Features

Globe beats Smart in 4G availability, loses in overall download speed

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OpenSignal released its September 2017 report for mobile data speeds and 4G LTE availability in the Philippines for both Globe Telecom and Smart Communications. The results favor one side a little more.

This is the second time the independent group tracked data in the Philippines, recording three months’ worth of data from May 1 to July 31 for the two major network carriers. The data is largely the same as what was previously recorded, but it still gives us a good idea of which company does mobile data better.

There are a lot of numbers to look at, so we compiled them in a series of graphics. Take a look:

The first one represents 4G availability throughout the nation. OpenSignal measures this by looking at how often users can access the network, and not by how many areas have 4G connectivity. Globe has a significant edge here with 62.59 percent, which is nearly 10 percent more than Smart’s 52.71 percent.

The next piece of data shows average 4G download speeds for both providers in the Philippines. Smart has a much better speed of 10.55Mbps here; that’s over 3Mbps faster than Globe’s average speed!

While not as advanced, 3G is still important in rural areas without access to 4G. Luckily, users of both sides experience the network at virtually equal speeds.

With that, the overall download speed when you consider both 4G and 3G networks favors Smart. OpenSignal also factors in 4G availability, which Globe won earlier, but it isn’t enough to help the blue side catch up.

Latency signifies the delay data goes through when traveling from one point to another in a network. In this case, a lower number results in faster response, and Smart wins by a hair with an average 4G latency of 57.57ms compared to Globe’s 69.03ms.

As for 3G latency, it’s another virtual draw. But do note that the delay here is much longer than the 4G latency numbers shown earlier. This goes to show how much better it is to connect to the more advanced technology for a more fluid experience.

As you can see, there are a couple of ties, but the majority of wins go to Smart. The sole success for Globe is in 4G availability, which, if you think about it, may actually be the most important factor in terms of long-term statistics.

The data was recorded from over a billion measurements across 62,502 devices. Although these numbers are considered to be a fairly accurate representation of the state of mobile data in the Philippines, individual usage varies greatly and doesn’t necessarily equal to what we see here.

SEE ALSO: Smartphone Price Lists in the Philippines

[irp posts=”17683" name=”Smartphone Price Lists in the Philippines”]

Source: OpenSignal

Hands-On

Xiaomi Mi 9 Hands-On: 2019 Flagship Killer?

BEAST!

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Top of the line specs, amazing cameras, and high-speed wireless charging. MWC hasn’t even officially started yet, so it might be premature to say this, but has Xiaomi just unveiled the 2019 flagship killer?

We recently got to spend time with Xiaomi’s latest flagship and this is our hands-on video.

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Hands-On

Samsung Galaxy M20 hands-on: Give the users what they want

Awakening of the sleeping giant

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Samsung has been the smartphone market leader for half a decade now, and its flagship phones continue to be an inspiration for everyone. However, while the brand is dominating in developed markets, it has taken a massive beating in the developing ones.

Thanks to players like Xiaomi, the South Korean brand has consistently lost market share in countries like India. Samsung slowly prepared itself to change strategy by the end of last year and intends to go hard in 2019. It announced the new Galaxy M-series lineup of phones in the budget segment and the M10 and M20 are the first ones to roll off the shelf.

The M20 has been launched in India for INR 10,990 (US$ 154) and comes with 3GB RAM and 32GB internal storage. The option with 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage costs INR 12,990 (US$ 182). The phone goes up against the Redmi 6 Pro, Realme U1, and even the Mi A2.

To start with, Samsung has opted to go with a basic design, consisting of a plastic body that is curved at the edges and is pretty glossy. The phone is extremely comfortable to hold, and the build quality is top-notch. Even the buttons are very tactile and bezels are smaller.

On the front is a 6.3-inch TFT display with a Full HD resolution and small water-drop style notch on the top. This is the first Samsung phone to feature a notch, and the display quality is surprisingly good. The color production is vivid and satisfying, while the viewing angles are perfect. It is easily visible even under direct sunlight.

For authentication, a fingerprint scanner is located on the rear and it is fast enough. You also have the option of face unlock and it works quickly in well-lit conditions. It has dual-SIM support and there’s a separate slot for microSD card, as well.

Powering the phone is an octa-core Exynos 7904 processor, which is considered to be on par with the Snapdragon 636. It is a very power-efficient processor with more emphasis on the cameras. Day-to-day tasks are handled smoothly and games like PUBG are playable with low graphics.

It has a dual-camera setup on the rear, consisting of a 13-megapixel primary shooter and a 5-megapixel wide-angle sensor. The pictures clicked during daytime are decently saturated but lack sharpness. Even focus tends to get slow in low-light conditions. The wide-angle lens works best in bright surroundings only and is a very handy tool. For selfies, it has an 8-megapixel shooter with built-in beauty enhancements.

It ships with Samsung Experience 9.5 out of the box and is actually well optimized. There is barely any lag and the UI offers a plethora of customizations and features. The company announced that the Android Pie update will be landing soon. Lastly, it has a massive 5000mAh battery that’ll get you through two days of usage.

Xiaomi has been successful because it offers users a balanced product that suits everyone’s needs. With the M20, Samsung goes down the same road. While the recently announced A-series phones were for photography enthusiasts, the M20 is good enough for everything.

The M20 is no disruptor, but an indication that Samsung is gearing up. And as a generation-one product, it’s performing fairly well.

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Cameras

Fujifilm Instax SQ20 hands-on: How good is it?

Trying out the new Motion Mode on doggies!

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Fujifilm’s sequel to their first ever digital/analog hybrid is here and it’s looking better than ever. The Instax SQ20 is one classy-looking instant camera but what can it do? With a set of built-in filters and new features like the Motion Mode, it looks like a promising device.

I finally try it out, with help from some doggies, on our hands-on video.

The SQ20 retails for US$ 199 in the US, PhP 12,999 in the Philippines, and SG$ 299 in Singapore.

In case you’re having trouble viewing, watch HERE.

READ ALSO: Fujifilm Instax SQ10 review

READ ALSO: Prynt Pocket unboxing and review: A printer that prints videos?

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