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Only a few minutes till Huawei unveils the latest and the greatest from Huawei's Smartphone Lineup.

The Huawei Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro is gonna be launched today!



Come and Join us as we learn more about the Huawei Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro!

I purposely didn't read or watch any content about this phone because I want to see and watch it for myself. Hahaha

Hopefully you understand why. The rumor train is always out and about and  I don't really like spoilers..

Anyway...

Watch the Livestream Here:
Unboxing. Tech News. Reviews.
The Honor 8X was launched in the Philippines with a whopping price tag of Php 12990!


Quick Specs of the Honor 8X

CPU
Kirin 710 Octa-core (4x2.2 GHz Cortex-A73 & 4x1.7 GHz Cortex-A53) with Mali-G51 MP4 GPU
RAM/ROM
4GB/128GB combo, with Micro SD Dedicated Slot expandable up to 400GB
ANDROID OS VERSION
Android 8.1 (Oreo) with EMUI 8.2.0
CAMERA
Main Camera: 20 MP, f/1,8, PDAF + 2 MP,f/2.8 depth sensor
Front Camera: 16 MP, f/2.0
BATTERY
Non-removable Li-Po 3750 mAh battery
DISPLAY
IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors, 6.5 inches, 1080 x 2340 pixels
PRICE
Php 12,990 available in stores starting October 13, 2018
Honor has always been about providing budget mid-range phones with decent specs that can compete with other mid-range phones with higher price points.



I've got the chance to try out new Honor 8X and I must say that the specs for that price point, it is a good buy.

I've shared my full thoughts about this phone at sir Azrael's Blog which you can read here:
Honor 8X Coverage for Azrael's Merryland Blog

Pricing and Availability

The Honor 8X is one of the most competitively priced phones at 12990php and are available in 4 colors: Black, Red, Purple and Blue. Anyone can now pre-order and get about 2500+php freebies!

The official availability begins on October 13, 2018, to coincide with the opening of Honor Concept Store in SM North EDSA.
It will be available as well in MemoXpress.com, Lazada, Shopee and other outlets.

Another thing they announced is the availability of the Honor Band 4 Running which is priced at 1299php and will be available soon this coming November.

Unboxing. Tech News. Reviews.
Thanks to Manila Bulletin, I got the chance to get my hands on an iPhone XS and XS Max.

Apple announced their latest iPhone last September 12, 2018 and people on the internet have mixed reactions. Some expressed excitement and hype, some are disappointed that there is pretty much nothing new on the successor of the Iphone X.

iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max Unboxing Video

In this blog post, I tell you my initial impressions on the new iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max. But first, please do watch the unboxing video of the Iphone XS, Iphone XS Max and the new Apple Watch by our friends at the Manila Bulletin and a few of our tech blogger friends which aired live on Facebook last night.


Premium Feel all the way

Both models have stainless steel frames which feels great on the hands. They are both sleek looking with those Super Retina OLED edge-to-edge displays. And they are now IP68 Water and Dust Resistant!



Screen size for the iPhone XS is 5.8" while the XS Max has a massive 6.5" display which is the largest screen in the market right now with Samsung's Note 9 trailing behind with a 6.4" display. The notch is of course in there as well.

The Performance

While I would love to really get into it and use it as my daily driver for at least a month to give you guys a full and honest review, I can only state what I've seen during my short time with the device yesterday.

Response Time

The response time is really fast. From swiping to screens, the gestures, changing of apps, locking and unlocking, it's pretty fast and impressive thanks to the new A12 Bionic processor that both phones have.
Everything was smooth and fast even when multiple apps have already been opened.




The Camera

Of course I have to try the camera. Both phones have the same dual 12-megapixel cameras, with a wide-angle (ƒ/1.8 aperture) lens and and telephoto (ƒ/2.4) lens. 

Both have the Smart HDR which gives you amazing photos with greater detail and color.



Pricing and Availability

While it is not yet revealed how much these devices will cost here in the Philippines, what I can give to you now are the prices abroad.

