These days, smartphones can do almost anything. From booking rides, to finding drinks and finding love — these high-tech gadgets are super capable. Having a phone camera has also become a standard, but not all cameras are created equal.
For the photo lovers, I’ve compiled a list of smartphones that have been tailored specifically to us selfie enthusiasts. The best part? A great selfie doesn’t have to cost you substantial money! All phones are below US$ 500.
The 6-inch selfie expert
OPPO is called the “selfie expert” for good reason. Their slew of smartphone releases have very capable cameras. The F3 Plus has two front-facing cameras: 16- and 8-megapixel shooters, the latter being a wide-angled camera. This means wider selfies with more scenery! The phone also has a software-generated bokeh mode and its 6-inch screen allows for a bigger screen to check your photos on.
The F3 Plus has a built-in beauty mode which allows you to toggle between fair and rosy complexions and a beauty filter with seven possible levels of intensity.
The perfect selfie smartphone
To this day, Vivo’s beauty mode remain to be my favorite. This stands true to their promise of creating “perfect selfie” smartphones. The Vivo V5 Plus, although an older release, is still my photo go-to from the Vivo line. The front-facing dual-camera setup features 20- and 8-megapixel shooters and it’s equipped with a bokeh mode feature.
Vivo’s beauty mode features a bar you can toggle from end to end for three different things: buffing, skin tone, and whitening.
A smaller version of the F3 Plus
The OPPO F3 is everything the F3 Plus is, at a fraction of the size. With a screen at 5.5 inches, my teeny hands are capable of taking one-handed selfies, well, almost. This smaller OPPO phone literally carries the same specs, the same beauty modes as the F3 Plus but at a more affordable price tag.
The literal pro at selfies
The ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro blows me away with the amount of attention put on its beauty mode. Everything from skin tone to skin softening, brightening, eye widening, and cheek thinning may be achieved from levels one to ten — talk about choices!
As if that wasn’t enough, ZenFone 4 selfie phones come with ASUS Selfie Master which is a camera app with a different beauty mode interface. The same app allows you to shoot video and go live on social media with a full-time beauty filter.
A dual-camera setup up front is capable of 24-megapixel DuoPixel photos, wide-angle shots, and bokeh mode.
The Selfie Pro’s budget counterpart
The ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie is the budget counterpart of the ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro. Fitted with 20- and 8-megapixel cameras for ultimate selfies, this smartphone camera has all the beauty mode features the Selfie Pro has at a cheaper price.
The cutie screen phone
The Meizu Pro 7 is not specifically marketed as a selfie smartphone, but I feel compelled to include this on the list because of the many wonders its secondary AMOLED screen — or as I call it, the cutie screen — holds.
The teeny panel on the back of the phone serves a great selfie purpose, as it allows you to shoot with the phone’s rear dual-cams on three modes: beauty, camera blur, and original. The Pro 7’s single front shooter is also equipped with a basic beauty mode function.
SEE ALSO: Cute and fun tech for girls!
[irp posts=”12138″ name=”How to take the perfect selfie”]
Here are our favorite iOS 14 custom home screens
Some inspo to get creative
The recent iOS update has taken social media by storm, shining a light on creativity expressed by iPhone users and designers.
In case you’re living under a rock, #iOS14homescreen trended in Twitter highlighting the prettiest and most creative home screens.
As of writing, many users are still having fun expressing their wit and style through custom widget designs. If you’re looking for inspiration to create your own, we’ve rounded up our favorite iOS 14 custom home screens!
If you love coffee and earth tones
— idk (@depressionrts) September 21, 2020
For those who love a minimalist approach
— KC🦋 (@kclaiire) September 21, 2020
— Leyla (@sevdaglow) September 21, 2020
It’s time to go green!
— meg ♡ (@meganegallimore) September 23, 2020
Making it futuristic and dystopian a la Vice City
— teju2909 (@teju2909) September 22, 2020
For party freaks missing the neon lights
— 𝘅 𝗶 𝗻 𝗶 (@xinilass) September 21, 2020
How about Karasuno High from Haikyu!!?
— ًَmia (@wasugawara) September 21, 2020
Paint the town pink!
— ʟ ʏ ʀ ᴀ ʜ ⁷ (@victaerian) September 18, 2020
Keeping it dark, eerie, and sexy~
— gracielle (@applepiezi) September 18, 2020
— poggy the froggy 🐸🌱 (@pogpals) September 22, 2020
That pastel and nude colors used by several Instagram aEstHetIc influencers
— 𝐈𝐍生 (@atinywols) September 19, 2020
When you just love the universe…
— ً (@jeonghanh8r) September 19, 2020
…or your idols
i made my homescreen fanfare themed 🥰 pic.twitter.com/f3gUIDdk21
— pj ☆ (@diorscy) September 20, 2020
And so far, here’s the best one… especially if you want to keep yourself from being addicted to your phone
Looking for a way to limit screen time? pic.twitter.com/VPqu3Tuc2N
— Michelle Broderick (@MichelleBee) September 23, 2020
Which one do you like best? Share your custom home screen designs on Instagram and tag us @gadgetmatch!
