Lifestyle

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

And other relevant questions about Vivo’s newest flagship

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“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.

Apps

How to make your crush view your Instagram Story

Three easy steps to get that validation

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Catching up with friends entails a discussion about your love life. Being single for a long time, a friend asked if I were dating someone new. I responded gleefully, “no, I’m not dating anyone but I have a new crush I met at an event.”

Giggly about my newfound love interest, my friend advised me how to tease my crush. However, it’ll only work if we’re following each other on Instagram. To see if my friend’s strategy works, we used our own accounts and to my surprise, we succeeded.

While it may yield different results, here are three easy steps you can do to make your crush view your Instagram story.

Step 1: Post a story you want your crush to see

Uploading a story feels like a small window to our lives. Make sure the photo you upload is something that you want your crush to see. It’s like making an impression, and you only have one shot if he/she ever sees your story. I posted my gym photos and pizza stories — something that both my crush and I enjoy.

Step 2: Edit your story settings

Here’s the not-so-tricky part! We’re calling it the hide-unhide strategy. When your story is uploaded, immediately adjust your story settings and hide your story from your crush. Save it, and then change the story settings again to unhide the story. This strategy beats Instagram’s algorithm and pushes your story to one of the first stories he/she can view.

Step 3: Enjoy the validation

As long as you and your crush follow each other on Instagram and regularly use the app, then it’s guaranteed that he/she will view your story. Enjoy the frickin’ validation. I’ve been doing it for almost a month now, and I always giggle whenever I see my crush’s name.

There are times that the strategy won’t push you to the first story he/she can view. For some reason, my friend tried hiding and unhiding her story to me, and she only ended up being second on the queue. Instagram still prioritizes the accounts you engage with the most through reacts and direct messages. However, being at the first five ensures you have a shot at making an impression that lasts.

Now, hurry and make your crush view your story. It won’t be long before Instagram’s algorithm changes again!

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Entertainment

You Season 2, Psycho: Now Playing

“You” has us feeling like a “Psycho”

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Going from the holiday break and diving straight into CES 2020, the team hasn’t really had plenty of time to watch or play much of anything. It’s been a busy time so there aren’t a lot of recommendations here. But they’re still worth checking out!

Movies to see

Parasite
Vincenz: We know Parasite has been making rounds online and I attest to its excellence. It shows the common divide between the rich and the poor (as represented by the Kim and Park families), but you’ll never really know what happens next — especially when greed arises. It honestly made my jaw drop and my mind was utterly confused while watching it. The astounding cinematography makes this film a whole lot better. No wonder it bagged several awards globally.

Steven Universe The Movie
Leez: During the holidays, I rewatched every episode of the cartoon series Steven Universe and rediscovered the best scenes, songs, and episodes. It’s an amazing cartoon series and the movie cuts deep with concepts of trauma, grief, and growth. Steven is all grown up in the movie and everything seems to be set in place until a pink inverted heart gem appears. There’s singing, fighting, and a ton of crying. If you haven’t seen it, get on it. It’s a lovely series and a stunning movie.

Shows to binge-watch

Great Teacher Onizuka 
Rodneil: A former biker gang member decides to pursue teaching after he saw how he can get closer to high school girls that way. While he didn’t start off with the best intentions, the titular character Eikichi Onizuka discovers his passion for teaching while solving his students’ troubles in the most unconventional ways possible. This show is perfect for a few laughs and a few life lessons.

You Season 2
MJ: Joe Goldberg is back! If you didn’t feel that much love for him in the first season, you might be conflicted on how you’ll cheer for Joe this time around. While it’s not good to romanticize a stalking psycho, You made sure you’re going to love Joe. And yes, we want a Season 3.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine
MJ: There’s a reason why a sitcom situated in a police precinct got a cult following; not because of hype but because of its quality. It’s absolutely funny (without the laugh tracks), has a diverse representation, and tackles pressing social and cultural issues subtly. The series is about to premiere its seventh season, so it’s time to binge-watch again from Season 1-6. Oh, they’re also working on Season 8 already! You better catch up.

Albums/Songs/Podcasts to listen to

Psycho by Red Velvet
Vincenz: Other than the mesmerizing visuals of Irene, Seulgi, Wendy, Joy and Yeri, the song is highly addictive. Speaking of addiction, the lyrics talk about a love that makes one go “Psycho.” It’s an extreme love-hate relationship — one that’s probably bad for you but you just can’t get enough of —  just like a drug. The part before the last chorus states that “everything will be okay” — and I felt that. Prior to RV’s Korean recording, there’s an English demo which you can listen to for a better feel of the song.

Pwede Ba (괜찮을까) by Lola Amour

Vincenz: I was browsing my Twitter timeline when a popular schoolmate (slash vocalist of the local indie duo Ysanygo) promoted this track through a quote tweet. At first, I didn’t mind but when I saw a lot of mutuals sharing the same song, it made me curious to actually try and listen. The mellow tune goes well with the Korean lyrics. Listening to it feels like I’m in an episode of a melancholic K-Drama. It’s actually a Korean version of the already existing Pwede Ba (written in Filipino) that was released 2 years ago.

Dive feat. Chris James – Hot Shade, Mike Perry
MJ: If you need a good pick me up song, “Dive” has that upbeat melody that will make you want to move and love life. If you happen to be in love with someone else, the lyrics will resonate with you as it tackles diving into the unknown with your love interest, and following him/her wherever your hearts lead to.

