Galaxy S23 Ultra Galaxy S23 Ultra

Buyer's Guide

Buyer’s Guide: Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

Things to consider before committing



So, you’re looking at the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra. You kind of want it but didn’t jump the gun during the pre-order period. Now, you’re still eyeing it, but you’re undecided. Well, you came to the right place. 

We used the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra for a few weeks. Enough time to figure out if it’s your GadgetMatch or not. So, we’re listing down things you might want to ask yourself before splurging. 

Do you like big phones?

Galaxy S23 Ultra

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra feels massive to hold. The 6.8-inch display listing is not at all an accurate representation of how it feels holding the phone. For comparison, the HONOR Magic5 Pro has a 6.81-inch display. But since both its display and back panel curve to the side, it feels easier to hold. Meanwhile, the Galaxy S23 Ultra is a boxy behemoth. 

You’ll likely want to buy a case to protect the phone and that will add to its overall bulk. If you can, drop by your nearest Samsung experience store to get a feel of the phone for yourself to gauge if it’s something you don’t mind lugging around for the next couple of years. 

How do you feel about ONE UI?

Galaxy S23 Ultra

While you’re at it, play around with ONE UI. That’s the Android wrapper that Samsung puts on top of Android 13. Many tech bros aren’t too fond of ONE UI. Personally, I don’t think it’s as bad as some make it out to be. Sure, it’s not the snappiest, but it’s pretty easy to get used to. 

This is completely a matter of preference, and you can always switch things up by changing themes or using a different launcher. But swipe around and see for yourself if ONE UI is something you’re okay with. 

Will you ever use the S Pen? 

Galaxy S23 Ultra

I was a huge fan of the Galaxy Note series when it first came out. The Galaxy SXX Ultra has become the spiritual successor of the line. It’s literally the Note in everything but name. 

Back then, I thought I liked the Note because of the S Pen. But as the line kept going, I found less and less use for the S Pen. Turns out, I liked the Note not because of the S Pen but because of the massive screen. I’m a heavy media consumer and consider big screens a boon. 

Now, I’m not saying the S Pen isn’t useful. It’s just that, personally, I don’t think it’s for me. So, that’s the question you have to ask yourself: Is the S Pen something you see yourself using regularly? 

I’ve had this conversation several times with Lea of UnboxPH. For her part, she uses the S Pen a lot for signing PDFs. I’ve also had a couple of friends who have taken full advantage of its art applications, doodling here or there whenever possible. 

Think about your smartphone usage and see if there’s something you’re already doing that can be elevated with the help of the S Pen. 

How much videos and music do you consume?

Galaxy S23 Ultra

STAYC’s Isa is 😍

The Galaxy S23 Ultra is one helluva media consumption machine. The gorgeous and large display is perfect for watching literally anything and everything. And the speakers are also easily one of the best on ANY smartphone right now. 

It’s the perfect media machine, except it does put a strain on your hand after a while. But that didn’t stop me from watching the “Teddy Bear” fancam of STAYC Isa on loop. 

Are you a mobile gamer?

Galaxy S23 Ultra

Whether casual or hardcore, you would be pleased to know that the Galaxy S23 Ultra should be able to handle any sort of gaming. Samsung even made a point of highlighting this in their presentation. Mobile gaming is on the rise, especially in many parts of Asia, and Samsung made sure that their latest and greatest slate is up to the task. 

Although, I’ve never really encountered anyone who’s eyed the Galaxy SXX Ultra for gaming purposes. Self-proclaimed gamers tend to go for the more actual gaming-centric phones. That said, the Galaxy S23 Ultra is plenty capable whether you’re just passing time on Subway Surfers or you’re looking to be the MVP in a Mobile Legends match.

Do you REALLY like colors that POP in photos?

Galaxy S23 Ultra

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra has a fantastic set of cameras. Easily one of the best today. Samsung likes to punch-up the contrast on their photos. They don’t do it as much now, but it’s still there.

You know what? Just take a look at these samples so you can decide for yourself. 



