Hands-On

Fitbit Versa hands-on: A better smartwatch attempt?

Is this your next wearable?

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Fitbit’s second attempt at smartwatches is looking (and feeling) pretty good.

A sequel to the Fitbit Ionic, the Fitbit Versa is the company’s newest addition to its wearables roster. It has a more discreet look and the promise of an updated interface. Will this finally be Fitbit’s successful venture into the smartwatch space? I recently got hold of the device and here are initial reactions to the brand’s newest device.

The looks department

Let me cut to the chase: I love how the Versa looks.

My main gripe with the Ionic is that I simply hated how it looked. The Versa doesn’t share that same sentiment — this beautiful tiny thing sits perfectly on my wrist and I enjoy wearing it as much as I enjoy looking at it to check the time, steps, notifications, you name it.

It’s simple and sleek; some would argue it’s reminiscent of the Apple Watch, but whatever, it looks good and it comes with a rose gold face.

There’s also a black and gray face with matching serious-looking straps but, of course, I went for the more colorful option. This face usually comes with a pink silicone strap but the Limited Edition Versa comes with a lavender woven strap like this.

By the way, speaking of straps, there are so many strap options in different colors and materials! Unfortunately, not all regions have these straps in stores as of now.

Navigation

There are three buttons on the device: back button on the right and two shortcut buttons on the left.

Gestures are still a thing, but this has been tweaked from the previous device. A swipe down now brings you notifications, a swipe up gives you the day’s summaries, and a swipe right leads you to the menu where you can access different apps.

Everything is smooth, quick, and responsive. The screen has seamless transitions, colors are bright, and details are pretty crisp.

What can it do?

It still works the same way: Connect your Fitbit to the Fitbit app, set goals, and download apps to help you live that healthier lifestyle. The same Fitbit app functions are available — from here, track your sleep cycle, active minutes, steps, and even food intake. A health crowd favorite, the continuous heart rate monitor is another feature I love and battery time is estimated at a whopping three to four days, despite this running in the background.

Of course, the Versa allows for smartphone connectivity which also means you get alerts on your wrist, so long as the watch is paired with your phone. Also expect to be able to do quick replies with the Versa, a function that wasn’t previously available on the Ionic. This feature is coming as an update in May for both smartwatches.

What I’m pretty excited about is Fitbit’s newly announced Female Health Tracking. This feature supposedly ties in info specific to women (*ehem* like your monthly cycles *ehem*) to the info that the wearable gathers which will make for more accurate data and predictions health-wise. I cannot stress how long I’ve been waiting for a feature like this! Though this feature isn’t available yet as of writing, expect it to roll out in the coming months.

Unfortunately, not all of these devices are created equal as not all are equipped with NFC. In the US, only the Special Edition watches are NFC-enabled. Good news for the European and Asian markets, though: All versions are equipped with NFC.

Initial Thoughts

At a hundred dollars cheaper than the Ionic, are there any compromises to this device? Will the overall performance be as good, or even better than the Ionic’s? Who is this wearable designed for? I’d have to spend more time with this smartwatch to answer these questions.

But, it’s been a few days with the Versa and I’m loving it so far. When you plan to wear something 24/7, looks matter and Fitbit finally seems to have caught on to this truth.

Of course, it’s not only looks that matter so I’d still have to do a full review on the Versa’s performance, but if you ask me right now, it’s looking pretty good — literally and figuratively.

The Fitbit Versa retails for US$ 199.95 in the US and PhP 13,890 in the Philippines. At that price point, this watch is looking even better.

Hands-On

All the fun things you need to know about the OPPO’s RX17 Pro

Here’s what it can do

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My smartphone is the one thing that I hold most on a daily basis — more than my boyfriend’s hand or my pet dogs. This device is almost always on my body. That being the case, whatever phone I use automatically becomes an accessory. I want my phones bright and beautiful. If you’re anything like me, a fan of pretty things, continue reading.

This is the OPPO RX17 Pro that was just unveiled in Milan, Italy. It’s one eye-catching device.

To get the confusion out of the way: Yes, the OPPO RX17 Pro is the same phone as the R17 Pro.

First of all, let me state on record: This is one pretty phone. The gradient back is actually made of matted glass (apparently that’s a thing now) and that gives this device an extra oomph. It also means this thing feels great in your hands: Premium with just enough heft.

This right-to-left gradient look, named “Radiant Mist” by the Chinese smartphone company, is tantalizing to say the least. I couldn’t stop staring at it!

This phone will not match all your outfits, though. Even better, it will make all your outfits. It’s the perfect statement piece.

But, as in all things, we all know that looks aren’t everything. What else can this thing do?

I spent some time with a test unit in Milan, and here are my main takeaways. Take note, however, that this particular device isn’t running on final software yet so there might be a few minor differences when the actual units ship out.

Now, without further ado:

Its screen invites attention

That 6.4-inch AMOLED screen looks bright and crisp — great for watching YouTube or for Netflix and chilling. 👀

And look, ma! A notch that isn’t as obtrusive, thank heavens! That tiny teardrop up top is actually something I don’t hate. You sort of forget it’s even there.

This almost all-screen design insists on having it all: There’s an in-display fingerprint scanner on this phone. Simply press your finger to that fingerprint design on the display and voila! That’s not all, though. It’s also capable of face unlock and it’s pretty smooth.

Custom beauty mode and more

Being a smartphone from Asia, the RX17 Pro has a built-in beauty mode on its 25-megapixel selfie camera.

They take it a bit further with not just AI beauty mode (which was previously on R-series devices); there’s also a custom beauty mode which allows for facial adjustments depending on your own personal preferences.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: OPPO’s beauty mode is one of the best out there — if you add these on with moderation.

Stickers, stickers, and more stickers

On to the fun stuff… there are also built-in stickers and so many of them! Here are just a few cute examples as there are pages and pages of them.

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You can also create your own Omoji — think Samsung AR Emoji, OPPO style. Basically, you make sticker avatars based on your face, dress the sticker up then send to your friends as GIFs or videos.

I can’t say it will turn out looking really like you, though, because mine didn’t. See example below:

There are also pre-set AR stickers and those are pretty cute and very fun — I had a blast “testing” these out.


It raises the bar

The Smart Bar, that is.

This added feature is a hovering bar on the screen that brings you to a mini menu for faster access to certain apps.

You can customize apps that go on here and even move the bar around on the screen at your convenience.

More and merrier cameras

There are three cameras on this phone’s back: The main shooter is a 12-megapixel dual aperture camera (that just means the camera adjusts to different lighting scenarios to get the best-possible photos), a second 20-megapixel shooter, and a 3D TOF camera. That last camera supposedly allows for 3D and AR capabilities, but that feature wasn’t ready on this test device.

There’s a Portrait Lighting feature, much like Apple’s, on this phone. As my patient boyfriend has so willingly shown below, there are many different photo styles you can get. The cutouts, despite the busy background, looked pretty good.

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This phone highlights its low-light capabilities with a new “Night” feature. AI combined with optical image stabilization ensures better photos in scenarios that aren’t so well lit. I put it to the test at the RX17 Pro launch event:

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Like the previous R-series phones, there’s also AI built into the camera that automatically adjusts settings depending on the scenario for optimum photo results. All that’s left for you to do is keep shooting and photos turn out like this.

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Of course, I’d have to spend more time with this camera, but these initial samples have pretty much impressed.

All other things

Other notable features include a Snapdragon 710 processor with 6GB memory and 128GB storage which makes for a smooth running phone. And as a first for an R-series phone, it’s equipped with a USB-C port and SuperVOOC charging. Yep, that’s the same one on the OPPO Find X Lamborghini Edition which zooms to full charge in 35 minutes.

For more details on this phone’s specs, you can watch GadgetMatch’s full hands-on here.

A day and a half with the RX17 Pro and it’s performed pretty well. Not to mention, it totally looked good with my outfit.

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Hands-On

Apple iPad Pro Hands-on: Can this replace your laptop?

Apple says it’s like a computer, but unlike any computer

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We go hands on with the new iPad Pro and give you our first impressions. Apple’s top-of-the-line tablet is available in two sizes,12.9 inches and 11 inches, but they’re even smaller than previous models because the bezels have been reduced.

Two other big changes to the iPad Pro are the omission of Apple’s signature features: the home button that enables Touch ID, and the Lightning port. In their place are the new TrueDepth camera technology first seen on the iPhone X and a USB-C port — the latter opening up so many possibilities for the iPad Pro.

Special thanks are in order to the following people who made this video possible:

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Hands-On

OPPO R17 Pro Hands-on

A triple-camera setup like nothing before

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This is our OPPO R17 Pro hands-on.

The Chinese company’s latest upper-midrange phone is here and with it comes hardware never before seen on a smartphone. Will it pave the way to a broader application of our handsets in the future?

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