Her GadgetMatch

ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro review: The ultimate selfie phone

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ASUS recently released a slew of ZenFones and for someone like me who gets lost in the sea of specs, I naturally gravitated towards the ones they named after selfies.

Out of six ZenFone 4 models, it was the Selfie Pro I got excited over most — a midrange phone with top-notch selfie capabilities is definitely something I wanted to test drive.

Girl taking a selfie with the ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro

Look and feel

The ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro looks like your typical smartphone, nothing revolutionary in terms of design. The review unit I got to test out came in red; look at how pretty it is:

Red ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro back

The ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro feels premium enough and it features a 5.5-inch AMOLED display.

Red ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro

Although I appreciate this — a bigger screen that’s better to check my selfies with — the phone’s size isn’t as friendly to my teeny hands. My thumbs still struggle to reach certain buttons on the phone’s front, and it’s not the easiest to grip for one-handed selfies.

Red ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro close up of camerasSpeaking of buttons, the Selfie Pro has a capacitive home button with a built-in fingerprint sensor, plus the back and multitasking buttons.Red ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro butons

The phone’s bottom houses a micro-USB port, an audio jack, and speakers.

Red ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro bottom ports

Now, on to the star of this ZenFone 4 show.

Taking photos

The dual-cam front-facing cameras are the highlights of this selfie machine. Unlike other smartphones which only have either a bokeh mode or wide-angled photos, the ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro allows for both. This is a selfie game-changer, ladies and gents!

ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro photo sample

Beauty mode plus bokeh

ASUS’ built-in camera app gives countless beauty mode options: changing your skin tone, softening or brightening your skin, enhancing your eyes, or even thinning your cheeks — you’re allowed varying levels of filter possibilities.

ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro photo sample #wefie

Wide-angled selfie with friends!

ASUS offers the capability to take 24-megapixel photos with their DuoPixel technology. This may seem like a big deal, but unless you plan to blow up your photographs to epic proportions, there really is no noticeable difference between the default 12-megapixel photos and the 24-megapixel DuoPixel shots. 

Also, DuoPixel doesn’t activate on wide-angle and beauty mode — which are the modes that count. But despite that, it’s good to know I’ll always be billboard-capable.

Here are more photo samples (because you can never take too many selfies!):

This phone’s 16-megapixel rear camera is a capable shooter. I had no issues with photo quality under great shooting conditions; however, low-light scenarios were a different story.

Additionally, this new ZenFone line comes with a pre-installed Selfie Master app which allows users to shoot video or go live on social media, all with a beauty filter.

Shooting video

My Instagram Story game totally went up a notch because of the Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro. The second wide-angle selfie camera didn’t only mean wider selfies, it also meant wide-angle videos! This is an especially great thing for people who like vlogging with smartphones– no need for selfie sticks to get a wider shot.

Both front and rear cameras are equipped with electronic image stabilization (EIS), which means the phone stabilizes your shaky footage automatically — a definite must for those who, like me, walk, talk, and shoot at the same time. 4K video recording is also available on both cams.

Other things that matter

The Selfie Pro is powered by a Snapdragon 625 processor. For a medium to heavy social media user, such as myself, this ZenFone was powerful enough to run my daily social media fix (which includes, but is not limited to, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat).

Red ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro

It runs on Android 7.1.1 Nougat and has 4GB of memory and 64GB storage. This ZenFone series also boasts of a cleaner ZenUI and less bloatware. The 3000mAh battery capacity means a whole day’s worth of uninterrupted selfies.

ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro vs ZenFone 4 Selfie

The ZenFone 4 Selfie is the budget alternative to the Selfie Pro. The question is: What does a US$ 100 price difference mean?

ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie left; ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro right

ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie left; ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro right

The ZenFone 4 Selfie is fitted with a Snapdragon 430, a more entry-level processor, and the same amount of RAM and storage. That being said, the Selfie Pro is more efficient than the Selfie, with apps launching noticeably faster and lasting slightly longer before needing to be refreshed.

