Friday, May 04, 2018

The Eagle Creek National Geographic Guide Series

I’m a big fan and user of Eagle Creek products. I have at least 5 Eagle Creek items ranging from their Cargo Hauler duffel line to their Eagle Creek Switchback 22 Luggage line as well as their Pack-It Specter compression cube set. I am impressed with the build quality and attention to detail on each of the products I used that’s why I’m excited to see that they have partnered with National Geographic to release a limited series of bags and accessory.

Eagle Creek just introduced the Eagle Creek National Geographic Guide Series bags. This six-piece limited collection inspired by National Geographic explorers will be available for pre-sale this May 10 and would ship on June 1.

I’ve listed all the series and its price below. All of the bags come in black waterproof heavy-duty tarpulin (some Bi-Tech Armor Lite) and signature NG yellow accent color.


Guide Travel Pack 65L


Yonder Rolling Trunk 32


Borderless Convertible Carry-On


All Purpose Duffel 60L


Utility Backpack 40L


Pack-It Storage Compression Cube Set S/M


Check out the complete specs and more photos on Eagle Creek’s website

Monday, March 12, 2018

Ikea to Open first Philippine store in SM Mall of Asia


According to a Philippine Star report, Ikea is opening its first Philippine warehouse store within the Mall of Asia grounds.  It will rise on the open carpark between SMX and MOA Arena according to the report.

This is great news for furniture aficionado’s who are just getting their Ikea fix on 3rd party resellers locally. Hopefully an official announcement from SM and Ikea will be made in the following days.

Philippine Star @ Facebook

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Galaxy Note Fan Edition available in the Philippines


The Galaxy Note Fan Edition will be available for a limited time starting November 4, 2017. It will be offered in blue coral and black onyx in local Samsung Experience Stores.

“The move to re-engineer a flagship device to create an environmentally friendly, safe, and ultimately improved reincarnation of a fan favorite is meant to satisfy loyal followers of the Galaxy Note series,”

- Nio Judalena, Marketing Head for IT and Mobile, Samsung Electronics Philippines, Corp.

The Galaxy Note FE packs an Exynos 8890 Octa Core Processor with 4GB of RAM, a massive 5.7 inch QHD display with a crisp, 2,560 pixel, Super AMOLED screen, and a 12-megapixel dual pixel rear camera and 5 megapixel front facing camera.

Expected retail price is ₱32,990.

If you’re not keen on the Galaxy Note 8 and its price, this may very well be worth a second look but personally, I would just wait for the Galaxy S9 or Note 9 at this point.

Review: ZUS Smart Tire Safety Monitor

Ever since I received the ZUS Smart Car Charger from Nonda, I have exclusively used that charger on my car to charge the dash cam and my phone. The GPS parking location feature is awesome and it just automatically logs my position and even monitors my battery without much user intervention. So when they came out with their ZUS Smart Tire Safety Monitor system, I decided to get it too.

Why is this needed?

You see, while most newer cars in the USA have pre-installed tire monitoring systems, the ones being sold in the Philippines still doesn't - even the current models.
I installed this on a 2016 Honda HRV before heading out on a long trip to see how well it fares.

In a USA Today article dated July 4, 2016, it notes that proper tire pressure can keep you out of car accidents

Keeping your tires inflated to the right pressure improves fuel economy and reduces the likelihood of breakdowns and even accidents.

Besides optimizing fuel efficiency, a properly pressure tire could make or break your car trip.

A tire 25% below its recommended pressure is three times as likely to be involved in a crash, while a tire 25% high is twice as likely as a properly inflated tire, according to data from the National Highway Transportation Safety Agency.

We all know what kind of roads we have here in the Philippines. We have all sorts of potholes, uneven humps, various road debris, and everything you can imagine that could damaged even the toughest tire brands. Making sure that your tires are properly taken cared of and has the consistent pressure it needs can spare you the unnecessary hassle when least expected.

What you get out of the box are four screw-in replacements for your valve caps, a main USB receiver shaped like a car, and a few nuts, and mini wrench, and other extras like the plastic cap, velcro sticker (for receiver mounting), and silicon band.

