The coming year just has to be better than this one. After all, there’s no way to go but up after the shit storm that was 2020. I can’t speak for everything but when it comes to wearable tech, things are already looking pretty good. Literally. The Huawei x Gentle Monster Eyewear II came out last month with new designs and improved features that had fans of the first generation impressed.
Honestly speaking, I’m glad I got to take this one for a spin the past few weeks and I just know that I’ll be using it more often in 2021. Here are some reasons why I could hardly leave home or go one day without wearing them:
It instantly adds flair to any outfit
This year was already difficult as it is. Still, I found myself in the middle of a big move from Berlin to Manila by November. This meant having to live with limited wardrobe options until our shipment arrives. And that would take two months.
We also had to move from a hotel to a temporary flat, and now to more permanent accommodations. Such is the life of people with nomadic careers and I’m not gonna lie — it’s no walk in the park. Especially when it comes to the wardrobe and luggage weight limit dilemma.
Mixing and matching my pieces have always been fun. But I have to admit that it was in having the Huawei x Gentle Monster Eyewear II that added that flair into some of the outfits I have already worn before. It practically goes with anything.
Even on days when I feel lazy to dress up but need to go and see the outside world, I just add these sunglasses and the whole look is easily elevated.
Pro tip when you’re working with few pieces: Go with basic colors and cuts that make it easier to pair your tops with your available bottoms. Opt for basic pieces. This gives you the freedom to dress them down to look casual or to accessorize for something more glamorous. Dresses in plain hues also go a long way just by changing your hairstyle, shoes, and jewelry.
Not just for the outdoors
We’ve been spending a lot of time at home lately and that has allowed me to embrace the athleisure trend. While the Huawei x Gentle Monster Eyewear II Myma is classic enough for my usual wardrobe, it can easily be worn with sporty outfits as well.
With bright, tropical sunshine always finding its way into our homes here in Manila, I find myself opting to do my writing by a window to score a tan.
I can listen to music or an audiobook as I do so without bothering my husband when he’s also working from home. Not gonna lie — it did take a while for him to get used to me wearing it around the flat. But it’s a fashion choice that also saves me from the early development of crow’s feet.
I can also connect it to our TV and even to my phone for some music. Lately, I’ve committed to basic barre workouts in the morning. Even tried them once while sporting these sunglasses and it worked out pretty well. It was even quite the lifesaver when the sun decided to go on full blast.
It stays on as the arms are gently hooked behind my ears. It also works well even as I use it as a makeshift headband to push my hair away from my face. As long as the ends of the arms touch the back of your ears, you’ll hear your music just fine.
It’s especially useful when I’m walking our dog Juancho. It keeps me connected while making sure I have a firm grip on the leash. I can listen to music and even take calls with just a few taps. I can even adjust the volume and change tracks on my Spotify.
We all have days when we prefer to be introverts. Walking around Manila with a mask and this pair is also a surefire way to avoid being recognized by your friends.
When it’s not in use, I pop it in the case and toss it into my tote. It gives me up to 5 hours of playback before I need to charge it again. I can wear it for hours without any discomfort, too.
It’s not a must-have for everyone. Surely, some would say this is pretty much non-essential tech. But for people who value style and convenience, this is a great addition to one’s wearable collection.
Ultrahuman: The essential app to get you through quarantine
Getting through isolation days through workout and meditation
Taking care of our physical and mental health is very much important now more than ever. With everything that has been going on in the world, it’s not surprising that people are taking extra steps to advocate and practice self-care.
One way to do this is by adding good habits everyday and being disciplined to sustain these habits.
With self-care as one of their ultimate goals this year, Martynne and MJ decided to try Ultrahuman: an all-in-one fitness app that includes all the good habits they are currently incorporating in their lives — from workout to meditation.
For a few weeks, they put the app to a test and this is their verdict:
Martynne: I am a huge advocate of meditation and it has been a life-changing practice for me, as someone who finds a hard time focusing and being in the present.
Ultrahuman has a wide range of course options that can match a specific mood or emotion. One of my personal favorites is the Managing Anger course, which helped me take a step back, consolidate my feelings and give compassion to myself throughout the process.
