Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 review: best Windows laptop for most (video)

Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 is one of the best Windows laptops you can buy in the premium bracket, and this is our full review, both in video and text format, for your viewing pleasure.

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Moto G30 quick review: a bit of everything

Motorola Moto G30 is one of the newest members of the G-series. The device offers a set of features that check a lot of boxes in the budget segment. The Moto G30 is powered by the Snapdragon 662 SoC, packs a 5,000mAh battery, and offers a quad rear camera setup alongside a design that’s good to look at. But how good is it really when compared to the competition? We spent some time with the device and here’s our Moto G30 quick review.

The smartphone offers a fresh look with its gradient design on the Dark Pearl color variant, which we received from the company. It is hard to spot the fingerprints on the back, which makes it a few of the devices that we can recommend without using a case. The phone is easy to grip, thanks to the curves at the sides. Furthermore, the fingerprint sensor is situated within the Motorola logo, which is a decent placement as it is easy to reach while holding the device.

Moto G30 rear

On the left edge lie all the buttons including the Google Assistant, volume rockers, and the power button, which is positioned well and has a textured finish to it. However, the Google Assistant button is up on top and is very hard to reach with one hand without doing some thumb acrobatics. At the bottom, you get a Type-C port, which is accompanied by a microphone and loudspeaker. On the top, you get a 3.5mm audio jack and secondary microphone. I have a soft spot for phones that come with a headphone jack. The Moto G30 offers an IP52 rating for water resistance but don’t take it to the beach with you. 

The Moto G30 features a 6.5-inch LCD display that offers a 90Hz refresh rate. The bezels are on the thicker side, but they won’t bother you while watching content or using the phone in general. While it is not as contrasty as an OLED screen, the display quality is good for media consumption. Plus, 90Hz makes the experience smoother than usual. However, the screen’s maximum brightness isn’t the best. We had trouble viewing it in direct sunlight, especially when trying to view photos. 

Moto G30 display

The smartphone is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 662 chipset, paired with 4GB/6GB of RAM and 64GB/128GB of internal storage that can be expanded. We faced no issues while browsing through the phone and in casual use. Although, the animation is on the slower side. Apps load quickly and you’ll be able to multitask without worries. That being said, don’t expect to play your favorite games in high graphics settings. 

As for battery life, the 5,000mAh cell will last you an entire day easily – with any kind of usage. Motorola offers great battery life on its budget devices and the Moto G30 is no different. The company bundles a 20W charger in the box, and it charged about 35% in 30 minutes and more than 60% in an hour. 

Moto G30 in hand

The Moto G30 sports a quad rear camera setup that is led by a 64MP primary camera, which is accompanied by an 8MP ultra-wide-angle lens, a 2MP macro camera, and a 2MP depth sensor. The cameras are plenty versatile but apart from the primary sensor, the others need improvement. 

The 64MP sensor uses pixel-binning to capture 16MP shots by default. However, you can click full-res photos as well. As with any other camera nowadays, you get good details in broad daylight. Moreover, we found the colors to be fairly accurate too. At night, it takes a while to click images. It misses out on details in the shadows. Plus, there is some kind of smoothening going on to reduce the grain. Switching to Night Mode offers better details but the highlights could be blown out at times. As for portrait shots, the software is able to offer good separation between the subject and the background.

image of a building wide angle image of building captured on Moto G30 Selfie Prakhar Khanna Macro

The secondary cameras are not worth writing home about. The 8MP sensor captures lesser details when compared to the primary lens. It is perfectly usable in daylight. Coming to the 2MP macro camera, it is average at best. The shots lack details but it does allow you to get super close to the subject. On the front lies a 13MP selfie shooter that offers average dynamic range and aggressive HDR most of the time. You can click portrait shots, which offer a good separation of the subject from the background. Turn to low light and the details disappear but using the Night Mode is the better choice since it offers better colors.

A jack of all trades but master of none

The Moto G30 seems to be a device that is a jack of all trades but master of none. It offers a good display with a 90Hz refresh rate, average performance, and cameras, a long-lasting battery life – all of it packed inside a stylish design. It does a bit of everything. However, the phone faces tough competition from the likes of the Redmi Note 10 (though, more expensive but better value) and the Realme Narzo 30A. That being said, if you are strictly on a budget, you won’t be disappointed by the Moto G30.

