I have always been in love with Samsung — smartphones, tablets, accessories, and their digital appliances. There’s just something suave about their designs that please my aesthetic, evidently amplified in their lineup of lifestyle TVs.
That je ne sais quoi had my eyes set on having The Frame and The Sero for its bespoke vibe that somehow fits the lifestyle I’ve been dreaming of. But in a twist of fate, I found myself completely hooked over Samsung’s The Serif. And it’s far different from the lifestyle TV’s I’ve always been eyeing on.
Coup de foudre (Love at first sight)
The Serif, designed by the Bouroullec brothers, carries the Bouroullec principle in its design — practical, sensuous, exquisite, and sophisticated. Wherever you place this artistic TV, it certainly embellishes any space.
It fills a room with grandeur beauty, thanks to the fusion of art and technology resulting in an avant-garde form factor that makes it a sight to behold.
At a glance, The Serif is unconventional. Somehow, my eyes fell in love the first time I saw it. Maybe because it’s dressed in white? Or maybe because I’m a designer and The Serif, in some manner, is reminiscent of serif typefaces I’m familiar with all too well. Times New Roman. Playfair Display. Baskerville.
If you squint your eyes a little, it forms the shape of the letter “I” in those serif typefaces — with its strokes on both ends giving an impression of an expanded I-beam.
Cool, right? Maybe that’s why I’ve fallen in love right away. It’s not my usual type, but from the get-go, I knew I’m captivated like a firework show.
An exalted home decor
What makes it appeasing to the eyes of many — urbane or gauche — is its ability to look graceful and charming, and even elevate one’s home. Its evocative, 360-degree style along with its practical setup and artistic technology helps it blend anywhere. Whether it’s in your living space, your bedroom, your dining area, or even your sanctuary-like bathroom.
It has an elegant cable management system hiding unsightly wires needed for display, power, and connectivity. Further, it comes with a detachable floor stand so you can place The Serif on top of a TV stand or a raised, marble floor.
Or you can also place it in the middle of the living room as if it’s a cultivated sculpture. In some ways, I’d think of The Serif as prized ornamentation: Portable, versatile for any home style, and suitable for a culturally-refined taste.
When you’ve successfully placed the TV to your liking, you can turn it up a notch and use Ambient Mode to install and exhibit art pieces that can act as wallpaper. Instead of having a big, black box, you get a power-saving feature that spruces up your home.
Can’t take my eyes off you
Yes, The Serif is easily explained through Frankie Valli’s 60’s pop-rock “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.” It’s my anthem for every time I fall in love — which is quite rare — but it also applies in the way I experienced Samsung’s Parisian-looking piece.
Its picture quality is breathtaking. I was mesmerized, awestruck at the sight of its QLED panel parading vivacious colors and exceptional contrast. I thought to myself, “the devil is surely in the details” especially with how its 4K resolution and AI upscaling worked hand-in-hand to present dynamic shows, even if it’s content from the distant past.
Samsung’s Quantum Dot Technology also put in the work, bringing out the best of any content down to the tiniest detail through a 100% Color Volume.
Though I’m no stranger to how QLED works, I’m still enchanted reveling in a spectacular display for months. It made me want to skip work and lounge around. At some point, I pondered how I could spend a day staring, marveling at The Serif’s beauty.
But instead of being smitten for days, The Serif helped me embrace the art of slow living — dilly-dallying, mellowing out, falling in love with life, and becoming more intentional with my time.
Meaning, less work and more time for things that give me joy. That includes basking in films and series with European sensibilities or catching up on dashing animés to serve as my muse for my art and poetry. Because if you have a TV as remarkable as this, how could you not make the most out of it?
Smart and good-looking
I like my partner the way I like The Serif — serving looks, intelligent enough to carry a conversation, and smart enough to make things work with ease. It’s just convenient when everything seamlessly connects. Part of the reason why I got my claws on Samsung’s ecosystem. I’m not giving it up easily.
SmartThings, Samsung’s app to connect their smart devices, has been central to my connected lifestyle. It helped me link my devices, and sync my smartphones and tablets to The Serif. At times where I misplace the gorgeous, curved remote control, I turn to the SmartThings app to activate the TV and navigate the screen.
Sometimes, I adjust its settings such as sound and brightness. Sometimes, I play around with Ambient Mode where I collage my memories, which I directly send using my smartphones.
When I’m feeling sprightly, I use the NFC technology feature by placing my smartphone on the top bezel — another way to connect instantly. The screen automatically turns into Ambient Mode to cast music from my smartphone and display visual effects that move along with the beat.
Moreover, it’s easy to cast videos on TV or mirror your smartphone’s screen whether it’s through Smart View or Tap View. The Serif is full of unique tricks that’ll make your exquisite watching experience a bit modern and convenient.
