Lifestyle

Samsung Galaxy J7+ hands-on review

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Samsung’s firm belief in the saying “the more, the merrier” stands true as yet another phone is launched under the J7 banner. This saying also applies to the number of cameras on their phones: The Samsung Galaxy J7+ is Samsung’s second dual-camera phone and this time, you don’t have to shell out US$ 1,000 to own it.

The phone looks good

With a 5.5-inch AMOLED display, the Galaxy J7+’s screen wows.


Samsung Galaxy J7+ AMOLED screen

This also means you get an Always On display which can be pretty useful, TBH.

The screen is bright and the images look crisp. The phone is pretty responsive — it does well for a midrange phone —  though it’s obviously not as snappy as flagship devices, but that is to be expected.

And it feels good, too

Samsung Galaxy J7+ back details

It has a good weight and an aluminum body which means it’s a delight to hold — I don’t like light and plastic-y phones as they usually tend to feel cheap.

Speaker grilles are still at that spot we love

That spot is at the top-right side of the phone, above the power button.

Samsung Galaxy J7+ speaker grille

Marvin and Dan have raved about this speaker placement, but I never really appreciated it until I used the phone. Clear audio all the way, and no issues with accidentally covering speakers way up there, even when I’m on the phone while lying in bed.

Still pretty old school with a micro-USB and (yay!) audio jack

It’s 2017 and while I’d love to see USB-C in new devices, it’s still pretty common for more affordable phones such as the Galaxy J7+ to have a micro-USB port.

Samsung Galaxy J7+ micro usb port

The chin of the phone houses a physical home button with a built-in fingerprint scanner which unlocks the phone in a second. There are two capacitive buttons (back and recent apps) to the sides of the home button.

More choices with a dual-SIM slot

Again, the more the merrier! Two nano-SIM cards can be inserted on the phone, with one convertible slot that can house a microSD card for added storage as much as 256GB.

Samsung Galaxy J7+ sim card tray

The volume buttons are on the top-right of the phone.

Of course, there’s the dual-cam rear setup

The rear packs 13- and 5-megapixel shooters, the latter camera designed to capture depth on photos.

Here are a few test shots:

Samsung Galaxy J7+ SAMPLE PHOTO

The Galaxy J7+ cameras prove to be very capable with photos coming out with great color and detail in normal daylight scenarios.

Samsung Galaxy J7+ SAMPLE PHOTO

The phone was even able to capture my dog in this pose — and doggies are rarely very still!

Samsung Galaxy J7+ SAMPLE PHOTO

Another new feature that comes to the Galaxy J7+ is its Live Focus view, which allows you to adjust the bokeh or blur on a particular photo during or even after the photo had been taken. I’ve tried this mode on the Galaxy Note 8 and it’s a pretty fun feature!

Unfortunately, because this is a pre-production unit and some bugs are to be expected, I wasn’t able to try the mode out on this phone. The photos I took were tagged as “processing,” and this went on for a long time. After 30 minutes of waiting, I still couldn’t edit or open them.

The selfie camera is cool, too

This phone’s front-facing camera is a 16-megapixel shooter and has a built-in beauty mode which allows you to slim down your face, smoothen it out, adjust skin tone, or even increase your eye size.

Samsung Galaxy J7+ SAMPLE PHOTO

There are also bundled stamps and stickers that make for the cutest selfies, and if you’re not impressed, well then you’re missing out on some serious millennial fun. I will never tire of these Samsung filters!

Here are more sample shots from the front and rear cameras:

All other things worth noting

The Samsung Galaxy J7+ is powered by a MediaTek Helio P20 processor with 4GB of RAM and 32GB of expandable storage. I had no issues running multiple apps and games that aren’t so heavy, like Stranger Things and Plants vs Zombies, played smoothly. A single charge on its 3000mAh battery lasted me a whole day’s worth of use.

Samsung Galaxy j7+ dual-camera

At the end of the day, the Samsung Galaxy J7+ is good for what it is: a midrange smartphone with good cameras on it.

Using the Samsung Galaxy J7+

This dual-camera phone comes at a way cheaper price point than the other dual-camera Samsung alternative (the Galaxy Note 8), but it’s worth noting that there are other phones in the market with specs that rival this for even less.

For those who know and love the Samsung brand, however, it’s a no-brainer. If you’re looking for a Samsung smartphone and only a Samsung, this may be the dual-cam handset for you.

The Samsung Galaxy J7+ retails for PhP 19,990 in the Philippines and THB 12,900 in Thailand.

SEE ALSO: Samsung Galaxy J7+ launches in the Philippines

[irp posts=”21809" name=”Samsung’s Galaxy J7+ ad will give you all the feels”]

Her GadgetMatch

Taylor Swift and Katy Perry made up and Twitter is not calm

Peace at last

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Pop queen and LGBT ally Taylor Swift just dropped the music video for her new pop anthem You Need to Calm Down and unsurprisingly, the fans cannot calm down. The star-studded video features queer icons like Laverne Cox, Ellen de Generes, Adam Rippon, and Queer Eye’s Fab Five living their fabulous lives despite the anti-gay protests in front of them.

The surprise that shook us and the internet, albeit many eagle-eyed speculated last week, is a Katy Perry cameo.


In case you’ve been living under a rock, the two pop stars had a years-long public feud that eventually ended when Katy extended an olive branch last year, by sending Taylor an actual olive branch.

The music video is their first public reunion, and Katycats and Swifties all over are having a Twitter party:

We’ll tell all our grandchildren one day.

