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Now aVaILaBLE:
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11
November 2016 voLUme 12, ISSUe 12
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Copyright © 2016, Hardware Zone Phils. Corp.
All rights reserved. No part of this magazine shall be reproduced in any form without the written consent from the publisher. Comments, opinions, and views of individual contributors
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H W M P H / N o v e m b e r 2 0 1 66
O C T O B E R 2 0 1 6
Ed’s NotE
H W M P H / N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 68
Comments about this issue? Suggestions? The HWM Team would love to hear from you!
Send us your thoughts at editor.ph@hwzcorp.com.
The HWM Team
We are setting you in a techie mood with another jam-packed issue of HWM Philippines!
Starting off with our back-to-back Shootout stories, we feature a fine selection of Android smartphones and on-ear wireless headphones that
we deem you will find useful in searching for either perfect travel buddies or staycation companions during the upcoming holiday season. In
our Cover story, we have celebrity Nadine Lustre sharing with us and talking about her heightened passion for photography with the help of
Sony’s latest interchangeable-lens cameras. In Spotlight, we focus on the some of the key products that defined the tech trends that stood out
this year at the concluded IFA 2016 in Berlin, Germany, one of which is the Lenovo Yoga Book which was recently launched locally. Speaking of
local launches, never miss checking out our Scene and Bulletin sections, and see the latest offerings from Cherry Mobile, CloudFone, Torque,
and Vivo. We have a lengthy parade of exciting devices in store for you from Gear to Test, featuring the Acer Liquid Jade Primo, ASUS Maximus
VIII Impact, Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, DJI Mavic Pro, Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1080 Turbo OC Edition, Google Pixel, GoPro Hero5 and Karma, HP Elite
X3, MSI X99A Tomahawk, Samsung Galaxy J7 Prime, Sony PlayStation 4 Slim, Sony RX10 III, and the WD My Passport Wireless Pro, just to name
a few. Join us as we take a deeper look at the state of the local startup ecosystem in Think and get relevant industry insights from Jason Lim of
Emerson Network Power and Benson Lin of ASUS in Q+A. To further excite you, head on to the Contest page and know how to win one of the
HoverHero hoverboards and Apricot 32GB OTG Flash Drives that we are giving way this month!
Sit back, relax, and get in the mood for some techie goodness with us!
SETTING THE MOOD
t h i n k
H W M P H | N o v e m b e r 2 0 1 6 t10
The Rise of
Robots
In response to the plummeting birth rates and the
growing number of childless women in Japan, Toyota
Motor Corporation introduced the Kirobo Mini, a palmsized robot designed to serve as a synthetic surrogate
baby companion. The Kirobo Mini features a subtle
wobbling motion, emulating the posture of a seated baby
who cannot balance itself and is vulnerable, intending to
stimulate emotional connection. The robot can also blink
its eyes and speak like a baby with a high-pitched voice.
Coming with a cradle that can fit in car cup holders,
the Kirobo Mini will sell at 39,800 yen (USD 392) next
year. The Kirobo Mini is a new update to the increasing
robotization phenomenon happening, not only in Japan,
but also in other parts of the globe. The World Economic
Forum is projecting that more than five million jobs will
be lost by 2020 due to this phenomenon.
Text by Lionell Go Macahilig
T H I N K
H W M P H | N o v e m b e r 2 0 1 6 t12
The sun is smiling down
on the Philippines’
startup ecosystem.
It is difficult to track back when
the rise of startups actually
began in the Philippines, but looking
at several definitions, there is a clear
consensus that the growth of startups
is typically associated with a dynamic
technologically driven landscape.
Looking back at our 2012 interview with
Joey Gurango, president of the Philippine
Software Industry Association (PSIA),
an industry veteran, and a startup
founder himself, he described that the
Philippines was behind countries like
the United States in terms of adoption
of technologies, for example, enterprise
resource planning (ERP) software suites.
The United States is far ahead of us
with the Silicon Valley being the cradle
of many successful startups which are
now the tech giants of today, namely
Apple and Microsoft. Eventually, the
Philippines was able to catch up with
the United States around 2005 and the
rate of adoption became faster. Gurango
predicted that by 2015, we would be
almost at par with the United States in terms of technological
adoption. It seems that his prediction is consistent with
the current state of affairs, now that we are in 2016. Today,
adoption of technologies is further hastened with the
State of the Startup
Nation Address
Source: www.techinasia.com
increased accessibility of the general public to mobile devices
such as smartphones and tablets, faster Internet connection,
social media, and the steady growth of the technologicallydriven industries like business process outsourcing (BPO).
h a r d w a r e z o n e . c o m . p h 13
Adding to the vibrant and
promising startup landscape in the
Philippines is the amount of support
coming from both the government
and the private sector. In 2015, the
Department of Information and
Communications Technology (DICT),
formerly known as the Department of
Science and Technology-Information
and Communications Technology Office
(DOST-ICTO), set up the roadmap
consisting of short- and long-term
strategies for the startup community in
the country. The government’s strategy
toward the local startup community is
further strengthened with the signing
of the 2015-2017 Philippine Export
Development Plan (PEDP) by President
Benigno Aquino III in February this
year. Seeing startups as models that will
spur entrepreneurship in the country,
the Department of Trade and Industry
(DTI) is working with organizations,
such as the IdeaSpace Foundation, one
of the country’s leading early stage
technology incubator and accelerator
backed by tycoon Manuel Pangilinan, in
growing the local startup community.
In August, the two entities jointly
launched QBO as a hub where startups
can connect and convene with various
academic institutions, startups,
investors, and stakeholders. Another
startup incubator firm, Kickstart
Ventures, Inc., is also backed by a telco
giant, Globe Telecom, a key competitor
of Pangilinan’s Smart Communications.
Support from individuals and
foreign entities are pouring in
as well. One serial entrepreneur and
investor, Joe Maristela, has invested
USD 1,000,000 in putting up Katalyst.ph
to serve as a platform that encourages
the emergence of more budding local
startups. “I believe the additional one
million US$ will go a long way out here
given the talent and strong spirit of
Filipino entrepreneurs. It will allow us
as well to get into several niches that we
have not considered investing in yet in
the past. These companies don’t need to
be in the tech businesses. I believe that
there are businesses that are non-tech
that can still have great impact, and
by that I mean startup businesses that
are ready and available to engage 90%
of the market within a year or two in
operation,” Maristela shared.
Impact Hub, another startup
incubator that originated from London,
recently collaborated with World Wide
Fund for Nature Philippines (WWFPhilippines) and Peace and Equity
Foundation (PEF), held a competition
where startup groups were encouraged
to come up with innovative sustainable
solutions in resolving today’s energy
problems.
However, with our country burdened
with several issues like heavy traffic,
primarily in Metro Manila, high poverty
incidence, and slow Internet connection,
many are saying that these factors can
hinder the healthy growth of startups
in the country. But optimists and
opportunists should see the other way
around, as these problems can serve as
driving forces to push the people behind
startups to come up with new effective
yet bankable ideas that will help in
resolving these pressing problems.
In line with this perspective,
Diane Eustaquio, Executive Director
at IdeaSpace Foundation, shared her
experiences with local startups and
provided an optimistic view. “There are
a lot of hyper-local solutions coming
up. For the past four years of running
the IdeaSpace startup competition, we
are seeing more on-demand services,
shared economy apps, solutions
addressing inefficiencies experienced by
an emerging economy, fintech, edtech,
and logistics, among many others,”
Eustaquio said.
The concept of startup is a new
thing to the general public, but it will
only make sense to the man on the
street if solutions presented are meant
to address real problems and not just
designed to generate profit. As the
famous adage goes, “Necessity is the
mother of invention.”
H W M P H | N o v e m b e r 2 0 1 614
S C E N E
To Infinity and Beyond
Serving as a clear testament of the company’s concrete initiative to maintain
the lead in the local mobile device landscape and hit the five million sales
milestone for the Flare series by the end of 2016, Cherry mobile has unveiled the
latest additions to the new Flare lineup, topbilled by the Flare Infinity. The five
other new smartphone models include the Flare 5, Flare S5, Flare S5 Power, Flare
X2, and the Flare S5 Plus, all powered by an octa-core processor and Android 6.0 marshmallow oS.
As what its moniker suggests, the Flare Infinity’s main feature is its borderless 5.5-inch Full HD LTPS display dubbed as the Infinity
View. As a flagship model, it will sell at PhP 12,999. The least expensive among the pack, the Flare 5 features a 5-inch Super AMOLED
HD display with 16MP PDAF main camera for only PhP 5,499. If you have a few more hundred pesos to shell out, the Flare S5 gives
you additional fingerprint sensor security and USB Type-C connectivity for only PhP 5,699. Going big in terms of stamina, the Flare S5
Power comes with a 6050MmAh battery pack and a larger 5.5-inch Full HD LTPS display for a retail price of PhP 7,999. Selling at the
same price point, the sleekest among the group, the Flare X2 is clad in dual Dragontail glass panels for aesthetics and protection, and
comes with 4GB RAM and 32GB built0-in storage. The last but not the least, the Flare S5 Plus, which can be considered as the Flare
S5’s big brother, features a 5.5-inch Full HD IPS display and 32GB onboard storage for PhP 8,999.
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Initially introduced at IFA 2016,
Lenovo Philippines has introduced
the company’s newest gem, the Yoga
Book, priced at PhP 28,999. Designed
to unleash digital creativity, the Yoga
Book sports a 10.1-inch FHD IPS display
with 1920 x 1200 resolution and is
partnered with the Halo Keyboard
and the real Pen. Featuring Wacom
technology, the Halo Keyboard which
turns to a Create Pad when turned off
can be used like a canvass in which
users can write notes and sketch
images using the real Pen.
Digital Creativity
Express Yourself
New Player
Promate technologies, a multiawarded Dubai-based digital lifestyle
accessory brand, has introduced its
latest lifestyle technology accessories
ranging from projectors to sound
solutions, digital fashion accessories,
wearable tech, photography
peripherals, car hi-tech accessories,
and device protection. Among these
are the Provolta-21 powerbank, Groove
speaker, Monopro selfie monopod,
MacHub-12 hi-speed USB hub, and
bluClass-2 wireless multipoint headset.
H W M P H | N o v e m b e r 2 0 1 616
Created to “light up your selfies,”
vivo has unveiled a new name in its
smartphone line, the vivo Y55. With
an 8MP main camera, the Y55 can
take photos and scale it up to 32MP in
Ultra HD mode, while its front-facing
camera snaps photos at 5mP, assisted
with its Smart Screen Flash technology.
The Y55 is also Vivo’s first smartphone
to come with the new version of
Funtouch oS 2.6, based on Android 6.0
marshmallow. the Y55 is now available
through vivo Concept Stores and other
retailers for PhP 7,990.
S C E N E
As what the slogan “the Creative
Life” says, TCL continues to inspire
and give color, not only to the life of
its employees and stakeholders, but
more importantly of its consumers, as
it celebrates its 35th anniversary. With
the company’s dedication in investing
in research and development and
providing televisions that give users
superior quality and immersive viewing
experience at affordable price points,
TCL is now enjoying the number 3
position in the local market with over
12.1% market share.
35 Fruitful Years
Next is Now
CloudFone officially announced
the availability of its latest Next
smartphone for PhP 9,999. Powered by
a 1.4GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 430
octa-core processor with 4GB RAM and
32GB internal storage, the Next comes
with 3000mAh battery equipped with
Quick Charge 3.0 technology, allowing
users to fully recharge the device in
as short as 40 minutes. Adding to its
interesting features are a 16mP f/2.0
Samsung S5K3P3 ISOCELL sensor
w/ PDAF and an 8MP f/2.4 Samsung
S5K4H8 sensor with wide angle lens.
The Comeback
h a r d w a r e z o n e . c o m . p h 17
After almost two years of being away
from the limelight, torque mobile has
found its way back into the tech scene
with its new EGO series Boost Edition
smartphones and tablets. torque
considers the unveiling of the EGO
series boost edition as merely the
first part of its brand new campaign.
The new lineup offers a wide range of
devices with prices starting from
PhP 999 to PhP 3,499. Torque also
introduced Filipina celebrity elisse
Joson as its new brand ambassadress.
H W M P H | N o v e m b e r 2 0 1 6
B u l l E T I N
UNpArAlleled detAil
TCL brings state-of-the-art LCD display technologies to IFA 2016
Wireless CoNNeCtivity
Neo-Tech Asia, Cambium Networks launch new cloud-managed Wi-Fi solutions
Cambium Networks, in partnership with
Neo-Tech Asia Distribution Inc., launched its
newest line of cloud-managed wireless access points, consisting
of the cnPilot E400, E500, R200, and R201, and the ePMP 1000.
The new cnPilot E400 indoor access point is designed for
both the enterprise and distributed enterprise networks,
offering a scalable, secure, and reliable WLAN with IEEE
802.11ac support. It allows cloud management, which is backed
by Cambium’s cnMaestro cloud manager, with out-of-the-box
zero touch onboarding, stateful alarms, dashboard views, and
multiple management options. It also supports WPA2 and
WPA2-PSK authentication for network security.
The cnPilot E500, on the other hand, is an IEEE 802.11ac
Gigabit outdoor access point built for enterprise campuses,
public Wi-Fi, hospitality, educational institutions, industrial
campuses, and any demanding outdoor environments. It has a
UV-rated IP67 enclosure with an operating temperature of 30°
to 60° Celsius and an electrical heater for cold start. It also has
a rugged electrical surge and ESD protection circuitry. The E500
supports a maximum of 256 concurrent client associations,
with up to 16 SSIDs, WPA-2 encryption, Dynamic VLANs, DFS
channels, access control lists, and more.
Extending service providers’ indoor reach and streamlining
components for a simplified indoor network, Cambium also
introduced the cnPilot Home & Business R200 and R201. These
multi-function WLAN access points offer remote visibility and
end-to-end troubleshooting with multiple SSID and Service
Provider (community) SSID features at reasonable price points.
Both access points are single-band 2.4GHz 802.11n indoor
WLAN routers that can connect up to four LAN ports, two phone
ports, and 64 wireless devices.
the last but not the least, Cambium also added to the
line the ePMP 1000 Hotspot, targeted for government, utility,
and other deployments that need to scale over time. It offers
cloud management, end-to-end trouble shooting, and network
monetization. It can be integrated with third party external
guest access solutions and even serve as onboard guest portals.
Learn more about Neo-Tech Asia at www.neotechasia.com.
TCL Corporation, a leading manufacturer of
consumer electronics and provider of Internet
application services, exhibited its 8K UHD Curved
tv and a full range of other latest tvs and technologies at the 56th
Internationale Funkausstellung (IFA) in Berlin, Germany.
TCL brought a lineup of its latest LCD TVs, including the new
flagship Xclusive X1 QUHD TV and the TCL Cityline Series, to cater
to the diversified demands of customers. One of the offerings, the
65-inch 8K UHD Curved TV features a panel manufactured by China
Star Optoelectronics Technology (CSOT) that offers eight times the
pixel count of Full HD resolution. It also has active 3D function.
TCL demonstrated its efforts to gain a foothold in the high-end
TV segment. Commenting on TCL’s overseas strategy, Tomson
Li, Charman and CEO of TCL Corporation said, “We have been
investing heavily in innovation to create better tv products. We
believe innovation will be rewarding. It will bring us to a new
horizon and our users a better experience.”
IFA 2016 comes at a special time for TCL as this year marks the
35th anniversary of the corporation, transforming from a local joint
venture into a global giant in the home appliances segment. the
company came in 3rd and 5th in the world ranking of LCD TV and
mobile phone markets respectively. TCL is also enjoying its status
as one of the top 10 largest tablet manufacturers today.
At IFA 2016, the TCL group was awarded with the 2016 IFA
Product technical Innovation award.
To learn more about TCL, visit www.tclphilippines.com.
18
h a r d w a r e z o n e . c o m . p h
HoUsiNg for All
Lamudi to hold largest housing event
Lamudi Philippines is set to hold the largest housing
event in the country, the Lamudi Housing Fair, which will
feature a wide selection of properties and offer exclusive discounts to home
buyers and property investors from November 18 to 20, 2016.
With more than 5,000 expected attendees, the Lamudi Housing Fair will be
held at the Megatrade Hall 3 in SM Megamall.
Aside from showcasing various real estate projects and home-buying
discounts, the Lamudi group will also facilitate investment and home buying
seminars, foreclosure property auction, and demonstration of virtual reality
that is the most modern technology application now in real estate. It will also
be a venue to learn the latest trends in the industry to help both real estate
sellers and buyers.
Attendees should get ready for fun games and activities during the event.
Also, the first 100 attendees to register at the Lamudi Housing Fair Booth can
look forward to winning exciting prizes.
Want to learn more? Check out Lamudi’s website at www.lamudi.com.ph.
A deCAde of serviCe
Kimstore celebrates its 10th anniversary
19
Anticipating the number of connected devices to reach 50
billion by 2020 and the proliferation of artificial intelligence
and robotics in various fields, Yoshikuni Takashige, Fujitsu
Limited’s Vice President and Head of Marketing Strategy, gave a rundown of
the company’s plans in driving digital change, enabling digital business, and
creating a digital future with human-centric innovation.
Fujitsu’s approach in driving digital transformation includes people,
information, and infrastructure. Fujitsu aims to enable digital business with
its metaArc platform which helps businesses digitalize and achieve fast It
and robust IT. Takashige also mentioned of an Intelligent Dashboard that
supports the overall optimization of factories, where an operator interacts
with a computer, allowing smart factory management.
the company envisions a digital future where people are at the center of
everything. According to his presentation, “empowered with digital, people
will have the full potential to achieve breakthroughs previously unthinkable.”
