About time: upscale Cherry Mobile Flare phones announced

In Phones by Ramon LopezLeave a Comment

Amid a busy quarter of phone launches, Cherry Mobile took the wraps off 3 new additions to its Flare series, baring what I had earlier suspected: an upscale take on the company’s most popular line of Android devices. And about time, too!

The Flare 4, S4, and S4 Plus are now official, and they look nothing like their predecessors — and I mean that in the most flattering way. They’re quite a looker, I guess, is what I’m trying to say. Which is great, because Cherry Mobile’s Flare handsets have never been known for their looks and design quirks. Until today, obviously.

I mean, look at these handsets–these are arguably 3 of the best-looking devices Cherry Mobile has put out. Ever. Look at those sheets of curved-edge glass and the metal-and-plastic bodies they’re attached to. Look at those wraparound frames with iPhone-like chamfered edges.

If you’ve never owned a Flare phone, and you’re thinking about picking one up, I’m telling you: There’s no better time than now.

Cherry Mobile has indeed doubled down on aesthetics while somehow keeping a low price tag for the new models (more on this later).

And as is customary with the Flare variations, the Flare 4, S4, and S4 Plus are loaded with fairly powerful specs that mirror those in the Meizu M2 Note and Alcatel Flash 2: 1.3GHz 64-bit, octa-core processor built by MediaTek, Mali-T720 GPU, and at least 2GB of RAM. The phones run mostly stock Android 5.1 Lollipop with a few minor changes.

Both the Cherry Mobile Flare 4 and S4 are priced at P4,999, while the slightly larger and slightly more capable Flare S4 Plus will sell for P7,999. All 3 phones will hit stores at the end of October.

If you’ve never owned a Flare handset or had the opportunity to test one, and you’re thinking about picking one up, I’m telling you: There’s no better time than now.

Cherry Mobile Flare 4

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Cherry Mobile Flare 4 specs (Price in the Philippines: P4,999):
* Dual SIM with LTE support
* 1.3GHz 64-bit, octa-core MediaTek MT6753 CPU
* Mali-T720 MP3 GPU
* 2GB RAM
* 16GB
* microSD card slot
* 5-inch IPS display (720 x 1,280 resolution)
* 13-megapixel rear camera with LED flash
* 5-megapixel front camera
* 2,100mAh battery
* Android 5.1 Lollipop

Cherry Mobile Flare S4

Picture 1 of 6

Cherry Mobile Flare S4 specs (Price in the Philippines: P4,999):
* Dual SIM with LTE support
* 1.3GHz 64-bit, octa-core MediaTek MT6753 CPU
* Mali-T720 MP3 GPU
* 2GB RAM
* 16GB
* microSD card slot
* 5-inch IPS display (720 x 1,280 resolution)
* 13-megapixel rear camera with LED flash
* 5-megapixel front camera
* 2,100mAh battery
* Android 5.1 Lollipop

Cherry Mobile Flare S4 Plus

Picture 1 of 6

Cherry Mobile Flare S4 Plus specs (Price in the Philippines: P7,999):
* Dual SIM with LTE support
* 1.3GHz 64-bit, octa-core MediaTek MT6753 CPU
* Mali-T720 MP3 GPU
* 3GB RAM
* 16GB
* microSD card slot
* 5.5-inch IPS display (1,080 x 1,920 resolution)
* 16-megapixel rear camera with LED flash
* 8-megapixel front camera
* 2,800mAh battery
* Android 5.1 Lollipop

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

Meizu M2 Note unboxing video

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Globe blames Smart for PH’s poor LTE speed in OpenSignal report

In Business by Ramon LopezLeave a Comment

If you read OpenSignal’s previous State of LTE report, you know pretty well that the Philippines once again appears to be lagging behind other Asian countries and regions like India, Malaysia, Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwan both in terms of LTE speed and coverage. What may have escaped your attention, however, is that the country could’ve fared better had Smart Communications posted better results in the testing conducted by OpenSignal, something Smart’s rival, Globe Telecom, pointed out in a recent press release.

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Cherry Mobile to announce ‘premium’ Flare phone on October 9

In Phones by Ramon LopezLeave a Comment

Cherry Mobile will announce a new Flare smartphone on October 9, according to an event invite sent by the local tech company today.

Not much is known about the upcoming handset, but based on the invite, expect a gold color option with a silver metallic trim, suggesting that we may be looking at the most premium-looking Flare design so far. The black borders surrounding the display may give the phone a borderless appearance when the the screen is turned off.

