Entertainment

Now Playing: Pride Edition

Celebrate the LGBTQ+ community!

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Happy Pride! To celebrate our LGBTQ+ community all over the world, we asked them and their allies about movies, shows, music, and podcasts you can watch and listen to, along with books you should read.

This list is also a good start to understanding the lives and struggles of our beloved LGBTQ+ community. You may refer to this article — Pride month or not! Here’s what’s Now Playing at Her GadgetMatch!

Videos to watch

Pride Conversations

MJ: Google concluded the Pride Month with a live stream entitled Pride Conversations, comprised of powerful members of the Filipino LGBTQ+ community sharing their remarkable and inspiring stories — from tales of coming out to their journey in owning their sexuality.

Movies to see

Love, Simon

MJ: A modern classic in today’s generation, Love, Simon is about yearning, secrets, and struggle of everyone in the LGBTQ+ community — coming to terms with your identity and getting out of the closet.

Prayers for Bobby

MJ: A heart-wrenching, tearjerker film that every parent must watch, especially when their religion and faith get in the way of truly loving their child.

The Half of It

MJ: Lighthearted yet revolutionary, The Half of It explores an introvert’s young love, sexuality, and loving in secret expressed through a love letter.

Holding the Man

MJ: Raw, honest, and genuine. It’s difficult not to weep after watching a touching piece tackling a love affair weathering the struggles of coming out in the 70s and 80s — remembering the horrors the stigma surrounding AIDS caused.

Free Fall

MJ: Jokingly known as the German version of Brokeback Mountain, Free Fall is a complex, hot, and passionate story about a married man’s internal struggles of falling in love with a colleague.

Blue Is The Warmest Colour

MJ: Blue Is The Warmest Colour is a moving film portraying a French teen’s beatific, intimate attachment to another woman.

Metamorphosis

Vincenz: Intersex is one of the minorities in the LGBTQIA+ community. This is a locally-produced indie film that shows how one explores and discovers him/herself. Just like the process of metamorphosis, s/he finally accepts and reveals who s/he really is to the eyes of many.

Sila-Sila

Vincenz: A depiction of complicated homosexual relationships: from hook-ups, break-ups, losing people you value the most, and even getting back together. A slice of life that shows laughs, joys, and tears of gay people throughout their relationship with their friends, family members, and partners altogether.

Shows to binge-watch

Queer Eye

Chay: The Fab 5 spreads love in Pennsylvania back in the US in the latest season of our favorite feel-good makeover series. Whenever I’m feeling distress or despair — especially during these difficult times — Queer Eye is the series that never fails to restore my faith in humanity.

Pose

Chay: House Evangelista is back for another season of ball culture, voguing, building new relationships and rekindling old ones, and confronting crises LGBTQ+ people of color faced in the ’80s. Prepare not just your favorite bag of chips but your box of Kleenex as well!

Love, Victor

Chay: If you enjoyed Love, Simon and find yourself wanting for more a spinoff series premiered on Hulu this month. Love, Victor tells the story of a new student at Creekwood High School — the ups and downs at home, making new friends, and exploring his sexual orientation.

Looking

MJ: Being in your late twenties and early thirties can be mind-boggling. Such is the case in Looking, where three best friends in San Francisco tell their explorations in love and in life while each taking separate paths.

One Day at a Time

MJ: A refresh of a hit sitcom in the ’70s, One Day at a Time is a modern comedy that has an upbeat take on tales of coming out yet still portrays the struggles of coming to terms with your sexuality within a family.

TharnType The Series

Vincenz: Not your typical sugarcoated Thai BL series as it eradicates homophobia as well as how they openly portray the sexual desires of two men. Expect a rollercoaster of emotions when you watch this series.

Gameboys

Vincenz: One of the first Filipino BL series that is timely and relevant — especially during this pandemic. Can you believe two gamers ended up falling for each other even with just a series of game battles, chats, and video calls? In my own thoughts: “Sana all hindi pang-quarantine lang“.

