Saturday, August 31, 2013

Alcatel quietly announces the LTE-touting One Touch Idol S

Alcatel One Touch Idol S Philippines

Alcatel has quietly unveiled a mid-range smartphone on their website, the One Touch Idol S which packs some serious hardware. As with most of the smartphones in their lineup, the One Touch Idol S sports a slim 7.4mm thin body, a full millimeter thicker than the Idol Ultra.

The main features of the Alcatel One Touch Idol S include the 4.7-inch HD IPS Dragontail Glass display with oleophobic coating for a fingerprint-free screen, Philippines-friendly 4G LTE support as well as DC-HSPA, an 8 megapixel camera with LED flash along with a 1.3 megapixel front-facing, and an updated One Touch UI on top of Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean.

Powering One Touch Idol S is a 1.2GHz dual-core processor of unknown chip yet and 1GB of RAM. The internal memory, however, is measly at just 4GB, although they are providing a microSD card slot for expansion up to 32GB should the need arise. Other connectivity features include Wi-Fi a/b/g/n with dual-band support, wireless display thru Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.0.

Alcatel One Touch Idol S Specifications and Features
4.7-inch IPS HD (1280x720) display
Dragontail glass with oleophobic coating
1.2GHz dual-core processor
4GB internal storage, microSD up to 32GB
8 megapixel camera with LED flash
1.3 megapixel front-facing camera
1080p 30fps video recording
GSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz
3G/DC-HSPA 850/900/2100MHz
4G LTE 800/900/1800/2100/2600MHz (bands 1, 3, 7, 8, 20)
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n dual-band (2.4GHz and 5GHz)
Wireless display
DLNA 2.0
Bluetooth 4.0
GPS with A-GPS
Micro USB 2.0
Micro SIM
Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean OS

Little else is known about the One Touch Idol S, such as the battery capacity. No pricing and release date has been announced too, although we’re expecting it to be available across Europe and South America. It will come in Slate, Fresh Rose, and Cherry Red colors.

Source: Alcatel

Smart extends unlimited LTE until October 31

Smart LTE Unlimited Extension August October 2013

The extension of Smart LTE unlimited data plans seems to be a never-ending saga. When Smart launched their LTE network on August of last year, they said the all-you-can-eat LTE plans will only last until October of 2012. Then there was an extension. And another, and another… Unlimited LTE on most of their plans is supposed to end today, August 31.

But then, as you may have guessed, they are giving customers on the iPhone, Unlimited Data, and Smart Bro LTE Plans another chance to use LTE to their heart’s content until October 31, 2013. Smart’s unlimited LTE plans costs P50 a day, P299 for 7 days, and P995 a month.

However, it looks like the extension only applies to customers on a monthly plan and excludes prepaid users. But don’t fret, we’ve reached out to the folks at Smart to confirm if this is the case.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Globe slashes P900 off the Tattoo Mobile Wi-Fi, now just P1,995

Globe Tattoo Mobile Wi-Fi Huawei E5220

Are you looking to get a mobile Wi-Fi for your personal use or for sharing on the go? Well, it looks like Globe’s got a good news for you. Apparently, they’ve slashed down P900 off the price of the Tattoo Mobile Wi-Fi, which means you can get it now for just P1,995 instead of P2,895 before.

What’s more, with Globe’s HSPA+ network, you can get excellent speeds for browsing, streaming videos, instant messaging, and more. Also, as this is a mobile Wi-Fi device, you can share your connection with up to 10 others, maybe your friends or family members. Globe is bundling free 1 hour of internet access for every purchase of Tattoo Mobile Wi-FI. Just send FREE1 to 8888 using the web dashboard at or by using Huawei’s app for Android or iOS, which is compatible with the Tattoo Mobile Wi-Fi (Huawei E5220).


You can get the Globe Tattoo Mobile Wi-Fi for just P1,995 at their website or at Globe Stores and accredited retailers nationwide.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Is the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 too large? Note 3 display panel compared with the Note 2’s

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Note 2 Comparison Philippines 2

What’s in the photo above is allegedly the display panel of the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Note 3. According to the latest leaks, the Note 3 will have a screen size of 5.68-inch — just a tad larger than that of the Note 2. But if you’ll just look solely at the photo, it looks like as if it is huge… like Mega 6.3 huge. So how big is the Note 3 really going to be like?

