How to put a watermark on a photo using your Android smartphone

Apparently there was a need for a tutorial like this, so without further ado, let’s begin:

This tutorial will teach on how to put a simple text on an image. For tips on how to create a transparent logo for the purpose of watermark, you may look into this.

1. You need to download a third-party photo editor like Pixlr or Snapseed. For the purpose of this tutorial, we will use Snapseed.

2. Open Snapseed and select the photo you want to put your text.

3. Select the pen tool, then Text.

4. Select from a wide range of designs, then edit the text to your heart’s desire.

5. Edit the size of the photo using two-finger zoom gesture. Drag the text to wherever position you prefer.

6. Select the check icon to finalize your design, then Save.

Voilà ! Done! Now you can finally brag to the whole world who shot that perfect sunset.

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Conflict resolution

“I believe that one of the biggest problems that our country faces today is divisiveness – in politics, in religion, and also in culture. And I believe that it’s something that is the same across the world. And so that is something I would want to address. I believe that when people can learn to tolerate each other’s differences and respect each other’s opinions, then we will be a stronger nation and world.”

—Rachel Peters, Binibining Pilipinas Universe 2017

   

This was Miss Peter’s winning Q&A answer when asked by European Union Ambassador to the Philippines Franz Jessen, “This week, the Philippines hosted the ASEAN (Assocation of Southeast Asian Nations) Summit. If you were invited to speak, what would have been your message to the leaders?” For a country comprising of more than 7,000 islands, plagued with problems of transportation, communication, pollution, criminality, corruption, and territorial disputes, divisiveness should be the last thing on our list.

In Facebook alone, there is a constant battle between liberals and conservatives. Catholics versus reformists. A fight between regionalism and nationalism.  A disagreement that doesn’t seem to have an end. As Major Motoko Kusanagi in the 1995 anime film “Ghost in the Shell” puts it, “…my thoughts and memories are unique only to me, and I carry a sense of my own destiny … I collect information to use in my own way. All of that blends to create a mixture that forms me and gives rise to my conscience.” If we all act in the same way, then we’re pretty much robots, or worse, zombies. Difference in opinion isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but to disrespect or call someone names because of his / her beliefs is just ridiculously unreasonable.

Let’s exercise the phrase “agree to disagree” more. Not every discussion is a debate, and you don’t even have to prove your point. It is unnecessary, unhealthy, and if lacking self-control, the outcome could be much more horrible.

  

“Our maturity will be judged by how well we are able to agree to disagree and yet continue to love one another, to care for one another, and cherish one another and seek the greater good of the other.”

—Desmond Tutu

      

Sources:
http://www.rappler.com/life-and-style/specials/bb-pilipinas/168457-miss-universe-2017-rachel-peters-winning-answer-bb-pilipinas
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Handling criticism

 The people who have taught me the most in my career are the ones who pointed out what I didn’t see.” 
—Sheryl Sandberg

Working for five years now in a very demanding and fast-paced industry, I have met many kinds of people.

There are friendly, bossy, lazy, highly-opinionated or the lack thereof, and of course, there are the tactless, insensitive motherf——, a breed of workplace people that doesn’t have a shortage whatsoever. They are the ones who will tell you what you need to know no matter how painful it may seem to swallow.

Lots of times have I been scolded for not doing exactly what they wanted. It wasn’t always because you did wrong, oftentimes they just felt like it. At first, you’ll feel annoyed, and even feel the senior colleagues ganging up on you. But now, when I ponder upon those days, I feel like my experience with them taught me something I’ll never learn in any technical training manuals, and that is to always strive for the best no matter what others says about you.

It was probably the most stressful days of my career to date, but if it didn’t happen, I’ll never be as stronger as I am now. Before, all I’m expecting every working day is how am I going to absorb all their evaluation — some justified, some are just plain fault-finding, most of which made me cringe in embarrassment. But now, I don’t fear anything anymore. Not taking things personally at work and being open to criticism are the keys. It wasn’t easy at first. I admit, I had a hard time. At the end of the day, all of this won’t matter if we don’t learn from our mistakes. Then you will fear no more.

