Features

God of War, Lost in Space, This is America: Now Playing

This is what we’re up to when we’re not creating tech features and reviews!

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Everyone’s watching, playing, or listening to something at any given moment. That includes us here at GadgetMatch, so we thought we would pull everyone together to share what we’re now playing.

Games to play

God of War
Rodneil: This is the game that all gamers are talking about. Yes, even those who don’t own a PlayStation 4 console are intrigued by this PS4-exclusive. The moment the embargo lifted on the reviews, the game was getting praises left and right. The story is compelling, gameplay is challenging, and boy, it looks hella good.


Wordscapes
Rodneil: Wordscapes isn’t new but between work and playing on my PS4, this is what gets me through down times when I need something casual to play with on my phone. I haven’t really bought into the more demanding iterations of mobile gaming and to be honest, I might never. So for those of you who like to keep it casual, this game does just that.

Movies to see

Love, Simon
MJ: I don’t know why I hesitated watching a movie I’ve been wanting to see for months. Rodneil and Chay had to convince me to watch Love, Simon on a late Friday night and god, I’m so happy I decided to go. Love, Simon is not just an ordinary coming-out film; it’s a masterpiece that will make your heart cry. It will resonate with experiences back in your teenage years, and remind you of the lessons you’ve learned. It’s a story of accepting yourself and the people around you.

Deadpool 2
Marvin: Deadpool 2 is both bloody and funny — it’s bloody funny! While it’s a lot like the first film in terms of crude humor and non-stop gore, the characters are more memorable this time, the plot’s much richer (and sometimes more emotional), and there are loads more silly meta references thrown at you. This sequel is a nice change of pace after the tear fest that was Avengers: Infinity War. Tip: You must stay for the post-credit scenes. Those alone make the price of admission worth it!

TV shows to binge watch

Santa Clarita Diet
Chay: I gave Santa Clarita Diet a chance after seeing countless ads and tweets about how underrated it is. I honestly wasn’t hooked until probably episode seven, but I found myself finishing two seasons in one week. Each episode is only 30 minutes long, and there are only 10 episodes per season, so it’s one of the easiest shows to binge watch. And in case it’s not obvious in the posters and trailers: No, it’s not a show about dieting and food, although there is a lot of eating involved.

Terrace House: Opening New Doors
Chay: For the uninitiated, Terrace House is a Japanese reality show about six strangers who live inside the same house. It’s like Big Brother without the scheming and games. So really it’s a show about nothing. It’s like watching Japanese people be themselves. For us unfortunate souls who don’t live in Japan, waiting for the new season can be excruciating, but I was lucky enough to watch all of Season 2 of Opening New Doors while I was in Osaka, and all I can say is you need to watch it and I need more episodes! It’s set in the woods of Karuizawa, Nagano, around two hours from Tokyo. The house is more beautiful than ever, and the housemates are so pure and genuine, sometimes to a fault.

Lost in Space
Dan: If you’re into sci-fi stories, you should check out Lost in Space on Netflix. It’s set 30 years in the future and chosen humans are on their journey to an Earth-like planet, but things go astray, hence the title. The story mainly revolves around the Robinson family and the peculiar robot. The first episode is a bit lacking, so you shouldn’t quickly judge the series by its pilot. The production value alone is enough to attract sci-fi adventure fans, and it’s one of the few sci-fi series that you can watch with your family.

My Hero Academia
Rodneil: Titled Boku No Hero Academia in Japanese, I will argue that this is probably the best ongoing shonen anime at the moment. Shonen is a genre primarily aimed at teenage boys that revolves around fighting in squads and camaraderie. My Hero Academia is about a boy born into a world where super powers or, as the show calls it, quirks, is a norm to a point that people actually go to school to get a job as a hero. Protagonist Izuku Midoriya has all the qualities of a zero, except he was born without a quirk, but this does not stop him from pursuing his dream of becoming the world’s best hero.

