Features

Is this the chip for the ROG Phone 2? [Weekend Rewind]

Reports say yes!

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Here are the top stories on GadgetMatch this week.

1. Is this the chip for the ROG Phone 2?

We’re entering the second wave of smartphone flagships for 2019. What better way to do so than news on the chip that will power all these new phones.

Enter the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 plus. It’s not quite the chip we were expecting but it’ll still provide significant performance boosts.

The chip promises a 15 percent improvement on overall graphic performance. That’s perfect for gaming which is why reports of the chip debuting on the ROG Phone 2 is a welcome development. The chip should also provide improvements on AR, VR, and AI features.

We also expect to see the chip on the Samsung Galaxy Note 10, the Google Pixel 4, and the OnePlus 7T.

2. Huawei firing hundreds of workers

The latest chapter in the US vs Huawei saga sees the Chinese company in panic mode.

A report from the Wall Street Journal says the company will fire hundreds of employees from a pool of 850 workers. Most of which will come from their research and development division called Futurewei Technologies.

China-born employees have the option to go back to their home country and still be employed by Huawei. The same is not the case though for their American employees.

The layoffs come from the continued pressure by the US government. This, despite the optimism created by the earlier ban’s lifting.

Huawei is still preparing for the worst. They continue to work on their own OS and are building resistance to potential geopolitical threats in the future.

3. Sony’s A7R IV has a massive 61MP sensor

This wasn’t the announcement we were hoping for, but  it still has plenty going for it.

Sony just launched the latest on the R-series of their full-frame mirrorless cameras – The Sony A7R IV. It has the world’s first 61MP sensor on a full-frame camera. This helps you capture images that don’t lose detail even when you zoom in.

Other improvements include, a 15-stop dynamic range, five-axis optical in-body image stabilization, as well as 10FPS shooting with continuous autofocus. The real-time eye-tracking autofocus also makes its way to video recording for the first time.

The A7R IV also comes with new tech that captures digital audio signal. To take advantage, Sony also introduced a shotgun mic and an XLR mic adapter kit to pair with the camera.

This was a serious flex by Sony. Following the release of the Canon EOS R as well as the Nikon Z6 and Z7 — both of which are mirrorless cameras — the A7R IV is Sony sending a message that they still hold the crown when it comes to full-frame mirrorless cameras.

4. The Galaxy S8 is a lifesaver

Smartphones saving lives is a headline we didn’t expect to see this week but here we are.

A boat in Cebu in the Philippines that was transporting local and foreign divers to a diving spot capsized. Emergency responders were quick to respond to a call saving the lives of all the passengers and crew members. 

The call was made using a Samsung Galaxy S8 — but not just any S8 — it’s one that has been submerged in seawater for 30 minutes.

“Only my S8 was able to connect… and worked all the way until we made it to land. It stayed alive for much longer than I thought possible and it really made the difference,” said the phone’s owner

In case you were wondering, the Samsung Galaxy S8 sports an IP68 rating. Typically, it can survive five feet underwater for up to 30 minutes. We hope to hear more good news like this!

5. FaceApp goes viral again, raises security concerns

If you’re seeing a lot of your friends’ aged faces on social media, well, you’re not alone.

The FaceApp, for some reason, has gone viral again with celebrities, YouTubers, and NBA stars joining in on the fun posting what they’ll look like if they ever make it past 60 years old.

Using the app is pretty straightforward. Just pick a photo and apply whatever filter you like that’s anywhere from beauty filters to gender swaps, and of course, the old age filter.

While it’s all fun and games on social media, this has actually raised security concerns. A report on Fast Company indicates the Russian company behind the app saves the photos uploaded by transmitting it to their servers. The US government takes it even further saying it poses some security threat and ordered the FBI to investigate the Russian startup.

FaceApp has denied the allegations saying that images are deleted from their servers within 48 hours from the upload date.

It’s worth noting though that this is not that different from Google and Facebook taking more information than we realize. But if you’re still concerned, the best option is to steer clear of these photo editing apps.


Weekend Rewind is our roundup of top news and features you might have missed for the week. We know the world of technology can be overwhelming and not everyone has the time to get up to speed with everything — and that includes us. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the rewind.

Features

Galaxy Note 20 Ultra: GadgetMatch for the Casual User

So well-rounded, it simply works

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The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra represents the current pinnacle of the Galaxy Note line. That’s why it’s not far fetched to think that it can seamlessly add value to people from different walks of life.

In this second of a three-part feature, we’ll explore how the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra can be a reliable partner for the average, casual user.

In this first of a three-part feature, we’ll explore how the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra can be reliable partner for three specific people:

  1. The Manager
  2. The Casual User
  3. The Multimedia Creative

Note: Link to part 3 will be added when it’s published.

