Features

Your foolproof password isn’t good enough

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Parisa Tabriz

So, you have the most outrageous passwords you can think of — like p@nt$oNFir3 or kings4lyf88 — for all your online accounts and keep them all to yourself. Great job, but you can definitely do better.

Parisa Tabriz is Google’s very own Security Princess, and she believes a strong password is only the start of fortifying your online defenses. As the company’s white hat hacker, she finds bugs in the company’s security system and reports all her findings before black hat hackers take advantage. Think of her as being a Gandalf the White to the all black hat Saurons out there.

Parisa Tabriz

Parisa Tabriz (above) hacks Google for a living — with permission, of course!

She recently shared her top tips for making sure no one gets into your precious Gmail or Facebook profile, and while these may seem trivial, you’d be surprised by how neglected these pieces of advice actually are. Check ‘em out:

Don’t reuse or share the same password across multiple accounts

I admit to being guilty of this one myself. When you have such a hard-to-decrypt password you believe no one could figure, it’s only natural to think it’s good enough for everything. Wrong! We already failed the first step, my friends.

Tabriz suggests using a password manager to keep a tab on every password you use for each website or service. Now, I know what you’re thinking: Why would I leave my most valuable assets in the hands of a third-party company? I have the same concern to be honest. Although most password managers are secure to the core, you can also choose to write down each one on paper and tuck it away in a locked drawer. Traditional means for digital problems? Consider it solved!

Don’t log in on shared computers and do use two-step authentication

While you sometimes can’t help but log in on a public computer or shared work laptop to check emails or access your cloud services, doing so isn’t recommended. Keyloggers and malware can record passwords you type and send them to a hacker’s database. They’re difficult to detect and are mostly unavoidable.

If you really must use a computer that isn’t your own, spend some time to at least activate two-step authentication for all your online accounts. This ensures that a message with an additional code will be sent to your mobile number or other inbox when someone (including yourself) attempts to log in with the correct password. Just make sure to add extra protection on your smartphone in case someone gets a hold of it; that would already ruin one out of the two security measures!

Watch out for sketchy software and apps installed on your computer and phone

This is something lots of people are prone to doing, and it’s like self-sabotage. To put it simply, don’t download apps from suspicious websites; don’t download pirated software; do use Safe Browsing while on Google’s Chrome browser; and keep your antivirus programs constantly on the lookout for threats.

If you’re using a smartphone or tablet, be sure to grab apps only from their official sources (e.g., Google Play and Apple’s App Store). As for computers, be smart; being on a highly vulnerable Windows (and sometimes macOS) operating system is deadly enough. If anything seems out of order, look back at all the recent software you installed, whether intentional or not, and look them up online to see if they’re malicious in any way.

Keep your system up to date

Fortunately, most software and operating systems nowadays enable auto-updates by default. As annoying and bandwidth-consuming as they are, having the newest firmware for your smart device and patches for your apps somewhat guarantees you won’t be susceptible to the latest vulnerabilities and holes hackers have discovered.

Tabriz reminds us how controversial the Chrome browser’s auto-update function used to be, mostly due to its constant design changes and unwanted features, but it’s now universally accepted and has become the standard for all other software. So, if you’re about to complain about yet another forced restart from Windows 10 after an update, just think of it as a necessary precaution — you never know who might be watching your computer this very moment.

Bonus: Read/watch the news

While on the topic of online security, I must add my own tip: update yourself with the latest news on mass hackings and data leaks. As soon as you find out one of your online services was compromised, change your password and review what could have been stolen at the very least. Some hacks could lead to a simple outage, but others may put half-a-billion users at risk.

SEE ALSO: 500 million Yahoo accounts were hacked: What we know so far

[irp posts=”4701″ name=”500 million Yahoo accounts were hacked: What we know so far”]

Best Smartphones

Best Smartphones of 2023

Which one is your GadgetMatch?

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Year after year, it gets tougher and tougher to make Best Smartphones lists. The smartphones keep getting better with only a few differences here and there. And the deciding factor being one’s own preference – making it your ‘match’. 

But we still tried. Here’s our Best Smartphones 2023 picks, with quotes lifted from the content we produced on the smartphones we had the privilege of using throughout the year. 

Best Overall — iPhone 15 Pro

Michael Josh on the iPhone 15 Pro/ Pro Max

If you own an iPhone 13, iPhone 14, no matter what you want to hear, I’m here to tell you, you do not need one. Is the iPhone 15 Pro worth it? Sure, yes it is. 

