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OPPO Find X3 Pro review: Third time’s the charm?

Has OPPO finally found the flagship formula?

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Over the past three or so years, OPPO has been trying to rise above the reputation it built for itself — a smartphone brand for the masses. With the Find X3 Pro, the goal is clearer than ever: to be mentioned in the same breath as Apple and Samsung. And perhaps, fill the void that’s steadily growing as Huawei fights to keep its international relevance alive.

They can say otherwise, but it’s pretty evident with how rapidly their series of phones have shifted.

From the roots built upon the somewhat confusing F-Series and R-Series lines rose the best-selling budget and lower midrange phones in the A-Series. Then, there was the awkward crossroads between the Find X and the OPPO Reno 10X Zoom.

For a while, it looked like Reno was going to be the flagbearer with the aptly named Find X being the experimental premium line. Things quickly pivoted when the company launched a confusing set of Reno2s barely six months since the introduction of the Reno line.

OPPO Reno5

Fast forward to today and Reno is already on its fifth iteration in just three years. Meanwhile, Find X is in its third, four years after the first one was showcased in Paris.

Reno has since settled in the midrange and upper midrange arena, while Find X has taken the wheel as OPPO maneuvers to relevance in the upper echelon of smartphones.

Finding an identity

The first Find X and the Find X2 Pro share very little in overall characteristics. The only thing they had in common was being tagged as the best OPPO had to offer at the respective time of their releases.

The time in-between is pretty significant. One year and eight months to be precise. OPPO used that time to refine what it wanted to offer as its best. To a certain extent, it succeeded. The Find X2 Pro was a culmination of all the research and development it had poured into smartphones.

OPPO Find X and Find X3 Pro

Was it perfect? Not at all. The company may have overshot the pricing, and opted to not include wireless charging — a feature that had been present with its contemporaries for around two years at the time. Still, it was a step in the right direction.

The makeover wasn’t just in the hardware. ColorOS, the user interface (UI) that OPPO puts on top of Android also underwent a change. Things shifted software-wise when OPPO stopped trying to take a bite out of Apple and started breathing Oxygen.

It’s now less concerned about feeling like a weird amalgamation of Android and iOS. With its latest iteration, ColorOS 11.2 has, instead, embraced it being an Android and took lessons from sister brand OnePlus to deliver a smoother, cleaner UI.

Of course, there’s still the iPhone-looking camera module, but you know… baby steps.

Awakening Colour

Now that I’ve gotten that word vomit of a backgrounder out of the way, let’s dive straight into what a lot of people care about with these flagship smartphones — the image production.

Every phone maker has said this in all of their device announcements, but this time with OPPO, they truly meant it when they said they took extra care in how the hardware and software of the Find X3 Pro work together in producing quality images.

Here’s the quad-camera setup on the rear: 50MPSony IMX 766 sensor with optical image stabilization, 50MP ultra wide-angle lens, 13-megapixel telephoto camera, and 3-megapixel macro sensor. The setup is capable of 5x hybrid-digital zoom and 20x digital zoom. For selfies, there’s a 32MP camera.

Microscopic lens

But first, let me get the microscopic lens out of the way. Do I think it’s a gimmick? Yes. Should they have not included it on the phone? Not necessarily.

Features like this exist so there’s something new and different that can be talked about on the phone. And don’t get me wrong, IT IS pretty darn cool, just not practical. But if you’re the type who can fork out cash for a premium device then it’s nice for that device to be able to show-off something unusual.

Night mode 

The Find X3 Pro’s night mode is one of my favorite night modes on any smartphone. Most of the time it’ll give you an evenly lit scene with plenty of details retained. It captures an image that actually still looks like night time instead of a scene that looks like there’s a massive spotlight pointed at the photo you took.

Don’t get me wrong, it still does commit the sin of making a night time shot look almost like it’s day time. Take for instance the example below. The area was nearly pitch black and the software overcompensates by adding too much brightness to the scene.

However, this isn’t always a bad thing. Used on the right kind of scenery, it will produce an image that can draw some type of emotion or reaction from anyone who sees it.

Ultra wide 

There weren’t many opportunities to use the ultra-wide angle lens seeing as travel is still pretty restricted and I’m not about to show you how messy my room is. But the few times I got to use it produced some pretty looking pictures that I certainly wouldn’t mind sharing.

AI mode was turned on when these were taken for both the wide and ultra-wide shots. One of the key things to takeaway is how the Find X3 Pro delivers in its promise to give you similar (if not same) quality images for both lenses with the only difference being the wider field of view.

