Her GadgetMatch

OPPO Find X review: All about style, selfies, and that poppin’ camera

Literally a pop-up camera

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When they were unveiled, pop-up cameras seemed like the coolest thing to me. There’s just something about moving parts in tech that amps up the cool factor. Add the fact that there was no notch (the unsightly things!) and the OPPO Find X was a clear design winner. But, what happens when you actually use a phone that’s this — err — fashion-forward in terms of phone design? Is using a handset with a camera that mechanically slides out even practical. I set out to find answers.

What’s the big deal?

Dear reader, if you don’t follow tech news, let me give you the lowdown. The Find X is OPPO’s newest and most premium flagship in recent years. Launched in Paris earlier this year, it features a high screen-to-body ratio and mechanical sliding cameras.

Why is that so cool? In this notch-filled world (which is a pretty ugly world, TBH), it’s only a few phones which have managed a workaround: The Vivo NEX and now, the OPPO Find X.

Stylish all-screen beaut

How does an all-screen phone look? Well, it looks really good.

The thing with these great big screens is you don’t think you need them until you spend time with them. As I moved back to the smaller Google Pixel 2 I’ve been rocking, I can’t help but miss the Find X’s big and beautiful 6.42-inch display. Everything looked good in it: IG stories, photos, and even Netflix-YouTube viewing was amazing.

And, it’s not just the screen that looks good — the sleek and stylish phone itself has a great premium feel and beautiful reflective back. That glass back, however, seems to scratch almost a little too easily.

Admittedly, I’m still iffy about glass smartphone backs in general as the possibility of breakage is greater. This brings me to another qualm: It’s going to be such a pain to get cases for this uniquely shaped phone. And sure, it comes packaged with a clear jelly case but a girl needs options for her phones, okay!

Despite all that, the Find X looks and feels great in your hands. It’s one of those devices that just has a great feel to it. It’s as if they were made for my teeny hands.

The phone runs on OPPO’s ColorOS which will look familiar to iOS users. Be warned though that it’s still not exactly the same — think of it as an iOS-Android hybrid. Of course, to new OPPO users (i.e. a lot of people from outside Asia), this OS might take a little bit of getting used to. Gesture navigation is also available, but you still have the option to use traditional navigation buttons.

How does it feel to have a pop-up camera?

Admittedly, it’s pretty cool. Anyone who’s ever noticed the cameras pop out has reacted with amazement. I’ve honestly turned into a little show-off and I’m guilty of using this phone as a conversation starter. All this, of course, after I got over the anxiety of thinking I’d probably break the moving part. (I didn’t!)

Expectation

The cameras pop out automatically when you tap the camera icon and retract just as quickly when you exit the app. It’s one solid motion that you can sort of forget about when you get used to being on this phone. Be warned, though, that any pressure on the pop-out will also cause it to retract. Yes, it will close even during a Facebook Live stream.

Aside from my finger getting caught and pinched by the pop up mechanism a few times (ill-placed finger placement, don’t ask), my only other main concern with this unique form factor was that the pop-out cameras were a dirt magnet. Dust and other gunk (probably from my bags or pocket) seemed to find their way into the phone crevice which isn’t ideal, as cameras are best used clean (duh).

Reality

What impressed me most, though, was a feature I’d never really appreciated on any phone. The Find X has a face unlock option (something that the other pop-up phone, the Vivo Nex, doesn’t have) and it’s pretty good. Because of its form factor, OPPO opted to scrap the fingerprint scanner which would’ve been problematic, except it isn’t. This is all owing to the fact that its face unlock is that accurate. You can either opt for the swipe-to-unlock on the lock screen or press the power button which will trigger the camera to pop out, and voila, unlocked!

Of course, the selfies!

If you’ve read my previous reviews, you’d know that I’ve always loved the OPPO beauty mode. In fact, their AI beauty mode was a favorite.

Now, before you lecture me about the wonders of “natural beauty” and preference for non-use of filters, know that most selfies online today featuring that #JustWokeUp look you love so much either feature makeup made to look natural, some kind of airbrushing, or excellent lighting (which can do wonders). So no, a little beauty mode never hurt anyone, so long as it’s not overdone.

But, that was precisely my problem with the Find X’s beauty mode. Unlike AI beauty modes on previous devices like the R11s or the F5 which gave my face slight airbrushing and the freshness of a new born baby, the Find X AI beauty mode seemed to turn me into a completely different big-eyed, thin-chinned, plastic person.

