Monday, April 29, 2013

Nokia is offering 5-day test drive for Lumia 720


Heads up Nokia fans! If you are currently looking to upgrade to a Windows Phone device but still haven’t made your mind on it, then take a look at Nokia Philippines’ Lumia 720 test drive offer.

For 5 days, you will get the chance to use and try the Nokia Lumia 720 at the convenience of your time and home. That’s right, you can take home that a Lumia 720 provided you are eligible. This will be really good if you are still holding to make a Lumia purchase because you are still new and a stranger to Windows Phone.

The test drive have already started on April 26. But don’t fret, the test drive program will run until June 17, which makes for a good 7 weeks and a total of 8 cycles. Nokia says 49 Lumia 720’s will be lent out which translates to 7 devices per Nokia Store every cycle.

The participating Nokia Stores are as follows: North EDSA, SM Megamall, SM Mall of Asia, Glorietta Digital Exchange, Festival Mall, SM Cebu, and Gaisano Davao.

For those who are thinking that they can simply apply for a test drive and get away with the device, well, that’s just not possible. You will have to leave a P5,000 security deposit which you can claim again upon the return of the device. Not only you need to do that, but you will also have to pass through strict identity checking. Just to be sure, read the full terms and conditions at Nokia’s Facebook page.

Globe launches the Samsung Galaxy S 4 with its very customizable MySuperPlan

Samsung Galaxy S4 Globe Philippines

Earlier today, Globe has shared with the members of the media, press, and bloggers the details of their newly unveiled plans for the Samsung Galaxy S 4.

Globe Postpaid subscribers surely are now familiar with the MySuperPlan, which allows them to create and customize their plan and the included services based on their needs. This time, Globe has made it better and even more customizable so it will even suit their budget and needs.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Globe Philippines 2

For starters, the Samsung Galaxy S 4 will be available for free at P1,599 per month, which includes unlimited LTE data (P999) and the cashout fee (P600) on a 24-month contract. That also includes 5 minutes of calls and 100 SMS to all networks, which might seem not enough for some. If you need more consumable, you may get it at Plan 1,799 which has unlimited LTE data and P800 consumable. The cashout fee will be P4,800 (P200/month) on a 24-month contract or no cashout at all on a 30-month contract.

Aside from that, you can also pick a plan with shorter or longer contract periods, depending on what you like. For instance, if you plan on upgrading phones every year or so, then you should get a 12 or 18-month contract — even a 6-month one if you’re really into new phones. Take note though that shorter contracts mean slightly higher cashouts and longer ones has less, some even don’t have cashouts at all.

For the elites out there, they get a Samsung Galaxy S III Mini, Galaxy Camera, or a Galaxy Note II on Platinum Plans 3,799, 5,000, and 10,000 respectively.

The Samsung Galaxy S 4 will be available at Globe Stores starting May 2. The unlocked model direct from Samsung, on the other hand, will be released on May 6.

You can refer to the chart made below for more information on the Globe Samsung Galaxy S 4 plans.

Globe Samsung Galaxy S 4 Plans Chart FinalClick image to view in full resolution.

Lastly, here is a comparison chart of Globe’s plans vs. Smart’s. Take a look and see why Globe has the better plans.

Globe Samsung Galaxy S 4 Plans Comparison FinalClick image to view in full resolution.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Alcatel and Sun Cellular launches the One Touch Idol Ultra for P14,990


Alcatel and Sun Cellular yesterday announced the arrival of their latest smartphones and tablets, one of which is the Alcatel One Touch Idol Ultra which made a cameo on Iron Man 3 (the movie is splendid by the way).

The One Touch Idol Ultra, which was announced at CES last January, was officially recognized as the thinnest smartphone at just 6.45mm. At just P14,990, it runs on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and packs a 4.7-inch HD AMOLED screen with Gorilla Glass and oleophobic coating which makes it oil and fingerprint-resistant. It features an 8 Megapixels camera and a 1.3 Megapixel one on the front. Both are capable of recording 720p HD videos.


