Friday, November 30, 2012

Kris Aquino stars in a Globe TV ad

Globe Kris Aquino TV Commercial

Famous TV actress Kris Aquino has a new TV commercial wherein she shares that she has been with Globe since 1996 and tells how much of a big deal it was for her to be able to send text messages. She then goes on that ‘Globe has grown with the times’. She then talks on the more modernized network of Globe and stresses that calls not getting cut anymore and that the “I love you mama” of her kids is now always complete. Watch the full TV ad below.

Friday, November 23, 2012

This is the most innovative phone ever made

I mean, seriously!

Cherry Mobile MF1

The Cherry Mobile MF1 is not just a phone, it also doubles triples as a wireless hotspot (or pocket Wi-Fi if you will), and a USB dongle as well. The Filipino company has done a really unique offering here, and I am not joking! Really, this is perfect for their target consumers — the budget conscious. Most of them relies on prepaid data connection for their online needs and this might just be the phone for them. The specs are not too shabby either, it can give full 3G speeds up to 7.2Mbps down and  5.76Mbps down. All of that for just P1,999.

Cherry Mobile MF1 Specifications and Features
Wi-Fi/Wi-Fi Hotspot
USB Tethering/Dongle Mode
HSPA - up to 7.2Mbps down, 5.76Mbps up
FM Radio
Multimedia Player
Bluetooth 2.1
USB with mass storage function
microSD up to 32GB
Available in 4 colors: White, Black, Blue, and Red

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Review: Windows Phone 8X by HTC

The Windows Phone 8X is HTC’s flagship, well, Windows Phone and is one of Microsoft’s signature Windows Phone. I have been using one for two weeks now and I am ready to share my review and opinion.

HTC Windows Phone 8X 5

PART 1: Hardware and Design

“Things on the screen look really sharp…”

The HTC 8X is a thing of beauty. It comes in the professional-looking black and the other very vibrant colors like blue, red, and yellow. When you first pick it up, you will be amazed to feel of how thin it is. Having dimensions of 132.35 x 66.2 x 10.12 mm, the 8X is definitely a medium-sized phone by today’s standards. It doesn’t weigh too much nor too less, while still having a premium feel to it. It is wrapped in a unibody shell with a soft matte touch feel on it that extends outwards on to the side of the front face. That said, the phone does not easily attract fingerprints and smudges. And because of the unibody shell, there’s no user-removable battery and microSD card slot.

HTC Windows Phone 8X 11

The front face of the HTC 8X is dominated by a Gorilla® Glass 2 screen with 1280x720 resolution spread on a 4.3-inch Super LCD 2 panel. The bezel is uniform on the top and bottom. Things on the screen look really sharp, with the screen having 341ppi. Texts look sharp as on most HD screens and colors look vibrant and well saturated on the Super LCD 2 display. However, due to the resolution being a 720p one, some apps are displaying a small empty space at the top though it is not that noticeable and will go away as developers update their apps.

HTC Windows Phone 8X 3 HTC Windows Phone 8X 4

The wide-angle front-facing camera peeks atop the screen just beside the drilled earpiece on the center, which also carries the color of your phone. The three capacitive Windows Phone buttons sits on the bottom in their usual order.

HTC Windows Phone 8X 16 HTC Windows Phone 8X 14

The top part houses the 3.5mm headphone jack, the secondary microphone, and the power/lock button. I sometimes find it hard to press the power button at the top and I often need to stretch out my hand and at the process, I end up accidentally pressing the volume rocker which is located on the right side of the phone.

HTC Windows Phone 8X 17 HTC Windows Phone 8X 18

The SIM card tray is conveniently located just above the volume rocker, and you need an ejection tool which is included in the package to open it. The two-stage camera shutter key sits on the lower-right side of the phone. It is not too stiff which helps prevent hand-shakes when taking photos. The microUSB port and the primary microphone are located on the bottom part of the phone. On the left, there’s nothing. It’s completely bare. HTC should have added a microSD card slot on that side instead.

PART 2: Software

HTC Windows Phone 8X 10

The HTC 8X runs on Microsoft’s latest Windows Phone 8 mobile operating system. I suggest that you should read my review of the OS first by clicking on the link above. Done? Now let me add a few tidbits to that. HTC has added its own software customizations, which is very minimal. On the Start screen you can glance at HTC’s familiar large clock tile, which can display up-to-date weather info. They also bundled additional apps namely Connection Setup, Flashlight, Photo Enhancer, and Converter. Unfortunately, HTC’s app collection pales in comparison with that of Nokia’s. The Attentive Phone features are also present so you can set your phone to lower the ring volume when you pick it up, or set it to ring very loud when in your bag or pocket, and the flip-to-mute setting.

More and more apps are slowly coming on to Windows Phone, with Temple Run, Pandora and more top apps making their way to the store. Sadly, there’s still no mention of Instagram for the platform among others. Other highlights of the Windows Phone 8 include the support for Bluetooth file transfers as well as drag-and-drop from computers, native microSD support, and NFC.

HTC Windows Phone 8X 6

“Don’t listen to something on full volume with your headset on — you might get deaf.”

HTC has also for the first time integrated Beats™ Audio on Windows Phone on the 8X. The volume on the 8X when using a headset gets pretty pretty loud even just on the 15/30 level, let alone when it is set to the highest level. Just so you get a picture, you can actually hear what’s playing through a headset even if you don’t actually wear it. So, don’t listen to something on full volume with your headset on — you might get deaf. The loudspeaker of the 8X shares the same performance too. It produces loud and rich sounds while still not getting distorted because of the integrated amp.

PART 3: Performance

”I haven’t seen any lags at all…”

HTC Windows Phone 8X 11

Windows Phone is known for its not-so-resource-hungry system and that continues on today. The HTC 8X runs everything smoothly with its dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor. Launching apps has noticeably gotten faster, especially with the 3rd party apps. The 2-3 seconds waiting time on Windows Phone 7 has now improved on Windows Phone 8, with most apps with a splash screen getting ready for use in just 1-2 seconds. Lags? I haven’t seen any lags at all in my testing. Tiles fly out when you launch an app, and they fly in again when you go back to the Start screen.


On the browser, webpages load smoothly. Zooming and panning around pages are fast, and thanks to the sizeable amount of RAM the 8X have, the browser has never crashed even for a single time — even with 6 tabs open. My only grunt about IE 10 is it still doesn’t render some HTML5 websites properly (take a look at it on my Windows Phone 8 review).


Overall, though, the HTC 8X is really fast at almost everything it’s thrown up. The 8X can switch between open apps and games without breaking a sweat. For the benchmark junkies out there, I run WP Bench and the 8X scored a little over 235, which is on par with the other dual-core Windows Phones.


The battery life of the 8X is typical of a smartphone. It gives me around 16-18 hours of moderate usage, with the Wi-Fi set to on, casual browsing, and minimal calls. Call performance on the 8X is generally within the acceptable range though I cannot really judge it too much on this department as call quality really depends on the network serving you.

PART 4: Camera

“This is the kind of front-facing camera that should be a standard for all smartphones.”

HTC Windows Phone 8X 2

The HTC 8X sports an 8 Megapixels primary camera with a backside-illuminated (BSI) sensor which helps in low-light conditions and an f2.0 aperture lens. Photos especially in well-lit conditions are good. They can sometimes become a bit noisy though, which is noticeable when you zoom in. Check out the sample photos below, click on each one to view them in full resolution.

WP_20121130_058 WP_20121130_068WP_20121130_073 WP_20121130_077WP_20121130_078 WP_20121130_085WP_20121130_082 WP_20121130_088

Things get more interesting on the other side (pun intended). The front-facing camera is an 88-degree wide-angle one. This is the kind of front-facing camera that should be a standard for all smartphones. It’s just perfect for video-calling. Look at the comparison shot I did below.



See the difference? Not only I did not look too close to the camera, it also captured more area than on the other one. This will be useful for group shots with your friends or maybe a family video-call. You don’t have to compress the unlucky one on the center. :D

The Verdict

“The HTC 8X is beauty and brains.”

The HTC 8X is one heck of a sleek Windows Phone. Its build quality is pretty solid; it’s not too large for someone with small hands or too small for the large-handed. Windows Phone 8 is much better than its predecessor and is bound to get even better in the future. Whilst only having a dual-core processor, the 8X managed to keep everything going on smoothly without any major hiccups and small lags. If you’re an audiophile, the Beats™ Audio in here will definitely delight your ears. Its camera has some room for improvements especially the noisiness of photos in low-light. The wide-angle front-facing camera is a win though, especially for those who are an avid user of video-calling apps. To sum it up, the HTC 8X is beauty and brains.

The good
Good, solid build quality
Sharp and bright display
Fast performance and almost lag-free
Good sound quality, Beats™ Audio
Wide-angle front-facing camera
Camera takes sharp photos when in well-lit conditions 
Body is not too large, not too small

The bad
Power button placement on the top
Windows Phone still lacks some top apps on the store
HTC’s own app collection can be counted with your fingers

Samsung GALAXY Camera goes on sale in the Philippines this November 26

Samsung GALAXY Camera Philippines

Mister Jonjon has exclusively learned that Samsung Philippines is planning to launch the product of their first foray in the camera-phone hybrid market, the Samsung GALAXY Camera, this coming November 26 in the Philippines. It will reportedly sell for P23,990 and will come in both white cobalt black.

The Samsung GALAXY Camera is an Android-powered digital compact camera that boasts of a 16 Megapixels BSI CMOS sensor with a 21x optical zoom. It runs on the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, has a 4.8-inch HD Super Clear LCD, runs on a 1.4GHz quad-core processor, and includes 3G/4G/Wi-Fi/Bluetooth connectivity. For more, check out our quick hands-on with the device over here.

Nokia Lumia 510 now available at WellComm

Nokia Philippines has announced the availability of the Lumia 510 in the country.

Nokia Lumia 510 Philippines

The Nokia Lumia 510 is the most affordable Windows Phone device to date. It runs on Windows Phone 7.5 and will be upgrade to 7.8 sometime later. It sports a 4-inch LCD display with an 800x480 (WVGA) resolution. The display is not that bad considering the price the phone comes in. Aside from that, it comes with a 5 Megapixels autofocus camera, a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S1 processor, 4GB of internal memory, 7GB of SkyDrive online storage, and a 1,300mAh battery capacity.

The Lumia 510 is already available at Wellcom/Wellcom 3C Stores, MP3 King Kiosks, MP3 Express Kiosks, Wellcom Digital Express Kiosks, Nokia Store SM Sta. Rosa, Nokia Store Rockwell, Nokia Kiosk Isetann, Nokia Kiosk Riverbanks, Nokia Kiosk Sta. Lucia East Mall, and Nokia Kiosk Ever Gotesco. It has an SRP of P7,290 and comes in black, red, and white.

Nokia Lumia 510 Specifications and Features
4-inch screen with WVGA (800x480) resolution
Snapdragon™ S1 single-core processor
5 Megapixels autofocus camera
4GB internal memory
7GB SkyDrive memory
1300 mAh battery capacity
Windows Phone 7.5 Mango OS

Monday, November 19, 2012

Apple may or may not release the iPad mini in the Philippines on Friday

Apple Black Friday Sale

Apple will be having a so-called ‘one-day shopping event’ this Friday, November 23 — which falls on Black Friday, the start of the Christmas shopping season. The company has already sent out teasers in which an iPad is concealed in a green Smart Cover. There’s not so much to delve into the image but I hope Apple will release the 4th generation iPad on that day because for almost a month already, people have not been able to purchase a current-generation full-sized iPad. They’re still selling the iPad 2, though it’s already more than a year old.

Perhaps they’ll also release the iPad mini? Oh, November 23 is exactly 30 days after the announcement of that — makes sense! Meanwhile, check out the alleged official pricing of the iPad mini here.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Nokia announces January 2013 availability for the Lumia 920 and Lumia 820

Nokia Lumia 920 Philippines

The Head of Corporate Communications at Nokia Philippines Nikka Abes just disclosed that the two Windows Phone 8 devices of the company, the Lumia 920 and Lumia 820, will be making their way in the country by January 2013. The exact ‘pricing will be announced closer to sales start’.

UPDATE: We asked the exec about the delay and it’s cause, she cited that their ‘rollout strategy per country is based on bringing products to market when [they] have the right infrastructure, ecosystem and Nokia Care support to deliver the best local experience possible for consumers’. It probably means that Nokia might be working with Microsoft on getting some Windows Phone features such as the Xbox Music and Xbox Live in the country. Additionally, the support training for the store employees might be just underway or is only about to start. Hold on tight! They’re on it.

Image Credit: The Verge

Friday, November 9, 2012

Smart to carry Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 on it’s lineup

Smart just announced that they will be soon offering Google’s newest smartphone, the Nexus 4, as well as it's 7-inch tablet, the Nexus 7, this holidays.

LG Nexus 4 Philippines

The Nexus 4 is Google’s latest home-made smartphone, which is being made by LG. It runs on the latest Android 4.2 Jelly Bean which has new features like gesture typing a la Swype, and photo spheres, The device is powered by a quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, backed by 2GB of RAM. It has an 8 Megapixels camera on the back which can shoot 1080p full HD videos.

Smart has not yet announced the plans and pricing for the Nexus 4 and Nexus 7. The Nexus 4 sells for $299 for the 8GB model and $349 for the 16GB model in the US. On the other hand, the Nexus 7 retails for $229 for the 32GB model, but is being sold here in the country for P13,995.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

HTC One X+ officially launched, coming this November

HTC Philippines just announced that their newest Android flagship is coming this month.

HTC One X  Philippines

The HTC One X+ is a minor upgrade to the original version which was announced and released earlier this year. It now packs a faster 1.7GHz NVidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor, a larger 64GB of internal memory, 2100mAh battery, NFC, HTC Sense 4+, and lastly, it ships with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. Part of the slightly upgraded Sense skin are two new camera modes — the Self Portrait and Sightseeing modes. The rest of the device has stayed the same as the original, but the improvements are really noticeable as some publications report.

The One X+ will be available this November (check the stores, it might be already on stock) and is priced at P32,800. Meanwhile, original One X users, just letting you know that you can also have a taste of Jelly Bean now

HTC One X+ Specifications and Features
4.7 inch super LCD 2 touch screen with HD 720p resolution
Gorilla® Glass 2
8 megapixel camera with auto focus, LED flash, and BSI sensor (for better low-light captures), Dedicated HTC ImageChip
F2.0 aperture and 28mm lens
1080p video recording
NVIDIA® Tegra® 3 1.7 GHz, Quad core
64GB mass memory
3.5 mm stereo audio jack
NFC capable
Bluetooth® 4.0
Wi-Fi®: IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n (dual-band)
Beats Audio™
Digital compass
Proximity sensor
Ambient light sensor
2,100mAh battery capacity, non-removable
Android 4.1 Jelly Bean OS


Saturday, November 3, 2012

Hands-on with the Windows Phone 8X by HTC

Yes, the Windows Phone 8X by HTC is the official name of the device — the signature Windows Phone device by the Taiwanese company and Microsoft. It’s a mouthful, but I’ll simply call it the HTC 8X.

HTC Windows Phone 8X Philippines

The HTC 8X was announced back in mid-September as the company’s flagship Windows Phone, along with the 8S. The folks over at HTC were kind enough to hand us a unit for a review, and we’re sharing our initial impressions and some photos of the device.

HTC Windows Phone 8X Philippines 2

Upon pickup up the HTC 8X, first thing that came in my mind is that it’s no Lumia. While both are built with premium materials, holding the 8X doesn’t feel the same as holding a Lumia. The body of the HTC 8X is dominated by a single piece of shell which has a matte texture, giving it a smooth but grippy feel. The matte shell extends to the front of the device, which gives it a nice outline especially if you have one in blue, red, or yellow. The screen has a size of 4.3-inch, which may look small compared to the other flagship smartphones today. It is a Super LCD 2 display with an HD resolution. You will really like the crispiness of the display here.

HTC Windows Phone 8X Philippines 3

HTC gave the 8X a squarish share rather than a rounded one. The phone still doesn’t feel too blocky despite that, thanks to the tapered edges on the back. The camera sits flush on the back so there’s no added bulk on there.

The HTC 8X runs Windows Phone 8, and it is just snappy. We’re still testing out the phone and the OS and we’ll share our review once it’s ready.

HTC Windows Phone 8X C620E Specifications and Features
4.3 inch super LCD 2 touch screen with HD 720p resolution
Gorilla® Glass 2
8 megapixel camera with auto focus, LED flash, and BSI sensor (for better low-light captures), Dedicated HTC ImageChip
F2.0 aperture and 28mm lens
1080p video recording
Qualcomm® S4 1.5 GHz, Dual-core
16GB mass memory
3.5 mm stereo audio jack
NFC capable
Bluetooth® 3.1
Wi-Fi®: IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n (dual-band)
Beats Audio™
Built-in amp
Digital compass
Proximity sensor
Ambient light sensor
1,800mAh battery capacity, non-removable
Windows Phone 8 OS

HTC has told us that the 8X will be released this November in the Philippines and will have a price tag of P28,880. There’s currently no info regarding carrier availability yet.