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.
Machenike: Best budget peripherals?
I’ve been wanting to get myself a mechanical keyboard to slowly work towards building a PC from scratch. Of course, this is sensible considering I have a laptop to plug them into. You know, getting the pretentious privileged feel of not struggling amidst a world still in shambles?
So, while the hunt was dreadful on hypothetical money I didn’t have, we stumbled upon an affordable alternative that we didn’t quite expect. But, in a good way–I think.
What is Machenike?
Machenike is a Chinese professional gaming hardware brand. It’s the first established esports hardware brand in China with investors like Haier and partners like Alibaba Groups. Now, Machenike has its fair share of rounds online. But, it’s getting a lot of traction especially when people are looking to upgrade their work-from-home set-ups. With affordability, performance, and aesthetic seemingly in check, are their peripherals really worth the buy? Here are the ones we tried out:
Machenike K7 mechanical keyboard
Let’s put facts out there: there’s no escaping plastic with peripherals. From god-awful unachievable to wallet-saving prices, most peripherals are mainly made of plastic. So, don’t act all surprised to find that Machenike’s mechanical keyboard line is mostly plastic. Considering its price-point, this is kind of a steal.
The Machenike K7 comes in four variants depending on the keyboard color (RGB or Ice-blue) and switch color (blue or black). The keycaps have a matte texture with opaque keycap letters, characters, and controls to show off your pick of color.
Design-wise, the keyboard shows-off its minimalism, unicorn-vomit rainbow aesthetics, and multi-functionality. You can connect it via cable or Bluetooth and play around with RGB settings.
Every click is audible and only requires a reasonable amount of actuation force. Which, you’ll need to make sure you double-check before ordering one (the blue switch is 60g and the black switch is 80g).
Is this the mechanical keyboard for you?
Overall, the keyboard looks and feels great despite low-quality keycaps and unbranded switches. So if you’re looking for a mechanical keyboard but are strapped for cash, this is a really good one.
It’s got great features, a simple and sleek design, and reliable performance under its belt. So, it’s definitely a keeper. The Machenike K7 is on sale on Lazada for just PhP 1,498.
Machenike M6 and M7 gaming mouse
The Machenike M6 is a wired ultra-light gaming mouse with RGB capability. The mouse comes with four variants depending on color (white or black) and mouse sensitivity (6400 DPI or 16000 DPI).
Meanwhile, the Machenike M7 is a wireless gaming mouse with RGB capability and up to 10 days of battery life. The M7 has three variants depending on mouse sensitivity (2400 DPI or 16000 DPI), OMRON switches (10M or 20M), and battery (600mAh or 1000mAh).
As for design, the Machenike M6 gaming mouse has a unique honey-comb design that lets the Machenike’s logo and mouse internals peek through. It strikes out more than the M7’s minimalistic black design with RGB accents at the bottom. Both mice are made of plastic but, that comes with the price-point. They’re both minimalistic in design and have customizable features at the bottom.
Overall, they’re both reliable performance-wise and can deliver on accurate use and play. But personally, the M6 is a bit too light for my liking which is more on preference than anything else.
Are these the gaming mouse for you?
Overall, the Machenike M6 and M7 both deliver on your gaming mouse needs despite cheap components. It’s a matter of preference on wired or wireless mouse (although the M7 has a wired option), aesthetics, and weight. So, if you need an affordable gaming mouse, this is definitely a good pick.
More wins on top of the price
As affordable as the Machenike peripherals are, there are more wins for the brand on delivering your orders within 3 days. This typically isn’t a win elsewhere on the planet but, knowing painful order waiting times on some tech essentials, this is a big fat W for the brand.
Nokia-branded audio products coming soon to the Philippines
Starting with the entry-level Nokia E3100 earbuds
Nokia is not just about smartphones nowadays — it has its own laptop smart TVs, routers, and of course, audio products. Soon, Filipinos can get their hands on these audio products as RichGo — an official licensee of the Nokia brand for mobile accessories — brings them to the country’s shore this 2021.
The first of these audio products is the entry-level true wireless stereo (TWS) earbuds, Nokia E3100. With its launch price of PhP 1,999, it could be the cheapest TWS earbuds yet upon its launch. Despite the price, it offers rock-solid specs for casual listeners and work-from-home professionals. Inside both earbuds are 6 mm dynamic drivers and a 45 mAh battery rated for 2.5 listening hours. The case itself holds a 400 mAh battery for a total of 10 listening hours.
Nokia E3100 connects via Bluetooth 5.0 and charges via USB-C. It also supports auto-pairing function, as well as voice control through Siri or Google Assistant. One unique thing about the earbuds is their design, which features a five contrasting, multi-colored design. Plus, it also has IPX3 certification for weatherproofing, which is quite rare in its class.
Consumers eyeing their first TWS earbuds can snag the Nokia E3100 on March 3 through Shopee. Aside from the entry-level earbuds, other audio products from the Essential and Professional series lineup will launch in the Philippines as well. These audio products will also be available to buy in retail stores over the coming weeks.
OPPO unveils Enco X, flagship TWS earphones with ANC
AirPods Pro competitor?
OPPO is dead serious about bringing quality audio experience for its users. That’s now more evident than ever with the launch of the OPPO Enco X.
The OPPO Enco X is the company’s flagship true wireless (TWS) earphones with Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) — a must for any flagship earphone. It was developed in partnership with Danish speaker manufacturer Dynaudio.
The Enco X features what OPPO calls the DBEE 3.0 Sound System. It’s a tech they developed with Dynaudio to create a coaxial dual-driver design. Essentially, it’s what enables the Enco X to produce high definition sound that’s well-around with some natural depth. The company also shared that the DBEE Sound System has been around since 2007 — it was a tech that they introduced in one of their mp3 players way back when that was still a thing.
Active Noise Cancellation
The Enco X has what OPPO calls the hybrid active noise cancellation. That means the feature is available in four different settings: max noise cancellation for maximum audio enjoyment during busy transit commutes; noise cancellation to soften noise in café or office environments; transparency mode for users to be aware of their surroundings without taking off their earphones; or simply turn off noise cancellation.
25 hours of Battery Life
With the charging case, it promises up to 25 hours of music playback or 15 hours of call time. Without the charging case, users can also enjoy 5.5 hours of music playback or 3.5 hours of call time. Even with max noise cancellation activated, the earphones will be able to last for four hours without the charging case or 20 hours with the charging case.
The OPPO Enco X earphones are equipped with touch controls to easily skip to the next song or switch between the different noise cancellation modes. Users can double-tap either earpiece to skip to the next song or answer/end a call; slide up or down on either side of the earphones to control the volume; press and hold either side of the earphones for 1 second to switch between two selected noise reduction modes (by default, these are Transparency mode and max noise cancellation mode); and tap three times to activate Google Voice Assistant, Apple’s Siri, and Amazon Alexa.
Pricing and availability
The OPPO Enco X is available in Black and White. It will retail for for SG$ 259 and will be available in March at OPPO Concept Stores, OPPO’s Shopee and Lazada Flagship Stores and authorized retailers.
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