Philippines

Best Budget Smartphones below P15,000 (July 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 July list.

Here they are in no particular order:

Honor 6X / Huawei GR5 2017 / Huawei Mate 9 Lite (PhP 11,990)

No matter what name it goes by in your region, Huawei’s borderline-midrange smartphone ticks all the right boxes in our ever-evolving criteria for what makes a handset great. We fell in love with its premium build and fun dual-camera mode, which are two features previously unheard of at this price point.

REVIEW: Honor 6X (aka Huawei GR5 2017 or Huawei Mate 9 Lite)

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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Deals

Buy AMD’s Ryzen 7000 series-Star Wars Jedi: Survivor bundle

Cal Kestis’ adventure continues

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AMD Ryzen Jedi Survivor

AMD has an early offer for those anticipating the release of Star Wars Jedi: Survivor.

Until April 1, 2023, customers may avail of the AMD Ryzen Game Bundle which includes select 7000 series processors and access to Star Wars Jedi: Survivor.

Powered by the new Zen 4 architecture, Ryzen 7000 series desktop processors offer incredible performance for gamers — up to 15% faster than the Zen 3 generation.

When purchased, gamers will receive a redemption code and will have until May 6, 2023 to redeem their copy of Star Wars Jedi: Survivor.

The action adventure game is set to release on March 17 for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, and Windows.

The sequel to Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order stars now Jedi Knight Cal Kestis, whose story continues with adventures that will push him further than ever as he fights to protect the galaxy from descending into darkness.

Players will discover new planets and visit familiar frontiers in the Star Wars galaxy in the game, each with unique biomes, challenges, and enemies.

Watch the Star Wars Jedi: Survivor trailer. 

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Apps

Finally! Grab users may now pay directly using GCash

Much-awaited partnership

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GCash Grab

Grab Philippines and GCash have finally struck a partnership deal that will make payments on the superapp even easier and more convenient.

Starting February, users will be able to add GCash as a direct payment method on the Grab app, making cashless transactions on food and grocery deliveries, car transport, and other services cashless.

Prior to the collaboration, GCash users could only send money from their account to their GrabPay wallet, and vice-versa, causing a bit of hassle switching in between apps on one’s phone screen.

The partnership also means there will be no more transaction fees unlike before when Grab users have to cash in using their credit or debit cards or linked bank accounts.

Grab customers may also avail of GCash exclusive deals, and even get treats when they pay using the e-wallet.

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News

No more ‘WoRk oNLiNe NoW’ spam texts

2.72 Billion spam texts blocked

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There was an uptick in the amount of spam and scam text messages that Filipinos received in 2022. Globe Telecomm says it’s done its part and has blocked many of these spam texts.

Globe says they blocked a record-high 2.72 Billion scam and spam messages in 2022. That’s more than double of blocked messages versus 2021. An understandable record considering the incredibly high volume of spam messages ranging from online work offers to random casino or raffle wins.

Globe Chief Information Security Officer Anton Bonifacio says “We will continue to invest in cybersecurity systems and work tirelessly to provide them with a safe and enjoyable online experience as we also take part in the full implementation of the SIM Registration Act.”

Register your Globe SIM card here.

Globe has spent about $20 million to step up its spam and scam SMS detection and blocking system. Its round-the-clock Security Operations Center filters out these unwanted messages, including app-to-person and person-to-person SMS of international and domestic sources.

The rising number of SMS-related crimes prompted the Philippine government to enact Republic Act No 11934 or the SIM (subscriber identity module) Registration Act last year to address the problem. SIM Registrations are still ongoing.

SEE ALSO: How to register your SIM in the Philippines

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