Reviews

Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro review: By two different Pro users

Two different nations, one phone

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2020 has been flooded by smartphones of all kinds — budget, midrange, premium flagships, flagship killers, you name ’em. But what makes the Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro a new breed of its own? Well, aside from the fact that it packs the flagship-tier Snapdragon 865 chipset and a great amount of fast internals, it costs less than both a flagship and a “flagship killer”.

Some (or most) might know that GadgetMatch has writers from different parts of the globe. In this review, Vincenz, our Creative Producer from the Philippines, and Shivam, our India Correspondent, went all out in testing and making the Mi 10T Pro their daily smartphone for more than two months. It’s safe to say that both users maximized the usage of this phone.

To make this experience more reliable, both users also tried last year’s predecessors: Vincenz with his Xiaomi Mi 9T and Mi 9T Pro reviews, while Shivam with the Indian variant Redmi K20 and K20 Pro.

Without further a do, let’s hear what they have to say about Xiaomi’s latest Mi-T series phone.

How does the Mi 10T Pro feel in hand?

Shivam: The first thing you’ll notice about the phone is its weight, and at 218gms, it does feel like you’re holding a brick. The 108-megapixel sensor requires a lot of space and it’s evident with the massive bump. You’d often get tired while playing intensive games like PUBG Mobile, but thankfully the rounded corners and slightly curved edges provide some grip.

It’s also quite obvious that Xiaomi has tried to cut corners in the design department. The back of the phone does feel a little flimsy, but that’s visible only if you try to find the spot. As a flagship, in-hand feel is the only department where the phone feels underwhelming.

Vincenz: My first time holding it reminded me of the Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Lite I reviewed months ago because of its thickness and heft. With all the 2020 smartphones I reviewed, this one is just a tad heavier and thicker for my liking.

The comfortable “hand-feeling” isn’t as great as when I held the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra and the vivo V20 Pro, but this is better than the super slim and lightweight form of the Galaxy S20+ which felt so fragile as it might slip out of my hand any time.

However, in a country where you have to remain vigilant about pickpockets, that added heft is a good factor to know that you have your phone safe in your pocket.

Any rants about its design?

Vincenz: Two things: First, I don’t like how they added another circle just to make it “symmetrical” — which can fool a lot of consumers into thinking it has four cameras and a flash module.  Second, I’m not a fan of that glass back.

Again, based from my review experience, vivo’s V20 Pro has a matte glass back which looks and feels nice. It also lessens those icky fingerprint smears whenever you use it with bare hands. Not good when little kids (cousins, niece, or nephews) are around and they want to play with your phone.

Slapping on a good case would be handy but it would make the phone even thicker. Other than those two concerns, the Mi 10T Pro is still  good-looking.

Shivam: When I saw the phone for the first time, it reminded me of the Mi A3. It was a classic Android One phone that focused on software and incorporated decent hardware. The back of the Mi 10T Pro looks very similar to the two-year-old phone. A simple glass slab on a greyish metal surface. We’re habituated with new designs from Xiaomi, so this one seemed monotonous.

And like all glass phones, this one is prone to fingerprints and smudges. No matter how much you try, the back will always remain blemished. The sides of the camera module also attract a lot of dirt and gunk that can get difficult to remove. Lastly, the weight and glass back make the phone very slippery, in turn, also delicate. As Vincenz said, you can always opt for a case, but that’ll just add more weight and thickness.

Would you rather: Pick last year’s AMOLED display vs IPS-LCD as long as you keep that fast refresh rate?

Shivam: I feel Xiaomi did the perfect thing by ditching an AMOLED display. The phone has a massive edge in terms of pricing and that’s achievable due to these changes. And, the step-back doesn’t hinder the day-to-day experience.

While there’s no doubt that an LCD display can never produce the blacks or contrast like an AMOLED one, the Mi 10T Pro’s panel has very bright and saturated colors, excellent contrast, and decent viewing angles. I’ve always preferred an AMOLED display personally, but I shifted to this phone for two months without feeling unsatisfied.

Once you use a 144Hz phone, going back to a standard 60Hz display is going to be challenging. The smoothness is very easily evident and you’ll notice it more if you read long PDFs or multitask too often. As a work partner, the refresh rate does bring a consistent flow that’s certainly addictive. In a nutshell, yes, I’m totally fine with an LCD display as long as it’s top-notch and brings higher refresh rates!

