Watching K-dramas brimming with high-tech spaces over the past few years can light a desire to build your very own smart home. But if you think the journey of building a smart home is as simple as having smart devices and an internet connection; you’re kinda wrong.
Sure, it starts off that way but there are a lot of factors to consider. Can your internet connection handle all devices together? Is it safe and secure from hackers and potential malfunctions? Can you set up and manage everything on your own?
Lots of questions to answer, but we can begin with the most important thing of all: Having a good router to handle all of your smart devices. And one example is the Huawei WiFi AX3 — which is easily one of the most affordable (and good-looking) WiFi 6 routers available in the market right now.
But first, what is Wi-Fi 6?
Wi-Fi 6 is the new generation of Wi-Fi technology. It’s three times faster than Wi-Fi 5 — the Wi-Fi technology most of us currently have.
With Wi-Fi 6, your Internet connection can handle multiple devices all connected simultaneously, with a higher capacity up to four times than Wi-Fi 5.
For context, you can have 15 devices connected at once and you don’t have to worry about your Internet speed dipping. Meanwhile, Wi-Fi 5 will struggle when there are more than five to ten devices connected to the router. Wi-Fi 6 has a lower latency as well, so you can enjoy a faster response when connecting to multiple devices.
And more importantly, it reduces power consumption by 30 percent due to its ability to communicate with multiple devices to activate on-demand wakeup. This saves power when the devices are not being used. Unlike Wi-Fi 5 which can only communicate with one device at a time.
There are a lot more to learn about Wi-Fi 6, which deserves another discussion altogether. But now that our Internet speeds are improving especially with the 5G rollout, it makes sense to capitalize on Wi-Fi 6 routers coming out in the market.
Finding the right router fit for your home’s interior
By now, there are plenty of options to choose from if you’re in the market for a Wi-Fi 6 router. But so far, the Huawei WiFi AX3 is the only well-designed router that won’t ruin your home’s interior design, just in case you care about how your home looks. (Or if you’re a member of Home Buddies on Facebook.)
Routers are usually off-putting, with designs screaming “router” while painted in black, sporting blinking lights on their hideous structure. Thankfully, Huawei came up with a clean design, with a white colorway that looks simple and classic — and will surely blend with anything. Also, proof that tech shouldn’t always come in black and sparkling RGB lighting.
Setting up should always be a breeze
Now that we got the topic of design out of the way, let’s talk about how easy it is to set up. Most routers are intimidating. Period.
For the not-so-tech-savvy and those who don’t have a lot of time, tinkering and configuring modems and routers to make your smart home system work can be daunting and time-consuming. But it shouldn’t have to be, right? After all, things are supposed to be smart enough to do their job.
The Huawei WiFi AX3 made it easy. Setting up doesn’t take an hour if you have Huawei’s smart home app called AI Life. And even if you go after it in the traditional way, the router is designed to look simple and easy to use. You won’t have to spend a lot of time trying out to understand the parts of the router.
Nonetheless, why go the traditional way when we can do everything on our phone, right? Using the AI Life app, I was able to manage and monitor the router, network, and security of the Wi-Fi connection — something to consider when building a smart home.
Huawei’s 1+8+N strategy
No doubt, Huawei is a hardware monster — and a master when it comes to the Internet of Things (IoT). This is evident in their recent launches — a smartphone, a Smart TV, speakers, headphones, lamp, and an electric car perhaps in the near future.
Huawei’s 1+8+N strategy talks about using smartphones as the central unit to keeping you and your smart devices connected. With the Huawei WiFi AX3, it makes it easier to keep multiple devices connected simultaneously.
Packed with a Gigahome Quad-Core 1.4 GHz CPU, the router can deliver powerful performance and provide what you and your smart home need: a simple, fast, stable, and secure Wi-Fi connection for a smart, connected life. The Huawei WiFi AX3 supports speeds up to 3000Mbps and boosts past 1Gbps allowing you to downloads movies within seconds.
Safe and secure connection
We all want our connections to be safe and secure and protected from outside harm. I’m not talking about relationships, but if the shoe fits, then so be it.
Anyhow, building a smart home system is all fun and games, until you realize that your home — and life — can be hacked. This is why you’ll need to protect your home through your router.
For instance, you can tap NFC-enabled phones to connect to the Wi-Fi, so you don’t have to hand out your complicated password to guests coming over.
