Entertainment

Smart brings 25 K-Pop acts closer to the Philippines with KCON:TACT 4U

+1 J-Pop group to complete the lineup

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KCONTACT 4U
OT12 LOONA comeback let's go!

Some people behind the GadgetMatch team (including me) are total fans of K-Pop. With this in mind, we’re here to give you the best news for any K-Pop fan out there!

Smart Communications Inc. is bringing back the most-awaited K-Event of the year. Lo and behold, the KCON:TACT 4U virtual festival that will be held from June 19 (Saturday) to June 27 (Sunday). All you have to do is to access gigafest.smart every 8PM (Philippine time) to access the online concert. For the best streaming experience, just register to Double GIGA Video on the GigaLife App.

There aren’t just one, two, not even just ten K-Pop acts. There are a total of 25 K-Pop acts ranging from female and male groups, plus one J-Pop boy group to make it a whole lot fun, sizzling, and entertaining. Here are all the acts you should watch out! (in no particular order).

Female Groups

LOONA

LOONA is gearing up for their latest comeback with the album [&]. Orbits shouldn’t feel too excited about “Paint The Town” as the song wouldn’t be released within the whole duration of the virtual festival. Instead, expect them to perform their latest hits “Why Not” and“Star” (or “Voice”, its Korean track counterpart).

fromis_9

You’ll go head over heels with fromis_9‘s visuals and vocals — especially with their latest summer bop WE GO”. This is one of (if not) the best 2021 summer releases out there.

OH MY GIRL

Another summer hit pop track in the list is OH MY GIRL’s “Dun Dun Dance” that will surely make you dance all day and all night long with its catchy tune and soothing vocals of each member.

EVERGLOW

EVERGLOW is also one of the latest girl groups to release a fresh new track last month. While it’s not as refreshing as other tracks, “FIRST” will totally make your heads and ears flip because of how powerful it is.

ITZY

Speaking of powerful, ITZY’s “M.A.F.I.A. In the morning” is one of the most streamed K-Pop tracks around. With thousands of MIDZYs in the Philippines, expect them to populate the viewer count once the virtual festival starts.

Weeekly

Weeekly is currently one of the most popular new generation of female idols. With the ever increasing attention among the girls and their 2021 hit track “After School” plus the release of their latest collaborative track “7 Days Tension”, these cute yet refreshing bops would definitely make a lot of fans sing along and giggle with their cuteness!

Weki Meki

Weki Meki is one of the most underrated girl groups out there that you should definitely check out. “COOL” may not be their latest track this 2021 but it’s totally catchy alongside their other releases such as “OOPSY” and “DAZZLE DAZZLE”.

Male Groups

SEVENTEEN

Just like LOONA, SEVENTEEN is one among the K-Pop acts in the lineup that’s also gearing up for their comeback. While “Ready To Love” isn’t confirmed to be in the performance list, “HOME;RUN” should definitely be performed by these 13 amazing boys.

Stray Kids (SKZ)

Stray Kids (also known as “SKZ”) are TWICE and ITZY’s brothers! Not to confuse you with the K-Drama, but they recently won the survival show Kingdom.  Expect them to perform hit tracks such as “Back Door” and more.

THE BOYZ (TBZ)

Another group in the list that participated in the survival show Kingdom was THE BOYZ (or TBZ). Recently, their song “The Stealer” is gaining rounds online — and that song should definitely be performed in this virtual festival.

SF9

Dubbed as FNC Entertainment’s “First Boy Dance Group”, SF9 will surely make a lot of FANTASYs swoon. Even non-fans would surely drool over them.

iKON

After so many years of dispute between Mnet and YG Entertainment, iKON is ready to amaze iKONICs with their amazing performances. They’re also one among the competitors in Kingdom. And yes, they’re BLACKPINK’s older brother group — and Lisa performed with them during their “Classy Savage” sing and dance craze. Love Scenario” in 2021, anyone?

