When you’re accustomed to familiarity, it’s difficult to try something new. Such is the case when the Samsung Galaxy A71 landed on my hands.
There was hesitation, as I’ve been using Huawei as my daily driver since 2016, and it became my comfort zone since then.
But this year, I promised myself to do things that make me uncomfortable. Being proactive, I took a risk and tried a Samsung smartphone, not because it’s my job to review a device, but because I want to see if it’s actually worth a try.
Totally crushing on it
Samsung offers the Galaxy A71 in three different colors: Prism Crush Blue, Prism Crush Black, and Prism Crush Silver. This particular model we’re reviewing comes in Prism Crush Blue, and I’m totally crushing on it.
This may not pair well with most of my clothes, but it certainly matches my pastel-colored face masks from Leaders Cosmetics — a South Korean brand just like Samsung — which you can buy from Watsons and CNA.
This makes me happy, seeing how I want my stuff to follow a certain palette. I may be a neutral guy when it comes to fashion, but I’m all in for pastel products. If you’re obsessed with K-Culture, a pair of Korean brands can make your heart happy.
Inducing a love-at-first-sight feeling
The Samsung Galaxy A71 comes in a refreshing design, following Samsung’s new design language this 2020. It has a rectangular camera module, with its camera lenses forming an L-shape position.
Its back comes with subtle diagonal cutouts and varying opacity, embellished with subtle stripe patterns. It’s adorned by prism shining in certain angles, which has been a staple in the Galaxy A series.
This phone looks polished and premium, thanks to its “glasstic” design. Anyone can be fooled by how stunning the Galaxy A71 is, seeing how it looks marvelous — both from a distance and up close. It might spark a “love at first sight” feeling to consumers currently looking for a smartphone.
Subtlety is attractive
What makes the Galaxy A71 look upscale isn’t its refined back design. It’s the combination of tiny details — something we can’t figure out when we like someone. When you thoroughly look into the little things, you realize that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts and that attractive piece keeps you hung up.
In Galaxy A71’s case, it’s the combination of glass and glasstic design, and thoughtful curves and frames. The phone shines and reflects like a premium smartphone. Even the buttons are subtle, blending well with the frame.
On the left side, you can find the sim tray which can fit up to two SIMs and a memory card. Found on its right side are the volume and power keys, which you can also use for taking screenshots.
Meanwhile, the bottom has the mouthpiece, speaker grilles, USB-C port, and audio jack — an important feature that’s becoming a luxury now.
Something you might want to hold
The Galaxy A71 is massive, especially for my standards. Having tiny hands made me hate how most phones have been getting bigger throughout the years, and the Galaxy A71 is still on that trend. Fortunately, Samsung kept a slim and lightweight profile for this smartphone.
It’s easy to grip and hold, unlike other massive smartphones. Removing the discomfort in my experience made this phone look and feel top-end, and that’s what we need from most smartphones now.
It won’t be massive if it wasn’t for its 6.7-inch Super AMOLED display. Thankfully, it’s adorned with round corners and almost symmetrical bezels making it seem soft and pleasant to look at. Additionally, the earpiece grille is subtly situated between the frame and screen.
Coupled with a flattened Gorilla Glass 3, there are no sharp edges. Samsung thoughtfully crafted the front design and its display, allowing users to focus on the experience.
For instance, the ambient light sensor is placed behind the screen, and there are no LED indicators for your notifications. However, the Galaxy A71 supports an Always-On Display.
The only downside is its punch-hole housing the 32-megapixel selfie shooter. I mostly use bright wallpapers, and I can’t help but look at the punch-hole. It’s highly disturbing since it’s actually bigger than the pimples I get in my face whenever I pull an all-nighter at work. But that might just be me nit-picking.
Keeps you entertained
Combining the Galaxy A71’s awesome screen and lightweight profile, you can expect a breezy experience when it comes to entertainment.
I spent my weekends catching up with Crash Landing On You on Netflix, and my arms never felt strained and numbed. It’s definitely a treat to watch using this phone and enjoy an immersive, vivid experience.
Its audio is loud but gets cranky. If you can’t live without music, it’s best to use the wired earphones that come in the box, or even better, a Galaxy Buds which pair easily. I barely used its speakers, and I only do when I’m dancing to BLACKPINK in the bathroom.
Speaking of which, the Galaxy A71 doesn’t have any ingress protection (or IP rating) so keep it out of the water — unless you have a safe space for your phone. Until then, don’t risk it.
Keeps you safe and secure
One of the biggest concerns right now is privacy and security. In this age, the one who prioritizes its users’ safety is the winner in the long run. Thankfully, Samsung is doing its best to keep everyone secure.
For starters, you can unlock the Galaxy A71 through different screen locks such as pattern, pin, and password. You can also access it through biometrics like an optical under-screen fingerprint sensor — which is slow and far from perfect.
A lot of times, I have to tap my on the screen thrice before I can unlock it, which is why I opted for face recognition. It’s a hundred times faster, and you have the option to require open eyes during facial recognition for added security.
