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)

[irp posts=”10008″ name=”Best Premium Smartphones (February 2017 Edition)”]

Entertainment

Stranger Things 4: 4 Big Things To Expect

Every Ending Has Its New Beginning, Indeed

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Writing this specific article makes me remember my early days in GadgetMatch where I wrote two special articles about Stranger Things 3 — especially because I’m the biggest fan in the team (been a fan since Season 1).

After almost three years of (patiently) waiting, we’ll finally be able to watch Stranger Things 4 on our screens again!

Special Screening in Cinema 11

Seven days before the actual release of Stranger Things 4: Volume 1, Netflix Philippines invited us for a special screening of its first episode — right at Power Planet Mall’s last cinema booth, Cinema 11 (y’know, Eleven 🥁).

Wear anything “retro”, they say

The littlest set details outside the cinema made me cherish the good ol’ days of the First Season of Stranger Things from 2016. From those bright neon lights, a retro-styled photobooth, and ST4-branded popcorn box, soda cup. Even the “swag set” full of ST4 goodies that imitated the look of the spooky creel house, This also reminded me of how the series (as well as the fanbase) expanded entirely until it became a hit globally.

A single photobooth access plus a single swag set for that single Stranger Things fan, please

Although I went there all by myself, I still enjoyed every bit of the screening. To best describe everything, here’s my Instagram Reel roundup of it:

4 big things to expect

After watching the first episode of Stranger Things 4: Volume 1 for about an hour and fifteen minutes, there are four things I think we should expect in the series.

1. Out with the old, in with the new?

After the devastating phenomenon that happened in Hawkins last season, several characters have moved into a new town. The Byers, together with El(even) in mind. That also means Will and El have to deal with a new set of people in a seemingly unfamiliar environment.

Other characters have remained in the OG town, though. From the Wheelers, SinclairsDustin, Joe, Robin, and even Max, they have continued with their lives despite being stuck in the same ol’ town. And oh, as the gang turned from kids to teens, do expect some dramatic changes in the way they act — especially after what happened.

P.S: There’s a new school club, too, that’s hilariously fun and cool despite its degrading image to the eyes of many.

2. Familiar and unfamiliar faces

Other than the remaining original cast from Season 1, a new season also means expecting new characters on the block. Apart from new schoolmates, there are also people that might help the initial set of kiddos who have saved Will from the darker underworld a.k.a the Upside Down.

The first few minutes of the episode was also revealed through Stranger Things’ YouTube channel showing how the Hawkins Laboratory had more than 11 Eleven-like superchildren that are being tested and experimented — until everything fell apart because of one superchild that ruined how things work inside the lab.

3. Jim isn’t dead

Jim Hopper’s sudden disappearance after the closing of the Upside Down had a lot of fans shaking their heads. Most (including myself) have speculated that he already died. Well, we can’t afford losing one more main character after the death of Bob from Season 2. Plus, Billy and Alexei just last season.

Fortunately, Jim, in his new haircut, appeared on the official trailer of Stranger Things 4. And just as shown in the first episode of the first volume, his presence can be felt — just from another side of the planet.

4. Another monster to kill

The Demogorgon and Mind Flayer are two of the most wicked supervillains ever existed. Whether that may be in the history of Hawkins or just in the eyes of people.

But the two evil creatures aren’t the end of the gang’s fate. A new town means there’s a new monster, too.

As shown at the end of the official trailer, the new horrendous creature is in human form. It can manipulate the mind of the affected individual — even the dimension where s/he’s at. While I won’t be specific about what happened, it sure is a powerful, demonic creature. It can truly make someone disturbingly psychotic and literally broken inside and out.

Biggest season ever with super-sized episodes

After watching the first episode of the first volume, I can say it was a rollercoaster ride of emotions. First it was thrilling, then it became a full-on comedy show. Next thing you know, you’re already mindf*cked with what’s happening. I always say this but still, hands-down to the team behind Stranger Things for making the fourth season more exciting to watch (despite being borderline creepy and horrifying).

