Starmobile OCTA Review

The Starmobile OCTA sports an octa-core processor, NFC, and wireless charging. Here's our review.

MyPhone Agua Infinity Review

MyPhone's first octa-core processor, the Agua Infinity, features an octa-core processor and a metal frame. Here's our review.

JBL Synchros S300i Review

For a pair of space-looking headphones, the JBL Synchros S300i sounds nice. Check out our review.

Jabra Revo Review

The Jabra Revo is an affordable pair of cans with a lot of performance to back it up. Review after the jump.

AKG K495 NC Review

For a pair of cans just under P20,000, does the K495 NC's performance justify the price even in 2014? Read our AKG K495 NC review.

Dolby Atmos-Powered Lenovo A7000 Introduced, Sells for P7,390

If you're looking for a mid-range smartphone that will go together with your beats, then you won't go wrong with the Lenovo A7000. You see, this device is the world's first to feature the Dolby Atmos technology; basically what it does is - in layman's terms - tweak what you're hearing to next-level surround sound, provided you plug in a great pair of headphones and use a high definition music file. This would also go great when you watch movies on the smartphone's 5.5-inch HD display.

Dolby Atmos-Powered Lenovo A7000 Introduced, Sells for P7,390

Dolby Atmos technology aside, the Lenovo A7000 sports some decent specs: A MT6752m 1.5GHz True8Core octa-core processor, 2GB of RAM, an 8GB internal storage, an 8-megapixel rear shooter, and a rather sizeable 2900mAh battery. It also runs the latest Android 5.0 Lollipop OS, so you're assured you're using the most efficient mobile operating software from Google.

Dolby Atmos-Powered Lenovo A7000 Introduced, Sells for P7,390

The Lenovo A7000 will be available at an exclusive online channel this coming May 28 for P7,390. It was also previously held on sale at the same channel as a 1-day exclusive.

To learn more about the Lenovo A7000, visit facebook.com/lenovomobileph.

Lenovo A7000 Specifications
Lenovo A7000 Specifications

Samsung Galaxy E7 Review: Nice to Have Mid-Range Smartphone

With Chinese smartphone manufacturers slowly chipping away the market of more established international brands (by selling more affordable smartphones at almost the same specifications point of course), it's no wonder that biggies like Samsung have decided to fight back by offering their own mid-rangers. Enter the Samsung Galaxy E7.

The Samsung Galaxy E7 is akin to your local quad-core smartphone, only better - not only in terms of looks, but of course, build. It's also got that mid-range feel by being able to offer a dual SIM functionality, albeit a very limited feature set.

Design

The Samsung Galaxy E7, as mundane as it may sound, looks like your typical Samsung smartphone. The front picks up after the Samsung Galaxy S4's design language, while the rear from the S3. It's every bit as familiar as the Samsung Galaxy Grand, and the Galaxy Win - you get the idea. Needless to say, this trademark Samsung design is what sells. It looks good, no doubt about that.

Samsung Galaxy E7 Review Front

The front of the device carries one of the nicer bezels we've seen at this price point, coming in with a 5.5-inch display set at a 1280 x 720 resolution. Also present are the soft touch plus physical home keys, the classic Samsung Galaxy earpiece grill, and the 5-megapixel front-facing camera. What's clearly missing here is a notification LED light, which would've been superb since local brands at this price point most of the time comes with it, not to mention it's super helpful with telling the user that there's a message waiting to be read and whatnot.

Samsung Galaxy E7 Review Back

Going to the rear and the sides: As previously mentioned, the Samsung Galaxy E7 takes its rear design cue from the company's third flagship. The camera, flash, and the external speaker sit right beside each other; the microUSB port and the headphone jack are located at the bottom of the device. It's also relatively clean, with only the Samsung, DUOS, and CE logos printed in the back. The right side of the device houses the dual nano SIM slots (accessible via a SIM pin), with one slot convertible as a microSD card slot, capable of handling up to 64GB. It would've been nicer if the microSD card slot was placed separately, but dual SIM capability is a definite must-have at this price point.

Samsung Galaxy E7 Review Sides Samsung Galaxy E7 Review Sides

Handling-wise, the Samsung Galaxy E7 might be large, but isn't unwieldy. In fact, it's quite the opposite. The device is light to hold, and isn't slipperty to handle. Additionally, its thin profile helps with the maneuverability; you'll be able to at least scroll the display with a single thumb, even if you have small hands.