Buy Moto G30

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Amazfit T-Rex Pro quick review: Rugged elegance

Amazfit T-Rex was our Editor’s recommendation for the best rugged smartwatch at a budget. The brand is now one-upping its offering with the launch of the Amazfit T-Rex Pro. It is more rugged than ever, adds a biometric sensor to detect atmospheric pressure, gets a 3-axis gyroscope sensor and offers more positioning options and over a 100 sports modes. But do these additions deserve the $30 price hike? Let’s take a look at the new Amazfit T-Rex Pro’s capabilities in our quick review.

As rugged as ever

The new rugged wearable is built out of polycarbonate, which is strong enough to withstand hammer blows (yes, I tested that – just don’t put the hammer to the screen). It is rugged all around but that doesn’t translate to bulk. The smartwatch weighs just below 60 grams (straps included). It is really lightweight for the kind of design it offers. 

Amazfit T-Rex Pro on wrist

The Amazfit T-Rex Pro is one of the most affordable Military Certified rugged smartwatches. It can withstand extreme temperature and conditions from 70-degree Celsius to -40-degree Celsius. I tested these numbers as far as I could by putting it in the freezer, and it still worked after 20 minutes. Obviously, I couldn’t test out the extremes. Further, the 5ATM rating has been bumped up to 10 ATM, which means it can withstand splashes, rain or snow to a depth of 100 meters. 

The outer of the smartwatch is similar to its predecessor. You get Up and Down buttons on the left edge, and Select and Back buttons on the right. These are meant to help you with UI navigation, but I found myself using the touchscreen more often.

Amazfit T-Rex Pro buttons

The buttons are likely to come into play if you are showering or swimming because water droplets on the screen cause hindrance in navigation. On the back of the device, you’ll find the Bio-Tracking Optical sensor. Coming to the straps, these are silicone bands, and are still the same – comfortable to wear 24 hours a day. 

Display remains the same

The Amazfit T-Rex Pro comes equipped with a 1.3-inch AMOLED display with a resolution of 360 x 360 pixels. It lies under the protection of 3D Corning Gorilla glass, which also has an anti-fingerprint coating over it. Essentially, it is the same screen as the predecessor. It is easily visible under direct sunlight.

The responsiveness can be improved

However, it does take 1-2 seconds to turn on the screen on wrist-to-wake, which is more than what I experienced on the original T-Rex. You also get an always-on display (AOD), which is also bright enough to see the time at a glance without the whole display lighting up. Plus, like before, there are two options for AOD – digital or analog. These presets cannot be changed to your liking. That said, you get important stuff like time, day and date on AOD.

Amazfit T-Rex Pro modes

Amazfit has bumped up the sports modes from 13 to 100+. You get a slew of modes under the following major modes: Running & Walking, Cycling, Swimming, Outdoor Sports, Indoor Sports, Dance, Combat Sports, Ball Sports, Water Sports, Winter Sports, Leisure Sports, and Others. I was able to test walking, outdoor running, and badminton but I’ll test more in our Amazfit T-Rex Pro full review. 

You can swipe right and go to Workouts to start tracking. While testing, it took a while to acquire a GPS signal. In running, it shows current and average pace, distance, duration, and heart rate. And with walking, I can conclude that the wearable doesn’t register fake steps. Plus, during exercise, it shows the usual duration, calorie consumption, and heart rate. 

Amazfit T-Rex Pro heart rate

Aside from that, you can set a 1-minute interval while measuring heart rate 24×7. However, it consumes a lot of battery. While I didn’t achieve the quoted 9 days on heavy usage, the T-Rex Pro lasted me 7 days with AOD off and heart rate interval set to 1 minute. You can get extra juice if you set the heart rate interval to up to 30 minutes. 

Sleep tracking is better than before

Further, sleep tracking has been improved. It is pretty accurate. However, I cannot say how accurate are the REM, Deep Sleep, and Light Sleep numbers – there is no way to tell that. Plus, it can measure naps that are 20 minutes or longer. 

While the UI is simple to use and pretty straight-forward, the response time or latency can be reduced. As I said before, it takes a second or two for the watch to light up when I raise my wrist. That being said, I didn’t encounter any stutters while navigating through the watch. The watch also allows you to control your music. You can  skip a track, go to the previous track, and adjust the volume. 

