My day wouldn’t go the way it is without listening to something. Be it from my Spotify playlist, a podcast, or even catching up with my co-streamers on a call. But untangling and twisting the crumpled, irritating earphone wire ruins the mood.
Thankfully, those days are over. Since smartphones with a 3.5mm headphone jack are getting rare, I took a leap out of my comfort zone to finally switch to a pair of wireless earbuds.
Scouring the market for a good pair that won’t make a dent out of my pocket can be daunting. What caught my eye was a familiar name I’ve known for years, and I discovered a pair — the Nokia E3500 — that begs to be given a chance.
Love at first touch
The first time I held the Nokia E3500, it felt premium and sleek despite having a charging case made out of plastic. What furthered its elegance were the featherweight material that makes it easy to carry, as well as its matte finish that makes you want to glide your fingers incessantly.
In a nutshell, the Nokia E3500 displayed a blend of practicality and sophisticated design.
The “getting to know” part
I found comfort in using the Nokia E3500. Out of the box, it comes with three pairs to help you find your perfect pair. And when you do, it won’t fall off your ear.
I even brought the E3500 on a beach trip to Liwliwa, Zambales — which was kinda risky since it only has an IPX5 resistance. Luckily, it was secure enough to fit in my ear even if I kept running and jumping.
Pairing the Nokia E3500 is easy. Once out of the case, you can press the touch buttons for two seconds to enter pairing mode. The inclusion of Ambient Mode helps me immerse in the content, especially when situated in a noisy environment. I found that keeping volume to about 60 percent seemed like the right choice to enjoy its audio performance.
Sound isolation is great, too. Imagine sitting by the beach, listening to music while also hearing the sound of splashing waves. Happy and dreamy, isn’t it?
Everything has its rough side, including this seemingly perfect pair of wireless earbuds. Using the Nokia E3500 during my Zoom calls isn’t as smooth and seamless as it should be when listening.
There are few delays with the microphone reception, making it a little annoying when I’m in the middle of a virtual presentation. Hopefully, the next iteration will improve the inconsistent microphone.
Is this my perfect pair?
For a mediocre audiophile like me, I would say yes to Nokia E3500. The charging case itself has a 360mAh battery which helps extend its battery life. Who wouldn’t want an uninterrupted sound trip especially during a long drive?
My experience isn’t as perfect as I thought it would be. But it’s decent and fine. The Nokia E3500 looks gorgeous, equipped with long battery life, great audio quality, and water resistance for peace of mind.
There are cheaper options available in the market, but for what it’s worth — I’d call it a steal, especially for all the features you can enjoy for its price tag.
The Nokia E3500 retails for PhP 3,499.
The art of printing moments that you can hold onto
With the instax Link WIDE, I remember it all too well
Memories are fleeting.
Apart from music, photos, films, and anything visual that has a moment imprinted on it can remind us what we once experienced.
Whether it’s the shriek that your friends made when you cracked a joke, or that lingering stare between two people head-over-heels in love. Or even the mundane hours passing by captured in between. And the little things that brought you joy and made your heart warm like a cup of coffee on a rainy day.
Looking back at moments I once savored twists a knot in my heart. Sometimes, it’s heartbreaking to fondly remember the past. But it’s a great reminder that I can still feel and that I experienced something blissful in my life.
If you’re wondering why instant printers are still out and about in a digital age where all your photos are stored on the cloud or shared in social media, that’s precisely the reason why this novelty is very much alive.
It’s a piece of memory that you can hold on to — transporting you back in time even when your mind can’t remember it all too well. It’s proof that you were there.
To holding something that never changes
Though I look like someone who can move on easily after a day or two, I’m highly sentimental and I have difficulty letting go of the past.
Life used to be unfair to me when I was growing up and after surviving an abusive relationship seven years ago, I lost memories of myself. Photos of friends from when I was studying, digital clutter that showed off my interests, and stuff that made up who I was. I lost them all.
