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In this video, we unbox Sony’s new flagship, the Xperia XZ2!

Launched at Mobile World Congress 2018 in Barcelona, Sony’s new flagship features a curvier design and smaller top and bottom bezels to the dismay of die-hard Sony fans.

Sony finally gave up on their signature OmniBalance philosophy which made Xperia smartphones stand out from a sea of similarly designed Android smartphones in recent years.

With the more recent unveiling of the Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium, it’s looking like the new Ambient Flow design is here to stay.

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OnePlus 6 price and availability in the Philippines

Not that competitive anymore?

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After a successful launch in London and introducing a sweet Avengers Edition in India, the OnePlus 6 is now making its way to the Philippines.

Pricing is as follow: The 6GB RAM + 64GB storage variant is priced at PhP 30,990, while the 8GB + 128GB version goes for PhP 33,990. Both will have identical specifications other than those key numbers.

For comparison, the first variant costs US$ 529 (PhP 27,850) in the US and the latter has a price tag of US$ 579 (PhP 30,480). The markup isn’t that bad considering this is an imported product, but this signals the first time a OnePlus phone has a starting price over PhP 30,000 in the Philippines.

But it’s not all bad news, because there are some freebies involved. While not specified how to qualify, the first customers will be entitled to the following bonuses: a Baseus MVP USB-C Cable, Motorola Buds Earphones, and PhP 1,000 voucher at Digital Walker. Like before, everyone gets an official warranty lasting 18 months.

Digital Walker, the official distributor of OnePlus products in the Philippines, says that they’ll have the 256GB storage variant in the coming weeks, too. And you’ll also be glad to know that the Mirror Black color variant will be available from the very start.

As of now, there’s no exact availability date yet. Digital Walker currently has a page where you can show your interest for the OnePlus 6, meaning you’ll get updates as soon as dates are set.

What we do know is which Digital Walker branches it’ll be available in at launch: SM Mall of Asia, SM North EDSA, Estancia Mall, Gateway Mall, and Ayala Cebu.

Now, how about bringing over the OnePlus Bullets Wireless earphones to the Philippines as well, Digital Walker?

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Features

9 Best Gaming Smartphones (Q2 2018)

Choose your weapon for mobile gaming!

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We’re almost midway through the year, so it’s time to update our Best Gaming Smartphones list! Our initial list during the first quarter of 2018 included six suggested phones, but for the second quarter, we now have nine. Some have stayed, and there are definitely new entries.

Without further ado, here are our top picks for the best gaming smartphones:

Apple iPhone 8

Whether you like iOS or not, you can’t deny that iPhones (especially the latest releases) are one of, if not the best mobile gaming platform. Apple’s devices run smoothly and are favored by developers so it’s a no-brainer that games released for iOS are guaranteed to be in tip-top shape. We chose the iPhone 8 Plus here because of its larger display at 5.5 inches and bigger battery compared to the iPhone 8’s, and it doesn’t have a notch that gets in the way like with the iPhone X.

SEE ALSO: Apple iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus Review

Motorola Moto Z2 Play

Motorola’s game-changing Moto Mod accessories make their Moto Z series special. If you pair the Moto Z2 Play with the Gamepad Moto Mod, it’ll be an instant portable console. The Gamepad adds dual control sticks, a D-pad, and four tactile action buttons which mean you don’t have to rely on touch controls anymore. Also, the Moto Mod magnetically attaches to the phone with no wireless pairing required and has its own built-in battery. The gaming accessory works with the powerful Moto Z2 Force, as well. The phone is already due for an update, and the Moto Z3 Play’s announcement is just around the corner.

SEE ALSO: Moto Z2 Play Review: To mod or not to mod

Nokia 7 Plus

Nokia is definitely back in the game and the Nokia 7 Plus is our choice from their arsenal. Why? It’s got a flagship-grade processor and it runs pure Android. It’s like having a Pixel-like device but at a fraction of the cost. The tall aspect ratio is also a good feature for better gaming.

SEE ALSO: Nokia 7 Plus: The Android One midranger

OnePlus 6

The latest OnePlus 6 phone is now out and it’s definitely one of the best smartphones you can buy for gaming. It’s powered by the latest Snapdragon 845 processor and comes with 6GB of memory — a combo that’ll surely deliver without hiccups and lags. The display notch can get in the way of your game though, but that can easily be fixed in the Settings menu.

