Saturday, September 6, 2014

Nokia Lumia 530 Dual SIM lands for P4,990

Nokia Lumia 530 Philippines

Nokia’s (now Microsoft Mobile) most affordable Windows Phone device to date, the Lumia 530 Dual SIM, has been released in the Philippines. The Lumia 530 features a 4-inch LCD display, 4Gb storage, a 5-megapixel camera, and comes with the latest features of the Windows Phone 8.1 and Lumia Cyan such as the Word Flow keyboard and Action Center.

If you think the internal memory is a little low, fret not. You can insert a microSD card (up to 128Gb) and install apps from the Windows Store right there.

“With high end apps, features and exceptional build quality at an amazing price, the Lumia 530 DS sets the benchmark for affordable smartphones,” said Karel Holub, General Manager, Philippines, Microsoft Mobile Devices Sales. ”The Lumia 530 DS demonstrates our focus on welcoming more people to the Windows Phone ecosystem with amazing devices that light up Microsoft’s digital work and life experiences. By building on the momentum of the successful Lumia 520, the Lumia 530 DS will help us deliver an uncompromised smartphone experience to more customers than ever before.”

The Nokia Lumia 530 Dual SIM will be available in orange, green, grey, and white. It will retail for P4,990.

Nokia Lumia 530 Features and Specifications
4-inch LCD display with FWVGA (854x480) resolution @ 246ppi
1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 quad-core processor
512Mb RAM
4Gb internal storage, up to 128Gb microSD card slot
5-megapixel camera
3G/HSPA+ (21Mbps) - 900/2100MHz
2G - 850/900/1800/1900MHz
Bluetooth 4.0
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
Dual SIM
1430mAh battery capacity
Windows Phone 8.1 OS with Lumia Cyan update

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Samsung announces the Galaxy Note Edge

Samsung Galaxy Note Edge Philippines

Samsung has just revealed the Galaxy Note Edge at the IFA 2014 in Berlin. The Samsung Galaxy Note Edge features a curved edge screen that was demoed by the Korean company in the past.

Samsung Galaxy Note Edge Features and Specifications
5.6-inch Quad HD (2560x1440) Super AMOLED display
2.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 quad-core processor
3GB RAM
32/64GB internal memory
Up to 64GB microSD card slot
16-megapixel main camera with Smart OIS
3.7-megapixel front-facing camera with f1.9 aperture
4G LTE Category 6 connectivity (300/50Mbps)
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
USB 2.0
3000mAh battery with Quick Charge 2.0
Android 4.4.4 KitKat

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Samsung’s first metal smartphone is arriving in the Philippines

Samsung Galaxy Alpha SM-G850F Philippines

The first Samsung smartphone to pack a metal body is soon arriving in the Philippines. We recently spotted the Samsung Galaxy Alpha with model number SM-G850F over SamMobile’s firmware listing website.

According to the initial firmware available, it is possible that the Galaxy Alpha will only be available unlocked at retail stores.

Samsung Galaxy Alpha SM-G850F Philippines

The Samsung Galaxy Alpha was announced in August, and is the first Galaxy smartphone to sport a metal body. It features a 4.7-inch HD Super AMOLED display, a 2.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, 16 or 32GB of internal storage, and a 1860mAh battery. There is no microSD card slot available, unfortunately. It runs the latest Android 4.4.4 KitKat OS.

The Galaxy Alpha supports Category 6 LTE connections, which has a spec of up to 300Mbps. That makes it one of the first LTE-Advanced smartphones to be launched in the Philippines when it hits the shelves.

Source: SamMobile

Digital technologies for education highlight DigiTech Manila confab

clip_image002

The first ever DigiTech Manila Conference and Expo, slated on Sept. 19 and 20, at the SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City, will feature the various facets in digital technology for children, schools, libraries, and for the ICT industry. Digital learning enthusiasts are invited to take advantage and update themselves on gadgets, high-tech services, and new developments that will give new perspectives on how people generally learn, teach, and live in this modern day.

DigiTech is highlighted by two conferences: the National Conference on Technology in Education, and PEPCon: The 1st Philippine Educational Publisher’s Congress.  Both events will gather digital technology leaders, experts and practitioners in education, as well as provide a venue for school administrators, educators, teachers, students, librarians, publishers, researchers, content providers, software and hardware suppliers, app and web developers to interact, discuss and work together to promote current informative, innovative and creative teaching and learning technologies.