As mentioned, the AI Life app also lets you monitor your network and its security. You can check who’s connected, who’s secretly downloading torrents, and who’s trying to get in on your system. And you have the power to kick them out and lock the gates to your Wi-Fi connection.
It also has an independent security zone that provides you protection against brute force cracking. The router can automatically identify attacks that weren’t entered manually, and blacklist the attacker to prevent another attempt.
It’s more than just a router
Having a smart home system doesn’t end with keeping your multiple devices connected — even with a Wi-Fi 6 router and high-speed, reliable Internet connection. When your space is huge, and often times have a lot of walls, you might need a strong connection that penetrates through walls and cover dead spots at home.
Instead of buying a Wi-Fi extender or another router, the Huawei WiFi AX3 can be used not just as the main router, but also as your Wi-Fi extender or booster, and even a mother router for mesh networking. You can easily expand network coverage in your home.
Is this a GadgetMatch for your home?
If you’re about to dive in or already enjoying a smart home system, the Huawei WiFi AX3 is a must-have for your smart home, since it capitalizes on the latest Wi-Fi technology and offering more than just a fast and stable connection. It’s available for only PhP 3,999 exclusively on the Huawei store.
Samsung Galaxy S23, S23+ and S23 Ultra Hands-On
Samsung has finally Unpacked the newest Galaxy S23, S23+, and S23 Ultra in San Francisco.
This is actually Samsung’s first in-person event during the pandemic.
With all the design and hardware improvements, do you actually need to upgrade?
Watch our Samsung Galaxy S23 Series Hands-on video to help yourself decide.
SHOP S23 Ultra
SHOP S23 & S23+
DISCLOSURE: GadgetMatch earns a commission from qualifying purchases from any of these links.
HONOR X9a 5G Hands-On: Tough and capable
Strong 2023 start for HONOR?
HONOR is determined to make some serious noise in the smartphone space in 2023. In the Philippines, they’re looking to start strong with the release of the HONOR X9a 5G.
If you follow any tech publications and some influencers and endorsers online, you likely saw the drop test videos the company had literally everyone do. That includes GadgetMatch.
For what it’s worth, the thing is really tough. During our quick shoot, we dropped it around 3 times on concrete. No major damages suffered. The 0.65mm ‘Deeply Reinforced Glass’ on the display is, for the most part, not just a gimmick. Still, don’t go dropping the phone carelessly if you do decide to get it.
We’re already talking about the display anyway, so let’s dig into it a little more.
Pleasant to the eyes
The HONOR X9a 5G sports a 6.67-inch OLED Curved Display. It has a 394 pixels per inch count with a 2400 x 1900 resolution and 800 nits of peak brightness. Marketing materials also tout its 1.07 billion colors and TUV Rheinland Low Blue Light Certification.
For the most part, the phone is everything it says it is on paper. The curved display affects more how the phone feels on-hand than it does for your eyes. It makes the phone’s profile feel slimmer than it actually is. And it’s not too curved to the point that it distracts from whatever you’re watching.
Colors also look great. We can confidently say that you’ll have a good time watching videos on the HONOR X9a 5G. Whether that’s one of our YouTube videos, mindlessly scrolling on TikTok, or catching up on your favorite series.
It also delivers a buttery-smooth feel, it has a 120Hz refresh rate and a 300Hz touch sampling rate.
Going over to how the rest of the phone looks, it gives off a Magic-ish, Mate-ish vibe. The circular camera module on the back plays a huge part in that. We’ll get to the camera details later on. For now, let’s focus on the look.
One glance and you could mistake it as an HONOR Magic or even a HUAWEI Mate phone. After all, they share a similar design language.
All the buttons (power and volume) are on the right.
And at the bottom, you’ll find the SIM Card tray, USB-C port, and speaker-grille. Pretty standard stuff.
Globally, the phone comes in three colors: Titanium Silver, Emerald Green and Midnight Black. In the Philippines, it appears only the first two colors will be available at launch.
Overall, it’s your standard slab with a signature look. That camera module is certainly doing a lot to separate it from the pack.
Now onto the cameras. Here they are by the numbers:
- Main (Wide): 64MP, f/1.8, PDAF
- Ultrawide: 5MP, f/2.2,
- Macro: 2MP, f/2.4, (macro)
- Front (wide): 16MP, f/2.5
And since video taking seems to be all the rage these days, you might be pleased to know that both the front and back cameras can take 1080P at 30fps footage.
