Two years after making its big comeback, Nokia is slowly filling in the pieces of its Android smartphone lineup. The star of course has to be the new Nokia 8 Sirocco, the most premium from the announcements at Mobile World Congress.
But our favorite is the Nokia 7 Plus, a near-borderless Android One phone with Zeiss optics and a beautiful build.
Huawei Nova 2 lite Unboxing and Hands-on
Face unlock on a budget phone!
Huawei Nova 2 lite Hands-on
A serious contender in the midrange scene
The success of the Huawei Nova 2i in the Philippines prompted the company that a follow-up is in order. Enter the Huawei Nova 2 lite. It’s pegged as the Nova 2i’s sibling with a more affordable price tag.
As we’ve mentioned during its announcement, the smartphone carries a large 5.99-inch display encased in a 6.5-inch body so the face isn’t bothered much by bezels. Resolution maxes out at HD 720p, but has a FullView panel also seen on the Nova 2i. This comes as a part of the company’s plan to include features usually offered on higher-tier handsets.
Additionally, it carries an 18:9 aspect ratio which fits most videos on its entire screen — making video consumption more enjoyable as the display is almost covered up by the content.
Up top, there’s a single 8-megapixel shooter with its own Toning Flash that promises to take pleasing skin tones. After a few shots in low-light places, we couldn’t help but notice that the skin tone comes out a bit pale. We’d have to do a full review to be certain. Additionally, it also has the Perfect Selfie feature seen on the Huawei P10 that creates a user profile based on the edits you want.
Meanwhile, at the back, is where the dual cameras are located. It’s a combination of 13- and 2-megapixel sensors which are used for producing bokeh shots. We’ve tried using it and the depth of field wasn’t that creamy enough for us — at least for the first few shots.
There’s an aperture level slider that should increase or decrease the depth of field but it’s hard to see the difference. Check out the samples with aperture level one (left) and aperture level seven (right) and be the judge.
To top it off, the smartphone comes with built-in phase detection autofocus (PDAF) to ensure sharp images even with moving subjects. We’ve shot some moving subjects and it does a decent job of minimizing motion blurs.
Inside, it runs on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 430 chipset with 3GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, and Android 8.0 Oreo layered with EMUI 8.0 out of the box. Everyday tasks are easily handled by the phone and even proved itself capable of handling a few games here and there whenever you have the extra time.
The battery is rated at 3000mAh and the phone is equipped with a fingerprint scanner, in addition to face unlock for added security. We’re actually satisfied with how fast the phone recognizes a face. It takes less than a second to unlock the screen in bright conditions and about one full second when used in dimly lit areas.
Even with little light, it could still detect the person’s face which is, of course, a good thing.
It will initially be available in black and gold with this striking blue color coming later on. It is available for PhP 9,990 and comes with freebies when you pre-order. Stay tuned for our full review as we put this affordable midranger to the test.
Tekken Mobile review: A bit of an oddball
It might just be a little too strange
If you like the thrill and action fighting games have but don’t have the hardware, strap up. Bandai Namco Entertainment recently released Tekken on mobile. It’s got a long list of interesting and strange features you won’t normally find in these types of games.
Worth a try
Although Tekken was the go-to bonding game for my siblings and I growing up, I haven’t really played many fighting games. I play them occasionally but never really stuck with it. So, when Bandai Namco announced this mobile release, I thought it would be interesting to test it out. The factor of having the ease of portability to play something so action-packed just intrigued me. Not to mention, it’s a huge title that’s decided to tap into mobile. I just needed to give it a shot.
You don’t have to resonate with Tekken or any fighting game for you to consider playing this. If you’re warming up to play other fighting games or you’re in need of a virtual punching bag, it’s worth a try — these games can be a great way to release your frustrations.
Starts off easy
If you’ve played mobile games like Mortal Kombat X, Injustice 2, and Transformers: Forged to Fight, Tekken Mobile will pull through with familiarity for you. Most fighting games that go mobile have the same mechanic of tap, swipe, and hold. It’s essentially a game of strategic tapping so your character moves to beat-up the other character.
Once you install the game, it walks you through how to play. It explains the tap, swipe, and hold controls that aren’t as overwhelming as the more technical aspect of traditional Tekken.
You tap and hold the left half of the screen to block hits and swiping left or right moves your character accordingly. The right side of the screen is where most of the attacks are customizable. You can tap the right half to deliver regular attacks and longer taps deliver tougher attacks. If you want your character to execute intricate combos and mix-ups, the game has an interesting feature I’ll discuss much later on.
A decent iteration of Tekken
As for any title that shifts platforms, the game is altered to optimize purpose-driven design. The interface is slightly tweaked while still maintaining a healthy dose of familiar. You can play and look through your items, the shop, and your character’s equipped skill with ease. The game has multiple modes you can explore and a local versus mode that’s coming out soon.
The game establishes itself from the story mode, just like Tekken on your PS4 or PC. This makes warming up to characters and Tekken lore more effortless.
Here comes the strange bit
There are a few things I found odd in the game. When you play it, the card system will throw you off. The cards represent your special attacks and show up on the bottom-right corner of your screen. To execute combos, you get to combine cards to inflict significant damage on your opponent.
Be cautious with using all the cards, though, because you eventually run out of them. This isn’t a total bummer since other mobile fighting games like Mortal Kombat X has a similar system to this. In Mortal Kombat X, the characters were cards that you could choose mid-game to switch characters so it’s a bit similar but not quite the same thing; in Tekken Mobile, the cards represent various technical moves you can tap to have your character execute.
These are hard-hitting attacks so be careful with timing it just right. It may come off a bit overwhelming at first but if you stick to finish a few rounds on story mode, this won’t be too much of a problem.
Tekken Mobile rewards leveling up with loot boxes that have items, upgrades, and skill boosts for your characters. When you earn enough experience and in-game currency, you can buy them. I’ll be brutally honest: The loot boxes look too much like they came straight out of Overwatch. The structure, design, and animation are just too similar to the point that you can barely spot the difference.
Each character card has an element that categorizes familiar faces from the Tekken series. The game doesn’t really delve into the relevance of the elements that much; but when you earn gem shards, the element of the shard corresponds to the character you can level up. When I first encountered this, it didn’t give certain advantages over other character elements similar to Pokémon. It may just be Bandai Namco’s additional challenge to the game.
Strangely still fun
There are a lot of elements that Bandai Namco tried to squeeze into the game which makes the game confusing. With the cards, gem shard elements, and loot boxes, it felt like a hybrid of the Pokémon Trading Card Game, Overwatch, and actual Tekken in a single mobile game.
Despite that, there’s no denying I was enjoying the game while ultimately relearning the psychological play in fighting games. I found myself appreciating the complexity of Tekken through this title’s simplistic take on it. I learned to time certain attacks better, position myself better, and even sequencing different attacks.
Is this your game match?
Does the game offer a revolutionary take on previously released mobile fighting games? Not quite. Is it worth a shot despite plot twists coming at you from every periphery? Yes.
Tekken Mobile is undeniably quirky. I can only guess Bandai Namco wanted to establish some sense of complexity in the game which may put off a few people.
It’s a tough game to play if you’re looking for a casual game to pass the time. It’s a game that takes a certain amount of interest to dive into, but it’s not too confusing to hate. If you want to give the game a try and kick butt on your mobile, it’s available on both Android and iOS.
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