Philippines

Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro Review: Twice the power, still affordable

But is it worth the hype?

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The year is far from over and neither are phone manufacturers from releasing smartphones. Although Mi 9T Pro isn’t the newest smartphone release from Xiaomi, it’s one of the most talked about smartphones around and is still the flagship killer to, well, kill.

If you previously read our Xiaomi Mi 9T review, you’d know by now that I’m exactly an Android user. I loved the Mi 9T Pro’s smaller sibling however because of its camera prowess and seamless experience despite its cheap price tag.

Now that I have the more powerful Mi 9T Pro on hand, I took it out on adventures the past few weeks to see whether it can actually live up to its flagship killer title.

Same design, different vibe

If you compare the Mi 9T and Mi 9T Pro side-by-side, it’ll be difficult to tell them apart. The symmetry is there. I like the Carbon Black option for its stealth while the Glacier Blue option is striking, in a good way. Although I’m not a fan of flashy design and colors, I love how there are subtle gradations flowing from both sides.

The red power button is still there, giving it a touch of contrast against its blue metallic body.

Speaker grilles, microphone, USB-C port, and SIM card slot below.

The Mi 9T Pro has a Gorilla Glass 5 back. It’s not the newest generation of Corning’s technology but it’s good enough to protect the phone from accidental scratches. The Mi 9T had none, which was a drawback for a smartphone with a glass back. I loved flaunting its back that I decided not to use the included black case. It’s still good as new and has not acquired any scratches. It feels right in my hand and doesn’t slip easily.

Same screen size, different display

Even Suzy looks confused with the differences in AMOLED and Super AMOLED

Xiaomi’s Mi 9T wowed me before because of its 6.4-inch AMOLED display. It’s an excellent panel, for such a cheap phone, with great viewing angles and contrast.

The Mi 9T Pro still packs a similar 6.4-inch display, but with a Super AMOLED display technology. Watching videos even outdoors is a great experience because it’s brighter and overall a better panel.

The Super AMOLED display is drop-dead gorgeous, so is Yoohyeon

I love its fullscreen display. Not having a notch or punch-hole camera makes a difference for me especially when watching videos. Color calibration is accurate and vibrant, making visuals pop.

Watching TWICE’s Feel Special in 4K made me miss Mina more #GetWellSoonMina

There are only a handful of smartphones with 4K resolution — and it’s not the basis of having a great display. It may not be the best display on a smartphone, but the Mi 9T Pro still delivers excellent entertainment experience even with its Full HD+ display. It’s also more power efficient than the AMOLED display found on the Mi 9T.

Flagship performance at half the price

The Mi 9T was already a great smartphone with the Snapdragon 730, but Xiaomi made the Mi 9T Pro even better. This phone is  equipped with a flagship Snapdragon 855 chipset — something you can only find on more expensive smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 and OnePlus 7 Pro.

The Mi 9T Pro feels snappier than the Mi 9T — something I noticed immediately. Opening apps, the animation — they all feel faster. The experience is oh-so fluid and smooth. I can now play my favorite Asphalt 9 game at the highest settings that I couldn’t do (or even install) on the Mi 9T before.

Just like the Mi 9T, it also has 6GB of memory, so switching between apps is seamless.

Having a 3.5mm audio jack feels special (pun intended)

A lot of “Pro” products don’t seem like they meet expectations of actual pro users. If you’re the type of person who prefers the traditional way of listening to music, this phone has a 3.5mm jack — something you don’t see in many smartphones these days.

While I can always connect a wireless pair of headphones, the good ol’ audio jack is still very handy in a lot of scenarios. I find it useful when playing music in parties that don’t have wireless speakers. Some people still use wired microphones for audio recording as it’s more reliable. Some monopods require wired cables for you to control shutter releases.

Battery life is outstanding

I’m not proud of it but I’m *that* power user. I fiddle around with my phone and browse my social media feed every five to ten minutes. When I’m bored, I watch videos on YouTube or at least two episodes of a series I’m following on Netflix at around 75% brightness. I also play graphics-intensive games every now and then. Despite all of this, the Mi 9T Pro’s battery lasts me my entire day.

Fast charging just got faster

The Mi 9T already has a USB-C port and an 18W fast charger right out of the box — but the Mi 9T Pro ships with a faster 27W charger with Quick Charge 4+ technology.

It takes around 35 minutes to charge the phone from 0% to 50%. It reached 100% after around an hour and 30 minutes. That’s fast for a smartphone with a 4000 mAh battery.

Modern problems require modern solutions, except for these two

The Mi 9T Pro still features an in-display fingerprint scanner and it works most of the time. Not that I’m complaining, but it will never be as fast as a traditional scanner. A side-mounted scanner is always my alternative pick over this type of reader.

