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.
Mighty music player: Is this what replaces the iPod in 2018?
Why this music player is still relevant
Today’s time sees the extinction of all other devices as the smartphone becomes the one machine that can do everything. But, what if we don’t want to do it all? What if what you need is something that’s so simple it only does (gasp!) one thing?
Music and only music
This is the premise of the Mighty music player. At a time when iPods have all but died, there’s a demand for a simple machine that’ll allow us to listen to our music without the hassle of having to bring our phones. This tiny device can do that and in updated 2018 terms — yep, it plays streaming music from your Spotify account no matter where you are.
The Mighty music player is a tiny device, no bigger than what iPod Nanos used to be. This small thing will definitely fit in whatever purse you bring.
Its face is all buttons and a tiny LED light. On the back is a simple clip.
There’s only one port on this thing, an audio port that’s used for both charging and earphones on the top side.
Mighty works by accessing your Spotify account. Unlike iPods that stored music data, this thing just streams playlists from the app. You’d need to download the Might app, connect your player, and pick playlists to be copied before you can get down to actual fuss-free listening.
Once that’s done, you can take your Mighty anywhere and play your music anywhere — or at least, the playlists you’ve downloaded on to Mighty. Take note that as of now, you can only copy playlists and not artists, albums, or anything else.
Imagine all the possibilities. You can now go to the gym without any alerts or distractions; take that jog outside without having to worry about carrying your smartphone! Heck, you can even zone out on your commute without having to fiddle around your bag to find your phone and play that song you’re in the mood for.
In today’s technology-tangled time, things are just getting more complicated and we’re just given more and more tasks and distractions. The Mighty player brings you back to simpler times. Well, simpler times where music streaming and Spotify exist!
Think about it: Uninterrupted sounds without having to worry about carrying your phone, message alerts that come in, or phone battery time. Isn’t that the dream?
Mighty says it’s the reality.
Millennial parenting and the need for baby domain names
Parenting in 2018!
Parenting in 2018 has certainly changed from when our parents did it. Millennials, most of which are digital natives, now have different priorities and considerations when it comes to naming their kids. Just how different? Well…
That’s right. According to a GoDaddy survey, domain names now play a big role in what parents consider when naming their child!
General sentiments have also changed. The same survey cites 48 percent of millennial parents, almost double the number of Gen X parents, believe that online media presence early in life is important for their kid.
In fact, even before their babies could walk, they’ve probably been posted about online by their millennial parents.
This is unsurprising because this generation grew up online. In fact, 58 percent of millennials are reported to have created their first online profile between the ages of 10 and 17.
Hence the willingness for millennial parents to help their children create their own websites! The reasoning is simple: Most millennial parents believe that this will help their child when it comes to jobs searches and college applications in the future.
Some parents even go as far as buying the domain even before the child’s birth. Top reasons for doing so include reserving the name for the future, to use an online baby book, and lastly, to utilize the domain as a tool to teach their kid about the internet.
GoDaddy trends expert Melissa Schneider explains, “It’s no longer enough to make sure that your baby is enrolled at the top elementary school at birth — parents today are claiming their child’s name and online identity to make sure that they’re set up for success down the line. More than ever, it’s essential to own your own identity on the internet, and millennials know that better than anyone else.”
OPPO Find X Lamborghini Edition: Testing a $2,000 phone
Will a luxurious phone make me more luxurious?
I won’t beat around the bush. This is the OPPO Find X Lamborghini Edition and it’s worth almost US$ 2,000 or US$ 1,980 to be precise.
What’s so special about it? See that seal? It’s an actual Lamborghini. No, really, from the Italian luxury carmaker.
I got my hands on this delightful device and I’ve been using it for a few weeks. So, now that I have my own Lambo, what changed? Did using this expensive AF phone make me a classier person? Will I get more street cred because of my flashy phone? What does holding US$ 2,000 in form of a phone feel like?
Because owning such a luxurious device has made me a more gracious person, I shall walk you through my experiences with the Lambo.
