At the risk of sounding like a broken record, smartphone launches have been relentless for a while now. Not even a month after debuting their latest flagship, the Find X3 Pro, OPPO is at it again. This time, with the midranger OPPO A94.
The particular box we received came in this treasure box. It should be familiar to Mobile Legends players.
There are plenty of other goodies inside, but we’re here for the OPPO A94.
This seems to be the color OPPO is going with for most of their smartphone releases for 2021.
Flip the box over and you’ll see the name of the phone with some highlight features.
It’s not really clear in the photo but those features are: Dual View Video, AI Color Portrait Video, and 30W VOOC Flash Charge 4.0.
We’re skipping right ahead to opening the box
Gorgeous, right? OPPO calls it the Flowing Light Design. Here’s another look.
The official name of color variants are Fluid Black and Fantastic Purple. This particular variant is the fantastic purple, but depending on how light hits it, it looks more like teal with splashes of purple.
Here’s the rest of what’s inside the box
There are earphones, a USB-C cable and the power adapter. Not seen in photo is the SIM-tray ejector tool and the usual documentation: warranty and user guide.
Here’s a closer look at the power brick just because
The OPPO A94 has a quad camera setup
Here are the numbers: 48MP main camera, 8MP ultra-wide, 2MP macro, and 2MP mono camera. It also has a 32MP selfie shooter. More than the specs, it’s also home to plenty of OPPO features also found in the Reno line. These are AI Color Portrait Video, Monochrome Video, Dual-View Video, Dynamic Bokeh, Night Flare Portrait, among others.
Here’s what it looks like after boot up
It’s running ColorOS 11 on top of Android 11. It’s easily one of the better Android skins right now. OPPO has taken a lot of inspiration from OnePlus’ OxygenOS to make sure the UI is able to breathe while adding their own unique customization tools.
A smartphone for gaming
While the design of the phone is loud, it’s not necessarily gaming loud. However, the OPPO A94 is equipped to tackle some of the most popular titles today, most notably Mobile Legends: Bang bang. Powering the device is a MediaTek Helio P95 Octa-core chip which is tuned for faster app start-up but also gaming-centric things like responsive on-screen touches and less lag.
It’s also home to OPPO’s Game Assistant that has features like Game Focus Mode. You can choose to block out all notifications or have them appear like a ticker on your screen in a non-obstructive manner.
Best OPPO A-series phone so far?
All early indications suggest the OPPO A94 is a pretty darn solid midranger. It’s heavy on performance and comes in a flashly look. Those are two pretty strong qualities but the smartphone is also more than serviceable in other departments like thumbing like crazy through your social media feeds or catching up with people dear to you via chat apps.
It’s already out in Singapore but in the Philippines, you can look forward to its launch on March 26.
First 24 Hours with the iPhone 14 Pro Max
Battery & Camera Champ?
Aside from the usual one day usage, it’s also a great time to see the streets of New York, at least virtually.
With the new cameras of the iPhone 14 Pro Max (including a 48MP sensor),
is it suffice to say it’s worth upgrading to this year’s iPhone?
Here’s Michael Josh’s first 24 hours with the new iPhone 14 Pro Max for you to find out more.
Vibe Check: ASUS Zenbook 17 Fold OLED
This one’s different
We haven’t seen anything quite like this before. The ASUS Zenbook 17 Fold OLED (which we’ll just call the Zenbook 17 Fold for brevity) is the first of its kind at its size.
Foldables aren’t new, especially to those who constantly follow tech news. Samsung has lorded over the foldable smartphone segment with its two device types – the Galaxy Z Fold and Galaxy Z Flip. They are finally getting some competition in 2023 with the likes of OPPO, Xiaomi, and HONOR all gearing up to globally launch their own foldables.
But that’s smartphones. In the laptop category, the closest thing we’ve seen to this is the ThinkPad X1 Fold. And while that’s promising, it still needs a few more iterations to be a really attractive option.
The same is pretty much true with the Zenbook 17 Fold. At least, that’s the impression we got after spending a good hour with it. And that hour wasn’t even the full experience. The unit we had was an early engineering unit, so we can only really tell you so much from that brief experience.
ASUS went out of their way to showcase how the Zenbook 17 Fold. While you can probably get more creative with it, here are four modes that are actually software supported.
In this mode, you prop up the Zenbook 17 Fold on a desk, table, or what-have-you, and use it with the accompanying bluetooth keyboard detached. It’s kind of like the tablet top mode of the Nintendo Switch but for an oversized foldable PC.
This one’s pretty straightforward. You can hold it horizontally and fold it mimicking the folding feeling of an actual book. I gotta say, at 1.50 kg (3.31 lbs) it’s got a bit of a heft to it so maybe holding it for a prolonged period of time isn’t advisable.
