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

8 things we love about the new, LG PuriCare mask with VoiceON

No more muffled talking while wearing a mask!

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If you found yourself on the fence when it came to the first generation LG PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier, then its latest iteration is set to fully win you over. This time around, the Korean tech giant decided to address each of the issues most people found with the first run of the mask.

Here’s what we’ve been loving with the new version – so far.

Lighter, comfier

At just 94 grams, the LG PuriCare VoiceON is much easier on the ears. I find that I don’t even need the neck strap included in the packaging when wearing it. This says a lot as while I found the first PuriCare mask easy enough to wear, I was dependent on the neck strap. This, especially if I wanted to wear it for a longer period.

The brand promises that the new mask is comfy enough to wear for up to eight hours. I think I speak for everyone when I say I still prefer to be mask free but the fans on both sides of the mask do help.

Sleeker design

Same as the first generation LG PuriCare mask, the new one also has two HEPA filters on each side. These powerful filters clean the air you breathe, making sure there are zero nasties going into your lungs. In the first version, the HEPA filters went into compartments located at the front of the mask. This time around, those compartments were placed at the back, giving you a smoother surface.

It takes a bit more technique to get the filters in but nothing too difficult.

The sleek design also makes it even easier to match with any of your outfits, taking it from a quick workout, doing your errands, and even to something that’s a little formal for the evenings.

Talking made easy

One of the common issues people had with the first version was how it muffled one’s speech. This wasn’t much of a concern to me as my speaking voice tends to be on the louder side. So if you’re someone who’s got a softer voice, this one’s for you. No need to speak a little louder and strain your vocal cords throughout the day.

Just a quick press on the power button activates the VoiceON feature. The mask, through AI, is able to detect when you’re speaking. It only amplifies your voice and there are no weird breathing sounds in between.

If you’re a Star Wars fan then you just know this feature can actually make you feel like an improved version of Darth Vader. A version that has a clearer register.

Color choices

And speaking of Darth Vader, the new LG PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier also comes in black. But should you prefer this colorway, you must act fast once they become available again. Units get snapped up pretty quickly. 

Friendlier to the environment

During our review of the first LG PuriCare mask, we already mentioned how the pandemic has been rather brutal to our environment. There’s just so much more waste nowadays, especially when it comes to disposable masks. The new iteration of this technology takes eco-friendliness up a notch by opting for biodegradable packaging.

Increased battery life

Lighter doesn’t mean less powerful. The battery life was also increased from 820 to 1000 mAh. You can wear the mask longer before you need to grab the USB-C cable it comes with for a quick charge. You need about two hours for a full charge, just like the first version. I was able to take the mask around the Metro as we did errands on a Saturday – from 11am to 3pm – and it did not conk out on me. I did have the VoiceON feature off most of the time.

Bluetooth connectivity

One of the mask’s new features is how it can be connected to your smartphone through an app. It will help you track your breathing and even provide you with product maintenance information. As of this article’s publication, the app isn’t on the Philippine versions of Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store. But here’s to hoping we get it soon enough!

Maskne protection persists

Like its older brother, the new LG mask continues to protect my skin from irritation. It also makes sure my skin can breathe. Medical masks make me so oily because of the heat and their material can irritate my pores. With this type of technology, I get to feel a little fresher despite the mask and shield combo.

Do take note that like its older brother, the new LG mask needs the inner covers changed every day and the HEPA filters once a month. It’s an added expense but it’s something that’s considered as an investment in your health and well-being.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

If you’re someone who’s tired of maskne and uncomfortable masks, then this is something for you. Especially if you intend to talk throughout the day – it makes sure you’re both heard and protected. You can snag your own LG PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier with VoiceON at their official stores on Lazada and Shopee.

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6 gorgeous smartphones in shades of green

Supple, sensual, and the color of money

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green

Forget Purple, Gold, Silver, and even the sleek shades of blue we’ve adored last year. Green is the most gorgeous color of the year. It’s the color of modern luxury — yes, not those royalty colors you’re familiar with — and the most underrated color of the Fall season.

Green is all about grace, class, and elegance. It follows the taste and refinement the old rich have. A true symbol of modern luxury. The right shade of green will help set you apart, subtly attracting gazes and desires.

Forget the flashy, loud, and obnoxious colors and shades of green — that’s for the nouveau riche. Here are gorgeous shades of green we’ve seen in smartphones and will surely help you look posh and chic without attracting unwarranted attention.

Phantom Green — Galaxy Z Flip3 5G, Galaxy Z Fold3 5G

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 5G dresses in Phantom Green — somewhat like a dark cyan blending the tranquility of blue and the harmony of green. It closely resembles those deep emerald colors found in silk, velvet, and other expensive linen. Quite befitting a phone that accommodates the upper class.

There’s also the Galaxy Z Fold3 5G in the same Phantom Green colorway, but its shade leans towards a dark green than the emerald-like color seen on the Galaxy Z Flip3 5G. Nonetheless, this shade of green is more familiar to the old rich — supple, sensual, and the color of money.

Mystic Green — Samsung Galaxy Note 20

Despite not having a glass body, the Galaxy Note 20 still looks sophisticated, especially in Mystic Green. It’s an underrated color from the Note 20 lineup — letting you stand out while looking snazzy and makes people gaze in admiration compared to the attention-grabbing Copper colorway.

