Her GadgetMatch

ASUS ZenFone 5Q review: Pretty and capable

Also known as the ZenFone 5 Lite or ZenFone 5 Selfie

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At MWC 2018, ASUS announced a slew of smartphones (again) and one of them is the ASUS ZenFone 5Q. Depending on where you are, it’s called a lot of things: ZenFone 5 Lite in Europe or ZenFone 5 Selfie in South America. Dubbed the selfie phone from the new line, the 5Q has power packed front-facing shooters and a quad-camera setup. How does this phone fare? Let’s find out.

Look and feel

First thing’s first: This phone looks awesome. Like, really stunning.


It has a reflective glass back that’s so nice and shiny. It may be a smudge magnet, but it makes for a breathtaking look and a great mirror. 💁🏽✨

And, lo and behold: A notchless phone release in 2018!

Sure, ASUS has jumped on that bandwagon for other devices, but the 5Q remains pure in its notchless glory.

Quad-camera goodness

I’m just going to go straight to this phone’s highlight: the cameras. There are four cameras on this handset, and though that’s not exactly a first, ASUS claims that it’s “the world’s first globally announced true quad-camera system.”

Wait, what?

Basically, ASUS claims that for the first time, you can use all four cameras independently. Previous quad-camera phones usually utilize secondary shooters only for portrait or bokeh modes. This means that from both sides of this device, you can take normal shots and wide-angled photos like this:

Wide-angle lenses aren’t new to ASUS, but historically, only one side of the phone had this option. These lenses ensure that you get more stuff in your photographs. That includes more space for people in selfies:

Just make sure to stay at the center of the picture as wide-angle lenses, no matter what phone they’re on, usually distort images — you don’t want your face to be at the receiving end of that.

Using my face as an example to prove a point. The things I do for my job…

The 5Q can take great photos under ideal photo scenarios. See samples below:

Images are usually bright and colors are punchy. Most of the time, they’re a tad saturated which makes photos look like these.

I did notice that in weird lighting scenarios, there was a little inconsistency with how pictures came out. There were times when the colors came out duller than usual.

Here are more photo samples:

Beauty mode and all the camera effects

Of course, what is a selfie phone without all the selfie features?

Front and back shooters are capable of portrait mode on both normal and wide-angle shots. The bokeh on the portrait mode looks like this:

Say hello to MJ, GadgetMatch’s resident creative

As clean as the bokeh cutouts may look for short-haired folks, that wasn’t the case for longer-haired girls.

Chay says hi!

Even on the rear shooters, the bokeh wasn’t as clean, especially with confusing backgrounds.

All this, however, can be forgiven. Most phones, even flagships, still have trouble with their bokeh cutouts. Remember, this software bokeh is only a plus to the phone’s wide-angle capabilities.

That famed beauty mode that the ZenFone 4 line had is still here, and so is ASUS’ built-in Selfie Master app which allows for real-time beautification while streaming. The beauty mode is mostly the same. As always, too much and the possibility of transforming into a smooth wax figure is still a possibility.

But, what changed is something that isn’t in the beauty mode.

Notice how even the photo on the left, shot on Auto, seems airbrushed. Yes folks, even when you don’t have beauty mode turned on, it seems the phone still applies a slight filter which prettifies everyone instantly. This can either be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on the person using the phone.

Overall performance

The 5Q is powered by a Snapdragon 630 processor with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. This means the phone is pretty capable — everyday social media use and mobile gaming work well on the device.

From Sims Mobile to Tekken, gaming was without a hiccup

Speaking of gaming, there’s even a live stream function on the game mode!

The phone runs on Android Nougat, which is quite a downer in 2018. This means you get ASUS’s existing ZenUI. The Android Oreo and ZenUI 5.0 updates come later this year.

Its 3300mAh battery can last me a whole day’s use, though the phone doesn’t support fast charging. It takes around two hours to charge from zero to 100 percent.