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Music and being proud of your own 

     I love music. There’s no doubt about it. Music is life. When my grandfather was still alive, he’s gonna make sure you’ll listen to The Beatles, The Cascades, or Paul Anka, at least on Sundays. At a time when CDs, iPods, and Spotify were nonexistent, my mom would turn on the radio, and that was my first exposure to the music of Chicago, Air Supply, and Debbie Gibson (who’s music I’m gonna rediscovered later on and become obsessed with). My dad? He’s traditional. He loves folk music. As I entered into elementary school, teen pop rules the airwaves. NSYNC, Steps, A-Teens, S Club 7, Spice Girls, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, A1, Atomic Kitten, Boyzone, M2M, you name it. Among my classmates, the rivalry over fans of Westlife and Backstreet Boys was real. I was on BSB’s side, but let’s be honest, “My Love”, “Swear It Again” and “Fool Again” were simply teen pop music genius. It was also the height of the local music scene, too! There’s no Filipino 90s kid that doesn’t know Eraserheads, Rivermaya, Teeth, Parokya ni Edgar, and Moonstar 88. In high school, it was Vanessa Carlton, Michelle Branch, Matchbox Twenty, Oasis, and Evanescence. Then Fall Out Boy and My Chemical Romance. My first foray into metal was primarily Slipknot, after evolving into much faster and more aggressive Cradle of Filth and Opeth. As I entered through college, I started listening to goth, or gothic music. I still do. After starting out with Bauhaus and Siouxsie and the Banshees, I transitioned into Tristania and Theatre of Tragedy, until I found darkwave. I still listen to post punk and gothic metal, but I love darkwave more. Listening to Dead Can Dance, Arcana, Lycia, and Black Tape for a Blue Girl, it’s like taking your conscious self into a dream. Those airy, angelic, toned down voices whispering to you, the haunting, mysterious soundscapes that seems to transcend reality, it’s like a spiritual experience on its own.

     My appreciation of various cultures coincided with my love of music. My love for J-pop / rock came from my obsession with Japanese movies, TV shows, and animé. Curiously, I wondered, how do other countries enjoy music? And with the advent of the Internet and YouTube, I thought, maybe, by watching foreign music videos, of which languages I don’t speak, may give me some insight on how they enjoy their own music and how they live their lives. I know, I know, it may sound shallow to some, but we all have our ways. It wasn’t the first time I listened (and watched music videos) of such. With the popularity of the Taiwanese TV series “Meteor Garden” back then, it was also the time I got to hear Taiwanese music, and you can’t escape it. On to my quest, I tried to look first for French pop music. French is a beautiful language, so why not? On my search, I found Superbus, their song “Apprends moi” (“Teach Me”) and the corresponding music video is just so fun to listen and watch. Then I found the pop and RnB style of Jena Lee. I discovered several songs and artists more that would be too many to mention. On “Apprends moi” alone, it took me 40+ times listening to the song over and over again just to be able to sing it. It was fun though, learning to speak a language because of a song. Next I tried German pop music, but honestly, I haven’t been able to pronounce words correctly, let alone sing it.

     My most recent experience would be Indonesian pop music. If you’ve been following my blog posts, I just recently watched an Indonesian movie entitled “Mantan Terindah” (“My Most Beautiful Ex”) which as it says, “a story about the song”. I became an instant fan of it, due to its unique take on a romantic drama film. Indonesian and Filipino both came from the same Austronesian family of languages. It has similarities especially on some root words, but it doesn’t mean that one would understand full sentences of the other. I am only speaking for myself — I think their local music scene is very well appreciated. Meanwhile, I do admit that I’m not quite exposed to own my country’s local music nowadays, but by simply turning on the radio, most of the time you’ll only hear Western music, or a locally produced music in English language. Before I even started writing this, I thought of watching some OPM (Original Pilipino Music) on YouTube. I suddenly remembered the 2013 song “Dati” (lit. “Before” or “Back then”) written by Thyro Alfaro and Yumi Lacsamana and performed by Sam Concepcion and Tippy Dos Santos because its lyrics evoke childhood memories of most, if not all, Filipino kids in the 90s and early 2000s. Upon reading the comments section, I was surprised to find out that were people who weren’t Filipino, nor speak or understand the language, and yet they love the song! That’s just like me! Like what I do! (Of course, I try to look for the song’s translation to English if it’s available, it adds meaning to the music itself). I came to the realization that if foreigners love our music, so should us locals. Let’s be proud of our language, our own culture, and our own music. Because that’s what makes us stand out. That’s what makes us unique.