Speakers at the two conferences include former Education Undersecretary Dr. Isagani Cruz; professor, columnist, and author Dr. Queena Lee-Chua; Supreme Court library director Milagros Santos-Ong; associate professor and principal of the University of the Philippines Cebu High School, Dr. Aurelio Vilbar; Brian Aljer Coballes of the Ateneo de Manila High School-Educational Media Center, Victoria Tinio of Fit-Ed, Mylene Abiva of Felta Multi-Media, Inc., Dexter Andrada, chief technopreneur of Mite Asia, Apple Distinguished educator Galvin Ngo; Jansen Mayor of Millenium Challenge Account-Philippines, Jose Ma. Policarpio of Digilearn Multimedia, UP professor Dr. Milagros Laurel, Ireneo Demecias Jr of Ayala Foundation’s Text to Teach, DIgi Ann C. Castillo of World Vision; and Tan Lee Hong of Cengage Learning Asia Pte. Ltd.

DigiTech Manila Conference and Expo is part of the biggest and longest running book fair in the country, the Manila International Book Fair, set on Sept. 17 to 21. Another event taking place is the Best of Anime where otakus, Japanophiles, and cosplayers gather for two days to experience otaku culture.  For details, call 896-0661 or 896-0682, or e-mail info@primetradeasia.com.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Xiaomi to sell Mi 5200mAh and 10400mAh power banks on August 29

Xiaomi Philippines Mi Power Bank 5200mAh 10400mAh

Xiaomi, the Chinese tech company that makes and sells affordable smartphones and other devices at affordable prices, will soon make their popular Mi power banks available in the Philippines.

The Mi power banks, which comes in 5200mAh and 10400mAh variants, comes with high-quality battery cells either from LG or Samsung. The sleek power banks sports an aluminum casing making them look sleek and minimalistic.

The company promises 2.5x full charges for the Mi 3, 4.5x on the iPhone 5s, and 1.5x on the iPad mini. On the other hand, the 5200mAh variant can full charge a Mi 3 a single time, or charge an iPhone 5s up to two times. The Mi batteries is equipped with Texas Instruments chips which protects it from overcharging, short-circuits, overvoltages, and overcurrents.

The kicker here is that the 10400mAh and 5200mAh Mi power banks will only set you back P645 and P445 respectively. You can purchase your own Mi power bank from Lazada. Click here to buy the 10400mAh variant or here for the 5200mAh variant. These will go on sale at exactly 12 noon on August 29.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Google Play carrier billing comes to Globe

Screenshot_2014-08-24-14-16-57

At the first day of Globe Telecom’s Digital Lifestyle Expo at the SM Megamall, the company announced that carrier billing for the Google Play Store is finally coming. With carrier billing, anyone using an Android smartphone on Globe will now be able to buy apps, games, and even rent or purchase movies and have it paid thru their plan or deducted from their prepaid credits – no more credit, debit, or prepaid cards needed. Getting more in-game coins on various titles is now also possible.

Globe’s Peter Bithos says this feature has been in the works for quite some time now. A hint of what’s coming appeared early last year on the Play Store, only to leave users waiting.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Of restrictions and competition

Ever wonder why telecom services in the Philippines are shitty? Look no further. Here's the only answer, straight from the horse's mouth.

The 2015 AEC does not pose a threat to the Philippine telco industry.

"The effect on telco is minimal because it is regulated. It would require licenses, and entry to this market will require partnerships," Cu said. "So we expect very little, immediate impact on us," he added.

What Mr. Ernest Cu is trying to say is that the odds of us having a new telecom company in the country is low. Because first, our economy is restricted – you can thank the 60-40 rule in our Constitution for this. If and when a foreign telecom company decides to enter the Philippines, it will have to look for a local company to partner with. And what, whom with? PLDT? Globe? Then there's our bureaucratic, red-tape-ridden government.

In other words, the lesser the competition in an industry, the lesser the chance the companies will improve because they have no 'incentives' to do so. Oh, and the telecom industry won't have much competition unless the administration amends the economic provisions in the Constitution.

So, there.

Reference: GMA News Online

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Beyond the Box slashes P4,000 off the Retina iPad mini price

BTB iPhone Case Sale

Apple fans, look right here. If you’re in the market for a brand new iPad mini with Retina display, you better get one from Beyond the Box. Right now, until September 15, you can get as much as P4,000 off the price on the WiFi plus Cellular model. If the price off isn’t enough, they’re throwing in a free accessory as well for every purchase.

