If you’ve been following the Pixel 8 series ever since it was teased by Google as early as August, its familar Pixel-esque looks won’t be a surprise to you.

But despite its familiar looks, there’s also an improved hardware thanks to its new Tensor G3, a new (and flat) display tech, and even better set of cameras.

But actually, the Pixel 8 Pro offers more than that.

What makes the Pixel 8 Pro even more special than usual flagship smartphones around is its innate software magic that no one else could beat just yet.

But with all these AI-based features, does it even entice you to upgrade or even switch to the Google Pixel 8 Pro?

Here’s Michael Josh’s in-depth review of the Google Pixel 8 Pro.



I ditched my Apple Watch for the Garmin epix Pro (Gen 2)

It’s not my ideal type, but it’s everything I’ll need



I remember wanting an Apple Watch when I got into fitness. Everyone around me kept saying the Apple Watch is the best smartwatch for Apple users. I’ve seen most fitness enthusiasts in my gym and obstacle parks wearing an Apple Watch.

Add to the fact that a former flame also used an old-generation Apple Watch, I felt happy to wear one and enjoy features that connect me with him and other Apple users.

I was giddy using the walkie-talkie and other apps that helped me further the connection. But when it came to personal growth, it was limiting. I looked at competitive athletes in my chosen sport, and saw them wearing a Garmin smartwatch. Some use the Instinct, Venu, and Forerunner variants.

Now, a Garmin smartwatch isn’t new to me. I know them all too well, but I never pegged myself as an athlete to wear one. That all changed when I decided to take on an elite category for my Spartan races.

I just badly want to be better than who I was yesterday.

Why the change of heart?

Back in June, I set my sights on the Garmin epix Pro after an event at the Manila Padel Club. Everyone was gushing over the Garmin fenix 7 series but I’ve always had my eyes on the epix Pro. It didn’t seem bulky and I was enticed with its OLED screen.

After competing at the elite heat of Spartan Stadion, an explosive type of obstacle race course stretching 5 kilometers inside a national stadium, I ditched my Apple Watch Series 8. I decided to get the Garmin epix Pro.


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I was thrashed with my performance; I was ill-prepared and believed that I wasn’t strong enough. The Apple Watch couldn’t give me other data necessary to help me improve. Even with a personal coach to aid my strength and conditioning training, I still needed a smartwatch to boost my performance.

It’s precisely why a lot of athletes use a Garmin smartwatch. The data I needed are stacked inside the smartwatch and the Connect app which is compatible with both iOS and Android devices.

Life also took another 180, shifting my priorities to loving myself more and focusing more on improving in the sport I love. Garmin’s “beat yesterday” ethos resonated with me as I took on a four-month hardcore training regimen before my next competition.

Understanding my body’s readiness

When I switched to the Garmin epix Pro, I was overwhelmed by the amount of data readily available meant for an athlete. Gone are the data and features that urge you to become more active in achieving your fitness goals. That’s what the Apple Watch is for.

Having the Garmin epix Pro provided me the insights I need that my coach and I can use to improve my performance. Of course, you can find the usual metrics such as sleep activity, heart rate, step count, respiration, and stress levels. However, there’s more to it since it’s not your regular smartwatch.

At a glance, I can check my Body Battery status which gives me a glimpse of how much energy I can still spend throughout the day. It helped me determine if I should still proceed with my training or if I should prioritize resting for faster recovery.

Sleep contributes to a big factor in making sure that my Body Battery gets fully recharged. This also affects the Training Status and Training Readiness, allowing me to proceed to my training sessions at a pace that I can handle.

A bunch of preloaded sports can be tracked using the epix Pro. However, my main focus — which I added on the shortcuts — were Strength Training, Running, Treadmill, Trail Running, and Adventure Racing.

Combine all of these and all the data work hand-in-hand in providing you an accurate report, especially in the morning.

Are you ready to put in the work?

There were inconsistencies when it came to sleep tracking. Plenty of times, the epix Pro didn’t record the extra hour I slept in whenever I suddenly woke up at four o’clock in the morning.

Nevertheless, it comes with a morning report that gave me insight into my sleep quality, the weather outlook, and other data I need. Most of the time, the morning report tells me if my body’s ready for a workout.

Nine out of ten, it says I’m not ready. My Heart Rate Variability (HRV) status indicates my ability to perform, which usually changes if I sip a little alcohol in my body or I’m just getting a lot of stress from work and my personal affairs.

