Features

Why Apple needs a smaller, cheaper iPhone SE

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Hours from now, Apple will very likely take the wraps off a new iPhone, a smaller iPhone that’s more affordable and more suited for those who think one-handed usage should be an option regardless of the task.

The iPhone SE, or whatever Apple decides to call it, is all but certain to replace the iPhone 5s as the cheapest iPhone available, though it begs the question: Does Apple really need this iPhone to grow its business? The short answer is yes. However, a far more important question is why Apple is releasing a watered-down version of a great phone.

We think there are three explanations for Apple’s second attempt at a mid-tier handset (rest in peace, iPhone 5c).

Two iPhone announcements in a year

The first is the most obvious: Coming out with another iPhone line allows Apple to rain on Samsung’s Galaxy S parade in February or March, while at the same time undercutting its chief competition with a cheaper but not necessarily more capable product, although it can be a springboard to introduce new features and design changes. In a way, it can be a preview of things to expect in September’s iPhone.

Apple can even bump up future announcement dates for its smaller and cheaper iPhone to hijack the hype of Android devices announced at the annual International CES [Consumer Electronics Show] and Barcelona’s Mobile World Congress.

It’s a win for Apple, but that’s assuming the handset is a big hit. Which is assuming quite a lot given Apple’s recent failure in the midrange. And by “failure,” we mean the iPhone 5c didn’t take off as expected, with 9to5 Mac reporting last year that the iPhone 5c accounted for only 8.5 percent of active iPhones at the time.

iPhone for emerging markets

Apple’s smartphone shipments are expected to fall short of projections for the first time since 2003, despite its retail efforts in China. Add to that the slowing smartphone adoption rates in countries where Apple is considered a top contender, and it’s not surprising to see the company setting its sights to India and other emerging economies. India, after all, has leapfrogged the U.S. into second place in terms of smartphone shipments last year.

But here’s the thing: Low-priced Android phones dominate low-income markets, and, price-wise, current iPhone models, with the exception of the iPhone 5s, aren’t competitive enough. But that may soon change with the arrival of the iPhone SE, even though we don’t expect it to be cheap.

A reasonable estimate would be around $US400 (Php19,000), which is still cheaper than paying full price for an off-contract iPhone 6s (starts at $US650). And let’s not forget that carrier subsidies could write off the upfront cost of the cheaper iPhone, putting it in the hands of more consumers.

A “new” iPhone 5s

Perhaps we don’t need to tell you this, but it’s time to retire the iPhone 5s. It has been on shelves for years now, which is too long in the fast-paced mobile industry; the hardware is already showing its age, as any iPhone 5s user on iOS 9.2.1 will tell you. Next to a 2016 Android phone in the midrange, the iPhone 5s right now is about as appealing as a pair of Crocs, or a minivan.

Most of the leaks surrounding the upcoming iPhone suggest a 4-inch phone that’s just as capable as the 4.7-inch iPhone 6s, and they’re probably not far off, if only because Apple can’t use the same components it used to build the iPhone 5s for reasons stated above.

If Apple wants the iPhone SE to succeed in the long term, it’s going to have to pack enough oomph to run the current iOS version, the next and the one after that without performance issues. We don’t see that happening with anything less than what the iPhone 6s offers.

[irp posts=”11425″ name=”Tiny iPhone SE gets twice the storage”]

Image credit: Nick Beeep

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Huawei nova 8i: Huawei’s awesome SUPER midranger

An awesome midrange comeback

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Midrange smartphones have been the middle ground for people who want the premium of a higher end smartphone but don’t want to burn their pockets. Huawei gives in to this demand and claims the title of midrange king as they dethrone all other midrangers with their new nova 8 series — the nova 8 and nova 8i.

Here, we’ll put the spotlight on the Huawei nova 8i.

Build and design

Inheriting the Huawei P Series’ signature stylish aesthetic, the Huawei nova 8i has a fancy and premium design. It is slim, sleek, and has exquisite curved edges, which makes it really easy to grip.

Checking out its back, you’ll definitely notice the quad camera setup that’s surprisingly not bulky at all. It also has a noticeable resemblance with the Huawei Mate 30. But we’ll talk more about the cameras later on.

What also caught our attention is the gradient finish of this Moonlight Silver variant that we have which is absolutely stunning.