Display

The Samsung Galaxy E7 sports a 5.5-inch Super AMOLED HD display, set at a 1280x720 resolution, 267 ppi, and 10-touch points. Unfortunately, it stops at just that since the device isn't equipped with tough glass protection - so it'd probably be wise to have a screenguard applied here.

Samsung Galaxy E7 Review Display

The Galaxy E7's display is - for lack of a better term - good enough to please a critic's eye. It has the right amount of sharpness and clarity to qualify it as something beyond HD but not FHD, and the warmth on reds and yellows are accurate and vibrant - a trait Samsung have been pulling off for years now (some may call it oversaturation, but I digress). However, the whites produce the usual bluish tint, and I find the dimmest brightness setting still too bright (Lux Lite is a great app to force-adjust brightness - and it's free). To the E7's defense however, this is a mid-range offering from the South Korean company, and it's pretty fair to say that this bluish tint still exists on other mid-range products.


Also, if you're one to always use your smartphone under the sun, then you're in luck, as the Samsung Galaxy E7's display is still very legible under glare. Adjust the brightness a little bit and you're good to go.

Software

The Samsung Galaxy E7 runs on Android 4.4.4 KitKat, wrapped by the TouchWiz UI and its accompanying apps, sans most of the bloatware from the company's flagship-level smartphones. Interface-wise, you'll mistake the Galaxy E7 as, combined with its already nice-looking shell, a device far more premium than it is, and that's how - if you'll allow me to say - some people like it. It's the consistent look of a Samsung smartphone that always catches people offguard. As far as I'm concerned, it looks like a Galaxy Note 3 in a distance.

Samsung Galaxy E7 Review Android KitKat

Going deeper, the device features convenience elements, like an integrated Flipboard window when you swipe your screen to the left and the Galaxy Essentials screen when you swipe to the right. Samsung UK's Support FAQs page states that this feature allows you to "access and download a collection of premium content, free of charge", and to some extent, yes, this is true.

Samsung Galaxy E7 Review Essentials

A lot of advanced users find the TouchWiz UI annoying and dated, but the newer versions of it aim for ease of use (the proof of which is the streamlining of categories and convenience of increased visibility of most-used commands), and it's something I personally appreciate, though admittedly TouchWiz itself is a major factor of the bogging down of any relatively new Samsung device.

Performance

Designated to be affordable, the Galaxy E7 sports the relatively cheap 1.2GHz Qualcomm MSM8916 Snapdragon 410 quad-core processor and Adreno 306 graphics chip. It also offers 2GB of RAM, which is unusual at this level, nonetheless very welcome. We ran the numbers, and the device performed as expected of it. Benchmark results below.

Samsung Galaxy E7 Review 3D Mark Benchmark

Samsung Galaxy E7 Review Antutu Benchmark

Samsung Galaxy E7 Review Geekbench 3 Benchmark

Samsung Galaxy E7 Review Vellamo Benchmark

Nenamark 2 score: 53.9 FPS

Pulling from the benchmarks, Samsung Galaxy E7, with its mid-range hardware, performs within expectations as it goes toe-to-toe with yesteryear flagship devices, such as the LG Nexus 4, the Sony Xperia Z, and the ASUS Zenfone 5. Needless to say, the Galaxy E7 gives smooth, up-to-par performance with its hardware.

Audio and Video

One of the best things you can do with a Samsung Galaxy E7 is to watch videos and view images on its HD Super AMOLED display. High definition videos come out nicely, and colors simply just pop out, looking very vibrant (just look at the reds and beiges at that angry John Cena). It's also the same case with the photos the device captures, though opening it on a wider screen is an entirely different story.

Samsung Galaxy E7 Review Videos

With respect to the device's external audio capability, the Samsung Galaxy E7's loudspeaker plays moderately nice, with some additional depth. It doesn't sound tinny as with other mid-range devices of the past (I can't really compare it to current mid-range devices, as these are "evolving" as well, and by that I mean they're offering better and better bang for the buck progress). Audio produced are clear and audible, and this goes for the earpiece as well when you perform a call.

