Features

New Xiaomi phones, Google I/O: Weekend Rewind

Xiaomi’s on a roll

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Here are this week’s top stories on GadgetMatch.

1. Xiaomi launches new phones

It’s a big week for Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi as they launched new smartphones: the special edition Mi Mix 2S and budget selfie phone Redmi S2 in China; plus the Redmi Note 5 and Mi Mix 2s in the Philippines.

SEE ALSO: Mi Mix 2S Review: Faster, smarter

SEE ALSO: Redmi Note 5 Hands-on: The new budget smartphone king?

2. Redmi 5A is the current best-selling Android phone worldwide

Believe it or not, Xiaomi’s super-affordable Redmi 5A isn’t just comparable to much more expensive smartphones, it also has the best sales figures of any Android handset today. In fact, it’s the only Android device in the top 5 in terms of sales and market share, pushing the Samsung Galaxy S9+ to number 6. Read the full story here.

SEE ALSO: Xiaomi Redmi 5A Review: Best smartphone below $100?

3. Xiaomi breaks into Europe’s top 5 despite overall decline

After breaking into the Western European market last November, Xiaomi is now fourth place in smartphone shipments in the region. While that’s not exactly market dominance, the fact that Xiaomi just started and already shipped 2.4 million units, while overall handset shipments decline, is astonishing. Read the full story here.

4. Everything Google I/O

Enough of Xiaomi news; let’s fly halfway across the world to San Francisco. This year’s Google I/O happened this week and there were a number of announcements and demos that people of the modern world should know about. This includes a smarter Google Assistant and Gmail, AI-curated Google News, and a more social Google Maps. If you missed the keynote, here’s a brief summary of what happened.

SEE ALSO: 6 awesome things that happened at Google I/O 2018

5. Android P Beta starts rolling out

Its official name wasn’t announced yet but Android P Beta started rolling out to select devices at Google I/O. While its very own Pixel phones always get first dibs, non-Pixel devices are also receiving early access to the latest software including the Nokia 7 Plus, Sony Xperia XZ2, and yep, the Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S. See the full list here.

SEE ALSO: What will Android P be called?


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.

Accessories

How I Upgraded My Smart Home with SwitchBot

Out of the ordinary smart home solutions

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Ever since moving into my new place at the start of this year, I’ve been on the look out for more ways to make my apartment smart. Watch this video as I walk you through these out of the ordinary solutions from SwitchBot.

These products might not seem like a big deal individually but watch them come together. Let’s start with a HUB Mini. You’ll need this so the devices can talk to each other and so that you can use voice controls. The SwitchBot Meter is for measuring both room temperature and humidity. The SwitchBot Bot is a handy dandy button presser. The SwitchBot Humidifier  does as its name implies. The Switch Bot Remote is a programmable button. Finally, the SwitchBot Curtain is for automatically opening and closing your curtains.

Try SwitchBot on Prime Day! Get 30% off http://my.gadgetmat.ch/SwitchBotPD (excluding SwitchBot Motion Sensor, SwitchBot Contact Sensor and SwitchBot Indoor Cam) on June 21, 00:00 PT to June 22, 23:59 PT

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Entertainment

Trese: The story behind the dubbing

What the process was like

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Trese
All images courtesy of Netflix

Much has been said about the dubbing work of the Netflix Animé series Trese. Everyone from showrunner Jay Oliva, Filipino voice talent Inka Magnaye, and that random Facebook friend you don’t really talk to anymore has weighed in.

We’re not going to get into details of what people have said. We’re sure there’s no shortage of that on social media. Rather, we’re here to explore what transpired in how the show came to be. Netflix arranged a media conference with the following key figures in the series:

  • Tanya Yuson — Series writer and co-producer
  • Wes Gleason — English cast and voice director
  • Rudolf Baldonado Jr. — Filipino voice director

English first 

Trese

The observation we made from our ‘What to expect’ article proved to be true. The whole series was indeed first dubbed in English and was then translated to Filipino and other languages later.

This was one of the many challenges that Baldonado Jr. had to deal with in translating the material to Filipino.

“What we got was already finished work. So the casting process for us is a little different because we had to consider who did the original first — what were the characters that they molded through their voices. And then, how the animators matched it with the visuals,” said the Filipino voice director.

“The Filipino dub had to be cast according to how they (English cast) started it.” 

There were also a few terms that didn’t exactly have a direct Tagalog translation. Baldonado Jr. cites the word “Underworld” which loosely translates to “Impyerno.” In the context of the series, “Impyerno” doesn’t exactly capture how “Underworld” was used as the place where all the monsters and ghouls came from.

This is also the reason why it’s primarily called the Filipino version. Because the team pulled from other languages in the country which fits the context of the words used in English better.

Does the Emissary give you an eerie feeling?

Working with Liza Soberano

Naturally, these same challenges applied to Liza Soberano who played Alexandra Trese in the Filipino version. Soberano was very much aware of her voice quality, tone, and twang according to Baldonado Jr.

“She knows where she’s coming from and she knows what she needs to work on,” said Baldonado Jr. “She was trying to focus on three things (voice, language skills in Filipino, and acting).”

