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Huawei Vision S Series Review

Huawei’s first attempt at Smart TVs

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Started from making phone switches and now we’re here. Huawei marks another expansion in their product portfolio with the Huawei Vision S Series — their first Smart TV.

This is a time when we usually see a P-Series smartphone from the company. However, we’re all familiar with their mobile struggles. So it’s wise that they’re also betting on the other devices in their portfolio to bring in the dough.

At a glance, what can you expect from the Huawei Vision S Series? Here are the works: 4K, 120Hz panel, four (4) 10w speakers, near bezel-less design, two models: one 55 inches and one 65 nches, and extra functions like MeeTime and more.

We have a lot to go through but let’s start with a closer look at the TV.

The power plug is on the left side. 

On the right side you’ll find: USB-A, three (3) HDMI 2.0 ports, one eARC for soundbars, ethernet port

The Huawei logo is on the lower middle portion of the TV. Barely visible when you’re watching.

Up top and behind is the magnetic slot where the camera connects for MeeTime, video call functions.

Here’s what it looks like with the camera connected.

And the very Smart TV-style remote control.

As a TV 

Extra functions aside, the Huawei Vision S Series is first and foremost a TV. So how does it perform in that department? Pretty darn good.

We put it through the paces both in binge-watching series, enjoying an Ultra HD 4K movie, and playing a bunch of video games. These are your pretty standard TV interactions and we’ll break them down for you.

Gaming 

A big chunk of my time with the Huawei Vision S Series was used playing on the PS5. Since the input is only HDMI 2.0, we only got 4K 60hz consistently but it was more than enough.

I clarified this with Huawei since the Vision S Series is being advertised to have a 120Hz panel. In this regard, the 120Hz didn’t kick-in because of the input method as the PS5 requires the HDMI 2.1 and a compatible game for the 4K 120Hz to kick in.

That said, the resolution and refresh rate was consistently 4K 60Hz throughout my entire gaming experience. Besides, I don’t really play games that require or give you a distinct advantage when having a faster refresh rate.

One of my most played games is NBA 2K21, that’s a pretty busy screen with plenty of movement both from the players on the court and the different elements like the scoreboard and the audience. I didn’t leave me wanting and it did away with the sort after-image effect that I get on my personal seven-year-old TV.

Vision S Series

It also handled games like My Hero One’s Justice 2 well. This is an arena fighting game with very kinetic pacing and splash of colors. It was quite a treat landing combos and seeing Deku’s shoot style attacks in video game form on a 55-inch screen.

Vision S Series

But what was most impressive is how it was able to deliver the truly immersive sound of Returnal. Sound design is one of the primary positives of the game and paired with the speakers of the Vision S Series, it was almost like you’re actually inside the game.

The Vision S Series uses Four 10W Speakers with 1L sound cavity to achieve this effect. Typically, you’ll want huge TVs like this to be paired with a soundbar for that optimum audio experience. But the Vision S Series is, and I cannot stress this enough, truly one of those TVs that do not at all require a soundbar for most room scenarios.

The speaker is so damn good that I would sometimes switch the TV to just a speaker function and connect my phone while I blast my K-Pop and Anime Soundtrack playlists as I work. It truly helps me focus especially with that very warm, surround sound that feels like a tight embrace.

Netflix, chillin, and YouTubin’ 

Gaming is fun and all but sometimes you just want to kick-back, relax, and chill to one of your favorite movies. For me that’s Spider-Man 2. It’s a comfort movie for me. Sometimes, I’m not always on the hunt for new content and watching something familiar helps you relax.

It’s even better when you’re able to experience the movie in its full Ultra HD 4K glory. The sequence below is one of most iconic fight scenes in superhero movie history and it was just such a delight to see and hear it on the Vision S Series.

Vision S Series

While most other people were buzzing about the K-Drama Vincenzo, I instead started watching Sisyphus: The Myth. It’s just my kind of show with it being Sci-Fi and of course my main reason for watching: Park. Shin. Hye.

Vision S Series

The TV just elevates the way the series is shot and presented. The action scenes look great, the background music is exhilarating, and at the risk of sounding like a broken record — watching on the Vision S Series TV is truly an enjoyable experience.

