When you think about the best phones out there, pretty much every flagship device is nearly the same. So, companies have to make sure that they are including something that can help their products stand above the rest.
Oppo is a Chinese company that has been synonymous with phones that have fast charging capabilities, as well as amazing cameras. They have released a new flagship that will certainly appeal to many.
This article will be for the Oppo Find X2 Pro Review.
The Oppo Find X2 Pro is a really nice-looking device. There are two options here: You can buy a black-colored version that has a ceramic back and you also have an orange version that has a faux-leather design on its casing.
Most of the reviews (mine included) will be focusing more on the orange version, simply because it looks so much better than the ceramic one.
Anyway, if you do opt for the leather variant, you will find that the device is very nice to hold. Even if you do not use its included jelly case, the phone will never slip from your grasp.
The Oppo Find X2 Pro is a pretty large device. Its dimensions are 165.2 x 74.4 x 8.8mm. Despite its large stature, the device remains relatively thin so that you can easily slip it in and out of your pocket.
Keep in mind that the weight of the phone will be dependent upon the version you are getting. If you want a considerably lighter device, you should get the faux leather variant as it is 17 grams lighter (at 200 grams) than the ceramic black version which is 217 grams.
Aside from the ceramic or leather material, you will also find a prominent camera array at the back. And, when I say ‘prominent’, I mean that the cameras are so pronounced that the bump is definitely noticeable, especially if you put it on a desk.
Situated on the right side of the device, you will find a power button, as well as the volume controls. Sadly, there is no 3.5mm headphone jack on the X2 Pro.
At the bottom, you will find the lone USB-C port for faster data transfer speeds, as well as fast charging capabilities.
One of the main features of the Oppo Find X2 Pro is its screen and it definitely shows (no pun intended).
The 6.78-inch AMOLED display has a resolution of 3168 x 1440, is HDR10-compatible, 120hz screen refresh rate, and has 800 nits of maximum brightness. In other words, the screen is definitely amazing.
Compared to the Samsung Galaxy S20, the X2 Pro’s display is meant for content consumption. So long as you are playing HDR content, watching your favorite shows and movies on this device is a dream.
It is worth noting that the device is curved on the edges so it might be prone to accidental touches (especially if you have huge hands like me). The good thing, though, is that you can train yourself to use the phone a certain way to prevent this from happening.
While I enjoy consuming any media on the device, I really dislike the fact that the hole-punch camera is so prominent. Sure, the screen real estate is huge, but people can be annoyed at the black camera dot on the left side of the display.
Just like the S20, you can only enjoy the faster screen refresh rate if you lower the resolution to just 1080p.
Since a faster screen refresh rate would normally drain the battery faster, you can toggle the option to automatically switch between modes quickly and easily depending on usage.
The company seems to be taking notes from Google and Apple in that it is not just about the cameras that are built into a phone but rather, the software needs to be good as well and that is definitely evident on this device.
For starters, the main shooter uses the Sony IMX689 lens which is touted to be the best 48-megapixel lens inside a smartphone to date. It has an aperture of f/1.7 which is basically the best out there.
When engaging in low-light photography, the photos are not noisy at all. In fact, when given ample lighting, the images are bold and vibrant and they are definitely the best in class (rivaling the iPhone 11 Pro and Google Pixel 4 XL).
The second lens is a 13-megapixel telephoto shooter that gives people the ability to zoom in on a subject up to 60x. Although I wouldn’t recommend that you zoom that far because it introduces image noise, that is certainly an option.
The 5x optical zoom of the said lens is where the game is at. There is no perceivable noise and the images remain impeccable just like you’re using no zoom at all.
Finally, you have a 48-megapixel ultra-wide sensor with an aperture of f/2.2. Fans of ultra-wide shots would definitely love the phone’s capability to do such a thing.
