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Buying an Android Phone in the Philippines

I’ve been an iPhone user for a while now. Been a while since I’ve purchased an Android mobile phone. I’ve decided to find a replacement for the old Sony Xperia smartphones I’ve been using. For starters, the smartphone needs to run on Android Marshmallow (6.x), has dual-SIM support, a fingerprint sensor and has a Bluetooth 4.x chip that has support for peripheral mode Android apps.

It also needs to support all the LTE frequency bands that are currently being used by the local telcos in the Philippines. In doing some research, I found out that in the Philippines, telcos use LTE Bands 1, 3, 5, 7, 28 and 41.

After searching for available Android smartphones, I’ve decided to buy an Asus Zenfone 3 Max (ZC553KL model).

It satisfies all my minimum requirements, runs on a 64-bit Qualcomm® Octa-Core Processor Snapdragon™ 430 / Adreno™ 505 GPU, 3GB RAM / 32GB internal storage, 5.5-inch Full-HD display.

On the plus side, it has an FM radio and a large 4100mh battery that you can actually use to charge another smartphone using an included USB on-the-go adapter. It’s actually a feature that I like since the feature would allow me to charge my iPhone when I’m out of the house without having to bring an external battery pack.

On the minus side, it would have been great if Asus allowed owners of the smartphone to remove all the pre-installed apps which takes up at least 5GB of the 32GB internal storage. It would also be great if it has a dedicated microSD slot since all available models have only 32GB of internal storage.

The Asus Zenfone 3 Max includes a USB cable, charger, earphones and USB On-the-go adaptor.

I’ve been using the phone for a while now and the one feature that have really standout for me is the large 4100mh battery that came with the ASUS Zenfone 3 Max. It has even manage to charge my iPhone’s battery at least once.

I also like that its fingerprint sensor is at the back of the phone which makes it easier to unlock when I’m mobile.

As for the custom Android software that ASUS has included, I have mixed emotions since on one hand, I like some of them like the calculator app that includes unit conversions. What I don’t like is that some of the apps would start running on its own in the background which sorts of adds to battery and memory usage.

All in all, I find my new ASUS Zenfone 3 Max Android smartphone good enough. Hopefully after some more months of usage I can post a more detailed review of the smartphone. I would love it more if the mobile phone would be able to run stock Android (AOSP) or LineageOS in the future.

Gerry Ilagan

Gerry Ilagan is into mobile apps and WordPress development at @speeqs. He loves to write about electronics, the Internet of Things, mobile phones, and #crazyideas.

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