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

Designed for MMO: Razer unveils Naga V2 Pro

Most adaptable gaming mouse yet

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Razer Naga Pro V2

Razer is not done changing the game this year. The gaming and lifestyle brand has announced the release of the new Naga V2 Pro gaming mouse.

It costs PhP 11,590 and may be purchased through www.razer.com, Shopee, Lazada, and Razer’s local authorized sellers. 

Designed primarily for MMO, the Naga V2 Pro is the company’s most adaptable mouse yet, boasting of:

  • 3 interchangeable side plates
  • 19+1 programmable buttons
  • 22 programmable controls
  • Razer HyperScroll Pro Wheel
  • Razer HyperSpeed Wireless
  • Razer Focus Pro 30K Optical Sensor
  • Razer Optical Mouse Switches Gen-3

A total upgrade of its predecessor, the Naga Pro, the Naga V2 Pro also supports a wide range of charging and connectivity options for low-latency and uninterrupted gaming.

When it comes to its HyperScroll Pro Wheel, the Naga V2 Pro can have up to 6 scroll wheel modes, including a user-customized mode available within Razer Synapse 3.

The custom mode also allows gamers to make countless adjustments for the best scroll feel depending on the task at hand.

The Focus Pro 30K Optical Sensor, meanwhile, enhances the mouse’s aim, smart tracking, asymmetric cut-off, and motion sync.

Razer Naga V2 HyperSpeed

Coming in as another reliable option, Razer has also made the Naga V2 HyperSpeed available.

The slightly more affordable gaming mouse at PhP 6,690 also has Razer’s HyperScroll tech, Focus Pro 30K Optical Sensor, and Mechanical Mouse Switches Gen-2.

It can be powered by just one AA battery and last for up to 400 hours on Bluetooth or 250 hours on HyperSpeed Wireless.

This mouse will be made available by December 2022.

SEE ALSO: Razer Basilisk v3 Pro review: HyperSpeed, hyper responsive

 

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5 reasons why I like using a pair of wireless earbuds

Time to say goodbye to wired earphones!

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JBL Tune 130NC

Wireless has always been the future. The newest wireless earbuds innovation is taking over the market by storm for years now. Even smartphones are choosing to let go of the traditional headphone jacks to promote their proprietary products.

In the midst of all these changes, I find myself tangled up in making a decision between using wired earphones or wireless ones.

But for months, I’ve been using JBL Tune 130NC TWS earbuds and in my experience, I’ve realized that wireless earbuds are miles better than the alternative. Here are five reasons why:

1. Do more than just listen

Here’s a fact: wired headphones limit our mobility. And yes I know, nothing is more annoying than wanting to listen to a song or watch a video, and the moment you take out your wired earphones, it’s all tangled up.

Wireless earbuds give me so much convenience as I can easily get them straight out of my pocket. The JBL Tune 130NC enabled me to do more. Having two earbuds without an interconnecting cable is a much simpler equation.

I can freely walk 30 feet to the kitchen and grab a handful of chips without missing a beat of music or a word from a podcast. Also, a lot of smartphones nowadays don’t have a 3.5mm headphone jack, which means true wireless earbuds aren’t just more convenient, they’re actually now a full-blown necessity.

2. Awesome features and functionalities

The fact that the earbuds are wireless does not mean that they will not give you the best sound quality. The JBL Tune 130NC houses 10mm JBL tuned drivers, which deliver a bass-rich audio output. The audio volume is perfect and, hence, does not get uncomfortable or distorted even at 100%.

JBL Tune 130NC

The bass output is excellent and adds a good amount of thump to the audio. A decent pair of wireless earbuds like the JBL Tune 130NC is more than capable of playing back Spotify at its full bit rate. I’m not losing any sound quality through this.

For a long time, wireless earbuds used to sound noticeably worse than their wired counterparts. They just weren’t capable of the same quality of playback as a pair of wired headphones. Now, it comes with longer-lasting battery life! It can survive more than a few stops on the train before needing a quick charge.

The touch controls are nicely placed and can be easily accessed whenever needed. The controls are hyper responsive and work pretty well.

3. Great at compatibility

The moment I opened the case of the JBL Tune 130NC, my smartphone quickly received a notification for pairing and connecting with it. So convenient!

JBL Tune 130NC

But the main highlight of the pairing was its customizable audio settings, allowing you to alter the settings to your liking. You can also choose from a few presets in the JBL app by default. You also get audio and video modes for a lower latency which does a fairly decent job.

Finally, coming to the microphone, the JBL Tune wireless earbuds house four microphones (2 on each earbud) that record good-quality audio. Yes, it does capture a noticeable amount of background noise, but taking some calls or attending meetings is okay.

4. Look stylish and sophisticated

It’s simply impossible to look stylish while wearing a pair of bulky headphones that look absolutely messy & inconvenient. This challenge is never an issue with wireless earbuds, thanks to their slender design.

The first thing to notice about JBL Tune 130NC’s charging case is its minimal look. I got the black color variant which comes with a single-toned body that looks pretty neat. They are sporty in look and design.

