Reviews

Pocophone F1 Review: It’s all about the performance

Flagship-specced phone that’s cheaper than a Xiaomi!

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If you find the Xiaomi Mi 8 or the OnePlus 6 to be great flagship killers, wait until you get to know the Pocophone F1. From the makers of Xiaomi, the Pocophone F1 offers even better value for money. It’s got the flagship specifications of US$ 800 phones for just around US$ 300.

You might not have heard about Pocophone because it’s a new contender in the competitive smartphone market. I was able to use the phone for a few days prior to the official launch and here’s what I have to say about it.

It’s got a 6.18-inch IPS LCD with rounded corners

The corners seem to be way too rounded

There’s a notch and it’s pretty wide like Xiaomi Mi 8’s

That’s because it also hides an infrared camera

The power and volume buttons are on the right side

Blending with the rest of the polycarbonate frame

The hybrid card slot on the left accepts a microSD card

In exchange for a second SIM card

The USB-C port is at the bottom along with the loudspeaker

The earpiece also acts as a speaker to create a stereo effect

Our review unit comes with a Kevlar back

This one is called the Armored Edition

The dual cameras share the same spot with the fingerprint reader

The reader is easily reachable by the index finger

We need to talk about the design…

The Pocophone F1 will not win any design awards because it’s not asking for one. It borrows some of the Mi 8’s blueprint and mixes it with its own. To keep the cost down, the Pocophone doesn’t sport a metal body. Unlike the Honor Play which screams premium when held on hand, the Pocophone doesn’t leave any lasting impression.

It’s got a polycarbonate body, so the sides and buttons of the phone feel plasticky. Our Armored Edition unit has an edge thanks to its Kevlar back, but the regular ones will definitely feel cheaper. I can’t also help but notice that the bezels of the phone are not proportional, but that’s already nitpicking.

The bezels aren’t proportional to each other, just saying

Also noticeable to my eyes are the extremely rounded corners of the display. The Pocophone is not the first phone to implement rounded corners (the first one I know of is the LG G6), but Pocophone’s are excessive. This results in cutouts of the interface, especially when playing games that have buttons positioned at the edge.

Having a notch already limits content in full screen and the overly rounded corners are another concern.

The rounded corners cut out some of the on-screen interface

Good thing the 6.18-inch Full HD+ display is bright with up to 500 nits and color accurate with 84 percent NTSC coverage as per manufacturer’s claims. Also, it’s protected by Gorilla Glass, although they didn’t specify which version.

The Kevlar back reminds us of the old Motorola DROID RAZR phones

Overall, the external characteristics of the Pocophone are just so-so. Having a polycarbonate body is okay because it keeps the cost down, but it could have been better to have a similar build quality with the colorful iPhone 5c or the early Nokia Lumia phones. Nokia and Apple were able to prove that a plastic-made body won’t feel cheap when done right.

Definitely the most powerful phone in its segment

The Pocophone might not have the best build, but it’s definitely one of the most powerful phones in the market right now. Xiaomi, the parent company, is known to offer flagship-specced phones at lower price points. They managed to outdo themselves through the Pocophone.

This phone comes with a Snapdragon 845 processor which also powers the likes of the LG G7 ThinQ, Samsung Galaxy S9, HTC U12+, and Sony Xperia XZ2. As you know, the league of Snapdragon 845 comes with hefty price tags, but not the Pocophone F1. It even has up to 8GB of memory and 256GB of expandable storage.

MIUI with an app drawer! 😲

I’m going to get a bit technical, but it’s worth noting that even with a lower asking price, it’s got LPDDR4X DRAM and UFS 2.1 storage. Basically, it has fast memory and storage speeds like on an expensive smartphone.

Running the show is Android Oreo skinned with MIUI 9.6. Although, this is not the same MIUI we’ve known from Xiaomi phones. It’s not that big of a deal, but if you’ve owned a Xiaomi phone you might be surprised about this: This particular version of MIUI has an app drawer. The rest of the MIUI is similar to what we’re accustomed to.

