Hands-On

Realme X Hands-On: It has something for everyone

Taking over the batton from Xiaomi

Published

on

Realme is barely over a year old, but in this short span, it has managed to grab a huge chunk of the market. While Xiaomi has established itself as the king, Realme wants to take over this title and its coming with all its might. This young brand is targeting the youth, but does it have everything that everyone wants?

Going by the name, you’d expect it to be a flagship but it’s an affordable phone that aims to get everything right. An all-new design, powerful processor, and fancy pop-up camera, what more does it have to offer?

An all-new design that looks exceedingly premium

Our Polar White unit gives a very refreshing vibe. Metal builds and gradient backs have become mainstream and Realme has something new in store. A ceramic texture along with mild colors at different angles, coupled with a glass build is unmatchable in this segment. It isn’t very slippery to hold and the weight distribution is on-point. Lastly, subtle edges make it very comfortable to hold for long durations.

AMOLED doesn’t mean a hefty price

Majority of the phones in this segment come with an LCD display along with a notch. Realme has eliminated the notch to offer a high screen-to-body ratio of 86 percent. The front looks immersive and many might mistake it for a flagship phone. The 6.53-inch panel is sufficiently bright and colors are well saturated. Adding to this, an in-display fingerprint scanner has been incorporated and it’s super fast.

The notch is often intrusive and the brand has opted for a pop-up selfie camera. This feature has been limited to mid-range and flagship phones so far.

Old on paper, but still packs a punch

Many have been disappointed with Realme’s choice of Snapdragon 710 chipset since its more than a year old. But just like Xiaomi’s romance with the Snapdragon 625, it’s a capable processor that fares well. With eight cores clocked at 2.2Ghz, it can breeze through demanding apps and games.

You can also choose to lock apps onto the RAM and multitasking is usually handled smoothly. Overall, it performs on par with our expectations from an affordable phone and the average Joe will never have any complaints.

A standardized camera setup

 

On the rear, it has a 48-megapixel camera that’s pretty much become a norm in the segment. It’s coupled with a 5-megapixel depth sensor for portrait photos. For selfies, the sliding module houses a 16-megapixel lens. The camera app has a plethora of built-in features like beauty mode, auto scene recognition, stickers, as well as a night mode.

The same ‘ol colorful skin

It runs on ColorOS 6.0 based on Android 9 Pie out of the box. We expect the company to roll-out updates quickly because it has used the same processor on the Realme 3 Pro. Hence, the skin can be universally customized and pushed out to users.

A battery that charges at lightning speed

Backing these internals is a 3765mAh battery that may be smaller than the competition, but comes with a secret weapon. Thanks to VOOC 3.0 fast charging technology, it can charge up to 65 percent in just half an hour. We recorded a screen-on-time of approximately five hours. This is also the first phone from Realme to embrace a USB-C port.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

If you’re looking for a phone that gets everything right, this should be your first choice. It’s built keeping everyone in mind, and this includes the gamers, photographers, casual users, as well as entertainment addicts. Realme has cleverly cut costs since there are no gaping shortcomings. The standard 4GB+128GB configuration costs INR 16,999 and the 8GB+128GB option is priced at INR 19,999.

For now, the only phone that comes close to it is Vivo’s Z1 Pro. However, it lacks a pop-up module which is a flaunting factor for many. At the end of the day, Realme has again created a product that has rattled Xiaomi’s sky-high ceiling.

Computers

This 34” LG UltraWide monitor disrupted my workflow

In the best way possible

Published

on

I’ve been working on a laptop almost exclusively for the better part of the last decade. It’s been so long that I had forgotten the benefits of working with a bigger screen — a benefit that was shoved into my face when I used the LG UltraWide 34” Curved monitor. 

Easy setup 

Putting it together was relatively easy. I didn’t need any special tools or anything of the sort. Everything just fit into place seamlessly.

Here are all the ports on its back. That’s two (2) HDMI ports, one (1) Display port, two (2) USB downstream ports, one (1) USB upstream port, and one (1) headphone out port.

It also comes with a cable organizer that you kind of clamp to the stand so your setup can look clean.

