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.