A techie gift guide: Part 2

Last Saturday, despite reeling from the effects of MDDS, or Mal de Debarquement Syndrome, I found myself driving to Santolan Town Plaza to check out the Digital Walker (DW) Madness Sale.

We had been on a fabulous weeklong cruise aboard Superstar Virgo, visiting Ha Long Bay, Vietnam, and Sanya, China, and though the tito in me was still feeling seasick, I couldn’t resist my techie desires, and I just had to check out one of the most anticipated gadget sales of the year.

Well, it turned out to be a good decision, as I was able to score a lot of steal deals from powerbanks, cables and iPad sleeves/cases at 90-percent off! I even bought smartphone cases for as low as P50, and these are branded ones (some drop-proof), which used to cost around P1,000 to P3,000.

Some of DW Madness deals they highlighted included: Braven 705 BT Speaker (from P4,950 to P1,950); Motorola Hint Earbuds (from P5,450 to P1,635); the strongest iPhone cable you can buy in the Fuse Chicken, Armour Travel Lightning Cable (now just P500); Fuse Chicken Bobine Auto (P500); Marshall Major II FX Headphones (from P5,450 to P2,500); Motorola Verve Ones (from P9,950 to P2,985); Scosche GoBat 3000 mAh (P550) and all UAG cases for just P300.

If you’re still looking for stocking stuffers, such as earphones, car chargers and other accessories, you might want to check out the DW Madness Sale happening till the end of the month.

To complete our techie gift ideas for this year, check out these other products from DW, as well as other devices I ordered from online stores.


Amazfit Bip: If you are looking for a stylish fitness tracker that looks great and has one of the longest in battery life, you have to try the Amazfit Bip. Considered as the layman’s Apple Watch, the Bip offers plenty of reasons to buy, especially because of its price and excellent battery life.

Bip features an astonishing 30+ days of battery life on a single charge, a reflective always-on color touch display, GPS, barometer, geomagnetic sensor, PPG heart-rate sensor, 3-axis accelerometer for activity, sports and sleep tracking, while weighing only 1.1 ounces (31 grams). It comes in four vibrant color options and allows you to receive e-mails, text messages, calls and app notifications on the watch display. You can track your runs (indoor and outdoor), cycling and other sports with detailed GPS routes and stats.

Amazfit Stratos: Amazfit Stratos is a premium multisport GPS smartwatch with 5 ATM water-resistance, VO2max fitness level analysis, heart-rate sensor and transflective always-on color touch display. The rugged carbon fiber design case features a polished ceramic bezel, scratch-resistant tempered glass, three stainless steel physical buttons for easy navigation and an exchangeable 22-millimeter durable silicone watch strap. The watch supports detailed sports and GPS tracking for running, walking, cycling, swimming, elliptical machine, mountaineering, trail running, triathlon, tennis, soccer and skiing. Through a partnership with Firstbeat, this watch also measures maximum oxygen consumption (VO2max), exercise load (TD) and recovery time. All data can be synced and made available in Strava.

Fitbit Charge 3: The latest fitness tracker from Fitbit has an upgraded heart-rate sensor, for better accuracy this time around, and now has an SpO2 (oxygen saturation) sensor as well. Battery life has been upped to seven days instead of five on the Fitbit Charge 2, and the physical button has been replaced with a new “inductive button,” which has haptic feedback. Other features include goal-based exercise modes; water resistant to 50 meters; female health tracking: gain a deeper understanding of your menstrual cycle by using the Fitbit app to log your period; personalized insights about your activity, heart rate, nutrition and sleep to help you reach your goals with positive reinforcement and tips; and social motivation: connect to one of the largest health and fitness social networks in the world with more than 25 million active users for added motivation to reach your goals when you engage with friends, family and others through Feed, Groups and Challenges in the Fitbit app.

Fitbit Ionic Adidas: If the Apple Watch has its Nike version, the Fitbit Ionic smartwatch has a special Adidas Edition. This version of the device stands out above all with its design, and the Adidas Train app, which gives users access to special training in addition to the exercises available with Fitbit Coach. It has a 1.42-inch LCD touchscreen with a resolution of 348 x 250 pixels. There is 2.5GB of internal storage, NFC, GPS, optical heart-rate sensor, gyroscope, barometer and accelerometer. The Ionic Adidas Edition is also waterproof up to 50 meters and features Fitbit Pay.

Trekz Titanium Aftershokz: Probably one of the best headphones I got this year, Aftershokz uses Bone Conduction Technology to deliver great sound without the discomfort of earbuds. If you love listening to music and also enjoy being active and the outdoors, you should ditch your old earbuds for a totally different audio experience. It’s comfortable, wireless, lightweight and water-resistant, and because the Trekz doesn’t physically stick in your ears, they have the added advantage of letting you hear ambient background noise keeping you a lot safer. Originally developed by the company for military use, Aftershokz audio delivery uses futuristic bone conduction technology. Instead of the traditional method of drivers blasting audio into your ear canal, the headphones transmit sound through your cheekbones to your inner ear. And, yes, they actually look way cooler!


Everyone dreams of being a rock star, but for those who were not gifted with the talent, you can enjoy the best of rock music with these Marshall speakers.

