Xiaomi Pad 5 Xiaomi Pad 5

Reviews

Xiaomi Pad 5: It is worth the hype

An easy tablet to recommend

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Whenever I get asked for smartphone recommendations, Xiaomi is always at the top of my list. At almost any price range, Xiaomi most likely has a contender for a device that has hardware which would likely top its competition. And they aren’t ending this habit any time soon, as they once again excite their fans with their new all-in-one tablet — the Xiaomi Pad 5.

Let’s see if this tablet really is worth getting hyped about.

Rigid and fashionable

As soon as you hold the Pad 5, you can already tell by the touch that it’s solidly built. I can assure you, you won’t feel any creaking or weird body flexing on this sleek aluminum body. The frame actually reminds me of iPads with its boxy metal construction and the exposed antenna bands. It does make me wish for an included case just in case I accidentally drop it as this tablet does feel slippery to the grip or may easily slide down on some surfaces.

The color variant we received is the classy looking Cosmic Gray color. But  it’s also available in Pearl White.

We only get a single USB-C port for charging and plugging in other accessories. No SIM card slot, expandable storage or a 3.5mm headphone jack in sight.

You’ll also find at the back, the camera module that looks strikingly similar to Xiaomi’s camera design on their smartphones. 

Weighing 511g, I would still consider the Pad 5 to be a handy device as its 11-inch size fits perfectly in my medium sized hands. I just feel that 8-inch tablets aren’t that much bigger than our phones and 12-inch tabs are too bulky and heavy for my taste.

Built to perform

An older yet still powerful Snapdragon 860 chipset, 6GB of RAM and 128GB or 256GB storage have been loaded in the Xiaomi Pad 5.

Mind you, this combination of specs still packs a punch as even heavier games like Genshin Impact play very smoothly at its default medium setting. I even tried maxing out every graphic setting available and discovered that it’s actually powerful enough to run it with only minimal loss in performance. And as you can see, it looks wonderful on the Pad 5.

Xiaomi Pad 5

As I would expect for a high end chipset, the staple Mobile Legends: Bang Bang test was a glorious experience and had all graphic settings unlocked for us to tinker with. There also weren’t any hiccups with FPS games like Call of Duty: Mobile at ultra settings and highest frame rate and feels fluid on this screen.

The device does feel a bit warm playing Genshin Impact and Call of Duty: Mobile at highest settings but nothing that I thought was alarming or would greatly affect its playability. Thankfully, this wasn’t present with our Mobile Legends: Bang Bang test, so fans of this game need nothing to worry about.

Xiaomi Pad 5

For the less demanding tasks like web browsing and watching YouTube videos and Netflix, everything ran cool and flawless all throughout our use.

Xiaomi left very minimal pre-installed apps on their MIUI skin on top of Android 11. Only the essential apps are present leaving it feeling clean and light and saves us the hassle of removing unnecessary bloatwares.

Visually immersive display 

Xiaomi Pad 5

Playing games on mobile phones with higher refresh rates is a treat, but at 11 inches, the experience was brought to another level. And this delightful gaming experience on this tablet is hugely contributed by the 11-inch WQHD+ 120Hz IPS display.

Not as punchy as OLED panels but this IPS display maintains decent viewing angles and a color reproduction that’s pleasing to the eyes without being overly saturated. You’ll also notice the snappiness of its response even just as you navigate throughout its interface. 

Though, running apps side by side does feel a little small compared to bigger tablets but the 2560×1600 resolution feels substantial enough for two window operations.

Run time and charging

Needless to say, you won’t be charging this device everyday. With an 8720mAh battery, the Pad 5 has enough juice to last you multiple rounds of Mobile Legends: Bang Bang before it reaches critically low levels. I took every opportunity I had just to use the Pad 5 to get the battery to give up but surprisingly after more than a day’s use, I still had 60 percent battery remaining. And that was me pushing it at above average scenarios.

However, the 22.5W charger does take quite a while to get the Pad 5 fully charge. It took me an hour and forty eight minutes to bring it from 20 percent to 100 perecent. It isn’t really something to complain about since it does give us a reasonably long run time but a slightly higher wattage would have been very welcome. 