Once everything is plugged, you only need to use this button at the bottom center of the display to make any changes in the settings or switch between inputs should that be necessary.

My regular workflow

At any given day I can be doing anything from writing an article, a script, coordinating with the team and external partners, copy-editing articles, and video editing among others.

This means I toggle between screens A LOT. Other than that, my posture while working is mostly crouched down since I’m looking at the laptop screen.

However, that all changed when the fire nation attacked. No, I mean, it was definitely shaken up when I started using the LG UltraWide 34” Curved Monitor.

I didn’t really have a proper setup with it owing to the tiny space I live in but in the brief week that I used it, I started craving a better work from home setup.

How the LG UltraWide monitor disrupted my workflow

The first thing I noticed was how I was now looking up instead of looking down. It might not be that big a deal for younger people, but when you reach a certain age, even the smallest improvements to your posture can make a huge difference.

The extra space is invaluable. At one glance I can look at Slack and Tweetdeck. This means I can quickly look up if there’s anything new that needs to be edited while also monitoring any potential news that we should run on the website.

Bonus: I can also have a floating tab with a playlist of my favorite girls TWICE cheering me up as I slog through another work day.

This works in other instances too. I can pull up a press release for reference on one side of the screen and have Google Docs on another. This means I no longer have to quickly press Alt+Tab every time I need to double check details.

Just the overall convenience of seeing more at a glance is already a major upgrade to the workflow I’ve grown accustomed to.

Video editing

I no longer video edit as much as I used to due to changing roles and all. But here, the benefit of having a larger, wider monitor is even more pronounced.

Having a wide workspace means I didn’t have to hide certain tools while editing. They’re just there, easily and immediately accessible when I need them. It was honestly tough going back to the smaller screen especially for this task.

Taking less steps to complete your everyday tasks is a godsend. Every small thing adds up to a faster, smoother, and generally better working experience.

Should you upgrade to the LG Ultrawide 34” Monitor?

There are plenty of things to consider. For people like myself who have mostly worked on laptops, we’re pretty set in our ways. Plus there are a few other peripherals I might need to get so it’s not an easy yes or no decision.

You also need to consider your workspace. As I mentioned, I live in a rather tiny place with very little space to accommodate a fully desktop setup.

But this is me. If you’re still working on a more traditional 16×9 monitor, I guarantee the difference, while jarring at first, can be truly beneficial in the long run.

The LG Ultrawide 34” Curved Monitor retails for PhP 45,999 (around US$ 937). If you’re ready to splurge to up your productivity, this isn’t a bad place to start.

SEE ALSO: LG UltraGear 25” Gaming Monitor review: Enough to get you started

Continue Reading

Hands-On

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra Unboxing, Hands-on & Camera Test!

Elegance and sophistication in an ULTRA-big device

Published

on

Just recently, we had a quick video introduction of Samsung’s latest Galaxy Note 20 series. Now, we finally have a Galaxy Note 20 Ultra on our hands!

Be sure to subscribe and hit that notification button to stay notified on our upcoming review video on August 18th.

For now, you can enjoy our unboxing, hands-on, and a quick camera test using the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra by clicking here.

Continue Reading

Hands-On

The Huawei Nova 7 and Freebuds 3i is the perfect match

Some things are better in pairs

Published

on

Huawei is adding two new devices to their ever increasing portfolio. These are a phone and another TWS option — the Huawei Nova 7 and Freebuds 3i. 

The two devices share a common trait in that they offer flagship-level performance for less. More details on pricing and availability later on. For now, let’s talk about the devices.

Huawei Nova 7

The first noticeable thing about the Nova 7 is the design on its back, especially for the purple variant. It follows the Nova pattern introduced in the Nova 5T.

Since it’s laying face down, next thing you’ll notice is the quad-camera setup. It’s rocking a 64MP main camera, an 8MP ultra-wide angle lens, an 8MP telephoto lens, and 2MP macro lens (which you probably wouldn’t and shouldn’t use).

Naturally, it has all the AI camera features and post processing found on Huawei phones. We haven’t tested the cameras but we’ll throw in a quick comparison with a similarly priced phone for the review.

