Samsung Galaxy S5 Unboxing and Initial Impressions

Samsung Galaxy S5 is officially out today and we are lucky to be one of the first to own one. Unveiled in February earlier this year, one notable feature  is bein water and dust resistant, a feature present in Sony Xperia Z2. Another additional features are the heart rate monitor and the fingerprint scanner. Before we get excited, let’s unbox it first.

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Samsung Galaxy S5 specs:

  • 2.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor
  • 2GB RAM
  • 16/32GB internal memory expandable via MicroSD up to 128GB – WOW!!!
  • 5.1-inch Full HD Super AMOLED display (1080 x 1920 pixels) 432 ppi
  • Corning Gorilla Glass 3
  • IP67 – water and dust resistant
  • 16 megapixel rear facing camera with autofocus, image stabilization and LED flash
  • 2 megapixel rear facing camera
  • LTE, WiFi, WiFi hotspot, DLNA, WIFi Direct, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, Infrared Port
  • GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS
  • Nano SIM
  • 2,800 mAh battery
  • Android 4.4 Kitkat

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So what’s inside the box? We have here some manuals, USB, headset, extra earbuds, and adapter. Now let’s get focused with the unit itself.

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We have the white variant here and we do like it. The S5 has less curves, a bit taller and thinner than its predecessor, the Samsung Galaxy S5.  Samsung has opted to let go of the shiny back cover for a matte dotted design and finish which we really do like.

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The Samsung Galaxy S4 (left) and the Samsung Galaxy S5 (right)

A bigger screen is a big welcome to from 4.95-inches of the S4, the S5 now has a 5.1-inches. It is still the same beautiful screen we’ve seen from the Galaxy S4 only bigger.

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Overall, it is a big improvement when it comes to design alone. Its a good move that Samsung ditched the S4’s shiny back cover in favor for matte finish. We will reserve the Antutu Benchmarks, speed tests, camera and software performance on our full review.

 

THL T100s Monkey King 2 Review

Competition among local and Chinese brands are getting more intense. When chipmaker Mediatek announced their first true Octa-core processor in October 2013, the race to become the first to offer an Octa-core powered smartphone is on. Novo7 Tech, the local distributor of THL smartphones in the Philippines was the first to announce their first Octa-core powered smartphone, the THL T100s Monkey King 2 in December 2013 and promised that it would be available in January 2014. But problems with the Bureau of Customs spoiled everything. Then Starmobile, Cherry Mobile and MyPhone announced their Octa core offerings in February and become available to users by March.

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Well, its better late than never. And here it is the THL T100s Monkey King 2! This is actually our first time to review an Octa core powered smartphone and we are hoping we can compare this to the Starmobile Octa or the Cherry Mobile Cosmos Z2 pretty soon. Does the Octa-core processor impressed us or should we stick on quad core for the mean time? Let’s find out.

THL T100s Monkey King 2 specs:

  • 1.7GHz Octa Core Mediatek 6592 processor
  • Mali-450 graphics
  • 2GB RAM
  • 32GB internal storage
  • 5 inch IPS full HD display (1080 x 1920 pixels) 441 ppi
  • 13 megapixel rear facing Sony Blue lens camera with autofocus and LED flash
  • 13 megapixel front facing camera.
  • Dual SIM, dual standby
  • HSPA+, WiFi, WiFi hotspot, Bluetooth, USB OTG (on the go)
  • GPS, A-GPS
  • 2,750 mAh battery
  • Android 4.2 Jellybean
  • SRP: P13,999
  • Status: Available on Novo7 Tech stores, kiosks and retailers

Here is a hands on video:

 

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HARDWARE AND DESIGN:

We showed the THL T100s Monkey King 2 to some our friends and family who are not techies and asked what do they think about the phone. Their first look they thought it was the Sony Xperia Z2> They were very much impressed the phone’s design and solid build quality. The phone indeed  may have sharp edges but this appeals to most people who saw it. Lastly, it device is extremely light and pocketable thanks to its very thin profile.

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DISPLAY:

Another eye catching feature is the 5-inch Full HD display. During our unboxing, the display was the first thing we noticed on the device. It is GORGEOUS! This is probably one of the  best we’ve seen from any local/Chinese brand. Color reproduction is good and viewing angles is excellent. The display can be at par with the best international brands like the LG G2 (the G2 has the best displays around).

