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Asus Zenfone 7 Pro Review- The Best Selfie Camera Phone in 2020

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Asus Zenfone 7 Pro Review

Asus is a company that never shies away from trying some really awesome stuff. Its flagship ROG Phone 3 not only has great battery life but with the inclusion of specs and cooling performance make it the best gaming phone on the market.

Now, the Asus Zenfone 6 may not be as popular as the others but it does have one unique trick- its flippable cameras. That means that the cameras at the back are also the same shooters that you can use for your selfies.

The Asus Zenfone 7 Pro is the flagship successor to the Zenfone 6. Does it have what it takes to beat its predecessor?

Design

Back in 2019, most phone manufacturers employ a pop-up selfie camera to give you more screen real estate. That seems to be the collective choice back in the day, though there are some that have placed punch-hole cameras at the front instead.

Anyway, the Asus Zenfone 6 was quite unique because instead of a pop-up mechanism, the company has employed a motorized flipping mechanism so that the rear cameras can be flipped towards the front- essentially making it a better front camera array than a typical single shooter.

The Asus Zenfone 7 Pro follows in the same footsteps, albeit it is much more durable now as it is rated to last up to 200,000 flips (or roughly 100 flips in a single day for 5 years and a half). This should give you the confidence to use the cameras without any issues or worries.

I seriously like the design of the phone. You get a glossy finish at the back but just when you thought that it is an all-black aesthetic, Asus has actually employed a visual trick where if you look at the phone at a certain angle, you will find hints of dark green/blue as well. This certainly adds to the aesthetic appeal.

I am just saddened by the fact that the company opted to ditch the headphone jack (which was present in the Asus Zenfone 6) in favor of Bluetooth headphones but I think that this is the general direction that most phone manufacturers are headed.

There is a fingerprint scanner on the side that also acts as the power button of the device. It is relatively fast and accurate which makes unlocking the phone a breeze.

There is also a dual SIM card slot with an additional microSD card slot for more storage. I love the fact that you can place two SIMs here and still have a microSD card slot, which is something that is always welcome in a smartphone.

I do have to point out that because of the build of this phone, it is a bit heavy at 230 grams. Most people will find this heavier than other flagships, but it does resemble good overall quality.

Display

Asus Zenfone 7 Pro Review 2020

Most flagship phones nowadays have fast refresh rate displays and thankfully, the Asus Zenfone 7 Pro is part of that. It has a 90Hz screen refresh rate which I think is good enough, though it would have been nice if the company has opted for the much faster 120Hz display.

You get a 6.67-inch AMOLED display with Full HD+ resolution, 20:9 aspect ratio, and a 110% DCI-P3 color space rating which ensures that the screen exhibits punchy and vibrant colors.

Because there are no punch-hole cameras at the front, you get a 92% screen-to-body ratio which makes this ideal as a gaming and media consumption device.

True enough, watching content from Netflix, for example, is quite nice and because this has HDR10+ certification, the phone can unlock the full color space on whatever HDR media you watch online.

While most people are accustomed to 120Hz displays, getting a 90Hz screen refresh rate is not bad at all. It still provides smoothness when scrolling through menus and playing games, so this really shouldn’t be an issue at all.

Cameras

Asus Zenfone 7 Pro Review Cameras

One of the most interesting features of the Asus Zenfone 7 Pro is its flippable cameras. That means that whatever cameras are on the back, you can literally use the same cameras when you are taking selfies as well.

Here, you will find Sony’s flagship IMX686 sensor which is a 64-megapixel wide-angle lens that has PDAF and optical image stabilization.

To complement the said sensor, the phone is also equipped with Sony’s 12-megapixel IMX363 ultra-wide-angle lens with a 113-degree field of view, and an 8-megapixel telephoto camera with 3x lossless optical zoom.

Unsurprisingly, I was blown away by the picture quality. While this phone can technically shoot nice images even in low-light conditions, you will have to be completely steady for it to work.

Using the camera array as selfie cameras are also amazing as well. You virtually get the same features on the camera app no matter if the cameras are facing to the front or the back which is quite interesting indeed.

Because of how the cameras work, I’d have to say that the Asus Zenfone 7 Pro is one of the best selfie camera phones on the market in 2020.

Specs and Performance

  • Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+
  • Display: 6.67-inch AMOLED Display, Full HD+ resolution, 90Hz screen refresh rate, 20:9 aspect ratio, HDR10+, 110% DCI-P3 color space
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 256GB UFS 3.1 w/ microSD card support up to 2TB
  • Cameras: 64-megapixel wide-angle lens, 12-megapixel ultra-wide lens w/ 113-degree field of view, 8-megapixel telephoto lens with 3x lossless optical zoom
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.1, WiFi 6, 5G, NFC
  • Operating System: Android 10
  • Battery: 5,000 mAh, 30-watt charger included, Quick Charge 4.0 support
  • Weight: 230 grams

The Asus Zenfone 7 Pro is fitted with flagship specs. You will get a phone that is equipped with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 865+ processor which is able to handle any games and tasks you throw at it.

You also get 8GB of RAM which should be adequate for most users and you get 256GB of internal storage. What’s interesting with the phone’s storage is that it is UFS 3.1 which means that you get the fastest phone storage available at the time of writing this article. Expect its read and write speeds to top the charts. And, in case you didn’t know, the UFS 3.1 storage is also available on the Asus ROG Phone 3 as well.

Because of the chipset that is used, you also get 5G connectivity as well. However, keep in mind that it doesn’t support mmWave which means that you are not going to get the best possible speeds that the technology has to offer. This can be a bummer, but know that mmWave is not even available in all countries anyway.

