Features

OPPO F1 Plus Hands-On Review

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If you can get past its iPhone-esque looks, there’s much to be said about the F1 Plus. OPPO’s latest smartphone isn’t the most premium in its lineup, nor does it look anything like its little brother, the OPPO F1, but it is a phone that defies expectations in a good way.

DESIGN

If you were to judge based on looks alone, the F1 Plus would be a home run. It’s the prettiest phone we’ve seen from OPPO thus far, and one of the better looking Android phones of 2016. From every angle, there’s no denying where the Chinese manufacturer takes its inspiration.  

OPPO-F1-Plus-front-shot

Indulge me in a game of “spot the difference”: the front-facing camera is to the right of the earpiece (left on the iPhone); the home button is capsule-shaped (round on the iPhone); and the bezel size is thinner. As a result, the entire phone is smaller, too.

In fact, the F1 Plus is smaller than the iPhone 6S Plus even if both phones have 5.5-inch displays. Of the two, the F1 Plus feels lighter and more secure to the grip, which for phones of this size is always a plus (pun intended).

OPPO F1 Plus-back

While we’re comparing, its sides are more angular than on the iPhone, the only sore spot on an otherwise improved design. The sharp angles interrupt the fluidity of the aesthetic and make the phone a little less comfortable to grip.

But that’s nitpicking, really. Everything else is an improvement on the iPhone’s design. Its metallic back is cleaner and more refined. The two antenna bands that divide the top and bottom sections and are less in-your-face, and thankfully, there is no unsightly camera hump.

Button and port placements are also similar: the volume rocker is on the left; the power button and the SIM card tray are on the right. As with many Android smartphones these days, the hybrid SIM tray supports either two nano SIMs or one nano SIM plus one microSD card.

SELFIE EXPERT

While somewhat of a newcomer in the smartphone space, OPPO has a history of pushing mobile photography forward. Launched in 2013, before selfies became ubiquitous, the OPPO N1 was the world’s first smartphone with a swivel camera, meaning if you wanted a good selfie, you could just rotate its camera around for 13-megapixel selfie goodness.  

To reaffirm its commitment to the selfie generation, OPPO announced the F series back in January, saying it wanted to address a growing demand for “premium-quality mobile photography experiences.”

The F1 Plus is OPPO’s second attempt at building the ultimate camera phone. Dubbed the “selfie expert,” it boasts a 16-megapixel front camera, with more megapixels than not only the phone’s rear camera but also every other front camera on the market today.  

Beyond the megapixel spec, however, OPPO’s pulling out all the stops to ensure you get the best selfie possible. The phone has a reasonably large 1/3.1 inch image sensor and an f/2.0 lens that OPPO says takes in four times the amount of light than the average smartphone camera.

There’s also an improved Beautify mode that can airbrush away blemishes. We think our selfies turned out great, but we’ll let you be the judge.

Its main camera is no slouch either; it shoots decent 13-megapixel photos at f/2.2, particularly when there is sufficient light. Low-light shots were less impressive. But considering this is a sub-$500 smartphone, we really can’t complain.  

PERFORMANCE

While its selfie-camera components are most impressive, the rest of the spec sheet isn’t bad either. The F1 Plus is one of the few phones that ships with only a 64GB storage option (the iPhone, for example, still starts at a measly 16GB), while its 4GB of RAM is as much as all the big boys offer.

Its processor, however, is a bit of a letdown. MediaTek’s Helio P10 isn’t the fastest midrange processor on the planet today. But unless you’re into gaming, that shouldn’t matter much. On the bright side, the processor is less power-hungry, so battery life should get a boost.  

OPPO-F1-Plus-fingerprint-scanner

The home button doubles as a fingerprint sensor; it’s the kind that you have to press down on for any unlocking action to happen. But once you do, the phone unlocks in a snap.

BATTERY & VOOC CHARGING

The F1 Plus is only 6.6mm thin, so it isn’t that much of a surprise that OPPO’s only managed to squeeze in a 2,850 mAh battery. While that’s smaller than what you’d find on most mid- to high-end smartphones today, battery life looks respectable based on the few days we had with the phone.

The phone also gets VOOC flash charge, OPPO’s own quick-charging technology. Previously only seen on its high-end phones, you can get from 0 to 75 percent from a 30-minute charge. The phone should supposedly stay cool even while charging.  

COLOR OS 3.0

The F1 Plus runs OPPO’s latest version of ColorOS version 3.0 on top of Android 5.1 Lollipop. Despite the update, this version still isn’t based on the latest version of Android, which is a bit of a bummer. Not that you’d mind necessarily. On a strongly positive note, the F1 Plus generally runs slick, apps respond fluidly to input, and multitasking works with very little lag.

oppo-color-os-3
Ultimately, this is a pretty darn good take on Android, albeit a heavily skinned one with icons obviously borrowed from Apple’s iOS. As can be expected from other Chinese smartphone vendors, OPPO’s ColorOS removes the app drawer altogether.

Having said that, if you have a ton of apps installed, and you don’t want to swipe through multiple home screens, you’ll need to spend a bit of time dumping those apps into folders.

PRICING, AVAILABILITY, PREORDER

The OPPO F1 Plus is available in gold and rose-gold variants (availability will depend on region).

To preorder in the Philippines, visit any OPPO Store between April 16 to 29. The phone will be available on April 30th and will retail for P21,990.

To preorder in India, visit any OPPO Store between April 11 to 20. Customers will get a special gift pack and a chance to win an F1 Plus signed by Yuvraj Singh.

To preorder in Malaysia, visit 11street.my until April 20th. Deliveries start April 18th. The phone retails for RM 1,898.