Happy!
Kevin: An alcoholic ex-detective turned hitman, Nick Sax is on a Christmas quest to save his daughter from a kidnapper junkie dressed as Santa Claus. Accompanying him on this mission is his daughter’s imaginary friend, an animated unicorn named Happy. This dark comedy goes for a different approach in storytelling. It also shows the unique relationship between a man who’s almost out of his mind and an imaginary friend who only cares for the kid. Don’t let the animated unicorn fool you, though, as the show gets really graphic. Better to watch it when the kids are asleep!

Music to listen to

Childish Gambino: This is America
Kevin: We’re pretty sure you’ve heard of this song. Childish Gambino’s new single that became an instant success overnight is chock full of hidden messages that reflect the current state of their country. From the lyrics to the music video, it might shock you as it did us and you’ll surely hit that replay button right after watching it.

Arctic Monkeys: Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino
Kevin: A recent release from the English rock band, Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino is far from the previous 2013 album AM. I feel like the band went back closer to their older albums in terms of sound and sprinkled a vibe of David Bowie into the mix. The result is soulful, almost laid-back — the kind that grows more and more in you after a few times of listening to the songs. And yes, there’s the staple Alex Turner appeal with the way he drops each word.

John Mayer: New Light
Alven: When it comes to our favorite artists, sometimes we want them to just stick to what they do best. When it comes to John Mayer, for a lot of people that means John sitting on a stool, acoustic guitar in hand, serenading you with a ballad. “New Light” is a great departure from that vibe, and I gotta say that I ain’t complaining. An upbeat tune with a funky beat and a bit of an 80s feel to it. this song will indeed make you see John in a new light.

Cities to visit

Krakow, Poland
Josh: Krakow isn’t usually top of mind when one thinks about cities to visit in Europe, but I found myself enthralled by the Polish city’s old world charm during a last minute trip this week. Follow the Royal Road route through its historic gates and medieval walls to reach Main Market Square, a sprawling space with cobblestone streets, renaissance architecture, and rows of cafes and shops. Continue further up a hill to the Royal Castle and Wawel Cathedral where the late Pope Saint John Paul II celebrated his first mass as a priest in 1946, then end the day with a scenic cruise along the Vistula River for breathtaking views of the city.

Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
Chay: If you ask me what my favorite Southeast Asian destination is, my answer always changes depending on which city I last visited. So this month, it’s Vietnam’s biggest city: Ho Chi Minh. What’s not to like? Food is cheap, delicious, and healthy; internet is fast; coffee is great, and everything is just a scooter ride away.

Osaka, Japan
Chay: Tokyo is my favorite city in Japan but Osaka is still a good idea, and not just because of the food. Kyoto is only a 30-minute train ride away, if you want to explore old Japanese architecture and Shinto shrines. And if Japanese video games are your thing, especially those from the 90s (Street Fighter, Super Mario Bros, Donkey Kong!), you will go gaga in Osaka.

Apps to download

Unfold
Mj: There’s a new craze in the Instagram space, and it involves Unfold. I downloaded the app, and I’ve been using it on Instagram Stories a lot lately. It has a simple approach like creating a postcard of moments you cherish, but with lots of templates and fonts to choose from. I can finally make my snaps memorable and beautiful!

Plant Nanny
Mj: Plant Nanny is a fun way to remind yourself to drink some water. In the app, you take care of plants as if they’re yourself. Once you drink your glass of water, you log that activity in the app by pouring water on your plant, or else it dies if left unattended.

Did you like any of our picks or have suggestions of your own? Feel free to let us know in the comments section!


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

Huawei P30 Pro vs Apple iPhone XS: Which flagship phone takes better photos?

The P30 Pro takes on the iPhone XS

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Huawei‘s new P30 series has hit the market. The best in the series is the P30 Pro with its new quad cameras, curved OLED display, and powerful chipset. A flagship phone like the P30 Pro needs the best set of features available and be worthy of people’s hard-earned money.

Usually, people ask how it fares against an iPhone. To answer curious buyers, let’s compare the P30 Pro and the iPhone XS from Apple.


