Sorry, Apple — Android already has ‘Force Touch’

In Phones by Ramon LopezLeave a Comment

Apple’s next iPhone, as previously reported, is slated to debut this week, and the company is all but expected to bring the Force Touch feature found in the Apple Watch and a few MacBooks to its smartphone line.

For those not in the know, Force Touch is Apple’s term for its touch-input technology, which allows a device or machine to differentiate between light taps and harder presses on a touch-sensitive surface. On the Apple Watch, for example, pressing firmly on the screen while in the Messages app brings up additional controls.

It’s helpful — and maybe, in some cases, absolutely necessary in the context of smaller surfaces. Hence the excitement over Force Touch possibly being introduced in iPhones, and later, iPads.

But guess what? The idea of determining the force of a tap is nothing new to Android. In fact, Android has had Force Touch sensing as early as 2009, says Pocketnow. There’s even an app called Force Touch Demo to showcase Android’s touch-sensing capabilities.

The idea of determining the force of a tap is nothing new to Android. In fact, Android has had Force Touch sensing as early as 2009.

Alternatively, you can enable developer settings in the main settings menu, and activate “Show touches” and “Pointer location” to track how much force is being applied to the screen. Do note that not all screens are created equally, so your mileage may vary.

But why isn’t Google making a big fuss out of this, and why aren’t developers coming up with apps that, at least to some extent, make better use of Android’s pressure-sensing feature? Developer Adam Outler, creator of Force Touch Demo, has put together a pretty solid answer. “How is this useful? It’s not, really. It just adds a level of complexity to a user experience,” Outler wrote on his Google+ page.

‘How is this useful? It’s not, really. It just adds a level of complexity to a user experience,’ a developer wrote on his Google+ page.

I’m inclined to agree, seeing that the screen size of Android devices has been steadily expanding over the last few years, as manufacturers continue to find ways to shrink the bezels around the display. Unless, of course, Apple proves yet again that it can reinvent the smartphone, this time with Force Touch.

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

OPPO R7 Series to be sold on Lazada PH starting Sept. 15

In Phones by Ramon LopezLeave a Comment

Heads up, Android fans. The OPPO R7 Series, which includes the brilliant R7 Plus I wrote about last week, will be available on Lazada’s Philippine website starting September 15. That’s about a week from today, for those keeping count.

All (known) phones under the R7 Series feature AMOLED displays and 64-bit, octa-core Snapdragon 615 processors wrapped in seamless, all-metal bodies that make them aesthetically similar to the iPhone 6. They also sport contoured-edge Gorilla Glass to make the edges of the front panel feel smoother to the touch.

The OPPO R7 Series will be available on Lazada’s Philippine website starting September 15.

Pricing remains a mystery for now, but chances are the prices will be the same as in other markets. It’s worth noting that in China, the OPPO R7 Plus costs 2,999 Yuan, or around P22,000.

 

OPPO R7 Plus

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OPPO R7 Plus specs:
* Dual SIM with LTE support
* 1.5GHz 64-bit, octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 CPU
* Adreno 405 GPU
* 3GB RAM
* 32GB internal storage
* microSD card slot (up to 128GB)
* 6-inch AMOLED display with curved-edge Corning Gorilla Glass (1,080 x 1,920 resolution)
* 13-megapixel rear camera with laser autofocus, dual-LED flash
* 8-megapixel front camera
* 4,100mAh battery with VOOC fast charging
* Android 5.1.1 Lollipop

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

OPPO R7 Plus video review courtesy of Android Authority

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7 reasons to buy the OPPO R7 Plus

In Phones by Ramon Lopez6 Comments

(UPDATE, September 4, 2015: OPPO Philippines will unveil the OPPO R7 Series on September 15th. Stay tuned for a follow-up post after the launch event.)

The wait is over: OPPO Philippines’ recent posts on social media put to rest any doubts that the OPPO R7 Series is indeed coming to stores soon. And if the last couple of days are any indication, the R7 Plus may very well be the best tablet-like phone I’ve had the pleasure of using this year.

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This rugged portable SSD is smaller, thinner than your phone

In Laptops by Ramon LopezLeave a Comment

That is, unless you’re rocking a ridiculously thin phone like the OPPO R5, or something else almost equally devoid of edges. I mean, just take a gander at it. Tell me that isn’t one of the tiniest, if not the tiniest, portable drives you’ve laid eyes on. Tell me that isn’t a true achievement in design that provides a glimpse of the future today.

