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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.

News

GrabPay now has BDO, BPI, Unionbank, SM, and 7-Eleven as cash-in partners

Topping up GrabPay wallets is now more convenient

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Grab continues to expand its online transaction and payment service — GrabPay — by adding more cash-in partners for the service. Users can now cash in with their Banco de Oro (BDO), Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), and Unionbank bank accounts, or pay through SM’s payment centers and 7-Eleven stores.

GrabPay users can link their BDO, BPI, and UnionBank accounts in seconds through the Grab app. To link their accounts, they must do the following:

  1. Tap on the “Payment” tab located at the bottom of the Grab app.
  2. Select “Cash In” on the payment screen.
  3. Select “Linked Bank Account” among the cash-in options
  4. Users can now choose whether to link their BDO, BPI, or UnionBank account and input their account details.

Once this is done, their bank accounts will be linked to their GrabPay account. Users don’t have to enter their banking details every time they cash in. For added security though, Grab is requiring users to enter a one-time password sent to their mobile numbers every time they do a transaction.

Cash in at SM and 7-Eleven

Users can also cash in through any of SM’s business centers and 7-Eleven branches nationwide. This option is convenient for those who don’t want to link their bank accounts or those who want to pay over the counter. To cash in at any 7-Eleven branch, GrabPay users simply have to do the following:

  1. Navigate to the “Payment” tab.
  2. Select “Cash In” when the payment screen appears.
  3. Tap the “In-Store” cash-in method.
  4. Choose “7-Eleven”.
  5. Enter the desired cash-in amount and tap “Submit”.

Users will have to show the generated barcode to the cashier to complete their payment. For those transacting at any of SM’s business centers, they have to show their payment reference code to the respective business center agents and pay the amount they chose.

The payment service for every need

GrabPay has expanded over the years, and users can take advantage of the service to pay both online and offline. GrabPay integrates with GrabFood and GrabMart for food and grocery deliveries. It also integrates with GrabExpress for sending deliveries to any person, be it a friend or a family member.

Those who love to shop online can even use GrabPay for secure and seamless cashless transactions with retailers including Zalora, BeautyMNL, Shein, Shop SM, Power Mac Center, Kumu, GoodWork.ph, and Taxumo. GrabPay is also available for offline transactions across malls, beauty and wellness retailers, restaurants, and more.

Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Users can also use GrabPay to buy prepaid loads and pay bills. Most transactions also award users with points that they can earn and redeem for various discounts, products, or services. As Grab continues to expand its payment service further, users can expect more functionality to come in the future too.

SEE ALSO: Going Cashless: Make payments, transfer funds all on your phone

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Redmi Note 10 Pro and Mi Band 6 are now in the Philippines

Discounts are up for grabs on select Xiaomi devices too!

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Xiaomi’s annual Mi fan Festival is kicking into high gear with the launch of two new devices in the Philippines. Alongside the launch, customers can also avail of exclusive deals and tickets to a digital concert happening this May.

Two of the new devices coming to the Philippines soon include the Redmi Note 10 Pro and Mi Band 6. The Redmi Note 10 Pro launched just March — its primary highlight being the 108MP wide-angle camera. The newly-launched wearable Mi Band 6, which has a bigger display than its predecessors, is also seeing an early release in the country.

The Redmi Note 10 Pro is available in two variants: an 8GB/128GB variant for PhP 13,590 and a 6GB/128GB variant for PhP 12,590. Meanwhile, the Mi Band 6 now retails for PhP 1,990.

Discounts on the Mi Fan Festival

Along with the launch of two new devices, Xiaomi is also discounting a few of its smartphones as part of the annual Mi Fan Festival which runs from April 6 to May 9. These include the following:

  • Redmi Note 9 Pro (4GB/64GB) — PhP 10,990 (SRP: PhP 11,990)
  • Redmi Note 9S (4GB/64GB) — PhP 9,490 (SRP: PhP 11,990)
  • Redmi Note 9 Pro (6GB/128GB) — PhP 9,990 (SRP: PhP 10,990)
  • Redmi Note 9S (6GB/128GB) — PhP 10,490 (SRP: PhP 12,990)

The purchase of the aforementioned devices will also score buyers two tickets to the Melody with Mi digital concert. The digital concert premieres on May 23, 8 pm. For more tickets, buyers may avail of any variant of the Redmi Note 10 Pro and get three tickets for the concert. Meanwhile, purchases above PhP 25,000 will not only include tickets but also access to the exclusive Meet & Greet and After Party.

Non-discounted devices with included two tickets are also available on every purchase of the following: Redmi Note 10 (4GB/64GB), Redmi Note 10 (6GB/128GB), Redmi 9T (4GB/64GB), Redmi 9T (6GB/128GB), and Redmi 9A (2GB/32GB).

