Features

Is the Nintendo Switch (OLED) worth the upgrade?

We ask our gaming writers!

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The Nintendo Switch (OLED) is real and it is coming. But for many, it wasn’t the Switch upgrade they were hoping for. We sat down with two of our gaming writers Gab and Leez to get their quick thoughts on the new Switch in town.

Were you surprised by the sudden announcement? Why or why not?

Gab: I was genuinely surprised by the announcement, considering there weren’t any particular rumors in the past few weeks surrounding it. While Nintendo mentioned earlier this year that they’re working on new Switch models, the OLED display part was something they said they were working on. Also, I was expecting the announcement to come some time in August or early September instead of July, but I guess even they couldn’t wait.

I’m guessing they didn’t bother mentioning this during E3 2021 for two reasons. On one hand, I think they wanted to focus more on game releases during the showcase, instead of going for the hardware. On the other, I think they needed some time to refine one key change in the new model in comparison to the current models.

Leez: Nintendo is pretty good with their Direct announcements but this one was a little out of left field. I guess it’s my fruit fly attention span that made Switch updates just come unnoticed.

It would’ve been nice to go with their E3 announcements since they saved the sad snoozefest that it was. But, in retrospect, hardware isn’t really part of the homework for the event.

Do you think the upgrades are worth buying for long-time Switch users?

Gab: I’ve had my v2 Switch for more than a year, and my experience with it is pretty great. When I saw the upgraded features on the OLED model, it didn’t really entice me enough to consider getting the upgrade. Essentially it’s a bigger, brighter, and more vibrant screen but still operates the same way as the v2 Switch.

I like the fact that it comes with a wider stand at the back, plus the Ethernet port in the dock if you’re using it in TV Mode. I felt that these features would have been better for the v2 Switch, but I honestly feel these were minor changes. If the biggest change Nintendo thought of was a bigger OLED panel, it’s not necessarily a change worth spending extra money on.

Leez: Gab summarizes it well. For me, it can be a big win for people who’ve been considering getting a Switch but, it’s ultimately a screen and storage upgrade. Nintendo does this all the time. Remember the DS? Then, 3DS? They essentially apply and sell small incremental changes and upgrades to their handhelds until they find a new perfected form of blending portability, functionality, and fun. Our wallets are all just praying for their next breakthrough.

Illustration by Genevive Catapangan

What upgrades would you have wanted to see instead?

Gab: Support for 4K when in TV mode (which also means support for HDMI 2.1), possibly a battery that lasts an hour or two longer than the v2 Switch

Leez: Honestly? Even if you slap 4K on top of the OLED upgrade, I wouldn’t buy it. Maybe that’s all the moths living in my wallet talking, but I just weirdly wish Nintendo took time to add all the upgrades into one Switch.

If someone who doesn’t own a Switch considers getting one, should the person get the OLED version or just get the potentially marked down price of the older version?

Gab: If this is your first time getting a Switch, the OLED model is a great option to have. Apart from the features I just mentioned, it also roughly lasts as long as the v2 Switch, and the higher price is justified because of the 7-inch OLED panel. If money is a bit tight, the potentially marked down older version isn’t too shabby.

Personally, I would still wait for a “Pro” version of the Switch that acts as a substantial upgrade but let’s see if Nintendo will actually do it.

Leez: I think if you have the budget for it, go for it. I think Nintendo is really good at giving their console owners breathing space to really enjoy their games. Other brands often limit their new game releases to the newest console releases which ultimately necessitates buying what’s new. For Nintendo, they let you play the old and new in whichever handheld you’ve got. They did it for Gameboy games for the Gameboy Advance and Gameboy Advance games for the DS.

It all ultimately depends on your budget and if you think the little upgrades are worth the dollar. Personally? If I didn’t have a Switch, I’d take an older version for a cheaper price. I’m not making it rain and games don’t come cheap.

Illustration by Genevive Catapangan

What bundles or special editions are you hoping will come with the OLED version?

Gab: On the top of my head, a Pokemon bundle would be nice to commemorate the arrival of the DP remakes. I mean, not just for the Switch Lite but hopefully for this model, as well. Of course, I think they’ll do a special edition Switch model with either Dialga or Palkia on it, but it’s just a thought.

