Samsung Galaxy A5

Samsung has announced their newest mid-range smartphones that sports a slim body and a metal unibody design. This isn’t Samsung’s first metal-clad smartphone, if you could still remember, Samsung Galaxy Alpha changed the design philosophy of Samsung from plastics to metal. Both devices sports a 5 Megapixel camera which is great for selfies.

Samsung Galaxy A3 Specifications

  • 1.2GHz Quad-Core Processor
  • 4.5” qHD Super AMOLED display
  • 16GB Internal memory expandable up to 64GB
  • 1GB RAM
  • 8 Megapixel Autofocus Rear Camera with LED flash
  • 5 Megapixel Camera Front Camera
  • NFC
  • A-GPS
  • LTE
  • Bluetooth
  • Wi-Fi
  • 1900mAh Battery
  • Android 4.4 Kitkat
  • 6.9mm thickness

 

Samsung Galaxy A3 Specifications

  • 1.2GHz Quad-Core Processor
  • 5” HD Super AMOLED display
  • 16GB Internal memory expandable up to 64GB
  • 2GB RAM
  • 13 Megapixel Autofocus Rear Camera with LED flash
  • 5 Megapixel Camera Front Camera
  • NFC
  • A-GPS
  • LTE
  • Bluetooth
  • Wi-Fi
  • 1900mAh Battery
  • Android 4.4 Kitkat
  • 6.7mm thickness
It’s so nice to see that these devices now sports a metal body and a thinner design just like the Samsung Galaxy Alpha. Unfortunately, the price and availability of these smartphones wasn’t announced but hey, it’s so nice to see elegant & premium designs on a mid-range Samsung smartphones.
Microsoft today announced the availability of Lumia 730 Dual SIM. This smartphone’s biggest feature is the wide angle front facing camera which is great for selfies. With its wide angle front facing camera, it’ll make sure that no one gets cut out from your group selfies.

Nokia Lumia 730 Dual Sim

Nokia Lumia 730 Specifications
  • 4.7-inch HD OLED display
  • 1.2 Quad-Core Snapdragon 400 Processor
  • 8GB Internal Storage expandable up to 128GB
  • 1GB RAM
  • 6.7 Megapixel Rear Carl Zeiss Camera with LED Flash
  • 5 Megapixel Wide angle front camera
  • 2220mAh Battery
  • Windows Phone 8.1
Nokia Lumia 730 Dual Sim is now available in bright orange, bright green and stylish neutrals such as dark grey and white for PhP11,990. Unlike the Nokia Lumia 830, the pricing of the Nokia Lumia 730 Dual Sim is quite good.







20141028 084631

Cameras have been the focused of most smartphone manufacturers lately and one of the innovations on mobile photography is the swivelling camera. Gionee Elife E7 may not be the first one to sport this feature but this one also sports a powerful octa-core processor inside. Why don’t you check out my review below.

Construction

In case you didn’t know, Gionee is an international brand. I love the Gionee Elife S5.5 because of its metal accents and glass panels while the Gionee Elife E7 Mini didn’t have that same materials, I still love its body. Despite not having those premium materials, this smartphone is very solid. The top and bottom are curvy while the sides are flat which makes the smartphone easier to hold.

  20141028 084642

Unfortunately, there’s no MicroSD card slot or removable battery in this device but that’s not really a big issue for me. Since the smartphone doesn’t have a removable back cover, you can just put the sim cards at the sim card tray and yes, it’s dual sim guys.

 Gionee Elife E7 Mini’s memory is not expandable but there is 16GB internal memory which is enough for me. Don’t worry about your media files because this device supports USB OTG. I didn’t had any problems with the signal on this device but only sim card 1 supports 3G. The audio quality of the Gionee Elife E7 Mini feels okay and clear for me.

Display

20141028 084610

Its bigger brother, Gionee Elife E7, is a smartphone with a 5.5-inch FHD display while this one has a 4.7” HD display. Obviously, this one is much portable and more comfortable to use than its bigger brother. The color reproduction of this smartphone is good and the display is very responsive. The outdoor visibility was quite good and if you’re curious about its multi-touch points, the smarphone can managed up to 5 multi-touch points.

