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Review: Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 4G – Worth It?

Two months ago, I finally caved and bought a new phone. My old Samsung Galaxy A8 Star, which I bought in 2018, is still perfectly functional (albeit with reduced camera quality) – but since my mom was looking for a better phone and she didn’t want to buy a brand new one (she’s using a RM300+ XiaoMi that’s super laggy), I gave her my old phone.

I use my phone mainly to browse the internet, take photos and videos, and play simple games (nothing taxing like Genshin Impact or Ragnarok) – so right off the bat, I knew I wanted something with an above-average camera, but at a price that wouldn’t break the bank. My initial budget was around RM1,500; but most of the phones in this price range either didn’t offer the specs I wanted, or they were from brands that I have not tried before, like Oppo and OnePlus. I have been a Samsung user for the longest time – I used a Sony XPeria Z once, but it was a bad experience for me, so I was hesitant to try other brands. Unfortunately, none of the Samsung releases with the specs that I wanted were within my budget either. 😦

After a lot of deliberation, I upped my budget to get a semi-flagship phone: the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE (Fan Edition). It’s basically a toned down version of their flagship, marketed at an upper-middle price range. There are two versions available, namely the 4G and 5G variants, and there is a pretty substantial difference in price. I ended up getting the 4G, because 5G rollout is still slow in Malaysia (I can’t even get coverage in my own house, despite living in a highly urbanised area – thanks, Digi!).

Getting the phone was a challenge in itself. None of the outlets I went to had ready stock of the 4G version, and after trying several, I had to order online instead. It came fairly fast though, and setup was easy. At the time, the only available variant was the one running on the Exynos 990 LTE chip (which is what they use for phones in Europe), but Samsung Malaysia currently offers the Snapdragon 865 version too.

The phone cost me RM2,299 – the most I’ve ever spent on a phone. And guess what?

The phone is currently going for RM1,899.

Face. Palm.

Anyway, I’m not big on gadgets, and I’m not a professional reviewer – but I thought I’d share my experience with the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 4G so far. There are pros and cons, so it’s really a matter of what you think would best fit your needs, and whether some of the issues would affect your usage.

USABILITY

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My phone, in Cloud Orange

As mentioned, the series comes with two different types of chips; the Exynos 990 and the Snapdragon 865, with 6GB and 8GB RAM respectively. My G version is able to run most apps smoothly. However, I don’t think the Exynos is a good chip. The phone tends to overheat, especially in outdoor conditions (I was filming something once for five minutes and my camera shut down on its own because it was getting too hot), and sometimes, even when I’m just playing music in the (air-conditioned) car, it feels very warm to the touch. This is apparently a major issue with the Exynos, even for their latest flagship S21. Given how expensive these phones are, I think it’s unscrupulous of Samsung to not address the issue and still continue charging a premium.

BATTERY

When I first got my phone, the battery life was SO POOR I thought I got a defective model (it would drain like 1-2% PER MINUTE, and that was just with regular browsing). After looking up potential solutions online, including reducing the refresh rate to 60Hz, turning off always-on mode, putting all of my apps to deep sleep, and reducing the screen brightness to like 20%, it was still not improving by much – so I called up the service centre. They asked me to check the battery performance and concluded that it was caused by ‘usage of external third party apps’ rather than the phone itself, which was ridiculous to me because wtf would you buy a phone for if not to use third party apps? I mean, even Instagram is a third party app.. so I can’t browse social media on a phone that costs RM2,299?

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Box and back cover

I was panicking and thinking if I could get a refund, but thankfully, after a couple of days, the phone’s battery life seemed to stabilise (this apparently happens with new phones as they try to observe your usage patterns and maximise battery life for you) Light usage now yields me about 8 to 10 hours. Heavy usage, such as when playing games, will give me 3 hours at most. I still have it running at minimum – low brightness, deep sleeping apps, etc. to achieve this result. So, when compared to my old Samsung Galaxy A8 Star, which has excellent battery life and can last for days on idle, the S20 FE fares poorly. Again, this comes down to the Exynos chip, which has been criticised for poor performance and causing battery drain.

