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Where to eat in Dhaka after midnight

Midnight? Hungry? We have all looked at our clock, hungry, thinking its too late to get food. Feel no despair at the next all-nighter, missed bedtime. Press yes for ‘Are you still watching?’ on Netflix, because there are selected places to get food from, in Dhaka, after dark. Yes, the options during these hours limited, but here is a list for the night owls with unusual appetites:

Pizza Roma

Pizza Roma Dhaka late night

Pizza is a safe bet for night cravings. Pizza Roma serves (arguably) the best pizza in town. They stay open until midnight. Pizza Roma takes late night orders through their Facebook page or through their website for delivery in Gulshan, Banani and Dhanmondi. Try their Pizza Diavola while you’re at it. Thank us later.

Tel: 01755660039

Tehari On Wheels

Where to eat in Dhaka after midnight 14

Don’t want the usual pizza or burger? Craving overflowing plates of rice and Bengali food? Tehari on Wheels serves traditional Tehari . They are open 24 hours. They also offer other items such as beef khichuri, hasher mangsho bhuna, etc. A plus, food delivery is available all day, all night. Find them on Facebook or give them a call for delivery services.

Tel:- 01902363697

Tehari Avenue

late night dhaka food

Tehari Avenue in Gulshan Road 119 has a simple straightforward menu that consists of tehari/chicken pulao and water/coke. The price tag does not take a toll on the ol’ wallet and it tastes amazing. They stay open until 1AM on Thursdays and Fridays.

Tel: 01617-138138

Herfy

herfy banglaesh late night food

Herfy is the latest in a long line of international food joints setting up shop in Bangladesh. This Saudi Arabian fast food joint offers up Burgers, Rice Meals, and Combos, French Fries, Chicken Fries etc. Their Gulshan outlet stays open till 2:00AM on weekends and till 2.30AM on weekends and holidays and offers both dine-in and takeaways. They offer free delivery service within Gulshan, Niketon, and Banani from 10PM to 1AM.

Tel: 01709-991000

Premium Sweets

Premium sweets late night dhaka

The Gulshan 2 branch of Premium Sweets is open till 2AM. Get delicious khicuri, kala bhuna, walimar roast as well as the usual sweets. Combo meals start at BDT 795.

Gulshan 2 Tel:  01759115124

Gulshan 1 Tel:  01755997678

Uttara Sector 7: 01796632672

Gloria Jeans Cafe

gloria jeans late night dhaka

For something light or just coffee, go to Gloria Jeans. The Australian coffee chain stays open till 1:00 AM. Other than coffee, the chain serves sandwiches, light meals and baked goods such as lamingtons, chocolate mousse etc.

Gulshan Branch Tel: 01929-333999

Star Kabab and Restaurant

Star kabab dhaka late night

The most obvious choice is Star kabab, a landmark institution in Dhaka City. Get your fix of rice, fish, veg, mutton to kebabs 2 AM and offers late night dinner and snacks.

Nazirabazar, Old Dhaka

nazirabazar dhaka late midnight food

As always, we saved the best for the last.

If you’re hungry AND in a mood for adventure, head out to Nazirabazar in old Dhaka.

 There is no traffic at 2 AM, So, it matters little where you’re staying. Given, you have a safe mode of transportation, of course. These buzzing lanes in old Dhaka stay open till very late and arrays of street food stalls and local cafes remain forever crowded. Chicken kebabs, beef chaps, lassis, fire paan, you name it. Fancy a cup of tea? Even the tongs will stay open. Eat to your heart’s content, the world is yours.

Check out the fanfare of Nazirabazar here.

One thing to note here is that if you plan to order takeout at this time, only Hungrynaki offers their service around 3: 00 AM. Foodpanda and Pathao foods are closed during those hours.

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Samsung launches a giant white board: The Flip

Samsung just launched one of its latest innovations in TV technology, the Flip, in Bangladesh. The digital board is designed to be used in businesses, or if you like your TV viewing to be vertical.

Why Flip

The Flip is specially designed to make meetings, collaboration, and brainstorming easier. It uses top of the line tech and connectivity. Shahriar Bin Lutfor, Head of Business of Samsung Bangladesh, said that it is a digital and versatile replacement of traditional whiteboards. He added that it is an ideal tool for businessmen trying to reach another level of productivity. He hopes to see the Flip become a popular product in Bangladesh.

Details

The new Flip is made of trademark Samsung UHD. It’s a 55” behemoth that can be used on both sides, horizontally and vertically. The user can do whatever is possible with a whiteboard. There are a couple of stylus-like pens that can draw on the board in any colour the user desires. Just like a whiteboard, Samsung’s latest device can have things deleted off of it by simply wiping the screen with the users’ hand. It can have up to 4 people writing on it simultaneously, making brainstorming sessions more effective (or chaotic, if you work at HiFi).

Connectivity

The Flip enables teams to work faster by letting them take notes digitally, save files in onboard storage, send emails and even print directly from the board. The device has WiFi and NFC, giving it great connectivity.

The Flip is almost exclusively made for businesses where every millisecond counts. That’s why you won’t be surprised to learn that it is priced at a premium. For a stoutly 360,000 BDT, you too can own one. To do what is a question that you have to answer. Nevertheless, there can be no doubt that it is a very cool device to have.

Samsung launches “N” Series TVs in Bangladesh

Samsung has unveiled their new lineup of TV’s in a ceremony this 9th of September, at Pan Pacific Sonargaon. This new series, called “N” series, is the successor to last year’s popular “M” series TV’s. The lineup consists of basic LED TVs to QLED TVs.

Samsung showed off the new series to the guests at the event. There are many different sub-series’ in the “N” series. To name a few, the Joy Concert TV, billed as a semi-smart TV by executives, Smart Concert TV, a fully smart TV and the Premium UHD TV where shown off in the presentation. We also got to try them out in the experience zone. The best of the bunch was obviously the QLED TV’s, which is the very pinnacle of screen tech right now, according to Samsung. The concert TV boasts 4 separate speakers which can give the user a concert vibe. It comes in a smart variant as well. Joy Concert TV starts at BDT 29,990 while the Smart Concert TV’s start from BDT 36,990.

Samsung, QLED
It’s a wonderful TV to get, provided you don’t have to sell your organs for it

There was also the Premium UHD TV with its slim metallic design and an impressive 4K resolution. HDR elite enables it to show the user a billion colors. It starts from a whopping 449,900 BDT.
The star of the show was obviously the QLED TV’s. It’s billed as the first and only TV to achieve 100% color volume and features ambient mode, which can turn the turned off screen transparent, an information center, or even a piece of artistic expression. The QLED starts BDT 590,000.

Many executives of Samsung were present at the event. The Managing Director of Samsung Bangladesh, Seungwon Youn, was confident that the Bangladeshi market is prepared to welcome the latest innovations in TV tech. Head of Business (CE & IT) Shahriar Bin Lutfor, Head of Sales and Partner Mangement Saad Bin Hasan and other high officials of the company and many partners and dealers of their products was also present.

Samsung also showed off many other home appliances such as refrigerators, ovens, AC’s, washing machines and vacuum cleaners. They also had gaming monitors present at the event. The ultra-wide QLED gaming monitor was one of the most eye-catching of the products.

The “N” series TV’s and other appliances will be available in all Samsung Bangladesh showrooms and authorized dealers.

Oppo F9: stylish but underpowered

The new Oppo F9 has taken the market by storm. With its one-of-a-kind notch, it certainly looks very unique. It also has very powerful cameras on its front and back. However, a notch and a couple of cameras alone don’t make a good phone great.

Display and appearance

The new Oppo F9 is a very sleek and stylish phone. The F9 is covered in Corning Gorilla Glass 6 on both sides and has a big 6.3-inch IPS LCD screen with minimum screen bezel and a very small water drop notch. The F9 has all the standard sensors you would come to expect, including a fingerprint one on the back.

The Oppo comes in three different colours, and they all look very fashionable. The gradient colour scheme is very unique and really helps the phone stand out amongst its peers. All in all, it’s a phone that wouldn’t be out of place in the hands of a supermodel, as Deepika Padukone has shown already.

Camera

Oppo is the self-proclaimed selfie expert. So it should come as no surprise how powerful its cameras are. The front camera is a whopping 25 megapixels and our testing at launch proved its power. The back cameras are also quite powerful, at 16 and 2 megapixels respectively. Oppo has targeted the selfie-taker with their tagline, so this is only expected.

Pouting is easier with the Oppo F9’s AI assisted mammoth front camera, which has a whopping 25 megapixels.