The one metric the Flare series falls short of is design, but that could change soon if what we’ve seen so far is any indication.

The Flare series is arguably Cherry Mobile’s most popular line of smartphones to date — and with good reason: Flare devices typically offer the best specs you can find on the market today at prices most Filipinos can afford. The previous Flare release, the Flare X, is an incredibly powerful phone at an incredibly affordable price. The one metric it generally falls short of is design, but that could change soon if what we’ve seen so far is any indication.

Microsoft unveils Windows 10-based Lumia 950, 950 XL phones

In Phones by Ramon LopezLeave a Comment

Earlier today, Microsoft announced several Windows 10 devices to showcase Windows 10’s new capabilities and its full potential as a productivity platform. (A quick aside: Microsoft claims there are already more than 110 million devices running Windows 10. Yes, 110 million installations in 8 weeks.)

Among those Windows 10 devices are the Lumia 950 and the larger and more powerful (and more expensive) Lumia 950 XL, which as Microsoft puts it, are all about “putting Windows 10 in your pocket” and being “the most productive phones you’ve picked up.”

And those are very accurate ways of describing phones that function like a PC — and offer a similar experience to that of a desktop running Windows 10 when hooked up to the Microsoft Display Dock, which has an HDMI and Display Port for your monitor, plus 3 full-size USB ports for peripherals like a mouse and a keyboard.

The Lumia 950 and 950 XL are all about ‘putting Windows 10 in your pocket’ and being ‘the most productive phones you’ve picked up.’

The phones themselves are made of plastic — definitely not what you’d expect to see from handsets in the premium segment — and are equipped with insanely sharp AMOLED displays fronted by Gorilla Glass, as well as reversible USB Type-C connectors with fast charging, allowing you to juice up the phones up to 50 percent in 30 minutes.

Assuming the same applies when charging the phone from 51 to 100 percent, you may be looking at a maximum charging time of roughly 60 minutes, which is impressive.

The 20-megapixel camera with optical image stabilization and f/1.9 aperture lens shared by the Lumia 950 and 950 XL are said to capture high-quality images in low light and can record videos in super-sharp 4K resolution. Specs-wise, the phones are powered by either a Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 or 810 processor with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage that can be upgraded up to 2TB via a microSD card.

The Lumia 950 and 950 XL will retail for $549 (around P25,500)and $649 (P30,200), respectively, when they land in stores sometime in November. There’s no word yet on pricing and availability in the Philippines.

[youtube link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=snEIjWR4lQw” width=”560″ height=”315″]

The new Microsoft Lumia 950 and 950 XL smartphones

[youtube link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVfOe5mFbAE” width=”560″ height=”315″]

The new Microsoft Surface Book

Google rolls out Android 6.0 Marshmallow to Nexus devices

In Phones by Ramon LopezLeave a Comment

Image via bgr.com

Nexus owners, rejoice! Google has started rolling out the latest version of the most popular mobile operating system in the world, Android 6.0 Marshmallow, to select Nexus devices, including the Nexus 5 and 6 smartphones and Nexus 7 and 9 tablets, as earlier promised. The software update is also coming to the Android One phones like the Cherry Mobile One G1, Android’s VP of engineering said in a previous blog post.

An incremental upgrade over Android Lollipop, Marshmallow adds a few nice features to Android like Doze, battery-saving tweak, and Google Now on Tap, which brings you contextual information based on what you’re doing with your device. Native support for mobile payments (via Android Pay) and fingerprint sensors has been added as well.

Google has started rolling out Android 6.0 Marshmallow to select Nexus devices, including the Nexus 5 and 6 phones and Nexus 7 and 9 tablets.

If you haven’t received the over-the-air update yet, and you want it so badly, Android Headlines has put together a nice how-to on manually flashing Android 6.0 Marshmallow to your Nexus device. Note that the guide requires a bit of flashing know-how, so if you’re not familiar with any of the steps listed, you’re probably better off waiting for an OTA notification from Google. You don’t want to end up with a broken phone (aka an expensive paperweight), don’t you?

[youtube link=”hhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PLWz5rJ2EKKc-YUddw59dYq61o3ynn3A4X&t=1&v=U9tw5ypqEN0″ width=”560″ height=”315″]

Sorry, your 2015 Moto E won’t get a taste of Android Marshmallow

In Phones by Ramon LopezLeave a Comment

Google’s latest mobile operating system, Android 6.0 Marshmallow, is tipped to arrive later this week following Google’s recent press event. Which, as you may have guessed, has prompted several manufacturers, including Motorola, to spill the proverbial beans on when their respective products will receive the software update.

