Accessories

LuMee Case review

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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.

LuMee

I may be cute in this selfie, but my hands were struggling to keep hold of my phone with the LuMee on; it was just too big for my small girl grasp.

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.

My iPhone 6s with the LuMee compared to a plain iPhone 6s. The LuMee’s charging port is also visible in this photo.

 

The case took all my party clutch space and left no room for other stuff like my power bank and makeup, which are party essentials!

Finding the light

(L-R) Without the LuMee; with the LuMee at its brightest and showcasing all my facial flaws; with the LuMee, after adjusting the brightness.

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:

Doggie snap in a low-light scenario, because doggie snaps are life. The LuMee lighting makes a world of difference.

I even tried the LuMee in a tricycle ride, because you never know when you’ll need a good snap. Results were conclusive: I was still cute, and the LuMee worked wonders.

Even on a dark street, the LuMee lighting does not disappoint!

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.

Me working the LuMee and the joy it now brings to my life.

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'”]

Accessories

Apple now sells 18W USB-C fast charger and clear iPhone XR case

More expensive than the ordinary, of course

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Apple has a couple of interesting new items available for iPhone owners out there.

After the month-long delay, the iPhone XR finally gets an official case. For the first time ever, Apple now offers a clear protective case. Instead of leather or silicone, you can protect your colorful iPhone XR with an optically clear polycarbonate and flexible TPU case.

It’ll be probably one of the most expensive TPU cases you’ll ever purchase for US$ 39. With its expensive price tag, hopefully, it won’t turn yellow over time like other cheap third-party clear cases.

18W USB-C Power Adapter | Image credit: Apple

Those who have been wanting a fast charger for their iPhones can finally get one without spending too much. The early solution wasn’t specifically designed for iPhones and it’s not cheap either.

Thankfully, Apple is now selling an 18W USB-C Power Adapter. Although, you’ll still have to purchase a USB-C to Lightning cable separately. The new iPhone fast charger is priced at US$ 29, while the USB-C cable is an additional US$ 19.

It’ll cost you US$ 48 to charge an iPhone faster, which should come out of the box like with flagship Android phones. Keep in mind that you should be using an iPhone 8 or later model.

The new 18W fast charger and clear case for the iPhone XR are now listed on Apple’s online store.

SEE ALSO: Apple gives away iPhone XR to everyone on The Ellen Show

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Accessories

Pantone of the year Living Coral and where you’ve seen it before

Such a pretty shade! 🤩

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For the last 20 years, the Pantone Color Institute had been assigning a color to the year that’s to come. Symbolic of the incoming trends in culture, fashion, and design, among others; each shade that’s carefully picked represents a sentiment that embodies “our collective experience and reflect what is taking place in our global culture at a moment in time.”

This year, that color is Living Coral, or Pantone 16-1546.

As the name implies, it’s a color we mostly expect to see under the sea. It is, according to Pantone, a hue which “embraces us with warmth and nourishment to provide comfort and buoyancy in our continually shifting environment.”

But, we don’t just see this amazing color in submerged life forms. It’s a breathtaking shade we find in nature, in the beautiful world that surrounds us, and on our Instagram feeds. Here are a few breathtaking samples from our feed:

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Of course, makeup is all up in this color jam. Coral classics have always existed, and here are some crowd favorites in this year’s Pantone pick.

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Even on the runway, this mellow color has popped up. For the Spring 2019 collections, a number of designers like Marc Jacobs, Prada, Sies Marjan, and Zac Posen have worked in the shade.

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Coral also took center stage in celebrity news and pop culture in the form of a tiny bikini in what has been dubbed as “the battle of the coral bikini.” Basically, Kourtney Kardashian and Sofia Richie, the ex and at-that-time beau of Scott Disick, were both spotted in Mexico with swimwear that looked way too similar.

In terms of impact, this item would probably have the least on this list, but those coral bikinis are still looking pretty cute to me

Even in tech, we saw the rise of this color slowly creeping in and taking the place of traditional gold and black color schemes — thank goodness!

