Leaked video gives us best look at Apple iPhone 6s

In Phones by Ramon LopezLeave a Comment

Try to act surprised: A video of the new iPhone (a.k.a iPhone 6s) has surfaced, weeks ahead of its rumored unveiling on September 9. Unlike previous leaks, this one allegedly gives us the best look at Apple’s next smartphone so far.

The short clip, which runs a little over a minute, shows some of the phone’s innards, including its logic board and LTE modem, while the phone itself is booting up. That’s it.

A short clip of the iPhone 6s has surfaced, showing some of its innards, including its logic board and LTE modem, while the phone itself is booting up.

There’s not much else to say about the device in question, save for its design, which, unsurprisingly, takes after last year’s iPhone 6. No need to fret, though: The latest iPhone rumors point to a powerful configuration (tri-core A9 CPU with 2GB RAM) that rivals the iPad Air 2, to say the least.

Check out the video below to see what the iPhone 6s may look like.

[youtube link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1GnOW8z0cyQ” width=”560″ height=”315″]

Alleged leaked iPhone 6s video from Mac Rumors

The major Samsung Galaxy Note 5 design flaw you should know about

In Phones by Ramon LopezLeave a Comment

Those fortunate enough to afford the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 should probably consider keeping it away from the hands of curious peers and children. For the rest of their Note 5’s existence, if possible, or until Samsung issues a massive product recall, which is highly unlikely at this point.

The Note 5 has a fatal design flaw that could either result in the S Pen being lodged in the holster or the holster itself losing its stylus-detection function.

Why? Because, according to reports, the Galaxy Note 5 has a fatal design flaw that could either result in the S Pen being hopelessly lodged in the holster, or, if you manage to dislodge it by force, the holster itself losing its stylus-detection function. Either way, you’re stuck with a broken phone — and a very expensive one at that.

Well, that is, if you accidentally insert the S Pen in the opposite direction, bottom first, which, as any previous Note owner will tell you, isn’t the easiest thing to do. Except, with the Galaxy Note 5, Samsung has made it stupidly easy to insert the S Pen backwards. So easy, in fact, that the holster reportedly offers no resistance whatsoever to impede your efforts, unlike with previous Galaxy Note designs.

Samsung has made it stupidly easy to insert the S Pen backwards. So easy, in fact, that the holster offers no resistance to impede your efforts.

Of course, with the benefit of knowing what it could lead to, nobody would intentionally plug the Note 5’s S Pen the wrong way, but what about those who are not familiar with the consequences, say, kids and the technology-averse? My advice: Pop out the S Pen before letting anybody else play around with the device. It could save you a trip to the service center.

[youtube link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hehbSG3h3wU” width=”560″ height=”315″]

Video proof culled from Android Police’s YouTube channel

View Post

Cherry Mobile One G1 review: experience matters

In Phones by Ramon Lopez2 Comments

The Google-led Android One collaboration has so far been met with reservations in countries where it is commercially available. But that hasn’t stopped the American tech giant from soldiering on in pursuit of offering the best smartphone experience possible for under $150, or roughly the equivalent of two pairs of Nike sneakers. And thus we have the Cherry Mobile One G1, the new face of Google’s local efforts to prove that you don’t have to pay top money for a great smartphone anymore.

Read More

This ZenFone 2 has more storage than a base-model MacBook Pro

In Phones by Ramon LopezLeave a Comment

Image via ASUS Fanaticos

You’d think ASUS would have run out of ZenFone 2 ideas by now, given that its popular smartphone line probably already has more variants than the Encyclopedia Britannica has volumes, but it hasn’t. Enter the ZenFone 2 Deluxe Special Edition, yet another new addition to the growing ZenFone family. The kicker this time around is an insane amount of onboard storage for something that fits most pockets.

“Just how much storage are we talking about here?” you ask. 256GB. To put things into perspective, that’s twice the capacity of the ZenFone 2 Deluxe and, more impressively, a base-model Apple MacBook Pro with Retina display. That’s enough space to host most, if not all, your apps and prized digital media, enough space to leave my 15-inch laptop with 120GB of SSD storage green with envy.

The ZenFone 2 Deluxe Special Edition has 256GB of storage. That’s twice the capacity of a base-model Apple MacBook Pro with Retina display.