Naturally, I had to enjoy some music videos on it too. I’m almost embarrassed to reveal how many times I watched “Kura Kura” by TWICE on this thing. This is one of TWICE’s most well-shot and well-composed music videos and seeing my bias Momo on such a big screen like this almost feels like I’m in the same room with her. One can dream.

Vision S Series

Meanwhile, “마.피.아. In the morning” by ITZY with its beat-heavy, hard-hitting sound just makes you feel bad-ass as it blasts from the TV.

Vision S Series

If you’re curious how I was able to access Netflix and YouTube, it wasn’t directly on TV. These were all through the PlayStation 5. This presents one of the challenges of the Vision S Series.

Harmony OS 

The TV is running Huawei’s own HarmonyOS. It’s the same OS that we will eventually find on their other devices especially for the upcoming Huawei P50 Series. This means it still doesn’t have access to Google Mobile Services and by extension, the Android TV play store.

Vision S Series

So what do you get? There are still plenty of native apps at your disposal. Naturally, there’s the Gallery, Huawei Video, Huawei App Gallery, and MeeTime which will discuss more later.

Vision S Series

Here’s a look at all the native apps installed when you first fire-up the TV.

Vision S Series

Huawei Video is the default video service

It has a fair amount of content that you can browse through. One of the ones highlighted is What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim which is a fine K-Drama to binge-watch. There are plenty of other titles as wall ranging from more K-Drama, some Philippine TV series from ABS-CBN, and more selections of Thai and Chinese series.

For some reason though, the titles don’t play in Full HD by default. You’ll have to adjust it but it appears it’s something you only have to do once as it learns your settings and sticks with it when you jump to other series.

As you can see, the interface is also pretty clean. It occupies only the bottom half of the screen with very clear text and highlight prompts.

Vision S Series

Playing the part of YouTube natively on the Vision S Series is Daily Motion. When you search for content on Huawei Video, it’ll pull up results from Daily Motion which has a fair selection of content as well.

K-Pop performances videos from M-Net are uploaded here. The exact same ones you’ll find on YouTube.

Vision S Series

AppGallery, more apps

The AppGallery is still a little limited in terms of apps for the TV. But that’s to be expected. This is, after all, Huawei’s first foray into this kind of device.

Vision S Series

So how do you play other content? Personally, I own a Google Chromecast. It connects to TV through one of the HDMI ports and the USB-A port. With it, I can stream content from my phone to the TV.

An NBA addict, I am subscribed to NBA League Pass and most mornings I just have games on as white noise. I fire up the app on my phone and cast it on the TV via the Chromecast.

Vision S Series

The drawback? My Chromecast only supports 1080p at 50Hz. It’s not the smoothest viewing experiences out there, but it’ll do.

Vision S Series

The good news is that Huawei, in the Philippines at least, is bundling the Vision S Series with an OTT box. What is that? It’s essentially a Smart TV box that also connects via HDMI which gives you access to all the Android TV apps you’ll want and need. So you get the best of both worlds: Harmony OS and Android TV.

One thing that Huawei needs to address though is the hand-off from HDMI inputs. On most smart TVs, it’s pretty seamless to switch from one input to another. That’s not the case with the current layout.

Also, it doesn’t always automatically detect freshly turned on input sources. For instance, if I have the TV on and fire up the PS5, it doesn’t always switch right away to that input source. It’s a hit or miss. This isn’t my experience with most other Smart TVs that just kind of knows which input source I want.

It’s a minor inconvenience at most and one that can be addressed easily through a software update.

Beyond TV functions 

MeeTime 

One of the things truly unique about the Huawei Vision S series is that it comes with a magnetic 13MP video camera. This unlocks video calling capabilities. Specifically, MeeTime.

Vision S Series

Initially, this function really just felt gimmicky. I mean, why would anyone do a video call using a huge ass screen. It wasn’t until I tried it myself that I realized the benefit, especially in a world riddled with a pandemic that is still forcing most of us to stay indoors.

Vision S Series

You see, I haven’t seen my family and most of my friends for over a year now. I live alone and technology is really the only way for me to stay connected with them (which, to be frank, I am not doing a good job of). But the combination of the huge and good screen as well as the superb audio on the Vision S Series made it seem like I was in the same room as the person I was speaking to. It’s a truly remarkable experience and one that I find invaluable given our current situation.

