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.” 

Are Small Phones Making a Comeback?

Many will praise Apple and its commitment to small phones, but it was actually Sony that first pushed for phones with premium specs in smaller form factors.

Posted by GadgetMatch on Monday, May 2, 2016

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”]

Hands-On

Huawei P40 Pro Unboxing and Complete Hands-On

‘Visionary Photography’

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Everything you need to know about the new Huawei P40 Series. Yep there are 3 phones this year, the P40, P40 Pro and P40 Pro+. Yep a pro plus model!

In this video you get a P40 Pro Unboxing, Hands-On, some photo samples, and a camera comparison vs the P30 Pro.

Of course I’ll also answer you questions: What’s new? How is the P40 Pro’s camera vs the P30 Pro, and what’s it like without Google Play Services? And while you’ll have to wait for my full review for a verdict, I’ll try to answer the question, Is it your GadgetMatch?

Watch our Hands-On video.

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Dating

How to quench your thirst for dating in the time of social distancing

Combat that craving for someone’s affection!

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After self-isolating myself for more than two weeks already, I found myself on the verge of insanity. In true Britney Spears fashion, “My loneliness is killing me.”

But there’s a silver lining in this adversity. When we’re forced to do social distancing, there are ways you can cope with badly craving someone’s attention. Here’s how you can quench that thirst for dating or seeing your person.

Set aside time for your hobbies

This enforced social distancing has made a lot of people realize they don’t have much of a hobby. It’s time to rebuild yourself and realize hobbies are building blocks of your personality — a much-needed ingredient in dating.

Imagine being in a relationship with someone who doesn’t have any hobby except talking to you and making you their world? That’s a recipe for disaster; a gateway to a co-dependent, toxic, and potentially abusive relationship.

Now’s the time to do something else. You can create art, put together a collage using your old magazines, start journaling, or dabble in crafting. If you have an instrument, you can start playing music again. Have some books you hoarded from the last book sale? It’s time to read them.

There are a lot of things you can do, so set aside time for your interests. Your future self and your future partner will thank you.

Learn something new to develop yourself

Ever since I met my beau, I had this dream of becoming a trophy house husband. In my quest to achieving this silly fantasy, I’ve been learning stuff that my future self will thank me for, even if I don’t end up marrying the person I’m seeing.

Photo by Kevin McCutcheon

I’ve opened up cookbooks to learn and try new recipes, so I can make my person some homemade lunch with love when this is all over. I’m also getting into gardening, tarot reading, and most recently, making smoothies while dancing.

With all this extra time we used to spend on traffic, we now have time to do things we need to improve ourselves. Take advantage of this instead of overthinking your crush’s messages to you.

Level up your conversations

If you’re already seeing someone ~and you badly miss them~, it’s time to level up your conversations. Gone are the days you slide into their DMs, chat them on messaging apps, or send them an SMS (really?). It’s time to do video calls and voice calls, or start sending voice messages.

Conversing through the usual messaging and social apps just don’t carry the same level of emotional depth versus a face-to-face encounter. However, hearing or seeing them even through your smartphone’s screen is enough to make you swoon and fall for them again. Nothing beats the calmness your person’s face or voice gives especially on an exhausting, trying situation.

Also, connecting through video and voice calls is just a better way to communicate. You can clarify stuff easily, and there’s a lesser chance of misunderstanding because you can see and hear their tone and reactions. If you have a friend who’s in a long-distance relationship, ask them for some advice. This social distancing situation is a piece of cake for them!

Swipe around

If you don’t have anyone to obsess over, it’s high time you download dating apps (if you haven’t already). For a limited time, Tinder is offering its premium service for free. Set up your dating profiles, and start swiping!

Just make sure to never meet any potential matches until this is all over. Remember, social distancing is a must and you can’t self-quarantine yourself with another person while on lockdown. Behave properly and just chat sexily! You can start with getting to know the other person (especially their political inclinations so you know what you’re getting into).

