Weekends are sacred. It’s a short amount of time to recuperate, relax, and take care of yourself. You can have some alone time, hang out with your loved ones, or do something fun for the first time. In other words, weekends are a time to enjoy life.
Like every normal person, I hardly ever wake up early during the weekends. I take the time to savor my bed and watch the day unfold. But when it’s time to get moving, I get up and prepare to start my day.
Before anything else, I take a 15-minute swim. It’s a quick exercise to jumpstart your day and refresh your mind from the lingering thoughts while you’re in bed.
Of course, I wouldn’t jump in a pool without taking a photo to post on social media. Luckily, I have a wide-angle camera to use so I can capture the place’s wonder.
Pro tip: Try taking wide-angle shots from a worm’s eye view to make it look like the world is big and exciting.
Not wanting to spend a lot of time on social media, I don’t edit my photos anymore and upload it as is, seeing the vibrancy and saturation of colors are lively enough to give justice to how beautiful the place is. But if you’re going to edit your photos, you can never go wrong with VSCO or Adobe Lightroom.
Weekends give us ample time to rest. When you take advantage of that opportunity, you’ll feel relaxed and consequently, you’ll look good in every photo. That’s why I couldn’t help but take a selfie first before diving in.
Pro tip: Use the camera’s timer and place your smartphone somewhere it can stand, probably a rock or something sturdy. Make sure it has a protective case to prevent scratches or other damages. Lastly, make sure a towel is nearby so you can dry your fingers before touching your phone’s screen.
After an hour of preparation and travel, I went to Makati’s Central Business District. I once saw a post showing how beautiful Makati was during a holiday. There were only a few people and cars passing by.
It gave me the idea to visit it on a weekend knowing the place won’t be as busy as it usually is. I have to say it’s a pleasant experience to enjoy the city on a weekend. The atmosphere was a bit gloomy but it’s fun taking photos while going around.
Pro tip: Make sure to activate HDR to brighten scenes that are unusually dark and against the light.
Ayala Triangle Gardens is a nice spot to walk around and take photos. People are just frolicking, hanging out with their friends, playing Pokemon Go and other mobile games while you hear them chanting and screaming after every win. Some pass by and some sit still, enjoying a patch of nature amid the concrete city.
Considering how limited weekends are, I tried to squeeze in a lot of activities. I feel more rejuvenated when I do a lot of things. This weekend, I tried to host my own surprise party for my birthday celebration.
My friends knew how extra I am in life and in everything I do, and they aren’t allowed to do anything but follow my wishes. While my friends set up the booze and games that we can play at night, I sit down and marvel at the peace this park brings.
Here’s the view behind the park’s entrance. Even when the skies aren’t blue and the city was enveloped in a moody atmosphere, the place was still beautiful.
Of course, I love selfies. Eighty percent of my gallery is comprised of selfies in different angles and lighting conditions.
Pro tip: Don’t be saddened by cloudy skies, take advantage of them. Without the sun’s harsh lighting, your selfies will look balanced since the clouds act as a diffuser. If the photo looks a little bit dark, use light-colored places to bounce light.
Smartphone cameras with built-in filters are a nice thing to have. It adds drama and gives the photo a personality. For quick stories you share, use any social media or camera app’s built-in filter. We spend a lot of time editing our photos only for it to disappear after 24 hours. How about putting that time to better use such as improving your skills in smartphone photography?
As I walked around Ayala Avenue, I passed by this covered sidewalk. Hurrying to visit my favorite coffee shop in Makati, I quickly snapped this photo only to realize it could’ve been better if I stood still and took my time to frame it perfectly.
Pro tip: Find your focal point and utilize leading lines to add perspective. This can be further highlighted by using a wide-angle camera to accentuate the elements. Don’t forget to use filters to set the mood!
Ayala’s underpass is beautiful on a weekend. I was able to magnify its beauty as if it was a scene taken out of a movie, thanks to the wide-angle feature.
One thing I always do when I’m in an escalator is to look up. Few people realize how gorgeous those ceilings are, forgetting the little details in a city’s architecture.
Pro tip: Adding shadows in your photos create a dramatic effect and adds a lot of depth. You don’t have to use HDR all the time.
Since my favorite coffee shop was closed, I went to Starbucks instead and enjoyed a cup of Teavana.
Pro tip: Use glass windows as a background when you use the portrait bokeh mode. It helps with the blurring and it adds more depth.
When I went back to the unit, I was surprised to see my friends prepared. I was only expecting some booze and games, but there was a lot more. Thankfully, the place was spacious enough otherwise I would have had to ask them to compress and use the wide-angle feature once more.
My heart was warm. There was pizza!
Pro tip: Stay away from doing flat lays when there’s a limited source of light. Chances are your shadow will ruin the image. Wide-angles are still a no since the distortion will disrupt the flat lay unless you’re planning on cropping the center part.
