Accessories

Gamesir X2 review: Turning phones into Switches

Supports a decent amount of games, but has its hiccups

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One of the standard peripherals for any device capable of gaming is a controller. In the early days, most home consoles introduced a joypad with buttons and triggers designed for ease in gaming. I mean, instead of having to type the commands, you just had to press a button and it does it for you. Of course, even this kind of technology expanded to portable gaming devices.

Nowadays, you can use controllers to play games on your smartphone. In some genres like driving simulators and sports games, touch controls may not be the best way to play them. In their place, a controller is an ideal peripheral to have. This is where the Gamesir X2 Type-C Mobile Gaming Controller comes in, and that’s a mouthful to say.

Honestly, the entire name alone speaks of all the features the controller comes with, and on paper, it’s all good stuff. But is it something you should consider for the games you’re playing? Let’s find out.

A design that resembles a portable console

Upon initial inspection, the Gamesir X2 has the buttons and triggers you see in most controllers. Honestly, I find it weird that they incorporated Xbox/Nintendo face buttons but PlayStation triggers, but that’s just nitpicky. Also, the whole controller is made of hardened plastic that feels a little durable, but don’t try any drop tests on it.

At first glance, you would think it looks like a display-less Nintendo Switch, and I agree wholeheartedly. It comes with a USB Type-C connector for your smartphone, provided that it has a USB-C charging port and OTG connection support. When you plug your smartphone in, you basically get something that resembles the Nintendo Switch (OLED Model).

The only thing, though, is that it supports phones up to 6.5 inches in length. See, the whole controller extends to provide enough space for your smartphone to nest inside it while you play. Phones like the realme narzo 30A fit here quite well, so be sure to check your phone’s length first.

Setting it up was a little longer than expected

Now for what I think was the weird part of the experience: setting things up. Usually, plug and play controllers like the Gamesir X2 should be easy to set up. I mean, all you really have to do is plug it into your phone, and it just works. Apparently, there’s a lot more to it than just that as you need to tinker some phone settings first.

I mentioned earlier that your phone needs OTG connection support to use the Gamesir X2, and you have to toggle this in your phone’s settings. Once that’s done, it’s recommended that you download the Gamesir app to properly set up the controller. Unfortunately, you can’t use the app to create specific control mapping for certain games. After a required update, the Gamesir X2 is ready to go. 

Honestly, for something like the Gamesir X2, this was a rather long set up process. I mean, most controllers — with or without Bluetooth support — end up relatively easier and simpler in the set up process than this one. Alas, it’s a necessary process if you want the controller to work as intended.

Easy to use, but not recommended for all games

Once you set everything up, the Gamesir X2 works quite well and is easy to work around. It supports a wide variety of games, depending on which mode you switched the controller to. See, there are light indicators on the right side of the controller that turn blue or green, and you can only switch to either mode through the app.

If the light is blue, it will only work for games that are officially supported by Gamesir. This means that these games are fully mapped out against the Gamesir X2’s buttons and triggers. In my time using the controller, I found that most driving simulators and sports games work best with it. Honestly, the Gamesir X2 nails the controls so well in this regard.

If the light is green, the Gamesir X2 will work across all games provided you add them on the app. In essence, Gamesir will assign its own control mapping, even if the game comes with its own controller mapping. Even if the buttons and triggers work, I found that in games like Call of Duty Mobile, it doesn’t follow the controller mapping. I’m honestly better off using touch controls instead of the controller.

Charge or play, it’s one or the other

Another feature I found with the Gamesir X2 is support for power pass-through. Yes, you can actually charge your phone while it’s connected to the controller, as long it has a USB-C charging cable. Honestly, this is good considering that your phone’s battery drains a lot faster when you play longer.

Although, when you choose to charge your phone while connected to the controller, you can’t use your controller. Within the app, there’s no setting that allows you to do this, which is a bummer. I guess that’s your reminder to take a break from playing too much with the controller.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

The Gamesir X2 is a decent game controller for all kinds of smartphones. Even with the long set up process, it’s easy to use and work around once you start playing. If you wanted to know what it feels like to have a Nintendo Switch, the Gamesir X2’s design roughly resembles that.

I caution you, however, that it suits those who play a lot of driving games or sports games like NBA 2K. See, these are some of the games the controller officially supports, so the experience is much better with them. Most games people play aren’t fully supported by the Gamesir X2, and the control mapping is whack if you try to play them with this controller. 

