Philippines

Best Premium Smartphones above P30,000 (June 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 May compilation, this June 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 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

Xiaomi Mi Mix (Exclusive Edition – PhP 34,300)

As of writing, there’s still no widely available smartphone much like Xiaomi’s Mi Mix. Its near-bezel-free front is incredible to this day, and the Exclusive Edition ups the premium with gold rims on the back and a ceramic finish. And it’s so generous on the inside, as well: 6GB of memory and 256GB of internal storage are more than enough even for hardcore users.

REVIEW: Xiaomi Mi Mix (Exclusive Edition) review

News

Samsung Galaxy J2 Pro launches in the Philippines

Pricing and availability here

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Everyone is anticipating Samsung’s big flagship announcement at MWC, but the tech giant still has all its markets covered. The Galaxy J2 Pro, their newest entry-level smartphone, has been popping up in Asian markets. Now, it’s finally come to Philippine shores.

The Galaxy J2 Pro is a budget device powered by a Snapdragon 425 quad-core processor with 1.5GB of memory and 16GB of expandable storage. It runs on Android 7.0 Nougat and sports a 5-inch qHD Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 960 x 540.

This handset is equipped with an 8-megapixel shooter on the back and a 5-megapixel selfie cam. The phone is Bluetooth-capable and has two micro-SIM card slots. It uses a micro-USB port for charging and has a removable 2600mAh battery (something you don’t see a lot these days). There’s a physical home button up front, but there is no fingerprint reader on the device.

The Samsung Galaxy J2 Pro is available in the Philippines starting today for PhP 7,490.

SEE ALSO: Samsung Galaxy J2 Pro is now available in Singapore

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Features

Is Xiaomi officially setting up shop in the Philippines?

Getting the facts straight

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One look at Xiaomi’s Philippine website, and you’ll see just how long they’ve been absent from the country. The product portfolio still displays the aging Mi 4i, Mi Pad, and Redmi 2 from 2015.

For years there have been rumors of Xiaomi coming back to the Philippines with official retail stores and service centers, but nothing has materialized.

Then this photo was published on Facebook by a page called Mi Philippines:

The Facebook post claims, the country’s “first ever Authorized Mi Store” will open in TriNoma Mall, Quezon City on February 17, 2018. Pre-registrations are open for those who’d like to win a Mi A1 on opening day.

But how legit is this physical store? A reliable source tells GadgetMatch that the soon-to-launch store will be operated by an official Xiaomi “partner” with support from Xiaomi Global, similar to what the company has done in other markets like Poland.

From the looks of it, this does not necessarily mean Xiaomi is resuming full operations in the Philippines just yet.

Regardless, it is good news for Filipino Mi fans who have been denied access to Xiaomi’s many stellar offerings including GadgetMatch’s Best Budget Smartphone of 2017, the Mi A1.

We’ll find out more details as the big day draws closer.

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Deals

Huawei Nova 2i gets its price slashed for a limited time

An even better deal than before

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Huawei recently gave the Nova 2i a much-wanted security feature through a free software update. Now, the company is slashing the price of its midrange smartphone in the Philippines.

Its official price is down to PhP 13,990 from the original PhP 14,990. This is a limited offer, though, lasting only until February 28.

This is the same handset that won us over when it first launched last October, and has been a regular member of our Best Smartphones list since we reviewed it.

The lowered price comes at a great time, just as Mobile World Congress is about to begin in Barcelona, Spain, and other brands are offering discounts in this competitive midrange segment.

You can learn more about the Nova 2i in our unboxing and hands-on video:

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