Thanks to another photo, we now have a clear view and size comparison of the Galaxy Note 3. In the photo below, the display panel of the Note 3 is placed next to the Note 2’s.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Note 2 Comparison Philippines

Now, it is finally clear to us how big the Galaxy Note 3 is. It’s just taller than the Note 2 by a hair, and it looks like it’s a little narrower too, if not the same. That’s a nice assurance to some, as not all people like to carry a bigger phone. You may remember that on the Galaxy S4, Samsung took the body of the S3 and shrunk the bezel to fit a larger 5-inch display, and it seems like they did exactly the same strategy again with the Galaxy Note 3.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is rumored to have a 1080p full HD Super AMOLED display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of storage with a microSD slot, 13 megapixel camera, LTE, a 3200mAh battery, and Android 4.3 on board. Samsung is announcing it at IFA 2013 on September 4 in Berlin.

Source: ETrade Supply

Monday, August 26, 2013

Nokia to reveal ‘Sirius’, a Snapdragon 800-powered Windows RT tablet on September 26

Nokia Sirius Windows RT Tablet

Is Nokia about to enter the tablet space? Well, yes. According to the latest report from The Verge, Nokia is planning to launch a Windows RT tablet come September 26 — that’s one full month away! Their source says that the tablet, codenamed ‘Sirius’, resembles Nokia’s Windows Phone devices, which is hardly a surprise. The body will be allegedly given bright color treatments just like its smartphone counterparts and sport a large (by today’s standards anyway) 10.1-inch display with 1920x1080 full HD resolution, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor along with 2GB of RAM, and LTE connectivity.

Nokia will also include a microSD card slot in addition to the 32GB internal storage, a micro HDMI port, and a micro USB port supposedly for charging it. A 6 megapixel rear-facing camera (similar to the Nokia 720’s?) will also be making an appearance, together with a 2 megapixel one on the front for video calling and such.

‘Sirius’ will be reportedly priced similar to the iPad, which retails for $499 (P23,990 here) in the US. A separate keyboard which can charge the device when attached, among other accessories will be also made available at launch.

Do you think a Windows RT tablet from Nokia will become successful? With the fate the Surface RT has faced, I say otherwise. But we’ll have to see, and we’re only months away from that.

Source: The Verge

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Globe bundles seven OTT messaging apps like KakaoTalk in the new GoUNLI30

Globe Prepaid GoUNLI30

It’s no brainer that the SMS (short message service aka text) is slowly dying with the deluge of many free messaging apps like Viber, KakaoTalk, and many others. This means that mobile network operators will eventually find a way on how to increase revenues thru other means. So what do they do? Sell data plans? No. Consumers still find them expensive. But Globe has found a way.

Instead of selling full data plans, Globe has retained the usual unlimited calls to Globe/TM and texts to all networks in their new promo, the GoUNLI30, and bundled free usage of seven messaging apps. The list include Viber, Facebook Messenger, KakaoTalk, WeChat, Line, WhatsApp, and GMessage — all for just P30 a day. The main takeaway here is that subscribers won’t have to buy expensive data plans or find a Wi-Fi connection just to use those messaging apps which are so trendy right now.

This is really much better than having just unlimited calls and texts because with the inclusion of those apps, you can do more things like making video calls, send photos, participate in group chats, send voice messages, and more.

So how does it work? Well, you first have to download your favorite app using Wi-Fi or mobile data (charges apply of course) from your device’s respective application store. You then need to subscribe to GoUNLI30 by dialing *143# and choose option 1 which is GoSAKTO or by texting GOUNLI30 to 8888. And you’re all set! Keep in mind that if you are using a smartphone with other apps installed, it may do background data pulling and thus charge you. I suggest that you turn this setting off first.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Nokia ‘Bandit’ with 6-inch 1080p screen coming soon

Nokia Lumia Bandit

Who likes large-screened phones? You? Great. Who likes Windows Phone? You again? Well, you might be in for a treat soon.

Reports have surfaced online that Nokia is planning to come up with a Lumia device with a rather large 6-inch screen. According to The Verge, the new Nokia Lumia, codenamed ‘Bandit’, is already under testing. It is said to be having a 1080p display and will be powered by a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, which I suppose is the Snapdragon 600 or 800.

Furthermore, the Nokia ‘Bandit’ is reported to sport a rear camera that is ‘at least 20 megapixels’ with a small bump just like on the Lumia 925 while at the same time maintaining a sleek and lightweight profile made of polycarbonate.

The ‘Bandit’ will reportedly ship with the new Windows Phone GDR3 update which brings support for 1080p devices as well as some minor changes such as additional row of tiles on the Start screen, a rotation lock option (finally!), driving mode, and minor UI changes.

Source: The Verge

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

You can now use your PAL Mabuhay Miles to buy smartphones phones and tablets thru Globe Rewards

Globe Rewards Philippine Airlines Mabuhay Miles

Flag carrier Philippine Airlines and Globe Telecom announced yesterday a renewed partnership which will allow frequent PAL flyers to convert their Mabuhay Miles to Globe Rewards.

PAL Mabuhay Miles members can now convert their miles to Globe Rewards points (and vice-versa). Every 2,000 miles is now worth P400, your 1,500 miles P300, and 1,000 miles P200 with Globe’s 1 point-to-1 peso conversion.

Globe Rewards Philippine Airlines Mabuhay Miles

Subsequently, members would then be able to use their Globe Rewards points as cash to purchase items such as movie tickets, electronics, food, and even car fuel from partner merchants such as clothing brand Bench, fast-food chain KFC, and mobile phone store Memo Xpress which has just joined the growing number of Globe Rewards merchants. Existing merchants include Ayala Malls Cinemas, Figaro Coffee, Wendy’s, Sunglass Hut, Enchanted Kingdom, Rose Pharmacy, and Petron.

PAL Mabuhay Miles members just need to ring 855-8888 (Manila) or (032) 340-0191 (Cebu) to convert their miles to Globe Rewards points. They can also visit the Mabuhay Miles Service Center at Makati. An SMS will be sent to indicate that the points has been credited to the member’s phone number.

Redemption of Globe Rewards at partner merchants can be done by sending BUY<space>MOBILE NUMBER OF MERCHANT e.g. 9171234567<space>AMOUNT to 4438.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Android 4.2.2 with Sense 5 arrives on the HTC One X+

HTC One X  Android 4.2.2 Sense 5 Update

HTC has a good news to share for HTC One X+ owners! The Taiwanese phone manufacturer just announced that the roll-out of the Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean with Sense 5 is now starting in Taiwan.

Firmware version 2.17.709.2 brings BlinkFeed, lock screen widgets, AF and AE lock on the camera, and quick settings on the notification panel among other new features.

The update is now rolling out starting today, August 8. You can install the update by going to Settings > About > Software updates.

Full changelog for HTC One X+ Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean Update (2.17.709.2)
System improvements
HTC Sense 5 and Android 4.2.2 upgrade
New HTC BlinkFeed Home
New lock screen style: electronic gadgets
Power improvements
Added display the battery meter in the status bar options
New sleep mode switch
Notifications panel improvements
Quick Settings panel: use two-finger gestures with 12 sliding open the Notifications panel fast setting
Photo Gallery / Camera improvements
AE / AF lock: Long tap the screen shot on the screen to start the exposure / focus lock function
Video Highlights living micro film: With 12 kinds of styles of music theme, automatically edited into a stunning 30 seconds video
Music improvements
Music Channel: You can view the lyrics and music visualization screen * (* support content based on actual lyrics database shall prevail)
HTC Sense Input
Support more Chinese words

Source: HTC

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Nokia 208 Dual SIM offers performance, versatility and quality

Nokia Asha 208 Dual SIM 2

Nokia expanded its range of classically designed mobile phones with the launch of the Nokia 208 Dual SIM, which combines the familiar ‘candybar’ design with Nokia’s signature bold colors and 3.5G-capable Internet speeds.

