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!

Features

What does the GPU Turbo do to your phone?

Is it more than just a marketing gimmick?

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It’s been two months since Huawei rolled out the GPU Turbo update to its smartphones. Promised with a 60 percent increase in performance and reducing 30 percent on power consumption, a lot of fans and users were excited after the announcement.

Back then, everyone (including me) was hyped about lag-free games and longer battery life while playing. However, upon receiving the update, I began to wonder: Has GPU Turbo delivered what it promised?

What’s inside the update?

GPU Turbo was originally marketed as an improved gameplay experience, available only to PUBG and Mobile Legends: Bang Bang.

The Game Suite app, which comes with the update, offers an uninterrupted gaming feature, hiding all notifications when enabled (except for calls, alarms, and low-battery alerts).

Mistouch prevention is another feature to avert users from clicking the back and home button while playing — perfect for when you want to focus on your game.

Screenshots by Miguel Pineda, Huawei Mate 10 user

To some older smartphones like the Huawei Mate 10, the Game Suite App offers three performance modes: Gaming mode, which improves game performance but increases power consumption; Smart mode, which balances performance and power consumption; and Power saving mode, which saves power but reduces game performance.

For the newer Huawei P20 Pro (which I’ve been using) and Honor Play, it only has a gaming acceleration mode to toggle on or off.

Thoughts on the reduced power consumption

Because I used the Mate 10 before and recently transitioned to the P20 Pro, I’ve experienced the GPU Turbo update in both phones and I can guarantee that they’ve delivered on lowered power consumption.

With Game Suite, I can put my phone on power saving mode to further save battery. For instance, I was only able to drain the Mate 10 down to 15 percent during a 12-hour road trip despite switching between the games I play and other apps, such as Messenger, Netflix, Spotify, and taking photos and videos every once in a while. The same goes for the P20 Pro.

As a power user, I already get a lot of things done with these highly efficient smartphones and GPU Turbo; these allowed me to do more on a single charge. However, it’s a different case for gaming.

Improved gaming experience, but there’s a catch…

When I started playing games on gaming mode (or game acceleration mode on the P20 Pro), I could run Mobile Legends: Bang Bang on a high frame rate with the highest graphics setting available. Compared to how the game stuttered and lagged during 5v5 clashes, with GPU Turbo, it now runs smoothly, as if I have a smartphone made for gaming.

System notice when enabling the high frame rate on Mobile Legends: Bang Bang and the effects it may have on your gameplay

As shown above, most mobile games will notify their users about the possible repercussions of higher frame rates and using the best settings available. To prove that a smartphone with GPU Turbo can handle this, I sought out to confirm my suspicions.

After asking fellow Huawei users, I found out that after installing GPU Turbo, energy consumption is a lot faster than before. Their smartphones also heat up more easily, especially when playing games with the game acceleration mode on. This isn’t part of what was promised, and it’s pretty disappointing.

It’s not yet perfect

In my experience, GPU Turbo tries to boost performance above a smartphone’s limit hoping that users can experience better gameplay.

GPU Turbo can’t choose when to perform its best. It’s an update that is constantly running in our smartphones without any way to switch it off. We can only hope that Huawei will address these issues for the next batch of updates.

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Hands-On

Huawei Mate 20 Pro Hands-on: Best phone of 2018?

Huawei outdoes itself again

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In an industry where incremental updates are the new norm, Huawei manages to wow us again — barely a year after the release of the P20 Pro. The Chinese company is back with the Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro which might just be the best among the best this year.

In this video, we go over the phones’ new designs, updated cameras, and new memory card format. We also go through the differences between the Huawei Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro.

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Features

Huawei Mate 20 vs Mate 20 Pro: What are the differences?

Price isn’t the only factor

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Huawei has once again launched two flagships phones at the same time; one comes with a Pro moniker, while the other does not. Like before, there are some significant differences between the Mate 20 pair to take note of.

While we wait to get our hands on the Porsche Design Mate 20 RS and Mate 20 X, here are the two phones we already know everything about.

Display

One obvious difference is in their displays. While the Mate 20 Pro goes for a notched 6.39-inch 1440p curved HDR OLED display — certainly a mouthful — the regular Mate 20 has a 6.53-inch 1080p RGBW HDR LCD with a much smaller notch.

The Pro model justifies the larger notch by housing a more complex camera system for secured facial recognition, but if that doesn’t matter to you, the regular variant’s Dew Drop notch may be more appealing — and definitely less intrusive.

In addition, the Mate 20 Pro’s OLED tech allows it to curve the edges and equip an in-display fingerprint scanner. It’s essentially the more modern-looking design of the pair.

Performance

Since both models have Huawei’s Kirin 980 chipset installed, pure performance is virtually identical. The Pro and non-Pro also share the same memory and storage configuration of 6GB and 128GB, respectively, although the plain Mate 20 has a more affordable 4GB memory variant available, too.

Another minor difference: The 4200mAh capacity of the Mate 20 Pro, along with the more energy-efficient OLED, provides it with potentially longer battery life than what the Mate 20’s 4000mAh capacity and LCD panel offer.

A more significant advantage for the Mate 20 Pro is its inclusion of a 40W SuperCharge adapter in the package — noticeably better than the 22.5W output of the Mate 20’s. Plus, the Pro version can charge other phones wirelessly using wireless reverse charging tech.

Cameras

Perhaps, you’ll care most about the difference in camera quality and performance. While it’s too early to make photo and video comparisons, an initial look at specs shows that the Mate 20 Pro may have an edge.

There are three modules in place for the Pro: One is a 40-megapixel main camera, another has 20 megapixels and an ultra-wide lens, and the final unit offers 8 megapixels with 3x optical zoom

As for the Mate 20, its main camera has only 12 megapixels, the ultra-wide shooter settles for 16 megapixels, and the 8-megapixel telephoto camera goes up to only 2x optical zoom.

Despite the larger notch of the Mate 20 Pro, they share the same 24-megapixel selfie camera.

Pricing and colors

This part largely depends on where you reside, but in an ideal setting, all five colors — Emerald Green, Midnight Blue, Twilight, Pink Gold, and Black — should be available for both models.

Pricing is another matter, and it again depends per region. In Europe, the Mate 20’s 4GB+128GB configuration retails for EUR 799 and its 6GB+128GB model goes for EUR 849. The Mate 20 Pro’s sole 6GB+128GB variant costs EUR 1,049, making it more expensive by EUR 250 and EUR 200, respectively.

In Singapore, the Mate 20’s 6GB+128GB setup retails for SG$ 998, while the Mate 20 Pro is at SG$ 1,348 — a difference of SG$ 350.

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