Green — Sony Xperia 5 III

To tech junkies, Sony’s name can equate to premium. Especially their Xperia lineup, where most smartphones are still considered pricey compared to its competitors.

While Sony has been trying to find its footing in the midrange segment, the company didn’t forget to bring their brand values — preaching beauty and elegance by dressing one of their smartphones in a sensual Green colorway, as seen on the Xperia 5 III.

Midnight Green — iPhone 11 Pro

green

Apple has introduced various colors for the iPhones that made its fans giddy, but the Midnight Green colorway still tops as the most graceful yet luxurious color we’ve seen so far.

It blends easily and works best when paired with neutral accessories — composing a look that speaks rich sans looking aggressive and ambitious.

Moss Green — realme X50 Pro

green

Chinese smartphone brand realme is far from taking it to the premium segment, what with their brand name in weird lowercase, confusing product names, and phone designs that are just too flashy and tacky.

But the realme X50 Pro stepped into the right direction with its Moss Green — introducing a color so refined that it can pass to the eyes of the rich. So if you still don’t have a lot of cash to shell for a gorgeous smartphone, maybe find an affordable one that comes in this shade of green.

Ocean Green — OPPO Reno 10x Zoom

green

What a shocker, right? To see the very first OPPO Reno make it to this list. Frankly, when the first OPPO Reno came out last 2019 in Switzerland, we’ve believed that OPPO was ready to take on the premium segment because they just did it right. Design? Reinvented. Color? Made elegant. Overall look? Polished and chic.

They have the right formula, but it went on a downhill when it went to its second iteration, and the third, and the fourth… you get what I mean!

To more shades of green

The phones listed aren’t the only smartphones dressed in a shade of green, yet they are the best example of what green looks like for modern luxury. These colors can also be incorporated into your clothes, accessories, and even your interiors.

And if you’ll notice, these gorgeous shades of green are seen in smartphone brands that have strong flagship contenders and are mostly favored by the upper class.

green

That’s because they get the formula. Some still attempt to have a green-colored smartphone, but still fails because they don’t capture the elegance needed for it to look premium.

But, here’s to hoping that more smartphone manufacturers design a color that promotes subtlety and elegance — at least for the flagship devices.

SEE MORE: How to wear green: Autumn’s most underrated color | The girl with the green backpack

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Her GadgetMatch

Spruce up your wrists with these Fitbit designer collections!

Make your Fitbit Sense and Fitbit Versa 3 a little bit more elegant

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Designer collections aren’t new in the smartwatch scene. Infusing high-fashion into pieces of technology helped paved the way for wearables.

Over the years, Fitbit has collaborated with various collections from designers like Kim Shui, Pendleton, Tory Burch, Vera Wang, and gorjana. This time around, Fitbit brings two new stylish collections apt for the Fall season — redesigning the stylish Fitbit Sense and Versa 3 smartwatches.

Brother Vellies

Brother Vellies, a luxury accessory brand aiming to uplift artisan communities and cultures through design, collaborated with Fitbit to help blend fashion with innovation. The collection is brought to life, thanks to Fitbit’s longtime partnership with the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CDFA).

The Brother Vellies collection takes a high-fashion twist on the iconic scrunchie, made with Horween leather. The lightweight leather bands are handcrafted with premium oils and dyes — and tanned through traditional techniques so they mold to your wrist and develop an aged patina finish over time.

The Brother Vellies for Fitbit Sense and Versa 3 collection is available in black and oak for US$ 55 each, only on Fitbit.com.

Victor Glemaud

Victor Glemaud is back for another season! Together with Fitbit, the collection focuses on inclusivity — bringing a variety of knit bands in different skin tones.

It features gender-neutral elements, crafted with sustainable REPREVE recycled plastic fibers. The collection offers comfortable, versatile, and distinct bands that help you connect to your wellness through fashion.

The collection introduces a metallic ombré band with shimmering flecks of varying nude shades that transition from light to dark. It also includes a metallic stripe band with a deep brown strip down the center of a dark brown backdrop with gold flecks.

These new additions join Glemaud’s metallic gold/black and layered black and red accessory bands launched last year, for even more options to infuse his designs into your wearable wardrobe.

The Victor Glemaud for Fitbit collection for Fitbit Sense and Versa 3 is now available for US$ 40 each, only on Fitbit.com.

A variety of colors and accessories to choose from

Fitbit is also launching a bunch of accessories for your Fitbit Sense and Versa 3 smartwatches. The Fitbit Sense is now available in Sage Grey with Silver Stainless steel for US$ 300. The same color is also joining the collection of infinity bands for only US$ 30.

Hook and loop bands are also available in charcoal and coastal blue for US$ 35 — perfect for those looking for comfort and convenience.

Vegan leather band options are available in Sand Dollar and Seaglass, giving a polished look for only US$ 50. And for those who want to feel sporty, there’s a soft, breathable silicone available in Blush/Desert Bloom and Frost White/Lunar White for US$ 35 each.

For more information on Fitbit’s accessories, check it on Fitbit.com.

 

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