Sunday, August 12, 2018
Wednesday, August 1, 2018
Value for money
All day battery life
MIUI (surprisingly good)
Free case in the box
Built-in Spam blocker works
Micro USB charging, not USB C
Uses hybrid dual SIM
Camera low light performance
5.99 inch IPS FHD display
4GB RAM, 64GB Storage
Dual Hybrid SIM with Micro SD
WIFI AC, Bluetooth 5, LTE
Camera 12MP+5MP and 13MP Front
Price Php 11,990 (US$220)
I've been a Samsung user since the Galaxy S2 (except for a year using LG). I decided to experiment. Can I live with a mid-range phone? What exactly are you giving up when you don’t buy a 40k ($800) device?
I had a difficult time choosing between a few mid-range devices like the Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1, Huawei Nova 3i, and a few Xiaomi phones. I finally picked the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 and gave up my Galaxy S8. Was it the right decision? Read on and see.
First, let's look at the design. The Redmi Note 5 looks nice, a typical mix of metal and plastic. Build quality is solid. Looks aren't a priority for me (since I'll end up putting a case on it). Side bezels are thin, but the top and bottom ones could be smaller. The screen is bright, and colors are accurate, outdoor usage wasn't a problem either.
|No headphones in the box. But you do get a free case.|
|Still uses Micro USB|
To be honest, I was prepared to hate it and had already decided to change it with Nova launcher. But after using it, I liked it. Ok, so it's basically an homage to iOS. But in reality, it’s very user-friendly and still has enough of Android to customize it to your liking.
Probably the best selling point is this phone's battery life. Finally, a phone that lasts all day. To give you an example, I took the Note 5 off the charger at 7 am, used about 7 hours on LTE, 2 hours of Waze, the rest on WIFI, a few calls, Chrome, YouTube, Spotify and by 10 pm, I still had 49% left. Why can't Samsung or Apple put bigger batteries on their phones?
What do you give up when you don’t buy an expensive flagship phone? No wireless charging, no water residence rating, no Gorilla glass protection. The camera, while excellent, is not outstanding. Especially in low light. Check out the same photos.
|Very Low light|
Sunday, June 24, 2018
2. Easy setup
3. Compatibility with a lot of devices
1. Works better with Amazon Echo
2. Requires additional setup for some devices
3. Doesn't always work
Do you have an Amazon Echo or Google home? Perhaps you want to control your TV or some other home appliance? Then this Broadlink Mini might be the device for you. I came across this device while doing a YouTube search on how to use my Google Home to do some home automation. The best way to describe this device is that its like a universal remote control that you program with either Alexa or Google Assistant. First of all, this device works better with an Amazon Echo. If you’re using a Google Home, it will work but it does need some additional steps. I suggest watching some tutorials on YouTube before taking the plunge.
The initial setup is very easy. Some devices like my LG air conditioner worked right away as it was in the list of supported devices. However, other devices like my Dyson fan had to be reprogrammed in the Broadlink app to think that it was a lightbulb and then teach it to learn the Dyson's remote control. Finally, you will need to create “scenes“ in the app to automate some commands. Then link those scenes in your Google Assistant App. It may sound complicated but after watching a few tutorials it’s pretty straightforward. With all that said, the RM 3 Mini is only Php 1000 (US$20) on Lazada. It’s really not much considering what you get. If you’re into home automation, I highly recommend starting with this RM Mini 3. It’s cheap enough that you won’t feel bad if it doesn’t work as expected.
Monday, May 21, 2018
- Accurate heart rate tracking
- Battery life
- Health App
- Not enough swim tracking information
- No music control
My previous fitness tracker was the Xiaomi Mi Band 2. I really liked it but it didn't have continuous heart rate tracking plus the screen was too small making it difficult to read sometimes. Honor Band 3 does have it. In fact, I did a recent treadmill stress test and compared its heart rate data with the Honor Band 3 and it was almost the same. I also got this for the swim tracking feature. However, I was disappointed that it only showed time and calories burned. No distance or number of strokes. Overall, I'm still pretty happy with my purchase. For only Php2000 (US$40), you get a decent fitness band with a good companion app and excellent battery life lasting up to 15 to 20 days on a single charge.