Grab celebrates 5th Anniversary

Grab recently celebrated their fifth anniversary milestone on 5th June 2017. They have also launched a “Moving SEA Together” report, highlighting the company’s growth across Southeast Asia. I had been following on their progress and expansion in the past year since Echelon Asia Summit 2016 and got to know them more from then on. Their progress, updates and expansion are pretty remarkable and amazing in this short period of time. From my coverage of Grab after Echelon Asia Summit 2016, I shared a few of their updates, progress and expansion over this period of time.

Grab today has up to 2.5 million rides daily, the largest ride-hailing platform, thus making them the preferred app for drivers and passengers use in Southeast Asia. Grab is now in 55 cities across Southeast Asia and their app has been downloaded onto over 45 million devices, a growth of 3X from June 2016.

The expansion of Grab goes beyond ride hailing, with their build up of their consumer platform that encompasses transport and mobile payments. GrabPay, their proprietary mobile payments solution is projected to grow even bigger than before. This expansion would be a very interesting development and I am keen to observe how fast and far it can grow.

GrabNow

A new service, born from Grab business innovation, that digitises the street hailing experience. This new service would first be available in Jakarta, passengers can flag down a GrabBike driver on the street, book a ride with the same driver immediately and pay via the Grab app.

I would like to share the following key information and details from their “Moving SEA Together” report:

“As Grab’s business has grown, the scale of problems we are solving has grown with it. We are an active contributor to solving Southeast Asia’s fundamental issues: congestion, jobs, trust in and access to the digital economy. These issues affect SEA’s long-term economic growth and Grab is very much committed to investing in our region. The only way to make meaningful long-term impact is to be laser focused on the important, everyday services to consumers: a more efficient transport network and wider access to cashless payments.

The ‘Moving SEA Together’ report is so meaningful to my co-founder Ling and I, because it affirms our belief that a homegrown startup can make a difference in the world, as long as we focus on doing the right thing. Every decision we make is guided by how best we can solve a local problem, and how it will benefit people and the wider community. We’ve been blessed with help from so many people – fellow Grabbers, drivers, agents, customers and investors – who put their faith in us, and encouraged us to always work towards big audacious goals. You can call us crazy, but perhaps Grab is a place for people who believe that what they do will improve lives through technology,” said Anthony Tan, Group CEO and Co-founder, Grab.

Report Findings: Five Years of Moving SEA Together

The ‘Moving SEA Together’ report shows how Grab has built a track record of solving local problems over the last five years, and changed its drivers’ and passengers’ lives in meaningful ways.

  1. Making commuting easier and safer for passengers

On average, Grab commuters reach their destinations in less than half the time (52% reduction in travel time on average) compared to public transport options in their cities. The greatest time-savings come from the Philippines (70% reduction in travel times) and Indonesia (64%), with both countries having thriving – yet highly congested – capital cities. With Grab’s new GrabNow service, passengers can shave even more time off their commute.

Grab has also made commuting safer for its millions of passengers by consistently raising the bar for safety in the ride-hailing space. Grab traffic accident rates are on average 5 times lower than the country average, with those numbers jumping up to 6 times safer in Vietnam and Malaysia. This focus on making transport more convenient and safer in SEA’s rapidly developing cities has resonated with people, with the number of Grab app downloads growing 360% year-on-year since 2013.

  1. Improving drivers’ earning potential

Grab driver-partners earn on average one-third (32%) more on a per hour basis compared to average worker wages across all of Grab’s markets. Driver-partner incomes have been strongest in Vietnam (55% more than average wages), Malaysia (48%) and the Philippines (35%). With 70% of Southeast Asians still lacking basic internet access[1], the Grab app with Grab micro financed phones made it possible for many driver-partners to first experience the power of the internet – bridging the digital divide. Grab has assisted in opening bank accounts for more than two-thirds of its driver-partners (640,000 people), introducing them to banking and other financial services for the very first time in their lives.

Nearly 1 million driver partners (more than 930,000) now rely on the Grab platform for income to their families. The number of drivers has grown 340% year-on-year since 2013. In Indonesia, year-on-year growth stands at a whopping 574%.

  1. Developing a more efficient transport network

Increasingly, Grab is broadening its services to new modes of transportation that cater to moving groups of people together, such as carpooling options which bring down fares of point-to-point travel. These options will be key to solving issues of congestion and pollution in Southeast Asia’s megacities. Its carpooling options GrabShare and GrabHitch have already started easing congestion and reducing air pollution. Grab saves an estimated almost 3.2 million kilograms in carbon emissions every year, by offering carpooling options and further optimising our booking system. This is equivalent to the amount of CO2 emitted by desk lights for 9,268 children to study in a year – and that’s assuming they keep the lights on 24/7!

[1] Google and Temasek (2016), E-conomy SEA: Unlocking the $200 billion digital opportunity in Southeast Asia.

Moving ahead for Grab in the near future

Safer driving experience with telematics programme expansion

Grab is expanding their telematics initiative (initial purpose was to reduce speeding) beyond monitoring speeding and looking into indicators for safe driving, hard braking, sudden acceleration and dangerous swerving. Combining machine learning and predictive analytics, this would greatly enhance Grab drivers driving more safely with weekly reports of their safety scores to them. This is currently launched in Singapore and will be progressively rolled out to other countries in the region. If you are a Grab customer, this would be of great news to you!