Other notable features

Its 6-inch FHD screen is a tall 18:9 display. This means more content as you scroll through social media, or when you read websites like GadgetMatch (make it your daily habit!) on your phone.

Videos also look good on this screen size, except most videos (even ours!) are shot with a 16:9 aspect ratio. Nevertheless, there’s a crop-to-fit function on the 5Q that makes for better viewing without those pillar boxes.

As I’m sure you’ve noticed on the photos, there is no fingerprint scanner up front anymore. This has been moved to the back to give way to the screen.

For those who can’t be bothered by the rear fingerprint scanner, this phone is also equipped with face unlock technology. When there is good lighting, it works pretty well.

There’s also a triple-card slot which means you have space for all your SIM cards and a microSD card.

Is the ASUS ZenFone 5Q your GadgetMatch?

There’s definitely a premium in being pretty and unpretentious. I honestly believe this is one of the best-looking midrangers out there right now. Not having a notch is notch a problem at all. (Ha ha, get it?) On the contrary, it makes me feel like this phone has a classic premium design as it doesn’t try too hard to be something it isn’t.

Performance was pretty good throughout, though the biggest qualm, really, is the fact that it still runs on Android Nougat. For those patient enough to wait till later on in the year, however, this may be a non-issue.

The wide-angle lenses on both sides of the phone are a definite plus for me — I often feel that this feature is underappreciated and I would totally rock a phone because of this. Just imagine all the cool photos!

If you’re in the market for a well-performing phone in a pretty package and an even prettier price point, the ZenFone 5Q is a definite midrange contender you might want to look at. At less than US$ 400, it’s a device that’s definitely worth considering.

SEE ALSO: ASUS ZenFone 5Q (Zenfone 5 Lite) Unboxing and Hands-On

SEE ALSO: ASUS ZenFone 5 Lite comes with quad-camera system

Her GadgetMatch

Habitat Horticulture Gromeo: Self-watering plant system for busy bees

Turn your smart home into a green and sustainable space

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Gromeo
IMAGE/Habitat Horticulture

Forget the bland, white walls filled with smart lighting yet no sign of greenery. As our cribs transform into smart homes, the appreciation for a well-lit, open, green, and airy space grows.

However, nurturing greenery can be a difficult task. Though, people still try to foster potted plants, in hopes of making their homes breathable and beautiful.

Fret no more, experts at Habitat Horticulture — an award-winning design firm — designed Gromeo, a copious spot of greenery attached to your walls.

A sustainable living wall system

Gromeo is a ready-to-hang, fully planted palette that has a self-watering living wall system, without the need for plumbing and electricity.

Gromeo

IMAGE/Habitat Horticulture

It uses Habitat Horticulture’s signature geotextile called Growtex — using 100 percent recycled water bottles — to combine soil and a hydroponic blended system. This makes plants passively absorb water to maintain their ecosystem.

Gromeo

IMAGE/Habitat Horticulture

In short, no drainage is needed, making it the perfect low-maintenance plant to nurture, especially for busy people.

Beneficial in the long run

Living wall systems like Gromeo can help improve a busy bee’s physical and mental well-being. The presence of natural greenery can enhance self-esteem, reduce levels of stress and anxiety, and produce feelings of revitalization.

IMAGE/Habitat Horticulture

It increases happiness, productivity, focus, and concentration — prompting a person to work smarter. More importantly, it cleans the air and removes volatile organic compounds found indoors, most of which causes headaches, fatigue, and respiratory problems.

There’s a Gromeo for every type of space

Admit it: we all check the lighting before taking the perfect selfie. The same should apply to plants if you do consider getting one. Some can handle basking in sunlight, some find it too much.

This is why each Gromeo is designed depending on the levels of light available. A High Light Gromeo is recommended for walls that get full, direct sunlight. Or at least very bright lights.

Meanwhile, walls that get dappled sunlight suits a Medium Light Gromeo. For those who have walls that get no direct light at all, consider getting a Low Light Gromeo.