Hardware-wise, the One Touch Idol Ultra sports a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM. To be honest, I was hoping for a quad-core processor for the price. You’ll also get 16GB of storage on board. There’s Bluetooth 4.0 and Wi-Fi b/g/n, which are now pretty standard, but you won’t get HSPA+ here. The maximum supported speed is just 7.2Mbps.


The Alcatel One Touch Idol Ultra will also be offered by Sun Cellular for free on Plan 999 and it will come with unlimited data, Sun texts, and 4 hours of Sun calls. Pretty nice deal if you ask me.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Samsung Galaxy S 4 arriving on Globe for free at Plan 1,799

Samsung Galaxy S 4 LTE Globe

Globe has just posted on its website the plans and pricing details for the highly-anticipated Samsung Galaxy S 4.

Apparently, the Samsung Galaxy S 4 will be available for free at Plan 1,799 for 30 months or for P4,800 for the normal 24-month contract and will come with unlimited LTE if you opt for the unlimited data plan. Aside from that, the device will be also offered in other plans too, ranging from Plan 299 all the way up to Plan 10,000 in 6, 12, 18, 24, and 30-month contracts. This is the first time we’ve seen Globe offering phones and allowing customers to choose from five contract periods.

The Galaxy S 4 will also come in retention plans as well as prepaid and will be priced at P30,990. The Galaxy S 4 variant that will be coming to Globe seems to be the quad-core Snapdragon 600 16GB model with LTE.

On the other hand, Samsung has announced that there will be a consumer launch happening on May 5, and a release on Globe coinciding that date doesn’t seem to be too far-fetched.

You can refer to the full plan and pricing matrix for the Samsung Galaxy S 4 on Globe below. You can order it now at their website.

Samsung Galaxy S 4 LTE Globe Plans

Friday, April 19, 2013

Globe bags the Most Innovative Telecom Project in the 16th Telecom Asia Awards

Globe Best Ever MySuperPlan

Globe Telecom just shared with us that on the 16th annual Telecom Asia Awards, they were given the Most Innovative Telecom Project award for their MySuperPlan offering, which is truly innovative in most ways.

The Globe MySuperPlan allows would-be subscribers to choose their own monthly price plan and add their choice/s of additional things like free calls, SMS, or data services and permits existing subscribers to change their plan every month as they see fit.

Globe My Super Plan 16th Telecom Asia Awards

Globe bested four other companies from Japan, Singapore, South Korea, and Indonesia. The criteria for the award is the measure of impact on the market of a project. True enough, MySuperPlan has caught the attention of most postpaid users and can be proven by the numbers alone. In Q4 2012, Globe added 71,715 customers to its postpaid base, a far cry from the competition.

Speaking of MySuperPlan, watch out for some great news from Globe as they reveal the Best Ever MySuperPlan this month.

Smart to announce LTE for prepaid tomorrow, here are the details

Smart LTE Prepaid

News that Smart will announce LTE for prepaid subscribers tomorrow are making rounds online. Fortunately, you don’t have to wait until tomorrow because we have independently confirmed the pricing details for the forthcoming subscriptions.

Apparently, Smart will offer LTE for prepaid in unlimited variants, just like its UnliSurf counterparts. There will be a total of three available variants with the same pricing for the postpaid LTE, 1-day for P50, 7-days for P299, and 30-days for P995. It is not immediately clear if Smart will be offering volume-based packages too or whether there will be a fair-use policy that will be imposed on the plans, although the latter is definitely probable.

Other important details such as the pricing for the LTE modems and other devices are currently not available, though it is expected to be announced tomorrow.

The prepaid LTE will be available for Smart Prepaid and Smart Bro Prepaid SIMs.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Google may be launching carrier billing for Play Store in the Philippines soon


Android users and fans alike may soon have a reason to rejoice. We have just discovered that search-giant Google may soon launch the ever useful carrier billing as an additional payment method on the Google Play Store.

