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MyPhone Rio 2 Official Price is Php 5,499, Out Now : Full Specs, Actual Unit Photos, Initial Impressions

Yesterday - March 31, 2015 - at the very posh and hip Green Sun AXON events venue in Makati City, local handset giant MyPhone formally introduced the follow-up models to two of its best-selling smartphones last year, one of which is much talked about MyPhone Rio 2.

MyPhone Rio 2, MyPhone Rio2, 2015 MyPhone

As some of you know, I had actually seen photos of this particular handset a couple days prior to its official launch - thanks to leaked photos sent to me by TP Friend Jekjek Santos.

MyPhone Rio 2, MyPhone Rio2, 2015 MyPhone

But even if I already had an idea about the phone's looks and technical specifications going to the event, it didn't douse my excitement about the device. In fact, I can say now that there's still nothing like actually holding the MyPhone Rio 2 in the flesh and appreciating how great it feels in the hand and experience the very smooth touch response and screen transitions first hand. It's a handsome smartphone with a sleek and responsive user interface.

MyPhone Rio 2, MyPhone Rio2, 2015 MyPhone

"MyPhone Rio is [...] the most successful line up MyPhone has released yet. And we didn’t just stop there. Listening to our customers' suggestions, we decided to recreate this [series], bringing a new and improved Rio, the MyPhone Rio 2,” shared Mr. Richard De Quina, MyPhone Vice President for Marketing and Business Development.

MyPhone Rio 2, MyPhone Rio2, 2015 MyPhone

I've been playing with my unit for a couple of days now and I can honestly say that MyPhone Rio 2 represents a considerable upgrade from the first generation Rio in terms of design and build, display, imaging capabilities, battery life, and overall user experience.

MyPhone Rio 2, MyPhone Rio2, 2015 MyPhone

Let's start with design. The new Rio is a thinner, lighter and looks a lot sleeker than the heavily-cornered and rather heavy 2014 release. Measuring just 8.5 millimeters at its thickest point, MyPhone Rio 2 flaunts tapered sides reminiscent of the 4th Generation iPod Touch. Like its predecessor, the 2015 model is available in a variety of youthful colors but its black variant (shown in these images) has a far nicer scratch-and-fingerprint-resistant 'velvet' finish.

Jumping to display quality, the new Rio features a 5-inch HD IPS display panel, which - specs-wise - is just the same as the older model. However, Rio 2's screen has zero-air-gap construction making it look more visually appealing from various angles and even more vibrant.

MyPhone Rio 2, MyPhone Rio2, 2015 MyPhone

Imaging is the area or department where - I would say - MyPhone Rio 2 really trumps the earlier version, -- and that's saying a lot since last year's Rio is already a good cameraphone. The new model has an 8 MegaPixel autofocus main camera with LED flash, f/2.2 aperture, and Sony IMX179 sensor that not only delivers brighter and more brilliant images even in low light conditions but also focuses on the subject and snaps shots faster. Complementing this is the 5 MegaPixel front-facing camera that gives great selfies in well-lit settings.

MyPhone Rio 2, MyPhone Rio2, 2015 MyPhone

The first-generation Rio's battery only has a capacity of 2,000 mAh. Considering that, I totally appreciate the fact that its successor now has a 2,800 Li-Po pack that - while non-removable - delivers a far longer uptime of around 12 to 15 hours (or more) with mixed usage.

MyPhone Rio 2, MyPhone Rio2, 2015 MyPhone

Alright, now let's talk about the phone's internal hardware. Many of you have been telling me that MyPhone Rio 2's innards are just the same as last year's model -- and understandably so. However, that's not entirely true and we have to keep in mind the fact that a device's performance is not only determined by its chipset and RAM but also by the software version that it runs. Yes, Rio 2 shares the same MediaTek MT6582 SoC and 1 GB of RAM of the first-generation Rio but its Android 5.0 Lollipop operating system and 8GB of expandable storage, are enough - I would say - to deliver a vastly enhanced and more enjoyable mobile experience to users. (Oh, and for those who are wondering, my MyPhone Rio 2 got an Antutu Benchmark Score of 19,168 when I ran the app this afternoon.)

MyPhone Rio 2, MyPhone Rio2, 2015 MyPhone

Pricing and Availability: MyPhone Rio 2 dons an official suggested retail price of Php 5,499 (Php 500 more expensive than the 2014 model upon launch) and it's out now at all MyPhone concept stores, kiosks, and retail partners nationwide. Initially, it will be available in four colors, namely, Orange, Red, White, (all with matte finish, like that of the first Rio) and Velvet Black. Other colors (and accessories) will available a bit later this year.

MyPhone Rio 2, MyPhone Rio2, 2015 MyPhone

MyPhone Rio 2, MyPhone Rio2, 2015 MyPhone

So is it the right smartphone for you? Or should you upgrade from your first Rio? If you ask me, at Php 5,499, MyPhone Rio 2 is already a steal if only because of all the reasons I noted above. If you're looking for an affordable but attractive Dual SIM Android smartphone running the latest version of the OS and having good front and back cameras, I think you should definitely consider this release. I own both the first Rio and this follow-up model and I can really say that the newer version is far more refined and its Android 5.0 Lollipop user interface is an absolute a joy to use and navigate.

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