Features

Zenfone flips, OnePlus pops: Weekend Rewind

Two challengers enter the flagship group

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Here are the top stories on GadgetMatch this week.

1. ASUS Zenfone 6 may actually be defying the ordinary

Out of the two major phone launches that happened this week, ASUS might have had people buzzing a little bit more due to the lack of leaks weeks before its launch and its camera module that is flipping interesting.

The Zenfone 6 is equipped with only two cameras on a module that flips so it essentially also functions as the selfie camera. Pretty neat. ASUS insists you only need two because anything more than that will just make the phone unnecessarily expensive.

Specs-wise, the Zenfone 6 is packing a Snapdragon 855 chip paired with up to 8GB of memory and up to 256GB of storage. The ZenUI 6 also looks more stock Android versus the bloat-filled mess we usually get from ASUS. The phone is truly promising and we’re excited to review it.

2. The OnePlus 7 Pro is a lean, mean computing machine

There was nothing surprising about the OnePlus 7 Pro but that didn’t stop believers of the company to gush about this new flagship.

The OnePlus 7 Pro wants to squarely take on the Galaxy S10s and the P30 Pros of the world. It looks the part and the computing power is what we’ve come to expect from OnePlus. The Snapdragon 855 chip is in there along with up to 12GB of RAM.

Something new for OnePlus though is getting some star (or Stark?) power along with their flagship. They have employed the services of Iron Man himself Robert Downey Jr. to endorse the product. Some people think it’s a questionable move but with RDJ’s reach, perhaps this might get OnePlus in the radar of more people.

3. Realme X: flagship phone, budget price

After announcing the Realme 3 Pro, it didn’t take long for the company to unveil its first “flagship” phone. The Realme X is the company’s most powerful phone to date, but it’s not as expensive as the competition.

It’s powered by a Snapdragon 710 processor with up to 8GB of memory and up to 128GB of internal storage. A large 3765mAh keeps the lights on, plus it supports VOOC 3.0 fast charging.

How much, you ask? The Realme X will go on sale for CNY 1,499 (US$ 220) for the 4GB+64GB variant, CNY 1,599 (US$ 235) for 6GB+64GB, and CNY 1,799 (US$ 260) for the top-most model with a 8GB+128GB configuration.

4. Mint and lavender iPhones, anyone?

If reports from Apple-dedicated Japanese blog Mac Otakara are true, then Apple might be venturing out even further from their Space Gray and Rose Gold days.

The report indicates the sequel to the iPhone XR — perhaps Apple’s best value-for-money iPhone to date — will also come in two new colors: Mint and Lavender. That’s it. That’s the news. If you love these new colors, this writer is truly happy for you.

5. The Osmo Action is DJI’s GoPro

GoPro has a new challenger. DJI has been very active in the pocket camera department following up the Osmo Pocket with the Osmo Action.

It has most of what you expect from an action camera like image stabilization, 4K 60fps video, and the like. It’s also equipped with dual screens: one at the back for controlling the device and another in the front because DJI cares about how you frame yourself in the shot.

The Osmo Action is priced at US$ 349, which is about the same price as the GoPro Hero 7 Black today.


Weekend Rewind is our roundup of top news and features you might have missed for the week. We know the world of technology can be overwhelming and not everyone has the time to get up to speed with everything — and that includes us. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the rewind.

Best Smartphones

Best Smartphones for Gaming in 2020 (so far)

You don’t need an expensive gaming smartphone to get good

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While you’re stuck at home, your smartphone becomes your go-to device for a lot of things. Whether it’s the news or connecting with your friends, at this point, you can’t live without a smartphone. But of course, even you will run out of things to do on your smartphone. At least, that’s what you think.

If you’re not off browsing through social media, you’re going to consider downloading games for your phone. However, most smartphones face the same problem when you’re strictly using it to play games: the heat. So, not only do you want a phone that lasts long, but one that can handle the heat while playing.

Lucky for you, here are four smartphones that we think are the best of both worlds. At the very least, these are proof that you don’t need a gaming smartphone to play all day.

The realme C3: the most budget-friendly option

If you need a phone that will definitely fit your budget, that’s exactly what the realme C3 offers. For starters, it comes in at PhP 5,999, and is actually the most affordable smartphone on this list. And for that price, you’ll experience solid gaming through and through.

Realme’s OS-based gaming optimization software allows you to play a ton of games without sacrificing battery life. However, the 3GB of RAM will be a bit of an issue when you want to play more graphically-intense mobile games. Nonetheless, it’s a great recommendation for a lot of people, especially for those who play shooter games.

