Smartphones

These are the iPhones that will work with iOS 14

Will it work on your iPhone?

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After watching the latest from WWDC 2020, the iOS 14 hype train is in full swing. Certainly, if you’re an iPhone user, the first question on your mind is, “will I get the latest update?”

Prior to the iOS 14 launch, Apple has always teased sweeping compatibility with upcoming operating systems. Naturally, teases aren’t as specific as we would want them to be. Fortunately, Apple has finally confirmed the compatible devices for iOS 14.

According to Apple, if your phone is compatible with iOS 13, it will automatically receive the iOS 14 update. Listed down, there are the iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, iPhone XR, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max, both iPhone SE generations, and the 7th-generation iPod touch.

The sweeping compatibility is, of course, important. Compared to other major operating systems, there is no drop-off of support for current-generation devices. If your phone is still up to date now, it will still be up to date until the next iOS version at least.

iOS 14 is expected to roll out sometime later this year. Meanwhile, the beta is already available for developers.

SEE ALSO: Apple debuts macOS 11 Big Sur

Reviews

Huawei Nova 7 review: 5G is the icing, the phone is the cake

And it’s a damn good cake

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The Huawei Nova 7 or Huawei Nova 7 5G as it’s being heavily marketed is undeniably a Nova phone. The purple variant screams the Nova design and the specs and features scream flagship-grade.

5G is the next frontier in terms of mobile connectivity, and companies are understandably ramping up adoption of the tech. But you shouldn’t buy the Nova 7 just because it’s 5G-ready. Will explain more as we go along.

The Nova brand

I have had quite an interesting exchange with my cousin over the last few months about Huawei phones. She’s a fan of the Nova series. Huawei has done a good job of packaging it as a phone for the youth and the barrage of marketing only amplifies that message.

The Nova 7 pretty much sticks to the same formula. It’s an overall capable phone with a flagship-grade chip that lets “the youth” express themselves and pretty much do everything you normally would on a phone.

Build is far for the course at this price range

In the Philippines it retails for PhP 23,990 (US$ 488) and makes the same compromises that other brands do at this price point.

The build, while it feels nice, doesn’t have the heft and that x-factor that you expect from the most expensive phones today. But the weight is a boon for those who don’t exactly like heavier phones but want a relatively large display.

It’s 6.53” OLED display is crispy. You get the standard 60Hz refresh rate but it makes up for it with its bright, deep, and vivid visuals. It doesn’t feel as smooth, but it’s a joy to look at.

Being a flat display, it also has a wide footprint, but manageable enough for one-hand use. I’m just guessing, but somewhere between 6.44” and 6.5” might be the sweet spot for one-hand use if you’re working with a flat display.

All the buttons — power and volume — are on the right hand side which should be the standard for any phone that’s at least 6”.

At the bottom you have the USB-C port, speaker grille, and SIM card tray. There’s no 3.5mm jack but in the box you do get wired headphones and a USB-C to 3.5mm port.

For security it also has Face Unlock, a fingerprint scanner, and your usual pin.

Alright, let’s talk 5G

Last week, against my better judgement, I stepped out equipped with a mask and a face shield with bottles of rubbing alcohol in my backpack to test some 5G areas.

This was done in partnership with a Philippine telecommunications company but I decided to do my own testing after the fact.

While it’s true that you can and will get those exorbitant 500+mbps speeds, the frequency by which you are able to access them in limited locations. Unless you live or are almost always in the areas designated with 5G, don’t buy the Nova 7 for that reason alone.

Other reasons to buy 

It’s a damn good phone.

I used Phone Clone to copy everything on my Huawei P40 Pro to the Huawei Nova 7 and I almost didn’t miss a beat. I run all the same apps and do almost all the same things without any major differences in performance.

This includes your regular social media browsing, playing music on Spotify, and for the sake of the review — a quick game of Naruto: Slugfest.

The obvious differences are of course, as I mentioned, the heft and the smoother feel of the 90Hz refresh rate. But you can certainly do without them and still feel like you got your money’s worth.

Battery life is also stellar. Since I happen to be juggling phones for review at the moment, I’ve gone an entire weekend without touching the phone.

On standby mode, for two days, the battery stayed at around 80% from a full charge. That’s impressive. That means the phone knows when it’s not in use and will regulate power accordingly.

When I did use it, I got through a regular day with about 30-40% left before bed time.

Huawei Share is also a godsend of a feature especially when you’re also using a Huawei laptop. Sharing files is fantastic but also having the access to your phone’s apps right on your laptop as you work is such an underrated feature — but it’s one that’s coming over to other Android phones via Microsoft.

Sad, No GMS 

It was the Huawei Mate 30 series that bore the brunt of the US government’s Huawei ban. This forced Google to withdraw their mobile service support from the company.

