Gadgets, appliances, tech items that we love in the pandemic

posted September 25, 2021 at 12:35 am
by  Charles Dantes and Angelica Villanueva
With the continuous rise of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines, most of us are left with no choice but to stay at home and carry on with what we are doing. Whether it’s online distance learning, working from home, or even entertaining ourselves, we need to do all of these from the comfort of our homes.  

Ever since the lockdown started, people have been setting up their workplace and studying in their own creative way—from their working table to the gadgets—in order to adjust and adapt to the situation.

But since we’re now on the “third season” of our lockdown and you’re still looking for smartphones, tablets, laptops, and other electronic items that will suit your needs and lifestyle, the Manila Standard team has gathered some of the most appropriate gadgets, appliances and tech items to help you on what to have in your next haul.

Smartphones

People have relied on their smartphones nowadays with their compact design and innovative features. Through these, doing tasks has  become easier and more accessible for us. The team has listed down some of the smartphones that, we think, you might consider for your work-from-home setup or online distance learning.

1. Apple iPhone 12

If you’re a person who’s looking for a smartphone that can be used in multiple and various tasks, then iPhone 12 is definitely the ideal phone for you.  

The iPhone 12 is incomparable to other smartphones in terms of quality and performance.  It is powered by Apple’s A14 Bionic processor with a dual-camera called  “computational photography,” or digital technology to get the best images in all conditions.

The iPhone 12 Pro also includes a seven-element lens with an ultrawide angle feature giving a 120-degree field of view, along with a 52 mm focal length telephoto lens perfect for those who are into a side-hobby of photography this pandemic.

It has an aluminum side frame and a glass back that comes in five different colors—black, white, red, green, and blue—which is a plus point because you’ll get to choose what color you prefer.

2. vivo V21

The vivo V21 is designed for people who live a fast-paced digital lifestyle. Through its  built-in 8GB RAM, it delivers the users a  faster browsing experience and with this kind of feature included in vivo V21, users can have a lag-free experience as they play video games, music, access social media, and productivity apps, all at once.  

vivo also offers the latest camera technologies in its V21 series. Its front camera holds a 44MP resolution, while its rear camera has a 64MP display.

These features packed inside vivo’s thinnest smartphone yet (7.29mm and 176g light), make it one of the brand’s products that offer the best value-for-money.  

Gadgets, appliances, tech items that we love in the pandemic

3. realme  8 5G

realme has once again released another revolutionary offering alongside their other smartphones—the realme 8 5G.

It has  Dimensity 700 5G Processor promising a exceptional performance  while efficiently consuming power, extending battery life to keep you connected for longer.  

It boasts a 90Hz Ultra Smooth Display, 5000mAh massive battery, and a 48MP Nightscape Camera — all in one slim, lightweight and trendy package.

4. Infinix HOT 10i

Packed with a massive 6000 mAh battery, a fast gaming Mediatek Helio P65 chipset, and a 4GB RAM + 128GB storage, HOT 10i levels up the experience of mainstream users and avid gamers. 

With a sleek 6.52” waterdrop high-brightness screen display, it offers a premium mobile experience powered by the best battery life in its product range.  Aside from its top tier hardware, Infinix HOT 10i also carries proprietary Infinix innovations like the Dar-link gaming optimization engine, which reduces jitter and lag to provide a fast and fluid gaming experience, as well as Safe Charge technology, which automatically turns off power after a device has charged to 100%.

5. TECNO’s New CAMON 17 Series

CAMON 17 Pro is equipped with a 48MP Clearest Selfie Camera in front, and a 64MP Ultra-Quad camera at the rear. This smartphone is powered by a Helio G95 processor with a 90Hz screen refresh rate, plus a long-lasting 5000mAh battery which comes with a 33W fast charger. CAMON 17 Pro comes in California dream silver and Malibu blue for the 8GB+256GB variant.

Gadgets, appliances, tech items that we love in the pandemic

The budget-friendlier CAMON 17P has a 16MP AI Smart Selfie Camera and 64MP Ultra-Clear Quad camera at the rear, runs on a Helio G85 processor, and also has a powerful 5000mAh battery with 18W fast charging. Its high-resolution 6.8” FHD+ 1080P provides a sharper and clearer display. 

6. Cherry Mobile Aqua S10 Pro

Cherry’s newest flagship phone, the Cherry Mobile Aqua S10 Pro is its first-ever smartphone that runs on Android 11, with 30W super fast charge capability, and features a punch-hole display. 

