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Throughout the years I’ve had the chance to own quite a number of mobile phones, and gotten my hands to try on even more. The one feature that has always interests me is the camera.

Ever since I had my very first “camera phone”, the next phone I looked at has always been the one with a superior camera. So when I had a chance to give the Huawei P9 a test drive, I was pretty excited.

Huawei P9, sleek design, USB C, Leica dual lenses
Huawei P9, sleek design, USB C, Leica dual lenses

You see, the P9 isn’t just any regular Android phone with a camera. It is the first that comes with a dual-camera sensor designed by Leica. For the uninitiated, Leica makes the most legendary cameras & lenses and almost every photographer would love to own a Leica in their arsenal, including myself. By having Huawei tapping into over 100 years of Leica photography expertise to design & optimize, the expectation of its performance is rather high.

The dual sensor set up at the rear is rather unique, one to pick up RGB (color) information, while the other monochrome (B&W) sensor picks up details. Information from both sensors are then combined using Leica’s merging algorithm to create an output that has the best of both worlds.

swiping left, right, or bottom up on camera reveals different options
swiping left, right, or bottom up on camera reveals different options

That is the technical aspect of the camera, two 12 megapixel sensors working together, but what really impressed me more was the user interface of the camera.

Most Android phones utilizes very simple camera UI, with some having a few modes or features accessible in the menu. What Huawei has done with P9’s camera UI is very sleek. Swiping left, right, up, and down reveals different sets of features/short cuts that allows anyone to take pictures just the way they want without having to fiddle with different settings which may require in depth photography knowledge.

film/filter mode, and pro mode
film/filter mode, and pro mode

Swiping to the right brings out the different shooting modes, such as monochrome, night shot, HDR, video, slow-mo, time lapse, and even Huawei’s signature “light painting”.

Swiping left shows the different camera settings, including adjustments for resolution, photo grid, GPS tag, different film modes, and so forth.

Bottom up brings out the PRO mode. This is a feature every serious photographer would appreciate. Here you can adjust shutter speed, aperture, exposure compensation, ISO, white balance, and even focusing mode. These are features that used to only available on a semi-pro SLR set up.

On top of the camera UI screen have yet a few more short cuts allowing access to wide aperture effect (my favorite), flash settings, slow-mo video, and swapping for front camera.

wide aperture effect is one of my favorites
wide aperture effect is one of my favorites

traffic at night, Huawei P9

sunset on Federal Highway, Huawei P9
works very well in low light condition too

In all, these make for very fast operation in getting to what you want the camera to do. There’s no fiddling with multiple levels within the menu to adjust one setting. Everything is available within a swipe and a click or two, to me this is the strongest point of the phone, one which I learned to really appreciate.

impactful B&W mode is great for street photography
Impact B&W mode is great for street photography

The photo quality from limited shots I took were pretty good, my favorite features of the camera were the “impact monochrome” and the “wide aperture” mode. The monochrome is very useful taking street photography while the latter allows simulated “bokeh” effect that can make a subject really standout in a photo, similar to one taken with expensive fast professional lenses on an SLR.

egg benedict, close up
close up shots are very good too

Since this is actually a phone and not just a camera, several other important specification you may be interested in are as follow:

  • Screen: 5.2″ 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • RAM: 4 GB
  • Battery: 3000 mAh, fast charging
  • OS: Android OS, v6.0 (Marshmallow)
  • CPU: Quad-core 2.5 GHz Cortex-A72 & quad-core 1.8 GHz Cortex-A53
  • Storage: 32 GB, microSD slot
  • Connectivity: USB-C, NFC, GPS, Bluetooth 4.2, Wifi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
  • Sensors: fingerprint, accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass

 

When it comes to a Malaysian kitchen, soya sauce and oyster sauce are some of the most important ingredients for cooking. I must admit that I used to be one of those people who doesn’t think twice and choose the closest shelve at the grocery store when buying those sauces. What I failed to realised tho, is that these sauces aren’t make alike at all.

