Her GadgetMatch

To Paris and back with the Google Pixel 3

Also: A Google Pixel 3 review

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It was a gloomy Thursday afternoon in Milan when I made my way to the airport. This trip’s destination was Paris for some sightseeing after an event coverage in Italy. My weapon of choice? The Google Pixel 3.

Known to be a great picture taker, it seemed to be the reasonable choice to bring to scenic Paris. Obviously, I wanted to take the best photos possible and the Pixel’s reputation when it comes to photography precedes it. Of course, I reviewed the phone along the way, too.

First off, a quick question: Is this phone really Not Pink?

Background: For some reason, Google named this new phone color Not Pink. Personally, I don’t know why Google would mess around with pink lovers like myself who wished for an actual pink phone, but they did. Bottom line is, it isn’t pink — unless you look at it under a certain light or pair it with more rose-colored stuff.

The perfect accessory for all the pink stuff I own

Lucky for me, I own so many pink things and a berry red trench coat, so I have stuff this almost/sometimes pink phone will go with it.

Honestly, I’m not particularly happy with this phone’s lack of pinkness, but I’ll still take it over the typical black or white versions. Also, it has a cute orange accent button on the upper-right side. Talk about a color pop!

The Pixel 3 is in a size that’s perfect for my smaller girly hands. Its all-glass body gives it a good feel but I’ve honestly held more premium-feeling non-premium phones. There are bezels, still, on this phone, but I’d totally take that over a notch anytime.

Now, on to the actual trip. Join me as I go around the city of love and review Google’s latest smartphone.

Pre-departure

As I lugged all my stuff out of the hotel, the boyfriend, Joshua, booked our Uber to the airport. I checked Waze to see how traffic would be — we’d get to the airport on time, it told me. Smartphones are such a godsend when traveling! I was on Project Fi (courtesy of Joshua) so data was fast and seamless, even in Europe. Google Fi on a Google phone is a match made in heaven — it basically means you have data anywhere in the world without added charges, and it can work with the Pixel’s eSIM.

In the Uber, the phone’s ambient display showed my flight schedule even without me inputting these details to my calendar. Apparently, this phone is smart enough to gather said info, all from an email. It’s been doing this for the past few days to make sure I don’t forget my flight. The reminders and prompts don’t stop at plane schedules for this phone. From smart notifications on how long your battery will last, sending people the photos of them you took, or even the squeeze to activate Google Assistant feature; this is like the eager assistant I’ve always needed but never had.

Plane selfie with the Pixel 3’s wide-angle selfie camera

Milan to Paris is an hour and thirty minutes away. I’ll see you in Paris!

Touchdown

Flights to Paris arrive at one of either two airports: Charles de Gaulle (CDG), Orly, or Beauvais. CDG is the biggest of all airports, but it’s also 14 miles away from the Paris center. We took the RER train to the third arrondissement where our Airbnb was.

Walk to the Airbnb, shot on a Pixel 3

Paris is divided into arrondissements. It starts at the first arrondissement and spirals out into the 20th arrondissement on the river Seine’s right bank. The best places to stay at, if you don’t want to do a lot of commuting to get to scenic places, are those in the first to eighth arrondissements. Our Airbnb, only a few minutes walk from Gare du Norde, is in a good non-touristy area. Phone in hand and following Google Maps’ lead, we found the apartment that was to be our home for the next few days.

Before heading out to explore, it was time to rest and unpack. Of course, with the Pixel 3, I had to bring the Pixel Stand. This equally new accessory is a wireless charger which supposedly turns your phone into a smart speaker (think Google Home). In theory, this is a good idea, especially when you’re traveling — imagine having your own smart speakers in your Airbnb! In reality, though, the phone on the stand doesn’t really do a lot more than the phone in your hand. Plus, that stand is pretty annoying to travel with because it’s so bulky.

But speaking of the phone in my hand, it’s a pretty smooth experience with Android’s latest OS and it comes with all the bells and whistles that Google has to offer like Digital Wellbeing and Google Lens.

Exploring and a few of my favorite things

In November, autumn leaves line Paris’ streets. Temperatures range from cold to pretty cold so berets, scarves, and trench coats are a go.

Not Pink phone is working well with the red trench coat

You have to make sure to keep warm in this cold, sometimes wet climate because there will be a lot of walking. Paris is a beautiful city and part and parcel of experiencing this place is wandering around on foot. The French even have a word for it: “Flaneur,” which means to walk around leisurely. I mean, who wouldn’t with normal views like this?

