Have you been itching to try 5G but you’re not up for a smartphone upgrade yet? Smart Communications, Inc. is offering the next best thing — the Smart Bro 5G Rocket WiFi.
As the name suggests, it’s essentially a mobile WiFi that’s capable of tapping into 5G networks. If you haven’t been keeping up with the times, 5G is the next generation of mobile connectivity. Over the past two years, various telecom companies have been integrating it into their services.
The Philippines is no different. Smart Communications, Inc. has done their part establishing 5G networks in various areas of the country from Metro Manila, North Luzon, South Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
You can find a full list of the covered areas here. Just have to scroll down and towards the Frequently Asked Questions section and look for “What areas are Smart 5G covered right now?” You can also open Waze and track down Smart 5G areas there.
How to set up the Smart Bro 5G Rocket WiFi
I want to say it’s pretty straightforward but I had more trouble with taking the protective cover off than I’m willing to admit. That said, it is pretty easy. You only need to lift the cover to insert the Smart 5G-ready SIM card.
You can charge the device through its USB-C port. What’s surprising is that the device also has an ethernet port. So, if you’re lucky enough to live near a 5G area, this can function as your primary Internet connection directly connected to your home router.
You can load the SIM via scratch card or PayMaya. Either way, you’ll still need to download the GigaLife app. Here, you can load the SIM card and activate Smart’s various data plans. For the purposes of this article, we used GigaPro199 which gives users 27GB of data valid for 7 days.
With the Smart Bro 5G Rocket WiFi loaded and GigaPro199 activated, we took it for a spin.
Out and about
The Pandemic is still in full swing so we only really used this a couple of times while out recording videos for various projects. The results are naturally mixed.
As you may have guessed, 5G connectivity relies heavily on the area of coverage. If you’re not at a spot with 5G coverage, you just simply aren’t gonna get 5G speeds. But is it still serviceable? Yes.
What you’re gonna get are still the steady 4G/LTE speeds you typically get from Smart. For our part, this means an average of 45Mbps download and 15Mbps upload speeds. That’s still pretty darn decent.
But at 5G coverage areas, we were consistently getting at least 80Mbps download and around 20Mbps upload speeds.
Those are the speed tests. But what about actual usage? Happy to report that the speed tests perform as advertised. There were zero frustrating moments when I am unable to send a chat or download files throughout around six (6) hours of a work day.
Work from Home
This writer is lucky enough to live in an area with 5G coverage. Which is surprising since the 4G connection is pretty hard to come by. That aside, we used the Smart Bro 5G Rocket WiFi for the rest of the week and it was steady… for the most part.
In terms of speed tests, we were consistently getting anywhere between 160Mbps to 220Mbps download and 30Mbps-40Mbps upload speeds. This was true all throughout the rest of the week we used it at home.
On actual usage, it performed just as well as our PLDT Home DSL connection. Perhaps, a little too much like it. You see, every week, our DSL connection suffers from random Internet outages. Nothing too drastic though. Sometimes the speed would dip. Other times, it’s completely gone. This happens anywhere between 30 minute to two hour stretches. Frustrating. But we’ve grown used to it.
This is exactly how the Smart Bro 5G Rocket WiFi behaved. It’s not exactly a flawless experience, but It’s not bad either. In fact, we’d go out on a limb to say it’s pretty darn good for mobile WiFi.
You’ll just have to watch your hours of usage. Unplugged, it’ll last typically around five to six hours. Any more and either the juice will run out or it’ll be too hot to function properly.
Should you get the Smart Bro 5G Rocket WiFi?
If your job requires you to be constantly out and about and in need of fast mobile connection, the Smart Bro 5G Rocket WiFi is a nice contraption to have. This is especially true if you still don’t own a 5G-capable smartphone.
