Her GadgetMatch

Samsung Galaxy Watch review: Who is it perfect for?

The fashionista, the girl boss, or the fitness enthusiast

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At this year’s Unpacked, what excited me most was not the Note 9, but Samsung’s latest wearable. Simply named the Galaxy Watch, this smartwatch boasted better performance than previous wearable releases like the Galaxy Gear Sport and it also looked so good in that beautiful rose gold option.

So, what can this watch do? Who is it for? Will it match all #OOTDs? I set out to get answers.

For the fashionista

If you’re the fashion-forward type and you’re looking for a wearable that looks as good as it works, the Galaxy Watch should definitely be on your list of possibilities.

I still believe that the Galaxy Watch is one of the best-looking smartwatch options out there. And when I say best-looking, I mean it will go with most outfits: Work attire? Check. Night out? Definitely. Casual? You betcha.

I barely took it off because it just went with most things I threw on. The Galaxy Watch can easily become a daily wardrobe staple because of how classic-looking it is. It’s basically my favorite accessory now.

There are two watch sizes, the 46mm which is admittedly too big for my wrists, but looked good nonetheless, and the 44mm which has a rose gold version that I’m totally in love with. It also comes with matching straps in a faint pink that looks oh-so-good. The best part? It’s silicone, but it doesn’t look it. This just means you don’t have to worry about the straps getting dirty, wet, or sweaty which is a great victory if you plan to wear it every day like I’ve been doing. There’s also a myriad of strap options so you can also change things around.

Of course, the normal gray and silver options are available too, but why pick those when you can get this? 😍

The screen looks bright and amazing on this thing, and hyper-real watch faces can make it look like a classic timepiece. Yes, I did a double take when I first saw them. 👀 You can also change your watch face to many other fun options depending on your mood.

But, enough about looks (even if it really, really looks awesome and I can’t get over that fact). This timepiece is pretty powerful, too. Having the Galaxy Watch on your wrist means seeing social media alerts and notifications without looking at your phone or you can even set it up to take remote photos of you, perfect for shooting your own #OOTDs.

And, that’s not all…

For the girl boss

If you’re always on the go; if you want added functionality from something that you can effortlessly wear, consider the Galaxy Watch.

I know my phone is right there but looking at this watch is way more fun

Like mentioned earlier, it will give you alerts or notifications straight from your phone. You can set it to vibrate or do an audio alert for certain things and customize notifications depending on which app alerts you want to be bothered with.

I love that you not only get message alerts on this watch, you can also reply either via typing with the iconic Samsung wearable rotating bezel that this watch still features, voice dictation, or you can even scribble letters for text replies. You may also make and answer calls on it but IRL, I still feel pretty weird talking to my watch so I stick to my phone for that. It’s still nice to know, though, that I have this option.

There’s also a function that gives you morning and evening briefings to help you wrap up and start off each day with a bang.


Admittedly, I only ever got updates on my activity and step count. I would have loved for the watch to tell me calendared activities, reminders, or even appointments but it didn’t do that because all that information was on my Google accounts and not on my Samsung calendar. I’m not actually sure if this briefing function could or would work as I imagined, but heck, I’m not moving my data out of Google to find out.

That being said, it has to be pointed out that the watch does work best with Samsung devices — everything just seems more seamless. But, don’t worry, the Galaxy Watch will still work fine with other smartphones.

Normal watch face versus Always On Display

One thing that was definitely improved on this wearable is the battery time. As much as I enjoyed the previously released Gear Sport, the one-day battery life was a deal breaker. Samsung remedied that on the Galaxy Watch which now lasts up to three days. Of course, turning on certain functions like the Always On display zaps the battery faster. Personally, I would’ve loved longer battery time, but three days is so much better than one so I’ll take it!

For the fitness enthusiast

Casual health trackers, those dipping their feet into the fitness pool, and people who appreciate wearables with extra health functions will enjoy this watch.

For one thing, you can go straight from any attire (because this watch will definitely match it) to gym wear. I always say that the best fitness tracker is one that’s always on your wrist so since this thing will match most #OOTDs, you better keep it on — and that makes it a clear winner in that department.

