Features

8 most important announcements at Google I/O 2018

Google’s annual showcase of features and apps

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Image from Google Blog

This year’s Google I/O has just concluded and there are a number of announcements and demos that people of the modern world should know about. If you haven’t watched the keynote, here’s a brief summary of what happened earlier.

Android P

Indeed, the most important announcement at Google I/O 2018 was the official introduction of Android P beta. Version 9.0 of Google’s mobile operating system doesn’t have a dessert name yet, so we’re still waiting for that.

Android P looks a lot cleaner now compared to its earlier developer preview release. The beta is now available to a number of Android OEMs (not only Pixel phones) and introduces us to navigational gestures. The traditional three navigation buttons are now replaced by iPhone X-like swipes to work well with borderless phones. You can also track how you’re spending time with your phone through the new Dashboard.

Six new Google Assistant voices

Google Assistant won’t just sound more natural, but it’ll also sound different soon. Users will get to choose from six additional voices in the upcoming update. The original Assistant voice “Holly” will soon have friends, and that includes celebrity John Legend.

Google Duplex

One of the impressive demos from the keynote was the recording of Google Assistant calling a hair salon. Google Assistant made an appointment through a voice call and the lady from the other line didn’t even notice that she’s talking to a computer. The conversation sounded just like two humans talking to each other with no hint of a robotic voice.

Check out the demo here.

A smarter Gmail that finishes your drafts

The Smart Reply feature is pretty helpful in suggesting quick responses and now Gmail can also help you draft emails from scratch. Well, it’s not like Gmail will do the work for you (but I think we’re getting there), but the new feature will make suggestions for completing sentences as you’re typing. This feature is coming very soon to all Gmail users.

Google Maps becomes more social

We don’t just open Google Maps to ask for directions, we also use it to find related info around us. Maps is starting to shape up like Yelp and Foursquare with its new dedicated tab for following what’s trending in your area and planning where to eat next.

In addition, augmented reality is coming to Maps. If 2D directions aren’t helping you find your way around, AR will now help you with turn-by-turn directions with the use of AI and Street View data.

AI now curates Google News

Google News is the latest platform to be managed by AI. Using artificial intelligence, Google News can now analyze all the content published to the web at any moment. It’ll be able to spot the ones you might be interested in and puts them right at your fingertips. It’ll also deliver other related news for further reading.

 

New features on Google Photos

Google Photos has become more powerful. It doesn’t only conveniently back up your photos to the cloud, it can now also edit them to separate subjects from the background. It’s much like how the Pixel 2 phones can shoot portrait photos without the use of a secondary camera thanks to the help of machine learning. Plus, it’ll be able to colorize your old photos, even if they’re shot in monochrome.

Improved Google Lens

The copy-paste feature on computers is revolutionary. It’s really convenient (sometimes too convenient) to simply copy what’s already written and paste it where you need it to be. This feature is not exclusive to copying digital texts anymore because Google Lens can now copy an actual written text and paste it into a text field on your smartphone.

Shopping is also getting an upgrade through Google Lens with the introduction of “style match” which scans what the camera sees and helps you buy it from online stores.

SEE ALSO: Google I/O announcements: What can Android P do?

Hands-On

Samsung Galaxy S23, S23+ and S23 Ultra Hands-On

Worthy upgrades!

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Samsung has finally Unpacked the newest Galaxy S23, S23+, and S23 Ultra in San Francisco.

This is actually Samsung’s first in-person event during the pandemic.

With all the design and hardware improvements, do you actually need to upgrade?

Watch our Samsung Galaxy S23 Series Hands-on video to help yourself decide.


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Hands-On

HONOR X9a 5G Hands-On: Tough and capable

Strong 2023 start for HONOR?

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HONOR X9a

HONOR is determined to make some serious noise in the smartphone space in 2023. In the Philippines, they’re looking to start strong with the release of the HONOR X9a 5G. 

If you follow any tech publications and some influencers and endorsers online, you likely saw the drop test videos the company had literally everyone do. That includes GadgetMatch. 

For what it’s worth, the thing is really tough. During our quick shoot, we dropped it around 3 times on concrete. No major damages suffered. The 0.65mm ‘Deeply Reinforced Glass’ on the display is, for the most part, not just a gimmick. Still, don’t go dropping the phone carelessly if you do decide to get it. 

We’re already talking about the display anyway, so let’s dig into it a little more. 

Pleasant to the eyes

HONOR X9a

The HONOR X9a 5G sports a 6.67-inch OLED Curved Display. It has a 394 pixels per inch count with a 2400 x 1900 resolution and 800 nits of peak brightness. Marketing materials also tout its 1.07 billion colors and TUV Rheinland Low Blue Light Certification. 

For the most part, the phone is everything it says it is on paper. The curved display affects more how the phone feels on-hand than it does for your eyes. It makes the phone’s profile feel slimmer than it actually is. And it’s not too curved to the point that it distracts from whatever you’re watching. 

Colors also look great. We can confidently say that you’ll have a good time watching videos on the HONOR X9a 5G. Whether that’s one of our YouTube videos, mindlessly scrolling on TikTok, or catching up on your favorite series. 

It also delivers a buttery-smooth feel, it has a 120Hz refresh rate and a 300Hz touch sampling rate. 

Familiar look 

HONOR X9a

Going over to how the rest of the phone looks, it gives off a Magic-ish, Mate-ish vibe. The circular camera module on the back plays a huge part in that. We’ll get to the camera details later on. For now, let’s focus on the look. 