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Mantan Terindah (2014) — review

MT


Synopsis

This Indonesian film revolves around Nada, a woman born with an ability to see the future, who tries to ignore her powers after not being able to save her brother from an accident. After a serendipitous encounter with a musician named Genta, she learns to find herself, and in the process, finds love.


Plot

After a brief back story, the film sets off as the character Marsya calls Nada who’s in the office, informing her that she found a music store that sells Django Reinhardt records, an artist Nada is very fond of.

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Later that day, Nada went to the record store to check it out. While inside, she suddenly had a vision of a shelf falling on a guy, which made her run towards him, pulling him away. Nada then explained that the shelf is gonna fall. She then had a vision again, this time seeing the guy playing guitars. Nada remarked that if that thing hits him, he may not be able to play the guitar anymore. Shortly thereafter, the shelf did fell to the floor. Meanwhile, Nada, left in a hurry.

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That evening, Marsya told Nada that the person she helped wanted to see her to give thanks, which Nada politely declined. Marsya then explained that if a guy has good intentions, he will not stop until he gets what he wants.

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The next day, Nada while riding the train, saw several visions — a couple having an argument in the future, and a kid who’s gonna be lost moments later. As expected, after the train stopped by the station. the mother lost sight of her kid and began searching frantically. Meanwhile, Nada, although is a bit concerned about the kid, decides to simply walk away. At home, Nada had a conversation with her mother, citing some concerns about her powers.

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Nada then finally meets Genta, the guy she saved from the record shop.

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The next morning, Marsya along with a friend, visits Nada, bringing in several dresses with her for Nada to wear on her date with Genta. The two then proceeded to look for the best dress for Nada. Nada keeps rejecting every dress suggested for her, until a particular dress came up. Nada then had a vision of her date with Genta, of which Genta saying she’s beautiful.

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Later that night, Nada and Genta met and had a great time together. After several scenes, Nada and Genta is seen hanging out inside Nada’s house. She then saw a vision of Genta kissing her, in which she just let it happen. The two seems to be much closer after that, and is presumably in a relationship at this stage. One notable scene is while Nada and Genta spends time in the park, the latter playing guitars, his guitar case is lying on the grass wide open, which made a passerby toss coins on it. Nada and Genta then looked at each other and laughed.

Nada is seen giving Genta a gift — a wall clock, saying that this will give him more control of his time. The clock, which will became a major turning point later.

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In the next scene, Genta is playing chess with Nada’s dad Adi, while Nada is looking at them, smiling. Nada said to her mom that finally, her dad has someone to play chess with. Nada is then revealed to be having some grudges with her dad, and that she felt that she is to be blamed on the death of her brother. Nada’s mom said that Nada should just accept how her dad acts because it’s his way of coping with his son’s death. Nada then replied that her dad wasn’t the only one who lost someone that day, that she lost her brother too.

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The next scene shows Nada in Genta’s house, putting the clock on the wall. She then had a vision that Genta is going to end up with another woman. The woman, although the face is hardly seen, has a noticeable G and F-clef tattoo on her left shoulder.

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Nada’s dad, Adi having a conversation with his wife, after Nada played chess with him and tells him that she sees every move he’s going to make, telling her that their daughter’s powers can benefit people. Adi, having a terminal illness, thinks Nada can help him live longer.

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After her last vision, Nada became more clingy and increasingly paranoid, even taking a quick look at a woman’s shoulders to see if she has some sort of tattoo like the one she saw on her vision.

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Nada and Genta, along with a crowd, is watching Tania, an internationally-known singer as she performs inside the record shop.

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Shortly after, Nada then saw something she doesn’t expect to see — a G and F-clef tattoo on Tania’s back. Nada instantly became so concerned that he held Genta’s arms tightly.

