Her GadgetMatch

Meizu Pro 7 Review: Twice the fun

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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.

The Meizu Pro 7

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.

Girl holding Meizu Pro 7 with back screen alerting with a notification

Yeah, this 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!

Selfie with the Meizu Pro 7's secondary display

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 cameras

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 withno 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!

Meizu Pro 7 photo and beauty edit samples

Don’t over do the editing, it can turn really bad, real quick

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.

Meizu Pro 7 photo samplesThough the Pro 7’s camera does well overall, it doesn’t seem to do too well with low-light shots.Sample shots in low light with the Meizu Pro 7

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.

Meizu Pro 7 bottom side with ports

The Pro 7 also has a USB-C port and headphone jack. Of course, the second display screen is a beautiful, unique touch.

Performance

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 PlayASUS 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.

Holding the Meizu Pro 7 showing the back screen

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.

Holding the Meizu Pro 7 showing the secondary display

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.

 

SEE ALSO: Meizu Pro 6 Plus Unboxing and Hands-On

[irp posts=”16822″ name=”Meizu Pro 7 and Pro 7 Plus go official with secondary display”]

 

Accessories

GlassesUSA.com unveils a collection of affordable, sustainable eyewear

You can virtually try a pair and get a prescription for free!

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GlassesUSA.com, a disruptor in the eyewear space, launched their “Eco Conscious” category — a sustainable collection consisting of glasses made from ethically sourced materials. From upcycled plastics to bio-acetate, to natural materials like coffee and hemp, GlassesUSA.com brings together nine conscious brands offering sustainable yet affordable eyewear.

For instance, Ochis’ glasses are 100 percent eco-friendly, using coffee grounds, biopolymer, and flax.

There’s Hemp Eyewear, too, carrying the world’s first hemp fiber eyewear. Moreover, every frame is handcrafted in Edinburgh.

For those who care about the ocean, Waterhaul uses 100 percent recycled plastics intercepted from the ocean. Most of these recycled plastics came from 640,000 tonnes of fishing gear lost or discarded in the ocean.

If you like trees and nature, Woodie uses handmade material from 100 percent recycled wood. For each purchase, Woodie plants one tree.

Costa del Mar, on the other hand, showcases eyewear made from bio-based resin derived from Castor Oil. They also have a “Kick Plastic Initiative” to reduce carbon footprint. The initiative aims to protect the planet’s waters from the use of single-use plastics.

Another user of biobased materials including Castor Oil is Arnette, where cases are made from recycled ABS. Additionally, their microfiber cloths are made from 78 percent recycled polyamide.

Price and availability

Other brands include Stella McCartney, Muse, and SeaClean. Moreover, GlassesUSA.com stays true to its mission of offering affordable eyewear, making the sustainable collection available at varying price points with sticker prices ranging from US$ 74 to US$ 400.

But what sets GlassesUSA.com apart is its two proprietary apps: the virtual try-on feature where you can literally try the glasses you’re looking at, and the Prescription Lens Scanner App where you only need to scan your current glasses with the FREE app, so you can get your prescription. Both apps are available for use when shopping the sustainable collection.

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Entertainment

Now Playing: Run On, Love Story, Your Name Engraved Herein

Feel good and feel warm, because love is always in the air!

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Love is in the air — only if you let it. If you’re looking for the best shows and films to watch, games to play, and songs and albums to listen to that will make your heart warm and fuzzy, look no more. Here are our recommendations for that much-needed dose of romance.

Editor’s favorite right now

Run On

Watch on: Netflix

MJ: Feel good and feel in love again. Run On brings us to a point in our lives where love is always in the air. It’s a romantic K-drama that reflects our daily lives — the mundane, boring days; the sleepless nights after a fight with someone; and the way we juggle romance and career on top of our personal and financial issues. It’s also high on growth, healing, and changing yourself for the better after meeting someone special.

The best entertainment device to accompany you

Samsung 4K QLED Q80T TV

A good TV goes a long way in upgrading your home entertainment experience. If you’re concerned about picture quality and future-proofing, the Samsung 4K QLED Q80T knocks it out of the park. It delivers one of the absolute best home cinema experiences.

