Her GadgetMatch

Building your smart home is easier with the new Xiaomi-IKEA partnership

Match made in smart home heaven!

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There is no easier way to find home stuff than to walk into an IKEA. From shelves, to cutlery, to even planters — you name it, they’ve got it. And now, a new partnership is taking it up a notch.

Chinese tech company Xiaomi has just announced a partnership with IKEA in China. Marking the Swedish furniture company’s first-ever partnership with a Chinese company, this means that IKEA’s whole range of smart lighting products will now be connected to the Xiaomi IoT platform and you’ll be able to control them via Xiaomi devices, which include the Mi Home App and the Xiao Ai voice assistant. This also means that your IKEA lights will be compatible with Xiaomi IoT smart devices which makes for a more seamless experience.

According to Fan Dian, IoT General Manager for Xiaomi, “IKEA and Xiaomi share very similar values and I believe our cooperation will accelerate the development of the smart home industry across the world.”

As to if the partnership will extend to other IKEA countries outside of China like the US, Australia, Canada, or Asia, we have yet to know. As of now, what we’re certain of is that this partnership commences this December in China.

This news comes after Xiaomi’s Meitu acquisition announcement. It’s looking like the growing tech company is on a roll and they’re definitely branching out. 

Her GadgetMatch

Nokia E3500: Perfect pair or just fine?

Finding companionship on a pair of wireless earbuds

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Nokia E3500

My day wouldn’t go the way it is without listening to something. Be it from my Spotify playlist, a podcast, or even catching up with my co-streamers on a call. But untangling and twisting the crumpled, irritating earphone wire ruins the mood.

Thankfully, those days are over. Since smartphones with a 3.5mm headphone jack are getting rare, I took a leap out of my comfort zone to finally switch to a pair of wireless earbuds.

Scouring the market for a good pair that won’t make a dent out of my pocket can be daunting. What caught my eye was a familiar name I’ve known for years, and I discovered a pair — the Nokia E3500 — that begs to be given a chance.

Nokia E3500

Love at first touch

The first time I held the Nokia E3500, it felt premium and sleek despite having a charging case made out of plastic. What furthered its elegance were the featherweight material that makes it easy to carry, as well as its matte finish that makes you want to glide your fingers incessantly.

Nokia E3500

In a nutshell, the Nokia E3500 displayed a blend of practicality and sophisticated design.

The “getting to know” part

I found comfort in using the Nokia E3500. Out of the box, it comes with three pairs to help you find your perfect pair. And when you do, it won’t fall off your ear.

I even brought the E3500 on a beach trip to Liwliwa, Zambales — which was kinda risky since it only has an IPX5 resistance. Luckily, it was secure enough to fit in my ear even if I kept running and jumping.

Pairing the Nokia E3500 is easy. Once out of the case, you can press the touch buttons for two seconds to enter pairing mode. The inclusion of Ambient Mode helps me immerse in the content, especially when situated in a noisy environment. I found that keeping volume to about 60 percent seemed like the right choice to enjoy its audio performance.

Sound isolation is great, too. Imagine sitting by the beach, listening to music while also hearing the sound of splashing waves. Happy and dreamy, isn’t it?

Quarrels

Everything has its rough side, including this seemingly perfect pair of wireless earbuds. Using the Nokia E3500 during my Zoom calls isn’t as smooth and seamless as it should be when listening.

There are few delays with the microphone reception, making it a little annoying when I’m in the middle of a virtual presentation. Hopefully, the next iteration will improve the inconsistent microphone.

Nokia E3500

Is this my perfect pair?

For a mediocre audiophile like me, I would say yes to Nokia E3500. The charging case itself has a 360mAh battery which helps extend its battery life. Who wouldn’t want an uninterrupted sound trip especially during a long drive?

My experience isn’t as perfect as I thought it would be. But it’s decent and fine. The Nokia E3500 looks gorgeous, equipped with long battery life, great audio quality, and water resistance for peace of mind.

There are cheaper options available in the market, but for what it’s worth — I’d call it a steal, especially for all the features you can enjoy for its price tag.

The Nokia E3500 retails for PhP 3,499.

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Fitbit Luxe: Finally, a fitness band that’s actually pretty

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Fitbit Luxe

One of my major frustrations with fitness bands has always been the way they look. Why is it so hard to make them look pretty enough to wear outside a workout? There’s no rule that they should be unattractive and clunky, right? Enter Fitbit’s answer to said problem: The Fitbit Luxe. It’s sleek and stylish while packing all the necessary features, proving that you don’t have to sacrifice style for substance.

The Luxe is not my first Fitbit having owned my now ancient Charge 2 then an Alta HR sequestered from my husband who wore it for a month then got tired of it because it didn’t go well with his suits. 

I wore both fitness bands with pride and as a way for me to send a message that I was now taking my health a little seriously. However, they often looked out of place with most of my outfits. Wearing them to events that had a bit of a more formal dress code always looked awkward. I even thought of wearing a classy watch on my left arm and the Fitbit on the right just to make it work at some point. However, even the smaller Alta HR made me look like I was coming straight from a run.

Form & substance

A common complaint about the Luxe is how small the screen is. Personally, I don’t see it as an issue. I enjoy the size which makes it inconspicuously stylish. Sure, it has a function for you to quickly take a peek at your texts, even read them in full. But who still sends novel-length texts these days? Mine’s usually from delivery services just telling me to pick up my orders. Though I won’t mind getting more notifications from other messaging apps that I have on my phone.