As you can see in the Google Play Store screenshot above, there is now an option that allows you to bill the purchase on your mobile phone bill or deduct it from your prepaid credits, although the option itself is not yet functional. This should be truly beneficial for those who do not have a credit card and want to legally own apps and games for their devices, especially when you consider how easy and more convenient it would be to buy contents in the future — you just go to a tindahan and reload your phone and that’s it. Compare that to other solutions like using prepaid cards issued by banks, which is very hassle.

Moving on, it is worth noting that the carrier billing option will be available to all networks in the Philippines, that is, Globe Telecom, Smart Communications, and Sun Cellular. Lastly, Google says you need to be using mobile data connection and not Wi-Fi to use carrier billing.

Here’s hoping that Google will flip the switch for this shortly.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Apple starts selling unlocked iPhone 5 in the Philippines

Unlocked Apple iPhone 5 Philippines 2

It’s been a long time coming, but now Apple has finally decided to sell unlocked iPhone 5 units in the Philippines. Long before, iPhones were only sold thru carriers like Globe, which offered the iPhone 3G as its first in 2008. Smart have since joined Globe in 2011 at the launch of the iPhone 4S.

Anyway, enough of that. The real news is here. The iPhone 5 can now be availed with no strings between you and the carriers attached. The unlocked iPhone 5 have a retail price of P33,600 for the 16GB model, P38,780 for the 32GB model, and P43,950 for the 64GB model.

The 16GB iPhone 4S and the 8GB iPhone 4 also joins the aforementioned device too. Both will retail for P28,425 and P19,415 respectively. Quite expensive for old generation devices I know, but hey, it’s Apple we’re talking about here.

The unlocked iPhone 5, iPhone 4S, and iPhone 4 are now available at Apple Resellers like Beyond the Box, Digital Hub, or Digital Walker.

Beyond the Box locations:
Eton Centris Walk
Lucky Chinatown
One Rockwell
Resorts World Manila
Robinson’s Ermita
Robinson’s Galleria

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Globe to reportedly offer the LTE version of the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 soon

Samsung Galaxy Note 2 LTE Globe

It seems like that the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 may be joining Globe Telecom’s array of LTE smartphones as they gear to launch the LTE version of the 5.5-inch phablet in the Philippines soon, an anonymous source has told Mister Jonjon.

The second generation Galaxy Note was launched by Samsung in the country October of last year. All three Philippine carriers are also offering it with their postpaid plans. If Globe’s plans are anything to go by, I expect the Galaxy Note 2 LTE (which has a GT-N7105 model number by the way) to be offered on Plan 1,799 which includes unlimited data and P800 consumable with a P4,800 cash-out. It may be also offered completely free on Plan 2,499 and up.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 sports a 5.5-inch Super AMOLED HD screen, a 1.6GHz quad-core Exynos processor, 2GB of RAM, a 3,100 mAh battery, an 8 Megapixels camera with a 1.9 Megapixel one on the front, and runs on Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean. An update to version 4.2.2 is already planned in the coming months.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Redesigned Google Play Store 4.0 rolling out right now

Google Play Store 4.0

The Google Play Store has been leaked a few times before which was said to be featuring a new look and today, Google has officially acknowledged the new redesigned storefront for Android.

The Play Store now displays images more prominently, which should help get what a content is about to users easily. In some ways, it’s kind of similar to the new App Store on iOS now. The checkout process for paid contents has been also simplified which should result in faster transactions.

 Google Play Store 4.0 3

The new Google Play Store 4.0 is now rolling out to all Android phones and tablets running 2.2 (Froyo) or later. Don’t expect to get it anytime soon though, Google says the roll-out could last a few weeks.

UPDATE: You can download the Google Play Store 4.0.25 APK here.

