Work-life balance has felt like a myth since the pandemic hit and we were — for our own safety — forced to stay at home. It’s been increasingly hard to tap out from work, especially when you use the same devices for both work and entertainment.
The internet is littered with tips and tricks to get around this. Allow us to add to the pile with this humble recommendation — the backbone of which is the Huawei MatePad T.
Quick recap, the MatePad T is a budget-friendly tablet that retails for only PhP 5,990 (US$ 120). Sweet price, right? It’s a fairly thin and light 8-inch tablet with Face Unlock and EMUI 10 that’s a perfect portal for when you want to take a break from work.
I can’t speak to everyone else’s experiences, but one way that I’ve created an illusion of separating work from time at log off is by making sure I have a device that contains only the stuff I use for winding down.
As a gadget reviewer, I have the luxury of having plenty of devices with me at once. But this isn’t the case for most people. So a budget but capable tablet is a boon for this purpose, making the MatePad T the perfect gadget for this task.
Putting away the laptop and main smartphone
Typically I work on my laptop along with two other smartphones — one that I use for coordinating with teammates and brand partners, the other is whatever I’m reviewing at that point in time. But all three pretty much are portals I use to get work done.
When it comes time to log off, I can’t simply shut the laptop down and be down with it. With my smartphones online and active, and with most of my entertainment heavily reliant upon access to the internet, I inevitably still get work messages even at night when I’ve decided to call it a day. This isn’t ideal.
Tugging on the same thread of advice where people said don’t work where you sleep (a deed I am guilty of), why not at the end of the day, let go of all the devices that you use for work, and switch over to one with only the apps you use to wind down.
This is exactly the method I tried with the MatePad T.
Where to get the Apps
We’ve already previously discussed how you Huawei has made it possible to access all your favorite apps through the AppGallery and third-party apps. Huawei took this even further with AppGo.
AppGo is like the AppGallery plus third-party apps filtered. You type on the search bar the app you’re looking for and it’ll give you results in the form of app icons. Tap on the icon and it’ll send you right away to where you can get it. Convenient!
Apps for your viewing pleasure
I used it to get both Netflix and TikTok (which has more content than young gyrating women). One is available via the third-party app APKPure, while the other is already on AppGallery.
I also am guilty of falling into YouTube rabbit holes. For this one I simply signed in via the Huawei Browser and created a shortcut on the homescreen.
One app that’s available on AppGallery that I am currently exploring is Viu. It’s mostly known for being home to some of the best K-Dramas. However, as an avid follower of K-Pop girl group TWICE, I was surprised to find so much of their content on the app.
The shows are mostly their TV guestings and performances on music shows. I was, in fact, in the middle of watching the latest Running Man episode with them as guests, but I had to stop midway to finish this write-up.
Despite the 8-inch display, the lightness of the device prevented it from being an arm-sore. I could binge videos for hours until I fell asleep and wouldn’t feel the tablet weighing my arm down.
Huawei says its 5100mAh battery can last for up to 12 hours of playback. Since I’ve only really used it towards the end of my work days, it took about three days before I decided to charge it. Even then it still had about 30-40% of battery life left.
Casual games for a light challenge
When you’re winding down, you don’t really want to think too much. For this, I actually opted for two particular games: Asphalt 9 and Wordscape.
On the surface these two games are on two extremes. One, of course, is a racing game built on adrenaline, the other a virtual version of the crossword puzzle your grandparents like to solve on a lazy Sunday.
Both apps — available on AppGallery — run well on the MatePad T. Wordscape’s appeal to winding down is pretty obvious. It’s generally relaxed and there isn’t much to think about.
Asphalt 9, on the other hand, is a more demanding game that the MatePad T can run fairly decently. But it’s quick race mode is perfect for both binge-racing at night and taking quick race breaks to keep you sane on a work day.
All on a budget tablet
That’s already a lot of media entertainment value at price that won’t have your wallet bleeding. It has fantastic viewing angles especially considering you’ll likely hold it close to you. It’s immersive without feeling too in your face.
You also get all the benefits of EMUI 10 which offers gesture navigation as well as a multitude of themes to customize the look of the interface to your liking.
