Huawei Mate 9: Quick Impressions

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Huawei’s journey in the mobile industry has been an exciting one. My earliest memory of the company hitting the mobile industry is with the P5. Then the big partnership with Google in the development of the Nexus 6P. A few months later, the blockbuster Huawei P9 stormed into our lives like a boss, boasting its camera being “co-engineered” with German optics maker, Leica.

Now we have this gorgeous Huawei Mate 9. It’s a 5.9-inch screen, big enough to enjoy certain blocked websites. The slight drawback is the 1080p screen with a 373 pixel per inch density. Not a big problem, if you ask me. Besides, this works just fine with the 4,000mAh battery, giving it the longevity we want in our phones.

Huawei has opted out on MediaTek and Qualcomm processors to give room for its own HiSilicon Kirin 960. I have no idea what the equivalent Huawei’s processor is to its competitors but it’s a safe bet to assume the Mate 9 is a damn powerful phone.

A lot of things about it is nice. The size is nice. The battery is nice. The performance is nice. The grip is nice. I love writing messages on it. I have bear hands that are quickly losing its dexterity over the years so a big phone with a big screen is much welcome. Besides, even with small phones: I use an LG G4 Beat and an iPhone 6, I type with both hands.

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The dual-camera is every bit as impressive as the P9 and P9 Plus. I didn’t get to spent too much time with the Mate 9’s camera but from the phones I’ve taken with it – and I’m no photographer – the images were incredibly sharp. The colors were well-balanced and a quick adjustment on its autofocus features, I was able to manipulate the shadows and textures, resulting to some pretty nice photos.

The Huawei Mate 9 Pro is an even better phone. It has a QHD screen, obviously with a higher pixel per inch density at 534, and a 6GB RAM. It even looks sleeker than just the regular Mate 9. Sadly, it won’t be shipping out in the Philippines, because the price is way too high and people have agreed that a price point that high, you’re better off with an iPhone 7 Plus. Thankfully, it isn’t something that is really needed.

Even though I’ve spent over a year using a LG G3, which has a QHD screen, and basked on its vibrant and colorful screen, a QHD screen isn’t really a big deal to me. If I were to use my phone for pfft “VR” stuff with a cardboard, then, maybe a QHD screen is a thing for me. I don’t plan on investing in any VR tiers anytime soon.

Also, 6GB RAM is a monster. 3GB alone is freaking fast all ready, and twice as much will allow you to do twice as many. Exactly what do we do to our mobile devices that demand this much RAM? Just how many apps do we leave open, culminating to one of the primary reasons of lag? I just find that overkill. If a 4GB RAM phone begins to lag, then you need to close some apps.

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Photo taken with the Huawei Mate 9, also edited with its built-in photo editor

If I had the money to spend, would I get a Huawei Mate 9? Probably. My initial phone of choice is the Huawei P9 Plus, which is a rather balanced-sized device. This is trailed closely behind by the Samsung Galaxy S7 and the LG V20 – because I am somewhat of an LG fanboy. I’d jump for an Asus Zenfone 3 if I’m looking to save money to nab a decent phone for simpler day-to-day uses. If I didn’t get any of those devices and I had the Mate 9 in front of me, waiting to be picked up, then I’ll find the temptation hard to resist.

Production at full go!

After weeks of going back and forth in other things that needed immediate attention, I am back at full production for “Year of the Red Whale.”

My word count has soared up to 50,000. It is not a great number from a shy over 35,000 from last month, but I managed to plunge right through it. I had to delete entire sections and chapters of the novel to begin a fresh start with greater clarity in mind.

It’s never easy to cull huge chunks of your story. Sometimes it is necessary though. Who knows, maybe they will end up as part of a “Deleted Scenes” section, somewhere, somehow.

This is still Draft 1, I should say. But I’m doing everything I can to polish it as I go deeper into the story. Maybe that’s why it’s taking me too long to finish the entire damn book.

I’ve also finished writing a short story titled “Shiny’s Purple Bottle.” It’s a story about a woman and her mother.

I think I’ll send this off to a magazine. Maybe at Shock Totem when they open submissions. I’ve always wanted to get my story published by them, been watching them from the very start. So far I had submitted one story to them, which was rejected, and after looking at the story, I can see why they, or any other publication would decline in publishing it.

I do hope that this new short has the meat and bones professional publications are looking out for. I’ll keep polishing this story until Shock Totem becomes available.

In the meantime I’ll draft another short story. One that isn’t horror or weird, for once. All my shorts are either of those two. Maybe I’ll try my hand for science-fiction and aim for Clarkesworld.

 

The juggernauts of gaming notebooks

CES 2017 sure is a blockbuster of technology, eh? Companies are showcasing robots and smart cars, giving a strong focus on the Internet of Things, and throwing even more powerful hardware for us to burn through our wallets with.

Earlier today I saw a stellar lineup of OLED TVs from both LG and Sony. The W7 Signature OLED by LG is breathtaking, and I look forward to someday have one of those things in my living room. Equally amazing is the Sony Bravia A1 series. It’s Sony though, so the cost of it will definitely blast a crater, devastating enough to shatter my entire fragile bones.

