News

Cherry Mobile’s smartphone empire is targeting Europe next

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Cherry Mobile, the Philippines’ leading smartphone brand, is expanding to European markets later this year, a Cherry Mobile executive told GadgetMatch in a phone conversation. Germany will be the first country to sell Cherry Mobile devices and accessories, starting as early as the third quarter. If all goes according to plan, we might see Cherry Mobiles in retail stores in Spain and Italy by the end of the year.

We’re also told that the company’s initial offering for German consumers will include a good number of feature phones, smartphones, and action cameras, though the lineup is subject to change depending on which models sell quicker. Our money goes to the sub-Php5,000 LTE handsets from the Flare series.

Android One phones, unfortunately, are off the list for the time being, as exporting them overseas requires Google’s approval. Google is — after all — the architect of the Android One program.

Of course, news about Cherry Mobile’s global efforts shouldn’t come as a surprise; the company has extended its reach to Malaysia, Thailand, Laos, Papua New Guinea, and Tunisia in hopes of eventually becoming more like Samsung and Huawei and less like its homegrown rivals.

Germany is about as good a place to build an empire as any other, with smartphone usage climbing rapidly in recent years. Bitkom, a trade association for the technology industry in Germany, said handset shipments in the country rose to 26.2 million units in 2015, up 7.4 percent from the previous year, and that an estimated 74 percent of Germans 14 years old and older — the equivalent of 51 million people — own a smartphone.

Another important thing to note about the German market: Last year’s average price for a smartphone was 395 euros, or roughly 20,000 Philippine pesos. By contrast, Cherry Mobile’s devices retail for a fraction of that cost.

News

Vivo NEX S pop-up camera goes under the knife in durability test

There’s only one way to find out…

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As a tech enthusiast, some of the cringiest videos you can find on web are those from JerryRigEverything’s channel. YouTuber Zack Nelson scratches, burns, and bends the hottest phones on the planet for both our entertainment and to see just how durable these gadgets are.

His latest victim is the NEX S, which is Vivo’s most premium and innovative smartphone to date. Not only does it have an in-display fingerprint reader and some of the thinnest bezels around, it also owns a pop-up camera that discreetly hides when not needed.

While many applauded Vivo for the pioneering feature, others were skeptical of its durability after long-term use. It’s only been a month since the NEX series launched, so we can’t say for certain how well it’ll hold up, but we have JerryRigEverything to speed up the process for us.

In this video, we see the NEX S and its pop-up camera go under the knife — as well as through flames and a pair of hands that try their hardest to bend the phone.

See the torture test for yourself and try your best not to cringe:

Overall, the NEX S escaped the session well enough, proving that its build quality can keep up with the best of them. We can now say for certain that Vivo took physical endurance seriously when crafting its latest high-end device, and that it can take a beating (at the beginning at least).

If you want to see the Vivo NEX taken care of a lot better, you can watch our unboxing and hands-on video below:

 

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Gaming

Genki finally gives us Bluetooth audio support for the Nintendo Switch

It’s about time!

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When I first bought a Switch, I knew I was getting the best-possible mobile gaming experience available today. However, my high hopes suddenly went downhill once I realized there’s no way of connecting my favorite Bluetooth headphones.

That’s right: Despite being designed for gaming on the go, the Switch has no way of accepting any form of Bluetooth audio — a feature that’s been present on smartphones and other gaming consoles for ages.

If you want sound outside of the built-in stereo speakers, you’d have to connect your headphones or portable speaker to the 3.5mm port. That’s not too bad, but it goes against the truly wireless era smartphones and mobile gadgets are (forcefully) ushering us into.

This is where Genki comes in. It’s a straightforward dongle that plugs into the USB-C port of the Switch and enables you to connect any Bluetooth audio device to the Nintendo console.

What’s great is that Genki draws minimal power from the console and can even provide sound to two devices at once thanks to the power of Bluetooth 5.0.

This is a simple solution to a problem Nintendo should’ve addressed long time ago. The Switch has been available for over a year now, and no first-party accessories have been released to add Bluetooth support.

It’s currently being funded on Kickstarter with only four days left to reach it’s US$ 30,000 goal. Clearly, people are seeing the need for Genki, since it has already amassed nearly US$ 400,000 as of writing!

There’s still time to pledge, but the cheapest US$ 29 deal is already gone and the US$ 49 Day One Edition is also no longer available. The estimated delivery date is October 2018.

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Deals

Huawei P20 Lite and Nova 2i are now priced cheaper in the Philippines

To make way for new Huawei midrange phones

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Huawei P20 Lite | GadgetMatch

Huawei is set to unveil new smartphones in the coming weeks as competitive midrange offerings. In the Philippines, we already know that upcoming Nova 3i is going to be priced just below PhP 16,000, which is the same as the slightly older P20 Lite model. To make way for the new phone (or phones), Huawei just slashed the retail prices of two of their best-selling midrangers.

Effective immediately, the Huawei P20 Lite is now only PhP 13,990 which is two thousand pesos below its original price. Since the P20 Lite is now cheaper, the Huawei Nova 2i gets another price cut to just PhP 11,990.

Both phones sport Kirin 659 processors, Full HD+ displays with tall aspect ratios, dual rear cameras, and rear fingerprint readers. Design-wise, the P20 Lite looks a lot its P20 sibling with a notched display and glass back, while the Nova 2i features a metal unibody.

If you wanna know more about the P20 Lite, we have a video review that you can watch below:

We also have one for the Nova 2i:

SEE ALSO: Huawei Nova 3i pre-order details and price in the Philippines

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