Features

Cherry Mobile introduces their own Camera Lab to test camera phones

Expect better affordable smartphone cameras

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If you think Philippine-based phone brands don’t take mobile photography seriously, then you should know about Cherry Mobile’s latest investment to create better smartphones and compete with other manufacturers.

In partnership with Samsung Electronics Device Solutions Group, Cherry Mobile opened their very own Camera Lab — a first from a Philippine phone brand. The Camera Lab is already operational and has been used with the brand’s latest Flare S6 series.

I had the chance to visit the lab and here’s what I learned.

Inside the lab, Cherry Mobile tests four aspects of their phone’s camera: color, sharpness, noise, and low-light capabilities. In order to test these, they use certain tools.

For color accuracy, the test smartphone will take a photo of a ColorChecker Classic chart placed inside a giant light box that illuminates the colors under multiple white balance settings.

ColorChecker Classic (left), ISO 12233:2000 (right)

To test out the sharpness, a fine print of the standard ISO 12233:2000 test chart is captured by the test phone. The chart is composed of multiple lines which can only be distinguished by quality sensors.

As for noise and low-light capabilities, a simple setup of objects placed in controlled lighting is used. Here, they’d understand the ISO levels and sensor sensitivity.

The images are then processed using a software called Imatest. This will now automatically asses the images taken by the test phone. The results are to be compared to a reference chart provided by Samsung. They call it the “ideal” result which is supposedly the best possible outcome.

Of course, the sensors used by Cherry Mobile won’t be able to match the “ideal” result since they have to stick to a certain price point and high-end sensors are expensive. What the company can do now is calibrate the camera sensors of their phones as accurately as possible based on the numbers provided by the software.

The Camera Lab is fairly new and there are a number of phones to test. I was told that the upcoming Flare S7 phones are the ones to greatly benefit from the lab tests. We’ll just have to wait for them to get released.

SEE ALSO: Cherry Mobile Flare S6 Selfie Hands-on Review

Accessories

Kovol 65W 4-port charging station Hands-On

Small in size, big on power

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Kovol 4-port

Nearly everyone I know carries around two to three devices. It’s some combination of a laptop, smartphone/s, and tablet/s. Imagine having to lug around these devices along with their power bricks. That’s a significant weight added to your bag. Enter the Kovol 65W 4-port charging station. This thing, as the company says, is small in size but big on power. 

Personally, I’m a member of this multi-device tribe. I almost always carry with me a laptop and two smartphones. That’s excluding any other smartphones or laptops I may be reviewing at the time. 

This is part of the reason why I’m in the ‘USB-C Everything’ camp. It would make our lives as tech reviewers just that much better. But since that reality may not be happening anytime soon, multiport GaN chargers like this are the next best thing. 

Regulated power 

Just because it has 65W written on it, doesn’t mean that it’s the only power output available. It can smartly allocate power to each device based on its needs. The 65W ranges from 65W, 45W, 30W, 25W, 20W, and 18W. So, whichever fast charging output your device supports, that’s what it’s getting. 

There’s also a 120W version of the charger and it can output at 87W aside from others that have already been mentioned. 

Kovol also claims it has low-heat and safe-charging. This means there will be no risk of overheating and overcharging your device. During my time using the charger, I can say I never felt any sort of unusual heating from it. 

How fast is it, really? 

But of course, the real question is how fast it actually is in real world use. Fret not, I have you covered. I’ll list the charging times of the three devices I primarily use. 

Before we start though, I would like to describe my normal usage. I’m totally not the type who lets the devices reach red levels of the battery indicator. Small beads of sweat immediately form around my head as soon as my devices’ battery indicator shows anywhere between 40% to 50%. 

Go ahead. Laugh all you want. But I’ve been in waaaay too many situations when I forgot to juice up only to need to charge but without any power outlet nearby. It’s a sticky situation I would like to avoid as much as I can. 

With that said, here are the charging numbers I recorded. Duration in minutes (mins) is how long it took to reach 100%.  

iPhone 11 Pro 

  • At 30% – 40 mins 
  • At 40% – 32 mins 
  • At 50% – 23 mins 
  • At 65% – 16 mins 

OPPO Find X3 Pro

  • At 10% – 59 mins
  • At 30% – 46 mins 
  • At 40% – 37 mins 
  • At 50% – 25 mins 
  • At 65% – 18 mins 

13” M1 MacBook Pro 

  • At 35% – 1 hour, 41 mins
  • At 40% – 1 hour, 26 mins
  • At 50% – 1 hour, 10 mins
  • At 65% – 40 mins

Naturally, these numbers will vary depending on your devices and the kind of wired fast charging they support. But what’s evident is that these are more than decent charging speeds. These are especially useful if you only have a limited time access to a power outlet when you’re out and about. 