Moreover, any Samsung phone has the ability to protect you from apps, viruses, and malware. It regularly updates its security and policies, thanks to its exclusive Samsung Knox.
A phone you can rely on
The Galaxy A71 runs on Android 10 and One UI 2.0. Navigating between apps is seamless and buttery smooth. Every time I glide my fingers, it feels like I’m caressing a harp or a piano.
Additionally, it runs on Snapdragon 730, offering near-flagship power. I barely encountered any hiccups throughout my usage, but some apps are quite heavy which creates a bit of delay. However, I temper my expectations when it comes to midrange smartphones.
The Galaxy A71 allowed me to multitask. Seamlessly switching from Slack to Google’s suite of apps to a multitude of social media platforms — Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram — all while playing Spotify on the background. What else can I ask for?
I was able to play Black Desert Online, too. This South Korean MMORPG requires intensive graphics and power to run, and I was able to play it even in the highest settings possible — with no lags and delays experienced. Honestly, the Galaxy A71 has the right amount of power needed for most consumers like me.
It’s here for the long run
These days, we need something that won’t give up on us. The Galaxy A71 packs a 4,500mAh battery — which can last for a whole day (or night), with enough juice to keep you going. On one occasion, I went out of the office at 6PM with 100 percent battery.
Throughout the night, I sipped my favorite Starbucks cold brew, went to a Korean grill restaurant, took selfies, went on an upload spree on social media, drank beer, and caught up with my friends all while keeping my mobile data on.
Afterward, I arrived home at 2 AM with a whopping 60 percent battery. How great is that? It also comes with a 25W Fast Charging adapter and a USB-C to USB-C cable, and it only took an hour and a few to fully charge my phone when I reached 10 percent the next day.
Captures every moment
The Galaxy A71 has a promising quad-camera setup: a 64-megapixel main camera, 12-megapixel ultra-wide, 5-megapixel depth, and 5-megapixel macro. It comes with every smartphone’s camera staples like portrait mode (or live focus), night mode, panorama, macro, pro, super slow-mo, slow motion, hyperlapse, and food.
Taking every bit of its camera mode entails a different story. Such is the case for 64-megapixel photos, which we’ll be publishing on a shootout. For now, let’s take a look at how the Galaxy A71 fares with regular shots in different lighting conditions.
If you swipe through the photos above, you can see how Samsung’s color balance is mainly cool. It inaccurately depicts the scenery. Food shots — even when using Food mode — still capture a cooler vibe. This makes it difficult to post on your social media since food photos have to be warmer to look tasty and appetizing. Thankfully, there are photo-editing apps like VSCO and Lightroom to help you balance and polish the look in accordance with your aesthetics.
Moreover, its macro lens doesn’t capture enough details. It’s difficult to take close-ups, and you have to put your lens too close to your food. The best thing to do is to take flat lays and angled shots by the window, for an appetizing shot.
To more travels with you
The Galaxy A71 might be a downer when it comes to color balance and taking close-ups, but it’s a contender when it comes to wide-angle photos.
For more samples, just swipe the photos below.
If you analyzed it, wide-angle photos take better details and produce richer colors. The distortion is also useful in cramped and open spaces.
Selfies that will make you smile
The Galaxy A71 houses a 32-megapixel front shooter, allowing you to capture regular and wide-angle selfies. You can also use Live Focus for DSLR-like portrait modes, which actually suck because portrait modes are half-baked up to this date. If you’re meaning to capture better-looking portraits, forget portrait mode and read this trick.
During daylight, the Galaxy A71 performs marvelously. It captures great details, and you can temper it down by turning on Beauty Mode, with a Level 1 intensity. Just don’t go high, though, since you’ll look like a painting.
In low and bad lighting conditions, the Galaxy A71 struggles in taking awesome photos, particularly when you use Beauty Mode, as seen on my selfie with two pretty ladies during Ben&Ben’s concert.
But when exposed to proper lighting, the Galaxy A71 can provide a decent selfie whether it’s an indoor or outdoor shot. The only problem you’ll encounter is the higher contrast and strong blacks.
Nonetheless, no one will care about the nitty-gritty of your selfies. People will only look at how beautiful and amazing you are, and most people just want to be able to take selfies that make them feel awesome.
Every moment can be perfect
The Galaxy A71 can record videos — from 1080p to 2160p, and even 4K. Below is a sample video of our Producer, Vincenz Lee, during his travels in Jakarta with the Galaxy A71.
Is this your GadgetMatch?
If you’re looking for a solid smartphone, the Galaxy A71 is a good choice albeit with a higher price tag. For PhP 22,990, Samsung is sitting on a sweet spot, making itself ten times better than phones in almost similar price tags like the Vivo V17 Pro and OPPO Reno 2F. On the other hand, those who are looking for flagship power at an affordable price might consider the Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro.
