Lifestyle

How a smartphone became my travel buddy

To Taipei 101 and beyond!

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I’m the kind of traveler who turns a trip abroad into a process. I plan beforehand, execute every planned move, and adapt to situations along the way.

Normally, this approach requires me to bring a handy notebook, high-quality mirrorless camera, and printed maps in my backpack. For my trip to Taipei, Taiwan, I tried something a little different.

This time, I set out to do everything on my smartphone, going from an analog kid to grownup with an all-in-one gadget. Being the traditional type, it was a bit hard to do, but finding the perfect travel buddy certainly wasn’t.

I’ve been using the Huawei P20 Pro as my daily driver for a while now, and I’ve been having a tough time letting it go for another handset, so it was, without a doubt, the first choice to spring to my mind.

With the phone in hand (and no old-school items packed), I set out to explore Taipei using only my newfound travel buddy.

Or maybe I still need to visual my routes on a bigger layout before heading out. This was me being stubborn and giving conventional maps one last look before going full digital.

A journey through Taipei means lots of eating and drinking. While searching for routes and places to visit on Google Maps, I make it a point to find highly rated restaurants and juice bars along the way.

Doing so in Taiwan is a cinch. Mobile internet here is incredibly fast for any standards, and quick searches on both Maps and Chrome take only a few seconds.

Taipei is the kind of city that requires a lot of walking and commuting to get around. For the longer train rides, I whip out my phone to play a game of Asphalt 9: Legends or Dragon Ball Legends — two games that require a lot of power to run.

Fortunately, the P20 Pro can handle both with ease. Not only is it powerful enough to max out the in-game graphics, its battery is long-lasting enough to get through the day even though I play hours’ worth of games, and that’s with mobile data always on.

Don’t let the low number of steps above fool you; even though it was already close to sunset, my day was just starting. Taipei wakes up at night with its numerous markets filled with fantastic food and affordable clothing.

To get from one point to another, there’s lots of walking involved. It’s great to have a smartphone that can readily show you how many steps you’ve taken at a glance so you know you’re burning all the food you ate.

Just to prove it, here’s me actually walking in the city. Aside from bringing the right travel companion with you, it’s also vital to dress up properly for the weather.

My annual trips to Taipei normally happen around June, which is when Computex goes on. During this season, it can get quite humid when the sun’s out, and a little chilly at night. It’s best to be prepared for both.

I must say, Taipei is a beautiful city — easily one of my favorites in the whole world. There’s no shortage of landmarks to see, but if there’s one you must visit, it’s Taipei 101. Once the tallest building in the world, the skyscraper is still a sight to behold no matter what angle you view it from.

For this shot, I chose to shoot it from below, and the P20 Pro handled the challenging lighting with ease. Every detail was captured, and there’s the option of zooming in for another take on the iconic view.

What’s great about having a phone with artificial intelligence built in is that it can detect scenes and subjects for you. This came in handy when I went around Taipei Zoo.

Although I was obviously going to take photos of animals at every turn, I liked how my phone could adjust settings on the fly and tweak images for me automatically.

At the end of the day, it’s nice to relax and scroll through all the photos I’ve taken while sipping from a cup of Taipei’s signature milk tea — even better when it’s on phone as attractive as the P20 Pro both inside and out.

There’s so much more you can do with the P20 Pro on a trip, but no travel piece can cover every single feature. For more, you can watch our hands-on video below.


This feature was produced in collaboration between GadgetMatch and Huawei.

Features

6 white smartphones you won’t regret buying

Even when their successors launch in 2019

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Pantone may have announced the next Color of the Year, but there’s no unseating white in the hall of classics. This timeless shade will never go out of style even when it comes to smartphones. Now that 2018 is coming to a close, we’ve rounded up our favorite white phones that you won’t regret buying this holiday season. We’re confident you’ll want to keep using any of the options on this list for a long time, even when their successors launch in 2019.

Honor 10

First on our list is one of the most affordable flagship smartphones in the market today. At around US$ 400, the Honor 10 is an easy pick for those who want a phone that practically has everything except for a steep price tag. Like its more colorful brothers, this Lily White variant has color-shifting features depending on the viewing angle — it can look lavender, pink, or teal from time to time.

Nokia 7 Plus

Nokia introduced great phones in every price point this year, including this beautiful midranger. The white Nokia 7 Plus became an instant favorite as soon as it was announced and has been a mainstay on our best smartphones list for a while now. It comes in a matte white finish with signature copper trims making it one of the most beautifully designed phones we’ve seen this year.

