Pinoy Reviews

Bringing Filipinos news, reviews, and resources about the rest of the world.





Friday, September 20, 2013

Lenovo A1000 Review

So, I was looking for a budget tablet for my mom, somewhere around 7k and is from a well-known brand so that I don't have to worry about going back and forth from their service center. The Lenovo A1000 caught my eye because it has a dual core processor and has a nice enough looking screen. I was also considering the Acer B1 since my brother already has it but when I found out that the A1000 has a sim slot I went for the A1000 for a thousand bucks more.

Oh how wrong I was. I attribute this misinformation to Google. Of course I googled the A1000 reviews but it seems there are different variants of this tablet and those in the USA whose reviews I saw are from a different variant. I was able to purchase the A1000T as indicated on the box but when I checked in the settings the model number was A1000G, again, whhaaaaa....

First off, if you think you can use the sim slot to connect to 3g, think again. For I don't know what reason, the sim slot is only for edge connection and voice calls. WTF?! Why put a sim slot in the first place? Lenovo might have realized their mistake and has removed the sim slot from other variants. I could forgive the lack of 3G, after all my mom would just use it for playing Bejeweled and Text Twist, she won't care for 3g and she'll probably be happy that she can make a call from the tablet even if it will look awkward.

But what I can't forgive is the internal storage. I bought the 4gb variant, 4gb is more than enough, heck even 1.5gb is more than enough for my mom's gaming needs but 512mb is NOT ACCEPTABLE. It seems this is a problem with the A1000G model, the A1000F was able to get 1.5gb of internal storage after an update but there's no fix available yet for the Lenovo A1000G. After installing the updates needed for the core Google apps like mail, maps, hangouts, I was left with 325mb of useable space and that did not include the Youtube update since I got a full memory warning.

So I immediately returned the Lenovo A1000 the next day and got the HP Slate 7 instead. So for those of you thinking about getting the A1000 be sure to check the variant that you're getting and check the available internal storage by going to settings then apps, below you can see the available internal storage. Don't rely on what it says under settings->storage because that includes the usb storage. There's a chance that Lenovo might actually fix this with an update but until then, look for another tablet.

Oh, and for those who think this can be fixed with root, go ahead. The rooting process for the Lenovo A1000 is iffy right now, the one on xda-developers was culled from the B1 and needs linux machine. Another reason I returned it, if rooting were simpler I might have kept this but as it is, buy at your own risk.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Ayosdito.ph Review: Not so "ayos"

So what makes a good online classified ads website? For buyers, its the ability to quickly and accurately search for the items they want, for sellers, its the ability to quickly post an item they want sold. Overall, an online classified ads website has to be simple. I think that's what made Craigslist the success it is today. Yeah, Craigslist has a crappy design but it works since its simple.

I've decided to review ayosdito.ph since right now, I think for non-tech savvy Filipinos, its one of the more prominent online classified ads since they've been advertising on TV. For a buyer using ayosdito.ph, yes, the website is easy to use. You can quickly search for the items you want, however the search results will be a mixed bag. If you try searching for an "iPad Mini", search results would include an android tablet, how that got mixed into the results, only the webmasters know. Another thing that's lacking from the site from a buyer's perspective is the seller feedback. A seller feedback allows buyers to put a bit of trust on the seller whether it pertains to shipping an item or if they're actually telling the truth about the condition of their item. Of course, ayosdito might rebut that a seller feedback isn't actually necessary since they're very strict about approving ads from sellers (as I've experienced first hand and which I'll delve into shortly) but if ad approval is strict, it would shun other potential sellers who might actually have real bargains to share and ultimately it would also be detrimental to the buyer who could actually find more great deals on other online classified ads which are seller friendly.

As for potential sellers, one great thing about ayosdito.ph is that it has a wider reach since they've been advertising on primetime TV spots. But that's about it, the rest of the site is so seller unfriendly, unless of course you're a paying advertiser. I've tried putting in an advertisement for a brand new iPad Mini, sealed, which I got to offset the shipping cost of my own unit, anyways, I first searched for active ads on iPad Mini so that I know what details are needed since I know that ayosdito is strict in approving ads. To be fair, posting an ad is quick and takes less than 3 minutes just like Sulit.com.ph, olx.com.ph, or tipidcp.com/tipidpc.com, its the approval process that takes time. I posted my ad in the afternoon, got a confirmation email about the ad and it is undergoing approval in the evening and the next day, I got an email from their customer service representative saying that  they would like to clarify some information regarding my ad and that I should email customerservice@ayosdito.ph. I replied back asking what things needed clarification and I got an email asking for my contact number for some "clarification" regarding my advertisement. After that email, I can smell "telemarketer" already but I replied saying that my contact number is already indicated in my ad but I gave it again anyway and asked what needed clarification that couldn't be asked in an email?

