Hands-On

OnePlus 5 vs OPPO R11: Side-by-side Comparison

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Sometimes you have to see things to believe it. For these smartphones, I not only saw — I saw double. 

The much-awaited OnePlus 5 was very recently released. OnePlus, which prides itself in creating “flagship killers,” came up with a device with premium specs at a price tag that’s significantly lower. People have been quick to point out, however, that the newest flagship killer looks a little too much like the thing it wants to kill. *ehem* iPhone 7 *ehem*

But ladies and gentlemen, that’s a lie. The OnePlus 5 doesn’t look exactly like the iPhone 7 — it looks exactly like (the very recently released) OPPO R11.

The R11, launched in China earlier this month, is OPPO’s premium midrange phone. The dual-camera smartphone is a follow-up to the widely successful R9.

Side-by-side comparison

Both smartphones have 5.5-inch displays and are roughly about the same size. They also both run on Android 7.1 Nougat with the R11 on ColorOS and the OnePlus5 on OxygenOS.

OnePlus 5 on the left (154.2 x 74.1mm) and OPPO R11 on the right (154.5 x 74.8 mm)

These smartphones come in a variety of colors: The R11 is available in gold, rose gold, black, and a special edition red version, while the OnePlus 5 comes in midnight black and slate gray.

Both matte black versions look stunning (and, well, identical).

The curved edges feel nice in your hands and both phones have a premium feel to them. Buttons and ports on both phones are similarly situated. On its side, the OnePlus 5 has what has been dubbed as the “Horizon Line” — a continuous line “casting one half in light and the other in shadow.” What this is, basically, is a continuous graceful line around the phone’s side; a small detail that isn’t on the OPPO R11 (not that you’d notice).

Beyond the surface

Though the OnePlus 5 is slightly (.5mm, to be precise) thicker than the OPPO R11, it may be well justified.

The difference between the two lies in what’s on the inside. The flagship killer is powered by a Snapdragon 835 processor (i.e., the same processor on flagships like the Samsung Galaxy S8Sony Xperia XZ Premium, and HTC U11) while the OPPO R11 is powered by a Snapdragon 660 (the newest processor for midrange smartphones).

OnePlus 5 top, OPPO R11 bottom

Unlike the R11, the OnePlus 5 is already equipped with a USB-C port, the newest standard in Android phones (also known as that port they put on the latest MacBook Pro).

OnePlus has been widely criticized for its previous phones’ protruding camera bumps. I’m glad to report that both smartphones have minimal bulge. The R11’s seems more pronounced but at this point, to notice that slight difference is just nitpicking.

Photo shootout

Both smartphones pack 20- and 16-megapixel cameras in the rear with built-in portrait modes and automatic depth effect, or what is usually called bokeh mode.

The dual-camera setup also allows for 2x zoom on photos (the better to stalk people with! Ha ha ha, I kid ?) See below:

Of course, when we talk about front-facing cameras, the Selfie Expert exceeds in terms of specs. The OPPO R11 has a 20-megapixel sensor up front trumping the OnePlus 5’s 16-megapixel camera.

The beauty mode is built into both cameras, but the end selfies can be quite different. OnePlus’ beauty filter is more subtle than the R11’s, although these filters on both smartphones may be adjusted to your airbrushing preference.

Final thoughts

Because these two phones look amazingly similar, it’s so easy to fall into the trap of comparing the two and clumping them into the same bracket. But, it’s really what’s on the inside that counts.

These two smartphones were (not very obviously, because of their twinsie situation) designed for different markets and function well for the group they were designed for — the OnePlus 5 for the practical techie in the market for a flagship smartphone worth their buck, and the OPPO R11 for the selfie enthusiasts who value photography above all else on the smartphone they own.

We’ve always been told never to judge a book by its cover, but these aren’t books and if we were to judge the outside, these two are looking pretty sleek; choosing between them now is only a matter of where your priorities lie.

SEE ALSO: OPPO R11 hands-on and photo comparisons

SEE ALSO: OnePlus 5 hands-on and photo comparisons

[irp posts=”15283″ name=”OnePlus 5 launches in North America, Europe, and Asia”]

[irp posts=”15357″ name=”OPPO R11 Review”]

Hands-On

The Huawei Nova 7 and Freebuds 3i is the perfect match

Some things are better in pairs

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Huawei is adding two new devices to their ever increasing portfolio. These are a phone and another TWS option — the Huawei Nova 7 and Freebuds 3i. 

