Samsung’s Repair Mode protects your phone from snooping technicians

Don’t forget to turn it on



Sending your phone for repairs without resetting carries an inherent risk. What if the technician rummages through your personal files and photos without your permission? Even if you don’t have any compromising media on your phone, the potential loss of privacy is a harrowing though. Addressing this fear directly, Samsung is introducing Repair Mode, a new option to stave off some fears from handing your phone over to a service center.

Repair Mode is as it sounds. Users can enable the temporary state while their phone is out for repairs. The setting will hide any personal files, apps, and information temporarily. From first glance, the phone will look like it was completely reset. Under this state, technicians can still perform their duties, while losing access to your information.

After the repair, users can disengage the mode with either a fingerprint or a pattern unlock. The system will reboot and restore your files upon disengaging.

Users will also have the option to log recent issues and actions (without personalized information) prior to activating Repair Mode. It is an option, of course. Repair Mode can be engaged without the logs included.

Currently, it’s already standard procedure to reset your phone before handing your device over to an authorized service center. Realistically, that’s not the only way to get your phone repaired, though. There is still a gray market available for users.

While it’s still better to get devices officially repaired, people will still go to unofficial technicians for repairs. Normally, it’s not required to reset your phone at these places. Repair Mode should give still give the same layer of security, preventing intrusions.

Right now, Samsung is rolling the update out to the Galaxy S21 series first with plans to expand soon after.

SEE ALSO: Samsung confirms date of next Unpacked event


Xiaomi 12 Lite: Price and availability in the Philippines

A solid deal?



Xiaomi 12 Lite

We’ve unboxed it for you. And now, we’ll tell you how much it’ll set you back if you decide to get it. Here’s the pricing and availability details in the Philippines of the Xiaomi 12 Lite.

Price and availability

The Xiaomi 12 Lite comes into configurations. Pricing are as follows:

6GB+128GB — PhP 20,999
8GB+128GB — PhP 21,999

Pre-order period is from August 19 to 26 via Xiaomi authorized online channels. Pre-orders get free, limited edition premium gifts worth PhP 3,500. These include the following: Xiaomi Tyvek bag, Xiaomi Pinoy Bunny, Xiaomi Nightlight, Xiaomi Ceramic Mug, Xiaomi shirt, notebook, and pen.

The Xiaomi 12 Lite is available at Xiaomi Authorized Stores and official e-commerce shop. For more information, visit this website.

Other AIoT devices announced

Xiaomi also added to their already expansive portfolio of smart devices. Also announced are the following:

Smart Air Purifier 4 Compact — PhP 4,799 with free Xiaomi Smart Air Purifier 4 Compact filte
Doorbell 3 –PhP 5,199 with free Mi Motion-Activated Night Light 2
Pet Feeder — PhP 5,199 with free Mi 360° Camera (1080P)
Pet Fountain — PhP 3,299

Customers can get freebies when they purchase the new AIoT products from August 20 to 21, until supplies last.

Xiaomi 12 Lite

The Xiaomi 12 Lite is a solid midranger packing a 108MP f/1.9 main camera and a 6.55-inch AMOLED display with a 120Hz screen refresh rate. It’s powered by a Snapdragon 778G chipset with support for 5G.

It can be a handy daily driver for anyone who wants a nice-looking phone with a main camera that takes ‘gram-ready photos.

Here are some quick samples for you.

Xiaomi 12 Lite


Xiaomi 12 Lite

Take a look at the full specs below:

Continue Reading


Netflix will block offline watching in cheaper subscriptions

Coming in the ad-supported tier



Netflix’s slide down from dominance is a cautionary tale for streaming platforms. Of course, while one side of the spotlight focuses on what went wrong, another side is focused on what they’re doing to stop the bleeding. One of those ways is an upcoming cheaper, ad-supported tier for subscribers. However, while the tier is already compensating the lower price for more ads, Netflix is also losing a key feature important to some: offline watching.

With Netflix’s current subscription tiers, users can download movies and shows to take with them offline. Though not every title was available for offline viewing, the feature allowed a lot of accessibility for everyone. If you were traveling, you could still watch Netflix while on a plane, for example.

