Reviews

OPPO Reno6 5G review: Can it get better?

It just might

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Let’s not pretend we all don’t have working pair of eyes. The OPPO Reno6 5G sort of resembles an iPhone. It’s the same resemblance as when you try to work on your brows, and they barely look related. And even then, you kind of go about convincing yourself they’ve at least met. The OPPO Reno6 5G has a flat edge. That’s it. That’s the resemblance. Don’t @ me.

Premium design

The OPPO Reno6 5G is a dual-sim smartphone with a 6.4-inch AMOLED display. The phone has the gorgeous OPPO Reno Glow. It comes in two dazzling colors: Aurora and Stellar Black. The Arctic Blue we got looks nothing short of stunning. The design will definitely have you refusing cases to hide it.

Alongside the gorgeous display and design, the phone isn’t hefty or bulky at all. The ultra-slim retro design keeps it lightweight and comfortable to hold. The flat edge makes the phone look and feel ridiculously premium without breaking the bank.

Here’s what’s on the inside

The OPPO Reno6 5G is powered by a MediaTek MT6877 Dimensity 900 processor paired with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage. If you’re worried about storage, you’d be sorely mistaken. Note that the phone has more than enough space to run apps on the Google Play Store without a hitch.

During stress tests, the OPPO Reno6 5G didn’t stutter. When scrolling, unlocking, and opening and closing multiple apps, this phone made it look easy. I don’t see you running into any issues or stutters.

Shoot recklessly for the thrill

I’m talking reckless, reckless. Let me explain. The OPPO Reno6 5G features a triple-camera set-up with a 64MP wide, 8MP ultrawide, and 2MP macro lens. On the front, the phone has a 32MP selfie camera. So, if you’re not here for the math, let me translate: It’s a good bunch of lenses.

OPPO Reno6 5G has a load of innovative video features. From its new Bokeh Flare Portrait Video for a cinematic bokeh flare effect to the upgraded AI Highlight Video, the phone delivers on quality shots without fail.

The OPPO Reno6 5G performed really well even with little lighting. I tried to photograph the city lights at night. Most phones struggle with contrast with night shots but the phone did well. I

t can be a bit of a struggle to keep details especially when you’ve got shaky hands but, you can get away with stunning shots even with dim lighting.

If you’re into documenting your day-to-day in photos, this is for you. The phone delivers on detailed selfies and doesn’t struggle to focus using either rear or front cameras.

The OPPO Reno6 5G gives you everything to play around with when it comes to its camera features–refusing to hold back on its filters and modes.

Low-key gaming phone

The OPPO Reno6 5G’s MediaTek Dimensity 900 integrated 5G SoC delivers outstanding performance. Its stunning display is capable of 90Hz refresh rate and up to 180 Hz touch sampling rate. Which, gives you the good-good responsiveness and smoothness when playing.

The phone can handle games like Genshin Impact, League of Legends: Wild Rift, Call of Duty Mobile, and Arknight with ease. It even has gaming features that help optimize your experience!

When playing, the OPPO Reno6 5G didn’t stutter. Although, you might want to go easy on the setting since the phone can overheat while playing. If you’ve got work and play all day though, the phone’s 4300mAh battery can handle a full day with small reaks in between before needing a proper recharge.

The OPPO Reno6 5G is a stunning phone. Besides design, lightweight build, great specs, the phone lets you watch shows and series with ease. The AMOLED display delivers gripping detail even when watching Netflix and Youtube on the phone.

Reno6

Is this your GadgetMatch?

The OPPO Reno6 5G is a stunning all-rounder wrapped in such a minimal design. Granted, the Reno5 5G was too. Not going to lie, the phone is the perfect all-rounder. From design, functionality, to top-quality photos, the OPPO Reno6 5G has its big upsides. So, if you’re looking for a phone that delivers on most fronts, this is an easy add-to-your-cart moment.

On the other hand though, if the small tweaked upgrades from its predecessor isn’t worth it for you, you can always wait until OPPO releases something further down the line.

The OPPO Reno6 5G retails for PhP 26,999 and will be available in OPPO Concept Stores as well as their e-commerce partners Lazada and Shopee. It’ll be available alongside the OPPO Reno6 Z 5G which retails for PhP 19,999.

Computers

Apple M2 Mac mini Review

More Affordable, More Powerful

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Apple silently revealed the 2023 M2 Mac mini to the world.

Back in 2005, the Mac mini G4 was the cheapest Mac you can buy for US$ 499.

