Samsung has just unfolded the future and MWC Barcelona gave a glimpse of this year’s trends in smartphones. While we’re recuperating, we travel, celebrate International Women’s Month, and catch up with the latest shows and movies to see. Here’s what’s Now Playing:
Movies to see
Chay: March is International Women’s Month and what better way to celebrate than by watching, RBG, a fascinating documentary about the life and legacy of US Supreme Court Justice and icon Ruth Bader Ginsberg. She pioneered and has pushed for gender equality throughout her career not only by arguing for women’s rights, but also by proving that gender-based discrimination hurts men as well.
Marvin: I’m at the point of origin story fatigue, so seeing yet another one while every other character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is fully developed feels like a drag. Still, Captain Marvel is a required watch before buying a ticket for Avengers: Endgame which is coming out next month. Not to say that the movie is bad, but I wish Super Saiyan Carol were as interesting as the cast around her.
Dan: Let’s take a break from Hollywood and embrace local cinema. Ulan, which stars Nadine Lustre and Carlo Aquino, is a mix of movie genres. In a nutshell, it’s about a girl’s perception about the rain, may it be positive or negative. Be warned that you might feel weirded out at times, but I’d say it’s part of the viewing experience. Combining folklore and a modern love story is not a bad idea.
TV shows to binge watch
Chay: This new Netflix series isn’t like any other reality TV about dating and finding love. Each episode features someone who goes on different blind dates and by the end of it, he or she picks someone to go on a second date with. There are so many unexpected twists that are not only entertaining but also completely relatable. It gives you a peek at how different people are in choosing potential partners, and is a good reflection of what we are like on first dates.
The Umbrella Academy
Dan: Umbrella Academy is the next big thing on Netflix. Its first season might not be as strong as Stranger Things’, but its interesting storyline will keep you hooked. It’s a different kind of superhero story about kids who were born on the same day and were adopted by a billionaire. If you like bizarre stories and superpowers, be sure to check this out.
Albums/Songs/Podcasts to listen to
Chrysalis by Empire of the Sun
Kevin: The Australian electronic music duo Empire of the Sun who wrote the catchy/dancy “Walking on a Dream” released a brand new track through an exclusive vinyl reissue. Called “Chrysalis,” the song has more of a laid back approach compared to their previous works while still owning that new wave vibe that they’re known for. It’s a nice, progressive song to relax with when you’re having a hectic day.
Butterfly by LOONA
Vincenz: “Butterfly” is one of the reasons why you should follow this Korean girl group. People say the music video looks “odd” since it focuses on women empowerment and racial diversity but its lyrics, the members’ goddess-like visuals, and their flawless choreography complements the song’s dreamy yet powerful vibe. 🦋
Cities/Places to visit
Kevin: Downtown Chicago feels like New York with its tall skyscrapers and busy streets — only it’s cleaner and quieter. It was my first time there and I was immediately enticed by its charm since most establishments have their own unique personalities. It’s filled with barcades (arcade bars) complete with old school titles like PAC-MAN and Time Crisis II. There’s also a veggie burger with fake bacon made of seitan that appeased the meat-lover in me. And if you’re not out eating or drinking, the WNDR Museum is a must-visit for installations and backdrops perfect for the ‘gram.
San Francisco, California
Marvin: San Francisco is famous for its diversity — not just in its people but in the places to visit. I didn’t get a chance to revisit famous spots like the Golden Gate Bridge and Mission Street, but my time around its financial district was memorable. It’s astounding how much merch there is to buy here, whether you’re into coffee, tech, cosmetics, toys, or sports.
Chay: There are more than a hundred reasons to visit The Metropolitan Museum in New York, but an ongoing exhibit called “In Praise of Painting: Dutch Masterpieces at The Met” is one you shouldn’t miss. Running until October 2020, the show features Dutch paintings from the 17th century and gives you a good glimpse of The Dutch Republic’s colorful history and way of life during that period.
Trends to try
McDonald’s Flavors of Japan
Vincenz: I like the Teriyaki Samurai burger since the beef patty is juicy while the teriyaki sauce is oozing. You could also try their Ebi Burger if you like your shrimp tempura being sandwiched with buns, sweet sauce, and lettuce. Pair them with the Nori Shake Shake Fries and a Sakura McFloat for a full “oishii” experience.
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!
How to use your selfie camera for better photos
The front-facing camera is all you’ll ever need
When someone says “selfie,” most people think of photos similar to this:
And while there’s nothing wrong with photos like these, I’m here to tell you that pictures with your smartphone’s front-facing cameras can be way better. No, really.
In this article, I’ll walk you through how to get picturesque selfie shots that are Instagram-worthy.
First off, you’ll need a smartphone with a powerful selfie cam. Gone are the days when front shooters were considered secondary cameras. Brands have now recognized the importance of selfie shooters and they’re now putting in even better ones — thank heavens! The weapon of choice for this activity was the Honor 10 Lite with a 24-megapixel camera equipped with AI.
The next step is finding a great spot. Find a way to mount your phone — whether it be with a phone tripod, or entails propping it up on a wall or your coffee mug (like I did). What’s important is that your phone is on a stable place. Now you can fix your framing!
The camera timer is the most commonly used feature for these photos. All you need to do is turn it on and pose.
My favorite selfie feature would be the Palm Gesture. Simply raise up your palm when you’re ready. This saves you the trouble of having to physically tap the shutter button over and over. On the Honor 10 Lite, there’s also the Smile Shutter feature which triggers the shutter every time you smile, and the Volume Control feature which triggers the shutter when you say “Cheese,” or when your voice reaches a certain decibel.
