Motorola XOOM Available in Manila, Philippines

motorola xoom in manila

So I was roaming around SM Megamall this afternoon when I saw this Motorola XOOM booth in Mega Building B, It’s right infront of the second entrance from the old SM Supermarket. I immediately peeked around and lo and behold there it was, the Motorola XOOM in the flesh. I was able to “touch” and play around with the demo unit and the first thing I noticed upon holding the XOOM is that it was a bit heavy. It was almost the same weight as the iPad 2 or perhaps heavier. Or maybe because I’m using the Galaxy Tab 10.1 more often these past few days so I was not used to a heavier tablet now.

Anyway, the Motorola XOOM on sale is running Android 3.0 unlike the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 which is already in 3.1. They both have the Wi-Fi only and 3G versions of the Motorola XOOM on sale. Price tag is I think around Php 30K for the 32GB Wi-FI only and $33-36 for the 3G version (not sure about this price, these are as far as I can remember). The good news here is that they are offering the XOOM on installment basis for 12 months. So, if you’re eyeing to get a new Android tablet, you might want to check out the Motorola XOOM booth in Megamall.

I’ll be back there tomorrow and I’m bringing my Galaxy Tab 10.1 to compare it with the XOOM.

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Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the Flesh

 

While Samsung Philippines is busy preparing for the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S II which I’ve reviewed a couple of days ago, there’s no words yet on when Samsung is bringing the Galaxy Tab 10.1 available in Manila, Philippines. Like with other “new” gadgets that I’m pretty sure will be a hit not only here but elsewhere as well – I couldn’t wait any longer for the official release of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1.

So, I took the tried and test way of ordering online and having it delivered here in Manila through the tried and tested JAC. I got the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 from Amazon.com after Best Buy rejected my orders due to the lack of a U.S. credit card. to make the long story short, here’s the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the flesh.

My initial impression? This tablet is definitely gorgeous! Will have some more initial impressions, unboxing photos and of course full product review real SOON! In the meantime, enjoy these Manila unboxing photos of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1.

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Samsung Galaxy S II Will Be Exclusive To Globe, Only Until July 2

Some more information about the soon to be released Samsung Galaxy S II. Calvin of PinoyTechBlog is reporting that while Globe may have the exclusive rights to bundle the Galaxy S II with their mobile data plans, the deal was however good only until July 2. Meaning, starting on June 27, you can grab the SGS II from Globe – either for free under Plan 3799 or get the prepaid kit which should net you around Php 29,999.00 – the official SRP of the Android phone in the Philippine Market.

Now here’s the interesting part, according to Samsung, their stores will also start selling the unlocked (meaning not tied up to Globe) SGS II five days later (that’s July 2!). Price is the same with Globe’s prepaid price – Php 29,999.

So there. Either you get the Samsung Galaxy S II from Globe or get it unlocked from Samsung stores. Which are you going to choose then?

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Huawei Unveils the 7-inch MediaPad Android 3.2 Tablet

Still waiting for Samsung to update its original Galaxy Tab into a dual-core, Honeycomb machine? Well, sorry to disappoint you folks but I don’t think it’s going to happen. You’re best into owning a 7-inch tablet is probably the HTC Flyer. Unfortunately, it’s uncertain as to when it will be released in the Philippines. Well, you’ve got another option. Although it’s still certain that this will be released in the Philippines, the fact that Singapore is nearer to America makes me feel positive that the new Huawei MediaPad will be coming our way soon.

Pretty exciting news indeed, as Huawei officially launched the MediaPad this afternoon in Singapore. I was able to catch a few minutes of the launchcast as well as got some nice information about the Huawei MediaPad. For more details check out Android News Hub.

Or enjoy some more high-res, official product photos of the Huawei MediaPad Android tablet.

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Samsung Galaxy S II Review, Manila Version

samsung galaxy s II manila review

With a few more days before Globe Telecoms releases the Samsung Galaxy S II in the Philippines, I couldn’t wait any longer and when somebody offered me a brand new unit straight from Hong Kong, I immediately grab the opportunity and bought it. Nevermind if I had to spend a couple of thousands more than the SRP of the SGS II under Globe’s prepaid kit. I couldn’t wait any longer. I have to own this latest and greatest Samsung smartphone and possibly the best among the Android phones that we’ve seen in the market today.

So after a week of using the Samsung Galaxy S II, it’s time for a full review of this Android smartphone, which in case you’re interested to know has been getting much attention from me instead of my iPhone 4. Anyway, here goes my full review of the Samsung Galaxy S II, the Manila version. 🙂

Display

I have one word to describe the Samsung Galaxy S II’s display – Beautiful. The Super AMOLED Plus screen display did wonders to the phone and made its predecessor ultra-inferior. At 4.3-inches you wouldn’t mind the fact that the phone’s display is only at 800×400. Whether you’re viewing photos, watching movies, browsing the web, reading an e-book or playing games – you will grow to love and appreciate what Samsung has done with smartphone displays. It even looks better than the iPhone 4’s Retina Display (sorry fellow iPhone fans!). Colors are crisp, details are clean – it’s simply awesome!

samsung galaxy s II manila review

Design and Form Factor

For a powerful and feature-rich smartphone, it’s amazing how Samsung managed to make the Galaxy S II ultra-slim. I used to think the the iPhone 4 is one of the slimmest smartphones in the market today, but I was wrong. The SGS  II is way thinner than the iPhone 4. The fron panel of the phone is clean as the iPhone 4. The only physical button on the front is the rectangular home button, which is position exactly on the same spot as it is on the iPhone 4. It’s a good thing that Samsung added two more buttons which are embedded on the front panel of the phone. This puts the similarities between the phone and the iPhone 4 aside. On the back of the phone is the 8MP camera and the speaker. The rest of the back panel is made of plastic battery cover. This is the only issue I have with the Samsung Galaxy S II. That battery cover is so thin and a pain to remove. Or maybe these are common among Android smartphones and I’m just used to the iPhone 4.

