Just today, O+ officially  and successfully opened its first concept store at SM North Edsa. The 1-hour sale that O+ put up during the opening drove many Filipinos to drop by the store and avail of their exciting offers. One of the phones that O+ temporarily slashed its SRP is the O+ 8.6, a dual-core Android phone with 4.5″ IPS Capacitive touch screen. If you’re thinking of getting this phone, check out this review first.

O+ 8.6

Unboxing

Being part of the mid-range lineup of O+, the 8.6’s retail box is similar to 8.5 and 8.52. It’s placed in a transparent container, which can be upcycled and be used as a jewelry container or a plant box. The box contains the following:

  • O+ 8.6 handset
  • Free 4GB SanDisk Memory Card
  • 3.5mm headphone
  • 1,500 mAh lithium ion battery
  • Micro USB cable
  • Charger Adapter

The inclusion of the 4gb memory card is indeed a bonus, as the phone only has 2gb available user-memory. 2gb may be enough for casual smartphone users (social media apps, puzzler and social gaming, emailing, etc.), but it’s definitely not sufficient for power users.

The unit I received does not contain a screen protector, but you can definitely score one in any of their branches and retailers nationwide. Click this for locations.

Unboxing Photos

Build and Hardware Specifications 

The device, like any other phones of O+, is designed in the US. As expected, although it doesn’t have any sophisticated design, the device looks sturdy and has a premium feel. The 8.6 looks pretty similar the Galaxy S Duos sans the home button. It’s almost as big as the One Touch Idol Ultra but significantly thicker. Its matte and almost rubbery curved removable back panel gives the phone a premium feel. The vertical perforation that exposes the mono speakers looks perfect on the device. The aluminum bezel, although subtly designed, perfectly matched its overall look.

O+ 8.6
Top: 3.5mm Headphone Jack, Micro USB port
O+ 8.6
Right side: NTSH (nothing to see here)
O+ 8.6
Bottom: Microphone
O+ 8.6
Left Side: Sleep/Wake button and Volume Rockers. The sleep/wake button is unorthodoxly placed on the left side.
O+ 8.6
The notification light is neatly hidden just under the capacitive home button. It lights green when there’s a notification, and lights red when you’re charging the device.

As for the technical specifications, the 8.6 is pretty decent considering its less-than-8k price tag. The 1Ghz dual core processor and 1GB RAM performed well as expected especially when playing casual games like Nimble Quest, Temple Run 2, Candy Crush Saga and Fruit Ninja.

O+ 8.6 Nenamark 2

The device registered an average FPS of 24.2 on Nenamark 2, making slightly better than Galaxy S and significantly better than Xperia Play. The device isn’t exactly fit to run games with high system requirements as evidenced by my experience when I tried playing Real Racing 3 and Arcane Legends. Don’t get me wrong though. These games are playable on this device but don’t expect flawless performance without lag and hiccups.

The device is clocked lower to conserve battery, so if you want to make Real Racing 3 playable on this device, you may want to untick CPU power saving mode.

For your reference, here’s the full specs of this device:

  • 1Ghz Dual Core Processor
  • 1GB RAM
  • 4.5″ Capacitive Touch Screen
  • Air Shuffle Music, Camera, Photos, and FM Player
  • Notification light
  • Wi-Fi
  • Quad band GSM and Dual Band WCDMA
  • 3G
  • Up to 32GB expandable memory card
  • Dual Sim
  • 1,500 mAh

The 4.6″ screen with 540×960 resolution is pretty nice. It registered 240 dpi on Phone Tester, which I believe is high enough to make the icons and screen elements pop out. Screen saturation is quite mediocre though. It does not give off the right saturation to render the right color of my photo subjects. Viewing angle is limited too as the qHD IPS screen is not OGS (one glass solution).

As for benchmark, I used PassMark, Antutu and Quadrant to test how technically capable this device is and how this fares compared to competition. Please note though that benchmark scores are relative scores as benchmark applications consider the current state of devices. It is possible for this device to have a different score after a week or two. This means that benchmark scores are sometimes irrelevant. But I’ll still show them to you for your reference.

