Adidas X9000L3 Adidas X9000L3

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Adidas X9000L3: A comfortable pair of casual running shoes

Plain and simple but also look great

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Earlier in September, Adidas dropped their new X9000 Series of “High Tech” running shoes. These are built around an entirely new silhouette and are apparently inspired by gaming culture.

There are 5 pairs of shoes in the series:

X9000L1 — The most affordable and features an algae-based sockliner, with Adidas Bounce midsole cushioning.

X9000L2 — Slightly more expensive and features a more comfortable textile upper, with the same Algae-based EVA foam and Adidas Bounce midsole cushioning.

X9000L3 — Has boost cushioning in the forefoot area, a slightly more comfortable upper, and a special outsole tread pattern that is apparently inspired by computer-generated data to provide reliable traction on city streets.

X9000L4 — Has everything the L3 model has, but with an even more comfortable, primeknit mesh upper, a very dramatic full length boost midsole, and the same computer generated data inspired outsole thread pattern.

X9000 4D — Boasts a 4D midsole along with everything that comes with the L4 model. Also because Adidas is obsessed with making 4D versions of every one of their shoes this year.

It’s an interesting move by Adidas to announce a new silhouette under their performance brand. And then different versions of it available at different price points.

 A closer look at the Adidas X9000L3

We’re checking out the mid-range Adidas X9000L3 to take a look at what is a casual running shoe. It’s unique in that it features Adidas BOOST cushioning in the forefoot area, and Adidas Bounce cushioning in the heel area.

Adidas X9000L3

We got the mostly black-and-white colorway with hits of this neon orange kind of color. It looks subtle yet grabs attention. This is just one of eight colorways available at launch. I’m sure we’ll see even more colors coming along in the next couple of months.

The silhouette of the Adidas X9000L3 borrows elements from ZX silhouettes of the past. It’s a really sleek, streamlined design that looks quite futuristic.

Materials and design

Starting with the upper, it is constructed out of a black textile material which is decently breathable. Unfortunately the L3 does not use the same Primeknit material upper as the L4.

There’s also this geometric taping like floating triangular accents along with a few supportive underlays. It adds more structure to the upper but also adds a distinctive design to the shoe.

Moving to the lateral side of the shoe, the Adidas three stripes have a reflective 3M coating which looks pretty cool. The medial side looks pretty much identical except for the Adidas Bounce branding at the bottom.

Adidas X9000L3

Moving towards the back you have this interesting TPU heel counter that extends towards the back of the heel. This area, with that pull tab-thing at the back, feels very similar to the Ultraboost.

At the top of the shoe is a pretty regular lacing system with flat black laces. They go through eyelets made out of the TPU and supportive overlay materials.

There’s this interesting pop of a neon orange color on the first two lace eyelets and the top three, which is fun. The flat black laces weave through these and feel with enough comfort for your feet.

Underneath the laces is a nicely padded nylon tongue which also feels really comfortable on your feet. Admittedly, a little disappointed that Adidas didn’t use the sock-like one-piece upper that they used on the L4 but it’s no big deal.

Apart from that, moving upwards, there’s the Adidas 3 stripes performance logo at the top of the tongue, in a grey color. Coming to the inside of the shoe, you have a black insole with the BOOST logo in this neon orange color.

Adidas X9000L3

Boost and Bounce combo

Moving downwards let’s talk about the most interesting part of this shoe.

While it is not as dramatic a design as the midsole on the L4, the midsole here uses two different kinds of cushioning. There’s BOOST cushioning towards the forefoot area, switching over to Adidas Bounce cushioning underneath the heel area.

I wish they stuck with the dramatic, chunky design of the midsole on the L4s here as well but these still look okay.

We’ve talked about BOOST cushioning a few times before. It’s pretty much the best cushioning tech on shoes right now. It has just the right amount of soft and plush while also being really responsive.

Adidas Bounce cushioning has been around for many years and is more rigid. This while having a decent amount of softness and responsiveness.

The result is a shoe that feels firm underfoot without as much of a sink-in feeling that you’d get from a full length Boost midsole. I’ll talk more about how this feels later on.

Moving on, you’ll notice that the midsole at the forefoot has this hit of a neon orange rubber outsole. It adds to that sorta futuristic look of the shoe and has a nice pop of color as people see you walking around.