Another thing to note : the phone supports ‘fast charging’ at 25W, but it still takes an hour to charge from like 20% to full.

STORAGE SPACE

The 4G variant has a single SIM and 128GB of storage space, as compared to the 5G which offers up to 256GB. I think 128 is plenty for my needs.

CAMERA

The main thing I look for in a smartphone is a good camera, and this is where the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE shines. Boasting triple cameras at the back including a 12MP main camera, 12MP ultra-wide-angle lens and an 8MP telephoto camera with 3x optical zoom, it also has a 32MP punch-hole front camera. The photos and videos produced are crisp, with good detailing and colour, and the phone’s Full HD Super Amoled display helps to showcase the media you’ve snapped with perfect clarity. There are also many modes to choose from, such as Food, Panorama, Night (the night mode is pretty good too) and an interesting feature called Single Take, an AI-powered function that captures up to 10 photos per second while recording a 15-second video clip, then picks out the best moments and intelligently comes up with ways to present the captured content.

Sample 4K video captured using my Samsung Galaxy S20 FE
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Sample photo
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Sample photo

LOOK AND FEEL

The 5G version offers more colours to choose from, but the 4G options aren’t bad either. They all have this fun, ‘pop’ like colour scheme with hues such as Cloud Orange, Cloud Lavender and Cloud Red. The back of the phone is plastic, but it feels solid. It weighs around 190g, which is not too heavy. The phone also offers a good grip, unlike my old J7 Pro which I destroyed because it kept slipping from my grasp and hitting the floor lmao.

OTHER PERKS

As befitting of a semi-flagship, it has water and dust resistance. The stereo speakers are good, with the sound filling up the space – but the phone lacks a headphone jack, so you’ll have to use wireless buds if you’re looking for some privacy.

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Verdict

The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 4G (Exynos 990) is an okay phone. There, I said it. I love the camera, it runs smoothly, and I like how it looks and feels. But the battery life and overheating issues are major turn-offs for me. Perhaps the Snapdragon version would fare better – users have said that they don’t encounter as many problems as with Exynos. And since Samsung Malaysia is having an online sale right now for the S20 FE 4G Snapdragon, this might be as good a time as any to make the purchase.

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This “App” Calls Out Auspicious Sayings For Chinese New Year – So You Don’t Have To

Chinese New Year is just around the corner (the first day falls on 12 February), but with the pandemic still raging in many parts of Southeast Asia, celebrations will definitely be more subdued. In Singapore, for example, gatherings will be limited to eight people, no CNY company dinners are allowed, and shouting during lo hei (the act of tossing yusheng, a ‘fish salad’ often served in Malaysia and Singapore during CNY) is also discouraged. Understandable, since no one wants Fourth Uncle’s spit flying all over the place (even before the pandemic, but I guess back then it was… tolerated). Here in Malaysia, the government has yet to announce an extension of our Movement Control Order, but it seems likely to be extended for another two weeks.

I wrote a piece recently about how certain traditions and practices might be observed differently this year, including e-hongbao and online shopping for clothes – and now we can add one more to the list: an app that calls out auspicious sayings like ‘HUAT AH’ (prosperity/good luck) and BU BU GAO XIN (steps to success). If you think about it, it’s actually quite a brilliant solution for lo hei – since saliva is more likely to fall into food what with all the shouting and yelling of auspicious phrases. Also, since many people won’t have the luxury of visiting their relatives, the app is a fun way to liven up the atmosphere – minus the worry of spreading COVID-19.

Created by a kind soul going by the pseudonym DJ Beng, the ‘app’ (they’re calling it an app but it’s really more of a web page, since it only works on Google Chrome) contains 15 auspicious sayings, which you can tap on for the desired phrase. Some of these include the customary “Nian Nian You Yu” (Luck every year) and Huat Ah. There’s also a separate tab for toasting, ie Yamseng. What I find really cute is that the longer you press the “yamm” button, the longer the audio plays: the effect is really reminiscent of actual toasting during Chinese gatherings, where everyone tries to shout yammmmm as long as possible. The audio even includes the typical ‘out-of-breath’ effect you get from people trying to sustain their shouts, so it sounds very realistic!

