Hands-On

OnePlus 6T hands-on: Refinements all around

Faster and better

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The self-proclaimed flagship killer is back — faster and better than ever, with fancy new tech and a reimagined notch.

TechTober is almost over and we have one more phone to tell you about: the OnePlus 6T.

It comes just five months after the launch of the OnePlus 6, so it’s no surprise that this is just an incremental update — a refinement to an already-impressive smartphone.

Side-by-side, you’ll find both phones look very similar. The frame and form factor are almost the same, albeit a bit thicker. It has the same curved back and all-glass finish.

Oh, and at least for now, the phone will only be available in black, either matte or glossy.

If you look closely you’ll find its backside fingerprint sensor is missing; that’s been replaced with an under-display fingerprint scanner, which is one of the biggest cosmetic differences on this phone.

OnePlus is calling it Screen Unlock and promises unlock speeds of 0.34 seconds. In our limited time with the device, Screen Unlock worked consistently. It felt quick and snappy.

Scroll up to the upper half of the screen, and you’ll find the other noticeable upgrade. Gone is the tub-shaped notch in favor of a much smaller one that curves around the selfie camera.

With the cutout reduced, you get even more screen space — an 86 percent screen-to-body ratio to be exact. And if the notch isn’t your thing, you also have the option to turn it off.

The rest of the improvements to the OnePlus 6T have more to do with hardware and software, like how its 6.41-inch AMOLED 1080p display is brighter and more color accurate.

You also get a nifty feature called reading mode which turns the display to black and white like you were reading off an e-reader but in high-res.

The camera of course has been improved, too. While hardware remains the same — a 16-megapixel rear camera with an f/1.7 aperture and optical image stabilization, 20-megapixel secondary camera for more accurate portrait blur, and 16-megapixel front camera — software algorithms have been tweaked to improve photo quality and performance.

Improvements have specifically been made in the area of night shots, portraits, and selfies. A new feature called Nightscape promises better low-light photos with less noise, while Studio Lighting gives your selfies a touch of professional lighting.

Take a look at some photos we took around New York:

Since its inception, OnePlus has always been known for offering flagship specs at a more affordable price point, and a close-to-pure Android experience that’s fast and snappy. The same holds true with the OnePlus 6T.

This time around, they sought to improve that experience further. The phone still runs on Qualcomm’s top-of-the-line Snapdragon 845 processor with either 6GB or 8GB of RAM.

In addition, it now has double the amount of storage as the standard configuration at 128GB and a bigger 3700mAh battery that you can top up quickly with its bundled Fast Charger. Notice it’s no longer called Dash Charging, but it’s the same tech.

In our initial tests, we were getting seven to eight hours of screen-on time and were quite impressed. But that’s just on the hardware front.

A software improvement called Smart Boost supposedly knows which apps you use the most and stores that app’s data on the phone’s RAM so these apps load faster. Currently, the technology works with games, but support for more apps is coming in future updates.

The OnePlus 6T runs on the latest version of Android, 9.0 Pie with the newest OxygenOS skin on top. For more screen real estate, you can turn off the on-screen buttons and use gestures to navigate around the phone.

Swipe up to go home, swipe up and hold for multitasking, and swipe down for the quick settings panel. You can also use three fingers to swipe down to take a screenshot. And when the display is on, you can double-tap to lock the phone.

OnePlus is promising additional features soon, like activating Google Assistant with a long press of the power button, which I think is a novel way to give users that feature without having to build in a dedicated hardware button. Speaking of extra buttons and such, the phone still has our favorite alert slider which lets you mute the phone with a quick tug.

So, is the OnePlus 6T your GadgetMatch?

You’ll find out real soon. We’re working on both our unboxing and review videos, which will be coming your way real soon.

Hands-On

Snapdragon 865 Hands-on: Top 5 Features

5G for all, 200MP, 8K, and more.

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As we lean towards the second decade of the millennium, Qualcomm is ready to ship out their next flagship chipset.

Snapdragon has been running most devices people use today. Snapdragon 865 (together with the midrange 765) are two of Qualcomm’s chipset offerings for 2020. They offer more than incremental performance boosts.

Watch more to know the top 5 promising features of the new chipset.

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Hands-On

Realme X2 Pro Master Edition hands-on: Tough looks, solid performance

It’s made of a soft-frosted glass but feels like cement

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The Realme X2 Pro has gotten fans really excited. Touted as the new flagship killer, it has quad cameras, Snapdragon 855+, and other flagship-level features at an affordable price tag.

While the regular Realme X2 Pro is already pretty awesome, what we got here is even more intense. We have the Reame X2 Pro Master Edition to check out, the Concrete edition to be exact.

Tough looks

The Master Edition of the Realme X2 Pro also comes in a Red Brick design. I’m not too big a fan of that look, so I got the Concrete version instead.

