Lifestyle

Reebok Zig Kinetica Concept_Type 1 review: A head-turner

Unusual look for performance sneakers

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If something has an underscore in the name, it must be pretty interesting right? Here we have a really special pair of sneakers to check out from Reebok — these are the Zig Kinetica Concept_Type1

A quick backstory

The Zig Kinetica system started out way back in 2010 when Reebok released their first sneakers with the ZigTech design called the Reebok ZigPulse.

These sneakers came in a bunch of colorways. Reebok even started advertising them along with Lewis Hamilton to really show off how cool these new ZigTech sneakers were.

Reebok got a whole bunch of celebrities onboard with the ZigPulse so the sneakers had a bit of a buzz around it. However, as popular as they might have been at the time, we never really heard much about it since then.

Fast forward to today, almost a decade since the first Zig sneaker launched, the Zigtech makes a return in the form of a reworked Zig Kinetica system with the Reebok Zig Kinetica Concept_Type1.

One look at these sneakers and you can see how they have a really avant-garde, edgy vibe. I guess that’s to be expected from a show with an underscore on its name.

An absolute head-turner

Honestly, these sneakers look gorgeous. In fact, the first time I heard about this sneaker was when I saw someone post an on-foot shot of them, and initial reaction was daaayuuumm those are some sweet-looking sneakers.

Reebok partnered with Garbstore founder and designer Iam Paley, who is the artistic brains behind the design.

He’s also the designer behind the Garbstore x Reebok “Outside In” Collection back in 2014, when they flipped the uppers to inside out on a few Reebok Classic flagships sneakers. So when you hear Ian Paley, you know it’s going to be an interesting design.

Wearing the Zig Kinetica out, they really turn heads. Especially if you wear them to the gym where they most definitely stand out vs the ocean of regular gym sneakers out there.

It’s a neat combination of clustered materials that make up the upper, ensuring the sneaker doesn’t look anything at all like everything else out there.

There are three colorways, but I think I got the best looking one. There’s also a slightly more formal colorway that has a black outsole, and one that has a white outsole.

The white colorway has suede that will definitely be more prone to dirt and smudges so you might be better off getting the black colorway instead.

Still, most of the upper is a mesh material — which is also quite hard to clean.

To be more precise, the Concept Type_1 features 15 individual segments that make up the upper on each pair. Each layered on top of each other to make up the final design.

There are segments with suede overlays that seamlessly surround a very breathable mesh upper. The fused overlays actually look quite nice, especially when you notice how they worked the lacing system into them up top.

This is actually a little hard to see in photos or videos but there really is nothing else above or below the mesh. There’s no cloth or fabric. It’s just the mesh by itself.

The mesh has a durable, tough feel to it, with a bright metallic shine that really glistens in outdoor sunlight. It almost gives these sneakers a different look between indoors and outdoors.

There’s also one more interesting aspect to the upper – an adjustable strap that goes right across the midfoot area.

I love how the strap extends a little past the upper, and hangs over the outsole.

It’s an interesting design decision that adds to the stylish but messy design across the upper. But there’s a functional aspect to them as well since they help secure your feet within the shoe.

The toebox area is overlaid with two suede panels so you don’t have to worry about your toenails ripping through the upper.

That being said, I really would not recommend wearing these sneakers without socks because the shoe is mostly see-through with all the mesh panels on the upper. Unless you really want to show off your feet.

The cool thing here though is that you can change up the look of the entire shoe with a pair of colored socks — so that’s fun.

Speaking of which, the inner sockliner is made of a really interesting fabric material that’s quite comfortable.

The ankle area of the Concept_Type1 weirdly has no foam or cushioning around the edges which is a little uncomfortable. It’s suede, so it doesn’t irritate your skin in case you’re wearing this with no-show socks, but it definitely is a weird new sensation.

I was irritated by the lack of padding in the ankle area since I wear no-show socks, but if you wear regular socks this probably won’t be an issue.