Even in the evenings, beautiful views of monuments, the city lights, and the Seine make breathtaking views. Thankfully, The Pixel 3 did justice to these low-light shots, even without the Night Sight feature turned on.

Literally anywhere in this city is a photogenic place. I mean sure, I personally am not photogenic all the time (I end up with the most awkward poses 😅) but there’s Top Shot, which allows you to pick out your best photo, to help with that.

Et voila! A great #OOTD in a random Parisian street.

Shot on the Pixel 3

There’s also a great cafe culture here and coffee is excellent! These cozy little shops are easily found on Google Maps, so just take your pick. I can’t think of a better place to lounge about with a book and a cappuccino than here.

Shot on the Pixel 3

It’s also a must to visit a local bakery to get some freshly baked bread. Coupled with some grocery salad and jamon, this was one of my favorite things to snack on during the trip. I can’t tell you how many grocery runs I made on this trip.

Shot on the Pixel 3

My feet may have been tired on this trip, but my tummy was very happy.

Sightseeing

The beautiful streets come with equally beautiful attractions. The Eiffel tower is always at the top of this list. Pro tip: Skip the lines to go up the Eiffel and opt for photo sessions in the gardens surrounding it.

Pixel 3 portrait mode

The Pixel’s portrait mode was perfect for this shot. This feature put in that great background blur and, you can even adjust the intensity of the blur, the focus point of the photo, color, or add custom filters with the built-in Photos app.

The Notre Dame Cathedral, where Quasimodo lived, can also be found in Paris. The rear camera’s zoom and wide-angle functions worked wonders for this shot despite all the work being done by software and AI. You see, the Pixel 3 only has one rear camera but that’s something you barely notice with it outputting shots like these.

The selfie camera, on the other hand, is a dual-cam setup with a wide-angle shooter and normal camera. That comes extremely useful in instances wherein group selfies are a must…

Shot on the Pixel 3

… like when you’re in the Louvre and the intricately-painted ceiling calls for a couple shot.

But when a zoom is in order to get a better view, like of the Mona Lisa, the rear camera does the trick. It’s honestly not that big of a painting and it’s cordoned off from the big crowds surrounding it so a closer view is essential.

Of course, my trip had more beautiful moments, a lot of them captured by the Pixel.

Precisely why I love traveling with a smartphone — everything is just a tap away from becoming memories that last forever. One thing I’d improve on this thing, though, is the battery capacity. For a heavy user like myself, the phone won’t even last a day. I mean, have you seen the number of photos I take? 🙄

Getting home and final thoughts

On the last day of our trip, my phone was, again, showing me details of my flight I hadn’t even put on my calendar, but were nonetheless correct. It was also prompting me to share photos with Joshua from our trip on Google Photos, which automatically recognized him in the pictures. This feature is hands down the best way to share memories. I just love that it’s already on the Pixel and it just makes everything so much easier.

But, that’s really what the Pixel does. It anticipates what you need to do and suggests it even before you yourself think about it. For an incredibly vanilla, not actually pink phone, it’s pretty useful and has the only smartphone camera I trust fully to capture my trips. Of course, there’s still room for improvement: A color that’s actually sure of itself and I really wouldn’t mind a Face ID scanner, because it’s 2018 and I don’t see why they couldn’t have added it on considering there is a top bezel.

As I got on another Uber to go to the airport, flight details again on screen, I was still awestruck at how Paris truly is one of the most beautiful places I’ve been too. Thank heavens I had the Pixel 3 to do it justice.

Her GadgetMatch

5 reasons why I made the big smartwatch switch

Huge for someone who prefers analog timepieces

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Watch GT 3 Pro

I’ve always been the kind of person who prefers analog watches despite the rising trend of smartwatches. I find them basic and simple to use. It’s also easy to mix and match it with my outfits whenever and wherever I need to wear it. 

Then came the Huawei Watch GT 3 Pro. 

With all its features and very versatile design, things are about to change. It made me want to do the big switch to smartwatches ASAP. Let me tell you why. 

It makes a statement

Just one look at the Huawei Watch GT 3 Pro and it screams premium quality. Its seamless titanium body and ceramic back case give it a very classy and sleek look. And its built resembles analog watches which I really like. 

