LG G2 Mini Quick Review

Jun 14, 14 LG G2 Mini Quick Review

Posted by in Featured, Gadgets, Mobile, Reviews

This youngling of last year’s champ is way less packed in terms of overall performance, but getting the same design and a KitKat machine makes it worth having a second look. The LG G2 Mini is definitely a casual gamer’s phone as it could run arcade apps and a couple of 3D action shooters (hello Dead Trigger 2 high settings), but its loudspeakers could be a potential game breaker for music lovers who love showing off their playlists in their workplace at 3pm in the afternoon. Being priced at Php 13,999 in this era of smartphones is a bit edgy, a tough competition against 4-digit-phones by local brands, but if you are really into LG, and its products, then this phone just might be the one for you. Design The power/home button and the volume rockers are at the back are easy to get used to. I actually found it better than the side buttons offered by most smartphones today, especially in terms of comfort. The back pattern makes it really easy to grip, and the LG logo that clearly says “We made the best phone last year” makes it much more authentic and crisp to look at. The front face shows the typical layout of logo at the bottom, earpiece on top and front cam top corner. Gaming I tried playing casual games, and apparently, like a standard for most quad core phones powered with trusted GPUs, it can run all arcade, platform and puzzle games. It gets tricky when it comes to 3D games, because I had no problem playing Temple Run 2 (does not really demand much), but Dead Trigger 2 made me play at low graphic settings just to be comfortable in kicking ass. (Automatic shooting is lovely.) Yes, the Mini cannot guarantee comfort when you force high settings in 3D games, but it is playable by choice. Aside from comfort, the loading times might annoy you a bit if you are used to beefed-up sets. Daily Use Android KitKat covers a...

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LG G Pro 2 Review

Jun 11, 14 LG G Pro 2 Review

Posted by in Featured, Gadgets, Mobile, Reviews

LG has been taking a dip on the phablet field and it seems, their new flagship LG G Pro 2 would like to take it deeper. This time, they’ve made use of the form factor that stems from the LG G2 especially the button layout and it’s sure to please those who want to have a premium phablet. Will it make an impression as a phablet worth buying? Let’s find out. Design As phone displays keep getting bigger, it’s only natural that you’ll keep the bezels as thin as possible to not only avoid making the phone much bigger but to make it more holdable. With the LG G Pro 2, it’s good to know that they used thin bezels around the 5.9 inch screen, making the dimensions kept to a minimal by 157.9 x 81.9 mm. When compared to the HTC One Max, which had the same screen size, the latter is bigger by a 164.5 x 82.5 mm dimension. Looking at the front, you’ll find the LED indicator, the earpiece as well as the 2.1 MP front-facing camera. The display is made from Gorilla Glass 3, which is the latest the company has to offer. At the sides, you won’t find any buttons here nor ports to stick to so the form of the phone is minimalist in a way. It’s also thin at 8.3mm. You’ll then find them at the top which houses the 3.5mm audio port with the secondary mic and IR emitter. On the opposite side is where you’ll find another mic with the micro-usb port. At the back is where you’ll find the 13MP camera with LED flash well as the innovative power button sandwiched by the volume rocker. What’s neat here is that the power button lits up when someone calls you so you’ll notice right away when the phone is faced down. Lastly, the speaker grill can be found below the cover. Overall, the feel of the LG G Pro 2 is somewhat on the premium class....

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Sony Xperia E1 Review

Jun 01, 14 Sony Xperia E1 Review

Posted by in Featured, Gadgets, Mobile, Reviews

Walkmans have come a long way and if you’re a 90s kid, you pretty much know what I’m talking about. Now evolved into a mobile device, Sony has continued to keep the Walkman brand intact and has been incorporated into their mobile devices with audio being one of the main features. Now we have the new Xperia E1 which is a succesor to the Xperia E with beefier specs, bigger screen, new look and of course, with the Walkman touch. It also comes in a dual-sim variant so this will be appealing. Design Looking at the Xperia E1, it seems to have the form factor of the flagship Xperia Z1 although, non-metallic due to the pla stic materials. It’s really light too at 120grams, but the phone doesn’t feel too cheap at all. Even with the cheaper materials, the phone doesn’t fell short on how it was engineered with the cuts and corners of the phone being precisely well done. This is what I like with Xperia phones as they still maintain build quality standards even to non-flagship models. Sadly, this is not a waterproof phone as most of the Xperias are. Don’t even think of dropping this either. The screen size is 4.0 inches which fits the hand nicely and is perfect for one-handed use. At the top we have the dedicated Walkman button (not to be mistaken as a power button) with the 3.5mm audio port. At the right, there’s the volume rocker and the power button. At the left is where you’ll find the micro-USB port for charging or syncing to your computer. Looking at the back, we have the 3.15 MP camera and the large speaker grills below. Performance The Xperia E1 has a Dual Core 1.2 Ghz processor and 512 MB RAM. Not quite fast by today’s standards but enough for a mid ranger of its class. Let’s have a look at the benchmarks. According to the Quadrant benchmark, it ranks higher than the HTC One X. Antutu benchmark...

