Category: Review

Versace On The Floor

Over the holidays, a friend asked me, “Alam mo yung Versace On The Floor ni Bruno Mars? Ang ganda nung song na ‘yun.” Being that person who sings songs but does not take the time to know the titles, I simply answered, “Hindi. ‘Maya kantahin mo para malaman ko.” So when my friend sang this, I told myself, “Ah yun pala title nun.”

Here’s the song for your reference.

By simply listening to it, one would think that the song is simply about a couple making out. Who wouldn’t? There’s this line, “take it off for me, for me, for me, for me now, girl” that gives this idea all the way.

However, thinking about this more could lead to the realization that the song is a metaphor. In the song, the singer (which I assumed is a guy) is asking the girl (who wears the Versace) to be her true self. In essence, the Versace dress represents the woman’s beautiful facade that the singer does not want to see anymore. It could be the woman’s pretensions to make the man like her more. More than the pretty sight, the singer wants to know what’s beneath and what’s truly in the heart of the woman wearing the Versace. Moreover, the woman might be too conscious of herself, so the singer assures her by stating, “No don’t be afraid to show it off/ I’ll be right here ready to hold you/ Girl you know you’re perfect from/ Your head down to your heels.” The song is also a metaphor for going deeper into the relationship. The couple is already passed the stage of physical attraction and is ready for more, which the line “Oh, seems like you’re ready for more, more, more” supports.

What do you think about the song? Is it just about making out? Or does it symbolizes something more? Share your thoughts with me in the comment section. 🙂

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Top Three Coffee Makers

Justina Cheng, author of one of the books named best by Kirkus Reviews and Barnes & Noble, once said, “Adventure in life is good; consistency in coffee even better.”

Drinking coffee is no longer a morning habit these days; it is already a lifestyle. We bond with our friends over a cup of cappuccino. We study with the help of espresso. And we enjoy solitude by sipping our macchiato.

While there are lots of coffee shops anywhere, many still opt to make theirs at home. And although instant coffees are out in the market, nothing beats brewing your own. But how do we get the consistency that we want with our coffee?

Brewing your own coffee entails having your choice of coffee grounds and of course your coffee maker. Today, let’s go over the top three best coffee makers out in the market:

 

  1. Bonavita BV1900TS

 

While Bonavita BV1900TS is not striking on the outside (it does not have any LED or lights but a single button for turning it on and off), many reviews have said that when it comes to coffee drip brewing, this is a champ.

BV1900TS brews coffee straightforwardly. Preparing your coffee would only take opening the water tank lid, pouring a portion of water, adding coffee grounds into the brew basket, positioning it over the thermal flask, and finally flipping the switch. The water from BV1900TS drains fast, which is a good sign. For instance, it only takes six minutes to create a full 45-ounce pot of coffee, and this is under the eight-minute (or less) suggestion from the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA). Finally, BV1900TS runs very hot, which is what makes a coffee maker’s resume topnotch; it reaches the 200-degree mark (Fahrenheit) after about 2 minutes for the rest of the brewing cycle.

All in all, BV1900TS makes good coffee even when using challenging coffee grounds, and if you’ll use better coffee grounds, there’s a big chance you’re in for your best homemade drip coffee ever.

 

  1. Mr. Coffee DRX5 4-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker

 Just like the BV1900TS, this Mr. Coffee unit also makes brewing simple but satisfying palette-wise. Just set it up, turn it on, and brew! Because of its size, Mr. Coffee DRX5 is best for a single person or a couple.

But just like the saying “great things come in small packages,” this compact coffee maker has great features, too. For instance, this four-cup coffee maker brags of its newly designed “Pause n Serve” feature. This allows you to pour a cup of coffee while the machine is still brewing. Apart from this, the unit also has an auto-pause brewing system. With this, you can easily remove the flask and avoid any possible spill! Mr. Coffee DRX5 also has Delay Brew feature for up to 24 hours in advance, which means you do not have to make your cup every morning! Lastly, the coffee maker automatically turns after an hour of being idle. So if you are a busy person that has no time for complicated brewing of your coffee and is too occupied for coffee-related-tasks, then Mr. Coffee DRX5 is for you!