As opposed to the Selfie Pro’s 24-megapixel DuoPixel photos, the Selfie is equipped with a 20-megapixel main selfie shooter. But, does this really make a difference?

The answer is yes. Compared to photos from the ZenFone 4 Selfie, the ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro’s photos are brighter and richer. The Pro gives you that extra glow, which is what’s most important when taking ultimate selfies.

Both phones have 16-megapixel rear shooters.

The photos above were shot in the worst lighting conditions, but the Selfie Pro won out in the end. Despite taking multiple shots and focusing on the same area in the photo (the frame in the middle), the two phones took very different photographs. Zooming in would show that the Selfie Pro’s photo has more detail as opposed to the Selfie counterpart.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

If you’re not someone who utilizes the front-facing camera, you’d find nothing special with this phone.

Girl using the ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro

For the Selfie lovers, however, it’s a different story. Choice matters, and this smartphone gives you a lot of them for your photo needs. The slew of options are boundless — wide-angled selfies, bokeh selfies, beauty mode selfies, wide-angled selfie videos — meaning this ZenFone has it all. For it’s midrange price tag, that’s looking like a very good deal.

This ZenFone 4 wasn’t named Selfie Pro for nothing.

It retails at US$ 379 in the US and PhP 18,995 in the Philippines.

SEE ALSO: ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie hands-on and camera review

[irp posts=”18790″ name=”ASUS ZenFone 4 and ZenFone 4 Pro Hands-on”]

Her GadgetMatch

Here are our favorite iOS 14 custom home screens

Some inspo to get creative

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The recent iOS update has taken social media by storm, shining a light on creativity expressed by iPhone users and designers.

In case you’re living under a rock, #iOS14homescreen trended in Twitter highlighting the prettiest and most creative home screens.

As of writing, many users are still having fun expressing their wit and style through custom widget designs. If you’re looking for inspiration to create your own, we’ve rounded up our favorite iOS 14 custom home screens!

If you love coffee and earth tones

For those who love a minimalist approach

Feeling blue?

It’s time to go green!

Making it futuristic and dystopian a la Vice City

For party freaks missing the neon lights

How about Karasuno High from Haikyu!!?

Paint the town pink!

Keeping it dark, eerie, and sexy~

Toodles, doodles!

That pastel and nude colors used by several Instagram aEstHetIc influencers

When you just love the universe…

…or your idols

And so far, here’s the best one… especially if you want to keep yourself from being addicted to your phone

Which one do you like best? Share your custom home screen designs on Instagram and tag us @gadgetmatch!

SEE ALSO: Here’s everything new on iOS 14 | These are the iPhones that will work with iOS 14

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Health

How I got fit with the OPPO Watch

Our goal is to survive

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OPPO Watch

When the global health crisis struck the world into a colossal spiral while we all watched anxious in our homes, I decided to escape into a fitness challenge. Hey, I needed some form of healthy coping and I thought putting my frail, petite figure into the ringer was a good way to keep me distracted.

So, since the end of March of this year, I decided to do at-home workouts six days per week. And, by the end of April, I had somehow dedicated hours into working out consistently from Sundays to Fridays.

Deciding to be fit

If you’re thinking, “she’s mental,” hi. Yes, I am. I always knew I was capable of sticking to something I wanted to work towards. I’d go so far as to say I’ve always had an obsessive tendency towards things I set my mind on. There was, of course, a good incentive: my mental health.

I’ve always struggled with my mental health. Even when writing about how video games helped me through rough patches in my life, I’d spiral back into the same mental state over and over. I wanted to break that horrible cycle. And so, I set myself to use fitness to expend energy I would usually have to be anxious or self-destructive on something healthier and beneficial.

Oh, I almost forgot a tangent motivation to all of this: I was weaning off my medication. So, if you didn’t know, which you probably didn’t, I was taking antidepressants and mood stabilizers to get by.

Whenever I had teetered into fitness, I weirdly felt on-top-of-things. I brought this up to my psychiatrist and knew that if I wanted sustainable stability, I had to work on long term changes to my lifestyle.