The Realme X2 Pro Master Edition is designed by famous Japanese designer Naoto Fukasawa. It comes with a signature of the designer on the back panel.

The texture is pretty similar to the Sandstone feel of the older OnePlus devices — just less rough and more matte.

Realme says this is a soft-frosted glass although it’s hard to tell to be honest. The finish looks and feels like concrete cement even if it’s soft-to-touch.

Solid performance

Apart from the differences in design, it’s pretty much the same exact Realme X2 Pro inside. It packs 12GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage.

The Realme X2 Pro has a 6.5-inch Full HD+ AMOLED display with a waterdrop notch, and a high 90Hz refresh rate. It boasts a 91.7 percent screen-to-body ratio and an in-display fingerprint scanner that works really fast.

Making it an even better media device is a pair of stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos, and a 3.5mm headphone jack.

There’s also a vapor chamber liquid cooling, a superconducting carbon fiber multi-layer scheme, multi-layer graphite sheet and other heat-dissipating materials so the phone can definitely game without heating issues.

This is all backed up by a massive 4000 mAh battery with 50W SuperVOOC Flash Charging technology. It can fully charge the phone from zero, in just about 35 minutes.

This super fast charging is definitely something anyone would appreciate. Imagine waking up in the morning and charging your phone while you’re in the shower. It’ll be ready and full just before you head out.

Capable cameras

The Realme X2 Pro has a quad-camera setup, with the Samsung GW1 64-MP sensor with a fast f/1.8 aperture as the main camera. There’s also a 13MP telephoto lens with support for up to 20x hybrid zoom, an 8MP ultra-wide with a 115-degree field-of-view, as well as a 2-megapixel depth sensor to help with portrait shots. Up front is a 16MP selfie camera.

In China the Realme X2 Pro is priced at CNY 3299 (US$ 469). In India, it will be going on sale around Christmas time for INR 34,999 (US$ 490).

What do you think about this version? Should phone companies make more special edition phones in a similar design? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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Features

5 reasons to invest in a gaming laptop even if you don’t play

They can do more than just game

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If you’re a professional in need of a powerful laptop, you might find it difficult to find something that meets all of your needs and preferences. While you’d rather have something that’s sleek, sometimes what you need are on a gaming laptop that’s bulky and just screams gaming too much.

Fortunately, brands like ASUS and Lenovo have started redesigning gaming laptops with portability in mind. This attempt makes consumers consider gaming laptops once again.

While it’s easy to look for a reason to buy a gaming laptop if you’re a gamer, there are still a few good reasons to invest in a gaming laptop even if you don’t play games.

Work anywhere you want

Brands are redesigning gaming laptops by making them slimmer and more compact. Gaming laptops have started looking like real laptops and not a clunky machine that will be tough to carry around for most people. They’ve trimmed the weight and now a lot of them fit in most backpacks with a dedicated 15-inch laptop sleeve. Think of it as bringing a laptop with the power of a mobile PC wherever you go.

Stay ahead of the game (no pun intended)

A lot of laptops launched this year carry the latest processors and graphics card meant for the future. For instance, the Lenovo Legion Y540 has a 9th-gen Intel i7 processor, an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti graphics card, 8GB RAM and 1TB SSD storage.

With that much power, that’s more than enough for your work and daily usage. Imagine running multiple tabs without any hiccups, or even when using power-hungry apps like Netflix, Spotify, and Google Chrome simultaneously.

Show-off a personality

Most gaming laptops nowadays are designed stylishly to reflect different personalities. The ASUS’ ROG line roars like thunder, screaming power, and strength. It’s also unafraid of coming out too loud and daring.

On the other hand, Lenovo’s Legion laptops remain true to their motto of being “stylish on the outside, savage on the inside.” A lot of their laptops look discreet and classy, but are powerful on their own right and oftentimes, they let their work  — and performance — do the talking.

Since I have a hint of narcissism and vanity, I enjoy showing-off from time to time. However, I resonate most with the Legion lineup since I prefer astounding the world with the quality of my output.

Choose when to be untethered

A lot of people prefer being mobile so they can work remotely. Gaming laptops may be humongous but they’re portable and have multiple ports for you to stay connected. It’s difficult to pass on this kind of convenience. Additionally, gaming laptops aren’t limited to USB-C ports, unlike most business laptops. Furthermore, you don’t have to be tied down with cables compared to when you opt for a desktop PC.

Get the extra features to make you more productive

While your needs for a work laptop sometimes are limited to the basics, switching to a gaming laptop lets you enjoy extra features. Case in point: near-borderless display, better visuals, a 144 Hz refresh rate allowing a smooth and seamless, immersive sound experience, antiglare screen, and unique cooling system.

With all these nitty-gritty details, gaming laptops can make your workflow easier since these machines do most of the work for you. It’s just a matter of you taking advantage of all that power.

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