And sure, added to the mix was a new custom beauty mode function which allows you to scan your face and tweak beauty mode capabilities to your liking, but even this greeted me with too fake a version of myself. I didn’t dare post my selfies.

My custom beauty mode face scan

I daresay this might be the first time I preferred no beauty modes on selfies with an OPPO phone, which is fine as it still takes good selfies — it’s just that I now have to make sure I actually look presentable IRL before taking the photo, something I haven’t needed to do for a while as OPPO’s previous beauty filters have spoiled me.

That being said, the 25-megapixel selfie camera, although not on beauty mode, performs well. Still, my favorite is the palm gesture shutter which allows for beautiful Instagrammable photos taken by yours truly. Exhibit A:

Of course, there are more sample takes, but they’re already all on my IG. 😉

Shooting with the rear camera

I mostly use this non-selfie camera to shoot IG stories and random beautiful sights. Here’s a little peek at the week I had the Find X with me.

This phone was able to capture some pretty scenery, though its HDR capabilities left much to be desired — a couple of times, photos came out hazy when it was too bright out.

The 16- and 20-megapixel shooters are equipped with AI, which recognizes scenes and tends to saturate certain scenarios like food or landscape and I must admit, it has gotten faster and more accurate since I first tried AI on their cameras on the R15. The phone still rocks an iPhone-like portrait mode feature, which isn’t my favorite function but hey, it’s there for when you want to take studio-like photos on your phone on the fly (which is never for me)!

Despite all this, I was able to snap beautiful photos which is what’s important.

Other important stuff that matter

Like mentioned earlier, this is OPPO’s first premium flagship in years. It boasts being powered by a Snapdragon 845, which just means it’s running on one of the best processors out there. This means mobile gaming is a go and your various social media apps will run simultaneously without a hitch. The phone rocks 8GB of memory and 128GB or 256GB of storage.

The Find X now has a USB-C port (finally, OPPO!) and 3730mAh battery capacity. This lasts me almost a day’s use which isn’t bad. OPPO’s signature VOOC charging is also built in which allows for zero to 17 percent charge in just ten minutes. You can get a full charge in just under two hours.

Is the OPPO Find X your GadgetMatch?

Design-wise, this phone may just be the best and coolest. At least for now, there is no other phone in the market that will compare to how well this thing is designed. The wide screen and the premium feel is something I actually miss since letting it go.

But, what I miss more is my natural-looking AI beauty mode. As impressed I am with the phone’s form factor, I’m a little disappointed with the beauty capabilities. For a brand that’s consistently marketed themselves as the go-to for “selfies experts,” it sort of hurts for selfie lovers, such as myself, that OPPO’s first flagship in years would miss in this aspect. OPPO, I just want my beauty mode back. 😢

In addition, the stylish Find X does not come cheap, priced at EUR 999 in Europe and PhP 50,000 in the Philippines.

Is it worth it? For the selfie lovers, you might want to hold off. If you’re the type who values overall design and getting it first, this might just be the phone for you. All things considered, it’s one beautiful device — one that is paving way for a better design language in all smartphones. And maybe, just maybe, that’s worth losing my beauty mode to.

Her GadgetMatch

Mercury in retrograde: When technology and communications go haywire

Your survival guide to a crazy season

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Buckle up, everyone! Mercury is in retrograde once again. In Astrology, this means the planet that governs technology, communications, and our very own thought processes spins backward. In our reality, it means doomsday is coming. (Kidding!)

When Mercury is in retrograde, flights and travels are usually delayed, people from the past pop back into our lives, communication systems break down, and our gadgets get into accidents or start malfunctioning.

More importantly, this season makes everything fluid. Nothing will be set in stone. Decisions are usually changed when the season ends, so it’s not a good time to sign contracts, schedule surgeries, have makeovers, launch a new project, or shop for electronic devices.

But fret not, this season shall pass. Here’s what you should do before, during, and after the Mercury retrograde.

Protect your gadgets and gizmos with trusty cases and accessories

Honey, this season makes us feel frustrated, agitated, and annoyed. Often, we’ll be rushing and getting into accidents. You might drop your phone on the toilet, break them, or forget them in a cab or restaurant. You gotta get yourself some strap to keep your phone with you at all times and dress them up with hard, shock-proof cases. Should they fall from your hands, you know they’re safe.