Urbanears Plattan (valued at P2,950)
Urbanears Medis (valued at P2,450)
Aiaiai Tracks (valued at P2,450)
Native Union Monocle (valued at P1,750)
SwitchEasy Cover Buddy for iPad mini (valued at P795)
Tech21 Impact Shield for iPad mini (valued at P1.400)

iPad mini with Retina display (16GB) – P23,990
iPad mini with Retina display (32GB) – P28,990
iPad mini with Retina display (64GB) – P32,990
iPad mini with Retina display (128GB) – P37,990

If you want to know more about this promo, visit Beyond the Box.

Monday, August 11, 2014

iPhone 6 cases are already available in the Philippines

IMG_0131_2

Just one of the many signs that Apple’s next smartphone, the iPhone 6, is already around the corner is this case that’s already available in Manila. The case seems to be for the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 model as it’s only a tad bigger than the iPhone 5s.

The case is remarkable slimmer, and bears the same rounded edges found on the iPod touch and iPad. The lock button has been moved to the right side so as to not make it hard for users to reach the button when locking and unlocking the phone. The bottom has lost the symmetrical pair of speaker grilles.

If all of the leaks turn out to be true, then we might see a very slim, and bigger iPhone this September 9.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Globe is now unlocking out-of-contract iPhones

Globe iPhone Official Carrier Factory Unlock

Good news to owners of Globe-issued iPhones. Globe is now offering official iPhone unlocks for eligible customers. Unlocking an iPhone allows the user to use a SIM card from another network and could be particularly useful if travelling abroad, or if the user decides to give or sell the device.

To be eligible, the device must be out of contract and that you still have an active account with Globe. The account owner where the device was originally tagged must be the one who initiate an unlock request.

Customers who need to unlock their iPhone should get in touch with Globe thru their hotline (730-1000 or 211) or live chat representatives. If eligible, a customer will be given a reference number for the unlock request and will have to wait for 5 days. Samsung devices are also supported.

We were not immediately able to verify if prepaid iPhone and Samsung devices purchased from Globe can be unlocked as well. We’ll post an update if we get more info.

Source: Globe Community Forums

Friday, July 4, 2014

Samsung Galaxy K Zoom lands for P24,990

IMG_9465

It’s not the Galaxy S5 Zoom. It seems as if Samsung doesn’t want to pollute the name of their flagship smartphone. And so they called the successor to the Galaxy S4 Zoom the Galaxy K Zoom.

The Samsung Galaxy K Zoom follows the same principle as its predecessor. It’s a smartphone with a bulging camera sensor at the back, which makes it a viable replacement for point-and-shoots. It sports a 20.7MP BSI CMOS sensor with Xenon flash, optical image stabilization (OIS) and, as you would expect, a 10X optical zoom. The Korean manufacturer has managed to cram all that in a 16.6mm body.

IMG_9467

The K Zoom’s camera can now do focus (AF) and exposure (AE) separation, a feature that allows its user to focus and expose an image on different subjects. There’s also a Pro Suggest mode which offers different live ‘films’ which are quite like photo filters.

Some of the features from the Galaxy S5 also made their way to the K Zoom. Among those is the S Health Lite application for fitness and health tracking and the Ultra Power Saving Mode which lets you get the most out of your remaining battery juice.

The Samsung Galaxy K Zoom with LTE capability is already available in the Philippines for P24,990.

Initial Impressions: Xiaomi Mi 3

Bang for your Buck is an understatement

Xiaomi has finally reached Philippine shores and it’s leading with its best foot forward – the Mi 3 smartphone. The flagship has been welcomed with much gusto – selling a whopping 3,000 units within just two hours during its debut flash sale at Lazada Philippines last 26 June.

After playing around with it for a few days, I got a first-hand take on why it has been selling like pancakes not just in the Philippines, but also in other Asian countries like Singapore and Malaysia.
I’ll start off by saying how hard it is to believe that Xiaomi has been able to bring the price of the Mi 3 to a jaw-dropping P10,599 considering its impressive spec sheet on par with today’s popular flagships. And if the flash sales are any indication, its rivals should start paying attention.

Xiaomi Mi 3 Philippines

The Xiaomi Mi 3 greets you with 5-inch full HD 1080p IPS LCD screen with a pixel density of 441 pixels per inch. The color reproduction is fairly neutral but can be tweaked in the settings menu. However, the phone is on the tall side. The Xiaomi logo is embedded behind the screen on the top left corner.

