iQOO 11 5G iQOO 11 5G

Reviews

iQOO 11 5G review: Better where it matters

Performance and more

Published

on

iQOO, independent sub-brand of vivo (as they like to call themselves), is doubling down on being a performance-focused brand. Their last phone that graced our pages is the iQOO 9T — a phone focused on speed. And now their latest, the iQOO 11 5G delivers more of the same but with a new processor and a slightly revamped package. 

But is it the “Monster” the marketing is making out to be? On paper, it looks like it is. Here’s a quick look at the specs. 

  • Processor – Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 
  • RAM – 16GB (+8GB)
  • Storage – 256GB 
  • Display – 6.78” 2K E6 AMOLED Display, Up to 144Hz refresh rate
  • Battery – 5,000mAh, 120W FlashCharge 

These are the numbers on paper, but how does it feel to actually use the phone? 

Is it really a ‘Monster’? 

To be honest, I personally think “monster” is a misnomer. When I see that word, a certain image comes to mind. Something dark, large, and imposing. That’s just not the vibe I get when I look at and use the iQOO 11 5G. 

Instead, it kind of feels more like Son Goku’s Ultra Instinct. Its presence is strong but subdued. It exudes a quiet confidence. There’s something about it that is extremely calm. But at the same time, you just know you don’t want to mess with it. 

Where a monster comes at you with unrelenting intensity, the iQOO 11 glides and breezes through. 

Let’s start with the exterior. 

Legendary look

The variant we have is the Legend edition. Like the iQOO 9T, it sports the BMW design with the dominant white background and the red, black, and blue stripes. It just screams premium. 

What’s different is that there’s more white background this time in lieu of the black that’s found on the iQOO 9T. Another difference is the material. While the 9T had glossy glass, the iQOO 11 sports vegan leather. And it’s a dream to touch.

Something I’m realizing more and more that matters to me is how the phone feels on my hand. Specifically, the back texture. I prefer something that feels a little rough and not slippery. This is why I love the sandstone case that OnePlus makes. And vegan leather is also right up there. 

iQOO 11 5G

It feels so good that for the duration of the review, I opted to not use the jelly case included in the packaging. Sure, it gives more protection. But it just takes so much away in terms of premium feel. 

The iQOO 11 Legend edition is an eye-catcher without being loud. And it’s extremely pleasant to touch, making you want to use it more and more. 

Breezing through everything

iQOO 11 5G

Gliding. That’s what it feels like doing the usual stuff on the iQOO 11. Whether that’s switching from app to app, browsing socials, and scrolling. It just feels breezy. 

I’ve used the OnePlus 10T a lot and that one feels speedy. It’s fast AF. That may be due to both the chipset and the animation of OxygenOS. And while the iQOO 11 has a faster chip. That, along with FunTouchOS 13 makes it feel like you’re carefreely coasting. 

The iQOO 11’s speed isn’t in-your-face-blazing-fast. It feels more gentle and calm. Like you’re effortlessly flowing from one spot to another. Very un-monster like, but that’s just how it feels. 

That said, it is now without its faults. For instance, it’s happened quite often that when I switch from one artist to another on Spotify, the widget on the lock screen displays the previous artist’s image while playing the current artist. 

iQOO 11 5G

 

 

It’s nothing major though. If anything, it’s amusing and should be easily fixed with a software update. For everything else, I encountered no problems whatsoever using the phone. 

Gaming for champs

iQOO 11 5G

So what happens when you push the performance? The iQOO 11 is built to run even the most demanding of mobile games. I tried Call of Duty: Mobile, Genshin Impact, and Apex Legends Mobile on this thing and for the most part, I had a great experience. 

When you fire up the games, they’re set on Medium settings by default. But toggle to Monster mode on gaming customization and you’ll experience the high framerates and performance that this phone promises. 

I spent the most time playing Apex Legends Mobile. It’s a battle royale shooter game that benefits a lot from the extra oomph that the iQOO 11 gives you. Other than the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, it also has the V2 chip that unlocks the phone’s full potential. Especially when it comes to gaming. 

iQOO 11 5G

It was hard to put the phone down even after nearly an hour of play. Naturally, the phone did accumulate some heat. But it wasn’t to the point where you can’t touch it anymore. 