REVIEW: Samsung 4K QLED Q80T TV

Shows to binge-watch

Goblin (쓸쓸하고 찬란하신 – 도깨비)

Watch on: Netflix, Viu

Vincenz: This is a story of a woman who fell in love with a goblin/도깨비 (dokkaebi) — or a powerful spirit in Korean mythology. This mythical creature was also responsible for saving her from her mother’s womb in an old accident. Other than them, there’s also the second lead couple between another woman and you guessed it, a grim reaper — which will also make your hearts warm and eyes wet at the same time.

P.S. This has one of the best Korean OSTs of all time. You can listen to one of its legendary tracks here.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Season 7)

Watch on: Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video

Leez: I know, I know. It’s been a year since its official release. But, it’s been a rollercoaster of a show series. From barely getting through another season to getting picked up by a network, the show sticks to poking fun at each character’s caricature while pulling heartstrings with the same charming precinct. And, with the series’ favorite couple, Jake and Amy, who wouldn’t want to see two very different people ending up together?

Weightlifting Fairy, Kim Bok Joo (역도요정 김복주)

Watch on: Netflix, Viu

Vincenz: Female weightlifters may not capture the hearts of all men, but Joonhyung (portrayed by Nam Joohyuk, who’s also Nam Do-san from Start-Up) eventually fell for one anyway. They weren’t aware that they’re childhood friends at first, but that made it more interesting to watch. Aside from the cheesy yet heart-fluttering moments, you’ll also enjoy Kim Bok Joo (Lee Sung Kyung) eating A LOT of Korean food (and chicken) — a lowkey mukbang/먹방 perhaps? Spoiler alert: They were a real couple.

Crash Landing on You

Watch on: Netflix

Apple: I can’t stress enough how this K-Drama series should be on this list, even if most of you have watched it probably more than once just like me. Yoon Se-Ri, a conglomerate heiress from South Korea lands in North Korea after a paragliding accident caused by extreme bad weather and meets Ri-Jeong Hyeok, an army officer who risks his life just to bring her back to her country. In the process of all the danger and mishaps, they fall in love with each other and go against all odds, even being separated by borders, just to be together.

Reply 1997 (응답하라 1997)

Watch on: Netflix

Vincenz: Started off as friends, eventually grew up as friends? Or lovers? This is the show where the characters reminisce about their early teenage years in a late-night reunion. The petty and super-obsessed K-Pop fan is obviously the star of this show. There’s also some form of platonic love that you won’t expect. For a good start, I’ll recommend this one over the less-popular Reply 1994 and my most favorite (and also the most popular) Reply 1988.

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai

Watch on: Netflix

Rodneil: It’s been months since I finished binge-watching this series but I’ve since still been watching YouTube videos about it. Watched this at the height of the pandemic at a time that I was feeling really dead inside. It was the unexpected warm hug that I needed. The dynamic between Sakuta Azusagawa and Mai Sakurajima isn’t your typical anime romcom. It’s the backbone that this show is built on.

My Love From The Star (별에서 온 그대)

Watch on: Netflix, Viu

Vincenz: K-Dramas, like it or not, have been mixing “mythical” elements together in the real world. Cheon Song-yi, a star-studded female celebrity, has gone head over heels to a good-looking alien (portrayed by Kim Soohyun) from the planet KMT184.05 that’s been stuck on Earth for 400 years. Little did she know, she looked exactly like the princess he saved from an old Korean dynasty. IMO, their on-screen chemistry is enough to keep you going ‘til the end.

Movies to see

Your Name Engraved Herein

Watch on: Netflix

MJ: Love hits differently when you’re in a hopeless, damning place. Taking place after the end of Martial Law in Taiwan back in 1987, two men fall in love amid homophobia and social stigma. The story is both heartbreaking and romantic at the same time, but knowing that it’s based on a true story makes it hurt more when you realize the battles they had were real and hard.

Tenki no Ko 天気の子 (Weathering With You)

Watch on: Netflix

Vincenz: “I want you more than any blue sky” is what Hodaka Morishima said to Hina, a girl who can manipulate the weather. Between their sweet moments, sacrifices, and challenges, the two found love that changed the course of the world. Tokyo, at the very least.