Xiaomi Mi 3 Philippines

At a mere 8.1mm, the Mi 3 a fairly thin device as thick as a Samsung Galaxy S5 but not as thin the 7.6 mm iPhone 5s. It’s not feather-light, weighing in at 145g, but the added heft gives it a more premium feel.

Also giving it a premium look is its faux aluminum body which bloggers globally have mistaken to be actual metal. The design is reminiscent of the boxy Nokia Lumia series smartphones. It comes in two colors - metallic grey and black - but the former will be the only variant that will be introduced in the Philippines initially.

Xiaomi Mi 3 Philippines

On top of the Mi 3 is a SIM tray slot that accommodates old-fashioned standard SIM card, since it comes from China where the form factor is still use. The phone does not come with an adapter out of the box so be sure to have one if you're switching from a micro- or nano-SIM.

Xiaomi Mi 3 Philippines

The only physical buttons on the device are its volume rocker and the power button on the right hand side of the device in that order. The home, back and menu buttons are all capacitive.

Xiaomi Mi 3 Philippines

At the bottom is a standard micro-USB port and speaker grills that seem to have been meticulously drilled. The Mi 3 has a matte finish all throughout, making it especially friendly to users with greasy hands.

The back of the phone is fairly plain where you’ll find an f2.2 13-megapixel rear camera with dual-LED flash. The back cover can’t be removed, making its 3050mAh battery non-user replaceable.  Also absent is a memory slot, leaving user stuck with 16 gigabytes worth of onboard memory. A 64 gig model does exist but has yet to be offered in the country.

Xiaomi Mi 3 Specifications and Features
5-inch full HD 1080p IPS LCD display
2.3GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800
Adreno 330 GPU
2GB DDR3 RAM
16GB internal storage
13MP f/2.2 main camera; 2MP front facing camera
3050mAh battery
WiFi
Bluetooth 4.0
NFC
DC-HSPA+ up to 42Mbps

Friday, May 30, 2014

Nokia Lumia 630 Dual SIM goes on sale

Android-powered Nokia XL now also available at retail stores.

Nokia Lumia 630 Dual SIM Philippines

Microsoft Mobile’s (formerly Nokia) first Windows Phone 8.1-powered smartphone, the Nokia Lumia 630 Dual SIM, is now finally on sale in the Philippines. It was officially launched in the country a couple weeks ago. Featuring a dual SIM capability, a first in a Windows Phone handset, the Lumia 630 caters to people who need to maintain to phone lines for different reasons. Such feature was only found in Nokia’s feature phones before, and it’s good to at last see it on Microsoft’s platform.

Aside from being dual SIM-friendly, the Lumia 630 also sports a 4.5-inch FWVGA (854x480) display with on-screen navigation keys, another first for both the platform and phone maker. Under the hood, there’s a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 quad-core CPU, 512MB of RAM, 8GB of storage which you can expand by another 128GB with a microSD, a 1800mAh battery, and 3G support for both SIM cards. There’s a 5-megapixel shooter at the back, while there’s nothing at the front.

The Nokia Lumia 630 Dual SIM will come in green, orange, yellow, white, or black and will retail for P7,990.

The Android-running Nokia XL has just been also made available today. It features a large 5-inch display albeit with a low WVGA (800x480) resolution, a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 dual-core CPU, 768MB of RAM, 4GB of storage which is expandable with another 32GB thru microSD, a 5-megapixel autofocus camera with LED flash, 2-megapixel front-facing camera, and 2000mAh battery. It retails for P8,990.

Nokia XL Dual SIM Philippines

Friday, April 25, 2014

Samsung’s curved ultra high-definition (UHD) TV arrives in the Philippines

Samsung Curved UHD TV Philippines

“This year will be a big year for entertainment”, says Chung Lyong Lee, Samsung Electronics Philippines Corporation (SEPCO) President and Managing Director. The leader in innovation and design once again outdoes itself in its latest TV model release: World’s First Curved Ultra High-Definition (UHD) TV.  This newest lineup from Samsung is geared towards fulfilling the needs and desires of Filipino viewers.