This phone will have no problems dealing with all of Android’s apps, so if you want a pretty competitive device, this is definitely one of them.

Battery

Asus Zenfone 7 Pro

I also praise Asus for providing phones with hefty batteries and the Asus Zenfone 7 Pro is no exception. It comes with a 5,000 mAh battery with a 30-watt charger included in the box. It has Quick Charge 4.0 support which means that charging this device from 0-100 will only take less than 90 minutes.

While I love the included fast charger, keep in mind that the Asus Zenfone 7 Pro does not support wireless charging at all. In 2020, I expected the company to at least add this technology in its flagship products, but alas, the Zenfone 7 Pro doesn’t support it.

If you have wireless chargers, you might have to use them for your other devices instead.

Verdict

Asus has done a pretty good job with its latest flagship product. The Asus Zenfone 7 Pro has a more durable camera flip mechanism that should last longer than its predecessor. You get the same sensors for your selfies and you can also enable all of the features of the said cameras as well no matter which orientation they are in.

The build quality is pretty nice and the aesthetics are definitely some of the best out there. My only gripe with this phone is that it doesn’t come with a headphone jack and it is relatively heavy at 230 grams.

But, I should say that the Asus Zenfone 7 Pro is surely one of the best selfie camera phones on the market in 2020.

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Amazon Echo Studio Review- The Bigger ‘Echo’ Speaker That Competes

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Amazon Echo Studio Review

Amazon, the biggest online retailer in the world, has created its own AI implementation in the form of the Amazon Alexa.

It is actually quite polished and it can go against Apple’s Siri and Google’s own AI. That being said, the company has released some ‘Echo’ speakers that not only act as Bluetooth audio devices but as smart devices as well.

Today, I am going to be reviewing the Amazon Echo Studio. Does this thing really have what it takes to compete with the others?

Design

One of the biggest criticisms of Amazon’s Echo speakers of the past is that although its smart features are okay, their sound output leaves much to be desired. As a way of addressing the issue, Amazon has built the Echo Studio.

The Amazon Echo Studio is pretty big. It is 8 inches in height and 7 inches wide so this is indeed a pretty hefty audio solution. In fact, I would go on to say that this is one of the biggest Bluetooth speakers on the market.

Its design is pretty much akin to the Amazon Echo speakers of old. You get a fabric mesh design that encapsulates the speaker itself with all of its button controls situated at the top of the device.

You also get a blue ring light that will pretty much add to the aesthetic appeal of the unit. The microphone is also placed at the top and it is always on ‘listening mode’ so that whenever you want to interact with Alexa, it can do so at a moment’s notice.

Although you cannot see it, the Amazon Echo Studio is actually powered by a subwoofer, a tweeter, and four mid-range speakers that are mounted at the top and the sides. This thing is a beast as it can output 330 watts of power when needed, which is ample enough even for home cinema setups.

Audio Performance

Amazon Echo Studio Review 2020

The Amazon Echo Studio is quite a powerful Bluetooth speaker. No matter what genre of content you’d like to consume, this thing can output the necessary sound to make your viewing experience more immersive.

I am usually keen on an audio solution’s performance when it comes to playing music and I am happy with the Echo Studio’s prowess.

Although it favors the lower frequencies more than the mids and the highs, it does so without drowning the latter two, which is something that you normally do not see on large Bluetooth speakers.

An interesting feature that the Amazon Echo Studio has is its support for 3D Audio. You will need to sign in to your Amazon Music HD account before you can get a hold of this feature and it is the only platform that supports the Echo Studio’s 3D Audio. Amazon did mention that it will hand out support for other streaming platforms at a later date though.

So, how is the speaker’s performance on that front? Well, I am not really sure what to think about it as I have mixed feelings about the said feature.

3D audio is meant to provide a more immersive listening experience but I can hardly tell the difference between traditional Hi-Res audio and this one.

I guess you could say that for tracks that have a more melodic tone that you can discern a 3D audio-enabled track from a regular track, but other than that, non-audiophiles can hardly tell the difference.

To be fair, the said feature is still not polished yet, so expect it to improve in the years to come.

The Amazon Echo Studio also has seamless integration with the Amazon Fire TV Stick, though it does support all other streaming services like Netflix and Hulu as well.

You are also given the option to link up another Amazon Echo Studio speaker so that you can have them work in tandem to provide you with even better sound. I do not have a second unit though, so I cannot really tell anything about this. But, the feature is there if you want to get another unit.

Features

Amazon Echo Studio

Aside from 3D audio, the Echo Studio also acts as a control hub for your smart devices. You can use Alexa to turn off your lights at a specific time of the night or you can have it play your favorite track if you want. The possibilities are endless.

Do keep in mind that while it should support most of the smart home devices that you can buy on the market, there are some products that do not play ball. 

For instance, some smart locks can only be supported using Apple’s Siri, so you cannot control that using this device.

You can also link up a second Echo Studio speaker if you have one and you can use both of them to provide you with an even more powerful and more immersive listening experience.

You can control the speaker’s features by manually tapping on the buttons at the top of the device or by downloading its companion app.

Conclusion

Amazon has finally solved the issue of the Amazon Echo speakers of the past by giving you a relatively large speaker that can do a lot of things.

The Amazon Echo Studio has support for 3D audio, but you will need to have an Amazon Music HD account to get a hold of the said feature.

You can also use the speaker to control your smart home devices which is pretty nice. The microphone is always on listening mode so that you can call Alexa’s attention at a moment’s notice.

Normally, I would expect a product like this to cost more than $300, but the Amazon Echo Studio actually costs just $199. I guess getting another one is not too far out of the equation, eh?