With AppGallery now being the third biggest app platform globally, you’ll likely find more entertainment-skewed apps that fit your needs.
Capable of more and more
Of course, this is just my preferred and suggested use-case. For the sake of my sanity I opted to not install any of the major social media apps like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and the like.
Make no mistake though, these are all very much available on the tablet.
For parents — which I am not and have no desire to be anytime soon — the tablet has a pre-installed Kids Corner app.
It offers plenty of fun and educational tools for your child with good parental controls. The app also has an enhanced Eye Comfort Mode so you don’t have to worry about damaging your kids’ lovely eyes.
The Huawei MatePad T is a fantastic secondary or complementary device, especially for the use-case I discussed. But it can definitely do more as it lends you access to pretty much everything you can access on Huawei devices at a budget-friendly rate.
The MatePad T retails for PhP 5,990. If you order from June 8 – June 21, 2020 you get gifts worth PhP 3, 698. These include:
- Huawei MatePad T8 Official Cover
- Huawei Cloud Storage for 12 months
- Huawei Video VIP Membership for 3 months TVB
- A20 Pro BT Speaker
- WPS Premiuim Membership 3 months
- PhP 150 Pesoloan cash back
This feature is a collaboration between GadgetMatch and Huawei Philippines.
Unboxing the OPPO Find X2 Pro Automobili Lamborghini Edition
Looking grand and fancy!
Sleek, classy, and powerful — these are the words I think of whenever I see Lamborghini. The Italian luxury carmaker has always been associated with grandeur and power. It has etched itself as a desirable experience one can dream of. You can even call it a beauty and a beast; evident in their supercars, SUVs, and e-bikes.
Brimming with such finesse, no wonder it partnered with OPPO’s finest phone which similarly carries the same epitome: a beauty and a beast.
Back in 2018, OPPO and Lamborghini already collaborated. The OPPO Find X Lamborghini Edition — worth almost US$ 2000 — was a remarkable luxury device. In 2020, OPPO brings the same lavish experience albeit more sophisticated.
An exquisite unboxing
Before we start, let’s call the OPPO Find X2 Pro Lamborghini Edition as Find X2 Pro Lambo. This luxurious handset came in a sexy, black paper bag.
Both OPPO and Lamborghini’s symbols were embossed in striking gold color, shining reflectively. Lamborghini’s signature patterns were embellished to present an exquisite and noble look.
The posh and upscale weight possessed by the ornate box was conspicuous all throughout. First, its design was reminiscent of Lamborghini’s distinct scissor doors.
You can open the box outwards like you’re about to enter your own Lamborghini Aventador SVJ Roadster — the inspiration for this special edition phone. In essence, it felt like a regal experience.
Of course, the Find X2 Pro Lambo edition came in a protective case, but I took it out to marvel at its magnificence standing out against my black coat. In certain angles, it reveals subtle patterns that make it look dapper.
But let’s forget about the phone for a while, and let’s proceed to see what else is inside the box.
The marriage of aesthetic and performance
Inside the thick layer where the phone sat houses the manuals written in a bunch of black papers, a premium-looking warranty card with stamped insignias, and a SIM ejector tool.
At the deep-end of the box, you can find the elegantly-designed accessories. If there’s one thing I can commend OPPO about, it’s the meticulous presentation of an opulent device. Those who will attempt to do special edition boxes can learn a thing or two from how OPPO and Lamborghini did it.
It’s complete with accessories produced cohesively, conveying the marriage of performance and aesthetics. Lamborghini’s design language was written all over these peripherals, how can you not love it?
There’s a SuperVOOC 2.0 charger, a golden braided USB-C to USB-A cable (and a shorter, black one), a car charger, an exclusive phone case, and OPPO’s true wireless earphones — the OPPO Enco Free.
Hey there, handsome!
The Find X2 Pro Lambo edition has a unique and stunning exterior. It’s composed of a four-layer overlaid carbon-fiber texture similar to the Aventador SVJ Roadster, coated with a forged glass revealing simulated patterns and curves you’ll definitely love.
Compared to the original Find X2 Pro (which we associated with Hermès), the Lambo edition fashioned a hexagonal, edgy camera module in lieu of the rounded frame. It also stuck to the Lamborghini branding, applying gold and metallic accents to the phone and its accessories.