The Oppo F9 also features AI integration with the cameras. The cameras can automatically pick up what kind of photo you are trying to take and adapts to it. The image quality of the camera can be easily compared with the best in the market right now.

Battery

Another Oppo F9 marketing gimmick has been the fast charging capability of the phone. The Oppo F9 has VOOC technology, which makes charging very quick. In fact, the phone’s tagline claims that the phone can muster 2 hours’ worth of talk time with only 5 minutes of charging.

The Oppo F9 has a 3500 mAh battery, which makes this an impressive claim. It’s safe to say the claim is mostly true – we got 4% of charge in less than a minute.

Chipset and power

So far, the phone has looked quite good. This section is where that changes. With so many premium features packed into a phone that costs a fourth of the average iPhone, some concessions had to be made. The phone packs a very mediocre Mediatek MT6771 Helio P60 chipset.

It does have an octa-core CPU, but it is paired with a Mali-G72 MP3 GPU. This makes the phone considerably less powerful than a flagship should be. The phone comes in 4 and 6 GB RAM variants. Both have 64 GB of internal storage. It has a dedicated slot for memory expansions of up to 256 GB. The Oppo F9 has 4G dual sim capability also.

Verdict

The Oppo F9 has quite a few things going for it. It has really quick charging, and the only phone in the same price range that has similar quick charging is the Lenovo Z5. The display is beautiful with possibly the nicest looking notch we’ve seen yet. The cameras are world class and can go toe to toe with every flagship in the market. The price, at 28,990 and 31,990 BDT for the 4 and 6 GB variants, is pretty low for a flagship quality phone.

Yet, there are some huge shortcomings for the Oppo F9. The power of the phone leaves much to be desired as they seem to be the only ones using Mali GPU’s in this day and age. For casual users and selfie addicts, this is a good phone and comes recommended. However, the mobile gaming community and others who want a lot of power in their phones would find the Oppo F9 to be lacklustre at best.

Oppo launches the new F9: sleek and notched

Oppo has launched the newest set to its line-up, the Oppo F9. They unveiled the new phone at a grand event at Radisson Blu Dhaka. The phone is designed stylishly with lots of power to boot.

VIP’s

The event saw many celebrities present, such as Taskin Ahmed of the national cricket team and renowned model Peya Jannatul. Managing Director of Oppo Bangladesh, Damon Yang, was also present. In between many TVC’s of the phone played at the launch, Yang hoped that the Bangladeshi consumers would be happy with their new product.

oppo, f9, taskin, damon yang
Managing Director of Oppo, Damon Yang (Left) with cricket superstar Taskin Ahmed (Right)

Phone Specs

The phone itself is very sleek and stylish. It comes in three different colors, Sunrise Red, Twilight Blue and Starry Purple. The gradient color design is new to the industry, according to Oppo officials. It features a 6.3-inch Waterdrop display and a very unobtrusive notch at the top. As a result it features a high screen to body ratio of 90.8%. The F9 comes with either 4 or 6 gigs of RAM, with 64 gigs of ROM in both versions. It runs on Color OS 5.2, a variant of Android 8.1. The Oppo F9 comes with an octa-core CPU as well. Most importantly it comes with support for 2 different 4G sim cards, as well as micro SD card functionality. Oppo officials say all three can be used simultaneously.

oppo, f9, vooc
The new Oppo F9

Battery

The battery of the F9 is 3500 mAh and has a much-hyped VOOC flash charging function. According to their marketing material, 5 minutes of charging is enough for 2 hours of talk-time. They even showed a TVC featuring Bollywood stars Siddharth Malhotra and Dipika Padukone. The TVC emphasizes how 5 minutes of charging gets 2 hours of talk-time out of the device.

Selfie Expert

Oppo is a self-proclaimed selfie expert. Likewise, the new F9 has great cameras on both the front and back. The two cameras at the back are measured at 16 and 2 megapixels, while the front camera boasts a massive 25-megapixel camera. It features AI sensors like most high-end smartphones. These AI sensors can automatically control the lighting and effects to make a particular scene look better according to the subject.

oppo, f9, taskin, peya
Taskin’s long arms aren’t just for bowling bouncers

Pricing and Availability

The Oppo F9 is priced at 28,990 and 31,990 BDT respectively for the 4 and 6 gigs of RAM versions. It goes on sale from August 31st, 2018. GP users will get 5 gigs of cellular data free with every purchase.

