Monday, September 30, 2013

BlackBerry Z10 to be Available from All Three Carriers

While BlackBerry has had different degrees of luck in getting carriers to support its new line-up of BlackBerry 10 smartphones, it will be getting support from all three carriers in the Philippines. Globe Telecom, Smart Communications and Sun Cellular will all be carrying the BlackBerry Z10. The BlackBerry Z10 will also be available from retail stores for Php29,990.

The BlackBerry Z10 is a touchscreen phone which runs BlackBerrys new operating system. The Z10  has a 4.2-inch HD (768 x 1280) display. The phone is powered by a dual core Qualcomm Krait processor and is equipped with 2 GB of RAM. The Z10 comes with 16 GB of internal storage expandable via a MicroSD card. The phone comes with 8MP primary camera and a 2 MP front camera. Rounding out the package is a system-on-chip LTE radio.

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Sunday, September 29, 2013

A Good Model for Customer Service Globe Twitter

Globe Telecom has doubled up on its effort to provide speedy technical support on Twitter. In addition to @talk2Globe, people discussing problems with Globe services may get a friendly visit from @KenOFGlobe, @RolandOfGlobe or @KirkOfGlobe, or another @_________OfGlobe representative. Providing technical or customer support on Twitter is not new. The way that Globes new team does is.

First, they respond quickly. You can expect a response within a few hours or even minutes. Second, when one technical or customer support personal leaves his shift, if your concern is still not resolved, your concern will be passed on to another who will continue trying to resolve your concern. Third, even after a concern is resolved, a follow-up is made by a different representative to make sure that the customer is satisfied. Oftentimes when I seek technical or customer support, I feel like they just want to "resolve" the issue as soon as possible… i.e. get rid of the query as quickly as possible. Lastly, the quality of the response is good. I can understand the response. I have had several experiences with online customer service from several different companies where I have always felt the answer was not responsive. It is like they are cutting and pasting generic responses from a book.

The level of technical and customer support has left users opening up a lot of self-help forums. In fairness these forums have been very helpful. In the case of Globe Telecom, it looks like that may not be necessary anymore.

In my case, my concern was not resolved in my favor. Still I was impressed with the quality of service provided. That maybe, is the hallmark of good support. When the customer does not get what he was hoping for, but is still satisfied that his query was properly addressed.

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Saturday, September 28, 2013

Sony Xperia SL The Second Coming

The Sony Xperia S was updated last quarter, and the new version, the Xperia SL is now available at local retailers. The Xperia SL is a minor upgrade of the Xperia S which was released in Quarter 1 of 2012. The Xperia S was not a cutting edge phone when it was released and the SL falls even further behind the curve, but with its price going down to the mid-level, it might be an interesting option. 

The Sony Xperia SL gets a bump in processor speed to 1.7 GHz, from 1.5 GHz, but the chip is still the same old circa 2011 Qualcomm S3, which we first saw in HTCs Sensation. The Xperia SL now also comes with Android 4.0.4, Ice Cream Sandwich, out of the box, rather than Gingerbread. The OS update also available for the Xperia S. Even the case was only been revised slightly, with three capacitative buttons, instead of four, and has a new color option: pink. But it does come at a much lower price, being available for as low as Php17,600, with an official warranty.

Overall, the phone is current enough with a nice sharp 4.3-inch HD display (720 x 1280) and 32 GB of internal storage. It comes with interesting features like USB-on-the-go and HDMI out. However, it does find itself priced in between two more powerful quad core phones. The ZTE Grand Era U895 is priced about Php2K cheaper. The Huawei Ascend D quad XL costs just a few hundred more. 

This refreshed version of an old dual core phone could have a place at the mid-level. Boasting a 12 MP camera with a dedicated camera button, and photo oriented connectivity options, the 12 MP credentials, at a low price, it will attract some buyers.

The problem is the camera. Sony Xperia SL has a decent camera. Not as good as the excellent 8MP shooters on the new Samsung Galaxy phones or the Apple iPhone 4S and 5. Ironically, the 12 MP camera on the Xperia SL does not perform as well as the 8 MP camera on the lower end Xperia P. Disappointingly, it is also not as good as Huaweis 8 MP camera.  Check out the GSMArena camera comparison tool.  

Ultimately, the Sony Xperia SL is a hard phone to recommend. With a better camera, it could be a contender. It biggest contribution to the Sony line-up is to make the price of the Sony Xperia P cheaper, and that is a good thing.

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Friday, September 27, 2013

HTC Desire V Battery Life

A few months ago, we compared two 4-inch dual sim Android phones, the HTC Desire V and the Lenovo P700. The Lenovo was 33% or so cheaper and came with a larger 2500 mAh battery. While this is subjective, the HTC phone has a classier chassis, a more polished Sense user interface and comes with a decent sized 1500 mAh battery.

