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

Globe, DITO ink interconnection deal for mobile calls, SMS

No additional charges when Globe, DITO subscribers call and send SMS

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Philippine telecommunications players Globe and DITO Telecommunity inked an interconnection deal linking subscribers of both telcos.

The interconnection agreement covers domestic mobile calls and SMS enabling Globe’s customers to make mobile calls, send SMS with DITO Telecommunity’s customers without additional charges. The interconnection is expected to commence next month.

Globe is also finalizing an interconnection deal with DITO Telecommunity on the fixed landline space.

Interconnection among telco providers is in line with provisions for compulsory interconnection of authorized public telecommunications carriers under Republic Act 7925. The law aims to create a universally accessible and fully integrated nationwide telecommunications network to encourage more infrastructure investments from the private sector that would benefit the consumers.

SEE ALSO: DITO Telecom shares surge as Globe, PLDT earns PH President’s ire

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Entertainment

Globe’s Virtual Hangouts: Music, campus, K-Pop, and esports

More coming this year

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Last year, Virtual Hangouts brought you music festivals, concerts, youth summits, K-fan meets, and esports tournaments with the #OLTogetherNow. Well, strap up because they’re back.

Globe launched their Virtual Hangouts return with a virtual 360-degree view launch event last February 18. They, of course, had to tease us with sneak peeks of GoJAM, GoCAMPUS, GoKOREAN, and GoESPORTS this year.

GoJAM

Jumping off of last year’s GoJAM, Virtual Hangouts partnered with Karpos Live to bring a concert series featuring local and international acts from Paradise Rising, a music collective born out of Globe and 88rising’s partnership. Talents such as Jason Dhakal, Claudia Baretto, Leanne and Naara, and more are in this year’s line-up.

In light of circumstances last year, GoJAM brought you virtual Wanderland Music Festival 2020 and the Double Happiness: Winter Wonder Festival. So, tune in and wait for any new updates on this year’s events. While on the wait, GoJAM is stepping up their virtual immersive experience with virtual 360 concerts and choose-your-own-adventure interviews in this year’s plans.

GoCAMPUS

GoCAMPUS is bringing in another virtual youth summit and Future Reinvented. Students will be challenged to put theory into practice through a 5G Hackathon where teams make real-life applications of 5G technology.

With these events, GoCAMPUS hopes to reinvent school and learning experiences for students. While, empowering them to eventually bring to life real-world applications of 5G technology in society, industries, and smart cities.

GoKOREAN

Globe and K-Pop sensation BLACKPINK’s partnership and the recently concluded THE SHOW virtual concert aside, GoKOREAN has even more in store.

With GoKOREAN, K-fans get to enjoy interactive activities, like the design-your-own cup sleeves event as a way of celebrating the birthdays of BLACKPINK members. Virtual Hangouts will be having the Kmmunity Fest where fans can have a safe space to mingle and share their love of all thing K-Culture. Kmmunity Fest will be new platforms such as SHOOR, Upstream, as well as Vlive and VLive+.

GoESPORTS

Globe’s ongoing efforts to improve the Philippine esports scene by developing and discovering new esports talents and athletes was loud and clear with their VH UltiCup last year. How? Well, they opened both professional and amateur gamers to the competitive scene and giving them the opportunity to represent the country at the SuperGameFest 2020.

With its recent partnership with Riot Games Southeast Asia, it is no surprise that Globe is paving way for new opportunities for local gamers and enthusiasts. GoESPORTS has a few tournaments on their line-up for this year so keep your eyes peeled for any announcements.

If you’re interested in music, campus learning, K-culture, and esports, you can be part of these upcoming events on Virtual Hangouts simply through the GlobeOne app. On the app, just click on the Virtual Hangouts tab to view the events and join.

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Philippines

Huawei WiFi 6+ AX3: Price and availability in the Philippines

There’s an affordable option, too!

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WiFi 6 is here, bringing high speed, low latency, and reliable, power-saving connections. In the Philippines, most traditional routers are still just at WiFi 5 technology, resulting in slow connection, lagging, and less coverage.

To maximize the newest gadgets and technology, Huawei showcases the world’s first-ever WiFi 6+ router: the Huawei WiFi 6+ AX3.

Huawei WiFi 6+ AX3

The Huawei WiFi 6+ AX3 embodies the speed of WiFi 6 technology. Combined with a unique 3000Mbps GigaHome Quadcore Chipset, this router boosts network speed and penetrates walls for better coverage in your home’s dead spots. It’s infused by Huawei Share intelligent technology for faster and more convenient ways to access and utilize the router. For instance, you can tap your phone and use NFC to connect to the WiFi. Additionally, you can manage your router via Huawei’s AI Life app.

Moreover, Huawei guarded it up with Huawei HomeSec for a secure connection. It has an Anti-Cracking, Anti-Brute Force Algorithm, WiFi Encryption, and One-Key feature that prevents hackers from stealing valuable information.

Huawei WS2500

If you’re looking for a more affordable option, the Huawei WS2500 is yet another router that maximizes WiFi 6 technology. It’s equipped with Huawei’s signature Gigahome dual-core CPU, providing gigabit network ports and allows broadband access for up to 500Mbps. Like the Huawei WiFi 6+ AX3, the WS2500 is also manageable via Huawei’s smart home app.

Price and availability

The Huawei WiFi 6+ AX3 is now available for pre-order for only PhP 3,999 with a FREE Huawei Band 4 worth PhP 1,890. Meanwhile, the Huawei WS2500 retails for only PhP 1,599 and comes with a FREE Bluetooth speaker worth PhP 1,499.

Pre-orders for both the Huawei WiFi 6+ AX3 and the WS2500 are available exclusively on the Huawei Store — with exciting freebies up until March 4, 2021. Both routers have a one-year warranty coverage with a 7-day replacement time on defects caused by unintended physical or internal damages following Huawei’s official validation process within the warranty period.

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