See: the realme C3 in action

The Huawei Nova 7i: a little new but powerful enough to game on

Apart from the stylish colorway, the Huawei Nova 7i provides the power for anything. The Kirin 810 plus 8GB of RAM opens up a ton of performance for gaming purposes. And with a whopping 128GB of storage, there’s plenty of space in there for your favorites for PhP 13,990.

The device comes with GPU Turbo inside Huawei’s EMUI, which improves gaming performance overall. Most MMORPGs and shooter games greatly benefit from GPU Turbo’s enhancements, but it handles even most graphically-intensive sports games well. It’s a great all-around device that will also keep you gaming for hours on end.

See: Huawei Nova 7i pricing and availability in the Philippines

The OPPO A9 2020: big battery for the long playing hours

Much like the Huawei nova 7i, the OPPO A9 2020 also comes with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage inside. It comes in at PhP 15,990, but the real difference is that it comes with a whopping 5000 mAh battery. A bigger battery usually means longer screen time, which leads to longer playing time.

The key to that is OPPO’s Game Boost 2.0, which improves energy consumption and prevents your device from overheating. This gaming optimization software also does its magic on your phone display, reducing input lag. You can play for longer, and possibly compete against your friends in high-stake battles.

See: Hands-on experience of the OPPO A9 2020

The Samsung Galaxy A71: it won’t break the bank, and your back

Out of all the options on this list, the Samsung Galaxy A71 is the only one that breaks the 20K price point. However, even at PhP 22,990, this device is excellent for gaming on the go. Apart from the 8GB RAM + 128GB storage, it comes with the Snapdragon 730G octa-core processor. This, in itself, provides excellent performance and gaming on it is a breeze.

The device comes with the Game Booster optimization software inside Samsung’s OS which improves both performance and energy solutions. This opens up improved performance especially during intense gameplay. Furthermore, the hardware inside opens it up to take on more graphically-intense games.

See: The Samsung Galaxy A71 in action

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Features

7 blue smartphones worth giving a try

All beautiful in blue!

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When Pantone announced Classic Blue as the next color of the year, we listed down powerful smartphones from 2019 that comes in this familiar shade. Nearly halfway through 2020, we saw more smartphones that come in this hue albeit in different shades.

Here, we listed phones that aren’t just beautiful in blue, but powerful and reliable enough to be your daily driver.

Samsung Galaxy S20

The first flagship to astound the world this year is Samsung’s Galaxy S20. A crowd-favorite, this phone came in a charming Cloud Blue that would be difficult to resist and not have a crush on. It’s what every flagship smartphone should be — smart enough to get the job done for you without too much tinkering.

Hands-On: Samsung Galaxy S20 Hands-On

OnePlus 8 Pro

The so-called flagship killer is long gone! OnePlus finally joined the league of iPhones and Galaxies — but still at a little cheaper price compared to these long-standing flagships. Remaining true to its motto ‘Never Settle’, the OnePlus 8 Pro is a reminder that you don’t have to settle for a thousand dollar phone to get the best of the best. Also, it comes in a stunning Ultramarine Blue.

Review: OnePlus 8 Pro

Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro

Another flagship killer who moved to the premium league, the Mi 10 Pro is still one of the best smartphones Xiaomi has to offer. It comes in Solstice Grey, which looks like deep, unsaturated blue — something you see in the skies at dawn. This exorbitant flagship is an ideal alternative for the Galaxy S20 Ultra, since it’s a tad cheaper than Samsung’s 108-megapixel monster.

Review: Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro

LG V60 ThinQ

Odd, quirky, yet functional — the LG V60 ThinQ is truly the most underrated phone of 2020. This phone comes in Classy Blue, packed with essential features. LG didn’t put gimmicks that are commonly familiar to most smartphones in 2020, and instead, offered what every consumer needs. It’s a smartphone with practical solutions to almost everything.

Review: LG V60 ThinQ

Huawei P40 Pro

Huawei has been on a tough spot ever since it lost Google Mobile Services, but it still continues to release phones that are hard to ignore. The P40 Pro is that one case, where everything is pretty much what you’d hope for in a flagship smartphone, except it doesn’t have the basic services to make your life easier. However, this phone found a new market to serve — its loyalists and those who love to tinker around and have full control over what they install on their phones.

Review: Huawei P40 Pro

POCO X2

POCO is back, but it’s not the successor to the well-loved F1. The POCO X2 is proof that POCO’s independence can yield outstanding results. It comes in a flamboyant Atlantis Blue, easily stunning anyone who sets its eyes on this midrange phone. Moreover, it’s a breath of fresh air in a sea of midrange smartphones trying to be the ‘first’. It simply delivers an experience, making it the perfect midrange phone you can buy today.