To preorder in Indonesia, visit OPPO’s preorder page between April 9 to 17. The phone retails for Rp 5,499 million and comes with a free selfie stick. Deliveries start on April 18th.

[irp posts=”7385″ name=”OPPO F1s review”]

Computers

Reports suggest many new PCs are infected with viruses

A good bargain doesn’t necessarily mean a good product

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It always feels good to save up for and earn a new computer or console for yourself. Until, you discover that the console or PC you bought is loaded with all sorts of problems — particularly, viruses.

Now, imagine that but instead of just one PC, an entire company finds it in 83 percent of its new computers in several Asian countries. Microsoft’s Asia PC Test Purchase Sweep, the company’s initiative towards educating consumers and enterprises, provides information against piracy and its risks. They found that these new PCs were sold in retailers that offered computers at a much lower price than intended to.

The report suggests that these retailers turn off Windows security features for them to install pirated software on these PCs. It also found that they contained software infected with viruses and trojans. Microsoft generally explains the risks that come from turning off these features, such as leaving your PC vulnerable to cyber threats and malware.

“Cyber criminals are constantly evolving their techniques to evade security measures, and embedding their malware is one of their tactics,” said Mary Jo Schrade, Assistant General Counsel from Microsoft Asia.

These findings are concerning for people who purchase new PCs through special deals, especially those that come with free software. Schrade suggests that consumers who want to purchase PCs should look for retailers that provide genuine software when bundled with the PC.

To avoid any more complications, it is also recommended to keep their software updated and follow safe internet practices. Such practices include avoiding potentially dangerous websites, legally downloading software or purchasing licenses to use them, and use recognized cloud-based file sharing systems.

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Hands-On

Dyson Airwrap hair tutorial and real-life hold test

Is it hard to use? Does it really work?

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The Dyson Airwrap, ever since its announcement, has been the stuff of hairstyle dreams and legends. The high-tech curling iron revolutionizes the way we do our hair!

But, does it really work? Can a normal girl like myself actually get her hair to look as fab with this new-fangled hair gadget? I put it to the test.

In the video above, you see me doing my hair and the final looks. I try a total of two styles — curly and straight — and take my ‘do out and about to see if my hair would hold. And yes folks, this was only the second time I used the Airwrap on myself, ever.

The results impressed!

If you’re having trouble viewing this video, click HERE to watch

Stay tuned for the full review of the Dyson Airwrap on Her GadgetMatch. For similar topics and features, visit the website here.

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Deals

Plan for Black Friday early with these amazing deals

It’s time to ready your shopping list and wallet

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We’re midway through November already, inching towards Thanksgiving and one of the most awaited dates for shopping — Black Friday. To help you get yourself and your wallet ready, we scoured through the internet to find some of the best tech deals that’ll be popping up next week. Here are some offers that you might want to take advantage of on November 23rd.

17.3-inch ASUS TUF gaming laptop (US$ 999)

This ASUS Gaming Laptop will be going down by US$ 400, so if you’ve been wanting a gaming laptop, this might be the time to cop one. And if you have a more limited budget, you could also check out the HP Pavilion CX0056WM Gaming Laptop for  under US$ 600 with over US$ 100 worth of extra gaming software at Walmart.

HyperDrive USB Type-C Hub for MacBooks (US$ 69.99)

This would make a perfect gift for that person you know who lives the #donglelife. Check out the deal at Best Buy.

Sony PS4 1TB Slim Spider‑Man Bundle (US$ 199) and Xbox One S 1TB Minecraft Creators Bundle (US$ 299)

The best console deals come out this time of year, and next week, both the Spider-Man PlayStation 4 bundle and the Minecraft Creators Xbox One S bundle will be up for grabs!

Nintendo Switch Super Mario Kart Deluxe Bundle (US$ 299)

Another console being featured this Black Friday is the Nintendo Switch. Why not get the Switch with an amazing party game for your holiday gatherings? You can check the deal out at Best Buy or Walmart.

Pac-Man or Galaga Retro Arcade Machine (US$ 249)

For retro gamers or those who want to reminisce about the arcade days, this would definitely be a great item to pick up. Check it out at Target.

Amazon Echo Dot (Gen 3) (US$ 25) and Google Home Mini (US$ 25)

Get in the smart home/speaker game with the Amazon Echo Dot at half the price! You can also go with the Google Home Mini, if Alexa’s not your jam.

Microsoft Surface Pro 6 (128GB) with keyboard (US$ 599)

Why not get a powerful and portable device? The Surface Pro 6 will be US$ 360 cheaper on Friday, and it might be a good time to pick it up. The deal will be available at Best Buy.

65-inch 4K Smart Roku TV (US$ 398) and 40-inch Hisense 1080p TV (US$ 99)

This Walmart deal is probably one of the best TV deals we’ve ever seen. But if 65 inches is too big or you have a more limited budget, there’s also a 40-inch option that’s an incredible deal, as well.

Bose SoundSport Wireless Headphones (US$ 99)

It might be a great chance to pick up a pair of wireless buds from one of the best audio companies out there for under US$ 100. If that’s still a bit too steep though, the Skullcandy Method Wireless Earbuds will also be available at Best Buy for US$ 25, and they’re good quality too.

Anki’s Cozmo (US$ 139.99) and Vector (US$ 199.99) Robots

Anki has been making their rounds on the internet with these two adorable little robots. They would make for a great gift for children and adults alike, and will be marked down at Best Buy this Thanksgiving weekend.

There you have it! Just a few sneaky bits we found ahead of all the ads. We’re sure there’ll be loads more amazing stuff to check out, but this is a good place to start. We hope you enjoy your holidays, and be careful if you’re planning to face the Black Friday mobs. Happy Thanksgiving!

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