Specs and Features

Let’s start by checking the key specifications of the two devices. Here’s a quick rundown of their notable features:

Huawei P30 Pro
Apple iPhone XS
Display 6.47-inch OLED
DCI-P3 HDR
5.8-inch OLED
Dolby Vision / HDR10
Processor Kirin 980 A12 Bionic
Memory 8GB 4GB
Storage 256GB 64GB/256GB/512GB
Rear cameras 40MP f/1.8 RYYB
20MP ultra-wide
8MP 5x optical zoom
ToF sensor
12MP f/1.8
12MP 2x optical zoom
Front camera 32MP f/2.0 7MP f/2.2
IR sensor
Battery 4200mAh 2658mAh
Security features In-screen fingerprint scanner, Face recognition Face ID
OS Android 9 Pie w/ EMUI 9.1 iOS 12

Both are premium phones from their respective manufacturers. They have the best displays in their class. The P30 Pro and the iPhone XS both sport an OLED panel with vibrant colors and deep blacks. To maximize the screen’s real estate, Huawei and Apple both resort to a notch. However, the P30 Pro’s notch is a lot smaller than the iPhone’s; it doesn’t take much of the interface.

Apple iPhone XS and Huawei P30 Pro | GadgetMatch

Inside, the phones have two different processors. The P30 Pro is powered by a Kirin 980, while the iPhone XS has the A12 Bionic. Both homebaked silicons are powerful and unstoppable. Built using the same latest 7nm process, they are extremely efficient compared to other processors.

The P30 Pro has twice the memory capacity of the iPhone XS, which allows better multitasking. For storage, the P30 Pro comes with 256GB as standard. If that’s not enough, it has expandable storage as well using Huawei’s Nano-Memory cards. Meanwhile, the iPhone’s base configuration starts at 64GB; upgrading to 256GB will cost you more.

Apple iPhone XS and Huawei P30 Pro | GadgetMatch

Huawei phones usually last more than a day with heavy use; the P30 Pro will be no different. It has a long-lasting 4200mAh battery compatible with 40W SuperCharge using its bundled USB-C charger. It can also top up wirelessly and share its juice via reverse wireless charging. Meanwhile, the iPhone XS has an inferior 2658mAh cell inside; it also charges slower.

Security-wise, the P30 Pro and iPhone XS differ in approach. The P30 Pro can be unlocked in two ways: using the in-screen fingerprint scanner or AI facial recognition. The iPhone XS lacks a fingerprint reader, limiting users to Face ID.

Perhaps the biggest difference between the P30 Pro and iPhone XS is their software. Obviously, the iPhone XS runs on iOS while the P30 Pro has EMUI 9.1 based on the latest Android Pie. The Android operating system allows users to take control of their device. Meanwhile, Huawei’s custom skin makes it more productive by adding useful features and optimizations.

Cameras

In the camera department, the P30 Pro outnumbers the iPhone XS with its new Leica Quad Camera system.

Apple’s top-of-the-line phone comes with a pair of 12-megapixel sensors. The iPhone’s primary shooter has an f/1.8 aperture. The secondary camera features 2x optical zoom.

On the other hand, the P30 Pro has one of the most complex mobile camera systems. It has a main 40-megapixel RYYB f/1.6 camera, a 20-megapixel ultra wide-angle shooter, an 8-megapixel periscope-style 5x optical zoom, and a special ToF sensor.

Let’s see how the two phones perform in different scenarios starting in broad daylight. With plenty of light available, both phones are able to capture a bright image with lots of details.

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The bright sunlight can get harsh at times. This is where HDR (high dynamic range) mode comes in handy. Both phones have Auto HDR. Whenever you shoot against the light, it automatically kicks in.

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Artificial bokeh is a thing for both the P30 Pro and iPhone XS. Capturing a closeup of a flower with a smooth background blur is just an easy task for the two.

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When you need to get really close, the P30 Pro’s camera can do macro without any extra accessory needed. You can clearly see the details of this tealight candle holder.

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Most of the images uploaded on social media are about food. With the P30 Pro’s AI scene recognition, you can take tasty images of your lunch and upload to Instagram right away.

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One of the P30 Pro’s periscope-style lens module is unique. The phone can zoom in 5x optically or go up to 10x using software tricks. The iPhone XS can do only up to 2x optical zoom. Maxing it out 10x is too much for the phone to handle.