In laptop mode, you only get to use half of the screen. What happens is you fold it halfway as if you’re using a laptop. And then you slap on the included keyboard on the bottom half. This gives you a generally smaller device – kind of like the netbooks from a decade ago. It’s a little cramped but is nice for working in tighter spaces.
This one should be self explanatory as well. You simply open it up wide and use it as a true-blue oversized tablet. This is particularly great for media consumption. Can say we definitely enjoyed watching LOONA’s “Flip That” on this thing.
And just look at LOONA Heejin occupying that much space on the FOLED (Foldable OLED) screen. Drop. Dead. Gorgeous.
It’s also worth noting that in landscape mode, the device will offer multiple split screen options for your multitasking needs.
What’s it packing?
We didn’t get to test it much, since, as mentioned earlier, it is an engineering unit. But here’s what the Zenbook 17 Fold is packing on paper to give you an idea.
- Windows 11 Pro – ASUS recommends Windows 11 Pro for business
- Windows 11 Home – ASUS recommends Windows 11 Pro for business
- Intel® Core™ i7-1250U Processor 1.1 GHz (12M Cache, up to 4.7 GHz, 2P+8E cores)
- Intel® Iris Xe Graphics
- 17.3-inch, 2560 x 1920 FOLED 4:3 aspect ratio, 0.2ms response time, 500nits HDR peak brightness, 100% DCI-P3 color gamut, 1,000,000:1, VESA CERTIFIED Display HDR True Black 500, 1.07 billion colors, PANTONE Validated, Glossy display, 70% less harmful blue light, Touch screen, Screen-to-body ratio: 87％
- 17.3-inch, 2560 x 1920 FOLED 4:3 aspect ratio, 0.2ms response time, 60Hz refresh rate, 500nits HDR peak brightness, 100% DCI-P3 color gamut, 1,000,000:1, VESA CERTIFIED Display HDR True Black 500, 1.07 billion colors, PANTONE Validated, Glossy display, 70% less harmful blue light, Touch screen, Screen-to-body ratio: 87％
- 16GB LPDDR5 on board, Total system memory upgradeable to:16GB
- 1TB M.2 NVMe™ PCIe® 4.0 Performance SSD
- 2x Thunderbolt™ 4 supports display / power delivery
- 1x 3.5mm Combo Audio Jack
Keyboard and Touchpad:
- Soft Keyboard, 1.4mm Key-travel, Touchpad
- 5.0M camera with IR function
- Smart Amp Technology
- Built-in speaker
- Built-in array microphone
- harman/kardon (Premium)
- with Cortana and Alexa voice-recognition support
- Wi-Fi 6E(802.11ax) (Dual band) 2*2 + Bluetooth 5
Battery and Power Supply:
- 75WHrs, 4S1P, 4-cell Li-ion
- TYPE-C, 65W AC Adapter, Output: 20V DC, 3.25A, 65W, Input: 100-240V AC 50/60GHz universal
- 1-month trial for new Microsoft 365 customers. Credit card required.
- Office Home and Student 2021 included
- Microsoft 365 Personal 1-year included.*
- *Activation required with 6-months of Windows activation date.
- Microsoft Office Home & Business 2021
Pricing and availability details to follow.
Vibe Check: realme 9 4G
Our eyes are ablaze in awe with this Sunburst Gold colorway!
realme, the Philippines’ number one smartphone brand for 2021, has continued to deliver innovative technology to the midrange segment.
Its latest offering is the realme 9 (4G), yet another option joining the realme 9 lineup. We’ve got plenty of time to play around with this new smartphone, and our eyes are ablaze in awe with this Sunburst Gold colorway.
Golden like daylight
Hit me like the ray of sun, burning through my darkest night. (Beyoncé, is that you?)
Kidding aside, I like how the realme 9 (4G), especially in its Sunburst Gold and Stargaze White variants, came up with a Ripple Holographic design encompassing its rear body. They look like sand dunes, akin to waves of shining, shimmering gold found by Aladdin.
The design is subtle that when you use a clear case, you’ll think there’s nothing extra about this smartphone. But when you let the light shine on it, it glistens and exudes a beautiful pattern.
Midrange smartphones usually forsake their design language to focus on battery and performance — something that budget-conscious consumers prefer.
But realme is bringing back the charm of its previous smartphones from a few years ago: so beautifully designed you’ll forget they offer these devices at a cut-rate price.
I still fondly remember caressing the realme 5 back in 2019 which, frankly, is the best style that captures realme’s brand and positioning.
It wasn’t experimental; it was something that helped people remember who they are. Its successors played around with new designs, instead of polishing what was already working.
Going back to its rear, the realme 9 (4G) has an aesthetically-pleasing camera island, housing its 108MP ProLight Camera powered by a Samsung HM6 sensor, an 8-megapixel ultrawide camera with a 120-degree lens, and a 2-megapixel macro camera.