Best of all? There are both Mandarin and Cantonese options for the lohei. For Cantonese speakers like myself, this is a joy. Canto is being eroded these days in favour of Mandarin, and it’s always nice to see your own language being celebrated.

You can have a go for yourself at djbeng.com/lohei.html. Note: It only works on the Google Chrome browser on your phone.

*Cover image: Getty Images

Why Playing Kingdom Come: Deliverance Is a Video Game Trial By Fire

Video games are meant to be fun. They’re meant to be a place where you can escape from the real world; where you can be a cat-eyed mutant who kills monsters for a living (but dies when falling off an eight-foot-high wall), or an elf trying to stop spirits from crossing over into the physical realm and tearing the world apart. Maybe even an annoyingly perky tween who throws his balls at every wild creature to cross his path, then force them to battle against their own kind in bloody gym battles.

Video games are fun because they require a suspension of disbelief. 

But what happens when you have a video game that tries to ground itself in reality?

You get Kingdom Come: Deliverance. 

I’ve always been fascinated by medieval European history and its tales of brutality and war, of politics and glory and knighthood and chivalry. I’ve often wondered how I’d fare if I was born in that era, or if a time machine was invented and I could go back and observe how things were like (ala Timeline by Michael Crichton – although we all know how that turned out for the characters lol). So when independent Czech studio Warhorse released KC:D in 2018, I filed it as one of the games I’d play eventually (didn’t have a good enough setup at the time). A couple of months ago, I finally upgraded to a decent gaming laptop, and promptly bought the game which was on sale on Steam, for RM60+.

Like a fat kid settling down to a buffet after a day of fasting, I gleefully start off on what I thought would be an epic adventure. Instead, I found myself questioning my very worth as a gamer, as my Henry – the character players control in most of KC:D – gets brutally hacked to pieces for the seventh time in a row by bandits, while innocently travelling on the road. The worst part? Having to replay two hours worth of game play, because KC:D has one of the shittiest save systems in the history of gaming.

HENRY WHO?

You play Henry, son of the Skalitz blacksmith in the Kingdom of Bohemia. The realm is in chaos due to feuding between King Wenceslas (a useless layabout who only cares about women, drink and the hunt), and his half brother the Hungarian king Sigismund, who wants to bring ‘peace’ to the land by force and subjugation. Anyhoo, you don’t really give a shit because hey –  you’re just an apprentice blacksmith, your village is peaceful, and you’re going to the dance with the tavern wench later in the evening. Speaking of shit, one of the first objectives you can do in the village is throw a bunch of it at the newly whitewashed house of your neighbour, because he’s been talking shit about King Wenceslas, the rightful king. Your dad also asks you to help get some stuff so that he can forge a sword for the lord of the town, Sir Radzig Kobyla, which you will have to deliver once it’s done. Of course, you never get to do so because Cumans – savage mercenaries hired by Sigismund – arrive to pillage and kill. Your world crumbles into chaos. You attempt to run to the safety of the town’s fortified walls, only to watch your parents being brutally slaughtered, along with the rest of the villagers. Jumping on a horse, which you don’t really know how to ride well because you’re a peasant and not a knight, you flee towards Talmberg, the next big town, to warn them – all the while being pursued by the marauders. You survive the ordeal – but the face of the general who cut down your parents burns bright in your mind. You vow to avenge them and regain the sword your father made, which was stolen by bandits.

WELCOME TO BOHEMIA 

KC:D is set in 1403 Bohemia, aka what is now the Czech Republic. Most of the characters in the story are based on real people, like Wenceslas and Sigismund, as well as Radzig of Kobyla, Hans Capon, Hanush of Leipa and Divish of Talmberg – powerful lords whom your character will have to run errands for throughout the game, including (but not limited to) eliminating bandit camps, fetching stuff, and distracting the butcher by singing so that a lord can have his way with the daughter lol. The game prides itself in historical accuracy – the devs even consulted historians and architects on things like weaponry, clothing, combat techniques and architecture, to ensure they made the game as close to real life as possible. The result is breathtaking. The landscapes are beautiful and you can see the meticulous attention the devs have put into everything, from the swaying of trees to the detailing on buildings.

