Smartphones

ASUS ZenFone 3 Deluxe unboxing

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It may be late to the market, but the ASUS ZenFone 3 Deluxe is finally starting to trickle out, with Asia being the next stop for the Taiwanese manufacturer’s most premium — and most expensive — smartphone yet.

ASUS certainly took its sweet time releasing this one, and it shows: The Deluxe is luxe from the inside out and beyond the hardware. Its box alone is likely to elicit “oohs” before it’s even opened, enough to give the impression that what’s inside is valuable. (To be perfectly clear, it is; the $700 5.7-inch Deluxe costs as much as an iPhone 7 Plus or a Pixel XL.)

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[irp posts=”7939″ name=”ASUS ZenFone 3 Max 5.5-inch review”]

Our 5.7-inch Deluxe in gold came in this sturdy navy blue box. The box features a magnetic flap that keeps it closed and holds the package together.

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The inside of the box reveals a fancy interior (accentuated by ASUS’ concentric-circle detailing, of course); it is broken up into compartments with the unit up top, and the accessories and documentation stored underneath. There’s a pull-out tab for the hidden compartment.

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The bundled charger (and Type-C cable) outputs at up to 9 volts and supports fast charging. We’ll reserve our judgment for the review, but so far we’ve been able to consistently get back to a full charge in a little over an hour.

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The white-and-silver wired earphones are housed in a plastic casing. It comes with three sets of additional earbud attachments, so you’re more likely to find one that fits snug in your ear. We like them. A lot. Apart from the phone (duh!), they’re the highlight of this unboxing. We haven’t tested them thoroughly yet so we can’t be sure of their quality. Check back in the coming days.

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The branded SIM eject tool is the same one you’ll find bundled with other ZenFone models released this year.

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First impressions

By now, you must be wondering: “So, what about the handset?” Well, there’s certainly a lot to like about the the ZenFone 3 Deluxe. It’s lightning fast — absolutely the most powerful and responsive ZenFone we’ve used thus far, bar none; the AMOLED display is lovely and incredibly crisp; and the cameras take vibrant, detailed images.

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Everything seems to be in order here. But, as you know, some phones — especially the most expensive ones — deserve a deeper dive than others. And we’ll be sure to take that plunge in the days to come. By then, we’ll be sure to arrive at a definitive conclusion as to whether or not this phone is worth the wait and high price of admission.

[irp posts=”3880″ name=”ASUS ZenFone 3 review”]

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Lenovo drops a full suite of smart devices

Everything from smartphones to robot vacuums

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There’s a bunch of launches after the long dead-silence during the lockdown and Lenovo is joining in by going ham on the new releases. Honestly, it feels like being back in school when every teacher seemed to coyly schedule all their project and exam due dates on the same god-forsaken day. Take it easy, guys. I’d love to have a cozy smart home and a tech upgrade but we all just need to get through this month’s rent first.

That aside, strap up, boys and girls because boy does Lenovo have a line-up for you. They’re coming in with new models for their smartphone line-up and a fresh new range of smart home devices for their summer campaign: The Lenovo Summer Sale.

Lenovo K5 Play and K5 Pro

The Lenovo K5 Play has a 5.7-in IPS LCD screen with a 720 x 1440 resolution.  The K5 Play is powered by a Snapdragon 430 Octa-core chipset with up to 3GB RAM and 32GB internal storage. It features a dual rear camera (13MP F/2.2 and 2MP) and an 8MP F/2.0 front camera.

As for the Lenovo K5 Pro counterpart, its IPS LCD measures 5.99-in with a 1080 x 2160 resolution. The K5 Pro has a Snapdragon 636 Octa-core chipset with up to 6GB RAM and 64GB internal storage. It also features the same dual-camera set-up in the front and back (16MP and 5MP) with an added front camera flash.

The Lenovo K5 Play retails at PhP 3,990 and the K5 Pro retails at PhP 5,990.

Lenovo S5 Pro

The Lenovo S5 Pro has a 6.2-in IPS LCD screen with a 1080 x 2246 resolution. The S5 Pro is powered by a Snapdragon 636 Octa-core coupled with Adreno 509 graphics card and up to 6GB RAM and up to 128GB internal storage. The S5 Pro has two sets of cameras on both front and back. For the rear camera, it’s decked out with a 20MP F/2.6 and 12MP F/1.8 combo while the front has a 20MP F/2.2 and 8MP dual camera set-up. The S5 Pro has features like a rear-mounted fingerprint reader and an infrared camera face unlock for added security.

The Lenovo S5 Pro has a starting price of PhP 7,495.

For the first time ever in the Philippines, Lenovo is releasing several smart home devices designed to make any place feel more like home. Here are Lenovo’s newly launched Smart Home devices:

Lenovo Smart Tabs

Need a good line-up of smart tabs? Lenovo has a few to choose from: the Lenovo Smart Tab M8, M10 HD, and M10 FHD Plus. The tablets perform tasks through voice commands wherever you decide to set yours up and come with dual front-facing speakers and dual microphones powered by Dolby Atmos. There’s a Lenovo Smart Tab variant that comes with a built-in kickstand for ease of use at the price of PhP 4,990.

The Lenovo Smart Tab M8 has a price tag of PhP 8,490. The Smart Tab M10 HD costs PhP 9,990. And, The Smart Tab M10 FHD Plus costs PhP 13,990.

2-in-1 Laptop/Tablet hybrid

Lenovo is bringing nine new variants of the popular D330 2-in-1 device. The D330 can be used as either tablet or laptop with its slick hybrid design. It is powered by an Intel Pentium Silver N5000 processor and has the recent Windows 10 operating system.

Lenovo Robot Vacuum Cleaner T1, T1 Pro, E1

Robot Vacuum Cleaner T1

Done with doing the housework after weeks in the lockdown? Let these little guys do the sweeping for you. All variants come with an Automatic Dirt Disposal that spontaneously empties dust bins for quick and easy cleaning. They all can also be controlled and customized through both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

The Lenovo Robot Vacuum Cleaner T1 costs PhP 19,995; T1 Pro — PhP 24,995; and E1 — PhP 9,995.

If you think the line-up of new releases is over, you’d be just like me: wrong. Lenovo added new accessories to complement all the other gadgets they have available.

HE08 Neckband Headset, HD100 Wireless Headset, HT 28 TWS Buds

Lenovo’s HE08 Neckband Headset, HD 100 Wireless Headset, and HT28 TWS Buds can playback sound at farther ranges and transmit sound faster with its Bluetooth 5.0 support. Lenovo boasts its battery life with their HT28 TWS Buds lasting six hours of playtime. The buds are also waterproof so you can stay in to avoid catching the virus and sing to dramatic music in the shower.

Lenovo’s HE08 Neckband Headset is priced at PhP 1,495; HD 100 Wireless Headset — PhP 1,995; and HT28 TWS Buds — PhP 2,495.

Lenovo Smartwatch S2

The Smartwatch S2 can track motion speed, heart rate, sleep, and workouts with a customizable Sports Mode. It’s powered by the Nordic 5283 processor and is able to easily withstand day-to-day use with its zinc allow frame, tempered glass display, and 3ATM water resistance.

The Lenovo Smartwatch S2 costs PhP 2,995.

Lenovo 14,000mAh USB-C Laptop Powerbank

Designed with modern professionals in mind, Lenovo developed this powerbank to keep you uninterrupted while on-the-go. This portable powerhouse provides 48Wh battery life mobile workstations and has two integrated USB-A ports and one USB-C port.

The Lenovo 14,000mAh USB-C Laptop Powerbank is priced at PhP 4,995.

All the products listed above are available in Lenovo partner stores nationwide and online through the Lenovo Mobile Flagship Store on Lazada.

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Sony Xperia 1 II camera phone now available for pre-order

The flagship phone is quite late to the game

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In February, Sony announced its new flagship Xperia 1 II phone which features advanced camera features incorporated from industry-leading Sony Alpha lineup of cameras. The market is currently ruled by Google’s Pixel phones and every other brand has been trying to catch up.

The phone was supposed to be unveiled at MWC 2020, but the tradeshow’s cancellation prompted Sony to opt for an online-only launch. Now, the brand has disclosed its price and availability details. The Xperia 1 II will be up for pre-order from June 1 with a price of US$ 1,200. That’s US$ 200 more than its predecessor’s launch price. In Europe, it’ll go for €1,199.

If you pre-order the phone before June 28, a free pair of Sony WF-1000XM3 true wireless earbuds with active noise cancellation shall be bundled along. Shipments in the US shall start from July 24 via Sony’s authorized retailers and will be compatible with Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Cricket, and MetroPCS networks. Keep in mind, the phone will not have 5G support in the US.

However, it seems Sony is targeting a niche segment of users who care about photography and videography on the go. LG has also followed a similar strategy recently by giving up on appealing the mass audience and carving a new category. For Sony, this isn’t a very difficult task since the brand is known for its audiovisual legacy.

To begin with, the phone has a triple-lens camera incorporating Sony Alpha technology and  ZEISS optics that are specially calibrated with 3D iToF. Best-in-class autofocus technology will let the camera churn out 20 fps burst shooting with 60 times per second AF/AE calculations and real-time Eye AF for humans and animals. For videography, Cinematography Pro can record in multiple frame rates and offer more manual controls for autofocus and white balance.

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Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Lite: Price and availability in the Philippines

A more affordable Mi Note 10

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You heard it right! The Lite version of Xiaomi’s Mi Note 10 is coming to the Philippines.

Unlike its bigger sibling, the Mi Note 10 Lite sports a 64MP wide-angle camera. Other than the main Sony IMX686 sensor, it also features an 8MP ultra-wide lens with a 120º field of view, 5MP depth sensor, and a 2MP macro camera. Overall, you’ll get a quad rear-camera setup.

Instead of the usual punch-hole camera cutout, you’ll get a dot drop notch that houses its 16MP AI selfie camera. A special camera feature called “Vlog mode” lets you choose from eight vlog templates. You can then create easy and creative vlog content in minutes with this feature.

The processor is still the Snapdragon 730G chipset — which also powers the bigger Mi Note 10. You’ll also get a high-capacity 5,260mAh battery that supports 30W fast charging out of the box and promises a full charge in just 64 minutes. Xiaomi says it one single charge can last for up to two days.

With the phone’s design, it’s sandwiched by a Corning Gorilla Glass 5 front and back. It features an epic 3D Curved 6.47-inch Full HD+ AMOLED display for that fullscreen experience. For security, it has an under-display fingerprint reader.

Pricing and availability

The Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Lite will launch in the Philippines first at Xiaomi’s official Lazada flagship store on June 4, 2020. The 64GB/6GB RAM configuration will retail at PhP 16,990 while the 128GB/8GB RAM variant will be sold at PhP 18,990. The phone will soon roll out at Authorized Mi Stores and offline Xiaomi retailers. It will be available in three stunning colors: Nebula Purple, Glacier White, and Midnight Black.

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