Sunday, September 30, 2012

Hate Apple Maps? Here’s how you can replace it with Google or Nokia Maps with the original icon!

Did you update your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to iOS 6 and regret doing so? Because, you know, Apple’s own mapping solution (for the record: provided by TomTom) is not any better than Google Maps which was bundled on the previous versions of iOS.

Fret not! You can have the web-version of Google Maps with the original iOS icon by installing the configuration profiles Twitter user @benguild created. and run in it full-screen without the Mobile Safari URL and navigation bars. Just visit his blog for the complete steps which are very easy to do.

And, inspired by that nifty workaround, I present my own one – the full-screen Nokia Maps web app. Read on for more.


Nokia has their own mobile web version of their mapping solution, but they don’t have a native app for iOS yet. So I tried doing what @benguild did and voila, a native Nokia Maps web app!

Just install the web profile on your iOS device and if you have a password set, enter it, and done. Check your home screen for your new web app!
Click this link on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch: (short link -

2012-09-30T17-39-14_1 2012-09-30T17-39-14_2

Friday, September 28, 2012

Shocker: Apple issues a letter of apology, mentions Google and Nokia Maps on their website


Apple just posted an apology letter right on the website today. The move was very unexpected. But what’s even more surprising is that they actually mentioned Google and Nokia Maps on their website and even included links to the two services! Check it out.

Apple Apology Letter for Maps

To our customers,
At Apple, we strive to make world-class products that deliver the best experience possible to our customers. With the launch of our new Maps last week, we fell short on this commitment. We are extremely sorry for the frustration this has caused our customers and we are doing everything we can to make Maps better.

We launched Maps initially with the first version of iOS. As time progressed, we wanted to provide our customers with even better Maps including features such as turn-by-turn directions, voice integration, Flyover and vector-based maps. In order to do this, we had to create a new version of Maps from the ground up.

There are already more than 100 million iOS devices using the new Apple Maps, with more and more joining us every day. In just over a week, iOS users with the new Maps have already searched for nearly half a billion locations. The more our customers use our Maps the better it will get and we greatly appreciate all of the feedback we have received from you.

While we’re improving Maps, you can try alternatives by downloading map apps from the App Store like Bing, MapQuest and Waze, or use Google or Nokia maps by going to their websites and creating an icon on your home screen to their web app.

Everything we do at Apple is aimed at making our products the best in the world. We know that you expect that from us, and we will keep working non-stop until Maps lives up to the same incredibly high standard.

Tim Cook
Apple’s CEO

Apple Apology Letter Google and Nokia Maps

Globe reveals the Tattoo Black LTE plans (update)

Globe Telecom yesterday revealed their own plans for their LTE network which is under the brand Tattoo Black.

Globe Tattoo LTE Stick Device Final CS2

Globe’s LTE network can go up to 42Mbps, but theoretically, an LTE network can go up to 100Mbps which is evident on the speed tests.

Globe Tattoo Black LTE Speedtest

Globe will have two plan tiers for Tattoo Black, a Plan 1799 and a Plan 2499.

Subscribers who will avail of the Plan 1799 will get limited speeds of up to 28Mbps, a free USB dongle (looks to be the Huawei E392), discounts at partner establishments, and nationwide concierge assistance. They can opt for a pocket Wi-Fi (which looks like the Huawei E589) for an additional monthly fee of P150. It comes with unlimited data until January 31, 2013 wherein after that date, you will only have 12GB of data every month.

On the other hand, subscribers on the higher Plan 2499 will get access to the network without any speed limits at all. It will also reportedly come with a free pocket Wi-Fi as a secondary device to the main USB dongle – I am still trying to verify this info with Globe as it is not included in the press release they sent out earlier. Aside from that, they will also get a dedicated hotline, priority handling in stores and a personal relationship manager, access to Tattoo events, priority reservation on Globe handset and tablet devices, and 24/7 personal concierge service. This one comes with unlimited data too until the same date, and will have 15GB monthly data after that.