I should mention though, as you go lower, there is a little cushioning on the upper towards the lower, ankle joint area, but that’s about it.

Apart from that, you have the Reebok logo on the lateral side of the shoe — in this almost blue-ish color. You’ll also see it on the tongue as well.

All in all, the design of these sneakers is definitely unique. It looks great and will definitely stand out. Reebok did a great job choosing Paley as their partner because they’ve created gorgeous sneakers.

All that suede though will be hard to keep clean so keep that in mind if you’re going to be using these as actual training sneakers.

Alright, let’s move on to comfort.

Performance sneakers all the way

According to Reebok, these are sneakers designed for fitness classes, 5K runs and even casual wear.

I’m not entirely sure you can pull them off as casual wear though. You might look a bit off wearing these in the office, or on a night out. But hey, if you can pull it off, way to go.

My opinion of the Concept_type1 is that they are performance sneakers all the way, and you definitely feel that the second you slip them on.

They’re not exactly super comfortable because of the thin upper, so it literally feels like you’re wearing mesh.

The mesh parts weren’t done solely for aesthetics. They’re supposed to help with performance too to allow for airflow. It definitely does a great job at ventilation making this sneaker perfect for a summer run.

But all in all, there just doesn’t seem to be much padding, which means that this just isn’t as comfortable a sneaker as other options in the same price range. It’s not too bad, but it does leave you wanting a little bit more.

Take the tongue for example. It’s a slim paper thin fabric that’s its barely there. Reebok has other sneakers with a similar design, like the Sole Fury, which still managed a more comfortable neoprene tongue. It hugged your midfoot with a good amount of elasticity, so this is a weird oversight for them.

Coming to the insole, the Floatride Fuel cushioning isn’t exactly the most lush in terms of comfort. These are performance training sneakers after all. The cushioning, along with the outsole and overall design is really meant to propel you forward instead towards workouts instead.

Just like the Adidas Ultraboost 20, the outsole is U-shaped, so the sneaker positions you to lean forwards.

But like I mentioned with cushioning earlier, the Zig Energy Shell (or the zig-zag portion of the outsole), together with the Floatride Fuel cushioning inside, is a lot sturdier than the Boost outsole on the Ultraboost, so it’s not as comfy.

The Floatride Fuel is soft though. You can actually feel it through the liner groove on the sole. Reebok is also using a special kind of sole here called the Zig Energy Band which is supposed to expand and contract like an elastic band to help with a springback response while you’re running.

The heel sits a couple of millimeters lower than the insole, which ends up supporting the medial arch of your feet, and adds to the comfort while you’re running.

At the back of the heel area, you’ll see that the outsole does ramp up and has “ZIG” written on it.

The insole also curves around your foot, instead of underneath or being flat, which adds to the comfort factor.

If you were lucky enough to try the ZigTech sneakers back in the day, you’ll appreciate the familiarity of the outsole.

However, all that being said about the great support, there’s still that issue of the cushioning around the ankle area. Rather, the lack of it.

It’s weird because the upper wraps around your entire foot so well, but because of the minimal padding around the ankle area, these sneakers just aren’t as comfortable as they could have been.

Fits true to size

In terms of fit, the Reebok Zig Kinetica Concept_Type1 fits pretty true to size but then again I have pretty wide feet. There’s also the advantage that the mid-foot fit is adjustable thanks to the midfoot strap.

With its lacing and that strap, the upper literally hugs each part of your foot.

If you manage to get the perfect sizing, you can actually remove the strap  which gives you a sneaker that has a much cleaner design in my opinion.

The strap is pretty easy to remove, and I know this is subjective and all but I actually really do prefer the look without it.

Is this your Sneaker Match?

Reebok says the design of the Zig Kinetica is inspired by Kinetic Energy — hence the name — which kind of sounds like your usual marketing fluff.  Kinetic energy is the energy possessed by an object during motion. In this case, it’s you in those sneakers.

So is the Reebok Zig Kinetica Concept_Type1 the best performance sneakers out there?

