Hands-On

Samsung Galaxy Tab A Hands-On

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Galaxy Tab A

If you’re looking for a well-balanced tablet that’s within a reasonable price point, then the Samsung Galaxy Tab A could be just what you need. It’s the perfect device for students thanks to its bundled S-Pen, a stylus for taking notes, and drawing pictures.

This mid-range tablet from Samsung shifts from the usual 16:9 aspect ratio of most Android tablets to the 4:3 aspect ratio. It’s a more comfortable size for reading and browsing the Internet.

It’s not a premium tablet but it looks like one and offers enough functionality and the S-Pen is perfect for everyone who likes to sketch or scribble whenever they can.

Find out more about it on our Hands-On video above.

Hands-On

OPPO Reno 2F: All about the camera

Power isn’t really its strong point

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When OPPO killed the F series, we were introduced to the Reno earlier this year. A few months later, the Reno has been succeeded and in its lineup, an affordable version was launched, too.

Meet the Reno 2F. Earlier, rumors circulated about its price being too much for its specifications. Now that it has launched, let’s take a look at whether the price is really justified.

Here’s the Reno 2F in its full glory

The right side has the power button and card tray…

… while the left side has the volume rocker

The bottom houses a 3.5mm headphone jack, primary microphone, a USB-C port, and the phone’s speaker grilles

Its top accommodates the pop-up selfie camera and a secondary microphone

On the back, you can find the quad-camera setup along with the O circle up top and LED flash

OPPO ensured the Reno 2F — as part of the Reno lineup — speaks the Reno’s design language despite it being a toned-down version. It looks classy and premium, especially with its colors shifting when hit by light at a certain angle.

Power isn’t its strong point

On paper, the Reno 2F isn’t that promising. The Reno 2F prides itself with curved edges, a 6.5″ full-screen AMOLED display, and a Corning Gorilla Glass protection.

Taken out of the box, it runs ColorOS 6.1 based on Android 9 Pie. On the inside, it has an 8GB RAM and 128GB storage, similar to how most phones in the same price tag back their internals. Additionally, there’s a MicroSD slot that can handle up to 256GB of additional storage.

It’s also powered by MediaTek Helio P70 and runs a Mali-G72 MP3 graphics card. Furthermore, it boasts of a 4000mAh battery capable of 20W fast charging through VOOC Flash Charge 3.0. Moreover, the Reno 2F includes an under-display fingerprint scanner.

Processor alone, the Reno 2F is losing compared to its competitors and in the midrange bracket. But where the phone truly shines is its quad-camera setup.

All about storytelling

Nowadays, it’s important to have a camera that captures all the moments you encounter in life. We’ve built an age where storytelling is a must whenever we upload our content on social media. The Reno 2F may lack the power expected in its bracket, but it compensates with its cameras.

The Quad camera setup houses a 48-megapixel main camera, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide camera, a 2-megapixel monochrome camera, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. Its motorized pop-up camera accommodates a 16-megapixel single camera. The front and rear cameras are capable of Full HD video recording at 30fps.

Now while it sounds good reading about its camera setup, take a look at how these cameras really perform.

Decent shots, balanced colors

In daylight, the Reno 2F is excellent in capturing photos. Even in poor lighting conditions such as yellow lights found indoors, the Reno 2F processes it differently after you’ve taken a shot. It balances the color correctly, which might be difficult if you’re aiming for dramatic and colored shots. But then again, there are editing apps which you can use to get the look you’re going for.

But if there are cases where you’d rather see how accurately it balances the color, the photo above is exactly the way I saw it. A wall decor on top of bricks lit in all its purple glory. Compared to other cameras I’ve tested before, there’s always a cool or warm tint added after the photo was processed.

Even inside cafes and bars filled with too much yellow light that might make your photos look warm, the Reno 2F was able to minimize the tone so it looks aesthetically pleasing. And even in busy backgrounds, the Reno 2F created proper depth as seen in my Maple Vanilla Cold Brew. Of course, this was taken with just the auto mode because portrait mode sucks.

Portrait-perfect?

It took several tries to achieve a shot that satisfies me using the portrait mode. As someone who’s not a fan of portrait mode due to its imperfect cutting out skills, the Reno 2F created an excellent cutout, especially for a midrange phone. Of course, we still need more time to test its portrait mode and that’s for another story.

For now, I’m pleased with how smartphones are making an effort in perfecting the portrait mode. Until then, I’ll still be iffy about it.

Go closer

The Reno 2F’s 2x zoom is perfect when you don’t want to move closer to capture the shot you’re aiming for. Case in point: I love bicycles and benches, and I figured it’s going to be a pretty subject. I was carrying a heavy backpack, along with a tripod, which made me lazy to move around. Using the 2x zoom made it easier for me to capture my shot without exerting any effort.

Choose your perspective

We are blessed to have the three important modes in a smartphone on this price range. The Reno 2F lets you capture ultra wide angle shots, a regular shot in Auto mode, and take closer shots up to 5x zoom.

Beautiful in wide

Wide angles are my favorite, especially when I’m taking landscape and architectural photos. The Reno 2F’s ultra wide angle mode is fun to play around with.

Night mode vs Auto

Sitting (and feeling) like a king, I had this photo taken with a wide angle lens which uses an f/2.2 aperture. Curious to see if night modes are getting any better, I took a comparison photo with and without night mode.

If you take a look at the photos, I’d prefer auto if it meant I need to share the photo urgently with my friends and families. The photo taken with night mode is far from perfect, but it opens an avenue for editing and post-processing. When everything is lit, it’s the best time to tone it down, apply your aesthetics, and own the photo.

Toned-down selfies

Selfies are decent when it’s not in beauty mode. Using the auto mode, you get an accurate color balance on your selfie. Applying the portrait mode on your selfie to blur your background adds a green tint to your photo.

Beauty modes are here to stay, but you have an option to turn it off. OPPO boasts of having a smart skin tone recognition which adjusts your skin tone based on the ambient lighting. However, it’s not enough to convince me to use a feature that wipes away my face and makes me look like a doll.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

The OPPO Reno 2F is difficult to recommend, especially for buyers looking for a value smartphone. The only advantage of the Reno 2F is its powerful cameras that even I, a flagship lover, like.

 

If camera is a priority especially when you love uploading in social media to death, then you might want to give this phone a try. Either way, you can just get a mirrorless camera if photography is all you care about.

For those interested to buy this smartphone, it’s priced at PhP 19,990 (US$ 389). It’s available in two colors: Sky White and Lake Green. The Reno 2F is now available in OPPO stores nationwide.

SEE ALSO: OPPO Reno 2 review: On the right track

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Google Pixel 4 and 4XL Unboxing and Hands-on

New features, same price

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The most leaked phone in history is now official. The new Pixel 4 and 4XL may look similar the outside but come with better cameras (yes there are now two), sport a Radar for faster face unlock, and introduce new air gestures. But is it worth upgrading?

This is our Google Pixel 4 and 4XL unboxing and hands-on.

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Microsoft Surface family Hands-On

And it’s dual screen

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Our Microsoft Surface Family Hands-On features the Surface Laptop 3 and Surface Pro X.

We also take a quick look at the Surface Buds, Surface Neo and Surface Duo. The latter two foldable devices are coming in time for next year’s holiday season. The Surface Duo and Android-powered Windows phone with two displays hinged together in the middle.

Joining me in this video is my She Said, He Said Co-Host Nicole Scott.

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