Battery life is one key deciding factor in smartphone selection. So how well does the HTC Desire V do. Not bad actually, based on GSMArenas battery life tests. The HTC Desire V gives you over 8 hours of talk time, over 6 hours or video playback and just under 6 hours of web browsing time. Good enough!
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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Smart watch Is the New Black

Smart watch Is the New Black

I’m not saying smart-watches will be the next 3DTV – something the industry claimed we all needed but relatively few of us bought – but there seems to be a somewhat similar trend brewing.
The difference, of course, is that we may own a 3D-capable TV by default someday if 3D becomes just another standard feature like high definition. You’ll have to proactively buy a smartwatch, however.
That being said, gadget makers apparently see a demand for smartwatches, with rumors of wrist-worn devices on the way from Google, Microsoft, Apple and Samsung. And there are several that already exist – the Pebble being the most popular example, albeit still something of a niche product. Sony’s about to roll out its second one; Casio has a sorta-smart-watch line, too.
Samsung’s previously-rumored watch has gotten another bump recently, with Bloomberg now claiming that the device will be called the Galaxy Gear and will be introduced in connection with the IFA gadget show in Berlin on September 4.
According to Bloomberg’s sources, Samsung’s Android watch “can make phone calls, surf the Web and handle e-mails.” It’s not stated in the article, but it would be interesting to know if this watch connects to an existing Android phone to handle all these functions, or if it has its own cellular connection to allow it to function on its own.

The ability to work on its own and battery life will be the big features that separate one smartwatch from the next. I know everyone wants long battery life, but I’m not sure who wants a watch that works with their phone and who wants a watch that works without a phone.

I’m personally keen on a phone-less watch idea, but I don’t want to pay for a separate cell service plan, so I’d probably end up opting for a watch similar to the Pebble, which has a low-power screen for long battery life and connects to an existing smartphone to leverage its data connection.

It’d have to be cheap, though, as in less than $100. I agree with Harry. Right now, smart-watches are a great idea – except for the “smart” and “watch” parts. It’s probably going to take at least a few generations for them to even have a shot at being must-have devices. [via]

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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Samsung campaign in 2012 London Olympics Games

The Olympic Games is a big hot spot. It wins the considerable exposure naturally if you become the official sponsor. Well, I am sure you will think of Samsung here, since replaced Motorola in 1997 as the global Olympic partnership in the field of wireless communications equipment. So it immediately become Samsungs showing time once the Olympic Games begin.

As the official phone of 2012 London Olympic, their latest flagship Samsung Galaxy S III also took the opportunity to sell ads, and even Beckham kicks off London Olympics in Samsung ad. Though he cannot act as a player of England, but his smile is also charming.

And at the opening ceremony, the funny expression of Mr. Bean with Samsung mobile phones on his hand also makes people realize that the ad ability of Samsung is very powerful. Do you know the phone? The answer is the Samsung S5830.

Report says: the purpose of Samsung chooses it is want to dilute the impact of implantation. Think about it, if Mr. Bean is holding the Samsungs Galaxy S3, it is too obvious that Samsung is in advertising.

"Samsung is delighted to be a part of such a special occasion, and through our innovative products we hope to unite people across the globe in their anticipation and celebration of the London 2012 Olympic Games, said Younghee Lee, Senior Vice President at Samsung mobile marketing.

As the top representative in the smartphone, GALAXYS ? open a new way to watch and participate in the Olympic event.

And now Samsung Launched its Galaxy S3 London Olympics 2012 Edition. The device is expected to sell like hot cakes as anyone who loves the Union Jack, the Olympic Games or, for that matter, Samsung or Android, or just keep it as a memorabilia.
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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Samsung Galaxy S Advance and Galaxy Ace 2 to get Jelly Bean

Samsung has had two pieces of very interesting hardware I have been ignoring in my buyers guides, because they did not have commitments for Ice Cream Sandwich updates, the Samsung Galaxy S Advance and Galaxy Ace 2 to get Jelly Bean.

Well now they are lined up for a Jelly Bean update!  

The Galaxy S III, Galaxy S II, Galaxy Note, Galaxy Chat, Galaxy Beam, Galaxy Ace Plus, Galaxy Mini 2, and Galaxy S Duos and four tablets: the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0, Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus, Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 and  Galaxy Note 10.1 are all also confirmed by Samsung for Jelly Bean updates.

