Lifestyle

Vivo NEX S: What’s taking selfies with a pop-up camera like?

And other relevant questions about Vivo’s newest flagship

Published

on

“It has a pop-up selfie camera.” That was the only thing I heard when the Vivo NEX was announced, and all other features faded into the background. Seriously, my main excitement over this phone stems from the fact that it has a mechanical camera that comes out when you take photos with the front-facing camera.

How would it work? Why the technical maneuvering to make this camera happen? Would it break after the gajillion selfies I take in a day? These were all questions I needed answers to. So, it’s time for a quick review — and by quick, I mean I’m only tackling the key features. (You can read the full hands-on review here.)

What’s the deal with this phone anyway?

The Vivo NEX, to us mere mortals (your average non-techie consumer), looks like a typical smartphone. Until you have to scan your fingerprint and take a selfie, that is. Of course, a number of people have given praise to this handset for being the future of smartphones — and I can’t blame them. In a sea of identical notched devices, a camera with moving parts sounds oh so exciting.

You’ll realize that the hype is real when you finally get this baby in your hands. Anything that feels less than premium in my hands is a big no-no for me, and the NEX doesn’t disappoint in this regard. Unlike the previous midrange Vivo releases that didn’t quite do it for me, this handset has a good weight to it and you can definitely feel the glass build.

Sure, it comes in drab black, but if the light hits right, you can see colors of the rainbow. No, really:

It’s a nice lighting touch, though to be honest, it just looks more black in most lighting scenarios. I’m pretty disappointed I’m not the dazzling unicorn I thought I’d be by using this phone, but that’s just me.

Do we really need all that screen?

A 91+ percent screen ratio is a big deal in terms of measurement and smartphone hype, but it’s just a bunch of numbers to me. Admittedly, however, the wider screen experience is good — the obsession with a wider screen in a smaller phone body is understandable for people with smaller hands like mine.

Speaking as someone who hides the notch when I have the option to, the lack of screen obtrusion is refreshing. More screen means a literal bigger picture, which is great when being viewed on a massive 6.59-inch Super AMOLED screen. As much as I’d love to say that’s a problem for the small-screened population, it’s the lack of standard in screen ratios that’s the real culprit, so I’ll leave it at that.

How does the fingerprint sensor feel?

Hidden in plain sight is the fingerprint sensor. Yes, it’s in the display! You know where to scan your fingerprint because when the phone’s locked, the area of the screen where you’re supposed to put your finger lights up.

How does this new technology fare? Well, it’s decent. Compared to other fingerprint scanners which take less than a second to unlock with a slight touch from your finger, the in-display sensor on this thing is less sensitive and it takes longer. You’d have to hold your finger precisely on the correct area of the screen for a second or two.

Call me spoiled, but in a time of talking refrigerators, that two-second delay feels so long. Impressive as an under-display fingerprint sensor may be, anything longer than a second just feels so laggy to impatient old me, especially since the only two options to unlock this phone is via the sensor or entering a code (which is so 2010). The phone isn’t equipped with face unlock technology since, to get to the front-facing camera, you’d need the phone unlocked.

Vivo offers an alternative to all this in the form of the lower-priced Vivo NEX A, though, so problem solved. That version of the NEX has an actual fingerprint scanner  — the usual fast one — on the back of the phone.

What’s taking selfies with a pop-up camera like?

First of all, I’d like to admit: Taking selfies with a pop-up camera is pretty cool. The reaction I get when other people see this moving part on my phone is priceless.

How it works is the camera pops up every time you flip the camera to selfie mode. The whole thing barely makes a sound, though there are options to add a sound effect every time the cam came out, but I refused to turn that on because who wants an alert every time a selfie is attempted? It’s a pretty smooth movement so once the novelty faded out, there were times I even forgot it was happening.

Forgetting that tiny protruding camera was actually what scared me. One too many times, I’d accidentally tap the selfie camera option and, without me noticing, the camera would come out. This happened in my bag, in my hands, or even on my cluttered desk, and every time I was scared I’d break this tiny moving part.

Sure, Vivo said they did drop tests and that the camera can pop up to 50,000 times (Chay did the math: That’s 137 years if you only take one selfie per day), but does that mean it’s Isa-proof? It did survive more than a week in my hands, but I don’t think that thing would’ve survived a solid drop if it so happened with the camera out. (Because let’s be honest, everyone drops their phones.)

The selfie camera on the NEX is pretty good and I love how its AI beauty mode is so subtle but effective. Of course, the beauty mode can still be too much at optimum settings, but who told you to amp up the filter that high, Brenda?

Additionally, the rear cameras are pretty good, too. Honestly, it’s a pretty capable IG camera. See for yourself:

For more photo samples, check out our 24 Hours at the World Cup with the Vivo NEX.

Do I likey?

Me likey what I’ve seen so far.

If you’re in the business of reviewing phones and gadgets, it’s easy to get bored with all the identical phones being churned out nowadays. That being said, it’s also easy to get carried away by something just by virtue of it being different.

Truth be told, this is one solid phone from Vivo. Honestly, it’s a flagship that I would totally use, even for just the selfie camera. But, on top of it being novel, I’m happy to report that it performs well, all things considered. Despite caveats, it’s a phone that pushes boundaries and dares to stray from what conventional smartphones are making.

And, don’t we all love that exciting wildcard? C’mon, live a little and take poppin’ (pun intended) selfies along the way.

Singapore

Catch the hot summer vibes with G-Shock’s Summer Lover

we LOVE the look

Published

on

By

G-Shock Singapore just launched a local campaign: Summer Lover Campaign. And, they’re bringing it fresh off the summer heat by featuring 6 influencers alongside 21 G-SHOCK and BABY-G watches. The influencers featured? They’re ScRach MarcS, Tan Yang Er, Chris Kiong, Daniel Tamago, Garmaine Cheong, and Prav. Where they take you to some summer lover nostalgia in isolation.