GrabChat

A messaging service that has helped and impacted both Grab drivers and passengers. 8 in 10 passengers cancel less when they use GrabChat, as they can easily inform their driver on where they are using template messages like “I’m here” or “Ok coming over now”.

This would be great news for passengers traveling to different countries in Southeast Asia and wanting to book a Grab ride. Grab now has auto-translation of template messages in 5 languages (Bahasa Indonesia, Bahasa Melayu, Simplified Chinese, Thai, and Vietnamese), to cater to regional travellers. 80% of all GrabChat messages already use the template text messages, which ensures safe, one-tap texting for drivers.

On Grab 5th Anniversary milestone, they have grew and expanded a lot, along with innovation, solving problems and coming up with innovative solutions along their journey. Congrats to Grab on your 5th Anniversary, looking forward to more updates, developments, growth and expansion news!

If you like to know more about Grab, do visit their website http://www.grab.com and download their Grab app if you haven’t!

* Information and details courtesy of Grab Singapore and Teneo Blue Rubicon *

New LVL UP plan for youths by Singtel

Students, youths and NSFs take note! There is a new mobile plan that you can “level up” on your Singtel’s Youth Combo plans and data add-ons! Singtel recently launched its new LVL UP plan for youths and this is something that you can look at!

We live in a highly internet and social media connected society today, with smartphones and mobile data playing a key part in our life, communicating with family, relatives and friends, reading stories/news, finding information and watching entertainment/videos on our smartphones.

What are some of the key highlights of this new LVL UP plan? Let me share the information below:

Youths who sign up for a LVL UP Youth Combo 3 plan will automatically receive Combo 4 talk-time, data and SMS benefits and more. They will only have to pay S$62.90 to enjoy 5GB of local data, 400 talk-time minutes, unlimited SMS, free Youth and Campus calls, and unlimited use of Singtel WiFi. They can even take their optional data add-on to the next level and receive DataX3 for the price of DataX2, to get up to 11GB of data every month.

Mr Yuen Kuan Moon, Chief Executive Officer, Consumer Singapore, Singtel, said, “LVL UP is tailored to our youths’ connectivity needs and data consumption habits. With LVL UP, we are stretching their dollar and giving them great value on what matters to them – they can now enjoy their favourite on-the-go online activities without having to watch their data counter.”

LVL UP is available on Youth Combo 2 and Youth Combo 3 plans for new and re-contracting youth customers. Students aged 26 and below with a valid student pass, and NSFs with an 11B identity card, are eligible for LVL UP plans. They can sign up at all Singtel Shops and Singtel Exclusive Retailers or via www.singtel.com/youth.

* Information courtesy of Singtel Corporate Communications *

Chance to Meet Social Media Stars with Grab and Tinder

A chance to meet social media stars on a shared car ride on 19th May 2017 in Singapore, would you like to try and grab this chance?

With Grab, Southeast Asia’s leading ride hailing company, they are partnering with Tinder, the world’s leading social app for meeting people, so users can spend the day with their favourite social media personalities.

This GrabShare special can be a very interesting experience for carpool users, you never who you might meet on a carpool ride here in Singapore! If you are keen and want to grab the chance to meet social media stars in Singapore, 19th May 2017 is the day!

Let me share more information on Grab and Tinder partnership to give users the chance to meet social media stars in Singapore –

“Many of us are creatures of habit – hanging out with the same circle of friends and visiting the same places. Unknowingly, we have created our own little ecosystems. Our carpool service, GrabShare, lets passengers share a ride and the fare, and meet new people in the process. This partnership with Tinder is a fun and light-hearted way to encourage more people to carpool and potentially meet social media personalities on their next Grab ride,” said Cheryl Goh, Grab’s Vice President for Marketing.

“Tinder is a platform for meeting new people,” said David Wyler, VP of Global Partnerships at Tinder. “Our simple user interface makes it easy to meet people anywhere. We wanted to provide an opportunity for our users to connect with some of their favourite social media stars and still get to their next meeting on time. Grab is the perfect partner to make this happen.”

How it Works

On 19 May, Grab x Tinder’s “New Places, New Faces” activation will have selected social media personalities each roving in a GrabShare ride and picking up passengers starting from 11am to 4pm. Passengers can take this opportunity to get to know these personalities while riding to their destination of choice.

At the end of the activation on 19 May, each personality will select a passenger he or she would like to get to know better. Tinder and Grab will then arrange a day-out for them to explore a new experience together, depending on their interests!

The rides will be filmed, and the most interesting and fun moments will be captured on video and shared on the Grab Facebook page.

Get to Know Singapore’s Social Media Personalities

Book a ride on 19 May via the Grab x Tinder “New Faces, New Places” icon  within the Grab app for a chance to ride with one of Singapore’s social media personalities, such as Ben Tang, Brandon Teo, Brenda Ng, Cheryl Tay, Chloe Choo, Victoria Cheng and Yang Jiamin.