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If 10x isn’t enough, did you know the P30 Pro has a maximum digital zoom of 50x? Well, the quality is not as great compared to the 10x zoom. It just barely gets the job done.

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The P30 Pro can get really close; it can also get ultra wide. With a dedicated super wide-angle shooter, the P30 Pro can fit in a whole building complex in one frame. That’s something iPhones can’t do — at least for now.

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Huawei is proud of the P30 Pro’s capability to shoot nice portrait stills even if the lighting condition isn’t ideal. The HDR feature in Portrait Mode works like charm.

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When shooting in Portrait Mode, the iPhone XS uses its secondary camera with 2x zoom. You’ll have to step back to fit your subject.

That’s not the case with the P30 Pro. The ToF sensor helps the main 40-megapixel camera identify the subject and apply the effects without cropping.

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The main camera’s wide aperture lens is perfect when shooting in Portrait Mode in dimly lit environments. The P30 Pro can shoot brighter images with more pleasing bokeh.

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Since we’re already in the dark, it’s time to put the Night Mode to the test. The iPhone doesn’t have a proper Night Mode; the P30 Pro has. The difference is more apparent in the samples below.

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Night Mode is not just for taking photos in the dark, though. It can also help take a sharper and more detailed image whenever you want to.

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Additionally, the amazingly flexible Night Mode also works with the P30 Pro’s ultra wide-angle shooter.

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For selfies, the P30 Pro has a 32-megapixel front camera. Meanwhile, the iPhone’s front has a 7-megapixel sensor accompanied by the Face ID’s IR sensor. As you can see from the samples below, the P30 Pro’s front camera has a wider FOV than the iPhone XS.

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Conclusion

With a new set of hardware and software features, the P30 Pro has its advantages over last year’s iPhone XS. In the camera department alone, the P30 Pro’s new Leica Quad Camera can deliver the best photos using a mobile phone. Zooming in or going ultra wide is not an issue for the P30 Pro. However, the iPhone XS clearly lacks the hardware for it.

Get the Huawei P30 Pro while it’s hot for PhP 50,990. It’s available in three color options: Breathing Crystal, Aurora, and Black.


This feature was produced in collaboration between GadgetMatch and Huawei Philippines.

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Features

Unboxing the OPPO F11 Pro Marvel’s Avengers Limited Edition

Does it really have that Endgame experience?

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Recently, OPPO decided to up their game with a limited edition F11 Pro that featured the incredibly hyped movie, Avengers: Endgame. Aptly named the OPPO F11 Pro Marvel’s Avengers Limited Edition, it’s inside a package that’s destined to be unboxed!

Let’s see what this box has to offer.


Not the usual white box

On the sides, you can see a printed logo of OPPO and Endgame to show that it is indeed a limited edition box.

Unlike OPPO’s usual box that comes in white, this limited edition package comes in a black box with a large thermo-printed glossy Avengers logo on top. It doesn’t scream gorgeous, but it’s definitely something you’d keep to store Marvel-related collectibles.

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When you open the box, you’ll be greeted with a collection certificate. You can see stamped emblems of the original six Avengers surrounding an embedded golden metal coin in the center.

This golden coin has the Avengers’ “A” logo on the front and the Avengers: Endgame logo on its back. The coin serves as a collector’s badge, which die-hard Marvel fans can add to their growing collection of Marvel-related collectibles.

When you flip the certificate, there’s a glossy silhouette print of the original six Avengers. Spoiler alert: This print feels like a commemorative tribute since the original six will never be complete again.

What’s inside?

Aside from the collection certificate, the box contains the OPPO F11 Pro Marvel’s Avengers Limited Edition phone which comes with a custom Avengers wallpaper, a Captain America-themed case, and accessories like a wall adapter, micro-USB cable, and a pair of earphones.

These are just the usual white accessories from OPPO; it would’ve been nice if they were able to stick to the theme to make it even more special.

Screaming Captain America

Something to enjoy in this limited edition box is a Captain America-themed case. Made with durability and protection in mind, its exterior is made with leather-like plastic, with a soft lining on its back to prevent scratches.