Globe’s LTE coverage is still limited to Makati for now although they said that they are aggressively deploying LTE in more areas in the country. By the end of October, Globe will have around 50 LTE cell towers activated, and 100 by the year’s end.

The Globe Tattoo Black LTE service will be available starting October 28, 2012 at selected Globe Stores.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Smart hosting Switch Madness Sale, iPhone 4S yours for Plan 1500

Smart will be hosting a Switch Madness sale on Friday until Saturday, September 29.

Smart Switch Madness Sale - iPhone 4S Plan 1500

If you are still contemplating on signing-up for a new contract and get an iPhone 4S, now is probably the time to do so. Head on to Smart Store at the Shangri-La Plaza Mall and get the iPhone of the yesteryear for free at Plan 1500. If the iPhone is not your thing, then you will still be happy because they will be offering truckloads of other devices too.

Wireless Broadband devices such as the Power Plug-It will sell for only P625, the Rocket Plug-It Chic for only P1,175, the Pocket Wi-Fi for only P1,945. All you have to do is show your existing broadband device form the other carriers, that is to say, devices from Globe. I’m not sure if they will accept devices from Sun Cellular.

They will be also giving away free Smart Bro SIM cards there, just show your 3G or 4G enabled tablets (i.e. iPad Wi-Fi + 4G, Samsung GALAXY Note 10.1 Wi-Fi + 3G, etc.), Plug-Its, and Pocket Wi-Fi’s.

You can also get prepaid phone kits at discounted prices, with the likes of Sony Xperia Ray selling for only P7,700, Nokia E5 for only P6,500, and HTC ChaCha for only P6,600. I can’t really list down all the offers that are available, so just check them out on Smart’s website.

Google Play Store surpasses 25 billion downloads, celebrates with P10 app sale

Google just announced that the Google Play Store just breached the 25 billion downloads mark, and they are celebrating it by offering a few apps and games on sale.

Google Play Store 25 Billion Sale

14 out of the 675,000 apps are currently on sale right now at only P10.44 ($0.25). Check out the list below.

Angry Birds Space Premium
The Cat in the Hat – Dr. Seuss
Office Suite Pro 6 + (PDF & HD)
Granny Smith
runtastic PRO
Asphalt 7: Heat
Ocean HD
Draw Something
Clouds & Sheep Premium
Let’s Create! Pottery
NFL Kicker 13
Symphony of Eternity

You should act fast though as the promotion will only last for allegedly 24 hours.

UPDATE: The sale will happen for 5 days and there will be new set of apps on sale every day. You may want to bookmark this Google Play Store link.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Lazada is giving away an iPhone 5

Want to be one of the firsts to own to highly coveted iPhone 5? For free? Then read on as Lazada Philippines will give away one!

Lazada Philippines iPhone 5 Giveaway

If you are a regular customer of Lazada, just do your normal habit – that is to shop. Have a single-purchase receipt worth P2,000 or more and you’re in on the raffle. You can get as many raffle tickets as you can. You will receive an e-mail notification if ever you are qualified for an entry. The promo starts today, September 26 and will end on October 26, 2012. One unit of iPhone 5 is up for grabs.

Full legal mechanics below.

Epson Philippines taps group-buying site Ensogo

Epson Philippines tapped group-buying site Ensogo to offer products at much affordable prices.

EPSON Philippines Ensogo Deal

The move to offer products online will give Epson customers benefits like convenience by  shopping right from their home and the fact that they will save huge amounts. ““Epson products are well known for high-quality, precision engineering. However, we are also highlighting the amazing affordability of our products by making them available in non-traditional channels such as online shopping sites” Epson Philippines Corporation (EPC) Head of Sales & Marketing Support Jino N. Alvarez explains.

Right now they are offering the Epson Aculaser C1600 Color Laser Printer for P5497, which is originally valued at P10,995 and the Aculaser CX16 3-in-1 Laser Printer for P8497, which is valued at P16,995 originally – which saves you 51%.

There’s a caveat though, you will have to pick-up your order at the place specified when it becomes available – which defeats the purpose of online shopping. They should offer shipping in the future.