Image by GadgetMatch

The First Volume of Stranger Things Season 4 will be released only on Netflix on May 27, 2022 (Friday) with seven episodes. Most episodes are reported to be as long as a full-length film.

On the other hand, Volume 2 with a whopping total of nine episodes will be released after two months: exactly July 1st — just four days before the independence of the United States of America.

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Automotive

Save with Honda’s fuel-efficient vehicles, PMS

The Honda BR-V, City, and Brio

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With fuel prices skyrocketing lately in the Philippines, it makes sense to invest in a fuel-efficient car complemented by regular Periodic Maintenance Service (PMS) provided by its company.

And as Honda continues to improve its vehicles’ fuel economy in different driving condition, the manufacturer is offering the following models for customers to save more:

  • Honda BR-V: 22.58 kilometers/liter
  • Honda City: 25.17 kilometers/liter
  • Honda Brio: 24.39 kilometers/liter

The models underwent fuel economy runs organized by Honda Cars Philippines in partnership with the Automobile Association of the Philippines (AAP).

Among the parameters were cruising speeds of 60 to 80 kph at 1,500 to 2,000 rpm, aircon setting of 24 degrees, and blower fan speed of 1.

Periodic Maintenance Service

Aside from picking the right vehicle, Honda also recommends two maintenance visits a year at any of their authorized Honda dealers.

This way, cars will stay in shape with a good-tune up, and ensure better performance in the long run that saves owners more money.

Customers may also visit Honda’s Virtual Showroom for a more detailed guide on preventive maintenance, as well as their technologies like Honda SENSING and Honda’s driver assistance and collision avoidance.

Other tips

In addition to making the right choice and maintaining good use of one’s car, Honda suggests these following tips for a more fuel-efficient vehicle:

  • Plan and combine trips: Carpooling and using navigation apps reduces consumption and avoids rush-hour traffic
  • Drive smoothly, not aggressively: Hard breaks, sudden accelerations, and the like increase fuel consumptions and emissions
  • Minimize idling: Fuel is best consumed in motion; staying idle for too long burns fuel without getting anywhere
  • Get rid of all extra weight: The more weight the car needs to pull, the more effort the engine needs which leads to more fuel consumption

Keep tires properly inflated: A study suggested that as low as a 1 percent decrease in pressure can lead to a 0.3 percent reduction in fuel economy, so keep those tires checked

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Deals

Don’t miss out: Smart launches GigaLife Surprises

With rewards like a Fitbit Watch or Instax Mini

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Smart Communications has rolled out GigaLife Surprises, an exciting lineup of perks, promos, and privileges exclusively available on the GigaLife App.

The lineup includes Giga Missions, Giga PayDay, and the ongoing Giga Days, giving Smart subscribers the chance to get unique promos and enjoy rewards.

And by tapping “Don’t Miss Out” on the app, customers also get customized and value-packed offers which get refreshed every week. 

Earn points, enjoy perks

Giga Missions gives subscribers a chance to earn points and rewards by completing tasks and challenges in the app.

Registering for a mobile data package like GIGA STORIES 99, for instance, earns users 4.95 points.

These points may be used to redeem similar data promos such as GIGA VIDEO 99 or GIGA POWER+ 99 for free.

Smart even has rewards like a Fitbit Watch (11,832 points) and Instax Mini (4,569 points).

Discounted promos, redemptions

Moreover, the app’s Giga PayDay entitles subscribers to discounts on regular promo packages every 27th and 28th of the month.

All these add to the ongoing GigaDays, which offer as much as 20 percent discounts on GigaPoints redemptions every 19th to 22nd of the month.

For example, the GIGA VIDEO 99 redemption which usually costs 99 points may be claimed for just 79 points during the four-day period.

The GigaLife App is available on the Apple App Store, Google Play Store, and Huawei AppGallery Store now.

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