30X Zoom


1X | 10X | 30X


Portrait and selfies



Will you take plenty of videos?

Galaxy S23 Ultra

When it comes to smartphone videos, most of us in the team still think the iPhone is king. But the Galaxy S23 Ultra might just be the closest thing in terms of overall quality. 

Here’s a video that was taken entirely using the Galaxy S23 Ultra. 

@gadgetmatch 29Rooms is an experiential funhouse and it was an absolute blast to experience. Here’s a quick look #ShotOnGalaxy S23 Ultra. More info on #artinstallation #art #galaxys23ultra #samsunggalaxy #galaxys23ultra #galaxys23 ♬ original sound – GadgetMatch

If you’re curious about the zooming capabilities in a rather dark environment, here’s a quick sample too. 

The Galaxy S23 Ultra is also home to plenty of video features. The portrait video is particularly fun. You get the usual “bokeh” effect but there are also other filters like Color Point and Glitch.

You also have to consider storage if you fancy using the Galaxy S23 Ultra as a video-taking tool. Videos take up A LOT of space. You’d want to get the 512GB variant if you’re gonna make videos regularly.

Do you need a smartphone that charges fast?

Because the Galaxy S23 Ultra isn’t exactly blazing fast in this department. At least not against some of the other flagships already available as of writing. 

Watch our charge test. 

So, is the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra your GadgetMatch?

These are just some of the questions you might want to ask yourself before shelling out at least PhP 81,900/ US$ 1199.99/ SG$ 1,828 to get your hands on one. 

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is a fantastic device. But there are certain things about it that may not be your cup of tea. The devil, after all, is in the details. 

Our advice is either visit a Samsung experience store or bug a friend who already has one. Make sure to get a feel of the device before committing to it long term.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra specs

  • Display — 6.8-inch QHD+ Edge, Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 120Hz refresh rate, 240Hz touch sampling rate, Vision Booster, Enhanced Comfort
  • Processor — Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy
  • RAM and Storage — 12GB+1TB, 12GB+512GB, 12GB+256GB
  • Battery and Charging — 5,000mAh, Fast Wireless Charging 2.0, Wireless Powershare
  • OS — Android 13, ONE UI 5.1
  • Water Resistance — IP68
  • Cameras:
    • 200MP f/1.7 Wide
    • 12MP, f/2.2 Ultra-Wide
    • 10MP, f/2.4 Telephoto, 3x optical zoom
    • 10MP, f/4.9 Telephoto, 10x optical zoom
    • 12MP, f/2.2 Front

Watch our Galaxy S23 Ultra One Week Later Review.

Buyer's Guide

PlayStation gift ideas for 2022: The best of the best

God of War: Ragnarök tops the list



Gamers, rejoice! The Christmas season is finally here. That means it’s also the perfect time to secure PlayStation titles and peripherals to boost the gaming experience. Here are some of the best gift ideas for gamers on both PS4 and PS5:

UNCHARTED: Legacy of Thieves Collection

This collection retails for PhP 2,490 and includes both critically acclaimed single player adventures, UNCHARTED 4: A Thief’s End and UNCHARTED: The Lost Legacy.

Dive into complex history from the point of view of thieves Nathan Drake and Chloe Frazer. Its PlayStation 5 option is remastered with improved visuals and framerate.

God of War: Ragnarök

Already widely considered as the game of the year, Santa Monica Studio’s sequel to the 2018 God of War features Kratos and Atreus going on a mythic journey across nine realms together before Ragnarök arrives.

Kratos will use his weapons like the Leviathan Axe and Blades of Chaos as he puts everything on the line to fight for family while facing fearsome enemies from Norse gods to wild beasts.

God of War: Ragnarök is priced at PhP 3,490 for PS5 and PhP 2,990 for PS4.

Horizon Forbidden West

From Sony comes an action RPG wherein Aloy braves the Forbidden West, a frontier that conceals mysterious threats.