The XS (just like the X before it) starts at $999 for the 64GB model, which still seems like a lot of money for a phone with barely any storage. (The 256GB model costs $1,149.) The XS Max is even pricier, with a starting price of $1,099 for 64GB, and $1,249 for the 256GB version. Both those phones also offer a 512GB model which costs $400 more than their respective base models.

SHOULD YOU UPGRADE? (Based on Initial Impressions)

If you're coming from a previous iPhone Models like the iPhone 6 and 7 line, then I say, Yes. It is worth the upgrade if coming from those models. But if you've bought the iPhone X when it was first released, then I say, No. 

The S versions of the iPhone are usually the iteration with better specs than the previous model, which in this case is the iPhone X. 

Anyway, these phones will be available on our major telcos with their Post-Paid plans soon so watch out for that! 

Are you #GlobeiPhoneXS or #SmartiPhoneXS?
What do you guys think about this new iPhone?
Are you upgrading or thinking of buying this iPhone?


Unboxing. Tech News. Reviews.
In today's world, there are apps for almost everything! Joining the fray is Meralco's very own Mobile App!




Where to Download?

This app offers ton of services which I will lay out in a while but first, to start using the app, you can download it at these links:

Google Play:  Download Here
App Store: Download Here

All download links are free!

Register an account via web browser or through the app using your email address, service ID, other contact info and previous billing wattage and billing period.

Here's the link for the Meralco Online Beta(which is also what the app interfaces to)
https://online.meralco.com.ph

What are the Features?

  • Manage your Meralco Account with ease! See the total amount due, average usage per 13months etc.

  •  Access your bills online! All your previous and current bills will now be accessible through the app!


  •  Convenience at its finest! Pay your bills directly through the app using the following payment methods.


  •  Have a faulty meter? A damaged wiring? Fallen posts? Or just an outage on your neighborhood? You can report it now and track the status of all inquiries and requests!


  •  It can also show you the nearest Meralco Business Center in your area as well as Bayad Centers for your payment needs.


  •  It also features the Appliance Calculator which has been around for a while but now fully integrated to the app to give you an estimate the cost of using your appliances at home and see where you can save up on your electricity!


  •  Meralco also gives you energy efficiency tips and exclusive promos!

Conclusion:

This app is very helpful especially for people on the go and people who want to be able to monitor their bills through their phones or online. 

It saves you time when paying the bills by providing direct payment methods and let's you avoid the stress and hassle of going to bayad centers and business centers to pay for your bill. 

I love that they are taking action in going towards digital transformation and adapting to the technologies that we have today. Not only that, since everything can be found now on this app, you can help the environment by going paperless which you can subscribe to in the app. 

This option will subscribe you to paperless billing and thus saving paper and the environment :)

What do you guys think of this app? What other useful apps can you recommend to others? Let us know! :)
 
Unboxing. Tech News. Reviews.







Vivo is constantly pushing the boundaries in smartphone advancements by merging functionality and modernity for its consumers’ convenience. One prime example of Vivo’s pledge to innovation is its emphasis on having expansive storage for its upcoming smartphones, which has become an essential tool for everyday responsibilities, wants, and needs.

To some, the smartphones are an extension of themselves in a way that they do most of their tasks at the palm of their hands.

The available smartphones today don't put emphasis or even consider storage capacity as a feature which is definitely something that users who store alot of photos, videos, download apps, documents and more need in this day and age.


More storage, more fun

With sufficient storage, users no long need to delete a few apps,photos or even videos to free up space for new files.

Thus, a smartphone’s storage capacity has become an important feature that the always on-the-go millennials, selfie lovers, and gamers scrutinize when they are buying a new unit. 

With these consumer habits in mind, Vivo is set to launch a more substantial and expansive storage to meet the growing demands of its users. 


What Vivo has done..

Continuous improvements have been introduced to further develop Vivo’s products such as the V7+ and the V9 with 64 GB ROM (supports microSD Card up to 256GB). 