Vision App, One Hop

It’s not a smart device if it doesn’t come with an app. So, true enough, this TV comes with an accompanying Huawei Vision App. It unlocks several other functions that you normally wouldn’t have with most other TVs.

Other than being a substitute for the remote, there’s also Input Source that’s truly helpful when you find yourself needing to type something on the TV. With it you can also tweak the settings, view the photos on your gallery, and mirror the content on your phone.

The content mirroring works even more seamlessly for gaming. If you want to play mobile games on the bigger screen, you can do so with One Hop projection.

All in all, these are all very nice-to-have functions that you may not need all the time, but it’s good to know that they’re there. It’s never a bad thing to have plenty of tricks up your sleeve.

Is the Huawei Vision S Series your GadgetMatch?

A TV is a big purchase for anyone, for any home. It’s not a decision that one takes lightly. Naturally, one of the biggest considerations is pricing. Here’s the deal with the Huawei Vision S Series:

Pre-order period is from May 7-21. Every purchase is up for free home delivery until May 31, 2021. Pricing are as follows:

Huawei Vision S 55”

Retail Price: PhP 36,999
Pre-order Price (Cash Straight): PhP 32,999
Includes: FREE Smart Box and Microphone (Worth PhP 6,998)

Huawei Vision S 55”

Retail Price: PhP 56,999
Pre-order Price (Cash Straight): PhP 49,999
Includes: FREE Smart Box and Two (2) Microphones (Worth PhP 9,997)

It’s worth noting that the FREE Smartbox will be available until September 30, 2021. This is key information as you’ll want to make sure you grab the TV with this freebie.

You can purchase these through Huawei Concept Stores, major home appliance stores like Abenson and All Home, or online through the Huawei Store, Lazada, and Shopee.

Vision S Series

For the price, along with everything you’re getting in their bundle, the Huawei Vision S 55” is a steal. The whole combination of everything discussed above for that price is pretty darn good value for the centerpiece of your home entertainment system.

Granted, you’ll have to deal with using two remotes: the one for the Vision S Series and the other for the Smart box. But overall, that’s a small inconvenience for the overall audiovisual quality as well as extended smart functions that you’re getting.

It’s by no means a perfect TV. Personally, since I do a lot of gaming on the PlayStation 5, I’d want one that has HDMI 2.1. But those TVs all cost north of PhP 50,000. And if you’re spending that much for a large screen, you’re better off with other brands. But for something like the 55-inch bundle, it’s already a pretty darn good purchase.

Reviews

vivo X60 review: Killer cameras for less

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vivo X60

If you’re a person who’s been into photography for quite a while, you probably know that Zeiss is a lens brand most photographers aspire to have. With their decades of supremacy in the film and photography industry, any lens you slap a Zeiss branding on, you’ll know it’s good. Even the movie Joker, which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture, has been filmed mostly with some Zeiss cine lenses. That’s how good they are.

Knowing that a brand like vivo, who’s been widely known to make exceptional smartphones, would join forces with Zeiss to create the ideal camera smartphone technology is just a recipe for success. Lo and behold, the master work of vivo and Zeiss, the vivo X60.

Performance beyond expectations

Considering that the X60 is a photography-centric smartphone, this device isn’t one to be underestimated. Fueled by a Snapdragon 870 processor, 12GB of RAM and a generous 256GB of internal storage, the vivo X60 is packed with some serious firepower.

Right after I found out what’s powering this device, I immediately installed the toughest games to test it with. As expected, Asphalt 9: Legends on its highest graphic settings ran without a hitch. Even the very demanding Genshin Impact which brings other devices to their knees ran at a buttery-smooth rate on the X60 without even breaking a sweat.

vivo X60

Heavy multitasking is also a treat on the vivo X60 as the 12GB of RAM provides it lots of headroom for switching back and forth different apps without having to close them in the process.

Buttery smooth visuals

A surprising contributor to the fluid experience on the X60 is its high refresh rate AMOLED display. Measuring at 6.56 inches with a FHD+ resolution and a refresh rate of 120Hz, this display is vibrant and smooth all throughout the interface thanks to the Smart Switch mode where its refresh rate automatically changes to suit different user scenarios including increasing the response rate to up to 240Hz on some games.

vivo X60

Also, with HDR10+ certification, expect to see more details on shadows and highlights of images on this display.

