Published

on

Here are the top stories on GadgetMatch this week.

1. MediaTek’s new G-series chips are made for gaming

MediaTek has always played second-fiddle to Qualcomm but the company wants to change that. Their strategy? Build a product that can take on the competition head-on.

That’s what their new G-series processor hopes to achieve. And it’s promising. The Helio G90 and G90T are designed for gaming on the go and work alongside MediaTek’s HyperEngine technology that ensures fine-tuning for best possible performance.

They’ve even gone as far as to say that it outperforms Snapdragon 855 in both network and display latency.  We’re excited to see if these new chips can really hold up those bold claims.

2. Black Shark 2 Pro in your area 

There seems to be a lot of focus on mobile gaming lately and Xiaomi is right in the thick of things.

Continuing their smartphone gaming line is the Black Shark 2 Pro.  It’s the next phone to take advantage of the Snapdragon 855 Plus chip. Helping keep the heat down is a multi-layer liquid cooling system.

It’s equipped with an AMOLED display with a 240Hz touch report rate and will be available in two colors: Shadow Black and Icicle Gray.

There are also two configurations. One with 12GB of RAM and 128GB of storage and another with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage.

3. Samsung announces the Galaxy Tab S6

They might be behind by a considerable margin but Samsung isn’t ready to drop out of the tablet race.

Announced just a week before the launch of the Galaxy S10 is the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6. The company says it’s made for creativity and productivity.

Powered by the Snapdragon 855 chip you can pair it with a Book Cover Keyboard to instantly launch DeX for a desktop experience perfect for getting things done.

It will ship with an S Pen that magnetically attaches to the tablet. With it comes a feature called Air Action which lets you take photos, videos, and scroll through content even when the tablet is not within your arms’ reach. Pretty neat.

Perhaps will see some iteration of that on the Galaxy Note 10.

4. New look Android Auto

Android Auto has a fresh new look but it’s not just a face lift. The new update carries a fresh app launcher where you can find all your favorite apps with fewer taps.

There are also Google Assistant badges that update you of your schedule, give you a weather report, or read the latest news all while you’re driving.

A big part of Android Auto is its ease of navigation. Whether it be Google Maps or Waze you can still find the fastest route to your destination through voice commands.

Visibility and UI presentation is important if you’re just going to glance over the menu while driving. This is why the refreshed Android Auto has been redesigned for easier reading and has a new dark theme so it doesn’t get too bright at night.

Drive safe!

5. Sony’s air conditioner that you can wear

Scorching heat is a problem and Sony has a solution. They call it Reon Pocket – it’s a soap-sized air-conditioning that you can wear.

It took only two days to crowdfund so we guess you can say getting it off the ground was a breeze.

The air-conditioning device will fit inside a built-in pocket at the back of a customized white undershirt. With a few taps on the companion app you’ll be able to lower your body temperature during summer or raise it when it gets colder. Sony says they are working on making this automatic in the future.

It can last up to 24 hours on a single charge and takes about two hours to charge from zero to 100 percent via a USB-C port.

Sony hasn’t figured out how women can benefit from this technology without sacrificing style for comfort. The special undershirt it comes with only comes in men’s sizes, for now.


Weekend Rewind is our roundup of top news and features you might have missed for the week. We know the world of technology can be overwhelming and not everyone has the time to get up to speed with everything — and that includes us. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the rewind.

Best Smartphones

Best Premium Smartphones above $600

November 2019 Edition

Published

on

If you’re looking for the very best high-end smartphones available, you’ve come to the right place! Every month, GadgetMatch updates this list with the finest devices money can buy, no matter how much they cost.

Updated monthly, this list takes every newly launched flagship costing more than US$ 600 into consideration, but doesn’t discount the smartphones that continue to make an impact since their launch last year.

Here they are in no particular order:

Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ (US$ 1100)

The Samsung Galaxy Note series continues to set itself apart by being the premiere smartphone that comes with a stylus. It doesn’t hurt that the smartphone is also pretty darn good at pretty much any other thing you might think of doing on a smartphone. While it’s not necessarily elite at one thing, it’s pretty darn good at everything.

HANDS-ON: Samsung Galaxy Note 10

ASUS ROG Phone 2 (Starts at US$ 500)

Nobody asked but ASUS followed up their gaming smartphone. The ROG Phone 2 maxes out every imaginable spec all while maintaining the design language of its predecessor. While the older accessories work, ASUS still introduced a few new ones. Most notably the Kunai gamepad that makes the gaming phone look almost like a Nintendo Switch.

REVIEW: ROG Phone 2

Google Pixel 3 (US$ 799)

As good as the Pixel 3 XL is, we’re recommending its smaller sibling once again. Not only is its 5.5-inch screen the perfect size for one-handed use, but the absence of a notch also makes all the difference in this era of camera cutouts. As expected, the Pixel 3 has the best single rear camera in the biz, plus the extra camera in front adds another dimension to selfies.

REVIEW: Google Pixel 3

iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max (US$ 999)

The iPhone 11 Pro made no leaps in design which is why it somewhat feels underwhelming. It does, however, make up for it with yet another faster than ever processor, and a much-improved camera system. No, Apple didn’t exactly “innovate” but the iPhone is still what you expect it to be — a smartphone who’s hardware and software just works.

UNBOXING: iPhone 11, 11 Pro, 11 Pro Max

OnePlus 7 Pro (US$ 669)

OnePlus went all out with its latest flagship smartphone, and although the price is now firmly in the premium category, the OnePlus 7 Pro provides all the high-end featured you’d expect from even pricier phones. The combination of the stunning design, top-of-the-line specs, and impressive cameras all this phone to compete with the Samsungs and Huaweis of the world.

