When I hear Indonesia, Bali always comes to mind. Although I’ve never been there, I know it’s a dream destination for many because of its beaches, peaks, parks, temples, and terraces. It’s an escape out of the polluted and crowded cityscape.
Two hours away from Bali is the country’s capital, Jakarta. Its dense city structure further proves that it has been on a massive urban sprawl. Honestly, I had no idea where to go and what to do — but the internet exists for a reason. The only Indo things I’m aware of are mi goreng, nasi goreng, beef rendang, MONAS, Alfa Mart. That’s about it.
I flew all the way to Jakarta for Samsung’s Awesome Live Event with BLACKPINK where they introduced the Galaxy A51 and Galaxy A71. The day after the event, I finally had the phone on hand and tested its “awesome camera”, including the new ultra-wide lens.
Capturing the hotel view outside was the first thing I did with the phone. Not the best window view I had but the greenery added an ethereal escape against the sharp, tall slabs of concrete.
Going out of the room gives me another view. That large structure is the Tennis Indoor Senayan where Samsung held its live event. It’s also one of the venues of the 18th Asian Games and other K-Pop concerts. Seeing it from afar and up close made me realize how lucky I am.
Before heading out, I tried the hotel’s breakfast buffet. So far, so good. There was enough variety that I enjoyed eating. I spoiled myself by having more than five plates. Here’s a photo of the sweet food, for the wandering souls out there.
Taman Mini Indonesia Indah (TMII)
I decided to go to Taman Mini Indonesia Indah as it’s located far from the skyline of Jakarta. Despite what the name suggests, this place isn’t “mini”. This museum is just one among the many parks you can see inside the TMII premises.With limited time, I decided to push through — and I’m glad I did. It made me realize how similar Indonesians and Filipinos are, not just when it comes to appearance but also language. There are Bahasa and Tagalog words that both share the same meaning such as “selamat”, “datuk”, “kolintang”, “pintu”, “balik”, “lima”, “pula”, “kanan”, “anak”, and more. It’s truly fascinating.
These traditional art pieces show how rich and diverse Indonesia’s culture is. Some were hand-drawn, sculpted, weaved, or even painted, like the batik. They even have their own version of puppets called wayang.
After the three-story museum tour, I headed to a mini temple to rest and relax. Those who were caught off-guard by the claustrophobic dim spaces of the museum can enjoy the majestic pond outside.
National Monument (MONAS)
As mentioned earlier, I knew about MONAS. It’s Indonesia’s National Monument — and that’s because the city-building game I’m playing introduced me to it. I downloaded the landmark mod which made me recognize it’s one of Indonesia’s sought-after landmarks.
It’s erected right in the center of Jakarta. According to locals, you can see all of Jakarta if you go up — pretty much like a drone. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to do that because of the flaming hot weather.
If you weren’t aware, Indonesia was colonized by the Dutch empire. Batavia was the old-day Jakarta. Thus, the “Old Batavia” they’re calling can be found here in Kota Tua.What you see above is the Fatahillah Square which is the historical center of the old town. Beside it, there are museums pertaining to wayang, fine arts and ceramics, and even Jakarta’s history. During my visit, they were all closed.
If you are too lazy to walk around, there are these colorful bicycles you can rent.
The establishments here look nothing like modern-day Jakarta. A lot of cities saved much of their history through preservation of old buildings and Kota Tua is no exception.
After strolling for almost half an hour, I had my late lunch. Indonesian cuisine is known to be spicy. I teared up eating authentic mi goreng — its spice level is way too high for comfort. I love eating spicy food as long as they’re tolerable. Thankfully, the Thai iced tea I ordered saved my tongue from burning.
I went to the night market early so I witnessed how vendors cooked their food before it got crowded. There are martabak and lumpia stalls although I didn’t get to try them because of my limited time.
The sun was setting so I hurried to see other establishments. There were a lot of shops that offer local kopi and indomie, while other stalls were selling phone cases and designer imitations. I didn’t find any souvenir shops around, although that might be because I was there before most shops opened.
Jakarta’s malls aren’t the biggest but they have exclusive shop offerings, like Plaza Senayan. It was surprising to see a bakery and a popular coffee shop inside the department store. It’s not something I’m used to, and I found it odd considering they were selling all sorts of cosmetic products within the vicinity.