All you need to do is to watch out for content between now and 19 May on Grab and Tinder’s social platforms to find out more about these personalities, because you might just be sharing a ride with them!

More information on the Social Media Stars

NAME ABOUT THEM
Ben Tang

@bentanggg

Ben is a simple guy who has seen and experienced some of the biggest of things in life, but believes that it’s the little things that shine through simplicity that really makes his day. To Ben, a good conversation is far better than a ‘perfect situation’. And a perfect person is not someone you meet on the first date, but is someone you decide to commit to…because she’s worth it.
Brandon Teo

@brandyontherock

Brandon loves adventure and has recently travelled to a number of countries in Europe. He enjoys the thrill of meeting new people and sharing experiences with each other. He believes that some people may even meet their other halves as they explore the world.
Brenda Ng

@brenwho

A social science graduate and social media enthusiast, Brenda’s social media platforms are channels for documenting her way of life, mainly her fashion related visuals, the occasional product reviews and daily life in a nutshell.

 

Coming a long way from taking pictures with an iPhone 4 to currently a Canon DSLR, social media has given Brenda the opportunity to pick up new hobbies such as photography, editing and writing and at the same time, connecting her to like-minded individuals whom she now calls friends.

Cheryl Tay

@cheryltaysg

First establishing herself in the world of cars and motorsports, sports and fitness personality Cheryl Tay believes strongly in body positivity and hence founded body image movement Rock The Naked Truth. Always looking for new challenges in life too, Cheryl is currently training for Ironman 70.3 triathlons. She also enjoys extreme sports such as bungee jumping and skydiving.
Chloe Choo

@chloeandchoo

5 things about Chloe:

  1. Chocolate anything is definitely hell yes!
  2. House and chillpops are the peanut butter to my daily jam.
  3. Lucky 13, the number of my tatts.
  4. Owner of 3 dogs, 2 tortoises and 1 parrot, welcome to my little animal camp.
  5. Eating is my only exercise, there’s a secret though how I can still fit into that size 0 dress.
Victoria Cheng

@victoriacheng

Victoria grew up in New York, but her career began in the Food & Beverage industry in Hong Kong. Victoria was then given the opportunity to move to Singapore, joining one of Singapore’s highly regarded food magazines. These days, Victoria finds herself hopping from city to city, working on personal food related projects. The work over the years have come to include guidebooks, food television and feature articles for numerous publications in the United States, Singapore and Hong Kong.
Yang Jiamin

@jyan.yoga

Jiamin loves travelling and surrounding herself in a new environment. She loves meeting people from all walks of life to gain knowledge and insights. Her guilty pleasures are ice cream milk tea and Ruffles chips.

* Information and details courtesy of Grab SEA and Golin *

Singtel and AXA Insurance jointly launch smart car solution

A smart car device and a cloud-based smart car application in your smartphone using Singtel’s mobile network, this smart car solution is able to help car owners/drivers in Singapore, promoting better and safer driving habits. This smart car solution is jointly launched by Singtel and AXA Insurance, comprising of a Modus smart car device and cloud-based smart car application, analyses driving patterns through a vehicle’s OnBoard Diagnostic (OBD) port. This is another innovative solution launched by Singtel for their customers and a good example on how technology implementation can help improve our life and daily activities.

In Singapore, with the number of cars on the road and looking at how the drivers drive, this is a good move for drivers to adopt this smart car solution by Singtel and AXA Insurance, getting the drivers to think about themselves, for their families and make them driver better and safer on the roads in Singapore.

How does this Modus device/smart car solution works?

The Modus device will synchronise with the smart car application on customers’ smartphones over Singtel’s mobile network. The solution provides the driver with insights on areas such as braking, acceleration and speed, which can help improve driving techniques and behaviour and enhance road safety. With these insights, drivers can also adjust their driving patterns to lower fuel consumption and troubleshoot potential engine problems.

Features include:

  • Driver analyses on areas such as braking, acceleration and speed
  • Real-time location monitoring (to easily find your car)
  • Trip history
  • Engine health information (battery voltage and engine temperature)
  • Driving scores (based on driving analyses)
  • Scheduled maintenance reminders
  • Alerts for speed limits, geo-fence boundaries, drive times and mileage limits

Mr Yuen Kuan Moon, Chief Executive Officer, Consumer Singapore, Singtel, said, “The smart car solution is yet another innovative service that we are bringing to our customers, following the successful launch of Singtel SmartHome. Now, our customers can enjoy an integrated connected lifestyle both in and out of the home. The solution will allow car lovers to track their driving habits and empower them to have a smarter drive. They will also be able to drive more safely, maintain their cars in tip-top condition while making the roads in Singapore safer for everyone. Singtel looks forward to launching more solutions that will enhance our customers’ digital lifestyles and enable them to enjoy smart living.”

Mr Sean Goh, Chief Partnerships Distribution Officer, AXA Life Insurance Singapore, said, “As one of the leading motor insurers in Singapore, the usage of customer-driven data to promote safer driving is very much in line with how we leverage technology to meet our customers’ rapidly evolving needs. Our partnership with Singtel marks an important step towards AXA’s transformation from payer to partner in our customers’ life journey.”