From vlogging, to doing TikTok videos, the Cherry Aqua S10 is one capable phone that also boasts of a massive 6.67″ FHD+ Trueview Punch-hole Display, Quad AI Camera 48MP (Main) + 5MP (Wide-Angle) + 2MP (Macro) + 2MP (Depth) and 16MP front camera for better video quality.

The budget-friendly phone also has a Mediatek Helio G90 chipset for smooth gaming experience, a highly responsive screen and brilliant image quality. 

7. Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G

More and more people are now turning into content creators with all the time that they have this pandemic. 

Well, in that case, Samsung has released earlier this year their Galaxy S21 Series 5G, and among them is the Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G. 

Content creators, photographers, and videographers alike can take advantage of Director’s View, 108MP camera, lenses that record in 4K at 60fps, Dynamic AMOLED 2X Display, 5nm process technology, and the S-Pen when creating their content.

The Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G has two bold colorways Phantom Silver or Phantom Black, and both come with 256GB models with 12GB RAM.

8. Nokia C1 Plus

To the budget conscious, who still want a solid smartphone, the Nokia C1 Plus, the lowest-priced 4G Nokia smartphone yet, may be the best deal.

Gadgets, appliances, tech items that we love in the pandemic

With the Nokia C1 Plus, fans can enjoy sharp content throughout – high-quality selfies and videos, apps and texts that pop, and immersive entertainment -- at the palm of the hand. The Nokia C1 Plus boasts style that lasts inside and out with its sleek, solid polycarbonate body that continues to honour the award-winning durability Nokia phones are known for and a 2,500mAh1 battery that you can rely on all day. Boosted by 4G, the experiences on the Nokia C1 Plus are smooth and powerful with data speeds up to 10 times faster than its predecessor.

Tablets

When smartphones begin to develop more features, tablets have somehow become a second option. However, some still prefer to have a tablet in doing their school projects or work presentations. Listed below are some of the team’s suggestions for a great tablet deal.

1.  Lenovo Tab P11 5G

Lenovo has proven that tablets never get out-of-style. With its Lenovo Tab P11 5G, this premium tablet is dedicated to 5G connectivity,  giving its users endless ways to enjoy learning, working, and entertainment.

Designed  to be ultra-portable, Lenovo Tab P11 5G elevates experiences for hybrid work, play, and learning.  

Moreover, this new model has  sub-6GHz 5G4 networks that will help you stay connected and even download your favorite shows in seconds.

2. Apple iPad Pro M1

Same with the iMac, this iPad Pro is powered with  next-gen silicon delivering high-speed performance.

The Apple iPad Pro with M1 chip features  dual rear-facing cameras with 12- and 10-megapixel sensors, and  12-megapixel for the front camera, perfect for those who are having their online classes and online meetings.  

With the Pro M1 designed  with a Liquid Retina XDR mini-LED screen, users get to enjoy their viewing experience while watching their favorite videos.

3. HUAWEI MatePad Pro 12.6

Considered as HUAWEI’s “most powerful tablet” yet, HUAWEI MatePad Pro 12.6 is equipped with the fastest Kirin processor 9000E with liquid cooling system, and a 12.6-inch HUAWEI OLED FullView display.

Giving a seamless tablet experience, the HUAWEI MatePad Pro 12.6 also showcases App Multiplier and Multi-Window, matching a person’s busy lifestyle.

The new HUAWEI MatePad Pro 12.6 supports new Tablet-PC Multi-screen Collaboration5 capabilities: Mirror Mode, Extend Mode and Collaborate Mode.

Gadgets, appliances, tech items that we love in the pandemic

4. Samsung Galaxy Tab S7

May it be note-taking, drawing, watching videos, or even playing, this Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 got you covered with its powerful design featuring its 13MP Main and 5MP Ultra Wide camera with flash as well as an 8MP front camera.

If you’re also looking for a tablet that delivers an  immersive and enjoyable viewing experience, Samsung Galaxy Tab S7  is equipped with an 11-inch LTPS Display.

It also comes with an improved  S Pen with ultra-low latency best paired the device seamless screen display.

Laptops

To continue the list, Manila Standard also searched for the best laptops to use for work, gaming, and education. Ranging from a high-end laptop to a budget-friendly notepad, here is a short list of the best laptops in the business.

1. Acer Swift 3

Acer Swift 3 boasts of a slim, lightweight, and stylish design perfect for working at home and on the move. The latest NVIDIA GPU, INTEL CPU, and long battery life are housed inside a choice of displays.