It’s available with Signature Data Plan S for PhP 1,324 per month for 36 months, with a one-time cashout of PhP 5,300. It would have been a more compelling gadget to recommend had we not just seen borderline budget 5G phones released recently. We expect Smart Communications to slash the price a little bit or offer this in some kind of promo to be more competitive against the Redmi Note 10 5G and realme 8 5G smartphones.
If you do decide to get it, it would be prudent to map out the 5G spots in the areas you frequent so you know where to set up shop.
Samsung Galaxy S23, S23+ and S23 Ultra Hands-On
Samsung has finally Unpacked the newest Galaxy S23, S23+, and S23 Ultra in San Francisco.
This is actually Samsung’s first in-person event during the pandemic.
With all the design and hardware improvements, do you actually need to upgrade?
Watch our Samsung Galaxy S23 Series Hands-on video to help yourself decide.
SHOP S23 Ultra
SHOP S23 & S23+
DISCLOSURE: GadgetMatch earns a commission from qualifying purchases from any of these links.
HONOR X9a 5G Hands-On: Tough and capable
Strong 2023 start for HONOR?
HONOR is determined to make some serious noise in the smartphone space in 2023. In the Philippines, they’re looking to start strong with the release of the HONOR X9a 5G.
If you follow any tech publications and some influencers and endorsers online, you likely saw the drop test videos the company had literally everyone do. That includes GadgetMatch.
For what it’s worth, the thing is really tough. During our quick shoot, we dropped it around 3 times on concrete. No major damages suffered. The 0.65mm ‘Deeply Reinforced Glass’ on the display is, for the most part, not just a gimmick. Still, don’t go dropping the phone carelessly if you do decide to get it.
We’re already talking about the display anyway, so let’s dig into it a little more.
Pleasant to the eyes
The HONOR X9a 5G sports a 6.67-inch OLED Curved Display. It has a 394 pixels per inch count with a 2400 x 1900 resolution and 800 nits of peak brightness. Marketing materials also tout its 1.07 billion colors and TUV Rheinland Low Blue Light Certification.
For the most part, the phone is everything it says it is on paper. The curved display affects more how the phone feels on-hand than it does for your eyes. It makes the phone’s profile feel slimmer than it actually is. And it’s not too curved to the point that it distracts from whatever you’re watching.
Colors also look great. We can confidently say that you’ll have a good time watching videos on the HONOR X9a 5G. Whether that’s one of our YouTube videos, mindlessly scrolling on TikTok, or catching up on your favorite series.
It also delivers a buttery-smooth feel, it has a 120Hz refresh rate and a 300Hz touch sampling rate.
Going over to how the rest of the phone looks, it gives off a Magic-ish, Mate-ish vibe. The circular camera module on the back plays a huge part in that. We’ll get to the camera details later on. For now, let’s focus on the look.
One glance and you could mistake it as an HONOR Magic or even a HUAWEI Mate phone. After all, they share a similar design language.
All the buttons (power and volume) are on the right.
And at the bottom, you’ll find the SIM Card tray, USB-C port, and speaker-grille. Pretty standard stuff.
Globally, the phone comes in three colors: Titanium Silver, Emerald Green and Midnight Black. In the Philippines, it appears only the first two colors will be available at launch.
Overall, it’s your standard slab with a signature look. That camera module is certainly doing a lot to separate it from the pack.
Now onto the cameras. Here they are by the numbers:
- Main (Wide): 64MP, f/1.8, PDAF
- Ultrawide: 5MP, f/2.2,
- Macro: 2MP, f/2.4, (macro)
- Front (wide): 16MP, f/2.5
And since video taking seems to be all the rage these days, you might be pleased to know that both the front and back cameras can take 1080P at 30fps footage.
Again, these are pretty standard numbers for midrangers. The same is true for the actual output. There’s nothing here that’s mind blowing. But for posting on socials and just capturing stuff on the daily, it’s more than serviceable.
