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Here are the top stories on GadgetMatch this week.

1. Samsung Galaxy Note 10 hype train is chugging 

A good indicator that a noteworthy smartphone is coming — pun 100 percent intended — is if its leaks start coming up on the web. That’s exactly the case with the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.

The “official” leaked images showcases the front and back of the Note 10. There’s a punch-hole camera hovering over the middle top part of the display.

Speaking of the display, it looks absolutely edge-to-edge and while there’s no indication of it in the images, it might be nesting an in-display fingerprint scanner. The only buttons immediately visible are the volume rockers and the power button. This means it might not have the Bixby button which has been a staple on Samsung flagships in recent years.

Image from @ishanagarwal24 on Twitter

Lastly the renders also show that other than black, the Note 5 will also have a variant that has a gradient back reminiscent of the one we first saw on Huawei.

The Note 10 is launching on August 7 in New York and we’ll be there to give you the updates so make sure you’re following us everywhere on social media.

2. US gov’t can’t make up mind on Huawei ban

Here’s another chapter to the Huawei Ban saga.

If you haven’t kept up, US President Donald Trump lifted the ban on Huawei but just as recently as last week, we learned that no policies were put in place to support the lifting. This week, the U.S. finally issued an official statement about the ban’s lifting. It says the U.S. will issue trade licenses to approved companies who do business with Huawei.

However, the licenses will depend on whether the product is deemed a threat to national security. There were no parameters provided on what entails being a “threat to national security” meaning the licenses is still subject to the government’s whim.

Essentially, Huawei isn’t out of the woods yet and their fate relies heavily on the trade negotiations between Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

3. Sony working on a rollable smartphone

Sony’s mobile phone unit is still alive and they’re looking to roll out something new.

Going beyond foldable smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy Fold and Huawei Mate X, the company is reportedly working on a rollable phone prototype. 

Tech leaker Max J tweeted a gif of a footage from a 2016 video by SlashGear to show what the tech looks like.

The tweet also mentions the following specs: a Qualcomm SM7250 chipset, a 10x zoom camera, and a 3220mAh battery. However, the final retail unit will likely have a Snapdragon 855 chip along with a Qualcomm X50 modem for 5G connectivity

Before you roll your eyes, note that rollable displays already exist. LG — the company Sony is working with — showcased the LG Signature OLED TV R. It’s a 65-inch 4K TV that quietly rolls into a sound bar base when not in use.

It’ll be interesting to see if Sony can translate that tech into a phone’s form factor. The company is planning a late 2019 or early 2020 launch.

 

Macbook Air

4. Apple fixes its MacBook lineup  

If you were confused about Apple’s MacBook lineup for a while, you’re not alone. Not to worry though as they have already applied a fix.

First, they completely axed the 12-inch MacBook — a sexy but underpowered notebook. Next, they refreshed both the MacBook Air and the base level MacBook Pro. 

The new MacBook Air now has True Tone display technology but the rest of the specs remain the same which means it will still be powered by Intel’s dual-core 8th Gen i5.

The MacBook Pro’s refresh brings the Touch Bar to the base model.  It now offers a 1.4GHz quad-core 8th Gen Core i5 chip — with an option to bump up to 3.9Ghz  from Intel’s Coffee Lake lineup.

So no touch bar means it’s a MacBook Air while having a touch bar means it’s a MacBook Pro. Simple, just the way it should be.

5. We’re getting a baby Switch!

Did you hold off from buying a Nintendo Switch? If you did, this new baby Switch might finally convince you to get one.

Enter the Nintendo Switch Lite. As the name suggests, it’s a smaller, less feature-packed version of the Switch. You can still play most of the titles available to the Switch but this one was made specifically for on-the-go gaming.

Unlike the bigger Switch, there’s no option to play on a bigger screen. It also doesn’t support the Joy-con controllers. Other than that, it’s everything the switch is but strictly for handheld gaming.

It’ll retail for $199.99 and will launch on September 20 so you have time to save up.


Weekend Rewind is our roundup of top news and features you might have missed for the week. We know the world of technology can be overwhelming and not everyone has the time to get up to speed with everything — and that includes us. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the rewind.

Features

The Mi TV P1 is a great first TV

A good self reward

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Mi TV P1

I still vaguely remember the first TV I ever bought. It was, if I recall correctly, a 24-inch Samsung TV. That was already a big deal for me at the time. I just landed a producer job at an online news outlet and got my first major salary bump. As someone who enjoyed watching TV shows and movies, I thought I’d treat myself by graduating from watching on a laptop.