Fookin beautiful Czech scenery, pardon my French

Speaking of which, realism is a big thing in KC:D. Your character needs to sleep and eat or you’ll get tired and hungry, which will eventually lead to incapacitation (even death). You have to wash frequently and clean your clothes, because no one likes to talk to a dirty hobo, let alone trade with you. If you keep food in your pocket to snack on and forget about it, it will rot and cause food poisoning. NPCs go to sleep at night, so you can’t go barging into their homes to complete a quest – gotta wait for morning. Want to go the route of the antihero? You can even steal, pickpocket, lockpick chests and pick fights – but if you’re not smart about it and get caught by guards, you’ll have to answer to the law with a fine or jail sentence. People will remember it to and your reputation will suffer. And if you’re thinking that you can slog through this game’s enemies Rambo style.. well. You’ve got another thing coming.

THE GAME THAT KEEPS ON SHITTING (ON YOU) 

When they call you a peasant, they weren’t kidding. Other than having the most punchable face, Henry starts off with no skills or redeeming qualities whatsoever. Heck, you can’t even lift a sword properly, and will have to run away from most enemies until you’ve leveled up your swordplay a little. Even then, you’re useless against any battle which involves more than one enemy,  because the AI in the game is pretty intelligent and will 100% stab you in the back while you’re distracted with the bandit in front of you.

I learned this the hard way after trying to play the hero in the beginning of the game, bravely facing off against three Cumans who were attempting to rape the mill wench during the Skalitz invasion. “This is what heroes do!” I thought as my Henry jumped off the saddle, sword in hand. I promptly got cut into ribbons. I didn’t even have time to get back on the horse to flee. An hour later (which is probably more than what animal trainers use to train animals not to do something lol), I finally realised that being a hero does not pay off. Not when you’re a weak peasant armed with a stick and a lot of courage. Sorry, Theresa. flees (PS: I found out later you can actually whistle to distract them, without having to fight them. Whew) 

That “oh-shit” moment when they leave the girl you like alone but are going to murder you instead

After the invasion, you start off completely broke, with just the clothes on your back. You can’t even buy a decent knife, let alone a sword and shield to practice with – unless you go for training at the combat arena where they kick your ass over and over again. If you don’t want to die repeatedly from being ambushed by bandits, though, this is the only way that will give you at least a fighting chance (haha, get it?) to survive any unpleasant encounters you might have on the road. You will spend 10 or more real-life hours (at the very least!) honing your fighting skills before you can even think about facing any enemies, and not die while trying to run away. Even if you’re a proficient fighter, one slip of the hand – and your enemies might just hack you to pieces.

Swordplay isn’t the only thing you have to master. You can fight with bows, maces, axes and bludgeons, all of which have their own pros and cons. When the direct approach doesn’t work, stealth is often the best – but at level 1 you’re a bumbling idiot who can’t conceal himself properly so you often get caught and thrown in jail, or discovered by enemies and killed. So you have to spend time leveling that up as well, and getting dark coloured gear to avoid detection. Lockpicks break while you’re attempting to open a trunk? Killed / thrown in jail. Not good enough at pickpocketing? Killed/thrown in jail. Carry stolen goods around and don’t have a high enough rep to weasel your way out when stopped by guards? Killed/thrown in jail.

“Henry: fuck this shit I’m joining the monastery”

There are also plenty of other skills to hone which will help you in your quest to become Bohemia’s No.1 errand boy. Picking herbs helps you level up herbalism, so you can collect them to make potions for buffs (Trust me, you need every little advantage you can get in this game). But wait! You can’t brew potions without alchemy, and for that you need to learn how to read recipes. Henry also gains speech and intimidation points over time. The higher the points, the better equipped you are at dealing with situations that arise, and the higher the chance you can avoid any unpleasant fights. There’s also horsemanship from riding, and you get to train your trusty companion, Mutt, whom you can sic on enemies or teach to fetch and hunt.