The two devices share a common trait in that they offer flagship-level performance for less. More details on pricing and availability later on. For now, let’s talk about the devices.

Huawei Nova 7

The first noticeable thing about the Nova 7 is the design on its back, especially for the purple variant. It follows the Nova pattern introduced in the Nova 5T.

Since it’s laying face down, next thing you’ll notice is the quad-camera setup. It’s rocking a 64MP main camera, an 8MP ultra-wide angle lens, an 8MP telephoto lens, and 2MP macro lens (which you probably wouldn’t and shouldn’t use).

Naturally, it has all the AI camera features and post processing found on Huawei phones. We haven’t tested the cameras but we’ll throw in a quick comparison with a similarly priced phone for the review.

Now that that’s out of the way, we can flip it over to reveal the 6.53” OLED display. For screen refresh rate junkies, you’re only getting 60Hz here — which is still fine. That OLED looks mighty fine on the eyes.

Inside, it’s powered by the new Kirin 985 SoC. It’s flagship-grade and has support for 5G. In the Philippines, Huawei is currently leading the market in terms of sheer number of phones with 5G.

They started in 2019 with the Huawei Mate 30 Pro 5G and followed it up with the P40 Series. As of writing, Huawei also has the distinction of offering the most affordable flagship phone in the Philippines — the Huawei Nova 7 SE. 

As to the actual availability of 5G, that’s a topic for another article. But if you want some extra reading, here’s our 5G explainer.

Back to the phone, it has an 8GB + 256GB memory and internal storage combo. It also has a 4,000mAh battery with support for wired 40W Huawei SuperCharge. No wireless charging here.

First impressions 

We’ve been using the device for roughly a couple of days now and it’s been delightful to use for the most part.

If you’re salty about the lack of a higher refresh rate, I would say the vivid OLED display kind of makes up for it. Scrolling side-by-side a device with an IPS LCD screen but with a 120Hz screen refresh rate, it certainly feels less smooth. But what it “lacks” in fluidity is more than made up for by the crisp and vibrant display. Certainly crispier than any IPS LCD display.

In terms of general day-to-day use, it’s pretty stellar. We’ve noted on our OnePlus Nord review how good these midrange/upper-midrange SoCs have gotten and the Kirin 985 along with the RAM and the stability of EMUI 10.1 contributes to a hiccup-free experience.

App access is improved by the introduction of Petal Search. Type whatever app you need and you’ll be shown the source of the app. But you can download it directly from the Petal Search’s interface.

The phone is still without Google Mobile Services, so certain apps that require it like Google’s entire suite of apps, VSCO, Sound Hound, and others won’t work at all. Regardless, there are alternatives for all of these as we’ve noted in this App Gallery feature, and this video. 

Huawei Freebuds 3i

The Huawei Freebuds 3i is the Freebuds 3’s younger sibling. Like the Nova 7, we’ve had it for a couple of days and are blown away but how it performs.

It has ANC (Active Noise Cancellation) and this is something you notice right away as you put it on. The Freebuds 3i does this through the in-ear design and its three microphone system.

The stem design also isn’t just for show or to look like a certain competing TWS earphone. The stem acts as the microphone pick-up. We tested it on a few quick calls and the people on the other line noted that we sounded crystal clear.

It also has touch controls that are configurable through the Huawei AI Life app.

The perfect pair?

Huawei isn’t exactly packaging the two together. But since they’re launching at the same time, we used the two together and it’s quite a treat.

Like any first-party accessory, the Freebuds 3i is immediately detected by the Huawei Nova 7 making for a hassle free pairing.

The Nova 7 doesn’t have a 3.5mm jack so if you want to jump straight into the wireless life, pairing it with the Freebuds 3i is a good place to start.

Quick note: The Nova 7 does come with wired earphones along with a USB-C to 3.5mm converter in case you’re not yet ready to let go.

The listening experience, though, is elevated if you do decide to get the Freebuds 3i.

Pricing and availability

The Huawei Nova 7 will retail for PhP 23,990 (US$ 488). It comes in two colors: Midsummer Purple.

