Philippines

The realme C11 works well for distance learning

We consulted a teacher, then put the phone to the test

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When realme reached out to ask if we wanted to review the realme C11, it came with a promise to donate the units. It’s a good cause and one that we gladly wanted to be indirectly part of.

The smartphones will be turned over to a non-government organization to support the youth in the planned distance learning setup in the upcoming school year. While I personally support the call for an academic freeze, we want to be able to help in any way we can in suggesting devices for these endeavors.

To start, I needed to check on a few things first. One is the minimum spec requirements for distance learning smartphones — one specified by the Philippines’ Education department. Second, I spoke with a teacher to get an idea about how distance learning will be executed. Here’s what I found.

Bare minimum specs 

Below is a table showing the minimum requirements for a smartphone to be effectively used for distance learning next to the specs of the realme C11.

Distance Learning, Smartphone Minimum Tech Specs realme C11
Processor Octa-core 2 GHz Mediatek Helio G35 (Octa-core 2.3 Ghz)
Memory 2GB 2GB
Display 6”, IPS LCD 6.5”
Storage 32GB 32GB
Network GSM / HSPA / LTE

Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n

Bluetooth

GSM / HSPA/ LTE / 4G

Wi-Fi

Bluetooth 5

Ports Micro USB or Type C, 3.5mm Audio Jack Micro USB port, 3.5mm Audio Jack
OS Android 8.1 Android 10, realme UI

Next, I sent a teacher some questions about how this smartphone will be used by the student in a distance learning setup. Answers have been edited for brevity.

What will students need to access for distance learning?

It depends on the platform the school will use. These can be Google Classroom, Edmodo, Zoom, etc. But certainly, the most accessed sites will be Google and Wikipedia.

Facebook and Messenger may also be used for communication and publishing of some projects. However, this is also dependent on the teacher handling the class.

What are the must have apps? 

YouTube, Google Apps (Docs, Sheets, Slides) or any office app, Dictionary, A notepad app, Web browser, and Email.

How long will they need to be on the phone?

Our planned schedule will start at around 9AM and will end at around 2PM. That’s five 45-minute classes with 15 minutes of break in between. There’s also a 30-minute lunch break at 11:45AM. It may vary from day-to-day but that’s the general plan.

This also does not yet include consultation time. For us, we’ll do 15 minutes at the start and at the end of the day to help make-up for the interaction that will be lost due to the nature of an online class.

Any final notes? 

It’s certainly possible to have online classes despite the student only having a smartphone. Given of course that the smartphone can access everything mentioned previously.

Usually for lectures, the students will only really have to listen to the lectures on video. The teacher can opt to pre-record the classes and make it available for on-demand viewing so the students can access it even after class hours. The rest of the activities will be handled offline and be disseminated via communication apps.

How does the realme C11 handle the activities mentioned?

So now, we go back to the realme C11. On paper, it certainly meets the baseline requirements. But does it fare in practice?

Let’s first go to the apps. Some of the apps the teacher mentioned come pre-installed on the C11. YouTube, a notepad app (Google Keep), Email (GMail), as well as a browser (Chrome).

The rest — like the GSuite apps like Docs, Sheets, and Slides — you’ll have to download from the Playstore.

The processor, memory, and storage combination should be able to handle those apps with no problem. In fact, I experienced very little difference running these same apps on phones that are nearly thrice its price.

Google apps typically work well especially on devices that aren’t spec-monsters. This was also one of my tips on maximizing budget phones — Google is your best friend.

Facebook and chat apps

The Facebook app was also pre-installed on the phone. However, unlike the Google apps, you can actually feel the phone struggling to run it.

This is where another tip comes in — use the Lite version of apps. I quickly uninstalled the standard Facebook app and replaced it with Facebook Lite and also downloaded Messenger Lite.

These apps consume less bandwidth and puts less pressure on your chip and memory but are still able to do the basic stuff you need from said apps.

The same apples for other apps. If there’s a lite version, it’s prudent to get those for phones at this level.

Battery endurance 

This was a slightly trickier test to do. At first, I figured I’d look for some 45-minute videos on YouTube but the search alone would take time. Instead, I opted to time the YouTube usage.

I was religious with it though. The first two 45-minute sessions of running videos on loop, I was able to do 15-minute breaks in between. After that, I got busy with other work and just let the phone be on loop until I wrapped up my work day.

