Reviews

Xiaomi 11T Pro review: Is it really “Pro” enough?

What sets it apart from the non-Pro Xiaomi 11T though?

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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!

Not-so-“Pro” packaging

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.

Pro-ctacular design

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.

Pro-level display

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.

IU’s visuals stand out even when you watch her from afar #IUsupremacy

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.

More heart reacts for STAYC’s Seeun

Its 120Hz refresh rate is also a feast in the eyes especially when switching between apps and scrolling through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Liking Olivia Hye is still illegal at this point

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.

Han So-Hee looking more fierce and fearless in #MyName

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 want to mess up your mind, I suggest you to binge-watch Extracurricular on Netflix

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.

The Kep1er center we never had #ShenterXiaoting #션터샤오팅

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.

Pro-formance

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.

Similar goodies

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.

Karina we love you! — as much as how you love nævis

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.

SEE ALSO: Xiaomi 11T Pro vs Mi 10T Pro: 11 changes in 1 year

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

Portrait Mode

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

Xiaomi 11T Pro vs Mi 10T Pro (2x)

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.

Xiaomi 11T Pro vs Mi 10T Pro (2x)

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.

Xiaomi 11T Pro vs Mi 10T Pro (Night 3s)

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.

Night Mode ON | OFF

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.

Night Mode ON | OFF

Now is the best time to compare a 2017 flagship from Google versus 2021’s latest flagship killer.

Xiaomi 11T Pro vs Google Pixel 2 XL (Wide)

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.

Xiaomi 11T Pro vs Google Pixel 2 XL (Wide)

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.

Xiaomi 11T Pro vs Google Pixel 2 XL (2x)

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

Portrait vs 2x

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.

SEE ALSO: Xiaomi 11T Pro vs Mi 10T Pro: Camera Shootout

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.

Gaming

ROG Zephyrus G15: Lean, mean, gaming machine

And it’s a looker too

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Zephyrus G15

One of my favorite things about getting to try many new gadgets is that I learn more about myself and my preferences. The ROG Zephyrus G15 (2022) GA503 – which henceforth will just be referred to as just Zephyrus G15 – did just that for me and what I want in gaming laptops. 

For context, I have been sparingly using my ROG Flow X13 for most of my general Windows and PC gaming needs. It’s a great device, don’t get me wrong. But having to prop up the laptop itself along with the XG Mobile to reach its full potential can be quite cumbersome.

It’s a huge contrast to the Zephyrus G15 where I simply fire it up and it just works in a jiffy. And all the ports I normally use are right there, ready to use. I’m a big fan of convenience so I absolutely love it when gadgets just work without much friction. 

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Based on this introduction, I’m sure you already have some idea on what I generally think about the Zephyrus G15. But allow me to discuss it further. 

Tale of the tape

Zephyrus G15

Specs and benchmarks never tell the whole story. But specs are a good place to start. Here’s what our review unit is packing: 

  • AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS
  • 15″ WQHD (2560 x 1440) 16:9 240hz Pantone Validated 100% DCI-P
  • RTX 3070 TI 8GB GDDR6
  • 16GB DDR5 on board  + 16GB DDR5-4800 SO-DIMM
  • 1TB M.2 NVM PCIe 4.0 SSD
  • Moonlight White

Some standout stuff from the information provided above are the new processor, the Pantone Validated display as well as the RAM available. This isn’t even its highest configuration. There’s a variant that runs RTX 3080. You can upgrade your RAM up to 48GB and there’s another SSD slot so you can expand your storage. 

Zephyrus G15

That means there’s plenty of room to up the ante down the line should you choose to do so. That’s not something that you can say for every gaming laptop. 

Immaculate look and design

I love that ROG sent over the Moonlight White version for us to try. Black is great, don’t get me wrong. But it’s refreshing to see gaming laptops brimming with power come in other colorways that could appeal to people that are kind of just over with black. 