Perhaps it’s the reason why I’ve owned and printed memories — unbeknownst to many — through the devices I’ve owned and reviewed in the past few years. Be it from an ink tank printer, a mini instant printer that uses an instax film, or from an actual instant camera that prints the moment captured right away.
I love holding onto memories because it’s something that never changes, no matter how many years have gone by. So, when Fujifilm unveiled the instax Link WIDE — I was giddy like a little kid on a Christmas morning, ready to open his presents.
The only present that welcomes the past
Living in the present means letting go of the past, and throwing away your worries of the future. But time and time again, it’s nice to remember the moments that shaped who you are today.
The instax Link WIDE helps bridge the present and the past by allowing you to print memories stored in your smartphone. It’s just like the instax mini Link I reviewed two years ago.
I could probably tell you the same things I wrote in my story before, but the experience is still quite different.
This instant printer is boxy and humongous when compared to the mini Link. It’s sturdier, thicker, wider, and heavier. Of course, the size is the prominent change but what I like is being able to print in wider, landscape-oriented films.
Pretty much like the ones from Polaroid, souvenir stamps, and postcards.
Navigating the device is simple and easy if you’re familiar with instant printers. Press the power button on the front — which has instax’s logo printed — to turn it on. On its back, you can find the film door where you can place your landscape-oriented film.
Upon shutting the film door, the printer takes out the excess film. So, be careful about opening the door once more lest you consume one of your films. A grim reminder that sometimes, doors from the past aren’t meant to be opened.
Any way you want it
Like I said before, the instax Link WIDE prints photos stored in your smartphone. To do that, you just need to connect the printer via Bluetooth and by pairing it with a dedicated app.
Through the app, you can determine how many films are still available and the battery capacity of the device. Apart from the status of the instax Link WIDE, the app allows you to play with your prints.
You can use the simple print mode to churn out the photo instantly, or you can use an editable template print that lets you edit the colors and text of various templates. Yes, you can also create your own templates if you want them to be more personal.
Frankly, I’m not fond of these templates since they look tacky and don’t fit my aesthetic. But of course, there are people who’d love to use stickers and other templates especially when they’re in a hurry to print their memories. To each his own.
There’s also a collage print that helps you put together two images in one print. Then, there’s the Sketch, Edit & Print option where you can write or draw something on the image, and customize it to your liking before you print it.
When past meets present meets future
Clicking the settings icon can brings you a plethora of settings that you’d want to maximize. For example, the Print Mode options are handy for toning the prints.
Using instax-Natural mode can give your prints a saturated yet classic look. Meanwhile, instax-Rich mode will print out photos with deep and immersive colors.
There’s so much to unpack here, but thank heavens, it’s not feelings. Nevertheless, I’m glad the dedicated app works seamlessly this time around. Compared to previous apps developed by Fujifilm for their instax cameras and printers, which were buggy and unstable.
In a way, the instax Link WIDE was able to bridge the memories of the past and the stability and connectivity of the future in the present.
A rare experience to remember it all too well
During the course of my experience with the instax Link WIDE, I was preparing for a holiday reunion with my almost-decade-old friends. People who helped me crawl out of that depressive rabbit hole.
Not wanting to let go of the only moment we will be able to come together after being away for two years, I printed my favorite moments with certain people and embedded a QR — which can hold voice clips, hidden messages for friends, and even a location pin to direct people.
I’m not very open with how I feel unless I’ve poured myself twelve shots of tequila. The truth is I’m afraid of the future, seeing the holiday reunion as the only time that my friends and I will be complete again.
Some of us are flying in different countries for work, some are settling down with that dreamy white-picket-fence life, and some are migrating for a better life.
I couldn’t fathom the idea of not being able to hug these people again. And I’m afraid that I won’t even remember these weirdos that helped me get a second leash in life. Times like these make me appreciate the novelty of instant printers and the personalized features they bring through technology.