I thought there will be at least a difference when it comes to Face Unlock but it still performs sluggish. I would rather use the fingerprint scanner instead of the inconvenience of swiping and waiting for the camera to pop-up. Face unlock isn’t even as secure as it just relies on camera recognition.

The pop-up camera itself performs well

Don’t get me wrong, the pop-up camera is not bad, well at least in taking selfies. It captures decent selfies even when beauty mode is completely turned off.

I like how the selfies don’t look as saturated as other selfie shooters, which gives it a nice touch in persuading your crush to give you a chance to date you.

People who have shorter arms wouldn’t have a problem as the selfie camera is wide enough to accommodate four (or more) people in the frame — just like how a lot of you accommodate people that will never be a part of your life.

Same triple camera setup, but now snappier

You get the same triple camera setup as the Mi 9T that I loved: 48MP f/1.8 wide, 8MP f/2.4 telephoto, and 13MP f/2.4 ultrawide.

There’s a small difference though: the Mi 9T Pro has laser autofocus. This might not sound like much but taking photos with the Mi 9T Pro felt snappier and photos turn out sharper. It’s an understated but very important improvement.

Unlike with the Mi 9T, I didn’t experience errors while using the Mi 9T Pro’s camera

The camera does well with food subjects

But it’s honestly even better with the telephoto lens

Night Mode works really well

But sometimes, it doesn’t do photos justice

The highlights in the neon signs were dimmed after turning on the Night Mode, which made the shots worse.

Using Night Mode on the telephoto lens is great, too

I really love how it captured the filament in these two light bulbs and produced the right amount of shadows and blur in the background.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

The maxed-out 128GB/6GB configuration of the Mi 9T Pro is priced at PhP 20,490, while the 64GB/6GB configuration currently retails at PhP 18,990 — which is just a PhP 1,500 difference from Mi 9T’s 128GB/6GB.

A lot of people have been calling the Mi 9T Pro as 2019’s true flagship killer, not just because of its top of the line specs but also because of its affordable price tag.

If you want to have a powerful smartphone with a bright display, snappy cameras, and unparalleled software experience without spending that much, the Mi 9T Pro is for you. If you don’t need the faster chipset and just want an overall great device, then go for the Mi 9T.

News

OPPO Reno2, Reno2 F price in the Philippines

For “Storymakers”

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It’s only been months since the OPPO Reno was launched but the company didn’t waste time following it up with the release of the OPPO Reno2 series.

The series consists of the Reno2 and Reno2 F — both geared towards content creation.

Reno2: Building on the foundation of the first Reno

The Reno2 is equipped with pretty much the same set of cameras as the Reno, and then some.

The rear has a quad-camera setup. consisting of a 48MP main camera, an 8MP wide angle lens, a 13MP telephoto lens, and a 2MP mono lens, supported by 5x Hybrid Zoom and up to 20x digital zoom and the Ultra Wide Angle lens.

But perhaps the most impressive new thing about the Reno2 is its Ultra Steady Mode feature. It’s designed to guarantee stable and smooth videos despite extremely shaky situations.

The series is equipped with Optical Image Stabilization and a 60 FPS frame rate to compensate for those shaky shots and enhance image stabilization, fluency, and overall image quality.

Inside the phone is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G flanked by the Adreno 615 graphics card. More than enough for most of the things you do on your phone. It also has 8GB of RAM and up to 256GB of storage.

The huge 4000 mAh battery, dynamic 6.5″ AMOLED display, efficient processor, and optimized Color OS 6 all work together to deliver a full-day of heavy use. When you run out of juice, OPPO’s VOOC charging will get you up to 50% in just 30 minutes.

Reno2 F brings more of the same features. It is instead powered by a Mediatek Helio P70 SoC with 8GB of RAM and up to 128GB of storage.

Pricing and availability

The Reno2 series comes in colorways inspired by nature: options for Reno2 are Sunset Pink and Luminous Black, while Sky White and Lake Green for Reno2 F.

The new OPPO Reno2 will retail at PhP 28,990 with Muse Bluetooth Speaker worth PhP 2,499 as a freebie.

Pre-order period is from October 18 to 24, and will be officially available nationwide on October 25 in OPPO concept stores, authorized dealers, and online via Lazada, Shopee, Akulaku, Argomall, Abenson and Memoxpress.

The Reno2 series will also be available in partner operators Globe and Smart. For Globe, the Reno2 will be available on Plan 1,799 online and offline with no cash out starting October 24, while for Smart, the Reno2 will be available on Smart Signature Plan M 1,499 with PhP 7,500 cash out starting November 8.