Back up your data, make sure it’s safe and secure

Okay, Jenny, listen up. Mercury in retrograde is the season where we lose important stuff moments before we actually need them. It can be your keys, card, or presentation for your next meeting. The point here is you should back up all necessary data. Flash drives might break, Google Drive and other forms of storage may not work properly at the time you need them. The next thing you know, your life is in shambles.

Another thing to worry about is security and privacy. This season is also the time when people’s secrets tend to get exposed, such as your affair with your best friend’s boyfriend or your intimate videos getting leaked in the deepest, darkest corner of the internet. Keep your reputation from being smeared!

Double-check what you type and say

Be careful with miscommunication, my dear. It’s normal to feel there’s chaos in your head since Mercury in retrograde disrupts our thought processes. We become forgetful and more prone to mistakes, so double check your typos before hitting send. In addition, think twice before voicing out your opinions and emotions. Take a deep breath, and think before you click. Your words are powerful. Once you’ve hurt someone with it, you can be forgiven but they’ll never forget.

P.S. Be mindful of what you post or tweet if you don’t want to get dragged on social media.

 

Keep your emotions in check and block your exes

If you haven’t blocked your exes until today, you need to re-evaluate your life, Susan. During this season, we barely use our logic and just follow our emotions. There might come a time where you want to send a seven-paragraph message to your ex, please don’t. You owe it to yourself to move on from the past and stop them from coming back to your life.

Oh, one more thing: Stay open to possible opportunities. Sure, Mercury in retrograde brings our past lovers back from hell, but they also bring in colleagues we’ve worked with. Most of the time, they want to work with us again. Additionally, this is a good time to reconnect with old friends. Seriously, this period isn’t that bad.

Be extremely flexible (not just in yoga but also in life)

If there’s one thing you can learn from this, it’s that life doesn’t always work out in our favor. It’s a reminder to always find a way. Be flexible and adaptable to every surprise that life brings. If we’re going to give in to our emotions, we already lost. Take a step back and reassess what’s happening, compose yourself and think of a solution. This is just another storm that’s passing by. You will overcome this.

Take a moment to slow down

Lastly, like any retrograde season, it’s a cue from the planets and the stars to slow down. We’re all rushing from one point to another, and we’re moving extremely fast. Planets spin backward to remind us that we need to look back and slow down to appreciate how far we’ve come, what we’ve been doing with our lives, and catch up on what we missed. Above all, it’s a reminder to rest. You’re doing well, my friend. I’m proud of you.

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Dear Moms: 19 things you never thought you needed

A gift guide for every kind of moms

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Mother's Day 2022

Whether you’re a mom looking for something to gift yourself or a grown-up scouring the web for a present for Mother’s Day, look no more. We rounded up things you never thought you or your mom actually needed, until you’ve read this article, of course.

All-in-one pet grooming kit and vacuum — Neabot P1 Pro

Mother's Day

Whether you’re a fur parent or just a family who lives with cats and dogs, an all-in-one pet grooming kit and vacuum might solve your daily woes. The Neabot P1 Pro addresses grooming problems — eliminating messy pet hair, excessive noise, and cumbersome grooming tools.

Shop it on Amazon for US$ 160.

MagSafe charger for iPhone — Nomad BaseOne

Busy moms know the daily woes of being all over the place. Preparing a cup of coffee, tending to their child’s needs, chores, and so on. To make sure they stay connected and ready wherever they go, a MagSafe wireless charger that would complement any space might be a good gift for your mom. It looks great on a desk, bedside table — basically anywhere.

Shop it on Nomad’s website for US$ 99.

Modern leather case for AirPods Pro — Nomad English Tan AirPods Case

Mother's Day

Give the gift of style through a modern leather case for your mom’s AirPods Pro. Its rich caramel tone enhances as it develops a patina, and it comes with a lanyard attachment point for an optional wrist strap. Probably so they won’t lose their AirPods against all the clutter inside their home.

Shop it on Nomad’s website for US$ 31.

Tracking accessory — Tile trackers

For when they lose their important stuff, help them locate things through tracking accessories like Tile that work either on iPhone or Android smartphones.

Shop Tile trackers for US$ 20 on Amazon and PhP 1,489 on Shopee.

Indoor home security camera — Xiaomi Mi 360° Camera

When moms are always away or at work, give them the gift of peace of mind through an indoor home security camera like the Xiaomi Mi 360° Camera. Connected to an app, the security camera lets everyone in the household monitor their living spaces.

Shop the Xiaomi Mi 360° Camera for PhP 1,599 on Shopee.

