Her GadgetMatch

What night outs are like when you’re older and wiser

Featuring the OPPO R17 Pro and my waning patience for clubs

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There comes a time in every party girl’s life when you realize you’ve lost it. By “it,” I mean the overwhelming urge to go out and stay out late, drinking as much alcohol as a thirsty camel that just escaped the desert.

A few years ago, you’d be lucky to find me home on a weekend. These days, times have sorely changed — Friday nights are spent indoors in the comfort of my bed. Clubbing has been replaced by Saturday brunch meets and coffee dates with friends. It’s been many hangover-free days, but all that was about to change because of a smartphone.

Just another normal day, phone and coffee in hand

This is the OPPO R17 Pro, or in Europe, the RX17 Pro. At the launch event in Milan, OPPO explained that this phone and its new night mode were made for you to be able to capture every moment in your life — including those that didn’t happen in good lighting. At that point, all the badly lit club snaps and the party selfies I’ve ever taken flashed into my mind.

The phone that’s forcing me to leave my bed

Touted as the phone which could “seize the night,” as its slogan had suggested, I decided to test it out in a realistic night out. Time to break my hibernation and finally get out of my very cozy and inviting bed.

I know, this is either my best idea or my worst idea yet.

Prep

Of course, any night out starts with an outfit. And since gone are my tiny dress, stiletto days, I opted for full coverage (and comfort) with a flowing navy skirt which matched the Emerald Green R17 Pro, topping the look off with a pink bag to match my hair and gold details.

And no, I didn’t even attempt to wear heels because the effort in finding a comfy-cute outfit alone was too much for me.

A quick note: This will be the last #OOTD section. As much as I wanted to shoot a phone-coordinated #OOTD for each of my night out attempts, 2018 Isa was just not having it and couldn’t be bothered.

First try: Wine and cheese night

Since I didn’t plan on, nor did I think I would have survived, visiting an actual bar just yet, I called on my friend Nikka for an evening of chatting and unli-wine. I know, I know. You expected a crazy party when I said “night out.” But, this just seemed so much more appealing to me — no chaos of the club and random strangers in a tight, sweaty space — just two girl friends chatting with cheese and tall glasses. Besides, the spot we picked gave us an al fresco table that was perfect for us: It was spacious and dimly lit.

Since we were seated, I was only able to take sample photos from my seat, of Nikka, and my food. As the night progressed, however, photos got blurrier — but I can attribute that to me getting drunk and wobbly. Who would’ve thought you could get drunk with wine? Newsflash: You can and it can get messy.

The phone did pretty well that night, so much better than I can say for myself. The R17 Pro even took a nice group shot of the people on the other table I drunkenly started to make conversation with (my new friends, if I can remember their names 😅) despite me being a crappy inebriated photographer.

I woke up the next morning with a massive hangover (copious amounts of wine do that) and doubting this whole article pitch altogether but I had to soldier on. I have to say that OPPO’s custom beauty mode really worked wonders for me that day. The selfie below cannot even begin to show the sh*tstorm I felt inside.

I was so over everything that day that I couldn’t even be bothered to turn the Portrait mode on the front-facing camera to blur out the crap that was behind me. Thankfully, I am to learn later on that the R17 Pro has a host of built-in editing tools, one of which allowed me to selectively blur parts of a photo. I literally drew my own bokeh effect on this selfie. Brownie points for me fixing my hangover mistakes!

We move on to my second night out attempt.

Second try: Birthday celebrations over tapas

When you’re older, you resort to adulting tactics to ensure you don’t inadvertently have a crazy night of drinking. The adulting tactic my friends pulled was the have-a-quiet-dinner-drinks-setup-on-a-Sunday-night-so-that-we-have-to-go-home-early-for-Monday-morning tactic.

Two of my friends, Ian and Shy, celebrated their joint birthdays at a quaint Spanish restaurant. Of course, there was wine, tapas, and even more drinks.

I’m proud to say I didn’t drink a drop this evening, also because I was still reeling from that previous wine night. Hence, better photo samples with steadier, non-drunk hands. I can’t say the same for my friends, though. The photo below was quickly snapped by one of my drinking friends who decided that the people in the background also wanted in on the shot. 😅 Nevertheless, I fixed it with my newfound R17 Pro editing skills.

