Features

Samsung Galaxy S21 rumor roundup: Exynos vs. Snapdragon, no chargers, S Pen support

Coming early in January!

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Is it too early for a Samsung Galaxy S21 rumor roundup? Normally, Samsung’s next flagship gets its time under the spotlight starting sometime in January. However, according to some recent eager-beaver news, Samsung isn’t wasting precious time next year, potentially launching the Galaxy S21 earlier than usual. Now, besides the earlier debut, we have a charitable bag of Galaxy S21 rumors and leaks.

Here are the juiciest Galaxy S21 details you absolutely have to know:

What’s in a name?

Revealed in August, one of the earliest details about next year’s flagship revolved around the Galaxy S21’s name. For the second time in a row, Samsung is ditching the contiguous naming scheme of the previous year.

Last year, the Galaxy S20 series skipped ten numbers from the Galaxy S10 from two years ago. Before that, Samsung had always used a plus-one naming scheme for the flagship series. Now, the company is returning to the plus-one scheme, ditching a Galaxy S30 (for now).

Though the name doesn’t reveal anything about the phone’s insides, it sets a nice precedent and sets the stage for any forthcoming reports.

Exynos versus Snapdragon

Separated by months, the Galaxy S21’s processor didn’t pop up immediately after the new naming scheme’s reveal. However, because of the long-standing feud between the Exynos and Snapdragon camps, it’s important to mention the processor early.

Without the actual processors in our hands, no one knows how the two chipsets will perform in real life yet. However, early reports are presenting conflicting results. The earliest of which, coming from constant Samsung leaker Ice Universe, foretells the next Exynos falling to Snapdragon once again. As it is, it looks like business as usual for Samsung.

Strangely, the same leaker backtracked soon afterward. Now, Ice Universe claims that the Exynos 2100 will tower over the Snapdragon 875 next year. To their credit, the most recent report explicitly names the two chipsets. The previous, contrary report only mentions “next year’s Exynos 1000.”

Funny enough, the strange conundrum resolves itself. Recently, Samsung launched the Exynos 1080 chipset, a processor positioned for the midrange segment. The midrange Exynos 1080 will almost certainly fall to the Snapdragon 875’s performance. Meanwhile, the (still-unconfirmed) Exynos 2100 can still outperform Qualcomm’s chipset.

To the left, to the left

Despite its size, the Galaxy S20’s camera island is inoffensive. It’s big, but it’s fine. However, as teased by a few renders and case leaks, the Galaxy S21 is taking a completely different route. Instead of a slightly offset camera island, the upcoming flagship’s camera will flow almost seamlessly from the top-left corner.

To say the least, the new design looks… different. Current reception is mixed. While some are more welcoming toward the new design, a sizable number are decrying the size and the case’s glaring top-left vulnerability.

Charger-gate redux

One of the most controversial decisions this year, Apple recently decided to ditch the free charging adapters starting with the iPhone 12. As expected, the decision met with a lot of derision from both iPhone and Android fans. However, Apple isn’t alone in the decision.

According to some expert analysts, Samsung is following Apple’s lead this time around. Despite mocking Apple for eliminating free chargers, the company is reportedly removing their own chargers from the Galaxy S21 series.

As of the latest report, Samsung is mulling over critical decisions over its free chargers and wired earphones. The Galaxy S21 can potentially lose one or both.

The irony is strong. Further, it’s unknown how Samsung intends to defend a potential removal. For its part, Apple included its decision in its carbon-neutral plan, adding a tinge of environmental ethics to the cost-cutting measure. Samsung can always declare the same. However, the company will likely run into a lot of difficulties defending the removal if it does the same.

Goodbye, Note

Another fairly reliable rumor involves the Galaxy Note’s S Pen. Supposedly, the Galaxy S21 series will feature one variant with an included S Pen. For the first time ever, the flagship series will steal a feature usually exclusive for the premium Galaxy Note series. Out of the project four Galaxy S21 variants, the Galaxy S21 Ultra will offer the stylus (or support for it, at least).

Though relatively harmless on its own, the rumor coexists with another blockbuster rumor going into 2021: the supposed exit of the Galaxy Note series.

As early as September last year, Samsung had already hinted at a potential merging between the Galaxy S and the Galaxy Note lineups. At the time, the fusion made only little sense. The Galaxy Z series, which was poised to take over as the second main series, was only starting to grow.

Now, Samsung’s foldable segment has already grown into its own niche. Samsung can realistically merge its flat slab phones into one segment and establish a dedicated foldable lineup. Although, doing so will naturally eliminate the long-standing Galaxy Note series. But that’s another story for another time.

Early bird gets the Galaxy S21

As the roundup first starts with, the Galaxy S21 series will reportedly launch earlier than usual. For years, the Galaxy S series debuted between late February and early April. Last year’s Galaxy S20 was the earliest launch date in a while: early February.

According to substantial rumors, next year’s flagship will launch even earlier. The most reliable report pegs a January announcement for the series. However, some reports have even claimed a December date. Regardless of when exactly, it’s almost certain that the series will launch much earlier than historical expectations.

