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.
Arion’s color-changing dress is turning heads
My mind is blown and I want it
Once upon a time, the internet was divided over a dress all because people couldn’t agree on what color it was. If you’re one of those people who argued for a certain side, I have something that will truly blow your mind.
— Fashion Designer ✂️ (@_iimightbee_) February 18, 2019
If your brain can’t process what you just saw, let me spell it out for you: This dress changes color when a light, like your smartphone torch, is shone on it. From a sophisticated muted tone, the reflective material turns into a bright and awesome party dress. Let’s see that again:
Made this custom outfit ⚡️ can’t wait to add it to my site 🌈 pic.twitter.com/lFSVg5t7QT
— Fashion Designer ✂️ (@_iimightbee_) December 28, 2018
People are definitely loving this fashion statement. The first tweet from the designer quoted above has garnered 12,000-plus retweets and almost 69,500 retweets in the first 12 hours of posting — multitudes of shiny-unicorn-loving women who want the awesome look, probably.
Admittedly, I’ve stared at the video far longer than I should have and am now completely convinced that I want this material in every single outfit I’m to don from here on end. Fortunately, the dress is now for sale on the Arion website but it isn’t exactly cheap. The two-piece set retails for US$ 155. As of posting, this is the only design the dress is available in but hey, I’m not complaining!
What could the new unicorn Xiaomi Mi 9 be called?
Xiaomi asked and people have answered
Xiaomi’s new flagship is coming and, of course, the Chinese brand wastes no time in telling us that we’re going to want this new phone. Over the weekend, Xiaomi showed off the Mi 9’s color options and I am swooning.
— Mi (@xiaomi) February 16, 2019
The three colors posted all include a beautiful gradient in black, one in blue, and another in a purple-pink hue. Let’s look at that last one again:
💜 Get another glimpse of the upcoming #Mi9. All will be revealed on the 24th!
RT if you’re getting major 🦄 vibes from this colour! pic.twitter.com/x1sNlvSTdx
— XiaomiUK (@XiaomiUK) February 16, 2019
The color, which people have been quick to call unicorn, has no official name. Global spokesperson Donovan Sung asked Twitter world what they could possibly name it.
— Donovan Sung (@donovansung) February 17, 2019
There were a number of interesting and funny answers:
Not Blue neither Pink 🤪
— Shadman Ahmmed (@ShadmanAhmmed) February 18, 2019
Color: tri fusion
— Sathish (@Sathish91801176) February 17, 2019
— pedro85 (@pedroll85) February 17, 2019
iPhone X Wallpaper
— Cameron Stevenson (@Cam_Steve_) February 17, 2019
— Mr West (@OfficialMr_West) February 17, 2019
— Carbon (@Carbon69174524) February 17, 2019
Of course, we had our own guesses:
— Chay Lazaro (@chaylazaro) February 17, 2019
Call it mine 🤩 https://t.co/sEHoodEGZg
— Isa Rodriguez (@sisasaid) February 17, 2019
If there’s any clue, though, it would be this reply:
— Xiaomi Málaga (@xiaomimalaga) February 17, 2019
The official Xiaomi Twitter account did conduct a poll calling it Lavender Violet the day before Donavan Sung sent out the tweet…
Which color do you like most?😉
— Mi (@xiaomi) February 16, 2019
Until we have this confirmed, we’re calling it unicorn Mi 9. 🦄 Besides, whatever they call it, it’s looking like a very pretty color and I want it!
PhoneSoap Go: A portable device that will sanitize your smartphone
It isn’t called PhoneSoap for nothing!
That smartphone in your purse can do so much but it also has 18 times more bacteria than the average public toilet. Before we continue, let that sink in.
Before you drop that phone you’re probably reading this article on, know that there’s a way to clean your handset and it doesn’t involve soap and water. Introducing: PhoneSoap.
PhoneSoap Go is the brand’s latest release. It’s a tiny chest that will literally clean your smartphone. It uses UV-C light to kill bacteria on your device. All you do is put your smartphone inside, tap the lightning button, wait 10 minutes for one cleaning cycle, and your phone should be germ-free.
The inside compartment can house your phone, no matter what size. It’s pretty spacious so it can even fit small everyday stuff like keys or wallets. Despite all that space, the PhoneSoap Go is designed for portability. This is PhoneSoap’s smallest device — something you can bring along on trips to make sure your handset is sanitized anywhere you go.
On the back of the chest is a USB-A and a USB-C port. This is because the PhoneSoap Go has a 7000mAh battery built into it. That’s enough for 45 cleaning cycles, or four phone charging cycles.
Yes, I said phone charging cycles. That’s because you can actually use it as a power bank. There’s even a slot for your charging cable so you can charge as you sanitize your phone. That means even if the whole cleaning cycle is just 10 minutes, you can leave your phone plugged in longer. There’s even “acoustic outlets” at the bottom so you can hear phone notifications.
Of course, unless I have a petri dish and some phone swabs, I won’t be able to say definitively that this thing can clean 99.99 percent of bacteria on your phone, as the brand claims. But, I will say that if it does end up sanitizing your phone in any capacity, that’s already a good enough deal considering how dirty these things supposedly are, and how much we’re holding on to them on a daily basis.
But really, more than phone cleaning, what you get is peace of mind. Honestly, my own (many, rotating) devices have been chilling a lot in my PhoneSoap ever since I got it.
The PhoneSoap Go retails for US$ 79.95 and you can get it from their website.
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