How I got fit with the OPPO Watch
Our goal is to survive
When the global health crisis struck the world into a colossal spiral while we all watched anxious in our homes, I decided to escape into a fitness challenge. Hey, I needed some form of healthy coping and I thought putting my frail, petite figure into the ringer was a good way to keep me distracted.
So, since the end of March of this year, I decided to do at-home workouts six days per week. And, by the end of April, I had somehow dedicated hours into working out consistently from Sundays to Fridays.
Deciding to be fit
If you’re thinking, “she’s mental,” hi. Yes, I am. I always knew I was capable of sticking to something I wanted to work towards. I’d go so far as to say I’ve always had an obsessive tendency towards things I set my mind on. There was, of course, a good incentive: my mental health.
I’ve always struggled with my mental health. Even when writing about how video games helped me through rough patches in my life, I’d spiral back into the same mental state over and over. I wanted to break that horrible cycle. And so, I set myself to use fitness to expend energy I would usually have to be anxious or self-destructive on something healthier and beneficial.
Oh, I almost forgot a tangent motivation to all of this: I was weaning off my medication. So, if you didn’t know, which you probably didn’t, I was taking antidepressants and mood stabilizers to get by.
Whenever I had teetered into fitness, I weirdly felt on-top-of-things. I brought this up to my psychiatrist and knew that if I wanted sustainable stability, I had to work on long term changes to my lifestyle.
So, back to the task at hand, I had consistently worked out, built muscle where I didn’t know I had and gained a ton of weight. By late August to early September, I had felt better mentally.
Tracking with the OPPO Watch
When I got the OPPO Watch, I had already checked out most of my personal goals except one: getting stunning abs. I went to work on journaling ab workouts I was going to do and healthy meals I wanted to treat myself to. I was planning on running outside to get my daily 10,000 steps through the watch’s Wear OS out of the way and was pretty excited to strap on the OPPO Watch.
Before we hop into my journey with the OPPO Watch, here’s a couple of things you might want to know. The Oppo Watch’s dual-curved 1.6-inch AMOLED display makes it look identical to the Apple Watch.
Elephant in the room finally out; let’s talk specs. It’s got a Snapdragon Wear 3100 SoC with an Apollo Chip. All of that runs on Wear OS by Google and is powered by a 300mAh battery. And, OPPO boasted the watch’s 21-day battery capacity. So, I was hyping myself up for a two-week ab workout program to accompany the specs and features the watch was decked out on.
Let me just get it out there: as much as the OPPO Watch has an identity crisis on potentially being an Apple Watch wannabe or clone, it delivers on looks. The watch is pretty and the interface never once stuttered while I used it. But I digress…
Road to getting abs
On day one, road to maybe getting abs, the watch flopped and stopped recording my run, and ab exercises because it had run out of battery. Frustrated but also quietly relieved, I dropped my plan for the afternoon and eased out of my workout quicker than I often would.
You see, I had become overly obsessed with working out. So much so, that I was scheduling everything else in my day around the 2-3 hours every single day I wanted to exercise.
Although it was a disappointing first day, it was a wake-up call. I had always felt fatigued and out of breath from just doing typical chores. I’ve long ignored this symptom of over-training and kept overworking myself.
As much as the watch didn’t get to keep up with my “typical” day, it drew red flags on the fact that I was unusually active.
Don’t get me wrong. The OPPO Watch is a great smartwatch. It’s got a ton of features I want a smartwatch to have. It had a training assistant, a heart rate monitor, a sleep tracker, sedentary reminders, and had a vast array of workouts you could track through Wear OS.
It was the best thing to help validate the hard work I was making on a daily. I would use and abuse installing the Google Fit app to track my strength training, workout sets, and footsteps. But, if there’s anything I slowly learned from over-training and “over tracking,” it’s that you tarnish your relationship to exercise if you obsess over calories.
More to getting fit than looking a certain way
If you’ve been hating yourself for not getting fit or not losing weight while the rest of the world is ablaze, let this be the reminder you need. We’re here to survive, not to pressure ourselves into losing weight, getting fit, building unhealthy self-images, or getting sick and injured.
This year, especially, is not the time. I know that being isolated can feel relentlessly daunting and peeking into social media feeds into unhealthy and toxic standards you might feel pressured to try to achieve. But, there’s more to health than trying to look a certain way — there’s the important bit about how you are and how you are feeling.
