Lifestyle

Top Singaporean photographers take the iPhone XS for a spin

Time for a photo test!

Published

on

For a lot of people today, cameras are the most important feature on a phone. The thing is, you can really only test a camera when you use it in real-life scenarios.

So some of Singapore’s top iPhone photographers took a photo walk, and here’s what they captured with the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max.


Darren Soh

@darrensohphoto

Darren’s pro tips: “Use iOS apps to the fullest of their ability.” He uses apps like SunSeeker, Halide camera, and Hydra.

Aik Beng Chia 

@aikbengchia

Aik’s pro tip: “Getting a subject to be comfortable in front of you is definitely one of the biggest challenges. Make sure your subject is comfortable so they can feel natural and be themselves as this will have an impact on your portrait. You can also use the Depth Control feature on your iPhone XS and XS Max to help the subject stand out and choose the aperture of the photo precisely.”

Yafiq Yusman

@_yafiqyusman_

Yafiq’s pro tip: “To get interesting angles, try putting your iPhone horizontally and taking a panorama vertically to, for example, capture the height of buildings.”

Yais Yusman

@_yaisyusman_

Yais’ pro tip: “Also, my all time favorite apps are Snapseed and VSCO. The most helpful tools in Snapseed are definitely the Selective Adjustment and the new tool called Perspectives. I use VSCO to put on some filter and make sure that my photos are of similar tones.”

Javan Ng 

@javan

Javan’s pro tip: “Framing is essential! Use the elements of the space you’re in to create an interesting composition and experiment to discover what creates the greatest effect.”

Ivan Kuek 

@phonenomenon

Ivan’s pro tip: “To get the most from Portrait mode, make sure the background is a distance from the subject to create a better bokeh effect. Portrait mode is also very good for capturing not just popped images, but also food and other still life subjects.”

Ernest Goh 

@theanimalbookco

Ernest’s pro tip: “Use the optical zoom to do close-up images to get amazing details or to make tight crops in compositions to get interesting patterns.”

SEE ALSO: Apple iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max Review

SEE ALSO: Apple iPhone XS unboxing: Beautiful gold color!

Accessories

How to wear nude: The perfect summer to fall transition

Look chic this transitional season with a color you most probably have in your closet

Published

on

The combination of cool breeze and sunny skies can only mean one thing: summer isn’t completely over but autumn is almost here. Dressing during this transitional season can be tricky — sweaters and boots can still be too warm during the day, yet the wind can easily blow your favorite summer dress up.

And then there’s color. Summer whites and bright colors have to slowly start taking a back seat to give way to fall’s earthy tones. My go-to during this summer-to-fall transition is a closet staple all of us should already own: nude. All 50 shades of it. Here are some styling tricks you can take note of before heading out this month of September:


Layer with linens

Linen-blend paperbag shorts from & Other Stories

There are very few things more comfortable than linen during the summer. On days when temperatures fluctuate more than usual, wearing layers with a linen piece can be your go-to. Combine it with something warmer like a cotton sweater. You can also throw a blazer on top if the weather permits.

Slip into a slip dress

Slip dress from ARA

Who says you need to give your slip dresses a break this season? You can keep wearing those silk pieces as you transition into fall with a warm turtle neck sweater underneath or over it to turn it into a skirt.

Keep calm and carry the mini bag

Leather mini bag from Looks Like Summer

Mini bags may be the it accessory this summer, but it doesn’t mean you have to wait until next year to keep using them. Neutrals like nude will work with your outfit when styled appropriately for the season, even when the item is no longer trendy.

Power dress with an extra long coat

Nude trench from & Other Stories

Sweating underneath a powerful outfit is neither attractive nor commanding. Power dressing when it’s hot and humid out is not easy, especially when getting to work involves a lot of walking or subway rides. During this summer-to-fall transition, you can bring that light-colored coat from spring and wear it over your work outfit when needed. Plus points if your smartphone (or its case) doesn’t ruin the look, but actually matches with it.

There are many other ways to survive the summer-to-fall transition as stylishly as possible, but there’s nothing like sticking to pieces you most probably already have in your wardrobe — and styling them for the season — instead of buying more pieces that you won’t be able to wear until next year. There is, for sure, something nude in your closet that’s begging to be worn. It’s a staple that works with almost anything, may it be summer or fall.


HOW TO WEAR SERIES

How to wear red: 3 stylish pairings to try
How to wear pink: 4 ways to look chic and grown-up

Continue Reading

Lifestyle

Reebok Crossfit Nano 9: The best crossfit sneakers right now

A perfect balance of comfort, wearability, and durability

Published

on

As you can guess from the name, after 9 years, the 9th generation Reebok Nano was built with the CrossFit community in mind. Reebok worked closely with CrossFit athletes of all levels from around the world. They provided guidance and feedback in shaping this version and the result is a huge evolution in terms of comfort and overall fit.