For Moto owners, it seems the outlook is relatively positive, with the Lenovo-owned company recently confirming on its official blog that most Moto phones released in 2014 and this year will get a taste of Android Marshmallow sometime in the future.

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List of Moto handsets to be upgraded to Android 6.0 Marshmallow

The list includes a couple of devices sold by Motorola Philippines, namely the 2014 Moto X and 2014 Moto G. Curiously dropped from Motorola’s update road map is the 2015 Moto E (and its predecessors), which is disappointing to say the least, considering the claims Motorola previously made on its blog.

Curiously dropped from Motorola’s update road map is the Moto E, which is disappointing, considering the claims Motorola made on its blog.

“And while other smartphones in this category don’t always support upgrades, we won’t forget about you, and we’ll make sure your Moto E stays up to date after you buy it,” said Magno Herran, Motorola’s marketing manager, in a hands-on video. By contrast, the more affordable Cherry Mobile One G1, as well as other Android One phones, are slated to get an OTA update to Marshmallow this week.

To be fair, Motorola did say that “things may change,” so there may be hope for the entry-level handset yet.

Moto X (2014) specs (Price in the Philippines: P16,999):
* LTE
* 2.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 CPU
* Adreno 330 GPU
* 2GB RAM
* 16GB internal storage
* 5.2-inch AMOLED display with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 (1,080 x 1,920 resolution)
* 13-megapixel rear camera with flash
* 2-megapixel front camera
* 2,300mAh battery
* Android Lollipop 5.0

Moto G (2014) specs (Price in the Philippines: P8,499):
* 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 CPU
* Adreno 305 GPU
* 1GB RAM
* 8GB internal storage
* microSD card slot (up to 32GB)
* 5-inch IPS display (720 x 1,280 resolution)
* 8-megapixel rear camera with flash
* 2-megapixel front camera
* 2,070mAh battery
* Android Lollipop 5.0

Moto E (2015) specs (Price in the Philippines: P6,999):
* LTE
* 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 CPU
* Adreno 306 GPU
* 1GB RAM
* 8GB internal storage
* microSD card slot (up to 32GB)
* 4.5-inch IPS display (540 x 960 resolution)
* 5-megapixel rear camera with flash
* VGA front camera
* 2,390mAh battery
* Android Lollipop 5.0

[youtube link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PLWz5rJ2EKKc-YUddw59dYq61o3ynn3A4X&t=1&v=U9tw5ypqEN0″ width=”560″ height=”315″]

Waze: Metro Manila worst place for motorists, commuters

In Cars, Games, Apps, and OS by Ramon LopezLeave a Comment

Image via globalbalita.com

Waze has confirmed what many of us knew all along but had no data to show for it: Metro Manila has the “worst traffic” on the planet, the Google-owned crowdsourced navigation app said in its Global Driver Satisfaction Index. Waze arrived at the observation after pooling the driving experience of 50 million users from 32 countries and 167 metropolitan areas.

The Philippines ranked among the worst places on Earth for motorists and commuters, while Metro Manila figured to be the last place you’d want to be behind the wheel, followed by Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo and Indonesia’s Jakarta.

Metro Manila has the ‘worst traffic’ on the planet, Waze said in its Global Driver Satisfaction Index.

Metro Manila also recorded the longest commute time in the world at 45.5 minutes, which is 7 minutes longer than the average time it takes for New Yorkers to get from point A to point B (38.7 minutes).

Of course, if you’ve lived in Metro Manila long enough, you don’t need an app to tell you that the megacity’s traffic situation is getting out of hand, with no resolution in sight. But hey, at least our roads are teeming with gas stations and parking spaces (also according to Waze), right? (Insert sarcastic emoticon here.)

Android One phones will get Android 6.0 Marshmallow next week

In Phones by Ramon LopezLeave a Comment

As if you need another reason to get the brilliant and affordable Cherry Mobile One G1: In a recent blog post, Dave Burke, Android’s VP of engineering, has confirmed that Android One devices, alongside select models in the Nexus lineup, will be among the first to get a taste of Android 6.0 Marshmallow once it becomes available for download next week. (As I wrote in my review, the second-gen Android One phone will likely be upgraded to the next major software update after version 6.0, too.)

