A decade ago, I used to be a big hater of iPhones. Not until a year after, when I finally held in my hands a second-hand white iPhone 4S as a gift from my mom. I enjoyed using it and my (baseless) hatred slowly faded away.
— . (@vincenzvangogh) September 13, 2012
(pardon my grammatical lapses as I was just a lame spec-obsessed 14-year-old boy)
From non-stop playing of Temple Run, Subway Surfers, Flappy Bird, and 2048 for hours, all the way to enjoying that single iPhone camera, I can say I’ve truly embraced the iPhone and iOS system from 2013 until 2016.
And then I switched back to an Android (particularly the Samsung Galaxy Note5). It lasted less than a year because of display and motherboard issues. That’s when I came back to an iPhone 6 Plus from 2016 up until I joined GadgetMatch in 2018.
When I entered the team, I was able to test several phones and even dared to switch to a new brand of Android phone for a month. But still, I kept coming back to an iPhone.
Ten years apart from my hate tweet, here I am still using an iPhone as my primary phone — both for work and play. And if you’re planning to invest your hard-earned money on a shiny new iPhone, Power Mac Center in the Philippines offers a better way on how you can upcycle and trade your old phone into a new iPhone with their ‘UpTrade’ program.
UpTrade? What’s that even?
The UpTrade program by Power Mac Center and CompAsia gives potential new iPhone users the chance to trade their existing and/or old phones (regardless of any brand). After thorough inspection and computation, it will be converted into store credits which will then be used to purchase a new iPhone.
It’s not even limited to old iPhones and smartphones as you can also trade-in your Apple Watch, MacBooks, iPads, and even non-Apple tablets on the line.
Why UpTrade now?
Currently, Power Mac Center is hosting the second leg of its UpTrade Festival, where it brings the UpTrade program closer to more Filipinos in different areas of the country. From May 15 to 29, Apple fans and enthusiasts in North and South Luzon can upgrade to a new iPhone with exciting deals and offers.
More discounts in line
Other than UpTrade and online trade-ins, you can also have discounted iPhone promos and get up to:
- PhP 2500 off on iPhone 11
- PhP 6500 off on iPhone 12
- PhP 3000 off on iPhone 13 (128/256GB)
- PhP 12,000 off on iPhone 13 (512GB)
These exclusive promos will only last until May 31, 2022.
For the guidelines of the UpTrade process, visit PMC’s UpTrade Festival website. Don’t forget to also follow Power Mac Center on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, YouTube, and join its official Viber community to be updated on the latest deals, discounts, and announcements about your favorite Apple devices.
13 Reasons Why: iPhone Edition
This isn’t a spinoff of the hit Netflix series 13 Reasons Why, but with the iPhone 13 and 13 Pro series being Apple’s latest smartphone models, I’ve listed down 13 specific reasons why I still keep coming back to an iPhone (despite being exposed to a lot of spec-quipped smartphones).
1. Easy to switch and go back
Whether you’re coming from an old iPhone or even an Android smartphone, Apple has made sure that you can easily migrate your precious data into your new iPhone.
For starters, there’s a cool orb that shows up in the new iPhone that you need to scan from your old iPhone in order to proceed.
If you’re coming from Android, the process is quite different. You need to connect to a temporary Wi-Fi hotspot so that the process will push through. There’s a specific Apple Support article about this if in case you already bought an iPhone but don’t know how to start:
2. The wholeness of iOS
Apple’s iOS is probably one of the oldest and most mature Operating Systems (OS) that still power a lot of iPhones today. It’s a tad older than the 2009-launched Android system by Google and even held up against Windows Mobile — but we’re not here to talk about tech history.
In my years of using different smartphones, the user-friendliness and stability of iOS is what makes me come back. Not that I dislike having customization options from Android because as an artist, I want to freely express myself through the phone I use. But due to the familiarity iOS has over the years, it’s easier to dive down into settings and find what you’re looking for without being confused.
Moreover, the absence of an app drawer might be preferential but iOS paved the way — that’s why some Android manufacturers ship their phones without one, too. It never looked cluttered in my eyes since home screens full of widgets aren’t any different. This just makes navigation a little less of a hassle when opening a specific app or function.
Lastly, using the iPhone’s full-screen gestures is just a breeze. Whether you’re switching between apps or going back to the home screen, there’s no easy way than just using that single bar at the bottom. It’s no wonder why Google brought the same feature to Android a while back.