Photo-ops are a must for any celebration. Hence, I set up the Vivo Y17 on a timer and asked my friends to compress. Without the wide-angle, we were able to fit in. I’m glad that there are a lot of camera modes to use in different situations.
In celebrating my birthday, I opted to put down my phone and be in the moment. Life doesn’t always have to be uploaded on social media. Sometimes, the best memories are those unrecorded.
This feature was produced in a collaboration between GadgetMatch and Vivo Philippines.
Galaxy Note 20 Ultra: GadgetMatch for the Casual User
So well-rounded, it simply works
The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra represents the current pinnacle of the Galaxy Note line. That’s why it’s not far fetched to think that it can seamlessly add value to people from different walks of life.
In this second of a three-part feature, we’ll explore how the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra can be a reliable partner for the average, casual user.
In this first of a three-part feature, we’ll explore how the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra can be reliable partner for three specific people:
- The Manager
- The Casual User
- The Multimedia Creative
Note: Link to part 3 will be added when it’s published.
All-around for the well-rounded
Life is all about finding balance. Wherever you are in this walk of life, we always cut a portion of our time to do things that matter: self, hobbies, love, career, health, and more.
But how do you manage to find balance when it feels like we don’t have enough time? The answer is simple: Get an all-around phone that’s as well-rounded as you. In particular, the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.
Let me set the record straight: I’m not a techie, a gamer, a selfie master, or an aspiring content creator. I simply don’t fall into any stereotype. While I can try to look like a D-lister, I’m just like the average consumer, using a phone to navigate life in the 21st century.
Though I work in the technology industry, I was never caught up in the hottest specs, highly innovative pieces, great hardware, or monster features. All I ever needed — as I’ve been saying for three years now — is a phone that’s smart enough to carry with for my everyday life.
Having the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra helped me find the balance I need, accompanying me in juggling my hectic yet blissful life.
Work and play
Being in a remote work setup for god-knows-how-long, I’m used to being glued on my phone almost 24/7. While it’s a habit that I’m still trying to change, I’m thrilled with how I can do my tasks on-the-go. With a 6.9-inch screen, it’s easy to do your work even when you’re away from your desk.
You can browse through social media, switch between apps seamlessly, and multi-task. When you apply the 120Hz refresh rate? Oh, it’s so buttery-smooth, you won’t even consider going back to a lower refresh rate!
In essence, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is swift and powerful enough to do whatever tasks you need to do on your phone.
And when things get a little bit boring, you can hop to Spotify, YouTube, or watch your favorite shows on Netflix. With its massive screen, impressive display, and astounding speakers — you’ll feel like you have your portable home entertainment albeit a little bit smaller than the usual setup.
If you want a little bit of privacy, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra works seamlessly with my Galaxy Buds or with my wired USB-C earphones. Connectivity wasn’t an issue; be it via Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, cellular strength, and even connection between devices.
Not gonna lie, my gizmos are mostly Samsung’s. I’ve fallen in love with it and its ecosystem ever since I switched. I’ve enjoyed its exclusive features and I’ve grown accustomed to One UI.
The art of pleasure
Speaking of experience, the whole shebang with the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra teaches the art of pleasure. I played League of Legends: Wild Rift, watched Lucifer on Netflix, edited my photos on Lightroom, produced a video using Rush, and created art using the S Pen.
Being able to do what makes me sane, feeds my soul, and gives my heart joy is possibly the greatest pleasure I can find in my day-to-day life.
I was able to keep on doing it because of the impressive battery, which lasted me enough to finish one task before charging its juice again. After all, to achieve pleasure you must have enough juice to keep going and be long-lasting.
But if there’s one thing you must not forget: It’s finding beauty in every day, no matter how the weather (or your day) sucks.
Finding beauty in everyday
Beautiful is an understatement when I first saw the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. It’s polished, sleek, gorgeous, and sexy. Touching it was like caressing someone you’re really passionate about; gentle, smooth, and oozing with desire.
It’s no wonder anyone can fall in love at first sight upon seeing this dandy. Of course, the Note 20 Ultra isn’t the epitome of beauty — but it’s a great accessory to wear to look astonishing.
While it seems like I’m asking people to keep on looking at the phone, beauty can really be found everywhere. The search won’t be difficult, seeing how the Note 20 Ultra is equipped with capable cameras.
You can capture whatever type of beauty you’re looking for. In my case, it’s capturing myself through my mirror selfies and portraits, as well as coffee and furniture.
Like any other consumer, having great cameras is one of my major concerns before buying a smartphone. Thankfully, I was able to capture Instagram- and Pinterest-worthy photos using the Note 20 Ultra — which I may or may not upload to my social media accounts.
Is the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra fit for the Casual User?
Definitely. The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra — to most people — can be too much. Yet it’s perfect for those who just want a smartphone smart enough to get things done.
You don’t have to worry about running out of space, lagging, tinkering to install apps you don’t have, or encountering issues you normally would on a midrange phone.
