I’ll be the first to admit that Android devices are quite foreign to me. Having been inducted into the cult of Apple early on, I never really got around to going deeper into the world of Android. This prompted GadgetMatch Managing Editor Rodneil Quiteles to take me out of my comfort zone by giving me a chance to live for a week with realme‘s latest offerings — the X50 Pro 5G, Watch S, and the Buds Air Pro.
I know, it’s my first time living with this whole new operating system. But what’s the best way to learn? By going all in.
realme X50 Pro 5G: A great intro to Android
The switch came fairly easy and the phone did not disappoint. While the new interface took around two days to get used to, the whole process went pretty smoothly. The X50 Pro 5G is light and easy to handle. I got the phone in its Moss Green version and the hue does add a premium look to it.
As someone who creates digital content, the camera is always a huge denominator on whether I would love a phone or not. I was perfectly happy with my iPhone 12 Pro but I have to admit that when it comes to shooting in low light, the realme X50 Pro 5G came out with brighter shots — even brighter than what I was seeing in real life.
Video quality is also pretty superb with clear audio coming through. Shooting handheld hardly produced any shaking in my footage.
Watching Netflix on it was also quite the experience. You get buttery-smooth, vibrant images on the 6.44-inch Samsung Super AMOLED display. I normally pair it with the Buds Air Pro which delivers clear sounds without any delays.
Browsing the internet is also pretty fast on this phone. It’s built for a 5G network after all, so there was hardly any lag when watching videos.
realme Buds Air Pro: More bang for your buck
True wireless earphones have been pretty life-changing for me. The ability to move freely and flail my hands around when I get excited about a topic without accidentally pulling my earphones out — it’s quite priceless.
The Buds Air Pro is a pretty solid set. It was able to hold during a three-and-a-half hour Zoom meeting without any glitches and without dying on me.
After a quick set up with the realme Link app, it automatically connects to the phone every time I open its charging case and take the earphones out. I can take and end calls and even play or pause music.
Moving on to the next track is also possible with just a quick triple-tap. I guess the only thing I need from wireless earphones now is an easier way to control the volume.
realme Watch S: A great everyday companion
Not gonna lie–– the first thing that got me really excited about the watch was its built-in oxymeter. A habit I picked up during this pandemic is the constant checking of my blood oxygen levels. This, after a doctor in Berlin told us that low blood oxygen levels can be early symptoms of Covid-19.
We even bought an actual oxymeter to just check our levels every single evening. Having the Watch S makes the whole process easier without having to bring another device when I’m out.
It has a lot of watch faces to match every outfit or mood. You can even choose a photo you took for the watch face if you’re feeling sentimental.
I like how I can practically keep my phone in my bag the whole time I’m on the go. I can view messages on the realme Watch S and control my music – which is about everything I need.
It tracks my steps and can easily jump into workout mode. It’s a great companion to have not just for a healthier lifestyle but for your everyday needs as well. My favorite kind of tech, after all, are those that improve how we do even the most mundane tasks. This, so that we have more time to focus on the things that matter.
Am I an Android convert? I have to say I still can’t leave the cult of Apple but Android devices don’t scare me anymore.
GadgetMatch Awards: Best of CES 2021
Flying cars, rolling phones, and Ice Cream right at home
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
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.
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.
Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro Review: Better than AirPods Pro?
Finally, real Active Noise Cancellation out of the box
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.
Samsung Galaxy S21 Series Hands-on
Most of the leaks were true after all
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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