Package Includes:

  1. Sensor ×4
  2. Receiver  ×1 (Requires USB power)
  3. Anti-Theft lock ×4
  4. Installation kit

Installing the sensor and receiver

Installation is quick and easy. You will need to plug in the receiver first on any of your on-board USB ports. Pair your phone with the ZUS app and then proceed with the installation of the 4 sensors.

Be sure to read the labels on each tire sensors and place them accordingly. It’s better to use the provided anti-theft nut to make it harder for thieves to steal your sensors. You’ll just basically use the provided small wrench to rotate it counterclockwise for a snug fit. Don’t forget to store the specialized wrench into your glove compartment so you can unscrew it yourself when needed.

The receiver also has a USB pass through so you won’t lose a precious USB port on your car.

Receiver Specifications

  1. Size: 1.5×3.3 in / 38×85 mm
  2. Cable Length: 7.9 in / 20cm
  3. Audible and Visual Alerts: For air leaks, high/low pressure high temperature, low battery voltage, lost sensor signal

The sensors are all powered by a small CR1632. They say that at 3 hours of use a day, the battery could last for a year before needing to be replaced.

Sensor Specifications

  1. Size: 0.7×0.8 in / 21×18mm ;
  2. Pressure Reading Range: 0 - 130 psi / 0 - 9 bar
  3. Temp Reading Range: -20°C ~ 120°C  /  -4°F ~ 248°F
  4. Operating Temperature: -40°C ~ 125°C / -40°F ~ 257°F
  5. Water Resistance: IP67
  6. Anti-theft: Anti-theft Nut & Wrench
  7. Battery: Replaceable lithium battery CR1632

Using the App

Launch the ZUS app, or download it in the Google Play / iTunes.

Initial setup is needed like pairing the sensors and the receiver to your phone. Just follow the on-screen instructions and you're good to go. Video how-tos area also available so it's really dumbproof. Remember to install the sensors in the afternoon or after the car has cooled down, don't install the sensors on a recently used car.

Upon installing one sensor, I tested it right away and lo and behold, it's there. The UI neatly displays the car with all information on on tire PSI pressure and temperature. (Just to note that the app will have to calibrate itself initially so you'll need to start and run the car first to get a correct reading)

Travelling NLEX, SCTEX and TPLEX on the holiday, at fast speeds and with strong rains didn't cause any issue on the attached sensors. They provided real-time tire pressure's and will alert you if the app notices some fluctuations - meaning there might be a slow leak somewhere.

The ZUS app also provides useful mileage log and battery stats among others. I believe you can get this using the ZUS charger - even without the tire monitoring kit.

The only issue I have with this is the anti-theft nut. The way it's installed does not give me 100% confidence that it will hold up and really protect the sensors against a determined thief. I get that it's a tradeoff that is necessary so that when I need to pull it out myself, I would just need the specialized tool to do it. But still, I hope there is another way to really make it much secure into the valve. At a retail price of $120, I really recommend this tire monitoring kit among the other built-in methods. The app could only improve over time and so far it has provided me peace of mind without needed to constantly check my tire pressure every time.

Friday, November 03, 2017

B&O PLAY now in the Philippines


B&O PLAY is a member of the Bang & Olufsen Group, an iconic Danish design technology company known for its premium technology that adapts to fit human needs wrapped in design that matters, performance that reproduces emotions and craftsmanship that is honest and detail-oriented.

While firmly grounded in its 90 year Bang & Olufsen heritage, B&O PLAY has set the bar even higher and confidently announces that they’re in the business of goosebumps that makes beautiful music on-the-go and for-the home.

Check out the products and prices after the jump.

Friday, September 08, 2017

Galaxy Note 8 is now up for pre-order at Lazada Philippines


The Note 8 is officially being sold at 49,990 pesos and will only come in black and gold variants. The pre-order period will also mean additional freebie in the form of an AKG Bluetooth speaker (which is worth 7,990 as they say) 

Will you be getting one?


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Review: XVIDA Wireless Charging Mount System

I have been using wireless chargers since 2012, when I had the Nexus 4. Then when I got the Tylt Vu charger (from Kickstarter), it became my go to wireless charger ever since. The convenience of just dropping your phone on your desk without ever fumbling on cords is really a good selling point.

