Local telcos are continuously improving their infrastructure to improve the country’s mobile internet speed. And as mobile technology progresses, so should your mobile device.
Do you still remember when 3G was made available in the Philippines in 2006? It was a game changer, because it introduced us to video calling before Skype was a thing and enabled us to browse desktop websites on our mobile phones. But that was 11 years ago, and technology has evolved.
What was fast before is already slow in comparison to what’s new today. If you’re still using a 3G phone, you’re depriving yourself of a better internet experience. It’s now time to upgrade to LTE (Long-Term Evolution), also known as 4G.
If you’re going to jump to LTE, you can check out Smart’s fastest LTE network in the Philippines. According to the latest survey from OpenSignal, Smart is ahead in terms of 4G LTE download speeds with an average of 10.55Mbps or over 3Mbps faster than the competition.
Not only that, Smart is currently re-equipping their cell sites to use low-frequency bands like 700MHz and 850MHz. The use of such bands allows signals to better penetrate walls of houses and office buildings. This means we get better indoor coverage than before. Also, cell towers equipped with lower bands have a wider reach, extending service even to the outskirts of a town, for example.
Smart continues to expand their LTE coverage nationwide — not just in major cities. The plan is to give more than 90 percent of the country’s population access to Smart’s LTE network by end of 2018. And hopefully by then, we’ll also transition to more widespread LTE-Advanced. It’s a promising future to expect, so you better upgrade today.
How to upgrade to LTE?
The first step is to get an LTE phone. Most of the flagship smartphones fully support LTE including the new low-frequency bands. Don’t worry, fast mobile internet doesn’t have to be expensive because there are affordable LTE phones that are available in the market for as low as PhP 2,488.
When choosing your next phone, it is important to invest in a device that will work best with your network’s frequencies. For the best possible mobile data experience, Smart recommends LTE phones that are compatible with the 700MHz band.
Some examples of 700MHz-compatible phones which are available in the market today are:
But having an LTE phone is not enough. An LTE phone should have an LTE-ready SIM card inside. If you’re still holding on to your old SIM card, it’s time to have it replaced with a new one. The upgrade is free and you can still retain your existing number, even if you’re on prepaid. We all know how important it is to stick to a single mobile phone number.
Not sure if your SIM is already LTE-capable? If you’re a Smart user, you can do a quick check by texting SIMCHECK to 5832. If you’re not yet on LTE, you can upgrade for free at any Smart Store.
If you have an LTE phone with a new LTE SIM card, you can enjoy the best possible mobile internet experience in areas covered by LTE. Make sure you adjust your phone’s network settings with LTE or 4G as the preferred network type.
[irp posts=”2500″ name=”LTE-A Explained”]
This feature was produced in collaboration between GadgetMatch and Smart Communications.
Here’s how India is trying to be China in the smartphone game
The world’s second-largest smartphone market has more to offer
China is practically the world’s production powerhouse. And India wants to follow the same path. India’s Central government has approved three schemes to enable large scale electronics manufacturing and attract fresh investments worth almost INR 50,000 crore (US$ 6.3 billion) in the sector.
The government aims to provide companies a production-linked incentive of 4 percent to 6 percent on incremental sales for locally made goods over a period of five years. This not only includes mobile phone manufacturing but also assembly, testing, marking and packaging.
The other policy offers a 25 percent financial incentive for capital expenditure that goes towards “the manufacturing of goods that constitute the supply chain of an electronic product”. With these incentives, the government is optimistic that companies will come to India, contribute to progressing infrastructure, and make export-quality goods.
According to their estimates, domestic value addition for mobile phones is expected to witness 35 to 40 percent jump by 2025, from the current 20-25 percent.
So far, companies have focused on assembling equipment like smartphones in India. A huge chunk of the components are still imported. These policy changes could act as a stimulant to locally source electrical components, semiconductors, as well as develop production clusters.
Bangalore and Hyderabad are infamous for their IT Tech Parks that house thousands of employees from IT service firms like TCS, Infosys, Accenture, and many more. Similarly, the government wants to create production clusters that can develop an eco-system of their own. These clusters can create a seamless supply chain when paired with proper land, air, and shipment infrastructure.
The timing of the announcement is what matters the most. China is embroiled in a trade war with the US for quite some time and we’ve seen how a giant like Huawei got caught in the cross-fire. Companies are skeptical about depending too much on China for production and sourcing. Hence, countries like Vietnam have witnessed a huge inflow of foreign investment from the likes of Nintendo, Foxconn, and even Samsung.
India is very much like Vietnam. A developing economy that’s on the look-out for foreign investment and enhances local production capabilities. This not only helps the government increase its tax revenue via taxation, but also provides employment. Considering the current Coronavirus crisis, it’s obvious that these plans may not materialize soon. But, as soon as the storm is gone, companies would want to find an alternative to China.
