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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Automotive

New compact SUV Mercedes-Benz GLA premieres in PH

Sporty, fits more, and comes with some fancy tech

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The new GLA is the eighth model to join the line-up and rounds off the current Modular Front Architecture (MFA) from Mercedes-Benz. At the same time, it represents the entry level into Mercedes-Benz successful family of SUV models.

The new GLA combines the best from the two high-volume segments, the compact cars and the SUVs. It embodies the perfect synergy between pure beauty and robust off-road elements. It carries Mercedes-Benz’ signature SUV design and trailblazing technologies as a true demonstration of modern luxury.

Sporty from every perspective

The sharpened SUV character and expressive design underscore the new GLA’s claim to setting the standard in its class. More than a commanding view of the road ahead, the new second-generation GLA offers a rewarding view of what’s next.

As a compact SUV, it fits in nearly any open space and yet has room for your entire life. The character has been significantly reinforced compared with the previous model. The height of the new GLA, at 1611 millimeters (1616 with roof rails), exceeds that of its predecessor by more than ten centimeters.

The GLA 200 AMG Line boasts an attractive sporty appearance both inside and out. In particular, the AMG Body Styling comes with a diamond radiator grille with pins in chrome, 19inch 5 twin-spoke light-alloy wheels, black roof liner and polished aluminium roof rails.

The side and rear views are characterized by the muscular shoulders of the vehicle. In addition, the new generation multifunction sports steering wheel in Nappa leather stands for exquisite look and feel of the new GLA.

Fit more in. Fit in more.

Within a more nimble length, the new GLA gives you more space to ride, more room to shop, stow and be spontaneous. The seating position for both the driver and the front passenger is higher and more upright than in the predecessor model, and thus more typical of an SUV.

The new GLA offers a more spacious interior with seats that are incredibly comfortable. The rear seat backrest is 40:20:40 split, with each section folding down individually. This allows better space management for cargo loading and gives passengers a more configurable seating position for greater overall comfort.

Comfortable loading is also seen with low boot sill. Its luggage compartment height can be adjusted in 2 stages, thanks to a continuous luggage compartment floor console, it enables even better use of the available space.

MBUX: a new era of connectivity

Enjoying the solitude and sharing it with everyone at the same time is possible with modern connectivity services. It is equipped with Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX). The MBUX multimedia system comes with 7-inch instrument and media display and has its own intelligent voice assistant which is activated with the code word “Hey Mercedes”.

Smartphones can be connected as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, and the system supports the major applications and selected apps including navigation.

Another highlight is the comprehensive touch operation concept – the combination of a touchscreen, touchpad on the center console and touch control buttons in the steering wheel. In addition to the intuitive operating experience, less driver distraction is another advantage.

Impressive Performance

The GLA is always ready for what’s around the corner. From a tight corner of the city, to a tight corner of a back road, the new GLA is agile and easy to maneuver. Turbo power and a solid stance make it quick on its feet and confident in your hands.

The GLA 200 AMG Line only has one engine option, although it has enough power for daily commuting or longer excursions. The turbocharged 1.3-liter four-cylinder engine produces 163 horsepower and 250 Nm of torque. It comes paired with a 7G dual-clutch automatic transmission with cruise control and standard with front-wheel drive. With DYNAMIC SELECT, one console control calls up a range of performance profiles such as ”ECO”, “Comfort”, “Sport”, and Individual.

It also has ECO Start/Stop system that automatically shuts off the engine when you’re at stoplights or idling. This system helps save on fuel and reduces emissions. Once you lift your foot off the brake, the engine starts back up immediately. However, if you don’t want to use this feature, you can easily disable it.

GLA Safety: feel at ease

The new GLA makes a further step in terms of safety courtesy of its driving assistance systems with cooperative driver support. Mercedes-Benz Intelligent Drive combines safety and convenience innovations. With these intelligent systems, Mercedes-Benz is not only setting standards in automotive engineering, but is also taking another important step forward on the road to accident-free driving. This therefore allows the driver to experience a new dimension of safety, convenience and stress relief.

The GLA is able to react when the driver doesn’t. Active Brake Assist is charged in many situations with applying autonomous braking to avoid a collision or to reduce its severity. The ATTENTION ASSIST with adjustable sensitivity can warn the driver on detecting the typical signs of inattentiveness or drowsiness.