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At the moment, no one knows exactly why it’s coming out early. Some pundits, especially Samsung fans, think that introducing the Galaxy S21 will space out the year for more launch events spread throughout. Others, including a notable source, think that it aims to capitalize on market share lost by Huawei.

Regardless, we still have a little less than two months for more information to inevitably leak out. Tune in for more information ahead of the launch early next year!

Features

moto g 5G plus: Fast in more ways than one

Should this be YOUR 5G smartphone?

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Things aren’t slowing down any time soon. To keep up with the pace, Motorola gives us the moto g 5G plus — a phone that’s fast in more ways than one.

Next-gen 5G connectivity

It’s no secret that the primary draw of this phone is its 5G capability. If you find yourself suddenly needing to buy a phone, it’s best to get one that’s future-proof in terms of connectivity.

A faster connection means faster downloads both for media and for your usual browsing. It also improves latency for your online mobile games.

To make things easier for you, snapping up the moto g 5G plus gets you a free GOMO 5G sim with 25GB of data that DOES NOT EXPIRE as part of an ongoing promo that lasts up to January 31, 2021. How fast you consume that 25GB of data allocation depends entirely on your usage, but when you’re near a 5G area, this is the kind of speed you’ll get.

Take note, this particular test was done indoors and normally plays between the 90mbps to 150mbps range. 5G is real, it’s here, and it’s pretty awesome.

A smooth, speedy display

The moto g 5G plus sports a tall 6.7-inch FHD+ display with support for a 90Hz refresh rate. We can’t gush enough about how when you go to 90Hz, it’s a little hard to go back to 60Hz.

Not only is it a smoother and faster experience overall, it’s also better for your eyes. Plus, it’s extra satisfying rummaging through your crush’s Instagram posts when the screen looks and feels this smooth.

My UX is satisfyingly clean

As far as Android skins go, we think My UX is grossly underrated. There’s not a lot of bloat and it certainly feels just as snappy as vanilla Android.

The animations don’t stutter, everything feels seamless, and overall interaction with the UI and the phone just feels like an uninterrupted flow. You also get to make it your own with a few customizations here and there.

The Snapdragon 765G is no slouch

Qualcomm has managed to deliver midrange chips that can go toe-to-toe with and perhaps be even better than flagships from years past. The Snapdragon 765G housed inside the moto g 5G plus is a testament to that.

This chip won’t leave you wanting whether you’re using it to answer work emails, a quick gaming session to take a break, or browsing through Netflix’s library until you find the title you want to watch.

For a lot of people, this level of power and productivity will more than suffice.

Long-lasting battery

Here’s an aspect that you’re thankful isn’t fast — this phone promises up to two days of battery life with its 5,000mAh battery. Naturally, this will vary with your usage. In our experience, it’s a phone that won’t have you panicking in case you forget to juice it up before hitting the sack.

For filling up, the phone supports 20W TurboPower charging. That’s enough to give you a few hours of extra usage despite only charging for minutes.

Pricing and availability

The moto g 5G plus retails for PhP 16,995. As of writing, it’s the most affordable 5G-capable smartphone in the Philippines. You can snap one up at any authorized reseller nationwide. It’s also available in the Lenovo Mobile Official store in Lazada. As mentioned earlier, there’s an ongoing promo up to January 31, 2021 wherein buyers can get the moto g 5G plus bundled together with a free GOMO 5G sim with 25GB of data that DOES NOT EXPIRE. If you avail of the promo quick enough, you may also get a free Lenovo Smartwatch S2! Visit http://lenovoph.com/motog5gpluslazada for more info.


This feature is collaboration between GadgetMatch and Lenovo Mobile Philippines

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First Look

ASUS ZenBook S (UX393): Unboxing and First Impressions

Sleek, gorgeous, and sexy!

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There’s a premium laptop in town, and it’s worth your every attention. Meet the ZenBook S (UX393) — one of ASUS’s most premium headliner laptop.

In case you didn’t know, ZenBooks got all the coolest features that you can find on a laptop today. While looking fancy.

Without further ado, let’s unbox this beaut!

Bringing that sexy black

The ASUS ZenBook S UX393 landed in my home in a black box. You’ll know it’s not the usual laptop seeing how most laptops use a brown box made with sustainable materials.

Taking a peek inside, you’ll see two black boxes: one that carries the laptop and one that contains the peripherals.

There’s also a sleek, laptop sleeve!

But first, let’s take the smaller, rectangular box out. Inside, you can find a long, 65W fast charger in USB-C.

There’s also a USB-C to 3.5 mm headphone jack adapter. Yes, you read that right. This gorgeous notebook doesn’t have a headphone jack anymore.

Moving on, the bigger box carries the ever-gracious ZenBook S. But first, let’s admire how sleek and sexy the box is — in and out. With its minimal Zen-like pattern, it’s easy to be astonished at first sight. It also looks posh with its sexy black and copper-red combination, the same colors utilized by the beautiful ZenBook S.

