Features

5 reasons to stick with Samsung after Note 7 disaster

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Without a doubt, Samsung’s image has taken a major hit after the Galaxy Note 7 debacle. What people fail to consider, however, are all the exciting things the tech specialist has been cooking up lately.

While these won’t extinguish the damage already dealt, our reasons for sticking with Samsung are meant to restore faith in the world’s number one smartphone manufacturer. After all, the Note 7 was just one failure in a sea of undeniable success.

The Galaxy S8 is going to be amazing

If history repeats itself, the next Galaxy S smartphone will be a game-changer. Recall how the Galaxy S5 introduced waterproofing and excellent photography to the series, the S6 made the glass back and metal frame combo a thing for Samsung, and the S7 became the definition of refinement for all tech products.

Based on the recent leaks and rumors, the upcoming Galaxy S8 — assuming Samsung doesn’t skip a number this time — will be yet another needle mover. We can expect a unique dual-camera setup, an improved iris scanner with additional security measures, and the usual “best chipset available” at the time of announcement.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7

Samsung made curved displays cool

We should also believe in Sammy’s capacity to learn from its mistakes. Since no Android or Apple rival has a show-stopping product lined up for early next year, there’ll be no reason to rush shipments for its flagship, like what happened to the ill-fated Galaxy Note.

Galaxy Note 7 victims will get incentives

As the dust slowly settles, Samsung is coming up with ways to ease the pain of fallen Note 7 users.

We recently covered an upgrade program being offered, in which anyone who’s replaced their unit with a Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge is eligible to do another trade for the upcoming S8 or Note 8. In addition, customers would only have to pay half the amount of an S7 to receive an S8. It’s admittedly confusing, but at least we know steps are being taken to rectify the problems surrounding the two sets of recalls.

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As of the moment, the program is only available in the South Korean market, but it’s only a matter of time before it extends to the rest of the world, since every user is a victim.

Samsung is already developing next-generation tech

This part probably won’t matter to casual users, but anyone with a techie thumb will understand the boundaries Samsung is currently pushing.

It’s a given that the upcoming Galaxy S flagships will have the best of the best specifications, and we have Samsung’s development teams to thank for this.

The Korean tech giant has begun production of chipsets using 10nm FinFET technology, which could be a first for the industry. What this means is newer processors equipped on future Galaxy devices will run a lot faster and cooler than the 14nm chips used on current smartphones, resulting in a smoother user experience and less power consumption.

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On top of that, Samsung has already rolled out another first in the industry: an 8GB memory package for mobile gadgets. In comparison, recent smartphones such as the new Galaxy C9 Pro are maxed out at 6GB of memory. This will boost a device’s multitasking abilities, and allow more complex apps and games to be produced.

The Galaxy S7 Edge and Note 5 are fantastic deals now

Depending on where you reside, you can score great deals on the Galaxy S7 Edge and last year’s Note 5. Be warned, though: The latter could be experiencing a minor price hike, considering it’s the best Android handset right now with a stylus pen.

You don’t have to look any further than our Galaxy S7 and Note 5 video reviews to know what they bring to the table:

Samsung reached near perfection with the Note 7

It’s easy to forget how close the Galaxy Note 7 was to smartphone perfection. Practically every media outlet praised it as the best Android device this year — or, of all time. 

We believe some of the blame for the Note 7’s troubles goes to its excessiveness, packing so many high-tech features in such a pocketable frame and short amount of production time. The successor, if everything works out, should either dial down the innovation or rely on its tinier manufacturing process to pull off a realistic product.

Our own hands-on review spoke of how much we loved the phone:

Do you have reasons of your own why you’d stick with Samsung? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.

Camera Shootouts

Huawei Mate 30 Pro vs iPhone 11 Pro Max: Camera shootout

Which big phone takes better photos?

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The year is almost over but we’re not done comparing smartphones. In this shootout, we’re pitting the Huawei Mate 30 Pro against the iPhone 11 Pro Max. All photos are shot in Auto Mode using the main cameras, except for a few to test their ultra-wide angle cameras, night modes, and portrait modes. The photos have also been resized so the images can load faster.

Get your pen and paper ready as this is a blind shootout. Make sure to tale note of your picks. The answers to this test are found at the bottom of the page. Let’s start.

