MWC Shanghai: Best Gadgets at This Year’s Convention
SanDisk Extreme and Ultra - speedy new microSD cards
One of the more interesting releases at this year’s show was Western Digital’s launch of 2 new 256GB microSD cards. This release will be of particular interest to those of you who enjoy taking UHD videos with action cameras, smartphones, drones etc. With the huge capacity, users will be able to record a whopping 14 hours of 4K UHD video.
The faster of the two cards, the 256GB SanDisk Extreme microSDXC UHS-I, also has ridiculous transfer and write speeds of 100MB/s and 90MB/s respectively. The Extreme will be available in Q4 2016 with a MSRP of USD$199.99.
The Ultra version, which may be more suitable for the average user, still boasts a decent transfer speed of up to 95MB/s. This will allow you to transfer about 1,200 photos in under a minute. The Ultra will be available worldwide in August 2016 with a MSRP of USD$149.99.
HTC Vive – VR Gaming Headset
MWC Shanghai provided us with opportunities to try out HTC’s VR Gaming headset. There were vendors aplenty exhibiting the various games and apps developed for the rig so far. One of the games we managed to try was Gunjack: EVE. To be honest, I expected the arcade shooter to be underwhelming, as many of them are. Fortunately, this can’t be further from the truth. The immersive game (which was built specifically for VR) was visually stunning, ran smoothly, and was very responsive. My only complaint was not being able to play more than the first two introductory missions.
The HTC Vive worked seamlessly for the game. It sat comfortably on my head, and blocked out the environment almost entirely. Weighing in at 555 grams, it is slightly heavier than the Oculus rift, but should still be comfortable for extended periods of usage. The Vive is paired with two wireless motion-tracked controllers that players will use to interact with the game’s interface. The entire system was very easy to use and only takes minutes to get used to.
The HTC Vive currently retails for USD$799 and is available on their website but unfortunately, they do not ship it directly to Singapore yet. So you might want to put your purchase on hold for a bit if you’re worried about shipping and after-sales support.
Snail Mobile W3D – World’s First Eye-tracking Glasses-free 3D Gaming Smartphone
Admittedly, most of us had never even heard of Snail Mobile before MWC Shanghai. The Chinese company first started as a telecommunications provider, but has since extended its scope of business to designing and manufacturing mobile and gaming products too. One of the products that caught our attention was the W3D.
This gizmo combines a smartphone, portable gaming console, and 3D glasses into one device. Think of it as a souped-up Nokia N-Gage. The most interesting aspect of this device of course, is its glasses-free 3D capability. It took some getting used to, but being able to experience 3D without the disorienting glasses is a relief.
Overall, while it performed very well, we cannot help but feel the W3D’s novelty will get old very quickly. However, with a price tag of only CNY999 (~SGD201), it may still be worth the purchase.
The W3D will be available in the second half of 2016.