Apple is now a trillion Dollar company. Here’s what lies ahead.

Apple made history on August 2nd, 2018 when it became the first US-owned publicly-traded company to reach a market capitalization in access of one trillion dollars. This is no small feat. Of course, Tim Cook insists it is just another milestone on the road to a brighter future. “It’s not the most important measure of our success,” Cook told Apple employees in an email after the event. “Financial returns are simply the result of Apple’s innovation, putting our products and customers first, and always staying true to our values.”

At $216.7 per stock as of 24th August, Apple’s stock market cap is now greater than the combined capitalization of Exxon Mobil, Procter & Gamble and AT&T. Apple shares constitute 4% of the S&P 500 index. So far, Apple shares have gained 23% in 2018, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has only gained 3% and the S&P 500 has gained 6%.

How did we get here?

Most folks reach for the movies and documentaries on Steve Jobs for an overview of Apple’s history. Other than to watch an uncannily good performance by Fassbender as Jobs, the visual adaptations do not feel necessary to understand Apple’s success.

Apple was founded in the late 1970s by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. They went public with the venture in 1980 after the success of the Apple IIs helped usher in the PC era. Job was driven out of Apple, but returned in the 90s to rescue the company from near bankruptcy. Since then, Apple has gained a firm foothold in the tech industry, selling its Macs and MacBooks. The iPhone helped usher in the current smartphone era.

The iPhone, introduced by Jobs in 2007, has sold more than one billion units and remains the most profitable smartphone product worldwide.

Cook, who took over as CEO following Jobs death in 2011, is no visionary. However, Cook played an instrumental role in streamlining Apple’s operations during Jobs second tenure with the company. He reduced inventories, offshored manufacturing to contractors and reached long-term deals for memory chips and other important components.

However, in the last decade, Apple’s innovations are sparse. iPhone sales slowed down in 2016 and Apple compensated by releasing increasingly expensive phones and introducing more accessories such as the Apple Watch. Pushing products such as the Homepod and new services such as Apple Music were economically great decisions but were not ‘out of the box’.

In the services sector alone, Apple is doing very, very well. In Q2 2018, revenue from services surged by 31% over Q1 to $9.5 billion. The expected annual revenue for FY2018-19 is $37 billion. Wearables sales, including the Apple Watch and AirPods, increased by 37% to $3.7 billion.

We are here. But what are the issues to deal with for the future?

Clearly, things are going swimmingly right now at the house of Jobs. But will it continue in the future?

Stagnant iPhone Sales

The most important issue is that iPhones sales have remained stagnant on an annual basis. Apple only shipped 41 million units in Q2 2018. This is partly due to smartphone saturation and fatigue. It is partly due to having far too many iPhone models on the market, at the same time.  The iPhone 6S, SE, 7, 7 Plus, 8, 8 Plus and X– that’s seven different iPhones!

This is in stark contrast to previous lineups, which included, at most, three variants at any one point of time. There are significant price differentials and different features (such as dual cameras, bezel-less displays, and face ID), so the threat of product cannibalization is not yet serious. However, a fuzziness exists between the different product lines. This holds true for other product categories as well, such as MacBooks and iPads.

Products are not differentiated enough

A clear case can be made between buying the 12.9 inch iPad Pro and the 7.9 inch iPad Mini. But what feature will influence my buying decisions for the middle form the 9.7 iPad? Similarly, the MacBook Air remains hugely popular. But it is a heavily dated product, bordering on obsolescence. Meanwhile, the MacBook Pro’s current design continues to be divisive. It’s a stylish notebook but offers little power for users who need a little more bang for their (considerable) buck. Worldwide Mac sales were down by 5% to $6.9 billion compared to FY2017-18. iPad sales rose by 6% to $5.9 billion.

No future without China & India

China and India are the world’s two largest markets by population size. Mainland China accounts for around one-third of all iPhone users globally.  Apple is a distant fifth in China. At 11% market share, Apple trails behind Huawei (19%), Oppo (18%), Vivo (17%) and Xiaomi (12%).  According to Newzoo, as of July 2017, there were 243 million iPhone users from Mainland China. iPhones constitute 33% of a total of 728 million users. Apple’s market share in this huge markets needs a lot more attention.

