Any self-respecting millennial knows that a good selfie can get you places. It’s the best social media tool for your well-curated life on Instagram and Snapchat — just ask Kim Kardashian West, queen of social media, who took it upon herself to raise awareness on the art of illuminated selfies. Enter: the LuMee case.
The brainchild of a professional lighting director, the LuMee case boasts the ability to “brighten your life,” one glorious selfie at a time. The infamous accessory has graced the phones of countless celebrities, and claims to be behind millions of flawless photographs.
So, does this case really work? Will this thing give me optimum party snaps? And more importantly, will it really give me fleek selfies that my online persona needs? I set out to find the answers to these questions.
The awkward first date
The lightweight LuMee Original attaches to your phone and uses LED lights that’ll brighten up any selfie. Just press the button at the back, and it turns on using power from its own external battery. (Thanking the LuMee gods for not touching my phone’s already fragile battery life!) The case’s battery lasted me days, and gave me at least a week’s worth of selfies on one charge.
But, the LuMee’s size leaves a lot to be desired. The case almost doubles the size of the phone! Holding on to the iPhone 6s is hard enough with my small, delicate hands — what more with the bulky LuMee? Imagine trying to hold on to this thing in a bar setting, while alcohol-infused and attempting a cutesy snap. Definitely a con, as I’m sure any drunken party girl with small hands can attest to.
Finding the light
The LuMee is definitely good at what it’s supposed to do, but maybe even too good.
A simple press and hold of the button adjusts the light’s intensity — either go brighter (if your makeup is totally on fleek) or dimmer (for softer light and a flawless selfie finish).
Personally, I’m not a fan of the brightest light setting for selfies, as I feel my fresh face realness gets overexposed. But, it works wonders for snaps and videos, because it gives you the perfect amount of lighting for the movement shown in the GIFs below:
The case works well not just in low-light situations, but also in crazy light scenarios (shadows, strobe lights — you name it). The LuMee assures perfect photo situations every single time. The separate power button at the back of the case is amazingly convenient, too. No need to struggle with your phone’s interface to turn it on while navigating to your Snapchat app.
Is this your GadgetMatch?
I have to admit (as with all first dates) I was skeptical about the case when I first tried it out because, really, who actually needs a phone accessory dedicated solely to selfies? I was convinced that good lighting can be achieved by other means. But, again and again, the LuMee proved useful and convenient during the time I spent trying it out.
The LuMee Original has one job, and it does that one job well. However, for its size and discounted retail price of $40, I would’ve wanted more in terms of functionality. The LuMee Duo, a newer model priced at almost $70, now has LED light bulbs installed at the back of the case for lighting your rear-facing camera, too. But, even then, I feel like the bulky size and extravagant price tag does not compensate for just those additional functions.
So, how many flawless selfies does one actually need? The answer is a lot, apparently — and every single one has to be flawless! Since the LuMee gives you the opportunity to take better photos, it’s hard to go back to the dark, blurred selfies of the past. But, for the steep price, I might just have to resort to daytime selfies and content myself with evenings undocumented on social media. For $40, I’m buying myself good MAC foundation, and I’ll just look good in person instead.
[irp posts=”3906″ name=”The OPPO F1s is an affordable ‘selfie expert'”]
Should you worry about stalkers using an AirTag on you?
A few have already been victimized
Anyone who’s ever owned a piece of technology in the last two decades has had the anxiety-ridden experience of misplacing their favorite devices somewhere. It’s become such a problem that a few companies have created a niche for tracking devices specifically made to track wayward devices. Breaking out of that niche market, Apple recently launched its own popular version of the device called the AirTag. However, such a tracking device does come with a worrying problem for privacy-conscious individuals: Can stalkers use an AirTag to stalk their targets?
The story so far
Recently, a Sports Illustrated model Brooks Nader revealed that someone used the tracking device to follow her around. While she was partying in New York with friends, an unknown party slipped an AirTag into her coat pocket. The device had been tracking her for hours before her iPhone eventually alerted her to the device’s tracking as she was walking home.
Nader’s discovery is currently the most widely reported incident of unauthorized tracking using an Air Tag. However, the phenomenon has already been happening outside of celebrity circles. For example, a public Facebook post from user DAnna Biscoe-Farrell describes how someone attached an AirTag to her truck. The device had also been tracking her for miles before her iPhone alerted her to its existence.
With two major incidents tattling on the device’s more nefarious potential, is it finally time to consider the AirTag a security risk?
What are AirTags?
Apple launched the AirTag last year. Instead of just a spartan tracking device, the brand turned the device into a fashionable device to own. Users can add engravings and personalized key rings to go along with the new device. It even has a relatively affordable price tag, offering the device for only a decent US$ 29 per piece.
