Philippines

OPPO Reno4 Z 5G launches in the Philippines

5G phone with all the fun photography features of the Reno4

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Add another one to the list. The number of 5G-enabled handsets in the Philippines is growing. The latest in the bunch is the OPPO Reno4 Z 5G.

The Reno4 Z 5G is powered by the MediaTek Dimensity 800 SoC. Its a midrange chipset designed to add a performance boost. It’s particularly helpful for gaming applications, especially those that take up a ton of the phone’s RAM.

Aiding the overall performance is an 8GB RAM and 128GB of internal storage. It also has a 4000mAh battery with support for 18W VOOC fast charging. It’s 6.57-inch display has a 120Hz refresh rate for a smoother browsing experience.

Staying in front of the phone, there are dual 16MP+12MP punch-hole cameras for selfies. It has a 48MP main camera flanked by an 8MP ultra-wide camera and a pair of 2MP cameras for macro and depth. It also carries over some signature Reno4 features like 960fps AI Slow Motion and AI Color Portrait.

Pricing and availability

The Reno4 Z 5G comes in two color variants Ink Black and Dew White, priced at PhP 20,990 via exclusive network partners Smart and Globe Telecom. The device will come with a free Rock Space EB51 Earbuds worth PhP3,199.

Globe Telecom

The device is avaialble at www.shop.globe.com.ph starting October 29. The exclusive offer will be available at ThePLAN1799 with only PhP 500 cash out.

Get 16GB of Data, Unlimited All-Net Text, Unlimited Calls to Globe/TM, and 50mins All-Net Calls. Free subscription to Amazon Prime Video (for 6 months, no data included), iflixVIP (3 months subscription, no data included), and Facebook access (1GB data allocation per month for 24 months) can also be enjoyed during the 24-month subscription. The device will be delivered at free-of-charge.

Smart

The OPPO Reno4 Z 5G is available with the Signature Device Plan 1499 (M) at PhP 1,599 per month with a one-time cash-out of PhP 3,520.

This plan comes with monthly 10 GB, Unli On-Net calls, 100 Min AnyNet calls, and Unli AnyNet texts. Smart subscribers can now enjoy Smart 5G on compatible devices in key areas in Metro Manila, Boracay, Cavite, Cebu, Clark City – Pampanga, Davao, Iloilo, Laguna, and Rizal.

The OPPO Reno4 Z 5G is available for pre-order at Smart Stores nationwide and the Smart Online Store starting Oct 30. Visit smart.com.ph/signature for more details.

News

realme 7 now retails for PhP 11,990

A popular midranger made much more affordable

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realme is treating customers to another surprise this March. The popular midrange device, realme 7, is now available at a much lower price of PhP 11,990.

Formerly retailing at PhP 13,990, realme 7 is much more affordable with its lower starting price for the 8GB/128GB variant. Its lower starting price also makes it a much tempting option for students and professionals looking to upgrade their devices. Plus, it also fits well on the growing realme ecosystem composed of wearables, earbuds, and other smart products.

As for that price, customers are getting capable performance thanks to the MediaTek Helio G95 processor. Paired with a 5,000 mAh battery, one can enjoy non-stop gaming, streaming, and browsing without experiencing major lags and hiccups. The 6.5-inch full HD+ LCD display with a 90Hz refresh rate complements that with a fluid and immersive viewing experience.

It also underwent TÜV Rheinland Smartphone Reliability Verification, which is one of the first smartphones to do so. As such, users can enjoy peace of mind knowing that the realme 7 underwent several tests for durability and reliability.

realme 7 can be had at a much lower price on Lazada, Shopee, physical stores, and authorized resellers starting this March. For more updates and promos, visit and follow realme Philippines on Facebook and Instagram.

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Lifestyle

The 3.5L XTREME Home Air Fryer comes with digital touchscreen, functional timer

At a budget-friendly price!

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It’s never too late to buy an Air Fryer! XTREME Appliances has just launched the 3.5L XTREME Home Air Fryer, which comes with a lot of features such as air-fry, roast, bake, broil, and de-hydrate.

Moreover, it’s equipped with a digital touchscreen display, a functional timer with an automatic shut-off (up to 1 hour and 30 minutes), and a temperature that can reach 200 degrees Celsius.

The air fryer is designed with a large capacity of 3.5L barrel, enough to roast a whole chicken inside. It distributes a rapid air heat system to cook the food fast, crisp, and even. It also comes with a non-stick coating barrel to make cleaning easier.

Price and availability

The 3.5L XTREME Home Air Fryer aims to save more energy and time through its features and capabilities, as well as space with its compact design. It retails for only PhP 2,995 and is available on XTREME’s official stores, websites, and other authorized channels such as Lazada and Shopee.

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Explainers

What you need to know about Elon Musk’s Starlink

The much-awaited internet service is coming sooner than later

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Image by GadgetMatch

Over the last few weeks, reports started pouring in about the possible arrival of Starlink internet service to the Philippines under a partnership between Converge ICT and SpaceX. These reports came after a senator’s meeting with representatives of SpaceX discussing the benefits, possible timeline, and requirements needed from the internet service.

