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Francis Tan

Francis Tan

Audiophile with no musical talent whatsoever. People question my expenditure on audio gear by saying I have only one pair of ears, well, we've got only one pair of feet. I also dance a little.
vivo V11: A Mid-range Smartphone With Premium Features
Smartphones

vivo V11: A Mid-range Smartphone With Premium Features

Chinese smartphones have been gaining massive popularity among consumers, and it’s not difficult to see why. Their prevalence — both in and out of the Chinese mainland — are mainly attributed to their low retail price, and the ability to retain the premium specs and features usually found on more expensive flagships. One no longer has to pay kilobuck prices to get dual cameras, a bezel-less screen, a powerful processor, and a fingerprint scanner. Manufacturers like Vivo, Xiaomi, OPPO, and Huawei have been pushing out multiple examples of mid-range phones that can stand up to many current-day flagships, and many…
Google Home Review: A Promising Look Into Home Life of the Future
Home

Google Home Review: A Promising Look Into Home Life of the Future

Many may find it weird to speak to an inanimate object, let alone have it respond back to you. But with the rise of personal artificial intelligence assistants like Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, and the Google Assistant, what was once thought of as an odd habit a decade ago is slowly becoming the norm. While the idea of speaking to someone – or something – that doesn’t exist in a physical form is alien to some, I am quite keen on exploring the possibilities of this new phenomenon, which adds more than just convenience. I can foresee it becoming a…
Spartan Downtown Challenge 2018: The Finish Line is Yours For The Taking
Fitness

Spartan Downtown Challenge 2018: The Finish Line is Yours For The Taking

The name “Spartan” alone carries a legacy commonly associated with fearsome, disciplined warriors, soon becoming synonymous with endurance, strength, and the pursuit of physical greatness. Spartan warriors are remembered to have completed legendary feats, surpassing the limits many ordinary people struggle to reach. To this day, the Spartan name is still being used with near superhuman feats, and this time, it has arrived in town for brave local Spartans to conquer. The Spartan Downtown Challenge 2018 is the first inception of the Spartan Singapore urban obstacle course. Hosted in conjunction with OUE Downtown on 23 June 2018, Spartans stepped up…
GameStart 2018 Convention: A Weekend of Gaming Fun
Gaming

GameStart 2018 Convention: A Weekend of Gaming Fun

Southeast Asia’s premier game convention, GameStart 2018,  returned for its fifth anniversary with a plethora of diverse gaming content at the Suntec Convention Centre last week (13 and 14 October). Exhibits included game showcases and previews, tabletop board and card games, esports, indie games, retro games, and cosplay. Fans of competitive esports were treated to a spectacular screening of SEA Major (SEAM) 2018, which hosted several tournaments throughout the weekend. The SEA Mobile Major (SEAMM) 2018 also hosted the first-ever Shadowverse Contenders Cup for the Southeast Asian and Oceanic regions. Special guests appearances were certainly not lacking as well, as…
LG G7+ ThinQ: A new way of ThinQing?
Smartphones

LG G7+ ThinQ: A new way of ThinQing?

LG’s latest flagship smartphone offering, the G7+ ThinQ, was unveiled in Singapore on May 22 2018. For the launch, the brand partnered with the internationally-acclaimed South Korean boy band BTS to bring forth their newest feature-packed lifestyle smartphone. Following their V30S+ ThinQ launch earlier in the year, the G7+ ThinQ aims to be a smaller, more pocket-friendly variant of its larger brother. The phone also prides itself for incorporating artificial intelligence (AI) into a large part of its daily operation and core functions, such as the AI Cam and the highly-anticipated Google Lens. LG G7+ ThinQ: Features 1. Camera +…
Review: New Toys from Astell & Kern A Promising Step Forward
Audio

Review: New Toys from Astell & Kern A Promising Step Forward

Renowned Korean portable audio manufacturer iRiver has recently announced two new high-resolution Digital Audio Players under their Astell & Kern (A&K) brand – the A&norma SR15, and the A&futura SE100, to complement their flagship, the A&ultima SP1000. iRiver also introduced a new entry-level In-Ear Monitor, the Jerry Harvey/Astell&Kern Billie Jean. This completes the rebranding of the A&K player lineup, with the A&norma representing the standard, entry-level lineup, the A&futura representing the premium, sub-flagship tiered players, and the A&ultima holding the spot for A&K’s flagship offerings. I was recently at Smoke & Mirrors to witness the launch event, hosted by AV…
It’s A Jurassic World @ Plaza Singapura: VR Experiences, Movie Screenings, and More
Life

It’s A Jurassic World @ Plaza Singapura: VR Experiences, Movie Screenings, and More

This June, Plaza Singapura’s Main Atrium gets transported over 65 million years into the past, with the hulking beasts of the prehistoric era emerging from deep slumber to walk the Earth once again – that’s right, the dinosaurs return once again to greet unsuspecting shoppers and patrons, and this year, Plaza Singapura has put up something extra special for everyone. Live the Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom adventure right in Plaza Singapura this June holidays, with the debut of our beloved Jurassic World star – a life-size replica of the protagonist – Blue. Get up close and be amazed by the…
Fall Out Boy Concert Review: It Was Manic, Indeed
Music

Fall Out Boy Concert Review: It Was Manic, Indeed

I’ve never been much of a concert-goer. The crowds, the screaming, the long queues, all that put me off from the moshing experience. But when my friend asked if I wanted to attend the Fall Out Boy Mania Tour concert, how could I refuse? This year’s venue was [email protected], a modest indoor event hall in the heart of Jurong East, and although it’s not as picturesque as Fort Canning for their previous Save Rock & Roll Tour here almost 5 years ago, the energy presented by Fall Out Boy themselves erupted from the stage and dominated the evening. A 30-second…
A Tribute to Avicii: Anthem of the Generation
Music

A Tribute to Avicii: Anthem of the Generation

“He said, one day you’ll leave this world behind So live a life you will remember. My father told me when I was just a child These are the nights that never die.” – The Nights, Avicii It’s unmistakable that the past decade was dominated by a flurry of progressive house music – among other EDM genres – and with DJs such as Calvin Harris, David Guetta, and Swedish House Mafia churning out hits after hits, one name stood out to me, more than any other: Avicii. As one of the few pioneers in the EDM house music scene, Tim…
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