Small for its power

 

The charging speeds are impressive but what really takes the cake is how small the Kovol 65W 4-port charging station is. It’s a little chunky, but it’s short enough that it’ll easily slide into your bag without taking up much space. 

Personally, I carried it in this tiny-gadgets-and-cables pouch I normally bring around whenever I step out. 

Its small size is also helpful when you have limited table space. It can sit just right next to your devices without taking away any wiggle room you might need. 

Price and availability

Some manufacturers are following Apple’s lead in taking away the power bricks from brand new devices. It’s a good reason to invest in a multiport GaN charger other than the ones already mentioned. 

The Kovol 4-port charging station comes in two variants. Pricing are as follows: 

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Accessories

5 reasons why you should consider the OPPO Enco W11

Transition easily to the wireless lifestyle!

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Anyone can hesitate to step on a wireless journey if everything you see is all godd*mn expensive. Unbeknownst to many, there are pairs of wireless earbuds that are affordable and perform exceptionally at the same time.

One example is the OPPO Enco W11. If you’re considering switching to the wireless side, here are five reasons why the Enco W11 would make the perfect fit. In your ears and life, probably.

20-hour battery life

The Enco W11 lets you enjoy up to five hours of playback time on a single charge. Use the charging case and you can extend that to 20 hours.

Moreover, the charging case can recharge your pair of wireless earbuds for only 15 minutes, and you immediately get one hour of playback time.

Fits snugly

Depending on the form factor, some wireless earbuds can be a tad uncomfortable. Thankfully, the Enco W11 comes with an exquisite design that goes along with the shape of the ear. Plus, there are three sizes of soft silicone ear tips to choose from.

It also weighs 4.4g so you won’t feel the weight in your ears, allowing you to listen comfortably while you’re on the go.

Dust and water resistance

Get that extra peace of mind knowing that your pair of wireless earbuds have an IP55 dust and water resistance. It means that you can bring it to the gym, sweat it out, or even run through the rain — and you don’t have to worry about your device. It can stand splashes of water and dirt if you accidentally drop them.

Stable connection, lower latency

Most people are hesitant to switch to wireless earbuds because of the latency issues. With the right technology, the connection can be stable. Such is the case for the Enco W11 which receives signals on both sides to reduce latency. Unlike ordinary true wireless earbuds that receive signals on one side before sending them to the other.

The Enco W11 also uses a built-in Bluetooth 5.0 chip to help you enjoy uninterrupted audio. It’s perfect for those virtual meetings or just tuning out to your favorite playlists or podcasts.

Easy controls

Lastly, the Enco W11 doesn’t require a lot of brainpower to use. It pairs easily and resumes connection instantaneously within 10 meters.

Further, it comes with touch controls that are easy to navigate. You can play or pause your music with a single tap, or move to the next song by double-tapping.

The voice assistant can be activated by triple-tapping, and you can adjust the volume when you touch and hold the wireless earbuds.

Should you buy the OPPO Enco W11?

The OPPO Enco W11 makes it easy for users to transition to the wireless lifestyle, albeit at a cost that won’t hurt their pockets. It’s lightweight, comfortable, and intelligent enough to make navigating the controls smoothly. It has an SRP of PhP 1,690.

On January 27, 2022, Shopee is offering an exclusive deal — a bundle of the OPPO A55 smartphone and the Enco W11 wireless earbuds for only PhP 10,988.

The supply is limited so if you won’t be able to snag the deal, you can still get the OPPO Enco W11. Shop here.

For more exclusive deals, check out Shopee’s Brands Spotlight Festival.

SEE ALSO: OPPO A55 review: Just the basics

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Hands-On

Vacuum Wars: Shark AI VacMop vs Self-Empty XL!

Which vacuum is your GadgetMatch?

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Like it or not, dusts and other particles accumulate on our floors over time. When you barely got time to mop and vacuum, why not invest on a smart home device that can do both for you?

Shark, known for their home cleaning devices, offers not just one but two of their latest smart vacuum cleaners. But which is the most suitable for your living space?

Hop on to our two-way Shark vacuum hands-on video to know which smart vacuum is your GadgetMatch!

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