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Authors Posts by Ivan Teo

Ivan Teo

Ivan Teo
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Friends of Ivan call him an over-achiever. He is an avid traveller, tech geek and a foodie. Always on the lookout for travel destinations, experiences, gadgets and new dishes to surprise his taste buds, Ivan is also an avid photographer, vocalist and guitar player wannabe.

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    Huawei nova 3i front

    From OPPO and Nokia to LG and ASUS, the “iPhone X notch” feature seems to be the new design language for Android phones. Even though Huawei’s latest mid-range smartphone, Huawei nova 3i, sports the “same notch”, making it less differentiated look-wise, the Chinese company is certainly pulling all the stops to offer you a superior mid-range phone that aims to give you more bang for your buck. Here’s what we discovered about the phone.

    Design

    One thing we noticed immediately during unboxing is how good the phone sits on our palm. The material and weight has a nice balance to it. It has a seamless unibody feel and we like how the front and back glass blends into the matte aluminum-magnesium alloy sides (we have the matte black version). The nova 3i has a 6.3-inch display and according to Huawei, houses a world’s first front-facing dual cameras (24MP + 2MP) with AI support.

    Huawei nova 3i back
    The front and back glass is a fingerprint magnet but we are loving it

    On the minimalist frame, you will find a few key buttons and ports. On the left is a hybrid nano-SIM tray and on the right, a volume rocker and a power/lock button. The bottom of the frame houses a 3.5mm audio port, microphone, loudspeaker, and micro USB port. A fingerprint scanner is nested neatly at the back together with the 16MP + 2MP rear cameras. The phone comes in Iris Purple and Black and we prefer the latter more than the more snazzy purple gradient one.

    “We want to empower our customers with access to high-end technologies and create value for the budget-conscious,” said Cheng Jiangfei, MD, Huawei Singapore. “With the HUAWEI nova 3i, our customers can enjoy exceptional quality and premium functionalities at a fraction of the price.”

    Specifications

    Powered with an all-new quad-core Kirin 710 chip, the nova 3i delivers a responsive and smooth performance when running the EMUI 8.2.0 operating system. The 4GB RAM ensures that running multiple apps is smooth and doesn’t affect its performance. For mobile gamers,  Huawei nova 3i uses GPU Turbo, a graphics processing accelerator technology, to optimise its graphics processing capability. Its battery capacity of 3,340mAh is good for a full day of use with video streaming, hotspot tethering and gaming used intermittently throughout the day.

    Camera

    Ah, the camera. Our favourite part of the review. Huawei nova 3i has a total of four AI cameras (Front: 24MP and 2MP, Rear: 16MP and 2MP)! These cameras can recognise over 200 scenes across eight categories including sky, plant and beach. Although Huawei says that the AI feature can optimise photos to create a “true-to-life effect”, we find the images, especially for food images over saturated and artificial if the AI mode is switched on. We ended up turning off AI to get a more natural-looking shot (see food image below). One thing good about the Huawei camera software is that you can decide if you want the AI enhancements after the shot is taken. Simply toggle the effect on and off when in gallery mode to see what you prefer.

    The camera software is also full of features. From “aperture” mode that allows you to adjust the depth of field to an endless selection of filters and professional shooting modes (manual settings and long exposure), we had a field day just playing with the cameras. Here are some shots we took.

    Huawei nova 3i - indoor shot
    The phone balances the lighting well even in backlit conditions
    Huawei nova 3i - outdoor details
    The camera locks focus fast is fast but the shots lacks sharpness and image looks soft
    Huawei nova 3i - aperture mode
    We shot this in Aperture mode to help bring out the subject. Even with a complicated scene like this, the camera can detect where the focus should be. However, go easy on the f-stops as it can make the images look fake when you drop it too much. Play around to see what works
    Huawei nova 3i - night shot
    If you want sharp images at night, you need really steady hands
    Huawei nova 3i - selfie
    One of the key features of this phone is the 24M AI camera. As you can see, thanks for the camera, I looked fine even with my blotchy skin and floppy hair. There is also a slight reddish hue on the skin
    Huawei nova 3i - food shot
    For food shots, we find that it is best to turn off the AI mode as it may get saturated. This gives the food shots a more natural looking balance
    Huawei nova 3i - macro
    Close up shots are decent. Although flower shots tend to be soft

     

    Pricing and Availability

    You don’t have to wait long for HUAWEI nova 3i. The S$398 phone will debut on 28 July 2018 at Waterway Point Shopping Mall, East Wing Atrium, B2. Huawei is also throwing in a free Casio G-SHOCK Analog-Digital Watch (worth $199) with every purchase of the nova 3i, while stocks last.

    Conclusion

    Huawei nova 3i definitely punches above its weight when compared to phone in this price range and is a great phone for causal users. We love the large display and the premium build quality but some improvements can be made to the single speaker to make it more compelling. But it’s not a deal breaker and throwing on a pair of good quality headphones for your ME-dia time will solve the problem. The camera is decent but we had high hopes for the company that has produced one of the most sought after LEICA phone camera. But hey, at this price point, the Huawei nova 3i is already pretty hard to beat.

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      Apple's Beats decade collection

      Apple’s latest 10th Year Anniversary Beats Decade Collection headphones is finally here in Singapore. Launched earlier in other markets, the limited edition collection is now available to buy directly from Singapore Apple Store.