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The Pantone Institute justifies its color choice with the “innate need for optimism and joyful pursuits” that this color represents. They even go as far as saying that Living Coral symbolizes the  “authentic and immersive experiences that enable connection and intimacy” — perfect at a time of fast-paced tech and the internet.

Rightly so, Panton explains that Living Coral is “a nurturing color that appears in our natural surroundings and at the same time, displays a lively presence within social media.”

After writing this feature, I can’t say I disagree.

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Accessories

Razer Thresher and Raiju Ultimate Hands-on: Splendid gaming combo

Badass gaming accessories

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If there’s one thing Razer is really good at, it’s making gaming accessories that are both stylish and edgy. The Razer Thresher headset as well as the Raiju Ultimate controller for the PlayStation 4 (PS4) are primary examples of this.

Headset you can wear for hours

At first glance, the Razer Thresher looks like it would weigh heavily on your head. This is not the case. Despite its bulky exterior, this headset is lightweight and extremely comfortable.

The four-inch earcups cover a good portion of your ears and it feels like a headset you can wear for hours. It neither feels too tight nor to loose.

Setup is pretty straight forward, too. Simply plug the accompanying USB stick to the PS4’s USB port, turn on the headset, and it should work with no hiccups.

Immersive audio

Audio quality is right about what you’d expect from a US$ 150 headset. The earcups lend nicely to making the sound feel immersive as you game. When I played Marvel’s Spider-Man with these on, it almost felt like it was me swinging around New York with how much of the environment I could hear.

This headset also has a mouthpiece that’s perfect for co-op games, but since I don’t really play those kinds of games, I wasn’t able to try the headset in that setting. It does record good audio though, so you can opt to use it for that.

Although it’s labeled as an accessory for the PS4, it will work with any device that has a USB port. I used the headset on my MacBook Pro and it worked just fine.

Feels drastically different from the DualShock 4

At first glance, you would even think that the Raiju Ultimate controller was made for the Xbox One. It bears so much resemblance to that console’s controller which is why I felt a little iffy using it.

Most of my console gaming has been spent wielding DualShock controllers. I did try the Xbox but my personal preference is still the controllers bundled with the PlayStation consoles through the years.

That said, I didn’t completely hate the Raiju Ultimate experience. I did have trouble playing NBA 2K19 because the buttons weren’t responding the way they usually would on a regular DualShock 4 controller. This had a significant effect on my game as I wasn’t knocking down the shots I normally would.

The Raiju Ultimate controller comes with a sleek carrying case

Using the Raiju Ultimate led to a close game and a loss against Marvin. We played twice more but I shifted back to the DualShock 4 and proceeded to dominate him on NBA 2K19 like I normally do. (Editor’s note: “Dominate” is such a strong word.)

It comes with an app

The Raiju Ultimate also comes with an app to customize the extra four shoulder buttons. It has four presets to choose from: Sports, Shooter, Fighting, and Racing.

Instead of using the Sports the preset, I tried the other ones but still got the same result. This wasn’t the case when I played Marvel’s Spider-Man. In fact, it was pretty fluid and the shoulder buttons which you end up using a lot in this game responded seamlessly.

If you want a little bit more of customization, you can add a profile and assign specific functions for each shoulder button depending on the game you’re playing. I imagine it being helpful in games wherein you’re asked to press two buttons at the same time. You can just assign those to buttons to a single shoulder button — pretty handy.

Perfect tandem?

While I did have some trouble with the Raiju Ultimate, that was only in one game. Granted it’s probably the game I play the most, I didn’t have the same troubles in other games.

I had a blast playing Marvel’s Spider-Man using this combo. The game felt a lot closer than when I first played it thanks to the Razer Thresher, and the mechanical feel of the Raiju Ultimate really grows on you as you play.

This pair probably isn’t for everyone but if you want a little boost for your gaming experience, I wouldn’t think twice about copping these.

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