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

Lifestyle

Shelter dogs get their portraits taken for a good cause

All shot with a smartphone!

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This was not your ordinary smartphone photo session.

In the wake of the Chinese New Year and with the start of the year of the dog, a special project was born. Famed animal photographer Ernest Goh took portraits of dogs with his iPhone X. But, these are not just any dogs.

These photographs show the everyday lives of dogs in shelters. Ernest explains the story behind these pictures:

“The images give a glimpse of the life of a sheltered dog. From morning runs to stretch their paws to lazy naps in the afternoons to moments of joy when a visitor comes to the shelter. Chinese New Year is about celebration, but what is a celebration without the company of loved ones. Ask any dog owner and he or she will tell you their dog is very much part of the family. Sheltered dogs are not so lucky to have a family so more importantly, this photo-story goes to anyone who would like to get a pet dog this year — do consider adopting sheltered dogs!”

Mutts and Mittens, an animal shelter, explains that there are hundreds of cats and dogs living in shelters in Singapore. It’s their hope that this series of photos will be able to show the world the plight of these lovable creatures and hopefully inspire people to adopt these pets.

See the rest of the photos below:

In an effort to find these gentle creatures homes, Mutts and Mittens will also be having an adoption drive. (Details on their Facebook Page)

It seems that the iPhone X’s Portrait Mode worked wonders even on non-person subjects. What’s more wonderful, however, is how this whole project came together because of well-meaning people and simple technology.

SEE ALSO: These TIME covers were all shot from iPhones

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Laptops

Acer Spin 5 hands-on: What goes around, comes around

Yes, it spins!

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These days, we use technology in a number of different ways for our many different needs. It would only make sense that we’d need a machine that will cater to all our modern-day whims.

Acer’s Spin 5 may just be that machine.

Aside from the sleek metal body, powerful speakers, and touchscreen LCD, my favorite feature remain to be this special feature.

The Acer Spin 5 may look like your typical laptop

It’s equipped the latest Intel Core i5-8520U processor and an Intel Graphics 620 card. It runs on Windows 10 and has8GB of memory, and 256GB SSD.

But it’s called “Spin” for a reason

Yep, you can flip it…

… and reverse it.

Its 13.3-inch 1080p LCD is perfect for showing off things to a friend or presentations at work. There are two USB 3.0 ports, a USB-C, an HDMI port, an SD card reader, and even an audio port.

You can use it as a tablet

Great for binge-watching your shows — or your favorite tech channel. 😉 The speakers on this thing are always perfectly positioned, no matter what angle it’s in.are

… and even draw on it with the Acer pen!

It works seamlessly with this device! The Acer Active stylus has sensors which means you can draw with different stroke thickness, depending on how much pressure you apply. There’s also a “palm rejection” feature which assures undisturbed scribbling when the pen is on.

Best of all, you can share the whole experience with friends

The more the merrier!

Acer’s Spin 5 is one versatile device. Designed for your everyday hustle, this 360-degree notebook will adapt to your every need.

Yep, a definite all-around machine.

 
SEE ALSO: Acer Spin 5 Review: Long-lasting and full-powered


This feature was produced in collaboration between GadgetMatch and Acer.

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Lifestyle

Facebook rolls out new Lists feature

Have you tried this out?

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In an effort to get its users to post more personal stuff on their platform, Facebook has decided to roll out a new feature. Introducing: Lists!

It’s a pretty straightforward feature which allows users to make lists (and check them twice!) for sharing on the website.

You can find this option (if you already have it) on the status bar as one of the options. After ticking “List,” you’re given the option to pick from popular topics which include “Reasons I love my friends,” or “Movies I want to see.” You can also just create a list with your own title.

You can add as many as 10 items on each list and, in true Facebook fashion, you can even change the background color.

This feature comes after Facebook’s big algorithm change. Zuckerberg explained that “the first changes you’ll see will be in News Feed, where you can expect to see more from your friends, family and groups.” This feature is definitely looking like a step in that direction.

SEE ALSO: 161 new emoji are coming in 2018

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