So, back to the task at hand, I had consistently worked out, built muscle where I didn’t know I had and gained a ton of weight. By late August to early September, I had felt better mentally.

Tracking with the OPPO Watch

When I got the OPPO Watch, I had already checked out most of my personal goals except one: getting stunning abs. I went to work on journaling ab workouts I was going to do and healthy meals I wanted to treat myself to. I was planning on running outside to get my daily 10,000 steps through the watch’s Wear OS out of the way and was pretty excited to strap on the OPPO Watch.

Before we hop into my journey with the OPPO Watch, here’s a couple of things you might want to know. The Oppo Watch’s dual-curved 1.6-inch AMOLED display makes it look identical to the Apple Watch.

Elephant in the room finally out; let’s talk specs. It’s got a Snapdragon Wear 3100 SoC with an Apollo Chip. All of that runs on Wear OS by Google and is powered by a 300mAh battery. And, OPPO boasted the watch’s 21-day battery capacity. So, I was hyping myself up for a two-week ab workout program to accompany the specs and features the watch was decked out on.

Let me just get it out there: as much as the OPPO Watch has an identity crisis on potentially being an Apple Watch wannabe or clone, it delivers on looks. The watch is pretty and the interface never once stuttered while I used it. But I digress…

Road to getting abs

On day one, road to maybe getting abs, the watch flopped and stopped recording my run, and ab exercises because it had run out of battery. Frustrated but also quietly relieved, I dropped my plan for the afternoon and eased out of my workout quicker than I often would.

You see, I had become overly obsessed with working out. So much so, that I was scheduling everything else in my day around the 2-3 hours every single day I wanted to exercise.

Although it was a disappointing first day, it was a wake-up call. I had always felt fatigued and out of breath from just doing typical chores. I’ve long ignored this symptom of over-training and kept overworking myself.

As much as the watch didn’t get to keep up with my “typical” day, it drew red flags on the fact that I was unusually active.

Don’t get me wrong. The OPPO Watch is a great smartwatch. It’s got a ton of features I want a smartwatch to have. It had a training assistant, a heart rate monitor, a sleep tracker, sedentary reminders, and had a vast array of workouts you could track through Wear OS.

It was the best thing to help validate the hard work I was making on a daily. I would use and abuse installing the Google Fit app to track my strength training, workout sets, and footsteps. But, if there’s anything I slowly learned from over-training and “over tracking,” it’s that you tarnish your relationship to exercise if you obsess over calories.

More to getting fit than looking a certain way

If you’ve been hating yourself for not getting fit or not losing weight while the rest of the world is ablaze, let this be the reminder you need. We’re here to survive, not to pressure ourselves into losing weight, getting fit, building unhealthy self-images, or getting sick and injured.

This year, especially, is not the time. I know that being isolated can feel relentlessly daunting and peeking into social media feeds into unhealthy and toxic standards you might feel pressured to try to achieve. But, there’s more to health than trying to look a certain way — there’s the important bit about how you are and how you are feeling.

A lot of the ironically toxic parts of health and fitness is from building fundamental goals on visual validity: a number on the scale, a measurement, or aesthetic muscle development. When health and fitness should be about developing something sustainable: strength, flexibility, stamina, or better well-being.

It’s also good to note that quick and sudden fixes can show fast results but won’t be sustainable long-term. The quicker the change, the quicker it is to lose. Easing your way into small changes until you achieve a healthy lifestyle that isn’t restrictive of anything you want is the way to go.

For the past two weeks with the OPPO Watch, I decided to be more attuned with myself, mentally and physically. It was a good time for my body to recover from brutal stress I put it through.

The watch’s Wear OS features breathing exercises that helped a lot with this. I would find myself struggling with anxiety late at night and I’d go on the watch and do the breathing exercises until I calmed down. I know the feature is simple and I can do without it but, having something to guide me through deep breathes really helped.

