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9 Best Gaming Smartphones (Q4 2018)

Game on!

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Before 2018 ends, let’s have our final Best Gaming Smartphones list for the year! A number of great smartphones came out recently, making this list the most exciting.

Without further ado, here are our top gaming phones:

Apple iPhone XR

Replacing the iPhone XS Max is the iPhone XR. Both 2018 iPhones were announced on the same day, but the XR was made available a bit later. It’s using the same powerful A12 Bionic chip but has a lower-resolution display which is not bad for gaming. With fewer pixels to render, it can run games smoother. Plus, iOS is known to have a better selection of mobile games compared to Android.

SEE ALSO: Apple iPhone XR review: By Android users

ASUS ROG Phone

When we first saw the ROG Phone during Computex 2018, we knew it would be the best Android gaming phone. ASUS took their time to release it, but we can finally buy the ROG Phone plus all of its accessories, which are kind of overkill for mobile gaming. It’s rocking an overclocked and liquid-cooled Snapdragon 845 chip, 90Hz AMOLED display, stereo speakers, and RGB lighting. What more do you need from a gaming phone?

SEE ALSO: ASUS ROG Phone review: A true gaming phone done right?

Honor Play

From its name, you’d already know that it’s meant for playing games. The Honor Play is currently one of the cheapest flagship-grade smartphones you could buy. It’s just as cheap as midrange phones, but its specs are in the same league as its more expensive cousins like the Huawei P20. With a Kirin 970 processor and 6GB of memory, you’re sure to play well on this phone. GPU Turbo gives the phone extra oomph, too!

SEE ALSO: Honor Play Review: The budget flagship

Huawei Mate 20 X

The Mate 20 X is Huawei’s most powerful phone and it’s designed to be used for gaming. Huawei went a little over the top when they compared it to the Nintendo Switch, but it’s almost as big as Nintendo’s due to its 7.2-inch display. It does come with a gaming accessory and is equipped with an impressive cooling system. It can also last long on a single charge with its 5000mAh battery.

SEE ALSO: Huawei Mate 20 X Unboxing and Hands-on

OnePlus 6T

OnePlus updated its flagship model and made it even better. The upgrade to the OnePlus 6T from the OnePlus 6 is just incremental, but if you’re about to buy one, you should get the former already. It’s still powered by a Snapdragon 845 chip, but now has a smaller display notch to get you more immersed in the action. It’s also one of the cheapest flagship phones.

SEE MORE: OnePlus 6T Hands-on: Still a flagship killer?

Pocophone F1

The Pocophone F1 is probably the best smartphone to come out lately. It’s a game changer in the midrange segment, although the Honor Play should also have some credit. I consider the Pocophone F1 to be Xiaomi’s gift to its fans. It’s a blazingly fast phone thanks to the best-in-class Snapdragon 845 processor and the special liquid-cooling system. You can play all you want and the phone will not heat up, or at least not easily.

SEE ALSO: Pocophone F1 Review: It’s all about the performance

Razer Phone 2

The Razer Phone 2 may not look any different from its predecessor, but it has the latest specs a gaming phone should have. Razer’s gaming smartphone has the fastest display refresh rate on the list at 120Hz, placing it on par with desktop gaming monitors. Complemented with a triple-headed snake logo that lights up in 16.8 million colors, Razer fans will love to have this in their collection.

SEE ALSO: Razer Phone 2 review: Gaming and nothing else

Samsung Galaxy Note 9

The top-of-the-line Galaxy Note 9 comes with the latest specifications — may it be the Snapdragon or Exynos variant. It has a large and beautiful display with curved edges that’ll make gaming more immersive. Additionally, the phone doesn’t have a notch that gets in the way. It’s also the only one on this list to have a built-in stylus, making it ideal for games that have too many small icons.

SEE ALSO: Samsung Galaxy Note 9 review

Xiaomi Mi Mix 3

If you want a gaming phone that’s truly borderless, get the Mi Mix 3. The availability of the phone is still pretty limited to China, but it’ll go global soon. Like with any other premium phone on the list, Xiaomi’s latest Mix has a flagship Snapdragon 845 processor and up to 10GB of memory. Its battery capacity is on the small side, though.

SEE ALSO: Xiaomi Mi MIX 3 review: Xiaomi got everything right, almost

Features

Huawei headlines with superzoom photos, non-Android OS: Weekend Rewind

The photos look promising!

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Image credit: Digital Trends

Here are the top stories on GadgetMatch this week.

1. Could this really be the Huawei P30 Pro’s superzoom camera?

We’re roughly around two weeks away from the launch of the Huawei P30 series and with that comes a new round of leaks. In this edition though, it looks like we’re being treated to sample photos of the Huawei P30 Pro’s superzoom camera.

The first bundle showcases a concert of British boy band Blue — one shot with a wide-angle lens, the other with a closer shot without losing much detail. Another set of photos shows a prenuptial photoshoot but with clear labels of the camera’s different modes.