3. Continuous software updates
And while we’re already on the topic, owning an iPhone ensures you of having iOS updates for more than three years!
The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus are testaments to that. Launched back in September 2015, it can still run the latest version of iOS 15.
Even if it has limited OS features due to hardware limitations, the continuous software updates for almost seven (7) years is a gem for those who are still holding onto their old iPhones — especially when it’s still functional in terms of texts, calls, social media, and even basic photo and video taking.
4. App Store goodness
With over 1.8 million apps available, iOS is home to the largest App Store around. While most can also be seen in Android’s Google Play, the App Store provides faster and better updates regardless of how old your device is. Not to mention, iOS apps have better and more uniformed UI (user interface) than that of the competition.
You can also securely pay by paying through Apple Pay. Best of all? You can refund an app or game you don’t want through AppleCare.
5. Better gaming
Even if there are a bunch of Android gaming smartphones out there, most mobile game users still prefer an iPhone.
Regardless if you have the top-spec’d iPhone 13 Pro Max or just an iPhone 8 with an A11 Bionic Chip from 2017, these phones can still run most of the graphics-intensive games on the web. And with the latest 2022 Android midrangers I’ve held and reviewed, I can tell that the iPhone XR I own runs a game smoother than ever: Genshin Impact, Call of Duty: Mobile, PUBG, Pokémon GO, Asphalt 9, Mobile Legends, you name ’em!
This also dissolves the myth that iPhones are not good for gaming just because the specs aren’t high enough. With iOS’ software optimization and continuous OS updates, Apple doesn’t need to produce more hardware power just for these intense games to run smoothly.
It’s more secure, too. With the advancements of iOS and its security features, being unable to hack and cheat easily ensures you an overall better competitive gameplay experience.
6. Stunning display
Whether you’re watching your favorite Netflix series, K-Drama, K-Pop music videos, live performances, TikToks, Reels, and more, the iPhone’s display is more than enough for enjoying such content.
Admittedly, iPhones don’t have the best display tech in smartphones. Still, for day-to-day usage, those displays still look good — whether it’s an LCD or OLED. While 60Hz panels should be obsolete soon (like microUSB), it still surprises me that using an iPhone XR with a 60Hz LCD display still feels buttery smooth.
What more if you’ll buy and use the iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max with 120Hz ProMotion displays? The full iOS experience will be a blast.
7. Astounding cameras
If there’s one thing the iPhones are known for, it’s the powerful camera performance — both in photos and videos.
iPhones keep having better and better camera hardware each year. Even so, older iPhones with the same ol’ single wide camera lens at the back can still keep up in terms of quality — the new iPhone SE 2022 is a proof of that.
Still, the flexibility is limited without those extra telephoto and ultra-wide lenses that most Android smartphones possess. If you’re into Night or Pro photography, there are a lot of non-iPhone options out there (and some are honestly better). But if you’re into natural-looking photos with quality that closely resembles what you see with your naked eyes, you can never go wrong using an iPhone.
While there are lots of Android smartphones that can go against the iPhones, one thing they can’t beat is its video prowess. With Sensor-Shift OIS on the newer iPhone 12 Pro, 13, and 13 Pro variants, the better stabilization among iPhones just got even better!
With filmmakers investing on iPhones in making either short or full-length films, the new Dolby Vision HDR and Cinematic Mode are truly magical yet practical video features no one has ever dreamt of having in a smartphone. These are what we need, not 8K video recording.
8. Seamless Apple ecosystem
If you own several Apple devices, the ecosystem keeps you firm enough to stick with an iPhone — and that isn’t a bad thing. AirDrop is the most convenient way to share files from several other iPhone users, from a MacBook user like me, and even to a brother who uses an old iPad for school.
Being able to send text messages through iMessage is also another thing I consider since it doesn’t require you to fill up a regular prepaid load (or use an unwanted postpaid credit) before you can send SMS to a receiver who’s also an iPhone user.
And with Apple devices already mentioned, Continuity between your iPhone along your Mac, iPad, Apple Watch, and AirPods basically creates this ecosystem that can share not just files, but functionality all throughout whenever, wherever.
For example, being able to copy texts from one device to another or checking the notes you’ve typed on your iPhone and check it later on your Mac. You can even unlock your phone using your Watch.
Lastly, with the existence of AirPlay and CarPlay, it gives iPhone users the extensive control and connection of content to other non-Apple devices like Smart TVs and even car infotainment systems. Owning an iPhone isn’t restrictive at all.
