Reviews

OnePlus 8 Pro review: Best of the best

True blue flagship

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Before we dive into our review, let’s take a quick trip back in time to exactly a year ago. When the company launched the OnePlus 7 Pro — their first phone to get the pro branding — it marked a new direction for the company.

Known as the flagship killer, OnePlus sold phones with top of the line specs at a fraction of the cost of any other Android favorite. At US$ 669, the OnePlus 7 Pro was priced unlike anything that came before it. 

With that pricing strategy, it was clear that OnePlus wanted to compete head to head with the likes of Apple and Samsung. While a valiant effort — particularly when it came to its superb display — there was one big area where the OnePlus 7 Pro fell short: its camera.

Don’t get me wrong, the phone took good photos, just not great, and certainly not what you’d expect from a phone at that price point. That made it a good buy, but not an easy one to recommend. 

This year the new OnePlus 8 Pro is even more expensive; so the stakes are even higher and expectations greater. Is the OnePlus 8 Pro a phone I can recommend?

Premium looks

On the outside the OnePlus 8 Pro looks very similar to last year’s model — from its shape, to its curves, to the positioning of the rear camera system — except that the curves meld more into the frame so it doesn’t feel as sharp when you wrap your palms around it.

It’s a tiny bit taller, thinner, and narrower. Whatever millimeters they shaved off from its sides makes a huge difference. Last year’s phone felt big. This one is more manageable. It’s still bigger than the Samsung Galaxy S20+ and Huawei P40 Pro, which are, at least to me, the perfect size.

The button layout is the same. The physical mute switch which everyone loves is still there. Ports, antenna bands, speaker grilles are all unchanged.

The OnePlus 8 Pro also finally has official water and dust resistance rating: IP68.

The biggest design change is the removal of the pop-up selfie camera. Punch hole it is this year. 

It’s not intrusive, although I would much rather have it in the middle like on the S20. I also personally would pick a punch hole over a pop up camera any day. I’m just not a fan of moving parts. I also like how there’s a white ring around the punch hole so people know where to look when taking a selfie. 

The official name for this lovely finish is Ultramarine Blue — a color that’s exclusive to the Pro Series here in the US. It’s also available in Glacier Green, and for those who want something more classic there is Onyx Black. 

OnePlus 8 in Interstellar Glow

The non-Pro OnePlus 8 has its own exclusive color in the US as well: Interstellar Glow. This has a mirror finish that picks up colors from its surroundings. 

If you follow me on social media, you’d know of my affinity to the color blue so forgive me if I write a few more sentences about this lovely color.

The finish is matte satin that still glistens in the light. It isn’t much of a fingerprint magnet, and is a little bit slippery.

One con is that this finish scratches easily so you won’t want to put keys or coins in the same pocket. 

It’s more royal blue with brighter tones than last year’s Nebula Blue. As Blue is the Pantone Color of the year, it’s no surprise there have been a host of blue phones this year.  As a lover of all things blue, however, this has got to be my favorite out of everything I’ve seen this year. 

Best display on a smartphone

One thing you’ll find on any 2020 flagship worth its salt is a display with a fast refresh rate. While 120Hz displays have been found on gaming phones long before OnePlus put one on last year’s OnePlus 7 Pro, the company deserves credit for being the first to bring them to mainstream devices.

With the OnePlus 8 Pro, it gets even better. On paper it’s the best display we’ve seen on a smartphone.  

It’s got everything you could ask for in 2020, if display technology is important to you: An AMOLED panel that provides rich colors and great contrast, a level of color accuracy that Display Mate calls “visually indistinguishable from perfect,” 120Hz refresh rate at quad HD+ resolution. 

Other phones like the Galaxy S20+ that offer the same refresh rate do not support higher resolutions. Gamers will love the 240Hz touch sampling rate as well. Baked into the display is a fingerprint scanner that’s fast and accurate. 

What does this all mean? With Oxygen OS optimized to benefit from the 120Hz display, this phone — long known for feeling fast — feels faster than ever.  

Coupled with HDR boosting and Dolby Atmos dual stereo speakers, the OnePlus 8 Pro is one heck of a content consumption device — which is a godsend during quarantine. 

