Hello (again), Moto: 3 things Motorola must do in PH

In Phones by Ramon LopezLeave a Comment

Earlier this week, a couple of tech blogs reported receiving invites from Motorola Mobility, indicating that the Lenovo-owned electronics manufacturer is looking to make another comeback in the local market after years of near-total absence that allowed other phone manufacturers to flourish.

If that is indeed the case, then this is pretty big news, particularly for people who want to get their hands on the Moto-made Nexus 6 and Moto 360 smartwatch, not to mention those who already own Moto devices. Because even though there’s no guarantee Motorola will honor the warranties of imported devices, the company is all but guaranteed to set up repair centers and provide adequate after-sales service in the Philippines.

But it needs to do more to win consumer trust and leap back into relevance; for Motorola to be successful again in the Philippines after a lengthy period of dormancy, it must do at least three things:

1. Bring its most popular and well-received creations to local shores first.

Motorola doesn’t need to sell its entire product line in physical and online stores. In fact, I wouldn’t mind seeing the company launch with just four products, namely the Nexus 6, Moto X (2014), Moto E (2015), and Moto 360.

These are among the best in their respective categories, and by now it’s pretty much a given that Android fans know what to expect from them (for one, they can expect a near-stock Android Lollipop experience) so it makes sense to sell them first.

2. Launch the awesome Moto Maker service in the Philippines.

Motorola’s Moto Maker website does what its namesake says: It lets you customize the hell out of the Moto X with a choice of front and back colors, trim finishes, and back cover materials, among other things. And who wouldn’t want that? Those wood and leather options cost extra, though.

3. Work with carriers to lower the cost of devices.

As any Nexus 6 or Moto 360 owner can attest to, Motorola devices, in general, don’t come cheap. That said, one way to make them more palatable to consumers is to sell them with carrier subsidies plus a two-year contract.

Given Motorola’s close ties with U.S. carriers like Verizon, working with telecom companies in the Philippines shouldn’t raise any objections. Not if it results in gaining market share quickly in a country where competition is fierce from top to bottom.

Keep in mind that this article isn’t a blueprint for a local resurgence. There are many ways to find success in the mobile space, but in my opinion, these three things in particular seem like the best ways to get things off on the right foot.

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

Moto Maker for the Moto X 

ASUS Zenfone 2 hacked to run Windows 7, because why not?

In Phones by Ramon Lopez1 Comment

Remember the ASUS Zenfone 2? Yes, the affordable flagship smartphone that had everyone talking months ago, and perhaps even until today. Well, it turns out the device can be hacked to run Windows 7 — and run it well enough to be potentially useful for those in need of a truly pocketable computer, or those who simply want to impress their peers. With most devices using Windows 10, it is impressive that there is one that can still run Windows 7 (thanks to the Window 10 automatic update). If you are interested in finding out more about the end of Window 7, you might be interested in this article – Windows 7 end of life.

It turns out the Zenfone 2 can be hacked to run Windows 7 — and run it well enough to be potentially useful for those in need of a truly pocketable computer.

Because, really, how often do you come across a phone that can run the same applications as desktop computers?

The hack comes by way of a talented XDA-Developers senior member who goes by the username “ycavan,” and according to the developer, it can be used to install other versions of Microsoft’s operating system as well, such as Windows 8, 8.1, and Windows 10. You know, operating systems that are actually optimized for touchscreens.

In addition to the ISO file of your OS of choice, some tinkering is involved, of course, as the hack requires a Zenfone 2 with an unlocked bootloader and plenty of know-how when it comes to flashing files manually, partitioning SD cards, and installing Windows software in a virtual-machine environment.

Needless to say, if you don’t know what any of those terms mean, you’re probably better off leaving your phone in its current state, with its warranty intact.

The hack requires a Zenfone 2 with an unlocked bootloader and plenty of know-how when it comes to flashing files and installing Windows in a virtual-machine environment.

And before you ask if it’s possible to install a full-fledged copy of Windows on any handset of your choosing, consider that the ASUS Zenfone 2 makes use of an Intel processor instead of a chip from Qualcomm or MediaTek. And if there’s anything to be learned from the history of Windows, it’s this: It can run on just about any Intel processor with little to no tinkering.

Here’s a short clip showing Windows 7 on an ASUS handset designed for Android:

[youtube link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2Smcq8qLEY” width=”560″ height=”315″]

Video of ASUS Zenfone 2 running Windows 7 from Yua Ca Van’s YouTube channel

Globe Telecom drives internet adoption in PH with complete suite of free Facebook experiences

In Press Releases by Revu TeamLeave a Comment

The country’s leading mobile brand Globe Telecom reinforces its drive to boost internet penetration in the Philippines as it introduces more ways to get Filipinos connected to Facebook with the launch of a complete suite of access to the social networking site without data charges.

Continuing its commitment to enable the Filipino digital lifestyle with access to social networking to connect with people around the world, Globe is offering its customers Facebook with free data with a new in-app feature that allows customers to choose the type of Facebook access, Free Facebook for 7 Days for TM customers, and Free Facebook with a GoSURF subscription. Some people utilize other social media similar to instragram by adding free followers, getting free ig followers is easy, to power up their facebook social networking efforts.