Polaris by BLUE ENCOUNT
Rodneil: I have a weird emotional attachment to My Hero Academia and one of the reasons is how good the opening songs are. “Polaris” — the show’s current opening theme — is such a rush of energy. When I need to get going, I just put this on and I almost feel like One for All is surging through my body. It’s a fantastic picker-upper.

Games to play

Cities Skylines
Vincenz: I’ve been a long-time fan of games that lean into city building / urban planning. SimCity has been around for ages but after several years, other developers had their own take. I played Cities XL Platinum prior to this (which is honestly good but just lacks certain features and a bit slow even with high specs in mind) but this game is on another level. With the mods and assets you can install, building cities is limitless. You can even control the growth of the city, underground systems, transportation, traffic, and more. With the video above, it shows that you can even have a glimpse of your city just like a regular person riding a train.


Now Playing is the GadgetMatch team’s favorite games, movies, TV shows, and more each month. If you’re curious to know what we’re into at the moment, this is what you should check out. So grab your popcorn, get some drinks, and enjoy what’s now playing!

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Entertainment

6 shows on Netflix with hot sex scenes

Netflix keeps it wild and steamy

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Photo by GadgetMatch

The following is intended for readers 18+

Netflix has a variety of shows that you can enjoy: From romantic comedies that make you blush to thriller films that make your heart race. Common knowledge, but Netflix also has a lot of TV series with steamy sex scenes.

Below are six shows on Netflix with sexy scenes. If you’re looking for a show that’ll give you a wild, hookup idea or make you drool over someone, you’ve come (pun not intended) to the right place. And oh, there are spoilers ahead so read at your own risk.

Marvel’s Jessica Jones

Photo by GadgetMatch | Marvel’s Jessica Jones Season 1, Episode 3 (06:20)

Marvel’s Jessica Jones has the thrill you’re looking for — crimes, investigation, murder, and wild sex scenes. Its season 3 may have a lot of sexy scenes, but nothing can beat the first episodes in its first season.

I mean, come on! Luke Cage and Jessica Jones — two powerful superhumans — thrusting while moaning hard, and breaking the bed? That’s WILD.

Riverdale

Photo by GadgetMatch | Riverdale Season 3, Episode 5 (15:00)

Sure, it’s all about murders in Riverdale town, but teens from Riverdale are so hormonal, they’re also obsessed with sex. Some of the hottest scenes are from Season 3, Episode 5 (15:00) where Veronica uses her connections to get to Archie — and have sex in the locker room.

Another is from Season 4, Episode 2 (04:00) when Betty and Jughead started making out in front of Archie and Veronica. At first, you’ll think it’s going to be a foursome, but the two had their one-on-one session in another room instead.

Elite

Photo by GadgetMatch | Elite Season 1, Episode 3 (48:58)

Another teen series starring some of the casts from the popular La Casa de Papel, Elite follows three teenagers who transferred to an elite school. If you think this is some high school drama, you’re kidding yourself. It has a lot of murder, alcohol, party, and of course, sex.

Starting with Season 1, Episode 1 (20:40, 41:43) where a shower and bed scene happened while the couples were being watched. Then, there’s Season 1, Episode 3 (47:41) where a threesome between two guys and a girl happened, and Season 2 Episode 2 (38:28) where two guys did the deed while someone beside them is sleeping.

Orange is the New Black

Photo by GadgetMatch | Orange is the New Black Season 3, Episode 2 (54:08)

Orange is the New Black has a lot of girl on girl scenes, obviously because the show took place in a women’s prison. The show follows Piper Kerman’s memoir when she was indicted for money-laundering and drug-trafficking.

One of the hottest scenes in the show was between Alex Vause and Piper Chapman. At Season 3, Episode 2 (54:08), Alex and Piper had a “fight” that led to pushing, grabbing, and a hair-pulling sex scene. There was a lot of strength and aggression.

Sense8

Photo by GadgetMatch | Sense8 Season 2, Episode 1 (53:12)

Sense8 might be a sci-fi drama revolving around the theme of “connection,” with lots of superhuman powers but its sex scenes are abundant. At the finale of Season 1 and during the first episode of Season 2, an orgy happened. Most of the scenes were shown in unrealistic places like inside a toilet cubicle.

Sense8 is filled with steamy sex scenes that might make you want to stay away from your favorite adult sites. Maybe you can just use this as a buffer for your date night. You can really get them in the mood with the show’s intriguing plot and steamy scenes.

Bodyguard

Photo by GadgetMatch | Bodyguard Episode 2 (57:08)

What’s hotter than having a relationship with someone you’re not supposed to be with? Say, someone older than you, your client, or probably your direct superior at work? At Bodyguard, fans reveled at the sexual tension between the hot bodyguard David Budd and hot politician Julia Montague.

In the second and third episodes, the sexual tension hit a fever pitch with fear and anger becoming one of the driving forces for both David and Julia to do the deed — even though it’s going to get things complicated. Also, nothing sounds sexier than hearing someone as hot as David being polite while humping you on a desk.

Bonus: The Witcher

Photo by GadgetMatch | The Witcher Season 1, Episode 3 (14:00)

The Witcher has been the talk of the town lately — from memes to incredible fight scenes, and its nudity. Almost every episode has it, but the scene between Istredd and Yennefer at Episode 3 is something to watch out for. *wink emoji*

Finding the right show to Netflix & Chill to

Identifying a scene as hot, wild, and steamy is purely subjective. Some shows might be hot for you, some might not. However, the key to enjoying these shows is to watch and dive into the story. Follow the plot and understand the dynamics between the characters.

The plot is integral since it builds sexual tension. And honestly, we’re always pumped in those moments where we can’t wait for the characters to “just do it.” 😏

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