Our experienced well weathered strategic adviser, Nebojsa Novakovic, covers here his discoveries and experiences from visits to various electronics hubs around the world. This time, his first thoughts on interesting hardware coming from Shenzhen – we start with UMEOX and its unique mobile phones.
When you get to Shenzhen, you'll get overwhelmed by the sprawling green city of over 14 million, and thousands of gleaming skyscrapers, with a huge metro system that seems even cleaner – and less crowded yet more modern – than the one we have in Singapore. If you're an electronics or computers buff, this is probably heaven on earth for you, more so than Taipei. There are dozens of electronics malls, many of them around Huaqiang Lu's SEG Plaza, having everything under the sun from the weirdest resistors or oddball CPUs to LCD or LED panels, power supplies, drives… anything, you name it.
UMEOX also offers SOLO, a rugged, water/shock/dust proof design with huge back solar panel for total outdoor independence, but again it is a 2G phone, aimed at key communication functionality important when away from urban areas, rather than sophisticated Net surfing or such. It is also fine when the sun goes down, as, once the battery is charged, there is still 250 minute talk time. According to Ms Sandy Zhang in UMEOX marketing, this phone was also exported to Singapore, besides other usual global markets. Other stuff they design includes oversize button senior citizen phones with SOS buttons, as well as tracker devices. They don't seem to have a very high end 'flagship' mobile phone model, though, which is a pity as having a good flagship often benefits the sales of same vendor's lower end units, as the users have more confidence in the technological capability of the vendor itself. More on these, as well as other interesting gadgetry coming out of Shenzhen labs, on these pages soon.