Camera

Speaking of camera, the SGS II has an 8MP regular camera which takes magnificent photos and crisp and clear 1080p videos. For a camera phone, those two features are definitely at the high-end. Photo output is simply astonishing. And for added features, the camera app also comes with built-in photo editing features. Not too advanced though, but simple and yet effective way of enhancing your photos before you put them out. The phone’s front-facing camera is at 2MP and good to take portrait shots as well as make video calls.

Software

I wasn’t really expecting too much from the way the Samsung Galaxy S II will perform when flicking from one screen to another. I’ve always given this feature to the iPhone as compared to Android phones. But I was surprised that the SGSII is fast and swift enough when moving from one app to another as well as through homescreens. Using the phone’s one at a time or simultaneously won’t affect its performance. You’ll get the same speed no matter how apps are open at the same time. Whatever you do on the Samsung Galaxy S II in connection with its operations is simply smooth and flawless. We got to give credit to the dual core processor that the phone has.

Battery Life

Putting the SGS II into good use for a couple of days now, I will have to say that the only problem you’ll have is its battery life. With an ultra-bright screen, fast performance and all battery-intensive operations, it’s not surprising that the phone’s battery won’t last you for more than 8 hours. The good thing is that the phone employs a very efficient power saving mode which you can set to run whenever your phone’s battery reaches a pre-defined limit. This helps especially if you need to use your phone during the later part of the day and battery is gradually decreasing.

Day to Day Use and My Final Verdict

I would have to agree with Engadget’s review when it was said that the Samsung Galaxy S II is the best Android smartphone to date. In fact, we also agree that it is perhaps the best smartphone ever made to date. At least not including upcoming Android smartphones which are scheduled to be released in the coming days.

Note: This just came in. Globe is now starting to accept pre-orders for the Samsung Galaxy S II, in time for its release on June 27. If you want to own the best Android phone to date – you better place your order now from the Globe site.

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Samsung Galaxy S II Hits Manila Gray Market Earlier than Official Release

Yes Pedro, believe it or not, the Samsung Galaxy S II is now available in Manila. Of course I’m not talking about availability through authorized channels, which in the case of this phone is Globe Telecoms. I’m referring to the phone’s availability via the gray market sellers. What’s nice about getting your Samsung Galaxy S II through this sellers aside from getting ahead of everyone else is the fact that prices of these units are not that too far from the official market price. For Samsung Galaxy S II, it’s a couple of thousands more from announced price tag of Php 29,999 – Globe Prepaid.

Anyway, I’m going to put this Sammy Baby into rigorous test and come up with a review for Android News Hub. The unboxing photos of the Samsung Galaxy S II in Manila, are published on that site. Enjoy!

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iOS 5 Beta on iPhone Preview and Hands-On

In case you’re not reading the news, Apple has just announced the upcoming iOS update, iOS 5 is coming in sometime this fall. That’s around September or October I think here in the Philippines (Right?) Anyway, I couldn’t wait that long to get a full hands-on experience on how good the iOS 5 will be. So, through Google search, I managed to get the iOS 5 beta version and had it installed smoothly on my iPhone 4. For a week now, my iPhone 4 is running on iOS 5 beta and my verdict – iOS 5 on iPhone 4 is going to give you one heck of a nice experience with its so many new features.

In fact, the new features of iOS 5 has more than 200 new features. Yes, that’s a lot. So, to get you a bit excited with iOS 5 on iPhone, I selected 10 of the key  major features – I call them 10 killer features of iOS 5 on iPhone. Read the full review here.

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Acer ICONIA Tab A500 Available from Villman for Php 21,900

Just found out that the Acer ICONIA Tab A500 is already available from VillMan Electronics. So, I checked out their site and indeed found a product listing for the said Android 3.0 Honeycomb tablet. Now I’m torn between getting this now or wait up for the release of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. Unfortunately, the new Galaxy Tab’s release in the U.S. was also delayed, so there’s a slim chance that it will be available anytime soon in Manila. Acer probably knows this. Filipinos want a more powerful Android tablet than the old Galaxy Tab, so they immediately released the Acer ICONIA Tab A500 to get a headstart from competitors.

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Samsung Galaxy S II Manila Price Tab – Php 29,990

Finally, the Android phone that I’ve been waiting for so long now will soon be available in Manila. Yugatech just broke the news that the Samsung Galaxy S II will be available for Php 29,990. Globe earned the exclusive rights to distribute the phone and that price point will most likely be for the prepaid kit. Hopefully, Globe releases more information for the mobile data plans that they are going to use for the postpaid Samsung Galaxy S II.

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