I took one look at the Meizu Pro 7 and I knew I wanted to try it out. You see, unlike other folks at GadgetMatch who look to specs and features as basis for wanting to try a phone, I look at form factor and novelty. A phone with a secondary AMOLED display was obviously right up my alley.
But, what good does a secondary display do? How does it work? Does one actually need a second display and if so, when will one ever need it? I spent a few days with the Pro 7 in an attempt to answer all these questions.
Secondary AMOLED screen
Meizu’s secondary display is a cute little panel on the back of the phone (which I will, from here on, call “cutie screen”). It’s around the size of a big person’s thumb or a lipstick tube — but just right for displaying time and phone notifications with a certain pizzaz.
The screen isn’t always on; you can activate with a double-tap. Initially, the display will show you the time, but a swipe right will give you the temperature in your location and another swipe will display the pedometer. When turned on, phone actions like charging will also randomly show on the cutie screen with different animations.
My favorite function, when it comes to this display, would be its selfie capability. A swipe up will activate the rear camera and the cutie panel turns into a display! Swiping will switch through the three modes available: blur which is the bokeh mode, beauty mode, and original. A tap on the screen triggers the shutter after a countdown of three seconds. Think of all the selfie possibilities!
Unfortunately, the camera view on the cutie screen doesn’t support video — a shame since this was something I was looking forward to using; just think of all the vlog possibilities if this were doable! I also wanted to customize the standby screen animation or wallpaper, but the phone wouldn’t allow me to do that, so I was pretty much stuck with the serious-looking preset clock face and a blank screen on downtime.
As expected, I did enjoy the extra selfie screen — it helped with framing, and selfies were generally easier to take, though you can’t really see much detail on such a teeny screen. Size does matter at the end of the day, at least for selfie screens!
The Pro 7 is equipped with a 16-megapixel front-facing camera plus a dual-cam setup at the back with two 12-megapixel shooters. These numbers are never really indicative of how good a camera is so you know what that means: shootout!
The selfie camera is, of course, equipped with a beauty filter that may be toggled according to your filter preference. Unlike other selfie smartphones, the Meizu Pro 7 only has one beauty mode setting that you’re stuck with — no separate toggles for skin smoothening, face thinning, or complexion. Not that I’m complaining; the filter does its job.
Of course, if that’s not enough for you, the phone also has a built-in beauty edit feature which allows you to make certain changes to your selfies — just make sure not to go overboard!
The rear dual-camera setup allows for monochrome photos and a bokeh mode. By experience, however, the front-facing camera does a better job with the beauty filters, as the rear camera filter is too subtle for my taste.
Here are other sample shots of my fabulous life (ha ha ha!) taken with the Pro 7:
The Meizu Pro 7 boasts a monochrome function owing to the dual-cam setup, though I was not really impressed by it — especially after seeing other brands do it better.
Look and feel
I’m pretty particular about how a phone looks and feels in my hands. The Meizu Pro 7 has a sleek aluminum back and a good weight to it; this makes it feel pretty premium.
Meizu phones run on the Flyme operating system on top of Android, and this particular one runs on Nougat, which means a distinct phone interface. But, the most peculiar thing about the Pro 7 — and Meizu phones in general — is the fact that there is only one home button on the phone’s front that’s used for most commands. This one physical button to rule them all, equipped with a fingerprint reader, is something that may need a little getting used to.
The Pro 7 also has a USB-C port and headphone jack. Of course, the second display screen is a beautiful, unique touch.
Unlike the Pro 7 Plus powered by a MediaTek Helio X30 processor, the Pro 7 is powered by a Helio P25. Now, my non-techie friends, stay with me: All you need to know is that this phone is comparable to most new midrange smartphones in the market today (Examples: OPPO R11, Moto Z2 Play, ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom).
On the other hand, the Meizu Pro 7 Plus’ X30 processor puts it on the same range as most flagship smartphones now (Examples: Xiaomi Mi 6, OnePlus 5, HTC U11 which all run on a Snapdragon 835). Though there are Meizu Pro 7’s equipped with the X30, you’d be hard-pressed to find one, since they’re only available in China.