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Genta talking with Nada’s parents asking their daughter’s hand for marriage. Nada’s parents replied that they would give their answer after Nada’s upcoming 25th birthday.

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After a very simple birthday celebration, Nada is shown sleeping on her bed, with her dad sitting beside her. Her dad gently caresses her daughter’s face, which made Nada slowly opens her eyes and sees her dad smiling. Afterwards, Nada opens her eyes, then realizes what she felt and saw earlier was probably just a dream.

She then stood up and went in front of the mirror to fix her hair until she suddenly had a vision of students running down a lecture hall. Worried knowing his dad is going afar for a lecture, Nada immediately went to the record shop, probably to seek help from Marsya and Genta. After Nada arrived at the record shop, she saw Genta and Tania, along with Marsya, and other people having a business meeting. Nada, infuriated to see Tania, leaves the shop. Genta then ran off to talk to Nada and they had an argument in the middle of the rain. Meanwhile, Marsya, answers a phone call, of which her reaction pertains something terrible had happened. Marsya then went outside to give Nada the phone. Shortly after, Nada fainted after hearing the bad news — her father is gone.

Nada is grief-stricken, but is slowly learning to accept the fact as time passes by. After some time, Nada finally pulled herself together, and is again seen with Genta on a date, and soon afterwards, ultimately shows the two kissing and eventually making love.

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The next morning, Genta awakens alone, and sees a farewell letter made by Nada. Genta immediately went to Nada’s house only to find out that there seem to be no one inside, which made him went to Marsya. Marsya, trying to convince Genta that even she doesn’t know where Nada is, calls Nada’s phone, which is unreachable. Genta then went home, angry and troubled, even throwing his guitar to the floor.

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Genta then went back to Nada’s house presumably several times, for days and nights, until Nada’s mom finally talks to him. Genta tells her how much he loves Nada and insists her to tell him where she is. Nada’s mom replied that she won’t tell where she is, because it is her daughter’s request. Genta, out of clues, had no choice but to let go.

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A few years later, Genta is now a famous musician. He is seen on magazine pages along with Tania, the two scheduled to marry soon.

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Marsya and Nada is then shown walking while having some chat. Marsya then asks Nada if she regrets what happened before. Nada then replied (which references their first conversation over the phone) “If it’s not meant to be, then it’s not meant to be”.

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Meanwhile, Genta answers a phone call from an unknown caller. Nada then revealed that it is her, and wanted them to meet. At first, it looks like they’re having a great conversation, catching up on each other after all those years. Nada then proceeds on asking Genta about his wedding preparations, which Genta replied, “Good, all good”. Nada then said that she likes the girl for him. Genta replied that he still thinks of Nada everyday ever since. He asks her the reason why she left. Nada then explained that she saw him in a vision, ending up with another woman. This revelation of her supernatural powers goes even as far as demonstrating it by correctly predicting that the waiter will give the wrong drink to the wrong customer, and how the waiter will spill the drink on another customer. Genta then tells Nada that if she would simply say that she wanted to be with him again, just say it and he will give up everything he has now, just to be with her. Nada rejects Genta’s offer and left.

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Nada is then seen driving a car while listening to radio, which coincidentally plays Genta’s song entitled “Mantan Terindah”, which seems to be a reference on Nada telling him back then that he should try to write songs about heartbreaks or sadness. Raisa Andriana, the singer of the title track, is then shown singing on a concert stage. The concert scene fades, and shows Nada crying. Nada is then seen on the park bench where she and Genta used to spend time together.

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The last scene shows Nada riding the train. A guy then entered and sat just in front of her. Nada glanced and smiled after she saw that he is wearing a Django Reinhardt shirt. The guy noticed this then looks at Nada with a smile.

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Review

I saw this movie once with English subtitles in HBO’s RED, a channel that shows Asian movies from all over Asia. After watching the movie, I immediately thought of writing a review, since this was a very interesting concept, the blending the typical romance and drama story line and mixing it with some supernatural and philosophical elements. I don’t know if this was produced by a major film studio or as an indie film, but nonetheless, it’s rare to see a movie being marketed as a romantic drama film to portray such “deepness” in its plot.

