Features

9 smartphones from 2016 that still matter

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2017 has been an incredible year for smartphones. Bezels are getting smaller, cameras are breaking new grounds, and artificial intelligence is playing a bigger role. Don’t think for a second, however, that last year’s handsets are any less relevant.

Despite their age, the phones listed here are still solid choices for your next purchase. Some are a lot cheaper now, but be warned: They may also be more difficult to find now.

Here they are in no particular order:

Apple iPhone 7 Plus

This was the first choice to come to mind when compiling this list. The iPhone 7 Plus is an excellent option to this day for two reasons: It looks identical to this year’s iPhone 8 Plus, and it’s much cheaper than the iPhone X. Updating to iOS 11 will also make it feel like a newer phone.

REVIEW: Apple iPhone 7 Plus

LG V20

LG V20

LG’s V20 symbolizes the end of an era; it’s the last flagship smartphone from a major brand to house a removable battery. But that isn’t the V20’s only claim to fame. It also delivers an excellent video and audio experience, as well as an underrated secondary screen for faster multitasking.

REVIEW: LG V20

Huawei Mate 9

As great as the Mate 10 series is, we must not forget how well-rounded the Mate 9 was. Even though the bezels aren’t up to today’s standards, the extra-large build feels lovely in one’s hand. Mix in the dual-camera setup and its revolutionary machine learning software, and you have a handset that keeps getting better.

REVIEW: Huawei Mate 9

Google Pixel

You don’t have to look any further than all the camera shootouts the Pixel won to see how great of a camera-phone it is. To this day, we still use the original Pixel for shoots and recording Facebook Live shows. And it’s got something the newer Pixel 2 doesn’t have: a 3.5mm audio port.

REVIEW: Google Pixel

ASUS ZenFone 3

Our one complaint about the ZenFone 3 when it first launched was its price. But now that it’s discounted, we’re looking at a great all-around phone. Its Snapdragon 625 processor and 4GB of memory are still the standard setup most midrange handsets follow today, and the build quality is as premium as ever.

REVIEW: ASUS ZenFone 3

Moto Z

Moto Z

At first glance, the Moto Z doesn’t stand out in this cutthroat list; however, its edge comes in the form of Moto Mods. Even the newer modular accessories work with the aging handset, making this an affordable yet powerful gateway to the world of feature-rich attachments.

REVIEW: Moto Z

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge

It’s easy to forget how the Galaxy series once looked now that the Infinity Display of the Galaxy S8 and Note 8 are engraved in our minds. And yet, the Galaxy S7 Edge is still a beautifully shaped device with a conveniently placed front-mounted fingerprint scanner. The planned update to Android Oreo will raise its stock even higher.

REVIEW: Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge

OnePlus 3T

If there was one smartphone that was a cut above the rest in 2016, it was the OnePlus 3T. As an improvement over the original OnePlus 3, the newer version had it all: a reliable camera, impeccable build quality, the fastest interface of its time, above average battery life, and a mouthwatering price for its specs.

REVIEW: OnePlus 3T 

Xiaomi Mi Max

It was tough choosing just one Xiaomi phone from their comprehensive 2016 roster — the Mi Mix and Redmi 4 Prime came to mind, as well — but the Mi Max won out for being their best multimedia option. The massive screen and generous battery capacity make this the go-to choice for movie watching and gaming on the go.

REVIEW: Xiaomi Mi Max

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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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