Also, Nintendo, while we’re on the subject: a TWICE collab would be nice. I mean, the Joy-Cons for the OLED model are in the Dahyun white variant, so you might as well do it for all the other members’ colors. Also, can we get limited edition ones that the members can sign?

Leez: Easily, Breath of the Wild 2. Could you imagine? If they release a Sheikah Slate design on a Nintendo Switch OLED, I’m genuinely eating my words about it not being worth it. And, if they made an off-hand official Kirby themed one, I’m having a stern talk with my empty wallet and would willingly starve for it.

Hands-On

Samsung Galaxy S23, S23+ and S23 Ultra Hands-On

Worthy upgrades!

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Samsung has finally Unpacked the newest Galaxy S23, S23+, and S23 Ultra in San Francisco.

This is actually Samsung’s first in-person event during the pandemic.

With all the design and hardware improvements, do you actually need to upgrade?

Watch our Samsung Galaxy S23 Series Hands-on video to help yourself decide.


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DISCLOSURE: GadgetMatch earns a commission from qualifying purchases from any of these links.

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Hands-On

HONOR X9a 5G Hands-On: Tough and capable

Strong 2023 start for HONOR?

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HONOR X9a

HONOR is determined to make some serious noise in the smartphone space in 2023. In the Philippines, they’re looking to start strong with the release of the HONOR X9a 5G. 

If you follow any tech publications and some influencers and endorsers online, you likely saw the drop test videos the company had literally everyone do. That includes GadgetMatch. 

For what it’s worth, the thing is really tough. During our quick shoot, we dropped it around 3 times on concrete. No major damages suffered. The 0.65mm ‘Deeply Reinforced Glass’ on the display is, for the most part, not just a gimmick. Still, don’t go dropping the phone carelessly if you do decide to get it. 

We’re already talking about the display anyway, so let’s dig into it a little more. 

Pleasant to the eyes

HONOR X9a

The HONOR X9a 5G sports a 6.67-inch OLED Curved Display. It has a 394 pixels per inch count with a 2400 x 1900 resolution and 800 nits of peak brightness. Marketing materials also tout its 1.07 billion colors and TUV Rheinland Low Blue Light Certification. 

For the most part, the phone is everything it says it is on paper. The curved display affects more how the phone feels on-hand than it does for your eyes. It makes the phone’s profile feel slimmer than it actually is. And it’s not too curved to the point that it distracts from whatever you’re watching. 

Colors also look great. We can confidently say that you’ll have a good time watching videos on the HONOR X9a 5G. Whether that’s one of our YouTube videos, mindlessly scrolling on TikTok, or catching up on your favorite series. 

It also delivers a buttery-smooth feel, it has a 120Hz refresh rate and a 300Hz touch sampling rate. 

Familiar look 

HONOR X9a

Going over to how the rest of the phone looks, it gives off a Magic-ish, Mate-ish vibe. The circular camera module on the back plays a huge part in that. We’ll get to the camera details later on. For now, let’s focus on the look. 

One glance and you could mistake it as an HONOR Magic or even a HUAWEI Mate phone. After all, they share a similar design language. 

All the buttons (power and volume) are on the right. 

And at the bottom, you’ll find the SIM Card tray, USB-C port, and speaker-grille. Pretty standard stuff. 

Globally, the phone comes in three colors: Titanium Silver, Emerald Green and Midnight Black. In the Philippines, it appears only the first two colors will be available at launch. 

Overall, it’s your standard slab with a signature look. That camera module is certainly doing a lot to separate it from the pack. 

Capable cameras 

HONOR X9a

Now onto the cameras. Here they are by the numbers: 

  • Main (Wide): 64MP, f/1.8, PDAF
  • Ultrawide: 5MP, f/2.2, 
  • Macro: 2MP, f/2.4, (macro)
  • Front (wide): 16MP, f/2.5

And since video taking seems to be all the rage these days, you might be pleased to know that both the front and back cameras can take 1080P at 30fps footage. 

Again, these are pretty standard numbers for midrangers. The same is true for the actual output. There’s nothing here that’s mind blowing. But for posting on socials and just capturing stuff on the daily, it’s more than serviceable. 

