The Straits Times Digital Life Forum and Digital Life Awards 2014

Above: iPhone 5S and Samsung Galaxy Note 3

SINGAPORE - Will it be the Apple iPhone 5s or the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 that lands the Best Overall Smartphone award this year? Or will it be an Android dark horse from HTC, LG or Sony that will sneak in to steal the crown?

Over 400,000 votes from 14,000 voters were cast by readers of The Straits Times Digital Life in January to determine the best gadgets and games of last year in the Readers' Choice segment of the annual Digital Life Awards.

The results will be unveiled on Feb 11, 2014 at the third Digital Life Awards, organised and presented by Digital Life, the weekly tech pull-out which is distributed on Wednesdays with The Straits Times, the English flagship daily of Singapore Press Holdings. More than 140 of the best gadgets and games titles across six main product categories - smartphones, tablets, laptops, cameras, audio and games - are covered in this year's annual awards.

In all, there are 30 sub-categories this year. Each sub-category features five products, selected by the DL editorial team, that will vie for two awards. The Editor's Choice is chosen by the DL editorial team, while the Readers' Choice is determined by The Straits Times readers in a month-long online public vote. See Appendix 1 for the list of nominees.

The number of sub-categories has grown from 17 two years ago to 24 last year, and 30 this year. Several new sub-categories have been added and some old ones removed, in tandem with the latest technology trends and consumer preferences. New awards this year include Best Phablet, Best Smartphone Camera and Best Windows Tablet.

The rise of full-frame mirrorless cameras has blurred the traditional distinction between the more powerful DSLR cameras and their mirrorless counterparts. As a result, there are now three separate sub-categories for interchangeable lens cameras based on the sensor size of the camera, which is an indicator of the price of the camera and the quality of photos it can shoot.

Over the last two years, homegrown mobile games have seen significant successes with some titles achieving millions of downloads from users around the world. To celebrate and recognise the best of Singapore's game creations, Digital Life added Best Made-In-Singapore Games as a new category in the DL Awards, with the support and sponsorship of the Media Development Authority.

Said Oo Gin Lee, The Straits Times Digital Life Editor: "For the last two years we have been giving awards to products that are essentially created overseas for the global markets. With the new Best Made-In-Singapore Games category, we are very pleased to be able to extend our awards to recognise and celebrate the creativity and innovation of our home grown talents."

Also new are the Best Digital Advertising awards, a recognition that interactive multimedia ads have come of age.

Digital Life welcomes the return of Courts, Singapore's leading electronics and lifestyle destination, as the main presenter for the second consecutive year for the DL Awards. In addition, there are four new category sponsors this year - StarHub for the smartphones category, Microsoft for laptops, Alienware for games and MDA for made-in-Singapore games.

Forum on Made-In-Singapore Games

This year's event will also see the return of the DL Forum. This year the topic will be on "The Rise Of Made-In-Singapore Games" where the movers and shakers of the industry here will gather to discuss the latest challenges, trends and opportunities in the fast-growing games development business. During the forum, there will also be a panel discussion and dialogue with the audience.

The speakers and panellists this year are:

1. Joachim Ng, Director, Industry Operations, Media Development Authority

2. Olivier de Rotalier, Managing Director, Ubisoft Singapore

3. Eitaro Nagano, Director, Sony Computer Entertainment Japan Asia

4. Roland Ong, Chief Executive Office, IAH Games

5. David Ng, Chief Executive Office, Gumi Asia

6. Tan Sian Yue, Founder, Ratloop Asia.

The panel session will be moderated by veteran tech journalist and Digital Life editor Mr Oo Gin Lee.

For the profile of the speakers and panellists, visit http://events.stclassifieds.sg/dlforum2014/speakers.php

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