I missed their first call and again I got an email from them asking what's the best time to call for some "clarifications". At this point, I'm already exasperated. I emailed back saying that they could try again as I missed their call and if they have just emailed me the things they needed asking two emails ago then this would have been over and done with. Unfortunately, as I'm busy with work, I missed their two calls again and they again emailed me regarding the best time to call. At this point, I think two days have gone by, I already gave up. I already posted my ad on other classifieds and got interested buyers already so what's the point? By the time they would have approved my ad, my item is already sold.

Of course, all these can be said to protect the users of ayosdito.ph, but really now, what things do they need clarification over the phone that would dissuade scammers? Unless they have some sort of private investigator, scammers could always lie about their address, the condition of their item, anything. It's not a full proof system and they're just turning away potential sellers that could give their buyers more options.

In the end, if you're a professional online seller, of course I'd say you should take time with ayosdito.ph, they're already advertising on TV for you but if you're just a casual seller who like me, have lots of gadgets to sell but just like the simplicity of click and post, sulit.com.ph, tipidcp.com, tipidpc.com, ebay.com.ph are the better options. Yes, they have lesser reach but posting an ad won't take up a lot of your time, besides your audience would be tech savvy people who are already easy to deal with and are already experts when it comes to buying and selling online, also sulit.com.ph have some advertisements too so they're catching up. Oh, and if you're a buyer, don't forget to check out the online classified ads I've mentioned as you can actually get better deals from them.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Wi-Tribe Review: Why Try?

So, I was looking for a back-up internet provider because lately, Bayantel has been down in our area. Enter the whole page ad by Wi-Tribe in the local papers. 2Mbps for 998? That's the cheapest and fastest connection at that price point, plus the fact that there's no lock-in period until December 2, what have you got to lose, right?

Fortunately for you, I got to try out their service so that you don't have to waste your precious time and money.

So, what is Wi-Tribe's service and what is this "4G" they're talking about? Well, basically, it's WiMax, I don't know what the heck is WiMax but its not like Smart or Globe Broadband wherein you have a dongle with simcard although Wi-Tribe does have a USB dongle which means you can take it with you wherever you go but it doesn't have a simcard so you can't swap out their sim and put it in a much better, nicer looking dongle.

Now that's out of the way, let me talk about their actual service. When their sales representative got to our house to do their demo, they gave me a black Motorola modem which was pre-installed with their service but the default speed you got was around 512mbps until your account got activated. My account got activated within 24 hours and I readily went to speedtest.net to check out their claim of 2Mbps speed. I was surprised that it got past the 2Mbps mark. Nice! Internet browsing was a breeze. I was actually pretty impressed...but that lasted only 24 hours.

The next day, I was prepared to do some downloading. I wanted to watch a 2 minute HD trailer of Hunger Games on YouTube, I was actually hoping that I could watch it without any buffers because 1) it's a 2 minute video 2) I'm supposed to have a 2Mbps speed. 15 minutes passed, I wasn't even at half finished with the trailer!

How about bittorrent? A lot of Filipinos are looking at Wi-Tribe with their 2Mbps speed for torrenting, well, it's a no go. Heck, a torrent with 2000 seeders and 5000 leechers and I couldn't get even get past the 1kbps download speed!!!!! And I'm supposed to be a new customer! Isn't there supposed to be a honeymoon stage of some sort?

So I called up their hotline, which by the way you should be prepared to wait for 15-30 minutes before you get a hold of an actual customer service representative. The troubleshooting includes you disconnecting from your actual wifi router, connecting it directly to your PC, clearing some cache, and then going to Wi-Tribe's website which of course tells you that your speed is beyond 2mbps mark whilst other bandwidth test sites says your bandwidth is just 256-768kbps.

In the end, I realized that as a back-up internet, I shouldn't have applied for the 998 plan but should have stuck with the 598 plan. Now in order to downgrade my plan, I have to pay 2,000 downgrade fee. Whether I should bite it or just turn in my modem to their nearest Wi-Tribe office and apply for a new plan I have yet to think about.  I'll wait another week and see if I can actually get a honeymoon period from them but if you still plan to try their service, stick with the plan 598, it would be a lesser disappointment.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Citibank Cebu Pacific Credit Card: WARNING!!!!

Citibank has recently collaborated with Cebu Pacific to bring us the Juan card or Cebu Pacific Visa Credit Card. In order to entice customers, Citibank is saying they'll be giving away one free flight to those who get approved by October 11. I'm sure many will be enticed by this promo including my jetsetter officemates but just a word of warning: You'll have to keep your card for 18 months once approved. That means you'll have to pay the annual fee which is 2,800 according to Citibank's website so in reality, you'll actually be paying for your fare, albeit, 18 months after in the form of their annual fee.

