Philippines

Nokia 8.1 review: What took you so long?

Solid but feels dated

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There’s a Filipino song called “Bakit ngayon ka lang?”. Loosely translated, it means “what took you so long?”. The song talks about a missed romantic opportunity — of someone else coming along while you’re already committed to another. That’s almost exactly how I feel about the Nokia 8.1.

The phone — known in other markets as the Nokia 7X — was first announced in December 2018. A full seven months later, it arrived in the Philippines. And a lot has happened in those seven months.

Performance on par with midrangers today

Before I proceed, let’s get some of the specs talk out of the way. The device is powered by the Snapdragon 710 SoC along with 6GB of RAM with 128GB of internal storage which is expandable via a microSD card. That’s not bad. At all. It’s even near-flagship territory… in 2018.

One thing about the Nokia 8.1 though that will never feel dated is its OS. The phone is part of Google’s Android One program which means this is running Stock Android. If you like it vanilla — like a lot of purists do — then this is one of the phones that offer that clean experience. Right now it’s still on Android P, but if you’re feeling adventurous, you can side load Android Q beta as it is a partner device for Android’s developer preview.

Google cards are quite useful

The chip together with vanilla Android makes for a smooth and snappy experience. Most of the time I’m either just browsing or working on my phone and doing so on the Nokia 8.1 one was a very pleasant experience.

I have said this countless times but in case you’re new here, I don’t really play mobile games. The only time I ever really do so is when I have to test phones. On the Nokia 8.1 I only played Honkai Impact 3, which is a pretty graphics heavy game. The phone had zero trouble running the game and it looked especially stunning on the phone’s 6.18-inch PureDisplay screen (which we’ll get to shortly).

This means the phone will likely have zero problems running some of the most played games today like PUBG and Mobile Legends: Bang Bang. If you play these games with this phone and don’t get that Chicken Dinner or that MVP, then you only have yourself to blame.

A display sent from the heavens

The PureDisplay screen technology is really pulling its own weight. When Nokia said this phone offers a higher contrast ratio and sharper output, it felt like it was even underselling it. The screen is vibrant and the colors and images look sharp all without looking too saturated.

It doesn’t have any of that crazy 90hz or 120hz display that we’ll find on 2019 flagships, but dare I say, the Nokia 8.1 probably has the best display in its price point.

I hid that notch eventually

I’ve often found myself happily watching on this phone while slowly being sucked into the YouTube rabbit hole. Speaking of watching videos on this display, I opted to turn the notch off altogether. The notch still looks like the one present on the iPhone X which came out in 2017. It’s 2019 and personally, I’d rather have a full bezel than be bothered looking at that kind of a notch.

Watching vertical FanCams is great on this thing

That said audio on this thing is far from perfect but it’s passable. The sound it produces isn’t as full as I hope to hear from phones when in speaker mode, but you can remedy all that by plugging in headphones because our good friend jack is still present on this device. Listening on wireless earbuds also offer a nice experience.

The build screams premium

One of the first things I noticed about the Nokia 8.1 is its build. The body is built with 6000-series aluminum with an all-glass back. And it feels pretty darn expensive. So much so that I was wondering why it didn’t come with any case in the packaging.

At first I was really hesitant to bring this around due to the lack of a case, but over time, my hands have grown accustomed to the glass finish. And I feel blessed every single time I touch it. There’s something about the build in finish that just screams premium.

The fingerprint sensor is at the back. And it feels like a blessing every time I touch this thing

It’s not fragile at all though. Being the clumsy oaf that I am, I may have accidentally dropped this phone twice already. The phone sustained zero scratches and zero damages. This is one tough cookie.

Pretty darn good cameras

I have to come clean and say I never really had too many chances to take photos during the testing phase. I’ve mostly just been at my desk or in a conference room which aren’t really ideal for taking photos.

The second lens acts as a depth sensor

So for samples I just took some quick shots around my place using the ZEISS-powered 12- and 13-megapixel dual-cameras. Hopefully I find some time to get a life outside of work for the next review. If you know a girl looking for a date, feel free to hit me up. I don’t bite… unless? Anyway, check out the samples below.

Quick note, features like Pro mode and Bokeh are also present on the 20MP front-facing camera.

Is the Nokia 8.1 your GadgetMatch?

And so, here we are. I’ve had nothing but mostly nice things to say about the Nokia 8.1. For a phone that was launched in late 2018, it can still square up with several midrangers in 2019. But the price, therein lies the rub.

At PhP 19,999, it’s not crazy expensive. It’s just that for a few thousand pesos less, there are actually better options. It’s hard to justify this purchase when  phones like the Realme 3 Pro and Xiaomi Mi 9T exist — both of which came within the seven months that the Nokia 8.1 was nowhere to be found on the archipelago.

