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Nubia Red Magic 5G- A Very Competent Gaming Phone

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Nubia Red Magic 5G Review

Everything is going mobile now- from work to play, you can always expect programs that used to only work on desktops to now also work on mobile devices as well.

Gaming phones, as the pundits would say, are borne out of the necessity for smartphones that can be used for hours on end, especially since gaming, in general, can be quite taxing to the device.

While there aren’t a lot of gaming phones out there, one phone that you might find great is the Nubia Red Magic 5G. Is it any good? Let’s find out!

Design

While there are some phones that look pretty much generic or your ‘everyday’ phone, the Nubia Red Magic 5G is different; it definitely screams ‘gamer phone’ because of its aesthetic.

The front of the phone is a pretty standard affair. You’ve got a simple-looking display but once you flip the device, you will see that it is indeed made for gamers.

You get a combination of red and blue color schemes with the ‘Redmagic’ moniker in the middle of the phone. If you do not like this, there is also a black and red version as well.

To the right of the name are the three cameras and on the left is the brand logo. And oh, did I mention that the Redmagic name is RGB?

It is a bit on the chunkier side at 218 grams but despite its bigger form factor, it is surprisingly not that heavy when you hold the phone.

The right side of the device is quite busy because aside from the standard volume and power buttons, you also get to have two shoulder buttons as well.

People who have used game controllers before (like from the Playstation and Xbox consoles) should be familiar with them, but for the people who do not know, shoulder buttons are just extra buttons that you can quickly toggle to perform a certain task. More on this later.

Another striking design feature of the Red Magic 5G is its air vents which are situated on the left side of the phone.

Because this device makes use of a physical fan (yes, there is a small fan inside), as well as liquid active cooling, the hot air needs an exhaust to get out and that is why it has special vents. It looks weird but it doesn’t really hamper your ability to grip the device.

As for the audio solution, the phone has a front-firing speaker on the earpiece and another down-firing one at the bottom.

Players will love the fact that this gaming phone comes with a headphone jack at the top so you can plug in your favorite headsets for even an even more immersive experience.

Display

Nubia Red Magic 5G

Aside from the loud gamer aesthetic, another thing why the Nubia Red Magic 5G is called a gaming phone is its display.

It comes with a 6.65-inch 2340×1080 AMOLED screen but where it shines is its super-fast 144Hz screen refresh rate.

When you look at reviews of this online on streaming platforms, it won’t do you justice simply because Youtube, for example, caps its frame rate at 60 fps. You have to actually use the device to see the difference (literally).

Now, what happens when your phone has a high refresh rate? Well, everything will look smoother and that is something that you want when you are playing a game.

While other gaming phones such as the Razer Phone 2 and Black Shark 2 have high refresh rate displays, this one has 144hz and that is quite impressive.

You might argue that the 24hz additional refresh rate is negligible to the naked eye and in some cases, I agree. This is especially true if you haven’t been accustomed to high-refresh-rate gaming before.

However, as an experienced gamer myself, I can really tell the difference, albeit that I wouldn’t really cry over it if the phone comes with a 120hz display like the rest of the bunch.

The AMOLED screen provides you with amazing color accuracy and the display is punchy and vibrant. Just do not expect Samsung-level performance when it comes to it.

Its 1080p Full HD resolution might also deter you from buying this device since its pixel density is not up to par with other devices, but for most people, it will definitely suffice.

Camera

People who want to have a competitive camera setup in a phone might not like the Red Magic 5G.

Even though the phone comes with Sony’s 64-megapixel IMX686 sensor, a 2-megapixel macro sensor, and an 8-megapixel ultra-wide sensor, the images are okay at best.

While they do produce photos that have nearly true-to-life colors, the shots that you can make in dim environments aren’t that good at all.

The camera uses AI technology to ensure that your photos will automatically focus on the subject without too much tinkering.

Despite the fact that there are a lot of options you can toggle on the camera app itself, it is not as robust compared to what Huawei phones have (and also not as simple as other competitors).

The front camera is an 8-megapixel shooter and it is definitely not something special. It is just there as it is customary for modern smartphones to have one.

You could say that despite its 3-camera setup at the back, the feature is definitely not its strongest suit.

Battery

Since this phone is intended for gaming, it should come with a hefty battery and the company delivered on that end.

The Red Magic 5G comes with a hefty 4,500mAh battery and while this is not the same as the Asus ROG phone 2 that has a bigger 5000mAh battery, Nubia did some magic to make it last longer than what the spec sheet says.

If you use the phone strictly for gaming, you should be able to get 5-6 hours of gameplay depending on how taxing the game is on the said device. You can even extend it by dialing the phone’s refresh rate to 60Hz (which is the standard option).

While the company did mention that the phone can support a 55-watt charger, it is not included in the box and you will have to spend more money if you want to get one.

What is included in the box, however, is a measly 18-watt charger that can charge the device fully at around 90 minutes or so.

It is also worth noting that the phone doesn’t support wireless charging, so people that have a wireless charging cradle will not be able to use it with this product.

Gaming

The specs of this device are pretty good, especially if you want to play the most demanding games.

Even when you play graphically-intensive 3D games such as Call of Duty, PUBG, Fortnite, and Asphalt 9 and crank all of their graphical settings to 11, the Red Magic 5G still performs admirably well.

The 144hz display has a variable refresh rate which means that in some areas of the game, the refresh rate will dial back down to 90hz if they aren’t needed. Of course, you can set it to stick to 60hz, but why would you do that?

I mentioned earlier that the device comes with shoulder buttons on the right side of the phone. That is because most smartphones are usually placed on landscape orientation if people want to play.

The shoulder buttons actually do not do anything by default. They can only be configured while using the phone’s ‘Game Space’ functionality. They are quite responsive and you could say that they are positioned perfectly well for those snappy moves.

As a gaming phone, it should come with a competent cooling solution to prevent the device from heating up. That is why the Red Magic 5G is equipped with a liquid-cooling solution and some air vents on the left side of the phone to keep things cool.

The audio solution is okay. The speakers are quite loud, but I would still recommend using a gaming headset or an audiophile solution for an even better gaming experience.

Game Space

This is a unique feature of the phone. The Game Space is basically just an app that you can fire up and will act as a hub for all of your games. When you launch games from there, they will automatically be boosted, meaning, all of the phone’s resources will be focused on that one game and nothing more.

The Game Space also allows you to tweak the fans so that the phone will never heat up that badly. By default, it is set at the intelligent adjustment option that will ramp the fans up depending on the temperature of the device, though you can also set it to rapid cooling which sets the fans RPM to the max when needed.

Its interface is okay but I am not a real fan. It does allow you to tweak some gamer-centric features, but other than that, it is just another app.

