Her GadgetMatch

Things to buy instead of a $1,450 iPhone XS Max

Putting context to that crazy price tag

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The new iPhones are out and with the release of Apple’s newest flagships come not only top of the line phones, but also the possibility of burning a hole through your pocket. Priced at US$ 1,450 for the top-tier iPhone XS Max with 512GB storage, to say that handset prices have skyrocketed would be an understatement.

Admittedly, it’s easy to fall into the trap and allow yourself to fork out that amount of cash for these shiny new phones. But, before you allow Apple to take all your hard-earned cash, here’s a quick reminder of what you can buy with that small fortune you’re about to pay for a phone.

All the burger you can eat

At US$ 3.45, an iPhone XS Max is equivalent to 420 Double-doubles — that’s one burger for each day in a year plus a month and a half. Imagine all the In-N-Out goodness!

Two years worth of gym membership

And since I made you think of all those hamburgers, let me pivot to this: An iPhone XS Max will cost around as much as a two-year long membership at a fitness facility. Putting your gym cost at US$ 50 per month, that US$ 1,450 will get you 29 months of gym access. Perfect to burn those 420 burgers.

Makeup for you, your friends, and friends of your friends

Imagine buying 26 eyeshadow palettes. Well, with the price you’re about to pay for that phone, you actually can. Usually priced at US$ 54, you can get as many Naked palettes as you’ll ever need in your life. But, it gets better. These palettes were recently marked down since Urban Decay decided to discontinue the line. That just means you can actually buy 53 of these palettes at US$ 27, if you can find them in stores.

Beautiful, beautiful shoes

A pair of Louboutins is every girl’s dream. Nothing a beautiful pair of patent leather pumps with that red heel can’t do for a woman’s confidence. These classic Pigalle Follies are not just any footwear — they retail for a whopping US$ 695. This also means you can get a pair with what you’ll pay for an iPhone XS Max. Actually, you can get two pairs…

Champagne, champagne for everyone!

And since we’re celebrating your two pairs of designer heels, it’s time to pop open a bottle of champagne… which you hypothetically have 13 of because that’s how much Moet you can buy at US$ 105 each for the price of that new iPhone.

A designer bag

Since you’re living the good life with your Louboutins and Moet, you might as well look at getting yourself a bag that exudes the same extravagance. The basic Louis Vuitton Speedy Monogram will set you back US$ 1,000, which means you still have money left over to buy three bottles of Moet. All that versus getting just one smartphone.

An actual Apple computer

It’s funny because Apple’s new iPhone is so disgustingly expensive, there are actual MacBooks that are cheaper! A 13-inch 2017 MacBook will cost you US$ 1,299 which leaves you money left over for either 43 Double doubles, a three-month gym membership, two Naked palettes (or five, depending on what price you want to go with), or a bottle of Moet.

Her GadgetMatch

LG’s HomeBrew machine will make homemade craft beer for you

The best kitchen appliance in the history of time

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This is not your typical kitchen appliance — it’s even better.

LG has just announced a capsule-based craft beer brewing machine and they plan to unveil it in January during CES 2019.

Yes, you read that right. The LG HomeBrew will make you your own beer right at the comfort of your own home. You know those Nespresso machines that make coffee using those cute capsules? Imagine something with similar capsules, only this device will make beer. Let that reality sink in.

According to LG, the single-use capsules will contain everything you need for your brew: malt, yeast, hop oil, and flavoring. An “optimized beer fermentation algorithm” ensures optimum settings to make sure you come up with good beer. With the touch of a button, the LG HomeBrew will do everything for you, including cleaning the machine after every brew which means no messes, ever.

It makes five types of brew: American IPA, American Pale Ale, English Stout, Belgian-style Witbier, and Czech Pilsner. You can make around five liters of beer, depending on type, in two weeks time. The device also connects to your phone so you can check on your beer maker wherever you are, whenever you want.

Oh LG, thanks for making life so, so good, one homemade craft beer at a time. My kitchen is so ready for this.

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Her GadgetMatch

Exercising with the Fitbit Charge 3: Workouts you can do while traveling

Just how good is this new Fitbit?

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I’ve always had a soft spot for Fitbit — after all, I started health tracking because of a Fitbit. But, as we enter the age of better-looking smartwatches and more advanced wearables, how do Fitbits fare?

In this article, I work out … and test Fitbit’s latest wearable, the Charge 3.