Vivo’s latest flagship smartphone in the Philippines, the X21, has superb storage capacity with 128 GB, which is expandable to 256 GB. Meanwhile, the Vivo NEX has 128 GB, proving that Vivo is pushing to offer more to its consumers. 

Always evolving and keeping its fans on their toes, everyone’s excited for what else is more to come for Vivo.


About Vivo


A global smartphone brand focused on introducing perfect sound quality and ultimate photography with cutting-edge technology, Vivo develops innovative and stylish products for young people. We now have over two hundred million users and are one of the preferred brands of young people around the world. As an Official Sponsor of the FIFA World Cup™, Vivo believes in the importance of encouraging young people to embrace self-expression and an energetic lifestyle.  In the Philippines, Vivo is the top 3 smartphone brand in terms of market share with 1.5 million users nationwide.   

For inquiries about Vivo, visit the Vivo website at vivoglobal.ph or check out their Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/vivophil), Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/vivo_philippines/), and Twitter (https://twitter.com/vivo_phil) accounts.
Unboxing. Tech News. Reviews.
We Pinoys love anything with BUDGET attached to something and of course when it comes to gadgets it is more than welcome to be a part of the adjective.

 Hi-Fi devices or audio devices that are capable of playing High Fidelity Audio a.k.a the highest quality reproduction of sound.

Sadly, Hi-Fi devices also come with a High Price tag.

I was introduced to the world of Hi-Fi audio by a college friend of mine and it got me curious.

Did my own research(which you can read below) and was itching to try it out and experience it for my self.

Good thing I discovered a Budget Hi-Fi Earphones to get me started on this Hi-Fi journey. and NO this is not a sponsored post. This is just a random impulse buy and decided to do a blog about it. :)))

As a Filipino who enjoys a variety of music, the world of Hi-Fi devices is something I want to experience and well.. I'm getting my feet wet and entering that world through the KZ ZST Pro. Is this worth the 800 peso price tag?

What the heck is Hi-Fi Audio?

High Fidelity Audio or Hi-Fi Audio is a term that is used by Audiophiles to refer to high quality reproduction of sound. Believe it or not, audio recordings done after the 1940's are of inferior quality due to usage of inferior quality equipment. 

Basically, this is the type of audio where it is very much close to the actual sound produced DURING a recording. 

So, in theory/actuality, Hi-Fi audio = Higher Quality Audio. 

However, it can only be produced by hi-fi capable devices. Which of course means, expensive equipment. 

It involves having some pre-amps, tube amps, power amplifiers, Hi-Fi speakers and more, all for the love of Hi-Fi audio. 

AFTERGLOW | Monoprice Stereo Hybrid Tube Amp With Bluetooth PHOTO: F. MARTIN RAMIN/THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, STYLING BY ANNE CARDENAS

But then again, it doesn't mean you won't get access to such equipments since budget devices are also available on the market with the only downside of not fully getting the full Hi-Fi experience. 

What you'll be getting rather is probably a taste of what more expensive and better equipment can provide for an affordable price.

This is just a brief overview of what Hi-Fi Audio is all about. I'll probably link some good resources below if you want to know more.

KZ ZST PRO: What's inside the box?

First off, watch my unboxing video here:



You can also watch it on our facebook page: www.facebook.com/techgabster

The one I ordered from Lazada comes with the unit, cable with microphone, some spare earbuds in different sizes and a cheap earphone soft-case. 


The Packaging

The overall packaging is I guess "okay" for the price. It is not premium looking and not that impressive. It also comes with some manuals and documentation. 

The Unit

KZ ZST Pro have Dual Drivers, which is basically what brings out the sound. One driver is for the bass sound and the other is for the treble. 

The whole thing is encased in a candy colored plastic casing which is semi-transparent and I think it's very beautiful to look at. 

It has the ZST logo on the side with silicone ear buds, two pin holes for each cable.

