Yes. Swanky. I posted a photo of me wearing the Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro on IG stories and that’s what a friend said about this smartwatch. And really, that word adequately captures its surface-level appeal.
One look and you can tell. This smartwatch is stylish and luxurious. Certainly everything you could ask for from a watch that’ll set you back for EUR 329/ SG$ 398/ PhP 11,990. Yes, it’s actually so much cheaper to get it in the Philippines.
But then, it’s also more than just a luxury timepiece. The Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro is equipped with tech that can help you mind and monitor your overall health and wellness.
Don’t let its looks fool you. The Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro is absolutely made for your workout sessions.
It can track a bajillion workouts and sports. Okay, yes, bajillion isn’t an actual word. But think of any existing workout and the Watch GT 2 Pro probably has the means of properly tracking it.
The best part is it can even automatically track six specific activities. These are: outdoor running, outdoor walking, indoor walking, indoor running, elliptical and rower. It doesn’t kick-in instantaneously, but once it notices you’re engaged in any of the activities mentioned, it automatically shifts to workout mode.
Case in point, I was wearing it while taking a brief walk around our compound to take a break from my regular sedentary lifestyle. It took about five to seven minutes of walking aimlessly before I was prompted by the watch that it’s now tracking my outdoor walk.
I initially only intended to walk for about 10 minutes but the prompt pushed me to walk a little longer. I ended up taking a 20-minute outdoor walk break.
Other workouts, OS agnostic
Say you can’t find the exact workout because it can get tiresome scrolling through a bajillion of them or, like me, you’re just plain lazy; there’s a solution for it! You only need to select “Other” on the workouts menu and it’ll track the workout for you.
That’s exactly what I did when I attempted to learn the choreography for “I Can’t Stop Me” by TWICE. Yes, it has a “Dance” workout but I didn’t know it at the time. A video of which exists but, for the sake of my dignity, will never see the light of day. At least, not on my timelines. I digress.
It was about an hour-long session and I burned around 650 kilocalories according to the Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro. If you’re serious about keeping track of your workouts, the data is recorded on the Huawei Health app right away.
I used the Watch GT 2 Pro with an iPhone and I’m glad to report that it didn’t affect tracking at all. The Huawei Health App has a feature that automatically sends the tracked data to the Health app on iOS.
So if you’re an iOS user but aren’t feeling the look or the price of the latest Apple Watches, know that this is a more than capable alternative.
Quality of life benefits
I’ve never really warmed up to regularly using smartwatches until Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro. Yes, I would use a review unit for a couple of weeks or so. But I end up not regularly wearing it after a while.
To be perfectly honest, I think a lot of it has to do with how it looks. Smart bands are comfy but you shouldn’t really be wearing them when not working out. This one that I liked a lot too couldn’t stay on my wrist because I just didn’t feel like wearing it as much.
But it’s different for the Watch GT 2 Pro, and that difference in my willingness to wear it daily has opened up quality of life benefits that I didn’t fully explore in other smartwatches.
Firstly, the notification alerts. During my time with the Watch GT 2 Pro, I have touched my phone so much less. That means there’s zero tendency for me to jump from one notification to another. I can keep my focus on whatever I’m working on without being sucked into the blackhole that is constant smartphone scrolling.
The stress levels and sleep tracking have also been helpful. I’ve now been able to put a number on certain daily stressors and come up with a way to calm myself down when dealing with these stressors.
With it, I’ve also learned that I have only been averaging three to three and a half hours of sleep over the last two weeks. I haven’t quite figured out what to do about it but knowing is half the battle.
Looks fragile but is built tough
The Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro looks like the type that would break easily. But it has so far survived my tendency to break things.
The sapphire glass that this is made of can take a beating. I have already lost count of how many times I’ve hit and bumped an unsuspecting wall or piece of furniture with the watch. Through it all, the watch face remains unscathed.
It also promises a 14-day battery life and you’re told that that promise is quickly slashed in half when you use the Always-On display. For my use, I opted to have alway-on display and doing everything I’ve detailed so far, I get about 4-5 days of battery life. That’s still better than anything on its price range.