Upgrading through a number of phones, most of them didn't have wireless charging built-in - were a problem. Wireless chargers are still at their infancy 3 years ago but nowadays wireless chargers are basic features of flagship phones - even the new iPhone's will reportedly have this feature from Android years too late.

XVIDA is a magnetic-type charging dock that has a wide array of accessories for desks, car, and for any surface. The XVIDA chargers uses magnets to keep itself aligned on the contact points and sticky reusable silicon-type adhesive to stick to your device.

Just to note that this requires a Qi-enable phone to work. So if you own an iPhone, you will need to get a special case from Xvida which has a special connector on the lighting port to make all this work.

This is what you’ll need if you’ll want your device to work on the various XVIDA docks. You won’t need this if you’ll get their special charging cases as shown here:

I don’t have their Galaxy S8+ cases so this Sticky Pad will just have to work.

It adds substantial thickness that you can’t use your case anymore with this on. So keep that in mind.

Luckily, the wireless charging still works on thin cases like this Ringke Flex S Case. So you can just stick it on the case itself rather than the back of the phone. Your mileage may vary though, specially on thicker cases.

Just be careful to only stick the Sticky Pad on hard cases or suffer the same fate as I did. It really sticks pretty well.

XVIDA Wireless Charging Desk Stand

This wireless charging dock supports Fast Charging 2.0 which is great for phones that support it, like the Galaxy S8+. The box includes a Fast Charging AC adapter and braided micro-usb cable.

The stand is well built and doesn’t fall down easily even with a phone on. The base has a reusable silicon sticky pad that can be repositioned with ease. It makes the phone look like its floating on your desk.

This is how it looks on the side. I can easily remove it from the dock without it tipping over. The only thing that I didn’t like was the length of included micro-usb cable (which is around 3.3 feet or 1 meter). I had to use my longer Aukey micro usb cable – around 6.6 feet or 2 meter, double - so that it would reach my extension cord comfortably. The cable seems to be durable but for my use case, it was just short.

XVIDA Wireless Charging Suction Cup Mount

This is to be used in your car to mount it either on your dashboard or windshield. It comes with a Qualcomm QuickCharge 2.0 capable 2-usb slot car port charger, a braided usb cable and cable clip organizers.

I tried mounting it on my dashboard together with my iOttie One Touch 3 mount.

Mounting on the dashboard is pretty tricky. I had mine fall a few minutes after placing my phone. While the sticky suction cup part is more clingy than the usual suction cup material we’re used to, it doesn’t hold that much, specially on dashboard with much grain on them – like I have.

XVIDA should have included an extra base piece (much like the iOttie) one with a thicker sticky pad to stick on the dashboard and provide a smooth surface for the suction to adhere better. see this pic from iOttie.

However, placing it on the windshield was the perfect spot for me. Everything worked well, adjusting to portrait and landscape was quick and easy. Just be sure you’re not violating the Republic Act 10913 or the Anti-Distracted Driving Act law.

XVIDA Wireless Charging Mountable Pad

This pretty much allows you to mount and charge your phone to anything you can stick this thing to – magnetically. If you’re rich and want to buy a couple, you can mount this on the fridge so you can charge and watch videos while in the kitchen..something like that.

The box included the same Fast Charging AC adapter and braided USB cable. There is a thin metal plate included so you can mount that on any surface and mount the charging pad there via magnets.

This has 4 neodymium magnets on each corner so you’re sure that it would always magnetically lock-on your phone in the most optimal charging position.

Tried placing one on a bedside drawer and it worked well.


I really liked the usefulness of XVIDA, the quick mounting system via magnets and the fast charging feature is one that I lack on my own charging solutions. While there are some drawbacks like the short cables included and the flimsiness of the car dock, I would still overall rate this as a good buy – now if you have a limited budget to splurge on a wireless charger then this might hurt a bit but the investment may be a good one in the long run. My personal favorite is the desk dock because I spend most of the time on my desk :)


Thanks to Guru of Tech (Philippines) for sending this product for review.

XVIDA products are available at Lazada -

iGig Center, Greenhills Promenade -

International? Check out full products:


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