Attending the HTC Touch HD launch party

A while ago, I attended a joint StarHub and HTC launch event for the HTC Touch HD and Touch 3G.

It was a Christmas-themed party at Supperclub!

Christmas tree

We were entertained by a Christmas caroling group.

Christmas caroling

I love Christmas carols. I used to go caroling when I was a kid and loved the rehearsals and the performing. Now, listening to Christmas songs always transports me to a magical realm of love and happiness.

Anyway, this a cappella group at the party was really good. Here’s a video of the singing… and the models!

I had the chance to play with the Touch HD but it’s hard to pay attention to something when you’re busy taking photos and videos. I never really like testing gadgets at events because there are always so many other distractions around.

All I remember is that the Touch HD is very pretty. Also, having the word “HD” in any name instantly makes it sound impressive.

HTC Touch HD

It should be impressive. It’s meant to be an iPhone killer.

Oops, don’t let Miss Cutie hear that.

Miss Cutie is my iPhone and I still love her!

(Well, don’t look at me. I didn’t name her. The Goonfather did! Wahaha.)

Georgina Chang was the host for the evening, looking resplendent in her glittery golden top, so dazzling that you can see only a white blur in my photos.

Georgina Chang

Georgina Chang

She didn’t adhere to the dress code of the party, which was black. Very naughty. But I suppose hosts have dress code immunity.

I didn’t have such immunity, so I dressed in black… and kind of blended in with the HTC models.

Can you spot me? *lol*

Sheylara and HTC models

And then I realised that the majority of the guests were not in black!

Guests

Sheesh.

I wanted to take photos of the food but they weren’t static. They kept moving about.

Food items were carted around on trays that night by waiters. I didn’t want to stress the waiters by making them stop in the middle of their routes to pose for photos.

Being so conscientious, I think I make a bad journalist.

But, well, I have more pictures of the models. That has to count for something.

Guests

Guests

And the mandatory underexposed, out-of-focus camwhore pic!

Guests

I was trying to be very subtle lah, so couldn’t spend a lot of effort getting a picture right. Since this wasn’t a blogger event, I was among people who aren’t used to the new age concept of camwhoring.

And I was already getting stares because I kept getting in the way of the models while taking videos of them showcasing the phone.

Maybe some people even thought I was part of the show, showcasing my camera, since I was dressed like the models, which wasn’t my fault because we were supposed to dress that way lor!

Ironically, while the organisers tried to get everyone to dress in black to look like the HTC phones, they went and dressed the phones in fancy colours, instead.

Guests

Guests

I find that amusing. But the phones do look quite appealing, even though I’m a proponent of simplicity.

Anyway, thanks to this party, I am now officially in the mood for Christmas! Will be playing my Jewel Christmas CD ad nauseum once again. Titled Joy — A Holiday Collection, it’s my favourite Christmas CD of all time.

I first heard Jewel’s Hark! The Herald Angels Sing in a Trans-Siberian Orchestra DVD (another favourite) and cried to that, which prompted me to buy her Christmas compilation.

Okay, that was quite a long time ago so I don’t want to make a big deal of it.

Oh wait, I found a YouTube video of that performance.

It’s such a beautiful rendition of a beautiful song.

If you’re wondering what’s up with the little girl standing awkwardly on the stage, this clip is part of a Christmas story about a girl who ran away from home and then decided to return after meeting an old man who takes her on a magical musical journey.

So, well… Merry Christmas in advance! Don’t wait to do your Christmas shopping!

Bloggers stress test the HTC Touch Diamond

So, I think bloggers are a really scary breed of new media journalists. Since they don’t answer to anyone but themselves, they can afford to display higher than normal levels of curiosity and skepticism.

Also, without the need to rush back to the office to file a story, they can afford to hang around after an event to badger the product specialist.

Here’s what happens when you invite bloggers to your event.

Other things that happen include excessive camwhoring and badly-taken photographs.