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iOS 14 is Finally Here- Everything You Need to Know

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iOS 14 New

The iOS 14 beta was first introduced back in June 2020 but on September 16, Apple has released the final version of the ever-popular mobile operating system that is placed at the heart of your Apple iPhone.

Just like Android 11, iOS 14 can be construed as an incremental upgrade but there are some noteworthy improvements that you will surely love.

Today, I am going to go over everything you need to know about Apple’s new mobile operating system and find out what new features you might like using immediately.

Features

1.App Library

When you swipe right on the homescreen a couple of times, you will be presented with a new feature called the App Library. Think of this as Apple’s implementation of an app drawer (that is a mainstay in Android Devices).

All of the applications that are found in the App Library are neatly categorized for your convenience. Here, you can find all of your folders and some app folder suggestions as well.

2.Smart Stack

Apple understands that iPhone homescreens can get really cluttered, and so, the company has provided users with the ability to stack the same type of apps into a single folder.

Furthermore, depending on the time of day, the operating system can suggest certain apps that you might like to use at that moment.

For example, the OS might suggest that you use a music streaming app if you want to jog a couple of laps while listening to your favorite music.

3.Widgets

Apple was heavily criticized for not giving users the freedom to add widgets to the homescreen. Well, that has changed in iOS 14.

Now, users have the ability to add any widgets that they like on the homescreen. Not only that but these widgets provide useful information right off the bat so that you can simply glance at the particular widget to find out the current weather conditions, for instance.

You can add as many widgets as you want and you can also resize them a little bit, though its implementation is not as extensive as the Android ecosystem.

iOS 14 What is New

4.Improved Siri

People often use Siri as a means of enabling almost hands-free access to their iPhones. Well, in iOS 14, Siri is vastly improved- both in its AI technology and the things that it can do.

You can make use of Siri to craft messages for you, call specific people, translate foreign languages (more on this later), block possible incoming calls, and so much more.

In addition to what I’ve said, Siri also doesn’t take up the entire screen anymore. Instead, you can look for Siri in a small globe icon that is usually situated at the bottom of the display.

5.Picture-in-Picture (PIP)

This feature was first implemented on iPads, but you can also enjoy picture-in-picture mode on your iPhone as well.

This allows you to play videos on the background while you are face timing someone which is pretty awesome.

6.App Clips

Think of App Clips as Apple’s implementation of Android’s Instant Apps. Basically, you get a hold of some specific app features without actually having to download and install the said app.

For example, you can purchase a coffee from Starbucks just by scanning a particular code. This alleviates the need for downloading the company’s specific app just for the same job.

Not a lot of applications support this as of yet but expect that more and more of them will be supported in the future.

7.iMessage Has New Features

Apple’s Messages app has plenty of new features that you will really love using frequently. First is the ability to pin any important messages within a conversation. You can pin messages just by swiping a particular part of the conversation to the right. The pinned comment can be placed on your homescreen for convenience.

Aside from that, you now have the ability to reply to a specific message within the conversation via inline replies.

Have you ever used Facebook Messenger and you want to mute notifications from certain group chats but still want to get notified if your name is mentioned at any point in the conversation?

Well, that specific feature is also now available on the Messages app as well. This is a great feature if you want to mute notifications from your group chats but you still want to get notified if you’re ever given a special mention.

To mention any person within the chat group, all you have to do is use the ‘@’ symbol and a list of names should pop up. Just tap on the person that you want to shoutout and the app should do the rest.

Lastly, if photos are uploaded to the group chat, you can add an image overlay on top of it or you can add some cute emojis to make it more fun and lively.

iOS 14

8.New Memojis

Memojis are nothing new, but the iOS 14 introduces some new ones, including new headwear, hairstyles, stickers, and so much more.

Moreover, Apple has done a pretty good job of making Memojis even more expressive than ever before!

9.Health App

WatchOS 7 was released in the same window as iOS 14 and because of that, you can expect some integrations with Apple Smartwatches as well.

The new health app not only allows you to use your Apple Watch’s sleep tracking feature, but it also records some important data that you can use to relay to your physician to give you a general idea of your overall health.

10.Improved Weather App

The default weather app in iOS 14 also gets some major improvements, including the ability to give you notifications and more information about upcoming severe weather systems, improved forecast accuracy, precipitation readings, and so much more.

iOS 14 2020

11.Curated Guides

You can use your Apple Watch to help provide you with clear routes if you intend to use a bike to go to work. Although this doesn’t work in all cities all over the world, Apple intends to add support for more cities sometime in the near future.

12.Digital Car Keys

This unique feature not only unlocks your car doors but it can also be used as a means of starting your car’s engine as well.

Not all new cars are supported, however, so if you want to use this feature, make sure that you have a compatible vehicle.

In addition, when the u1 chip is released next year, you can also unlock your car doors without having the phone with you (but you will need an Apple Watch that is tethered to your phone for this to work).

13.Translate App

You will find a new Translate app when you install the new update. The beauty of this application is that you can use its extensive features even when you are not connected to your home network.

This means that if you’re talking to your friend that doesn’t speak the local language, you can use the app to have things translated for you and you can also use its conversations feature so that the translated text can be spoken out loud for your friend to hear (and understand).

Furthermore, you can use your Apple Watch to do the same thing as well since it, too, has its own translate app.

iOS 14 Translate App

14.Improved Privacy

Every time you fire up an application that sends or requires user data, that application must provide you with a heads up if they’re going to do those things. You are given the power to either provide access to that application or deny permissions.

In addition to that, you will see a colored dot that indicates whether your camera or your microphone is in use (green for the camera and orange for the microphone, respectively).

15.Set Default Apps

Apple has finally given you the freedom to choose your own default apps. At the time of writing, you can only set your default web browser and mail application, but the company is set to add support for more applications moving forward.