NOTE: This is an in-ear monitor type of earphones so it really kind of goes deep within your ears.

Oh and did I mention that you can replace buy replacement cables for this? That's already + points for me. 


The Cables

The cables are made of a rubbery material with red and grey stripe colors and a microphone with a button to take your calls with.

It doesn't look that pretty if you ask me. But I do feel it's durable than most cables out there. 

Again, since the unit is separate from the cables, the moment you have a defective cable, you just need to replace the cables and not the whole unit. It can save you a ton of money from buying replacement earphones every time the cable goes wonky.

The Performance

To fully test it out, I went on and use the KZ ZST Pro as my daily driver for 7 full days. 

While I don't have any Hi-Fi audio to use nor do I have a device that would help me achieve the full Hi-Fi experience like a DAC(Digital to Analog Converter) connected to my phone, the way I tested these out is compare them with what I currently use, which is a cheap CDR-King Earphones and an Audio Technica Earphones(i forgot the model name, but it's a noise cancelling earphones for sure).

Another thing I did is to set my Spotify settings to only stream/download songs in VERY HIGH Quality.

If you want to learn how to set your spotify settings to use VERY HIGH Quality settings, you can read my article right here: How To Stream Music On Spotify In VERY HIGH Quality Settings?

Day 1: First Impressions

I immediately notice the difference between the Audio Technica earphones I have while I do love the sound of the Audio Technica(i'll shorten it to AT okay? haha), the KZ ZST Pro have a more balanced treble sound. 

The AT actually has a deeper bass while the KZ ZST Pro have a deep bass too but it is also balanced by the driver that controls the treble it really is something different.


Day 7: Final Judgement

I played different kinds of music that are tagged as hi-fi audio on Spotify(I swear setting it to VERY HIGH Quality makes a whole lot of difference than when you play on just the normal quality setting on Spotify).

I'm into the drum and bass music nowadays or some chill hiphop beats that are very relaxing and just overall calming and using the KZ ZST Pro vs the AT Earphones...I'll take the sound of the KZ ZST Pro over the AT ones.

But that is my preference though, it might be different for you since each person have different sound preferences. 

For its price, I'm very impressed with how it performed. I would probably invest in a hi-fi audio player or at least a DAC soon to fully test this with real hi-fi audio and I'll update this blogpost when I do.

For now, the performance satisfied my needs and would recommend this to anyone wanting to have a whole new experience with audio :)

Pros and Cons

Here are the things I like(PROS):

  • Budget Friendly
  • Incredible sound quality for the price
  • Balanced Bass and Treble sounds due to the dual driver system
  • It's very stylish, I love the colors

Here are the things that I don't like(CONS):

  • The cable is durable and all, but I think it could still be better
  • Sometimes the cables detach to the unit maybe I need to put it in better
  • There are times that I wish there's a slightly more bass to it

Overall, I'm really happy with this purchase. Again, the sound profile of this earphones might not be your cup of tea but I do suggest you try it out as well. 

Price and Availability

The package I got is worth 799php from Lazada. You get free shipping fee as well since it is under the promo of the seller wherein you get free shipping for orders that are worth 500php above.

I got mine 3 days after I ordered it. 

You can buy it here: http://bit.ly/KZZSTProLazada

http://bit.ly/KZZSTProLazada


There are also other online sellers out there. Just make sure you get an authentic product and don't be swayed by the really cheap ones in the market. 

The price range for KZ ZST Pro is around 799 to 1200php(depending on the package inclusions).

Still have questions?

Do I just buy these earphones and experience Hi-Fi? YES and NO.

If you have a hi-fi audio playback capable device at your disposal, then yes. 
If not, you can only experience up to a certain level of higher quality audio like the one in Spotify.

Where can I get Hi-Fi Audio?

There are streaming sources for hi-fi audio such as Tidal Masters and Qobuz Sublime+.
There are also download services like PrimePhonic, HD Tracks and more.