Wide

Ultra-Wide

Food 

If foodtography is your thing, you’ll have a blast using the Find X3 Pro. The shots we took really make the food look appetizing without it resorting to shooting up the saturation too much.

Even a shot like this that I didn’t put too much thought into looks pretty mouthwatering. I kid you not, I had people sliding in my DMs when I posted this as an IG and FB story asking how it tastes and where they can order. In case you’re curious too, you can message the Burger Garage FB page to order.

Indoor and lowlight 

Here’s an area where the Find X3 Pro also performed admirably. I’m just going to let the images speak for themselves.

Portraits and selfies 

The OPPO Find X3’s portrait mode shined the most, I think, when it was able to retain so much detail in the background in the sample below despite the other sample totally botching the HDR.

The thing about taking photos of people is how accurate it gets skin tones, and this smartphone does pretty well for the most part. In terms of color accurate capture, the Find X3 Pro is probably the Android smartphone that gets as close to natural as possible.

I’ve been particularly shy showing myself in front of the camera after all the pandemic weight I gained, so I left the selfies part for our Associate Creative Director MJ to scrutinize. Other than retaining detail and producing an all-around pretty good image, what caught his attention the most is how the beauty mode isn’t as aggressive anymore.

It’s still a hit or miss, especially with the beautify mode on, but it’s still able to produce favorable results especially when taken under good lighting. It doesn’t completely erase the imperfections on your face but does enough that you won’t want to retouch it and just upload right away on social media with the caption “Felt cute, won’t delete.”

This is an encouraging development from OPPO who’s a self-proclaimed selfie expert. To quote our MJ, “They made me embrace my scars more because it didn’t feel like I have to be shy about it.”

Other shots for your appreciation

If it isn’t obvious by now, we’re absolutely huge fans of how OPPO approached imaging for the Find X3 Pro. It’s absolutely one of the best smartphone cameras today. Here are a few more shots for your appreciation.

If you want side by side comparisons, we did a camera shootout of the Find X3 Pro versus the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra here, and versus the Mi 11 here.

Enjoyable mobile gaming

The last time I gamed on a smartphone as much as I have on the Find X3 Pro is when I was using the ROG Phone 2. That’s saying a lot since the latter is more geared for gaming while the former is more a do-it-all flagship.

I spent an entire Saturday afternoon levelling up on Call of Duty: Mobile simply because it was so fun to play on the OPPO Find X3 Pro. The combination of its performance specs — Snapdragon 888, 12GB RAM, 240Hz touch sampling rate — and the 6.7” AMOLED display made for a truly rewarding experience.

Aiming felt fast and fluid, my game NEVER lagged, and I was only held back by my own stupid gameplay mistakes. It is prudent to note that it does heat up significantly if you’re using 5G while you play. It also had a case on it while I played and that may have contributed to the heating but it wasn’t to the point where I couldn’t hold the phone anymore.

OPPO’s Game Assistant is also pretty darn helpful and easy on the eyes. I’m a huge fan of how it looks and how it delivers notifications. Instead of showing up as banners interrupting your game, notifications show up as tiny ticker-like text on your screen. It makes you notice it without demanding too much attention.

Media consumption 

I may have not said this enough up to this point but the display on the Find X3 Pro is absolutely gorgeous to look at without straining your eyes. The 120Hz refresh rate, contrast ratio, and peak brightness all contribute to a screen you wouldn’t mind being stuck with.

My jaw absolutely dropped watching TWICE Momo’s first solo Performance Project video on this screen.  It only has a speaker grille at the bottom but it gets significantly loud without distorting the audio.

Even when you hold it and accidentally cover the speaker, the sound doesn’t get too muffled that it becomes incomprehensible. Re-watching the United States of Smash moment by My Hero Academia’s All Might was just as impactful as when I first watched it on a TV screen.

Is the OPPO Find X3 Pro your GadgetMatch? 

Prized at SG$ 1,599 (which is around US$ 1,200), it’s actually a tad more affordable than the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra (SG$ 1798) and the iPhone 12 Pro Max (SG$ 1969). But is it a worthy alternative against those two? The answer is a resounding YES.

Third time is indeed the charm for OPPO as they absolutely nailed everything about the Find X3 Pro. Notice how we didn’t hesitate to mention it in the same sentence as Samsung and Apple? That’s where OPPO is at now with this smartphone. They deserve a seat in the premium flagship table.

There’s always room for improvement. But the Find X3 Pro is as solid a foundation as any. OPPO only needs to stay the course now to completely overtake Huawei and claim its spot among the titans of the industry.

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Samsung Galaxy S23 Series: Price, availability in the Philippines

Switching to Samsung?

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Galaxy S23 Philippines

The Samsung Galaxy S23, Galaxy S23+, and Galaxy S23 Ultra have just launched and are officially landing in the Philippines. Here’s how much it’ll set you back if you decide to grab the latest Galaxy. 

Price and availability 

The Galaxy S23 series is available in four colors: Phantom Black, Cream, Green and Lavender. Pricing are as follows: 

Samsung Galaxy S23:

  • 128GB — PhP 53,990
  • 256GB — PhP 57,990

Galaxy S23+:

  • 256GB — PhP 68,990
  • 512GB — PhP 76,990

Galaxy S23 Ultra:

  • 256GB — PhP 81,990
  • 512GB — PhP 89,990
  • 1TB — PhP 103,990 (samsung.com exclusive)

Pre-order details

Pre-order period is February 2 to 23, 2023. Those who pre-order any of the three smartphones can get discounts of up to PhP 76,000. This includes a FREE memory upgrade worth PhP 8,000. They will instantly get the higher memory variant for the price of the lower variant within the same model lineup.

Those who will trade-in their old devices can also enjoy savings of up to PhP 13,000 on top of their old phone’s residual value. In addition, they will get an e-voucher worth up to PhP 5,000, a 50% discount on the Galaxy Buds2 Pro, and 30% off on the Galaxy Watch5 Series. On top of this, they will also get a FREE 1-year Samsung Care+ coverage worth PhP 5,999, and earn double Samsung Rewards points.

As an exclusive samsung.com offer, the Galaxy S23 Ultra 1TB will be offered as part of a limited-edition Samsung Galaxy VIP bundle (PhP 119,378) with total savings of PhP 38,000.

The VIP bundle includes :

  • 1TB Galaxy S23 Ultra
  • Galaxy Watch5 Pro 46mm
  • Galaxy Buds 2 Pro
  • Super Fast Wireless Duo Charger
  • Galaxy S23 Ultra Leather Cover
  • 1-year Samsung Care+ coverage

The Galaxy S23 series is also available for pre-order through Samsung Experience Stores, Authorized Samsung Stores, Lazada, Shopee, Abenson.com and MemoXpress Online. Customers who pre-order through these channels from February 2 to 23, 2023 will enjoy as much as PhP 65,000 worth of discounts. This also includes the FREE Memory Upgrade, additional savings for traded-in devices, 50% off on the Galaxy Buds2 Pro, and 30% off on the Galaxy Watch5 Series. 

Focused refinement 

Samsung honed in a few improvements for this series. Specifically, they targeted “Nightography,” Gaming, Customization, and Sustainability. 

The Galaxy S23 sports the first 200MP sensor on a Samsung smartphone. Working in tandem with their AI, the phone promises to produce images that appear well lit even in environments with poor lighting conditions. And this also applies to video. 

For gaming, the entire Galaxy S23 series is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor. That’s the best one for Android smartphones right now. It’s also accompanied by improved cooling for overall better gameplay. 

Samsung is approaching customization on both hardware and software fronts. They have plenty of accessories that you can style in your own way for your Galaxy device. Meanwhile, ONE UI 5.1 is introducing perhaps the most robust software customization that Samsung has had yet. All these to make your smartphone Your Galaxy. 

For sustainability, Samsung has made it a point to use recycled materials not only on the packaging, but also on the actual smartphones. The Galaxy S23 Ultra actually has 12 components made with recycled materials. That’s double of what the Galaxy S22 Ultra had. 

Samsung Galaxy S23 Series Specs

Galaxy S23 Ultra

  • Display — 6.8-inch QHD+ Edge, Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 120Hz refresh rate, 240Hz touch sampling rate, Vision Booster, Enhanced Comfort
  • Processor — Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy
  • RAM and Storage — 12GB+1TB, 12GB+512GB, 12GB+256GB
  • Battery and Charging — 5,000mAh, Fast Wireless Charging 2.0, Wireless Powershare
  • OS — Android 13, ONE UI 5.1
  • Water Resistance — IP68
  • Cameras: 
    • 200MP f/1.7 Wide 
    • 12MP, f/2.2 Ultra-Wide 
    • 10MP, f/2.4 Telephoto, 3x optical zoom
    • 10MP, f/4.9 Telephoto, 10x optical zoom 
    • 12MP, f/2.2 Front