Calling the folks at Nokia to bring their phones to the Philippines faster next time

Sure, those don’t have the build that the Nokia 8.1 has but the Realme 3 Pro offers much of the same performance for a more affordable price. And the Xiaomi Mi 9T actually feels like a 2019 phone with its triple-camera setup and a pop-up camera that makes way for an actual full screen display.

If you’re a Nokia stan — and I know there’s a lot of you out there — I can’t fault you for wanting this device. I get it. It’s pretty nice. But it’s really just a little too late. Timing is everything. Both in love and in smartphone releases.

*plays “Bakit ngayon ka lang?

Deals

Globe’s postpaid plan for Samsung Galaxy S20, S20+, S20 Ultra

Various options to choose from

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It’s not too long now before Samsung’s Galaxy S20 arrives in the Philippines. Smart already put their postpaid plans for the S20 series online. Globe also has postpaid plans put up for the smartphone already. As a matter of fact, you can now pre-order it online on their website.

Globe is bundling the S20 with an attractive call, text, and data packages on their own ThePLAN. ThePLAN’s packages follows:

ThePLAN 599 (PhP 599 for 24 months)

Samsung Galaxy S20 Samsung Galaxy S20+ Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
Cash-out PhP 36,000 PhP 40,800 PhP 52,800
Data 2 GB
Call Unlimited to Globe/TM
Text Unlimited to Globe/TM
Freebies
  • 1GB of free Facebook
  • 1GB of GoWiFi access
  • 1-month free Gadget Care
  • 1GB of free Facebook
  • 1GB of GoWiFi access
  • 1-month free Gadget Care
  • Free Galaxy Buds+
  • 1GB of free Facebook
  • 1GB of GoWiFi access
  • 1-month free Gadget Care
  • Free Galaxy Buds+

ThePLAN 799 (PhP 799 for 24 months)

Samsung Galaxy S20 Samsung Galaxy S20+ Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
Cash-out PhP 34,800 PhP 39,600 PhP 51,600
Data 3 GB
Call
  • Unlimited to Globe/TM
  • 50 minutes to other networks
Text Unlimited to Globe/TM
Freebies
  • 1GB of free Facebook
  • 1GB of GoWiFi access
  • 1-month free Gadget Care
  • 1GB of free Facebook
  • 1GB of GoWiFi access
  • 1-month free Gadget Care
  • Free Galaxy Buds+
  • 1GB of free Facebook
  • 1GB of GoWiFi access
  • 1-month free Gadget Care
  • Free Galaxy Buds+

ThePLAN 999 (PhP 999 for 24 months)

Samsung Galaxy S20 Samsung Galaxy S20+ Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
Cash-out PhP 32,400 PhP 37,200 PhP 49,200
Data 5 GB
Call
  • Unlimited to Globe/TM
  • 50 minutes to other networks
Text Unlimited to Globe/TM
Freebies
  • 1GB of free Facebook
  • 6-months Amazon Prime Video subscription
  • 1GB of GoWiFi access
  • 1-month free Gadget Care
  • 1GB of free Facebook
  • 6-months Amazon Prime Video subscription
  • 1GB of GoWiFi access
  • 1-month free Gadget Care
  • Free Galaxy Buds+
  • 1GB of free Facebook
  • 6-months Amazon Prime Video subscription
  • 1GB of GoWiFi access
  • 1-month free Gadget Care
  • Free Galaxy Buds+

ThePLAN 1299 (PhP 1,299 for 24 months)

Samsung Galaxy S20 Samsung Galaxy S20+ Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
Cash-out PhP 30,000 PhP 34,800 PhP 46,800
Data 8 GB
Call
  • Unlimited to Globe/TM
  • 50 minutes to other networks
Text Unlimited to Globe/TM
Freebies
  • 1GB of free Facebook
  • 6-months Amazon Prime Video subscription
  • 1GB of GoWiFi access
  • 1-month free Gadget Care
  • 1GB of free Facebook
  • 6-months Amazon Prime Video subscription
  • 1GB of GoWiFi access
  • 1-month free Gadget Care
  • Free Galaxy Buds+
  • 1GB of free Facebook
  • 6-months Amazon Prime Video subscription
  • 1GB of GoWiFi access
  • 1-month free Gadget Care
  • Free Galaxy Buds+

ThePLAN 1499 (PhP 1,499 for 24 months)

