Features

GadgetSnaps: HONOR Magic4 Pro in Boracay

Quintessential cameras, consistent overall output

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Even though it was announced way back in February 2022, the HONOR Magic4 Pro is still the company’s top-tier flagship, offering a quintessential triple set of rear cameras plus dual front-facing cameras for that ultra-flagship camera madness.

For specifics, here are the camera sensors behind HONOR’s latest magical smartphone:

  • 50MP f/1.8 wide (main)
  • 50MP f/2.2 122º ultra-wide
  • 64MP f/3.5 periscope telephoto zoom lens (3.5x optical zoom / 10x hybrid zoom / 100x digital zoom)

Huawei P50 Pro

If that sounds familiar to you, the HONOR Magic4 Pro shares the same wide and periscope telephoto camera hardware with the Huawei P50 Pro minus the ultra-wide, B/W (Black and White) sensor, as well as the the last of its kind LEICA Optics.

And to celebrate HONOR’s long-awaited comeback in the Philippines, I’m writing this in a different PoV (Point of View). While I am the storyteller, my friend and her lovey-dovey will take us in a virtual Boracay trip through the magical cameras of the HONOR Magic4 Pro.

First Flight Experience

Just like anyone else (including me), my friend actually just had her first flight experience full of questions and some intrusive thoughts — even if it’s just a domestic flight.

Obviously not sponsored

But first, coffee! Here’s an Iced Caramel Macchiato to start the thrilling and exciting trip.

These people aren’t totally the type to take a lot of selfies but I still asked them to do so. This is to showcase the wide and ultra-wide front-facing cameras of the Magic4 Pro.

After some time, they were brought to their respective aircraft via a bus. That’s also because the planes are not tall enough to reach the boarding gates unlike most international flights.

Forget Business Class! Window Seats are da bomb

My friend told me that the only reason why they took a trip to Boracay isn’t because of the beach itself. Rather, she just wanted to experience riding an airplane without spending too much of her hard-earned savings. One check in her bucketlist done ☑️

Surprisingly, the HONOR Magic4 Pro was able to take crisp and clear wide/ultra-wide shots of the view despite the thick glass material of the plane’s window.

Some probably won’t feel what I felt in the shot above but I was utterly amazed by how my/our neighborhood looks like from above. This is specifically the Nuvali area (where the popular Republic Wakepark / oval-shaped man-made lake can be seen), alongside Carmelray Industrial Park 1 (a.k.a where the Jollibee factory is located), and Kapayapaan Village in Canlubang, Calamba City, Laguna.

Admittedly, my friend’s boyfie said it was very familiar to the area we live in so he captured it. This also shows that its periscope telephoto camera does the job very well (and how letting him use this phone is a very wise decision as he took a lot of great photos that you will all see until the end).

Here’s an IG-worthy window plane winning shot showing the aircraft’s wing and engine as well as a complete balance of clouds, land, and sea below.

Touchdown, Caticlan!

It was the pair’s first time flying to one of the Philippines’ highly-acclaimed tourist destination. While I’ve already been to Boracay last 2017 (not to confuse with my former colleague’s 24-hour feature of the same year), this photo set will actually show us how Boracay looks like after the 2018 closure and rehabilitation (plus another rehabilitation this pandemic).

After more than an hour of non-stop flight from Manila, they finally reached the shores of Aklan (the province where Boracay Island is located). Unlike other flights that bring you to Kalibo International Airport, this flight lands on Godofredo P. Ramos Airport instead (or commonly known as Caticlan/Boracay Airport).

That’s a lot closer to the Boracay Island. Coming from the provincial capital of Kalibo will make the trip longer with a bus/van ride that goes for another 1.5 to 2 hours via national highway (compared to Caticlan’s 10-20 minute journey).

And from Caticlan Jetty Port, you need to ride a boat that will be able to bring you to the island as fast as 5 to 10 minutes.

Some resorts do offer a special direct ride to their respective resorts along all the beach stations. But if that’s not the case, there are always the regular boats waiting for you.

SEE ALSO: 5 accredited Airbnbs you can book in Boracay

Heaven on Earth

If you don’t know Boracay, it is very well-known for its white sand beaches and crystal clear seawater.

Evident enough on the shots here, the wide, ultra-wide, and zoom lenses on the HONOR Magic4 Pro delivered exquisite results.

There’s even a panorama that will surely captivate anyone who will see the beauty of the island.

And this is one among the new highlights of the island for tourists — a long raft wherein you can walk towards the sea without getting yourself wet and sanded. It’s also a clever way to take some portraits or group photos.

The Magic4 Pro has an excellent periscope telephoto lens that can go beyond what a person’s naked eyes can see. Zooming in further from 3.5x all the way to 10x still gives you that crystal clear image of the sand, sea waves, and the sail boat.