According to Facebook’s official data, as of March 2015, monthly active users on Facebook in the Philippines has reached 43 million. This represents 23% growth when compared to March 2014. On the same period, mobile monthly active users reached 35 million, a 35% growth compared in the previous year. Daily active users hit 23 million, a 28% growth year-on-year. Finally, mobile daily active users in the Philippines reached 18 million, a 50% growth when compared to March 2014.

“We are thrilled to connect more Filipino users to their favorite social networking site and drive the country’s positioning as the Digital Lifestyle Capital of the World. As more customers are embracing the digital lifestyle, we want to provide Filipinos more ways to access Facebook with free data and connect them to the rest of the world,” says Dan Horan, Senior Advisor for Consumer Business at Globe.

Facebook with free data

Facebook with free data is a zero-rated, lightweight version of Facebook with limited access to photos and videos. Developed for people who are conscious of spending their mobile data, Facebook with free data will give customers more control over their data usage.

To use Facebook with free data, Globe customers will download and launch the latest version of Facebook for Android. They can also visit www.facebook.com in a browser on their mobile. They will then be prompted to opt in or out of Facebook with free data. If they opt out, they will automatically be directed to the full version of Facebook and charged their regular data rate. Those who opt in can begin browsing Facebook for free.

People using Facebook with free data will also get a data control button at the top of Facebook, which lets them easily switch between the free and the full versions of Facebook at any time. This button clearly indicates which version of Facebook the customer is currently using, and can be dismissed so as not to disturb browsing.

When a customer clicks a photo within Facebook, an external link, or any content that leads outside the Facebook app, they will be notified that they are leaving Facebook with free data and will be charged for data usage.

Free Facebook via TM Choose-Your-Number SIM

Available for the value of only P30, customers who have purchased the TM Choose-Your-Number SIM will also receive the bonus of free access to the full Facebook experience for 7 days. Besides allowing customers to choose their own mobile number, the SIM also allows customers to register to different call, text, and mobile internet promos.

Mobile devices must be internet-capable and have a maintaining load balance of P1 in order to access free Facebook on TM SIM cards.

Free access to Facebook via GoSurf

For customers who want a full experience of Facebook with photo and video streaming access, they can register to a GoSURF data plan to access the social networking site for free. GoSURF is the telco’s consumable data plan which paved the way for mobile users to embrace the habit of mobile browsing, with subscriptions growing by 131% and revenues by 124% over the last year.

As the only telco in the country to offer free access to Facebook with a complete browsing experience with a GoSURF subscription, Globe gives customers access to a full experience which includes viewing of photos, streaming of videos uploaded on Facebook, as well as posting, liking, sharing and making comments on the social networking site. Access to the Messenger app, excluding calls, is also free.

Available to Globe Prepaid and TM customers with a GoSURF subscription and to Globe Postpaid customers who will opt-in to the free Facebook promo, free access to Facebook works on any mobile platform, including the Facebook Android app and browsers (via m.facebook.com), without any maintaining balance.

Postpaid customers can access Facebook for free without any purchase requirement while Prepaid and TM customers will automatically get access upon purchase of any GoSURF promo. The validity of the free access to Facebook offer is the same as the subscribed GoSURF promo.

Customers who have successfully registered on GoSURF will receive a text message notifying the availability of the free access to Facebook service, and will also see the “Facebook with Free Data” banner at the top of the mobile site or app once the free access to Facebook promo is activated.
Aside from Free Facebook, customers also get free access to premium content such as Spotify and top mobile games with GoSURF.

With GoSURF50, customers get 300MB of data to access the internet and an additional free 400MB for music streaming and online mobile gaming for only P50 valid for 3 days. The games include Clash of Clans, Candy Crush Saga, Candy Crush Soda Saga, Summoners War, Hay Day, Boom Beach, Soul Seeker, Dungeon Hunter 5, and Asphalt 8: Airborne.

To get free access to Facebook on prepaid or TM via GoSURF, simply register to any GoSURF promo and wait for the Facebook activation notification which will be sent via text message. For customers who wish to avail of the bonus FB trial for TM SIMs, simply text BONUS FB to 8888.

Facebook with free data launches once a customer has updated their FB app to its latest version and will automatically be available to those who are not on Postpaid or any GoSURF plan. For Postpaid customers, opt-in to free Facebook by texting FREE FB ON to 8888. To know more information, text FREE FB to 8888. To inquire about the promo, text FREE FB HELP to 8888. To check status, text FREE FB STATUS to 8888.

To know more or to keep updated about GoSURF, text GoSURF to 8888 or text “GoSURF FREE” to 8888 to get detailed information about the different freebies you can get with the promo. For more information, visit www.globe.com.ph/gosurf.

