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Huawei P10 review

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Huawei P10 review

I’m holding the Huawei P10 right now and wondering: How is this any different from last year’s P9? And more importantly: How can this compete against 2017’s flagship smartphones?

Physically, the only real difference between this and the P9 is the placement of the fingerprint scanner. The P10 now chooses a front-mounted fingerprint scanner which includes some gesture controls — more on that later — and a clean, free-of-functions rear. There isn’t even a camera bump.

Other than that, it’s tough to tell the two apart while holding them: The P10’s curvy 5.1-inch frame feels just like the P9’s 5.2-inch body, the display continues to have a Full HD LCD, and there’s still no water or dust resistance.

You can get a better look in our unboxing video:

As you’d expect, what really sets it apart from the P9 is on the inside. Huawei added a newer processor (an in-house Kirin 960 compared to last year’s Kirin 955), more memory for the base model, a larger battery, and — you guessed it — an upgraded dual-camera (one with 20 megapixels and the other with 12 megapixels) infused with the newest generation of Leica co-engineering.

That’s all well and good; successors are meant to introduce incremental upgrades in order to maintain brand recognition and please long-time fans (right, LG?). The underlying issue here, however, is how it looks and feels compared to phones that launched around the same time. I’m talking about the Samsung Galaxy S8, LG G6, and even the older Xiaomi Mi Mix and Huawei Mate 9.

There just isn’t anything exciting about the P10. What made the P9 so special was its one-of-a-kind Leica branding during its release. While it didn’t exactly leapfrog its image quality over rivals, it helped make marketing it easier and break Huawei into European territory, selling over 10 millions units in the process.

Huawei P10 review

The P10 uses the exact same formula: sleek, one-handed use with a high-quality camera and Huawei’s own flavor of Android. If you want something even better, go for the 5.5-inch P10 Plus; it has a higher-resolution Quad HD display and slightly better camera, owing to its brighter f/1.8 aperture compared to the P10’s f/2.2 opening.

This isn’t to say the P10 falters when it comes to taking photos. In fact, we took it out for a spin and were pleasantly surprised by the colorful results. See them for yourself in our “24 Hours in Barcelona with the Huawei P10” feature. The two sensors (one full-colored and the other monochrome) work in tandem to produce sharper images — just no optical zoom tricks here, sadly.

[irp posts=”11235″ name=”24 Hours in Barcelona with the Huawei P10″]

And that’s what the P10 is all about. It looks good, feels great, and has a set of cameras anyone can use like a pro. You could stop reading here if you’re already convinced, but I suggest reading on to see my pros, cons, and everything in between during my time with Huawei’s latest flagship.

What I loved

Let me get this out of the way early: The P10 is faaaaast. Coming from a Pixel, which many consider to be the epitome of Android fluidity, I wasn’t expecting to be blown away by another phone’s speed for a long time. But here I am, enjoying the buttery-smooth interface and lightning-quick fingerprint scanner. Everything opens so quickly, even Facebook’s resource-hungry app and graphics-intensive games like Asphalt 8.

Huawei P10 review

A lot of this can be credited to Huawei’s use of machine learning to understand your usage patterns and optimize apps as you go along, although I wasn’t expecting the performance boost so soon into my experience with the P10. Of all the apps I use frequently, only the camera takes a while to load from a cold start, but I’m comparing this to the Pixel, which seems like its entire existence is dedicated to its class-leading camera.

The P10 also gave me excellent signal and data speeds on my 4G+ network. And while this would normally destroy my battery within a day, the 3200mAh battery somehow manages to keep going until the sun rises. Heck, even when it doesn’t, the fast-charger that comes in the package is efficient enough to charge the phone within one and a half hours.

What I disliked

Huawei is doing the best it can to cater to long-time Android users from all brands and deliver its own user interface at the same time, but the execution is just ugh most of the time. Just setting the phone up from scratch is such a chore once you start repositioning the quick settings icons on top and digging through the Settings menu.