So what happens if you want out? They'll most likely charge you for the ticket fare and knowing Citibank, it will be more than 2,800. So you're better off just waiting for Cebu Pacific's promos.

Of course the card does have perks, 2 hours lead time on Cebu Pacific's promos, notwithstanding that travel agents probably booked their promo fares before they even announce it. And of course you'll earn 1 point for every peso charged to your credit card which is equivalent to .01 cent when you convert it to a voucher which you can use to pay off your ticket fare when booking with CebuPacific.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Philippine Group Buys: Cashcashpinoy vs. Buyanihan Review

The first group buy website that I've encountered is cashcashpinoy.com. I've come to know the site from one of the forums I frequent and it was because of the Sofitel buffet coupon they were offering. Me and my husband are suckers for buffets. Anyways, I wasn't able to buy their first offer for a 50% discount on Sofitel's buffet but I visit the website now and then to see what they were offering. No, I didn't subscribe to their daily emails.

Buyanihan.com I've heard through my email. I was surprised one day to receive an email from them. So I guess their marketing strategy is to spam email accounts that they got from God knows where coz I know that I didn't subscribe to their website. Heck, I didn't even know about them till they sent me an email. Anyways, I didn't unsubscribe or anything, I was curious, then I read about them in the papers so they seemed legit even though they spam so I let them email me with their offers. So far, all Buyanihan is offering is mostly discount from Spas and restaurants. I'm not a Spa person and most of the restaurant offers are far away from my area so I've yet to purchase my first group buy coupon from them.

Cashcashpinoy on the other hand offers different kinds of coupons. I once saw from their past offers that they offered a P1,000 peso coupon for only 500 to be used at Crumpler! Damn! I was so annoyed that I missed that offer. I would have bought a new bag for my Macbook. In my frustration, I gave in and subscribed to their daily emails. Jackpot! A few days back, got an email saying they have a P1,000 coupon for only P500 at Belkin! Yes! Just my cup of tea. I quickly purchased it and paid using my credit card. The process is quick and easy. Of course, I have my reservations about giving away my credit card details to a Philippine payment company but I quickly shrugged it off since I know I'm protected by the credit card law against fraudulent use of my credit card especially in online transactions. The credit card companies can't say that you have to report it first since how the heck would you know if someone stole your credit card details online?

Anyways, going back to my purchase at Cashcashpinoy, the coupon quickly showed up in my account and all I had to do was print it. Went to Belkin SM North Edsa and purchased my desired item. Of course, using the coupon at Belkin was another story. It seems the staff didn't get a masterlist or something of the coupons they sold so instead of a quick purchase, I had to wait 30 minutes for the staff to verify my coupon.

But all's good. I'm happy and eagerly awaiting the next coupon any of these Group buy websites have to offer. Buyanihan.com still has to offer something good that would suit my taste other than spa services and restaurant coupons but if you like to eat out, I'm sure buyanihan.com has something good for you. As for cashcashpinoy.com, I'm crossing my fingers that they have a PowerMac coupon next.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

How download the iPhone 4 case program app Philippines

Okay, so we all know that the iPhone 4 is not available in the Philippines yet but of course there are already iPhone 4 owners here. If you're an early adopter, you might want to avail of Apple's free case program but the problem? You won't be able to see and download the iPhone 4 case program app using your Philippine iTunes account nor will you be able to ship it here.

If you have relatives in countries where the iPhone 4 is already available (US, UK, Hong Kong, Singapore, etc) you can borrow their iTunes account so you can send your free case to them and they in turn can send it to you. If none of them have an iTunes account, you can create one and register with their address using this guide: http://support.apple.com/kb/ht2534, you can also download the iPhone 4 case program while you're at it. Once done, you can now order your free case.

Oh, BTW, I ran into a bit of trouble while logging in on the iPhone 4 Case program app. It tells me: Your Apple ID or password is entered incorrectly. I was getting frustrated until I decided to give it a rest and try again in a few hours. Miraculously, I was able to log in and order my case and had it delivered to my sister in the UK.

Thanks to mysterio at Philmug.ph for suggesting how to create the iTunes account.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Samsung i5500 Galaxy 5 Review

The Samsung Galaxy 5 i5500, Samsung's latest and cheapest Android mobile phone is now available in the Philippines. At first, I thought the Samsung Galaxy Spica would be the cheapest Android handset we can get but Samsung surprised as yet again with the Samsung Galaxy 5.

The Samsung Galaxy 5 looks a lot like Samsung's Corby line and at a price point of around Php11,750-12,000, with Android 2.1, it's definitely enticing. Our friends over at Cellphone-Reviews has the Samsung i5500 Galaxy 5 Review. Interestingly, it's going by the name of Samsung Europa and is exclusive to CarphoneWarehouse in the US.

Here in the Philippines, the Samsung Galaxy 5 is available at most Samsung resellers.