A little while back, a Huawei official also released a photo of an incredibly zoomed-in moon and tag that says “Huawei P30 Pro.” Perhaps the Chinese company could have just used any of these photos instead of a stock image on one of their promotional materials.

2. Huawei working on non-Android OS

Huawei CEO Richard Yu recently confirmed with German publication Die Welt that they are indeed developing an operating system not based on Android. No other details were revealed but he said the company is doing this due to “extenuating circumstances.”

The company has faced multiple issues over the past few months with the most recent one against the US government who they filed a case against. Despite this, Yu said they still prefer to stay with Google’s ecosystems and that what they’re working on is only a backup plan.

3. Android Q beta now ready on Pixel phones

The rollout of Android Pie to most Android smartphones is still ongoing. However, it didn’t stop Google from releasing Android Q Beta 1.

Yes, the latest Android is now ready for download on Pixel phones. Since this is an early preview, expect to experience some instability. Here’s to hoping everyone else gets a piece of Android Pie before Android Q reaches its final stages.

4. Motorola to come up with a midrange foldable

We’ve seen both the Samsung Galaxy Fold and the Huawei Mate X. Not to be outdone, it appears Motorola is also joining the foldable revolution.

Several rumors have come up, many of which speculate that Motorola will likely revive its Razr line as branding for its foldable phone. However, a new report says the foldable will be called Voyager. It will have the following specs: Snapdragon 710, up to 6GB of RAM, up to 128GB of internal storage, and a 2730mAh battery.

5. Harry Potter AR game from makers of Pokemon Go is here

Potterheads rejoice! It’s your turn to roam the streets with the new augmented reality (AR) game Harry Potter: Wizards Unite.

Developed by the same studio that brought us Pokemon Go, the game will have you walking around looking for artifacts instead of adorable pocket monsters. According to The Verge, there are mini-games when casting a spell. You’ll have to complete a collection book, earn points, and level up. Eurogamer also notes that players can choose one of three classes: the Magizoologist, the Profesoor, or the Auror. Which one will you choose?


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.

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Captain Marvel, The Umbrella Academy: Now Playing

This is how we celebrate Women’s Month!

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Samsung has just unfolded the future and MWC Barcelona gave a glimpse of this year’s trends in smartphones. While we’re recuperating, we travel, celebrate International Women’s Month, and catch up with the latest shows and movies to see. Here’s what’s Now Playing:

Movies to see

RBG
Chay: March is International Women’s Month and what better way to celebrate than by watching, RBG, a fascinating documentary about the life and legacy of US Supreme Court Justice and icon Ruth Bader Ginsberg. She pioneered and has pushed for gender equality throughout her career not only by arguing for women’s rights, but also by proving that gender-based discrimination hurts men as well.

Captain Marvel
Marvin: I’m at the point of origin story fatigue, so seeing yet another one while every other character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is fully developed feels like a drag. Still, Captain Marvel is a required watch before buying a ticket for Avengers: Endgame which is coming out next month. Not to say that the movie is bad, but I wish Super Saiyan Carol were as interesting as the cast around her.

Ulan
DanLet’s take a break from Hollywood and embrace local cinema. Ulan, which stars Nadine Lustre and Carlo Aquino, is a mix of movie genres. In a nutshell, it’s about a girl’s perception about the rain, may it be positive or negative. Be warned that you might feel weirded out at times, but I’d say it’s part of the viewing experience. Combining folklore and a modern love story is not a bad idea.

TV shows to binge watch

Dating Around
Chay: This new Netflix series isn’t like any other reality TV about dating and finding love. Each episode features someone who goes on different blind dates and by the end of it, he or she picks someone to go on a second date with. There are so many unexpected twists that are not only entertaining but also completely relatable. It gives you a peek at how different people are in choosing potential partners, and is a good reflection of what we are like on first dates.

The Umbrella Academy
Dan: Umbrella Academy is the next big thing on Netflix. Its first season might not be as strong as Stranger Things’, but its interesting storyline will keep you hooked. It’s a different kind of superhero story about kids who were born on the same day and were adopted by a billionaire. If you like bizarre stories and superpowers, be sure to check this out.

Albums/Songs/Podcasts to listen to

Chrysalis by Empire of the Sun
Kevin: The Australian electronic music duo Empire of the Sun who wrote the catchy/dancy “Walking on a Dream” released a brand new track through an exclusive vinyl reissue. Called “Chrysalis,” the song has more of a laid back approach compared to their previous works while still owning that new wave vibe that they’re known for. It’s a nice, progressive song to relax with when you’re having a hectic day.

Butterfly by LOONA
Vincenz: “Butterfly” is one of the reasons why you should follow this Korean girl group. People say the music video looks “odd” since it focuses on women empowerment and racial diversity but its lyrics, the members’ goddess-like visuals, and their flawless choreography complements the song’s dreamy yet powerful vibe. 🦋

Cities/Places to visit

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Chicago, Illinois
Kevin: Downtown Chicago feels like New York with its tall skyscrapers and busy streets — only it’s cleaner and quieter. It was my first time there and I was immediately enticed by its charm since most establishments have their own unique personalities. It’s filled with barcades (arcade bars) complete with old school titles like PAC-MAN and Time Crisis II. There’s also a veggie burger with fake bacon made of seitan that appeased the meat-lover in me. And if you’re not out eating or drinking, the WNDR Museum is a must-visit for installations and backdrops perfect for the ‘gram.

