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

Nokia 3.2 Hands-On: Basic but classy

Nothing fancy but really speedy

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Nokia has been stepping up its lineup of budget smartphones. Early in 2019, the brand launched a plethora of budget smartphones that are under the Android One program. One of the budget-friendly smartphones introduced was Nokia 3.2. Eager to have that Nokia experience, I took the phone out for a spin.

It’s cheap… but classy

I had high hopes when I first got the Nokia 3.2 in its box. Seeing it earlier in MWC 2019 made me appreciate its look and vibe. Compared to other budget smartphones, it’s classier and sexier. However, the phone feels a little bit downgraded when compared to its predecessor.


Nokia the 3.1 with an aluminum frame, a plastic back, and corning gorilla glass while the 3.2 used only a polycarbonate unibody design. Its plastic back is smudgy and slippery, but the phone has a tighter grip, thanks to its subtle curved edges towards the front.

Even its buttons are subtly protruding on its sides. On the left is a dedicated Google Assistant button, and on the right are its power buttons and volume keys.

Found on its back are the 13-megapixel main camera, LED Flash, and fingerprint scanner. On the other hand, its top side features a headphone jack, while the micro USB port and speaker grilles are found on the bottom.

If the notch is troubling you, try hiding it with a wallpaper similar to what I did in the image above.

It also features a 6.2 inches LCD panel on its front display, with a tall 19:9 ratio. It might be disrupting, but the Nokia 3.2 still sports a small notch, housing its 5-megapixel selfie camera capable of AI face unlock. Even though it might be bigger and taller this time, the Nokia 3.2 is definitely a joy to hold.

Stock Android on a budget

The saving grace for Nokia’s disappointing build (at least for me) is its clean version of Android One. That means there’s no bloatware to take up your limited memory and storage.

Additionally, the Nokia 3.2 comes with Android 9 Pie out of the box. This makes it feel faster than its competitors in the budget segment despite having a 3GB RAM and 32GB of internal storage. Fortunately, it provides a microSD card slot up to up to 400GB of storage.

An entry-level performance

Powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 429 processor, the Nokia 3.2 performs better compared to its predecessor which carried a MediaTek chipset. In addition, its GPU runs on Adreno 504.

This made the Nokia 3.2 handle graphic-intensive games like Mobile Legends even if it was set on the highest graphics setting possible. There were no delay and lag spikes, ensuring smooth gameplay all throughout.

Decent cameras for your everyday needs

Featuring a 13-megapixel main camera with an f/2.2 aperture, and a 5-megapixel selfie camera with an f/2.0 aperture, the Nokia 3.2 takes decent photos. Depending on the lighting, both of its cameras can either take a vibrant, lively reproduced color during daylight or a slightly desaturated photo on indoor and low-light conditions.

Of course, we can’t really expect budget smartphones to have flagship-like cameras. It won’t have quick auto-focus or any fancy features like blurring your background, but it’s the compromise we’re getting when we follow our tight budget. At the very least, make use of natural light and other camera tricks to improve your photos.

Lasts longer than your partner

If there’s one thing I enjoyed with this smartphone, it’s the humongous battery. Packing a 4000mAh battery, the Nokia 3.2 can definitely last a day on a single charge. It can handle your multimedia use and everyday tasks throughout the day, yet it will still have enough juice left to carry you through the night.

However, for a phone carrying a huge battery, it charges slowly at 10W. This phone might just be good for those who love to charge their phones overnight.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

The Nokia 3.2 is a contender in the budget segment. It might have a disappointing build and design, but the phone packs with power, performance, and speed, thanks to Google’s Android One program.

With a starting price of PhP 7,990 (US$ 154) for the 3GB/32GB model, Nokia loyalists will find this a real treat. For people looking for a secondary phone, or a primary phone with no frills and just functions to handle your everyday needs, the Nokia 3.2 could be your GadgetMatch.

However, there are still far better options in the budget category, like the Redmi Note 7 and Realme 3. If Nokia wants to come back in its former glory and capture people looking for an affordable powerhouse, they need to join the battle and beat Realme and Redmi in their game, just like Samsung bending over to compete in the tough budget battlefield.

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Hands-On

Samsung Galaxy Fold Hands-on: The Redo!

Refined and ready for release

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This is our Samsung Galaxy Fold hands-on! We revisit Samsung’s foldable phone as it relaunches and check out what’s new!

More on the Samsung Galaxy Fold: Global Availability | How Samsung Fixed it | A more affordable Galaxy Fold?


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Two Screens, One Phone: LG G8X Hands-on

LG is making dual screens their thing

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This is our LG G8X ThinQ Dual Screen Hands-on.

LG’s answer to foldable phones? A phone with two screens! Well sort of. The LG G8X ThinQ comes with a Dual Screen case and it’s a pretty fantastic idea. Two screens on one phone is like smartphone multitasking on steroids!


WATCH ALSO: LG V50 ThinQ Dual Screen Unboxing and Hands-on

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