Features

Where GadgetMatch has been in 2018

A look back at what we covered this year

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2018 has been a very busy year for the GadgetMatch team. We’ve been to Asia, Europe, and America to deliver fresh news and quality content to everyone.

With all the places we’ve been to this year, listing them down would make a really long list. So, here are our top picks for this year:

CES 2018

As always, we kicked off the year by flying to Las Vegas for the annual Consumer Electronics Show, one of the biggest trade shows of consumer-oriented devices in the world.

This year, we saw Dell’s 2018 variant for its well-received XPS 13 notebook, Samsung’s modular 146-inch TV, the thinnest laptop from Acer, Lenovo’s sleek line of ThinkPads, and Sony’s midrange smartphone offerings.

MWC 2018

Just a month after CES, we flew to Barcelona for Mobile World Congress. MWC was primarily focused on mobile, so most of the announcements were for phones and other related devices.

This year’s MWC was pretty jampacked. Big names took advantage of the conference including Samsung with the Galaxy S9 series, Nokia with a plethora of Android One devices and retro-inspired phones, Sony with their latest Xperia flagship, and ASUS with the ZenFone 5 series.

Apart from phones, new laptops from Huawei and Lenovo, plus tablets from TCL were on the showroom floor as well.

It was also during MWC when Vivo first showcased the APEX concept phone with its pop-up camera, which eventually became the Vivo NEX.

LG InnoFest 2018

We didn’t miss LG’s annual showcase on their home turf. With the growing popularity of AI, LG made sure that they were ready for it. We’re not just talking about phones here; the company’s wide range of home appliances were also part of the picture.

LG InnoFest Walkthrough

This is the home of the future! 😍

Posted by GadgetMatch on Monday, April 23, 2018

Everything LG showed us in Korea were connected devices. From TVs to refrigerators and washing machines to vacuum cleaners, they had it all.

Google I/O

Google I/O is another yearly event we always go to because this is where Google announces their latest software innovations. Undeniably, the most important announcement this year was the official introduction of Android P Beta. Google Assistant also got six new voices and a questionable new skill.

A lot happened at Google I/O, as always, so we have a recap of the significant announcements here.

Computex 2018

Like CES and MWC, Computex is also a grand convention of big tech brands, primarily those based in Asia. Taipei is one of our favorite cities to visit, and we sure had fun while roaming around scouting for the best devices.

During this year’s Computex, we witnessed the birth of the ROG Phone. ASUS didn’t stop there, as they also unveiled their latest gaming and multimedia laptops. After that, we saw Qualcomm’s chipset for PCs, Intel’s limited edition Core i7 processor, and AMD’s powerful 32-core Threadripper 2.

There were a lot of amazing gizmos during Computex 2018 and we awarded the best of them.

WWDC 2018

While Computex was happening in Taiwan, Apple was keeping us busy in the USA. WWDC 2018, Apple’s major developer show, impressed us with the developments the company was working on. Our favorite was the new set of Animoji and the introduction of Memoji to iOS 12.

If you enjoy Apple’s ecosystem, you should read our WWDC 2018 list to know more about what’s new in the Apple-verse.

Vivo x FIFA World Cup 2018

It was during 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia when Vivo unveiled the first NEX phone. Vivo’s first ultra-borderless phone is one of the most unique devices to come out this year.

Apart from the NEX, Vivo’s participation during the World Cup was highlighted by the release of the X21 World Cup Edition. Like most limited edition phones, this X21 variant came with all the special customizations and exclusive themes.

OPPO Find X Launch

Shortly after the NEX’s entry into the market, OPPO held a grand event in Paris to unveil the Find X. Not only that, but they also announced their partnership with Lamborghini for a special edition Find X that has crazy fast charging speeds.

OPPO’s take on the borderless phone design was sexier and sleeker than Vivo’s, but it was met with durability criticisms. Still, the Find X is one of the best-looking phones of the year.

Since Vivo and OPPO have been battling neck-and-neck, we took both of their best smartphones for a comparison.

Samsung Unpacked 2018

Every year, Samsung announces a new Galaxy Note. Also every year, GadgetMatch flies to the global announcement. The Galaxy Note 9 is the latest, and is still a big smartphone made for productivity.

Aside from our own insights about the new Note, you can also consider other YouTubers’ opinions. Our full hands-on with the Note 9 is available for your pleasure, as well.

IFA 2018

Yet another annual grand convention took place, this time in Berlin. Like with CES, MWC, and Computex, IFA was a hotbed of innovation.

Here’s what went down at IFA 2018: ASUS announced their new ZenBooks, LG revealed the world’s first 8K OLED TV, Lenovo introduced the thinnest and lightest dual-display laptop, Huawei unveiled the world’s first commercial 7nm chipset, and Sony announced the Xperia XZ3.

Again, we honored the best devices on display. GadgetMatch’s Best of IFA 2018 awards are listed here.

