Smartphones

ASUS ZenFone 3 Deluxe unboxing

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It may be late to the market, but the ASUS ZenFone 3 Deluxe is finally starting to trickle out, with Asia being the next stop for the Taiwanese manufacturer’s most premium — and most expensive — smartphone yet.

ASUS certainly took its sweet time releasing this one, and it shows: The Deluxe is luxe from the inside out and beyond the hardware. Its box alone is likely to elicit “oohs” before it’s even opened, enough to give the impression that what’s inside is valuable. (To be perfectly clear, it is; the $700 5.7-inch Deluxe costs as much as an iPhone 7 Plus or a Pixel XL.)

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[irp posts=”7939″ name=”ASUS ZenFone 3 Max 5.5-inch review”]

Our 5.7-inch Deluxe in gold came in this sturdy navy blue box. The box features a magnetic flap that keeps it closed and holds the package together.

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The inside of the box reveals a fancy interior (accentuated by ASUS’ concentric-circle detailing, of course); it is broken up into compartments with the unit up top, and the accessories and documentation stored underneath. There’s a pull-out tab for the hidden compartment.

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The bundled charger (and Type-C cable) outputs at up to 9 volts and supports fast charging. We’ll reserve our judgment for the review, but so far we’ve been able to consistently get back to a full charge in a little over an hour.

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The white-and-silver wired earphones are housed in a plastic casing. It comes with three sets of additional earbud attachments, so you’re more likely to find one that fits snug in your ear. We like them. A lot. Apart from the phone (duh!), they’re the highlight of this unboxing. We haven’t tested them thoroughly yet so we can’t be sure of their quality. Check back in the coming days.

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The branded SIM eject tool is the same one you’ll find bundled with other ZenFone models released this year.

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First impressions

By now, you must be wondering: “So, what about the handset?” Well, there’s certainly a lot to like about the the ZenFone 3 Deluxe. It’s lightning fast — absolutely the most powerful and responsive ZenFone we’ve used thus far, bar none; the AMOLED display is lovely and incredibly crisp; and the cameras take vibrant, detailed images.

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Everything seems to be in order here. But, as you know, some phones — especially the most expensive ones — deserve a deeper dive than others. And we’ll be sure to take that plunge in the days to come. By then, we’ll be sure to arrive at a definitive conclusion as to whether or not this phone is worth the wait and high price of admission.

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Apps

6 iPhone apps for your well-being

Mental health is important!

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World Mental Health Day may have come and gone but that shouldn’t mean that your well-being should be pushed aside. In fact, a healthy disposition should always be practiced. How does one do that in today’s fast-paced world?

We’ve got apps for you!

Omvana 

Omvana is a meditation app that measures stress levels and even your state of mind; it’s your personal mindfulness coach! The app also automatically connects to HealthKit.

Download here. 

Calm

With guided meditations, breathing exercises, sleep stories, and relaxing music, this app will help make sure you’re always in a relaxed mood.

Download here. 

Insight Timer

Don’t know how to meditate? This app allows for guided meditations from the industry’s best practitioners!

Download here. 

Headspace: Guided Meditation

Another guided meditation app which allows you to manage stress and even apply meditative practice to your every day. There’s also a sleep experience feature which promises better rest and calmness.

Download here.

Aura: Calm Anxiety & Sleep

Aura’s three-minute meditations will bring more positivity to your life. The app also does life coaching, relaxing music, and even personalized meditations.

Download here. 

AutoSleep Tracker for Watch

Better sleep means a better disposition! This app tracks sleep automatically with Advanced Heuristics AutoSleep so you’ll always have the info at hand.

Download here. 

What are you waiting for? Get to downloading and happy meditating!

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Hands-On

Huawei Mate 20 Pro Hands-on: Best phone of 2018?

Huawei outdoes itself again

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In an industry where incremental updates are the new norm, Huawei manages to wow us again — barely a year after the release of the P20 Pro. The Chinese company is back with the Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro which might just be the best among the best this year.

In this video, we go over the phones’ new designs, updated cameras, and new memory card format. We also go through the differences between the Huawei Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro.

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Features

Huawei Mate 20 vs Mate 20 Pro: What are the differences?

Price isn’t the only factor

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Huawei has once again launched two flagships phones at the same time; one comes with a Pro moniker, while the other does not. Like before, there are some significant differences between the Mate 20 pair to take note of.

While we wait to get our hands on the Porsche Design Mate 20 RS and Mate 20 X, here are the two phones we already know everything about.

Display

One obvious difference is in their displays. While the Mate 20 Pro goes for a notched 6.39-inch 1440p curved HDR OLED display — certainly a mouthful — the regular Mate 20 has a 6.53-inch 1080p RGBW HDR LCD with a much smaller notch.

The Pro model justifies the larger notch by housing a more complex camera system for secured facial recognition, but if that doesn’t matter to you, the regular variant’s Dew Drop notch may be more appealing — and definitely less intrusive.

In addition, the Mate 20 Pro’s OLED tech allows it to curve the edges and equip an in-display fingerprint scanner. It’s essentially the more modern-looking design of the pair.

Performance

Since both models have Huawei’s Kirin 980 chipset installed, pure performance is virtually identical. The Pro and non-Pro also share the same memory and storage configuration of 6GB and 128GB, respectively, although the plain Mate 20 has a more affordable 4GB memory variant available, too.

Another minor difference: The 4200mAh capacity of the Mate 20 Pro, along with the more energy-efficient OLED, provides it with potentially longer battery life than what the Mate 20’s 4000mAh capacity and LCD panel offer.

A more significant advantage for the Mate 20 Pro is its inclusion of a 40W SuperCharge adapter in the package — noticeably better than the 22.5W output of the Mate 20’s. Plus, the Pro version can charge other phones wirelessly using wireless reverse charging tech.

Cameras

Perhaps, you’ll care most about the difference in camera quality and performance. While it’s too early to make photo and video comparisons, an initial look at specs shows that the Mate 20 Pro may have an edge.

There are three modules in place for the Pro: One is a 40-megapixel main camera, another has 20 megapixels and an ultra-wide lens, and the final unit offers 8 megapixels with 3x optical zoom

As for the Mate 20, its main camera has only 12 megapixels, the ultra-wide shooter settles for 16 megapixels, and the 8-megapixel telephoto camera goes up to only 2x optical zoom.

Despite the larger notch of the Mate 20 Pro, they share the same 24-megapixel selfie camera.

Pricing and colors

This part largely depends on where you reside, but in an ideal setting, all five colors — Emerald Green, Midnight Blue, Twilight, Pink Gold, and Black — should be available for both models.

Pricing is another matter, and it again depends per region. In Europe, the Mate 20’s 4GB+128GB configuration retails for EUR 799 and its 6GB+128GB model goes for EUR 849. The Mate 20 Pro’s sole 6GB+128GB variant costs EUR 1,049, making it more expensive by EUR 250 and EUR 200, respectively.

In Singapore, the Mate 20’s 6GB+128GB setup retails for SG$ 998, while the Mate 20 Pro is at SG$ 1,348 — a difference of SG$ 350.

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