ROG Phone 3 mobile gamers ROG Phone 3 mobile gamers

Features

Are mobile gamers actually gamers?

Hmm…

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Yes. Yes, they are.

Like how whale sharks are categorically sharks; basketballs being balls, and catfishes being fishes. But, this isn’t a debate on semantics over compound words. In fact, it isn’t a compound word at all. When people strip it to the fundamental description, it’s gamers who play on their mobile phones.

Knowing that the gaming community has long debated the legitimacy of each hardware you played games on, it’s clear the answer you see above isn’t brain science or rocket surgery. That was a joke by the way in case that flew by you.

Why we can’t have nice things

Let me put it simply: you don’t evaluate software or the legitimacy of a community around the software, with hardware. It’s like calling shit, food because it’s on a plate. That just isn’t it, chief.

Video games have always been delegitimized as an industry. From game development to esports, it’s always been the unwanted child of entertainment or that’s what they’ve long been portrayed as. So, I understand.

When you get a fat paycheck from taking it seriously or how seriously people are now taking it, you don’t want to be clumped up with people who play Candy Crush. But you need to see it in a technical and rational sense, not by how hurt your ego is.

No tea. No shade. Just facts

Alright. Enough of the condescension. Let’s talk about ROG Phone 3. Did I just write paragraphs explaining the legitimacy of mobile gamers to talk about a gaming phone? Yes. Yes, I did. Let me explain.

The ROG Phone 3 gets called the best gaming phone and the most powerful phone to date. And, we needed to get to the bottom of whether a phone this fast and powerful is even necessary. The answer is yes. Why? Because if it won’t necessarily instantly make you good at games, it does open the floodgates of opportunities for mobile games and consequently, mobile gamers.

ROG Phone 3 mobile gamers

Gaming with reckless abandon

The phone is decked out with all the good-good gaming specs you’d want on a phone. But before we get into that, let’s talk aesthetic build. ASUS ROG stuck to the same size and shape for the ROG Phone 3 to its predecessors to make sure all those accessories stay compatible. They did tone down on the flashy designs, making the phone mostly black with a small window showing off its aerodynamic cooling system.

It’s got a stunning 6.6-inch OLED 4K display with a 144Hz refresh rate. On top of that, it joins the top-notch phones with a Snapdragon SD865+ processor with 16GB of RAM and 512GB of internal storage. If you’re poorly mistaken worrying about the phone lasting a day out, the 6000mAh battery can take more than just a beating.

Too hot to handle

No, really. I mean that in the most literal sense. The ROG Phone 3 got too hot for me to hold or use when testing daily mobile use. I hadn’t even played on it at this point. This brings me to a cool snap-on accessory the phone comes with, the AeroActive Cooler 3. This is a dedicated cooling fan to make sure the system doesn’t overheat. Now, as much as the phone didn’t seem performance-wise bothered by the heat it was emanating, it would stunt the phone’s longevity. And, no one wants to be holding a freshly heated hot pocket as a phone.

Here’s a nitpicky crutch: with the AeroActive Cooler 3, the phone is invasively bulky. No one is putting this in their pockets. It’ll look like a mangled wallet. It won’t do you any favors, boys. I think, all things considered, the bulk and the heat is a downside but strangely expected from a gaming phone. Ultimately, if it hadn’t been marketed as a gaming phone, ASUS ROG would have been quickly roasted for it.

ROG Phone 3

Where it puts other gaming phones to shame

Most “gaming phones” barely get to show off other features besides gaming spec-heavy features. The ROG Phone 3 cannot just take a beating on the mobile gaming end but, it delivers on capturing good photos. It’s decked out with a triple camera set-up with a 64MP wide, 13MP ultrawide, and a 5MP macro.

Clownery

 

 

Cookies!

Stunning sunset

My cat hates her costume

Halloween treats!

Night light

The ROG Phone 3 boasts perfect features for gamers, but it delivers on more than just that. The phone’s OLED 4k display is perfect for watching movies, shorts, and TV shows. With the phone’s extensive battery life, it had no problem tearing through hours of binge-watching on Netflix.

Is this your GamingPhoneMatch?

The ROG Phone 3 won’t save you from feeding or being bad at a game but, it does make it all the more fun! Nothing screams fun like seeing your character fail in full detail. Joking aside, gaming on the ROG Phone 3 may not make you good but, it could (with tons of practice) help you get good. If you’re a gamer who dabbles into accessing multi-platform games on your phone while you’re away or a mobile gamer, this is the phone for you.

ROG Phone 3

Save the salt

Mobile games are not just convenient, portable, and efficient, it’s also mostly for free — and that’s why despite the memes and childish slap fights, its popularity has grown incrementally. Games are no longer a sensible debate between hardware, and it shouldn’t have been, to begin with.

Games like Wild Rift, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, Among Us, Genshin Impact, and Identity V have proven that games that go multi-platform and dive into iOS and Android grow a huge following and community. So, next time you feel like judging a game by what people play it on, consider the context of usage, availability, and accessibility.