I often hold the Pocophone like this because I’m always playing

Like the Honor Play, the Pocophone is going to appeal a lot to mobile gamers. The Adreno 630 GPU that comes with the Snapdragon chipset is a beast at mobile gaming. It easily handles graphics-intensive games on the highest settings possible. PUBG Mobile, for example, can run in Ultra settings without any hiccups. I also tried Mobile Legends: Bang Bang and Asphalt 9: Legends; both fared well.

The Pocophone F1 is equipped with a thermal solution called LiquidCool Technology. This keeps the temperature of the device in check especially when it’s under pressure. The phone is claimed to have fluid inside its cooling module which evaporates to vapor and then recondenses as liquid later on. I’m not able to confirm this because it happens inside the phone. Nevertheless, I never felt the Pocophone overheating when playing.

Flagship specs, midrange cameras

The Pocophone focused a lot on speed and, sadly, overlooked its cameras. It’s got a dual-camera setup that’s composed of a main 12-megapixel f/1.9 sensor with dual pixel autofocus and a secondary 5-megapixel depth sensor. It’s a similar setup to the Redmi Note 5 AI but with the addition of enhanced artificial intelligence software found on Mi flagships. The end result is uninspired, but the scene detection feature with the aid of AI is quick to act.

Under bright light, the camera captures plenty of details but it struggles in low-light scenarios. The bokeh effect is pretty good in adding depth to close-up shots. Here are some samples:

As for selfies, a 13-megapixel shooter is able to take decent photos whether under bright daylight or indoors. Check these samples:

There’s portrait mode which applies blur to the background and works pretty well. Edge detecting is up to par with other selfie phones. There’s still beauty mode, of course, but it’ll not turn you into a doll — unlike others.

Able to last a full day

With all the power the phone has, it’s got to have a sizeable battery to keep up. Thankfully, the 4000mAh battery sealed inside the Pocophone is enough to get users through a full day.

Another shot of the amazing Kevlar back

Based on my few days with the phone, it consistently lasted the whole day. From 100 percent in the morning, it has enough juice left before I get home after a full workday. Considering that my usage is moderate to heavy which includes constant social media, web browsing, chats, and gaming, I am still able to get home with battery power left over.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

The Pocophone F1 is designed to please power users that don’t want to spend their hard-earned money on an expensive flagship. If you like to have the best-possible specs on a phone, the Pocophone F1 is definitely your GadgetMatch.

But, budget phones always come with caveats. The Pocophone F1 is not exactly a budget-friendly phone at INR 20,999 or around US$ 300 for the 6GB/64GB variant, but for a device with a Snapdragon 845 processor — it’s a steal!

The camera performance might not be able to satisfy our eyes, but the Pocophone F1 is something you’d use primarily for gaming. It directly competes against the Honor Play which comes with the best processor from Huawei. These two phones created a new category among smartphones, and we’re not even sure what to call it yet.

SEE ALSO: Honor Play Review: The budget flagship

Reviews

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 Review: 3 months of love and commitment

Finally held in my hands the popular phone in K-dramas

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The Galaxy Z Flip4 is already the fourth iteration of the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip from 2020 — but admittedly, it’s my first time EVER using a foldable as my daily driver.

Being used to large phones for so long, can the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 live up to my expectations?

Through the wise words “I want to take up the challenge” of LE SSERAFIM’s Huh Yunjin in their The World Is My Oyster intro track, I dared to make the Galaxy Z Flip4 my main phone not just for two weeks, not even a month, but for three long months.

Fearless Flip

Fearless — that’s the first quality that goes into my mind when I see people who rock foldables.

Seeing the littlest population of Samsung Flips in a crowd full of the ever-popular iPhones alongside gargantuan Android slabs felt like they dared to let go of the already good things on a phone just for the sake of portability and compactness.

But when I actually held the Galaxy Z Flip4 for the first time, I understood what it meant. The ability to fold your large phone in half is a massive challenge in technology and engineering. Just like its niche market, Samsung was fearless and dared to defy the odds.

Much like its predecessor, the Galaxy Z Flip4 is rated to last up to 200,000 folds — which translates to about five years of continuous wear and tear. That’s more than enough before you actually upgrade to a newer flip (or switch back to a regular smartphone). And by that time, I’m pretty sure Samsung has already managed to create more refined foldables, or maybe even a rollable.

When I close the phone, it always gives me that sudden kick of nostalgia of the old flippy clamshell phones from the early millennium.