Still, the Galaxy A71 is a well-rounded phone. Just like how it was advertised, it really has an awesome screen, awesome camera, and long-lasting battery life. If you want an upscale-looking phone which takes awesome photos, coupled with stellar experience and a battery that’ll keep up with you, then you have your GadgetMatch.
If you’re still iffy about trying this phone out, remember that sometimes, we need to be open to new flavors and experiences. After all, we might be missing a lot if we shy away because something (or someone) isn’t entirely our type.
adidas SL20 review: Feel like running as fast as The Flash
adidas’ best running shoe so far!
About a month ago Adidas released a new running shoe called the Adidas SL20 — this shoe was part of the recent Adidas “Faster Than” campaign where they talked about how being “fast” is not something that’s only reserved for elite runners, and that speed isn’t always just about distance and time.
Instead, Adidas emphasises that “fast” is more of a personal feeling, which everyone can experience, even if you don’t think of yourself as a “fast” runner. They backed this up with a series of videos from all types of people, who run just because they enjoy it.
I have been really intrigued about this shoe because I saw a bunch of people post about it in the Adidas Runners Kuala Lumpur group. As you might already know Adidas has their own Runners group in major cities around the world and they can be super useful to keep you motivated — like right now in Malaysia we’re under a lockdown because of the current pandemic.
All runs are on pause but the Adidas Runners KL group has been posting live workout at home sessions which is pretty good and definitely motivates you to stay in shape and workout even from home.
Starting with a bit of a history lesson, the SL20 is a spiritual successor to the ol’ Adidas SL72 that dropped way back in 1972. This was a shoe that was designed to be used in the German Olympics at the time, and was worn by a bunch of athletes back then.
SL stands for “Super Light” and it lives up to its name. With the SL20, Adidas designed a lightweight running shoe that is meant to cater to all types of runners, and all speeds, made just for anyone who wants to feel fast. It weighs just about 238 grams, making it one of the lightest running shoes around. Though it is slightly heavier than the Adios 5.
You realize this from the second you slip these on. The SL20 is a shoe that just makes you feel fast, and you really feel like running when you’re wearing them which is a really good thing for a running shoe.
This is my first pair of really lightweight running shoes. If you’ve never worn a pair of lightweight running shoes before, this will feel like a whole new dimension. That being said, I should mention that these are meant more for short, fast runs rather than long-distance ones.
Design and Construction
When you first pick up the SL20 it’s very clear that the choice of materials was meant to make sure the shoe is as light as possible. There’s a new Light Strike midsole which is much lighter than Boost. But it also has the torsion system, a heel counter, and Continental just like what you’d find on the much more expensive Adidas Ultraboost, which is sweet.
You can see we got the awesome Black-White-and-Orange colorway which is the main marketing colorway for the SL20.
The shoe also comes in a cool black-white-and-gold colorway, along with a more formal all-black colorway as well in case you want something a little more low-key.
Starting with the upper, the SL20 is made of an engineered mesh material which feels extremely thin and a major contributor to the whole lightweight nature of this shoe.
The material seems tough enough but as with any shoe with a thin, breathable upper you’ll want to make sure you wear thicker socks or keep a close watch on your toenails, so you don’t end up accidentally poking through it.
Similarly, the tongue also has no padding, being just a thin piece of lightweight fabric. The laces are also pretty soft and there are two extra eyelets up top in case you want an even more snug fit.
One small detail that I really liked was the SL20 branding on the lace tips that is color matched to the three stripes on the shoe.
I also noticed that the lacing is also slightly asymmetrical with a bias towards the medial side which helps with that lockdown feeling, and medial support.
Moving on to the heel area, the SL20 has an integrated heel counter which means that unlike the external heel counter which you’d see on the Ultraboost 20, this one is all internal. The heel counter is made of a hard material which allows you to easily slip your foot into the shoe, but also does a great job at locking your heel into place.
Coming to the midsole, as mentioned earlier, it’s made out of a new material called “Lightstrike ” which is significantly lighter than Boost, which most of y’all have probably heard about. But I’ll talk about the midsole later on.
Underneath that, you have the Continental stretchweb outsole with the red torsion propulsion system integrated into the sole. This gives the shoe more structure and control.
Then there’s the heel, which is more stiff and supportive but I’ll talk about the entire midsole and outsole later on. And for those of you who aren’t as familiar with Adidas sneakers, yes it’s that Continental, the tire maker.
All in all it’s a great looking shoe, with a lot of visual attention to detail in its design.
Quite snug, go up at least half a size
In terms of fit, the SL20 is supposed to fit true-to-size but it’s a bit of a narrow shoe with a rigid toe-box. Since I have wide feet, Adidas sent me a size up which fits pretty well. I’d definitely advise trying these on in a store if you could, because the engineered mesh upper here is not a very stretchable fabric.
So if you have wide feet like I do, you might want to go up half a size or even up a full size. In case you were wondering, the heel-to-toe drop here is the usual 10mm with a stack height of 29/19.