Features

5 features to look for before buying wireless earbuds for your workouts

The needs are different for your athletic activities

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True Wireless Flash X

Not all wireless earbuds are created equal. While there are plenty of options to choose from, most wireless earbuds serve a particular user.

For instance, there’s the everyday listener that requires the basic (or sometimes the best) wireless earbuds experience. Some are audiophiles who are specific about sound quality.

Also, there are fashionistas who care more about how a device looks and how it will fit their ensemble. Then, there are athletes and fitness enthusiasts, whose needs are a little bit different than the average consumer.

If you’re a casual or serious athlete, a sports and fitness enthusiast, or just someone who’s serious about a fitness journey, here are some of the features to look for before buying a pair of wireless earbuds.

IP Rating

IP rating, or ingress protection rating, determines the level of protection that any electrical device has against elements, like dust and water. It’s often overlooked by most consumers, working out with whatever wireless earbuds they have claiming it can handle their sweat.

I did this before with my Galaxy Buds, with an IPX2 rating, and it can only handle a little sweat. It started to malfunction a few months after use on heavy workouts, and I regret not taking care of it.

As a fitness enthusiast, I’m usually insanely drenched, heavily sweating over the course of an hour’s workout. If you’re in for intense, heavy workouts, look for wireless earbuds that have IPX7 ratings.

Wireless earbuds with this protection aren’t just water-resistant anymore — they’re waterproof. You can submerge them up to a meter for up to 30 minutes, or get drenched in sweat when you’re working out.

Some examples would be the Galaxy Buds Pro, Jabra’s Elite Active 75t, Jaybird Vista, and my trusty companion — the JBL Under Armour True Wireless Flash X, which I’ll be using as a point of comparison for the rest of the list.

Style, size, and fit

Physical activities require a lot of movements, so some of the things to consider are your wireless earbuds’ style, size, and fit. The style and size will depend on your preferences and how you feel about it.

Meanwhile, the fit needs to be secure and comfortable. Finding the right tip can help to ensure the earbuds won’t fall off your ears. That is if you like working out with in-ear earbuds like me.

True Wireless Flash X

My JBL UA True Wireless Flash X is quite bulky for an in-ear, but I enjoy having it plugged in so I don’t have to worry about touching it on some of my workouts. It also has a wingtip to keep it in place! On another note, my friend uses PowerBeats Pro for his workouts, since he feels safe when an earbud is hooked in his ear.

Gesture controls and navigation

What I love about wireless earbuds — whether they’re for everyday use or for my workouts — is the vibe it gives whenever I use its gesture controls. I feel like a secret agent from a sci-fi movie.

Anyhoo, accessibility is important when you’re working out to keep you focused and of course, to make your life easy. It’s an inconvenience if you have to pick up your phone every now and then just for music playback, right?

For every brand, the gesture controls are different. My everyday pair of wireless earbuds, the Galaxy Buds Live, is sensitive enough that even a light tap can pause the music, except I can’t touch it when I’m drenched in sweat.

Meanwhile, my JBL UA True Wireless Flash X requires pressing the button on the right earbud to play and pause my music. On the left earbud, it adjusts the isolation of background noise, which I’ll be talking about later.

Nonetheless, when looking for your pair of wireless earbuds, make sure you check its gesture controls and navigation, and how easy it is for you to adapt. Your lifestyle and behavior will also be a factor here!

Battery life and charging case

Another thing to consider is the wireless earbuds’ battery life and their charging cases. Can it last for a day? How many times can you charge your wireless earbuds in the charging case? And does it charge fast? These are the questions you need to ask when you’re out for a pair of wireless earbuds to accompany you in your workouts.

True Wireless Flash X

The JBL UA True Wireless Flash X lasts for nine hours — enough to last you one day at work if you use it for that purpose. But if you’re using it specifically for workouts. If you work out one hour every day, this can last for a week. Which happened in my case, since I have a different pair of wireless earbuds for my calls and listening sessions.

The case, on the other hand, lets you charge the earbuds up to four times. It doesn’t support fast charging though, so it will take at least two hours to fully charge the aluminum case.

Active noise cancellation

A pair of wireless earbuds with active noise cancellation (ANC), or at least the ability to isolate background noise like the JBL UA True Wireless Flash X, is extremely helpful during workouts.

It helps you keep your focus on what you’re doing. Sometimes, it feels like I’m lost in my own world — lifting weights while listening to Fall Out Boy’s “Centuries” or “My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark”.

Some may argue that you don’t really need ANC, but I beg to differ. Some people can easily get distracted and lose their focus, and the amount of mental bandwidth needed to perform a workout requires intense concentration. ANC can help you focus on reaching your fitness goals.

Other things to consider, depending on your needs

Sound quality and connectivity aren’t the top-of-mind features people look for when buying a pair of wireless earbuds for their workouts. After all, most wireless earbuds nowadays focus on that — but don’t have the necessary features I mentioned above that are essential for physical activities.

True Wireless Flash X

If you’re a bit of an audiophile or you’re someone who’s connected 24/7, you might want to check several alternatives like the Jabra Elite 75t, Jaybird Vista, and the Powerbeats Pro.