The portable-storage device in question is the SanDisk Extreme 500, which has an insanely compact footprint. It’s compact enough to carry around or to fit in your jeans pocket, even more so than your phone, and without constantly worrying about it slipping out of your grip.

SanDisk’s Extreme 500 has an insanely compact footprint, compact enough to fit in your jeans pocket. It’s ridiculously fast, too.

And even if you do somehow lose control over it, the Extreme 500’s impact-resistant shell in combination with its rubber bumpers is likely to absorb any impact and handle wild temperature swings more favorably than that of a portable hard drive. Well, that is the ideal scenario, anyway.

SanDisk Extreme 500

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The Extreme 500 is ridiculously fast as well, just as you’d expect from a new portable SSD. SanDisk claims it is capable of up to four times the speed of a portable hard drive (415MB/s), which means you’ll spend less time waiting for files to transfer from one machine to another and more time working on them.

Interested? SanDisk’s Extreme 500 portable SSD comes in 120GB and 240GB capacities that retail for P7,250 and P10,850, respectively. The roomier 480GB model will arrive later this year, but will set you back P18,000 — which, let’s face it, isn’t a tiny amount for the privilege of stashing your files in a portable drive the size of a beverage coaster. No matter how ridiculous that sounds.

Xiaomi’s Mi 4c is an affordable powerhouse, according to leaks

In Phones by Ramon LopezLeave a Comment

Image via Electrony.net

The midrange Xiaomi Mi 4i has been out just a couple of months in the Philippines, but it is already at risk of being overtaken in the pecking order of desirable smartphones. Or, at least, that is what will likely happen next if the rumors surrounding the upcoming Mi 4c do turn out to be true.

A photo of the Mi 4c’s retail packaging has revealed pretty much every detail about the device, right down to its battery capacity and USB connector standard. It appears the 4c will be, in many ways, similar to the 4i so expect to see identical RAM (2GB) and storage (16GB) configurations and the same 13- and 5-megapixel rear and front cameras and 3,080mAh battery.

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Image from Gizmo China

But unlike its predecessor, the 4c will be powered by the same hexa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor as the LG G4 and will come with a USB Type-C connector, which are firsts for a Xiaomi device.

If Xiaomi manages to keep the price under P10,000, then the 4c, with its beefed-up CPU and reversible USB port, will likely be a hit. That’s a big if, of course.

The 4c is also expected to ship with a 1080p display that spans 5 inches across, as well as a heavily skinned version of Android Lollipop in MIUI 7. It will reportedly retail for just 1,299 Yuan, or roughly P9,500, when it arrives in stores sometime in early September.

If Xiaomi somehow manages to keep the price under P10,000, then the 4c, with its beefed-up processor and reversible USB port, will likely be a hit when among the Android faithful in the Philippines. That’s a big if, of course.

[youtube link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxymBx8rjos” width=”560″ height=”315″]

Xiaomi Mi 4i review from Android Authority’s YouTube channel

ASUS announces ZenFone 2 Deluxe, Selfie, Laser in PH

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Most recently, ASUS took to the stage to announce the newest smartphones that will expand its local portfolio. The ZenFone 2 Deluxe, Selfie, and Laser all made their debut appearances in the Philippines, bearing aggressive prices and the latest Android operating system in Lollipop. (Android Marshmallow will see a commercial release later this year, alongside the new Nexus phone.)

With more ZenFones in tow than you’d care to remember, ASUS is now armed to the teeth with phones for all pockets and all types of users.

The specs for all three devices are listed below. Right now, I want to talk briefly about the impact of ASUS’ announcement on the local market: With more ZenFones in tow than you’d care to remember, the Taiwanese electronics company is now armed to the teeth with smartphones for all pockets and all types of users.

Love gaming on mobile and social platforms? The ZenFone 2 Deluxe may suit you well. Love taking self-portraits? The ZenFone Selfie is a capable selfie machine, and, as I’ve found out, it goes beyond what its name implies. Want a well-specced phone that supports 4G LTE networks but don’t want to spend anything above P10,000? It would be difficult to do worse than the ZenFone 2 Laser.