More discounts on Xiaomi’s Lazada and Shopee store

For those who are more into online shopping, Xiaomi is also offering discounts for select smartphones. One can enjoy up to 40% discount from April 6-11 exclusively on Lazada and Shopee.

  • Redmi Note 9S (6GB/128GB) — PhP 10,490 (SRP: PhP 11,490)
  • Redmi Note 9 Pro (6GB/128GB) — PhP 9,990 (SRP: PhP 10,990)
  • Redmi Note 9 Pro (4GB/64GB) — PhP 8,490 (SRP: PhP 9,990)
  • Redmi Note 10 (4GB/64GB) — PhP 7,990 (SRP: PhP 8,490)
  • Redmi Note 9S (4GB/64GB) — PhP 7,490 (SRP: PhP 10,490)
  • Redmi 9A (2GB/32GB) — PhP 3,990 (SRP: PhP 4,690)

Redmi Note 10 Pro Mi Fan Festival Special Edition

To celebrate the annual fan festival, Xiaomi will be selling a special version of the Redmi Note 10 Pro.The MFF Special Edition comes in a package with a cosmic-inspired design and contains postcards and stickers as a special treat for Mi fans out there. Meanwhile, the device comes in a Gradient Bronze variant  which has a natural metallic luster.

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ROG Phone 5 series: Price, availability in the Philippines

You’ll be happy with the accessories!

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ROG Phone 5

Unboxings and reviews are up concerning the ROG Phone 5 series. Today, we finally get the last piece of the puzzle — price and availability details and the Philippines.

Quick recap before we dive right into the details on why you clicked here in the first place. The ROG Phone 5 series is composed of three smartphones: the ROG Phone 5, ROG Phone 5 Pro, and ROG Phone 5 Ultimate.
All three members of the ROG Phone 5 series have in common — they’re all spec monsters. They are powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 with Qualcomm Game Quick Touch that gives up to a 20 percent increase in touch responsiveness and lower latency. There’s also a 35 percent increase in GPU performance and 25 percent in CPU performance. These are numbers based on ASUS ROG’s tests.

A performance display

The series has a 6.78” Samsung AMOLED display. For the refresh rate, it’s a whopping 144Hz and has a touch sampling rate of 300Hz. That’s super smooth and ultra-low touch latency.

The screen is also made with the toughest Corning Gorilla Glass Victus. It also has an always-on HDR tech that improves non-HDR visuals.

Battery king

The ROG Phone has always been a long-lasting device. That remains true with the ROG Phone 5. It has a 6,000mAh battery but now, ROG also made a few tweaks so it saves energy when it needs to.

Other improvements include an upgraded GameCool5 system and a new performance manager on Armoury Crate.

New to ROG Phone 5 Pro and Ultimate — ROG Vision

Do you remember the AniMe Matrix on the ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14? The ROG Phone 5 Pro and Ultimate have something like that. It’s called the ROG Vision.

It functions similarly in that it gives another layer of personalization through an extra display at the back of the phone but this one isn’t built with mini-LED lights.

The ROG Phone 5 Pro features a color ROG Vision display, while the ROG Phone 5 Ultimate has a monochrome version.

Price and availability

ROG Phone 5

The ROG Phone 5 Classic at 16GB/256GB will be available in the Philippines in Phantom Black starting April 10, 2021 at PhP 49,995. First owners will also get a special set bundle, which includes the ROG Kunai Gamepad as well as the ROG Akira Oversized Tee. Its Storm White variant will arrive within May 2021.

The ROG Phone 5 Classic at 8GB/128GB will be available starting April 10, 2021 in Phantom Black at PhP 39,995. The Storm White version will follow within May 2021.

ROG Phone 5 Pro

The ROG Phone 5 Pro edition Phantom Black at 16GB/512GB will hit the market at PhP 54,995. Both will feature the highly customizable ROG Vision and additional rear trigger buttons.

ROG Phone 5 Ultimate

The ROG Phone 5 Ultimate edition in Phantom White at 18GB/512GB is priced at PhP 59,995 and will be complete with a Special Gift Box.

Accessories

The ROG Kunai Gamepad will arrive in April 2021 at PhP 6,995 and the ROG Lighting Armor Case 5 in May 2021 at PhP 2,495.

All ROG Phone 5 phones will be complete with the AeroActive Cooler 5 and will also sport 1-year Global Warranty. The warranty will be available for the ROG Phone accessories as well. Complete details can also be checked through this link: http://bit.ly/ROGPhone_WTB

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