All-around for the well-rounded

Life is all about finding balance. Wherever you are in this walk of life, we always cut a portion of our time to do things that matter: self, hobbies, love, career, health, and more.

But how do you manage to find balance when it feels like we don’t have enough time? The answer is simple: Get an all-around phone that’s as well-rounded as you. In particular, the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

Let me set the record straight: I’m not a techie, a gamer, a selfie master, or an aspiring content creator. I simply don’t fall into any stereotype. While I can try to look like a D-lister, I’m just like the average consumer, using a phone to navigate life in the 21st century.

Though I work in the technology industry, I was never caught up in the hottest specs, highly innovative pieces, great hardware, or monster features. All I ever needed — as I’ve been saying for three years now — is a phone that’s smart enough to carry with for my everyday life.

Having the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra helped me find the balance I need, accompanying me in juggling my hectic yet blissful life.

Work and play

Being in a remote work setup for god-knows-how-long, I’m used to being glued on my phone almost 24/7. While it’s a habit that I’m still trying to change, I’m thrilled with how I can do my tasks on-the-go. With a 6.9-inch screen, it’s easy to do your work even when you’re away from your desk.

You can browse through social media, switch between apps seamlessly, and multi-task. When you apply the 120Hz refresh rate? Oh, it’s so buttery-smooth, you won’t even consider going back to a lower refresh rate!

In essence, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is swift and powerful enough to do whatever tasks you need to do on your phone.

And when things get a little bit boring, you can hop to Spotify, YouTube, or watch your favorite shows on Netflix. With its massive screen, impressive display, and astounding speakers — you’ll feel like you have your portable home entertainment albeit a little bit smaller than the usual setup.

If you want a little bit of privacy, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra works seamlessly with my Galaxy Buds or with my wired USB-C earphones. Connectivity wasn’t an issue; be it via Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, cellular strength, and even connection between devices.

Not gonna lie, my gizmos are mostly Samsung’s. I’ve fallen in love with it and its ecosystem ever since I switched. I’ve enjoyed its exclusive features and I’ve grown accustomed to One UI.

Besides, Samsung never fails to provide an experience you won’t forget whether it’s through midrange or flagship smartphones.

The art of pleasure

Speaking of experience, the whole shebang with the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra teaches the art of pleasure. I played League of Legends: Wild Rift, watched Lucifer on Netflix, edited my photos on Lightroom, produced a video using Rush, and created art using the S Pen.

Being able to do what makes me sane, feeds my soul, and gives my heart joy is possibly the greatest pleasure I can find in my day-to-day life.

I was able to keep on doing it because of the impressive battery, which lasted me enough to finish one task before charging its juice again. After all, to achieve pleasure you must have enough juice to keep going and be long-lasting.

But if there’s one thing you must not forget: It’s finding beauty in every day, no matter how the weather (or your day) sucks.

Finding beauty in everyday

Beautiful is an understatement when I first saw the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. It’s polished, sleek, gorgeous, and sexy. Touching it was like caressing someone you’re really passionate about; gentle, smooth, and oozing with desire.

It’s no wonder anyone can fall in love at first sight upon seeing this dandy. Of course, the Note 20 Ultra isn’t the epitome of beauty — but it’s a great accessory to wear to look astonishing.

While it seems like I’m asking people to keep on looking at the phone, beauty can really be found everywhere. The search won’t be difficult, seeing how the Note 20 Ultra is equipped with capable cameras.

You can capture whatever type of beauty you’re looking for. In my case, it’s capturing myself through my mirror selfies and portraits, as well as coffee and furniture.

Like any other consumer, having great cameras is one of my major concerns before buying a smartphone. Thankfully, I was able to capture Instagram- and Pinterest-worthy photos using the Note 20 Ultra — which I may or may not upload to my social media accounts.

Is the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra fit for the Casual User?

Definitely. The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra — to most people — can be too much. Yet it’s perfect for those who just want a smartphone smart enough to get things done.

You don’t have to worry about running out of space, lagging, tinkering to install apps you don’t have, or encountering issues you normally would on a midrange phone.

It’s so well-rounded, it simply works. And for a person who tries to find the balance in doing a little bit of everything, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is the perfect GadgetMatch — only the best for someone who deserves the best.

SEE ALSO: Galaxy Note 20 Ultra: GadgetMatch for The Manager | Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra Review: Last of Its Kind?

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vivo V20 unboxing

Shining spotlight to the middle child

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Chinese company vivo has a new smartphone lineup in town! Penetrating the midrange segment, vivo introduces the V20 series with three offerings: V20, V20 SE, and V20 Pro.