  • 1,331 on PassMark (CPU tests)
  • 6,216 on Antutu
  • 2,505 on Quadrant

Software, Features and Camera

The 8.6 is running on Android Jellybean 4.1.1 out of the box. There is probably no upgrade for 4.2.2 in the future, so it looks like we’re momentarily stuck with 4.1.1.

O+ 8.6 Review 05-11-24

The device is preinstalled with custom icons, wallpapers and software features. The pull-down bar, which shows the notification and hot switches, looks like the stock version. The same “stock” look can be seen on some widgets, settings menu and stock applications.

Of course, Oplus’ most celebrated software feature, Air Shuffle, is very much available on this device. Sure, the Galaxy S4 already has this feature, but you don’t want to spend more than PhP25,000 just to get that feature, right? With Air Shuffle, you can take pictures, browse pictures and skip to your most favorite song with a simple wave gesture. You just really have to add a bit of finesse to make this feature work. Also, be sure to wave your hand infront of the sensor (on top of the screen) within .5 to 1 inch range.

If you don’t dig the preinstalled launcher, then you may replace it with Facebook Home or Apex Launcher. As of this writing, Facebook Home may already be installed in most Android devices, including O+ 8.6. There is no need to sideload the application on this device. Just update the preinstalled Facebook app, install Facebook Home and Messenger and you’re good to go. Just be sure to tap “Use Home anyway” when you receive a notification that your device is not yet fully supported.

The 8.6 has 5 megapixel (with AF) rear facing camera. It produces good photos in well-lit conditions, but photos taken in dark environments look mediocre and quite grainy. Thankfully, the camera software has lots of extra features and settings. So if you wish to optimize your output based on certain conditions you’re in, then all you have to do is break away from auto and tweak the settings.

You put 2 SIMs on this phone with dual on and standby. However, only 1 SIM is WCDMA compatible so, if you’re subscribed to unlimited internet, be sure to jack the corresponding SIM to port 1.

Battery life is ok for casual usage. But as this phone only has 1,500 mAh, be sure to always bring your charger with you especially if you’re into playing games and browsing through your social media feeds like every minute. In my experience, as I’m always attuned to my social media feeds and emails, the phone was barely up for a day.

Verdict

The O+ 8.6 stands at the middle of 8.52 and 8.9. Priced at PhP7,995, this device is packed with decent features and average but adequate performance. O+, as a US brand, values original design, sturdy build and innovative features. The 8.6 epitomizes what O+ values and as such makes this phone a bang for your buck.

The Good Stuff

  • Design and considerable heft
  • Air Shuffle
  • Notification Light
  • Rear facing camera (in well-lit conditions)
  • Elements on screen pop out
  • Free 4gb MicroSD card

The Not-So-Good Stuff

  • Unorthodox placement of Sleep/Wake button
  • Screen saturation isn’t enough
  • Camera settings to optimize shots

*UPDATE: The O+ 8.6 along with 8.9 and 8.12 are on sale until tomorrow, May 12, 2013. Price is down for PhP6,995 from PhP7,995.

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Author

Giancarlo Viterbo is a Filipino Technology Journalist, blogger and Editor of GadgetPilipinas.net, He is also a Geek, Dad and a Husband. He knows a lot about washing the dishes, doing some errands and following instructions from his boss on his day job. Follow him on twitter: @gianviterbo and @gadgetpilipinas.

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Tokyo Game Show Special Coverage

Tokyo Game Show 2018

41711344 10155988194573337 3113579199126831104 o - We are going to Tokyo Game Show 2018

Witness this year’s biggest gaming convention in Asia, the Tokyo Game Show 2018. This September 19, our team will fly to Tokyo, Japan, to be part to TGS 2018. Special thanks to our brand partners Huawei Mobile, PLDT Home, Smart Communications and Cherry Mobile for making this coverage possible.