Smart announces free Instagram for prepaid, postpaid subs

In Press Releases by Revu TeamLeave a Comment

Millions of subscribers of Smart Communications (Smart) can now enjoy free access to one of the world’s most popular photo-sharing social media networks, Instagram, whenever they subscribe to top prepaid offers or the latest postpaid plans from the undisputed leader in mobile and some might need help gaining traction. Check out best instagram bot if you want to increase your engagement! But anyway, onto the rest of the article.

With the Free Instagram offer, Smart subscribers will be able to freely browse their Instragram feeds and upload their own photos and videos from their smartphones without additional data charges. That will be great news for anyone as addicted to Instagram as me! After all, I bought Insta likes at buzzoid.com fairly recently which has really helped boost my confidence as I know my post will definitely be appreciated.

Prepaid subscribers will be able to enjoy free Instagram browsing and posting for up to 30MB per day with any popular prepaid promos that include All Text 20, Unli Call & Text 30, All in 99 and Mega 250, among many others.

Users who subscribe to any of Smart’s Surf Plus Plans, meanwhile, will instantly be able to enjoy the Free Instagram offer as part of their freebie app bundle for 30 days.

“More than just connecting, Instagram has allowed its users to give their friends and families a peek into people and the things they love the most—from the most vivid details of their daily lives, to the most exciting things that they are currently passionate about,” said Ariel P. Fermin, Executive Vice President and Consumer Business Group Head at Smart.

“It’s more than just ‘sharing’, ‘liking’ or ‘commenting’—Instagram is giving Filipinos the chance to preserve their precious memories in visual form, and Smart is proud to provide access to all of these anytime, everywhere through our innovative mobile services,” Fermin added. It’s also giving industrious Filipinos the chance to generate a second, or even sole income, with some buying instagram followers in order to become ‘influencers.’

Meaningful innovations

The Free Instagram offer comes on the heels of the company’s efforts to help its subscribers live the ‘Smart Life,’ which gives them access to the best digital services and most meaningful innovations that allow them to live out their passions in life.

The offer is seen to benefit the millions of Instagram users across the country, as well as those who have yet to try the app on their phones. Instagram is currently among the top five most used apps by Philippine mobile users, according to the latest Ericsson Mobility Report.

It is the latest in the aggressive bid of PLDT’s wireless units to further grow its mobile data business, which in the first quarter of 2015 rose by 19% year-on-year, culling more than P2.2 billion in revenues during the period.

Smart’s mobile data traffic likewise increased by 188% during the same period, with subscribers exchanging more than 21 terabytes of traffic across the network fueled by pioneering offers such as the free Internet promo, which gave users 30MB of free mobile data everyday.

With the Free Instagram offer, Smart is continuing to enable Filipinos to enjoy entertainment everywhere through their mobile devices, with the help of other game-changing partnerships and services through iflix, FOX, SPINNR, and YouTube, among many others.

For more information on Smart’s Free Instagram offer, visit smart.com.ph.

GrabCar gets legal status in PH ahead of Uber

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

Recall that back in May, the Philippine’s transport and communications department and land-transport bureau inched closer towards legitimizing and regulating the likes of Uber and GrabTaxi by creating a legal framework for ride-hailing services in the country.

Flash forward to now, and we’ve got the first ride-hailing service that can operate on a national scale without any legal threat: GrabCar, a subcategory of the GrabTaxi mobile app that can be downloaded for free on most app stores.

GrabCar, a subcategory of the GrabTaxi mobile app, is the first ride-hailing service that can operate on a national scale without any legal threat.

In a press statement, GrabTaxi said that GrabCar had already met all the requirements needed to become licensed in the Philippines and received full accreditation from the national government last week. That would imply that the company beat out its closest rival, Uber, and other firms which had also applied for licenses to operate in the country.

“With full accreditation, more Filipino commuters will be able to use GrabCar and be confident that we offer a legitimate and safe private-hire service. We will now focus on rapidly expanding our GrabCar service to serve more passengers across the Philippines,” Natasha Bautista, head of GrabCar Philippines, said.

She added that GrabTaxi is now working closely with the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to ensure that the company’s driver screening and safety measures are of the highest caliber.

But it gets better for GrabCar riders: To celebrate its new-found legal status, GrabCar is knocking P100 off all GrabCar and GrabCar+ rides until July 21, 2015. Simply enter the promo code “LEGALLYGRAB” to apply the discount.

[youtube link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfYet4u8PsM” width=”560″ height=”315″]

GrabTaxi promo video from YouTube

And the top 5 phone brands in Southeast Asia are…

In Business, Phones by Ramon LopezLeave a Comment

Research firm IDC has posted a new report about smartphone shipments in Southeast Asia in the first quarter of 2015, along with a list of the top 5 brands in the region. IDC’s findings reveal that Samsung, Apple, ASUS, OPPO, and Huawei shipped the most number of phones, with the Korean electronics giant accounting for 23 percent of the market on 5.5 million units sold.

IDC’s findings reveal that Samsung, Apple, ASUS, OPPO, and Huawei shipped the most number of phones in Southeast Asia.

Apple came in second with a 7.5 percent share on 1.8 million sales, while ASUS, OPPO, and Huawei ended up in third, fourth, and fifth place, respectively.