Last week, I was given a few bottles of some of our favorite sauces by Bidor Kwong Heng to try out – Angel Soya Sauce, Angel Oyster Sauce, and Angel Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce. These sauces are made from non-GMO ingredients and obtained international food safe certificates.

I’m made a couple dishes with these sauces in their ingredients to try them out. First – soya sauce chicken.

Bidor Kwong Heng's sauces with ingredients for soya chicken
Bidor Kwong Heng’s sauces with ingredients for soya chicken

Ingredients:

  • 3 table spoon Angel Soya Sauce
  • 3 table spoon Angel Oyster Sauce
  • 1 quarter chicken (leg part)
  • one bulb of garlic, peeled
  • 5-6 slices of ginger
  • star anise (optional)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoon cooking oil

first, mix Angel soya sauce and oyster sauce in equal portion
first, mix Angel soya sauce and oyster sauce in equal portion

Cooking instructions:

  • mix soya sauce and oyster sauce in a small bowl with 1 cup of water
  • heat up cooking oil and fry garlic, ginger, and star anise till fragrance
  • add everything and simmer for 20-25 minutes with lid cover, flip the chicken half way
  • enjoy while hot!

soya sauce chicken, this goes well with a bowl of porridge
Soya Chicken with Angel Soya Sauce & Oyster Sauce

The dish turned out pretty good, Angel soya sauce and oyster sauce did a good job in adding a hint of complexity with its umami while not being overly salty. The chicken goes best with porridge especially if you mix the sauces all in. Enjoy!

For more about the sauces, check out www.bidorkwongheng.com

After dating for some 5 years, last February, Haze and I decided to put signatures to the paper and completed our ROM. It was followed by a simple luncheon of some two dozen members of close friends and family members to mark the start of the next chapter of life.

ROM KY & Haze

While this space mainly showcases our food adventures from local hawker fare to some of the higher end fine dining establishments, believe it or not we do actually do a lot more than just eat.

hiking at Penang hill
hiking at Penang hill

In a bit to get healthy and stay active, getting a good sweating session is always welcomed. When we were in Penang we took the opportunity to take a hike up to Penang hill via the moon gate trail to #5 station. Somehow got lost along the way and spent 3 hours on some less travelled trail, good fun. This is partly in preparation for our upcoming Gunung Kinabalu hike, which I think will be plenty of fun.

Since we’re not exactly young-lings anymore, it is also in our best interest to have a better journey to wellness. While exercise is an important portion, choosing a healthy diet is also rather important. We cook more often at home, and sometimes do choose a healthier option while eating out.

vegetarian dinner at Setia City Mall

Being available for your loved ones for the long haul is also about staying healthy and protected.

Then of course, there’s the third and often overlooked point – being financially stable and ready for any unexpected events.

We’re fortunate enough to be in the middle income group and basically be able to afford everything we need, and some of the things we want, but adding a little bit of financial preparedness never hurt.

For some of you who may be in similar shoes like us, check out Zurich FlexiLife Plus.

zurich game 

Additionally, head to Zurich Insurance Malaysia FB page, there’s a little game in which you can play to stand a chance and win a grand prize of RM 4000 travel voucher + RM 1000 cash allowance. There’re also other prizes such as 2 iPhone 6s, 2 Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, and 3 Fitbit Charge HR wristband (I am currently using one!).

Also, please check out this video.

In the meantime, stay healthy and grow well!

Have you ever dreamed of being able to travel the world? If yes, are you still dreaming or have you made it come true? Regardless, I’m sure we can all agree on one thing: Being able to travel comfortably usually requires you to make an “investment”, be it your time and effort in saving money for the trip, or actually investing your money, where you can then use the returns or dividends to finance your trip.

traveling to Bali, Anilao, Maldives, London

Some of the most common ways to achieve your long term financial goals include savings & fixed deposits, investing in property (a second home, perhaps?), and of course, unit trust funds & investing in the stock market.

However, fixed deposits tend to yield average returns, and while buying a second home is a simple enough investment option, the 2016 property market is expected to be a bit subdued, so your rental returns may not be enough to offset your monthly mortgage, leaving you in more debt.