Alluring good looks

As much as I wanted to get right into talking about the camera, I am just startled by how stunning this smartphone is. The color variant we have with us is the Shimmer Blue color. Ocean blue, teal, orange and yellow are just some of the colors I could identify as its color changes depending on how light reflects on it.

vivo X60

Placed on the right of the device we have both the volume rocker and the power button and at the bottom panel we’ll find the USB-C port, speaker grille and SIM card tray.

vivo X60

Even with its beefy internals, vivo still managed to turn the X60 into a sexy beast. At 176g and only 7.36mm thin, the X60 is arguably one of the thinnest phones I’ve used.

vivo X60

We rarely find earphones packaged with smartphones nowadays but the vivo X60 surprisingly does come with one along with a 3.5mm to USB-C adapter, SIM ejector tool, bumper case and a 33W fast charger.

vivo X60

Powerful optics

By now, you’ve also probably been used to seeing the increasing number of camera sensors in smartphones. Vivo and Zeiss went with a more modest approach of incorporating three feature packed camera sensors rather than adding more.

vivo X60

A 48MP wide angle main shooter with an equivalent field of view of 26mm, a 13MP – 16mm equivalent for the ultrawide and a 13MP – 50mm equivalent for its telephoto. All three cameras are grouped neatly and are remarkably slim, especially for a smartphone having cameras as its center of attention.

Main Camera (wide)

Capturing an immense amount of detail, the 48MP main shooter takes photos that are indeed sophisticated in its internal processing and are unquestionably high quality. Hard to believe but I may even go as far as to say that the images coming from this camera are comparable to images I take with my mirrorless camera.

Ultrawide

You won’t need to back up too much taking shots of landscapes as the 13MP ultrawide sensor combined with its vast dynamic range is just perfect for capturing massive subjects.

Telephoto

Any photographer you ask probably has a 50mm lens or equivalent in their arsenal. That’s because 50mm has been known to be an excellent lens to be used for portraits or for product photos as this has the closest field of view to what the human eye sees. The X60’s 50mm telephoto gives us exactly that and is incredibly crisp and vibrant even in a wide range of lighting situations.

Camera modes

Macro mode

At first glance you’ll notice the absence of a depth and a macro lens on the X60. That’s because the technology that Zeiss and vivo had put together did not require these additional lenses for such uses. For macro, all three lenses have reasonably close focus distances already, quite similar from what you’d get with macro lenses. But what sets the X60 apart is an even closer focus with its supermacro feature.

No need for a separate menu, the supermacro automatically kicks in by just placing the main 48MP camera really close towards the subject.

Super panorama

If you’ve tried panorama modes of other smartphones, you’ll know how frustrating it is to get seamless shots. The X60’s panorama mode however, is quite the opposite. You won’t mess this one up as from my experience. Even if I carelessly take panorama shots, they still stitch neatly like magic.

You also have the option to take panorama even further with its super panorama mode which takes 360 degree views of panorama goodness. 

Night mode

As light becomes scarce, a fairly steady hand will get you by without needing to use a tripod as hand holding still produces amazing results with the X60’s Night mode. This is thanks to the built-in image stabilization of its camera sensor. 

Its internal noise reduction also does an amazing job of keeping details intact without turning the image soft and mushy.

Portrait mode

Looking at vivo’s website, the word Biotar has been mentioned quite a few times in its portrait mode. So it got me doing some research about it and found out that back in the 1950’s, Zeiss had produced a popular lens named Biotar. This Biotar lens has since been sought after by collectors as it produced unique, creamy and dreamy images particularly on its bokeh. 

And yes, that Biotar effect is among the many choices of effects that Zeiss had implemented here in the X60’s portrait mode and it looks magical. Paired with the 50mm telephoto for portrait, the Zeiss Biotar effect truly isolates your subject from your background creating a professional and classic look.

vivo X60

The portrait mode also has other effects that you may choose from as well as the ability to shoot wide or in telephoto.

Video mode

With the X60’s video mode, jitters and jumps caused by shaky hands won’t be an issue as both Optical Image Stabilization and Electronic Image Stabilization combined in its Ultra OIS Stabilization fixes the shakes for you.

Among others, the three camera sensors can also be used for taking video and these retain their previously mentioned strengths with it.

Is the vivo X60 your GadgetMatch?

