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After all those rumors and leaks, Samsung has finally unveiled the latest Galaxy Note 20 series. Just like last year’s Galaxy Note 10 series, you have the option to choose between two models. Albeit this time, the ‘Plus’ (+) variant gets upgraded to a more power-packed ‘Ultra’ — similar to this year’s Galaxy S20 Ultra.

The Galaxy Note series may not be for everyone but don’t fret, Samsung has made the lower Galaxy Note 20 variant more accessible to those who want the Note features without all the bells and whistles.

Meanwhile, the Note 20 Ultra is meant for the loyalists and consumers who want the best in their smartphone — with the special addition of Samsung’s revolutionary S-Pen.

There are some cuts that make the Note 20 cheaper than its bigger sibling, but at the end of the day, it all boils down to what you prefer the most.

Head over to our latest video about the Galaxy Note 20 by clicking here.

Reviews

OPPO A55 review: Just the basics

Will teach you resource management

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OPPO A55

I did something pretty stupid while setting up the OPPO A55 for review. I copied all the settings and apps from my main Android phone which is the flagship OPPO Find X3 Pro. Predictably, the phone slowed down. But there’s one thing I realized — I had been living in excess.

Perhaps this is the most important lesson I learned during my time with the OPPO A55 — that I can get plenty of the things I need even with just a budget phone.

To get the OPPO A55, which is powered by the MediaTek MT6765G Helio G35 (with 4GB RAM, 64GB storage), to optimum performance, I proceeded to uninstall apps I barely use. It took a while but I was able to narrow down the apps I normally use. They are as follows:

Work/Productivity: 

  • GMail
  • Google Docs
  • Google Keep
  • Slack
  • Messenger
  • Telegram

Yes, three messaging apps under productivity because I handle plenty of comms for work both internally and externally. It’s this part of my job that saps my social battery the most.

Entertainment/Leisure:

  • YouTube
  • Netflix
  • TikTok

TikTok has become the app I use the most as I try to tire myself to sleep. It’s not the healthiest of habits but it’s been keeping me sane. There’s plenty of content here that’s littered with misinformation but that’s a topic for another time. Like most other social feeds, you can teach its algorithm to show you only the stuff you want to see. For me, that means an abundance of videos about K-Pop super group TWICE.

OPPO A55

I’ve also been taking a trip down memory lane and started rewatching Season 1 of The Flash CW TV Series as well as the Cowboy Bebop animé as a palate cleanser from the unsavory after taste of the Netflix live action adaptation of the show.

Social Media: 

  • Twitter
  • Instagram

OPPO A55

Notably missing is Facebook. I’m sure most people use the app and you’ll have no trouble running it on top of all the apps I’ve already mentioned. It was a conscious decision on my part to skip Facebook for my sanity’s sake.

On Instagram I mostly just browse photos related to the K-Pop girl groups. And on Twitter, I’m mostly on my burner account ranting about life. All activities just to keep myself sane, somehow.

Just the apps I need

OPPO A55

Our set of apps could look very different, but I feel like the ones I mentioned above are pretty common and should resemble most people’s most used apps. I didn’t really do much mobile gaming on the phone but the games I play most — Call of Duty: Mobile, Marvel Future Revolution, and Dragon Quest Dai were all installed and ran smoothly albeit on low graphics settings.

There are some pre-installed apps and there’s not a lot you can do about them. Regardless, it’s still a fine exercise in managing resources whenever you’re using a budget smartphone. You can get a lot done, but you have to keep an eye out on your memory and storage, lest you run the risk of slowing the phone down.

Looks pretty basic too

Not that basic is a bad thing. In fact, plenty of people still prefer this “classic black” look. On the right hand  side you’ll find the power button.

OPPO A55

Over on the left side are the volume buttons as well as the SIM tray.

OPPO A55

On the bottom are the usual speaker grilles, USB-C port, and 3.5mm jack.

OPPO A55

Nothing too fancy, it’s pretty easy to grip, and just has the OPPO logo at the back.

OPPO A55

Decent snappers

OPPO A55

The OPPO A55 has a 50MP main camera and almost negligible 2MP for macro, and another 2MP for depth. You also have a 16MP selfie camera which I also didn’t get to use.

That said, I mainly stuck to using the main camera. Like most phones today, you won’t have many issues shooting under bright natural light. It’s also not gonna wow you with super detailed images, but I never expected it to.

OPPO A55

This was taken with on just normal mode. Even the camera sensors on budget smartphones are good enough to produce clean, bokeh-licious shots like this.

OPPO A55

Food shots don’t look as appetizing but it’s easy to make this pop with the right post-processing which you should do. “No-filter” is overrated.

Too much oil for my liking, but it this does look kinda appetizing.

The struggles come in night and low-light scenarios.

OPPO A55

라면 먹을래? Want to have ramyeon?

I never really expected much from the cameras. In fact, I’d say what you see with the samples above are par for the course for any budget smartphone no matter the megapixel count they slap on it.

