Reviews

OPPO A57 review: Gateway phone?

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With Vivo and Meizu stocking up on budget-friendly offerings while ASUS remains quiet until the launch of its much-anticipated next-generation ZenFone series, it’s up to OPPO to step up its entry-level game.

The OPPO F1s and its upgraded version have been available for sometime now, and even though the F3 released just recently, the successor isn’t exactly kind to wallets.

That’s why we have the A series — the A57, to be precise. Valued at INR 14,990 in India and PhP 11,990 in the Philippines for the 32GB storage variant, this is positioned as the affordable choice without much compromise.

I’ll show you why:

A 5.2-inch HD screen covers the front

Not too sharp, but the brightness is adequate

There’s a fingerprint scanner on the capacitive home button

Sadly, the recent apps and back buttons don’t have backlighting

The back is made of hard plastic

You’d think it’s metal at first, though

An audio port, micro-USB port, and speaker cover the bottom

I just wish the newer USB-C standard was used here

Best part: It has a triple-card slot!

You can have two nano-SIM cards and a microSD at the same time

But how well does it perform?

While not exactly a powerhouse, the A57’s Snapdragon 435 processor is good enough for everyday tasks like going through your Gmail, browsing several tabs on Chrome, and operating the pre-installed camera app.

It’s only when I drop in heavy games like NBA 2K17 and Asphalt Xtreme when there’s slowdown. You’d think the 3GB of memory would be sufficient, but then I realized the graphics chip of the Snapdragon chipset isn’t much of a graphics pusher in the first place.

You also have to remember that OPPO’s customary ColorOS is around once again, layered on top of Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Yes, that’s Google’s now two-year-old operating system. Because of that, you don’t get the latest memory optimization and app switching tricks from the newer Android versions.

Does it take nice photos?

Despite being marketed as the “Unstoppable Selfie,” the A57 doesn’t have any special front-camera features, like a front-firing LED flash or additional lens for wider photos. Still, the 16-megapixel selfies I got out of the A57 were impressive in most situations and angles.

The products of the 13-megapixel rear camera are decent, but not as impressive as the front’s. Although the images are clear and crisp, colors don’t pop even when HDR is turned on. But to its credit, locking on to subjects is quick and rarely failed me.

Can it last more than a day?

As mentioned earlier, a prominent disadvantage of the A57 is its use of an outdated version of Android. Not only does it make the phone more vulnerable to security breaches, but it can also drain the battery faster than on newer Android flavors because of the lack of battery-saving features.

And yet, the A57 managed to cast away my doubts. As long as I don’t play too many games and taper my mobile data usage, I can squeeze out more than a day of use with over four hours of screen-on time on a single charge. I just wish it had fast charging for its 2900mAh; I’ve gotten spoiled by the speedy charges of higher-end phones already.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

You wouldn’t consider the OPPO A57 an easy buy when you first see its price, considering how there are more affordable options out there with possibly better specifications. But what the A57 focuses on is bringing together an all-around package without skimping on features.

Another point of consideration is the increasing prices for OPPO’s upper-tier phones. The F3 costs significantly more than the F1s, and the R11 also raised its value in accordance with its more premium image.

So even though the A57 doesn’t fall below the 10,000 line for both India and the Philippines, every other OPPO handset is well above the 15,000 border. Those numbers improve the A57’s main selling point, which is maintaining that sweet spot for budget-conscious consumers.

SEE ALSO: OPPO R11 Review

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

 

Accessories

Lenovo ThinkVision M14T: Elevate productivity on-the-go

Ultra portable and sexy looking device

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ThinkVision M14T

Many of us have gotten used to the convenience of multitasking on our computing devices. It’s just one of those things that helps make our daily grind much more manageable and efficient. With today’s devices becoming more and more powerful, simultaneously running apps on your phones and a number of browser tabs and windows have become second nature to us. 

With desktop computers having ultra wide monitors and multiple desktop displays, nowadays you can watch YouTube videos, browse social sites, and even do work on side by side opened windows.

Lenovo has brought that same experience to our portable devices with the Lenovo ThinkVision M14T Portable Monitor

Ultimate portability 

The ThinkVision M14T is a 14-inch 1920x1080p resolution, touch screen, IPS display monitor. With much focus on portability, the ThinkVision M14T is just 4.6mm thin and weighs only 698g.