16.Automatic Switch

If you are using the Airpods Pro and you are also using other Bluetooth devices as well, now you can switch between the said devices seamlessly thanks to an automatic switching ability.

Airpods Pro users can also enjoy the improved spatial audio feature which essentially provides you with an even more immersive listening experience.

17.Password Monitoring

If you’ve been using the same password in almost all of your accounts using an iPhone, iOS 14 introduces a new password monitoring system that will alert you to change passwords whenever it detects any data breach that could compromise your data.

The best thing that you can do is to use a password manager like LastPass so that you will only have to remember a single master password for all of your passwords.

How to Get the New Update?

So, which devices are supported? Well, any iPhone that is above the iPhone 6 is supported. This means that from the iPhone 6s to the newest Apple iPhone SE should receive a notification to download the latest update.

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Apple Watch SE Review- The Apple Watch to Get for Most People

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Apple Watch SE Review

People would always assume that if a product comes from Apple that you need to spend quite a bit of money compared to its competitors. For the most part, that is actually true, but not for the product that I am going to review today.

In this article, I will be talking about the Apple Watch SE. Find out why I think this is the Apple Watch to get for most people.

Design

The Apple Watch SE is set to be an entry-level smartwatch by Apple, but this is by no means a ‘cheap’ product as it does come with features that are also present in the Apple Watch 6, for example.

Its design is quite similar to the Apple Watches of old which is actually a good thing. The familiar look will make people who’ve owned those watches feel quite comfortable when using the newer model.

You basically have two size options to choose from (40mm and 44mm) and the screen is big enough so that you can utilize its functions more readily than other smartwatches that you can find on the market.

When you are going to buy this thing, you get to choose which strap you want to get along with it. The default strap uses nylon fiber which is not only comfortable but can also be used as a daily watch without getting ‘too gimmicky’.

The other option would be for you to get the ‘Solo Loop’ variant which is essentially a strap that conforms to your wrist- kind of like using a rubber band.

If you are going for the Solo Loop straps, it is important that you get the right fit as its fitting options are a bit limited. You have 9 choices to choose from but you will have to measure your wrist just right in order for you to get a relaxed fit.

Don’t worry, Apple’s website provides you with some guidelines to help you get the exact measurements.

Other than that, you have the watch crown situated on the right side of the watch which feels good whenever you use it.

Display

Apple Watch SE Review 2020

One of the big differences between the Apple Watch SE and the Apple Watch 6 is that the former doesn’t have an always-on display. This is to be expected, given that this particular model is the more affordable one.

I have the 44mm version and its display has a screen resolution of 368 x 448 which should provide you with adequate screen real estate to enjoy the watch’s features.

The display is no slouch because its brightness can be turned up automatically whenever you are outside. In other words, outside visibility is not an issue at all.

Performance

Apple Watch SE

The Apple Watch SE is perfectly suited for casual use and for those that want to have an active lifestyle.

Just like its bigger brother, this watch also has new activity-tracking options for functional strength training, core exercises, dance, and cool down. The last one is great for people to have an idea of how long they should perform static stretches after working out to provide their muscles with an optimal way to start recovery.

This smartwatch also has GPS and I’ve used it to calculate the distance after taking a couple of minutes to run. It is relatively accurate and I am pleased with it.

You do have a step counter to give you a rough estimate of how many steps you’ve taken during the course of the day. It is somewhat accurate, but there are more accurate watches out there.

WatchOS Features

WatchOS 7 Update

It is interesting that the Apple Watch SE comes with the new WatchOS 7 preloaded which means that you do not have to do some manual updates once you receive the unit.

Keep in mind that because this watch is a stripped-down version of its more premium counterpart, there are no ECG and Sp02 sensors that can be found here, but that is a fair compromise, in my opinion.

One of the biggest features that I really love about the new operating system is the sleep tracking capability.

You can set a specific time when you usually sleep and if it is that time already, the watch will not only dim its display but will also make sure that notifications that you may receive at the specified time will not disturb your sound slumber.

Although the company doesn’t encourage you to completely believe in the results that the watch gives you (because this is not marketed as a bonafide medical instrument), I find it to be quite helpful nonetheless.

If the watch detects that you haven’t had enough sleep, it will provide you with some helpful tips to improve the quality of your sleep the next night which is pretty nice.

Another unique feature here is the hand-washing reminder. Every time you wash your hands, the watch will use its sensors and microphone to tell you if you’ve washed your hands for 20 seconds or not.

If you’ve finished earlier than the said time, the watch will notify you to continue. This ensures that you kill the Covid-19 virus, as well as other pathogens that might prove to be dangerous to your overall health.

Battery

Apple Watch SE Smartwatch

The Apple Watch SE’s battery life is probably its biggest downside. It is rated to last up to 18 hours, but if you are using the GPS or the watch’s other features quite a lot, you will get less than that number.

It is also worth noting that charging time for this particular smartwatch requires 2.5 hours to complete. That is sad considering that the Apple Watch 6 only requires 90 minutes to be fully charged.

If you need to be using the watch’s features quite a lot, I suggest that you carry a hefty power bank with you at all times.

Verdict

A lot of people love using Apple products because it has better integration with its ecosystem compared to other products on the market.

That being said, the Apple Watch SE is a great introductory product for people that want a smartwatch that does a lot of things.

It is a stripped-down version of its more premium counterpart but all of the useful features such as sleep tracking, more activity tracking, GPS, and others are present here, which means that it would still be a good purchase nonetheless.

And, at just $280, the Apple Watch SE is definitely what I would recommend for people that want a relatively affordable smartwatch with plenty to offer.