Source: The Verge
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Monday, September 23, 2013

How to take a Screenshot on Windows 8 Smart Phone

Do you own a Smart phone working with Windows 8 Operating system like Nokia Lumia 920. HTC Windows 8S, Samsung ATIV S? Have you ever tried to take a screenshot on your smart phone?  It is very easy to capture the screen of your smart phone. Read this article to know the procedure of taking screenshot on your Windows 8 Smart phone.
Microsoft had released Windows 8 operating system for smart phones this year after the success of Windows 8 operating systems for computers.  After that different companies released many smart phones using this operating system . Some of them are Nokia Lumia 720. 920, HTC Windows 8s, Samsung ATIV S etc.

To take a screenshot on Windows 8 phone:
It is very easy to take screen shot on Windows 8 smart phones. There is no need of installation of special applications for taking screenshots. Screen can be captured easily by using shortcuts.  To take a screen shot, Hold down the POWERand START buttons simultaneously.  POWERbutton is at the right side of the phone and the START button is the middle button on the front side of the phone. Then screen will be captured and image will be stored in the ScreenShots folder in Pictures or Photos hub.   Take care that both are pressed simultaneously.  If you press only one, then screen will not be captured.

However you can also capture the screen by downloading and installing some Windows phone applications.
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Sunday, September 22, 2013

Free Online Games Use Strategy Games To Develop Thinking

Most of the management courses have strategy game playing as a subject. I am a marketer. My product price is say - x. my competitor introduces his/her product at price - y. what should I do with my price that will increase my share. Because whatever I do, my competitor will manipulate their price. This becomes a game of strategy between my competitor and me. Who so ever devises a better strategy wins in the marketing competition. Free online games help in thinking development for such situations.

Our life is made of strategic steps. Can free online games help us develop our strategic thinking? Let me give one more example of games and strategy. I am an employer. I want to give only a small raise to my employees. But they want more or will leave the job. The risk faced by them is that of not getting another job. The risk for me is to lose my trained employees/. What should I do to retrain them even by giving only a small raise? This is another game that is played between an employer and an employee. Free online games can help us learn more about how to develop strategies for winning.

We all play roles and games with each other. Look at the discount sale announced by big shops. They want the customers to buy goods when the prices are high and the customers want to postpone their purchases till the sale is announced. This is another game playing. Every field of life involves game playing and strategy making. Who so ever has the winning strategy wins in the end. to think strategically is a very important quality of mind. free Online Games can help in developing that ability substantially.
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Saturday, September 21, 2013

Blogging from a Tablet The Chrome Experience

Blogging from a mobile device has always been difficult. While there is am official Blogger app from Google, for some reason it is not available in my country. I tried doing this a year and a half ago, but the stock browser just could not navigate the Blogger website properly.

Having upgraded my wifes Samsung Galaxy Tab to Android 4.0.4, courtesy of CyanogemMod 9, I decided to give it another go using the Google Chrome browser. 

The Android version of the Google Chrome really is an amazing web browser which gives me full access to Googles Blogger editing tools. Basically, I can pretty much do anything which I could do on my laptop.

I was able to post a hyper link, grab a picture from the web and upload it, justify the margins of my paragraphs... If you have not used Bloggers interface, I guess it is hard to appreciate my amazement. Others can tell me it can be done with other browsers. Yes, it can. It was just so difficult I never bothered to complete a post. Well, now I have.

Well, I have bored you enough.

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Friday, September 20, 2013

The price of Galaxy S4

The price of Galaxy S4
Many would be tempted to say that Samsung Galaxy S4 is a bit expensive, considering that just a few days ago AT&T announced that it will start to take preorders for the Galaxy S4, and with experience that AT&T has in the field, it will certainly be able to take a consistent amount of preorders for this high-performance smartphone.
At first glance, Galaxy S4 looks very much like Samsung Galaxy S3, but Samsung Galaxy S4 is an improved version of its predeccesor, and for this reason, I believe the price announced is correct.

The main competitors for Galaxy S4 are IPhone 5 and HTC One, but Samsung has the advantage that came first from the production line, thus having well advanced before the two others smartphones are released.

AT&T has already confirmed that the price for Galaxy S4 will be $249, and AT&T will begin taking preorders since April 16. Informations available so far indicates that at this price Galaxy S4 will be available with a storage capacity of only 16 GB, buyers will have the opportunity to increase the storage capacity to 32 GB or even 64 GB, depending on their needs.

