Joel Sioson

A Brand New Smartphone Treat

With my reliable bar cellular phone getting really old, my lovely wife offered to buy me a new gadget. At first, I tried to keep my excitement hidden and pretended to brush off her suggestion.

After all, I don't have any need for a "smart" phone since I just use it mainly for calling and texting - this old brick would be good enough.

However, the idea of having a new gadget sounds really enticing, so secretly, I googled the latest offerings by local phone manufacturers.

If I would give in to my wife's offer, I would opt for an average sized smartphone with a good camera, being a frustrated photographer during my younger days.

Samsungs, Iphones and other banded phones are out of equation since I don't find it reasonable to purchase something equivalent to a lowly worker's one month pay check. I set the budget limit at around 5 grand.

After scouting the net, here are some models that got my attention:


Despite their reputation to produce tough units,  the internals of their smartphones are quite low compared to what the other manufacturers are currently offering at the same price range.

Rio (3,999) - Branded as the king of smartphones for 2014
Rio 2 (4,999) - Lollipop, quad core, 1Gb Ram, 8MP camera with Sony sensor

Cherry Mobile

A perennial game-changer, constantly offering phones with high-end specs at unbelievable low prices:

Equinox Night (4,999) - MediaTek MT6589T (turbo), 18 MP camera BSI sensor, OGS
Omega Icon (3,999) - 13MP camera, Dragontrail glass
Cubix Cube (4,490) - 13MP camera, 2Gb Ram, Octa core


I've had no experience with this company but they are getting good reviews online.

Quest (3,999) - 4.5" size, 12MP camera with Sony Sensor aperture lens f2.0


A relatively new player, the specs of their lineup are some of the most impressive at unbelievable prices.

Lynx (3,999) - 13MP camera, f2.2 aperture, octa core, same specs as Ulefone Be Pure


I should say, I've focused my gaze on the LYNX. Despite numerous comments on their Facebook page about product complaints and technical repairs, the page actively responds to almost every query. Good after sales service is definitely dagdag pogi points.

However, that good first impression didn't last long.

When my wife and I dropped by an SKK kiosk located in Waltermart, we noticed pricing discrepancies compared to what we read in their promo on FB.

Here's a screenshot of their Rainy Days Promo:

Here's the actual pricing in one of their kiosks:

We tried to ask the saleslady about their nationwide promo on facebook but she responded that the unit comes with a FREE SD card that's why the price is different.

WTF?! A FREE SD card but the unit is marked-up! That's one of the most idiotic explanation I got, I almost went ballistic.

Playing the devil's advocate, I politely asked the lady if I can just get the unit for P1,999 and leave the overpriced SD card but she responded that it's part of the promotion. Sheez, 'nuff said...

Don't we have laws against these kind of misleading advertising?

Too bad, that was my not-so-trustworthy experience with SKK that I now have doubts if I should let my wife avail of the more expensive LYNX for me.