Charging the thing is also pretty fast with the charger that comes with it. But since it supports wireless charging, it’ll work with most wireless charges that are available today. Very neat!
Other things of note
This running Lite OS means you really can’t install third-party apps on it. No Spotify here, unfortunately.
That means the only way for you to play your favorite music is to download them straight into the watch. Huawei claims it has enough storage to carry about 500 mp3 files. But who uses mp3 these days?
It also has other staple smartwatch features like Find Your Phone and Remote Shutter which are certainly useful in certain situations.
Your watch face options are also pretty limited when you pair it with a non Huawei phone. With Huawei, you have the option to customize to watch face to whatever image you have on file (You can watch the feature in action here). This feature isn’t available when paired with an iPhone.
Huawei also hasn’t specified if this is compatible with regular watch straps so you can customize the look even further. I’ll have to ask them and update this space when I get a definitive answer.
One feature that I wish this had is fall detection. It’s a feature that has literally saved a life and is something that merits being added to any smartwatch — especially one that’s premium and has pro on its name.
Is this your GadgetMatch?
To be perfectly honest, seeing the Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro for the first time was love at first sight for me. Like my friend said, it’s “swanky” and I looked forward to having it on my wrist.
Two weeks later after having tested the thing, I’ve fallen even deeper. You can go through a daily routine of a morning exercise, work grind, and then a date for a night cap with this on. It seamlessly adapts to any situation because of how it looks and what it can do.
I feel like it can do the same for a lot of other people as well. But not most girls.
See, I asked some of my girl friends if this a watch design that would appeal to them. Unsurprisingly, the majority of them preferred something smaller. If not that, they wanted to be 100% certain that you can swap its straps.
Other than that, this smartwatch is a winner. And you’ll feel like a winner too when you have it on.
vivo X80 Pro Unboxing and Review
vivo’s best smartphone just got even better!
The vivo X70 Pro+ was launched just several months ago. However, we’re already having a follow-up!
Namely the X80 and X80 Pro — with the latter being vivo’s latest flagship smartphone.
But what makes it different from its predecessor? And what makes the successor a lot more exciting?
Watch our vivo X80 Pro Unboxing and Review now to find out more!
Samsung Galaxy S22+ review: Love at first touch
Can’t help but fall deeper
A cosmic pull. A supernatural attraction. These aren’t phrases one normally says on a smartphone review. And yet, here I am. Falling madly for the Samsung Galaxy S22+.
However, this wasn’t the case from the get go. First, I saw it in photos and it was alright. Then, I saw the specs on paper. Yeah, that’s pretty good. It was just another flagship, I thought.
But everything changed when it came to my doorstep and held it in my hands.
(P.S. All of my subheadings below are taken from the song “One Touch” by Gabe Bondoc. You can play it while you read 🙂).
One touch and I’m hooked and I am drowning
I am completely aware how overly infatuated I’m coming off and will come off for the rest of this article. But, having been in this smartphone reviewing gig for close to seven (7) years now, I’ve become almost numb to the usual releases.
Yes, every now and then I take a liking to a smartphone or two. But it has been a while since I really, really wanted to keep and/or buy a phone I’m reviewing.
The Samsung Galaxy S22+ just felt perfect on my hands. The right width, the right length, and the right thickness. The heft of the device, its shiny metallic edges, and the clean premium finish of the back all scream premium. The material on its back has a smooth, matte feel and finish. It’s both smudge and scratch resistant.
And the metal lining on the edges feels smooth but grippable and perfectly complements the flat display.
Excuse me, I don’t mean to be staring
It’s no secret that Samsung consistently offers one of the best displays, especially in their flagship line. This remains true for the 6.6-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X panel equipped on this beaut. The colors are rich and crisp under favorable lighting conditions. But even in broad daylight, the display is bright enough (1750 nits peak) to be comfortably operated without having to squint.
I had a grand time watching my favorite shows on the Samsung Galaxy S22+. I’ve had it for a while so I saw a few episodes of the Netflix K-Drama Business Proposal on it. I have also been catching up weekly on the HBO series Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty. For content that supports it, HDR10+ kicks in to elevate the visual experience.
