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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.

Entertainment

Now Playing: Pride Edition

Celebrate the LGBTQ+ community!

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Happy Pride! To celebrate our LGBTQ+ community all over the world, we asked them and their allies about movies, shows, music, and podcasts you can watch and listen to, along with books you should read.

This list is also a good start to understanding the lives and struggles of our beloved LGBTQ+ community. You may refer to this article — Pride month or not! Here’s what’s Now Playing at Her GadgetMatch!

Videos to watch

Pride Conversations

MJ: Google concluded the Pride Month with a live stream entitled Pride Conversations, comprised of powerful members of the Filipino LGBTQ+ community sharing their remarkable and inspiring stories — from tales of coming out to their journey in owning their sexuality.

Movies to see

Love, Simon

MJ: A modern classic in today’s generation, Love, Simon is about yearning, secrets, and struggle of everyone in the LGBTQ+ community — coming to terms with your identity and getting out of the closet.

Prayers for Bobby

MJ: A heart-wrenching, tearjerker film that every parent must watch, especially when their religion and faith get in the way of truly loving their child.

The Half of It

MJ: Lighthearted yet revolutionary, The Half of It explores an introvert’s young love, sexuality, and loving in secret expressed through a love letter.

Holding the Man

MJ: Raw, honest, and genuine. It’s difficult not to weep after watching a touching piece tackling a love affair weathering the struggles of coming out in the 70s and 80s — remembering the horrors the stigma surrounding AIDS caused.

Free Fall

MJ: Jokingly known as the German version of Brokeback Mountain, Free Fall is a complex, hot, and passionate story about a married man’s internal struggles of falling in love with a colleague.

Blue Is The Warmest Colour

MJ: Blue Is The Warmest Colour is a moving film portraying a French teen’s beatific, intimate attachment to another woman.

Metamorphosis

Vincenz: Intersex is one of the minorities in the LGBTQIA+ community. This is a locally-produced indie film that shows how one explores and discovers him/herself. Just like the process of metamorphosis, s/he finally accepts and reveals who s/he really is to the eyes of many.

Sila-Sila

Vincenz: A depiction of complicated homosexual relationships: from hook-ups, break-ups, losing people you value the most, and even getting back together. A slice of life that shows laughs, joys, and tears of gay people throughout their relationship with their friends, family members, and partners altogether.

Shows to binge-watch

Queer Eye

Chay: The Fab 5 spreads love in Pennsylvania back in the US in the latest season of our favorite feel-good makeover series. Whenever I’m feeling distress or despair — especially during these difficult times — Queer Eye is the series that never fails to restore my faith in humanity.

Pose

Chay: House Evangelista is back for another season of ball culture, voguing, building new relationships and rekindling old ones, and confronting crises LGBTQ+ people of color faced in the ’80s. Prepare not just your favorite bag of chips but your box of Kleenex as well!

Love, Victor

Chay: If you enjoyed Love, Simon and find yourself wanting for more a spinoff series premiered on Hulu this month. Love, Victor tells the story of a new student at Creekwood High School — the ups and downs at home, making new friends, and exploring his sexual orientation.

Looking

MJ: Being in your late twenties and early thirties can be mind-boggling. Such is the case in Looking, where three best friends in San Francisco tell their explorations in love and in life while each taking separate paths.

One Day at a Time

MJ: A refresh of a hit sitcom in the ’70s, One Day at a Time is a modern comedy that has an upbeat take on tales of coming out yet still portrays the struggles of coming to terms with your sexuality within a family.

TharnType The Series

Vincenz: Not your typical sugarcoated Thai BL series as it eradicates homophobia as well as how they openly portray the sexual desires of two men. Expect a rollercoaster of emotions when you watch this series.

Gameboys

Vincenz: One of the first Filipino BL series that is timely and relevant — especially during this pandemic. Can you believe two gamers ended up falling for each other even with just a series of game battles, chats, and video calls? In my own thoughts: “Sana all hindi pang-quarantine lang“.

Hello Stranger

Vincenz: What would you do if you were paired up with someone you truly dislike? Hello Stranger exhibits unexpected love at an unexpected time, reminding us that love simply happens for everyone, regardless of your orientation.

Albums/Songs/Podcasts to listen to

Music Universal: PRIDE

 

Chay: Pop icon and ally Carly Rae Jepsen and artist and activist Mark Kanemura put together a Pride-themed playlist featuring music from different artists and eras that celebrate the LGBTQ+ community and our right to express our true selves. This 90-minute playlist is perfect when you’re working out, experimenting in the kitchen, or walking to your neighborhood cafe for your iced latte fix!