Well here’s the thing.

These are most definitely one of the best looking training sneakers out there. They are definitely very unique. And the overall sneaker itself is quite nice and supportive as a performance sneaker.

However, at the same price you have the new Ultraboost 20 which is a lot lighter, more comfortable, and more reassuring to wear. If you’re looking for sneakers that can take a beating, there’s the Ultraboost.

Don’t get me wrong, these sneakers are pretty comfortable but they’re a little high maintenance and not as durable and comfortable as the Ultraboost 20.

But if you’re looking for a really unique looking pair of stylish, fashionable training sneakers, this is the way to go.

With these sneakers, you’ll definitely stand out versus everyone else, and they’re still pretty comfortable — just remember to wear full length socks with them.

Health

Huawei unveils largest Health Lab facility

Customer health monitoring a key focus

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Health Lab

Huawei’s Consumer Business Group unveiled through a virtual tour its new Huawei Health Lab facility based in Songshan Lake, Dongguan, China.

The lab is a SG$ 42.5 million research and development investment that supports more than 80 types of simulation tests targeted to improve Huawei’s smart wearable products in years to come.

These tests support and provide data for the R&D department that covers extensive research on human health and fitness, incubation and testing of Huawei’s smart wearable products.

Huawei currently runs multiple Health Labs to study health-related technology, including its lab in Xi’an, China which focuses on innovative applications for health and fitness.

The latest HUAWEI Health Lab in Dongguan, China aims to become a world class health and fitness technology institute dedicated to product R&D, standards R&D, certification, exhibitions, and industry incubation activities.

Customer health monitoring a key focus

Huawei’s smart wearable and health business has brought many innovative, science-based health and fitness products and services to consumers in recent years.

The new state-of-the-art facility includes a SG$ 638,000 plateau blood oxygen simulation laboratory which replicates high-altitude environments up to 6,000 meters above sea level to test how oxygen saturation affects the human body.

Health Lab

The lab contains the facilities necessary for researchers to measure the changes in the human body under different altitudes and climate conditions and obtain more accurate data for analysis.

The lab also has a professional optical motion capture system which records a wide range of subjects including moving bullets with millimetre-level accuracy.

By studying the movement of the human body along with attitude data, Huawei hopes to develop new and innovative features it can add to its smart wearable products.

 Exercise lab for accuracy

The exercise physiology research area of the lab also comes equipped with cardiopulmonary function and metabolism meters, heart rate belts, and high-performance treadmills that researchers can use to monitor as VO2 max, calorie consumption, and workout heart rate.

Health Lab

This will be ideal in coming up with features for customers who use Huawei’s wearables primarily for fitness functions.

Thanks in large part to these labs, Huawei’s smart wearable products support more than 100 workout modes which include even rock-climbing, swimming, golf, and more.

Scenario-based health experiences 

Health Lab

The new HUAWEI Health Lab also serves as an incubator for scenario-based experiences and service packages that consumers can directly enjoy, including micro-physical examination, home fitness, and digital sports.

In the lab’s micro-physical examination area, users can use Huawei wearable products to measure physical indicators such as blood pressure and SpO2 monitoring.

In the indoor fitness area, users can start tracking their exercise by connecting a Huawei smartwatch, a HUAWEI Vision TV, and other third-party equipment.

Meanwhile, the digital sports area enables users to compete with friends while using rowing machines and spinning bikes.

The HUAWEI Health App now also offers 11 types of training courses including running, cycling, yoga, fitness, skipping, and more.

Huawei Watch GT 3

Huawei Watch GT 3

The new Huawei Watch GT 3 will offer higher accuracy in monitoring their health and fitness performance backed by scientific data.

Customers in Singapore can look forward to experience the smartwatch in December 2021.

In the Philippines, the Huawei Watch GT Series is already available for pre-order now until December 9, 2021.