REVIEW: OnePlus 7 Pro

Huawei P30 Pro (EUR 999)

Yes, we are well aware that the Huawei Mate 30 Pro has been released. But one thing that the P30 Pro has over the Mate 30 Pro is Google Mobile Services that’s ready out-of-the-box. The Mate 30 Pro has superior hardware so far, but the hardware can only take you so far. The Mate 30 Pro is a fantastic smartphone, but if the software we expect aren’t readily available, it’s a tough sell.

REVIEW: Huawei P30 Pro

Motorola razr (US$ 1499)

If you’re hell-bent on owning a foldable smartphone, this is probably the easiest choice. The Motorola razr is proof that being first to get new tech out on the market isn’t as important as being the first to get it right.
It’s an old favorite, reinvented. And that’s just flat out brilliant.

HANDS-ON: Motorola razr


Update as of November 2019:

  • Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ replaced the Samsung Galaxy S10+
  • Motorola razr has joined the list

Continue Reading

Best Smartphones

Best Midrange Smartphones from $200 to $400

November 2019 Edition

Published

on

When premium phones are out of financial reach and entry-level handsets just don’t make your cut, something in between is the next best thing. This is our updated list of the best midrange smartphones retailing from US$ 200 to US$ 400.

Formulating this category was tricky, since you can’t set an exact price and some of these devices are, in fact, the flagship phones of their respective brands. To simplify things, we chose a price range that simply sits between our other lists for best budget, upper-midrange, and premium smartphones.

Here they are in no particular order:

Realme XT (US$ 333)

The Realme XT is our choice for best smartphone with a 64MP camera. This smartphone produces flagship-level photos.

REVIEW: Realme XT

Xiaomi Mi 9 SE (US$ 300)

Xiaomi has always been a part of the list and the Mi 9 SE truly deserves its spot. It’s a flagship-grade phone from its design to its specs. It’s dubbed as a “compact flagship” thanks to its smaller-than-usual form factor. If you’re looking for a phone that won’t hurt your pockets both in size and price, check out the Mi 9 SE.

REVIEW: Xiaomi Mi 9 SE

Realme 5 Pro (US$ 232)

A quadruple-camera setup at this price point seems unlikely but Realme made it happen. And it’s not just the setup, the lenses actually take photos with good image quality. That would have been enough to recommend this but it also has a Snapdragon 712 AIE chip with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. If you’re looking for a great deal, this is it.

HANDS-ON: Realme 5 Pro

ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M2 (US$ 245)

While not as affordable as its predecessor, the ZenFone Max Pro M2 still does several things most phones can’t even dream of at this price point. We get an upper-midrange chip, large 5000mAh battery, versatile cameras, and a pure take on Android.

REVIEW: ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M2

Huawei Nova 5T (US$ 367)

Huawei managed to put a flagship-level chip with a glass back and with triple cameras on a midrange phone. These are things you expect from brands like Xiaomi but Huawei was able to pull it off as well.

READ: Huawei Nova 5T

Samsung Galaxy A50s (US$ 345)

Samsung’s pivot to the A series has been fantastic and the Galaxy A50s is another proof of that. It’s a refinement of everything that was good with the Galaxy A50. If you’re a die-hard Samsung fan looking for a midrange phone, the Galaxy A50s is a solid option.

REVIEW: Samsung Galaxy A50s


Update as of November 2019:

  • The Realme XT was added to this list

Continue Reading

Best Smartphones

Best Budget Smartphones below $200

November 2019 Edition

Published

on

Welcome to GadgetMatch’s list of the best smartphones priced below US$ 200! Each month, we update our selection with the budget-friendly phones we believe are most deserving of your hard-earned savings.

Even though the spotlight has been on high-end smartphones this entire year, there have been a few surprisingly good entry-level handsets coming out lately, as well. So good, in fact, that we had to reassess our entire list.

Here they are in no particular order:

Redmi Note 8 (US$ 155)

The Redmi Note 8 is proof that you can put quality cameras on a budget smartphone. It has a 48MP main shooter which is what you’ll find on most flagships and midrangers. With a Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 SoC, it should also have no trouble handling basic gaming and other tasks you do on your phone.

READ: Redmi Note 8

ASUS ZenFone Max M2 (US$ 175)

We were disappointed to find out that the ZenFone Max Pro M2 went above the US$ 200 mark, but we still have the non-Pro Max M2 to buy at this price point. Fortunately, the fast Snapdragon 632 processor, large 4000mAh battery, and dual rear cameras remain.

REVIEW: ASUS ZenFone Max M2

OPPO A5s (US$ 117)

The OPPO A5s perhaps is best looked at as a transition device more than anything else. It does what you expect out of budget smartphones. It’s good to have “for now” but you might look elsewhere for a more reliable daily driver.

REVIEW: OPPO A5s

Realme 5 (US$ 154)

Realme is giving Xiaomi a run for its money on our top-of-mind easy phones to recommend. The Realme 5 is a real treat for people looking for a budget smartphone that provides more than what they need.

HANDS-ON: Realme 5

Samsung Galaxy A20 (US$ 190)

Samsung’s revived Galaxy A-series proves that the company cares about every price segment. The Galaxy A20, in particular, is the most well-rounded below US$ 200 thanks to its ultra-wide camera, AMOLED display, and hefty battery.

REVIEW: Samsung Galaxy A20


Update as of November 2019:

  • The Redmi Note 8 replaces the Redmi Note 7 on this list

Continue Reading

Trending