Chromatica

 

MJ: Lady Gaga’s return with “Chromatica” has sent the LGBTQ+ community reeling over the nostalgia evoked by this eccentric album — bringing back the days of dancing to Gaga’s fabulous and bizarre pop music we loved.

Help by 10cm

Vincenz: Although the music video only showed minor scenes of how people consider same-sex relationships in public a taboo, the song’s message should dig deeper into our minds and hearts that we should ask for somebody’s help when all of these deep-seated issues come in mind.

Oh my God by (G)I-DLE

Vincenz: Originally a Now Playing: Volume 3 entry, he message of the song this time is clearer because it’s in English — and we can’t deny it’s all about two women having love and affection for one another.

Books to read

What If It’s Us?

MJ: Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera’s novel about two men stumbling upon each other in New York City is a refreshing take on common, gay love stories. It tackled love, signs, and universe — reminding us that we meet people in our lives for a reason.

Call Me by Your Name

MJ: A powerful, coming-of-age, and tale of coming out stirring a pot of raw emotions. Call Me by Your Name explores sexual awakening, yearning, and obsession over the course of summer in Italy, in the year 1983.


Now Playing is the GadgetMatch team’s favorite games, movies, TV shows, and more each month. If you’re curious to know what we’re into at the moment, this is what you should check out. So grab your popcorn, get some drinks, and enjoy what’s now playing!

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Features

5 life tips to remember for budding women entrepreneurs

Show the universe you’re ready to be an entrepreneur

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Being an entrepreneur isn’t purely paradise.

Sure, it’s empowering to make your own money, work on your own schedule, and tell the world about your new venture. We get how dazzling and proud you can be when you are your own boss.

But the glossy stories of successful women entrepreneurs are just the tip of the iceberg. What many people don’t know is that behind the triumphant posts on social media, entrepreneurship entails countless days of hard work, struggle, and sleepless nights.

If you’re on the quest of starting your own business, let us remind you that a smooth sea has never made a skilled sailor. Although there might be a stormy sea ahead, you will get through it as long as you equip yourself with the right skills and investments.

If you’re ready to hop on your entrepreneurial journey, here are things you need to keep in mind.

Dress up like a boss

The first thing you need to do is show the universe you’re ready to be an entrepreneur. Get in the habit of looking put together, and dress like you’re already a boss!

Start wearing versatile outfits that work well in between your meetings with suppliers, clients, and partners. You can dress in similar tonal colors and match it with appropriate metals to look sophisticated.

Your phone also says so much about you, so it’s ideal to pick a color that represents confidence, simplicity, and elegance. It’s not just a gadget anymore, it’s a fashion accessory — one that can make or break your outfit.

If you’re having trouble deciding a color, white always works best. It’s chic, bold, and flexible; you can pair it with silver or any color you’d like and you’ll still look fabulous.

Learn how to get organized

From your day-to-day essentials to your smartphone’s apps, being organized is a surefire way to achieve success in business and in life. You won’t waste time searching your stuff when everything is in order. You can finish your tasks, and stay on top of your to-do lists.

Moreover, having an organized life can help you be sharp-witted and pragmatic. You’re less likely to be scatterbrained, allowing you to focus on your business’ survival.

Invest in an affordable yet powerful smartphone

No, you don’t need an iPhone or a premium Android smartphone to run a business. All you need is a phone smart enough to do the job for you, without making your wallet cry.

If you’re serious about being an entrepreneur, you need to stop getting carried away with the latest handsets. Owning the latest gadget won’t help you bring more money. To some, it might even be a liability since most people opt to pay in installments.

Frankly, smartphones depreciate easily over time. The smart decision is to get the best midrange phone you can buy — one that’ll bring value for your money.

One fine example is the Redmi Note 9 Pro, which retails for PhP 12,990. For the price it commands, it seriously packs a punch: It has a practical design that doesn’t look cheap, a side-mounted fingerprint scanner for quick access to your phone, and an excellent screen with perfect viewing angles.

Moreover, it’s powered by Snapdragon 720G, a 6GB RAM, 128GB internal storage, and a massive 5,020mAh battery. This ensures effortless multitasking and a hiccup-free usage for the whole day. It also has a quad-camera setup capable of taking decent photos for your business’ social media accounts.

Going digital isn’t the end-all-be-all

Most entrepreneurs capitalize on the internet and social media to run their business. While it’s true we’re all going digital, it doesn’t mean you need to do everything on your phone.

Start using notebooks and leather organizers in planning around your business. Writing helps with memory retention! Sometimes, you have to jot your notes down, plan your schedule old-school style, or write your ideas and strategies to expand your empire.