I did lose a significant amount of power pushing the phone to its limits. I went from around 80% to 45% during the gaming session. Thankfully, the phone supports 120W flash charge. This juices up the 5,000mAh battery with great haste. 

Feast for the ears and eyes

But really, the one thing I did the most on the iQOO 11 5G is watch so much video. When I can’t sleep at night I tend to toggle between TikTok and YouTube going from one video to another until I get really sleepy.

 

Watching fancams of LE SSERAFIM Chaewon is absolutely heavenly. Both because Chaewon is an angel and the 6.78-inch 2K AMOLED display makes everything pleasing to watch.

iQOO 11 5G

Sometimes I’d also dabble into a few episodes of my favorite shows. One of which is Chainsaw Man and a few other anime titles.

Both the size and the quality of the screen lends itself nicely to an enjoyable entertainment experience. That’s true whether you’re watching vertically or horizontally.

To top it all off, the speakers on this thing are pretty darn good. Just about as good as any smartphone speakers I’ve used. They get sufficiently loud without the sound breaking. And the audio doesn’t muffle even if you accidentally cover the bottom firing speakers.

iQOO 11 5G

It’s a mobile entertainment package that I’m happy I can bring wherever.

Capable cameras

iQOO 11 5G

A feature that marketing doesn’t highlight as much is its cameras. But don’t let that fool you. The iQOO 11 is a more than capable companion for your daily snaps. 

It’s rocking the following shooters: 

  • 50MP f/1.88 GN5 Ultra-Sensing main camera
  • 8MP f/2.2 Ultra wide-angle camera
  • 13MP f/2.46 Telephoto and Portait camera
  • 16MP f/2.45 Selfie camera

The ultra wide-angle lens seems like an afterthought, but the rest of the shooters do well enough for preserving memories. 

I took the phone while I was shopping for sneakers. So the photos below were taken indoors with bright artificial lighting. 

It was already night when I stepped out and I was able to capture some pictures that I’d proudly share on my socials. 

iQOO 11 5G

During the rest of the week, I took it with me to some events and parties. 

iQOO 11 5G

What are camera samples without food shots?

And here are some portrait and selfie samples to round-up the set. 

The iQOO 11 is no flagship shooter, but it takes more than decent images in various lighting scenarios. I’m especially surprised with the night shots. There was no over processing and the shots weren’t grainy. 

That’s largely due to the large aperture of the main camera. Another key benefit is how it’s able to produce natural bokeh with the right kind of composition. 

iQOO 11 5G

Take the photo of V above for instance. If you zoom in, there’s a nice bit of separation between him and the background. And this isn’t even portrait mode. It’s just taking the photo with the subject at the right focal length and under bright natural light. 

Overall, the shooters are decent and are better than what you’d expect from performance-focused smartphones. 

Is the iQOO 11 5G your GadgetMatch? 

iQOO 11 5G

The iQOO 11 5G is one of those phones that’s easy to recommend to just about anyone. It’s a borderline flagship smartphone. In my opinion, the only two things that hold it back from directly butting heads against the top-of-the-line phones are wireless charging and a really good telephoto lens. Other than those two, the iQOO 11 can go toe-to-toe with just about any premium flagship in whatever category. 

iQOO 11 5G

It looks sleek, it performs like a champ, and it captures photos you can be proud of sharing. Personally, I’m ready to crown this as the upper midrange king, usurping the OnePlus 10T for that title. 

This is why the iQOO 11 5G certainly deserves the GadgetMatch seal of approval. 

Computers

Apple M2 Mac mini Review

More Affordable, More Powerful

Published

on

Apple silently revealed the 2023 M2 Mac mini to the world.

Back in 2005, the Mac mini G4 was the cheapest Mac you can buy for US$ 499.

Almost 18 years after, the Mac mini still is the cheapest Mac at just US$ 599.

That’s still a lot of savings versus buying a US$ 1299 iMac.

The biggest difference? The newest Mac mini runs two of the most powerful chips right now — the M2 and M2 Pro.

But is it actually the right Mac for you?

Watch our Apple M2 Mac mini review now!

Continue Reading

Gaming

Forspoken review: Outspoken with little to speak of

Wait for a sale

Published

on

Forspoken

It doesn’t take a lot to create a decent roleplaying game. All you need is a fish-out-of-water character, a vast open map, and a seemingly endless list of objectives. Though it has all three, Forspoken struggles to keep up with its pretenses as a Western roleplaying game.