Its titanium crown works as its power button as well as its scroll and zoom wheel. It not only looks mechanical but also feels like it too. With its haptic feedback, I still get the satisfying feeling of turning — just like that of an analog watch. 

Watch GT 3 Pro

The Watch GT 3 Pro sports a 1.43-inch AMOLED display perfectly paired with its sapphire crystal lens. It’s a vibrant and vivid display that makes its content visible even when outdoors. 

You may prefer the titanium bracelet on this Titanium edition. Perhaps even the 43-mm Ceramic Edition that’s claimed to be created for women. But personally, I would rather have this gray high quality leather strap variant as it blends easier with my array of outfits.

Watch GT 3 Pro

My beau would also love this wearable as it also suits men, while I can use his Huawei Watch Fit 2 on days that I feel like using a smaller but still featured-packed smartwatch. 

Still on its versatility, I can customize this with different watch faces I can choose from the watch itself. I can also pick from a myriad of faces to download via the Huawei Health App. This makes it easier to mix and match it with my style. The watch also features an Always On Display and what’s great about it is that for every watch face, a corresponding Always On Display appears. 

It definitely is a good-looking smartwatch that makes a big statement on my wrist. 

Helps you watch your health (pun intended)

Watch GT 3 Pro

These days, I’ve been so pumped up to hustle at work and have been preoccupied with passion projects that I sometimes tend to neglect my health. Gratefully, I have the GT 3 Pro to keep track of that as this watch brings health management to a whole new level. 

This smartwatch has a medical-grade ECG analysis app. It helps me stay informed about any heart health-related risks. An ECG is a test that can be used to check your heart’s electrical activity and rhythm. And to check using the GT 3 Pro, it’s as easy as holding on the ECG sensor button with my index finger for 30 seconds and it provides the summary of my heart condition. 

It also has an SpO2 and heart rate monitoring but what has been really useful for me are its stress and sleep monitoring that reminds me to take more rest and slow down when I’ve been overworking. 

Watch GT 3 Pro

The GT 3 Pro has also helped me to stay focused on my primary health goal of controlling my weight through its Health Living feature. This is Huawei’s way to track your daily health and fitness progress. I just had to set it up on my Huawei Health app and I was given a list of tasks and I can also receive reminders to help me reach my goal. 

The Huawei Watch GT 3 Pro may not be a professional medical equipment but it was still great to have it as an easily accessible health indicator. 

Motivates you to squeeze fitness into your lifestyle 

During rare days when I have some free time, I’m tempted to just be lazy. But look at the Watch GT 3 Pro and I’m motivated to hop back into working out. 

Whatever workout I’d choose, this watch definitely has it. The watch can track over 100 workout modes. During my workouts, I was also getting audio guides from the AI fitness on the watch where I was given the information on my workout status.

I’ve also been planning to go swimming and I know I can freely do that even while wearing the GT 3 Pro. This comes with IP68, 5 ATM ratings for water resistance and can even record diving data. It also supports free diving for as deep as 30 meters so I can definitely use it for my swimming workout plan along with its swimming workout mode.

Has a software that lets you do more  

The Huawei Watch GT 3 Pro runs on Harmony OS and it definitely gives you a smooth and great-looking interface. Whenever I need to jump from one feature to another, the watch’s fast responsiveness is really obvious. There are no discernable lags and navigation just feels easy.

With this software, I can access a number of thirty party apps that come in handy. There’s the Calculator and Petal Maps for navigation to name a few. I just had to download these via the AppGallery on the Huawei Health app. What’s great is you also get regular notifications so staying up-to-date is worry-free.

It also became easy to attend to important calls, send quick replies and view call logs via the GT 3 Pro’s notifications while it is connected to my smartphone. 

As someone who also likes listening to music while working out, the Huawei Watch GT 3 Pro makes it easier for me. I get to listen to my BTS beats during my gym routine since I can add songs directly on the watch. Since the built-in speakers aren’t annoyingly loud, I can play my music without disturbing other gym goers. 

Packs a robust battery life that lets you go on and on

I must admit, I’ve become a bit forgetful these days. I don’t even remember to charge the GT 3 Pro but that isn’t a problem.

I’ve been really enjoying exploring this watch that I’ve been using it for my daily activities. And true to the brand’s promise, its battery lasts 8 days for heavy usage. But if you’re unlike me and you would just use it once in a while, the battery can most certainly last for more. 