Like any recent Huawei releases, it comes with an array of freebies. The first 100 buyers will get a Huawei Watch GT2e, VIP Service, and Tresemmé Shampoo and Conditioner so you’ll look fly in your selfies.

There’s also a spezial offer. The first 5 customers who order the Nova 7 during the airtime of noontime show Eat Bulaga, you’ll get the Huawei Freebuds 3 for free.

If you don’t watch the show, there are other ways to snag a free Huawei Freebuds 3. Just make sure you order between July 31 to August 2, 2020 at these times: 12MN, 10AM, 2PM, 6PM, and 10PM.

Meanwhile, the Huawei Freebuds 3i will retail for PhP 5,990 (US$ 122) with a free case that has a mini lanyard. The Freebuds 3i comes in two colors: Ceramic White and Carbon Black.

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Hands-On

OnePlus Nord Unboxing & Hands On: Prepare to be surprised!

Could this be the new flagship killer?

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OnePlus goes back to its roots with an impressive sub-US$450 smartphone. Could this be the new flagship killer? This is our OnePlus Nord Unboxing & Hands-On.

The OnePlus Nord will retail for 399 EUR / 27999 INR (8/128GB model) when it launches in Europe and India on August 4th.

Other variants include a 12GB/256GB model (499 EUR / 29999 INR) and a special 6/64GB variant for India ONLY which will retail for 24999 INR.

In case the video isn’t working, click here.

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5 things we like about the realme Watch

A fitness band you won’t mind wearing in non-workout scenarios

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realme has been on a roll in expanding their product portfolio. They started with smartphones, added some earphones and powerbanks, and this year they have two wearables so far – the realme smartband and the realme Watch.

Today we’re listing some of the things we really liked about the realme Watch. Oh and quick note – most of this video was shot using the realme X3 SuperZoom.

Battery Life

Okay so, number one is battery life.

At the time that this was written, the Watch was at 52 percent and it has been seven days since the last time it was fully charged. If I use it more or less the same way I have in the past seven days, then it’ll be another week before it completely runs out of juice.

It’s definitely a plus when you don’t have to think about charging your watch too often.

Variety of workouts

At launch it can track 14 different workouts with good variety.

You have stuff like Running, Walking, Strength Training, Yoga and even sports like Football, Table Tennis, and Badminton.

The only “workout” I really got to try is walking, since I absolutely dread running — or any other form of exercise for that matter. But the fitness tracking was fairly accurate for the most part.

I was dying to try basketball since that’s the only workout I truly enjoy. Unfortunately the courts are still closed because in case you forgot, the Coronavirus is still very much out there taking lives and we are totally not winning that battle.

Casual fit

If it’s just your regular trip to the grocery store, then this watch will suit you just fine.

Perhaps, you can also wear this on regular work days if you’re required to report onsite. Point is, since it doesn’t look like a fitness band. You can probably get away with wearing it in most casual situations.

Remote camera

This one was particularly useful for when I was making this video.

The remote camera camera works for both photo and video. And for photos, it can be set to either take the snap right away or with a timer.

Very convenient if, like me, you’re forever alone, and need or want photos of yourself.

Water reminder

For you thirsty folks out there, it also has a water reminder option that you can turn on using the realme link app.

You can set a time period when you should be reminded, as well as the frequency of the reminder. I didn’t exactly follow this all the time since I sorely lack discipline, but it’s nice to have that constant reminder.

Is the realme Watch worth buying?

To properly set your expectations, you’ll need to think of the realme Watch as more of an enlarged fitness band versus an actual Smart Watch, since most of its features are geared towards health and fitness.

And if you look at it, it’s… okay. Not really something you’d want to show off.

Underneath the display there’s this subtle realme branding that could’ve been smaller or they could’ve totally done away with. That might have helped with the overall look a little bit.

The watch faces are also limited at launch, but realme emphasized that a wide variety of choices is coming soon.

For PhP 3990 (US$ 81), you get a fitness band that you wouldn’t mind wearing in non-workout scenarios. I think that’s the primary benefit that you get, for paying around twice the price of a regular fitness band.

In case the video isn’t working, watch it here.

SEE ALSO: realme X3 SuperZoom, realme Watch price in the Philippines

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