SEE ALSO: Samsung’s Flip Phone Innovation Over The Years

When unfolded, it felt light and right in the hands.

With its responsive side-mounted fingerprint scanner, you can quickly unlock the phone without ever-worrying about removing your masks.

But if you’re coming from an iPhone and got accustomed to FaceID, the Galaxy Z Flip4 still includes a Face Unlock feature. Quite unsure though if it’s already fool-proof.

Antifragile Display

Do you think I’m fragile? Maybe I am, but the Galaxy Z Flip4’s display isn’t. With its revolutionary and improved Ultra Thin Glass (UTG) material and an added layer of plastic, folding and unfolding the phone won’t feel as fragile as it seems.

But don’t let the “flimsy-looking” display fool you. The screen of Galaxy Z Flip4 is surprisingly bright indoors even if brightness level is just around 10% to 15%.

While I never held last year’s Galaxy Z Flip3, the Galaxy Z Flip4 is said to have slimmer bezels. Not that it’s a reason for existing Flip3 users to upgrade.

Weak Hero Class 1 is a MUST WATCH! And I’m sure I’m very weak for Park Ji-hoon 🥺

Now that we’ve started to unfold the Galaxy Z Flip4, I can already hear most of you ranting about its crease. But during the course of time that I used it, I really had little to no issues about the crease that annoys a lot of you.

It is there but most of the time, it did not distract me. The closest explanation I can say are the notches on the iPhone — which also bugged a lot of people but not a dealbreaker when you’re actually using the phone.

The crease will obviously show if you use the phone parallel to a direct source of light or just outdoors. But in most scenarios, I wasn’t worried — even if I’m a huge dark mode user.

The Good Parts

Much like one of my favorite B-sides by LE SSERAFIM, the Galaxy Z Flip4 naturally has its good parts.

Content-friendly + Entertainment-ready

I go to ride ’til I die die — as long as Kazuha is the driver 😍

With its lightweight form factor, the Galaxy Z Flip4 is ideal for viewing and consuming entertainment. Holding the phone one-handed never felt like a burden. Unlike my iPhone of (almost) the same size with the same exact display size, the Galaxy Z Flip4 is just on the taller side of aspect ratio at 22:9 (versus 19.5:9).

I just wanna love my weakness, and LE SSERAFIM is one of them 🥵

The speakers may not be the loudest among all phones, but its bass and clarity are decent enough when you play music or watch movies in an environment where there’s less noise. And yes, it’s still ideal for your concert sessions (while showering, duh).

IDC if it’s weird but I am shipping Si-eun and Soo-ho I mean look at them

As aspect ratio was previously mentioned, one thing I love about the Galaxy Z Flip4 is watching K-Drama content. It makes more sense since Samsung is heavily investing the Galaxy Z Flips not just via BTS and the Bora Purple colorway, but also through South Korean dramas. No wonder why a lot of fans and viewers have been envious to own this phone over anything else.

From titles such as Weak Hero Class 1, Cheer Up, and even Bad Prosecutor, all the way to 21:9 K-Pop music videos like NewJeans’ Hype Boy and IVE’s Love Dive, I enjoyed watching them using the narrow Dynamic AMOLED 2x display of the Galaxy Z Flip4. And even if the content is the regular 16:9, you will still love watching cropped-in content as it looks more immersive.

You made me boost up

Looks can really be deceiving. Despite the Galaxy Z Flip4 being compact, its power-packed with a flagship-grade Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset.

Paired with a sufficient 8GB of LPDDR5 RAM plus a speedy UFS 3.1 storage ranging from 128GB to 512GB, you won’t feel little using this phone no matter what tasks you run.

For instance, I was able to play Asphalt 9: Legends with ease. My gameplay was smooth and very responsive.

The same thing can be said when I played my new favorite game similar to the one I play on my PC: Bus Simulator Ultimate.

However, if you’re a huge Genshin Impact player, don’t get too much of your hopes up.

When I opened its graphics settings, the default graphics mode is at medium. While it shows the gameplay will be “smooth”, the game is still very graphics-demanding. The complicated form factor of the Galaxy Z Flip4 and its unconventional cooling system might not be able to hold up if you choose to ramp up the game settings to High.