IMAGE/Habitat Horticulture

Price and availability

Gromeo starts at US$ 265. It’s available at shop.habitathorticulture.com. One percent of each Gromeo sale goes to Feeding America. Meanwhile, teachers and healthcare workers can avail a 10 percent discount upon purchase.

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Her GadgetMatch

Sharp’s new lineup of smart refrigerators look classy AF

Matching your interiors and spaces

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Sharp

Sharp unveils a new lineup of refrigerators and we are loving it. Aesthetically speaking, it’s pleasing to look at with its sleek coating and classy appeal. But Sharp’s focus isn’t just the looks.

Being at the forefront of innovation, Sharp’s new models come with a host of innovative features to keep you and your family in tip-top health and shape. For instance, the new lineup is powered by Sharp’s J-Tech Inverter — which helps reduce wastage of energy and saves on energy consumption.

Sharp’s unique Plasmacluster Technology also found its way to the new lineup, using its powers to eliminate 99 percent airborne bacteria and 97 percent airborne mold in the refrigerator.

Additionally, the fridge comes with a Mega Freezer which is larger than usual compared to common fridges. The extra space helps homemakers store large containers and bulk purchases — like stocking up on fresh frozen food.

Sharp

In lieu of stocking up, the refrigerators run on a Hybrid Cooling System to keep the food fresh. The feature is helping prevent excessive dryness, uneven cooling, and over-cooling.

Meticulous homemakers can also keep their fridges free of odor through the Ag-Nano deodorizer filters equipped inside the appliance.

Lastly, the refrigerators come with smart features such as door alarms that alert you when you leave the door open, and an External Touch Control Panel. This makes it easy for anyone to control and regulate the appliance’s settings.

Pricing and availability

Sharp’s new lineup of refrigerators under the PG series comes in three models: SJ-PG60P2 BK/DS (Priced at SGD 1599), SJ-PG55P2 BK/DS (Priced at SGD 1499), and SJ-PG51P2 BK/DS (Priced at SGD 1399).

All models come in two colors: Black or Dark Silver. The new lineup will be available at major electronics retailers and online stores.

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Health

Fitbit’s special edition of the Ace 3 makes physical activities fun for kids

Time to get them active!

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With the advent of smartphones and other distracting technology, keeping kids active might be a challenge — especially if you aren’t the type to engage in physical activities. But starting ’em young can help build a healthy, fit, and sustainable lifestyle.

Fitbit’s kid-oriented smartwatch, the Ace 3, comes with a special edition that will catch your kid’s attention. And it might just make them excited to do a bit of sport and exercise.

Meet the Fitbit Ace 3 Special Edition: Minions. It comes with an engraved band with an embossed Minions design that will make any kid eager to wear it. Built with a kid’s behavior in mind, the watch is comfortable and secure to wear even when using a silicone band and bumper. Moreover, it can be even submerged in water with its swim-proof design!

Fitbit Ace 3

For those who aren’t keen on having yellow on their wrists, there are two more Minions-themed bands that kids can wear: Despicable Blue and Mischief Black.

Smart features

Just like every adult’s smartwatch, it comes with nifty features we need. There are hourly alerts to move and reminders to reach your daily goals. More importantly, the Ace 3 Special Edition: Minions ensures there are extensive safeguards to secure a kid’s privacy.

Fitbit Ace 3

Parents, for instance, can set up a family account to have more control over privacy and protection. The Parent View in the app will let parents track their kid’s activity and manage the kid’s app experience.

Kids, on the other hand, can enjoy Minions-themed activity badges in the app. The badges serve as a reminder for kids to keep chasing daily activity goals. Along with that, the Kid View allows kids to view important data such as their activity and sleep stats, as well as parent-approved friends, clock faces, and avatars.

Price and availability

The Fitbit Ace 3 Special Edition: Minions is powered by eight days of battery life. It’s available in the Philippines at Fitbit.com, Digital Walker, and Lazada for PhP 4,790. Meanwhile, accessory bands are sold exclusively on Fitbit.com at PhP 1,390.

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