Features

Nappily Ever After, The Flash: Now Playing

It’s time to let your hair down and enjoy!

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Image credit: Netflix and Warner Bros. TV/The CW

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

Stay Here
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.

Titans
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.

Code Geass
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.

Hilda
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

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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.

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Lakawon Island
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!

Lifestyle

These aren’t your typical Christmas decorations

But they’re pretty cool!

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It’s that time of the year again: the time when everywhere you turn you’d probably see bright lights, and anywhere you go you’ll likely hear Mariah Carey serenading you. It’s time to bring out the trees, wreaths, and time for celebration. We thought it would be fun to check out some quirky, kind of extra Christmas decorations to maybe inspire your decoration game, so here we go!

Programmable Christmas lights

Lights are a pretty essential aspect of Christmas decorations, and commercial establishments tend to utilize more high-tech lights for their shows. But did you know that you could do this to your home, too? We found the Twinkly Starter Light Set which connects to your phone so you can program the lights on your Christmas tree (or wherever you decide to put it) to have your own personal indoor light show.

A laser show on your house exterior

This is probably the most discreet extra way you can share your excitement for the holidays with your entire neighborhood. The Star Shower Laser Magic has six designs (four Christmas, two Halloween) that you can put on your lawn to project onto your house. It’s a pretty easy and low-maintenance way to decorate the outside of your house.

A snow projector for inside the house

If you want to play in the snow but don’t really want to deal with the cold, or if it doesn’t snow where you live, you can pick up this snow light projector. It displays moving snow designs across whichever flat surface you point it at, and adds something techie but also kind of simple to your decorations.

Geeky tree toppers

Why put a regular star or angel on the top of your Christmas tree when you could channel your geekiness onto this particular decoration? We found these two “Stars” that would subtly but surely pay homage to your favorite game or movie. The first is the Power Star from Super Mario Bros., which is closer to the traditional tree topper but at least five times cuter. The second one is this Death Star tree topper which isn’t very festive but is definitely iconic.

Inflatable decorations

Lastly, we have this general category of blow-up decorations. They come in many different designs and with different extra things, too. (I’ve seen one that’s a giant snow globe with “snow” blowing inside and one that rotates.). These will definitely put your lawn decorations on a whole new level. Some options are here, here, and here.

 

You probably already have your Christmas decorations up as you read this, but it’s never too early to start planning for next year. Or, you can always add more to what you already have. This season, there’s no such thing as too much, right? We hope this helps you if you’re wanting to change up your decorations but don’t know how to, or at least entertained you with these not-so-typical options.

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Features

Cooking on High, Islands: Now Playing

We don’t feel any December blues

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There’s still so much going on before the year ends. Here’s what everyone’s up to while waiting for the holiday season!

Movies to see

Spider-Man into the Spider-verse
Rodneil: A lot of people are calling this the best animated flick of the year. The visuals are stunning and the story introduces mainstream audiences to a new Spider-Man, all while keeping the spirit of the character and the whole franchise firmly intact.

Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle
Daniel:
The newest adaptation to the beloved classic is a showcase of the latest and most impressive motion capture technology. The story is a bit on the dark side, but still has the elements of the classic. The best part is it’s available on Netflix and it’ll be a good film for everyone to watch, especially on a big screen.

TV shows to binge watch

Devilman Crybaby
Rodneil: This might just be one of the most messed up anime I’ve seen in awhile. It starts off as a seemingly regular shōnen series with a monster of the week but quickly turns into a depressing social commentary about how people can be the true monsters after all.

Ms. Hammurabi
Rodneil: My growing mild obsession to K-pop led me to this clip on my YouTube recommendations. The actress prominently featured on the clip isn’t even the lead actress but after watching the pilot episode of the series, I instantly got hooked. Ms. Hammurabi tackles power balance and politics in the Korean judiciary but with a sprinkle of romance here and there.

Cooking on High
Marvin: You could describe this is a prestigious culinary competition on TV, but it’s essentially about guests getting high on cannabis-based dishes prepared by master chefs. The 15-minute format makes it perfect for in-between-work binge watching, and is ideal for red-eyed folks with short attention spans.

Games to play

Shadow of the Tomb Raider
Marvin: Lara Croft’s third entry in the revived Tomb Raider series is one to remember. It’s not GOTY-worthy by any measure, but its refinements over the predecessors and gorgeous graphics make it a high-octane gaming experience over the holidays.

Albums/Songs/Podcasts to listen to

The Best Thing I Ever Did by TWICE
Vincenz: Their latest song feels “merry” enough to be considered a winter song, but diving deeper into the lyrics clearly leaves an impression among fans, as it wants to show how one’s love can change everything, even the coldness and emptiness we feel especially when it’s December. After all, that’s what the spirit of Christmas is all about: giving what you love and loving what you give.

Islands by Reese Lansangan
Vincenz: If you’ve been listening to Reese’s previous songs, you’d definitely know that her latest single sounds different. From the title of the track itself, it is a tropic-themed song that has electronic sounds and water drop synths, making it ethereal enough to listen to.

Tadow by FKJ & Masego
Kevin: Sexy, smooth, intimate — these are some of the first words that come to mind when describing this track. FKJ or French Kiwi Juice is a French multi-instrumentalist who makes tracks that will make you want to lie back and drift away. “Tadow” is no exception with its soulful sax, chill beats, and soothing vocals. Turn down the lights, hit play, and enjoy the night.