Overall, the Gamesir X2 is well-suited for a specific set of mobile players, even if it caters to everyone somehow. It’s not for everyone, and it’s better that way.

The Gamesir X2 retails for PhP 3,499 /US$ 65.78  and is available on online shopping stores with various GameSir authorized resellers.

Accessories

realme Beard Trimmer: Getting that sexy stubble

For that stylish, cool, and attractive lewk

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“Is he attractive? Or he just has sexy stubble?” That’s a question my friends wonder when they meet someone new. And a question I pose for myself as well.

Stubble is sexy. Period. Every time I look at the mirror, I find myself alluring when I have stubble. Though they look cool, and they help separate men from boys,  keeping your facial hair at a certain length takes time, skill, and precision.

The art of trimming your facial hair

You can easily trim your facial hair when you have a manual shaver or trimmer. But that might be time-consuming to use and master to achieve the desired result.

Contrarily, going to a grooming salon can help you get that peg you’ve been wanting for your face instantaneously. Albeit, quite expensive. In addition, it’s difficult to maintain when you have a hectic lifestyle. Unless your preferred barbershop does both of your regular haircut and beard styling.

Precisely why the likes of smart, grooming tools rose through the past few years, aiming to help men redefine what’s sexy, groomed, and stylish. But in their own way.

You might think of a few brands to consider, but some could be taken aback by an expensive price tag. Moreover, it’s scary to invest in something expensive especially when it’s your first time. So if it’s indeed your foray to grooming and styling, the realme Beard Trimmer might be worth a try.

Looks sleek for the sleek-looking

Having a beard trimmer opens up possibilities for your personal care. Most accessories come with nifty features to help you achieve your desired result e.g. a sexy stubble. And realme’s very own Beard Trimmer can surely deliver, too.

At a glance, it looks like a hefty device at a size of a regular gigglestick. Thick, sturdy, and a design that piques someone’s curiosity. It comes with a stainless steel blade, whereas its head and motor are fixed and lubricated.

It’s skin-friendly, and it definitely feels premium with that matte finish. It can rival the likes of trimmers from Philips, especially with the materials used. More importantly, it’s ergonomically designed so it can be gripped easily while you groom yourself.

Style on your own

The package comes with a 10mm comb that you can place over the head, so you can trim your hair properly. The realme Beard Trimmer comes with 0.5mm precision and 20 length settings that can be adjusted using the adjustment knob.

To turn it on, you just have to press the power button and a green light will indicate it’s ready. And of course, the motors would be buzzing by then.

I personally prefer using the lowest length setting — 1cm to be exact — since I keep my facial hair short enough to be trimmed easily. But preferably, you’d have to grow the hair for at least 3 cm for a more flexible approach. Nevertheless, having a lot of length settings offer versatility to define your facial hair.

Just remember to shave with light, gentle strokes. And don’t forget to even the hair out and edge it accordingly. More importantly, rinse it properly since the metal head is washable. Just don’t let the liquids run through the charging port.

On another note, what I like about the realme Beard Trimmer is the low-noise operation when trimming my hair. Its minimal noise sounds like the buzz from my stylist’s clipper, coursing through my head in a quiet barbershop. It’s somewhat pleasing to my ear; a new beginning awaits as I shed old parts of myself.

Charging

The realme Beard trimmer is equipped with an 800mAh battery capacity. While it seemed pretty small, it can last for an hour and 20 minutes of cordless use on a single charge. If you run out of battery, you’ll have to charge it for at least two hours.

I, however, didn’t get to drain the battery down to zero. But I did use the trimmer four times now, and it’s still up and running. Previously, I charged it after unboxing and it reached full battery capacity after 45 minutes. That’s average, but the battery might be long-lasting considering I haven’t charged it for two weeks now.

But if you can’t wait for two hours to fully charge the device, you can always trim while charging. The Beard Trimmer will still work even if it’s plugged — and you don’t have to worry about it since the heat dissipates easily with its stainless steel and metal properties.

What’s amusing, though, is the Beard Trimmer sporting a Type-C port. I literally sighed “Amen”, seeing a lifestyle product that doesn’t use a micro USB port. Most gadgets I own now use a Type-C cable and I appreciate it when more devices are equipped with this port. It just makes my life easier.