But at the same time, I know a lot of you have already made up your mind and are coming here to get validation. Sure. Go ahead. If you have the money, upgrade. If you’re an iPhone forever plan, why not. Upgrade. 

But seriously, there is a lot to love about the new iPhone 15 Pro Series. That new titanium build is sexy, it’s light and it’s definitely what I’ve been waiting for. 

That action button, I believe, is going to be a game changer. Soon they’re going to open it up to third-party app developers also. That USB-C port is gonna open it up to a bunch of new possibilities as well as compatibility. And that new camera has set the bar for everybody else to try to beat.

Plus, if you’re a Pro user, if you’re a content creator, a professional video creator, then you’re definitely going to want to leverage all of its new features as well. 

There’s no beating around the bush, the iPhone 15 Pro Max is the best smartphone you can get today. I highly recommend that you go out and get it. 

Honorable mention: Pixel 8 Pro, Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, OnePlus Open/OPPO Find N3

Best Foldable — OnePlus Open/OPPO Find N3

Rodneil on the OPPO Find N3

The connection I had with the Find N3 went beyond my sense of touch. The way its software worked almost as seamlessly as the Galaxy Z Fold5 did, tickled my other senses. 

I can go from folded to unfolded without missing a beat. Opening two apps in a split screen is a two-finger swipe down gesture. 

It is, by all intents and purposes, the exact kind of device I once dreamt of using when I was much, much younger, imagining myself attending to online work while staying present in my immediate vicinity.

My wish of having the Galaxy Z Fold5’s software running in a better smartphone-to-mini-tablet form factor appears to have been granted. The OPPO Find N3’s software and hardware combo is a lot closer to the sweet spot I personally prefer

Every second I spent with the Find N3 was pure bliss.

Honorable mentions: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5, HONOR Magic Vs/V2

Best Flip — OPPO Find N3 Flip

MJ on the Find N3 Flip

The OPPO Find N3 Flip is an excellent flagship smartphone. Everything good about its predecessor was retained, and the rest were made better. It’s not just an accessory to make a statement anymore; it’s a functional device that can keep up with whatever lifestyle you have.

If you’re open to trying a new form factor and you’re ready to jump, I’d say take the leap of faith and see where the affair will take you. A flip smartphone like the Find N3 Flip has a certain allure that you can only imagine. It’s time to flip your life around and open yourself to an array of experiences.

Did I find my GadgetMatch for the year? Highly likely, it’s a yes. After all, the OPPO Find N3 Flip earns the GadgetMatch Seal of Approval. There’s something special about it, and I can’t help but gush over a smartphone worthy of being in my pocket.

Honorable mentions: motorola razr+, Samsung Galaxy Z Flip5 

Best Design — OPPO Find N3 Flip

MJ on the Find N3 Flip

The Find N3 Flip felt like the partner I’ve been looking for. It fits my palm, it’s compact enough to be tucked inside my pocket, and more importantly, it can keep up with my active and busy lifestyle.

I was able to take the Find N3 Flip to the great outdoors. It was robust enough, despite having a glass body. As someone fond of extreme activities, I’d admit that a flip smartphone looks delicate as a daily driver.

But somehow, it felt sturdy enough to accompany me. Perhaps, thanks to its aircraft-grade stainless steel core.

The IPX4 rating, although a bit low, allowed me to continually use the Find N3 Flip even when it’s drizzling.

Honorable mentions: Samsung Galaxy Z Flip5

Best for Overall Photography — OPPO Find X6 Pro

Michael Josh on the Find X6 Pro

You know how if a smartphone has like 3 cameras. You can expect the main camera to be super good. And the rest to be…not as good?  Well OPPO hopes to change that with the Find X6 Pro.

They’re saying, this phone has 3 main cameras. Instead of just one. And while that doesn’t mean they all have the same sensor and specs.Compared to its competitors. This phone is way closer to that.

All 3 main cameras whether that be wide, ultra wide or telephoto are all 50MP shooters. All have large sensors. And all have wide apertures. 

Earlier this month I took a photo trip in Malaga and Granada in the south of Spain to test out this camera phone. But before I show you my favorite photos from that trip let’s take a look at comparisons to see why the idea behind 3 main cameras makes a difference.

Honorable Mentions: Huawei P60 Pro, Xiaomi 13 Pro, Pixel 8 Pro

Best for Overall Videography — iPhone 15 Pro Max

From our iPhone 15 Pro/Pro Max Review

When it comes to the iPhone 15 Pro Series’ Cameras there’s a lot more to cover. Like being able to record videos in LOG and being able to apply your own Lutz, external recording to an SSD, or being able to use the a USB-3.2 cable to shoot and immediately transfer 48MP ProRes RAW files to a Mac using Capture One — just like they do in pro photography studios. 