If this doesn’t sound complicated / difficult enough, there’s also the absolutely shite save system. Unlike games where you can simply reload from the last (convenient) save point, KC:D deliberately makes it difficult for you to save – you can only do so by sleeping at an inn, one of your home bases, or by drinking a Saviour Schnapp (alcohol – which is expensive unless you know how to brew it – hence why it’s good to level up alchemy ASAP). There were times I wanted to rage quit because I could not save my game in between quests (inn was too far away, no Saviour Schnapps in bag, etc) – only to get killed while travelling between towns and losing like 1.5 hours of gameplay.  It’s as if the devs made this game solely to punish you for daring to be a serf in a medieval game where everything and everyone is out to kill you. Which is probably how it really was irl. If you weren’t a lord or royalty, you probably had to work from dawn to dusk just to get enough food on the table – and even then you’d still be held to the whims and demands of your liege lord.

THY KINGDOM COME

You’re probably thinking “this sounds like an awful lot of work and stress for a  game. I want to enjoy my downtime, not add to my anxiety.” And you’re 100% right. This is not a game where you can sit down to enjoy a couple of mindless hours of entertainment after work. KC:D requires dedication – and time – which many of us with busy lifestyles might not have. It needs grinding in game, in multiple disciplines, so you have to be prepared to spend at least a few real life hours improving your skills. Coupled with how weak you are initially (and sometimes well into the middle of the game if you have no patience like me and just want to get through the story), you’re probably going to experience a tonne of frustration – from not being able to complete quests and just dying. A lot.

But. 

If you stick with it, you WILL be rewarded. As much as I hated the combat and the save system (in the early stages), I stuck to the game because it is refreshing to play a medieval game based in real life – without the magic and dungeons and dragons lol. You get to learn history in a fun way, like why the royal brothers were feuding and how war affected the life of the citizenry, the types of armour and weapons they used in battle, how medieval towns were laid out, etc. Imagine if Malaysians had a game like this on Hang Tuah – like you had to go fight with Jebat or something – students would be so much more apt to remember history. And of course, the game is absolutely beautiful. 

Not so subtle intimidation once you’ve honed your badass skills, because why not

Henry and his punchable face (sorry, Tom McKay!) kind of grows on you as well. As frustrating as it was in the beginning, I started to enjoy leveling him up, and got real satisfaction from developing the character into a decent man-at-arms. The first time I was able to defeat three bandits on my own, I was ecstatic. It felt like the time and energy I had invested was finally paying off (Now if only I had the same zeal when it comes to real life lmaooo).

In short, KC:D is not a game for the faint-hearted, where you can hack and slash your way to glory. It is a game that requires skill and intelligence, not just in the way you complete quests (which can sometimes be resolved in multiple ways ie through violence or peaceful means), but also knowing which battles to fight, and when to fight them. In a funny twist of irony, this game teaches you that you need to work and put in the time in order to be good at something – exactly like real life. 

 

*Course, the game can’t be 100% realistic. There are some pretty funny things that can happen (including bugs). One of my favourites was raiding a bandit camp and murdering everyone, then sleeping in the camp surrounded by their corpses (after looting them, of course) because my character (and the player, yours truly) was just too drained after all that fighting. 

 

 

The Wonders of Technology

Back when I was a student in the UK (this was in 2012 – feels like a lifetime ago, lol), I remember walking into a Sainsbury and seeing self-checkout counters for the first time. I was absolutely mindblown. “Whoever invented this is a freaking genius,” I thought in glee, as I scanned my items, bagged them, paid with my debit and left the store, without so much as a hello to another human. This, my introverted self thought, was the pinnacle of technology. 

Fast forward eight years later, and this tech is finally picking up in Malaysia, as people opt for cashless, contactless transactions (accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic). Digitalisation has been on the country’s agenda for some time now, and while we’ve been slower to adopt it compared to countries in the West, or places like Singapore and China things are slowly but surely changing. Menus at restaurants are digital: you scan a QR code on your mobile, and order through the intranet. Delivery apps make it convenient to have food delivered right to your doorstep. You go to the movies, you order your tickets through a touch screen and pay through cards or mobile wallets. At airports, you check-in on a machine, get your baggage tags printed out and attach them on your own before sending them to the conveyor, without having to deal with the airport staff.