Examples of camwhoring:

[HOW!]
From left: DK, Jayden, Nadnut (front), Sabrina (back), Sheylara, Claudia, Precious

[Black is the new black]
Surfing to Sheylara.com on the HTC Touch Diamond

[Lightning never strikes on the same spot]
Jayden was really pleased with the phone

Examples of badly-taken photographs:

[She forgot her lines]
The host of the event read off cue-cards the whole time

[It was like magnet]
The HTC Touch Diamond tagline: Not too big, not too small

[Crowds scare me]
The talk was held in a very ostentatious ballroom

Examples of badly-taken camwhoring photographs:

[It was like magnet]
Sheylara and Precious hang out in the toilet

[What?]
Sheylara and Precious enjoy a lipstick break

Sidetrack a bit.

Some guys have asked why women like to take photos in the toilet.

That’s the wrong question.

The right question should be: Why do women like to take photos anywhere?

To which the answer is: Do women need a reason to do anything?

End of sidetrack.

I guess I should talk about the phone but I’m really tired now, so I’ll just do the point-form thingy.

[Sparkling HTC Touch Diamond]

What I like about the HTC Touch Diamond

  • At the outset, HTC is already pretty well-known for producing reliable and function-rich PDA phones.
  • It looks really sleek, with a glossy piano black surface and, as the tagline proclaims, is “not too big, not too small”.
  • It runs on HSDPA for Internet connectivity and is the fastest you can get on mobile phones right now. I tried it. It’s really fast.
  • The interface is kinda like the iPhone. You can use your finger or the attached stylus to grab stuff on/off the screen.
  • It has a graphics processor! Which means watching videos on this phone is really sweet.
  • When surfing the net, you can zoom in to read passages of text and the phone automatically wraps the text for you so you don’t have to scroll left-right!! And the zooming is instantaneous, no waiting for the browser to reload the page.
  • It doesn’t allow external memory but has 4GB of storage, which I think is enough.
  • When you’re in a phone conversation and pull out your stylus, the phone automatically displays a notepad so you can take notes.
  • It has a built-in Google Maps GPS program so you will never need to get lost again!

[Maps!]
A live demo of the phone’s Internet connectivity

What I don’t like about the HTC Touch Diamond

  • The interface is kinda sluggish, with a 1-2 second delay, when you navigate the touch screen with your fingers. That problem seems to be minimised when you use the stylus, though.
  • HTC claims that it has an intuitive interface that mimics tasks you do daily so you won’t need to read a menu to learn how to use the phone. But I wouldn’t say it’s immediately intuitive. Like, when I wanted to scroll through the phone book to watch the nifty animation, I ended up calling some guy, instead. Then I couldn’t figure out how to stop the call and go back to the phone book.
  • It’s too expensive at $1098.

Well, in a nutshell, if I were really rich, I would definitely get it. (Wouldn’t we all?) The phone will be available for purchase in June this year.

I wonder if I can get HTC to sponsor me one! ;)

But I really enjoy attending media events because I get, if not free phones, then free food.

[Food]
Farinelli couldn’t wait to dig into the food

[Fooder]

[Foodest]

There was actually a lot more food than this, but I was really, really hungry and decided to neglect my duties as a sometimes food blogger and just start eating.

Feed the hungry blogger!

Please invite me to more of such events because I’m really hungry.

lol.

After the event, some of us went on a bus field trip.

[Happy campers]

[Lone rangers]

I shan’t tell you where we went!

lol.

Why I love the LG KS20

Sponsored

I’m actually very surprised to say this but I am totally in love with the LG KS20!! (And I’m not just saying that because this is an advertorial.) I’m pleasantly surprised because I’ve been a Nokia fan since forever and never thought I’d like phones of other brands. Haha.

[I love my LG KS20!]

Ok this photo is damn weird, makes my face look long.

But never mind that since this blog is about the phone and not about how my face looks. Oh, yeah, I’d better post an official picture of the phone because my photos can never do justice to the KS20 since I’m so fond of taking photos in bad lighting.