Learn more about Fujitsu’s innovations at www.fujitsu.com/ph.
digitAl CHANge
Fujitsu fosters human-centric innovation
stroNger BoNds
Fuji Xerox PH partners with SBMCI
Fuji Xerox
Philippines Printer
Channel (FXPC) recently inked a distribution
agreement with Solid business machines Center,
Incorporated (SbmCI). With SbmCI’s reputation of
being the leading office and banking equipment
distributor in the Philippines, FXPC is very positive
to have a stronger foothold on the Philippine
market.
the partnership is a start of another
nationwide distribution through SbmCI which
will further boost a stronger presence of the
brand in the country. the distribution agreement
between FXPC and SbmCI started on August of
2016. Present at the signing of the partnership
agreement between FXPC and SbmCI were FXPC
Senior Sales Supervisor tessa raymundo, SbmCI
Executive VP Franklin Lee, SBMCI Owner and
President Nelson Lee, FXPC Country General
Manager Junar Regullano, FXPC Sales General
Manager Ken Kozak, SBMCI Consultant Bert
Cortez, and SBMCI Dealers Sales Head Anthony
reganot.
Know more about Fuji Xerox’s products at
www.fujixerox.com.ph and equipment offered
by SbmCI at www.solidmac.com.ph.
Kimstore, the country’s premier source for brand new,
authentic, and best-priced gadgets, is celebrating its
10th anniversary this November with its website re-launch and month-long
promo. Established in 2006, Kimstore started as an online shop selling
cameras on the now defunct social media platofrm, Multiply. Leading its
success is Kim Lato, the 28 year-old CEO and founder who have built the
business from the ground-up through a mix of passion, hard work, and
social media. Kimstore kicks off its 10th year by re-launching their website
and giving their customers the option to book a pick-up at any of Kimstore’s
affiliate stores in the metro. “With Kimstore’s pick-up option, you don’t have
to wait two to three days to get your item. You can pick-up your new gadget
within 24 hours of placing your order and you can actually check your order
before paying for it,” Lato shares. Kimstore also offers Cash-On-Delivery
for customers outside of metro manila. visit www.kimstore.com for more
information on their online promos and events this November.
PIC
TU
RE M
esse Ber
lin
H W M P H / N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 620
S p o T l I g H T
What
does
innovation
even
mean
anymore?
IFA Berlin, or Internationale Funkausstellung Berlin,
is one of the oldest industrial exhibitions in Germany,
and every year companies from around the world sign
up to show off their latest products and innovations.
But what exactly does an overused word like
“innovation” signify today?
Text by Koh Wanzi and Marcus Wong Art Direction by Ken Koh
h a r d w a r e z o n e . c o m . p h 21
H W M P H / N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 6 22
“everyone just wanted to
be seen as a pioneer and
innovator. it was really all
very impressive, except that
we’d already seen a lot of it
before.”
PIC
TU
RES M
esse Ber
lin
, len
o v o Are there any more
surprises?
IFA, Europe’s largest
consumer electronics trade
show, just wrapped up
last month. On the show
floor, we were treated to an
endless parade of the latest
shiny gadgets and devices,
including everything from
smart fridges with 29-inch
Windows 10 tablets on their
doors to freakishly thin
ultrabooks.
And then there were the
booths themselves, which
were clearly designed to
dazzle and impress. LG
even created an OLED
tunnel where visitors
were treated to all sorts of
wondrous vistas, including
gracefully undulating
humpback whales and
stunning views of space.
It was, in a word, quite
magical.
But the common thread
tying all these disparate
products and exhibits
together was the same
underlying motivation.
Whether it was being the
first to put quantum dot
technology in a gaming
monitor or create the first
ever gaming notebook
with a curved screen didn’t
quite matter. Everyone
just wanted to be seen as
a pioneer and innovator.
It was really all very
impressive, except that
we’d already seen a lot of it
before. Granted, everything
at the show had technically
come fresh out of the
oven, but it’s easy to say
that there were few truly
revolutionary things.
Or were there? Given
the ubiquity of laptops,
smartphones, and myriad
other gadgets, it’s probably
a risky move to make
bold changes to a familiar
form factor. But working
within these limitations,
we’d argue that brands
have still managed to
bring something new to
the table, and we haven’t
even accounted for rapid
progress in emerging
fields like virtual reality.
Sometimes, you don’t have
to break the entire mold to
have a claim to innovation.
Redefining the tablet PC
The star of the show
was undoubtedly the
Lenovo Yoga Book, a lithe
S p o T l I g H T
h a r d w a r e z o n e . c o m . p h 23
convertible notebook that
doubles as a tablet. The
word “innovation” has
been repeated ad nauseum
at shows like these, to the
point that it often elicits
little more than an eye roll
or shrug, but the Yoga Book
may actually be deserving
of its true meaning.
Lenovo spent three
years developing the
Yoga Book, compared to
a regular nine-month
product development
cycle. It was conceived as
a productivity device right
from the outset, and aimed
to capitalize on the growing
prevalence of smartphones.
Phones have become a big
part of how people work
today, and the Yoga Book
brings a similar touchbased interface to the
laptop, effectively melding
phone, tablet, and PC.
Gone is the physical
keyboard. In its place, a
touch-based Halo keyboard
that can learn your typing
style, adapt to it, and
supposedly help you type
more accurately. Of course,
you aren’t going to be a
whiz typist when you start
out, but as the keyboard
learns, it will adjust the
virtual active area around
each key. This means that
you can be less precise
with your typing, and still
activate the key you want
even if you don’t land right
on it.
There’s also predictive
text input just like on
a smartphone or tablet
keyboard, making the
experience even more
familiar for users.
Pen, paper, and stylus
More intriguingly, it comes
with a stylus, which uses
passive electromagnetic
resonance (EMR)
technology that brings
note-taking to the next
level. As a nod to how much
of our work and personal
lives are conducted in
digital spaces today,
the stylus features two
different nibs meant for use
on real paper and the digital
notepad. The pen has hover
detection capabilities of up
to 10mm, so you can place a
notepad (as long as it’s less
than 10mm thick) on the
typing area, write in real
ink using the stylus, and
have it automatically
H W M P H / N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 6 24
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cer
, len
o v o digitized and saved on the
Yoga Book.
The best part of it is how
elegant the entire thing
is. It is only 9.6mm at its
thickest, and feels almost a
book in hand, which goes a
long way toward explaining
Lenovo’s choice of name.
And unless activated,
the Halo keyboard is an
otherwise unimposing black
slate, and the device boasts
an exquisite simplicity of
design that belies its rich
functionality.
As far as innovative
designs go, the Yoga Book
is right up there with the
best of them. Maybe it
won’t turn out to be a hit.
Maybe people will hate
that it doesn’t actually
have a keyboard. But it’s
nevertheless shown us that
established form factors
are far from set in stone,
and even now, that there’s
still plenty of room to shake
things up.
Make everything slimmer
and curvier
But if you can’t invent
some new way to use your
notebook, maybe you can
just make it slimmer. Or
curvier. Or just pack a
whole lot of bleeding-edge
hardware into it.
Acer debuted the Swift
7 in the run-up to IFA, a
9.98mm thick notebook
that wrested the title of
world’s thinnest notebook
away from the HP Spectre.
This is the first notebook
to go under the centimeter
mark, and it’s quite the
beauty with its black-andgold metal chassis.
And just when we
thought that gaming
laptops couldn’t get any
crazier than the ASUS ROG
GX800 with its liquidcooling dock, Acer came
up with the Predator 21 X,
a 21-inch notebook with a
curved display. 21-inches
is the sort of size you’d
expect from a desktop
display, and not a laptop,
but that’s exactly what
Acer packed onto its new
an old design coMes to life
Back in 2009, Gizmodo first ran a story on the
Courier, a dual-touchscreen device that also used
a stylus and touch-based input. the Courier would
have been hinged like a book, and feature two
7-inch screens, not unlike certain early prototypes
of the Yoga book.
back then at microsoft, the Courier was
actually one of two different approaches to tablet
computers. While Steven Sinofsky, the then-head of
microsoft’s Windows division, envisioned a tabletfriendly version of Windows, the Courier actually
ran a modified version of Microsoft’s flagship
operating system. this meant that the Courier
wouldn’t even run microsoft outlook, as the team
behind it thought of the Courier as a complement
to PCs instead of a substitute. eventually, this was
what brought about the demise of the Courier
project, because it didn’t properly match up with
Microsoft’s Windows and Office franchises.
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“And just when we thought
that gaming laptops couldn’t
get any crazier than the AsUs
rog gX800 with its liquidcooling dock, Acer came up with
the predator 21 X, a 21-inch
notebook with a curved display.”
with larger screen
sizes, and both are
great fodder for
spec sheets and
claims of novel new
experiences.
gaming notebook.
Speaking of curves,
Samsung and LG also
announced new curved
gaming monitors.
The way it looks, if a
feature isn’t common,
manufacturers will seize
on it to be considered
different, perhaps to the
point where it becomes
mainstream. Nevermind
that it’s still an open
question as to whether
curved screens truly
provide better immersion.
Curved screens work well
H W M P H / N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 6 26
1. With Vestel’s VR, a drop of a few metres felt like several
hundred feet.
2. VR gaming in the traditional sense at the Medion booth.
3. Gaming with the XMG walker backpack allows for full
movement.
4. VR allows you to really pilot a Mojo drone.
5. Fancy bungee jumping into a volcano? Samsung’s Gear VR
makes it possible.
“the number of
exhibitors showing
off virtual reality or
Augmented reality
products at ifA has
grown from three last
year to close to 35
this year, reflecting an
exponential growth in
the sector.”
1
2
5
The race for immersion
What has curved screens,
touch and styluses have
in common? They’re all
digital technologies trying
to replicate the analog so
it feels natural to our sight
and touch. And perhaps
the biggest proponent for
immersive experiences
has to be virtual reality.
The number of exhibitors
showing off Virtual Reality
(VR) or Augmented Reality
(AR) products at IFA has
grown from three last year
to close to 35 this year,
reflecting an exponential
growth in the sector.
According to Mark
Papermaster, (Chief
Technology Officer, AMD),
we are just starting to see
a confluence of enablement
for Virtual Reality (VR) or
Augmented Reality (AR)
that will see these products
really start to hit the
mainstream.
Devices are now
connected with good
capabilities for voice
and gesture interaction,
while computing and
visualization capabilities
are getting better so 3D
imagery is less easily
distinguishable from actual
footage.
VR for entertainment
Some of the biggest draws
we saw at IFA involved
VR set-ups that gave you
a chance to experience
hell-raising rides. From
kayaking down rapids to
bungee jumping into a
volcano, participants got
thrown into completely
new worlds by donning
VR goggles and strapping
themselves into seats (or
harnesses) that physically
moved them.
The combination of mind
and body engagement
absolutely heightened the
sense of realism conveyed;
yet this isn’t new. We’ve
all seen virtual reality rides
in some form or another at
amusement parks at some
point or another. What
is new, is how much less
space is needed for these
rides, and how much more
realistic the visuals shown
through the headsets are.
And that’s largely due to
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4
the improved computing
hardware that we are now
able to cram into these sets.
The more frames shown
to you per second, the
more seamless the visual
experience. With companies
like XMG finding ways
to put all the computing
hardware into a backpack
you carry with you, your
range of motion – and
hence the span of the
virtual world created is no
longer limited to the length
of the cable.
From the virtual world to
the real one
And it’s not only for
games. More effort is also
being put into capturing
audio specifically for VR,
with new 360o-capture
microphones coming
out from companies like
Sennheiser. The advent of
360o cameras means that
actual live footage is also
increasingly being used to
improve the experience for
the viewer.
Companies are also
moving away from the
notion of just using
created graphics for VR
experiences. For example,
Mota’s new JetJat drone
has a camera with live
streaming capabilities that
can be fed real-time into a
VR headset, letting you see
what the drone sees; a true
piloting experience indeed.
360o footage is
increasingly being
shown off as a means
to which viewers can
literally experience a
place for themselves and
broadcasters like
H W M P H / N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 6 28
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Deutsche TV-Plattform
are already starting to
experiment with these
technologies with their
regular footage. At IFA
2016, viewers were given
the experience of being in
a television studio while a
live broadcast was going
on.
Mixed realities
Meanwhile, native VR
content is also growing
exponentially. In his
keynote, George Bloom
(Executive Producer, CBS
Digital) was talking about
applying a new approach
to storytelling. Instead of
taking you through a movie
from the perspective of the
director, he wants to make
films that allow you to
choose which viewpoint to
watch the film from.
According to him, film
locations can be recorded
using laser scans and
then constructed into 3D
models that you can then
potentially explore from
the viewpoint of the hero or
the villain by strapping on
a VR headset. It’s certainly
an interesting concept, but
one that could require an
entirely new set of visual
storytelling techniques.
Nonny de la Peña (CEO,
Emblematic Group) on the
other hand, talked about
projects she’s working on
that combine virtual reality
with classic journalism. By
using VR to recreate scenes
that her team has seen first
hand, she places viewers
into anything from a crime
scene to a battlefield. By
tapping on what she calls
a “duality of presence,”
she hopes to evoke a sense
of empathy in people,
educating them about
causes that matter.
The smallest things can
lead to a revolution
We’d like to think that
trade shows like IFA are
replete with cutting-edge
stuff that represent huge
leaps in technology. But as
far as consumer technology
goes, exponential jumps
are few and far between.
Instead, we’ve settled
into a cycle of steady,
iterative upgrades. Is this
year’s model better than
S p o T l I g H T
h a r d w a r e z o n e . c o m . p h 29
“We’ve settled into a
cycle of steady, iterative
upgrades. is this year’s
model better than the last?
sure. And you can probably
expect the following year’s
version to be even better.”
6. The Emblematic Group uses a modified VR helmet to
improve the VR experience.
7. Project Syria is just one of the experiences you can find
at the Emblematic Group’s webpage.
(emblematicgroup.squarespace.com)
6
the last? Sure. And you
can probably expect the
following year’s version to
be even better.
It’s not every day that
something like the Yoga
Book happens, but it
would also be too hasty to
write off improvements
like slimmer and lighter
designs, faster processors,
and yes, even 21-inch
notebooks.
Take the new ASUS
ZenWatch 3 and Samsung
Gear S3 as examples.
Some have criticized the
ZenWatch 3 as just another
marginally better iteration
on boring Android Wear,
but it’s also ASUS’ bestlooking smartwatch to
date and its most capable.
Similarly, the Tizen-based
Gear S3 is really just a more
powerful and feature-rich
Gear S2, but there are key
upgrades like an always-on
display and IP68 rating.
There’s still a lot to be
improved on – they’re
still fairly chunky and big
for instance – but these
watches represent a step in
the right direction in terms
of usability. Though we’re
not yet at the point where
smartwatches are a musthave, we could be getting
there sooner rather than
later.
This is the case as well
in an emerging field like
virtual reality. It’s still
more hype than actual
utility, but it’s only a
matter of time before
the aggressive pushes
to improve the overall
experience produces truly
compelling applications
and use cases.
Consumer technology
advances mostly by way
of gradual, cumulative
refinements, and it is this
accretion of features and
experiential improvements
that matters the most.
H W M P H | N o v e m b e r 2 0 1 630
jAsoN lim,
CoUNtry mANAger,
emersoN NetWork
poWer pHilippiNes
With the BPO segment remaining as a
key driver in our country’s growth, how
does your company address its needs?
We recognize new and emerging challenges
faced by the bPo industry when it comes
to enabling their critical infrastructure:
power quality; business continuity and
resiliency; and scalability and growth.
our power, thermal, and infrastructure
management solutions such as the Liebert
APM UPS give them the flexibility they
require to scale up or down on their power
requirements. Meanwhile, our Liebert PEX
thermal management system provides high
efficiency cooling specific to the needs of
their critical infrastructure.
How does your company address
the demands of other key industries
such as banking, manufacturing, and
telecommunications?
our company prides itself of working
closely with our customers to understand
their specific demands. Among the key
solutions we’re offering include our
Converged Infrastructure systems, which
combine power, thermal, and infrastructure
management in a rack or row-based
system such as the SmartCabinet and
Smartrow. these converged infrastructure
systems are ideal for both Smes and
mid-sized enterprises. We also provide
critical infrastructure solutions for non-It
applications such as the oil and gas, mining,
and transportation industries.
What are some of the disruptive
technologies that you are looking at as
trendsetters in the near future and how
does your company respond to these?
In line with the rise of digital platforms
such as ride-sharing and crowd sourced
transportation services, and fintech and
healthcare startups, telcos are ramping
up to deliver the fastest Internet service to
their customers. our company is working
with several companies in providing them
with our state-of-the-art integrated modular
solutions tailored to their requirements,
allowing them to take advantage of the
speed and economy of modular design and
pre-fabrication. this results in an integrated
facility that can be deployed faster and
at lower cost than a similar facility using
traditional construction practices.
Q + A
h a r d w a r e z o n e . c o m . p h 31
BeNsoN liN,
CorporAte viCe
presideNt, AsUs
All previous ZenFones have been entry
or midrange offerings. The ZenFone 3
Deluxe will be the first high-end flagship
ZenFone. Why the change in strategy?
ASUS first tried to break into the high-end
market with our innovative PadFone series,
and from then, we’ve come to realize the
potential opportunity of ‘empowering
luxury for everyone;’ thus the creation
of the ZenFone line. Due to certain
manufacturing costs and economies of
scale, it’s taken us a while to be prepared
to target the high-end market, but after
establishing our position in the market with
the ZenFone 1 and 2, with over 30 million
devices sold worldwide, we believe that the
ZenFone 3 Deluxe can penetrate the highend market. From the start, it has always
been our goal to enter the high-end market
and deliver incredible experiences.