They are made in such a way that they will remain firm when you are working out. It fits comfortably in my ear and the classy product designs make them an accessory that adds to its overall look. You will surely love it even if you are a casual user of earbuds. It is also affordable despite its stylish looks and nature.

5. It matches my lifestyle

A major benefit that true wireless earbuds have over a traditional pair of earbuds is that they can be used easily for a wide variety of activities.

For instance, I use this every day while working out, watching K-drama series in the middle of the night, listening to music, and refreshing my core memory of every song that I need to study — basically, anything else you can think of!

Another thing I love about JBL Tune 130NC earbuds is how it comes in three different sizes. The shape of the buds is so versatile. These true wireless earbuds nicely fit in my ears and offer a nice secure fit, which adds a decent amount of noise isolation to them.

JBL Tune 130NC

Is this your Gadgetmatch?

We finally reached the point where you can safely go wire-free with almost no downsides. Whether studying a new song, having a virtual presentation, traveling, or just wanting to be alone with music, the JBL Tune 130NC offers excellent audio quality and decent active noise canceling capabilities which you’ll really love.

Even better, these earbuds are usually ergonomically designed for maximum comfort and an even more secure fit. It all comes down to one highly prized factor: If you can’t get enough of the freedom that true wireless earbuds and their innovative, small, compact, versatile, and easy-to-transport design all delivered, you might wanna check this one out.

The JBL Tune 130NC has a good battery life which means 40 hours of exceptional JBL Pure Bass Sound, coupled with an ergonomic and water-resistant design for all-day comfort in any weather. It also comes with plenty of valuable features like customizable audio settings and touch controls.

Yes, these are not the best-looking earbuds and lack features like in-ear detection or multiple devices connected, but when it comes to sound quality, these wireless earbuds are the best earbuds under the price bracket of PhP 5,999.

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Sony WH-1000XM5: One I can’t travel without

As good as ever

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WH-1000XM5

Sony just doesn’t miss and the WH-1000XM5 is another testament to that. The aforementioned headphones is the latest in Sony’s cream-of-the-crop line of personal audio companions. The WH-1000XM series has consistently gotten rave reviews and the XM5 looks to continue the trend.

Noise cancellation king

WH-1000XM5

The XM5 — that’s what we’ll call it from here on out — is a travel must-have. Its noise cancellation is still king of the hill! Perfect for drowning out all sorts of sounds wherever you may be. One time, I was using this while my brother was in the same room. I didn’t even notice him move at all even though we were in such a cramped space.

Easy controls

WH-1000XM5

You can cover the right ear cup for quick conversations or change to adaptive sound for full awareness, with a single button press.  And most buttons and ports are within reach along the sides of the left ear cup. While the usual controls are still on the right. In this regard, not much has changed, so if you’re upgrading from the XM2 or XM3, you shouldn’t have too much trouble with the controls.

Travel buddy

Oh and it’ll stay powered on, even if you’re on a long haul flight. I used this almost non-stop, fully charged, on a 19-hour flight and we landed with it still having around 20 percent of battery left. That was probably the most intense scenario that I was ever in while using the WH-1000XM5. In the few weeks that followed where I didn’t use it as much, it took about two to three weeks before I came reaching for the power cable.

Superb sound

And the sound is the same high quality we’ve come to expect from Sony. Clean highs. Solid mids. And a bass that just hits the spot. The sound kind of dances in your head, making it extra immersive. Sony produces this really round and full sound that I haven’t quite experienced with any other headphones that I’ve tried. Which isn’t a lot. I’m keen on trying the AirPods Max as well as the ones from Sennheiser. From what I heard, those should present some real competition.

WH-1000XM5

You can also tweak it to your liking on the Sony headphones app. One setting you might want to toggle off is the Speak-to-Chat feature. That’s only because it works a little too well. Too many times I found myself just mumbling sounds like “eh,” or even just humming and the XM5 would cut-off what I’m listening to.

Should you upgrade to this?

This really depends on what pair you’re using at the moment. If you’ve always been a Sony headphones fan and are coming from the same line, it’s likely a worthy upgrade EXCEPT if you’re coming from the XM4. Why? The XM4 is the peak of that particular form-factor. That one’s more compact, requiring less space in your bag. The sound quality and features also don’t stray too far from the WH-1000XM5. In fact, that might be the more economical buy at the moment.

But if you have to have the absolute latest Sony WH-1000XM headphone, then you won’t regret getting your hands on the XM5. It’s great, it is still very light and tough. Plus all the noise cancellation and sound quality goodness you’ve come to expect are better than ever.

If you’re coming from any other headphones, I dare say, this is an instant upgrade. Can’t have it any better than this.

Of course, I’m saying this with the caveat that I have to personally try the AirPods Max which I’ve heard many good things about. That is especially true if you’re also tied into the whole Apple ecosystem.

Other than that, you can’t go wrong with the Sony WH-1000XM5.

 

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