Hands-On

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 Hands-On

A quick look at Samsung’s new foldable

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Samsung has taken all the things we love about the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra and applied it to the design language of the Galaxy Z Fold2, and not just with the Mystic Bronze color.

It’s more flat and angular in some places with a brushed metal finish on its frame and a frosted matte finish on its back. It’s Gorilla Glass Victus up front, Gorilla Glass 6 on the back, and UTG or Ultra Thin Glass on the inside.

I like how it feels in the hands. And how much more elegant it looks. But this form factor. Whether closed or unfolded takes some getting used to.

The crease is still there. It’s really just the nature of the material used for the inner screen. But it really doesn’t bother me as much.  Samsung offers the Fold 2 in Bronze and Black. In some markets, you can even customize the hinge with an accent color: Black, Silver, Gold, Red and Blue.

I’ve already pre-ordered mine in Black and Blue, of course.


Customization doesn’t add to the cost of the phone, but it adds a five week delay. So in case you want your phone on September 18th, don’t customize.

Original Fold vs Fold2 

The biggest, most obvious change from the Fold 1 to the Fold 2 is its larger Cover Display. Unlike on the original, the entire front panel is all-display, measuring 6.2 inches diagonally.

When used like a regular smartphone, it still feels narrower and thicker compared to your average smartphone. But things like texting, scrolling through Instagram, and even taking photos are totally doable now. You can now watch videos on it too. And If you start something on the cover display, you can pick up where you left off when you open it up.

When opened up, the weird selfie camera module is gone completely. All that’s left is a punch hole cutout for the selfie camera.

The Fold 2 is a tad bit shorter but wider. And the bezels have been reduced also.

This display is bigger too — 7.6 inches diagonally. Perfect for things like playing some games that support this aspect ratio, navigating using Google Map, or reading a book using the Kindle App.

Oh and like on the Z Flip,the hinge can now stay open at a 90 degree angle. It’s called Flex mode. So you can do things like prop it up for Google Duo calls, watch YouTube videos with only half the screen, and use it like you would a mini laptop.

Display differences

Apart from the obvious size, aspect ratio, and material differences, the cover display is Super AMOLED

While the main display is Dynamic AMOLED. This means it adds support for HDR10+ and also has lower blue light emissions.

In terms of resolution we’re looking at HD+ and QXGA+ respectively — it’s not called Quad HD due to its unique aspect ratio. But it’s definitely more high-res than Full HD.

The cover display has a 60Hz refresh rate while the main display has a 120Hz refresh rate at full resolution  with Adaptive Display adjusting it based on which app you’re in.

Over the course of the next few days I plan on testing both displays out more. I want to find out if I can survive exclusively off of the cover display. I also want to see how I will best make use of the all that extra screen real estate the main display offers.

As per usual, Samsung has included a whole bunch of multitasking features like being able to have three windows open at the same time. As well as shortcuts to launch your favorite app combinations.

Power, performance, battery

As this is supposed to be one of the best phones Samsung has to offer, the Fold2 is packed with top-notch specs including a Snapdragon 865+ processor no matter where you buy it.

There’s also a 256GB of UFS 3.1 Storage, 12GB of RAM, and 5G support.

I managed to get to 5G service from my rooftop but not the speeds I enjoyed during an afternoon with my Note 20 Ultra at Bryant Park.

The phone packs a 4500mAh battery — actually two cells that add up to 4500. In my day of heavy use setting it up and using it out and about, I managed to get it to zero. Close to five hours of screen on time.

Using its bundled charger, a 10-minute charge filled it up to 13% and a 30-minute top up got it to 35%.

The Fold 2 supports wireless charging and reverse wireless charging. More detailed battery usage reports, and charging tests in my full review.

Is the Galaxy Z Fold2 your GadgetMatch? As always my answer to this question will have to wait until the full review.

In the meantime, click here for a sneak peek of what the Galaxy Z Fold2’s cameras can do.

Hands-On

Samsung Galaxy S23, S23+ and S23 Ultra Hands-On

Worthy upgrades!

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Samsung has finally Unpacked the newest Galaxy S23, S23+, and S23 Ultra in San Francisco.

This is actually Samsung’s first in-person event during the pandemic.

With all the design and hardware improvements, do you actually need to upgrade?

Watch our Samsung Galaxy S23 Series Hands-on video to help yourself decide.


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SHOP S23 & S23+

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DISCLOSURE: GadgetMatch earns a commission from qualifying purchases from any of these links.

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Hands-On

HONOR X9a 5G Hands-On: Tough and capable

Strong 2023 start for HONOR?