BTOB

Another Kingdom competitor is none other than BTOB. Known for their angelic voices, they surely threw a punch in the survival show — even if they’re the oldest competing group out of the bunch. After years of hiatus, they’re finally back on track. Coincidence or not, they’re sub-unit BTOB 4U will make your eyes bawl with “Show Your Love”.

PENTAGON

BTOB’s younger group, PENTAGON is also set to perform in this year’s KCON:TACT. Other than their latest track “DO or NOT”, they’re also popular for their hit song “Shine”.

CNBLUE

If you’re one among the veteran K-Pop fans like I am, you’d know that CNBLUE is one among the classic boy bands out there. Known for their great vocals and musical instrument skills, you’d be delighted to see them again after years of hiatus. Who knows, they might perform their classic hits this 2021?

HIGHLIGHT

Other than CNBLUE, HIGHLIGHT is also one of the classic K-Pop groups in this list. TL:DR, they originally came from Cube Entertainment (yes, the sole agency of BTOB and PENTAGON) under the name BEAST. If it rings any bell, they’re that boy group who made a lot of fans cheer and roar for years. Their latest track surely proves it’s “Not The End” of their journey together.

ASTRO

From the same company as Weki Meki and other prominent actors in South Korea, ASTRO surely knows how to act hot and cool while singing and dancing in their latest track “One”. And for all Cha Eunwoo supremacists out there, you should know by now that he belongs to this group.

ONEUS

If you weren’t aware, this group comes from the same label as MAMAMOO and their latest group PURPLE KISS. While both weren’t included in this year’s KCON:TACT lineup, ONEUS will make viewers dance such to a groovy and psychedelic track.

ONF

ONF (pronounced as On and Off) is OH MY GIRL’s younger brother group! Not sure if “Dun Dun Dance” and “Ugly Dance” were both coincidental with their “dance” naming scheme, but this crazy awesome Cyberpunk-ish concept has continued from their last release “Beautiful Beautiful”.

Golden Child

Home of INFINITE, Lovelyz, ROCKET PUNCH, and DRIPPIN, Golden Child is one of the underrated groups that need to be recognized for their talent. While completely going with their concept, they still try other concepts that surely suit their group image — and “Breathe” is one of those tracks that deserve more recognition.

A.C.E

This 4-year-old group is also set to step their foot on KCON:TACT 4U. Among other acts in the list, A.C.E is also preparing for their upcoming comeback with the title track “Higher”. But don’t expect too much and just enjoy their latest released track, “Down” for now.

P1Harmony

The third group from FNC Entertainment in this list alongside CNBLUE and SF9 is none other than P1Harmony. Their ultra-catchy hip-popping track “Scared” makes them look and sound distinct from their brother groups.

VERIVERY

“Get Away” is just three months old, but Filipino VERRERs would actually want to hear this charismatic and sexy track live — even if it means of just watching it virtually this pandemic.

TO1

‘TO1’ was rebranded from ‘TOO’ and their latest comeback song surely proves how powerful they are as a group. TL:DR, they were also formed in a survival show called ‘To Be World Klass”.

BONUS: GHOST9

A group composed of popular members from the survival shows “MIXNINE” and “PRODUCE X 101”, GHOST9’s set to have a “cinematic live” segment instead of a live performance during this year’s festival. It might be their latest track “Up All Night” that will surely make you up all night.

Soloist

Ha Sung Woon

Haneuls would definitely stay online to watch Ha Sungwoon’s latest track ‘Sneakers’ especially with its refreshing summer song. If you’re still unaware, he’s one of the original members of WANNA ONE, a project group formed from the PRODUCE survival show series.

The only J-Pop act in the roster

JO1

They’re the only J-Pop act in the lineup. Also, they’re the only active group from the PRODUCE series franchise.

Not to be confused with the group ‘TO1’, JO1 hopes to be one of the most sought after J-Pop acts with amazing vocals and visuals on the line. Watching and listening to “Born To Be Wild” further proves that.

