13 December, 2011



Pigs of Angry Birds, Not Evil - Says Rovio CMO! So Why Do They Steal Eggs?!

Posted: 13 Dec 2011 07:39 AM PST

Contrary to public perception and popular opinion, the fat green pigs of the immensely popular web and mobile game, Angry Birds, are NOT actually evil.

pigs of angry birds

Peter Vesterbacka, Chief Marketing Officer of Rovio Mobile - the company that created Angry Birds, had a conversation with San Francisco Chronicle earlier this month where he casually disclosed exactly why the pigs keep stealing eggs from the Angry Birds' nest.

pigs of angry birds

Vesterbacka told SFGate, "[T]he pigs aren't actually evil. In the story of Angry Birds, the pigs are stuck on a small island, and they are hungry and in need of something to eat. So – like many of us would – they decided to eat some eggs that they found. This made the birds angry."

Aww. Learning the pigs' true story made me feel bad for the poor critters. I mean, they just want to eat; Is that so selfish?!

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LG Optimus Black P970 Review Philippines - Price Update, Design, Specifications, Software, Features, Verdict

Posted: 13 Dec 2011 01:39 AM PST

TechPinas Gadget Reviews Series presents...
LG Optimus Black P970


When Korean company, LG Electronics, released the Optimus Black P970 earlier this year, the handset effectively and officially replaced the Apple iPhone 4 as the thinnest smartphone in the world. With a thickness of just 9.2 millimeters and the title as 'The World's Slimmest Phone with the World's Brightest NOVA display', the LG Optimus Black practically set the standard for how thin a smartphone can be. This in itself - I believe - makes P970 a landmark device.

Interestingly though, LG Optimus Black's ultra-slim form factor serves as a complete anti-thesis to the depth of features the phone offers. Despite being a midrange release, P970 comes replete with top-notch technical specifications including a 1 GHz processor running Android Gingerbread OS (available via update) skinned by LG's gorgeous Optimus UI, a 4-inch 480 x 800 pixels IPS LCD NOVA Display - which is almost twice as bright as screens of other smartphones like the iPhone4, a 5 MegaPixel autofocus camera with LED flash, High-Definition 720p video recorder, and a wide range of connectivity options including Wifi, Wifi Direct, Bluetooth and 3G.

LG Optimus Black officially became available in the Philippines around middle of this year. It entered the market with a suggested retail price of Php 19,990, which was later brought down to Php 17,990.

Great News: LG Electronics Philippines is currently running an LG Optimus Black Online Promo where you can get the phone for only Php 15,990, which is Php 2,000 off its current Php 17,990 SRP! The promo is now on its final week (last week is from Dec. 9 - 18, 2011) so if you want to get the Optimus Black straight from LG this Yuletide season and be sure that you're getting after-sales support should you need it, then visit LGOptimus.PH and place your order now.

Design, Hardware and Ports:

In true TechPinas tradition, let's do the panels.

lg optimus black
All scratch-resistant Gorilla glass, the face of the phone flaunts the 4-inch NOVA display, the earpiece, proximity sensor and the set of familiar touch-sensitive Android hardware buttons that light-up when touched.

lg optimus black
The top panel has the power button - which you can also use to turn on or turn off the display, the microUSB port hidden under a plastic sliding door, and the 3.5mm audio jack.

lg optimus black
Nothing on the right side (I think it would have been nice if LG added a camera button here.)

lg optimus black
The left side has the volume rocker and the gestures control button.

lg optimus black
At the rear, we can find the mouthpiece hidden under the slot for opening the back cover.

lg optimus black
Finally, at the back, we'll see the 5 MegaPixel autofocus camera and its LED flash, which are a bit recessed to protect against scratches. and the loud speaker. Underneath the back case, you'll find the SIM card slot, microSD card slot and the 1500 mAh battery providing enough juice for around a whole day on Wifi.

TP Quick Commentary on LG Optimus Black Design - LG Optimus Black comes with a very minimalistic design that I'm sure users who like clean lines and subtle details will find attractive. Again, the front is all glass (heck, there isn't even a single physical button there) while the back is covered a simple plastic case flaunting the LG and Google logos along with the camera and the loud speaker.

Given P970's ultra-slim form factor and the sheer brightness of its 700 nit NOVA screen, I think it's nice that LG kept other design elements very subdued. It's effective because the first thing that people notice about the phone are those two key characteristics, making them more hardworking as selling points for the phone.


Like what I often say in TP, LG Optimus Black may be thin and light but it sure is deep and heavy on features. So let me talk about five P970 features that I thoroughly enjoy using.


