Two weeks ago, I enjoyed a night of being wined and dined by the good folks from SONY as they unveiled their new BRAVIA line of TV’s.
I’ll tell you a secret. Having been a tech writer and editor for more than 10 years, I’m at my most uncomfortable self writing about anything to do with A/V products. Not because I don’t understand flat screen TV’s or audio — it’s more about trying to describe in words an experience that’s best felt when you’re there. How do you write about 3D? How do you write about 7.1 surround sound? You can shove a thousand words to your reader and he still won’t get it.
Whoa! Windows Phone 8 for less that P10,000? Nice! Last week, Microsoft Philippines together with HUAWEI unveiled a sub-10k smartphone running on the latest Windows Phone 8 operating system. Historically, there have been other Windows Phone devices that have been released for less than P10,000 yet cannot be upgraded to the latest OS.
Here are the specs:
480 x 800 pixels, 4.0 inches
5 MP, 2592х1944 pixels, autofocus, LED flash
Qualcomm MSM8230 Snapdragon
Dual-core 1.2 GHz Krait with Adreno 305 GPU
microSD expansion up to 32 GB
Internal 4GB storage with 512MB RAM
Before we talk about the BlackBerry I’d like to momentarily digress you, the reader, to a time back in the year 2000 when a company known as 3COM unveiled their new trade name under Palm Inc. It was, henceforth the company that brought memorable palm pilot devices such as the m515, the Zire, Tungsten, Lifedrive and of course, the Treo series which arguably became the basis of the modern day smartphone. Five years later, the company renamed itself into palmOne, and then after a number of months reverted back to the original name, Palm. In 2009, we all said goodbye to the iconic ecosystem, which was in turn replaced by webOS (which was then bought and then sold once more by HP).
Earlier this morning, Commander Chris Hadfield of the International Space Station put this out on Google+ and Twitter. Looks like rush hour down there.
Tonight’s Finale: At long last – Manila, capital of the Philippines, delicately shining in the night.
This photo gives me that warm, fuzzy feeling especially when you see the G+ conversation thread.
Nokia has put a price tag on its entry-level follow up to the Lumia 610. The new Lumia 620, pegged at PHP 11,600 comes with the following tech specs:
5MP main camera and secondary front-facing VGA camera
Windows Phone 8 software
PhotoBeamer (free) for photo sharing
Snapdragon™ S4 Dual-core 1.0GHz
3.8″ LCD screen
1300 mAh battery life
512 MB RAM and 8GB internal storage (additional 7GB online with Skydrive)
Up to 64GB microSD card slot
I’m so pumped for this. Last year, while helping out some of the PLDT Telpad guys for a project, they mentioned that they would be bringing in some sort of “Netflix-like” service. For those unfamiliar, Netflix is an on-demand online video streaming service in the US. It used to be that videos were delivered via physical discs to your home address but since the Internet has been blowing our minds with better speeds as the years pass, bandwidth became the main delivery method.
I was excited!
Fast forward to 2013 and I get invited to lunch with Sherwin dela Cruz, a fellow geek I had met during the Samsung-Tradeport partnership for the Blupass movie delivery service. Finally, we have our very own on-demand movie streaming service in the Philippines and for PHP 60.00 per movie, this is very competitive vs piracy.
Here are the details:
The streaming service is at ClickPlay.PH. They charge PHP 60.00 for movies. Some titles will be pegged at a higher cost.
Right now they have about 70++ titles which will be bumped up to 200++ in the following months. Regarding movies and series availability, this has to do more with the big TV networks abroad making the content available locally. I give my hats off to the folks at ClickPlay for being able to continuously negotiate for more and more titles, making them available at even cheaper rates compared to iTunes. This is no easy feat.
As of now, payment options include Paypal and credit card. More easy-access options available soon. They just launched.
For now you will be able to access the HTML5 site and stream. You will need Microsoft Silverlight (this is a DRM issue with the networks). The apps for mobile are coming. Once you rent a title, you will need to watch it within 30 days. From the moment you start watching, you can play it an unlimited number of times for 48 hours.
There is a subscription model coming soon. In the meantime, if you are a PLDT Fibr subscriber, you can avail of the packages for free! Here they are:
8mbps -3 movies per month
20mbps -4 movies per month
50mbps -10 movies per month
100mbps -20 movies per month
All existing customers come pre-registered (using their account# and telephone # as the username and password). This is valid till March 31, 2013.
This is Nokia’s entry-level “206″ model that costs PHP 2,850. If you know anyone that needs an updated feature phone for calls and text and yeah a bit of Facebook, this is something you can recommend.
That’s all folks!
• Imaging technology that optimizes photos taken with its 1.3MP camera for sharing on Facebook
• A comprehensive social and mobile entertainment package with eBuddy Chat and a gift pack of 10 free, premium content items.
• Exclusive Easy Swap technology that enables consumers to change SIM cards without having to turn off the device.
• The Nokia 206 remember the settings of up to five SIM cards making it easy to switch between making calls or using the Internet
• An impressive standby time of up to 28 days.
UPDATE: If you’re interested in Lenovo’s P-series (with long life battery) do check out the Lenovo P770.
If you’re a close follower of Lenovo’s release schedule for phones, you’ll notice that they churn out about four or five units a quarter. At the recent CES, Lenovo unveiled five new phones for Q1 2013. We have one of these units now. The Ideaphone S720 is the perfect choice if you’re looking for a sub 10k Android device with a 4.5″ screen.
Finally, the PS3 exclusive, Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch is now available locally via everyone’s favorite Datablitz. Ni No Kuni is a refreshing (and absolutely beautiful) revisit to classic Japanese RPG’s. If you want over 40 hours of amazing gaming bliss, this will only set you back by PHP 2,500.00. It’s very worth it.
OK since Qualcomm said that we’re all BORN MOBILE (LOL!), we have a new generation of smartphones made available by Lenovo to the local market. Out of the five phones announced in CES 2013, we now have local information for three of the five, including local pricing. The three phones are the S720, A800 and the A690.
To differentiate the three models, the S720 is essentially your multimedia phone that sports a crisp IPS screen. The A800 is your mid-range performance phone while the A690 is Lenovo’s entry-level Android device that doesn’t suck (some entry level phones from manufacturers aren’t even worth it).
The S720 comes with the following specs:
This is a bit late, but SHARP sent over a semi-new AQUOS SH530U Android phone. We’ve seen an army of Android devices in the past 24 months and I’m glad to say that this one from SHARP is one of the more interesting ones. It’s pretty much what passes as a “modern Android device” sporting a 5″ screen, dual SIM capabilities and a decent 1GHz processor. For PHP 12,800.00 it’s definitely a good deal.