      The collection consists of 5 models and showcases a “Defiant Black-Red” colour scheme–a black matte finish with red accents on the drums, band, cable and the signature logo. The 5 models of Beats headphones in the Decade Collection are Studio3 Wireless, Beats X, Beats Solo3 Wireless, Powerbeats3 Wireless and urBeats 3.

      10th Year Anniversary Beats Decade Collection - Studio3
      10th Year Anniversary Beats Decade Collection – Studio3
      10th Year Anniversary Beats Decade Collection - Powerbeats3
      10th Year Anniversary Beats Decade Collection – Powerbeats3

      Pricing and Details

      Beats Studio3 Wireless headphones, S$478

      With a debossed earcup, classic red cable, and custom linen case, the collection’s Beats Studio3 Wireless headphones deliver premium sound and uses Pure Adaptive Noise Canceling technology to cut out noise for a more immersive experience. Design-wise, this set of Studio3 Wireless is differentiated from previous models with an “EST 08” emboss on the left ear cup pad and a carrying case with the letters “TEN YRS” on it.

      Beats Solo3 Wireless headphones, S$398

      Beats Solo3 Wireless headphones is the on-ear model from Beats that deliver premium sound wirelessly up to 40 hours of playtime. It also features a carrying case with the letters “TEN YRS” on it.

      Powerbeats3 Wireless earphones, S$268

      Powerbeats3 Wireless earphones with its sweat and water resistant properties is designed for runners and sports enthusiasts. It is capable of up to 12 hours of battery life and has secure-fit earhooks to ensure the earpiece stays in place during your workout.

      BeatsX Wireless earphones, S$198

      The collection’s BeatsX wireless earphones is refreshed with a striking red Flex-Form cable that is famed for its “anti-tangle”. The wireless playback lasts up to 8 hours and 5-minute charge with Fast Fuel gives you back 2 hours of playback.

      urBeats3 earphones, S$138

      urBeats3 earphones with the flat tangle-free cable is sold with either a Lightning or 3.5mm headphone connection. While the Studio3 and Solo3 comes in a black case, urBeats3 Decade Collection supplies a red carrying case with the letters “TEN YRS” on it.

      All models are also available at all Beats authorised dealers in Singapore.

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        OPPO R15

        OPPO has came a long way since its “thinnest smartphone” days, a feature that in recent years has lost its appeal as a competitive feature. The OPPO smartphones today are feature-rich and focuses on camera optics innovation, not unlike many other smartphone makers out there. The recently launched OPPO R15 took a leaf out of R11 — the world’s first 20MP front and 20MP + 16MP rear dual camera then — to offer the same selfie quality but unfortunately a “lesser” dual-lens camera. If camera specifications are your thing, OPPO also launched a more premium R15 Pro that offers the same optics as the R11. More on that later.

        Design

        Design-wise, there is nothing exceptionally outstanding or underwhelming about the R15. It has a good size, fits well in your hand and the reflective glass back does give the phone a premium look and feel. The increasingly common notch you see on the front doesn’t bother me as much but it does make the phone look similar to the iPhone X. There are 3 colours to choose from; Rouge Red, Frost White and Nebula Purple. My favourite is Nebula Purple, only because I am a subtle kinda guy.

        OPPO R15 screen OPPO R15 back

        Specifications

        R15 runs on a MediaTek Helio P60 2GHz Octa-core processor, 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage with the option of increasing it further with a microSD card. The generous 6.28-inch OLED screen has a resolution of 1080 x 2280 pixels that is powered with a 3450mAh battery.

        Camera

        Now comes the most note-worthy part. The camera.

        Like I said earlier, it seems like the new battleground for phones is in the camera optics and technology department. The OPPO R15 (and R15 Pro) is the first to adopt the SONY IMX519 sensor, SONY’s latest generation of image sensors that improve shooting speed and sensitivity. This upgrade is also means the new models can provide users with the ability to check HDR shots in real-time. OPPO attaches a bright wide angle 16-megapixel + 5 megapixel f/1.7 dual rear cameras for everyday shots and a 20-megapixel f/2.0 front camera for selfie lover.

        AI Technology

        Perhaps one of the most stand-out feature for the OPPO R15 series is the harnessing of Artificial Intelligence for photography. Here’s how the phone is using AI to improve your shot:

        • AI Portrait Mode that has 3D portrait lighting capabilities and gives the image a nice bokeh effect. The is only available for the dual rear camera.
        • AI Scene Recognition that can identify 120 scenes and 16 tags and auto adjust camera settings to capture a subject or scene.
        • AI Beauty that draws from millions of beautification schemes to enhance skin colour and texture. If you like flawless skin before posting on Instagram, you no longer have to do it on an app like Meitu, the phone basically does it for you real-time. I know my mom will be very happy with this feature.

        Here are some straight-out-of-the-phone images for reference:

        OPPO R15 macro shot
        Macro shots from R15 is sharp and has a nice bokeh
        OPPO R15 outdoor shots under shade
        The phone handles outdoor well but tends to lose details for more complicated patterns
        OPPO R15 outdoor
        Another outdoor shot with challenging lighting
        OPPO R15 selfie example
        For indoor and outdoor selfies, the shots came out sharp and balances the surrounding lights well. If you like porcelain skin and slightly enlarged eyes, you can achieve that effortlessly this phone
        OPPO R15 mixed lighting
        For extreme conditions, like a mix of direct sun and shade, the camera was able to balance the range well
        OPPO R15 general shots
        For general shots, the camera is capable of capturing good colour range and details

        Price

        You can get your OPPO R15 online or in-stores at a recommended retail price of S$749. If you have a little more budget to spare, we suggest going for the OPPO R15 Pro (S$899). For $150 more, you get a better camera, NFC capabilities and most importantly, IP67 water resistant and dust-proof design to shield you from the unpredictable Singapore weather.