Vincenz: Kind of a tough question for me. I’m a creative so I want the best possible display in most (if not all) of the devices I use. I’d still pick the Mi 9T Pro’s AMOLED display because I want those deep blacks plus better colors and contrast for my viewing pleasure. In this country where sun rays and air pollution are harsh, going outside means your screen should be visible enough for use. I kind of suffered with the Mi 10T Pro’s IPS-LCD while trying to use this phone in direct sunlight.

Although it has a 144Hz refresh rate, I’ll simply ditch it over a 60Hz AMOLED one because that buttery-smooth experience is only seen when navigating and scrolling but can’t be maximized yet due to limitations of most smartphone games.

Is it great for multimedia use?

Jeon Heejin is a gift from all Gods

Vincenz: Despite not having an AMOLED display, I still enjoy watching on this smartphone. Whether I use Netflix or YouTube, I still love that fullscreen experience with a small hindrance of the punch-hole cutout. If there wasn’t a pandemic, I’m pretty sure most jeepney and bus commuters in Metro Manila would glare and stare at your phone because of how immersive and borderless it looks.

Although I use my AirPods and Galaxy Buds+ more often when watching and listening, that stereo speaker is still commendable and loud enough for those ultra-loud sessions inside your house.

Shivam: This is where you won’t even realize it’s an LCD display (unless you’re in pitch black darkness). Netflix, Prime Video, YouTube, and all other streaming services look like a treat, and thanks to the massive battery, you never have to worry about juice. The screen is almost bezel-less and even the chin is quite small.

The onboard speaker is loud enough and perfect for conference calls. The microphone is sensitive enough, so if you’re too tired of earbuds after a long day, just shift to the phone. To be honest, I miss the headphone jack. I prefer wired headphones while I’m home and it’s a feature that’s available on all Xiaomi phones in the mid and budget segment, so why not the Mi 10T Pro?

Are you an in-display fingerprint reader-type of guy or are you satisfied with its side-mounted scanner?

Shivam: I was about to say that thanks to an LCD display, they were forced to go for a physical sensor. And, it’s a very good thing. The in-display sensors are slower than traditional ones and I usually can’t operate them due to humid weather (sweaty hands) or greasy hands (DIY projects). The location of the fingerprint scanner is on the right side and you automatically get used to it within a few minutes. Much faster and convenient.

In-display fingerprint scanners were a fantasy for the longest of time. But they’re here now, we’ve used them for well over two years, and none of them are close to replacing an ordinary physical companion. Some things, like the 3.5mm headphone jack, are immortal.

Vincenz: I’m definitely the side-mounted-type of guy. Other than the fact that it’s fast for unlocking (trust me, my experience with In-Display FPs are just that slow), I just like how its ergonomically-placed on the side of the phone. You can even unlock it with wet fingers 💦  (not advisable for super wet conditions since this isn’t IP-rated).

Will the spec-obsessed enjoy its real-world performance? Thoughts on MIUI 12?

Vincenz: I already said in my previous reviews that I’m both an Apple and an Android user. MIUI is loveable for me as it has some of the goodies I love from iOS such as the lack of a separate app drawer and the overall response and feel. MIUI 12 felt more familiar with its new Control Center, yet still flexible and intuitive with its host of UI features, gestures, and other easter eggs hidden in the basket.

I know the pandemic has turned a lot of Filipinos into gamers and streamers. If you’re one of them, consider this phone as a great recommendation. Can you imagine a flagship-grade performance with this beast? Let’s scrap out those pesky spec sheet and benchmarks. I was able to play graphics-intensive games like Asphalt 9, Call of Duty: Mobile (CoDM), PUBG and do multitasking with socials on the side without any slouch.

Shivam: MIUI has come a long way in the last few years and the skin works for everyone. It’s loaded to the brim with day-to-day features and it has found a balance. Unlike Samsung’s Note series, it isn’t very complicated to use, and feature discoverability has improved leaps and bounds. The settings menu has a plethora of micro options that customize your experience at each step. Once you get the phone, just take an hour to browse the settings menu and you’ll be fine.

