Mostly Everything

Lenovo S560 or P700i: both dual SIM, 4″ IPS screen, Android 4.0; at PHP 10,999 which one should you get?

UPDATE: BOOM! CES 2013. We have the lowdown on 3 new Android phones announced with pricing!

Yesterday, Lenovo PH officially announced three new phones. Of the three, two of the mid-ranged phones came to our attention as being very similar in specs to the very detail that their price point is exactly the same at PHP 10,999. We’re talking about the S560 and the P700i.

So what’s the diff?!

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SMART LTE Launch Plan: PHP 3500 for 10GB per month; comes with USB dongle at 42mbps

The cat is out of the bag (also, I apologize for the many updates with SMART). Though not officially announced by SMART Communications, the pricing for the highly anticipated LTE was leaked yesterday in some blogs. I was able to confirm the pricing scheme as well with people from SMART and it seems that the strategic leak worked quite well to their advantage — SMART was on Engadget earlier today.

Again, LTE stands for Long Term Evolution which marks the true beginning of the next generation of mobile Internet for everyone. If 3G brought about mobile apps usage like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, it is exciting to see what LTE can bring about.

The August 25 launch (everyone is invited!) will announce the current pricing scheme:

– LTE will debut in the Philippines at PHP 3,500.00 per month
– it will already come with a LTE USB dongle for free; early last year we confirmed the price of the USB dongle was somewhere in the PHP 10,000 range so yeah, you’re saving ten grand by subscribing
– the USB dongle will be capable of speeds up to 42mbps; this is the same (if not similar) dongle I used during the beta test period. Note that 42mbps is the maximum capability of the dongle but the network can handle, technically up to 100mbps. That’s 100 megabits per second. To know the difference between megabits and megabytes, read my primer.
– the initial offering caps data at 10GB per month.


To be honest I was actually surprised with the sub 4k price point of LTE. Pundits were expecting SMART to launch the service in the PHP 5,000.00 area or thereabouts and this can only mean that with a relatively low price point for LTE, it can only get more affordable from here (either by increasing bandwidth or by making it even cheaper or by offering new handsets once they arrive). The Philippines is one of the first countries in Asia to have this sort of Internet and it’s exciting to see what the next 6 months will be like.

Mostly Everything

Lenovo A65 is Dual SIM, Android 2.3, bigger steal at P5,499

EDIT: If you’re after a more powerful device in the PHP 10,xxx range, check out the Lenovo P700 that runs on Ice Cream Sandwich, has a bigger 4″ screen and a larger battery life. It’s also dual SIM.

Met up with John Rojo, the new Business Unit Head of Lenovo Mobile (Open COmmunications) and he showed me a bunch of new tech they have coming. One of these was the new Lenovo A65 which is their exciting follow up to the A60 released in October of last year.

Well guess what? I forgot to take photos. Because I was took busy making chika. You know. So instead, here’s a photo of the A60, because the A65 looks very similar and the differences are really in the internals.

For one, the new A65 comes with the latest firmware update that is a MUST. If you were an early adopter, the old issues had a recurring problem with SMS getting disabled. Fortunately Lenovo addressed this with a firmware update that fixed this one and only issue.

The new A65 is near-perfect given its price point of below PHP 6,000. It levels up the competition with the Samsung Galaxy Y and the Alcatel Blaze / Alcatel Glory because it sports a bigger 3.5″ screen and a faster 800Mhz processor (the A60 had a 650mhz processor).

So, really. Reasonably fast user interface, Android 2.3 OS (you don’t need ICS for this), dual SIM, huge 3.5″ screen. Then factor in a price point of only PHP 5,499.00 and it’s really a steal. A bigger steal than its precursor which retailed for above PHP 7,xxx.xx

Verdict: Highly recommended. I wouldn’t call it a budget phone because ‘budget’ connotes sacrificing functionality. But it doesn’t. I’m still wow-ed by the impressive price-point.

Follow Lenovo Mobile on Twitter and Facebook.

Mostly Everything

New iPad 3 Price Guide for Philippines

Big green light for the new iPad. This is the price list from the fine folks over at Technoodling. Do note that all cellular iPads being sold are not SIM-locked so you can readily add a local microSIM from any network for data.

On another note, Microwarehouse is set to open their annual MICROWAREHOUSE SALE next month. We are not completely sure if the new iPad will be offered, but it might be worth the wait as well, right?

iPad 16 GB WiFi = Php 23,990 (iPad 2 was priced at Php 23,990 at launch roughly a year ago)
iPad 32 GB WiFi = Php 28,990 (iPad 2 was priced at Php 28,990at launch roughly a year ago)
iPad 64 GB WiFi = Php 33,990 (iPad 2 was priced at Php 33,990 at launch roughly a year ago)
iPad 16 GB WiFi with Cellular = Php 29,990 (iPad 2 was priced atPhp 30,990 at launch roughly a year ago)
iPad 32 GB WiFi with Cellular = Php 34,990 (iPad 2 was priced atPhp 35,990 at launch roughly a year ago)
iPad 64 GB WiFi with Cellular = Php 39,990 (iPad 2 was priced atPhp 40,990 at launch roughly a year ago)

Metro Manila Apple Authorized Premium Resellers:
Beyond the Box One Rockwell
Beyond the Box Lucky China Town
Beyond the Box Resorts World
Digital Hub Robinsons Galleria
Digital Hub Robinsons Place Manila
Digital Hub Market Market
Digital Hub Virra Mall Greenhills
Power Mac Center Greenbelt 3
Power Mac Center Trinoma
Power Mac Center Megamall
Power Mac Center SM North Edsa
Power Mac Center Mall of Asia
A Shop Podium
A Shop Eastwood Mall
iStudio Shangrila Mall
iStudio Bonifacio High Street
iStudio ADMU Campus Store
Switch Alabang Town Center
Switch Marquee Mall
Switch Ayala TechnoHub

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Samsung SMART TV Buying Guide: Difference between the 1st and 2nd Generation

I own two first generation Samsung SMART TV’s. They’re exactly alike. I’m describing the mid-range 40″ LED model that comes with built-in Internet capability (there’s a more affordable version that doesn’t come with Internet). It has all the bells and whistles of a modern day flat screen LED TV including 4 HDMI ports and one USB port, being 3D-ready, with Ethernet port (for wired Internet), 1080p + up-scaling and all that. I own two because one was a wedding present.

In the past 2 months, Samsung had given me a very in-depth look at the new line of SMART TV’s for 2012. And deep inside I felt really bad about the current one I have in the living room for a number of reasons. The following is a comparison between the 2011 SMART TV and the 2012 SMART TV line for those who are interested to invest in a unit. But before that, some notes: