Gadget Reviews Roundup: October 2017
We’re now into the last two months of 2017. But before we dive into November, let’s check out the gadgets we reviewed last month. For the October 2017 issue of our Gadget Reviews Roundup, we have the OPPO F5, Huawei Mate 10 Pro, Huawei Nova 2i, Vivo V7+, Xiaomi Redmi Note 5A, and ASUS ZenFone 4 Max Pro. Check out the rest below.
The popularity of Xiaomi’s Redmi phones, which can easily be seen online, does not come without good reason. The Redmi Note 5A is surely no exception. While it has a downgraded chipset compared to its predecessors, it is still a very capable phone in terms of performance. Its overall camera performance is very good, and its great design and UI make it a device that’s great to have.
All-in-all, the Zenfone 4 (SD630) is pretty much similar to its more powerful twin – same attractive and premium build, Super IPS display, and good camera quality. The only difference is the slight decrease in performance. Still, this device is capable of handling multiple tasks and a worthy addition to the Zenfone 4 lineup.
Doogee’s BL5000 is an attempt to providing consumers a solid daily driver that has a nice look, premium build, dual rear cameras, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage, and a large battery. However, some of these features just fail to hit it out of the ballpark like the under-utilized dual rear cameras and its poor blur effect and the weird battery management. On the bright side, it doesn’t ask much at Php8,999. We just hope that Doogee can iron out its flaws to make it stand out from the competition.
The ZenFone 4 Max Pro is basically a slightly better-equipped twin of the ZenFone 4 Max. The “Pro” moniker is just there to emphasize its inclination to mobile photography, hence, the improved camera spec. There’s the Snapdragon 435 but all you’re getting is a faster modem. We’re disappointed that it doesn’t offer anything other than that. ASUS could have justified its existence by equipping it with 64GB of storage to make room for more photos and videos.
The Samsung Galaxy J7 Core may look like something you’ve seen from the company’s previous Galaxy J offerings, but the device is capable of handling games as advertised and presents itself with a good battery life on top of a good Super AMOLED display and a better version of TouchWiz over Android which we have seen with this year’s releases from the Korean juggernaut.
The ASUS ROG G20CB is an awesome little machine that can easily find its place in both hardcore gaming battle-stations, as well as minimalist setups. Its harsh angles give it an aggressive look, but it definitely won’t look out of place. Its small footprint helps a great deal with desk space but doesn’t compromise on performance. The Maxwell-based variants can definitely handle even the most demanding modern AAA titles, but a Pascal graphics card will definitely make your system last a little longer.
Huawei is wise to put the Nova 2i as its semi-experimental device. The FullView display and the quad-cameras are its main unique features, introduced way ahead of the flagship. We could not find any major fault with the Nova 2i. If there is one, and we think it’s just a minor annoyance, it would be the use of a micro USB port and slow charging. The use of the pair of dual cameras can be a somewhat gimmicky to others but it does the job well if the user’s main concern is just to take really great portraits and selfies.
Overall the rig performed relatively well in the task it was intended to do, which was rendering. Also, it can still play games at respectable frame rates and quality. Despite having minimal airflow, the system was able to maintain cool temperatures and acoustics. It’s an above average build, to say the least, and upgradeability is certainly there as the motherboard supports the latest tech from Intel and has a good number of ports and slots, not to mention the case is rather spacious, though it doesn’t come cheap as it would cost you roughly Php75,000 for its components.
The V7+ certainly created a buzz during its announcement and release last month. And that buzz is somewhat warranted as the phone does provide its users with a big screen, great battery life, respectable speakers, and useful features. Although it would’ve been nice if Vivo upped the screen quality as having such low PPI on a screen this big has consequences such as loss of quality and pixelation. The front camera, though great at taking selfies, also has an annoying problem with strong light sources and performs poorly in low-light situations.
The Denon HEOS 1 and HEOS 3 are relatively small speakers but pack quite a punch. In addition to the good audio quality, it supports high-resolution audio, comes with Bluetooth, and can play our music seamlessly. Setup can be quite cumbersome but good thing you’ll only have to go through it once. That said, the Denon HEOS Hi-Fi Wireless Speaker System is a fancy yet powerful system worth considering if you want to fill your home with sound. But we have to warn you though, it doesn’t come cheap.
The Moto G5S Plus is a solid mid-ranger with a good display, capable processor, large RAM, dual rear cameras, good battery life, and doesn’t ask much at Php14,999. It would have been a stand out if it was released in Q1 or Q2 of 2017. Right now, it’s a tough choice as there are new devices that offer better hardware and design for the same price. To conclude, the G5S Plus is a good phone but it’s going to take more than that if it wants to make a dent on the competition.
Quite honestly, the J7+ is no surprise. It’s also worth noting that it comes a bit pricey at Php19,990, considering that its competitors such as Huawei, ASUS, Vivo, and Oppo offer smartphones that are less than the said price tag but gets a bump-up with its specs. But with the device’s premium built, Super AMOLED display, 4GB RAM, and dual rear cameras, the J7+ still hold a name of its own.
The ASUS Zenbook 3 Deluxe doesn’t fall far from the tree. It sports the same sleek and premium built of its predecessor, the Zenbook 3. However, their difference lies in certain aspects — this one got a larger display, larger SSD capacity, and bigger battery. Nevertheless, it’s a worthy a successor and if you are willing to spend Php104,995 on a laptop that is compact, premium, and powerful, then this one will surely satisfy you.
The Cherry Mobile Flare S6 Selfie is an attempt of the company to bring a decent selfie-centric smartphone to the masses at Php7,999. It’s got a nice and slim design, 3GB RAM, new OS, USB-C, and a fingerprint scanner. The cameras, although promising, left us wanting more, but we’re hoping the final software build will finally bring out its full potential.
The Mate 10 Pro has a lot of things going for it. Huawei made sure that all aspects of the device have been properly taken cared of. They started with a really nice design, a gorgeous 18:9 OLED display, impressive performance with the Kirin 970, great camera and very long battery life. Of course, the water-resistance, fast charging, gigabit LTE and Android Oreo are all icing on the cake.
OPPO once again, took selfie technology to the next level, not by simply adding more megapixels in a camera or adding an extra sensor, but by introducing smart features, specifically the A.I. Beautification Technology. In addition, it has a large display with a slim top and bottom bezels, good performance, fingerprint and face unlock, dedicated microSD card slot, and above average battery life.
The ASUS ROG Swift PG258Q is one of the world’s fastest gaming monitors with a refresh rate of 240Hz and definitely gives a more immersive gaming experience with ultra-fast response times. It has the remarkable attention to detail that ASUS is known for, as well as a solid construction. Design-wise, the base with the LED projected logo is not for everyone, but it’s not that hard to turn off.
The QCY-Q29 Pro is a solid option for those looking for affordable wireless earbuds. It has a nice build, decent audio quality, and comes with a cool recharging carrying case. Battery life is short though but if you’re just using it to listen to music while stuck in traffic or in a short gym session, then it’s good enough to keep you entertained.