Philippines

Best Premium Smartphones above P30,000 (August 2017 Edition)

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If you’re looking for the very best high-end smartphones available, you’ve come to the right place! Every month, GadgetMatch updates this list with the finest devices money can buy, no matter how much they cost.

As a follow-up to our July compilation, this August list takes every newly launched flagship costing more than PhP 30,000 into consideration, but doesn’t discount the smartphones that continue to make an impact since their launch last year.


Here they are in no particular order:

Samsung Galaxy S8+ (PhP 45,990)

Was there any doubt about Samsung’s most gorgeous phone making this selection? Armed with the finest processor ever built in the Snapdragon 835, possibly the best single camera in a handset today, and the most refined Android skin to date, the Galaxy S8+ looks to stay on our radar for a long time.

REVIEW: Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

Apple iPhone 7 Plus (PhP 44,990)

You can’t complete a selection like this without including Apple’s latest handset. And it’s not because an iPhone has to be included; the iPhone 7 Plus is so fast and so smooth, there’s no way we could ignore it. It also gets the nod over the regular iPhone 7 thanks to its far more impressive dual-camera setup.

REVIEW: Apple iPhone 7 and 7 Plus

Google Pixel XL (PhP 41,200)

While the Pixel XL has its shortcomings — the lack of serious water resistance and oddly plain design spring to mind — you can’t find a more optimized Android smartphone right now. Everything about it is snappy, from the incredible camera to its witty Google Assistant. It’s also got the most up-to-date operating system, unlimited storage for all your photos, plus a better screen resolution and battery life than the smaller Pixel.

REVIEW: Google Pixel (3 months later)

LG G6 (PhP 29,990 — discounted from PhP 37,990)

After what many considered to be a failure in the G5, LG went back to the drawing board and crafted a smartphone that looks and feels great, and — more importantly — simply works. We’ve been so fond of the G6’s generous but not-too-tall display, extra-wide-angle camera, and super-solid build quality since we got our hands on it. Buh-bye, modules!

REVIEW: LG G6

Sony Xperia XZ Premium (PhP 40,990)

Say whatever you want about its traditional design and seriously high-end pricing, but the Xperia XZ Premium is the only smartphone that competes well against Samsung’s pride and joy, which sits at the top of this list. That’s because this Sony flagship has an equally capable Snapdragon 835 processor and a screen that’ll make you go, “Woah!”

REVIEW: Sony Xperia XZ Premium

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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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