Software and Performance


The Gionee Elife E7 Mini is powered by Android 4.2.2 with Amigo UI 2.0. Just like its flagship brothers, the Amigo UI doesn’t have an app drawer and it doesn’t support widgets. It’s actually an advantage for first time smartphone users because the apps are now easier to find.

  20141028 084321

There are a lot of included softwares on this device and some of them are very useful. Don't worry too much about it since you can delete some of them like the included games. Some of the cool software features that I like in the Gionee E7 Mini are fake caller, power saving mode and guest mode.

Inside the Gionee Eilfe E7 Mini is a 1.7 GHz Octa-Core processor and there's a 1GB of RAM. But since the display's resolution is at 1280x720 only, this device doesn't need too much power to render heavy 3D games. Compared to other Octa-Core devices, the Gionee E7 Mini was able to get a score of 32613 at Antutu which is pretty great.
  20141028 084521

I've tried different games on this device like NBA 2k14, Asphalt 8 & Modern Combat 4 and they ran pretty well. The gameplay were smooth although I would prefer playing these games on a smartphone with a larger display. Almost all new games would probably run on this device thanks to the powerful MTK6592 chipset.

Battery Life

When it comes to battery, the Gionee Elife E7 Mini isn't the best but don't worry guys because it doesn't disappoint too. I was able to use this phone for roughly 10 hours of heavy use and it would probably last a day of average use.

Camera

20141028 084415

Gionee Elife E7 Mini’s biggest feature is the swiveling camera. There’s a 13-megapixel camera with LED flash which serves as your rear and front camera. This camera makes sure that you have a high-quality selfie photos. Unlike the Gionee Elife S5.5, this one isn’t a wide angle lens so you probably need a tripod for a group selfie. But don’t worry guys, the Gionee Elife E7 Mini’s camera is still good. It may not capture images that fast but the quality is quite okay. Check out the photos that I took using the Gionee Elife E7 Mini.





Verdict

There might be cheaper octa-core smarphones around in the market but I would still recommend you the Gionee Elife E7 Mini. Why? If you want to have better selfie photos then you better take a closer look on this one. Not only you can take better selfie photos but the Gionee Elife E7 Mini has a quite solid build and a very powerful octa-core processor. For P13,990, I think the Gionee Elife E7 Mini is a great buy.


IPhone 6

The most anticipated smartphones are coming to the country next month. Both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus can be pre-ordered on November 7 and it will be available on November 14 on both telcos. The iPhone 6 now sports a bigger 4.7” display while the iPhone 6 Plus has a phablet display size of 5.5”. If you’re interested on getting one, head over to this link if you want an iPhone from Smart or to this link if you want an iPhone from Globe.

Gionee has recently opened their newest concept store at SM Megamall and along with that, the Gionee Gpad G5 was launched. Gionee G5 is a very interesting smartphone because it's their first smartphone that's powered by a hexa-core MediaTek processor. Gionee Gpad G5 is a phablet that has a slim profile with a mid-range specifications.

Gionee Gpad G5 Specifications
  • 5.5-inch HD IPS display with Dragontrail glass
  • 1.5GHz MT6591 Hexa-core processor with Mali450 GPU
  • 1GB RAM
  • 8GB Internal storage expandable up to 32GB via microSD
  • 8 Megapixel Rear camera
  • 2 Megapixel Front camera
  • Dual SIM
  • Bluetooth
  • Wi-Fi
  • HSPA+
  • Yamaha Speakers
  • 2,400mAh battery
  • Android 4.4 KitKat

Aside from its slim profile, another thing that I like in this device is the awesome speakers. I didn't expect that the speakers made by Yamaha would be that loud & clear. So far I tried watching a movie on the Gionee Gpad G5 and I didn't expect it would be that great. You could check out my unboxing and hands-on below.



