Her GadgetMatch

OPPO R11s review: Midrange selfie powerhouse

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Last month, I flew to China for the OPPO R11s launch and got to spend time with the near-borderless smartphone. In the last few weeks, I’ve been trying out the international R11s, and this is my verdict.

The R11s is a follow-up to the R11 released last June. In this review, I’ll talk about my experience with the device and answer tough questions like: Is this R11 update worth it? How does the phone perform? Are the cameras better? What’s the point of a “Starry Sky” screen?

I also tackle the R11’s AI beauty mode because I like taking selfies and the world needs more beauty mode reviews.

Painting the town red

Our OPPO R11s unit came in deep red. I like this color option as it perfectly matches this season’s festive theme. In fact, the red all-metal body matches a lot of things: Ruby Woo lipstick, Dorothy’s ruby slippers, my hair, my heart ❤️… the list goes on.

The R11s also comes in black or champagne for those of who like less daring options. However, unique to the red version is what OPPO calls the “Starry Sky” screen — that black to red gradient on the phone’s front which makes for a seamless transition from the bezel to the body.

This “Starry Sky” screen sans actual stars ⭐️ is one of my favorite near-borderless design features. The subtle gradient is a nice identifying detail in the present sea of bezel-less devices that, more or less, all look similar up front.

OPPO R11s and the beauty of the “Starry Sky” screen (top) vis a vis the normal near-borderless screen of the OPPO F5 (bottom)

Speaking of bezel-less devices, their onslaught has made bezelled phones look dated — the R11 included. The R11s fixes that.

OPPO R11s (left) and its slimmer bezels vis a vis the OPPO R11 (right)

 

This new screen has an 18:9 aspect ratio — which basically means the view is taller or wider, depending on which orientation you use the phone in. Other than that, the screen should be the same as the R11’s with the same color, brightness, and durability. All these things I can attest to, except for the durability, because I’m not dropping these phones on purpose just to check.

What’s on the inside

Of course, with great screens come great responsibility — and certain sacrifices in the form of the loss of capacitive buttons and the fingerprint scanner up front. Said scanner has been demoted and moved to the back.

Admittedly, I initially hated the idea of having the scanner on the phone’s rear. I had to flip my phone over or lift it up from the table (yeah, all that work, shocking!) to unlock, as opposed to just tapping with a finger like I used to do when the scanner was up front. But, I eventually got used to it and it helped that the fingerprint scanner on this thing was pretty quick and accurate.

The R11s also has facial unlock technology which works well when lighting is good, but is a bit unreliable in less than ideal lighting scenarios. The phone doesn’t recognize me half of the time when I’m wearing glasses which is a bit weird since the phone would unlock even when my eyes were closed. (Beware y’all with snoopy partners!)

Unlock times were good at less than a second, though I’ve seen other devices do better.

With a midrange Snapdragon 660 processor, this phone is pretty capable. For the benefit of those who don’t deal well with specs, all this means is that you can pretty much do gaming…

Me playing Pocket Mortys on the R11s (Help me, I’m stuck on this level!)

… or more importantly, use Snapchat AR on this device without any trouble.

My Bitmoji is better than your Bitmoji

The R11s runs on OPPO’s ColorOS 3.2 which is basically the Android version of Apple’s iOS — I say that because the interface looks very much like an iPhone’s.

Battery capacity is at 3200mAh which lasts me a whole day and frees me from the burden of lugging around a power bank. The bad news? It still uses a micro-USB port! Back to more good news: It has VOOC charging, OPPO’s version of fast charging, and it only takes around an hour and twenty minutes from zero to a full charge. All this power in my hands! ✨

Picture perfect

With dual cameras on the rear, the R11s’ main selling point is that both shooters (16  and 20 megapixels) have wide apertures of f/1.7 which will allow more light to get in and make for even better low-light performance.

Of course, I tested that premise. I busted out the R11 whose dual shooters also feature 16- and 20-megapixel cameras, but with apertures of f/1.7 and f/2.6 (f/2.6 means smaller aperture which equates to less light). There was definite improvement. See for yourself:

The rear cameras are also equipped with a beauty mode built into the portrait mode. Perfect for shots like this…

… or this…

… and even group shots like this where everyone looks all cute and fresh, you don’t even realize someone is doing the cheers with jam. *cough* Chay *cough*

The front-facing shooter is a 20-megapixel camera. This camera’s beauty mode has integrated artificial intelligence. What does that mean? Simply that it uses machine learning to enhance your features and remove blemishes without looking too artificial — a qualm I’ve always had with OPPO’s beauty mode. With AI beauty mode, the phone gives you great selfies without blurring out actual facial features. Think along the lines of getting that fresh #NoMakeUp look (you girls know what I’m talking about! ?) every time, all the time, without actual makeup. See below:

Here are a few more photos (and a sneak peek of my life) from the R11s.

Is the OPPO R11s your GadgetMatch?

Although there’s still space for improvement when it comes to facial unlock technology, OS interface, and the micro-USB port, I still enjoyed this phone. Admittedly, there are faster, snappier, and more responsive phones I’ve tried out, but all my needs — funny games, Snapchat, VSCO and Adobe Lightroom photo editing — were met by the R11s. If you prioritize smartphone photography, selfies, and your Instagram feed, this may be the phone for you. I had way too much fun shooting selfies on this.

With these slight but impactful improvements, the R11s is definitely a better phone over the R11. Especially because it retails for the same price as the R11 when it was released: CNY 2,999 (around US$ 450) for black and champagne versions. The special red handset retails at CNY 3,199 (around US$ 480).

It seems these selfie experts are well on their way to becoming more than just that. In the meantime, I enjoy their efforts, my near flawless selfies, and all the pretty portraits I can shoot.

SEE ALSO: OPPO R11s hands-on and photo comparisons

SEE ALSO: OPPO R11 hands-on and photo comparisons

[irp posts=”15495″ name=”OnePlus 5 vs OPPO R11: Side-by-side Comparison”]

Features

A journey to self-love: How to set your financial goals straight

With CIMB Bank’s help

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Image: MJ | GadgetMatch

There was a point in my life when adulting hit me hard: my romantic relationship suddenly ended, which coincided with my resignation from my full-time job of three years. The thing is, I had a plan before everything happened, but life is indeed full of unexpected moments.

I decided to take a rest first to clear my overwhelmed mind. I ended up doing what most young adults like me would do: travelled to different places, went out with friends, volunteered for several causes, and spoiled myself with my favorite things and experiences — everything that involved doing what I love and seizing life’s great moments.

I was busy indulging myself in this idea of “self-love” until I realized that my bank account was draining every single week, and I was close to maxing out my credit card limit. That’s when it hit me: I wasn’t financially prepared to sustain this kind of lifestyle. 

Self-love is more than just showering yourself with pretty things

We all have this idea that “self-love” is about indulging in life’s best comforts, and doing whatever sets our soul on fire. Newsflash: real life is much trickier than these scenarios we see in rom-com films.

For me, I had to take more extra work to do these things I love, while still being able to pay bills. I regretted not being able to save up more and use my money wisely. I eventually found myself living life from paycheck to paycheck, and I realized that this is not the life I wanted to live. I couldn’t fully enjoy life’s moments, since my financial restrictions were always at the back of my mind. 

I have come to understand the real concept of self-love — that it is actually about creating a life that is prepared for whatever life’s challenges throw at us. Instead of treating ourselves to short-lived thrills, it’s much better to manage our finances first so we’re always ready for the next big thing. Being smart with our finances is indeed a great form of self-care. 

Seize life’s moments by being financially fit

CIMB Bank, the “Best Digital Bank” in the Philippines is a great choice for people like me who want to save up for life’s next moments. The best thing about it is I can open an account seamlessly in just 10 minutes — no need to personally enroll in a branch and wait for weeks to secure an account. No wonder they have been recently awarded as the “Fastest Growing Digital Bank” as well.

Through the CIMB Bank PH mobile app (iOS/ Android), managing and accessing my money is also much easier compared to other banks. They offer great perks and services such as transacting with other banks for free, withdrawing in over 25,000 ATM machines nationwide without penalty charges via Visa pay, wave debit card, and not be bothered by maintaining balances.