Bless.

Can’t calm down.

Anyone having an awful year so far can relate.

Took the words out of my mouth.

Same.

War is over, if you want it.

*orders McDonald’s*

Give us what we need!

There are many important moments in the whole video but this one featuring drag queens as this era’s pop queens is for everyone who take pleasure in pitting women against each other.

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Automotive

A Father’s Day drive up north

Story time!

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We recently got the Ranger Raptor for the second time to use at this year’s STV ARCC and represent Ford Philippines. And since we had a free day before the event itself happened, I decided to use it and take out my dad along with my brother for a road trip. Good thing Mom had an errand to do that day!

Dad wanted to visit a certain theme park restaurant north of Metro Manila so I agreed and went for it. We already brought the Raptor to a 4×4 route for some off-road action, so now we go for long, paved roads with hungry stomachs.


That’s Dad, my brother Kiefer, and me on the road

After four hours of driving from the south, past the traffic metro, and all the way up north, we reached our destination. The place is called Isdaan Floating Restaurant and it’s at the municipality of Talavera in Nueva Ecija in the Philippines. “Isdaan,” when translated, means “fishery” so it already paints you a picture of what to expect. The restaurant is hard to miss as it has a wide, inviting facade fronted with sculptures.

The staff greeted us with a warm welcome and led us to our private floating nipa hut with koi fish swimming around and under us. Looking at the menu, there were lots of choices from appetizers, meat, seafood obviously, and even specialties that you don’t usually see in city restaurants.

“Guarding” the floating nipa huts

We got Bicol Express (spicy stew), Sinigang na Liempo (pork belly soup), and Binukadkad na Plapla (butterflied fish) from the menu. One of their signatures is a Boat Special. Basically, they offer select dishes in a long sizzling plate mounted on a wooden counter-top that resembles a boat. This was how Bicol Express was served which greatly added to the presentation value.

Food was really great especially the soup. While the service wasn’t too snappy and could definitely be improved, the food compensated for it. It has that home-cooked taste that hits the spot after a long drive.

After eating, we decided to walk around the area and check out the theme park side of the place. There were giant statues everywhere — from the Charging Bull similar to New York’s, Big Buddha of Phuket, and even prehistoric dinosaurs. It does make for great photo opportunities as you’ll see in the following photos.

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Apart from the gigantic and humorous characters, another attraction to find here is a corner to vent out all your pent-up emotions. For a reasonable price, you can choose objects like those plates or coffee mugs that you can smash onto the wall. If you ask me, I feel it’s a bit out of place in this family-friendly restaurant but it still does make the place unique.

Those are all fun but what usually entices people to visit this place is the fact that you can dip your feet in this shallow pond and have large koi fish swimming in between your legs. It might sound weird and it’s probably not for everyone, but the novelty of being able to do it was actually fun.

These koi quickly gather around you as you go near the water

Caught this little guy trying to nibble on his watch

Can’t leave the place without this obligatory shot!

After all the photos were taken and a few minor mishaps (one of us slipping trying to get in with the fish, not telling who), we were ready to go back home. It was another four hours inside the Raptor and we ended up exchanging stories and laughing our way through the expressways while the truck was mostly on cruise control. It was definitely a trip to remember.

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Her GadgetMatch

5 coolest Airbnb places you can rent in Tagaytay

For when you want to escape Manila’s heat

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Image credit: Airbnb

Tagaytay is one destination you can visit when you’re looking for a weekend getaway. It’s popular for its cold weather, picture-worthy cafes, and an overlooking view of Taal Volcano, the world’s smallest active volcano. In addition, it’s just a two-hour drive away from Manila.

If you’re planning to stay in this city for a couple of days, here are our top five Airbnb rentals:


Dalton’s Lakeview Point

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Dalton’s Lakeview Point is a stylish, modern-themed Airbnb. It’s spacious enough to fit groups up to six people, and its artistic interior design gives you that cozy and calming feeling. Stay here when you want a refreshing view of Taal Lake.

Book it here.

Nordic Jewel

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Couples might enjoy staying at Nordic Jewel, a Scandinavian-inspired Airbnb located in Tagaytay Prime Residences. Despite being small, every corner is Instagrammable. If that doesn’t convince you, let me tell you this: Small spaces make you closer with a person. Now go and have a good time with the love of your life!

Book it here.

Unit 217, Tower 1, Wind Residences

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Even though it looks like a hotel room, Unit 217 in Tower 1, Wind Residences exudes an elegant, contemporary vibe. Its yellow accents give life in this Airbnb’s dominantly black and white design, and its patio invites you to relax and take a peek outside. This is perfect for those who want to feel that hotel vibe with a touch of the usual bed and breakfast.

Book it here.

Chalet de Tagaytay

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If you want to retreat from the hustle-bustle of life, Chalet de Tagaytay is a rustic Airbnb that oozes privacy. Perched on a mountainside, it has the perfect view of Taal Lake for when you want to contemplate about life. Take the time to forget the world and your problems, and just relax during your stay.

Book it here.

Windsor Vacation House

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Windsor Vacation House is the perfect place for get-togethers. It’s spacious enough to let everyone have their own space, and every corner is definitely picture-worthy. Next time you have an occasion to celebrate, bring your families and friends here for a wonderful experience. It can comfortably fit people up to 12 people, and it’s guaranteed you’ll make new memories with a beautiful Airbnb like this!

Book it here.

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