It still looks and feels good
The OPPO Find X Lamborghini Edition has the same signature bezel-less screen of the regular Find X.
On the back, glaring in gold is the Lamborghini logo. This phone also has a different back design on that smooth glass back; almost elusive striped markings dubbed by OPPO as the black carbon pattern adorns the whole body.
Of course, there’s a special edition Lambo theme because if you’re paying that much for a phone, they better throw in a custom theme!
As cool as it was (especially for car lovers!), though, I opted to change the theme into something brighter during my time with the phone. 😅
I’ve said it about the normal Find X and I’ll say it again about this Lambo phone: It’s a pleasure to hold. The weight, feel, and that wide, crisp screen make everything feel premium.
The only downside is that the normal OPPO Find X and the Lambo phone are similarly great — which is a good thing if you own the normal Find X, but not such a great deal if you paid the US$ 825 difference for the more expensive phone.
Nonetheless, the Lambo phone does give a classier spin to the phone in black and gold. I mean, if you hold it strategically enough, people should take notice of that Lamborghini logo, right?
Touting such an expensive device day and night is not as easy as it looks. Because I’m secretly not rich (sad reacts 😢), I almost had a mini heart attack handling such an expensive thing that’s all glass. Thankfully, the phone came with a phone case that sports the same Lamborghini logo and stripe pattern that onlookers can accidentally ogle so they can realize how much my phone costs.
It didn’t make me more luxurious but it looked the part
As you may have noticed, I busted out classy AF props for shooting this particular device.
I figured this was as good a time as any to amp up the set design — it’s not every day your phone costs more than 18 bottles of Moet.
Sans the bottles of champagne, we did discover that the Lamborghini Find X looks great with classy rich girl outfits complete with pearl ensemble. I felt straight out of Gossip Girl, except even Blair Waldorf didn’t own a Lamborghini phone, did she?
The best fast charge technology that money can buy
The best thing about this phone comes in form of a brightly colored charger cord and Lamborghini-branded power brick. I sh!t you not (excuse my crassness but this tech deserves the profanity), this phone charges from zero to 100 in 35 minutes. Ten minutes of charging gives you 37 percent and thirty minutes of charging amounts to a whopping 92 percent.
Never have I seen such fast charging times. It’s unreal.
Honestly, charging became such an easy thing for me since using this phone. I just plug it in and it’ll completely charge before you can finish saying supercalifragilistic-holy-fudge-this-phone-is-so-expensive-docious!
Real talk though, because I don’t plug this phone in as much as you would other phones (shout-out to iPhone users), think of all the money you can save in terms of broken cords!
There are matching earphones
OPPO also threw in a pair of matching wireless earbuds because someone had to justify paying that much money for this set.
They come in a case stamped with the Lamborghini logo and automatically connect to your phone after initial pairing. They’re a decent pair of earphones that go well with the whole Lambo look except I seem to have misplaced one of the earpieces (which is not my fault because there is a serious design flaw to untethered earphones!) and now there’s a pit in my stomach when I think of how much that tiny thing probably costs. 😢
Different yet exactly the same?
At the end of the day, it’s still the same great phone.
The features that made me love the normal Find X are still the same features I enjoy on this Lambo: the fast face unlock feature, the awesome display, and the pop-up camera design (it never gets old).
Owning a Lambo *surprise* has not fundamentally changed me. I’m still really, really not rich. Most people didn’t even notice the flashy Lambo logo on my phone. Funny enough, people still only notice the pop-up camera and are still very much amazed by it.
But, I did, and still do enjoy using this phone. It’s a top-of-the-line device and it feels that way. I like it to the point that I keep using it despite having only one Lambo earphone now. 😢
Like a true luxury item, the price really doesn’t make sense. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that it’s an awesome, awesome device — if you can afford it.
In the meantime, I’m unsure of how to live my life if I have to go back to charging my phone for more than 35 minutes. Let me leave you now as I sip on not Moet to ponder on my dilemma.
Images by MJ Jucutan
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