Features

iPhone SE vs. Xperia Z5 Compact: pocket rocket showdown

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I’ve got 10 smartphones on my desk, but one stands out because of its size.

In a sea of phones that are 5 inches and larger, Apple’s 4-inch iPhone SE goes against trend. It’s a big-phone world out there, not just because larger screens are hip, but because a phone’s display is a window to a universe of productivity, entertainment, and possibility.

Still, there’s a certain charm to a smartphone that fits comfortably and securely in one’s hand. For Apple, it’s also about logic, or as one of their ads puts it, “A dazzling display of common sense.” 

For about half a decade since it was originally introduced, the iPhone sported a 3.5-inch display — tiny by today’s standards. Then in 2012, when Apple decided to bump up the iPhone 5’s screen to 4 inches, it justified the decision by saying 4 inches is as much as the human thumb could reach. 

Four years later, Apple is resurrecting the iPhone 5, giving it modern specs, and calling it the iPhone SE.

On the Android side of the fence, there’s the Xperia Z5 Compact from Sony. Many will praise Apple and its commitment to smaller phones, but it was actually Sony that first pushed for high-specced phones in smaller form factors.

When it first introduced the Z1 Compact in 2014, Sony said the phone was designed for those who want a “mini” phone that doesn’t compromise on flagship features. The Xperia Z5 Compact is everything the Z1 Compact was, only better.

About the same size as the iPhone SE but with a bit more heft and a larger display, the Xperia Z5 Compact is the most powerful small phone money can buy today. It’s rather pretty, too (for this story, we borrowed the pink variant to match our rose-gold iPhone SE, but it comes in other colors also).

If you’re unwilling to jump on the phablet bandwagon, both the iPhone SE and Xperia Z5 Compact are worthy upgrades. Here are a few reasons why.

SUPER PERFORMANCE

Who says small can’t be powerful? The performance of both of these phones is super. Neither slows down when you’re switching between tons of apps or playing a game that requires as much processing power as possible.

Don’t be fooled by their size, these phones are not the watered-down versions of their bigger brothers. In fact, they’re equally as powerful, and leaps and bounds ahead of anything else their size.

You also get high-end features like fingerprint scanners and 4K video recording. The Z5 Compact has 32GB of built-in storage; the iPhone SE starts at a measly 16GB, but you can always opt for the 64GB model. That’s what we’d recommend.

TOP-NOTCH CAMERAS

The iPhone SE has the same camera as the iPhone 6s, one of the most dependable cameras on the market now. iPhone cameras are known to capture accurate colors and balance light and shadows really well.

The SE is no exception, and if we’re comparing, it outperformed the Z5 Compact in our testing. Not that the Z5 Compact is a slouch by any stretch. It’s got almost twice the amount of megapixels as the iPhone; it focuses fast; and it takes pretty decent photos in different lighting.

Here are some photos taken with the iPhone SE’s rear camera.

Unlike the iPhone, it also offers manual mode for those wanting a bit more control over the way their photos look. The only thing I don’t like about the iPhone SE is that its front camera is stuck in the dark ages.

As a rule, I don’t count megapixels — and neither should you — but when an upper-midrange phone only has 1.2 megapixels for the selfie camera, you have every right to complain. Having said that, most of my selfies these days are sent via Snapchat, and my friends don’t seem to mind.

Below is a gallery of images taken using the Sony phone.

The Xperia Z5 Compact has a 5-megapixel front cam, which takes better, less grainy selfies, even in low light.

UNDERWATER GOODNESS

The Xperia Z5 Compact is water-resistant, not something that can be said of many smartphones of any size. Theoretically, you can submerge the phone in a pool for up to 30 minutes. We’ve done it many times before, though we don’t recommend you do it often.

Previously, Sony ran entire marketing campaigns on the fact that the phone makes for a great underwater camera, but these days, it’s left unsaid. It’s safer that way.

I recommend limiting water exposure to the occasional rinse when things get a bit sticky, which in this climate is often, or for when you’re caught in the rain without an umbrella.

The iPhone SE, unfortunately, while reportedly resilient to a light shower, isn’t rated for waterproofing. Expose it to the elements at your own risk.

OUTLASTING THE ENERGIZER BUNNY

Bigger smartphones have more space for larger batteries, but these smartphones are long-lasting anyway.

With heavy use, the iPhone SE can last a full day on a single charge, so you should have enough juice from when you wake up in the morning till right before you hit the sack.

The Xperia Z5 Compact lasts even longer — no kidding! You could get about 24 hours of heavy use on average, with possibly a little bit left over. And then there’s Ultra Stamina Mode, which extends battery life even further. With things like WiFi, data, and the screen turned off, the phone can last up to 2 days.

THE WAY FORWARD

I decided to write this piece knowing that Apple draws more attention than Sony. It had to be said that for a few years now, Sony was alone in advancing the cause of the small but powerful smartphone. But now, with Apple back in the mix, everyone is paying attention.

By betting on an older but much-loved form factor, Apple is laying the predicate not just for a small-phone revival, but for small phones that kick ass.  I wouldn’t be surprised if the industry responds soon. That would be a big win for lovers of small phones.

[irp posts=”925″ name=”Sony Xperia Z5 Premium Review”]

Features

5 ways to enjoy Huawei’s MatePad gift bundles

There’s plenty to do!

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Tablets are always a convenient tool for users to enjoy, whether they’re looking for entertainment or simply unwinding.