Made by Google 2018

While Google I/O is for software, Made by Google is for hardware. This year’s Google hardware event focused on new Pixel phones and Home speakers with gigantic displays.

The new Pixel 3 phones were leaked a lot before the official announcement, but Google still managed to keep the excitement thanks to the devices’ amazing cameras. Check out our unboxing video above and gander at the Not Pink variant here.

Huawei Mate 20 Series Launch

Huawei usually announces its new Mate series during IFA, but this year, the company decided to hold a separate event. They sure went all out by announcing four phones: Mate 20, Mate 20 Pro, Porsche Design Huawei Mate 20 RS, and Mate 20 X.

Among all the new Huawei phones, it was the Mate 20 X that piqued our interest. Gaming smartphones have been very popular, and the Mate 20 X made sure Huawei is on the gaming smartphone list.

Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 Launch

Xiaomi’s Mi Mix line of phones has always been known to have the best design available. They stayed away from the infamous notch as much as possible (thankfully), and now we have the Mi Mix 3.

The Mi Mix 3 was launched in Beijing and it’s an impressive piece of hardware. Using magnetic sliders, Xiaomi is able to hide the front cameras behind the display. Check out our video above to see the Mi Mix 3 in action.

Apple iPad Pro 2018 Launch

2018 might not be an exciting time for the iPhone, but it sure was for the iPad. Apple finally unveiled the new iPad Pro and it was the tablet we’ve been waiting to own.

With its slim bezels and Face ID security feature, the iPad Pro finally has the modern redesign it deserves. Along with the new iPad Pro was the second-generation Apple Pencil; they are made for each other.

Qualcomm Snapdragon Summit

Before ending the year, we flew to Hawaii for Qualcomm’s annual summit where they announced their latest processors. As expected, the company unveiled the next-generation chipset that’ll power next year’s flagship phones: the Snapdragon 855.

Aside from powerful computation, the Snapdragon 855 also promises 5G connectivity. In addition, they revealed the new Snapdragon 8cx chipset which is the first 7nm chip for PCs. This is essentially the most extreme Snapdragon processor available.

That’s a wrap for this year’s travel list. 2019 will surely be more adventurous. Where do you want us to go next?

SEE ALSO: GadgetMatch Awards: Best Products of 2018

Apps

Going Cashless: Make payments, transfer funds all on your phone

It’s pretty convenient

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So you’re stuck at home with some extra time on your hands. When you feel like taking a break from all the shows you’ve been watching, perhaps you can make time to figure out how to transition to cashless payments.

We’re dealing with a unique situation right now and cashless transactions is one of the little ways in which we can help with social distancing measures. Not to mention, it’s also pretty convenient.

If you already have a bank account, chances are you’re already using that bank’s mobile app. If not, we encourage you to do so. But we’re not going deep into that. Today, we’re looking at other payment services that will help you go cashless.

GCash

We partnered with GCash a while back for this quick How-To video. But if you don’t feel like watching, the text comes right after.

Before anything else download the app on the App Store, Google Play, or AppGallery.

Step 1. Open the GCash app and enter your mobile number. Tap “Next” to proceed.

Step 2. Fill in the mandatory information. These include your First Name, Last Name, Birthday, Address, Email Address. When you’re done, tap “Next” to proceed

Step 3. Review your information. Gotta make sure everything’s accurate and matches any official ID you have with you. If you have a referral code, input it using the drop down below your information. Afterwards, tap “Next”.

Step 4. Set your Mobile Pin by inputting a 4 digit MPIN. It’s very important that you can easily remember your MPIN. It serves as your password to access your GCash account. You also need it for your future GCash transactions. So yeah, don’t use your birthday or any birthdays of anyone you’re super close with. Protect your MPIN like your life depended on it. Tap “Submit” to move on.

Step 5. You will receive a 6-digit authentication code via SMS in the device authentication page. Enter the code to authenticate your device.

Step 6. Enter your 4-digit GCash MPIN and click ‘Log In’ to enter the app.

Congratulations! You’re now on GCash. There’s a ton that you can do here. This is where I connected my bank account so I’ve been using GCash to move money around my other accounts, transfer money to my family and friends, load up my prepaid sim, and of course the usual in-store transactions. You can also link it to your Lazada account for your online shopping needs.

For more information, visit the GCash Help Center.

PayMaya

PayMaya is very similar to GCash in that they practically let you do the same things. As mentioned earlier, these are making cashless payments, transferring funds, as well as online shopping. Personally, this is the account I used for most of my app subscriptions like Netflix, Spotify, and NBA League Pass.

Again, make sure you have the app. Get it on the App Store, Google Play, or AppGallery.

Step1: Register with your name, email and mobile number​. The mobile number can be with any network you’re currently using.

Step 2: Create a password​. Unlike GCash which uses an MPIN, the PayMaya password is a lot more like the usual passwords you use for your social media accounts. Again, make sure it’s secure and something easy for you to remember.

