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Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 Review: More than just a fidget spinner phone?

Yes and no

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Let’s get right into it and say good bye to awkward selfies! The biggest and most welcomed change that the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 has over its predecessors is the magnetic slider that reveals the now properly positioned selfie camera at the top of the phone. Hallelujah!

Having used the Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 in the past, I can attest to how much of a hassle it was trying to shoot an IG story from the horrible upward-facing angle.

No notch and all screen!

Xiaomi’s new approach to maintaining the near-borderless look and eradicating the poor selfie camera placement is the magnetic slider that some might call a gimmick, but it’s so much fun to play with! I will admit that the novelty does go away, but it is by far my favorite execution of a near-borderless display. All that screen is awesome!

At the end of last year, I picked the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 as “the phone I’d rather be using” because I thought that the fidget spinner-like qualities of the phone would be such a blast. And it was in the beginning. I don’t even know how many times I would play with the slider just because it was fun. I realize now that I used the slider more as a fidget spinner than a way to reveal the cameras to take a selfie.

It did become a neat party favor asking friends to guess how to take selfies with the phone. Out of five friends, only one was able to correctly guess how to operate the magnetic slider without me teaching them how to do it. But once the novelty wore off, I found myself going days without ever sliding out the camera.

Our review unit is the 6GB RAM model powered by the Snapdragon 845 chipset, and personally when it comes to performance, no news is good news. Nothing to report on lag or stutters from the roughly three weeks I spent with the phone. So speed was not an issue.

One little software hiccup

When you buy a phone, especially a flagship phone, you expect everything to just work. Unfortunately, that was not the case in my experience, as my messaging app of choice, Telegram, was not notifying me when messages would come in. Even after double-checking that all the right notification settings were turned on, I wasn’t receiving any notifications from the app.

After a quick Google search, I found that I wasn’t the only one experiencing this error. Needless to say this was annoying, but it simply meant having to use another messaging app. Hopefully this can be fixed with a software update.

Hello, Netflix!

It is worth noting that in the past, Netflix wasn’t available on the Play Store when I used the Mi Mix 2. I’m happy to report that it’s there now, so no worries if you’re looking to take advantage of the near-borderless display with some binge watching. And if there’s anything this phone is good for, it’s watching videos. This was by far my favorite thing about the phone. It really felt like I was holding all screen and it was awesome!

Battery life was a bit of a disappointment having come from the Huawei Mate 20 and its massive 4000mAh and two-day battery life. With the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3’s 3200mAh battery, I’d start my day at roughly 9am and find myself reaching for a charger by around 8pm. Mind you, that ain’t too shabby if you think about it, but for comparison, I was spoiled by my experience with the Mate 20.

Let’s take these cameras for a spin!

When it comes to taking photos, it’s easy to focus on the selfie cameras, but the dual 12-megapixel cameras on the rear do a good job, too. Here are some samples:

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But of course, we can’t leave out samples of the selfie cameras, and while I may not take a lot of selfies, I can not stress how happy I was to have the cameras in the proper position. No more having to flip the phone upside down to take a photo and IG Stories work the way they should:

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Is this your GadgetMatch?

While I love the implementation of the magnetic slider, this phone is so much more than just a fidget spinner. This phone is great for media consumption above anything else in my book. But everything else that comes with all that screen is nothing to complain about. The flagship specs in this relatively affordable price tag is nice to see in a day wherein phones are priced by as much as US$ 1,000.

Accessories

PhoneSoap Go: A portable device that will sanitize your smartphone

It isn’t called PhoneSoap for nothing!

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That smartphone in your purse can do so much but it also has 18 times more bacteria than the average public toilet. Before we continue, let that sink in.

Before you drop that phone you’re probably reading this article on, know that there’s a way to clean your handset and it doesn’t involve soap and water. Introducing: PhoneSoap.

PhoneSoap Go is the brand’s latest release. It’s a tiny chest that will literally clean your smartphone. It uses UV-C light to kill bacteria on your device. All you do is put your smartphone inside, tap the lightning button, wait 10 minutes for one cleaning cycle, and your phone should be germ-free.

The inside compartment can house your phone, no matter what size. It’s pretty spacious so it can even fit small everyday stuff like keys or wallets. Despite all that space, the PhoneSoap Go is designed for portability. This is PhoneSoap’s smallest device — something you can bring along on trips to make sure your handset is sanitized anywhere you go.

On the back of the chest is a USB-A and a USB-C port. This is because the PhoneSoap Go has a 7000mAh battery built into it. That’s enough for 45 cleaning cycles, or four phone charging cycles.

Yes, I said phone charging cycles. That’s because you can actually use it as a power bank. There’s even a slot for your charging cable so you can charge as you sanitize your phone. That means even if the whole cleaning cycle is just 10 minutes, you can leave your phone plugged in longer. There’s even “acoustic outlets” at the bottom so you can hear phone notifications.

Of course, unless I have a petri dish and some phone swabs, I won’t be able to say definitively that this thing can clean 99.99 percent of bacteria on your phone, as the brand claims. But, I will say that if it does end up sanitizing your phone in any capacity, that’s already a good enough deal considering how dirty these things supposedly are, and how much we’re holding on to them on a daily basis.

But really, more than phone cleaning, what you get is peace of mind. Honestly, my own (many, rotating) devices have been chilling a lot in my PhoneSoap ever since I got it.

The PhoneSoap Go retails for US$ 79.95 and you can get it from their website.

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Cameras

Fujifilm Instax SQ20 hands-on: How good is it?

Trying out the new Motion Mode on doggies!

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Fujifilm’s sequel to their first ever digital/analog hybrid is here and it’s looking better than ever. The Instax SQ20 is one classy-looking instant camera but what can it do? With a set of built-in filters and new features like the Motion Mode, it looks like a promising device.

I finally try it out, with help from some doggies, on our hands-on video.

The SQ20 retails for US$ 199 in the US, PhP 12,999 in the Philippines, and SG$ 299 in Singapore.

In case you’re having trouble viewing, watch HERE.

READ ALSO: Fujifilm Instax SQ10 review

READ ALSO: Prynt Pocket unboxing and review: A printer that prints videos?

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Her GadgetMatch

WATCH: Frozen 2 released its first trailer and it’s awesome

But we also have so many questions!

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I just can’t let go!

Disney’s Frozen has just released a trailer for the upcoming Frozen 2 and it looks all sorts of awesome. Starting with an intense scene with Elsa trying to get through an ocean with her powers, to Anna grabbing Kristoff’s sword… it gets pretty intense!

The trailer also features Sven, their trusty reindeer and, of course, Olaf the snowman. Starring Idina Menzel as Elsa, Kirsten Bell as Anna, and Josh Gad as Olaf in the double Oscar-winning original and bringing back directors Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck, the sequel is expected to be even bigger and more action-packed. Frozen 2 is set to come out in theaters on November 22.

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