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.

Philippines

Tech companies post tips on proper hygiene

A good hygiene keeps the coronavirus away

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During these times, it is important to practice proper hygiene. Building good hygiene is crucial in maintaining well-being. Plus, these practices ward off unwanted viruses and bacteria that can wreak havoc on one’s health.

So, what are the few hygiene tips that you can practice anywhere? Tech companies are sharing a few of these tips that you can apply in your home, when traveling, or when at work. Here are the companies and their advice on how to practice proper hygiene.

OPPO

OPPO just shared some pointers on how to properly disinfect your mobile devices. Your mobile device is one of the most touched objects on the planet, and they can harbor various viruses and bacteria. So, it is crucial that you clean and disinfect your device. Besides, it doesn’t hurt to sanitize your phone once in a while.

Realme

Realme also shared some tips on how to avoid catching the dreaded Coronavirus. Some of the tips they shared can be applied even if there’s no pandemic spreading around. After all, these practices should be common. These include sanitizing the home once in a while, observing proper handwashing methods, and not touching the eyes, nose, and mouth — especially after touching a dirty object.

Practicing good hygiene goes a long way in ensuring good health and wellbeing. Most of the tips shared by these companies can also be applied anywhere at any time of the year. However, these practices are more important than ever, especially as the cases of people with COVID-19 disease keeps rising every day.

SEE ALSO:

5 things to do while stuck indoors

How to disinfect your tech

10 online free-to-play mobile games

 PhoneSoap Go: A portable device that will sanitize your smartphone


As general rules, the CDC or The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention listed these to help with preventing the spread of COVID-19:

  • Stay home when sick
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Frequently wash hands with soap and water
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces

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News

Huawei P40 series price and availability in the Philippines

‘Visionary Photography’ coming to the archipelago

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For the first time ever, the Huawei P-series has three phones — the Huawei P40, Huawei P40 Pro, and the Huawei P40 Pro+. All three are coming to the Philippines.

The focus of the P40 series, much like the rest of the P-series phones, is photography. As such, all P40 phones are equipped with the 50MP f/1.9 RYYB Ultra Vision Wide lens — the largest sensor on a smartphone camera in the market today.

But the setup for each one is different.

Huawei P40

Huawei P40 Pro

Huawei P40 Pro+

50MP f/1.9 RYYB Ultra Vision

(Wide)

50MP f/1.9 RYYB Ultra Vision

(Wide)

50MP f/1.9 RYYB Ultra Vision

(Wide)

8MP f/2/4 Telephoto

(3x Optical)

40MP f/1.8 Cine Lens

(Ultra-wide)

40MP f/1.8 Cine Lens

(Ultra-wide)

16MP f.2.2 Ultra-wide

12MP f/3.4 Periscope

(5x Optical)

8MP f/4.4 Super Periscope

(10x Optical)

Huawei ToF Lens

8MP f/2.4 Telephoto

3x Optical

Huawei ToF Lens

Huawei also has a brand new focusing tech. They say the P40 series phones have eight focus points per pixel. This makes it easier for the phone to quickly focus on the subject even if it’s moving.

The optical zoom that was one of the main highlights of the P30 series is still here with optical zoom differing from each phone. The P40 has up to 3x zoom, the P40 Pro up to 5x, and the P40 Pro+ up to 10x.

Powering all phones is the company’s proprietary Kirin 990 5G processor. Other carry over features that have been improved are as follows:

  • In-display fingerprint sensor — Now 30 percent larger and is supposed to be faster with new unlock patterns to choose from.
  • 40W wireless charging — The wireless charger doesn’t come with the device but this should be one of the fastest wireless charging tech available right now.
  • Face unlock — Again supposed to be faster and now with an IR sensor on the pro models

More apps on the AppGallery

The Huawei P40 series is still running Android 10 with EMUI 10 on top. If you’ve been following the news at all, Huawei is in a bit of a pickle against the US government, as such they are going all in on Huawei Mobile Services or HMS.

If you’re worried about the app situation, the AppGallery is slowly but surely adding apps that most of us use. The company is also working on AppSearch inside AppGallery to bring more apps to Huawei phones.

