First Look

ASUS Zenbook 14 UX435 Unboxing and First Impressions

Embodies everything you expect from a ZenBook

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The hunt for the perfect notebook for work and play is never really over — well, until the ZenBook 14. ASUS zeroed in on their line-up to make sure it embodied everything you want and (of course) need in a laptop. So, while you weigh in your options for the right notebook for you, we’ll unbox it for you.

The black box comes with ASUS’ signature concentric circle design. 

Lifting the box open props up the Zenbook 14 UX435EG in the box

Underneath the laptop, you’ll find important booklets and papers that you’ll probably leave unread. (Admit it).

Over to the left and right-hand side of the ZenBook 14 are connection essentials.

On the right, you’ll find the power brick.

And, you’ll be quick to find a USB-C to LAN cable on the left.

Oh! In case you missed it, there’s something peaking through the upper compartment of the box. A gentle tug will reveal a sleek carrying case.

Now, let’s get back to the star, shall we? The ASUS ZenBook 14 UX435EG

At first glance, the laptop looks and feels nearly paper-thin but, don’t let that fool you. The ZenBook 14 has a lot more than the looks going for it. It has Intel 11th Gen inside along with NVIDIA GeForce graphics.

There’s some unapologetic showing-off of the Ergo Lift hinge the moment you open the ZenBook 14.

Optimizing space, it features an HDMI port and the two Thunderbolt  USB-C ports on one side…

and a USB 3.2 port, audio jack and the SD Card slot on the other.

As much as the stunning display takes center stage,

While a sneakily small webcam lays atop,

Who can forget the ScreenPad?

Just below the backlit keyboard, you’ll find the eye-catching ScreenPad

On it, you can access apps quickly, use it as a TrackPad, and multitask efficiently.

First Impressions and Quick Hands-On

There are no surprises here. The ZenBook 14 UX435EG embodies everything you expect from a ZenBook. It’s light, pragmatically designed, and gorgeous. And on top of that, it doesn’t fall short in performing what’s asked. From work, to play, to binge-watching, the laptop delivers on all fronts.

When working on the daily grind of spreadsheets, presentations, photo-editing and word processing, the ZenBook 14 UX435EG didn’t struggle or stutter once. It took a decent beating and then some.

When all the day’s work comes to a halt, you’ll be happy to hear that it won’t falter on an immersive watch with its gorgeous display and audio quality. When playing games like Spiritfarer, the laptop seemed to handle it fine.

We didn’t have much time with it to stress test the ZenBook 14 but, so far, we haven’t encountered hiccups. And, the ScreenPad may take a little getting used to if you’re not used to more convenient features besides the typical TrackPad. But with it, the laptop furthers quick and easy multitasking — making both work and play a breeze.

More details on ASUS ZenBook 14 UX435 here.


This feature is a collaboration between GadgetMatch and ASUS Philippines

First Look

Infinix Note 11s Unboxing and First Impressions

Professional-looking gaming phone!

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We’re approaching the end of the year soon, but it seems like Infinix just isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. They’ve just recently introduced their newest gaming-focused smartphone — the Infinix Note 11s.

Let’s take a look at what this bad boy has to offer.

Box that stands out 

My first experience with an Infinix device was with their Hot 10s and to be honest, I wasn’t really feeling their previous box design. Infinix had a revamp of their packaging with this more sophisticated and minimalist-looking neon-green color which just pops above the other smartphone boxes you’ll see in smartphone stores. 

Taking the top cover off the box, we’re immediately greeted by the phone, and right underneath it are the accessories.

A clear jelly case, a SIM ejector pin, a USB-C cable, and a 33W fast charger. Unfortunately, no earphones in sight.

Big but not bulky 

The phone itself is shockingly big, sporting a massive 6.95-inch, FHD+, 120Hz refresh rate with a 180Hz touch sampling rate IPS display. That’s just a little shy of a 7-inch device but manages to impressively maintain a relatively slim body despite also carrying a 5,000mAh battery.

You’re still obviously going to need two hands to operate this, but at least the back case is a textured plastic which feels good to grip.

It also has a rather professional-looking design that doesn’t give away the feel of a gaming phone.

In a recent news article I came across, more affordable phones might soon lose the audio jack. Thankfully, we’re still getting that here on the Note 11s, and it’s placed on the bottom of the device beside the USB-C charging port and the speaker grille.

Like its sibling, the Infinix Note 11, we’re also getting a side-mounted fingerprint scanner comfortably placed on the right side of its matte silver frame.

The camera

Just as you would expect from a more premium smartphone, the camera design on the Note 11s looks really good. It rocks a triple camera setup that has a 50MP f1.6 main shooter and a 2MP macro sensor with a 2MP depth sensor. 

And for the selfie camera, Infinix went with a 16MP shooter for this one, and it’s placed right in the middle of the display in a punch hole design.