What I loved the most is the golden braided cable. It’s similar to my favorite cable from the HP Spectre X360 13, which looks suave!
The beauty to your beast
Naturally, a luxurious, special edition phone should come with an exclusive case to make its users feel special. Gratefully, OPPO packed a hand-stitched two-toned case: black carbon fiber and a metallic copper leather exuding a certain oomph when you glide your fingers.
This phone will suit your style if your aesthetic is a mix between black and varying shades of leather brown. Par exemple, this fancy phone complemented my faux leather brown organizer and Louis Vuitton vacation bag.
Moving to its front, the Find X2 Pro Lambo edition runs a custom Lamborghini Color OS 7.1 theme. This handset brims with the same power and performance.
It still has the same 6.7-inch OLED display with HDR10+ support and 120Hz refresh rate. The same processor, memory configuration, and battery capable of OPPO’s proprietary 65W fast charging support — which you can enjoy on the Find X2 Pro — are also housed in the Lambo edition.
A splendid, special edition experience
Certainly, the partnership between OPPO and Lamborghini is a fine example of special edition phones done right. It offers the lavish experience every Lamborghini car owner and fan can delight on, at a staggering price.
The OPPO Find X2 Pro Automobili Lamborghini Edition retails for CNY 13,000 (US$ 1,900 / PhP 92,000). For a luxury special edition phone, the price tag isn’t something that Lambo owners worry about. However, the phone is only available in China.
Meanwhile, the Find X2 Pro retails for CNY 7,000 (PhP 65,990). In the Philippines, telco providers offer the handset as part of their postpaid plans.
5 things we like about the realme Watch
A fitness band you won’t mind wearing in non-workout scenarios
realme has been on a roll in expanding their product portfolio. They started with smartphones, added some earphones and powerbanks, and this year they have two wearables so far – the realme smartband and the realme Watch.
Today we’re listing some of the things we really liked about the realme Watch. Oh and quick note – most of this video was shot using the realme X3 SuperZoom.
Okay so, number one is battery life.
At the time that this was written, the Watch was at 52 percent and it has been seven days since the last time it was fully charged. If I use it more or less the same way I have in the past seven days, then it’ll be another week before it completely runs out of juice.
It’s definitely a plus when you don’t have to think about charging your watch too often.
Variety of workouts
At launch it can track 14 different workouts with good variety.
You have stuff like Running, Walking, Strength Training, Yoga and even sports like Football, Table Tennis, and Badminton.
The only “workout” I really got to try is walking, since I absolutely dread running — or any other form of exercise for that matter. But the fitness tracking was fairly accurate for the most part.
I was dying to try basketball since that’s the only workout I truly enjoy. Unfortunately the courts are still closed because in case you forgot, the Coronavirus is still very much out there taking lives and we are totally not winning that battle.
If it’s just your regular trip to the grocery store, then this watch will suit you just fine.
Perhaps, you can also wear this on regular work days if you’re required to report onsite. Point is, since it doesn’t look like a fitness band. You can probably get away with wearing it in most casual situations.
This one was particularly useful for when I was making this video.
The remote camera camera works for both photo and video. And for photos, it can be set to either take the snap right away or with a timer.
Very convenient if, like me, you’re forever alone, and need or want photos of yourself.
For you thirsty folks out there, it also has a water reminder option that you can turn on using the realme link app.
You can set a time period when you should be reminded, as well as the frequency of the reminder. I didn’t exactly follow this all the time since I sorely lack discipline, but it’s nice to have that constant reminder.
Is the realme Watch worth buying?
To properly set your expectations, you’ll need to think of the realme Watch as more of an enlarged fitness band versus an actual Smart Watch, since most of its features are geared towards health and fitness.
And if you look at it, it’s… okay. Not really something you’d want to show off.
Underneath the display there’s this subtle realme branding that could’ve been smaller or they could’ve totally done away with. That might have helped with the overall look a little bit.
The watch faces are also limited at launch, but realme emphasized that a wide variety of choices is coming soon.
For PhP 3990 (US$ 81), you get a fitness band that you wouldn’t mind wearing in non-workout scenarios. I think that’s the primary benefit that you get, for paying around twice the price of a regular fitness band.
