News

Samsung Galaxy S21 Series now official

A few new improvements and features here and there

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We knew it was coming, and like its predecessors, the leaks came flooding. Now, the Samsung Galaxy S21 is official. The series, like last year’s S20 is composed of three phones — the Galaxy S21, Galaxy S21+, and the Galaxy S21 Ultra.

Like the series that came before it, the Galaxy S21 series follows much of the same hierarchy in terms of size and performance. Here’s a quick look at the three phones by the numbers to get you acquainted.

Galaxy S21 Series Specs

Galaxy S21 Galaxy S21+ Galaxy S21 Ultra
Display 6.2”

Dynamic AMOLED

120Hz

6.7”

Dynamic AMOLED

120Hz

6.8”

Dynamic AMOLED

120Hz/4K

Processor Snapdragon 888/ Exynos 2100

*Depending on the region

Build Polycarbonate Plastic Gorilla Glass Victus Gorilla Glass Victus
RAM + ROM Up to 8GB + 256GB Up to 8GB + 256GB Up to 16GB + 512GB
Battery Capacity 4000mAh

25W wired charging

15W wireless charging

4800mAh

25W wired charging

15W wireless charging

5000mAh

25W wired charging

15W wireless charging

Rear cameras 12MP Ultra Wide f/2.2

12MP Wide f/1.8

64MP Telephoto f/2.0

12MP Ultra Wide f/2.2

12MP Wide f/1.8

64MP Telephoto f/2.0

12MP Ultra wide f/2.2

108MP Wide f/1.8

10MP Telephoto1 f/2.4

10MP Telephoto2 f/4.9

Laser AF

Selfie camera 10MP f/2.2 40MP f/2.2
S Pen support No No Yes

*Sold separately

*No slot for storage

Colors Phantom Violet

Phantom Pink

Phantom Grey

Phantom White

*Varies depending on market

Phantom Violet

Phantom Grey

Phanton Silver

Phantom Black

*Varies depending on market

Phantom Silver

Phantom Black

Improve Camera features

The megapixel numbers on the phones have largely stayed the same from the Galaxy S20 series. However, Samsung said the improvements they made will largely come in the software department.

Other than improving their computational photography, they have also improved and added upon features that were introduced in the Galaxy S20 series. AI has been applied to Portrait Mode — and nope, it’s no longer called Live Focus.

When shooting using the telephoto lenses, there’s now ZoomLock to aid people with shaky hands. It uses AI to help keep the shot steady and the subject in frame.

Samsung took time to develop the video taking capabilities of the Galaxy S21 series. For instance, Single Take Mode now uses AI to analyze more frames per second.

There’s 8K video recording that lets you take a high resolution photo while you’re recording. Then, there’s the Director’s View Mode that lets you do a number of things. It lets you shoot from both the front and rear cameras at the same time. It also shows you the view from the other cameras and lets you switch between them as you please.

Performance

Jury’s still out on this aspect but it should be no different than the flagships of the past. It’ll be interesting to see how the benchmarks compare between the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 units and those that are equipped with the Samsung Exynos 2100 which is promising to be the largest step up for Exynos to date.

As stated on the specs sheet above, all three models have Dynamic AMOLED Display with support for 120Hz screen refresh rate for that oh so smooth viewing and scrolling experience.

S Pen support

As rumored, the Galaxy S21 Ultra will have support for the S Pen. However, unlike the Galaxy Note series, it doesn’t come bundled and does not the smartphone doesn’t have a slot to keep the S Pen tucked in. The S Pen can be bought separately for US$ 39.99.

If you’re keen on getting the S Pen, Samsung has first party cases that have a provision for the S Pen. The cases start at US$ 69.99.

No charger in the box, other things to note

After mocking Apple for removing power bricks, Samsung is doing the exact same thing. The Samsung Galaxy S21 series will also not come with power adapters.

The entire Galaxy S21 series also has UWB or Ultra Wide Band. It lets users point their phone at another Galaxy phone to send files. The feature set has been expanded to include unlocking your car with your phone.

Samsung is also launching an accessory called Smart Tags. These are trackers you can attach to your keys or your backpack. You can then use these to locate your items using the SmartThings Find App.

Pricing and availability 

Starting prices are as follows:

US Philippines
Galaxy S21 US$ 799.99 PhP 47,990
Galaxy S21+ US$ 999.99 PhP 57,990
Galaxy S21 US$ 1,199.99 PhP 69,990

More US pricing and availability details here.

More Philippine pricing and availability details here.

News

Redmi 9T: Price and availability in the Philippines

Power on a budget

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Xiaomi is officially launching the Redmi 9T in the Philippines. This entry level smartphone that’s a POCO M3 dead-ringer promises to power you unlike any other in its price segment.

The display is 6.53 inches with a FHD+ resolution and Gorilla Glass 3. Xiaomi even put a thought on the user’s viewing experience, with the phone having a TÜV Rheinland Low Blue Light certification. It also has a Widevine L1 certification for streaming Netflix episodes and movies in full HD and above.

On the performance front, Redmi 9T packs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 662. This chipset delivers capable performance without sipping too much energy thanks to its 11nm fabrication process. Backed by a large 6,000 mAh battery, users can last a day and a half without needing to charge.

But if users really need to charge, they can surely rely on the in-box 22.5W charger for quick top-ups. By default, the Redmi 9T comes with 18W fast charging support and reverse wired charging capabilities.

