March Gadget Reviews Roundup 2016
April is finally here and with a new month comes a new batch of reviews. For the month of March we have fully reviewed the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, ASUS Zenfone Zoom, Huawei Mate 8, and Xiaomi Mi 5, just to name a few. Check out our Gadget Reviews Roundup below
Lenovo has made a quality handset with the Vibe S1. You get all the goodies to expect from a mid-ranger with snappy performance, premium design, solid build, and boastful camera features. Although its SRP of Php15,999 could turn some consumer down but you’re paying for a better handset from the established Lenovo brand.
It has a nice build, good HD display, decent performance, good camera (but needs some improvement in AF speed), Android Lollipop, and an average battery life. It’s not perfect though, as there’s no LTE connectivity and has an underwhelimg loudspeaker, but if you’re in a tight budget and don’t mind the cons mentioned, the Excite Prime is a good buy.
The ASUS Zenfone Zoom definitely has the characteristics of a flagship smartphone — a premium form factor that doesn’t look past the smaller details, multimedia support with its SonicMaster 2.0 and 128GB storage, some serious hardware for its camera, speedy LTE connectivity, and a solid performer for daily tasks that might come your way.
With its 6-inch display, the Mate 8 is definitely sitting on the phablet category which is not for everyone. Still, the enormous display is justified by a small footprint making it smaller than most handset in this size. The home-baked powerful Kirin 950 paired with 4GB of RAM is already a good selling point but the 1080p display is a letdown compared to QHD rivals especially when we have an SRP of Php32,990.
With all the refinements done to the Galaxy S7 that the S6 lacks, Samsung’s game in this age is to put all the features in a simply packaged handset. Adding water-resistance, storage expansion, and bigger battery is a good move before deviating from the appreciated looks and feel of its predecessor. The S7 is definitely a flagship Samsung can be proud of.
The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge might not look that much different from its predecessor but majority of the enhancements were done under the hood. Almost all of the biggest gripes from the previous model were address in the Galaxy S7 Edge — bigger battery, water resistance, expandable storage. Frankly, it’s almost perfect.
The ASUS ZenBook UX305LA is one of the best Windows ultrabooks we’ve used so far. It has a fantastic high-resolution display, powerful Intel Core i7 processor, healthy 8GB RAM, fast 512GB SSD, and long battery life. Not to mention that all of that are housed in a sleek premium body that you wouldn’t mind carrying with you all the time.
The Samsung Level On Wireless Pro is one feature-packed headphone — from the touch sensitive controls, music-sharing, and down to the Level app, the South Korean giant squeezed it all inside its plastic shell. We appreciated how not only it has active noise cancellation, but also passive noise blocking thanks to its comfortable ear pads.
OPPO has a strong offering with the F1. The company markets it as a selfie smartphone but we don’t see it that way probably because it doesn’t have a flamboyant front camera setup like the ASUS Zenfone Selfie and Sony Xperia C5 Ultra. Still, the OPPO F1 proved to be a good imaging device with a premium build and design, good performance, and a reasonable Php11,990 price tag. If you’re looking for a phone with the said strengths, the OPPO F1 is definitely worth considering.
There’s no denying that MyPhone got ahead in the sub-1K smartphone race with the announcement of the Smart my28/my28S, and the masses loved the offer. For Php888, the common Juan who never got a smartphone can finally get his hands on the most affordable Android Lollipop device that can deliver a decent touch experience, or those who would opt for this as a secondary smartphone to use in public places.
The Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 2 is a worthy upgrade from its first model and now has AUX function if you opt to just go for wired connectivity. We also liked that it has its own rechargeable battery so it doesn’t wholly rely on being plugged to a socket and you can bring it from one room to the other easily. As for the sound, we loved how it could produce really clear audio even when you crank its volume all the way up.
