Her GadgetMatch

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:

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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.

Automotive

This lady ‘made’ the first-ever Tesla pickup truck

It actually looks nice

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Simone Giertz, a YouTuber and engineer, converted her Tesla Model 3 into a fully-functioning pickup truck. People have been anticipating the upcoming futuristic electric truck from Tesla but this lady has beaten Elon Musk to the punch…technically.

Giertz has always wanted a pickup truck and she likes Tesla vehicles as well. Not being able to wait for the official introduction of Musk’s truck, she decided to take matters into her own hands. Literally.


With the help of her friends, they stripped the Tesla Model 3 of its interior, tore the rear portion of the car, and loaded a truck bed on its back. An entertaining documentation is available on her channel and it shows the planning and actual process of turning a brand new Model 3 into what they now call Truckla — derived from “truck” and “Tesla”.

It’s even complete with its own promotional video set in the countryside complete with farm animals and Giertz whipping up a lasso. Pretty entertaining stuff.

Since it’s “available nowhere”, we still have to wait for Elon’s official Tesla truck. If you ask us, though, we wouldn’t mind having a compact version like Truckla if it had the capabilities of a truck in that sleek body.

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Her GadgetMatch

Xiaomi confirms the Mi CC series, announces the meaning behind its name

Not just a selfie-centric lineup

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Image credit: Xiaomi

Following Meitu’s acquisition and Redmi’s independence, Xiaomi announced the Mi CC series. It’s a new smartphone lineup dedicated towards selfies, aesthetics, and beauty. Through the Xiaomi x Meitu AI Aesthetics Lab, the Chinese company will combine advanced camera equipment and beauty technology.

Earlier this week, there were plenty of rumors that Xiaomi will introduce the Mi CC9 and Mi CC9e. The former is said to be the company’s first Meitu-branded smartphone aimed at the female market.


Codenamed “Little Fairy”, its design caters to women with its pearl finish and pink accents. In addition, the Mi CC9 looks similar to the ASUS ZenFone 6 with its motorized flip camera design, offering a 48-megapixel main camera, ultra-wide, and telephoto lenses.

Image credit: TENAA

On the flip side, the Mi CC9e looks similar to the Mi 9, retaining the company’s aesthetics. It’s powered by Snapdragon 712 and packed with 4,000mAh battery capable of 18W fast charging. Selfie-wise, the phone offers a 32-megapixel front camera. Moreover, it features a triple lens design on its back, carrying a 48-megapixel main camera with ultra-wide and telephoto units, too.

However, no smartphone was actually launched and instead, the company announces the name of its new lineup and the meaning behind.

CC stands for “Colorful & Creative”, while “9” signifies the company’s ninth year anniversary. It’s developed by the Chic & Cool 90, Xiaomi’s youngest development team comprised of art students.

Xiaomi is yet to reveal the launch dates for its new smartphones.

Source: GSMArena, Xiaomishka

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Accessories

How to wear red: 3 stylish pairings to try

Those red pieces shouldn’t be gathering dust

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It’s easy to think that red is best worn sparingly or just as an accent. It is after all, such a bold, eye-catching color. We normally wear a pair of red heels to add a pop of color to an all-black ensemble, or a cute red top to go with neutral colored bottoms. We rarely buy something red for every day use, whether that’s a purse or a phone, because it just won’t go well with most of our outfits.

This is exactly why we sometimes feel like we have nothing to wear — when we build a wardrobe without considering new color pairings and when we reserve certain colors for special occasions. Here are three new combinations to try with those red pieces that don’t see the light of day (or night) as often as they should:


Red + blush pink: spring to summer

Hybrid smartwatch, Fossil Q Jacqueline; blazer, Stradivarius; slip dress, Fleur du Mal; belt bag, Mango; heels, Mint & Rose.

This color combination will give you an instant flirty, feminine look especially when you do it with a silk slip dress and strappy sandals. Give it a little bit more structure by throwing on a red blazer, and stick to the same tonal colors when accessorizing to look more put together. You can dress it up with taller heels, or down with flats.

Red + tan: end of summer to fall

Smartphone, Honor View 20 Moschino Edition; crop top and pants, Aritzia; bag, J. Crew; mules, Madewell; coin necklace, myartisanstore on Etsy; hair clips, Machete.

Be a wee bit more unpredictable by pairing red with the brown pieces in your closet. A red crop top worn with tan high waist pants and mules is a good departure from the light, breezy looks you’re used to wearing during summer. When temperatures dip, add a coat in similar brown tones to stay warm. I used to be so averse to wearing this color combination but it’s now one of my favorites!

Red + red: winter to early spring

Sunglasses, Spectacles 2 Veronica by Snapchat; sweater, Everlane; shorts, Aritzia; boots, Mango; 3-in-1 laptop tote, Parfois; earrings, Machete.

Tonal dressing is my go-to when I’m in a hurry to get ready in the morning and it doesn’t just apply to neutrals. Try wearing red on red with your thigh-high boots especially during winter when everyone else is sporting the same black coat. If you’re feeling feisty, go all-red even down to your shoes and purse and you’ll be surprised how powerful it will make you feel. Otherwise, you’re welcome to tone it down with the black staples you already have.

From these three looks alone, you can create more: turn the slip dress into a skirt by wearing the red sweater over it, or pair the crop top with the shorts and nude heels when the weather is scorching and unforgiving. The possibilities are endless! As long as you see red to be the versatile color that it actually is, you’ll never run out of looks to try, and that red phone you carry every day will never clash with your look again.

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