The Singles option with one-time meditation tracks helped me become more mindful and grounded whenever I feel overwhelmed in the middle of a workday. The productivity course, on the other hand, kept my eyes glued to my laptop screen until I finished what I needed to do.
The only thing I didn’t like about it, though, is the visuals seem basic to me, and the “dark” interface is much more fitting for the workout option.
MJ: When gyms are closed and home workouts aren’t fun anymore, how do you remain committed to your fitness goals? That’s what Ultrahuman did: Filling the gap by providing fun workouts and challenges that you can do in a span of weeks. It’s similar to how Nike Training Club presents their videos albeit more personalized.
The Ultrahuman app comes with guided videos from renowned trainers, and watching their instructions during your exercises felt like having a live session with a personal trainer. Unlike most fitness apps that offer video-on-demand workouts, Ultrahuman remembers that we are all beginners, offering a collection of videos through challenges that suit different levels.
After living a sedentary lifestyle, I knew I have to ease up when working out again. The app did wonders in helping me stay active by gradually increasing the difficulty of my challenges, without straining my body or having myself complain about how difficult a certain workout routine is.
Martynne: There was an instance that I had a bad case of insomnia and I needed something to put me to sleep.
I tried listening to Ultrahuman’s Bedtime Stories and it reminded me of the sleep podcasts I used to listen to on Spotify.
The voices are relaxing, and the stories come with meditation and sound effects, but I realized I can be impatient with slow stories. I resorted to the app’s soundscapes and brain music, and they helped a lot to relax my brain and finally shut my eyes off.
I don’t exactly know what’s the science behind brain music, but they really work sometimes.
The Polaroid Go is the smallest analog instant camera in the world
With this camera, the sky’s the limit and not the size
Polaroid has a new, cute camera and we want it. There, I said it.
Polaroid Go is the newest, tiniest member of the Polaroid family. Dubbed as the smallest analog instant camera in the world, it only measures 4.1-inches long, 3.3-inches wide, and 2.4-inches tall. What an exciting change to Polaroid’s decade-old form factor, right?
Designed as a creative companion, the Polaroid Go sports a portable, wearable look and feel. The newest camera is available in a classic white colorway, following Polaroid’s iconic design retained in a new format apt for the new generation.
The Polaroid Go, despite its tiny size, packs mighty features. This includes a newly-developed selfie mirror, self-timer, longer-lasting battery, dynamic flash, double exposure, and travel-friendly accessories.
There’s also a Go film that reimagines Polaroid’s classic square format, to suit the newest and smallest analog instant camera.
Price and availability
Polaroid Go retails for US$ 100 while the Polaroid Go Film Double Pack costs US$ 20. The Polaroid Go will be available for purchase on April 27 at polaroid.com/go.
Fujifilm’s retro-style Instax Mini 40 comes with Selfie Mode
And a new instant film sheet!
Fujifilm decks out its newest, classic-looking instant camera, the instax mini 40. Amplifying its retro style, the instant camera comes with a high-quality texture cover adorned with premium silver accents.
Additionally, its small figure lets you fit it into a pouch, a fanny pack, or a small bag. On another note, it has an uncanny resemblance to the instax Mini 90 Neo Classic, albeit packed with modern features.
The instax Mini 40 hosts a plethora of features that instant-camera lovers will adore. There’s an automatic exposure function that casually adjusts the camera’s shutter speed and flashes, depending on the surrounding brightness.
There’s also a selfie mode, making it easier to take solo and group photos. All you have to do is press the power button to extend the lens, then pull out the lens to switch to Selfie Mode, with a “Selfie On” mark to signify that the camera is ready to take your selfie. Lastly, don’t forget to check your framing using the mirror.
The Fujifilm instax Mini 40 has a suggested retail price of US$ 100.
Furthermore, Fujifilm introduces Contact Sheet — a mini-format instax film featuring orange text printed over a black frame. This design simulates the contact sheet — through bromide sheets — of the past used in films that let you check individual images.
The Instax Mini Contact Sheet instant film will retail for US$ 15. It will be globally released on April 21, 2021, alongside the Fujifilm instax Mini 40.
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