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”]

 

Her GadgetMatch

Arion’s color-changing dress is turning heads

My mind is blown and I want it

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Once upon a time, the internet was divided over a dress all because people couldn’t agree on what color it was. If you’re one of those people who argued for a certain side, I have something that will truly blow your mind.

If your brain can’t process what you just saw, let me spell it out for you: This dress changes color when a light, like your smartphone torch, is shone on it. From a sophisticated muted tone, the reflective material turns into a bright and awesome party dress. Let’s see that again:

People are definitely loving this fashion statement. The first tweet from the designer quoted above has garnered 12,000-plus retweets and almost 69,500 retweets in the first 12 hours of posting — multitudes of shiny-unicorn-loving women who want the awesome look, probably.

Admittedly, I’ve stared at the video far longer than I should have and am now completely convinced that I want this material in every single outfit I’m to don from here on end. Fortunately, the dress is now for sale on the Arion website but it isn’t exactly cheap. The two-piece set retails for US$ 155. As of posting, this is the only design the dress is available in but hey, I’m not complaining!

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Her GadgetMatch

What could the new unicorn Xiaomi Mi 9 be called?

Xiaomi asked and people have answered

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Xiaomi’s new flagship is coming and, of course, the Chinese brand wastes no time in telling us that we’re going to want this new phone. Over the weekend, Xiaomi showed off the Mi 9’s color options and I am swooning.


The three colors posted all include a beautiful gradient in black, one in blue, and another in a purple-pink hue. Let’s look at that last one again:

The color, which people have been quick to call unicorn, has no official name. Global spokesperson Donovan Sung asked Twitter world what they could possibly name it.

There were a number of interesting and funny answers:

Of course, we had our own guesses:

If there’s any clue, though, it would be this reply:

The official Xiaomi Twitter account did conduct a poll calling it Lavender Violet the day before Donavan Sung sent out the tweet…

Until we have this confirmed, we’re calling it unicorn Mi 9. 🦄 Besides, whatever they call it, it’s looking like a very pretty color and I want it!

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Accessories

PhoneSoap Go: A portable device that will sanitize your smartphone

It isn’t called PhoneSoap for nothing!

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That smartphone in your purse can do so much but it also has 18 times more bacteria than the average public toilet. Before we continue, let that sink in.

Before you drop that phone you’re probably reading this article on, know that there’s a way to clean your handset and it doesn’t involve soap and water. Introducing: PhoneSoap.

PhoneSoap Go is the brand’s latest release. It’s a tiny chest that will literally clean your smartphone. It uses UV-C light to kill bacteria on your device. All you do is put your smartphone inside, tap the lightning button, wait 10 minutes for one cleaning cycle, and your phone should be germ-free.

The inside compartment can house your phone, no matter what size. It’s pretty spacious so it can even fit small everyday stuff like keys or wallets. Despite all that space, the PhoneSoap Go is designed for portability. This is PhoneSoap’s smallest device — something you can bring along on trips to make sure your handset is sanitized anywhere you go.

On the back of the chest is a USB-A and a USB-C port. This is because the PhoneSoap Go has a 7000mAh battery built into it. That’s enough for 45 cleaning cycles, or four phone charging cycles.

Yes, I said phone charging cycles. That’s because you can actually use it as a power bank. There’s even a slot for your charging cable so you can charge as you sanitize your phone. That means even if the whole cleaning cycle is just 10 minutes, you can leave your phone plugged in longer. There’s even “acoustic outlets” at the bottom so you can hear phone notifications.

Of course, unless I have a petri dish and some phone swabs, I won’t be able to say definitively that this thing can clean 99.99 percent of bacteria on your phone, as the brand claims. But, I will say that if it does end up sanitizing your phone in any capacity, that’s already a good enough deal considering how dirty these things supposedly are, and how much we’re holding on to them on a daily basis.

But really, more than phone cleaning, what you get is peace of mind. Honestly, my own (many, rotating) devices have been chilling a lot in my PhoneSoap ever since I got it.

The PhoneSoap Go retails for US$ 79.95 and you can get it from their website.

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