Philippines

Best Midrange Smartphones from P15,000 to P30,000 (July 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.

HANDS-ON: 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

Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 (PhP 19,990)

Samsung hit all the right notes with its newest Galaxy A5 variant, owning a design reminiscent of older Galaxy flagships, as well as specs fit for its price point. Best of all, it has both water and dust resistance, which no other phone on this list can boast.

REVIEW: Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017)

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Automotive

Honda officially launches the all-new BR-V in the Philippines

This 7-seater SUV just got better!

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Honda Cars Philippines Inc. (HCPI) has just announced refreshed models of their second best-selling car, the 7-Seater BR-V at the City of Dreams Manila in Parañaque City.

From the old 1.5 Touring CVT, it now has two variants: The 1.5 S CVT and the 1.5 V CVT.


The exterior already shows changes; it has a sleeker design that makes it stand out from afar. The two new iterations now feature a chrome front grille and updated front and rear bumpers. The 16-inch alloy wheels also have a new design.

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They both feature reverse cameras which are helpful for parking on blind spots. The company has also kept the already existing roof rail, halogen headlamps, and fog lights.

They are both equipped with 7-inch touchscreen displays, but the higher-end V model supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The interior may look similar with a refreshed Dark Steel color, but the 1.5 V CVT features a more premium leather interior with red leather trims and red accents to complement its overall look.

Both of them still feature a spacious cabin with enough headroom and leg space for its passengers.

Under the hood, it has a 1.5-liter i-VTEC engine mated with Honda’s very own Earth Dreams Technology Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) which promises a fuel-efficient driving and smooth-sailing experience.

For convenience, 1.5 V CVT comes with a Smart Entry with Push Start System and Paddle Shifters. The ECON mode and eco-coaching ambient lights remind drivers to drive more efficiently.

Added technology systems make this car better: the G-Force Control (G-CON) Collision Safety Body, Driver and Front Passenger SRS Airbags, Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD), and Speed Sensing Auto Door Lock are all helpful in avoiding fatalities. You also get Hill Start Assist (HSA) and Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) for added safety measure.

To ensure your child’s safety at all times, 2019 BR-V now features ISOFIX anchors to securely latch a child’s seat. It also has a five-star ASEAN NCAP rating in the category of Adult Occupancy Protection (AOP).

The all-new Honda BR-V is now available in 36 Honda dealerships nationwide with the following suggested retail prices:

  • 1.5 V CVT at PhP 1,155,000
  • 1.5 S CVT at PhP 1,035,000

There are several colors to choose from: Lunar Silver Metallic and Modern Silver Metallic are available for both variants. There are also two new colors limited to the 1.5 V CVT: Passion Red Pearl and the PhP 20,000-worth Platinum White Pearl. Meanwhile, Taffeta White is only available for the 1.5 S CVT, while the Premium Amber Metallic is now available on the same variant.

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Apps

GCash eyes 365,000 trees planted in 365 days with the help of its users

Through a new ‘green’ feature

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GCash has introduced a new “green” feature on their app called GCash Forest. The new feature inside GCash’s app aims to contribute to environmental preservation with the help of its users. As the leading mobile wallet in the Philippines, GCash eyes to plant 365,000 trees in 365 days.

The goal of GCash Forest is to help Filipinos contribute to tree planting activities by simply using the GCash app. Basically, GCash subscribers will have the ability to plant virtual trees that’ll have real-life counterparts. GCash is not alone in this; they have partnered with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), World Wildlife Fund (WWF), and the Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BIOFIN).


The DENR will provide the land resources in Ipo Watershed, while WWF will be providing trees and manpower. BIOFIN will then monitor the progress of the efforts. The Ipo Watershed is an essential component of the Angat-Umiray-Ipo watersheds system which supplies 98 percent of Metro Manila’s water.

For users to be able to contribute to the tree planting efforts of GCash Forest, they need to collect “green energy” by simply (and frequently) using the GCash app. Once users get enough green energy, they’ll now choose which species of trees they wish to plant in a selected area at the Ipo Watershed.

GCash users will receive a certificate of ownership with a serial number once their trees are planted. Of course, they’ll also get updates on the growth of their trees and fun facts through the GCash app.

SEE ALSO: Globe launches Southeast Asia’s first 5G service backed by Huawei

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News

Xiaomi Mi 9T: Pricing and availability details in the Philippines

It’s the rebranded Redmi K20

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Xiaomi Mi 9T | Image credit: Xiaomi

Xiaomi‘s newest midrange phone has reached more markets. After launching the Redmi K20 in China, the Chinese company has brought and rebranded the phone outside of its home turf as the Mi 9T. Launched internationally two weeks ago, the Mi 9T has landed in the Philippines.

The phone is powered by a Snapdragon 730 processor with a 6.39-inch Full HD+ AMOLED display with an in-display fingerprint sensor. Since the phone doesn’t have a notch or a hole, it sports a pop-up camera mechanism housing a 20-megapixel selfie shooter. At the back, it has three cameras: a main 48-megapixel sensor, a 13-megapixel ultra-wide shooter, and an 8-megapixel telephoto camera.


Pre-orders for the Mi 9T will start from June 24, 12 noon, until June 30, through Xiaomi’s official store on Lazada and at Mi Authorized Stores. It’ll be initially available in Carbon Black starting at Php 15,990 for the 6GB+64GB memory and storage configuration, and Php 17,990 for the 6GB+128GB variant.

The Mi 9T will be exclusively available on Lazada first before it goes on sale at Mi Authorized stores. The other color options — Flame Red and Glacier Blue — will be available shortly after.

SEE ALSO: Xiaomi Mi 9T unboxed ahead of official launch, has midrange specs

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