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

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,, 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).

P_20131026_125507 P_20131026_130454P_20131026_131910 P_20131026_132214


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.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Smart to offer the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c on November 15

Smart iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c Philippines Postpaid Plans

Smart announced earlier this morning that the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c is officially coming here in the Philippines on November 15. If you can remember, the two new smartphones from Apple were announced last September 10, thus making the upcoming launch the fastest ever to happen here. Historically, it takes around three months for Apple to bring the iPhone in the country from the date that it was announced, as are the cases with the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5.

The iPhone 5s features the new A7 64-bit chip, an improved 8-megapixel iSight camera with True Tone flash, and a fingerprint scanner for Touch ID, which lets you securely unlock your phone using your finger. The iPhone 5c, meanwhile, sports a colorful plastic design, the A6 chip, and an 8-megapixel camera. Both iPhones are still carrying a 4-inch Retina display and supports LTE networks.

Those who are interested to get an iPhone 5s or iPhone 5c from Smart may now register their interest on their website.

Source: Smart

Globe prepares for the November 15 iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c launch (update)

Globe iPhone 5S Postpaid Plans Philippines

UPDATE: The iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c is going to be available on Globe starting on November 15.

As the midnight unfolded, Globe has silently published its registration pages for the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c on its website as it gears for the launch of the new smartphones from Apple.

The iPhone 5s features the new A7 64-bit chip, an improved 8-megapixel iSight camera with True Tone flash, and a fingerprint scanner for Touch ID, which lets you securely unlock your phone using your finger. The iPhone 5c, meanwhile, sports a colorful plastic design, the A6 chip, and an 8-megapixel camera. Both iPhones are still carrying a 4-inch Retina display and supports LTE networks.

The iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S launched in December 2012 and 2011, respectively. This development makes it the fastest iPhone launch to ever happen in the country. Interested parties can go to Globe’s website to register. No plans and pricing details have been announce as of yet.

Source: Globe

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Globe offers free access to Facebook to its 36 million customers


Yesterday, Facebook executives flew all the way to Manila from California to announce their new partnership with Globe Telecom. The new collaboration between the two aims to bring an early holiday gift to the carrier’s more than 36 million customers which is: free usage of Facebook across many devices.

Globe says they worked with the engineers at Facebook to come up with a seamless integration of the free offering on various platforms like their mobile website and apps. For one, customers who use Facebook on Globe’s wireless network will be shown that they are not being charged (see screenshot above and below).


As a way to prevent users from getting their prepaid balance ‘eaten’, Facebook has set up a notification page whenever users click on a link leading to other websites, say Instagram, with a one-click registration to Globe’s data plans. Plans (or promos, if you want) that are displayed will depend on a user’s available prepaid balance, and if you don’t have any, you will be able to borrow or loan 10MB for P10 which will be deducted on your next reload.

Screenshot_2013-10-18-23-51-44 Screenshot_2013-10-18-23-52-12

Globe is actively rolling out free Facebook access to its 36 million prepaid (TM included) and postpaid customers and targets to cover them all by October 31. You can know more about the free Facebook offering by dialing *143# and choosing ‘FREE FB’.