Lifestyle

How Sony’s newest TV made me remember what matters most

And how to stay connected again

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We live in an age wherein people watch movies on the go. Smartphones, laptops, tablets — these are great avenues for entertainment while in transit. We’re always rushing, always heading somewhere while fixated to our devices. When we hang out with people, we’re stuck to our gadgets taking photos for the ‘gram, showing off to social media that we’re having fun. Yes, I’m guilty of that.

These were my thoughts heading into Sony’s BRAVIA launch for Southeast Asia. I was thinking how a TV could change the way we hang out with people. Will we always choose to go outside and tell our stories over Instagram, or will we consider spending more time at home watching TV with the people we love?

It was in Singapore where Sony unveiled the latest lineup of its BRAVIA collection. Among all the new models, my eyes were glued to the event’s headliner, the A9G 4K HDR OLED TV. It looks slim and sexy (like yours truly), and it exudes a premium vibe.

I could imagine it hanging on my wall, beautifully blending in just like a picture frame. Being the creative person I am, I visualized how to redecorate my living room to accommodate this humongous, gorgeous TV without sacrificing aesthetics.

I walked past the people interested in the other TVs, and went to a room featuring the A9G OLED’s X-Wide Angle. It’s a super-wide viewing angle feature that allows you to see the content with clarity, eliminating the need to always be in front of the TV to see what’s playing.

I told myself, this TV is perfect for when my friends and family come over. We could watch sports and eat popcorn without clumping together… and then it hit me.

The A9G OLED made me remember the people who matter most. I realized that I haven’t sat down with my friends and family, watched something for hours, and had fun in a long time. Now that we have different schedules and priorities, even catching up at a coffee shop or watching at a movie theater seems so difficult.

It got me thinking: Maybe we don’t need to drive and get stuck in traffic jams and face long queues to watch the latest movie everyone is talking about. We can wait for it to be available online and stream it on a high-quality television.

Because BRAVIA offers a Netflix Calibrated Mode, I think it would be more fun to watch in the comforts of our own home. The TV is even IMAX-enhanced so we enjoy a masterpiece the way it’s meant to look on a living room TV.

Soon after marveling at the TV, I walked inside a closed room where a few people gathered. The room featured Sony’s Acoustic Surface Audio+ technology and TV Center speaker mode. It’s amazing how the sound is so immersive; I honestly thought I was inside the movie. To better explain, here’s what I saw and heard:

The experience inside the booth made me miss my friends and family. I’ve never had the quality time I’ve always wanted because technology started consuming us and the way we hang out. It’s time to use technology to bring us back together so we can be connected again. Maybe, I’ll get my own TV, particularly this A9G OLED I’m eyeing once it’s available in stores.

Accessories

This is a real Banana Phone and you can buy it now

Connects to your smartphone like a headset

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Image source: Banana Phone

In the deep annals of ancient internet history, one of the earliest memes was the infamous Banana Phone song. In fact, the word “meme” hadn’t even entered our common lexicon when the video first dropped on YouTube. Since then, the video has gained massive online popularity, earning it a spot in the internet hall of fame.

More than a decade later, we finally have the technology to create a real Banana Phone. Created by the Banana Phone LLC, the Banana Phone is literally a banana-shaped phone. Somewhat.

Instead of a smartphone (or even a dumb phone), the Banana Phone is a Bluetooth-enabled device that merely connects to your smartphone. In other words, yes, you can take calls on a banana.

The device isn’t a new one, either. The Banana Phone was first developed in 2017 through an Indiegogo campaign. However, The Verge has spotted a new one already in the works.

According to the founder himself, the upcoming Banana Phone will come with a loudspeaker built for music playback. If the mood takes you, you can actually play the original “Banana Phone” video through an actual Banana Phone. We’re living the dream.

Besides the loudspeaker, the new model will come with a bigger battery, capable of up to 20 hours of usage. Despite the upgrade, the Banana Phone will still have the same US$ 39.99 price tag.

Currently, the new model is still unavailable on the Banana Phone’s official site. However, it will likely launch sometime around the end of November.

SEE ALSO: Nokia 8110 4G Hands-On: Retro Banana Phone!