According to rumors, AT&T will sell the HTC One at the same price of $249, it remains to be seen if this rumor comes true though. Now Im curious at what prices other carriers will take preorders for the Galaxy S4, I am convinced, however, that the price of $249 will be for the option of 32 GB, while for Galaxy S4 with 16 GB storage capacity, we will have to pay probably only $149. You can view other items from the same category on this blog, even for preorders with substantial bonuses.
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Thursday, September 19, 2013

A Second Look at the MyPhone A888 Duo Courtesy of Biggs

One of out readers, Biggs think that the MyPhone A888 Duo is one of the most underrated phones in the Philippine market and is not getting enough attention from local tech sites. I am not sure about that, but looking at the past seven days hits on this blog, the MyPhone A888 Duo post, is the second most popular on this blog at this time.

Biggs asked me to do a review. I really only gather information from third parties, mainly trying to ferret out what tech news is relevant to Philippine readers, so am very happy to post actual user feedback. 

He makes several solid points so I asked permission to repost his comment as a blog post (with some edits):

  • 4.5" IPS + QHD resolution – The size is perfect (not overly large like the 5" and above "phablets") and the DPI is still high enough to have a sharp screen.
8.9 mm thick but still with a 1800 mAh battery – Slim without compromising battery life.

  • 8 MP camera with dual-LED flash – This is the only locally rebranded phone which comes with a dual-LED flash.

Dual-microphone - The noise-cancelling feature makes for good voice calls. This is the only locally rebranded phone to have this feature.

  • Button placement (left side volume keys at right side power key) – This is the correct configuration of buttons, especially for one handed use by right handers.

  • Notification light – This is a really useful hardware-feature. No need to unlock the screen to find out if you got a text or missed call. This is the only locally rebranded phone to have this feature.


TV-out - This is the only locally rebranded phone to have this feature other than the MyPhone A787. Is there another?

  • 5-point multi-touch – The display responsive is great for SMS and gaming.
  • 60 FPS UI – The user interface of this phone is smooth.

So, what do you think, is the MyPhone A888 Duo is the low cost smartphone for you?

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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Globe Telecom Expands LTE Coverage

While Globe Telecoms LTE network does not cover as many areas as Smart Communications, the Globe is also expanding its coverage. Globe LTE can now be found in parts of Makati, Pasig, Quezon City, Taguig,  Manila, Muntinlupa, and also Cebu City and Boracay in Malay, Aklan in the Visayas.
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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Asus Nexus 7 Unofficially in the Philippines

Googles popular Asus Nexus 7 tablet is not officially released in the Philippines yet. This Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) tablet sports a 7-inch WXGA (1280x800)
IPS display, has a gaming oriented NVIDIA Tegra 3 T30L 1.2Ghz Quad-Core inside and a large 432 5mAh battery which is good for 9 hours of use. For internal storage is comes in two versions, one with 8 GB of storage, and the other with 16 GB. There is no MicroSD card slot.

Several local seller have been selling small numbers of these. Thinking about getting one I found Widget City has them listed at Php12,750 for the 8 GB model and Php15,750 for the 16 GB model. Given that the US prices are US$199 and US$249, I was expecting it to cost about Php10,500 for the 8 GB model, and Php13,000 for the 16 GB model.

Still with a budget 13-16K, I would pick the Nexus 7 over any of its Android competitors. Even the higher end 16 GB model at Php15,750 does not look bad in terms of price when you compare it to the Php18,990 iPad 2 which has a dual core processor and a much lower resolution display.

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Monday, September 16, 2013

Disable Typing Animation In All Office 2013 Applications Tip

If you’ve started using the new Office 2013 (or version 15, as some may call it), you might have noticed the new typing animation. As you type, the animation is pretty obvious to note. Some may term it as a modern and contemporary addition to the flavor of the new Microsoft Office Suite while others would simply get annoyed. It is for such people that we present a registry hack to get rid of the fancy typing animation. This hack has a reversible effect and if you feel the need to revert to the default graphics, you are just a click away. Moreover, this will apply not only to Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and the like, the impact would hold for the entire suite. Through this post, we are in no way undermining the typing animation, but only presenting an alternative for the annoyed ones, out there.
If you’re using Windows 8, move to Start Screen, search regedit and hit enter to open Registry Edior. You can also use Run console using a Win+R hotkey combination to quickly open the Windows registry editor. Now, navigate to the HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftOffice15.0CommonGraphics path in order to implement the registry hack. Disabling the animation will allow you to adjust with new features with a similar yet feature-rich environment, making you extract the maximum benefits without reserving yourself to the older versions. In the Graphics key, you are required to set the data field of the DisableAnimation value to 1. Setting it to 0 would enable the animation again. Similarly, you can delete the Graphics entry to achieve the same result.
If you are unable to find the Graphics key, you can create it to have the same impact. To do this, right click Common and select New>>Key from the context menu. Name the new key as Graphics. Navigate to the newly created Graphics key to see only a default REG_SZ type value visible. Now, right click the blank area to create a new DWORD (32-bit) Value and name it DisableAnimation.
Double click the DisableAnimation value to open the Edit DWORD (32-bit) Value. Set the value data to 1 and enable the Hexadecimal option in Base. You have now successfully applied the registry hack. Open Microsoft Word 2013, and start typing. Can you feel the difference?
Remember to close any active Office 15 Suite components before applying the hack. We hope that you found this useful, and should you encounter any problem, inform us by leaving a comment below.
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Sunday, September 15, 2013

