No smartphone development has been hotter than foldables this year. Sure, 5G connectivity and hole-punch cameras may be the buzz words of 2019, but folding displays are the future tech we have now.
While the Galaxy Fold is expected to launch sooner, no one except Samsung’s executives and developers have used the device. It’s a stark contrast to the Mate X, which has not only been handled by media during the last Mobile World Congress, but also made its way to Southeast Asia already.
I was fortunate enough to spend some hands-on time with the Mate X; not enough to present a comprehensive experience, but good enough to address some questions our readers have asked since the foldable was first announced.
Is there enough heft to it?
The funny thing is, the Mate X feels heavy in its smartphone state, but almost too light when in tablet mode. That’s because there’s a lot of screen (8 inches when opened up) and battery capacity (4600mAh split into two units) for a handset, while being remarkably thin for a slate.
— Marvin Velasco (@labacnotan) March 11, 2019
There’s a sort of handle to the side that’s helpful for holding the device when opened up, yet prevents it from lying down flat when unfolded. When folded, however, the smartphone-like thinness and curves on the sides make the Mate X such a joy to grasp — well, based on my early usage at least.
How durable are the display and hinge?
This is one question that’s crossed everyone’s mind. Although the idea of a folding display gives the impression of poor quality, Huawei’s implementation is anything but. Huawei is said to have worked for three years on the Mate X’s sturdy hinge, and though it’s too early to judge the plastic display’s durability, it feels like it can take constant, everyday folding.
— Marvin Velasco (@labacnotan) March 11, 2019
I can’t attest to the display’s scratch resistance, but it does get quite smudgy with dirty fingers. It’s especially apparent with the sheer size of the panel. It’s even more obvious because of how reflective the screen is under bright lights. Again, these are things that’ll take time before we can come to a conclusion.
Are the cameras any good?
There are pros and cons to the Mate X’s camera system. The good: Since it has three cameras on the back for everything, there’s no need for a notch, and they’re as good as the Mate 20 Pro’s chart-topping shooters. The bad: Because of the placement, you can’t take advantage of the 8-inch screen for video calls.
Still, it’s a fine compromise and doesn’t get in the way of the phone’s usability. What’s especially great is that you can use the rear display like a mirror during smartphone mode so that the subject can see his or herself for better compositions. It’s a lot like what the Vivo NEX Dual Display offers.
Is the software optimized for foldables?
The lingering question after the Mate X’s launch was: Will the software — and its developers by extension — adjust to this new form factor? From the few apps I got to try out, the experience was surprisingly smooth, allowing me to fold and unfold the device at any time without noticeable lag or glitches.
That’s saying a lot for a device which isn’t even in the consumer market yet and has no apps with its unusual aspect ratios in mind. The possibilities here are endless if game developers are willing to adjust their titles to this; imagine switching from one viewing mode to another with a simple fold.
What else is there to know?
A minor gripe I had with the Mate X during my short time with it was the single loudspeaker. Considering how gorgeous the display is, I was hoping for more power and bass out of the lone audio source. However, I’m sure anyone who can afford a Mate X already has excellent wireless or USB-C headphones on hand.
I didn’t get to test the security features, but I did like the placement of the fingerprint scanner on the side-mounted power button. It felt natural and well within reach. There’s no under-display scanner, unfortunately, and I can’t say for certain if unlocking this phone with the rear cameras is a practical option.
Is this a glimpse into the future or a niche product?
This is what I got asked most once my friends found out I tried out the world’s first outward-folding smartphone, and it’s definitely the most difficult question to answer. With the pricing Huawei and Samsung have chosen for their first-generation products, they’re certainly reserved for those who can afford it, and not those who simply desire it (like myself).
Unless prices go down in the next year or two, foldables will never be as practical as a smartphone-tablet combo, or even a handset paired with a reliable laptop. It’ll take a while before folding phones go mainstream, but for now, the Mate X is fun as hell to use, and I can’t wait to play around with an actual retail unit.
realme 8 5G Unboxing and First Impressions
Midrange game changer?
Game-changer. It’s a bold adjective to use, especially when you’re describing a smartphone that’s situated in a competitive midrange segment. But realme has always dared to leap, and they’re doing exactly that with the realme 8 5G.
They’re calling it a 5G game-changer. It will require more extensive testing to determine whether that’s true or not, but for the meantime, here are our first impressions of realme’s newest offering.
But first, a quick rundown of the specifications for this device.
|Display||6.5-inch IPS LCD display, 90 hZ 1080p|
|Processor||MediaTek MT6833 Dimensity 700 5G (7nm)|
|RAM + ROM||128 GB ROM/8GB RAM|
|Cameras||48MP primary camera (wide)
2MP macro camera
2MP depth sensor
The phone comes in realme’s signature yellow box. No surprises there.
Taking out the lid, you’re greeted by a short note from the brand. Nice touch!
Going through the rest of the box, you’ll find your usual set of manuals, a charging cable, and your charging brick. Realme also included a case for free out of the box. Good stuff!
It makes a good first impression, but can it last?
Out of the box, the first thing you notice is how pretty the device is. Without touching it, you’d think it was made out of glass. But in reality, they used plastic for this device. The radiant light effect is definitely a nice touch.
Outside of the fingerprint smudges you’ll definitely be leaving on the back, you’d want to rock this phone without a case.