Warming up

Before anything else, it has to be said: The Charge 3 is a health tracker and not a smartwatch. This means that its main function is tracking your health stats. But, because it’s 2018, it, of course, does more than that. Paired to your phone via the Fitbit App, it also gives your smartphone notifications for calls, messages, and some apps — but that’s about it.

On Android devices, you get the luxury of quick replies from the watch but nothing fancy like voice typing or replies other than what you’ve pre-set on the app. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing; this thing is for fitness purposes and is not to be used as another shiny thing to distract you from the ultimate goal which is exercising.

The Charge 3 as part of my outfit

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The best wearable is one you enjoy wearing so much that you keep it on your wrist, which means it can actually do its job and track the fudge out of those calories you’ve burned and steps you’ve taken. To do that, it has to look good enough, or in some cases, discreet enough so that it stays on you.

The Charge 3 looks like your typical fitness wearable and it’s pretty thick to be unnoticeable on your wrist but different strap options help with that. The special edition that I tested came with a black strap that’s great for casual looks and a fresh white band that looks sporty but oh so good.

Of course, there are many other strap options available; you can literally mix and match to suit your mood. And speaking of trackers that stay on your wrist, you’ll rarely have to take it off for charging, as the battery lasted me almost a week with heavy use. Now, on to the actual exercising!

Let’s go!

The Charge 3 boasts a wider screen than its predecessor’s and no physical buttons. It’s responsive enough and the wider surface area gives a better feel when swiping through. The default screen shows you the time, your steps, and your heart rate. Though you can pick different themes, most of them are pretty basic and give you the same info. You navigate through the menu with swipes on the screen and an inductive button on the screen’s left side. Swipe down for notifications, swipe up for stats, and swipe right to get to exercising!

This wearable will automatically record any activity you do. Ideally, you keep it on all the time so you get a complete picture of your fitness progress with all the information at hand. You can also start your exercises depending on a number of pre-set activities like running, treadmill, weights, workout, or even yoga.

Picking a particular exercise session means the wearable will guide you through your chosen exercise with updated stats like time, calories burned, and your heart rate. For science, I worked out. If you’re a frequent traveler, feel free to save this routine for your next trip. 👍🏽

1. HIIT exercise

I did a 10-minute HIIT routine with jumping jacks and high knees. For this type of exercise, it’s especially great to have timer notifications on your wrist instead of having to stop and use a timer on your phone — a gentle vibration just lets me know when it’s time to move on to the next set. This quick and easy routine is a great way to get your heart pumping.

2. Basic exercises with exercise bands

When I travel, I work out with fitness bands: They’re so portable and weigh next to nothing so you can bring them anywhere. It’s a great way to stay fit while on the go. On the Charge 3, I tapped “Workout” under “Exercises” and just allowed it to alert me every time I burned 100 calories. (It’s a great motivator. 😂)

3. Beginner Yoga

Trust me, this exercise is not only good for the body; it’s also great for your mind. Yoga is included on the list of pre-set exercises you can track. This time around, I set my goal on the Fitbit at the 20-minute mark. Now let me warn you: I’m no pro at this but I sometimes do Yoga workouts as a way to meditate and stretch. I’ve found these sessions to be therapeutic.

Because it’s a basic wearable, you don’t see actual workout tutorials on the band as you go (something the Fitbit Ionic and Fitbit Versa offered). And, though useful, that’s a feature that I’ve only ever used once because if you want to follow along to exercises, you will, most definitely, just end up watching on your phone.

Findings were: Fitbit, as always, does a great job of tracking activities. It even lets you decide how to track your exercise — either via calories burned or time elapsed; it also gives these updates in real-time. There are exercise summaries after each activity that help give you a picture of how many calories were burned and real-time heart rate checking throughout to make sure you’re not literally dying during exercise. This activity told me that I wasn’t as fit as I thought I was — multiple exercise takes to shoot this video killed me. 😅

Cool down

No doubt about it: The Fitbit Charge 3 is a great fitness tracker and awesome workout motivator. For those who want a basic wearable that you can trust, this is a great option.

I also love how easy the Fitbit interface is. Even beginners will be able to figure this out. Trust me, I didn’t know crap when I tested my very first Fitbit. Another great function, which not a lot of wearables have, is the built-in female health tracking: a period tracker that’s finally integrated into all your health data.

All in all, the Fitbit Charge 3 is a great way to make sure you’re on track to meet your fitness goals. Just remember that wearables can only do so much. It will give you all the data you need but without you getting off your butt to do the heavy lifting, your nice fitness tracker simply becomes a high-tech bracelet.

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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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