The flagship processor stands true to its words and works like a charm. The one thing I appreciate the most is, the processor and display work together without a glitch, delivering a pleasing 144Hz experience. Whether it’s basic UI graphics or intensive gaming, the phone can handle anything. The RAM optimization is spot-on and it can store multiple apps for hours in the background seamlessly. While the phone looks boring from the outside, it’s equally interesting and assuring from the inside.

Also, I’d like to point out that India is a very specification-obsessed market and the flagship processor makes it very easy to recommend this phone. Even though you’ll barely see a difference in terms of day-to-day performance between the Snapdragon 865 and Snapdragon 765, the psychological satisfaction is enormous.

Did the 5,000mAh battery last you that long?

Shivam: It always lasted more than a day. On a very intense day, it’ll provide screen time of more than nine hours on a single charge. That’s a LOT! And you shouldn’t even be using your phone that much in a day. The phone showed its true capability when I was traveling for a day in low network areas and it still managed to retain 40 percent at 5PM with Google Maps and Spotify switched on.

Vincenz: Hell yeah! Speaking as a hardcore pro user, I was able to last ’til the end of the day with socials, gaming, listening, watching, and even photo-taking. If you’re thinking about buying this phone because of its large battery size, you will not regret your purchase because of its great battery endurance.

What about charging speeds? Are they as fast as advertised?

Charged with the bundled charger and cable

Vincenz: Quick charge is another feature I like with the Mi 10T Pro. Other than the blessing of being equipped with USB-C (I mean new smartphones like this SHOULD be equipped with it), it was able to fill up that monstrous battery for about an hour.

Considering how enormous 5,000mAh is, it’s fast enough to fill up the phone especially if you forgot to charge it and have errands to do outside amid the heaps of crowds in malls and supermarkets hoarding masks, face shields, and grocery items.

Shivam: Due to the pandemic, I almost stopped charging my phone to full. If I’m going out, just a quick 15-minute charge is sufficient for hours of usage. It can fully charge the phone within 75 minutes, which is a very short period. This phone will never keep you hooked to a wall.

How are the 5G speeds? Were you able to use it in your country?

5G Speeds tested in BGC, Taguig

Shivam: India hasn’t rolled out 5G yet, so I couldn’t test one of its prime offerings. We expect a spectrum sale in 2021 and telcos like Jio are optimistic about a 2022 launch. But the country is still far away from commercial-grade roll-out. So, should you be investing in 5G right now? Is this phone slightly future proof?

If you use a phone for three or more years, then this may be future proof for you. That’s assuming 5G rolls out in your circle in the initial phases. Otherwise, there’s no use in particularly buying a 5G phone right now. Oh yes, it’s a completely different scenario if you travel frequently and can leverage 5G in other countries temporarily. 5G connectivity is gradually becoming mainstream and will it hit its peak when the world’s second-largest smartphone market joins in.

Vincenz: There are only a few 5G hotspots in the Philippines. I live in a province near the Metro but we still don’t have any 5G towers around here. But because of the ease in lockdown measures, I was able to go out and test it in Bonifacio Global City (BGC) in Taguig, which is around an hour away from my home. Alabang might be a nearer stop as it only takes 30-minutes to go there but I’m quite unsure with the specifics of the 5G cellsites around the area.

Local 5G speeds may not reach those ultra-fast gbps speeds as other 5G-equipped countries like South Korea and USA, but considering the Philippines has one of the slowest internet connections in the world, this is already an ultimate gift for internet-savvy users especially when you’re outside and you don’t have a fast Wi-Fi connection near you.

Are the rear cameras among the best for its price?

Vincenz: I’ll be direct with this — it’s not THAT bad. It’s just not the best.

Disclaimer: Although being a creative means processing your photos every now and then, the photos below were taken straight out of the camera without any color correction, touch-ups, whatsoever.

To be fair, the cameras taken in the right amount of sunlight look excellent.

Whether that may be a wide, zoomed, or even an ultra-wide shot — they all look great!

But coming from someone who was astounded with the Mi 9T Pro’s excellent cameras, the Mi 10T Pro was kind of a step back. There were inconsistencies here and there. White Balance might not be accurate at times especially in all three sensors as the main sensor produces the best-looking shots and something that’s closer to reality. Of course, that can easily be corrected through post-processing.

But there are other factors that are not fixable through post.

One is the Dynamic Range with blown-out highlights and shadows altogether that can be seen below.

 

Sometimes, AI and HDR don’t even agree with each other.

The first photo of those little munchkins looked delicious but the chicken cheese bomb I captured after looked so bland and less appetizing.

I also have trouble every time I try to focus or zoom on a subject.

Speaking of macro, I just don’t like how the radial blur tries to fake that depth segmentation against the subject. The Mi 9T Pro wasn’t like this when taking zoomed and macro shots. Surprisingly, I experienced the same issue with the V20 Pro and even the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

 

 

For night shots, it gets the job done thanks to AI and the wide aperture in its sensors. Then again, there was a White Balance inconsistency that’s fixable through post.

Considering its price range, don’t really expect it’ll produce stunning night shots since cameras are what sets less expensive phones apart from flagships.

For something you would just post on social media, it wouldn’t really matter. It’s just me being nit-picky about this — and I know some phone users might be like me, too. This also makes room for improvements for a lot of smartphone manufacturers in their future releases.

Shivam: I’d say the cameras do an excellent job during the day but slightly disappoint during low-light or immediate circumstances. The iPhone is often jokingly called the best selfie phone when you’re drunk and that’s because of reliable and quick hardware-software integration. The Mi 10T Pro does click pictures like a flagship, but the experience is slightly different.

The pictures look stunning with accurate colors, balanced contrasts, and precise sharpness.

Don’t get me wrong, the result is very satisfying and if you’re not a photography enthusiast, the drawbacks aren’t glaringly visible. But after using Xiaomi phones for years across different price bands, we’ve come to expect above-average performance from pretty much all of them. So, seeing average results from a flagship is underwhelming.

When clicked in low-light environments, the sensor struggles to capture the shadows, details are missing, and the noise removal algorithm seems to be too aggressive. Although, the night mode works seamlessly and does a much better job of refining the binned image.

One thing that annoyed me the most was the camera app’s capture button. Clicking a picture single-handedly is a herculean task because the heavy phone rests on two fingers and the button would fail to register a click most of the time. Initially, I thought I’m doing something wrong, but with more than two months of usage, it has always been a repeat offender.

What makes this phone so special? It has a 108-megapixel primary camera that can capture a lot of details. If you’re looking for stunning landscapes that have practically unlimited zoom, this phone is for you. I clicked a 108-megapixel image while taking off from Mumbai and the results are quite impressive. The sensor is quick and the stabilization is on-point.

How’s the selfie quality of that single punch-hole camera?

Shivam: This has actually become a very straightforward answer for pretty much all modern phones — it’s good and gets the job done. There’s a 20-megapixel sensor in the punch-hole cut-out and it clicks satisfying images during the day. The software is able to accurately pick up your skin tone and add a smoothening layer that isn’t too aggressive. Obviously, the beauty additions are optional.

Vincenz: I always say I’m not the biggest selfie user but after trying it out, I’m really happy with how my selfies turned out. The smearing or face smoothing isn’t as bad as other phones as I like how there are still full details that can be seen on my face. The depth in portrait mode also produced a clean cutout of my hair.

Portrait Mode OFF | Portrait Mode ON

Other than that, I also like the inclusion of the ultra-wide mode for those groufies with social distancing (in which a National chief police officer and his constituents failed to do so).

Is the Mi 10T Pro Your GadgetMatch?

Vincenz: Michael Josh did not give the GadgetMatch Seal of Approval in his Mi 10T Pro review for no reason. At just PhP 24,990, it’s a no-brainer to recommend the Mi 10T Pro for most users.

If you’re into a great all-around smartphone without breaking the bank, this is a sure recommendation. Equipped with the best specs, a good display with a fast refresh rate, and hosts of features, what more could you ask for? But if you value cameras the most out of those aforementioned factors, look elsewhere.

If you don’t mind the notch and the less-powerful Snapdragon 765G chipset and you prefer a better look and feel, the vivo V20 Pro is also worth considering. It even has great cameras for its price.

