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.

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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.

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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

Miss Universe 2018 is the Philippines’ Catriona Gray and we stalked her on social media

All you need to know about Catriona!

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Photo by Patrick Prather | Miss Universe

All 7,641 Philippine islands (more or less depending on low tide, or high) are celebrating. Miss Universe 2018 is Catriona Gray and we couldn’t be more proud!

And, because we’re still reeling from the win, we stalked her on social media so that you wouldn’t have to. Here’s where you can find Catriona online:

Instagram: @catriona_gray

The 24 year old is no stranger to pageants. Catriona was crowned Miss World Philippines in 2016.

 

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Ready for my Preliminary Interview ✨🧡🇵🇭 Styled by @justine.aliman19 in @jearsond Filipinana top and ifugao skirt, @jewelmer

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She has numerous advocacies. At the Miss World Pageant Q&A, “If I am to become Miss World Philippines, I would dedicate my voice and essence to carry that torch and to set charitable causes alight, such as my advocacy, the Paraiso Bright Beginnings Project, and I would focus on passing on this torch to empower others because I believe together, there is no darkness in this world that our light cannot overcome.” Other advocacies include HIV awareness.

That’s definite beauty with a purpose.

 

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5AM Friday wake-up! ⏰ 7AM 6 Hour land trip to Baler 🚗🌊🌴 2PM-10PM Chairman of the Board for Binibining Baler 2018 👑✨ 10:30PM Land trip straight back to Manila Airport 🚗😱🛫 6AM Saturday: Flight to Ho Chi Minh City 🇻🇳 5PM Charity Event 💙 11PM Snapped this photo after taking off my makeup 😊 a crazy two days for me! I may get stressed but my skin doesn’t have to cause my Olay Night Ritual comes to the rescue! It has the Regenerist MSC Cream and Serum that help my skin fight different stressors like UV and pollution and helps boost skin renewal. ✨💛 You can get your own set plus a free limited edition tote on Lazada by clicking the link in my bio! #Olay

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During the pageant, Catriona hit one million followers on this platform. Honestly, I’m not surprised.

Twitter: @catrionaelisa

Aside from sharing about her travels using the hashtag , she also tweets about her pageant journey and frequently retweets features she’s taken part in.

Yep, this is the perfect place to stalk our new queen.

YouTube: Catriona Gray

Yes, Catriona has a YouTube account! Aside from the awesome Philippines series she starred in that was released during the Miss Universe pageant, she also posts travel videos.

There are even makeup tutorials to help you achieve her flawless looks.

She sings, too! Talk about multi-talented. An old Catriona YouTube account even features her singing covers.

All the social media stalking is making me love her even more. Congratulations, Queen! Keep slaying! 🇵🇭

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Her GadgetMatch

What night outs are like when you’re older and wiser

Featuring the OPPO R17 Pro and my waning patience for clubs

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There comes a time in every party girl’s life when you realize you’ve lost it. By “it,” I mean the overwhelming urge to go out and stay out late, drinking as much alcohol as a thirsty camel that just escaped the desert.

A few years ago, you’d be lucky to find me home on a weekend. These days, times have sorely changed — Friday nights are spent indoors in the comfort of my bed. Clubbing has been replaced by Saturday brunch meets and coffee dates with friends. It’s been many hangover-free days, but all that was about to change because of a smartphone.

Just another normal day, phone and coffee in hand

This is the OPPO R17 Pro, or in Europe, the RX17 Pro. At the launch event in Milan, OPPO explained that this phone and its new night mode were made for you to be able to capture every moment in your life — including those that didn’t happen in good lighting. At that point, all the badly lit club snaps and the party selfies I’ve ever taken flashed into my mind.

The phone that’s forcing me to leave my bed

Touted as the phone which could “seize the night,” as its slogan had suggested, I decided to test it out in a realistic night out. Time to break my hibernation and finally get out of my very cozy and inviting bed.

I know, this is either my best idea or my worst idea yet.

Prep

Of course, any night out starts with an outfit. And since gone are my tiny dress, stiletto days, I opted for full coverage (and comfort) with a flowing navy skirt which matched the Emerald Green R17 Pro, topping the look off with a pink bag to match my hair and gold details.

And no, I didn’t even attempt to wear heels because the effort in finding a comfy-cute outfit alone was too much for me.

A quick note: This will be the last #OOTD section. As much as I wanted to shoot a phone-coordinated #OOTD for each of my night out attempts, 2018 Isa was just not having it and couldn’t be bothered.

First try: Wine and cheese night

Since I didn’t plan on, nor did I think I would have survived, visiting an actual bar just yet, I called on my friend Nikka for an evening of chatting and unli-wine. I know, I know. You expected a crazy party when I said “night out.” But, this just seemed so much more appealing to me — no chaos of the club and random strangers in a tight, sweaty space — just two girl friends chatting with cheese and tall glasses. Besides, the spot we picked gave us an al fresco table that was perfect for us: It was spacious and dimly lit.

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Since we were seated, I was only able to take sample photos from my seat, of Nikka, and my food. As the night progressed, however, photos got blurrier — but I can attribute that to me getting drunk and wobbly. Who would’ve thought you could get drunk with wine? Newsflash: You can and it can get messy.

The phone did pretty well that night, so much better than I can say for myself. The R17 Pro even took a nice group shot of the people on the other table I drunkenly started to make conversation with (my new friends, if I can remember their names 😅) despite me being a crappy inebriated photographer.

