Philippines

Best Budget Smartphones below P15,000 (June 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 since Mobile World Congress 2017 (MWC), there have been a few surprisingly good entry-level handsets coming out lately, as well. So good, in fact, that we had to knock out some of our favorites in our May 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 F1s (Updated Variant – PhP 13,990)

While the F3 hasn’t rolled out yet and we’ve yet to review it, the updated F1s with 4GB of memory (up from 3GB) and 64GB of expandable storage (up from 32GB) is our top pick from OPPO. This selfie-centric midranger offers a sleek metal design, one of the fastest fingerprint sensors in the market, and a user interface anyone — even iPhone users — can appreciate.

REVIEW: OPPO F1s

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 6,990)

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 7,000.

REVIEW: Vivo Y53

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News

ROG Phone 2 Ultimate Edition: Price in the Philippines

Available in two bundles!

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ASUS ROG has one more hurrah before the year (and the decade!) closes. The company is bringing to the Philippines the ROG Phone 2 Ultimate Edition.

The phone is everything you already know about the ROG Phone 2 but has nearly overkill RAM and storage — 12GB and 1TB, respectively. It was announced months ago that it will be available for purchase at PhP 59,995. This time around, you can pre-order it with a few more goodies.

Two Ultimate bundles

The first bundle is called the Overdrive Gaming 2.0. With it you’ll get the ROG Phone 2 Ultimate Edition along with the ROG Kunai Gamepad, the Lighting Armor Case, and an ROG Exclusive Jacket for PhP 64,995.

The second bundle is called Wear Victory 2.0. Here the phone will come with the ROG Exclusive Jacket without any additional costs.

Pre-order period is from December 7 to December 13. Itching to get your hands on these? Go ahead and fill up the pre-order form. For more details and mechanics visit the ASUS ROG Facebook Page.

SEE ALSO: ROG Phone 2 review: Mobile gaming on steroids

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Automotive

The Ford Ranger XLS and XLT are perfect for business owners

Capable, reliable, and tough

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When you’re on the market looking to buy a new vehicle, going for the top-of-the-line variant benefits you with the latest features, a more powerful engine, and probably added accessories on its body.

The thing is, one doesn’t always need the best model. Sometimes, you just need something that’s capable, reliable, and tough. This is where Ford’s more affordable Ranger models come into play. The Ranger XLS and XLT variants are characterized by a utility-inspired design with features and capabilities reflecting its hard-working personality.

We took them on a road trip outside the metro to experience how they would fare when used as a utilitarian vehicle for a business owner’s needs.

Here’s a glance on what it offers:

  • Powertrain – The Ranger XLS and XLT variants are powered by Ford’s 2.2-liter TDCI engine. Coupled with a six-speed manual or automatic transmission, it delivers 160PS and 385Nm of torque to suit performance demands.
  • Water-wading – Since it targets customers with workhorse and utility needs, the Ranger XLT and XLS variants boast an 800mm water-wading capabilities.
  • Towing and payload – The Ranger XLS 4×2 variant has a towing capacity of 2,500 kilograms, while the XLS 4×4 manual variant ups the ante to 3,500 kilograms. All variants of the Ranger XLT 4×2 have a towing capacity of 2,500 kilograms. Meanwhile, all Ranger XLS and XLT variants have a 1,200-kilogram payload capacity.
  • Features – Both models are equipped with Ford’s Driver Assist Technologies that ensure a safe and comfortable drive whether on- and off-road. These include an adjustable speed limiter, ABS with EBD, childproof door locks, cruise control, front driver and passenger airbags, and front seatbelt pre-tensioners.

Putting the Ranger XLS and XLT to the test

Our first stop was at a hardware store for construction materials. We loaded one Ranger with almost one ton of dry cement and delivered it to a nearby site. The Ranger performed the task easily and without any hiccups, as expected.

Additionally, while at the site, an architect shared a short testimonial of how her very own Ford Ranger not only helped her transport materials in and out of the city, but it was also able to reliably haul her workers around when needed.

After a short break, we hopped back in the Ranger and drove off to our next destination. This time it was in a milling plant and we loaded the truck with a combination of rice and corn totaling to 800kgs.

I personally drove the loaded Ranger and was surprised at how well it handled the task. I knew it could take on all that load but I was expecting its engine to struggle a bit. But in reality, it was like I wasn’t lugging around almost 1,000kg of payload.

We brought the sacks of corn and rice to a nearby farm and its owner gave another short talk enumerating how the Ford Ranger contributed to the success of his family business. From all its features, what stands out to the successful business owner is the 800mm water-wading capabilities of the truck. Because of it, he’s never afraid of taking on floods which is common in some areas that he’s in.

The Ranger XLS 4×2 offers a towing capacity of 2,500 kgs

While we were here, Ford wanted to show off more of what the Ranger can do. Next thing we know, the XLS variant was towing a tractor which was quite impressive to see in person.

Built Ford Tough

This activity further established the company’s promise that its vehicles are built tough. Though these were not the top of the line models, they proved to be as capable as their more expensive siblings and a reliable daily workhorse. Plus, with the base model priced below PhP 1 million, it’s a perfect choice for business owners who want to try out the advantages of owning a pickup truck.

Pricing for the Ranger 2.2L XLS 4×2 MT is at PhP943,000, while the Ranger 2.2L XLT 4×2 AT and MT variants now come with a cash discount of PhP 125,000.

Ford is currently offering this exclusive deal until December 31, 2019. For more information on the promo, you may visit Ford’s website.

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News

Google has a real time medal tally of the 30th SEA Games

See the games at a glance

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The 30th Southeast Asian Games is in full swing. While most of us have no time to watch all of the games, Google gave us a very helpful feature to keep track of it all.

By searching “sea games 2019 medal tally” on Google, you will see a real time medal tally of each participating countries. No more fussing on the net for medal tallies, as Google tracks it for you. You will also see current tournaments, relevant news, and other trending topics related to the games. Plus, other queries like “2019 southeast asian games” work too. It works on Google’s website and all its mobile apps.

Meanwhile, searching for “philippines 2019 southeast Asian games” lets you see the current tournaments being held. Relevant information like past and future matches, news, and standings are on display as well. Plus, you can see the players and click on them for more information.

The Philippines take the lead

As of posting, the Philippines still takes the lead in terms of total medal won in the games. With a 127 lead over Vietnam’s 96, this year’s performance of the country is nothing short but spectacular.

So for the Filipinos out there, you now have an authentic reason to lash out #PinoyPride on social media.

SEE ALSO: Mastercard is the 30th SEA Games app payment provider

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