Make sure you have time for yourself

Running your business 24/7 isn’t enough for entrepreneurs. Sometimes, you’ll wish there are more hours in a day, so you can grow your business and tend to your personal errands. However, putting in more hours doesn’t translate to being successful.

Eventually, you’ll burn out and you’ll deplete the energy required to run your business. Sometimes, you need to take a step back and make time for yourself. Do the things you love, even if it means you need to binge-watch multiple episodes of your favorite K-Drama.

As long as you recuperate, you will have the energy to power through whatever obstacle you’re facing. When you take care of yourself, you take care of the future — both for your business and yourself.

SEE ALSO:

Redmi Note 9 Pro Max review: Perfect, like you’d expect it to be

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Apps

Top apps to achieve work-life balance using the MatePad Pro

Get your life back on track!

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At a time where working remotely is becoming the new norm, one might find it difficult to maintain a work-life balance.

The thin line separating work and leisure blurs when you’re working from home. There’s a constant need to stay updated and connected, yet our mind and body require us to step away from our work machines so we don’t burnout.

Thankfully, some gizmos are here to help us achieve work-life balance. For instance, the Huawei MatePad Pro is a powerful device that can help you organize your life and enjoy it to the fullest. To help you get on track, here are some tips on how you can utilize this premiere tablet using several apps.

Binge-watch your favorite shows

When you find yourself burning out, it’s time to step back and allow yourself to relax. You can watch some of your favorite films and TV shows through iFlix and Viu, which are accessible via AppGallery, or through Netflix via APKPure.

Stream your favorite YouTubers

Sometimes, the easiest way to unwind is to watch your favorite YouTubers. You can access YouTube using the Huawei Browser, just like you would on a Desktop. Although, you can add a shortcut to your MatePad Pro’s home screen for easier access — making it seem like you still have a YouTube app.

Play some games to unwind

There are games you can play, too. The crowd-favorite Asphalt 9, the social media craze Adorable Home, Ball Hop, Naruto: Slugfest, and many more are available through the AppGallery.

Read books while listening to music

When the day ends, it’s highly relaxing to read ebooks you can buy online. You can dive into the story when you use reading apps like ReadEra while you play your favorite tunes on Spotify, accessible via APK.

Sort your finances

At least once a week, make it a habit to sort your finances. Most banks have their apps available already on the AppGallery, such as Security Bank, CIMB Bank, RCBC, BDO Bank, Metrobank, UnionBank, and EastWest.

For quick online purchases and other transactions, GCash and PayMaya are also available.

Stay connected with the world

Most of the popular instant messaging apps are available through the AppGallery. For instance, you can use Viber and LINE — which pride themselves with end-to-end encryption. There’s also WeChat and Snapchat, which are popular in some parts of the world.

As usual, Facebook is still a staple to connect with other people. You can get it through their official website. Messenger and Instagram are also available via APKPure.

Get entertained by creators

If you want to be entertained by creators and ordinary people like you, you can download Kumu, TikTok, and WeSing via AppGallery.

Hone your creativity

For those who want to hone their creativity, the AppGallery has multiple apps for creatives such as Concepts, Canva, APRIL, and Desygner.

If you’re getting into digital arts, you can practice your skills using Adobe Sketch, AutoDesk SketchBook, Adobe Draw, MediBang Paint, and ArtFlow. These apps can be downloaded via APK!

Do work wherever you want

If you need a breather but you have a deadline to finish, you can take your work off your desk and bring it through the MatePad Pro. The AppGallery has multiple productivity apps that let you get your work done, such as Office, WPS Office, OfficeSuite, and Docx Reader.

Never miss an email again

When there’s a work emergency, you can hop on easily without going back to your work machine. Through Huawei’s Email app, you can access Gmail, Yahoo, or even your Outlook email accounts.

If you need to use Google’s services, you can access it via Huawei Browser. Use Google Search and Google Drive effortlessly. Treat the tablet as if it was a Desktop!

Plan leisurely activities

There are a lot more you can do using the MatePad Pro! You can plan your future travels using Agoda, Booking.com, Trivago, and Traveloka. If you love indulging yourself and your loved ones with good food, make sure to download Eatigo and Booky. On the other hand, shopaholics can enjoy Shopee and Lazada.

These apps are all available via AppGallery, so make the most out of life and reap your rewards for working hard.

Apps you don’t want aren’t here?

Some apps are still finding their way to the AppGallery. You can search them on the app and add it to your wishlist, and Huawei will surely do their best to make it happen.

Visit here to find more about the Huawei MatePad Pro.


This feature was produced in collaboration between Her GadgetMatch and Huawei Philippines.

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