So, professional photo!

[The LG KS20]

Sleek and shiny and slim! Doesn’t it look good? It looks as designer-ish as the LG Prada but is cheaper and better. In my opinion, the LG KS20 is the prettiest smartphone available in the market right now, so I don’t see what’s not to like about it.

[The LG KS20]

Okay, but that’s just me. I know I can’t fool all the rest of you non-bimbo types who could care less about looks.

So, let’s talk about other aspects of the phone.

I must be partial because my credibility is very important to me. So let me say this first: The KS20 isn’t perfect.

OMG I’ve said it.

*Waits to be smote by lightning*

*Nothing*

Okay, see? Being honest is safe.

[The LG KS20]

So.

I’m going to make it very easy for you. I’ll do a pros and cons list instead of try to sound like some expert thesis writer using big words and convoluted syntax to trick people into thinking that I know more than I actually do.

Okay, list.

What’s Great About the LG KS20

  • It’s sooooo beautiful. (I know. Starting my list with that declaration probably just shot my credibility as a reviewer to pieces but, really, it’s sooooo beautiful.)
  • The phone has a piano black finish! I mean, that sounds so classy and elegant, does it not! It makes me feel classy and elegant using it, even if everyone will claim that there are six degrees of separation between “classy and elegant” and Sheylara.

    [Me and the LG KS20]
    Pretending to be classy and elegant but not succeeding because of the cute flowers on the shoulder and the act-cute pose.

  • It’s fully touchscreen. That means you’ll look really cool sitting in the MRT poking all over your phone with either your finger or the stylus. You could even do it one-handed with your SMS-trained nimble thumb.
  • Best of all, the touchscreen doesn’t do dodgy things like launch applications by itself just because your face is touching it when you answer phone calls! In phone-call mode, the KS20 will automatically retard the touchscreen function so you don’t start launching stupid applications accidentally.
  • It runs on Windows Mobile 6 Pro like most smartphones worth any salt, so it’s very easy to get used to the interface if you’re a Windows PC user.

    [The UI!]

  • It supports GPRS, EDGE, WiFi, Bluetooth 2.0 and HSDPA (3.6Mbps). The last one is VERY IMPORTANT because it gives you the fastest mobile Internet connection.
  • It’s the smallest and slimmest Windows Mobile 6 smartphone you can find out there right now (weighs 92.5g and measures 100mm x 58mm x 12.8mm).

    [Sleek and slim]

  • You can do e-mails on outlook. (So make sure you don’t let your boss know that you own this phone.)

    [E-mailing]

  • You can choose between using the Qwerty keypad, which you can poke at with the stylus (or your fingers if you have baby-sized fingers), and using the handwriting feature.
  • It has two camera lenses so you can camwhore effectively by switching the lens to the screen side to see yourself when snapping the picture! (Well, that’s not really unique but it’s cool all the same!)

    [Camwhoring made easy]

  • You can flip the screen to landscape mode to minimise left-right scrolling of web pages.

    [Landscape mode]

  • The Geekfather tells me that the phone is powered by Qualcomm’s MSM7200 400 MHz processor with 256MB ROM and 128MB of RAM, which all sounds like gibberish to me, but it means that I can open like eight applications on the phone before it starts lagging, It’s REALLY AWESOME. Better than my ex-PC! Haha.
  • You can choose to navigate the phone using either the Windows UI or switch to mobile phone UI if you prefer your phone looking like a phone rather than acting like a PC.

    [Traditional phone UI]

  • For a brand new launch, it’s cheap at $888 for all the features it promises, I mean compared to the iPhone when it was first launched.

What’s Not So Great About the LG KS20

  • It’s a fingerprint magnet. But most beautiful elegant glossy sleek black phones are, so that’s just something we as vain human beings have to learn to live with.
  • The screen is pretty small for a smartphone (2.8″) but it’s big enough for me. I mean, if you want a small and sleek phone, you can’t expect the screen to get any bigger.
  • The USB port isn’t a regular USB port, so you have to lug around a special USB cable to use the USB on the go.