They also encourage people to always visit their website and their Facebook page for the latest deals on their products.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Smart LTE Pocket Wi-Fi coming soon, will bring LTE for all

Smart Communications, Inc. announced today that it will soon add a new device to its LTE lineup, the Smart LTE Pocket Wi-Fi.

Smart LTE Pocket WiFi

The arrival of Smart’s LTE Pocket Wi-Fi means anyone can connect their Wi-Fi devices to it and have fast LTE speeds. The most important thing about this device is that it actually allows you to share your LTE connection to anyone near you even they don’t have an LTE-capable device or even they don’t have an LTE data plan.

What are the advantages of the LTE Pocket Wi-Fi? For one, you can save money. You don’t have to settle for just an LTE dongle which will only work with one device at a time, unless you connect it to a router with a USB slot, or use internet connection sharing on your computer, which is hassle. Second is portability. The problem with a dongle is that you have to connect it to a computer or a laptop for you to use it. The LTE Pocket WI-Fi does the opposite. Just press the power button and you have a Wi-Fi network with LTE speeds. You can take this thing in your car when on a long road trip, try doing that with the other one.

“LTE for All, that’s what the Smart LTE Pocket Wi-Fi brings to the table,” according to Smart Broadband Internet and Data Services Head Lloyd Manaloto. “Even if you don’t have a Smart LTE Plan or the latest LTE-enabled gadgets, you can already experience the power of Smart LTE,” he added.

The specific device being used by Smart is the Huawei E589. It supports downlink of up to 100Mbps and uplink of up to 50Mbps. It supports multiple LTE frequencies, five in fact, which are 2100 (Band 1), 1800 (Band 3), 2600 (Band 7, 900 (Band 8), and 800 (Band 20) MHz. Dual-band 3G (UMTS, HSPA, HSPA+, and DC-HSPA) are also there, supporting 900 and 2100 MHz. Quad-band 2G is supported, of course, supporting 850, 900, 1800, and 1900 MHz. Lastly, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n is here to do all the sharing. The battery is rated at 3,000 mAh.

Smart has not yet announced the plans and pricing details for the LTE Pocket Wi-Fi although I wouldn’t be surprised if it will be offered at the same Plan 3500 with 10 GB of data. This is intended for sharing and multiple users at all.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Western Digital shows 5mm thin hybrid hard drive sampling

Western Digital showcased their new 5mm hybrid hard drive samples during their Investor Day last September 13.


The drive is 2mm slimmer than the hard drives included in the ultrabooks released earlier before, which measure 7mm. It will be available in 500GB and 1TB (plus a separate 8-32GB of NAND storage) configurations , though the latter will still be 7mm thick. As these hard drives are just sample versions, we may not see them shipped with new ultrabooks soon. Asus and Acer both signed up for the waiting list however, so in case you’re eyeing on getting one new Zenbook or Aspire ultrabook in the future, you don’t need to worry.

Photo credit: AnandTech

Saturday, September 15, 2012

J.P. Morgan invests in LAZADA

Lazada, the online department store which launched in spring 2012 in Southeast Asia, has announced that J.P. Morgan Asset Management invested by taking a stake thru their German holding,

Lazada Philippines

Lazada is the newest e-commerce sites that ventured in the Philippines, backed by Rocket Internet. They have received a mixed reactions in the past though as I can see on Twitter, with alleged delays in some shipments. Hopefully the recent transaction means that the future will be all well.

“We feel very honored to welcome J.P. Morgan to our investor group and are particularly excited to be joined by an investor that shares our vision and belief in the huge potential of this populous region replicating online shopping behaviors in developed countries”, regional CEO Maximilian Bittner commented. “This will further support our growth as we strive to offer all of our customers fast, convenient and secure online shopping experiences”.

Get a chance to win a Nokia N9 or 808 PureView with Nokia and Gameloft’s promo

The best things on earth normally does not come for free. But with Nokia and Gameloft Philippines’ promo, you can have one of the best Nokia smartphones for free! Scroll down for more details.


