Huawei Nova 7 SE: A promising midranger

First impression: not stellar, but pretty solid



To say that Huawei has been aggressive in launching new devices despite all the challenges its facing is an understatement. Absolutely nothing has slowed down the company from China and now they’re showcasing a 5G-enabled midranger — the Huawei Nova 7 SE. 

As of writing I’m still not sure which device it succeeds. However, based on some of its design cues, it has a lot in common with last year’s Nova 5T. The Nova 7 SE has plenty of characteristics that suggests it is indeed a midranger. Chief of which is the Kirin 820 5G SoC that’s at the heart of this smartphone.

I played around with the phone over the weekend and for this quick hands-on, I’m going to list down some of the things that I liked.

No hiccup performance

We’ve mentioned in previous reviews how midrange smartphones are pretty much all you need in terms of performance. While it may not reach the highest highs of flagship chips, midrangers today are more than capable of handling most of the stuff you’ll do on your smartphone.

Browsing and jumping from one app to another is a breeze. This is, of course, a function of the chip along with the 8GB RAM. I’ve done everything from report some friends’ fake accounts on Facebook, mass like tweets of my crush, and mindlessly scroll through Instagram.

Gonna Ninja Run my way to you

One thing I don’t do much is play mobile games. But I made it a point to look for one that I might enjoy. Thankfully, I found Naruto: Slugfest on the AppGallery. It’s an online RPG that demands a lot from your phone in terms of graphics.

I’ve only really played for about two to three hours, but the experience has been fun. It’s great that I found something I actually like and the Nova 7 SE has no trouble running the game on high graphics settings.

Side-mounted fingerprint sensor/power button

Thank goodness Huawei didn’t put an in-display fingerprint sensor. While those are a nice innovation, the physical fingerprint sensor is just faster and more reliable especially when you’re not in the flagship segment.

It’s placed on the right side of the device alongside the volume rockers. I have to say though that with the button not protruding like in most devices, I ended up pressing volume down instead of the power button during the first few hours of usage.

It can be annoying at first, but it’s not really that big of a deal. You should be able to get the hang of it within a day of use.

Vivid photos 

The Huawei Nova 7 SE has a quad camera setup (64MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP). That’s main, ultra-wide, bokeh, and macro, respectively.

Haven’t had the chance to play around with all four but the quick photos I took look pretty nice.

Worth noting though that for some of these I had to lower the exposure as the sensor appears to take in a lot of light. Like these two shots below.

How many guitars do you have?

TWICE Feel Special stickers by @arts423

Pretty impressive charging and battery life

It supports the Huawei 40W SuperCharge and it really juices up the 4,000mAh battery real quick. Now, I haven’t thoroughly put it to the test.

Other than the usual social media loitering and quick mobile game session, I’ve watched an episode of Netflix’s The Patriot Act on this thing. I was also in the middle of watching the latest Running Man episode on Viu but had to pause to write this hands-on for you.

As a force of habit, I didn’t let it completely drain. I think it was at about 40 percent when I plugged it in roughly 24 hours after taking it out of the box. By Monday morning the device is still going strong at 94 percent but that’s with very minimal use.

Lightweight, easy to carry 

It’s important to note that I’ve spent most of the lockdown with three flagships — the Huawei P40 Pro, Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra, and iPhone 11 Pro. All three of those phones have that premium heft to them.

The Huawei Nova 7 SE, while it doesn’t give you that heft, still retains some premium feel to it. I would say it’s largely because of the Space Silver design. It’s a fingerprint magnet, but a few quick wipes and you’ll see right away how stunning it looks.

Promising smartphone?

From a couple of days of use it certainly hits a lot of the things that you expect a midranger to hit. It delivers good performance with no over-the-top gimmicks.

But of course, this is just an initial look. If you have questions for the review, make sure you hit us up about it.



moto razr+ Hands-on: Flip Phone Done Right!

Or moto razr 40 ultra globally



moto razr

Meet the newest moto razr+ — or moto razr 40 ultra globally. It has all the flagship-grade hardware in a thin and compact form.

But its biggest upgrade has got to be its new full-on cover screen — and it might just be the best one yet!

Can’t wait to see how the new razr looks and feels?

Here’s our hands-on with the new moto razr+.

If you haven’t kept track of the record, motorola released two razr flip phones globally. Those are the motorola razr back in 2019, and the motorola razr 5G in 2020.

motorola (or Lenovo) then skipped the year 2021 and brought us the motorola razr 2022 — only to be sold exclusively to China.

Fast track to 2023, motorola is coming back with a whole new flip phone for the international markets! Say hello to the 2023 motorola razr family


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Final Cut Pro for iPad Hands-on: Game Changer!

But is it worth the subscription?



Ever since Apple launched iPads running the ever-powerful Silicon chips like on the M1 and M2 MacBook Pros, many have wondered when will Apple put macOS onto the iPad.

While we don’t have anything like that until today, the closest thing we can have is the Final Cut Pro made specifically for the iPads.

Now, it’s finally available for download on the iPad App Store.

Starting at US$ 4.99 per month and US$ 49 annually, is it actually worth the subscription?

In this video we’ll show you all the features and tools exclusive to the new and game-changing Final Cut Pro for iPad!

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ROG Ally Hands-On: Light, white, ready to fight

Handheld gaming goodness



ROG Ally

The ROG Ally is now official. ASUS’s handheld PC gaming console has been a hot topic for gamers leading up to its launch. We’ve had the privilege to try the ROG Ally for a little less than a day and here’s what we think of it so far. 

