Smartphones

LG G5 Unboxing

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It’s not always that you can take apart something and end up with a better product, but that’s exactly the calling card of LG’s latest flagship, the G5.

Yup, you’re looking at the Lego equivalent of a smartphone, or at least the closest thing we have to a truly modular device that can be upgraded as easily as swapping out its components. Obviously, that future hasn’t fully arrived yet, but it’s good to see the Korean manufacturer actively pursuing it.

But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, it might be a good idea to take a look at what the G5’s retail package includes and, perhaps more importantly, see how its optional accessories slot into the base of the phone. Because as a G5 owner, obviously, the last thing you want to see is this $750 phone getting jammed in the wrong slot, and then breaking it into more pieces than LG intended.

To that end (and to show you how to get the app drawer back on the G5, among other things of note), we’ve published our LG G5 unboxing video.

As always, we encourage you to share your thoughts in the comments below and to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more videos like the one you see here.

News

Samsung reveals Galaxy Note 10+ Star Wars Special Edition

Embrace the dark side

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Samsung and Star Wars have always had the “galaxy” in common and now these two worlds are colliding with the South Korean company’s announcement of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ Star Wars Special Edition.

The collaboration ties directly with the upcoming film Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker which will hit theaters on December 20. The Galaxy Note 10+ Star Wars Special Edition does feature a Skywalker, but it’s one that does not carry that name.

The phone’s design has Kylo Ren all over it. Kylo Ren is the son of Han Solo and Leia Skywalker. He’s also the most prominent user of the dark side of the force in the most recent movies on the film franchise.

The device is all black with some red accents. Also in red is the accompanying S Pen, mimicking the color of the light saber that Kylo Ren carries around. On its back is the Samsung logo as well the logo of the First Order which is essentially the new army inspired by the Galactic Empire.

The special edition smartphone will come in a bundle that includes Galaxy Buds that is also all black with red accents. Also included is a special edition leather case that shows Kylo Ren and a metal badge that acts as a collector’s item.

Pricing and Availability

According to Samsung’s release, The Galaxy Note 10+ Star Wars Special Edition unlocked by Samsung version will be available only in limited quantities and will retail for US$ 1299.99 staring December in USA.

SEE ALSO: Samsung Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10+ Review

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Philippines

Samsung Galaxy Fold: Price and availability in the Philippines

Its price tag is not for the faint of heart

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First announced alongside the Samsung Galaxy S10 and refined later on in 2019, the Samsung Galaxy Fold has now made its way to the Philippines. The country’s two biggest telecommunication providers are also joining in the fray.

With Globe, pre-orders start November 18 with Globe’s ThePLAN or ThePLATINUM. It will be available until December 1st or until stocks last; only 400 units will be available.

With Smart, interested parties may start their application by preparing the following requirements: contact information, proof of income or financial capacity, proof of identity, proof of address, and email address. Visit a Smart Signature store anywhere in the country to submit your requirements. For more details visit Smart’s website.

The Samsung Galaxy Fold is available at Signature Device Plan L at PhP 4,099 per month for 24 months with a one-time cash-out of PhP 20,700. With it comes 15GB of monthly data, Unli AnyNet Texts, Unli On-Net Calls, and 150 minutes of AnyNet calls.

It’s also available with the premium postpaid plan called Smart Infinity under the Limitless/Traveler Plan 3500 with a monthly amortization of PhP 2,000 for 24 months. Under the Limitless/Traveler Plan 5000 for 30 months, the Galaxy Fold can be had for free.

The Samsung Galaxy Fold is available for PhP 109,990 at Abensons, Ansons, Samsung Experience Stores, Lazada, and other official distributors. It’ll come with a pair of Galaxy Buds, one year of Samsung Care+ and Samsung Concierge.

Samsung Concierge and Samsung Care+

Samsung Concierge gives access to specialized customer care programs including a 24/7 dedicated hotline, free pick-up and delivery assistance, and service express lanes, among others. Customers get to directly consult with the company’s tech experts for any queries.

Samsung Care+ is a hassle-free year-long program to assist Galaxy Fold owners for any emergency concerns. It also includes repair coverage for one year.

A new device category

The Galaxy Fold is Samsung’s first foldable smartphone. It sports a foldable 7.3-inch Infinity Flex Display. Revealed months ago, the display can freely transform between an expansive 7.3-inch tablet and a smaller 4.6-inch phone. Unfolded, the phone is a QXGA+ resolution powerhouse. Folded, the phone carries a workable HD+ display.

Powering the device is a 7nm octa-core processor, 12GB of RAM, and 512GB of internal storage. Outside, the phone carries a triple rear camera setup — 16-megapixel ultra-wide camera + 12-megapixel wide-angle camera + a telephoto lens. In front, it has a 16-megapixel selfie shooter when folded. It has two batteries that combine for a total of 4380mAh.