Review: POCO X2

Samsung Galaxy A71

Samsung has a pretty crappy midrange lineup for a while, then the Galaxy A71 appeared. It may have taken years for Samsung to produce a solid midranger that gets the job done, but it almost perfected the craft with this beaut. It doesn’t have a single strong standout feature, but it’s a well-rounded phone that can keep you entertained and secure. It’s impossible not to give it a try, especially with its cute Prism Crush Blue color.

Review: Samsung Galaxy A71

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Entertainment

Netflix Protip: Finding content like ‘The Last Dance’

Everything from basketball films to animé

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Live sports were cancelled due to the health crisis, that’s why basketball lifers turned their attention to The Last Dance. It’s a documentary series featuring the final championship run of basketball G.O.A.T. (this is not debatable) Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. Sadly, the docuseries has ended and now there’s another void that needs to be filled.

Fear not, Netflix shared with us some protips on how to find similar content. This, by the way, applies not just for basketball but also for other types of content. You can also do all these whether you’re accessing Netflix on your smartphone or a computer. Let’s go!

Search by Keyword

If you’re still on a basketball high, you can type in keywords such as ‘Basketballor ‘Michael Jordan’  and let Netflix share with you the results. Here are some of the titles you’ll find.

      1. Q Ball — At San Quentin State Prison, hardened convicts take their shots at redemption while navigation personal struggles by bonding through basketball.
      2. One in a Billion — Follow the journey of Santam Singh Bhamara as he works to fulfill his dream of becoming the first India-born player to be drafted into the NBA.
      3. #Rucker50 — This documentary celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Harlem sports program that has inspired countless kids to become pro basketball players.
      4. The Carter Effect– Featuring eight-time NBA All-Star Vince Carter, this documentary takes an in-depth look at his impact on pop culture and the Canadian basketball scene.
      5. Coach Carter– Controversial basketball coach Ken Carter puts school before sports and benches his undefeated high school team for poor academic performance.

+My List

To save time from having to search over and over, quickly add titles you’re interested in to your list. The add to ‘My List’ feature enables you to compile and easily access the shows that you may want to watch at a later time.

Here’s yet another list of basketball movies and anime titles you might want to watch.

  1. Space Jam — Bugs Bunny and his pals coax Michael Jordan out of retirement to play in a basketball game against a team of monstrous aliens to win their freedom.
  2. Basketball or Nothing — Follow the Chinle basketball team in Arizona’s Navajo Nation on a quest to win a state championship and bring pride to their isolated community.
  3. Kuroko no Basuke (Anime) — Five middle school basketball stars went to separate high schools and now Tetsuya Kuroko and Seirin High are making their play to glory.
  4. Ahiru no Sora (Anime)  — Sora joins the high school basketball club, but his unmotivated teammates don’t care about the game. To get anywhere, he has to change their minds.

More Like This

In case you didn’t know, there’s a tab called ‘More Like This’ right under a show or a movie’s title page. This reveals a list of other shows that are similar. So, if you enjoyed that one show or film, this is a great way to find more that might interest you.

Here are more sports shows and films you might enjoy:

  1. Antione Griezmann: The Making of a Legend — With heart and determination, Antione Griezmann overcame his small stature to become one of the world’s top soccer players and a World Cup champion.
  2. The Ronda Rousey Story: Through My Father’s Eyes — This documentary chronicles former Olympian and UFC champion Ronda Rousey’s ascent to iconic status in the world of mixed martial arts.
  3. First Team: Juventus — Follow renowned soccer club Juventus on and off the pitch as they attempt to win a seventh straight Italian title and achieve Champions League glory.
  4. Losers In a “winning is everything” society, how do we handle failure? This series profiles athletes who have turned the agony of defeat into human triumph.
  5. Sunderland ‘Til I Die’This docuseries follows English soccer club Sunderland through the 2017-18 season as they try to bounce back after relegation from the Premier League.

Recommend to Netflix

Not everything is on Netflix and they’re the first ones to admit it. Fret not, if a title you’re looking for isn’t there, you can let Netflix know that you want it. Tucked away in their Help Centre is a little page that lets you recommend TV shows or movies for Netflix to add to their service.

You access this either through a web browser at help.netflix.com/titlerequest or by clicking on “Help” in your account menu. Personally, I’ve previously requested for Kimetsu No Yaiba (Demon Slayer) and for all the three Rurouni Kenshin live actions movies. Kimetsu No Yaiba is actually available to watch now, so I’m crossing my fingers that the live action Rurouni Kenshin movies come next!

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