Travel-friendly

If you travel frequently — either for leisure or business — then you might love the trimmer’s travel lock feature. With just a single long press on the power button, you can lock the trimmer to avoid accidental touch while traveling. Or so it doesn’t buzz while inside your carry-on.

The yellow light will indicate that the trimmer is locked. If you try to open it by pressing the power button softly, the LED indicator will prompt that it’s locked by blinking the yellow light. You can unlock it easily though: Just long-press the power button and voila!

Furthermore, the realme Beard Trimmer is easy to fit in on your carry-ons. Or in your luggage, if you’re going on a trip that doesn’t require an x-ray scanning machine and doesn’t prohibit combustible devices.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

If you’re out in the market for a grooming accessory, and if it’s your first time to shop for a personal care tool — the realme Beard Trimmer is worth considering as your GadgetMatch. It ticks the right boxes that first-time groomers would look for: affordable, sleek and premium-looking, easy-to-use, and offers precise cutting.

Meanwhile, seasoned groomers would probably look elsewhere. Something like Panasonic and/or Philips; household brands that we know all too well.

The realme Beard Trimmer retails for PhP 1,090. For a few more upgrades like an extra 20mm comb and engraved metal, the realme Beard Trimmer Plus costs PhP 1,990.

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Nanoleaf Lines: World’s first customizable backlit light bars

Spice up your home lighting!

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As gamers continue to be trendy and creative when it comes to their setups, Nanoleaf has successfully announced the launch of the world’s first customizable backlit light bars: the Nanoleaf Lines.

Nanoleaf Lines reinvents the idea of mood lighting with ultra-lightweight light bars to create sleek linear layouts, grand geometric shapes and even ceiling setups.

The lines come with 19 pre-set dynamic scenes, as well as seven rhythm scenes that sync with music to give one’s indoor space with mesmerizing lighting scenes to complement their gaming or entertainment experience.

Bringing games to life

Nanoleaf’s Screen Mirror feature syncs up on-screen colors and animations across the lighting setup, to bring one’s favorite game to life.

Connect Nanoleaf Lines with Razer Chroma-enabled devices to bring the entire gaming setup for an immersive RGB rainbow display, taking users beyond the screen.

Pricing and availability

Nanoleaf Lines is now available at both online and physical stores below. Smarter kits (9 Lines) retail at SG$ 339 and Expansion Packs (3 Lines) at SG$ 109.

Online stores include LazadaShopee, and Amazon.

Physical stores are Brex International (Oxley Bizhub), Synced by District (Plaza Singapura), HipVan Experience Store (Suntec), BHG (Bugis Junction – from 1 December 2021), Takashimaya Level 3, and Omnidesk Experience Studio.

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The art of printing moments that you can hold onto

With the instax Link WIDE, I remember it all too well

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Memories are fleeting.

Apart from music, photos, films, and anything visual that has a moment imprinted on it can remind us what we once experienced.

Whether it’s the shriek that your friends made when you cracked a joke, or that lingering stare between two people head-over-heels in love. Or even the mundane hours passing by captured in between. And the little things that brought you joy and made your heart warm like a cup of coffee on a rainy day.

Looking back at moments I once savored twists a knot in my heart. Sometimes, it’s heartbreaking to fondly remember the past. But it’s a great reminder that I can still feel and that I experienced something blissful in my life.

If you’re wondering why instant printers are still out and about in a digital age where all your photos are stored on the cloud or shared in social media, that’s precisely the reason why this novelty is very much alive.

It’s a piece of memory that you can hold on to — transporting you back in time even when your mind can’t remember it all too well. It’s proof that you were there.

To holding something that never changes

Though I look like someone who can move on easily after a day or two, I’m highly sentimental and I have difficulty letting go of the past.

Life used to be unfair to me when I was growing up and after surviving an abusive relationship seven years ago, I lost memories of myself. Photos of friends from when I was studying, digital clutter that showed off my interests, and stuff that made up who I was. I lost them all.

Perhaps it’s the reason why I’ve owned and printed memories — unbeknownst to many — through the devices I’ve owned and reviewed in the past few years. Be it from an ink tank printer, a mini instant printer that uses an instax film, or from an actual instant camera that prints the moment captured right away.

I love holding onto memories because it’s something that never changes, no matter how many years have gone by. So, when Fujifilm unveiled the instax Link WIDE — I was giddy like a little kid on a Christmas morning, ready to open his presents.