Kimi no Na wa 君の名は (Your Name)

Watch on: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video

MJ: There’s no other anime film that can be as heartwarming and heartbreaking as Kimi no Na Wa (Your Name). It has the perfect visuals and music accompanying the storyline of longing and yearning for someone you can’t remember, playing with themes of fate, dreams, prophecies, and the connectedness between two souls through a red cord. No matter where you are, the love of your life will always find you. Even if it’s years apart.

Before We Go

Watch on: Amazon Prime Video

Rodneil: “There is no perfect. There will always be struggle. You just have to pick who you want to struggle with.” I was fresh-off an extended break-up when I first saw this and it hit all the spots that needed to be hit. I was drowning myself in a bunch of romantic drama for some reason and this one stuck. I haven’t seen it since, but I’m thinking I’m due for a re-watch.

Albums/Songs to listen to

“Love Story (Taylor’s Version)” by Taylor Swift

Stream on: Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube Music

MJ: Suddenly it’s 2009 again. Taylor Swift re-recording her ‘Fearless’ album after all the brouhaha is a much-needed salvation for the humanity, especially this 2021. Love Story (Taylor’s Version) brings back memories from a decade ago — hopeless romantics wishing to be swept off their feet by someone like Romeo. Except this time around, we know love doesn’t always have a happy ending. Still, this song will make you want to feel love again, and go against all the odds just like Romeo and Juliet.

Lover by Taylor Swift

Stream on: Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube Music

MJ: What’s not to love with Taylor Swift’s Lover album? It’s literally songs about love in different forms — self-love, love for other people whether they’re your friends, family, or even exes, and all the hopes and fears of being in love and/or in a relationship.

“Happy” by Oh Wonder

Stream on: Spotify, Apple Music

Leez: Alone this Valentine’s and embarrassing the strides you’ve been making to being better? This song is a mature take on a break-up. Moving on takes time and this song embodies a level of maturity of being happy for an ex who’s changed for the better without you.

“Someone Like Me” by TWICE

Stream on: Spotify, YouTube Music

Rodneil: The song primarily talks about having overwhelming feelings for someone but being coy about saying or showing it. Story of our lives, right? Lol. It’s my favorite TWICE B-Side track and something I put on repeat as I try to sleep. The girls’ heavenly vocals plus the overall vibe of the song just lends itself nicely as a lullaby.

“200% “by AKMU (Akdong Musician)

Stream on: Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube Music

Vincenz: Other than being reminded of my crush of almost one-year, listening to this bright and poppy track by the dynamic siblings from YG Entertainment (same agency as BLACKPINK) always gives me good vibes. After several replays, this might actually mean that what I’ve been feeling for so damn long must be L O V E — and my heart probablyy says “I’ 200% (i-baek %) sure of that”. Also yes, that’s Nam Joohyuk (again) back in his early days.

“IL2LU” by James Reid (ft. Nadine Lustre)

Stream on: Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube Music

Vincenz: We have to set aside James and Nadine’s current relationship status. This song has been so golden for me that it always gives me that ~love~ feeling where you have that someone who always reminds you that you’re loved regardless of your flaws and shortcomings. I may not have someone to share this but this is a song you can recommend to your… partner 🙄

“I Love You 3000 II” by Stephanie Poetri and Jackson Wang

Stream on: Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube Music

Vincenz: This isn’t Stephanie’s original track (thus, “II” at the title) but I can feel the two-sided love story better with Jackson Wang’s vocals in it. I’m honestly not into the MCU but I’m pretty sure that’s (obviously) an Iron Man reference. Although I’m not dreaming of a Hollywood-like love story, the lyrics, their vocals, and the overall rhythm are enough to make me feel like I’m in love.

“Mundo” by IV OF SPADES

Stream on: Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube Music

Vincenz: If you’re in for some retro-sounding OPM together with powerful vocals and lyrics that are both sentimental yet appreciative, then you have to listen to this! Tagalog/Filipino may not be everyone’s cup of tea but I assure you, it’s one of the best languages to listen to, especially in a love song. For some weird reason, this song made me remember someone I used to like 🤮

Folklore

Stream on: Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube Music, Disney+ for Folklore: Long Ponds Studio Sessions

Apple: Not exactly a mushy album since this album talks about different feelings and emotions about independence, freedom, one-sided and hidden love but who wouldn’t be envious that Taylor Swift actually co-wrote ‘Exile’ and ‘Betty’ on Folklore with her current beau, Joe Alwyn under the pseudonym “William Bowery”? I would also want the kind of love that they share — where you are even in sync with someone when it comes to making music.

