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It’s been almost a month since Apple announced four new variants of the iPhone 12.

Fast forward this November, we now have the iPhone 12 mini and 12 Pro Max in our hands. The one is tiny, and the other is humongous in size.

But what makes them different from their iPhone 12 and 12 Pro siblings other than their sizes?

Our unboxing and size comparison video of the new Apple iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 Pro Max is now up! You can watch it by clicking this link here.

Smartphones

PURPLE iPhone 12 Unboxing: Spring has Sprung!

New season = new iPhone color

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While we haven’t heard of an iPhone SE follow-up this April 2021, Apple has released a new colorway that already captured the hearts of many.

It’s still the same iPhone 12 with a vibrant display, powerful A14 Bionic chip, and a great pair of wide and ultra-wide cameras. But is the purple iPhone 12 something you wanna buy over other color shades?

Here’s our unboxing of the Purple iPhone 12 with a new Amethyst Silicone case — and you’ll learn how to create your own purple cocktail too!

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Philippines

Unboxing Xiaomi’s Mi Fan Fest Mi-stery box

What’s in the box?!

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Happy Mi Fan Festival!

Celebrating the annual event, Xiaomi Philippines sent over a special Mystery Box. What could be inside it?

Let’s unbox it!

The package I received came in a whimsical box.

Wearing my loose chángpáo (長袍) for the Mi Fan Festival

Pattern is the same: Lots of numbers. Is Xiaomi hinting at something?

Pulling out the box so we can take a look inside…

… And voila! We’ve got a foam covering the insides. (And it’s Mi-branded!)

Remove the protective foam, and you’ll find three silver foil-like packages.

Here’s the first one up!

And it’s a pouch!

Although, it isn’t your regular pouch. The creases clearly show the material isn’t made of the usual fabric. It’s quite reminiscent of Freitag’s recycled laptop bags.

Next one up, it’s a larger package folded in half.

Voila! It’s a black shirt!

The shirt is merchandise for the 2021 Mi Fan Festival. To be very honest, I’m liking the space theme for this year’s celebration.

Next one up, it’s a silver, reflective box. Frankly, this took a while for me to figure out what’s inside; Xiaomi used srong adhesives to seal it.

After struggling to remove the seal, I was greeted by this kawaii astronaut figurine. It seems like a toy collectible, but could very well work as a phone holder in case you’re feeling bold and daring.

Last but not the least, there was a Redmi Note 10 Pro hiding underneath.

It came in its usual retail box.

The phone is majestic, as usual.

Taking it out, you can see the usual accessories inside: a charging cable, adapter, instruction manuals, a SIM ejector tool, and a clear phone case.

The Redmi Note 10 Pro is quite hefty, just like its predecessor.

If you want to know more about this phone, read our review.

The 2021 Mi Fan Festival

Xiaomi is giving a discount to a few of its smartphones, as part of the annual Mi Fan Festival running from April 6 to May 9.

  • Redmi Note 9 Pro (4GB/64GB) — PhP 10,990 (SRP: PhP 11,990)
    Redmi Note 9S (4GB/64GB) — PhP 9,490 (SRP: PhP 11,990)
    Redmi Note 9 Pro (6GB/128GB) — PhP 9,990 (SRP: PhP 10,990)
    Redmi Note 9S (6GB/128GB) — PhP 10,490 (SRP: PhP 12,990)

The purchase of the aforementioned devices will also score buyers two tickets to the Melody with Mi digital concert. The digital concert premieres on May 23, 8 pm.

For more tickets, buyers may avail of any variant of the Redmi Note 10 Pro and get three tickets for the concert. Meanwhile, purchases above PhP 25,000 will not only include tickets but also access to the exclusive Meet & Greet and After Party.

Non-discounted devices with included two tickets are also available on every purchase of the following: Redmi Note 10 (4GB/64GB), Redmi Note 10 (6GB/128GB), Redmi 9T (4GB/64GB), Redmi 9T (6GB/128GB), and Redmi 9A (2GB/32GB).
More discounts on Xiaomi’s Lazada and Shopee stores.

Redmi Note 10 Pro Mi Fan Festival Special Edition

Xiaomi will also be selling a special version of the Redmi Note 10 Pro. The Mi Fan Festival Special Edition will come in a package with a cosmic-inspired design, containing postcards and stickers as a special treat for Mi fans out there. Meanwhile, the device comes in a Gradient Bronze variant which has a natural metallic luster.

