When I met our friends from O+ a few weeks ago, I asked them that one question that I'm use a lot of you have been wanting to ask the group ever since their Android handsets became available in the Philippines around middle of last year.

o+ android, o+ 8.9, o+ android smartphone

"Are your smartphones truly made in the USA as in The United States of America?" I asked while I was playing with their sleek and affordable O+ 8.9 5-inch phablet.

o+ android, o+ 8.9, o+ android smartphone

They answered, "Just like Apple's iPhone, O+ Android smartphones are designed in the USA and assembled in China."

o+ android, o+ 8.9, o+ android smartphone

TP Friends, there are two steps in "making" a smartphone or any gadget for that matter: First is the design process. And second, is the actual construction or assembly of the device.

o+ android, o+ 8.9, o+ android smartphone

So I guess it's but fair to say that O+ handsets are indeed "made in the USA". Or at least, half of the process in crafting them was accomplished in the United States. Do you agree with me? Kindly share your thoughts below.

o+ android, o+ 8.9, o+ android smartphone

Alright! What I have here is the O+ 8.9 Android phablet. With its 5-inch capacitive touchscreen, this is currently the biggest or largest member of O+'s family of Android smartphones with Air Shuffle technology.

o+ android, o+ 8.9, o+ android smartphone

Air Shuffle, which is unique to O+ devices, is a fun feature allowing you to take photos or play music without touching the screen. It utilizes the phone's proximity sensor to let you send commands to the handset using only hand gestures. It's really cool and I'll show you more of it via videos soon.

o+ android, o+ 8.9, o+ android smartphone

Despite having a really large display and powerful features including a 5 MegaPixel camera, HD video recorder, Dual Core processor, Dual SIM capability, among many others (detailed below), O+ 8.9 - flaunting an updated, rounded sleek design - only measures 10.3 millimeters at its thickest point making it a joy to hold and to have in the pocket. It maybe wide and long, but it's definitely not bulky.

o+ android, o+ 8.9, o+ android smartphone

On top of all that, you get all these in the box. (Oh, and I just wanna say that packaging really looks nice. It actually reminds me of my Samsung Galaxy Note's box from last year.)

o+ android, o+ 8.9, o+ android smartphone
You're getting this cool, white earphones with noise-cancelling silicon earbuds.

o+ android, o+ 8.9, o+ android smartphone
The small microUSB charger.

o+ android, o+ 8.9, o+ android smartphone
The ginormous 2300 mAh Li-Ion battery delivering outstanding uptime. So far, I've gotten around 2 days of regular use with this phablet, which is already good for an Android device.

o+ android, o+ 8.9, o+ android smartphone
Good after-sales support is one of the things that the O+ team is particularly proud of. Should you experience problems with your O+ device, you can always ring these hotlines numbers for help.

o+ android, o+ 8.9, o+ android smartphone
Of course, you have the manual, which contains everything you need to know about the O+ 8.9 Android phablet.

o+ android, o+ 8.9, o+ android smartphone
O+ doesn't want to worry about storage space so they added this cool bonus in the package: A SanDisk 8 GB microSDHC card! So generous of them, really!

But the best part: You get all these for just Php 8,995! Believe it!

NEXT: We turn this beast of handset on! Stay tuned for our exclusive hands-on and quick demo videos! But in the meantime, you might want to be familiar with O+ 8.9 phablet complete technical specifications:

TechPinas Smartphone Technical Specs Table (TSTST)
Name O+ 8.9
Type Slate Form Factor (Full Touchscreen), Phablet
Price Category Midrange
Dimensions148 x 79 x 10.3mm
Weight TBD
Available Colors Black
Operating System Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich
Display 5-inches, 480 x 800 pixels, TFT, 16M colors
Processor 1 GHz Dual Core Cortex-A9 PowerVR SGX 531 GPU MediaTek MT6577 chipset (to be confirmed)
RAM 512 MB
Internal Storage 4 GB, expandable via microSD, supports up to 32GB, ships with 8GB SanDisk microSD card
Camera 5 MegaPixels with autofocus and LED Flash. VGA Front camera with 1.5x Zoom
Video Capture 720p HD
Audio and Video Playback DivX/MP4/H.264/H.263/MP3/WAV/eAAC+ player
Ports microUSB v2.0, 3.5 mm audio jack
Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth v3.0 with A2DP, EDR, 3G 7.2 Mbps HSDPA, 5.76 Mbps HSUPA
Network 2G Network GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900, 3G Network HSDPA 900 / 1900 / 2100
Sensors Accelerometer, Digital Compass, Proximity
Battery Li-Ion 2300 mAh
Uptime TBD
Value-Added Features Air Shuffle Technology, FM Radio Recorder, Long Battery Life
Announcement In the Philippines: December 2012
Availability December 2012
Price Official SRP: Php 8,995