The realme 8 5G uses a curved back for added ergonomics. The phone is well-built, and it doesn’t feel cheap even if plastic was realme’s material of choice.
That extra feeling of sturdiness matters, especially in a competitive midrange market. First impressions can make or break whether you get a smartphone or not. In this case, realme passed with flying colors. Early indications suggest that realme has a winner with the 8 5G.
That’s all we have on realme’s newest midrange offering for now. We’ll be testing the device to see whether the realme 8 5G can truly #CaptureInfinitePossibilitiesWith5G.
Huawei MatePad 2021 Unboxing and First Impressions
The device for people on the go!
Starting off, we have the box. A clean and simple look, but definitely pleasing! The front of the box shows us the branding and the name of the device.
A Huawei logo on the upper left corner, the AppGallery on the lower right, and on the lower left, the screen size of the device.
The box also has an interesting texture, only on the top cover though.
Opening the box, we have the device itself wrapped in fine paper and a pull tab to assist you when lifting the device out of the box.
Underneath the device, you are presented with two boxes. One box for the charging brick…
and the second containing the paperwork, USB Type-C cable, a 3.5mm headphone jack adaptor, and a warranty card.
Only the larger box is removable so be careful not to rip out the smaller box. Behind the larger box is the sim ejector tool, be sure to keep it safe!
Removing the paper, we now see the simple but gorgeous Huawei MatePad in the “Midnight Grey” colorway. Be sure to remove the sticker — it’s optional but I suggest that you do.
The device itself is lightweight and easy to carry around, as a slim device it’s very easy to place it in a bag and you will have no problem carrying it around all day.
Starting off at the front, you will see the 10.4-inch screen with the camera at the top. Referring to the format at the back of the device, the front-facing camera is placed at the top.
On the left side of the device, you will be able to find the speakers along with the sleep/wake button. The right side shows you another pair of speakers and a charging port.
The top shows 4 microphones with the volume up and down button at the very left.
Heading over to the back you’ll be able to see the single-shooter camera, the Huawei branding, and an indication of their partnership with Harman/Kardon. The camera is accompanied by a flash and a microphone.
- Display: 10.4-inch 2000×1200 IPS, 225 PPI
- Processor: Huawei Kirin 820 series
- Memory: RAM – 4GB, ROM – 128GB
- Camera: 8MP front, 8MP rear
- Battery: 7250mAh
Finally, now we have unboxed the new Huawei MatePad. With this, the device itself feels good to the touch and is a good size for a tablet. Additionally, the “Midnight Grey” colorway of the MatePad is a great choice, it doesn’t collect fingerprints easily and the device is lightweight so you don’t have to worry when taking it with you anywhere.
The initial setup of the new MatePad was fast and easy, there are pre-loaded apps that are ready to use. Although I’m not sure if it’s just me or the apps change from time to time when you open the designated folders of the pre-loaded apps. For media consumption, the experience was good. Although the YouTube app was not the same as the ones we see on our devices, it works well as it should.
The screen looks good so far with the 2000×1200 IPS display, trying a few videos and films, the quality was great. Additionally, the speakers are a huge boost to the volume — loud but good quality. The MatePad also doesn’t have a 3m5mm headphone jack, luckily, they provided an adaptor. The MatePad is looking good so far, stay tuned for the next article as we are going deep and we’ll be having a full review of the Huawei MatePad 2021.
vivo X60 with Zeiss Unboxing, First Impressions
Are you excited to snap away with the vivo x60?
vivo stays on their seat with the A-listers when it comes to camera smartphones as they unveil the vivo X60 Series with their new branding partnership with Zeiss.
Today, we’re unboxing the vivo X60.
It comes in this matte glittery box with the Zeiss branding. Lifting the lid, we get to see the frosted and textured plastic bump case, simple sim tray ejector tool, a USB-C to USB-A cable. accompanied by the fast-charging 33W FlashCharge adapter.
There’s also a pair of 3.55 earphones with extra ear tips in different sizes that goes with the USB-C to 3.5mm dongle.
Now, we put the spotlight on the main event, the vivo X60.
The vivo X60 gets your attention with its glass gradient finish. You might even catch yourself just marveling at it. Up front, you’ll be greeted with its 6.56-inch AMOLED display:
- 6.56” AMOLED
- 2376 x 1080 Full HD+
- 120 Hz Refresh Rate
- 398 PPI Density
With its smooth and satisfying 120Hz refresh rate. It’s perfect for your daily web activities or occasional gaming. In defiance of its light and sleek design, the vivo X60 comes with groundbreaking power.
Here’s a look at the specs:
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 870
- Adreno 650
- 128GB / 256GB UFS 3.1 Storage
- 8GB / 12GB RAM
- 4300mAh Battery
- Funtouch OS 11.1
It can easily be your partner for multitasking on a daily basis. It also boasts of a 4300mAh battery that’s just enough for a day of browsing and scrolling on your social media pages.
But let’s put the focus on this phone’s best feature — its wide array of cutting-edge cameras as vivo forges its branding partnership with Zeiss.
- 48MP f/1.8 Main (Wide)
- 13MP f/2.46 Telephoto
- 13MP f/2.2 Ultra-wide
- 32MP f/2.5 Selfie camera
- 2x Optical Zoom
- Zeiss Optics
With the Zeiss partnership, you’ll definitely get to take stunning photos. Are you excited to snap away with the vivo x60?
This feature is a collaboration between GadgetMatch and vivo Philippines.
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