If it isn’t obvious already, I just fell in love with the vivo X60. The superb performance, marvelous display, admirable craftsmanship and the outstanding cameras that makes you feel like a photographer just gets you on a high. 

vivo X60

With its price tag of PhP 34,999, the x60 is a serious bargain especially compared with its competitors and considering all its capabilities.

vivo X60

If you’re a photography enthusiast looking for the perfect side arm to have with you at all times, then the vivo X60 should most definitely be your weapon of choice.

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OPPO A74 5G review: Did OPPO balance its midranger properly?

We list hits, misses, and everything in between

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Creating a mid-range device in 2021 has become incredibly challenging for a variety of reasons. The limitation in price forces companies to cut corners when it comes to their offerings in this segment. It’s a task that’s easier said than done considering how stiff competition is. You need to find a way to stand out while working with a budget that’s far from optimal. It’s like a balancing act in the circus. One wrong move and you’ll be remembered for the wrong reasons.

OPPO’s latest attempt at overcoming this challenge is the OPPO A74 5G. Just from its name, you can already tell what it’s using to try and stand out from the rest. But there’s more to this device than its promise of the fastest connectivity possible in the Philippine market.

The question now is, did OPPO balance its features properly to create a device that will satisfy everyday users? Let’s answer that by checking which were its Heavy Hitters, what Middleground the phone took to balance things out, and the Debbie Downers it needed to accept so they could come up with this device at this price point.

The Heavy Hitters: The OPPO A74 5G highlight features

5G is here and it’s one of those features you can’t help but call a win. Admittedly, the difference between 5G and your regular LTE isn’t that significant. This is one of those cases where showing you the Speedtest result of 5G won’t do the experience justice. You have to use it to believe it.

There are ways to go to make the technology a 100 percent must-have. But there’s no way 5G is a Debbie Downer, and you can’t call an upgrade a Middleground. At the very least, it’s a good way to future-proof your phone. Its benefits aren’t felt today, but it could be very useful if you plan to use the OPPO A74 5G in the long run.

However, you can’t say the same for this phone’s 90Hz display. Coming from a 60Hz device, using this screen was a spiritual experience. The jump is that good. It admittedly becomes normal after a while and it even reaches a point where you become quite spoiled by it. However, you can’t go wrong with a smoother experience. This is a win.

Surprising build quality, smart additions

One surprising Heavy Hitter is its hardware and build quality. Out of the box, I initially thought this phone was made out of glass. Turns out, OPPO used plastic for the back and it’s of premium quality. The device feels sturdy, and it has the right amount of weight, so it doesn’t feel cheap. The gradient effect was also a nice touch to the design.

You also can’t go wrong with having a fingerprint scanner on the power button. Having a headphone jack in your device in the year 2021 is an automatic win for the consumer. These features might feel dated for others, but they’re undoubtedly useful. You can’t even call OPPO out for cutting corners, because for others, these are exclusions that should have never been made in the first place. They’re useful and they work. There’s no doubting that.

Finally, the presence of Optimized Night Charging was a great touch from OPPO. Having the peace of mind of having a fully charged phone the next day without worrying about your battery getting fried is a feature more manufacturers should have on their phones. For this to be on a mid-ranger is a pretty sweet deal.

The Middleground: They cut corners, but in the right places

90Hz can only do so much and that’s evident with how the OPPO A74 5G performs with its Snapdragon 480 5G processor. It’s okay. It isn’t supremely good, but it isn’t terrible either. It works. You shouldn’t expect the A74 5G to run graphic-intensive games at high settings, but you can still play some games here and there. Social media use is a breeze. You can’t go wrong on this end.

The software of the device is also okay. It’s not stock Android, but it isn’t the mess some people paint Chinese software to be. ColorOS is a version of Android that works even for the most critical of Android users. There can be some hiccups, especially with heavy use, but they were tolerable.

Monitor your battery use

Battery life wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t good enough to be considered a Heavy Hitter. The device houses a 5000mAh battery, but you have to be careful with your usage of 5G and 90Hz. They can drain the device quickly, but in most cases, it’s an all-day phone. The phone comes with an 18W Fast Charger, which in 2021 is average. You’d want to have more as a consumer, but it isn’t too much of a slog.

The LTPS IPS LCD screen of the A74 5G was also respectable. It has decent viewing angles even in direct sunlight and watching media content on the device was pleasing. There are some instances where it feels like we could experience more out of the 90Hz feature, but that’s the sacrifice required out of this price point. At the very least, it works, and you can only have minimal complaints.

