Her GadgetMatch

Huawei P20 review: Pink and perfect?

Here’s what this phone can do

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The announcement of the Huawei P20 got me excited over something seemingly trivial when it comes to smartphones: color. The phones that were launched in the heart of Paris looked stunning and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on them.

Of course, I’ve been repping the Pink Gold gradient P20 for the past few weeks and here are my thoughts on Huawei’s newest flagship device.

Look and feel

Obviously, I adore this phone’s color. A quick look at my everyday stuff will show just how well this phone fits into my life and matches everything I own.

It’s not the easiest phone to photograph and depending on the light it may look less pink than I’d like. But, I love how subdued the color is and I’m continually amazed at how nice it is. I have, on more than one occasion, stopped mid-task to shoot flat lays with it just because I feel compelled to capture how pretty it is in photos.

I would go as far as saying that this, to me, is the prettiest phone out there right now. Sure, the popular Twilight gradient is pretty too, but this subtle blush is just so perfect.

I always say that if you’re going to hold on to something for the most part of your day, it might as well be something that’s in a color you love — and I love pink. I sincerely, from the bottom of my heart, thank Huawei for releasing a flagship in this hue and I hope more brands would follow suit.

The gradient back is made of glass — so you still have to be careful — and the phone’s edges are made of aluminum. The handset feels as premium as it looks, but it’s a little slippery to hold. For butterfingers like me, make sure you get a case for this beaut.

Unlike the Pro version, this device has only two cameras on its back. There’s also no audio port, unfortunately, but the phone comes bundled with an adapter for its USB-C port, so problem solved.

Notch my cup of tea

Like most 2018 flagships, one thing that it does have is a notch.

Well, unless you don’t want it there (which I totally didn’t). In a feat of tech genius, there is now a switch to hide the distracting notch. One tap in the settings menu and it goes away.

What I do love, however, is even when I turn that blasted notch off, the area beside the notch is still used for notification icons. It’s a great use of space, to be honest.

Unfortunately, while the notch does go away, there are still a few screen optimizations that could be done. Instagram Stories, for example, get cut out up top on the P20’s 5.8-inch display. But, this is nothing an update can’t cure; I just hope it comes soon.

Speaking of displays, the P20’s LCD display is bright and crisp, even if it isn’t OLED (which is what most flagships like the P20 Pro have). Oh, and this phone has a built-in “Eye comfort” setting which blocks out the blues on your screen so your eyes are less strained, which isn’t a new feature but is one I really appreciate nonetheless.

The P20 also has a fingerprint sensor in front, which is totally a Huawei thing — only they put fingerprint scanners below the display on near-bezel-less devices nowadays. Some people complain that the sensor is too low on the phone for a comfortable thumb scan, but I certainly don’t mind. At the end of the day, I still enjoy this placement more than when the scanner is on the phone’s rear — that, or I just have very agile thumbs. Either way, the P20 has face scanning for the non-believers, so that should solve all the thumb problems. It also works pretty well; I’ve honestly forgotten I have a lock code on my phone on most days.

Performance

This phone runs on Huawei’s most powerful processor (Kirin 970) and this means all app run smoothly on this phone — from Instagram to Snapchat, Google Maps, and even The Sims Mobile.

Battery time lasts me almost a day, which is a feat for most phones I touch as my day involves heavy social media use, photo- and selfie-taking sessions, plus video calling on a daily basis. Despite having a glass back, there is still no wireless charging on this thing but that’s something I can forgive as the device has fast charging. It takes around an hour and a half from zero to 100 percent on Huawei’s SuperCharge, which is fairly quick.

Unfortunately, this handset is only splash proof so yes, you shouldn’t be going swimming or showering with the phone which is a shame, because pool selfies are definitely a thing.

The phone runs on EMUI 8.1 on Android 8.1 Oreo which is the latest Android operating system out since the phone was announced. Everything is quick, snappy, and smooth — just the way I like it.

