Features

IFA 2016: What to expect from Europe’s biggest tech show

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The IFA consumer electronics exhibition will officially take place in Berlin over the next several days, and we’ll be there to bring you the biggest stories as they happen. 

So what can we expect from the top brands around the industry? We’ve been doing some research, as well as rounding up the most plausible devices that will break cover at IFA 2016. Read on for a breakdown of what we expect to see and hear about in the upcoming week.

Acer

acer ifa 2016

Acer has already teased an ultraportable laptop that may be under 1-inch thick, but what else do the Taiwanese have in store for attendees of Europe’s largest consumer electronics trade show?

A high-end phone? We doubt it. More Windows 10 machines? Possibly. A gaming smartwatch? Yeah, that’s a very likely scenario. Acer is said to be ready to introduce a smartwatch — niche-market product at the moment — that might appeal to gamers — a niche community. It’s an unlikely pairing, to be sure, but if any company can pull it off, we believe it’s Acer.

ASUS

asus ifa 2016

The ZenFone 3 series has only started to trickle through to people, so expecting another bunch of ASUS handsets from IFA would be misguided. Without plans for a major smartphone announcement, we may very well see the ZenWatch 3 breaking cover. ASUS already hinted at a smartwatch refresh on Twitter, which could have a round face and three physical buttons, in addition to built-in WiFi, Bluetooth, and support for fast charging.

Huawei

huawei ifa 2016

Earlier reports claimed that Huawei will take the wraps off the Mate 9 at IFA 2016, but the rumors have been reportedly shot down by a company executive. The latest news, courtesy of industry insider Evan Blass (@evleaks), suggests that Huawei will instead unveil a successor to the MediaPad range and two new midrange phones: the Nova and Nova Plus.

Both phones may look identical to the Nexus 6P and will likely include the latest Kirin processor with up to 4GB of RAM, 16- and 8-megapixel rear and front cameras, and a rear-facing fingerprint sensor. Meanwhile, the upcoming MediaPad slate could come with a metal body to house its midrange components.

Samsung

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The Korean tech company has previously debuted the Galaxy Note 7 and a Type-C compatible Gear VR headset. But that doesn’t mean it has run out of exciting things to show off in Berlin.

Perhaps the most interesting of which is the Galaxy Gear 3 wearable, which is believed to come with multiple health/fitness sensors and a GPS chip for accurate location tracking. Its predecessor, the Galaxy Gear 2, has been hailed as Samsung’s best wearable yet, so we’re expecting to hear some great things about the sequel.

Also rumored to hit the stage are two models under the new Galaxy Tab 3 line. Sporting 8- and 9.7-inch Quad HD AMOLED screens and Qualcomm’s faster Snapdragon chips, the tablets seem to be aimed at power users who want to be extra productive with their tablets.

Sony

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Besides unveiling more TVs that make “Netflix and chill” even better, the Japanese manufacturer is largely expected to show up with two new products to accompany its existing X series of smartphones. If reports turn out to be accurate, the Xperia X Compact and Xperia XZ will assume the flagship mantle for Sony, with the latter poised to compete with the best the industry has to offer.

A Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 system-on-a-chip matched with 4GB of RAM is expected to power the two phones, making the Xperia X Compact an ideal option for those who want a more pocketable handset that can do everything a flagship can. Think of it as the more capable Android equivalent of Apple’s iPhone SE.

What else?

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Word is Lenovo-owned Motorola will present new Moto 360 smartwatches. ZTE will announce a bezel-less Nubia smartphone and a smaller version of the Axon 7. LG might come to IFA bearing a curvy phone to succeed the G Flex line, but we’d be surprised if it does make an appearance; LG execs told us before that the G Flex 2 is probably the last in the series.

[irp posts=”736" name=”Car Tech at CES 2016"]

Hands-On

Samsung Galaxy M20 hands-on: Give the users what they want

Awakening of the sleeping giant

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Samsung has been the smartphone market leader for half a decade now, and its flagship phones continue to be an inspiration for everyone. However, while the brand is dominating in developed markets, it has taken a massive beating in the developing ones.

Thanks to players like Xiaomi, the South Korean brand has consistently lost market share in countries like India. Samsung slowly prepared itself to change strategy by the end of last year and intends to go hard in 2019. It announced the new Galaxy M-series lineup of phones in the budget segment and the M10 and M20 are the first ones to roll off the shelf.

The M20 has been launched in India for INR 10,990 (US$ 154) and comes with 3GB RAM and 32GB internal storage. The option with 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage costs INR 12,990 (US$ 182). The phone goes up against the Redmi 6 Pro, Realme U1, and even the Mi A2.

To start with, Samsung has opted to go with a basic design, consisting of a plastic body that is curved at the edges and is pretty glossy. The phone is extremely comfortable to hold, and the build quality is top-notch. Even the buttons are very tactile and bezels are smaller.

On the front is a 6.3-inch TFT display with a Full HD resolution and small water-drop style notch on the top. This is the first Samsung phone to feature a notch, and the display quality is surprisingly good. The color production is vivid and satisfying, while the viewing angles are perfect. It is easily visible even under direct sunlight.

For authentication, a fingerprint scanner is located on the rear and it is fast enough. You also have the option of face unlock and it works quickly in well-lit conditions. It has dual-SIM support and there’s a separate slot for microSD card, as well.