Acer Swift 3 is built to be carried always thanks to its aluminum and magnesium-aluminum metal chassis. It weighs as little as 1.19 kg and is as thin as 15.95mm.

Other than its housing, Acer Swift 3 has an improved display on the screen due to the addition of Acer Color Intelligence, even as ExaColor provides enhanced color contrast.

2. HP EliteBook 840 G8

If you are looking for a laptop that will help you multitask, HP EliteBook 840 G8 is the best choice for you. With the HP EliteBook 840’s innovative features, collaboration among the team is made easier. Connectivity won’t be a problem with the laptop’s optional quad-core 11th Gen Intel® Core™ vPro® processors

Gadgets, appliances, tech items that we love in the pandemic

The HP EliteBook 840’s high performance allows up to 32% faster office productivity and remarkable responsiveness make it a reliable partner, especially when working on urgent deadlines.

HP EliteBook 840 also sports top-of-the-line security features. For instance, it has a remarkable tamper lock intrusion detection system that will send an alert if someone attempts to open it, prompting the system to require an administrator password to restart the system.

3. IdeaPad Slim 3i

For day-to-day hustlers, Lenovo’s IdeaPad Slim 3i is a good running mate for an everyday grind to work, school, and other daily tasks you need computing.

IdeaPad Slim 3i comes with a minimum of 8GB RAM and an ultrafast PCIe NVMe Solid-State Drive (SSD) storage that can have up to 1TB capacity.

Lenovo is shaping the future and has chosen to release all-new IdeaPad notebooks powered by 11th-gen Intel Core processors with 8GB RAM and higher to provide customers more power and speed in doing daily tasks.

4. Razer Book 13

The Razer Book 13 is Razer’s idea of joining the general market outside the gaming industry.

The Book 13, is a more office-friendly version of the company’s Razer Blade Stealth gaming laptop with a 13.4-inch display with a taller 16:10 aspect ratio, fast mobile performance, long battery life, and enough connection options to make working from home easier. 

Electronics/Appliances

Innovative gadgets have caught our team’s radar and we are happy to list new and up and coming electronic items, television sets and other appliances this year.

1. Steam Deck

Valve, one of the biggest video games companies in the world, surprised everyone with the announcement of a portable handheld gaming PC called Steam Deck.

Steam Deck allows players to play their games on Steam Library while on the go, proving gaming never stops wherever you are.

Drawing similarities with Nintendo’s Switch, Valve made sure that Steam Deck is cut above the rest as its chipset sports AMD Zen 2 Processor AMD RDNA 2 with 8 compute units for its GPU, 16GB ram, and three different models with different internal storage sizes.

2. LG OLED TVs

LG OLED TVs come with the latest solutions from Dolby. Dolby Vision IQ utilizes metadata and the TVs’ built-in light sensors to optimize picture quality based on content genre and ambient surroundings while Dolby Atmos simultaneously delivers multi-dimensional immersive sound. It’s a powerful combination that provides a more realistic experience when watching a film. LG OLED TVs also have extremely low input lag with an incredible 1ms response time. This ensures that every move you input on the controller is displayed instantly on screen, giving you a vital edge over opponents and a better chance of winning. LG OLED TVs use the precision and control of individual self-lit pixels to take full advantage of the G-SYNC compatibility, allowing fast response times and smoother gaming, even at high resolution.

LG OLED TVs use self-lit pixels instead of backlights. This allows for more innovative designs that are ultra-slim, have almost no bezels, and can even bend and roll — it’s a feat of engineering that has to be seen to be believed. The LG OLED Gallery Design TVs has a profile so slim that it appears stuck to your wall. It hangs flush like a work of art, elevating your home interior like no other TV can.

Gadgets, appliances, tech items that we love in the pandemic

3. Samsung Neo QLED 8K

Samsung Neo QLED 8K TV is a good purchase if you are looking to upgrade your entertainment system.

Powered with the Neo Quantum Processor 8K, Samsung’s most powerful processor, you’ll get a picture optimized to 8K-level resolution no matter what’s on the screen.

Watch, work, and play easily with Neo QLED 8K. See it all on a single screen with the multi-Screen feature to simultaneously show 4 different screens, all at once.

4. realme Smart TV

With the realme Smart TV’s one-touch google assistant and all-in-one smart remote, it can easily access the weather, calendar, and several apps under Google.