Really loud speakers

I quickly wanna talk about how loud these speakers actually are. I noticed it when I left a YouTube video playing in the background while I was in the shower. 

Usually the water will drown out whatever it is I’m listening to — whether it’s music or a podcast on Spotify, or even a YouTube video — but not on this phone.  

Best of everything

The best of everything narrative continues when you peruse its spec sheet. You name it, the phone’s got it: Snapdragon 865, X55 5G modem, Wi-Fi 6 support, 8 or 12GB of RAM with fast DDR5 memory, 128 or 256GB of storage with UFS 3.0.

While this might seem overkill, OnePlus tells us it’s all about building phones that will last several years. The goal is for the phone to still be powerful and fast enough 3-5 years down the road. 

“You don’t need to pay for a feature you’re not going to be able to use most of the time.”

I played plenty of games while reviewing the OnePlus 8 Pro — from Asphalt 9 to Marvel Contest of Champions — and the OnePlus 8 Pro took it like a champ.

Long battery life and fast charging

Battery life on the OnePlus 8 Pro is impressive. Consistently in the week that I used it as a daily driver the phone often lasted me a day and half of average use.

I was indoors the whole time, but I did my best to mimic outdoor use. Some days I used the phone exclusively on WiFi, some days entirely on LTE.

I averaged about 7 hours of screen on time watching plenty of YouTube videos and spending a lot of time on social media, as well as some online shopping and games. What else is one to do during quarantine? 

This marks the first time a OnePlus device gets wireless charging — and it was well worth the wait.  

Do you need wireless charging? Usually my answer is no; but with wireless charging speeds just as fast as wired charging, why even bother plugging it in?

In my tests a 30 minute wireless charge got the phone from 0 to 55 percent and it took a total of 70 minutes for a full charge. With the bundled cable and adapter, a 30 minute charge gives you 60 percent, and a full charge takes 68 minutes. 

The 30W Warp Charger is an optional purchase and it retails for US$ 69.95. 

Camera performance that matches its price tag

The OnePlus 8 Pro has 4 cameras: 3x telephoto, 48MP wide angle, 48MP ultra wide angle, and a dedicated photocrom filter.

I’m not convinced that last camera is necessary — OnePlus even recently disabled it in China via an over-the-air update.

The main 48MP wide camera uses the same Sony sensor that OPPO says was customized for the Find X2 ProThey produce very similar results, although the OnePlus 8 Pro is better at not blowing out highlights and better at white balance, more often than not. 

At night some results vary, but in most cases they still came out similar.

The question everyone is asking, myself included, is if it’s any better than the Samsung Galaxy S20+, Huawei P40 Pro or the Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro. The short answer is it’s really a matter of personal preference.

During the day, shots like this one come out so similar, differing mostly in saturation and warmth. 

SEE ALSO: Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro vs OnePlus 8 Pro vs Huawei P40 Pro vs OPPO Find X2 Pro.

Through blue hour and night fall I was thrilled to see the OnePlus 8 Pro hold its own.

Here are more camera samples.

Is it worth the upgrade?

The biggest differences between the OnePlus 7 Pro and One 8 Pro are an updated processor with 5G Support, a 120Hz display vs 90 Hz, fast wireless charging, IP68 rating, and an entirely different camera system. Of these improvements it’s the camera upgrade that means most to me. 

OnePlus is keeping the 7 Pro around for a reduced price of US$ 449. So if an excellent camera is not your priority save the US$ 450 bucks and get the OnePlus 7 Pro this year.    

If you already own one, my recommendation is to wait at least another year before you upgrade. I even recommend the 7 Pro over the OnePlus 8 — its camera is betterThe difference between Snapdragon 855 and 865 will be hardly noticeable unless you intend on pushing it real hard.

And no, you don’t need a 5G phone in 2020. If you see yourself upgrading in a year or two, skip for now. You don’t need to pay for a feature you’re not going to be able to use most of the time.

Is the OnePlus 8 Pro your GadgetMatch?