The rest of the outsole seems to be your usual black rubber Adidas outsole in a thread pattern. It’s apparently inspired by computer generated data. No continental rubber her, unfortunately.

One thing I did notice were these tiny rubber spikes on the outsole. It’s supposed to be for added traction. But these tend to get worn out pretty quickly the more you wear the shoe.

Comfort and performance

I thought the L4 were more meant as comfortable lifestyle shoes. But with the L3, you slip them on, and you immediately feel like going for a run.

The combination of the Adidas Bounce cushioning under the heel and the BOOST cushioning under the forefoot gives this shoe a really different feeling than what I’m used to. Maybe it’s because I’m so used to full-length boost or full length Nike React foam.

The combination of two midsole cushioning tech also means that the wearer has an ever so slight forward lean. It’s a kind of firm feeling underfoot. TheBOOST cushioning gives it a soft feeling under the forefoot. Under the heel, it’s quite a bit more firm.

As a result, these aren’t exactly super comfortable for everyday casual wear. But for runs and general exercise, these are pretty great.

Great for casual runs

I feel like these are designed more for casual runners rather than elite runners.The L3 does a great job at providing you a soft, yet firm and responsive cushioning with every step, at its price point.

I wore these on a few casual runs around my block, and even for a basketball session (I know, sacrilege) and the L3 actually held up really well.

Over the two weeks I wore them around for exercise, I really appreciated the way the bounce cushioning felt under my heel. It’s firm enough that it is supportive, but soft enough to help absorb any impact on your heel.

As I mentioned earlier, the outsole tread pattern was inspired by computer-generated data and is supposed to provide reliable traction on city streets. From my experience with these shoes, that seems to be true. It holds up pretty well on city runs, on streets and roads, and seems to have plenty of traction.

The traction held up pretty well even on a rainy run on wet roads. But then I’m a really casual runner so take that advice for what you think it’s worth.

All in all, the L3 is a pretty good exercise and running shoe. I’d even recommend getting these over the more expensive L4 if you’re really looking for a general running and exercise shoe. But please note that these don’t have the super breathable primeknit mesh upper of the L4s. But that’s just my opinion.

Sizing and fit

The best way to know how these feel would be for you to head on over to an Adidas Store to try out a pair. The X9000L4 and the X9000L3 are both available in-store here in Malaysia to try out.

Speaking of which, in terms of fit, the Adidas X9000L3 are a little snug. If you have wide feet like I do, I’d definitely advise going up half a size. For example, I’m a UK11, so Adidas sent these to us in a half size up and they fit pretty great.

If you have regular narrow feet though, you can go true to size here, no worries.

Is this your SneakerMatch?

The Adidas X9000L3 is priced at MYR 500/ US$ 120. That makes them quite a bit cheaper than the L4. Obviously, they have their own pros and cons. But while I could only recommend the L4 as everyday lifestyle shoes, the L3 is a pretty solid pair of casual running shoes.

It’s a supportive firm ride that is soft enough to be comfortable for runs or general exercise.While the upper is not primeknit, it is still lightweight, breathable, and comfortable enough. These make it a great pair of casual running or general exercise shoes.

Adidas X9000L3

While you probably won’t want to wear these throughout the day, the L3 is still worth checking out. It’s great as a casual lifestyle shoe, with the large amount of colorways available, and the stable ride.

The Adidas X9000L3 is a plain and simple solid pair of running shoes that also look great.

Reviews

Apple 2021 iPad mini Unboxing and Review

Is this the iPad for you?

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After two years, Apple has finally changed the look of the iPad mini!

Gone are the thick bezels and home button in favor of a trendy fullscreen look a la iPad Pro and iPad Air.

Having a smaller form factor doesn’t mean it’s less powerful. While not as powerful as the M1 iPad Pro, the new iPad mini still has an A15 Bionic that’s similar to the iPhone 13 and 13 Pro series. It surely is a step ahead over last year’s iPad Air.

It may not have the most advanced Face ID system, but Touch ID still lives on — now found on its power button.

But are these features enough to make you buy one? Or do you still want the bigger screen of the iPad Air?

Head over to our 2021 iPad mini review to know which iPad is your GadgetMatch.