Outdoor home security camera — EZVIZ C3N Outdoor Security WiFi Camera

Mother's Day

Protect your homes and give the gift of security through an outdoor home security camera with night vision like the EZVIZ C3N. It detects human movements intelligently, lights up, and sends alerts. It also has a weatherproof design, bearing an IP68 certification.

Shop the EZVIZ C3N with a starting price of PhP 1,999 on Shopee.

Blue-light blocking glasses — Shigetsu CHIBA RadPro Eyewear

Mother's Day

Protect your mom’s eyes and help them maintain a clear vision through these stylish, blue-light blocking eyeglasses from Shigetsu. They’re cheap, but they’re effective in blocking radiation and UV rays.

Secure a clear vision and shop the CHIBA RadPro Eyewear for PhP 324 on Shopee.

Smartphone grip — Popsocket

Having a tiny accessory that serves as a handle or even a stand for a precious smartphone might be one thing you never thought anyone would actually need. But for moms getting older, there’s a possibility of weakening their grip, which might cause them to drop their phones and accidentally break them.

Help them secure their devices. Shop Popsocket’s Black Phone Grip for US$ 10 on Amazon.

Tablet for multitasking — Samsung Galaxy Tab S8

Mother's Day

Moms are superheroes, able to multitask and get things done. Help them become more efficient in their activities and errands by giving them a powerful tablet to accompany them in their everyday lives. For instance, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 series comes in different sizes but is certainly one of the best Android tablets on the market right now.

Shop the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 for PhP 49,990 on Shopee.

Smart mug — Ember Mug 2

Mother's Day 2022

Give the gift of warmth by keeping their cup of coffee hot. Having a hectic life can cause a cup of coffee to turn cold when left on a desk, but the Ember Smart Mug 2 can maintain your desired drinking temperature for up to an hour and a half.

Get the Ember Smart Mug 2 for US$ 130 on Amazon.

Home assistant — Amazon Echo Dot (4th Gen)

Mother's Day 2022

Encourage navigating a smart home through the Amazon Echo Dot (4th Gen) smart speaker. Let Alexa accompany the moms in running the household, and watch things get more efficient and connected.

Shop it for PhP 2,587 on Shopee.

Active noise-canceling headphones — Bose QuietComfort 45

Mother's Day 2022

Give them the gift of quiet through active-noise canceling headphones like the Bose QuietComfort 45. Let them pick up themselves and re-center through a moment of quietness after a long day of constant movement.

Shop the Bose QuietComfort 45 for US$ 329 on Amazon.

Night light — OPPLE LED Little Moon Night Light

Mother's Day 2022

For new moms, having a night light helps them sleep after a busy day. It also helps them take a glimpse of their little angels when they wake up or when they check them in the middle of the night.

Give the gift of light through OPPLE’s little night light for only PhP 129 on Shopee.

Air purifier — realme TechLife Air Purifier

Mother's Day 2022

Keep the air clean within your household! The realme TechLife Air Purifier helps everyone breathe easy with its ability to effectively filter air particles.

Give the gift of clean air for only PhP 4,590 on Shopee.

Self-cleaning robot vacuum — Dreame Bot W10

Mother's Day 2022

Cleaning should be quick and easy, especially in a smart home. The Dreame Bot W10 is a 3-in-1 sweep, mop, and wash vacuum cleaner that scrubs, washes, and dries its mop with the charging base.

Clean every corner effectively. Shop this self-cleaning robot vacuum cleaner for PhP 40,990 on Shopee.

Breast pump — imani i2 Plus

Mother's Day 2022

For new moms, this wearable breast pump lets you collect milk discreetly and hands-free. It’s so compact, that it can be worn inside a brassiere, and it doesn’t come with tubes or wires that create a wooshing sound in every pump. Moreover, it comes with a charging dock so you can store it neatly inside your home or office.

Give the gift of convenience through the imani i2 Plus wearable breast pump. Shop it for PhP 11,950 on Shopee.

Breastfeeding cover — Enfant Nursing Cover

Mother's Day 2022

Cleaning up stains can be quite exhausting after a long day. Lessen the household chore by using a breastfeeding cover.

Shop the Enfant Nursing Cover in various colors and prints for PhP 469 on Shopee.

Bouncer and rocker in one — Joie Dreamer Baby Bouncer

Mother's Day 2022

Why buy a rocker and a bouncer when you can have a cradler with both functions? The Joie Dreamer Baby Bouncer – Petite City is a compact cradler that rocks and bounces with a push or even when your little angels move.

