Her GadgetMatch

5 best dual-camera selfie smartphones below $500

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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 F3 Plus

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.

OPPO F3 Plus photo sample

OPPO F3 Plus selfie sample

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.

READ MORE: OPPO F3 Plus review and selfie comparisons

The perfect selfie smartphone

Vivo V5 Plus

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 V5 Plus selfie sample

Vivo V5 Plus selfie sample

Vivo’s beauty mode features a bar you can toggle from end to end for three different things: buffing, skin tone, and whitening.

READ MORE: Vivo V5 Plus camera hands-on: Another perfect selfie?

A smaller version of the F3 Plus

OPPO F3

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.

OPPO F3 selfie sample

OPPO F3 selfie sample

READ MORE: OPPO F3 review and selfie comparisons

The literal pro at selfies

ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro

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!

ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro photo sample

Beauty + bokeh mode on the ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro

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.

READ MORE: ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro review: The ultimate selfie phone

The Selfie Pro’s budget counterpart

ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie

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.

ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie selfie sample

ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie photo sample

READ MORE: ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie hands-on and camera review

Bonus:

The cutie screen phone

Meizu Pro 7

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.

Meizu Pro 7 photo samples

Meizu Pro 7 selfie samples

READ MORE: Meizu Pro 7 Review: Twice the fun

SEE ALSO: Cute and fun tech for girls!

[irp posts=”12138″ name=”How to take the perfect selfie”]

 

Her GadgetMatch

Millennial parenting and the need for baby domain names

Parenting in 2018!

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Parenting in 2018 has certainly changed from when our parents did it. Millennials, most of which are digital natives, now have different priorities and considerations when it comes to naming their kids. Just how different? Well…

Image credit: GoDaddy

That’s right. According to a GoDaddy survey, domain names now play a big role in what parents consider when naming their child!

General sentiments have also changed. The same survey cites 48 percent of millennial parents, almost double the number of Gen X parents, believe that online media presence early in life is important for their kid.

In fact, even before their babies could walk, they’ve probably been posted about online by their millennial parents.

This is unsurprising because this generation grew up online. In fact, 58 percent of millennials are reported to have created their first online profile between the ages of 10 and 17. 

Hence the willingness for millennial parents to help their children create their own websites! The reasoning is simple: Most millennial parents believe that this will help their child when it comes to jobs searches and college applications in the future.

Some parents even go as far as buying the domain even before the child’s birth. Top reasons for doing so include reserving the name for the future, to use an online baby book, and lastly, to utilize the domain as a tool to teach their kid about the internet.

GoDaddy trends expert Melissa Schneider explains, “It’s no longer enough to make sure that your baby is enrolled at the top elementary school at birth — parents today are claiming their child’s name and online identity to make sure that they’re set up for success down the line. More than ever, it’s essential to own your own identity on the internet, and millennials know that better than anyone else.”

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Her GadgetMatch

OPPO Find X Lamborghini Edition: Testing a $2,000 phone

Will a luxurious phone make me more luxurious?

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I won’t beat around the bush. This is the OPPO Find X Lamborghini Edition and it’s worth almost US$ 2,000 or US$ 1,980 to be precise.

What’s so special about it? See that seal? It’s an actual Lamborghini. No, really, from the Italian luxury carmaker.

I got my hands on this delightful device and I’ve been using it for a few weeks. So, now that I have my own Lambo, what changed? Did using this expensive AF phone make me a classier person? Will I get more street cred because of my flashy phone? What does holding US$ 2,000 in form of a phone feel like?

Because owning such a luxurious device has made me a more gracious person, I shall walk you through my experiences with the Lambo.

It still looks and feels good 

The OPPO Find X Lamborghini Edition has the same signature bezel-less screen of the regular Find X.

On the back, glaring in gold is the Lamborghini logo. This phone also has a different back design on that smooth glass back; almost elusive striped markings dubbed by OPPO as the black carbon pattern adorns the whole body.

Of course, there’s a special edition Lambo theme because if you’re paying that much for a phone, they better throw in a custom theme!

As cool as it was (especially for car lovers!), though, I opted to change the theme into something brighter during my time with the phone. 😅

I’ve said it about the normal Find X and I’ll say it again about this Lambo phone: It’s a pleasure to hold. The weight, feel, and that wide, crisp screen make everything feel premium.

The only downside is that the normal OPPO Find X and the Lambo phone are similarly great — which is a good thing if you own the normal Find X, but not such a great deal if you paid the US$ 825 difference for the more expensive phone.

Nonetheless, the Lambo phone does give a classier spin to the phone in black and gold. I mean, if you hold it strategically enough, people should take notice of that Lamborghini logo, right?

Touting such an expensive device day and night is not as easy as it looks. Because I’m secretly not rich (sad reacts 😢), I almost had a mini heart attack handling such an expensive thing that’s all glass. Thankfully, the phone came with a phone case that sports the same Lamborghini logo and stripe pattern that onlookers can accidentally ogle so they can realize how much my phone costs.

It didn’t make me more luxurious but it looked the part

As you may have noticed, I busted out classy AF props for shooting this particular device.

I figured this was as good a time as any to amp up the set design — it’s not every day your phone costs more than 18 bottles of Moet.