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        Halsey’s Hopeless Fountain Kingdom World Tour Singapore 2018
        Source: www.apactix.com

        American pop star Halsey will be kicking off her Southeast Asian leg of her “Hopeless Fountain Kingdom” World Tour in 8 August 2018.

        The concert, her first full-fledged concert here in Singapore, will take place at Star Vista’s The Star Theatre, making it her second time performing here. Her debut performance was during the Singapore Grand Prix back in 2016.

        The Grammy Award nominated singer announced her six-month long worldwide tour earlier this year which brings her to Southeast Asia includes Philippines and Indonesia.

        Indonesia’s rising star NIKI is picked to open the show for Halsey for all her Asian dates.

        The world tour is to promote her latest album “Hopeless Fountain Kingdom” which peaked at number one on both the US and Canadian Billboard charts.

        Halsey, whose real name is Ashley Frangipane, rose to fame with her debut album “Badlands” in 2015 which obtained platinum status in America and gold in Australia, Brazil, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

        She also collaborated with The Chainsmokers for their chart-topping hit single “Closer” earning her a Grammy nomination in the Best Pop Duo/Group Performance category last year.

        Fans can purchase tickets to Halsey’s Singapore concert at www.apactix.com. Prices range from S$88 to S$158.

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          Chinese New Year 2018 is the year of the Earth Dog and will start on 4 February 2018, or the start of spring (立春). This year, we consult Dato Joey Yap to find out what’s in store for you (and us) in the areas of Wealth, Career, Love and Health. Read on to find out how you fare.

          Don’t know which Chinese zodiac you belong to? Use our zodiac calculator to find out by simply keying in your birth year:

          Dog 狗 🐶

          Overall Luck

          • 2018 is a mixed bag with a fair share of personal and professional problems, even as you attain success
          • Matters from one aspect of your life could spill over into others – which is why the positive boost and confidence in your work life may be one of the reasons you encounter personal life problems
          • Your ability to summon the same inner strength you get from your job to overcome these obstacles will determine how successful you are at coming out on top

          Wealth

          • You might be constantly worried about a potential financial loss
          • Weaker Indirect Luck means good fortune is not in your favour
          • Manage your finances effectively – focus on saving money, don’t gamble or hit slot machines, and cautiously sign new contracts

          Career

          • A lot of work-related pressure and harsh superiors – could result in productivity decrease
          • Consistency and determination is key to deal with this tough work year
          • Unwise to move jobs – make the best out of the current situation

          Relationships (Love)

          • Weak love prospects – these are demanding times for couples
          • Married couples should practice tolerance because even simple misunderstandings can result in a big decline in bond strength
          • Single people have to contend with a largely isolated social life – should focus on other life aspects instead

          Health

          • Road safety is crucial – could lead to severe injuries if not alert on sidewalks or when driving
          • Avoid using metallic objects as it could contain rust or other harmful materials
          • Might experience digestive complications so you should diet and exercise more

           

          Pig 猪 🐷

          Overall Luck

          • A great year to showcase your capabilities and earn the career advancement and business development you’ve been eyeing for
          • You’ll also acquire heightened popularity, from gaining friends easily to making great business proposals that translate into thrilling investments
          • However, being the life of the party could be draining, so schedule some personal time away from work and people every week to unwind and prevent negativity from burning you out

          Wealth

          • Could encounter plenty of obstacles early in the year – e.g. revenues and savings stagnation
          • Careful preparation and positivity can resolve this quickly
          • After that, a surge of wealth by promotion or bonus pay could occur, but people might be petty to return money borrowed from you

          Career

          • Aid from colleagues will help you conquer minor obstacles
          • These strong alliances will help you overcome any resistance that could undermine your productivity
          • You can thus showcase your talents to highly appreciative superiors

          Relationships (Love)

          • Presence of Sky Happiness Star ensures love comes to your doorstep as opposed to last year’s dull forecast
          • 2018 will be filled with joyous events – long-term couples should begin marriage plans before the year ends
          • Single people might be able to finally start a romantic relationship so they should be vigilant in their social circles

          Health

          • Unfortunate health prospects this year
          • Unknowingly participating in ill-fated events could lead to physical and psychological issues
          • Sky Happiness Star can protect you from harm as long as you exercise diligently and avoid extreme activities

           

          Rat 鼠 🐭

          Overall Luck

          • 2018 is the year individuals should take their personal development to the next level, thanks to the support of the Eight Seats Star
          • Expect your fortunes to increase, and an enhanced ability to learn – consider picking up new skillsets, improving current skills, or even enrolling in courses to add value to your abilities
          • Academicians, scholars or students will especially benefit from this powerful boost

          Wealth

          • Prepare for a potential monetary loss due to unlucky financial investments or delayed reimbursements
          • Counter this situation by purchasing real estate at the start of the year – don’t pour savings into heavy investment schemes
          • Overall, a smooth-sailing financial year