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Reviews

Redmi 10 review: Page out of a premium playbook

That 50-megapixel shooter is the saving grace

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Budget phones used to be just budget phones. They used to lack groundbreaking features to make your experience seamless. And you’ll need to shell out a lot of cash just to get a decent phone that actually works. But I was speaking about budget phones from around five years ago.

In 2021, smartphone companies are reinventing what it means to have an entry-level handset. Xiaomi’s sub-brand Redmi, which has been leading the segment for a few years now, seems to set the course again on a new range of affordable smartphones.

Meet the Redmi 10 — the successor to its popular Redmi 9 — offering premium-like design and smart features but with a price tag that you can easily reach.

Finally looking like its siblings

The Redmi 10 rehashed its looks, looking differently than its predecessor. It employed the same design language found on other Redmi and Xiaomi smartphones, which was a trend started by Samsung — trickling down from its flagship to the more affordable Galaxy A series.

Somehow, it’s working since the Redmi 10 looks sleeker and it can be quite difficult to tell the difference compared to the Redmi Note 10 Pro. And even the Xiaomi 10T Pro. Unless, of course, you’re a tech junkie and a Xiaomi fan. But that’s probably the case when you have the Carbon Gray color option.

Nonetheless, the Redmi 10 in Carbon Gray looks neutral yet sleek with its frosted glass-looking back which is just actually plastic. But it makes up for being lightweight so it doesn’t put a strain on your hands for endless scrolling on TikTok. Just a heads-up, though. Carbon Gray is a smudge-magnet so you need to slap a clear case on — which comes in the box.

Moving to its frame and details, it’s also made of plastic but it comes with sweet, round edges and flat sides. Which I appreciate because the era of curved phones is now in my past.

SIM tray

The left side houses the SIM tray while the volume rockers and the power button doubling as a fingerprint scanner are found on the right.

Power button/fingerprint scanner and volume rockers

Speaking of which, gliding your fingers across the scanner will prompt it to read your fingerprint easily — but it takes a second to boot the phone.

On the top side of the frame, you can find a stereo speaker, IR blaster, and the well-loved 3.5mm audio jack.

On the bottom side are the other loudspeaker and a USB-C port.

Performing quite well for your needs

Let’s talk about the design again, but on the front panel of the phone. The Redmi 10 sports a 6.5-inch IPS LCD panel with 2400×1800 resolution. It’s adorned with thinner bezels equal on all sides except the chin. The punch-hole cutout seems bigger than other smartphones employing the same approach, too.

Despite the front design that clearly indicates it’s still a budget phone, the magic lies behind it. The Redmi 10 comes with the latest MIUI 12.5 based on Android 11. Having said that, you can expect that even if you have an entry-level device, Xiaomi will still supply you with core Android updates.

It also has a 90Hz refresh rate — which seems to be a staple to most smartphones. People are always clamoring about higher refresh rates for their gaming needs, and to be “in”. It also comes with AdaptiveSync, which adjusts the refresh rate depending on the content being viewed.

When you watch on Netflix, or if you play online games, AdaptiveSync will adjust accordingly. So you don’t have to worry about the battery life that easily drains when using a higher refresh rate. But then again, the Redmi 10 sports a 5,000mAh battery. It lasted me a day of heavy use and lasted up to three days when I put it on standby.

Although, my only problem would be its max 18W capacity when it comes to “fast” charging. So the 22.5W charging brick included won’t be of any help. It takes more than an hour to fill the juice, making it your cue to detach from your phone for a little while.

The dealbreakers

I only played Mobile Legends: Bang Bang on the Redmi 10 since it’s the only mobile game I play right now. I put it into the highest settings possible, in which case it performed decently.

However, I experienced the same type of drag I had when I used the Infinix Note 10 Pro. There was a noticeable delay — which lasts for one to two seconds — when toggling buttons and switching scenes inside the game. The delay still occurs even if you change to the lowest setting possible.

I’m starting to think that it’s a similar theme for budget phones, but it’s not necessarily a deal-breaker especially when you consistently play in the budget segment.

And even with a Helio G88 processor, the phone heats up a little while you’re playing mid-game. Nonetheless, it still performs decently as expected out of an entry-level handset. To expect more from it is just asking too much — there’s a Redmi Note 10 Pro if you want better performance at an easily reachable price tag.