The rest of the specs are nearly identical to those of the ZenFone 2 Deluxe, but there’s no microSD expansion, because, as ASUS would probably tell you, 256GB is beyond overkill for the average smartphone user.

The 256GB model will be pre-loaded with an exclusive version of Asphalt 8 and will come in two additional colors: carbon fiber (black) and white with red accents. There’s no word yet on its availability and price, but given what we already know, it’s fair to say that it won’t come cheap.

[youtube link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RypWLWiz1P0″ width=”560″ height=”315″]

Watch our ASUS Zenfone 2 review

Cheapest Android Lollipop phone to go on sale in PH Aug. 22

In Phones by Ramon LopezLeave a Comment

Just weeks after the Cherry Mobile One G1, a well-priced and well-spec’d smartphone that offers a pure Android experience, became official, the local tech company is at it again with another low-cost Android Lollipop offering. Except it’s cheaper than the G1, coming in at P2,999, and will go on sale tomorrow at noon on Lazada’s Philippine site.

This is the Cherry Mobile Touch HD. It’s got a 5-inch IPS display with 720p resolution and, judging from the images on Lazada’s website, a metallic trim and a fake-leather backing.

It runs the latest version of Google’s mobile operating system on a 1.2GHz quad-core processor paired with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of expandable storage. Its rock-bottom price remains its main selling point, of course, with the Touch HD beating out other Android Lollipop phones in the bargain segment.

Cherry Mobile Touch HD specs (Price: P2,999):
* Dual SIM with 3G support
* 1.2GHz quad-core CPU
* 1GB RAM
* 8GB internal storage
* microSD card slot
* 5-inch IPS display (720 x 1,280 resolution)
* 8-megapixel rear camera with LED flash
* 2-megapixel front camera
* 2,000mAh battery
* Android Lollipop 5.1

[youtube link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=isDxr9WCPz0″ width=”560″ height=”315″]

Sponsored tweet from LeBron James valued at P6.5M

In Business by Ramon LopezLeave a Comment

Image via VAV news

You’re familiar with Twitter, right? And LeBron James? Good. But have you ever wondered how much a sponsored tweet from King James is worth? Wonder no more.

Per a report from ESPN’s Darren Rovell, getting the Cavs superstar to dispense wisdom in 140 characters or less to his 23.2 million followers will cost an advertiser $140,000 ($139,474, to be exact), or around P6.5 million. Do the math, and that’s $1,000 per character.

According to ESPN, getting LeBron James to tweet about a product or service will cost an advertiser $140,000, or around P6.5 million.

It’s a king’s ransom, to be sure, but Opendorse, the company behind that lofty valuation, says a corporate sponsor would have to spend five times more to reach the equivalent of James’ Twitter following with a TV ad. And before you say anything, remember: This is LeBron James we’re talking about. He’s only one of the best basketball players in history and one of the most recognizable faces on the planet, let alone in basketball.

Which is why people follow him on social-media networking sites like Twitter, among so many others. Yes, it’s good to be LeBron these days — and the guy hasn’t even brought a championship to success-starved Cleveland yet.

[youtube link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Cq1F2YzVQ8″ width=”560″ height=”315″]

First episode of RISE Philippines

Now available: P1,999 MyPhone my21 with 3G, quad-core CPU

In Phones by Ramon Lopez1 Comment

You may have read about MyPhone’s new line of locally inspired phones recently, and surprisingly one of them has been listed on Lazada Philippines’ website, without fanfare or publicity. The MyPhone my21, which may not be the most exciting name for a smartphone. “What does ’21’ mean or represent?” you may ask. Who knows? I sure don’t. Not that it should matter too much to anyone looking for a daily driver with a rock-bottom price tag.

For P1,999 — or less than what you’d typically pay for a cellphone, let alone one that runs Android KitKat — you’re looking at a 4-inch display (likely of the non-HD variety) and a quad-core processor with 512MB of RAM and 4GB of storage. The my21 also has dual-SIM slots with 3G support. Those are very low-end specs compared to other smartphones available today, but what do you expect from a P1,999 phone?

