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”]

Automotive

Ford Ranger Raptor: A gentle beast

Power that comes with comfort

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When I began learning how to drive, I practiced with a bulky, under-powered pickup truck. Needless to say, it wasn’t a joyride. However, the added difficulty made driving smaller and simpler cars a breeze down the road, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

If I were to replicate that experience today, it would be near impossible. Not only are pickup trucks more advanced and comfortable than ever, they are also comparable to premium sedans and SUVs. Case in point: Ford’s newest Ranger Raptor is a gentle beast.


My unit came in Arctic White; other options are red, black, gray, and blue

There’s nothing subtle about the Raptor. Its towering build and robust front have an imposing presence no matter where it’s taken. Ford claims it’s the first factory-ready, high-speed off-road performance truck. In other words, you can go straight from the dealership to the mountains if you’re itching for action.

For comparison, the Raptor is 150mm wider and 50mm taller than the regular Ranger. This leads to a ground clearance of 283mm and a water wading capacity of 850mm. Combined with the 33-inch all-terrain tires and 2.5-inch Fox racing shocks, you don’t have to do much customization to make this machine battle-ready.

The massive FORD logo is part of the Raptor’s DNA

While all these make for a powerful ride, what’s even more impressive is how the Raptor babies its driver and passengers. Never have I felt this comfy in a truck before. Prior to this, I drove an Everest which I’d confidently consider on par with the Raptor’s ease of use — that says a lot.

In addition, Ford’s SYNC system is in place for music playback from any phone, navigation, and simple voice commands. If you need more functionality, you may connect your smartphone through Android Auto or Apple CarPlay. Every other feature is reachable through the vast number of buttons on the steering wheel.

The 8-inch touchscreen is at the center of all your controls

The red mark at the top of the steering wheels acts as a guide when you’re busy driving

With 213PS from the 2.0-liter bi-turbo diesel engine, accompanied by 500Nm of torque and a 10-speed automatic transmission, Ford isn’t kidding when they call this a “super truck.”

I had several days to put this machine to the test, and keeping it on safe asphalt wouldn’t do it justice, so my team took it to off-road trails fit for, well, a Raptor.

BFGoodrich’s all-terrain tires are equipped on every unit

We crossed rivers, handled 35-degree inclines and declines, and sped up whenever we could. Unsurprisingly, nothing fazed the Raptor. It always felt like it had more power to deliver, asking me to challenge it even more. It was certainly tempting, especially since the truck made me feel so safe throughout the drive.

On top of the standard 2WD and 4WD modes, the Raptor offers six presets that can be activated depending on your needs. There’s normal mode, sport mode for improved steering response and acceleration, Baja mode for high-speed off-road driving, grass/gravel/snow mode for slippery terrains, mud/sand mode for better handling, and rock mode for increased control over unpredictable rocks.

Engaging any of the performance modes takes only a few button presses

At the same time, the Raptor is such a smooth ride on city streets. I logged in hundreds of kilometers on it, and there wasn’t a single stretch that I wished I was inside another car. Sure, parking wasn’t a breeze in this thing — although it does come with a handy rear camera assist — but its imposing height and bright LED headlamps kept the Raptor visible from any distance.

If I were to nitpick, my only gripes would be the finicky Bluetooth connectivity for smartphones and lack of compartments around the cockpit. These, however, are common issues with most vehicles I’ve had the pleasure of driving.

More than anything, the Raptor is simply a stunner. I had never felt this confident going from point A to point B, and looking good while doing so. Every stop along the way deserved its own photo shoot.

My team can definitely attest to that.

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Lifestyle

Lify is the smart tea brewer you need in your life

Road to wellness starts here

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While at first glance, Lify looks like a Nespresso machine for tea, it’s so much more than that. This Hong Kong-based startup hopes to make a dent in the wellness space, offering products that leverage generations of Chinese know-how on the health effects of herbal tea.

From an app that recommends blends based on your current state of mind and body, to a curated selection of quality teas, to sustainable well-designed products — Lify might be the next big thing in wellness.



Global Sources Consumer Electronics is the world’s largest electronics sourcing show bridging suppliers and resellers. For more information visit GlobalSources.com.

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Hands-On

Huawei P30 hands-on: All the cool features applied in real life

How zoomed in is zoomed in?

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After all the “oohs” and “ahhs,” and as the dust settles from Huawei’s flagship launch, the question is: What’s so great about the Huawei P30? And no, I don’t want to hear any specs.

To answer this question, I road tested the Huawei P30 to see just what it can do and how I can use those features in real life.


In case you’re having trouble viewing, watch HERE.

SEE ALSO: Selfie and posing tips from Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach

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