The high-end market is dominated
by Apple and Samsung. While other
manufacturers are pulling out of this
space, what makes you think you can
compete with them?
What makes ASUS different from other
manufacturers is differentiation. We strive
to be innovative with leading technology,
which is why the ZenFone 3 Deluxe
debuts several meaningful world firsts. It
has an invisible antenna design, the first
Snapdragon 821 processor and the first
Sony IMX318 camera sensor.
Are better specs enough though?
Samsung and Apple have a lot of
brand loyalty. How will you convince
consumers to switch to ASUS?
the high-end mobile market is a bit like the
auto mobile business. bmW and mercedes
are the brands that everyone wants, but
Lexus makes very good cars with similar,
or even better performance, at a much
cheaper price. ASUS is like Lexus. We can
offer high performance specs and great
features, but also great value.
If you want similar features from a
competitor, you have to pay a lot more.
It’s true that it’s hard to convince loyal
Samsung and Apple customers to switch,
but we hope that the ASUS brand name,
and our fans familiar with our high-end
computer components and Zenbook
laptops will convince power users that this
is the phone for them.
DENoN DP-300F
Indulge yourself with nostalgia
while listening to your favorite
vinyl music through the Denon
DP-300F. Powered by a DC servo
motor and belt drive system with
rotation speeds of up to 33 1/3
or 45rpm, the DP-300F has an
automatic startup feature that
allows the turntable to play your
favorite tunes with just a push of
a button. With an mm cartridge,
users can play their analog record
collection by connecting the
DP-300F to a home Hi-Fi system.
32
g E A R
H W M P H | N o v e m b e r 2 0 1 6
PIoNEEr avIC-F7300
aND avIC-F7302
Pioneer’s AVIC-F7300 and AVIC-F7302
come with a high-resolution display with
multi-touch feature, partnered with
upgradeable 5.1-channel Dolby Digital
Decoder for a more realistic, surround
sound; the latest version of Papago
professional GPS navigator with 3D map,
junction, and split views; and bluetooth
connectivity that is essential in
hands-free calling and music streaming
– all of these goodness wrapped up in
these sophisticated in-car Av receivers
for convenient entertainment and
navigation while on the road.
33h a r d w a r e z o n e . c o m . p h
HaWK MoDErN
TravELEr
Designed for techy travelers, the Hawk
modern traveler is equipped with a
unique cushioning and shock-absorbing
system, allowing optimal ventilation
and weight distribution. ensuring travel
convenience, it has built-in interior
compartments that’ll keep your wires,
cables , and accessories untangled, and
a main compartment made with extra
padding to protect your gadgets.
H W M P H | N o v e m b e r 2 0 1 634
g E A R
THULE
PErSPEKTIv
DaYPaCK
An ideal outdoor companion,
Thule’s Perspektiv Daypack
comes with a removable
Safezone pod system for
camera that provides advanced
protection for fragile gear and
modular option that easily fits
into a hotel safe. The Daypack
also features Cloudburst
construction for unparalleled
protection against harsh
weather elements.
35
H W M P H | N o v e m b e r 2 0 1 6
3. Sony PlayStation 4 Slim
SlimmER anD BEttER
Priced at PhP 17,300, this iteration of the
popular Sony PlayStation 4 gaming console is
slimmer and lighter than the original, with an
internal architecture revamped to reduce its
volume by 30% and its weight by 25%. https://
asia.playstation.com/ph
4. ShaRP PlaSmacluStER aiR
PuRifiER with moSquito catchER
full houSE PRotEction
Featuring a mosquito catcher and Sharp’s
Plasmacluster technology that eliminates molds,
odors, and airborne bacteria, this air purifier
is an effective, safe, and chemical-free way to
ensure 24/7 family protection. https://sharp.ph
5. DJi mavic PRo
takE flight
the mavic Pro is a small yet powerful drone
that lets you capture beautiful sceneries
wherever you go. With 24 high-performance
computing cores and ocuSync transmission
system, it can hover precisely indoors or in
places without GPS. www.dji.com
1. gigaBytE gEfoRcE gtX 1080
tuRBo oc EDition
uP thE clock SPEEDS
Equipped with Gigabyte’s Turbo Fan cooling system,
this behemoth delivers 8% more cooling capacity than
NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition. Thus,
this graphics card comes with boost Clocks of up to
1797MHz when OC mode is activated. www.gigabyte.ph
2. googlE PiXEl
RaiSing thE BaR
Creating a buzz in the tech world, the Google Pixel runs
on the latest Android 7.1 Nougat OS. Packed with a
2770mAh battery for the 5-inch variant and 3450mAh
for the 5.5-inch, the Pixel features a fast-charging
technology, providing up to seven hours of juice from
a 15-minute charge. https://madeby.google.com
36
g E A R
1
2
3
4
5
8. Platinum kaRaokE alPha mic
foR youR Singing PRowESS
As phenomenal as the AlDub duo, the Platinum
Karaoke Alpha Mic is the first-ever karaoke unit
that can be recharged through a powerbank or
a USB port. With over 17,000 songs, users can
also store and watch movies through its 24GB
multimedia console. www.platinumkaraoke.ph
9. canon EoS 5D maRk iv
StEllaR PERfoRmancE
A first in Canon’s range of cameras, the
highly-anticipated EOS 5D Mark IV is equipped
with Dual Pixel RAW, an essential feature for
precise image adjustments, and enables users
to shoot 4K movies at a frame rate of 30fps. It
sells for PhP 170,998. www.canon.com.ph
10. SamSung galaXy J7 PRimE
function anD StylE
The Galaxy J7 Prime boasts a 5.5-inch Full HD
display, 13MP main camera, and 8MP frontfacing camera with F1.9 lenses, making this
handset ideal in making low-light shots. It has
16GB onboard storage and can support up to
256GB via microSD. www.samsung.com/ph
6. hP ElitE X3
Back in thE gamE
The HP Elite X3 is a Windows 10 smartphone that
aims to replace your smartphone, laptop, and
desktop. Powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820
processor coupled with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of
internal storage, it ’s a desktop system that fits right
in your palms. http://www8.hp.com/ph
7. go PRo kaRma
caPtuRE REal action
Spice up your action-packed adventures, even in the
air, with the GoPro Karma drone. Compatible with
the much-awaited HERO5 action camera, the Karma
drone fits in a compact case that you can wear as a
backpack, and can be handheld or mounted to your
favorite gear. https://gopro.com
37h a r d w a r e z o n e . c o m . p h
7
6
8
9
10
For more comprehensive takes on
the features and performance of
the products reviewed here, visit
HardwareZone.com.ph.
t H e A W A r d s
review scores of
8/8.5 are awarded the
Silver Award. 9/9.5
get the Gold. ONLY a
perfect 10 wins our
Platinum Award.Best Performance Best Value9/9.5 8/8.510
Multi-testMulti-test
PERFORMANCE
lAB
resUlts
every month, behind the doors of our super secret gadget
testing facility, the latest tech products are put through
their paces using industry-recognized benchmarks and our own
blend of real-world usage scenarios. Here are our findings!
H W M P H | N o v e m b e r 2 0 1 638
T E S T
39h a r d w a r e z o n e . c o m . p h
AT A GLANCE
OS
Windows 10
diSPLAy
5.5-inch AMOLED
(1080 x 1920)
PROCESSOR
Qualcomm MSM8992
Snapdragon 808
(Hexa-core)
CAMERA
21mP, f/2.2 rear,
8MP, f/2.2 Front
CONNECTiViTy
USB Type-C, Dock
RAM
3GB
PRiCE
PhP 28,990
Although it presents itself as an
office smartphone, the Jade Primo
is geared with 21MP rear camera.
conclusion
the Acer liquid
Jade Primo
sports the best
body to offer
a Microsoft
os. improving
the os itself
would make
their office
smartphone
dominance
official.
7.5/10
T E S T E D & R A T E D
p H I L I p p I N E S
It’s been seven
months since we
docked a Windows phone
in our workshop and since
then, we’ve been hoping
to test more. this month,
we’re blessed to take on the
Acer Liquid Jade Primo with
Windows 10 running on it.
one of the most
interesting aspects of the Jade
Primo was its rectangular
box. This may be surprising to
some people, especially when
they have no idea that this
phone comes with a keyboard
and mouse for its ability to
transform into a PC once its
bundled dock gets plugged
into a monitor. Looking for
a pocket PC? Clearly this
phone belongs to the rare
kind in today’s world, focusing
more on productivity than
anything else. Nevertheless,
downplaying its other features
might not be a good idea.
of all the smartphones
that went through our
judgmental eyes, the Liquid
Jade Primo places itself at the
top of the chart of the clearest
screens ever. We highly praise
the colors, readibility of texts
and image quality produced
by the Jade Primo’s 5.5-inch
AMOLED screen.
Speaking of screen quality,
the Liquid Jade Primo lets us
choose between Light and
Dark themes, which helped
us overcome the tricky
brightness level of the device.
Let us also mention
that users who are fond of
modifying the user interface
of their phones would surely
enjoy the Jade Primo with an
option to select the theme’s
main colors.
Due to bug issues we
experienced from the
OS, the Liquid Jade Primo
reminded us of the previous
Windows phone in our lab,
the Microsoft Lumia 950 XL.
Just like its brother, this Acer
device suffers from syncing
issues when updated to the
latest version. Upon logging
in on our cloud and e-mail
accounts, the calendar synced
successfully, but none of
our contacts from the cloud
appeared. We had to re-sync
the accounts by deleting and
re-entering them before they
finally showed up.
Another obvious issue in
a Windows device is the app
availability. there were apps
in the Google Play Store and
ioS App Store that can’t be
found on the microsoft Store.
Although some of the major
social media and productivity
apps are present, we’re not
sure if it would catch up with
the latest updates.
Among the devices that we
have taken on in the past few
months, the Liquid Jade Primo
was fun to hold with its curved
design and light weight. being
light, however, means lighter
hardware installed, and this
brings up the consequences.
As for this matter, the Acer
Liquid Jade Primo loses
battery life faster than other
5.5-inch devices we’ve tested.
the removable back cover
also feels flimsy.
Acer liquid jade primo
Kangaroo Suit
by Patrick Alcantara
H W M P H | N o v e m b e r 2 0 1 640
T E S T
The y55’s 8MP camera can be
scaled up to 32MP with its built-in
UltraHd mode.
conclusion
the Vivo Y55
obviously
delivered. if
you’re looking
for a secondary
smartphone to
complement
your main
device, the Vivo
Y55 is a great
choice for a
sidekick.
8.0/10
T E S T E D & R A T E D
p H I L I p p I N E S
the most crucial thing
for a smartphone
company is learning how
to reach out to all kinds of
consumers. It has become a
staple move of a company
to touch every layer of the
consumer’s hierarchy or price
range. vivo shows they know
how to do it by introducing an
entry-level smartphone, the
vivo Y55.
Some might disagree,
but a phone’s price range
doesn’t define quality. The
user experience should never
be judged through what price
range does his phone belongs.
In this case, vivo just provided
a relatively inexpensive
smartphone that can offer
us an experience better than
those in the “higher” range.
Let’s start off with the
Y55’s design. most people
would disregard their phone’s
affordable tag as long as it
doesn’t look like it. the Y55’s
removable back cover misses
the weight and fingerprint
sensos of Vivo’s flagship V3
Max, but the elegance and
sharpness of the design are
still there. For us, the simply
embedded “Vivo” logo at the
rose gold-painted rear surface
makes it standout compared
to its competitors with overly
designed back covers.
In the box, the phone is
accompanied by a warranty
card, a rubber case, charger,
and earphones. Don’t expect
too much, though, as the
quality of this bundle has
been surely compromised by
its affordable price.
If there’s anything that vivo
should focus next, we say it’s
the accessories. especially in
the Philippine market, fancy
phone casing, earphones, and
other peripherals count when
purchasing goodies.
meant to indulge users in
shining through their selfie
addiction, the Y55’s front
camera is assisted with Smart
Screen Flash technology that
lights up the screen when it
senses a low-light scene. the
rear camera has a built-in
8MP resolution, but it could
be scaled up to 32MP with its
UltraHD mode.
We also liked how the
Y55 retained the most useful
functions of the V3 Max, and
even improved some of it at
an entry-level range. At the
lab, we call this phone as the
straightforward phone for
having straight to the point
functions as the Y55 doesn’t
fool around with useless
gimmicks on its oS.
Although the Y55 was born
with a few bloatware, we liked
the fact that the Funtouch oS
2.6 is based on Android and
we can still enjoy the perks
of the Play Store. As of this
writing, however, we can’t say
if it can catch up with Android
upgrading to Nougat.
So far, we love what we
are seeing in vivo’s choice of
direction. the Y55, having an
octa-core processor, provided
what we needed throughout
the test and we couldn’t ask
for more from vivo’s entrylevel gem. If you’re looking for
a secondary smartphone to
complement your device, the
vivo Y55 is a great choice for a
sidekick.
vivo y55
Reaching Out
by Patrick Alcantara
AT A GLANCE
OS
Android 6.0
marshmallow with
Funtouch oS 2.6
diSPLAy
5.2-inch 2.5D Curved
Screen (720 x 1280)
PROCESSOR
Snapdragon 430
(Octa-core, 1.4GHz)
CAMERA
8MP Rear (can be scaled
up to 32MP), 5MP Front
RAM
2GB
PRiCE
PhP 7,990
41h a r d w a r e z o n e . c o m . p h
AT A GLANCE
OS
Android 6.0
marshmallow
diSPLAy
5-inch FWVGA
touchscreen, 480 x 854
(196ppi)
PROCESSOR
1.2GHz ARM Cortex-A7
(Quad-core)
CAMERA
5mP rear with Flash,
2mP Front
MEMORy
512mb
PRiCE
PhP 2,290
The Starmobile PLAy Plus sports
a 5MP rear camera with flash and
2MP front camera.
conclusion
the starmobile
PlAY Plus is
still a good
phone that
offers a decent
performance.
And if you’re a
starmobile user,
it will surely
upgrade your
smartphone
experience.
8.0/10
T E S T E D & R A T E D
p H I L I p p I N E S
starmobile plAy plus
Step Up
by Ciara Alarcon
If there is one gadget in
the whole world that we
do not want to live without,
surely, it’s our smartphone.
And now that it is a necessity
to the majority of us, many
mobile manufacturers are
producing high-end phones
with unique features in order
to compete for potential
buyers. Flagship smartphones,
however, are so expensive
that the average joe cannot
afford buying a top-of-the-line
smartphone device.
but now, Starmobile has
launched its new Android 6.0
marshmallow smartphone,
the Starmobile PLAY Plus that
delivers high-caliber features
at a very affordable price.
The PLAY Plus is clad in
a plastic body that makes it
lightweight, but considering
that this 5-inch smartphone
has a relatively affordable
price point compared to the
competition, it is still welldesigned and does not look
cheap.
to better test its display,
we used the device both
outdoors and indoors.
Honestly, the PLAY Plus
gave us better screen
quality compared to other
smartphones in its price
category. We were just a bit
frustrated that it lagged while
watching several videos and
playing games.
meanwhile, we admire its
audio performance. The PLAY
Plus speakers produce decent
audio, and the sound quality
does not change when we
used the included earphones.
Despite the earphones being
a bit uncomfortable to the
ears, it works well. to avoid
distortion, we advice that
users do not play any kind of
audio at full blast.
The PLAY Plus sports a
5-megapixel rear camera
with flash, and a 2-megapixel
front camera. Unfortunately,
both cameras did not meet
our expections. Considering
its price, though, we totally
understood why.
our favorite thing about
the PLAY Plus is its stamina.
Although it only comes with
a 2000mAh battery, it lasted
for amost a day when we
played games and listened to
music. It only lasted around
7 hours, however, when we
continuously used it with
data connection opened
and several social media
applications active. The PLAY
Plus also took two hours to
fully charge its battery.
The PLAY Plus scored 1254
on 3DMark, 17152 on AnTuTu,
and 5136 on Quadrant.
Overall, the PLAY Plus offers
decent performance in spite
of its relatively low price.
In terms of its user
interface, the PLAY Plus
sports a pretty basic UI for
Android marshmallow, which
is understandable as making
it flamboyant might affect
the phone’s performance,
considering its hardware.
Priced at PhP 2,290, the
PLAY Plus is one of the most
affordable smartphones in
the market today. If you’re a
Starmobile PLAY Click user,
the PLAY Plus will surely
upgrade your experience.
H W M P H | N o v e m b e r 2 0 1 6
T E S T
42
Located at the back of the Fitbit
Charge 2 is its PurePulse heart
rate monitor.
conclusion
the Fitbit
charge 2 is a
comprehensive
fitness tracker
that offers
improved
features and
long battery
life. it’s a pretty
nifty device to
have at a fair
price.
8.5/10
T E S T E D & R A T E D
p H I L I p p I N E S
Some part of you knows
you’ve been sitting far
too long, cocooned in your
own little space in the office,
yet you won’t acknowledge
it. there you are, staring at
your computer, deliberately
ignoring the urge to stand up
and do something. this calls
for drastic change. maybe
it’s time to welcome the new
Fitbit Charge 2 in your life.
before using the Charge 2,
we used to work out with the
Fitbit blaze. replacing it with
the Charge 2 gave a feeling of
newness, most likely because
the Charge 2 is slimmer. It
also sports a smaller screen,
although when compared
to its predecessor, the OLED
display of the Charge 2 is
definitely a step up from
the tiny strip on the original
Charge HR. It comes with an
interchangeable classic fitness
accessory band. If you wish to
add more style to your fitness
wristband, you can have the
luxe premium leather band.