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Lenovo Vibe Z K910L Review

May 29, 14 Lenovo Vibe Z K910L Review

Posted by in Featured, Reviews

We were able to get a hold of the Vibe Z, also known as the Lenovo K910L, their first LTE-enabled smartphone. The unit came in a matte black and red box with a big “VIBE Z” on it. It reminded me so much of the ever reliable ThinkPad with the red joystick that I use for work. The accessories were far from the usual Lenovo accessories that I know of – they were white. The smartphone came with a wall charger, micro USB charging cable, in-ear headphones (with different-sized ear buds) and a user manual. Lenovo also provided a SIM card pin (not in photo) so hooray cause I didn’t have to use the back of my earring to insert my SIM card! The Vibe Z has a black face and its back is a plastic shell with a metallic finish. I like the texture of the back cover, it adds grip and it doesn’t make me feel that I have to be picky in selecting surfaces on where to put it down. Careful though, you can’t remove the back. The camera and the flash are slightly protruding. The bottom part and the sides are chrome-looking but are also made of plastic. It’s comfortable to hold and I feel that the size is just right. Surprisingly, it’s almost the size of a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 but it’s thinner at 7.9mm thick and only weighs 147g. On top of the smartphone are the power/lock button and the audio jack. The left side has the volume keys and the right side has the sim card slot. The bottom part has the micro USB slot. The Vibe Z features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 2.2GHz processor, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of (unfortunately) non-expandable storage. It has a 5.5inch full HD 1080p screen – such a large, rich screen great for browsing, sharing photos and watching videos. The Vibe Z has LTE, WiFi, NFC, and Bluetooth 4.0. It has a 3000mAh battery and also has a 13MP...

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Hands On with the Redesigned ASUS Fonepad 7 FE170CG Dual SIM

May 28, 14 Hands On with the Redesigned ASUS Fonepad 7 FE170CG Dual SIM

Posted by in Featured, Gadgets, Laptops & Tablets, Mobile, Reviews

ASUS last week launched its newest phablet, the ASUS Fonepad 7 Dual SIM FE170CG and we’re lucky enough to have our hands on this 7-inch tablet with 3G phone functionality. Check out below for our first impressions, photos and benchmark of the newest ASUS Fonepad 7 Dual SIM phablet. The ASUS Fonepad 7 FE170CG comes with the power adapter and micro USB cable together with the manual and warranty card. Out of the box, the ASUS Fonepad 7 FE170CG captivates with its gorgeous design. It has a beautiful, black, glossy bezel and a front display with chiseled edges. The back is a textured hard plastic cover with curved edges. Overall, the ASUS Fonepad 7 FE170CG has a solid, premium build quality and doesn’t look and feel cheap at all. Compared to its predecessor, the ASUS Fonepad 7 Dual SIM FE170CG has a lower screen resolution at 1024 x 600. The new ASUS Fonepad 7 does not also use an IPS display. Nonetheless, the ASUS Fonepad 7 provides brilliant display quality when viewing photos, watching videos and playing games. The ASUS Fonepad 7 has an anti-fingerprint coating but just after some minutes with the phablet, my fingerprints and smudges are all over the screen. On top of the display are the 0.3 MP front camera and the speaker. The ASUS Fonepad 7 is powered by ASUS SonicMaster technology and produces a louder sound than other tablets. The placement of the speakers also provided a more direct sound and prevented me from accidentally covering the speakers when playing games or watching videos. What’s missing is the typical LED indicator. On top of the phablet are the micro USB port and 3.5mm audio jack. The volume and power button can be found on the right side. On the left is the side compartment which houses the two micro SIM card slots and micro SD card slot. I had a hard time inserting the SIM card and I still have to use a stick to push and properly...