Xiaomi Mi MIX 2S

Another mainstay in our best smartphones list is Xiaomi’s Mi MIX 2S. Its successor, the Mi MIX 3, hasn’t rolled out outside China so this is still one of the best Android flagships to get today if you don’t want to break the bank. It’s also the only phone on this list that has a white face, making it truly unique and a personal favorite.

Huawei P20

With so many great phones coming out left and right and incremental upgrades becoming the norm, it’s a pleasant surprise that Huawei managed to wow us twice this year. This Pearlescent White P20 was announced months after the phone’s original launch and isn’t available in all markets, but if you manage to snag one, you can thank me later.

Apple iPhone XR

It’s not the best in Apple’s lineup, but the iPhone XR is the one we wholeheartedly recommend to most people looking to upgrade their iPhones this year. The main differences from its more expensive brothers are its LCD display and a single rear camera — none of which are deal breakers. It’s also the only iPhone in recent memory that officially comes in white, even though the similarity to the silver iPhone 8, 8 Plus, X, XS, and XS Max is uncanny.

Google Pixel 3

You really can’t go wrong with Google’s new Pixel 3. Even though it’s a little pricier than the other items on this list, its cameras, both front and back, are considered by many to be the best in the market today. If you want a smartphone that’s reliable and capable enough to take with you on trips, this is the one to get.

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Accessories

Pantone of the year Living Coral and where you’ve seen it before

Such a pretty shade! 🤩

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For the last 20 years, the Pantone Color Institute had been assigning a color to the year that’s to come. Symbolic of the incoming trends in culture, fashion, and design, among others; each shade that’s carefully picked represents a sentiment that embodies “our collective experience and reflect what is taking place in our global culture at a moment in time.”

This year, that color is Living Coral, or Pantone 16-1546.

As the name implies, it’s a color we mostly expect to see under the sea. It is, according to Pantone, a hue which “embraces us with warmth and nourishment to provide comfort and buoyancy in our continually shifting environment.”

But, we don’t just see this amazing color in submerged life forms. It’s a breathtaking shade we find in nature, in the beautiful world that surrounds us, and on our Instagram feeds. Here are a few breathtaking samples from our feed:

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Of course, makeup is all up in this color jam. Coral classics have always existed, and here are some crowd favorites in this year’s Pantone pick.

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Even on the runway, this mellow color has popped up. For the Spring 2019 collections, a number of designers like Marc Jacobs, Prada, Sies Marjan, and Zac Posen have worked in the shade.

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Coral also took center stage in celebrity news and pop culture in the form of a tiny bikini in what has been dubbed as “the battle of the coral bikini.” Basically, Kourtney Kardashian and Sofia Richie, the ex and at-that-time beau of Scott Disick, were both spotted in Mexico with swimwear that looked way too similar.

In terms of impact, this item would probably have the least on this list, but those coral bikinis are still looking pretty cute to me

Even in tech, we saw the rise of this color slowly creeping in and taking the place of traditional gold and black color schemes — thank goodness!

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The Pantone Institute justifies its color choice with the “innate need for optimism and joyful pursuits” that this color represents. They even go as far as saying that Living Coral symbolizes the  “authentic and immersive experiences that enable connection and intimacy” — perfect at a time of fast-paced tech and the internet.

Rightly so, Panton explains that Living Coral is “a nurturing color that appears in our natural surroundings and at the same time, displays a lively presence within social media.”

After writing this feature, I can’t say I disagree.

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Her GadgetMatch

Newlyweds Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas grace Vogue’s cover

*heart eyes*

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Beauty queen, actress, and film producer Priyanka Chopra and singer, songwriter Nick Jonas have just tied the knot. In a beautiful four-day event held in India, the couple held two ceremonies — a western wedding and a traditional Hindi wedding — to celebrate their love.

The whirlwind romance shocked and inspired the world as it unraveled. It seemed like an unlikely match but the 36-year old Indian celebrity and 26-year old former boyband member have been unapologetic in their love. The couple looks like they belong in each other’s arms as they grace the cover of Vogue magazine — an image shot by the legendary Annie Leibovitz on a Google Pixel 3.

 

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Just us @nickjonas 💕 Shot by: #AnnieLeibovitz for @voguemagazine Captured on: #pixel3 (Link in bio for full story)

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The newlyweds tell Vogue their love story. The first time Nick met Priyanka in person at the Oscar’s after party, he went on one knee and exclaimed, “You’re real. Where have you been all my life?”

A year and a half into their relationship, Nick proposed. Their love story continues to this day.

 

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And forever starts now… ❤️ @nickjonas

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Amidst beautiful gowns, lovely wedding ceremonies, and a huge 10-year age gap, they remain to be one of the most adorable couples out there. Here’s proof:

Congratulations, you two! ❤

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