And then there are stocks, unit trusts, bonds, derivatives, and other investment products. Well, they can get complicated, no?

Enter InvestSmart, an investor empowerment initiative by Securities Comission Malaysia (SC), organising seminars for retail investors (like you and me) so that we, the public can be better educated on investment methods, taking control of our finances and  being fully responsible for our own investment decisions and (hopefully) achieving future wealth.

The seminars will cover basic fundamental topics such as how to:

  • Understand the role of market sentiment, technical analysis and identify the trading risks involved;
  • Spot the right opportunities for trading or investing;
  • Conduct fundamental research on listed companies in Bursa Malaysia, and
  • Distinguish between stock trading and stock investing.

These seminars are held NATIONWIDE every SATURDAY and will equip investors with the necessary skills, knowledge, and tools needed to exercise good judgement and discretion in making sound investment decisions, very important not only to new and aspiring investors, but perhaps even the seasoned veterans as well. Guess what, you can even keep up with InvestSmart via Facebook! Find out where the next seminar is happening, or when InvestSmart’s Mobile Kiosk will be coming to a location near you at https://www.facebook.com/InvestSmartSC. Interestingly, InvestSmart has also roped in local celebrities Neelofa, Aaron Aziz, Scha Alyahya, Awal Ashaari, Shaheizy Sam and Elfira Loy to promote simple and witty investment messages on Instagram, so be sure to follow them!

Based on what I’ve read on the InvestSmart website so far (www.investsmsartsc.my), I’d say that articles such as 5 Investment Tips For Beginners would be really great if you are looking to kick-start your investment knowledge with the basics.

Do yourself a favor and check out www.investsmartsc.my and do plan to attend their events to learn more. The future is in your hand!

Disclaimeredited/written by InvestSmart, a Securities Commission Malaysia initiative

When I first starting having a website on the internet some years back, I was in my early twenties. I was able to jump from 10 feet high without batting an eyelid, eat 2-3 bowls of rice on a good dinner, and of course, the topic of hair loss never once cross my mind.

Abbott CG 210 for men & women
Abbott CG 210 for men & women

Fast forward more than a dozen years later, while it looks like I did not draw the short end of the genetic stick that  leads to male pattern baldness, I do notice that it is quite obvious that I don’t have the same thickness of hair as before (something that was also commented by my long time hair stylist).

So maybe it is time to take some active measures to do something about this.

Abbott CG 210 is supplied with a cannula for easier application
Abbott CG 210 is supplied with a cannula for easier application

Enter CG 210 Hair & Scalp Essence – a product by Abbott Laboratories that can help manage hair loss by reducing excessive shedding and to promote healthy hair growth.

The product provides the four following clinically proven results:

  • Reduces hair shedding
  • Increases hair thickness
  • Improves healthy hair
  • Promotes new healthy hair

Which sounds pretty good, so I’m giving it a try.

giving the spray on essence a try for hair loss management
giving the spray on essence a try for hair loss management

The application is actually fairly easy. Basically you want to have the essence on your scalp, instead of on your hair. To make life easier, CG210 comes with a cannula to make this job rather stress free. Spray a little, massage it on, move on to the next “coverage area”, repeat.

The essence is made from natural botanical formulation, and as I apply it to my scalp, it was quite a neutral feeling. There’s no irritation, not oily, not sticky, nor does it have any strong smell to it, though it does have some light fragrances (different for men & women).

instructions are simple to follow
instructions are simple to follow

Hair management is not an overnight or a one time application type of deal, most users observe positive results in less shedding after 28 days, and many felt that their hair were in good health after 56 days of us (according to studies). So this is something that I’ll continue to use. The 3 bottles should last me 3 months, and pictures from 3 months later should show me how effective Abbott CG210 is to my flock.

You can get the product in selected private hospitals, clinics and all leading pharmacies. If you need further information, please call Abbott Lifeplus careline 1-800-88-0709 or visit the website at www.cg210.com.my

Disclaimer: Compensation was received from Abbott for the writing of this article, Abbott believes that consumers & bloggers are free to form their own opinion & share the words.