Features

Bird Box, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo: Now Playing

Don’t look unless it sparks joy

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Over the holidays, the GadgetMatch team got some time to rest and relax before CES 2019. Here’s what we enjoyed during our break.

Movies to see

Bird Box
Marvin: If you’ve already watched Bird Box, congrats. If not, you aren’t missing out. Despite the massive hype, this Netflix movie isn’t a must-watch. Honestly, the fan theories and multiple interpretations you’d read online are more fun than the feature itself. Even its legacy, the Bird Box challenge — wherein you have to do mundane tasks blindfolded — may leave a longer-lasting impression.


Taylor Swift reputation Stadium Tour
MJ: There’s something magical about concert films, especially if it involves your favorite pop star. Taylor Swift’s Reputation Stadium Tour celebrates a night of music featuring a visually pleasing stage and fabulous dancing. This happened at the AT&T Stadium in Dallas, the last run of her US leg during her world tour.

Black Mirror: Bandersnatch
Kevin: If you share the same sentiments with Marvin about Bird Box, you’re better off checking out Black Mirror’s Bandersnatch. Being an interactive movie, it’s probably something you haven’t experienced before. The way you select between choices throughout the scenes dictate different results and next thing you know, the fate of a teenager’s video game is in your hands. Oh, and when you’ve seen it, check out our Bandersnatch: A Discussion article and read our take on the entire thing.

TV shows to binge watch

Tidying up with Marie Kondo
Kevin: Since most of us are still struggling to be proper adults, it really helps to be shown once in a while how to do things properly — most importantly, in tidying up our own place. Marie Kondo is an organizing consultant famous for her KonMari method and only keeping things that “spark joy” in you. Beyond the wise decluttering tips, the show also touches on the human side of everyday things that sometimes result in one’s disorganization.

Instant Hotel
Dan: Instant Hotel is one of those shows I never knew would be a good. The premise of the show revolves around the concept of an instant hotel (think Airbnb) wherein owners have to prove that they have the best one. They stay in each property and give it a score based on certain criteria. Instant Hotel is delightful to watch, while at the same time interesting because of the contestants. The show is originally from Australia but it’s available internationally on Netflix.

A Series of Unfortunate Events, Season 3
Dan: The third and last season of the A Series of Unfortunate Events on Netflix wraps up the tale of the Baudelaire children. It’s adapted from the four final books of the novel series. Since this is the final season, it has to be good. Like the first and second season, the third one is well-made and has a unique personality. The overall narrative matches the novel’s tone. It’s wonderfully weird, to be honest. I just wish that the ending was split into two parts to cover more of the final novel.

Titans
Dan: Those who have watched Teen Titans cartoons before should check out DC Comic’s live-action series Titans. If Teen Titans is a fun, quirky superhero show, Titans is dark and mature. Its post-Nolan, post-Dark Knight atmosphere presents itself well, but I do have some minor concerns. Marvel’s Daredevil series is better overall, though Titans has the potential to be great. The first season is now on Netflix.

YOU
MJ: YOU is about Joe Goldberg, a bookstore manager who’s obsessed with an aspiring writer named Guinevere Beck. The show shows how today’s technology makes it easier for stalkers to find their way into our lives. Aside from the creepy and extreme measures the bookstore manager does to insert himself in Beck’s life, YOU gives a lesson on what not to do when dealing with strangers to prevent stalkers.

Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj
Rodneil: I’m a lowkey fan of political satire and Hasan Minhaj’s delivery, which I can only describe as a PowerPoint presentation on steroids, feels like such a fresh take. The little over 20-minute episodes that range from immigration to social media, and even hypebeasts, are all well-written and thoroughly researched. The show is both informative and undeniably entertaining.

Naruto
Rodneil: Also known to its fans as “Boruto’s Dad,” this is quite literally the origin story of a legend. Naruto was part of the Big Three shonen anime for longer than a decade and its availability on Netflix is great for both the younger generation and everyone feeling nostalgic about the anime. This series also has arguably one of the best fights in anime: Rock Lee vs Gaara. That’s Season 2, episodes 22 to 24. You’re welcome.