To get started, just like Nokia Philippines and Gameloft’s Facebook page. After that, just download any demo Gameloft game at the Nokia Store, either on the web or on your mobile. Of course, you can use the Nokia Store app if you have it on your phone, it’s much easier. Once you’re done installing demo games on your phone, register them one by one on Gameloft’s Facebook app, right here.

You will have to enter the usual, your name, email address, phone number, the phone model you used to download the game, the phone IMEI (dial *#06# for that), and the title of the demo game. Very easy. The best part of this is that you also get to discover new Gameloft games that you might have not yet heard of and they’re free (with paid upgrade for full version of course)!

So what are you still doing here? Start downloading now! You better hurry, the only prizes remaining is the Nokia N9 and the Nokia 808 PureView.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Apple also unveiled the iPod touch 5th generation, pre-order now

Just in case you didn’t know, Apple also updated their iPod lineup, and the iPod touch 5th generation is part of that.

iPod touch 5th generation Philippines

The iPod touch is probably the product who received the biggest upgrades among all that Apple announced last September 12. It got a new, bigger (taller) 4-inch screen which has the same 1136x640 resolution. The display is now an IPS one, and Apple also added the oleophobic coating the iPhone has always enjoyed. It got a new body as well, this time even thinner than its predecessor.just 6.1mm thin. The tapered edges are gone, it now have a more flat and blocky looks. And finally, the chrome back is goooone! It is now replaced by an anodized aluminum case. No more million-scratches-after-one-week-of-use rants!

The iPod touch 5th generation is now powered by the A5 chip, the same one as on the iPhone 4S. For connectivity, Apple added Bluetooth 4.0 and updated the Wi-Fi chip, which now supports 802.11 a/b/g/n2.4GHz and 5GHz which will work with the new dual-band routers. As expected, it also uses the new Lightning™ connector. Every new iPod touch now also comes with the loop – which is, well, a loop, or a lanyard in other terms. It attaches to the small silver circle that you see at the lower left corner of the iPod touch’s back side. Just press that thing and it will pop-out, letting you attach the loop. It now also supports AirPlay Mirroring.

What probably the biggest upgrade it received is the new iSight camera. Apple slapped a 5 Megapixels one on it’s back. Yes it is autofocus. Yes it have an LED flash. Yes it can record 1080p videos. Yes it has the same sapphire crystal lens cover. And yes, it can do panoramas. Well, Apple brags about the last.

So where and when can you get one? At the Apple Online Store Philippines for now. You can pre-order yours for P16,490 for the 32GB variant and P21,990 for the 64GB one. It now comes in more colors, you can pick from slate, silver, blue, yellow, pink and the Product (RED) one. First batch of orders will ship on October.

Oh I forgot, Siri is included.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The iPhone 5 is now finally… official

The iPhone 5 moniker started to surface almost two years ago and now, Apple has officially acknowledged and announced it. The iPhone 5.

iPhone 5 Philippines

Apple claims the iPhone 5 to be the thinnest smartphone on Earth – packing only a 7.6mm thin body. They made the screen a 4-inch one, while still having the same width for better grip they say. The screen resolution has been vertically bumped to 1136x640. Apps that has not been updated yet will run in letterboxed mode with black bars at the top and bottom. A 5th row of icons can now be accommodated at the home screen.

The iPhone 5 now also supports 4G connectivity and it comes in three flavors – HSPA+ (up to 21Mbps), DC-HSDPA (up to 42Mbps), and yes, LTE (up to 100Mbps). It now also have dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n support.

For the internals, the iPhone 5 is powered by the Apple-designed A6 processor, a dual-core one, which Apple say will give you twice as fast performance and graphics. The battery life is better on this too, you can surf at LTE speeds for 8 hours, or talk for 8 hours, or watch a video for 10 hours continuously.

The camera department has not received a major upgrade. It is still an 8 Megapixels shooter, but the camera module is smaller. Apple also replaced the glass lens with a sapphire crystal one that Apple say is more durable and thinner. Apple also added a new feature, the panorama mode. You can take 28 Megapixels stitched photos using that. It also include improved video stabilization, video face detection for up to 10 faces and the ability to take still photos as you record, which is as we all know, not new. The front facing camera has been upgraded to 1.2 Megapixels. You can now record HD videos using the front camera too!