More-than-satisfactory cameras

Unlike other Samsung phones with their trio (and even quadruple) set of camera sensors, the Galaxy Z Flip4 features a pair of rear cameras.

While its 12MP f/2.2 ultra-wide camera was literally unchanged, the 12MP f/1.8 regular wide camera has an overall bigger and better sensor  (1/2.55″ vs 1/1.76″).

Surprisingly, despite not having the best camera hardware, photos taken with the Galaxy Z Flip4 turned out satisfying — at least to my preferences. Take a look at the samples below for you to judge.

Daylight shots look astonishing whether you use the regular lens, ultra-wide, or even its 2x digital zoom…

AI sometimes overdoes saturation but that can be turned off depending on your preference. Personally, I just tone it down a little bit.

Food shots always looked appetizing and mouth-watering…

Heck! Night mode even saves you in situations where there is little to no light.

Concerned about portraits?

Samsung did a good job when it comes to foreground and background segmentation for that bokehlicious goodness.

And here’s a random mirror selfie just because the Bora Purple Galaxy Z Flip4 complements my Nike Waffle One in the Coconut Milk Crimson colorway #NotSponsored

Hands-free selfie-taking

Aside from its ultra-wide sensor, the 10MP f/2.4 punch-hole selfie camera of the Galaxy Z Flip4 was also unchanged. But this is one reason why you shouldn’t judge a phone just by looking at hardware specs.

Personally, I don’t like taking selfies. More so if the phone applies a significant amount of beautification. Fortunately, Samsung takes natural-looking selfies. And with Flex Mode, taking selfies was a breeze.

It was more enjoyable than conventional as you can take them hands-free! You just need to fold the phone at a certain angle. After that, you can show your palm or use a voice command like saying “cheese” — or “kimchi” if you’re a proud Koreaboo like I am.

The punch-hole camera also has an ultra-wide mode meant for duo/bestie selfies, #CoupleGoals selfies, and groufies.

Clearer self-portraits

If you prefer taking “clearer” selfies, you can still use Flex Mode with an extra step for you to toggle: that’s turning on the Cover Mode.

From there, you can use any of the wide and even ultra-wide cameras and frame yourself using its 1.9-inch Super AMOLED Cover Display — but now with the addition of Portrait Mode which the Z Flip3 can’t do.

It even works at night…

And just an extra, I used the Galaxy Z Flip4 to take a photo of my half-body #KOTD (Kicks of the Day)

Five-year software support

Usually, Android smartphones only get three years of software updates. That’s one of the main reasons why I can’t last long with Android and keep getting back to iPhones.

But with the Galaxy Z Flip4, Samsung promised users that they will continue to support it for five years. This comes with four major Android OS updates. Considering the phone is rated to last five years, it goes hand-in-hand with its software support. It’s just up to the user if they can keep the Flip4 unhinged after those years.

The Impurities

Just like me and any other products out there, the Galaxy Z Flip4 is far from being perfect.

Will-o’-the-wisp

If you’re not familiar with such metaphorical term, it just means a misleading and impossible to reach hope or goal.

The same can be said with the battery life of the Galaxy Z Flip4. Even though the battery capacity was bumped up from Flip3’s 3300mAh to now 3700mAh and a more power-efficient 4nm processor, I can’t say its promised battery life is enough for a single-charge use case.

Case in point: After fully-charging the phone around five in the morning, the phone went dead at around 2:30 in the afternoon. That’s not even more than half a day of use.

The breakdown of my usage during that time are as follows:

  • 3 hours of Facebook and Messenger
  • 2 hours on Apple Music
  • 1 hour of video playback on YouTube
  • 45 minutes of Twitter
  • 21 minutes of gaming

And just as a usage bonus, I was able to play a 10-minute 4K YouTube video plus a 3-minute Netflix title from 3% before it died down to 0%.

Another instance was when I went out for a work meeting. I unplugged the phone around 6AM. But because I wanted to continue using it as my laptop’s hotspot (and maximize its 5G capabilities), I needed to charge it around 3PM. The results weren’t very different from my first usage.