The ZenFone Deluxe, Selfie, and Laser (5-inch model) are now available for purchase from stores for P17,995, P11,995, and P7,695, respectively.

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ASUS ZenFone 2 Deluxe (Price in the Philippines: P17,995):
* Dual SIM with LTE support
* 2.3GHz 64-bit, quad-core Intel Atom Z3580 CPU
* 4GB RAM
* 128GB internal storage
* microSD card slot (up to 128GB)
* 5.5-inch IPS display with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 (1,080 x 1,920 resolution)
* 13-megapixel rear camera with dual-LED flash
* 5-megapixel front camera
* 3,000mAh battery
* Android 5.0 Lollipop

ASUS ZenFone Selfie

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ASUS ZenFone Selfie (Price in the Philippines: P11,995):
* Dual SIM with LTE support
* 1.5GHz 64-bit, octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 CPU
* Adreno 405 GPU
* 3GB RAM
* 32GB internal storage
* microSD card slot (up to 128GB)
* 5.5-inch IPS display with Corning Gorilla Glass 4 (1,080 x 1,920 resolution)
* 13-megapixel rear camera with laser autofocus, dual-tone flash
* 13-megapixel front camera with dual-tone flash
* 3,000mAh battery
* Android 5.0 Lollipop

[frame src=”https://secureservercdn.net/166.62.108.43/7x3.214.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/ASUS-ZenFone-2-Laser-revu-philippines.png” target=”_self” width=”620″ height=”412″ alt=”Premium WordPress Themes” align=”center” prettyphoto=”false”]

ASUS ZenFone 2 Laser (Price in the Philippines: P7,695 for 5-inch model; P8,695 for 5.5-inch model):
* Dual SIM with LTE support
* 1.2GHz 64-bit, quad-core Snapdragon 410 CPU
* Adreno 306 GPU
* 2GB RAM
* 16GB internal storage
* microSD card slot (up to 128GB)
* 5-inch IPS display with Corning Gorilla Glass 4 (720 x 1,280 resolution);  5-inch IPS display with Corning Gorilla Glass 4 (720 x 1,280 resolution)
* 13-megapixel rear camera with laser autfocus, dual-tone flash
* 5-megapixel front camera
* 2,070mAh battery (for 5-inch SKU); 3,000mAh (for 5.5-inch SKU)
* Android 5.0 Lollipop

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

Watch our ASUS Zenfone 2 review

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ASUS ZenFone Selfie review: more than self-portraits

In Phones by Ramon Lopez7 Comments

Metro Manila may never run out of traffic problems to solve, but ASUS clearly hasn’t run out of ZenFone ideas to address the always-evolving tastes and demands of smartphone buyers. We use smartphones all the time, and because of this many thieves would like to come and take them from you for some easy money. You should consider installing a home camera system to protect your phone and other valuables from these thieves!

Enter the ZenFone Selfie, which retails for P11,995 in the Philippines. As you may have gathered, it’s a product built around the idea that you, me, and a goodly number of the population love taking self-portraits behind closed doors or in plain sight, and that we want our phones to be as obsessed with self-photography as we are.

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Apple to launch iPhone 6s on September 9

In Phones by Ramon LopezLeave a Comment

Mark your calendars, Apple fans. The American tech giant has officially confirmed a launch date for its latest products: September 9 is the date to watch for, which won’t surprise anyone familiar with Apple’s track record. It will be held exactly a year after the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus debuted in front of an excited audience. And for the first time in a long while, Apple will allow Windows users to stream its product unveiling without using VLC player.

Apple has officially confirmed a launch date for its latest products: September 9 is the date to watch for.

While this year’s batch of fresh iPhones aren’t expected to look very different, they’re just as important for a company as profitable as Apple, which earns most of its profits from selling smartphones. Alongside the long-rumored iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, Apple is likely to introduce an upgraded Apple TV box to coincide with the launch of its own Internet-based television service.

Multiple reports suggest the next iPhones will include Apple’s ForceTouch technology, a faster processor with twice as much RAM as previous models, a 12-megapixel rear camera capable of recording 4K video, and a more powerful Siri to take on Google Now, Microsoft’s Cortana, and Facebook’s M.