Amazfit T-Rex Pro watch face

The notifications still remain non-actionable, meaning that you get informed of what’s happening but you can’t take action on it. For instance, if you get a message from your friend, the watch will display the message but you’ll not be able to do anything with it. You’ll have to pick your phone to reply to the message. This is more of a limitation of RTOS, which is what the watch is based on. The companion app and its functionalities remain the same. You can read about it in our T-Rex review here.

To conclude, the Amazfit T-Rex Pro is an awesome rugged fitness wearable. However, it could get smarter with actionable notifications to make it a full-fledged smartwatch. We’ll take a deeper dive in more sports modes in our Amazfit T-Rex Pro full / long term review. As for what’s on offer for USD 180 / INR 12,999, it is a compelling package. You can go for it if you are into outdoor sports, and like to stay connected while you are on the mountains hiking or swimming by a beach.

Buy Amazfit T-Rex Pro

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Realme 8 Pro preview: The competition is too damn hard

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Realme 8 Pro is here as a direct competitor to the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max (review). The USP of this device is its 108MP primary camera. But is it enough? When compared to the Redmi offering, what I miss the most on this phone is a high refresh rate. It sports an AMOLED display but is stuck at 60Hz. While the competitor offers a recent chipset, the Realme counterpart comes with a processor that can be found on its predecessor.

The intro might give you an impression that there is not much going on for the Realme 8 Pro, but that’s not the case. It supports 50W fast charging and an in-hand feel that could shame some humongous flagships. Here are more details in our Realme 8 Pro preview.

120Hz is dearly missed

The Realme 8 Pro features a 6.4-inch AMOLED display with a full-HD+ resolution and an in-display fingerprint scanner. The display doesn’t offer a 120Hz refresh rate like the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max, and isn’t the brightest out there but gets the job done. The colors are vibrant but you are likely to experience some stutters in the UI. I enjoyed watching YouTube videos, and it is perfectly fine for content consumption. 

Realme 8 Pro cameras

One of the most comfortable devices to hold in the segment

The power and volume buttons are located on the right side, while the SIM tray with two Nano-SIM slots and a dedicated microSD card slot lies on the left. Further, the buttons are easy to reach and clickable like you’d expect from a device priced at INR 17,999. Plus, it comes with a 3.5mm audio jack that lies at the bottom alongside the primary microphone, USB Type-C port, and speaker at the bottom, while the top only has the secondary microphone.

On the back lies a quad camera setup that lies in a square camera module. It sports a textured finish with “Dare to Leap” tag line plastered across the back in glossy finish. You might or might not like the tagline imprint but it does give the smartphone a unique look that distinguishes it from other devices. The Realme 8 Pro is one of the most comfortable one-hand smartphones in the segment. Plus, the textured back helps keep fingerprints at bay. This is one of the phones that I can recommend using without a case – even when it is supplied with the device in the box. 

Realme 8 Pro in sunlight

The smartphone packs a 4,500mAh battery that supports 50W fast charging. I like the presence of faster-than-usual fast charging that helps in a quick top-up. I’ve been using it for four days and it lasts me a day with my use case – mostly social media browsing. While some brands are excluding chargers from the box, Realme is providing a 65W charger for a device that supports 65W fast charging. 

Realme 8 Pro preview

Coming to the USP of the smartphone, you get a 108MP primary camera that captures detailed images in bright daylight. The dynamic range is satisfactory as well. You also get an 8MP ultra-wide-angle camera that captures colors that are slightly different from the ones captured on the primary camera. Then there is a 2MP macro camera, which captures vibrant images but lacks details, especially when compared to the 5MP camera sensor on the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max, which I called “the best in the segment” in the review. There is also a 2MP back and white sensor. You can check out the samples below:

108MP
primary
Macro
Night mode with filter
Night mode with filter
ultra-wide-angle

The Realme 8 Pro is powered by the Snapdragon 720G SoC, which seems dated in 2021. While the daily life performance is fine, you do come across some stutters in the UI. Further, it comes in 6GB and 8GB RAM options with 128GB of storage. The smartphone runs Realme UI 2.0 with Android 11. It is clean and simple to use. I like the usability on offer here.

To conclude, the Realme 8 Pro isn’t a bad device but the competition is too damn hard. It sports a 108MP primary sensor, the fast charging on offer is great, plus, it is comfortable to hold. But is it enough to compete? Time will tell.

Realme 8 Pro display

What do you think of the smartphone? And, what would you like to see in our full Realme 8 Pro review? Let us know in the comments below.

 

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