Software

Nubia Red Magic 5G 2020

The phone comes with the company’s RedMagic OS 3.0 which is essentially just a vanilla version of Android 10. It is what you can call a ‘pure stock’ ROM simply because there are not a lot of pre-installed apps on the device.

While the Nubia Red Magic 5G boasts amazing gaming capabilities, it definitely lacks in the software department. Even though some options are considered a standard affair in some devices, it just saddens me that that simple detail is not included in this one.

Take for instance the battery percentage indicator. By default, you cannot see the battery percentage and you will have to dig through various settings to know how much juice your device has left.

Aside from that, the notifications panel- something that is usually populated by different notifications across various apps- does not display anything. Really, this is disappointing.

On top of that, you cannot use any other app launcher on the market. Part of what makes the Android experience so much better than the iOS is its customizability, so for the people that want to tinker with their device’s interface, this might disappoint them.

Even though the company said that they are going to release some updates that will fix these current issues in the future, they are definitely not quick to release one. 

Specifications

  • Display- 6.65-inch AMOLED, Full HD (2340×1080), 144Hz Refresh Rate, Corning Gorilla Glass Protected
  • Chipset- Snapdragon 865 Octa-core processor
  • GPU- Adreno 650
  • RAM- 8GB or 12GB
  • Cameras- 64-megapixel main shooter, 2-megapixel macro, 8-megapixel wide-angle (120-degree); 8-megapixel front camera
  • Storage- 128GB or 256GB UFS 3.0 
  • Battery- 4500mAh capable of 55-watt rapid charging. 18-watt charger included
  • Sensors- Gyroscope, Fingerprint, Electronic Compass, G-Sensor, Ambient Light, Sensor Hub
  • Connectivity- WiFi AC, GPS, Bluetooth 5.1, NFC, 5G-compatible, Dual Sim
  • Software- Android 10, Redmagic OS 3.0
  • Dimensions- 168.56 x 78 x 9.75mm, 218 grams
  • Available Colors- Pulse, Eclipse Black

Verdict

The Nubia Red Magic 5G is a gaming phone first and foremost. It has an impressive 144hz display, fully configurable shoulder buttons, an active cooling solution, and software that can boost the device’s gaming performance.

Although it comes with respectable specs, it definitely falls short on some aspects. The camera is okay, the battery is great (albeit, doesn’t come with a 55-watt charger out of the box), the software is buggy, and a lot of things can be improved.

For $659, the Red Magic 5G is a truly competitive gaming phone but if you want to use the device for purposes other than gaming, this might not be the best choice for you.

Pros

  • Super-fast 144Hz AMOLED Display
  • Long-lasting battery life
  • Fully configurable shoulder buttons
  • Active cooling prevents the phone from overheating

Cons

  • Software is buggy
  • Camera is mediocre compared to other phones of its class
  • Lack of customization

News

TikTok and WeChat Bans- What We Know So Far

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Tiktok and WeChat Ban

It seems that President Trump’s ban on Chinese tech giants are in full swing after one of the most powerful men in the world issued bans on popular Chinese-owned apps: TikTok and WeChat.

TikTok is a popular platform that allows people to record and upload user-generated content, which is essentially a means of uploading viral content over the internet.

WeChat is a chat platform that also includes a payment portal and a news corner. It is a more robust application that could potentially be a problem when it comes to your data and privacy in general, at least, that’s what Trump thinks.

The Ban

Tiktok Ban

In a previous post, President Trump has given ByteDance, the company that created TikTok, about 45 days for them to reach an agreement with Microsoft. If a deal doesn’t push through, the application will no longer be allowed to operate in the U.S. Apparently, there is a new deal that was made and the stakeholder is a different company now.

Oracle has won the bidding war so instead of Microsoft making a deal with the Chinese-based company, it is now Oracle that will take the helm. The company was supposed to oversee the deal but apparently, it couldn’t reach an accord with ByteDance, which prompted Trump to remind the Chinese company that it only had until November 12 to operate.

In what appears to be an insult to ByteDance, Trump also added that its popular application will no longer be available in the Google Play Store and Apple App Store starting Sunday, September 20.

On a similar note, WeChat also suffers the same fate as the president of the United States have also issued an order for the US-owned mobile operating system giants to remove the said application in their respective app stores.

At the time of writing, both Apple and Google haven’t issued any statements but they did mention in the past that they are going to abide by the laws of the country.

President Trump, on Friday, has issued an ultimatum where the popular Chinese export will no longer be able to operate within U.S. soil if it cannot reach a deal with Oracle.

ByteDance representatives, as well as the Chinese government, were adamant against the decision stating that ByteDance was not given a chance of due process. The Chinese government is mulling over the possibility of doing the same with US-owned companies, so we could see some ramifications of this particular threat made by Trump.

Apparently, the ban on both WeChat and TikTok spawned over fears that the Chinese-owned apps are getting private data from its consumers.

There is some truth to this in the sense that TikTok wants to gain access to a lot of permissions that have no integral bearing on the app’s features, which is kind of fishy when you really think about it.

But, in a statement that was released by ByteDance, the only information that was extracted from users is data that the users are willing to share and nothing else. This is also stipulated in the terms and conditions and if users agreed to this, then the app developer has the right to the data.

Some Hope

ByteDance is probably happy by the fact that it has received quite a number of downloads on Saturday, the supposed last day that American citizens can download the application.

True enough, in a statement that was released by the said company, it had received an 800% surge in users over the weekend- something that was unprecedented in recent times.

Just a reminder, you can still use TikTok on your mobile device until November 12 (or longer, depending on whether or not Oracle and ByteDance will reach an agreement).

An update on the deal: Trump’s administration wants Walmart to join the agreement, which would mean that both Oracle and Walmart will be major stakeholders of ByteDance.

It is also worth noting that both of the US-based companies will only own about 20% of the entire share of the company. That means that ByteDance will still own the vast majority of TikTok and other future applications that are going to be developed.

The move is just to ensure that the Chinese-based company will not overstep its boundaries, especially when it comes to national security.

What About WeChat?

WeChat Ban

It still remains to be seen whether or not WeChat will be permanently banned in the U.S. or not, but American users will no longer be able to use the said application until further notice.

Judge Laurel Beeler, one of the judges that handled the case, said that the ban has created a lot of serious questions about the First Amendment rights of some Chinese-Americans.

Apparently, WeChat is the only chat application that is allowed to operate within Chinese soil, so banning this application in the U.S. would mean that some Chinese people who are not fluent in English, will have a hard time communicating with their relatives in China.

I think it is precisely because of this reason why Trump and his administration wants to ban WeChat. It apparently has the means of communicating some sensitive data from American citizens that could potentially be used and be weaponized by the Chinese government. Although these claims could potentially be true, there is no tangible evidence to suggest that this is indeed the case.

While TikTok could still be used by Americans until Walmart and Oracle are able to reach a deal, the same cannot be said for WeChat.

