Archive for the ‘ Purchasing ’ Category

Targus’ Seoul 2017 Collection Backpacks – Built For the Digital Native

Targus, being one of the very first brands known for quality materials and reliability, has come out with a palette of backpacks for the youth of today. The aesthetic is not one you’d think would be sporting a host of electronics within it and that is a very good thing especially since it wards off any interest of the contents inside.

Don’t get me wrong though, as far as backpacks go, this line rakes in plenty of stuff and exudes style while doing so… and they go for a very enticing Php3,990 only!

Full PR after the jump.

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The Asus Zenfone 3 Zoom – Photo Powerhouse

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – this phone packs all the great features that one can find on the third generation of Zenfones bar none… well except maybe for the Snapdragon 800 series but still, the Zenfone 3 Zoom has perfect synergy with its 5000mAh battery, energy efficient Snapdragon 625, and its bevy of three prime lenses providing a flexible range of shooting options for practically any application, all in a very thin but very powerful unibody frame.

Overview

When I got my hands on the unit for this review, I decided to use it purely for its intended purpose of photography already being well acquainted with the capability of the Snapdragon within it as it is of similar spec to my own Zenfone 3. This review was made on a Zenfone 3 Zoom unit that remained on the Marshmallow platform, thus your experience may differ should yours be already in Nougat, which truly is quite fast and responsive compared.

Alright, so whats the deal with the dual cameras of the Zenfone 3 Zoom? – To put it bluntly, it offers two different perspectives on a particular scene practically instantly – one 25mm wide angle equivalent and another 59mm portrait oriented 2.3x view compared to the standard. There is also a digital 12x zoom which can be useful in a number of scenarios.

Within the period with which I had the Zenfone 3 Zoom on me, I had been able to bring it to a concert, a resort, to a site for work, and even to a museum for ingress, apart from all the general metropolitan experience.

I had previously compared the first Zoom to an actual camera but this one I’m comparing to its non Zoom counterpart in the Zenfone 3 and based solely on its own merits as a camera system.

Real World Sampling

When I first encountered the Zenfone 3 Zoom, it was an engineering unit and the EXIF was not coming out properly. You’d be glad to know that this is not the case with the retail package.

The primary lens (on the left of image above), a 12MP 25mm equivalent Sony IMX 362 provides the best shooting experience among all of the available modes. Its snappy to fire up, and the optical image stabilization feels just right and responsive without any feeling of aggressiveness. I actually tried to find a way to disable the stabilization but there isnt any… and that’s fine especially when you suddenly shift to the zoom lens, itself being 12MP but with a 59mm equivalent focal length – a Samsung 3M3.

Closer inspection of images from the two lenses reveal a semblance of artifacting with the Samsung sensor as well as a bluish tone while the Sony remains neutral and crisp even in high contrast areas. This comparison made in an overcast environment (relatively low light).

100% crops

Hitting the zoom button cycles three zoom levels, none of which reach the 12x limit – from 1x, 2.3x, and then a middling 5x. Below is an example of all the pertinent zoom levels… this bird was roughly 10 meters away, I measured… twice.

With enough distance (a lot) natural bokeh can be achieved by both rear lenses, you can see it in action with the following shots. Note also that in very bright shooting scenarios, both sensors perform similarly and the user would get more detail up close when using the 2.3x zoom.

100% crops

Along with the convenience of being able to pull it out of one’s pocket for instantaneous imaging, there is that single tap zoom-in taking it a notch higher than what we’re generally used to. And while you might think that you won’t be using this feature that much, you’ll eventually find yourself hitting it just because it is there, ready and available.

Evaluation

The Zenfone 3 Zoom provides the user with a flexibility in shooting otherwise missed with a single lens setup. Coupled with the optical image stabilization it allows for viability when shooting in low light and it is effective whether the front or the rear camera is used especially when the image​ objective is primarily a social media share.

This does not mean that photos captured from the Zenfone 3 Zoom cannot be printed out, on the contrary, setting up a scene in manual mode would provide quality enough even for an A0 print straight out of the camera (proof).