Gaming

Being able to run N.O.V.A 3 on full settings without much choking is no small feat, and the Samsung Galaxy E7 was able to do just that. It's a given that the device would choke at some heavy sequences (and I found it very challenging to finish some areas where there was a lot going on in the screen), but nonetheless you'll be able to game. You should be able to run less graphics-intensive 3D games such as Dungeon Hunter 5 with relative ease.

Samsung Galaxy E7 Review Gaming

You'll also find yourself immersed in gaming as the Galaxy E7's HD display has good screen clarity.

Camera

So, what should you expect from a Samsung mid-ranger equipped with a 13-megapixel main snapper? Apparently not much (megapixels aren't produced the same, just like how different a Sony sensor is from a top-grade generic sensor). The Galaxy E7 produces images that, first and foremost, lack both color and detail accuracy (greens look like blue greens), then sharpness and saturation. Images look flat and unnatural, and there's a huge loss in detail and a lot of noise a few zooms over. However, I give the Galaxy E7 points for effort for at least being able to take night time images, albeit somewhat grainy at times.

Samsung Galaxy E7 Review Camera

The above said, let's face it: At the Galaxy E7's price point, you will get circa early 2014 hardware, but at least it's a Samsung. Objectively, at the same or lower price you can get a rebadged smartphone that produces a better image, then again what Samsung is selling here is the privilege of owning an awesome-looking device.

Sample images below.



The Samsung Galaxy E7 features the standard Samsung camera UI look, which is a fresh take for me as I'm used to dabbling with stock to semi-modified versions of Android KitKat's UI. Going back on point, the Galaxy E7 offers action shots, front-facing camera gesture, and voice command capture on top of the standard Panorama and basic filters. It's also able to take wide-angled selfies (this is an issue with short-limbed people without selfie sticks, or cameras with very narrow-angling cameras). In fairness to the device, the shutter is able to quickly snap on an image, even with unstable hands, oftentimes leading to blurry images.





The Samsung Galaxy E7 is capable of capturing FHD videos.

Battery

The Samsung Galaxy E7's battery is long-lived, lasting up to a day or more with regular use (medium brightness, WiFi connectivity, browsing and social networking apps use). This is standard fare nowadays, and I would be very surprised if it lasted any less. That said, the Galaxy E7 is a pretty reliable smartphone battery-wise, just like its Galaxy Note cousins.

Samsung Galaxy E7 Review Battery

Verdict

Samsung keeps on upping its game, with its recent Samsung Galaxy S6 edge and Galaxy Note 4 Edge releases. With the improvements in hardware and software however comes spikes in pricing, and the average Joe definitely will have to pay an arm and a leg to be able to afford such beasts. Fortunately for consumers, Samsung have started looking at mid-rangers, particularly as an answer to Chinese brands hitting them where it hurts the most - market share. So this is where the Galaxy E7 comes into play.

Samsung Galaxy E7 Review

The Samsung Galaxy E7 is definitely a nice smartphone to have, with its great and precision construction, long battery life, and dual SIM capability, though it's not something that will come up top of mind when you're looking for devices, especially that there's a lot of other possibly better offerings with around the same price. However, if you're A) after a Samsung device, and B) are strictly on a P15,900 price tag, then the Samsung Galaxy E7 is the best smartphone for you.

Xiaomi Mi Pad Goes on Sale in PH for P10,999

Xiaomi Philippines recently announced that they will (finally) be releasing the much-anticipated Mi Pad through selected online sales channels. The well-made tablet will be available this May 4, Monday, for P10,999.

Xiaomi Mi Pad Goes on Sale in PH for P10,999

The Xiaomi Mi Pad will feature the following specifications:

Xiaomi Mi Pad Specifications

OS: Android 4.4 KitKat, MIUI 6
Processor: 2.2GHz quad-core NVIDIA Tegra K1 processor, ULP GeForce Kepler GPU
Memory: 2GB  RAM, 16GB internal storage, microSD expandable up to 128GB
Display: 7.9-inch HD IPS display, 1536x2048 screen resolution, 326 ppi, Gorilla Glass 3
Camera: 8-megapixel f/2.0 rear camera w/ BSI, 5-megapixel front-facing camera
Connectivity: Dual band 802.11ac Wi-Fi, 2x2 MIMO antenna, WiFi hotspot; Bluetooth 4.0; microUSB v2.0, USB OTG 
SIM: No
Battery: 6700mAh Li-Po battery, non-removable
Dimensions: 202 x 135.4 x 8.5 mm, 360 g

The Xiaomi Mi Pad is still a viable tablet to own, granted, it took more than a year for the Chinese hotshot company to ship units to the Philippines.