Apple’s market share in India is even drier, posting a 3% overall market share. It leads the premium sub-category with around 47% market share, leading ahead of Samsung and One Plus.

Cook recognizes that Apple’s position in India needs a lot more focus.

“We continue to put great energy there, and our objective over time is to go in there with all of our different initiatives from retail and everything else. It’s a huge market and it’s clear that many people will be moving into the middle class over time, as we’ve seen in other countries.”

To Apple’s credit, the Cupertino based company posted great financial results in both South Asian countries: Indian revenues were up by 20%, and Chinese revenues were up by 21%. Is it enough?

More competition

After Apple, the four other biggest tech companies are locked in a tight race for second place. Right now, Amazon is a safe bet to become the second company to reach the trillion-dollar milestone. Apples enjoyed a 34% increase in market cap which outstrips the S&P 500’s 14% increase in the last 12 months. However, Apple’s numbers are pale in comparison to the gargantuan 85% increase by Amazon in the same time period.

Valued at $889 billion, Amazon is now the second-largest publicly-listed U.S. company. Alphabet and Microsoft follow closely at $856 billion and $830 billion, respectively. Google-owner, Alphabet’s stock rose 32 percent over the past 12 months and is up by nearly 18 percent in 2018. Together with Facebook, the five largest U.S. companies account for 15 percent of the S&P 500.

Huawei, in the meanwhile, leapfrogged Apple to become the second largest smartphone manufacturer worldwide, shipping 54 million units in Q2 2018. Huawei posted a 41% year-on-year growth. They built on the strong sales of the flagship, P20, and the strong performance of the Honor sub-brand, which contributed to two-thirds of this quarter’s sales growth.

Moving beyond milestones: Updated products, more services

Apple isn’t idle by any means. It’s set to release new iPhones this fall. This new lineup is rumored to include a much larger (and more expensive) version of the iPhone X. A cheaper alternative of the premium flagship may also be on the way. On the service end, Apple is investing a billion dollars into developing its own original library of television programming. Big names like Steven Spielberg, David S Goyer, and Oprah Winfrey are already attached to the projects, including an adaptation of Asimov’s Foundation series.

On the other products end, Apple is planning to update its earphones lineup. A pair of high-end headphones and Airpods with noise cancellation in 2019 will launch. Further into the future, Apple is increasing its focus on AR. There is speculation of its involvement in the self-driving industry. There were initial plans to build an Apple Car of some sort, but those ambitions may be on hold for more manageable pursuits. These may include a bid to create an operating system for self-driving cars or infotainment systems augmenting driving functions.

Another often overlooked segment where Apple is poised to win big time is its increasing dominance with Apple Pay. According to Juniper Research, the total number of OEM mobile wallet users will increase to 450 million by 2020. Apple is set to corner 50% of a market. That 50% is worth a whopping $300 billion in revenues. However, this road is not without competition, like it already faces from Alibaba’s Alipay in China.. It will face stiff competition from the likes of Walmart and Amazon in the US,

Whatever the case, it looks like Apple’s trillion-dollar train shows no sign of slowing down. Let’s hope the company will use its considerable market power and leverage to bring more exciting products and disruptive innovations down the line.

NVIDIA Turing: faster than Pascal but much more expensive

NVIDIA has recently announced the new generation of graphics cards they are going to produce. The new architecture, called Turing, is supposedly much faster than the current generation of Pascal cards. However, the cards themselves will be much more expensive than the current gen. Let’s find out whether they are worth the money.

The New Cards

Nvidia has so far announced three new graphics cards at different price points. The RTX 2080 Ti, 2080 and 2070 are all sequels to the currently available 1080 Ti, 1080 and 1070. However, even the 2070 is set to be more powerful than the GTX 1080 Ti, according to Nvidia. The 1080 Ti is currently the single most powerful card in the market for gaming. The cards are priced at $600 for the 2070, $800 for the 2080 and $1200 for the 2080 Ti. The burning question we have is, is the new architecture worth it?

gpu, graphics cards, nvidia

Turing = 6X Pascal?

NVIDIA has been banging on the “Turing is 6X Pascal” drum since launch, but we remain sceptical. Even though technically true, the new technology is 6 times faster than Pascal at only NVIDIA’s in-house RTX ray tracing.