  

  1. De’Longhi 12-Cup Coffee Maker

Originally from Italy, De’Longhi has a long list of appliances, and this includes the De’Longhi 12-Cup Coffee Maker. Most of its best features, such as the 24-hour programmable digital timer and auto shut down, are the same with Mr. Coffee DRX5, but instead of four cups, you get twelve. So if you have a big family and everyone likes to drink coffee first thing in the morning but does not want to wake up early to prepare, then this is best for you.

More than the taste, this coffee maker also makes it a point to boost your drink’s aroma through its special time-release process that saturates the coffee grounds a little to extract the best flavor and aroma from your coffee. Unlike other coffee makers, De’Longhi 12-Cup Coffee Maker has a permanent gold-tone filter that keeps even the finest grounds out of your coffee. This also has the unique front access design. With this, you can simply pull the handle of the machine for easy access to the water and coffee filter.

 

With these three coffee makers, consistency in coffee is no longer a question. Do you agree with me that these are the three best coffee makers? Comment below to let me know. 🙂

Razer Blade 2 Review

From the get go, gaming was done to simply pass time. However, gaming has evolved to a more dedicated hobby that takes skills, attention, and money. Gamers are always on the look for the new games, maybe tournaments, and of course gadgets. Released this year, Razer once again treated its followers with its Razer Blade 2, a gaming laptop. How is this gaming laptop different from its predecessor? What does this promise? Is this worth the money? Let’s find out below!

 

Display

The overall look of Razer Blade 2 does not deviate much from its predecessor. It’s still made of a sheet of aircraft-grade aluminum assembled via CNC mill that is also anodized and coated in a glossy black paint. Also, the logos and buttons are in their respective places and look or feel exactly the same like in its predecessor.

However, it would not be a new version if it did not incorporate several little changes. Let’s begin with its weight. The first Razer Blade weighs 4.47 lbs while the new Razer Blade weighs 4.25 lbs. Not much of a difference and difficult to appreciate since Razer Blade has been known to be thin and light, but still!

Razer Blade 2 also hyped its improved thermal design that allows using the laptop on your lap (but who does this while playing anyway?) while under heavy load. This blade also has the coolest keyboard with Razer breaking ties with Alienware and MSI’s laptops and introducing its Chroma lighting system for PC keyboards, and this allows individually-lit keys that can display any of 16.8 million colors available. With this, you can assign a unique color to each key on the board helping you visually see the most used keys, such as the letters W-A-S-D, or color code them for specific scenarios, such as which keys are for potions, skills, and movements. This blade also added a Thunderbolt USB Type C port in addition to the existing three USB 3.0 ports, and this allows for external GPU (via Razer core). Blade 2 also has the usual HDMI-out 1.4 and 3.5mm headphone/microphone jack.

Moving on, Razer Blade 2’s GPU is Nvidia GeForce GTX 970M. Although GTX 10 series is out in the market, there’s still no mobile version for this, so GTX 970M is still preferred for mobile. However, when GTX 10 mobile series releases, which could be anytime soon, there’s a big chance that Razer Blade 2’s GPU would be outdated very quick.

Lastly, this blade’s screen is 14 inches with Quad HD resolution and IGZO, which allows for multi-touch. This gives the added convenience especially if you’re used to using smartphones and tablets.

Performance

The new blade operates under 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-6700HQ (quad-core, up to 3.5GHz with Turbo Boost) powered with 16GB DDR4 (dual-channel, 2,133MHz), which is the latest generation, so it follows that the laptop is top of the line providing fast handling and less (to none) lagging. And these are what all gamers want in a laptop! 