The adventure will take gamers to a far-future, post-apocalyptic world of Horizon where land is dying and vicious storms keep ravaging what’s left of humanity.

That said, it will be up to Aloy to uncover the secrets, forge alliances, and defeat the enemy to prevail.

Horizon Forbidden West is available at PhP 3,490 for PS5 and PhP 2,990 for PS4.

Gran Turismo 7

Gran Turismo 7

For those into racing, Gran Turismo 7 brings together the very best of the Real Driving Simulator.

The game reintroduces GT Simulation Mode, on top of the head-to-head GT Sport Mode, GT Campaign, Arcade, and Driving School.

With over 420 cars available at Brand Central and the Used Car Dealership from day one and over 90 track routes including classics, Gran Turismo 7 promises both unparalleled detail and experience.

You can purchase the game for PhP 3,490 for PS5 and PhP 2,990 for PS4.

The Last of Us Part I

The Last of Us Part 1

The multi-awarded game gets a PlayStation 5 treatment. Protagonist Joel smuggles 14-year-old Ellie out of a military quarantine zone, which jumpstarts a brutal cross-country journey.

This package includes The Last of Us single-player story and celebrated prequel chapter, Left Behind, which explores the events that changed the lives of Ellie and her best friend Riley forever.

The Last of Us Part I costs PhP 3,490 as well.

Gaming peripherals

As for accessories, you should get your hands on the DualSense Wireless Controller for PS5 which now comes in new colors. The controllers are now available in Midnight Black, Cosmic Red, Starlight Blue, Galactic Purple, and Nova Pink, as well as Gray Camouflage.

It is available in all PlayStation authorized dealers starting at PhP 3,990.

Speaking of those colors, one can now customize their console itself with the PS5 Console Covers which are priced at PhP 3,090.

To complete the immersive gaming experience, the PULSE 3D Wireless Headset delivers with PS5 system’s Tempest 3D AudioTech and comes with dual noise-cancelling microphones.

It is available for PhP 5,590 in Midnight Black and Gray Camouflage.

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Buyer's Guide

BUYER’S GUIDE: All-new PlayStation Plus

Which Tier is your match?



PlayStation Plus

It’s been close to two months, for most markets, since the all-new PlayStation Plus subscriptions launched. Being in a launch market, I have personally had it for over two months now. Even then, I still see plenty of people confused and frequently asking about which Tier they should subscribe to. My goal is to help you figure it out for yourself. 

The three tiers

There are three tiers, with the highest tier’s name changing depending on what region you’re in. They are as follows: Essential, Extra, and then Premium or Deluxe. 

Essential is what the entire PlayStation Plus subscription used to be. The benefits are online multiplayer, cloud save files, and monthly free games. 

Extra is a step above Essential. With it, you gain access to a catalog of PlayStation 4 (PS4) games. These include exclusives like Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered, God of War, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, and many more. In this tier, you’ll also find older titles but remastered for the PS4 like The Last of Us (PS3), Final Fantasy X-X2 (PS2), Final Fantasy VII (PS1), and more. 

Now this is where it gets sort of tricky. Emphasis on sort of. You only really need to know what Region your account is registered under. Personally, I have one for R3 (Singapore) and another for R1 (USA). If you find the Regions confusing, this guide from GameOne is pretty helpful.

An easy way to check is to just fire up your console and go to the PlayStation Plus section. Depending on your region, you’ll see either Premium or Deluxe there. So, what’s the difference? 

Deluxe has all the benefits of Essential and Extra but adds a Classics Catalog. At launch, these included PS1 titles like Tekken 2 and Ape Escape. But most recently, it’s now included remasters of Batman Arkham City and Arkham Asylum. The remasters are for PS4 but the original games were initially released on the PlayStation 3 (PS3). 

Premium, meanwhile, has all the benefits of the aforementioned along with the ability to cloud stream games. This is crucial especially for some PS3 titles that never had any PS4 remasters. 

In this tier, you also curiously get Game Trials. It lets you play a portion of what is usually a AAA title. If it piques your interest, you can buy the game digitally and your progress will carry over. 

