Hands-On

Huawei Nova 7 SE: A promising midranger

First impression: not stellar, but pretty solid

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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.

 

Hands-On

How the MatePad 11 fits in your workflow

Can it be a substitute laptop?

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MatePad 11

We often get asked what’s a good “budget” laptop. And there’s never an easy answer.  Most decent options start at PhP 35,000 but the budget of people asking is capped at around PhP 30,000.

Then, we got to thinking — Do they really need a laptop, or just something that functions like one? Exploring this idea, one of our editors used the Huawei MatePad 11 for daily tasks, and this video chronicles the experience.

Typing away

For any writer or editor, it’s impossible to get anything done without a reliable keyboard.

The task ranges from writing your own articles to copy-editing the staff’s work. You also have to respond to emails and correspondence within and outside of the team.

That’s a lot of typing. And while we’ve come a long way in terms of getting accustomed to hitting a flat surface to type, nothing can replace a good, functioning full-sized keyboard for some real productivity.

Thankfully, the MatePad 11 has a compatible Smart Magnetic Keyboard. It looks tiny at first, but the keyboard is full-sized and offers a good amount of travel for its size.

In fact, parts of the script for this video was written on the MatePad 11-Smart Magnetic Keyboard Combo.

It’s also sturdy and balanced enough that you can pull it out in a pinch and prop it up on your lap. From experience, this isn’t the case with most other similar setups due to the weight of the tablet.

Thankfully, the MatePad 11 is light enough that it won’t topple over even when placed on a not-so-even surface.

Access to your usual apps

What most people really need is access to some type of Office apps. Thankfully, there are plenty of options available right from the App Gallery.

You can opt to go with Microsoft Office and link your existing subscription. Or select any of the other set of Office apps available.

Microsoft Office runs perfectly fine on the MatePad 11. Quickly set it up and you’ll be balancing sheets, making decks, and writing essays in no time.

If what you need is on Google Docs or Google Sheets, there’s a way to quick-launch these apps so you can work on the document or work file you need to.

Since plenty of our work files are on Google Docs, this was the editor’s primary way of accessing the stuff needed to get things done.

And if you’re having trouble with anything else you normally use, you can always access them via the browser like you would on a laptop.

There’s also Petal Search baked into the App Gallery that’ll scour the web for sources of the apps you desperately want and need.

Huawei understands the pain points it had to deal with and has addressed them with the App Gallery and Petal Search combo.

Multitasking master

The ease of switching from one app to another on a laptop is still pretty much unparalleled. But the MatePad 11 offers unique multitasking capabilities that offer an effective way to multitask.

What the editor found most useful in particular is how you can have smaller versions of the apps float on the screen.

And when minimized, it goes into this tiny app icon on the right side of the device functioning somewhat like a dock.

This is perfect for placing chat apps to look at messages at a glance. So even if the editor is in the middle of writing or copy-editing, glancing at messages is easy and doesn’t take the full attention away from the work at hand.

This is especially helpful for someone who juggles plenty of messaging apps.

Additionally, if you have a Huawei phone with you, the multi-screen collaboration feature takes this even further.

You can have your phone screen on the side and just open it up when needed. From here you can open any app whether that’s for messaging or something else you may need to reference for the work you’re doing.

It’s an incredible feature and one we hope will be adopted by other brands in some shape or form.

Not just for work

It’s recommended that you take short breaks in between tasks to keep yourself fresh and focused.

Breaks can be anything from standing up and walking around for a little bit, mindlessly browsing social media, or playing a quick game.

If the type of breaks you take fall on the latter two categories, the MatePad 11 is great for that as well.

The 120Hz refresh rate that this tablet has makes it a sight to behold and a joy to touch. Your general interaction with the device will feel incredibly fast and smooth.

It’s great whether you’re just swiping from one TikTok video to another or playing a quick round of whatever mobile game you’re into.

The M-Pencil is truly handy

Not everyone needs a stylus. But just because you don’t need one, doesn’t mean it can never come in handy.

An editor’s work also entails signing a lot of documents. This can be anything from loaner sheets or non-disclosure agreements.

It’s also great for providing a rough illustration of the visuals you need. Sometimes, the only way to really get your point across to visual artists is to show them what you have in mind, and then just let them work their magic on it.

On the Nebo app, you can draw rough sketches to show your graphic artist how you want something to look like. It’s a helpful guide and one that prevents miscommunication.

You can also use the app for taking notes and doodling which is a pretty underrated way of clearing your mind.

Mate just be what you need

The MatePad 11 is an excellent tablet. One that can be more than a stopgap to your laptop needs.

It gives you access to the work stuff that you need, while offering features that laptops in its price range aren’t capable of.

It’s a fine mate for work, play, and everything else in between.

Pricing and availability

The Huawei MatePad 11 retails for PhP 24,999 and comes with two freebies: Wireless Charging Table Lamp and MatePad 11 Cover

Buy here: Huawei Online Store | Lazada | Shopee

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Hands-On

Tempo Move Hands-On

This Compact $400 Home Gym Changes Everything!

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Tempo has just launched a new sub $400 system that fits into a console table! Not only that they a lot less space than regular home gym systems, it also uses advanced tech like the LiDAR sensor on your iPhone. Their new 3D Tempo Vision technology is also there as a complement to make workout reading and tracking more precise.

But could this be the future of home workouts? Watch our Tempo Move Hands-on now!

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Hands-On

Apple 14″ M1 Pro MacBook Pro: Unboxing & Hands On

Is this the right MacBook Pro for you?

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Finally, the newly-redesigned M1 Pro MacBook Pros have finally arrived after years of waiting!

For now, Michael Josh unboxes and spends more than 24 hours with the new M1 Pro silicon chip-touting 14-inch MacBook Pro — as well as the software experience with the new macOS Monterey update.

If you’ve been wanting to buy one today, you have to wait for our review video baking up real soon.

For the meantime, all the basic things you need to know about the new M1 Pro MacBook Pro are in this unboxing and hands-on video.

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