          Career

          • A rocky career year – focus on career advancement instead of petty people
          • Soon, the noise of the petty people will soon fade and you can start reaping the benefits e.g. promotion and pay raise
          • Also, embrace help from generous people to have a stable career in 2018

          Relationships (Love)

          • Good year to start romantic relationships – single people should be alert in their social gatherings to find that special someone
          • Couples’ don’t fare too well in the health sector – could even lead to hospitalisation
          • Encourage your partner to engage in sports and compound your earnings to afford a healthier diet

          Health

          • Pay extra attention to your well-being as the Blood Knife Star appears in your midst
          • Avoid participation in extreme sports like hiking to evade serious injuries
          • However, the Nobleman Star’s presence will ensure aid is nearby for your health problems

           

          Ox 牛 🐂

          Overall Luck

          • This will be a good year to improve your financial standing, so explore opportunities whenever possible
          • Female-dominated industries would more likely prosper this coming year and you’ll also receive timely assistance from the women in your life (e.g. a female senior manager could offer helpful advice or even a promotion recommendation) – so be open to this generosity
          • Your good luck could be tainted if you indulge to much in the excess of wealth without keeping your ego in check – remember to keep a level head and practice self-restrain

          Wealth

          • The Moon Star’s in your Wealth Palace predicts great wealth accumulation in 2018
          • Could witness surprising pay rise in your job through bonuses or promotion
          • However, be aware your finances – invest in decent real estate and avoid risky financial investment

          Career

          • Little to no fluctuations in your work
          • The Broken Star could still cause disruptions between you and your colleagues however
          • Be composed around your peers and work diligently – eventually you’ll gain the respect and help of your colleagues

          Relationships (Love)

          • Absence of Peach Blossom Luck signifies unlucky prospects for single people
          • However, single people should still socialise as they might discover their romantic partner
          • Stable couples should move forward with their wedding plans

          Health

          • A negative turn of events is implied due to an inauspicious star’s presence in your Palace
          • Medical receipts could be a usual sight if health is not taken seriously
          • Consult a doctor if you contract a serious illness so that it won’t fester, and take up a sport to mitigate these issues

           

          Tiger 虎 🐯

          Overall Luck

          • Both welcome and unwelcome events play out through the year – a significant boost in wealth and success regarding business and professional aspects can be expected although you need to put in the hard work (like planning out a sound strategies) to be richly rewarded
          • Malicious lies and rumours about you being spread around could lead to misunderstandings between you and people who’re important to you – additionally, be wary of who you trust as they could turn on you
          • Be careful in your social interactions or you might get into legal entanglements. Unwanted chaos in money matters could also appear so manage your finances properly and avoid making large investments or lending money
          • Having to deal with all this could lead to emotional volatility, which is understandable, just don’t let it consume you

          Wealth

          • 2018 indicates early financial losses due to poor investment returns and mismanaged budgeting
          • However, the presence of a Noble person somewhat mitigates these problems – they’ll ensure you acquire your necessary assets despite your constant spending all year long
          • Consider donating to a charity you admire as a sign of paying it forward for the assistance you received

          Career

          • Expect disputes stemming from misunderstandings with superiors and colleagues to happen this year – thus, be watchful of your interactions
          • Also, be alert for certain malicious colleagues looking to double-cross you
          • Presence of Three Stages Star should help to reduce workplace hostility – do your part in improving your communication competency to avoid future work disputes

          Relationships (Love)

          • The Three Stages Star signifies togetherness – unmarried couples in a loving relationship should thus strongly consider marriage to solidify the bond
          • Single people wanting to be in a relationship should continue searching despite the absence of Peach Blossom Luck; this is because the Three Combinations Star shines upon them

          Health

          • Inauspicious stars in your Palace call for extra vigilance over your health
          • Be ready for any attacks by diseases on your body by maintaining your hygiene and consuming all proper vitamins and minerals
          • Consider asking people to join you in doing physical activity in a team sport, and seek immediate treatment if you do fall sick

           

          Rabbit 兔 🐰

          Overall Luck

          • Expect to be surrounded by abundance of love and support from kind and generous people – if you’re aiming for career growth, you’ll easily find experienced mentors willing to guide you to success
          • Also, you’ll be invited to many places and make many new friends which could lead to great collaborations in your favour – you’ll get an extra edge in job hunting and business investments. Someone will also aid you in personal finance management
          • All this however could distract from your family and loved ones – don’t take them for granted and pay extra attention to senior family members who might have minor health risks so you’ll be able to spot if anything is amiss
          • Avoid engaging in flings and instead spend more quality time with your spouse to strengthen the bond

          Wealth

          • Bad luck in the form of legal, personal and professional disputes could see you sustain significant financial loss – so monitor both your money and social interactions
          • There’s a plethora of opportunities to increase overall wealth – overall, a profitable year to gain substantial wealth

          Career

          • Abundance of auspicious tidings with the Grand Duke Combination Star’s presence
          • A blossoming rapport with your superiors will occur, leading to more chances to showcase your abilities at work
          • However, practice caution in your work ethic or you might overwork yourself to a risky fatigue level

          Relationships (Love)

          • Disagreements ranging from trivial to weighty could easily lead to quarrels between you and your loved one
          • 2018 brings a lot of peace-making opportunities however, so that you can stabilise the relationship
          • Newer couples should be tolerant and considerate of each other’s character or the relationship could end early

