Hey #ASUS–I hope you know this…

I don’t know how to start this blog entry as even till the time I am writing this blog entry, my disappointment still heavily felt.

 

Disclaimer #1

I have always been an avid lover/fan of ASUS networking products because the team have really engineered their networking router to be so fantastic that I ditched those router that was given by the Internet Service Provider (ISP). I have to admit that most of visits from searches in Singapore is generated through related searches on ASUS router or SingTel fibre. I have always been a strong supporter in advocating people around me to take on the ASUS networking products bandwagon.

 

Disclaimer #2

This time round, I am not writing any negative with regards to the networking side of things about ASUS. Although this may be a negative post, it will not discourage me in still supporting the networking side of business for ASUS.

 

Background

It all started couple of months ago when I chanced upon an advertisement on ASUS soon-to-be launched ZenFone 2. The advertisement was hitting almost everywhere in the social media where ASUS claims to be the first smartphone that is equip with 4 gigabytes of RAM. At the point of time, “Wow, 4GB is so godly!”

Before I decided to use this phone, I was lugging onto two mobile phones. One of it is Samsung Galaxy Note 3 (personal device) and another one is Samsung Galaxy Note 4 (corporate device). I have two SIM card with two different numbers which I need to have it with me all (most) of the time.

The reason why I would step onto the ASUS platform is because:

  1. It is LTE-enabled phone (although it is only for SIM #1, but it doesn’t really matter to me because most of the time it should only utilize data from one number).
  2. It is dual-SIM and dual-active! (this is amazing! if you still don’t know why Dual-Active is better, check out this link here).
  3. It has 4GB of RAM. 4GB is more than 3GB on each of my Note-series of Samsung device, so it is an upgrade right?

 

The Preview

So it started with me getting an invite to the launch of ASUS ZenFone 2 in Singapore way back in April (to be exact, 14th April 2015 @ Suntec City Convention Centre). During the show, practically all the partners and invited popular bloggers are given one set of the ASUS ZenFone 2 for them to do the preview and trial of the mobile device. On the other hand, attendees who was invited to the event is able to make purchase of the monster device (and how it was market was being the first in country or region to be the first batch that uses this godly device!). So at the price of SGD 429, attendees is able to walk home with a happy mood and anxious moments to rip the box up to unveil the inner beauty of the little monster!

 

The Course

Overall, the user-experience of the phone and the overall impression that I get from this phone is really awesome. Although it is slightly heavy but it is so much better for me where I do not need to lug two devices with me all the time.

When ASUS announced that they are all ready to release the rest of the devices (lower-end models where it comes with 5 inch or 5.5 inch with approximately 2GB of RAM), I totally do not even consider about it and quickly placed an order for the 5 inch one as a present to my dad. At that point of time, my dad was using the XiaoMi 1s where it is his first smart phone that he has been using for awhile until it decided to be a little cranky. So, without even considering that it will be hard for him to adopt, I persuaded him that it is the best choice because I have been a happy user for weeks.

 

Half-Time (Summary)

At this point of time, we already have two devices under the hood right now where the father and son are both using it.

 

Let the action roll…

Well, after a couple of days into using the device, my dad suddenly feedback to me on the first issue he had with the phone.

Problem (ASUS ZenFone 2, 5 inch – Dad’s Phone): The phone loses connectivity to the network all of a sudden. No calls can be received and no data can go through too.

Troubleshooting Steps:

  1. Restart the device: Did this so many times until we can’t remember exactly how many times we did it in order to have the network recovered.
  2. Change of SIM Card: Well, naturally such problem scenario could be problem lead by the failure on the network but it seems like it is not because none of us within the family is using any other telecom except for Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel). Therefore, this problem is definitely ruled out. So I realized that the SIM card in the phone may be faulty because my dad has been using it for years so I went to the SingTel shop to get it replaced.
  3. Hard reset the device: We could barely remember how many times we did a factory reset on the phone!

Before I continue with part two of the ranting, let’s look into problem scenario for my own phone.

Problem (ASUS ZenFone 2, 5.5 inch, 4GB RAM – my phone): This is one weird problem with the phone. So the sequence is as followed:

  1. Out of the sudden, the phone will get heated up by itself.
  2. The screen will display the round image where it appears only when you uses the ASUS ZenFone flip cover. (The smart screen)
  3. Nothing you do will wake the phone up non shut it down.
  4. Do note that for this series, the battery is embedded and is not able to be removed.
  5. So it will drain the battery up by itself within a couple of minutes.
  6. Then it will just be dead, just dead.

There is simply nothing I can do to troubleshoot this device as it is beyond my level. So I headed over to the service centre at 313 Orchard to get it fix.