Je t’aime, Serif
Props to Samsung for producing a sculpture-like piece that can instantly add pizzazz to an otherwise boring space. Lifestyle TVs don’t get a lot of appreciation because of their unconventional style and features that are seemingly unfamiliar for most people.
Little do they know, they have a picturesque display and crystal-clear sound quality, too, that makes up for a remarkable experience. It’s like watching your favorite shows while touring Musée D’Orsay. That chic, classic Parisian aesthetic is all over The Serif.
It’s probably The Serif’s pièce de résistance: the je ne sais quoi, the allure that you can only experience when you’re graced by this perennial beauty, the one-of-a-kind experience that makes you fall in love with it, with yourself, and with the life you’re living. I guess it’s safe to conclude: I’m in love. Au revoir.
Samsung’s The Serif comes in two sizes: 43-inch (PhP 55,999) and 55-inch (PhP 79,999). The lifestyle TV is available in authorized Samsung dealers nationwide.
This feature is a collaboration between GadgetMatch and Samsung Philippines.
6 posh smartphones in shades of purple
Powerful smartphones painted in a powerful color
Purple smartphones aren’t entirely new, but they’ve certainly stood out from 2021 until the present. What used to be the color of the rich, the powerful, and the high status is now dressed in smartphones to depict an air of elegance, mystique, and a little bit of fun.
Instead of using the bold, vibrant shade of purple, smartphone makers painted their products with a lighthearted and warm color — mostly in shades of lavender.
While these smartphones are looking hot and blazingly attracting so much attention across the Internet and the market, there are plenty of reasons to still wear them even if you hate being part of the trend.
Pay attention to the Purple-colored smartphones
Recently, the Spring/Summer 2022 Fashion Week listed Green and Purple as the perfect colors to wear for the season. These colors are easy on the eyes, especially the lighter and muted tones. They will surely match any outfit, particularly if you’re donning pastel dresses and accessories.
Furthermore, most smartphones coated in unique shades of purple are powerful. Like, literally. These devices are considered flagships in different categories. Even if their successors arrive, it’s a guarantee that you can trust these devices will last with you for over two years and beyond.
Lo and behold! It’s time to pick your poison, err, I mean, Purple.
Samsung Galaxy S21
2021’s earliest flagship came in a stunning Phantom Violet. Lush, playful, yet elegant. The Galaxy S21 might be a year old already, but it’s still one of the best flagship smartphones that you can buy today. In fact, it was the first smartphone we gave a GadgetMatch Seal of Approval — which means you can trust that this smartphone will be with you as long as it can.
We were surprised when Apple brought out the Purple iPhone 12. Fans are hinting at a new iPhone yet Apple unleashed a new colorway instead. Nevertheless, we revel in how the Purple iPhone added delight during Spring, blooming together with nature, seemingly giving us hope despite the uncertain future.
Moreover, iPhones are guaranteed continuous software updates so you can rest easy knowing that your smartphone won’t give up on you five years later.
Samsung Galaxy A72
Samsung’s headliner for the midrange A-series might be the Galaxy A52, but most people are sleeping on the Galaxy A72, especially in its Awesome Violet colorway.
It continues the solid promise of its predecessor, packing flagship features and essentials at an affordable package that everyday consumers surely enjoy.
OPPO Find N
The OPPO Find N captured our eyes and hearts with its playful colorway and unique foldable experience. It’s compact, durable, tough, and performs well like any other flagship smartphone.
There’s nothing quite like it for now, and it’s definitely a phone you should consider if you’re hopping on the foldable trend. If you can get your hands on it, that is.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 5G
Though our eyes are fixated on the Cream Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 5G, it’s irresistible to look at if it’s coated in Lavender. The color is bold, vibrant, and eye-catching. The pièce de résistance for anyone who wants to capture attention. A fine accessory for a personality meant to stand out.
And more importantly, it’s just as good as any flagship smartphone out there. It still has the same flagship Samsung experience you’d normally expect, and it certainly delivers — with continuous updates for the next three years or so.
Samsung Galaxy S21 FE
Oops, Samsung did it again. The successor to its Fan Edition phones recently made its advent, and we found ourselves falling in love with the experience of using the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G. It’s great all around, and we’re comfortable calling it one of the best smartphones for most users for now.
It’s an absolute joy to use, and a worthy buy even with new, more advanced phones on the horizon. And more importantly, it’s a sight to behold. That Lavender surely knows how to work its way around different outfits and colors. You won’t regret parading this color.
Smart Bro Home WiFi 5G: Fiber-like speeds within reach
The solution to Fiber-less homes
When the world we live in requires us to stay connected and do our work through our preferred machines at the comfort of our homes, having a stable connection isn’t merely a desire anymore.