LG Optimus Black has a 5 MegaPixel camera that takes crisp photos both in good or bad lighting conditions, thanks to its LED flash. Another thing that I like about it is that it has an autofocus lens so I can rely on it to take clear macro or close-up images, which I found to be perfect for when I want to show my friends on Facebook what's on my dinner plate (Now, don't laugh at me. It's not like I'm the only one who does that.)

Anyway. Here are some shots that I took (with automatic settings) using LG Optimus Black:

I can't speak for everyone but I think that the quality of the photos (not the artistry, obviously, as I'm not a photographer - in the strictest sense of the word) is quite good -- more so when you consider the fact that they were taken using just a smartphone.

Now, as for video camera, I'd say it's equally good. The one on P970 takes high-definition 720p videos, supports continuous autofocus that's ideal of close-up shots and even has a torch light, which should come in handy for low-light conditions. Check out the video quality:

While LG Optimus Black can't replace a DSLR, I believe the handset can definitely be relied on to take casual photos and videos when you're out and about having fun with your family and friends without sacrificing too much on image quality.


Like its big brother, the LG Optimus 2X P990, one of the strongest points of LG Optimus Black as an Android phone is the intuitive and easy-to-use browser that comes with it.

lg optimus black

The default browser on LG Optimus Black loads web pages fast, supports flash content, responds to familiar touch gestures for scrolling and zoom in and out of web pages, and lets you share content easily on your social networking sites.

It also helps that the phone's screen is not only big but is also very bright and clear, making the browser look even better. If you like web-browsing on your phone, I tell you, you'd fall in love with LG Optimus Black.

Oh, and should you get tired of or bored with the default browser, you can always try out others, which are available via Android Market. Some popular browsers for the Android platform include Opera Mini, Dolphin HD and Skyfire.


With LG Optimus Black, you'll have tens of thousands of free applications - ranging from games to ones for social networking - waiting to be downloaded via the Android Market. Some of my personal favorites include FriendCaster, Angry Birds, Raging Thunder, Yahoo Messenger, Google+, Horoscope, Seesmic, Facebook, Angry Birds Seasons, Twitter, Pulse and Youtube, among so many others.

What's cool about downloading and using all these apps on LG Optimus Black is that they all look so good on the phone's super bright IPS LCD display. The colors and details just pop-out even when you're using the P970 outdoors.

Wifi Direct

As I've earlier explained on TP, Wifi Direct on LG Optimus Black enables users to have wireless transactions with another Wifi-capable device - even if it doesn't have Wifi Direct feature - allowing transfer of content like photos and videos at the speed of up to a whopping 20MB per second! You don't have to worry about going through a router as you can just connect the devices directly over Wifi.

Again, I find this feature very useful in gimmicks or night-outs with friends where everyone has their own wifi-capable phones and are taking their own photos of the whole barkada having fun. Before parting ways, we usually share photos via Wifi-Direct on my LG Optimus Black.


LG Optimus Black has this really nifty feature called Gesture UI which lets users scroll though homescreens, zoom in and out and pan around photos, launch the camera app and more, without even touching the screen of the phone!

To activate this feature, all you have to do is to press the Gesture button on the left side of the phone and move or shake the handset; For example, if you're on the homescreen, pressing on the button and tilting the phone makes the homescreen scroll on its own.

But my favorite gesture is for launching the camera. Here's how you do it: On the lock screen, press the gesture button then shake the phone. Totally cuts the time between unlocking the screen and snapping a shot.

LG Social+

Perhaps LG wants so much to make sure that users get a decent social networking experience on LG Optimus Black that the company has provided users with pre-installed Facebook and Twitter applications specifically made for their LG smartphones. There's even an LG Social+ widget, which users can place on their homescreens to monitor status updates of their friends on social networking sites.

lg optimus black
Facebook for LG News Feed Section

While Facebook for LG and Twitter for LG aren't particularly the most powerful social media Android applications (there's always FriendCaster or Facebook for Android, for example), I totally appreciate LG's effort to give 'more' to its loyal consumers in this increasingly popular department.


For those who are wondering how powerful LG Optimus Black's innards (read: CPU, Memory, I/O, 2D and 3D Graphics) are, here's a chart that I created using Quadrant Standard showing how the phone performs versus other Android handsets in terms of overall processing power:

lg optimus black

Not bad for a 2011 midrange release, don't you think?


LG Optimus Black looks good, feels great in the hand, has a bright screen, comes with a useful set of features and runs on pretty powerful innards.