Gameloft Sale at Google Play

From today, till Sunday, November 25, 2012, Gameloft is offering four of its titles for sale on Google Play at a discounted price of US$0.99 (or Php40.73 at the time of this writing. The four titles are:

• The Amazing Spider Man
• Gangstar Rio: City of Saints 
• Backstab
• The Adventures of Tintin

These four games have a regular price of US$4.99.
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Saturday, September 14, 2013

Sony Vaio Duo 11 Windows 8 Slider PC

Sony has released a new Vaio model, call the Vaio Duo which is designed around Windows 8. At its core is an a touchscreen 11.6-inch Full HD display which has an impressive 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution. The display is mated to a keyboard which slides under the "tablet" for carry or use as a pure tablet.

Two models are available, both being powerful portables. The lower end model comes with an Intel Core i5-3317U, 4 GB of RAM and a 128 GB flash drive all in a package weighing in at less that 2.8 pounds. The higher end model is powered by a more powerful Intel Core i7-3517U, 8 GB of RAM and a 256  GB flash drive. Sony promises 5 hours of battery life.

Both models have all the amenities you expect from a laptop (WiFi, HDMI out and USB 3.0) as well as a tablet (front/rear cameras and NFC). While all this is pretty impressive, at Php69,999 for the Core i5 models, which is the price of an iPad 4 16 GB plus a 11.6-inch MacBook Air 64 GB, I do not see too many of these selling in the Philippines. The the Core i7 model is priced at an even more prohibitive Php99,999.

Asus Android slider tablets did not do too well last year, will see if putting Windows 8, on a much more expensive slider, will make any difference.

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Friday, September 13, 2013

Nokia Lumia 520 versus Huawei Ascend W1

Windows Phone has not yet achieved a significant market share, but within the Windows Phone market Nokia is the thousand pound Gorilla. Nokia accounts for 80% of Windows Phone sales. Samsung, the leader in the  mobile phone market has pretty much quit on Windows Phones. HTC, which used manufacture the best Windows phones, cannot match Nokias Lumias offerings. Nokia is the big fish, in the still small Windows Phone pond.

But it looks like Nokia is going to be getting some stiff competition from a unexpected source, Huawei. Huawei is now the third largest smartphone manufacturer in the world, and its first  Windows Phone 8 device, the Ascend W1 looks very impressive for the price and well equipped to compete with Nokias entry level Lumia 520.

Both phones are rather similar, with 4-inch displays, Qualcomm Krait processors, 512 MB of RAM, 5 MP cameras and HSPA+ connectivity. The Ascend W1 has marginally faster processor than the Lumia 520. The Lumia 520 is just a little thinner and lighter. But in deciding between these two entry level Windows Phone 8 devices there are really four areas to consider.

Price. The Lumia 520 is priced at Php7,990. The Ascent W1, is priced 1K more at, Php8,990. The Ascend W1, needs to justify its higher price.

Price update (April 17): The street prices of these units is closer than the gap in suggested retail price. The Huawei Ascend W1 can be had for as low as Php7,700, while the Nokia Lumia 520 is prices a few hundred less at Php7,450. 

Camera.  Both phones have 5MP  primary cameras, but only the Ascend W1 has a LED flash.  For  wanting to do video calls, the additional cost of the Huawei is  agsineagain justified. The Ascend W1 has a VGA front camera, while the Nokia Lumia 520 does not have a front camera.

Storage. Despite being cheaper. the Lumia 520 provides more storage, with 8 GB of internal storage, expandable via a microSD card with official support for 64 GB microSD cards. This is double of what the Ascend W1 offers with 4 GB if internal storage, expandable via a microSD card with official support for 64 GB microSD cards.

On the specs sheet it sounds like double the storage. In the real world it is more like 5:1. With Windows Phone 8, and the bundled applications, leaves you with just a bit over 1 GB of storage available. The Lumia 520 has over 5 GB of storage available.

Yes, both phones support microSD cards, but Windows Phone 8 only makes limited use of the SD card. You can store pictures, video and music on the SD card, but not apps or app data. Every application you download has to be stored and run from the internal storage. User data created by applications will also use internal storage.