The Galaxy Watch tracks your step count, calories burned, floors climbed, and even your heart rate. This time around, you also have the option to do continuous heart rate tracking, but this will definitely kill your battery. There are workout shortcuts on the watch that’s designed for easier exercise tracking, but the watch will, nonetheless, automatically track your activities no matter where you are… even in the water. Yep, it’s waterproof.

Went swimming with my watch for this review

I did notice, though, that the automatic tracker wasn’t as accurate as I’d like. On a day where I did an hour of Kali martial arts and an hour-long gym session, Daily Briefing told me I was only active for 26 minutes — certainly not the case! Heart rate tracking also takes a little while when it’s on default frequent mode which only measures your heart rate every 10 minutes if you’re still. This poses a problem for me since the one time I’d want to check my heart rate would be when I’m moving, grooving, and exercising.

All this being said, if you’re a serious sports tracker, or you’re looking for a wearable for the sole purpose of tracking fitness, this might not be for you.

Just me tracking my stress levels

The Galaxy Watch also tracks and records sleep, stress levels, and it even has a relaxation app which gives you breathing exercises.

Everything is collated in the Samsung Health app. Of course, this works best with Samsung phones, but you can install this on any device — you’d have to, with the Galaxy Wearable app, to get to your data from the Galaxy Watch.

Final thoughts

All things considered, the Galaxy Watch is a promising wearable. It’s something I’d wear just because of how great it looks and for those who still struggle with how most smartwatches look (yes, I hear you, girls!), this might be the perfect fit.

Despite caveats, especially in the health tracking department, this watch offers all-around functionality without compromising fashion — and isn’t that what we all dream of when it comes to wearables?

Photos by Joshua Vergara

Her GadgetMatch

Mercury in retrograde: When technology and communications go haywire

Your survival guide to a crazy season

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Buckle up, everyone! Mercury is in retrograde once again. In Astrology, this means the planet that governs technology, communications, and our very own thought processes spins backward. In our reality, it means doomsday is coming. (Kidding!)

When Mercury is in retrograde, flights and travels are usually delayed, people from the past pop back into our lives, communication systems break down, and our gadgets get into accidents or start malfunctioning.

More importantly, this season makes everything fluid. Nothing will be set in stone. Decisions are usually changed when the season ends, so it’s not a good time to sign contracts, schedule surgeries, have makeovers, launch a new project, or shop for electronic devices.

But fret not, this season shall pass. Here’s what you should do before, during, and after the Mercury retrograde.

Protect your gadgets and gizmos with trusty cases and accessories

Honey, this season makes us feel frustrated, agitated, and annoyed. Often, we’ll be rushing and getting into accidents. You might drop your phone on the toilet, break them, or forget them in a cab or restaurant. You gotta get yourself some strap to keep your phone with you at all times and dress them up with hard, shock-proof cases. Should they fall from your hands, you know they’re safe.

Back up your data, make sure it’s safe and secure

Okay, Jenny, listen up. Mercury in retrograde is the season where we lose important stuff moments before we actually need them. It can be your keys, card, or presentation for your next meeting. The point here is you should back up all necessary data. Flash drives might break, Google Drive and other forms of storage may not work properly at the time you need them. The next thing you know, your life is in shambles.

Another thing to worry about is security and privacy. This season is also the time when people’s secrets tend to get exposed, such as your affair with your best friend’s boyfriend or your intimate videos getting leaked in the deepest, darkest corner of the internet. Keep your reputation from being smeared!

Double-check what you type and say

Be careful with miscommunication, my dear. It’s normal to feel there’s chaos in your head since Mercury in retrograde disrupts our thought processes. We become forgetful and more prone to mistakes, so double check your typos before hitting send. In addition, think twice before voicing out your opinions and emotions. Take a deep breath, and think before you click. Your words are powerful. Once you’ve hurt someone with it, you can be forgiven but they’ll never forget.

P.S. Be mindful of what you post or tweet if you don’t want to get dragged on social media.

