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China’s bestselling smartphone just received an upgrade, and it’s getting our unboxing treatment.

The R11s is OPPO’s latest selfie-centric flagship, but it’s not all about the vanity.

Its dual-camera setup at the back has been enriched with even better image quality, the battery capacity got a boost, and best of all, a superb 6-inch AMOLED display covers the front with minimal bezels.

There’s so much to appreciate, and only a hands-on video like this does it justice.

See for yourself:

SEE ALSO: OPPO Beauty Box is the perfect place to take Instagram photos

Hands-On

Samsung Galaxy A6 Hands-on: Repackaging the older series

A combination of the Galaxy J7 Pro and Galaxy A8

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The latest midrange phones of Samsung are finally hitting the stores, but they got us a little confused. Since the introduction of the Galaxy A series, it has always been the family of upper-midrange Samsung phones with a premium design. In 2018 though, Samsung is blending the Galaxy A and Galaxy J’s designs; the result is the new Galaxy A6 phones. There’s a regular and a better plus variant, but let’s check out the former first.

This is the Galaxy A6: A phone with a 5.6-inch Super AMOLED display and an 18.5:9 aspect ratio or Infinity Display, as Samsung calls it. The resolution of the display is underwhelming at just 1480 x 720 pixels or 294ppi, but it’s still pretty sharp. The Infinity Display of the Galaxy A6 doesn’t curve to the sides unlike with the Galaxy S9 flagship, yet the bezels are minimal.

The vibrant Super AMOLED display is a common Samsung trait

We have the usual sight in the front including the 16-megapixel f/1.9 selfie camera paired with its own LED flash, earpiece, and sensors. There’s no branding on the face of the phone so when the display is turned off, it looks sleek and clean on the table.

Too bad it doesn’t have the Always On Display feature, even though it has an AMOLED screen.

It’s an Infinity Display but not edge-to-edge

Having the loudspeaker at the side has now been a staple among Samsung midrange phones. It’s a much better placement than on the bottom since you don’t cover or muffle it when viewing in landscape orientation. This is ideal for watching videos or playing mobile games.

Both the loudspeaker and power button are on the right side of the phone

The volume buttons are on the right

Those who dislike making a choice between a microSD card or secondary SIM card will be glad to see the triple card slots of the Galaxy A6. There are two card trays inside the phone: one for the main nano-SIM card and another for the second nano-SIM and the microSD card.

You have to take out two trays to get all your cards inside

The body of the phone is mainly made up of aluminum with U-shaped antennas similar to the Galaxy J7 Pro’s frame. To be honest, the Galaxy A6 can easily be mistaken for the Galaxy J7 Pro if not for the rear camera. Speaking of, the Galaxy A6 has a 16-megapixel f/1.7 rear sensor inside an area shared with the fingerprint sensor. Thankfully, it’s identical to the Galaxy A8’s and Galaxy S9’s placement.

There should be fewer smudges on the camera lens

Going further into the internals of the Galaxy A6, it’s powered by an Exynos 7870 processor — the same silicon the popular Galaxy J7 Prime had back in 2016. The processor is getting old, so we’re hoping Samsung will use a newer one in their next release.

Good thing the bigger Galaxy A6+ has the latest Snapdragon 450, or else it’ll be just an under-powered midrange phone.

The variant we have here has 3GB of memory and 32GB of storage, but there’s also a 4GB/64GB combo available in select markets.

The Samsung Galaxy A6 with the 3GB/32GB configuration retails for PhP 16,490 in the Philippines while in India, it goes from INR 21,990 up to INR 22,990 depending on the variant.

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Hands-On

OPPO F7 Diamond Black hands-on: Shining bright

Another stunning phone!

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In the great, wise words of Rihanna:

It seems OPPO has taken this advice to heart. This is the OPPO F7 Diamond Black phone. It looks as stunning as it sounds.

Sure, OPPO’s done beautiful gradients, both on the front of the phone with the R11s’ Starry Sky Screen and the rear with the notched OPPO R15. But, this is a whole new look altogether. The smooth back shows a beautiful reflective pattern…

It adorns the whole back of this special edition phone, giving it a very unique look.

Aside from this dazzling diamond-design back, the Diamond Black F7 has the same specs as the standard F7 in the market: A glorious near-borderless 19:9 notched display powered by a capable midrange processor running on Android 8.1.