Nobody asked but I think this should have been added, instead, to the Essential tier. If the idea is to sell more games, wouldn’t it be better to put the trials at a tier that most people will likely subscribe to? PlayStation, I hope you reconsider.

How much are they?

Here’s the pricing for key markets: 


  • United States — US$ 14.99 monthly / US$ 39.99 quarterly / US$ 99.99 yearly
  • Singapore — SG$ 13.90 monthly / SG$ 35.90 quarterly / SG$ 89.90 yearly
  • Hong Kong — HK$ 75 monthly / HK$ 215 quarterly / HK$ 515 yearly
  • Malaysia — MYR 44 monthly / MYR 114 quarterly / MYR 269 yearly


  • United States — US$ 14.99 monthly / US$ 39.99 quarterly / US$ 99.99 yearly
  • Singapore — SG$ 13.90 monthly / SG$ 35.90 quarterly / SG$ 89.90 yearly
  • Hong Kong — HK$ 75 monthly / HK$ 215 quarterly / HK$ 515 yearly
  • Malaysia — MYR 44 monthly / MYR 114 quarterly / MYR 269 yearly


  • Singapore — SG$ 15.90 monthly / SG$ 40.90 quarterly / SG$ 103.90 yearly
  • Hong Kong — HK$ 85 monthly / HK$ 239 quarterly / HK$ 599 yearly
  • Malaysia — MYR 50 monthly / MYR 130 quarterly / MYR 309 yearly


  • United States — US$ 17.99 monthly / US$ 49.99 quarterly / US$ 119.99 yearly
  • United Kingdom — £13.49 monthly / £39.99 quarterly / £99.99 yearly
  • Japan — ¥1,550 – monthly / ¥4,300 – quarterly / ¥10,250 yearly

If you’re starting from scratch – meaning no prior subscription, those are the pricings you’re looking at. 

However, if you have an existing PlayStation Plus subscription the amount will be prorated. But what does that mean? 

Here’s an example: 

Before the all-new PlayStation Plus Subscription kicked in, I had a PS Plus subscription that goes all the way to December 2022. That means I essentially have an existing subscription with the value of seven (7) months of PS Plus Essential which amounts to SG$ 97.3. 

Had I started from scratch, I would have had to pay seven (7) months of PS Plus Deluxe which costs SG$ 111.3.

But thanks to my existing PS Plus Essential credits, I only paid SG$ 14 to go Deluxe for the rest of my subscription. 

Still confusing? Essentially, I didn’t have to pay the full amount of the yearly Deluxe subscription. I only had to pay for the upgrade to Deluxe that covers the duration of my subscription. 

And there’s really no other way to do it. PlayStation will automatically prorate your existing subscription to whichever tier you’re upgrading to.  

How to buy? 

You can simply upload your debit or credit card information directly to your account. It should be seamless in most countries. If you’re in the Philippines, here’s a helpful guide from Ungeek

Alternatively, you can opt to buy PlayStation Network (PSN) credits from authorized stores and sellers.

Which one should you actually buy? 

This depends entirely on your needs, the type of games you play, and naturally, your budget. 

For instance, I initially was only going to upgrade to Extra because I wasn’t really interested in the Classic titles available at launch. But a pretty little angel offered to cover for the Deluxe subscription. And I’m grateful, because now, I’m able to play Batman Return to Arkham: Arkham City, Syphon Filter, as well as the original Resident Evil game. Totally lied about that last one as I’ve been avoiding horror games since Silent Hill gave me nightmares wayback when. I digress.

If you’re the multiplayer type, you’re definitely gonna want to get at least the Essential tier as it’s required for online multiplayer. These are games like Call of Duty, Fortnite, and even sports ones like NBA 2K and FIFA. 

Essential is also great if you’re the type who can wait. The monthly games are definitely a mixed bag, but every now and then they’ll throw in games you meant to buy but never did for whatever reason. That happened to me with titles like Persona 5 Striker, Judgment, Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time, and many others.