The size also makes it look like a truly elegant timepiece as soon as you slap on a metal strap. I originally wanted the lunar white and soft gold combination but ended up with the orchid (pink) and platinum stainless steel. At first, I was a bit wary of the pink, thinking it might look rather juvenile on me. But it worked out in the end. It’s a lovely shade that I don’t mind wearing with most of my activewear. 

I actually bought myself a gold milanese strap online, similar to the ones I used with my older Fitbit models. They’re pretty inexpensive and are available on sites like Amazon and Shopee. The silver hardware on my Luxe also gave me more freedom to mix my metals within my outfit, instead of getting tied down to a gold-on-gold combo. Fitbit also has their own gold, metal strap. You pay a little more for it but it can be a justifiable investment if it will make sure you don’t have to take off the Luxe whenever you need to dress a little more formally.

Fitbit Luxe

The Luxe tracks your workouts, your steps, and even your oxygen levels as you sleep. It even has multiple watch faces to match your outfits. My personal choice is the ‘Vogue’ which shows the time in pastel pink and green. Très chic.

Swimming

My favorite thing about the Luxe has to be the fact that it can now be used to track your swimming as well. It’s something both the older models I owned didn’t have. Sadly, the pandemic has rendered most pools closed, even in our building. I did get to dip my unit in water to check its water lock mode which stops the water from accidentally controlling your screen. It worked really well and my unit survived the quick dip.

We’ll let you know how it fares in the pool or the beach once the IATF relaxes its guidelines. So far, however, this wearable is looking pretty good on that front too.

Fitbit Premium

The Luxe also comes with six months of Fitbit Premium. The personalized subscription service on the Fitbit App opens up a whole new world for one’s fitness goals. It gives you advanced analytics on your sleep data, recipe inspirations, as well as video workouts.

As someone who has the Peloton app, I have to admit that it’s still my go-to for my home workouts, even on exercises that go beyond cycling. Though their guided programs that help you in your other goals like kicking your sugar habit, learning how to do a push-up, and even getting more sleep, are such great additions to your self-improvement plans.

Fitbit Luxe

Though I must admit that my favorite among the premium features is how it can give you a comprehensive wellness report upon request. The only requirement is that you have to be using your Luxe for about a month. The report shows you your average heart rate, average steps and sedentary moments, sleep, and menstrual cycles, as well as your heart rate zones.

Great battery life

The Luxe promises about 5 days of battery life but mine usually goes a little over than that. There are times when I go up to a week without charging and I’m someone who tries to workout every other day for about 30-45 minutes and I walk an average of six thousand steps. I know, I could use some more. I also wear the Fitbit to sleep as I enjoy seeing my sleep metrics. 

Fitbit Luxe

Speaking of sleep, its size really makes it easier to wear the Luxe to bed. From a more practical point of view, the Luxet doesn’t dig into the skin – it’s the most comfortable tracker I’ve ever worn. 

Is the Fitbit Luxe your GadgetMatch?

Fitbit Luxe

Personally, I think I’ve found the one when it comes to fitness trackers. Ever since I received the Luxe, the only times it left my wrist was for a charge. It does the job without being too invasive when it comes to my daily life – outfits included.

The Fitbit Luxe retails for PhP 8,490 while the gorjana-designed Special Edition will cost PhP 12,990.

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5 ways to practice sustainable lifestyle

According to these Filipinas

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Living a sustainable lifestyle is something we’re trying to achieve. As much as possible, we make conscious decisions to go green and reduce our carbon footprint in our purchases and lifestyle.

We already started with practicing sustainable fashion. And we hope to practice sustainability when it comes to our beauty products, too.

If you’re still on the fence about making a switch to a sustainable lifestyle, let these Filipinas share with you a tip on how you can do it.

The power of small yet consistent changes

“Look for changes you can make that are easy and convenient for you. If you can easily swap out an unsustainable product for a sustainable one, take that win! Making changes easy for yourself and your lifestyle ensure a greater chance of long-term success,” says actress and vlogger Coraleen Waddell.

Find and help advocacies that promote sustainability

 

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A post shared by Patch Magtanong 🇵🇭 (@patchmag)

“Be vocal, influence your peers, and take action,” says Patch Magtanong, lawyer, beauty queen, and fashion model who was crowned Binibining Pilipinas — International 2019.

Always remember the three R’s

 

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A post shared by Leila (@leilalcasid)

“Avoid waste by recycling, and consider throwing something out an absolute last resort. Almost everything can be repurposed or recycled,” says singer-songwriter Leila Alcasid.

Be conscious of your decisions

 

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A post shared by Janina Manipol 🎞 (@janinamanipol)

“Change personal behavior on what you eat, what you purchase, and how you conserve energy and water,” says Janina Manipol.

Choose a product that’s kind to your skin and the planet

Above all, taking care of yourself shouldn’t affect the planet — directly and indirectly. Recently, Nivea is making the jump on sustainable skincare, bringing the WonderBAR to address different skin concerns. Also, it’s good for the planet, thanks to its natural origin, vegan formula, and plastic-free and fully recyclable packaging.

Currently, the Nivea WonderBAR comes in four variants:

  • Anti-Pimple Scrub for effectively treating pimples.
  • Hydrating for those who have dry skin.
  • Radiance for those who want to have radiant and glowing skin.
  • Blackhead-Clearing Scrub with activated charcoal for those who want clearer, smoother skin.

NIVEA WonderBAR is available in select Watson’s stores nationwide and online, as well as in Lazada and Shopee.

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