Here’s the full schedule lineup if you want to catch your faves!

KCONTACT 4U

Entertainment

Disney+: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever streams February 1

Relive the MCU Phase 4 ender

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Wakanda Forever

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Marvel Studio’s MCU Phase 4-ending film, will be available to stream on Disney+ starting on February 1.

Receiving generally good ratings, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever captivated fans with the introduction of underwater kingdom Talokan in the Atlantic Ocean and its ruler, Namor.

The movie opened with the death of King T’Challa. It then focused on the events in Wakanda after, including how Shuri assumed the mantle of Black Panther.

The MCU’s 30th installment which sets up Phase 5 also highlighted the dynamic between the Wakandans and Talokanil. Both people were simply after protecting their respective nations from dangers as the film’s plot progressed.

A key art and a new TV spot are now available to download and share as well.

Coinciding with the movie’s availability on the streaming platform is the release of the Wakanda Forever: The Official Black Panther Podcast.

Episodes may be accessed via ProximityMedia.com starting on January 18.

SEE ALSO: Now Playing: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

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Entertainment

LG just launched a limited edition NewJeans laptop

It’s pretty… expensive

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Graphics by Vincenz Lee | GadgetMatch

NewJeans is continuously making waves both in and out of South Korea. From their ultra-catchy songs, dance moves that are trending in TikTok and Instagram Reels, to reaching top charts in UK and US’ Billboard, there’s no surprise that homegrown tech brand LG Electronics partnered with these power rookies.

Graphics by Vincenz Lee | GadgetMatch

LG just released the gram Style NewJeans Limited Edition! While this is an unfortunate news for Hanni (who is actually an iPhone), it’s actually a big step towards knowing NewJeans past the K-Pop hype (and by that you should stream Hype Boy).

Mini and Big Bunnies

This special edition LG Gram Style is available in two styles: Mini Bunny and Big Bunny.

Graphics by Vincenz Lee | GadgetMatch

There’s actually no stark difference between the two except for — you guessed it — the size of bunny decals on its lid. Either of the two, you will never get wrong choosing the bunny for your personal taste.

Other than that, the highlight of this laptop comes from its weight. From the brand itself, it’s just 999 grams — actually 23 grams lighter than the 2022 model. It also has the US military-graded MIL-STD 810H standard that passed seven (7) durability tests.

Powerful punch

The LG gram Style NewJeans isn’t slouching in performance. Just like a hopping bunny, it’s quite a powerful device for its size and heft.

Graphics by Vincenz Lee | GadgetMatch

Hardware specifications of these two Bunnies aren’t too far off — at least after making a side-by-side comparison of their spec sheets. Both styles come with an Intel Core i5-1340P under EVO Platform for lightweight ultrabooks plus Intel Iris Xe graphics. It’s then paired with 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM and 256GB of NVMe 4.0 SSD with an extra PCIe 4.0 slot for expandability.

Graphics by Vincenz Lee | GadgetMatch

Just like NewJeans‘ visuals, you can’t also go wrong with the visuals of this device. It has a 14″ low-reflective OLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate, WQXGA+ resolution (2880 x 1800), a 16:10 aspect ratio for wider screen real estate, and an improved 400nits brightness over last year’s 350.

Moreover, it supports 100% DCI-P3 wide color gamut for color-accurate goodness as well as VESA Certified DisplayHDR TrueBlack 500 for deeper blacks and better contrast ratio. Its 2-watt stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos support make it a full-on entertainment device.

Graphics by Vincenz Lee | GadgetMatch

One more highlight is its “Hidden Touchpad”. Instead of the usual rectangular trackpads, it’s highlighted by two halo lighting on its two sides dubbed as “Aurora White” paired with haptic feedback for that nice feeling when clicking.

Graphics by Vincenz Lee | GadgetMatch

For ports, it has two (2) USB-C plus one (1) USB-A ports, microSD card slot, and a 3.5mm audio jack for headphones, earphones, amplifiers, and other audio peripherals.