Luckily, the Power Saving Mode saves the day. The obvious compromises would be the dimming of its already-bright display. Aside from that, 120Hz will be turned off in favor of a slower 60Hz refresh rate. Lastly, you can’t use 5G and will just be limited to 4G LTE. This shouldn’t be a dealbreaker to most people who don’t rely on super-fast data connection.

The result? The phone’s standby duration lasted for more than 15 hours with a screen on time of around nine hours. That’s double the amount of what you can have without power saving turned on. You just have to deal with its compromises.

Super fast charging?

In this new generation of smartphones, bundling a charger out of the box is now considered a luxury more than a necessity. And we all know Samsung followed the footsteps of Apple towards a “sustainable future” 🤧

I’m not much different. Even though Samsung provided me this review unit, they also didn’t give me any of their Super Fast Charger adapter nor cable. They promised though that using their 25W Fast Charge adapter can charge the phone to 50% in thirty minutes.

Still, I used the fastest 100W charger I own — one with a USB-C port capable of a maximum output of 40W. That’s more than enough as the Galaxy Z Flip4 can only reach max 25W fast charging.

BTW, that’s something the Galaxy Z Flip3 doesn’t possess as its limited to just 15W of wired charging. Even wireless charging support was leveled up from 10W to 15W.

Here are the results of “Super Fast Charging” the Galaxy Z Flip4 using a third-party charger and high-speed USB-C to USB-C cable.

Regular (daytime) charging:

  • 5 minutes = 4%
  • 10 minutes = 14%
  • 15 minutes = 20%
  • 20 minutes = 31%
  • 30 minutes = 43%
  • 45 minutes = 67%
  • 60 minutes = 85%
  • 1 hr 5 minutes = 90%
  • 1 hr 21 minutes = 100%

Overnight charging:

  • 5 minutes = 4%
  • 10 minutes = 11%
  • 15 minutes = 16%
  • 20 minutes = 22%
  • 30 minutes = 37%
  • 45 minutes = 48%
  • 60 minutes = 55%
  • 1 hour 15 minutes = 61%
  • 1 hour 30 minutes = 68%
  • 1 hour 45 minutes = 74%
  • 2 hours = 82%
  • 2 hours 30 minutes = 96%
  • 2 hours 38 minutes = 100%

Inconsistent 5G and Wi-Fi hotspot

Again, I know it’s not a huge dealbreaker to most. But for someone like me who relies on more than 100mbps internet speeds when working outdoors, this is one cause for concern.

I’m unsure if it’s only limited to my unit but during my time with it, 5G speeds were inconsistent. I’ve used the same 5G sim on a different phone but it displayed consistent speeds all throughout. Another thing was that, mobile hotspot keeps disconnecting – whether I switch the hotspot settings from 5GHz down to a slower 2.4GHz.

If I’m not alone in this issue, I’m hoping Samsung will address it through a future software update.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

Months after its release, the base model of the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 still starts at PhP 58,990 / SG$ 1398 / US$ 249.99 with four default color options: Bora Purple, Pink Gold, Blue, and Graphite.

If you want to get more extra, you can pre-order a customized Galaxy Z Flip4 Bespoke Edition. You have 75 color combinations to choose from. Unfortunately, it’s not available in the Philippines.

Even though I was never able to use the Galaxy Z Flip3 a year ago, I can tell that Samsung has addressed all the concerns users have experienced with their past Flip. Aside from aesthetic changes, such as thinner and more durable hinge design plus slimmer bezels, the hardware improvements are there too. The Galaxy Z Flip4 is a pure refinement of what was already a great piece of hardware.

Still, that doesn’t mean Z Flip3 users have to upgrade to the latest one. Give Samsung a little more time to make their innovation more mature before you buy one of their foldable offerings.

I used to deny that I’m part of the Gen Z population. However, as the Galaxy Z Flip4 is meant towards the Gen Z line, I can attest that it’s a quirkly-looking phone that’s fun to use. Not to mention, it’s a head-turner when I open and flip the phone out in the crowd.

Disregarding all the “impurities” that these phone has, I still recommend it for those who are looking for or want to switch to a foldable without breaking the bank. After all, I’ve listed more good parts in this review write-up.

Being able to pack a lot of punch in such a compact and precisely-crafted piece of engineering marvel makes this phone stand out from the crowd. The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 is a worthy recipient of The GadgetMatch Seal of Approval.