Not drinking and pulling a Cinderella (leaving for home at midnight) did wonders for me. Who knew this was actually a choice? (Early twenty-something Isa who drank at every night out didn’t.)

I woke up Monday morning and was this fresh. This selfie is still with help from the custom beauty mode on light settings, but who’s checking?

Third try: Cocktail tasting

When my friend Sky invited me to a cocktail tasting event, I was about to decline the drinking invitation based on my newly learned no-saying adult capabilities. But, when I learned there were going to be pretty pink cocktails, I was sold. I found myself in a great-looking bar catching up with friends. This, sans a crazy crowd, was usually the type of place I’d have trouble photographing but lo and behold, the photos turned out great.

Three great-tasting strawberry sampaguita cocktails and some fun conversations later, the bar was filling up with people and it was time for me to go home with just the right buzz.

No hangovers and yummy pink cocktails seemed like the best night out combo. Proof of life the next day is below:

And because I was actually functioning, there was a conscious effort to turn on an actual front-facing portrait mode this time. Though it cut out my earring and part of my glasses, nothing could dampen my non-hungover mood.

Key takeaways

A lot of things are to be learned from this little writing project and drinking experiment of mine. First and foremost is that I cannot, even if I tried, drink as much as I used to. I’m not the invincible twenty-something party machine I once was, and that’s okay. We all slow down; parties come and go but true friends and never-ending cheese platters remain.

I learned that in adulthood, I am seeing more wine and cocktails and fewer shots — thank goodness. Nevertheless, know that a wine hangover will kill you, or at least your will to function for a whole day. Even if a good beauty mode can cover up said hangover in selfies, you still feel it intensely.

I also learned that I’m still very friendly when I have alcohol in my system (some things never change), drunk people will never, ever take good photos (my drunken selfies will never, ever see the light of day), and the OPPO R17 Pro is a good night out companion.

Despite all these findings, life lessons, and great photos, I feel like I’m ready to crawl back into my bed and switch back to hibernation mode. This is the only “night mode” I’m willing to do for a while.

Dating

PayMaya offers up to 75% off discounts on Tinder subscriptions

Swipe more for less!

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Are you still trying to find “The One” online? You’re in luck! PayMaya partnered with Tinder to make it easier for you to find love.

Through PayMaya’s app, you can enjoy discounted Tinder Plus and Tinder Gold subscriptions. For Tinder Plus subscriptions, you can get 75 percent off from PhP 259 to PhP 65 for 1 month; 50 percent off from PhP 1,039 to PhP 519 for 6 months, and 50 percent off from PhP 1,559 to PhP 779 for 12 months.

For Tinder Gold subscriptions, all are discounted for 50 percent off. Get the subscription from PhP 415 to PhP 208 for 1 month, PhP 1,559 to PhP 780 for 6 months, and from PhP 2,339 to PhP 1,170 for 12 months.

Tinder Plus and Tinder Gold

If you’re still new in this online dating thingy, Tinder Plus and Tinder Gold make your online dating experience more fun and convenient.

Tinder Plus gives you unlimited likes, unlimited rewinds, five Super Likes to capture your interest’s attention, and a free Boost every month so more people can see you. Additionally, it helps you be shown to people you’ve liked, allows you to control your profile, and lets you swipe around the world wherever you are. Lastly, there are no ads!

Tinder Gold, on the other hand, gets the same perks as Tinder Plus. Except, you have the ability to swipe on every Top Picks — compared to only one swipe when you’re just using a regular account — and more importantly, see the people who likes you so you can match instantly.

How to purchase your subscription

First, open your PayMaya app. Then, choose Treats, find the Tinder subscription you want, and tap Buy. You can also have an option to gift it to your friends. Tap the share button, choose the channel and send the generated coupon. Promo will be available from February 1 to 29, 2020.

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Her GadgetMatch

Fitbit Versa 2 review: Your BFF in achieving work-life goals

Achieve your life goals in just a few clicks!

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For years, I have always relied on my phone apps for the most essential things: from checking time and dates to tracking my monthly period. A smartphone was my companion as I juggle work with personal and social life, to the point that I believed nothing could come as handy as this. But that was before I was introduced to the amazing invention that is a smartwatch.

