Accessories

Why the instax mini Link is the best accessory for any occasion

Who knew a printer can be beautiful and smart?

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Collecting memories seemed easy in the social media age; photos are preserved through our smartphones. Unlike other people who are constantly dumping their photos to a Facebook album, I preserve my memories on my camera roll. Most of these are snaps of everyday life, selfies, wacky photos with my friends, and sights and experiences I captured throughout my adventures.

There were times when I look back and have them printed in imaging stores — just so I can have something tangible. Thanks to my sentimental nature, I cling to every memory; from souvenirs, receipts from my dinners, boarding pass, or a ticket to a theme park. Printed photos included.

This is why I’m in love with novelties such as film and instant cameras. They capture intangible moments and give you something you can hold on to. But these gadgets, oftentimes than not, are difficult to bring in your travels and events. I’ve turned to photo printers before, but none of them make my heart flutter like a film coming out of an Instax camera.

Classic, but beautiful

When Fujifilm unveiled the instax mini Link, I knew right away it was my GadgetMatch. The thought reinforces the moment I had my hands on the smartphone printer in my favorite shade: Ash White. It looks timeless — just like my memories.

Designed with a minimalist approach, the instax mini Link is pleasing to look at. It has a light striped-pattern on its exterior, with instax’s logo on the front serving as the on and off button. On the side is an inconspicuous covered USB port for charging purposes.

Found on its back is the film door, which spits out the cover upon switching the lock button. Be careful though, since the printer takes out the excess film whenever you shut the film door — just like on any instax camera. Make sure that you don’t open and close the door since it’ll consume one of your films. Do it only when you ran out and you need to change your film pack.

Who knew printing could be this fun?

The mini Link is just like the mini LiPlay sans the camera. It’s a device dedicated to printing your favorite photos from your smartphones. All you need to do is to connect both your smartphone and the printer via BlueTooth — without leaving the app.

Compared to mini LiPlay’s app, connecting your smartphone and the printer is easier and faster. Fujifilm made sure it’s a hassle-free experience for both beginners and instax lovers alike.

Navigating the app is smooth and seamless, too. It doesn’t hang nor force shut down itself, and it’s easy to switch modes. Currently, different modes fit different user’s preferences. For instance, I love using Simple Print since I just want to have my beautiful and aesthetically-pleasing Instagram photos printed. Those who love taking videos can print their favorite frames and stills, especially a candid scene through the Video Print mode.

To make it even better, instax has fun modes for you and your friends to play around like Party Print, Collage Print, Frame Print, and Match Test. Party Print lets you and your friends connect to the printer simultaneously. It has a Surprise Mode where you can select the photos secretly. This can fill the room with tension, not knowing what’s the final image coming out of the printer.

If you want a basic group photo, there’s a Collage Print and choose from 14 styles. For the ever-creative, there’s a Frame Print that lets you add stylish and fun frame designs to your photos. Honestly, I don’t like using frames and other designs splashed on my photos. I have a habit of capturing picture-perfect moments and I believe that unnecessary designs would ruin the memory.

But what I loved the most is the intriguing Match Test. This mode can do a quick diagnosis of your compatibility with a friend, a significant other, or even your crush! For a more accurate diagnosis, there’s a precision diagnosis mode where you and a friend (or someone you adore) need to answer a few questions to test your compatibility.

Fujifilm made sure the instax mini Link packs with so many features for fun and even convenience. This beaut prints fast and let you handle printing seamlessly. For example, swiping up a photo on the app can send the image directly to the printer. Some of Fujifilm’s cameras can also be connected so you can print your photographs right away! Moreover, pushing the instax button lets you reprint the last photo printed.

It won’t give up on you, unlike your ex

The instax mini Link can last longer, just like how instax films live for years. No, it won’t last for years on a single charge but you can definitely rely on its battery. One time, I brought the mini Link to a party and I forgot to charge it. With a worrisome 23%, I carefully used the printer throughout the night, printing only when needed. From eight in the evening to almost midnight, the instax mini Link’s battery only dropped to ten percent.

Seeing how most of my devices nowadays have better and long-lasting batteries, it’s awesome to see Fujifilm keeping up with the times — especially with a novelty focused on nostalgia. Surely, making your memories tangible would be a lot easier now. As much as technology has been evolving for photo sharing, nothing can really beat a photo immortalized through a film.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

If you’re looking for a film printer to collect your memories or gift them to your loved ones, the instax mini Link is a great choice. It’s a great accessory to bring in different occasions! Imagine handing out films as a souvenir on whatever joyous occasion you’re celebrating.

It only costs PhP 6,999 (US$ 135), which is pretty much expensive to most people not interested in novelties, but a price we’re willing to pay for the sake of our sentimental nature. It’s currently available in three beautiful colors: Ash White, Dusky Pink, and Dark Denim.

This printer isn’t for the tech-obsessed, who thinks the future is only comprised of avant-garde designs and cutting-edge technology. Not everyone wants to live in a futuristic, sci-fi world (which looks like it was built out of someone else’s dreams). Sometimes, what we need are the same, existing objects we find in our lifetime, only made smarter without overbearing, like this one.

Accessories

Huawei Sound X with hi-end audio launches

Will work seamlessly with the P40 series

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Huawei is slowly but surely venturing out into more and more devices. After wearables, the company is now showing off a hi-end speaker — the Huawei Sound X.

It’s never easy to describe sound on text but Huawei claims the Sound X “will revolutionize high-end acoustic technology with sonorous audio that leaves an enduring, life-altering impression on the listener.”

It was made in collaboration with Devialet — a global audio brand known for its High-Fidelity products.