SOFTWARE AND PERFORMANCE:

One important part of this review is to test how the Octa core Mediatek 6592 performs on both day to day use and benchmark scores. Well, on day to day use, the phone performed normally. Basic tasks like app switches, simple navigation, texting and calling performed extremely well with no lags whatsoever. This phone is a killer when it comes to gaming! Our favorite game, Dead Trigger 2 ran well! This game hogs so much memory so it usually works well on top of the line devices like the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and LG G2. So far, playing Dead Trigger 2 on the THL T100s Monkey King 2 is the best gaming experience we had from a Chinese/local brand. We played for long hours and we totally enjoyed it.

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On our initial Antutu benchmark test, we got a score of 25,876 points. We did another Antutu test and we got a score of 27,161 which is even higher than than our first test.

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CONNECTIVITY:

We would like to point out that this phone’s WiFi reception is excellent and probably one the best WiFi reception we’ve used. Our WiFi router is located at a study room on the second floor but we still get good WiFi reception even if we are downstairs. HSPA+ network from Globe and Smart are good depending on the location

CAMERA:

We heard a lot good praises on THL’s camera on other smartphones but we never had a chance to test one. Indeed, both rear and front facing cameras take great pictures! Here are some of the pictures we’ve taken in different lighting conditions

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Photo taken from the 13 megapixel front facing camera

BATTERY:

The phone’s 5-inch Full HD display and Octa-core chipset will definitely drain the battery much faster. So THL came prepared and included a large 2,750 mAh battery. We’ve been known for being heavy smartphone users because we use the phone a lot and the 2,750 mAh battery didn’t disappoint. As our daily driver, the phone’s battery lasted 11 hours after we took it out of the charger at 8am everyday with 15% juice left. Our battery test include playing Dead Trigger for at least 30 mins to 1 hour, watching You Tube and IWanTV for 3 hours, calls and texts, taking pictures and video and listening to Spotify for an hour.

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VERDICT:

Everytime we’re asked on what brand should we recommend among the local/Chinese brands we normally recommend 2 brands – MyPhone and Starmobile. We think this time we will THL to our highly recommended list. However, its P13,999 pricetag may veer away some buyers but we think the price is just right for a phone with an Octa-core processor, dual 13 megapixel cameras and a full HD display.

 

Cherry Mobile Urban Poster Leaked

Our good friends from Tech Blogger Zone got a leaked photo of an upcoming smartphone called Cherry Mobile Urban. It’s a normal typical smartphone from Cherry Mobile with a 4.5-inch qHD display, a quad core processor and 8 megapixel camera.

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Photo credit: Tech Blogger Zone

We suddenly rubbed our eyes when we saw something on the photo. The phone is running Android 4.4 Kitkat and its only priced P4,699. This is going to be exciting folks.

Cherry Mobile will be having an event called the CHERRY MOBILE FIESTA FESTIVAL in a few days. They have been teasing a lot on their Facebook page lately but there are no specific details on what’s going to happen. We think that the Cherry Mobile Urban and more will be launched on the said event. Stay tuned.

Oppo Find 7 and Find 7a Launched Locally

Oppo Philippines has finally introduced itself to the Filipino media and retailers at the grand launch of their products earlier this evening. The company launched its latest flagship smartphones the Oppo Find 7 and Find 7a.

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Why two flagships? According to Oppo, they wanted their customers experience the Find 7 at different price points. The Find 7 has better specs being the first smartphone available with a Quad HD display, a faster quad core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, bigger memory and a bigger battery.

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Oppo Executives showing the Oppo Find 7a

Oppo Find 7 specs:

  • 2.5 GHz quad core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor
  • Adreno 330 graphics
  • 3GB RAM
  • 32GB internal memory expandable up to 128GB
  • 5.5-inch QHD (Quad HD) IPS LCD display (2560 x 1440 pixels) 534 ppi
  • Corning Gorilla Glass 3
  • Oppo MaxxAudio sound enhancement
  • 13 megapixel rear facing camera with autofocus and dual LED flash
  • 5 megapixel front facing camera
  • LTE, WiFi, WiFi Direct, DLNA, WiFi hotspot, NFC, USB OTG (on-the-go)
  • GPS, A-GPS
  • 3,000 mAh battery
  • Android 4.3 Jellybean with ColorOS UI
  • SRP: P25,990

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The Oppo Find 7a in the flesh

Oppo Find 7a specs:

  • 2.3 GHz quad core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor
  • Adreno 330 graphics
  • 2GB RAM
  • 16GB internal memory expandable up to 128GB
  • 5.5-inch Full HD IPS LCD display (1920 x1080 pixels)
  • Corning Gorilla Glass 3
  • Oppo MaxxAudio sound enhancement
  • 13 megapixel rear facing camera with autofocus and dual LED flash
  • 5 megapixel front facing camera
  • LTE, WiFi, WiFi Direct, DLNA, WiFi hotspot, NFC, USB OTG (on-the-go)
  • GPS, A-GPS
  • 2,800 mAh battery
  • Android 4.3 Jellybean with ColorOS UI
  • SRP: P22,990

Oppo Find 7a will be available on Oppo retailers starting tomorrow.