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Xiaomi 12T Pro review: Potential flagship killer

Serious performance

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Xiaomi 12T Pro

With the variety of banger smartphones being released, it’s been somewhat difficult for brands to make a statement with just pure specs.

But when Xiaomi unveiled their prices during their 12T Series launch, the cheer and applause from the crowd just brought me back in time. The time when Xiaomi ruled the scene of bang-for-the-buck devices as they offered top class specs at very affordable prices.

Yes my friends, the Xiaomi 12T Pro could just be among those devices.

Let me explain why I think that might be the case.

Specs and performance

Xiaomi 12T Pro

Let’s not beat around the bush — the specs of the Xiaomi 12T Pro is confidently top notch. This runs on the latest Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of internal Storage. Which means, there’s not much more you could ask for when it comes to its hardware specifications.

This is already packing one of the fastest chipsets that’s currently available in the market. And with our experience, it truly does bring about just as what we expect from it.

Xiaomi 12T Pro

I’ve made a ton of video reels on this doing heavy video editing for social media. Not once did I feel that the phone slowed me down. It simply breezed through most of what I did like it was nothing.

And with specs like these, I’m sure there are already a lot of people who have their eyes set on this for gaming.

Xiaomi 12T Pro

For that, I’d say this also doesn’t disappoint. Maxed graphics and FPS settings on Call of Duty: Mobile wasn’t a problem for the 12T Pro. In fact you can probably max most games on this and still get decently fast frame rates.

This did feel a bit warmer on the hands than I expected but nothing that I think would cause an issue unless you’re really pushing the phone to the limit.

200MP Main Camera

Xiaomi 12T Pro

We’re still pretty new to seeing phones with over a hundred megapixels in camera resolution and here’s Xiaomi giving us double that number. 200MP for its main camera, 8MP for its ultrawide and a 2MP macro on its rear plus a 20MP camera on its front.

That’s looking really impressive if you are judging it on paper. But how does it actually hold up in real world use? 

 

With the main camera, it’s easily recognizable that this is a decent performer. The new ISOCELL MP1 sensor on this was actually able to capture a night event where I was struggling to get decent lighting.

 

It’s able to get awesome results under challenging scenarios and even better in well lit environments.

But if you were to ask me if the huge amount of megapixels actually make a difference, my answer to that is yes but it’s not as significant as I hoped it would be.

This would probably win over others in terms of resolution but overall, if I were pixel peeping, I would still slightly prefer the quality of images coming from something like the Sony IMX sensor.

However, the margin does get bigger if we compare the zooming capabilities from a phone that has a dedicated telephoto camera. The digital zoom from the 12T Pro, despite looking respectable, still would not match images coming from a true telephoto camera.

Ultrawide shots from the 8MP sensor also do get decent photos but obviously, there is a sizable difference between this and the main camera. 

The 20MP selfie camera does also perform okay but nothing really outstanding. Just like most phones, in poor lighting, shots also look grainy and won’t look very good.

Design and build quality

Xiaomi 12T Pro

Interestingly, as most recent smartphone releases have been looking similar, Xiaomi still goes on in pursuing their own design.

The Xiaomi 12T Pro has a very smooth and curved back panel with a square cut out for the main camera and two round ones for the ultrawide and the macro. Some might think this looks kind of bland but I prefer calling it looking professional.

Xiaomi 12T Pro

If you’re used to holding high-end phones, having this on your hands, you’ll right away notice that this doesn’t quite have the same feel. You’ll feel a mixture of glass and some parts of the frame that feels plastic. As a whole I think most people won’t really notice this as it still feels substantially solid.

Xiaomi 12T Pro

I did immediately notice that it feels a bit thicker compared to the Xiaomi 12 Pro measuring 8.2mm thick while the 12T Pro being 8.6mm.

But this does have an IP53 dust and water resistance this time so that’s a big plus for added peace of mind.

Display and Speakers

Xiaomi 12T Pro

Xiaomi went with a flat display panel on the 12T Pro which, to be honest, is something that I prefer more when it comes to usability.

It may not look as sophisticated as curved displays but at least it feels easier to navigate with less chances of input error.