Cinematic Mode also gets an update and while filming you can now zoom in. So here’s a quick video montage that we shot all with Cinematic Mode. 

Honorable Mentions: Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

Best for Selfie Photos — OPPO Find N3 Flip

MJ on the OPPO Find N3 Flip 

What I loved the most about the Find N3 Flip is how it fits everything together. The best-in-class cameras work hand-in-hand with various form factors that you can do while shooting and recording.

You can put it up like a tent, let it stand like a tripod, take photos like the usual slate phones, or fold it and use the cover screen.

Let the rear cameras do their magic. After all, it uses a 50-megapixel Sony IMX890 sensor for its main shooter; a 48-megapixel Sony IMX581 ultra-wide camera; and a 32-megapixel Sony IMX709 telephoto lens.

Inside, you can find a 32-megapixel Sony IMX709 selfie shooter. While I will never be fond of its selfies due to padded beautification even if you turn it off, the Find N3 Flip takes gorgeous selfies if you’d like to look fresh even when you just woke up.

Honorable Mentions: HONOR 90

Best for Selfie Videos — Infinix Zero 30 5G

MJ on the Infinix Zero 30 5G

Not a lot of smartphones prioritize their front cameras. All eyes are on its rear cameras capable of up to 100x zoom or something like that. While they’re nice to have when you’re traveling and out and about, I appreciate the efforts Infinix put into the ZERO 30 5G.

It’s equipped with a 50-megapixel front camera that’s capable of recording 4K videos at 30 or 60fps, and 1080p at 30fps.

Having that camera system allowed me to film my fitness journey, especially at a time when I was hitting almost rock bottom and I was only living life between home and the gym.

Here’s a reel stitched from 4K videos, all taken using the Infinix ZERO 30 5G.

Best Zoom Photo — Huawei P60 Pro

Rodneil on the Huawei P60 Pro

The Huawei P60 Pro does a great job of capturing multiple types of scenes. The main camera is great for capturing general scenes and quick snaps. 

My personal favorite is the telephoto lens. Something about it just adds character to the shots you take. It’s great for closing in on your subject, whether that’s architecture or food. 

Our member Vincenz even took it to a K-Pop super group TWICE’s concert and came out with stunning photos.

Honorable Mentions: Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra 

Best Zoom Video — Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

Rodneil on the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra might not be king when it comes to overall video. But it’s undisputed in Zoom Videos.

Here are a few samples, not just of zoom, but also of its overall video shooting prowess. 

@gadgetmatch

29Rooms is an experiential funhouse and it was an absolute blast to experience. Here’s a quick look #ShotOnGalaxy S23 Ultra. More info on 29rooms.sg #artinstallation #art #galaxys23ultra #samsunggalaxy #galaxys23ultra #galaxys23

♬ original sound – GadgetMatch – GadgetMatch

 

 

 

Best Portrait Shooter — iPhone 15 Pro Max

Michael Josh on the iPhone 15 Pro Max

The other big change that I think is going to be a game changer is called Next Gen Portraits.

I love portrait mode. That blurry background can really bring a subject into focus. But previously the quality hasn’t been as good as just using the main camera. That’s addressed this year. 

For the first time on an iPhone — Portrait Mode is now powered by the Photonic Engine.

So you get all the benefits of Deep Fusion and Smart HDR. Even better, you don’t even have to turn Portrait Mode on.

Honorable Mentions: Huawei P60 Pro, Xiaomi 13 Pro, HONOR Magic5 Pro

Best Travel Companion — Samsung Galaxy Z Flip5

MJ on the Galaxy Z Flip5 

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip5 is more than just a flip smartphone requiring delicate care. It’s already worthy of being a daily driver that can match any of your lifestyle — even if the one you chose is an extreme one. I’ve seen people carrying either a flip or a fold on a trail run, and it always amazes me how daring they are until I’ve experienced using one.

Best Gaming — ROG Phone 7

Rodneil on the ROG Phone 7

With the ROG Phone, you know what you’re getting: A gaming smartphone with gaming-specific features. There’s the distinctly gamer look with a bunch of lines that evoke a mech-vibe.

Literally no one else is doing it quite like the ROG Phone. From form to function, it’s THE undisputed gaming smartphone of choice. And the ROG Phone 7 Ultimate continues that tradition. It’s the best that the ROG Phone has ever been and that’s something we’ve come to expect year in and year out. 