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Asus Zenfone 7 Pro Review- The Best Selfie Camera Phone in 2020

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Asus Zenfone 7 Pro Review

Asus is a company that never shies away from trying some really awesome stuff. Its flagship ROG Phone 3 not only has great battery life but with the inclusion of specs and cooling performance make it the best gaming phone on the market.

Now, the Asus Zenfone 6 may not be as popular as the others but it does have one unique trick- its flippable cameras. That means that the cameras at the back are also the same shooters that you can use for your selfies.

The Asus Zenfone 7 Pro is the flagship successor to the Zenfone 6. Does it have what it takes to beat its predecessor?

Design

Back in 2019, most phone manufacturers employ a pop-up selfie camera to give you more screen real estate. That seems to be the collective choice back in the day, though there are some that have placed punch-hole cameras at the front instead.

Anyway, the Asus Zenfone 6 was quite unique because instead of a pop-up mechanism, the company has employed a motorized flipping mechanism so that the rear cameras can be flipped towards the front- essentially making it a better front camera array than a typical single shooter.

The Asus Zenfone 7 Pro follows in the same footsteps, albeit it is much more durable now as it is rated to last up to 200,000 flips (or roughly 100 flips in a single day for 5 years and a half). This should give you the confidence to use the cameras without any issues or worries.

I seriously like the design of the phone. You get a glossy finish at the back but just when you thought that it is an all-black aesthetic, Asus has actually employed a visual trick where if you look at the phone at a certain angle, you will find hints of dark green/blue as well. This certainly adds to the aesthetic appeal.

I am just saddened by the fact that the company opted to ditch the headphone jack (which was present in the Asus Zenfone 6) in favor of Bluetooth headphones but I think that this is the general direction that most phone manufacturers are headed.

There is a fingerprint scanner on the side that also acts as the power button of the device. It is relatively fast and accurate which makes unlocking the phone a breeze.

There is also a dual SIM card slot with an additional microSD card slot for more storage. I love the fact that you can place two SIMs here and still have a microSD card slot, which is something that is always welcome in a smartphone.

I do have to point out that because of the build of this phone, it is a bit heavy at 230 grams. Most people will find this heavier than other flagships, but it does resemble good overall quality.

Display

Asus Zenfone 7 Pro Review 2020

Most flagship phones nowadays have fast refresh rate displays and thankfully, the Asus Zenfone 7 Pro is part of that. It has a 90Hz screen refresh rate which I think is good enough, though it would have been nice if the company has opted for the much faster 120Hz display.

You get a 6.67-inch AMOLED display with Full HD+ resolution, 20:9 aspect ratio, and a 110% DCI-P3 color space rating which ensures that the screen exhibits punchy and vibrant colors.

Because there are no punch-hole cameras at the front, you get a 92% screen-to-body ratio which makes this ideal as a gaming and media consumption device.

True enough, watching content from Netflix, for example, is quite nice and because this has HDR10+ certification, the phone can unlock the full color space on whatever HDR media you watch online.

While most people are accustomed to 120Hz displays, getting a 90Hz screen refresh rate is not bad at all. It still provides smoothness when scrolling through menus and playing games, so this really shouldn’t be an issue at all.

Cameras

Asus Zenfone 7 Pro Review Cameras

One of the most interesting features of the Asus Zenfone 7 Pro is its flippable cameras. That means that whatever cameras are on the back, you can literally use the same cameras when you are taking selfies as well.

Here, you will find Sony’s flagship IMX686 sensor which is a 64-megapixel wide-angle lens that has PDAF and optical image stabilization.

To complement the said sensor, the phone is also equipped with Sony’s 12-megapixel IMX363 ultra-wide-angle lens with a 113-degree field of view, and an 8-megapixel telephoto camera with 3x lossless optical zoom.

Unsurprisingly, I was blown away by the picture quality. While this phone can technically shoot nice images even in low-light conditions, you will have to be completely steady for it to work.

Using the camera array as selfie cameras are also amazing as well. You virtually get the same features on the camera app no matter if the cameras are facing to the front or the back which is quite interesting indeed.

Because of how the cameras work, I’d have to say that the Asus Zenfone 7 Pro is one of the best selfie camera phones on the market in 2020.

Specs and Performance

  • Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+
  • Display: 6.67-inch AMOLED Display, Full HD+ resolution, 90Hz screen refresh rate, 20:9 aspect ratio, HDR10+, 110% DCI-P3 color space
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 256GB UFS 3.1 w/ microSD card support up to 2TB
  • Cameras: 64-megapixel wide-angle lens, 12-megapixel ultra-wide lens w/ 113-degree field of view, 8-megapixel telephoto lens with 3x lossless optical zoom
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.1, WiFi 6, 5G, NFC
  • Operating System: Android 10
  • Battery: 5,000 mAh, 30-watt charger included, Quick Charge 4.0 support
  • Weight: 230 grams

The Asus Zenfone 7 Pro is fitted with flagship specs. You will get a phone that is equipped with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 865+ processor which is able to handle any games and tasks you throw at it.

You also get 8GB of RAM which should be adequate for most users and you get 256GB of internal storage. What’s interesting with the phone’s storage is that it is UFS 3.1 which means that you get the fastest phone storage available at the time of writing this article. Expect its read and write speeds to top the charts. And, in case you didn’t know, the UFS 3.1 storage is also available on the Asus ROG Phone 3 as well.

Because of the chipset that is used, you also get 5G connectivity as well. However, keep in mind that it doesn’t support mmWave which means that you are not going to get the best possible speeds that the technology has to offer. This can be a bummer, but know that mmWave is not even available in all countries anyway.

