Ceddy's Random

Ceddy's Random - Vlogs

Saturday, April 13, 2024


 iPhone 14 Pro Max 6 Months Long Term Review

Hello Everyone! Ceddy here and I am back again for another long-term tech review.
And I am going to share my long-term use of the iPhone 14 Pro Max. I choose the limited edition color of deep purple.

Switching from iPhone 13 Pro Max to 14 Pro Max

As you may know, I recently switched from iPhone 11 to 13 Pro Max last year. I've been using the 13 Pro Max for almost a year and decided to switch to the 14 Pro Max 6 months ago.

The overhyped marketing of the 14 Pro Max "Dynamic Island" and its feel-so-good marketing are one of the few reasons why I switched to their new flagship. 

I know it's not practical these days to go with the trend especially if the device that you are using is still working perfectly. But as a tech enthusiast, I took a gamble and decided to trade in my 13 Pro Max limited edition Alpine Green. Surprisingly, with almost a year of usage down to 96 percent of its battery life, I am still impressed that the value of trading it is still high compared to its predecessor's Android. I was able to trade in for the value of $405 compared to my original purchase of worth $805. That's half of the value of a year-old flagship device. Do note that upon selling my device, the iPhone 14 Pro Max is selling like a hotcake.

For some reason, I was not able to make an unboxing video due to the system constraints of my old Macbook before. 

The Dynamic Island- An Overhyped Marketing?

Well, I was so deeply impressed by the way Apple integrated this new type of technology into their product. The People from its human design interface division invested a lot to innovate. A small pill shape notch that some people would ignore it. Apple decided to utilize this feature so that instead of leaving it on standby, instead, people would interact with it. Though it's a pretty gimmicky feature, this pill-shaped interactive feature was not new at all. I remember the release of the LG V10 way back in October 2015. They have a similar feature but instead of having a small pill shape design, LG V10 comes with a small line bar on the top beside its earpiece. In my opinion, that didn't go well as planned. Apple has almost similar approach as per my observation. The only difference is how Apple innovates this technology. Their marketing is so good that the existing features seem to be new to everyone and people would really entice to get one. 

LG V10 via Phone Arena

For the first month of using the device, the fun intuitive, and interactive dynamic island works perfectly with a buttery smooth animation depending on which app you will use. For example, Spotify, if you wish to minimize the app, instead of the usual closing down transition of the app, the application goes up to the dynamic island mimicking a " genie in the bottle" effect. It works perfectly that you might want to do it all over, very satisfying. The same goes for the timer in the stock app. The dynamic island is open for developers wanting to integrate their app for whatever reason they wanted to. Some local app that has a feature integrated with the island is real-time tracking. If I wish to order food or grocery online, with the help of always-on display (AOD) and dynamic island, I can easily view what's the ETA of my order in real time. 

So far, there are a few apps that I used that do support the dynamic island, but as time goes by, there would be more additional apps would be joining.  As per my experience, using the dynamic island is cool but  I rarely use it afterward since interacting with the pill shape design can get a lot of smudges or fingerprints that can cause blurry images while taking a selfie since the front camera is aligned with the dynamic island, but this can be rectified by just cleaning the front lens easily. 

Front and Main Camera- Is it worth the upgrade?

Speaking of the front camera. The front camera now has a built-in autofocus with an enhanced portrait feature channeling to f1.4 for the depth of field. I'm not going to deep dive into all its camera specs, but as a person using the camera every day. I don't see any major changes with its main camera, though some specs have some changes, for me, it is just the same as adding the telephoto lens from its main camera has some great advantages especially if you are taking some still portrait shots that distance is really needed. Overall, the camera division of the iPhone is always great. The video quality is great too adding Dolby features, 4K, and all.

The ALWAYS ON DISPLAY- Finally! A deal breaker!

I mentioned above as well about the Always On Display (AOD). Among other iPhones. This is the first iPhone that utilizes the AOD feature, though android devices have been using this feature for a very long time, Apple finally utilized this feature.  My Samsung M52 5G has a built-in AOD. But it really amazed me how Apple uses it differently. For my M52, the AOD remains pitch black showing the text which is needed. But for the 14 Pro Max, AOD is still active but it is not sacrificing the true color of the wallpaper. It's impressive.

