The Rookie Blogger

March 8, 2017

4K HDR Android TV by Sony (BRAVIA X8000D)

There's a lot of reasons why the 43-inch Sony BRAVIA X8000D is the best 4k TV out in the market today. First, it only costs 35,000 which makes it one of the most affordable 4k TVs in the Philippines right now. Second, it's an android TV which means you can install various apps from the Android PlayStore. There's more reasons to love this smart TV and why it's perfect for family and friends.

4K HDR with Triluminos Display Technology: One of the highlights of this sony TV is it's Triluminos Display Technology which enables the display to produce a wider range of colors. This means that reds will be redder, greens will be greener, blues will be bluer but that doesn't translate to an oversaturated display. Even though the color range in this display technology is wider, the Triluminos Display still produces picture quality that's vibrant and pleasant to the eyes. This display technology is also present in their Xperia mobile devices. And of course, on top of the Triluminos Display Technology is the HDR and 4K resolution which translates to 3,840x2,160 pixels (104 pixels per inch for the 43-inch model).

Android TV Onboard: The Sony BRAVIA X8000D ships with Android TV platform. If you have been using a smartphone for the last few years, it would be easy for you to use a smart TV platform. One of the advantages of Android TVs is that apps can be installed to extend the functionality of the TV. Compatible apps like YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, and more can be installed. There are also games that can be installed and played in this smart TV (using a mobile device as the game controller) like Crossy Road, Grand Theft Auto, Asphalt 8, and many more.

Other Things to Consider: This Smart TV has one of the slimmest bezels which contributes to better viewing experience. The base of the TV only covers little amount of space but is still quite sturdy. The TV remote has a voice search feature aside from its basic TV remote functions.

It all boils down to price: There are a lot of 4K TVs out in the market right now but only a few are less than ₱40,000. Most of the 4k TVs at this price point are mostly Chinese manufacturers. For it's price, this Smart TV is highly recommended as it offers great display quality, large screen, 4k resolution, and Android TV platform.

By: James Arnold | Facebook | Instagram

Continue reading this post...

February 3, 2017

Bantayan Island From Above

One of the best island resorts of the Philippines, the Bantayan Island is almost four hours away from Cebu City. It boasts one of the best beaches in the country just edging out Boracay as it provides more amenities. The aerial photos (using DJI Mavic Pro) in this post are provided by zuil7 so thanks to him ʘ‿ʘ!

Bantayan Island Cebu Philippines

Using drone photography, one can certainly see a different perspective of the resort island. During our visit (January 2017), the weather was a little bit stormy but manageable. The reason why the white sandy beaches has black patches from the aerial photos is because of the washed up dried sea grasses caused by moderate to large waves.

We also managed to capture an aerial video of the island using the DJI Mavic Pro. We don't have that much aerial videos because the drone we were using has only less than 30 minutes of flight time but nevertheless, the videos we captured are beyond breathtaking. Also, because of the cloudy weather, we weren't able to capture an aerial footage of the sunrise or sunset of the island.

Overall, Bantayan Island is a nice resort island which has lots of resorts to choose from but with a common beach ground. In terms of the sand quality, nothing can beat the powdery white beaches of Boracay but this is by far the closest.

Continue reading this post...

March 29, 2013

The Island of Coron

As our plane approaches the island of Coron, I was amazed by the shallow coral reefs that stretch for miles. As listed in Forbes Magazine as one of the best scuba diving sites, Coron does not only offer corals and marine animals to divers and snorkelers but also sunken Japanese ships from the World War II. Because the water is so clear, even snorkelers can view the shipwrecks from the surface.

Above the surface, the island of Coron also offers one of the best rock formations made from granite. The sharp edges of cliffs also make Coron an alluring tourist destination. Rock formations can be seen in almost every part of the island and even nearby destinations such as El Nido and the island of Palawan offers similar views.
We started our day with a tour around the town. We visited first a souvenir shop that has lots of affordable stuff. We decided to leave the shop because it’s not our thing to buy souvenirs in our first day of travel. Next destination we went to is the town plaza which is still a nice place to go to even though most of it is still under construction. We also went to the town hall which we think is not that great looking compared to what we have seen so far. And then we climbed Mount Tapyas. Mount Tapyas is the backdrop of the town of Coron which has a giant cross at its peak. With over 750 steps, we were exhausted when we reached the summit even though we used the stairs. After Mount Tapyas, we went to a cashew store which made me almost broke because I spent way too much. The caramel coated cashew nut is one of the best nuts that I have ever tasted. Our last destination for our first day in Coron was the Maquinit hot spring. I have never seen a hot spring in my entire life and I was simply astounded by the pools of hot water that exhausts steam that enters to my nostrils. Our first day was simply unforgettable.

