Smartphones

How to exchange your Samsung Galaxy Note 7 in the Philippines

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You’ve probably heard about it a million times. You’ve heard from the news, from your family and peers, and from Samsung. And you’ve heard right: A battery defect has caused a few Galaxy Note 7 phones to explode during and after charging

Samsung has since launched an internal investigation and found a “battery-cell issue” in batteries made in South Korea. More notably, the consumer electronics giant issued a sweeping recall of over 2 million Note 7 units worldwide on September 2nd, a week after the first incident was reported in South Korea. Sales have stopped, and a mandatory update that prevents affected phones from fully charging the battery has been rolled out.

Samsung on September 8 announced a replacement program where users in the Philippines could exchange their Galaxy Note 7 handsets for new ones that are considered safe. The company had previously told customers they should expect the safe Note 7 units from October 1st. The finer details of the announcement can be found here.

samsung-galaxy-note-7-post-recall-20160930-02

Contents of the box of a new Galaxy Note 7 that is deemed safe

But seeing that we’re just a day removed from the start of Samsung’s exchange program, we thought it would be best to summarize what we know about it and what we’ve been told during our recent meeting with Samsung executives.

  1. First things first: The exchange program encompasses all Galaxy Note 7 devices sold through authorized retailers, including Lazada Philippines, and through carriers Globe Telecom and Smart Communications.
  2. Samsung is prepared to replace all 6,000-plus phones sold in the Philippines prior to the recall in one go. Even if everyone who had bought the phone somehow manages to show up on October 1.
  3. Users can also exchange the Note 7 for an S7 edge (Samsung will refund the price difference) or get their money back in full.
  4. Customers must bring the following: the retail box with all the included accessories; one ID; and a proof of purchase.
  5. Samsung recommends bringing the Note 7 to the store where the customer bought it. But if a unit was purchased in another part of the country — say, Davao — one can have it exchanged in a service location in Manila or another city. Proof of purchase will be required, of course.
  6. All those who return their handset from tomorrow will get a screen protector and a P1,000 gift certificate to use on any Samsung purchase.
  7. The new Note 7 units can be identified by a green battery icon on the status bar, and on the always-on and power-off screens; a black dot on the box; and their IMEIs or serial numbers. You can run a phone’s serial number against this database to find out if it is safe.

Samsung’s exchange program is currently ongoing in some parts of the world, and majority of customers seem to prefer getting a replacement Note 7 over the alternatives. Samsung earlier said around one million customers worldwide had exchanged their devices. Over 60 percent of old Note 7s have been returned in the U.S. and South Korea, 57 percent in Europe.

Samsung expects all recalled Note 7 phones in the Philippines will be returned by the end of the year. Galaxy Note 7 sales in the country will resume on — you guessed it — October 1st.

[irp posts=”9847″ name=”Samsung earned record profits despite Note 7 recall”]

News

Qualcomm announces Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1

And Snapdragon 7 Plus Gen 1

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The second half of this year’s smartphones are coming. Naturally, each smartphone needs a capable processor to make itself more special among today’s crop of devices. Signaling the start of the next slate of devices, Qualcomm has announced the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1.

A lot of current lineups have already launched for the year. However, we’re still missing some of the more premium offerings today. The new Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 will power the next generation for the year. And, according to Qualcomm, the chipset will deliver 10 percent faster CPU and GPU performance. It will also use 15 percent less power, squeezing out an extra hour of usage.

The chipset will focus more on performance. Even if the smartphone heats up from all the gaming, the processor can keep up with delivering sustained performance.

Though the list of confirmed devices is still a bit sparse today, companies have already promised to use the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1. These include Honor, iQOO, Lenovo, Motorola, OnePlus, OPPO, realme, vivo, Xiaomi, and ZTE. As expected, gaming brands are also signing up like ASUS’s Republic of Gamers and Black Shark.

Ironically, that’s not even the gaming processor, according to Qualcomm. The company also released the Snapdragon 7 Plus Gen 1, which reportedly touts a 20 percent boost to GPU performance. Honor, OPPO, and Xiaomi are already making phones with the chipset.

SEE ALSO: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 beats Apple A15 Bionic in early tests

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Philippines

HUAWEI Mate Xs 2, new smartwatches coming soon

Six new flagship products including smartwatches

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Mate Xs 2

HUAWEI’s brand new flagship foldable smartphone, the Mate Xs 2 headlines six new product releases from the tech company.

The Mate Xs 2 joins the WATCH GT 3 Pro, WATCH D, Watch Fit 2, S-TAG, and Band 7 in HUAWEI’s latest lineup of next-generation products for smart and healthy living.

Perfection expanded

Mate Xs 2

Weighting just 255 grams and just 5.4mm thin, the Mate Xs 2 is one of the “flattest and lightest” foldable smartphones in the market.

It comes with the first 3D Fiberglass Design which complements its Falcon Wing Design.

Running on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 4G processor, the phone has a 7.8-inch True-Chroma foldable (2480 x 2200) display with a 120Hz refresh rate.

The centerpiece of its triple camera on the rear is a 50 MP True-Chroma main camera, and the phone supports more than 20 capturing and video shooting functions.