Goodies for Bunnies

If you have actually reached this part, you’d know that you are not here for its powerful hardware, rather for the NewJeans styled-laptop. Aside from having that special laptop, there are more goodies that come with this device.

Graphics by Vincenz Lee | GadgetMatch

Being one of the few Bunnies out there since NewJeans’ Attention, I was actually more excited when I saw the list. There’s a notebook pouch, cable strap, posters, sticker and stationery set.

Graphics by Vincenz Lee | GadgetMatch

There’s even a free NewJeans-style mouse with this cute vinyl-like mousepad. These are truly treats for Bunnies! The laptops even come with preloaded wallpapers and four icons in it.

Pricing and Availability

While the LG gram Style is light, the pricing isn’t. It’s a pretty laptop with a pretty expensive price. It retails for around KR₩ 2,700,000 — which is about US$ 2190 / SG$ 2675 / ₱119,513.

There’s no word on global availability but LG will hold a live event in Korea with NewJeans on February 1, 2023 (Wednesday) around 8PM KST (Korean Standard Time).

If you will participate during the live, a comment could help a participant win a specially-signed autograph from NewJeans or three winners of the Limited Edition Goods.

If you plan on buying the NewJeans’ limited edition laptop, there are more benefits other than having the Limited Edition Goods set such as 12 winners of NewJeans autographs.

But if you’re just opting to buy the regular LG gram Style without the NewJeans skin, it will still give you other perks such as a free LG gram mouse, Wiggle Wiggle goods package consisting of a notebook pouch, mousepad, and a cable strap, as well as a free 512GB microSD card.

More advanced purchase benefits are Intel software package, 2023 gram gift pack, and 5,000g Jammy points coupon.

Other common benefits include MelOn one-month free subscription, 10,000 membership points after writing a photo review after purchase, and 20 winners of two Helinox chairs and table set.

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Entertainment

Prime Video’s Drag Den Grand Finale all set

With Manila Luzon

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Prime Video’s Drag Den is upping the ante with a breathtaking finale concert  and a fabulous grand coronation night on January 26 at the SM Aura Samsung Hall.
No less than “Drag Lord” Manila Luzon is set to host the event that will see the top three contestants — NAIA, Shewarma, Maria Cristina– compete for the title of “Drag Supreme”. Cheering on the side are  other members of the “Drag Cartel” — OA, Aries Night, Barbie-Q, Pura Luka Vega, Lady Gagita with  “Drag Dealer” Nicole Cordoves, and “Drag Runner” Sassa Gurl.
Series creator and director Rod Singh could not express her gratitude enough for fans of Drag Den with Manila Luzon.
“For an inaugural season of a new show with a unique format, their level of support was way beyond our expectations. Aside from watching the show on Prime Video, these fans also watch our  viewing parties. They send tips and gifts to our queens,” said Rod Singh.

Manila Luzon x Drag Den

Singh also attributes the success of Drag Den with Manila Luzon to its presenter, Manila Luzon, who also served as executive producer. “Having Manila as our ‘Drag Lord’ is a blessing. She came when I almost gave up my dream of creating the show. She is very collaborative and I am very grateful that she also trusted me. It’s a relief to have a host like her because aside from her dedication to sharing her platform with Filipino Drag Queens, she is also very passionate about promoting our show,” Singh added, while noting that there have been viewing parties in New York and West Hollywood because of Manila Luzon and fans from around the world are very excited they can stream the show on Prime Video.
Produced by CS Studios, Singh and Antoinette Jadaone of Project 8 Projects, the exciting finale of Drag Den with Manila Luzon drops on January 26, 7 pm PHT, only on Prime Video.
For more updates on Drag Den with Manila Luzon, follow Prime Video on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and Youtube. Stream anywhere, anytime at primevideo.com or download the Prime Video app on Google Play, Apple Store, and Microsoft.
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