In over words, you can store 5 times as many apps on the Lumia 520 as you can on the Ascend W1. 

Battery. The Lumia 520 has a 1430 mAh battery, which is a decent size for a 4-inch phone. The Ascend W1 has a generous 1950 mAh battery, which is a third larger than the Lumia 520.

Conclusion. Which is best for you depends. The Ascend W1 easily justifies it higher price with a front camera and larger battery, but the 1 GB or so of internal storage may not be enough for a fair number of users. For the typical smartphone users the 1 GB of internal storage for apps should be enough. On the other hand some games like Modern Combat 4 are 1 GB in size all on their own (Note: I am not sure if Modern Combat 4 will run on either of these phones). 

Entry level phones mean compromise. For me, the best compromise would be the Ascend W1. I can live with 1 GB for apps and would benefit more from the longer battery life. Apps like Facebook and gMaps are only 4 MB. Twitter is 2 MB in size.  But if you want to install plenty off apps, especially games, the Lumia 520 is the better choice.

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Thursday, September 12, 2013

BBSAK 1 9 2 for BlackBerry

BBSAK was built as a JL Cmdr replacement tool with a more friendly GUI, developed by two hobbyist developers. It has grown to what it is today, a windows application with many funtions for modifiying BlackBerries. It uses Javaloader to do its magic. We hope that you all will find it as useful as I do. Please if you post on other sites use the link provided here, so we can keep count of downloads. 

With this tool you can do:
• Backup & Restore BlackBerry Data
• 3rd Party App Backup
• Wipe / Full Reset BlackBerry
• Load OS BlackBerry
• Restore 3rd Party Apps

Change Log
BBSAK v1.9.2
• Added support for multiple devices including 9930, 9850 & 9350
• OS 7 Support
• Code completely optimized for speed =)

BBSAK v1.9.1
• Added Support for: Afrikaans, Croatian, Italian, Japanese, Simplified Chinese, Turkish, Vietnamese
• 3rd Party backup no longer includes Docs2Go, as it is included with all OSs
• Fixed Bug with 64bit Windows, OS selector now works properly
• Fixed Issue with Dutch Language Pack

BBSAK v1.9
• Added Multi Language Support
• Fixed Bug with collapse button
• More Code Cleanup

Download : BBSAK 1.9.2
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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Sony Xperia Z 1080p Superphone

The United States already has the HTC Droid DNA, The Oppo Find 5 is making rounds in China. Russia has the Sharp Aquous Phone SH920W. The next generation of Android phones has already started appearing in different markets around the world. For the Philippines, it looks like the Sony Xperia Z will be the first one to hit local shores. 

Sony Xperia Z packs a 5-inch Full HD (1080 x 1920) display, a quad-core Qualcomm Krait processor, 2GB of RAM, 16 GB of internal storage with a MicroSD card slot, 12MP Exmor RS camera, IP57 dust and water resistant, and with LTE onboard. The phone will come with Android 4.1.1 out of the box. 

The phone is rumored to go on sale as early as January 15, 2013 in China. A leaked photo from Thailand seems to confirm that it will be going on sale in other parts of Asia too.

Source: SonyXP via Phonearena

Priced at 19,990 Thai Bath, when and if this phone hits Philippines Shores somewhere between Php26,990 to 32,990. My own best guess Php29,990.

Since the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 released early in 2010, Sony has stopped building Android super phones, focusing on things things like ergonomics,  camera quality and durability and features (like HDMI out and USB-on-the go). It looks like those days are over, and Sony has built a Android phone which is prepared to fight toe to toe with whatever Android or Apple flagship phones comes its way.   

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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Low Cost 720p Androids Cherry Mobile Omega HD v Starmobile Diamond

Yugatech has a comparison of two of the most awaited Android smartphones which should hit the Philippine market next month: the Cherry Mobile Omega HD and the Starmobile Diamond. What makes both devices so eagerly awaited is the 5-inch 720p displays which both phones sport, at sub-10K prices.

Read Yugatechs comparison here.

Image source: Yugatech

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Monday, September 9, 2013

Google Apps Chromebook and World Domination

Not too well known is that all the nice Google services which we avail of for personal use like GMail, Drive, Google Calendar and Talk are offered in packages customized to meet the needs of schools, non-profit organizations and businesses. Google has Google Apps for Education, Google Apps for Non-Profits, and Google Apps for Business. Awareness of these services has been growing with the adoption by several high profile institutions.

In the latter part of 2012, Google Apps for education made a lot of headway in the Philippine education sector. The Department of Education of the Republic of the Philippines adopted Google Apps for Education to connect its 45,000 schools and 600,000 staff. The Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines has also adopted Google Apps for Education for its 1,345 member schools. State universities like the University of the Philippines and the Pangasinan State University and prominent private institutions like the Ateneo de Manila University has also adopted Google Apps for use by its faculty, staff and students.