The hidden side of the card

Another location worth checking out is found in the southernmost part of the island.

Dubbed as the “Secret Beach”, it’s a rare sight in the island’s clear shore. It has this mini cave-like formation that could actually be mistaken as something from Palawan or any other rocky and mountainous beach area in the Philippines.

Unfortunately, they were told to go off after taking some photos in the area. Going back to Station 3 gives you this very pleasing sight of the island’s northern side minus the usually crowded area.

Portraits (and selfies) for memory preservation

If you already had enough of landscape daylight photos, here are some portrait samples. These are pleasing to the eyes because of their natural color processing without the pesky oversaturation that other smartphones tend to do.

If you want to add some flair, you can switch easily towards the phone’s Portrait Mode feature that adds that creamy bokeh to your photos. IMO, it’s not the best in its class but still acceptable enough that it doesn’t show a bad hair cutout once you post it on socials.

Not for the bitter-minded singles (like yours truly) but the ultra-wide lenses were helpful in taking “couple selfies”.

And surprisingly, my friend’s baby boi took these jump shot photos only by himself through the Magic4 Pro’s front camera plus its timer feature. My friend told me she wasn’t aware of this as she was busy working in their hotel room when this happened 😭.

Mandatory #FoodPorn

It wouldn’t be a complete Boracay experience without trying out some of the food being served out and around.

The specific hotel they stayed at has complementary breakfast. If it’s about being particular, the meal has an egg fried rice, skinless Filipino sausage, sunny side-up eggs shaped in a weird triangular mold, beef tapa, blue lemonade / water, and two pieces of pineapple slices for each.

Taken at a different place and time, there’s this Chorizo Baked Mac & Cheese which costs as much as PhP 350. But hey, at least it includes four types of specialty cheeses like Gruyere, Jack Cheddar, Mozarella, and Parmesan.

On the other hand, there’s this Bacon and Egg Bun made with bacon, scrambled eggs, cheddar cheese, chives, and Japanese mayo in a bun.

Architastic

Don’t mind me. That’s just some of my weird name mashup (architecture + fantastic).

Tthe last two food items stated were actually from this cute and appealing café called “Sunny Side Café”.

The interior leans more into the industrial, modern-looking style that reminds us of a lot of pandemic co-working spaces and cafès around the Metro.

I suppose this was only a test shot. Weirdly enough, the portrait mode effect added some depth segmentation that made it looked like it was shot on a DSLR. But this is also a hard subject for the phone to process. Thus, the inaccuracy in subject cutouts and bokeh.

The particular hotel they stayed at is the Golden Phoenix Hotel. It’s a walking distance from the café.

Whether it’s day time, pre-sunset, or night time, the HONOR Magic4 Pro was able to tale these amazing photos. Then again, that’s a consistent output between its wide and ultra-wide cameras.

Night Magic

Sunset photos should be mandatory in every Boracay trip. After all, Boracay sunsets was part of my bucket list. Glad I was able to tick that off.

While this isn’t the best sunset that ever showed up in Boracay, these sunset photos still made me miss the island.

And as mentioned a while ago, this is the long raft that’s a new attraction in the island which wasn’t here when I went here five years ago. And as you can see, the night mode magic of the Magic4 Pro works on both the wide and ultra-wide lenses.

After some time waiting for the sun to set, the couple went to another nearby place called the Boracay V-Hub Food Market at Station 3. It wasn’t there yet during my 2017 visit.

Unlike other smartphones with their night mode algorithm, the HONOR Magic4 Pro managed to preserve the bright neon lights while keeping the overall photo fairly exposed. That’s without bumping up exposure, highlights, shadows, and contrast too much. This is also me saying that the “brightest” low-light photo doesn’t mean it’s the best.

Also, the experience wouldn’t be complete without trying the famous Jonah’s fruit shake. The pair tried the Banana / Vanilla (which was delightful) and Banana Milk (which was so-so).

Portraits can be exposed quite right even without that much natural / artificial light around thanks to the magic of the Magic4 Pro.

P.S: Although the people at the back are Koreans, the guy isn’t the globally-renowned gamer T1’s Faker.

There was even a fire dance performance at the center of the food market. Le friend’s boyfie took this split-second shots that I transformed into a GIF.

Going Back To Reality

While this article wasn’t too long, their trip actually took almost four days before they went back home.

Even if it was a shot of the island’s sunrise, night mode was still beneficial in making the subject and the overall photos color-accurate and well-exposed.

Going back to the island still requires you to ride a boat. But the thing I wasn’t able to mention earlier is that, the boats don’t run until the sun shows up.

We’e skipping the lengthy process of boat to bus to airport to airplane transfers. This here is one last shot of the sky from the view of the airplane’s window. The overall shot being gloomy just shows that there’s a sad feeling that you’ll go back to your usual life reality and routines.

And to end this, I just wanted to highlight this back end photo of an airplane. It honestly never looked cute up ’til I saw a face of a bear. This thing is definitely worth posting in a weirdly-fascinating and hilarious Facebook community I recently joined called “Things with Faces” 🥺

Quintessential cameras, consistent overall output

Flagship smartphones should at least have a great-performing wide camera paired with a diligent ultra-wide camera. Telephoto lenses should at least be clear when zoomed in 3x.

The HONOR Magic4 Pro delivered great photos. The results were very consistent all throughout. Not just through its 50MP main / wide sensor, but also with its ultra-wide and periscope telephoto lenses. It can zoom in like it has an optical zoom range as far as 10-15x.

Even its dual front-facing cameras are no slouches. They delivered great output minus the over-processing of software AI algorithm for faces.

No doubt, the HONOR Magic4 Pro is one among 2022’s best all-rounder smartphones around. It offers the quintessential triple set of rear cameras that other “flagships” fail to deliver.

SEE ALSO: Bringing back HONOR with Magic


Many, many thanks to my friends Dyan Carelle and Paeng Felix for taking wonderful shots using the HONOR Magic4 Pro (and making me miss Boracay even more).

Buyer's Guide

PlayStation gift ideas for 2022: The best of the best

God of War: Ragnarök tops the list

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Gamers, rejoice! The Christmas season is finally here. That means it’s also the perfect time to secure PlayStation titles and peripherals to boost the gaming experience. Here are some of the best gift ideas for gamers on both PS4 and PS5:

UNCHARTED: Legacy of Thieves Collection

This collection retails for PhP 2,490 and includes both critically acclaimed single player adventures, UNCHARTED 4: A Thief’s End and UNCHARTED: The Lost Legacy.

Dive into complex history from the point of view of thieves Nathan Drake and Chloe Frazer. Its PlayStation 5 option is remastered with improved visuals and framerate.

God of War: Ragnarök

Already widely considered as the game of the year, Santa Monica Studio’s sequel to the 2018 God of War features Kratos and Atreus going on a mythic journey across nine realms together before Ragnarök arrives.

Kratos will use his weapons like the Leviathan Axe and Blades of Chaos as he puts everything on the line to fight for family while facing fearsome enemies from Norse gods to wild beasts.

God of War: Ragnarök is priced at PhP 3,490 for PS5 and PhP 2,990 for PS4.

Horizon Forbidden West

From Sony comes an action RPG wherein Aloy braves the Forbidden West, a frontier that conceals mysterious threats.

The adventure will take gamers to a far-future, post-apocalyptic world of Horizon where land is dying and vicious storms keep ravaging what’s left of humanity.

That said, it will be up to Aloy to uncover the secrets, forge alliances, and defeat the enemy to prevail.

Horizon Forbidden West is available at PhP 3,490 for PS5 and PhP 2,990 for PS4.

Gran Turismo 7

Gran Turismo 7

For those into racing, Gran Turismo 7 brings together the very best of the Real Driving Simulator.

The game reintroduces GT Simulation Mode, on top of the head-to-head GT Sport Mode, GT Campaign, Arcade, and Driving School.

With over 420 cars available at Brand Central and the Used Car Dealership from day one and over 90 track routes including classics, Gran Turismo 7 promises both unparalleled detail and experience.

You can purchase the game for PhP 3,490 for PS5 and PhP 2,990 for PS4.

The Last of Us Part I

The Last of Us Part 1

The multi-awarded game gets a PlayStation 5 treatment. Protagonist Joel smuggles 14-year-old Ellie out of a military quarantine zone, which jumpstarts a brutal cross-country journey.

This package includes The Last of Us single-player story and celebrated prequel chapter, Left Behind, which explores the events that changed the lives of Ellie and her best friend Riley forever.

The Last of Us Part I costs PhP 3,490 as well.

Gaming peripherals

As for accessories, you should get your hands on the DualSense Wireless Controller for PS5 which now comes in new colors. The controllers are now available in Midnight Black, Cosmic Red, Starlight Blue, Galactic Purple, and Nova Pink, as well as Gray Camouflage.

It is available in all PlayStation authorized dealers starting at PhP 3,990.

Speaking of those colors, one can now customize their console itself with the PS5 Console Covers which are priced at PhP 3,090.

To complete the immersive gaming experience, the PULSE 3D Wireless Headset delivers with PS5 system’s Tempest 3D AudioTech and comes with dual noise-cancelling microphones.

It is available for PhP 5,590 in Midnight Black and Gray Camouflage.

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Deals

5 realme travel essentials for holiday vacation

Upgrade your holiday trips

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For some, Christmas season isn’t only about gift-giving or bonding with friends and family; it’s also about going on holiday trips as they make the most out of the long break.

