Xiaomi has been in the radar for launching the latest 11T series. Other than that, this is also one of their firsts smartphones to eliminate the “Mi” branding completely.
For the past two years, I’ve held both Xiaomi’s Mi 9T Pro and Mi 10T Pro — which both got mixed bags of praises and complaints. Fast forward today, it’s the time of the year again to review their latest successor, the 11T Pro.
But what makes this “Pro” versus its Mi 11T(win)? Let’s find out!
Despite having the “Pro” branding, the packaging of both the 11T and 11T Pro looked so similar in a plain white box. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with white. It’s just that it would’ve been better if it at least had a distinction by having black accessories and box instead.
It would’ve also been nice to include a better case in contrast to that typical transparent jelly case that even budget smartphones have nowadays. Again, the less premium packaging and accessories felt like it’s not a “Pro” smartphone at first glance.
But the star of the show has got to be its 120W fast charger — which thankfully is included in the box. That might’ve been where the additional cost went into.
Speaking from the perspective of someone who held a lot of Xiaomi phones, the 11T Pro looks like a pro device with the right amount of elegance and sophistication. Thanks to that brushed metal back, it looked more distinct compared to the Mi 10T Pro’s lackluster glossy back.
If you take a closer look at the camera cutout, it’s pretty similar to what Xiaomi did with the Mi 11X Pro as well as other POCO F3. I’m not complaining. I like this layout better than what they did last year with the Mi 10T Pro.
Looking at the bottom part of its semi-matte aluminum frame shows us the SIM card tray, microphone, USB-C port, and speaker grilles.
At the top, we’ll find an IR blaster (a rare feature in smartphone nowadays and can’t be found on the Mi 10T Pro) as well as another set of speakers powered by Harman/Kardon. That’s actually the easiest way to differentiate it from the Xiaomi 11T as that one doesn’t have the same audio technology.
One thing I should point out though is that despite having that textured brush metal design, it’s still coated with glass so fingerprint smears and smudges will still show. I just wish they’ve used a matte coating — but I guess that could’ve added more to the phone’s overall cost.
One thing I wished that came with the Mi 10T Pro is an AMOLED display instead of IPS-LCD. Well, I think Xiaomi has listened. The Xiaomi 11T Pro packs a 6.67-inch AMOLED display with a Full HD+ resolution.
While not the best smartphone display I’ve ever seen, its still exceptional in its own. I enjoyed the content I see especially because it displays better colors, contrast, dynamic range with deeper blacks and whiter whites. That’s in comparison to the Mi 10T Pro.
Its 120Hz refresh rate is also a feast in the eyes especially when switching between apps and scrolling through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
As nostalgic as it gets, it brings back the memories of using a Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro two years ago with that gorgeous Super AMOLED display — and I’m glad that Xiaomi ditched last year’s display tech to bring back AMOLED once again.
Cinema and music hall within your fingertips
That might sound like a bold claim but the audiovisual experience using the Xiaomi 11T Pro is unparalleled compared to other smartphones I’ve tried.
Paired with its AMOLED display is the inclusion of Dolby Vision (that the Xiaomi 11T doesn’t have) and HDR10+. I wouldn’t consider these special features as “software gimmicks” especially when Dolby is around the audiovisual technology space for years.
If you’re fond of watching Netflix flicks and series, those will be helpful in displaying content that’s more color accurate with vast dynamic range levels that other regular smartphones don’t possess.
Another feature that makes the Xiaomi 11T Pro an ultimate Pro-tertainment device other than the Harman/Kardon-powered stereo speakers is the inclusion of Dolby Atmos.
Although it may not work on most music and video streaming apps, it worked well with iQiyi especially that I can tell the difference when Dolby Audio is on or off. You have to be a VIP member in the streaming site though to enjoy this particular feature.
This Dolby Atmos feature actually reminds me of the Xiaomi Mi TV P1 I recently reviewed. It goes hand-in-hand as it also supports Dolby’s special sound enhancement there. Having the 11T Pro is like having a home cinema within the reach of your fingertips.
If you’re a huge Apple Music user like I am, Dolby Atmos is also supported. It works wonders especially since I prefer listening to hi-res, lossless versions of tracks I listen to instead of the typical 128kbps AAC versions. Turning on Dolby Atmos in Apple Music’s settings delivers fuller and richer sound than average.