ZTE is currently having a promo right now in where you could get a 5.5” smartphone for P1,999. Yep, you could get the ZTE Grand X2 L for only PhP1999! But of course, there’s a catch. This promo will only be available tomorrow at ZTE kiosks and concept stores from 2 to 6 PM. ZTE Grand X2 L features a 5.5” qHD IPS display, 1.3 GHz MediaTek MTK6582 Quad-Core processor and 1GB of RAM. For that specifications, P1,999 is a steal! If you want one, better visit ZTE Mobile Kiosks and Concept stores tomorrow at SM North EDSA, SM Southmall, SM Sta. Mesa, Tutuban Mall, Luckygold Plaza-Pasig & GMall-Davao.

Windows 8 has opened a lot of new devices in the market like tablets, convertibles, 2-in-1 and many more. I love what ASUS has been doing in the past years because they’ve been truly innovative with their products. One of those innovative products is the ASUS Transformer Book Flip. Unlike the ASUS Transformer Book T100 that I’ve reviewed before, this one isn’t a 2-in-1 laptop but the ASUS Transformer Book Flip is capable of rotating its display for up to 360 degrees.

Construction

The ASUS Transformer Book Flip has a metallic construction, which makes it premium looking and it gives a feel of sturdiness. Actually, the ASUS Transformer Book Flip reminds me of the Macbook Pro (Not the Retina model!) because of the same feel and almost the same weight and thickness.  However, the downside of having a brushed aluminum at the back of the display is the annoying fingerprint smudges. Yes, it easily attracts fingerprint smudges.


The keyboard doesn’t feel cramp and sometimes, I even prefer typing on my ASUS Transformer Book Flip instead of my Retina Macbook Pro but unfortunately, there’s no backlit LED on its keyboard but for its price, I wouldn’t complain much about that. The touchpad of the ASUS Transformer Book Flip is already large enough but I wished they’d made it bigger since there’s more space on the laptop. The touchpad is very accurate it is very comfortable to use. 



ASUS Transformer Book Flip has a 360-degree hinge, which transforms the device into 4 different modes.  There’s laptop mode, tent mode, tablet mode and shared viewer mode. In tablet mode, tent mode and shared viewer mode, you won’t be able to use keyboard and the touchpad of the device however at tablet mode, it’s annoying to feel the keyboard of the device if you’re holding it on your other hand. Nonetheless, the 360-degree hinge of the ASUS Transformer Book Flip works perfectly fine.



The power, volume and Windows button are placed at the side of the device that is kind of odd for a laptop but the buttons feels very normal when using the device on tablet mode. However, I often bumped with those buttons accidentally.  The sound quality if this laptop isn’t really loud and enticing and you might be disappointed with it.


Display

ASUS Transformer Book Flip got a 13.3” 1366x768 display. At today’s standards, that resolution for a 13.3” isn’t that great. Actually, the ASUS Transformer Book Flip’s display isn’t that really great.  The outdoor visibility isn’t that good and the viewing angles aren’t that great. But the touchscreen is responsive and I didn’t have any problems with the rotation of the display when switching to other modes. The bezel below the display is noticeably thick too.

Software

ASUS Transformer Book Flip is powered by Windows 8.1 and of course, there are some bloatwares installed inside but don’t worry, there’s a 500GB of HDD storage in this device so you won’t have to worry that much about its storage but of course, you could uninstall those bloatware if you don’t need them.

You could download touchscreen applications and games on the Windows store without a problem; however, playing touchscreen games on this laptop is a little bit difficult if you’re holding the laptop in tablet mode because of its size and weight.

Performance

There are three variants of the ASUS Transformer Book Flip here in the Philippines and I got the Core i3 variant, which is affordably priced at P26,995. There’s a 1.7GHz Intel Core i3-4010u processor, Intel HD 4400 GPU & 4GB RAM. Core i3 processors aren’t meant for intense and heavy work load but this laptop can handle some new games.

Not so demanding games like Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Sniper Elite V2, Civilization V and Final Fantasy XIII won’t have any problems playing on this device at full resolution but don’t expect to play these games at highest settings.


Some of the newest games might struggle a little bit on this device since this is just powered by a Core i3 processor. I’ve tried Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor on this laptop and I was able to play it at lowest settings at 1366x768 resolution but I experience low fps and lags when there’s a lot of effects that’s why I set it at 50% resolution to fully enjoy it.