Meanwhile, charging it is fairly quick with the wireless charging cradle that came with it. I took a nap for a little over an hour while leaving the GT 3 Pro charged and when I woke up, the battery was fully charged again. Talk about convenience. 

Is the Huawei Watch GT 3 Pro your GadgetMatch? 

Honestly, I think I’ve met my match that has definitely changed my perception when it comes to smartwatches.

The Huawei Watch GT 3 Pro ticks all the right boxes. It has a very classy and versatile look that surely catches attention. It’s very user-friendly and motivates me to stay fit and healthy. Plus, it also packs a lot of features that I never knew I wanted and needed. 

This has positively made me do the big smartwatch switch. 

The Huawei Watch GT 3 Pro retails for PhP 16,999 and is available in Titanium and Ceramic Edition. Get it from May 27 to June 30, 2022 and you’ll get a freebie Huawei Strap worth PhP 1,399. 

It is available on Huawei Store and authorized platforms such as Lazada and Shopee. It’s also in Huawei Experience stores and other retail partners. 

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Her GadgetMatch

Customize your kitchen with Samsung’s Bespoke Refrigerators

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Ever wanted to customize your own refrigerator, expanding or reducing the capacity and colors as you wish? Well now, you can easily do that as the Samsung Bespoke refrigerator series is finally here.

We first encountered this line at IFA 2019 in Berlin and it’s great to finally see it make its way into the global market, the Philippines included. To celebrate the launch and get people to see what the new line can actually do for our kitchens, a roving exhibit which started at BGC Central Square was mounted this month.

“As users’ lives become more ‘home-centric,’ we’ve realized that innovation can no longer follow a “one-size-fits-all” approach. The global launch of Samsung Electronics’ Bespoke refrigerator ushered in a whole new era of customizable home appliances,” said Samsung Philippines President Minsu Chu. “Allowing you to personalize your fridge’s color, material and modules to suit your needs, Bespoke epitomizes Samsung’s commitment to offering products that cater to consumers’ evolving lifestyles,” he added.

Customizable and modular

What’s great about the Bespoke line is how it can grow as needed. From a size that’s just perfect for someone who’s living solo to any addition to your home — be it a relationship, a roommate, or even a family. The colors are also customizable, featuring shades of pastels like pink and sky blue to basic hues like white and navy. The panels are made of highly durable glass, adding a chic and sophisticated sheen to any kitchen.

From L-R: Ramon Medina, Head of Division, Consumer Electronics of Samsung Philippines and Samsung Philippines President Minsu Chu

“The core of the Bespoke philosophy is about creating home experiences that are tailored to each user. To achieve this, we decided to hold our first Bespoke Roving exhibit in the Philippines to engage with our consumers directly to foster meaningful interactions and dialogues,” said Ramon Medina, Head of Division, Consumer Electronics of Samsung Philippines.

See what’s possible

The roving exhibit definitely helped put things into perspective for possible buyers. With a beautifully designed kitchen right in the middle of BGC Central Square featuring a couple of possible configurations of the Samsung Bespoke line, it was much easier to imagine what it can look like in one’s own kitchen.

The Bespoke line uses a Digital Inverter Compressor to help keep your electricity bills low. You can also avoid the dreaded chore of regular defrosting as they’re all ‘No Frost’ units. Personally, I’m a fan of the 2-door model. I love the configuration of having a bottom freezer and the fact that it already has its own rack for chilling wine. A minor thing for some but it can be quite the priority for others.

To know more about Samsung’s Bespoke Refrigerator and find out where the next exhibit will be, go to SamsungPH on Facebook or visit samsung.com/ph/refrigerators/bespoke-refrigerator/.

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Dyson just upgraded the Airwrap — here’s everything we’re loving about it!

The upgraded version is something you’ll love even more!

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The Dyson Airwrap has got to be one of the most talked-about hairstyling tools in the market. Anyone who’s remotely interested in gorgeous hair has seen the video tutorials all over YouTube and TikTok.

Known for its hefty price tag, it’s still highly coveted due to its technology and ability to create different hairstyles without damaging one’s mane. Four years after it hit the market, Dyson released a new, upgraded version.

Is it time for Airwrap virgins to bite the bullet? Should current Airwrap owners upgrade their sets? Let’s discuss.

First, here’s everything that comes in the case once you get your Dyson Airwrap Complete for long hair.