Drivers alert!

As part of this initiative, Singtel and AXA Insurance are offering a year of free AXA car insurance worth S$5,000 to the safest driver in Singapore. To qualify, customers must sign up for the solution, activate their smart car devices and drive at least 3,000 kilometres during the contest period. The winner will be determined by the Driving Score computed on the smart car app.

The smart car solution is available on a 24-month contract. To enjoy the service, customers need a Singtel postpaid mobile plan and a new Singtel MobileShare subscription. The smart car solution comes with a Modus smart car device and Modus smart car cloud subscription for 24 months.

At launch, Singtel and AXA Insurance are offering savings worth more than S$400. Customers can sign up at https://smartcar.singtel.com.

* Information and details courtesy of Singtel Corporate Communications *

LG introduced LG Stylus 3

LG recently introduced the LG Stylus 3, a phablet suited for the busy working professionals with features from their premium flagship smartphone models. At an affordable price and technical specifications packed inside this phablet, the busy working on the go professionals can consider the LG Stylus 3 as their work smartphone.

Let me share with you more information and details of the LG Stylus 3 below –

LG has combined its best-in-class technologies seen in its premium flagship smartphones with affordability in a mid-range smartphone. Running on the latest Android 7.0 Nougat, the Stylus 3 also boasts a 3,200 mAH battery capacity ideal for protracted use.

Intuitive Stylus Perfect for Working on the Go

LG Stylus 3 delivers an improved writing experience with a 1.8mm diameter fiber-tip stylus to provide the tactile feedback of an actual pen when writing on the screen. Coupled with an enhanced UX with Pen Pop 2.0 as well as the popular Pen Keeper and Screen-off Memo, users can experience a higher level of efficiency due to the Stylus 3’s intuitiveness.

Once the stylus pen is detached, a quick menu of useful tasks pops up: Pop memo, Capture Plus, Pop Scanner, Quick Memo, and thumbnail previews of the user’s recent notes. With Pen Pop 2.0, one’s memos are never out of sight and can be set to display on the screen whenever the stylus is removed. The smartphone’s Screen-off Memo enables note-taking directly on the screen even when the display is off. Have an idea that pops into mind? Jot it down immediately without the need for finding paper.

The Pen Keeper displays a warning when the stylus strays too far from the phone so one does not have to worry about misplacing the pen. To unlock the screen to start writing, the Stylus 3 features a fingerprint scanner that is conveniently located at the back of the phone, which double up as the power key as well.

Capture Quality Photographs

The Stylus 3 is not just for work purposes. Offering more value to users, it comes with a 13MP rear camera, which is equipped with a 1/3.06” sensor and a F2.2 lens. The lens captures light even in dim conditions, resulting in photos that are sharp in low-light environments. The 8MP front camera also provides a great option for selfies and high quality video calling.

“The LG Stylus 3 is all about giving our customers a wide variety of options and choices for their mobile lifestyle,” said Mr. David Yoh, Mobile Communications Business Director of LG Electronics Singapore. “This smartphone comes in a premium design and offers replaceable batteries with an expandable memory slot, all key factors that customers consider when buying smartphones in this category.”

Pricing and Availability

The Stylus 3 will retail at S$448 in shiny titan and will be available from April 1, 2017 at M1, Singtel, StarHub, and other LG authorized retailers. Each purchase comes with a free flip standing case (worth S$48) while stocks last.

Key Specifications:

  • Networks: LTE FDD2100 (B1)/1800 (B3)/2600 (B7)/900 (B8), TDD2300 (B40); WCDMA 850/900/1900/2100; GSM/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900
  • Speed: LTE Cat 6 up to 300Mbps; DC HSPA+ up to 42Mbps
  • Display: 5.7” HD (1280×720); Capacitive Touch display
  • OS: Android 7.0 Nougat
  • Memory: Up to 16GB ROM / 3GB RAM / microSD slot (up to 2TB)
  • Camera: Rear 13MP/Front 8MP
  • Size/Weight: 155.6mm x 79.8mm x 7.4mm (LxWxT) / 148g (incl battery)
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, BT 4.2, A-GPS (Glonass), USB 2.0, USB OTG
  • Processor: MediaTek MT6750 (Octa-Core 1.5GHz Processor)
  • Audio: MP3 player, Audio jack: 3.5mm, supporting codecs incl.: MP3, AAC, AAC+, WMA
  • Battery: 3,200mAh (Removable)
  • Colour: Shiny Titan

For more information, please visit http://www.lg.com/sg/mobile-phones/all-mobile-phones

* Information and pictures courtesy of LG Electronics Singapore and Brand Cellar *

Singtel partners Telkomsel to expand mobile money services

Singtel and Telkomsel recently announced that they are partnering to launch a new service, a real-time mobile remittance service to Indonesia.

In this current era of smartphone and mobile data usage, smartphone apps can be very handy to handle some of the daily routine or monthly routine matters at your finger tips with your smartphone and app, without having to be physically there in person to do the things.

Do spread this news on the real-time mobile remittance service by Singtel and Telkomsel and pass it on to your family, relatives, friends and colleagues if they need to remit cash back to Indonesia.

