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!)
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).
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.
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.
Home appliances that fit your pastel, feminine aesthetic
Nowadays, it’s not that difficult to marry your aesthetic with technology that fits your needs. No, I’m not just talking about phones and personal gadgets here but appliances that make life much easier.
I still remember back in Spring of 2017 when we just moved to Berlin and we were still putting our kitchen together. I wanted some pastel colors in the kitchen. This, to make cooking a fun activity even in my busiest of days and in the dead of winter. It was hard to find anything that matched my palette that also fit our budget.
Looking through this year’s IFA, we were given a glimpse of what’s now available in the market and what’s to come. Let’s just say, you won’t be stuck with just two options. So if you’re looking for appliances that fit your feminine aesthetic without having to sacrifice technological advancement, we got you covered.
SMEG: Retro Chic
A touch of color and retro feels that can make any Instagram feed happy. Their fridge is a classic and the design is something we are definitely familiar with. For functionality, it does tend to be basic but if you’re someone who wants something that is a straight-up fridge with not much frills, then this would be perfect.
You get ample space that can fit a small family’s needs for a week but it’s not a fridge I would recommend if you’re someone who likes to store food much longer than that. And let’s face it, why would you? You’d just forget about it anyway. Might as well get to them at their best state.
The price tag for a SMEG fridge here in Berlin start at about EUR 1,000 (US$ 1,107). If that’s pretty steep for you, the brand offers other items for your kitchen that come in pretty pastels as well. Something you can get for now while you save up for that fridge. From electric kettles, juicers, toasters, blenders and even mixers that can be a serious threat to Kitchenaid looks-wise, SMEG offers products that can still fit your budget despite its premium status.
What’s impressive is their dishwasher that comes in such a gorgeous shade of Cadillac pink. Despite the retro look, it comes with various modes that any modern homemaker will be happy about. Five programs that even cover your crystal plus five quick versions of each. For all those times when you get unexpected guests and you just need your dishes stat.
Bosch: For the Fickle Minded
We’ve all been there — waking up one day and just wanting to redecorate the whole apartment, wanting a fresh look for all the fresh starts we keep having. But if you decided on a bright red two years ago for your fridge, how in the world will it fit your new, much more relaxed, pastel aesthetic?
No worries, Bosch has the Vario fridge. The first fridge that was designed to be re-styled whenever you want and whatever your color your mood dictates. As long as it fits in their 24-color palette which, come to think of it, already feels like more than enough.
Prices in Germany start at EUR 1,279 inclusive of the standard grey fridge with a pair color panels. Extra panels come at EUR 179 for a pair.
Another thing we definitely enjoyed at the Bosch pavilion at IFA was the CookIt. It may not come in pretty pastel colors but it does come in white – which will definitely go with your colored pieces. The food processor and multicooker in one is definitely a game-changer in the kitchen that it got a GadgetMatch Best of IFA Award.
Samsung: Personalized Elegance
The first in their line of customizable appliances, Samsung introduced their BESPOKE refrigerator line. Not only do you get to choose the colors of your fridge, you also get to design how the modular configuration of the fridge can fit into your kitchen.
From the size, material, the number of doors, handle position, and the way it will all fit in your space, everything is decided by the customer. Choosing the configuration and colours for the fridge also come as an experience for the customer. A screen that immediately lets you see how it will look like in your own (or dream) kitchen wasn’t just convenient, it was fun to use as well.
A choice between nine colors also gives you the power to give each fridge door a different color. Another recipient of the Best of IFA award here at GadgetMatch, the Samsung BESPOKE refrigerators are rumored to come out mid-2020 here in Germany and we obviously can’t wait.
How to wear nude: The perfect summer to fall transition
Look chic this transitional season with a color you most probably have in your closet
The combination of cool breeze and sunny skies can only mean one thing: summer isn’t completely over but autumn is almost here. Dressing during this transitional season can be tricky — sweaters and boots can still be too warm during the day, yet the wind can easily blow your favorite summer dress up.
And then there’s color. Summer whites and bright colors have to slowly start taking a back seat to give way to fall’s earthy tones. My go-to during this summer-to-fall transition is a closet staple all of us should already own: nude. All 50 shades of it. Here are some styling tricks you can take note of before heading out this month of September:
Layer with linens
There are very few things more comfortable than linen during the summer. On days when temperatures fluctuate more than usual, wearing layers with a linen piece can be your go-to. Combine it with something warmer like a cotton sweater. You can also throw a blazer on top if the weather permits.
Slip into a slip dress
Who says you need to give your slip dresses a break this season? You can keep wearing those silk pieces as you transition into fall with a warm turtle neck sweater underneath or over it to turn it into a skirt.
Keep calm and carry the mini bag
Mini bags may be the it accessory this summer, but it doesn’t mean you have to wait until next year to keep using them. Neutrals like nude will work with your outfit when styled appropriately for the season, even when the item is no longer trendy.
Power dress with an extra long coat
Sweating underneath a powerful outfit is neither attractive nor commanding. Power dressing when it’s hot and humid out is not easy, especially when getting to work involves a lot of walking or subway rides. During this summer-to-fall transition, you can bring that light-colored coat from spring and wear it over your work outfit when needed. Plus points if your smartphone (or its case) doesn’t ruin the look, but actually matches with it. Thankfully my Almond OnePlus 7 Pro does.
There are many other ways to survive the summer-to-fall transition as stylishly as possible, but there’s nothing like sticking to pieces you most probably already have in your wardrobe — and styling them for the season — instead of buying more pieces that you won’t be able to wear until next year. There is, for sure, something nude in your closet that’s begging to be worn. It’s a staple that works with almost anything, may it be summer or fall.
HOW TO WEAR SERIES
Elodie unicorn diffuser: Adorable lamp and humidifier for your baby’s nursery
Keep cold and flu viruses at bay with this super cute unicorn humidifier
Infants and toddlers are especially vulnerable to sickness-causing bacteria that thrive in dry air so it is important for parents to be aware of the humidity level of their homes. This is why a diffuser is an essential item in many moms’ checklists, including mine, to add healthy moisture to every home.
A humidifier, night light, and a cute unicorn accessory all-in-one — the Elodie Unicorn LED Diffuser 2.0 by Smoko makes a perfect addition to your baby’s nursery.
“It can continuously change colors on its own if that’s the magical show that you wish to achieve.”
How it works
Using ultrasonic vibration technology, the machine breaks its water particles into cool mist. The amount of mist that comes out of its golden horn depends on the humidity, temperature, and air flow in your room.
Its full tank capacity of 200ml should last for up to 6-8 hours although it only lasted for 4 hours, in my case.
You can choose to set the duration to one hour, two hours, or to stay on until the machine automatically shuts off when it is out of water. The water tank is pretty big which allows for easy refill.
This unicorn can also light up with 8 different colors: red, violet, blue, light blue, green, yellow, white, pink. It can continuously change colors on its own if that’s the magical show that you wish to achieve.
It’s important to regularly clean any diffuser to prevent the buildup of mold. With Elodie, maintenance is a piece of cake.
Just empty the tank after 5-6 uses and wipe with a clean, soft, and damp cloth. If you choose to use essential oils, you’ll want to clean the tank before using a different one.
When not in use, just keep the tank dry. You wouldn’t want idle water to attract bugs or insects.
Is it any good?
At US$ 65, this isn’t some smart high-tech humidifier, but it does the job of doing exactly what I need it to do: add moisture to the nursery I’m building for my baby, and more.
It also doesn’t make any noise, neither does it leak nor scatter water droplets. It’s simple but with added unicorn cuteness other diffusers don’t have.
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