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Lenovo Vibe X Review

May 05, 14 Lenovo Vibe X Review

Posted by in Featured, Gadgets, Mobile, Reviews

Few weeks ago, I gave my first impressions on the Lenovo Vibe X. From its packaging to specs, I would have to say that it really looks very promising. After spending some time with the unit, I could say that it is a sufficient phone with great build and superb display. Design The design is one of the strongest points of the Lenovo Vibe X. It will instantly attract you with its handsome build. Its pencil width at 6.99mm that only weighs 121 grams makes it one of the slimmest and lightest units I have ever tested. A shinny metallic bezel holds the front and back panel of the phone and is elegantly curved around the edges. I like how the phone fits perfectly in my hand; it is huge but not too wide – just enough to have a good grip of it. There are no physical buttons except for the power button on the left side and the volume controls on the right. You will find the usual Android Home, Menu and Back buttons just below the screen. At the top is where the 3.5mm audio jack is located while at the bottom is the the micro-USB port for charging and connecting the smartphone to any PC. The non-removable battery cover is made up of plastic that has a 3D tactile finish. Also found in the back panel is the micro-SIM slot that can only be opened using a pin (similar with inserting a SIM card in an iPhone). Display and Performance The Full HD 5-inch display (1080 x 1920 pixels) of the Lenovo Vibe X supports 16M colors. It’s very impressive and special; pictures and video are more vibrant and detailed, and I find it better to read ebooks compared to other smartphones I’ve reviewed. For the equally important part, the Lenovo Vibe X is powered by MediaTek Quad Core 1.5GHz and runs of the latest Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. On top of the standard Android user interface, the Lenovo Vibe X...

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Nokia X Review

May 04, 14 Nokia X Review

Posted by in Featured, Gadgets, Mobile, Reviews

We’ve had the opportunity to try out the Nokia X, their entry-level or budget cellphone that oddly enough, runs on Android. You read it right Android, but before you think that Nokia is finally beginning to throw in the towel on Windows Phone, it is worth noting that the Android phones were conceived before Nokia’s transfer to Microsoft and that they’re pretty much committed to the Windows Phone platform. I sort of think that this is more of a marketing experiment from their end. The X is the budget phone of their Android lineup, which includes the X+ and the XL. It is similar to the Lumia 520 in terms of appearance, and the X has a dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor, 4GB of internal storage and 512MB of RAM. It has a microSD slot inside to expand storage up to 32GB. There’s a 3MP camera at the back, and unfortunately none at the front. It’s available for Php 5,990 at your suking cellphone store. Design At 110g, the Nokia X feels quite heavy but solid. It has a matte back that rounds at the edges to allow for a better hold, but I do find it a bit slippery to hold. To open the internals is like a Tupperware experience, you hold on the top edges as you press on the other end to pop the front part from the colored case. Inside, you have access to the 1500mAh battery, two micro sim-card slots and the microSD card slot in between. It comes with a microUSB charger and a headset that matches the case. You find the headphone jack at the top of the unit, the USB jack at the bottom, volume and power buttons at the sides and the camera and speaker grille at the back. Being the budget phone, there is no camera at the front, but there is an ambient light sensor. The headset matches the colour of the case, and just has a button to start and end calls. It...