Hello Stranger

Vincenz: What would you do if you were paired up with someone you truly dislike? Hello Stranger exhibits unexpected love at an unexpected time, reminding us that love simply happens for everyone, regardless of your orientation.

Albums/Songs/Podcasts to listen to

Music Universal: PRIDE

 

Chay: Pop icon and ally Carly Rae Jepsen and artist and activist Mark Kanemura put together a Pride-themed playlist featuring music from different artists and eras that celebrate the LGBTQ+ community and our right to express our true selves. This 90-minute playlist is perfect when you’re working out, experimenting in the kitchen, or walking to your neighborhood cafe for your iced latte fix!

Chromatica

 

MJ: Lady Gaga’s return with “Chromatica” has sent the LGBTQ+ community reeling over the nostalgia evoked by this eccentric album — bringing back the days of dancing to Gaga’s fabulous and bizarre pop music we loved.

Help by 10cm

Vincenz: Although the music video only showed minor scenes of how people consider same-sex relationships in public a taboo, the song’s message should dig deeper into our minds and hearts that we should ask for somebody’s help when all of these deep-seated issues come in mind.

Oh my God by (G)I-DLE

Vincenz: Originally a Now Playing: Volume 3 entry, he message of the song this time is clearer because it’s in English — and we can’t deny it’s all about two women having love and affection for one another.

Books to read

What If It’s Us?

MJ: Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera’s novel about two men stumbling upon each other in New York City is a refreshing take on common, gay love stories. It tackled love, signs, and universe — reminding us that we meet people in our lives for a reason.

Call Me by Your Name

MJ: A powerful, coming-of-age, and tale of coming out stirring a pot of raw emotions. Call Me by Your Name explores sexual awakening, yearning, and obsession over the course of summer in Italy, in the year 1983.


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!

Entertainment

NBA ties up with the Pixel 6 series for the playoffs

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Do we even need an official launch for the Pixel 6 series at this point? Hours ahead of its slated launch, the Pixel 6 series has revealed almost everything about itself through official releases and extensive leaks. Now, the newsreel has moved to other spotlights. Google has announced that the Pixel 6 series is the first presenting partner for the upcoming NBA playoffs.

Reported by The Athletic, the league officially announced the multiyear marketing and technology deal. With the partnership, the Pixel series will become the official presenting partner of the playoffs, the G League playoffs, and the NBA 2K League All-Star Game. Google had previously tied up for this season’s WNBA playoffs.

The NBA can now use Google Trends and other tools to improve data for both the league and the tech company.

As mentioned, Google has officially scheduled the Pixel 6’s launch for October 19. More than its predecessors, the flagship series will introduce a new smartphone experience for Android users, headed by Google’s first in-house chipset called the Tensor chip. Though the deal is for multiple years, the Pixel 6’s launch is definitely a timely one.

On the other hand, NBA is also celebrating a milestone this season. The upcoming season, which starts later this week, will be the 75th NBA season.

SEE ALSO: NBA 2K22 MyCareer will feel like an ‘open-world’ RPG

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Samsung is shooting a Hollywood film with the Galaxy S21 Ultra

Smartphone-only films are coming

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Smartphone cameras have brought high-quality photography to a wider audience. It can easily make people feel that they can take professional photos and videos just from their phones. To prove their power, some brands have committed to shooting feature-length films purely using their respective flagships. Samsung, fresh from doing the same last year, has partnered with an actual director to shoot a Hollywood film with the Galaxy S21 Ultra.

Officially announced in Samsung’s main website, Hollywood director Joe Wright will helm the project. Prior to the upcoming film, Wright also directed other notable titles like Pride and Prejudice and Atonement.

The film, titled Princess & Peppernose, is the “the tale of a princess in search of love who defies convention to pursue her own desires.” Adding a bit more to the challenge, Wright is adding puppetry to the film.

Besides Princess & Peppernose, Samsung is also tapping into another filmmaker, Chinese director Sha Mo, to create another film shot purely with the Galaxy S21 Ultra. That film — titled Kids of Paradise — will premiere along side Wright’s film during South Korea’s Busan International Film Festival sometime this month.