Popular social apps, smarter imaging and productivity features such as Internet-sharing and Mail for Exchange support make these phones some of the most versatile at their price point; perfect for people balancing work and play.

It is ideal for use on-the-go, with a familiar, alphanumeric keypad for speedy texts and messaging, and Mail for Exchange for staying on top of work email and calendar appointments. The Transfer app allows people to sync contacts directly from their smartphone and transforms the Nokia 208 Dual SIM into a secondary or companion device. The Nokia 208 Dual SIM has the added benefit of Nokia’s Easy Swap technology, allowing people to change SIM cards without turning off the device.

Consistent with devices across the Nokia Mobile Phones portfolio, it offers faster and more affordable mobile Internet experiences. Support for 3G coupled with the data compression available with Nokia Xpress Browser help people enjoy rich mobile experiences at lower cost. These experiences include top social apps such as Facebook and Twitter, alongside video streaming through YouTube and Vuclip. People can also use the Nokia 208 Dual SIM as a portable modem, simply by connecting the device to their laptop via a USB cable for Internet sharing anywhere, anytime.

The smart camera features of the Nokia 208 Dual SIM make taking pictures more enjoyable, with voice-guided self-portrait, sequential shot and panorama mode giving people more playful imaging options. Sharing photos is a breeze with the Slam feature that allows people to share images with another Bluetooth-enabled device in just a few clicks.

It delivers outstanding battery life – up to 20 days of standby time for the Nokia 208 Dual SIM – helping people stay connected for longer. Easy to clean and scratch-proof, the handset is durable for everyday use as well as more extreme conditions, such as  hot or dusty environments.

Available colors include red, cyan, yellow, white and black. The estimated retail price is 68 USD.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Smart Prepaid LTE SIM card poses for the camera, launching tomorrow for P40 (update)

Smart Prepaid LTE SIM Card P40

UPDATED: 5:10 PM August 9, 2013

Have you been wanting to get a prepaid Smart LTE SIM card but always find them to be mostly non-existent at Smart Stores and don’t want to shell out a few hundred or even thousand of pesos for one? Well, your dilemma is about to end real soon.

Smart’s real prepaid LTE SIM card has just been pictured. The SIM card, which bears a P40 price tag, was reportedly purchased at a Smart Store in SM Iloilo. It comes with a dual-cut SIM card for use on devices with a micro and mini SIM. A standalone nano SIM will be available for P100.

The main difference between the Smart Prepaid LTE SIM and the Smart Broadband Prepaid LTE SIM is that the latter does not allow registrations for call and text promos, which is important if you call and text a lot. The regular Prepaid LTE SIM does not come with a free 7-day LTE subscription, as with all other SIM cards sold for P40.

For those living in the south, you can snag one by going to the said Smart Store and ask for the Smart Prepaid LTE SIM — the one for phones (a store employee will ask about this).

For everyone else, you can wait for a few days before it becomes available. You can try checking out your nearest Smart Store, but I cannot guarantee that you will find one. Smart will formally launch the Prepaid LTE SIM card on August 6, that’s tomorrow!

Thanks Amy!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Google announces Android Device Manager, lets you find your lost phone

Android Device Manager Find My Phone

It’s been a long time coming, but up until today, Android devices didn’t have a built-in feature that allows device owners to remotely locate their lost or stolen Android devices. That will finally change as Google has just announced the Android Device Manager, an official tool that lets you do just that.

Android Device Manager only comes with a basic set of features. It has the option for you to remotely ring your device such as when it’s stuck in the sofa or somewhere else, even if it’s in silent mode. If you can’t still find your device after ringing it, you can view its current location on a map. If you really still didn’t manage to retrieve it, you can choose to wipe the device remotely so your data will not be accessible to anyone holding it. All those features obviously requires your phone to be connected to the internet either via mobile data or Wi-Fi.

Android Device Manager will be available this month on devices running Android 2.2 or above through a Google Play Services update. Google says that an Android app is also coming to allow you to find and manage your devices on the go.

P.S. I still recommend the more advanced Cerberus, which has higher chances of helping you retrieve your lost or stolen device. In fact, I got my HTC Butterfly back five days after it was stolen.