Quick, pro blow-out at home

Something the Airwrap brought to the table when it first launched is the promise of salon-quality blowouts in the comfort of one’s home. The upfront expense, off-setting frequent salon visits for styling. Sure, there’s quite a learning curve with using the curling barrels.

However, once you do master how to make the Coanda effect work for you, styling one’s hair with the Airwrap becomes such a breeze. This, of course, continues with the upgrade.

While the body looks and feels similar, I must admit that it took me even less time to dry and style my hair with the newer version. I’ve been growing my hair, wanting to stick to a 70s blowout to go with my fringe and I was able to achieve precisely that. From wet to fab in 20 minutes. Who doesn’t love efficiency?

I have naturally curly hair and this style took me only 20 minutes! I also slept with a silk cap on and it still looked great the following day.

Coanda smoothing dryer

Airwrap users were feeling pretty left out when Dyson’s Supersonic Hairdryer got a flyaway attachment. If you’re someone who uses the Airwrap’s Firm and Soft brushes to straighten your hair, the flyaway attachment would have been the perfect finisher for your style.

This was addressed with the upgrade. In lieu of the pre-styling dryer attachment, we now get a Coanda smoothing dryer.

When straightening your hair, you can start and end with this attachment. It pre-dries and it can also tame fly-aways!

You can also use this to pre-dry your hair prior to styling. After all, you need your hair to still be a little wet for the Airwrap to work its magic. What’s different is that with just a quick turn of the cool touch tip, it can now act as your very own flyaway attachment. A nifty, two-in-one piece!

Attachment upgrades

While most of the attachments look familiar, there were quite a lot of tweaks in their respective departments as well. The Firm and Soft brushes employ enhanced Coanda airflow which attracts and aligns hair with increased control. They propel air along hair strands, for a smoother, straighter result.

During the media briefing, we were also assured that even attachments like the Round Volumizing Brushes were improved, allowing better airflow through the bristles.

For people with tighter curls (think 3A and above in the scale), Dyson also came out with a wide-toothed brush attachment that’s sold separately.

The new Dyson Airwrap’s attachment line-up for the complete set.

What’s extremely exciting though is what was done with the barrels. Now, there’s no need to keep switching from one barrel to another just to change the direction of the airflow. A quick turn of the cool-touch tips allows you to do just that, saving you more time when you do your hair.

Easier to store 

With that said, there’s no more need for two barrels of each size. With the new Airwrap, you only get two barrels – one thin, one thick. Fewer barrels also mean fewer attachments to store. The case of the new Airwrap is noticeably smaller and sleeker than its predecessor’s.

The case’s cover also fully comes off. I love how it makes taking the attachments easier from any side. However, one must be vigilant if you want to travel with your Airwrap in this case as the cover doesn’t lock into the body like the old one.

Sleeker and will take up less space.

Sustainability

It’s been quite common for tech companies to force users to upgrade to the next generation of their products. This, by producing newer accessories or essential peripherals that won’t work with the older versions of their products. It’s a business and they do need to keep making money.

However, one thing I really loved about the Airwrap’s upgrade is how Dyson took sustainability into consideration. Users of the older Airwrap can have the choice to only purchase the new attachments.

This is because the new attachments will still fit and work perfectly with the older version. Yes, even the Coanda smoothing dryer!

The rich copper and bright nickel colorway is such an elegant combination.

Frizz-free

Something I always loved about the Airwrap is how it’s able to keep frizz at bay by producing negative ions. This is something we totally need in the tropics, especially for ladies with wavy and curly hair. So it’s an essential yet often overlooked feature in hairstyling tools.

With the Airwrap, the curls you make with the barrels always come out smooth and adds to a more natural, gorgeously flowy blowout. This is something that’s hard to achieve with a hairdryer. When straightening your hair, it comes out sleek with a beautiful sheen.

This time, without the faux freckles. Washing your hair at night doesn’t have to be a chore. You can now style it quickly before bed for a more efficient morning routine!

Price and color availability

Dyson’s new Airwrap is available starting today, 26th of May, and will retail for PhP 32,900 in the Philippines. It comes in the chic, rich copper and bright nickel color combination as well as in rich copper and Prussian blue.

Should you get it?

So, should you upgrade to the new Airwrap? I’d say get the attachments if you already have the older version and if it’s still working fine. You’ll be able to achieve the same effects after all. If you haven’t gotten the first version, this is the one you’ve been waiting for. Run. Don’t walk.

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