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Oppo’s Reno 3 phones get 5G without sacrificing battery life

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Oppo introduced the Reno 2 barely two months ago, but that isn’t stopping it from releasing a third series before 2019 is over. The company has introduced the Reno 3 and Reno 3 Pro, both of which pack 5G but have dual-mode chipsets (more on that in a moment), four antennas and software that combine to supposedly deliver the battery life of an LTE phone. Algorithms both choose ideal antennas and manage network usage to keep the connection feeling only as fast as it needs to be — you shouldn’t kill your battery just because you want to check email in a 5G area.

You can also expect some cutting-edge display tech. Both Reno 3 phones tout bright 800-nit screens with HDR10+ support and 180Hz touch rates. There’s Dolby Atmos stereo speakers to fill out the sound, too. And battery life might not be a problem — the two handsets have 4,025mAh batteries with 30W rapid charging that gives you a 50 percent charge in 20 minutes, and 70 percent in half an hour.

After that, the differences are surprisingly stark. The base Reno 3 (pictured below) runs on MediaTek’s new Dimensity 1000 chip, and its touts a 6.4-inch FHD+ AMOLED screen with a teardrop notch for its 32-megapixel selfie camera. On the back, you’re looking at a 64MP main camera, an 8MP ultra wide-angle camera and options for monochrome and retro portraits. And did we mention there’s a headphone jack?

The Reno 3 Pro (above) takes a decidedly different approach. It runs on a Snapdragon 765G and carries a 6.5-inch FHD+ AMOLED screen with a smoother 90Hz refresh rate and a hole-punch 32MP selfie cam. The main rear camera is a lower-resolution but more advanced 48MP unit with a f/1.7 aperture and optical image stabilization, and there’s a 13-megapixel 2X telephoto camera to go with the ultra-wide and a 2MP monochrome sensor. Curiously, there’s no headphone jack — Oppo was apparently more interested claiming the “world’s thinnest 5G phone” title (it’s 7.7mm thick) than maintaining consistent features.

Oppo Reno 3

Both Reno models will be available in China on December 31st. The Reno 3 will be available in a version with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage for 3,399 yuan (about $486), while bumping it up to 12GB of RAM raises the price to 3,699 yuan ($529). Splurging on the Reno 3 Pro, meanwhile, will cost you 3,999 yuan ($572) for 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, while going all-out with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage will set you back 4,499 yuan ($643). Color nerds may also want to wait until January, when a Pantone-matched Classic Blue edition of the Pro with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage will sell for 4,199 yuan ($600). You should “stay tuned” for international releases, Oppo said.

On top of this, Oppo is hopping on the true wireless earbud bandwagon with Enco Free buds that bear more than a passing resemblance to standard AirPods. They don’t stand out much apart from options for black and (on Valentine’s Day) pink colors, but they and the included battery case will deliver up to 25 hours of playback when they arrive on December 31st for 699 yuan ($100).

Source:
https://www.engadget.com/2019/12/26/oppo-reno-3-pro/

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Systems

LG Wing takes aim at Galaxy Z Fold 2 – shakes up the new status quo

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The LG Wing made its first appearance last week in a concept image, but has been officially announced since then, introducing a radical new form factor to the world of smartphones.

With a completely different approach to multitasking than the dual screens of the Surface Duo, and an innovative way to offer more screen real estate compared to the Galaxy Fold, the LG Wing is a statement smartphone optimised for the way people consume media today.

The device offers a 6.8-inch P-OLED display that swivels up, revealing a second, 3.9-inch screen. Swivel Mode, as it’s called, is designed to present a new way to “engage with certain apps and features,” which translates to scenarios like using the main screen for video content or navigation, and using the smaller screen for browsing comments, taking calls, or reading messages.

Swivel Mode also allows the second screen to act as a grip, and with Grip Lock turned on, it ignores accidental touches to the smaller screen, meaning that your activities on the main screen remain uninterrupted.

Inside, you’ll find the Snapdragon 765G 5G processor for 5G connectivity, 8GB RAM, and options for either 128GB or 256GB storage.

On the camera-front, you’ll find a triple setup (64MP f/1.8 wide, 13MP f/1.9 ultra-wide, 12MP f/2.2) with a Gimbal Mode that content-makers will love. The selfie camera is a 32MP pop-up – leaving the display free of holes and notches – that can be used in tandem with one of the rear cameras for dual recording.