Now, as first spotted by Bloomberg, subscribers will lose that ability if they’re on the ad-supported tier when it launches. The platform’s iOS app currently has a restriction that reads “Downloads available on all plans except Netflix with ads.” Since the tier isn’t available yet, the restriction is currently useless, waiting for the tier to pop up.

Earlier this year, the company started pondering a tier with ads, catering to a subset of the Netflix-watching population who prefers a cheaper subscription price. Prices for a normal subscription are getting steeper. An ad-supported version will allow Netflix to continue catering to everyone, despite the ad-filled setback. It’s expected to launch early next year.

Of course, other platforms, like Hulu, already have their own ad-supported tiers. Netflix’s version is more dire, however. For the first time in so long, the platform has started to lose subscribers. As a result, the platform has started rethinking its entire content strategy to recoup some of its losses from current users.

SEE ALSO: Netflix’s The Gray Man is getting its own cinematic universe

Continue Reading


OPPO Reno8 series now official in Singapore

Unparalleled portrait shooting capabilities



The OPPO Reno8 series smartphones — the Reno8 5G and Reno8 Pro 5G — are now official in Singapore.

Billed as the “Portrait Expert”, both variants feature Dual Sony flagship sensors and several AI-enhanced imaging features such as Ultra Night Video and Night Portrait that look to make them the undisputed portrait shooting smartphone in their segment.

Revolutionary imaging capabilities

Putting premium on lowlight photography, the Reno8 series have upgraded cameras to offer an even more optimized shooting experience for that particular aspect, compared to the previous Reno7.

The Reno8 series phones sport two of Sony’s flagship dual sensors:

  • IMX709 for the front camera
  • IMX766 for the rear camera

The 32MP IMX709 in particular supports AutoFocus for the front camera for the first time, enabling 2x zoom for selfies. Both sensors allow more light intake and better brightness while getting the benefit of advanced technologies that all lead to better focus, speed, accuracy, and stability.

Thanks to the combination of the MariSilicon X and Sony dual sensors, 4K Ultra Night Video and 4K Ultra HDR Video are also made possible on the Pro.

Other photography and videography modes and functions users can expect from the two new devices include:

  • Night Portrait
  • AI Portrait Retouching
  • Portrait Mode
  • Hyperlapse
  • 960fps AI Slow-Motion

Powerful, durable

As the Reno8 series serves more uses than just mobile photography and videography, the Pro is powered by a Dimensity 8100-MAX 5G chipset and has OPPO’s MariSilicon X imaging NPU. It has a 6.7-inch ultra-clear HDR10+ AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate.

Not to be outdone, the Reno8 has a Dimensity 1300 processor and 6.4-inch AMOLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate. Both have advanced cooling systems to ensure a seamless performance at all times.

Users can definitely utilize the phones for gaming too, with features such as 1000Hz Ultra Touch Response and 90Hz high-refresh mode for PUBG Mobile.

Both house 4,500mAh batteries with support 80W SUPERVOOC charging and OPPO’s Battery Health Engine which intelligently controls the charging current and voltage so users can expect a better lifespan.

Design-wise, the phones sport a unique streamlined unibody design; the common standalone camera “bump” has been eliminated, while a 75-degree micro-arc transition to the camera area has been created to make them look more stunning.

Pricing, availability, exclusive offers

For more information on the pricing and availabilities of the Reno8 series across OPPO’s online and physical stores, as well as gifts and offers, check the details below.

OPPO Reno8 5G

Retail price: SG$ 799

  • Available starting August 23: Amazon, Lazada, Qoo10, Shopee, TikTok, partner stores
  • Available starting August 27: M1, Singtel, Starhub stores
  • Purchases made between August 23 to 30: Free Enco Air2 Pro earbuds and 12 months screen protection plan

OPPO Reno8 Pro 5G

Retail price: SG$ 1,099

  • Available for preorder from August 23 to September 5: Amazon, Lazada, Qoo10, Shopee, TikTok, partner stores before September 6 official start of sales
  • 30 sets to be available for pre-sale exclusively on OPPO Lazada Super Brand Day on August 23
  • Available starting September 10: M1, Singtel, Starhub stores
  • Purchases made, including preorder and pre-sale, until September 30: Free Enco Air2 Pro earbuds and 12 months screen protection plan
Continue Reading