Premium, if you have access to it, offers classic titles as well as access to cloud stream PS3 titles. That last one isn’t available in any other tier. 

What’s the best value?

God of War

Again, this really depends on the type of gamer you are and the number of hours you can spend gaming. But generally speaking, I personally think the Extra tier offers the best bang for your buck. 

Not only do you get free monthly games, you also have access to some pretty rad PS4 titles. And just recently, it also gave us access to a much anticipated and now thoroughly beloved indie title – Stray.

Premium and Deluxe are great. But given the available titles as of writing, these two tiers are more of a luxury at this point.

Other things to keep in mind

Spidey's not shy about taking selfies

Games come and go. After all, nothing lasts forever. Unlike the free monthly games available on the Essential tier, you won’t have access to certain titles once they’re pulled out.

It’s still early in the subscription’s lifespan so no major titles have left yet. But eventually, there will be games that won’t be available anymore for one reason or another.

So, if you’re subscribed to whatever Tier and a game you really like becomes available. Hop on it as soon as you can because you never know when it’ll go away.

Happy gaming!

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Buyer's Guide

vivo X80 vs X80 Pro: Buyer’s Guide

Which vivo flagship is your GadgetMatch?



We’ve always been impressed by how much value vivo smartphones offer. The X series in particular has had some of the best camera smartphones we’ve tested in recent years. This year’s vivo X80 and X80 Pro are no different.

We partnered with vivo and put together this Buyer’s Guide to figure out which one is your GadgetMatch.

Tale of the Tape

The Vivo X80 is the base model in the X80 series, but it’s no slouch. It’s powered by MediaTek’s Dimensity 9000 processor.

It’s got a 6.78″ HD display, 4500 mAh battery, 80W Flash Charge and 3 rear cameras co-engineered with Zeiss, coupled with OIS and EIS.

It’s going to be available in Hong Kong, Taiwan, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Philippines, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.

The price: INR 59,999 or around US$ 760 when converted.

The Vivo X80 Pro has all the bells and whistles and top of the line specs: Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor, 6.78″ WQHD+ display, 4700 mAh battery, 80W Flash Charge and 50W Wireless Flash Charge, as well as 4 rear cameras co-engineered with Zeiss.

The rear camera system includes a new 50MP Ultra-sensing GNV sensor and Zeiss Gimbal Portrait Camera.

It’s going to be available in Hong Kong, Taiwan, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Philippines, select countries in Europe, the Middle East, and Latin America.

The price: INR 86,999 or US$ 1100 when converted.


Both the vivo X80 and X80 Pro look and feel premium. They also both come in Cosmic Black, which is a rather classy finish. It’s got a nice shimmer to it.

Our X80 unit comes in a fun Urban Blue color — perfect for the summer.

The back is made of glass, but because of the frosted matte finish it’s not a fingerprint magnet the phones. The phones stay pristine-looking.

The camera module is nestled in a bigger rectangular plate. If you take a closer look, the X80 Pro’s is slightly bigger because of an extra 8MP Periscope lens.

The design is very similar to the previous X-series phones. Some people might find the lack of change rather boring, but I’m glad vivo is sticking to this design language.

For a few years now it has set the X-series apart from other smartphones and has left a lasting impression. Not to mention both phones are built great and feel solid.

If you ask me, I’d take something solid and refined over something flashy and gimmicky.

It’s worth noting that both the X80 and X80 Pro come bundled with matching cases. They’re made of plastic but have a leather-like finish.

Props to vivo for bundling a case that doesn’t cheapen the phone the way a jelly case does.


Both the vivo X80 and X80 Pro sport a 6.78-inch AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate.

This faster refresh rate makes the phones feel snappier; animations more buttery smooth. When playing games that support it, graphics are more fluid also.

On top of that, faster response rates: 240Hz on the vivo X80 and 300Hz on the vivo X80 Pro.

If you’re looking for an extra crisp viewing experience, the X80 Pro is the one to get. Of the two, it’s got the higher resolution W Quad HD+ display.