 

Where the frustrations lies…

Here we go:

Have been to the ASUS Service Centre on the following dates:

    • 21st May 2015 – Sent in my ASUS ZenFone 2 (4GB) to repair
    • 23rd May 2015 – Sent in my dad ASUS ZenFone 2 (2GB) to repair and to collect my ASUS ZenFone 2 (4GB).
    • 24th May 2015 – Sent in my ASUS ZenFone 2 (4GB) AGAIN and collected my dad ASUS ZenFone 2 (2GB).
    • 26th May 2015 – Collected my ASUS ZenFone 2 (4GB)

And what’s the result till now? Both device still doesn’t work at all.

 

  1. Look at the frequency that I have been visiting the service centre although it is for two devices.
  2. Every time I collected my device, I asked the customer service officer (CSO) on what was fixed but all they could tell me is that some parts has been replaced and tested. This is not good enough in my opinion.

Let’s take a look at some of the screen shot I have in terms of the receipt for the repair:

Dad’s ZenFone 2 (2GB)

So the engineer within ASUS Singapore have determined it is the motherboard that is faulty, therefore they have replaced it. However, problem still persists after changing the heart of the device.

 

My ZenFone 2 (4GB)

So, all the ASUS engineer could do is to change the motherboard. Now, I wonder, is it changing from someone else reported set to my device and shit just goes round and round.

Patience level getting thinner and thinner.

Where I think the problem lies…

So let’s summarize on my thoughts on where the problem actually lies:

  1. The product actually sucks. Well, someone elsewhere may/would defer my statement as they may be enjoying their own set right now. It is ok, this is just my personal perspective or rather a perspective at least from a family of two out of fives putting our pledge and trust on ASUS mobile devices.
  2. The service centre that ASUS Headquarter has contracted to sucks. It is because they are the only contact person I ever spoke to during my whole period of getting my mobile device working fine all over again. No matter how much unhappiness I pour onto them, all they can do is to accept it and forget about it. I couldn’t explain more than enough my frustrations, the first time ever in my life after using the LG brand many years back where I have so much problem with the mobile phone.
  3. The engineer who are doing the actual fixing sucks. Well, all I could say they are the king behind the scene because whatever action they do, they either made one customer a happy person or a simple tweak on the phone could potentially just pissed another customer away. So, I am the lucky one.
  4. There is simply no clear communications between the service centre and the technical team that is doing the fixing. Look at the image below:

You saw? +Serv is the authorized service centre where it is part of ASUS job to outsource as much process as possible in order to make life easier for everywhere especially ASUS has been trying to lower the responsibility on customer support.

What’s next?

Well, all I could say is:

  1. ASUS, I have given up on your mobile phone device business. I shall not be contributing to the success of your BU anymore.
  2. Now the two devices are sitting in the drawer potentially being another paperweight (really an expensive one with no unique design).

I had my fair share of ranting, if you think you could regain my confidence level in you, please feel free to reach out to me. Else, let’s bid farewell and hope buyers out there who are thinking of getting a ZenFone 2 device, please do enough research before jumping into action!

Cheers,
Milton

Hey #ASUS–I hope you know this…

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Extra Battery Kit

On the 11th August this year, I went back to army camp to serve two weeks In-Camp Training (ICT) and I was happy that my camp is being flag as Green Zone. This is the kind of initiative that acknowledges what Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) has taken into consideration the suggestions given by National Service Men (NSMEN). This has really changes the attitude of NSMEN towards coming back to attend their ICT. It is because, with my mobile phone, I solve a couple of key issues.

  1. I do not need to switch to a non-camera phone candy-bar phone that I have been using since 2008 during my active times.
  2. I am able to catch up with my work email as and when possible during breaks.
  3. Information such as the contacts are at my fingertips through my usual phone.
  4. Entertainment during commuting is possible, not mandatory.
  5. Keeping up with social media. (Yes, my life revolves around social media, connecting people always!)

Here come the problem… Can smartphone out-win the battery life of a dumb phone? Well, the advantage of dumb phone is that the battery life is really really long! So I search on the forum and make sure that I optimize the settings to make sure it uses the least battery as much as possible. Here is some points that I have realized in order to get longer battery usage lifetime:

  1. Turn of the ever-synchronizing email – Well, my phone kept me connected to my work/personal/community email and make sure that I am reachable as much as possible. Turning this off means shutting the means to alert me whenever an email has arrived in my mailbox(es).
  2. Dim down the brightness of the screen – This is really painful especially when I am under bright sunlight and I could barely see anything on the phone.
  3. Use 3G cellular only! – No more speedy connection on the 4G network. – Well, not that bad right?
  4. Turn of data – Well, to be honest, this wasn’t an option to me. It just meant that I am using my smartphone as a dumb phone which is something that I will never ever compromise on.

So what kept me through the possible number of nights of outfield without power source? Yes, I could bring lots of power-bank with me but definitely there are a lot of downside to it such as being bulky and heavy.

I chose to try out the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Extra Battery Kit. It looks like this…

2014-08-12 21.48.36

Pricey? Yes and No. Samsung do carry and sells the battery itself but it is just SGD 9-10 different and this kit reminds me of the past where people always fancy “desktop charger”. It’s the kind of luxury where you need not be hooked on to the charger at the wall plug all the time while the phone is charging.