Then I got an email from HyperX, telling me all about their new gaming mouse, the Pulsefire, which you can adjust the settings without installing software, and that’s kind of sweet since I somehow always lose my install CDs. lenovo-laptop-legion-y720-15-hero

Lenovo surprised the hell out of me with the Legion Laptops. The Y720 is a pretty solid start for Lenovo shifting gears up to compete with MSI, Asus, and Acer. The Y720 fires up with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti, which a bit lower than the more awe-inspiring 1060, 1070, and the amazing 1080, but it is freakishly better than the 980, which still has a strong presence in local markets.

razerBut what really blew the roof off my home was Razer. They introduced Project Valerie, a concept notebook that will have three screens. That’s right. Three freaking screens on a notebook. Why do gamers need three screens? Wider-angled viewing and multi-tasking, basically. Curved monitors can offer the same level of immersion these days. I think.

Then there’s the Acer Predator 21x. It’s priced at 9,000 USD. 8,999-if you want to be exact. Now, if I were to spend a lot of money to get a gaming notebook. This would be it. Sure, it’s not mobile. Money is better spent on building your own rig, or nab a Razer Stealth Pro, which is damn gorgeous already. But if I were to get a gaming notebook and I had the money: It needs to be the Predator 21x. Curved screen, two GTX 1080, up to 64GB DDR4. Oh yeah. It also has five cooling fans. That technically should keep the Predator pretty cool, or a little warm at least. I can’t say how loud it will be though.

 

DC Extended Universe

I don’t remember where I read, just that I read it. Ben Affleck, about him doing the standalone “Batman” film and his comments on “Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice.”

In the article, Affleck mentioned that people wanted a lighter tone in a story, and that people criticized DoJ for its dark tone. I find myself in disagreement. The tone of the film had nothing to do why the film didn’t sit right with me or to a bunch of people who didn’t like the film.

The idea of Superman being the world’s greatest threat is a solid concept. People are afraid of him and Bruce Wayne (Affleck) has seen it, witnessed it firsthand, and yes, he is afraid of the man. But when all of this winds down to Lex Luthor being a drooling baboon who manages to fix up the Man of Steel and the Bat on a last man standing match is just plain ridiculous. It could’ve been done in a better way. Something along the lines of the animated film “Return of the Dark Knight Part Two,” which has a simpler idea but ended up being vastly superior. Not to mention the actual fight scene was rather poor.

Anyhow, let’s move on from this. That film is now buried in the abysmal grave known as 2016. Let’s talk about the future.

The DC Extended Universe is gearing up with lots of cool stuff. “Wonder Woman” is just right over the horizon. Then we’ll be be seeing “Justice League.”

The next ones in line are: The Flash, Aquaman, Shazam, Cyborg, and the Green Lantern Corps, plus two more untitled films in pre-production. Somehow, “Justice League Part Two” is gone.

You see, I like to tinker on ideas. It helps me build on my own, motivates me to get some things down. Even this blog post is filler to help ease my mind and get back on track.

Beyond DC’s initial plans, I hope to one day see a Batman film that features the Red Hood, with Tim Drake having some focus. This would lead to a Teen Titans film, which should be damn fun. A “Green Lantern: Rebirth” storyline would be gold, followed by the “Sinestro Corps War” two or three years later. A Superman film titled “Superman: Prime” ought to blow the balls out of the fans. “Justice League: Infinite Crisis” and then maybe, just maybe, individual films with elements of “Countdown to Final Crisis,” which will loop to “Superman: Apokalips” that would lead to “Justice League: Final Crisis Part One.”

Then we can talk about “The Brave and the Bold” where major heroes team up with smaller, lesser known DC heroes to give them their own tiny spotlight. Come now, a Hal Jordan and Barry Allen crossover would be wicked cool. Then we can move on to the “Injustice” story lines and the “Convergence.”

Come on DC! You’ve got a lot of amazing material here. You cannot not fail with all of this source materials. Just have faith in them for crying out loud. With Geoff Johns in the helm, I do hope things would take a sweet turn in the future.

Do we need lighter toned stories? Not necessarily. The animated series “Justice League” and “Batman the Animated Series” were both dark and grim. Remember that Batman episode where some tugs drowned Matt Hagen with that clay formula-whatever that turned him to Clayface? That was sick and twisted for a TV cartoon. It was effective though. It’s all in the execution.We can have a few funny jibes here and there. But not Marvel level humor. DC can still excel and rival Marvel, only if they just get their shit right.

Alice Isn’t Dead

Alice. Alice. Alice.

I love that name. For a few weeks, after meeting, I used to call my then-wife Alice, even though her name was far from it. On my phone book I used to call her Alice too, only because it was practical, it would be on the top most on my contacts list.

I love the name so much I have a developing story with “Alice” as the main character, with a tentative title, “Scissors for Alice.” It’s just such a gorgeous name. Plus, one of my favorite fast-rising YouTubers is named Alyce Rocha. And then there’s the author of “Alice in Wonderland,” Lewis Caroll, who happens to be the basis of “Jon Karoll.” The name is hot, it rolls well in the tongue, and it sounds amazing. Period.

Over the New Year on a road trip with the family, I thought it would be the best time to catch up with my favorite podcast, “Welcome to Night Vale.” Then I stumbled on another creation by Joseph Fink, the co-creator of Night Vale, called “Alice Isn’t Dead.”

Through the entire trip back and forth, I listened to all ten episodes of the show. And it was one of the best things I have experience, re-invigorating a spirit of storytelling.It was a blast. I think my favorite thus far is episode four, “The Factory by the Sea.”

This has the makings of an excellent TV series, or even a feature film. It is creepier than Night Vale, eliminating humor and weird, for something that pricks the skin. Part One is over. Part Two, they said, will happen, and I can’t wait for it.

Looks like 2017 is off to a great start.