Shivam: Yes, the phone is surely recommendable. It tries to cut corners in a lot of places, but that doesn’t end up hampering the end-experience. For a very aggressive price of INR 39,999 (US$ 550), the Mi 10T Pro gets a flagship processor, 144Hz display, a 108-megapixel camera, and a slightly more premium experience. If you’re looking for an all-rounder that can get anything done, this phone is made for you. But, if you’re looking for the most cutting-edge flagship, you’ve come to the wrong place.

The OnePlus 8T is a slightly expensive option but lacks a lot of crucial features that make the Mi 10T Pro special. And, like Vincenz suggested, if you’re fine with a Snapdragon 765G chipset, the vivo V20 Pro is an excellent choice along with the OPPO Reno 4 Pro.

Reviews

ASUS Zenfone 8 Review: Tiny but Mighty

The compact flagship

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Zenfone 8

In a sea full of big smartphones, ASUS made a detour with the Zenfone 8 by making it smaller than its previous Zenfone 7 predecessor.

Packed with flagship specs such as Snapdragon 888, 16GB of RAM and a 120Hz display, it’s simply their best and most compact phone to date.

But how did ASUS managed to fit in all these powerful internals in such a compact body? Watch our full review video of the ASUS Zenfone 8 to know more.

SEE ALSO: Zenfone 8 Flip Unboxing and First Impressions

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Gaming

The realme 8 dares to be more

You’re in for a treat

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realme 8

realme has been bringing in the big guns with their smartphone releases. But, it doesn’t come unwarranted when they’ve been stacking good specs instead of just gaming features. They get it: you want to do more than just play games with their phone line-up. Which is why, they released the realme 8 series.

The realme 8 is pretty much the little bro of the realme 8 Pro. It’s got most of the bells and whistles without the big bro powers. So, how does the realme still stack up to be the best all-around smartphone out there for you?

realme 8

Stunning looks that might fool you

The realme 8 has a 6.5-inch AMOLED display with 180Hz Touch Sampling rate. If touch sampling rate isn’t a metric you’re familiar with, it’s your display’s responsiveness to touch. Refresh rate is a whole different metric; it measures how well your display renders frames per second. Both are tangent features of the display. So, they’re different but, equally as important for gaming on your phone.

If you like strutting in style with your phone, the realme 8 teeters into keeping it flashy yet low-key. The phone features a reflective panel with “DARE TO LEAP” across its logo corner. Plus, realme sticks to classy colors with either Cyber Silver or Cyber Black available for the realme 8.

realme 8

The feelsgoodman specs

Let’s cut to the chase. The realme 8 is a great phone. The phone is decked out with an MTK Helio G95 octa-core processor, which pretty much grants the phone its unapologetic great performance. Whether I was browsing social media, binge-watching videos, or playing games, this phone didn’t stutter once.

realme 8

The phone delivers on buttery-smooth graphics. And, games like League of Legends: Wild Rift, Mobile Legend: Bang Bang, PUBG Mobile, and Sky run smoothly on the realme 8. But, are we really meant to be surprised by that? With the phone’s 8G RAM and 128G internal storage, lags just don’t exist in the same sentence. On top of all that, it manages to stay lightweight. The realme 8 weighs only 177g which is pretty impressive with all the features it packs.

realme 8

Battery can take a beating

Yes, it’s almost criminal. The realme 8 comes with a 30W Dart Charge brick. Which ideally charges the phone up to 50 percent within a matter of 26 minutes. I know what you’re thinking. This sounds too good to be true. Well, unlike the stacked disappointments of the past year, the realme 8 pulls through. It went from zero to 20 percent within 10 minutes which is pretty quick.

realme 8

With a 5,000mAh battery inside, the realme 8 can survive well over a day. It came in handy when I’d accidentally left it out uncharged overnight and still used it the next day. But, I’m guessing it would have been a whole different story had I thrown it into ungodly playing and binge-watching hours.

After a full day of gameplay, binge-watching, podcasts, music, and social media shenanigans, the phone gets close to 15 percent at the end of the day. This is impressive with most phones tossed my way with charging alerts by the tail end of my day.

So, if you’re like me, this phone is pretty reliable. It can take a beating and then some. And, when it does need charging, it won’t take long before you get enough juice in to use it again. It’s good to note that it also supports 15W PD charge, lending versatility on its side.

realme 8

Not just a gaming phone

The realme 8 is decked out with all the features you want from a gaming phone but rounds it all out with amazing smartphone features. So, calling this a gaming phone doesn’t feel fair considering it does well even outside the gaming-perfect specs.