Let me share with you more information and details of the Singtel and Telkomsel partnership in real-time mobile remittance service to Indonesia –

Singtel and Telkomsel launched a real-time mobile remittance service to Indonesia. Offered by SingCash under the Singtel Dash brand, this service allows customers in Singapore to send money to PT Pos Indonesia’s 4,500 cash-out points (1) across the country via Weselpos Instan (2). This is an enhancement to the current facility that lets customers send money to Indonesian bank accounts.

The service was launched at Festival Rising50, the first concert event celebrating 50 years of Singapore and Indonesia bilateral ties. It marks the first time that Singtel and Telkomsel are collaborating on mobile money initiatives to drive innovation in both their markets.

According to the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in Singapore, there are 200,000 Indonesians living and working in Singapore. Outward remittance from Singapore to Indonesia totals more than US$ 409 million yearly (3).

Mr Yuen Kuan Moon, Chief Executive Officer, Consumer Singapore, Singtel, said, “Indonesia is one of our main remittance corridors and we are pleased to partner Telkomsel to offer convenient and secure mobile remittance cash pick-up service for our Indonesian friends. Singtel Dash will continue to enhance the mobile payments experience for our customers and enable their digital lifestyles. We are also excited to contribute to Singapore’s journey to a Smart Nation by developing the mobile payments ecosystem in Singapore.”

Mr Ririek Adriansyah, Chief Executive Officer, Telkomsel, said, “Telkomsel’s partnership in Singtel’s remittance service is one effort to support our government in promoting financial inclusion for Indonesian people, especially the unbanked segment. Foreign remittance enables them to improve their quality of life as well as provide an opportunity to begin saving for the future. We believe every little effort to promote financial inclusion will also accelerate the growth of Indonesia’s economy.”

In line with their commitment to work together on smart money initiatives, the two leading telcos also announced future plans to offer mobile remittance to Telkomsel’s TCash, offering a complete mobile wallet-to-mobile wallet experience. They also plan to expand the number of cash pick-up points to GraPARI Telkomsel service centres, as well as PT Bank BRI branches in the second half of this year.

Singtel Dash is Singapore’s first all-in-one mobile payments solution that is available to everyone. It is the only mobile payments app that offers fast, secure and real-time mobile remittance services, supports in-store and online retail payments, as well as transit payments. Customers can enjoy paying with Singtel Dash for their taxi, bus and train rides, as well as at supermarkets, convenience stores and food courts.

Since its re-launch in May 2016, the number of Singtel Dash customers has grown to almost 500,000. The volume of monthly transactions has also doubled over the last six months.

Notes

(1) Kantor Pos (post office) branches operated by PT Pos Indonesia

(2) Weselpos Instan is a remittance product of PT Pos Indonesia

(3) Source: World Bank Bilateral Remittance Matrix 2015

* Information and details courtesy of Singtel Corporate Communications *

LG G6 is now in Singapore

The LG G6, the latest flagship smartphone by LG Electronics (LG) was unveiled on 5th April 2017. At the media launch event in Singapore, I witnessed the unveiling of the LG G6 and had a short hands on session with the LG G6 smartphone.

This LG G6 is a smartphone packed with a number of interesting features and it was also designed with the help and input from the consumers through feedback and user opinions. With ideas, designs, inputs and opinions from both sides of the LG G6, the manufacturer/designer and consumers, the LG G6 is a smartphone that has the best of both worlds.

During my short hands on session at the LG G6 unveiling event, I was most impressed with the following features of the LG G6

  • Form factor and screen size, a 5.7inch 18:9 QHD + FullVision Display in the size of 148.9 x 71.9 x 7.9mm
  • Dual 13MP cameras with wide angle lens.
  • Rich and vivid colours produced by the LG G6 dual lens smartphone camera
  • New photography features – Square Camera Mode, Grid shot, Snap shot, Match shot and Guide shot

While I wasn’t able to fully try and test all of the new photography features out during the event, I would share some of the photographs on the capabilities of the wide angle lens. Personally speaking, the LG G6 smartphone camera functions and features had improved and I hope to obtain a review unit and share on the LG G6 smartphone, from a daily usage for leisure/work and as a smartphone camera for enthusiast/serious photographers.

Meanwhile, let me share the key information and details of the LG G6 from the press release information below –

LG Electronics (LG) unveiled the G6 smartphone, its latest flagship offering that features a bold new display format complemented by a cinematic viewing experience, exceptional screen to body ratio, wide angle camera and more. Designed in response to consumer feedback and user opinions, the LG G6 focuses on the features consumers want, most notably a big screen that comfortably fits in one hand.

First Smartphone in the World to Feature 18:9 Display Format

The LG G6 comes with a 5.7-inch QHD+ (2,880 x 1,440 resolution) FullVision display, and for the first time ever in a smartphone, an 18:9 screen aspect ratio. Compared with conventional 16:9 aspect ratio displays, the 18:9 format offers more viewing space and a more immersive experience when streaming videos and playing games.