The Debbie Downers: Even for a mid-ranger, these were disappointing

We live in the age of social media, so it wasn’t disappointing to see the A74 5G house a camera that came out as incredibly inconsistent.

This was a shame because its main camera performed quite well in good lighting conditions. Details were sharp enough, colors were a bit saturated, but not to the point you’d need to lower its saturation on post-processing.

The device came out with some pretty good photos that could contend with the best of the best. That’s what you’d want out of a smartphone in 2021.

Misses in certain situations

But it couldn’t perform as well in other lighting conditions. Indoor shots left much to be desired. It captured too much of the color coming from the background and ignored the natural colors of the subject. This was especially evident when I took photos of the delicious burgers from Sweet Ecstasy. It caught too much of the yellow coming from the light bulbs and the walls in the store.

The selfie camera was okay, at least that was passable enough with its results.

Night shots, even without night mode, had some respectable shots. But you couldn’t say the same for its other lenses.

Especially disappointing was its wide-angle lens. If the main camera came out with saturated images, the wide-angle reduced the color even in good lighting conditions. You’d understand a slight drop in quality, but the difference between the two lenses had too big of a gap. It definitely didn’t help the macro lens had some focusing issues, which made it difficult to take proper test shots for this review.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

I mentioned at the start of this review that coming up with a midrange device is like a balancing act. One wrong move and you’re remembered for the wrong reasons. Safe to say, OPPO won’t be remembered fondly, but they won’t be laughed at either for this device. The device was okay. It wasn’t a Debbie Downer. It’s safe to say they were able to at least achieve some form Middleground.

But in today’s competitive mid-range landscape, achieving the Middleground might not be enough. Its inconsistent cameras might be an automatic turn-off for some consumers. Its performance isn’t good enough to sway the opinion of hardcore gamers.  However, if you’re someone who wants the promise of futureproofing from 5G and the smooth experience of a 90 Hz display packaged with well-built hardware, the OPPO A74 5G might just be for you.

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Infinix Hot 10S review: Get your #GameOn for Less

What a smoking deal!

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The mobile gaming industry has come on in leaps and bounds with its growing trend in recent years. It’s ushered more demand for smartphones users to level up their game. Different brands have played their cards and released numerous gaming smartphones with another entering the battle royale — Infinix. They’ve consistently created smartphones that are bang-for-your-buck and their recent release for their gaming series, the Infinix Hot 10S, is no exception. 

Now let’s dive in as we check out what makes this smartphone sizzle. 

Fresh for your eyes 

Upon getting this phone, the first thing that really caught my attention was its massive display. It’s probably the biggest that I’ve tried recently. Relative to its predecessor, the Infinix Hot 10, the Hot 10S boasts a 6.82-inch screen but with a 720×1640 HD+ display.

Despite its big size, the phone’s resolution is pretty good. It shows accurate colors and its display also didn’t have any significant color shift on various viewing angles. You can comfortably use your phone while indoors but it can be a bit difficult to view under direct sunlight. 

For Infinix’ Hot series, the Hot 10S is their first smartphone that has a 90Hz refresh rate. It provides ultimate smoothness and visual experience whenever you browse through different sites, watch videos or play games. 

I also appreciate that Infinix provided a clear case and a screen protector since it’s rare for brands to include in smartphone packages. No need to rush out or order online to make sure your phone is protected. 

Up front, you will notice the teardrop notch selfie camera which really doesn’t appeal to me since it’s a bit obtrusive for my taste. Bezels surrounding the screen are also a bit thick especially at the bottom part of the screen. 

The Infinix Hot 10S comes in 4 colors – 95° Black, Morandi green, Heart of Ocean and 7° Purple and what we got was the black variant. With the right lighting and angle, you can see black glittery diamond patterns under a clear laminate. Its construction is made of plastic which really makes it feel like a budget phone but because of the rear design, it looks pretty elegant. 

You can also see its square camera setup cut-out and a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor at the upper middle part. 

You can also unlock the Hot 10S via facial recognition and the amazing part was the system still recognized me even if I was wearing a mask. 

On the right side, you can find the volume rocker and power button which I prefer since they’re both clicky. 