The good thing is that there tons of other messaging apps that American citizens can use, but this will certainly not bode well for the Chinese-American community.

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Xiaomi Poco X3 Review- An Appealing Budget Smartphone with a 120Hz Display

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Xiaomi Poco X3 Review

Because schools and offices are employing study and work from home schemes due to the Covid-19 pandemic, getting a smartphone is quite appealing in this day and age. That is because such portable devices are handy and you can conduct video conferences, as well as communicate with other people from across the world.

That being said, if you have only a limited budget, then I highly recommend that you look at the Xiaomi Poco X3. I am going to be reviewing it today, so sit tight and read through the rest of this content piece.

Design

Before I begin, I just want to say that there are two versions of this phone. You might find that there is one that is called ‘Poco X3 NFC’ and the other version doesn’t have the ‘NFC’ in its moniker. This implies that one doesn’t come with the said technology, so if you are going to buy this device, make sure that you are getting the right version.

That being said, we used to think that budget smartphones do not look classy, but you have to change that mindset because phone manufacturers like Xiaomi make incredible-looking phones for a cheaper price.

The Poco X3 might have a polycarbonate body but it certainly doesn’t look or feel cheap. In fact, once you get a hold of the device, you will instantly find that it can take a beating while still having that elegant look.

At the back, you will find the ‘Poco’ branding situated a little bit near the charging port while at the top, you will find its quad-camera array. Do keep in mind that there is a noticeable camera bump, so using this flat on a desk will mean that the phone will move on every press of the display.

Since this is a budget smartphone, you will find a two sim-card tray, as well as a 3.5mm headphone jack. You will also find a fingerprint sensor which is added to the power button itself. In my testing, it is somewhat accurate, albeit it is not as fast as flagship devices.

You also get dual speakers that are placed at the top and the bottom of the device and I have to say that they are pretty loud. Its support for aptX, aptX HD, and LDAC codecs make it also an enticing choice if you are going to use Bluetooth speakers.

Lastly, the Poco X3 has an IP53 rating which means that it can handle dust and a couple of splashes. Just do not submerge this device or go out there in the pouring rain.

Display

Xiaomi Poco X3 Review 2020

What’s interesting about the Poco X3 is that it has a 120Hz display. Here, you will get a 6.67-inch IPS display with a resolution of 2400 x 1080 and an aspect ratio of 20:9. You will also love the fact that it can support HDR10 as well, though keep in mind that this is still using an IPS panel, so its contrast is not as good as those phones with OLED displays.

Still, I find the colors to be quite punchy and vibrant, and the brightness caps at 450 nits which is quite impressive for an affordable smartphone.

Xiaomi has done a good job of making sure that the phone’s fast display won’t eat through the battery like butter by enabling a variable refresh rate. This means that if the situation doesn’t call for a fast display, the screens’ refresh rate will dial back down a little bit to save on battery. Of course, you can set it to full 120Hz all of the time, though you have to be carrying its charger with you at all times.

All in all, I am quite impressed by the Poco X3’s display. Even if it is just an IPS screen, it looks really nice and its peak brightness ensures that you can use the phone even in direct sunlight.

Camera

Normally, I do not take too much time on a budget smartphone’s camera array simply because most companies overlook this aspect anyway and would just put in some cameras and be done with it. But, the Poco X3 is different.

You see, aside from the fact that this device has four cameras at the back, they are quite respectable in terms of performance.

You get a 64-megapixel wide-angle main shooter that produces vibrant shots and perfect dynamic range. Its 13-megapixel ultra-wide camera is okay, though its performance is not on par with other ultra-wide sensors in mid-range phones.

The last two cameras are macro and depth lenses which perform admirably well, especially if you decide to use the device’s specific camera features.

You can record 4K videos at 30 frames per second but when you go for this resolution, you will not have any image stabilization at all and it would be fitting if you use a gimbal for stabilization.

If you are recording videos at HD or Full HD, then you will find that the cameras do a pretty good job in terms of performance and quality.

The 20-megapixel selfie camera is no slouch either. It can take high-quality photos of yourself or a group and its quality shines when you are using video-conferencing apps.

All in all, I am happy with the Poco X3’s cameras. The only thing that I do not like about them is that they create a bit of a bulge which is noticeable if you put the device on a desk.

Specs and Performance

Xiaomi Poco X3

  • Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 732G
  • GPU: Adreno 618
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Storage: 64/128GB, expandable via MicroSD
  • Display: 6.67-inch IPS LCD, 2400 x 1080 resolution, 120Hz Refresh Rate, 240Hz Touch Sampling Rate, HDR10, Corning Gorilla Glass 5
  • Camera: 64-megapixel Sony IMX682 main sensor (f/1.89), 13-megapixel ultra-wide (f/2.2, 119-degrees field of view), 2-megapixel macro (f/2.4), 2-megapixel depth (f/2.4); 20-megapixel (f/2.2) selfie camera
  • SIM: Dual Sim or 1 SIM + microSD card
  • Connectivity: WiFi 5, Bluetooth 5.1, NFC, USB-C, 3.5mm port
  • Battery: 5,160 mAh, 33-Watt Charger
  • Dimensions: 165.3 x 76.8 x 9.4mm
  • Weight: 215 grams
  • Colors: Shadow Gray, Cobalt Blue

The Poco X3’s performance is on par with the Google Pixel 4a and other phones that come with the Snapdragon 732G chipset.

For those of you who do not know, the Snapdragon 732G chipset is on the lower end of mid-range chipsets. It is not bad by any means but it certainly doesn’t come close to the 765G (which is found in phones such as the OnePlus Nord). 

You can still expect relatively good performance across the board, but you will find that the phone struggles to handle graphically demanding games. For the most part, you shouldn’t worry too much about it.

Software

The Xiaomi Poco X3 is packed with the company’s MIUI 12 operating system which is just a skin of Android 10 with Xiaomi’s spin on the said OS. It is pretty polished, though it will take some time for you to understand its features.

Now, when you are getting a budget product, you can expect some corners to be cut somewhere, right? While that is not evident in the design, it is definitely evident when it comes to the software.

You see, for Xiaomi to get some profits when selling affordable phones, they have to do something to make that a reality and in the Poco X3, it is by way of in-OS ads.

The ads aren’t there in plain sight, but it will be shown to you whenever you install something from the Google Play Store, as well as in some areas of the phone’s settings.

They are not intrusive by any means, but some people might find it annoying that you will see ads on a phone that you’ve paid for.

To be honest, this isn’t a huge deal considering that you are getting a pretty good smartphone at an affordable price. But if you are not okay with this (especially since there are some concerns about privacy), then you might want to find something else.

Battery

Xiaomi Poco X3 NFC

This device is a survivor as it can last a comfortable two days before needing a charge. The Poco X3 comes with a hefty 5,160 mAh battery with a 33-watt charger in the box.