How to maximize your Redmi 9
Smart tips for your budget smartphone
Having a smartphone these days is akin to a necessity. However, times are especially hard and you may not have the means to splurge on the best ones. Here are tips on maximizing budget smartphones — specifically, the Xiaomi Redmi 9.
First of, let’s find out what we’re working with. Here’s a quick rundown of the device’s specs:
|Display||6.53” FHD+ Dot Drop Display, Corning Gorilla Glass 3|
|Processor||MediaTek Helio G80 Processor|
|RAM + ROM||3GB+32GB and 4GB+64GB|
|Battery Capacity||5020mAh, support for 18W charging|
|Rear Cameras||13MP main wide-angle camera
8MP ultra-wide angle camera
5MP macro camera
2MP depth sensor
There’s not a lot you’re working with here. But that’s to be expected from a phone that starts at PhP 6,990 (US$ 141) for the 3GB+32GB variant which is what we have with us currently.
Quick note: That specific variant is currently on sale today on Xiaomi’s official flagship store on Lazada. On July 7, 2020 only, it’s up for grabs for PhP 500 less or at exactly PhP 6,490 (US$ 131).
If you want to snap this up, here’s what you’re getting.
It doesn’t look like a budget phone
Some budget smartphones tend to look very bland. That’s not the case with the Redmi 9.
The Ocean Green variant has this subtle radial pattern on its back. It’s very nice to hold and marginally adds to the grip. That’s a thoughtful choice considering how most budget smartphones come in plain backs in a slippery plastic build.
Another thoughtful design decision is the alignment of the power button and volume keys. For a phone with this big a display, having them all on the right side is an underrated design decision.
Unfortunately, that design decision is countered by the placement of the fingerprint sensor. It’s curiously connected to the camera module. During your first few days of use, you’ll be prone to smudging the lens that sits right above it.
That said, that camera module also doesn’t look like it’s a budget smartphone. The vertical camera array is situated on the top middle part and is separated by a circle that looks like the source of the radial pattern.
Learn basic mobile photography skills
While we’re talking about the cameras, the versatility of the ones equipped on the Redmi 9 is pretty impressive.
On most occasions, you should be able to take a good enough photo for your social media feeds. But you can even take it a step further by learning some basic mobile photography skills.
Here are some tips and how tos from our archives that you might find useful:
Use the built-in photo editor
You don’t have plenty of space for apps, so it’s prudent to learn the in and outs of the built-in photo editor. Just go into the gallery and edit one of your photos, and you’ll be treated to plenty of options.
Take for instance this wide angle photo. It looks fine, but a little unbalanced.
On the photo editor, you can fix that by aligning the horizon to the grid and making the colors pop more.
If you’re feeling adventurous, there are also plenty of filters you can play with. Here’s a sample of how that same photo was turned into this very stylized one that looks almost like a scene from Attack on Titan.
Google is your best friend
One of my favorite Google Apps is Google Photos. It gives you unlimited storage of your photos at zero cost.
It’s most likely already installed on the Redmi 9 out of the box. Just make sure you turn syncing on so every time you take a photo, it’s automatically uploaded and backed up.
Google also has lite versions for most of their apps so that should help ease up the load on your limited RAM and storage.
Use lite versions of apps
Lite apps aren’t limited to Google though. More commonly used apps like Facebook, Messenger, Twitter, and even Spotify have lite versions.
These versions eat up less space and less memory when used. Of course, you’ll be missing some features, but that’s the trade-off.
What you can do is identify which app you use the most and need all of the features available, so you can get the full version of that app, while keeping everything else lite.
Be resourceful about it
One of the hallmarks of Xiaomi and Redmi is offering good value for less. That means making the most of what you have.
For the Redmi 9, this means knowing for sure what it can do, and allocating its existing resources based on your smartphone needs.
Remember, your smartphone is only as good as how you use it.
A quick reminder that the Redmi 9 (3GB+32GB) is currently on sale today on Xiaomi’s official flagship store on Lazada. On July 7, 2020 only, it’s up for grabs for PhP 500 less or at exactly PhP 6,490 (US$ 131).
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