During the first reveal, the Galaxy Fold was said to be available in four colors with LTE and 5G variants and will retail for US$ 1,980. Global availability of the refined version was announced in September at IFA 2019 in Berlin.

SEE ALSO

Samsung is already working on a more affordable Galaxy Fold

Samsung admits redesigned Galaxy Fold is still too fragile

The Galaxy Fold fails a crucial folding test

Samsung teases the next Galaxy Fold

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Editors' Choice

Best of 2019: Our favorite smartphones

So many choices, so we narrowed them down for you

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There’s really not one best smartphone. We all have different needs and thankfully, the options that brands give us is not lacking at all. Whether your priority is photography, gaming, or just something basic, there is definitely a smartphone for you.

Here are our favorites.

Best smartphones for photography: iPhone 11 Pro, Pixel 4

How good are the cameras? That’s always a topic of conversation when new phones are released. While other brands have made huge strides, the iPhone 11 Pro and the Pixel 4 continue to dominate this category. The iPhone is a no-brainer choice for most people. Consistency is key and Apple has been pretty much consistent with the cameras on the iPhone.

Meanwhile, Google’s computational photography on the Pixel 4 continues to wow reviewers and casual users. Like the iPhone, the Pixel has consistently been one of the best in this category and it appears it will continue to be in the foreseeable future.

Honorable mentions: Huawei Mate 30 Pro, Huawei P30 Pro

Best Android flagship: Samsung Galaxy Note 10, Galaxy Note 10+

While the S Pen continues to set the Galaxy Note 10 series apart, the latest iteration of this Samsung flagship does so many other things at a high level as well. It is still a smartphone that’s literally for anyone, especially with the Galaxy Note 10 being made for people with smaller hands. Audio enthusiasts will lament the lack of a headphone jack for HiFi audio but more casual users are buying wireless earphones for their devices.

Honorable Mentions: OnePlus 7T Pro, Huawei P30 Pro, Samsung Galaxy S10+

Best implementation of a foldable display: Motorola razr

While the Samsung Galaxy Fold dominated this year’s headlines — and not always for the best reasons, it was the Motorola razr that showed us that while it’s notable to be the first, it’s more important to be the first to get it right. The new razr is a buzzer beater entry in this category but it’s also a slam dunk. The device, at launch, just works. No creases, no displays you can tear off, and no threat of software support being banned.

Best smartphone with a 64MP camera: Realme XT

The only two other phones in this category are the Redmi Note 8 Pro and the Vivo NEX 3. We think that of the three, the Realme XT offers the best value. You see, other than the megapixel count, what sets smartphone cameras apart is the phone’s post-processing. The Realme XT consistently produces images with great detail and fantastic color reproduction. It doesn’t hurt that the phone’s white variant looks pretty good too.

Best value smartphone: Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro (Redmi K20 Pro) 

This is 2019’s flagship killer. Not only is it equipped with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 that’s present in most flagships today, it also has a modern all-screen design with a pop-up camera plus its rear cameras more than holds its own against phones that are similarly priced. But the price, that’s where this phone truly sets itself apart. For less than half of most flagships today, you get very near-flagship performance. There’s almost nothing else like it.

Honorable Mentions: OnePlus 7T, Realme 5 Pro

Best budget smartphone: Realme 5

Realme broke out in 2019 like no other brand. They’ve strengthened their foothold in key developing markets by launching devices that punch above their weight class. The Realme 5 is one such device. As one of the few budget smartphones with a quad-camera setup and is capable of basic gaming, it’s a well-rounded device and is perfect for anyone looking to get their first smartphone.

Honorable Mentions: Redmi Note 8, Samsung Galaxy A20s

Best smartphones for videography: iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max 

iPhones have been far and away the best smartphones for taking videos for a while now. The same is true in 2019. The iPhone 11 series has put even more emphasis on the cameras and just took what it was already good at and just became better at it. No one’s touching the iPhone in this category but the challengers have been gaining on them.

Honorable mentions: Huawei Mate 30 Pro, Huawei P30 Pro, OPPO Reno2, Samsung Galaxy Note 10+

Best gaming smartphone: ROG Phone 2

It’s not even about the accessories. Yes, those are cool, but what really makes this a gaming smartphone is its design. We’re not just talking about how it looks. Design should always be how form and function come together. The ROG Phone 2’s features and little touches here and there like the second usb-c port for charging, the flat display, the front-firing speakers — these are all design decisions that address a mobile gamer’s needs. It’s extremely thoughtful of its target market.

Best Android smartphone without Google Mobile Services: Huawei Mate 30 Pro 

Heh. Sorry Huawei, we just had to. ✌

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