October has been hectic for the GadgetMatch team, with recent launches such as the LG V40 ThinQ, Microsoft Surface line, Nokia series, Realme 2 Pro, Google Pixel 3, and Razer Phone 2 happening consecutively.
There’s still so much to see for the rest of October, and here’s what’s keeping us sane this month!
Movies to see
Nappily Ever After
MJ: Nappily Ever After is a story about an advertising executive who has the perfect life: a successful job, a relationship with a doctor for two years, and gorgeous hair. She is the embodiment of perfection until a series of unfortunate events happened and she realized she’s not living the life she really wanted. It’s a powerful movie that highlights the importance of loving yourself and enjoying a life that isn’t perfect. Sometimes, you gotta let your hair down!
TV shows to binge watch
MJ: I’m always fascinated with beautiful interiors and makeovers, so when I saw Stay Here on Netflix, I immediately started watching it. Designer Genevieve Gorder and real estate expert Peter Lorimer look for vacation rental owners who need help in turning their short-term rentals into beautiful, profitable properties.
The Good Place
Dan: The Good Place is currently running its third season and I strongly suggest that you start watching the first season before jumping to the latest episodes to avoid any spoilers. The premise of The Good Place is very interesting and it’s about the afterlife. It starts with Eleanor Shellstrop finding herself in the good side of afterlife (a.k.a. the Good Place), but she’s there by mistake. She was not really the best living person and things started to get crazy. The story even gets more interesting and twisted in the second season. Season one and two of The Good Place is available on Netflix, while the latest episodes are uploaded every week depending on the region.
The Flash (Season 5)
Rodneil: A new suit, a new speedster, and of course, a new big bad. These are just some of the things we can look forward to when The Flash zooms in around the second week of October. The series made a shift back to a lighter tone in season four but some thought it fell short overall. Here’s to hoping season five carries that lighter tone, but delivers on more action and story with fewer plot holes.
Rodneil: Good news if you’re not in the US and don’t have access to the DC Universe app! One of DC’s newest flagship series Titans is coming to you via Netflix. The series features Batman sidekick Dick Grayson coming into his own and transitioning from Robin to Nightwing. The series will also feature longtime Titans members Starfire, Raven, and Beast Boy.
Terrace House: Opening New Doors (Part 4)
Marvin: Just when I thought this season of Terrace House couldn’t get any crazier, Part 4 proves that new housemates always mean more trouble. Brace yourself for more rejections, sadder exits, and two of the most unexpected pairings this season — that’s saying a lot considering how wacky the first three parts were. Of course, it ends in yet another cliffhanger, making us want Part 5 even more.
Rodneil: This animé sneakily became available to watch on Netflix recently. Funny thing about this series is the first episode I saw was the finalé and that made me want to check out the rest of the series. It did not disappoint. Code Geass tackles the journey of Lelouch Vi Britannia as he vows to take revenge on his father — the King — for the murder of his mother and to protect his sister and give her a better life. If you enjoyed Death Note then there’s plenty to love about Code Geass. The protagonist acts more like an anti-hero and while he gains a special ability to advance his cause, it’s his cunning wit and strategic thinking that ultimately drives the story forward.
Dan: If you’re into kids’ animation, you should check out Hilda. It’s a British-Canadian animated television series that’s showing exclusively on Netflix. It’s based on the graphic novel series of the same name by Luke Pearson. It’s about the titular character who had spent her entire life in the wilderness and when she moved to the city, she met new people and continued to enjoy her childhood. The story involves fantastical creatures including elves and giants, and superb emotional writing that’ll be of good teaching to children and even adults. The curious characters matched with exceptional animation will surely delight viewers.
Albums/Songs/Podcasts to listen to
“Electric (feat. Khalid)” by Alina Baraz
MJ: If you’re looking for a relaxed song, then “Electric (feat. Khalid)” by Alina Baraz is a song you should listen to. Played in Netflix’s Nappily Ever After, the lyrics pretty much resonate a love burning with passion, accompanied by a slow tempo composed of electronic beats. Depending on your mood, this song can be a good companion for lazy afternoons or when making love at night. ❤
“Sunflower – Synth Reprise” by Allie X
MJ: This is the only good thing about Netflix’s Sierra Burgess is a Loser (aside from the character, Veronica). “Sunflower” is a song written by the protagonist, Sierra Burgess, which tackles her insecurity about not being chosen by anyone because of who she is. This version is a bit upbeat and accompanied by an electronic 80s vibe that makes you sad yet interested in the lyrics.
Cities/Places to visit
Koh Samui, Thailand
Marvin: Known as the second-largest island in Thailand — next to the popular Phuket — Koh Samui is filled with beaches to visit, temples to explore, and of course, food to indulge in. Because it’s so densely packed with forests and surrounded by vast coral reefs, the island is perfect for both ATV and snorkeling adventures. Be careful, though: Like Phuket, there are a lot of tourist traps in the more popular sections of Koh Samui.