MyPhone my21 specs (Price in the Philippines: P1,999):
* Dual SIM with 3G support
* 1.2GHz quad-core processor
* 512MB RAM
* 4GB internal storage
* 4-inch TFT display
* 2-megapixel rear camera with LED flash
* VGA front camera
* Android KitKat 4.4

[youtube link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=isDxr9WCPz0″ width=”560″ height=”315″]

Actual image of 2015 Nexus 5 leaks online

In Phones by Ramon LopezLeave a Comment

Image via Marques Brownlee

It being mid-August, it was only a matter of time before details about the upcoming Nexus 5 reboot appeared online. The latest in the stream of information leaked to the masses shows the backplate of what could be Google’s next flagship smartphone in white and in the wild. The image seems to match up with renders uploaded last week, adding to the speculation that what we’re looking at is the real deal, or at least a prototype of it.

The new Nexus appears to have a curved plastic back with a matte finish and a camera that protrudes slightly from the casing. There’s a sticker with LG’s logo near the bottom of the phone’s backing, indicating that this is the 5.2-inch variant I keep on hearing about. The leaked photo also shows what appears to be a fingerprint scanner, dual-tone flash, and a laser autofocus sensor.

The Nexus 5 reboot appears to have a curved plastic back with a matte finish and a protruding camera. It also has a fingerprint scanner and laser autofocus.

Google is said to launch the LG-made Nexus 5 sometime in October or November, which wouldn’t surprise me one bit given Google’s history of announcing a new phone in the fall. Regardless of when it arrives, you can expect it to run Android 6.0 Marshmallow.

[youtube link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wk-PY2dBKaA” width=”560″ height=”315″]

[youtube link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yYHY3MFiq1o” width=”560″ height=”315″]

ASUS PH to unveil ZenFone 2 Laser, Selfie, Deluxe August 29th

In Phones by Ramon LopezLeave a Comment

Brace yourselves for more ZenFones in the very near future. ASUS Philippines will be adding at least three more variants to its Android portfolio come August 29, particularly the ZenFone 2 Laser, Selfie, and Deluxe phones.

The launch event is open to the public, meaning just about anyone can get his or her hands on the new ZenFones and stand a chance of winning one. Admission is free, but pre-registration is required by August 27.

The ZenFone 2 Laser occupies the bottom rung in ASUS’s upcoming ZenFone lineup and will likely fetch the least amount when it becomes available.

Not that it should be taken for granted, as it features the same specs we’ve seen previously on the OPPO Mirror 5, Cherry Mobile One G1, and the higher-end version of the Motorola Moto G; the ZenFone Laser carries a 5-inch HD IPS display and a Snapdragon 410 chipset with 2GB of RAM and up to 16GB of onboard memory.

The ZenFone 2 Laser features the same specs we’ve seen previously on the OPPO Mirror 5. The icing on the cake is laser autofocus for near-instant focusing even in low light.

If my experience with the Mirror 5 is anything to go by, it should be able to hold its own against low- to mid-tier devices. The icing on the proverbial cake is laser autofocus for accurate and near-instant focusing even in low light.

The 5.5-inch ZenFone Selfie, meanwhile, is expected to pack quite a punch, with an octa-core Snapdragon 615 processor and up to 3GB of RAM on tap.

But the real story here is the 13-megapixel front camera that comes with a wide-angle lens and dual-tone flash and does all the tricks you’d expect from a main shooter of above-average caliber.

5.5-inch ZenFone Selfie, meanwhile, is expected to pack quite a punch, with an octa-core Snapdragon 615 processor and up to 3GB of RAM on tap.

Fittingly, the ZenFone selfie is optimized for taking selfies with its 13-megapixel front camera that does all the tricks you’d expect from a main shooter of above-average caliber.

Fittingly, it is optimized for taking selfies, and ASUS has bolstered its capabilities by pre-installing a software suite called Beautification, which allows you to change your skin tone, even out facial lines, and make your cheeks look slimmer. I could go on, but you get the point.

Last but definitely not the least is the ASUS ZenFone 2 Deluxe — or in my words, a ZenFone 2 on steroids. It’s a powerhouse of a 5.5-incher built around Intel’s latest quad-core Atom chip, which has 4GB of RAM and up to 128GB of storage.

The ZenFone 2 Deluxe is a powerhouse of a phone built around Intel’s Atom CPU, which has 4GB of RAM. It also has a textured diamond pattern on the surface of its back cover.

To distinguish itself from the standard ZenFone 2 range, as well as add to its premium appeal, the ZenFone Deluxe has a textured diamond pattern on the surface of its back cover. I’ve seen prototypes of the rear panel before, and they looked pretty good.