Curiously enough, the latter three gained market share over the same quarter last year, while Samsung and Apple lost sales to their rivals over the said period, indicating that more and more people in Asia are buying phones from brands not named Samsung or Apple.

Of the five, OPPO comes as a huge surprise given its relative inexperience in making Android smartphones. If anything, it speaks to the company’s aggressive retail push that I keep hearing about. Here’s a chart culled from the IDC website showing smartphone shipments this year and last:

[frame src=”https://www.revu.com.ph/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/IDC-report-2015.jpg” target=”_self” width=”620″ height=”412″ alt=”Premium WordPress Themes” align=”center” prettyphoto=”false”]

IDC also notes that Southeast Asia saw a slight decline (9.5 percent) in overall smartphone sales compared to the previous quarter (Q4 2014), though, the number represents significant growth (65 percent) when measured year-over-year (Q1 2014).

Another interesting observation is that 4G LTE-capable and 4.5- to 5.3-inch smartphones now account for 25 and 53 percent of the market, respectively, which reflects a growing preference for feature-rich devices.

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Silvertooth Opens New Gym to Employees

In News by Alora Uy Guerrero

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HOOQ vs. iflix vs. Blink: Who wins the streaming wars?

In Games, Apps, and OS by Ramon Lopez16 Comments

After months of growing pains, the next big thing on the Internet is finally gaining traction in the Philippines. No, I don’t mean ride-hailing services, such as Uber and GrabTaxi, though you could make a case that we’re seeing a greater demand for taxi alternatives. But I digress.

What I’m trying to say is that, right now, there are more options than ever to watch movies and TV shows legally online, and the list will expand with time. And as wireless Internet access becomes more and more affordable and ubiquitous in the country, subscribing to a video-streaming service is fast becoming a viable option for those who want the luxury of viewing content on-demand anytime, anywhere.

I mean, who wouldn’t find it irresistible to catch a Hollywood blockbuster or binge-watch popular programs from the comfort of a cushy seat? Who wouldn’t be tempted to (gasp!) pull the plug on cable TV when there are cheaper and more flexible ways of consuming video on just about every screen out there?

As Internet access becomes more affordable and ubiquitous in the country, subscribing to a video-streaming service is fast becoming a viable option for those who want content on-demand.

Which brings us to the all-important question: Among the top 3 video-on-demand providers in the Philippines — HOOQ, iflix, and Blink — who comes out on top? The answer isn’t as complicated as you think at this point. Spoiler alert: It’s not Blink, which is somewhat surprising considering the big head start it had over its peers.


Tale of the tape: HOOQ vs. iflix vs. Blink


There is no getting around the fact that more is better as far as video-on-demand services are concerned, and when it comes to the sheer number of movies and TV shows available, HOOQ leads the way by a wide margin. Currently, HOOQ offers over 30,000 hours of programming, whereas iflix and Blink have approximately 11,000 and 2,000 hours of streaming titles, respectively.

HOOQ offers over 30,000 hours of programming, whereas iflix and Blink have approximately 11,000 and 2,000 hours of streaming titles.

HOOQ also boasts an impressive catalog of Filipino movies and teleseryes that’s lacking from the competition, in addition to a much richer selection of Hollywood and Asian libraries.

You can’t find Tagalog content on iflix and Blink, so that pretty much leaves you with one option if watching homegrown talent ranks high on your priorities. Another thing to note is that Blink is the only one of the three that streams live TV channels.

The catch in all of this is that, with a few exceptions, you won’t find recently released titles on either HOOQ, iflix, or Blink. Cable TV still has the edge in that regard. Don’t expect to see original programming either.


All 3 video-on-demand platforms are available on freely downloadable apps for Android and iOS devices, as well as on the Web, with support for multiple devices on a single account. PC and Mac users with a HOOQ or Blink subscription have to first install the Microsoft Silverlight plug-in, which can be downloaded separately, before streaming content on their monitors.

Meanwhile, iflix can be streamed natively through browsers like Chrome without fiddling with plug-ins, meaning it will work nicely with Chromebooks.

HOOQ lets you choose videos to save for offline playback. By comparison, iflix and Blink don’t have an offline mode.

While that sounds great and all, compatibility across a wide range of devices is nowhere near as important as the ability to download videos for offline playback. HOOQ allows that — up to 5 downloads at a time — and it’s what elevates it above its rivals.

The feature is particularly enticing for those who have access to a reliable home connection and don’t want to pay extra for going over their monthly data allowance. By comparison, iflix and Blink don’t have an offline mode.


For P199 per month, HOOQ gives members unlimited access to 30,000 hours of movies and TV shows. An iflix membership costs P129 monthly, and this gets you 11,000 hours of non-stop entertainment. Blink’s streaming package is more expensive at P250 per month but comes with fewer reasons to subscribe.

If we put a price on how much an hour of content on HOOQ costs, it will come in with the lowest cost among its peers. It goes without saying that even at P199, HOOQ represents greater value for money.

HOOQ is the best video-on-demand provider, in large part because of the wide range of local and foreign titles available on its platform and the ability to download videos.