The TV wasn’t anything crazy. It wasn’t smart either. At the time, Smart TVs weren’t as prevalent as they are today and it would have cost maybe two months worth of my salary then. But this TV I bought had what I needed. It can read from flash drives and external hard drives, and it has an HDMI port. That thing cost me somewhere between PhP 15,000 to PhP 18,000.

Fast forward to today, I would have been able to afford a pretty big screen 4K TV now with that money. Specifically, the Xiaomi Mi TV P1. Here are the price ranges for its various sizes:

  • 55″ — PhP 24,990
  • 50″ — PhP 22,990
  • 43″ — PhP 18,990

The same TV line also has a 32-inch variant at PhP 10,990 but it isn’t 4K so I excluded it from the list. By these standards, I would have been able to afford the 43-incher. Or perhaps, I would have opted to save up a little more to grab either of the 50-inch or 55-inch variants.

But even the 43-incher is already worlds better than what I had bought back then. I’m sure it’s a fantastic option for most people today. We already have an extensive review of the Mi TV P1. But indulge me in this little piece to share why I think it’s a great first TV.

Elevate your entertainment

Mi TV P1

One of my primary considerations for buying a TV was to give my laptop (and perhaps it’s a smartphone now for most people today) a break. I think it goes a long way to prolonging your laptop’s lifespan if after a long day of work, you’re not pushing it further to watch a few episodes of your favorite series.

At the time I was religiously following TV series like Suits, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Arrow, and many, many more. It was my way to unwind and destress at night. The kind of shows or content we watch has shifted a little to more K-Dramas and plenty of YouTube creators. But whatever you choose to watch to unwind, it’s almost always better on a TV.

Mi TV P1

Other than anime, and whatever’s on Netflix. I use the TV to stream PLENTY of TWICE

The UHD screen on the Mi TV P1 is no joke. It even looks good even in brightly lit rooms. You can also tweak the settings to get the kind of picture that your eyes find pleasing. My personal settings lean towards a vivid picture quality but not too much that it compromises the cinematic integrity of what I’m watching.

It’s just an overall treat to your eyes. And watching shows and movies just feels more natural this way.

Encourages legitimate streaming 

Mi TV P1

Squid Game, the biggest show on Netflix, is best watched on TV

Let’s face it, we didn’t always access our favorite shows from legitimate sources. Owning a Smart TV discourages that old behavior. The ease of access to streaming sites like Netflix, HBO Go, and Viu is near frictionless. And there are a variety of subscription plans that fit your needs.

You can even be creative with your streaming budget. You can rotate among these apps every month or so. You’ll just have to plan which shows you want to watch, and line them up to when you want to watch. What I do is I have Netflix on retainer so I always have it, then month-to-month I switch between HBO Go and Viu. It just depends on where the shows I want to watch are.

It’s so much easier to fire up the TV, hit a streaming app, and watch away vs having to acquire shows in less than ideal means.

What’s more, you can install ExpressVPN directly on the TV. With it you can change regions and gain access to content and apps you otherwise would not have access to. If you’re worried about the subscription fee, there’s a nice offer here.

Home entertainment centerpiece

Mi TV P1

It’s also decent for gaming. And even if you don’t have a console, you can install supported gaming apps from the Google Play Store

Looking back, I really wish the Mi TV P1 was already available when I made my first TV purchase. I’m constantly fascinated by how much of what was then considered high-end tech is now available to more people.

What Xiaomi has here is pretty much more of the same of what they usually offer — a product with a fantastic price-to-performance ratio. The Mi TV P1 is no premium TV, but I’d argue it’s the best value for money you can get.

If you’re looking to splurge a little on a big ticket item, the Mi TV P1 is an easy recommendation. If I were back in my situation as a young professional looking to reward myself, this is certainly it.

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Features

5 ways to enjoy Huawei’s MatePad gift bundles

There’s plenty to do!

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Tablets are always a convenient tool for users to enjoy, whether they’re looking for entertainment or simply unwinding.

As the holiday season is fast-approaching, Huawei is offering customers gift bundles for its MatePad tablet series for them to score exciting promos while saving on huge freebies.

Whether it’s a gift for yourself, an early Christmas gift, or an investment for the next year, the Huawei gift bundles campaign includes everything from budget tablets to premium ones to help grant those wishes.

Five ways to enjoy

With more than 141,000 apps available on AppGallery, users can unlock new ways to be entertained and inspired at their fingertips especially nowadays with safety guidelines outside still in place.

