Features

Is the Nintendo Switch (OLED) worth the upgrade?

We ask our gaming writers!

Published

on

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

realme 9i Hands-On

Solid as usual
g

Published

on

The realme 9i is the “little brother” in the realme 9 series. And while it doesn’t pack the same punch as its pro siblings – the realme 9 Pro and realme 9 pro+ – there’s enough here for anyone who just needs a reliable daily smartphone.

Here’s a quick look at the specs before we dive in deeper: 

Performance

  • 6.6-inch IPS LCD display with 90Hz refresh rate 
  • Qualcomm SM6225 Snapdragon 680 4G processor
  • 6GB RAM with Dynamic RAM expansion feature up to 5GB 
  • 128GB Internal Storage 
  • 5,000mAh battery
  • 33W Dart Charge tech

Cameras

  • 50MP main camera
  • 2MP macro lens
  • 2MP depth lens
  • 16MP selfie shooter

Here are some samples for your appreciation.

Neat, simple, and elegant

The realme 9i is pretty understated in the looks department. The variant we got comes in blue and depending on how the light hits, you’ll see some lines to accentuate its back.

As for button and port placements, at the bottom you’ll find the usuas: speaker grille, USB-C  port, and 3.5mm jack. 

On the right side is the power button/fingerprint scanner. 

And on the left hand side are the two, tiny volume buttons. 

Overall, the realme 9i  looks neat. Simple yet elegant. The camera stands out, obviously. But you can say that for most phones these days. It’s light for its size and appearance. It’s already easy to hold as is, but it’s even easier if you’re the phone-case-and-pop-up socket type of person.

General usage

Switching from one app to the other, or going back to the home screen for that matter is seamless and fast. There’s no trouble opening or loading apps so far. 

The apps load from where I last left it, provided I haven’t closed all apps, cleared RAM, or optimized phone usage.

Media consumption and gaming

We enjoyed more than our fair share of watching sports highlights  on the realme 9i. It pays to have a great-performing phone to not miss any action. We didn’t have any problems watching on YouTube at the highest resolution settings and at 60 fps. 

Same is true for other types of content. The viewing experience was likewise seamless.

The speaker is really loud and complements the video. You don’t have to put it on max volume although it’s still of the best quality when put to max. It doesn’t break.

Playing Mobile Legends with friends and relatives on this phone is perfect even if it’s “only” a mid-level phone. The game’s graphics settings were set on default when opening from the phone. I tinkered it to HD mode with a high refresh rate and “Ultra” graphics, and it didn’t have problems throughout the game like lagging when I played.

Battery life

On full standby in power saving mode without having to connect it to Wi-Fi or turn on mobile data, the phone consumes just about 5 to 10 percent of its battery power in one whole day.

When charging, it takes less than an hour to charge from 30 percent to full with its 33W fast charging.

Solid as usual

realme 9i

 

The “i” variants in realme’s numbered series phones have consistently been steady performers and the realme 9i is no different. It’s not gonna wow you with raw specs, but the overall package and performance makes it worthwhile.

The realme 9i retails for PhP 11,990. Buy it here.

Continue Reading

Reviews

vivo X80 Pro Unboxing and Review

vivo’s best smartphone just got even better!

Published

on

The vivo X70 Pro+ was launched just several months ago. However, we’re already having a follow-up!

Unlike the X50, X60, and X70 series, the X80 series only consists of two models this time around.

Namely the X80 and X80 Pro — with the latter being vivo’s latest flagship smartphone.

But what makes it different from its predecessor? And what makes the successor a lot more exciting?

Watch our vivo X80 Pro Unboxing and Review now to find out more!

 

Continue Reading

Unboxing

Huawei Watch GT 3 Pro Unboxing and First Impressions

Premium, smart timepiece

Published

on

Watch GT 3 Pro

Huawei has been giving us the best choices for stylish timepieces to help us reach our health and fitness goals. And they’re taking the stage again with their new flagship smartwatch — the Huawei Watch GT 3 Pro. 

Now let’s take a closer look at this device and check what Huawei has in store for us this time. 

Unboxing

The GT 3 Pro comes in this sleek black box with the name of the device in gold. Through the box, we also get to know that it is powered by HarmonyOS. 

Watch GT 3 Pro

Lifting the cover, you’re immediately greeted by the GT 3 Pro Titanium Edition looking classy beside a gold Huawei logo. 

Watch GT 3 Pro

Pulling the tab on the right, you’ll see a smaller enclosure. Opening it up, you’ll see some paperwork, a USB-C cable and a wireless charging cradle. 

 

Watch GT 3 Pro

Now here’s the GT 3 Pro taken out of the box. Looks premium, doesn’t it? 

Watch GT 3 Pro

By examining the watch strap, you can easily tell that it’s made of genuine high-quality leather. 

Watch GT 3 Pro

The Huawei branding is not seen on the strap. It’s instead engraved on the buckle. 

Watch GT 3 Pro

Also unlike the previous GT 2 Pro that has the usual double crown design, the GT 3 Pro has a watch crown and a button. 

Watch GT 3 Pro

The rotating crown serves as its power button and scroll and zoom wheel. Rotating it feels smooth without much resistance. But it does have haptic feedback, mimicking a mechanical feel. 

Powering it up, you’re notified to get the Huawei Health app and pair it with your phone. 

 

Once paired, you can tinker with the settings and apply customizations based on your preference and liking. 

First impressions 

What I immediately liked with the GT 3 Pro is how classy it looks. And despite it being a big smartwatch compared to what I usually use, it feels light on my wrist. 

I also can’t help but admire how clean and clear it looks with its 1.43-inch AMOLED display and sapphire glass lens. 

Watch GT 3 Pro

 

Its body, on the other hand, is made of titanium and it has a ceramic back case to complete the premium package. 

Using it for a few days, it looks like this timepiece will definitely level up my expectations for smartwatches. But I have yet to fully explore and experience everything about the GT 3 Pro that I’ll share on my hands-on review so don’t forget to also check that out. 

Pricing and availability 

The Huawei Watch GT 3 Pro retails for PhP 16,999 and is available in Titanium and Ceramic Edition. 

Continue Reading

Trending