The iPhone 5 has a new dock connector, called the Lightning™. Alright, Apple had Thunderbolt before, and now they have Lightning™. Sh*t just got real. The new dock connector is much much smaller and it is reversible that there is no wrong way of plugging in the cable. It is grandma-proof.

I think you’ve noticed that I’m sort of bored now. Let’s move on to the more exciting stuffs – the pricing and release dates.

The iPhone 5 will be available for pre-order starting on September 14, for $199 for the 16GB variant, $299 for the 32GB variant, and $399 for the 64GB variant. Take note that those pricing are for the US and it is a carrier-subsidized pricing, meaning you will have to get it with a contract. It will be available in the US, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and the UK September 21. Standard unlocked and no-contract pricing is $649 for the 16GB, $749 for the 32GB, and $849 for the 64GB variant.

It will roll-out to 22 more countries on September 28, including Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. The Philippines not yet included. We just have to wait for Smart and Globe to announce the launch of the iPhone 5. And, the waiting game for some starts now.

iPhone 5 LTE Philippines

Will the iPhone 5 work with Smart and Globe’s LTE networks?
Short answer is yes. The A1429 (GSM) model of the iPhone 5 will support the LTE bands 1 (2100MHz), 3 (1800MHz), and 5 (850MHz). For reference, Smart uses the LTE bands 1 and 3, while Globe only uses band 3.

If I purchase an unlocked iPhone at Hong Kong or Singapore, will it still work with Smart or Globe’s LTE networks?
As stated by Apple, unlocked iPhone 5 models may support LTE networks outside the country of purchase when using a valid SIM from a supported carrier. So yes, it will work as long as you purchased the right model – the A1429 (GSM) iPhone 5. Take note on that. The other two iPhone 5 models, the A1429 (CDMA, used by Sprint and Verizon in the US and KDDI at Japan) and A1428 (GSM, used by AT&T in the US and Bell, Virgin, Rogers, Fido, Telus, & Koodo in Canada) may not work.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Viber for Windows and Mac in the works


Viber is planning a version of the software for Windows and Mac and I got hold of screenshots for that.

Viber for MacViber for Windows PC

The user interface of the Viber for Windows and Mac looks to be reminiscent of that of Skype’s, with a handy toolbar available at the bottom when using the full-screen video calling mode. The interface for the messaging view, however, looks similar to that of iMessage with two panes available for easy navigation.

It is unclear as to when will Viber release both version of the software. But given that they have already finished the development of the apps for Bada, S40, and Symbian, it is more likely coming in the next few months.

Viber announces app for Bada, S40, and Symbian; adds HD calling to Windows Phone

Viber officially announced that it will be releasing an app for Bada, S40, and Symbian devices. They will also add the much waited HD calling feature to the Windows Phone app.

Viber for Nokia S40 and Symbian

“We are committed to our users and to our mission – to let people all over the world connect freely,” said Talmon Marco, CEO of Viber Media. “By adding the S40, Symbian and Bada platforms to our list of supported mobile OSs, we are expanding the community of individuals who can communicate for free, no matter what platform they use.” The company has released some screenshots for the new app for Bada, S40, and Symbian devices, which should be available anytime soon.

Now, get calling anyone for free. :)

Viber for Nokia S40 2 Viber for Nokia S40

Viber for Windows Phone 2 Viber for Windows Phone

Viber for Bada

Smart is testing the Samsung GALAXY S II LTE (i9210)

We just got these photos of a Samsung GALAXY S II LTE (i9210) model riding on Smart’s 4G LTE network. Take a look.

Samsung GALAXY S II Smart 4G LTE

Smart is apparently testing the said device on their newly launched 4G LTE network. This might mean that the carrier might soon offer the device on their smartphone lineup with a more affordable LTE data plan.