We recently reviewed the Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro and the OPPO Find X2 Pro, brands that were known to dabble in the flagship killer space previously. These phones retail for about US$ 1,000 in Europe, which is disappointing to say the least.

It’s something I feel really passionate about. I know at the end of the day that these are all business that need to make money, but these brands made their name on being able to offer the best for less. That’s why I became a OnePlus fan from the very beginning. 

As the OnePlus 8 launch drew closer, my biggest fear — which many of you shared — was that OnePlus would follow the same route. 

Fortunately, this is not the case, and it’s funny how perspective changes based on context. With all other flagship phones breaching the thousand-dollar bracket — with the LG V60 as en exemption — the OnePlus 8 Pro is looking very appealing at US$ 899, even if it’s US$ 230 more expensive than last year.

This pricing strategy is the smartest thing OnePlus could have done this year. The hardware on this phone is the cream the crop; performance is great, photos are excellent, and the experience? Possibly the best in the Android space.

The OnePlus 8 Pro not only gets the GadgetMatch Seal of Approval, it also earns a space in my pocket as my new Android daily driver.

Accessories

Huawei FreeBuds 4i review: “The” audio daily driver

An audio experience you simply can’t miss

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A great set of earphones becomes as integral to your everyday life as your preferred devices. Whether you like it wired or wireless, it’s simply something you can’t live without these days. From the early morning commutes to playing games with the squad, a daily driver like this comes in handy for all of those.

For the past few years, Huawei ventured into the wireless sound space much like their contemporaries. From the earphones and headsets to speakers, each iteration brings something new to the table. This is, what I felt, the Huawei FreeBuds 4i shapes itself up to be: something different, something more.

So, how much more does this new pair of TWS earphones bring to the table? For starters:

It comes in an oval-shaped charging case w/ an optional cover

Inside the box are a fast-charging USB-C cable and different earbud tip sizes

You have three colorways to choose from: Ceramic White, Carbon Black, or Red

Breaking down the full audio experience

As I was writing this, I went ahead and looked back at everything I said about the Huawei FreeBuds 4i the very instance I got my hands on it. I briefly touched on the audio experience, and even went out of my way to call it a great first impression — all things considered. After some more time using these wireless earphones, I have some more things to call out.

Enjoying the music every tone of the way

From my first impressions, I could already tell that these earphones were designed for you to listen to your music better. This isn’t just hearing the songs without any noise in the background, but rather for you to truly appreciate the songs you’re listening to. See, the Huawei FreeBuds 4i comes with two major audio enhancements: a dynamic 10mm audio drive and Active Noise Cancellation.

With the dynamic audio driver, I’m assuming that the music you’re listening to has some more explicit bass to it. Well, I wasn’t wrong but it was actually more than that the longer I listened to my playlist. When I was listening to most of the “pop” songs in my playlist, I could hear some level of depth to the tones and vocals. It’s those little intricacies that you only get to hear from a great set of headphones, to be honest.

However, the biggest selling point here is that sweet Active Noise Cancellation technology inside. Essentially, when it’s on, only your songs exist in your ears and not much else. It does a fantastic job blocking all background noise out, so you can immerse in your songs a bit longer. Honestly, it was a joy simply listening to all my songs with ANC on — especially early in the morning.

No delays with VODs, streams, and movies all the way through

In all honesty, this was the use case I was most concerned for because of my experience with my FreeBuds Lite. For some reason, I experienced some delay in my audio when I’m watching videos whether on YouTube or Netflix. For the longest time, it wasn’t a huge bother to me until I tried out the FreeBuds 4i and knew what I was missing.

Huawei included these low latency algorithms into the audio drivers that essentially remove lag between audio and video. While I was watching music videos and a KDrama on the side, it felt smooth to just see and hear the A/V sync like that. At least now, I wouldn’t laugh so hard when the audio is lagging behind.

Playing games and engaging in team comms

Where the ANC also shines in comes from, quite possibly, my 2nd most regular use case: gaming. In particular, I decided to play team-based games like League of Legends: Wild Rift and Call of Duty Mobile with full team comms. I’ve already touched on the ANC’s capabilities for rich, deep sounds, and it’s quite evident with games as well.

