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.
Hot & Straight: Garment steamers to keep your clothes wrinkle-free
For your delicate dresses and suits
Not everyone is blessed to have a Samsung Airdresser or LG Styler at home. Both of which are cabinets that clean, deodorize, and straighten your well-loved clothes. Especially for delicate fabrics such as silk and satin, and even the likes of your dresses and suits. For these, we turn to garment streamers.
A clothes iron isn’t generally a bad idea, but there’s a little chance of burning your soft fabric when you use a garment steamer. And it’s perfect for when you’re prepping for an event. Straighten out those sleeves, pleats, and ruffles — and look prim and proper with wrinkle-free clothes.
Xiaomi Zanjia GT-301W
Xiaomi surely makes clean-looking small appliances. The Zanjia GT-301W is a minimalist, lightweight, and portable garment steamer that’s perfect for your white and neat aesthetic.
You can hold it with just one hand, and despite the small size, it blasts 1200W of powerful steam — effectively removing wrinkles on your clothes.
Midea Handheld Steam Ironing Machine
Known as a household brand, Midea took it up a notch by producing a portable yet elegant-looking garment steamer. This garment steamer can be folded easily so you can look posh while you take care of your clothes during your travels.
It also packs so much steam power with steam volume up to 22g/min, making it easier to iron out creases swiftly.
Surely a trusted brand, Philips also has a candidate in the steamer category. The STH3010/70 makes for a well-rounded garment steamer — compact, portable, blasts 1000W of steam power and steam volume of up to 20g/min.
But more importantly, it boots up quickly and the steam plate can be safely pressed across all kinds of ironable fabrics — bedsheet and curtains included.
Dowell CSH-35 Fabricare Lite
Looks may not be its strongest suit, but the Dowell CSH-35 Fabricare Lite puts a strong focus on functionality. It has a large capacity for a travel steamer — sporting a 280ml removable water tank and 1500W of power.
It’s also easy to operate with its single button, it comes with two levels of steam settings, and takes care of your clothes with its three layers of Fabricare technology. Certainly, it removes creases, sanitizes, and refreshes all your fabrics.
Tefal Access Steam + Handheld Garment Steamer DT8100
Stay wrinkle-free with Tefal’s garment steamer in a short amount of time, thanks to its ultra-fast and efficient setup. It packs 1600W of steam power and releases a steam flow of up to 26g/min.
It’s perfect for last-minute steaming at home and it allows you to move conveniently with its 3 meters cord, so you’re not limited to steaming in one corner.
Blow & Dry: Handy, stylish hair dryers for easy blowouts
They deserve to be in your home and in your purse
Every now and then, we’ll need a quick blowout to maintain good hair — whether it’s prepping for an event, a quick touch-up before your Zoom call, or about to run an errand and in a bit of a time crunch.
It’s not every day we’ll need a fabulous blow-dryer that will cost us an arm or leg. Or purchase an expensive one and call it an investment. (Guilty as charged!)
Sometimes, what we need are hair dryers that work. Fast and easy, just the way you’ll like it.
Panasonic EH-NA27 Nanoe Hair Dryer
Carol, GadgetMatch’s Lifestyle Editor, swears by Panasonic’s lineup of Nanoe hair dryers. While her personal choices are a bit chic and ritzy, there are affordable options that certainly do the trick.
The Panasonic EH-Na27 brings in its patented technology, gathering water from the air, and uses it — along with negative ions — to create Nanoe droplets and Double Mineral Ions. It’s the secret to shiny and bouncy hair!
Mi Ionic Hair Dryer
If you’re looking for an affordable yet good-looking hair dryer, say no more. Xiaomi’s Mi Ionic hair dryer solves all your dilemmas: a portable form factor, minimalist and classy design (especially in that white colorway), high volume, and quick-drying technology.
Since it’s an ionic hairdryer, it’s supposedly safer and better compared to ceramic ones — and it won’t leave your hair smelling burnt.
Soocas H5/H3s Hair Dryer
Chay, GadgetMatch’s Creative Director, shared how her GadgetMatch in 2018 was not a phone but a hair dryer. Yes, it was a Soocas hair dryer, which recently had a product refresh.
To Chay, the Soocas hairdryer ticks her three main considerations in looking for a hair dryer: price, power, and design. And more importantly, it doesn’t stop working from overheating despite having an affordable price tag.
Philips Drycare Advanced Hair Dryer HP8233/00
Philips has been around for years, and they certainly produce hair dryers within your reach. The Philips Drycare Advanced hair dryer comes with a professional power as if you have your own hairdresser.
It also comes with multiple temperature settings for less hair damage and a long-lasting look. And more importantly, it sports technology that has an anti-frizz effect to help you achieve that shiny-looking hair.
Imarflex Hair Dryer HD-2210C
If you prefer it classic and generic like any hair dryers found in your mom’s closet, Imarflex retained that familiar look with its hair dryers. The HD-2210C comes with Ionic haircare system and easy toggle between hot and cold temperature settings.
It makes for the perfect hair dryer for a quick and easy blowout, especially when you’re in a hurry. And it certainly won’t break your wallet.
The Starbucks x FILA collection is what we need for hot summer vibes
Live life and have fun in a distinct style
Hold up! Hot girl summer ain’t over yet.
For the first time, Starbucks is collaborating with FILA on an exclusive, co-branded collection of sporty-street-summery style essentials.The Starbucks x FILA collection blends rich brand heritage with classic and modern design. Wearing FILA’s signature white, navy, and red, the collection showcases bold yet timeless designs as seen in the drinkware and lifestyle accessories.
Surely, you’d love to get your hands on these accessories if you’re a fan of timeless yet distinct styles. It’s evident in these tumblers, cups, pouches, and bags!
Where to get
Starbucks x FILA collection will be available starting July 20, 2021, at select Starbucks stores across the Asia-Pacific region while supplies last. In the Philippines, it will also be available in the Starbucks flagship store on Lazada.
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