Marshmallow, in case you haven’t been paying attention, is an incremental software update that focuses on quashing bugs rather than introducing new design elements.

Android One devices will be among the first to get Android 6.0 Marshmallow once it becomes available next week.

However, that doesn’t make it any less important; in fact, Marshmallow introduces a few nice conveniences, such as Doze, which extends battery life by changing the way apps behave in the background.

Google Now on Tap, on the other hand, shows you contextual information on just about anything, without taking up a lot of space on your screen. The update will also bring a plethora of new window animations, as well as individual notifications.

It remains unclear if the Cherry Mobile One G1 will get all the features of the new Android software, but I reckon most of them will find their way to the phone. Needless to say, I’ll be sure to write a follow-up post when my review unit takes a bite out of Marshmallow — again, ahead of every non-Nexus devices out there.

Cherry Mobile One G1

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Cherry Mobile One G1 specs (Price in the Philippines: P5,999):
* Dual SIM with LTE support
* 1.2GHz 64-bit, quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 CPU
* Adreno 306 GPU
* 2GB RAM
* 16GB internal storage
* microSD card slot
* 5-inch IPS display with Dragontrail glass (720 x 1,280 resolution)
* 13-megapixel rear camera with dual-LED flash
* 5-megapixel front camera
* 2,500mAh battery
* Android Lollipop 5.1.1

Google unveils Nexus 5X and 6P smartphones

In Phones by Ramon LopezLeave a Comment

A year after the Nexus 6 was released, Google, as earlier reports suggested, announced not one, but two smartphones to showcase Android 6.0 Marshmallow in its purest (and best) form.

Holding the torch for the Internet company’s own brand of mobile devices are the new Nexus 5X and 6P, which promise impressive performance in sleek and well-designed plastic (Nexus 5X) or metal (Nexus 6P) housings, not to mention early access to software and security updates directly from the big G itself.

Let’s start with the smaller of the two handsets: the Nexus 5X. Google’s long-expected follow-up to 2013’s Nexus 5 carries a 5.2-inch, full-resolution display and sees a Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor with 2GB of RAM and up to 32GB of non-expandable storage under the hood.

The new Nexus 5X and 6P promise impressive performance and early access to software and security updates directly from the big G itself.

Those internals are nothing to write home about, but perhaps the Nexus Imprint fingerprint sensor on the back, which Google claims will improve over time, and the 12-megapixel camera with larger pixels that allow for sharper and higher-quality images in low light are as impressive as Google makes them out to be. On that same note, the inclusion of a USB Type-C charging connector is also particularly buzzworthy, and it should make charging the 2,700mAh battery less frustrating with the right charger.

If you need a bigger screen and don’t mind paying a much higher price, there’s the all-metal Nexus 6P which pairs a 5.7-inch AMOLED QHD display with a best-in-class processor in the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810.

The whole assembly measures just 7.3mm thick, making it easier to hold and use with one hand than its screen size would indicate. Like the Nexus 5X, the phone features a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner, a 12-megapixel camera that’s said to be capable of getting good low-light shots, and a USB Type-C port with native fast charging.

Both the Nexus 5X and 6P are already available for preorder in the U.S. and select markets. Pricing starts at $379 or roughly P17,800 for the Nexus 5X (16GB model) and $499 or P23,500 for the Nexus 6P (32GB).

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Nexus 5X (Price: $349):
* LTE
* 64-bit, hexa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 CPU
* 2GB RAM
* 16GB internal storage
* 5.2-inch IPS display with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 (1,080 x 1,920 resolution)
* 12-megapixel rear camera with dual-tone flash
* 5-megapixel front camera
* 2,700mAh battery
* Android 6.0 Marshmallow

[frame src=”https://www.revu.com.ph/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/nexus-6p.jpg” target=”_self” width=”620″ height=”412″ alt=”Premium WordPress Themes” align=”center” prettyphoto=”false”]

Nexus 6P (Price: $499):
* LTE
* 64-bit, octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 CPU
* 3GB RAM
* 32GB internal storage
* 5.7-inch AMOLED display with Corning Gorilla Glass 4 (1,440 x 2,560 resolution)
* 12-megapixel rear camera with dual-tone flash, laser autofocus
* 8-megapixel front camera
* 3,450mAh battery
* Android 6.0 Marshmallow

[youtube link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jc-LEG0T_4c” width=”560″ height=”315″]

Cherry Mobile unveils new MAIA series with Intel chips in tow

In Phones, Tablets by Ramon LopezLeave a Comment

Confirming earlier reports, Cherry Mobile today took the wraps off its MAIA line of devices (two tablets and one handset). MAIA, which is short for Making Amazing Innovation Accessible, is Cherry Mobile’s new branding for Intel-based gadgets, the company revealed. These devices are affordable, as expected, and they run Android KitKat on Intel’s latest 64-bit chipsets.