This shouldn’t be a problem at all because as it stands, the Meizu Pro 7 gives a pretty smooth user experience for my needs — I’m a fairly heavy smartphone user, though my apps aren’t that demanding. On this phone I could have 15 to 20 apps all open in the background without issue, although some of them refresh when I reload the app. Our specific Pro 7 has 4GB of memory and 64GB of storage, for reference.
With a capacity of 3000mAh, the battery on this thing is good, too. It goes from zero to 100 percent in around an hour and thirty minutes, and it lasted me a whole day’s use (8 to 14 hours depending on my needs). Turning the second AMOLED screen off does very little difference to battery time, but as I mentioned earlier, that cute second display only does so much at this point, so I wasn’t really expecting a significant difference.
Is this your GadgetMatch?
The Meizu Pro 7 is a definite show-stopper because of the extra screen. Though I did expect much from the cutie screen, I was a bit let down by its limited capabilities. But, that definitely doesn’t mean I was not impressed by it, nor am I giving up hope that the secondary features will be improved on in the future. *cough*second screen video selfie mode*cough*
Do I need the second cutie screen? My answer: Does it matter? Meizu played this well; there were no sacrifices made for this additional display, and that makes it a welcome feature whether you’d want it or not. And really, at the end of the day, you could always just turn it off.
For what it’s worth, the Pro 7, even without the cutie screen, is a pretty decent phone. As of writing, international pricing has not been released, but if priced the same way as in China at CNY 2,880 (US$ 425), it’s definitely a phone you should consider.
10 gift ideas for the bookworm on your list
Gifts that are not books
If you have friends or family who love to read, chances are other people will already give them books this holiday season. It’s that or they already bought the book they want to read next. If you want to give something different that they will appreciate, here are some other ideas to help you out:
For the friend who has too many books but not enough shelves, get her the new Kindle. It’s also perfect for that friend who brings a book or two when traveling. She always managse to finish reading on the flight leaving herself book-less for the rest of the trip.
If she already has a Kindle, how about a case inspired by classic book covers? Not only will it protect her gadget from scratches, it also gives her the feeling of holding a book while reading. Smell of an actual book not included.
Some people will always prefer reading over listening to audiobooks. For those who are open to the latter, Audible credits are a practical, yet thoughtful gift you can give. If you know of a specific title they want to listen to, there’s also an option to get that book as a gift either through your own Audible credits or using a credit card.
A pair of noise cancelling earphones is one of the best gifts you can give this year not just to bookworms, but to almost anyone on your list. Bookworms will especially love being able to block any noise and concentrate on reading (or listening to) their book.
Plenty of great options came out this year, including the Sony WF-1000XM3, which retails for SG$ 349.
Help decorate one’s home with cute bookends. For someone who lives in a smaller space, a multi-purpose bookend is your best bet — maybe one that doubles as a flower vase for the living room or a kitchen utensil holder. You can also get an upcycled one using old records. For a more personal touch, you can even do it yourself and you got yourself a crafty project this holiday season.
Lumio LED book lamp
Any bookworm will appreciate receiving a lamp to help them read when the sun starts to dip. What if you give them something in the shape of a book? They sure will love you more than they already do!
Another gift idea for that special someone is a book-inspired sleeve to protect her laptop. Make it more personal by making her favorite cover made. You can even add the first and last pages of the book to make it feel more like one. There’s also an option to add a smaller but similar case for the charger and other accessories.
NYPL Library Card Pouch
The New York Public Library store has a ton of useful knickknacks you can buy as gifts. There’s a pouch inspired by the original library cards from the 1940’s that any bookworm will appreciate even if you bought it at the last minute!
NYPL Library Card Socks
Another option is this cute pair of socks that will surely make any bookworm’s heart and feet warm this chilly season. It comes in small and large and is priced at US$12 for non-members.
Black NYPL Ruth Bader Ginsburg Tote Bag
Know someone inspired by the Notorious RBG? This tote could not be any more perfect. It can carry not just that heavy hardbound book, but her groceries or gym clothes as well!
5 gift ideas for the stylish women on your list
Give the gift of style!
Finding the perfect present for the stylish women in your life is quite the task. But don’t worry – we’re here to make the process a tad easier. Here are some gift ideas that will make the stylish women in your life love you more. Well, much more than they already do, anyway.
The hair tool of almost any stylish woman’s dreams is definitely from Dyson. This tool gives the gift of quick, salon-quality styling. Drying your hair as you style for voluminous waves and natural-looking curls cuts prep time in almost half. After all, their hair should be as fabulous as their outfits.
A complete set is currently at EUR 499 but that includes all 11 attachments that will let her save from all those dry bar visits. Get the Dyson Airwrap through this link.
Hër Bluetooth In-Earphones
Listening to music while on the go doesn’t have to clash with one’s outfit. We’re in love with the discreet, nude colour of the Hër Bluetooth In-Earphones and its ease of use. The case that doubles as its charger is also pretty and rather minimalist. Connection to a smartphone is quick and painless via Bluetooth, giving the freedom to move while being in a call.
Pose for OOTDs while listening to music and order a set via this link.
Laura Mercier Paint with Light Radiant Face Illuminator Trio
The holiday season means glitz, glamour, and of course – shimmer. There’s no other season that allows for shimmer overload than the holidays. What better way to do it than by using the perfect highlighter palette. We’re in love with the Radiant Face Illuminator Trio from Laura Mercier’s Paint With Light Holiday 2019 collection.
There’s a hue for every skin tone and outfit. The buildable glow is also something that will make anyone a stand-out at all the parties. Get it here.
Mejuri Organic Pearl Large Hoops
Pearls are not just for the grandmas anymore. Pearls are so in fashion right now and letting them dangle on hoops gives them a modern, edgier update. All without losing their elegance.
This pair from Canadian brand Mejuri has us drooling with their use of organic pearls. You’ll definitely get a unique pair from them as no two organic pearls can ever be exactly the same. As far as we know, stylish women love individuality so this gift is definitely a hit. Get a pair here.
A Rent the Runway subscription
It’s hard to pick a particular outfit as a gift for the stylish women on your list. Preferences and sizes can get in the way. But that shouldn’t stop you from giving them the gift of designer fashion. A subscription with Rent the Runway makes sure they have access to the latest pieces and you’ll never hear them complain about having nothing to wear ever again.
How a connected home can help make your life better
With appliances getting smarter, things can only get better
A truly smart home uses machine learning to understand and adapt to a user’s behavior and preferences. LG’s ThinQ AI technology does exactly that — appliances communicate with each other and learn so it can anticipate the user’s needs and optimize performance.
Take good care of your laundry
Some people enjoy doing their own laundry, especially those who travel a lot; then there are those who just don’t have the time for it. Wash your date night lace and silk items separately from the rest of your wardrobe; or wash yours and your baby’s pile simultaneously so you can spend more time with your precious one. Either way, the LG TWINWash can do the job as it can do two loads at the same time.
Steaming with LG’s stackable front loader washer/dryer can also make things easier for someone who’s single or for a new mom. Using the steam function, dress to impress by making sure your work clothes are wrinkle-free. Baby clothes also deserve the same special care as the heat of the steam will remove 95% of bacteria and allergens.
Keep food fresh while saving energy
Save time and energy with the LG Instaview Door-in-Door refrigerator, which lets you peek into its contents just by knocking twice, reducing the need to swing open its doors. The modern Slim French-Door refrigerators can also help manage energy consumption, thanks to the Inverter Linear Compressor.
If food waste is an issue, a refrigerator like the Two Door Top Freezer can help maintain temperature levels to help keep your food longer. Its digital sensors constantly monitor conditions within the refrigerator and it has strategically-placed vents in every section to help surround your food with cool air no matter where you put it.
Manage your home with a few taps
With the SmartThinQ App, you can control your appliances anytime wherever you may be. Because of LG’s ThinQ AI technology, your appliances get smarter the more you use them. You can use it to turn your air conditioner on remotely or start wash cycles even before you get home.
It’s no secret that home appliances help make our lives more convenient and efficient. This is not going to change anytime soon. With appliances getting smarter, things can only get better.
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