Even if you play all day or watch content online to your heart’s content, this device can handle them without any issue.

I have to really tax this device for the battery to run out in a single day, which means that if you only use this thing moderately, you could be seeing a 2-3-day battery life.

Charging the Poco X3 is also not a problem at all. Its included 33-watt charger ensures that the device gets its battery from 0-100 in just under 2 hours.

Sadly, there is no support for wireless charging, but that is to be expected given that this is a budget device.

Verdict

If you are looking for a great budget phone, the Xiaomi Poco X3 is definitely one of them. It has a fast 120Hz display, good brightness levels, great battery life, and overall good build quality.

You might have an issue with the ads that are found in some parts of the operating system, but to me, they are not obtrusive at all.

If you are interested in getting the Xiaomi Poco X3, you can get the NFC version for just $250 for the 6GB/128GB version.

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Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus Review- The First 120Hz Tablet in the Market

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Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus Review

Samsung is a well-known smartphone manufacturer but the company is also known to develop tablets even though they are not as popular as they were before.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus was recently released and if you want to know how it performs, do read through the rest of the article to find out.

Design

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus is a premium tablet and as such, you can expect premium looks and better overall build quality compared to other tablets in the market.

True enough, this tablet has an aluminum chassis that still maintains a relatively lightweight form factor at just 575 grams.

You can find the sides are made of high-quality metal and it is also a pleasure to look at as well. The Mystic Black variant of the tablet looks really nice, though you also have two other color options if you’re not a fan of the aesthetic.

The charging port is located at the bottom and as expected with modern mobile devices, there will be no headphone jacks on this one. You could use the Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus if you want as this thing supports Bluetooth 5.1 for impressive connectivity.

At the back, you will find its camera and a magnetic strip that allows you to place the included S-pen on it. This also serves as the charging port, though you have to orientate the pen to point towards the camera to initiate the charging procedure.

While I am not a fan of the magnetic strip on the back, you could stick the S-Pen on the side if you want and I like it more than the former.

Do not worry because if you are not comfortable with the S-Pen’s original placement, you can buy a folio keyboard cover that houses the included accessory nicely so you won’t lose it.

Speaking of accessories, the Folio keyboard cover is pretty nice and you have a choice of colors to choose from.

The keyboard itself is responsive, though it is not as responsive as the keyboard attachment in Microsoft Surface devices.

Display

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus Review 2020

Before I say anything about the display, do keep in mind that there are two versions of this tablet. You have the base model Galaxy Tab S7 and the one I am talking about in this article is the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus which is the bigger one.

It is important to make the distinction early on because the base model actually has a different display panel than the plus version.

The bigger variant comes with a 12.4-inch Super AMOLED display while the base version only comes with an 11-inch LCD panel. If you ask me, the AMOLED panel looks really crisp and stunning.

For the resolution, this thing supports 2800 x 1752 and what’s interesting is that Samsung has finally cracked the code when it comes to high refresh rate display as well.

You see, the rich and vibrant panel can also operate smoothly because it can also support the 120Hz refresh rate as well. And the best part? You can utilize its native resolution while also having the smoother refresh rate enabled as well and that’s really impressive!

You do not have to worry too much about battery life, though, because the screen has a variable refresh rate which means that the panel downclocks itself if there is no need for that boost in refresh rate. I am just happy that Samsung has finally cracked the code!

Using the S-Pen on the tablet itself is pretty smooth and accurate, though I am just a bit disappointed by the fact that it doesn’t have good palm detection compared to the iPad Pro. Artists and creatives should definitely be wary about the placement of their hands when they are drawing something on the screen.

Software

It is important that we tackle the software of this device. The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus comes with Android 10 with the company’s own One UI overlay on top.

While I am okay with the user interface, most app developers usually only focus on how their apps look on smartphones as tablets have become less popular every year.

That being said, there are some applications that might not utilize the entire screen real estate (especially considering that this device has an aspect ratio of 16:10).

There is a workaround and that is the company’s DeX. Samsung DeX, to put it simply, turns your tablet into a desktop computer wherein the interface is akin to a Windows-based machine.

Once enabled, you can resize the apps’ windows so that you can do true multitasking (something that is still not possible with the iPad Pro).

You can use a wireless mouse and have it connected via Bluetooth to truly simulate the experience of using a desktop computer.

There is just one catch- the apps should not be used in full screen because, as I’ve said, the app’s UI does not fully utilize the entire screen.

I hope that app developers will provide more support for bigger devices or tablets in general in the near future.

Specs and Performance

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus

  • Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus
  • RAM: 6GB or 8GB
  • Storage: 128GB or 256GB, microSD card support up to 1TB
  • Display: 12.4-inch Super AMOLED, 2800 x 1752 resolution, 120Hz Screen Refresh Rate, 16:10 aspect ratio
  • Operating System: Android 10, One UI
  • Cameras: 13-megapixel wide-angle lens, 5-megapixel ultra-wide; 8-megapixel selfie
  • Battery: 10,090 mAh
  • Weight: 575 grams

For you to truly multitask on a mobile device, it should be equipped with a processor that can handle multiple workloads. I am just happy that Samsung finally went with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus chipset on all of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus devices, which means that our folks in Europe and Asia will finally be able to get a hold of a Snapdragon-enabled device.

Although its performance is a bit slower than the Ipad Pro, it certainly has enough horsepower to handle any applications you can throw at it.

Samsung also promises 3-year software support on the Tab S7 Plus which means that you not only get Android 11 sometime soon, but the device will also support versions 12 and 13 as well.

I don’t feel the need to talk about the cameras of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus because they are mediocre at best and they are nothing out of the ordinary, so I’ve skipped that part altogether.

Battery

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus S-Pen

A huge device with powerful specs definitely needs to have a beefy battery and the 10,090 mAh battery on this thing certainly delivers.

With moderate use, you can have this device powered up for more than two days and that is truly impressive given that most other devices cannot last this long.

There is also a 45-watt charger included in the box which should top up this device in less than 2 hours from 0%.

It is just a bit sad that the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus doesn’t support wireless charging, though it is not really a huge deal for some users.

Verdict

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus, I should say, is the best Android tablet on the market in 2020. It has a huge and vibrant screen, has a beefy battery, has powerful components, and its build quality is truly premium.

Its S-Pen is relatively accurate and it would have been nice if the magnetic charging strip at the back has more powerful magnets, but it is still good nevertheless.

Although this tablet has two cameras at the back and a selfie camera, there is really nothing special about them at all. They are there if you need them, though it would be best if you use something like the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra instead.

There is a 5G variant that is going to be released in a month’s time and it will cost you more.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus costs $849 for the 6GB/128GB version and $999 for the 8GB/256GB version. There is still no word about the 5G variant’s pricing at the time of writing this article.