Xiaomi also touts the improved 48MP quad-camera setup on the Redmi 9T. The 48MP wide-angle primary camera is backed by an 8Mp ultra-wide-angle camera for better landscape and group shots. It also has a 2MP depth and 2Mp macro camera for better close-up shots and bokeh.

For videography, Xiaomi added a movie frame feature to give videos a more cinematic look and feel. The timelapse feature also improves on the Redmi 9T with support for custom speeds and duration. Combined with microSD expandable storage for up to 512GB, users shouldn’t run out of space even when taking lots of videos or downloading games.

Price and availability

Redmi 9T will be available in  4GB + 64GB atPhP 6,990. Meanwhile, the 6GB + 128GB version will be available at PhP 7,990.

Both of Redmi 9T’s versions will be on sale at the Xiaomi Philippines Flagship Store on on Lazada and Shopee on January 29, 2021. There will be a special offering of PhP500 off for the 4+64GB variant for 24 hours.

The new Redmi 9T will also be available with exclusive freebies at Authorized Mi Stores and resellers only during the official sale.

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Health

Google will spend $150 million to promote coronavirus vaccine education

Another commendable initiative

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Internet giant Google said it will provide US$ 150 million to educate the masses on the benefits of a Coronavirus vaccine. To help with mass vaccination efforts, starting in the US, it’ll make select facilities — such as buildings, parking lots, and open spaces — available to anyone eligible for the vaccine based on state and local guidelines.

While US$ 100 million will be advertisement grants to the CDC Foundation, the World Health Organization, and other non-profit institutions, US$ 50 million will be allocated for public health agencies offering vaccine-related content and information for the underprivileged.

The US is the worst-hit, has with more than 25 million Coronavirus cases recorded in the country. According to John Hopkins University data, the death toll currently stands at more than 4,17,000.

In the coming weeks, Coronavirus vaccination locations will be available in Google Search, and Maps, starting with Arizona, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas, with more states and countries to come.

“Our efforts will focus heavily on equitable access to vaccines,” Google CEO Sundar Pichai said in a blog post. “Early data in the U.S. shows that disproportionately affected populations, especially people of color and those in rural communities, aren’t getting access to the vaccine at the same rates as other groups.”

Another initiative called “Get The Facts’’ for providing authoritative information about vaccines will be made available on Google and YouTube.

Google had committed to donating more than US$ 800 million to support businesses, organizations, and healthcare workers as part of its fight against the Coronavirus pandemic in March 2020.

It’s already working with Apple to make universal contact tracking easier for health authorities around the world. Similarly, Singapore also open-sourced its early contact tracing technology that was later leveraged by many other institutions.

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News

VeMoBro: New shopping, shipping experience

The e-commerce site wants to be the Filipinos’ preferred shopping partner

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It’s official, VeMoBro — a proudly Filipino e-commerce platform — formally launches today.

Launching at a time when Filipino consumers need more e-commerce options, VeMoBero puts emphasis on providing superior services to both online customers and sellers through its unique take on digital shopping and on the most critical aspect of e-commerce, which is logistics. The company commits to empowering Filipino retailers of all sizes, with focus on micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.

Worry-free shopping with leveled-up shipping

VeMoBro ensures the legitimacy of the products on its marketplace to protect both consumers and sellers. No fakes and scams here. The brand adopts fail-safe features to filter out fake sellers and implements a system that regulates and ensures accurate, easy-to-read product descriptions to deliver peace of mind while shopping.

The platform offers a wide array of “new essentials” comprising food and grocery items, home essentials, tech gadgets and accessories, and automotive products.

The company guarantees a standard 48-hour delivery, putting it ahead of the competition. Customers may even opt for same-day delivery with just a simple scroll and click with VeMoBro’s wide range of partner delivery service providers.

VeMoBro also offers several payment options: cash-on-delivery, online banking or e-wallet payment through GCash, GrabPay, Coins.ph and Dragonpay.

Another thing that sets VeMoBro’s platform apart is its campaign for fair use between customers and sellers. Both parties in the transaction can rate each other on the site.

While the review of sellers has been a long-known feature on online shopping sites, VeMoBro’s platform encourages sellers to appeal and report faulty product reviews. Additionally, sellers can give reviews of customers so other merchants can be made aware of fraudulent customers or transactions.

E-commerce with the local community at its core

VeMoBro was created with the local community’s needs at its core. As the Philippine economy rebounds from the pandemic, VeMoBro aims to empower local entrepreneurs by providing them with a platform where they can grow their business.

With this in mind, VeMoBro provides merchants with a seamless onboarding system, enhanced delivery service and efficient customer service. Moreover, business owners can navigate the VeMoBro site smoothly while selling products, managing inventories and getting sales analysis reports right at their fingertips.

Amid a competitive industry, VeMoBro hopes to be a symbol of hope for Filipino consumers and businesses alike by providing a safe and secure e-commerce platform where consumers can have a quality online shopping experience and businesses can thrive and serve their customers.

You can start shopping by visiting https://vemobro.com.ph/ VeMoBro’s mobile app will also be available on the Google Play Store soon.

First time “suki” may also avail VeMoBro’s special welcome deal promo. From January 27 until June 30, new customers will be entitled to a Php100 off on their first orders with a minimum spend of PhP 1,000. Customers will be provided with the promo code upon signing up on VeMoBro’s website or mobile application.

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