However, the spotlight always shines on the youngest sibling and the top-of-the-line among the lineup. The V20 — just like any other middle child — doesn’t get enough attention.

In this unboxing, we showcase what the V20 has to offer.

The vivo V20 comes in a reflective box shining a V-shaped light across the surface, beaming in a beautiful and striking blue.

Opening the box, you’ll get the usual set of accessories included. There’s a white earpiece and a Type-C to Type-A USB cable.

Of course, it comes with a free power adapter, unlike you-know-who. Other than that, there’s a manual, a SIM ejector pin, and a protective case for this beaut. Moreover, vivo pre-applied a protective film to the V20.

The beautiful, middle child in its mesmerizing color

The vivo V20 comes in a delightful, Sunset Melody colorway. Its glass body looks flawlessly enchanting, with a fascinating gradient shift varying through certain lights and angles. Somehow, it’s reminiscent of the gradient glass era evident in smartphones for the past two years.

Although, vivo managed to keep it on-brand and polished a matte-like approach to avoid reflection. What it wasn’t able to prevent though, is the smudges you will give this beaut.

On the other hand, the camera bump looks like the rectangular camera set-up from the vivo X50. It houses a triple camera system: a main 64-megapixel Samsung GW1 sensor, an 8-megapixel multi-function camera for your wide-angle, macro, and bokeh shots, and a 2-megapixel monochrome lens.

On the front, the V20 prides itself on a 6.44-inch AMOLED display with 2400×1080 FHD+ resolution. There’s a small waterdrop notch housing its 44-megapixel front camera.

Of course, it runs on FunTouch OS 11 based on Android 11. It’s also powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 720G, and an adequate configuration: 8GB RAM and 128GB internal storage. Additionally, it’s equipped with a 4000mAh battery capable of up to 33W fast charging.

There are a lot of things to explore for the V20. But like any midrange smartphones in the market right now — it’s worth exploring.

The vivo V20 retails for PhP 19,999. It will be available in vivo’s official stores and authorized retailers.

SEE ALSO: vivo V20 SE unboxing | vivo V20 Pro review

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Smartphones

vivo V20 SE unboxing

Cheaper but not cheap-looking

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Chinese company vivo introduces a new midrange lineup with the V20 series: the V20, V20 SE, and V20 Pro.

Introducing an SE variant just like Apple and OPPO, you’d think less seeing how it’s just another younger sibling. In your head, it’s probably the same handset with a lower configuration.

Perhaps you’re right, or not. Let’s find out by unboxing and taking a quick look at the vivo V20 SE.

Unboxing the youngest sibling

The V20 SE comes in the same box as its other siblings: a shiny, reflective V-shaped light across its surface, beaming in a beautiful and striking blue.

Taking it out of the box, you’ll be greeted by accessories deemed essential in a smartphone box. For instance, you can find a white earpiece, a Type-C to Type-A USB Cable, and a free power adapter.

There’s also a protective case for the V20 SE, along with a SIM ejector pin.

Youngest but the most sleek-looking

Seeing the V20 SE didn’t give a youthful vibe even though it’s the youngest in vivo’s V20 lineup. While an SE variant promises a lower configuration for a more affordable option, the V20 SE looks like a powerhouse that every professional would sport. At least, that’s how it looks.

The V20 SE uses a plastic body, but can still look as bewitching as its siblings’ glass bodies. It comes in two sheeny colorway: Gravity Black and Oxygen Blue.

Although, the one we have is painted in Gravity Black yet looks lustrous in a calming, faded blue when hit by light at certain angles. Somehow, it’s quite reminiscent of the vivo X50’s design and approach.

The vivo V20 SE sports a triple rear camera system, housed in a vertical bump. It has a 48-megapixel main sensor, an 8-megapixel camera for wide-angle and macro shots, and a 2-megapixel bokeh lens.

On the front, it has a 6.44-inch AMOLED display with 2400×1080 FHD+ resolution just like the base V20. It also runs FunTouch OS 11 based on Android 11. Moreover, it’s powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 665, an 8GB RAM, and 128GB internal storage.

Of course, the V20 SE still sports a waterdrop notch housing its 32-megapixel front-facing camera.

On its bottom side, you can find the beloved headphone jack, speaker grillers, and a USB Type-C port. It’s perfect for charging up to 33W using vivo’s Flash Charge 2.0, filling up the V20 SE’s 4100mAh battery.

The vivo V20 SE has certain rooms for exploration, even with a lower configuration among its siblings. There’s one thing for sure: this sleek-looking cheaper variant that doesn’t look really cheap has a market to conquer.

It retails for PhP 15,999. It will be available in vivo’s official stores and authorized retailers.

SEE ALSO: vivo V20 unboxing | vivo V20 Pro review

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