Philippines

Best Midrange Smartphones from P15,000 to P30,000 (August 2017 Edition)

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When premium phones are out of financial reach and entry-level handsets just don’t make your cut, something in between is the next best thing. This is our updated list of the best midrange smartphones retailing from PhP 15,000 to PhP 30,000.

Formulating this category was tricky, since you can’t set an exact price and some of these devices are, in fact, the flagship phones of their respective brands. To simplify things, we chose a price range that simply sits between our two other lists for best budget and premium smartphones.

Here they are in no particular order:

ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom (PhP 23,995)

The ZenFone 3 Zoom is best known for its dual-camera setup that lets you zoom in without quality loss, but less advertised is the massive battery and efficient processor it comes with. Combine both, and you get an ASUS gadget perfect for this selection.

REVIEW: ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom

OnePlus 5 (PhP 25,990)

The OnePlus 3T has finally been unseated from our list, and what better way than by its successor, the OnePlus 5. The price may have gone up, but you get even more flagship-level features this time around: a much faster Snapdragon 835 processor, up to 8GB of memory, and an additional camera at the back capable of zooming in on subjects.

REVIEW: OnePlus 5

Huawei P10 (PhP 28,990)

While it may seem odd placing Huawei’s latest and greatest smartphone on a midrange list, the P10’s price is surprisingly competitive, especially when compared to other flagships launched alongside it at Mobile World Congress 2017 (MWC). If you’re after something a little more beefed up, there’s always the more expensive P10 Plus.

REVIEW: Huawei P10

OPPO R11 (PhP 22,500)

It took a while, but OPPO’s R series of smartphones has finally been given its much-anticipated update in the R11. It’s the first in OPPO’s growing lineup to sport two cameras at the back (the additional lens serves zooming purposes) and one of the first to come with Qualcomm’s brand-new Snapdragon 660 chipset.

REVIEW: OPPO R11

Moto Z2 Play (PhP 24,999)

We’re not including the Moto Z2 Play on our list just because it’s the sole modular smartphone to come out this year (the Moto Z2 Force has only begun to ship); in fact, it’s a solid handset with or without Moto Mods. We can thank the efficient Snapdragon 626 processor, super-fast fingerprint sensor, and clear Android skin for that.

REVIEW: Moto Z2 Play

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Deals

OPPO Philippines offers 40% discount on service parts

Save more on your next repair

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It’s a fact that our devices have limited lifespans. When our devices start to break down, the only way to go is to dispose it or repair it. Those who choose the latter may find it hard since after-sales support is often tricky and lacking for most manufacturers; but not OPPO.

OPPO Philippines is offering up to 40% discount on service parts for device repairs. All service parts are covered by the discount — from motherboards to the top cover of the device.

The discount is eligible for the Neo 7, F1s, A37, F1 Plus, F1s 64GB, A39, A57, A71, F3, F3 Plus, F5, F5 Pro, F5 Youth, A7, A71 2018, A83, F7, F7 Youth, A3S and F9. The discount for service parts is available from November 4 onwards at all OPPO Service Centers nationwide. To know more, visit their website.

OPPO also has several initiatives that provide technical support to its consumers. It has a 1-hour flash fix program, a phone loan program, and a service app to help users when their devices suddenly break down. Plus, all OPPO devices come with an international warranty.

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Automotive

Mercedes-Benz GLC and V-Class: Living the fly life

Smooth sailing on the GLC 200 and V-Class 220d

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When we hear the words “upper class” in a market segment, we usually think of luxury lifestyle, extravagant vacations, fine dining, and everything fancy. So when it comes to their means of transportation, we expect nothing less than utmost grandiosity.

With this in mind, some premium car brands will naturally come to mind and one of them is Mercedes-Benz.  This was the idea that Auto Nation Group, the official distributor of Mercedes-Benz in the Philippines, had in mind when they hosted the Media Ride and Drive — a day-long activity that offered participants the choice to drive the new GLC 200 and V-Class 220d or enjoy the comfortable ride and amenities offered inside both these new models.

Mercedes-Benz GLC 200

Instead of usual technical reviews, it was their goal for the participants to experience the affluent life — to be driven to where their consumers would go and do activities they would commonly do.

Scuba diving and the GLC

Of course, I took an underwater selfie

The first activity was a 3-hour course in scuba diving led by accredited PADI diver Igor Subora.  Held at the indoor scuba facilities of The Upper Deck Sports and Lifestyle Center in Ortigas, the activity aimed to give a glimpse into the lifestyle of someone with a spirit of adventure – a persona that perfectly matches the personality and performance of the new GLC.

According to Joseph Ayllon, head of PR Communications, the new GLC is a great match for confident go-getters in life determined to achieve goals. He says that it’s the right vehicle to take out of town or to a quick getaway within the city – like taking the morning off to go scuba diving.