 

Keep your emotions in check and block your exes

If you haven’t blocked your exes until today, you need to re-evaluate your life, Susan. During this season, we barely use our logic and just follow our emotions. There might come a time where you want to send a seven-paragraph message to your ex, please don’t. You owe it to yourself to move on from the past and stop them from coming back to your life.

Oh, one more thing: Stay open to possible opportunities. Sure, Mercury in retrograde brings our past lovers back from hell, but they also bring in colleagues we’ve worked with. Most of the time, they want to work with us again. Additionally, this is a good time to reconnect with old friends. Seriously, this period isn’t that bad.

Be extremely flexible (not just in yoga but also in life)

If there’s one thing you can learn from this, it’s that life doesn’t always work out in our favor. It’s a reminder to always find a way. Be flexible and adaptable to every surprise that life brings. If we’re going to give in to our emotions, we already lost. Take a step back and reassess what’s happening, compose yourself and think of a solution. This is just another storm that’s passing by. You will overcome this.

Take a moment to slow down

Lastly, like any retrograde season, it’s a cue from the planets and the stars to slow down. We’re all rushing from one point to another, and we’re moving extremely fast. Planets spin backward to remind us that we need to look back and slow down to appreciate how far we’ve come, what we’ve been doing with our lives, and catch up on what we missed. Above all, it’s a reminder to rest. You’re doing well, my friend. I’m proud of you.

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Features

Dear Moms: 19 things you never thought you needed

A gift guide for every kind of moms

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Mother's Day 2022

Whether you’re a mom looking for something to gift yourself or a grown-up scouring the web for a present for Mother’s Day, look no more. We rounded up things you never thought you or your mom actually needed, until you’ve read this article, of course.

All-in-one pet grooming kit and vacuum — Neabot P1 Pro

Mother's Day

Whether you’re a fur parent or just a family who lives with cats and dogs, an all-in-one pet grooming kit and vacuum might solve your daily woes. The Neabot P1 Pro addresses grooming problems — eliminating messy pet hair, excessive noise, and cumbersome grooming tools.

Shop it on Amazon for US$ 160.

MagSafe charger for iPhone — Nomad BaseOne

Busy moms know the daily woes of being all over the place. Preparing a cup of coffee, tending to their child’s needs, chores, and so on. To make sure they stay connected and ready wherever they go, a MagSafe wireless charger that would complement any space might be a good gift for your mom. It looks great on a desk, bedside table — basically anywhere.

Shop it on Nomad’s website for US$ 99.

Modern leather case for AirPods Pro — Nomad English Tan AirPods Case

Mother's Day

Give the gift of style through a modern leather case for your mom’s AirPods Pro. Its rich caramel tone enhances as it develops a patina, and it comes with a lanyard attachment point for an optional wrist strap. Probably so they won’t lose their AirPods against all the clutter inside their home.

Shop it on Nomad’s website for US$ 31.

Tracking accessory — Tile trackers

For when they lose their important stuff, help them locate things through tracking accessories like Tile that work either on iPhone or Android smartphones.

Shop Tile trackers for US$ 20 on Amazon and PhP 1,489 on Shopee.

Indoor home security camera — Xiaomi Mi 360° Camera

When moms are always away or at work, give them the gift of peace of mind through an indoor home security camera like the Xiaomi Mi 360° Camera. Connected to an app, the security camera lets everyone in the household monitor their living spaces.

Shop the Xiaomi Mi 360° Camera for PhP 1,599 on Shopee.

Outdoor home security camera — EZVIZ C3N Outdoor Security WiFi Camera

Mother's Day

Protect your homes and give the gift of security through an outdoor home security camera with night vision like the EZVIZ C3N. It detects human movements intelligently, lights up, and sends alerts. It also has a weatherproof design, bearing an IP68 certification.

Shop the EZVIZ C3N with a starting price of PhP 1,999 on Shopee.

Blue-light blocking glasses — Shigetsu CHIBA RadPro Eyewear

Mother's Day

Protect your mom’s eyes and help them maintain a clear vision through these stylish, blue-light blocking eyeglasses from Shigetsu. They’re cheap, but they’re effective in blocking radiation and UV rays.