It’s so well-rounded, it simply works. And for a person who tries to find the balance in doing a little bit of everything, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is the perfect GadgetMatch — only the best for someone who deserves the best.
vivo V20 unboxing
Shining spotlight to the middle child
Chinese company vivo has a new smartphone lineup in town! Penetrating the midrange segment, vivo introduces the V20 series with three offerings: V20, V20 SE, and V20 Pro.
However, the spotlight always shines on the youngest sibling and the top-of-the-line among the lineup. The V20 — just like any other middle child — doesn’t get enough attention.
In this unboxing, we showcase what the V20 has to offer.
The vivo V20 comes in a reflective box shining a V-shaped light across the surface, beaming in a beautiful and striking blue.
Opening the box, you’ll get the usual set of accessories included. There’s a white earpiece and a Type-C to Type-A USB cable.
Of course, it comes with a free power adapter, unlike you-know-who. Other than that, there’s a manual, a SIM ejector pin, and a protective case for this beaut. Moreover, vivo pre-applied a protective film to the V20.
The vivo V20 comes in a delightful, Sunset Melody colorway. Its glass body looks flawlessly enchanting, with a fascinating gradient shift varying through certain lights and angles. Somehow, it’s reminiscent of the gradient glass era evident in smartphones for the past two years.
Although, vivo managed to keep it on-brand and polished a matte-like approach to avoid reflection. What it wasn’t able to prevent though, is the smudges you will give this beaut.
On the other hand, the camera bump looks like the rectangular camera set-up from the vivo X50. It houses a triple camera system: a main 64-megapixel Samsung GW1 sensor, an 8-megapixel multi-function camera for your wide-angle, macro, and bokeh shots, and a 2-megapixel monochrome lens.
On the front, the V20 prides itself on a 6.44-inch AMOLED display with 2400×1080 FHD+ resolution. There’s a small waterdrop notch housing its 44-megapixel front camera.
Of course, it runs on FunTouch OS 11 based on Android 11. It’s also powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 720G, and an adequate configuration: 8GB RAM and 128GB internal storage. Additionally, it’s equipped with a 4000mAh battery capable of up to 33W fast charging.
There are a lot of things to explore for the V20. But like any midrange smartphones in the market right now — it’s worth exploring.
The vivo V20 retails for PhP 19,999. It will be available in vivo’s official stores and authorized retailers.
vivo V20 SE unboxing
Cheaper but not cheap-looking
Chinese company vivo introduces a new midrange lineup with the V20 series: the V20, V20 SE, and V20 Pro.
Introducing an SE variant just like Apple and OPPO, you’d think less seeing how it’s just another younger sibling. In your head, it’s probably the same handset with a lower configuration.
Perhaps you’re right, or not. Let’s find out by unboxing and taking a quick look at the vivo V20 SE.
Unboxing the youngest sibling
The V20 SE comes in the same box as its other siblings: a shiny, reflective V-shaped light across its surface, beaming in a beautiful and striking blue.
Taking it out of the box, you’ll be greeted by accessories deemed essential in a smartphone box. For instance, you can find a white earpiece, a Type-C to Type-A USB Cable, and a free power adapter.
There’s also a protective case for the V20 SE, along with a SIM ejector pin.
Youngest but the most sleek-looking
Seeing the V20 SE didn’t give a youthful vibe even though it’s the youngest in vivo’s V20 lineup. While an SE variant promises a lower configuration for a more affordable option, the V20 SE looks like a powerhouse that every professional would sport. At least, that’s how it looks.
The V20 SE uses a plastic body, but can still look as bewitching as its siblings’ glass bodies. It comes in two sheeny colorway: Gravity Black and Oxygen Blue.
Although, the one we have is painted in Gravity Black yet looks lustrous in a calming, faded blue when hit by light at certain angles. Somehow, it’s quite reminiscent of the vivo X50’s design and approach.
The vivo V20 SE sports a triple rear camera system, housed in a vertical bump. It has a 48-megapixel main sensor, an 8-megapixel camera for wide-angle and macro shots, and a 2-megapixel bokeh lens.
On the front, it has a 6.44-inch AMOLED display with 2400×1080 FHD+ resolution just like the base V20. It also runs FunTouch OS 11 based on Android 11. Moreover, it’s powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 665, an 8GB RAM, and 128GB internal storage.
Of course, the V20 SE still sports a waterdrop notch housing its 32-megapixel front-facing camera.
On its bottom side, you can find the beloved headphone jack, speaker grillers, and a USB Type-C port. It’s perfect for charging up to 33W using vivo’s Flash Charge 2.0, filling up the V20 SE’s 4100mAh battery.
The vivo V20 SE has certain rooms for exploration, even with a lower configuration among its siblings. There’s one thing for sure: this sleek-looking cheaper variant that doesn’t look really cheap has a market to conquer.
It retails for PhP 15,999. It will be available in vivo’s official stores and authorized retailers.
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