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Nubia Red Magic 5G- A Very Competent Gaming Phone

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Nubia Red Magic 5G Review

Everything is going mobile now- from work to play, you can always expect programs that used to only work on desktops to now also work on mobile devices as well.

Gaming phones, as the pundits would say, are borne out of the necessity for smartphones that can be used for hours on end, especially since gaming, in general, can be quite taxing to the device.

While there aren’t a lot of gaming phones out there, one phone that you might find great is the Nubia Red Magic 5G. Is it any good? Let’s find out!

Design

While there are some phones that look pretty much generic or your ‘everyday’ phone, the Nubia Red Magic 5G is different; it definitely screams ‘gamer phone’ because of its aesthetic.

The front of the phone is a pretty standard affair. You’ve got a simple-looking display but once you flip the device, you will see that it is indeed made for gamers.

You get a combination of red and blue color schemes with the ‘Redmagic’ moniker in the middle of the phone. If you do not like this, there is also a black and red version as well.

To the right of the name are the three cameras and on the left is the brand logo. And oh, did I mention that the Redmagic name is RGB?

It is a bit on the chunkier side at 218 grams but despite its bigger form factor, it is surprisingly not that heavy when you hold the phone.

The right side of the device is quite busy because aside from the standard volume and power buttons, you also get to have two shoulder buttons as well.

People who have used game controllers before (like from the Playstation and Xbox consoles) should be familiar with them, but for the people who do not know, shoulder buttons are just extra buttons that you can quickly toggle to perform a certain task. More on this later.

Another striking design feature of the Red Magic 5G is its air vents which are situated on the left side of the phone.

Because this device makes use of a physical fan (yes, there is a small fan inside), as well as liquid active cooling, the hot air needs an exhaust to get out and that is why it has special vents. It looks weird but it doesn’t really hamper your ability to grip the device.

As for the audio solution, the phone has a front-firing speaker on the earpiece and another down-firing one at the bottom.

Players will love the fact that this gaming phone comes with a headphone jack at the top so you can plug in your favorite headsets for even an even more immersive experience.

Display

Nubia Red Magic 5G

Aside from the loud gamer aesthetic, another thing why the Nubia Red Magic 5G is called a gaming phone is its display.

It comes with a 6.65-inch 2340×1080 AMOLED screen but where it shines is its super-fast 144Hz screen refresh rate.

When you look at reviews of this online on streaming platforms, it won’t do you justice simply because Youtube, for example, caps its frame rate at 60 fps. You have to actually use the device to see the difference (literally).

Now, what happens when your phone has a high refresh rate? Well, everything will look smoother and that is something that you want when you are playing a game.

While other gaming phones such as the Razer Phone 2 and Black Shark 2 have high refresh rate displays, this one has 144hz and that is quite impressive.

You might argue that the 24hz additional refresh rate is negligible to the naked eye and in some cases, I agree. This is especially true if you haven’t been accustomed to high-refresh-rate gaming before.

However, as an experienced gamer myself, I can really tell the difference, albeit that I wouldn’t really cry over it if the phone comes with a 120hz display like the rest of the bunch.

The AMOLED screen provides you with amazing color accuracy and the display is punchy and vibrant. Just do not expect Samsung-level performance when it comes to it.

Its 1080p Full HD resolution might also deter you from buying this device since its pixel density is not up to par with other devices, but for most people, it will definitely suffice.

Camera

People who want to have a competitive camera setup in a phone might not like the Red Magic 5G.

Even though the phone comes with Sony’s 64-megapixel IMX686 sensor, a 2-megapixel macro sensor, and an 8-megapixel ultra-wide sensor, the images are okay at best.

While they do produce photos that have nearly true-to-life colors, the shots that you can make in dim environments aren’t that good at all.

The camera uses AI technology to ensure that your photos will automatically focus on the subject without too much tinkering.

Despite the fact that there are a lot of options you can toggle on the camera app itself, it is not as robust compared to what Huawei phones have (and also not as simple as other competitors).

The front camera is an 8-megapixel shooter and it is definitely not something special. It is just there as it is customary for modern smartphones to have one.

You could say that despite its 3-camera setup at the back, the feature is definitely not its strongest suit.

Battery

Since this phone is intended for gaming, it should come with a hefty battery and the company delivered on that end.

The Red Magic 5G comes with a hefty 4,500mAh battery and while this is not the same as the Asus ROG phone 2 that has a bigger 5000mAh battery, Nubia did some magic to make it last longer than what the spec sheet says.

If you use the phone strictly for gaming, you should be able to get 5-6 hours of gameplay depending on how taxing the game is on the said device. You can even extend it by dialing the phone’s refresh rate to 60Hz (which is the standard option).

While the company did mention that the phone can support a 55-watt charger, it is not included in the box and you will have to spend more money if you want to get one.

What is included in the box, however, is a measly 18-watt charger that can charge the device fully at around 90 minutes or so.

It is also worth noting that the phone doesn’t support wireless charging, so people that have a wireless charging cradle will not be able to use it with this product.

Gaming

The specs of this device are pretty good, especially if you want to play the most demanding games.

Even when you play graphically-intensive 3D games such as Call of Duty, PUBG, Fortnite, and Asphalt 9 and crank all of their graphical settings to 11, the Red Magic 5G still performs admirably well.

The 144hz display has a variable refresh rate which means that in some areas of the game, the refresh rate will dial back down to 90hz if they aren’t needed. Of course, you can set it to stick to 60hz, but why would you do that?

I mentioned earlier that the device comes with shoulder buttons on the right side of the phone. That is because most smartphones are usually placed on landscape orientation if people want to play.

The shoulder buttons actually do not do anything by default. They can only be configured while using the phone’s ‘Game Space’ functionality. They are quite responsive and you could say that they are positioned perfectly well for those snappy moves.

As a gaming phone, it should come with a competent cooling solution to prevent the device from heating up. That is why the Red Magic 5G is equipped with a liquid-cooling solution and some air vents on the left side of the phone to keep things cool.

The audio solution is okay. The speakers are quite loud, but I would still recommend using a gaming headset or an audiophile solution for an even better gaming experience.

Game Space

This is a unique feature of the phone. The Game Space is basically just an app that you can fire up and will act as a hub for all of your games. When you launch games from there, they will automatically be boosted, meaning, all of the phone’s resources will be focused on that one game and nothing more.

The Game Space also allows you to tweak the fans so that the phone will never heat up that badly. By default, it is set at the intelligent adjustment option that will ramp the fans up depending on the temperature of the device, though you can also set it to rapid cooling which sets the fans RPM to the max when needed.

Its interface is okay but I am not a real fan. It does allow you to tweak some gamer-centric features, but other than that, it is just another app.