The light in Lightstrike is truly light
Coming to performance, as I have mentioned — the SL20 feels incredibly light, and you feel it immediately as you start running with them. The engineered mesh upper is weirdly lightweight as if it’s not even there, and the new Lightstrike foam has a good amount of energy return as well.
The Lightstrike foam itself is pretty interesting. It was originally designed for use in basketball shoes, with the thought being that the foam would have enough cushioning, lightweight, but still be very responsive with some court-feel especially with the kind of lateral movement you see in basketball.
It was first introduced in 2018 in the signature sneakers of former NBA MVP James Harden, before also moving on to the Adizero series of running shoes.
With this purpose in mind, Lightstrike is slightly harder than Boost cushioning, sacrificing some of that soft comfort for better energy return instead. This cushioning, along with the lightweight upper, is the reason why you want to go faster in these shoes.
I found myself running slightly faster with these on, and I’m not even sure why. Maybe it was just a psychological feeling of wearing such lightweight shoes, or maybe it’s the overall package of the SL20.
The Torsion system allows for a nice, springy toe-off, and also helps with the energy transition from heel to toe, allowing your foot to go back into its normal state during each strike, and the heel counter keeps your feet firmly locked in.
The slightly harder midsole does mean these are best suited for short distance runs. You could still wear them for long distance or marathon running, but the Lightstrike foam midsole is not as soft a cushion as one would like for a long distance running shoe.
For sprints and everyday jogs, the SL20 is freaking fantastic. But for long distance runs, you might want to check out the Ultraboost 20 or even the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 22 instead.
These shoes really are a lot of fun to run in because they’re just so darn lightweight, with great energy return, that push-off sensation really is amazing so maybe some of y’all might actually like them for long distance runs as well.
Coming to the SL20 outsole, it’s worth noting that you can also feel any stones or pebbles under your foot with these so they really aren’t meant for off-road or cross country runs either — just a road or street runner.
The Continental stretchweb outsole is a great addition, just like what we’ve experienced on Ultraboost for a while now. These are some of the grippiest rubber outsoles around and this means running on even wet roads is not an issue.
I wouldn’t recommend testing these out on icy streets. I’m always paranoid about falling where ice is involved because I’ve only lived in tropical weather countries, but apart from that, the outsole has no issues gripping and keeping traction even on the rainiest of days.
Overall the Adidas SL20 falls more in the stable end of the spectrum, compared to many other lightweight running shoes. While I still think of it as a neutral running shoe, it has a pretty reasonable amount of stability.
Is this your SneakerMatch?
The Adidas SL20 is just a fantastic running shoe designed for runners who want to run fast. It doesn’t matter what your definition of fast is, because this pair will honestly just make you feel fast when you’re running with them.
If you’re looking for a pair of lightweight running shoes, this is pretty much one of the best options out there right now.
The only real alternative comes from Adidas itself — the Adidas Adizero Boston 8 and the Adidas Adizero Adios 5 — both of which look very similar now to the SL20.
All three belong to the lightweight running shoe category, and they weigh almost the same but the primary difference is their uppers and midsoles, and how they feel when running. Both the Boston and Adios have slightly more premium upper construction, and both have Boost in the midsole, which also means they cost a lot more than the SL20.
The Adios feels more like a racing shoe and offers the least in terms of comfort, whereas the Boston is more of an all-round running shoe. It’s firmer and harder than the SL20 but also softer and more comfortable than the Adios.
Out of all three, I think the SL20 is the most comfortable, though of course not as comfortable as the heavier SolarBoost or Ultraboost sneakers.
Bif you’re looking for a lightweight running shoe to get you started with running or just to be your first lightweight running shoe, I think the SL20 is for you. Even if you are a trained runner who wants a secondary pair of “fast” shoes — these are definitely for you.
The Adidas SL20 is just for anyone who wants to feel fast, without shifting too far away from a comfortable daily running shoe, but still wanting a pair of lightweight running shoes.
Find X2 Pro review: OPPO’s finest
It deserves your attention
OPPO has been dominating the budget and midrange space in Asia for many years now, but in the eyes of the rest of the world, the brand is a newcomer. The Chinese company, however, has a track record of innovation, years of R&D, countless experiments awaiting recognition.
Taking center stage is a smartphone that’s so good and so refined, that it can seriously compete with the best 2020 has to offer. The Find X2 Pro is the culmination of everything OPPO has been working on for as long as we can remember.
First things first, we need to talk about design. I mean, how can you not? With its bright orange faux leather finish and gold accents, it reminds me of those classic Hermes boxes.
People who prefer subdued colors might like the black ceramic option better, but I love how bold and different this orange finish is.
Just please don’t put the bundled jelly case on, the Find X2 Pro deserves better. Even the midrange OPPO Reno 2 came bundled with a faux leather case. Not only did it protect the phone, it also made it feel more sturdy and premium.