All things considered, I think HOOQ is the best video-on-demand provider right now, in large part because of the wide range of local and foreign titles available on its platform — nearly thrice of its nearest rival — and the ability to download videos for offline viewing.

Of course, there’s always the option of getting more than one subscription. If that’s the case, I would recommend signing up for HOOQ and iflix — duplicate titles be damned. (There aren’t too many, by the way.)

However, if you can afford just one, HOOQ should be your top priority. It’s not perfect, but it’s ahead of the curve in terms of available content and features. Don’t take my word for it, though; try out both options for free for a limited time and then decide which one better fits your needs.

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Facebook Lite is here. But why should you care?

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

Facebook recently released the Facebook Lite app for Android, six months after being in the beta labs. Essentially a watered-down version of the Facebook app and website, Facebook Lite is intended for emerging markets where Internet connections are unreliable and bargain-basement devices are outselling their mid- to high-end counterparts by an embarrassing margin.

The app is currently available in India and the Philippines, and soon in Africa, Europe, and Latin America. Its only about 430KB in size compared to the full Facebook app, which gobbles up 140MB of my phone’s storage.

[frame src=”https://www.revu.com.ph/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Facebook-Lite-interface1.jpg” target=”_self” width=”620″ height=”412″ alt=”Premium WordPress Themes” align=”center” prettyphoto=”false”]

The Facebook for Android interface (left) compared to the vastly simplified Facebook Lite interface (right).

A Facebook experience tailored for slow devices and slow Internet speeds looks like a dream on paper, but it comes with a few big caveats. You’ll have to deal with an interface that is nowhere near as pretty or responsive as what you’re used to on your smartphone or PC. Plus, you’ll be seeing a lot of poorly cropped photos on your timeline. All this for the sake of a Facebook app that will play nicely with dual-core Androids and 2G connections.

Personally, I’d recommend installing Facebook Lite, if only for the allure of lower bandwidth and storage requirements.

MY TAKE: If you know me personally, you probably know that I’m not a Facebook guy, or at least not until recently. I’ve only been egged on by my co-publisher Alora Uy Guerrero.

I’m a Twitter addict, to be honest, which sort of explains why I’ve been holding off on getting back on the Facebook bandwagon — and for good reason: Facebook and Twitter are two very different social networks. Obviously, I prefer one to the other, but that doesn’t mean I should quit the Internet’s biggest social-networking site altogether.

Personally, I’d recommend installing Facebook Lite, if only for the allure of lower bandwidth and storage requirements. You never know when you’ll be stuck in an area with poor cellular reception. But don’t count on me to delete the regular Facebook app from my phone anytime soon.

[youtube link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=adaM8L5_2wQ” width=”560″ height=”315″]

Facebook Lite preview from of TechCrunch’s YouTube channel

Play your favorite games anytime, anywhere w/Globe’s GoSURF50

In Press Releases by Revu TeamLeave a Comment

Take your digital lifestyle to the next level as the country’s leading mobile brand Globe Telecom gives you free access to your favorite games with a GoSURF data plan.

Register to GoSURF50 and enjoy access to top mobile games titles such as Clash of Clans, Boom Beach, Summoners War, Soul Seeker, Candy Crush Saga, Candy Crush Soda Saga, Hay Day, Dungeon Hunter 5, Brave Frontier, and Asphalt 8: Airborne on your mobile phone or tablet for an entire 3 days.

With GoSURF and games, you can fight epic Clan Wars in Clash of Clans, line up sweet combos in Candy Crush Saga and Candy Crush Soda Saga, or grow your farm in Hay Day, among many others.

Available to Globe Prepaid, Postpaid, TM, and Tattoo customers for only P50 valid for 3 days, GoSURF50 offers 300MB of data that can be used to browse your favorite sites online and an additional 400MB of free data to access your favorite games plus Spotify — anytime, anywhere.

With mobile games now part of today’s digital lifestyle, GoSURF50 has been upgraded to provide mobile and broadband customers the leisure of playing games on their devices without worrying about data allocation. A consumable mobile data plan that gives customers more value for their money, GoSURF also offers access to premium online content such as Spotify, NBA, HOOQ, and now, games while extending the browsing experience with higher data allocation.

“The enhanced GoSURF50 is our response to the market’s constantly-growing appetite for digital content and the growing mobile gaming industry in the country. With more data allocation plus free access to premium online content such as games and more, GoSURF is your best companion to be always connected and entertained while on-the-go,” says Globe Vice President for Content Jil Go.

Access to games via GoSURF is also available for as low as P10 valid for 1 day with GoSURF10. To know more or to keep updated about GoSURF, text GoSURF50 to 8888 or text “GoSURF FREE” to 8888 to get detailed information about the different freebies you can get with the promo. To know more or to keep updated about GoSURF50, visit www.globe.com.ph/gosurf or www.tattoo.globe.com.ph/promos/gosurf.

Starmobile Up Neo: big screen, small price

In Phones by Ramon LopezLeave a Comment

Starmobile today announced a new big-screen phone as part of its push in the low-to-midrange segment. The Starmobile Up Neo is the latest addition to the company’s Up series and sports a 5.3-inch, high-res display to go along with a nice metallic frame and a textured back cover.