The Samsung Curved UHD TV boasts of crisp picture quality, 4x more powerful that of a FHD screen, and a change in perspective that makes images appear larger and true-to-life. As compared to flat screen TVs, this special screen allows for a more realistic viewing experience even from different angles—ensuring that everyone gets the best seat in the house. The combination of the curved screen and Samsung Proprietary Auto Depth Enhancer UHD technology automatically adjusts contrast for a greater sense of depth and gives a 3D-like effect without requiring glasses. Imagine seeing images coming to life right in front of you in spectacular color, clarity and detail that only Samsung can give. Amazing, isn’t it? Even the color is further enhanced using the PurColor technology that reproduces color for even more detailed expression.

In addition to this, Samsung makes sure that the usage is a breeze with its user-friendly operating system! This Curved UHD TV is easy, fast, and fun to use with its multi-link screen feature that allows dual screens to process separate tasks that operate alongside each other. Side-by-side enjoyment of multiple entertainment portals (think comparing the trailer on YouTube.com vis-à-vis its original cut on Bluray) is now made possible by Samsung’s innovative TV line. Users need not to worry about cutting down on speed performance thanks to the upgraded Quad Core processor, the Quad Core Plus, which delivers quicker loading and navigation through tasks and commands. Browse through the panels for apps, multimedia content, NewsOn features and more with the swift speed of the Samsung SMART TV. The Curved UHD SMART TV is available in 78-inches, 65-inches, and 55-inches in all Samsung outlets nationwide.

fr_1754
2014 Product Lineup: Built for the Philippine Market
Aside from the curved UHD TV, Samsung has tailored this year’s product lineup with the Philippine market in mind. Some of the features worth highlighting on are the internet capability of the TVs, perfect for our social media and internet-savvy Filipino users, and the Family TV feature, that lets family members maximize the Samsung experience with Screen Capture and Sound capture to instantly catalogue their favorite moments on screen for personal viewing in the future. Plus, all these saved images and information are automatically saved in your USB for easy storage and access. What a great convenience! There’s also, Soccer Mode, designed specifically for a more enjoyable sports-watching experience with optimized picture and sound quality. Soccer fans can now zoom in, auto and manual highlight, and record moments throughout the game for a more interactive and closer look at their favorite sport. And for those hungry for local content, there is Clickplay, (the only Philippine Video-On-Demand App with Hollywood content,) and NewsOn page powered by Yahoo PH.

fr_1735

Samsung’s new audio products keep Life and Design in tune
Completing this immersive experience is the ultra-slim HW-H600 SoundStand, which is a complete audio system that can be wirelessly connected to your SMART TV for the full effects of surround sound television enjoyment. It’s sleek, low-profile design is fit for small spaces around your home, such as the bedroom, and is powered by Multi-Direction technology that creates richer sound and high quality acoustics. The HW-H600 can easily be paired with 32” up to 55” Samsung SMART TVs.

Samsung continues to set the bar in innovation worldwide, combining ground-breaking features with unmatched performance and design to create products that match and anticipate consumers’ needs and desires.  Come and see Samsung’s newest lineup of products at your nearest appliance store.

Samsung’s curved UHD TVs bears a price tag of P300,000 to P500,000 while the flat UHD variants range from P150,000 to P400,000.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Globe to offer 15GB of data for P2,499 on new GoSurf plans; P2 per MB overage

Globe Telecom Logo

Starting next week, Globe will replace its PowerSurf postpaid and prepaid data plans with the new GoSurf data plans. This comes after their fair usage policy generated negative reactions from their subscribers, mostly from those who are on contracts.

The previously-unlimited P999 monthly plan will now only give you 5GB of data, with a P2 per-MB overage charge when you exceed of allocation. Those wanting to get more amount of data may get the pricier 10GB plan at P1,799, or the 15GB plan at P2,499. Below is the table for the complete matrix of the new GoSurf plans.

Price Data Allowance Anti-Bill Shock Cap
P99 100MB P1,500
P299 700MB P1,500
P499 1.5GB P1,500
P799 3GB P1,500
P999 5GB P1,500
P1,799 10GB P3,000
P2,499 15GB P3,000

As you may have expected, when it comes to this type of data plan with a per-MB overage charge, Globe will implement anti-bill shock measures as well. Plans P999 and below will have an amount cap of P1,500 while Plans P1,799 and P2,499 have an amount cap of P3,000. These measures are there to prevent subscribers from racking up huge amount of bills from excessive data usage. Lastly, GoSurf plans, being a volume-based plan, are exempt from the fair usage policy also known as FUP.

The GoSurf data plans will be available for prepaid and postpaid starting April 13. Registration is done by texting GOSURFxxx (e.g. GOSURF999) to 8888.