The display looks so majestic that it prompted me to put the love of my life Momo Hirai of TWICE as my wallpaper. And then of course, there’s the dynamic refresh rate that goes up as high as 120Hz. This means the screen changes its refresh rate depending on what you’re doing. If you’re scrolling through socials and what not, it kicks into high gear to give you a smooth experience. When idle, the refresh rate lowers down to save battery.
My heart won’t slow ’cause of you
The Galaxy S22+’s overall performance will really keep your heart racing. Normal, day-to-day interactions with your phone just feel extra sharp. The many features mentioned above coupled with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 powering this phone keeps it humming no matter what you do.
Keeping up with the news in the morning, checking socials to see what you missed, using messaging apps to keep in touch whether for work or personal matters – all of these just feel like a breeze. And the ONE UI 4.1 skin on top of this Android 12 flavor definitely contributes to just how things flow when you use this smartphone.
I didn’t do a lot of gaming, though. To test it, I defaulted to my go-to which is a few hours of Call of Duty Mobile. As expected it runs without hiccups on high graphics settings. There’s a game manager of sorts here that I didn’t tinker with much. It’s not too different from the ones implemented in previous Samsung phones. Some key features include focusing the phone’s resources to gaming and limiting or completely blocking notifications.
Battery life is also admirable. One afternoon, I used it to tune into a friend’s wedding via Zoom. The entire ceremony lasted roughly around two (2) hours. In that period, the Galaxy S22+’s battery went from 82% to 76%.
Naturally, that isn’t the single indication of its battery performance. I generally start my days at around 9AM and end at around 8PM. On days that I’m glued to my laptop, with only occasional glimpses on the phone, I would end the day between 60% to 70%. On days that I’m out and about and rely on it a lot to get work done, my day ends with around 25% to 35% of battery left.
You’re looking fine today, not that I only noticed now
I have already done an entire separate article about the cameras on the Galaxy S22+. It’s one of the things that I enjoyed the most about the phone. It’s almost as if it’s impossible to take a bad photo with this on hand.
Easily switching between lenses is great. But what’s even better is how the quality and color reproduction doesn’t vary much from lens to lens. Check these samples out.
And you can even use 10X Zoom with barely any detail loss, especially if it’s a photo that you’re just uploading on social media.
That versatility is unmatched and is fantastic for quick, run and gun shoots like the one I did during the opening of the XM Studio in Singapore.
I am thoroughly impressed and extremely satisfied with the quality of images it produces. And that’s saying a lot seeing as my regular daily phones include an iPhone 11 Pro and an OPPO Find X3 Pro. Both of which are excellent shooters in their own right.
Oh and yeah, “Nightography”.
You think there is a way that I can get you to stay?
You see, the thing about the Galaxy S22+ is that with just the first touch, you already know you’re in contact with something that you should hold onto for dear life. I can’t tell you how many oohs and aahs I got after letting other people hold it in their hands. It just has that effect.
Additionally, the phone is a smooth amalgamation of many other standout phones. It has the breathtaking display of Samsung phones, an overall footprint that feels like an iPhone 12/13 Pro Max, cameras that rival those that partner with notable camera brands, and much, much more. All of that comes in this package that looks and feels well-built on a phone that is easily an all-rounder performer.
Truly, I never want to let it go. And that’s not something I always say about smartphones. So here’s to hoping that this high praise leads to the Galaxy S22+ staying with me more than a little while longer.
The Samsung Galaxy S22+ 5G is still available today in Samsung stores near you, via online at Samsung.com, or at your preferred telecommunication service provider. Pricing information on our key markets are linked in the following: USA | Singapore | Philippines.
I know it’s been a while since its release. Despite all the hype long gone, it’s still a phone you won’t regret buying.
Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising Review
Charming, action side-scroller
Back in March, I wrote about my brief experience with Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising. Now having played the rest of the game, I can safely say that you get more of the same. It is a fun and charming side-scrolling action RPG.
A prequel game
Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising is a prequel game to Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes. More specifically, the events in Rising take place about a hundred years ahead of the events of Hundred Heroes. The games are also linked to the PlayStation Classic Suikoden.