Nokia Lumia 720 arrives in the Philippines; Lumia 520 coming up next

Nokia Lumia 720 Philippines

Remember the recently announced Lumia 720 by Nokia? Well, it’s now here in the country.

The 4.3-inch Windows Phone was just released in the Philippines last weekend. If you cannot remember, the Lumia 720 is a mid-range smartphone from Nokia which packs a dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor, a screen with 800x480 resolution, 8GB internal storage, and the camera with an f1.9 aperture for excellent (we’ve already seen some samples online) shots in low-light circumstances.

Nokia Lumia 720 Specifications and Features
4.3-inch IPS ClearBlack WVGA (800x480) display with Super Sensitive Touch
1 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 dual-core processor
6.7 Megapixels autofocus camera with Carl Zeiss optics and LED flash, f/1.9 aperture
1.3 Megapixel front-facing camera
HD 720p video recording at 30fps
8 mass memory, expandable by 64GB using microSD
GSM - 850/900/1800/1900
3G/HSPA+ - 850/900/1900/2100
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth 3.0
2,000mAh battery capacity with wireless charging
Windows Phone 8 OS

The Lumia 720 is now available at retail stores in the country with an SRP of P14,590, which is not that far from our estimate. Colors are aplenty; it is available in black, white, cyan, red, and yellow.

Another thing, Nokia also says the Lumia 520 is arriving here as well soon.

Source: Nokia

Friday, April 5, 2013

Find out if a mobile number is from Smart, Sun, or Globe with Smart’s SIM ID service

Smart SIM Service

Do you know the feeling when you’re registered to a call or text promo and were accidentally calling or texting a number that doesn’t belong to the same network you’re on? Do you always ask your friends or family the “Ano ba yung 0918, Smart or Globe?” question? Well, the times of that are about to end as you can now check from what network a mobile number is registered with Smart’s SIM ID service, which just launched yesterday.

Checking a mobile number is ABC-easy. Simply text SIM 09181234567 to 5757. Just replace the number with any number that you like. It’s free and requires no balance. Now I hope you don’t buy a Smart SIM just to use this service. :-P

Globe lauds NTC on imposing ban on illegal repeaters

Globe AirBoost Femtocell

Globe Telecom expressed approval on the recent memorandum order the National Telecommunication Commission (NTC) which prohibits the use of illegal and unregistered mobile signal repeaters.

The order came in light of the reports of weak and erratic mobile signal caused by interference of the said repeaters. Such devices come in form of outdoor and indoor antennas which are intended to boost the signal in areas with weak or no service. However, using devices outside of the optimum settings usually cause undesirable results such as signal degradation which affects other subscribers in surrounding places, which in turn, is blamed on the carriers.

Signal repeaters are not really prohibited in the country as long as it is properly installed and operated. In fact, Globe offers an indoor solution, a femtocell, which they call the AirBoost (pictured above). A femtocell amplifies and repeats the signal available and requires and connects to your home broadband connection to transmit the data (SMS, calls, mobile data) to the network.

Source: Globe

Facebook Messenger now allows you to make free calls to your friends

Facebook Messenger Calls

If you’re an avid Facebook user with a lot of people on your friends list, then take a quick read at this. Facebook, in the past couple of days (or has it been weeks already?) lifted the geographical restriction on VoIP calls on its Messenger app for Android and iOS. That easily means you can now call your anyone as long as you are ‘friends’ with them on the website and that they have the app installed on their phones or tablets.

Facebook Messenger Calls Screenshot Facebook Messenger Calls Screenshot 2

To start a call with someone, simply tap on their name on the friends list on the Messenger app and hit that little ‘I’ icon on the top-right corner of the screen. If they have the app installed and have an active connection, the ‘Free Call’ button will be shown in white, tap it to initiate the free call. Otherwise, it will be shown in grey.

The advantage of this over other VoIP apps? Everyone’s on Facebook.