In terms of size, the AirTag is just as small as a poker chip. Though Apple does want its users to flaunt the tag with accessories, the device’s diminutive size does allow for its users to hide it from plain sight.
Using the AirTag is a simple process, too. The device pairs with a user’s iPhone (or other Apple device) using the Find My app. They can then check Find My to know where the tag is located.
Now, as you might have noticed in the above reports, Apple will also alert users if an unauthorized AirTag is somehow following them around without their knowledge. It can notify users either with an iPhone alert or chirps that the tag will eventually play. It’s a convenient security feature designed to prevent malicious tracking.
Should you be worried about stalkers?
The AirTag’s description does set up a double edged sword (or, more appropriately, reveals two sides of the same poker chip). The AirTag is inherently useful. It can help users find lost devices with a simple app. However, its unassuming design can become a security risk with enough malicious ingenuity.
However, before we get into why an AirTag is a bad idea, let’s run down the pros of the AirTag’s security features. Compared to other tracking devices, the AirTag was specifically designed to prevent unwanted tracking. Other devices in the market don’t even have alerts if you’re carrying an unauthorized tracker. For example, a quick search on Amazon and Lazada pings unbranded GPS trackers that can easily track people or vehicles without consent for a fraction of the price. Tile, the leading tracking brand before the AirTag came along, even offers different shapes and sizes. Relatively speaking, the AirTag protects against stalking more than any other product in the market.
That said, the AirTag’s security measures are still severely lacking. For one, the device will alert victims only if they own Apple devices. If you’re carrying someone else’s AirTag on your person but don’t own an Apple device, then you’re in potential and unknowable danger until the AirTag chirps. While Apple has made great strides in creating a robust ecosystem for its products, the Apple-exclusive has inevitably ostracized Android users from its security blanket.
Further, the sizable delay between attaching an unauthorized AirTag and alerting the followed user can be too late. In the above incidents, it took hours before the victims discovered the AirTags on their persons. By then, the stalker could have already attacked or discovered where the victim lives.
Finally, as a smaller niggle on the AirTag’s features, Apple doesn’t really offer any solution once a device discovers an errant AirTag. Though authorities can certainly check who owns the AirTag, Apple doesn’t have a system in place that can easily report stalkers.
What should you do if someone attached an AirTag on you?
Given the delay before an actionable alert, there aren’t a lot of hard-hitting solutions you can take against a stalker. However, that’s still no reason to panic.
If you detected the AirTag before you reached home, don’t go straight to your house. Leading a stalker to where you live is the worst case scenario. Instead, lead the device somewhere far from where you live. Once you’re in a safe and untraceable place, you can figure out what to do with the device.
The easiest solution is to throw the device away. Disposing the tracking device can already throw the stalker off. However, don’t attempt to destroy the tag. Besides alerting the stalker that you discovered their device, you run the risk of damaging the tag’s battery. A damaged battery is a safety risk and can explode.
There are, of course, more rigorous methods you can try to bring the stalker to justice. A functioning AirTag has the linked Apple device attached to its hardware. Investigating authorities can identify and locate where the owner of the tag is. Once you discover the tag and have transferred to a different location, you can report the tag to the police.
In terms of preemptive measures, always keep your things in sight especially objects that can easily hide a small object. Though people can easily slip something small into your things without you knowing, there’s no harm in keeping your belongings safe and staying away from strangers suspiciously close to you.
Sony adds party-ready WH-XB910N to wireless headphones range
For easy and personalized music listening
Sony announced the newest addition to its wireless headphones range — the WH-XB910N, which is tipped make music listening even easier and more personalized.
The WH-XB910N overhead headphones transport you to your favorite music venues from the comfort of your home with exemplary features which focus on bass and noise cancelling.
Bring the party anywhere
The WH-XB910N overhead headphones feature exceptional bass with improved noise cancelling which replicate the feel of your favorite festivals or clubs.
The EXTRA BASS feature allows for a deep and punchy sound while the Dual Noise Sensor Technology clears out everything else with next-level digital noise cancelling.
A dedicated bass duct on the headphone housing paired with more air-tightness between the unit and the eardrums elevate the music experience.
Listeners are still guaranteed to get high-quality and clear sound too, as if their favorite artists are performing right next to them especially with the device allowing 360 Reality Audio.
Crystal clear calls
When it comes to phone calls, the Precise Voice Pickup Technology combines two built-in microphones with advanced audio signal processing, so users answer calls hands-free while ensuring voice is clearly picked up.
Boost your listening experience
The WH-XB910N also uses DSEE (Digital Sound Enhancement Engine) in order to restore your favorite tracks to a high-quality sound, truer to the original recording.
Additionally, users may connect the device to the Sony | Headphones Connect app and tailor their sound with the Equalizer feature.
Of course, the WH-XB910N is also equipped with smart features that lets users tailor their listening quite more.
