Features

To all the LG phones we’ve loved before

Life WAS Good

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Last night before heading to bed, I got the news about LG closing down its mobile division.

And nope. This is no April Fools joke. LG isn’t going to be making and selling any new mobile phones. Instead, they’ll be focusing on other growth areas.

That said, I woke up feeling a bit sad, like anyone who has lost someone or something.  As a tech creator — I have many fond memories covering LG and am fond of many LG smartphones. As a lover of all things tech, I’m also sad to see a player in this space bite the dust — especially one that has done its part to push the boundaries of this space.

So before I continue with regular programming, I think it’s only fitting to take a trip down memory lane and celebrate the legacy left behind by LG Mobile.

LG G2

I was a bit late to the game. I had toyed around with other LG phones but the first LG smartphone I used as a personal phone and one that I actually reviewed was the G2 back in 2013. It was one of my favorites — so much so that I called it the best smartphone that year. And I think it’s because it had the best camera. Better even than the Galaxy S4.

Unfortunately, I dropped it, in Korea of all places and smashed its screen to smithereens.

LG G FLEX

Believe it or not, my first CES coverage was in 2014 and this is where I first got to play with the LG G Flex. The phone came at a time where both Samsung and LG were first experimenting with a flexible display.

LG’s version made more sense to me because it was Candybar-shaped, just slightly convex so it matched the curves of your buns. And if you put it in your pocket and sit on it and the screen would flex and give but just curve back to normal after.

I also liked that its back was made of self-healing material — that would repair minor scratches and scuffs over time. I still wonder why we never saw that feature again.

LG G4

The next LG phone that I really liked was the G4. It was special for many reasons.

This could be the first time that we saw actual leather used on a phone. No faux leather — but actual leather. And it came in like a dozen colors. Despite that, the back was still removable. Meaning, you could also pop in and out the battery.

The G4 wasn’t the first phone I did a video on — on the GadgetMatch channel — but it was my first unboxing video as your Gadget Match maker.

It was also special to me because this is how I met my good friend Nicole Scott. Back then Nicole and I were based in Asia — and we were covering the regional launch event in Singapore.

Back then, we both didn’t have a device to review ahead of launch. So we stayed behind at the venue until we were kicked out. That’s how we realized we were made from the same DNA and have been close ever since.

Nicole and I did our first video together a few years later in Berlin and it was about Zoom vs Ultra Wide — where we compared the Galaxy Note 8 vs the LG V30.

LG V1O

Later that year LG introduced the V Series and the V10 has got to be one of my favorite of all the V phones ever released. I loved its rugged aesthetic including its rubber back and stainless steel frame. It also had a cool ticker display up top. The V10 was a precursor to some of LG’s best smartphones to date.

LG G5

A year later I still wasn’t important enough to get review devices early. But in Barcelona, LG lent me a G5 in all colors. And this was an exciting time for LG.

While the concept didn’t take off. I still think the idea behind a modular smartphone is ahead of its time but possibly still in our future. Imagine you could pop in all sorts of modules to give the phone added functionality. A better camera. Better audio. Longer battery life.

But where LG and the G5 deserve the most credit is for the addition of the Ultra Wide Angle Camera — before Apple, before Samsung. Before the whole industry did it — there was LG and the G5. And perhaps we have them to thank for this trend.

The dark years

The last few years that followed were rough for LG and this is where it seems that they stopped getting love from creators. I do remember the G6 and how LG challenged me to dunk it in a tiny washing machine. That video was fun to make.

I will say around this time is where LG really came into its own. The V30 for example is where they embraced their own design language. That said the phones we saw from LG over the next few years weren’t particularly exciting even if they did excel in terms of audio quality.

LG V60

Currently the longest review video I’ve ever done — longer than 30 minutes — is on the LG V60. I spent so much time reviewing that phone because I believed it was so underrated and didn’t get the attention it deserved.

It was also one of the phones that LG shipped with a Dual Screen case, another feature that didn’t get a lot of love but still groundbreaking in its own right.

LG’s approach to multitasking on a device is perhaps ahead of its time in the sense that Android just isn’t designed for two separate screens yet. I’d like to think it paved the way for the likes of the Microsoft Surface Duo, which also didn’t take off not because two screened phones are not a great idea but more because the software isn’t ready to support the promised experience.

LG Velvet

Last year, apart from the fact that my review unit came in grey, I loved what the LG Velvet aimed to accomplish: offer an affordable phone with features most users needed and nothing more.

LG Wing

And finally the LG Wing — which is a phone I never got to review because it arrived late and at that time I was already busy with other stuff. I will forever cherish this device — as it was my last LG phone.

It came right after my birthday last year and the day it arrived, my friends and I were hanging on my roof, and LG had sent a whole bunch of chicken wings as a fun play on the phone’s name.

The Wing was cute, not necessarily practical but it was refreshing to see LG continue to experiment. And it’s unfortunate that their journey ends here. At least for now. I mean, you never know.

고마워 (gomawo), LG!

Earlier this year, we saw LG tease their rollable phone concept — that’s another something we’re never gonna get. I know some of you are wondering why I’m even affected by this news and no I’m not just jumping on the bandwagon.

LG has not only been part of my journey as a creator. Not only have I met plenty of LG Mobile employees over the years — many I now call my friends. But LG Mobile has undoubtedly left a mark on the industry — and while it might not have always come up on top, I think we can all look back and agree that the smartphone world as we know it today — wouldn’t be the same without them.

So thank you, LG.

Unboxing

Hermès Apple Watch Series 8: Unboxing and Full Set-Up

What makes it different from the regular Apple Watch though?

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If you’ve been fond of GadgetMatch for quite a while now, you would know that Michael Josh is a big Apple Watch user.

From having to experience several Watch Series up until the Watch Ultra, to having various bands, he now has the most expensive Apple Watch in the Series 8 lineup in his hands.

In this video, he unboxes the most expensive Apple Watch ever — the Hermès Apple Watch Series 8.

To give you the full experience, he’ll also dive into the nitty-gritty of what makes it different and more special than the regular Watch Series 8.

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Camera Shootouts

vivo V25 vs V23 5G: Camera Shootout

Are there even significant improvements?

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vivo V25

It hasn’t even been a year but vivo has already revealed the successor to the V23 5G that was launched earlier this 2022. But is it actually worth upgrading to the new vivo V25? Or should you save yourself some money and buy the older V23 5G instead?

vivo V25

Don’t let that new camera bump with bigger circular cutouts on the vivo V25 fool you. On paper, the cameras are close to one another but the V25 has the advantage of having a slightly wider aperture and OIS (Optical Image Stabilization) that the V23 5G doesn’t have.

vivo V25 vivo V23 5G
Wide 64MP f/1.79
PDAF, OIS + EIS
64MP f/1.89
PDAF, EIS
Ultra-WIde 8MP 120º f/2.2
Macro 2MP f/2.4
Selfie 50MP f/2.0 wide

 

50MP f/2.0 wide
8MP f/2.28 ultra-wide
+ Dual-tone Spotlight

The sad news though is that, vivo has decided to remove the extra ultra-wide selfie camera and dual flash system on the new V25.

vivo V23 with the Dual-tone Spotlight Flash feature

But how do these phones perform side-by-side knowing the new V25 also has a slightly less-powerful MediaTek Dimensity 900 chipset over V23 5G’s Dimensity 920? Are there enough convincing differences or is the older model actually better? Feed yourself some photo sample comparisons below.

Daylight

In any given circumstance, a valuable Android midranger should take at least a decent photo with natural light around — thus me taking lesser photos to compare.
Still, your judgment matters.

#1A (Ultra-wide)

vivo V25

#1B (Wide)

vivo V25

#2

#3A (Wide)

#3B (Zoom)

Food

Taking food shots (mostly with indoor lighting) is a better way to test which phone camera is capable of producing the better image output with the right amount of highlights, shadows, contrast, sharpness, temperature, as well as Dynamic Range.

#4

#5

#6

#7

#8

#9

#10

#11

*Left photo was taken multiple times with the focus tapped on the baked roll. Lens coating was also cleaned several times but still resulted to the same output.

#12

Night Mode

Low-light photos can either make or break the capabilities of a smartphone’s camera.
While it’s a mixed bag of outputs, it still depends on the user if Night Mode photos are important in a midranger or not.

#13A (Wide)

#13B (Ultra-wide)

#14

#15

#16

#17

#18

vivo V25

#19

vivo V25

#20

vivo V25

BONUS: Low-Light Selfie

For users who love taking selfies even in the dark, both phones can take fill-in flash (using the display) to brighten up your faces.

Without Flash

vivo V25

However, the ultra-wide selfie and Dual-tone Spotlight feature were removed completely from the vivo V25. You just have to guess and pick which is which.

With Flash (Aura Fill, Dual-Tone Dual Spotlight Flash)

vivo V25

Results

No more confusions, the results are consistent all throughout the board:

Photo A — vivo V23 5G

Photo B — vivo V25

Conclusion

vivo V25

While it’s barely a big camera quality improvement, the vivo V25 has rendered some of the scenes quite well such as in Photos 1A, 11, and 12 which the V23 5G failed to display at least an acceptable output. Other times, the vivo V23 5G delivered better results like in Photos 1B, 2, 3A, 4, and 13A. Those images delivered overall better photos with a sufficient amount of HDR (High Dynamic Range) and AWB (Auto White Balance).

Overall, the V25 produced better images with decent amount of highlights, shadows, contrast, sharpness. The newer model also has some slight edge on focusing and making shots brighter and more stable at night.

vivo V25

While only two selfies were provided, the V23 5G obviously has the edge — especially with its extra selfie lens and dual-flash feature.

vivo V25

If you’re coming from the V23 5G, you don’t need to upgrade to the vivo V25. Period. But, if you’re looking for a phone to replace your old vivo smartphone (or pretty much any old budget phone or midranger for that matter), buying the V25 won’t hurt.

vivo V25

Unless you’re looking for a used unit, a brand new vivo V23 5G is being sold at PhP 27,999. Whereas, a brand new V25 retails at a cheaper PhP 23,999 price tag.

vivo V25

Imho, choosing the V23 5G over the V25 is advantageous for some reasons: a more premium-looking design with metallic sides, slightly faster chipset, and the extra selfie camera.

vivo V25

But realizing how more capable the cameras of the V25 are, you can also choose it for its bigger battery and brighter display. Also, the OIS feature is very handy if you love taking photos in action or at night or just record stable-free videos without worrying about warping and jitters. At the end of the day, you should know what you value the most in buying a new smartphone.

SEE ALSO:

vivo V25 is a Night Portrait Master

Taking photos to the next level with the vivo V23 5G

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Camera Shootouts

iPhone 14 Pro Max vs 13 Pro Max vs S22 Ultra: Camera Shootout

A Very Different Camera Test

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The iPhone 14 Pro Max finally has an upgraded camera system — highlighted by its 48MP main camera sensor.

But does it really take better photos vs the iPhone 13 Pro Max and Samsung’s Galaxy S22 Ultra?

Find out in our photo-walk style camera shootout with the pro-photographer and Apple’s #ShotoniPhone Macro Challenge Global Winner Tom Reeves.

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