Hands-On

OPPO R11 hands-on and photo comparisons

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A few days after it appeared on the official online store, the OPPO R11 was launched in Shenzhen, China. This is the R9s’ successor and the newest dual-camera flagship addition to the OPPO roster. Here are my thoughts after two full days with it in the bustling city.

Look and feel

The R11 is definitely a smooth and sleek machine.

Although it seems to be a bit big for my tiny girly hands (I still maintain that the size of the iPhone SE is a perfect fit to my teeny hands), this size remains to be standard, as 5.5-inch phones continue to dominate the market.

The phone feels premium with a good weight and feel. It comes in gold, rose gold, and black. We got our hands on the matte black and it looked good, and well, also looked familiar.

Front camera

OPPO has always placed extra importance on picture quality and the selfie experience. The 20-megapixel front-facing camera says a lot here.

Still built into the phone is the Beauty Mode and its software-generated Bokeh Mode, which makes it possible to achieve the shallow depth effect even with a single shooter on this side of the phone.

Rear camera

The R11 has a dual 20-megapixel and 16-megapixel rear camera setup. It’s also equipped with customized image processing software (14-bit Spectra 160 ISP) specifically designed by Qualcomm to improve its photographs.

According to OPPO, this means faster focus speeds, more vivid colors, and better low-light capabilities. I put that to the test.

Roaming around the colorful streets of Shenzhen.

Thanks to the extra lens, this camera is capable of 2X optical zoom and up to 10X zoom with software assistance, which is close to but not quite the technology unveiled at this year’s Mobile World Congress.

The R11’s rear camera has a Portrait Mode that “intelligently adjusts” depending on the scenario at hand. Initially, this function didn’t excite (I’m a do-it-yourself kinda gal, and selfies are my thing), but it exceeded my expectations.

You can do no photo wrong on this mode — unless you accidentally crop out your face while taking the photo from the rear camera (since we’re so used to selfies with the front-facing cam and display).

The mode can also work on photo subjects other than your own face, although admittedly, it was harder to focus on the correct object to get the bokeh right.

Once you do, though, the results are impressive.

Other points

The R11 is powered by a Snapdragon 660 processor with 4GB of memory and 64GB of storage that’s expandable using a microSD card. It runs on Android 7.1 Nougat skinned with OPPO’s ColorOS 3.1, which adds security for mobile payments and file transfers. Gaming is also a thing on this nifty gadget, as OPPO is the official partner of King of Glory, China’s biggest mobile game. It has a battery capacity of 3000mAh and OPPO’s VOOC fast charging. It retails for CNY 2,999 or roughly around $440.

Initial impressions

There is a lot to love from OPPO’s new release. Admittedly, it’s tough to find the next big feature and innovation in today’s high-tech world, more so from a phone that bears a striking resemblance to an already popular smartphone. But, it’s what’s inside that counts, and the R11 does perform.

For a selfie sucker such as I, who on non-coverage days insists on shooting with a smartphone as opposed to lugging around a DSLR, this may be a great smartphone solution. One too many times I’ve used a different smartphone for my portrait needs because either the front or rear camera was just not up to par.

That isn’t the case here. Everything I like about OPPO’s previous selfie shooters remains, and the Portrait mode on this phone’s rear camera is promising.

It seems the Selfie Expert is branching out, and I’m excited to see where this goes.

SEE ALSO: OPPO R11 reveals itself earlier than expected

[irp posts=”14546″ name=”OPPO F3 review and selfie comparisons”]

 

Hands-On

Huawei Mate 20 Pro Hands-on: Best phone of 2018?

Huawei outdoes itself again

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In an industry where incremental updates are the new norm, Huawei manages to wow us again — barely a year after the release of the P20 Pro. The Chinese company is back with the Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro which might just be the best among the best this year.

In this video, we go over the phones’ new designs, updated cameras, and new memory card format. We also go through the differences between the Huawei Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro.

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Hands-On

Razer Phone 2 Hands-on

A pocketable gaming rig with flagship features

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Razer has improved last year’s model, and from the looks of it, we might just have a phone that not only gamers would want to use. This is our Razer Phone 2 hands-on.

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Gaming

Razer Phone 2 hands-on: Not only for gamers

All glass, all power

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Last year, Razer — the company known for gaming notebooks and peripherals — released a smartphone designed specifically for gamers, with features like loud front-firing stereo speakers, a brilliant display with fast refresh rates, and all the power to run your favorite games.

And just like that the gaming smartphone category was born.

This year, new competitors like the ASUS ROG Phone and ZTE Nubia Red Magic have cropped up. But Razer is back with an update! And from the looks of it, we might just have a phone that not only gamers would want to use.

At first glance, the Razer Phone 2 looks very much like last year’s model. It’s the same size, has the same boxy shape, and the same front-firing speakers on both its forehead and chin.

But turn it around and you’ll know it’s completely different. The 12-megapixel dual-camera setup (one has a 2x telephoto lens) is in a new place, and the back is now glass instead of aluminum.

In my briefing with Razer, I was told the decision on glass was to enable faster connectivity speeds — Gigabit LTE, to be exact — and to enable wireless charging.

Plus, they sell this wireless charging stand separately with cool RGB lighting underneath!

But you know what’s really cool? The Razer logo on the phone’s back lights up. Not just with Razer’s signature green, but any color of the rainbow! All of which can be managed with an app.

One thing that was really important to Razer this time around was to build not just a gaming phone, but also a flagship phone. So this year, they set out to improve the Razer Phone 2’s cameras.

The phone has got new Sony image sensors and better post-processing software, which are supposed to improve photo quality that, they say, should be able to compete with other flagships.

The camera app too has been updated — made simpler and easier to use. And for those who like it, there’s even beauty mode on the front-facing 8-megapixel camera.

Of course, all of what makes the Razer Phone 2 a great gaming phone is here.

The screen’s refresh rate is still a crazy 120Hz, but the panel has been improved further with even better dynamic range, whether you’re watching YouTube, an HDR movie on Netflix, or playing PUBG, which runs great on this device as can be expected from its pretty specced-up configuration.

This includes a high-end Snapdragon 845 processor, 8GB of memory, 64GB of expandable storage, and a hefty 4000mAh battery. All these power what you see on the 5.7-inch IGZO LCD and its 1440p resolution. Keeping everything cool is Razer’s vapor chamber cooling system.

With the official case on

So, is the Razer Phone 2 your GadgetMatch? Of course, you’ll have to wait till we finish our full review to find out whether or not the Razer Phone 2 lives up to its hype. But from the limited time that I had with the device, I think it has plenty of potential.

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