Huawei P10 review

I mean, really — you must dig deep to find the options you want at times, and it’s extra infuriating when you find the same setting in different menus. All other Android Nougat phones I’ve used were able to simplify the interface, including fellow Chinese brand Xiaomi. With the P10, I have to go to Advanced Settings to configure Simple Mode, and stumble through four different settings menus in the Camera app for minor tweaks.

One good thing I have to say is Huawei brought back the app drawer like on the Mate 9. This means you don’t have to swipe through numerous pages to find an app like on iPhones. This is vital for users like me who need dedicated space for large widgets that can be accessed instantly from the home screen.

What I feel indifferent about

Another life-changing option you can toggle is whether to use on-screen navigation buttons (Back, Home, and Recent Apps) or enable gestures on the fingerprint sensor to navigate. Wanting more space on my screen, I chose to actually make use of the otherwise unutilized space on the bottom bezel.

Huawei P10 review

Until now, I’m left wondering if this was a good idea. A single tap acts as Back, holding for more than second brings you back to the Home screen, and swiping left or right opens the app switcher. It’s definitely something you have to get used to, and will turn you into a swiping wiz after a week, but I wish it were customizable. Swiping up or down seems more logical for activating the app manager, and holding it feels more natural for turning on Google Assistant.

Instead, you’re forced to live with what Huawei wants for you. What I find most perplexing is the gesture needed for accessing Google Assistant. It takes a swipe up from the bottom bezel, to the left or right of the fingerprint scanner. Sounds like a good use of space, right? Yes, if it managed to actually work most of the time. I look like an idiot trying to reach my Assistant after several failed attempts.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

We have to go back to our original questions to get an answer for this. If you’re a P9 user, don’t bother upgrading; if you must, then go for the Mate 9 or the just-launched Honor 8 Pro instead. For a flagship device, the P10 feels so insignificant in Huawei’s lineup, despite being a great smartphone on its own.

Huawei P10 review

Compared to this year’s competition, again, the P10 feels like it still belongs in 2016. I would wholeheartedly recommend it if not for the sky-high EUR 649 ($690) price tag, although you can find it for less in countries like the Philippines, where the pre-order price is only PhP 28,990 ($580), which even comes with a bundled travel kit worth $100.

If you’re inclined to go for a normal-looking phone and not the near-borderless handsets we’ve been seeing lately, buying a P10 is the way to go. Its closest rival right now is the Google Pixel, which is another smallish phone focused on photography and without resistance against the elements. You can’t go wrong with either of them.

SEE ALSO: Huawei P10, P10 Plus improve on an already solid phone

[irp posts=”10970″ name=”Huawei P10, P10 Plus improve on an already solid phone”]

Accessories

Lenovo ThinkVision M14T: Elevate productivity on-the-go

Ultra portable and sexy looking device

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ThinkVision M14T

Many of us have gotten used to the convenience of multitasking on our computing devices. It’s just one of those things that helps make our daily grind much more manageable and efficient. With today’s devices becoming more and more powerful, simultaneously running apps on your phones and a number of browser tabs and windows have become second nature to us. 

With desktop computers having ultra wide monitors and multiple desktop displays, nowadays you can watch YouTube videos, browse social sites, and even do work on side by side opened windows.

Lenovo has brought that same experience to our portable devices with the Lenovo ThinkVision M14T Portable Monitor

Ultimate portability 

The ThinkVision M14T is a 14-inch 1920x1080p resolution, touch screen, IPS display monitor. With much focus on portability, the ThinkVision M14T is just 4.6mm thin and weighs only 698g.

The moment I saw the actual device, my initial impression was just wow. Its sleek and ultra slim form factor with that glossy 14-inch display wrapped with slim bezels just looked impressive. However, that impression faded away quickly.

As I picked up the unit from the box, handling it felt fragile. It is so slim and light that I was afraid to place it anywhere with fear that I might accidentally break it. To address that, a soft pouch does come with the package for its protection. Though, without a dedicated hard case, I wonder if it may actually survive being stored in my bag along with other things.

As easy as Plug and Play

Searching the contents of the box, I was thinking if Lenovo just forgot to pack the power brick in the box because it just didn’t come with one. No, it wasn’t a mistake. The ThinkVision M14T monitor requires only a single USB-C cable to get power, touch or pen input signal and a display signal from its source. 

Plugging it in the USB-C port of the Lenovo ThinkPad X13 laptop, the ThinkVision M14T was instantly detected. And with a press of the power button, the M14T was up and running. I have to say, it amazes me that it is that convenient. Not having to need an external power source was like magic.

At 300 nits of brightness, the M14T’s IPS display panel is bright and vibrant. At its max brightness setting when paired with the ThinkPad X13, the ThinkVision M14T’s display seemed to overpower that of the X13, making the two look a bit unbalanced.

Its base folds out from the bottom of the monitor which acts as its stand. Opened out, the ThinkVision M14T felt stiff, solid and stable.

You can choose which side you’d want to plug your device as both the left and right sides of the base each have a USB-C input. On its right, we have the power button and on the left we have a brightness control switch. Sadly, no other input ports are available other than USB-C.

Precision and response as you like it

The M14T is not only a secondary touch screen display, you may also use it as a tablet complementary to your device with its interactive stylus. This means if you have a device that doesn’t have touch or pen input built-in, the ThinkVision M14T will give you just that.

By this time, most graphic tablet users must have already been exposed to stylus pens being rechargeable similar to the Apple Pencil. The stylus pen that comes with the M14T still uses a single and unusual type of battery (AAAA). Thankfully, a battery does come with the unit.

ThinkVision M14T

Having set my standards high on this aspect, I honestly didn’t expect this combo to perform as good as Wacom drawing tablets and the likes. To my surprise, as soon as I started writing, I immediately noticed how smooth its pen input was. With only minimal latency, the M14T’s stylus registers my movement almost instantly and its dedicated buttons are mapped automatically.

With the monitor folded down on a flat surface, it really did feel like I was doodling on an actual drawing tablet.

The M14T’s 10-point multi-touch input for touch gestures and 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity with its stylus, graphic artists won’t be disappointed with this bundle.

ThinkVision M14T

Is the Lenovo ThinkVision M14T Portable Monitor your GadgetMatch?

The ThinkVision M14T is by no means a perfect device. Having USB-C as the only display input option may have limited its potential for versatility of use. The stylus not having batteries built-in might raise some eyebrows too. But if you’re willing to live with its limitations, Lenovo still has managed to tick many of the right boxes with their ThinkVision M14T Portable Monitor.

ThinkVision M14T

The convenience of having more screen real estate on the go and using a single cable for its operation is just a glorious experience. Ultra portability, decent brightness, good viewing angles, pen and touch input in such a sexy looking device, the M14T would be an ideal companion for just about anyone. 

The good most definitely outweighs the bad with Lenovo’s ThinkVision M14T.

Get the Lenovo ThinkVision M14T Portable Monitor for PhP 19,995.

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Nokia 2.4: Basic budget phone but can keep up

Dependable battery life and surprisingly decent camera shots

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Nokia 2.4

One of the main factors that we look for when choosing a mobile phone is getting the best value for our money, and certainly Nokia does not disappoint.

As they continue to make a stride in the country by offering competitive smartphones, they bring in another budget phone which is the fourth iteration of the Nokia 2 series — the Nokia 2.4.

Before we delve into the nitty gritty details, let’s take a look at the basic specs of Nokia 2.4 to get a glimpse on what you can expect.

Nokia 2.4
Display 6.5″ HD+ 20:9 1600 x 720 pixels
Processor Media Tek Helio P22
RAM + ROM 3GB + 64GB | MicroSD card slot supports up to 512GB
Cameras Dual Camera (13MP Main Camera + 2MP Depth Sensing)

5MP Front Camera

Battery 4,500mAh
Unlock Rear fingerprint scanner
Other connections Micro USB (USB 2.0), 3.5mm jack

A definite looker

As HMD Global is known for creating modern designs even for previous Nokia smartphones, the Nokia 2.4 is definitely stunning with its Charcoal Grey Nordic finish. Its shell may be made of out of painted polycarbonate, but the dual tone gradient and textured cover add plenty of grip and just spells quality.