I wasn’t too happy with the food choices at Plaza Senayan so I went to another mall near the hotel called FX Sudirman. I only had a few hours left before I had to leave so might as well enjoy what I can have.
As a Libra, being indecisive is part of my whole being. I roamed around and there were better food choices but I got tired so I chose to eat at an American burger joint instead. The Salted Egg Cheese Burger was good although the salted egg flavor was barely there.
When I went out I was greeted by these roller skaters going back and forth the sidewalk.
3-Star Airport (?)
I was surprised that the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport is only a 3-star airport. It’s not as fancy as Singapore’s Changi, but it’s clean, organized, and the architecture is modern and striking. My flight departed at midnight, so you can see how quiet and less crowded it gets off-peak hours.
Unlike other airports that offer 24-hour services, most shops and restaurants after immigration were already closed by the time I got there.
Too little time for a huge city
Moments before boarding the plane, I somehow wished I could’ve stayed longer. It would’ve also been more “awesome” if I met locals around. It’s hard to imagine how I managed to compress what I wanted to see in just 24 hours. It may not be long before they transfer the city capital crown to East Kalimantan in Borneo, so I’m hoping I can come back before that happens with a more well-thought out itinerary.
You can see a glimpse of Jakarta below:
All photos and videos were taken using the Samsung Galaxy A71.
vivo V27: Studio lights in your pocket
Meet the new Aura Light Portrait System
It’s spring 2023 and vivo is back with the V series. The vivo V27 comes with a new feature called Aura Light Portrait System, which takes its main camera to another level. Like its predecessor it’s got a color-changing back, making it a fashionable choice for different users.
Stylish color-changing design
We have the V27 in Emerald Green, which starts off with a lighter tint that looks like jade. When exposed to UV light, it changes into a darker shade of green. This is achieved thanks to the Emerald Glass processing technique. The phone also comes in Magic Blue, Flowing Gold, and Noble Black.
Chay is wearing light colors so the Emerald Green model matches her outfit better. It makes a nice, subtle pop of color, and goes with her pastel-y mint green purse and boots.
It’s also worth pointing out the 3D curved screen and this curved back on the V27 make it feel extremely thin and light.
Studio lights in your pocket
As mentioned earlier, the vivo V27 features the Aura Light Portrait System for great portraits even in low light. It’s a combination of the IMX677V sensor, which Sony designed with vivo specifically for this phone, algorithm optimizations, and the Aura Light. Its outer ring is matte and sandblasted, softening the light coming out of it.
The Aura Light, combined with the large sensor, and algorithm optimizations work together to take great portraits even in low light.
Lunch and coffee
The day before was a very long day so we figured we should get food and coffee. We found this dimly lit restaurant in Soho called Cafe Select. I think it’s a German restaurant because we had some schnitzel and there’s German decor everywhere.
We also specifically asked for the corner booth to test out the V27’s low light capabilities. Despite the lack of light sources, it’s impressive that the V27 managed to produce an accurate cutout of me even when I kept moving with the Bokeh Portrait video mode on.
There’s no natural light in this restaurant so it’s also the perfect place to take portraits and test out the Aura Light Portrait System. It’s like a portable ring light that you can use to take clearer portraits. Take a look at some examples.
On video mode, you can also use LUTs. We had fun using the Nostalgia filter to film a short video in the restaurant, which perfectly matches the vintage vibe of its interiors.
High definition selfies
The vivo V27 would not be a V-series smartphone if it didn’t have an amazing selfie camera. On the V27, we got a 50MP HD selfie camera with autofocus.
It’s worth noting that the phone feels so light in the hand. It’s so easy to take one-handed selfies. I also love how subtle the color change is on the Emerald Green model.
The V27 offers three levels of selfie filters that help hide blemishes and enhance your features — None, Natural, and Classic.
The 50MP front camera means clear selfie details. Most other smartphones have inferior selfie cameras compared to its rear counterparts, but not the V27. As you can see in the example below, zooming in on my eyes show that you can clearly see the strands of my eyebrows.
Walking the High Line & shopping
To test its video stabilization and macro camera, we continued to walk the High Line. Both features produced very impressive results.
