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ASUS Zenfone 3 Unveiled at Computex, 3 Variants Announced

Monday, May 30, 2016
ASUS at Computex today unveiled 3 variants of its much awaited Zenfone 3 series - and for what its worth, it looks more expensive than its actual announced prices.

ASUS Zenfone 3 Unveiled at Computex, 3 Variants Announced

Starting at USD 249, the base model of the Zenfone 3 boasts Android M out of the box, an octa-core Snapdragon 625 (the first to utilize the chipset), 3GB RAM plus 32GB internal storage, dua SIM support, Cat 6 LTE, a 3000mAh battery, a 1080p display, and a 2.5D Gorilla Glass on its front and back faces. What's good is it looks great with its chamfered edges and all, and rings of the Huawei Mate S or the Samsung Galaxy S6. It also comes with - get this - USB Type C, and a rear fingerprint sensor. As usual, it comes in plenty of colors: "Shimmer Gold," "Aqua Blue," "Sapphire Black" and "Moonlight White."

The ASUS Zenfone 3 is now equipped with Sony's IMX298 16-megapixel sensor (the same used by the Huawei Mate 8 and the Xiaomi Mi 5), and still comes with existing camera features—laser autofocus, dual-tone LED flash, and 4-axis optical stabilization. The front meanwhile is equipped with an 8-megapixel wide-angle camera.

The more expensive Zenfone 3 Deluxe is similar with the base model in more ways than one, but the most noticeable difference is its slightly curved metal unibody (instead of Gorilla Glass), plus a bigger 5.7-inch 1080p display. There's also the fact that it utilizes a Snapdragon 820 processor, the first to sport Sony's IMX318 23-megapixel sensor (with 4K video recording support) and Quick Charge 3.0. The Zenfone 3 Deluxe starts at USD 499 for the 6GB RAM + 64 GB internal storage variant.

Last is the goliath of a smartphone, the Zenfone 3 Ultra. Though it looks similar to a lot of devices out there in build, this thing packs a 6.8-inch 1080p phablet that mainly boasts a digital TV play, for a refined mobile viewing experience. How's that for a differentiator? It also sports a Snapdragon 652 octa-core processor, Cat 6 LTE, identical cameras with the Zenfone 3, a fingerprint scanner, DTS Headphone:X 7.1 Surround Sound, and a 4600mAh battery that can act as a powerbank for other devices (though this gimmick isn't new). The base model comes at USD 479.

Cherry Mobile Explorer 2 Action Cam Now Available, Sells for PHP 5,999

Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Leading electronics company Cherry Mobile finally enters its Explorer 2 action cam to the local scene, selling only for an affordable PHP 5,999. This latest release serves as a follow up to last year's Explorer, and is a big jump from the initial model if I'd say so myself.

The Cherry Mobile Explorer 2 now features its own 2.4-inch HD touch-enabled LCD display and comes with Android 5.1 Lollipop out of the box, and a 12-megapixel camera with 170-degrees wide-angle lens that also captures Full HD. And to top it all off, it boasts its own MT6580 chipset with a 1.3GHz quad core CPU and a Mali MP-400 GPU! And no, we hope you don't attempt to play games on it, because really?

Cherry Mobile Explorer 2 Action Cam Now Available, Sells for PHP 5,999


Unfortunately, the timing's a little bit, well, off, since summer's over and you can't really use this device during the rainy season - except perhaps when documenting floods and whatnot.

Cherry Mobile Explorer 2 Specifications

OS: Android 5.1 Lollipop
Processor: Mediatek MT6580, 1.3GHz quad-core CPU, Mali MP-400 GPU
Memory: 1GB RAM, 8GB internal storage, microSD expandable up to 64GB
Display: 2.4-inch HD touchscreen display
Camera: 12MP camera with 170-degree wide-angle lens
1080p video recording
Battery: 1050mAh battery

LG G5 Officially Launched in the Philippines, Sells for PHP 34,990

Friday, May 20, 2016
The much awaited modular LG G5 have finally arrived in the Philippines, and it's still as hot as it was when it was announced in MWC. The local launch was held at Shangri-La at the Fort, Bonifacio Global City Taguig.

The LG G5 on the onset looks like a premium smartphone from a Pixar movie. It features a 5.3-inch Quad HD display, an MSM8996 Snapdragon 820 processor, and a dual 16-megapixel + 8-megapixel camera. This year's G series iteration veers away from highlighting the camera (which was basically what the G3 and G4 launches were all about), but instead focuses on the G5's modularity and its "friends."