SEE ALSO: OPPO Reno2 review | OPPO Reno2, Reno2 Z in Singapore

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Gaming

Alienware m15 arrives in the Philippines

Leaner and stronger

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Here’s an alien that’s more than welcome in this part of the world. Dell is bringing a new breed of Alienware to the Philippines — the Alienware m15.

This Alienware is leaner, more advanced and more powerful than its predecessor. Weighing under 4.7lbs, this is the brand’s slimmest and latest gaming rig. This is for gamers who prioritize mobility without compromise to performance.

You’ll get the best of Intel processors and NVIDA GeForce GPUs along with either a 144Hz or 240Hz refresh panel.

It also has the latest Alienware Cyro-Tech 3.0 that brings optimized thermal module design to improve cooling performance, increasing airflow by 20% over the previous generation of the m15.

Additional design features include an all-magnesium chassis, smooth-edge, narrow-bezel design, re-engineered keyboard, precision-point glass touchpad, SSD-only storage, and per key RGB LED AlienFX lighting.

There’s also a hyper-efficient voltage regulation or VRM feature. The VRM allows the system to hold GPU and CPU performance high for a longer sustained time than typical gaming notebooks.

The Alienware m15 will also come with the Alienware Command Center. It’s the central hub that allows gamers to customize all aspects of their experience including system and peripheral lighting, power management, thermal control, audio, and content organization.

This lean, mean gaming machine starts at PhP 149,990, and will be available on the week of October 2019.

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Gaming

Dell’s G series gaming laptops are now sleeker

Looks subdued but has plenty of power

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Oversized gaming laptops are slowly starting to fade away. In its place are slimmer versions with slightly less gaming cues. The same is true for Dell’s G series. Introduced in the Philippines today are the new Dell G3, G5, and G7.

The Dell G7 15 (7590) is slim and powerful

Nothing personifies Dell’s new approach better than the G7 15. At 19.9mm, it’s one of the thinnest gaming laptops in the market.

It’s made with a three-piece metal construction making sure it stays strong despite its thin profile. Completing the look is a palm rest with brushed metal finish.

It’s also equipped with a quick-charging 60 or 90WHr battery to make sure you can continue gaming on-the-go.

The G7 15 will be available in Abyss Grey.

The Dell G5 15 & G5 15 SE (5590) won’t leave you wanting for ports

Next on the line are the Dell G5 15 and G5 15 SE. They follow the same sleek design without sacrificing performance.

Despite the slimmer profile, it’s not lacking in ports. The Dell G5 has a full-size HDMI 2.0 port that can plug into external monitors and supports up to 4K. There’s also Single-cable docking for video, data, and power with the laptop’s SuperSpeed USB 3.0 ports. This laptop comes with a 60Whr integrated battery.

It is available in Deep Space Black color with blue accents. A special edition in Alpine White is also available.

The Dell G3 15 (3590) is a great value for getting started

Dell’s G3 15 delivers plenty of power and performance at a competitive price point. It has the new Game Shift feature enables maximum fan speed for optimal processor performance.

It has an S-curve thin-and-sleek design and narrow borders to accommodate larger component ports near the back. At 21.6mm thin, the G3 comes with a 51Whi integrated battery.

It is available in Eclipse Black.

No compromises

As far as specs go, here’s what you’re getting with the redesigned G series laptops.

All three models will have the 9th Gen Intel Core mobile CPUs, up to i7. That’s desktop-caliber performance delivering up to 5.0 GHz Turbo, 8 cores, and 16 threads to play demanding AAA games or complete taxing, creative workloads.

They also have NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX graphic cards up to 1660Ti. Graphics card options are GeForce GTX 1660Ti and RTX 2060 and 2070 graphics options.

All three sport a15-inch FHD anti-glare display screen with three-sided narrow borders, and wide-viewing angles with up to 240Hz refresh.

These gaming laptops also offer up to 512 GB NVMe PCIe SSD and can be expanded to dual storage as needed. The G Series are embedded with complete ports options, including HDMI 2.0 port, Superspeed USB 3.1 ports, Standard SD/MicroMedia card slot, wedge lock slot and headphone/mic port.

Dell G5 desktop also announced

If gaming on-the-go isn’t your thing, there’s the new Dell G5 Desktop.

It’s designed to offer game-ready power, graphics and features in a compact, upgradeable form. Up to i7K-Series CPUs and VR-capable NVIDIA GeForce GTX® and RTX graphics, high-fidelity visuals and split-second responsiveness for superior 1440p gaming experience.

Pricing and availability

All the G series laptops are already available right now. Pricing are as follows.

  • Dell G3 15 (3590) price starts at PhP 46,990
  • Dell G5 15 (5590) price starts at PhP 68,990
  • Dell G7 15 (7590) price starts at PhP 113,990

The Dell G5 desktop starts at PhP 57,990, and will be available end of November 2019.

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