If you're interested in having one, go to mi.com/ph.

CloudFone Holds Thank You Sale, Celebrates 3 Years in Business

Local mobile company CloudFone is celebrating its 3 years in business this month, and is currently holding a Thank You Sale to show its appreciation to its customers.

Some of the CloudFone devices on sale are on the poster below:


What's interesting in this sale is that the CloudFone 501o  and the CloudPad Epic 8.0 are being held on sale for P3,999 (prev. P4,999) and P7,999 (prev. P9,999) respectively. These will likely be a good deal to anyone who'd want to avail.

The CloudFone Thank You Sale is available at all CloudFone kiosks and selected partner stores nationwide.

Here's What You'll Get When You Reach Zero Years in Freedom Wars

Ever wondered what will happen if you reduce your million-year sentence to zero in Freedom Wars? Yours truly did a tremendous grind for your convenience (how I did it was a combination of combat item manufacturing and donations, endless farming of items, painful fingers, and sheer determination). And if you'll ask me, the rewards for reducing your sentence to zero years are totally worth it.

Without further ado, here's the rewards when you reach a zero year sentence in Freedom Wars:

After you reach zero years in your sentence, you'll be greeted with the following windows, on top of being greeted by Percy Propa himself. You're now a Second Class Citizen!

Freedom_Wars_Zero_Years_Sentence_Reward_Percy_Propa

You'll be able to wear beachwear in your Panopticon (to which I say good luck, since Panopticons are all-metal megacages).

Freedom_Wars_Zero_Years_Sentence_Reward_Beach_Wear

Freedom_Wars_Zero_Years_Sentence_Reward_Beach_Wear_2

You'll also receive entitlement certificates to the following headphones, free of charge!


Beachwear yo.

Freedom_Wars_Zero_Years_Sentence_Reward_Beach_Wear_3

You'll also be able to wear an Accessory's clothing, like so.

Freedom_Wars_Zero_Years_Sentence_Reward_Accessory_Costume

Conversely, your Accessory will be able to wear a CODE 0 Sinner outfit.

Freedom_Wars_Zero_Years_Sentence_Reward_Sinner_Costume

Here's some more unlockable headphones and accessories, plenty of which coming from your Sinner companions. And of course, you can change the accessories' colors too.

Freedom_Wars_Zero_Years_Sentence_Reward_Wraparound_Headphones

Freedom_Wars_Zero_Years_Sentence_Reward_Shazmeister_Headphones

Freedom_Wars_Zero_Years_Sentence_Reward_Beatrice_Headphones

Freedom_Wars_Zero_Years_Sentence_Reward_Uwe_Headset

Freedom_Wars_Zero_Years_Sentence_Reward_Carlos_Headphones_Earrings

Freedom_Wars_Zero_Years_Sentence_Reward_Citizen_Headphones

Freedom_Wars_Zero_Years_Sentence_Reward_Natalia_Headset

Freedom_Wars_Zero_Years_Sentence_Reward_On_High_Mask

Freedom_Wars_Zero_Years_Sentence_Reward_Will_O_Control_Device

Here's the all-powerful Fallen One's Scarf from Simeon. It feels good to wear, especially when doing missions online, since your companions circle around you to take a look at your gear with envy.

Freedom_Wars_Zero_Years_Sentence_Reward_Fallen_One_Scarf

Freedom_Wars_Zero_Years_Sentence_Reward_Trustie_Armband

Freedom_Wars_Zero_Years_Sentence_Reward_Multi_Purpose_Hold_All

Here's the Imperial Feather, which if you'll recall was worn by Abel when you fight with him and Red Rage on a CODE 7 assignment.

Freedom_Wars_Zero_Years_Sentence_Reward_Abel_Imperial_Feather

Freedom_Wars_Zero_Years_Sentence_Reward_Lucky_Anklet


And lastly, CODE 8 stickers. Shaz, man!

Freedom_Wars_Zero_Years_Sentence_Reward_Second_Class_Citizen_Sticker_Set

So, will you start grinding for these now? Just make sure you have good weapons, great skills, and lots of patience.