First, the good

Credit to where it’s due, Forspoken is a fun game for the first few sections. Exploring the incredibly huge map with magical parkour is enjoyable. Eclipsed only by Elden Ring’s Torrent, magic parkour is one of the most innovative ways to quickly traverse large distances, especially after learning more advanced techniques.

Likewise, fighting balanced enemies with limited powers provides enough of a challenge to keep players on their toes in Athia. Neither the player nor the first enemies feel overpowered.

Unfortunately, the game’s novelty quickly evaporates after you figure out that you have to repeat the same motions dozens upon dozens of times. Forspoken’s map is much larger than it ever should have been. Though abundant in number, every point of interest is separated by large distances, some platforming challenges, and a battle sequence. The greater map is empty. Do this over and over, and the game gets stale quick. With adequate rewards, this shouldn’t be a problem, but Forspoken also suffers from a communication issue.

A communication issue

For most roleplaying games, completing an objective on the map usually nets palpable rewards for the player: a significant experience boost, new skills, new gear, or a bag of loot. An open-world game necessitates a lot of exploring. Even if a game is repetitive, earning substantial rewards is satisfying, at least. Forspoken does not have this — not in an easily discernible way, at least.

Treasure chests, which account for most of the points of interest on the map, reward players with a litany of crafting materials. Most of which will go unused because the game doesn’t easily tell players how to use them. After a dozen hours of collecting materials, I had a wealthy cache of each ingredient to make practically anything. Even then, I had little idea where each one went.

The map’s major rewards — new cloaks, new nail arts, and experience — also do little to explain how Frey improves with each completed objective. Clearing out an enemy camp, for example, rewards players with +1 magic. The game does not tell you how much damage that conveys. Certainly, after completing a few of these, Frey feels stronger, but it’s not easy to see how much stronger, especially when most enemies are bullet sponges with absurd health pools anyway.

Plus, these don’t even scratch the surface of objectives wherein the main reward is literally just a lore dump you have to read from a menu.

Forspoken

Difficulty shouldn’t always mean more enemies

Another issue with clearing out Athia’s large map is how Forspoken handles difficulty. Though there are options to adjust difficulty, the game relies on a limited bag of tricks to make it more difficult for players: increasing enemy health and quantity. In moderation, relying on this strategy works. However, Forspoken does this to an obnoxious level.

Prepare to fight five mini-bosses in one encounter for a lore entry. What compounds this issue more is an insane enemy health pool which causes encounters to last a lot longer than they should. One mini-boss encounter took me 15 minutes, even with appropriately leveled gear and the right spells.

Because of the sheer number of enemies, an encounter can stun-lock Frey for an absurd amount of time. The player can hardly prevent this since it relies on chance. Despite offering a wide array of moves, the risk of knockbacks shoehorn players into a slow run-and-gun tactic (which might not even play into an enemy’s weaknesses), instead of using each ability to the max.

On paper, Forspoken’s combat offers a fluid way to take down enemies by seamlessly switching between spells and moving through the battlefield with magic parkour. Unfortunately, an imbalance in enemy strategies bogs the game down in prolonged sequences that often reward players with only middling boosts.

Forspoken

A lack of optimization

For a game released on modern hardware, Forspoken took a while to launch. The game was delayed a few times. Given how delays often work, you’d think that it would release in a fairly optimized state. It’s not.

Though I haven’t hit major game-breaking bugs, there were a number of performance dips throughout the game. Even on performance-focused settings, framerates dropped to a standstill when there were high particle effects on screen. Frey constantly clipped through the terrain and found herself stuck on finnicky edges (which sometimes required reloading from previous saves).

The game is also dragged down by numerous cutscenes. Though not a bug per se, it’s not a great sign of optimization that the game has to pause for a cutscene just to show enemies arriving. For a game featuring fluid movement and combat, Forspoken often takes players out of the action by pausing for unnecessary cutscenes.

Forspoken

Better on sale

Overall, Forspoken is persistently flawed. However, amid the game’s shortcomings, the title still has an exciting combat and movement system. Plus, if you disregard the tedious open world, Forspoken’s linear story, featuring the wide range of abilities, are enjoyable. My interest always bounces back after beating one of the game’s main bosses.