    [USB port]

  • The audio jack doesn’t support regular 3.5mm earphones, which means another cable to lug around.
  • The phone only supports up to a 2GB microSD card for additional storage. But what if I want to have my entire MP3 collection in my phone so I can look really well-connected and trendy? Or if I want to film a three-hour party or something like that?
  • The handwriting recognition is a little slow. After you write something (whether a letter, a word, or a whole sentence), it will wait like two seconds before whatever you wrote gets input. That means, to get your money’s worth, you should always write whole sentences at once instead of a word at a time.
  • If you’re using the casing that comes with the phone, the stylus is quite hard to pluck out because the case gets in the way.
  • The camera is only 2 megapixels and the photo quality isn’t that great, so I still have to use my Lumix for photo-taking.

That’s it for my list. I may have missed out a few things but don’t get upset because nobody and nothing is perfect. ;)

But the KS20 works well for me because its faults are something I can live with and the pluses more than make up for the minuses.

In a nutshell, the LG KS20 is for you if you want something as pretty as the iPhone and as feature-rich as the latest PDA at a budget price!

But don’t just take my word for it. I welcome all smartphone fans and experts to agree or disagree with me.

Fire away!

Bloggers and models at LG KS20 launch

I love hanging out with bloggers because they do the most insane things.

Last night, the Most Insane Award went to Rinaz for performing the insane feat of conversing with herself over the phone.

(Incidentally, Rinaz also won an award I gave out last year, the Ping.sg Slackiest Latecomer Award. She’s a sly one, sweeping all my awards!)

A bunch of bloggers had been invited by Princess Sabrina to the LG KS20 (which is a mobile phone, in case you’ve been living in the sewers) launch event at Corduroy Cafe (VivoCity).

So, Rinaz was testing the phone by using it to call herself, and then actually having a conversation with herself. What a silly gal!

But I like!

I also liked the free food, the pretty long-legged models, the hanging out with bloggers and, of course, the LG KS20!

But I know you guys only want to see photos of the models, so here they are.

After a yummy buffet dinner, the girls were despatched to entice guests with the mobile phone. They went from table to table and allowed us to play with them (the phones, that is) while they stood by to answer questions.

Sometimes, a model was stuck at a particular table forever. As if the phone were that fascinating.

And then the video interviews started.

First, Rinaz video interviewed Claudia (and everyone else she could hijack) for feedback on the phone.

Then, Farinelli decided to get in on the act and starting hijacking people for video interviews, too. Nic was one of his willing victims, speaking at length about his first impressions of the KS20.

DK decided to be special and modelled the phone by reprising his famous face-on-table pose.


Original face-on-table photo by DK

I didn’t get the angle correct because I couldn’t remember what the original looked like.

All the bloggers were so thrilled that they made him stay in that position forever so they could take photo after photo. But he grew weary very soon and cheated by padding his head with his hand.

We were making such a big hooha that we attracted the official event photographer (behind DK), who came to take photos of this silliness.

And then came the highlight of the night, which, most of the time, is a lucky draw. Two phones were up for grabs, a KS20 and a KF600.

Pretty Estee won the KF600! What a lucky girl! The phone isn’t even launched in Singapore yet so she’s the very first person in Singapore to own that phone.

Some bloke won the KS20. I’m not posting his photo here because I don’t know who he is and, well, he’s a bloke. Hah.

After the festivities, the bloggers hung around the restaurant past their (our) welcome to start on the obligatory camwhoring.


Left to right: Rinaz, Nadnut, Jayden, Sheylara, Ice Angel


Me and Jayden.


Ice Angel and me.


Me and Nic.


Model Nicole and me.


Model Nicole and me again.

I’m going to talk about the phone only after I’ve had more time to play with it, so watch out for my review!

In the meantime, you can read some of the other bloggers’ reviews: