Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Globe posts P7.8 billion revenues in broadband business

Globe Telecom, through its broadband brand Tattoo, maintained its leadership in the Philippine broadband industry with its flagship on-the-go and home broadband services after posting double-digit increases in both revenues and subscriber base as of end-September 2013.

Broadband revenues leapt 22% from P6.3 billion to P7.8 billion year-on-year, the highest in the industry, on the back of the market’s positive response to Tattoo’s wide portfolio of wireless and wired broadband products that were made more affordable and relevant to subscribers. Tattoo closed the first nine months of the year with 1.9 million broadband subscribers, up by 15% from last year’s 1.6 million, with both wired and wireless subscriber bases registering growths of 17% and 14% respectively.

“We are happy to sustain momentum of our broadband business with game-changing offers that provide fast internet connectivity, may it be mobile or at home broadband services,” said Gilbert Simpao, Head of Broadband Business at Globe. “As we’re starting to reap the benefits of our new modern network, we will remain focused on finding new ways to delight our customers and provide them with new broadband innovations.”

Robust growth in the broadband business resulted from aggressive acquisitions campaigns, attractive pricing offers and product bundles. This positive response and sustained growth was a product of the company’s continued push to expand its product portfolio and its awareness of the customers’ evolving and increasing demands for nomadic and home broadband services such as the more affordable Tattoo Prepaid 4G SuperStick at P1995 alongside Tattoo Postpaid’s more personalized and consumable plans with increased surfing speeds now up to 42 Mbps delivered by the telco’s growing and expanding Long Term Evolution (LTE) network.

The Tattoo Prepaid LTE devices were also launched with the mobile Wi-Fi variant at the forefront as it doubles as a powerbank with 3000mAh capacity. LTE Postpaid plans are also offered starting at Plan 1299 which comes with a free LTE dongle or, for a one-time fee of P2,000, upgrade to a mobile Wi-Fi device.

True to its customer-focused strategy, Tattoo introduced its first rewards program called Tattoo+ Rewards, where qualified subscribers earn rewards points and freebies by subscribing, loading and using Tattoo services. Tattoo also launched the revolutionary Tablet Revolution bannering the most affordable tablet bundles where subscribers get three free devices -- Skyworth S73 tablet or a Cloudpad 705W, a Blackberry Curve 9220 and the country’s fastest broadband Wi-Fi stick which can power up to 10 devices, all starting only at Plan 1298. Other Tattoo tablet bundles are also made available with varying numbers of free browsing hours starting at Plan 598.

Tattoo Home Broadband also offered its enhanced product bundles with high-speed internet, free landline, and free unlimited landline to mobile (Globe and TM) call services. Broadband bundles were unveiled such as Plan 1099 at 1 Mbps, Plan 1299 at 2 Mbps, Plan 1599 at 3 Mbps, Plan 2299 at 5 Mbps, Plan 3999 at 10 Mbps and Plan 4999 at 15 Mbps. Meanwhile, internet-only plans that connect at 3 and 5 Mbps were made available at Plan 999 and 1999 respectively, both with unlimited internet access.

To date, over 80% of the network is already on 4G HSPA+ providing faster mobile browsing experience for customers, complementing the pilot LTE deployments in key business districts. Nearly 900 Long Term Evolution (LTE) sites in key cities and holiday destinations are now operational. At the same time, Globe continues to enhance its Service Quality with the continuing optimization and capacity upgrade of its modern network.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Globe giving customers free Tattoo Mobile Wi-Fi with every prepaid tablet bundle

Tattoo Prepaid Mobile WiFi

Whether it is a well-deserved reward for a hardworking year that was or as a special gift for a loved one, Tattoo, the country’s most reliable mobile broadband, gives you the best prepaid value tablet bundle offers of the season!

You may just be able to check a wish off your list with Tattoo’s unbeaten prepaid tablet bundles! Save as much as P2845 with these new offers that carry a great selection of affordable tablets starting at P4995 for a CloudPad 705W or a SkyWorth S73 and P6995 for a SkyWorth S82. All these new bundles now come with a FREE Tattoo Mobile Wi-Fi that allows you to connect up to 10 devices with speeds of up to 7.2mbps!

“As Tattoo’s offers evolve with the needs of our customers, we continue to create different bundles that would satisfy the desire to always be on trend. And with the surge of quality and reasonably priced tablets, we saw the opportunity to provide these latest gadgets to our subscribers through some of the best value offers available in the market today” said Globe Vice President for Tattoo Nomadic Broadband Business Dong Ronquillo.

Tattoo also gives you more reasons to enjoy the holidays with a wonderful freebie to kick start your mobile broadband connection by texting FREE1 to 8888 for 1 free surfing hour good for a day.

Try something new this season. Step up and join the Tattoo Tablet Revolution. Know more about Tattoo’s latest deals and visit tattoo.globe.com.ph, call 730-1010 or visit a Globe store near you.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Ride-hailing service Uber is now in Manila, Philippines, rates start at P40

Uber Manila Promo Code Philippines Fare Rates Pricing

Uber, an app which lets you request a private car with only a few taps and pay via credit or debit cards, has silently announced that it is now testing the service in Metro Manila. The company says on its blog that a limited number of Uber Black cars are available in Makati and Bonifacio Global City in Taguig for the duration of testing.

The app, which is available for iPhone and Android, works in the same way as other taxi-hailing apps — you launch the app, search for cars available around your current location, and enter your booking details. For an Uber Black car, which could be a Toyota Altis, a Ford Focus, or a Hyundai Sonata, the rates start at P90, and goes up by P12.92 for every kilometer plus P2.10 for every minute of your trip.

An error in Uber's app and website showed that the rates are in US dollar, and is still not fixed as of posting. A PR person from Uber told Mister Jonjon that "all our rides are priced in the Philippine Peso."

UPDATE: The pricing error has been already fixed.

Uber Manila Promo Code Philippines Fare Rates Pricing

Other cars include the low-cost UberX, the Uber SUV which seats up to 6, and the Uber LUX which lets you arrive at your destination in a high-end vehicle. On some cities, an Uber Taxi is also available.

BONUS: Get P300 credits on Uber when you use promo code 'uberloaded' when you sign up. Click this link to sign up now.

With the arrival of Uber, other taxi-booking apps like GrabTaxi and EasyTaxi now face more competition. Having its own rates, and seemingly higher at that, can Uber compete head to head with other services? Let's find out in the sample calculation below.

Uber vs. GrabTaxi / EasyTaxi vs. Ordinary Taxi

The normal rates for an ordinary taxi in the metro start at. P40, which includes the first 500 meters. You are then charged P3.50 for every 300 meters (P1.167 for 100 meters), and P3.50 for every 2 minutes (P1.75 per minute) the car is idle. A 20-kilometer ride on a taxi will cost you P267.565, and that's without any stops. If you're stuck in heavy traffic for a total of 10 minutes, it will be P285.065.

Now, both GrabTaxi and EasyTaxi charge a P70 booking fee on top of the normal taxi rates. A 20-kilometer ride with no stops will be P337.565. It becomes P355.065 if you slowed down or stopped for 10 minutes. Both apps use vehicles of their partner taxi companies.

Again, Uber charges P90 for booking, P12.92 for every kilometer (P1.292 for 100 meters), and P2.10 for ever minute when the vehicle is traveling at 18 kilometers an hour and below. So a 20-kilometer trip using Uber will cost you P348.40 — or P369.40 if you dip below the minimum speed limit for a total of 10 minutes.

That makes Uber's rates only a little more expensive than GrabTaxi and EasyTaxi. So, what do you think?

Friday, December 13, 2013

Globe restores 90% of 2G and 88% of 3G services in Visayas

Around 90% of Globe’s 2G and 88% of their 3G cell towers in Visayas have already been restored, according to their latest update. This is following their fast-tracked repairs for the affected network infrastructures in the region, particularly in Leyte, Samar, and Biliran. They are also expediting the restoration of a relay site in Eastern Samar, which will provide cellular coverage in the entire province once completed.

Other areas where cellular services have been restored include Abuyog, Mahaplag, Julita, MacArthur, and Suhi in Leyte, Culaba in Biliran, San Isidro, Las Navas, and Biri in Northern Samar, Balete, Batan, Cuartero and Dumalag in Aklan, Cabiga and Tagapul-an  in Western Samar, Dolores in Eastern Samar, Jamindan in Capiz, and Odlot in North Cebu.

Start your Christmas countdown with these 12 apps for Nokia Lumia smartphones

Nokia 12 Apps of Christmas Visual

The holidays are always filled with celebrations – feasts with family, parties with friends, and an endless string of other social gatherings. It is the time of the year when everyone deserves to kickback, relax, and spend time with the people they care most about.

With the rapidly growing number of apps available on the Windows Phone Apps+Games Store, you can find the perfect app that will make even the usual  ‘partridge in a pear tree’ more alive and festive.

Holiday Photos & Selfies
To capture precious holiday moments, download Christmas 2013; a free photography app that helps create personalized Christmas cards for sharing on your preferred social network. Nokia Cinemagraph, a magical blend of photo and movie-like animation, creates pictures that seem almost alive. It animates an area of your picture with enchanting results. The popular Instagram is now also available for Windows Phone 8 users in BETA version. Customize your favorite Christmas photo with the custom built filter effects to transform your special moments into works of art.

Food & Fit
The holidays have also become a reason for a lot of us to indulge a little more; an excuse to help ourselves to another slice of cake, another glass of wine, or an extra hour of sleep. However, it is good to have a treat once in awhile. With these apps, you can worry less about getting off track with your goals and enjoy the holiday festivities.

Spice up your Christmas menu and learn new food preparation tips through Allrecipes. It delivers thousands of top rated quick and easy recipes that will definitely be a hit among friends and family. Alcometer lets you determine your blood alcohol level easily. It helps you revel responsibly throughout the holidays with the alcohol content, the glass size, and the time of taking drinks being completely customizable. Keep the extra pounds from all the delectable dishes off with the help of MyFitnessPal. It is Windows Phone 8’s fastest and easiest way to count calories.

Gifts & Games
In this time of giving, browse through the largest selection of gifts and purchase your dream Nokia Lumia device, the new and affordable Nokia Asha phones or other nice presents through Amazon Mobile. AE City Jump – Christmas is an adventure game set across the city. Various bonus levels, bright graphics, and smooth gameplay make it challenging and fun for everyone. Among kids, Christmas Hunt is a favorite. It is a simple game in which users help Santa and his reindeer find Christmas items across twelve different Christmas hunt pages.

Staying Connected
Show loved ones here and abroad that you care by staying connected with them. Download Skype and make free Skype to Skype video and voice calls as well as send instant messages to friends and family around the world. Send free messages, pictures, audio notes, and video messages to loved ones through WhatsApp. Explore new places and make new memories with friends and family with HERE Maps, which shows the smartest way across town even without going online.

Make your Christmas merrier and download these free apps now from the Windows Phone Store.

Globe to offer iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display

Globe Telecom iPad Air iPad mini with Retina display Postpaid Plans Philippines

As expected, Globe announced on Monday, December 9 that they will be carrying the cellular versions of the iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display on their postpaid plans starting on December 19. The iPads will be available with unlimited LTE data, though the pricing for those plans haven’t been revealed yet.

The iPad Air features a new design, similar to that of the iPad mini. It is 20% thinner at only 7.5mm, 28% lighter at just one pound, and still can go for up to 10-hour of video playback time. The iPad mini with Retina display, on the other hand, now packs a higher-resolution display, just like the Air. Both models have the new A7 CPU with M7 motion-coprocessor, 2x faster Wi-Fi, and improved LTE with support for even more bands as well as MIMO.

Those who are interested in the iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display may register their interest on Globe’s website, here and here.

LG’s Nexus 5 exclusively arrives on Smart


Google’s latest pure-, well, Google device, the Nexus 5 by LG, has arrived in the Philippines. The Android KitKat-packing smartphone is exclusively available on Smart. You can get the Nexus 5 without any upfront cash-out starting at Unlimited Data Plan 1500 on a 30-month contract. It includes unlimited LTE data, 120 SMS, and 60 minutes of calls to all networks. If you feel that a 30-month tie up is too long, you can opt to pay P6,000 and settle for the normal 24-month contract.

The Nexus 5 is also available on All-In Plan 1800 with no cash-out on 30-months, or for P3,500 on 24-month contract. Those who prefer to go the no-strings-attached way can get it for P22,500 on prepaid.

The Google Nexus 5 features a 5-inch full HD 1080p display, a 2.26GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 CPU, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, 4G LTE, and an 8-megapixel camera with OIS. It is the first smartphone to run on Android 4.4 KitKat out-of-the-box.

Source: Smart

Sunday, December 8, 2013

My life is a lie! Prank your friends and win a Crumpler bag for you and him

Crumpler Hack and Prank

People of the internet, beware! A lot of social media accounts are going to be hacked this Christmas season. Yes, that’s right. Crumpler is currently running a very funny contest wherein you will have to post something humorous on one of your friends’ Facebook or Twitter accounts.

You can post something like “I was told that I was adopted. My whole life is a big lie!” or “I pooped in my pants earlier… Ugh.” It’s really up to you as to what you will post on their accounts and how you will do that (Maybe you can borrow their phone…). The funnier, the better!

And just in case your friend gets mad at you after those postings, don’t worry. Crumpler will give away a bag for you and your friend! “Hey, here. Please take my peace offering.” LOL!

Crumpler will give away a pair of bags every week for the whole month of December. So if you want to get going, check out the mechanics on their website.

iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display launching on December 19 in the Philippines

iPad mini with Retina display Philippines

On December 4, we reported that the iPad Air is going to be available today, December 8 — which obviously didn’t happen. According to our source, the new release date at Apple Authorized Resellers in the Philippines is now pegged on the 3rd week of the month, specifically, on December 19 or 20. Apple and its channel partners should have an official announcement by tomorrow.

Still, no pricing and release date has been announced for both iPads. The iPad Air could see its pricing starting at around P23,990 while the iPad mini could start at around P16,000 to P18,000. Our source also confirmed to use that Globe will offer the iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display as well with their data plans. As was the case last year, Smart most likely join the party as well, though our source cannot confirm this yet.

The iPad Air features a new design, similar to that of the iPad mini. It is 20% thinner at only 7.5mm, 28% lighter at just one pound, and still can go for up to 10-hour of video playback time. The iPad mini with Retina display, on the other hand, now packs a higher-resolution display, just like the Air. Both models have the new A7 CPU with M7 motion-coprocessor, 2x faster Wi-Fi, and improved LTE with support for even more bands as well as MIMO.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Nokia Asha 502 now available in stores for P4,800


Nokia recently announced that the Asha 502 Dual SIM is now available at retail stores in the Philippines for P4,800. The Asha 502, a new addition to the Finnish company’s low-end smartphone line, features a clever new design called dual-shot. The phone itself is made of brightly colored body enclosed in a clear transparent shell, which makes it look as if the phone is wrapped in ice. It is a nice touch and makes the phone look more appealing to the eyes.

The Nokia Asha 502 is one of the first Asha devices (along with the Asha 503) to pack a 5-megapixel camera with LED flash. It comes with built-in photo filters and editing capability so you can further enhance your photos according to your liking. It is also Easy Swap dual SIM capable, as with most Asha devices, and even lets you switch SIM cards when the phone is turned on.

Nokia Asha 502 Specifications and Features
3-inch display with QVGA resolution
5-megapixel camera with LED flash
GSM 900/1800 MHz
Bluetooth 3.0
Dual SIM
1010mAh battery
4GB microSD memory, expandable up to 32GB

The Nokia Asha 502 comes in black, white, yellow, green, cyan, and red and retails for P4,800. It comes with a 4GB microSD card out-of-the-box, though it can take cards of up to 32GB in capacity.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

iPad Air to be available in the Philippines on December 8 (update)

iPad Air Price Release Date Philippines

Apple greatest and latest 9.7-inch tablet, the iPad Air, is arriving in the Philippines on December 8, according to our anonymous source. The supposed release date — which falls on a Sunday — is for Apple Resellers in the country. There is also a chance that the iPad Air could be available in stores as early as Friday, December 6. The pricing hasn’t been announced yet, though if Apple follows its previous pricing for the iPad, the 16GB Wi-Fi model would start at P23,990.

It’s smaller 7.9-inch counterpart, the iPad mini with Retina display, however, is not yet coming. It could follow after a few weeks, though there is really no information about it at this time.

The iPad Air features a new design, similar to that of the iPad mini. It is 20% thinner at only 7.5mm, 28% lighter at just one pound, and still can go for up to 10-hour of video playback time, which is normally how Apple rates battery life. It packs the new A7 CPU with M7 motion-coprocessor, 2x faster Wi-Fi, and improved LTE with support for even more bands as well as MIMO. The display stays the same at 2048x1536, equating to 264ppi.

UPDATE: The release date has been moved to 3rd week of December.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

LG’s 55-inch curved OLED TV arriving in first week of December

LG Curved OLED TV Philippines

The world’s first ever curved OLED television, made by LG, is set to be released in the Philippines in the first week of December. The 55-inch EA9800 model is specifically the one that is slated to be launched in the country. At only 4.3mm thick (should I say thin), it is as thick as the size of three credit cards, and one-fourth of conventional TVs. If that’s not enough to blow your mind, it is thinner than most flagship smartphones today (the thinnest smartphone is at around 6mm). Come to think of it. The LG OLED TV weighs at less than 17 kilograms.

A carbon fiber-reinforced plastic back is used to further strengthen the unit, and transparent speakers are embedded along the crystal-like stand. LG’s WRGB tech adds white sub-pixel in addition to the traditional red-green-blue setup to enhance colors and contrast. It also features a wide-angle display and includes the Smart TV capabilities and Cinema 3D features such as 2D to 3D conversion.

LG Curved OLED TV Philippines 2

"LG is looking forward to launching the world’s first Curved OLED TV in the Philippines," said Hoony Bae, LG Electronics Philippines Vice President for Home Entertainment division. "Being a progressive country, the local market will surely enjoy getting a feel of the next generation TV technology, allowing optimal TV viewing experience, comfort, and entertainment. LG will continue to establish innovations like this that will ultimately benefit the consumer."

LG Curved OLED TV Side Philippines

The LG Curved OLED TV EA9800 will retail for P499,990.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Nexus 7 (2013) officially lands in stores, starts at P13,495

The beefed-up Nexus 7 (2013) was announced 4 months ago, but it was only this week that ASUS was able to release it in the stores. As announced on their Facebook page five days ago, the Google Nexus 7 (2013) is now available in ASUS Stores (and other retailers as well, I assume) in the Philippines. The 16GB model sells for P13,495 while the 32GB model goes for P16,495. Both comes with a free TravelCover case, which is not being sold separately. Those are the Wi-Fi only models, however. The 32GB LTE model’s availability is yet to be announced. We might, hopefully, see it released bundled with data plans on local networks.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Instagram app for Windows Phone now available

Instagram for Windows Phone Nokia Lumia

The highly anticipated release of Instagram — an image-sharing app — for Windows Phone devices has finally come. Earlier today, Instagram announced that the app is now available in the Windows Phone Store for all devices running, well, Windows Phone 8.

The app, which users on iOS and Android has embraced for years, packs most of the features in the initial release. All the original Instagram filters such as XPro-II, Rise, Amaro, and more  are included, as well as the ability to add blur effects on your photos. It supports taking and uploading photos using the front and back camera (though not in a straightforward way) and sharing it to Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Tumblr, and Foursquare. Shooting and uploading videos, however, is currently not supported at this release.

Aside from that limitation, this is pretty much what you’ll expect from an official app. Instagram says that they are not yet done in developing the app, so expect more features to be added in future updates. We’re happy that Windows Phone users now get to join the other 150 million Instagram users.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Gionee's Elife E6 eyes businessmen

Gionee Elife E6

Gionee Communication Equipment Co. Ltd., one of China’s leading mobile  phone manufacturers, is eyeing businessmen as its niche market for its new smartphone model. Gionee Philippines mobile head Katrin Salanga-Gregorio said at the launch of its new smartphone model Gionee ELIFE E6 that businessmen will find the new phone suited for their needs. “Businessmen who are on the lookout for a smart phone and who need to be mobile will find Gionee’s ELIFE E6 a great and reliable companion,” Salanga-Gregorio said.

She said that ELIFE E6 is packed with superior features that businessmen will find useful. For one, ELIFE E6 is equipped with NQ Mobile Security and Anti-Virus.  Businessmen who are into mobile banking will no longer have to worry about the security of their information and data.

The NQ Mobile Security and Anti-Virus also gives users peace of mind whenever they surf the Internet.  Its Internet Protection protects the email, social media and other web accounts of users. The Internet Protection feature also protects the smart phone from malicious websites. The NQ Mobile Security and Anti-Virus also gives users a chance to recover their smart phone should it get stolen.  It has the anti-theft feature which will alert friends of a user that another individual used the phone.

Because of the size of its screen, entrepreneurs who need to read files or work on a proposal would find it easier to do so on the ELIFE E6.  Users no longer have to squint or zoom their screen often just to read their files, said Salanga-Gregorio.

“Businessmen on the go will delight in the ELIFE E6’s Smart Gesture features.  With their  phone, users can simply pick up the phone to their ear to answer a call automatically.  Users may also answer or refuse the call by moving their hand up or down the sensor,” she said.

Texting is also a breeze via the ELIFE E6’s Smart Gesture features.  A user can just slide their hands over the letters of the word they want to input on their SMS. They no longer have to tap incessantly on the screen just to compose a text message.

An innovation by Gionee, the ELIFE E6 has become the company’s flagship smartphone model. According to Salanga-Gregorio, ELIFE E6 and other Gionee mobile phone products are increasingly becoming popular in the country.

Gionee Communication Equipment Co. Ltd. was established in 2002 engaged in mobile device design, R&D, manufacturing, sales and mobile internet application services. Gionee sells over 23 million handsets annually in China mainland alone. It ranked number 3 in the 2G market in November 2011 and No. 2 in the GSM market in August 2012.

Google Maps Street View car seen in EDSA (update)

Google Maps Street View Philippines 2

Mapping addicts, guess what? A geeky driver just shared these photos of a Chevrolet Captiva wrapped in Google Maps Street View branding plying by Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA) in Makati today. It has some cameras, about a meter tall, mounted on top for taking 360-degree photo of the surrounding.

For the uninitiated, Google Maps Street View allows anyone using the mapping service to explore a location on the map just as if you were on that particular place. It is already available in the US and other countries, but not yet in the Philippines.

Google Maps Street View Philippines 3 Google Maps Street View Philippines

It is not yet clear as to when will Google launch Street View in the country and what areas will be initially covered. We have got in touch with the company’s local office and will update you when we hear more from them.

UPDATE: Google has responded, saying that they have nothing to announce yet for now.

We aim to offer the benefits of street-level imagery to users all around the world, however, we have nothing specific to announce at this time.

Thanks, Joey!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Unlocked iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c now available in the Philippines


Beyond the Box, an Apple Premium Reseller, announced that they will be selling unlocked iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c units starting today, November 15. Previously, iPhones were originally always sold with a carrier contract — typically 2 years — or on prepaid, and thus comes with a network lock. It was the case with all generations of iPhone up to the 5, but not anymore after Apple started to offer unlocked units in April.

The iPhone 5c retails for P29,000 for the 16GB model and P34,200 for 32GB. The iPhone 5s, meanwhile, has a price tag of P34,400 for 16GB, P39,600 for 32GB, and P44,800 for the 64GB model. Unlocked models, of course, comes without contract and network lock, so you’re free to use it on any network in the Philippines or other countries. You’ll also find accessories for the iPhone 5c and 5s such as the official Apple cases in their stores.

Beyond the Box has locations in Eton Centris Walk, Lucky Chinatown, One Rockwell, Resorts World Manila, Robinson’s Ermita, and Robinson’s Galleria.

Oh, and don’t you ever say that the pricing (it is Apple that set these) are way higher than the grey market, because those units don’t come with local warranty. If your device screws up, you’re basically on your own.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Globe, Smart, and Sun provides Typhoon Yolanda victims with 25 SMS daily for 5 days

Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) Philippines

Photo: NOAA/AFP/Getty Images

In a response to the damage, catastrophe, and difficulties in communications brought about by Super Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda here in the Philippines), the three mobile network operators in the country — Globe, Smart, and Sun — have jointly agreed to provide customers and victims in typhoon-hit areas in Visayas with 25 SMS daily starting tomorrow until November 17. These SMS can be used to send local and international messages. This service will be available in Leyte, Samar, Cebu, Aklan, Antique, and Capiz.

Globe and TM customers can send BangonPinoy to 8888 to avail of the free service. Customers on Smart, Sun, and Talk ‘N Text will automatically receive the credits at the start of each day.

The massive howler crashed ashore in the Leyte and Samar provinces on Friday morning, which is feared to have left up to 10,000 people dead. The typhoon packed winds of up to 315 kilometers per hour with gusts of up to 385 km/h, making it one of the strongest to have ever formed in the planet.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Globe wants to give you an iPhone every year on its iPhone Forever Plans

Globe iPhone 5S Postpaid Plans Philippines

Globe Telecom today announced their new iPhone Forever Plans. The new plans allows you to sign up (or renew) a 2-year contract and get an iPhone every year for without paying anything (aside from the monthly plan, that is).

So how does the Globe iPhone Forever Plans work? Let’s say you want to get an iPhone 5s. The lowest plan for the 5s costs P1,599 a month and includes 1GB of LTE data and P601 of consumable amount, which I assume you can use to avail of combos like texts and calls. Now, on the 13th month of your contract, you can get a new iPhone (assuming that the next one is out) without paying anything and without extending your contract — as long as you trade in your old 5s that you got when you signed up. Once your 2-year contract is up, you can renew again and get another iPhone by doing the same process.

Below is the table of the iPhone Forever Plans on Globe.

iPhone Forever Plan Plan 1599 Plan 1999 Plan 2999 Plan 5599 Plan 6999
Device iPhone 5c (16GB) iPhone 5s (16GB) iPhone 5s (16GB) iPhone 5c / iPhone 5s (32GB) iPhone 5s (64GB)
Contract Period 2-year 2-year 2-year 2-year 2-year
Inclusions •P601 consumable
•1GB LTE data
•P601 consumable
•1GB LTE data
•P101 consumable
•Unlimited LTE data
•Unlimited calls and SMS to Globe
•Unlimited LTE data
•Unlimited calls and SMS to all networks
•Platinum Blue
•Unlimited LTE data
•Unlimited calls and SMS to all networks
•Platinum Blue
•P1,000 consumable for roaming services

Those who will sign up for Plans 5599 and Plan 6999 will get a Platinum Blue membership with perks like dedicated hotline, priority handling at Globe Business Centers, and discounts and other privileges at partner merchants and establishments.

Want to sign up already? Here’s the table of the eligible devices that you can trade in.

Device to be traded in Upfront Payment
Tier 1: iPhone 4S, iPhone 5 -
Tier 2: iPhone 4, Samsung Galaxy S4, Samsung Galaxy Note 2, BlackBerry Q10, HTC One P4,999
Tier 3: iPhone 3GS, Samsung Galaxy S3, BlackBerry Z10, BlackBerry Curve/Bold/Torch, Samsung Galaxy S3 mini, Nokia Lumia P9,999
Tier 4: All other devices P11,999
No device P12,999

All said, the iPhone Forever Plans is only suited for those who want to get a new phone every year without breaking or renewing their contract. It would have been better though if Globe has an option wherein you can keep your current phone at a fee.

For those that prefers the normal plans, the iPhone 5c is available at Plan 999 with P800 monthly cashout while the iPhone 5s starts at P1,799 with P400 monthly cashout. Both plans come with unlimited LTE data and consumables that you can use towards combos and boosters.

The iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s will be available starting November 15.

Those who want to apply may visit Globe’s website.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition hitting store shelves on November 8

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition

Samsung recently announced that the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition will be available in the Philippines on November 8 for P25,990.

The updated Galaxy Note 10.1 features a high-resolution 10.1-inch WQXGA (2560x1600) display, Octa-core Exynos processor (1.9GHz A15 quad + 1.7GHz A7 Quad) along with 3GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage which can be expanded using a microSD card up to 64GB, an 8-megapixel main camera, 2-megapixel front, and an enormous 8220mAh battery.


The Galaxy Note 10.1 very much functions like the Note 3 in a number of ways. The S Pen supports Air Command which lets you use Action Memo, Scrapbook, Screen Write, S Finder, and Pen Window from any screen.

The improved Multi Window allows users to run multiple apps (and even two instances of one app) side by side and take advantage of the enhanced drag-and-drop function to easily transfer content like photos, texts, and more from one app to another.


Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition Specifications and Features
10.1-inch WQXGA (2560x1600) Super Clear LCD display
1.9GHz A15 quad-core + 1.3GHz A7 quad-core processor
16GB storage with microSD slot (up to 64GB)
8-megapixel main camera with BSI sensor
2-megapixel front-facing camera with BSI sensor
Bluetooth 4.0
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (dual-band)
Android 4.3 Jelly Bean OS

The Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition only comes in 16GB Wi-Fi model here in the Philippines, unlike the previous one. It will be retail for P25,990.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Online retailer DBGadgets selling the Nexus 5 for P24,600

DBGadgets Nexus 5 Philippines

The Nexus 5 is expected to be unveiled just a few hours from now, but that hasn’t stopped online retailer DBGadgets from selling it early. In a post on the retailer’s Facebook page, they have confirmed that the 16GB model of the Nexus 5 is arriving on November 5 and will be selling it for P24,600 ($569). This is very surprising since the new smartphone wasn’t unveiled officially by Google or LG yet, and even more so because the Philippines doesn’t have devices on Google Play Store.

It should be noted that the units they are selling are most probably sourced from other countries — Hong Kong perhaps — and does not come with any local warranty from LG or Google.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

LiFEDATA, Globe partner for app platform HealthCloud


Filipino software development company LiFEDATA Systems, Inc. launches LifeCloud, a highly secured, multi-industry platform of applications that leverage technology to upgrade the quality of life in the sectors of healthcare, lifestyle, business, and education.

Recognizing the role of technology towards better lives, LiFEDATA Systems debuts at the upcoming ‘’Digital LiFE Congress and Expo’’ on Nov. 14-16, at the World Trade Center, Pasay City.

For healthcare, LiFEDATA and Globe Telecom are partnering to showcase Globe HealthCloud.

Globe HealthCloud powered by LiFEDATA, has three major applications: HealthCloud MD, HealthCloud Patient, and HealthCloud HMO --- a paperless clinic management system that allows doctors to focus more on patient care.  HealthCloud is part of Globe’s Cloud Solutions portfolio.

HealthCloud MD is an Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system that compiles a patient’s medical files, detailing personal profiles, past medical histories and diagnoses, past and current medical charts, and other significant health information for easy and convenient retrieval, especially in emergency situations.

Aside from the complete clinical documentation, the system also features a calendar and scheduling function, custom templates, doctor’s and nurse’s notes, e-prescription and many other functions.

The system also features a directory of HMO-accredited doctors with their specializations as well as HMO-accredited hospitals, clinics and laboratories. It also links doctors with their respective hospitals / clinics, schedules management of doctors and appointment requests, and facilitates claims reception, collection of requirements, and approval.

Addressing the growing needs of the Digital LiFE Congress and Expo organized by LiFEDATA Systems is poised to be the biggest innovation expo for 2013, with four conference tracks for Healthcare and Wellness, Business and Technology, E.D.G.E. (Education, Design, Games, and Entertainment), and Lifestyle and Tourism, plus a track on home and living.

Presented by Globe Telecom and Medicard Philippines and sponsored by The Generics Pharmacy, CBORD and Lenovo Philippines, the event is endorsed by the Animation Council of the Philippines, Australian New Zealand Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Canadian Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Korean Chamber of Commerce Philippines, the American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, and AIESEC in the Philippines. For more information, visit www.lifecongress.ph.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Review: ASUS RT-N14U N300 Router


For our home Wi-Fi, we only use the Globe-issued Aztech DSL5001EN modem and wireless router, which is fine for a small household, and an ancient Linksys WRT54G as a repeater. My main problem with the Aztech router is that it seems to only accept up to 10 devices simultaneously and that the wireless signal is not that great.

And so when ASUS held a sort of wireless routers seminar for the media, we immediately asked what can I review. I was sent the RT-N14U, a wireless N 300Mbps router which is on their entry-level lineup.


The RT-N14U features the standard ASUS design for their routers which has their iconic shiny diamond-cube design. It has built-in antennas so there’s nothing that pokes out of the body. It can be hang on a wall on landscape or stand on its own using the in-box stand which clips to the base.


There are five blue LED indicators on the front which indicates the state of USB, LAN, Wireless, WAN/Internet, and Power. The indicators light up in a cool way, it sort of follows the streaks on the diamond-cube design.


On its side, there is a USB port wherein you can plug a printer, a hard drive, or a 3G/LTE modem which you can use as a backup in case your main connection goes down. There are also four LAN ports, a WAN port where the internet flows in from your home broadband modem, and the DC power in.


The back is free of any ports and only shows some information related to the router like the PIN code which you may need when connecting to it for the first time. The stand that I mentioned earlier also goes in here.


Setting up this router is really a breeze. Upon connecting WAN port from the broadband modem, I connected to the wireless network (which is initially open/unprotected) and fired up my browser. I was immediately greeted by the quick setup page ( where I easily configured the router settings.

Setup 1Setup 2

I entered a new admin password as required, and configured the Wi-Fi SSID and password, and chose to have an automatic DHCP connection from the Aztech modem. It’s that easy.

While this setup works, you should bear in mind that you will not be able to access the router from the ‘outside’ (or from the Internet) because it only acquires an IP address from the modem, and not from the broadband network. You need to get an access from the ‘outside’ if you’re planning to use the features like AiCloud. To do so, you should configure your modem to bridge mode first, and select the PPPoE connection type on setup. You will need to type in your ADSL username and password which you can get from your ISP.

Setup 3Setup 4Setup 5 Setup 6Setup 7

Once done, I was taken to the homepage of the web dashboard. The web dashboard is presented in a way that it will look user friendly even to the normal users which doesn’t know a lot about configuring routers.

Main settings like the network map, guest networks, USB applications, and AiCloud are located on the left under ‘General’ while the more advanced settings are tucked in the bottom. Most settings come with graphical content so you can easily understand or get an idea of what a setting is all about.

Setup 9 Home

Traffic Manager, as you can guess, allows you to monitor the traffic that goes in and out of the router and see if someone is hogging all your bandwidth. Here, you can see a graph of the bandwidth being used, so if you know that you’re not downloading or uploading anything but see some high graphs, well…

Traffic Monitor

…it’s time to set up the QoS setting. This setting lets you manage traffic priorities for the router. You can, say, choose to prioritize web surfing and video calling more over ftp or peer-to-peer (e.g. torrents) connections. This way, you can balance and make the most out of your available bandwidth.


The USB modem application, as I have said before, lets you connect a USB modem (haven’t tried a mobile Wi-Fi, it may or may not work) so it can serve as a backup connection when your broadband or DSL fails. For most modems, the router will automatically initiate a 3G or LTE connection when it detects that there is no WAN connection, provided that you’ve already configured the APN settings.

USB Modem

If you’re a parent and would like to block some websites from being access on your household, you can do it as well on the RT-N14U. It supports keyword-based URL filtering as well was keyword-based website content filtering (more strict that URL filtering). The former works by blocking a URL which contains a keyword (e.g. keyword ‘tech’ will block technology.com, tech.com, and so on) while the latter will stop websites that contain a keyword from loading altogether (e.g. keyword ‘tech’ will block a website which contains the word ‘tech’ on the page, even if it doesn’t have ‘tech’ in the URL).

Filter URLFilter

The RT-N14U also supports up to three guest networks, in addition to the main network. This is really useful if you want visitors that come to your home to not be able to see your shared files in your main network, or perhaps if you have multiple rooms like gaming rooms or entertainment rooms. You can set passwords for the guest networks or leave them open, if you like. I just wish it had captive portals for the additional cool factor, though. :D

Guest WiFi 2 Guest WiFi

Unfortunately, I was not able to try the AiCloud function of the RT-N14U as I cannot get the Aztech modem to work in bridge mode (looks like Globe hid the function away from users). AiCloud works by uploading the contents of a connected drive online and making it accessible from right about anywhere. It’s like having your own Dropbox or Google Drive. The only difference is that the storage limit depends on the capacity of the drive connected to the router.


In terms of signal reach, the RT-N14U performed exceptionally better than the Aztech modem that we were using before (of course). In my bedroom (which is behind three concrete walls) where I used to get an average of 1 bar (out of 4) of signal on my Note 2 and 1 (out of 3) on my iPad mini, I am now getting significantly improved signal of around 3 to 4 bars on the Note 2 and full bars on my iPad mini, which results on more stable connections and less data dropouts.

File transfers between my devices are quite fast too. I get around 30 to 40 megabits/second (3.75 to 5MB/second) when downloading a file from my phone using AirDroid. On my iPad mini, I get a much faster speeds ranging 60 to 80 megabits/second (7.5 to 10MB/second) using the VLC app. Syncing on iTunes over Wi-Fi has also gotten much faster than when I was using the other modem.

While the real world tests I conducted are far from what the router promised (it depends on the Wi-Fi chips your devices use, by the way), it still showed a noticeable increase in speeds and delivered great signal strengths over a conventional router.

However, the RT-N14U does not support third-party firmware like DD-WRT and Tomato. So if you’re planning on flashing this, take note.


The ASUS RT-N14U delivered what it promised. It makes setting up a router an easy task rather than a head-scratching one and offers great features like guest networks, USB applications (printer sharing, 3G/LTE fallback), and even a torrent downloader (Download Master) which lets you do downloads without the need to leave your computer on all the time.

The performance is stellar and just what you expects from an entry-level router. The others features are clearly just an icing on the cake.

The ASUS RT-N14U router retails for P2,890.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Spinnr offers music streaming service in the Philippines for P29 a month

Spinnr Smart Music Streaming Philippines 2

Spinnr, a subscription-based music streaming service, has just opened its doors to customers in the Philippines. The new music streaming service is a rebrand of Smart Music and its carrier partners which consolidates three brand names into a single, more recognizable one.

What surprised me is how low the pricing is. The Spinnr Plus Premium 30-day subscription only costs P29, the Spinnr Plus 15-day P15, and the Spinnr Plus 7-day P7. A Spinnr Plus VIP subscription lets you listen to their music catalog for 30 days and purchase tracks at 50% less. These pricing are absolutely cheap when you compare it to other (international) services like Spotify.

Spinnr Smart Music Streaming Philippines

Just like any other music streaming offering, Spinnr allows you to listen to your music on mobile devices in addition to their desktop website, though their app is only available for Android as of now. Users who have other devices though can access the touch-friendly mobile website using any web browser.

However, the current catalog on Spinnr is only limited to those under MCA and Ivory-Sony Music. We certainly hope they would pursue to sign more deals with other record labels in order to grow their library.

Spinnr Smart Music Streaming Philippines App

Currently, Spinnr requires a Smart, Sun Cellular, or Talk N text phone number for registration. A 15-day free trial plus five music downloads is being offered for new registrants.

With very affordable subscriptions, Spinnr is bound to succeed. So long as they keep on adding new content to their library.

Review: ASUS MeMO Pad HD 7 — the budget tablet to look for


The entry-level Android tablet category is often filled with a sea of devices that either have uninspiring designs or mediocre hardware and software. In that regard, ASUS strived to make its new MeMO Pad HD 7 stand out among those.


The ASUS MeMO Pad HD 7, which was unveiled last June, is a 7-inch slate that aims to be your tablet on-the-go. It is small and lightweight, which makes it a pleasure to hold even with one hand. Its bezel is just right with ample spacing on the sides for your palm to sit on which avoids accidental touchscreen presses.


The sides are almost barren, save for the two ports on the top, namely the 3.5mm headphone jack and the microUSB port, as well as a microphone. You might be wondering, where are the power and volume keys if they are not on one of the sides?


Those aforementioned buttons are actually on the back — on its tapering edges. Both the power and volume keys sit in an awkward position just by the corner where the back housing meets the front. They are quite uneasy to press at first, but not by much especially when you already get the hang of it (hey iPad mini users!).

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The 5-megapixel camera sits just above the recessed ASUS logo, and the microSD card slot just to the right of it. The microSD card slot — which can accommodate up to 32GB of additional storage — is oddly unprotected, though it shouldn’t be much of a problem (it would be actually a good thing if you often swap cards). The loudspeaker is located on the tapered bottom edge. Thanks to the placement, it doesn’t get muffled when you put it on a flat surface.


The display of the MeMO Pad HD 7 is a 1280x800 IPS panel. While it isn’t a high-resolution display like what you will find on the Nexus 7 2013, it has a 216ppi pixel density which still looks nice to the eyes. Texts on webpages appear sharp and images on the screen look crisp. I also found the viewing angles to be pretty good.


What I liked about the display is that you can actually change the settings and calibration using the ASUS Splendid app like to make it more vivid if you prefer, adjust the color temperature to make it colder or warmer, and even tone the hue and saturation up or down to make it black-and-white or make it look very vivid according to your liking.



Running inside the MeMO Pad HD 7 is a minimally customized version of Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. ASUS kept it as close to as stock and only added minor retouches, some small features like mini windows, and of course their own apps on top of the core apps like Chrome, Gmail, etc.


Among those customizations is the ability to choose between the vanilla Android notification panel which keeps things simple or the ASUS-made one which adds quick toggles for the most commonly used tasks as well as the ability to quickly adjust the brightness and audio profiles. It is very nice of them to have these options included.

Screenshot_2013-10-20-17-15-51 Screenshot_2013-10-24-23-17-51

Another addition are the mini apps which lets you use pop-up applications without the need to leave or stop what you are doing. It’s really handy and works quite well. One use case for this is when you need to calculate some numbers, you just tap on the leftmost on-screen button and open calculator. No need to memorize or copy those digits!

Screenshot_2013-10-24-23-06-02 Screenshot_2013-10-24-23-12-53

An ASUS keyboard comes by default, and while they keys are big and well-spaced, I had some wrong-presses every now and then especially when I type fast. Good thing there’s the stock Android keyboard preloaded which you can set as default. You’ll miss the dedicated number rows, though.


There are apps that the company bundled with the OS too, such as the App Backup, App Locker (protects your apps from unauthorized usage using a security code), ASUS Studio, Parental Control, and Web Storage (gives you additional 16GB cloud storage for 1 year), and more. Some of these are actually useful like the App Backup and App Locker, mainly if you are mindful of not having your personal files lost or accessed by anyone.



When it comes to processing prowess, the MeMO Pad HD 7 stands right in the middle. It’s not slow, and it’s certainly not the fastest among all. What I can tell you though is that with the quad-core Mediatek MTK 8125 chip, it handled most apps and games without much hiccups.


Simple operations on apps like Facebook, Twitter, and Chrome goes without a hitch. Webpages are being rendered almost instantly as they load, and scrolling is just as what you expect on a Jelly Bean device — smooth and fast.

However, I found a minor problem on the MeMO Pad HD 7. Despite having an ample 1GB of RAM, it gets bogged down occasionally particularly if you’re running a lot of apps and games in the background. It doesn’t affect the whole device, but launching apps take a little longer when this happens. Hopefully, ASUS will fix this by optimizing the software further more.

The stereo speakers on the 16GB variant I’m using is not as loud as expected, though it still delivers clear audio quality. You can change sound profiles depending on what you’re doing (listening to music, playing games, watching videos, etc.) using the Audio Wizard app.

The 3950mAh battery lasts me around a day or two, depending on usage. Today, I used this for 3 hours and had it on standby for 10 hours and I still have 40% remaining juice left. Doing more intense activities like gaming or watching movies would surely take a toll on the battery. ASUS quotes a 10-hour single charge for watching videos.



There is a 5-megapixel autofocus camera on the 16GB model (2-megapixel on 8GB model) and the quality is what you would expect on an entry-level device, and we’re talking about tablets. Tablets never really had great cameras before, more so for a device in this category.


Photos from the front-facing and main cameras appear soft, though they are still enough for occasional ‘selfies’ and video calling. The camera application made by ASUS and offers additional capturing modes like HDR, Panorama, and even Burst mode. Check out the sample shots I took below (click to view in full-resolution).

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The ASUS MeMO Pad HD 7 combines an affordable price tag with respectable hardware and software features plus the guarantee of having a device from a well-known global brand. The HD IPS screen is something that you cannot always expect on a P6,995 tablet, but ASUS begged to differ. The software is just of the right balance, with a slew of customization options and additional features that helps it stand out against the others in the same class. However, clearly, there is a room for improvement on the performance and I really hope that they will address this one.

The good
HD IPS display
Great viewing angles
Small and light
Offers customization options and features like mini apps
Respectable performance and battery life
Expandable memory using microSD
Comes with a stand out of the box

The bad
Sometimes gets slow when multiple apps are running
Camera is not so good

With all things considered, the ASUS MeMO Pad HD 7 is going to be worth your money. It is one of , if not the best budget Android tablet that you can get right now. It retails for P6,995 for the 8GB model and P8,995 for the 16GB model.

Disclosure: I won this ASUS MeMO Pad HD 7 unit at the local launch.