As the year winds down, here are five ways to begin a new journey in 2022 with the HUAWEI MatePad series:

1. Reconnect with your loved ones online

 

Stay connected to your friends and family over the holidays with a variety of essential social media platforms ready for download on AppGallery and Petal Search.

That includes WhatsApp, Telegram, Facebook Messenger, Tiktok, Facebook, Instagram, Reddit and Twitter!

2. Catch a movie marathon

MatePad Pro 12.6

Whether it means staying up to date with local dramas on MeWatch or catching the latest blockbusters on HBO Go, keep your serotonin flowing with the immersive displays and sound systems tuned by Harmon Kardon on the Huawei MatePad tablets.

Apps that you could consider include HUAWEI Video, Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, Spotify, and Twitch so you don’t miss out on safe and sound Christmas bonding sessions at home.

3. Maximize productivity

With apps like Zoom, Slack and Microsoft Office, Teams, and Outlook at your disposal, staying productive amidst the Christmas rush is a breeze.

You can also keep an eye on your kid’s tablet use with a smart monitoring solution like Plano or amp your multi-tasking game with Huawei’s multi-window and multi-screen collaboration feature on the tablets.

4. Explore your creative side

Huawei MatePad

With infinite possibilities on a digital canvas, you don’t have to worry about paper wastage or harming the environment.

Whether you’re a pro or just starting to find your inner artist, the Huawei M-Pencil gives a realistic drawing experience equipped with pixel-level precision.

Take a stroke of faith with Nebo, ibisPaint X, Concepts available from AppGallery.

5. Find your flow with journaling

The world can get a little noisy at times. Take a moment to disconnect and develop a calmer mind through journaling with suggested apps like Journey, Grid Diary, and Calm.

Gift bundles to choose from

Huawei has four packages available depending on what plans you have for a tablet. All deals include a free gift bundle worth as much as SG$ 396.

MatePad model Retail price Free gift bundle Best for
HUAWEI MatePad SGSG$ 448

(U.P. SGSG$ 498)

Get it for only SG$ 398 during the Lazada Huawei Brand Sale from October 26 to 28

Smart Magnetic Keyboard worth SG$ 148 Families looking for a

budget-friendly tablet

for work and for fun.

Includes a Kirin 820

chipset, Wi-Fi 6 and

EMUI 10.1.

HUAWEI MatePad 11 SG$ 698 Worth SG$ 346:

  • Huawei M-Pencil (2nd gen)
  • Smart Magnetic Keyboard
Young adults and

students looking for a

reliable productivity

tool.

Includes a 120 Hz

refresh rate for a

smoother visual

experience and a DCI –

P3 colour gamut

feature.

HUAWEI MatePad Pro 10.8” SG$ 998 Worth SG$ 254:

  • MatePad Pro Flip cover
  • Huawei M-Pencil (2nd gen)
  • Huawei Mini Speaker
An all-rounded

productivity machine at

home, school, or the

office.

Includes 10.8 inch 2K

HUAWEI FullView

Display with a 4.9mm

ultra slim bezel body.

Up to 11 hours of

battery life.

HUAWEI MatePad Pro 12.6” SG$ 1,398 Worth SG$ 396:

  • Huawei M-Pencil (2nd gen)
  • MatePad pro 12.6” Smart Magnetic Keyboard
Professionals and

creatives running

sophisticated programs

on-screen.

Features a powerful

10,050mAh battery

capacity and a large

12.6 inch OLED

FullView Display.

Pricing and availability

The promotion will run from October 26 to November 30, 2021 and will be available at all Huawei Authorized Stores, selected consumer electronic stores including Best Denki, Challenger & Hachi.tech, COURTS, Gain City, Harvey Norman, Sprint-Cass, and Huawei official online stores in Lazada and Shopee.

SEE ALSO: 11 most notable things about the Huawei MatePad 11

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Smartphones

Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro Unboxing

The best Pixel yet?

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Google Pixel 6

After a series of leaks from many months ago, Google has finally unveiled the newest Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro to the public (take note of the new ‘Pro’ branding instead of ‘XL’ from the Pixel 4 series).

If you’ve been a long-time Pixel follower, you’d know it’s the biggest Pixel redesign ever. From the modern look and feel, to that new horizontal camera strip. Everything went north from the Pixel 5’s less remarkable design language.

Without further ado, here’s our Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro unboxing in Sorta Seafoam and Cloudy White colorways.

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