However, I’d like to touch on how the ANC helped out with team comms since I was sort of playing in a noisy environment. Essentially, apart from the ANC blocking out noise you hear, it also blocks out additional noise picked up by the microphone. In theory, it should project your voice in a clearer way.

I hopped on a Discord call on my phone, and my friends could tell the difference if I switched to wired earphones. They mentioned how they could hear the strong wind and my electric fan before switching to the FreeBuds 4i mid-game. Although, there were times they couldn’t hear me through my mic when I switched, but it didn’t happen regularly.

Define “daily driver?” for me please

Apart from the Active Noise Cancellation technologies, the FreeBuds 4i boasts 10 hours of continuous audio playback. Whether it’s a Spotify playlist or random YouTube videos, that’s quite a lot of nonstop audio banging in your ear. Actually, this is more of a battery life situation more than anything but it certainly stacks up.

What I love about the longevity of this accessory is that it still lasts long even if you charge for a few minutes. Within ten minutes of charging, I managed to use the earphones for a good 3-4 hours before running out of juice. That’s honestly quite long in itself, especially with the amount of songs and videos you can squeeze in at 50% volume.

With all the time I spent charging the buds, I managed to stretch my usage to 24 hours (yes, even in my sleep). This alone already made me believe that it fits the description of what a daily driver is all about. Plus, it charges quite fast while in its oval case, and its oval case also fully charges fast too (about an hour and a half).

Why the Huawei AI Life is a must-have

Like I mentioned before, I’m not a big fan of downloading additional software to make certain hardware work well. I mean, it just takes up more space on my phone that I would have needed for more photos and games. However, for the FreeBuds 4i, I installed the Huawei AI Life app to further maximize my use for it — and thank God I did.

See, if you’re not that big of a fan of using the gestures on the earphones, the AI Life app is where you need to go. In essence, it allows you to switch the ANC on/off, and you can even customize the touch gestures. Also, it even shows you the battery percentage of the buds and charging case. Honestly, I felt this added a bit more personalization to the FreeBuds 4i, something I was dying to experience.

Initially, I thought that you couldn’t change the gestures outright. I preferred having a gesture to play/pause songs and skip some of them — something the AI Life app covers. I genuinely think this is an app you should consider downloading if you plan to pick these earphones up.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

At PhP 3,599, the Huawei FreeBuds 4i provides an audio experience that you simply cannot turn a blind eye to. Apart from the simple yet fashionable aesthetic, it comes with a pair of TWS earphones that bring deeper sound quality for any use case. With its long battery life and quick charge capabilities, it’s something worth using every single chance you get.

While there were some hiccups along the way, it doesn’t ruin the audio experience entirely. With integrations in the AI Life app, you can easily find ways around these hiccups to help ease these off. Also, the level of control it gives you makes the whole experience more personal.

It’s not something different in every sense of the word, but the Huawei FreeBuds 4i brings something more to the table. It’s simply not just great, but it poses itself as one of the best options for wireless earphones out there.

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Health

Huawei Band 6: Best of both worlds for the right price

Big splash in the smart band segment

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Huawei Band 6

The wearable market has been rapidly growing and Huawei has remained competitive by releasing a large suite of devices. However, it can be argued that the Chinese company hasn’t made its mark just yet in the smart band market.

Enter the Huawei Band 6, the company’s latest attempt at disrupting the game. With a display that’s eye-catching and a price that can only be described as tempting, can the Band 6 finally be Huawei’s big splash in the smart band segment? Can this hybrid serve as the casual athlete’s GadgetMatch?

Sized like a watch, feels like a band

On my first impressions of the Band 6, I immediately mentioned its screen as one of its highlights. Amazing software can be derailed by hardware that’s weak and Huawei didn’t fail on this end. Its bigger screen is capable of making a big difference.

The thing with most smart bands is they’re valuable not as a one-stop hub for information, but as a tracker. More often than not, you go to your phone to check your progress on certain exercises or sleep patterns.

