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Unbox PH Retrospective: The Top 10 Stories from 2016

We’ve seen some good and some pretty bad things happen in the tech scene of 2016. There are only 2 more days left in the year and it’s always nice to take a look back at the year that was. That being said. we’d like to share some of the most read stories from the year in this Unbox PH Retrospective.

The Coveted Firefly Mobile Aurii Envy 

If you haven’t read our review for the Firefly Mobile Aurii Envy… Well, let’s just say we didn’t give it a glowing one. Its unveiling did, however, make it to the top 10 list of most read articles in 2016 and the interest for the phone was certainly there. We had a tough time securing a unit for review, as it was almost always out of stock in kiosks and shops we’d happen to chance upon. Firefly Mobile definitely got the attention of the local smartphone crowd and despite what we thought of the Aurii Envy, we are looking forward to what the company has in store for next year.

Read: Firefly Mobile Unveils New Aurii Envy With Metal And Glass
Read: Firefly Mobile Aurii Envy Review: Does it Leave you Wanting?

Cherry Mobile’s Selfie-Centric Smartphone

Our review for the Cherry Mobile Selfie came out early in the year and was a pretty sweet deal with its specs and price point at that time. The main draw of the Selfie was its front camera that had the same megapixel count as its rear camera at 16-megapixels; making it a huge deal for selfie aficionados who were working on a budget. A mix of good performance, looks, and battery endurance — The Cherry Mobile Selfie left a good impression right out of the gate for 2016.

Read: Cherry Mobile Flare Selfie Review: Best Bang-for-the-buck Selfie Phone?

The Legendary Battery Life of the OG ASUS Zenfone Max

Here’s another review that came out early this year. With its 5000mAh battery, the ASUS Zenfone Max definitely drew a lot of attention for the Taiwanese brand. We said that the ASUS Zenfone Max was an exercise in compromise as it didn’t have the best spec sheet nor did it perform nearly as fast as we wanted it to, but if you wanted a phone that didn’t conk out before the day was done — this was the phone you want to consider. ASUS has then moved on to the newest iteration of the Max, the ASUS Zenfone 3 Max and its 5.5-inch variant, which saw a significant bump up in its design and performance but took a bit of a hit to its legendary battery life from 5000mAh down to 4100mAh.

Read: ASUS Zenfone Max Review: A Phone With 3 Day Battery Life
Read: ASUS Zenfone 3 Max Review: More Than Just A Glorified Powerbank
Read: ASUS Zenfone 3 Max ZC553KL Review: Mid-range Dilemma

The BPI Snafu that Caused Long Queues

Do you all remember this? This particular advisory from the Bank of the Philippine Islands had us all up in arms! What we all thought was a major inconvenience, given on short notice caused a lot of us to rush to the nearest BPI branch to update our records for fear of not being able to transact using their ATM’s plus Online and Mobile banking portals. Turns out that this was just a big miscommunication on the bank’s part and only affected a few customers. Hassle!

Read: BPI To Cut Online, ATM Banking Access To Non-compliant Clients [Updated: Deadline Now Set To End Of September]

The Pricelist for the Cherry Mobile Festival

Who doesn’t love a great deal? In April, Jam Ancheta of JAM Online happened upon the entire list of phones that were going to be available at Cherry Mobile’s annual Festival. Aside from the products that were currently in Cherry’s product line up at that time, the brochures also included phones that had not yet been released by the local company thus doubling the interest in this particular article.

Read: Here’s The Entire Price List For The Cherry Mobile Festival 2016

Our Thoughts on the ASUS Zenfone 3

While we received a lot of complaints regarding the price of the ASUS Zenfone 3 when it was announced at COMPUTEX 2016, the device from the Taiwanese company still drew a lot of attention; after all, the Zenfone 2 had quite the following. We said that it was one of the best phones you can get at under Php 20,000 and, despite its flaws, we still believe that the device is a good buy regardless if you get the 5.2-inch or 5.5-inch variant of the smartphone.

Read: ASUS Zenfone 3 Review: Best Value For Money Phone You Can Buy

President Digong’s Campaign Scratch Cards

Many rejoiced as the former Mayor of Davao City and, now, our President — Rodrigo Duterte — officially declared that he was going to run for President of the Philippines. We all know that being a candidate for any position in the government requires some amount of funding to run the campaign and, sadly, we also know that these funds may have come from ill-gotten gains. So, imagine our surprise and delight when President Duterte turned to the masses for funding in this unconventional method. The scratch cards came in as low as Php 25 to as much Php 500,000 and could then be registered and traced if there was any doubt where his funding came from.

Read: Duterte Turns To The Masses For Campaign Funding, Outs Scratch Cards

The Flash Plus 2 Tries to Outdo the Original

Priced at Php 6490, the Alcatel Flash Plus was a phone that had quite the following in 2015. With the release of the Flash Plus 2, Flash became an independent brand and was looking to ride the coat tails of its predecessor. The Flash Plus 2 may have looked way better than its first iteration but, unfortunately, suffered from some performance issues ; something that was improved on with the release of the variant that had 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage.

Read: Flash Plus 2 Review: Better Than The Original?

Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 3 Pro Reviewed

If you’re looking for a phone that has a blend of great specs with an affordable price tag, it’s pretty hard to leave Xiaomi out of the picture. One of the devices that we happen to have for review earlier this year was the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 Pro, which was an improvement over the Redmi Note 3 that was released two months prior to this device. Xiaomi Philippines had been keeping mum about its status in the country and we were all hoping to see it released in an official capacity, but we all know how that turned out. Nonetheless, the Redmi Note 3 Pro was a solid phone. We’re still hoping that Xiaomi comes back though, but for now you can purchase their products via shops like WidgetCity.

Read: Redmi Note 3 Pro Review: A Beastly Mid-range Phone From Xiaomi

The Helio X20 Equipped Cherry Mobile M1

We had high hopes for the Cherry Mobile M1 and a lot of people did too. It was a major announcement from the local brand in the middle of the year and housed a lot of first’s for the local company. We were disappointed with its looks, but its benchmark scores impressed in our initial review, but sadly our full review revealed that it was riddled with issues that could still be corrected with more optimization.

Read: Cherry Mobile M1 Hands-on, First Impressions: Performance On A Budget?
Read: Cherry Mobile M1 Review: Paper Tiger

And that’s pretty much it for our look back at the most read articles of 2016. With that, we’d like to thank all of you who continually come back to the website to hear about the latest tech news and gadget reviews. We look forward to another year in tech in 2017 and we hope you guys and gals come along for the ride!

From all us at Team Unbox, Happy New Year! Please be safe if you intend to use fireworks in the coming days. Peace!

 

Jamie Inocian

A self-confessed geek. Jamie started out helping out on the Unbox Podcast and became the Digital Sales Manager when he joined the team full time. He has since then transitioned into one of our Senior Editors and Head Video Producer.

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One Comment

  1. Thanks for this, really the biggest disappointment for me was the Zenfone 3. I was saving for this device but when the announcement of the price came in, I was like really? So I save more and come December I ended up with a Samsung S7. Anyway thanks for a great year unbox, and for all your comprehensive reviews! Lets look for forward to a better 2017, and eyeing on that Nokia. .

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