Powering the phone is an octa-core Exynos 7904 processor, which is considered to be on par with the Snapdragon 636. It is a very power-efficient processor with more emphasis on the cameras. Day-to-day tasks are handled smoothly and games like PUBG are playable with low graphics.

It has a dual-camera setup on the rear, consisting of a 13-megapixel primary shooter and a 5-megapixel wide-angle sensor. The pictures clicked during daytime are decently saturated but lack sharpness. Even focus tends to get slow in low-light conditions. The wide-angle lens works best in bright surroundings only and is a very handy tool. For selfies, it has an 8-megapixel shooter with built-in beauty enhancements.

It ships with Samsung Experience 9.5 out of the box and is actually well optimized. There is barely any lag and the UI offers a plethora of customizations and features. The company announced that the Android Pie update will be landing soon. Lastly, it has a massive 5000mAh battery that’ll get you through two days of usage.

Xiaomi has been successful because it offers users a balanced product that suits everyone’s needs. With the M20, Samsung goes down the same road. While the recently announced A-series phones were for photography enthusiasts, the M20 is good enough for everything.

The M20 is no disruptor, but an indication that Samsung is gearing up. And as a generation-one product, it’s performing fairly well.

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Cameras

Fujifilm Instax SQ20 hands-on: How good is it?

Trying out the new Motion Mode on doggies!

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Fujifilm’s sequel to their first ever digital/analog hybrid is here and it’s looking better than ever. The Instax SQ20 is one classy-looking instant camera but what can it do? With a set of built-in filters and new features like the Motion Mode, it looks like a promising device.

I finally try it out, with help from some doggies, on our hands-on video.

The SQ20 retails for US$ 199 in the US, PhP 12,999 in the Philippines, and SG$ 299 in Singapore.

In case you’re having trouble viewing, watch HERE.

READ ALSO: Fujifilm Instax SQ10 review

READ ALSO: Prynt Pocket unboxing and review: A printer that prints videos?

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Features

DALLA DALLA, Crazy Rich Asians: Now Playing

A Valentine’s special!

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While we wait for the Galaxy S10 to launch and MWC 2019 to start, let’s take a moment to celebrate Valentine’s Day!

If you don’t have a date, don’t be grumpy. Sometimes, all you need is self-love and entertainment to keep you going. Have some fun alone time and enjoy what’s now playing at GadgetMatch!

Movies to see

Dragon Ball Super: Broly
Marvin: If you’re single and unhappy about it this month, catching a late showing of Dragon Ball Super: Broly may be the best way to release stress in the theater. It’s by far the best Dragon Ball movie yet with tireless action and gorgeous visuals, plus it’s surprisingly friendly to both old fans and those new to the franchise.

Crazy Rich Asians
MJ: Crazy Rich Asians is a film for those who are ready to take it to the next level. It’s about standing up to people who get in the way of your happiness, and choosing what’s best for the person you love. It’s a dash of romance with a sprinkle of comedy to keep you from crying in heart-wrenching scenes.

TV shows to binge watch

Kakegurui
Rodneil: The anime follows a transfer student who seemed sweet and normal at first, but has an insatiable thirst for gambling. It’s a relatively easy watch and you can follow along even if you’re doing something else.

Games to play

Kingdom Hearts III
Rodneil: There’s too much backstory heading into this game that it can get super confusing, especially if this is your first game in the franchise. The story is clunky at best but the game is a visual spectacle. Push the narrative to the side and just play it for the fireworks.

Resident Evil 2
Marvin: I was too afraid to finish Resident Evil 2 on my own as a kid, so I’m glad it’s been remade for my braver adult self. In line with Valentine’s Day, I’d say it’s a perfect game to play with a partner so that you have someone to hold your hand during the most intense zombie sightings. 💕

Albums/Songs/Podcasts to listen to

Kahit Ayaw Mo Na by This Band
Rodneil: Only caught wind of this song recently and I haven’t been able to stop listening since. It talks about someone wanting to work it out with her/his partner. However, the partner seems unwilling. The music invites multiple listens and the way the words flow is ear-candy.

Shine by Pentagon
Rodneil: My obsession with girl group Twice has served as a gateway to other K-Pop tracks, and this is one of them. It’s simply an absolutely fun song to listen to. A great pick-me-up to get you started in the morning.

Can’t Help Falling In Love by Kina Grannis
MJ: Kina Grannis’ strings and acoustic guitar rendition of Elvis Presley’s classic love song makes you remember how love is a force you can’t resist. The emotion you’ll feel in this song is overwhelming — ranging from the bliss of being in love to confusion and even heartbreak.

DALLA DALLA by ITZY
Vincenz: The song’s unique and dynamic blend of sounds, from a hip-hop centric intro and bridge up to a contrasting, bright chorus, makes it a great and catchy debut song (their visuals are exceptional, too). Message of the song? It’s all about empowerment and self-love!

Gokigen Sayonara (A Happy Goodbye) by IZ*ONE
Vincenz: This song caught my ears with its catchy tune and lyrics, which doesn’t usually happen since most J-Pop releases sound so different. Its lively, electro-pop vibe opposes the song’s message about bidding farewell to someone you truly love, but it works.

Cities/Places to visit

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Boracay
Marvin: Now cleaner and more beautiful than ever, Boracay’s beach is the perfect weekend getaway once again. A lot of activities and shops are still unavailable, but if you simply want to soak in the sun and sea breeze, it would be a great time to go once the tourists leave post-Valentine’s.


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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