Quick rundown of the specs

The Note 11s is packing some serious firepower under its hood. It has the new MediaTek Helio G96 chipset baked in it. The new chipset is the successor to the Helio G95 chip, a very popular chipset that has had quite a following because of its exceptionally good performance. A smartphone with the G95’s successor might prove worthy of its promises of performance.

Paired with 8GB of RAM and a 128GB UFS 2.2 internal storage, we’re looking at a phone which can do serious damage for gamers.

I won’t be diving into gaming tests right now, but I’ve already tried it with a few games like Genshin Impact. So far, the results have been very promising, so better watch out for our full review, if you’re interested in knowing more about that.

Price and availability

The Infinix Note 11s is priced at PhP 9,990 and is available in this Mithril Gray or Haze Green color variant.

Infinix is slashing off PhP 800 from its original SRP for its launch promo price of PhP 9,990 to only PhP 9,190 on November 30 and December 1.

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First Look

realme GT Master Edition: Unboxing and First Impressions

Does it remind you of a suitcase?

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realme GT Master Edition

realme has a new phone — the realme GT Master Edition — and we’re gonna take it out of the box. We’ll also tell you what we initially think because these are the only things we’re allowed to do. For now.

The company is using all their favorite buzzwords again to generate… well… buzz for the phone. Words like disruptive, game changer, flagship experience — the works. It gets too hypey, but that’s what you gotta do to standout in an industry dominated by the likes of Apple and Samsung. I digress.

Take a look at the realme GT Master Edition specs before we proceed with the unboxing:

  • Display — 6.43″ AMOLED, 120Hz refresh rate
  • Processor — Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G 5G
  • RAM — 8GB + up to 5GB DRE (Dynamic RAM Extension)
  • Storage — 128GB and 256GB
  • Battery — 4,300mAh, Dual-cell design, 65W SuperDart charging
  • Rear Cameras — 64MP f/1.8 main camera, 8MP f/2.3 119° ultra-wide lens, 2MP f/2.4 macro lens
  • Selfie Camera — 32MP
  • OS — Android 11, realme UI 2.0
  • Color Options — Voyager Grey, Daybreak Blue

It came in this cool tiny travel suitcase. It’ll be a recurring theme.

realme GT Master Edition

Opening it reveals two boxes safely tucked in between foams for shock absorption.

realme GT Master Edition

The left box, as you can see, is just black with the trademark yellow realme logo. On the right side is the box of the actual phone itself.

The left box is filled with different realme items.

Some stickers, keychains, and more.

It also has printed pictures of shots taken using the realme GT Master Edition.

Now, onto the main event — the box of the phone itself.

realme GT Master Edition

Opening the box, you’ll see this warm welcoming message.

realme GT Master Edition

Inside this, you’ll find the usual documentation — warranty, manual, all that good stuff.

Lift that and you’ll be greeted by the realme GT Master Edition.

realme GT Master Edition

Wrapped in plastic with an indicator of where the in-display fingerprint sensor is located.

Lift that layer where the phones and you’ll find the plasticky case.

realme GT Master Edition

It looks exactly like the back of the phone except it’s a shade lighter and doesn’t feel quite as good.

Underneath it is the USB Type-C cable.

realme GT Master Edition

And as you may have gleaned from the photo above, the SIM tray ejector tool lies under it.

 

 

realme GT Master Edition

When you life the case, you’ll see the 65W SuperDart power brick.

realme GT Master Edition

That’s it for everything inside the box. Now let’s look at the phone.

Here’s a good look at the back of the realme GT Master Edition.

realme GT Master Edition

As mentioned earlier, the whole suitcase and travel thing is the main theme of this phone’s design. The horizontal grids were meant to replicate the look of a suitcase to trigger the thought of travel. It’s kind of cruel given the general travel restrictions still imposed on us because of the pandemic. But maybe that’s just me.

Signed by Naoto Fukasawa.

realme GT Master Edition

Responsible for the design is Naoto Fukasawa. He even signed the thing on the back. It’s a puzzling move to say the least. I’m fairly certain 90 percent of the people who will end up purchasing this phone will have zero idea who Fukasawa is. But congrats, you have his autograph now!

Fukasawa is a Japanese industrial designer. He is most known for his works with retail company MUJI. Now, I’m sure a lot of you will be familiar with MUJI. Even then, I don’t think the idea of a renowned designer’s signature being on your phone’s back is something you’ll find thrilling or enticing.

realme continues to make these wild choices for back designs. It’s brave and bold which is in keeping with their whole approach. Personally, these aren’t things I find appealing. Then again, an oldie like me is likely not their target market. I just wanted to get that off my chest.

Looks aside, that back feels great

realme says it’s called the concave vegan leather — the first of its kind in the smartphone industry. I’m not gonna pretend to understand the whole process so here’s an excerpt from realme’s infosheet explaining the thing:

“realme has adopted a more challenging way – the polymer material is turned into an initial three-dimensional shape through the injection molding process, and then use the hot pressing process to synthesize the vegan leather with the substrate, and finally achieve the integrated concave vegan leather shape.

