Lifestyle

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.

Her GadgetMatch

Taylor Swift and Katy Perry made up and Twitter is not calm

Peace at last

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Pop queen and LGBT ally Taylor Swift just dropped the music video for her new pop anthem You Need to Calm Down and unsurprisingly, the fans cannot calm down. The star-studded video features queer icons like Laverne Cox, Ellen de Generes, Adam Rippon, and Queer Eye’s Fab Five living their fabulous lives despite the anti-gay protests in front of them.

The surprise that shook us and the internet, albeit many eagle-eyed speculated last week, is a Katy Perry cameo.


In case you’ve been living under a rock, the two pop stars had a years-long public feud that eventually ended when Katy extended an olive branch last year, by sending Taylor an actual olive branch.

The music video is their first public reunion, and Katycats and Swifties all over are having a Twitter party:

We’ll tell all our grandchildren one day.

Bless.

Can’t calm down.

Anyone having an awful year so far can relate.

Took the words out of my mouth.

Same.

War is over, if you want it.

*orders McDonald’s*

Give us what we need!

There are many important moments in the whole video but this one featuring drag queens as this era’s pop queens is for everyone who take pleasure in pitting women against each other.

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Automotive

A Father’s Day drive up north

Story time!

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We recently got the Ranger Raptor for the second time to use at this year’s STV ARCC and represent Ford Philippines. And since we had a free day before the event itself happened, I decided to use it and take out my dad along with my brother for a road trip. Good thing Mom had an errand to do that day!

Dad wanted to visit a certain theme park restaurant north of Metro Manila so I agreed and went for it. We already brought the Raptor to a 4×4 route for some off-road action, so now we go for long, paved roads with hungry stomachs.


That’s Dad, my brother Kiefer, and me on the road

After four hours of driving from the south, past the traffic metro, and all the way up north, we reached our destination. The place is called Isdaan Floating Restaurant and it’s at the municipality of Talavera in Nueva Ecija in the Philippines. “Isdaan,” when translated, means “fishery” so it already paints you a picture of what to expect. The restaurant is hard to miss as it has a wide, inviting facade fronted with sculptures.

The staff greeted us with a warm welcome and led us to our private floating nipa hut with koi fish swimming around and under us. Looking at the menu, there were lots of choices from appetizers, meat, seafood obviously, and even specialties that you don’t usually see in city restaurants.

“Guarding” the floating nipa huts

We got Bicol Express (spicy stew), Sinigang na Liempo (pork belly soup), and Binukadkad na Plapla (butterflied fish) from the menu. One of their signatures is a Boat Special. Basically, they offer select dishes in a long sizzling plate mounted on a wooden counter-top that resembles a boat. This was how Bicol Express was served which greatly added to the presentation value.

Food was really great especially the soup. While the service wasn’t too snappy and could definitely be improved, the food compensated for it. It has that home-cooked taste that hits the spot after a long drive.

After eating, we decided to walk around the area and check out the theme park side of the place. There were giant statues everywhere — from the Charging Bull similar to New York’s, Big Buddha of Phuket, and even prehistoric dinosaurs. It does make for great photo opportunities as you’ll see in the following photos.

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Apart from the gigantic and humorous characters, another attraction to find here is a corner to vent out all your pent-up emotions. For a reasonable price, you can choose objects like those plates or coffee mugs that you can smash onto the wall. If you ask me, I feel it’s a bit out of place in this family-friendly restaurant but it still does make the place unique.

Those are all fun but what usually entices people to visit this place is the fact that you can dip your feet in this shallow pond and have large koi fish swimming in between your legs. It might sound weird and it’s probably not for everyone, but the novelty of being able to do it was actually fun.

These koi quickly gather around you as you go near the water

Caught this little guy trying to nibble on his watch

Can’t leave the place without this obligatory shot!

After all the photos were taken and a few minor mishaps (one of us slipping trying to get in with the fish, not telling who), we were ready to go back home. It was another four hours inside the Raptor and we ended up exchanging stories and laughing our way through the expressways while the truck was mostly on cruise control. It was definitely a trip to remember.

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Her GadgetMatch

5 coolest Airbnb places you can rent in Tagaytay

For when you want to escape Manila’s heat

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Image credit: Airbnb

Tagaytay is one destination you can visit when you’re looking for a weekend getaway. It’s popular for its cold weather, picture-worthy cafes, and an overlooking view of Taal Volcano, the world’s smallest active volcano. In addition, it’s just a two-hour drive away from Manila.

If you’re planning to stay in this city for a couple of days, here are our top five Airbnb rentals:


Dalton’s Lakeview Point

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Dalton’s Lakeview Point is a stylish, modern-themed Airbnb. It’s spacious enough to fit groups up to six people, and its artistic interior design gives you that cozy and calming feeling. Stay here when you want a refreshing view of Taal Lake.

Book it here.

Nordic Jewel

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Couples might enjoy staying at Nordic Jewel, a Scandinavian-inspired Airbnb located in Tagaytay Prime Residences. Despite being small, every corner is Instagrammable. If that doesn’t convince you, let me tell you this: Small spaces make you closer with a person. Now go and have a good time with the love of your life!

Book it here.

Unit 217, Tower 1, Wind Residences

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Even though it looks like a hotel room, Unit 217 in Tower 1, Wind Residences exudes an elegant, contemporary vibe. Its yellow accents give life in this Airbnb’s dominantly black and white design, and its patio invites you to relax and take a peek outside. This is perfect for those who want to feel that hotel vibe with a touch of the usual bed and breakfast.

Book it here.

Chalet de Tagaytay

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If you want to retreat from the hustle-bustle of life, Chalet de Tagaytay is a rustic Airbnb that oozes privacy. Perched on a mountainside, it has the perfect view of Taal Lake for when you want to contemplate about life. Take the time to forget the world and your problems, and just relax during your stay.

Book it here.

Windsor Vacation House

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Windsor Vacation House is the perfect place for get-togethers. It’s spacious enough to let everyone have their own space, and every corner is definitely picture-worthy. Next time you have an occasion to celebrate, bring your families and friends here for a wonderful experience. It can comfortably fit people up to 12 people, and it’s guaranteed you’ll make new memories with a beautiful Airbnb like this!

Book it here.

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