Throughout my two weeks of what was meant to be non-stop ab exercises, I decided to work out on days I felt like working out and rested on days I wanted to. The OPPO Watch gave me a good feel of my health with my heart rate and step count even if I stayed indoors.

It monitored and gave me customizable daily goals which were less about reaching them every day and more about realistic and forgiving progress.

Oh! It’s good to note that the watch might be able to last about a week but it’ll need to be on power saver mode. You’ll be limited to viewing the time, checking your pulse when you want to, counting your steps, and getting notifications.

On that week, I kept active and went about my day without worrying about the nitty-gritty details of how much calories I burnt from walking, running, or lifting weights.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

I didn’t keep the OPPO Watch on power saver mode for long for a few reasons. To recover from over-training, I wanted to improve on my sleep and work on my relationship with exercise and calories so tracking my sleep was important to me.

On top of that, the breathing exercises weren’t accessible on power saver mode which was a huge bummer seeing as that feature helped me through some anxious nights — what a legend of a feature.

The OPPO Watch is decked out with so much to help you get better, happier, and healthier but only in ways, you choose to. So if you’re not a fitness fiend and are looking for a smartwatch to just track your pulse, steps, and of course, keep track of time, consider this watch. The OPPO Watch costs PhP 12,990/GBP 229.

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Health

Huawei’s Watch Fit aims to ‘reframe’ health, fitness, and style

Lead your fitness revolution

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Photo by GadgetMatch

Huawei unveiled its latest fitness watch, the Huawei Watch Fit. It’s the Chinese company’s first-ever sports-oriented smartwatch with a rounded rectangular face. The new fitness watch aims to reframe your health, fitness, and style.

Reassess your health and fitness

With an assortment of fitness courses, workout modes, and health tracking features, you can get into new routines to reassess your health and fitness.

The Huawei Watch Fit contains 12 workout courses with 44 posture demonstrations, supported by an animated personal trainer. There’s a free one-on-one personal training, and bite-sized exercises so you can stay fit wherever you are. The watch also reminds you to stand up with its reminders, prompting you to move if you sit longer than three minutes.

Moreover, the fitness watch supports a total of 96 workout modes with advanced data tracking. Professional workout modes cover the most popular exercises such as running, walking, cycling, swimming, and more. On the other hand, there are 85 workout modes covered for different niches.

The power of science and technology

Huawei combines its AI technology and scientific data to create comprehensive health-tracking features. With proprietary technologies, Huawei Watch Fit promises to aid consumers in becoming more conscious of their personal health and data.

Monitoring heart rate

Through TruSeen 4.0 heart rate monitoring technology, the Watch Fit assesses your current resting heart rate complete with an infographic detailing the changes over the last 24 hours. Additionally, the fitness watch will notify you when your resting heart rate is too high or too low.

Better sleep tracking

Meanwhile, TruSleep 2.0 monitors your sleep stages and sleep respiration quality. It presents a comprehensive sleep analysis presenting different stages: light sleep, deep sleep, REM, and wakefulness.

Moreover, it identifies typical sleep problems that help the Watch Fit prepare hundreds of suggestions to improve and personalize your sleep. Having a long-lasting battery life, you don’t have to worry about running out of juice while tracking your sleep.

Other health-tracking features

On another note, the Watch Fit also comes with important tracking features such as SpO2 monitoring for your blood oxygen saturation, stress level monitoring packed with breathing exercises, and menstrual cycle management for women.

Style meets functionality

The Huawei Watch Fit presents a sleek style worth wearing at all times. It’s lightweight and it complements any outfit with its breathable strap designs in different colors: Mint Green, Sakura Pink, Cantaloupe Orange, and Graphite Black.

It sports a vivid AMOLED screen with ultra-slim bezels and a dazzling display. Furthermore, it carries over 130 different watch face designs and an option to personalize with photo albums synced from your smartphone.

Pricing and availability

The Huawei Watch Fit retails for EUR 129 (US$ 153) and is available September 2020.

SEE ALSO: Huawei Watch GT 2: Two-week battery life is real

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