Still, it’s hard to call Forspoken a game worthy of its AAA price tag. It might be better to wait for a discount.

Continue Reading

Computers

MSI Summit E16 Flip review: Creator on the go

A plethora of ways to be as productive and creative as possible

Published

on

We all love a good 2-in-1 device that gives us everything we need all in one go. From portability to productivity, devices like these truly bring out the best in everyone no matter what kind of use case you throw at it. Such is the case for MSI, a brand notably known for gaming hardware but has their fair share of productivity-focused laptops, as well.

One such 2-in-1 device under MSI’s portfolio is the MSI Summit E16 Flip, complete with hardware and features for the more well-rounded user out there. With a rather slim form factor, the device would ideally mix both portability and productivity in one. Also, it comes with some external hardware that elevates the productivity just a bit further, as well.

With all these in mind, is the MSI Summit E16 Flip a worthy option for all your productivity needs?

Performing above expectations

The MSI Summit E16 Flip performs rather fantastically for any given situation; whether you’re working or watching, it has the hardware to keep up. Inside this machine is a 12th generation Intel Core i7 processor and 16GB of RAM — a standard for most productivity-laden devices. Most applications run smoothly on this device, which is expected as a daily driver for most tasks.

It also comes with a 16:10, QHD+ anti-glare display, which does provide a bigger canvas for multitasking with multiple windows open. This IPS touch display is quite bright and color-accurate, especially at peak brightness and in broad daylight. Whether you’re working during the day or watching movies at night, this device is perfect for these activities.

Gaming and creating on the go

Much like all other MSI laptops, the MSI Summit E16 Flip comes with a dedicated NVIDIA RTX 3050Ti GPU inside. Although not as powerful as oher mobile GPUs, this one packs a punch for a good balance of gaming performance with high quality graphics. When throwing in Esports titles, the device poured in high frame rates suited for competitive play.

Of course, a powerful GPU also enables greater performance when editing photos and videos in high quality, as well. This is also helped out by the display having a 165Hz refresh rate with a 1ms response rate, so you don’t miss out on any out of place pixels. From our tests, render times for HD videos were decent enough — about 2 minutes for a 15-second video with many visual elements.

A pen and large display for your notes

Part of the package for the MSI Summit E16 Flip is the addition of the MSI Pen for those who prefer a pen over a mouse/trackpad. This additional accessory links up quite quickly, and lasts for more than a day on a full charge. Also, it comes with a few magnetized areas so it sticks to the side of the laptop or the top of the display for ease of access.

Ideally, you’d need something like the MSI Pen if you’re more into drawing illustrations or taking down handwritten notes — and it shows. From legible handwriting to brush strokes, the device was able to pick up on these inputs well. It even supports other Windows gestures like zoom, drag, and multi-select — essentially replicating the wide trackpad.

Although, from our usage of the device, the display has this slight problem with rejecting palms on top of it. While writing with the MSI Pen, it is natural to rest your palm somewhere on the display yet even inputs from that get picked up. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but something to be wary of.

Lasts decently long for consistent productivity

Longevity is another thing the MSI Summit E16 Flip provides, specifically on the battery side of things. Throughout our usage of the device, on normal usage, it lasts around 10-11 hours which is pretty decent for the hardware. Accounting for higher quality videos playing, the device lasted for 9-10 hours on average.

When gaming full time or even rendering higher quality videos, the battery does take a hit, as expected. For full time video rendering, it drained its battery after three and a half hours on average, while gaming cut it down to around two to three hours.

Although, if you need to get back into your productivity workflow, the MSI Summit E16 Flip restores its battery quickly with the charger it comes with. On average, charging the device took around two hours from nothing to full, which should put you back in action.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

Starting PhP 130,999, the MSI Summit E16 Flip has everything you need in a 2-in-1 device when you’re on the move. From the hardware to the accessories, it’s a well-rounded machine designed for the multihyphenated or those who work and play hard. Also, its overall design makes it a bit easier to bring around.

If money isn’t entirely an issue, this laptop is one great upgrade option out there both as a work machine and a creator hub. Accessory-wise, the MSI Pen should be on your list of must-haves when purchasing this device, in case a mouse doesn’t suit your liking.

Continue Reading

Trending