This wouldn’t be a “Pro” device without flagship-grade specs. On paper, it packs the latest Snapdragon 888 chipset. The review unit I have is a 6GB + 256GB variant but there’s a configuration with a maxed out RAM of 12GB.
If you’re into hardcore mobile gaming, the Xiaomi 11T Pro will never disappoint. Not only it heats less than the Mi 10T Pro, it’s also responsive even when you max out your game settings in Genshin Impact, Call of Duty: Mobile (CoDM), PUBG, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, Asphalt 9, and more.
So whether you’re aiming to defeat small enemies or learning how to combat tougher enemies in Genshin Impact, you’ll pretty much enjoy the game not only with its spectacular display, but also with its speedy performance.
The weight of the phone is actually helpful for that added gaming grip that you can’t do with (slim and slippery) smartphones. This helps you aim precisely and shoot faster especially in FPS games like CoDM.
These goodies aren’t limited to the 11T Pro but I need to mention them anyway.
Despite having an AMOLED display, the Xiaomi 11T Pro has a side-mounted fingerprint scanner on the power button like the Mi 10T Pro. The differences are that, the power button is now raised instead of being recessed and it’s actually faster and more responsive than last year’s predecessor. I actually prefer this over the slouchy under-display sensor that was originally equipped in the Mi 9T Pro.
When you open the phone, MIUI looks clean enough that I decided to slap on my overlooking shot with fog and clouds somewhere in Rizal.
This phone runs on the Android 11-based MIUI 12.5 out of the box and got updated to a more stable MIUI 12.5.5 after setting up the phone.
If there’s true 5G connection around your area, the Xiaomi 11T Pro is a capable smartphone that can give you a stable data connection as long as your network carrier supports blazing-fast upload and download speeds. I turned this into a portable hotspot when I was around the Metro and didn’t disappoint me in a single bit especially with its large battery capacity.
Fastest charging speeds ever?
As I’ve already mentioned battery, the Xiaomi 11T Pro packs a 5000mAh battery that can last you up to a day of standby with a light to moderate usage. As a moderate user who uses socials and streaming content more often, it was able to last me around five hours.
With a nine percent (9%) charge, I was able to watch seven (7) three-minute 1080p videos on YouTube at 75% brightness before it actually died down.
If you’re the type of user who spends more time in gaming than an average user, you might end up having shorter usage times even if the AMOLED display and the chipset are supposed to be “power-efficient”.
Don’t fret! The 120W charger saves the day. According to Xiaomi, charging from zero to 100 percent will only take 17 minutes.
I used the bundled USB-C cable from its packaging. I didn’t intend to discharge the 11T Pro down to zero. But that was the perfect time to test out not just the real-time battery life, but also its promised turbo charging speeds. It turned out that a full charge from zero takes around 35 to 40 minutes. Xiaomi blew it out of proportion.
Using a timer, I conducted these basic charging speed tests:
1st charging test (0~100%)
- 5 minutes = 9%
- 10 minutes = 35%
- 15 minutes = 50%
- 20 minutes = 58%
- 25 minutes = 79%
- 28 minutes = 88%
- 30 minutes = 95%
- 35 minutes = 100%
2nd charging test (0~100%)
- 5 minutes = 13%
- 10 minutes = 29%
- 15 minutes = 46%
- 20 minutes = 59%
- 25 minutes = 76%
- 28 minutes = 82%
- 30 minutes = 87%
- 35 minutes = 99%
- 37 minutes = 100%
I don’t have any type of dissatisfaction with Xiaomi’s new turbo charging. As a matter of fact, I want this charging tech on other smartphones as well. My only problem is how they advertised it. I haven’t even seen major disclaimers about it. And this isn’t limited to Xiaomi. It also applies to every other company who wanted to lure consumers with something that isn’t based on reality.
Nevertheless, I’m still grateful that Xiaomi made it possible. If you’re not time-restricted and is always busy (like I am), 35 minutes is quick AF. You won’t even notice it’s fully-charged that fast.