While Microsoft offers discounts to educational institutions and students, discounts do not beat free software. Google Apps for education is free for schools, colleges and universities with up to 30,000 users. Linux offers free software, but Google Apps also reduces the cost of maintaining a information technology infrastructure. Google Apps for Business cost just US$50 per user, per year. When you look at that price compared to maintaining a more traditional set-up, this is a cost efficient way to go. This is particularly tempting for small and medium sized businesses who really cant afford to maintain a robust IT infrastructure.

Making the adoption of Google Apps a fairly easy proposition is that it will run on whatever hardware you have available. You can run it on your Windows PCs, Macs, Androids and iOS devices. You can access Google Apps through any modern web browser, with additional benefits through running it on the Chrome browser.

HP is the latest manufacturer to enter the Chromebook business

Once institutions and business start to utilize Google Apps, inevitably, its IT Department can identify the segment of its users, who really dont need anything more than what Google Apps and Chrome apps. Google Documents, Presentations or Spreadsheets while not as feature packed as Microsoft Office, but the Google cloud based office will meet the needs of most users, while combining powerful tools like online collaboration. Powerful photo editing apps are also available.

Once it comes time to replace or upgrade hardware, users who are identified as needing only Google Apps can be issued low cost Chromebooks and Android tablets instead of more expensive hardware.  In this sense Google offers free or low cost software and services, with low cost hardware available, resulting in reduced IT overhead.

By making inroads in the education, in a matter of a year or two, you will have students joining the workforce who are trained in how to work with Google Apps. This would make Google Apps adoption in the workplace more feasible.

In a nutshell, Chrome, both the operating system and the web browser, are Google keys for world domination.
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Sunday, September 8, 2013

Apple iPhone 5 v Sony Xperia V Smart Communications

Smart Communications has brought us most interesting flagship phones these year. Starting with the Samsung Galaxy S III at the middle of the year, Smart followed up with the HTC One X, Nokia Lumia 900 and the Samsung Galaxy Note II.  In just a few days, Smart will be bring the long awaited Apple iPhone 5. A week after that the smart will bring the relatively unknown Sony Xperia V but which packs LTE connectivity. 

The Apple iPhone 5 will have its loyal adherents. For the die hard iPhone user, the specifications do not matter.

The Sony Xperia V on the other hand will have a harder time competing. The standard now for a Android flagship phones is a larger 4.7 to 5.3-inch display, and a quad core processor.

The Applie iPhone 5 runs iOS 6. The Sony Xperia V runs Android 4.0.4, Ice Cream Sansdwich. If you are a die hard iOS user, or set on Android, there is no point reading the rest of this post. If you are open to both, and are looking for a smaller handset continue reading.

Note on the operating system. iOS is the simplest to use. At the same time, it also has fewer features and options. All told, iOS 6 has change very little since 2007 with the most significant improvement coming in 2011, with an Android like notification system and Siri. As for Android 4.x, even if you already owned an Android on Gingerbread, it rather different, and has improved a lot in terms of visual appeal.

So lets move on to the head-to-heas shall we?

1. Display - 4 inch (640 x 1136) v. 4.3-inch (720 x 1280). The iPhone 5s display is the biggest display we have seen on a iPhone, but it has lost its appeal somewhat. Retina is really meaningless these days when nearly every flagship device has a "retina" display, which had been defined as 300 pixels per inch (ppi) or higher. Apple now labels devices which dont meet the 300 ppi as retina. These days having a ppi of over 300 is common and 4-inches is the standard display for a entry level smartphones. 

The display of the Sony Xperia V is also small by todays standards, with even budget Android sporting 4.3-inch displays. The Sony Xperia Vs 4.3-inch display sports a HD resolution with a sharper 342 ppi, which is higher than 326i ppi of the iPhone 5. The main weakness of Sonys Bravia powered displays is that they have poorer veiwiing angles.

Which one do I prefer? The Sony Xperia V has a larger sharper display. The iPhone 5 has better viewing angles. Each one has their own set of priorities, but since I view my smartphone head on, I will go with the larger sharper display.

Winner - Sony Xperia V

2. Storage 16/32/64 GB versus 8 GB + MicroSD card slot. The Apple iPhone 5 comes in three versions in terms of storage, a 16 GB model, a 32 GB model and a 64 GB model. The Sony Xperia V only comes with 8 GB of internal storage but it can be officially expanded to 40 GB, and while not officially supported can run with 64 GB MicroSD card for up to 80 GB of internal storage. It is much cheaper to get a big 64 GB SD card than to "upgrade" from a 16 GB iPhone 5 to a 64 GB iPhone 5.