The GLC remains as the best-selling Mercedes-Benz for 10 years with more than 1.6 million units sold. Priced at PhP 4,290,000.00, the GLC 200 is a robust adventure luxury SUV that delivers 197hp and 320Nm of torque from a 2.0 turbo petrol engine mated to a 9G-TRONIC 9-speed automatic transmission.

Its interior is wrapped in premium soft-touch materials, leather, and brushed metal accents. The soft leather seats were exceptionally comfortable, with plenty of head and legroom. In addition, the Burmester surround audio system is impressive and gave crisp & immersive sound.

Looking at the dashboard, it boasts a high-definition all-digital instrument panel along with their intelligent voice command LINGUATRONIC with “Hey, Mercedes” functionality which we found quite useful for a hands-free driving experience.

Sitting at the back, this SUV felt smooth and cabin noise was well isolated. Overall, this SUV is a perfect fusion of adventure and luxury.

R&R with the V-Class

After our scuba diving training and certification, we went our way to our lunch venue at Misto Seda-Vertis North onboard the 2019 Mercedes-Benz V-Class 220d. Priced at PhP 4,690,000.00, this lounge on wheels puts out 163hp and 380Nm of torque from a 2.2-liter diesel engine mated to a 7G-TRONIC PLUS 7-speed automatic transmission.

Mercedes-Benz V-Class 220d

As a passenger sitting on the third row, it didn’t feel like you were in a van; the cabin was unbelievably quiet and immensely comfortable. Everywhere you touch is made of premium quality material and the leather-wrapped captain seats just give you a sense of grandeur — almost like sitting on Queen Elizabeth’s throne.

The interior is spacious with abundant head and legroom. In addition, this model boasts swivel seats with a built-in pullout folding table. Looking out, I just loved how you are surrounded by huge & bright windows, perfect for scenic road-trips.

I have never felt more comfortable riding a third-row seat from a vehicle of this segment. You just feel pampered and EDSA traffic suddenly wasn’t so stressful.

After our bounteous buffet lunch at Misto, it was time to head to the last destination and the day was wrapped up with a relaxing full body massage at the Upper Deck Recovery Spa.

End of the day thoughts

As we ended this unique drive, one thing was made crystal clear to me: Mercedes-Benz really knows who their products are for and the new GLC 200 and new V-Class 220d truly cater to the needs and demands of this market segment.

I have to admit that I was easily spoiled by the activities the company has prepared — kicking it off with a fun diving experience, having a feast, and ending the day with a massage. Although, that’s exactly what they want their customers to feel with these new offerings — pampered and spoiled while getting from point A to point B.

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Lifestyle

Level Up Joy: Jollibee Katipunan provides a glimpse of the future

Modern tech innovations + cool vibe

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Want to catch a glimpse of how Jollibee stores will look like in the future? Jollibee Katipunan reopened its doors this November 5 featuring a fresh and modern concept that will entice both the young and the old. Plus, it features never before seen tech innovations that really screams future.

Kiosks, charging stations, and more

Jollibee Katipunan is the first “Level Up Joy” store that combines modern technology and innovation with the alagang Joy experience. “We’re happy to know with the Level Up Joy, we’re ushering a new era of total and modern customer joy experience with our patrons,” said Jollibee Philippines assistant VP and head of brand communications Arline Adeva.

Jollibee is surely ushering a new era with their first Level Up Joy store. Customers don’t have to wait in line anymore with self-order kiosks which was first introduced to Jollibee stores last 2018. With the kiosks, customers can order at their own pace and customize their orders according to their preferences.

For on-the-go customers, Jollibee Katipunan has wireless charging stations so they can just put down their phone and charge while eating their favorite langhap-sarap meals. With these stations, comfort and convenience is surely guaranteed as customers stay connected while enjoying their meals.

Also, Jollibee Katipunan now has a contemporary and fresh cool vibe that is surely Instagram-worthy. It features brightly colored digital menu boards, sleek lighting and fixtures, vibrant murals. All the while keeping the yellow and red hues that define a Jollibee store. Stepping inside makes one feel the modern vibe while basking in the nostalgic feeling.

Delivery also levels up in Jollibee Katipunan with new electric bikes rolling out. Jollibee hopes to replace all of its delivery fleet with an e-bike in the future, and it’s roll out in Katipunan is a sure start. The company is committed to bringing joy not only to people but also to the environment.

“Trust that Jollibee will really be among the forefront of tech innovations. Because we owe it to our customers to delight them and offer more convenience when they go to our restaurant,” said Adeva.

Looking ahead

The future is exciting for Jollibee. With the unveiling of its first Level Up Joy store, the company is embracing the future with technology and innovations. But it doesn’t want to stop at Katipunan. Other Jollibee branches will also be upgraded to Level Up Joy stores.

With Jollibee opening its 1000th store, it is gearing towards a vision of dominating locally and growing globally. Recently, it acquired The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf as part of its expansion. However, even if the company is now a bigger brand than it was 40 years ago, it keeps its joy experience which the company came to be known for.

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