One feature that often gets left out with your typical gaming-centric phone, would be the camera. As for this phone, it’s got an AI Quad camera setup. It’s got a 64MP wide-angle lens, an 8MP ultra-wide lens, a 2MP macro lens, and a second 2MP depth sensor. On the front, the realme 8 has a 16MP shooter with panorama capabilities.

Panorama on the realme 8

Low lighting is just the bane of every mobile phone photography’s existence. If lighting isn’t on your side, most phones will struggle. The realme 8 is sadly not an exception. But, when the sun’s on your side, the photos are pretty good.

The macro looks decent. Just make sure you flood the room with good lighting!

 

The night mode is good too! Stable hands for this mode is key.

The bokeh mode and wide shots on the phone are detailed. Recording videos doesn’t skimp on the 4k experience which is good too. Overall, the phone delivers on all fronts including its camera features. But if you’re looking for big bro camera stats, you should check out the realme 8 Pro.

realme 8

Is this your GadgetMatch?

The realme 8 ticks all the boxes of a quality smartphone. Its got great performance across the board takes really great pictures, has a smooth and responsive display, and lasts for quite some time. And, even if you run out of battery life, its Dart Charge won’t have you away for long.

Overall, this smartphone offers a daring deal. It gives you everything you need and want–and then some more. And, with its PhP 13,990 price tag, it’s the smartphone to beat. Better yet, you can avail of the PhP 1,000 worth of discount on the realme 8 during the flash sale on Lazada starting May 12!

Buy from Lazada

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Laptops

Huawei MateBook D 15 2021: An all around solid choice

It’s no ‘beast’ because iit’s not trying to be

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Being a dominant player in the smartphone scene, I’ve always been curious about how Huawei’s laptops perform.

Having forged their name onto the spectrum of smartphone enthusiasts with their premium Mate series, we know that Huawei has the ability to craft the same caliber for their laptops.

Carrying the Mate branding with its name, let’s take a look if the Huawei MateBook D 15 2021 11th Gen also has the right to be called premium and carry on this reputation.

Performance you didn’t see coming 

The MateBook D 15 2021 is running on the 11th generation of Intel’s Core i5 processor, the 1135G7. Paired with this is the Intel Iris Xe integrated graphics, 16GB DDR4 RAM, and 512GB of SSD internal storage.

On paper, the specs of the 2021 D 15 isn’t really something many of us would consider sensational, but surely this would be more than enough for online classes or even light to heavy work.

I tend to do a lot of photo editing on Adobe Lightroom so I could say that my power requirements do demand a bit of muscle power. The 11th gen Core i5 on the D 15 is able to handle this quite smoothly even with some headroom for web browsing and other multitasking tasks thanks to the considerable amount of RAM.

As you power on the device, you’d immediately notice the swift performance of the D 15.

A surprising contributor to this is its Smart Fingerprint power button which has been carried over from the previous generations of MateBooks.

Automatically tagging your biometrics upon pressing the power button, this move eliminates the need to input your login details which drastically decreases the boot time. I understand this may vary from other users but having recorded the BIOS time at only 2.5 seconds, this has been the fastest boot up time I’ve ever encountered on a laptop.

Classic never goes out of style 

“It looks like a MacBook” was the first comment I’ve heard from the people I was with as soon as I took out the D 15 from the box. Yes, you’ll definitely see the resemblance with Apple’s MacBook line but that’s not to say that it’s a bad thing especially if there are things that Huawei has improved on. Thankfully, this is exactly the case with the MateBook D 15’s body.

The MateBook D 15 2021 has smoother and rounded edges compared to that of a MacBook Pro which makes it more comfortable for your wrists to rest on while still bringing with it that sleek and professional look that we’ve grown to love.

For a 15-inch body, you’d notice that this MateBook is incredibly thin and light weighing in only at 1.56kg and just 16.9mm thin. An easy carry to coffee shops or even just transferring from room to room at home.

Kind of a nitpick on my part though but one comment I do have with this build was it had a very slight body flex on the right hand portion of the palm rest. I don’t know if this was an issue on the particular unit I’m using but whenever my hand lands on that part, it does feel like it sinks down a tiny bit.