Rear cameras

Now, on to the phone’s highlight: the cameras!

There are two rear shooters on this device: 12- and 20-megapixel cameras, one of which is a monochrome sensor. The third lens is reserved only for the P20 Pro.

The real magic happens with artificial intelligence. Literally, you can just point and shoot on this thing and the camera does everything. E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G.

Point it at a person and it automatically turns on portrait mode. Point it at food and food mode is activated. It even identifies documents and automatically converts into a document scanner!

Now, I know what you’re thinking: What if I don’t want the phone deciding for me? Well, that’s so 2017, and also, tapping “x” at the bottom of the screen as the phone identifies the subject reverts back to normal mode on the camera.

Here are a few sample shots from my camera roll:

What’s more amazing is the P20’s low-light capabilities. On night mode, it can take four-second handheld shots that don’t even look like four-second low-light handheld shots. You have to see it to believe it:

You know what a good smartphone camera means, right? Better Instagrammable photos! And that is precisely what I posed for here:

Candid shot on portrait mode. This went straight to my IG.

And here:

Bokeh cutouts aren’t perfect but they do a great job at it, even with challenging lighting. This made it to mg IG, too.

And even here:

Totally shot with very low light. Don’t worry, this will be on my IG soon.

Selfie Camera

For your selfie needs, a 24-megapixel camera can be found in front. There’s the normal photo mode and a dedicated portrait mode that enables the bokeh effect, 3D lighting effects, and a beauty mode with levels zero to ten. I didn’t even bother with the 3D lighting effects (yes, it’s Portrait Lighting all over again) because I didn’t really see much use for this on the iPhone so why bother on this phone. The beauty mode, on the other hand, is a different story.

Yas, slay 🔥

Although settings past five can sometimes make you look like a wax figure, the secret is knowing when to stop. With the perfect beauty mode level, this phone can make you look fresh no matter the circumstance.

Unfortunately, the rear cameras’ low-light capabilities don’t extend to the front-facing camera as dark selfies aren’t the most detailed and are sometimes pretty hazy. Group selfies also aren’t the best on this camera, especially with the bokeh on. One too many times, a friend’s face was blurred out which is totally not good for the squad. You’re definitely better off getting someone else to take your group photo.

Is the Huawei P20 your GadgetMatch?

If you read up until this point of this particularly long review, you must really like the Huawei P20. And honestly, so do I. 

How a phone looks and feels in my hands is something that’s very important to me, and the P20 ticked that particular box and even more. I’ve held on to this phone since the moment I got it and I still enjoy using it. Admittedly, there are still improvements that can be made on this device, but it’s nothing I can’t forgive for what I get: a solid rear camera, capable overall phone that’s pretty and with a premium build, and good beauty mode.

If your priorities are in the same place, you may want to consider getting this phone. In the meantime, I’m going to get a case for mine. I feel like I’ll be using this for a while.

Her GadgetMatch

Mercury in retrograde: When technology and communications go haywire

Your survival guide to a crazy season

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Buckle up, everyone! Mercury is in retrograde once again. In Astrology, this means the planet that governs technology, communications, and our very own thought processes spins backward. In our reality, it means doomsday is coming.

When Mercury is in retrograde, flights and travels are usually delayed, people from the past pop back in our lives, communication systems break down, and our gadgets get into accidents or start malfunctioning.

More importantly, this season makes everything fluid. Nothing will be set in stone. Decisions are usually changed when the season ends, so it’s not a good time to sign contracts, schedule surgeries, have makeovers, launch a new project, or shop for electronic devices.

But fret not, this season shall pass. Here’s what you should do before, during, and after the Mercury retrograde.

Protect your gadgets and gizmos with trusty cases and accessories

Honey, this season makes us feel frustrated, agitated, and annoyed. Often, we’ll be rushing and getting into accidents. You might drop your phone on the toilet, break them, or forget them on a cab or restaurant. You gotta get yourself some strap to keep your phone with you at all times and dress them up with hard, shock-proof cases. Should they fall from your hands, you know they’re safe.