The LG Wing has taken a different design path to Samsung’s foldables to solve problems like the need for multitasking, and larger displays in a compact form factor, but with the Korean tech giant rumored to be making its foldable Z series its new flagship, LG may find it difficult to find an audience for its unique approach.

The phone is set for an initial launch in South Korea, followed by North America and Europe, but a release date has yet to be confirmed.

Source: https://www.t3.com/news/lg-wing-takes-aim-at-galaxy-z-fold-2-shakes-up-the-new-status-quo

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Laptops

Honor MagicBook Pro (2020) 16-inch laptop review

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OUR VERDICT

The Honor MagicBook Pro is a great laptop that doubles as an exceptional mobile workstation thanks to an outstanding price-performance ratio. Shame about the placement of the webcam though.

FOR

  • Affordable
  • Excellent performance
  • Great build quality
  • Speakers firing up
  • Fingerprint sensor built into power button
  • Magiclink feature holds some interesting promises

AGAINST

  • The pop up webcam
  • No card reader
  • No numeric keypad
  • Smaller than expected battery
  • Memory is soldered

Honor has quietly found its place alongside its parent company, Huawei, as the up-and-coming challenger brand. Of the three laptops released by the brand at IFA 2020 in Berlin, the MagicBook Pro is the one which garners the most interest partly because of its very affordable price tag and its main target, the 16-inch Apple MacBook Pro. Could this be the best-value and most balanced mobile workstation on the market yet?

Price

At the time of writing, the Honor Magic Book Pro is on sale direct from the manufacturer in the UK, France and Germany with other territories likely to follow. Only one model is available, one with 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD and a price tag of £850, which includes a free Honor watch worth £120. That translates to a VAT-free price of about $940.

Laptop Shut

(Image credit: Future)

Design

The design language of the MagicBook Pro shares common features with the Xiaomi Mi laptop brand, the Dell XPS 15 and, of course, the Apple MacBook Pro. Note the Space Gray colour scheme paired with an aluminum chassis rather than a magnesium alloy one (lighter but also displaying more flex) and a frosted matte finish.

Lid Closed

(Image credit: Future)

With dimensions of 369 x 234 x 16.9mm and a weight of 1.7Kg, it doesn’t aspire to be the lightest or the thinnest although a screen-to-body ratio of 90% means that it is not much bigger than a 15.6-inch laptop when it comes to footprint.

Screen Side View

(Image credit: Future)

A long hinge connects the display, a 16.1-inch full HD IPS one, to the base. One thing that is immediately noticeable is the lack of holes on the bezel which means that the camera sensor and the microphones are located elsewhere.

Pop-up Webcam

(Image credit: Future)

The HD webcam – based on the Omnivision OV9734 – is a pop-up type that resides inside a key between F6 and F7 and don’t worry, it won’t damage your screen if you happen to close the display without remembering to push down the webcam.

There’s no numeric keypad and two speakers are hidden behind grills located on each side of the keyboard. A fingerprint reader (Goodix branded) is also located in the power button.

Keyboard and Trackpad

(Image credit: Future)

The keyboard keys are almost apple-sque, almost nearly flush with the surface and backlit while the touchpad is generously proportioned but without any physical buttons. Shame about the stickers next to them though.

Ports Right Side

(Image credit: Future)

An audio connector and two full size USB ports are located on one side and a type-C USB, a full size HDMI 2.0 and a full size USB on the other. The Type-C connector doubles up as a universal power port that is paired with the bundled Huawei-branded switching power adaptor. The latter delivers between 5V and 20V and between 2A and 3.25A, making it ideal for charging other devices as well.

Underside

(Image credit: Future)

The base of the laptop contains two parallel rubber strips that act as raisers to allow air to cool the components inside via a perforated grill. There’s no card reader or Thunderbolt 3 connector.

Fingerprint Reader

(Image credit: Future)

Hardware

SPEC SHEET

Here are the full specs of the Honor MagicBook Pro configuration sent to TechRadar Pro for review:

CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 4600H

Graphics: Radeon RX Vega 6

RAM: 16GB

Screen: 16.1-inch FHD resolution

Storage: 512GB WD SN730 PCIe NVMe SSD

Ports: 1 x USB 3.1, 3 x USB 3.2, 1 x USB-C, audio jack, 1 x HDMI

Connectivity: Realtek 8822CE, 802.11ac Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 5.0

Weight: 1.7kg

Size: 369 x 234 x 16.9mm  (H x W x D)

Battery: 56Whr

The highlight of the MagicBook Pro is the AMD Ryzen 5 4600H that powers it. It is a six-core processor with a base CPU speed of 3GHz, 11MB cache, 12 threads, six graphics cores running at 1.5GHz. Now there’s a good reason why a hexa-core model was chosen and that has to do with the fact that the base MacBook Pro model has a 6-core CPU, the Intel Core i7-9750HF, a CPU launched last year with a comparable 45W TDP.