Marshall Woburn II Bluetooth: The largest speaker from Marshall is designed to deliver a robust sound, hit high trebles cleanly, handle low bass with ease and have a clear, lifelike midrange. It’s two tweeters and dual 5.25” subwoofers are powered by class D amps for a total of 110 watts of power.

Marshall Kilburn II: This portable speaker has multidirectional Blumlein Stereo sound allowing you to immerse in sound indoors, outdoors, or via Bluetooth without the confines of wires and cords, and with over 20 hours of portable playtime.

Marshall Stanmore II Bluetooth: The most versatile speaker in the Marshall lineup, it’s suitable for any room, big or small, and delivers the Marshall promise of high-performance sound. It has advanced components featuring two 15-watt class D amplifiers to power its tweeters and a 50-watt class D amplifier for its subwoofer.

Marshall Acton II Bluetooth: The smallest speaker in the Marshall lineup, this dynamic compact speaker features three dedicated class D amplifiers that power its dual tweeters and subwoofers for a sound that’s well-balanced and powerful.

Marshall Major III Bluetooth: The next chapter in the revolutionary history of Marshall, this modern go-to classic has been reengineered for a cleaner, more refined design, while the silhouette stays true to its original form. Major III Bluetooth offers you the freedom and convenience of wireless Bluetooth aptX technology and 30+ hours of playtime on a single charge. It features 40mm dynamic drivers that are custom-tuned for enhanced bass, smooth mids and clear highs. Its control knob allows you to play, pause, shuffle and adjust the volume. It also includes phone functions so you can wirelessly answer, reject or end a call.


DJI Ryze Tech Tello: Those who are looking for a drone that’s falls more into the “budget” and “toy” category, look no further than the Ryze Tech Tello. It looks uncannily like a smaller brother of the DJI Spark.  It features 720p HD Transmission; 5MP photos; max flight distance of 100 meters and speed of 8 meters per second; two antennas for Smart Switching Electronic Image Stabilization; an Intel Processor; and about 13 minutes of flight time.

DJI Mavic 2 Zoom: Considered as the one of the best drones available, the Mavic range is like the premium compact cameras of its drone lineup, sitting in between the more point-and-shoot Spark and pro-friendly Phantoms. Powerful but small due to its foldable design, the Mavic 2 Zoom has a 12MP 1/2.3 CMOS Sensor; 24 Optical Zoom Camera; 48MP Super Resolution Photos; 4x Lossless Zoom FHD Video; Dolly Zoom; 3 Axis Gimbal with Hyperlapse to create professional timelapse and enhance image to reduce noises; 72-kilometer-per-hour Max. Speed; 8KM 1080p Video Transmission; and 31 minutes in maximum flight time. The Mavic 2 Pro, meanwhile, differs because of its Hasselbald L1D-20c Camera; 20 MP 1” CMOS Sensor Adjustable Aperture, f/2.8- f/11; and 10-bit Dlog-M Color Profile, which records over 1 billion colors and retains more in-depth details in both highlights and shadows.


After months of waiting, Xiaomi finally announced the availability of its latest premium flagship, the Mi Mix 3. You can get it at Mi Authorized Stores, or preorder it from Lazada for its December 21 sale.

The Mi Mix 3 is the newest device in the company’s award-winning Mi Mix series, which is known for merging technology and art. The Mi Mix 3 sports a beautiful ceramic back, and has an extreme 6.39” full screen display (absolutely no notch!) made possible by an innovative magnetic slider design.

Mi Mix 3’s patented slider incorporates neodymium magnets that have been carefully calibrated. Once the screen is pushed down, the magnetic mechanism immediately kicks in and finishes the opening in a snap with just the right amount of force. Xiaomi has dedicated substantial resources to the production process to ensure the slider has a life expectancy of 300,000 cycles in lab tests.

The slider design not only creates space for front cameras and antenna, but also allows for the maximum full-screen display. Mi Mix 3 employs a 6.39-inch, 2340 x 1080-pixel FHD+ Samsung AMOLED display with an aspect ratio of 19.5:9. Its bezels have been further reduced from the its predecessor to achieve an extremely high screen-to-body ratio.

The full-screen slider is fully customizable. Users can slide open the phone to answer calls or customize it to launch different functions.

It features a 12MP + 12MP rear dual camera and uses the same sensors as the Mi 8. To further improve low-light performance, Xiaomi introduced a steady handheld night-photography mode, bundling various useful software features. Coupled with the rear camera’s 4-axis OIS, Mi Mix 3 is Xiaomi’s best smartphone for low-light photos to date. The rear dual camera also features 4K video recording and 960 fps slow-motion video capture.

The 24MP + 2MP front module sports a Sony IMX576 main sensor that can capture more details than ever before. In low-light conditions, the sensor uses Super Pixel technology to combine the information of four pixels into one 1.8µm large pixel, greatly improving clarity. The secondary 2MP sensor captures depth information to facilitate an AI bokeh effect.

With these enhancements, Mi Mix 3 achieved a DxOMark photo score of 108, ranking among the world’s best smartphones for photography.

Mi Mix 3 continues the series’ tradition of using unique materials with artistic design, adding a new Sapphire Blue version inspired by Chinese ceramic crafts. These ceramic pieces are renowned for their beauty and were meticulously made using a complex production process with very precise temperature control.



Tech Thoughts: “You can’t upload love, you can’t download time, you can’t Google all of life answers. You must actually live some of your life.” Merry Christmas to all!