Battery Performance- Devour tasks but sips a little

Battery Life is always a swift, devouring task and sips a little. I charged my phone 100% in the morning around 10 AM going to work, and when I reached home by 10 PM, I still have 30% remaining battery and the battery health is at the highest peak of 100%. 

The A16 Bionic IS A BEAST!

Performance wise. I don't see any lags while using the device. Although it tends to get a bit warm when playing intense graphic games such as Genshin Impact, League of Legends, and Mobile Legends. I joined the beta program for iOS 17 and I noticed that it lags sometimes, not because of its processor which is the  Hexacore Apple A16 Bionic processor. The processor is a beast. Adding the 120hz refresh rate. All work flawlessly without any hiccups. I am enjoying watching youtube shorts and Instagram reels on this device, one of the reasons is the 120hz refresh rate. Everything moves so well and it is buttery. 

Built Quality- It's OKAY

The overall built quality is great though Apple used a stainless steel frame (previous iPhones use aluminum) and the 14 Pro Max is protected with a ceramic shield. My iPhone fell off a few times but with a protective casing (of course) yet it's still working perfectly. The 14 pro max is IP68 certified which means it can withstand submersion in water up to a maximum of 6 meters for 30 minutes and is dust resistant. I know it is not advisable to use your device inside the shower. But I always bring my phone, ever since I started using iPhone 11 onwards, I don't see any issues at all.  Though some experts would advise that the longer you use your device in the shower the chances of condensation will occur because of the warm water from the heater. I don't recommend bringing your devices either in the shower (but I do, haha)

So do I recommend the iPhone 14 Pro Max? 

A tricky answer. Yes, if you are using an old iPhone (not the 13 Pro Max). They have almost features minus the AOD and the dynamic island. It's worth the upgrade coming from an old iPhone.

No. If you are using the 13 Pro Max, which I used to have. But, if you have some extra money to shell out. Why not? 

Overall, if your device is still in perfect condition, can take good photos and devour tasks as you need. It's not necessarily to upgrade. Again, it's up to you. 

Thanks for reading and I'll see you again!



Wednesday, February 28, 2024

 Hong Kong- Concrete Jungle and Asia's Finest

I have no plans to visit Hong Kong as I want to travel to the United Kingdom. However, due to visa rejection, I am not able to fulfill my dream to visit the UK. My sister in the UK suggested Hong Kong but I was not planning to go there, for some reason, My other sister in Hong Kong reached out to Me and offered to explore Hong Kong.

Hong Kong was colonized by Britain for almost 156 years. Its glory from the past such as old structures tourist spots, temples, and all were still in good shape and highly maintained. Double-decker buses and MTR ( their subway system ) are the choice of transportation for commuters. And of course, I tried all of them and it was such an experience.

The picture above: The Peninsula Hotel built in 1928 



The picture above: The Chi Lin Nunnery: A large Buddhist temple complex located in Diamond Hill

The picture above: With my Sister at Hong Kong International Airport

It happened to be that my Sister is also a resident of Hong Kong. So She offered me to visit her since we haven't seen each other for the past 25 years. A brief background about myself. My mom is half-Chinese and half-Filipino, whereas my sister is married to a Hong Kong citizen and has been living in Hong Kong for more than 21 years. And the best part? Philippine passport holders can stay in Hong Kong for 14 days visa-free.


The picture above: Gloomy Weather at Tsim Sha Tsui 


The picture above Chilly Early Morning at Sai Kung, Hong Kong



The picture above Waiting for the golden hour at Fuk Man Garden at Sai Kung, Hong Kong

The picture above: Just a normal day in the countryside of Sai Kung



The picture above: Locals of Hong Kong on their daily life



Hong Kong has a humid subtropical climate with dry winters, so to give you an idea, it's the same weather during the summers in the UAE or in the Philippines. I went there last October of 2023. The temperature in the city center ranges from 36 to 38 degrees Celsius and the humidity is paramount. I have to bring an extra T-shirt since I'm sweating a lot. compared to Sai Kung ( located in the eastern coastal area of new territories. My sister resides.) Where the temperature goes down to 20 degrees and it's quite chilly since it's situated below the mountain and waterfront with a luscious water canal coming from the mountain. It is a sight to see and relaxing especially early in the morning. 