Back up your data, make sure it’s safe and secure

Okay, Jenny, listen up. Mercury in retrograde is the season where we lose important stuff moments before we actually need them. It can be your keys, card, or presentation for your next meeting. The point here is you should back up all necessary data. Flash drives might break, Google Drive and other forms of storage may not work properly at the time you need them. The next thing you know, your life is in shambles.

Another thing to worry about is security and privacy. This season is also the time when people’s secrets tend to get exposed, such as your affair with your best friend’s boyfriend or your intimate videos getting leaked in the deepest, darkest corner of the internet. Keep your reputations from being smeared!

Double check what you type and say

Be careful with miscommunication, my dear. It’s normal to feel there’s chaos in your head since Mercury in retrograde disrupts our thought processes. We become forgetful and more prone to mistakes, so double check your typos before hitting send. In addition, think twice before voicing out your opinions and emotions. Take a deep breath, and think before you click. Your words are powerful. Once you’ve hurt someone with it, you can be forgiven but they’ll never forget.

P.S. Be mindful of what you post or tweet if you don’t want to get dragged on social media.

 

Keep your emotions in check and block your exes

If you haven’t blocked your exes until today, you need to re-evaluate your life, Susan. During this season, we barely use our logic and just follow our emotions. There might come a time where you want to send a seven-paragraph message to your ex, please don’t. You owe it to yourself to move on from the past and stop them from coming back to your life.

Oh, one more thing: Stay open to possible opportunities. Sure, Mercury in retrograde brings our past lovers back from hell, but they also bring in colleagues we’ve worked with. Most of the time, they want to work with us again. Additionally, this is a good time to reconnect with old friends. Seriously, this period isn’t that bad.

Be extremely flexible (not just in yoga but also in life)

If there’s one thing you can learn from this, it’s that life doesn’t always work out in our favor. It’s a reminder to always find a way. Be flexible and adaptable to every surprise that life brings. If we’re going to give in to our emotions, we already lost. Take a step back and reassess what’s happening, compose yourself and think of a solution. This is just another storm that’s passing by. You will overcome this.

Take a moment to slow down

Lastly, like any retrograde season, it’s a cue from the planets and the stars to slow down. We’re all rushing from one point to another, and we’re moving extremely fast. Planets spin backward to remind us that we need to look back and slow down to appreciate how far we’ve come, what we’ve been doing with our lives, and catch up on what we missed. Above all, it’s a reminder to rest. You’re doing well, my friend. I’m proud of you.

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3 must-haves when traveling, in case you want to be like ‘Emily in Paris’

Never ever forget these!

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Spoiler Alert: If you haven’t seen Emily in Paris, please read with caution.

Bonjour, mademoiselles and monsieurs!

I’m certain I’m not the only one obsessed with French culture, and of course, the latest Netflix series — Emily in Paris.

In case you’ve been living under the rock, Emily in Paris re-awakened people’s lust for travel. A bit of escape from the horrific reality we’re currently facing; a year that has gone haywire.

Think croissants, cobblestones, fine architecture, chic fashion, good food, art, and sex. This is the surface of what Emily in Paris is about: Emily Cooper’s hilarious misadventures in navigating her career, romance, and friendships.

Photo NETFLIX

While the series showcases how Emily documents her life and adventures in Paris through Instagram, there are a few things she forgot to bring. For a supposedly tech-savvy millennial, Emily Cooper forgot some travel essentials. Or maybe she didn’t know she needed them.

Based on a few episodes from Emily in Paris, I realized what gadgets must be deemed travel essentials, so we don’t experience Emily Cooper’s misadventures next time we’re in another country.