All things considered, including its current promo price tag, I'd give it a 9.7 out of 10.

TechPinas Smartphone Technical Specs Table (TSTST)
Name LG Optimus Black P970
Type Slate Form Factor (Full Touchscreen)
Price Category Midrange
Dimensions122 x 64 x 9.2 mm
Weight 109 grams
Available Colors Black, Pink, Silver, White, Brown
Operating System Android 2.2 Froyo, upgradeable to Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread
Display 4-inch, 480 x 800 pixels, IPS LCD, capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Processor TI OMAP 3630 1 GHz processor
Camera Back: 5 MegaPixels, 2592 x 1944 pixels, autofocus, LED flash, Front: 2 MegaPixels
Video Capture HP 720p at 30 frames per second
Audio and Video Playback MP4/DivX/Xvid/H.264/H.263/WMV player
- MP3/WAV/WMA/eAAC+ player
Ports microUSB 2.0, 3.5 mm audio jack
Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, DLNA, Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi hotspot
Bluetooth v2.1 with A2DP, EDR
Network 2G Network GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900, 3G Network HSDPA 900 / 1700 / 2100
Memory 2GB internal storage, expandable via microSD, supports up to 32GB
Sensors Accelerometer, Digital Compass, Proximity
Battery Li-Ion 1500 mAh
Uptime TP Test - around a whole day on Wifi
Value-Added Features Optimus UI 2.0, Gesture UI 2.0, Social Networking Services Integration, Google Services Suite
Announcement January 2011
Availability Q2 2011
Price Php 19,990 upon release, currently Php 15,990 via online promo

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Smart Sun Dual Plan 549 with Free Phone Announced! Unlimited Texts to Smart and Sun Subscribers!

Posted: 13 Dec 2011 12:58 AM PST

TechPinas Exclusive!

The beast formed by Smart-Sun merger is starting to roar and flex its muscles.

Officially announced via Twitter just a few minutes ago, SmartSun Dual Plan 549 is the first product of the recent merger by the two telco giants.

This postpaid plan, which you can get from either networks via select Smart Stores and Sun Shops nationwide and - right now - comes with a free bundled Nokia C2-03 Dual SIM phone, lets subscribers send unlimited text messages to other Smart and Sun subscribers and make 2 and 4 hours of calls to Smart and Sun numbers, respectively -- all for just Php 549 per month!

So I guess Smart and Sun just couldn't let this year pass without releasing an official collaborative effort. Right now, I'm just excited to see what the next big project will be -- and of course, how Globe will react to this all-out, borderline-unforgiving offensive.

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BlackBerry Developer Conference Asia 2011 PinoyBBDev Interview

Posted: 13 Dec 2011 12:01 AM PST

TechPinas Exclusive!

Last week, I - with the rest of the Philippine delegation - flew to Singapore to cover BlackBerry Developer Conference Asia 2011.

The event had a lot of highlights, including the myth-busting keynote by Alec Saunders and the one-on-one interview with Ray Gillenwater and Hastings Singh. I personally learned a lot from those sessions; like how BlackBerry is doing in the Asian market as well as what plans BlackBerry has for the Philippines and the loyal Pinoy BB fans in the near future.

But my interview with John Bibal II of PinoyBBDev - I have to say - is a source of pride for me as a Filipino. I found it very heartening to know that Pinoys - who are, needless to say, known to be some of the best app developers in the world today - are also very active in creating apps for the BlackBerry platform not just for their own benefit but also as a way of serving other Filipinos free of charge.

John of PinoyBBDev

Philippine BlackBerry Developer Group or simply pinoyBBdev, formed April 2010, is the only Research-In-Motion-recognized developer community in our country. The group aims to provide information about the latest in tools and techniques for BlackBerry development. The group - managed by John Bibal II and Pete Angelo Doligosa - was formed with Filipino and Philippine-based BlackBerry developers in mind. But with the growing number of development technologies available for the BlackBerry platform, pinoyBBdev is now also encouraging non-BlackBerry developers to be part of the group.

During the interview, I asked John some relevant questions like 'What is it like creating apps for BlackBerry?', 'How does the experience compare to creating apps for iOS or Android?', 'What are the benefits of being a member of pinoyBBdev?', 'How rewarding is it to create apps for BlackBerry?' and 'What are some of pinoyBBdev's latest app projects?'

Watch the interview clip for John's answers:

Again, I'd like to thank John for agreeing to do the interview with TechPinas and I wish him all the best in all the ventures of pinoyBBdev.

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