Philippines

Best Budget Smartphones below P15,000 (August 2017 Edition)

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Welcome to GadgetMatch’s list of the best smartphones priced below PhP 15,000! Each month, we update our selection with the budget-friendly phones we believe are most deserving of your hard-earned savings.

Even though the spotlight has been on high-end smartphones this entire year, there have been a few surprisingly good entry-level handsets coming out lately, as well. So good, in fact, that we had to reassess our entire list.


Here they are in no particular order:

Huawei GR3 2017 / Honor 8 Lite (PhP 8,990)

As much as we enjoyed having Huawei’s GR5 2017 (also known as the Honor 6X) on this list, we couldn’t help but replace it with its more affordable sibling, the GR3 2017 (confusingly called the Honor 8 Lite in some regions). You can never go wrong with a midrange chipset and premium-looking body in a sub-PhP 10,000 handset.

REVIEW: Huawei GR3 2017

OPPO A57 (PhP 11,990)

Now that OPPO’s F series belongs in the midrange category of our lists (the recently launched F3 is valued above PhP 15,000), it’s up to the A57 to be the gateway into the Chinese company’s portfolio. Armed with an efficient Snapdragon 435 processor, selfie-centric front camera, and speedy fingerprint scanner, the A57 is OPPO’s best budget bet.

REVIEW: OPPO A57

ASUS ZenFone 3 Max 5.5 (PhP 9,995)

ASUS has been releasing ZenFone 3 variants like there’s no tomorrow, but the one offering the most value for the price is the 5.5-inch ZenFone 3 Max. It’s the larger version of the original ZenFone 3 Max, and borrows the faster camera of the ZenFone 3 Laser.

REVIEW: ASUS ZenFone 3 Max 5.5

Xiaomi Redmi Note 4X (PhP 9,800)

We finally had to take out Xiaomi’s Redmi 4 Prime on this list to make way for the Redmi Note 4X. It’s bigger and more fun to play with; plus, it has all the same features we loved from its smaller sibling, including the large battery, efficient processor, and solid build quality.

REVIEW: Xiaomi Redmi Note 4X

Vivo Y53 (PhP 5,990)

When you talk about great value, you must include Vivo’s Y53. Despite having no fingerprint scanner, its processor and build quality are among the things you used to find on phones twice the price of this handset — truly a serious consideration when you can’t spend more than PhP 6,000.

REVIEW: Vivo Y53

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Automotive

Honda officially launches the all-new BR-V in the Philippines

This 7-seater SUV just got better!

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Honda Cars Philippines Inc. (HCPI) has just announced refreshed models of their second best-selling car, the 7-Seater BR-V at the City of Dreams Manila in Parañaque City.

From the old 1.5 Touring CVT, it now has two variants: The 1.5 S CVT and the 1.5 V CVT.


The exterior already shows changes; it has a sleeker design that makes it stand out from afar. The two new iterations now feature a chrome front grille and updated front and rear bumpers. The 16-inch alloy wheels also have a new design.

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They both feature reverse cameras which are helpful for parking on blind spots. The company has also kept the already existing roof rail, halogen headlamps, and fog lights.

They are both equipped with 7-inch touchscreen displays, but the higher-end V model supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The interior may look similar with a refreshed Dark Steel color, but the 1.5 V CVT features a more premium leather interior with red leather trims and red accents to complement its overall look.

Both of them still feature a spacious cabin with enough headroom and leg space for its passengers.

Under the hood, it has a 1.5-liter i-VTEC engine mated with Honda’s very own Earth Dreams Technology Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) which promises a fuel-efficient driving and smooth-sailing experience.

For convenience, 1.5 V CVT comes with a Smart Entry with Push Start System and Paddle Shifters. The ECON mode and eco-coaching ambient lights remind drivers to drive more efficiently.

Added technology systems make this car better: the G-Force Control (G-CON) Collision Safety Body, Driver and Front Passenger SRS Airbags, Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD), and Speed Sensing Auto Door Lock are all helpful in avoiding fatalities. You also get Hill Start Assist (HSA) and Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) for added safety measure.

To ensure your child’s safety at all times, 2019 BR-V now features ISOFIX anchors to securely latch a child’s seat. It also has a five-star ASEAN NCAP rating in the category of Adult Occupancy Protection (AOP).

The all-new Honda BR-V is now available in 36 Honda dealerships nationwide with the following suggested retail prices:

  • 1.5 V CVT at PhP 1,155,000
  • 1.5 S CVT at PhP 1,035,000

There are several colors to choose from: Lunar Silver Metallic and Modern Silver Metallic are available for both variants. There are also two new colors limited to the 1.5 V CVT: Passion Red Pearl and the PhP 20,000-worth Platinum White Pearl. Meanwhile, Taffeta White is only available for the 1.5 S CVT, while the Premium Amber Metallic is now available on the same variant.

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Apps

GCash eyes 365,000 trees planted in 365 days with the help of its users

Through a new ‘green’ feature

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GCash has introduced a new “green” feature on their app called GCash Forest. The new feature inside GCash’s app aims to contribute to environmental preservation with the help of its users. As the leading mobile wallet in the Philippines, GCash eyes to plant 365,000 trees in 365 days.

The goal of GCash Forest is to help Filipinos contribute to tree planting activities by simply using the GCash app. Basically, GCash subscribers will have the ability to plant virtual trees that’ll have real-life counterparts. GCash is not alone in this; they have partnered with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), World Wildlife Fund (WWF), and the Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BIOFIN).


The DENR will provide the land resources in Ipo Watershed, while WWF will be providing trees and manpower. BIOFIN will then monitor the progress of the efforts. The Ipo Watershed is an essential component of the Angat-Umiray-Ipo watersheds system which supplies 98 percent of Metro Manila’s water.

For users to be able to contribute to the tree planting efforts of GCash Forest, they need to collect “green energy” by simply (and frequently) using the GCash app. Once users get enough green energy, they’ll now choose which species of trees they wish to plant in a selected area at the Ipo Watershed.

GCash users will receive a certificate of ownership with a serial number once their trees are planted. Of course, they’ll also get updates on the growth of their trees and fun facts through the GCash app.

SEE ALSO: Globe launches Southeast Asia’s first 5G service backed by Huawei

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News

Xiaomi Mi 9T: Pricing and availability details in the Philippines

It’s the rebranded Redmi K20

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Xiaomi Mi 9T | Image credit: Xiaomi

Xiaomi‘s newest midrange phone has reached more markets. After launching the Redmi K20 in China, the Chinese company has brought and rebranded the phone outside of its home turf as the Mi 9T. Launched internationally two weeks ago, the Mi 9T has landed in the Philippines.

The phone is powered by a Snapdragon 730 processor with a 6.39-inch Full HD+ AMOLED display with an in-display fingerprint sensor. Since the phone doesn’t have a notch or a hole, it sports a pop-up camera mechanism housing a 20-megapixel selfie shooter. At the back, it has three cameras: a main 48-megapixel sensor, a 13-megapixel ultra-wide shooter, and an 8-megapixel telephoto camera.


Pre-orders for the Mi 9T will start from June 24, 12 noon, until June 30, through Xiaomi’s official store on Lazada and at Mi Authorized Stores. It’ll be initially available in Carbon Black starting at Php 15,990 for the 6GB+64GB memory and storage configuration, and Php 17,990 for the 6GB+128GB variant.

The Mi 9T will be exclusively available on Lazada first before it goes on sale at Mi Authorized stores. The other color options — Flame Red and Glacier Blue — will be available shortly after.

SEE ALSO: Xiaomi Mi 9T unboxed ahead of official launch, has midrange specs

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