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.
Hot & Straight: Garment steamers to keep your clothes wrinkle-free
For your delicate dresses and suits
Not everyone is blessed to have a Samsung Airdresser or LG Styler at home. Both of which are cabinets that clean, deodorize, and straighten your well-loved clothes. Especially for delicate fabrics such as silk and satin, and even the likes of your dresses and suits. For these, we turn to garment streamers.
A clothes iron isn’t generally a bad idea, but there’s a little chance of burning your soft fabric when you use a garment steamer. And it’s perfect for when you’re prepping for an event. Straighten out those sleeves, pleats, and ruffles — and look prim and proper with wrinkle-free clothes.
Xiaomi Zanjia GT-301W
Xiaomi surely makes clean-looking small appliances. The Zanjia GT-301W is a minimalist, lightweight, and portable garment steamer that’s perfect for your white and neat aesthetic.
You can hold it with just one hand, and despite the small size, it blasts 1200W of powerful steam — effectively removing wrinkles on your clothes.
Midea Handheld Steam Ironing Machine
Known as a household brand, Midea took it up a notch by producing a portable yet elegant-looking garment steamer. This garment steamer can be folded easily so you can look posh while you take care of your clothes during your travels.
It also packs so much steam power with steam volume up to 22g/min, making it easier to iron out creases swiftly.
Surely a trusted brand, Philips also has a candidate in the steamer category. The STH3010/70 makes for a well-rounded garment steamer — compact, portable, blasts 1000W of steam power and steam volume of up to 20g/min.
But more importantly, it boots up quickly and the steam plate can be safely pressed across all kinds of ironable fabrics — bedsheet and curtains included.
Dowell CSH-35 Fabricare Lite
Looks may not be its strongest suit, but the Dowell CSH-35 Fabricare Lite puts a strong focus on functionality. It has a large capacity for a travel steamer — sporting a 280ml removable water tank and 1500W of power.
It’s also easy to operate with its single button, it comes with two levels of steam settings, and takes care of your clothes with its three layers of Fabricare technology. Certainly, it removes creases, sanitizes, and refreshes all your fabrics.
Tefal Access Steam + Handheld Garment Steamer DT8100
Stay wrinkle-free with Tefal’s garment steamer in a short amount of time, thanks to its ultra-fast and efficient setup. It packs 1600W of steam power and releases a steam flow of up to 26g/min.
It’s perfect for last-minute steaming at home and it allows you to move conveniently with its 3 meters cord, so you’re not limited to steaming in one corner.
Blow & Dry: Handy, stylish hair dryers for easy blowouts
They deserve to be in your home and in your purse
Every now and then, we’ll need a quick blowout to maintain good hair — whether it’s prepping for an event, a quick touch-up before your Zoom call, or about to run an errand and in a bit of a time crunch.
It’s not every day we’ll need a fabulous blow-dryer that will cost us an arm or leg. Or purchase an expensive one and call it an investment. (Guilty as charged!)
Sometimes, what we need are hair dryers that work. Fast and easy, just the way you’ll like it.
Panasonic EH-NA27 Nanoe Hair Dryer
Carol, GadgetMatch’s Lifestyle Editor, swears by Panasonic’s lineup of Nanoe hair dryers. While her personal choices are a bit chic and ritzy, there are affordable options that certainly do the trick.
The Panasonic EH-Na27 brings in its patented technology, gathering water from the air, and uses it — along with negative ions — to create Nanoe droplets and Double Mineral Ions. It’s the secret to shiny and bouncy hair!
Mi Ionic Hair Dryer
If you’re looking for an affordable yet good-looking hair dryer, say no more. Xiaomi’s Mi Ionic hair dryer solves all your dilemmas: a portable form factor, minimalist and classy design (especially in that white colorway), high volume, and quick-drying technology.
Since it’s an ionic hairdryer, it’s supposedly safer and better compared to ceramic ones — and it won’t leave your hair smelling burnt.
Soocas H5/H3s Hair Dryer
Chay, GadgetMatch’s Creative Director, shared how her GadgetMatch in 2018 was not a phone but a hair dryer. Yes, it was a Soocas hair dryer, which recently had a product refresh.
To Chay, the Soocas hairdryer ticks her three main considerations in looking for a hair dryer: price, power, and design. And more importantly, it doesn’t stop working from overheating despite having an affordable price tag.
Philips Drycare Advanced Hair Dryer HP8233/00
Philips has been around for years, and they certainly produce hair dryers within your reach. The Philips Drycare Advanced hair dryer comes with a professional power as if you have your own hairdresser.
It also comes with multiple temperature settings for less hair damage and a long-lasting look. And more importantly, it sports technology that has an anti-frizz effect to help you achieve that shiny-looking hair.
Imarflex Hair Dryer HD-2210C
If you prefer it classic and generic like any hair dryers found in your mom’s closet, Imarflex retained that familiar look with its hair dryers. The HD-2210C comes with Ionic haircare system and easy toggle between hot and cold temperature settings.
It makes for the perfect hair dryer for a quick and easy blowout, especially when you’re in a hurry. And it certainly won’t break your wallet.
The Starbucks x FILA collection is what we need for hot summer vibes
Live life and have fun in a distinct style
Hold up! Hot girl summer ain’t over yet.
For the first time, Starbucks is collaborating with FILA on an exclusive, co-branded collection of sporty-street-summery style essentials.The Starbucks x FILA collection blends rich brand heritage with classic and modern design. Wearing FILA’s signature white, navy, and red, the collection showcases bold yet timeless designs as seen in the drinkware and lifestyle accessories.
Surely, you’d love to get your hands on these accessories if you’re a fan of timeless yet distinct styles. It’s evident in these tumblers, cups, pouches, and bags!
Where to get
Starbucks x FILA collection will be available starting July 20, 2021, at select Starbucks stores across the Asia-Pacific region while supplies last. In the Philippines, it will also be available in the Starbucks flagship store on Lazada.
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