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Accessories

OnePlus Watch Review: Wait for Version 2?

Covers the basics

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OnePlus Watch

Phones. TVs. Wireless Earbuds. OnePlus has been keen on expanding its universe of devices and their latest device continues this mission — the OnePlus Watch.

OnePlus says it’s made sure to give it a more timeless aesthetic and I’ve gotta agree it’s a pretty good looking watch. It feels solid and premium.

The company says the case of each watch sold is hand polished — so that the arc of the case is as smooth as can be. It’s a 46mm round watch face — with 2.5D glass — for a more seamless transition onto its frame.

It’s an AMOLED Panel. The material is stainless steel with a gossy greyish finish. On its underside, what feels like plastic, is cool to the touch.

The watch comes with only one watch band — black silicone. You fasten with this hook and tuck under to secure. But the straps follow the standard quick release system so you can easily replace them with something third party.

First impressions: It feels well built, is comfy when worn, and doesn’t feel too big even with my small wrists.

OnePlus custom Watch OS

The OnePlus Watch runs OnePlus’ own custom watch OS, not Google’s Wear OS.

Navigation is pretty basic. There’s a button that brings up all the available apps. Another press brings you home.

Another button is the customizable function key. Set to workouts by default but can be set to another app — like the stop watch. To go back you swipe to the right just like on Android.

From the home screen you swipe up to view recent notifications and down to view some quick settings. It’s pretty basic in its current state. But hopefully it gets better over time.

OnePlus Watch

What can it do?

On the most basic level the OnePlus Watch is an optional way to keep track of notifications without having to look at your phone.

So for example if a text message comes in, you can have a notification it show up on your watch too. From there you can decide if you need to pull out your phone to reply.

You can also use the watch to make and answer phone calls as long as your phone is nearby. And nope the watch does not come with a cellular model.

Listening to music

The OnePlus watch comes with 4GB of storage — 2GB of which is actually usable.

Getting music on your phone is a manual process. You’ll need an MP3 on your device. Then from the Health App click add music — it’s a long process. I wish there were a quicker way to do this. Once the music is your watch you can just pair most Bluetooth earbuds and listen to your mp3 from your watch without your phone.

I used my OnePlus Buds Z — but had to pair them manually. Hopefully in the future, if the interest here is an ecosystem of devices that works together, you shouldn’t have to pair them if they’re already paired with your smartphone.

Control your TV

In markets where the OnePlus TV is sold, you can also use the OnePlus Watch as a remote for your OnePlus TV.I don’t have one so I can’t really show that to you. But I’m told that 30 minutes after your watch detects that you’re asleep it turns the TV off also.

Fitness Companion

The OnePlus Watch can automatically detect and track up to 110+ workout types. To manually start a workout you can just press on this button over here and pick your desired workout. It’s got built-in GPS to track your walks or runs.

It’s also IP68 water and dust resistant, so not only can you sweat with it, run in the rain or and rinse it off. You can also use it to track your swims.

Health Tracker

In terms of health related features — this is no Apple Watch. The OnePlus Watch provides merely the basics: Sleep and Stress Tracking, a Heart Rate Monitor, and Blood Oxygen Sensor.

Here is a complete list of sensors on the watch:

  • Accelerometer
  • Gyroscope
  • Geomagnetic sensor
  • Barometer
  • Blood oxygen sensor
  • Optical heart rate sensor
  • Ambient light sensor
  • Capacitance sensor

Battery

The OnePlus Watch comes with a 402mAh battery that’s rated to last up to 14 days on a single charge with average use and a week with heavier use.

If you were to go for a long run with GPS on continuously you’d have to run for a full day for the battery to die on you. This cradle comes in the box but no AC adapter is included.

OnePlus recommends a 5V=1A adapter so most chargers you have lying around will be more than enough. Speaking of the cradle — charging is via these two POGO pins. And not via the Qi wireless charging standard.

So is the OnePlus Watch your GadgetMatch?

Well, first let’s take a look at pricing — the watch will retail for US$ 159 dollars and will be available online starting April 14th.

Considering what else is in the market today, that’s a really competitive price. That said, while it’s already a good looking, solidly built watch that can do all the basics well.

I think in its current iteration the OnePlus Watch needs further refining. I feel like navigation could be better, haptics definitely needs some work, and things like having to manually sync your contacts and music is a chore.

If you’re a OnePlus user looking for a great companion smartwatch, for its asking price, it might be worth a look see.

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