The 4600H is therefore faster, much faster than its Intel rival. The difference is even more marked once you include the integrated GPU, a Radeon RX Vega 6, one of the beefiest on the block.

The rest of the configuration includes two 8GB memory modules (a total of 16GB, soldered), a 512GB WD SN730 PCIe NVMe SSD and a Realtek 8822CE 802.11ac (Wi-Fi 5) Wi-Fi card with Bluetooth 5.0. The battery – which is charged by a relatively compact 65W fast charger – is a 56WHr model, 40% smaller than Apple’s or the LG Gram 17; this has obviously a direct negative impact on battery life.

Performance

(Image credit: Future)

Performance and in use

Ladies and gentlemen, this is the fastest non-workstation laptop we have tested to date, conceding defeat on compute benchmarks to the almighty and undisputed king of the hill, the 16-core XMG Apex 15. The combination of a very fast processor, a capable graphics subsystem, ample system memory and a nippy SSD means that this is a supremely capable laptop that will easily take on the mantle of a mobile workstation.

BENCHMARKS

Here’s how the Honor MagicBook Pro performed in our suite of benchmark tests:

Passmark: 4815

Passmark CPU: 15866

CPU-Z: 487.6 (single-thread); 4050.2 (multi-thread)

Geekbench: 1090 (single-core); 6140 (multi-core); 10705 (compute)

CrystalDiskMark: 3412MBps (read); 2716MBps (write)

Cinebench CPU: 3208

Novabench: 2493

Atto: 3180MBps (read, 256mb); 2530MBps (write, 256mb)

AJA: 2730MBps (read); 2416MBps (write)

Windows Experience Index: 8

The fans kicked in only under load during the most intense parts of our benchmarks. Honor says that six temperature sensors and a cooling-fan motor with higher spin rates helps cool the laptop more effectively.

The pleasant experience continues on to the screen: the display is a 300nits model with a 1000:1 rated contrast ratio and a 100% sRGB color gamut. While it is not bright enough when working in direct sunlight, the fact that it is matte reduces the glare that usually makes glossy screens almost unusable whenever it’s sunny. Out of the box, the image quality is, pun intended, clearly visible. Hardly any bleed, colours that pop out, just enough vibrancy, an all-round (subjective) success.

The keyboard is likely to divide opinions as always; it has a much shorter travel which in turn impacts on the feedback, which feels sharper and less noisy. Again, that’s in line with the whole Apple experience. It is not distracting but those who like copious feedback when touch typing could be disappointed. As for the touchpad, it was a bit meh. We are fans of physical buttons and this one didn’t have any; sure it was responsive and of good size, but beyond that, it did lack character.

Webcam Angle

(Image credit: Future)

The webcam is probably the only glaring weak spot of an overall very good product. While the picture quality is good, its fixed location means that interlocutors on your video conference calls will see you from a downward angle (see picture) when the laptop is on one’s lap. The problem is different on a table where its inflexibility becomes a clear flaw.

At just over seven hours, the battery life is decent without being exceptional. Our best time was reached by the LG Gram 14 with well over 10 hours, a 50% difference. That said, the MBP achieved this with a 56WHr battery (8WHr per hour), making it less frugal than the Gram 14’s 73WHr (7WHr per hour). Note that you should be able to charge the device to 50% capacity in 30 minutes.

The competition

As mentioned before, the obvious rival to the MagicBook Pro is the MacBook Pro 16-inch. The latter costs almost three times as much but comes with four Thunderbolt 3 ports, a much bigger battery, a higher-resolution display, six speakers and a discrete GPU. Whether or not the 200% premium is worth it is debatable but one thing that cannot be argued is that the MacBook Pro 16-inch is an exceptional workhorse.

There are very few 16-inch Windows laptops at the time of writing, a slightly odd category that fits between the usual 15.6-inch models and the awkwardly bigger 17.3-inch ones.