  • HUAWEI WATCH GT 3 46mm – PHP 12,999 with freebies worth PhP 3,998
  • HUAWEI WATCH GT 3 42mm – Starts at PhP 8999 online exclusive with freebies worth PhP 2,490 during pre-order phase. The normal price starts at PhP 11,999.
  • HUAWEI WATCH GT Runner – PhP 13,999 with freebies worth PhP 4,388
  • HUAWEI FreeBuds Lipstick – PhP 9,999 from its original price of PhP 11,999
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Accessories

realme Beard Trimmer: Getting that sexy stubble

For that stylish, cool, and attractive lewk

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“Is he attractive? Or he just has sexy stubble?” That’s a question my friends wonder when they meet someone new. And a question I pose for myself as well.

Stubble is sexy. Period. Every time I look at the mirror, I find myself alluring when I have stubble. Though they look cool, and they help separate men from boys,  keeping your facial hair at a certain length takes time, skill, and precision.

The art of trimming your facial hair

You can easily trim your facial hair when you have a manual shaver or trimmer. But that might be time-consuming to use and master to achieve the desired result.

Contrarily, going to a grooming salon can help you get that peg you’ve been wanting for your face instantaneously. Albeit, quite expensive. In addition, it’s difficult to maintain when you have a hectic lifestyle. Unless your preferred barbershop does both of your regular haircut and beard styling.

Precisely why the likes of smart, grooming tools rose through the past few years, aiming to help men redefine what’s sexy, groomed, and stylish. But in their own way.

You might think of a few brands to consider, but some could be taken aback by an expensive price tag. Moreover, it’s scary to invest in something expensive especially when it’s your first time. So if it’s indeed your foray to grooming and styling, the realme Beard Trimmer might be worth a try.

Looks sleek for the sleek-looking

Having a beard trimmer opens up possibilities for your personal care. Most accessories come with nifty features to help you achieve your desired result e.g. a sexy stubble. And realme’s very own Beard Trimmer can surely deliver, too.

At a glance, it looks like a hefty device at a size of a regular gigglestick. Thick, sturdy, and a design that piques someone’s curiosity. It comes with a stainless steel blade, whereas its head and motor are fixed and lubricated.

It’s skin-friendly, and it definitely feels premium with that matte finish. It can rival the likes of trimmers from Philips, especially with the materials used. More importantly, it’s ergonomically designed so it can be gripped easily while you groom yourself.

Style on your own

The package comes with a 10mm comb that you can place over the head, so you can trim your hair properly. The realme Beard Trimmer comes with 0.5mm precision and 20 length settings that can be adjusted using the adjustment knob.

To turn it on, you just have to press the power button and a green light will indicate it’s ready. And of course, the motors would be buzzing by then.

I personally prefer using the lowest length setting — 1cm to be exact — since I keep my facial hair short enough to be trimmed easily. But preferably, you’d have to grow the hair for at least 3 cm for a more flexible approach. Nevertheless, having a lot of length settings offer versatility to define your facial hair.

Just remember to shave with light, gentle strokes. And don’t forget to even the hair out and edge it accordingly. More importantly, rinse it properly since the metal head is washable. Just don’t let the liquids run through the charging port.

On another note, what I like about the realme Beard Trimmer is the low-noise operation when trimming my hair. Its minimal noise sounds like the buzz from my stylist’s clipper, coursing through my head in a quiet barbershop. It’s somewhat pleasing to my ear; a new beginning awaits as I shed old parts of myself.

Charging

The realme Beard trimmer is equipped with an 800mAh battery capacity. While it seemed pretty small, it can last for an hour and 20 minutes of cordless use on a single charge. If you run out of battery, you’ll have to charge it for at least two hours.

I, however, didn’t get to drain the battery down to zero. But I did use the trimmer four times now, and it’s still up and running. Previously, I charged it after unboxing and it reached full battery capacity after 45 minutes. That’s average, but the battery might be long-lasting considering I haven’t charged it for two weeks now.