People that want to record 4K videos will be happy to know that they can do it with the X2 Pro. You can record 4K videos at either 30 or 60fps which is nice. Unfortunately, there is no option to record anything at 8K and that is okay considering that there are only a handful of flagships out there that have that capability.
To cap the phone’s camera setup, you have a 32-megapixel selfie camera with an aperture of f/2.4.
If there is one negative that I would say about the X2 Pro’s cameras, it would be that its autofocus is not as fast as the others.
Specs and Performance
- Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
- GPU: Adreno 650
- RAM: 12GB LPDDR5
- Storage: 512GB, UFS 3.0
- Display: 6.7-inch AMOLED, 3168 x 1440 resolution, 120hz screen refresh rate, 100% P3 Color gamut, 800 nits brightness, Corning Gorilla Glass 6
- Camera: (Back) 48-megapixel Sony IMX689 wide-angle f/1.7, 13-megapixel periscope telephoto f/3.0, 48-megapixel ultra-wide f/2.2; 32-megapixel f/2.4 selfie camera
- Battery: 4260 mAh w/ 65-watt SuperVOOC 2.0 charger
- OS: Android 10/ColorOS 7.1
- Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.1, WiFi 6 Support, USB-C, NFC, 5G-enabled
When it comes to performance, the Oppo Find X2 Pro is a definite frontrunner. Aside from having the latest and greatest chipset from Qualcomm, it is also fitted with 12GB of LPDDR5 RAM which is not only enough for multitasking but it is more than capable of providing you with enough memory to run multiple apps at once without a hitch.
The phone runs on Android 10 with the company’s ColorOS 7.1 overlay and it is pretty cool from an aesthetic standpoint.
It is a bit similar to the vanilla version of the OS, albeit you are given options to tweak some of the design aspects of the device (such as customizing the icons, for example).
One thing I love is that you can easily enable the one-hand mode which will make it easier for you to navigate through the different menus with just using a single hand. This is ideal since the display is quite huge and having this option is a nice addition indeed.
Oppo is actually one of the companies that have introduced fast charging in the industry. The phone comes with 4260 mAh which is definitely one of the heftiest ones that you can find on the market. But, it is not only the battery capacity that is noteworthy but also the charger as well.
Included in the box is the company’s SuperVOOC 2.0 fast charger. It is a 65-watt charger that is capable of charging the device in just under 90 minutes.
How impressive is it? Well, just think about this. I charged the device from 23% and in 15 minutes, it got to 70%. It is that amazing!
Despite how impressive the device’s charger is, I am sad to say that wireless charging is not possible with the device. It is a bit of a bummer and since the price of the phone is so steep, it would have been nice if you were given the option to wirelessly charge your smartphone.
The Oppo Find X2 Pro is truly a great phone in every way. Its headline display is great from a content-consumption standpoint. Its battery life is superb and the charger is equally amazing. The cameras are pretty good and it even rivals some of the best phones in the US. Its performance package is on-par with the other flagships as well.
Despite so many things to love about this device, there are a couple of things that I want to point out. First is the inability of the device to charge wirelessly. A premium phone in 2020 should have that feature at least.
Second, the lack of a headphone jack. This is not too surprising since most flagships have already ditched this, but it would have been nice to have one regardless.
Lastly, its pricing and availability. The price of this phone is $1,450 and to make matters worse, the phone is not originally available in the United States. If you want to get your hands on one, you will have to have it shipped to the US which may include shipping fees on top of the huge asking price.
But all in all, this flagship phone is truly a premium device- both in specs and its price.
Google Nest Audio vs Amazon Echo- The Battle of the New ‘Smart’ Speakers
Smart home speakers are not as popular as mobile phones, but in my opinion, it actually should be.
You see, companies are slowly rolling out smart home devices so that your life will be so much easier given the convenience of having them.
That being said, I am going to be talking about the Google Nest Audio and Amazon Echo speakers because they are the ones that are at the forefront when it comes to smart home speakers. Which of these should you choose? Read on to find out!