Secure a clear vision and shop the CHIBA RadPro Eyewear for PhP 324 on Shopee.

Smartphone grip — Popsocket

Having a tiny accessory that serves as a handle or even a stand for a precious smartphone might be one thing you never thought anyone would actually need. But for moms getting older, there’s a possibility of weakening their grip, which might cause them to drop their phones and accidentally break them.

Help them secure their devices. Shop Popsocket’s Black Phone Grip for US$ 10 on Amazon.

Tablet for multitasking — Samsung Galaxy Tab S8

Mother's Day

Moms are superheroes, able to multitask and get things done. Help them become more efficient in their activities and errands by giving them a powerful tablet to accompany them in their everyday lives. For instance, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 series comes in different sizes but is certainly one of the best Android tablets on the market right now.

Shop the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 for PhP 49,990 on Shopee.

Smart mug — Ember Mug 2

Mother's Day 2022

Give the gift of warmth by keeping their cup of coffee hot. Having a hectic life can cause a cup of coffee to turn cold when left on a desk, but the Ember Smart Mug 2 can maintain your desired drinking temperature for up to an hour and a half.

Get the Ember Smart Mug 2 for US$ 130 on Amazon.

Home assistant — Amazon Echo Dot (4th Gen)

Mother's Day 2022

Encourage navigating a smart home through the Amazon Echo Dot (4th Gen) smart speaker. Let Alexa accompany the moms in running the household, and watch things get more efficient and connected.

Shop it for PhP 2,587 on Shopee.

Active noise-canceling headphones — Bose QuietComfort 45

Mother's Day 2022

Give them the gift of quiet through active-noise canceling headphones like the Bose QuietComfort 45. Let them pick up themselves and re-center through a moment of quietness after a long day of constant movement.

Shop the Bose QuietComfort 45 for US$ 329 on Amazon.

Night light — OPPLE LED Little Moon Night Light

Mother's Day 2022

For new moms, having a night light helps them sleep after a busy day. It also helps them take a glimpse of their little angels when they wake up or when they check them in the middle of the night.

Give the gift of light through OPPLE’s little night light for only PhP 129 on Shopee.

Air purifier — realme TechLife Air Purifier

Mother's Day 2022

Keep the air clean within your household! The realme TechLife Air Purifier helps everyone breathe easy with its ability to effectively filter air particles.

Give the gift of clean air for only PhP 4,590 on Shopee.

Self-cleaning robot vacuum — Dreame Bot W10

Mother's Day 2022

Cleaning should be quick and easy, especially in a smart home. The Dreame Bot W10 is a 3-in-1 sweep, mop, and wash vacuum cleaner that scrubs, washes, and dries its mop with the charging base.

Clean every corner effectively. Shop this self-cleaning robot vacuum cleaner for PhP 40,990 on Shopee.

Breast pump — imani i2 Plus

Mother's Day 2022

For new moms, this wearable breast pump lets you collect milk discreetly and hands-free. It’s so compact, that it can be worn inside a brassiere, and it doesn’t come with tubes or wires that create a wooshing sound in every pump. Moreover, it comes with a charging dock so you can store it neatly inside your home or office.

Give the gift of convenience through the imani i2 Plus wearable breast pump. Shop it for PhP 11,950 on Shopee.

Breastfeeding cover — Enfant Nursing Cover

Mother's Day 2022

Cleaning up stains can be quite exhausting after a long day. Lessen the household chore by using a breastfeeding cover.

Shop the Enfant Nursing Cover in various colors and prints for PhP 469 on Shopee.

Bouncer and rocker in one — Joie Dreamer Baby Bouncer

Mother's Day 2022

Why buy a rocker and a bouncer when you can have a cradler with both functions? The Joie Dreamer Baby Bouncer – Petite City is a compact cradler that rocks and bounces with a push or even when your little angels move.

Give the gift of comfort. Shop this bouncer-rocker for PhP 4,000 on Shopee.