But if you can’t wait for two hours to fully charge the device, you can always trim while charging. The Beard Trimmer will still work even if it’s plugged — and you don’t have to worry about it since the heat dissipates easily with its stainless steel and metal properties.

What’s amusing, though, is the Beard Trimmer sporting a Type-C port. I literally sighed “Amen”, seeing a lifestyle product that doesn’t use a micro USB port. Most gadgets I own now use a Type-C cable and I appreciate it when more devices are equipped with this port. It just makes my life easier.

Travel-friendly

If you travel frequently — either for leisure or business — then you might love the trimmer’s travel lock feature. With just a single long press on the power button, you can lock the trimmer to avoid accidental touch while traveling. Or so it doesn’t buzz while inside your carry-on.

The yellow light will indicate that the trimmer is locked. If you try to open it by pressing the power button softly, the LED indicator will prompt that it’s locked by blinking the yellow light. You can unlock it easily though: Just long-press the power button and voila!

Furthermore, the realme Beard Trimmer is easy to fit in on your carry-ons. Or in your luggage, if you’re going on a trip that doesn’t require an x-ray scanning machine and doesn’t prohibit combustible devices.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

If you’re out in the market for a grooming accessory, and if it’s your first time to shop for a personal care tool — the realme Beard Trimmer is worth considering as your GadgetMatch. It ticks the right boxes that first-time groomers would look for: affordable, sleek and premium-looking, easy-to-use, and offers precise cutting.

Meanwhile, seasoned groomers would probably look elsewhere. Something like Panasonic and/or Philips; household brands that we know all too well.

The realme Beard Trimmer retails for PhP 1,090. For a few more upgrades like an extra 20mm comb and engraved metal, the realme Beard Trimmer Plus costs PhP 1,990.

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The art of printing moments that you can hold onto

With the instax Link WIDE, I remember it all too well

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Memories are fleeting.

Apart from music, photos, films, and anything visual that has a moment imprinted on it can remind us what we once experienced.

Whether it’s the shriek that your friends made when you cracked a joke, or that lingering stare between two people head-over-heels in love. Or even the mundane hours passing by captured in between. And the little things that brought you joy and made your heart warm like a cup of coffee on a rainy day.

Looking back at moments I once savored twists a knot in my heart. Sometimes, it’s heartbreaking to fondly remember the past. But it’s a great reminder that I can still feel and that I experienced something blissful in my life.

If you’re wondering why instant printers are still out and about in a digital age where all your photos are stored on the cloud or shared in social media, that’s precisely the reason why this novelty is very much alive.

It’s a piece of memory that you can hold on to — transporting you back in time even when your mind can’t remember it all too well. It’s proof that you were there.

To holding something that never changes

Though I look like someone who can move on easily after a day or two, I’m highly sentimental and I have difficulty letting go of the past.

Life used to be unfair to me when I was growing up and after surviving an abusive relationship seven years ago, I lost memories of myself. Photos of friends from when I was studying, digital clutter that showed off my interests, and stuff that made up who I was. I lost them all.

Perhaps it’s the reason why I’ve owned and printed memories — unbeknownst to many — through the devices I’ve owned and reviewed in the past few years. Be it from an ink tank printer, a mini instant printer that uses an instax film, or from an actual instant camera that prints the moment captured right away.

I love holding onto memories because it’s something that never changes, no matter how many years have gone by. So, when Fujifilm unveiled the instax Link WIDE — I was giddy like a little kid on a Christmas morning, ready to open his presents.

The only present that welcomes the past

Living in the present means letting go of the past, and throwing away your worries of the future. But time and time again, it’s nice to remember the moments that shaped who you are today.

The instax Link WIDE helps bridge the present and the past by allowing you to print memories stored in your smartphone. It’s just like the instax mini Link I reviewed two years ago.

I could probably tell you the same things I wrote in my story before, but the experience is still quite different.

This instant printer is boxy and humongous when compared to the mini Link. It’s sturdier, thicker, wider, and heavier. Of course, the size is the prominent change but what I like is being able to print in wider, landscape-oriented films.

