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Foldables. Foldables everywhere: Weekend Rewind

Literally everywhere

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Here are the top stories on GadgetMatch this week.

1. All eyes on the Huawei Mate X

We knew Huawei wasn’t going to stand pat after Samsung announced the Galaxy Fold, but they almost completely stole the show with the Huawei Mate X.

The Mate X is first a dual-display smartphone, but at the same time, a tablet. There are three different screen sizes depending on use: front folded 6.6-inch 19.5:9, back folded 6.38-inch 25:9, and 8-inch 8:7.1 tablet. It’s only 5.4mm in thickness.

It’ll retail for EUR 2,299 which comes with 8GB of memory and 512GB of storage, with availability beginning mid-2019.

2. TCL and ZTE also showcased foldables

Even more Chinese brands are jumping in on the foldable revolution.

TCL showcased a set of foldables with a tech they’re calling DragonHinge. It can be used in different ways, all leading to a phone-like gadget that can turn into a larger tablet. There’s also a smaller device that folds so it can fit inside a small pouch. TCL’s products won’t ship out until 2020.

Meanwhile, ZTE took a different approach. The Nubia Alpha is essentially a smartwatch but with more functionalities and features. It has a four-inch OLED display which they claim to be the “largest wearable flexible screen in the industry” and the entire device is water-resistant.

It’ll be sold starting at EUR 449 for the basic Bluetooth-only model, while the 4G eSIM variant will go for EUR 549. For those who want to add luxury to the Alpha, it’ll come coated in 18-karat gold for EUR 649.

3. Nokia 9 PureView gives you five reasons to not fold

While foldables are getting a lot of attention, Nokia went against the grain but still made people look. Its latest device is a penta-lens smartphone, the Nokia 9 PureView.

Yes, five cameras. All of them 12 megapixels. The Nokia 9 PureView is positioned as a specialized phone with mobile photographers in mind.

The rest of the specs of the phone include 6GB of memory, 128GB of internal storage, and a 20-megapixel selfie camera. The phone runs Android 9 Pie out of the box with promised major updates since it’s under the Android One program. It’ll go on sale later this year for US$ 699.

4. LG and Sony refuse to fold

Two brands that could have benefited from folding but decided not to are LG and Sony.

LG’s announcement for MWC 2019 is the LG G8 ThinQ and its biggest new thing is the Z Camera that lets you use Hand ID and Air Gestures. These features basically let you interact with your phone without touching it. It looks promising on paper but early reactions from tech reviewers aren’t promising. Besides, we all love touching, right?

Sony, in the meantime, is sticking to its smartphone-for-creator guns with the Sony Xperia 1. It went all out on the widescreen display with a 21:9 screen ratio — the kind you see at cinemas. It’s also trying to take advantage of existing Sony brands. Xperia claims they took tech from Bravia and Sony Alpha and incorporated them into the Xperia 1.

These brands’ mobile divisions are gasping for air and their existence might hinge on how well these devices perform.

5. Best gadgets on MWC according to us

There were plenty of other devices during MWC 2019 that are worthy of your attention. There’s the Huawei MateBook X Pro 2019 edition, Lenovo’s suite of devices, and many more. Check out our picks on our Best of MWC 2019 awards.


Weekend Rewind is our roundup of top news and features you might have missed for the week. We know the world of technology can be overwhelming and not everyone has the time to get up to speed with everything — and that includes us. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the rewind.

CES 2021

GadgetMatch Awards: Best of CES 2021

Flying cars, rolling phones, and Ice Cream right at home

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CES has always been the place for dreaming about the future of tech and this year, despite the annual convention being held virtually instead of in Las Vegas like usual, is no different.

We saw plenty of exciting innovations ranging from stuff that we can purchase soon, something for the new normal, and an effin flying car. Yes. If that doesn’t get your gears running we don’t know what will.

So here are our favorites from the tech show.

Best Gaming Laptop: ROG Flow X13 

ROG Flow X13

Gaming laptops have been getting slimmer and slimmer over the years but this one — it’s a gaming laptop the size of an Ultrabook. ASUS managed to pack gaming power — AMD Ryzen 9/Cezanne-HS mobile processor, RTX 3080 — in a 15mm thin and 1.35kg body.

To heighten the gaming experience further, you can pair it with the ROG XG Mobile GPU that gives the Flow X13 the power of a full-sized gaming rig. That’s bonkers.

Best Auto Concept: GM flying Cadillac Taxi

The idea of flying cars has long intrigued the human race. You need not look far than the prevalence of such a vehicle in sci-fi pop culture to see how much we long for it.

General Motors’ flying Cadillac taxi concept is a vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) vehicle, eliminating the need for any runway. It’ll run on a 90kWh battery with 56mph top speed. New flying regulations will have to come but we can’t wait for this to take to the skies.