Upon opening, you’ll find ASUS’s stamp regarding its commitment to sustainability, honoring its promise to using environment-friendly materials despite using a different color for its packaging.

Underneath the laptop, you can find the usual product guide and warranty card tucked inside a discreet envelope.

Gorgeous and stunning

Looking at the ZenBook S is like staring at a Valentino coat and Burberry underwear. You’re not sure if you need it, but you know you want it.

It maintained the iconic, off-centered logo on its lid, with a spun-metal finish, embellished with its prominent Zen-like concentric circular patterns.

Its luxurious Jade Black finish is accentuated with subtle Red-Copper diamond-cut edges, certainly leaving quite an impression — whether it’s you looking or the one showing it off.

On its sides, the ZenBook S demonstrated a design made for people on-the-go. It has a full-size HDMI, USB Type-A ports, MicroSD card reader, and Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports.

These Thunderbolt ports support fast charging, 4K UHD external displays, and up to 40Gbps of data transfers.

First impressions

The ZenBook S embodies ASUS’s philosophy when it comes to premium laptops. Just the way it looks, it’s pretty clear that it’s meant to be fancy, smart, and glamorous.

ASUS also brings in innovative features — an ergonomic backlit keyboard design, function keys that make navigating easier, and the NumberPad 2.0 which makes the touchpad work as an LED numeric keypad, too.

For the price it commands, it’s certainly convenient and secure to use. With Windows Hello, your face is your password! The front infrared (IR) camera recognizes your face in seconds and lets you log in instantly and securely.

The ZenBook S also sports ASUS’s proprietary NanoEdge display albeit with a taller 3:2 aspect ratio and a 3300×2200 resolution touchscreen.

Its screen has a Pantone-validated color accuracy, as well, making it an excellent choice for budding creatives. Coupled with Intel’s Evo platform powered by an Intel Core i7 processor, it runs any software seamlessly while you multitask for an efficient workflow.

Price and availability

The ASUS ZenBook S (UX393) is like meeting someone and falling in love at first sight. There’s so much to explore, and you can’t keep your hands off it. That’s what the experience with the ZenBook S felt like.

And for a flagship headliner, we know this laptop still has a lot of surprises on its sleeves. It currently retails for PhP 99,990.

More details on the ZenBook S here.


This feature is a collaboration between GadgetMatch and ASUS Philippines.

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Laptops

ASUS ZenBook Flip S (UX371EA) Unboxing & First Look

Premium 2-in-1

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ZenBook Flip S

ASUS is always coming out with head-turning devices, but the ASUS ZenBook Flip S might just be the one that really grabs your attention. Let’s take a look at it!

There’s nothing particularly striking about the box. 

And this one’s pretty beat up when we got it, but that happens. Everything on the inside is fine.

Jumping straight to the contents — here’s the power brick.

It’s USB-C so it can also charge your smartphone — so long as it also has a USB-C port.

You also get a USB to LAN cable and a USB-C to 3.5mm audio jack cable. 

ZenBook Flip S

Opening the inner box reveals the laptop plus some product information. 

ZenBook Flip S

Digging in a little further, you’ll see it comes with a pen. 

It’s worth noting that there’s no holster on the laptop for the stylus. You’re gonna have to keep it safe at all times and store it somewhere in your bag or your pocket to make sure you don’t lose it.

And the usual manual and warranty card. 

ZenBook Flip S

Ta-dah! Here’s the ASUS ZenBook Flip S. 

With that patented concentric circle design originating from the ASUS logo. Nice and sleek.

Like plenty of ASUS laptops, the screenpad also doubles as the numpad. 

ZenBook Flip S

Over on the right side are the power button and the USB-A port. 

And on the left, an HDMI port along with two USB-C ports. 

The fun thing about 2-in-1s is that you can spread it out like this. 

ZenBook Flip S

It’s a bending ability that we recently realize can come in handy.

You can, of course, use it as a regular laptop. 

ZenBook Flip S

But there’s also this tent mode perfect for consuming media.

ZenBook Flip S

Then, there’s tablet mode which works nicely for something like this that’s relatively light. 

Shin Ryujin 💗

You are working with an OLED touch screen so that’s fantastic for your eyes. 

ZenBook Flip S

Not Shy about stalking ITZY’s IG page.

The keys on the keyboard though are a tad smaller than we’d like. 

ZenBook Flip S

It might take a few hours to a few days to really get used to the keys. They just seem off by a fraction of a millimeter but it does make a difference. No complaints on key travel though, just the size of the keys.

Inside it is the latest 11th Generation Intel Core i7 processor and Intel Iris X graphics, combined with up to 16GB of RAM and up to a 1TB PCIe 3.0 x4 SSD. That means it can practically handle most regular office tasks. It’s actually overpowered for that kind of work.

After about a week of usage, we can say this can power through a regular workday and then some. You’ll have enough juice to watch an episode or two as you wind down for the day.

It retails for PhP 94,995 and could possibly be the sexiest piece of tech you can own.

More details on the ZenBook Flip S here.


This feature is a collaboration between GadgetMatch and ASUS Philippines

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