Speaking of the Reno series, I miss its original symmetrical design. When the first Reno phones came out, I praised OPPO for finally having found a design language they can call their own. It was refreshing to see after several years of seeing iPhone clones from the company.
While the Find X2 doesn’t look like an iPhone anymore, the design still feels a bit unoriginal. It reminds me of Huawei’s P series that also came in leather finishes.
It also doesn’t have that same wow factor the original Find X had when it came out. That phone had a beautiful curved edge-to-edge display and hidden cameras that popped up when prompted. Having said that, while that phone was stunning I remember thinking that it also felt fragile and gimmicky — like an unfinished product.
The Find X2 Pro is the complete opposite. So while its looks can easily get lost in a sea of Android phones, it’s built great. and feels solid. And its size? Its size is just right.
It feels great in the hands as it’s not hefty like the previous Reno models. It’s something you will enjoy holding and using on a daily basis.
That said, I’d take something solid and refined over being blinded by a wow factor that easily fades away.
Oh and before I forget, the Find X2 Pro is finally water and dust resistant — rated IP68. You still shouldn’t submerge it in liquid especially with the faux leather finish, but in case it happens you’ll know your phone has that extra layer of protection.
Top of the line display and performance
The smartphone display is the one object we look at and interact with the most. That’s why it was important for OPPO to put its best display ever on the Find X2 series.
Watching Our Planet on Netflix almost feels too real especially with HDR video enhancement. Colors pop and — more importantly — are accurate.
Outdoors the phone can hold its own. Reading pages and articles for extended periods of time is enjoyable even when the sun is out and bright.
Mobile gamers would also enjoy playing their favorites on the Find X2 Pro as it’s powered by Qualcomm’s top of the line processor, the Snapdragon 865. Its display boasts of a 120Hz refresh rate — once a feature only found in gaming smartphones. On top of that is 240Hz sampling rate, which might come in handy when you want the phone to register your taps faster than your opponents.
OPPO is proud of its curved displays similar to what we’ve seen on Samsung phones for many years and more recently on OnePlus devices. While I agree that it’s sexy, I’ve come to prefer flat displays as they are more practical — and everyone on the GadgetMatch team agrees.
Improved user experience
On the Find X2 Pro, OPPO added a new ColorOS feature called Smart Sidebar. By swiping from the edge of the screen, you can access shortcuts so you can launch apps faster.
App icons are also no longer the hodgepodge that they used to be. Overall experience is now more refined, and less iPhone-clone like.
One of the most underrated smartphone features for me is good haptics. OPPO is not highlighting it, and I could understand why, but it’s worth mentioning that the overall experience of using the Find X2 Pro is a lot better because of it.
First class cameras
One department OPPO has spent a lot of time on over the last few years is its camera technology. We were there when OPPO first launched its 5x optical zoom at MWC 2017, and 10x lossless zoom at MWC 2019. And if you ask me, all that hard work has paid off.
This year they partnered with Sony to customize the image sensor on the device. It has 100% focusable pixels — meaning, every pixel on the sensor can be used for autofocus. While not significantly faster than top phones in the market, the speed comes in handy when photographing moving subjects.
The new sensor also improves OPPO’s already impressive low light performance that we’ve seen on the previous Reno models. In scenarios where there’s barely any light source, Ultra Night Mode 3.0 does a great job in exposing subjects, especially when you use its built-in tripod mode.
Here are some shots we took around New York City before the lockdown.
The phone has two other cameras — an ultra wide angle lens and a 6x optical telephoto lens. The ultra wide angle lens produces less distortion as compared to previous OPPO phones that had the same feature, but it’s not as wide as the one found on Samsung’s Galaxy S20+.
Here are some sample photos taken with the ultra wide angle lens of the Find X2 Pro.
The rectangular periscopic camera delivers 10X hybrid zoom. OPPO says the photos it takes is as close to those taken with 6x optical zoom. Here are some sample photos.
Here are some comparison shots versus the Samsung Galaxy S20+. The Find X2 Pro has a shallower depth of field.
The Find X2 Pro does a better job at HDR — exposing more of the shadowy areas. Aside from that, the phones did an excellent job although results vary. Which phone did better would depend on personal preference. You can check out the whole camera shootout here.
For any brand to be taken seriously, it has to have an excellent camera and the Find X2 Pro — just like the Reno phones that came before it — delivers. It even recently topped DxOMark smartphone camera rankings, tying Xiaomi’s Mi 10 Pro.
Selfie game strong
Selfies get a dedicated section in this review. Let’s not forget back in the day, when OPPO was still establishing itself in more markets in Asia, the company dubbed itself the selfie expert.
Its F series were some of the most popular phones because of it. Today, OPPO no longer uses that as a marketing strategy but that doesn’t mean it’s abandoned its selfie game entirely.
On the Find X2 series, the beauty algorithm has been updated to make skin tones more real. When amped up all the way, you can still end up looking like a cringey porcelain doll. With the right settings, it’s able to remove blemishes and add makeup if you want to without completely erasing your pores.