That site is one of the best resources I found about Hi-Fi audio and breaks them down for you.

Where can I find fellow Audiophiles in the Philippines?

There are several facebook groups for Audiophiles in the Philippines.

Here are some of them:


HEEP - Headphones & Earphones Enthusiasts Philippines (Can't find the FB link, i'll update this)

Where can I buy Hi-Fi Devices?

Of course there are a vast variety of audio devices in most music/audio stores in the Philippines.
There are also online sellers. 

One of the most trusted source for Hi-Fi Capable Devices is H.E.X which is a facebook group of fellow audiophiles that are selling their used items or even brand new ones for a steal price. 


I'll try to put more resources as I find them for you guys. :)

Conclusion

Well, that's my review of the KZ ZST Pro. I've yet to try it out using a DAC or an actual Hi-Fi Capable audio playback device, but soon I'll be doing that and add to this review. 

I hope this helps you start your own journey through the world of audiophiles and music enthusiasts!

What do you guys think about Hi-Fi Audio? What is your recommended budget hi-fi earphones?

Unboxing. Tech News. Reviews.

HMD Global gifts Nokia fans with special anniversary discount



MANILA, PHILIPPINES, 31 AUGUST 2018 – HMD Global, the home of Nokia phones, celebrates years of reliable mobile experience with Nokia 3310’s 18th birthday on September 1. 

The much-loved Nokia phone, which has connected people around the globe since its introduction in 2000, is the embodiment of reliability and durability—the same commitment exemplified by the new generation of Nokia phones today.

The reimagined Nokia 3310 in 2G with chic new colors and a retro user interface, is now available for only PHP1,999 as an exclusive offer for its anniversary. Nokia fans can enjoy this promo from September 1 to 30, 2018.

Shannon Mead, country manager of HMD Global Philippines, said:


“This is an exciting time for us. The Nokia 3310 is especially memorable to Filipino Nokia fans for being among the first phones that they got to experience.

It brought Filipinos a lot of fun memories, from composing personal ringtones to achieving high scores in Snake and Space Impact. 

The phone’s long battery life made extended hours of entertainment and staying in touch with family and friends possible. More than a mobile experience, the Nokia 3310 became an essential mean to connect people.


This is why at HMD Global, we are committed to creating new fun memories through the new generation of Nokia phones, which features upgraded designs and improved performance while retaining the same reliability and durability made accessible across all markets

From nostalgic to the future of reliable and accessible mobile innovation


The classic, reimagined Nokia 3310 now 2G and 3G-enabled is equipped with a retro user interface that has been improved to deliver an enhanced, customizable experience by allowing users to change the icons’ colors and positions. This is to ensure favorite functions are exactly where users want them to be.

In keeping with the series’ bold and colorful heritage, the upgraded Nokia 3310 is available in four distinctive colors – the ever popular Yellow and Warm Red, and refreshingly new Azure and Charcoal hues, all with a matte finish and new silver keypads. 

Special birthday treat

From September 1 to 30, Nokia fans may purchase the 2G-powered Nokia 3310 for only PHP1,999 at any authorized Nokia mobile resellers and official Nokia mobile stores nationwide. See below for the full list of participating Nokia mobile stores, kiosks and exhibits to enjoy the price discount, fun activities and other freebies:

Nokia mobile stores:

SM City North EDSA
SM City Clark
SM City Tarlac
SM City IloIlo
Gaisano Mall Davao


Nokia mobile kiosks:     

SM City Megamall
SM City Mall of Asia
Robinson’s Ermita
SM City Urdaneta
SM City Rosales
SM City Pampanga
SM City Olongapo
SM City Bacoor
SM City Batangas
SM City Dasmarinas
SM City San Pablo
SM City Sta. Rosa

Nokia mobile exhibits:

Resorts World Manila
SM City Sangandaan
SM City San Lazaro
SM City Marilao
SM City Baliuag
SM City Rosario/New Star Mall
SM City Palawan
SM City Gensan