9. Utmost privacy and security
While Apple doesn’t restrict you in using iPhones along with other devices, one thing they’re restrictive about is privacy and security.
With the presence of Face ID and TrueDepth system, not only does it unlock your phone securely, it’s also aligned with every biometric authentication you have with your phone. From purchasing apps to displaying saved bank accounts and passwords, this new way of authentication simply makes me want to keep my iPhone even longer.
And if you have an older iPhone, don’t get your hopes too low as Touch ID (paired with a fingerprint sensor) can still make your device more safe and secure. So yeah, the new iPhone SE 2022 can still be secure enough for day-to-day scenarios.
10. Find My
Unfortunately, thieves know how high the value of an iPhone is.
But with Apple’s built-in Find My feature, it’s harder to break the phone if it’s stolen (or lost somewhere). Not only you can track your phone’s location (whether online or offline), you can also track your other devices, items, and even your loved ones just in case something bad happens.
While the same security measures are being brought to other Android smartphones, this is one of the strongest selling points on why you should own an iPhone.
11. Apple One
If you want to get the most out of your iPhone, subscribing into Apple’s very own ‘Apple One’ service is the way to go!
Not only it bumps up your iCloud storage, you can also enjoy listening to songs in Apple Music, watch titles in Apple TV+, and even play games you can’t find elsewhere in Apple Arcade. All those services for the price of one monthly fee that isn’t too harsh on the wallet.
Personally, I enjoy Apple Music more than Spotify especially because the Apple offers songs with a Hi-Res or Lossless quality. Some even support Dolby Atmos.
Also, being able to bump up my iCloud storage gives me the assurance that my photos and files get backed up in the cloud every now and then.
12. Plethora of cases and accessories
From cute cases to MagSafe-supported accessories, iPhones are no strangers to this. A lot of accessory manufacturers (whether big or small) keep producing cases and accessories that will fit the iPhone first. That’s one good thing when owning an iPhone.
With this in mind, iPhone users have access to every accessory out there ranging from the basic ones to the more premium ones. Albeit, iPhone customization and protection shouldn’t come at an expensive cost.
And with Apple’s in-house MagSafe feature, producing accessories with magnets such as MagSafe cases, power banks, and wireless power chargers, all make way for a better user experience in the long run.
I was traumatized by that less-than-a-year-old Android phone I used back then before it broke down. Having an iPhone made me realize it’s easier to bring to a service center or an authorized repair shop.
Not that I’m saying iPhones are easy to repair. It’s just that, parts for iPhones (especially the genuine ones) are easier to find than of Android smartphones. Repair guides are also easier to search online just in case you want to try it yourself.
Apple even brings your right to repair your own iPhone with a Self Service Repair Store that’s available particularly in the US. This gives the user the right to purchase the necessary tools and parts needed for the procedure. It also gives them the ability to repair it if they’re knowledgeable enough to fix one.
As an experiment, I tore down my old iPhone 6 Plus during the pandemic two years ago and successfully replaced its faulty display that makes a lot of ghost touches. Today, it’s being used by my brother as his backup phone.
SEE ALSO: How to: Do-it-Yourself iPhone repair
BONUS: Emojis look best on an iPhone
Whether it’s the emoji you use for your posts, tweets, or just the fun Memojis and Animojis for iMessages, nothing beats the iPhone when it comes to these quirky stuff.
Not that it’s a big factor when choosing a phone, but it’s just a good thing to remember when you’re about to use an iPhone.
This feature is a collaboration between GadgetMatch and Power Mac Center.
Nokia announces new accessories, T20 bundle
Four new earbuds and headphones
Nokia has announced four new accessories to its growing lineup of smartphones and other tech devices.
They are the Nokia Comfort Earbuds Pro, Nokia Clarity Earbuds +, Nokia Wired and Wireless Headphones, and Nokia Go Earbuds 2 Pro.
Both the Clarity Earbuds + (PhP 3,490) and Comfort Earbuds Pro (PhP 2,990) feature Active Noise Cancellation technology and up to 20 hours of playback, making them ideal for workouts and everyday use.
For a more affordable option, the Go Earbuds 2 Pro (PhP 1,790) comes in handy, with low latency mode and sweat- and splash-resistance to boot.
Meanwhile, the foldable wired (PhP 890) and wireless (PhP 1,690) headphones sport big bass for powerful sound. The wireless variant can deliver up to 60 hours of playback.