With an incredible design, powerful battery, and a trio of prime cameras with a bevy of shooting modes and zoom states, this Php 23,995 smartphone package is almost impossible to match.

#Zenfone3Zoom
#CatchTheMoment
#BuiltForPhotography

Asus Zenfone 3 Zoom and Zenfone Live Unveiled

An air of mystery had been hovering about the Asus Zenfone 3 Zoom this past week as teaser photos kept cropping up of a brand new ambassadress for their camera-centric Zenfone 3 variant.

At the Penthouse 8747 a couple of days earlier, Yassi Pressman, popularized for her role as Alyanna in Probinsyano, had been revealed to be the new face of the Zenfone 3 Zoom during the smartphone’s launch alongside a completely new and very compelling offering in the Zenfone Live which is a budget friendly device that features the world’s first “live beautification mode”. Yassi expressed her delight on the excellent front facing camera, itself a prime lens in the 13-megapixel f2.0 Sony IMX214, as well as the longevity of the Zenfone 3 Zoom’s 5000mAh battery that is coupled with the very efficient and capable Snapdragon 625.

The event had also been graced by celebrated photographer-ambassadors Ricky Ladia and Jasper Tejano, both of whom are completely convinced of the power and the capabilities of the Zenfone 3 Zoom that can, according to Jasper, output exhibit worthy shots and is perfect for street photography which is his favorite genre. Ricky used the prime lenses on the Zenfone 3 Zoom for everything from landscape to food photography leveraging the strength of the 25mm (Superpixel Main Camera) and 59mm (Zoom Camera) equivalent focal lengths on the twin camera system.

Participants were ushered into an experience zone after the presentation had concluded where miniatures were waiting to be taken photos of, making certain of the use of the zoom feature to catch all the minuscule details on the models and flora.

The Zenfone 3 Zoom ZE553KL with a 4GB/64GB configuration retails for Php 23,995 and comes bundled with a JBL bluetooth speaker, a clear case, and a ZenEar.

The Zenfone Live, configured with a 5″ HD screen and 2GB/16GB memory comes in at a mind-blowing Php 6,995 touting the Zenfone 3 series design language and the latest in live streaming in the form of BeautyLive.

Two launches were done by Asus that day, at the same time and with different venues; it had been a definite challenge I’m certain but they pulled it off with nary a hitch. Kudos to the teams that made it possible from Asus and Stratworks.

#Zenfone3Zoom
#CatchTheMoment

BREAKING! The Zenfone 3 Zoom Pre Orders have opened!

From today until the 6th of April, eager consumers can already pre order their Zenfone 3 Zoom units via this microsite!

Below is the procedure you’re about to undertake:

Pre-order Program Mechanics:

1. Pre-orders for the ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom (ZE553KL) are available on March 27, 2017 up to April 6, 2017.

2. Customers has to visit the ASUS Zenfone 3 Zoom Pre-order registration page at http://zenfone3zoomph.com/

3. Customers who will pre-order will get the following limited edition items.
· JBL Harman Portable Bluetooth Speakers worth Php 3,099
· ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom (ZE553KL) Clear Case worth Php 699
· ASUS ZenEar worth Php 699

*Those who will pre-order from March 27 to April 6, 2017 will get an additional exclusive freebie, the ASUS Tripod worth Php 799.

4. Customers will be required to fill out a reservation form which includes the following details:

5. Customers will be notified via SMS once stocks are available for claiming. They will need to present their VALID ID and their confirmation letter and proceed to their chosen ASUS Zenfone Concept Store, ASUS Kiosk, or to any participating ASUS accredited dealer to pay the full amount on April 7th, 2017 until April 23rd, 2017.

6. Cash and credit card payments are accepted.

7. For credit card payments, ASUS Zenfone Concept Stores, ASUS Kiosk (depending on accredited banks) will honor straight, 3 months, 6 months and 12 months payment at 0% interest.

8. If the customer cannot present their VALID ID and confirmation letter upon claiming, they will not be allowed to avail of their pre-ordered units.