Mt. Tapyas

Coron Baywalk

Souvenir Shop (Left) and Maquinit Hot Spring (Right)
Sunscreen was no use in our second day in the island because we are booked for a whole day island hopping activity. We visited first an island that has great corals around it. We went for a dive in this area for almost 30 minutes. Then we went to Coron Island Cove which is by far the best view in the island and probably the best view that I have seen in my life so far. We climbed 350 steps to get a wonderful view of the Coron Island Cove. We took a couple of pictures and then went to the other side which is the Kayangan Lake. Kayangan Lake is labeled as one of the cleanest lake in Asia and when we went there, I can see why it got this title. The lake is a freshwater lake and is so clear that we can see the bottom of it even though it is very deep. We ate lunch at a secluded bungalow which surprised us because we saw other tourists having their lunch in a crowded beach. After lunch, we went to see a sunken ship but I was not able to see it clearly because there were a lot of divers in the area. Our island hopping activity ended in Twin Lagoon. We swam for more than 100 meters (one way) which made this last destination more fun and unforgettable. We weren’t able to take photos because we have to swim and enter a cave just to reach the lagoon.

Coron Island Cove and Kayangan Lake

Secluded beach bungalow for lunch.

Entrance view of Twin Lagoon.
Even though we only stayed in a budget hotel, I am still amazed by the wonders of this island. This is one of those experiences wherein I cannot explain more to my friends what I have seen and just tell them to visit the island for themselves.

Continue reading this post...

December 5, 2012

Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Experience

I have just recently bought the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 and in my experience, this phone is by far the best phone that I have used. However, even though I like and love this phone a lot, this does not appeal to almost half of the people that have seen my phone. I can conclude that Samsung Galaxy Note II is the best phone that is not for everyone.

In terms of the specifications of this phone, this is by far the most powerful Android device that is available in the market as of this moment. Clocked at 1.6 GHz Quad-core Cortex-A9 processor, this device packs the most powerful chip in a mobile device. What this means is that all of the transitions and animations in this mobile device is fluid and buttery. The camera of this device is by the best that I have seen. It features an 8-megapixel camera with 1080p at 30 frames per second video recording and a secondary front camera that has 1.9 megapixels which is not that great.

Unlike my previous phone which is the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, the Note 2 has a micro SD card slot which is perfect for my lifestyle because I always watch movies and TV episodes on my phone. Call quality of this phone is as great as the previous phones that I have used in the past and this is probably because of the hardware the Telecommunications Company use here in the Philippines. The 4G LTE of this phone is also no use in our country even though TelCo’s advertises such network. LTE can reach downloads up to 50mbps or even 100mbps in some other countries but in our network, I can barely even reach 3 mbps.
Portability of the phone is not as bad as what other people are saying. It just fits perfectly in my pocket. With a massive 5.5 inches screen at 720x1280 pixels (with 267 pixel density compared to the iPhone which has 326), this phone is the best mobile device for viewing movies and browsing the internet. Unlike the first version of the Galaxy Note, the screen of this device has a 16:9 aspect ratio which is great for watching widescreen movies.
Another great addition of this phone is the S-Pen which redefines stylus technology. It has a pressure sensitivity that allows users to draw lines with different thickness. Another nifty feature of the S-Pen is AirView which allows users to hover the pen to preview albums and movies.
Sample Unedited Photos
The reason why I chose this mobile device is because of its screen and battery life. Even though this phone has the biggest screen of all, the batter life of this device is way better than other smartphones. I can even watch HD movies (either at 1080p or 720p) up to 9 hours using this phone. I think that the Galaxy Note 2 as well as its first version has pushed the limits of a mobile device. Five years ago, all I want is a phone that can make calls and texts and has a Java Virtual Machine on it so that I can install games, but now, this phone, as well as other similar smartphones has extended my standards for a mobile phone and the Note 2 just stands out from the rest.