That even a decade after, when my wrinkles started to show and I’m in my late 30s, I get to remember how life wasn’t unfair at all. That I was surrounded with bliss and love, and that what I was looking for was right in front of me all along.
Is the instax Link WIDE your GadgetMatch?
If you love taking photos and printing pieces of memories to hold on to, then your highly sentimental nature would love the instax Link WIDE. It doesn’t hassle you, unlike instant cameras where you have to frame it properly and take a shot perfectly as to not waste a film.
Aside from being overly sentimental with your memories, the instax Link WIDE also makes for perfect gifts or you can use the prints as souvenirs for your intimate gatherings.
There are unlimited possibilities, you just have to be open to making new memories — and collect them so you can savor them someday.
The instax Link WIDE retails for PhP 8,999 and comes with a free pack of film. There are two colors to choose from: Ash White or Mocha Gray.
The instant printer is available for purchase at Instax flagship stores in Lazada, Shopee, wonderphotoshop.ph, and at Fujifilm authorized dealers nationwide.
How to incorporate “Red” in your daily life
For when you love it in burning red
It’s Red season, folks!
Whether it’s the red cups on Starbucks or “Red (Taylor’s Version)” streaming everywhere, Red is an iconic color that everyone should celebrate, own, and wear periodically.
But wearing Red isn’t limited to the month where Autumn leaves are falling like pieces into place. It’s a color that you can wear throughout the year, as long as you use it sporadically and pair it with the right colors.
If you’re burning Red, you can always shop a smartphone in that blazing color. Throughout the years, it was Apple that consistently painted their phones Red. Specifically called Product (RED) — a colorway that, when purchased, helps Apple fund AIDS and COVID-19 research.
In case you didn’t know, Red is a company that partners with iconic brands to raise awareness and funds, fighting HIV/AIDS in several countries in Africa.
Red smartphone case
Red can sometimes be overbearing, especially if it’s your phone’s colorway. If you want Red to be worn occasionally, then you can opt for a smartphone case so you can always switch it up to pair with your mood.
The safest bet would be the Product (RED) silicone case with MagSafe from Apple — it’s not as striking as the usual Red, but enough to warrant attention without looking pompous.
Ah, the iconic red scarf that Jake Gyllenhaal kept because it reminded him of Taylor Swift’s innocence. It’d be really hard to forget someone wearing a red scarf; so luscious and prominent, it will bring back memories that anyone will remember all too well.
If you’re out for a fashion statement this holiday, draping a red scarf around your neck can help you stand out especially when you’re wearing neutrals or an all-black ensemble. Let the All Too Well Knit scarf be your statement piece.
Red wireless earbuds
There’s also a statement piece that doesn’t scream attention but captivates someone subtly. For instance, the Huawei FreeBuds Lipstick edition — painted in a sexy Red, housed in a lipstick case that will make women want one to pair with their actual red lipstick.
Red smartwatch band
Some people can’t stand attention. One reason why most people shy away from loud and head-turning colors for their outfits.
However, you can make Red an accent through a smartwatch band. For example, the Apple Watch Series 7 is compatible with Product (RED) smartwatch bands: Sport Band, Sport Loop, and Braided Solo Loop.
Garmin Venu 2S: Reclaiming my female body
I’ll say it now and I won’t say it again. I have a hard time sometimes feeling like my body is my own. There’s some trauma, societal pressures, and toxic ideals of who I want to be.
Regardless, this dissociated feeling towards one’s own body isn’t new or uncommon of a sentiment. And, it can be extremely tough for women on top of all the other physiological qualms we go through.
But, having found Garmin Venu 2S, I feel better attuned to my female body. I finally feel and know I’m slowly working towards being healthier.
Reclaim your body
Because it is ultimately yours. Not everyone feels alien in their body but, it’s sad to say, most women do. So much of our body is policed not just by society but also, ourselves. And, honestly, I personally suffered immense alienation towards my body. It was ultimately refreshing to come across smartwatches that zeroed in on what I wanted and needed to know more about myself.