Audio by Dolby

Incorporating the Dolby Atmos technology in this quad speaker audio setup on the Pad 5, the sound coming from this device has an immersing feel. Watching videos, playing games or the casual sound trip is joyful to our ears as it doesn’t feel like the sound is coming from a tiny source.

It may not be as heavy as we’d prefer it to be, but the bass response does have some presence on this speaker setup. There’s also some richness and warmth from its mid tones and its highs sound smooth and crisp that doesn’t feel like they’re piercing your ear drums.

Xiaomi Smart Pen sold separately

Xiaomi Pad 5

If you’re thinking of getting a tablet, you’re probably considering a stylus pen to partner it with. Xiaomi also offers an optional stylus pen for the Pad 5 — the Xiaomi Smart Pen. Unlike other stylus pens from the competition, this Xiaomi Smart Pen is mostly plastic. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing, as it does make it lighter for our hands to draw at only 12.2g.

The Xiaomi Smart Pen boasts a magnetic wireless charging system which is said to fully charge the pen in just 18 minutes. It also can be magnetically attached on both the left and right side of the device.

Xiaomi Pad 5

Surprisingly, the pen doesn’t feel like a plastic nib sliding on glass that I’ve experienced with other pens. There’s this observable friction that has a satisfying feel as you glide it along the glass surface of the screen. Accompanied by this is the 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity which adds to the more natural pen feel of the Smart Pen.

Tablet photography?

Xiaomi Pad 5

The Pad 5 comes packed with an 8MP selfie camera and a 13MP main camera which actually performs well for a tablet. Though, this probably won’t be your main camera for vlogging and TikTok as your phone likely has a better shooter than this but for documents and casual food photos, this camera can produce some decent looking shots.

I like how the photos are not overly processed which still leaves us room for some photo editing. With decent lighting, the images are clean, detailed and could potentially be considered Instagram worthy.

Is the Xiaomi Pad 5 your GadgetMatch?

I was surprised when I found out the price of the Xiaomi Pad 5. At PhP 17,990 for the 128GB variant and PhP 19,990 for the 256GB, the Pad 5 gives an immense value for your money.

An 11-inch, WQHD+, 120HZ display with a high end chipset and a firm build quality is just hard to beat at this price. 

While it does lack some of the nicer features like faster charging, cellular connectivity and expandable storage, it surely excels in other fields it participates in.

No doubt, the Xiaomi Pad 5 greatly surpassed my expectations. It’s a well rounded device that would pair well with almost anyone looking to own a tablet. It would likely be my suggestion for anyone who would ask me for a tablet recommendation.

Gaming

Kena: Bridge of Spirits isn’t for everybody

And, that’s fine

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Kena: Bridge of Spirits is an action-adventure third-person video game. The game is developed and produced by Ember Lab. In the game, you play as Kena. She’s a young spirit guide who uses her magical abilities to help people pass on into the spirit world.

The game is stunning and deep dives into spiritual aspects like emotional entanglement with the physical word after passing away.

In case you don’t have a working pair of eyes

Kena: Bridge of Spirits is a gorgeous game. Stunning yet scuffed at times, this game is nothing short of eye-candy. The background details and character design is just *chef’s kiss*. But, big butt (Editor’s Note: Not sure if this is a typo but we’ve decided to keep it as is), by the way, this aesthetic might not be to some people’s liking. Hear me out: this game looks and feels like you’re playing through a Disney Pixar movie. And, honestly, that might not be for everyone.

On the scuffed end of things, you’ll find that some things glitch through objects and terrain. But, to that, I think it adds to its charm. The silliness is often welcome and strangely expected in the whole gaming sense. This isn’t the first scuffed game to come across a gamer’s life and it won’t be the last. I think each game has its improvements and patches to develop and incorporate and the glitches make the whole experience memorable and meme-able.

The crutch everyone won’t shut up about

This game is weirdly forgettable for people who’ve played a lot of third-person action adventures. Why? Well, this isn’t the first of its kind. Kena: Bridge of Spirits takes from many games before it and blends its inspirations together pretty nicely without overcomplicating its mechanics.