Sans the bottles of champagne, we did discover that the Lamborghini Find X looks great with classy rich girl outfits complete with pearl ensemble. I felt straight out of Gossip Girl, except even Blair Waldorf didn’t own a Lamborghini phone, did she?

The best fast charge technology that money can buy

The best thing about this phone comes in form of a brightly colored charger cord and Lamborghini-branded power brick. I sh!t you not (excuse my crassness but this tech deserves the profanity), this phone charges from zero to 100 in 35 minutes. Ten minutes of charging gives you 37 percent and thirty minutes of charging amounts to a whopping 92 percent.

Never have I seen such fast charging times. It’s unreal.

Honestly, charging became such an easy thing for me since using this phone. I just plug it in and it’ll completely charge before you can finish saying supercalifragilistic-holy-fudge-this-phone-is-so-expensive-docious!

Real talk though, because I don’t plug this phone in as much as you would other phones (shout-out to iPhone users), think of all the money you can save in terms of broken cords!

There are matching earphones

OPPO also threw in a pair of matching wireless earbuds because someone had to justify paying that much money for this set.

They come in a case stamped with the Lamborghini logo and automatically connect to your phone after initial pairing. They’re a decent pair of earphones that go well with the whole Lambo look except I seem to have misplaced one of the earpieces (which is not my fault because there is a serious design flaw to untethered earphones!) and now there’s a pit in my stomach when I think of how much that tiny thing probably costs. 😢

Different yet exactly the same?

At the end of the day, it’s still the same great phone.

The features that made me love the normal Find X are still the same features I enjoy on this Lambo: the fast face unlock feature, the awesome display, and the pop-up camera design (it never gets old).

Owning a Lambo *surprise* has not fundamentally changed me. I’m still really, really not rich. Most people didn’t even notice the flashy Lambo logo on my phone. Funny enough, people still only notice the pop-up camera and are still very much amazed by it.

But, I did, and still do enjoy using this phone. It’s a top-of-the-line device and it feels that way. I like it to the point that I keep using it despite having only one Lambo earphone now. 😢

Like a true luxury item, the price really doesn’t make sense. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that it’s an awesome, awesome device — if you can afford it.

In the meantime, I’m unsure of how to live my life if I have to go back to charging my phone for more than 35 minutes. Let me leave you now as I sip on not Moet to ponder on my dilemma.

Images by MJ Jucutan

SEE ALSO: OPPO Find X review: All about style, selfies, and that poppin’ camera

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Accessories

Freitag R523 Hoffmann: Recycled laptop bags have never looked this good

Each bag is literally one-of-a-kind

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Continuing the never-ending search for a laptop bag I’d actually use, Freitag’s R523 Hoffmann was the next victim.

A good laptop bag is essential to your work, and your #OOTDs! When shopping for a bag that will house one of my most prized possessions (not to mention, the tool that gives me my living) there are certain considerations: Is the bag spacious enough? Will it protect my computer? Will I be able to carry it around on long days? Does it ruin my outfit?

So, does the Hoffman live up to my standards? What’s so special about this brand? Let’s find out.

What’s the deal with Freitag?

It’s really not your usual brand. Zurich-based Freitag boasts that each bag is made of truck tarpaulin, each one selected (yes, they have special truck spotters), washed, and cut to create bags — each one entirely unique to others.

So yes, these bags are made out of recycled materials but they look oh so good.

Also, they’re heavy-duty because, well, they are made out of materials designed to be outdoors under all elements. A big plus: That makes these bags waterproof, which is a great thing because I’m putting my laptop in it.

The bag I tried on for size was the Hoffmann:

Look and feel

My pick was a white bag because you can never go wrong with this color. It looks crisp, classic, and ready to match any given outfit.

Interestingly, it doesn’t seem like it’s a bag that’s made out of tarpaulin — at least not how I imagined a tarpaulin bag would look. It’s classy and it matches even business or work outfits which is great for those long meeting days. Also worth noting: Its texture gives off a great look and feel.

It has a strap handle which is pretty sturdy; no way this will break even when you have a laptop (and a whole lot of other things like I do 🙈).

It also has a longer strap so you can wear it around your shoulder. If you’re like me and you have frail arms, this feature is a godsend.

These straps are also very sturdy and adjustable. The better to carry everything you need with!

What’s inside?

There are two outside pockets for stuff you want to keep but need easy access to.

And of course, it has a dedicated laptop pocket! There are also smaller side pockets inside for other stuff and knick-knacks. Great for organizing your things — no more bags that are bottomless pits of random stuff.

This is a surprisingly spacious bag. It can house my work gear (laptop, external hard drive, small camera, cords, and chargers) plus all my everyday essentials (a semi-big makeup bag, wallet, and perfume).

Final thoughts

Despite it being sourced from upcycled materials, this is one expensive-looking bag. That’s also because it is. All those good qualities come at a price, listed at CHF 314.80 on their website and priced at over PhP 20,000 from Urban Traveller & Co. in the Philippines.

Freitag’s Hoffmann offers a good-looking laptop bag made out of heavy duty materials, ensuring your machine is always safe. A big plus is that it’s recycled — a great whoop for the environment!

One thing’s for sure: When you get yourself a Freitag bag, you get more than just a bag. You get a one-of-a-kind piece that’s not only an awesome home for your laptop, it’s also a statement on how you can breathe new life into random objects with some creativity. Each one serves as an example of how you can create new and amazing things from stuff that are seemingly worthless.

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