It’s reported that the alleged low-cost iPhone from Apple has been delayed due to the pandemic. Irrespective of the current health crisis, Apple has been trying to ramp up its local production in India and has done so, cautiously. India is the world’s second-largest smartphone market and every brand wants a piece of the cake. Realme and Xiaomi have been intensely fighting for supremacy, Samsung continues to lead via the offline market, and OPPO and Vivo have flooded all commercial banners with their products.
Xiaomi currently has seven plants in India, major ones being at Sri City and Sriperumbedur. It also makes its televisions in Tirupathi. Manu Kumar Jain, Vice President, Xiaomi, and Managing Director, Xiaomi India said that 95 percent of Xiaomi’s phones are made in India with 65 percent of a phone’s value being sourced locally. The government has been successful in compelling companies to make in India because it consistently kept on raising import duty on smartphones.
Samsung already has the world’s largest mobile phone factory in India that assembles top-tier variants, ready for export. We don’t know the volume it churns out right now, but their long-term investment is a precedent for other brands to take the market seriously. OnePlus has a research facility in Hyderabad where it makes software products intended for the Indian market.
According to industry ICEA, the NOIDA region (a part of Delhi NCR) has close to 80 mobile manufacturing factories that provide employment to approximately 50,000 people. It’s normal today to see companies release press notes announcing new facilities across the country that’ll employ thousands of people.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi kickstarted the “Make in India” campaign five years ago to encourage foreign companies to invest and build in India. While its effects are debatable in a few industries, there’s no doubt that the mobile industry has picked up exponentially. State governments of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu have played a major role in establishing these clusters that symbolize progress.
Engineers are widely available in India, the country has developed multiple ports under the private-public model, and numerous airports are under construction. India is already the world’s second-largest smartphone maker, but the gap is huge. It’s about briding this. Obviously, the scale at which China produces is unmatchable. But that cannot undermine India’s efforts to be more relevant on the global stage. From a purely consumption-based economy, it’s slowly trying to turning into a production backed state.
Explaining smartphone display refresh rates
Are they really any different from PC displays?
Smartphones, little by little, are turning into mini-PCs with the features that come with it. From browsing on social media to playing video games, technology is slowly adopting a more “on-the-go” lifestyle. Recently, smartphones have acquired another feature that your own desktop or laptop already has.
Some of the recently released premium and gaming smartphones now come with displays having their own dedicated refresh rate. Refresh rates aren’t new, but to see it on a compact device has a lot of people wondering. How different or similar is it to a PC’s refresh rate? And is it actually something good to have?
A crash course on refresh rates
A display’s refresh rate, basically is the number of times your display updates every second. Your screen usually takes a few seconds to just a second to load new images, depending on that rate. For example, a 60Hz refresh rate means that in one second, any image on your display is refreshed 60 times. Your eyes wouldn’t catch it fast enough, but that’s how your display works.
For most PC displays, the default is at 60Hz with companies releasing displays that range up to 240Hz. You mostly see this in displays fit for gaming purposes, since gamers prefer the higher refresh rate for improved performance. If you’re someone who mostly likes to watch movies, it really doesn’t matter how high the refresh rate is.
Note that this is entirely different from frame rates, in that these show how many images are produced within a second. Although, having a high refresh rate allows you to perform a lot better because it is optimized for higher frame rates. That’s why you see some gamers complain about playing on a 60Hz display.
Transitioning to a smartphone near you
Eventually, the concept of amping up a refresh rate will reach the world of smartphones. In fact, the OnePlus 7 Pro was actually the first mainstream smartphone to have a display with a 90Hz refresh rate. Most smartphones, even budget ones, have displays built with a 60Hz refresh rate. Something about it just makes you scroll through your phone without feeling too dizzy, unless you scroll too fast.
Premium smartphones mostly incorporate either a 90Hz or 120Hz refresh rate for a smoother UI experience. With higher refresh rates, scrolling through your phone feels a lot smoother without risking an eye sore. Of course, these smartphones do cost significantly more than your average, everyday smartphone.
Apart from premium smartphones, gaming smartphones have also incorporated higher than 60Hz refresh rates. Phones like the Razer Phone 2 and the ASUS ROG Phone 2 both come with a 120Hz refresh rate to suit mobile gamers, especially FPS (first-person shooter) gamers. With these higher refresh rates, mobile gamers see clearer images with less motion blur involved.
Do you really need all the hertz?
That begs the question: what do you need a high refresh rate screen for? When you use a PC, 60Hz is already good for most tasks and games. Trying to go for higher refresh rates usually means that you’re doing a lot more than the ordinary. Tasks such as heavy-duty data analytics or hardcore gaming are optimal for higher refresh rates.