Being an athlete, it’s not always a physical battle that you endure. The mental and emotional anguish take a toll on how you can perform. It’s just the epix Pro’s sensors are enough to track the changes in your body.

It’s like someone noticing the small changes in your behavior when you’re going through something, simply because they know you all too well.

Tell your friends you’re out for a run

Living on the slopes of a mountain range, my training ground has never been ideal for Zone running. Every quick run became Threshold training since I needed a lot of power to run uphill.

I didn’t realize that continuously training on the mountainside would push my VO2 Max to 57. That number is counted as ‘Superior’ since I finally belong to the top five percent of my age and gender.

In case you didn’t know, VO2 Max refers to the maximum amount of oxygen you can utilize during intense exercise.

When participating in a race, a lot of contestants enter Zone 5 of their heart rate, which uses your VO2 Max. The higher the score is, the better your cardiovascular fitness and aerobic endurance are.

Since I’m always training on an uphill whether on a road or a trail, it trains my VO2 Max. It improves along with my Hill Score and Endurance Score on the Garmin epix Pro.

As of writing, the smartwatch tells me that I’m in one of my best condition as I’m well-trained for endurance races.

Going on races

With the race predictor feature, the smartwatch used my current running data to give an estimated finish of every distance I could run.

Currently, it estimates a 23-minute finish for a 5K run and a 52-minute finish for a 10K run. A half-marathon would take 2 hours, and a marathon would give me a four-hour and 30-minute finish.

Of course, race predictors are only based on the data your smartwatch has. Since I transitioned from the Apple Watch, it didn’t know my previous data which means I can go faster than my smartwatch’s race predictions.


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After all, you still decide how fast or great you want to be. It’s not a smartwatch’s job to give you the results you need to work for.

During the Xiaomi Pop Run, I brought the Garmin epix Pro while wearing the Xiaomi Smart Band 8 on my other wrist. I didn’t attempt to do a SUB-1 finish.

Instead, I used Garmin’s workout plans and customized its settings to provide me with a heart rate zone that I could use at certain distances.

Sometimes, I use races as a simulation for a time trial of how much I’ve improved. And most times, I use it as an additional mileage for an even bigger competition. In this case, the Garmin epix Pro helped me manage my heart rate when participating in a race, which would eventually help me in my future (and more competitive) races.

Made for the trails

Don’t be bewitched by the Garmin epix Pro’s appearance. It is a multi-sports smartwatch, but it’s also made for the trail, just like the fenix series.

I brought it when I was trail running every other weekend in Mount Ayaas and Mount Parawagan in Rodriguez, Rizal. It did wonders in helping me improve my trail running.

At some point, we got lost when we headed to Tuay Falls, a 3-kilometer trail after Mount Ayaas. We didn’t want to do a backtrail and tried doing the secret river path, where we followed the whole river until it led us to the end where the river merges with a basin going to the Marikina River.


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That time, we had nothing but our water and energy gels that were only appropriate for a 10-kilometer trail. We capped a total of 17-kilometer trail for almost eight hours.

In a place where cellular reception is nonexistent, Garmin’s Multi-Satellite Support came into play and helped in navigating the secret river. We made sure that we were following the trail through the scrollable map. Thankfully, the AMOLED touchscreen made it easier for me to check the maps even when running.

However, using the GPS mode throughout the trail drained its battery. We were lucky enough to be back in the town right before the epix Pro shut down.

It’s everything I dreamt of

As I transition into becoming a recreational athlete who aims to stand on the podium one day, the Garmin epix Pro is the smartwatch I’ve always dreamt of. I was misled into thinking that the Apple Watch would suit my needs. I still think of the Apple Watch from time to time. It’s got looks that would be perfect for everyday life.

But the life I’m living and the future I want to build would require me to wear a non-fashionable yet functional smartwatch. It’s not my ideal type, but it’s everything I need. I think that’s what matters — both in smartwatch preferences and in our love life.

The Garmin epix Pro is my GadgetMatch of 2023, and it deserves the GadgetMatch Seal of Approval.

The epix Pro Sapphire 42MM and 47MM retail for PhP 62,780. Meanwhile, the epix Pro Sapphire 51mm is priced at PhP 69,050. It’s available at Garmin’s official stores and online channels.

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Lenovo Legion Glasses review: An 86-inch TV at your fingertips

But, what are they good for?



Among all the emerging technologies in the wearable segment, nothing fills me with more hesitation than wearable eyewear. Infusing technology into eyewear is just natural evolution, but there’s still something missing in the niche market. Plus, security issues with wearables aside, it’s hard to beat the traditional appeal of just fiddling around with your phone.