The hero product of the MAIA family is called the MAIA Smart Tab, an 8-inch tablet that can boot into Android or Windows 8.1 in seconds. It also comes with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of expandable storage (16GB is allocated to Android; another 16GB to Windows).

The hero product of the MAIA series is the Smart Tab, an affordable tablet that can boot into Android or Windows in seconds.

The MAIA Pad is a run-of-the-mill compact tablet powered by Intel’s Atom x3 processor (the same chip found in the 7-inch ASUS ZenPad), while the MAIA Fone i4 is a starter smartphone that’s built around the same Intel silicon the former carries.

The MAIA Smart Tab, Pad, and Fone i4 is now on sale in the Philippines with a sticker price of P4,999, P2,999, and P1,999, respectively. Those prices aren’t bad, especially considering what you’re getting in return.

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Cherry Mobile MAIA Smart Tab (Price in the Philippines: P4,999):
* 1.8GHz 64-bit, quad-core Intel Z3735F CPU
* 2GB RAM
* 32GB internal storage
* microSD card slot (up to 32GB)
* 8-inch IPS display (800 x 1,280 resolution)
* 5-megapixel rear camera
* 2-megapixel front camera
* 3,800mAh battery
* Android KitKat, Windows 8.1 (dual OS)

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Cherry Mobile MAIA Pad (Price in the Philippines: P2,999):
* 1GHz 64-bit, quad-core Intel Atom x3 CPU
* 1GB RAM
* 8GB expandable storage
* microSD card slot
* 7-inch display
* 2-megapixel rear camera
* VGA front camera
* 2,800mAh battery
* Android KitKat

[frame src=”https://www.revu.com.ph/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Cherry-Mobile-MAIA-Fone-i4-revu-philippines.jpg” target=”_self” width=”620″ height=”412″ alt=”Premium WordPress Themes” align=”center” prettyphoto=”false”]

Cherry Mobile MAIA Fone i4 (Price in the Philippines: P1,999):
* 1GHz 64-bit, quad-core Intel Atom x3 CPU
* 512MB RAM
* 4GB expandable storage
* microSD card slot
* 4-inch display
* 2-megapixel rear camera
* VGA front camera
* 1,350mAh battery
* Android KitKat

Video shows iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus are highly water-resistant

In Phones by Ramon Lopez1 Comment

Image via Zach Straley’s YouTube video

Apple hasn’t stated explicitly that the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus are water-resistant, though it appears they don’t mind getting a bit wet, as YouTuber Zach Straley found out recently when he soaked the latest iPhones in a bowl of water for over an hour.

In his video description, Straley wrote: “Apple’s new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus seem very water-resistant.” The YouTube clip itself, which already has more than 200,000 views as of this writing, runs 7 minutes and 43 seconds.

The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus appear to be working perfectly fine after being soaked in a bowl of water.

Both phones obviously survived the ordeal and seem to be working perfectly fine, without any signs of water damage or traces of water finding its way into the screen or any of the cameras. The charging port, loudspeaker, and headphone jack also remain functional, Straley has confirmed in a follow-up video.

Although news of the new iPhones being highly resistant to water is certainly comforting to know, not to mention surprising, I don’t recommend you take your iPhone 6s to the shower, or to the swimming pool.

Prolonged exposure to water can cause corrosion if the liquid seeps into your device, possibly damaging its display and internal circuitry. So while Straley’s handsets seem fine for now, complications that may require a trip to the service center could arise further down the road.

Exposure to water can cause corrosion if the liquid seeps into your device, possibly damaging its internal circuitry.

Shower and swim with your iPhone 6s at your own risk; just because a couple of new iPhones were captured on video surviving extreme conditions doesn’t mean your phone is capable of the same feat.