Fastest fast charging technology
Another aspect OPPO has been working on for years is its fast charging technology called VOOC. Its latest iteration is now called SuperVOOC 2.0. It’s the fastest charging technology in the industry to date.
The bundled SuperVOOC 2.0 charger can fully juice up the Find X2 Pro’s 4620 mAh battery in just 38 minutes. The 3-4 sets of circuit training that I do takes longer than that.
If you’re worried that it’s too fast and therefore not safe, the Find X2 Pro actually comes with a customized battery safety monitoring chip. It doesn’t just monitor the battery status during charging, but also tracks whether the battery is damaged over time.
In addition, OPPO’s VOOC technology has always offered five levels of security protection from the power adapter, wire, and in the handset itself. In the years that we’ve been testing OPPO phones, not once have we encountered problems related to charging, so this claim is something we can vouch for.
Is the OPPO Find X2 Pro your GadgetMatch?
Whether the OPPO Find X2 Pro is for you is not an easy question to answer. I’m not gonna mince words — the Find X2 Pro is expensive. In some markets, its starting price is higher than that of the Samsung Galaxy S20+.
Can it command a high price tag? Yes, and no.
The Find X2 Pro delivered in every aspect, especially in those that are most important to us. Just by holding the phone, you can tell that OPPO spent a lot of time refining the product. The Find X2 Pro has one of the best spec sheets found on smartphones this year as well.
With its expensive price tag, what OPPO is saying is that the Find X2 Pro deserves to be mentioned in the same sentence as the latest iPhone or Galaxy. But those willing to spend a lot of money for an iPhone or a Galaxy are paying to own an Apple or Samsung phone. That’s a level of brand prestige that OPPO is aiming to one day achieve.
Bluntly put, a better strategy would be to undercut its competitors with slightly lower pricing. This way users have a compelling incentive to try the brand because if you ask me, the Find X2 Pro is a phone that deserves to be in this league.
Which Samsung Galaxy S20 is your GadgetMatch?
Three phones, three Matchketeers
As you may already know, the Samsung Galaxy S20 series has three phones — the Galaxy S20, Galaxy S20+, and Galaxy S20 Ultra. We were fortunate enough to get a hold of all three, so three different members of our team took one each and here we’ll discuss what liked and didn’t like about these phones.
Hopefully, this can help you decide which of the three to get. That is, perhaps, after we go through this whole COVID-19 pandemic. So while you’re staying home, here’s something to read.
The first obvious difference is size. How did you feel about the one you got?
Rodneil [Galaxy S20 Ultra]: The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra is HUGE. I’m saying this as a fan of the Note series and generally large display smartphones. But this phone just really feels humongous.
For context, I have been using the iPhone 11 Pro for months which might have made the size transition more obvious than it would have been had I been using another Android flagship.
MJ [Galaxy S20]: I loved it. The Galaxy S20 fit perfectly in my tiny hands! This may be bad, but I found myself glued to my smartphone for a few days now, only because my phone’s easier to hold, carry, and use. I’m done with big smartphones!
Vincenz [Galaxy S20+]: As someone who has big hands, I like the form factor of the Galaxy S20+. I tried holding other Galaxy S20 phones but I’m gonna say the Galaxy S20+ is the perfect fit since the Galaxy S20 feels a little bit small and the Galaxy S20 Ultra is thicker, and heavier.
Did it affect your usage? How and why?
Rodneil: I felt less inclined to take it out to get some quick snaps. It almost feels like carrying a mirrorless camera. Almost. It’s colossal and nearly impossible to use with only just one hand. It almost discourages me to use one of its highlight features which is the camera.
That said, the size and display made it pretty great for media consumption as well as editing a few quick clips. While we’re at it, I’d like to mention how the screen recording then subsequently editing and trimming on an app caused it to significantly heat up. And I didn’t even do much editing. I just trimmed and resized a clip.
I swear I uploaded this for work purposes pic.twitter.com/tYnZstNaQ1
— Rodneil M. Quiteles (@rodneilquiteles) March 21, 2020
The quick overheating might be because of the Exynos processor. I did the same tasks on the OPPO Find X2 Pro and it didn’t heat up as much. But that comparison is a discussion for another day.
MJ: It made me use my phone frequently and made me bring it wherever I go — even in bathroom breaks! I found it easier to navigate the screen, use my phone to take selfies or take snaps of my mundane life so I can share it with my friends.
Vincenz: The only problem that affected my daily usage is the slim profile and slippery glass back. Holding it with one hand feels light but over time, my arms got sore to the point that I’ll just place it on a flat table or on my bed. I don’t want to drop it since it’s fragile (like me when I see my crush).
Let’s jump right into what people care about. The cameras. General thoughts on the images you took?
Rodneil: It’s pretty much everything we’ve come to know from Samsung. Take a few shots and more often than not, you’ll get an image that you can just immediately post on social media.
I tried Live Focus on good ‘ol Funko MJ and got more than decent results both under good daylight and when the subject is against the light.