The overall look is reminiscent of the Starmobile Knight Luxe, but with a larger screen real estate that has its share of pros and cons.

The overall look is reminiscent of Starmobile’s recently released Knight Luxe, but with a larger screen real estate that has its share of pros and cons. To its credit, though, the Up Neo’s dimensions are said to be no bigger than a regular 5-incher’s.

As far as the specifications are concerned, you’re looking at a 1.4GHz octa-core processor from MediaTek with 1GB of RAM and 16GB of expandable memory running Android KitKat 4.4.

You also get 13- and 5-megapixel main and secondary cameras with triple-LED flash (for the rear-facer) and backside illumination for improved performance in low-light conditions, as well as a 2,500mAh removable battery that supposedly delivers up to 18 hours of talk time or 642 hours of standby time.

The Starmobile Up Neo is priced at P6,490. It may be a decent option to consider if you’re after a big-screen phone on a budget. But if you’re picky about speed and gaming performance, there are certainly better options available in the sub-P7,000 segment.

Starmobile Up Neo specs (Price in the Philippines: P6,490):
* Dual SIM
* 1.4GHz 64-bit, octa-core MediaTek MT6592M CPU
* Mali-450 MP4 GPU
* 16GB internal storage
* microSD card slot (up to 32GB)
* 5.3-inch IPS display (720 x 1,280 resolution)
* 13-megapixel rear camera with BSI triple LED flash
* 5-megapixel front camera with BSI
* 2,500mAh battery
* Android KitKat 4.4

[youtube link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPfJvd6J_AY” width=”560″ height=”315″]

Starmobile Up Neo preview courtesy of Starmobile’s YouTube channel

SALE ALERT: OPPO reduces price of Find 7a to P17K

In Phones by Ramon LopezLeave a Comment

OPPO Philippines has announced a month-long sale for 4 of its existing smartphones. Throughout the month July, you can get the OPPO Joy Plus, Neo 3, Mirror 3, and powerhouse Find 7a at discounted prices across all OPPO stores and partner retailers nationwide. The sale lasts until July 31, 2015.

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You’ll find the full roster of discounted products in the list below.

OPPO Joy Plus — P3,990 (from P4,990)
OPPO Neo 3 — P5,990 (from P6,990)
OPPO Mirror 3 — P9,990 (from P10,990)
OPPO Find 7a — P16,990 (from P21,990)

If you recall, OPPO Philippines took the wraps off the affordable Joy 3 last week. Before that, the tech company launched a trio of new smartphones to round out its low-to-midrange offering.

[youtube link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=45hQpWvr3vQ” width=”560″ height=”315″]

OPPO Mirror 5 preview from our YouTube channel

Mid-range Samsung Galaxy Tab A comes w/LTE, S Pen

In Tablets by Ramon Lopez4 Comments

Samsung’s been in the tablet business for quite some time, and over the years, it has played around with different designs to keep things interesting. Right now, it seems the Korean giant has taken a different approach to making mid-range slates, as evidenced by the outward appearance and 4:3 screen ratio of its new Galaxy Tab A tablet. It is, in many ways, the unofficial successor to the Galaxy Note 8.0.

The 4:3 ratio, as Samsung puts it, “is ideal for reading books, magazines and newspapers, as well as surfing the net,” though I’d argue that packing more pixels into the 8-inch TFT screen would provide a better viewing experience. The 5-megapixel autofocus rear camera, meanwhile, is optimized to take serviceable photos and video.

Samsung Galaxy Tab A

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The slate’s insides, while certainly not the stuff dreams are made of, is, in fact, fairly decent. A glance at the spec sheet reveals a SIM slot for telephony and 4G LTE connectivity and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 410 processor running Samsung’s reworked (and improved) TouchWiz UI on top of Android Lollipop, alongside 2GB of RAM and 16GB of expandable storage. The 4,200mAh battery should deliver up to 12 hours of LTE browsing, but I’d rather put it through its paces myself before I buy the claim.

The main selling point here is the S Pen, which gives the Galaxy Tab A all the credentials of a productivity machine and differentiates it from just about every tablet around.

But the main selling point here is still the S Pen, which gives the Galaxy Tab A all the credentials of a productivity machine and differentiates it from just about every tablet on the market. Among other things, the feature-filled stylus lets you scribble away on a large screen, drag and drop multiple files, and trigger a small but useful set of functions to help you get the most out of the device.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab A is available in white and gray and due out this July for P15,990.

Samsung Galaxy Tab A specs (Price in the Philippines: P15,990):
* Single SIM with telephony and LTE support
* 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 CPU
* 16GB internal storage
* microSD card slot (up to 128GB)
* 8-inch TFT display (1,024 x 768 resolution)
* 5-megapixel rear camera
* 2-megapixel front camera
* 4,200mAh battery
* Android Lollipop 5.0

[youtube link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bOOMpLGa5IY” width=”560″ height=”315″]

TVC for the Samsung Galaxy Tab A culled from YouTube

Lenovo unveils 4 new laptops, price starts at P14,495

In Laptops, Tablets by Ramon Lopez2 Comments

Hoping to maintain its competitive advantage in the PC and tablet industries, Lenovo today unveiled 4 new consumer laptops for the local market. The company’s latest offering includes the Lenovo Yoga 300 and 500, Ideapad 100, and Z51 laptop, which is by design a multimedia workstation aimed at music and movie lovers.

