Gadget Reviews Roundup: January 2018
And just like that, we’re done with the first month of the year, but it has brought us new gadgets to review which include the Samsung Galaxy A8 & A8+ (2018), the LG V30+, ASUS Zenfone Max Plus, and OPPO A83. Check out our Gadget Reviews Roundup for January 2018.
With the Galaxy A8 (2018), Samsung has successfully brought the design and features normally found in their premium offerings to the upper mid-range category. If we’re going to place it somewhere, it’s between mid-range and flagship. It has nice Infinity Display, good performance and cameras, water and dust-resistant body, and long battery life. At Php26,990, it’s more expensive than most mid-range devices, but if you can afford its asking price, you won’t be disappointed.
The Galaxy A8+ (2018) is basically the Galaxy A8 (2018) on steroids. It has the same premium build and design, bigger Infinity Display which is good for gaming and watching videos, larger storage, good performance and cameras, water and dust-resistant body, and an even longer battery life. At Php32,990, it’s a pricey phone but it has its own advantages which make it worth considering.
The LG G6 rebooted LG’s direction to something more concrete and the LG V30+ cemented that focus into something more compelling and truly desirable. It’s got a simple yet beautiful and elegant design, solid performance and nice pair of cameras. It took everything that is good from the LG G6 and made it great.
For those who want something similar to a dedicated surround sound system with the added convenience and (almost) portability, the HEOS 7 HS2 is definitely a speaker that you might want to look into. It’s sound quality and features are top-of-the-line and can contend with pretty much all its competitors at a fraction of the price. In the end, it looks great, sounds great, and is one of the more affordable options, making it one of the best wireless speakers out on the market.
The Zenfone Max Plus is certainly a strong contender despite its late arrival to the 18:9 train, although that late arrival also brings with it missed opportunities and a few hiccups. The device offers decent performance along with an above average display, respectable cameras, a clean UI with appreciated features, and an immersive audio experience when plugged. Not to mention it also has a thin, light and sturdy frame.
Cherry Mobile’s second iteration of a selfie smartphone is here, and the Selfie Two is poised to be a good budget offering for a number of reasons: the device has two cameras that offer great options to capture moments or selfies, its build is something you’d see from the flagship Flare S6 series of devices, and is a very decent smartphone to get at Php4,999.
The Flare S6 Plus is truly a step up from Cherry Mobile. With its premium build, TrueView display, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage, and of course, its quad cameras, we can say that this is a good deal if you’re looking for a smartphone below Php10K that is packed with an above average internal hardware. The quality of its quad camera’s shots is not to be underestimated as they produced good and sharp images.
Bluboo definitely did try to usher its products in a price range that is slowly getting crowded, but sadly the S8 doesn’t bring with it anything striking to stand out from the crowd. While it does have the design cues and feel of some of the market’s prominent flagships, its performance leaves something to be desired. What the company does offer is a device with a premium feel, USB Type-C connectivity, and an overall average performance at a sub-10k price.
The OPPO A83 may have a different name but its roots stretch out to the F5 family. It has a large 5.7-inch Full Screen display with a small yet slim body, good performance for its class, decent cameras with A.I. Beautification technology, Face Unlock, and a long battery life. It would have been better though if it had a fingerprint scanner or a larger storage, at least it doesn’t cost much at Php9,990. So if you’re looking for a device that’s below Php10K, this phone is one worth considering.
Bose says that the SoundLink Micro is “Tiny. Until you turn it on.” The company is actually spot on and successfully engineered a device that can throw a punch above its class. It sounds great, rugged but looks good, portable, and has a decent battery life. There are some trade-offs like the lack of NFC and built-in stand, but if you’re looking for a big-sounding speaker in a small package, the Bose SoundLink Micro is the one to get.
The DETU Twin camera is pretty effective, considering what it’s meant to do. Image quality is actually not that bad, and the only real downside to it is its mobile app, which can be very frustrating to work with due to all its errors. Frankly, the app is simple and easy-to-use, but we wouldn’t call it “user-friendly.” If you consider yourself a “vlogger,” and tend to upload your content to social media, you might want to veer away from this specific 360° camera.
The DETU Sphere S had a lot going for it in the initial use but fell flat due to software-related issues. Both the mobile and d and desktop apps are well-designed but could use an update in terms of functionality and compatibility with the platforms that users would want to share their 360° content on.
The Starmobile UP Selfie has a lot of potential for an entry-level device since it offers some good specs and features. The camera lacks the features that a selfie smartphone should have, but the performance is decent enough to be used for light-tasks such as browsing, social media, and video streaming. Overall, the device is good enough to be used as an entry-level device, but there are other smartphones that give a slightly better balance in terms of specs and features.
The GoPro Hero 6 Black is a great choice for avid adventurers, action sports enthusiasts, and even filmmakers to hop onto. For those people who already own a previous model GoPro, the Hero 6 is a very worthwhile upgrade to step your action camera videography to the next level. It brings amazing capabilities in a package that is less bulky than the Hero 4 series, as it is now devoid of the waterproof housing altogether. It does this but is still built like a tank. With a product like the Hero 6, GoPro can still clearly assert its dominance in the action camera space.