Again, these are pretty standard numbers for midrangers. The same is true for the actual output. There’s nothing here that’s mind blowing. But for posting on socials and just capturing stuff on the daily, it’s more than serviceable.
Take a look at these samples:
The HONOR X9a 5G is powered by the Qualcomm SM6375 Snapdragon 695 5G processor. In the Philippines, it comes with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage. It also has a massive 5,100mAh battery. Software-wise, it’s running Magic UI 6.1 based on Android 12.
In practice, all these components come together to deliver a steady performer of a smartphone. The HONOR X9a 5G is reliable in all the ways that matter. The processor, while not new by 2023 standard, still does what you expect it to do. That is to keep the stuff you need running in the background as needed.
It also has a decent power efficiency, which, paired with the massive battery, delivers an overall battery life that won’t have you running to the nearest power outlet as the day winds down.
We didn’t do much gaming on the phone, but given that it’s the same processor that was equipped on mobile gaming-inclined phones in the past, we’re confident it can steadily run plenty of the most-played games on mobile.
Solid start for HONOR
The HONOR X9a 5G is a tough, capable smartphone that’s easy on the eyes. It’s the quintessential midrange smartphone. Everything we’ve come to expect from midrangers is present on this phone while also being extra tough and lasting extra long.
With this being HONOR’s first offering in 2023 in the Philippines, the company is off to a solid start.
New Year resolutions with vivo
Make yours happen
A New Year always brings new beginnings. A chance to start-over and put your life on the track you want it to be in. vivo argues that it’s easier to follow through on these new year changes when you have the right device for you. Lo and behold, they put together things to keep mind, to keep you on the right track.
Learn something new and practical
Since it’s the new year, challenge yourself to learn something new — a skill like computer programming, a hobby like playing a musical instrument, or any practical knowledge such as learning a new language.
Having a reliable device that can give you the ease to learn everything with only a few taps is essential. Like, say, the vivo Y35.
The vivo Y35 supports 44W FastCharge so you wouldn’t have to wait for a long time until your phone is fully charged to resume studying immediately. Plus, its massive 5000mAh battery can help it run for long hours, keeping you immersed in watching tutorial videos, attending online classes or reading how-to articles. It also has a massive 16GB Dynamic RAM and 256GB ROM.
These features can help make learning continuous and with fewer interruptions.
Start documenting your life
It’s all about making and preserving memories. This year, start capturing moments with a greater purpose. While you’re at it, try to take good photos and videos as well.
The vivo V25 Series, which has a 64MP OIS Ultra-Sensing camera with extreme night vision, is a great tool to document both day and night moments that you want to keep for the longest time possible. The vivo V25 Series’ up to 50MP Eye autofocus selfie camera can also help you capture the smiles of the people with you during every encounter.
Always go for healthier options
Health will always be wealth. It means you should also be more knowledgeable and conscious about your food and drink intake. The Internet offers a lot of information you can refer to for nutritious choices. Do your research, compare and find what’s best and more feasible for you.
For this, you have the vivo Y22s. It is equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 processor, up to 16GB dynamic RAM and ROM expandable to 1TB. These can assist you with minimal to no lags to get the healthier 2023 done.
Stay in touch with your loved ones
You should also remember to allot more time to people who matter. As the new year begins, you should create more memories with your family. Scheduling a video call with them while you’re away from home or constantly checking up on them through messages can make a difference in keeping a strong relationship.
The vivo Y16, which has a wide 6.51-inch Halo FullView display with eye protection mode, can help.
Travel more, in style
Traveling this year? Do it in style by getting a smartphone that’ll go with your travel fits.
vivo Y02s and vivo Y02’s2.5D curvature slim frame and lightweight build fit this goal perfectly and would never feel like extra travel baggage. Instead, these vivo smartphones work like additional accessories that will add glam and style.
New Year with vivo
The new year is better if matched with a vivo smartphone that will aid in accomplishing your resolutions. All smartphones in vivo’s current lineup are available in offline stores nationwide.
Head to the nearest vivo concept store or kiosk to stand a chance to win in Paskong La vivo Loca which runs until January 31, 2023. Follow vivo’s official website and its social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube for more information.
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