[youtube link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_HbztTpL08″ width=”560″ height=”315″]

Video culled from YouTuber Zach Straley

Unofficial iPhone 6s doesn’t cost an arm and a leg in PH

In Phones by Ramon Lopez2 Comments

Image via macradar.ru

Local fans of Apple’s latest — and much-improved — smartphones, it turns out, don’t have to wait too long to get their hands on the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, unlike in previous years where it took parallel importers weeks to bring the newest iPhone to our shores.

And when they did, you could bet your bottom peso that it cost an arm and a leg to purchase even the off-contract 16GB model. (Remember the P117,585 iPhone 6 Plus that Revü Philippines co-publisher Alora Uy Guerrero wrote for Yahoo in 2014?)

Not this year, though. Retailer Widget City is already offering this year’s iPhones at slightly higher prices than those sold in offline and online Apple Stores. The 16GB iPhone 6s in silver, gray, or gold will set you back by P37,990, while its iPhone 6s Plus counterpart will run you P49,990. Rose gold variants cost a bit more. Do note that we’re talking about the same retailer that sold the iPhone 6 for P52,500 at launch.

Below is Widget City’s pricing for each model:

  • 16GB iPhone 6s – P37,990
  • 64GB iPhone 6s – P42,990
  • 128GB iPhone 6s – P47,990
  • 16GB iPhone 6s Plus -P49,990
  • 64GB iPhone 6s Plus – P57,990
  • 128GB iPhone 6s Plus – P69,990

Fans would have to shell out a premium for the joy (and the bragging rights) of being one of the first owners of the new iPhones. The markup is relatively fairer and less prohibitive than in past years.

According to a representative, Widget City will ship the units starting Tuesday, September 29, which is very close to Apple’s official release date of September 25 in the U.S. and select markets.

As expected, fans would have to shell out a premium for the joy (and the bragging rights) of being one of the first owners of the new iDevices in the Philippines. Thankfully, the markup is relatively fairer and less prohibitive than in past years.

The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus officially cost $649 (about P30,500) and $749 (P35,000) in the U.S. off-contract, and the feedback for both phones in the tech community has been largely positive so far, with popular websites like The Verge going as far as calling it “the best phone(s) on the market.”

Alcatel Flash 2 announced in PH, available September 30

In Phones by Ramon Lopez1 Comment

The Flash smartphone series has been a runaway online success for Alcatel and its exclusive retailer, Lazada Philippines, sparking renewed interest in the now-TCL-owned brand. And momentum is likely to escalate, following the unveiling of the new Alcatel Flash 2 in the Philippines, one of the first countries to offer the phone (through Lazada’s local website).

During the press conference earlier today, Inanc Balci, co-founder and CEO of Lazada Philippines, spoke of how well the P6,490 Alcatel Flash Plus is doing locally. He even revealed that at one point, Lazada Philippines sold as many as 29 Flash Plus phones per second. That’s a staggering number considering the novelty of the online retail platform in the country.

The Flash 2 seems to be a fairly solid 5-inch smartphone, but its cameras aren’t anything to write home about.

Now, about the Alcatel Flash 2: It seems to be a fairly solid 5-incher if you’re looking for something that’s designed for one-handed use and supports both FDD and TDD LTE standards, which is essential for anyone who is a bit of a globetrotter. The near-stock, Android Lollipop-based UI is icing on the cake, and so is the black sandstone rear cover, which improves grip and handling but it may turn off buyers who prefer a smooth finish, sadly.

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But while the Flash 2 is touted as a smartphone that puts photography front and center — a large chunk of the presentation showcased the phone’s “best-in-class” imaging hardware — I found its 13- and 5-megapixel main and selfie cameras to be a little underwhelming given all the hoopla surrounding both shooters. Hopefully, things can get better with software updates.

The Alcatel Flash 2 will retail for P6,190 when it goes on sale exclusively through Lazada Philippines on September 30.

Alcatel Flash 2 specs (Price in the Philippines: P6,190):
* Dual SIM with LTE support
* 1.3GHz 64-bit, octa-core MediaTek MT6753 CPU
* 2GB RAM
* 16GB internal storage
* microSD card slot (up to 128GB)
* 5-inch IPS display (720 x 1,280 resolution)
* 13-megapixel rear camera with dual-tone flash
* 5-megapixel front camera with LED flash
* 3,000mAh battery
* Android 5.1 Lollipop

New on HOOQ: a Batman prequel, hit DC TV series, love triangles

In Games, Apps, and OS by Ramon LopezLeave a Comment

It’s (unofficially) DC month on HOOQ, as three acclaimed TV shows that showcase characters from the comic-book universe make their debut on the subscription video-on-demand service. Also on this month’s “what’s new” list are two local releases from last year that present a new spin on the love-triangle format. Spoiler: This month’s recent additions are awesome and will likely soak up most of your free time.