Software

Nubia Red Magic 5G 2020

The phone comes with the company’s RedMagic OS 3.0 which is essentially just a vanilla version of Android 10. It is what you can call a ‘pure stock’ ROM simply because there are not a lot of pre-installed apps on the device.

While the Nubia Red Magic 5G boasts amazing gaming capabilities, it definitely lacks in the software department. Even though some options are considered a standard affair in some devices, it just saddens me that that simple detail is not included in this one.

Take for instance the battery percentage indicator. By default, you cannot see the battery percentage and you will have to dig through various settings to know how much juice your device has left.

Aside from that, the notifications panel- something that is usually populated by different notifications across various apps- does not display anything. Really, this is disappointing.

On top of that, you cannot use any other app launcher on the market. Part of what makes the Android experience so much better than the iOS is its customizability, so for the people that want to tinker with their device’s interface, this might disappoint them.

Even though the company said that they are going to release some updates that will fix these current issues in the future, they are definitely not quick to release one. 

Specifications

  • Display- 6.65-inch AMOLED, Full HD (2340×1080), 144Hz Refresh Rate, Corning Gorilla Glass Protected
  • Chipset- Snapdragon 865 Octa-core processor
  • GPU- Adreno 650
  • RAM- 8GB or 12GB
  • Cameras- 64-megapixel main shooter, 2-megapixel macro, 8-megapixel wide-angle (120-degree); 8-megapixel front camera
  • Storage- 128GB or 256GB UFS 3.0 
  • Battery- 4500mAh capable of 55-watt rapid charging. 18-watt charger included
  • Sensors- Gyroscope, Fingerprint, Electronic Compass, G-Sensor, Ambient Light, Sensor Hub
  • Connectivity- WiFi AC, GPS, Bluetooth 5.1, NFC, 5G-compatible, Dual Sim
  • Software- Android 10, Redmagic OS 3.0
  • Dimensions- 168.56 x 78 x 9.75mm, 218 grams
  • Available Colors- Pulse, Eclipse Black

Verdict

The Nubia Red Magic 5G is a gaming phone first and foremost. It has an impressive 144hz display, fully configurable shoulder buttons, an active cooling solution, and software that can boost the device’s gaming performance.

Although it comes with respectable specs, it definitely falls short on some aspects. The camera is okay, the battery is great (albeit, doesn’t come with a 55-watt charger out of the box), the software is buggy, and a lot of things can be improved.

For $659, the Red Magic 5G is a truly competitive gaming phone but if you want to use the device for purposes other than gaming, this might not be the best choice for you.

Pros

  • Super-fast 144Hz AMOLED Display
  • Long-lasting battery life
  • Fully configurable shoulder buttons
  • Active cooling prevents the phone from overheating

Cons

  • Software is buggy
  • Camera is mediocre compared to other phones of its class
  • Lack of customization

News

TikTok and WeChat Bans- What We Know So Far

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Tiktok and WeChat Ban

It seems that President Trump’s ban on Chinese tech giants are in full swing after one of the most powerful men in the world issued bans on popular Chinese-owned apps: TikTok and WeChat.

TikTok is a popular platform that allows people to record and upload user-generated content, which is essentially a means of uploading viral content over the internet.

WeChat is a chat platform that also includes a payment portal and a news corner. It is a more robust application that could potentially be a problem when it comes to your data and privacy in general, at least, that’s what Trump thinks.

The Ban

Tiktok Ban

In a previous post, President Trump has given ByteDance, the company that created TikTok, about 45 days for them to reach an agreement with Microsoft. If a deal doesn’t push through, the application will no longer be allowed to operate in the U.S. Apparently, there is a new deal that was made and the stakeholder is a different company now.

Oracle has won the bidding war so instead of Microsoft making a deal with the Chinese-based company, it is now Oracle that will take the helm. The company was supposed to oversee the deal but apparently, it couldn’t reach an accord with ByteDance, which prompted Trump to remind the Chinese company that it only had until November 12 to operate.

In what appears to be an insult to ByteDance, Trump also added that its popular application will no longer be available in the Google Play Store and Apple App Store starting Sunday, September 20.

On a similar note, WeChat also suffers the same fate as the president of the United States have also issued an order for the US-owned mobile operating system giants to remove the said application in their respective app stores.

At the time of writing, both Apple and Google haven’t issued any statements but they did mention in the past that they are going to abide by the laws of the country.

President Trump, on Friday, has issued an ultimatum where the popular Chinese export will no longer be able to operate within U.S. soil if it cannot reach a deal with Oracle.

ByteDance representatives, as well as the Chinese government, were adamant against the decision stating that ByteDance was not given a chance of due process. The Chinese government is mulling over the possibility of doing the same with US-owned companies, so we could see some ramifications of this particular threat made by Trump.

Apparently, the ban on both WeChat and TikTok spawned over fears that the Chinese-owned apps are getting private data from its consumers.

There is some truth to this in the sense that TikTok wants to gain access to a lot of permissions that have no integral bearing on the app’s features, which is kind of fishy when you really think about it.

But, in a statement that was released by ByteDance, the only information that was extracted from users is data that the users are willing to share and nothing else. This is also stipulated in the terms and conditions and if users agreed to this, then the app developer has the right to the data.

Some Hope

ByteDance is probably happy by the fact that it has received quite a number of downloads on Saturday, the supposed last day that American citizens can download the application.

True enough, in a statement that was released by the said company, it had received an 800% surge in users over the weekend- something that was unprecedented in recent times.

Just a reminder, you can still use TikTok on your mobile device until November 12 (or longer, depending on whether or not Oracle and ByteDance will reach an agreement).

An update on the deal: Trump’s administration wants Walmart to join the agreement, which would mean that both Oracle and Walmart will be major stakeholders of ByteDance.

It is also worth noting that both of the US-based companies will only own about 20% of the entire share of the company. That means that ByteDance will still own the vast majority of TikTok and other future applications that are going to be developed.

The move is just to ensure that the Chinese-based company will not overstep its boundaries, especially when it comes to national security.

What About WeChat?

WeChat Ban

It still remains to be seen whether or not WeChat will be permanently banned in the U.S. or not, but American users will no longer be able to use the said application until further notice.

Judge Laurel Beeler, one of the judges that handled the case, said that the ban has created a lot of serious questions about the First Amendment rights of some Chinese-Americans.

Apparently, WeChat is the only chat application that is allowed to operate within Chinese soil, so banning this application in the U.S. would mean that some Chinese people who are not fluent in English, will have a hard time communicating with their relatives in China.

I think it is precisely because of this reason why Trump and his administration wants to ban WeChat. It apparently has the means of communicating some sensitive data from American citizens that could potentially be used and be weaponized by the Chinese government. Although these claims could potentially be true, there is no tangible evidence to suggest that this is indeed the case.

While TikTok could still be used by Americans until Walmart and Oracle are able to reach a deal, the same cannot be said for WeChat.