Take a look at these samples:
The HONOR X9a 5G is powered by the Qualcomm SM6375 Snapdragon 695 5G processor. In the Philippines, it comes with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage. It also has a massive 5,100mAh battery. Software-wise, it’s running Magic UI 6.1 based on Android 12.
In practice, all these components come together to deliver a steady performer of a smartphone. The HONOR X9a 5G is reliable in all the ways that matter. The processor, while not new by 2023 standard, still does what you expect it to do. That is to keep the stuff you need running in the background as needed.
It also has a decent power efficiency, which, paired with the massive battery, delivers an overall battery life that won’t have you running to the nearest power outlet as the day winds down.
We didn’t do much gaming on the phone, but given that it’s the same processor that was equipped on mobile gaming-inclined phones in the past, we’re confident it can steadily run plenty of the most-played games on mobile.
Solid start for HONOR
The HONOR X9a 5G is a tough, capable smartphone that’s easy on the eyes. It’s the quintessential midrange smartphone. Everything we’ve come to expect from midrangers is present on this phone while also being extra tough and lasting extra long.
With this being HONOR’s first offering in 2023 in the Philippines, the company is off to a solid start.
New Year resolutions with vivo
Make yours happen
A New Year always brings new beginnings. A chance to start-over and put your life on the track you want it to be in. vivo argues that it’s easier to follow through on these new year changes when you have the right device for you. Lo and behold, they put together things to keep mind, to keep you on the right track.
Learn something new and practical
Since it’s the new year, challenge yourself to learn something new — a skill like computer programming, a hobby like playing a musical instrument, or any practical knowledge such as learning a new language.
Having a reliable device that can give you the ease to learn everything with only a few taps is essential. Like, say, the vivo Y35.
The vivo Y35 supports 44W FastCharge so you wouldn’t have to wait for a long time until your phone is fully charged to resume studying immediately. Plus, its massive 5000mAh battery can help it run for long hours, keeping you immersed in watching tutorial videos, attending online classes or reading how-to articles. It also has a massive 16GB Dynamic RAM and 256GB ROM.
These features can help make learning continuous and with fewer interruptions.
Start documenting your life
It’s all about making and preserving memories. This year, start capturing moments with a greater purpose. While you’re at it, try to take good photos and videos as well.
The vivo V25 Series, which has a 64MP OIS Ultra-Sensing camera with extreme night vision, is a great tool to document both day and night moments that you want to keep for the longest time possible. The vivo V25 Series’ up to 50MP Eye autofocus selfie camera can also help you capture the smiles of the people with you during every encounter.
Always go for healthier options
Health will always be wealth. It means you should also be more knowledgeable and conscious about your food and drink intake. The Internet offers a lot of information you can refer to for nutritious choices. Do your research, compare and find what’s best and more feasible for you.
For this, you have the vivo Y22s. It is equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 processor, up to 16GB dynamic RAM and ROM expandable to 1TB. These can assist you with minimal to no lags to get the healthier 2023 done.
Stay in touch with your loved ones
You should also remember to allot more time to people who matter. As the new year begins, you should create more memories with your family. Scheduling a video call with them while you’re away from home or constantly checking up on them through messages can make a difference in keeping a strong relationship.
The vivo Y16, which has a wide 6.51-inch Halo FullView display with eye protection mode, can help.
Travel more, in style
Traveling this year? Do it in style by getting a smartphone that’ll go with your travel fits.
vivo Y02s and vivo Y02’s2.5D curvature slim frame and lightweight build fit this goal perfectly and would never feel like extra travel baggage. Instead, these vivo smartphones work like additional accessories that will add glam and style.
New Year with vivo
The new year is better if matched with a vivo smartphone that will aid in accomplishing your resolutions. All smartphones in vivo’s current lineup are available in offline stores nationwide.
Head to the nearest vivo concept store or kiosk to stand a chance to win in Paskong La vivo Loca which runs until January 31, 2023. Follow vivo’s official website and its social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube for more information.
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