The moment I saw the actual device, my initial impression was just wow. Its sleek and ultra slim form factor with that glossy 14-inch display wrapped with slim bezels just looked impressive. However, that impression faded away quickly.

As I picked up the unit from the box, handling it felt fragile. It is so slim and light that I was afraid to place it anywhere with fear that I might accidentally break it. To address that, a soft pouch does come with the package for its protection. Though, without a dedicated hard case, I wonder if it may actually survive being stored in my bag along with other things.

As easy as Plug and Play

Searching the contents of the box, I was thinking if Lenovo just forgot to pack the power brick in the box because it just didn’t come with one. No, it wasn’t a mistake. The ThinkVision M14T monitor requires only a single USB-C cable to get power, touch or pen input signal and a display signal from its source. 

Plugging it in the USB-C port of the Lenovo ThinkPad X13 laptop, the ThinkVision M14T was instantly detected. And with a press of the power button, the M14T was up and running. I have to say, it amazes me that it is that convenient. Not having to need an external power source was like magic.

At 300 nits of brightness, the M14T’s IPS display panel is bright and vibrant. At its max brightness setting when paired with the ThinkPad X13, the ThinkVision M14T’s display seemed to overpower that of the X13, making the two look a bit unbalanced.

Its base folds out from the bottom of the monitor which acts as its stand. Opened out, the ThinkVision M14T felt stiff, solid and stable.

You can choose which side you’d want to plug your device as both the left and right sides of the base each have a USB-C input. On its right, we have the power button and on the left we have a brightness control switch. Sadly, no other input ports are available other than USB-C.

Precision and response as you like it

The M14T is not only a secondary touch screen display, you may also use it as a tablet complementary to your device with its interactive stylus. This means if you have a device that doesn’t have touch or pen input built-in, the ThinkVision M14T will give you just that.

By this time, most graphic tablet users must have already been exposed to stylus pens being rechargeable similar to the Apple Pencil. The stylus pen that comes with the M14T still uses a single and unusual type of battery (AAAA). Thankfully, a battery does come with the unit.

ThinkVision M14T

Having set my standards high on this aspect, I honestly didn’t expect this combo to perform as good as Wacom drawing tablets and the likes. To my surprise, as soon as I started writing, I immediately noticed how smooth its pen input was. With only minimal latency, the M14T’s stylus registers my movement almost instantly and its dedicated buttons are mapped automatically.

With the monitor folded down on a flat surface, it really did feel like I was doodling on an actual drawing tablet.

The M14T’s 10-point multi-touch input for touch gestures and 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity with its stylus, graphic artists won’t be disappointed with this bundle.

ThinkVision M14T

Is the Lenovo ThinkVision M14T Portable Monitor your GadgetMatch?

The ThinkVision M14T is by no means a perfect device. Having USB-C as the only display input option may have limited its potential for versatility of use. The stylus not having batteries built-in might raise some eyebrows too. But if you’re willing to live with its limitations, Lenovo still has managed to tick many of the right boxes with their ThinkVision M14T Portable Monitor.

ThinkVision M14T

The convenience of having more screen real estate on the go and using a single cable for its operation is just a glorious experience. Ultra portability, decent brightness, good viewing angles, pen and touch input in such a sexy looking device, the M14T would be an ideal companion for just about anyone. 

The good most definitely outweighs the bad with Lenovo’s ThinkVision M14T.

Get the Lenovo ThinkVision M14T Portable Monitor for PhP 19,995.

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Reviews

Nokia 2.4: Basic budget phone but can keep up

Dependable battery life and surprisingly decent camera shots

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Nokia 2.4

One of the main factors that we look for when choosing a mobile phone is getting the best value for our money, and certainly Nokia does not disappoint.

As they continue to make a stride in the country by offering competitive smartphones, they bring in another budget phone which is the fourth iteration of the Nokia 2 series — the Nokia 2.4.

Before we delve into the nitty gritty details, let’s take a look at the basic specs of Nokia 2.4 to get a glimpse on what you can expect.