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Her GadgetMatch

LG Pra.L’s Galvanic Ion Booster makes your skincare products more effective

Makes your visits to the facial clinic less frequent

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The marriage of beauty and tech is not an entirely new thing. Ionic products, tools that are supposed to help slow down the signs of ageing, even water bottles that will supposedly make water better for your skin — they have been around for a while. LG’s new, Pra.L line is one of the most recent launches which was met with both shock and awe. This is mainly due to the new claims of what their high-grade devices can do but also because of the price tag they come with.

I personally love this whole movement. In the advent of the informed consumer trend, more and more people are becoming concerned about what they put on their skin. It’s highly common now that women who are into skincare are vigorously discussing ingredients. A lot of us are also becoming more interested in the details of what aestheticians are doing for us.

The entire Pra.L line is practically a beauty clinic within the convenience of your own home. It is democratizing the technology of some of the most common, non-invasive treatments and making it accessible to consumers who want to do things on their own.

One of the notable devices in the line is the Galvanic Ion Booster. The idea of an ion booster to help skincare products penetrate deeper into the skin is not entirely new. LG’s version of the device, however, is definitely a cut above most of the products in the market.

As someone with sensitive skin which is on a recovery period from hormonal breakouts, I tend to be quite picky with anything I put on my skin. It has also been recommended that I go for simpler routines using as few products as possible. With little product, you’d want them to be as effective as possible. This is where this device comes in.

Ease of use

For the past month, I’ve been using the Galvanic Ion Booster religiously — morning and night. I would use the cleansing mode with my CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser (green bottle, for normal to dry skin). The device literally tells you which part of your face you should be using it on. The voice is not too loud but perky enough to get you out of your own head. Just in case you get too in the zone. Using galvanic ion technology, the device helps the cleanser draw out the impurities in your pores. Expect a slight vibration that is more relaxing than uncomfortable.

For the boost mode, I either use it with a vitamin C serum or The Ordinary’s Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA. Both serums are helpful in brightening the skin and fading out the marks left behind by intense breakouts. For the boost mode, the same technology is applied but in a reverse direction, helping the product and its ingredients penetrate your skin deeper. The boost mode is something I enjoy a lot as you can actually feel your products getting absorbed right away. I top everything with a gentle moisturizer from La Roche-Posay and on days when it’s extremely dry outside, a face oil from Australian indie beauty brand Ipsum.

I also use it with retinol treatments once a week but would make sure I double up on sunscreen the next day. The heat and vibration from the device do render retinol to be more effective. However, it will also make your skin more susceptible to sun damage.

When a stubborn pimple decides to pop up unannounced, I also use the boost mode to help my Mamonde AC Balance Spot Serum be absorbed faster. I wake up the next day with the little bugger dry and ready to be forgotten in the next couple of days.

Worth the price tag?

The device’s triangular head is made out of medical-grade titanium, making it safe for use on your skin. The shape is also effective in reaching the small nooks around your face like the sides of your nose. I just make sure to clean the device with running water and wipe it dry before putting on the cover.

LG’s Galvanic Ion Booster also has a good weight to it without being too heavy. The device also travels well — it comes with its own carrying pouch — and can charge with a micro USB cable or through the charging dock it comes with. The sleek design of the device makes it an easy hold and a joy to use. This, despite having to move it around your face for about three minutes per mode. Sounds like a short time but not when you’re a busy, working woman. I found it to be a lesson in slowing down and just making sure I enjoy doing my skincare routine instead of rushing through it like a chore — a form of self-love if you will.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

After a month of use, my skin feels more plump and healthy. It’s also brighter and blemishes became more manageable. I can highly recommend this for the skincare junkie; It’s a game-changer.

The device retails for SG$ 529 which might seem like a huge blow to the wallet. However, prevention is definitely less expensive than cure so think of it as an investment for the future.

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Accessories

New Google Pixel Buds coming in 2020

Gotta wait a while longer

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The new Google Pixel Buds have officially been unveiled but we won’t get our hands on them until Spring 2020.

Google says the Pixel Buds were designed with the user in mind. It is truly wireless and promises rich sound, clear calls, and a comfortable fit. The company notes how it’s great hardware made exceptional by having Google deeply embedded into it. For instance, it should help you in your out-of-the-country trips with Google Translate built in.

The new Pixel Buds are supposed to last for five hours of continuous playback and extend that to 24 hours through the wireless charging case. The headphones will retail for US$ 179.

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