Despite the larger display format, the LG G6 comes in an ergonomic design that is optimal for usage with one hand. The ergonomics research teams led by Dr. Andris Freivalds at Pennsylvania State University and Dr. Ji Yong-gu at Yonsei University tested the smartphone, and it received the highest marks for the test categories including stability when holding the phone, comfort in various postures and actions, as well as muscle fatigue when using the smartphone for long periods.

Sculpted from aluminium and glass, the G6 features a minimalist and sleek design smooth to the touch. The metal frame that is a soft matte finish, imparts solidity in style with a high gloss back is perfectly flat. The rounded corners of the G6 also disperse the impact if the phone is dropped.

Elevate the Mobile Viewing Experience with Dolby Vision

With the rising trend for content on demand and a greater viewing experience, the LG G6 now supports two High Dynamic Range (HDR) standards for viewers to get more out of cinematic contents available for smartphones. As the first smartphone to feature Dolby Vision technology, the LG G6 also supports HDR 10, both of which are standards for the picture quality technology that displays a wider range of colour and luminosity. The darkest and brightest areas are more vivid, revealing greater detail for a truly immersive viewing experience. Users will get to enjoy cinematic-like viewing experience for streaming videos from Netflix, Amazon and more content providers that are increasingly creating HDR video content.

Dual 13MP Cameras with Wide Angle Lens to Capture all the Beauty

LG G6’s dual 13MP rear cameras, which boast a 125-degree wide angle lens, capture more in a shot that regular phones cannot achieve. When taking scenic shots of natural landscapes such as vast mountain ranges and waterfalls, simply switch to the wide angle lens to get all the beautiful details in. Users will also experience seamless transitions when zooming in and out between the wide angle and standard camera lenses even during 4K video capture.

 *** Special thanks to Dennis from SuperAdrianMe for holding the LG G6 and allowing me to take these 2 photographs! ***

The G6 comes with an expanded 100-degree field of view with its 5MP front camera, which means users can take selfies or wefies without the need for a selfie stick. Plus, the camera reduces edge distortion, which makes for more natural-looking images.

*** Special thanks to Ivan from SGIG for holding the LG G6 and allowing me to take this wefie view photograph ***

Square is the New Creative
The LG G6 smartphone offers a Square Camera Mode, which offers new exciting ways to create photos with the Snap shot, Match shot, Grid shot and Guide shot features. Snap shot splits the screen into two, taking advantage of the screen’s 18:9 display which are essentially two squares. The upper half is a viewfinder while the bottom half lets users preview the photos after they take them for easy comparisons. Match shot allows users to get creative, matching disparate photos, such as the wings of a bird to the tail of an airplane.

With Grid shot, users can form a collage made up of four quadrants with photos and video contents. The mode eliminates the need for any third-party apps, and users can share the collages on their favourite social networks instantly.

Finally, the Guide shot is a smart and creative feature that matches the composition of a chosen image to act as a guide for the next shot. This is especially useful to snap a series of photos, such as striking a similar pose in different settings, or various cuisines shot in the same plating format.

With the Square Camera Mode, users can also take pictures in 1:1 ratio on one window while checking, editing and uploading pictures in another window immediately after shooting. They can even create animated GIF files by combining between 2 and 100 photos from the gallery in a loop.

By taking perfectly square photos in 1:1 ratio, the LG G6 is ideal for Instagram, Snapchat and other social media apps. Users can also choose other ratios, such as 4:3, 16:9 and 18:9 based on their preferences.

Built for Durability

The LG G6 boasts IP68 water and dust resistance, which makes it protected up to 1.5 meters of water for as long as 30 minutes. Users can now worry less about accidental drops in water and spillages.

The smartphone also endures tests for high temperatures and nail penetration, and uses a proprietary technology that dissipates heat via an internal heat pipe, the first in an LG smartphone. LG engineers have also positioned the components most prone to overheating as far from each other as possible.

Everyday Tasks a Cinch with the Google Assistant

 The LG G6 has Google Assistant built-in. It works seamlessly with LG apps, empowering users to get fast answers, manage everyday tasks, enjoy the best music and videos and search the G6 quicker than ever. And with the remote after-service utilizing artificial intelligence, the more Google Assistant is used, the more personalized the user experience becomes.                                                                                    

“The LG G6 offers users new visual and manual experiences, as it marries an expanded screen with the convenience of one-handed use,” said Mr David Yoh, Mobile Communications Business Director of LG Electronics Singapore. “LG will continue to lead smartphone innovation with a focus on convenience and reliability in order to exceed consumer expectations.”

For more information, please visit http://www.lg.com/sg/mobile-phones/lg-G6

Pricing and Availability

To own the G6 is to embrace the future of smart technology. This stunning smartphone comes with voice control and a personal assistant amongst other new features, offering unrivalled usability and convenience. Coming in astro black, ice platinum and mystic white colors, the smartphone will retail at S$988 and is available from April 14, 2017 onwards at M1, Singtel, StarHub and other LG authorized retailers. Each purchase of the G6 comes with a free flip case worth S$58 while stocks last.