Another feature we tried is MicroMovie. It’s perfect for creators like me. It comes with a whole bunch of templates that you can use for TikTok or Instagram Reels. I filmed a daily vlog with it and had so much fun.
While we were shopping, I noticed too that the V27 changed colors after being indoors for a bit. It turned into a beautiful white marble-like finish that fades into mint green at the bottom.
After the sun has set, it’s time to take more low-light portraits and OOTD. Our friends Alex and Leslie even joined us for a quick photo shoot. New York City comes to life at night, and with a 1/1.56-inch sensor and Super Night Mode, the vivo V27 can easily capture the hustle and bustle of the city streets.
More than just a camera smartphone
The vivo V27 is powered by the MediaTek Dimensity 7200 and comes with either an 8GB or 12GB of RAM.
With Extended RAM the phone borrows memory from your internal storage and gives you an additional 8GB RAM. This way you get either 16GB or 20GB available RAM.
Vivo says this will help when you’re playing memory intensive games or if you like keeping plenty of apps open in the background.
The phone is packed with a 4600mAh battery and supports up to 66W FlashCharge. It comes bundled with an 80W charger.
In our GadgetMatch Charge Test we got to 50% in 19 minutes. A full charge took 57 minutes.
I’ve always been a fan of vivo’s V Series. We’ve done plenty of videos on it in the past and this one is another excellent phone.
It offers users a top notch smartphone experience for less. I enjoyed using all its camera features and I think creators on a budget will too.
I also love this cool color changing Emerald Green model. This phone is definitely the prettiest vivo phone I’ve reviewed lately.
Watch our 24 Hours video with the vivo V27: https://youtu.be/nJ18OMK43yE
Google Pixel 7 Pro Unboxing and First 24 Hours
Plus a photowalk using its great set of cameras
The new Google Pixel 7 Pro has just been released to the public!
Aside from our previous first look video, Michael Josh also did a quick unboxing and hands-on.
Plus, he took it to the streets to test out its battery prowess as well as the power of its three cameras — including the new Super-Res Zoom feature.
Can’t wait to see what the Pixel 7 Pro has to offer?
First 24 Hours with the iPhone 14
Bluer than Blue!
September 11 marks a historical day not just for New Yorkers, but for (almost) everyone in this world.
With a memory that lives forever in our heads, Michael Josh has tried commemorating it.
He went to the pier along Brooklyn Bridge to recreate a shot he wanted to do for so long.
Can’t wait to see how the shot turned out? Or just curious how the iPhone 14’s gonna last throughout the day?
Head over now to our iPhone 14 First 24 Hours video to feed your curiosities.
I ditched my Apple Watch for the Garmin epix Pro (Gen 2)
It's not my ideal type, but it's everything I'll need
Lenovo Legion Glasses review: An 86-inch TV at your fingertips
But, what are they good for?
‘Scott Pilgrim Takes Off’ spoiler review: A new story in old clothes
Beware of spoilers ahead
TCL launches new QD-Mini LED 4K TV for gaming
I ditched my Apple Watch for the Garmin epix Pro (Gen 2)
Jisoo of BLACKPINK is new Dyson Ambassador
On-device AI, foldables are future of smart devices: HONOR
Apple might make a ring you can wear on other parts of your body
The Legion Go is a ‘transformer’
OnePlus Open Review: One Month Later
Space Black M3 Max MacBook Pro Unboxing and Review
HONOR is holding a huge sale for its newer devices
Legion Go, Legion Glasses price in the Philippines
News2 weeks ago
dbrand, JerryRigEverything file lawsuit vs CASETiFY
Gaming2 weeks ago
Lenovo Legion Go review: There’s a new king in town
Cameras2 weeks ago
GoPro HERO12 Black: Making heroic shots with the new HERO
Gaming1 week ago
The ROG Zephyrus G14 (2023) is my top choice
Computers2 weeks ago
ASUS Share 2023 Holiday Deals: Free ROG Phone 6, speakers, more
Gaming2 weeks ago
Cyberpunk 2077: Ultimate Edition bundles everything into one
Gaming7 days ago
Ubisoft is giving away an Assassin’s Creed game for free
Deals1 week ago
vivo Christmas extravaganza: Exclusive freebies for every phone purchase