Similar with other Fitbit
trackers, the Charge 2 can be
paired with your smartphone
through the Fitbit app. Same
with the blaze, it features
Quick View which allows you
to view the display by lifting
your wrist up like you would
with a regular wristwatch.
there were times when it
won’t work, though. If you’re
having a bit of trouble, you
can press the button located
at the left or lightly tap the
screen twice to view the
display. It isn’t touchscreen,
though, so you would have
to make do of the left button
when navigating the device.
Located at the back of
the Charge 2 is its PurePulse
heart rate monitor that offers
a pretty accurate heart rate
tracking, complemented with
VO2 Max monitoring. It also
comes with the multi-sport
feature, which can keep track
of a total of 19 activities.
Considering its impressive
features, one thing we would
have liked Fitbit to do is
integrate it with a built-in GPS
module. Just like its siblings,
it relies on a smartphone’s
GPS to plot routes onto the
map when running through
Connected GPS. It also comes
with Smarttrack.
Same with the Fitbit Alta,
the Charge 2 never fails to
give reminders to move.
It is assembled to prompt
movement when you haven’t
reached the 250 steps hourly
goal. the device gently
vibrates 10 minutes before
the hour. the Charge 2 also
has a Relax feature, which is a
pretty awesome guided deepbreathing session that allows
you to stay calm when you
feel too stressed out.
In terms of battery life,
we can honestly say that the
Charge 2 is quite the monster.
It can last a little over a week
with light to moderate usage,
and you can charge it in less
than an hour. And, while it
lacks the waterproof feature
of the Flex 2, built-in GPS
module, and touchscreen
feature, it still comes out as a
comprehensive fitness tracker
with improved features. It is
also a pretty nifty device to
have at a fair price.
fitbit Charge 2
Every Beat Counts
by Ashley Lucas
AT A GLANCE
COMPATiBiLiTy
Apple ioS
Google Android
microsoft Windows
Apple mac oS
diSPLAy
OLED
CONNECTiViTy
Bluetooth 4.0
BATTERy
Up to 5 days
PRiCE
PhP 8,499
h a r d w a r e z o n e . c o m . p h 43
For quite some time, we
have been taking a look
at several X99 motherboards
that support Intel’s new
broadwell-e processors. this
time, we’ll be putting to the
test one of the more “budget”
motherboard in the X99
category in the form of the
MSI X99A Tomahawk.
The X99A Tomahawk
follows the usual design
philosophy of mSI with its
matte black design that’s
minimalistic and pleasurable
to look at. For expansion, you
have access to three 16-lane
PCIe 3.0 slots that support
Tri-SLI or CrossFire, and two
PCIe 1x slots. For storage, the
X99A Tomahawk comes with
ten SATA 6Gbps ports (two
of which are shared with one
SATA Express port), one M.2
slot, and one U.2 slot.
At the rear of the board
are two USB 3.1 Gen2 ports
(one type-C, one type-A, four
USB 3.1 Gen1 ports, four USB
2.0 ports, two RJ45 LAN ports,
one Clear CmoS button, one
PS/2 combo port, one S/PDIF,
and five 3.5mm audio jacks.
The X99A Tomahawk,
surprisingly, does not have
any onboard lighting feature.
However, it does have MSI’s
Mystlic Light Extension which
is a 4-pin header for your
RGB strip in order for you to
synchronize your RGB lighting.
The X99A Tomahawk’s
CPU region is relatively clear
of any large obstructions.
ergo, you wouldn’t have any
problems installing large
heatsinks on the CPU. There’s
also eight DIMM slots nearby
that supports up to 128GB of
DDR4 RAM with speeds of up
to 3333MHz.
To see what the X99A
tomahawk can do, we
armed it with an Intel Core
i7-6950X, 16GB DDR4 RAM
clocked at 2866MHz, and an
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960.
First up for our benchmarks
is PCMark 8 where the X99A
Tomahawk got a score of 4387
in Home Conventional, 4801
in Creative Conventional, and
3631 in Work Conventional.
In Cinebench r15, the board
got a score of 146.33fps in
the OpenGL test while it was
able to get a score of 1740cb
in the CPU test. For graphics
benchmarks, we ran the evertrusty Futuremark 3DMark
Fire Strike where the board,
along with the GTX 960, was
able to get a score of 6995.
At PhP 15,000, the X99A
tomahawk is a relatively
budget-oriented X99
motherboard. It does have
some concessions in order
to to keep the price low. For
example, the board only
sports three 16-lane PCIe
3.0 slots instead of four like
the MSI X99A Gaming Pro
Carbon that we looked at in
our october 2016 issue. We
believe, however, that this is
an acceptable compromise
if you are going to use the
Tomahawk with a “cheaper”
broadwell-e processor as
the extra PCIe lanes that the
6950X offers is lost on the
X99A Tomahawk. Overall, we
believe that the MSI X99A
Tomahawk is a solid X99
motherboard for those who
are price-conscious.
AT A GLANCE
CHiPSET
Intel X99
SOCkET
LGA 2011-v3
MEMORy SLOTS
8x DIMM,
Up to 128GB at
3333MHz
EXPANSiON SLOTS
3x PCIe x16
2x PCIe x1
STORAGE OPTiONS
10x SATA 6Gbps
1x SATA Express
1x M.2
1x U.2
PRiCE
PhP 15,000
The X99A Tomahawk cuts cost by
removing RGB and only having
three 16-lane PCIe 3.0 slots.
conclusion
Despite having
only three 16lane Pcie 3.0
slots, the Msi
X99A tomahawk
remains a solid
budget X99
motherboard
for intel’s
“cheaper”
Broadwell-e
processors.
8.0/10
T E S T E D & R A T E D
p H I L I p p I N E S
msi X99A tomahawk
Budget X99
by Chester Labaco
T E S T
44 H W M P H | N o v e m b e r 2 0 1 6
AsUs maximus
viii impact
Small Size, Big Impact
by Chester Labaco
mini-ItX builds have
been gaining popularity
in the recent years as
components become smaller
yet more powerful. today,
we’ll be taking a look at one of
ASUS’ offerings in the Mini-ITX
motherboard market, the
Maximus VIII Impact.
Since the Maximus VIII
Impact is a mini-ItX board, it
doesn’t have much in the way
of expansion slots. You only
have access to one 16-lane
PCIe 3.0 slot to accommodate
a discrete graphics card.
Design-wise, the it follows the
usual design of an ASUS ROG
board. It’s matte black PCb is
decked out with red highlights
making for a understated
gamer design.
For storage, you have
access to four SATA 6Gbps
ports, and one U.2 port.
We would’ve liked to see
an M.2 slot instead of a U.2
port because U.2 drives are
kind of hard to come across
compared to m.2 drives which
are much more common.
Located at the rear are
one HDMI port, one Intel
I219V LAN port, two USB 3.1
Gen2 ports (one Type-C, one
Type-A), four USB 3.1 Gen1
ports, one Clear CmoS button,
two Wi-Fi antenna ports, one
USB BIOS Flashback button,
one Q-Code LED, one start
button, one restart button,
one S/PDIF, and three 3.5mm
audio jacks.
The CPU area is a bit
cramped due to the board’s
mini-ItX nature. You might
have problems installing large
air CPU coolers. You might
want to install smaller air
coolers or use liquid Aios.
Near the CPU socket are two
DIMM slots that support up
to 32GB of DDR4 RAM with
speeds of up to 4133Mhz.
We must also mention that
besides the usual SAtA cables,
I/o shield, and screws that
come with the motherboard,
ASUS has included a twostream magnetic Wi-Fi
antenna box, a temperature
sensor cable, front panel
headers break-out cable, and
a fan extension card. The fan
extension card is powered by
a 4-pin molex connector and
does sport three additional
4-pin fan headers.
In order to test out the
board, we equipped it with an
Intel i7-6700K, 16GB of DDR4
RAM, and an NVIDIA GeForce
GTX 960. We ran PCMark 8
where the board was able
to get a score of 4653 in
Home Conventional, 4790 in
Creative Conventional, and a
3756 in Work Conventional.
In Cinebench r15, the board
was able to get 146.1fps in
the OpenGL test and a 891cb
in the CPU test. In terms of
synthetic gaming benchmarks,
we ran Futuremark 3DMark
FIre Strike where the board
got a score of 6893.
the absence of an m.2 slot
is a tad disappointing as m.2
drives are more common than
U.2 drives. They compensate
for that by including a fan
extension card so you can
fully control your fans inside
your case. If you’re making a
mini-ItX build, this board will
make an impact to your build.
AT A GLANCE
CHiPSET
Intel Z170
SOCkET
LGA 1151
MEMORy SLOTS
2x DIMM,
Up to 32GB
at 4133MHz
EXPANSiON SLOT
1x PCIe x16
STORAGE OPTiONS
4x SATA 6Gbps
1x U.2
PRiCE
PhP 15,320
ASUS has decided to include a U.2
connector instead of the more
common M.2 connector.
conclusion
the lack of an
M.2 slot is a tad
disappointing.
they offset that
by including a
fan extension
card to fully
utilize your
fans. this board
will definitely
make an impact
on your build.
8.0/10
T E S T E D & R A T E D
p H I L I p p I N E S
h a r d w a r e z o n e . c o m . p h 45
AT A GLANCE
LAyOUT
tenkeyless
SWiTCHES
Cherry mX brown
Cherry mX blue
Cherry mX red
LiGHTiNG
RGB
STABiLiZERS
Cherry
WEiGHT
930g
PRiCE
Inquire
The Cooler Master Masterkeys
Pro S uses a tenkeyless design to
allow for better ergonomics.
conclusion
this may not be
for people who
regularly use
the numpad.
But for people
who want to
try something
new or want
to be more
comfortable
when typing,
this is ideal.
8.5/10
T E S T E D & R A T E D
p H I L I p p I N E S
Cooler master
masterkeys pro s
The Master Keys
by Chester Labaco
Cooler master is a
well-established brand
in the tech industry for their
well-priced PC components
and peripherals. today, we’ll
be taking a look at one of their
mechanical keyboards, the
MasterKeys Pro S.
Their MasterKeys range is
comprised of three keyboards
the L (large or full layout), M
(medium or 90 percent), and
the S (small or tenkeyless).
As a tenkeyless board, the
MasterKeys Pro S gets rid
of the numpad for better
ergonomics by letting the right
hand to be much closer to the
left while using a mouse.
The MasterKeys Pro S is
available in three swiches:
Cherry mX brown, blue, and
red. For this particular review,
we’ll be taking a look at the
Cherry mX blue version.
the keyboard is built like
a tank. Primarily made of
metal and plastic, the housing
is thick and does not flex
whenever force is applied. At
the bottom are four rubber
feet and two kickstands with
rubber grips.
It is powered by a
detachable microUSB cable.
It’s nice that the cable is
detachable, however, the port
located at the back of the
keyboard is exposed so you
might want to be careful when
moving the keyboard around.
The MasterKeys Pro S is
decked out with RGB lighting
complemented with a white
backplate to give off a cleaner
look. The LED, macro, and
media keys are accessible
through the function key with
a combination of other keys.
The RGB lighting comes with
several modes: steady, vertical
wave, starburst, reactive,
gaming, random, raining,
breathing, shockwave, and the
most fun of all, you can play
snake with the LEDs.
The LED is located just
above the switch and is
contained in a clear housing.
this makes the lighting of
every key even as there is
nothing blocking out the light
coming from the LED.
As mentioned, our unit
uses a set of Cherry mX blue
switches which requires 55cN
of force to actuate. It’s a
pleasurable typing experience
due to its tacticle click but it
may annoy your office mates
as its click-clack can be clearly
heard across a quiet room.
the Pro S also uses Cherry
stabilizers for the larger keys
so removing them would be
easier compared to keyboards
using Costar stabilizers.
As a tenkeyless board,
it allows the right arm to sit
closer to the left arm. this
makes for better ergonomics
and allowed us to play games
longer compared to a 104-key
(full layout) keyboard.
this may not be the
keyboard for people who
constantly use the numpad.
but for people who want to
try something new or want a
more comfortable gaming and
typing experience as well as
RGB lighting, the MasterKeys
Pro S is ideal.
T E S T
46
AT A GLANCE
CAPACiTy
2TB, 3TB
iNTERFACE
Wi-Fi, SD card slot, USB
3.0Wi-Fi, SD card slot,
USB 3.0
OS
Windows/mac
COLOR
black
PRiCE
Inquire
The device has a Micro-B USB 3.0
port for faster file transfer and a
USB 2.0 for charging purposes.
conclusion
the WD My
Passport
Wireless Pro
has maximized
functions,
rolling out
capabilities
of a mediastreaming hard
drive and a
powerbank in
one device.
8.0/10
T E S T E D & R A T E D
p H I L I p p I N E S
Wd my passport
Wireless pro
Maximized Function
by Jonnah Lynne Pante
We’ve had our fair
share of positive and
negative feedbacks with
regards to external storage
devices. this time, we’ll be
taking a look at WD’s Wi-Fi
Mobile Storage – the WD My
Passport Wireless Pro.
Outside the box, the WD
my Passport Wireless Pro
comes in all black, square
form. Not much to see
regarding the drive’s design
rather than a striped detail
on the front. Also, the drive
sports a matte finish for easy
gripping and handling.
on the technical side, the
WD My Passport Wireless
Pro is compatible with
Windows10, Windows 8.1,
Windows 7, and Mac OS,
and is available in 2tb and
3TB variants. Claimed to
be designed specifically
for professional creatives
on the go, the my Passport
Wireless Pro supports 5GHz
Wi-Fi 802.11ac technology,
capable of fast data transfer
and smooth HD streaming.
the drive is equipped with an
SD card slot found on the left
side, while the power button,
battery/SD button, and USB
connectors are situated on the
upper part of the drive. the
battery indicator is located on
the upper right part, while the
Wi-Fi and Drive LED indicators
are found in front.
the my Passport Wireless
Pro offers three ways
of connectivity through
a Direct Wireless (AP)
Connection, Home Wi-Fi
Network Connection, and
USB Connection. Connecting
our mobile phone through
the Direct Wireless (AP)
Connection went seamless.
All we had to do was to log on
to the my Passport Wireless
Pro drive’s Wi-Fi network
using a provided security key.
Common to most WD external
storage devices, the my
Passport Wireless Pro works
with the my Cloud app. Aside
from giving us a quick look on
the available storage space
left on the WD My Passpot
Wireless Pro, the my Cloud
app is also useful in expedient
file sorting.
to test its performance,
we ran the Anvil’s Storage
Utilities Benchmark Test
to determine the drive’s
read and write speed. the
my Passport Wireless Pro
managed to yield numbers of
30.08MBps in sequential read
and 22.33MBps in sequential
write. Further testing the
device, it took us 29 minutes
to transfer files worth 45GB.
Noticeably, the my
Passport Wireless Pro is
relatively heavy, but this is
a reprievable issue, at least.
the device’s hefty body is
attributed to its 6400mAh
integrated Li-Po battery which
equates a 3-hour charge to
around 9 and a half hours of
usage. Aside from functioning
as a media-streaming drive,
the my Passport Wireless Pro
also doubles as a powerbank.
With maximized function
and ample storage capacity,
the WD My Passport Wireless
Pro is a suitable external
storage device for on-the-go
go-getters and travellers.
H W M P H | N o v e m b e r 2 0 1 6
h a r d w a r e z o n e . c o m . p h 47
The E400 comes with a Gigabit
Ethernet port that connects to
the bundled PoE switch.
conclusion
cambium
networks’
cnPilot e400
is an ideal
solution for
venues and
applications
that require
wireless
connectivity for
a large amount
of people.
8.0/10
T E S T E D & R A T E D
p H I L I p p I N E S
cnpilot e400
Extended Reach
by Lionell Go Macahilig
Last month, Cambium
Networks, through its
local distributor Neo-tech
Asia, brought to the country
its array of networking
solutions, comprised of the
cnPilot E400, E500, R200,
r201, and the ePmP 1000
Hotspot. In this review, let us
take a look at the cnPilot E400.
Some might quickly
assume that the E400 is
a router, but it is not. An
indoor access point, its job
is to connect to a router or
a network then extend the
reach of its Wi-Fi connection
within an extensive reach.
Clad in a white plastic shell,
the E400 blends well into its
surroundings inconspicuously.
on top of it, it comes with
two LEDs that indicate power
and connectivity. From red/
amber, these LEDs turn
into yellowish green after
proper configuration. The
E400 comes with a Power
over ethernet (Poe) adapter
that has two ethernet ports:
one connects to the E400
for power source, while the
other connects to a router for
Internet access. The E400’s
power consumption is rated
at 13W.
In order to start using
the E400, one must register
first on Cambium Networks’
cnmaestro dashboard
which allows a network
administrator to manipulate
the device. Device recognition
begins by just putting in
the serial number on the
onboarding page of the
dashboard. If a software
update becomes available,
the cnmaestro unobstrusively
installs it to the device. In the
configuration process, the
dashboard has templates
that can be downloaded,
modified, and uploaded as a
text file. Web-based, it means
that the cnmaestro can be
used on a mobile device like
a smartphone or a tablet.
the dashboard is also used in
onboarding and configuring
other Cambium Networks’
networking products.
Along with the capability
to use the 2.4GHz band and
the less congested 5GHz
band, and being equipped
with an omnidirectional
antenna with mImo support,
the E400 promises to deliver
continuous and stable wireless
connectivity. With the E400,
network administrators may
set up to 16 secured SSIDs
(WPA-TKIP or WPA2 AES)
in various locations within
its wide range of up to 180
meters. For less supervision,
E400 users may even schedule
the availability of Wi-Fi
connection and set a cap for
each client according to the
amount of data consumed or
length of time being hooked
up to the network.
once fully operational
and configured, Cambium
Networks’ cnPilot E400 is
capable of servicing up to 256
concurrent clients. this makes
the device an ideal solution for
large offices, hotels, schools,
hospitals, malls, and many
other possible venues and
applications that require Wi-Fi
connectivity for a relatively
large amount of people.
AT A GLANCE
TyPE
Dual-band Wi-Fi
802.11ac Indoor AP
RANGE
180m
CONCURRENT
CLiENTS
256
PORT
1x Gigabit Ethernet
POWER
CONSUMPTiON
13W
PRiCE
Inquire
T E S T
48
Other variants of this kedacom
network camera have a microSd
slot. Ours does not.
conclusion
users of the
Kedacom
iPc2211-Hn will
appreciate not
only its userfriendliness,
but more
importantly, its
capability to
capture images
with excellent
quality.
9.0/10
T E S T E D & R A T E D
p H I L I p p I N E S
kedacom ipC2211-HN
Watchful Eyes
by Lionell Go Macahilig
Singapore-based
Kedacom’s IPC2211-HN
semi-dome network camera
arrived to our premises
in a modest packaging
that one may overlook at
it as a mundane piece of
contraption. However, our
review proved the opposite.
Arriving in a metallic white
housing, the IPC2211-HN
is an unassuming network
camera that can blend well
with any urban surrounding.
Featuring a semi-dome
design, the device consists of
two main units: the spherical
camera unit and the base
unit. the latter features a
loosening mechanism that
allows users to change the
position of the camera. When
loosened, the base unit has
a cylindrical component that
can be screwed to a wall or a
ceiling. Users will find a metal
plate behind the camera that
hides a microSD slot. It is not
active in the model unit that
we got (IPC2211-HN-DIR), but
for users who demand for
expandable storage, simply
ask for the similar IPC2211HN-SIR which can support up
to 128GB microSD. Snaking
from the camera is a Y cable
that has two connectors: a
Fast Ethernet (RJ-45) interface
and a DC connector for a 12V
power adapter.
Adding the camera to
the network requires the
installation of the bundled
IPCSearch software which
detects and auto-assigns an IP
address to the device. Users
may use the app in changing
the assigned IP address to
the camera. the app will
eventually lead to an onlinebased UI which we find more
than adequate. Kedacom’s
online UI has options for
adjusting the sensitivity of
the camera’s photosensor,
scheduling of monitoring
and recording, changing the
encoding format, modifying
the OSD format, and choosing
the camera resolution from
HD (1280 x 720p) to Full HD
(1920 x 1080p. In terms of
image parameters, the UI
has options for adjusting
image settings like aspect
ratio, brightness, contrast,
saturation, sharpness,
orientation, and white
balance. At default settings,
the camera captures
adequately bright images,
but if users still find them
quite them, they may
simply activate the camera’s
automatic backlight through
the web-based UI.
the images captured by
the IPC2211-HN, whether
still photos or videos, are
crisp and we find them much
better than those captured by
the Samsung SmartCam Full
HD network camera that we
reviewed last month. It is hard
to pinpoint a flaw, but if users
find the images inadequate at
default settings, do note that
they may change the camera’s
image settings by using the UI.
By and large, Kedacom’s
IPC2211-HN is an easyto-install and easy-to-use
network camera. First-time
users will appreciate, not only
its user-friendliness, but also
the quality of the images it
captures which is crucial when
one’s searching for a security
device like a network camera.
H W M P H | N o v e m b e r 2 0 1 6
AT A GLANCE
TyPE
Semi-dome
SENSOR
1/3’’ CMOS, IR
RESOLUTiONS
HD to Full HD
CONNECTiViTy
Fast ethernet
POWER
CONSUMPTiON
11W (Maximum)
WEiGHT
1kg
PRiCE
Inquire
h a r d w a r e z o n e . c o m . p h 49
With relatively low
minimum system
requirements, eSet’s Smart
Security suggests that it can
run on systems with less
aggressive specifications.
Computers with older
hardware can still get the
benefits of having the latest
security software.
the live installer is small
with a file size of around 3MB.
It took less than ten minutes
to complete the installation
process, occupying only 128MB
of hard disk space. During
installation, the application can
start detecting malware and
updating its virus definitions.
Apart from having the
common features of a security
application like PC scanning,
removable media scanning,
eset smart security 9
Straightforward Security
by Lionell Go Macahilig
personal firewall, parental
control, Internet protection
features that cover web
access, email clients, spam,
and phishing activities,
eSet’s Smart Security
includes Banking & Payment
protection and Anti-theft.
Choosing the first launches
an Internet browser where
users can safely perform
banking transactions where
personal information and
banking details like credit card
numbers are involved.
meanwhile, the Antitheft helps users retrieve
their laptop in the case that
it is lost. In order to take
advantage of this feature,
users must create an account
on eSet’s Anti-theft website
and register their device.
When the laptop is lost,
users can track its location,
get screenshots, access the
device’s web camera to view
its surroundings and see the
person who got the device,
and message that person.
Without having a flashy
user interface and including
only essential features, eSet’s
Smart Security runs smoothly
on any system and is enough
to cover everything.
8.0/10
T E S T E D & R A T E D
p H I L I p p I N E S
AT A GLANCE
OS REqUiREMENT
microsoft Windows XP
CPU REqUiREMENT
400MHz - 1GHz
RAM REqUiREMENT
128MB - 1GB
STORAGE
REqUiREMENT
320MB
PRiCE
PhP 898.87
(1 Year Subscription)
kaspersky internet
security 2017
New Year Now
by Lionell Go Macahilig
New cyber threats go
online every year, but
the modus operandi of these
remains essentially the same:
cybertheft. Kaspersky Internet
Security (KIS) 2017 addresses
this with these key features.
one of these features is
Safe money. this prompts you
to open a protected browser
where you can buy online
without the risk of exposing
your credit card info to
cybercriminals. Adding to that,
KIS 2017 installs an add-on
to your browser that protects
you from receiving pop-up ads
that might lead you to a scam
website or download and
install a malware that gathers
personal information through
your browsing behavior. this
feature, dubbed as Private
Browsing, exceeds Google
Chrome’s incognito mode
and adds to KIS’s firewall and
mechanisms against spam
emails, phishing Ims, and
other forms of malware.
Some cybercriminals might
even attempt to invade your
privacy through your web
camera. KIS 2017 offers you
an option to block remote
access to your web camera,
preventing cybercriminals
from possibly seeing you and
capturing of images without
your knowledge.
With Secure Connection
feature, KIS can also establish
a secure connection, hiding
your real IP address and
location, and transferring the
data via a secure channel.
Going beyond what a
traditional security software
can offer, the latest KIS is a
thorough way to keep yourself
safe while being online.
8.5/10
T E S T E D & R A T E D
p H I L I p p I N E S
AT A GLANCE
OS REqUiREMENT
microsoft Windows XP
CPU REqUiREMENT
1GHz
RAM REqUiREMENT
512mb
STORAGE
REqUiREMENT
920MB
PRiCE
PhP 990 (1 User),
PhP 1,980 (3 Users)
T E S T
50
AT A GLANCE
SENSOR
1” Exmor RS CMOS
MEGAPiXELS
Approx. 20.1MP
(Effective and Total)
ZOOM RANGES
24 - 600mm
(35mm equivalent)
ZOOM
25x (Optical),
100x (Digital)
WEiGHT
Approx. 1051g
(body only)
PRiCE
PhP 87,599
A set of three rings on the lens
allows you to adjust zoom, focus,
and aperture.
conclusion
We must say
sony has got
their stacked
sensor right
as the RX10 iii
produces great
images in good
light with detail
that could rival
what you might
get from older
ilc cameras.
8.5/10
T E S T E D & R A T E D
p H I L I p p I N E S
sony rX10 iii
All in One and Then Some
by Marcus Wong
Sony’s rX series is the
top of the line for their
compact cameras. the rX10
III is the latest addition to the
family.
the biggest change with
the rX10 III is the headlining
zoom capabilities. The f/2.4-4.0
zoom lens covers a range of
24-600mm, focuses down to
a mere 3cm at full wide, and
72cm at full tele. This means
that you can attempt macrotype shots with good detail.
Like the RX10 II and RX100
Iv before it, the rX10 III makes
use of a stacked 1.0-inch bSI
CMOS sensor with DRAM
chip and Sony’s bIoNZ X
image processing engine. the
combination allows for an
ISO range of 64-12800, and
the ability to support super
slow-motion recording at up
to 1000fps in High Frame Rate
(HFR) mode.
the camera also retains
the ability to do in-camera
4K recording without pixel
binning, and you will get the
same set of movie functions
like Picture Profile, S-Gamut/SLog2, Gamma Display Assist,
enhanced Zebra function,
clean HDMI output, TC/UB,
REC Control, Dual REC, and
mark function.
New on the rX10 III are
triple rings on the lens that
allow you to adjust focus,
zoom, and aperture right
from the lens. that’s certainly
better than using a single dial
to adjust both aperture and
shutter. We do think, however,
that the focus-by-wire system
could respond better. As it
is, there seems to be a bit of
lag between turning the ring
and seeing the focus adjust.
It also seems like the camera
shifts between a zoomed-in
display and focus peaking
intermittently, without settling
into one or the other. this
makes it a little difficult to
see the exact plane of focus.
What’s worth noting is that
Sony has also provided a
standard zoom lever under
the shutter button, allowing
you to use powered zoom
while doing video.
the handgrip has been
redesigned to give you a
better grip, and there’s now
a new Focus Hold button on
the lens barrel to lock the
focus distance. You’ll also find
two more custom function
buttons on top of the body,
and one behind, so you can
get your most commonly used
functions at a single touch.
In terms of optical
performance, the most
impressive thing was the
fact that we were able to
get images without shake at
1/10s at focal lengths above
500mm, thanks in large to
the implementation of Sony’s
optical SteadyShot.
The camera offered great
autofocus performance in
low light. We were amazed
to see how the camera was
able to get focus in dim light
when even some ILCs had
failed previously. In general,
autofocus is fast and accurate.
overall, we must say Sony
has got their stacked sensor
right as the rX10 III produces
great images in good light
with detail that could probably
rival what you might get from
older ILCs with smaller than
full-frame size sensors.
H W M P H | N o v e m b e r 2 0 1 6
h a r d w a r e z o n e . c o m . p h 51
Apricot 32gB otg
flash drive
Bite of Bytes
by Ciara Alarcon
You know you’re a file
hoarder when you no
longer have enough storage
on your device but you just
can’t delete your aging files. If
you’ve been in this situation,
maybe you need some extra
bite of bytes.
Our team received a 32GB
Apricot OTG flash drive for
Apple devices, mac, and PC to
test. encased in a metal body,
the device looks good with its
rotatable end cap. We just felt
like it’s a bit uncomfortable to
hold as it has sharp edges that
hurt us a couple of times.
During the test, the Apricot
OTG flash drive allowed us to
transfer and copy files easier
and faster than before.
our team tried to copy a
3GB MKV file and, surprisingly,
the files were transferred
to the device in just three
minutes. to better test the
device, we copied a bigger file.
As a result, it only took us 18
minutes to transfer a 22GB
folder to the device.
For further speed tests,
we ran Anvil’s Storage Utilities
and CrystalDiskMark. The
Anvil’s Storage Utilities
gave us a 31.37MBps read
speed result, while write
speed was at 14.78MBps. In
CrystalDiskMark, the Apricot
32GB OTG flash drive was
able to get a read speed of
32.59MBps and a write speed
of 10.88MBps.
In terms of its OTG
capabilities, the Apricot, along
with the iUSB Pro app, allowed
us to access our folders and
manage our files. We were
able to copy files from the
Apricot OTG to our Apple
device without using itunes.
8.0/10
T E S T E D & R A T E D
p H I L I p p I N E S
our team has already
tried a lot of wireless
speakers. Now, we were given
a chance to test the new
Genius SP-906BT. What makes
this bluetooth speaker distinct
compared to others is that it is
designed for both mobile and
outdoor use.
Uniquely designed, the
circular-shaped speaker
can still power up your
outdoor activities in spite
of its compact size. made
of metal paired with silicon
rim, the SP-906BT also has a
carabiner to fit your choice of
style while using it outdoors.
Also, its round shape helps in
producing surround sound
when using it outside.
The SP-906BT has control
buttons at the back for power,
genius sp-906Bt
Dangling Tunes
by Ciara Alarcon
play, pause, playback, fast
forward, and call functions.
All of these just work perfectly
during our test. there is a
Micro-USB connector at the
bottom of the speaker for
recharging.
to check its durability
and sound quality, we used
the speaker both outdoors
and indoors. Hooked to our
trousers, we were confident
that it would not fall or break
while moving.
We also liked its sound
quality. It features a smart
anti-breaking sound
technology that offers music
experience with no break
during high or low pitches.
We listened to songs from
different genres, and we
observed that produced
clear audio even at the
highest volume. We did
not experience any sound
distortion during our test.
With a built-in microphone,
it has an ease-of-user feature
that allows hands-free mode
when receiving or returning
calls from our smartphone.
Powered by a 780mAh
lithium battery, the SP-906BT
lasted for almost seven hours
of continuous usage.
8.5/10
T E S T E D & R A T E D
p H I L I p p I N E S
AT A GLANCE
CAPACiTy
32GB
i/O
USB 2.0
Apple Lightning Interface
diMENSiONS
48 x 12 x 7mm
PRiCE
PhP 1,299
AT A GLANCE
TyPE
Wireless Speaker
FREqUENCy RESPONSE
100Hz - 20KHz
diMENSiON
87.7 x 80 x 45.1mm
CONNECTiViTy
Bluetooth 4.1
PRiCE
PhP 995
Mirroring each other’s simple sophistication, Sony’s Alpha Series
and Nadine Lustre make the perfect combination.
piXel
perfeCt
Text by The HWM Team
Art Direction by Victor Felix Pulgar
H W M P H | N o v e m b e r 2 0 1 652
F E A T u R E
P
H
O
T
O
S
s o n Y
h a r d w a r e z o n e . c o m . p h 53
F E A T u R E
What are you most excited about now that
you’re the new Sony brand ambassadress?
It thrills me to be working with such an amazing
brand and to be the face of two of their amazing
categories that perfectly fit my lifestyle—
personal audio and cameras.
you’re endorsing a lot of products and Sony
is one of them. What makes Sony a name you
can trust?
I grew up surrounded by Sony products and
having used Sony products in the past I’ve
always acquainted the brand with quality and
innovation.
Just a look at your Instagram and Twitter
accounts will already reveal that you love to
travel. What are the must-have gadgets for a
wanderlust like you?
of course, my Sony A5100 is always at the top of
my list, to capture all the beautiful landscapes,
amazing food, and the unforgettable memories
that I make during my travels. the great thing
about the Sony A5100 is that it has Wi-Fi and
NFC, which means you can easily transfer your
photos to your tablet or mobile phone for easy
upload on your Instagram.
When and how did you discover your love for
photography?
I discovered that I love photography at a very
young age. It started out as a way for me to
remember the beautiful things that I would
stumble upon during my travels. then it grew
into something else.
What has been your most meaningful
experience being the other half of the mostcelebrated loveteam of today’s generation?
Just recently, our story was featured in an
international magazine that has featured some
of my idols such as Zac Efron, Kylie Jenner, Gigi
Hadid, etc. To be written about alongside these
huge names that I’ve always looked up to was
such a wonderful opportunity.
your new TV series entitled “Till i Met you”
has been receiving high ratings and good
feedback from viewers since it premiered last
August. What makes this project different
among the other shows that you had with
James Reid?
We’ve been working together for quite a long
time already. I guess the more you get to know
the person you’re working with, the better your
work becomes. “Till I Met You” is a proof of how
much we’ve grown together as actors and how
our chemistry has evolved through those years.
54 H W M P H | N o v e m b e r 2 0 1 6
55h a r d w a r e z o n e . c o m . p h
H W M P H | N o v e m b e r 2 0 1 656
F E A T u R E
h a r d w a r e z o n e . c o m . p h 57
Exuding premium camera technology and
top-of-line features Sony is known for, the
latest names in the Alpha Series, the Sony
α5000 and the Sony α5100, prove themselves
apt for people who are into refined and
redefined photography, just like their newest
brand ambassadress Nadine Lustre.
Carrying a remarkable Exmor APS HD
CMOS sensor for the Sony α5000 and an
Exmor APS-C CMOS sensor for the α5100,
these two Interchangeable-Lens Cameras are
capable of movie recording in AVCHD format
and equipped with a 180° tiltable LCD screen
for self-portraits and shooting flexibility.
meet tHe AlpHAs
of tHe pACk
the sony α5100 comes with a 921k-dot
touchscreen panel that allows you to
seamlessly choose your focus area.
making one-handed use possible, the
sony α5000 easy zoom lever has Clear
image Zoom for clarity at all zoom level.
speCifiCAtioNs
sensor
APS-C
resolution
20.1MP
(Sony α5000),
24.3MP
(Sony α5100)
display
3-inch TFT LCD,
Tiltable up to 180°
price
PhP 22,999
(Sony α5000),
PhP 34,999
(Sony α5100)
H W M P H | N o v e m b e r 2 0 1 658
T E S T
Light, compact, and designed for travel,
on-ear wireless headphones are great
companions. They’ve also come a long
way with advanced technologies to ensure
audio quality over wireless can match up to
traditional cable connection. Which one of
these will be your next upgrade?
Text by Marcus Wong
Photography by Jasper Yu + Zaphs Zhang
Art Direction by Ian Chong
VS
BEATS SOLO2

JBL EVEREST ELITE 300

ONkyO H500BT

PARROT Zik 3.0

PENdULUMiC TACH T1

SENNHEiSER MOMENTUM
On-EAR WIRELESS
h a r d w a r e z o n e . c o m . p h 59
perf
eCt
for t
He roAd
H W M P H | N o v e m b e r 2 0 1 6
T E S T
60
A button on the left earcup works
to start/stop music.
This row of indicator lights shows
the charging progress.
The Beats Solo2 features a clean flowing
design with no visible screws. there are also
no noticeable buttons on the headphone,
with the playback control hidden behind
the logo on the left ear cup. Pressing it once
starts/stops a track (or picks
up a call). Pressing it twice
skips a track, while pressing
it thrice goes back one.
Pressing on top/bottom of
the outer ring surrounding
the logo also adjusts the
volume, so all your controls
requirements are covered.
the ear cups swivel
slightly to adjust to your
face, while the cushions
are relatively plump to
allow them to take some
of the weight off your ears.
We found that the rigid
neckband exerts quite a bit
of clamping on our ears, especially if you
wear spectacles. So it isn’t something we
could comfortably keep on our heads for
long periods of time.
In terms of audio performance, we
found that the headphones performed best
with rock and pop songs that place greater
emphasis on vocals to lead the track.
Songs like “Scar Tissue” by the Red Hot Chili
Peppers and “Knocking on Heaven’s Door”
by Guns ‘N Roses worked
well, with the headphones
pumping out good amount
of bass to bring some
much needed energy to
both tracks, as they are
underscored by a good deal
of drum work.
the headphones has
tendency to focus more
on vocals to mask the fact
that they struggle a bit to
provide detail in the mid and
upper ranges. Certainly, on
more acoustic tracks like
Ana Caram’s “Correnteza”
or Sara K’s “If I Could Sing
Your Blues” we found ourselves raising the
volume just to hear the details in the track
that we knew that were there. In general,
you would want to stick to pop/rock with
the beats Solo2.
Nice sleek design.
Audio lacks the finesse
you expect at this price
point.
AT A GLANCE
FREqUENCy RESPONSE
N.A
iMPEdANCE
N.A
WEiGHT
215g
PRiCE
US$ 199.95
BeAts solo2
h a r d w a r e z o n e . c o m . p h 61
This button adjusts the sensitivity
of the noise cancelling.
you can control playback via taps
of this buttons on the left ear cup.
The JBL Everest Elite 300 has a very nice,
modern design that gives it a minimalistic
look which should allow it to go well with
almost anything. Like the Beats Solo2, the
Everest Elite 300 feature hidden hinges that
allow you to fold the ear
cups in for storage.
Controls on the rear of
either ear cup allow you
to control volume, start/
stop playback, and take
calls. What’s interesting
though, is that there’s even a
companion app that allows
you to fine-tune the degree
of noise cancellation by
adjusting how sensitive the
headphone is to external
noise. The app also offers
a sound calibration feature
that’s supposed to fine tune
the headphone’s output to
best math what your ears can hear, but
we honestly didn’t feel that it made a large
difference.
Thankfully though, the Everest Elite 300
do a pretty fine job just as they are, as they
offer a good amount of depth, detail, and
warmth. We were impressed with what they
did on a recording of “Spanish Harlem.”
From the onset, the headphones picked
up good details in both the strings and the
percussion instruments
while still keeping
good separation from
rebecca Pidgeon’s vocal
performance.
In our test, we thought
it handled “Hotel California”
and “Sail on Soothsayer”
with equal aplomb, speaking
to how balanced the
performance is on both the
high end and the low. these
headphones can generate
substantial bass and so will
give you highly enjoyable
renditions of any genre of
music. It also brings vocals
and mids to the front of any presentation,
albeit with a slightly smaller soundstage. It
gives good details for jazz instrumentals,
has more than enough energy for rock, and
is a good performer for vocals.
great all-around audio
performance.
Audio calibration
doesn’t really seem to
make a difference.
AT A GLANCE
FREqUENCy RESPONSE
10Hz - 22kHz
iMPEdANCE
N.A
WEiGHT
250g
PRiCE
US$ 249.95
jBl everest elite 300
T E S T
A button on the left earcup works
to start/stop music.
This row of indicator lights shows
the charging progress.
The Beats Solo2 features a clean flowing
design with no visible screws. there are also
no noticeable buttons on the headphone,
with the playback control hidden behind
the logo on the left ear cup. Pressing it once
starts/stops a track (or
picks up a call). Pressing it
twice skips a track, while
pressing it thrice goes
back one. Pressing on top/
bottom of the outer ring
surrounding the logo also
adjusts the volume, so all
your controls requirements
are covered.
the ear cups swivel
slightly to adjust to your
face, while the cushions
are relatively plump to
allow them to take some
of the weight off your ears.
We found that the rigid
neckband exerts quite a bit of clamping on
our ears, especially if you wear spectacles.
So it isn’t something we could comfortably
keep on our heads for long periods of time.
In terms of audio performance, we
found that the headphones performed best
with rock and pop songs that place greater
emphasis on vocals to lead the track.
Songs like “Scar Tissue” by the Red Hot Chili
Peppers and “Knocking on Heaven’s Door”
by Guns ‘N Roses worked
well, with the headphones
pumping out good amount
of bass to bring some
much needed energy to
both tracks, as they are
underscored by a good deal
of drum work.
the headphones has
tendency to focus more
on vocals to mask the fact
that they struggle a bit to
provide detail in the mid and
upper ranges. Certainly, on
more acoustic tracks like
Ana Caram’s “Correnteza”
or Sara K’s “If I Could Sing
Your Blues” we found ourselves raising the
volume just to hear the details in the track
that we knew that were there. In general,
you would want to stick to pop/rock with
the beats Solo2.
H W M P H | N o v e m b e r 2 0 1 662
Nice clean design.
lower range can
sometimes be
a little distorted.
AT A GLANCE
FREqUENCy RESPONSE
7Hz - 23.5kHz
iMPEdANCE
16 ohm
WEiGHT
217g
PRiCE
Inquire
oNkyo H500Bt
This button adjusts the sensitivity
of the noise cancelling.
you can control playback via taps
of this buttons on the left ear cup.
The JBL Everest Elite 300 has a very nice,
modern design that gives it a minimalistic
look which should allow it to go well with
almost anything. Like the Beats Solo2, the
Everest Elite 300 feature hidden hinges that
allow you to fold the ear
cups in for storage.
Controls on the rear of
either ear cup allow you
to control volume, start/
stop playback, and take
calls. What’s interesting
though, is that there’s even a
companion app that allows
you to fine-tune the degree
of noise cancellation by
adjusting how sensitive the
headphone is to external
noise. The app also offers
a sound calibration feature
that’s supposed to fine tune
the headphone’s output to
best math what your ears can hear, but
we honestly didn’t feel that it made a large
difference.
Thankfully though, the Everest Elite 300
do a pretty fine job just as they are, as they
offer a good amount of depth, detail, and
warmth. We were impressed with what they
did on a recording of “Spanish Harlem.”
From the onset, the headphones picked
up good details in both the strings and the
percussion instruments
while still keeping
good separation from
rebecca Pidgeon’s vocal
performance.
In our test, we thought
it handled “Hotel California”
and “Sail on Soothsayer”
with equal aplomb, speaking
to how balanced the
performance is on both the
high end and the low. these
headphones can generate
substantial bass and so will
give you highly enjoyable
renditions of any genre of
music. It also brings vocals
and mids to the front of any presentation,
albeit with a slightly smaller soundstage. It
gives good details for jazz instrumentals,
has more than enough energy for rock, and
is a good performer for vocals.
te 300
h a r d w a r e z o n e . c o m . p h 63
Nice refined sound.
poor battery life
on wireless.
AT A GLANCE
FREqUENCy RESPONSE
20Hz - 22kHz
iMPEdANCE
32 Ohm
WEiGHT
245g
PRiCE
US$ 399.99
pArrot Zik 3.0
H W M P H | N o v e m b e r 2 0 1 6
T E S T
64
you can add a AAA battery for
extra battery life.
Dual-sharing lets you share your
audio with another T1 user.
Pendulumic’s headsets have always
stood out due to their steampunk-ish
aesthetics, and the tach t1 follows suit,
with a gorgeous gunmetal bronze ear cups
matched against maroon faux leather. The
cushions sport nice, plump
cushions that make for
comfortable wearing even
after long periods of time.
As with the Stance S1,
the tach t1 features both
an internal battery and the
option to add a standard
AAA battery for additional
battery life, while still
operating without batteries
in wired mode. the inclusion
of a dual-sharing mode
allows you to share your
music with another tach t1
user without wires.
the tach t1 certainly
seems to pick up where the Stance S1 left
off, with a nice midrange and a roundish
sounding bass. there’s good separation
with these headphones, too. For example,
on a recording of “Quando, Quando,
Quando” by Michael Buble and Nelly
Furtado, the headphones produced a nice,
intimate rendition, with both their voices
nicely wrapped in sound. the vocals are
nicely forward, but not given too much
weight as to take away from
the band behind, resulting in
a balanced performance.
With our formal test
tracks, the headphones
demonstrated a good ability
to keep up with faster pieces,
performing best with tiesto’s
“Elements of Life.” While it
wasn’t the last word in clarity
in this shootout, the tach t1
was easily able to provide
the deep pounding bass that
this track needs, while still
providing good energy and
amount of detail.
the ability to carry detail
also carries over well to “Hotel California.”
there’s a good ring to the guitars in this
piece, but there isn’t as much clarity as
what we found from some of the top
headphones.
dual-sharing is a
unique feature.
lacks the final bit of
clarity to be considered
among the best.
AT A GLANCE
FREqUENCy RESPONSE
20Hz - 20kHz
iMPEdANCE
32 Ohm
WEiGHT
245g
PRiCE
US$ 249.00
peNdUlUmiC tACH t1
h a r d w a r e z o n e . c o m . p h 65
The NFC pairing point is on the
outside of the left earcup.
There’s a volume slider on the
bottom of the right earcup.
the Sennheiser momentum on-ear Wireless
look exactly like is wired counterpart, with
the exception of a single push button at
the bottom that turns on the headphones
and doubles as a bluetooth pairing button.
There’s also a slider next to
it that lets you adjust the
volume of playback, and an
NFC spot on the left ear cup
to allow for easy pairing.
It’s an elegant, classy
design that also folds away
for easy storage, making it
a perfect travel companion.
the headphones are also
fairly light on the head and
we found the ear pads to be
decently comfortable despite
not being as plump as those
found on some of the other
headphones.
When testing these
headphones, we found that they seem to
have quite a unique sound signature. the
bass registers are slightly rounded off, but
yet still have a good deal of weight to them,
making them very substantial. For example,
with Rebecca Pidgeon’s “Spanish Harlem,”
the bass strikes you from the very start as it
opens the track, but yet it never overpowers
the piano or the percussion instruments in
the piece. You can hear each shaker and
every finger slide by the
guitarists while Pidgeon’s
vocals remain very much the
centerpiece of the track.
the headphones worked
well with jazz and classical
pieces, but we were quite
surprised that they work well
with rock, too. on a classic
like “Sweet Child of Mine,”
Slash’s guitar work obviously
catches your attention, while
bass guitar and drum work
have more than enough
weight to hold their own,
too.
Likewise, we found that
this Sennheiser did an excellent job with
“Sail on Soothsayer.” The wide sound stage
the headphones create is paired with
excellent resolution in the midrange, letting
you feel immersed.
Works well with all
genres of music.
Bass can be a
little dark on
certain tracks.
AT A GLANCE
FREqUENCy RESPONSE
16Hz - 22kHz
iMPEdANCE
28 Ohm
WEiGHT
210g
PRiCE
US$ 399.95
seNNHeiser momeNtUm oN-eAr Wireless
H W M P H | N o v e m b e r 2 0 1 666
S p E C I F I C A T I o N
BEATS SOLO2
on-ear wireless
headphones
N.A
N.A
N.A
2.1 + EDR
12 hours
215g
US$ 199.95
PARROT Zik3.0
on-ear wireless
headphones
N.A
N.A
20Hz - 22kHz
3.0
6 hours
270g
US$ 399.99
Model
type
Sensitivity
Impedance
Frequency response
(via Bluetooth)
bluetooth version
Battery life
(on Bluetooth)
Weight
Price
Model
type
Sensitivity
Impedance
Frequency response
(via Bluetooth)
bluetooth version
Battery life
(on Bluetooth)
Weight
Price
JBL EVEREST
ELiTE 300
on-ear wireless
headphones
102dB
N.A
10Hz - 22kHz
4.0
10 hours
250g
US$ 249.95
PENdULUMiC
TACH T1
on-ear wireless
headphones
128dB
32 Ohm
20Hz - 20kHz
4.1 with aptX enhancement
25 hours
(with extra AAA battery)
245g
US$ 249.00
ONkyO H500BT
on-ear wireless
headphones
105dB
16 ohm
7Hz - 23.5kHz
4.0
16 hours
217g
inquire
SENNHEiSER
MOMENTUM
WIRELESS On-EAR
on-ear wireless
headphones
111dB
28 Ohm
16Hz - 22kHz
4.0 + EDR
22 hours
210g
US$ 399.95
h a r d w a r e z o n e . c o m . p h 67
tHe Best
oN-eAr Wireless
HeAdpHoNes Are
C o N C l u S I o N
seNNHeiser momeNtUm
oN-eAr Wireless
When it comes to details, there really was very little to
nitpick between this and the Parrot Zik 3.0 (both are priced
similarly). Both excelled in their own ways, especially in
terms of resolution and imaging. Where the Zik 3.0 falls
behind is its poor battery life when operating wirelessly.
the Sennheiser momentum on-ear Wireless may not
have as many bells and whistles, but what it does, it does
exceptionally well. Whether you like your audio clean and
refined, or strong and aggressive, it will produce it well.
jBl everest elite 300
The JBL Everest Elite 300 pleasantly surprised us with its
abilities, showing good all-around performance. they might
not have the last word in detail, but they’re certainly very
capable performers in their own right, being balanced
enough to work well with almost any genre of music.
Couple that audio performance with good design, better
than average noise-cancelling, and fairly good comfort,
and you have a recipe for hours of good listening. Similarly
priced as the Pendulumic’s Tach T1, the Everest Elite 300 is
much less expensive than the Sennheiser.
test
Best
perfOrmanCe
test
Best
value
H W M P H | N o v e m b e r 2 0 1 668
T E S T
VS
HUAWEi MATE 8

ONEPLUS 3

OPPO R9 PLUS

SAMSUNG GALAXy A7 (2016)

SONy XPERiA XA ULTRA

XiAOMi Mi 5 (32GB)

ZTE AXON 7
spoiliNg
tHe mArket
The budget flagship smartphone tier is one of the most
competitive markets today. As increased competition
drives the price of these flagship-level smartphones down,
consumers reap the rewards of advanced features, premium
builds, powerful processors, and high-resolution displays.
But which offers the most bang for your buck? We find out.
Text by James Lu
Photography by Jasper Yu + Zaphs Zhang
Art Direction by Ian Chong
h a r d w a r e z o n e . c o m . p h 69
H W M P H | N o v e m b e r 2 0 1 6
T E S T
70
The Mate 8 uses the same circular
fingerprint scanner as the 6P.
it’s ultrathin 1.7mm bezel gives it a
much smaller footprint.
HUAWei mAte 8
The Huawei Mate 8 is a beautifully
designed 6-inch phablet clad in an allmetal Champagne Gold body. The side
of the phone have chamfered edges,
and there’s a very slight curve to the rear
that makes it more comfortable to hold.
Despite having a huge 6-inch display, the
Mate 8 doesn’t feel much
bigger than other phablets
in the more standard 5.5
to 5.7-inch range, thanks to
its incredibly thin 1.7mm
bezels. This gives it nearly 80
percent screen-to-body ratio.
there’s a round
fingerprint scanner on
the back of the Huawei
Mate 8. Unlike earlier
Huawei phones that had
a square sensor, the mate
8’s is slightly recessed and
perfectly round. It’s not a
button, so you don’t have to
press it down to unlock the
phone. There’s a 16-megapixel camera with
an f/2.0 aperture, 27mm focal length, and
Sony’s IMX 298 sensor located just above
the fingerprint scanner. The bottom edge
of the phone houses a microUSB port as
well as the speaker grille. the speaker is a
little underpowered, but with a good pair of
headphones plugged in, the integrated DTS
audio suite delivers a rich sound and an
enjoyable listening experience.
A dual-SIm card tray, with the second
slot doubling up as a microSD card slot that
accepts up to 128GB cards, can be found
on the left side. meanwhile,
both the power button and
the volume rocker can be
found on the right-hand side.
The Huawei Mate 8 has a
6-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080p)
resolution (368ppi) IPS-NEO
LCD display. The screen is
bright enough to use under
direct sunlight, but it doesn’t
have the best contrast or
color reproduction.
The Huawei Mate 8 runs
on Huawei’s 16nm HiSilicon
Kirin 950 octa-core chipset,
which uses a quad-core
2.3GHz Cortex A72 and a
quad-core 1.8GHz Cortex A53. The battery
pack is a huge 4000mAh unit. In fact, the
battery of the Huawei Mate 8 is so big
that you can actually use the phone as a
powerbank and charge other devices and
smartphones with it.
Huge battery that can
be used to charge other
phones, dts audio
suite.
display could be better.
AT A GLANCE
diSPLAy
6-inch 1920 x 1080 pixels
IPS-NEO LCD (368ppi)
PROCESSOR
HiSilicon Kirin 950 (quadcore 2.3GHz Cortex A72 &
quad-core 1.8GHz Cortex
A53)
diMENSiONS
157.1 x 80.6 x 7.9mm
WEiGHT
185g
PRiCE
PhP 32,990
h a r d w a r e z o n e . c o m . p h 71
On the bottom of the OnePlus 3 is a
USB Type-C charging port.
The fingerprint scanner is one of
the fastest around.
Previous OnePlus phones have mixed
plastic and metal, but the OnePlus 3 is
the company’s most premium offering to
date with an all metal and glass design.
Combined with its 7.4mm thick frame and
slightly curved rear, the smooth anodized
aluminum makes the 5.5-inch phone a
delight to both look at and
hold. on the front of the
device, there’s a chamfered
bezel that runs around the
screen that adds to the
premium design. below the
display, there’s an oblong
home button that doubles
up as a fingerprint scanner,
flanked by two customizable
soft keys that light up when
pressed. the power button
can be found along the
right side, while the left side
houses the volume rocker
and a unique alert slider
that lets you toggle between
three sound profiles, and on the bottom, a
USB Type-C port.
The OnePlus 3 uses a 5.5-inch Full
HD resolution (401ppi) optic AMOLED
display made by Samsung. the screen is
gorgeous with excellent contrast and deep
blacks. Early versions of the OnePlus 3 had
inaccurate colors, but this has been fixed
by an otA software update that brings the
display much closer to the sRGB standard.
Located at the back of the OnePlus 3,
is a 16-megapixel, f/2.0 rear camera with
phase detection autofocus and optical
image stabilization, while
on the front you will find an
8-megapixel selfie shooter.
The OnePlus 3 runs
Android 6.0.1 with OxygenOS
layered on top. For the
most part, OxygenOS is
very similar to pure, vanilla
Android, with a few extra
levels of customization
available to the user.
the smartphone is
powered by Qualcomm’s
flagship Snapdragon 820
dual-core processor and a
whopping 6GB RAM. You get
64GB of onboard storage,
but unfortunately, there’s no option for
expansion. Inside, there’s a 3000mAh
battery pack that fast charges with the help
of OnePlus’ Dash Charge technology, which
will get you to about 60 percent charge in
around 30 minutes.
gorgeous Amoled
display, flagship-level
processor with 6gB
rAm, Alert slider.
No expandable storage.
oNeplUs 3
AT A GLANCE
diSPLAy
5.5-inch 1920 x 1080
pixels Optic AMOLED
(401ppi)
PROCESSOR
Qualcomm Snapdragon
820 (dual-core 2.15GHz
Kryo & dual-core 1.6GHz
Kryo)
diMENSiONS
152.7 x 74.7 x 7.4mm
WEiGHT
158g
PRiCE
PhP 20,990
H W M P H | N o v e m b e r 2 0 1 6
T E S T
72
The 16-megapixel front camera is
ideal for selfies.
The home button doubles up as a
fingerprint scanner.
Design-wise, the Oppo R9 Plus looks exactly
like a slightly larger Apple iPhone 6s Plus,
with the same shape and aluminum design,
right down to the antenna lines on the back.
The only real difference is an oblong Home
button. Like an iPhone, the Home button
doubles up as a fingerprint scanner, and the
power button can be found
on the right side, while the
volume rocker is on the left.
One big difference between
the two is that the R9 Plus
has expandable storage in
the form of a microSD card
slot that doubles up as the
second nano-SIm slot.
The R9 Plus has a 6-inch
Full HD (367ppi) AMOLED
display that boasts vivid
colors and fantastic contrast,
as well as exceptional
brightness that makes it easy
to use even under direct
sunlight. the only negative
worth noting about the screen is that the
auto-brightness sensor is a bit aggressive,
but this can easily be disabled through the
settings menu.
On the back of the R9 Plus is a decent
16-megapixel f/2.0 camera with a Sony IMX
298 sensor and phase detection autofocus.
On the front, you’ll also find a 16-megapixel
selfie camera, which is pretty good but
not quite as good as Sony XA Ultra’s
selfie camera, as it doesn’t have OIS or a
dedicated LED flash.
Inside the R9 Plus beats an octa-core
Qualcomm Snapdragon
652 processor with 4GB
rAm. this is a midrange
processor, so benchmark
performance isn’t quite up to
the standard of Snapdragon
820-based phones. The
phone runs on Android 5.1
with Oppo’s ColorOS 3.0
on top of it. Fitting with its
iPhone appearance, ColoroS
3.0 looks just like iOS, with
the app tray removed and all
apps appearing on the home
page. many apps, like the
camera and compass, are
even visual clones of their
ioS counterparts.
The R9 Plus has a massive 4120mAh
capacity battery and uses oppo’s vooC
flash charging, which we’ve found to be the
fastest charging solution. The R9 Plus will
reach 75 percent charge in just 30 minutes.
Huge battery, vooC
fast charging.
midrange processor.
oppo r9 plUs
AT A GLANCE
diSPLAy
6.0-inch 1920 x 1080
pixels AMOLED
(367ppi)
PROCESSOR
Qualcomm Snapdragon
652 (quad-core 1.8GHz
Cortex-A72 & quad-core
1.2GHz Cortex-A53)
diMENSiONS
163.1 x 80.8 x 7.4mm
WEiGHT
185g
PRiCE
Inquire
h a r d w a r e z o n e . c o m . p h 73
The A7 is the first non-flagship
phone that supports Samsung Pay.
There’s a pretty big camera bump
on the rear.
Samsung’s A range sits just below its
flagship S series and offers consumers
a flagship design and high-end features
at a more affordable price. The 2016 A7
looks very similar to Samsung’s Galaxy S6,
but with less rounded corners. there’s a
Gorilla Glass 4 panel on both the front and
back, which provides both
protection and premium
look and feel. the phone
has an aluminum frame with
beveled edges around the
sides and top.
Like the S6 and S7,
there’s a fingerprint scanner
on the Home button. The
scanner is accurate and just
as fast as the ones found
on the mentioned flagships.
It’s also compatible with
Samsung Pay.
there’s a dual-SIm card
tray on the left side of the
phone, with the second
SIm slot doubling up as a
microSD card slot that is compatible with
cards up to 256GB. Internally, you only get
16GB of storage.
The A7 has a 5.5-inch Super AMOLED
display, however, unlike Samsung’s QHD
flagship phones, the resolution is just Full
HD at 401ppi. Nevertheless, the clarity
remains top notch, and the display’s vivid
colors and deep contrast are just as good
as the displays found on the S6 and S7. The
bezel around the display is also fairly thin
at 2.7mm.
You’ll find a 13-megapixel
camera with an f/1.9
aperture and optical image
stabilization on the back
of the A7. Unfortunately,
there’s quite a sizeable
camera bump. on the front,
you’ll find a 5-megapixel
selfie camera with an
aperture of f/1.9.
the phone runs on
Android 5.1.1 Lollipop with
Samsung’s usual touchWiz
UI on top. The A7 is powered
by Samsung’s own Exynos
7580 octa-core processor
with 3GB RAM, which is
roughly equivalent to
Qualcomm’s midrange Snapdragon 650
processor. Battery-wise, it has a 3300mAh
non-removable battery that is compatible
with Samsung’s adaptive fast charging that
will get you to 50 percent in 30 minutes.
similar looks to
samsung’s flagship s
range, gorgeous super
Amoled display.
pretty big rear camera
bump, midrange
processor.
sAmsUNg gAlAXy A7 (2016)
AT A GLANCE
diSPLAy
5.5-inch 1920 x 1080
pixels Super AMOLED
(401ppi)
PROCESSOR
Exynos 7580 (Octa-core
1.6GHz Cortex-A53)
diMENSiONS
151.5 x 74.1 x 7.3mm
WEiGHT
172g
PRiCE
PhP 24,990
H W M P H | N o v e m b e r 2 0 1 6
T E S T
74
The XA Ultra’s front 16MP camera
has OIS and a dedicated LED flash!
due to its large screen, the XA Ultra
is pretty thick.
earlier this year, Sony transitioned away
from the exclusively high-end Z line, to
the more inclusive X series, with products
spanning the mid- to high-end. the largest
entry in the series is the XA Ultra.
While Sony was one of the first brands
boasting water-resistant smartphones, the
XA Ultra does not boast any
waterproofing. Despite this,
the left-side of the phone still
has port covers over the SIm
card and microSD memory
card slots, but they’re merely
cosmetic now. Around the
top and sides, the phone has
an aluminum frame, while
the back is matching color
polycarbonate. As expected
from its huge screen, the
XA Ultra isn’t the lightest
or thinnest phone out
there, weighing 202g and
measuring 8.4mm thick. On
the plus side, the phone is
quite narrow, thanks to its
nearly non-existent bezels.
both the power and volume rocker
can be found on the right-hand side.
Unfortunately, unlike the more expensive
X phone, the power button doesn’t double
up as a finger scanner. In fact, the XA Ultra
is the only phone in this shootout without a
fingerprint scanner.
The XA Ultra has a 6-inch Full HD
(367ppi) IPS LCD display. While the display
is very bright, colors are a little cold and the
contrast could be better, too. the phone’s
biggest draw for consumers
is its dual-camera system.
on the back you get a
21.5-megapixel shooter with
phase detection autofocus,
while on the front there’s a
16-megapixel camera with
optical image stabilization
and a dedicated LED flash.
this makes it one of the
best selfie cameras in this
shootout.
Powering the XA Ultra
is an octa-core mediatek
MT6755 Helio P10 processor
and 3GB RAM. This
processor is comparable to
Qualcomm’s 650 processor,
and as such falls behind the
Snapdragon 820-powered smartphones in
this particular shootout. Despite its huge
size, the battery inside the XA Ultra is a
relatively small 2700mAh unit.
21.5mp rear camera,
16mp front camera
with ois and led flash.
midrange processor,
no fingerprint scanner,
display
could be better,
small battery.
soNy XperiA XA UltrA
AT A GLANCE
diSPLAy
6-inch 1920 x 1080 pixels
IPS LCD (367ppi)
PROCESSOR
Mediatek MT6755 Helio
P10 (quad-core 2.0GHz
Cortex-A53 & quad-core
1.0GHz Cortex-A53)
diMENSiONS
164 x 79 x 8.4mm
WEiGHT
202g
PRiCE
US$ 369.99
h a r d w a r e z o n e . c o m . p h 75
Despite the phone’s profile, there’s
no camera bump on the back.
The Mi 5 uses a USB Type-C
charging port.
Xiaomi has built a reputation for overdelivering and under-pricing, and its latest
Mi 5 is no different. The Mi 5 has a 3D glass
rear on the back and a smooth aluminum
frame with chamfered edges along the
top and sides. Incredibly, Xiaomi has also
almost completely eliminated bezels around
the display. the image
doesn’t quite run all the way
up to the edge, but it’s as
close as you can get.
below the display, for
the first time on a Xiaomi
device, there’s a physical
home button that doubles
up as a fingerprint scanner
that is both incredibly fast
and accurate. on the top
of the phone, next to the
headphone port, there’s an
Ir blaster that allows you to
control anything from your
tv to your air conditioner
with the assistance of
Xiaomi’s mi remote app.
The Mi 5 has a 5.15-inch Full HD
(428ppi) IPS LCD panel. Colors are vibrant
and contrast is surprisingly good with
deep blacks. viewing angles are superb
and retain full color at all angles. An
exceptionally bright (600cd/m2) display
keeps the phone usable even under bright
overhead sunlight.
As with all of Xiaomi’s devices, the mi
5 ships with MIUI; a heavily customized
version of Android oS. As with previous
versions of MIUI, the app tray has been
completely removed, with all
of your apps placed on the
Home screen, just like iOS.
the mi 5 is powered by
a Qualcomm Snapdragon
820 quad-core processor.
It’s worth noting, however,
that this isn’t the same 820
processor found inside the
OnePlus 3 and the ZTE Axon
7. Instead, the Mi 5 uses a
slightly slower variant, with
a pair of dual-core Kyro
processors clocked at 1.8GHz
and 1.35GHz.
on the rear of the mi 5
is a 16-megapixel camera
with a Sony IMX 298 sensor,
4-axis optical image stabilization and a fairly
wide f/2.0 aperture lens.
The Mi 5 has a 3000mAh battery, and is
compatible with QuickCharge 3.0, which will
get it to 60 percent charge in 30 minutes.
ir blaster, nearly
bezel-less design, fast
fingerprint scanner.
No expandable
storage, slower variant
of snapdragon 820
processor.
XiAomi mi 5 (32gB)
AT A GLANCE
diSPLAy
5.15-inch 1920 x 1080
pixels IPS LCD (428ppi)
PROCESSOR
Qualcomm Snapdragon
820 (dual-core 1.8GHz
Kryo & dual-core 1.36GHz
Kryo)
diMENSiONS
144.6 x 69.2 x 7.3mm
WEiGHT
129g
PRiCE
US$ 305
H W M P H | N o v e m b e r 2 0 1 6
T E S T
76
There’s a USB Type-C charging port
at the bottom of the phone.
The fingerprint scanner can be
found on the back of the Axon 7.
The ZTE Axon 7 has a fairly conservative
design with an aluminum unibody build
with a curved profile and rolled edges. Its
antenna lines are in exactly the same place
as the OnePlus 3 and the similarity between
the two is hard not to notice. the back of
the phone has a fingerprint sensor under
the camera module. the
sensor itself is decent, but
not as fast or accurate as the
ones found on the OnePlus 3
or Xiaomi mi 5.
the right edge houses
both the power button and
volume rocker, while a USB
type-C port can be found
on the bottom. below the
screen, there are three soft
keys for home, back, and
menu. the buttons are a
little cramped though and
not backlit. We often found
ourselves missing them or
hitting the wrong one.
The Axon 7 has the
highest resolution display in
this shootout, with a 5.5-inch QHD (2560 x
1440p) resolution (538ppi) AMOLED panel.
This is the same kind of display you find
on more expensive phones such as the
Samsung Galaxy X7. The display itself is
fantastic, with excellent clarity, plenty of
brightness, and deep contrast. Colors are
vivid without being oversaturated.
Audio is also worth mentioning on the
Axon 7 with its front-facing stereo speakers.
Volume is excellent and the addition of
Dolby Atmos technology
helps to control distortion at
high volumes. Audio quality
on the Axon 7 was way
ahead of the rest of the field.
On the back of the Axon
7 is a 20-megapixel, f/1.8
camera with phase detection
autofocus and optical image
stabilization. on the front,
you get an 8-megapixel, f/2.2
selfie shooter.
the phone is powered
by a Qualcomm Snapdragon
820 processor with 4GB
rAm. Internally, there’s
64GB storage, and the
second nano-SIm card slot
doubles up as a microSD
slot supporting cards up to 256GB. The
battery of the Axon 7 is a 3250mAh capacity
unit, and is compatible with Qualcomm’s
QuickCharge 3.0.
gorgeous QHd display,
stereo front-facing
speakers with dolby
Atmos technology.
soft key layout
cramped, fingerprint
scanner not as fast or
accurate as others.
Zte AXoN 7
AT A GLANCE
diSPLAy
5.55-inch QHD
2560 x 1440 pixels
AMOLED (538ppi)
PROCESSOR
Qualcomm Snapdragon
820 (dual-core 2.15GHz
Kryo & dual-core 1.6GHz
Kryo)
diMENSiONS
151.7 x 75 x 7.9mm
WEiGHT
175g
PRiCE
US$ 450
h a r d w a r e z o n e . c o m . p h 77
Huawei Mate 8
592.6
OnePlus 3
673
Oppo R9 Plus
583.6
Samsung Galaxy A7
733.2
Sony Xperia XA Ultra
943.5
Xiaomi mi 5
601.5
ZTE Axon 7
688.1
Huawei Mate 8
816
OnePlus 3
784
Oppo R9 Plus
900
Samsung Galaxy A7
898
Sony Xperia XA Ultra
536
Xiaomi mi 5
660
ZTE Axon 7
696
Huawei Mate 8
29,532
Oppo R9 Plus
36,552
OnePlus 3
44,398
Samsung Galaxy A7
23,142
Sony Xperia XA Ultra
19,856
Xiaomi mi 5
39,864
ZTE Axon 7
42,975
Huawei Mate 8
20,326
Oppo R9 Plus
18,136
OnePlus 3
30,722
Samsung Galaxy A7
14,869
Sony Xperia XA Ultra
12,568
Xiaomi mi 5
27,398
ZTE Axon 7
30,058
sUNspider jAvAsCript
(in ms; lower is Better)
most of the phones scored within a similar range here
(the outlier being the XA Ultra) and there wasn’t much
to separate them in terms of actual user experience
either, with every phone providing a smooth and lagfree experience (again, only the XA Ultra showed some
slight jerkiness).
QUAdrANt
(Higher is Better)
Two phones stood out here: the OnePlus 3 and ZTE
Axon 7. There was also a surprisingly large difference
between these two and the mi 5’s slightly slower
Snapdragon 820. The OnePlus 3 posted the best score
overall, thanks to its whopping 6GB RAM.
3dmArk iCe storm UNlimited
(Higher is Better)
Once again the OnePlus 3 and ZTE Axon 7 pulled far
ahead of the field, with the slightly slower Mi 5 lagging
slightly behind.
BAttery life
(in minutes; Higher is Better)
The AMOLED smartphones generally fared better here.
The exceptions being the Mate 8, which lasted just as
long thanks to its massive 4000mAh battery, and the
Axon 7, which didn’t have quite the same staying power
due to its higher resolution QHD display.
oNeplUs 3
OnePlus has improved year after year, and the OnePlus 3 is its finest smartphone to date.