Xiaomi has consistently produced topnotch smartphones for years and the Xiaomi Mi 5 is no exception. In fact, we think it’s their best one yet. For a starting price of just Php15,000, you get a top-of-the-line Snapdragon 820 chip and 3GB of RAM on a beautiful body that packs everything you’ll ask for in a flagship handset. It’s like getting a Galaxy S6 at half the price.
The ASUS PRO BU201 can get you through your usual business work day. It’s portable to be slipped into bags and carried around yet it’s also sturdy and built tough for everyday wear and tear plus occasional drops. For an asking price of Php 76,995, it’s quite hard to sell it to average consumers who would easily shrug it off and opt for a better option.
For its Php6,995 asking price, the O+ Duo is a tablet capable of delivering a generally good performance. With the added flexibility of choosing your own operating system to work on, you have the freedom of taking the pick between work and play all the same device. This eight-incher is surprisingly a good bet for getting the best of both worlds on one device.
Having the AspectSolar DUO-Flex 2 around is definitely nifty when in remote areas. As long as bright sunlight is around, you’ll definitely have ample power to keep your mobile devices or power banks filled with juice. Plus, the water-resistant compartment and pouch design make it a great road warrior companion.
The Ricoh Theta S has a nice, compact build with an easy to navigate buttons which make it a really straightforward device. Its free app is a must-have since it adds more flexibility to shooting and makes it possible to produce additional effects (like time lapse via interval shooting). It has an ample battery life that didn’t leave us hanging while shooting, but video quality doesn’t hit us as impressive.
Jide’s Remix Mini is a very capable Android PC with attractive looks. However, the main star of the show is not the hardware but the software. The Remix OS is a great reinvention of Android, making it a better productivity tool compared to its original counterpart. However, it’s full potential is still hampered by app compatibility.
The JBL Reflect Response is a solid performer with specific users in mind. As mentioned in the beginning of this review, it targets those with an active lifestyle by providing the mentioned features and honestly, it delivered well doing them.
The JBL Everest 300 is a recommendable device for those who travel a lot but don’t want to compromise sound quality over ease of use or comfort. Its companion app that won’t work properly is certainly a turn-off until it becomes fixed, but its ShareMe 2.0 is pretty cool to use. Grab a JBL Everest 300 for Php7,499.
The device is priced at Php6,895 and although it doesn’t have the best specifications available, it still handled tasks well and we actually haven’t encountered anything disappointing. If we were to nitpick, we’re not totally fans of its 8MP main camera due to the digital noise that’s easily seen, more so at night.
The OontZ Angle 3XL is an amazing speaker that packs big sound into a small package. Not only that, it also comes with good features that allow it to become more than just a Bluetooth-enabled music player like the speaker phone function, power bank, and Dual Wireless Pairing.
The OontZ Angle 3 is the kind of Bluetooth speaker that packs big sound in a portable package. It comes with a rugged build, water and dust resistant body, speaker phone function, and youthful design. As expected, it’s not perfect. Given its size, it won’t compete with bigger and more expensive portable speakers. But if you’re in need of a speaker that you can take with you by the pool or beach without breaking the bank, the Angle 3 is a good option.
The Bose SoundTrue Around-Ear Headphones II is a good pair of wired cans that can satisfy audio lovers who listen to a wide range of music genres. It doesn’t have the benefits of a wireless headphone but it comes with in-line microphone and controls which should be enough for casual users.
This entry-level device from Happy Mobile presents itself with a good performance tucked beneath a well-crafted polycarbonate body. The Neo Lite is a compact smartphone packed with a surprisingly good battery performance, coupled with occasional wireless updates and loud speaker sound.
It’s pretty obvious the Blackphone 2 is not for everyone. In fact, we only know of a few people in the industry (enterprise, pharmacy, military, government) who might be in need of this device but for those who do, the features that the Blackphone 2 offers are certainly well thought out. It might be expensive at Ph
The Bose Soundsport is the kind of in-ear headphones with a personality. It’s built for people who have active lifestyle and a taste for bass-dominated music. It’s a perfect gym or running companion thanks to its sweat- and weather-resistant body and expressive colors.