Key Specifications:

  • Chipset: Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 821 Processor
  • Display: 5.7-inch 18:9 QHD+ FullVision Display (2880 x 1440 / 564ppi)
  • SIM: Dual-SIM (4G/3G)
  • Memory: 4GB LPDDR4 RAM / 64GB UFS 2.0 ROM / MicroSD (up to 2TB)
  • Camera:

Front 5MP Wide (F2.2 / 100°)

Rear Dual: 13MP Wide (F2.4 / 125°) / 13MP Standard OIS 2.0 (F1.8/71°)

  • Battery: 3,300mAh (embedded)
  • Operating System: Android 7.0 Nougat
  • Size: 148.9 x 71.9 x 7.9mm
  • Weight: 163g
  • Network: LTE-A 3 Band CA
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 a, b, g, n, ac / Bluetooth 4.2 BLE / NFC / USB Type-C 2.0 (3.1 compatible)
  • Colours: Astro Black / Ice Platinum / Mystic White
  • Other: 32-bit Hi-Fi Quad DAC / Water and Dust Resistant / Fingerprint Sensor / UX 6.0 / Dolby Vision™ / HDR10

* Information courtesy of LG Electronics Singapore and Brand Cellar *

Grab launched JustGrab service

Grab recently launched a new service, bringing JustGrab for GrabTaxi and GrabCar vehicles together, forming the largest supply of on-demand vehicles in Singapore.

The topic of dynamic pricing is a topic for discussion here and through the information shared below, it would give a better understanding of the overall picture.

Let me share with you more information and details from the press release information below:

Grab, Southeast Asia’s leading ride-hailing company, announced JustGrab, a new service that brings together fixed fare GrabTaxi and GrabCar vehicles to form the largest supply of on-demand vehicles in Singapore.

With increased vehicle supply, passengers can experience the most affordable taxi or private-hire car rides at a common fixed fare, subject to dynamic pricing, and shorter waiting time. The JustGrab service will be beta tested from today and progressively rolled out to Grab’s tiered GrabRewards customers first, before general public availability on 29 March.

With JustGrab, passengers need only tap a button to find the nearest fixed fare taxi and car within their vicinity. The JustGrab fleet comprises all HDT, Premier, Prime, SMRT, Trans-cab and GrabCar driver-partners to offer the following benefits:

? Lower fares with dynamic pricing: Dynamic pricing adjusts to real-time market demand, resulting in cheaper fares at low demand periods. By uniting fixed fare taxis and cars as one, the increased vehicle supply means JustGrab fares will fluctuate less and be more affordable throughout the day.

? Fret over surcharges no more: Traditional taxi surcharges such as midnight and Central Business District (CBD) charges no longer apply to JustGrab fares. Passengers’ trip fares, excluding toll charges added at the end of the journey, are reflected on the booking screen, giving them full knowledge and certainty of their trip fares before making their bookings.

? More travel options at different price points: JustGrab complements Grab’s existing GrabTaxi and GrabCar services to offer commuters another point-to-point on-demand travel option with Grab. Commuters who prefer metered fares can continue to use GrabTaxi, while those who prefer private-hire cars can go for GrabCar.

? JustGrab and get going: Access to the largest network of fixed fare rides means shorter waiting time for passengers. JustGrab finds passengers the nearest available fixed fare taxi or private-hire car ride within the vicinity at affordable, guaranteed fares.

“At Grab, we believe in pooling together resources to solve urban mobility issues. JustGrab combines the strengths of taxis and cars to improve the efficiency and affordability of point-to-point transportation in Singapore. We are positive that JustGrab will help shave waiting time for rides by up to five minutes, and bring us closer to our goal of ensuring commuters get a Grab ride within three minutes every time. Our hope is to encourage more people to use shared transportation over personal cars, and offer our driver-partners additional income opportunities from our growing passenger base,” said Melvin Vu, Head of GrabTaxi Singapore.

Making driving with Grab more sustainable with new driver care initiatives

With a strong commitment to driver care, Grab is enhancing benefits for GrabTaxi driver partners and introducing additional perks for top-tier GrabTaxi driver-partners under the Platinum Plus and Platinum programme, a rebrand of the Elite and Rangers programme:

GrabTaxi Platinum Plus and Platinum driver-partners will receive quarterly bonuses equivalent to and at half the previous quarter’s incentive payouts, respectively. The bonus comes on top of the incentive that they receive the current quarter, enabling driver-partners to earn more while driving with Grab.

In addition, all GrabTaxi driver-partners will receive a monthly eight percent Medisave contribution from Grab, based on their earned incentives, to help build up their Medisave savings. Grab’s Platinum Plus and Platinum driver-partner enjoy higher Medisave contribution at 15% and 10% respectively.

The quarterly bonuses and monthly Medisave contribution are the latest additions to Grab’s series of driver care initiatives. Grab also constantly recognises Platinum Plus and Platinum drivers for their high-quality service and hard work by rewarding them with special incentives, priority queues at Grab’s Driver Support Centres, and loyalty programmes such as subsidised holiday trips with fellow driver-partners and their families.