Xiaomi 12T Pro

Measuring 6.67 inches, it doesn’t require much effort to reach each side. Given that I don’t have very large hands, I think most people would find this screen size to be ideal.

Xiaomi 12T Pro

This is an AMOLED panel with Dolby Vision and HDR10+ certifications plus a 120Hz refresh rate so this display also looks vibrant and feels really fluid to use.

Combine the display with its stereo speaker setup and we have ourselves a well rounded media consumption device.

This pair of speakers are tuned by Harman Kardon and they sound pretty great as well. They have enough thickness to make the dialogue from the movie you’re watching cut through the mixture of sound effects.

Battery and Charging Performance

Xiaomi 12T Pro

Flagship phones often run on smaller batteries with fast charging capabilities. This is a bit different on the 12T Pro which ships out with a large 5000mAh battery and a fast 120W charger. 

In my charging test, I was able to get the 12T Pro from 10 percent to full in about 42 minutes. This may not be the fastest charging speed around right now, but it’s still incredibly fast. We’re still able to get fully juiced up even if we’ve just plugged it in before heading out for the day. 

And for a phone of this calibre, battery performance is observably good. The 12T Pro averaged me a day and a half on normal use on mostly cellular data connection. Quite different from the usual single day battery life of most flagships.

Is the Xiaomi 12T Pro your GadgetMatch?

Xiaomi 12T Pro

With so many phones to choose from, the Xiaomi 12T Pro might not be the best in the market. 

But for the relatively impressive set of hardware this packs combined with its price, this easily climbs to the top of the list when choosing a smartphone that truly resonates ‘bang for the buck’. 

Offered at PhP 37,999, you’re already getting serious performance, an excellent display, highly capable cameras and hyperfast charging. 

In my opinion, these are qualities it requires for people to consider this as another flagship killer.

You can get the Xiaomi 12T Pro in Silver, Blue and Black from Lazada, Shopee, official Xiaomi stories and authorized resellers. 

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Why you should upgrade to the Dyson V15

Smart and powerful

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Are you someone who gets excited over vacuum cleaners? Why hello there and welcome to adulthood. Vacuuming is definitely one of the most satisfying chores at home. The results are instant and seeing all the gunk you were able to remove from your floors and furniture is always so rewarding. This is why I can be quite particular about my vacuums. I need one that makes the task easier and a lot more interesting — like the new Dyson V15 Detect Absolute.

While the wall mount is a great way to store your Dyson vacuum, I personally prefer the Docking Station. Along with the wand clip, I’m able to neatly store my favorite accessories in one place.

Dyson’s latest release in the floor care department is arguably the most intelligent and powerful cordless vacuum in the market today. The suction has improved and is now at 240 Air Watts. Thanks to a Piezo Sensor, the V15’s screen will also tell you the kind of particles it’s picking up in your home grouped by size. This is something that people will allergies will definitely be thankful for. However, the numbers aren’t just there as a party trick or merely for information. There’s a practical use for it. As the V15 detects – pun intended – the particles, it also adjusts the suction accordingly. Detection is done up to 15,000 times per second. This allows for the adjustment of the suction power on Auto Mode to be quick and intuitive. Now that’s nifty.

The right accessories and attachments for your Dyson V15

The V15 Detect also comes with a whole slew of attachments and accessories. Admittedly, seeing the range of tools and thinking of all the things you can do with them are two of the things that really get me excited when getting a new vacuum. I love how you get multi-use pieces as well as task-specific ones. 

The Digital Motorbar or the V15’s main cleaning head now comes with an anti-tangle comb that clears hair from the brush bar. This is something I longed for vacuums to have as detangling hair from brushes and rollers isn’t something to look forward to. It’s no gimmick either. My hair’s been getting longer and I shed almost as much as our corgi. We tested it here at home and it actually works. 

The laser works well even during day time, showing all the fur and microdust on our hard floor. The culprit, our Welsh Corgi Pembroke Juancho, isn’t very happy about the exposure of his crime scene.

The V15 — both models — come with the Laser Slim Fluffy Cleaner Head which is perfect for seeing microdust and things you may just miss on hard floors. The Hair Screw Tool is the upgrade of the Mini Motorized Tool. It has the power of its predecessor and the anti-tangle technology of the Digital Motorbar. It’s perfect for cleaning upholstery, mattresses, and even in your car.