Samsung Galaxy S20 Samsung Galaxy S20+ Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
Cash-out PhP 26,400 PhP 31,200 PhP 43,200
Data 11 GB
Call
  • Unlimited to Globe/TM
  • 50 minutes to other networks
Text Unlimited to Globe/TM
Freebies
  • 1GB of free Facebook
  • 6-months Amazon Prime Video subscription
  • 1GB of GoWiFi access
  • 1-month free Gadget Care
  • 1GB of free Facebook
  • 6-months Amazon Prime Video subscription
  • 1GB of GoWiFi access
  • 1-month free Gadget Care
  • Free Galaxy Buds+
  • 1GB of free Facebook
  • 6-months Amazon Prime Video subscription
  • 1GB of GoWiFi access
  • 1-month free Gadget Care
  • Free Galaxy Buds+

ThePLAN 1799 (PhP 1,799 for 24 months)

Samsung Galaxy S20 Samsung Galaxy S20+ Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
Cash-out PhP 25,200 PhP 30,000 PhP 42,000
Data 15 GB
Call
  • Unlimited to Globe/TM
  • 100 minutes to other networks
Text Unlimited to Globe/TM
Freebies
  • 1GB of free Facebook
  • 6-months Amazon Prime Video subscription
  • 1GB of GoWiFi access
  • 1-month free Gadget Care
  • 1GB of free Facebook
  • 6-months Amazon Prime Video subscription
  • 1GB of GoWiFi access
  • 1-month free Gadget Care
  • Free Galaxy Buds+
  • 1GB of free Facebook
  • 6-months Amazon Prime Video subscription
  • 1GB of GoWiFi access
  • 1-month free Gadget Care
  • Free Galaxy Buds+

ThePLAN 1999 (PhP 1,999 for 24 months)

Samsung Galaxy S20 Samsung Galaxy S20+ Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
Cash-out PhP 22,800 PhP 27,600 PhP 39,600
Data 16 GB
Call
  • Unlimited to Globe/TM
  • 150 minutes to other networks
Text Unlimited to Globe/TM
Freebies
  • 1GB of free Facebook
  • 6-months Amazon Prime Video subscription
  • 1GB of GoWiFi access
  • 1-month free Gadget Care
  • 1GB of free Facebook
  • 6-months Amazon Prime Video subscription
  • 1GB of GoWiFi access
  • 1-month free Gadget Care
  • Free Galaxy Buds+
  • 1GB of free Facebook
  • 6-months Amazon Prime Video subscription
  • 1GB of GoWiFi access
  • 1-month free Gadget Care
  • Free Galaxy Buds+

ThePLAN 2499 (PhP 2,499 for 24 months)

Samsung Galaxy S20 Samsung Galaxy S20+ Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
Cash-out PhP 18,000 PhP 22,800 PhP 34,800
Data 21 GB
Call
  • Unlimited to Globe/TM
  • 150 minutes to other networks
Text Unlimited to Globe/TM
Freebies
  • 1GB of free Facebook
  • 6-months Amazon Prime Video subscription
  • 1GB of GoWiFi access
  • 1-month free Gadget Care
  • 1GB of free Facebook
  • 6-months Amazon Prime Video subscription
  • 1GB of GoWiFi access
  • 1-month free Gadget Care
  • Free Galaxy Buds+
  • 1GB of free Facebook
  • 6-months Amazon Prime Video subscription
  • 1GB of GoWiFi access
  • 1-month free Gadget Care
  • Free Galaxy Buds+

ThePLAN 2999 (PhP 2,999 for 24 months)

Samsung Galaxy S20 Samsung Galaxy S20+ Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
Cash-out PhP 18,000 PhP 22,800 PhP 34,800
Data 31 GB
Call
  • Unlimited to Globe/TM
  • 300 minutes to other networks
Text Unlimited to Globe/TM
Freebies
  • 1GB of free Facebook
  • 6-months Amazon Prime Video subscription
  • 1GB of GoWiFi access
  • 1-month free Gadget Care
  • 1GB of free Facebook
  • 6-months Amazon Prime Video subscription
  • 1GB of GoWiFi access
  • 1-month free Gadget Care
  • Free Galaxy Buds+
  • 1GB of free Facebook
  • 6-months Amazon Prime Video subscription
  • 1GB of GoWiFi access
  • 1-month free Gadget Care
  • Free Galaxy Buds+

Premium Plans on offer

Globe also offers its top of the line postpaid plans for the Galaxy S20 series. You can avail it in three tiers of Globe’s ThePREMIUM Plan:

ThePREMIUM 3799 (PhP 3,799 for 24 months)

Samsung Galaxy S20 Samsung Galaxy S20+ Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
Cash-out PhP 4,800 PhP 9,600 PhP 21,600
Data Unlimited every month
Call Unlimited to all networks
Text Unlimited to all networks
Roaming N/A
Consumable Allowance N/A
Rewards Double Globe Rewards points
Freebies N/A

ThePREMIUM 4999 (PhP 4,999 for 24 months)