Essentials (battery life, RAM etc.)

The blade comes in two variants: the 256GB and 512GB, but this is the only difference. Both connect via Killer Wireless AC 1535 (802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.1) and have a 2MP built-in webcam.

Unlike its predecessor that only has 3GB of video card RAM, the new blade has 6 GB, and if the first blade already provided a good performance, just imagine what the double RAM power could do.

Furthermore, this blade’s PCMark 8 Battery Life score is an hour longer than its predecessor, but to make things even better, the laptop could last up to 6 hours but with 50% brightness only, which is pretty impressing for a gaming laptop.

Price

The 256GB variant is sold at $1,999. This is fair when compared to its competitors, such ASUS ROG, MSI Gaming, and Alienware, which are all priced in the same range. But if your cash is above par, you can also consider its 512GB variant sold at $2,199.

The Verdict

I would say that this is the gaming laptop to go especially with its excellent features and nice additions, yet the idea that it doesn’t use the GTX 10M yet could be a sign of how this laptop could swiftly lose its luster in the future once GTX 10M gets released. Overall, this gaming laptop gets a 4/5.

 

Is Google Chromecast 2015 Worth It?

In 2013, Google introduced its Chromecast- a media-streaming device that plugs into the HDMI port of a TV unit. Just last year, it launched its newest Chromecast in the form of the Chromecast 2 or Chromecast 2015.

In this time of innovation when anything and everything could be done through the power of the Internet and wireless connection, is it best to have your very own Chromecast 2015? Let’s find out with this review.

Design

From its predecessor’s flash drive-look, it now presents a simple design using a puck-like appearance with a circumference roughly the size of can of soda. Its exact size is 2.04 x 2.04 x 0.53 inches, which can fit in the palm of your hand.

When plugged in, the device is hanging through the 3 to 4 cm cable that connects the HDMI socket to the device itself. If your HDMI port is located at the side of your TV unit and you’re into being organized and neat, then there’s a big chance that the hanging Chromecast 2015 would be an eye sore although this does not entirely affect the performance. On the other hand, the 3 to 4 cm cable could also allow flexibility, especially if the HDMI ports are positioned at the back of the TV unit with the power adapter placed in its side, too.

As mentioned above, the AC power adapter uses the microUSB input, which allows you to power Chromecast 2015 off your TV’s USB ports (if it has them).

For its price, the overall build of the Chromecast 2015 is said to be excellent. The main device is made of plastic while its HDMI connector and 3 to 4 cm USB and microUSB cable are rubberised, which are all well put together that aids in ease of use.

Chromecast 2015 comes in three distinct colors: black, coral, and lemonade, and this offer the options most users crave for these days.

Overall, while the device’s design appears to be well thought of, the varying ideas about its new puck-like appearance with to its 3 to 4 cm cable puts the current Chromecast at 4/5 for this aspect.

Essentials

 To fully use the Chromecast 2015, an Internet source, preferably via Wi-Fi router is needed. If you were using a good router, then you’d appreciate the device’s 802.11ac networks including the 5GHz frequency band (also on 802.11n). With these, a better range and connection speeds could be observed, which should translate into faster buffering and smoother playback. Others have suggested that to have the optimum connectivity, try using a wired Ethernet adapter that has the same microUSB port as the power input if using a router nearby.

Unfortunately, the device only has 256 MB of memory, which in this day and age is almost the same as nothing. Thus, only a couple of apps could be saved.

The networks used appear compelling, but the limited memory can’t be set aside. Thus, for the essentials, Chromecast 2015 gets 3/5.

Performance

Similar to its predecessor, using Chromecast 2015 is simple. Plug this into your TV’s HDMI port, connect to your home’s Wi-Fi network, and this should act as a portal for the content on your handheld devices to be seen or mirrored onto your TV. So, if you’re watching news in your mobile phone, this could be shown in the TV unit, too. This process is called “casting.”