I would say though, that this can be what I personally found to be endearing with Kena. It unapologetically makes for a good entry-level action-adventure game for people who might not normally gravitate to games like it. With its beautiful visuals and memorable take on grievances, Kena pulls at sentimental heartstrings without the stupidly complicated skill building of most other action adventures out there.

Don’t hate the game

Nor, the player. The game is simple. That can be refreshing for some players or just boring to some. Which, I’ll say now, to each their own. Most games under the same category are far more convoluted and complex. So, if that’s something you like, this isn’t for you. And that’s totally fine.

Most of the game plays on collecting cute Rot along the way. And, on top of the usual skill building, most rewards you’ll find in hidden spots are either more Rot or hats for them. It doesn’t really require that much mental gymnastics to play this game. You can play to relax and just enjoy the journey. Which, for me, is great! Kena: Bridge of Spirits is the perfect game for when you want to play with family watching. I’m sure it’ll feel like a movie to them.

Is this your GAME Match?

Kena: Bridge of Spirits is a game worth trying no matter how familiar you are with video games in the same category. The barrier of entry is super friendly and simplistic so, you won’t need that much video game experience to immerse in the story. Plus, you can customize the game for when you want more of a challenge.

I do have to say though, that this game might fight to keep your interest at times but, it sure can lure you back in. As for me, I was happy to play this game. It was challenging at times and, it might not be the best one on my list. But, it gets honorary points for being simple, gorgeous, and family-friendly.

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Reviews

Apple Watch Series 7: In-Depth Fitness Review

For fitness buffs and starters alike

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In our previous video, Michael Josh did an unboxing of the new Apple Watch Series 7 in Starlight. He even became NY’s next top model as the Apple Watch can also be your next best fashion piece.

This time around, we go all-out to show you the fitness benefits of using the latest Apple Watch.

While an incremental update and lack of new sensors mean little, the longer battery life, faster charging, and larger display of the Apple Watch Series 7 mean it’s even better than before.

Here’s our in-depth fitness review of the new Apple Watch Series 7.

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Laptops

realme Book review: Done right the first time around

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realme Book

The pandemic has brought about major changes on how we depend on our gadgets. We stay glued to our smartphones for hours to stay connected. Most of us also continue with our work from home setup, causing the demand for laptops to continue to rise and opening the market to new players. 

realme tries to steal the scene as they make their laptop debut with the realme Book, aimed at competing at the midrange level where many brands have already made their mark. 

Let’s check out if the realme Book can be a great contender in the laptop arena. 

Familiar yet better  

realme Book

Having a first look at the realme Book, the similarity of its design is undeniable with the MacBook though I don’t really think it’s a bad thing. Its sleek and stylish minimalist design actually makes me feel like I’m using a premium laptop. 

Compared to its smartphones that have those flashy labels, realme veered away from that with their first laptop as they kept the label subtle and you can barely see the “Dare to Leap” mark on one of its rubber feet. 

Its 14-inch sleek aluminum alloy body with matte finish really feels solid and has little or no flex on its slim chassis.

If you’re someone who likes to work in different corners of your home or at al fresco shops, the realme book can easily fit in your bag with its 14.9mm width and 1.38kg weight. When working on a flat surface, the rubber feet on the back actually help the laptop stay stable. 

In terms of port options, you get one USB-A port, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and two Type-C ports, one being a Thunderbolt 4 for the core i5 variant.

realme Book

The USB port was a bit too tight that it required me to exert effort to pull out my USB device. Also, this laptop lacks an SD card slot and HDMI port. It doesn’t bother me that much but it may be a deal-breaker for other users. 

realme Book

Top-Notch Display 

One thing that the realme Book can really boast about is its display. As full HD display is common in laptops from its competition, the realme Book takes it up a notch with its 2K Ultra-HD screen with 2160 x 1440 pixel resolution delivering stellar image quality with sharp detail. 