Almost 18 years after, the Mac mini still is the cheapest Mac at just US$ 599.

That’s still a lot of savings versus buying a US$ 1299 iMac.

The biggest difference? The newest Mac mini runs two of the most powerful chips right now — the M2 and M2 Pro.

But is it actually the right Mac for you?

Watch our Apple M2 Mac mini review now!

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Gaming

Forspoken review: Outspoken with little to speak of

Wait for a sale

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Forspoken

It doesn’t take a lot to create a decent roleplaying game. All you need is a fish-out-of-water character, a vast open map, and a seemingly endless list of objectives. Though it has all three, Forspoken struggles to keep up with its pretenses as a Western roleplaying game.

First, the good

Credit to where it’s due, Forspoken is a fun game for the first few sections. Exploring the incredibly huge map with magical parkour is enjoyable. Eclipsed only by Elden Ring’s Torrent, magic parkour is one of the most innovative ways to quickly traverse large distances, especially after learning more advanced techniques.

Likewise, fighting balanced enemies with limited powers provides enough of a challenge to keep players on their toes in Athia. Neither the player nor the first enemies feel overpowered.

Unfortunately, the game’s novelty quickly evaporates after you figure out that you have to repeat the same motions dozens upon dozens of times. Forspoken’s map is much larger than it ever should have been. Though abundant in number, every point of interest is separated by large distances, some platforming challenges, and a battle sequence. The greater map is empty. Do this over and over, and the game gets stale quick. With adequate rewards, this shouldn’t be a problem, but Forspoken also suffers from a communication issue.

A communication issue

For most roleplaying games, completing an objective on the map usually nets palpable rewards for the player: a significant experience boost, new skills, new gear, or a bag of loot. An open-world game necessitates a lot of exploring. Even if a game is repetitive, earning substantial rewards is satisfying, at least. Forspoken does not have this — not in an easily discernible way, at least.

Treasure chests, which account for most of the points of interest on the map, reward players with a litany of crafting materials. Most of which will go unused because the game doesn’t easily tell players how to use them. After a dozen hours of collecting materials, I had a wealthy cache of each ingredient to make practically anything. Even then, I had little idea where each one went.

The map’s major rewards — new cloaks, new nail arts, and experience — also do little to explain how Frey improves with each completed objective. Clearing out an enemy camp, for example, rewards players with +1 magic. The game does not tell you how much damage that conveys. Certainly, after completing a few of these, Frey feels stronger, but it’s not easy to see how much stronger, especially when most enemies are bullet sponges with absurd health pools anyway.

Plus, these don’t even scratch the surface of objectives wherein the main reward is literally just a lore dump you have to read from a menu.

Forspoken

Difficulty shouldn’t always mean more enemies

Another issue with clearing out Athia’s large map is how Forspoken handles difficulty. Though there are options to adjust difficulty, the game relies on a limited bag of tricks to make it more difficult for players: increasing enemy health and quantity. In moderation, relying on this strategy works. However, Forspoken does this to an obnoxious level.

Prepare to fight five mini-bosses in one encounter for a lore entry. What compounds this issue more is an insane enemy health pool which causes encounters to last a lot longer than they should. One mini-boss encounter took me 15 minutes, even with appropriately leveled gear and the right spells.

Because of the sheer number of enemies, an encounter can stun-lock Frey for an absurd amount of time. The player can hardly prevent this since it relies on chance. Despite offering a wide array of moves, the risk of knockbacks shoehorn players into a slow run-and-gun tactic (which might not even play into an enemy’s weaknesses), instead of using each ability to the max.

On paper, Forspoken’s combat offers a fluid way to take down enemies by seamlessly switching between spells and moving through the battlefield with magic parkour. Unfortunately, an imbalance in enemy strategies bogs the game down in prolonged sequences that often reward players with only middling boosts.

Forspoken

A lack of optimization

For a game released on modern hardware, Forspoken took a while to launch. The game was delayed a few times. Given how delays often work, you’d think that it would release in a fairly optimized state. It’s not.

Though I haven’t hit major game-breaking bugs, there were a number of performance dips throughout the game. Even on performance-focused settings, framerates dropped to a standstill when there were high particle effects on screen. Frey constantly clipped through the terrain and found herself stuck on finnicky edges (which sometimes required reloading from previous saves).

The game is also dragged down by numerous cutscenes. Though not a bug per se, it’s not a great sign of optimization that the game has to pause for a cutscene just to show enemies arriving. For a game featuring fluid movement and combat, Forspoken often takes players out of the action by pausing for unnecessary cutscenes.