The Redmi 10 comes in various configurations depending on your country: 4GB/64GB, 4GB/128GB, and 6GB/128GB. It has expandable storage through a dedicated microSD card slot.

What worries me is that the internal storage uses an eMMC 5.1 chip, not the UFS. So the reading and writing of data is slower and might wear out over time. Translation: slowed down performance after considerable updates.

So if you’re thinking of multitasking and using this phone for work, I’d advise you not to. Use it casually so you can make it last longer.

Specs

Processor

MediaTek Helio G88

Configuration

4GB/64GB, 4GB/128GB, and 6GB/128GB

Battery

5000mAh + 18W charging

OS

Android 11, MIUI 12.5

Front camera

8MP

Rear camera

50MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP

Display

6.5” FHD+ IPS LCD

90Hz refresh rate

2460×1080 resolution

Dimension

162 x 75.5 x 8.9 mm

50-megapixel goodness?

It’s rare for an entry-level smartphone to have a high megapixel count. In a way, the Redmi 10 is raising the bar for smartphones in the budget segment. After all, it delivers a quad-camera system: a 50-megapixel main camera, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera, a 2-megapixel macro shooter, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. On the front, it has an 8-megapixel selfie shooter.

For most people, this kind of camera setup works. So we took a few samples to see if the Redmi 10 can cover the bases.

For regular shots, the Redmi 10 takes decent captures both indoors and outdoors. As long as it comes with sufficient lighting. When taking backlit shots, the Redmi 10 doesn’t post-process and keeps shadows dark.

When using the ultra wide-angle lens, the Redmi 10 struggles with exposure and highlights both day and night.

Food photos aren’t tasty-looking due to their lack of vibrance, even if you use the AI Cam. To make it look even more appetizing, I used the 2X optical zoom to capture more details and take better flat lays.

Cutouts are okay whether auto shots at night or even the portrait mode. Except photos don’t look as detailed as they should.

The same goes for shots taken at night using auto mode and night mode.

Of course, we took samples using the 50-megapixel shooter. It did well during daytime shots, retaining as many details as it can but compromises when it comes to color accuracy. At night, on the other hand, still struggles with exposure and highlights — a noticeable flaw for a supposedly great quad-camera system.

Moving on to selfies, its 8-megapixel front shooter pads a slight beautification to its photos even if you turn off its beauty mode. Color balance also varies depending on the lighting condition.

In a way, it delivers how it’s supposed to. If anything, a filter wouldn’t hurt if you want to correct the color balance of the photos. There are built-in presets, but you can never go wrong with Instagram filters!

Is this your BudgetMatch?

There are things to love about the Redmi 10, and there are things that might raise some red flags. Depending on your needs, the Redmi 10 can cover the base and perform decently as expected of an entry-level smartphone. It’s got a sleeker look, a 50-megapixel shooter that you can show off, a 90Hz refresh rate — all at an affordable price tag.

But if you’re asking for it to do more, then you’re way better off choosing something else. For nearly the same price, there’s the POCO M3. For those who need better performance for all-around use, add a few more bucks and you can get the Redmi Note 10 Pro.

On another note, the realme 8 5G is also a good alternative granted you can increase your budget by a tad. It has similar features — a 90Hz refresh rate, same display and panel, same battery, and charging capability. But more importantly, it has 5G connectivity which helps for future-proofing.

Frankly, the Redmi 9T appears so much better it feels like this one’s a downgrade. The only salvation for the Redmi 10 is that it’s got a better look, smarter features, and it has a 50-megapixel shooter compared to the alternatives mentioned.

If all your needs are covered, then this could be your BudgetMatch. But to most people, the Redmi 10 falls short especially when it comes to that eMMC 5.1 storage — when most smartphones are using UFS already.

The Redmi 10 retails for PhP 7,590 for the 4GB+64GB variant, and PhP 8,590 for the 6GB+128GB variant. It comes in three colors: Carbon Gray, Pebble White, Sea Blue. It’s available for purchase at Xiaomi’s official stores and authorized retailers.

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POCO X3 GT review: Competitive midranger

An impressive phone that deserves your attention

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POCO X3 GT

The midrange segment, in my opinion, might be the most competitive smartphone category. Midrange phones are jam-packed with features and clever engineering. They are versatile, unique, and beautiful. The POCO X3 GT has a lot to contend with, but it can more than hold its own.