Keep yourself healthy and well-sanitized

During a pandemic, it’s a must to keep yourself healthy. While there are no ways you can rapidly boost your immune system, it’s still a good practice to eat healthy food and sanitize yourself properly — something that everyone should’ve been doing whether there’s no outbreak.

Additionally, maintaining proper hygiene is a plus in anyone’s book. It’s definitely a turn on for the person you’re dating. Make sure to wash your hands the right way!

Photo by Jana Sabeth

Last but not the least, don’t forget to drink your water. When you drink a gallon of water, you won’t have time to listen to people’s drama and cater to your negative thoughts because you’ll be busy peeing. Stay hydrated, my dear friends!

SEE ALSO: How to disinfect your tech from the coronavirus | Coronavirus porn is trending on Pornhub | Here’s where you can donate to the COVID-19 outbreak efforts | 4 ways you can use TikTok to help during the COVID-19 crisis


As general rules, the CDC or The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention listed these to help with preventing the spread of COVID-19:

  • Stay home when sick
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Frequently wash hands with soap and water
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces

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Camera Shootouts

Samsung Galaxy S20+ vs OPPO Find X2 Pro: Camera shootout

Which one shoots better for you?

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OPPO just came out with what arguably is their best phone to date — the Find X2 Pro. So we decided to take the phone out for a camera shootout against the Samsung Galaxy S20+ — arguably one of the best phones to come out so far in 2020.

Can the OPPO give Samsung a run for its money? Let’s find out!

Make sure to jot down your answers, as the results of this blind test will be at the end of this article. As usual, photos were labeled, resized, and collaged (this time) for you to load the images faster. No post-processing nor any color adjustments were done in any of the photos. So, let’s begin!

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Results

So, I’m just messing with you guys. It’s not actually a blind test since all photos labeled Photo A were taken using the OPPO Find X2 Pro. Meanwhile, all photos labeled Photo B were taken using the Samsung Galaxy S20+.

If you analyzed the photos, the Find X2 Pro clearly holds out on its own. In certain lighting conditions, the Find X2 Pro produced brighter and more saturated photos during the daytime. At night, it tends to illuminate the scene captured, and process it with a warmer tone.

On the other hand, the Galaxy S20+ produced balanced results, although vibrancy and contrast were strengthened in both day and night shots.

The most notable differences are how the Galaxy S20+ has subtle bokeh — making it more believable — and wider scope on its wide-angle mode, while the Find X2 Pro has a softer look whilst retaining details. Both phones were astounding and as always, everything will depend on a user’s preference and how they use their smartphone’s cameras.

How about its selfie camera?

While the Find X2 Pro goes toe-to-toe with the Galaxy S20+ on the rear camera department, its front camera samples look way different. The Find X2 Pro has a greener tint and warmer tone, while the Galaxy S20+ has a better white balance, but adds a pinkish tint.

Both phones upped their contrast and colors, adding an unnecessary beautification when processed despite not using beauty mode. The backlit selfies were captured properly, illuminating Michael Josh‘s face without compromising details. You just have to choose how you’ll post-process your selfies later on if you’re planning to upload it on social media.

Author’s opinion

Personally, both phones captured awesome photos. Even I had a hard time choosing between the two when putting this article together. Smartphones, particularly the best ones, capture outstanding results which makes it difficult for consumers to decide, especially when they’re concerned with the camera performance.

The key is to figure out how you’ll use the cameras. For instance, I’ll use the OPPO Find X2 Pro to capture more of my daily life — which I can readily upload to my social media platforms. The Galaxy S20+ proves handy though for frequent travelers, especially with its wide-angle lens.

Nonetheless, whatever you choose, know that you’re in good hands. Just don’t forget, there’s more to a smartphone than its cameras. Watch our YouTube videos for the Galaxy S20+ and Find X2 Pro to know more about these flagship devices.

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