Nearly a year later, and Huawei has made significant strides. Their phones have gone from borderline unusable to pretty tolerable.

Do I miss the Google apps and the Google Mobile Services? Heck yeah. There’s no dancing around it.

Not being able to get the best mobile experience from YouTube and Google Photos suck. Not being able to use certain apps because they just won’t work also suck. But Huawei has come to the point where it’s no longer a deal breaker.

Everything else works perfectly fine. A combination of App Gallery and APKPure has mitigated the need for the Google Play Store. Plus, they have also introduced Petal Search. Essentially a search engine for apps.

Updates from apps downloaded from APKPure do not download and install automatically. While this may be inconvenient, it’s a stretch to say that it doesn’t work.

Pleasant performing cameras

The Huawei Nova 7 has a 32MP front-facing camera capable of taking beautiful selfies even at night.

On the rear, it has four cameras: A 64MP main camera, an 8MP Ultra Wide-angle lens, an 8MP telephoto lens, and a practically useless 2MP macro camera.

The 64MP main camera is *chef’s kiss. The detail on the photo below is fantastic. Turning AI on also produced this generally color accurate and very pleasing photo of the plants.

Here’s the usual photo of a flower to further illustrate that point.

It captures urban concrete pretty well too.

Here’s an indoor low light shot. Typically, these never come out well, but the Nova 7 still manages to capture good detail even while there is some grain on the image.

Also a fan of the wide angle lens — just not a fan of not being able to travel so we can actually use it on a nice scenery.

The zoom is… okay. It maxes out to 20x and produces this kind of shot.

Halfway at 10x is fairly decent. Again, color is accurate, but there’s some noticeable detail loss which is understandable. Also reminder to not be creepy with your zoom.

Huawei’s portrait mode is also pretty good. Here’s a shot of Acrylic Stand, “What is Love” Chaeyoung that’s against the light. The background separation is good and it still managed to capture enough light so Chaeyoung doesn’t end up looking like just a silhouette.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

The very first few minutes that I used the Huawei Nova 7, I already had an inkling as to how much it will be and how it will perform. The build and the overall snapiness of the performance were almost dead giveaways.

I have zero complaints over its performance and cameras. And for the most part, these two are what people primarily consider when buying a phone. Battery life is above average, the display is pleasant to the eyes, and app access is annoying but tolerable.

The future-proofing that is 5G that comes with this phone is icing. The cake that is the rest of the phone, that’s what you should really be looking at.

SEE ALSO: The Huawei Nova 7 and Freebuds 3i is the perfect match

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Smartphones

Apple iPhone SE vs Google Pixel 4a: Head to Head

Which one would you choose?

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We know a lot of you have been waiting for a follow-up on our last iPhone SE vs Pixel 3a comparison video. Wait no more! Now that we have the Pixel 4a in our hands, it’s time for another smackdown!

Cheaper than last year’s US$ 399 Pixel 3a at just US$349, we tested it against Apple’s US$ 399 iPhone SE that packs their most powerful A13 Bionic Chip — which is also in the iPhone 11 Series.

Of course, specs aren’t everything. Most of you are curious to see how their single rear cameras perform so we also did a camera shootout with both of them.

Head over to our video here to reveal the results.

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News

Newer OnePlus phones come with Facebook preinstalled

Users can’t uninstall some of the Facebook apps, too

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One of the features OnePlus likes to tout with its smartphones is OxygenOS. After all, fans swear by its simplicity, usability, and bloatware-free experience. However, newer OnePlus phones actually come with Facebook preinstalled. Worse, wary users can’t uninstall Facebook on these phones.

OnePlus devices with Facebook preinstalled include the recently-launched OnePlus Nord and the OnePlus 8 series. As Android Police reported, these devices don’t only have one Facebook app installed, but also includes other apps from the Palo Alto company.

Instagram and Messenger also come preinstalled on newer OnePlus devices, along with other utilities. These utilities include Facebook App Installer and Manager, as well as Facebook Services. Wary users who may want to keep Facebook out of their phones will find that they can’t uninstall these apps. OnePlus effectively gives two options only: disable these apps or force stop them.

The preinstalled Facebook apps are a culmination of an idea campaign that OnePlus “gathered” from its fans. According to them, bundling these apps will result in better battery efficiency. However, Facebook’s apps are also notorious for draining battery life much faster. It is possible, however, that OnePlus struck a deal with Facebook given the monetary incentive with bundling apps.

This isn’t the first time OnePlus bundled a third-party app into their phones. Actually, this practice started way back with the bundling of Netflix for the OnePlus 7 series. At that time, the company defended its practice by saying that bundling Netflix is necessary to enhance HDR playback.

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