Oppo has other phones to offer. Check out the prices here.

  • Oppo N1 – P26,990
  • Oppo R1 – p19,990
  • Oppo Find 5 Mini – P13,990
  • Oppo Neo – P7,990

 

Fourth Generation Samsung Galaxy Tab Series Announced

This is actually a late post already. Weeks ago, Samsung has announced the fourth generation Galaxy Tab series. These are few changes from its predecessors so let’s check out the specs.

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Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 7.0 specs:

  • comes with LTE + WiFi, 3G only and WiFi only models
  • 1.2GHz Quad Core processor
  • 1.5GB RAM
  • 8/16GB internal storage expandable via MicroSD up to 64GB
  • 7-inch TFT display (1280 x 800 pixels) 216 ppi
  • 3.15 megapixel rear facing camera
  • 1.3 megapixel front facing camera
  • LTE, WiFi, WiFi hotspot, WiFi Direct, Bluetooth 4.0
  • GPS, A-GPS
  • Android 4.4.2 Kitkat

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Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 8.0 specs:

  • comes with LTE + WiFi, 3G only and WiFi only models
  • 1.2GHz Quad Core processor
  • 1.5GB RAM
  • 16GB internal memory expandable via MicroSD up to 32GB
  • 8-inch TFT display (1280 x 800 pixels)
  • 3.15 megapixel rear facing camera
  • 1.3 megapixel front facing camera
  • LTE, WiFi, WiFi Direct, WiFi hotspot, Bluetooth 4.0
  •  GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS
  • 4,450 mAh battery
  • Android 4.4.2 Kitkat

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Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 10.1 specs:

  • comes with LTE _ WiFi, 3G only and WiFi only models
  • 1.2GHz Quad Core processor
  • 1.5GB RAM
  • 16GB  internal memory expandable via MicroSD up to 64GB
  • 10.1-inch TFT  display (1280 x 800 pixels)
  • 3.15 megapixel rear facing camera
  • 1.3 megapixel front facing camera
  • LTE, WiFi, WiFi Direct, WiFi hotspot, Bluetooth 4.0
  • GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS
  • 6,800 mAh battery
  • Android 4.4.2 Kitkat

Spotify Arrives In the Philippines, Partners With Globe

For those who are familiar with Spotify. it is an online music streaming service with more than 30 Million active users worldwide. Spotify originated from Stockholm, Sweden in 2008 and got 10 Million users in 2010. As of December 2013, Spotify is now available on Android, iOS and Windows Phone devices. Unfortunately, Spotify remained to be unavailable in our country till last week when the service became official.

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Spotify has partnered with Globe to offer the service to the telco’s 38 Million subscribers. Globe will be offering a new internet service called GoSurf. Roll out for GoSURF will start on April 13. Prepaid subscribers can avail of the following: GoSURF 10 – 10MB of data plus Spotify for 24 hours; GoSURF 299 – 700MB of data plus Spotify Premium for 30 days; GoSURF 999 – 5GB of data with Spotify Premium for 30 days. Postpaid subscribers can avail of the GoSURF 299 and GoSURF 999.

You can download and subscribe to Spotify now on your Android, iOS and Windows Phone devices.

 

 

Samsung Galaxy Ace Style Announced

Samsung has announced its latest entry level Android smartphone called the Samsung Galaxy Ace Style. Now, what’s so special about this phone is its NFC capabilities.

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Samsung Galaxy Ace Style specs:

  • 1.2GHz Dual Core processor
  • 512MB RAM
  • 4GB internal memory expandable via MicroSD up to 64GB
  • 4-inch WVGA TFT display (800 x 480) 233 ppi
  • 5 megapixel camera with autofocus
  • VGA front facing camera
  • 3G, WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC
  • GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS
  • 1,500 mAh battery
  • Android 4.4.2 Kitkat

The Samsung Galaxy Ace Style will be available globally this April.