For those of you who do not know, Google Nest Audio is actually the Google Home speakers that were released just about a year ago. It seems that Google wanted to use a new moniker to denote that this particular thing can ‘nest’ your other smart home devices.
The Amazon Echo, on the other hand, refers to the medium-sized Bluetooth speaker that the largest online retailer sells. The company is set to release a new version of this device soon, so it would be interesting to see how well it performs.
Even though the new version of the Amazon Echo hasn’t arrived at our doorstep yet for an official review, this is not to say that we can somehow speculate what it can offer, especially considering that the company has provided us with some really good information about it.
With all of those out of the way, let’s talk more about the design first. The Google Nest Audio takes on a more cylindrical approach in that the speaker itself has a higher height than the Amazon Echo.
For that reason, you are getting a 75mm woofer and a single 19mm tweeter. Google touts the Google Nest Audio as a better sound solution compared to its original Google Home Speaker because of the changes.
On the other hand, the Amazon Echo, in my opinion, has better sound quality. That is thanks to its two 20mm tweeters and a huge 76.2mm woofer. Its design is more spherical but I am pleased (and surprised) that Amazon was able to include two tweeters on its Bluetooth speaker implementation.
At the base of the Amazon Echo is a blue light ring that changes the way it emits light depending on the current usage.
Both of these Bluetooth speakers are offered in various colors so you have different options to choose from.
If you look at the design of both speakers, you could make a case that the Amazon Echo wins this round when it comes to pure sound quality. Its two tweeters compared to the single tweeter on the Google Nest Audio, provides it with a much better chance of delivering mid-high sound frequencies.
This is not to discount the fact that Google has some tricks up its sleeves because its AI technology is smart enough to adjust the sound quality on the fly when needed.
Both of the speakers have an adaptive sound feature wherein if it detects that the ambient noise is loud enough, it increases the volume of whatever content you are consuming at that moment to compensate. This is using both of the speakers’ microphones. The volume should normalize to the last known level after it detects that the ambient sound has quieted down.
Of course, this is only my opinion after looking at the spec sheet because I will have to get my hands on these things before I can give my honest opinion. But, my initial assessment would be that the Amazon Echo delivers better sound compared to the Google Nest Audio.
To be able to provide you with ‘smart’ features, both the Google Nest Audio and Amazon Echo are equipped with processors that can handle just that.
The Google Nest Audio comes with the company’s TeraOPS A53 processor which is a quad-core chip that boasts of better performance compared to the company’s previous Bluetooth speakers.
On the other hand, Amazon’s own speaker is equipped with the AZ1 Neural Edge processor that, according to the company, should be more responsive to voice commands compared to previous versions.
It is hard to say who wins this round. You see, Amazon has Zigbee hub integration which means that your connected smart home devices have better compatibility with the said speaker because of this.
However, we all know that Google’s AI technology is so advanced (and even more accurate) than Alexa, so it could potentially provide you with better features overall compared to Amazon’s Bluetooth speaker.
Of course, I cannot truly say which one wins this round until I get to review these wireless audio solutions. In that case, stay tuned for more.
The Google Nest Audio will be available on October 5, while the Amazon Echo will not be released until later this month (October 22). That being said, both of these speakers will retail for $99.99, so stay tuned for our official product reviews to help you know which one you should ultimately choose for yourself.
Apple iPad 8th Generation Review- An Iterative Upgrade
When it comes to ease of use and convenience, people like getting Apple’s products because of its more streamlined approach to everything. Sure, there is a lot to tinker on Android but that is also precisely the reason why the user experience, at least for the layman, is not as great.
There is this saying that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Well, although I would have liked to say that here, I just don’t think that that approach applies here.
You see, the design of the 8th generation iPad is identical to its predecessor. As in everything about its aesthetics are similar which means that if you want to imagine what the new iPad looks like, all you have to do is look at the 7th gen variant.