Now that that’s out of the way, we can flip it over to reveal the 6.53” OLED display. For screen refresh rate junkies, you’re only getting 60Hz here — which is still fine. That OLED looks mighty fine on the eyes.

Inside, it’s powered by the new Kirin 985 SoC. It’s flagship-grade and has support for 5G. In the Philippines, Huawei is currently leading the market in terms of sheer number of phones with 5G.

They started in 2019 with the Huawei Mate 30 Pro 5G and followed it up with the P40 Series. As of writing, Huawei also has the distinction of offering the most affordable flagship phone in the Philippines — the Huawei Nova 7 SE. 

As to the actual availability of 5G, that’s a topic for another article. But if you want some extra reading, here’s our 5G explainer.

Back to the phone, it has an 8GB + 256GB memory and internal storage combo. It also has a 4,000mAh battery with support for wired 40W Huawei SuperCharge. No wireless charging here.

First impressions 

We’ve been using the device for roughly a couple of days now and it’s been delightful to use for the most part.

If you’re salty about the lack of a higher refresh rate, I would say the vivid OLED display kind of makes up for it. Scrolling side-by-side a device with an IPS LCD screen but with a 120Hz screen refresh rate, it certainly feels less smooth. But what it “lacks” in fluidity is more than made up for by the crisp and vibrant display. Certainly crispier than any IPS LCD display.

In terms of general day-to-day use, it’s pretty stellar. We’ve noted on our OnePlus Nord review how good these midrange/upper-midrange SoCs have gotten and the Kirin 985 along with the RAM and the stability of EMUI 10.1 contributes to a hiccup-free experience.

App access is improved by the introduction of Petal Search. Type whatever app you need and you’ll be shown the source of the app. But you can download it directly from the Petal Search’s interface.

The phone is still without Google Mobile Services, so certain apps that require it like Google’s entire suite of apps, VSCO, Sound Hound, and others won’t work at all. Regardless, there are alternatives for all of these as we’ve noted in this App Gallery feature, and this video. 

Huawei Freebuds 3i

The Huawei Freebuds 3i is the Freebuds 3’s younger sibling. Like the Nova 7, we’ve had it for a couple of days and are blown away but how it performs.

It has ANC (Active Noise Cancellation) and this is something you notice right away as you put it on. The Freebuds 3i does this through the in-ear design and its three microphone system.

The stem design also isn’t just for show or to look like a certain competing TWS earphone. The stem acts as the microphone pick-up. We tested it on a few quick calls and the people on the other line noted that we sounded crystal clear.

It also has touch controls that are configurable through the Huawei AI Life app.

The perfect pair?

Huawei isn’t exactly packaging the two together. But since they’re launching at the same time, we used the two together and it’s quite a treat.

Like any first-party accessory, the Freebuds 3i is immediately detected by the Huawei Nova 7 making for a hassle free pairing.

The Nova 7 doesn’t have a 3.5mm jack so if you want to jump straight into the wireless life, pairing it with the Freebuds 3i is a good place to start.

Quick note: The Nova 7 does come with wired earphones along with a USB-C to 3.5mm converter in case you’re not yet ready to let go.

The listening experience, though, is elevated if you do decide to get the Freebuds 3i.

Pricing and availability

The Huawei Nova 7 will retail for PhP 23,990 (US$ 488). It comes in two colors: Midsummer Purple.

Like any recent Huawei releases, it comes with an array of freebies. The first 100 buyers will get a Huawei Watch GT2e, VIP Service, and Tresemmé Shampoo and Conditioner so you’ll look fly in your selfies.

There’s also a spezial offer. The first 5 customers who order the Nova 7 during the airtime of noontime show Eat Bulaga, you’ll get the Huawei Freebuds 3 for free.

If you don’t watch the show, there are other ways to snag a free Huawei Freebuds 3. Just make sure you order between July 31 to August 2, 2020 at these times: 12MN, 10AM, 2PM, 6PM, and 10PM.

Meanwhile, the Huawei Freebuds 3i will retail for PhP 5,990 (US$ 122) with a free case that has a mini lanyard. The Freebuds 3i comes in two colors: Ceramic White and Carbon Black.

Continue Reading

Trending