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HUAWEI MATE 9 TAKES ON THE IPHONE 7 PLUS WITH POWERFUL DUAL CAMERAS

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The Huawei Mate 9 doesn't stray from Huawei's design philosophy: it's simple, classy and elegant, but it doesn't exactly stand out in the crowd.

The Huawei Mate 9 doesn’t stray from Huawei’s design philosophy: it’s simple, classy and elegant, but it doesn’t exactly stand out in the crowd.

Huawei’s approach turned out to be different than Apple’s. Instead of focusing on zoom, its secondary camera only took monochrome photos that were combined with the other camera’s color photos for enhanced sharpness and details.

Now, at an event in Munich, the company showed the evolution of that concept with its new phablet flagship, the Huawei Mate 9. The 5.9-inch phone has a dual rear camera with the main sensor taking 12-megapixel color photos, which are then combined with the monochrome photo taken by the other rear camera, which has a resolution of 20 megapixels.

Confused? Yes, the two sensors actually have a different resolution, with the result (in color) being a 12-megapixel photo. Huawei tells me the other, 20-megapixel monochrome photo does wonders for sharpness and detail, but the top resolution you’ll get on a color photo is 12-megapixels. You can, however, take a 20-megapixel monochrome photo, and you can also take photos with a 2x pseudo-optical zoom, though it wasn’t entirely clear to me how is this different from standard digital zoom seen (and seldom used) on basically every smartphone camera out there.

I’ve had a very brief time to try out the phone’s hybrid dual camera system prior to Thursday’s launch, and the photos are indeed very sharp, but it’s hard to say how much an improvement it is over P9’s (already very good) dual 12-megapixel cameras.

The dual cameras also let the phone do another trick from iPhone 7’s book, and that’s bokeh, the depth-of-field effect that makes the object in the front sharp and the background blurry. But Huawei Mate 9 has a slightly more advanced version of the feature, which lets you choose the level of background blurriness you want with a slider, and even apply the effect in post-processing, after you’ve taken a photo.

Other specs on the Mate 9 are unsurprisingly top-notch; the phone combines Huawei’s new Kirin 960 chipset with the latest Mali GPU, which Huawei claims results in very fast performance and top scores in multi-core GeekBench tests. It also has 4GB of RAM and 64GB of memory, stereo speakers, four microphones (which allow for some very precise sound recording) a fingerprint sensor and a 4,000mAh battery. The only line on the spec sheet that might not sound up to par is the screen’s resolution, which is full HD (Huawei has stubbornly refused to go higher than that on any of its phones). It might not look as flashy as the quad HD resolutions seen on some phones, but it also doesn’t drain so much battery, so it’s not a huge downside.

On the software side, the Mate 9 is the first Huawei device to run Android N, and Huawei’s EMUI 5.0, which now — finally — has an app drawer option, so you can make it look a little bit more like Google’s stock Android experience.

The Mate 9 has pretty thin bezels and case, but at 5.9-inches, it might be too large for some.

The phone also has a few nifty, Huawei-specific tricks. The phone uses machine learning (which stays on the device, if you’re concerned about privacy) to learn about your usage patterns and do stuff like predict which app you’re likely to open next and make sure it opens fast. As the phone gets smarter about your habits, it should also get faster over time; 80 percent faster, Huawei claims, after 16 months of use.

Huawei also claims the storage, memory and picture rendering have all been optimized for faster operation. Lastly, the phone now has a secure element called “private space” which you can use to store sensitive data, and even assign a different fingerprint for access.

Finally, a few words on the look and feel. At 5.9-inches, it’s a big phone, and even though its bezels and case are quite thin, it likely won’t be a good choice for those with smaller hands. In Europe it’ll come in two colors: silver and dark grey. It won’t win any originality contests, but combined with Huawei’s great build quality, it looks and feels premium.

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Mobile Phones

Apple’s New iPhones Suddenly Confirmed

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Apple’s heavily leaked iPhone 11 looks set to underwhelm users, especially given what we already know about the company’s radical 2020 upgrades. But, if you must upgrade in 2019, breaking news has just delivered your silver-lining. 

Apple iPhone 11 final design shown in Ghostek retail case GHOSTEK

In a major new report, 9to5Mac’s supremely reliable Apple insider Guilherme Rambo has just confirmed all three of Apple’s new 2019 iPhones and their standout features. But it’s not all good news. 