Line by Line by PREP
Kevin: “Line by Line” is the latest of two EPs released in 2018 by British pop band PREP. Their songs are a mix of funk, R&B, and a bit of electronic music that go together to create a an easy-listening experience to make you feel good and dance when no one is looking. Their older EPs (like “Futures”) are golden, as well.

Cities/Places to visit

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El Nido, Palawan
MJ: White sand beaches, crystal-clear water, towering palm trees, and amazing lagoons behind limestone rock formations. El Nido is indeed a tropical paradise, one that you should visit at least once in your lifetime.

DIY/Trends to try

Brown sugar milk tea
Marvin: It’s nothing new, but certainly one to enjoy. Milk tea stores have been ramping up brown sugar production lately, and each one has its own signature flavor. Whether you try it in Taipei or your own neighborhood, it’s a sweet alternative to the tried-and-tested formula.

Apps to download

PackPoint
MJ: PackPoint is a very useful app to help you pack your essentials for an upcoming trip — whether it’s for business or leisure. It has local weather forecasts and comes up with a checklist that you can customize depending on the activities of your trip.

Books to read

What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera
MJ: Personally, I believe the universe brings us the people we need in our lives. If you think the same, then you need to read What If It’s Us. It’s a love story between Ben and Arthur and yes, it’s gay fiction, but it’s a book anyone can read this holiday season. After all, it’s about love and the universe. This book is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and probably your local bookstores.


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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Features

9 Best Gaming Smartphones (Q4 2018)

Game on!

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Before 2018 ends, let’s have our final Best Gaming Smartphones list for the year! A number of great smartphones came out recently, making this list the most exciting.

Without further ado, here are our top gaming phones:

Apple iPhone XR

Replacing the iPhone XS Max is the iPhone XR. Both 2018 iPhones were announced on the same day, but the XR was made available a bit later. It’s using the same powerful A12 Bionic chip but has a lower-resolution display which is not bad for gaming. With fewer pixels to render, it can run games smoother. Plus, iOS is known to have a better selection of mobile games compared to Android.

SEE ALSO: Apple iPhone XR review: By Android users

ASUS ROG Phone

When we first saw the ROG Phone during Computex 2018, we knew it would be the best Android gaming phone. ASUS took their time to release it, but we can finally buy the ROG Phone plus all of its accessories, which are kind of overkill for mobile gaming. It’s rocking an overclocked and liquid-cooled Snapdragon 845 chip, 90Hz AMOLED display, stereo speakers, and RGB lighting. What more do you need from a gaming phone?

SEE ALSO: ASUS ROG Phone review: A true gaming phone done right?

Honor Play

From its name, you’d already know that it’s meant for playing games. The Honor Play is currently one of the cheapest flagship-grade smartphones you could buy. It’s just as cheap as midrange phones, but its specs are in the same league as its more expensive cousins like the Huawei P20. With a Kirin 970 processor and 6GB of memory, you’re sure to play well on this phone. GPU Turbo gives the phone extra oomph, too!

SEE ALSO: Honor Play Review: The budget flagship

Huawei Mate 20 X

The Mate 20 X is Huawei’s most powerful phone and it’s designed to be used for gaming. Huawei went a little over the top when they compared it to the Nintendo Switch, but it’s almost as big as Nintendo’s due to its 7.2-inch display. It does come with a gaming accessory and is equipped with an impressive cooling system. It can also last long on a single charge with its 5000mAh battery.

SEE ALSO: Huawei Mate 20 X Unboxing and Hands-on

OnePlus 6T

OnePlus updated its flagship model and made it even better. The upgrade to the OnePlus 6T from the OnePlus 6 is just incremental, but if you’re about to buy one, you should get the former already. It’s still powered by a Snapdragon 845 chip, but now has a smaller display notch to get you more immersed in the action. It’s also one of the cheapest flagship phones.

SEE MORE: OnePlus 6T Hands-on: Still a flagship killer?

Pocophone F1

The Pocophone F1 is probably the best smartphone to come out lately. It’s a game changer in the midrange segment, although the Honor Play should also have some credit. I consider the Pocophone F1 to be Xiaomi’s gift to its fans. It’s a blazingly fast phone thanks to the best-in-class Snapdragon 845 processor and the special liquid-cooling system. You can play all you want and the phone will not heat up, or at least not easily.

SEE ALSO: Pocophone F1 Review: It’s all about the performance

Razer Phone 2

The Razer Phone 2 may not look any different from its predecessor, but it has the latest specs a gaming phone should have. Razer’s gaming smartphone has the fastest display refresh rate on the list at 120Hz, placing it on par with desktop gaming monitors. Complemented with a triple-headed snake logo that lights up in 16.8 million colors, Razer fans will love to have this in their collection.

SEE ALSO: Razer Phone 2 review: Gaming and nothing else

Samsung Galaxy Note 9

The top-of-the-line Galaxy Note 9 comes with the latest specifications — may it be the Snapdragon or Exynos variant. It has a large and beautiful display with curved edges that’ll make gaming more immersive. Additionally, the phone doesn’t have a notch that gets in the way. It’s also the only one on this list to have a built-in stylus, making it ideal for games that have too many small icons.

SEE ALSO: Samsung Galaxy Note 9 review

Xiaomi Mi Mix 3

If you want a gaming phone that’s truly borderless, get the Mi Mix 3. The availability of the phone is still pretty limited to China, but it’ll go global soon. Like with any other premium phone on the list, Xiaomi’s latest Mix has a flagship Snapdragon 845 processor and up to 10GB of memory. Its battery capacity is on the small side, though.

SEE ALSO: Xiaomi Mi MIX 3 review: Xiaomi got everything right, almost

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