Philippines

Best Premium Smartphones in the Philippines above P30,000

July 2020 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.

Updated monthly, this 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:

Huawei P40 Pro+ (PhP 69,990)

The term “feels premium” gets thrown around too much needlessly. This phone has a legitimate claim to that. One touch and you’ll feel right away that you’re holding something luxurious. You can’t say that about every phone. Oh and, definitely go for the white one.

Review: Huawei P40 Pro+

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra (PhP 69,990)

All of Samsung’s new Galaxy S20 series belong in this price range. If you’re going to spend north of $600, might as well get the one with maxed-out specs, right? That’s exactly what the Galaxy S20 Ultra — the absolute best that Samsung has to offer right now in this form-factor. The numbers on the hardware are there but Samsung made sure to add key software features to appropriately take advantage of everything it has to offer.

WATCH HANDS-ON: Samsung Galaxy S20 series

ASUS ROG Phone 2 (PhP 49,995)

Nobody asked but ASUS followed up their gaming smartphone. The ROG Phone 2 maxes out every imaginable spec all while maintaining the design language of its predecessor. While the older accessories work, ASUS still introduced a few new ones. Most notably the Kunai gamepad that makes the gaming phone look almost like a Nintendo Switch.

REVIEW: ASUS ROG Phone 2

Photo from @oneplus on Twitter

OnePlus 8 Pro (PhP 45,990)

OnePlus is now firmly in the premium flagship category. OnePlus phones have traditionally been pretty darn great with a lot of the focus being on just how fast it feels. On the Plus 8 series it addresses a few things that were missing — the addition of wireless charging and an improvement to its long-time “weakpoint”, its cameras.

REVIEW: OnePlus 8 Pro

Huawei P40 Pro (PhP 50,990)

Huawei still has US government and Google problems, but they have come a long way since the ban last year. The company has found ways to bring or at least give you a way to download frequently used apps over to the AppGallery. That, along with their usual top-tier hardware, earns it a spot on this list. You’ll just have to make do with browser versions of certain Google apps for the time being.

REVIEW: Huawei P40 Pro

iPhone 11 Pro (PhP 67,990) & 11 Pro Max (PhP 73,990)

The iPhone 11 Pro made no leaps in design which is why it somewhat feels underwhelming. It does, however, make up for it with yet another faster than ever processor, and a much-improved camera system. No, Apple didn’t exactly “innovate” but the iPhone is still what you expect it to be — a smartphone who’s hardware and software just works.

UNBOXING: iPhone 11, 11 Pro, 11 Pro Max

OPPO Find X2 Pro (PhP, 65,990)

This inclusion is not exactly a recommendation but more a recognition of everything OPPO has done to get here. The Find X2 Pro is truly a phone that can compete with the best-of-the-best. We’re just not sure if the top-of-the-line features alone merit this pricing.

REVIEW: OPPO Find X2 Pro

Apps

Grab kickstarts growth of digital economy in the Philippines

Here’s how Grab can help small businesses sell more

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For almost a decade, Grab affixed itself as a staple in Filipinos’ lives. The ride-hailing app’s advent revolutionized mobility in the Philippines, making living in the metro relatively convenient.

In 2020, Grab takes things a step further, launching Small Business Booster Program. Moreover, the company partnered with the Department of Agriculture, Department of Tourism, and the Department of Trade and Industry.

Grab is aiming to support local businesses in their transition to a growing digital economy. It seeks to bridge the gap between MSMEs and consumers relying on digital-based services. Furthermore, it kickstarted initiatives that are accessible to small business owners — particularly mom-and-pops or independent, family-owned businesses.

Transitioning to digital services

“Small, independent businesses are the backbone of our economy,” according to Grab Philippines Brian Cu.

Believing that supporting government initiatives will help these businesses rejuvenate the economy amid the pandemic, the Small Business Booster Program strives to provide digital support to businesses, such as GrabMerchant.