Same is true for the wide angle lens. Get plenty of daylight, and you’re bound to get photos ready for your Facebook feed.
MJ: As a person who lives and breathes social media, the images produced by the Galaxy S20 is definitely social media-ready. It’s saturated and lively enough even without its scene optimizer tool.
Since I post-process my photos, I find myself spending more time editing to lessen the vibrancy of the photos, since the colors pop.
Cameras are bad at night for both the front and rear cameras! Its only saving grace is its night mode and wide-angle. When used properly, you’ll get astounding results. You better learn basic photography before hitting up the cameras!
Vincenz: I’ll be straightforward about this: It doesn’t have the best cameras in a smartphone but it doesn’t mean it’s not good. Sure, the main sensor does most of the trick but problems arise when you compare it with other phones.
I enjoyed taking food shots more with the Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro. For night shots, the Huawei Mate 30 Pro has a better algorithm. The ultra-wide lens is the least thing I like in this phone since the colors are desaturated and not as accurate as the main sensor.
I also tried recording videos (even in 8K) but I guess the iPhone 11 series dominates both video quality and OIS (optical image stabilization).
Is the zoom really “all that”?
Rodneil: I wouldn’t say “all that,” but it can be useful. Although the thing about the 100X zoom on the Galaxy S20 Ultra is, it’s a lot like pushing yourself to the limit — just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.
Here are samples wide angle, 10X, 30X, and 100X. As you can see, 30X zoom is still pretty darn good. Having the capacity to go to 100X means your 30X zoom should produce pretty darn good results.
Same is true for the 10X zoom. That allowed me to take this kind of shot.
It does struggle when there isn’t enough light and taking handheld 30X zoom photos can be challenging.
MJ: I love this phone to death because of its size, design, and overall usage, but that zoom sucks. I was spending a night at the beach during an almost full moon, and I tried zooming in at 30X but it wasn’t impressive.
Don’t bother zooming in! Just get a better camera with a professional zoom lens if you want to capture the moon. Otherwise, the zoom feature is best used up to 3X. It’s perfect for capturing portraits at a distance (without using portrait mode). Where else would you use zoom? It’s creepy as hell.
Vincenz: Nights ago, there was this huge moon lighting up the sky. I tried zooming it in at 30X, but was disappointed with the quality of the output. Tried it before with a Huawei Mate 30 Pro and it gave me outstanding results.
I was expecting the same with the Galaxy S20+ since it also has the same zoom ability but it doesn’t show any detail of the craters at all. Night mode doesn’t even do justice since it also zooms up to 10X.
What about the selfies? Did you like them?
Rodneil: Not really big on selfies, but for the purposes of testing I tried one with live focus and one without. I think the smoothing is still more aggressive than I would have liked. This is with “beauty mode” turned off.
MJ: Selfies are decent enough to send to your crushes but never ever use the beauty mode. It sucks, same with its portrait mode.
The wide-angle mode helped with group photos, though. Admittedly, Xiaomi still has the best selfies to date (in my opinion, please don’t chew me out). But with proper lighting and right poses, you’ll get perfect selfies — if that’s even your thing!
Vincenz: Not a huge selfie user but when I tried it, I immediately turned off the beauty mode. I want my selfies to look as natural as possible — but turning it off still showed smeared selfies.
But when it comes to groufies, it gets the job done as it has an extra ultra-wide mode to accomodate more people inside the frame.
The display is a huge talking point too. Did it seem any different from other phones you’ve tried?
Rodneil: The 120Hz screen refresh rate should be the default now. After using this for an extended period, any other screen just doesn’t feel as smooth.
Still not a fan of punch-hole displays but that’s mostly negligible since I use dark mode most of the time plus I don’t pinch to zoom when watching videos. This means the punch-hole stays out of sight. Overall, it’s a fantastic display — par for the course for Samsung.
MJ: I barely use phones that aren’t AMOLED displays, so I don’t have much to say in comparison. As usual, colors are vivid and lively. The Galaxy S20’s full screen display, albeit smaller compared to its siblings, is such an awesome companion for your entertainment and recreational activities.
I recently joined the craze on the 120Hz refresh rate, and I’ve been enjoying it so far. I’m not tiring my eyes whenever I scroll and swipe!
Plus, whatever you’re watching on Netflix, you’re bound to get hooked. After all, you got an immersive and impressive display, it’s difficult not to love the show you’re watching even more.
Vincenz: I’ve been fond of Samsung’s Super AMOLED as I used a Galaxy Note5 before. After moving to iPhones, I just got used to their IPS displays (including the iPhone XR I used before this).
Right when I had the Galaxy S20+, I got stunned with the Dynamic AMOLED display with deep blacks and fast 120Hz refresh rate — something iPhones and other Android smartphones can’t beat until today.
I ditched watching the Netflix series Itaewon Class on my iPhone because I enjoy the vivid colors and the fullscreen display more on the Galaxy S20+.