But technology is changing at such a rapid pace that it can be intimidating, even for millennials like me who are quite comfortable around machines and the digital space. I was at an autopay machine today and spent a good minute looking for an opening to insert my parking card – before realising that the instructions were to ‘scan the barcode’, and to pay via debit card. In time, I’m sure all of the machines will be replaced with this new mode of payment, and cash will be obsolete.

When I go out with my parents, they usually rely on me (because my brother is an airhead) to figure out anything to do with tech. My dad is good with gadgets, but my mom isn’t very literate in technology. She uses her phone to surf the net but does not know the difference between a Facebook account and a Facebook page. We were chatting earlier about Youtube, and I was explaining to her about subscriptions and the concept of ‘going live’. “Oooh,” she said, nodding after my third explanation. “I see. But I’ll probably forget it in a couple of hours.”

When we went to Yogyakarta a couple of years ago, AirAsia had just implemented a new contactless check-in system at KLIA2, and my mom was absolutely lost. She simply could not wrap her head around the fact that she now had to deal with a machine rather than a human. “You do it,” she said. “I’m not good with these things”. Leaving me to lug our suitcases alone to the self-check-in counter, tag them and send them on their merry way to the conveyor belt.

“What would you do if you’re travelling without me?” I asked half-jokingly, to which she replied in the utmost seriousness, “I wouldn’t be travelling. I’d be lost.

It’s a little sad whenever I hear these things as it conveys a sense of helplessness; not just from my mom, but from some people from the older generation (this does not include aunties who spread gossip and unverified info via Whatsapp – those people are experts) when it comes to adapting to the rapid technological changes that are being implemented in our everyday lives. It feels as if rather than providing convenience, tech limits some people from doing things, like the aforementioned travel. With my mom, there is also a certain degree of resistance – like how she still refuses to open an online bank account lol.

But then again, there’s one thing she has taken to like a fish to water: Online shopping. I currently have five or six orders pending on the Lazada account, from water bottles to cutlery and home decor items.

Maybe it’s all about the incentives? 

 

 

Review: RAGE Bangsar – Where Coffee, Tech and Communities Meet

Good news for coffee lovers!

There’s a new cafe in town, and it’s more than just your typical Instagrammable spot. Setting itself apart from the typical copy-and-paste coffee chains, RAGE Bangsar aims to reinvent the scene with a refreshing new cafe concept that combines technology, coffee and the local community.

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At the official launching at their outlet in Menara UOA Bangsar, which I was privileged to attend! 🙂

The community aspect of the cafe is reflected in the cafe’s interior, with communal long tables (there’s one that’s actually converted from a ping pong table) as well as a ‘RAGE room’ where you can let out some steam after a stressful day at work (complete with actual punching bag and boxing gloves!). Wood and ambient lighting create a cosy atmosphere, while the raw concrete and exposed ceiling lends it an industrial chic vibe.

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“Most relationships start over a drink and very often that happens to be a caffeinated beverage. It can be as easy as ‘Hey, let’s go and grab a cup of coffee’,” says co-founder, Jevin Singh. “We want everyone to walk into any RAGE outlet and feel the close-knit communal spirit that we aspire to create across all outlets. Even the interior is built with a focus on Relationships-First.”

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Meanwhile, the tech aspect comes into play via their mobile application called DrinkRage, which allows members or ‘RAGERs’ to pre-order their drinks and even get them delivered. Delivery areas are currently targeted at high density office areas such as KL Sentral and the Bangsar LRT station, so you can get your caffeine fix in just a few taps, without having to leave the office. Talk about convenience!

With our hectic lifestyles in the city, time is of the essence, and RAGE aspires to help make the experience of offering coffee a smooth and efficient one. Upon placing an order, RAGERs can expect their coffee to be ready for pickup when they arrive or delivered within 20 minutes by an assigned runner. Great for groggy mornings when you need a caffeine booster to get the day started!

