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Huawei smartphones are nothing short of engineering marvels. That’s been proven true time and time again. The same can be said for the Huawei Mate 50 ProAnd we’ll go through everything that makes it a standout hardware later on. 

But the one thing that people always ask about Huawei phones is, Can I use Google apps?”

The reality is, that was a tough ask for a while. But after a few years of searching, a solution has finally surfaced.

Google apps on Huawei

So, what are the Google apps that people normally use? There’s YouTube, Gmail, Chrome, Google Photos, GDrive, and everything else that comes with it.  That’s plenty. And really, all you need is the AppGallery and a third party app called GBox. 

You should be familiar with AppGallery by now. It’s Huawei’s very own portal for apps.It’s one of the top 3 largest app stores in the world and is home to thousands upon thousands of apps. That includes some of the aforementioned Google Apps.

For YouTube and Chrome, you simply have to:

  • Open the AppGallery.
  • Type YouTube or Chrome on the search bar.
  • And the app to be installed will appear. 
  • Open the downloaded apps to log in and viola! You’re all set. 

What about the rest? That’s where GBox comes in. 

GBox

So, what is GBox? It’s short for Google Box.It’s a third party app that you can download from gboxlab.com. 

And what it does is essentially let you use apps that rely on Google Mobile Services or GMS on devices that do not support it. Other features include privacy protection and running multiple copies of apps. But of course, we’re here for its GMS magic. 

  • Download and Open GBox.
  • Tap on Google Drive.
  • And install. 
  • Open Google Drive. 
  • Login. And that’s it.

You can do the same with apps like BPI, Google Photos, Docs, Sheets, and everything else that you see in GBox. 

We’re fans of Google Photos in particular. With it installed, all the amazing photos we take will immediately be backed up. And you can really take stunning images with the Mate 50 Pro.

Capturing in detail

Typically, it’s Huawei’s P-Series that really knocks it out of the park in terms of imaging. But the Mate series, especially the Mate 50 Pro, is not at all far behind. 

There’s a lot of mumbo-jumbo going on with the Mate 50 Pro’s cameras. There’s Ultra Aperture Xmage Camera, Subminimeter Segmentation, Largest F/1.4 Aperture, and many more.  But one of the things that’s truly remarkable is the Ultra Aperture Primary Camera.

It features a 10-size Adjustable Physical Aperture.Being able to fit a physically adjustable camera lens on a smartphone is mind boggling. And what it enables you to do is even more amazing.

It lets you adjust between multiple aperture settings. This controls the amount of light that the camera takes in. More importantly, it lets you choose the best aperture setting depending on what you’re taking a photo of. 

For portraits, you want that creamy bokeh to make the subject standout. So, your best choice is to go with anything lower than F/2.4. 

For landscape or cityscape shots, you want to get as much detail as possible to capture the scene. Starting at F/4 and going up as needed works best for this.

But that’s not all the Mate 50 Pro’s cameras can do. You also have 200X Zoom, Super Night Mode, and Wide angle macro camera. 

Feature packed

Like the Mates that came before it, the Mate 50 Pro is stacked when it comes to other features. 

SuperEnergy Boosting kicks in when your battery drops to one percent. It keeps the phone going for any of the following: 3 hours on standby, 12 minutes of calls, or 4 times QR Code scanning.

But with Huawei SuperCharge, you can juice up in a jiffy. And it works whether wired or wireless. 

There’s SuperStorage that deals with duplicate files by compressing them. This means you can still access the duplicates but they will occupy only one file size.

And of course Super Device that lets you connect multiple Huawei devices for a seamless workflow among all of them. Those are just some of the Mate 50 Pro’s key additional features. 

For everything else, it’s still the same powerhouse performer we know and love. Browsing socials, switching from app to app, and juggling multiple chats — these are tasks that the phone can easily breeze through. 

Do you game on mobile? The AppGallery has a wide selection of games that the Mate 50 Pro will have zero problems running. This includes even some of the most popular and graphically demanding tiles right now. 

All told, the Mate 50 Pro is the same high performance flagship that we have come to expect. 

Finding ways

Huawei smartphones has had an uphill battle ever since the 2019 trade ban. But the company has buckled down and powered through. 

Now, they’re offering the Huawei Mate 50 Pro. It’s a finely crafted smartphone that takes stunning images. Can hang with you no matter what task you throw at it and can now adequately use Google Apps. 