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HONOR X9a

HONOR is determined to make some serious noise in the smartphone space in 2023. In the Philippines, they’re looking to start strong with the release of the HONOR X9a 5G. 

If you follow any tech publications and some influencers and endorsers online, you likely saw the drop test videos the company had literally everyone do. That includes GadgetMatch. 

For what it’s worth, the thing is really tough. During our quick shoot, we dropped it around 3 times on concrete. No major damages suffered. The 0.65mm ‘Deeply Reinforced Glass’ on the display is, for the most part, not just a gimmick. Still, don’t go dropping the phone carelessly if you do decide to get it. 

We’re already talking about the display anyway, so let’s dig into it a little more. 

Pleasant to the eyes

HONOR X9a

The HONOR X9a 5G sports a 6.67-inch OLED Curved Display. It has a 394 pixels per inch count with a 2400 x 1900 resolution and 800 nits of peak brightness. Marketing materials also tout its 1.07 billion colors and TUV Rheinland Low Blue Light Certification. 

For the most part, the phone is everything it says it is on paper. The curved display affects more how the phone feels on-hand than it does for your eyes. It makes the phone’s profile feel slimmer than it actually is. And it’s not too curved to the point that it distracts from whatever you’re watching. 

Colors also look great. We can confidently say that you’ll have a good time watching videos on the HONOR X9a 5G. Whether that’s one of our YouTube videos, mindlessly scrolling on TikTok, or catching up on your favorite series. 

It also delivers a buttery-smooth feel, it has a 120Hz refresh rate and a 300Hz touch sampling rate. 

Familiar look 

HONOR X9a

Going over to how the rest of the phone looks, it gives off a Magic-ish, Mate-ish vibe. The circular camera module on the back plays a huge part in that. We’ll get to the camera details later on. For now, let’s focus on the look. 

One glance and you could mistake it as an HONOR Magic or even a HUAWEI Mate phone. After all, they share a similar design language. 

All the buttons (power and volume) are on the right. 

And at the bottom, you’ll find the SIM Card tray, USB-C port, and speaker-grille. Pretty standard stuff. 

Globally, the phone comes in three colors: Titanium Silver, Emerald Green and Midnight Black. In the Philippines, it appears only the first two colors will be available at launch. 

Overall, it’s your standard slab with a signature look. That camera module is certainly doing a lot to separate it from the pack. 

Capable cameras 

HONOR X9a

Now onto the cameras. Here they are by the numbers: 

  • Main (Wide): 64MP, f/1.8, PDAF
  • Ultrawide: 5MP, f/2.2, 
  • Macro: 2MP, f/2.4, (macro)
  • Front (wide): 16MP, f/2.5

And since video taking seems to be all the rage these days, you might be pleased to know that both the front and back cameras can take 1080P at 30fps footage. 

Again, these are pretty standard numbers for midrangers. The same is true for the actual output. There’s nothing here that’s mind blowing. But for posting on socials and just capturing stuff on the daily, it’s more than serviceable. 

Take a look at these samples: 

Steady performer

HONOR X9a

The HONOR X9a 5G is powered by the Qualcomm SM6375 Snapdragon 695 5G processor. In the Philippines, it comes with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage. It also has a massive 5,100mAh battery. Software-wise, it’s running Magic UI 6.1 based on Android 12.

In practice, all these components come together to deliver a steady performer of a smartphone. The HONOR X9a 5G is reliable in all the ways that matter. The processor, while not new by 2023 standard, still does what you expect it to do. That is to keep the stuff you need running in the background as needed. 

It also has a decent power efficiency, which, paired with the massive battery, delivers an overall battery life that won’t have you running to the nearest power outlet as the day winds down. 

We didn’t do much gaming on the phone, but given that it’s the same processor that was equipped on mobile gaming-inclined phones in the past, we’re confident it can steadily run plenty of the most-played games on mobile. 

Solid start for HONOR

HONOR X9a

The HONOR X9a 5G is a tough, capable smartphone that’s easy on the eyes. It’s the quintessential midrange smartphone. Everything we’ve come to expect from midrangers is present on this phone while also being extra tough and lasting extra long. 

With this being HONOR’s first offering in 2023 in the Philippines, the company is off to a solid start. 

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Features

HP Envy Laptop 16: For Creatives On The Go

HP’s new laptop is stylish yet powerful

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HP’s Envy line of laptops are designed for users who need a bit more power and performance, including creative professionals — like Michael Josh.

The HP Envy Laptop 16 is designed on the Intel EVO platform, which deliver superior performance when you need it most.

Watch Michael Josh’s First 24 Hours with the HP Envy Laptop 16 and more about the HP laptop here.

 

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