Don’t fret, though, as the game won’t leave you wanting. It is very much a complete experience clocking in at around 20 hours of gameplay, give or take.
It’s primarily set in the mining town of New Neveah. That premise plays a big part in how the game plays out. The mining areas contribute to the development of the town, which in turn help you improve and level up along the way. It’s a well thought-out gameplay loop in a very fantasy-esque JRPG setting.
New Neveah being a mining town plays right into the whole gameplay mechanic. At the onset of the game, the player takes the reins as one of the main characters, CJ. She finds the town in shambles, trying to rebuild. As if that isn’t hard enough, the town also has to deal with monsters and bandits while also managing the slew of treasure hunters and adventurers looking for riches in their mines.
CJ is there in search of the biggest rune lens she can find as sort of a rite of passage in their clan. Rune lenses are multipurpose magical artifacts. She meets the town’s acting mayor, Isha and agrees to take on odd jobs around the town for a license to do treasure hunting.
Eventually, she is joined first by the Kangaroo beastman adventurer named Garoo. Later on, Isha joins their party as they not only hunt for Rune Lenses but also try to look for and find out what really happened from Isha’s father – the town’s mayor.
Town shops as skill tree
Areas open up one at a time and the odd jobs lead to the reconstruction of many of the town’s stores and shops. These play a key role in leveling up your party.
Instead of a skill tree, you run errands for the shopkeepers that help them build and expand the stores. These quests yield Baqua, the game’s currency, EXP, and sometimes even key items.
The shops are key to getting permanent stat buffs. The Smithery will improve the stats of your weapons. The Weapons Shop unlocks attacks for each character. The Armory outfits characters that enable more platforming and traversal moves and so on.
This extends to accessories and other items too. Improving the Potion shop unlocks higher level healing potions and other accessories increase in levels. There’s also a dedicated street for Rune Lens/Magic things. You can expand your Stowpack and Resource Bag to carry more items. You can also improve the Rune Lenses you can equip. This imbues elemental magic to your attacks.
Snappy, 2.5D combat
Combat is fairly easy to pick up. Each character is assigned a single button to attack. Pressing the attack button multiple times unlocks combos. There’s also a Synced Attack that deals heavy damage. You execute this by perfectly timing a strike from one character to another. You start of with just two but it also increases in number which is plenty helpful for bosses later in the game.
As mentioned earlier, you can imbue attacks with magic through Rune Lenses. Anyone experienced in RPGs should be familiar with how the elements work. Water beats Fire, Fire bears Wind, Wind beats Earth, and Earth beats Water (I’m gonna need to double check this but for now this is pretty much how it works).
There’s a good number of enemy types. You have ground bound ones, flying types, mages, weapon wielding monsters, bandits, and more.
Each area will have a different elemental variant of these monsters so it’s important to take note which elements you have equipped for more effective strikes.
Easy to digest lore
The beginning of every game can get pretty overwhelming especially when it comes to its story and lore. Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising is certainly not immune to this. However, it gets significantly easier to digest the more you go through the story. Especially with how the game is designed to keep you coming back to the town, you develop a sort of kinship with them making the entire journey even more worthwhile.
For experienced JRPG players, there’s nothing here that will surprise you. That said, it’s still a generally tightly told story with satisfying payoffs.
Also, I already mentioned this in my preview of the game but I think it merits repeating. Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising has the look and charm of 90s JRPGs while trimming the unnecessary stuff and making the experience flow more smoothly. If you’re a gamer parent and want to introduce your child to the wonderful world of gaming, I think this is a great place to start.
Is this your GameMatch?
The gaming community is going through a bit of a lull following massive releases to start the year. Some players are opting to clear their backlogs or hunt trophies. But if you’re still looking out for something new but still want a break from the usual third-person RPG or first-person shooter, Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising is worth giving a try.
The game is easy to pick-up and play. And it’s an easy recommendation for anyone who wants the look and feel of a classic JRPG but without the high demand for grinding. Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising is charming, fun, and is a great choice if you want to tide yourself over until the next big AAA title comes around.
Game is out May 11 and is available on PlayStation 4|5, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC via Steam, Epic and GOG for US$ 14.99/€ 14.99/ £ 12.99
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