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ASUS Zenfone AR to Launch June 24, Features Tango, Daydream

June 18, 2017
Taiwanese smartphone maker ASUS sets its eyes to launch the newest member of its Zenfone series, the ASUS Zenfone AR, right after a hackathon event in Manila this coming June 24.

ASUS Zenfone AR to Launch June 24, Features Tango, Daydream

The ASUS Zenfone AR is the company's first Tango- and Daydream-capable smartphone. Tango and Daydream are technologies that allows you to experience augmented reality (aka virtual reality) via a set of sensors, and a couple of equipment, like a VR headset. The technology doesn't offer much practical use, except for maybe letting you preview what an area of your house would look like if you place a new furniture, or anything to this effect. Leisure-wise, you'd have lots going on with Tango, such as superimposing objects to areas on your smartphone's display.

The ASUS Zenfone AR from what it looks like is the company's most premium phone to date. It doesn't follow the standard Zenfone 3 front (it has a physical home button), and has a leather rear paired with a metal frame that further accentuates the premium feel. It also has that unsightly rear camera that houses all the imaging power of the device, plus the essence of what a Tango device is.

There's no price disclosed yet for the Zenfone AR, but it should be revealed on the June 24 event.

ASUS Zenfone AR Specifications

OS: Android 7.0 Nougat, ZenUI 3.0
Processor: 2.3GHz quad-core MSM8996 Snapdragon 821 processor, Adreno 530 GPU
Memory: 6GB RAM, 64GB onboard storage, microSD expandable up to 256GB
Display: 5.7-inch Super AMOLED QHD display, 1440x2560 display resolution, Corning Gorilla Glass 4
Camera: 23 MP rear camera w/ PDAF, LED flash, f/2.0, OIS (4-axis), 3x zoom, depth & motion tracking sensors; 8 MP front-facing camera
Connectivity: Up to 4G LTE; Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, WiFi Direct, hotspot; Bluetooth 4.2, A2DP, LE; GPS, with A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS
SIM: Hybrid dual nano SIM
Features: Fingerprint sensor
Battery: 3300mAh Li-ion battery, non-removable
Dimensions: 158.7 x 77.7 x 9 mm, 170 g
Colors: Black

Starmobile Now Assembling Phones in the Philippines

June 16, 2017
Filipino technology company Star Telecom Alliance Resources, Inc. (STAR, Inc.), the parent of smartphone brand Starmobile, announced today the start of its mobile phone production efforts in the Philippines as it starts assembly of 20,000 units of the UNO B208 featurephone in a facility in Calamba, Laguna. This ground-breaking effort officially makes Starmobile the first Filipino brand to assemble mobile phones locally.


Local smartphone company Starmobile just did a nation-first by deciding to have 20,000 units of its UNO B208 feature phone assembled in the Philippines - specifically in Calamba, Laguna.

“Since we started five years ago, it has been the company’s goal to contribute to the local economy and provide employment by assembling phones in the Philippines,” said Starmobile COO Michael Chen. “Aside from bringing us a step closer to our dream of building up the Philippines an important player in the global tech scene, this will also benefit our bottom line, as it will result in more cost and time-efficient logistics and shipment around the country. In addition, because we will have parts and an assembly facility locally, we expect this to improve our after-sales support for our customers.”


So why did the company decide to put its assembly efforts first on a feature phone instead of its top-tier smartphones? Perhaps it's testing the local water's long-term sustainability, but there's also the fact that there's still a huge demand for feature phones, just because it can do calls and texts.

Specs-wise, the Starmobile UNO B208 is a dual-SIM feature phone with an FM radio, camera with flash, expandable memory, flashlight, multimedia playback, and a battery life of up to two days. It is available in red, blue, or black.

OPPO A57 Launched, Selfie Smartphone with Snapdragon 435

June 14, 2017
OPPO Philippines recently launched the OPPO A57, a 5.2-inch Android smartphone that doesn't bring anything new to the table, except for its small-ish size, and Qualcomm processor. But yes, it still captures wonderful selfies with its front-facing camera.

OPPO A57 Launched, Selfie Smartphone with Snapdragon 435

For starters, the OPPO A57 features the same design language as the OPPO F1s and the OPPO F3 (except for the antenna lines). It even has a fingerprint sensor. In fact, you'll definitely mistake it for one or the other if not for the smaller display.

The device unfortunately doesn't support the Snapdragon 435's Quick Charge 3.0 capability, so it may take some time to fill up that 2900mAh battery capacity. Other specs include 3GB of RAM, 32GB of onboard storage, and a 16MP camera.

The OPPO A57 retails for PHP 11,990, a bit steep considering you can get the OPPO F1s Upgraded at PHP 13,990.