One of the hottest games right now is NBA 2k15 and I’m happy to tell you guys that this game works fine on this laptop although you have to put the settings of the game at lowest settings at full resolution to make it playable. But unfortunately, I experienced a lot of graphical glitches on this game but I think a software update or a NBA 2k15 update would fix that.

Battery Life

4th Generation Intel Core processors are known for having a very decent battery life and even the entry-level Intel Core i3-4010u processor is no exception. I was able to get a 6 hours of battery life at normal use while I was able to get 3 hours of heavy use. Not bad, Asus.

The flip experience


One thing that set this apart from other laptops is the 360-degree flip display. That feature really change how I use a laptop. Sharing presentations with my classmates are now easier and watching movies are now more convenient. I also love playing touchscreen games like Civilization V and Hearthstone on ASUS Transformer Book Flip at tablet mode. When playing touch optimized games, it is much easier to play it on tablet mode however, I prefer to place it on the table instead of holding this laptop. This might be an entry-level variant but I’m quite happy with it. If you want to see a better performance, you might want to opt for the i5 or i7 variant.

Verdict



The display and the audio quality might be a little bit off on this device but the pricing, build quality and its 360-degree flip display is really great. I didn’t had any problems with flipping the display and the laptop feels very solid. The ASUS Transformer Book Flip starts at PhP26,995 while the i5 and i7 variants are priced at PhP39,995 & PhP49,995 respectively. Despite those issues, I still like this laptop ;).




If you are living in the city of smiles and if you’re looking for an ASUS device, well, today is your lucky day because ASUS has opened their 5th concept store at Bacolod. It is located at 2F of SM Cyberzone and it features different products from ASUS like Desktops, all-in-ones, tablets, & mobile devices. Some cool devices that I like in ASUS are the Zenfones, Multi-Color ASUS Transformer Book, and ASUS Transformer Book Flip and yes, you could also get to hands-on some of ASUS devices. If you’re in Bacolod, be sure to visit the latest ASUS Concept Store at the SM Cyberzone ;).

Nokia’s newest smartphone, Lumia 830 has finally arrived in the Philippines. The Nokia Lumia 830 is dubbed as the affordable flagship smartphone and it packs a premium design and a pureview camera which can be seen on the previous flagship smartphones like Lumia 930 and Lumia 1020. But unlike those smartphones, this one has a 10 Megapixel Pureview camera with OIS. Check out the full specifications of the smartphone below.

Nokia Lumia 830 Specifications
  • 5-inch ClearBlack IPS LCD HD Display
  • 1.2 GHz Quad-Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor
  • 1GB RAM
  • 16GB Storage
  • 10MP Pureview camera with OIS
  • 1MP Front Camera
  • Bluetooth
  • Wi-Fi
  • LTE
  • Wireless charging
  • Windows Phone 8.1 with Lumia Denim
Despite being dubbed as the affordable flagship, the Nokia Lumia 830 is priced at P18,990. The Nokia Lumia 830 is now available today in bright orange, bright green, white and black.



One of the most awaited tablets this year are the iPads. The iPad Mini 3 is a little disappointing since the hardware was just retained from last year and TouchID was the only one that was upgraded but the iPad Air 2 was the spotlight this year. The all-new iPad Air 2 now features a better A8x processor which is one of the fastest in the world and it now packs a better camera. Both the iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 are available at Widget City and they start at P24,990 and P19,990 respectively. If you want one, head over to their Facebook Page




If you’re looking for a Gionee smartphone and if you’re living near SM Megamall, well, today’s your lucky day because Gionee has opened their newest concept store at SM Megamall. The store already had its store opening a few weeks ago and this concept store is located at the Cyberzone SM Megamall Bldg. B. This is probably the best time to go there since Gionee is having their early Christmas promo. What are you waiting for? Visit the Gionee concept store at SM Megamall now!




LG G3 is one of the best smartphones available in the market right now. I’ve been using it for weeks and I was impressed with its camera and display.  The LG G3 has a 5.5” display with a Quad HD resolution. I know, that resolution is freaking insane for a smartphone. Another interesting feature LG introduce in the G3 is the laser auto focus in which you can focus much faster on an object when you’re using the camera.