But, there’s also an upgraded Diamond Black F7 variant with 6GB memory and 128GB storage so that’s a treat.

Of course, because OPPO is the “selfie expert,” it has AI beauty mode. The rear camera is also equipped with artificial intelligence.

It looks so good in your hands; it looks good on anything, TBH.

And before I end this article, one last look at how classy this handset is.

Definitely an eye-catching device. Right, Riri?

With this phone in hand, definitely.

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Hands-On

Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Hands-on: The new budget smartphone king?

The successor to the popular Redmi Note 4 doesn’t disappoint

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Xiaomi’s latest bang-for-buck phone is finally in my hands! Since its first appearance in India (as the Redmi Note 5 Pro), I immediately knew it would be a worthy successor to the Redmi Note 4 people loved. Without further ado, this is my hands-on with the Redmi Note 5.

As always, let’s get to know the phone’s physique first.

It has a 5.99-inch Full HD+ display in an 18:9 ratio

It’s crisp and vibrant plus it’s protected by Gorilla Glass

The selfie camera and earpiece are where they should be

The buttons for volume and power are on the right side

Just two buttons serving their functions

While the hybrid card slot is hiding on the left

Do you want a second SIM card or a microSD card? Choose!

The IR blaster and secondary microphone sit on top

Switching TV channels is something a Redmi phone can also do

The bottom is pretty busy with the audio port, microphone, micro-USB port, and loudspeaker

Xiaomi is not yet switching to USB-C for its budget devices

It’s got a basic Redmi look at the back with the fingerprint reader in the middle

The whole body is made of metal and plastic

The rear camera looks familiar, doesn’t it?

Copied from the iPhone X

What’s inside the Redmi Note 5?

As a budget phone from Xiaomi, the Redmi Note 5 doesn’t have crazy new features, but it does have everything you can ask out of a decent everyday smartphone. First of all, its display has an 18:9 ratio which is pretty much the staple nowadays and a crisp 403ppi pixel density. In terms of display quality, it’s not far behind from its more expensive counterparts. It’s still an LCD panel though, and not Super AMOLED like with Samsung phones.

The phone is powered by a Snapdragon 636 processor which is the same chipset found on the ZenFone 5 that retails for around US$ 400. My Redmi Note 5 review unit comes with 4GB of memory and 64GB of storage which is being sold in China for CNY 1,399 or PhP 11,990 in the Philippines (roughly US$ 225 only). That’s almost half the price of the ZenFone 5!

Moving forward, the Redmi Note 5’s processing power makes it passable as a gaming phone. Choosing ultra-high graphics will render the game with low frame rates and appear laggy, but if you know how to hit the sweet spot (somewhere in between medium and high settings, depending on the game) you can enjoy your favorite titles with no issues. So far, I’ve been playing Asphalt Xtreme and PUBG: Mobile, and I haven’t encountered any major lag or overheating.

As for its cameras, there’s a dual rear camera setup composed of a 12-megapixel main shooter with an f/1.9 aperture and a secondary 5-megapixel sensor to assist in depth sensing. Since the phone has two rear cameras, it can shoot portraits with creamy bokeh. For selfies, it has a 13-megapixel front camera with built-in beautification mode and depth effect, as well.

The phone runs Android 8.1 Oreo out of the box that’s skinned with MIUI 9.5. The latest version of Android and MIUI help with the phone’s lag-free operation. Despite being heavily skinned with Xiaomi’s custom UI, the Redmi Note 5 doesn’t stutter or freeze. I’ll see in the coming days how far the phone can go without slowing down.

Another feature of the Redmi Note 4 that the Redmi Note 5 inherits is the large battery capacity. It still has a sizeable 4000mAh battery sealed inside its body. Sadly, it charges through a micro-USB port and there’s no mention of Quick Charge support. I’ll be testing the phone’s battery life and charging times to let you guys know how it fares.

Pricing alone makes the Redmi Note 5 a viable option if you’re looking for a powerful phone that doesn’t cost much. But, of course, not all phones are created equal. I’ll be taking the Redmi Note 5 for a full spin in the coming days and I’ll share my full review.

SEE ALSO: Xiaomi Redmi 5A excels in sales, become top Android phone worldwide

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