Just to prove how Xiaomi improved their fast charging tech in a span of a year, I used the same 120W charger and USB-C cable when the Mi 10T Pro died of exhaustion. Compared to 11T Pro’s total charging time of 17 minutes, the Mi 10T Pro took double the time at around 80 minutes (or 1 hour and 20 minutes). Here’s my detailed charging test notes:
Mi 10T Pro charging test (0~100%)
- 10 minutes = 20%
- 15 minutes = 26%
- 20 minutes = 33%
- 25 minutes = 39%
- 30 minutes = 46%
- 35 minutes = 52%
- 40 minutes = 59%
- 50 minutes = 73%
- 60 minutes = 85%
- 70 minutes = 96%
- 80 minutes = 100%
Aside from the improved charging speeds, I’ve noticed that the 11T Pro also ran cooler when charging. The Mi 10T Pro heats up easily like you’re holding a mug with coffee.
It’s safe to say that even if the 120W charging brick didn’t go well with its promised charging speeds, it’s still a big improvement and a must-have feature in a smartphone. Its 120W charger and charging support is also one of the biggest distinctions to differentiate the 11T Pro from the regular 11T.
Pro-grade cameras? Hmmm…
On paper, the Xiaomi 11T Pro literally packs the same camera sensors as the regular 11T: A 108MP f/1.8 wide camera, an 8MP f/2.2 ultra-wide camera with a 120-degree FoV (Field of View), and a measly 5MP f/2.4 macro camera. While the wide sensor has Phase Detection Autofocus (PDAF), all of these lenses lack OIS (Optical Image Stabilization).
With that being said, video recording heavily relies on gyro-EIS — which stands for ‘Electronic’ and runs through software. Another thing is that, the 11T Pro can record 8K/30p videos with HDR10+ support while the 11T is only limited to 4K/30p — which might be a hardware limitation due to a different chipset used.
There are “Pro”-oriented camera hullabaloos too like VLOG mode, Dual video, Time-lapse, Clone , Short Video, and even Movie effects — features that we did with the Xiaomi Mi 11 earlier this year.
While I can’t show you any video samples in this review article, photo samples are enough to justify that having OIS should be a vital hardware piece for any phone manufacturer that doesn’t do software magic that much unlike what Google does with the Pixels’ cameras.
Great-looking daylight shots
Especially when you just always use the wide lens. Regardless of any subject, the Xiaomi 11T Pro doesn’t disappoint as long as there’s ample light (whether natural or artificial).
The warmer White Balance (WB) may be evident in most shots. That can still be fixed easily through post-processing.
It’s more evident when you take food shots. Maybe that’s because of AI.
Ultra-wide should’ve looked consistent enough
Not that the ultra-wide shooter is lackluster. It’s just that the contrast, white balance, saturation, and exposure aren’t paired up well with its wide lens companion.
It’s so evident especially when you look at the greenery.
Moreover when you also look at the skies in each photo.
But avoid shooting against the sunlight
Or else you’ll have a blown-out shot with lack of sufficient dynamic range. Other phones defied this photography principle though (in frame: vivo’s X60 Pro+ — not directly comparin’, just sayin’)
Shooting in 2x zoom is a hit-or-miss
As previously mentioned, none of these lenses have OIS and zooming in relies on the wide sensor through digital cropping/zooming. You’ll have to rely on your own hands’ stabilization magic — if that thing even exists in reality.
No matter how much shots you take, Xiaomi’s post-processing techniques simply won’t cut the slack off.
Even if you’re trying to be firm and stable enough (and I don’t have any shaky hands), it doesn’t do any magic.
But cats surprisingly look good and sharp despite the small movements they make
Like this stray cat I found while eating outdoors at a popular chicken joint.
Even my cats at home were captured clearly using the digital 2x zoom functionality.
Food shots actually looked better
It might be the 11T Pro’s post-processing techniques but it sure is sharper and retained more details in the steak, vegetables, and mashed potato in comparison to the Mi 10T Pro’s photo on the right.
Even the Red Velvet Cake looked more mouthwatering and appetizing compared to the Mi 10T Pro’s lack of enough contrast, saturation, and sharpness.
Portrait Mode is different
With both having a dedicated “telemacro” lens, it’s responsible for giving depth information between the foreground and the background. Although it’s pretty evident that the Mi 10T Pro only relied with radial blur — which was something I pointed out in my review.
Meanwhile, the Xiaomi 11T Pro didn’t fake the depth this time by having a more natural background blur — enough to distinguish the ramen from the Gyudon and Gyoza while still making the subject detailed and in-focus. The Mi 10T Pro failed to do that with all the blur at the closer part of the ramen.
Xiaomi’s Night Mode processing in 11T Pro looked worse…
Chances are slimmer when capturing post-worthy night time and low-light photos — even if there is a dedicated Night Mode in the camera app.
One of the best examples would be this first comparison photo: Xiaomi’s 11T Pro against the Mi 10T Pro.
While the photo of the Mi 10T Pro looked overly-exaggerated compared to what I’ve seen in reality, it’s still sharper with better details like the stars in the sky and contrast. The 11T Pro failed to show that. Color accuracy is also closer to the Mi 10T Pro with gray skies and warmer highlights due to the lamp posts behind me when I captured these.
There are times when the 11T Pro’s Night Mode does nothing. Literally just brightening up the shot and sharpen it a li’l bit.
Now is the best time to compare a 2017 flagship from Google versus 2021’s latest flagship killer.
In this particular scenario where you’ll see a lot of people lining up outside a Jordan store, I shot the 11T Pro’s photo twice (left side) whereas the Pixel 2 XL clearly captured the shot after seconds of processing.
Not convinced enough that Xiaomi could’ve done better night mode processing techniques through software algorithm? Well in this shot, despite the presence of grain in Pixel 2 XL’s photo, it’s still closer to reality with those warm lights. Most of all, it preserved all details with the right amount of sharpness and contrast.
And finally! After taking three consecutive night shots of this building at 2x, Google’s Pixel 2 XL was still able to shoot the building properly. That’s a stark difference over 11T Pro’s shaky and blurry photo. A dedicated telephoto zoom lens instead of a “telephoto macro” camera would’ve been handy on this particular scenario.
Albeit, night shots are still commendable if you have enough room for light (and utmost patience)
Just an added bonus, that macro camera doesn’t make sense at all
I mean look at these pan de sal in triple chocolate, milky cheese, and ube cheese flavors. Not only it showed minor differences between a macro and a zoomed food shot, it also proves that Xiaomi could’ve ditched the lens in favor of a dedicated one. That would’ve been a nice differentiating factor over the Xiaomi 11T.
Selfies are preferential
As someone who barely flips the front camera and takes selfies, the selfies taken with the Xiaomi 11T Pro looked okay to me.
If you rely heavily on beauty mode, it has some slimming and whitening effects just like any other Android smartphone out there. You’d be more familiar if you’re coming from a Xiaomi and planning to upgrade.
There are just times that it looked washed-out and overexposed. But you also have to consider the environment your taking selfies at. Shooting against the light wouldn’t guarantee anything especially that it only has a 16MP f/2.5 punch-hole camera.
Is this your GadgetMatch?
If you want an Android smartphone that has the latest Snapdragon chipset with blazing-fast 5G and charging speeds, plus an overall multimedia powerhouse, the Xiaomi 11T Pro isn’t a slouch.
But if you’re the user like me who values cameras a lot in a smartphone, consider looking for another smartphone you might want to buy. The 11T Pro simply isn’t it even if they heavily advertise it as a phone with “Cinemagic” capabilities a la Xiaomi Mi 11.
Other than Meteorite Gray that I have, Xiaomi 11T Pro is also available in Moonlight White and Celestial Blue colorways. The 8/256GB variant sells for PhP 27,990 while the 12/256GB configuration retails at PhP 29,990 — which is PhP 2000 more.
Xiaomi Philippines has an open sale today, October 30, 2021, where buyers of the Xiaomi 11T and Xiaomi 11T Pro will get a free Xiaomi 11T Series Edition Bluetooth Speaker worth PhP 3,250. An open sale will also be happening starting October 30 where every purchase of the Xiaomi 11T and Xiaomi 11T Pro will entitle buyers to a free Xiaomi Mi True Wireless Earphones 2 Basic.
Meanwhile, the Official Xiaomi Philippines Shopee store will also be including a free Mi Robot Vacuum and eco bag with every purchase of the Xiaomi 11T. Each purchase of the device comes with a 1+1 year limited warranty and free screen replacement within six months.