By using the Chromecast 2015, handheld devices resources aren’t dominated by streaming tasks and battery life doesn’t take much of a hit.

Notably, the new Chromecast provides a better performance than its predecessor. For instance, videos are loading faster, and crashing is less, especially when using apps, such as Netflix and YouTube. Moreover, songs switch are done with less dead air while using music channels, such as Spotify.

All of these run off a simplified version of Google’s Chrome OS.

Given that it’s still simple to use and how it is now faster, Chromecast 2015 deserves 5/5 this time.

Special Features

Chromecast 2015’s catalog of special features is next to nothing, but it has introduced a longer list of Google Cast–ready apps. These are the apps compatible with the device that can be installed in your handheld devices, which when used could be mirrored in the Chromecast 2015 (contents wise). Among the most notable Google Cast–ready apps are Allcast, Vudu and Crackle, Showtime and Showtime Anytime, Hulu, HBO Go and HBO Go Now, Watch ESPN, and Sling TV among others.

When talking about the price, Chromecast 2015 is way cheaper than its competitors. Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, Roku 3 and Roku Streaming Stick are sold at $99 while the new Apple TV is priced at $149.

The Verdict

In general, while Chromecast 2015 has minor issues with its new design, it is overall good. Yet, it still falls under the “basic” catergory for media-streaming devices, especially in terms of performance and features. But this is justifiably fine considering that it is sold only for $39. If you’re buying for the first time, you might want to try this, as this would be a good gateway to media-streaming devices. However, if your expectations is on the higher level when it comes to performance and features, then Chromecast 2015 may appear lacking for you. So is Chromecast 2015 worth it for you? Let me know in the comments section!

Cook Healthy With Philips (HD9220/26) AirFryer

Cooking these days is not just about food; it is also now about being healthy. And in this ever-evolving world, an air fryer is one of the heaven sent appliances that we can have. One of the best models for an air fryer is the Philips (HD9220/26) AirFryer with Rapid Air Technology. Does this model do us good? Let’s find out in this short review.

Design

The Airfryer is 15.1 inches tall and 11.2 inches wide. The unit’s body is made of plastic that weighs 15.4 lbs. The appliance can cook up to 28 ounces of food, which is fair. If you’re unsure how much the food you’re cooking is, don’t fret! Inside the appliance is a marker that tells the max amount of space the food could occupy.

This appliance comes in black and silver, which makes it look sleek and classy. It also has signal lights that tell when the food is already done. On the upper left side of the appliance are some tips on how long foods cook. Considering all of these, Philips (HD9220/26) AirFryer is at 5/5 at this category.

Essentials

If you’re itching to use your Philips Airfryer after purchase, you might need to hit the pause button for a while. For starters, the inside pot only has a food basket, so you would need to purchase an additional fry/grill pan or a rack, if your cooking needs such. But if not, feel free to just dump the food you’ll cook!

To compensate for the added materials, included with the brand new unit is a user manual and a free recipe book. Because of the need to buy additionals, Philips Airfryer sits at 4/5 for this category.

Performance

Philips Airfryer gives you a lot when cooking. While its knob-liked (that needs to be turned) controls, such as the integrated timer and temperature control, are manual, it has ready signal and auto shut-off30-minute timer with ready signal and auto shut-off. So if your cooking were done, it would simply turn itself off. Cooking time could be up to 30 minutes while the fully adjustable temperature control allows you to pre-set up to 390°F.

This unit boasts of its Rapid Air Technology, which circulates hot air around the metal food basket with speed and precision for perfect results. The best part of this is that because of the Rapid Air Technology, only a tablespoon (or less) of oil is needed to cook! Now this is what healthy is being about! Also, its starfish design ensures your favorite foods cook evenly.

Furthermore, this appliance is not only good for frying, baking and grilling are welcome, too! Overall, noting its Rapid Air Technology that eliminates the need for too much oil and the variety of foods that it can cook alongside the control it gives, Philips Airfryer’s performance is at 5/5.