Fantastic display

The Huawei nova 8i has an edgeless 6.67-inch display with ultra-narrow bezels around it. This results in an immersive viewing experience for browsing your social media pages or watching your favorite music videos.

The Huawei nova 8i also sports full HD+ resolution and DCI-P3 color gamut, giving us that rich and vibrant color reproduction. Once again, Huawei taps on Tuv Rheinland for certification on low blue light emittance to ensure eye comfort for long hours of work and play. It also has a natural tone feature which automatically adjusts the colors on the display depending on your surroundings.

Gaming

Just as you would expect from a midrange phone, gaming is also something you can do with the nova 8i. With its 180Hz touch sampling rate, your favorite mobile games feel very responsive, making the gaming experience really enjoyable.

When you’re deep into gaming, the last thing you want is to be interrupted by a call or message. Well, you don’t have to worry about that since the Huawei nova 8i has a gaming assistant. You can enable settings so you won’t be disrupted and you can indulge yourself fully to the game.

But the experience is not the only thing that’s fast with the nova 8i. The 66W Huawei SuperCharge can juice up this phone up to 68 percent in just 20 minutes and can fully charge it in just 38 minutes. You can literally stare at your phone as your battery indicator rises.

Cameras

Here’s where the fun part starts. Cameras: 64MP f/1.9 main, 8MP f/2.4 ultra-wide, 2MP f/2.4 macro, 2MP f/2.4 depth, 16MP f/2.0 selfie.

The nova 8i has a quad camera setup with a 64MP main camera which uses a big 1/1.7-inch CMOS sensor. It means its camera sensor has the ability to let in more light. This results to a cleaner image and better low light performance.

And we’re telling you, this sensor is not messing around.

It lets you capture the highest resolution images you could probably ever need. Different from the usual software upscaled images typically seen on an ordinary smartphone. This gives you the capability to zoom in and crop your captured image yet still maintain a tremendous amount of details.

With the powerful cameras that the nova 8i has, you can definitely maximize its features to create your content whether just for leisure, a passion project, or social media content for your business.

EMUI and multitasking

As for its software, the Huawei nova 8i runs on EMUI 11 bringing in a bunch of convenient features that boosts your efficiency. For one, if you’re someone who loves multitasking, the multi-window feature is perfect as it lets you operate multiple apps on your screen.

Speaking of apps, Huawei’s app gallery is loaded with great ones from top shopping apps like Shopee and Lazada, to the most trending ones like TikTok.

And if in case you’re having trouble finding the app for you, Petal Search has got you covered. Just type in the app or whatever it is you’re looking for and Petal Search looks it up for you on different sources making sure you get the absolute best results.

Taking screenshots has never been this easy. You can do so by just swiping down using three fingers.

And for security, a new safe sharing feature has been included on the nova 8i. We now get the option to delete information of your phone and other details before sharing your photos or screenshots.

nova 8i — easy to recommend

Jam packed with features, the nova 8i just enables you to do so much. From capturing great photos and videos to having a seamless gaming and online experience, the nova 8i is an easy phone to recommend. At its price point, it is truly worthy of its crown.

The Huawei nova 8i retails for PhP 13,999. It’s available via online Huawei Store, Lazada, Shopee and Huawei experience stores.


This feature is a collaboration between GadgetMatch and Huawei Philippines.

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Apple 2021 iPad mini Unboxing and Review

Is this the iPad for you?

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After two years, Apple has finally changed the look of the iPad mini!

Gone are the thick bezels and home button in favor of a trendy fullscreen look a la iPad Pro and iPad Air.

Having a smaller form factor doesn’t mean it’s less powerful. While not as powerful as the M1 iPad Pro, the new iPad mini still has an A15 Bionic that’s similar to the iPhone 13 and 13 Pro series. It surely is a step ahead over last year’s iPad Air.

It may not have the most advanced Face ID system, but Touch ID still lives on — now found on its power button.

But are these features enough to make you buy one? Or do you still want the bigger screen of the iPad Air?

Head over to our 2021 iPad mini review to know which iPad is your GadgetMatch.

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Features

Things to consider before going back to school

The ASUS-BR1100F is here to ease schoolwork worries

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ASUS BR1100F

Going back to school was always something that I’ve considered after just finishing 16 years of formal education. When it’s all you know, it can be daunting to go out and find a job. You don’t have papers or deadlines to lure you into patterns of deflection from what you truly want to do in life. That aside though, I think education can be a privilege and when you’ve got the chance to develop and hone skills, you should!

