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?

News

How Filipinos Google-searched this 2022

What were the top searches this year?

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The year 2022 has been nothing short of events that rocked the internet — from politics to sports, from pop culture to celebrities, and more. Google recently released its Year in Search 2022 which compiled the list of top items Filipinos searched for in the calendar year, and familiar search terms have emerged on top.

This year in Trending Searches, Filipinos keyed in “Halalan 2022”, “VaxCertPh”, and “precinct finder” the most, in that order.

Hit game Wordle came in at no. 4, while another, Axie Infinity, ranked no. 9. Shows like All of Us Are Dead, Encanto, and the keywords “Jeffrey Dahmer” also made the Top 10 list at no. 5, no. 8, and no. 10, respectively.

Rounding out the list is “Warriors vs Celtics” at no. 6, which of course was the 2022 NBA Finals series won by Golden State, and “Ukraine” at no. 7 due to the country’s on-going conflict against Russia.

To give you a better picture of how Filipinos searched in Google this year, here’s a complete rundown of each list:

Overall Top Trending Searches

  1. Halalan 2022
  2. VaxCertPh
  3. precinct finder
  4. Wordle
  5. All of Us Are Dead
  6. Warriors vs Celtics
  7. Ukraine
  8. Encanto
  9. Axie Infinity
  10. Jeffrey Dahmer

News

  1. Halalan 2022
  2. VaxCertPh
  3. precinct finder
  4. Ukraine
  5. Monkeypox
  6. NATO
  7. Gwyneth Chua
  8. presidential race update
  9. Ethylene Oxide
  10. Bagyong Karding update

Korean Series

All of Us Are Dead

  1. All of Us Are Dead
  2. Extraordinary Attorney Woo
  3. Business Proposal
  4. Alchemy of Souls
  5. Twenty-Five Twenty-One
  6. Big Mouth
  7. Our Beloved Summer
  8. Money Heist: Korea – Joint Economic Area
  9. Sh**ting Stars
  10. Happiness

Sports

  1. Warriors vs Celtics
  2. Warriors vs Mavericks
  3. Heat vs Celtics
  4. NBA standings 2022
  5. Grizzlies vs Warriors
  6. Golden State Warriors vs Boston
  7. PBA schedule
  8. NBA playoffs
  9. NBA draft 2022
  10. ​​Deanna Wong

TV Shows or Series

  1. All of Us Are Dead
  2. Extraordinary Attorney Woo
  3. Business Proposal
  4. Alchemy of Souls
  5. Euphoria
  6. Twenty-Five Twenty-One
  7. Big Mouth
  8. Manifest
  9. Our Beloved Summer
  10. The Summer I Turned Pretty

Song Lyrics

  1. We Don’t Talk About Bruno
  2. Sun And Moon
  3. Mahika
  4. Babalik Sa’yo
  5. Easy On Me
  6. Repeat
  7. Favorite Girl
  8. Pano
  9. Angel Baby
  10. Paraluman

Games

  1. Wordle
  2. Axie Infinity
  3. Arceus X
  4. Razer Gold
  5. Tower of Fantasy
  6. Jollymax
  7. Lost Ark
  8. Anime Adventures codes
  9. Flyff Universe
  10. MIR4

Male Personalities

  1. Ricci Rivero
  2. Johnny Depp
  3. Park Solomon
  4. Tyler Poarch
  5. Chris Rock
  6. Juancho Hernangomez
  7. Ahn Hyo-seop
  8. Jordan Clarkson
  9. Andrew Garfield
  10. Adam Levine

Female Personalities

  1. Amber Heard
  2. Kris Aquino
  3. Deanna Wong
  4. Anna Delvey
  5. Kate Moss
  6. Sofia Carson
  7. Xyriel Manabat
  8. Cara Delevingne
  9. Alba Baptista
  10. Bella Racelis

