Reviews

Redmi 9C: Best budget phone?

Can be used and abused for more than your usual daily grind

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Xiaomi just recently released their new entry-level smartphone: the Redmi 9C. If you’re looking for a phone that doesn’t rip through your already depressing savings during the global health crisis, this may be the best phone for you to get through the rest of this hellish year.

Functionality, affordability, durability

The Redmi 9C is a dual-sim budget smartphone with a 6.53-inch HD+ display. The phone features and specifications don’t necessarily have much to them nor are they of anything revolutionarily new. The Redmi 9C is here for functionality, affordability, and durability. There’s nothing wrong with that.

Looks and feels budget?

The Redmi 9C is a pretty standard looking phone with a rear-mounted fingerprint reader next to a quad-camera set up on the upper left-hand side. With the strategic design on the covering, the phone doesn’t look like it’s made of plastic especially.

The selling point is, it’s relatively cheap without looking like it is. The phone comes in three colors: Midnight Gray, Sunrise Orange, Twilight Blue rear

Cheapest Redmi phone with a catch?

To get specs out of the way, the phone is powered by MediaTek Helio G35 paired with 3GB RAM and 64GB storage. If you’re worried about running into problems, don’t worry. This is more than enough to run most apps with no hiccup at all. The phone has a dedicated microSD card slot too so if you’re concerned about the storage, you’ll find this handy.

The Redmi 9C doesn’t falter on features when tested. To complement the speedy processor, the Redmi 9C has a 5000mAh battery which makes a full day of work and play look easy. It handled a quick stress test of opening and closing multiple apps like a piece of cake. For gaming, the phone didn’t seem too bothered with Mobile Legends: Bang Bang.

The not too bad a catch

The phone features a triple rear camera setup composed of a 13MP primary shooter, a 5MP ultrawide camera, and a 2MP depth camera. And, the front of the phone has a 5MP selfie camera. Putting these features to the test was a mixed bag.

Here’s a catch: the Redmi 9C delivers great selfies and photos under the condition that you’ve got a lot of lighting. If the sun isn’t on your side, this phone will struggle to deliver detailed shots. The phone does fine under low light, sure. But, if you’re looking for stunning shots at night, you’ll struggle with the phone.

The giant elephant of 2020

There’s more to entry-level phones than affordability, especially amid a global health crisis. 2020 has been consistently inconsistent and relentless. From the fire in the Amazon, to intense ashfall from a long-dormant volcano, to losing Kobe, to swarms of locusts in Africa, to the global health crisis, to the apocalyptic explosion in Beirut.

If the world was ending soon, can it be less excruciating and more one-and-done? Because the universe seems to make up a new way to make us all feel doomed.

With the end of the world being at the forefront as well as social distancing protocols, technology has been trying to cope with all our needs to comply with new rules and regulations in the age of a “new normal.” Because of that, tech brands are playing it smart considering the context the whole world is under.

Budget phones amid the pandemic

Many people are struggling to get by and shelling out cash for a phone is potentially not within the priorities of survival. If anything, it could be what someone needs, but cannot afford. So, as much as phones like the Redmi 9C have a catch to their low cost, it’s well worth it. On top of that, a phone opens doors of opportunity for people to go contactless and digitalize their shops or be able to order items and the food they need.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

If you’re looking to find a phone that delivers on all fronts and more with quality night photos, this isn’t for you. If you need a phone to call or text, to join in on Zoom calls, to go digital, to go cashless, or just to be able to shop for food and items you need, this is the phone for you. The Redmi 9C can be used and abused for more than your usual daily grind of work and play, making this a great pick for you.

The Xiaomi Redmi 9C costs PhP 5,290 for the 2GB and 32GB model. If you want more space, the 3GB and 64GB variant cost PhP 5,990.

Reviews

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 Review: Ahead of Its Time!

Experience the future for $1999

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The first Galaxy Fold may have encountered several issues, but this year’s Fold is all about polishing and revamping things.

With a more durable hinge mechanism, maximized screen, improved materials, better cameras, and the fastest internals around, the Galaxy Z Fold2 is an impressive engineering feat.

$1999 isn’t cheap, but this device is meant for those who want to experience the future in their hands today.

Head over to our in-depth Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 review here.

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Huawei Watch Fit review: Great for getting you moving

A fantastic wearable that comfortably sits between smart bands and full on smartwatches

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Our friends over at Huawei must’ve noticed that I have slowly been gaining weight over the duration of the community quarantine. That’s why they sent over the Huawei Watch Fit for me to try.

To be honest, I was very reluctant at first knowing how my habits tend to generally lean more towards getting fat vs getting fit. But our Huawei friend *coughs* Dezza *coughs* convinced me, so here I am giving it a go.

The timing was rather unfortunate as it was going to be a rather busy week. For me, that means being glued to my chair as I type away articles for various launches and coordinate for a handful of projects. There wasn’t really time for me to get in a headspace to want to workout. Especially since the only workout I actually enjoy — basketball — is still prohibited due to the pandemic.

These may or may not have contributed to my stress levels as measured by the smartwatch.

I realize these all sound like excuses, and perhaps they are. But this is my reality as I slapped on the Huawei Watch Fit and went on with my days.