          Health

          • More illnesses and injuries may enter your life
          • However, you also have the chance to boost your overall well-being – you can lessen your chances of contracting ailments as long as you’re dieting properly and exercising sufficiently

           

          Dragon 龙 🐲

          Overall Luck

          • You have the ability to turn turbulence and challenges into opportunities for personal growth – although setbacks are inevitable this year, it’s how you play your cards that decides your favourability in a situation
          • When considering a business expansion or large-scale projects, you should consider all possibilities, make sure you have sufficient resources and be properly prepared. Make sure you’re practical about your 2018 goals and ambitions so that you’re not unnecessarily demoralised or stressed later
          • You may find unexpected changes hard to deal with this coming year – however, changes also brings opportunities, so make them work in your favour by accepting and making the most out of them instead of going against the tide

          Wealth

          • Might experience a constant monetary loss this year – formulate a suitable financial plan to manage your financial outlook
          • Inadequate financial planning and lack of caution in financial deals could lead to monetary outflow
          • Weak Indirect Wealth luck this year means that you should build up your savings and avoid high-risk activities like heavy investment or gambling

          Career

          • Massive pressure and a harsh superior could cause you to feel seriously fatigued in 2018. Also, constant conflicts and a negative work space could affect your work competency
          • Keep motivating yourself and build strength of character to push through these obstacles
          • This may not be the best time to move jobs – although this feels stagnating, view this situation more positively and try to stay humble and tolerant during this time

          Relationships (Love)

          • A weak Peach Blossom Luck means that unmarried couples should focus on maintaining their relationship
          • Married couples should be more considerate as the simplest misunderstanding could lead to a heated argument
          • Single people will have to deal with being lonely for now and should instead focus on improving other aspects of their life

          Health

          • Be wary of physical threats from the road (e.g. driving, walking on sidewalks) as you could incur minor to fatal injuries – strictly follow road safety regulations at all times
          • Handle metallic objects carefully as the rust particles it carries are a potential health hazard
          • Follow healthy nutritional and dietary practices to prevent intestinal issues from appearing

           

          Snake 蛇 🐍

          Overall Luck

          • A generally good year with some minor issues – you’ll not have much trouble overcoming occasional obstacles or a few heated arguments as your social and personal life will flourish
          • Unexpected events could still take place at inconvenient times however, so quickly adapt and adjust your strategy to accommodate this new element at play
          • Legal trouble from unexpected hiccups in your plans and arguments stemming from accidentally offending someone could also occur – avoid getting into more trouble by carefully interacting with people and having a clear, calm mind
          • However, don’t worry too much as you can expect to hear snippets of good news frequently and look forward to experiencing many happy occasions. In fact, your luck may be so good that you’ll be able to turn things around in your favour

          Wealth

          • Lots of uncertainty in your financial wealth – might incur monetary losses initially due to failed investments and excessive gambling
          • Yet, several compassionate individuals will help you recuperate those earlier losses – so accept their help to experience an ultimately rewarding year for your wealth

          Career

          • Begin by reshuffling your career priorities – e.g. changing job positions or even companies
          • Once your work life is stabilised, start making grander plans for the year ahead and you’ll slowly but surely get to execute them
          • The second half of the year will sharply boost your luck prospects – use this period to reenergise your work performance for the rest of the year

          Relationships (Love)

          • Single people should start searching for a potential partner this year as it will lead to a fruitful relationship with the right person
          • Unmarried couples in a devoted relationship should become engaged as soon as possible to have a long and prosperous marriage
          • Married couples shouldn’t act on amorous feelings towards others outside of their marriage as doing this will avoid a marital breakdown caused by either you or your partner being in an extramarital affair

          Health

          • Health is very important, especially for senior citizens
          • Elderly people could be visiting hospitals more than usual due to health ailments – they should heed their doctor’s advice and take prescribed medication to maintain their health
          • Also, they should immediately see a doctor if they experience stomach or intestinal problems to mitigate the issue

           

          Horse 马 🐎

          Overall Luck

          • You’re surrounded by supportive people and that’ll give strength and assistance when you feel dragged down by the rapid changes happening
          • Golden opportunities to accumulate wealth (e.g. good chances of earning a pay raise or getting bonuses). Also, look out for lucrative investments in property or shares and reliable tips from your social circle to lay a good foundation for your fortune – but there’s a high risk of financial loss due to impulsive decisions, so think thoroughly on any deals, avoid financial gambling and consider all consequences
          • Acquire skills to positively solve any conflict that arises – so don’t hold back from pursuing your goals
          • Be cautious about the possibility of accidents and communication difficulties – prepare adequately before you travel or do physical activity and be considerate when you speak. Be aware of family members’ health conditions too

          Wealth

          • Make sure to receive aid offered by generous friends to experience a wealth surge
          • Great work performance will also grant you the chance to achieve a business profit or salary raise as more opportunities present themselves to you

          Career

          • Conflicts and differences of opinions with colleagues could be disadvantageous to you (e.g. colleagues isolating you)
          • They could even backstab you too – remedy this by attending social events and practicing open communication to strengthen your bond with them

          Relationships (Love)

          • Unmarried couples should marry this year to boost companionship strength
          • Even with the Peach Blossom Luck’s absence, single people should consider professing their love to that special someone as there’s a good chance of getting into a romantic relationship