The Lenovo Z51 is a 15-inch laptop equipped with a full-HD display and AMD Radeon graphics. Other internals include up to an Intel Core i7 processor and up to 1TB of built-in storage. Its base price starts at P42,995.

Lenovo Ideapad 100

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The entry-level Ideapad 100, on the other hand, is powered by up to an Intel BayTrail-M N3540 chip with an integrated GPU. When it comes to screen size, you’ve got two options: 14 and 15 inches. I’m told the Ideapad 100 is the most affordable 14-incher in the Philippines, with the base model starting at P14,495.

The Yoga 300 and 500 represent Lenovo’s latest line of convertible laptops and have a 360-degree hinge design that supports four usage modes.

The Yoga 300 and 500 represent Lenovo’s latest line of non-traditional, convertible notebooks and have a 360-degree hinge design that supports all the usual usage modes Yoga laptops are best known for. The Yoga 300 and 500 are now available in Lenovo stores and resellers, retailing for P22,995 and P28,495, respectively.

Lenovo is currently the world’s leading PC maker and holds the number 3 spot among tablet manufacturers. The company is also the second-largest tablet vendor in the Philippines, according to research agencies IDC and GfK.

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

Promo video for the Lenovo Yoga convertibles

Globe’s free Facebook offer now comes w/photo, video browsing

In Business, Phones by Ramon Lopez4 Comments

Pretty much everyone is on Facebook now, and chances are, you use it a lot to keep in touch with your family and friends, share pictures, pass on news, and so on. Which makes Globe Telecom’s latest announcement all the more timely and important.

Globe and TM subscribers can now get free and full access to Facebook on Web, mobile, and app without data charges.

As of today, subscribers to any GoSurf data plan can get free and full access to Facebook on Web, mobile, and app (Android and iOS) sans data charges. They don’t even need to purchase any additional data plan and are not required to have a maintaining balance to be eligible for the promotion. By “full access,” I mean being able to stream videos uploaded to Facebook, view photos, post comments, and share content within the social networking site.

Globe and TM prepaid users who subscribe to any GoSurf plan automatically get free access to Facebook, while postpaid customers can opt-in to the promo by texting “FREE FB ON” to 8888. According to Globe, those who manage to register successfully will receive an SMS notification and will see a “No Data Charges” banner at the top of the Facebook website and mobile app.

If you recall, Globe was the first to announce a partnership with Facebook in 2013, which gave its subscribers free access to the social networking platform and thus drove mobile-browsing adoption in the Philippines.

Globe is undisputed leader in postpaid w/revenue market share of 57.8%

In Press Releases by Revu TeamLeave a Comment

Globe Telecom is the #1 postpaid brand in the country based on revenue market share, the global metric used in determining market leadership across telcos worldwide.

Globe posted postpaid revenues of P7.8 billion in the first quarter of 2015 versus Smart’s P3.3 billion and Sun’s P2.4 billion. Globe postpaid revenues have grown by 11% versus Sun’s 10% growth from previous year’s levels.

The revenue figures show Globe has cornered the mobile postpaid segment with revenue market share of 57.8%, leaving Smart with a 24.6% revenue share and Sun with a 17.6% revenue share.

Globe Senior Advisor for Consumer Business Dan Horan pointed out that Globe has been consistently growing its postpaid business both in number of customers and ARPU (average revenue per user), an important indicator of customer preference and stickiness to the network. “Clearly, mobile postpaid is a segment that Globe has long dominated over many years. Since 2012, Globe led the mobile postpaid business with a consistent revenue market share of 58% on a 2-player market. Our leadership in the postpaid business is clearly unprecedented, underpinned by sustained growth in this segment and our breakthrough offers and innovations attracting new customers.”

Providing access to the Filipino digital lifestyle, Globe launched the new postpaid myLifestyle Plan, allowing customers to fully embrace the digital experience with data and exciting content using mobile phones.

“The myLifestyle Plan was a significant growth driver of postpaid revenues and customer base in the first quarter of 2015 as it perfectly caters to our customers’ digital lifestyles. With the myLifestyle Plan, they get a postpaid plan made for the way they live today, giving them a full smartphone experience with focus on data usage. The myLifestyle Plan is set to become an invaluable life tool to allow our customers to enjoy a world of digital content that is built the way they live now,” says Erli Valdez, Vice President for Postpaid Business at Globe.

The new myLifestyle Plan gives customers access to an easier and simplified plan offer starting at P499 a month which comes with built-in unlimited calls and texts to Globe & TM plus freebies such as free 1-month choice of Navigation, Explore or Fitness Pack, free 1-month Gadget Care, and free 1GB Globe Cloud storage for 24 months.