See your health not just “feel” it
In most of my perceptions of health, I often just ignore the quiet inner workings of my body. Healthiness used to be any time I wasn’t sick. Not being sick doesn’t necessarily mean you’re healthy. But health can incrementally lessen the chances of you getting ill.
With the Garmin Venu 2S, I customized health and fitness goals. From drinking more water to being more active to sleeping more hours, the smartwatch not only tracked my progress and my health but also nudged me to pace myself into a healthier lifestyle.
And with it, you can not just feel better and be better, you have the watch to let you know you ARE doing better!
Have your feelings validated
The Garmin Venu 2S has everything for 24/7 health monitoring. From heart rate with alerts, a read on your fitness age, advanced sleep score and insights, respiration, Pulse Ox3, all-day stress, hydration, menstrual cycle, to pregnancy tracking. The watch has it all for you—making sure it gives you everything you need to know to achieve a healthier lifestyle!
It feels good to be validated by the data you encounter from the Venu 2S, especially with their highlighted feature for Women’s Health. The menstrual tracker and pregnancy tracker are a big help. IT validates what you’re feeling and soothes your worries when you get overwhelmed with worry.
I say that from someone who often forgets when her period is and weeps before it happens. I’m not insane, I just needed a watch that validated the pain and sadness that would inevitably ensue.
Plus, if you’re having a tough time articulating what you’re feeling to a health professional, the watch has a Health Snapshot feature. This lets you record two-minute sessions that log key health stats and generate a report that can be shared with your healthcare provider.
Listen to your body
Owning your body is one thing. Listening, knowing, and caring for your body is another. And, we must admit, the latter is often the hardest part. For me, it became clear that I had absolutely no idea I wasn’t taking care of myself as much. When I got the watch around my wrist and saw the near in shambles metrics of my health, I worked on it.
With the Body BatteryTM, I learned my energy levels throughout the day so I could adjust appropriate tasks. I got to scheduling workouts, rest times, and sleep.
I took Venu 2S’s breathing techniques to calm down when it showed horrid stress levels. I even went out for long walks to hit my daily step goals and forced myself to hydrate more.
For workouts, the watch felt easy to use and navigate through over 25 built-in sports apps with enhanced strength training profile and muscle map graphics. It’s even got an on-screen animation workout feature that guides you through specific workouts on-screen. Which, not going to lie, inspired me to hop back into working out more.
I mean, come on. Just look at it! The Garmin Venu 2S is a gorgeous watch. If you disagree, you have to get your eyes checked.
Jokes aside though, on top of the stunning AMOLED screen and yaaaasqueeen design, you can personalize it with apps and watch faces. That way, you bring your personality and aesthetics. If it’s yours, make it look like yours!
Feel even a little bit safe
It’s not women’s or victims’ jobs to counter garbage people with obscene methods to keep themselves safe. It is not their job nor should they be blamed for the hell they survive or go through.
As a woman with a ton of painful trauma from dangerous cases, I will say that the Garmin Venu 2S’s Incident Detection feature felt comforting.
I know this feature isn’t something revolutionary or new. But, it’s something some girls might feel is helpful when needing to find a way to discreetly reach someone in an endangering situation.
Fit for a Queen
If you’re looking for a smartwatch to keep track of anything and all, the Garmin Venu 2S is it. Just, drop the fru fru and get it because it just delivers.
From health to fitness to wellness, it’s just the perfect smartwatch for all my lovely ladies out there. Oh, I almost forgot to mention how the watch’s battery life lasts quite a while saving you from having to worry about the next soonest use.
I can’t find the words to describe how this watch has genuinely helped me know myself, my body, and my womanhood.
The Garmin Venu 2S costs PhP 22,995 in all Garmin Brand Stores, official online Garmin stores (Lazada, Shopee, Kinetic.com.ph), and the Garmin PH Viber Community.
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