          Health

          • High risk of road accidents this year – ensure that you follow traffic rules to try and avoid this possibility
          • Take care when using metallic objects as they might bring you serious harm
          • Diet healthily and exercise frequently to prevent the appearance of digestive problems

           

          Goat 羊 🐑

          Overall Luck

          • A good year with positive events – some trials and tribulations are present, but not enough to dampen your year as you’ll have help and golden opportunities to overcome them
          • Noble people in the form of mentors or random individuals will make troubles you face more manageable
          • You’ll have ample opportunities to not only display your talents at work to secure a good bonus or promotion, but you’ll also be able to increase your wealth by engaging in asset acquisitions
          • However, you may have to deal with malicious lies and existing relationship conflicts, it’s best to ignore them and focus on your work. Family disputes will also arise, but remain reasonable here for a peaceful resolution –family and friends will still aid you when you most need it despite differences of opinion

          Wealth

          • Don’t let work distract you from looking for opportunities to improve your financial standing
          • Those doing clerical work might have huge workloads from hopping in between work settings, so appropriately manage your plate of responsibilities

          Career

          • Be open to ideas and collaborative opportunities from the opposite sex to receive highly favourable work prospects
          • Your diligence and persistence is rewarded this year, so motivate yourself to strive for more career achievements and showcase your talents and you’ll surely benefit in the long run

          Relationships (Love)

          • Ladies will experience weaker love prospects than men due to the weak Peach Blossom Luck
          • Thus, ladies should focus on developing other facets of their life while men should mingle in their social circles more for a good chance to discover their life partner
          • Unmarried couples should start planning their marriage, while married couples should be careful about their feelings towards people outside of their marriage as it could lead to future issues

          Health

          • Your mind and body are in prime condition to tackle 2018
          • Thus, perform physical activities, learn a new sport and watch your diet and personal safety to equip yourself for a year free of major disease and physical afflictions

           

          Monkey 猴 🐒

          Overall Luck

          • A trying year in both your professional and personal lives – maintaining a right mind-set and finding the strength to persevere is key to handling this
          • You could bolster your career in terms of a fortunate job-related travelling stint however, so embrace it to gain an advantage in advancing your career in the long run
          • Those in academic-related fields like learning and researching will find their endeavours yielding results in the form of significant breakthroughs
          • It’s advisable to refrain from attending funerals as there are prevalent negative energies that could have a noticeable negative impact on your well-being

          Wealth

          • Unfavourable financial matters as more money leaves you due to unrestricted spending
          • Sensible purchases and self-control at the start of 2018 could offset monetary losses later on
          • Effectively plan your financial budget and avoid high-risk activities to curb spending and increase savings

          Career

          • You’ll encounter a stream of obstacles (e.g. difficult superiors and barely meeting deadlines) that’ll stunt your work progress through the year
          • Be persistently diligent in work assignments and have good interactions with colleague and superiors to make progress in your work output

          Relationships (Love)

          • Weak Peach Blossom Luck means a bad relationship outlook for single people – they should adjust romantic expectations to avoid disappointments
          • Married and unmarried couples are prone to illnesses and injuries this year – so a team effort is needed to maintain each other’s health (e.g. gender-inclusive gym)
          • This could also be a chance to foster intimacy between couples

          Health

          • Light or heavy road-related injuries could affect your physical well-being – keep safe by obeying traffic rules
          • Avoid extreme sports unless you’re prepared adequately for it
          • Be aware of work hazards that could present a physical risk to reduce its negative effects on your well-being

           

          Rooster 鸡 🐔

          Overall Luck

          • Last year’s eventful nature could leave you exhausted, so 2018 will provide the good breather you need, giving you the chance to recharge, re-examine, improve your lifestyle and well-being to try find a healthy balance
          • There is a tendency to be anxious in your work, so it’s a good reminder to try maintaining a good work-life balance. If not, you might get worked up on small things and not advance your career
          • You might have feelings of isolation and loneliness, but they’re not actually a reflection of your current loneliness – don’t let the fear of abandonment or absent support take over you, instead go out and mingle with people close to you to get a positive reality check

          Wealth

          • A significant loss could plague your 2018 financial outlook so it’s advisable to purchase assets that won’t likely depreciate early in the year to signify good expenditure
          • Indirect Wealth’s presence means you’ll greatly benefit from side income

          Career

          • A huge workload could put you in an undesirable position this year, so better hold off planning new projects for career advancement and instead focus on the current tasks given
          • Welcome job-related travel opportunities because the lessons learned there will help you produced better work results
          • Extra help from your friends will also contribute to a smoother career outlook this year

          Relationships (Love)

          • The Peach Blossom Luck’s presence means that single people should start mingling in their social circles to find a romantic partner
          • Unmarried couples should start executing wedding ceremony plans
          • Married couples will experience multiple joyful occasions, possibly welcoming a new child

          Health

          • Be vigilant on your health as fatigue and illnesses plague your calendar year
          • Don’t worry because a Noble person in the medical field will guide you back to health if you do fall ill
          • A healthy routine and physical activity should help keep you healthy

           

          Regardless of how your luck is for the year 2018, working hard, picking up new skills and seeking out new opportunities will make every year a fruitful one!

           

          Reproduced with permission from Dato Joey Yap.

