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

Redmi Earbuds S are the most affordable TWS offering

The price is unbelievable

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In India, Xiaomi’s Redmi division looks after the affordable segment while Mi-branded products are for the premium segment. On the side, POCO is now an independent brand. Continuing with the new strategy, Redmi today announced the launch of their new TWS earbuds, the Redmi Earbuds S.

Just a couple of weeks ago, the Mi True Wireless Earphones 2 were announced in the country but they are far from affordable. To bridge this gap, the Redmi Earbuds S has been unveiled. It’s worth noting that they are the same as the Redmi AirDots S, which were launched in China earlier.

The Earbuds have 7.2mm drivers and are IPX4-rated for water resistance. The individual buds weigh only about 4.5g each. The company’s marketing has focused on how good their bass is, but we’ll be able to confirm that in our review later.

For connectivity, it leverages SBC codec, a commonly used protocol via Bluetooth. However, a low-latency mode has also been added to aide gaming. The earbuds are said to deliver four hours of playback on a single charge and the case can extend this to 12 hours.

The Earbuds S also has a physical button on either side to control media playback or skip tracks. The gaming mode can be triggered by pressing the function key thrice.

The Redmi Earbuds S will cost INR 1,799 (US$ 23) and will go on sale starting May 27 via Mi.com and Amazon.

These earbuds are an entry-level option for someone who’s looking for a pair of TWS earbuds. Instead of rich features, the point of this product is to offer an affordable option to the end-user.

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Accessories

Apple moving its AirPods assembly line to Vietnam

iPhone production is next in line

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Apple has started shifting its iPhone production line to India but it doesn’t end there. With the ongoing trade war between China and the US, more companies are slowly finding alternatives — such is the case with Apple moving AirPods assembly to Vietnam.

Asia Nikkei‘s report indicated that Apple has already done production trials of the AirPods line in Vietnam last year. Just this month, numerous buyers (including a MacForums user) have pointed out the sudden change. The ‘Assembled in Vietnam’ engraving at the back of the AirPods Pro is prominent since loyal users know that Apple products are assembled in China.

A Reddit user initially shared his concern about the product’s authenticity, even before the mentioned tweet started gaining attention.

It says mine are made in Vietnam but all other ones say China ? Should I be worried or it has nothing to do with it?? from r/AirpodsPro

Even a staff from The Verge shared a photo of her recently bought AirPods Pro with the same engraving.

Photo by Kara Verlaney (The Verge)

A follow-up report stated that the mass production of the new AirPods units took place in Vietnam last March. Despite the pandemic, they were able to secure permits from Vietnamese officials to bring in engineers for better and smoother production.

Some of the old EarPods were also assembled in Vietnam, which means the country isn’t exactly new to assembling Apple’s audio accessories. Even Apple’s long-awaited AirPods Studio might be produced there as well.

A recently-published article by DigiTimes states that other than India, they’re also moving the iPhone production line to Vietnam. It makes sense considering Foxconn has already built factories in the northern province of Bac Giang.

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Accessories

OnePlus TWS earbuds could look like the AirPods

Why are we not surprised?

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Apple was the first company to remove the 3.5mm headphone jack in iPhone 7 and release a wireless solution, the AirPods. Now, every phone maker wants a piece of the pie, and now a OnePlus TWS is coming our way as well.

Reliable leakster Max J. has revealed an illustration of the upcoming OnePlus truly wireless earbuds and they look eerily similar to the Apple AirPods. The signature in-ear design without rubber tips is considered to be Apple’s design language and many makers have tried to replicate it.

Realme launched the Buds Air this year and they look exactly like the AirPods. Even the charging case is a lookalike. Even the OPPO Enco Free wireless earbuds have a cop-cat design and are indistinguishable.

 

On the other hand, Xiaomi unveiled the Mi True Wireless Earphones 2 and they have an entirely different design. The brand seems to have focused more on functionality than looks.

OnePlus has already released wireless earphones in the past, but they haven’t been truly wireless. The OnePlus Bullets Wireless and Bullets Wireless 2 had their own design language and were built to offer a premium experience. Along with the OnePlus 8 series, the company announced an affordable version called the Bullets Z.

Rumors suggest OnePlus could launch a midrange phone dubbed the OnePlus Z or OnePlus 8 Lite in July. These earbuds are expected to launch alongside the phone.

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