Albums/Songs/Podcasts to listen to

Sunrise by GFRIEND
Vincenz: This is different from your typical K-pop girl group songs with catchy and repetitive lyrics. The song portrays a more meaningful and heartfelt message with its lyrics. Combined with the sound of classical instruments and synths, you will also be mesmerized by their powerful yet soothing vocals (two high notes in one song, anyone?), giving you the feeling of a fantasy-like, whimsical love song — not to mention it also sounds like a Korean anime track.

Like Like You by Ace Banzuelo
Vincenz: I was already hooked the first time I listened to this song. Ace’s vocals clearly catch the ears (and even hearts) of its listeners. It gives me the LANY x LAUV vibe because of its mesmerizing synth-pop tune that works together with its catchy yet meaningful lyrics. This is definitely a perfect go-to song for your daily music streaming, casual road trips, and even chill bar sessions with your friends and special someone.

Apps to download

San Bidet
Dan: You might have heard about it already, but apps like this need to be more popular. San Bidet must have a lot of users and supporters for it to serve its purpose. What is this app, you ask? It’s a location-based directory of toilets with a bidet. It can point you to the nearest one with a single tap, because it knows what an emergency is. The app is available for Android and iOS devices.

VLive
Rodneil: The K-pop girl group Twice has been my one source of happiness of late. I needed heavy doses of happiness and that meant downloading the VLive app. It’s a South Korean live streaming service meant for K-celebs to connect with their fans worldwide. The English subtitles are as real-time as they come and you can stream previous broadcasts so you can get deeper into your fandom.


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!

Automotive

Right-Hand Drive: My first experience

It’s never too late to do something new

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It was a Friday, my birthday. I, along with the local media team, flew to Hong Kong for an annual event on electrifying cities to achieve a greener environment.

After the warm welcome of the event’s hosts, they started briefing us of the day’s itinerary. We were to use the company’s electric vehicles and drive them through Hong Kong’s three main regions to get a feel of how they ride and put their features to real-world use.


Exciting, right? Thing is, Hong Kong is a right-hand drive territory and I live and grew up in a country with left-hand vehicles. I’ve never driven on the opposite side of the road. I figured I’d just wing it.

I figured I’d just wing it.

They finally sent us out to the cars in pairs and assigned us an official rep either to make sure everything went well or that we didn’t run away with the car — pretty sure it was more of the former.

My partner for this ride was a fellow journalist in the automotive industry. He would always crack jokes on almost anything he saw which somehow took my mind off the fact that I’d be driving in a foreign country with unfamiliar roads during my first right-hand drive experience.

We agreed that I’d take the wheel for the first half of the trip and switch seats halfway so we both could experience the electric vehicle. I grabbed the door handle on the right side, opened it, and gave my weight to its cushioned driver seat.

I was faced with the cockpit of the vehicle. As a person who likes things neat and in order, the buttons, displays, and icons were neatly laid out. I was not overwhelmed.

I spotted a mounted GoPro on the passenger’s side aimed directly at me. I thought it was cool to have a copy of myself driving on the opposite side of the road for the first time.

I kind of felt like I was in a sci-fi movie.

With everyone inside, I stepped on the brake and pressed the ignition button. The motor of the car whirred with a held-back enthusiasm. “I’m still not used to how quiet it is,” I told my companions, explaining that I was already able to drive the car — only the previous year’s model. The absence of a gas-guzzling engine made the vehicle come to life not with the sound of a heavy breathing dog but more like Wall-E‘s Eva powering up. I kind of felt like I was in a sci-fi movie.

Then we were off to take on the gloomy and chilly weather. The hotel’s lobby is elevated so there was a long spiral-like ramp that led in and out of the driveway. Turning towards the ramp was critical for me as it was my first turn to the opposite lane. “Always enter the left lane. Always enter the left lane.” I kept telling myself this over and over just to rewire my mind and unlearn the driving system that I grew up with and adapt to this new setup.

We drove down the ramp, onto the street, and later on into the highway. “So far so good,” I thought to myself. The idea was to drive through a pre-designated route using Google Maps. But, as with most times, things didn’t go as smoothly as planned. The app didn’t work properly for the first 15 to 20 minutes of our trip. It had problems with GPS so I had to listen to the company’s representative seated at the back as he pointed when and where to turn.