The only present that welcomes the past

Living in the present means letting go of the past, and throwing away your worries of the future. But time and time again, it’s nice to remember the moments that shaped who you are today.

The instax Link WIDE helps bridge the present and the past by allowing you to print memories stored in your smartphone. It’s just like the instax mini Link I reviewed two years ago.

I could probably tell you the same things I wrote in my story before, but the experience is still quite different.

This instant printer is boxy and humongous when compared to the mini Link. It’s sturdier, thicker, wider, and heavier. Of course, the size is the prominent change but what I like is being able to print in wider, landscape-oriented films.

Pretty much like the ones from Polaroid, souvenir stamps, and postcards.

Navigating the device is simple and easy if you’re familiar with instant printers. Press the power button on the front — which has instax’s logo printed — to turn it on. On its back, you can find the film door where you can place your landscape-oriented film.

Upon shutting the film door, the printer takes out the excess film. So, be careful about opening the door once more lest you consume one of your films. A grim reminder that sometimes, doors from the past aren’t meant to be opened.

Any way you want it

Like I said before, the instax Link WIDE prints photos stored in your smartphone. To do that, you just need to connect the printer via Bluetooth and by pairing it with a dedicated app.

Through the app, you can determine how many films are still available and the battery capacity of the device. Apart from the status of the instax Link WIDE, the app allows you to play with your prints.

You can use the simple print mode to churn out the photo instantly, or you can use an editable template print that lets you edit the colors and text of various templates. Yes, you can also create your own templates if you want them to be more personal.

Frankly, I’m not fond of these templates since they look tacky and don’t fit my aesthetic. But of course, there are people who’d love to use stickers and other templates especially when they’re in a hurry to print their memories. To each his own.

There’s also a collage print that helps you put together two images in one print. Then, there’s the Sketch, Edit & Print option where you can write or draw something on the image, and customize it to your liking before you print it.

When past meets present meets future

Clicking the settings icon can brings you a plethora of settings that you’d want to maximize. For example, the Print Mode options are handy for toning the prints.

Using instax-Natural mode can give your prints a saturated yet classic look. Meanwhile, instax-Rich mode will print out photos with deep and immersive colors.

There’s so much to unpack here, but thank heavens, it’s not feelings. Nevertheless, I’m glad the dedicated app works seamlessly this time around. Compared to previous apps developed by Fujifilm for their instax cameras and printers, which were buggy and unstable.

In a way, the instax Link WIDE was able to bridge the memories of the past and the stability and connectivity of the future in the present.

A rare experience to remember it all too well

During the course of my experience with the instax Link WIDE, I was preparing for a holiday reunion with my almost-decade-old friends. People who helped me crawl out of that depressive rabbit hole.

Not wanting to let go of the only moment we will be able to come together after being away for two years, I printed my favorite moments with certain people and embedded a QR — which can hold voice clips, hidden messages for friends, and even a location pin to direct people.

I’m not very open with how I feel unless I’ve poured myself twelve shots of tequila. The truth is I’m afraid of the future, seeing the holiday reunion as the only time that my friends and I will be complete again.

Some of us are flying in different countries for work, some are settling down with that dreamy white-picket-fence life, and some are migrating for a better life.

I couldn’t fathom the idea of not being able to hug these people again. And I’m afraid that I won’t even remember these weirdos that helped me get a second leash in life. Times like these make me appreciate the novelty of instant printers and the personalized features they bring through technology.

That even a decade after, when my wrinkles started to show and I’m in my late 30s, I get to remember how life wasn’t unfair at all. That I was surrounded with bliss and love, and that what I was looking for was right in front of me all along.

Is the instax Link WIDE your GadgetMatch?

If you love taking photos and printing pieces of memories to hold on to, then your highly sentimental nature would love the instax Link WIDE. It doesn’t hassle you, unlike instant cameras where you have to frame it properly and take a shot perfectly as to not waste a film.

Aside from being overly sentimental with your memories, the instax Link WIDE also makes for perfect gifts or you can use the prints as souvenirs for your intimate gatherings.

There are unlimited possibilities, you just have to be open to making new memories — and collect them so you can savor them someday.

The instax Link WIDE retails for PhP 8,999 and comes with a free pack of film. There are two colors to choose from: Ash White or Mocha Gray.

The instant printer is available for purchase at Instax flagship stores in Lazada, Shopee, wonderphotoshop.ph, and at Fujifilm authorized dealers nationwide.

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