Now, the Lenovo Legion Glasses is not one of these things. Paring down the functionalities of tech eyewear to just an external display, Lenovo’s new wearable is simply a new way to experience your content. Is it worth the cost, though? Let’s find out.

Chonkers for your eyes

From the get-go, you’ll notice how thick these glasses are. These aren’t a pair you’d want to take to show off your swag. Then again, they don’t need them to be.

Despite their size, the Legion Glasses comfortably balanced its weight all around my head. At least from the initial moment of putting them on, wearing these glasses were comfortable enough for immediate use. That said, prolonged comfort is another story.

I’m sure that continuous use would increase my tolerance for having the wearable on for an extended period of time. However, in the time I’ve had them, I could only go twenty to thirty minutes at a time before I needed a break. As you might expect, the pain points are on the bridge of my nose, my temples, and just general eye strain.

If you’re worried about the fit on your own face, the Legion Glasses come with an extensive set of accessories to tailor the wearables to the contours of your face. You’ll get nose pads of varying heights, anti-slip adapters, and a prescription lens template. It took a lot of experimenting to get the perfect fit for my face. Thankfully, adjusting each part is easy enough. It wasn’t long before I was good to go.

A new way to watch

It’s simple to use the glasses. They don’t need a separate battery to charge. Just plug them into a device with the USB-C cable, and the image shows up on the lenses.

The Legion Glasses projects a huge 86-inch screen in front of your vision. The image quality is impressive. Regardless of whether you’re watching a movie or playing a game, clarity and color reproduction were both spot on. It is, however, dependent on your fit. Since the lens open up in the lower half, I had to use the tallest nose pads to get the clearest picture. Otherwise, the edges of the screen had noticeable aberrations.

Additionally, the image is limited to 1080p resolution and 60Hz refresh rate. While the image is already great on its own, there’s definitely room for improvement. Still, if you’re looking for the best quality possible, you’re better off with a beefy monitor.

Besides the image, the glasses come with speakers right on the temples. The audio quality is fine, and, after a while, I even forgot that I wasn’t wearing headphones. However, since these are just regular speakers, they leak a lot. Anyone sitting beside you can clearly hear what you’re watching.

An incredibly niche product

While the wearable is certainly an impressive device, it’s hard to find enough use cases for it. It’s definitely not something I’m actively looking for whenever I fire up a game. That said, there are specific scenarios where these glasses are especially useful.

For one, if you want to hide what you’re doing from those snooping over your shoulder, these glasses are a useful tool for privacy — minus the audio leaking, of course.

The Legion Glasses are also especially useful if you want to watch a movie or play a game while lying down. There are just some lazy days when I don’t want to get out of bed. These glasses just eliminate the need for fiddling for a remote or holding a phone over my head. Additionally, if you just want a larger screen, these can come in handy.

Compatibility issues

Besides the moments when the wearable actually works, let’s talk about the moments when they don’t. Unfortunately, they don’t work with every device that has a USB-C port. Naturally, they work well with Lenovo devices (like a Legion Go), but I struggled to find other devices to work with them. They didn’t work with my ASUS laptop or my Pixel 6.

If you do get these glasses, you’ll have to research if your devices will work with them.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

At US$ 329.99, it’s hard to justify buying these glasses with a limited set of use cases and compatible devices. That said, despite how limited they are, these are still amazing pieces of technology. Since getting them, I’ve been using the Legion Glasses quite a bit. If you find the unique scenarios applicable to you and you have a device to use these with, it’s still a worthy purchase.

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‘Scott Pilgrim Takes Off’ spoiler review: A new story in old clothes

Beware of spoilers ahead



Beware, dear reader. This review features major spoilers for Scott Pilgrim Takes Off.

One of my guiltiest pleasures is reading through AITA threads on Reddit. AITA means “am I the asshole,” a question that concludes every post of this type. Internet strangers ask other internet strangers whether their actions deserve scrutiny. Most of the time, these threads end with a “YTA” (you’re the asshole) or an “NTA” (not the asshole) verdict. However, on rare occasions, an AITA thread warrants an “ESH” verdict, meaning “everyone sucks here” or an unwinnable situation where everyone is an asshole.