But, as with most times, things didn’t go as smoothly as planned.

For a while there, I was like an Uber driver going through the busy streets of Hong Kong.

The vehicle responded very well every time I stepped on the gas pedal. We were discussing that having an electric motor means power is quickly channeled to the wheels so it responds a lot faster compared to internal combustion engines. I also liked how the car didn’t have problems gaining speed whenever I needed to catch up. Basically, exploring the car’s array of features, while driving, helped me eliminate the few anxieties that I had left. Yes, I enjoyed the drive.

It was about 30 to 40 minutes in that I became more confident driving the right-hand vehicle. Entering the left lane every time I turned became more and more natural. Of course, there were times when I’d still forget I was on the opposite side — like that time I was paying at the toll gate and opened the left window instead of the right. Boy, was the teller confused when I did that.

While probably a really simple and obvious solution, one of the things that helped me with the transition was to think of everything in the opposite way. That way, It was easier for me to grasp the entire idea of right-hand driving. If my natural habit was to keep right, I knew that during that moment, I needed to keep left. When it felt natural to flick the turn signal using the left switch, I’d use the right since the left would be for activating the wipers.

If my natural habit was to keep right, I knew that during that moment, I needed to keep left.

That kind of mindset got me through the entire ride right up to the point where I and the other media I was with had to switch for his turn to drive.

I went down, walked around to the other side, and got in the passenger seat. It was weird because since I was back to sitting on the left side, the initial response of my arms was to grab the steering wheel and start the vehicle, forgetting all of a sudden the “brainwashing lessons” I taught myself just half an hour ago.

Seeing the GoPro that was mounted right above me, I reached for it to check if it was still recording. I then noticed there were no blinking red lights. I leaned closer and to my surprise, it wasn’t even turned on. So much for documenting my first right-hand experience, right?

“It wasn’t recording the entire time!” I exclaimed. It was unfortunate but we had a laugh out of it. I figured I’d just write down the events that happened so that I wouldn’t forget it. I powered up the action camera and started recording for my partner’s sake. With dark clouds and light rain still accompanying us, we started driving back to the hotel.

My key takeaway from the experience was to know what works for yourself.

During our trip back, I reflected on what I just did, from the excitement to the feeling of fulfillment of doing something the first time and succeeding. My key takeaway from the experience was to know what works for yourself. For me, I simply had to do the opposite of what I’m comfortable with to make sure I had clear control of what to do for certain situations.

Of course, it would also help a lot if one would closely study and practice for something like this. I just didn’t have much choice and had limited time to prepare for the drive.

We got back to the hotel, thanked the company’s representative who came with us for being an accommodating guide, and I went straight to my hotel room to freshen up for the night’s welcome dinner.

It was a great experience overall and am still thankful for the brand extending an invite to the event. The fact that I did something for the first time on my birthday only made it more special. To more drives!

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Hands-On

Huawei P30 hands-on: All the cool features applied in real life

How zoomed in is zoomed in?

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After all the “oohs” and “ahhs,” and as the dust settles from Huawei’s flagship launch, the question is: What’s so great about the Huawei P30? And no, I don’t want to hear any specs.

To answer this question, I road tested the Huawei P30 to see just what it can do and how I can use those features in real life.


In case you’re having trouble viewing, watch HERE.

SEE ALSO: Selfie and posing tips from Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach

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Her GadgetMatch

Selfie and posing tips from Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach

Also, we unbox a Huawei P30 Pro!

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Two years ago, I tried to recreate photos by Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach shot on the Huawei P10 Plus. It resulted in a profound appreciation for modeling and even higher regard for Pia’s  posing skills.

Not even close but it will do 😂

In a wonderful case of how things can come full circle, I got to sit down with Pia to unbox Huawei’s latest flagship, the P30 Pro. We chat about how to pose, her beauty mode tips, and more importantly, what she thought of my Pia versus Me photos! We also took more selfies, because that’s what Queens do. ✨


Take photos with her subjects, that is, lol

Enjoy watching the video, as much as I did shooting it. 💎

In case you’re having trouble viewing, watch HERE.

SEE ALSO: Huawei P10 Plus portraits: Pia Wurtzbach vs Me

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