Monthly Archives: January 2017

Review: VIVO V5 PLUS

Vivo just came out with a new mid-range smartphone for those who want their phones to be both stylish and good looking without costing an arm and a leg. Let’s see what this new device has to offer:

Specs

A 5.5 inch IPS LCD display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 Processor, 4GB RAM with 64 GB storage, Micro SD expansion slot up to 256 GB, 16 MP rear Camera with f/2 aperture, 20MP + 8 MP Front Camera, Dual Sim, Funtouch OS 3.0, 3160 mAh battery with Micro USB v 2.0

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What Works

Vivo V5 Plus can’t be called a very original phone in terms of style or performance. What it does is present an interesting mix of features and design from other, more well-known smartphones, with a few individualistic choices thrown in. Here’s a rundown of its best features:

  1. The dual front camera is pretty powerful, and capable of taking some wonderfully detailed shots. So is the primary camera, which yields richly colorful shots.
  2. The Funtouch OS 3.0 is a welcome addition to the Vivo V5 Plus. It’s clearly inspired by Apple’s iOS, and borrows a lot from their design, but Funtouch’s performance is just as solid as Apple’s without costing as much.
  3. The battery is able to endure heavy energy usage over a day and a half without running out. Charging time is also fairly good at two hours, tops.
  4. The speaker produces a nice, solid sound, and the native music and video apps are good enough not to necessitate the purchase of third party apps.
  5. A valuable feature of the smartphone is its super saver mode, which kicks into action when your phone is critically low on power and about to die.

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What Doesn’t Work

  1. There isn’t a physical slider or button which can activate the phone’s silent or vibration mode. Not a deal breaker, but it does take up more seconds to switch between modes than on other phones.
  2. Pictures taken with the camera can occasionally have blurry parts outside the main focus of the picture. So a selfie would provide a clear picture of your face, but might blur the edge of your glasses. Also, images taken in even moderately lit settings tend to come out extremely bright, sometimes too bright.
  3. The processor (Snapdragon 625), isn’t going to win any speed races against other, less costly processors, so a few seconds downtime is noticeable between opening and closing different apps.

All in all, the Vivo V5 Plus is a good, but not great smartphone that does the job fairly well for its price range. Selfie addicts would find the phone a useful addition in their arsenal, while the more impatient customers who kick an adorable puppy out of frustration every time an app takes a few seconds to load might want to look elsewhere.

Review: Logan, 2nd Trailer

The Logan movie dropped its second trailer a few days ago. Fans who loved the first trailer were looking forward to some more tidbits about a new, gritty chapter in the X-Men series headlined by easily the most popular X-Man in the entire franchise (Does Deadpool technically count as an X-Man?…) Let’s take a look at some of the highlights of the trailer, and what it tells us about the movie itself:

  1. X23 is no Damsel in Distress

The title of this trailer could have easily been ‘Cute Little Girl Goes on a Terrifying Rampage’. In the comics, X23 is a clone of Wolverine who is an even more dangerous fighter than her clone-daddy. In the movie, X23 doesn’t seem to be more than twelve years old, but that doesn’t stop her from ripping through a host of enemies, and even an occasional bystander.

 

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AWW… Who’s a ‘Lil Psychopath?                                                      

 

  1. Old Man Logan Still Kicks Ass

While the bulk of the action in the trailer was handled by a girl who looks like she needs her parent’s permission to stay up past ten, Hugh Jackman showed us once again why he’s still the most interesting actor to watch play a superhero with sincerity rather than snark. There’s a lot more grey in Logan’s hair, and his blades don’t seem to work as well as they used to, but his eyes tell a tale of pain and loss, and he’s still strong enough to blast through a host of faceless mercenaries like an angry, ‘roided up Ken Doll.

 

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Because, Scruffy or Not, Hugh Jackman is a Beautiful Man         

 

  1. The Villain is… Considerate, I Guess?

 

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You Think Magneto Ever Tried That Shit When Enemies Came At Him?                   

 

The MCU has often been accused of having uninteresting villains, and the pattern seems set to repeat itself with Logan. I guess there’s only so many times you can make Magneto go from Villain to Reluctant Ally to Frenemy to Villain again before the X-Men movies start resembling a teen high school drama.

Anyway, the villain in Logan doesn’t get to do much, other than kick Logan across the face and unsuccessfully tell X 23 to stop her rampage (maybe he should’ve tried threatening her with a timeout). The good news is, the bad guys in the movie seem to have weapons fused to their bodies, so they’re one up already on their rivals who merely have knives growing out of their bones. Although the trailer does make one wonder how a guy who has a gun for a hand goes to the toilet in the morning.

 

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Basically, My Ass is Riddled with Bullet Holes

 

All in all, the trailer looks pretty solid. I wasn’t a big fan of the first Logan trailer, since it seemed to be trying too hard to turn an action movie into an Oscar-bait flick. But this trailer seems to be intended to reassure fans that the movie will still have lots of action and Wolverine stabbing people, in addition to that Holy Grail of X-Men movies: A coherent and meaningful plotline.  Xavier wouldn’t have been my favourite choice for the only other X-Men in the movie (that would be Deadpool, if again, he counts as an X-Man) But Patrick Stewart is clearly the best actor in the movie, and will probably be needed to introduce viewers to this new X-Men reality with an even more sullen and uncommunicative Wolverine. X23 is surprisingly effective in her tween avatar. You get to see shades of that short temper that she inherited from Logan, in addition to the claws, which almost seems like an afterthought in the trailer with everything else that’s going on.

My one problem with the trailer, surprisingly, was Logan himself, or more specifically, Logan’s fight scenes. There’s nothing new in those scenes. Running through a forest full of mercenaries. Jumping high in the air while clearly being supported by wires. Stabbing even more people. Those are all things Logan’s already done in earlier movies, and for an action movie, the action was actually the least interesting part of the trailer. I guess Deadpool has really raised the bar when it comes to viewer’s expectations from the more grounded superhero movies that don’t have an enchanted hammer or a robot armor to keep the action interesting. After all is said and done, the trailer seemed more interested in laying out the stakes than giving away the set pieces, so here’s hoping Logan finally gives us fans the adrenaline pumping Wolverine fight scenes we’ve been waiting for.