The four new products will be available exclusively on Shopee until July 11. They may be also purchased in all Nokia mobile official stores and authorized resellers nationwide from late June.
In addition, customers may also avail a limited time bundle starting on July 1: the Nokia T20 tablet will be on sale for only PhP 10,990 — a PhP 2,000 slash from its original price – and shall be bundled with the new Nokia wired headphones.
Stranger Things 4: 4 Big Things To Expect
Every ending has its new beginning, indeed
Editor’s Note: The story has been updated to reflect new information.
Writing this specific article makes me remember my early days in GadgetMatch where I wrote two special articles about Stranger Things 3 — especially because I’m the biggest fan of the team (been a fan since Season 1).
After almost three years of (patiently) waiting, we’ll finally be able to watch Stranger Things 4 on our screens again!
Vol.1 Special Screening in Cinema 11
Seven days before the actual release of Stranger Things 4: Volume 1, Netflix Philippines invited us for a special screening of its first episode — right at Power Planet Mall’s last cinema booth, Cinema 11 (y’know, Eleven 🥁).
The littlest set details outside the cinema made me cherish the good ol’ days of the First Season of Stranger Things from 2016. From those bright neon lights, a retro-styled photobooth, an ST4-branded popcorn box, and a soda cup. Even the “swag set” full of ST4 goodies that imitated the look of the spooky creel house, This also reminded me of how the series (as well as the fanbase) expanded entirely until it became a hit globally.
Although I went there all by myself, I still enjoyed every bit of the screening. To best describe everything, here’s my Instagram Reel roundup of it:
Vol.2 Special Screening at Glorietta 4
While the first special screening was held at Cinema 11, this time it was at Glorietta 4’s Activity Center — and it’s something any Stranger Things fan wouldn’t want to miss.
Other than the Upside Down “4” logo of the mall itself, what’s special is what you’ll find inside.
Going straight to Glorietta 4’s Activity Center shows you a perfect glimpse of Vecna’s Mind Lair. From the walls to the floors, you can tell that it was a spot-on portrayal of the lair. Kudos to the creative team behind this nerve-wracking installment.
And the star of the show is none other than Vecna himself. While it may be creepy for most (especially to non-fans), for me it was an astonishing feat of art installation right at the heart of Glorietta 4.
Vecna-ception? Well, you’re not wrong. The real Vecna showed up in front of us and did the same iconic scene with Max from one of Stranger Things’ most memorable episodes — Vol.1 Chapter 4: Dear Billy.
Fans and influencers alike flaunted their full-blown Stranger Things-inspired outfits which clearly show that the Netflix series has a huge following in the Philippines.
While I didn’t take any selfies with Vecna, the photo of my foot stepping on one of Vecna’s “mind veins” is enough for me to say “I was at Vecna’s Mind Lair and I survived even if I have a lot of sufferings” 🤣
You can watch a virtual tour of Vecna’s Mind Lair by watching my Instagram Reel:
View this post on Instagram
The Vecna mind projection will be available for the public to see at Glorietta 4 until 2nd of July — just a day after the premiere of Stranger Things 4 Vol.2.
4 big things to expect
After watching the first episode of Stranger Things 4: Volume 1 for about an hour and fifteen minutes, there are four things I think we should expect in the series.
1. Out with the old, in with the new?
After the devastating phenomenon that happened in Hawkins last season, several characters have moved into a new town. The Byers, together with El(even) in mind. That also means Will and El have to deal with a new set of people in a seemingly unfamiliar environment.
Other characters have remained in the OG town, though. From the Wheelers, Sinclairs, Dustin, Joe, Robin, and even Max, they have continued with their lives despite being stuck in the same ol’ town. And oh, as the gang turned from kids to teens, do expect some dramatic changes in the way they act — especially after what happened.
P.S: There’s a new school club, too, that’s hilariously fun and cool despite its degrading image to the eyes of many.
2. Familiar and unfamiliar faces
Other than the remaining original cast from Season 1, a new season also means expecting new characters on the block. Apart from new schoolmates, there are also people that might help the initial set of kiddos who have saved Will from the darker underworld a.k.a the Upside Down.
The first few minutes of the episode was also revealed through Stranger Things’ YouTube channel showing how the Hawkins Laboratory had more than 11 Eleven-like superchildren that are being tested and experimented — until everything fell apart because of one superchild that ruined how things work inside the lab.