The Gadget Pilipinas Team was given access to a press briefing with Hidetaka Miyazaki, Director from From Software and a bit of hands-on gameplay. Here’s our take on the hands-on gameplay and the insights from the press interview. We also  figured a listicle is in order to rundown why this game will match the hype surrounding it.

Here’s our Top 5 reasons why “Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice” is to die for.

1) The game is Tenchu-inspired

sk8lqukaqalhq2mrzkqd 770x433 - Top 5 reasons "Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice" is to die forIf you’ve played any of the Tenchu games in previous game consoles, you know that the use of the grappling hook to set-up a one-slash-stealth kills from above is a hallmark of the series. Zipping to rooftops and treetops will be the go-to move in this game to get rid of sentries. And yes, those ever-so glorious decapitations and dismemberments with the stealth kill are present.

2) Casual or hardcore can play

sn1rmqcvrwomyuttaoyq 770x433 - Top 5 reasons "Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice" is to die forFrom Software is notorious for challenging games and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is no exception. However, Hidetaka Miyazaki, Director of From Software, revealed that he himself is a casual gamer and has made it clear that the game should be accessible to beginners and experienced players alike.

3) Upgradeable prosthetic arm

jjn6e6ivua5u142iukql 770x433 - Top 5 reasons "Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice" is to die forThat prosthetic arm that Sekiro has isn’t just for looks. It can launch a grappling hook and is upgradeable too. No details were revealed but its good to know that a skill-tree based system is in place. Think Horizon Zero Dawn or Spiderman on the way skill and gadgets are upgraded. Tech upgrades set in feudal Japan? What’s not to like?

4) Play the style that suits you

jo1pi5md3myj0pxynz9p 770x433 - Top 5 reasons "Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice" is to die forStealth like Tenchu or head-on like Dark Souls? It’s up to you. What’s clear is that you can’t use stealth for the whole campaign since the game wasn’t designed that way. Stealth can be used to thin enemy numbers and to preserve your health before confronting the big boss. The mix of stealth and hack and slash is always a good mix to change-up the pace and should suit any gameplay style.

5) Single-player only campaign can last 20 to 30 hours 

ocxemodvr6oa72argpyo 770x433 - Top 5 reasons "Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice" is to die forThat’s the length of the campaign as per Miyazaki. The game is focused-solely on the single-player experience. No more wayward players who can just jump-in and help or derail your campaign. From Software also focused on the story-telling. Given that no resources were spent in developing the multiplayer aspect, expect the campaign to take it up a notch.

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice will be released on March 22, 2019 on PC, Xbox One and the Playstation 4.

Our Tokyo Game Show 2018 Coverage is brought to you by our brand partners: Huawei Mobile Philippines, PLDT Home Fibr, Smart and Cherry Mobile. Access our coverage here.

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Heads-up, Pro Evolution Soccer (PES) players. The PES game you’re playing on your phone is going to get a major upgrade.

For starters, the visuals will get a major overhaul and will be using Unreal Engine 4 – the same graphics engine used in triple A games for consoles and PCs. With the use of Unreal Engine 4, PES will be inching closer to how it looks versus its console port. It

Next, over 3,000 new animations, improved player AI with every playstyle accounted for, and realistic ball movements has been optimized for fans to enjoy the ultimate soccer game.

And lastly, 10 new league licenses from Europe, South America and Asia have been added, including Japan’s J. League.

The best part? Despite these updates,  Winning Eleven 2019 is still free-to-play (with in-game purchases).

PES 2019 promises to give a life-like behavior of the beautiful game and should take competitive mobile sports gaming to new heights.

Screen Shot 2018 09 21 at 1.16.38 AM 640x327 - TGS 2018: PES mobile game to be updated to "Winning Eleven 2019" this December!

More about the game and new features, here.

Our Tokyo Game Show 2018 Coverage is brought to you by our brand partners: Huawei Mobile Philippines, PLDT Home Fibr, Smart and Cherry Mobile. Access our coverage here.

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