OPPO A57 Specifications

OS: Android 6.0 Marshmallow, ColorOS 3.0
Processor: 1.4GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 octa-core processor, Adreno 505 GPU
Memory: 3GB RAM, 32GB onboard storage, microSD expandable up to 256GB
Display: 5.2-inch HD IPS display, 1280x720 display resolution, Gorilla Glass 4
Camera: 13MP rear camera w/ f/2.2 aperture, PDAF, LED flash;
16MP front-facing camera w/ f/2.0 aperture
Connectivity: Up to 4G LTE, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, WiFi hotspot; Bluetooth 4.1; GPS w/ A-GPS
SIM: Dual nano SIM, dual standby
Battery: 2900mAh Li-ion battery, non-removable
Dimensions: 149.1 x 72.9 x 7.65 mm, 147 g
Colors: Black, Gold, Rose Gold
Price: PHP 11,990

Nokia 3, 5, 6, and 3310 Coming to the Philippines, Pricing Revealed

June 10, 2017
It's official: The Nokia 3, 5, and 6, will be coming to Philippine shores at the end of June. The announcement comes after the smartphones' debut at the 2017 Mobile World Congress just a few months ago.

HMD Global, the Finnish mobile phone maker company licensed exclusively to develop and market phones under the Nokia brand, formally announced the devices' entries to the country. It's also good to know that this company is made of former Nokia veterans, so you know that the qualify of the new devices is more or less comparable to what Nokia was back in its glory days.

Nokia 3

Nokia 3

The Nokia 3 is the smallest and most affordable of the trio announced. It features a 5-inch HD display and runs on a 1.3GHz MT6737 processor, 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of onboard storage. It also features an 8MP front-facing camera and an 8MP rear camera with autofocus and LED flash.

The Nokia 3 looks like a miniature version of an Xperia device at the front, but looks like a Nokia all the way at the back. It's a welcome smartphone for those trying out Android for the first time.

Nokia 3 Specifications

OS: Android 7.0 Nougat
Processor: Mediatek MT6737 1.3GHz quad-core processor, Mali-T720MP2 GPU
Memory: 2GB RAM, 16GB internal storage, microSD expandable up to 128GB
Display: 5.0-inch HD IPS LCD display, 1280 x 720 display resolution, 2.5D sculpted Corning Gorilla Glass
Camera: 8MP rear camera with AF, LED flash, 1.12um, f/2; 8MP front-facing camera w/ AF, 1.12um, f/2, 84 degrees wide-angle
Connectivity: Up to 4G LTE; WiFi 802.11 b/g/c; Bluetooth; GPS; NFC; microUSB 2.0 w/ USB OTG
SIM: Dual SIM
Battery: 2650mAh Li-ion battery
Dimensions: 143.4 x 71.4 x 8.4mm
Colors: Tempered Blue, Silver, Matte Black, Copper

Nokia 5

Nokia 5

The Nokia 5, the mid-ranger among the three, comes with an anodized aluminum body, making off with a very premium feel at an affordable price. Another highlight is its fingerprint sensor, for an added layer of security. Wrapping the premium feel up is a 5.-2 inch HD IPS display with a 2.5D Gorilla Glass screen.
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Specs-wise, the Nokia 5 comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of onboard storage, and a 3000mAh battery. It also comes with a 13MP rear camera with PDAF and dual-tone flash and 8MP front-facing wide-angle camera.

What's good about the Nokia 5, aside from its design, is the fact that HMD Global managed to squeeze in NFC to the device, a technology you don't often see in sub-10k smartphones today.

Nokia 5 Specifications

OS: Android 7.0 Nougat
Processor: 1.4GHz octa-core processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 processor, Adreno 505 GPU
Memory: 2GB RAM, 16GB internal storage, microSD expandable up to 128GB
Display: 5.2-inch HD IPS LCD display, 1280 x 720 display resolution, 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass
Camera: 13MP rear camera w/ PDAF, dual-tone flash, 1.12um, f/2; 8MP front-facing camera w/ AF, 1.12um, f/2, 84 degrees wide-angle
Connectivity: Up to 4G LTE; WiFi 802.11 b/g/c; Bluetooth 4.1; GPS; NFC; microUSB 2.0 w/ USB OTG
SIM: Dual SIM
Features: Fingerprint sensor
Battery: 3000mAh Li-ion battery, non-removable
Dimensions: 149.7 x 72.5 x 8.05 mm
Colors: Tempered Blue, Silver, Matte Black, Copper

Nokia 6

Nokia 6

Rounding up the Nokia trio is the Nokia 6, the company's current crown jewel so to speak. It's not that far off the Nokia 5 from the build and specs, but the difference maker is the upsized 5.5-inch display, 3GB RAM, and 32GB onboard storage. It also comes with the Snapdragon 430 processor, 16MP/8MP rear and front-facing cameras, and NFC. And since we're talking about a 430 here, the Nokia 6 will support fast charging.