The magnesium-aluminum lid and chassis also maintain the Zephyrus look giving it a sleek and tough exterior, while keeping the ROG Zephyrus identity. And you don’t have to worry too much about it picking up dust and dirt. In the few weeks I spent with it, it stayed pristine looking despite little to no wiping maintenance. That’s thanks largely to the wear-resistant coating which works exactly as advertised. 

Zephyrus G15

Adding to the overall functional design is the ErgoLift Hinge. This is one of my favorite things about ASUS laptops. The ergolift hinge not only allows a 180° for more flexibility, it’s also just ultra satisfying to move and look at. 

It looks fresh, feels tough, and is relatively compact making it easy to carry around. It’s a looker with some bells and whistles in the right places.

Ports, keyboard, and trackpad

Zephyrus G15

Speaking of those bells and whistles, the Zephyrus G15 is packed with possibly all the ports you’ll need. Whether that’s for a remote setup or one that’s neatly tucked into a home office desk. 

Zephyrus G15

Here’s everything it has to offer: 

  • USB3.2 Gen 2 Type-A (2x)
  • USB3.2 Gen 2 Type-C(supports DP 1.4 & 100W PD Charger), (2x)
  • LAN RJ-45 jack (1x)
  • HDMI 2.0b (1x)
  • Micro SD Card Reader (UHS-II), (1x)
  • 3.5mm Audio combo jack (1x)
  • Kensington Lock (1x)

 

Zephyrus G15

The Stealth Type keyboard was a curious choice but one that I welcome. I was of the impression that the gaming demographic skews more towards the clickity clack of mechanical keyboards. But the one equipped on the Zephyrus G15 is about as quiet as they come. No complaints here though, as it didn’t distract my at-the-moment entanglement in slumber as I toiled away over late night labor. 

Zephyrus G15

One of the best trackpad experiences on a Windows Gaming laptop.

The trackpad, too, was such a pleasant surprise. Perhaps it’s also in conjunction with Windows 11 but using a trackpad on Windows now doesn’t feel as laggy as it used to. On days that I only worked using the Zephyrus G15, I never felt the need to connect a mouse. That feels like a breakthrough as I have never been able to say that for any of the Windows laptops I’ve reviewed in the past. 

Plays like a console

Yes, I paired a DualSense controller with the Zephyrus G15

Alright, before any PC gaming enthusiasts come at my throat, what I mean here is mostly the quality of life things. When I got the Zephyrus G15, I didn’t tweak it very much. Heck, I even opened Armoury Crate less than five times during my time with it. Despite this, it had no trouble running the games I attempted to play. Some of which are even very demanding AAA titles. 

Zephyrus G15

I’m a big fan of tech that just works. Especially with my current workload, the less time I have to figure something out, the better. And that’s the case with this gaming laptop. I simply fired up Steam, downloaded the games, and played to my heart’s content. 

Zephyrus G15

Teen Gohan vs Cell is a classic.

Naturally, I checked the settings on some of the first few games I tried like Control, Genshin Impact, and Dragon Ball FighterZ. Everything was consistently on the highest settings right off the bat. Lags and stutters? I don’t know them. Not with the Zephyrus G15 in tow. 

To better understand where I’m coming from, I own an ROG Flow X13. The one that comes with the ROG XG Mobile. It’s a great machine, no doubt. But to get the most out of it, I still have to hook up the XG Mobile to the Flow X13. Whereas with the Zephyrus G15, I simply have to turn the laptop on. That’s an underrated level of convenience that may or may not mean much for some of you. 

You still have Armoury Crate but I didn’t feel the need to touch it as much.

It’s seriously making me consider trading up for the Zephyrus G15. And that’s just with the raw performance of games. I haven’t even talked about how good the display and speakers are. 

Eyes and ears candy 

Zephyrus G15

Its high-level performance is of course complemented by a stellar audio-visual experience. As indicated in the specs section earlier, this laptop sports a 15” WQHD 16:9 display with a 240Hz refresh rate. It’s also Pantone Validated which is great for color accuracy if you’re working on anything that involves visual media.

But all you really need to know is that it’s an absolute treat to the eyes. The 240Hz refresh rate on the panel is great for first-person shooters. Unfortunately, I am not great at first person shooters. I’d like to take this opportunity to whoever I played Valorant with because I totally dragged the team down. 

