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Unbox 2013 Gadget Awards: Honoring the Trailblazers (Part 2)

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2013 Unbox Gadget Awards Batch 2!

This is batch two of the winners from the 2013 Unbox Gadget Awards! We’ve already published the first group where LG, Sony, ASUS, and Apple came out on top. For this batch we’ll check out the winners from the following categories:

  • Best Phablet
  • Best Local Budget Smartphone
  • Best Local Flagship Smartphone
  • Best Hybrid
  • Best Breakthrough Technology

To determine the winners, the Unbox editorial team together with the Unbox Podcast co-hosts pruned and debated the nominees and we came out with the final list. We took into consideration value for money, real life performance (and not just what’s written on spec sheets), and we only considered gadgets that were released until November 2013.

Okay without further adieu, here are our winners!

Best Phablet: Samsung Galaxy Note 3

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Koren tech giant Samsung breaks into our awards list with the product that originally defined and created this category. The first generation Samsung Galaxy Note made “phablet” a real word (lol) and it has sold millions of units across the first two generations of the device. The newest model, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, is much more powerful, more refined, integrated better with the S Pen, and has a faux leather back plate. It is, without a doubt, one of the sexiest phablets ever made.

Click here to read our full review of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3

Best Local Budget Smartphone: Cherry Mobile Flare 2.0

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If the Samsung Galaxy Note created the Phablet category, the Cherry Mobile Flare established and defined the low-cost budget-friendly Android smartphone segment. The Cherry Mobile Flare 2.0 was the follow-up to the highly successful Cherry Mobile Flare. Priced still at Php3,999, the Flare 2.0 packed a much more powerful quad-core processor making it the most affordable quad-core smartphone you can get to-date. Cherry Mobile has been a major disruptor in the market with their low-cost offerings and they definitely deserve this honor and recognition.

Click here to read our review of the Cherry Mobile Flare 2.0

Best Local Flagship Smartphone: Starmobile Knight

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Since we’re talking about category defining products, let’s not forget the winner of our best local flagship smartphone, the venerable Starmobile Knight. Before we even get to specifications, we have to recognize and give a nod to Starmobile for being one of the first local companies to offer a high-quality premium smartphone above Php10,000. In a way the Knight paved the way for the pricing model employed by a lot of other local brands for their flagships.

When it comes to specs, the Starmobile Knight doesn’t just have good internals, it also still has the best camera on a local smartphone. And all of that in a slim, gorgeous, and ergonomic form factor.

Click here to read our full review of the Starmobile Knight

Best Hybrd: ASUS Transformer Book T100

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Next we have the ASUS Transformer Book T100. This is another device that is popularizing the segment that it belongs to. For the longest time hybrid devices have been priced way out of reach from the average Filipino. The first generation of tablet-laptops all sold for well over Php50,000. The ASUS Transformer Book T100 is a breakthrough product because it delivers a full Windows 8 laptop experience and you can detach the monitor and use it as a Windows 8 tablet for more portability at a very good price (a little less than Php24,000).

Click here to read our feature of the Transformer Book T100

Breakthrough Technology of the Year: SMART LTE

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Smart’s LTE network is the widest and most pervasive LTE network in the country. They also rolled out the first prepaid LTE for smartphones. Smart’s investments and efforts in building LTE is definitely worth recognizing and honoring. Again, this is another great example of being a trailblazer.


And that wraps up the 2013 Unbox Gadget Awards! We gave a total of 10 awards and we would like to congratulate all the winners. We’ll mail you guys certificates that you can hopefully hang on your walls, hehe.

If you want to watch the full Unbox Gadget Awards Podcast Episode, check it out in full below. It’s just 30 minutes and it’s the very last episode of the podcast on the New Media Factory (it’s a show ender, not a season ender).

Carlo Ople

Carlo is the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Unbox.ph. During daytime he’s the Managing Director and Partner of a Digital Marketing Agency in the Philippines and by nighttime he’s living out his passion as a gadget enthusiast and story teller through Unbox.

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  1. I think Nokia and their 41mp Lumia/OIS camera deserves a mention here. They have raised the bar when it comes to imaging on phones. The awards are dominated by Android. Did you even consider Windows Phones?

    1. Hi arghh, yes we considered the Lumia 1020. If you watch the Awards Show episode on YouTube we gave it an honorable mention for best camera on a smartphone. 🙂

  2. Sir, it wouldnt matter much naman..did u see the top honors..?seriously..just of the back unlock key and knock option..lg won..eh mas marami nga walang features un compared s note 3..meron nga ganun option ang note 3 eh..di lang masyado pinublish, s may mga note 3..tingnan nyo ung options..i tried the lg g2 to know what the fuzz was all about..ganun rin naman..mas deserving p nga si htc one eh..dahil sa boom box option..not a samsung fanboi..pero ung totoo..???i dont wanna comment no more..

  3. ask lang, yung LTE pocket wifi ng SMART, pwede po ba yung sa smartphone na walang LTE connectivity? alam ko po kung gano kabilis internet ng LTE, naisip ko lang kung sa LTE phone lang sya gagana, pano kung laptop ang gagamitin, gagana po ba yun? hehehe

  4. How was the Asus Transformer Book T100 the best hybrid? Have you reviewed the other hybrids? I have a Samsung ATIV Smart PC 500T, which has bigger screen so it doesn’t really make your eyes squint as much as it would with the tinier display of the Asus. I think 11.6 inch is really the convergence point, where laptop and tablet truly met in the middle. The Samsung also boots in a flash and the brush metal finish just truly adds to its more premium feel. I got mine for 29K bundled with a laser printer which cost something like 4.5K if bought separately, that meant the ATIV 500T practically was almost head to head in pricing with the T Book T100.

  5. I think the Ativ runs an older Intel Atom processor (dual core). The T100 has the newer Intel Atom Bay Trail (quad core) which has the old Atom beat on speed and power efficiency. But yes, the Ativ is also a nice hybrid.

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