Give the gift of comfort. Shop this bouncer-rocker for PhP 4,000 on Shopee.

UV sterilizer cabinet — Ecomom Eco 100 Dual Uv Sterilizer

Mother's Day 2022

Sterilize all your baby essentials with the Ecomom Eco 100 Dual Uv Sterilizer. It doesn’t use hot water to steam, so there is no risk of burns or water mess.

Shop this UV sterilizer cabinet for PhP 15,000 on Shopee.

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Convenient Smart Home

Dreame V12 Pro: Powerful cordless vacuum

Cleans even the tightest of spaces

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When I moved out and transferred to my own place, one of the very first appliances I purchased was a vacuum cleaner. 

I got an affordable one that is highly recommended in the Facebook Group Home Buddies, and it was okay. It does the job. 

I use it more often than my normal household broom, so having a quality vacuum is a huge necessity for me. 

When the Dreame V12 Pro came to my doorstep, I was ecstatic. I am sure any clean freak would feel the same — it’s a cordless, battery-powered vacuum with a whopping suction power of 32,000 pa. Definitely a total upgrade from my previous one.

As someone who cleans every day, I excitedly put this product to the test.

So many functions!

Dreame V12 Pro comes with a wide array of accessories upon unboxing. It’s my first time trying out a cordless vacuum, let alone a multi-functional one, so I was carefully reading the manual while using it for the first few days. 

There’s a lot you can do with this powerful handheld vacuum cleaner – powerful enough to clean every corner of a whole unit. 

For instance, it can easily suck the collected dust on my keyboard, thanks to the brush accessory. There’s also the anti-mite brush for sofa and beds (this is heaven-sent, especially for fur parents), and the rigid rectangular nozzle which integrates a LED light to clean stubborn dirt such as cobwebs. 

For overall floor cleaning, the default suction brush is outstanding. It also comes with a 5-layer HEPA filter with 99% effective sterilization, which brings so much peace of mind especially that we’re still in a pandemic.

But don’t be intimidated; using the vacuum and trying all the attachments is actually as easy as pie. The Dreame V12 Pro has an easy lock function which requires less effort when detaching and shifting from one accessory to the next. It’s extremely handy and comfortable to use!

Very powerful suction

I mentioned earlier that it has a suction power of 32,000 pa. It’s one of the most competitive in the market, and is actually designed for deep cleaning. It can absorb micron-level dust, which makes it extremely powerful for both hard floors and carpets.

No worries, it uses smart adaptive technology so the suction level easily adjusts to the floor without worrying about overheating and your safety.

There was an instance that I accidentally dropped some condiments and a few rice pellets on the floor (I know, it was a clumsy day in the kitchen). I immediately got my Dreame V12 Pro to clean up the mess. My feet didn’t feel any evidence afterwards.

Another major problem for me is my tangled hair all over the room. A few weeks after using the product, there were less stands of hair on the floor, especially on areas not usually reached by a normal vacuum. I was enthralled.

I initially thought it will be great for large homes, but I highly recommend it for tight spaces. It has a high capability to remove dirt from every nook and corner.

The vacuum has three modes: Eco, Standard and Turbo. To save up on battery, I usually use the Eco mode with its good suction performance without taking too much battery energy. I sometimes switch to the Standard and Turbo mode during major cleaning days.

Elegant, user-friendly features

My least favorite thing about vacuums in general is having to empty the container. For me, it takes a lot of work especially because I keep on literally getting my hands dirty.

The Dreame V12 Pro features an easy to empty container and a simple grip mechanism that helps eject dirt without coming into contact with it. Additionally, the container has a huge capacity of 0.5L.

The product also features a trigger lock, which allows me to clean continuously and comfortably. 

The high quality LCD screen (which is actually one of my favorite features) provides real-time info on the battery life, suction power, and filter status. It also displays the three user modes.

Is the Dreame V12 Pro your GadgetMatch?

All in all, the Dreame V12 Pro is a great household investment that will last for years. The vacuum has a light, ergonomic design and an elegant grey color that can blend with any shade of room interiors. 

Am I satisfied with this vacuum upgrade? Hell, yes!

For PhP 23,990 (around US$ 460), you get a very compact vacuum cleaner with premium features that you can use in every situation. And again, it’s cordless. Check it out on the Dreame website here.

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