9. The customer’s reservation is valid from April 7th, 2017 to April 23rd, 2017.

10. Existing replacement and repair mechanics will be applicable once the unit has been availed.

11. For features and specification on ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom (ZE553KL), please refer to our website at http://www.asus.com/ph.

Below are participating stores for the pre-order program:

What’re you waiting for? Don’t miss out on this fantastic offer from Asus!

Tag Heuer Connected – Modular 45 Launch

A couple of years back, the very first Connected watch had been presented by the company to the world. There had been some issues with it, nothing serious really but more on the carriage of the Swiss Made branding, you see… some components for the microchip were not being manufactured overseas; this is the primary reason why the branding could not be placed on the first iteration of the Connected line.

Fast forward to today, when that hurdle had been passed, so shall the next Connected watch carry the Swiss Made badge very proudly and prominently on the Modular 45.

The Launch

At the atrium of SM Aura Premiere, a very intimate gathering of enthusiasts and media savants were seen buzzing about. There was an intent focus on the screens on stage as they came to life with a feed direct from Switzerland for the global launch of the Modular 45. The CEO of Tag Heuer told us all about the watch, how it is able to interface with even an analog one from their collection, and even demoed the exchange on stage. His contemporary in the Philippines, Area Sales Director – Mr. Romain Cans had the only Modular 45 on during this time, the rest of the display stock en route from customs.

The Modular 45

The watch’s name comes from its size (45mm diameter) and functional capacity: it is essentially a watchface that has everything else about it customizable to an incredible degree (heck even the crown is customizable if you wished it to be).


There’s a plethora of options especially when you’re ordering one online. Getting one from a physical store limits the customer to what they have in stock, but an online order allows one to select from the full range of colors… and there’s a lot!

The Modular 45 comes with Android Wear 2.0 and has its own GPS and WiFi radios giving it a lot more options and capabilities from the first Connected model. It is almost practically an entire phone sans the GSM messaging and calling functionality. Here are the specifications of the Modular 45:


Tag Heuer Connected Studio

Apart from physical customizations to the watch, the watchface is also customizable thru the Connected Studio which allows for greater personalization displaying only the information that is fit for the user.

The Price

This collection starts from Php 81,999 and can go up to Php 162,999 for select configurations

The Modular 45 is surely a step up from its two year old predecessor, it has a price to match but the functionality that you should get out of a smartwatch is all there, engineered with Swiss precision and timeless luxury. Watchworks carries them locally so pay a visit if and when you’re looking to equip your wrist with this fine smartwatch.

Asus Zenbook 3 Deluxe Launch : Transcendence

The 15th of March saw three groundbreaking Asus Zenbook 3 variants revealed in literal fashion.

Starting out with a stage flanked by lights and culminating in an area with suspended ropes, three acrylic pedestals stood in palpable anticipation.

To the tune of Get This Party Started, a stream of ladies and gentlemen in high fashion worked the runway several completing their look with a Zenbook in hand. These were the work of celebrated designer Mr. Rajo Laurel and they match the style aesthetic with definitive flair.

A few moments pass and a single female form walks through from the backstage. Her presence was met with exaltation having been fully teased prior with photos and even videos leaving very subtle clues as to her identity.

Celestial by Mark Obra on 500px.com

Isabelle Daza went ahead and brought the most prestigious Zenbook 3, the finest variant, atop the central pedestal, a truly symbolic and monumental occurrence had just transpired – the very essence of transcendence.

Thence the two newest ambassadors of the prodigous Zenbook 3 Deluxe

Three size variants had been presented with the smallest – 13″ coming in with three different storage configurations : all solid state drives!

Here they are in numbers:

The Zenbook 3 Deluxe sports the latest Intel Core i7-7600, 14″ screen in a 13″ frame, FHD, 16GB, 2x Gen2 USB-C with Thunderbolt, 1x Gen1 USB-C, 4 Harman Kardon speakers, and weighs under 1Kg.