The Mate 50 Pro is a testament to Huawei’s resilience. And we’re glad to be witnessing all of it. 

Buyer's Guide

PlayStation gift ideas for 2022: The best of the best

God of War: Ragnarök tops the list

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Gamers, rejoice! The Christmas season is finally here. That means it’s also the perfect time to secure PlayStation titles and peripherals to boost the gaming experience. Here are some of the best gift ideas for gamers on both PS4 and PS5:

UNCHARTED: Legacy of Thieves Collection

This collection retails for PhP 2,490 and includes both critically acclaimed single player adventures, UNCHARTED 4: A Thief’s End and UNCHARTED: The Lost Legacy.

Dive into complex history from the point of view of thieves Nathan Drake and Chloe Frazer. Its PlayStation 5 option is remastered with improved visuals and framerate.

God of War: Ragnarök

Already widely considered as the game of the year, Santa Monica Studio’s sequel to the 2018 God of War features Kratos and Atreus going on a mythic journey across nine realms together before Ragnarök arrives.

Kratos will use his weapons like the Leviathan Axe and Blades of Chaos as he puts everything on the line to fight for family while facing fearsome enemies from Norse gods to wild beasts.

God of War: Ragnarök is priced at PhP 3,490 for PS5 and PhP 2,990 for PS4.

Horizon Forbidden West

From Sony comes an action RPG wherein Aloy braves the Forbidden West, a frontier that conceals mysterious threats.

The adventure will take gamers to a far-future, post-apocalyptic world of Horizon where land is dying and vicious storms keep ravaging what’s left of humanity.

That said, it will be up to Aloy to uncover the secrets, forge alliances, and defeat the enemy to prevail.

Horizon Forbidden West is available at PhP 3,490 for PS5 and PhP 2,990 for PS4.

Gran Turismo 7

Gran Turismo 7

For those into racing, Gran Turismo 7 brings together the very best of the Real Driving Simulator.

The game reintroduces GT Simulation Mode, on top of the head-to-head GT Sport Mode, GT Campaign, Arcade, and Driving School.

With over 420 cars available at Brand Central and the Used Car Dealership from day one and over 90 track routes including classics, Gran Turismo 7 promises both unparalleled detail and experience.

You can purchase the game for PhP 3,490 for PS5 and PhP 2,990 for PS4.

The Last of Us Part I

The Last of Us Part 1

The multi-awarded game gets a PlayStation 5 treatment. Protagonist Joel smuggles 14-year-old Ellie out of a military quarantine zone, which jumpstarts a brutal cross-country journey.

This package includes The Last of Us single-player story and celebrated prequel chapter, Left Behind, which explores the events that changed the lives of Ellie and her best friend Riley forever.

The Last of Us Part I costs PhP 3,490 as well.

Gaming peripherals

As for accessories, you should get your hands on the DualSense Wireless Controller for PS5 which now comes in new colors. The controllers are now available in Midnight Black, Cosmic Red, Starlight Blue, Galactic Purple, and Nova Pink, as well as Gray Camouflage.

It is available in all PlayStation authorized dealers starting at PhP 3,990.

Speaking of those colors, one can now customize their console itself with the PS5 Console Covers which are priced at PhP 3,090.

To complete the immersive gaming experience, the PULSE 3D Wireless Headset delivers with PS5 system’s Tempest 3D AudioTech and comes with dual noise-cancelling microphones.

It is available for PhP 5,590 in Midnight Black and Gray Camouflage.

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5 realme travel essentials for holiday vacation

Upgrade your holiday trips

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For some, Christmas season isn’t only about gift-giving or bonding with friends and family; it’s also about going on holiday trips as they make the most out of the long break.

That’s where these five realme gadgets come in handy, giving your vacation trip a colorful upgrade.

realme 10

realme 10

The brand’s recently-launched flagship comes equipped with a Helio G99 processor, has a 6.4-inch 90Hz super AMOLED display, and a 5,000mAh battery with support for 33W SUPERVOOC charge.

The device runs on Android 12 and realme UI 3.0, and has 8GB RAM and up to 256GB storage.

Capturing memories is a breeze too, with its 50MP main camera and 16MP selfie camera.