Special Features

It is given that the Airfryer could cut cooking time, but did you know that it could also help with the cleaning part? Yes! This Airfryer is dishwasher-friendly. Its removable nonstick-coated drawer and the food basket are dishwasher safe for a quick and easy clean up. Just pull these and place in your dishwasher, and voila! Cleaning is done! Because we all are too tired to clean, this dishwasher-friendly feature makes it 5/5.

The Verdict

Certainly you can sense my enthusiasm towards this appliance, and I can’t wait to get a hand to one. Apart from the need to buy additional materials, Philips (HD9220/26) AirFryer is the air fryer to have given its appealing design, good performance, and easy-to-clean feature!

Asus ZenWatch 2: Is It Worth It?

The Asus ZenWatch 2 launched in 2015, and while the launch itself wasn’t as grand as most new products would be released, it sure did capture the eyes of the consumers. If you’re on the verge of buying your new wearable, hold for a moment, and reflect if this one’s for you.

Design

Looking at its predecessor, it is no wonder that ASUS ZenWatch 2’s design is appealing. This smart watch is made from a high quality stainless steel, which can come in silver, gunmetal, and rose gold. On the other hand, its straps could be leather or rubber, which gives you the choice depending on where you are or your needs. Similar to the other smart watches we have out in the market, its design is not exactly flashy, but its overall look does not make it boring. Instead, it exudes elegance.

Unlike its predecessor, ZenWatch 2 has two sizes: a 49 mm version featuring a 1.63-inch display and a smaller 45 mm model that comes with a 1.45-inch screen. So if you have a smaller wrist, then the smaller model would be the best fit for you, but if you are a big-watch enthusiast, then go for the 49 mm version. Conversely, this smart watch, either of the two sizes, is relatively thinner than most of its competitors aiding more comfort when in use.

Overall, considering the options this wearable gives in terms of color and size and its “thinness,” I would rate this 5/5.

 

Essentials

Let’s begin with its display. As noted, the ASUS ZenWatch 2 features a 1.63-inch with 320 or 280 resolution and a 1.45-inch display with 280 x 280 resolution both with the AMOLED screens. These give the display nice and vibrant colors. Many would comment that its resolution is not that high, but in all honesty, what the wearable has is certainly more than enough to get the job done. To protect the unit, there’s Corning Gorilla Glass 3 panel, which is said to be able to hold for quite some time.

While these make the wearable all good, its large bezels around the display make it a bit disappointing. But to make up for this, the AMOLED construction makes the black watch to blend into the bezels.

Moving on, the larger model comes with a 400 mAh battery, while the smaller version features a 300 mAh unit. Before its launch, Asus made extreme claims about the watch’s battery life and hyped it up well. Yet, the watch didn’t live up to it, which the battery size almost supports (smaller than its predecessor).

A full charged watch can last up to 10 hours with the screen always on ambient mode (the watch is in a low power state that dims the screen when it’s not being used), but this improves after a couple of charging to at least a full day, which could be more if ambient mode is not in use, which means that the batt will last longer if you will not use it, which in actuality defeats the purpose.

On the other hand, the charging experience has improved. For one, a dock or cradle is no longer used. Instead, there is a USB type A connector with a magnetic pogo pin that fits at the back of the smart watch that makes the connection for charging very easy. However, the absence of the cradle makes the wearable “knock-able.” The device also charges fast; in 30 minutes, 50% of the batt could be charged.

To compare it with the other wearables, Moto 360 has 320mAh power pack and LG G Watch R has 410mAh battery. It is safe to say that ZenWatch 2 is in the average category in terms of battery life.

Noting the display, screen size, and batt, this watch is at 3/5.

 

Performance

Powering the ASUS ZenWatch 2 is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor supported by 512 MB RAM, which is the standard processing package for almost every Android Wear smartwatch in the market making the watch performs smoothly while navigating through the various cards and menus showing very few issues.