As a heavy smartphone user, having a smartwatch seemed to be a luxury to me at first. I thought: I can do all these things with my phone, so why the need to buy one? I was proven wrong, however, when I started using Fitbit’s Versa 2.

Fitbit is a well-known brand in the health and fitness scene, but I was told that their Versa is a great choice for people like me who are looking for devices for personal and career life more than just for fitness purposes.

After trying it for several weeks, I finally understood what the hype’s about. It’s actually worth the investment, especially for a creative like me trying to achieve a life that blends well with my work.

It’s a compact gadget conveniently strapped on my wrist

No need to bring out my phone especially when I’m in public places — I can conveniently access essential apps like an alarm clock and music player through this thing on my wrist. Versa 2 has a built-in microphone integrated to Amazon Alexa, which is very helpful when googling questions, or replying to messages when I’m on-the-go.

It also features the Spotify app, which is one of my favorite things about it since I always listen to music and podcasts during my idle time.

The AMOLED display is clear and bright enough so it’s readable in both indoors and outdoors (even in full sunlight hours!). Plus, this smartwatch is lightweight and comfortable to wear, and it has a good battery life that lasts up to one week.

I also love the raise to wake feature since I don’t need to click the side button to view the time and date, and I liked seeing the number of steps I took for the day since I was encouraged to walk more. There’s also the Always On Display Mode, but I prefer not turning it on for longer battery life.

A smartwatch that urged me to be more health-conscious

Working in the creative industry for four years made me realize two things: (1) creative people don’t get much sleep, because (2) we’re too passionate about our work that health has become our least priority — which is sad and ironic since we tend to overuse our brain most of the time. Versa 2’s fitness and health-related features have made me become more conscious of my health, and it helped me start to form healthier habits.

For one, their Sleep Score feature is very helpful for people with a wasted body clock who wants to develop healthier sleeping habits. I simply input my sleeping time and goals, and it creates a chart that helps me understand my sleeping patterns and watch over my health. The score motivates me to sleep earlier, too!

There’s also the active heart-rate sensor, which I often check while I’m working out on weekends. I use the on-screen workouts as a guide too, since they’re easy to learn! Versa 2’s fitness tracking functions are great starting points for fitness noobs like me.

Sleek and stylish

When dressing up, wearing a watch is optional to me before since they don’t usually match with some of my outfits. Versa 2 changes the game, though. It is sleek, stylish, and easily matches any OOTD — whether I’m wearing business attire or just a casual outfit. Whatever I choose to wear, the colors are neutral enough to match any Pantone. In my case, the grey strap is a good choice. The pink one looks beautiful too!

Is this your Gadgetmatch?

Overall, the new Fitbit Versa 2 is a very useful and stylish gadget that has all my essentials to keep me going every day. For someone who is relatively new to the smartwatch game, I can say that this one is a must-have for today’s modern woman. For only PhP 12,890 (US$ 253), you get a beautiful and multi-functional device that will help you achieve your life goals in just a few clicks!

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Dating

#WeMatched: Couples share their stories about finding love online

The world isn’t a hopeless place

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Love hits some people unexpectedly. However, for those who aren’t as lucky in finding a partner, there’s this need to work hard and put yourself out there.

Luckily, the advent of technology has made it possible to connect two lovers — wherever they are. Through dating apps and even social media, one can find love that blossoms.

In GadgetMatch, we help people find the right gadget that matches people’s lifestyle. Since the foundation of our mission is inspired by finding the right one, we’re excited to share stories from couples who found their match online. Truly, love finds its way!

Jean & Amiel

Third time’s a charm — that’s the gist of Jean and Amiel’s love story. They first matched on Tinder when Jean was devastated from her last relationship. She was looking for a rebound while healing — which made her delete her account and come back a year later to try her luck again in the online dating arena.

Jean and Amiel matched the second time around, had four exchanges, and eventually led to Jean ghosting. The couple reconnected on Tinder five months later, with Jean wondering why she never replied.

How did you know he’s the one you should date?

“So, after 5 months, I messaged him. And then we decided to go out on a date, which worked out fine. Then one thing led to another, and after 3 months of exclusively dating, we fell in love and became boyfriend and girlfriend.” — Jean, 25, PR

What’s your advice for people still looking for love?

“Online dating isn’t for everyone. It takes guts, tons of courage, and self-love. If you’re not ready to put yourself out there, don’t. I would say it’s never too late to try, but if you’re not into it, then you’re not yet ready.”