Context

I’ve been thinking a lot about furthering my education in baking. Pre-pandemic, I had already dabbled into baking cookies and brownies for friends and family. And, well, amidst the pandemic, you can pretty much guess what kept me busy locked indoors. Despite some funding issues during lockdown, I found baking as a crafty way to share food with people close to me.

Long story short, my mom recently has asked me to look into going back to school and get my butt into a pastry school. But, there’s a lot I had to consider before hopping straight in. Luckily, I had the ASUS BR1100F to ease my schoolwork worries. Here are a few things I took into consideration before going back!

Do I really need this?

Okay, this is pretty much a tangent concern when funding is an issue. If money grew on trees and plants we collected over multiple lockdowns, bish would have her money. But, sadly that’s not how money works.

Formal education is important but, if it’s going back to school after finishing the whole 16 years shebang, you might want to weigh the pros and cons of going back. What for and where do you want it to take you?

Start asking WHY

Formal education in my case isn’t necessary. I’ve done the poopoo long-run just not in culinary school. But, if you’re still in school and getting bombarded with existential crises amidst schoolwork, you might want to take note that your why is a moving target.

That goes with most things in life. Everyone is capable of change whether by circumstance, mindset, or overall personhood.

You might not even have a why and you’re just riding the wave of societal norms of shoved-into-your-face formal education. That’s fine. Having a why can be a good way to get through the nitty-gritty of requirements and finals.

But, if you’re just getting by, maybe consider asking yourself the uncomfortable questions to save yourself wasted time when you feel like you’re in it for the wrong reasons.

Do I have everything I need?

Formal education takes money, time, and a ton of work. But, to top all the absolute absurd long list of things to have ready, (in today’s climate) students need a laptop or tablet to hop into online classes.

As someone potentially going back into student life, it can be tempting to ask for more than what’s necessary for schoolwork. But, it’s always good to start with basics.

You really don’t have to double your tuition on something you want when you can get everything you need. Like, the ASUS BR1100F. It has a stunning touch screen 11.6-inch LCD display that’s perfect for online classes, homework, and play.

The ASUS-BR1100F hit simple, functional, and durable on the nail. It’s decked out with rubber bumper on all corners so bumps and drops can let your laptop work fine, scot free. It’s even built to surpass demanding US military-grade MIL-STD-810H durability standards.

Start with basics

Cue infomercial but-wait-there’s-more. Remember when I said to start with basics? Well, the ASUS-BR1100F not only gives you the basics, but it lets you build on it. It has a modular design that allows key components, like the keyboard, battery, thermal module, and I/O ports, to be replaceable.

The laptop has a 360° hinge, a built-in stylus, and two-camera set-up—delivering on tablet to laptop multi-use realness. Thinking storage? The ASUS BR1100F comes with up to 128GB of eMMC storage built right in. Plus, its got an M.2 SSD slot for optional storage of up to 1 TB—giving you plenty room for readings, paperwork, and creative projects.

Have what you need, build towards what you want

The ASUS BR1100F is a good start. It delivers on everything every student needs to get schoolwork sorted out. Plus, gives you breathing space for an absolute klutz with military-grade durability. If I had this when I was starting out, this would have been great.

I would have everything I needed to get schoolwork done and the silly stylus to doodle to stay sane. If you’re a student or a parent looking for a reliable laptop that works as a tablet too, this is a must-buy for you. The ASUS BR1100F has a price tag of PhP 20,695.

If that’s a little over your budget, you can also consider the ASUS BR1100C. It runs pretty much on the same specs. The only things you’ll be missing are the 360 flip function, it isn’t touch screen, there’s no stylus included, and there’s no world-facing camera. Just the basics. It retails for PhP 17,295.

You can buy these at Shopee or any of the ASUS Authorized Commercial Partners listed here.

ASUS Education Partnership Program

For schools and institutions, ASUS has an Education School Partnership Program where the company can give incentives when they purchase ASUS Systems products. The program has multiple development fund tiers and should benefit anyone involved in the education sector. More details here.


This feature is a collaboration between GadgetMatch and ASUS Philippines.

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