Quoting “people who’ve seen the devices”, Rambo’s reveals the model numbers that will replace the iPhone XS (D42, reference iPhone12,3 in iOS code), iPhone XS Max (D43, iPhone12,5) and iPhone XR (N104, iPhone12,1). Commercial names for the so-called iPhone 11 family remain unknown, but all three models will have the same screen resolutions as their predecessors with the D42 and D43 retaining OLED panels and the N104 again limited to LCD. 

More positively, Rambo has also identified the hardware inside the new iPhones. He reveals the much-vaunted A13 chipset is codenamed ‘Cebu’ within Apple and it carries the model number T8030. The A13 will do some major heavy lifting too, powering new camera technology called ‘Smart Frame’. This records outside the cameras’ standard framing so misaligned shots can be saved through re-cropping afterwards. Every photo will contain this extra information with Apple discarding it automatically if edits are not made after a certain time.

As for the new triple camera design on the back on the D42 and D43, Rambo says the third lens is indeed a wide-angle camera which will be an iPhone first. But unfortunately, the ugly new design is final as well. 

Apple's 2019 iPhone designs are proving controversial with fans - renders based on extensive leaks

Apple’s 2019 iPhone designs are proving controversial with fans – renders based on extensive leaks

Giving a boost to fans disappointed that Apple has cancelled 3D Touch, Rambo says the new iPhones will introduce a replacement called ‘leap haptics’. Details around it are scant, but he does say it will be powered by a new type of Taptic Engine. 

On the flip side, if you had your hopes up about Apple’s seemingly accidental iPhone USB-C revelation, there’s bad news. Apparently, the Lightning Port will survive another year. 

So yes, Rambo’s report does add some meat to the very bare-bones that are Apple’s iPhone 11 upgrades and there are some impressive additions. That said, this all still pales in comparison to the new designradical displayreturn of Touch ID and step-up to 5G which will greet patient iPhone upgraders next year. 

But the decision is all yours, both for better and for worse

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/gordonkelly/2019/07/23/apple-iphone-11-release-camera-upgrade-a13-iphone-xs-max-xr-update/#23e63b136939

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Mobile Phones

Samsung Galaxy Fold to relaunch in September

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Sixty-nine days after it was supposed to go on sale, Samsung announced a new release window for the Galaxy Fold, its first-ever foldable phone. Or rather, a release month: September. And only in select countries, as initially planned. Samsung said it would share specific sale dates as the month nears — we’d guess as early as August. With this announcement, the world’s largest phone-maker has at long last broken its silence about the nearly $2,000 device, which has been delayed since April 22 after reviewers reported screen breakages, flickering and bulging.

Although the Galaxy Fold preorders sold out on the first day, the phone never officially went on sale, and no preorder money was collected. CNET’s review unit didn’t break, though it did experience minor damage to the screen. The Fold costs $1,980, which converts to about £1,500 or AU$2,800.

In addition to a new launch window, Samsung also said it fixed the problems that caused some reviewers’ phones to break in the first place. The fixes include:

  • A protective top layer that extends beyond the bezel, “making it apparent that it is an integral part of the display structure,” not a dust guard you’d want to remove.
  • “Reinforcements” to keep debris from working its way underneath the screen.
  • New “protection caps” to strengthen the top and bottom of the hinge area, which had revealed natural gaps where particles could get in.
  • Metal reinforcements beneath the screen (the Infinity Flex Display), presumably to make the plastic screen stiffer.
  • Reducing the air gap between the Fold’s body and hinge.

“All of us at Samsung appreciate the support and patience we’ve received from Galaxy fans all over the world,” Samsung said in its statement. Samsung has also worked on improving apps, the company said in its statement. The company added that it’s conducting final quality control tests.

A new sales date acknowledges that Samsung still has faith in the foldable phone future, even if some of its critics waver. We haven’t seen the new phone in person, but Samsung did provide some mock-ups. However, it’s hard to see details of the Fold redesign.

Along with 5G, the next-generation network technology, foldable phone designs are potentially the most significant change to the phone industry in a decade. At a time when sales are staling for heavyweights like Apple and Samsung, a phone that folds in half offers a radical new look. It also opens up new ways to use a device that has the screen size of a tablet in a package about the size of a large smartphone.

