Part of writing tech reviews means I also take product photos for a living. It may seem easy at first, but I can guarantee that it takes some practice to get good shots. The same is true for when we take sample photos.
However, I’m human (occasionally trash) and I get tired and lazy too. I had a different article in mind for this feature at first but I wasn’t too happy with some of the shots I took with the Huawei Mate 40 Pro.
But then it hit me. Isn’t this the whole point of having a smartphone camera? It’s supposed to do a lot of the processing and beautification on its own. So what I’m going to show you right now are some of the shots I was “moderately okay” with to showcase just how smart the Mate 40 Pro is as a point-and-shoot-camera.
The level of detail in this photo is already impressive on its own. The pot with the dead plant/s (I’m not much of a plant person, sorry) is placed against the light source which is the window.
Despite that, not only was the Mate 40 Pro able to produce a shot showing the pot’s details, it also captured the view outside the window.
Not impressed? Here’s what it looked like right before I took the photo.
A little mind-blowing, right?
10X Zoom is the zoom sweet spot
The Huawei Mate 40 Pro can go all the way up to 50X Zoom. But we all know maxxed out zoom levels don’t really produce images you’d be inclined to post on social media.
Thankfully, (and as you can see in the plant screenshot) the camera app actually guides you to different shooting perspectives for optimal use.
When you fire it up, you have the normal distance or 1X zoom. Click the button on the right and you go straight to wide. Click to the left of 1X and you have 5X zoom, and click to left most node and you have 10X Zoom.
So how good is it?
This was taken in 1X at night while I was taking a brisk-ish walk around our compound.
What did I tell you? Lazy shot, right? But it looks fair. The scene was aptly lit and the night mode wasn’t very aggressive. But put your attention on the figure in the middle. Here’s what it looks like after shooting in 10X Zoom.
The level of detail at 10X Zoom, and at night at that, is simply astonishing. It’s such a clean shot given the conditions it was in.
Night Mode is unreal
While we’re at it, let’s talk about the Huawei Mate 40 Pro’s Night Mode. Huawei, in recent years, has done a pretty good job with their night mode. As I mentioned, it’s no longer overly aggressive when it doesn’t need to be.
But when there’s little to no light source, Night Mode really kicks into high gear. Here’s a screenshot of the basketball court before I took the photo.
If I’m not mistaken, this was around seven or eight in the evening. There’s a faint light around the court, but since there’s a pandemic, we can’t really use it to play hoops. That’s why it’s lights off for now.
But here’s the final shot.
Personally, I think the post-processing was extremely aggressive here. The AI was working extra hard filling-in what it thought the colors were of the sky and the trees. It missed a little bit on the ring though as it isn’t green at all in real life.
That said, this is a fantastic showcase of what the Mate 40 Pro’s Night Mode can do even in near pitch-black scenes.
Here’s a bonus night mode shot just to showcase how good it is on an adequately lit scene.
Trying (and failing) at toy photography
The following morning, I decided to try my hand at ‘toy photography.’ So over the pandemic, one of the things I did to cope was buy a few anime figures. But it’s not something I’ve actually done before so this was mostly just for the heck of it and to see how the Mate 40 Pro can do under ample light conditions.
I shot poorly (I think), but the Mate 40 Pro did a lot of heavy lifting. It only occurred to me that perhaps having this colorful a backdrop wasn’t the best idea for highlighting a toy figure.
But here’s the portrait mode shot.
It’s a little darker than in real life, but the background blur is fantastic. Look at the lights on the building in the background. The subject could have been clearer if my hands had been steadier but overall, this isn’t bad at all.
I didn’t really read up on how to do this before trying it but based on some stuff I’ve seen online, toy photography is also about highlighting the details. The zoom function shines here again.
On the left is the 1X shot and on the right is the 5X Zoom. The quality suffers a little but it still manages to showcase the underfoot details of the figure.
I tried taking a closer shot with a bright background. The Mate 40 Pro still captured a fair amount of detail with ample lighting on the subject despite the overpowering source of light on the background.
Again, I wasn’t really too happy with the background so I figured I’d wrap things up. I took one last shot — a face close-up using 5X Zoom.
I haven’t spent that long of a time with the Mate 40 Pro so I was having trouble with focusing. Despite my shortcomings, the image still came out a little okay.
When I actually tried (a little)
A little later on we had to shoot a video for Huawei. It was a rush project so I figured I’d meet up with MJ to wrap things up quickly. With his influence, I actually tried taking proper photos and here’s how they came out.
Oh and here’s portrait mode on an actual person.
Perfect for point-and-shooters
I’m willing to bet most people really don’t want to bother with too many settings or tweaking things here and there. The Huawei Mate 40 Pro really shines in this aspect as the combination of its hardware plus AI shooting does a lot of heavy lifting for most users.