That’s where these five realme gadgets come in handy, giving your vacation trip a colorful upgrade.

realme 10

realme 10

The brand’s recently-launched flagship comes equipped with a Helio G99 processor, has a 6.4-inch 90Hz super AMOLED display, and a 5,000mAh battery with support for 33W SUPERVOOC charge.

The device runs on Android 12 and realme UI 3.0, and has 8GB RAM and up to 256GB storage.

Capturing memories is a breeze too, with its 50MP main camera and 16MP selfie camera.

Available in Clash White and Rush Black, the realme 10 retails for:

  • PhP 12,999 for the 8GB+128GB
  • PhP 14,999 for the 8GB+256GB

realme Buds T100

realme Buds T100

 

Music is a must for long road trips, so one should complement the listening experience with a fitting pair of wireless earbuds.

The realme Buds T100 feature 10mm dynamic bass driver, 88ms super low latency, and a total playback time of up to 28 hours.

The accessory has AI Environmental Noise Cancellation (ENC). It is rated IPX5 for water resistance.

realme C33

Whether looking for another reliable smartphone or just a spare phone, the realme C33 should do the trick.

It has a 6.5-inch HD+ LCD display, 5,000mAh battery to keep you company for long hours, and a 50MP camera.

It’s priced at only PhP 7,499 so now is the perfect time to get your hands on this budget device.

realme Pad X

For those traveling with kids or simply want to avoid boredom, the realme Pad X (6GB+128GB) can definitely keep you entertained.

Powered by up to a Snapdragon 695 5G processor and coming with a 10.95-inch 2K FullView display and Dolby Atmos quad speakers, the tablet provides an immersive viewing experience on the go.

The Pad X comes with a stylish 7.1mm Ultra Slim design. It is available in the Glacier Blue and Glowing Grey colorways.

The base price is just PhP 15,999 or if you want to opt for the 5G variant, the cost is PhP 24,999.

realme Watch 3

Lastly, the realme Watch 3 will help one burn those Noche Buena and Media Noche calories with ease.

The wearable boasts clear Bluetooth calling, all-day health monitoring, and over 110 sports modes. These can be accessed through its 1.8-inch bright display.

The realme Watch 3 retails for only PhP 3,499, one of the best fitness companions for this price point.

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Hands-On

Make moments tangible with Instax Square Link

Time to print those core memories!

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instax square link

Life looks pretty in squares — that’s how Instagram shaped our favorite moments in the past decade.

With every core memory uploaded in our social media feed for the world to see, there’s still something poignant about keeping a hard copy of your favorite moments. It feels nostalgic to be reminded of the good things in your life.

That’s what the Instax Square Link delivers. The newest instant printer comes in square, as compared to its previous siblings in the instax link lineup.

The sweet spot

The previous instant printers come in the usual mini film prints, and a wide, rectangular one. Having a square format provides a sweet spot for instant prints since it’s neither too big nor small.

Even the design of the device itself looks almost square, albeit taller. It sports the usual big button in its center that powers up the device, while there’s a smaller circle on its top-left part for linking the device to your smartphone.

It’s still as straightforward as it gets, whether you’re already familiar with previous instax printers or not. You simply click the big button until it lights up, link it to your smartphone and confirm the serial number found on the bottom side of the device, and do all the magic inside the app — which you can download via App Store or Play Store.

instax square link

New device, new features

The instax Square Link carries all the good things from the previous instax printers through its dedicated app.

You can still make personalized stickers, continuously print your best moments with just a press of a button, and collage and edit your photos in frames. They’re pretty much the same features you can find on the instax Link WIDE and instax mini Link 2.

instax square link

However, instax introduced new features that make printing more exciting. Now, instax takes AR to a new level by allowing users to print with personalized AR effects, accessible using a QR code.

It also included a feature where you can chat with a friend or loved one and have the conversation printed as text bubbles to add a more personal touch for those who are in long-distance relationships.

Printing your favorite moments

instax square link

While the new features are a much-welcome addition, I still stick to what Instax is good about. At its core, it’s still printing your favorite moments and of course, sharing them with the people you love.

Back then, I would print my photos and keep them to myself — inside photobooks and boxes that would never see the light of day unless I’m feeling nostalgic.

Being surrounded by new people encouraged me to be more giving, rather than just being selfish with my memories. And instead of constantly seeking validation and sharing my favorite moments with the world, I now love the idea of being intimate and sharing my core memories with only a handful of people.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

instax square link

The Instax Square Link is still an instant printer like its siblings. If square formats are your thing, this is easily your GadgetMatch. For wide, rectangular prints, there’s the instax Link WIDE.

And if the original, mini-sized film prints are what you’re after, you can never go wrong with the instax mini Link 2. Whatever formats you want, there’s an instax for you.

The instax Square Link comes in Ash White and Midnight Green. It’s available in all authorized Fujifilm instax dealers nationwide and Fujifilm’s online flagship stores.

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