Honorable Mention: iPhone 15 Pro/Pro Max

Best Value-for-money — POCO F5 Pro 

Luigi on the POCO F5 Pro

The POCO F5 Pro does a lot of things right. Though the smartphone doesn’t offer one thing for users to exclusively focus on, it shines with a cohesive flagship experience worthy of its price.


Is your match not on the list? It’s likely we just didn’t get a chance to use it. Tell us what your GadgetMatch is!

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Editors' Choice

Recap: Handheld consoles are the future of gaming

2023 was their year

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There’s no denying that 2023 is an amazing year to be a gamer. Besides a refreshing deluge of must-play games that came every month, one particular segment in the gaming industry has been instrumental in this year’s gaming boom — handheld consoles. Whether you’re a Switch stalwart or a Legion Go lover, there is so much to love about handheld gaming in 2023. As the year winds down, let’s look back at the handheld console boom of 2023.

In the beginning…

Flashback! Before we tackle 2023 for real, let’s rewind back to the start of the year. Back in January, a lot of gamers were playing with the new Steam Decks they got for Christmas. At the time, those who wanted to try handheld gaming were limited to only a few options: the classic Nintendo Switch, the Logitech G Cloud, the Razer Kishi, and the Steam Deck.

Make no mistake, though. While there are a lot of options (including niche ones not included above), it was still Nintendo’s world. The Steam Deck was still on the rise.

Now, the landscape looks different. Though the Switch is still a reliable option for handheld gamers, the rise of PC-based handheld consoles makes for an exciting playground for those who want to play through less than conventional methods.

Legion Go

The rise of pocket-sized PCs

Though a product of 2022, the Steam Deck paved the way for PC-based handheld consoles to break into the scene this year. Further bolstered by the new AMD Ryzen Z1 series of processors, it’s about time for smaller PCs to share the spotlight.

If, like us, you were waiting for a more powerful option before buying into the handheld gaming segment, 2023 is your year. Besides the Steam Deck, players now have two additional options: the Lenovo Legion Go and the ASUS ROG Ally.

All three consoles have achieved a dream that was practically impossible a few years ago: a decently specced PC in a lithe body of a handheld device. Today’s technology allows players to launch modern games while on the go, albeit at lesser graphics settings.

ROG Ally

Plus, unlike the Steam Deck, the Legion Go and the ROG Ally both ran on Windows. Both are, quite literally, PCs in smaller bodies. Besides offering an easy way to play, it’s easy to use either device for other purposes. If you want to, say, emulate older titles that most gaming platforms don’t have, it’s easy to install the relevant software and play them on the consoles.

Oh, and that doesn’t even begin to touch the different quirks that each console has. For example, the Legion Go, besides being a powerhouse already, has a unique take on the form factor: detachable controllers and an FPS mode.

Don’t count the Steam Deck out either. Soon after the two consoles launched, Valve suddenly dropped an OLED version of its console, pushing the envelope even further.

PlayStation Portal

Up in the clouds

Understandably, PCs might not be your cup of tea. While the above consoles represent the cream of the crop in the segment now, non-PC-based consoles also made their presence felt this year. The biggest of which is the new PlayStation Portal.

Unfortunately, the PlayStation Portal isn’t the PlayStation Portable revival that a lot of people were clamoring for. Instead, the new console uses PS Remote Play to stream your PlayStation 5 games. Naturally, it doesn’t offer the same amount of variety as its counterparts. It’s just a way for you to play your PS5 games on the go.

If you’re content with just mobile gaming, the segment also got a touch of magic this year. Now, gamers already have a plethora of options for mobile games. However, Razer is packing more juice with the Razer Edge, an advanced way to play Android-based titles.

Image source: Playdate

A Game Boy in 2023?

Finally, there’s a slew of niche consoles you can get for a healthy dose of nostalgia. If you miss playing older titles, newer devices are bringing them back. The Analogue Pocket, for example, can play over 2,700 cartridges from the Game Boy era. Though built with a modern screen and protected by Gorilla Glass, the Pocket is a veritable blast from the past.

Want something more esoteric? The Playdate is one of the weirdest consoles we’ve ever seen, but that’s just part of the charm. Shaped like a tiny Game Boy, the console features its own series of small games to whittle down the time. It also has a tiny crank that, while it looks odd, makes for unique gaming experiences. For example, Root Bear (get it?) has you pouring drinks using the crank for a particularly picky bear.