The good thing is that there tons of other messaging apps that American citizens can use, but this will certainly not bode well for the Chinese-American community.

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Xiaomi Poco X3 Review- An Appealing Budget Smartphone with a 120Hz Display

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Xiaomi Poco X3 Review

Because schools and offices are employing study and work from home schemes due to the Covid-19 pandemic, getting a smartphone is quite appealing in this day and age. That is because such portable devices are handy and you can conduct video conferences, as well as communicate with other people from across the world.

That being said, if you have only a limited budget, then I highly recommend that you look at the Xiaomi Poco X3. I am going to be reviewing it today, so sit tight and read through the rest of this content piece.

Design

Before I begin, I just want to say that there are two versions of this phone. You might find that there is one that is called ‘Poco X3 NFC’ and the other version doesn’t have the ‘NFC’ in its moniker. This implies that one doesn’t come with the said technology, so if you are going to buy this device, make sure that you are getting the right version.

That being said, we used to think that budget smartphones do not look classy, but you have to change that mindset because phone manufacturers like Xiaomi make incredible-looking phones for a cheaper price.

The Poco X3 might have a polycarbonate body but it certainly doesn’t look or feel cheap. In fact, once you get a hold of the device, you will instantly find that it can take a beating while still having that elegant look.

At the back, you will find the ‘Poco’ branding situated a little bit near the charging port while at the top, you will find its quad-camera array. Do keep in mind that there is a noticeable camera bump, so using this flat on a desk will mean that the phone will move on every press of the display.

Since this is a budget smartphone, you will find a two sim-card tray, as well as a 3.5mm headphone jack. You will also find a fingerprint sensor which is added to the power button itself. In my testing, it is somewhat accurate, albeit it is not as fast as flagship devices.

You also get dual speakers that are placed at the top and the bottom of the device and I have to say that they are pretty loud. Its support for aptX, aptX HD, and LDAC codecs make it also an enticing choice if you are going to use Bluetooth speakers.

Lastly, the Poco X3 has an IP53 rating which means that it can handle dust and a couple of splashes. Just do not submerge this device or go out there in the pouring rain.

Display

Xiaomi Poco X3 Review 2020

What’s interesting about the Poco X3 is that it has a 120Hz display. Here, you will get a 6.67-inch IPS display with a resolution of 2400 x 1080 and an aspect ratio of 20:9. You will also love the fact that it can support HDR10 as well, though keep in mind that this is still using an IPS panel, so its contrast is not as good as those phones with OLED displays.

Still, I find the colors to be quite punchy and vibrant, and the brightness caps at 450 nits which is quite impressive for an affordable smartphone.

Xiaomi has done a good job of making sure that the phone’s fast display won’t eat through the battery like butter by enabling a variable refresh rate. This means that if the situation doesn’t call for a fast display, the screens’ refresh rate will dial back down a little bit to save on battery. Of course, you can set it to full 120Hz all of the time, though you have to be carrying its charger with you at all times.

All in all, I am quite impressed by the Poco X3’s display. Even if it is just an IPS screen, it looks really nice and its peak brightness ensures that you can use the phone even in direct sunlight.

Camera

Normally, I do not take too much time on a budget smartphone’s camera array simply because most companies overlook this aspect anyway and would just put in some cameras and be done with it. But, the Poco X3 is different.

You see, aside from the fact that this device has four cameras at the back, they are quite respectable in terms of performance.

You get a 64-megapixel wide-angle main shooter that produces vibrant shots and perfect dynamic range. Its 13-megapixel ultra-wide camera is okay, though its performance is not on par with other ultra-wide sensors in mid-range phones.

The last two cameras are macro and depth lenses which perform admirably well, especially if you decide to use the device’s specific camera features.

You can record 4K videos at 30 frames per second but when you go for this resolution, you will not have any image stabilization at all and it would be fitting if you use a gimbal for stabilization.

If you are recording videos at HD or Full HD, then you will find that the cameras do a pretty good job in terms of performance and quality.

The 20-megapixel selfie camera is no slouch either. It can take high-quality photos of yourself or a group and its quality shines when you are using video-conferencing apps.

All in all, I am happy with the Poco X3’s cameras. The only thing that I do not like about them is that they create a bit of a bulge which is noticeable if you put the device on a desk.

Specs and Performance

Xiaomi Poco X3

  • Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 732G
  • GPU: Adreno 618
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Storage: 64/128GB, expandable via MicroSD
  • Display: 6.67-inch IPS LCD, 2400 x 1080 resolution, 120Hz Refresh Rate, 240Hz Touch Sampling Rate, HDR10, Corning Gorilla Glass 5
  • Camera: 64-megapixel Sony IMX682 main sensor (f/1.89), 13-megapixel ultra-wide (f/2.2, 119-degrees field of view), 2-megapixel macro (f/2.4), 2-megapixel depth (f/2.4); 20-megapixel (f/2.2) selfie camera
  • SIM: Dual Sim or 1 SIM + microSD card
  • Connectivity: WiFi 5, Bluetooth 5.1, NFC, USB-C, 3.5mm port
  • Battery: 5,160 mAh, 33-Watt Charger
  • Dimensions: 165.3 x 76.8 x 9.4mm
  • Weight: 215 grams
  • Colors: Shadow Gray, Cobalt Blue

The Poco X3’s performance is on par with the Google Pixel 4a and other phones that come with the Snapdragon 732G chipset.

For those of you who do not know, the Snapdragon 732G chipset is on the lower end of mid-range chipsets. It is not bad by any means but it certainly doesn’t come close to the 765G (which is found in phones such as the OnePlus Nord). 

You can still expect relatively good performance across the board, but you will find that the phone struggles to handle graphically demanding games. For the most part, you shouldn’t worry too much about it.

Software

The Xiaomi Poco X3 is packed with the company’s MIUI 12 operating system which is just a skin of Android 10 with Xiaomi’s spin on the said OS. It is pretty polished, though it will take some time for you to understand its features.

Now, when you are getting a budget product, you can expect some corners to be cut somewhere, right? While that is not evident in the design, it is definitely evident when it comes to the software.

You see, for Xiaomi to get some profits when selling affordable phones, they have to do something to make that a reality and in the Poco X3, it is by way of in-OS ads.

The ads aren’t there in plain sight, but it will be shown to you whenever you install something from the Google Play Store, as well as in some areas of the phone’s settings.

They are not intrusive by any means, but some people might find it annoying that you will see ads on a phone that you’ve paid for.

To be honest, this isn’t a huge deal considering that you are getting a pretty good smartphone at an affordable price. But if you are not okay with this (especially since there are some concerns about privacy), then you might want to find something else.

Battery

Xiaomi Poco X3 NFC

This device is a survivor as it can last a comfortable two days before needing a charge. The Poco X3 comes with a hefty 5,160 mAh battery with a 33-watt charger in the box.