Marvin: Sometimes referred to as the “Maldives of the Philippines” (although this isn’t the first time I’ve heard an island resort being called this), Lakawon is a fun, banana-shaped island off the coast of Cadiz in Negros Occidental, Philippines. It’s a perfect getaway for those who want a secluded yet safe place to rest and relax on. For IGers, there are loads of Instagrammable spots and clear sea water to take photos in. Sadly, there’s only one resort available on this island, so you’re at the mercy of their monopoly on lodging and food.
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!
Stranger Things 3: What exactly is an ignition cable?
Possessed Billy knew what he was doing
By now, you’ve probably seen the third and newest season of Stranger Things on Netflix. If you still haven’t, it goes without saying that there are spoilers ahead and you should stay away from this article.
Seeing a pop culture reference such as Stranger Things together with the seemingly unrelated world of automotive in one writeup such as this could be strange (pun intended) for some. We really don’t mind and thought it would be a fun and unique way to talk about the show and learn a few things from it, as well.
So we ask the question: What exactly is an ignition cable?
The ignition cable is part of a vehicle’s ignition system. In simplest terms, it’s a mechanism that starts the engine. By generating a high voltage from the car’s battery to the spark plugs in its engine, it causes them to ignite the engine’s combustion chambers and get it up and running.
And in order to transfer that voltage from the source to the engine, you’ll need an ignition cable as it’s like a subway system that acts as pathways for the voltage to pass through. So if the ignition cable is not present, there’s no way to start the car.
Back to Stranger Things, Billy (although already possessed by the Mind Flayer) obviously still had his knowledge on cars so he took away the ignition cable trapping our favorite gang at Starcourt Mall’s parking lot.
Just to further stress the importance of an ignition cable and the whole ignition system for that matter, we’d like to visit other possibilities and ask, “What if Billy didn’t take it away?”
Well, the plan was for Eleven and her group to go to Bauman’s secret place and stay safe while Joyce, Hopper, and the rest try to close the portal and render the Mind Flayer powerless. If their ignition cable was intact, they’d be a lot safer away from the Mind Flayer although we wouldn’t be able to see that amazing fireworks scene inside the mall.
Through this, we see the importance of that one small part under the hood of the car. In real life, it really pays to make sure that everything is in good working condition and that one faulty cable could mean trouble for you if remained unaddressed — unless there’s a car on display inside a mall somewhere that you can take spare parts from!
Is this the chip for the ROG Phone 2? [Weekend Rewind]
Reports say yes!
Here are the top stories on GadgetMatch this week.
1. Is this the chip for the ROG Phone 2?
We’re entering the second wave of smartphone flagships for 2019. What better way to do so than news on the chip that will power all these new phones.
Enter the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 plus. It’s not quite the chip we were expecting but it’ll still provide significant performance boosts.
The chip promises a 15 percent improvement on overall graphic performance. That’s perfect for gaming which is why reports of the chip debuting on the ROG Phone 2 is a welcome development. The chip should also provide improvements on AR, VR, and AI features.
2. Huawei firing hundreds of workers
The latest chapter in the US vs Huawei saga sees the Chinese company in panic mode.
A report from the Wall Street Journal says the company will fire hundreds of employees from a pool of 850 workers. Most of which will come from their research and development division called Futurewei Technologies.
China-born employees have the option to go back to their home country and still be employed by Huawei. The same is not the case though for their American employees.
The layoffs come from the continued pressure by the US government. This, despite the optimism created by the earlier ban’s lifting.
3. Sony’s A7R IV has a massive 61MP sensor
This wasn’t the announcement we were hoping for, but it still has plenty going for it.
Sony just launched the latest on the R-series of their full-frame mirrorless cameras – The Sony A7R IV. It has the world’s first 61MP sensor on a full-frame camera. This helps you capture images that don’t lose detail even when you zoom in.
Other improvements include, a 15-stop dynamic range, five-axis optical in-body image stabilization, as well as 10FPS shooting with continuous autofocus. The real-time eye-tracking autofocus also makes its way to video recording for the first time.
The A7R IV also comes with new tech that captures digital audio signal. To take advantage, Sony also introduced a shotgun mic and an XLR mic adapter kit to pair with the camera.
This was a serious flex by Sony. Following the release of the Canon EOS R as well as the Nikon Z6 and Z7 — both of which are mirrorless cameras — the A7R IV is Sony sending a message that they still hold the crown when it comes to full-frame mirrorless cameras.
4. The Galaxy S8 is a lifesaver
Smartphones saving lives is a headline we didn’t expect to see this week but here we are.
A boat in Cebu in the Philippines that was transporting local and foreign divers to a diving spot capsized. Emergency responders were quick to respond to a call saving the lives of all the passengers and crew members.
The call was made using a Samsung Galaxy S8 — but not just any S8 — it’s one that has been submerged in seawater for 30 minutes.
“Only my S8 was able to connect… and worked all the way until we made it to land. It stayed alive for much longer than I thought possible and it really made the difference,” said the phone’s owner
In case you were wondering, the Samsung Galaxy S8 sports an IP68 rating. Typically, it can survive five feet underwater for up to 30 minutes. We hope to hear more good news like this!