But first, Unboxing!

Inside the box are: 

  • ROG Ally
  • 65W PD Adapter
  • Proof of purchase, user guide, and warranty 
  • Cardboard stand

Light, white, ready to fight

The ROG Ally tips the scales at 608g. Seems hefty but ASUS did a good job with weight distribution that you don’t really feel it as much. It certainly feels like something you can use for a couple of hours without feeling strain on your hands.

The reason why it’s white is because of the polycarbonate material that they used which is naturally white. ASUS opted not to paint over it to not put on any more unnecessary weight.

The sides curve to the edges to make it easy to hold. You’ll have no trouble reaching the left and right sticks, directional pad, and face buttons. The triggers are also easy to reach but it feels a little tougher to get to the shoulder buttons. Perhaps, it just takes some getting used to.

You also have extra triggers at the bottom of the device. These are also easy to reach and can be assigned any function based on whatever you’re playing. 

As for the buttons themselves, they feel durable and tactile. I could use a little bit more click on the shoulders, but overall, have no complaints. 

Windows + Armoury Crate SE

ROG Ally

The true pain point of this thing is how Windows 11 is not at all optimized for this kind of device. Setting up and signing in to your accounts to get to your games can get a little bit cumbersome.

ASUS’ Armoury Crate software tries to help out with this, but even its “Desktop Mode” for its controllers doesn’t work as well as we hope. Thankfully, the gorgeous 1080p display is touchscreen making it a little easier to navigate the tiny Windows screen that you have to work with. 

Microsoft is reportedly already working on a version of Windows that supports this particular form factor. Anyone trying the ROG Ally right now will tell you that it can’t come soon enough. 

The sooner they can get something like Steam’s Big Picture mode running, the better for every manufacturer looking into making this kind of device. 

All your games, all the time

Speaking of Steam, the ROG Ally does deliver on the promise of making all of your PC games available to you all the time. When you fire it up, Armoury Crate launches right away. From there, you can access both Steam and the Xbox Game Pass Apps right away.

Like Windows, launching and moving around the Xbox Game Pass app isn’t intuitive. Microsoft really has their work cutout for them in developing a Windows Handheld mode. 

What’s interesting is that launching Steam takes you directly to Steam Deck mode. In fact, the app thinks you’re using a Steam Deck, even showing ‘Verified’ tags for games that have been tested to work well on Valve’s own handheld console. 

In our limited time so far, we’ve played Dragon Ball FighterZ and NBA 2K22 on Steam. On Xbox Game Pass, we tried Hi-Fi Rush and Doom Eternal. That’s a couple of hours jumping through four games, but all of them ran well. There was no noticeable screen tearing or hiccups. That’s a testament to both the AMD Ryzen Z1 Extreme Chip as well as the multiple display tech meant to help run games smoothly. 

We’ll have more detailed tests on the review. 

Oh and the front-firing speakers sound great. So good that I didn’t mind watching the “No Return” fancam of LE SSERAFIM Chaewon on it. 🫶🏼

ROG Ally Specs 

Some of it has been leaked, but here’s the actual, official specs of the ROG Ally.  



CPU AMD Ryzen™ Z1 Processor 

  • 4nm 
  • Zen 4/ 6 cores & 12 threads 
  • 22M cache 
  • CPU Clock: up to 4.90 GHz 

AMD Ryzen™ Z1 Extreme Processor 

      • 4nm 
      • Zen 4/ 8 core & 16 threads  
      • 24M cache 
      • CPU Clock: up to 5.10 Ghz 
      • TDP: 9 – 30 watts
GPU With AMD Ryzen™ Z1 Config: 

  • AMD Radeon™ Graphics 
  • RDNA 3 & 4G RAM capacity/ 2.8 Tflops 
  • 4 CU 
  • GPU clock: 2.5GHz 

With AMD Ryzen Z1 Extreme Config: 

  • AMD Radeon™ Graphics 
  • RDNA3 & 4G RAM capacity / 8.6 TFlops 
  • 12 CU 
  • GPU Clock: 2.7GHz
Panel Full HD (1920 x 1080), 120 Hz / 7 ms eDP1.4b, 500 nits, IPS-panel, 100%  sRGB, FreeSync™ Premium, Gorilla® Glass Victus™ and Gorilla® Glass DXC,  10-point Touchscreen 

Gyro support

Memory  16GB (LPDDR5 6400Mhz) dual channel LPDDR5 8GBx2 on board  memory
Audio  2 x 1W speakers with smart amp technology, Dolby Atmos®, Hi-Res Audio,  AI Noise Cancellation
Wi-Fi / Bluetooth  WiFi 6E (802.11ax) / Bluetooth® v5.2 
Storage M.2 NVMe 2230 Gen4x4 SSD 256GB (for Z1 config)  

512GB (for Z1 Extreme config) 

+SD card slot UHS-2

I/O PORT ROG XG Mobile interface (8PCI express lanes) and USB Type-C  combo port (with USB 3.2 Gen2, DP 1.4 support) — (1x)

3.5mm Audio jack — (1x)

Micro SD slot (UHS-II, Micro SD 4.0) — (1x)

Battery  40Wh
Adapter  65W PD adapter, supports pass through charging
Dimensions  280.44 * 111.18 * 21.22 mm


Price and availability 

ROG Ally

The ROG Ally Z1 Extreme retails for US$ 699. The ROG Ally Z1 variant retails for US$ 599. Pre-orders begin on May 11. It will be available for sale worldwide on June 13, 2023. 

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