Step 3: Receive a verification SMS​. Enter this verification number on the app.

Step 4: Click the VIEW CARD button​.

Step 5: Input your address and birthday​.

Step 6: Receive a confirmation that your account has been activated​

PayMaya also has these cashback promos every now and then. That means anything you purchase, a percentage of that goes back to your account. Here’s a quick little video on that.

To find how you can maximize PayMaya just head on over to their Support Page.

GrabPay

Grab has surprisingly expanded its GrabPay services to more than just hailing rides, deliveries, and paying for GrabFood.

You can now also do the following:

  1. Cashless payment for Grab services (GrabCar, GrabFood, GrabExpress, GrabMart)
  2. Buy prepaid load
  3. Pay bills (Cablielink, Cignal TV, Destiny Cable, DFA, Easytrip, Globe, Manila Water, Maynilad, Meralco, Metro Cebu Water, MMDA, NBI, Pag-IBIG Fund, PLDT, Sky Cable, Smart, Smart Bro, SSS, Sun Celular, UNICEF, VECO)
  4. Pay in-store
  5. Pay online
  6. Send money for free (person-to-person and bank transfer)

Registering is pretty straightforward. Download the app on the App Store or Google Play, and then register using your phone number, Facebook account, or Google account.

For more on what else you can do with GrabPay and how they’re expanding, you may visit their Help Page.

You can also use these services to donate towards efforts in fighting COVID-19. For other ways to help check out our Where To Donate article.

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Features

Her story: Shyama Golden

On childhood memories and creating work that make people more involved

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Shyama Golden is a visual artist from Brooklyn, New York. She was born in Texas, but also lived in New Zealand and Sri Lanka, where her family is originally from. These influences didn’t start coming out in her work until she became more distanced from them. “Sometimes you have to be taken out of an environment to realize what was special about it,” she notes.

The huge painting in her living room called Road Trip was inspired by both her Sri Lankan background and growing up in Texas. Central to the painting is a yakka, a demon character in Sri Lankan folklore that performs exorcism rituals to cure people of their ailments. Shyama says the rituals are something that people have been doing for thousands of years, although they are much less common now — almost like a dying art. In a way, she hopes to resurrect that through the piece.

Shyama draws inspiration everywhere — from distant sources, to forgotten artists, to old books, to obscure references — but so much of her work also reflects her own childhood memories.

“Sometimes you have to be taken out of an environment to realize what was special about it.”

Catsquatch is a collaboration between her and her husband. She did a large painting for it, but it’s also a children’s storybook that they wrote together — a story of house cats running away from home, yearning independence.

Her memory of seeing stray cats wandering everywhere while living in Sri Lanka is also evident in a portrait of the younger versions of her mom and her aunt.

The most notable facet of her body of work, however, isn’t their size or the presence of felines, but the number of digital portraits of women of color she’s drawn over the years.

From flat, minimalist digital work as a graphic designer, having the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil has allowed her to create work that still looks like an oil painting but at a much faster pace.

“What the iPad did is allow me to keep my style. It was really helpful to me because over two years I was able to output what used to take me 5-6 years,” says Shyama.

Among the portraits that she’s done, her favorite is the one of Indian author and activist Arundhati Roy for The Atlantic. She says she liked working on it because it tells a story within the portrait, “beyond just the face, it actually has a whole narrative to it.”

She also uses the iPad to do studies and mockups of what she intends to be a physical work. Initially drawn on Procreate using its symmetry feature, The Feminine Mirage uses a custom panel and a mirror to convey myths perpetuated by different social constructs. Although extremely challenging and time-consuming, she enjoys working on pieces that have a presence in the physical world but are still interactive as they make people more involved.

Her story: Shyama Golden

Shyama Golden is a visual artist whose memories of growing up in Texas and Sri Lanka are evident influences in a number of paintings that she's done. Most notable of her body of work, however, are theportraits of women of color she's drawn over the years using the iPad Pro and the Apple Pencil. This is her story.

Posted by Her GadgetMatch on Friday, 27 March 2020


Her story is a series featuring women we admire from a wide array of cultures and industries — women who excel and work hard at honing their craft by using the tools and technology they have at their disposal. They tell stories of their journey through life, their influences and dreams, their unique experiences, and how they navigate the modern world.

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Hands-On

Huawei P40 Pro Unboxing and Complete Hands-On

‘Visionary Photography’

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Everything you need to know about the new Huawei P40 Series. Yep there are 3 phones this year, the P40, P40 Pro and P40 Pro+. Yep a pro plus model!

In this video you get a P40 Pro Unboxing, Hands-On, some photo samples, and a camera comparison vs the P30 Pro.

Of course I’ll also answer you questions: What’s new? How is the P40 Pro’s camera vs the P30 Pro, and what’s it like without Google Play Services? And while you’ll have to wait for my full review for a verdict, I’ll try to answer the question, Is it your GadgetMatch?

Watch our Hands-On video.

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