It has a 16-megapixel selfie camera housed in a punch-hole cutout.
The brand’s logo is seamlessly etched in the lower-left corner.
The bottom side sports the most important stuff: speaker grilles, microphone input, a USB-C port, and a headphone jack. Yey!
Power under that gorgeous hood
Upfront, the realme 9 (4G) sports a 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate. We appreciate how realme puts a high refresh rate for people who simply want to game because they’re the ones who benefit the most from the feature.
With a Snapdragon 680 chipset and an Adreno 610 GPU, you can play heavy-duty games like Genshin Impact, Call of Duty, and Asphalt 9. It’s the same processor housed in most gaming-oriented budget smartphones for under US$ 300.
But let’s be real: this smartphone is perfect for multitasking and casual, everyday use. Its performance is seamless across different apps, thanks to its 6GB RAM and 128GB internal storage, which you can expand up to 256GB via a microSD card. More importantly, it offers a Dynamic RAM Expansion (DRE) of up to 5GB if you need extra memory.
It also comes with long-lasting battery life due to its humongous 5000mAh battery. If there’s one thing that stayed consistent in realme’s midrange lineup, it’s the battery that stays with you throughout the day. When you pair it with a 33W Dart Charge, you can get the juice back up in an hour and a quarter.
Watch to your heart’s content
As mentioned before, the realme 9 (4G) uses a Super AMOLED display. Visuals are definitely bright, vivid, and vibrant. It’s easy to watch even under broad daylight since the display delivers up to 1000 nits of brightness.
I remember using realme’s smartphones before and I have to step on a shade while I was in Boracay, simply because their previous devices deliver lower nits.
This time around, the realme 9 (4G) allowed me to watch my comfort shows to my heart’s content. Yes, I kept replaying Brooklyn Nine-Nine on Netflix whenever I’m sad or when I just need something familiar when everything around me is changing.
The realme 9 (4G) has a featherweight, slim body so it doesn’t put a strain on your hands when watching on a smartphone. That’s something to consider when you’re the type of person who keeps watching content while on the go.
Price and availability
The realme 9 (4G) retails for PhP 14,999 with a 6GB/128GB configuration. It’s available in all realme stores nationwide.
At a glance, the realme 9 (4G) has an inviting demeanor that makes you want to hold it. The experience is similar to most gaming-oriented budget smartphones, and you’ll have a good time using it for quite a while. But that’s where it ends.
When you factor in the overall experience with the realme 9 (4G), it doesn’t match with its competitors — offering better specifications and experience at the same price range. Some, even lower.
In a short amount of time, the realme 9 (4G) passed our vibe check. It’s worth checking out if you’re badly in need of a smartphone right away for your everyday needs.
But in the long run, being a 4G smartphone doesn’t serve any purpose if you live in a developing city — especially with 5G expanding its rollout and 6G is on the horizon, unveiling in a few years from now.
POCO M5 review: No need to break the bank
More than just a gaming phone
vivo Y35 review: Y series upgraded
We know that the Y series is vivo’s entry-level line of smartphones and is among their highest selling variants to...
Apple AirPods Pro 2 Review
Is it worth the upgrade?
TikTok, Tencent linked to sexually violent ads on Facebook
Apple has been raided in South Korea
Android users can react to SMS messages from iPhones soon
Hermès Apple Watch Series 8: Unboxing and Full Set-Up
Google is closing down Stadia
Apple on adopting Android’s features: Just ‘buy your mom an iPhone’
There’s already a ‘Dynamic Island’ for Android
Intel is shutting down Pentium and Celeron in 2023
Steve Jobs’ daughter pokes fun at iPhone 14 series
iQOO 9T review: The ultimate gaming phone killer?
Hermès Apple Watch Series 8: Unboxing and Full Set-Up
World’s Longest Flight with the Acer Chromebook 514
iPhone 14 Pro Max vs 13 Pro Max vs S22 Ultra: Camera Shootout
Apple AirPods Pro 2 Review
Apple Watch Ultra Unboxing and Review (Part 1)
News2 weeks ago
iPhone 14 Pro camera breaks while using some apps
News2 weeks ago
All iPhone 15 models will have the Dynamic Island
Deals2 weeks ago
PLDT Home Fiber subscribers to get free Easy Speedboost
News1 week ago
You can now have ‘Dynamic Island’ on your Android phone
News2 weeks ago
realme seeks fans’ help in copying iPhone 14
Smartphones1 week ago
vivo V25 is a Night Portrait Master
News6 days ago
Infinix Note 12 Pro 5G now in the Philippines
Features2 weeks ago
Zenbook S13 OLED vs Macbook Air M1