Onto the design, the most prominent change immediately noticeable is the device's now-missing trademark rear control buttons - a feature quickly adopted by ASUS and a whole lot of other smartphone companies. Instead, what you'll find in the back is a fingerprint sensor and a different camera setup. Additionally - and perhaps more importantly - 1) You can swap the G5's battery out by simply pulling on its chin (or add other G5 modules as required) and; 2) the device now boasts an aluminum unibody, versus the plastic and leather iterations of the G3 and G4. Remember that I mentioned it looks something pulled off from a Pixar movie? Yep, it looks like a smartphone that'd pop out from Eve from the WALL-E.


The LG G5 won't be the G5 however if not for its "friends", which are the LG 360 VR, the LG 360 Cam, and the LG Rolling Bot. The most interesting at face value would probably be the latter, since it resembles BB8 , just the cutest droid in the Star Wars universe ever. That said, the software operating the Rolling Bot seems like it's still being developed (it's controlled by your G5 via an app), since it's still wonky. When finished though, it promises to control your smart appliances, capture videos, and irritate the hell out of your cat.


The LG G5 is now available for PHP 34,990 in Silver, Titan, Gold, and Pink colors.

LG G5 Specifications

OS: Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow
Processor: Qualcomm MSM8996 Snapdragon 820 processor, Adreno 530 GPU
Memory: 4GB RAM, 32GB onboard storage, microSD expandable up to 200GB
Display: 5.3-inch Quad HD IPS Quantum Display, 2560 x 1440 display resolution, 554 ppi, Gorilla Glass 4, LG Optimus UX 5.0 UI
Camera: Dual main camera: 16-megapixel w/ laser AF, LED flash, f/1.8, 3-axis OIS + 8-megapixel f/2.4 wide-angle; 8-megapixel front-facing camera
Connectivity: Up to 4G LTE; Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, hotspot; Bluetooth v4.2, A2DP, LE, apt-X HD; GPS w/ A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS; NFC; IR; USB v3.0, Type-C 1.0 reversible connector, USB OTG
SIM: Dual Nano-SIM
Battery: 2800mAh Li-ion battery, removable
Dimensions: 149.4 x 73.9 x 7.7 mm, 159 g
Colors: Silver, Titan, Gold, Pink

Live with the King: The Huawei Nexus 6P's Top Killer Features

Friday, April 22, 2016
Every now and then, in the smartphone industry, arrives a device so killer that most personalities agree blogs agree to label it the king - in this case the King of Android, the Huawei Nexus 6P. Just launched recently, the Nexus 6P boasts high-end features under a phablet form. The device screams performance and elegance at the same time. So without further ado, here's our top 5 favorite Nexus 6P killer features.

Iconic Design

You can identify the Huawei Nexus 6P even at a distance - the hallmarks of an iconic hardware design. It features a full metal unibody shell, giving that contemporary, sophisticated look; a remarkable camera band, which looks like a long, black stripe; and an unparalleled real estate, accommodating people with even the largest of hands to easily navigate the Nexus 6P's screen. The device's beauty is something to be reckoned with, and there's only a handful of smartphones that I personally admire.


Front-facing Speakers

Back when a certain company placed speakers on the front of a certain smartphone - a world first! (it's the HTC One M7 by the way) - the result was just absolutely fantastic. If you told me a few years ago that it's possible for a smartphone to boast stereo-esque sounds, I wouldn't have believed you. But see, here is the King of Android, pulling the same wonderful feature again, but this time with more updated hardware and more power.

USB Type-C

Yes, finally, USB Type-C. We'd love to have a mainstream, universal USB Type-C for all devices - be it smartphones, tablets, PCs, and whatnot, because it's the future. For starters, Type-C boasts faster charging times, faster data transfer speeds, and smaller USB-dependent devices. It's also reversible, meaning there's no right-side up.



Fingerprint Reader

Also known as "Nexus Imprint", this fingerprint reader recognizes its owner's fingerprint in less than 600 milliseconds, according to Google. Aside from the quickness of the reads, it's also ergonomically placed at the back of the device rather than on the front, making for on-the-fly unlocking of your Nexus 6P.


Powerful 12.3MP Camera

The Nexus 6P's camera is something that you'd recognize immediately. Maybe there's one, two phones with the same camera band (either ZTE's or Alcatel's), but perhaps none of those are as capable as the Nexus 6P's 12.3-megapixel camera. At 1.55-micron pixels, it allows the sensor to let in more light, enabling you to capture superb indoor, low-light photos. Remember that dark restaurant you ate at where there are only yellow lights? Yes, the Nexus 6P can make that place look beautiful.