The Adaptive Sound Control senses the customer’s location — including places visited — adjusting the ambient sound accordingly whether you’re in a quiet room or out in a café, gym, or your office.
Keep the party going
With up to 30 hours of battery life, Sony’s latest wireless headphones edition provides enough power for even lengthy trips and long weekends.
A quick 10-minute charge when running low also gives up to 4.5 hours’ extra worth of play time with the optional AC adapter.
The WH-XB910N also features Sony’s popular Multipoint connection, meaning it can be paired with two Bluetooth devices at once.
It also supports Google’s Fast Pair feature and Swift Pair for easy connecting to a Windows 10 computer.
Furthermore, it is Google Assistant and Alexa compatible for hands-free help every day on the go.
The headphones is equipped with soft, oval-shaped earpads made from comfortable synthetic leather and urethane materials for exceptional wearability.
Its handy design allows the ear cups to swivel inwards and neatly into the compact and durable carry case for users to be able to take it everywhere.
Aside from the product being stylish, Sony designed the WH-XB910N with sustainability in mind.
Zero plastic is included in the packaging material for both models, reflecting Sony’s commitment to reducing the environmental impacts of their products and practices.
Pricing and Availability
The WH-XB910N is now available in the Philippines priced at PhP 9,999 available in colors black and blue. For a full list of specs and information, please click here.
3 everyday iPhone accessories to make your life easier
Perfect for either slow or fast-paced lifestyles!
For almost a quarter, I’ve been learning how to live a slowed-down lifestyle. Although, time and time again, it’s inevitable not to fall back into the rat race. The high-pressure, hectic work life creeps in, dismantling the routine I’ve built for myself.
Instead of being frustrated, I realized I have to balance living between a slow- and a fast-paced lifestyle. And that includes using accessories that help me live easier.
If you’re in the market for some accessories that make your life a bit convenient, here are some of my discoveries from Moshi.
Slim hardshell case
The first thing I looked for is a stylish, hardshell case that’ll match my Sierra Blue iPhone 13 Pro. I found the Moshi iGlaze Slim Hardshell Case in Adriatic Blue (US$ 40), and I’m so in love with it.
It looks classic — fusing design, functionality, and durability. It’s perfect for living a slow- or a fast-paced lifestyle, especially its shock-absorbing feature and durable construction made of hard and soft polymers. Simply put, it’s easy to grip, but it can still withstand drops from all angles.
Moreover, the polished design suits my aesthetic. I can overlook that glossy coating, though. After all, the case is scratch-resistant — something I badly need protection with when it comes to my smartphones.
Universal car mount
If you’re driving in Metro Manila, I think it’s fair to say you’ll survive anywhere in the world. The traffic in one of the most populous cities in the Philippines is just horrible, and having smart assistance would help you navigate safely and smoothly.
But driving with a smartphone is a no-no, whichever country you’re residing in. This is why I looked for a universal car mount and I stumbled upon Moshi’s SnapTo Universal Car Mount with Wireless Charging (US$ 80). Seriously, I’ve been in their online shop and I found almost everything I want.
And don’t get me started with those US$ 5 car mounts. When it comes to a car accessory, you’d need trinkets that you can trust. Your life is on the line. Luckily, this universal car mount uses powerful magnets inside the mount — which also supports various smartphones — to hold whatever phone you’re using steadily. iPhone or Android — they’re safe while you drive.
On top of the durability, the car mount comes with a vent-mount clip and a flexible mounting adapter for your dashboard, windshield, or touchscreen. Any way you like it, feel free to place it. Further, it uses a flexible metal ball joint. Move the mount left, right, up, down, or even rotate 90 degrees so you can preview your screen in portrait or landscape mode.
One last thing, the SnapTo Universal Car Mount supports wireless fast-charging. And it’s compatible even with the likes of Apple and Samsung. So if you’re running out of juice, just snap it so you can recharge while you drive — even when you’re using battery-intensive features like GPS.
MagSafe-compatible clear case
If you’re a MagSafe hoe, the Moshi Arx Clear Slim Hardshell Case (US$ 40) is the way to go. It supports MagSafe charging so you can recharge swiftly.
Don’t let its transparent looks fool you — it’s not a clear, jelly case! It can handle the daily wear and tear but without forsaking design. It’s extremely thin, transparent, and scratch-resistant.
In a way, it protects your iPhone discreetly while also allowing you to show off that Apple logo if you’re that braggart. It has military-grade protection that can safeguard your iPhone from drops, especially on corners and sides.
Sure, it doesn’t really look like one, but that tiny bit adds to the charm. Also, Moshi uses MicroGrid technology so you can lose your worry when it comes to watermarks and the unsightly yellowing of clear cases over time.
Sweet phone case, right?
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