I saw the movie again the second time on YouTube for the purpose of this review but unfortunately, it didn’t come with subs so I had to rely on what I remember the characters were talking about. So to our Indonesian neighbors (I live in the Philippines), would you please upload one with subs? That would be awesome!

At first, I thought, “Is this a horror movie?” Because the trailer I saw shows Nada looking at the clock ticking very fast. I continued on watching the movie expecting jump scares, and yet I was surprised. It is a very heartwarming movie, all in all. This is far from the typical cheesy Asian movies you can find. Sure, it was a romantic drama film to begin with, but it has a question that begs to be asked: If you have an ability to know the future, would you do something about it, or would you just let it happen?


Characters

Nada is a clairvoyant, someone who has an ability to gain information about a person, object, or to foresee the future, but tried to suppress her powers after the death of her brother. Nada works in an office she doesn’t seem to love, because she dreams of being an author / illustrator of pop-up story books for children.

Genta, is a musician, and a carefree character. He doesn’t seem to be stressed, and has a philosophy about how he doesn’t want to be dictated by time. He is willing to do anything he can for Nada, even willing to give up everything including his fame. Some might say that Genta is being overly unfair to his fiancée Tania, but I wouldn’t blame him.

Marsya is Nada’s best friend. Although she looks a bit liberated compared to her friend’s conservative character, she is always there for Nada nonetheless.


Conclusion

I think the central meaning of the story is not entirely about fate or destiny. Spiritually speaking, yes, God does have a plan for the each of us, but aside from that, he also gave us free-will that gives us the power to decide for ourselves. I guess Nada, in the bottom of her heart, still wants to be with Genta, but instead of doing that and ruin Genta’s relationship with Tania, she is willing to accept the consequences of her actions, no matter how painful it is or how regrettable it may be. The last train scene where Nada saw a guy wearing a Django Reinhardt shirt and are both seen smiling to each other, I don’t want to speculate that they will be in a relationship in the near future. I think that scene could mean that Nada after crying her heart out in the car, finally learns to lets go of her feelings and is now ready to start living again like how she lived even before Genta came to her life; It doesn’t necessarily mean she’s ready to start a new relationship, unless I missed something on Nada’s closing remarks. In my opinion, of course I would love for Nada and Genta to be together again. The “My Most Beautiful Ex” title will still be applicable, since we can argue that Nada isn’t Genta’s girlfriend anymore, hence the “ex”, because she is his wife now. I guess that would give the movie a better conclusion, but that doesn’t sit well according to the lyrics of the song. Well anyway, I wouldn’t call it a happy ending, but rather a bittersweet one. I guess that would be better than nothing.


Karina Salim
as Nada
Edward Akbar as Genta
Salvita Decorte as Marsya
Angela Nazar as Tania

Directed by Farishad Latjuba

Produced by Keana Productions © 2014


(If you have any corrections, please feel free to leave comments. I would love to have someone to discuss this movie with, preferably someone who understands Indonesian.)


PS: Congratulations to Karina Salim on her wedding!

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Black Saturday – random thoughts

“Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane” by Heinrich Hofmann, 1890.

“Then God spoke all these words: I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall not have other gods beside me. You shall not make for yourself an idol or a likeness of anything in the heavens above or on the earth below or in the waters beneath the earth; you shall not bow down before them or serve them. For I, the Lord , your God, am a jealous God, inflicting punishment for their ancestors’ wickedness on the children of those who hate me, down to the third and fourth generation..”
Exodus 20:1-5 (New American Bible, Revised Edition)