Now, if you’re wondering what an ESH situation looks like, look no further than the 2010 cult film Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. Though the film wowed everyone (this dorky writer included) with gaming-inspired graphics and a love for all things nerdy, the titular character (or anyone in the film) is hardly someone to be emulated. The evil exes are stereotypes of jocks, nerds, and musicians. Ramona Flowers admits to dumping her exes for selfish reasons. Scott himself dates a highschooler and cheats on her with Ramona.

So, when Netflix announced an anime adaptation of the iconic series, the biggest question in my mind was: “even the cringey parts?”

A tale of two Scotts

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is an action-romance flick centered around the titular Scott as he fights Ramona’s seven evil exes for the right to exclusively date her. The anime adaptation starts off with the same beats.

Scott, a jobless twenty-something from Toronto, lives platonically with his gay housemate Wallace Wells. As he drifts around without a job, he plays bass for local indie band Sex Bob-omb and dates Knives Chao, a teenage highschooler. Everything changes when he meets the (literal) girl of his dreams, Ramona Flowers. He finally finds a purpose for his precious little life.

It’s not all flowers, though. His blissful ignorance sours when Ramona’s first evil ex, Matthew Patel, crashes a Sex Bob-omb gig. So begins his seven-stage quest to win the girl. As expected for a first boss, the all-powerful hero of the story…


Subverting all expectations, Scott Pilgrim Takes Off’s first episode ends with the sudden death of its titular hero, pitifully exploding into three measly coins.

A tale of Ramona

What happens when you kill off the main character in the first episode? You shift focus to the other main character, of course. The captivating second third of the series is a whodunit — or in Young Neil’s words, a “whodidit” — featuring Ramona as she crosses off her exes as suspects in Scott’s death… or is it disappearance? After reviewing security footage, she discovers that an unknown entity teleported Scott away, faking his death in the process.

More than a cross-examination, Ramona’s encounters with her exes turn into moments of reconciliation between the two crossed ex-lovers. Whereas the original story showed that love is messy and that everyone has baggage, the anime series shows that even your emotional baggage is human. Your past relationships aren’t just tools for character development. They have their own story arcs and, yes, sometimes they can use you for development.

In taking Scott away for most of the series, Ramona graduates from being a cold-hearted vixen trying to escape her past into a more rounded individual actively engaging with her past life. She apologizes for her selfish behavior and sees how each ex is doing. Some of them takes crazy turns — such as when Todd Ingram falls in love with Wallace Wells and willingly gives up his vegan powers when the latter dumps him — but that’s just how life works sometimes.

Scott Pilgrim and the baby Hitler problem

If you had the ability to travel back in time, would you assassinate a baby Hitler? While Hitler is an extreme example, the story beat is a common one for time travel tales. Are you willing to commit one atrocity to prevent an even greater one from happening in the future?

Though common, it’s not a plot element I expected from Scott Pilgrim Takes Off. When Ramona figures out which of her exes whisked Scott away, Scott himself shows up on her doorstep and explains that someone else is behind the disappearance: his future self.

In a twist that would impress even the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a future version of Scott travels back in time to prevent his present self from fighting (and winning against) the seven evil exes. In this older Scott’s future, he won and got Ramona, just as it happens in the original story. But it’s not a rosy ending. Soon after marrying Ramona, the couple hit a rough patch and decide to separate. In his anguish, Scott travels back in time to save himself the heartbreak.

If you knew a relationship was going to end in misery, would you go back in time to save yourself from ever entering the romantic tryst? Though the third act takes a drastically different direction, it still falls in line with the messiness of love. Those who’ve been in long-term relationships are familiar with the standard what-if questions like “if things were different, would you still date me?” or “would you go back and change anything about our relationship?”

The choice is yours

Scott Pilgrim Takes Off does not end with a “yes” or a “no.” Instead, after a colossal fight with an older Scott (featuring an older Ramona), both present-day Scott and Ramona realize that their choice in the here and now is more important than knowing what happens in the future.

Problems will still arise, but the right way to tackle them is head-on, rather than running away (as with Ramona) or avoiding them altogether (as with Scott). And you don’t have to deal with them alone.

Scott Pilgrim Takes Off is not a retelling of an old tale or a sequel to the original. It’s a companion piece. If you loved either of the original graphic novels or the film adaptation, Netflix’s take is essential viewing. It fleshes out familiar characters and fills in the gaps of the original story. More importantly, it tackles themes that a grown-up Scott Pilgrim fan has about life and love.

Is Scott Pilgrim an asshole? Yes, but so was everyone. What are you going to do to change that?


Scott Pilgrim Takes Off is now streaming on Netflix.

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