This phone will have no problems dealing with all of Android’s apps, so if you want a pretty competitive device, this is definitely one of them.

Battery

Asus Zenfone 7 Pro

I also praise Asus for providing phones with hefty batteries and the Asus Zenfone 7 Pro is no exception. It comes with a 5,000 mAh battery with a 30-watt charger included in the box. It has Quick Charge 4.0 support which means that charging this device from 0-100 will only take less than 90 minutes.

While I love the included fast charger, keep in mind that the Asus Zenfone 7 Pro does not support wireless charging at all. In 2020, I expected the company to at least add this technology in its flagship products, but alas, the Zenfone 7 Pro doesn’t support it.

If you have wireless chargers, you might have to use them for your other devices instead.

Verdict

Asus has done a pretty good job with its latest flagship product. The Asus Zenfone 7 Pro has a more durable camera flip mechanism that should last longer than its predecessor. You get the same sensors for your selfies and you can also enable all of the features of the said cameras as well no matter which orientation they are in.

The build quality is pretty nice and the aesthetics are definitely some of the best out there. My only gripe with this phone is that it doesn’t come with a headphone jack and it is relatively heavy at 230 grams.

But, I should say that the Asus Zenfone 7 Pro is surely one of the best selfie camera phones on the market in 2020.

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Amazon Echo Studio Review- The Bigger ‘Echo’ Speaker That Competes

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Amazon Echo Studio Review

Amazon, the biggest online retailer in the world, has created its own AI implementation in the form of the Amazon Alexa.

It is actually quite polished and it can go against Apple’s Siri and Google’s own AI. That being said, the company has released some ‘Echo’ speakers that not only act as Bluetooth audio devices but as smart devices as well.

Today, I am going to be reviewing the Amazon Echo Studio. Does this thing really have what it takes to compete with the others?

Design

One of the biggest criticisms of Amazon’s Echo speakers of the past is that although its smart features are okay, their sound output leaves much to be desired. As a way of addressing the issue, Amazon has built the Echo Studio.

The Amazon Echo Studio is pretty big. It is 8 inches in height and 7 inches wide so this is indeed a pretty hefty audio solution. In fact, I would go on to say that this is one of the biggest Bluetooth speakers on the market.

Its design is pretty much akin to the Amazon Echo speakers of old. You get a fabric mesh design that encapsulates the speaker itself with all of its button controls situated at the top of the device.

You also get a blue ring light that will pretty much add to the aesthetic appeal of the unit. The microphone is also placed at the top and it is always on ‘listening mode’ so that whenever you want to interact with Alexa, it can do so at a moment’s notice.

Although you cannot see it, the Amazon Echo Studio is actually powered by a subwoofer, a tweeter, and four mid-range speakers that are mounted at the top and the sides. This thing is a beast as it can output 330 watts of power when needed, which is ample enough even for home cinema setups.

Audio Performance

Amazon Echo Studio Review 2020

The Amazon Echo Studio is quite a powerful Bluetooth speaker. No matter what genre of content you’d like to consume, this thing can output the necessary sound to make your viewing experience more immersive.

I am usually keen on an audio solution’s performance when it comes to playing music and I am happy with the Echo Studio’s prowess.

Although it favors the lower frequencies more than the mids and the highs, it does so without drowning the latter two, which is something that you normally do not see on large Bluetooth speakers.

An interesting feature that the Amazon Echo Studio has is its support for 3D Audio. You will need to sign in to your Amazon Music HD account before you can get a hold of this feature and it is the only platform that supports the Echo Studio’s 3D Audio. Amazon did mention that it will hand out support for other streaming platforms at a later date though.

So, how is the speaker’s performance on that front? Well, I am not really sure what to think about it as I have mixed feelings about the said feature.

3D audio is meant to provide a more immersive listening experience but I can hardly tell the difference between traditional Hi-Res audio and this one.

I guess you could say that for tracks that have a more melodic tone that you can discern a 3D audio-enabled track from a regular track, but other than that, non-audiophiles can hardly tell the difference.

To be fair, the said feature is still not polished yet, so expect it to improve in the years to come.

The Amazon Echo Studio also has seamless integration with the Amazon Fire TV Stick, though it does support all other streaming services like Netflix and Hulu as well.

You are also given the option to link up another Amazon Echo Studio speaker so that you can have them work in tandem to provide you with even better sound. I do not have a second unit though, so I cannot really tell anything about this. But, the feature is there if you want to get another unit.

Features

Amazon Echo Studio

Aside from 3D audio, the Echo Studio also acts as a control hub for your smart devices. You can use Alexa to turn off your lights at a specific time of the night or you can have it play your favorite track if you want. The possibilities are endless.

Do keep in mind that while it should support most of the smart home devices that you can buy on the market, there are some products that do not play ball. 

For instance, some smart locks can only be supported using Apple’s Siri, so you cannot control that using this device.

You can also link up a second Echo Studio speaker if you have one and you can use both of them to provide you with an even more powerful and more immersive listening experience.

You can control the speaker’s features by manually tapping on the buttons at the top of the device or by downloading its companion app.

Conclusion

Amazon has finally solved the issue of the Amazon Echo speakers of the past by giving you a relatively large speaker that can do a lot of things.

The Amazon Echo Studio has support for 3D audio, but you will need to have an Amazon Music HD account to get a hold of the said feature.

You can also use the speaker to control your smart home devices which is pretty nice. The microphone is always on listening mode so that you can call Alexa’s attention at a moment’s notice.

Normally, I would expect a product like this to cost more than $300, but the Amazon Echo Studio actually costs just $199. I guess getting another one is not too far out of the equation, eh?