Image source: Analogue

The future of handheld gaming

Seeing all these consoles thriving is exciting to see as a gamer. However, the Switch being silent this year is admittedly scary. While the console saw a lot of notable games coming to the platform, Nintendo revealed almost nothing about a potential Switch sequel. Minus the odd comment sprinkled throughout the year, it feels like the calm before the storm. While the original Switch series is still capable in its own right, it’s possible that the near future (maybe even next year) will see the arrival of the next Switch.

Speaking of the future, it’ll be interesting to see how the industry responds to the latest consoles that came out this year. It’s just the nature of the industry to keep improving performance. While the current slate of consoles can handle modern games at lower settings, the future might be able to handle games on ultra settings with ray tracing.

Either way, 2023 has been a great year for the handheld gaming segment. If you’ve been waiting to dip your toes into the world of handheld gaming, there is no better time to try things out. Even if more advanced consoles come out in the near future, a handheld console is a huge boon for the gaming industry.

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Accessories

The GameSir G8 Galileo is great for PS Remote Play

While we wait for the PlayStation Portal

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Gamesir G8 Galileo | PS Remote Play

We happen to be in a region where the PlayStation Portal has yet to be released. Good thing, PS Remote Play is available and GameSir has a controller you can hook up to your smartphone that’s readily compatible. Enter the GameSir G8 Galileo.

You might not see it right away, but the biggest difference with the G8 Galileo compared to other smartphone controllers (even the ones GameSir made themselves) is it’s actually full size. 

Watch our unboxing. 

@gadgetmatch

Unboxing the Gamesir G8 Galileo. Best smartphone controllers right now? #gaming #mobilegaming #remoteplay #RemotePlay #remoteplayps5 #mobilecontroller #controller #controllers

♬ original sound – GadgetMatch – GadgetMatch

 

Most smartphone controllers prioritize portability. Thus, they’re more compact. That means smaller face buttons, smaller thumbsticks, and generally smaller overall profile. 

Usable, sure. But not exactly ideal for people with chubby hands like yours truly. 

BackBone One | GameSir G8 Galileo

This is also one of the primary reasons why, despite owning a Backbone One, I’ve rarely used it for its intended purpose. And the reason why the PlayStation Portal is appealing to me. 

Gamesir G8 Galileo | PS Remote Play

The GameSir G8 Galileo changes all of that because of its size. It’s also not just larger. Its ergonomics are great too. Your hands will sit nicely on the nice, curved handles for a more comfortable, more enjoyable handheld gaming session.

PS Remote Play 

Gamesir G8 Galileo | PS Remote Play

Another big area of convenience is you don’t necessarily have to have the GameSir app to make it work. Simply download the PS Remote Play app, register, and fire it up. 

To make sure it’s on PS Remote Play compatible mode, just press the Share and Options buttons simultaneously. Those are the tiny buttons on the left and right hand side of the controllers right above the left thumb stick and the face buttons. 

Upon pressing simultaneously, make sure the color on the GameSir logo on the lower right part of the controller is white. That’s how you know it’s on PS Remote Play mode. 

Currently green so you have to press the buttons for Remote Play.

Once done, just easily plug-in your smartphone with a USB-C port on GameSir’s signature flexible USB-C plug and off you go. 

Actual play time

Here’s a quick Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 gameplay using the GameSir G8 Galileo along with the HONOR Magic5 Pro with Remote Play:

This under a minute clip, naturally, isn’t representative of the entire Remote Play experience. Anyone who has tried it before knows that with extended play time, you’ll likely experience a few hiccups here and there. That’s just the nature of the beast. 

That said, this whole set-up has been generally great. Other than Spider-Man 2, I’ve managed to play a handful of quick NBA 2K24 games like this. I still racked up a handful of wins despite suffering from occasional latency trouble. 

The feel of the controller is fantastic and is easily the most enjoyable out of every other smartphone controller that I’ve tried before. And I’ve tried a few other than the Backbone One. There’s the GameSir X3,  GameSir X2 Pro-Xbox, and the Razer Kishi V2. 

Compatible games, mapping

Depending on the platform you’re on, the GameSir G8 Galileo will work on multiple other games. If you’re an iPhone 15 Series user, Remote Play, select Apple Arcade games, and even the AAA games set to release for that iPhone will work with this controller. 

For Android users, it’s the usual handful of controller supported games that will work with this. For everything else, you’ll have to resort to mapping — a task for those with patience. 

If you need more tutorials on how to get it working, just follow GameSir on Facebook or YouTube. They constantly post tutorials. 


You can buy the GameSir G8 Galileo here: https://bit.ly/gsg8galileo 

Use G8Creator on the Coupon Code for 10% off.

 

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