However, many games do not have NVIDIA’s RTX ray tracing tech, and will in no way offer the same massive performance upgrade as promised by NVIDIA. Going from a Pascal to a Turing card, you’ll be looking at a 50% performance improvement on most games.

Nvidia, performance, graph, turing

Why So Expensive?

Most of the new cards are double the market price of the 10 series card they are sequels to. This means you guys will have to pay double the price for a 50% increase in performance. The question now is why NVIDIA is putting such a premium price on their GPU.

This is where 11 different games come in. NVIDIA has announced RTX ray tracing tech for 11 games, among which are Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Battlefield V. NVIDIA claims that Turing makes the lighting and shadows of these games significantly better. They are banking on this as a selling point for the new cards.

Verdict

The cards themselves may not be the best bang for your buck. The technology is, however. I would recommend a 1080 Ti owner to not dish out so much money for cards that will not improve performance a whole lot. Anyone who does not have a current gen card can buy the new 20 series cards to get a significant boost in performance. At $499, the 2070 seems like a pretty good deal for anyone using a 900 series Nvidia card looking for an upgrade, or someone building a new PC. The Founders edition cards are a hundred bucks more expensive so you might want to wait for other companies to make their own 20 series cards. Overall, this seems like the right direction for the company and the industry as a whole.

You can buy the new architecture cards here. Unfortunately they are not yet available locally. We will update you guys when they are available here in Bangladesh.

Helio launches their flagship S60

Helio, a concern of the Edison Group, has recently launched their new flagship phone, the Helio S60. It was launched in a grand ceremony at Spectra Convention Hall in the Capital’s Gulshan 1 area.

The ceremony had many upper management officials of Edison Group present. Mr Aminul Islam, the Chairman of the group, announced the S60 at the event. Mr Maksudur Rahman, Senior Director of the group, was also present at the launch.

smartphone, helio, bangladesh

Much of the phone seems inspired by the iPhone X. There is a notch in the front of the 6.2-inch FHD screen. The screen is made of Corning Gorilla Glass 3. The rest of the phone is also very iPhone-like. It has a metal back, with two back cameras. The S60 also boasts an integrated AI, namely the P60 AI. It will supposedly support better photography, performance and power savings.

The S60 also has state of the art security with 3D face ID. This feature helps the phone to be unopenable to anyone but the user of the said phone. It is a hardware-based feature, which is certainly something different in today’s market. There is also a finger scanner at the back for more security.

face ID, 3D, lockscreen

The back cameras are of 16 and 5-megapixel resolution respectively. There is an LED flash in the middle. The company promises great a photography experience for the user. The front camera is 16 megapixels and does seem to take pretty good selfies, at least in good lighting. It comes with 4 GB’s of RAM alongside 64 GB onboard memory. The battery is bulky at 3000 maH and yet the phone is certainly closer to the slimmer side of the smartphone spectrum, which seems like an achievement. It comes with Type-C charging option as well as wireless charging. Every S60 also comes with a free wireless charger, sweetening the deal.

Priced at 25,990 BDT, the phone brings a fairly premium product within budget. There are EMI options available for select banks.

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is a fine flagship, but not a giant leap for Note-kind

On paper, the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is a dream flagship phone. Let’s just take a glance at the spec sheet- Snapdragon 845, 6 GB or 8GB memory, dual aperture cameras and a 1TB maximum combined storage capacity. At a starting price tag of $1000- and a price cap of $1250, the Note 9 is also the priciest premium flagship on the market.

Is it worth an upgrade from a Note 8 or an Apple iPhone X? Short Answer: No. Long Answer: it depends on how long you are ready to wait for a more meaningful upgrade. But if you are looking for a first buy instead of an upgrade? It’s a no-brainer. There are few machines out there that can compete with this, unless you want to wait for the Pixel 2 and iPhone X successors.

Bigger and Better

The physical differences between the Note 8 and Note 9 are very subtle. The new Note’s slightly larger- 6.4 inches compared to the 2017 version’s 6.3 inches. The bottom bezel is also a smudge lower, and the fingerprint sensor now sits comfortably below the cameras. Instead of the traditional blue and black colors, the new Note 9 comes in blue and lavender colors for the US market and black and copper colors for the international market.

The Note 9 inherits the S9+’s dual aperture feature, letting in more light than its predecessor. Low light photography is also likely to be noticeably better. The Dual Pixel autofocus makes capturing sharp shots more convenient.