Forspoken

Better on sale

Overall, Forspoken is persistently flawed. However, amid the game’s shortcomings, the title still has an exciting combat and movement system. Plus, if you disregard the tedious open world, Forspoken’s linear story, featuring the wide range of abilities, are enjoyable. My interest always bounces back after beating one of the game’s main bosses.

Still, it’s hard to call Forspoken a game worthy of its AAA price tag. It might be better to wait for a discount.

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Computers

MSI Summit E16 Flip review: Creator on the go

A plethora of ways to be as productive and creative as possible

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We all love a good 2-in-1 device that gives us everything we need all in one go. From portability to productivity, devices like these truly bring out the best in everyone no matter what kind of use case you throw at it. Such is the case for MSI, a brand notably known for gaming hardware but has their fair share of productivity-focused laptops, as well.

One such 2-in-1 device under MSI’s portfolio is the MSI Summit E16 Flip, complete with hardware and features for the more well-rounded user out there. With a rather slim form factor, the device would ideally mix both portability and productivity in one. Also, it comes with some external hardware that elevates the productivity just a bit further, as well.

With all these in mind, is the MSI Summit E16 Flip a worthy option for all your productivity needs?

Performing above expectations

The MSI Summit E16 Flip performs rather fantastically for any given situation; whether you’re working or watching, it has the hardware to keep up. Inside this machine is a 12th generation Intel Core i7 processor and 16GB of RAM — a standard for most productivity-laden devices. Most applications run smoothly on this device, which is expected as a daily driver for most tasks.

It also comes with a 16:10, QHD+ anti-glare display, which does provide a bigger canvas for multitasking with multiple windows open. This IPS touch display is quite bright and color-accurate, especially at peak brightness and in broad daylight. Whether you’re working during the day or watching movies at night, this device is perfect for these activities.

Gaming and creating on the go

Much like all other MSI laptops, the MSI Summit E16 Flip comes with a dedicated NVIDIA RTX 3050Ti GPU inside. Although not as powerful as oher mobile GPUs, this one packs a punch for a good balance of gaming performance with high quality graphics. When throwing in Esports titles, the device poured in high frame rates suited for competitive play.

Of course, a powerful GPU also enables greater performance when editing photos and videos in high quality, as well. This is also helped out by the display having a 165Hz refresh rate with a 1ms response rate, so you don’t miss out on any out of place pixels. From our tests, render times for HD videos were decent enough — about 2 minutes for a 15-second video with many visual elements.

A pen and large display for your notes

Part of the package for the MSI Summit E16 Flip is the addition of the MSI Pen for those who prefer a pen over a mouse/trackpad. This additional accessory links up quite quickly, and lasts for more than a day on a full charge. Also, it comes with a few magnetized areas so it sticks to the side of the laptop or the top of the display for ease of access.

Ideally, you’d need something like the MSI Pen if you’re more into drawing illustrations or taking down handwritten notes — and it shows. From legible handwriting to brush strokes, the device was able to pick up on these inputs well. It even supports other Windows gestures like zoom, drag, and multi-select — essentially replicating the wide trackpad.

Although, from our usage of the device, the display has this slight problem with rejecting palms on top of it. While writing with the MSI Pen, it is natural to rest your palm somewhere on the display yet even inputs from that get picked up. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but something to be wary of.

Lasts decently long for consistent productivity

Longevity is another thing the MSI Summit E16 Flip provides, specifically on the battery side of things. Throughout our usage of the device, on normal usage, it lasts around 10-11 hours which is pretty decent for the hardware. Accounting for higher quality videos playing, the device lasted for 9-10 hours on average.

When gaming full time or even rendering higher quality videos, the battery does take a hit, as expected. For full time video rendering, it drained its battery after three and a half hours on average, while gaming cut it down to around two to three hours.

Although, if you need to get back into your productivity workflow, the MSI Summit E16 Flip restores its battery quickly with the charger it comes with. On average, charging the device took around two hours from nothing to full, which should put you back in action.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

Starting PhP 130,999, the MSI Summit E16 Flip has everything you need in a 2-in-1 device when you’re on the move. From the hardware to the accessories, it’s a well-rounded machine designed for the multihyphenated or those who work and play hard. Also, its overall design makes it a bit easier to bring around.

If money isn’t entirely an issue, this laptop is one great upgrade option out there both as a work machine and a creator hub. Accessory-wise, the MSI Pen should be on your list of must-haves when purchasing this device, in case a mouse doesn’t suit your liking.

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