There's also a variation of the Nokia 6 called the Arte Black, which basically features an upgraded 4GB RAM and 64GB onboard storage. We're still not sure if we're getting this version locally, but we'll remain hopeful.

Nokia 6 Specifications

OS: Android 7.0 Nougat
Processor: 1.4GHz octa-core processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 processor, Adreno 505 GPU
Memory: 3GB RAM, 32GB internal storage, microSD expandable up to 128GB
Display: 5.5-inch FHD IPS display, 1920 x 1080 display resolution, 401ppi, 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass 3
Camera: 16MP rear camera w/ PDAF, dual-tone flash, 1.12um, f/2; 8MP front-facing camera w/ AF, 1.12um, f/2, 84 degrees wide-angle
Connectivity: Up to 4G LTE; WiFi 802.11 b/g/c; Bluetooth 4.1; GPS w/ A-GPS, GLONASS; NFC; microUSB 2.0 w/ USB OTG
SIM: Hybrid dual SIM
Features: Fingerprint sensor, fast-charging
Battery: 3000mAh Li-ion battery, non-removable
Dimensions: 154 x 75.8 x 7.85 mm, 169 g
Colors: Matte Black, Tempered Blue, Silver, Copper

All devices will come in Android 7.0 Nougat, and with Android 8.0 O in the future, if HMD Global's update commitment is to be believed. All three Nokia devices will be available by the end of June, with other 120 countries simultaneously launching as well.

The Nokia 3, 5, and 6 will be sold at PHP 6,990, PHP 9,990, and PHP 11,990 respectively.

Up to 70% OFF on Audio Gadgets at Beyond Innovatios Warehouse Sale

June 09, 2017
Beyond Innovations, the official local distributor of international audio brands such as JBL, Harman Kardon, AKG, Booq, LinearFlux, and Denon, will be having a warehouse sale with discounts up to 70% OFF!

Up to 70% OFF on Audio Gadgets at Beyond Innovatios Warehouse Sale

Where: Circulo Verde Multi Purpose Hall, Bagumbayan, Quezon City
When: July 1-2, 2017, 9 AM - 6 PM

Be there early! We're expecting steals! 

ASUS ROG Masters 2017 Announced, PHP 200,000 Local Prize Pool

June 07, 2017
ROG
So you think you and your friends got what it takes to be a professional gamer?

ASUS Republic of Gamers recently announced the ROG Masters 2017 esports tournament that will feature over 20 top professional teams from across the globe and offer a prize pool of US $500,000. Featured games are DOTA 2 and CS:GO.

ASUS ROG Masters 2017 Announced, PHP 200,000 Prize Pool

The global ROG Masters 2017 qualifiers will start in a few weeks in 30 country qualifiers and 4 regional qualifiers (EMEA, Americas, APAC, and China). These qualifying teams will then face invited professional teams for slots in the ROG Masters grand finals that will happen in November 2017.

ASUS Philippines Systems Group Country Manager, George Su, states: “For over a decade ROG has been committed to providing the most innovative hardware to gamers worldwide, and last year we offered the gaming community an opportunity to live their esports dream by launching the first-ever ROG Masters. Thanks to extremely positive feedback, ROG Masters returns this year as a global affair, inviting pro teams and amateur players from over over 30 countries across five continents.”

If you want to test you and your teammates mettle at DOTA 2, sign up for a local qualifier slot at http://rog-masters.ph.

OPPO F3 Gets PHP 1,000 Discount for June and July 2017

June 02, 2017
OPPO is currently offering its newest local flagship - the OPPO F3 - at a PHP 1,000 discount, in a nod to the coming school year.

Related: OPPO F3 offiial launch in photos

OPPO F3 Gets PHP 1,000 Discount for June and July 2017

The OPPO F3 is a 5.5 inch camera phone with dual selfie cameras for wider selfies and added bokeh effect. Starting June 1, 2017 until July 31, 2017, customers can avail a PHP 1,000 special discount when they purchase an OPPO F3 in any OPPO authorized resellers nationwide.

The OPPO F3 is now available in the market for PHP 15,990 (limited time offer less PHP 1,000).