2014-08-12 21.48.29

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So it does Enhance my mobile smart life?

2014-08-12 21.51.06

Photo with all the items laid out on my desk…

2014-08-12 21.52.21

It possesses a simple but elegant look. There is something which I realize after using it for two weeks. The LED indicator as shown above only turn green if I uses the original Samsung Charger to charge. If I were to charge it with the 3rd Party Charger (Innergie Duo USB Wall Charger) ones, it doesn’t seems to be able to turn green even charging it for hours! It’s straight but it is kind of “smart” or would you regard it as “dumb”?

Cheers.

Regards,
Milton Goh

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Extra Battery Kit

Innergie Duo USB Wall Charger

As a mobile warrior who travels around Singapore for work purposes, I always complain how much I hate lugging on to heavy backpack that consists of my work laptop and other devices that keeps me connected to the internet world. So it has came to attention that because of the number of mobile devices that I have with me (Samsung Galaxy Note 3, Apple iPad and Samsung Galaxy Note 2); I realize that relying on the battery is totally impossible and therefore whenever I end up on one of the client site, I would definitely take all my charger to ensure that my devices are at least packed with more juices before I set off for another meeting.

I enjoy music while on the road a lot and whenever I left my earphone at home, I would complain that I am really lifeless! So music-less == lifeless? Oh well, that’s me! So recently I hooked up with a Bluetooth headphone (Jabra Rox) and I really love the convenient that I get for not tangling myself with cable. The headphone connects to my Samsung Galaxy Note 3 which I plays music of Spotify.

So with so many devices and each has it owns connector and different power consumption, I decided that I should end my pain of bringing so many chargers with me everyday and aim for a change with Innergie Duo USB Wall Charger that I picked off the shelf at the local computer store, Challenger.

2014-06-13 23.12.02

It looks simple just like any other charger head right?

2014-06-13 23.09.26

One thing that attracts me to pay over (SGD 40) for this is the keyword “Fast”! Well, who wants a slow charger? If I want a slow one, I would rather sticking back to USB charging via my laptop. One thing in fact why I need the “Fast” charging is because in the Samsung Galaxy Note series of the phone, the battery is huge, so is the phone! Therefore, charging via USB really kill my time. What is worst is when I am on the phone while charging, the amount of battery it drains is much more than how much it is consumed via charging it.

2014-06-13 23.09.52

Some of the specifications, those pretty much standard stuffs.

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Another thing that it is cool about is the 3 years warranty that I will be enjoying! Of course I wouldn’t want it to fail me…

2014-06-13 23.14.55

It’s in action right now!

I have not really tested the different between charging using Innergie and the original charger that comes with the various devices. I think it is worth while to take the measurement, I will do that the very next time!

Cheers.
Milton Goh

Innergie Duo USB Wall Charger

Combining the use of NFC, Samsung TecTiles and Samsung Galaxy Note II

Since I have gotten the Samsung Galaxy Note II for such a long time (I own it since Day 1) and probably have yet to explore *all* the features that are available. So I came across there was such an existence of Samsung TecTiles in the market and after some studying of it, I realize that it may be good use to me and many others out there.

Scenario

I subscribed to the Flexi Value plan from Singtel after July 1st last year and I am one of the many that have suffered a fair bit by downgrading from the usual 12GB data package to merely 3GB for me. Moreover, I used the same data package that is allocated to my mobile line and co-shared it with my iPad Mini. So logically, my usage has almost hit the tip almost every month! As such, I decided to only use Wi-Fi as much as possible as I am not the type of person who is willing to folk out a cent more for data usage if I have other means. Call me cheap or stingy but that’s my principle. 🙂 

So having to switch on the Wi-Fi every time I reached home and to turn it off when I am out of the Wi-Fi boundary is a little hassle! If I don’t turn it off when I am out of the range, it will probably and definitely sucked up more battery by searching for any available hotspot! 

Solution

  • Continue the hassle of switching it on and off.
  • Samsung TecTiles

 

 

So where do I paste the TecTiles?

I actually put it just below my monitor as shown in the image below.

2013-06-04 22.25.18

 

2013-06-04 22.25.34

 

I actually placed it here because that’s the most convenient place in my opinion. When I am home, I will hit the room and I can just placed my phone on top of the TecTiles, let it scan the details and my Wi-Fi will be turned on immediately! So simple~

Another place that I placed it is at the cupboard beside my bed, reason being that when I about to sleep, I could just scan against the TecTiles to switch my phone to vibration mode so that there wouldn’t be much disturbance to my sleep. 🙂

I hope you see the value of the Samsung TecTiles as much as I see it.

Updates

Embedded this video to show how it actually works for me.

Cheers!
Milton Goh

Combining the use of NFC, Samsung TecTiles and Samsung Galaxy Note II