This isn’t the first smartphone-only film from Samsung either. Last year, Samsung asked a Korean filmmaker to create a feature-length film using the Galaxy S20 series. With smartphone cameras improving throughout the years, it’s no surprise that smartphone-only films are popping up.

SEE ALSO: Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra Review: For Pro Users!

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Entertainment

Xiaomi Mi TV P1: Home cinema for the budget-conscious

A 4K HDR Android TV you can definitely afford

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I don’t want to sound like I’m an ultimate cheapskate, but I guess I kind of belong in that category as I always try and see things on-sale or those lower than their Suggested Retail Pricing.

Way back in May 2021, I was looking for an Android TV within my PhP 20,000 to 25,000 (US$ 400 – US$ 500) budget. Xiaomi’s Mi TV was one of them — the Mi LED TV 4S to be exact. But upon knowing that units bought from China with a global ROM still doesn’t support Netflix, I decided to find another (and might even be a better) alternative.

Several months later, Xiaomi announced the Mi TV P1 series — and finally a follow-up to the Mi TV 4A series almost three years ago.

Even though it’s been a while ever since I purchased that other Android TV with my hard-earned money, I still accepted this review unit to test and know the feats and defeats of the Mi TV P1 as a new Android TV in this vast TV market.

A design so tacky and lacks variety

Just a static long light indicator when it’s powered on

The problem with TV nowadays is that, most of them look similar with their plasticky build. If you’re looking for a premium-looking TV on a tight budget, sorry to break it to you, but the Mi TV P1 is entirely made out of plastic. From its side bezels, chin, and even the legs/stand, they’re all in the same material and a coating that’s oh-so-glossy.

It’s almost as glossy as the protective film it came with

The panel is glossy too. You shouldn’t place this directly parallel to your window or it might bother you when watching content that are less bright or dark.

Chaehyun is the definition of a human being with an angelic voice #김채현_데뷔하자

Even the large window covered with curtains at the left side of our living room wasn’t safe from such distraction.

Not the most unique stand design ever

Not gonna lie, it looked and felt cheap. There’s literally no excuse for it being a “budget” TV. Compared to the Android TV I own at the same price point, it’s still able to have a metallic bottom bezel and aluminum stands without reducing most of the features that the Mi TV P1 possesses.

Attaching these was truly a horrifying experience

Speaking of stand, it took me around ten minutes thinking how to attach both legs. The screw holes were kind of confusing and misleading as well as the form of each leg. Instructions in the user manual about attaching both TV leg stands was vague so I have to research further online. It’s honestly one of my worst experiences of attaching screws to a product.

Sufficient ports and connections

The Mi TV P1 has a Composite In (AV), two USB-A ports, and three HDMI ports — one with eARC support. The 32-inch version has lesser though. Other ports you might be curious to know are Ethernet Port, CI SlotOptical Digital Audio Out, and a 3.5mm headphone jack.

For wireless connectivity, the Mi TV P1 has a reliable Wi-Fi connection as it not only supports the 2.4GHz band, but the faster 5GHz band as well. That’s something my other TV doesn’t have.

There’s even the faster and latency-less Bluetooth 5.0 support. And with the bundled 360 Bluetooth remote, I can still turn off the TV even when I’m sitting and eating from the kitchen area or when I need to go to the bathroom without ever pointing at the TV itself.

Not sure if it’s just my muscle memory but the remote of the Xiaomi Mi TV P1 confuses me — and might be the same to some future users.

If you’re a heavy Android user, the default back key of smartphones is placed at the left side rather than the middle. Xiaomi could’ve just switched the button placements. They could’ve even done the same to the “O” (home) button by placing it in the middle instead.

Some button controls would’ve made more sense too if “CC”, “EPG”, “INFO”, and that “dot” weren’t placed there. And if you’re right-handed like I am, pressing the power button requires some reach as it’s placed on the upper left part instead of right.

The power of Android TV

ICYMI, the Xiaomi Mi TV P1 runs Android TV. On paper, it runs a MediaTek 9611 chipset paired with 2GB of memory and 16GB of internal storage. Those are actually enough for running and storing TV-limited Android apps that can be downloaded through the Google Play Store.