This all-in-one platform helps business owners augment their customer base efficiently. Some features include Insights — providing analytics to a merchant’s sales, marketing campaigns, and its customers’ profile and buying behavior.

There’s also an ads creation tool, which allows merchant-partners to create their own advertisements and track performance in Grab’s platform.

GrabMerchant is available to existing Grab merchant-partners as an app. A web portal is already in the works, which will roll out by the end of August 2020. Currently, there are over 78,000 merchant-partners onboarded in the Grab app across Southeast Asia.

In the Philippines, Grab recorded almost 12,000 merchants between March and June 2020, with small businesses seeing at least 57 percent growth in their online revenues. Interested merchants can sign up through this link.

Photo by Grab Philippines

Free, personalized ads

Aside from GrabMerchant’s Ads creation tool, Grab is committed to supporting Filipino merchants with advertising solutions. Most merchant-partners saw up to 300 percent return on ad spend, after placing an ad on GrabFood’s homepage.

Through its “Homegrown Heroes” initiative, Grab will create personalized ads for over 1,000 merchant-partners, featuring their businesses for five weeks on the most prominent spaces within the app. Costs and resources required to produce materials will be covered by Grab.

An easy way to receive payments

If you’re a social seller, take advantage of Grab’s Offline to Online (O2O) Merchant Support Program. Businesses with no online presence can set up their online stores, and utilize an integrated GrabPay checkout for virtual payments through a landing page on Grab.com.

Since the lockdown, people turned to social selling for sustenance. However, online selling plies with tricky payment methods. Grab aims to ease purchasing and receiving payments through its Remote GrabPay link solution, where sellers can hand out URLs to their customers.

These links will allow customers to make direct payments from their GrabPay Wallet, which sellers receive easily. Access the service through this link.

Connecting rural entrepreneurs

Grab is also leveraging its leadership in technology and innovation to help expand livelihood opportunities to Filipino farmers across the country.

It has been actively working with local governments in helping traditional ecosystems maintain their presence in a growing digital economy. Together with the Department of Agriculture’s Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita program and the Department of Tourism’s Philippine Harvest Initiative, Grab seeks to create an avenue for Filipino farmers to earn through the Grab platform. More importantly, their fresh produce will be delivered to customers across Metro Manila.

To learn more about Grab’s response in the COVID-19 impact, check their social report, Grab for Good through this link.

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News

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite arrives in the Philippines

New tablet option!

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Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite

If you’re looking for a tablet that comes with a pen, then you might want to turn your attention to the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite.

The tablet has a 10.4” WUXGA+ display with dual speakers by Dolby Atmos and sound by AKG. This allows for an immersive viewing and listening experience in one compact companion.

Inside it’s powered by the Exynos 911 with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage that’s expandable up to 1TB via a microSD card. It also has 7040mAh of battery. It’s running Android 10, naturally with One UI 2.0 on top as well as everything else you can expect from a Samsung mobile device.

It has a nifty Samsung Kids feature for access to age-appropriate and family-friendly materials. So, if you’re a parent, you can rest easy should you choose to let your child handle the tablet.

Pricing and availability

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite is now available for purchase. It comes in Oxford Gray and Angora Blue and retails for PhP 26,990 (US$ 545). It comes with a Free Book Cover and the aforementioned S-Pen both in the box. You also get free 4 months of YouTube Premium.

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Deals

ASUS VivoBook S goes on sale

Making it a compelling laptop for students and teachers

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The start of a new school year is just a month away and distance learning is the new normal. As such, students and teachers need a reliable laptop for this paradigm shift. That’s where this ASUS Vivobook S sale comes in.

ASUS Philippines is offering various discounts and price promos for its popular VivoBook S laptop series. Buyers can snag discounts of up to PhP 25,000 on select models. These include the VivoBook S15, S14, and even the slim-and-light S13.

VivoBook S15

The VivoBook S15 features a 15.6-inch screen so students and teachers can view lessons with ease. On top of that, all VivoBook S15 models have Intel Core processors to meet the demands of online education.