Thoughts on ONE UI 2.0 and other Samsung perks?
Rodneil: It looks undeniably Samsung for better or worse, but it’s definitely cleaner now than it has ever been. The gestures are all based on Android 10 (which, in effect is based on iOS lol), and I really like that.
The apps edge feature is underrated. I will completely lose any sense of the day if I didn’t have quick access to a calendar and this does it for me.
It’s also a good way to catch-up on NBA scores — although the league’s suspended at the moment. And the last game that’s on this photo are teams that have players who tested COVID-19 positive. That was depressing. I’m sorry.
MJ: I’m going to admit it: I couldn’t care less about the UI… before. One UI 2.0, just like any other UI, is difficult for me to grasp and understand. I’ve been used to EMUI and MIUI since I’ve been using a Huawei phone since 2016 and a Xiaomi phone since 2019. After using one Samsung phone after another this year, I realized One UI 2.0 is easy to learn and look at. For me, One UI 2.0 is a welcome change.
On another note, Samsung Members is one of my favorite perks from Samsung. You can have great deals from your favorite spas, resorts, cafes, and even restaurants. They even hold limited promos! Most recent was a free regular beverage from Chatime! Sadly, I missed it because I was sick.
Vincenz: One UI 2.0 is probably better than Samsung’s Touchwiz. I was impressed that Samsung finally listened to their loyal users. The bloatware and messy UI are now gone in favor of a cleaner, more minimal UI. It’s still not the best I’ve used since I enjoy using MIUI more, but it’s second in my list.
I haven’t tried using the Samsung Members app yet but I heard you get great deals and discounts if you register. Too bad the quarantine holds me back from trying those offers.
Which Galaxy S20 would you buy for yourself? Or as we say here, which do you think is your GadgetMatch? (Mention also who you think would get the most out of the phone you used)
Rodneil: I have recently found joy in carrying smaller phones. It just feels more practical. For anyone to want the Galaxy S20 Ultra you’d have to be a combination of someone who: has money to burn, has big hands or likes big phones, and might actually need the zoom capabilities. It’s really not for everybody.
I would say the S20+ and the S20 are probably the more regular-consumer-friendly phones. If I were to choose from the three, I would most likely get the Galaxy S20+.
MJ: I’m definitely in love with the Galaxy S20. If it wasn’t for its price, I would buy it. But then again, you’re paying for a well-rounded smartphone which can do the work for you because… it’s smart. No need to download and install apps that don’t come from the Google Play Store.
Additionally, Samsung has different layers of security so if that’s one of your considerations for a smartphone, you’ll have peace of mind. All of my girl friends enjoyed the Galaxy S20, the same way I did. If they have the money to spend, I’m pretty sure they’ll buy this one, even if there are no Cloud Pink units available. You can always plaster a beautiful case!
Vincenz: If it wasn’t because of the hefty price tag, I would definitely choose the Galaxy S20 Ultra since I’m more of a camera guy. The Galaxy S20+ lacks bigger camera sensors found on the Ultra that I need in achieving my desired shots when I take it outdoors.
If I’m being practical, I’d still pick the Galaxy S20+ — the sweet spot of the Galaxy S20 series because of the display size, price tag, and overall features. The S20+ might even suit Rodneil more than I do.
Launched alongside the Galaxy S20 series is the Samsung Galaxy Flip. If you’re wondering who that’s for — then it’s Michael Josh (since he’s really the only one who can afford it lol). Kidding aside, here’s a Flip vs Moto razr video you can sink your teeth into.
adidas SL20 review: Feel like running as fast as The Flash
adidas' best running shoe so far!
Find X2 Pro review: OPPO’s finest
It deserves your attention
Which Samsung Galaxy S20 is your GadgetMatch?
Three phones, three Matchketeers
Huawei acknowledges the US ban is hindering its sales
Airbnb sets aside $250 million for hosts affected due to cancellations
adidas SL20 review: Feel like running as fast as The Flash
Singapore will make Coronavirus tracking app technology freely available
OnePlus is also launching a midrange version of OnePlus 8
Huawei’s new tech can detect COVID-19 in just seconds
5 tricks to help you sleep better at night
Huawei Nova 7i pricing and availability in the Philippines
How Globe, Smart, and PLDT are responding to COVID-19’s threat
Ghost of Tsushima is coming on June 26
Enterprise2 weeks ago
Huawei’s new tech can detect COVID-19 in just seconds
News5 days ago
Huawei P40 Series with ‘visionary photography’ now official
News2 weeks ago
Facebook launches dark mode for desktop
News2 weeks ago
Nokia maker releases a global SIM card, literally “connecting people”
Hands-On5 days ago
Huawei P40 Pro Unboxing and Complete Hands-On
News2 weeks ago
Apple’s next iPhone camera comes from NASA technology
Accessories2 weeks ago
5 reasons why you should stick to wired earphones
Enterprise1 week ago
Apple is no longer a trillion dollar company