[youtube link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RypWLWiz1P0″ width=”560″ height=”315″]

Watch our ASUS Zenfone 2 review

The curious case of the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+

In Phones by Ramon Lopez2 Comments

I’m worried about Samsung. Not because its profits continue to fall on the back of the market’s lukewarm reaction to the now-discounted Galaxy S6, arguably its most compelling smartphone yet. Not because it has tampered with the Galaxy formula by jettisoning microSD expansion and removable batteries, much to the disappointment of long-time fans. Not because Apple’s market dominance shows no signs of slowing.

I’m just worried, because Friday’s announcement could have ended with one super-sized phone, except it ended with two.

In one corner: a Samsung sequel that, as expected, puts its extra screen real estate to even better use and rightfully bills itself as a productivity device. The Note series, with its S Pen stylus and accompanying suite of software features, represents the pinnacle of what a big-screen phone can do and be, and Samsung was right to introduce a Galaxy Note reboot in August.

The Note series, with its S Pen stylus and accompanying suite of software features, represents the pinnacle of what a big-screen phone can do and be.

In the other corner is the Galaxy S6 Edge+, or, if you will, an S6 Edge stretched in all directions, which is about as silly as it sounds.

Sure, it has a larger, 5.7-inch curved-edge display that narrowly misses the back of the phone, but if there’s anything to be gleaned from its predecessor, it’s this: the S6 Edge+ doesn’t fix the S6 Edge’s most glaring fault. Rather, it shines the spotlight on what I found to be the most annoying thing about a curved-edge display: the glare off its tapered edges. Bigger isn’t always better, and it’s especially true for Samsung’s latest curved phone.

The S6 Edge+ doesn’t fix the S6 Edge’s most glaring fault. It shines the spotlight on what I found to be the most annoying thing about a curved-edge display: screen glare.

But my argument against the Galaxy S6 Edge+ has less to do with what it is and more to do with what it is not. What it is not, is the Galaxy Note 5, which, despite what some Samsung loyalists might like to believe, is one of the best big-screen phones you can buy today. It’s cheaper, too, but only by a mere P3,000.

Unlike the Galaxy S6 Edge+, the Galaxy Note 5 isn’t just a blown-up version of another Galaxy flagship; it’s different in ways that genuinely do make the case for stepping up to a larger screen. That the Galaxy Note is already in its fifth iteration reflects Samsung’s success in creating a need that hadn’t existed before the Note came along.

My argument against the Galaxy S6 Edge+ has less to do with what it is and more to do with what it is not. What it is not, is the Galaxy Note 5.

I could be in the minority here, of course — for those who want it, the “how” and “why” of the Galaxy S6 Edge+’s existence may be largely irrelevant. I know this much, though: Samsung took a risk with the Galaxy S6 Edge+, which, judging from the company’s stock performance over the past quarters, is like chucking a basketball from way beyond the arc when the team is down double digits with under a minute left in regulation.

Whether the ball goes through the hoop remains to be seen, but we’ll know for sure come Samsung’s next earnings call.

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 specs (Price in the Philippines: P36,990):
* LTE
* Samsung Exynos 7420 CPU
* Mali-T760-MP8 GPU
* 4GB RAM
* 32GB internal storage
* 5.7-inch Super AMOLED display with Corning Gorilla Glass 4 (1,440 x 2,560 resolution)
* 16-megapixel rear camera
* 5-megapixel front camera
* 3,000mAh sealed battery
* S Pen stylus
* Android Lollipop 5.1.1

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ specs (Price in the Philippines: P39,990 for the 32GB model; P44,990 for the 64GB model):
* LTE
* Samsung Exynos 7420 CPU
* Mali-T760-MP8 GPU
* 4GB RAM
* up to 64GB internal storage
* 5.7-inch Super AMOLED curved display with Corning Gorilla Glass 4 (1,440 x 2,560 resolution)
* 16-megapixel rear camera
* 5-megapixel front camera
* 3,000mAh sealed battery
* Android Lollipop 5.1.1

[youtube link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qH70ERrkuTA” width=”560″ height=”315″]

Galaxy S6 vs iPhone 6 camera shootout from our YouTube channel

[youtube link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QqYsIRU5rQU” width=”560″ height=”315″]