The delay has caused concern over the ability of foldable phones to make good on their design promise, especially at such exorbitant prices. Huawei‘s foldable phone, the Mate X, costs about $2,600 (2,300 euros). Samsung’s very public problems have also cast doubt over rival phone-makers’ eagerness to release their own foldable phones.

samsung-galaxy-fold-52

Close up with the Galaxy Fold screen, notch and hinge

What happened to the Galaxy Fold?

The Galaxy Fold bends in the middle with the aid of a plastic screen, since bendable glass screens aren’t yet available. Unlike glass, the material is relatively soft. Samsung reinforced it with a plastic adhesive, which stopped short of the edges, caused some reviewers to peel it off like you could a protective film you find on some phones.

The screens on those review units immediately stopped working. Other reviewers found that debris or dust had gotten beneath the display through an air gap between the phone’s screen and hinge. Another experienced one side of the screen that flickered, rendering the Galaxy Fold unusable.

Though few and far between, Samsung is no stranger to disastrous product launches. In 2016, it recalled the Galaxy Note 7 twice in response to evidence that the battery could overheat to the point of catching fire. While Samsung did collect reviewer units, as some reviewers expected, the Galaxy Fold’s screen issues have never been dangerous.

Three years after the Note 7 recalls, Samsung is expected to launch the Galaxy Note 10 at its (confirmed) Unpacked event on Aug. 7 in New York.

samsung-galaxy-fold-44
The Fold’s new screen is said to be stronger.Angela Lang/CNET

The Galaxy Fold has a 7.3-inch internal display that folds up to shield the plastic screen when you’re not using it. A 4.6-inch outer screen handles basic functions like notifications and calls, though you can use any app. It has a total of six cameras, with the same triple-camera setup as the Galaxy S10. The fingerprint reader sits on the right edge, and the Fold lacks the water-resistant design of other high-end Galaxy phones.

Samsung is also in the midst of developing two more foldable phones, according to Bloomberg. It isn’t clear if the Fold’s tardiness has also delayed the development of these future devices — or that of rival foldable phone launches, for that matter.

With a September launch still more than a month away, all eyes are once again on Samsung.

Source: Galaxy Fold: Samsung will relaunch the foldable phone in September

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Hardwares

MacBook Pro 2019 will be a 16-inch LCD laptop

MacBook Pro 2019 will be a 16-inch LCD laptop, New report affirms rumors and points to $3,000 starting price

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New report affirms rumors and points to $3,000 starting price

We may have already seen new MacBook Pro models refreshed for 2019, but the true MacBook Pro 2019 is expected to land this October as a 16-inch LCD laptop, according to Taiwan’s United Daily News (UDN).

Given that this would be Apple’s largest MacBook Pro laptop since 2012’s final run of the 17-inch MacBook Pro, the company reportedly plans to slap a gargantuan baseline price tag onto this year’s model – which could rise above $3,000 (about £2,450, AU$4,350).

This laptop will likely be pushed heavily toward content creators and developers as a demonstration of Apple’s sincerity in serving those audiences. Here’s to hoping it will somehow satisfy the cross-section of folks that also like to game on their workhorse machines.

MacBook Pro 2019 backs down from OLED

This report corroborates one published by London-based market analysts IHS Markit, adding the pricing element to the mix. More importantly, this is the second report to state that the 16-inch MacBook Pro 2019 display will not be an OLED product.

Instead, it will be an LCD to the tune of a 3,072 x 1,920 pixel resolution, which would give the display a rather competitive 226 pixels per inch (ppi) rating and a total of 5.9 million pixels. LCD or not, this is going to be a sharp 3K display.

Will that alone be enough to justify such an exorbitant starting price? Hardly. There are surely other features that Apple has cooking for this device.

We know that Apple is planning to allow this MacBook Pro up to 32GB of memory (RAM), which is already possible on the 15-inch MacBook Pro. 

And, of course, every report mentions an entirely new design likely focused on smaller screen bezels.

Exactly what kind of processor technology will be inside these laptops is also up in the air. Is Apple’s supposed ARM laptop processor to be finished in time for these new laptops? Or, will Apple go all in with AMD considering Intel’s faltering pole position in the laptop computing space?

We’ll almost certainly see more about these missing MacBook Pro 2019 details as we get closer to October 2019.

Source: https://www.techradar.com/news/macbook-pro-16-inch-2019

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