As the holiday season is fast-approaching, Huawei is offering customers gift bundles for its MatePad tablet series for them to score exciting promos while saving on huge freebies.

Whether it’s a gift for yourself, an early Christmas gift, or an investment for the next year, the Huawei gift bundles campaign includes everything from budget tablets to premium ones to help grant those wishes.

Five ways to enjoy

With more than 141,000 apps available on AppGallery, users can unlock new ways to be entertained and inspired at their fingertips especially nowadays with safety guidelines outside still in place.

As the year winds down, here are five ways to begin a new journey in 2022 with the HUAWEI MatePad series:

1. Reconnect with your loved ones online

 

Stay connected to your friends and family over the holidays with a variety of essential social media platforms ready for download on AppGallery and Petal Search.

That includes WhatsApp, Telegram, Facebook Messenger, Tiktok, Facebook, Instagram, Reddit and Twitter!

2. Catch a movie marathon

MatePad Pro 12.6

Whether it means staying up to date with local dramas on MeWatch or catching the latest blockbusters on HBO Go, keep your serotonin flowing with the immersive displays and sound systems tuned by Harmon Kardon on the Huawei MatePad tablets.

Apps that you could consider include HUAWEI Video, Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, Spotify, and Twitch so you don’t miss out on safe and sound Christmas bonding sessions at home.

3. Maximize productivity

With apps like Zoom, Slack and Microsoft Office, Teams, and Outlook at your disposal, staying productive amidst the Christmas rush is a breeze.

You can also keep an eye on your kid’s tablet use with a smart monitoring solution like Plano or amp your multi-tasking game with Huawei’s multi-window and multi-screen collaboration feature on the tablets.

4. Explore your creative side

Huawei MatePad

With infinite possibilities on a digital canvas, you don’t have to worry about paper wastage or harming the environment.

Whether you’re a pro or just starting to find your inner artist, the Huawei M-Pencil gives a realistic drawing experience equipped with pixel-level precision.

Take a stroke of faith with Nebo, ibisPaint X, Concepts available from AppGallery.

5. Find your flow with journaling

The world can get a little noisy at times. Take a moment to disconnect and develop a calmer mind through journaling with suggested apps like Journey, Grid Diary, and Calm.

Gift bundles to choose from

Huawei has four packages available depending on what plans you have for a tablet. All deals include a free gift bundle worth as much as SG$ 396.

MatePad model Retail price Free gift bundle Best for
HUAWEI MatePad SGSG$ 448

(U.P. SGSG$ 498)

Get it for only SG$ 398 during the Lazada Huawei Brand Sale from October 26 to 28

Smart Magnetic Keyboard worth SG$ 148 Families looking for a

budget-friendly tablet

for work and for fun.

Includes a Kirin 820

chipset, Wi-Fi 6 and

EMUI 10.1.

HUAWEI MatePad 11 SG$ 698 Worth SG$ 346:

  • Huawei M-Pencil (2nd gen)
  • Smart Magnetic Keyboard
Young adults and

students looking for a

reliable productivity

tool.

Includes a 120 Hz

refresh rate for a

smoother visual

experience and a DCI –

P3 colour gamut

feature.

HUAWEI MatePad Pro 10.8” SG$ 998 Worth SG$ 254:

  • MatePad Pro Flip cover
  • Huawei M-Pencil (2nd gen)
  • Huawei Mini Speaker
An all-rounded

productivity machine at

home, school, or the

office.

Includes 10.8 inch 2K

HUAWEI FullView

Display with a 4.9mm

ultra slim bezel body.

Up to 11 hours of

battery life.

HUAWEI MatePad Pro 12.6” SG$ 1,398 Worth SG$ 396:

  • Huawei M-Pencil (2nd gen)
  • MatePad pro 12.6” Smart Magnetic Keyboard
Professionals and

creatives running

sophisticated programs

on-screen.

Features a powerful

10,050mAh battery

capacity and a large

12.6 inch OLED

FullView Display.

Pricing and availability

The promotion will run from October 26 to November 30, 2021 and will be available at all Huawei Authorized Stores, selected consumer electronic stores including Best Denki, Challenger & Hachi.tech, COURTS, Gain City, Harvey Norman, Sprint-Cass, and Huawei official online stores in Lazada and Shopee.

SEE ALSO: 11 most notable things about the Huawei MatePad 11

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Smartphones

Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro Unboxing

The best Pixel yet?

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Google Pixel 6

After a series of leaks from many months ago, Google has finally unveiled the newest Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro to the public (take note of the new ‘Pro’ branding instead of ‘XL’ from the Pixel 4 series).

If you’ve been a long-time Pixel follower, you’d know it’s the biggest Pixel redesign ever. From the modern look and feel, to that new horizontal camera strip. Everything went north from the Pixel 5’s less remarkable design language.

Without further ado, here’s our Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro unboxing in Sorta Seafoam and Cloudy White colorways.

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Unboxing

Apple Watch Series 7 Unboxing: Starlight the new Silver or Gold?

The best smartwatch for fitness and fashion?

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The new Apple Watch Series 7 might look ever-so-similar to last year’s Watch Series 6, but it’s more than meets the eye.

There’s a bigger display, new watch faces, and of course, newer aluminum finishes as well — including ours in Starlight.

But is it the best time for you to buy or even upgrade your Apple Watch?

Here’s our Apple Watch Series 7 unboxing.

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