Filipinos can also now also enjoy a cinematic experience at home with the realme Smart TV’s Dolby Audio Speakers, not to mention 24W quad stereo speakers, creating a surround sound effect designed for vast rooms, thereby increasing the overall immersive experience without compromising the sound quality.

The bezel-less design is a plus, with a 1366 x 768-pixel resolution for the 32-inch model, and a 1920 x 1080-pixel resolution for the 43-inch. It also comes with HDR10 support, HLG, and Realme’s Chroma Boost technology that’s also present in realme smartphones.

5. Beko’s HarvestFresh 

HarvestFresh refrigerators from Beko keeps fruits and vegetables fresh longer through technology that preserves vitamins A and C for up to five additional days, as verified and approved by leading Total Quality Assurance provider Intertek Laboratories.

HarvestFresh uses three colors, green, blue and red, to mimic the 24-hour sun cycle and natural sunlight. This combination simulates the day light cycle–including times of darkness–to recreate a natural living environment for fruits and vegetables. This technology helps maintain vitamin A and vitamin C levels in fruits and vegetables much longer.

During the first four hours of the HarvestFresh cycle, the crisper lights will shine blue, mimicking dawn and the first light of the day. This is followed by two hours of green light replicating midday, and a further six hours of red light imitating the more muted tones of dusk. The drawers then turn dark for 12 hours to represent nighttime. 

HarvestFresh not only preserves vitamin content, but also helps keep fruit and vegetables fresher and thus, reduces the number of times you have to go out and shop for food. This is very important in these times, particularly as the public has been urged to stay at home if they can.

Others

Here are some more tech items to consider during the pandemic.

1. 6.5L XTREME Home Air Fryer (XH-AIRFRYER65L)

Goodbye overheating, hello fast frying! This new 6.5L XTREME Home Air Fryer (sure packs a punch with its roast, bake, broil and dehydrate features.  If you’ve been looking for the best way to eat your favorite food in a healthier and hassle-free way, then this one takes the cake. With its bigger cooking capacity, you don’t have to worry when cooking for the whole family.

2. LG’s PuriCare™ Wearable Air Purifier

LG’s re-engineered PuriCare™ Wearable Air Purifier is upgraded from the innovative, wearable device LG first launched last year. The latest model offers an enhanced all-around performance along with a convenient voice amplification feature and a more comfortable, lightweight design.

Gadgets, appliances, tech items that we love in the pandemic

The upgraded LG PuriCare™ Wearable Air Purifier with VoiceON™ is equipped with a fully automatic fan airflow control system that increases breathing comfort. It also incorporates two H13 HEPA filters, the same as those found in premium air purifiers for the home, to ensure the air the user breathes is as clean and healthy as possible. Driven by an ultra-small and lightweight motor, the device’s DUAL fans combine with LG’s airflow control technology – which detects the user’s breathing pattern and adjusts airflow accordingly – to help the wearer breathe easier and more naturally. This advanced system also prevents a common problem for those wearing glasses and mask at the same time, keeping their lenses from fogging up when exhaling.

3. PLDT Home Fibr-powered WiFi 6 gaming router

This next-generation WiFi technology is now accessible to Filipinos, especially among the rising e-sports communities, as PLDT Home offers the best WiFi 6 router in the country—the ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000.

PLDT Home Fibr enables gamers to enjoy faster and better gaming experience as it delivers speeds of up to 1Gbps that allow equal upload and download speeds, best for multi-player and bandwidth-intensive online activities.

Aside from speeds, PLDT Home also gives gamers a levelled-up experience with its WiFi 6 gaming router. The ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 is known as “the beast of WiFi 6 gaming routers” as it boasts of the most powerful router features for gamers such as the AiMesh Technology that ensures “whole home WiFi coverage” and WTFast Gaming Network Technology that optimizes connectivity for ultra-fast speeds. 

4. HP Deskjet Ink Advantage All-in-One printers

A printer that customers should seriously consider is the HP Deskjet ink advantage all-in-one printer line:  the 2335, 2336, 2337, and 2775; plus, the 3776 AiO wireless and the 3777 AiO Wireless. 

Gadgets, appliances, tech items that we love in the pandemic

Any of these models carry with it the HP guarantee of dependable and consistent printing and scanning. It can print no less than 200 pages a month and it only requires a simple plug and play setup using a USB port, resulting to great values for everyday practical use. Meanwhile, for the AiO wireless printers, it offers the additional convenience of remote, low-cost printing and scanning done from any mobile device. 

Topics: COVID-19 pandemic , tech , gadgets , Apple iPhone 12 , Acer Swift 3
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