One glance and you could mistake it as an HONOR Magic or even a HUAWEI Mate phone. After all, they share a similar design language. 

All the buttons (power and volume) are on the right. 

And at the bottom, you’ll find the SIM Card tray, USB-C port, and speaker-grille. Pretty standard stuff. 

Globally, the phone comes in three colors: Titanium Silver, Emerald Green and Midnight Black. In the Philippines, it appears only the first two colors will be available at launch. 

Overall, it’s your standard slab with a signature look. That camera module is certainly doing a lot to separate it from the pack. 

Capable cameras 

HONOR X9a

Now onto the cameras. Here they are by the numbers: 

  • Main (Wide): 64MP, f/1.8, PDAF
  • Ultrawide: 5MP, f/2.2, 
  • Macro: 2MP, f/2.4, (macro)
  • Front (wide): 16MP, f/2.5

And since video taking seems to be all the rage these days, you might be pleased to know that both the front and back cameras can take 1080P at 30fps footage. 

Again, these are pretty standard numbers for midrangers. The same is true for the actual output. There’s nothing here that’s mind blowing. But for posting on socials and just capturing stuff on the daily, it’s more than serviceable. 

Take a look at these samples: 

Steady performer

HONOR X9a

The HONOR X9a 5G is powered by the Qualcomm SM6375 Snapdragon 695 5G processor. In the Philippines, it comes with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage. It also has a massive 5,100mAh battery. Software-wise, it’s running Magic UI 6.1 based on Android 12.

In practice, all these components come together to deliver a steady performer of a smartphone. The HONOR X9a 5G is reliable in all the ways that matter. The processor, while not new by 2023 standard, still does what you expect it to do. That is to keep the stuff you need running in the background as needed. 

It also has a decent power efficiency, which, paired with the massive battery, delivers an overall battery life that won’t have you running to the nearest power outlet as the day winds down. 

We didn’t do much gaming on the phone, but given that it’s the same processor that was equipped on mobile gaming-inclined phones in the past, we’re confident it can steadily run plenty of the most-played games on mobile. 

Solid start for HONOR

HONOR X9a

The HONOR X9a 5G is a tough, capable smartphone that’s easy on the eyes. It’s the quintessential midrange smartphone. Everything we’ve come to expect from midrangers is present on this phone while also being extra tough and lasting extra long. 

With this being HONOR’s first offering in 2023 in the Philippines, the company is off to a solid start. 

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Features

New Year resolutions with vivo

Make yours happen

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vivo V25 Pro

A New Year always brings new beginnings. A chance to start-over and put your life on the track you want it to be in. vivo argues that it’s easier to follow through on these new year changes when you have the right device for you. Lo and behold, they put together things to keep mind, to keep you on the right track.

Learn something new and practical

vivo Y35

Since it’s the new year, challenge yourself to learn something new — a skill like computer programming, a hobby like playing a musical instrument, or any practical knowledge such as learning a new language.

Having a reliable device that can give you the ease to learn everything with only a few taps is essential. Like, say, the vivo Y35.

The vivo Y35 supports 44W FastCharge so you wouldn’t have to wait for a long time until your phone is fully charged to resume studying immediately. Plus, its massive 5000mAh battery can help it run for long hours, keeping you immersed in watching tutorial videos, attending online classes or reading how-to articles. It also has a massive 16GB Dynamic RAM and 256GB ROM.

These features can help make learning continuous and with fewer interruptions. 

Start documenting your life

vivo Boracay

Boracay photos Shot on the vivo V25 Pro

It’s all about making and preserving memories. This year, start capturing moments with a greater purpose. While you’re at it, try to take good photos and videos as well.

The vivo V25 Series, which has a 64MP OIS Ultra-Sensing camera with extreme night vision, is a great tool to document both day and night moments that you want to keep for the longest time possible. The vivo V25 Series’ up to 50MP Eye autofocus selfie camera can also help you capture the smiles of the people with you during every encounter.

Always go for healthier options

vivo Y22s

Health will always be wealth. It means you should also be more knowledgeable and conscious about your food and drink intake. The Internet offers a lot of information you can refer to for nutritious choices. Do your research, compare and find what’s best and more feasible for you.  

For this, you have the vivo Y22s. It is equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 processor, up to 16GB dynamic RAM and ROM expandable to 1TB. These can assist you with minimal to no lags to get the healthier 2023 done. 

Stay in touch with your loved ones

vivo Y16

You should also remember to allot more time to people who matter. As the new year begins, you should create more memories with your family. Scheduling a video call with them while you’re away from home or constantly checking up on them through messages can make a difference in keeping a strong relationship.

The vivo Y16, which has a wide 6.51-inch Halo FullView display with eye protection mode, can help.

Travel more, in style

vivo Y02S

Traveling this year? Do it in style by getting a smartphone that’ll go with your travel fits.

vivo Y02s and vivo Y02’s2.5D curvature slim frame and lightweight build fit this goal perfectly and would never feel like extra travel baggage. Instead, these vivo smartphones work like additional accessories that will add glam and style.  

New Year with vivo

The new year is better if matched with a vivo smartphone that will aid in accomplishing your resolutions. All smartphones in vivo’s current lineup are available in offline stores nationwide.

Head to the nearest vivo concept store or kiosk to stand a chance to win in Paskong La vivo Loca which runs until January 31, 2023. Follow vivo’s official website and its social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube for more information.

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