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            Snowy slopes of Tomamu Mountains

            For a travel destination as picturesque as Hokkaido, travelling there once or twice is simply not enough. If you have been following our travel section, you would know that Hokkaido is a place we cover most extensively (click here for our Hokkaido features). Even though we have been there a couple of times, one activity we have been dying to try out is skiing.

            With the launch of Club Med Tomamu Hokkaido, its second all-inclusive holiday resort on Japan’s second largest island, the thought of making another trip there to experience the powdery snow-capped slopes of Hokkaido is definitely swimming in our heads. The new resort is roughly 90 minutes away from New Chitose Airport and an express coach will send you straight there.

            Snowy slopes of Tomamu Mountains
            Snowy slopes of Tomamu Mountains

            Club Med Tomamu Hokkaido features a total of 29 ski courses that span a total length of 21.5 kilometres as well as 4 ski trail ratings suitable for all levels of skiiers. The resort provides ski services like pre-arrival equipment rental, ski in and out access, as well as all-inclusive ski and snowboard lessons for guests aged 4 and above with professional ski instructors. This certainly makes things a lot easier for families and first-timers like us who have no idea what to prepare for a ski trip.

            If you are wondering if the resort is only suitable for holidayers with just skiing in their itinerary, you couldn’t be more wrong. Club Med has a slew of activities that will certainly drain all your adrenaline and then some. Activities like mountain biking adventure in the snow, snow trekking and snow sledging will certainly provide a lot of instagrammable opportunities to make the trip one to remember. If you like, you can also pay a visit to a nearby ice village where you can ice skate to a ice hotel and have a drink at Bar Icewood. For family with kids, Club Med Tomamu Hokkaido also offers a suite of kid-friendly activities and exclusive ski slopes for suitable for beginner and intermediate levels.

            Club Med Tomamu Hokkaido - resort room

            For now, we can only imagine how it feels to kick back and enjoy the amazing landscape from the comfort of Club Med’s room after a full day of outdoor adventure and activities.

            For more details on the resort, pricing information and promotions, visit Club Med Tomamu Hokkaido.

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              Toast Box tiny blocks
              From left: Kaya Toast, Nanyang Kopi and Kopi Master

              If kaya butter toast and kopi is your staple breakfast, lunch and (for some) even dinner, you should definitely think about owning a set of these exclusive tiny block collectibles from Toast Box. Challenge yourself by completing all three Kaya Toast, Nanyang Kopi and Kopi Master designs, while sipping on your Kopi C si dai or Teh Peng.

              What’s more, for every piece sold, $2.50 goes to ABLE (Abilities Beyond Limitations and Expectations), a charity established in support of the physically challenged community. This is not only a great gift idea for family and friends, we are even thinking of getting it for overseas friends who are visiting us this festive season as a “taste of Singapore” memento to bring home!

              These super adorable nanoblock collectibles are designed by Christopher Tan, an award-winning artist based in Malaysia. His passion for nanoblocks has won him the title of “Tatsujin – Master of Nanoblock”, awarded by the company who first manufactured nanoblocks, Kawada Co. Ltd..

              All designs are available at Toast Box outlets islandwide and is sold at $12 per piece or $30 for a full set of 3 designs. While stocks last.

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                Herbal Lion Mane Mushroom $7.90 at Greendot
                Herbal Lion Mane Mushroom $7.90

                Good food in good company is certainly something we will always want more of. Greendot, a chain of restaurant in Singapore serving fusion-style, meat-free meals is making it easier for you to share a healthy meal by introducing a range of new dishes.

                Available at Paya Lebar and VivoCity outlets, the new dishes are free of MSG as well as artificial preservatives. The company’s nutritionist also works closely with chefs to ensure you get delicious, healthy and meat-free meals that are not only affordable, but also nutritious and tastes great.

                Of the lot, the Herbal Lion’s Mane Mushroom (S$7.90) is our favourite. The immune-boosting premium mushroom has a meaty bite and goes easy with your choice of either the white or brown rice. The medley of lion’s mane mushroom, baby corn, snap peas and bell peppers is cooked using Greendot’s best-selling herbal soup, giving the dish an aromatic and rich flavour.

                Sweet & Sour Crispy Nuggets $7.90 at Greendot
                Sweet & Sour Crispy Nuggets $7.90
                Broccoli in Creamy Pumpkin Puree, $5.90 at Greendot
                Broccoli in Creamy Pumpkin Puree, $5.90
                Golden Mango Yogurt Konnyaku $7.90 at Greendot
                Golden Mango Yogurt Konnyaku $7.90

                Other new additions include the Crisp-fried Sweet & Sour Soya Nuggets (S$7.90) tossed with capsicum and pineapple, the Golden Mango Yogurt Sliced Konnyaku (S$7.90) drizzled with a tangy mango-yogurt sauce, as well as a stir-fry of broccoli served with creamy pumpkin puree (S$5.90). Each dish is good for 3 persons and boasts vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that seek to “power-up” your body.

                If you are heading down with a bigger group, mix if up with the restaurant’s steamboat set ($35.90) that comes with hearty mix of vegetables for a guilt-free, healthy meal.