5. FaceApp goes viral again, raises security concerns
If you’re seeing a lot of your friends’ aged faces on social media, well, you’re not alone.
The FaceApp, for some reason, has gone viral again with celebrities, YouTubers, and NBA stars joining in on the fun posting what they’ll look like if they ever make it past 60 years old.
Using the app is pretty straightforward. Just pick a photo and apply whatever filter you like that’s anywhere from beauty filters to gender swaps, and of course, the old age filter.
While it’s all fun and games on social media, this has actually raised security concerns. A report on Fast Company indicates the Russian company behind the app saves the photos uploaded by transmitting it to their servers. The US government takes it even further saying it poses some security threat and ordered the FBI to investigate the Russian startup.
FaceApp has denied the allegations saying that images are deleted from their servers within 48 hours from the upload date.
It’s worth noting though that this is not that different from Google and Facebook taking more information than we realize. But if you’re still concerned, the best option is to steer clear of these photo editing apps.
Weekend Rewind is our roundup of top news and features you might have missed for the week. We know the world of technology can be overwhelming and not everyone has the time to get up to speed with everything — and that includes us. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the rewind.
2019 Honda Brio RS: The sporty baby Jazz
A fun ride through and through
For millennials and young professionals, choosing which car to buy could be a tough choice to make. For some, it has to pass certain requirements like fuel efficiency, ride comfort, space, if it looks good, and more importantly if it fits the budget. This is what first came to my mind when we got to test the 2019 Honda Brio RS. I think it has all the criteria most of us need for our daily commute and I’ll tell you why.
At first glance, it will give you the impression of a baby Jazz as it follows traditional Honda design cues. It looks far better than its competing compact hatchbacks and is definitely a big design upgrade than the previous generation Brio. From the front, this car looks aggressive and masculine for its size. The rear, however, still leans on the conservative side. Together with its sporty side skirts, the side profile is sleek with forward-tilting character lines giving it a sense of action and speed.
Being an RS variant, there are additional design upgrades which include the black roof, blacked-out honeycomb grille, a rear spoiler with mounted third brake light, 15-inch RS design alloy rims, and of course, the bright red RS badges plastered all over. These positively add to the sportiness of the vehicle.
Hopping in, you will immediately notice the orange accents running through the air vents, glove box, and side panels, plus the orange stitching and patterns on the seats. Next, we see the 7-inch touch-enabled infotainment system at the center of the dash which is connected to six speakers. Although that’s the case, we still weren’t impressed with the sound quality as it felt a bit short on bass.
Whether as the driver or passenger, you are seated in a low orientation and feel very close and planted to the ground. The height of the steering wheel and dashboard takes some getting used to if you always drive tall cars. But don’t get the idea that it’s cramped up inside. The seats up front are spacious with plenty of headroom to spare while at the back we have a decent amount of legroom for the average Asian. The trunk was large enough to carry our equipment along with other stuff. It was impressively spacious for a car this size.
We drove to our favorite scenic route of the Sierra Madre mountains, putting the car through its paces. The Brio is powered by a 1.2-liter SOHC i-VTEC engine which I think is sufficient enough for a car this small. It is then mated to a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) with sport mode and the company’s Earth Dreams Technology.
This car gives you a smooth and quiet ride even at high speeds. The cabin is astonishingly quiet with very minimal wind noise and vibrations. Thanks to its CVT implementation, this car is so smooth that I didn’t realize I was already going 90 on a 50kph road.
You cannot ask it to drive like its more spirited cousins, though. It is not the fastest accelerating car and pushing down the gas pedal when overtaking or driving up a steep road takes the CVT some time to adjust and you won’t get that instant punch you were expecting.
The Brio also lacks traction control and other basic features like rear sensors and reverse camera. It doesn’t even have a center console box and an armrest, but these are things we can brush aside. In terms of fuel efficiency, we were able to average 11.1km/liter which is not bad considering we drove it aggressively through the winding and steep roads of Tanay, Rizal. Steering was light and handled tight corners remarkably. Overall, this car gets the job done. It gets you where you need to go and is reliable, economical, safe, and don’t forget that it’s such a looker.
Will I recommend the Brio RS? In the city, this car would be perfect. Although it’s not the most powerful more so for long drives. I can tell you one thing, though, it sure is fun to drive. I’m actually not a big fan of small hatchbacks but it all boils down to the company’s target market. The Brio is tuned to be sporty and modernly stylish so it might appeal to those looking for something that looks fun and doesn’t break the bank.
With those, I could confidently say that the Brio RS has the edge over its small hatchback competitors in terms of performance and design. You won’t go wrong with this car.
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Use your phone, Harry!
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OPPO K3 is a fancier looking Realme X at the same price
The Pixel 3a’s DxOMark score proves how capable its single-lens camera is
Revamped Galaxy Fold passed durability tests, ready for launch
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We’re not replacing Android yet, Huawei says
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