I ditched my Apple Watch for the Garmin epix Pro (Gen 2)
It’s not my ideal type, but it’s everything I’ll need
I remember wanting an Apple Watch when I got into fitness. Everyone around me kept saying the Apple Watch is the best smartwatch for Apple users. I’ve seen most fitness enthusiasts in my gym and obstacle parks wearing an Apple Watch.
Add to the fact that a former flame also used an old-generation Apple Watch, I felt happy to wear one and enjoy features that connect me with him and other Apple users.
I was giddy using the walkie-talkie and other apps that helped me further the connection. But when it came to personal growth, it was limiting. I looked at competitive athletes in my chosen sport, and saw them wearing a Garmin smartwatch. Some use the Instinct, Venu, and Forerunner variants.
Now, a Garmin smartwatch isn’t new to me. I know them all too well, but I never pegged myself as an athlete to wear one. That all changed when I decided to take on an elite category for my Spartan races.
I just badly want to be better than who I was yesterday.
Why the change of heart?
Back in June, I set my sights on the Garmin epix Pro after an event at the Manila Padel Club. Everyone was gushing over the Garmin fenix 7 series but I’ve always had my eyes on the epix Pro. It didn’t seem bulky and I was enticed with its OLED screen.
After competing at the elite heat of Spartan Stadion, an explosive type of obstacle race course stretching 5 kilometers inside a national stadium, I ditched my Apple Watch Series 8. I decided to get the Garmin epix Pro.
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I was thrashed with my performance; I was ill-prepared and believed that I wasn’t strong enough. The Apple Watch couldn’t give me other data necessary to help me improve. Even with a personal coach to aid my strength and conditioning training, I still needed a smartwatch to boost my performance.
It’s precisely why a lot of athletes use a Garmin smartwatch. The data I needed are stacked inside the smartwatch and the Connect app which is compatible with both iOS and Android devices.
Life also took another 180, shifting my priorities to loving myself more and focusing more on improving in the sport I love. Garmin’s “beat yesterday” ethos resonated with me as I took on a four-month hardcore training regimen before my next competition.
Understanding my body’s readiness
When I switched to the Garmin epix Pro, I was overwhelmed by the amount of data readily available meant for an athlete. Gone are the data and features that urge you to become more active in achieving your fitness goals. That’s what the Apple Watch is for.
Having the Garmin epix Pro provided me the insights I need that my coach and I can use to improve my performance. Of course, you can find the usual metrics such as sleep activity, heart rate, step count, respiration, and stress levels. However, there’s more to it since it’s not your regular smartwatch.
At a glance, I can check my Body Battery status which gives me a glimpse of how much energy I can still spend throughout the day. It helped me determine if I should still proceed with my training or if I should prioritize resting for faster recovery.
Sleep contributes to a big factor in making sure that my Body Battery gets fully recharged. This also affects the Training Status and Training Readiness, allowing me to proceed to my training sessions at a pace that I can handle.
A bunch of preloaded sports can be tracked using the epix Pro. However, my main focus — which I added on the shortcuts — were Strength Training, Running, Treadmill, Trail Running, and Adventure Racing.
Combine all of these and all the data work hand-in-hand in providing you an accurate report, especially in the morning.
Are you ready to put in the work?
There were inconsistencies when it came to sleep tracking. Plenty of times, the epix Pro didn’t record the extra hour I slept in whenever I suddenly woke up at four o’clock in the morning.
Nevertheless, it comes with a morning report that gave me insight into my sleep quality, the weather outlook, and other data I need. Most of the time, the morning report tells me if my body’s ready for a workout.
Nine out of ten, it says I’m not ready. My Heart Rate Variability (HRV) status indicates my ability to perform, which usually changes if I sip a little alcohol in my body or I’m just getting a lot of stress from work and my personal affairs.
Being an athlete, it’s not always a physical battle that you endure. The mental and emotional anguish take a toll on how you can perform. It’s just the epix Pro’s sensors are enough to track the changes in your body.
It’s like someone noticing the small changes in your behavior when you’re going through something, simply because they know you all too well.
Tell your friends you’re out for a run
Living on the slopes of a mountain range, my training ground has never been ideal for Zone running. Every quick run became Threshold training since I needed a lot of power to run uphill.
I didn’t realize that continuously training on the mountainside would push my VO2 Max to 57. That number is counted as ‘Superior’ since I finally belong to the top five percent of my age and gender.
