Bringing out another Pinoy’s inner geek this Christmas shouldn’t make you feel that you’ve been robbed. Here we list gadgets that cost less than P10,000:
Samsung Galaxy Y
The shrunken Samsung Galaxy Ace has a lot going for it besides its price: a brand that many have come to trust, a look that doesn’t scream “cheap,” and Android Gingerbread. If you don’t mind the 2-megapixel camera and the 3-inch screen (small by today’s standards), then this one’s a terrific first Android smartphone for the young ‘uns.
Smart Netphone 701
If you’re after a phone with a bigger, 3.5-inch display and a higher-resolution, 3.15-megapixel camera, consider this Android Froyo handset (a repackaged ZTE Blade) from Smart. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that it’s got SmartNet. It is an ecosystem of apps that lets users 1) send messages to/receive messages from other Netphone users (think BlackBerry Messenger); 2) read Facebook and Twitter updates; and 3) add people who are already on SmartNet.
Globe CloudFone Ice
CloudFone is Globe’s answer to Smart’s Netphone brand. Its first offering, an upgraded Huawei U8500, goes for less than P5,000. The CloudFone Ice has a 3.2-inch screen with 320 x 480-pixel resolution, an FM radio, a 3.15-megapixel camera, and a microSD slot that supports up to 32GB of memory cards. Its con? The smartphone is only running Android Éclair. The good news? It’s upgradable.
Yes, it’s an Android Gingerbread phone with 3.5-inch display. Yes, it’s got the usual Android bells and whistles. What sets the Lenovo A60 apart from the other branded ‘droids, though, is its ability to switch from, say, Sun to Smart when required. In a country where owning two SIM cards is common, this is good news. Bonus: its front-facing camera — not a typical feature of affordable handsets today.
If no amount of coaxing from other manufacturers and platforms could douse the Nokia and Symbian fire in the person you want to surprise this Christmas, then this is a great option. The Symbian Anna-based handset has a 3.2-inch display with 640 x 360-pixel resolution and a 5-megapixel camera. Underneath it is a 1GHz ARM11 processor and 256MB of RAM.
BlackBerry Pearl 3G 9105
Put all the usual BlackBerry goodness into a candybar case, and what do you get? This Pearl, RIM’s first smartphone that chucks the QWERTY keyboard for the alphanumeric keypad of yore. It’s powered by a 624MHz processor with 256MB Flash memory and sports a 3.2-megapixel camera, a 360 x 400-pixel display, and an optical trackpad.
Cherry Pad Turbo Tablet
7-inch capacitive touch screen, RK2918 CortexA8 1.2GHz processor, Android Gingerbread, 2-megapixel rear camera, VGA front cam, and HDMI port. There’s really nothing special in this tablet. The price is a different matter altogether. That’s the bait you might not be reluctant to take.
GE X500 Digital Camera
You think your loved one is all geared up to graduate from the usual point-and-shoot but is not yet ready for a DSLR? Try getting this 16-megapixel megazoom from GE. It is equipped with a 27mm wide-angle lens and a long 15x optical zoom. It should give a lot of bang for your buck.
Nikon Coolpix L23
A less-than-P5,000 10.1-megapixel shooter from a respected brand? Offering this is like Nikon dangling jewelry in front of a thief. The 5x optical zoom Nikkor lens with 28mm wide-angle coverage should enable users to zoom in on subjects and “use macro photography at a shooting distance as close as 3cm to the subject.” A good deal.
JBL On Tour Micro
The pocket speaker that you won’t be ashamed to use because of its looks and performance. Moreover, because it has a 3.5mm earphone socket, it is compatible with most phones and music devices available now. There’s even an option to daisy-chain it with other On Tour Micro speakers for some bigger sound.
Apple iPod nano
P7,490 (8GB), P8,690 (16GB)
From the king of music players comes the iPod nano with multi-touch display. It’s packed with more fitness features and an updated interface. In addition, because the previous generation started the craze for nano-designed watchband accessories, Apple has created 18 different clock-face designs for the new one. So not only is it a media player, it’s also a watch. The iPod nano is sort of hitting two birds with one stone.
Sony Walkman NWZ-W262
A dainty digital media player is not for the person with an active lifestyle. Give your friend/girlfriend/(insert name of person here) something that can keep up with him or her. This 2GB music device from Sony’s Walkman W Series, which features functions that allow users to find songs easily, is water-resistant, wireless, and wearable, so you only have to worry about things that matter: what you’re doing and the songs that you’re listening to.
carNavi S400 GPS Navigator
Voice-guided turn-by-turn directions in English or Filipino? Check. Preloaded road-alert and speed-limit warnings? Check. Maps that contain detailed 3D view? Check. Anyone with a less-than-stellar sense of direction could benefit from this GPS navigator.
Toshiba Regza LCD TV 24HV10
There’s no reason this Regza can’t help the cause against CRT TVs. It delivers better, full-HD picture quality; consumes less power (a reduction of up to 26 percent, in fact); and is about 60 percent slimmer than the conventional CRT TV. This at a price that won’t make your jaw drop.
Alora Uy Guerrero has covered the technology beat since 2002. She was last seen distorting the minds of tech-savvy Filipinos at another big media company near our future HQ in Mandaluyong. You can read her updates at the following: www.twitter.com/aloraguerrero, www.facebook.com/alora.guerrero, and www.gplus.to/alora.