Even if you play all day or watch content online to your heart’s content, this device can handle them without any issue.

I have to really tax this device for the battery to run out in a single day, which means that if you only use this thing moderately, you could be seeing a 2-3-day battery life.

Charging the Poco X3 is also not a problem at all. Its included 33-watt charger ensures that the device gets its battery from 0-100 in just under 2 hours.

Sadly, there is no support for wireless charging, but that is to be expected given that this is a budget device.

Verdict

If you are looking for a great budget phone, the Xiaomi Poco X3 is definitely one of them. It has a fast 120Hz display, good brightness levels, great battery life, and overall good build quality.

You might have an issue with the ads that are found in some parts of the operating system, but to me, they are not obtrusive at all.

If you are interested in getting the Xiaomi Poco X3, you can get the NFC version for just $250 for the 6GB/128GB version.

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Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus Review- The First 120Hz Tablet in the Market

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Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus Review

Samsung is a well-known smartphone manufacturer but the company is also known to develop tablets even though they are not as popular as they were before.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus was recently released and if you want to know how it performs, do read through the rest of the article to find out.

Design

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus is a premium tablet and as such, you can expect premium looks and better overall build quality compared to other tablets in the market.

True enough, this tablet has an aluminum chassis that still maintains a relatively lightweight form factor at just 575 grams.

You can find the sides are made of high-quality metal and it is also a pleasure to look at as well. The Mystic Black variant of the tablet looks really nice, though you also have two other color options if you’re not a fan of the aesthetic.

The charging port is located at the bottom and as expected with modern mobile devices, there will be no headphone jacks on this one. You could use the Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus if you want as this thing supports Bluetooth 5.1 for impressive connectivity.

At the back, you will find its camera and a magnetic strip that allows you to place the included S-pen on it. This also serves as the charging port, though you have to orientate the pen to point towards the camera to initiate the charging procedure.

While I am not a fan of the magnetic strip on the back, you could stick the S-Pen on the side if you want and I like it more than the former.

Do not worry because if you are not comfortable with the S-Pen’s original placement, you can buy a folio keyboard cover that houses the included accessory nicely so you won’t lose it.

Speaking of accessories, the Folio keyboard cover is pretty nice and you have a choice of colors to choose from.

The keyboard itself is responsive, though it is not as responsive as the keyboard attachment in Microsoft Surface devices.

Display

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus Review 2020

Before I say anything about the display, do keep in mind that there are two versions of this tablet. You have the base model Galaxy Tab S7 and the one I am talking about in this article is the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus which is the bigger one.

It is important to make the distinction early on because the base model actually has a different display panel than the plus version.

The bigger variant comes with a 12.4-inch Super AMOLED display while the base version only comes with an 11-inch LCD panel. If you ask me, the AMOLED panel looks really crisp and stunning.

For the resolution, this thing supports 2800 x 1752 and what’s interesting is that Samsung has finally cracked the code when it comes to high refresh rate display as well.

You see, the rich and vibrant panel can also operate smoothly because it can also support the 120Hz refresh rate as well. And the best part? You can utilize its native resolution while also having the smoother refresh rate enabled as well and that’s really impressive!

You do not have to worry too much about battery life, though, because the screen has a variable refresh rate which means that the panel downclocks itself if there is no need for that boost in refresh rate. I am just happy that Samsung has finally cracked the code!

Using the S-Pen on the tablet itself is pretty smooth and accurate, though I am just a bit disappointed by the fact that it doesn’t have good palm detection compared to the iPad Pro. Artists and creatives should definitely be wary about the placement of their hands when they are drawing something on the screen.

Software

It is important that we tackle the software of this device. The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus comes with Android 10 with the company’s own One UI overlay on top.

While I am okay with the user interface, most app developers usually only focus on how their apps look on smartphones as tablets have become less popular every year.

That being said, there are some applications that might not utilize the entire screen real estate (especially considering that this device has an aspect ratio of 16:10).

There is a workaround and that is the company’s DeX. Samsung DeX, to put it simply, turns your tablet into a desktop computer wherein the interface is akin to a Windows-based machine.

Once enabled, you can resize the apps’ windows so that you can do true multitasking (something that is still not possible with the iPad Pro).

You can use a wireless mouse and have it connected via Bluetooth to truly simulate the experience of using a desktop computer.

There is just one catch- the apps should not be used in full screen because, as I’ve said, the app’s UI does not fully utilize the entire screen.

I hope that app developers will provide more support for bigger devices or tablets in general in the near future.

Specs and Performance

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus

  • Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus
  • RAM: 6GB or 8GB
  • Storage: 128GB or 256GB, microSD card support up to 1TB
  • Display: 12.4-inch Super AMOLED, 2800 x 1752 resolution, 120Hz Screen Refresh Rate, 16:10 aspect ratio
  • Operating System: Android 10, One UI
  • Cameras: 13-megapixel wide-angle lens, 5-megapixel ultra-wide; 8-megapixel selfie
  • Battery: 10,090 mAh
  • Weight: 575 grams

For you to truly multitask on a mobile device, it should be equipped with a processor that can handle multiple workloads. I am just happy that Samsung finally went with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus chipset on all of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus devices, which means that our folks in Europe and Asia will finally be able to get a hold of a Snapdragon-enabled device.

Although its performance is a bit slower than the Ipad Pro, it certainly has enough horsepower to handle any applications you can throw at it.

Samsung also promises 3-year software support on the Tab S7 Plus which means that you not only get Android 11 sometime soon, but the device will also support versions 12 and 13 as well.

I don’t feel the need to talk about the cameras of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus because they are mediocre at best and they are nothing out of the ordinary, so I’ve skipped that part altogether.

Battery

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus S-Pen

A huge device with powerful specs definitely needs to have a beefy battery and the 10,090 mAh battery on this thing certainly delivers.

With moderate use, you can have this device powered up for more than two days and that is truly impressive given that most other devices cannot last this long.

There is also a 45-watt charger included in the box which should top up this device in less than 2 hours from 0%.

It is just a bit sad that the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus doesn’t support wireless charging, though it is not really a huge deal for some users.

Verdict

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus, I should say, is the best Android tablet on the market in 2020. It has a huge and vibrant screen, has a beefy battery, has powerful components, and its build quality is truly premium.

Its S-Pen is relatively accurate and it would have been nice if the magnetic charging strip at the back has more powerful magnets, but it is still good nevertheless.

Although this tablet has two cameras at the back and a selfie camera, there is really nothing special about them at all. They are there if you need them, though it would be best if you use something like the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra instead.

There is a 5G variant that is going to be released in a month’s time and it will cost you more.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus costs $849 for the 6GB/128GB version and $999 for the 8GB/256GB version. There is still no word about the 5G variant’s pricing at the time of writing this article.

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