Like all things, it can be a good thing or a bad thing. It is a good thing because that familiar design should feel right at home, especially for people that already own an iPad. It is bad because, in this day and age, more and more mobile devices have slimmer bezels and the new iPad still has those atrociously huge ones.
Don’t get me wrong, there are practical uses to having large bezels as it allows you to hold the tablet better when using it in landscape mode, but if you are watching online content, you can’t help but be bothered by the huge sides.
There are two versions of the 8th generation iPad and that is one with WiFi only and the other one having LTE. Its dimensions are 9.8 x 6.8 x 0.29. The only difference between the WiFi and the LTE versions is that the latter is a bit heavier at 495 grams compared to the 490 grams of the former.
Thankfully, Apple didn’t remove the headphone jack but if you are going to utilize its built-in speakers, you are better off using a good Bluetooth speaker instead.
The 8th generation iPad has a 10.2-inch Retina Display with a resolution of 2160 x 1620 and 264 pixels per inch or PPI. It has a good peak brightness at 500 nits, though you can still experience some problems when you are outside and the sun is shining brightly.
You can utilize the Apple Pencil on this device and it is also quite accurate as well (just keep in mind that it is sold separately).
What I love about iPads, in general, is that their displays provide you with crisp and clear details. Whether you are working on your documents or perhaps watching your favorite movies and TV shows, they do not disappoint.
Specs and Performance
- CPU: A12 Bionic
- GPU: Apple GPU (4-core graphics)
- RAM: 3GB
- Storage: 32GB/128GB
- Display: 10.2-inch Retina IPS LCD Display, 2160 x 1620, 4:3 aspect ratio, 500 nits brightness, 264 PPI
- OS: iPadOS 14
- Cameras: 8-megapixel (back), 1.2-megapixel (front)
- Connectivity: WiFi 802.11 AC, Bluetooth 4.2
- Battery: 32.4 Wh
So, if the 8th generation iPad has an identical design to its predecessor, what has changed here? Well, I am glad you asked. The only notable difference here is that the new model comes with the A12 Bionic chip and that’s pretty much it.
While you could be unhappy with the change, the new CPU actually beats its predecessor by a lot. By using Geekbench 5, single-core scores are about 60% higher than the 7th gen iPad and about 100% better in multi-core tasks than the previous model.
Granted that the said benchmark is relatively old, you couldn’t argue that the new processor is indeed way better than its predecessor.
Even when you are just using the tablet the way it should be used, you can really tell the difference. This is more evident if you are going to play some games.
Now, do not worry about the 3GB of RAM because the iOS ecosystem is quite streamlined and efficient that you normally wouldn’t need more than that.
It should also go without saying that the included cameras are just there for show and they do not really do anything special, so I don’t think that covering them is warranted here.
Sure, the new 8th generation iPad doesn’t bring a lot to the table, but its new processor is leaps and bounds better than its predecessor. Does that justify buying the new one? Probably not, especially if you already own the 7th generation model.
However, if you own an older iPad and you want better performance across the board, then you could probably spend your money to get one.
My gripe here is that there are only two storage options to choose from. You can get the 32GB variant for only $329 but in this day and age, 32GB is not a lot of storage space.
If you want more storage, you will need to spend an additional $100 premium just to get the 128GB model. In fact, I would go on to say that you should be buying this particular model compared to the 32GB variant. I just don’t like that the company is gouging you another $100 ($429 in total) just to get one.
The 8th generation iPad is disappointing in a lot of ways and its only redeeming quality is its new processor. It would have been nice if there is a redesign or that the lightning cable is changed to USB-C, but there is just not a lot of things to talk about here.
Therefore, I should say that the 8th generation iPad is just an iterative upgrade. Whether you want to buy it or not is entirely up to you.
Amazon Echo Studio Review- The Bigger ‘Echo’ Speaker That Competes
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?
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.
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.
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.
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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