Continue reading this post...

October 11, 2012

How I Spent Almost Everything

Many of my friends are wondering why I have little or no savings at all even though I have a job. One reason I can tell them is that I am now paying the electric and phone bills. But they know that this is not the real reason why I am always broke almost every month.

Samsung Galaxy Nexus (Photo by
It started when I bought my first Android phone which is the Samsung Galaxy Y. It has almost all the things that I need for a phone like music player and YouTube videos viewer. I was overwhelmed by the applications that I can install in this Android phone and ended up filling its internal memory storage. I ended up buying a new Android phone which is the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. This phone is amazing because I always like big phones. The internet storage is also way better than my Galaxy Y which is 16 gigabytes. It can record 1080p video which is great because I like shooting random videos. The camera has also a macro shot capability making it more useful in my photography hobby. The two phones being bought in just a span of four months made me penniless in an instant.

Sony a57 DSLT
And then the Sony a57 was released. I knew I would get sick until I cannot own this camera because it has amazing features that I really want to see in a Digital SLR (even though this camera is a new breed of camera which is Single Lens Translucent or SLT). The camera boasts a 16 megapixel image sensor (APS-C format) and can shoot 10 frames per second or 12 frames in crop mode. What makes this camera more fascinating to me is that it has an ISO range of 100-25600 (ISO auto ranges from 100-3200) which is perfect for low-light situations. When I got my hands on this camera, I tested first its low-light performance and I was blown away because it renders less image noise. This is the most amazing camera that I have used and seen (I think better than D5000, D7000, 7D, D90, D3100, and 60D – I did not mention the brands, just the model numbers lol).

Sample Photos of Sony a57
I am totally poor right now and what makes it worse is the announcement and release Samsung Galaxy Note 2. Currently, I have absolute zero money in my bank or pocket but I am starting to save money by eating lunch at Angel’s or Minute Burger (and I am totally serious). This smartphone is starting to make me feel sick already. Buying so many things these past few months is of course making me poorer by the minute but I feel happy. They always say “money can’t buy happiness” which I think doesn’t work in the world of electronics. Owning these gadgets has brought joy not only to me but also to my friends especially the ones who love to pose in my Sony a57.

Continue reading this post...

January 30, 2012

Trying to be a Good Photographer – Sinulog sa Naga 2012, Photowalks, and Events

After missing out the largest festival in our country, I was still able to view a local version of Sinulog Festival. I don’t like attending the Sinulog celebration in Cebu City because of the sheer number of people. I have attended only once three years ago and it was not a good experience especially the long walks and crowded streets. Fortunately, we have a small version of the Sinulog Festival in our town.

Because I was not able and will not be able to take photos of the grand Sinulog celebration in the city, I tried taking pictures in our own version of Sinulog. It was quite difficult to get a decent shot because the dancers are moving and looks tired. I wonder how those photographers of this year’s Sinulog Photo Contest got an amazing shot. From more than 500 photos that I took, I only uploaded and edited 75 pictures [Album Photo – Sinulog sa Naga 2012].
Before, when I try to shoot events of celebrations, I always upload everything. As long as the focus of the picture is good, I always upload it. But now, I tried changing that habit because people will get confused on where to comment. With multiple albums for a single event, my friends always get lost while browsing and even worst, ask me to take down their embarrassing photos.
Editing photos is also something that I learned. Before, I use Adobe Lightroom to increase the vibrancy of colors of the picture. Increasing the intensity of colors of photos is not that a bad idea but some photos especially the dramatic and gloomy ones should not be edited this way.

For the past two years, I have been taking photos of events and join a couple of photowalks. I can say that my skills in photography have improved but looking at the previous winners of Pulitzer Photography Competition, I think that I have a long way to go and lots of things to learn.

Continue reading this post...
© 2018 TheRookieBlogger LLC. All Rights Reserved. | About Me

About The Rookie Blogger

This is a personal blog of James Arnold. This blog contains posts about travel, technology, dining, and many more. James is also a freelance photographer that caters events such as weddings, debuts, birthdays, and even personal photoshoots. You can contact him through +63 916 659 7001 if you have any questions or plans to advertise on this blog.