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NOKIA Lumia 1520 Review

May 03, 14 NOKIA Lumia 1520 Review

Posted by in Featured, Gadgets, Mobile, Reviews

Every mobile phone seems to be going big nowadays. While we still love our 4.5-inch (or less) screen sizes, there is no denying that sometimes, there is more that can be accomplished with bigger devices with bigger storage; and do more with creative and productivity options, not to mention enjoy better connectivity for content consumption and sharing. And so amidst the race to offer bigger dimensions, more features, and better computing power comes the Nokia Lumia 1520, the flagship model from the Finnish phone company recently acquired by Microsoft. Running on Windows Phone 8 and just a few Nokia applications, there is much that this device can offer to creative types and productivity ninjas. But first, let’s get down to the basics. Body, Look & Feel A quintessential “phablet”, it sports a 6-inch display and dimensions of 85.4mm, 8.7mm, and 162.8 mm. At its size, it may feel a little awkward making calls on such a huge device; but then again, we have been used to the idea of using tablets as phones for a long time now. Of course, it has the body has the signature Nokia form factor—the monoblock touch that comes in four colours options: white, yellow, black, and red.  Yes, the casing is plastic, albeit a rather smooth glossy one. Features If you love taking photos, consider this phablet’s camera as one of your best bets. The 1520’s primary camera packs a 20MP PureView imaging technology, which allows for capturing crystal clear images and recording high-definition videos. We are talking about full-HD 1920 x 1080p, 30 fps frame rate, and 3x video zoom. For still images, the camera has a 1 /2.5-inch sensor; f/2.4 aperture, and dual LED flash. On the other hand, the secondary camera works with a 1280 x 960 pixel resolution and HD 1.2 MP wide angle image capture and video recording. Not bad, if you enjoy taking selfies.  Operating System & Apps The Lumia 1520 operates on Windows Phone 8 matched with a Black OS platform, which...

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JBL Synchros S100a In Ear Headphone Review

JBL is a familiar brand when it comes to audio devices, and it is not surprising for them to have a line of in-ear headphones. Late last year, JBL released the Synchros lineup of headphones and what we have is the entry level in-ear headphone – the JBL Synchros S100a. What a nice pair of in-ears these are…minus the quirks. Design and Features The overall look and feel is really quite clean specially this white or Glacier color variant that we have on hand. A black or Onyx color variant is also available. The housing of the drivers probably has the most premium vibe out of the whole product. This is probably due to the die-cast lightweight aluminum design of the housing. I really like the unpainted aluminum look on the Glacier variant because it looks clean and goes well with other devices with similar finish. The outer side of the housing has hashed groves around the edges which adds some texture to the tiny thing. The JBL logo is painted on the flat surface and was actually peeling off on our review unit…that can be a good thing if you hate brand logos. I wish that they etched the logo instead…using paint gives an impression that they got a mass produced in-ear headphone and plastered the JBL logo on it. Another thing you’ll quickly notice is the angled design of the ear-buds. It’s up to your preference if you like this or not, but I had a hard time fitting the Synchros S100a correctly. A simple trick I did was to switch the left and right buds…but that screws up stereo. The JBL Synchros S100a comes with a mic and remote that’s housed in plastic. The plastic feels OK…it doesn’t feel cheap nor does it feel premium, and it looks good. If anything I wish they’d smoothen out the edges where the plastic meet a little more. Do keep in mind that the remote of the Synchros S100a is not optimized for Apple...

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JBL Synchros S200 Stereo In-Ear Headphone Review

May 02, 14 JBL Synchros S200 Stereo In-Ear Headphone Review

Posted by in Audio & Video, Featured, Gadgets, Reviews

I am not a fan of in-ear headphones. Aside from finding them uncomfortable to use, I hate it when ambient noise is being blocked out when I’m listening to music – to which most in-ear headphones are designed for – providing a great deal of noise isolation. Recently, I got hold of a JBL Synchros S200 Stereo In-Ear Headphones for review. The JBL Synchros S200 is part of the S200 series together with the S200a and S200i in-ear headphones for Android and iOS. The JBL Synchros S200 has the same design as the S200a and S200i. Its earpiece housing is made of die-cast aluminum frame and hard plastic with angled ear tips for a more snug fit. The S200 has a right-angle (90 degree) 3.5mm jack and a flat, tangle free cable with clip. It comes with a pocket-sized carry case, three pairs of silicone tips (small/medium/large) and a pair of Comply premium foam tips. What’s missing in this particular model is the universal remote control and microphone found on both the S200a and S200i. Although a bit bulkier than most in-ear headphones, the good-looking JBL Synchros S200 is lightweight and comfy. The assortment of buds and the angled ear tips provides better fitting and prevents the headphones from easily falling out of your ears. Additionally, the right-angled jack offers an easy way for you to plug or remove the headphones to your smartphone or media player and at the same time reduces wear and tear on the cable. The JBL Synchros S200 delivers loud and clear sounds. It has an impressive bass response for its size. Similar to most JBL headphones, it has well-defined mids and highs although at times the mids and highs tend to overwhelm the bass when on full volume, especially with Dubsteps and some EDMs. The JBL Synchros S200 plays rock/alternative with high clarity and detail. On songs such as Let Her Go by Passenger, Drink a Beer by Luke Bryan and The A Team by Ed Sheeran, you...

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