Movies

Mi TV P1

  1. Encanto
  2. Incantation
  3. Eternals
  4. Purple Hearts
  5. Thor: Love and Thunder
  6. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
  7. Turning Red
  8. Black Adam
  9. More Than Blue
  10. Spider-Man: No Way Home

Losses

  1. Queen Elizabeth II
  2. Cherie Gil
  3. Susan Roces
  4. Aaron Carter
  5. Technoblade
  6. Shinzo Abe
  7. Percy Lapid
  8. Kim Mi-soo
  9. Yoo Ju-eun
  10. Betty White
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Deals

vivo all set with Big 12.12 Holiday deals

Featuring the Y, T, V, and X series!

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vivo has been going all out with their deals. Sure, the Christmas Giveaway Festival is still ongoing. But on top of that, there’s the vivo Big 12.12 Holiday deals.

There’s a wide variety of vivo smartphones available in this promo. The Y, T, V, and X series phones are all present making sure there’s an option for every budget.

The Y series is the most budget friendly of the bunch. The T series, meanwhile, offers a little more extra value, especially on the performance side. The V series is firmly in the midrange segment with notable imaging improvements. But if you want the best of the best, you should go after the X series.

WATCH: Have a vivo Christmas!


Here’s everything on offer:

Model

Original SRP 12.12 Promo Price

12.12 Freebies

vivo Y16 (4GB + 128GB) PHP 8,999 PHP 8,799 DITO SIMCARD + TWS Voguard
Y22s (8GB+128GB) PHP 12,999 PHP 12,899 DITO SIMCARD + TWS Voguard
vivo Y35 PHP 14,999 PHP 14,599 DITO SIM CARD + TWS Voguard
vivo V25e PHP 17,999 PHP 17,599 DITO SIMCARD + TWS Voguard
vivo V25 PHP 23,999 PHP 23,599 DITO SIMCARD + 2n1 Clock Speaker + BT Neckband
vivo V25 Pro PHP 29,999 PHP 29,599 DITO SIMCARD +vivo Tumbler + football TWS
vivo X80 PHP 45,999 PHP 39,999 DITO SIMCARD + Voguard TWS + Clock Speaker

Other than the items listed, there are more vivo smartphones and accessories that you can check via vivo’s official website, Shopee, Lazada, and TikTok Shop:

Watch out for the 12.12 Mega Camp Sale, 12.5 and 12.30 Shopee Payday Sale, and Tech Thursdays for the month of December. 

For users who follow vivo’s official store on Shopee, you can enjoy an extra PHP 20 off with no minimum spend. There is also a PHP 80 off for VIP members, 200 off for Silver VIPs, and PHP 300 off for Gold VIPs. 

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Lifestyle

Zalora launches pop-up store Z-Train

All aboard the Z-Train

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Z-Train

Shopping app ZALORA is getting a mobile pop-up store. ZALORA Philippines has opened the Z-Train pop-up concept at the Uptown Mall Curbside Corner in BGC, Taguig.

The Z-Train has a sleek black exterior which replicates a train coach. It will be open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. until December 15.

Inside are a selection of the best fashion haul from ZALORA’s top brands, including Nike and Trendyol.

ZALORA has also partnered with GCash, offering customers up to a PhP 500 cashback when they choose the pay later option (GGives).

Nike Dunk Daily Giveaways

When you shop at the Z-Train, you also get an entry for a chance to win in the Nike Dunk Daily Giveaways.

The best way is to shop on December 12 during ZALORA’s 12.12 Christmas Sale kickoff, where you can use special 12.12 Nike Dunk Codes to enjoy 30% off (PhP 5,000 minimum spend) and get a guaranteed slot to purchase Nike Dunks.

ZALORA will also be giving away 14 Nike Dunk pairs – one per day until December 15. Participants simply have to post a photo of themselves on the Z-Train, tagging @zaloraph and using the hashtag #ZTrain.

One post is equivalent to one entry, so make sure to post on Instagram, Facebook, and Tiktok.

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