Take a look at these samples: 

Steady performer

HONOR X9a

The HONOR X9a 5G is powered by the Qualcomm SM6375 Snapdragon 695 5G processor. In the Philippines, it comes with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage. It also has a massive 5,100mAh battery. Software-wise, it’s running Magic UI 6.1 based on Android 12.

In practice, all these components come together to deliver a steady performer of a smartphone. The HONOR X9a 5G is reliable in all the ways that matter. The processor, while not new by 2023 standard, still does what you expect it to do. That is to keep the stuff you need running in the background as needed. 

It also has a decent power efficiency, which, paired with the massive battery, delivers an overall battery life that won’t have you running to the nearest power outlet as the day winds down. 

We didn’t do much gaming on the phone, but given that it’s the same processor that was equipped on mobile gaming-inclined phones in the past, we’re confident it can steadily run plenty of the most-played games on mobile. 

Solid start for HONOR

HONOR X9a

The HONOR X9a 5G is a tough, capable smartphone that’s easy on the eyes. It’s the quintessential midrange smartphone. Everything we’ve come to expect from midrangers is present on this phone while also being extra tough and lasting extra long. 

With this being HONOR’s first offering in 2023 in the Philippines, the company is off to a solid start. 

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Features

New Year resolutions with vivo

Make yours happen

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vivo V25 Pro

A New Year always brings new beginnings. A chance to start-over and put your life on the track you want it to be in. vivo argues that it’s easier to follow through on these new year changes when you have the right device for you. Lo and behold, they put together things to keep mind, to keep you on the right track.

Learn something new and practical

vivo Y35

Since it’s the new year, challenge yourself to learn something new — a skill like computer programming, a hobby like playing a musical instrument, or any practical knowledge such as learning a new language.

Having a reliable device that can give you the ease to learn everything with only a few taps is essential. Like, say, the vivo Y35.

The vivo Y35 supports 44W FastCharge so you wouldn’t have to wait for a long time until your phone is fully charged to resume studying immediately. Plus, its massive 5000mAh battery can help it run for long hours, keeping you immersed in watching tutorial videos, attending online classes or reading how-to articles. It also has a massive 16GB Dynamic RAM and 256GB ROM.

These features can help make learning continuous and with fewer interruptions. 

Start documenting your life

vivo Boracay

Boracay photos Shot on the vivo V25 Pro

It’s all about making and preserving memories. This year, start capturing moments with a greater purpose. While you’re at it, try to take good photos and videos as well.

The vivo V25 Series, which has a 64MP OIS Ultra-Sensing camera with extreme night vision, is a great tool to document both day and night moments that you want to keep for the longest time possible. The vivo V25 Series’ up to 50MP Eye autofocus selfie camera can also help you capture the smiles of the people with you during every encounter.

Always go for healthier options

vivo Y22s

Health will always be wealth. It means you should also be more knowledgeable and conscious about your food and drink intake. The Internet offers a lot of information you can refer to for nutritious choices. Do your research, compare and find what’s best and more feasible for you.  

For this, you have the vivo Y22s. It is equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 processor, up to 16GB dynamic RAM and ROM expandable to 1TB. These can assist you with minimal to no lags to get the healthier 2023 done. 

Stay in touch with your loved ones

vivo Y16

You should also remember to allot more time to people who matter. As the new year begins, you should create more memories with your family. Scheduling a video call with them while you’re away from home or constantly checking up on them through messages can make a difference in keeping a strong relationship.

The vivo Y16, which has a wide 6.51-inch Halo FullView display with eye protection mode, can help.

Travel more, in style

vivo Y02S

Traveling this year? Do it in style by getting a smartphone that’ll go with your travel fits.

vivo Y02s and vivo Y02’s2.5D curvature slim frame and lightweight build fit this goal perfectly and would never feel like extra travel baggage. Instead, these vivo smartphones work like additional accessories that will add glam and style.  

New Year with vivo

The new year is better if matched with a vivo smartphone that will aid in accomplishing your resolutions. All smartphones in vivo’s current lineup are available in offline stores nationwide.

Head to the nearest vivo concept store or kiosk to stand a chance to win in Paskong La vivo Loca which runs until January 31, 2023. Follow vivo’s official website and its social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube for more information.

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