I woke up the next morning with a massive hangover (copious amounts of wine do that) and doubting this whole article pitch altogether but I had to soldier on. I have to say that OPPO’s custom beauty mode really worked wonders for me that day. The selfie below cannot even begin to show the sh*tstorm I felt inside.

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I was so over everything that day that I couldn’t even be bothered to turn the Portrait mode on the front-facing camera to blur out the crap that was behind me. Thankfully, I am to learn later on that the R17 Pro has a host of built-in editing tools, one of which allowed me to selectively blur parts of a photo. I literally drew my own bokeh effect on this selfie. Brownie points for me fixing my hangover mistakes!

We move on to my second night out attempt.

Second try: Birthday celebrations over tapas

When you’re older, you resort to adulting tactics to ensure you don’t inadvertently have a crazy night of drinking. The adulting tactic my friends pulled was the have-a-quiet-dinner-drinks-setup-on-a-Sunday-night-so-that-we-have-to-go-home-early-for-Monday-morning tactic.

Two of my friends, Ian and Shy, celebrated their joint birthdays at a quaint Spanish restaurant. Of course, there was wine, tapas, and even more drinks.

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I’m proud to say I didn’t drink a drop this evening, also because I was still reeling from that previous wine night. Hence, better photo samples with steadier, non-drunk hands. I can’t say the same for my friends, though. The photo below was quickly snapped by one of my drinking friends who decided that the people in the background also wanted in on the shot. 😅 Nevertheless, I fixed it with my newfound R17 Pro editing skills.

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Not drinking and pulling a Cinderella (leaving for home at midnight) did wonders for me. Who knew this was actually a choice? (Early twenty-something Isa who drank at every night out didn’t.)

I woke up Monday morning and was this fresh. This selfie is still with help from the custom beauty mode on light settings, but who’s checking?

Third try: Cocktail tasting

When my friend Sky invited me to a cocktail tasting event, I was about to decline the drinking invitation based on my newly learned no-saying adult capabilities. But, when I learned there were going to be pretty pink cocktails, I was sold. I found myself in a great-looking bar catching up with friends. This, sans a crazy crowd, was usually the type of place I’d have trouble photographing but lo and behold, the photos turned out great.

Three great-tasting strawberry sampaguita cocktails and some fun conversations later, the bar was filling up with people and it was time for me to go home with just the right buzz.

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No hangovers and yummy pink cocktails seemed like the best night out combo. Proof of life the next day is below:

And because I was actually functioning, there was a conscious effort to turn on an actual front-facing portrait mode this time. Though it cut out my earring and part of my glasses, nothing could dampen my non-hungover mood.

Key takeaways

A lot of things are to be learned from this little writing project and drinking experiment of mine. First and foremost is that I cannot, even if I tried, drink as much as I used to. I’m not the invincible twenty-something party machine I once was, and that’s okay. We all slow down; parties come and go but true friends and never-ending cheese platters remain.

I learned that in adulthood, I am seeing more wine and cocktails and fewer shots — thank goodness. Nevertheless, know that a wine hangover will kill you, or at least your will to function for a whole day. Even if a good beauty mode can cover up said hangover in selfies, you still feel it intensely.

I also learned that I’m still very friendly when I have alcohol in my system (some things never change), drunk people will never, ever take good photos (my drunken selfies will never, ever see the light of day), and the OPPO R17 Pro is a good night out companion.

Despite all these findings, life lessons, and great photos, I feel like I’m ready to crawl back into my bed and switch back to hibernation mode. This is the only “night mode” I’m willing to do for a while.

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8 festive makeup looks to up your holiday game

Sparkly AF

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December is the time for gifts, Christmas cheer, and, of course, holiday parties. Looking to add some pizzaz to celebrate? Fret not, I gotchu.

Dazzle everyone with festive looks that are as fun and bright as the holidays themselves. This season’s looks involve some merry cheer in the form of bright colors and a lot of sparkles. Wow at your next Christmas get-together with makeup that jingle bell rocks. Here are a few looks you can try:

Get in the mood with this glitter red eye

This red-themed look is one that’s sure to turn heads. Pair your shimmering lids with a glossy red lip and you’ll be looking oh so merry this season.

This festive green makes for an elegant Christmas look 

A subtle look with a great color pop to keep you in thay holiday spirit, this Christmas-y greed lid works well worn with some holiday cheer.

A great glitter cut crease is a popping detail everyone will love

It’s all about the subtle detail! This sparkly cut crease makes a big impact and turns up the holiday notch in any basic look.

Ice queen with a flair with this cool frosted lavender look

There’s a Rihanna style for every season! This cool lavender look is a great way to add some color to an icy snow queen look that’s perfect for this Ber-month.

Another sparkly cut crease that definitely dazzles

Another take on the glitter cut crease — this whole look is looking festive AF. This fresh face topped off with that eye-catching lid looks simply amazing.

Go all out glam with a glorious glitter lid

For a more classic approach, a bold red lip with shimmering platinum lids do the job well. This holiday twist to the dramatic look does wonders.

A simple look with a tiny touch of twinkle

Those who need a more conservative holiday look for everyday December wear need not look further. A touch of sparkle on your lid will make all the difference.

This amazing glitter lip because glitter works with everything

Dazzle everyone with this look! Taking things up a notch with the glitters, this bold holiday lip will give everyone something to look at.

Merry Christmas and great-looking makeup holidays, ya’ll! 🤩

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