Zephyrus G15

This is a “Tomboy” fancam but listen to her album “MY” too!

 

It is a visual treat, no doubt. But like (G)-IDLE’s Miyeon, the Zephyrus G15 isn’t just a treat for the eyes. It also sounds hella good. I spent a good chunk of time watching Miyeon’s fancams on this thing and it’s just a fantastic overall experience. 

I also watched a few episodes of Netflix’s Business Proposal at the time of writing. Really, whatever type of content you consume, it’s bound to look and sound great on this thing. 

Zephyrus G15

Kim SeJeong is just adorable

One thing we did learn is that the display struggles a bit under really bright environments. When taking photos of the device, we opted to step out for natural light. But if you’re using this to work or play remotely, I recommend you find some place that isn’t too bright. 

Is this your GadgetMatch?

Zephyrus G15

The ROG Zephyrus G15 (2022) GA503 is easily one of my personal favorite devices that I’ve reviewed so far in 2022. It’s about as close as it can get to a plug and play PC gaming experience. And that’s not something you can say for many laptops and/or PCs. 

The Zephyrus G15 (2022) brings with it a distinct look, top-notch gaming performance, and a really solid audio-visual experience. As a gaming laptop, this is about as perfect as it gets and is something I can easily recommend especially if you’re willing to splurge for it.

Official pricing will be announced soon. We’ll update this space when it’s out.

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Reviews

vivo X80 Pro Unboxing and Review

vivo’s best smartphone just got even better!

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The vivo X70 Pro+ was launched just several months ago. However, we’re already having a follow-up!

Unlike the X50, X60, and X70 series, the X80 series only consists of two models this time around.

Namely the X80 and X80 Pro — with the latter being vivo’s latest flagship smartphone.

But what makes it different from its predecessor? And what makes the successor a lot more exciting?

Watch our vivo X80 Pro Unboxing and Review now to find out more!

 

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Reviews

Samsung Galaxy S22+ review: Love at first touch

Can’t help but fall deeper

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Galaxy S22+

A cosmic pull. A supernatural attraction. These aren’t phrases one normally says on a smartphone review. And yet, here I am. Falling madly for the Samsung Galaxy S22+. 

However, this wasn’t the case from the get go. First, I saw it in photos and it was alright. Then, I saw the specs on paper. Yeah, that’s pretty good. It was just another flagship, I thought. 

But everything changed when it came to my doorstep and held it in my hands. 

(P.S. All of my subheadings below are taken from the song “One Touch” by Gabe Bondoc. You can play it while you read 🙂). 

One touch and I’m hooked and I am drowning

Galaxy S22+

I am completely aware how overly infatuated I’m coming off and will come off for the rest of this article. But, having been in this smartphone reviewing gig for close to seven (7) years now, I’ve become almost numb to the usual releases. 

Yes, every now and then I take a liking to a smartphone or two. But it has been a while since I really, really wanted to keep and/or buy a phone I’m reviewing. 

The Samsung Galaxy S22+ just felt perfect on my hands. The right width, the right length, and the right thickness. The heft of the device, its shiny metallic edges, and the clean premium finish of the back all scream premium. The material on its back has a smooth, matte feel and finish. It’s both smudge and scratch resistant.


I’m a fan of its button placements too. With both the power button and volume rockers flushed on the right-hand side. It’s easy to slide up and down to press what you need to press.

And the metal lining on the edges feels smooth but grippable and perfectly complements the flat display. 

Excuse me, I don’t mean to be staring

It’s no secret that Samsung consistently offers one of the best displays, especially in their flagship line. This remains true for the 6.6-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X panel equipped on this beaut. The colors are rich and crisp under favorable lighting conditions. But even in broad daylight, the display is bright enough (1750 nits peak) to be comfortably operated without having to squint. 

Galaxy S22+

I had a grand time watching my favorite shows on the Samsung Galaxy S22+. I’ve had it for a while so I saw a few episodes of the Netflix K-Drama Business Proposal on it. I have also been catching up weekly on the HBO series Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty. For content that supports it, HDR10+ kicks in to elevate the visual experience. 