True Wireless Flash X

The JBL Under Armour True Wireless Flash X retails for PhP 9,999. In the Philippines, it’s available for purchase at Onward PH.


For more great products and accessories like the JBL UA True Wireless Flash X, visit OnWardPH or follow them through their Facebook and Instagram accounts (@OnWardPH) for you to keep posted.

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First Look

ASUS Zenfone 8 Flip Unboxing and First Impressions

It comes with a special case!

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Zenfone 8 Flip

“Oooh what’s in the box?” is what I imagine most of you say whenever a new device comes out. So, for the Zenfone 8 Flip, we’ll show you what you can expect should you decide to cop the latest from ASUS.

This is the box. Pretty standard, with the 8 on top.

Zenfone 8 Flip

The inside follows the same color and brushed-cement looking finish. 

Zenfone 8 Flip

I totally just made-up “brushed-cement” but it’s the only thing I can think of to describe the look.

First thing in the packaging is a packet with the SIM tray ejector tool.

Zenfone 8 Flip

Inside it are the user guide and the special case.

Zenfone 8 Flip

Underneath the packet is the Zenfone 8 Flip itself. 

Zenfone 8 Flip

We’re gonna dive straight into the phone. 

Zenfone 8 Flip

It has quite a glossy glass finish. That means smudges. 

Zenfone 8 Flip

That’s icky

The power button has a bright blue tint that stands out from the rest of the device. 

Zenfone 8 FlipSitting right on top of it are the volume rockers.

The bottom has the usual USB-C port and speaker grille.

Zenfone 8 Flip

While the left side has the SIM tray. 

Zenfone 8 Flip

Here’s a closer look at the Flip camera module. 

Zenfone 8 Flip

And here it is actually flipped. 

Zenfone 8 Flip

What’s cool is you control the angle of flipping.
Zenfone 8 Flip

Here it is with the case on. 

Zenfone 8 Flip

It has a stopper to keep the module from flipping.

Zenfone 8 Flip

And the phone knows when it’s on. 

Zenfone 8 Flip

It’ll give you this prompt if you switch to ‘selfie’ on the camera app with the stopper equipped. 

Zenfone 8 FlipPretty cool, yeah?

This is what the home screen looks like. That wallpaper is actually animated. 

Zenfone 8 Flip

You also have the a USB-C cable

And a power adapter.

That’s everything inside the box!

Zenfone 8 Flip

First Impressions 

The ASUS Zenfone Flip 8 has some heft to it. Perhaps that’s to be expected given the Flip camera module. Speaking of, that camera module has a way of making you want to use it. I’m not one for selfies but I took a few for a quick test run along with some other quick snaps.

Selfies

Main camera, HDR off

Ultra-wide, HDR off 

Ultra-wide, auto HDR

Main camera, auto HDR 

Ultra-wide, auto HDR 

Indoors, Main camera 

Indoors, Portrait 

Bright light indoors

Some observations: The post-processing after you take photos does A LOT of work whether or not you have HDR turned on or off. This results in high contrast and sharpened images. On the contrary, using the same camera but with portrait mode, the resulting image looks softer.

This isn’t a good look for the image processing and I can see people opting to use Google Camera instead of the stock one on the phone.

Performance-wise, we haven’t spent a significant amount of time with the device but the whole thing feels snappy and buttery-smooth. So, it’s par for the course for something flagship. The display does look sharp and pleasing to the eyes. It is, after all, Samsung AMOLED.

That’s all we have on the Zenfone 8 Flip for now. Stay tuned for the review.

Zenfone 8 Flip

Here’s a quick look at the specs of the Zenfone 8 and Zenfone 8 Flip side by side.

Zenfone 8 Zenfone Flip 8
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 Qualcomm Snapdragon 888
Display 5.9” Samsung AMOLED, 120Hz 6.67” Samsung AMOLED, 90Hz
OS Android 11, Zen UI 8 Android 11, Zen UI 8
Configuration 6GB + 128GB

8GB +128GB

8GB + 256GB

16GB + 256GB

*No storage expansion

8GB +256GB

*Up to 2TB storage expansion via MicroSD

Battery 4,000mAh 5,000mAh
Cameras 64MP Sony IMX686

12MP Ultra-wide

12MP front-facing

64MP Sony IMX686

12MP Ultra-wide

8MP telephoto

*Flip camera module

Pricing and availability details to follow.


Watch our Zenfone 8 review

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Reviews

ASUS Zenfone 8 Review: Tiny but Mighty

The compact flagship

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Zenfone 8

In a sea full of big smartphones, ASUS made a detour with the Zenfone 8 by making it smaller than its previous Zenfone 7 predecessor.

Packed with flagship specs such as Snapdragon 888, 16GB of RAM and a 120Hz display, it’s simply their best and most compact phone to date.

But how did ASUS managed to fit in all these powerful internals in such a compact body? Watch our full review video of the ASUS Zenfone 8 to know more.

SEE ALSO: Zenfone 8 Flip Unboxing and First Impressions

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