Rowee & Krista

Rowee and Krista’s story is one for the books. The two matched on Bumble, a popular dating app, where Rowee accidentally swiped right, not knowing they already matched until Krista messaged her.

Being a newbie in online dating — Rowee asked Krista how to navigate the app so she can see who viewed her profile. The vanity!

How did you know she’s the one you should date?

“It was a surprise really since she’s not my type. But after a few small talks, I started to like her. Maybe, it is the conversation that binds people together. We clicked. Including our interests and principles in life.” — Rowee, 26, Marketing Consultant

“We are opposites in many ways, but I wanted to take that chance and see where it could go.” –Krista, 29, Writer

What’s your advice for people still looking for love?

“Be brave enough to take a risk. You wouldn’t know something magical will happen unless you try.” — Rowee

“Love comes at the right time. I guess my advice for everyone would be to know and work on themselves first to prepare yourself for that opportune moment.” — Krista

Coleen & Bell

Coleen and Bell first talked over Omegle — when Coleen wanted to vent to a random stranger. After having a sensible conversation, the two exchanged numbers, then added each other on Facebook. After bonding with several hobbies and interests, they clicked and one thing led to another — they became boyfriend-girlfriend.

How did you know he’s the one you should date?

“He’s the only guy who accepted me, who embraced my plus-sized figure and accepted my sort-of-a spoiled brat attitude. I also felt his sincerity when we decided to meet for the first time. ” Coleen, 24, Audio Engineer

What’s your advice for people still looking for love?

“Just don’t rush everything on finding your missing piece. Focus on your passion, learn to love and embrace yourself, and build your strong character. When the right person comes, you’ll be happy that you’re ready by the time he comes.”

Paula & Troy

Paula and Troy surely did find love in a not-so-hopeless place. Surprisingly, the couple met at an online game called Grand Fantasia. Paula was moving on at the time. She was playing to keep her mind from thinking about weeping even for a second. Troy, on the other hand, found Paula fascinating when the two had a conversation in-game.

Raiding dungeons, chatting for hours, the two felt a connection — even if they’re just inside a virtual world. To them, it was still real. The couple hit it off and got married a few years later.

How did you know he’s the one you should date?

“I met him at my worse, I was moving on from some other guy who broke my heart which made me hate every guy I meet from then on which didn’t stop him from pursuing me, he patiently waited and stayed with me the whole time till I was ready to say yes to dating him, and that kind of effort is aces in my book.” — Paula, 26, Copy Editor

What’s your advice for people still looking for love?

“Skies may be grey right now but every cloud has a silver lining, you’re just being prepped for the right person for you, don’t lose hope and never give up cause somewhere in these billion full of people there’s someone out there who’s also not giving up to find you.”

Trisha & Dave

Trisha and Dave matched on Tinder, with Dave making the first move. Just like any Tinder conversation that’s getting serious, the two switched platforms and added each other on Facebook. After a continuous, wonderful conversation, the two hit it off and finally went on a date.

How did you know he’s the one you should date?

“While we’re on the getting to know each other stage, he already introduced me to his mother, aunt, siblings, and even his grandfather. I observed and felt how he values and respects his family, and for me, it’s important and a really big factor in choosing the guy I’ll date.” — Trisha, 25, Sales Associate

What’s your advice for people still looking for love?

“1 Corinthians 13:4-7”

Ben & Ja

Ben, a PWD leather craftsman donating his proceeds to the street dwellers, and Ja, a trading associate, first met on Tinder. The two swiped right, matched and started chatting about their common interests — road trip and photography.

The coupled chatted for about three months and met, believing it was indeed “love at first sight.”

How did you know she’s the one you should date?

“Because she was so understanding, mature, sweet, and a very good conversationalist — which I like most. Plus her eyes are so expressive whenever she talks.” — Ben, 42, Leather Craftsman

What’s your advice for people still looking for love?

“Always believe in love. Someone, somewhere is meant for you.”

Have you found your match?

If you think you found your match online (whether through dating apps or even social media), you can share your story with us by uploading a photo of you and your partner on Instagram.

Make sure to tag us @hergadgetmatch and use the hashtag #WeMatched while indicating the phone you used to take selfies with your significant other.

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