Nokia 2.4

Up front, you’ll see the top selfie waterdrop-style notch which is actually a bit intrusive for my taste. The bezels surrounding its 6.5-inch HD+ display is also thicker than today’s standards but is barely noticeable as the screen already lets you maximize your viewing experience.

Nokia 2.4

One nice touch to the Nokia 2.4’s design is the Google Assistant button just below the SIM card slot on the left side of the phone. With just a click of a button, you can do quick searches, manage your tasks and get directions on the go.

Moving on to the back, it has a dual camera setup with 13MP as the main sensor and the 2MP sensor for depth, plus a single LED flash. Just below it, you can find the fingerprint sensor which is convenient for quicker unlocking.

But to my dismay, this phone uses a micro USB port, instead of a USB-C port for charging, which results to slower charging of up to 3 hours and slower file transfer.

Ready for what’s next

One major advantage of the Nokia 2.4 is that it’s part of Google’s Android One program which gave me a clean, vanilla Android user experience, free from bloatware that may take up memory and storage.

Nokia 2.4

The Nokia 2.4 is currently running on Android 10 but it will be upgraded to Android 11 when available as you can expect 2 years of software upgrades and 3 years of monthly security updates with this phone.

Passable performance

A bit on the downside, the Nokia 2.4 is not for multi-tasking and intensive games, as expected for a budget phone.

Using one app to another is quite a smooth experience but when I opened multiple apps, I experience a bit of lag and took some time for other apps to run.

As for video streaming, I watched a few episodes of Alice in Borderland and the quality was just acceptable as the phone doesn’t support 1080p videos.

Nokia 2.4

Gaming was also not its strongest feature, especially for graphic-intensive ones. I tried 3D gaming with Asphalt 9: Legends and it worked quite well on low graphics settings but when I shifted the settings to high, the game just crashed.

Nokia 2.4

Battery that lets you go on and on

 The news that leaked around July last year that the Nokia 2 series might even get a bigger battery, coming from the Nokia 2.3 that carries 4000mAh, was confirmed when Nokia 2.4 came with a 4500mAh battery.

Upon using it to navigate through my social media apps, answer a few emails, watch around 3-4 episodes of my current favorite Netflix series and get my music fix every now and then to get my mojo working, the phone lasted for around 2 days.

I fully charged it again and just left it open while still being connected to my Wi-Fi and the phone lasted four to five days. These factors definitely show that the Nokia 2.4 has a battery that you can definitely bank on.

Either day or night

As a budget phone, the Nokia 2.4 surprisingly gives one of the best camera experiences you can have for a phone at its price.

I took it out for a spin during my workout sessions and the primary lens can actually take good detailed photos during daylight while retaining natural colors, compared to Samsung budget phones that usually produce saturated ones.

The night mode of the Nokia 2.4 was also impressive since it was still quite usable in lower light conditions, product decent photos where details were still evident, and colors were still vivid.

Is this your Gadgetmatch?

At a retail price of PhP 6,990, the Nokia 2.4 is pretty competitive. Despite its shortcomings such as having just a passable performance when it comes to multi-tasking and gaming and mediocre display resolution, it makes up for it by its advantages.

If you’re some who prioritizes having a phone with a striking design, dependable battery life, takes surprisingly good camera shots and a promise of timely security updates and software upgrades, then the Nokia 2.4 can actually be your Gadgetmatch.

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Accessories

Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro Review: Better than AirPods Pro?

Finally, real Active Noise Cancellation out of the box

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Samsung has unveiled the newest Galaxy Buds Pro alongside the announcement of the latest Galaxy S21 series.

Other than the new design, better sound quality, and surround sound setup, there’s now a real and intelligent Active Noise Cancellation.

But do these earbuds live up to its ‘Pro’ branding? Watch our Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro review by clicking the video link right here.

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