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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.

Hands-On

LG V60 ThinQ Hands-on and First Impressions

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This is our LG V60 ThinQ Hands-On and First Impressions.

LG is sticking to its guns, refining its beloved flagship and offering it with a dual-screen case. But can it keep up with the likes of Samsung and Apple?

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Best Smartphones

Best Premium Smartphones above $600

March 2020 Edition

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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 S20 Ultra (US$ 1399)

All of Samsung’s new Galaxy S20 series belong in this price range. If you’re going to spend north of $600, might as well get the one with maxed-out specs, right? That’s exactly what the Galaxy S20 Ultra — the absolute best that Samsung has to offer right now in this form-factor. The numbers on the hardware are there but Samsung made sure to add key software features to appropriately take advantage of everything it has to offer.

WATCH HANDS-ON: Samsung Galaxy S20 series

Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ (US$ 1100)

The Samsung Galaxy Note series continues to set itself apart by being the premier 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 4 XL (US$ 899)

Reluctantly adding this to the list due to how it feels like a stepback from the Pixel 3. In reality though, it’s still better than its predecessor, it just didn’t meet most people’s expectations. Google’s computational photography is still second to none and that’s still enough to make this list.

HANDS-ON: Google Pixel 4 XL

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

Photo from @oneplus on Twitter

OnePlus 7T Pro (GBP 699)

The OnePlust 7T Pro didn’t get hyped as much because it was — in the words of many reviewers — only an incremental update from its predecessor. Make no mistake though, this is still a powerhouse of an Android phone is the owner of perhaps the smoothest, fastest Android UI today.

REVIEW: OnePlus 7T Pro

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip (US$ 1380)

The Galaxy Z Flip compares directly to the Motorola razr because of the way they fold. But on paper, the Galaxy Z Flip blows the Moto razr out of the water. There have also been plenty of reports that the Galaxy Z Flip has sold out in many markets (but lacking any actual figures). Regardless, this is easily the foldable smartphone that might actually serve well as your main phone.

WATCH: Galaxy Z Flip vs Moto razr

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Best Smartphones

Best Upper-Midrange Smartphones from $400 to $600

March 2020 Edition

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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 upper-midrange smartphones retailing from US$ 400 to US$ 600.

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, midrange, and premium smartphones.

Here they are in no particular order:

Samsung Galaxy A71 (US$ 500)

Awesome screen, awesome camera, long-lasting battery life — that’s the LSS-inducing theme of the Galaxy A71 as it was being teased. Lo and behold, Samsung wasn’t lying. The phone certainly lives up to the hype and while specs-wise there may be cheaper options out there, the package that Samsung has put together is quite enticing.

REVIEW: Samsung Galaxy A71

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite (US$ 449)

Finally. A Galaxy Note sans the gimmicks. The Galaxy Note line has always been a premium offering. And while this isn’t exactly budget, it’s still a lot more affordable than the usual stylus-paired smartphone from Samsung.

WATCH HANDS-ON: Samsung Galaxy Note 10

Realme X2 Pro (CNY 3299)

The Realme X2 Pro has flagship killer written all over it. Equipped with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+ and a 64MP camera sensor along with three other cameras, this phone promises to be a powerhouse with a price tag that doesn’t require sacrificing any of your internal organs.

HANDS-ON: Realme X2 Pro

OnePlus 7T (US$ 599)

When the OnePlus 7 and 7 Pro came out, the company wanted to clearly communicate that they’re competing in the premium space. Fast forward to the OnePlus 7T and it looks like they are back to their flagship killing ways offering premium-level specs at a price lower than most top-of-the-line flagships.

UNBOXING & HANDS-ON: OnePlus 7

OPPO Reno2 (EUR 449/ US$ 488)

Yes, the Reno3 is already out there in the wild but we’ve yet to truly put it through the paces. The Reno2 however, we’ve had our hands-on. It’s crazy how close the release dates of these phones are but we can say for sure that this is still a good purchase owing to its now more premium design and dedication to providing better camera performance.

REVIEW: OPPO Reno2

Black Shark 2 [8GB + 128GB] (GBP 449/ US$ 283)

Okay so we’re being very specific here. There is a pro version but that’s that what we’re talking about. There’s also a version of the Black Shark 2 but with 12GB of RAM which exceeds this price point by hair. Which is why we specifically put the 8GB+128GB variant. It’s still a phone with pretty obvious gaming aesthetic. If this appeals to you, it’s a worthwhile purchase.

READ: Black Shark 2

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