Philippines

Best Premium Smartphones above P30,000 (May 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 February compilation, this May 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:

Galaxy S8+

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+

iPhone 7 Plus

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

Pixel XL

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

LG G6 (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

Mate 9

Huawei Mate 9 (PhP 31,990)

With the introduction of the LG G6 and Galaxy S8+, the Mate 9 isn’t as compact for a large-screen smartphone as it used to be. But still, depending on where you live, Huawei’s offering can be significantly cheaper than its newer counterparts. Factor in its equally generous battery life, sleek Android interface, and pair of Leica-branded cameras at the back, and you have a nice bang-for-buck in the premium segment.

REVIEW: Huawei Mate 9 (3 months later)

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Automotive

New compact SUV Mercedes-Benz GLA premieres in PH

Sporty, fits more, and comes with some fancy tech

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The new GLA is the eighth model to join the line-up and rounds off the current Modular Front Architecture (MFA) from Mercedes-Benz. At the same time, it represents the entry level into Mercedes-Benz successful family of SUV models.

The new GLA combines the best from the two high-volume segments, the compact cars and the SUVs. It embodies the perfect synergy between pure beauty and robust off-road elements. It carries Mercedes-Benz’ signature SUV design and trailblazing technologies as a true demonstration of modern luxury.

Sporty from every perspective

The sharpened SUV character and expressive design underscore the new GLA’s claim to setting the standard in its class. More than a commanding view of the road ahead, the new second-generation GLA offers a rewarding view of what’s next.

As a compact SUV, it fits in nearly any open space and yet has room for your entire life. The character has been significantly reinforced compared with the previous model. The height of the new GLA, at 1611 millimeters (1616 with roof rails), exceeds that of its predecessor by more than ten centimeters.

The GLA 200 AMG Line boasts an attractive sporty appearance both inside and out. In particular, the AMG Body Styling comes with a diamond radiator grille with pins in chrome, 19inch 5 twin-spoke light-alloy wheels, black roof liner and polished aluminium roof rails.

The side and rear views are characterized by the muscular shoulders of the vehicle. In addition, the new generation multifunction sports steering wheel in Nappa leather stands for exquisite look and feel of the new GLA.

Fit more in. Fit in more.

Within a more nimble length, the new GLA gives you more space to ride, more room to shop, stow and be spontaneous. The seating position for both the driver and the front passenger is higher and more upright than in the predecessor model, and thus more typical of an SUV.

The new GLA offers a more spacious interior with seats that are incredibly comfortable. The rear seat backrest is 40:20:40 split, with each section folding down individually. This allows better space management for cargo loading and gives passengers a more configurable seating position for greater overall comfort.

Comfortable loading is also seen with low boot sill. Its luggage compartment height can be adjusted in 2 stages, thanks to a continuous luggage compartment floor console, it enables even better use of the available space.

MBUX: a new era of connectivity

Enjoying the solitude and sharing it with everyone at the same time is possible with modern connectivity services. It is equipped with Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX). The MBUX multimedia system comes with 7-inch instrument and media display and has its own intelligent voice assistant which is activated with the code word “Hey Mercedes”.

Smartphones can be connected as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, and the system supports the major applications and selected apps including navigation.

Another highlight is the comprehensive touch operation concept – the combination of a touchscreen, touchpad on the center console and touch control buttons in the steering wheel. In addition to the intuitive operating experience, less driver distraction is another advantage.

Impressive Performance

The GLA is always ready for what’s around the corner. From a tight corner of the city, to a tight corner of a back road, the new GLA is agile and easy to maneuver. Turbo power and a solid stance make it quick on its feet and confident in your hands.

The GLA 200 AMG Line only has one engine option, although it has enough power for daily commuting or longer excursions. The turbocharged 1.3-liter four-cylinder engine produces 163 horsepower and 250 Nm of torque. It comes paired with a 7G dual-clutch automatic transmission with cruise control and standard with front-wheel drive. With DYNAMIC SELECT, one console control calls up a range of performance profiles such as ”ECO”, “Comfort”, “Sport”, and Individual.

It also has ECO Start/Stop system that automatically shuts off the engine when you’re at stoplights or idling. This system helps save on fuel and reduces emissions. Once you lift your foot off the brake, the engine starts back up immediately. However, if you don’t want to use this feature, you can easily disable it.

GLA Safety: feel at ease

The new GLA makes a further step in terms of safety courtesy of its driving assistance systems with cooperative driver support. Mercedes-Benz Intelligent Drive combines safety and convenience innovations. With these intelligent systems, Mercedes-Benz is not only setting standards in automotive engineering, but is also taking another important step forward on the road to accident-free driving. This therefore allows the driver to experience a new dimension of safety, convenience and stress relief.

