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.

Features

Blow & Dry: Handy, stylish hair dryers for easy blowouts

They deserve to be in your home and in your purse

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Illustration by Kris Blanco

Every now and then, we’ll need a quick blowout to maintain good hair — whether it’s prepping for an event, a quick touch-up before your Zoom call, or about to run an errand and in a bit of a time crunch.

It’s not every day we’ll need a fabulous blow-dryer that will cost us an arm or leg. Or purchase an expensive one and call it an investment. (Guilty as charged!)

Sometimes, what we need are hair dryers that work. Fast and easy, just the way you’ll like it.

Panasonic EH-NA27 Nanoe Hair Dryer

Carol, GadgetMatch’s Lifestyle Editor, swears by Panasonic’s lineup of Nanoe hair dryers. While her personal choices are a bit chic and ritzy, there are affordable options that certainly do the trick.

The Panasonic EH-Na27 brings in its patented technology, gathering water from the air, and uses it — along with negative ions — to create Nanoe droplets and Double Mineral Ions. It’s the secret to shiny and bouncy hair!

Shop: Lazada | Shopee

Mi Ionic Hair Dryer

If you’re looking for an affordable yet good-looking hair dryer, say no more. Xiaomi’s Mi Ionic hair dryer solves all your dilemmas: a portable form factor, minimalist and classy design (especially in that white colorway), high volume, and quick-drying technology.

Since it’s an ionic hairdryer, it’s supposedly safer and better compared to ceramic ones — and it won’t leave your hair smelling burnt.

Shop: Lazada | Shopee

Soocas H5/H3s Hair Dryer

Chay, GadgetMatch’s Creative Director, shared how her GadgetMatch in 2018 was not a phone but a hair dryer. Yes, it was a Soocas hair dryer, which recently had a product refresh.

To Chay, the Soocas hairdryer ticks her three main considerations in looking for a hair dryer: price, power, and design. And more importantly, it doesn’t stop working from overheating despite having an affordable price tag.

Shop: Lazada | Shopee

Philips Drycare Advanced Hair Dryer HP8233/00

Philips has been around for years, and they certainly produce hair dryers within your reach. The Philips Drycare Advanced hair dryer comes with a professional power as if you have your own hairdresser.

It also comes with multiple temperature settings for less hair damage and a long-lasting look. And more importantly, it sports technology that has an anti-frizz effect to help you achieve that shiny-looking hair.

Shop: Lazada | Shopee

Imarflex Hair Dryer HD-2210C

If you prefer it classic and generic like any hair dryers found in your mom’s closet, Imarflex retained that familiar look with its hair dryers. The HD-2210C comes with Ionic haircare system and easy toggle between hot and cold temperature settings.

It makes for the perfect hair dryer for a quick and easy blowout, especially when you’re in a hurry. And it certainly won’t break your wallet.

Shop: Lazada | Shopee

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Her GadgetMatch

The Starbucks x FILA collection is what we need for hot summer vibes

Live life and have fun in a distinct style

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Starbucks x FILA collection

Hold up! Hot girl summer ain’t over yet.

For the first time, Starbucks is collaborating with FILA on an exclusive, co-branded collection of sporty-street-summery style essentials.

Starbucks x FILA: 12 oz Double Wall Ceramic Mug (PhP 1,095), Mesh Bag [Lazada Exclusive] (PhP 1,595)

The Starbucks x FILA collection blends rich brand heritage with classic and modern design. Wearing FILA’s signature white, navy, and red, the collection showcases bold yet timeless designs as seen in the drinkware and lifestyle accessories.

Surely, you’d love to get your hands on these accessories if you’re a fan of timeless yet distinct styles. It’s evident in these tumblers, cups, pouches, and bags!

Where to get

Starbucks x FILA collection

Starbucks x FILA: 20 oz Stainless Steel Water Bottle (PhP 1,595), 24 oz Plastic Cold Cup (PhP 895), Pouch (PhP 795)

Starbucks x FILA collection will be available starting July 20, 2021, at select Starbucks stores across the Asia-Pacific region while supplies last. In the Philippines, it will also be available in the Starbucks flagship store on Lazada.

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Accessories

Thecoopidea makes the coolest and cutest accessories

They’re just oh so cute!

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Caution: cuteness overload!

Thecoopidea, a lifestyle brand established in 2012, has a lot of partnerships with cute brands like Sanrio, Line, and Barbapapa. They weren’t on my radar until a friend shared with me their Sanrio collaboration — which made me giddy.

From wireless charging pads, true wireless earbuds, power banks, and even Apple watch strap sets, thecoopidea’s collaboration surely can make your accessories look cute and fun.

Sanrio Collection

Thecoopidea collaborated with Sanrio, producing gadgets and accessories branded with our favorite characters. From Hello Kitty, My Melody, Little Twin Stars, Cinnamoroll, Pompompurin, Marumofubiyori, and even Ahirunopekkle — they’re just oh so cute.

Barbapapa collection

Even the popular cartoon Barbapapa — based on a children’s picture book of the same name — has a collaboration with thecoopidea in a sweet black and pink theme.

Line Friends meets thecoopidea

Mini Brown and Mini Cony of LINE friends found themselves floating in cuteness in thecoopidea’s store. The collection introduces charging pads, belts, wireless earbuds, laptop sleeves, and backpacks — all in LINE Friends branding.

For more cute products and accessories, visit thecoopidea.com.

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