UV sterilizer cabinet — Ecomom Eco 100 Dual Uv Sterilizer

Mother's Day 2022

Sterilize all your baby essentials with the Ecomom Eco 100 Dual Uv Sterilizer. It doesn’t use hot water to steam, so there is no risk of burns or water mess.

Shop this UV sterilizer cabinet for PhP 15,000 on Shopee.

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Convenient Smart Home

Dreame V12 Pro: Powerful cordless vacuum

Cleans even the tightest of spaces

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When I moved out and transferred to my own place, one of the very first appliances I purchased was a vacuum cleaner. 

I got an affordable one that is highly recommended in the Facebook Group Home Buddies, and it was okay. It does the job. 

I use it more often than my normal household broom, so having a quality vacuum is a huge necessity for me. 

When the Dreame V12 Pro came to my doorstep, I was ecstatic. I am sure any clean freak would feel the same — it’s a cordless, battery-powered vacuum with a whopping suction power of 32,000 pa. Definitely a total upgrade from my previous one.

As someone who cleans every day, I excitedly put this product to the test.

So many functions!

Dreame V12 Pro comes with a wide array of accessories upon unboxing. It’s my first time trying out a cordless vacuum, let alone a multi-functional one, so I was carefully reading the manual while using it for the first few days. 

There’s a lot you can do with this powerful handheld vacuum cleaner – powerful enough to clean every corner of a whole unit. 

For instance, it can easily suck the collected dust on my keyboard, thanks to the brush accessory. There’s also the anti-mite brush for sofa and beds (this is heaven-sent, especially for fur parents), and the rigid rectangular nozzle which integrates a LED light to clean stubborn dirt such as cobwebs. 

For overall floor cleaning, the default suction brush is outstanding. It also comes with a 5-layer HEPA filter with 99% effective sterilization, which brings so much peace of mind especially that we’re still in a pandemic.

But don’t be intimidated; using the vacuum and trying all the attachments is actually as easy as pie. The Dreame V12 Pro has an easy lock function which requires less effort when detaching and shifting from one accessory to the next. It’s extremely handy and comfortable to use!

Very powerful suction

I mentioned earlier that it has a suction power of 32,000 pa. It’s one of the most competitive in the market, and is actually designed for deep cleaning. It can absorb micron-level dust, which makes it extremely powerful for both hard floors and carpets.

No worries, it uses smart adaptive technology so the suction level easily adjusts to the floor without worrying about overheating and your safety.

There was an instance that I accidentally dropped some condiments and a few rice pellets on the floor (I know, it was a clumsy day in the kitchen). I immediately got my Dreame V12 Pro to clean up the mess. My feet didn’t feel any evidence afterwards.

Another major problem for me is my tangled hair all over the room. A few weeks after using the product, there were less stands of hair on the floor, especially on areas not usually reached by a normal vacuum. I was enthralled.

I initially thought it will be great for large homes, but I highly recommend it for tight spaces. It has a high capability to remove dirt from every nook and corner.

The vacuum has three modes: Eco, Standard and Turbo. To save up on battery, I usually use the Eco mode with its good suction performance without taking too much battery energy. I sometimes switch to the Standard and Turbo mode during major cleaning days.

Elegant, user-friendly features

My least favorite thing about vacuums in general is having to empty the container. For me, it takes a lot of work especially because I keep on literally getting my hands dirty.

The Dreame V12 Pro features an easy to empty container and a simple grip mechanism that helps eject dirt without coming into contact with it. Additionally, the container has a huge capacity of 0.5L.

The product also features a trigger lock, which allows me to clean continuously and comfortably. 

The high quality LCD screen (which is actually one of my favorite features) provides real-time info on the battery life, suction power, and filter status. It also displays the three user modes.

Is the Dreame V12 Pro your GadgetMatch?

All in all, the Dreame V12 Pro is a great household investment that will last for years. The vacuum has a light, ergonomic design and an elegant grey color that can blend with any shade of room interiors. 

Am I satisfied with this vacuum upgrade? Hell, yes!

For PhP 23,990 (around US$ 460), you get a very compact vacuum cleaner with premium features that you can use in every situation. And again, it’s cordless. Check it out on the Dreame website here.

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