                Laksa Steamboat Set $35.90 at Greendot
                Laksa Steamboat Set $35.90

                These dishes are available at the following outlets:

                Vivo City Outlet
                1 Harbourfront Walk, Vivo City, #02-150
                Phone:+65 6873 2301

                Paya Lebar Square Outlet
                60 Paya Lebar Road, Paya Lebar Square, #02-15/16/17
                Phone:+65 6702 2221

                Opening Hours: 11:00 to 22:00 (Last order 21:00)

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                  The New Tiffany & Co Fragrance
                  The New Tiffany Fragrance

                  Tiffany & Co accessories have pretty much been on the wish list of every bride-to-be since the iconic American jeweller was artfully featured in Breakfast at Tiffany’s by style icon Audrey Hepburn.

                  Fans of the brand now has a new item to wish over–the very first Tiffany Eau De Parfum. Now, the “something blue” on your special day could mean a fresh spritz from the jewel glass bottle that resembles the famous 128.54-carat Tiffany diamond. We don’t mean to be a cheapo (being cheap), but guys, this could be your wiggle out of something that comes in little blue boxes.

                  The scent, designed by perfume genius Daniela Andrier, has a delicate citrus-floral mix that comprise of rare iris butter flower, minty musks of patchouli and zesty lift from green mandarins. To make it even more special, the perfume itself is subtly tinted in the “Tiffany blue” that the brand is so well known for. And yes, the new Tiffany Eau De Parfum comes perfectly placed in a robin’s egg blue box.

                  The new Tiffany & Co fragrance going for USD$130 and is now available in boutiques.

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                    iPhone X, iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus

                    Even though we know which model we want for the latest range of iPhones, it is always good to pause and take a second look at what’s powering the 3 latest smartphone models from Apple–iPhone X, iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. Whether you are hell bent on getting your hands on some cutting-edge technology like FaceID, TrueDepth and Super Retina Display on the iPhone X or staying classic with a sup-up iPhone 8 and 8 Plus that still has the iconic iPhone look, here’s a simple side-by-side comparison of each phone’s specifications.

                    iPhone X

                    iPhone 8

                    iPhone 8 Plus

                    Pricing S$1,648 (64GB), S$1,888 (256GB) with no contract S$1,148 (64GB), S$1,388 (256GB) with no contract S$1,308 (64GB), S$1,548 (256GB) with no contract
                    Key features FaceID, Super Retina HD Display, A11 Bionic chip, Wireless charging Retina HD Display, A11 Bionic chip, Wireless charging Retina HD Display, A11 Bionic chip, Wireless charging
                    Colours Silver, Space Grey Silver, Gold, Space Grey Silver, Gold, Space Grey
                    Dimensions 143.6 x 70.9 x 7.7mm 138.4 x 67.3 x 7.3mm 158.4 x 78.1 x 7.5mm
                    Weight 174 grams 148 grams 202 grams
                    Screen size 5.8 inches (147.32mm) 4.7 inches (119.38mm) 5.5 inches (139.7mm)
                    Screen resolution 2,436 x 1,125 (458ppi) 1,334 x 750 (326ppi) 1,920 x 1,080 (401 ppi)
                    Battery
                    • Built-in rechargeable lithium‑ion battery
                    • Up to 21 hours talk time, 12 hours internet, 13 hours video playback
                    • Built-in rechargeable lithium‑ion battery
                    • Up to 14 hours talk time, 12 hours internet, 13 hours video playback
                    • Built-in rechargeable lithium‑ion battery
                    • Up to 21 hours talk time, 13 hours internet, 14 hours video playback
                    Rear camera Dual cameras:

                    • 12-megapixel wide-angle and telephoto cameras
                    • Wide-angle: ƒ/1.8 aperture
                    • Telephoto: ƒ/2.4 aperture
                    • Dual optical image stabilisation
                    • Optical zoom; digital zoom up to 10x
                    • Quad-LED True Tone flash with Slow Sync
                    • Portrait mode
                    • Portrait Lighting (beta)
                    • 12-megapixel camera
                    • ƒ/1.8 aperture
                    • Optical image stabilisation
                    • Digital zoom up to 5x
                    • Quad-LED True Tone flash with Slow Sync
                    Dual cameras:

                    • 12-megapixel wide-angle and telephoto cameras
                    • Wide-angle: ƒ/1.8 aperture
                    • Telephoto: ƒ/2.4 aperture
                    • Optical image stabilisation
                    • Optical zoom; digital zoom up to 10x
                    • Quad-LED True Tone flash with Slow Sync
                    • Portrait mode
                    • Portrait Lighting (beta)
                    Front camera
                    • TrueDepth camera
                    • 7-megapixel photos
                    • ƒ/2.2 aperture
                    • Retina Flash
                    • 1080p HD video recording
                    • Portrait mode
                    • Portrait Lighting (beta)
                    • Animoji
                    • FaceTime HD camera
                    • 7-megapixel photos
                    • ƒ/2.2 aperture
                    • Retina Flash
                    • 1080p HD video recording
                    • FaceTime HD camera
                    • 7-megapixel photos
                    • ƒ/2.2 aperture
                    • Retina Flash
                    • 1080p HD video recording
                    Video capture 4K at 60fps 4K at 60fps 4K at 60fps
                    NFC Yes Yes Yes
                    Bluetooth v5.0 v5.0 v5.0
                    WiFi Dual band, 802.11ac Dual band, 802.11ac Dual band, 802.11ac
                    Operating system iOS 11 iOS 11 iOS 11
                    Others New 3-axis gyroscope and accelerometer, IP67 certified New 3-axis gyroscope and accelerometer, IP67 certified New 3-axis gyroscope and accelerometer, IP67 certified