Sadly, not all homes are granted a fast Internet connection or fiber connectivity. Even I struggled to deal with intermittent connection from a certain Internet Service Provider (ISP). I remember using an extra 5G-capable smartphone as a mobile hotspot as my backup, especially when I was attending virtual conferences, team meetings, and client briefings.
It was costly, severely damaging my wallet in the process of staying connected. More importantly, not everyone is as privileged as I am. I get access to the latest technology and gadgets in the market.
Hope seems lost for most people, but there’s a new solution: the Smart Bro Home WiFi 5G.
Design and capabilities
The Smart Bro Home WiFi 5G is designed like the routers you see in the market today. Its build is similar to the Huawei WiFi AX3, especially when the device dons a plain, white colorway across its body.
I got the limited edition unit plastered with a cover design, drawn by award-winning Illustrator Stephanie Bravo-Semilla. The artwork playfully depicts how high-speed connectivity can link families together as they pursue their passions.
The router uses WiFi 6 technology — which guarantees speeds three times faster than the commonly used WiFi 5. It’s also equipped with a 5G NR SA/NSA connection, allowing it to connect to two wireless access technologies. Further, it has a 5G PLUS 2NR Carrier Aggregation, which expands the coverage indoors as well as maintains the connection’s stability.
Right off the bat, you can see how the Smart Bro Home WiFi 5G is built with six distinct external antennas as well, picking up better signals. It also have 9dBi high-gain antennas that extend the reach and support Gigabyte Ethernet Ports, WPA3 WiFi Security, and WiFi 22 MIMO.
Indicators, ports, buttons
You can find the LED indicators on top, displaying the status of your WiFi, 5G/4G signal, SIM, and System. There’s a pre-installed Smart SIM card that comes with 20GB of open-access data.
When you plug the router into a socket, it will boot up and the 4G signal will flash first unless it recognizes 5G connectivity in your area.
I used it inside my room, which is found in the innermost part of the house. At first, it didn’t pick up a 5G signal. The LED indicator for the 4G signal was on while the router was trying to find 5G.
That’s when I knew I had to place it outside my door. A few seconds later, the indicator for 5G connectivity lit up.
To confirm it, I turned on my mobile data using my 5G-capable smartphone and connected another one to the Smart Bro Home WiFi 5G. Happy to report that I live in a place where there’s 5G — both my smartphones and the WiFi device are picking up the 5G signal.
At the back, you can find the power port, Ethernet ports, reset button, and WPS button.
When the Smart Bro Home WiFi 5G was already up and running, I continued the setup by following the manual — which instructs you to access the web management page. I turned on my laptop, connected to the WiFi, and changed the network settings.
But that’s a grueling process — continuously going back to the web management page — just to check how your account is performing.
Luckily, you can use Smart’s GigaLife app. I like how it instantly reads the mobile number upon using the app. Even if I’m just connected to the WiFi. There was a prompt asking me if I was using a prepaid WiFi SIM.
Frankly, I dislike the hassle of adding and configuring accounts. I find it really convenient that the app easily recognized the account I’m using.
Through GigaLife, you can check your remaining balance, reload, and even monitor your subscriptions. Everything’s just easy when you have things sorted in one place.
Internet Speed for 5G-capable smartphones
I first tested the Smart Bro Home WiFi 5G through 5G smartphones that I have. Using the Honor 50 and the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE, I was able to do my everyday activities. Basically, the same stuff I would do had I been connected to my existing WiFi.
I played games without any delays, watched Netflix and other video content without buffering, and scrolled non-stop on social media.
I’ve connected two of my smartphones, my Nintendo Switch Lite, and my laptop. The router can supposedly handle 10 devices all at once. And even with four gadgets connected, not once did I feel any stutter in the Internet connection.
But then again, it really depends on the signal picked up in your area.
Nevertheless, the Smart Bro Home WiFi 5G gets speeds from 20 to 100Mbps. You can actually do your everyday tasks, including work and school.
My signal gave speeds between 60-70Mbps consistently, more than enough to let me upload and download creative assets for the projects I’m working on.
I’m privileged to have access to PLDT’s Fibr plans with an actual Fiber cable instead of copper lines. When I wasn’t using the 5G network, I get the same speed as I do when connected through the Smart Bro Home WiFi 5G, albeit higher.
The experience is quite the same — in terms of speed, latency, and maintaining the stability of the connection.
For non-5G smartphones
Over the holidays, my cousin who was studying in the province visited our family for a month. Like most people, she hasn’t switched to a 5G-capable smartphone since 5G connectivity isn’t as prevalent in the province as compared to when you’re in Metro Manila and living in key cities.
There’s a preconceived notion that 5G connectivity can’t be enjoyed by non-5G smartphones, but we beg to differ. While you can’t reach sky-high speeds when you do a speed test, the experience is the same as when you’re connected to a WiFi with Fiber connectivity.