The power button has been relocated on the right side, which was at the back before. A push to the button turns of and off the display. Turning the display off could also be done by tapping the screen with the palm of your hand. Holding the press brings up the menu.

Convenience is still big in this wearable through the voice commands. Simply say, “OK Google,” and this will function as Google Now. Moreover, its voice recognition is dependable making it really easy to reply to messages and do a lot more using just your voice.

If you’re not into voice commands, the watch works following swipe commands. For example, swipe left from home watch face’s edge to see the apps drawer. Another swipe will bring you to a contacts page that lets you send and read messages, which now allows emojis to save or send out.

Moving on to apps, one of the pre-loaded apps is the Together app, which lets you send messages directly to other ZenWatch 2 owners. It also has an Asus Weather app in addition to the Android Wear one, which could be a sign of being redundant. Another down side to this is that any of these can’t be removed.

Moreover, heart rate sensor, which is common in wearables, is not in ZenWatch 2 but it has a 6-axis gyrometer and accelerometer, and this somehow is sending an impression that there’s a less of a focus on fitness with this watch. If you are on the higher tier of wanting to be fit, then you might want to consider a fitness tracker or smartwatch with more robust exercise options.

All in all, the ZenWatch 2’s performance sits at 4/5.

 

Special Features

The ZenWatch 2 has new features! One of these is its ability to be linked to iOS device via Bluetooth, which allows for sending notifications from your iPhone. But don’t get too excited because this is still limited. For example, there are no third-party watch apps available for download at the moment. Also, the watch is still unable to send Hangouts, text, or chat messages from your iPhone. Of course if you’re not comfortable with the iOS devices, then you can always use your Android smartphone.

Another feature to look forward is watch faces. This can be tinkered with through the ZenWatch Manager app, which needs to be downloaded before all of the faces show up on the device, and this offers more options than Apple Watch, and many customization settings for the complications.

The wearable is Wi-Fi ready, has a built in microphone, and its Bluetooth connectivity is very good; the range is impressive, too.

The wearable also comes with an IP67 certification for resistance to dust and water, and this means that it is completely protected from dust and can be submerged in up to 1 meter of water (fresh water) for 30 minutes without a negative impact on performance and usability.

 

The Verdict 4/5

 Considering how it has improved from its predecessor, how it offers much choices and its sleek look, ZenWatch 2 is truly promising. Yet, if we factor in its limitations, such as compatibility, battery life, and the huge bezel, it makes it just a “good” and not a great smart watch.

Overall, if you were to buy a smart watch for the first time, this would be a good buy. This would give you functionality as best as it could be without tipping the money scale.

Top 5 Selfie Mid Range Smartphones

It’s only been a couple of years when the word “selfie” has been added to the official English dictionary, but even before that, most smartphone users have been fascinated in snapping their photos using front cameras. There are a LOT of smartphones that offer quality photos from front cameras, but here are the top five considering the price range of AED 500 to 900.

Let’s begin with the Asus Zenfone Selfie currently being sold at AED 706. The quality of a selfie lies in the front camera, which Asus Zenfone Selfie’s 13 MP front camera would surely achieve. This also has dual LED flashes and laser auto focus, which is said to be the first in smartphones. Asus Zenfone Selfie’s focus on photos is often said to be pleasing with its front camera’s wide-angle lens and f/2.2 aperture.

The unit also offers an array of shooting modes, such as night, panorama and HDR (high dynamic range). There’s also the manual mode, which offers more control. If these are not enough, Asus Zenfone Selfie has a comprehensive beautification feature to enhance the images taken, and you can see the effects live (like in Snapchat) or apply them post-shot (like in Instagram). These include skin tone adjustment, skin softening and brightening, eye enhancement, and cheeks thinning.