The GLA is able to react when the driver doesn’t. Active Brake Assist is charged in many situations with applying autonomous braking to avoid a collision or to reduce its severity. The ATTENTION ASSIST with adjustable sensitivity can warn the driver on detecting the typical signs of inattentiveness or drowsiness.

Moreover, the GLA 200 AMG Line is loaded with Light and Sight Package that provides added interior value appeal and optimum visibility in the vehicle. It comprises functional comfort- and safety-enhancing lighting. Parking is made easy with Parking Package consists of Active Parking Assist with reversing camera, providing support when parking and maneuvering. Tire Pressure Loss Warning System monitors the inflation pressure of all four tires while driving.

Pricing and availability

The new GLA is now available at all Mercedes-Benz dealerships. Introductory SRP is PhP 3,290,000 (US$ 67, 874).


This is a press release from Mercedes-Benz Philippines

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News

Smart rollouts 5G service in key Visayas, Mindanao areas

Look out for Smart’s 5G in Boracay, Cebu, Iloilo and Davao

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Telcos in the Philippines like Smart and Globe are preparing for the next big thing in cellular network — 5G. As a matter of fact, Smart’s 5G network is live now in select areas in the Philippines. Now, the telco is pushing ahead with a wider country rollout by expanding to select areas in Visayas and Mindanao.

Key areas where Smart is expanding its next-gen network include select vicinities of Boracay, Cebu, Iloilo, and Davao. The telco now has more 5G coverage than ever, building on the areas where the network is now live. Up until the expansion to Visayas and Mindanao, Smart’s 5G network is mainly limited to Luzon. These Luzon areas include:

  • Makati Central Business District (CBD)
  • Bonifacio Global City CBD
  • Araneta City
  • Mall of Asia Bay Area
  • North Avenue in Quezon City
  • Taft Avenue in Manila
  • Ortigas CBD
  • Select areas along EDSA
  • New Clark City in Pampanga

Strategic locations in these provinces and cities also have Smart’s 5G coverage:

  • Cavite
  • Laguna
  • Rizal
  • Manila City
  • Quezon City
  • Makati
  • Taguig
  • Pasig
  • Mandaluyong
  • Marikina
  • Parañaque
  • Valenzuela
  • Caloocan
  • Navotas
  • San Juan
  • Pasay
Smart 5G signal marker in their own Makati headquarters

Smart 5G signal marker in their own Makati headquarters

Faster upgrade to 5G

To encourage more people to switch to 5G, Smart is now making the network available to all Prepaid subscribers. Back in July, only Smart Postpaid subscribers can take advantage of the network. Willing subscribers now only need a 5G-enabled SIM card and device to use Smart’s next-generation network.

Luckily, the telco partnered with big brands to bring more 5G devices in the country. Smart’s online store now has a selection of 5G-ready devices from Huawei, Samsung, realme, and vivo. These devices can also be had on Smart’s selection of postpaid plans.

And for the unconvinced, 5G-ready handsets are available for use on select Smart Stores in Metro Manila. Here, subscribers can take advantage of super-fast speeds and low latency upon leveraging Smart’s 5G networks.

It won’t be long again before Smart expands its 5G network to more areas in the country. The telco has been preparing for the arrival of 5G all along, beginning with speeds tests in 2016. Over the last two years, it had set up 5G base stations, launched lifestyle hubs, and enabled next-gen connectivity in critical places across Metro Manila.

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Accessories

realme Buds Q ‘for Gen Z’ now official

Budget TWS earphones that do not look like AirPods

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realme Buds Q

It’s always refreshing to see a pair of TWS earbuds that looking nothing like Apple AirPods. That’s exactly what the realme Buds Q is.

The realme Buds Q was designed by José Lévy — the cooperated designer of Hermès and the art director of the realme Design Studio. Like their entire product range, this is primarily targeted at the youth (Gen Zs).

realme says Lévy took inspiration from the round cobblestones found along the shores of Normandy beach where he spent most of his youth. He and the realme team iterated the design over 200 times. They fine-tuned the curvature of the G3 curve just to give users a cobblestone-like design that is mellow and comfortable.

On the specs end, the realme Buds Q has a 10mm Large Driver and Dynamic Bass Boost. With the charging case, you should get up to 20 hours of music playback. The buds could also go on for three hours of single continuous calling time, four and a half hours of single continuous music listening time, five hours of single continuous gaming time, and six hours of single continuous video streaming time.

Pricing and availability

The realme Buds Q will be available starting September 30 and retails for PhP 1,490. It comes as a freebie for the first 10 buyers of the realme 7 Pro and is discounted by PhP 500 on Lazada only on September 30.

SEE ALSO: realme 7 Pro review | realme 7 review | realme Buds Q hands-on


BUY THE REALME BUDS Q HERE

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