Huawei Band 6

That’s not the case with Huawei’s newest wearable. Viewing time and other important information is a delight, even when faced directly under sunlight. Screen size is incredibly important in bridging that gap between smart band and smart watch. The Band 6 does that extremely well.

Even better is how despite its size, it doesn’t feel heavy when worn. It’s named Huawei Band 6 after all, not Huawei Watch. It’s light, but sturdy. Wearing it while sleeping was far from a burden.

It’s versatile and stylish. Very few products can offer that from this price point and from the smart band segment.

Battery life is respectable

While the Band 6 didn’t live up to the two-week battery life Huawei boasted, it’s no slouch. The battery went from 100 to 10 percent in a matter of a week, which isn’t bad considering it’s housing a large screen, automatic tracking was turned on for heart rate and stress, and workout modes were used five times a week. Using the Band’s full suite of features requires power, and all things considered, its battery holds up well.

Huawei Band 6

Charging was also a breeze thanks to its straightforward setup. It only took the band one hour and 30 minutes to top up to 100 percent, which was quite respectable.

Big screen, big-time features for a band

The problem with most smart bands is how it skimps on features so it’s able to maintain a cheaper price point. Improving hardware can be expensive and it wouldn’t have been surprising if Huawei cut down certain features to keep the Band 6 affordable.

In that case, it depends on which wearable segment you’re comparing. Versus other smartwatches, it cuts down on features. You can’t play music straight from the watch and you can’t reply to texts despite its larger screen size.

But smartwatches are expensive for that exact reason. The Band 6 is best compared to smart bands and against its competition; it shines. It has all the features you’d expect out of a modern smart band.

Huawei Band 6

Casual athletes will be glad to find that the Band 6 houses 96 workout modes such as Strength, HIIT, Jump Rope, and Indoor Run. Having a suite of workouts that wide is extremely helpful if tracking your exercises is important to you.

Assistance over accuracy

SPO2 monitoring is also an awesome feature to have especially given the current pandemic. However, accuracy isn’t this Band’s strongest suit, and it shows with the numbers that come up during workouts and with your oxygen levels. In fact, there was one instance during a HIIT session that the heart rate the Band was showing was lower than what I was experiencing. That’s something to consider when using the device as a measuring tool.

With that being said, it’s important to note that the Huawei Band 6 is best used for guidance and assistance rather than accuracy. Nothing beats medical-grade tools such as a pulse oximeter or coaching from a trainer. However, its wide suite of features is a great jumping point for someone who wants to live a healthier and active lifestyle. Considering that’s the value Huawei wants to promote with this new device, that’s a big win for them.

Huawei Health App provides the basics and some insight

The same statement above applies to the Huawei Health App as well. The app is best used for guidance and not accuracy.

The Health App is straightforward but filled with the right amount of information. Insight regarding weight tracking, exercises, and stress is limited, but useful, nonetheless.

There is one thing the Huawei Health App is very good at: sleep tracking. While insight from its tracking can feel repetitive at times, there’s a lot of substance to the data you’ll get. Aside from the basic Deep sleep-light sleep-REM sleep, the Health App also tracks Deep sleep continuity, breathing quality, and how many times you wake up during your cycle.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

Pricing it at PhP 2,599 may be considered as a risk given the cheaper price points of other smart bands. But the price increase is warranted. The Huawei Band 6 is undoubtedly an upgrade from cheaper smart bands, and it makes the right compromises, so the price doesn’t increase dramatically.

Huawei Band 6

The Band 6 can serve as the bridge between the smart band and smartwatch segments. It’s sized and featured like a smartwatch, while being priced like a smart band. That’s a big win for Huawei and for the consumer.

Buy now: Lazada | Shopee

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Gaming

Lenovo Legion 5 Pro review: A professional’s gaming laptop

Less flash and color, but certainly brings the thunder

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Legion 5 Pro

It’s very rare that a gaming device is given some level of “professional” treatment in its design. As I’ve observed, a lot of gaming devices tend to have something flashy about it from the design itself. Whether it’s an RGB logo or a matrix of LEDs, these often either bring out more features, or simply provide creative options. However, it’s pretty rare to find a gaming laptop that doesn’t get in your face about it.