Arrow

The TV series that reimagined the origin story of a relatively obscure DC crimefighter and challenged its audience to rethink the superhero genre on television altogether, Arrow is essential viewing for both comics fans and newcomers alike.

Three acclaimed TV shows that showcase characters from the DC universe make their debut on HOOQ this month.

Lead actors relying on stunt doubles is a common trope of superhero cinema and television, but Arrow’s Stephen Amell has done nearly all of his own stunts, which has allowed for some of the best-looking action sequences in TV history. Watch it if only for the mind-blowing, physics-defying stunts.

The Flash

The portrayal of protagonists in the modern superhero genre often borrow from Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy; at times, an actor’s furrowed brows and moody scowls may seem straight out of Christian Bale’s Batman audition.

The Flash, and its faithful representation of the source material, makes for a refreshing and thoroughly enjoyable hour of TV.

It’s not often we see a spandex-clad do-gooder that employs humor and an upbeat personality to deal with his newfound reality. Which is why The Flash, and its faithful representation of Barry Allen (Flash himself) in the source material, makes for a refreshing and thoroughly enjoyable hour of television.

Gotham

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Fox’s retelling of the Batman universe takes place 15 years or so prior to the Caped Crusader’s existence, back when the recently orphaned Bruce Wayne was a poor little rich boy, future police commissioner Jim Gordon was a young, hothead cop, and baddies like Penguin and the Riddler were supervillains-in-training.

It sounds like a recipe for a compelling watch, and, for the most part, it is; this police drama has grit and promise and a great cast. A final word: Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for Batman-verse Easter eggs because there’s plenty to see in the 22-episode first season.

The Gifted

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The Gifted, helmed by writer-director Chris Matinez, is a black comedy about the waning friendship between two ugly ducklings played by Anne Curtis and Cristine Reyes who light up the screen with their verbal melee. Strong acting across the board, offbeat humor, and a surprising plot twist make this film a blast to watch.

Strong acting across the board, offbeat humor, and a surprising plot twist make The Gifted a blast to watch.

Trophy Wife

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The mistress genre continues to be a thriving staple in Philippine cinema and television, and the Trophy Wife seems eager to provide a few interesting twists to a tired and clichéd formula. It succeeds in doing exactly that.

Derek Ramsay and his two sultry leading ladies, Cristine Reyes and Heart Evangelista, offer an abundance of eye candy, but it’s the lead actors’ solid performances that will hold your attention through 100 minutes.

How to properly install iOS 9 on your Apple device

In Games, Apps, and OS by Ramon LopezLeave a Comment

Image via Digital Trends

Three months after its announcement, Apple’s latest major software update for iOS devices has started to roll out to supported iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touches (see the full list of compatible models below). Apple never fails to amaze us. When we hear about new software updates, this just means new features that we now have on our devices, which is always beneficial. The more Apple grows as a company, the more they can offer their customers. Apple users now even have ways of printing wirelessly through airprint! Who ever would have thought this would happen, but we’re not complaining. This is why updating your software can make all the difference to what you can and can’t do as an Apple user. iOS 9 brings a number of new apps and functions to existing Apple products, including a smarter Siri, a low-power mode, a proper file browser in iCloud Drive, and split-screen multitasking on the iPad.

iOS 9 brings a number of new features, including a smarter Siri, a low-power mode, a proper file browser, and split-screen multitasking on the iPad.

Quite simply, if your phone or tablet runs iOS 8.4 without any hiccups, I highly recommend you upgrade to iOS 9. But in case you haven’t received the OTA update notification for iOS 9 yet, you can manually upgrade your device using iTunes, which is actually my preferred method of downloading and installing iOS updates, as it’s less likely to screw up the process.

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Even better, following the iTunes method will allow you to skip Apple’s download queue, spare your device’s storage of a huge install file (take note, 16GB owners), and download the update directly to your computer without plugging in your device. As always, backup all your data and settings through iCloud or iTunes before proceeding with the installation. With iOS, you’re never exactly sure how a software update would proceed (I found that out the hard way last year).

You can manually upgrade your device using iTunes to spare your device’s storage of a huge install file.