Officially dubbed the “Nano for All,” this crossover shoe tries to be that perfect shoe to fit any variety of fitness activities, including for short distance runs, training at the gym, or just weight training.


In spite of the name, these sneakers are meant for more to be doing more than just CrossFit workouts, since they adapt for different use cases. Keep in mind, they’re not running shoes. In fact, they’re so much more. This is a pair you can wear across all types of routines and still look cool walking to the office in them.

The Nano 9 was released worldwide around June, and so far the feedback has been pretty great, so I was excited to try it out.

In Reebok’s Nano line of shoes, every odd numbered model gets a sizable update to improve performance and wearability. For the Nano 9, a couple improvements vs previous iterations include:

  • A redesigned new Flexweave outer construction to better move with your foot
  • Split outsole for better comfort and reactivity that features MetaSplit grooves for better traction and grip
  • Reworked midsole and heel construction

It’s quite a change in construction but turns out it makes the Nano 9 much better at performing in the gym, but also in your everyday setting.

A more flexible Flexweave

We’ll start with the upper part. The outer construction of the Reebok CrossFit Nano 9 is made out of the company’s Flexweave material. Specific to this model, the Flexweave was designed to be slightly more maneuverable and accommodating compared to the usual Flexweave material on other Reebok sneakers.

Just like on the Nano 8, the Flexweave material wraps around your feet to create a nice lightweight construction.

There’s an additional layer of material towards the toe area, which will help protect the shoe from wear and tear during any heel or toe dragging gym movements like burpees or push-ups. The heel-to-toe drop, aka offset, is about 4mm which is much lower than most running shoes which are usually about 9mm, but this is in order to give your foot a more stable position that is close to a flat position for exercises.

On the lateral side, you’ll see Reebok’s vector symbol. Not as nice as their delta symbol but oh well.

Superb cushioning

Coming to the midfoot, there are six eyelets running up, with a design similar to Reebok’s Speed TR sneakers. The eyelets are reinforced, and the tongue is wide and padded to ensure comfort and protection during any gym movements like rope climbing.

You’ll also notice that the last eyelet extends higher than the rest, so you have a good amount of ankle stability with the laces.

Coming to the heel, the construction is a similar design to the Nano 8. The inside of the heel has good support, while the outside of the heel does a good job of resisting any heel slip.

Coming to the most important part — the midsole.

The midsole on the Nano 9 has been reworked to make the shoe even more comfortable. It has a nice supportive foam-like material towards the toe that has a good amount of reactivity, allows seamless toe flex, and is generally very comfortable. The additional EVA foam cushioning really feels great while running, or during exercises.

Every time you lift weights, you transfer your balance from either the front to the back, or back to front, or side to side, and this cushioning constantly alternates between compression and reaction, so it is much appreciated. Responsive cushioning is also really important to running shoes as well, which makes the Reebok CrossFit Nano 9.0 a pretty good option for short distance runs too.

Designed for comfort and stability

The midfoot of the lateral and medial side of the shoe has a TPU layer that goes all the way from the outsole, wrapping over the midsole for solid durability and additional support.

The TPU splits towards the back of the heel, to support stability and comfort.

The most talked about change with the Nano 9 is the split outsole. It gives much more flexibility for foot movement during workouts.

The split outsole also makes it MUCH more comfortable for runs, and thanks to the Reebok metasplit design, there’s no forefoot slap when you’re running around.

Lastly, there’s a bunch of colorways for the CrossFit Nano 9. You’ll notice I got the more subtle option from Reebok and they look pretty sweet! As usual, choices might depend on the country you’re buying it from.

A perfect balance of comfort, wearability, and durability

There’s a couple things you need to look for when trying to find a good pair of crossfit sneakers: comfort and wearability. Can you wear this to the gym and outside on your walk to work or back home?

Then, there’s also the overall stability of the shoe under various workouts, like squats or deadlifts or HIIT workouts. And then, there’s also reactivity and how the sneaker performs during cardio workouts like zumba or whatever you throw at it in the gym.

Overall I wore them at the gym for about an entire week, across a lot of different workout styles, and the overall comfort, stability, and reactive design actually makes these a really great pair of crossfit sneakers. They resist compression when you’re weight training, and the split outsole and soft midsole are super reactive to handle whatever you throw at them. Even a long run. I really enjoyed working out in the Nano 9. It’s no wonder so many crossfit people recommend these. I’m impressed.

Plus the material is pretty breathable so you can wear them on your walk to the office, and if you get the same colorway I did, it’ll look classy enough for corporate scenes.

However, these are slightly narrow sneakers. So if you’re going to get them, maybe try them on in a store, or go up half a size.

Which brings me to one special section because these are gym sneakers — durability. Most gym sneakers break down in a couple of months and show signs of wear and tear in the first couple of days.