Nokia 2.4
Display 6.5″ HD+ 20:9 1600 x 720 pixels
Processor Media Tek Helio P22
RAM + ROM 3GB + 64GB | MicroSD card slot supports up to 512GB
Cameras Dual Camera (13MP Main Camera + 2MP Depth Sensing)

5MP Front Camera

Battery 4,500mAh
Unlock Rear fingerprint scanner
Other connections Micro USB (USB 2.0), 3.5mm jack

A definite looker

As HMD Global is known for creating modern designs even for previous Nokia smartphones, the Nokia 2.4 is definitely stunning with its Charcoal Grey Nordic finish. Its shell may be made of out of painted polycarbonate, but the dual tone gradient and textured cover add plenty of grip and just spells quality.

Nokia 2.4

Up front, you’ll see the top selfie waterdrop-style notch which is actually a bit intrusive for my taste. The bezels surrounding its 6.5-inch HD+ display is also thicker than today’s standards but is barely noticeable as the screen already lets you maximize your viewing experience.

Nokia 2.4

One nice touch to the Nokia 2.4’s design is the Google Assistant button just below the SIM card slot on the left side of the phone. With just a click of a button, you can do quick searches, manage your tasks and get directions on the go.

Moving on to the back, it has a dual camera setup with 13MP as the main sensor and the 2MP sensor for depth, plus a single LED flash. Just below it, you can find the fingerprint sensor which is convenient for quicker unlocking.

But to my dismay, this phone uses a micro USB port, instead of a USB-C port for charging, which results to slower charging of up to 3 hours and slower file transfer.

Ready for what’s next

One major advantage of the Nokia 2.4 is that it’s part of Google’s Android One program which gave me a clean, vanilla Android user experience, free from bloatware that may take up memory and storage.

Nokia 2.4

The Nokia 2.4 is currently running on Android 10 but it will be upgraded to Android 11 when available as you can expect 2 years of software upgrades and 3 years of monthly security updates with this phone.

Passable performance

A bit on the downside, the Nokia 2.4 is not for multi-tasking and intensive games, as expected for a budget phone.

Using one app to another is quite a smooth experience but when I opened multiple apps, I experience a bit of lag and took some time for other apps to run.

As for video streaming, I watched a few episodes of Alice in Borderland and the quality was just acceptable as the phone doesn’t support 1080p videos.

Nokia 2.4

Gaming was also not its strongest feature, especially for graphic-intensive ones. I tried 3D gaming with Asphalt 9: Legends and it worked quite well on low graphics settings but when I shifted the settings to high, the game just crashed.

Nokia 2.4

Battery that lets you go on and on

 The news that leaked around July last year that the Nokia 2 series might even get a bigger battery, coming from the Nokia 2.3 that carries 4000mAh, was confirmed when Nokia 2.4 came with a 4500mAh battery.

Upon using it to navigate through my social media apps, answer a few emails, watch around 3-4 episodes of my current favorite Netflix series and get my music fix every now and then to get my mojo working, the phone lasted for around 2 days.

I fully charged it again and just left it open while still being connected to my Wi-Fi and the phone lasted four to five days. These factors definitely show that the Nokia 2.4 has a battery that you can definitely bank on.

Either day or night

As a budget phone, the Nokia 2.4 surprisingly gives one of the best camera experiences you can have for a phone at its price.

I took it out for a spin during my workout sessions and the primary lens can actually take good detailed photos during daylight while retaining natural colors, compared to Samsung budget phones that usually produce saturated ones.

The night mode of the Nokia 2.4 was also impressive since it was still quite usable in lower light conditions, product decent photos where details were still evident, and colors were still vivid.

Is this your Gadgetmatch?

At a retail price of PhP 6,990, the Nokia 2.4 is pretty competitive. Despite its shortcomings such as having just a passable performance when it comes to multi-tasking and gaming and mediocre display resolution, it makes up for it by its advantages.

If you’re some who prioritizes having a phone with a striking design, dependable battery life, takes surprisingly good camera shots and a promise of timely security updates and software upgrades, then the Nokia 2.4 can actually be your Gadgetmatch.

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Accessories

Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro Review: Better than AirPods Pro?

Finally, real Active Noise Cancellation out of the box

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Samsung has unveiled the newest Galaxy Buds Pro alongside the announcement of the latest Galaxy S21 series.

Other than the new design, better sound quality, and surround sound setup, there’s now a real and intelligent Active Noise Cancellation.

But do these earbuds live up to its ‘Pro’ branding? Watch our Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro review by clicking the video link right here.

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