* Information and details courtesy of Grab Southeast Asia and Golin *

Journey to 5G: Singtel & Ericsson working together on Massive MIMO and Cloud RAN

The journey to 5G in Singapore, in the article that I wrote about earlier, is in the process of picking up speed and momentum. Adding on to what I shared, Singtel and Ericsson made an announcement in February 2017 that they are working together to pilot Massive MIMO and Cloud RAN on Singtel 4G LTE network, two key components in the journey to 5G in Singapore.

The information that I would be sharing from the press release can be very technical and it may be not that easy to fully understand when you first read it due to the complexity and technicality of the information communications / mobile networks industry.

The key takeaways would be that these two components are essential to the development and growth of 5G networks in Singapore, when the journey to 5G is reached, consumers can enjoy the benefits of faster mobile network speed, your usage and consumption, would increase and power more different type of devices/technologies such as augmented reality, virtual reality, 4K videos, social media, in your personal life and also your work profession.

Personally, the journey to 5G in Singapore might be faster to arrive than we are expecting. Moving towards a digital, technology savvy and well connected economy and country, 5G networks and technology has the capability to help Singapore in its growth and we would need to look at how to leverage and ride on the 5G technology, in improving our workflow and communications.

Let me share with you more information and details from the press release information below:

Singtel and Ericsson are working together to pilot Massive MIMO and Cloud RAN on Singtel’s 4G LTE network. Both technologies are key components in the evolution to 5G that will enable Singtel to expand its mobile network capacity to offer faster speeds by the end of the year.

Video traffic represents more than half of mobile traffic today. It is set to rise further with increasing adoption of video applications such as Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and 360-degree video, which imposes high demand on network capacity. This is why networks need to evolve to gradually achieve ultra-high bandwidth, pervasive connectivity and low latency promised with 5G.

Massive MIMO (Multiple-Input Multiple-Output) is key to achieving Gigabit LTE speeds as it improves spectral efficiency to triple or quadruple the number of data paths of cellular base stations. This expands network capacity and improves user experience. Ericsson AIR 6468 radio, providing 64T64R Massive MIMO capabilities, will be tested and progressively deployed on Singtel’s 4G LTE network.

Both companies will also embark on a pilot of Cloud RAN which will provide Singtel with the flexibility to centralise, distribute, scale and virtualise radio access network functions to efficiently meet performance requirements today and on the road to 5G.

Mr Yuen Kuan Moon, Chief Executive Officer, Consumer Singapore, Singtel, said, “Data traffic is on the rise and will increase exponentially with 4K video, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality services on the horizon. We are investing ahead to ensure that our networks have the capacity and speeds that will offer our customers the best mobile data experience in Singapore.”

Arun Bansal, Head of Business Unit Network Products, Ericsson, said, “Our collaboration with Singtel provides a unique opportunity to be part of their 5G journey.”

Singtel offers Singapore’s widest mobile coverage and fastest mobile data speeds at 450Mbps. Singtel and Ericsson first signed a 5G MOU in January 2015 and were the first to showcase a 5G system in Southeast Asia in August 2016, achieving a downlink speed of 27.5 Gbps.

*Information courtesy of Singtel Corporate Communications*

NGMN Forum 2017 hosted by Singtel

In January 2017, Singtel hosted Next Generation Mobile Networks (NGMN) Forum in Singapore, held at the Mandarin Orchard Singapore. Although this article post is a bit delayed, the progress and plans for the next generation mobile networks, technology, infrastructure, usage and growth are ongoing, building and expanding towards 5G in Singapore, coming soon in a few years time.

I was at the NGMN Forum 2017 on the first day, listened to the opening address by Assistant Chief Executive and Director-General (Telecom and Postal) Ms Aileen Chia. She shared some key pointers for the participants at NGMN Forum 2017, the future and growth of mobile networks, in Singapore and around the world. While the content and topics looked like they were only for Business to Business (B2B), in reality, the journey towards 5G for Singapore and around the world affects and impacts everybody (in both good and bad ways), from the businesses to the end consumer in the society. The future of the world, also for Singapore, are about technology changes, disruption, innovation and transformation from the business organisations to the end consumers. The information communications sector, economy and society are able to embrace opportunities and challenges. The next big thing is Data, the “new oil” of the 21st century. The future digital economy, IoT (Internet of Things), devices and how we consume data, use data in our daily life and work, this is going to be massive.

After listening to the opening address, I had a tour around some of the partners showcase of their 5G technology and infrastructure. Singtel is making a lot of progress in their 5G journey in Singapore and during an earlier event in August 2016 organised by Singtel that I attended – Singtel and Ericsson were the first to showcase 5G in Southeast Asia. The changes, impacts and opportunities with 5G are coming soon to us in Singapore, on both the B2B and B2C level.

On the B2B level, the partners exhibiting their 5G infrastructure and application of the 5G technology, I saw drones in action that could be activated during natural disaster, robotics obeying the commands of the human hand movement, traffic light control, security and surveillance, all of them powered by the upcoming 5G technology networks.

On the B2C level, as the consumer on the street, what do you think? How would 5G change the way you consume data, communicate with family, relatives and friends? How would 5G help, impact or even affect your work?

5G in Singapore is arriving in a few years time, the groundwork and infrastructure are being prepared and it’s building up speed and momentum.

5G in Singapore by year 2020, maybe it might even be earlier?