Before we proceed, here’s the unboxing article I posted a while back in case you missed it. You can check that out for a bit and comeback or join me now as we dive right into what makes this a midrange contender.

Premium feel

From the moment I took the POCO X3 GT out of the box, I already had an inkling that it’ll be good. The hardware feels premium despite the plastic back. This review unit comes in a shiny silver-y finish. It’s a classic neutral look.

The phone greets you with a huge 6.6-inch display and its quality is superb. The Corning Gorilla Glass Victus is the bodyguard of our display. It can withstand drops from two meters, that’s about six feet and six inches (6’6″). It’s a pretty tough glass so you need now worry about accidental drops from the office table or anything similar. It can handle it.

The phone also has an IP53 rating. It should be fine with some splashes here or there. However, do yourself a favor and buy a case or use the one included in the box for some extra layer of protection.

Navigation options

The POCO X3 GT runs on MIUI 12.5 on top of Android 11. The phone unlocks with the power button integrated with the fingerprint sensor. Other ways to unlock are facial recognition, pin code, and pattern.

Quick tip: you can switch your fingerprint sensor to “press” as the X3 GT’s always-on reader is primarily activated. That’s a good way to prevent unintentional unlocking and will save you a bit of battery.

Navigation options are either the traditional buttons at the bottom or through gestures. The gestures seem easy to learn. However, I personally prefer the navigation buttons as it’s easier for me exit games and access the task manager that way.

Performance and gaming

The 120Hz display is refreshing and it’s pleasing to the eyes. Once you go 120, It’s hard to revert to 60Hz. It also has a touch sampling rate of 240Hz, and oh boy, this one’s great. Playing games and swiping left to right is just flat-out fun and enjoyable.

You can definitely feel the MediaTek Dimensity 1100 on this device, as everything feels swift and easy. I ran most games in full settings and did not experience any sort of lag during gameplay. Although there are some games that need a little optimization like Call of Duty: Mobile and Plants Versus Zombies (yes I still play that game).

Multitasking for this device is easy and smooth. The screen size helps to make it a pleasant experience.

Surprising battery drain

The POCO X3 GT has a 5,000mAh battery. It’s good and long-lasting battery… until you get to 50 percent. When it does, it drains like crazy! It does come with a 67W charging brick which fully charges the battery in just around 35 to 40 minutes. There are also two battery saving modes: Battery saver and the Ultra battery saver but they don’t really seem to help much.

Pretty good cameras

We all want to know how the camera works. But first, the specs. You get a triple rear camera setup: 64MP wide camera has an aperture of f/1.79, the ultra-wide is 8Mp with an aperture of f/2.2, and the macro is 2Mp with an aperture of f/2.4. The camera performance is okay for its category. Maybe in some cases, it’s not only good in the mid-range, maybe creep it up a little and surely it’ll have a spot higher.

The color accuracy is good, the processing of the photos is a little bit aggressive but it’s not a huge issue. Zooming in to photos isn’t a problem. Zoom will sacrifice quality but the results are still highly acceptable. Portrait photos on this phone is also great and it cuts around the corners with accuracy.

Checkout the samples below.

A minor setback

The POCO X3 GT sounds good so far right? However, like plenty of other smartphone releases today, it doesn’t come with earphones in the box. Some buyers might find this frustrating. It’s a trend started by Apple and one I’m not particularly happy with.

Sticking with audio, the phone’s speakers were poor. Playing Call of Duty: Mobile without earphones was such a nuisance. Watching videos is acceptable if you don’t care too much about audio. However, you’ll likely need to turn the volume up to really enjoy.

Final thoughts

The POCO X3 GT is by far one of the better phones I have used in the midrange segment. It has what I think is a beautiful design and comes with 120Hz refresh rate. The software also complements the hardware perfectly. It was so good that I didn’t miss using my iPhone 12 Pro as much, which doesn’t really happen when reviewing devices.

The POCO X3 GT is currently available in three colorways, the Stargaze Black, Wave Blue, and Cloud White. It will come in two variants: The 8GB+128GB variant which retails at PhP 15,990 and the 8GB+256GB variant which is priced at PhP 17,990.

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