When such devices exist, it’s often quite bland even on the hardware side. Apart from simple yet subtle designs, some devices don’t have quite the power and performance as a flashy, RGB-laden gaming machine. However, with Lenovo’s latest offering, they’re trying to break that notion that “professional” can be powerful.

I got the chance to take a look at the Lenovo Legion 5 Pro, a gaming device that promises to bring gaming power in a non-flashy design. With the “Pro” title attached, you would think it’s an upgraded version of the Legion 5 from a few months back. However, this laptop makes its case to be a subtle version, but a more powerful one to boot.

To start, here’s what the Lenovo Legion 5 Pro offers:

It has a 165Hz refresh rate display, with a 16:10 aspect ratio

The big LED Legion logo is placed in the middle of the lid

Most of the media, connectivity, and the charging ports are placed at the back

It comes in a subtle, Space Gray-esque color

Design without flash, in a good way

Out of the box, I was genuinely surprised that the unit came in a Space Gray-like colorway with no indication of any RGB in it. I thought that, as a gaming laptop, it’s a “standard” to have some amount of RGB within the device. Apparently, for the whole build, I can’t find a single trace of RGB on it. However, there are units with an RGB keyboard, so keep that in mind.

Also, they’ve decided to plaster the LED Legion logo as the centerpiece of the lid cover. In previous Legion devices, it’s usually just sitting within the Legion letters to the side. Honestly, I’m a big fan of them doing this considering that it’s the only design piece on the lid with any lights on before.

It’s a subtle way of introducing a brand new gaming laptop. From all angles, it doesn’t show anything remotely flashy, giving it a “Pro” feel and look. It’s so subtle, it might even pass as a thick ultrabook that most young professionals use for their own daily grind. Underneath it, however, is an entirely different story.

Competitive gaming power fitting for the best

Inside this subtle machine are gaming-ready hardware oozing with power for the competitive gamer. This includes an AMD Ryzen 7 5800H and an NVIDIA RTX 3070, which on paper brings the thunder when it comes to competitive gaming. Also, with an AMD chip powering the system, you could expect some power-efficient performance, as well.

Title Avg. FPS (highest possible settings, no DLSS)
Fortnite Battle Royale 87-93 FPS
Cyberpunk 2077 57-62 FPS
Shadow of the Tomb Raider 79 FPS
VALORANT 194-201 FPS
Counter Strike: Global Offensive 240-250 FPS
Rocket League 258-266 FPS
Madden NFL 21 117-120 FPS
Apex Legends 75-79 FPS
Battlefield V 88-93 FPS

For this part, let’s get the obvious out of the way: this device provides stellar gaming performance. With all the games I ran through it, it was absolutely no sweat at all while playing at their highest settings. However, I didn’t particularly think it was perfect enough to maintain the same quality of gameplay all throughout.

Ray-tracing on an RTX 3070 was just… okay

Title Avg. FPS (w/ RTX DLSS + ray-tracing on)
Fortnite Battle Royale 37-43 FPS
Cyberpunk 2077 42-44 FPS
Shadow of the Tomb Raider 64 FPS

See, the moment I cranked up the ray-tracing in supported games, it made these games barely playable. Now, Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Battlefield V were the exceptions, but in Battlefield’s case, the setting could not be toggled at all. I don’t particularly know why that happened, but this was one of the first games to introduce ray-tracing.

Fortnite and Cyberpunk 2077 hovered around the 40 FPS area, when cranked to a high ray-tracing setting. Even though I could see the reflections and the lighting effects in their full glory, it tanked my gameplay for Fortnite to an extent. In Cyberpunk’s case, it wasn’t a huge bother since I could take everything in quite nicely.

Potential for the creator in you

Apart from the obvious gaming capabilities, you can do so much more with this device thanks to its hardware. Depending on the content you wish to create, the Legion 5 Pro handles those tasks quite well. Of course, most of the credit will go to the RTX 3070 inside the machine doing all the graphical work in the process.