The same logic works for smartphone displays, except on a smaller screen size. A lot of what you can do, you’re able to do so on 60Hz displays. If you’re just using your phone to browse social media, watch Netflix on the daily, and play games casually, you don’t need anything higher. Although, it is a premium to have if you want buttery smooth software.
If you play games competitively, you would prefer higher refresh rates just like in gaming monitors. Higher refresh rates allow you to perform at an optimal level when going for higher frame rates. We’re talking close to no image tearing or motion blur when you play PUBG Mobile or Call of Duty. While you can perform well at the default 60Hz, going for a 90Hz or 120Hz ideally makes the experience better.
Some final thoughts
Smartphone display refresh rates have always been a part of the technology. These displays were built in a way that everyone can benefit from them. It’s only fairly recently that smartphone companies came up with a way to make the experience a lot smoother. Hence, smartphones started incorporating higher refresh rates.
It almost feels like having that high refresh rate is a premium, given only select smartphones have it. But it’s a premium that you don’t really need unless you have a good reason to. Apart from the cost of experiencing it, it really depends on what you plan to do with your smartphone.
At the end of the day, it’s better to ask yourself if it’s a feature worth getting. If it’s something you feel you can’t live without, by all means, right?
Stranger Things 3: What exactly is an ignition cable?
Possessed Billy knew what he was doing
By now, you’ve probably seen the third and newest season of Stranger Things on Netflix. If you still haven’t, it goes without saying that there are spoilers ahead and you should stay away from this article.
Seeing a pop culture reference such as Stranger Things together with the seemingly unrelated world of automotive in one writeup such as this could be strange (pun intended) for some. We really don’t mind and thought it would be a fun and unique way to talk about the show and learn a few things from it, as well.
So we ask the question: What exactly is an ignition cable?
The ignition cable is part of a vehicle’s ignition system. In simplest terms, it’s a mechanism that starts the engine. By generating a high voltage from the car’s battery to the spark plugs in its engine, it causes them to ignite the engine’s combustion chambers and get it up and running.
And in order to transfer that voltage from the source to the engine, you’ll need an ignition cable as it’s like a subway system that acts as pathways for the voltage to pass through. So if the ignition cable is not present, there’s no way to start the car.
Back to Stranger Things, Billy (although already possessed by the Mind Flayer) obviously still had his knowledge on cars so he took away the ignition cable trapping our favorite gang at Starcourt Mall’s parking lot.
Just to further stress the importance of an ignition cable and the whole ignition system for that matter, we’d like to visit other possibilities and ask, “What if Billy didn’t take it away?”
Well, the plan was for Eleven and her group to go to Bauman’s secret place and stay safe while Joyce, Hopper, and the rest try to close the portal and render the Mind Flayer powerless. If their ignition cable was intact, they’d be a lot safer away from the Mind Flayer although we wouldn’t be able to see that amazing fireworks scene inside the mall.
Through this, we see the importance of that one small part under the hood of the car. In real life, it really pays to make sure that everything is in good working condition and that one faulty cable could mean trouble for you if remained unaddressed — unless there’s a car on display inside a mall somewhere that you can take spare parts from!
realme 6 review: Perfect gaming phone for the lockdown?
Let's play to cope
One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 review: A fun beat’em up
Relive the story without having to replay hundreds of episodes
realme 6i review: You gain some, you lose some
Finally, a budget device with a USB-C
Mi MIX Alpha could launch for commercial sale soon
3 comedies you need to watch for good laughs
Facebook employees walk out to protest against Trump
Microsoft replaces journalists with AI for its news service
Apple patches out the latest way to jailbreak your iPhone
Best Midrange Smartphones in the Philippines from P10,000 to P20,000
Best Budget Smartphones in the Philippines below P10,000
Best Upper-Midrange Smartphones in the Philippines from P20,000 to P30,000
Best Midrange Smartphones from $200 to $400
Best Premium Smartphones in the Philippines above P30,000
Philippines2 weeks ago
Apple Philippines Smartphone Price List
Features2 weeks ago
7 blue smartphones worth giving a try
News1 week ago
Australia breaks internet speed record, topping at 44.2Tbps
News5 days ago
PLDT hacked, hacker threatens Globe is next [Updated]
Gaming2 weeks ago
ASUS TUF Gaming A15, A17 now official in the Philippines
News2 weeks ago
OnePlus is disabling the OnePlus 8 Pro’s ‘x-ray’ camera
Gaming2 weeks ago
The ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 arrives in the Philippines
Apps1 week ago
Nike’s ‘You Can’t Stop Us’ campaign will help you stay active at home