Baldonado Jr., who is a 23-year veteran in the localization and voice dubbing industry, provided exercises for Soberano to address all these. The pair aimed for a voice with a lower register and one that sounded more stiff which, the voice director said, was in contrast with Soberano’s natural tone.

The voice director was very much aware of the criticisms online. But he remained cheerful and positive throughout the media conference. However, he lamented that he wished he had more time to polish the work with Soberano.

What’s up with all the accents? 

Noticeable in the English version is the variety of accents by the characters. Shay Mitchell, who played Alexandra Trese in the English dub, mostly maintained her American accent. But the rest of the cast added more to the mix. Series writer and co-producer Tanya Yuson and English voice director Wes Gleason said this was by design.

“The accents vary, I think, as we found a neutral, what we call ‘Manila accent’, but that’s because our melting pot is from different people with different backgrounds,” said Gleason.

“Some of their relatives or references might have been a little stronger with an accent or a little more in one region than the other. So, I think our show kind of shows that diversity, and hopefully in a good way,” he added.

Yuson backs up the melting pot analogy.

“It’ll be the first time an international audience would hear, on a wide platform, English spoken with that flavor,” said Yuson.

“It would be weirder to me if it’s in English language set in Manila and then you have, either it’s very American or British. The diversity for accents in Manila, anyway, is a lot… we wanted to present that in a way that’s also accessible to an international audience,” she added.

Strength behind a Filipino cast

The influence of the Filipino cast for the English version didn’t stop with just the accents. Everyone from Manny Jacinto (The Good Place) to Lou Diamond Philipps (La Bamba) pulled from stories from their relatives and loved ones about Philippine folklore involved to bring the characters to life.

Authenticity was the primary driving force in the casting decisions. That’s on top of the voices fitting the characters according to Gleason.

“A lot of the actors had familiarity with the folklore in the Philippines. They were coming in with tales of their mothers scaring them. The mananngals, the tiyanaks, the duwende, all these things. Everyone had their own little tale to tell.”

Gleason, who naturally had to do his research on the folklore, leaned on the casts’ experiences to help shape the voice direction.

“Anyone who had that background but was also giving us great options for the read, we gravitated towards them.”

A few more fun nuggets from the conference

Manny Jacinto, who plays Maliksi, may have initially read for Crispin and Basilio as hinted by Gleason.

“He (Jacinto) read for a different role that he was cast for. We heard his approach on one character, or characters — that’s not a spoiler — and hearing that just felt like this role was a better fit.”

Darren Criss (The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, Glee) was very excited to be part of the cast even telling Gleason, “How can I not be a part of this? My mother would kill me if I’m not a part of this!”

Tanya Yuson said working with just six (6) episodes was pretty challenging. The ideal number of episodes could have gone anywhere from eight (8) to 22. However, they made sure that even with just six episodes, they could set-up the world and still have a satisfying ending.

Watch Trese on Netflix.

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Features

5 timeless gifts you can give to a dad anytime of the year

For your dad, your friend who became a dad, or any ‘dad’ in your life

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Father's Day Gift Guide

Dads don’t get a lot of spotlight, probably because a lot of us suffer from daddy issues. But for those who have a loving relationship, or those who just started repairing theirs — giving your dad a thoughtful gift might be a way to strengthen the connection.

Here are five timeless gifts you can give to your dad, your friend who just became a dad, or if there’s any ‘daddy’ in your life.

Powerbank

Father's Day Gift Guide

In the era of connected life, going out without a power bank is like going out without a wallet. Even though most gadgets nowadays have strong battery lives, it’s always practical to have a backup.

And dads love being prepared at any costs, making it the perfect gift that’s versatile to every need — whether it’s for their smartphone, wireless earbuds, portable speakers, or a mini-fan. Shop here.

Electric Shaver

Father's Day Gift Guide

Just because they’re getting old, doesn’t mean they should forget how to groom themselves. Teach them to be like a fine wine — they should get better as they age, and they should even look more dapper to keep up with the times. (Hello, matching father and son outfits?).

Anyhoo, an electric shaver will suffice — giving them a clean, shaved look that will help them look presentable wherever they are. Shop here.

Leather Wallet Phone Case

Father's Day Gift Guide

For so many years, dads kept us protected in different ways. Now that we have a chance to give back, why not help them protect their essentials through a leather wallet phone case?

Mujjo’s, for example, speaks convenience and efficiency, without forsaking style. Its cardholder can carry up to three cards, and the case comes in a durable yet gorgeous leather design producing a beautiful patina over time. Shop here and use coupon #dad for 15 percent off all products (valid through June 21st).

Cordless Drill

Father's Day Gift Guide

Men love cordless drills. Not because they love drilling somebody else, but because it gives them the power to build and repair things.

In a way, it’s also one of the most useful and practical gifts that you can give, since the household can use it in different situations. Shop here.

Treadmill

Our dads sometimes forget that health is wealth. Give them the gift of health through a treadmill, so you can encourage them to live an active and fit lifestyle to prevent diseases that come with age.

Running a few miles can help them live longer, so you all can bond and make more memories together. Shop here.

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