The results were astonishing. I had some K-Pop playlist that kept running for close to six hours. The phone didn’t quit on me at all. And it still had some juice to spare.

Naturally, usage will vary from person to person. But, it’s safe to say the phone can more than last the demands of daily online classes.

Good build quality

While we’re on the topic of endurance, I’d also like to note the build quality of the realme C11. It feels sturdy and is just overall nice to handle.

It doesn’t have the fancy IP ratings and what not so you should still take extra care in handling it. But if the C11 is an indication of how 2020 budget phones are built, then that’s a good thing.

They don’t feel cheaper than phones twice their price and appear like they can handle a beating.

Not entirely relevant to the topic but worth mentioning

Of course, a kid can’t be all just about studying. Just like any normal, developing human being, a student needs to engage in other activities to stimulate her/his brain.

Thankfully, a smartphone grants access to several things as well — particularly, games. I tried playing Call of Duty Mobile because it’s still really the only mobile game I enjoy. While I still managed to get some kills, the entire experience isn’t exactly pleasant.

I switched over to Mobile Legends and the phone ran it much more smoothly than CoD. So when picking games to play, try to steer clear of those that lean towards fast action and require intense graphics.

The realme C11 also has two rear-cameras. A 13MP main camera and a 2MP main sensor. They’re… okay.

If a student needs to take a few snaps of notes it can handle it.

The text is in Hangul, but I trust you get the point.

Should the student take interest in photography, she/he will quickly realize the inherent wonders of natural lighting.

That’s Mitsui and Akagi from Slam Dunk

The phone struggles in dimly lit areas, but takes okay photos under natural light.

View from my window

Is the realme C11 a distance learning GadgetMatch?

As far as distance learning goes, the realme C11 does have the chops to assist a student in the learning process.

Of course, there are other key factors. These include school and/or teacher’s distance learning program, access to a reliable Internet, and an environment that encourages learning. But those are other concerns altogether.

As a tool to help a student move along, the realme C11 delivers without a hitch. It will be available in Mint Green and Pepper Gray and will retail for PhP 4,990 (around US$100). A fair price for what you’re getting.

It will be initially launched exclusively on Shopee starting 6PM on July 23. Fans can get up to 8 percent off using Shopee’s voucher code GADGETZONE8. The voucher is valid from July 23 to August 8. It will then be available nationwide starting July 24, 2020 at realme stores, kiosks,  partner dealers nationwide and Home Credit.

As mentioned earlier, realme is donating a number of realme C11 units to a non-government organization (Young Focus Organization) to be distributed to children before the start of the school year on August 24.

Young Focus’ vision is to improve the mental, physical and social well-being of young people in poor communities by means of education, health care and personal support.

This is realme’s contribution to Young Focus’ “Quality Education for All” campaign. Some of the prominent partners of Young Focus are Binibining Pilipinas and Miss Universe, through Ms. Universe 2018 Catriona Gray.

News

Globe launches KonekTayo School Bus WiFi campaign

Currently operating in the city of Manila

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KonekTayo

Philippine Telco Globe is helping address the need for connectivity with the launch of the KonekTayo School Bus WiFi in the country’s capital — Manila.

The company deployed school buses equipped with special antennas that will broadcast WiFi signal from 7AM to 7PM (GMT+8) from Monday to Sunday in covered areas:

  • Pasaje del Carmen St.
  • Remigio St.
  • 853 Gonzalo Gil Puyat St.
  • 924 Bilibid Viejo St.
  • Tomas Mapua St.
  • Alfonso Mendoza St.
  • Dalupan St.
  • Oroqueta St.
  • Basco St. in Manila.

The KonekTayo WiFI service is free for the first hour for public school students and teachers in Manila. Globe provided the aforementioned with 289,000 SIM cards. However, use of the service is not limited to Globe users. It’s open to all mobile networks for PhP 15 per day.

The service is formerly called KapitWifi. It’s a community WiFi service that aims to provide households with affordable internet. The School Bus WiFi campaign not only extends connectivity to users, it also extends support to school bus operators whose main source of livelihood was put at stake by the pandemic.