     It’s clear that most people misunderstand this chapter and use it to attack Catholics and their faith, especially verse 4 “You shall not make for yourself an idol or a likeness of anything in the heavens above or on the earth below or in the waters beneath the earth.” Other Christian denominations assert that this is idolatry done by the Catholics by creating such statues, when in fact, if you read Numbers 21:6-91 Kings 6:23-28, and 1 Kings 7:23-39, God himself ordered someone to create statues and/or images for religious purposes. Nonetheless, by simply understanding verse 2 of Exodus 20 will you fully grasp the meaning of verse 4. Verse 2 says, “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.”  Here, it is God himself talking to the Israelites who are (or at this point, used to be) slaves in Egypt. Now, Egypt, as everyone must’ve know by now, has multiple gods, most of which resemble creatures or things seen “in the heavens above” like Horus (a falcon) and Ra (the Sun), and “on the earth” like Anubis (jackal-headed), and Bastet (cat), and “in the waters” like Sobek (crocodile) and Thoth (ibis). God, as he describes himself “a jealous God”, obviously doesn’t want his people to make statues of these Egyptian gods let alone worship them, which the Israelites probably used to, living and working in a polytheistic Egypt for about 400 years. Catholics, on the other hand, doesn’t have such statues, and definitely doesn’t worship any statues of any kind either.

     Take this one,  for example, you have a picture of your wife in your wallet that you keep wherever you go. Whenever you’re not together and you miss this person, you talk to this “picture”. It goes without saying that you’re not talking to the actual photo itself, but the person it illustrates. Same with giving respect to a memorial, or a resting place of a loved one. You’re not talking to that slab of marble, but the person entombed within. To put it simply, Catholics doesn’t worship the statue, but the entity it represents in heaven.

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Samsung Galaxy S7 – Android 7.0 benchmarks

I’m very fond of benchmarks, as it gives me a clear score of performance over various aspects of a device such as battery life, video editing, data manipulation, and so on. Before I updated my Exynos 8890-powered Samsung Galaxy S7, I performed some tests using Futuremark’s PCMark for Android Benchmark app, my choice because of the fact that they subject your device to real-world tests rather than synthetic benchmarking apps like AnTuTu which can be fooled by the likes of OnePlus 3T and such.
 

Preparations

For all tests, I made sure that all apps are closed, Location OFF, Flight mode ON, Device maintenance reports 100%, and temperature is regulated (30-40°C). In addition to the said rules, for the more exhaustive Work 2.0 battery life test, I made sure that the device is on a 100% charge before starting the test and setting the brightness on manual mode and the slider to 44% to simulate 200 nits brightness requirement for accurate results. Now, I know, the Galaxy S7 default brightness slider doesn’t have an indication of percentage, so I downloaded an app called Lux Lite Dash which essentially gave me that functionality. 

Lux Lite Dash in action!

The 44% brightness setting is based on SamMobile’s detailed analysis of the Galaxy S7’s display. According to it, “the screen has a maximum brightness of around 454 cd/m2 (nits) in manual brightness setting, and 683 cd/m2 in auto brightness.”  Now obviously we won’t use auto brightness since the Work 2.0 battery life test needs a constant 200 nits brightness. 44% of 454 is 199.76, which has a difference of only .24 than 4.3 if I set the brightness to 45% (204.3).

Test results 

Work 2.0 performance on Android 6.0 Marshmallow


Work 2.0 battery life on Android 6.0 Marshmallow (Don’t know what the hell happened to the Pass 7 bar)


Work 2.0 performance on Android 7.0 Nougat (L-R: WQHD, FHD, HD)

 

Work 2.0 battery life on Android 7.0 Nougat (L-R: WQHD, FHD, HD)


By the way, as you might already know, the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge defaults to FHD resolution upon Android 7.0 Nougat update, so you might want to check that out. 

Basically all these tests implies that the screen resolution alone greatly affects performance and ultimately, battery life. A lower resolution screen offers better performance and longer battery life, at the expense of losing some sharpness. I’m not that bothered by having my device on 720p to be perfectly honest. For the question if it’s worth trading that mesmerizing Quad HD resolution for more than an hour and a half of battery life, I’ll leave it up to you. 

If you ever prefer to stick to WQHD, note that the Android 7.0 Nougat update on the Galaxy S7 stills offers a greatly improved performance (4780 vs 4232 Work 2.0 performance score) and almost an hour and a half of battery life compared to Marshmallow. So there, update now and make your device faster than ever!

References:

https://www.sammobile.com/2016/04/08/samsung-galaxy-s7-detailed-screen-analysis/

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