SEE ALSO: OnePlus 6 is officially a complete Android flagship phone

Razer Phone

When we were shortlisting our gaming smartphones, the Razer Phone was already on the top of the list. The phone is focused on being a true gaming smartphone since it’s made by Razer. It’s got the latest specifications to play popular and demanding games, a 5.7-inch IGZO panel with a smooth 120Hz refresh rate, front-facing stereo speakers, and a long-lasting battery. It also has other features to make it a daily driver, but you can immediately tell that the Razer Phone is built for gaming.

SEE ALSO: Razer Phone Review: Best smartphone for gaming?

Samsung Galaxy S9+

We’re replacing the Galaxy Note 8 with the latest Galaxy S9+. The premium Galaxy phone comes with the latest specifications — may it be the Snapdragon or Exynos variant. It also has one of the most beautiful phone displays with curved edges that make gaming more immersive.

SEE ALSO: Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ Hands-On: AR Emoji and super slow-mo

Sony Xperia XZ2

Another fresh entry on the list is Sony with the Xperia XZ2. It has powerful specifications and a gorgeous HDR display just like the other phones here, but it has something that makes it standout: the Dynamic Vibration System. You can feel the game (or even video) on the Xperia XZ2 thanks to its DualShock-like vibration system that mimics a similar experience on PlayStation controllers.

SEE ALSO: Sony Xperia XZ2 Review: Flexing more camera muscles

Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S

When Xiaomi launched their latest borderless flagship phone earlier this year, it was the fastest Android phone on AnTuTu’s test and even in real-world usage! Packed with the latest Snapdragon 845 processor and up to 8GB of memory, the Mi Mix 2S will be able to run even the most demanding mobile games. It’s also priced competitively just like the OnePlus 6, but this one doesn’t have a notch. 😉

SEE ALSO: Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S Review: Faster, smarter

Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 (AI)

We’re putting two Xiaomi phones on the list, because why not? While we wait for the successor to the Mi Max 2, the best budget-midrange phone from Xiaomi is the Redmi Note 5. It can handle the latest titles, although they might not be at the highest settings. For a budget phone, it’s already an impressive feat to be able to run popular titles, so no complaints here.

SEE ALSO: Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Hands-on: The new budget smartphone king?

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Apple’s new ‘free’ iCloud upgrades are designed to get more of your money

Read the fine print

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Every year, storage solutions grow faster than we can fill them. Despite the industry’s steadfast progress, cloud storage is still woefully catching up. Sadly, for some brands, progress hovers precariously out of reach.

Particularly, Apple’s latest efforts focuses more on sales rather than the actual product. Besides 5GB of free cloud storage, Apple now offers one month of free upgrades to more substantial storage plans.

For Apple users, the free 5GB of iCloud storage is part and parcel of every iPhone package. However, every smartphone photographer can tell you that five gigabytes pale in comparison to what everyday usage is like now.

Most users deplete this within a few months (if not, weeks). To increase this, Apple usually offers 50GB, 200GB, and 2TB upgrades on monthly subscription prices. Easily outclassed by their rivals, these upgrades don’t find much of an audience even from the most hardcore of users.

Now, Apple is offering free one-month trials for these upgrades. When users deplete their 5GB allocation, a new pop-up notifies users that they are entitled for a month of more iCloud storage.

However, this enticing offer hides a dastardly trap for unsuspecting subscribers. As with most online subscriptions, Apple will not automatically opt you out when your free month expires. After you finish the month, Apple will charge its users the regular rates for these upgrades.

Regardless, the internet has entertained this scheme for as long as online subscriptions have existed. The system hopes that users are either too ignorant to notice the fine print or too reliant on the upgrade to back out.

While internet-savvy users can detect the ploy immediately, Apple’s massive reach ensures that even casual users will receive the offer.

Unfortunately for Apple, competing cloud services still edge out iCloud handily. Most notably, Google Photos offers unlimited storage on the cloud for free.

Also, iCloud remains one of the weakest names in cyber security. Just a few years ago, hackers breached and obtained extremely sensitive material from the iCloud accounts of famous Hollywood celebrities.

SEE ALSO: What’s the difference between RAM and internal storage?

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