You also get attachments that were available in previous models like the Crevice Tool for those narrow, hard to reach places, Combination Tool, Mini Soft Dusting Brush, and the Stubborn Dirt Brush. The vacuum still comes with a wall mount where your charger can go through, ensuring tidier storage.

The HEPA model comes with a built-in dusting and crevice tool that hides inside the wand when not in use. It seems like a minor addition but makes it much easier to switch from full vacuum to handheld. Extra attachments like the Low-Reach Adaptor makes cleaning under beds and sofas a breeze and the Fabric and Mattress tool for your in-home cleaning. This frees up your Hair Screw Tool for your car.

Straight from the source. The Pet Grooming Tool will take loose hair, dander, dirt, and other nasties off your pet.

But what I’m really looking forward to is the launch of the Dyson Pet Groom tool here in the Philippines. Set to arrive in early 2023, this piece is a game changer for pet owners. Living with a corgi means having to deal with shedding all year round. We also have to hoover every single day or else we’ll be dealing with fur tumbleweeds throughout our flat which gather more dust and allergens. The new Pet Groom Tool is a brush that you can attach to the main body of your V15. With 364 bristles angled at 35°, you’re able to remove loose fur and dander from your pet. Without hurting them, of course. 

Filtering microdust with the Dyson V15

Dyson vacuums have always been pretty idiot-proof. It’s a piece of technology that marries form and substance — looking great while packing a lot of power for a cordless vacuum. I’ve always loved how Dyson vacuums don’t use bags. Clearing the bin is easy — hold it over the bin and pull the side handle down. Less waste makes it kinder to the environment. 

The V15 also comes with 5-stages of advanced filtration, capturing 99.99% of particles as small as 0.3 microns. You’re not only cleaning your home but the air around you as well. There’s no need to keep buying filters and produce more waste because all you have to do is regularly take off the filter, place it under running water to clean, let it dry overnight and put it back. This works for both the regular and HEPA filters.

A real time count of the particles allows the vacuum to adjust suction power on its own on Auto Mode.

Sure, the V15 is a tad heavier if you compare it to the Omniglide and the V12 slim. However, it’s is a more powerful machine and runs longer. At 60 minutes, I’m able to deep clean most of our two-bedroom home. I’ve owned the V11 Absolute Extra Pro (a bigger V11 released in Germany) since 2019 and I’d say there’s not much difference in weight. I’ve enjoyed the power I got from V11 and always regarded it as my favorite vacuum, thinking that it’s hard to top its suction power as far as cordless vacuums go without making it too heavy. I was actually surprised that the V15 was able to achieve just that.

For comparison: (L-R) The Dyson Omniglide, V11 Absolute Extra Pro (EU release), and the Dyson V15 Detect Absolute.

What’s left to improve?

While I’m absolutely smitten by the V15, here’s what I would love to see in the next upgrades. A laser on the Digital Motorbar would be great so that we can also see microdust and hair that tends to blend with the color of our carpets. 

Some people online have complained about the lack of a trigger lock. This means you have to keep your finger on the trigger to keep the vacuum running. I think this is more of a question of preference. I don’t mind having a trigger lock as an option but I rarely used it in my older vacuums. For those who really think it can be an issue for them, the V12 does come with a start and stop button instead of a trigger.

The Low Reach adaptor makes cleaning under furniture a breeze. Its counterpart, the Up-Top adaptor is great for high areas – above cabinets and even the top parts of your ceiling fans by attaching the soft brush.

Price points

The V15 Detect Absolute comes in two variants — V15 Detect Absolute and V15 Detect Absolute HEPA. The main difference is the filter and the colors. The former is in sprayed yellow and nickel and the latter is in a combination of sprayed gold and iron with the HEPA filter coming in a lovely shade of aqua.

The V15 Detect Absolute HEPA variant retails for PhP54,900 and comes with two extra tools (Fabric and Mattress tool and Low-Reach Adaptor) as well as its hidden dusting and crevice tool inside the wand.

The V15 Detect Absolute, meanwhile, is slightly cheaper at PhP50,900. Both models are now available at Dyson stores in the Philippines as well as their official online stores on Lazada and Shopee.

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