These reports quickly became the talk of the town especially with the frenzy surrounding Starlink. You may have heard it before given the media attention it had received in the past. SpaceX — the company behind Starlink — promised fast network speeds and coverage almost anywhere around the planet with its internet service. There’s so much more to that though, so here are the things you need to know.

What is Starlink?

For those out of the loop, Starlink is a satellite internet service provided by SpaceX. SpaceX is a company founded by Elon Musk that builds next-gen space exploration technologies. The company is also behind the high-profile launches of reusable rockets as well its plans to bring people to Mars.

Starlink works through a constellation of small satellites. These satellites are placed in low to medium Earth orbit, communicating signals through an array of antennas and lasers. They work in tandem with dedicated ground transceivers to receive from and transmit signals to the satellites. In effect, the internet service relies on satellites instead of physical cables to provide an internet connection to consumers.

Image by GadgetMatch

The technology behind Starlink is not a novel one, with the first satellite internet service dating back to the 1990s. However, most of these services ultimately failed due to logistical constraints and the prohibitive costs involved in setting things up. Granted, there had been few services that have seen some success but their adoption is few and far between. Reducing latency and lowering costs for consumers remain major challenges to many satellite internet providers.

Wanting to improve the whole situation, SpaceX began product development of Starlink in 2015. By 2018, it began testing its satellites which culminated in the launch of operational ones last 2019. Just last year, the company reached a milestone by launching up to 60 satellites at a time. This 2021, it is setting its sights for the global coverage of the populated world. Ultimately, SpaceX aims to put about 42,000 satellites in orbit in the future.

One goal of Starlink is to provide people in remote areas with a fast and reliable internet connection, which means a lot for developing countries like the Philippines.

How do I sign-up for the service?

Right now, the company is offering a limited beta service in the US and Canada. If you live in areas where the service is available, you can go ahead and sign-up for the service on Starlink’s website. Not all who signed up can avail of the service though since they are limiting their users at the moment on a first-come, first-serve basis. If you’re lucky, you may receive an email containing further instructions.

What does it feel like to use the service?

During its beta phase, Starlink claims speeds of 50 to 150 Mbps. Latency — which is also a crucial factor in internet-related tasks such as gaming and streaming — ranges from 20ms to 40ms. These figures are far from the advertised 1Gbps speed, as well as the advertised latency of 25ms to 35ms.

Still, those figures are fast enough for everyday use, especially when compared to other satellite internet services. Those figures are also close to the actual experiences by people participating in the limited beta service. For its part, Starlink promises continued improvement to network speed, latency, and software.

Image by GadgetMatch

At the moment, the cost of signing up for Starlink is much higher than availing of a cable internet connection. The satellite setup kit is reported to cost around US$ 499 (PhP 24,000) while monthly fees start at US$ 99 (PhP 5,000). In comparison, PLDT’s internet plans max out at PhP 6,099 for 300Mbps while Globe’s internet plans max out at PhP 9,499 for 1Gbps.

To get connected, Starlink users must configure their setup kits and download the respective app. Each setup kit consists of the satellite dish, Wi-Fi router, power supply, cables, and a mounting tripod.

A clear view of the sky is also a prerequisite for a stable connection. As a note, weather disturbances can affect the connection between the user and the satellite infrastructure.

Starlink also requires its setup equipment to be stationary at all times. This is unlike cellular networks, which are designed to be mobile. While it offers a “wireless” connection to the internet, it still is “fixed” in the sense that it requires constant communication between the transceiver (the satellite dish) and the orbiting satellites.

When is it really coming to the Philippines?

Recent reports suggest that Starlink is coming soon to the country, but no definitive timeline has been given. Rumors suggested that the service will arrive later in Q3 2021. The most recent development squash any hopes of imminent arrival though, with Converge ICT stating that the partnership is still “premature”.

During the later weeks of February, however, Filipinos who signed up for Starlink started receiving a reservation email. The reservation fee costs around US$ 99 (approximately PhP 5,000) though it is fully refundable too. The email also details a possible coverage of the whole country by 2022. The exact date, however, remains unclear at the moment.

Likewise, the internet service still has many obstacles towards its widespread adoption in the country. The initial cost for would-be subscribers comes to mind. As mentioned, the approximate cost of Starlink hovers at PhP 24,000 with a monthly fee amounting to PhP 5,000. For that cost, you are getting better speeds with local telco offerings.

Despite its high cost, the promise of a fast and reliable internet connection is tempting especially in far-flung areas. Reaching out to these far-flung areas is a major challenge for all local telcos since the necessary physical infrastructure is non-existent or hard to setup.  Starlink could reach these areas easily, providing internet connection to those willing to shell out money.

Are there any other things that I should know about the service?

Starlink has garnered some concerns as well, with most directed towards its potential to cause light pollution. The potential to contribute to light pollution is a particular concern for astronomers. Apparently, Starlink’s satellites are bright enough to leave a trail of light, “photobombing” shots of the night sky. To this end, SpaceX said that it is already working on a solution to amend the problem.

As Starlink continues to push forward, more and more people are hoping to get aboard with the service. After all, a fast and reliable internet connection is still far from reality for many people living in remote areas. Hopefully, the service would come sooner as this will greatly improve the current situation of the internet in the Philippines.

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