On top of the base P499/month plan, Globe postpaid customers can avail of add-on services like Surf Packs for their mobile internet needs which are bundled with exclusive access to Spotify and/ or NBA League Pass. Customers can choose from GoSURF99 for 100MB of mobile internet monthly to as much as 15GB monthly with GoSURF2499.

For a richer data experience, myLifestyle plan customers can also choose from any of the Lifestyle Packs which includes Chat, Fitness, Navigation, Explore, Photo, Shopping, Work, as well as access to Facebook, HOOQ, NBA, Spotify, and Twitter. Moreover, they can also get extra calls and texts to other networks, as well as landline and international services with the Classic Packs.

All promo packs chosen will then be added to the P499 base plan, which will be equivalent to the customer’s monthly service fee (MSF). Customers then get to choose from a wide range of free devices and gadgets, depending on their MSF. The more services they add on top of the base plan, the better the handset they can get.

By adding P99 on top of the base plan, customers can get free smartphones with their postpaid plan ranging from CloudFone, Huawei, Lenovo, Samsung, or Microsoft Lumia devices.

Report: Apple’s next iPhones to have Force Touch

In Phones by Ramon LopezLeave a Comment

We’re just months away from seeing the next iPhone models — if history is any indication, Apple is expected to launch a new iPhone duo in September — which means the rumor mill is spinning wildly once again with iPhone-related news.

With Force Touch, iPhone owners would be able to perform different functions just by applying more force to their screen touches.

Case in point: A recent report from Bloomberg says that this year’s iPhone sequels will make use of pressure-sensitive displays that will incorporate Force Touch input, similar to the Apple Watch and the new line of MacBooks.

If that is indeed the case, then next-gen iPhone owners would be able to perform different functions just by applying more force to their screen touches. Imagine using Force Touch to see the dictionary definition of a word, scrub through videos, or preview a photo. That sounds like the kind of feature that smartphone novices and power users alike can appreciate.

Bloomberg’s tipsters also claim that the upcoming iPhones — in typical S model fashion — will retain the same design as currently available variants and will have 4.7- and 5.5-inch displays.

OnePlus 2 slated to launch on July 27 in VR

In Phones by Ramon LopezLeave a Comment

Smartphone startup OnePlus has announced the launch date of the OnePlus 2, with the unveiling set for July 27, a month from today. Even better, the company will stream a 360-degree video feed of the launch event so that anyone with an Internet connection and a VR headset (Google Cardboard, anyone?) can watch the debut of its second-gen flaghship in full next-gen splendor.

As previously reported, the phone will sport an improved version of the Snapdragon 810 chipset — Qualcomm’s latest and fastest yet — and will make use of a USB Type-C port. Yes, it’s the same reversible connector found in the latest 12-inch MacBook. That said, don’t expect the OnePlus 2 to be as affordable as its predecessor.

However, you’ll still need an invite to purchase OnePlus’ next phone, which is unfortunate.

Oh, and another thing: You’ll need an invite to purchase OnePlus’ next phone, which is unfortunate. For the uninitiated, getting an invite often requires months of waiting and jumping through hoops in the OnePlus forum.

[youtube link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4JPM8mSl9kc” width=”560″ height=”315″]

YouTube video of OnePlus’ USB Type-C cable charging a 12-inch MacBook

Meizu M2 Note coming to PH in July

In Phones by Ramon Lopez3 Comments

Speaking to tech blog Unbox, local distributor of Meizu smartphones Novo7 Tech has confirmed the Philippine release of the Meizu M2 Note sometime in July. The 5.5-incher, which debuted in China earlier this month, will be heading to local shores as a timed exclusive that can be purchased on Lazada Philippines’ website at a discounted price of P6,990. After the initial sale period, the phone will be available at a slightly higher price of P7,490 in Novo7 Tech stores.

The M2 Note is heading to local shores as a timed exclusive that can be purchased on Lazada’s website at a discounted price of P6,990.

The Meizu M2 Note is backed by an LTE-capable, octa-core processor with 2GB of RAM and 16GB or 32GB of built-in storage that can be expanded via a microSD card. Other highlights include Android Lollipop 5.1 based on Meizu’s Flyme 4.5 operating system, a fingerprint sensor that doubles as the phone’s physical navigation button, 13- and 5-megapixel main and secondary cameras, and a 3,100mAh battery.

There’s a ton of locally available options for those looking for an affordable smartphone, and the Meizu M2 Note may be as good a choice as anything on the market right now.

Meizu M2 Note specs (Price in the Philippines: P6,990):
* Dual SIM with LTE support
* 1.3GHz 64-bit, octa-core MediaTek MT6753 CPU
* Mali-T720 MP3 GPU
* 16GB/32GB internal storage
* microSD card slot (up to 128GB)
* 5.5-inch IGZO display (1,080 x 1,920 resolution)
* 13-megapixel rear camera with dual-LED flash
* 5-megapixel front camera
* 3,100mAh battery
* Android Lollipop 5.1

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

Meizu M2 Note unboxing video