Features

Best Premium Smartphones above $600 (June 2017 Edition)

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If you’re looking for the very best high-end smartphones available, you’ve come to the right place! Every month, GadgetMatch updates this list with the finest devices money can buy, no matter how much they cost.

As a follow-up to our May compilation, this June list takes every newly launched flagship costing more than $600 into consideration, but doesn’t discount the smartphones that continue to make an impact since their launch last year.

Here they are in no particular order:

Samsung Galaxy S8+ ($850)

Was there any doubt about Samsung’s most gorgeous phone making this selection? Armed with the finest processor ever built in the Snapdragon 835, possibly the best single camera in a handset today, and the most refined Android skin to date, the Galaxy S8+ looks to stay on our radar for a long time.

REVIEW: Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

Apple iPhone 7 Plus ($769)

You can’t complete a selection like this without including Apple’s latest handset. And it’s not because an iPhone has to be included; the iPhone 7 Plus is so fast and so smooth, there’s no way we could ignore it. It also gets the nod over the regular iPhone 7 thanks to its far more impressive dual-camera setup.

REVIEW: Apple iPhone 7 and 7 Plus

Google Pixel XL ($769)

While the Pixel XL has its shortcomings — the lack of serious water resistance and oddly plain design spring to mind — you can’t find a more optimized Android smartphone right now. Everything about it is snappy, from the incredible camera to its witty Google Assistant. It’s also got the most up-to-date operating system, unlimited storage for all your photos, plus a better screen resolution and battery life than the smaller Pixel.

REVIEW: Google Pixel (3 months later)

LG G6 ($650)

After what many considered to be a failure in the G5, LG went back to the drawing board and crafted a smartphone that looks and feels great, and — more importantly — simply works. We’ve been so fond of the G6’s generous but not-too-tall display, extra-wide-angle camera, and super-solid build quality since we got our hands on it. Buh-bye, modules!

REVIEW: LG G6

Xiaomi Mi Mix (Exclusive Edition – $689)

As of writing, there’s still no widely available smartphone much like Xiaomi’s Mi Mix. Its near-bezel-free front is incredible to this day, and the Exclusive Edition ups the premium with gold rims on the back and a ceramic finish. And it’s so generous on the inside, as well: 6GB of memory and 256GB of internal storage are more than enough even for hardcore users.

REVIEW: Xiaomi Mi Mix (Exclusive Edition) review

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Features

PLDT Fast Hub: A taste of (near) 10,000mbps

With the PLDT Fast Hub

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PLDT Fast Hub

Fast and consistently reliable Internet speed has always felt like a pipe dream in the Philippines. But PLDT is doing its best to make it a reality. The latest expansion sees the company bringing up to 10,000mbps to select areas in the county. 

The number seems staggering. To show exactly what it can do, we spent an afternoon at the PLDT Fast Hub. Here’s what the experience was like. 

Close to 10,000mbps 

PLDT Fast Hub

We conducted several OOKLA speed tests and never quite got to exactly 10,000mbps. However, the speeds were consistently around 8,000mbps. That’s still more than any other plan in the Philippines at the moment.

Specific hardware required

PLDT Fast Hub

Naturally, something this fast has to come with its own set of specific hardware. Every household is different, so you’ll need to fill-up this form from PLDT to find out exactly what’s required for your setup. Consequently, your setup will determine the full pricing.

How many devices can it handle? Covering up to around 6,000 square maters thanks to the ASUS ZenWifi and a mesh system, the service can accommodate up to 100 bandwidth-hungry devices at once without struggling. With this, you still have room to connect a few more passive smart devices. 

And that’s exactly what was on display on the Fast Hub.

Multiple devices

PDLT Fast Hub

This was the primary computer connected to the service. We loaded a bunch of sites, which, to be honest, didn’t really put too much strain on the service. Imagine 10 more of these in the household and the connection can still handle it smoothly.

PLDT Fast Hub

Is there a gamer in the family? Having consistent and fast bandwidth is key, especially if you play competitive multiplayer games like Valorant. We tried our hand on a few games and while we ultimately ate dust in the game, the internet connection more than held up.

PLDT Fast Hub

To set the mood while taking these photos, we fired up TWICE’s Hello (Performed by Nayeon, Momo, and Chaeyoung). Music streaming typically doesn’t really eat up too much bandwidth, so you can vibe to whatever your jam is to your heart’s content.

PDLT Fast Hub

Some Playstation 5/console games require you to be online. Inside the fast hub, we ran a few races on Gran Turismo 7. Again, the overall experience was seamless. Would’ve loved to be able to test this on NBA 2K’s Park since that’s the mode we consistently have trouble connecting to. Perhaps another time.

Connected Smart Home

PLDT Fast Hub

Other than the aforementioned devices, the PLDT Fast Hub also featured a bunch of smart lights. We can’t recall the exact number but there were probably over 15 lights setup. All of which responded swiftly  after being issued voice commands via Google Assistant.