The Reebok Crossfit Nano 9 actually seems like they’re pretty indestructible. Granted, I’ve only been wearing them for about a week but I haven’t noticed any breakdown on the outsole or material yet. With the additional TPU wrap and the strong outer Flexweave, plus that very strategically placed material on the toe area, I feel like these sneakers can really take a beating.

Is the Reebok Crossfit Nano 9 your Sneaker Match?

If you want a pair of gym sneakers that’s the jack of all trades, the Reebok Crossfit Nano 9 might just be perfect for you.

Not only do they look cool, they’re priced pretty much in line with other cross trainers in the market. It offers a comfortable, newly tweaked midsole, with that split outsole, and a very breathable Flexweave outer that definitely helps with performance in addition to comfort while you’re working out. If you’ve used any of the previous Nano versions, I gotta say, the Nano 9 has improved in almost every way.

All-in-all, as someone that’s been hitting the gym almost everyday lately, I’m a fan of the new Reebok CrossFit Nano 9. Usually I’m skeptical about cross trainer shoes but I think Reebok has done a great job here. They created a gym sneaker that brings together comfort and performance.

If you’re looking for a new all-in-one kind of shoe for the gym, I’m thinking you’ll be pretty happy with the Reebok Nano 9.

Pricing – The Reebok CrossFit Nano 9 retails for about INR 9,999 in India, while in the US (where shoes are generally much cheaper) they retail at about US$ 130.00.

Continue Reading

Accessories

TCL unveils premium-looking entertainment solutions

Beautiful headphones and a soundbar!

Published

on

TCL just launched a set of entertainment solutions at IFA 2019. The brand unveiled a premium soundbar, along with new, wireless headphones.

Odd-looking yet beautiful soundbar

TCL put the spotlight on their Ray Danz soundbar. Featuring a front-firing and sideways-firing speaker drivers, the soundbar bend the sound in a particular angle to create a natural and wider resonance, and a crystal clear dialogue.


Thanks to Dolby Atmos, it creates a 360-degree surround sound without the need for extra upward-firing drivers. If you want a ground-shaking bass, connect the subwoofer to the soundbar wirelessly for an immersive experience.

New, vibrant headphones

Growing the brand’s headphone lineup, TCL introduces the SOCL500TWS. Available in four unique colorways — Blue Ocean, Sunset Violet, Sunrise Orange, and Phantom Black — this wireless headphone lets you enjoy music in style. It reproduces powerful audio, thanks to its 5.8mm speaker drivers. Moreover, TCL changes its wireless headphones’ design to fit ears naturally and perfectly.

Furthermore, the headphone can handle up to six hours of continuous playback. If you’re concerned with the charging case, TCL believes it carries enough power that lasts for at least 19 hours. In addition, it has a clever antenna design that lets you stay connected on your Bluetooth, even in crowded areas. Finally, the SOCL500TWS is splash-proof and IPX4 rated, so you can enjoy the headphones under light showers.

For sporty people, TCL offers the ACTV500TWS to complement your active lifestyle. It features a textured surface, providing extra grip. Designed for sports use, it comes in an IPX7 rating for water and sweat resistance. Same as the SOCL500TWS, the headphone can handle continuous playback for at least six hours, and can extend up to 33 hours, thanks to its charging case. The case itself supports wireless charging, too, and can be attached anywhere with its metal karabiner. It’s available in two color options: Copper Dust and Copper Ash.

Rise of noise-canceling headphones

Another headphone in TCL’s lineup is MTRO200NC, a noise-canceling headphone that packs with powerful bass. It features a set of 32mm speaker drivers, delivering accurate mids and crystal clear highs.

Design-wise, it has soft, breathable ear cushions to provide comfort when listening for a long time. But what you’ll love about this headphone is convenience. It has a flat-folding design, excellent battery life up to 20 hours, and fast-charging support.

ELIT200NC

Top-of-the-line headphones under the ELIT line joined TCL’s new lineup, too. Introducing ELIT200NC and ELIT400NC, both headphones feature active noise-canceling technology, exceptional audio, upscale design and build, as well as comfort, portability, long battery life, and fast charging.

ELIT400NC

For active, energetic individuals, the ELIT200NC is the perfect fit, featuring a flexible neckband design and stunning, lifelike sound. Casual users may enjoy the over-the-ear ELIT400NC headphones built with a lightweight, foldable frame.

Pricing and Availability

The Ray Danz soundbar will cost 399 EUR (US$ 440), while the SOCL500TWS and ACTV500TWS will cost 80 EUR (US$ 88) and 100 EUR (US$ 110) respectively. For the noise-canceling headphones, the MTRO200NC is priced at 70 EUR (US$ 77), and the ELIT200NC costs 80 EUR (US$ 88), while the ELIT400NC is a bit more expensive, starting at 130 EUR (US$ 143). TCL’s entertainment solutions will be first available in Europe starting Q4 2019.

Continue Reading

Trending