Design & Construction


When I used the LG G2 before, I loved its curve back and its rear power button. The ergonomics of this smartphone is really great. I loved it and it changed me how I use my smartphone and now, the LG G3 has perfected it. Despite having a 5.5” display, the ergonomics was really great thanks to the curve back and the thin bezels of the phone. Actually, when you hold the phone, you won’t feel that it’s a smartphone with a 5.5 display.


Compared to the LG G2, the LG G3 doesn’t feel plasticky at all. There’s the removable back cover with brushed metal design and yes, the battery of the smartphone is now replaceable and there’s a MicroSD card slot now if you feel that the internal storage isn’t enough and if you don’t have a MicroSD card, you could just opt for a USB OTG since it is working on this device. Speaking of internal storage, the LG G3 comes in two variants – 2GB RAM/16GB & 3GB RAM/32GB. If you’re buying one, I strongly suggest that you get the latter to experience a better performance on games and applications.


There are 2 ways to wake the phone – by pressing the power button at the back or by using KnockCode or KnockOn but I always prefer pressing the power button, which is now easier to feel compared to the LG G2 thanks to the larger round button at the back. At the top of the smartphone, there’s IR blaster in where you could use your smartphone as a remote to your other appliances like your TVs.

I didn’t have any problems in the call reception on this phone and the LTE speed of this smartphone is pretty fast. LG is also proud with the speaker of the LG G3. The speaker of the smartphone is placed at the back and I find it annoying whenever I placed the phone on the bed because it blocks the speaker grill however, the LG G3’s speaker is impressively loud and clear.

Display


The LG G3 sports a 5.5” True HD-IPS+ display with a Quad HD resolution. Yep, that resolution is probably larger than your TV in your living room. As expected, the display is superb.  The display is very sharp and the colors were really great.  The outdoor visibility and its viewing angles are pretty awesome too. Another thing that I love in here is the thin bezels of the LG G3. All in all, the display of the LG G3 is currently the best that I’ve seen on a smartphone however, I think Quad HD resolution is already too big  for a smartphone.

Software and Performance



LG G3’s UI is much cleaner and it is much faster compared to the LG G2 but you could still customize a lot of it and there are still themes that are available in the LG Smartworld market. Just like other brands, LG followed the suit in bringing the flat design to their UI instead of the cartoonish design, which was present before. The new UI looks neat and there are a lot of eye candies.  One thing that I hate in this is that I experience stuttering whenever I’m navigating on the device.


LG also introduced some smart features on the LG G3 like the smart notification which suggests you some things that you might want to do like informing you that you should bring an umbrella if it will rain today and suggesting you to save a frequent contact.

The one that I reviewed was the 16GB/2GB RAM variant but despite having a smaller RAM, the LG G3 performed well.  All of the games that I’ve tried ran pretty well. Those games that I’ve tried are GTA:SA, Modern Combat 4, NBA 2k14, & Asphalt 8. At Antutu, I got a score of 33547.

Battery Life


The LG G3 got a 3000mAh of battery and it performed really well. The smartphone was able to last up to a day of average use and at heavy use; I was able to get 12 hours of battery life. That’s pretty great for me

Camera


The camera of the LG G3 is one of its best features. There’s a phase detection laser auto focus on this device, which helps the LG G3 focus on an object faster. I’ve tested it and yes, the LG G3 has the fastest auto focus camera on a smartphone. Not only that, there’s a Dual LED flash on this device and one of them is a maple which makes skin tones looks natural despite using a flash. But I wish the camera was 16 Megapixel.

The camera of the LG G3 is superb. The noise aren’t noticeable that much and most of the photos that I took were really great.  The LG G3 could record awesome videos too and thanks to OIS, the videos aren’t really shaky. Check out the shots that I took using the LG G3.





Verdict


Without a doubt, the LG G3 is one of the best smartphones that we could get in the market.  This smartphone is sexiest smartphone that I’ve tried. The thin bezels and the curvy back really helps the smartphone have a good ergonomics despite having a 5.5” display but the software of the LG G3 needs some little improvement. If you're looking for the best smartphone in the market, you should include this smartphone in your list.