Another new feature, called the Scene Optimizer, is Samsung’s counter to Huawei’s and LG’s AI photography features. Once you point your Note 9 camera at a scene, it will detect the objects and adjust brightness, contrast, saturation and other settings to get you a filter-ready image. There is another new trick called Flaw Detection, where the camera detects frequent mistakes such as blinking subjects or smudged lens and asks you to retake the photo.

While the camera system is a definite upgrade over the Note 8, it will be hard pressed to beat Pixel 2’s cameras, which are still considered the market best. On the hardware front, Huawei also changed the game by launching a triple camera system with the P20 Pro. At any rate, it won’t be unreasonable to expect this year’s Pixel upgrade to trump the new Note as well.

More Bang for Your Buck

The major touted upgrade, this time around, is the revamped S-pen. The stylus can now act as a remote control for the handset. Some example use cases for this are changing slides during presentation and remotely controlling the camera. The S-pens are also colored- the lavender models are paired with a purple stylus, while the blue models come with a neon yellow stylus.

Battery life is one major area where Samsung has consistently lagged behind Apple. I am using a Note 8 as my daily driver since last December, and the battery drain increased considerably after the Oreo software upgrade. Although it’s Snapdragon 835 chip is great at multitasking, the phone frequently overheats, though not to the degree of older gen phones like the Note 5.

With the Note 9, Samsung has fit in a larger 4,000mAh battery into a frame that has increased only slightly in comparison to the Note 8. What makes this possible, in part, is the new “water carbon” cooling system, whose thermal spreader is three times larger. While this sound promising, I will hold my praises for the Note 9 until it’s been more properly tested under CPU-intensive conditions over time.

The performance bumps- a faster Snapdragon processor and a higher maximum memory- do make the pot sweeter for Note enthusiasts. Smartphone gamers will also receive an additional incentive- Fortnite for Android will be Note 9 exclusive for its first month of release.

Buy or Pass?

If you have yet to experience the joy of using a Samsung Galaxy Note device, then Note 9 is a fine device to lure you onto the stylus bandwagon.

However, if you are still satisfied with your Note 8, or would rather experiment with alternatives, then I suggest waiting until later this year, when the new iPhones and Pixels come out.

And of course, if nothing picks your fancy, there’s always the S10 and the Note 10 for next year.

Huawei Nova 3i launched in Bangladesh

The successor to the famed Huawei Nova 2i has just been released in Bangladesh, called the Nova 3i. The nova 3i improves upon almost every aspect of it’s predecessor. Its design has been revised to match the 2018 smartphone aesthetic.

The device was launched in Bangladesh at an event today, held at the Pan Pacific Sonargaon, Dhaka. Country Director Aaron Shi introduced the phone in the press event.

The main selling point of the smartphone is the amazing AI-assisted photography. Featuring two camera sensors at the back and two up front, the smartphone is indeed a stunner when it comes to photography.

Another highlight feature of the smartphone is the brand-new Kirin 710 chipset with AI capabilities. The Kirin 710 is a massive leap ahead of the dated Kirin 659 previously used in Huawei’s entry level smartphones. A benchmark by GSMArena shows the Kirin 710 losing the battle by almost a 5% difference, which is huge. Huawei advertises this chipset as the next generation of their mid-level chipset, touting it as the successor to the 6xx series chipset.

The phone’s UI features Huawei’s very own EMUI 8.2, a UI that builds an entire ecosystem built with Huawei services and partners. Services include AI shopping and AI communications, which streamlines the user experience and adds value to other services. The UI also offers AI gallery, claiming to intelligently select pictures when you search for it on your phone’s gallery app.

The smartphone features 128GB ROM and 4GB RAM, enough to satisfy multitasking needs. In addition to the upgraded chipset and chunky RAM, Huawei also promises extra under-the-hood optimization called GPU Turbo to optimize its graphics capabilities for selected games such as PUBG and Mobile Legends.

The smartphone is available for pre-order from August 1st to August 10th and will be available in physical stores from August 11th. It will cost 28,990BDT. Customers who pre-book the smartphone will receive an attractive gift box with 5GB of free Grameenphone internet. 6-month EMI facility can also be availed to purchase this handset. With competitive pricing and a brand-new chipset, the Huawei Nova 3i is a surely compelling purchase in the saturated smartphone market in Bangladesh.