Best New Smartphone Form Factor: LG Rollable

Smartphones are going through a period of change. What once was just a rectangular piece of slab has seen itself fold, flip, and now… roll.

We’ve seen LG showcase a rollable concept before but the LG Rollable could be the closest thing that might actually… roll out to the market. Details are scarce for now but expect plenty of news and rumors to build up as it gets closer to launch.

Best Laptop: ASUS ZenBook Duo 

The ZenBook Duo, first showcased at Computex 2019, sort of took a gap year in 2020. What we saw instead was a gaming version with the Zephyrus Duo. It makes a comeback now more refined and with internals fit for the new year.

The new ASUS ZenBook Duo is a refinement of this new laptop form factor in every way imaginable — one that, theoretically, should be much more useful than its predecessor.

Best Chromebook: Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2

The Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 has all the bells and whistles of the first generation but it now comes with a QLED panel. Yep, Samsung’s TV display tech has made its way to a notebook. This could just be the beginning.

Best Audio Wearable: Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro
Galaxy Buds Pro

Buds, Plus, Live, and now Pro — not exactly the progression that makes the most sense name-wise but Samsung may now finally have the TWS that can go toe-to-toe against the AirPods Pro and Freebuds Pro.

The Galaxy Buds Pro promises intelligent ANC that adjusts according to your environment and a playtime that’s par for the course for the other buds it’s going up against.

Best Wearable: MaskFone

Ever since the pandemic hit, face masks have come in all shapes, sizes and features — the MaskFone is no exception.

The MaskFone has a mic in the facepiece and two earbuds hanging on wires by the earloops. The mask is made of a water-resistant, breathable, and washable material and includes a pocket for PM2.5 filters. As far as tech goes, this one’s pretty in your face.

Best Kitchen Appliance: ColdSnap

What’s better than getting sweet, icy treats on a dreary day? It’s making those sweet, icy treats at your own home with ColdSnap.

It works like coffee pod machines but instead of coffee, it serves ice cream and other frozen treats from recyclable aluminium pods. Now, you can Ice Cream and chill at your leisure.

Best Smart TV: Samsung NEO QLED 

Samsung’s QLED was already pretty good but turning things up to eleven is their Neo QLED. With this new display tech, Samsung promises improved picture quality — dark areas are darker, bright areas brighter, and so on. Of course, we’ll have to see it for ourselves but it already sounds promising.

Best Wellness Device: Lora DiCarlo Drift, Tilt, Sway

If you can get past snickering like a tween, you’ll realize this offers many… benefits. Inspired by human warmth, the new model mimics the heat we experience from our partners’ bodies. Lora DiCarlo used a nylon-based thermally conductive polymer and its WarmSense Technology, simulating body temperature.

I’m sure we can all use some warmth in these cold nights.

Best Cleaning Device: Samsung JetBot 90 AI+

Keeping your place squeaky clean doesn’t get any smarter than this. The JetBot 90 AI+ is a vacuum cleaner that uses object recognition technology to identify and classify objects to decide the best cleaning path. LiDAR and 3D sensors allow JetBot 90 AI+ to avoid cables and small objects, while still cleaning hard-to-reach corners in your home.

Best Camera/Drone: Airpeak

Professional videographers who’s weapon of choice are Sony Alphas are probably dying to have their hands on Airpeak. It’s a drone that can be equipped with Sony’s professional grade, mirrorless cameras. This opens up new possibilities in terms of aerial footage.

Best Monitor: Dell UltraSharp 40 Curved WUHD

It appears we’re facing a future that’ll have us sitting in front of monitors for longer than we realize. That’s why having one that’s easy on the eyes could be extra beneficial. The ComfortView Plus on the Dell UltraSharp 40 Curved WUHD monitor can help with that. Not to mention, it is color accurate and should aid you nicely in your work-from-home setup.

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Accessories

Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro Review: Better than AirPods Pro?

Finally, real Active Noise Cancellation out of the box

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Samsung has unveiled the newest Galaxy Buds Pro alongside the announcement of the latest Galaxy S21 series.

Other than the new design, better sound quality, and surround sound setup, there’s now a real and intelligent Active Noise Cancellation.

But do these earbuds live up to its ‘Pro’ branding? Watch our Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro review by clicking the video link right here.

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Hands-On

Samsung Galaxy S21 Series Hands-on

Most of the leaks were true after all

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Samsung started 2021 early with their newest Galaxy S21 series.

Unlike last year where the S20 models were announced last February, these new S21 units were unveiled as early as January 2021. Although we’ve covered most of the leaks and rumors about Samsung’s latest flagship trio, we still need to confirm them.

Head over to our latest hands-on video to find out more.

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