In case you didn’t know, VO2 Max refers to the maximum amount of oxygen you can utilize during intense exercise.
When participating in a race, a lot of contestants enter Zone 5 of their heart rate, which uses your VO2 Max. The higher the score is, the better your cardiovascular fitness and aerobic endurance are.
Since I’m always training on an uphill whether on a road or a trail, it trains my VO2 Max. It improves along with my Hill Score and Endurance Score on the Garmin epix Pro.
As of writing, the smartwatch tells me that I’m in one of my best condition as I’m well-trained for endurance races.
Going on races
With the race predictor feature, the smartwatch used my current running data to give an estimated finish of every distance I could run.
Currently, it estimates a 23-minute finish for a 5K run and a 52-minute finish for a 10K run. A half-marathon would take 2 hours, and a marathon would give me a four-hour and 30-minute finish.
Of course, race predictors are only based on the data your smartwatch has. Since I transitioned from the Apple Watch, it didn’t know my previous data which means I can go faster than my smartwatch’s race predictions.
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After all, you still decide how fast or great you want to be. It’s not a smartwatch’s job to give you the results you need to work for.
During the Xiaomi Pop Run, I brought the Garmin epix Pro while wearing the Xiaomi Smart Band 8 on my other wrist. I didn’t attempt to do a SUB-1 finish.
Instead, I used Garmin’s workout plans and customized its settings to provide me with a heart rate zone that I could use at certain distances.
Sometimes, I use races as a simulation for a time trial of how much I’ve improved. And most times, I use it as an additional mileage for an even bigger competition. In this case, the Garmin epix Pro helped me manage my heart rate when participating in a race, which would eventually help me in my future (and more competitive) races.
Made for the trails
Don’t be bewitched by the Garmin epix Pro’s appearance. It is a multi-sports smartwatch, but it’s also made for the trail, just like the Fenix series.
I brought it when I was trail running every other weekend in Mount Ayaas and Mount Parawagan in Rodriguez, Rizal. It did wonders in helping me improve my trail running.
At some point, we got lost when we headed to Tuay Falls, a 3-kilometer trail after Mount Ayaas. We didn’t want to do a backtrail and tried doing the secret river path, where we followed the whole river until it led us to the end where the river merges with a basin going to the Marikina River.
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That time, we had nothing but our water and energy gels that were only appropriate for a 10-kilometer trail. We capped a total of 17-kilometer trail for almost eight hours.
In a place where cellular reception is nonexistent, Garmin’s Multi-Satellite Support came into play and helped in navigating the secret river. We made sure that we were following the trail through the scrollable map. Thankfully, the AMOLED touchscreen made it easier for me to check the maps even when running.
However, using the GPS mode throughout the trail drained its battery. We were lucky enough to be back in the town right before the epix Pro shut down.
It’s everything I dreamt of
As I transition into becoming a recreational athlete who aims to stand on the podium one day, the Garmin epix Pro is the smartwatch I’ve always dreamt of. I was misled into thinking that the Apple Watch would suit my needs. I still think of the Apple Watch from time to time. It’s got looks that would be perfect for everyday life.
But the life I’m living and the future I want to build would require me to wear a non-fashionable yet functional smartwatch. It’s not my ideal type, but it’s everything I need. I think that’s what matters — both in smartwatch preferences and in our love life.
The Garmin epix Pro is my GadgetMatch of 2023, and it deserves the GadgetMatch Seal of Approval.
The epix Pro Sapphire 42MM and 47MM retail for PhP 62,780. Meanwhile, the epix Pro Sapphire 51mm is priced at PhP 69,050. It’s available at Garmin’s official stores and online channels.
Lenovo Legion Glasses review: An 86-inch TV at your fingertips
But, what are they good for?
Among all the emerging technologies in the wearable segment, nothing fills me with more hesitation than wearable eyewear. Infusing technology into eyewear is just natural evolution, but there’s still something missing in the niche market. Plus, security issues with wearables aside, it’s hard to beat the traditional appeal of just fiddling around with your phone.
Now, the Lenovo Legion Glasses is not one of these things. Paring down the functionalities of tech eyewear to just an external display, Lenovo’s new wearable is simply a new way to experience your content. Is it worth the cost, though? Let’s find out.
