Philippines

Best Budget Smartphones (Philippine 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 Nova 2i / Honor 9i / Mate 10 Lite (PhP 14,999)

Huawei once again confuses us with their elaborate naming scheme, but one thing is for certain: The Nova 2i is easily one of the best smartphones you can find in this price range. A total of four cameras (two in front and two at the back) and a near-borderless display are standout features at this level.

REVIEW: Huawei Nova 2i

LG Q6 (PhP 12,990)

How often do we see a near-borderless display on a budget-friendly smartphone? As of now, it’s still uncommon. Thanks to LG, we’re seeing FullVision on the Q6, and it’s stunning at this price point. Along with it comes a power-efficient processor, high-grade aluminum frame, and triple-card slots.

REVIEW: LG Q6

ASUS ZenFone 4 Max (PhP 9,995)

It doesn’t get much more complete than this below PhP 15,000. The ZenFone 4 Max has everything you’d hope for in a PhP 9,995 phone, including a dual-camera setup and large 5000mAh battery in a body that’s surprisingly compact. Once its cleaner version of ZenUI arrives, this will be one tough entry to kick out.

REVIEW: ASUS ZenFone 4 Max

Xiaomi Mi A1 (PhP 12,000)

Putting stock Android on a Xiaomi handset is a match made in heaven. Being the first of its kind, the Mi A1 offers consistent software updates, a surprisingly good dual-camera setup, and the great battery life you’d expect from this brand. This is the phone for Xiaomi fans and Android purists alike!

REVIEW: Xiaomi Mi A1

OPPO A71 (PhP 8,990)

If you’re on a tight budget and simply want a smartphone that’s fast enough to get everyday tasks done, it doesn’t get much better than the OPPO A71. It gives up OPPO’s signature selfie branding in exchange for a sleek, no-frills design and space for two SIM cards and a microSD card at the same time.

REVIEW: OPPO A71

Updates as of November:

  • Replaced Huawei GR3 2017 with Nova 2i
  • Replaced Xiaomi Mi Max 2 with Mi A1

Updates as of October:

  • Replaced Vivo Y53 with OPPO A71

Updates as of September:

  • Replaced Xiaomi Redmi Note 4X with Mi Max 2
  • Replaced OPPO A57 with the LG Q6
  • Replaced ASUS ZenFone 3 Max 5.5 with ZenFone 4 Max

Accessories

CherryRoam offers affordable high-speed internet anywhere in the world

Cherry Mobile branches out to a new territory

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After venturing into prepaid telecommunication services with Cherry Prepaid, the makers of Cherry Mobile are now expanding their reach globally through a travel Wi-Fi roaming device — the CherryRoam. The roaming pocket Wi-Fi service will battle rivals with affordable rates and a more user-friendly device.

The CherryRoam device sports a 4-inch touchscreen display for ease of use and intuitive operation. It’s bigger than most pocket Wi-Fi available since it has a whopping 5350mAh battery inside. The large battery capacity will be able to last 15 hours of usage or charge other mobile devices thanks to the nifty power bank feature.

It’s powered by a Qualcomm 4G LTE chipset and GlocalMe’s CloudSIM technology which allows CherryRoam to automatically connect to the best network coverage anywhere in the world. The service is available in over 100 countries and you can share your connection with up to five devices.

CherryRoam’s flexible global per gigabyte rates and long validity packages offer cheaper data roaming costs. Packages start at PhP 250 which already includes 1GB of high-speed data that’s valid for three days in popular travel destinations. There are also unlimited day pass services which offer high-speed and unlimited browsing data.

The CherryRoam is available in the Philippines for PhP 6,990. If you don’t travel that much, you can also rent the device and have it delivered straight to your preferred local address. Visit their website for more information and to avail of the rental services.

SEE ALSO: Moshi Arcus: The perfect travel bag for creatives

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Drones

DJI Mavic 2 Zoom and Mavic 2 Pro officially launch in the Philippines

The best compact drones in the market right now

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Less than a month from its official announcement, DJI’s Mavic 2 Zoom and Mavic 2 Pro have officially arrived in the Philippines through ICT company MSI-ECS. These drones offer the latest technologies seen in a quadcopter and aim to bring aerial videography to new heights.

Mavic 2 Zoom

As a quick recap, both new drones shoot 4K video at up to 100 megabits per second — meaning it can capture high-quality footage. DJI also equipped the Mavic 2 with its own 8GB internal storage in case you forget your memory cards at home. They have more sensors for obstacle avoidance and boast improved battery life (31 minutes versus the older 27 minutes). They’re also a lot quieter than previous models.

The Mavic 2 Zoom is the world’s first foldable consumer drone with optical zoom capabilities. This way, you can get up close to your subject (like wildlife, for example) while maintaining your distance, so you won’t disturb them in their habitat.

It can also perform a dolly zoom by flying backward while zooming in. This produces a vertigo effect that renowned filmmakers use in movies.

DJI Mavic 2 Pro

On the other hand, the Mavic 2 Pro is the first drone with a camera co-engineered with Hasselblad — a leading brand in medium format photography. It carries a 1-inch CMOS sensor with a 10-bit Dlog-M color profile which translates to a professional-grade image with a lot of tweaking possibilities during post-production.

DJI Mavic 2 Pro

The Mavic 2 Pro shoots 20-megapixel photos and 4K UHD videos, has support for 4K 10-bit HDR, and can switch between f/2.8 to f/11 apertures depending on the lighting condition. Think of it as your professional aerial equipment that folds up and can fit inside a small bag.

Pricing in the Philippines will start at PhP 76,300 for the Mavic 2 Zoom and PhP 98,800 for the Mavic 2 Pro. Going for the Fly More bundle which includes extra batteries, propellers, and other accessories will come at an extra cost just like the previous iteration.

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Lifestyle

Spotify offers its premium subscription for Filipino students at a discounted price

A deal you can’t miss!

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Time to get premium, students! Spotify is currently running a promo for Filipino students called Student Intro Offer wherein you can avail of their premium service for a trial period of up to three months at a discounted price.

What’s in it for me?

Spotify Premium allows you to download your favorite music offline so you can play any song, anytime. With a premium subscription, you can now customize your playlists and play your songs the way you like it — no more shuffling or interruptions.

Who are eligible for the promo?

This offer is available for students above the age of 18, and enrolled at an accredited college or university. The student’s enrollment status will be verified through a third-party service called SheerID.

How am I going to be charged?

Spotify Premium is available for credit card users for only PhP 65 for the first three months and Php 65 for every succeeding months. For those who pay via prepaid load like Smart and Globe, it costs PhP 75 for the first three months and PhP 75 for each of the following months.

You can pay at the discounted rate up to four years until further notice, should the price changes in the future. You can always opt to cancel anytime through your Spotify account page.

This promo runs from September 10 to October 22, 2018. Learn more about Spotify for Students here.

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