My cousin played Call of Duty: Mobile for hours while connected to the Smart Bro Home WiFi 5G, and she expressed interest in taking it home. Especially with how stable the connection was even if there were my other four gadgets connected to the router.
Should you get one?
The Smart Bro Home WiFi 5G is the perfect solution for fiber-less homes wanting to have wireless fiber-like connectivity. You just have to remember that it uses a mobile network. The quality and speed of the connection will always depend on your area. Somehow, it’s a worthy investment for the everyday consumer living in the Philippines.
Students and budget-conscious consumers can monitor their data usage and spending since it’s prepaid WiFi. If you have spare money, it can be a backup plan just in case your Internet connection is interrupted. You won’t have to worry when you’re in the middle of a meeting, a conference, or an online class.
The Smart Bro Home WiFi 5G retails for PhP 15,995. It will be available at the Smart Online Store. For the same price, you can get the Smart Bro 5G Rocket WiFi. It’s perfect for anyone who needs to stay connected while on the go.
How to get your bumpy fitness journey back on track
Start slowly with a smartwatch
The rise of smartwatches and wearables is revolutionizing healthcare in an entirely new way by allowing us to take charge of our physical and mental well-being right from our wrists.
Anyone can quickly jump-start a fitness routine designed for their level. But if you haven’t kept up with your fitness routine over the past year, I’m not going to blame you. I’ve been hibernating most of the year, too!
The thought of figuring out how to start working out again seemed daunting. But wearing a smartwatch can help shake off the dust. Such is the case when I wore the Redmi Watch 2 Lite — I knew right away it’s time to get back in shape.
Know your fitness level and start slowly
It’s been a while since my last workout, so I remembered to take it easy. Starting off with something as rudimentary as a week of stretching is fine.
I decided to begin my fitness journey with quick runs, yoga, and quality stretching. If you’re unsure where to start, smartwatches usually have workout modes built-in. In my case, the Redmi Watch 2 Lite offered 100 workout modes — from core sports like outdoor running, and even freestyle workout tracking.
It also includes support for GPS, Glonass, as well as Galileo, and BDS satellite systems to improve accuracy in tracking your outdoor runs and rides.
Keeping my heart healthy, unbothered and happy
Before working out, I used to pick a Spotify playlist that’ll last the entire duration. Then, I just head off and skip some rope or run on a treadmill. Or go outdoors when the sun is setting down.
I’d do anything to keep my heart rate up without depleting my strength. It helps with my concentration and focus — something that we need to consider beyond our workouts, too.
The Redmi Watch 2 Lite has an optical heart rate sensor that continuously measures heart rate during exercises, or even when you’re lounging around day or night. On the plus side, it helps me track my stress levels and wind down through guided breathing exercises.
Take essential breaks to power through
Hitting your fitness goals as soon as possible might be your main objective for now, but you shouldn’t work out relentlessly. Take breaks. Come back better and stronger.
Throughout my journey, I learned how important sleep is, especially in helping your muscles recover. It actually matters the most during training.
Although sleeping requires far less energy than most daytime activities, I was surprised that it’s still an active period for burning some calories.
Seeing statistics on my wrist about my sleep quality helped me understand recovery better. For in-depth understanding, the Redmi Watch 2 Lite syncs with a dedicated Xiaomi Wear app — which works with any smartphone.
Somehow, I learned more about my sleep stages as well as my heart rate and blood oxygen levels when I’m snoozing, and how they’re an important indicator if your body’s doing well. I realized that my sleep quality can help me determine how much effort I’ll make on my workout the next day.
Stay active, no matter what
Consistency is key. I’m a deep believer that our habits don’t just appear out of nowhere. A significant reason is that things don’t just happen in a split second — time is needed to get stronger, build muscle, and lose fat. Having a visual reminder of my workout streak motivates me to keep going.
This is why I enjoyed the Redmi Watch 2 Lite. It packs a 262mAh battery capacity which, based on my regular usage, lasted me for at least 10 days.
It’s great having a smartwatch with a solid stamina that can accompany you through your fitness journey. You don’t have to spend a lot of time charging your device every now and then, so you can continue being active and staying on track. Hit your goals right!
Ready, #GetFit, and #StartNow!
Imagine having a smartwatch that can certainly get you a week’s worth of time in between charges. For a budget smartwatch, the Redmi Watch 2 Lite certainly impressed me on how it can be a long-lasting companion as I try to get my fitness journey back on track.
It also looks chic and it doesn’t feel cheap, even for a retail price of PhP 2,899. Plus, the screen has a reasonably good quality.
The Redmi Watch 2 Lite comes in various colors such as Ivory, Black, and Blue. Meanwhile, the straps showcase different colors that complement the watch, namely Pink, Olive, and Brown.
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