While previous onePlus phones had to include some compromises to keep the price low, the
OnePlus 3 is flagship-quality through and through, with a premium metal design, powerful
top-of-the-line processor, high-end AMOLED display, and quality of front and rear cameras.
onePlus has also done away with the troublesome invite system, so you won’t have any
difficulty buying one. ZTE’s Axon 7 gives the OnePlus 3 a run for its money, and on paper,
its QHD display and expandable storage certainly make it look like a more appealing choice,
but some niggling usability issues, such as cramped non-backlit soft keys, and a sometimes
unresponsive fingerprint scanner held the Axon 7 back.
tHe Best
AffordABle
flAgsHip
smArtpHoNe is
H W M P H | N o v e m b e r 2 0 1 6
C o N C l u S I o N
78
test
Best
perfOrmanCe
H W M P H | N o v e m b e r 2 0 1 680
l e a r n / Be smarter
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the advent of new means to stay connected with people, such as social networking,
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H W M P H | N o v e m b e r 2 0 1 6
l E A R N
82
We’ve all been there at some point or another. There’s
no forgetting all the time wasted on overturning sofa
cushions or rooting around in odd places for your phone,
only to find that it was really on your bedside table all along.
But what if that happens to you out in the urban jungle?
Fortunately, Google has made it easy to track down your
phone. All without requiring you to download a dedicated
tracking app like Cerberus. iOS owners already have Find My
iPhone, so this is for you Android users out there.
PRe-RequIsItes
Ensure that location is on
and the mode is set to High
accuracy. This option can be
found in the Google Settings
app under Location > Mode
> High Accuracy
The phone must be linked
to Google. This means
updating the Google app,
turning on Google Now
cards and notifications, and
signing into your browser.
Enable the options that
allow your device to be
located, locked, and erased
remotely. These are found
in the Google Settings app
under Security.
Make sure your device isn’t
hidden on Google Play.
Unhide a device by going to
play.google.com/settings
and selecting it in the
Visibility column.
1. AskIng googLe foR heLP
There isn’t actually a fixed activation phrase that you have to use.
Conversational prompts like “I lost my phone” or “where is my
phone” will work just fine. Google will then ask you to sign in to
verify ownership before attempting to locate your device.
If all goes well, you should see your phone’s location below the
bar, along with options to ring or attempt to recover the phone. In our
tests, this was accurate to around 20 meters, which isn’t too shabby.
h a r d w a r e z o n e . c o m . p h 83
Pictu
re CERB
ERU
S there are also dedicated anti-theft solutions like
the Cerberus app. Cerberus offers more advanced
functions than Google and you’ll be able to pull your
device’s location history to find out where it ’s been,
and even get a list of the last calls sent and received.
It ’s primarily aimed at locating stolen phone, so you
can also take pictures, screenshots, and records
videos in an attempt to identify the thief. Audio
recording is within capabilities as well, and you’ll be
able to remotely activate the microphone.
of course, you don’t want the thief to know that
you’re spying on her (or him), and you’ll be able to hide
Cerberus from the app drawer.
If Google isn’t good enough…
3. ReCoveRIng (oR seCuRIng) youR Phone
Clicking the “recover” button lets you lock your phone or write a note
to whoever happens to be holding onto your phone at the moment. In
addition, you can include a contact number in order to better facilitate
the recovery.
You can also sign out of your Google account on the phone to
prevent access to it. You’ll still be able to ring, locate, lock, or wipe the
phone after doing this.
2. LoCAtIng youR Phone In the ReAL woRLd
If you’re lucky and the phone is in the immediate vicinity, you can
choose to ring it. Hopefully, that will be the end of it.
With that said, it’s worth noting that when you do locate your phone,
a notification will appear in the notification pull-down window that the
phone has been located by Android Device Manager. If your phone was
in fact stolen, this might alert the thief that you’re onto that person
and lead him/her to take the phone offline, stymying further recovery
efforts.
4. wIPIng the Phone
If your phone turns out to be stolen, the above measures are probably
going to prove futile. In this case, you might even want to consider the
nuclear option – erasing all the data.
This method isn’t foolproof, however. If your phone is offline, it’ll
only be wiped the next time it comes online. But if it never comes online
again, your data will remain intact. Furthermore, there is no guarantee
that Google will be able to properly wipe any memory cards installed
within the phone.
PIC
TU
RE o
M
n ig ro u P
gettIng stARted wIth Contexts
Projects are one way to organize actions in OmniFocus, and
Contexts are another. Simply put, a context is whatever that
is needed in order to complete an action. That can mean a
place, a thing, or a person.
Where Projects lets you see all the steps you need to
accomplish a goal, Contexts lets you see what you need to
see, when you need to see it. Projects and Contexts aren’t
Last September, we covered how to start with sync,
actions and projects in OmniFocus 2. For part two of
this guide, we’re going to look at how we can use locations
and dates to organize our actions.
H W M P H | N o v e m b e r 2 0 1 684
l E A R N
exclusive. An action can have both a Project and a Context
(but only one of each, an action cannot have multiple Projects
or Contexts).
For example, you can give the actions that you can only
complete at home a “Home” context, and the actions that
you can only complete in the office an “Office” context.
You can begin to see why Contexts are so powerful. When
you’re in the office, you don’t need to see actions that are
meant for home. When you view by Context, you will only see
what actions you have remaining for where you are located at
the moment.
To start using Context, you can start with OmniFocus’
default Contexts. When you make a new action, choose which
Context you want to add, below the Projects field.
To edit the name of an existing
context
1. On the Home screen, tap ‘Contexts.’
2. Tap the name of the Context you
want to change.
3. Tap the name again.
4. In the Context’s Settings page,
tap its name again to bring up the
keyboard and edit its name.
to delete existing Contexts, and subcontexts, using the ‘delete’ command
1. On the Home screen, tap ‘Contexts.’
2. Swipe left on the Context you want
to delete.
3. Tap on the ‘Delete’ command that
appears.
Adding actions in Contexts
1. On the Home screen, tap ‘Contexts.’
2. Tap the Context you want to add a
new action in.
3. Tap the ‘+’ sign on the top right.
4. Select ‘New Action.’
5. Type in your new action.
how specific should
Contexts be?
Some people use extremely granular
contexts. They have on for “Office,” and
under that they have “PC,” “Phone,”
“Meeting,” and so on. I’ve heard people
using a dedicated shop for a Context, like
“the supermarket near my house.”
So how detailed should your
contexts be? It all depends on you. My
contexts aren’t so specific, instead of
“Supermarket,” for example, I use a
catch-all “Shopping” context. One way to
find out how many you need is to use the
fewest you can get away with until you
really need to add more.
delete Contexts, or rearrange them,
using the ‘edit’ command
1. On the Home screen, tap ‘Contexts.’
2. Tap ‘Edit’ on the top right.
3. Tap on the red circles with a ‘-’
sign next to the Context you wanted to
delete or remove.
4. Drag the ‘hamburger’ symbol
(the three horizontal lines) to
rearrange the Contexts’ order.
editing omnifocus’ default contexts
There are a few ways to edit
OmniFocus’ default contexts. To add a
new Context of your own:
1. On the Home screen, tap ‘Contexts.’
2. Tap the ‘+@@@’ symbol
on the top right.
3. Type in the name of your
new Context.
h a r d w a r e z o n e . c o m . p h 85
gettIng stARted wIth
due dAtes
Dates are another way you can manage
your day-to-day actions. There are
two kinds of dates you can set: Due
Dates and Deferred Dates. We’ll start
with Due Dates which are simply times
when the actions are due.
Whe you set a due date for an
action; say, the 1st of October 5pm,
that action will show up in the Forecast
view as due, on the 1st of October.
to set a due date
1. Tap on the action on which you want
to set a Due Date.
2. In the action’s Settings page,
tap ‘Due.’
3. Choose the action’s due date
and time.
get notified on due dates
You can also set up OmniFocus
notifications so you get a number
badge on the OmniFocus icon with the
number of actions due that day, as
well as reminders when actions have
reached their due time and not been
completed. If, during setup, you chose
not to get notifications, here’s how you
can get them.
1. Pull down on the Home screen to
access the Menu.
2. Tap on ‘Settings.’
3. Scroll down to find, and tap on
‘Sounds, Alerts, and Badges.’
4. Tap ‘Allow Notifications.’
5. When iOS asks if you want
OmniFocus to send you notifications,
tap ‘OK.’
6. OmniFocus will now show badge
counts for actions which are due soon
and overdue.
how to set closer notifications
I find OmniFocus’ default setting of
2 days for actions that are ‘Due Soon’
to be too far in advance. I only want
to see what’s really due soon in the
immediate future. To change this:
1. Pull down on the Home screen to
access the Menu.
2. Tap on ‘Settings.’
3. Scroll down to find, and tap on
‘“Due Soon” Means.’
4. Change how far in advance you’d
like ‘due soon’ to mean (mine is set to
24 hours).
Due Dates in OmniFocus are a good
way to handle time-sensitive actions,
which must be completed on a given
date. They can also be a way to help
you move projects forward. For
example, I can set a Due Date for today
to book a flight to Hong Kong, and a
Due Date for tomorrow to book a hotel.
Setting Due Dates this way helps me to
make sure I act on my actions as the
week goes on.
H W M P H | N o v e m b e r 2 0 1 686
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tip: how to see deferred
actions
by default, deferred actions are shown as
grayed-out items.
to hide them:
1. Pull down on the screen in any page other
than the Home page (for example, on the
Projects screen).
2. tap on ‘view.’
3. by default, omniFocus shows all remaining
items, which includes actions and projects that
are blocked, in the future (deferred) and which
have been put on hold.
4. tap on ‘Available’ to only show items that are
available to act on now.
5. Actions and projects that have been deferred
should now be hidden from view.
to see a list of all your actions again, including
your deferred actions:
1. Pull down on the screen in any page other
than the Home page (for example, on the
Projects screen).
2. tap on ‘view.’
3. Select ‘remaining’ which will show you both
active and deferred actions
4. Tap ‘Done.’
gettIng stARted wIth
defeRRed dAtes
Deferred Dates are the other way
to handle time-sensitive dates in
OmniFocus. Whereas Due Dates let
you set a time when an action has to
be completed, Deferred Dates let you
put off actions until when they can be
acted on.
For example, I can set an action to
“Buy a Christmas present for Tom,”
and defer the action until the 1st of
December. When I do that, the actions
disappears from my default view and
only reappears on my default until on
the 1st of December.
Why is this useful? In the GTD
system, it’s only useful to see your
available actions when you can actually
act on them. To see actions for buying
Christmas presents in September,
when I don’t want to act on them now,
is a waste of time and attention. So
Deferred Dates are a way for you to put
it presently irrelevant actions out of
sight and out of mind, until when you
can do them.
to set a deferred date
1. Tap on the action on which you want
to set a Deferred Date.
2. In the action’s Settings page,
tap ‘Defer Until’.
3. Choose the action’s deferred
date and time.
using both deferred and due dates
You can use both Deferred and Due
Dates for a single action. Let’s say I
want to ask Brenda about where to visit
in Hong Kong, but I’ll only be meeting
her next Monday for lunch. So I’ll defer
the action to next Monday at 12pm, and
set its Due Date for Monday at 1pm.
h a r d w a r e z o n e . c o m . p h 87
1. don’t feAR the wAteR
Both the Note7 and its S Pen are IP68 dust
and water resistant so you don’t have to
worry about dropping it in your drink.
Everything is sealed internally so you can
even get water inside the S Pen stylus silo
without damaging anything. Unlike most
water-resistant smartphones, where the
screen won’t work underwater, you can
actually use and write with the S Pen while
its submerged underwater.
3. A gIf foR eveRy sItuAtIon
The Smart Select feature in Air Command
allows you to draw on screen to make
selections of words and images, and
even copy said selections and share them
between apps. New to Smart Select on the
Note7 is an animated GIF creator that lets
you easily create animated GIFs of up to 15
seconds long from videos or YouTube clip.
Just fire it up, draw a rectangle around the
content you want to capture, and hit record.
2. tAke notes wIthout
tuRnIng the sCReen on
Pull the S Pen out when the display is off to
activate Screen-Off Memo. This lets you jot
down quick notes in white text on the black
display. If you want the note to remain
visible like a sticky note on the always-oon
display, just pin it to the Always On Display
screen. You can also store the memos in
the Samsung Notes app directly from the
Always On Display screen.
H W M P H | N o v e m b e r 2 0 1 688
l E A R N
7. gLAnCe between APPs
Like Magnify, Glance is off by default and needs to be
turned on in the Air Command settings menu. Once
on, you can use Glance to minimize your current app.
You can the nhover the S Pen over the app thumbnail
to swap to it. Perfect for switching between directions
and a map.
4. foReIgn LAnguAges ARe eAsy
Translate plugs into Google Translate and can translate
words on-screen, or even images in real time. Test
it out by taking a picture of the menu in a French or
Italian restaurant, then hovering your S Pen over a
word you don’t understand.
5. PRess hARdeR (oR LIghteR)
The Note7’s S Pen tip is just 0.7mm, 60 percent
thinner than the Note 5’s S Pen. That makes it
more precise, but what if you want a thicker line?
No problem, just press harder. The Note7’s S Pen
recognizes up to 4096 levels of pressure, twice of that
of last year’s Note 5.
6. get A mAgnIfIed vIew of thIngs
Magnify can be used to enhance a square on-screen
area by 150 to 300 percent – selectable in 50 percent
increments, depending on the S Pen’s position. You
can hit links in magnify mode, too. This is very useful
when you’re browsing a non-mobile website and a
pop-up with a tiny close button appears.
PIC
TU
RES sa
M
su n g h a r d w a r e z o n e . c o m . p h 89
1. no seLfIes
Cut the selfie. If you must
shoot selfies, keep them for
yourself.
2. get A monoPod
Carry a monopod and use
it. Your rate of keepers will
increase substantially because
even a cheap monopod will go
a long way to eliminate the
shakes in your photos.
3. use An sLR
Try not to believe those huge
billboards on our highways
which are trying to convince
the unknowing that your
mobile phone is good enough
to produce excellent travel
photographs. The best and
most versatile camera for real
photography is the SLR. No
arguments about that.
PIC
TU
RES Yu
su f H
a sH iM H W M P H | N o v e m b e r 2 0 1 690
l E A R N
4. the 3 key Lenses
to get
Carry three good and fast
zoom lenses when you travel –
a 16-35mm, a 24-70mm, and
a 70-200mm. Don’t buy any
zooms that has a more than
3x multiple of its shortest
focal length.
5. MYA!
Try to find your own unique
perspective when shooting
all those common tourist
attractions that all clueless
tourists shoot. MYA, or Move
Your Ass, and try to find an
angle of view that is uniquely
yours. Remember, the spot
where your tourist bus stops
for you to shoot your signature
photo is not the best place. You
need to walk around a little
bit to find a viewpoint that is
uniquely your expression of
what you are seeing.
h a r d w a r e z o n e . c o m . p h 91
HoW to knoW if You’re reallY iMProving?
Do you agree that National Geographic magazines
have some of the best travel photographs in the world?
to check if your photo is anywhere near their high
standards, simply print out eight National Geographic
photos, print two of your best travel photos, mix them
up, and toss them on a table. Ask anybody whose
photography you respect to pick five of the best photos in
the mix. If any of your photos are among the five, salute,
you have finally arrived.
And remember, there are really no good
photographers. A good photographer is someone who
shows only his good photos.
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• Total service orientation
• Sound strategies that stem from strong consumer insight
• Creative and out-of-the box executions
• Cost efficient programs
• Clear measures of project effectivity
Our Service Menu
Events Marketing
• Product Launches
• Road Shows
• Business Conferences/Seminars
• Corporate Events
• Trade Activations
Promotions
• Consumer, Trade, And
Internal Promotions
• Sales Promos
• Sponsorship Tie-ins
• Manpower Management
Relationship Marketing
• Direct Mail
• Efforts
• Loyalty Programs
• Team-Building Activities
• Customer Relation Mgt.
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H W M P H | N o v e m b e r 2 0 1 696
C o N T E S T
Terms and Conditions • This contest is open to all HWM readers except staff of Hardware Zone Phils. Corp. • The qualifying period for this contest is
until 30 November 2016. • Only the winner(s) of the contest will be notified via email. • Winners are given 15 days to respond to the notification email
and another 15 days since replying to claim their respective prizes. Prizes not claimed within this period will be forfeited. • Selection panel’s decisions
are final and no correspondence will be entertained. • Only one (1) entry per reader in a particular contest. • Should the specified prize be no longer
available (e.g., phased out), the contest sponsor may change the prize to another product of similar or equal value. • By sending in your entries, you are
agreeing to the above-mentioned terms and conditions.
the HWM team congratulates
Vincent Franco for winning
the travelex luggage from our
october issue contest.
With fully functional speed limit
protection, the HoverHero has
real 10-inch premium rubber tires
capable of up to 25 kilometers of cruising mileage. Adding
the groove to your ride, it’s also equipped with a built-in
Bluetooth speaker and four sleek LED lights.
‘Tis the season of giving! In celebration of kimstore’s 10th
anniversary, we’ll be choosing two lucky winners of a HoverHero
hoverboard! As an added bonus, each winner will take home an
Apricot 32GB OTG Flash drive, too!
Quite a steal, right? Win these goodies by just answering the
question: What gadgets do you want to see for a review or a feature on
HWM Philippines’ upcoming issue?
Send in your entries via email to editor.ph@hwzcorp.com together
with your name, address, and telephone number. For more information
about the products, visit http://kimstore.com.
Hop ON
ype!the
WIN THESE!

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