Huawei Nexus 6P Specifications

OS: Android 6.0 Marshmallow
Processor: Qualcomm MSM8994 Snapdragon 810, 1.55 GHz quad-core Cortex-A53 & 2.0 GHz quad-core GHz Cortex-A57; Adreno 430 GPU
Memory: 3GB RAM, 32/64/128 GB onboard storage, no microSD card slot
Display: 5.7-inch Quad HD AMOLED display, 1440 x 2560 display resolution, 518 ppi; Corning Gorilla Glass 4 w/ oleophobic coating
Camera: 12.3-megapixel rear camera, f/2.0, laser autofocus, dual-LED (dual tone) flash, 1/2.3' sensor size, 1.55µm pixel size; 8-megapixel front-facing camera, f/2.4
Connectivity: 4G LTE, 3G HSPA+; Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, Wi-Fi hotspot; Bluetooth v4.2, A2DP, LE; GPS w/ A-GPS, GLONASS; NFC; USB v2.0, Type-C 1.0 reversible connector
SIM: Nano SIM
Battery: Li-Po 3450 mAh battery, non-removable
Features: Fast charging
Dimensions: 159.3 x 77.8 x 7.3 mm, 178 g
Colors: Aluminium, Graphite, Frost

beyerdynamic Custom One Pro Headphones Review

Wednesday, March 30, 2016
When people think of high end, premium on-ear headphones, they either think of Marshall or Beats. While we can't blame them for thinking so (both brands might have bigger marketing budgets to burn), popular isn't always the best. Case in point is the beyerdynamic Custom One Pro on-ear headphones. This pair of cans in summary look pretty on the outside but mean on the inside. Here's our review.

Design

beyerdynamic Custom One Pro Headphones Review


beyerdynamic's Custom One Pro will make your eyes glued to it right off the bat. Its cans are made of hard matte plastic which color looks similar to that of a stealth fighter. The stem holding the cans together with the headband are also of matte black steel. The headband itself - also colored black - is among one of the more comfortable bands I've ever worn, with one of the major contributors being the foam. This also goes for the foam in the cups as they're very comfortable as well.

beyerdynamic Custom One Pro Headphones Review beyerdynamic Custom One Pro Headphones Review

On wear: The Custom One Pro wraps around your head snugly, but not once would you feel that it's very tight that you need to adjust, though you'll still experience the occasional sweaty ears, depending on your usage. The leather wraps on the band and the cups are also very smooth and comfortable, but feel very thin and prone to damage in the long run. However, they're pretty heavy and bulky to lug around, i.e. they're not carry-friendly. You'll have to have some sort of dedicated case for these cans if you want to bring it somewhere, unless you don't mind putting it over your neck (which pretty much some of us do).

Another cool thing about the beyerdynamic Custom One Pro is its customizability: You can unscrew the bolted sides of the cans via an Allen wrench included and replace the printed design with cards that come together with the box to fit your personality with up to 16 designs - if you're a rocker, there's a card with skulls printed against a black background.

beyerdynamic Custom One Pro Headphones Review

Surprisingly, wheareas contemporary audio manufacturers splurge on box design and use material of questionable quality on the actual headphones, beyerdynamic goes for the plain packaging approach, with just the right amount of visuals on the box. Whether or not this affects the cans' sales, it's purely their marketing's call.

Performance

The beyerdynamic Custom One Pro is definitely up there when it comes to audio prowess. To say that it sounds good is an understatement.

The cans feature 50-millimeter, 16-ohm dynamic drivers with a rated frequency response of up to 35,000Hz. It also sports bass control switches located at each can's side that allows you to control the headphones' bass output - Light, Linear, Vibrant, and Heavy are what beyerdynamic calls it. The first three settings offer very light to moderate bass, while the last just drops bombs of bass to your eardrums, not that it's a bad thing. On top to of the bombs, the sound spill on Heavy is pretty terrible, so much so that someone immediately beside you would be singing to your tune. Then again, it's going to be the most used setting anyway; we did have some awesome fun running EDM tracks on it for hours straight.

beyerdynamic Custom One Pro Headphones Review

Sound isolation is pretty solid with the Custom One Pro as it completely walls you out of the environment you're in, with the exception of barking dogs (I kid you not). On another note, soundstaging is negligible.