A battery-powered vibrator (so you don’t blow up the fuse)

First of all, Emily was in a long-distance relationship with her boyfriend in Chicago. The couple was having sexy time via video call but crappy internet connection got in the way.

To continue pleasing herself, Emily pulled out an effin’ gigantic, old-school wired vibrator. After plugging it into an electric socket, the vibrator short-circuited the electricity in her apartment. The blow-up was so bad, it shut down the power in the entire neighborhood.

As funny as it is (and no, it wouldn’t really happen in real life), there are a lot of battery-powered, wireless vibrators. Some are even high-tech enough to be controlled by your partner through a mobile app.

Consider this next time when you travel. Although before you pack your sex toy, make sure it’s not illegal in the country you will visit. In some Islamic countries, they confiscate toys as they fall under pornographic material. Last thing you want is to get persecuted in a foreign land.

An instax printer or a pocketable instax camera

Paris is the so-called city of romance. You can literally feel the love in the air. Throughout the series, Emily captured streets, everyday moments, and her life in Paris and uploaded it to her Instagram account.

But to travel — or live — in a romantic city, moments should be captured in a sentimental and romantic way. For instance, preserving memories through a pocketable instax camera which you can bring anywhere, or an instax printer where you can print your photos directly from your smartphone.

That’s exactly what we did one Sunday morning along Upper East Side in New York City. That je ne sais quoi of summer in the city is not something anyone can describe with mere words or capture on Instagram without losing its essence. Of course, we weren’t able to, either.

But we caught some vignettes on film, complete with audio recordings using the Instax Mini LiPlay. We found a way to reminisce those moments. That’s something we believe should be part of any travel.

Get a smartwatch or other running essentials

Forgive me for crying out loud, but smartwatches are made to accompany you while you run. Not hold your gigantic phone with tiny hands, huffing and puffing along the river Seine.

It’s a good idea that Emily didn’t forget how important working out is. But it’s not exactly a good idea to hold your phone while you run. Better to invest in a smartwatch like the Apple Watch to measure your heart rate, track your miles, and answer calls while you listen to music through your wireless earbuds.

And if you’re not the smartwatch-wearing type, invest in pockets, running pouches, arm wallets, or wrist straps. There are different ways to safeguard your phones, keys, and other essentials without putting yourself in potential danger.

Besides, Paris — like any other city — isn’t exactly crime-free. You can’t keep running around like crimes don’t happen. Even when I was running around Taipei, a city with low crime rate, I didn’t let my guard down. The same goes for traveling to any other city. It’s always best to keep yourself safe, no one else will do it for you.

Stream Emily in Paris on Netflix.

SEE ALSO: 24 Hours in Paris | Sights and sounds of summer in the Upper East Side | 5 lessons we learned from Crash Landing on You

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Her GadgetMatch

Here are our favorite iOS 14 custom home screens

Some inspo to get creative

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The recent iOS update has taken social media by storm, shining a light on creativity expressed by iPhone users and designers.

In case you’re living under a rock, #iOS14homescreen trended in Twitter highlighting the prettiest and most creative home screens.

As of writing, many users are still having fun expressing their wit and style through custom widget designs. If you’re looking for inspiration to create your own, we’ve rounded up our favorite iOS 14 custom home screens!

If you love coffee and earth tones

For those who love a minimalist approach

Feeling blue?

It’s time to go green!

Making it futuristic and dystopian a la Vice City

For party freaks missing the neon lights

How about Karasuno High from Haikyu!!?

Paint the town pink!

Keeping it dark, eerie, and sexy~

Toodles, doodles!

That pastel and nude colors used by several Instagram aEstHetIc influencers

When you just love the universe…

…or your idols

And so far, here’s the best one… especially if you want to keep yourself from being addicted to your phone

Which one do you like best? Share your custom home screen designs on Instagram and tag us @gadgetmatch!

SEE ALSO: Here’s everything new on iOS 14 | These are the iPhones that will work with iOS 14

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