Did you get that? Basically, all of that was needed to achieve the uneven finish with the feel of leather. It’s a lot to take in but all you need to know is that it feels great to touch and isn’t slippery at all.

Bottom: Speaker grille, USB-C port, and suprise — 3.5mm headphone jack.

realme GT Master Edition

Button placements are your usual. Power button on the right side and the volume buttons as well as the SIM card tray on the left side.

Here’s the realme GT Master Edition with the case on.

realme GT Master Edition

It mimics the look of concave vegan leather but feels nowhere near it. I cannot, in good conscience, recommend using this case if you want to preserve that leather feeling. Really wish realme came up with vegan leather case too.

The phone’s wallpaper looks like a pavement.

realme GT Master Edition

Points for consistency, I guess? It’s running Android 11 with a coat of realme UI 2.0. If you’re an OPPO user, this UI going to feel familiar. It’s almost like ColorOS which isn’t a bad thing. The whole UI feels clean and easy to navigate.

What’s surprising are the overwhelming number of apps pre-installed. Sure, you have ones that you’ll likely install like Facebook, Messenger, and Netflix. But for every one of those useful apps, there’s a couple more that’s just flat out bloatware. There are also incessant notifications about apps you can download from their App Market. I know “disrupting” is their thing but maybe not like this?

Cameras to die for?

realme GT Master Edition

realme made a big deal about the back design and just as much as they did, they also said the cameras on this thing are fantastic. Hence, the inclusion of printed photos taken with it in this special unboxing package. We have no samples to show you just yet. We’ll take a step outside, observing health and safety protocols of course, to see if we can come up with stunning images ourselves.

The realme GT Master Edition (that’s a mouthful) is a decently-sized smartphone with concave vegan leather for its back that feels absolutely fantastic. It has an overall clean UI that’s bogged down a little bit by bloatware. We’ll explore its performance and camera prowess in the review. By that time, we’ll also know how its price so watch out for it.

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First Look

Huawei Nova 8i Unboxing and First Impressions

Taking several design cues from the Mate line

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Nova 8i

Huawei is back in the game of midrangers and claims the throne as king with its new contender and one of the latest from the Nova series — the Huawei Nova 8i. 

Let’s check out what Huawei has in store for us. 

The phone comes in their signature plain white box with just the Huawei Nova branding.

Nova 8i

Lifting the lid, you’ll be greeted by the Huawei Nova 8i smartphone right away. 

Nova 8i

Underneath the phone, you’ll find a red sheet of paper with a QR code. When scanned, it leads to the Huawei website with a guide on how to find apps. 

Nova 8i

Removing that sheet of paper, you’ll see a smaller white box which contains the transparent silicone case you can use to protect your phone.

There’s also a manual, warranty card and the SIM ejector tool. 

Going through the rest of the box, you’ll find a standard pair of earphones, a 6A USB Type-C charging cable and 66W Huawei SuperCharge wall charger.

The Huawei Nova 8i inherits the stylish aesthetic of the Nova series and the one we got came in this magnificent Moonlight Silver variant.   

Nova 8i

At its right side, you’ll see the fingerprint power key and volume rockers. 

Nova 8i

On top, you’ll find the 3.5mm audio jack. 

Nova 8i

At the bottom, you’ll see the SIM tray, USB-C port and speaker grille. 

Nova 8i

The Huawei Nova 8i houses a 4,300 mAh battery and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 662 processor with 8GB of RAM along with 128GB of internal storage. 

First Impressions 

Examining the phone further, the Huawei Nova 8i is slim, stylish and has a premium-like design. Its resemblance with the flagship phone Huawei Mate 30 was also highly noticeable. 

Nova 8i

Similar to Mate 30, I really like how narrow the bezels are around the 6.67-inch Huawei Edgeless Display. You can also notice the likeness with the rear quad camera setup. But the Nova 8i has a 64MP f/1.9 main camera, 8MP f/2.4 ultra wide camera, 2MP f/2.4 macro camera and 2MP f/2.4 depth sensing camera. 

Nova 8i

I took a few shots for a quick test run and the photos have very vivid detail. I’m actually thrilled about how I can maximize the camera’s use for work and leisure. 

Nova 8i

With its early indications, the Huawei Nova 8i is pretty elevated compared with other midrangers. It has a sleek design and edgeless display. It also has a 64MP Main Super Camera, 128GB big storage and comes with a 66W Huawei Charger. With all these features combined, you can do work and play to your heart’s content. 

Pricing and availability 

The Huawei Nova 8i comes in Moonlight Silver, Interstellar Blue or Starry Black. It retails for PhP 13,999 and is available for pre-order until August 21, 2021 via Huawei Store, Lazada, Shopee or through Huawei Experience Stores nationwide.

Pre-order freebies include Huawei Band 4 worth PhP 1,890, Wireless Charging Lamp worth PhP 2,400 and Huawei Cloud storage with benefits up to PhP 2,308. 

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