While YouTube, Netflix, and Prime Video were already installed upon first use, there are also other streaming apps you can download such as iQiyi, WeTV, Viu, Crunchyroll, HBO Go, TED, and more.

As you were already spoiled in the earlier section, the Mi TV P1 supports Google Assistant. This reduces the hassle and sore of typing each letter through the remote’s D-pad when searching content across all apps.

Google Assistant indicator

On the bottom part of that odd bar below the Mi TV P1’s chin, there’s a switch to turn on (or off) the far-field microphones of the TV.

Google Assistant prompt

This enables you to use Google Assistant even when you’re roaming another area in your house. So yeah, no to pointing your mouth to the remote. People with a loud speaking voice will benefit this feature the most.

More power with Chromecast

Too lazy to type? Or you just don’t want to bother your family members when you activate Google Assistant? Well, your other option is to share content from your phone to the TV — and that’s thanks to its built-in Chromecast feature.

Xiaomi Mi TV P1

Whether you’re using an iPhone or an Android, you shouldn’t worry at all as Chromecast supports both systems.

Other than sharing content from YouTube, you can also share and stream music on a bigger screen as long as Spotify is downloaded on both devices.

Xiaomi Mi TV P1

Spotify being sus by cutting both Heejin and Olivia Hye out of the screen 🙄

Purely immersive

Nowadays, most Netflix titles and YouTube content come with an ultra-wide 21:9 ratio (or even in a 2.39:1 anamorphic ratio). In layman’s term, those are simply the black bars you see when watching videos in your fullscreen smartphones or standard monitors. But thanks to its slim bezels, watching on the Xiaomi Mi TV P1 felt immersive — especially if you’re watching just several meters away from the TV.

Xiaomi Mi TV P1

Hong Banjang just being charismatic over Yoon Chigwa #HeadOverHeels

Watching series such as Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha honestly felt more immersive as if I’m sitting along with the characters.

Xiaomi Mi TV P1

Isa’s visuals pops even more with this vibrant TV

Even STAYC’s Stereotype music video, despite its black bars, still made me enjoy its stunning visuals and cinematography (as well as vocals, musical arrangement, and choreography).

Xiaomi Mi TV P1

Speaking of pure, the “Fate” performance from Girls Planet 999 made me cry with its pureness in beauty paired with superiority in choreography

What more if it’s a 16:9 content? Whether it’s in 4K UHD or just Full HD 1080p resolution, your eyes will still enjoy every frame of what you’re watching especially if its displayed in a large screen a la cinema.

Xiaomi Mi TV P1

My feels for Tzuyu are definitely not over when watching and listening to #TheFeels

A 4K 16:9 content is more pleasing to look at especially with its sharp and crisp details. TWICE’s The Feels is a testament to that.

If you’re curious about sound quality. It’s double 10W speakers are loud with enough bass and clarity. But don’t expect cinema-grade audio experience even with Dolby Audio and DTS-HD support. But if you’re really into that cinema-grade experience. you still need to get at least a soundbar or invest on a better surround sound system (in which I think budget-conscious users care less about).

Excellent display for a budget TV

Xiaomi Mi TV P1

aespa’s Karina is a living goddess. Periodt. Periodism.

Apart from having an almost edge-to-edge 4K display, the Mi TV P1 also boasts HDR10+ support for displaying picture-perfect content with an even wider range of colors in the spectrum.

This isn’t for everyone but just in case someone wants to know, you can choose between various Color Spaces ranging from Standard and Native, to Adobe RGB, DCI-P3, BenQ’s BT.2020, and ITU-R’s BT.709 color gamut.

If you go and specifically search for 4K HDR content on YouTube, the Xiaomi Mi TV P1 will be able to handle and display that content to you with no frills. That’s something other TVs, monitors, and even smartphones can’t display at all.

To make the display even better, it also has Dolby Vision apart from HDR10+. For this particular instance: Squid Game, which is Netflix’s hottest series right now, shows the Dolby Vision indicator right next to its parental rating info.