There was also a smart vacuum in the room which also responded to voice commands. It didn’t quite do exactly what you told it to, but perhaps that’s more the device than the Internet connection.

They even had this smart mirror in the room. With it you can pull up any workouts on YouTube and follow-along the exercise while the video is playing.

A dream

The PLDT Fast Hub delivered a taste of a dream. In fact, the whole setup likely didn’t even push the connection to the limit. But to know that this is now a possibility in certain locations is encouraging. Hoping it becomes more widely available and accessible soon.

To know if it covers your area, again, you may sign up on this form.

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Features

vivo X80 Pro with ZEISS: Capturing the city life

Noteworthy smartphone cameras

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vivo X80 Pro ZEISS


City life. It takes its toll on you. But it also has its charms. And one way to really enjoy its hustle and bustle is to have a companion to capture everything it has to offer.

Thankfully, there’s the vivo X80 Pro. It’s the company’s latest and greatest for many reasons.
Chief of which is its outstanding cameras sprinkled with ZEISS Natural Color goodness.

vivo and ZEISS

vivo’s camera-performance has been flying under the radar over the years. But with this ZEISS partnership, they’re now ready to soar.

All the lenses on the X80 Pro have ZEISS patented T Star coating. It helps reduce reflections when taking photos of lights at night.

Photos are already sharp as is but the ZEISS Super Night Camera takes things even further. You also get ZEISS Portraits for stylized shots.

And it’s not just photos. Zeiss makes its mark on videos too. With the ZEISS Cinematic Video Bokeh feature, you can shoot in a cinematic aspect ratio… While also applying depth of field.

Working in tandem to produce these still and moving images are the ZEISS 50MP Ultra-Sensing GNV Sensor as well as the V1+ Chip. The sensor keeps things steady even if your hands are shaky. And the V1 Plus Chip is vivo’s own creation — a product of years of research and development to achieve the absolute best in mobile imaging technology.

Capturing city life

Okay, we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s pullback for a bit and show you all the cameras equipped on the vivo X80 Pro.

  • 50MP Zeiss Ultra-Sensing GNV sensor
  • 48MP Ultra wide angle lens
  • 8MP Periscope lens, 5x optical zoom
  • 12MP Gimbal Portrait camera

They say the best camera is the one you can always carry with you. And this combination from vivo is about as good and as extensive as it can get.

Combined with the Camera Panning feature working in the background we can get stunning running shots.

It’s a great way to document the start to your day. After that quick run, it’s time to freshen up and grab a bite. Sharing your breakfast on socials is still a thing, right? Flex all you want. You deserve it.

And while you’re at it. Might as well flex yourself too using the 32MP selfie shooter.

Videos are all the rage these days and if you want to take social sharing to another level, do it in motion.

SEE ALSO: GadgetSnaps: vivo X80 Pro in The Fort

Premium flagship

Now, capturing isn’t all the vivo x80 Pro is good for. It is, after all, a flagship smartphone. The specs speak for themselves:

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
  • 12+4GB RAM
  • 256GB Storage
  • 4,700mAh

It’s one thing to see it on paper, but the overall performance checks out too. Your usual social browsing, chatting, and jumping between apps is an absolute breeze.

And watching your favorite shows and videos is just flat-out great. The vivo X80 Pro has dual speakers making for a fantastic entertainment experience.

The 6.78-inch AMOLED display is a treat to the eyes. And it has a 120Hz adaptive refresh rate, meaning it goes from 1Hz to 120Hz depending on what you’re doing.

This helps conserve the 4,700mAh battery which should last you quite a bit in a day. And if not, you can quickly top up as it supports wired 80W Flash Charge as well as 50W wireless Flash Charge.

As far as its looks are concerned it has a glass back with matte coating and some hints of glitter. Fittingly called Cosmic Black, the look is a straight up classic.

Superb shooter, all around partner

vivo has for itself quite a banger of a smartphone with the X80 Pro. It is literally everything you can ask for from a smartphone camera/ Delivering photos and videos that are vivid, sharp, and captivating while performing like every bit the flagship that it is.

The vivo X80 Pro retails for PhP 59,999. And the vivo X80 series is now available:


This feature is a collaboration between GadgetMatch and vivo Philippines.

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Reviews

Apple M2 MacBook Pro Unboxing and Review

More Important Than You Think!

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During WWDC 2022, Apple announced the newest 2022 M2 MacBook Air with a major redesign — making it the instant star of the show.

But for others, the M2 MacBook Pro is what they’re aiming for.

It might still be the same with its classic aluminum unibody design, 13.3″ Retina Display, and a Touch Bar from 2016 — but inside it’s even more powerful.

Also equipped with the new generation of Apple’s Silicon Chip dubbed ‘M2’, it surely knows how to make professionals drool.

But is it worth the money? Or should you just get the M2 MacBook Air instead?

Or what about getting the more expensive 14-inch MacBook Pro with an M1 Pro chip?

Watch our unboxing and full review on the M2 MacBook Pro now to find out more!

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