ZB3Deluxe 1TB Php 104,995
512GB Php 89,995
256GB Php 81,995

UX530 16GB 512GB GTX950M 15.6″ Php 69,995

UX430 16GB 512GB GTX940M 14″ Php 59,995

Props to @ASUSph and ID8 for a very successful and absolutely stylish launch event!

#ZenbookXRajoLaurel
#Transcendence

2017 Sikat Pinoy National Food Fair

From March 15-19, a trip to the Megatrade Halls at SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City will take you on a food trip all over the country. The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), specifically the Bureau of Domestic Trade Promotion and the DTI-Regional and Provincial Offices, has organized the SikatPinoy National Food Fair 2017.

The free admission encourages the general public and corporate buyers to sample and purchase the delicacies. Three special set-ups can be found at the event: an organic products showcase and a hydroponics garden, a display of halal-certified products from the Bicol region, and a selection of food items from the Zamboanga Peninsula.

The fair’s theme is Piling PilingPagkaing Pilipino, and the 200+ SMEs present are certainly a diverse mix. Traditional food items like pili nuts, coco jams, arrowroot cookies, kakanin, and bagnet are well-represented, as well as non-food items like coconut oil and wooden tableware. New twists on old items like flavored lambanog, fruit wines, chocolate with coco sugar, and flavored fish in oil are hits as well.

For health-conscious people, avoid the cebuchicharon and go for the herbal teas and organic juices. Vegetable flavors of your usual polvoron or siomai, plus veggie-based snacks are also a good way of introducing some healthy options to kids.

Aside from the numerous stalls offering free tastes at every turn, there will be lectures and cooking demonstrations. Here is a schedule of the program:

The fair runs from 10am to 9pm. For more information, call (02) 751-3223 or email bdtp@dti.gov.ph.

Arsenal VR One – Expanded Availability

Mallgoers eager to get their hands on their brand new mobile phone gets a treat come tomorrow (4 Mar 2017) as the primary offering from Arsenal Devices in the form of the VR One, hits MemoXpress branches nationwide.

Previously exclusively available through the online portal One2Shop.com, this very slim, VR capable, octa-core touting, 5.2″ FHD, number makes its way into what is probably the largest chain of mobile stores in the country – MemoXpress, beginning the 4th of March of this year (2017)

Both its black and white variants should be present so don’t forget to ask for your color preference. The VR One retails for Php 11,990.

SALE! Asus Zenfone 3 Max Series

What could possibly be better than a phone that has a battery that lasts for days with excellent optics and superb build quality? One that’s on sale is what’s better!

With a thousand and five hundred of respective 5.5″ and 5.2″ units, the Asus Zenfone 3 Max has brought its price just under 10k! It’s a hard one to resist at this price point.

Kick start your summer with the phone that would tire you out before it needs to be recharged!

Asus Zenfone 3 Max 5.5″ now at Php 9,995 and the Asus Zenfone 3 Max 5.2″ now at Php 8,495

PSA: Do Not Get a Heavily Discounted Samsung Galaxy Note 7 at this time!

n7_low

I’m posting this due to the fact that I’ve been seeing/hearing about some parties still interested in the device at present time. Why you might ask? Well it still has great specifications… but it has been riddled with problems with regards to its battery and to prevent more issues for Samsung, they’ve pushed out an update now that limits charging to 30% only! Here’s what it looks like:

n7_state

Hence, if you have updated firmware, the phone will only accept 30% of its battery capacity… a realistic usage time of about an hour and a half?! That’s unacceptable in today’s mobile device utility and would require the user to bring two or more power banks just to keep it up.

The power user in me is thinking maybe I can put an alternate firmware that will change this back to original, but I don’t have one to test it with and even then, the risk that approximately 1% of owners have been exposed to might come to pass and that is a very serious matter.

These updates will push thru whether you install it immediately or cancel the notification and I’ve heard that there is an eventual update that will brick the device entirely. This is being done to force users who are still holding on to their Note 7s, to have it replaced with the other members of the S7 family (S7 and S7 Edge).