Games to Play

Final Fantasy VIII

Play on: Steam

Rodneil: Squall and Rinoa. Yep. If you were disappointed that Aerith and Cloud weren’t endgame in FFVII, Squall and Rinoa have a similar dynamic and it’s one of the pillars of the game’s story. For sure, this is more than just the romance between the two, but their dynamic adds some spice to the larger story of the game.


Now Playing is the GadgetMatch team’s favorite games, movies, TV shows, and more each month. If you’re curious to know what we’re into at the moment, this is what you should check out. So grab your popcorn, get some drinks, and enjoy what’s now playing!

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Her GadgetMatch

Uniqlo S/S 2021: Style and Comfort in the New Normal

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There’s no need to sacrifice style for comfort — especially in the new normal. Uniqlo’s Spring/Summer 2021 collection is focusing on just that with artistic director Christophe Lemaire marrying innovation with modern silhouettes. We may not be going out as much but that doesn’t mean expressing ourselves through fashion has to go out the window.

Neutral tones and classic cuts make for sophisticated clothing that you can take from your home office to quick errands and walks — as long as you wear your masks, of course. Personally, this writer is quite smitten with the use of sheer fabrics that add a touch of elegance to the whole collection.



But wait — there’s more when it comes to this season’s line up and we’re sharing the preview with you. Here’s what you should be expecting from the clothing technology company.

Jason Polan UT Collection

A partnership that started in 2016 continues even after the passing of designer Jason Polan in January 2020. The New York artist, known for his ambitious work of drawing every person in the city using his pen and notepad, will have some of his sketches featured in the latest collection.

It will also feature drawings from his time in Tokyo that gave us his sketches of giraffes, hamburgers, and tigers. The collection will be available in Uniqlo stores all over the Philippines on 15 February 2021.

Transition Wear

This season also brings clothing that adjusts with you. Keeping you warm when it’s nippy and cool when it’s scorching. The LifeWear line stays true to its functional and practical cause with pieces that move with you. Notable pieces include pieces that incorporate the brand’s new Dry-Ex technology. It dries sweat and moisture quickly, making it perfect for your home workouts.

Uniqlo’s AIRism fabric tech which keeps you feeling fresh as you sweat is also moving to your sheets. No more waking up in the middle of the night — drenched in sweat — during humid Manila summer nights.


Wireless Bra Shape Lift

They say the best feeling after a long day is coming home and taking off your bra. During the new normal, some would say you don’t even have to wear one. But how can you have a wider frame for your Zoom meetings and rock those new tops you never got to wear out? Wear that bra and forget the possibility of pain.

The Japanese global apparel retailer is also launching a Wireless Bra Shape Lift. A bra designed to sculpt and shape the bust without the pain and discomfort of having wires dig around your chest area the whole day. It raises the upper bust area to create attractive cleavage while retaining a light and comfortable fit.

It also has matching panties because nothing says you have your life together other than matching underwear — even when you’re just staying at home.

Ines dela Fressange: Deauville Remembrances

The Uniqlo line this writer waits for every season is definitely Ines dela Fressange’s. Her pieces are always so chic and timeless. This year’s inspiration is Deauville — a refined seaside resort in northwestern France to which Parisians flock in summer which was a notable fashion town in the early 20th century. In fact, it’s where Coco Chanel opened her first boutique in 1913.

Cool pastels dominate this collection along with classic French cuts that pay tribute to an elongated silhouette.

JW Anderson: British Heritage Meets LifeWear Innovation

Jonathan Anderson is also back for another season with pieces that reflect arts and crafts. There’s light linen, cotton, and other naturally textured fabrics in smoky hues. Blanket stitching, floral embroidery, and smocking give the collection a vintage touch.

Hana Tajima Collab

The collaboration with this New York-based fashion designer focuses on cultural diversity and elegant styling that will go with women of all ages.

Photos from Uniqlo

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