But my general advice is still try a little (haha). It won’t take a lot of effort to capture something amazing when you have the Mate 40 Pro with you.
moto g 5G plus: Fast in more ways than one
Should this be YOUR 5G smartphone?
Things aren’t slowing down any time soon. To keep up with the pace, Motorola gives us the moto g 5G plus — a phone that’s fast in more ways than one.
Next-gen 5G connectivity
It’s no secret that the primary draw of this phone is its 5G capability. If you find yourself suddenly needing to buy a phone, it’s best to get one that’s future-proof in terms of connectivity.
A faster connection means faster downloads both for media and for your usual browsing. It also improves latency for your online mobile games.
To make things easier for you, snapping up the moto g 5G plus gets you a free GOMO 5G sim with 25GB of data that DOES NOT EXPIRE as part of an ongoing promo that lasts up to January 31, 2021. How fast you consume that 25GB of data allocation depends entirely on your usage, but when you’re near a 5G area, this is the kind of speed you’ll get.
Take note, this particular test was done indoors and normally plays between the 90mbps to 150mbps range. 5G is real, it’s here, and it’s pretty awesome.
A smooth, speedy display
The moto g 5G plus sports a tall 6.7-inch FHD+ display with support for a 90Hz refresh rate. We can’t gush enough about how when you go to 90Hz, it’s a little hard to go back to 60Hz.
Not only is it a smoother and faster experience overall, it’s also better for your eyes. Plus, it’s extra satisfying rummaging through your crush’s Instagram posts when the screen looks and feels this smooth.
My UX is satisfyingly clean
As far as Android skins go, we think My UX is grossly underrated. There’s not a lot of bloat and it certainly feels just as snappy as vanilla Android.
The animations don’t stutter, everything feels seamless, and overall interaction with the UI and the phone just feels like an uninterrupted flow. You also get to make it your own with a few customizations here and there.
The Snapdragon 765G is no slouch
Qualcomm has managed to deliver midrange chips that can go toe-to-toe with and perhaps be even better than flagships from years past. The Snapdragon 765G housed inside the moto g 5G plus is a testament to that.
This chip won’t leave you wanting whether you’re using it to answer work emails, a quick gaming session to take a break, or browsing through Netflix’s library until you find the title you want to watch.
For a lot of people, this level of power and productivity will more than suffice.
Here’s an aspect that you’re thankful isn’t fast — this phone promises up to two days of battery life with its 5,000mAh battery. Naturally, this will vary with your usage. In our experience, it’s a phone that won’t have you panicking in case you forget to juice it up before hitting the sack.
For filling up, the phone supports 20W TurboPower charging. That’s enough to give you a few hours of extra usage despite only charging for minutes.
Pricing and availability
The moto g 5G plus retails for PhP 16,995. As of writing, it’s the most affordable 5G-capable smartphone in the Philippines. You can snap one up at any authorized reseller nationwide. It’s also available in the Lenovo Mobile Official store in Lazada. As mentioned earlier, there’s an ongoing promo up to January 31, 2021 wherein buyers can get the moto g 5G plus bundled together with a free GOMO 5G sim with 25GB of data that DOES NOT EXPIRE. If you avail of the promo quick enough, you may also get a free Lenovo Smartwatch S2! Visit http://lenovoph.com/motog5gpluslazada for more info.
This feature is collaboration between GadgetMatch and Lenovo Mobile Philippines
ASUS ZenBook S (UX393): Unboxing and First Impressions
Sleek, gorgeous, and sexy!
There’s a premium laptop in town, and it’s worth your every attention. Meet the ZenBook S (UX393) — one of ASUS’s most premium headliner laptop.
In case you didn’t know, ZenBooks got all the coolest features that you can find on a laptop today. While looking fancy.
Without further ado, let’s unbox this beaut!
Bringing that sexy black
The ASUS ZenBook S UX393 landed in my home in a black box. You’ll know it’s not the usual laptop seeing how most laptops use a brown box made with sustainable materials.
Taking a peek inside, you’ll see two black boxes: one that carries the laptop and one that contains the peripherals.
There’s also a sleek, laptop sleeve!
But first, let’s take the smaller, rectangular box out. Inside, you can find a long, 65W fast charger in USB-C.
There’s also a USB-C to 3.5 mm headphone jack adapter. Yes, you read that right. This gorgeous notebook doesn’t have a headphone jack anymore.
Moving on, the bigger box carries the ever-gracious ZenBook S. But first, let’s admire how sleek and sexy the box is — in and out. With its minimal Zen-like pattern, it’s easy to be astonished at first sight. It also looks posh with its sexy black and copper-red combination, the same colors utilized by the beautiful ZenBook S.