And upon checking the bottom panel, you’ll see a 3.5 mm headphone jack, speaker grille and much to our dismay, a micro USB port. This is a disadvantage especially that the Infinix Hot 10S competitors such as realme narzo 30A and Tecno Pova 2 have a USB-C port for charging which is mostly standard in smartphones these days. 

Paramount performance under the hood 

At the heart of the Infinix Hot 10S is a MediaTek Helio G85 processor. It ensures a powerful and swift performance when combined with 6GB of RAM and 128GB expandable storage. The phone didn’t lag or stutter even when I was jumping from one app to another, doing quick gaming and catching up on Loki and some Netflix series from time to time. 

This phone runs on XOS 7.6 custom skin based on Android 11 which is a first for Infinix’ Hot series. While I appreciate that they’ve adopted the latest available Android version, the user interface still looks a bit old-fashioned.

Its app drawer also had ads as well as some preinstalled apps that cannot be deleted.

But the silver lining for the Infinix Hot 10S is its amazing features especially when it comes to security.

Some notable ones are the App Lock where you can lock apps so you can protect your privacy when you have to share your phone with your friends. Another one is the Kid Mode where you can choose apps that your kids can only have access to and change how much screen time they’re getting daily. 

#GameOn

Of course, with the powerful processor that the Infinix Hot 10S has, you can definitely level up your game with this smartphone as gaming is its strongest suit. 

With this smartphone, Infinix introduces Dar-Link Ultimate Game Booster — their own gaming engine which optimizes your gaming experience. It reduces screen tearing, elevates touch panel response and also enhances color reproduction. 

The Infinix Hot 10S also has a Game Zone where you can find all installed games. You can also manage settings and take screenshots and screen records of your games. This phone also features DTS Audio processing that elevates sound effects during gameplay, making your experience more immersive. 

With all these features combined, I thoroughly enjoyed playing the demanding Genshin Impact even if I just had to run it in low settings. Call of Duty: Mobile also ran smoothly in medium settings all throughout my gameplay. 

As for Asphalt 9: Legends and Mobile Legends, there weren’t any frame drops as this phone handled these games pretty well. 

It lets you #GameOn for longer hours with its 6,000mAh battery. With heavy gaming and casual web browsing, I was able to use the Hot 10S for 3 days.

Even if it only came with a 10W charger, juicing up this phone’s battery was still a bit quicker than expected. It only took two (2) hours and 40 minutes to charge it up from 20 percent to 100 percent.  

Snap day and night

Aside from honing your gaming skills, you can also get creative with it as this smartphone also comes with good performing cameras. 

It has a triple camera setup. There’s a 48MP primary lens, 2MP depth camera, AI camera and also includes a Quad Flashlight. 

I took the cameras out for a spin and the primary lens took good detailed photos. However, bright colors tend to get over saturated.

Portrait Mode

As to taking shots in portrait mode, photos also looked great and edge detection was precise enough with a good amount of blur. 

And when it comes to snapping away at night, the Hot 10S’ imaging performance was still great even in low light. Its cameras were still able to take decent and detailed photos, thanks to the phone’s Super Night mode.

Its cameras can take pretty good shots. But there were still some flaws that I think Infinix should have improved on. 

I find it a bit odd that the phone doesn’t have a standard camera mode. Instead, it was instead called ‘AI Cam’. Also, the camera software felt a bit clunky when switching from one mode to another. The camera also would only lock its focus for a short period of time when I try to do it manually. 

Is the Infinix Hot 10S your GadgetMatch? 

The Infinix Hot 10S is definitely a smoking deal if you’re looking for a gaming smartphone for less. With its robust processor, Dar-Link gaming booster, big battery and display, you’re definitely in for the best gaming experience.

 It even comes with good cameras that lets you be creative and helps you capture amazing moments any time of the day. 

Despite having flaws such as having a micro USB port and an outdated looking user interface, the Infinix Hot 10S is definitely still a good catch as its advantages outweigh its drawbacks. 

The Infinix Hot 10S is available in 95° Black, Morandi green, Heart of Ocean and 7° Purple variants and is priced at PhP 5,490 for its 4GB RAM + 64GB internal storage and PhP 6,490 for the 6GB RAM + 128GB internal storage as you can get P500 off on this smartphone on the Infinix Super Brand Days exclusively on Shopee from June 15-18, 2021. 

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