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iOS 14 is Finally Here- Everything You Need to Know

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iOS 14 New

The iOS 14 beta was first introduced back in June 2020 but on September 16, Apple has released the final version of the ever-popular mobile operating system that is placed at the heart of your Apple iPhone.

Just like Android 11, iOS 14 can be construed as an incremental upgrade but there are some noteworthy improvements that you will surely love.

Today, I am going to go over everything you need to know about Apple’s new mobile operating system and find out what new features you might like using immediately.

Features

1.App Library

When you swipe right on the homescreen a couple of times, you will be presented with a new feature called the App Library. Think of this as Apple’s implementation of an app drawer (that is a mainstay in Android Devices).

All of the applications that are found in the App Library are neatly categorized for your convenience. Here, you can find all of your folders and some app folder suggestions as well.

2.Smart Stack

Apple understands that iPhone homescreens can get really cluttered, and so, the company has provided users with the ability to stack the same type of apps into a single folder.

Furthermore, depending on the time of day, the operating system can suggest certain apps that you might like to use at that moment.

For example, the OS might suggest that you use a music streaming app if you want to jog a couple of laps while listening to your favorite music.

3.Widgets

Apple was heavily criticized for not giving users the freedom to add widgets to the homescreen. Well, that has changed in iOS 14.

Now, users have the ability to add any widgets that they like on the homescreen. Not only that but these widgets provide useful information right off the bat so that you can simply glance at the particular widget to find out the current weather conditions, for instance.

You can add as many widgets as you want and you can also resize them a little bit, though its implementation is not as extensive as the Android ecosystem.

iOS 14 What is New

4.Improved Siri

People often use Siri as a means of enabling almost hands-free access to their iPhones. Well, in iOS 14, Siri is vastly improved- both in its AI technology and the things that it can do.

You can make use of Siri to craft messages for you, call specific people, translate foreign languages (more on this later), block possible incoming calls, and so much more.

In addition to what I’ve said, Siri also doesn’t take up the entire screen anymore. Instead, you can look for Siri in a small globe icon that is usually situated at the bottom of the display.

5.Picture-in-Picture (PIP)

This feature was first implemented on iPads, but you can also enjoy picture-in-picture mode on your iPhone as well.

This allows you to play videos on the background while you are face timing someone which is pretty awesome.

6.App Clips

Think of App Clips as Apple’s implementation of Android’s Instant Apps. Basically, you get a hold of some specific app features without actually having to download and install the said app.

For example, you can purchase a coffee from Starbucks just by scanning a particular code. This alleviates the need for downloading the company’s specific app just for the same job.

Not a lot of applications support this as of yet but expect that more and more of them will be supported in the future.

7.iMessage Has New Features

Apple’s Messages app has plenty of new features that you will really love using frequently. First is the ability to pin any important messages within a conversation. You can pin messages just by swiping a particular part of the conversation to the right. The pinned comment can be placed on your homescreen for convenience.

Aside from that, you now have the ability to reply to a specific message within the conversation via inline replies.

Have you ever used Facebook Messenger and you want to mute notifications from certain group chats but still want to get notified if your name is mentioned at any point in the conversation?

Well, that specific feature is also now available on the Messages app as well. This is a great feature if you want to mute notifications from your group chats but you still want to get notified if you’re ever given a special mention.

To mention any person within the chat group, all you have to do is use the ‘@’ symbol and a list of names should pop up. Just tap on the person that you want to shoutout and the app should do the rest.

Lastly, if photos are uploaded to the group chat, you can add an image overlay on top of it or you can add some cute emojis to make it more fun and lively.

iOS 14

8.New Memojis

Memojis are nothing new, but the iOS 14 introduces some new ones, including new headwear, hairstyles, stickers, and so much more.

Moreover, Apple has done a pretty good job of making Memojis even more expressive than ever before!

9.Health App

WatchOS 7 was released in the same window as iOS 14 and because of that, you can expect some integrations with Apple Smartwatches as well.

The new health app not only allows you to use your Apple Watch’s sleep tracking feature, but it also records some important data that you can use to relay to your physician to give you a general idea of your overall health.

10.Improved Weather App

The default weather app in iOS 14 also gets some major improvements, including the ability to give you notifications and more information about upcoming severe weather systems, improved forecast accuracy, precipitation readings, and so much more.

iOS 14 2020

11.Curated Guides

You can use your Apple Watch to help provide you with clear routes if you intend to use a bike to go to work. Although this doesn’t work in all cities all over the world, Apple intends to add support for more cities sometime in the near future.

12.Digital Car Keys

This unique feature not only unlocks your car doors but it can also be used as a means of starting your car’s engine as well.

Not all new cars are supported, however, so if you want to use this feature, make sure that you have a compatible vehicle.

In addition, when the u1 chip is released next year, you can also unlock your car doors without having the phone with you (but you will need an Apple Watch that is tethered to your phone for this to work).

13.Translate App

You will find a new Translate app when you install the new update. The beauty of this application is that you can use its extensive features even when you are not connected to your home network.

This means that if you’re talking to your friend that doesn’t speak the local language, you can use the app to have things translated for you and you can also use its conversations feature so that the translated text can be spoken out loud for your friend to hear (and understand).

Furthermore, you can use your Apple Watch to do the same thing as well since it, too, has its own translate app.

iOS 14 Translate App

14.Improved Privacy

Every time you fire up an application that sends or requires user data, that application must provide you with a heads up if they’re going to do those things. You are given the power to either provide access to that application or deny permissions.

In addition to that, you will see a colored dot that indicates whether your camera or your microphone is in use (green for the camera and orange for the microphone, respectively).

15.Set Default Apps

Apple has finally given you the freedom to choose your own default apps. At the time of writing, you can only set your default web browser and mail application, but the company is set to add support for more applications moving forward.