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San Francisco, California
Marvin: San Francisco is famous for its diversity — not just in its people but in the places to visit. I didn’t get a chance to revisit famous spots like the Golden Gate Bridge and Mission Street, but my time around its financial district was memorable. It’s astounding how much merch there is to buy here, whether you’re into coffee, tech, cosmetics, toys, or sports.

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Metropolitan Museum
Chay: There are more than a hundred reasons to visit The Metropolitan Museum in New York, but an ongoing exhibit called “In Praise of Painting: Dutch Masterpieces at The Met” is one you shouldn’t miss. Running until October 2020, the show features Dutch paintings from the 17th century and gives you a good glimpse of The Dutch Republic’s colorful history and way of life during that period.

Trends to try

McDonald’s Flavors of Japan
Vincenz: I like the Teriyaki Samurai burger since the beef patty is juicy while the teriyaki sauce is oozing. You could also try their Ebi Burger if you like your shrimp tempura being sandwiched with buns, sweet sauce, and lettuce. Pair them with the Nori Shake Shake Fries and a Sakura McFloat for a full “oishii” experience.


Now Playing is the GadgetMatch team’s favorite games, movies, TV shows, and more each month. If you’re curious to know what we’re into at the moment, this is what you should check out. So grab your popcorn, get some drinks, and enjoy what’s now playing!

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Leaked infographic reveals more about Huawei P30

Based on six pillars

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Leaked P30 images courtesy of Roland Quandt WinFeature

In less than two weeks, the Huawei P30 will be unveiled in Paris.

And if it’s going to be anything like last year’s blockbuster, Huawei’s next flagship should rock the tech world. But what exactly is there to be excited about?

A lot apparently. Recently I spoke with a source inside Huawei who showed me an infographic giving us new clues about the upcoming P30 and P30 Pro. While I wasn’t allowed to publish the infographic, I was allowed to take notes and publish the details here.

The infographic, like the rest of the official promo materials that have gone out, refers to the P30 as a smartphone that will “rewrite all the rules.”

My source tells me the phone will focus on six pillars.

  • More beauty (phone design)
  • More detail (selfie camera)
  • More advanced (rear cameras)
  • More convenient (fingerprint sensor)
  • More features (UI)
  • More battery (battery life)

While the source didn’t go into detail about what exactly these specific features and changes will be, one might be able to deduce enough.

More Beauty. Last year, Huawei pioneered a new design trend giving the P20 a host of eye-catching gradient finishes, including the most coveted, Twilight.

Leaked photos show that Huawei is sticking to its gradient design. But also offering new color selections including bright red (I want).

More beauty could also refer to the front of the phone with a more vibrant OLED panel, tiny teardrop notch, as well as a slimmer forehead and chin with no bezels on its sides thanks to its curved display.

More Detail. The leaked infographic shows the progression of P Series front cameras. From 8 megapixels on the P9 and P10 to 24MP on the P20. More detail perhaps might indicate an even higher megapixel count or maybe even pixel binning tech like Huawei does with the P20’s 40MP rear camera.

The wishful thinker in me hopes that more detail also means a wider lens, as the current crop of selfie cameras (aside from the Pixel 3 XL) that can fit very little into the frame are very limiting.

More Advanced. Over the past year, no other smartphone manufacturer has pushed the boundaries of smartphone photography more than Huawei. And it would come as no surprise if the P30 takes it yet another step forward.

The P30 is rumored to have three rear cameras (one normal, one ultra wide-angle, and one zoom) while the P30 Pro is going to have four; the fourth will be a Time of Flight sensor which maps 3D objects in a scene and provides even better depth sensing.

The zoom lens on both models will definitely be able to zoom in further than ever thanks to a new camera system based on periscope tech. At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last month, Huawei VP for Marketing Clement Wong showed me an up-close photo of the moon, the same one posted by Huawei CEO Richard Yu to Weibo, saying it was taken using an unreleased Huawei flagship.

Photo of the moon / Richard Yu on Weibo

Huawei has also posted this teaser showing the really close zoom-ins of the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe.

More Convenient. It is almost all but certain that the P30 will have an under-display fingerprint scanner, the first time on the P series but not necessarily on a Huawei phone. It isn’t clear how this fingerprint scanner will be more convenient. Here’s to hoping Huawei has developed its own ultrasonic sensor like the Qualcomm tech Samsung put on the Galaxy S10+.

More Battery. Well, this one isn’t too surprising. Huawei smartphones, both the P and Mate series, deliver the best battery life in the market today and one would expect this tradition to live on in the P30 and P30 Pro. Expect a larger battery compared to last year’s model, even better optimization, and faster wired and wireless charging speeds.

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