Chonkers for your eyes
From the get-go, you’ll notice how thick these glasses are. These aren’t a pair you’d want to take to show off your swag. Then again, they don’t need them to be.
Despite their size, the Legion Glasses comfortably balanced its weight all around my head. At least from the initial moment of putting them on, wearing these glasses were comfortable enough for immediate use. That said, prolonged comfort is another story.
I’m sure that continuous use would increase my tolerance for having the wearable on for an extended period of time. However, in the time I’ve had them, I could only go twenty to thirty minutes at a time before I needed a break. As you might expect, the pain points are on the bridge of my nose, my temples, and just general eye strain.
If you’re worried about the fit on your own face, the Legion Glasses come with an extensive set of accessories to tailor the wearables to the contours of your face. You’ll get nose pads of varying heights, anti-slip adapters, and a prescription lens template. It took a lot of experimenting to get the perfect fit for my face. Thankfully, adjusting each part is easy enough. It wasn’t long before I was good to go.
A new way to watch
It’s simple to use the glasses. They don’t need a separate battery to charge. Just plug them into a device with the USB-C cable, and the image shows up on the lenses.
The Legion Glasses projects a huge 86-inch screen in front of your vision. The image quality is impressive. Regardless of whether you’re watching a movie or playing a game, clarity and color reproduction were both spot on. It is, however, dependent on your fit. Since the lens open up in the lower half, I had to use the tallest nose pads to get the clearest picture. Otherwise, the edges of the screen had noticeable aberrations.
Additionally, the image is limited to 1080p resolution and 60Hz refresh rate. While the image is already great on its own, there’s definitely room for improvement. Still, if you’re looking for the best quality possible, you’re better off with a beefy monitor.
Besides the image, the glasses come with speakers right on the temples. The audio quality is fine, and, after a while, I even forgot that I wasn’t wearing headphones. However, since these are just regular speakers, they leak a lot. Anyone sitting beside you can clearly hear what you’re watching.
An incredibly niche product
While the wearable is certainly an impressive device, it’s hard to find enough use cases for it. It’s definitely not something I’m actively looking for whenever I fire up a game. That said, there are specific scenarios where these glasses are especially useful.
For one, if you want to hide what you’re doing from those snooping over your shoulder, these glasses are a useful tool for privacy — minus the audio leaking, of course.
The Legion Glasses are also especially useful if you want to watch a movie or play a game while lying down. There are just some lazy days when I don’t want to get out of bed. These glasses just eliminate the need for fiddling for a remote or holding a phone over my head. Additionally, if you just want a larger screen, these can come in handy.
Besides the moments when the wearable actually works, let’s talk about the moments when they don’t. Unfortunately, they don’t work with every device that has a USB-C port. Naturally, they work well with Lenovo devices (like a Legion Go), but I struggled to find other devices to work with them. They didn’t work with my ASUS laptop or my Pixel 6.
If you do get these glasses, you’ll have to research if your devices will work with them.
Is this your GadgetMatch?
At US$ 329.99, it’s hard to justify buying these glasses with a limited set of use cases and compatible devices. That said, despite how limited they are, these are still amazing pieces of technology. Since getting them, I’ve been using the Legion Glasses quite a bit. If you find the unique scenarios applicable to you and you have a device to use these with, it’s still a worthy purchase.
‘Scott Pilgrim Takes Off’ spoiler review: A new story in old clothes
Beware of spoilers ahead
Beware, dear reader. This review features major spoilers for Scott Pilgrim Takes Off.
One of my guiltiest pleasures is reading through AITA threads on Reddit. AITA means “am I the asshole,” a question that concludes every post of this type. Internet strangers ask other internet strangers whether their actions deserve scrutiny. Most of the time, these threads end with a “YTA” (you’re the asshole) or an “NTA” (not the asshole) verdict. However, on rare occasions, an AITA thread warrants an “ESH” verdict, meaning “everyone sucks here” or an unwinnable situation where everyone is an asshole.
Now, if you’re wondering what an ESH situation looks like, look no further than the 2010 cult film Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. Though the film wowed everyone (this dorky writer included) with gaming-inspired graphics and a love for all things nerdy, the titular character (or anyone in the film) is hardly someone to be emulated. The evil exes are stereotypes of jocks, nerds, and musicians. Ramona Flowers admits to dumping her exes for selfish reasons. Scott himself dates a highschooler and cheats on her with Ramona.