Curved with more subtle colors

Huawei has also kept its curved displays. Even doubling down on it by adding curves at the top and bottom. We’re still unsure how that helps in day-to-day use, but it’s there and hey, it looks good.

The P40 and P40 Pro are still made with glass but now with a matte finish. However, for the P40 Pro+, the company opted to go with ceramic just to mix things up. Here’s everything else that’s different.

Huawei P40

Huawei P40 Pro

Huawei P40 Pro+

Display 6.1” 6.58” 6.58”
Battery 3800mAh 4200mAh 4200mAh

Pricing and availability

The Huawei P40 and P40 Pro will come in three colors: Silver Frost, Deep Sea Blue, and Blush Gold. The P40 will retail for PhP 36,990 while the P40 Pro will retail for PhP 50,990.

Since we’re all under enhanced community quarantine due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Huawei partnered with Lazada, Shopee, and MemoXpress for the pre-order period. And you’d really want to take advantage of this. The pre-order period is from March 27 to April 24 and these are the freebies waiting for you.

Strap in and read carefully. There’s a lot going on here.

Avail the new P40 and P40 Pro in the Lazada Flagship Store and MemoXpress and enjoy freebies worth PhP 12,285. This includes:

  • Huawei Freebuds at PhP 8,990
  • Band 4 at PhP 1,890
  • 50GB cloud storage for 1 year at PhP 588
  • GCash voucher at PhP 70,
  • PhP 50 worth of Paymaya credits
  • PhP 100 discount in GMovies
  • Booky Prime membership for for 3 months at PhP 597.

Final payment for purchases via Lazada must be settled from April 22 to 24.

Pre-order may also be done via Shopee Flagship Store as they offer freebies with total worth of PhP 10,395. These are:

  • Huawei Freebuds at Php 8,990
  • 50GB cloud storage for 1 year at PhP 588
  • GCash voucher at Php 70
  • Php 50 worth of Paymaya credits
  • PhP 100 discount in GMovies
  • Booky Prime membership for for 3 months at PhP 597.

Cashback rewards are also offered during the pre-order period. The 100th, 500th, and 1000th customer in Lazada and Shopee will receive 100 percent voucher back valid from May 1 to 31, 2020.

Customers who will leave good quality product reviews (with 5 stars review) in Shopee and Lazada will also be entitled to PhP 100 voucher valid from May 1 to 31, 2020.

Finally, all these three partner stores will offer flash pre-order activity for the first customers who will order during these exact hours: 00:00, 10:00, 14:00, 18:00, and 22:00 from March 27 to April 3. Lucky customers will enjoy a new Gentle Monster worth PhP 20,990.

Watch our Hands-On video.

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Smart increases mobile data for postpaid plan subscribers

Stay connected for longer

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Staying connected with loves ones is important especially during these difficult times. Internet access is crucial more than ever as more people turn to online services to carry out important tasks.

Recognizing the need for people to stay connected, Smart is now rolling out additional data to its postpaid plans subscribers. The increase in data ranges from 2.5GB to 60GB depending on a subscriber’s plan.  The data increase is effective within a 30-day period.

Here are the respective data increase for each postpaid plans:

Plans Data Increase
Smart Signature SIM-only
Lite 2.5 GB
S 10 GB
M 20 GB
L 30 GB
XL 60 GB
Smart Signature with Device
S 5 GB
M 10 GB
L 15 GB
XL 30 GB
Other Smart postpaid plans
Below plan 999 2.5 GB
Plan 999 to 1999 5 GB
Plan 2000 and up 10 GB

Smart is also treating its new subscribers with a one-time data increase:

Smart Signature SIM-only
S 5 GB
M 10 GB
L 15 GB
XL 30 GB
Smart Signature with Device
S 2.5 GB
M 5 GB
L 7.5 GB
XL 15 GB

Aside from giving out bonus data to its postpaid subscribers, Smart has also extended its deadline for payment for 30 days. Plus, there’s a special 30-day e-load discount available at its online store. A 5% discount is available for PhP 200 to PhP 300 load, while a 10% discount is available for PhP 100 load. The discounts will run from March 17 until April 14.

For more offers and announcements from Smart, visit their Facebook page.

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