Winner - Sony Xperia V

3. Camera. Both phones have excellent cameras, which is not a surprise since the sensors for both phones are made by Sony. The Apple iPhone 5 comes with an 8 MP camera, while the Sony Xperia V has a 13 MP camera. The higher megapixels does not translate to better image quality. Both are good, but using GSMArenas image compare tool, it does not look like either one is as good as the camera on the Samsung Galaxy S III.

The iPhone 5 will do a better job doing 1080 video on the primary camera, and its secondary camera can do 720 video. The Xperia Vs secondary camera only does VGA video. I will give this round to the iPhone 5.

Winner - Apple iPhone 5

4. Power - Dual-core A6 v. Dual Core Kraits. Quad core is the catchy phrase these days, but most quad core phones these days are based on the old ARM Cortex-A9 processor. The dual-core A6 or dual core Krait both use more advance technology so that these dual core offering can match the quad core phones found in the local market in terms of performance.

Both are built on modern technology, the A6 being built on the 32 nm process, and the Krait being built on the even more advance 28 nm process. Neither of these phones can catch the latests quad-core phones, with a quad-core Krait (Google Nexus 4, LG Optimus G and HTC Butterfly), but they are both fast enough to keep you happy for the next two years.

Winner - Draw

5. Size. The Apple iPhone 5 is all of 58.6 mm wide and just 7.6 mm thick, making it  comfortable fit on even the smallest hands. Apples square edge design is not the most ergonomic, but a good case should take care of that. The Sony Xperia V is in a different category altogether, being an armored Droid (more on that later). But the Xperia is wider and thicker, at 65 mm and 10.7 mm respectively.

Both are light, with the iPhone 5 weighing in a 112 grams, and the Xperia V weighing in at 120 grams.

Winner - Apple iPhone 5

6. Battery life. The Apple iPhone 5 has good battery life (see battery life comparison at this link).   I dont have a test for the Xperia V, and while it should be pretty good, once you turn on the LTE radio, it will not be as good as the iPhone 5. 

Winner - Apple iPhone 5

7. Radios. Both phones have LTE Radios but only the Sony Xperia V comes on a LTE Plan. This effectively makes the Sony Xperia V six times faster in LTE covered areas. 

Winner - Sony Xperia V

*Bonus features. The Sony Xperia V gets additional brownie points for being IP57 certified dust and water resistant. Useful when making phone calls in the rain.

*Deal Breakers? If you need Maps, the Apple iOS6 maps are pretty useless in the Philippines, and Nokia NEAR is not a good replacement. Google Maps for iOS should come out in a bit and solve the problem.  The Apple iPhone 5 still has a physical button, which is not the most durable button in the world.

So, which one do I recommend? If you are data centric, the Sony Xperia V is the better choice on the Smart network. It comes free at Plan 2000 and Plan 1500 with 2.5 GB and 1.5 GB of data (speed slows down after hitting the cap). All you apps that rely on internet connections will run faster in LTE covered areas. While that is limited to Metro Manila for now, since you are in for a two year contract, it makes sense to invest in the future rather than in the past. 

If you are call and text centered, Plan 2499 on the iPhone 5 would be better deal for you. This gives you a 32 GB iPhone for free, and comes with more minutes and SMS.

I wontt blame anyone who picks the Apple iPhone 5. It is the nicest iPhone ever. I just dont understand why it is not offered with an LTE Plan. But if I were getting one, I would get the Sony Xperia V. It can trade blows with the iPhone 5 in terms of specifications, but mainly my reason would be with Smart coming out with LTE plans, I have lost interest on anything without an LTE connection.

Unfortunately, Smart is no longer offering early retention, so I will have to wait for a six more months to get an LTE. So for you soon to be new LTE smartphone owners, I will enviously read your feedback.  

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Saturday, September 7, 2013

Samsung S5280 Galaxy Star

Samsung has released its latest low cost Android phone in the Philippines, the Samsung Galaxy Star. The new offering comes with Android 4.1.2, Jelly Bean. Other than that, everything about it feels real obsolete.

The Galaxy Star has a 3-inch, 240 x 320 display. A 3-inch display is really too small to do anything more than messaging and social networking on a smartphones. The 240 x 320 resolution is below Android original 320 x 480 specification, so can expect some apps to be incompatible. Behind the low resolution display is an unimpressive single core ARM Cortex A5 processor and 512 MB of RAM.  Looking at all the specifications, I really do not find anything which makes paying Php3,950 for a star. There are dozens of better phones at the 3-4K price range.

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