I can also access my cash 24/7 in just a few taps, and it’s connected to other local payment gateways I frequently use like GCash and dragonpay, so it greatly fits my flexible lifestyle.

True to its commitment to helping Filipinos achieve financial inclusion and freedom, this all-digital, mobile-first bank offers an interest rate of four percent (4%) per annum available all year round, with no restrictions, via its UpSave account offering. It’s the best-in-market savings rate, which makes me save more money without worrying about security. They also offer up to Php 2 million worth of life insurance coverage!

With CIMB Bank, I can track my savings easily and invest my money in experiences that will allow me to feed my passions. When the time comes that life throws more unexpected moments, I know I’m financially secured to handle it. And that is one of the best forms of love I can give to myself.

To know more about CIMB Bank PH, click here.


This feature was produced in collaboration with Her GadgetMatch and CIMB Philippines.


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Her GadgetMatch

How to cook Jjapaguri from Parasite

Because we NEED to try it

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Image by Her GadgetMatch

Alright, seeing as everyone and their mother is talking about the award-winning film, “Parasite (기생충),” we need to figure out something very very important. How do we all make that fancy Jjapaguri and can we make it at home?

Stunning Movie

Kidding aside, I saw Parasite months ago and it clearly did not fall short of stunning everyone to their core. Every detail in the film fixates on depicting the painful gap between social classes. This leaves everyone watching with an almost haunting juxtaposition between two very different families. But, back to the most important thing at hand: jjapaguri. What, how and where can I have it?

Before we deep dive into recipe iterations people have posted online, we need to figure out what jjapaguri actually is. Jjapaguri or Chapaguri (짜파구리) is actually a combination of two different Korean instant noodles “Jjapaghetti (짜파게티)” and “Neoguri (너구리).” In the movie though, they make these two cheap packets of instant noodles into a fancy dish with Hanwoo or Hanu (한우) beef tossed into the mix—another homage to the film’s overarching social commentary.

Jjapaguri: how it’s made

The process is simple:

  1. Cook both noodles and their vegetable flakes in boiling water for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Then, you’ll need to strain most of the liquid until you have about 6-7 tablespoons of water left. You then dump the entire packet of black bean paste from the Jjapaghetti and half of the Neoguri into the noodles.
  3. After that, you need to mix well. That’s how you typically make Jjapaguri.

For the Jjapaguri in Parasite, you might need to fancy it up with more than just a pinkie raise.  You need to cook thinly sliced steak, season the steak to taste and top the Jjapaguri with it.

Now, you can obviously buy the instant noodles and get yourself some fancy Hanwoo beef. But, if you want to really take it to the next level, you can make your own ramen and udon from scratch.

Here’s where a Joyoung’s noodle maker comes in handy. The Joyoung noodle maker let’s you whip up homemade noodles without as much fuss as you’d normally go through. This noodle maker comes with five molds: thin noodle; thick noodle; macaroni, linguine, and fettuccine. It promises to make your noodles in just four simple steps:

  1. Pour in the required amount of flour
  2. Select the desired pasta mold
  3. Add in the required amount of liquid ingredients (be it water, vegetable juice, or egg)
  4. Let the noodle maker do its thing and the noodles will be ready in 18 minutes!

If you want to be able to make homemade pasta and ultimately have more control over the ingredients in your Jjapaguri–just minus the fuss, consider getting yourself a Joyoung noodle maker. It’ll have no preservatives and it’ll drastically improve the Jjapaguri you get to try out!

The Joyoung noodle maker is available for only SG$168 (Usual Price: SG$328) and is available on Lazada, Qoo10 and the Turbo Italia’s Website.

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Her GadgetMatch

Get Frizz-free Curls with the Dyson Supersonic Hairdryer

Curly-haired girls problems

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All curly-haired women have been in the same situation at some point. Putting out a ton of effort in the morning when it comes to styling. Saying a morning prayer where you ask the universe to cooperate, begging for a good hair day. All these only to be messed with by the elements come lunchtime. With the right hair tool and some products that will ensure your curls stay intact, you can preserve your locks and keep them looking neat for much longer. Let us show you how.

Special thanks to Hotel Bristol Berlin for the venue
Makeup by Mel Montajes

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