24 Hours Series

24 Hours in Singapore with the Google Pixel 2



While I’ve been to Singapore a few times before, this trip is about a lot of firsts. It’s the first time I didn’t go to the usual places most tourists visit like Gardens by the Bay, Sentosa, or Universal Studios. It’s my first time exploring the business-y Alexandra area and quaint Katong neighborhoods in the Central Region.

It’s also my first time using the Google Pixel 2 we ordered last month, and as a point-and-shoot kinda gal, I’m very impressed to say the least.

Checking in at the Hotel Indigo Singapore Katong

We stayed at this Peranakan-themed boutique hotel in the middle of Katong village. The facade doesn’t look like much, but every little corner of its interior is well-thought-out and well, Instagram-worthy. But we’ll get to that later.

Tanjong Katong

The neighborhood is home to a lot of Peranakan heritage buildings and quaint restaurant and cafes including this standout, The Red House. The Peranakan people in Singapore are descendants of Chinese immigrants who settled in the Malay archipelago — most of them were elites more loyal to the British than to China.

Before heading out, we grabbed lunch at the Starker Bistro right next to our hotel. They have a buy one, take one lunch promo on burgers and pasta, so the choice is obviously a no-brainer.

Google Asia Pacific HQ tour

Happy Halloween!

Another first on this trip was stepping foot inside the Google Asia Pacific Headquarters. The Google office is several storeys of beautiful open spaces and micro-kitchens!

Who wouldn’t want to go to work if the office were this inviting?

The YouTube floor has YouTube branding all over — from couches to play buttons to logos. One wall is decorated with this logo made of circuits.

There’s also a garden in one of the balconies. At this point in the tour, I was asking myself whether the Google HQ was made for working or for OOTDs.

Apart from the main cafeteria, there are micro-kitchens on every level of the headquarters, although there was nothing micro about those kitchens, to be honest. There were snacks (even cold brew!) everywhere.

Exploring Alexandra

On our way to a very important mission, we spotted this futuristic looking pedestrian underpass at Alexandra Point…

… and this dazzling architecture we captured at blue hour.

Singapore has pedestrian-friendly streets. And sometimes, they also make for good bokeh for a portrait mode sample. Here’s one in low light of our Chief Content Officer, Michael Josh.

A 30-minute walk from the Google HQ is this IKEA showroom! We’re still in the process of putting together our own studio and office, so we had to check it out.

We didn’t really buy furniture, but visiting an IKEA showroom always leaves me wanting to build a home of my own and start decorating.

This is actually the only reason we walked more than one kilometer in this humid weather. IKEA makes wireless chargers, and this particular model fits in one of the desks we have in our studio. The problem with most wireless chargers is while they’re well-designed, they’re not made with the home in mind — most of them are intrusive and don’t blend in with our furniture.

Hawker centers everywhere

But first, a selfie. The Google Pixel 2 has portrait mode enabled for both the front and back cameras, so I had to give it a try while waiting for the food to be served.

What’s a trip to Singapore without going to a hawker center? We were starving after that long walk so we got one plate each of mee goreng while waiting for our other order.

It takes at least 20 minutes to make, but claypot chicken rice is worth the wait! Our order was meant for two but I really think it can feed at least three more hungry people. You can view the Motion Photo version here.

Time to retire at the hotel

Hotel Indigo Singapore Katong is a visual feast for anyone who loves good design. Every little detail is a cultural immersion of the Peranakan influence in Singapore — something I wasn’t fully aware of before this trip.

Speaking of little details, there’s a basin of salt foot soak, exfoliating and moisturizing cleansers, and a Good Morning towel waiting for you to try. Talk about soaking up Peranakan culture right in your own room. Here’s Michael Josh trying to rest his feet while working. 💆🏻‍♀️

The morning after at Baba Chews

Jim Hopper of Stranger Things says mornings are for coffee and contemplation. I say mornings are made for great breakfast food prepared just for you. Unlike most hotels that offer breakfast buffets, Hotel Indigo Singapore Katong’s restaurant Baba Chews gives you the option to have western-style breakfasts and Singaporean cuisine as part of their everyday special.

I didn’t get to take a photo of the Katong laksa and chai tow kway, because they were so good they had to be devoured immediately. So here’s a photo of their moist waffles instead!

This trip wasn’t just about firsts. It was also about visually stimulating spaces, thoughtful design, and of course, great food! That’s only the tip of the iceberg that is Singapore, and I can’t wait to go back.

24 Hours is a series on GadgetMatch.com where we showcase our travels through a smartphone camera’s perspective. It’s also a documented guide on things to see and do in a city in case you happen to plan a trip there.

SEE ALSO: Singtel introduces price plans for Google Pixel 2 XL

[irp posts=”23021″ name=”Singtel introduces price plans for Google Pixel 2 XL”]

24 Hours Series

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

Continue Reading

24 Hours Series

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?

Here’s our quick unboxing, hands-on, and first 24 hours with the Pixel 7 Pro.

Continue Reading

24 Hours Series

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.

But instead of the best-in-class iPhone, he instead used the 6.1-inch iPhone 14.

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.

SEE ALSO: iPhone 14 Pro Max First 24 Hours

Continue Reading