More screen for work and play 

Mentioning the size earlier, the MateBook D 15 2021 has a 15.6-inch FHD IPS display panel. A bit bizarre though, is that at only 250 nits this display felt a lot brighter. I mostly stay just around two or three notches above the lowest brightness setting to keep it at comfortable reading levels.

I wasn’t very concerned with eye strain however, as this display has been certified under TÜV Rheinland’s reduced blue light and Flicker-free qualifications.

With super-narrow 5.3mm bezels and a rating of 100% on its sRGB color gamut, this display is just a tempting movie companion. The large size, almost bezel-less screen and accurate color reproduction truly makes video consumption an immersive experience.

No cramps for your fingers here 

Looking at the D 15, you’d notice immediately that the keyboard is decently sized and its spacing is quite substantial. Key travel on this however, wasn’t very long. While I personally would prefer keyboards with longer key travel over one with a bigger size, the key travel on the D 15 was where it somewhat fell short for me. That being said, I do think this is a matter of personal preference so this isn’t really something that would ruin the MateBook experience. 

You’ll also notice that for a 15.6-inch device, this doesn’t have a number pad on the side of the keyboard which I think contributes to how Huawei managed to extend the spacing of its keys and incorporate a decently sized trackpad below.

Speaking of the trackpad, I really appreciate its size as it’s able to accommodate my multi-finger gestures with precision and with only very minimal input errors.

Still placed between the F6 and F7 keys on the top is the iconic recessed 720p camera that the MateBook line pioneered.

 Power overwhelming

I personally see the battery and charging features of the D 15 to be its main strength. It took me a good 9 hours and 30 minutes running off of its 42Wh battery before it shifted to power saving mode. Meaning, this laptop can easily run you for more than 10 hours under controlled conditions and once you’re able to plug it in an outlet, its fast charger would only take you about an hour to charge it back up.

The 65w charger is quite comparable to a size of a smartphone charger that would barely add weight to your everyday carry. The charger also uses a detachable USB-C to USB-C cable. This makes it easy to replace if ever it gets worn out.

Also, this same cable can be used to charge our smartphones either from the charger or from the laptop as the 2021 D 15 also has support for reverse charging.

Next level of connectivity

A neat addition also on the MateBook D 15 is the inclusion of the new Wi-Fi 6 technology. This gives the D 15 the ability to connect to more frequency ranges for a cleaner and less interrupted connection. While this does require that we connect to a Wi-Fi 6 capable wireless network to fully take advantage of it, it does give us some sort of complacency with some future proofing. Giving us more reasons to hold on to our device for a few more years from our purchase.

In this category we also have quite a selection of ports with the inclusion of a USB 3.2, HDMI and USB-C port on the left side and two USB 2.0 and a 3.5mm audio port on the right.

Tap and drop files? Yes please!  

A handy feature for people who already belong in Huawei’s ecosystem is the Huawei Share with Multi-screen collaboration.

This feature enables Huawei smartphones to connect and share files, apps and even your phone screen with the D 15 by just tapping it on the dedicated Huawei Share portion of the laptop.

Gimmicky as it may sound at first, I have to say, it really does work. And if transferring files from other devices is something you do often, this might be a feature that you could maximize.

Is the HUAWEI MateBook D 15 2021 11th Gen your GadgetMatch?

The MateBook D 15 2021 isn’t what we may call a “beast” of a device as it really isn’t trying to be one. This is mainly designed with professionals in mind or simply people who’re looking for convenience, comfort and just an overall pleasant user experience and it does that very well.

A decent performer, sleek looker, ultraportable 15.6-inch device with a lot of nifty features with the Huawei ecosystem, Wi-Fi 6 and its smart fingerprint power button, the MateBook D 15 2021 is what we could really call a versatile machine.

But here is where it gets a little bit tricky. The MateBook D 15 2021 with the older Intel 10th Gen processor is also currently an available option from Huawei. A less powerful alternative but one that could set you back a few pesos which also gets you most of what the 11th Gen version offers.

If you’re willing to spend a little more for better performance though, the D 15 11th Gen is no doubt a solid choice.

The Huawei MateBook D 15 2021 11th Gen with 16GB RAM is available in Mystic Silver for PhP 59,999.

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