#1

#2

#3

#4

#5

#6

#7

#8

#9

#10

#11

#12

#13

#14

#15, Ultra Wide Angle

#16, Ultra Wide Angle

#17, Portrait Mode

#18, Night Mode

#19, Night Mode

#20, Night Mode

#1
Photo A: Huawei Mate 30 Pro
Photo B: iPhone 11 Pro Max

#2
Photo A: iPhone 11 Pro Max
Photo B: Huawei Mate 30 Pro

#3
Photo A: iPhone 11 Pro Max
Photo B: Huawei Mate 30 Pro

#4
Photo A: Huawei Mate 30 Pro
Photo B: iPhone 11 Pro Max

#5
Photo A: Huawei Mate 30 Pro
Photo B: iPhone 11 Pro Max

#6
Photo A: iPhone 11 Pro Max
Photo B: Huawei Mate 30 Pro

#7
Photo A: iPhone 11 Pro Max
Photo B: Huawei Mate 30 Pro

#8
Photo A: iPhone 11 Pro Max
Photo B: Huawei Mate 30 Pro

#09
Photo A: Huawei Mate 30 Pro
Photo B: iPhone 11 Pro Max

#10
Photo A: Huawei Mate 30 Pro
Photo B: iPhone 11 Pro Max

#11
Photo A: iPhone 11 Pro Max
Photo B: Huawei Mate 30 Pro

#12
Photo A: Huawei Mate 30 Pro
Photo B: iPhone 11 Pro Max

#13
Photo A: Huawei Mate 30 Pro
Photo B: iPhone 11 Pro Max

#14
Photo A: Huawei Mate 30 Pro
Photo B: iPhone 11 Pro Max

#15, Ultra Wide Angle
Photo A: Huawei Mate 30 Pro
Photo B: iPhone 11 Pro Max

#16, Ultra Wide Angle
Photo A: iPhone 11 Pro Max
Photo B: Huawei Mate 30 Pro

#17, Portrait Mode
Photo A: iPhone 11 Pro Max
Photo B: Huawei Mate 30 Pro

#18, Night Mode
Photo A: iPhone 11 Pro Max
Photo B: Huawei Mate 30 Pro

#19, Night Mode
Photo A: iPhone 11 Pro Max
Photo B: Huawei Mate 30 Pro

#20, Night Mode
Photo A: Huawei Mate 30 Pro
Photo B: iPhone 11 Pro Max

This is one of the closest shootouts we’ve done. Results could have gone either way for a lot of scenarios. For the photos that look drastically different — my choices all boiled down to preference. I personally don’t like how the Mate 30 Pro washes out skintones and blows out highlights, but I like the colors it produced better during sunsets. I don’t like how some of the iPhone photos turn out a little dull, but they were more of than not closer to real life colors.

If you’re like me who color corrects photos before sharing them, you can’t go wrong with either phones if cameras are your priority — they’re both able to capture details even in low light situations and can be post-processed whichever way you prefer.

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Features

Sony Bravia X95G and HT-X8500 Soundbar: Perfect home cinema combo

Netflix and chill like a boss

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Before the start of the 2019 I thought new TVs are mostly overrated. Brands will sell you on improved picture quality, better audio, and all of that, but a lot of it felt moot to me.

Every now and then we’ll see something that’s really eye-catching, but other than that, I didn’t think much of Smart TVs. But then I got to try one and I was impressed with what it had to offer. So when Sony offered one for us to experience one of their new ones, I jumped at the opportunity.

Notice how I said experience? That’s because that’s what this whole month with the Sony Bravia X95G and HT-X8500 soundbar — it’s the ultimate home theater experience.

Ultimate Netflix Experience

I hate to sound too hyperbolic but this TV and soundbar combo is truly a match made in home entertainment heaven. This is especially true if a lot of your entertainment revolves around Netflix.

The Sony Bravia X95G is one of few TVs that is recommended by Netflix. It has a Netflix Calibrated Mode so if you’re hooked on any of Netflix’s Originals, you will experience them the way its creators intended them to be experienced when you watch on this TV.

Even the remote control has a dedicated Netflix button that will take you right to the app. It’s also equipped with a mic so you can tell the remote what you want to watch and more often than not, it’ll get the title right.

Watching a few episodes of Vagabond on this TV was something else. The show has a cinematic level of production and it really comes through while watching on the TV. Female Lead Suzy Bae looks extra gorgeous and some scenes really feel like they’re right there with you in the living room.

Taking it up a notch with the HT-X8500 soundbar

What really rounds this up as one of the best experiences though is when you hook the TV up with the HT-X8500 soundbar. It’s not the “smart” soundbar that most other brands offer these days but that actually works in its favor. It’s literally plug and play.

