this is quite clearly a cause for concern.

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