A lot of the ironically toxic parts of health and fitness is from building fundamental goals on visual validity: a number on the scale, a measurement, or aesthetic muscle development. When health and fitness should be about developing something sustainable: strength, flexibility, stamina, or better well-being.
It’s also good to note that quick and sudden fixes can show fast results but won’t be sustainable long-term. The quicker the change, the quicker it is to lose. Easing your way into small changes until you achieve a healthy lifestyle that isn’t restrictive of anything you want is the way to go.
For the past two weeks with the OPPO Watch, I decided to be more attuned with myself, mentally and physically. It was a good time for my body to recover from brutal stress I put it through.
The watch’s Wear OS features breathing exercises that helped a lot with this. I would find myself struggling with anxiety late at night and I’d go on the watch and do the breathing exercises until I calmed down. I know the feature is simple and I can do without it but, having something to guide me through deep breathes really helped.
Throughout my two weeks of what was meant to be non-stop ab exercises, I decided to work out on days I felt like working out and rested on days I wanted to. The OPPO Watch gave me a good feel of my health with my heart rate and step count even if I stayed indoors.
It monitored and gave me customizable daily goals which were less about reaching them every day and more about realistic and forgiving progress.
Oh! It’s good to note that the watch might be able to last about a week but it’ll need to be on power saver mode. You’ll be limited to viewing the time, checking your pulse when you want to, counting your steps, and getting notifications.
On that week, I kept active and went about my day without worrying about the nitty-gritty details of how much calories I burnt from walking, running, or lifting weights.
Is this your GadgetMatch?
I didn’t keep the OPPO Watch on power saver mode for long for a few reasons. To recover from over-training, I wanted to improve on my sleep and work on my relationship with exercise and calories so tracking my sleep was important to me.
On top of that, the breathing exercises weren’t accessible on power saver mode which was a huge bummer seeing as that feature helped me through some anxious nights — what a legend of a feature.
The OPPO Watch is decked out with so much to help you get better, happier, and healthier but only in ways, you choose to. So if you’re not a fitness fiend and are looking for a smartwatch to just track your pulse, steps, and of course, keep track of time, consider this watch. The OPPO Watch costs PhP 12,990/GBP 229.
Huawei’s Watch Fit aims to ‘reframe’ health, fitness, and style
Lead your fitness revolution
Huawei unveiled its latest fitness watch, the Huawei Watch Fit. It’s the Chinese company’s first-ever sports-oriented smartwatch with a rounded rectangular face. The new fitness watch aims to reframe your health, fitness, and style.
Reassess your health and fitness
With an assortment of fitness courses, workout modes, and health tracking features, you can get into new routines to reassess your health and fitness.
The Huawei Watch Fit contains 12 workout courses with 44 posture demonstrations, supported by an animated personal trainer. There’s a free one-on-one personal training, and bite-sized exercises so you can stay fit wherever you are. The watch also reminds you to stand up with its reminders, prompting you to move if you sit longer than three minutes.
Moreover, the fitness watch supports a total of 96 workout modes with advanced data tracking. Professional workout modes cover the most popular exercises such as running, walking, cycling, swimming, and more. On the other hand, there are 85 workout modes covered for different niches.
The power of science and technology
Huawei combines its AI technology and scientific data to create comprehensive health-tracking features. With proprietary technologies, Huawei Watch Fit promises to aid consumers in becoming more conscious of their personal health and data.
Monitoring heart rate
Through TruSeen 4.0 heart rate monitoring technology, the Watch Fit assesses your current resting heart rate complete with an infographic detailing the changes over the last 24 hours. Additionally, the fitness watch will notify you when your resting heart rate is too high or too low.
Better sleep tracking
Meanwhile, TruSleep 2.0 monitors your sleep stages and sleep respiration quality. It presents a comprehensive sleep analysis presenting different stages: light sleep, deep sleep, REM, and wakefulness.
Moreover, it identifies typical sleep problems that help the Watch Fit prepare hundreds of suggestions to improve and personalize your sleep. Having a long-lasting battery life, you don’t have to worry about running out of juice while tracking your sleep.
Other health-tracking features
On another note, the Watch Fit also comes with important tracking features such as SpO2 monitoring for your blood oxygen saturation, stress level monitoring packed with breathing exercises, and menstrual cycle management for women.
Style meets functionality
The Huawei Watch Fit presents a sleek style worth wearing at all times. It’s lightweight and it complements any outfit with its breathable strap designs in different colors: Mint Green, Sakura Pink, Cantaloupe Orange, and Graphite Black.
It sports a vivid AMOLED screen with ultra-slim bezels and a dazzling display. Furthermore, it carries over 130 different watch face designs and an option to personalize with photo albums synced from your smartphone.
Pricing and availability
The Huawei Watch Fit retails for EUR 129 (US$ 153) and is available September 2020.
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