While Our Great National Parks is best enjoyed on a bigger screen, the vivo X80 Pro is the next best thing when you’re mobile.

Battery Life

One thing that’s hard to show on video, and certainly not something noticeable from daily use, is that the X80 Pro is slightly thicker and heavier than the X80.

One reason is a bigger battery: 4700 mAh vs 4500 mAh.

Battery consumption is different from person to person but both leave plenty of juice in the tank after a heavy day of use. In fact I was getting more like a day and a half with the X80 Pro.

Both phones also support 80W FlashCharge. With the bundled adapter charging speeds were insanely fast: a full charge in just 35 minutes.

10 mins 42%
30 mins 96%
35 mins 100%

X80 Pro
10 mins 42%
30 mins 95%
35 mins 100%The X80 does not support wireless charging. While the X80 Pro supports up to 50W Wireless Flash Charge with vivo’ proprietary 50W Vertical Wireless Flash Charger.

With the said wireless charger you can get to 50% in under 30 minutes.


One department vivo has spent a lot of time on over the last few years is its camera technology.

With every iteration of the X series we’ve seen it get better and smoke the competition.

This year vivo’s introducing the V1+, a custom imaging chip that enables a diverse feature set and optimizes energy consumption.

Another reason the vivo X80 and X80 Pro’s cameras are so good is its partnership with German company Zeiss.

I must admit I usually feel cynical about co-engineering partnerships because in a lot of cases it’s nothing but a license to plaster a prestigious camera company’s logo on phones.

My experience of using the X80, and even more so the X80 Pro has me convinced otherwise.

All the lenses on the X80 and on the X80 Pro have Zeiss patented T Star coating, which helps reduce those reflections when photographing lights at night.

Photos taken with the X80 and X80 Pro have none of those. What you get are clear, crisp images. even in the most challenging of situations.

Given its Pro monicker, the X80 Pro’s camera system is superior compared to the X80, headlined by a new 50MP Ultra Sensing Samsung GNV Sensor. Coupled with OIS and a f/1.57 aperture, it can capture photos that even the eyes can’t see in complete darkness.

With the X80 Pro you’re also getting a 8MP Periscope Camera with 5X optical zoom so you can take photos of landmarks even from far away.

It’s also got a 48MP f/2.2 Ultra Wide Angle Camera which makes taking photos of iconic places like Times Square a lot easier.

The new 12MP Gimbal Portrait camera lets you capture clear action shots. It comes with a new Camera Panning feature, which lets you achieve this linear motion blur effect when taking photos of moving subjects.

A lot of smartphones nowadays take excellent photos during the day; the vivo X80 and X80 Pro are no exception but where the X80 and X80 Pro really excel in is night time photography and videography.

In the X80 Pro vivo also introduces XDR photo technology, which, simply put helps manage highlights, shadows, contrast, and color reproduction in the most difficult of scenarios.

Watch our in-depth Buyer’s Guide video to see all the photos we took with the X80 and X80 Pro, and watch a video montage of New York City shot on the Vivo X80 Pro.

Is the vivo X80 or X80 Pro your GadgetMatch?

You can start by asking yourself these questions: What do I use my phone for? How important are top of the line specs to me?

Do I need wireless charging? How often do I take photos and videos? How much am I willing to pay?

If you want top of the line specs and wireless charging definitely go for the Pro Model. I’m confident that it’s one that you can rely on from day to night.

If differing cameras are a concern for you, my thoughts are while the Pro model has better cameras, the X80 still is a solid camera smartphone. You just lose the ability to zoom in 5x.

Definitely do pick up the X80 Pro if you want the best camera in your pocket. I’d say it’s up there among the best Android phones.

Of course with a great camera and advanced features comes a higher price tag. So that US$ 300 difference between the two should be taken into consideration.

Do the benefits make up for paying this much more? That’s something you have to answer based on what means the most to you.

Watch our in-depth vivo X80 vs X80 Pro Buyer’s Guide for you to find out!

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