16.Automatic Switch

If you are using the Airpods Pro and you are also using other Bluetooth devices as well, now you can switch between the said devices seamlessly thanks to an automatic switching ability.

Airpods Pro users can also enjoy the improved spatial audio feature which essentially provides you with an even more immersive listening experience.

17.Password Monitoring

If you’ve been using the same password in almost all of your accounts using an iPhone, iOS 14 introduces a new password monitoring system that will alert you to change passwords whenever it detects any data breach that could compromise your data.

The best thing that you can do is to use a password manager like LastPass so that you will only have to remember a single master password for all of your passwords.

How to Get the New Update?

So, which devices are supported? Well, any iPhone that is above the iPhone 6 is supported. This means that from the iPhone 6s to the newest Apple iPhone SE should receive a notification to download the latest update.

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Apple Watch SE Review- The Apple Watch to Get for Most People

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Apple Watch SE Review

People would always assume that if a product comes from Apple that you need to spend quite a bit of money compared to its competitors. For the most part, that is actually true, but not for the product that I am going to review today.

In this article, I will be talking about the Apple Watch SE. Find out why I think this is the Apple Watch to get for most people.

Design

The Apple Watch SE is set to be an entry-level smartwatch by Apple, but this is by no means a ‘cheap’ product as it does come with features that are also present in the Apple Watch 6, for example.

Its design is quite similar to the Apple Watches of old which is actually a good thing. The familiar look will make people who’ve owned those watches feel quite comfortable when using the newer model.

You basically have two size options to choose from (40mm and 44mm) and the screen is big enough so that you can utilize its functions more readily than other smartwatches that you can find on the market.

When you are going to buy this thing, you get to choose which strap you want to get along with it. The default strap uses nylon fiber which is not only comfortable but can also be used as a daily watch without getting ‘too gimmicky’.

The other option would be for you to get the ‘Solo Loop’ variant which is essentially a strap that conforms to your wrist- kind of like using a rubber band.

If you are going for the Solo Loop straps, it is important that you get the right fit as its fitting options are a bit limited. You have 9 choices to choose from but you will have to measure your wrist just right in order for you to get a relaxed fit.

Don’t worry, Apple’s website provides you with some guidelines to help you get the exact measurements.

Other than that, you have the watch crown situated on the right side of the watch which feels good whenever you use it.

Display

Apple Watch SE Review 2020

One of the big differences between the Apple Watch SE and the Apple Watch 6 is that the former doesn’t have an always-on display. This is to be expected, given that this particular model is the more affordable one.

I have the 44mm version and its display has a screen resolution of 368 x 448 which should provide you with adequate screen real estate to enjoy the watch’s features.

The display is no slouch because its brightness can be turned up automatically whenever you are outside. In other words, outside visibility is not an issue at all.

Performance

Apple Watch SE

The Apple Watch SE is perfectly suited for casual use and for those that want to have an active lifestyle.

Just like its bigger brother, this watch also has new activity-tracking options for functional strength training, core exercises, dance, and cool down. The last one is great for people to have an idea of how long they should perform static stretches after working out to provide their muscles with an optimal way to start recovery.

This smartwatch also has GPS and I’ve used it to calculate the distance after taking a couple of minutes to run. It is relatively accurate and I am pleased with it.

You do have a step counter to give you a rough estimate of how many steps you’ve taken during the course of the day. It is somewhat accurate, but there are more accurate watches out there.

WatchOS Features

WatchOS 7 Update

It is interesting that the Apple Watch SE comes with the new WatchOS 7 preloaded which means that you do not have to do some manual updates once you receive the unit.

Keep in mind that because this watch is a stripped-down version of its more premium counterpart, there are no ECG and Sp02 sensors that can be found here, but that is a fair compromise, in my opinion.

One of the biggest features that I really love about the new operating system is the sleep tracking capability.

You can set a specific time when you usually sleep and if it is that time already, the watch will not only dim its display but will also make sure that notifications that you may receive at the specified time will not disturb your sound slumber.

Although the company doesn’t encourage you to completely believe in the results that the watch gives you (because this is not marketed as a bonafide medical instrument), I find it to be quite helpful nonetheless.

If the watch detects that you haven’t had enough sleep, it will provide you with some helpful tips to improve the quality of your sleep the next night which is pretty nice.

Another unique feature here is the hand-washing reminder. Every time you wash your hands, the watch will use its sensors and microphone to tell you if you’ve washed your hands for 20 seconds or not.

If you’ve finished earlier than the said time, the watch will notify you to continue. This ensures that you kill the Covid-19 virus, as well as other pathogens that might prove to be dangerous to your overall health.

Battery

Apple Watch SE Smartwatch

The Apple Watch SE’s battery life is probably its biggest downside. It is rated to last up to 18 hours, but if you are using the GPS or the watch’s other features quite a lot, you will get less than that number.

It is also worth noting that charging time for this particular smartwatch requires 2.5 hours to complete. That is sad considering that the Apple Watch 6 only requires 90 minutes to be fully charged.

If you need to be using the watch’s features quite a lot, I suggest that you carry a hefty power bank with you at all times.

Verdict

A lot of people love using Apple products because it has better integration with its ecosystem compared to other products on the market.

That being said, the Apple Watch SE is a great introductory product for people that want a smartwatch that does a lot of things.

It is a stripped-down version of its more premium counterpart but all of the useful features such as sleep tracking, more activity tracking, GPS, and others are present here, which means that it would still be a good purchase nonetheless.

And, at just $280, the Apple Watch SE is definitely what I would recommend for people that want a relatively affordable smartwatch with plenty to offer.

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