• Install the latest version of iTunes on your computer.
• Download the iOS 9 install file (.ipsw) for your device from the links below.
• Use a USB cable to connect your device to your computer.
• Run iTunes and ensure your device is detected by the software.
• Click on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch from the iTunes Summary tab under Settings.
• Press and hold the Alt key (Mac) or Shift key (Windows) and then click Check for Update in iTunes. Alternatively, you can click Restore iPhone to perform a clean install of iOS 9.
• Select the iOS 9 install file you downloaded earlier in the window that pops up.
• Wait until the upgrade completes. Upon completion, your device will automatically boot to the “Hello” screen of iOS 9.

Look at how easy that is — no tech savvy required.

Note: Here are the direct download links for iOS 9 install files (.ipsw), courtesy of Redmond Pie:

iPad Air 2 (6th generation WiFi)
iPad Air 2 (6th generation Cellular)
iPad Air (5th generation WiFi + Cellular)
iPad Air (5th generation WiFi)
iPad Air (5th generation CDMA)
iPad (4th generation CDMA)
iPad (4th generation GSM)
iPad (4th generation WiFi)
iPad mini (CDMA)
iPad mini (GSM)
iPad mini (WiFi)
iPad mini 2 (WiFi + Cellular)
iPad mini 2 (WiFi)
iPad mini 2 (CDMA)
iPad mini 3 (China)
iPad mini 3 (WiFi)
iPad mini 3 (Cellular)
iPad 3 Wi-Fi (3rd generation)
iPad 3 Wi-Fi + Cellular (GSM)
iPad 3 Wi-Fi + Cellular (CDMA)
iPad 2 Wi-Fi (Rev A)
iPad 2 Wi-Fi
iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G (GSM)
iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G (CDMA)
iPhone 5 (CDMA)
iPhone 5 (GSM)
iPhone 5c (CDMA)
iPhone 5c (GSM)
iPhone 5s (CDMA)
iPhone 5s (GSM)
iPhone 6
iPhone 6 Plus
iPhone 4s
iPod touch (5th-generation)
iPod touch (6th-generation)

Lenovo unveils supersized Phab Plus phone in PH

In Phones by Ramon LopezLeave a Comment

Apple and OPPO aren’t the only manufacturers that have made a bet on supersized devices lately. Lenovo has thrown its hat into the ring, too, with the announcement of the Phab Plus at the recently held IFA 2015 consumer-electronics fair in Berlin. Today, Lenovo has made the product official in the Philippines.

Part phone and part tablet, this new crossover from China fits a massive full-HD screen that spans 6.8 inches diagonally (whoa, nelly!) in a metal unibody casing that measures 7.6mm in depth. The Phab Plus is looking to benefit from a burgeoning trend among smartphone users: Lenovo has observed that fewer people are using their phones for voice calls now, as more and more are using text messaging to communicate.

Part phone, part tablet, this crossover from China fits a massive screen that spans 6.8 inches in a metal unibody casing that measures 7.6mm in depth.

And expressing your thoughts and feelings and needs and wants promptly using text (or emojis) is something the Phab Plus indeed does with great success — provided you’re okay with two-handed thumb typing.

Alas, the use of both hands to get work done as quickly as possible is the overarching disclaimer attached to the Phab Plus. Because as much effort as Lenovo put into making this phone-tablet hybrid easier to operate in portrait mode (Lenovo engineered the Android Lollipop-based UI with a few software features that improve handling), it’s still too big to use with one hand.

The use of both hands to get work done as quickly as possible is the overarching disclaimer attached to the Phab Plus.

Specs-wise, the Phab Plus sees an octa-core Snapdragon 615 processor humming under the hood, alongside 2GB of RAM and 32GB of expandable storage. Also on deck are 13- and 5-megapixel main and secondary cameras and a 3,500mAh non-removable battery, which comes as a bit of a shock given the 6.8-inch footprint.

The Lenovo Phab Plus sells for P14,999 and is now available in all Allphones stores nationwide.

Lenovo Phab Plus

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Lenovo Phab Plus specs (Price in the Philippines: P14,999):
* Dual SIM with LTE support
* 1.5GHz 64-bit, octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 CPU
* Adreno 405 GPU
* 2GB RAM
* 32GB internal storage
* microSD card slot (up to 64GB)
* 6.8-inch IPS display (1,080 x 1,920 resolution)
* 13-megapixel rear camera with dual-LED flash
* 5-megapixel front camera
* 3,500mAh battery
* Android 5.0 Lollipop