It also doesn’t have any subwoofers you need to attach to it. Instead it has twin forward facing woofers. This not only gets the job done, but it also saves you some space.

With Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, the soundbar is able to create this truly wraparound sound. If you dim the lights just right, it truly does feel like your own cinema right at the comfort of your own home.

Connect your consoles neatly

Cables are always messy and the way the Sony Bravia X95G deals with it is by having the cables have a path straight down to its two stands. This helps you come up with a clean setup when you connect whatever console you have at home.

Speaking of which, we connected a PlayStation 4 and the TV’s HDR tech kicked in right away. Right after firing up the PS4, the TV will prompt you to adjust the HDR for the best experience. You only have to do this once but can be adjusted anytime.

If you have more than one console, you need not worry. The TV has four HDMI ports. Three at the bottom and one at the side. It also has three USB ports for whatever you may need them for.

Everything good about Android TV

The Sony Bravia X95G is also an Android TV through and through. This means you get Android on TVs the way Google intended them to be experienced. It’s kind of like a Pixel but it’s TV. And just like the Pixel, this means you get security updates before any other Smart TV.

That said, Android TV still has plenty of room to grow. I would argue that LG’s WebOS and Samsung’s Tizen have come a long way in making sure the TV OS experience is more user-friendly and intuitive.

Not just for movies

Of course, you probably won’t only be watching Netflix on your TV. We don’t have a cable subscription so we can’t tell you how good it translates in this TV. What we do have is YouTube, and even the varying qualities of video uploaded on the platform translates nicely on the TV.

The Sony Bravia X95G is not OLED or QLED which appear to be the leading technologies in the space. It’s a more traditional HDR LED Screen but what really takes the picture quality to another level is Sony’s X1 Ultimate processor.

The chip is able to mimic the high dynamic range and deep blacks of an OLED. At this point, nothing will beat actual OLED but this is about as close as you can get. And it’s pretty darn close.

Just take a look at the photo below. It almost looks like I’m face to face with TWICE’s Momo. The Lord knows how I wish that to be true, but it’s just a TV — one with really amazing tech behind it.

The best home cinema combo

The Sony Bravia X95G starts at PhP 88,899 — that’s for the 55-inch variant. The unit we had was a 75-incher. Meanwhile, the Sony HT-X8500 soundbar costs PhP 22,299.

Together that’s about the cost of the same size OLED or QLED TV but if you get the combo, you already have for yourself what’s easily one of the best home entertainment systems one could ask for.

It’s an incredibly satisfying entertainment experience that would have you Netflix and chilling like a boss.

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Camera Shootouts

Realme XT vs Samsung Galaxy A80 vs Huawei P30 vs iPhone XR: Camera shootout

Yet another four-way shootout

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Most of the smartphones that released a higher megapixel count belong in the midrange category. With this trend, we started wondering if these smartphones can actually hold their own against pricier smartphones from today’s top three brands.

In this shootout, we’re pitting the Realme XT against the Samsung Galaxy A80, Huawei P30, and the iPhone XR. For a fair-fight, we opted to use a regular shot for the Realme XT since its 64MP camera shoots 16MP photos by default. The Galaxy A80’s 48MP camera shoots 12MP by default, and the Huawei P30’s 40MP camera shoots 10MP. On the other hand, the iPhone XR shoots 12MP.

Of course, there were no filters applied and all settings are the same for all the smartphones. As usual, the photos are resized for you to load the images faster.

The answers to this test are found at the bottom of the page. Now, let’s start!

#1 – Ultrawide mode

#2 – Flat lay

#3 – Food

#4 – 2x zoom

#5 – Outdoor

#6 – Greenery

#7 – Selfie

#8 – Saturation

#9 – Macro

#10 – Interior

#11 – Low light

#12 – Lights

#13 – Night

#14 – Portrait mode

Here are the results of this camera shootout:

ARealme XT

BSamsung Galaxy A80

CHuawei P30

DiPhone XR

As you can see, the Realme XT does well despite belonging in the midrange category. Of course, the iPhone XR still leads the shootout with accurate color reproduction while the Huawei P30 and Samsung Galaxy A80 appeal to different kinds of users with a preference for warmer and cooler photos.

Nonetheless, the Realme XT opens up the possibility for consumers with a limited budget but still want to get value for money smartphones. In a few months, more midrange smartphones will shake the upper midrange and premium categories. For now, we can enjoy these midrange smartphones offering more than what we deserve. So, which photos did you like better?


This feature was produced in collaboration between GadgetMatch and Realme Philippines.

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