The Summer Lover campaign hopes to take you to familiar holidays out in the summer sun beaches and coast. From ice cream chilling, to all-night dancing to the music, to nostalgic summer lovers, G-Shock wants you to have fun and let loose (while safe) with their summer watch line-up!

Continue Reading

Lifestyle

Apple got cute pet portraits on their billboards!

Get your pet to model!

Published

on

By

Have you spotted cute pet babies hitting it on the street billboards lately? Well, Apple launched an ad campaign where everyone’s pets take over billboards around Singapore.

Hoping to turn heads and make pet portraits into high art, it’s arguably the most adorable addition to their Shot On iPhone campaign. If you’ve tried to take get your pet to pose to no avail, they’ve got photographer Jason Nocito to help.

The campaign hopes to aptly demonstrate how photographic features often reserved for professionals are now accessible to Apple users. The charming and adorable billboard pet portraits were all shot with an iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max–utilizing High-Key Light Mono Portrait.

Tips from Jason for pet portraits!

  1. To help get your pet’s attention and eye contact, hold a squeaker or keys above the lens.
  2. If you are shooting outdoors, place your subject under indirect light in front of a simple wall or background.
  3. Place your pet in the center of the frame.
  4. If you’re having a hard time getting your pet-posed High-Key Light Mono mode try shooting ina few regular shots in Portrait mode. From there you can apply the High-Key Light Mono mode in the edit function after the shoot.
  5. Lastly, shoot a lot of different frames!

Up your pet photo game

The campaign will run globally–including an @apple Instagram takeover and WeChat component! There, you’ll get to play around the iPhone’s camera features while learning how to take billboard-worthy shots wherever you are. You can even check out the behind-the-scenes of the shoot with Jason and his furry friends!

The OOH billboards at Knightsbridge, Keppel, and Bugis in Singapore have gone live. But, be on the lookout for the coming weeks; a cute fur baby might be featured on a billboard near you!

Continue Reading

Entertainment

10 things we learned about Hyun Bin at the Smart Hallyu Hangouts

We crashed K-drama actor Hyun Bin’s fan meet

Published

on

Hyun Bin

Over the weekend, Korean superstar Hyun Bin had a virtual fan meet with his Filipino supporters. Through Smart’s Hallyu Hangouts, thousands of fans were able to watch the interview hosted by Sam Oh and Park Kyung-Lim.

A couple were also given the chance to ask Hyun Bin some questions, one of them even showed off their prowess in speaking Korean. It was a fun evening for everyone, especially his biggest supporters whose dreams of attending his fan meets were hampered by the pandemic. Thank goodness for technology and fast internet, Filipino fans still got to spend with the actor even virtually.

During the hangout, we picked up a couple more interesting things about Hyun Bin that makes him more than just the characters he plays on screen.

He’s a perfectionist

While shooting for the Smart commercial, Hyun Bin admitted that it took a while to learn his line. “Simple, Smart ako” might be a short and easy sentence to say for Filipinos but  “simple” proved to be quite tricky for him. He took some time to learn it and even asked people for help.

He says that he’s always been like this and while filming for dramas, he would even be quite hard on himself. There are times when his directors are already happy with the scene but he would still want to iron out his acting.

He had a fan club when he was in high school

Before entering show business, Hyun Bin already had his own fan club. Talk about being extremely good looking! He was modest enough to say that he didn’t know much about it, though.

He’s a news junkie

We love a well-rounded oppa and Hyun Bin admits to reading all sections of the news. “It’s nice to know what’s happening in the world I’m living in,” he said during the live.

He doesn’t watch his own work

He admits to going on OTT platforms a lot to watch series and movies but never the ones that have him on them. In fact, he has never seen Crash Landing on You (CLOY) after they filmed the drama.

Hyun Bin is passionate about golf

He says he would love to become a golf player. This, after getting hooked on the sport. He admits it’s just a hobby and that if he weren’t so busy, he’d probably be doing it more often. It’s also something that relaxes him.

Hyun Bin

He rarely cries IRL

Hyun Bin admits that he doesn’t cry much in real life. Maybe it’s because he does it a lot for work or maybe because he’s just extremely happy right now.

He searches his name online

Rarely does any celebrity admit to Googling oneself so this was quite refreshing. He says he does it about once a day. “I want to know if there’s something about me that I don’t know of. I also want to see how events like these are covered by the media,” he added.

He knew how to play the piano

Hyun Bin learned how to play the piano as a child. However, he forgot most of it as he rarely used the skill. So, when they were filming for Crash Landing on You, he would practice in his hotel room using an electric keyboard they brought with them all the way from Korea.

He would’ve loved to play two other CLOY characters

It’s hard to imagine Hyun Bin as anyone other than Ri Jeong-hyeok in CLOY. However, he says that he would have been open to playing the villain, Cho Cheol-gang and the wiretapper, Jung Man-bok.

Hyun Bin

He has an upcoming movie

They just finished the sequel to Confidential Assignment and he promises that it will be bigger and more international than the first one. “In the first movie, it was just North and South Korea that were involved. In the sequel, the US and other countries will also play a part in the story,” he shared.

Smart Hallyu Hangouts was powered by Smart, one of the country’s top network providers. Internet metrics company Ookla recently cited Smart as the country’s fastest mobile data network in the second half of 2020 after it achieved a Speed Score™ of 24.99, with average speeds of 20.08 Mbps for download, and 7.42 Mbps for upload.

Continue Reading

Trending