Battery life and everything else

Sporting a 5,000mAh battery with support for 18W wired charging, while not supporting any exorbitant features, you’ll squeeze out a decent usage time from the OPPO A55.

Its 6.51-inch IPS LCD screen doesn’t demand much, and the processor is pretty efficient as well. You should be able to go through your usual day with the phone and not need to charge during the day unless you’re a heavy mobile gamer.

For general usage, it’s perfectly normal and delivers on your needs and basic wants.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

OPPO A55

The OPPO A55 nails the basics. There’s nothing exceptionally good or terribly bad about the phone. It’s the type of device you pick up because you just have to have a smartphone these days.

It’s fairly limited in what it can do and will force flagship users like myself to learn to manage a phone’s resources better. But if budget or lower midrange is all you’ve known, this is a pretty decent pick-up.It retails for PhP 9,999 and is available in OPPO retail stores, partner dealers and e-commerce platforms Shopee and Lazada.

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Deals

Xiaomi launches All I Want for Christmas promo

Get an adorable toy and more

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With the Holiday season just around the corner, Xiaomi is showcasing an exclusive Mi Bunny plushie on top of awesome freebies for their All I Want for Christmas promo.

From November 13, 2021 to January 14, 2021, customers will be able to get either the adorable plush toy or freebie bundles with a purchase of any of the following products: Xiaomi 11T Series, Xiaomi 11 Lite 5G NE, Mi 11 Lite, and the Xiaomi Pad 5.

The Xiaomi 11T and Xiaomi 11T Pro are the content creator’s ultimate companion. Both have high resolution cameras and a suite of AI-powered tools, including impressive filmography capabilities for “cinemagic” results.

The Xiaomi 11 Lite 5G NE, meanwhile, comes with a 6.55” AMOLED DotDisplay and 10-bit TrueColor support for ultra-vivid display. There are also four color choices:Snowflake While, Truffle Black, Bubblegum Blue, and Peach Pink.

The Mi 11 Lite combines substance and style with its optimized 16MP main camera that is best for low-light conditions with Night Mode — enabling users to take stunning images with higher brightness, sharper contrast and enhanced detail.

Xiaomi Pad 5

Lastly, the Xiaomi Pad 5 is the versatile and portable workstation that can boost one’s productivity with premium features.

Here are the following packages:

PURCHASE FREEBIES
Xiaomi 11T

  • 128 GB: PhP 21,990
  • 256 GB: PhP 24,990
Mi Bunny worth PhP 922

Mi Eco Bag worth PhP 480

Xiaomi 11T Pro

  • 8GB + 256GB: PhP 27,990
  • 12GB + 256GB: PhP 29,990
Mi Eco Bag worth PhP 480

Mi Bluetooth Speaker worth PhP 3,250

Xiaomi 11 Lite 5G NE

  • 128 GB: PhP 18,990
Mi Bunny worth PhP 922

Mi Eco Bag worth PhP 480

Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite

  • 128 GB: PhP 14,990
Mi Bunny worth PhP 922

Mi Eco Bag worth PhP 480

Xiaomi Pad 5

  • 6 GB + 128 GB: PhP 17,990
  • 6 GB + 256 GB: PhP 19,990
Mi Pad magnetic case worth PhP 1,500

Visit the Xiaomi Philippines official stores in Lazada and Shopee. More exclusive deals also await for Xiaomi devices in their Lazada and Shopee Global stores. You can also follow the official Xiaomi Facebook page to stay up to date on more deals and new products.

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News

Upcoming Snapdragon chipset scores 1000000 on AnTuTu

Unconfirmed chip model and phone

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Smartphone chipsets are already reaching new heights because of advancing technology. Because of rapidly improving performance, benchmark tests, which started years and years ago, can now put up astronomical numbers. Now, as 2022 comes knocking, the first set of chipsets have reached a score of 1000000 on AnTuTu.

Leaked on Weibo, an unknown smartphone has reportedly scored 1035020 on AnTuTu. The smartphone supposedly sports the upcoming Snapdragon 8 Gen1 chipset. The score does not hint which brand made the smartphone. If anything, Lenovo did confirm that it is not a Motorola smartphone. For all we know, it could be Qualcomm’s own device.

Qualcomm has not confirmed which brands are set to receive the chipsets first. The company hasn’t even announced the upcoming chipset yet. Recently, Qualcomm confirmed that the chipset series will get a big rebranding going forward. It will drop the “Qualcomm Snapdragon” naming scheme and the triple-digit numbering system. The brand is set to launch the next series sometime before the end of the year.

Of course, though the Snapdragon series did reach a milestone by achieving a 1000000+ score on the popular benchmarking test, Qualcomm isn’t the only company to do so. The MediaTek Dimensity 9000 also reached the same heights in tests.

With the benchmark test already blazing through numbers, one has to wonder whether AnTuTu (or any other test, for that matter) needs to redefine their scoring system.

SEE ALSO: Snapdragon improves four chipsets for the midrange

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