Creating photo and video content

In terms of photo and video editing, my experience was seamless, to say the least. A huge factor was the fact that the display of the device comes in a 16:10 aspect ratio. In essence, there’s a lot of workspace real estate to maximize your application windows on. Plus, it’s an anti-glare display with a 100 percent sRGB color gamut for more accurate colors while editing.

When it came to rendering videos, the RTX 3070 proved its worth in that department. Even for an 8GB VRAM GPU, it holds up when you run heavy-duty renders on it. In rendering my attempts of getting good at VALORANT caught on video, it took about 5-6 minutes on average to render 8-9 minutes with color effects and transitions. Meanwhile, renders on Blender took about 15-16 minutes on average, right around where i expected it to be.

Legion 5 Pro

Streaming and video conferencing

If you plan to pick up a laptop for streaming purposes, this is one sound recommendation in my book. Obviously, you will be running both your games and either OBS or Streamlabs in the background. Honestly, I didn’t feel any sort of hiccups when managing the workload, and I could still pop off in some games.

Although, there is just one slight thing I don’t recommend you doing: using the webcam to stream. See, it’s a 720p camera that, upon initial previews, isn’t the best in terms of image quality. When taking pictures and videos with it, the content produced lacks a good amount of detail that doesn’t complement the high quality gameplay.

If you want to go on video calls with your buddies, it gets a pass from me. Even with the dip in quality, it still shows your face in a way that’s not overly grainy. If you don’t plan to use the camera, there’s a physical switch at the right side to turn it off. It’s a nifty touch to have it on the side instead of being above the lens.

Lasts for as long as you’d expect

Factoring in all of the workload I subjected it to, the Legion 5 Pro lasted as long as I expected it to. On average, I got about 6-7 hours using it for productivity, video editing, and light gaming at 60 FPS. Even with an AMD chip inside, I could only squeeze out that much as compared to other gaming laptops with AMD chips inside.

Solely using this device to game at a high frame rate limited the battery life to just two hours. I tried limiting the frame rate to 60FPS while on battery, and I only got an additional 40 minutes on average. It’s not that surprising considering the GPU this device comes with, so make sure the charger is just nearby when you’re knee-deep into a game.

Speaking of that charger, it gives the device roughly two hours before being fully charged. The Legion 5 Pro brought a 300W charging brick to its full package, which is literally massive. When I turned on Rapid Charge on Vantage, it cut the full charge time by 20-25 minutes, so it brings you back in the game.

Stayed a little cooler for the most part

For such a subtle, professional-looking device, it actually heats up quite significantly. Now, Lenovo designed its Coldfront 3.0 to focus on improving heat management for the power-hungry components. It doesn’t mean the device won’t heat up under heavy workload, but it’s ideally supposed to alleviate some of that heat better.

My response to that is, well, it somewhat did that but with some things to call out. First off, it heated up when I was playing for longer hours, but not to an uncomfortable state. Usually, the keyboard is the first component hit by any severe warmth due to heavy workload. I was genuinely surprised that, at least on that aspect, they managed to fix that problem.

Legion 5 Pro

Second, when under heavy workload and hot air pumping out of the vents, you’re better off using a table. As much as I like to emphasize that this is a laptop, it grew a little too warm for my liking when I placed it on my lap. If it’s any consolation, I tried playing games with the laptop on my lap so that’s an “mb” on my end.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

Starting at PhP 84,995, the Lenovo Legion 5 Pro gives you a well-rounded gaming machine to work with. It comes with the gaming-ready hardware that will surely help bring out the best in you, in a form factor that isn’t flashy. Plus, it offers some content-creating capabilities that will give you more reasons to continue using the device for the whole day.

Legion 5 Pro

With a massive charger to boot, it gets you right back into your work or gameplay when you take a break. Also, the device addressed some of the cooling issues from the past that makes the experience a little bit better. It’s not a huge step-up, but it’s one I’m honestly happy they took.

Overall, the Lenovo Legion 5 Pro shows you that you don’t really need all that RGB in a hardcore gaming machine. Sometimes, it’s better to just be subtle and let the hardware shine through. If you plan to take this device to the workplace, don’t make it obvious that you’re getting them one-taps.

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