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Samsung Gear S3 smartwatch will arrive in PH on January 14th

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The holiday season is just around the corner. And really, Christmas isn’t Christmas until you get a gift for yourself, yes?

To that end, Samsung Philippines is making a bid to get into every techie’s last-minute shopping list with the Gear S3 smartwatch, which broke cover two months ago as the centerpiece of Samsung’s IFA announcement in Berlin.

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The Gear S3 will be available from January 14, 2017 in the Philippines, but preorders start today, December 12, on Lazada and Abenson’s website. Local pricing is set at P16,490, or $330. Early adopters, though we probably shouldn’t call them that given the timing of the release, will receive an extra watch band (valued at almost $40) so they won’t have to spring for one when they eventually get tired of wearing the same strap all the time.

Left: Gear S3 Classic; right: Gear S3 Frontier

Similar to its predecessor, the watch has two designs: the Classic and the Frontier. The former is classier, updated with stainless steel and a polished silver finish, whereas the latter tends to appear more casual and rugged, sporting a darker, gunmetal face with textured buttons and a silicone band.

Regardless which model you pick, you’ll get an Tizen-based timepiece with the same hardware on the inside, in addition to wireless charging via the included magnetic dock; GPS for fitness-tracking purposes; NFC for wireless payments; and a speaker for calls and music playback. Both also tout a large, always-on AMOLED display and an IP68 rating for dust and water resistance.

The Gear S3 Frontier that’s coming to the Philippines will not have standalone LTE connectivity found on models sold in other markets.

Samsung has packed a lot of features into a very small package, but in doing so, it’s sacrificed the thing that makes the Gear S2 so appealing and physically satisfying to wear. The new Gear smartwatch is bigger and much thicker than what came before. Still though, props to Samsung for not compromising on style and keeping them looking like traditional timepieces, the kind Apple Watch fans must miss having on their wrist.

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Apps

WT:Social is a social network without ads and fake news

It’s created by the co-founder of Wikipedia

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In this digital age, fake news and ads have proliferated on the internet. Their proliferation has a big impact on society. That’s why Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales launched WT:Social, an alternative social networking platform to Facebook and Twitter.

WT:Social is an abbreviation of Wikitribune Social. It aims to provide users with quality headlines by eliminating fake news. It does this by providing a news feed gathered from different “subwikis”. These “subwikis” act as communities where users can join and post news articles. Users can also report misleading headlines and fake news. In the future, the platform will also implement an “upvote” button.

The whole platform seems inspired by Reddit. Unlike Reddit though, a private company doesn’t own WT:Social. It operates through donations, which is also how Wikipedia operates. Through donations, the company promises to sell no personal data — a clear dig at major tech companies like Google and Facebook.

“We will never sell your data. Our platform survives on the generosity of individual donors to ensure privacy is protected and your social space is ad-free,” the platform states on its website.

Privacy-conscious users looking for an alternative to Facebook and Twitter may find WT:Social useful. They can now sign-up through this link, but there is currently a waitlist for new members.

With 80,000 members and counting, Jimmy Wales expect more users in the future. A privacy-focused social networking site focused on eliminating fake news is what the world needs right now, considering that fake news has the power to influence an election, and even generate a scandal.

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Huawei’s foldable Mate X is finally on sale

Chinese exclusive for now

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In the span of just a few weeks, the world’s first foldable smartphones finally received their much-awaited public release. Headlining the pack, Samsung launched the second iteration of the Galaxy Fold. The revolutionary foldable phone is now available worldwide.

Similarly, Motorola launched its own interpretation of the latest trend, a reimagined resurrection of the iconic Motorola Razr. The new Motorola razr is a brilliant combination of nostalgia and modern technology.

Joining this already distinguished duo, Huawei has finally released its own foldable device, the Mate X. Like its contemporaries, the Mate X was first announced earlier this year. Since then, Huawei’s foldable smartphone has been a victim of numerous rumors and delayed launched.

Prior to this weekend, the Mate X’s most conclusive launch date is “late 2019.” Well, we’re finally in late 2019. As promised, the Mate X is out in the market.

In China, that is. Before a more international launch, the Mate X is exclusive to the Chinese market for now.

Unlike other foldable phones, the Mate X folds outwardly. With its form factor, the phone doesn’t need a second screen. Unfolded, it has an 8.0-inch screen. Folded, it has a front-facing 6.6-inch screen and a 6.38-inch rear screen.

Inside, the Mate X comes with Huawei’s Kirin 980 chipset, 8GB of RAM, and 512GB of internal storage. It also comes with a triple rear camera setup: a 40-megapixel main sensor, an 8-megapixel telephoto lens, and a 16-megapixel ultrawide lens. For power, the Mate X carries a sizable 4500mAh battery.

The Mate X retails for CNY 16,999 (or around US$ 2,425.50). However, the device is available only in China for now.

SEE ALSO: Huawei Mate X first look: Answering the burning questions

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Enterprise

Lazada’s 11.11 concludes with record-breaking sales

E-commerce is growing in the Philippines

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Lazada just had a blast with its 11.11 sale. This year’s sale sets new records for the online store company, with over 11 million deals from local and international brands sold to customers in the Philippines.

Lazada tallied one million sold items within the first hour of the 11.11 sale. One million users also shopped for various items on the website. By the end of the sale event, Lazada shoppers spent a total of 205 million minutes shopping on Lazada. That’s equivalent to watching a marathon of harry Potter for 187,000 times. Filipinos also proved to be shopping-savvy, collecting up to PhP 170 million worth of vouchers during the sale. One person’s shopping cart even amounted to a whopping PhP 1.2 million.

Bigger league of millionaire sellers

Dealers and sellers also set a record for increasing the membership of Lazada’s millionaire-seller league. The league, where sellers past a million peso sale mark earn membership, gained 1,140 new sellers because of the 11.11 sale.

Top brands in the 11.11 sale include Xiaomi for mobile category; CooCaa for home appliance; Pampers for mother’s care; Hydro Flask for general merchandise; Maybelline for health and beauty; and American Tourister for fashion.

This year’s 11.11 sale proves that e-commerce is booming the country. Globally, e-commerce is growing steadily, with China’s Singles’ Day event this year crossing the US$ 38 billion mark for total sales.

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