So, when Netflix announced an anime adaptation of the iconic series, the biggest question in my mind was: “even the cringey parts?”
A tale of two Scotts
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is an action-romance flick centered around the titular Scott as he fights Ramona’s seven evil exes for the right to exclusively date her. The anime adaptation starts off with the same beats.
Scott, a jobless twenty-something from Toronto, lives platonically with his gay housemate Wallace Wells. As he drifts around without a job, he plays bass for local indie band Sex Bob-omb and dates Knives Chao, a teenage highschooler. Everything changes when he meets the (literal) girl of his dreams, Ramona Flowers. He finally finds a purpose for his precious little life.
It’s not all flowers, though. His blissful ignorance sours when Ramona’s first evil ex, Matthew Patel, crashes a Sex Bob-omb gig. So begins his seven-stage quest to win the girl. As expected for a first boss, the all-powerful hero of the story…
Subverting all expectations, Scott Pilgrim Takes Off’s first episode ends with the sudden death of its titular hero, pitifully exploding into three measly coins.
A tale of Ramona
What happens when you kill off the main character in the first episode? You shift focus to the other main character, of course. The captivating second third of the series is a whodunit — or in Young Neil’s words, a “whodidit” — featuring Ramona as she crosses off her exes as suspects in Scott’s death… or is it disappearance? After reviewing security footage, she discovers that an unknown entity teleported Scott away, faking his death in the process.
More than a cross-examination, Ramona’s encounters with her exes turn into moments of reconciliation between the two crossed ex-lovers. Whereas the original story showed that love is messy and that everyone has baggage, the anime series shows that even your emotional baggage is human. Your past relationships aren’t just tools for character development. They have their own story arcs and, yes, sometimes they can use you for development.
In taking Scott away for most of the series, Ramona graduates from being a cold-hearted vixen trying to escape her past into a more rounded individual actively engaging with her past life. She apologizes for her selfish behavior and sees how each ex is doing. Some of them takes crazy turns — such as when Todd Ingram falls in love with Wallace Wells and willingly gives up his vegan powers when the latter dumps him — but that’s just how life works sometimes.
Scott Pilgrim and the baby Hitler problem
If you had the ability to travel back in time, would you assassinate a baby Hitler? While Hitler is an extreme example, the story beat is a common one for time travel tales. Are you willing to commit one atrocity to prevent an even greater one from happening in the future?
Though common, it’s not a plot element I expected from Scott Pilgrim Takes Off. When Ramona figures out which of her exes whisked Scott away, Scott himself shows up on her doorstep and explains that someone else is behind the disappearance: his future self.
In a twist that would impress even the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a future version of Scott travels back in time to prevent his present self from fighting (and winning against) the seven evil exes. In this older Scott’s future, he won and got Ramona, just as it happens in the original story. But it’s not a rosy ending. Soon after marrying Ramona, the couple hit a rough patch and decide to separate. In his anguish, Scott travels back in time to save himself the heartbreak.
If you knew a relationship was going to end in misery, would you go back in time to save yourself from ever entering the romantic tryst? Though the third act takes a drastically different direction, it still falls in line with the messiness of love. Those who’ve been in long-term relationships are familiar with the standard what-if questions like “if things were different, would you still date me?” or “would you go back and change anything about our relationship?”
The choice is yours
Scott Pilgrim Takes Off does not end with a “yes” or a “no.” Instead, after a colossal fight with an older Scott (featuring an older Ramona), both present-day Scott and Ramona realize that their choice in the here and now is more important than knowing what happens in the future.
Problems will still arise, but the right way to tackle them is head-on, rather than running away (as with Ramona) or avoiding them altogether (as with Scott). And you don’t have to deal with them alone.
Scott Pilgrim Takes Off is not a retelling of an old tale or a sequel to the original. It’s a companion piece. If you loved either of the original graphic novels or the film adaptation, Netflix’s take is essential viewing. It fleshes out familiar characters and fills in the gaps of the original story. More importantly, it tackles themes that a grown-up Scott Pilgrim fan has about life and love.
Is Scott Pilgrim an asshole? Yes, but so was everyone. What are you going to do to change that?
Scott Pilgrim Takes Off is now streaming on Netflix.
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