Moreover, the GLA 200 AMG Line is loaded with Light and Sight Package that provides added interior value appeal and optimum visibility in the vehicle. It comprises functional comfort- and safety-enhancing lighting. Parking is made easy with Parking Package consists of Active Parking Assist with reversing camera, providing support when parking and maneuvering. Tire Pressure Loss Warning System monitors the inflation pressure of all four tires while driving.

Pricing and availability

The new GLA is now available at all Mercedes-Benz dealerships. Introductory SRP is PhP 3,290,000 (US$ 67, 874).


This is a press release from Mercedes-Benz Philippines

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News

Smart rollouts 5G service in key Visayas, Mindanao areas

Look out for Smart’s 5G in Boracay, Cebu, Iloilo and Davao

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Telcos in the Philippines like Smart and Globe are preparing for the next big thing in cellular network — 5G. As a matter of fact, Smart’s 5G network is live now in select areas in the Philippines. Now, the telco is pushing ahead with a wider country rollout by expanding to select areas in Visayas and Mindanao.

Key areas where Smart is expanding its next-gen network include select vicinities of Boracay, Cebu, Iloilo, and Davao. The telco now has more 5G coverage than ever, building on the areas where the network is now live. Up until the expansion to Visayas and Mindanao, Smart’s 5G network is mainly limited to Luzon. These Luzon areas include:

  • Makati Central Business District (CBD)
  • Bonifacio Global City CBD
  • Araneta City
  • Mall of Asia Bay Area
  • North Avenue in Quezon City
  • Taft Avenue in Manila
  • Ortigas CBD
  • Select areas along EDSA
  • New Clark City in Pampanga

Strategic locations in these provinces and cities also have Smart’s 5G coverage:

  • Cavite
  • Laguna
  • Rizal
  • Manila City
  • Quezon City
  • Makati
  • Taguig
  • Pasig
  • Mandaluyong
  • Marikina
  • Parañaque
  • Valenzuela
  • Caloocan
  • Navotas
  • San Juan
  • Pasay
Smart 5G signal marker in their own Makati headquarters

Smart 5G signal marker in their own Makati headquarters

Faster upgrade to 5G

To encourage more people to switch to 5G, Smart is now making the network available to all Prepaid subscribers. Back in July, only Smart Postpaid subscribers can take advantage of the network. Willing subscribers now only need a 5G-enabled SIM card and device to use Smart’s next-generation network.

Luckily, the telco partnered with big brands to bring more 5G devices in the country. Smart’s online store now has a selection of 5G-ready devices from Huawei, Samsung, realme, and vivo. These devices can also be had on Smart’s selection of postpaid plans.

And for the unconvinced, 5G-ready handsets are available for use on select Smart Stores in Metro Manila. Here, subscribers can take advantage of super-fast speeds and low latency upon leveraging Smart’s 5G networks.

It won’t be long again before Smart expands its 5G network to more areas in the country. The telco has been preparing for the arrival of 5G all along, beginning with speeds tests in 2016. Over the last two years, it had set up 5G base stations, launched lifestyle hubs, and enabled next-gen connectivity in critical places across Metro Manila.

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Accessories

realme Buds Q ‘for Gen Z’ now official

Budget TWS earphones that do not look like AirPods

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realme Buds Q

It’s always refreshing to see a pair of TWS earbuds that looking nothing like Apple AirPods. That’s exactly what the realme Buds Q is.

The realme Buds Q was designed by José Lévy — the cooperated designer of Hermès and the art director of the realme Design Studio. Like their entire product range, this is primarily targeted at the youth (Gen Zs).

realme says Lévy took inspiration from the round cobblestones found along the shores of Normandy beach where he spent most of his youth. He and the realme team iterated the design over 200 times. They fine-tuned the curvature of the G3 curve just to give users a cobblestone-like design that is mellow and comfortable.

On the specs end, the realme Buds Q has a 10mm Large Driver and Dynamic Bass Boost. With the charging case, you should get up to 20 hours of music playback. The buds could also go on for three hours of single continuous calling time, four and a half hours of single continuous music listening time, five hours of single continuous gaming time, and six hours of single continuous video streaming time.

Pricing and availability

The realme Buds Q will be available starting September 30 and retails for PhP 1,490. It comes as a freebie for the first 10 buyers of the realme 7 Pro and is discounted by PhP 500 on Lazada only on September 30.

SEE ALSO: realme 7 Pro review | realme 7 review | realme Buds Q hands-on


BUY THE REALME BUDS Q HERE

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