According to Samsung’s website, the GALAXY S II LTE (i9210) is a tri-band LTE device which can work with LTE networks on the 800 MHz (Band 20), 1800 MHz (Band 3 – the one used by Smart), and 2600 MHz (Band 38) frequencies. The device did not fail Smart as it gave a speed of about 16Mbps up and 10Mbps down. Not bad.

Samsung GALAXY S II Smart 4G LTE Back Samsung GALAXY S II Smart 4G LTE Speedtest

The Samsung GALAXY S II LTE (i9210) is a smartphone with a 4.5-inch Super AMOLED Plus screen with 800x480 (WVGA) resolution, a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 16GB of internal storage, 8 Megapixels camera, and of course, LTE connectivity which can have speeds of up to 100Mbps. It is also HSPA+ enabled. Only time and Smart can tell if they will indeed offer this device on their lineup.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Globe partially gives out details of their LTE plan (update)

Globe Telecom unveiled their new brand for their LTE services earlier, named the Tattoo Black.

Globe Tattoo Black LTE Plan 1799

The starting plan will be priced P1,799 monthly and can go up to 42Mbps. Unfortunately though, Globe has not disclosed the allotted data for the plan as well as the device/s that will be bundled. But the new iPhone is just around the corner, so there’s a chance that the plan will go along with it.

UPDATE: Globe just posted on their blog that there will be two LTE plans. The Plan 1799 will be unlimited but you can only have speeds of up to 28 Mbps and will come with a free USB dongle. The other one is the Plan 2499 which you can maximize fully up to 42Mbps and with unlimited data. That’s not really bad if you ask me. But I am sure that once the coverage expands and more people jump in the LTE bandwagon, it might just get congested due to some abusive users (they will be always there) downloading tons of big files. Ahem.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Smart joins in hyping up the new iPhone launch

Smart, who can’t afford to be left up in the new iPhone launch bandwagon, has also started to tease its subscribers by the means of a tweet.

Smart iPhone 5

Instructing its subscribers to call their hotline to “be the first at having one of the most anticipated smartphones ever” is just adding another credence that the new iPhone, whatever it will be called, will be indeed coming to the country as soon as this month.

Globe recently sent out a teaser too as a blast SMS to its postpaid customers yesterday.

Friday, September 7, 2012

More details point to a September iPhone 5 release in the Philippines

Just as if the new Globe nano-SIM cards are not enough for us to speculate that the new iPhone are coming here in the country soon, the carrier has gone further and sent out text blasts to some of its postpaid subscribers.

Globe iPhone 5

I got that screenshot from a Globe employee who wants to remain anonymous. I received that message from Globe. Globe Postpaid subscribers out there, have you received the same message as well? Fire up in the comments section below.
Oh and just to add, a Smart Communications, Inc. exec has also teased its subscribers that the Philippines may indeed be one of the firsts in Asia to get the new device. Will you buy the new iPhone when it comes out or will you just wait for the features to be revealed and then decide? If you will get it, from which telco?

Globe’s new nano-SIM cards are here, and they are arriving at stores this month

Look what we have here!

Globe Nano SIM Card

That is Globe Telecom’s new nano-SIM card. It is supposedly coming this month. Yes, this September, the nano-SIMs will be available at Globe Stores.

The nano-SIM are the next generation of SIM (subscriber identity module) cards that follows the not-so-old micro-SIM that was first used by the iPad. According to ETSI, the nano-SIM is 40% smaller than the already-small micro-SIM. Imagine, it’s just 12.3 millimeters wide, 8.8 millimeters high, and 0.67 millimeters thick. it’s more easier than ever to misplace your precious SIM card.

Globe said it will stock as much as 5x more nano-SIMs than the standard mini SIMs soon. “Once again, Globe pioneers in bringing the latest technologies to Filipino mobile phone users as we offer the revolutionary Nano-SIMs in our Globe Stores with the availability of newer smartphone models using this type of SIM very soon,[…]” said Martha Sazon, Head of Globe Postpaid.

Is the Globe exec talking about the upcoming iPhone? The phrase ‘very soon’ and the fact the new nano-SIMs will be in stock as soon as this month makes me think that the Philippines will be one of the first countries to get the new iPhone. You know, what’s the point to release nano-SIMs when there’s no device that people can use it for yet? What a very exciting September.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Samsung tops 20 million GALAXY S III units sold

Samsung just announced that it has already sold 20 million units of its flagship smartphone, the Samsung GALAXY S III.

Samsung Sold 20 Million GALAXY S III

The Korean giant said that in just 100 days, the GALAXY S III sold 20 million – three times faster than it’s predecessor and 6 times faster than the first GALAXY S.

Most of the GALAXY S III’s were sold at Europe which accounts for 6 million. 4.5 million were sold at Asia, 4 million at North America, and 2.5 million at its home turf. The GALAXY S III sold 10 million after being out on the market for 50 days. 200,000 GALAXY S III’s are being sold everyday.

Nokia Lumia 920 unveiled, 4.5-inch HD screen and wireless charging in tow

The day has come. Nokia announced their new flagship smartphone yesterday, the Nokia Lumia 920.

Nokia Lumia 920 Philippines

The Nokia Lumia 920 comes with awesome features. First, Nokia put their own PureView imaging technology on this smartphone. An 8.7 Megapixels shooter is on the back. It comes with what they call the floating lens technology which allows the camera to capture 5 times more light than the top competitor smartphones. "Nokia PureView continues to deliver cutting-edge technology to make it possible for a smartphone camera to take the kind of images usually only seen on a standalone SLR camera," said Jo Harlow, executive vice president of Nokia Smart Devices. "With the Nokia Lumia 920 we have made it possible to shoot pictures and video at home, outdoors, in a restaurant or even at night, and come out with professional-looking results."

Another feature is the City Lens. It is an augmented reality feature that gives you an overlay information about points of interests that surrounds you when you hold the phone in a street. Nokia says that is the most intuitive way to explore a city.

The Lumia 920 comes with a huge battery, rated at 2,000 mAh. It is the largest battery ever put in a Nokia phone. Don’t take it too small though, Windows Phone is known to be a power efficient OS. The Lumia 920 also comes with built-in wireless charging. Welcome to the future.

This is where Nokia disappointed many people. No pricing and release dates has been ever mentioned aside from that it is “expected to start shipping in select markets later in the year.” The Lumia 920 will come in yellow, red, cyan, purple, white, grey, and black. No worries though, it’s coming soon in the Philippines. The Lumia 920 will work with Smart (bands 1 and 3) and Globe (band 3) LTE networks. That’s a fact.

Nokia Lumia 920 Specifications and Features
4.5 inch Nokia PureMotion HD+ WXGA IPS LCD
Corning® Gorilla® Glass
Super Sensitive touch
Nokia ClearBlack with high brightness mode and Sunlight Readability Enhancements
8.7MP with Nokia PureView advanced optical imaging stabilization and Carl Zeiss optics
Full 1080p HD video capture at 30fps
32GB mass memory with 7GB free SkyDrive storage
2000mAh with integrated Qi wireless charging
GSM / HSPA+ / LTE (Compatible with Smart and Globe)
1.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 MSM8960 processor
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n
Windows Phone 8 OS

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Smart fires up LTE on the 1800MHz band

Smart Communications, Inc. just fired up it’s LTE network on the 1800MHz band, making them the first to have multi-band LTE in the country.

Smart 4G LTE Multi-band - Smart and PLDT Executives

“Offering LTE in multiple frequencies will give us and out subscribers greater flexibility,” said Rolando G. Peña, PLDT-Smart Technology Group Head. As you may remember, Smart recently launched the first commercial LTE network just last August 25, but that is riding on the 2100MHz band, the same one used by NTT DoCoMo on Japan. Having LTE on multiple frequency will help people who have devices acquired from the other countries, as many countries have LTE on the 1800MHz band.

Smart also have multi-band configurations of its GSM network, which runs on the 900MHz and 1800MHz bands. It’s 3G and HSPA+ networks, on the other hand, operates on 850MHz and 2100MHz.

Smart is offering LTE for P3,500 a month which gives users unlimited data, until October 25, wherein after that, customers will only get 10GB of data allowance.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Smart tests NFC payments system

Smart Communications, Inc. is currently testing NFC payments, dubbed as the first in the country.

Smart Communications NFC Trial Philippines

The carrier has deployed initial machines that can handle NFC-based payments at it’s head office at Makati City. Special Smart Money cards with NFC chips were handed out to the company employees for use with the machine for checking out at the canteen. Employees currently can use it to purchase snacks and even full meals using the Smart Money card. That makes it a totally cashless transaction as users just need to ensure they have sufficient balance on their account. It seems Smart is on track on making it available on mobile devices as well. I expect that a similar app to Google Wallet would be coming out in the near future. If that is the case, it would be easy for Smart’s part as they could just integrate the users’ Smart Money account with the app, similar to the card concept.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Samsung GALAXY Note 10.1 will be also available on Smart, Globe, and Sun Cellular


A little birdie told me that the freshly launched Samsung GALAXY Note 10.1 will also make its way to the country’s three carriers aside from being sold unlocked and contract-free.

Samsung GALAXY Note 10.1 Philippines

That’s right. Smart, Globe, and Sun Cellular will launch Samsung’s latest flagship tablet and phone hybrid in the country, and for sure, they will bundle it with their respective plans. This makes sense as the three already offer the Samsung GALAXY S III. All we can do is to wait but hopefully they will reveal more info not too long from now. The Samsung GALAXY Note 10.1 retails for P32,990.

Samsung GALAXY Note 10.1 first look, available today

I went to the launch of the Samsung GALAXY Note 10.1 yesterday and I got a chance to finally try it. If you do not know yet, Samsung announced the GALAXY Note 10.1 back in February but only launched it this August as they have to revise the tablet’s specifications a little bit.

Samsung GALAXY Note 10.1 Philippines

First Impressions
The GALAXY Note 10.1 is a huge device for me, since I was always accustomed to the iPad’s 9.7-inch screen with 4:3 aspect ration. However, this tablet comes with a 10.1-inch screen with a 16:10 aspect ration and it is really wider or longer than the iPad when held in landscape mode. Using the S-pen to jot down notes or to draw doodles feels like you’re using a real pen. Of course the friction a real paper provides is not there. The whole package is generally made of plastic and as such, it is very prone to fingerprints and smudges. The back plate of it has a pearlescent sort of color. It is white but when you look at it at a different angle, it gives a slightly pearly violet color. I guess that’s a feature eh? :D



Package Contents
The box includes the GALAXY Note 10.1 itself of course, a proprietary Samsung cable connector and power plug, a pair of headset, a couple of extra stylus tips, the manuals, and not to forget, the S-pen.


Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (GT-N8000) Specifications and Features
10.1-inch LCD screen display with 1280x800 screen resolution, Digitizer
5 Megapixels main autofocus camera with LED flash, 1.9 Megapixel front-facing camera
16/32/64 GB internal memory
2 GB of RAM
7,000mAh of battery capacity
1.4 GHz quad-core Exynos 4412 processor
Digital Compass
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n 2.4 and 5 GHz
Wi-Fi Direct
Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich OS

The Samsung GALAXY Note 10.1 available now for P32,990 for the 16 GB Wi-Fi + 3G (HSPA+) model. There’s no word yet if Samsung will bring in the other variants with more storage.

I think that’s it for now. This is my first ever Android device, so give me time while I get familiar with Android and the Samsung GALAXY Note 10.1. Stay tuned for our full review soon. Meanwhile, enjoy more photos below.

Samsung GALAXY Note 10.1 Philippines 6 Samsung GALAXY Note 10.1 Philippines 7Samsung GALAXY Note 10.1 Philippines 2 Samsung GALAXY Note 10.1 Philippines 3Samsung GALAXY Note 10.1 Philippines 4 Samsung GALAXY Note 10.1 Philippines 5

Disclosure: I won a Samsung GALAXY Note 10.1 from the raffle at the launch.