Xiaomi Mi TV P1

Not only does it show better color accuracy and output with HDR10+, this Dolby Vision feature is also able to display better dynamic range with the right amount of contrast, highlights, and shadows.

Xiaomi Mi TV P1

Loco might just be Yuna’s era

One noticeable aspect of this TV is the inclusion of Motion Smoothing feature out of the box that my other Android TV doesn’t have. It’s honestly a feast for the eyes but probably not everyone’s cup of tea. By default, it’s set to Standard but can be turned off.

Pretty decent for gaming, too

While the Mi TV P1 has only a 60Hz panel, playing on it still felt true-to-life. With the 55-incher that I have, details are still clear and sharp even if my PS4 Slim only supports a maximum display resolution of 1080p. With one port that supports HDMI 2.1 / eARC, people who spent their fortune on a PlayStation 5 (PS5) and are considering a less-expensive smart TV, I’m sure bumping it over 1080p will work.

One thing to keep in mind if you’re a sucker for ultra-smooth and seamless gameplay, the Mi TV P1 doesn’t do its Motion Smoothing magic — at least on the PS4 itself. It doesn’t even work on the console’s UI.

Not a biggie but some might consider that as a buying point. There are also two more limitations that I’ll talk more at the latter part of this review.

Xiaomi Mi TV P1

Overall, gaming on the Mi TV P1 is pretty decent for casual and gamers on a limited budget. You get to enjoy its big screen size — which still depends on the model you’ll buy and your distance from the TV.

Another thing, I tested playing games for hours starting with Watch Dogs: Legion, then Gran Turismo, Crash Team Racing, and even several Tekken 7 VS battles but my eyes haven’t strained at all.

Xiaomi Mi TV P1

The best part is that, all the games I’ve successfully finished those games thanks to the Mi TV P1’s display superiority.

Some good things have bad sides, too

Aside from rants about its design and remote control, there are other things I’ve encountered during my time with this smart Android TV.

1st: PatchWall isn’t ready for the country yet

While PatchWall was already introduced to Mi TV users in India, Indonesia, and other parts of the globe, it’s unfortunately not ready in the Philippines just yet.

Xiaomi Mi TV P1

For those who aren’t familiar, PatchWall is Xiaomi’s special launcher that has a better UI over the stock Android TV experience. But it not being ready for the Philippine market further proves my point that the “Mi” button on the remote control is pretty useless as that one opens up PatchWall.

2nd: HDR isn’t supported for all devices

As ironic as it gets, this 4K HDR TV has some HDR limitations.

Xiaomi Mi TV P1

It may not be a huge deal to most but for myself who got accustomed with my own Android TV being able to display HDR even when a PlayStation 4 is hooked up, it’s such a disappointment that the Mi TV P1 doesn’t offer that HDR compatibility to my gaming console. I even tried hooking up the HDMI cable to each HDMI port but to no avail.

3rd: Display settings cannot be accessed on other HDMI devices as well

Xiaomi Mi TV P1

As I was trying to shoot more photos of the TV while using the PS4, I’m was surprised that pressing the “Settings” button doesn’t reveal the Device Preferences sidebar. Not only can I not adjust the brightness and backlight level, I also can’t pick a certain picture mode that might suit the game better. What a total waste.

Is the Xiaomi Mi TV P1 your GadgetMatch?

If you’re all in for the Mi TV P1’s excellence in image quality and immersiveness without ever minding its lackluster aesthetic and limitations in HDR support and PatchWall, the Mi TV P1 is a TV I can recommend. This product goes well for those who just recently moved to a new home and wants a TV that’s just right for their budget.

The good stuff of this Android TV still weigh more than the compromises mentioned. If you can’t wait to have your new TV in this upcoming holiday season, the Xiaomi Mi TV P1 is still a wise buy. Other than this 55-inch model which is priced at PhP 24,990, there are also 32, 43, and 50-inch variants available that retail for PhP 10,990 / PhP 18,990 / PhP 22,990 respectively.

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