Apart from these, its Selfie panorama mode lets you combine multiple shots into one wide image guiding you where to keep still, so the phone can take the next shot. And for those who are unstoppable in taking photos, this has 32GB internal storage, so keep snapping!

Moving on, we also have the HTC Desire Eye being sold at AED 889. Some users have branded this as the “selfie King” with its 13 MP front camera equipped with an LED flash with Auto focus ability. Its LED flash has the BIS (back illuminated sensor) that adjusts the light for best results.

Moreover, this smartphone has auto click mode, which could be used by simply raising the device. This means you could snap your photo just by lifting the device! Who says taking selfies could not get any easier? Not only that, its front and rear camera could work simultaneously through its Crop Me In feature. This would take an image from the rear camera and front camera simultaneously and then superimpose the front camera image on the rear camera shot.

Since photo editing is also becoming a trend these days, HTC Desire Eye comes with tools for instantly editing your images and making them better. No wonder they’re calling this smartphone the “selfie King.”

Third in our list is the Sony Xperia C4 Selfie Phone sold at AED 680. Sony Xperia C4 is the successor Sony Xperia C3 that has 5.5-inch screen and Full HD display resolution.

Sony claims Sony Xperia C4 can take “pro-selfies” using its 5 MP front camera in low or medium light with the aid of its soft LED light from the flash, which is uncommon for many smartphones. So even if you’re somewhere dark, snapping that selfie wouldn’t be bad!

The front camera with also boasts of its OIS or Sony Steady Shot technology, which lowers noise in each snap to a great extent that makes the photos better! On the other hand, the rear camera has 13 MP in resolution, which is competitive given its price range.

Upon purchase, the unit has bundled apps or modes, but most of them are for one-time use only. However, you could always purchase them if you think they make your selfies better!

Let’s move to our fourth selfie smartphone—the LG G4. This is from LG’s flagship “G” phones that is being sold at AED 899. Did you know that LG G4 is in the Guinness Book of World Records? Yes! It holds the record for “world’s longest selfie relay chain.” It is said that the smartphone took whooping 746 selfies in just two hours. So if you take selfies at this rate, this might be the phone for you.

The LG G4’s rear camera has 16 MP, while the secondary one has 8 MP, which many claim to produce nice photos!

To make the unit even more compelling, its camera app is loaded with options. For example, there’s +/- AE-L (autoexposure lock/settings) for brightening or darkening a scene, MF (manual focus) for manually adjusting the focus to near or far, and S (shutter speed), which is great for low-light shots. It also has WB (white-balance), which gives you more control over the colours of the shot for warmer or cooler toned images and ISO (sensor sensitivity), which helps take pictures of fast-moving objects or subjects in low light without blur; the low setting helps reduce noise and get more detail.

Moreover, LG G4 can output in RAW format. With this, say goodbye to compressed photos, such as JPGs, which normally lose the photos’ grandeur.

This is also has gesture control that allows you to start a three-second selfie timer by opening and closing your fist in shot. No more shaky hands when pressing the shutter!

Last but definitely not the least in our list is the Huawei Ascend P8, which you can get at AED 549.

This unit contains a Sony-developed 13-megapixel RGBW sensor that comes with a dedicated image processor and f/2 lens. This is designed to deliver better photos captured in a low-light environment and reduce noise. It is also said that Huawei claims that the P8’s optical image stabilisation (OIS) is notably superior than the iPhone 6 Plus’ given its ability to handle 1.2 degrees of motion shift compared to only 0.6 degrees on the iPhone 6 Plus.

Its front camera’s 8-megapixel is likewise ideal for selfies, and this comes with some built-in tools that could beautify the shots. The list of beauty enhancements includes face slimming, teeth and skin whitening, and eye bag removal. Say hello to your perfect selfie shot using these!

There you have it! The top 5 mid-range selfie smartphones we have today. Whichever you choose, I bet the photo would be good as long as you give your best smile. Say “cheese!”