Galaxy S22+

The display looks so majestic that it prompted me to put the love of my life Momo Hirai of TWICE as my wallpaper. And then of course, there’s the dynamic refresh rate that goes up as high as 120Hz. This means the screen changes its refresh rate depending on what you’re doing. If you’re scrolling through socials and what not, it kicks into high gear to give you a smooth experience. When idle, the refresh rate lowers down to save battery. 

My heart won’t slow ’cause of you

The Galaxy S22+’s overall performance will really keep your heart racing. Normal, day-to-day interactions with your phone just feel extra sharp. The many features mentioned above coupled with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 powering this phone keeps it humming no matter what you do. 

Keeping up with the news in the morning, checking socials to see what you missed, using messaging apps to keep in touch whether for work or personal matters – all of these just feel like a breeze. And the ONE UI 4.1 skin on top of this Android 12 flavor definitely contributes to just how things flow when you use this smartphone. 

Galaxy S22+

I didn’t do a lot of gaming, though. To test it, I defaulted to my go-to which is a few hours of Call of Duty Mobile. As expected it runs without hiccups on high graphics settings. There’s a game manager of sorts here that I didn’t tinker with much. It’s not too different from the ones implemented in previous Samsung phones. Some key features include focusing the phone’s resources to gaming and limiting or completely blocking notifications. 

Battery life is also admirable. One afternoon, I used it to tune into a friend’s wedding via Zoom. The entire ceremony lasted roughly around two (2) hours. In that period, the Galaxy S22+’s battery went from 82% to 76%. 

Naturally, that isn’t the single indication of its battery performance. I generally start my days at around 9AM and end at around 8PM. On days that I’m glued to my laptop, with only occasional glimpses on the phone, I would end the day between 60% to 70%. On days that I’m out and about and rely on it a lot to get work done, my day ends with around 25% to 35% of battery left. 

You’re looking fine today, not that I only noticed now

Galaxy S22+

I have already done an entire separate article about the cameras on the Galaxy S22+. It’s one of the things that I enjoyed the most about the phone. It’s almost as if it’s impossible to take a bad photo with this on hand. 

Easily switching between lenses is great. But what’s even better is how the quality and color reproduction doesn’t vary much from lens to lens. Check these samples out.

Samsung Galaxy S22+

And you can even use 10X Zoom with barely any detail loss, especially if it’s a photo that you’re just uploading on social media. 

Samsung Galaxy S22+

That versatility is unmatched and is fantastic for quick, run and gun shoots like the one I did during the opening of the XM Studio in Singapore. 

I am thoroughly impressed and extremely satisfied with the quality of images it produces. And that’s saying a lot seeing as my regular daily phones include an iPhone 11 Pro and an OPPO Find X3 Pro. Both of which are excellent shooters in their own right.

Oh and yeah, “Nightography”. 

Samsung Galaxy S22+

You think there is a way that I can get you to stay?

You see, the thing about the Galaxy S22+ is that with just the first touch, you already know you’re in contact with something that you should hold onto for dear life. I can’t tell you how many oohs and aahs I got after letting other people hold it in their hands. It just has that effect.

Additionally, the phone is a smooth amalgamation of many other standout phones. It has the breathtaking display of Samsung phones, an overall footprint that feels like an iPhone 12/13 Pro Max, cameras that rival those that partner with notable camera brands, and much, much more. All of that comes in this package that looks and feels well-built on a phone that is easily an all-rounder performer. 

Truly, I never want to let it go. And that’s not something I always say about smartphones. So here’s to hoping that this high praise leads to the Galaxy S22+ staying with me more than a little while longer. 

The Samsung Galaxy S22+ 5G is still available today in Samsung stores near you, via online at Samsung.com, or at your preferred telecommunication service provider. Pricing information on our key markets are linked in the following: USA | Singapore | Philippines

I know it’s been a while since its release. Despite all the hype long gone, it’s still a phone you won’t regret buying.

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