Samsung Galaxy S20 Samsung Galaxy S20+ Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
Cash-out None PhP 4,800 PhP 16,800
Data Unlimited every month
Call
  • Unlimited to all networks
  • Unlimited to Globe Duo and landline
Text Unlimited to all networks
Roaming 2 days
Consumable Allowance PhP 1,500
Rewards Double Globe Rewards points
Freebies N/A

ThePREMIUM 7999 (PhP 7,999 for 24 months)

Samsung Galaxy S20 Samsung Galaxy S20+ Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
Cash-out None
Data Unlimited every month
Call
  • Unlimited to all networks
  • Unlimited to Globe Duo and landline
Text Unlimited to all networks
Roaming 4 days
Consumable Allowance PhP 3,000
Rewards Double Globe Rewards points
Freebies N/A

Requirements

To avail of Globe’s postpaid plans for the Galaxy S20, simply head over to their website during the pre-order period. If you intend to renew your plan instead, you may opt to call them through their hotline for faster processing. You may need some valid documents while applying for a brand new device.

While there is no date yet for the actual launch of the device in the country, expect it to land not later than March. The Galaxy S20 packs powerful hardware along with new camera innovations, so it’s worth waiting for Samsung’s latest flagship.


SEE ALSO:
Samsung Galaxy S20 series price in the Philippines
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip price in the Philippines
Samsung Galaxy Buds+ price in the Philippines

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Philippines

Samsung Philippines Smartphone Price List

Which Samsung smartphone is your GadgetMatch?

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Here are the latest prices of Samsung smartphones in the Philippines. We listed the devices according to their category.

Last update: February 14, 2020

Premium (PhP 30,000 and up)

Upper-Midrange (PhP 20,000 to PhP 30,000)

Lower-Midrange (PhP 10,000 to PhP 20,000)

Budget (PhP 10,000 and below)

  • Samsung Galaxy A20s — PhP 9,990
  • Samsung Galaxy A20PhP 8,990
  • Samsung Galaxy A10s — PhP 6,990
  • Samsung Galaxy M20 — PhP 6,990
  • Samsung Galaxy A10 — PhP 5,990

You may also check out our Best Smartphones guides. We shortlisted our chosen premium, upper-midrange, lower-midrange, and budget handsets to help you find your next smartphone.

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News

Google’s cyberpeace campaign aims to educate the youth on cyber safety

Teaching the youth on digital responsibility

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Photo by Paweł Czerwiński

The Internet has touched many aspects of society in the modern era. More so, it has revolutionized the way people interact with each other. With the Internet becoming more accessible than before, more people are depending on it to make their lives easier.

However, easier Internet access also introduces some challenges to society. For the youth, one of the challenges to Internet access is ensuring safety from malicious sites. It facilitates instant communication — a key avenue for cyberbullying and harassment.

Google and the Teach Peace, Build Peace movement are aware of the rising cases in cyberbullying and harassment. That is why they partnered together to launch the “Cyberpeace: Creating a peaceful internet together” campaign. The campaign aims to educate safety etiquette and responsibility on cyberspace to the youth.

Teaching peace together

With the campaign, Google will mobilize YouTube vloggers, teachers, employees, and volunteers to various public and private high schools across the Philippines. They will teach high school students on using the Internet in a more responsible and safer way. Google’s Be Internet Awesome will serve as the curriculum for these educational teach-ins.

Google’s curriculum will tackle key issues in cyber safety. It will focus on online reputation, critical thinking to fight scams and misinformation, privacy and security, cyberbullying, and reporting inappropriate online behaviors. Plus, it will also tackle catfishing and cancel culture — specific issues arising from social media.

It launched on February 11 with San Francisco High School in Quezon City as the pilot school. The campaign will proceed to other high schools in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

Janine Vela teaching kids at San Francisco High School in Quezon City.

“Through the Cyberpeace campaign, we hope not to only help Filipino families stay safer online but provide a springboard for a shared, nationwide commitment to a more peaceful internet, at the heart of a vibrant digital economy for all Filipinos,” said Bernadette Nacario, country director of Google Philippines.

Cultivating a peaceful cyberspace

The need to educate the youth on digital citizenship is important as the Philippines has the highest number of households using digital technologies. The total figure tallies at 71 percent. Meanwhile, 85 percent of the family surveyed in the Philippines worry about their child being exposed to inappropriate content online.

Google’s campaign answers the need for educating youth about cyber safety and digital responsibility. It goes along with other tools from the company such as 2-step verification, Family Link, SafeSearch, and YouTube Kids.

At the end of day, however, it is best for families to teach their child about proper and safe browsing. Proper education goes a long way in ensuring responsible and informed digital citizens. After all, the Internet is a powerful resource that entails great responsibility to those who use it.

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