The realme Book also packs in 100 percent sRGB wide color gamut that enables true-to-life visuals and a peak brightness of 400 nits which maintains high quality image even under direct sunlight. 

What also sets it apart from other laptops is its 3:2 aspect ratio, giving you more vertical room compared to most laptops that are either 16:10 or 16:9. This feature is an advantage when it comes to your productivity especially if you usually work on documents, spreadsheets or social media content for work. 

However, this becomes a disadvantage when you’re watching videos since you’ll have wider black bars at the top and bottom of the screen due to movies and series being usually formatted with 16:9 ratio.  

Another impressive feature of this laptop is that realme was able to fit its web camera on its narrow bezels, unlike Huawei that had to sacrifice a good camera angle with their Matebook’s hidden camera placed on its keyboard. 

realme Book

Comfortable for work 

Speaking of the keyboard, typing on the realme Book is satisfying thanks to its 1.3mm key travel and the sound of its clicks is just right for my preference.

The keyboard also comes with a 3-mode backlit option which you can activate and adjust by pressing the F7 key. This is convenient especially when you have to work or use the laptop for a while during the night. It is also interesting since this is a feature that you barely get to experience on laptops at this price. 

realme Book

Compared to other laptops, the trackpad on the realme Book is pretty huge but doesn’t get in the way of typing. It is also very responsive to the touch and works precisely with all gestures and clicks. 

realme Book

And similar to the Huawei Matebook devices, it also has a fingerprint-sensor embedded power button to boot it up which is actually a handy feature to have in a laptop. 

Power Performance 

As for breezing through tasks, the realme Book is highly capable to give you the best experience being powered by the 11th Gen Intel Core processor. Paired with this is the Intel Iris Xe integrated graphics, 8GB DDR4 memory and 512GB PCIe SSD storage. 

Aside from writing and creating social media content, I sometimes do photo and basic video editing for my side hustles. With the power combo under this laptop’s hood, it didn’t come as a surprise that the realme Book actually handled my tasks smoothly. 

Even with games such as Valorant, I was able to play it at 2K resolution at high settings and it didn’t feel laggy at all. Of course, if you’d want a faster frame rate, you can always lower down your settings to improve your gaming experience. 

realme Book

I also noticed that while playing games, the laptop didn’t feel heated up at all. I checked via HWMOnitor and its temperature was just hovering a little over 60 degrees. This is actually cool for its slim body. I guess we can attribute this to its efficient cooling system with dual 8mm heat pipes and high speed, high airflow fans.

Quick juice up 

When working, I usually take short breaks in between major tasks to refresh my mind. So it’s actually enough for me that the realme Book’s 54 Wh battery can support up to 9 hours of work and leisure, keeping me powered and connected.

And once the battery already ran out, the 65W fast charger got me to a 50 percent charge in just 30 minutes so I was able to conveniently continue with whatever I’m doing.

It’s also a plus that the charger of the realme Book is small and just slightly heavier than a smartphone charger so it’s an easy carry in the bag. It also has the same USB-C cable used to charge our smartphones so you won’t have to carry another charger for your smartphone when traveling. 

Immersive speakers  

For a laptop this slim, I was quite surprised that the sound coming from its down-firing Harman speakers is considerably loud and well defined. 

When I tried listening to my playlists, I did notice that while it did not have as much bass as I would have preferred, it does sound fuller compared to others. When it comes to binging series and playing games, the speakers did a great job of simulating space that sounds pleasant and immersive. I guess I can say, it does sound better than many of the laptops I’ve tried.

Is the realme Book your GadgetMatch? 

As a new player in the laptop market, the realme Book makes a pretty great attempt at laptops and definitely challenges competing and more established brands. 

Sure this laptop may not be perfect but realme has brought their expertise in creating attractive smartphones to this laptop that definitely looks premium for its price. Also with its 2K Ultra-HD display, sleek and sturdy aluminum build, premium design, powerful performance and immersive audio, this laptop is definitely a solid deal for its price. 

The realme Book is available in Real Grey and Real Blue colors and retails at PhP 37,990 for the i3 variant and PhP 47,990 for the i5 variant.

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