It also has an embossed Endgame logo, and a ring protruding in the middle inspired by Captain America’s shield. The ring acts as an anchor for your finger, or as a stand for your phone.

The OPPO F11 Pro Marvel’s Avengers Limited Edition phone comes with a special finish called Space Blue. It has a subtle, intricate pattern adorned by a big red Avengers logo. If you think about it, this phone screams Captain America.

Specs-wise, this phone is still an F11 Pro powered by a Helio P70 processor, except with an upgraded 128GB of storage. If you need to know more about this phone, read our hands-on.

Even though this was launched a few days after the movie’s premiere, OPPO was excellent at capitalizing on the most-awaited movie of the year. However, they still need to complete that ultimate fan experience by making the accessories in line with the theme, customize the box even more, and add a plethora of cases to choose from.

Nonetheless, the OPPO F11 Pro Marvel’s Avengers Limited Edition is still a treat to Marvel fans. It’s available online and at select OPPO concept stores. You better hurry before Thanos snaps!

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Features

Zenfone flips, OnePlus pops: Weekend Rewind

Two challengers enter the flagship group

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Here are the top stories on GadgetMatch this week.

1. ASUS Zenfone 6 may actually be defying the ordinary

Out of the two major phone launches that happened this week, ASUS might have had people buzzing a little bit more due to the lack of leaks weeks before its launch and its camera module that is flipping interesting.


The Zenfone 6 is equipped with only two cameras on a module that flips so it essentially also functions as the selfie camera. Pretty neat. ASUS insists you only need two because anything more than that will just make the phone unnecessarily expensive.

Specs-wise, the Zenfone 6 is packing a Snapdragon 855 chip paired with up to 8GB of memory and up to 256GB of storage. The ZenUI 6 also looks more stock Android versus the bloat-filled mess we usually get from ASUS. The phone is truly promising and we’re excited to review it.

2. The OnePlus 7 Pro is a lean, mean computing machine

There was nothing surprising about the OnePlus 7 Pro but that didn’t stop believers of the company to gush about this new flagship.

The OnePlus 7 Pro wants to squarely take on the Galaxy S10s and the P30 Pros of the world. It looks the part and the computing power is what we’ve come to expect from OnePlus. The Snapdragon 855 chip is in there along with up to 12GB of RAM.

Something new for OnePlus though is getting some star (or Stark?) power along with their flagship. They have employed the services of Iron Man himself Robert Downey Jr. to endorse the product. Some people think it’s a questionable move but with RDJ’s reach, perhaps this might get OnePlus in the radar of more people.

3. Realme X: flagship phone, budget price

After announcing the Realme 3 Pro, it didn’t take long for the company to unveil its first “flagship” phone. The Realme X is the company’s most powerful phone to date, but it’s not as expensive as the competition.

It’s powered by a Snapdragon 710 processor with up to 8GB of memory and up to 128GB of internal storage. A large 3765mAh keeps the lights on, plus it supports VOOC 3.0 fast charging.

How much, you ask? The Realme X will go on sale for CNY 1,499 (US$ 220) for the 4GB+64GB variant, CNY 1,599 (US$ 235) for 6GB+64GB, and CNY 1,799 (US$ 260) for the top-most model with a 8GB+128GB configuration.

4. Mint and lavender iPhones, anyone?

If reports from Apple-dedicated Japanese blog Mac Otakara are true, then Apple might be venturing out even further from their Space Gray and Rose Gold days.

The report indicates the sequel to the iPhone XR — perhaps Apple’s best value-for-money iPhone to date — will also come in two new colors: Mint and Lavender. That’s it. That’s the news. If you love these new colors, this writer is truly happy for you.

5. The Osmo Action is DJI’s GoPro

GoPro has a new challenger. DJI has been very active in the pocket camera department following up the Osmo Pocket with the Osmo Action.

It has most of what you expect from an action camera like image stabilization, 4K 60fps video, and the like. It’s also equipped with dual screens: one at the back for controlling the device and another in the front because DJI cares about how you frame yourself in the shot.

The Osmo Action is priced at US$ 349, which is about the same price as the GoPro Hero 7 Black today.


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.

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