Beyond just selling coffee, the app also aims to deliver inspiration on demand. Within the app, there is also a specific community tab which allows fellow RAGERs to sign up for events and build relationships with people who enjoy the same cup of coffee.

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Quirky names and descriptions. Also RM8 for a cup of coffee in KL is a very reasonable price !

Their specialties include items with localised ingredients, such as Milo-spresso Dino, Matcha My Asam and Matcha Gula Melaka. For vegans/vegetarians and the health conscious / lactose intolerant , choose from several milk options such as oat, coconut, soy or regular dairy.

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Tried their “Dirty Chai”, which was pretty strong. The frothiness of the milk helped to cut through the spice and slightly tart bitterness. 

RAGE Bangsar also offers food on their menu, including full breakfasts and substantial meals like sambal aglio olio, rice bowls and mala chilli pan mee.

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The brand is also heavily invested in curating workshops in hopes to support aspiring individuals and tie the working community closer together. From movie nights to personal branding and motivational talks, RAGE has curated a fascinating lineup of interactive activities in store for all its members.Just stay updated on the app and join in on the convo!

RAGE is a strong proponent of working with other local businesses. Collaborating with eco friendly beauty brand ‘The Mineraw’, RAGE’s coffee waste is the star and vital component in their body, face and lip scrub produced by these ethical connoisseurs. You can get these items in store too.

RAGE BANGSAR 

Menara Uoa Bangsar, Unit LGF-3A, No 5, Jalan Bangsar Utama 1, Bangsar, 59000 Kuala Lumpur

Business hours: 7.45AM – 8PM (Mons- Fris), 8AM – 2.45PM (Sat). Closed Sundays.

drinkrage.com

*Images not watermarked courtesy of RAGE/SuppagoodPR 

 

Travelogue Japan: Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology, Nagoya

Nagoya is an interesting blend of old and new. On one hand, the city has a rich history that dates back to the founding of Nagoya Castle, once the Tokugawa Shogunate’s stronghold. On the other, you have the city’s current status as the fourth largest city in Japan and a major maritime port.

Takayama/Nagoya

After the war, which reduced many old parts of Japan to rubble, the country was in shambles – but from the ashes, a new Japan arose –  through its manufacturing sector, especially in the field of technology and robotics. A fitting last stop to our visit, then, was to the Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology. 

Takayama/Nagoya

Nagoya is the birthplace of Toyota, but did you know that the brand did not start as an automotive manufacturer, but rather a textile factory? (I didn’t). Also, they were first called Toyoda, after Kiichiro Toyoda, its founder. The museum, which pays tributes to its early roots, can be found in an old red brick warehouse built in the 1910s.

Takayama/Nagoya

The first section of the museum is dedicated to its early days as a textile manufacturer. As such, visitors will find looms, threads and textile-related machines on display.

Takayama/Nagoya

Takayama/Nagoya

Spacious exhibition hall filled with old models.

Takayama/Nagoya

The 1930s saw the company breaking into the automotive sector, taking its first step into becoming the automotive giant we know of today. A large section of the museum is dedicated to showcasing the technology used in the manufacture of its cars, from the casting of the body to the components. Some machines on display are operational, so that visitors can see how everything is put together!

Takayama/Nagoya

Takayama/Nagoya

Takayama/Nagoya

A giant press (?), which roared to life at the push of a button and filled the hall with clanking.

Takayama/Nagoya

How the outer shell is fitted together.

Takayama/Nagoya

At the end of the day, there is a violin performance by the museum’s resident robot – the company’s foray into advanced robotics. The robot played Canon in D and another classical song. While it lacked the oomph that is human emotion, it certainly had technical prowess!

TOYOTA COMMEMORATIVE MUSEUM OF INDUSTRY AND TECHNOLOGY 

4 Chome-1-35 Noritakeshinmachi, Nishi-ku, Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture 451-0051, Japan

Opening hours: 9.30AM – 5PM (closed on Mondays, last entry 4PM)

Phone: +81 52-551-6115

Admission: 500 yen