Samsung Galaxy S23+

  • Display — 6.6-inch FHD+, Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 120Hz refresh rate, 240Hz touch sampling rate, Vision Booster, Enhanced Comfort
  • Processor — Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy
  • RAM and Storage — 8GB+512GB, 8GB+256GB
  • Battery and Charging — 4,700mAh, Fast Wireless Charging 2.0, Wireless Powershare
  • OS — Android 13, ONE UI 5.1
  • Water Resistance — IP68
  • Cameras: 
    • 50MP f/1.8 Wide 
    • 12MP, f/2.2 Ultra-Wide 
    • 10MP, f/2.4 Telephoto, 3x optical zoom
    • 12MP, f/2.2 Front

Galaxy S23

  • Display — 6.6-inch FHD+, Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 120Hz refresh rate, 240Hz touch sampling rate, Vision Booster, Enhanced Comfort
  • Processor — Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy
  • RAM and Storage — 8GB+256GB, 8GB+128GB
  • Battery and Charging — 3,900mAh, Fast Wireless Charging 2.0, Wireless Powershare
  • OS — Android 13, ONE UI 5.1
  • Water Resistance — IP68
  • Cameras: 
    • 50MP f/1.8 Wide 
    • 12MP, f/2.2 Ultra-Wide 
    • 10MP, f/2.4 Telephoto, 3x optical zoom
    • 12MP, f/2.2 Front

 

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ASUS 2.2 OLED Festival sale: Win a Vivobook 13 Slate

Enjoy 10% off on Vivobooks, Zenbooks

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ASUS is celebrating 2.2 early, offering customers the chance to win a Vivobook 13 Slate OLED through the OLED Festival Sale on Lazada and Shopee.

From January 28 to February 5, selected Vivobook and Zenbook devices get up to 10% off. During the promotional period, a purchase of any ASUS OLED laptop entitles customers to a raffle entry.

One (1) lucky winner will be announced on February 10 through ASUS Philippines’ official Facebook page.

Award-winning laptops get more affordable

Participating laptops in ASUS’ OLED Festival Sale include the following:

  • Zenbook 14 Flip
  • Zenbook 13
  • Zenbook 14
  • Vivobook S14X
  • Vivobook S 14 Flip
  • Vivobook 13 Slate 
  • Vivobook Pro 15 
  • Vivobook 15X

The powerful 12th Gen Intel Core and Intel Iris Xe-boosted Zenbook 14 Flip gets a reduced price of just PhP 83,695 from PhP 87,995.

This foldable features ASUS’ 360-degree ErgoLift Hinge technology, a 2.8K OLED HDR 90Hz NanoEdge touch screen display, 16GB of DDR5 memory, and 512GB of PCIe Gen 4 SSD storage.

Meanwhile, both the Vivobook S 14X and Vivobook S 14 Flip retail for PhP 71,295 and PhP 71,245, respectively.

Both laptops are powered by up to 12th Gen Intel Core i7 processors and have 2.8K OLED displays, long battery life, fast-charging technology, and impressive performance.

They come with Microsoft Office for Home & Student pre-installed, as well as a 1-month free Adobe Creative Cloud upon purchase.

Be sure on the lookout for these deals from ASUS, as well as free shipping vouchers of up to PhP 100.

SEE ALSO: ASUS Vivobook Slate 13 OLED: Stay on top of your game

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Buy AMD’s Ryzen 7000 series-Star Wars Jedi: Survivor bundle

Cal Kestis’ adventure continues

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AMD Ryzen Jedi Survivor

AMD has an early offer for those anticipating the release of Star Wars Jedi: Survivor.

Until April 1, 2023, customers may avail of the AMD Ryzen Game Bundle which includes select 7000 series processors and access to Star Wars Jedi: Survivor.

Powered by the new Zen 4 architecture, Ryzen 7000 series desktop processors offer incredible performance for gamers — up to 15% faster than the Zen 3 generation.

When purchased, gamers will receive a redemption code and will have until May 6, 2023 to redeem their copy of Star Wars Jedi: Survivor.

The action adventure game is set to release on March 17 for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, and Windows.

The sequel to Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order stars now Jedi Knight Cal Kestis, whose story continues with adventures that will push him further than ever as he fights to protect the galaxy from descending into darkness.

Players will discover new planets and visit familiar frontiers in the Star Wars galaxy in the game, each with unique biomes, challenges, and enemies.

Watch the Star Wars Jedi: Survivor trailer. 

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