The ErgoLift hinge, meanwhile, ensures that students won’t tire their hands when typing long documents and files.

  • S531FL-BQ071T / S531FL-BQ072T / S531FL-BQ073T (15-inch FHD, i7-8565U, 8GB / 1TB HDD + 512GB SSD, MX250) — from PhP 60,995 to PhP 55,995 (promo price of PhP 50,995)
  • S531FL-BQ289T / S531FL-BQ290T / S531FL-BQ376T / S531FL-BQ377T / S531FL-BQ378T (15-inch FHD, i7-8565U, 8GB / 512GB SSD, MX250) — from PhP 56,995 to PhP 51,995 (promo price of PhP 46,995)
  • S531FL-BQ001T / S531FL-BQ002T / S531FL-BQ003T / S531FL-BQ004T / S531FL-BQ005T (15-inch FHD, i5-8265U, 8GB / 512GB SSD, MX250) — from PhP 49,995 to PhP 41,995 (promo price of PhP 40,995)
  • S530 (15-inch FHD, i7-8565U, 8GB / 1TB + 256GB SSD, MX150) — from PhP 64,995 to PhP 51,995 (promo price of PhP 46,995)

VivoBook S14

There’s also a VivoBook S14 for students who want a laptop with a smaller screen, but packs decent performance overall.

All VivoBook S14 models come equipped with NanoEdge displays, ensuring immersive viewing experience for multimedia files. Plus, each model weight under 1.4 kilograms, making it easy to carry around at home or at school.

  • S431 (14-inch FHD, i5-8265U, 8GB / 512GB SSD, MX250) — from PhP 49,995 to PhP 44,995 (promo price of PhP 40,995)
  • S430FN-EB059T / S430FN-EB060T / S430FN-EB061T (14-inch FHD, i7-8565U, 8GB / 1TB HDD + 256GB SSD, MX150) — from PhP 64,995 to PhP 51,995 (promo price of PhP 46,995)
  • S430FN-EB056T / S430FN-EB057T / S430FN-EB058T / S430FN-EB062T (14-inch FHD, i5-8265U, 4GB / 1TB + 256GB SSD, MX150) — from PhP 51,995 to PhP 39,995 (promo price of PhP 35,995)

VivoBook S13

Students who need an ultraportable laptop should look no further than VivoBook S13. This laptop is even lighter than VivoBook S14, weighing only 1.2 kilograms.

While it is light, ASUS didn’t skimp on features for the VivoBook S13. It comes with the latest Intel Core processors and up to 8GB of RAM. Plus, each model comes with an 89% screen-to-body ratio, focusing more on the content at hand.

  • S330FN-EY006T / S330FN-EY005T / S330FN-EY004T (13-inch FHD, i7-8565U, 8GB / 256GB SSD, MX150) — from PhP 62,995 to PhP 46,995 (promo price of PhP 42,995)
  • S330FN-EY002T / S330FN-EY001T / S330FN-EY003T (13-inch FHD, i5-8265U, 8GB / 256GB SSD, MX150) — from PhP 56,995 to PhP 41,995 (promo price of PhP 37,995)
  • S330UN-EY002T / S330UN-EY001T (13-inch FHD, i5-8250U, 4GB / 256GB SSD, MX150) — from PhP 50,995 to PhP 40,995 (promo price of PhP 36,995)
  • S330FA-EY005T / S330FA-EY009T / S330FA-EY008T (13-inch FHD, i5-8265U, 8GB / 256GB SSD) — from PhP 51,995 to PhP 39,995 (promo price of PhP 35,995)
  • S330UA-EY023T (13-inch FHD, i5-8250U, 4GB / 256GB SSD) — from PhP 45,995 to PhP 34,995 (promo price of PhP 31,995)

To avail of ASUS’ VivoBook laptops, head over to their Lazada, Shopee, and official online store. You may also buy these discounted laptops at any participating ASUS physical stores nationwide.

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