It’s not a smart speaker in the way that there’s a voice assistant integrated like the Google Home or the Amazon Echo, but it does have some ‘smart’ qualities.

For instance, it will work seamlessly with your Huawei P40 series phone. Gently tapping your phone against the Sound X transmits audio to the speaker.

The audio, Huawei says, is lossless and low-latency and can be tweaked thanks to a proprietary EMUI 10.1 multi-device control panel. Think of like Huawei’s own version of Apple’s AirPlay.

Another thing that Huawei is proud of about the Sound X is how compact it is compared to other speakers that promise to deliver the same level of hi-end audio. It’s able to deliver 60W of bass despite being relatively smaller than other speakers with the same capability.

The company says the “exterior design was inspired by the golden dome of the black, glazed surface hints at the robust sound that seems to emanate from a bottomless well.” But it really just reminds of Darth Vader from Star Wars.

The press photos even have the Sound X in this red room of sorts. Screams Sith to me.

Imagine playing the “Imperial Death March” on this thing! Whether you see the resemblance or not, it does kind of look cool.

SEE ALSO: Huawei P40 Series with ‘visionary photography’ now official

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Qualcomm’s new chipset could bring noise-cancellation to budget earbuds

Expect affordable earbuds soon

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Qualcomm unveiled two new Bluetooth audio chipsets intended for use in truly wireless headphones. For the end consumer, this could provide active noise cancellation (ANC), voice assistant support, and more.

It has unveiled two new chipsets — QCC514X (premium tier) and QCC304X (entry-level line). Both shall support Qualcomm’s TrueWireless Mirroring technology that requires connecting via Bluetooth to just one of the earbud. It’s useful as it will allow either earbud to be used alone without interruptions.

The new chipsets will also produce better battery life – offering up to 13 hours of playback based on a 65mAh battery, according to Qualcomm. Usually, active noise cancellation consumes more battery power.

The dedicated noise cancellation hardware integrated into the chipset enables super-low latency leak-through of the outside environment. It enables genuinely natural awareness of the surroundings. It’ll also come handy when you’re onboard a flight or trying to concentrate in an office environment where ambient noise is higher than usual.

The chips also bring voice assistant support with them, but the premium QCC514X features always-on voice support. Meaning you won’t have to manually long-press a button to summon the virtual assistant. With direct support in the entry-level chipset as well, it’ll make this feature more widely available in affordable earbuds as well.

Qualcomm has also promised “premium wireless sound and voice quality.” The smartphone industry started omitting the 3.5mm headphone jack in favor of USB-C or wireless earphones. The wireless options have often been quite expensive, and with wired ones, you either have the opportunity to charge your phone, or listen to music or watch a movie. More affordable options should automatically start solving this dilemma.

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5 reasons why you should stick to wired earphones

You don’t have to give up comfort and familiarity!

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Photo by Daniel Fontenele

The advent of wireless earbuds has become gospel among my friends — techie and geeks alike. It’s like everyone’s preaching about switching to wireless like it’s some mandatory rite of passage for adults who’ve been in the workforce for god knows how long.

Though I have my own pair of wireless earbuds, I still have my trusty wired earphones — one that has a 3.5mm jack for my laptop, and one that comes in USB-C for my phone that has no headphone jack. Even before, wired earphones were my savior — from strangers and familiar people approaching me, to keep me entertained in between idle moments, and for being a companion in trying times.

Just like most people, I’m still having a hard time letting go of wired earphones. People had been asking me to stop using one, but I still stand to a few reasons why it’s perfectly okay to stick to the familiar.

You’re a plug-and-play person

A lot of times, I find myself having trouble with pairing my smartphones to my wireless earbuds. To ensure seamless pairing, you must be using top-of-the-line and/or premium earbuds. Imagine the time you spent trying to connect so you can listen to music when you can just plug your wired earphones to a headphone jack, play your music, and enjoy.

You love the feeling of being connected

I thrive in connections — whether it’s people, conversations, or earphones. I feel most reassured when I know I’m connected, and the tangibility of my earphones’ connection to my smartphone is comforting — especially when I’m commuting. I’ll know right away where my phone is, and having a wired connection makes my loving smartphone safe.

On certain occasions, my smartphone was saved from falling because of my wired earphones. It’s these prevented tragedies that reassure me a tangible connection is still a good choice.

You’re practical about your choices

Let’s admit it: wireless earbuds are expensive. As someone who follows a strict budget, wired earphones are a tad cheaper and is more accessible to most of us. There are plenty of us can’t live without music, and wired earphones sometimes become a necessity to keep us from falling apart in between trying times.

On the other hand, wireless earbuds are considered a luxury — a want, not a need. Imagine losing a pair, or even misplacing it when a pair of wireless earbuds is priced around US$ 100. I don’t have the money to replace it easily even with access to a credit card.

You find comfort in familiarity

Some people aren’t comfortable with change. Most are hesitant, and even resistant to it — even with the advent of functional and bang-for-the-buck wireless earbuds. If you find comfort in familiarity a.k.a. choosing wired earphones because you’ve been using it for a long time, that’s absolutely fine.

You don’t have to change your preferences in life just because someone asked you to do so. Stay unique and love your individuality!

You haven’t felt the urge to switch

Lastly, there comes a time in every modern individual where they need to switch to a wireless lifestyle. It could be for convenience, for more flexibility, or for safety during a commute. Whatever it is, you’ll always feel the urge to switch and when you do, heed the call.

When you feel like you’re being called to the other side, that’s when you take a leap of faith. If you’re still content with using wired earphones, just enjoy it and stop caring what the world thinks. You have your music with you, just keep playing!

SEE ALSO: 6 reasons why you should switch to wireless earbuds

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