OPPO F3 Specifications

OS: Android 6.0 Marshmallow, ColorOS 3.1 UI
Processor: 1.5GHz Octa-core Mediatek MT6750T, Mali T860 GPU
Memory: 4GB RAM, 64GB onboard storage, microSD expandable up to 128GB (uses SIM 2 slot)
Display: 5.5-inch FHD In-Cell display, 1920x1080 display resolution, Corning Gorilla Glass 5
Camera: 13MP rear camera w/ PDAF, LED flash; 16MP + 8MP 120-degree wide-angle front-facing cameras
Connectivity: Up to 4G LTE; WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n, WiFi hotspot; Bluetooth 4.1; GPS w/ A-GPS
SIM: Hybrid dual nano SIM
Battery: 3200mAh non-removable battery
Dimensions: 75.2 x 153.3 x 73 mm, 153 g
Features: Fingerprint sensor
Price: P15,990 (limited time offer)


Linearflux HyperCharge Hub Review: Legit Fast Charging Power

June 02, 2017
Chargers are the least discussed bundled items of a smartphone, because they're the least functional (it "just" charges your device, nothing more), and the least sexy (it's just a square piece of plastic). Sometimes they don't even perform their function well because they're underpowered: There are situations that when using your device with a charger, it even drains your device's battery further, taking charging longer. Fortunately, we stumbled upon a charger that isn't only capable of delivering high performance, but looks sexy as well. Enter the Linearflux HyperCharge Hub.

Linearflux HyperCharge Hub Review: Legit Fast Charging Power

A bit of an intro first: After a quick research, we found out that the Linearflux HyperCharge Hub started from a Kickstarter project last 2015, and is on sale since.

Performance

With that out of the way, the Linearflux HyperCharge Hub does one thing wonderfully: Charge your devices in a shorter span of time (vs regular chargers). It does this by delivering 3.5A (18 watts) of power to your smartphone or tablet, cutting charging time by as much as 50% (though this is device and usage dependent, especially if you're like me who likes to use his smartphone for gaming while charging). On top of being able to deliver consistent 3.5A consistently, there are two ports on the HyperCharge Hub (which Linearflux playfully calls "HyperPorts"), allowing you to essentially fast-charge two devices at the same time. Other third party dual port chargers come with 2.4A and 1A ratings, even dropping power when two devices are being charged at simultaneously.

Linearflux HyperCharge Hub Review: Legit Fast Charging Power

As anecdotal evidence, what really sold me to the HyperCharge Hub is its ability to charge my smartphones while I'm running games on it. There's a grind-heavy game on Android called Heroes of Incredible Tales, and leveling up characters requires a separate phone to be on for hours on end, with the animation being displayed and while being connected to WiFi. With the HyperCharge Hub, I can continuously run my game while charging my phone back to 100% (and no, unless you're using a bad charger, it doesn't matter if you use your phone while charging).

Design

Linearflux HyperCharge Hub Review: Legit Fast Charging Power

Design-wise, the HyperCharge Hub is one of the sleeker chargers in the market today. It's slim and pocket-friendly - a must for portable fast chargers. It also features a 180-degree rotatable charging plug, allowing you to plug to a power socket in any situation. This is especially helpful if the socket you're going to plug into have low clearance, e.g. the socket is behind a cabinet with a slim space between the wall. The charger also has two red stripes on both of its sides.

Linearflux HyperCharge Hub Review: Legit Fast Charging Power

The only thing we're worried about the HyperCharge Hub is its rotatable charging plug. It seems to be made with brittle (not flimsy, but brittle) hard plastic. While we don't want to try it ourselves, one wrong flick of your wrist could possibly dislocate or break the plastic holding the plug's metal parts. We've had this happen before with first party chargers with the same feature, so we're extra careful of plugging it in to a wall socket. Otherwise, get an adaptor to serve as the beater part of the charger.

We recommend using high capacity USB cables as well when using the HyperCharge hub. Just to ensure it delivers its maximum potential.

Verdict

If you're looking for a fast smartphone or tablet charger (or simply like playing games on your smartphone nonstop), this is the charger to get. We're not merely suggesting, we're saying. We haven't experienced fast charging like this outside of proprietary fast charging technologies, like Qualcomm's Quick Charge, or OPPO's VOOC.

Linearflux HyperCharge Hub Review: Legit Fast Charging Power

The Linearflux HyperCharge Hub is available for PHP 2,350 at the following A. Refinery stores:

- A.Refinery, 2nd flr, Phase 1B UP Town Center, Katipunan ave
- A.Refinery, 3rd flr, Ayala Center Cebu, Cebu
- A.Refinery, 2nd flr, Ayala Abreeza Mall, JP Laurel ave, Davao

Linearflux HyperCharge Hub Specifications

Output: 5VDC, 3.5Amps, 18Watts
Dimensions: 0.80” x 2.2” x 2.2” (20mm x 56mm x 56mm)
Weight: 2.0oz (56.7g)
 
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