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

realme Buds Air Pro now in the Philippines

Affordable TWS earbuds with ANC

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realme’s commitment to expanding its AIoT lineup is on full display with the announcement of the realme Buds Air Pro in the Philippines.

realme says it reduces noise by 35dB due to the dual microphone setup and the customized S1 noise cancellation chip. It also has Transparency mode that lets you hear ambient sound in one click. It also supports Bluetooth 5.0.

These earbuds sport a 10mm driver for Dynamic Bass Boost (DBB). This means you’re getting a deep, rich base sound with these earbuds. As for playback, you get a total of 25 hours with the charging case.

It also offers low latency of 94ms in Gaming mode for perfect sync between video and audio while playing games or watching movies.

Controls are as follows:

  • Double-tap: Play/pause music playback | Answer a call
  • Triple-tap: Go to next song
  • Press and hold one side: End call
  • Press and hold both sides: Enter/Exit Gaming Mode

Pricing and availability

The realme Buds Air Pro retails for PhP 4,990. However, it can be had for PhP 3,990 on Lazada and Shopee starting December 3, 7PM and at the 12.12 Super Brand Day Sale.

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Accessories

Xiaomi launches 5000mAh ZMI Power Bank, it’ll also warm your hands

Winter is coming…

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ZMI is one of Xiaomi’s ecosystem companies, and it is popular for making professional power banks. Xiaomi also sells power banks directly, and they’re in extremely high demand due to consistent quality, features, and affordable price.

Now, the brand is trying to do something new — a power bank that’ll also double up as a body or hand warmer more precisely. So, the power bank has a capacity of 5000mAh, enough for an iPhone once. If you’re living in the temperate or tundra region, the climate gets extremely cold during the winters. The gadget can also be used as a hand warmer.

It’s equipped with a PTC self-limiting temperature heating technology that’s patented and safe. The power bank consists of PID constant temperature control for precise control of the heating element. It can go up to 52-degrees Celsius, which is safe and comfortable for the human body.

The ZMI Power Bank can adjust the temperature according to your liking and deliver two to four hours of heating in one go. It has an LED light that can be used as a torch for convenience, and it can charge all gadgets like an ordinary portable charger.

For now, the sale is limited to Mainland China, and it costs CNY 89 (US$ 13.5).

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Huawei Freebuds Pro Unboxing and First Impressions

Sounds as good as it looks

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Huawei has been killing it in the personal audio department and everyone should really start paying attention. Adding to the lineup is the Huawei Freebuds Pro. It’s their answer of sorts to the likes of the AirPods Pro and the Sony WF-1000XM3.

This is what the front of the box looks like. It’s a pretty tiny box.

Freebuds Pro

A closer look shows the name of the product in gold. 

Flip it over and you’ll see some highlighted features. 

Take out the top cover and you’re immediately greeted by the Freebuds Pro. 

Here’s a look without the plastic covering.

Freebuds Pro

It’s a little tricky to take out but underneath all that is the USB to USB-C Cable and a box.

Pull out the cable and the box and you get this.

Here’s a closer look at the cable. 

And here are extra soft silicone plugs so you can find the perfect fit for your ears.

Now, let’s go back to the Freebuds Pro. Here’s the back of the charging case with the Huawei text. 

You flip it over to open it and reveal the earbuds. 

The buds are tinier — the tiniest they’ve released over the past year.

On the bottom of the case is the USB-C port. 

And on its right side is the bluetooth pairing button. 

But if you simply open the case next to a Huawei phone — here it’s the Huawei Mate 40 — it’ll immediately detect it and ask to pair. 

When you press connect, it’ll show you right away how to operate the Freebuds Pro. 

After that, it’ll show you the battery life of each Freebud Pro and the case. 

As mentioned earlier, in terms of the size of the stem, it’s a lot smaller than the previous two releases. 

The cases also vary in shape and size.

Here’s what they look like when worn. 

First impressions 

I’ve only had the Freebuds Pro for a little over 24 hours at the time of writing. I’ve since used it on a video call meeting and to listen to the Eyes Wide Open album by TWICE.

I Cant Stop Me GIF by TWICE - Find & Share on GIPHY

So far, it’s performing exactly as advertised. It carries over the noise-cancellation excellence from the Freebuds 3 and Freebuds 3i. In fact, the Freebuds Pro combines the best practices of the aforementioned devices thanks to a number of engineering and design choices.

Sound quality is also right around what I expected based on my previous experiences with other Huawei audio products. It’s certainly two steps above the Freebuds 3i in terms of overall sound quality.

SEE ALSO: Freebuds 3 review | Freebuds 3i review

Music comes off as crisp and clean as the Freebuds 3 but we’ll have to try it out for a little longer for a more definitive take. Same goes for the battery life.

The controls are also more intuitive. If you are coming from the Freebuds 3, it is a little different. Here’s a photo of me assuming the controls are the same. Nope, I didn’t pay attention to the prompts during set-up. What an idiot.

Price and availability 

In the Philippines, it retails for PhP 7,999 — around PhP 1,000 cheaper than the launch price of the Freebuds 3 (PhP 8,990).

Pre-order period is from November 27 to December 3. If you pre-order you’ll get freebies worth PhP 3,989.

  • Huawei Band 4 — PhP 1,890
  • Entertainment Gift Package — PhP 2,099

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