Mate Xs 2

Among its other specs and features are:

  • 8GB memory + 512GB storage
  • 4,500mAh Silicon-based Anode battery
  • 66W HUAWEI SuperCharge
  • Anti-Reflective Nano Optical layer
  • Floating Window Swipe Gestures

Next-generation cutting-edge products

In addition to the Mate Xs 2, HUAWEI also unveiled its latest smartwatches and health monitors and sensors.

The WATCH GT 3 Pro, WATCH D, Watch Fit 2, S-TAG, and Band 7 all come with the latest features to elevate users’ fitness and workout experiences, while being complemented by the HUAWEI Health App.

Highlights for each new product are as follows:

WATCH GT 3 Pro

Watch GT 3 Pro

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG) analysis
  • Arterial stiffness detection and TruSeen
  • Accurate heart health measurement and blood oxygen monitoring
  • Accurate GPS with built-in dual-band five-system GNSS
  • Sport mode and free-diving mode (up to 30 meters deep)
  • Over 100 workout modes
  • AI Running Coach

WATCH D

  • The first wrist-type blood pressure monitoring device
  • Equipped with ECG high-performance sensor

WATCH Fit 2

  • Tap to Transfer feature
  • Built-in speaker in addition to microphone for calls on the go
  • 97 workout modes

S-TAG: Multi-function dynamic motion sensor

  • Built-in 9-axis high-precision sensors to monitor running posture
  • Utilizes users’ foot and waist motion data based on 13 types of running posture data
  • Designed with prior research conducted alongside China Institute of Sports Science

Band 7: Thinnest fitness tracker

  • Comes with a range of watch faces for customization, including AOD Watch Faces Mode and Moon Phase Watch Face Mode
  • Over 4,000 themes
  • HUAWEI TruSeen 4.0 for accurate heart rate tracking

Pricing and availability

Both the WATCH GT 3 Pro and WATCH FIT 2 are already available for pre-orders in the Philippines. Click here for more details.

Meanwhile, the official rollouts for the Mate Xs 2 and other products in the Philippines and Singapore will be announced in the future.

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Hands-On

realme 9i Hands-On

Solid as usual
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The realme 9i is the “little brother” in the realme 9 series. And while it doesn’t pack the same punch as its pro siblings – the realme 9 Pro and realme 9 pro+ – there’s enough here for anyone who just needs a reliable daily smartphone.

Here’s a quick look at the specs before we dive in deeper: 

Performance

  • 6.6-inch IPS LCD display with 90Hz refresh rate 
  • Qualcomm SM6225 Snapdragon 680 4G processor
  • 6GB RAM with Dynamic RAM expansion feature up to 5GB 
  • 128GB Internal Storage 
  • 5,000mAh battery
  • 33W Dart Charge tech

Cameras

  • 50MP main camera
  • 2MP macro lens
  • 2MP depth lens
  • 16MP selfie shooter

Here are some samples for your appreciation.

Neat, simple, and elegant

The realme 9i is pretty understated in the looks department. The variant we got comes in blue and depending on how the light hits, you’ll see some lines to accentuate its back.

As for button and port placements, at the bottom you’ll find the usuas: speaker grille, USB-C  port, and 3.5mm jack. 

On the right side is the power button/fingerprint scanner. 

And on the left hand side are the two, tiny volume buttons. 

Overall, the realme 9i  looks neat. Simple yet elegant. The camera stands out, obviously. But you can say that for most phones these days. It’s light for its size and appearance. It’s already easy to hold as is, but it’s even easier if you’re the phone-case-and-pop-up socket type of person.

General usage

Switching from one app to the other, or going back to the home screen for that matter is seamless and fast. There’s no trouble opening or loading apps so far. 

The apps load from where I last left it, provided I haven’t closed all apps, cleared RAM, or optimized phone usage.

Media consumption and gaming

We enjoyed more than our fair share of watching sports highlights  on the realme 9i. It pays to have a great-performing phone to not miss any action. We didn’t have any problems watching on YouTube at the highest resolution settings and at 60 fps. 

Same is true for other types of content. The viewing experience was likewise seamless.

The speaker is really loud and complements the video. You don’t have to put it on max volume although it’s still of the best quality when put to max. It doesn’t break.

Playing Mobile Legends with friends and relatives on this phone is perfect even if it’s “only” a mid-level phone. The game’s graphics settings were set on default when opening from the phone. I tinkered it to HD mode with a high refresh rate and “Ultra” graphics, and it didn’t have problems throughout the game like lagging when I played.

Battery life

On full standby in power saving mode without having to connect it to Wi-Fi or turn on mobile data, the phone consumes just about 5 to 10 percent of its battery power in one whole day.

When charging, it takes less than an hour to charge from 30 percent to full with its 33W fast charging.

Solid as usual

realme 9i

 

The “i” variants in realme’s numbered series phones have consistently been steady performers and the realme 9i is no different. It’s not gonna wow you with raw specs, but the overall package and performance makes it worthwhile.

The realme 9i retails for PhP 11,990. Buy it here.

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