What I love about shooting with the selfie cam is the fact that it shows me what my photo looks like before I hit the shutter. This means I can move around and make sure none of my body parts are cut out. I can also make sure I’m not shooting an unflattering angle and adjust accordingly. Here are just some samples I shot with the Honor 10 Lite:
This feature was produced in collaboration between GadgetMatch and Honor.
Sneaky Apple announcements: Weekend Rewind
Is something big coming?
Here are the top stories on GadgetMatch this week.
1. Apple announced a bunch of things, Tim Cook starts a meme
Apple quietly announced a bunch of updates to their products, ahead of what many expect to be a big announcement at the end of March.
The company announced significant updates to the iMac. The 21.5-inch iMac now features Intel’s eight-generation six-core processors, while the bigger 27-inch iMac can offer up to an eight-core Intel Core i9 processor which promises 2.4 times faster performance.
AirPods can now be wirelessly charged. It’ll work with any Qi wireless charging solution. It also delivers better performance efficiency, faster connect times, 50 percent more talk time, and the convenience of hands-free “Hey Siri.”
The iPad Air and iPad mini get a boost in performance, as well as Apple Pencil support for the iPad mini, an A12 Bionic chip, and Retina display with True Tone tech and wide color support.
But perhaps the most significant thing that came out of these updates is Tim Cook giving birth to a new meme.
2. Travel video shot with Huawei P30 leaks
Cinematographer Parker Walbeck uploaded a Cancun travel video on his channel which was supposedly shot with the P30 Pro. Walbeck did say he made a few edits in post production but also went on to praise the phone’s optical and digital zoom capabilities.
3. Tesla’s Model Y is more affordable
Tesla is taking another stab at a mass market EV with the Tesla Model Y. It can easily be mistaken as the Model X at first glance with its long, sloping lines, wide bonnet, and lower grille. The difference is that being a crossover, the Model Y is bigger. In front there are LED fog lamps, auto dimming and power folding side mirrors, and a choice of 18-, 19-, or 20-inch wheels.
Pricing starts at US$ 39,000 and stretches to US$ 60,000 for the top-of-the-line Performance model. In between those are the Long Range and Dual Motor AWD which are at US$ 47,000 and US$ 51,000, respectively.
4. Black Shark 2 in your area
Xiaomi’s gaming smartphone isn’t playing around. The Black Shark 2 is here with top-of-the-line specs namely a Snapdragon 855 chipset, Adreno 640 GPU, up to 12GB of RAM, and up to 256GB of internal storage.
The Black Shark 2 touts a Samsung-sourced 6.39-inch AMOLED screen, pumping out images at 2340 x 1080 resolution. Additionally, the display’s brightness goes up to 430 nits. Latency has also been reduced to 43.5ms. It has motion interpolation, optimizing the display for gaming purposes.
5. Google Stadia is for people with high-speed internet
At its recent Game Developers Conference, Google unveiled Stadia, its new cloud-based gaming platform. Unlike the PlayStation Now, Stadia does not require its own console. According to Google, gamers can access the platform anywhere online — laptops, TVs (through Google’s Chromecast), and smartphones. Thankfully, the service is brand agnostic; any device will work.
Predictably, this new platform will require a lot of bandwidth, so bad news for locations that don’t have access to really fast internet. And they really should’ve just called it Google Games or Google Gaming. GG.
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.
Nissan pushes through with electrification of Asia and Oceania
One step at a time
It’s that time of the year again when Nissan gathers thought leaders, government officials, and media representatives from around the region to discuss how to improve and reshape the way people use transportation.
With the theme “Transform the way we drive and live,” this year’s Nissan Futures offers updated statistics and tackles the company’s plans and strategies to fully electrify Asia and Oceania.
Through a report, Nissan kicked off the event by showing us our current situation and where this could lead. They said that in about 30 years, the human population will hit 9.9 billion and two out of three people will be living in cities. This translates to more carbon footprint for each city and heavier air pollution for everyone if we simply continue going down this path.
“Asia Pacific is home to more than 2.1 billion urban residents, that is 60 percent of the world’s urban population. This brings increased pressure on the region’s cities and mobility systems. Events like Nissan Futures create the appropriate platform to discuss solutions for our region’s societies and mobility systems,” said Yutaka Sanada, Regional Senior Vice President for Asia and Oceania. “Driven by our Nissan Intelligent Mobility vision, we are committed to bringing safe, smart, and sustainable mobility to more people.”
We already talked about the benefits of electric vehicles (as well as myths that surround them) and how they will significantly reduce tailpipe emissions on the streets and eventually reduce air pollution. With that in mind, Nissan envisions a city with a more sustainable environment by jumping on the electric bandwagon. And right now, their Leaf electric vehicle is what embodies their plans for the future.
“The Leaf remains the icon of Nissan Intelligent Mobility, our strategy for moving more people to a better world,” said Daniele Schillaci, Nissan’s Global Head of Marketing, Sales, and Electric Vehicles.
Just earlier this month, the Leaf cemented itself as the most successful EV to date — surpassing the 400,000 sales mark. Although, we weren’t that surprised since we got to drive and experience the Leaf for the second time. I’d say the drive was more exciting this year since we drove it around the open streets of Hong Kong and witnessed how it fared in terms of its safety features, handling, power, and battery consumption.
We made a short video of the drive:
Yes, we’re still far away from cities being fully electric, but Nissan is relentlessly pushing through. It has already put its foot in and is paving the way for electrification that will soon extend beyond the confines of a vehicle.
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