Available in Clash White and Rush Black, the realme 10 retails for:

  • PhP 12,999 for the 8GB+128GB
  • PhP 14,999 for the 8GB+256GB

realme Buds T100

realme Buds T100

 

Music is a must for long road trips, so one should complement the listening experience with a fitting pair of wireless earbuds.

The realme Buds T100 feature 10mm dynamic bass driver, 88ms super low latency, and a total playback time of up to 28 hours.

The accessory has AI Environmental Noise Cancellation (ENC). It is rated IPX5 for water resistance.

realme C33

Whether looking for another reliable smartphone or just a spare phone, the realme C33 should do the trick.

It has a 6.5-inch HD+ LCD display, 5,000mAh battery to keep you company for long hours, and a 50MP camera.

It’s priced at only PhP 7,499 so now is the perfect time to get your hands on this budget device.

realme Pad X

For those traveling with kids or simply want to avoid boredom, the realme Pad X (6GB+128GB) can definitely keep you entertained.

Powered by up to a Snapdragon 695 5G processor and coming with a 10.95-inch 2K FullView display and Dolby Atmos quad speakers, the tablet provides an immersive viewing experience on the go.

The Pad X comes with a stylish 7.1mm Ultra Slim design. It is available in the Glacier Blue and Glowing Grey colorways.

The base price is just PhP 15,999 or if you want to opt for the 5G variant, the cost is PhP 24,999.

realme Watch 3

Lastly, the realme Watch 3 will help one burn those Noche Buena and Media Noche calories with ease.

The wearable boasts clear Bluetooth calling, all-day health monitoring, and over 110 sports modes. These can be accessed through its 1.8-inch bright display.

The realme Watch 3 retails for only PhP 3,499, one of the best fitness companions for this price point.

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Make moments tangible with Instax Square Link

Time to print those core memories!

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instax square link

Life looks pretty in squares — that’s how Instagram shaped our favorite moments in the past decade.

With every core memory uploaded in our social media feed for the world to see, there’s still something poignant about keeping a hard copy of your favorite moments. It feels nostalgic to be reminded of the good things in your life.

That’s what the Instax Square Link delivers. The newest instant printer comes in square, as compared to its previous siblings in the instax link lineup.

The sweet spot

The previous instant printers come in the usual mini film prints, and a wide, rectangular one. Having a square format provides a sweet spot for instant prints since it’s neither too big nor small.

Even the design of the device itself looks almost square, albeit taller. It sports the usual big button in its center that powers up the device, while there’s a smaller circle on its top-left part for linking the device to your smartphone.

It’s still as straightforward as it gets, whether you’re already familiar with previous instax printers or not. You simply click the big button until it lights up, link it to your smartphone and confirm the serial number found on the bottom side of the device, and do all the magic inside the app — which you can download via App Store or Play Store.

instax square link

New device, new features

The instax Square Link carries all the good things from the previous instax printers through its dedicated app.

You can still make personalized stickers, continuously print your best moments with just a press of a button, and collage and edit your photos in frames. They’re pretty much the same features you can find on the instax Link WIDE and instax mini Link 2.

instax square link

However, instax introduced new features that make printing more exciting. Now, instax takes AR to a new level by allowing users to print with personalized AR effects, accessible using a QR code.

It also included a feature where you can chat with a friend or loved one and have the conversation printed as text bubbles to add a more personal touch for those who are in long-distance relationships.

Printing your favorite moments

instax square link

While the new features are a much-welcome addition, I still stick to what Instax is good about. At its core, it’s still printing your favorite moments and of course, sharing them with the people you love.

Back then, I would print my photos and keep them to myself — inside photobooks and boxes that would never see the light of day unless I’m feeling nostalgic.

Being surrounded by new people encouraged me to be more giving, rather than just being selfish with my memories. And instead of constantly seeking validation and sharing my favorite moments with the world, I now love the idea of being intimate and sharing my core memories with only a handful of people.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

instax square link

The Instax Square Link is still an instant printer like its siblings. If square formats are your thing, this is easily your GadgetMatch. For wide, rectangular prints, there’s the instax Link WIDE.

And if the original, mini-sized film prints are what you’re after, you can never go wrong with the instax mini Link 2. Whatever formats you want, there’s an instax for you.

The instax Square Link comes in Ash White and Midnight Green. It’s available in all authorized Fujifilm instax dealers nationwide and Fujifilm’s online flagship stores.

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