Upon opening, you’ll find ASUS’s stamp regarding its commitment to sustainability, honoring its promise to using environment-friendly materials despite using a different color for its packaging.
Underneath the laptop, you can find the usual product guide and warranty card tucked inside a discreet envelope.
Gorgeous and stunning
Looking at the ZenBook S is like staring at a Valentino coat and Burberry underwear. You’re not sure if you need it, but you know you want it.
It maintained the iconic, off-centered logo on its lid, with a spun-metal finish, embellished with its prominent Zen-like concentric circular patterns.
Its luxurious Jade Black finish is accentuated with subtle Red-Copper diamond-cut edges, certainly leaving quite an impression — whether it’s you looking or the one showing it off.
On its sides, the ZenBook S demonstrated a design made for people on-the-go. It has a full-size HDMI, USB Type-A ports, MicroSD card reader, and Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports.
These Thunderbolt ports support fast charging, 4K UHD external displays, and up to 40Gbps of data transfers.
The ZenBook S embodies ASUS’s philosophy when it comes to premium laptops. Just the way it looks, it’s pretty clear that it’s meant to be fancy, smart, and glamorous.
ASUS also brings in innovative features — an ergonomic backlit keyboard design, function keys that make navigating easier, and the NumberPad 2.0 which makes the touchpad work as an LED numeric keypad, too.
For the price it commands, it’s certainly convenient and secure to use. With Windows Hello, your face is your password! The front infrared (IR) camera recognizes your face in seconds and lets you log in instantly and securely.
The ZenBook S also sports ASUS’s proprietary NanoEdge display albeit with a taller 3:2 aspect ratio and a 3300×2200 resolution touchscreen.
Its screen has a Pantone-validated color accuracy, as well, making it an excellent choice for budding creatives. Coupled with Intel’s Evo platform powered by an Intel Core i7 processor, it runs any software seamlessly while you multitask for an efficient workflow.
Price and availability
The ASUS ZenBook S (UX393) is like meeting someone and falling in love at first sight. There’s so much to explore, and you can’t keep your hands off it. That’s what the experience with the ZenBook S felt like.
And for a flagship headliner, we know this laptop still has a lot of surprises on its sleeves. It currently retails for PhP 99,990.
This feature is a collaboration between GadgetMatch and ASUS Philippines.
ASUS ZenBook Flip S (UX371EA) Unboxing & First Look
ASUS is always coming out with head-turning devices, but the ASUS ZenBook Flip S might just be the one that really grabs your attention. Let’s take a look at it!
There’s nothing particularly striking about the box.
And this one’s pretty beat up when we got it, but that happens. Everything on the inside is fine.
Jumping straight to the contents — here’s the power brick.
It’s USB-C so it can also charge your smartphone — so long as it also has a USB-C port.
You also get a USB to LAN cable and a USB-C to 3.5mm audio jack cable.
Opening the inner box reveals the laptop plus some product information.
Digging in a little further, you’ll see it comes with a pen.
It’s worth noting that there’s no holster on the laptop for the stylus. You’re gonna have to keep it safe at all times and store it somewhere in your bag or your pocket to make sure you don’t lose it.
And the usual manual and warranty card.
Ta-dah! Here’s the ASUS ZenBook Flip S.
With that patented concentric circle design originating from the ASUS logo. Nice and sleek.
Like plenty of ASUS laptops, the screenpad also doubles as the numpad.
Over on the right side are the power button and the USB-A port.
And on the left, an HDMI port along with two USB-C ports.
The fun thing about 2-in-1s is that you can spread it out like this.
It’s a bending ability that we recently realize can come in handy.
You can, of course, use it as a regular laptop.
But there’s also this tent mode perfect for consuming media.
Then, there’s tablet mode which works nicely for something like this that’s relatively light.
You are working with an OLED touch screen so that’s fantastic for your eyes.
The keys on the keyboard though are a tad smaller than we’d like.
It might take a few hours to a few days to really get used to the keys. They just seem off by a fraction of a millimeter but it does make a difference. No complaints on key travel though, just the size of the keys.
Inside it is the latest 11th Generation Intel Core i7 processor and Intel Iris X graphics, combined with up to 16GB of RAM and up to a 1TB PCIe 3.0 x4 SSD. That means it can practically handle most regular office tasks. It’s actually overpowered for that kind of work.
After about a week of usage, we can say this can power through a regular workday and then some. You’ll have enough juice to watch an episode or two as you wind down for the day.
It retails for PhP 94,995 and could possibly be the sexiest piece of tech you can own.
This feature is a collaboration between GadgetMatch and ASUS Philippines
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