Before I go on any further, let’s first take a look at the watch.

It has a 1.64-inch colored display

At first I thought this would be too small. However, the screen size sits nicely between smart bands and those round 42mm smartwatches. After using it for a while, the display starts to look larger than it actually is.

A silicone strap that feels nice on your wrist

We got the mint green version (which comes with a silver body). The other variants are Black body with Graphite Black silicone strap, and Rose Gold with Cantaloupe Orange Silicone strap.

If you’re not happy with those options, the Huawei Watch Fit is supposed to work with standard straps so you can mix it up depending on the occasion. I’ll ask Huawei if they will launch more strap options in the future and will update this accordingly.

Magnetic charging

Flip it over and you’ll find the magnetic charging things. You’ll want to keep the charger that comes with the box as there isn’t really any other way to fast-charge this wearable. Getting all you juiced up from zero should take about an hour.

While we’re at it, Huawei claims it’ll last for 10 days. This isn’t the case if you use the Always-On screen option. But the raise to wake function is so good, you can just completely disregard always-on. I’m currently on my 4th day from charging it up to 100% and I’m sitting at 56% at the moment.

A sh*t ton of watch faces to choose from

It comes with a HUGE selection of watch faces. You can go for sleek and subtle, loud and colorful, or just flat out cute.

For good vibes, I stuck with the cute option (the Shiba Inu one).

Full screen touch and side button 

Navigation is easy. You simply swipe through the screen for a quick look at the different stats like heart rate, stress level, weather, and steps.

The side button gives you deeper access to the smart watch’s other functions like Settings and all the different workouts.

Plenty of workouts, can really get you moving

The Huawei Watch Fit has 96 workout modes. These vary from indoor and outdoor runs, swimming, yoga, dance, martial arts, and various other sports (scanned real quick for basketball and it wasn’t there. Sad).

Point is, there’s most definitely something here that would fit your workout routine. I haven’t found mine. Instead, I’ve been using the quick re-energize activities.

The Huawei Watch Fit makes it easy to follow the workouts as it has visual cues on how to execute them. I found these extremely helpful. The watch will buzz to signal you to start and will buzz again to wrap up your first set of a particular movement.

The re-energize routine takes about two minutes and 30 to 40 seconds to complete. I try to do it every time the watch prompts me to “get active.” It’s helped me be more mindful about taking breaks in-between tasks. And the quick routine really did a lot in re-energizing me for a few more rounds of sitting on my ass while typing away on the laptop.

A friend has invited me to try a dance class and while I have two left feet, I am considering taking that challenge on for the workout. I will update this article should that push through.

Overall tracking seems accurate

I didn’t have another device to compare with it in real time, but based on my previous experiences with other smart bands and smartwatches, the tracking on the Huawei Watch Fit has been fairly accurate.

My heart rate hasn’t really changed much from when I was using other smartwatches so that was an easy benchmark to check.

My sleep habits, unfortunately, have also pretty much remained the same. Which isn’t exactly a good thing as I rated low on deep sleep and late on time of hitting the sack. But I figure this is true for most people ever since we’ve been in community quarantine.

I walked around our compound over the weekend and really observed the step counter, and while it may record one step too many at certain times, it rarely happened to cause any real concern.

It also has a blood oxygen sensor — a key feature that health experts have pointed to in determining whether you should seek medical attention or not. I tried it and I may be due for a consultation. 😬

Other helpful features

The Huawei Watch Fit is also home of other staple smart watch features. These include: Find my phone, Remote camera shutter, music player control, and many more.

There’s also a Cycle Calendar that should prove useful. Too bad I’m not female so I couldn’t try it out. It’s also only available in certain markets, which is a little puzzling because I’m pretty women everywhere go through a menstrual cycle.

Is Huawei Watch Fit your GadgetMatch?

At PhP 4,999/ EUR 129 (US$ 153), the pricing seems on point. The Huawei Watch Fit’s health and fitness features are robust, there’s a decent selection of variants at launch, and it will seamlessly blend in your workout and casual fits.

The materials used also feel premium and the smart watch doesn’t look half bad at all. It’s certainly something I wouldn’t mind flaunting to other people.

When you’re ready to step up from a smart band but aren’t quite ready to splurge on a full on smart watch, the Huawei Watch Fit sits comfortably in that middle ground, ready to be your health and fitness companion.

BUY HERE

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ASUS ZenFone 7 Pro Review: A Surprising Contender!

Flipping camera isn’t a gimmick after all

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ASUS’ newest ZenFone 7 Pro may still look like last year’s ZenFone 6, but it has gotten totally bigger and better.

It may have a similar design language but the larger form factor houses all the speedy internals — a full-screen display, Snapdragon 865+ chipset, 8GB RAM, 256GB storage, and an enormous 5000mAh battery. But that doesn’t end there. The large flipping camera mechanism that houses a trio camera setup makes this a suitable smartphone for shooting and vlogging.

With a price tag of just under EUR 699 (US$ 830), is the ZenFone 7 Pro a worthier flagship choice?

Watch our ASUS ZenFone 7 Pro review (with a lot of photo samples and comparison) here.

SEE ALSO: ASUS ZenFone 7 Pro: Unboxing and Hands-On

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