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Deals

ASUS is bundling a PS5 with purchase of its ROG gaming monitor

Available only from October 16 to November 30

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ROG

Buying a new gaming monitor to upgrade your gaming setup? ASUS is throwing an irresistible offer for its ROG Swift gaming monitor from October 16 to November 30.

A purchase of ROG Swift PG65UQ during that time period will come with a free PlayStation 5. The bundled premium item not only includes the console but also includes a PlayStation gaming controller so gamers can get up to speed with their favorite games.

As for the monitor, buyers are in for a treat thanks to its large 65-inch 4K quantum dot display with a 144Hz refresh rate. Brightness is superb thanks to a maximum of 1,000 nits. Further, it is certified with DisplayHDR 1000. On top of it all, the monitor supports NVIDIA’s G-SYNC Ultimate and variable refresh rate for Xbox One.

Availability

Buyers will have to wait for their premium freebie though since the gaming console is yet to launch globally and arrive in the Philippines. On top of it all, the promo is on a first-come, first-serve basis.

This irresistible bundle is available at participating ASUS ROG stores nationwide. It is also available on authorized ROG dealers such as DataBlitz, i.Tech, and PCExpress.

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Cameras

Fujifilm Introduces X-S10 mirrorless digital camera

Compact, lightweight, and high-end

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Fujifilm X-S10

The newest addition to Fujifilm’s X Series family of compact and lightweight digital cameras is the Fujifilm X-S10.

Being relatively small and light, Fujifilm hopes this camera will appeal to everyone. It has professional features for both photo and video, while also having the AUTO/SP (Scene Position) Mode. It automatically adjusts the camera settings without the need for tinkering from the user’s end.

Smaller IBIS for compact body

The camera’s in-body stabilization (IBIS) is around 30% smaller than the previous model. Despite this, it’s able to deliver up to 6.0-stop so five-axis image stabilization. The less shaky the footage, the better.

It’s the first midrange X Series camera with a motion sensor retention mechanism. It’s a mechanical shock absorber that guards against slight vibrations.

For more hand-held stability, the X-S10 has a large, ergonomic magnesium-alloy grip. This should make it easier to hold the camera even when a larger lens is mounted.

Film Simulations, updated AUTO functions

One of the X Series’ appeals is its ability to cater to both experience and beginner users. As mentioned earlier, the X-S10 will have the AUTO/SP Mode. This will have the camera automatically adjust the settings to suit the scene.

Whether you’re shooting landscapes or portraits, you’ll come away with a photo with your desired clarity, vividness, and tones no matter your skill level.

It also has Film Simulation modes. Fujifilm says this is to celebrate the history of photographic film. It mimics the look of most iconic analog films. There are 18 exclusive modes.

Capture with focus and speed

For quick and accurate autofocus, Fujifilm combines the X-S10’s high-speed AF woith the X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor’s 2.16 million phase detection pixels. What you get is an AF as fast as 0.02 seconds.

It has high-precision Tracking AF for moving subjects along with Face/ Eye tracking.

For capturing high-movement activities, the X-S10 has blackout-free high-speed burst shooting of 8fps.

Flexible LCD monitor

Shooting from different angles is easier too with the vari-angle LCD monitor and viewfinder. It can rotate up to 180 degrees so it’s also ideal for getting yourself in the frame.

The viewfinder’s Live View function has three boost modes: Low Light Priority, Resolution Priority, and Frame Rate Priority.

Extensive video-recording

The X-S10 generates 4K video from the amount of data equivalent to 6K for a high resolution, low noise footage. It supports recording 4K/30p 4:2:0 u-bit video onto an SD inserted in the camera, and outputting 4K/30p 4:2:2 10-bit video via the HDMI port.

It can also record FullHD at 240p. That’s up to 10x slow-mo footage of a split-second motion of a fast-moving subject.

The X-S10 also has Digital Image Stabilization (DIS) mode to assist its IBIS. It’ll compensate for any camera shake when walking with it.

The dedicated recording button is on its top plate, letting users record while taking still images. Exposure and focus settings are automatically recorded in AUTO mode.

Pricing and availability

Model

Color

Release Date

SRP

Fujifilm X-S10 body only Black Mid-november 2020 PhP 55,990
Fujifilm X-S10 with Fujinon XF 19-55 F2.8-4 R LM OIS Black Mid-november 2020 PhP 78,990

 

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