Pretty much like the ones from Polaroid, souvenir stamps, and postcards.

Navigating the device is simple and easy if you’re familiar with instant printers. Press the power button on the front — which has instax’s logo printed — to turn it on. On its back, you can find the film door where you can place your landscape-oriented film.

Upon shutting the film door, the printer takes out the excess film. So, be careful about opening the door once more lest you consume one of your films. A grim reminder that sometimes, doors from the past aren’t meant to be opened.

Any way you want it

Like I said before, the instax Link WIDE prints photos stored in your smartphone. To do that, you just need to connect the printer via Bluetooth and by pairing it with a dedicated app.

Through the app, you can determine how many films are still available and the battery capacity of the device. Apart from the status of the instax Link WIDE, the app allows you to play with your prints.

You can use the simple print mode to churn out the photo instantly, or you can use an editable template print that lets you edit the colors and text of various templates. Yes, you can also create your own templates if you want them to be more personal.

Frankly, I’m not fond of these templates since they look tacky and don’t fit my aesthetic. But of course, there are people who’d love to use stickers and other templates especially when they’re in a hurry to print their memories. To each his own.

There’s also a collage print that helps you put together two images in one print. Then, there’s the Sketch, Edit & Print option where you can write or draw something on the image, and customize it to your liking before you print it.

When past meets present meets future

Clicking the settings icon can brings you a plethora of settings that you’d want to maximize. For example, the Print Mode options are handy for toning the prints.

Using instax-Natural mode can give your prints a saturated yet classic look. Meanwhile, instax-Rich mode will print out photos with deep and immersive colors.

There’s so much to unpack here, but thank heavens, it’s not feelings. Nevertheless, I’m glad the dedicated app works seamlessly this time around. Compared to previous apps developed by Fujifilm for their instax cameras and printers, which were buggy and unstable.

In a way, the instax Link WIDE was able to bridge the memories of the past and the stability and connectivity of the future in the present.

A rare experience to remember it all too well

During the course of my experience with the instax Link WIDE, I was preparing for a holiday reunion with my almost-decade-old friends. People who helped me crawl out of that depressive rabbit hole.

Not wanting to let go of the only moment we will be able to come together after being away for two years, I printed my favorite moments with certain people and embedded a QR — which can hold voice clips, hidden messages for friends, and even a location pin to direct people.

I’m not very open with how I feel unless I’ve poured myself twelve shots of tequila. The truth is I’m afraid of the future, seeing the holiday reunion as the only time that my friends and I will be complete again.

Some of us are flying in different countries for work, some are settling down with that dreamy white-picket-fence life, and some are migrating for a better life.

I couldn’t fathom the idea of not being able to hug these people again. And I’m afraid that I won’t even remember these weirdos that helped me get a second leash in life. Times like these make me appreciate the novelty of instant printers and the personalized features they bring through technology.

That even a decade after, when my wrinkles started to show and I’m in my late 30s, I get to remember how life wasn’t unfair at all. That I was surrounded with bliss and love, and that what I was looking for was right in front of me all along.

Is the instax Link WIDE your GadgetMatch?

If you love taking photos and printing pieces of memories to hold on to, then your highly sentimental nature would love the instax Link WIDE. It doesn’t hassle you, unlike instant cameras where you have to frame it properly and take a shot perfectly as to not waste a film.

Aside from being overly sentimental with your memories, the instax Link WIDE also makes for perfect gifts or you can use the prints as souvenirs for your intimate gatherings.

There are unlimited possibilities, you just have to be open to making new memories — and collect them so you can savor them someday.

The instax Link WIDE retails for PhP 8,999 and comes with a free pack of film. There are two colors to choose from: Ash White or Mocha Gray.

The instant printer is available for purchase at Instax flagship stores in Lazada, Shopee, wonderphotoshop.ph, and at Fujifilm authorized dealers nationwide.

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