That said, we’d like to commend the LG Gram 17 which received our recommendation in July 2020 and a comment from our fellow reviewer, Bill Thomas, that this is a laptop that “can’t actually be real”. Why? For a start it is the lightest 17.3-inch laptop ever built, it is even lighter than the smaller Apple’s MacBook Pro 13-inch albeit with a much larger footprint. While it does cost more than the Honor MBP, the Gram 17 has a bigger battery capacity, a higher screen resolution, Thunderbolt 3 ports and a numeric keypad. Some models also come with a dedicated Nvidia Geforce GTX 1650 GPU.

The only other model worth mentioning is the HP Pavilion 16.1-inch notebook, a gaming laptop with an Intel Core i5-10300H and a dedicated Geforce GTX1660Ti GPU. It is far heavier than the MagicBook Pro, has a smaller battery and its quad-core CPU won’t stand a chance against the Ryzen’s hexa-core processor.

Final verdict

We understand Honor’s desire to have a faceoff with Apple’s MacBook Pro but we have to question the wisdom of adding yet another screen size, one which is after all only half an-inch diagonally bigger than most of its peers.

On the whole though, the MagicBook Pro is a great laptop to use, very well built and with a solid pedigree as it is essentially a Huawei device. It is mightily quick, has a good battery life and overall provides a very rounded and polished computing experience.

Other than the questionable choice of having the webcam hidden in the keyboard, there’s a number of changes we’d advocate for the next iteration. Use a 16:10 panel – just like Apple’s – which will allow for more room above and below the keyboard.

Doing so means you can get a proper numeric keypad – surely a must at this size – in and move the speakers above the keyboard. Next, try to fit a bigger battery even if it means bumping the price up; matching the 100WHr battery on the Apple MBP would be ideal. A memory card reader would also be appreciated as well as the inclusion of Thunderbolt 3 as a universal connector.

Last but not least, we’d love to see a “Pro^2” version of the MagicBook Pro, one with an 8-core AMD Ryzen processor, a discrete GPU, 32GB of RAM, a pair of 512GB SSD in RAID-0 and Windows 10 Pro. That would be a landmark, flagship halo product that could propel Honor from the ranks of challenger to that of head turner.

Source: https://www.techradar.com/reviews/honor-magicbook-pro-2020-16-inch-laptop

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Laptops

MSI unveils one of the thinnest and lightest gaming laptops – Stealth 15M based on Intel Tiger Lake

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MSI unveils one of the thinnest and lightest gaming laptops – Stealth 15M based on Intel Tiger Lake

MSI has expanded its range of Stealth gaming notebooks with the new Stealth 15M model. The basis for a portable gaming system, you can choose the Intel 11th generation Tiger Lake processor up to the older model Core i7.

MSI gaminglaptop
MSI gaming laptop

An equally interesting feature of the novelty is its claim to be one of the thinnest and lightest 15-inch gaming laptops on the market. The laptop is only 15.95 mm thick and weighs up to 1.69 kg.

Unfortunately, the manufacturer does not fully indicate the technical characteristics of the  Stealth 15M. So, a portable gaming system is ready to offer the installation of two DDR4-3200 RAM sticks, but the supported amount is not indicated. It also claims support for M.2 NVMe PCIe Gen4 drives. But again, the manufacturer does not indicate the available volume options.

The 15.6-inch display of the MSI Stealth 15M gaming laptop is built using an IPS matrix. It offers support for Full HD resolution with refresh rates up to 240Hz. The discrete graphics card NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Max-Q with 6 GB of GDDR6 video memory is responsible for the graphics capabilities.

The equipment also includes an RGB-backlit keyboard, one Thunderbolt 4 (USB 4.0 Type-C with DisplayPort alternate mode), two USB 3.2, Type-A, one HDMI output, as well as a slot with support for microSD memory cards and a combo audio jack. High-quality mobile sound is provided by NAHIMIC 3 technology.

The included 150W power supply is ready to replenish the 52Wh battery. With this power, the battery will charge very quickly. The dimensions of the laptop are 358 × 248 × 15.95 mm. The novelty supports wireless data transmission standards Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1.

The MSI Stealth 15M gaming laptop will be available in an all-white or gray finish. Unfortunately, the manufacturer has not yet announced anything about the price of the laptop and its availability.

Source: https://phonemantra.com/msi-unveils-one-of-the-thinnest-and-lightest-gaming-laptops-stealth-15m-based-on-intel-tiger-lake/

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