Pictures above: Food trippin' at Mong Kok


The most sought-after go-to place for food is Mong Kok. I went to Mong Kok several times and I deeply fell in love with the food choices there. Fresh chow mein noodles, roasted pecking duck, Japanese cuisine, and assorted street foods. It was heaven! I'm not a picky eater so I tried everything as much as I could. One thing that I noticed there is that some local sellers are impatient, I guess maybe because of the language constraint. Good thing that Google Translate is handy. 



The picture above: Chi Lin Nunnery Temple


When it comes to free tourist spots, one thing that I highly recommend is to see the Chi Lin Nunnery located in Diamond Hill. Free entrance, and dressing appropriately are needed since it is a sacred temple. It's a retreat for Buddhist Nuns. The camera is forbidden inside the temple. 

Pictures above: At The Peak


I went to Victoria Peak riding via the famous tram, sounds classy right? Riding in the tram is such a surreal experience, the higher the tram reaches the peak, you get the chance to see the entire skyline of the city. The exhilarating view at the peak took my breath away. It's surreal. 




Pictures above: Hong Kong Monetary Authority



The next place to visit for free is the Hong Kong Monetary Authority. Located in Two IFC towers next to the pier where you can ride a ferry going to TST. Hong Kong Monetary Authority is Hong Kong's central banking institution. I got the chance to learn about the country's monetary history and showcase the country's trading notes and coins. 

Up next is the Tsim Sha Tsui, (some residents would abbreviate it to TST, it's a mouthful to say so they put it that way) situated in the Kowloon district a shopping and nightlife heaven for everyone. It's where the Victoria Harbour is also located. If you want to experience and appreciate the Hong Kong skyline view, this is the place you should not miss. And best of all, it's free. However, you need to cross to reach Victoria Harbour via ferry at Wan Chai Pier or Central 7 Pier. 





Pictures above: Tsim Sha Tsui


I got to experience the local seafood of Sai Kung. I mentioned that it's situated on the waterfront. It is mainly dubbed as the back garden of Hong Kong since most of the locals there work at the coast. The local restaurant sells seafood. When I say seafood, anything that the ocean can offer and will bring to the table. Fresh seafood that you can imagine. I cannot eat crustaceans since I am allergic to them. But it came to the point where I wanted to try their Lobsters. But, thanks but no thanks. Lol.

Pictures above: All about Sai Kung

Pictures above: Lady's Night Market


Ladies Night Market is the best place to buy your souvenirs such as graphic tees or key chains, located in the Kowloon district of Mong Kok. Most of the items can be sold here however, there's a focus on selling ladies' clothes and accessories. Locals selling their products here were able to adapt to other foreigners' second tongue. To my surprise, they can even speak Tagalog (the basics related to selling goods) 

I stayed in Hong Kong for 14 days and I saved the best for last. The Hong Kong Disneyland.

Pictures above: Hong Kong Disneyland


My inner child of 5 years old was thrilled while seeing for the very first time the entrance of Disneyland. I got teary-eyed a bit. Trying all the rides as much as I could and watching the Disney Parade and one of the highlights of my visit-the Disney Fireworks. It was spectacular. A sight to hold, truly, it is the happiest place on earth. 

Here are some tips that I highly recommend if Hong Kong is on your bucket list:

  • Purchase a data sim. I am using two phones so I use the data sim in my 5G portable hotspot.
  • Bring a power bank. As per checking with Singapore Airlines before I travel, the max mAh allowed for a power bank is 10,000 mAh (milliamperes) 
  • Download offline maps. Google Maps to be exact.
  • Purchase an Octopus Card upon arrival at the airport. Octopus is a card that can be reloaded using your Mastercard or Visa card and cash. You can use this card to purchase any goods from small merchants or even McDonald's. If you are running out of balance in your Octopus card, you can top up at any 7/11 or the MTR.
  • Ensure that you have cash all the time as most small merchants, especially in Mong Kok prefer cash. 
  • Last. Seize the moment!

It was a fun and memorable experience. 

That's a wrap. Thanks for reading my blog.