3. Jim isn’t dead
Jim Hopper’s sudden disappearance after the closing of the Upside Down had a lot of fans shaking their heads. Most (including myself) have speculated that he already died. Well, we can’t afford losing one more main character after the death of Bob from Season 2. Plus, Billy and Alexei just last season.
Fortunately, Jim, in his new haircut, appeared on the official trailer of Stranger Things 4. And just as shown in the first episode of the first volume, his presence can be felt — just from another side of the planet.
4. Another monster to kill
The Demogorgon and Mind Flayer are two of the most wicked supervillains ever existed. Whether that may be in the history of Hawkins or just in the eyes of people.
But the two evil creatures aren’t the end of the gang’s fate. A new town means there’s a new monster, too — namely, Vecna.
As shown at the end of the official trailer, the new horrendous creature is in human form. It can manipulate the mind of the affected individual — even the dimension where s/he’s at. While I won’t be specific about what happened, it sure is a powerful, demonic creature. It can truly make someone disturbingly psychotic and literally broken inside and out.
Biggest season ever with super-sized episodes
After watching the first episode of the first volume, I can say it was a rollercoaster ride of emotions. First it was thrilling, then it became a full-on comedy show. Next thing you know, you’re already mindf*cked with what’s happening. I always say this but still, hands-down to the team behind Stranger Things for making the fourth season more exciting to watch (despite being borderline creepy and horrifying).
The First Volume of Stranger Things Season 4 was released by Netflix on May 27, 2022 (Friday) with seven episodes. Most episodes are reported to be as long as a full-length film.
On the other hand, Volume 2 with a whopping total of two episodes will be released after two months: exactly July 1st (also a Friday) — just four days before the independence of the United States of America. That makes the series run nine episodes in total.
PLDT Fast Hub: A taste of (near) 10,000mbps
With the PLDT Fast Hub
Fast and consistently reliable Internet speed has always felt like a pipe dream in the Philippines. But PLDT is doing its best to make it a reality. The latest expansion sees the company bringing up to 10,000mbps to select areas in the county.
The number seems staggering. To show exactly what it can do, we spent an afternoon at the PLDT Fast Hub. Here’s what the experience was like.
Close to 10,000mbps
We conducted several OOKLA speed tests and never quite got to exactly 10,000mbps. However, the speeds were consistently around 8,000mbps. That’s still more than any other plan in the Philippines at the moment.
Specific hardware required
Naturally, something this fast has to come with its own set of specific hardware. Every household is different, so you’ll need to fill-up this form from PLDT to find out exactly what’s required for your setup. Consequently, your setup will determine the full pricing.
How many devices can it handle? Covering up to around 6,000 square maters thanks to the ASUS ZenWifi and a mesh system, the service can accommodate up to 100 bandwidth-hungry devices at once without struggling. With this, you still have room to connect a few more passive smart devices.
And that’s exactly what was on display on the Fast Hub.
This was the primary computer connected to the service. We loaded a bunch of sites, which, to be honest, didn’t really put too much strain on the service. Imagine 10 more of these in the household and the connection can still handle it smoothly.
Is there a gamer in the family? Having consistent and fast bandwidth is key, especially if you play competitive multiplayer games like Valorant. We tried our hand on a few games and while we ultimately ate dust in the game, the internet connection more than held up.
To set the mood while taking these photos, we fired up TWICE’s Hello (Performed by Nayeon, Momo, and Chaeyoung). Music streaming typically doesn’t really eat up too much bandwidth, so you can vibe to whatever your jam is to your heart’s content.
Some Playstation 5/console games require you to be online. Inside the fast hub, we ran a few races on Gran Turismo 7. Again, the overall experience was seamless. Would’ve loved to be able to test this on NBA 2K’s Park since that’s the mode we consistently have trouble connecting to. Perhaps another time.
Connected Smart Home
Other than the aforementioned devices, the PLDT Fast Hub also featured a bunch of smart lights. We can’t recall the exact number but there were probably over 15 lights setup. All of which responded swiftly after being issued voice commands via Google Assistant.
There was also a smart vacuum in the room which also responded to voice commands. It didn’t quite do exactly what you told it to, but perhaps that’s more the device than the Internet connection.
They even had this smart mirror in the room. With it you can pull up any workouts on YouTube and follow-along the exercise while the video is playing.
The PLDT Fast Hub delivered a taste of a dream. In fact, the whole setup likely didn’t even push the connection to the limit. But to know that this is now a possibility in certain locations is encouraging. Hoping it becomes more widely available and accessible soon.
To know if it covers your area, again, you may sign up on this form.
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