However, the biggest selling point of the beyerdynamic Custom One Pro would be the sheer amount of musical range it brings to your ears - also known as timbre. It brings about sound from lossless music files that are more or less drowned out by more powerful beats. An example of this would be Maroon 5's Nothing Lasts Forever, where light notes around the 1:55 bridge play - something that wouldn't be very audible otherwise. That said, it reproduces rather very pronounced mids such that it may make your ears ring, for example while listening to Coldplay's Paradise. You should definitely take into account ear fatigue and high volume levels.

beyerdynamic Custom One Pro Headphones Review beyerdynamic Custom One Pro Headphones Review

On input devices: I mostly used the Custom One Pro on devices that are plugged to a wall socket, but I did attach it to a few of my smartphones. Though it resulted in decreased thump (smartphones on the average have 2800mAh in power), it still played like a champ because of its low impedance at 16 ohms.

Verdict

The beyerdynamic Custom One Pro is among the best headphones we've ever tried on, and it's a great buy at its price point. It's very stylish, comfortable, and competitive - though there's the occasional annoyance of the cans being too big to be portable. It's also very customizable, from the replaceable artful cards at the sides of each can, to switching bass levels on the fly. The Custom One Pro is definitely something one would want to have.

beyerdynamic Custom One Pro Headphones Review

The beyerdynamic Custom On Pro is available at the following JBL branches:

JBL Sound Gallery - B3, Bonifacio High Street
JBL Acoustical Space - 4th Floor SM Megamall Cyberzone, Mega B
JBL Digital Dreams - 4th Floor SM North Annex Cyberzone

beyerdynamic Custom One Pro Specifications

Driver Type: Dynamic
Impedance @ 1kHz: 16 ohms
Sensitivity: 96 dB SPL/V
THD+N:
Isolation: Variable (up to -18dB)
Connector Type: 3.5mm (1/8")
Cable Length: 5 ft.
Cable Style: Straight Left-Side
Weight: 290 grams w/o cord

Kata M2L On Sale at Kata Online Shop this Friday Only

Thursday, March 03, 2016
Looking for a new device with a sizeable real estate? How about a beautiful smartphone that's perfect for the incoming summer season? If you answer yes to even one of the questions, then you should take advantage of the Kata M2L sale on the Kata Online Shop this Friday.

The Kata M2L is now only PHP 5,499, down from the previous PHP 6,499, but only at the Kata Online Store.

Kata M2L On Sale at Kata Online Shop

Kata M2L Specifications

OS: Android 5.1 Lollipop
Processor: 1.3GHz MediaTek MT6735 quad-core processor, Mali-T720 GPU
Memory: 1GB RAM, 16GB internal storage, microSD expandable up to 32GB
Display: 5-inch HD IPS display, 720 x 1280 resolution, 320 ppi
Connectivity: 4G LTE, 3G HSPA+; WiFi, WiFi hotspot; Bluetooth; microUSB 2.0, USB OTG
Camera: 13-megapixel rear camera w/ AF, LED flash; 8-megapixel front camera
SIM: Dual SIM (1 mini + 1 micro)
Battery: 3000mAh Li-ion battery, removable

Get yours by clicking on this link!

MWC 2016: Gionee S8 Makes Entry, Boasts 3D Touch Display and Full Metal Body

Tuesday, February 23, 2016
Chinese smartphone company Gionee announced announced at MWC 2016 its flagship smartphone, the Gionee S8. The device's key selling points are its claimed 3D Touch Display and its more software-oriented "Dual WhatsApp" - meaning you can log into two WhatsApp accounts at once. The 3D Touch Display meanwhile lllcomes after a similar iPhone feature that enables the device to decide what its next action is depending on the pressure applied on the device's 5.5-inch display.

MWC 2016: Gionee S8 Makes Entry, Boasts 3D Touch Display and Full Metal Body


The Gionee S8 features a full metal design, the form factor of which was prevalent in mid-range to high-end 2015 smartphones, comes in candy colors, and is priced at 499 euros. The design looks dated, but the raw performance should stay relevant for the whole year.

The Gionee S8 runs on Android Marshmallow 6.0, Mediatek's Helio P10 octa-core processor, and comes with a flagship-worthy 4GB RAM and 64GB of onboard storage. Camera-wise, it willl come with a 16-megapixel rear shooter with an f/1.8 aperture and Laser AF, and an 8-megapixel front-facing camera. It'll also feature dual SIM with 4G LTE connectivity, and a a 3000mAh battery tha supports Fast Charging.

 
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