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We know a lot of you have been waiting for a follow-up on our last iPhone SE vs Pixel 3a comparison video. Wait no more! Now that we have the Pixel 4a in our hands, it’s time for another smackdown!

Cheaper than last year’s US$ 399 Pixel 3a at just US$349, we tested it against Apple’s US$ 399 iPhone SE that packs their most powerful A13 Bionic Chip — which is also in the iPhone 11 Series.

Of course, specs aren’t everything. Most of you are curious to see how their single rear cameras perform so we also did a camera shootout with both of them.

Head over to our video here to reveal the results.

News

Huawei P50 will launch with HarmonyOS out of the box

Bye Android

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Because of the ongoing American ban, Huawei is rapidly plummeting down the ranks. Though the company is already struggling to replace multiple components across the board, everything started with the loss of Google. Fortunately, they are already developing an Android alternative called HarmonyOS. However, the supposedly independent operating system is still nowhere to be found. Reportedly, its time has come. According to a Weibo source, the Huawei P50 series will come with HarmonyOS out of the box.

In the now-deleted source (captured by GSMArena), Huawei has already completed the second beta testing phase of its upcoming HarmonyOS and is readying for its third phase. Further, a final release is impending. According to the source, the upcoming P50 series will already come with the system from the get-go.

For existing Huawei users, though, the HarmonyOS beta is already available for anyone who wants to opt in. Naturally, doing so might not be the best decision yet, especially since it’s still in beta. Further, the ecosystem is still building itself into a thriving one.

Despite the software’s continuous development, it hasn’t been free from controversy. According to past rumors, HarmonyOS is apparently still based on Android’s software, specifically AOSP. If it’s true by the final release, the company hasn’t strayed away from its Android roots.

The Huawei P50 series is set to launch sometime this month.

SEE ALSO: Huawei P50 series still coming in March

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News

OnePlus 9 series will launch on March 23

Launching with the Hasselblad camera

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It’s official. The OnePlus 9 series is coming soon. After weeks of buildup, the company has officially announced then the next flagship series is coming: March 23. In three official teaser tweets, OnePlus has confirmed both the series’ launch and a tantalizing detail teased through rumors over the past month.

Posted today through OnePlus’s official Twitter account, the company unveiled what was coming in the next month. As expected, the series will focus on smartphone photography, touting the line, “Your Best Shot.” Previously, a leak spoiled OnePlus’s new Hasselblad partnership. The teasers now confirm it. Further, the series will sport a Sony IMX789 camera sensor, which will capture videos in 4K resolution and 120 frames per second. Surprisingly, the teasers have already confirmed what the camera setup will look like, echoing the leaked images released prior.

If that isn’t enough, OnePlus has also teased a US$ 150 million investment on smartphone photography over the next three years, confirming that the company is going all-in on the market segment.

Besides the photography angle, OnePlus has also confirmed 5G connectivity for the OnePlus 9 series. It shouldn’t be a surprise anymore at this point, but it bears repeating, especially since 5G is still in its early stages.

In other (currently unconfirmed rumors), the OnePlus 9 series will reportedly have a 1440p screen with 120Hz refresh rate, 12GB of RAM, and 256GB of internal storage. Presumably, the series (or at least, one variant) will sport the new Snapdragon 888 chipset.

SEE ALSO: OnePlus partners with Hasselblad for its next phone

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Camera Shootouts

Galaxy S21 Ultra vs Mi 11: Camera Shootout

Camera duel between 2021’s newest smartphones

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Just recently, Xiaomi launched the Mi 11 outside China. We quickly tested it against Samsung’s Galaxy S21 Ultra — which is one of the newest smartphone flagships around.

Again, this is a blind camera shootout with photos completely randomized. Someone in the comments section pointed it out and yes, it’s as clear as the sunny skies that this is like an examination where you have to jot don your picks on a piece of a paper (or through your notes app) and find out the answer at the latter part of the article.

As usual, no additional post-processing was done aside from compiling and resizing the photos. Let’s dive right into this camera battle!

HDR (High Dynamic Range)

Comparing shots taken with natural light may look easy, but it’s harder than it seems — especially if we compare each phone’s HDR capabilities.

#1 (Ultra-Wide)

#2 (Ultra-Wide)

#3 (Wide)

Auto White Balance (AWB)

Some sensors might be created equal but when it comes to AWB, there are phones that accurately depict the scene you see in real life — and some that take it too far.

#4 (Daylight)

#5 (Sunset)

Saturation

AI and computational photography either make or break a photo’s saturation level.

#6 (Wide)

#7 (Wide)

#8 (Zoom)

Zoom

This is to test the limits of Mi 11’s zoom capabilities with one telephoto lens against the Galaxy S21 Ultra’s telephoto pair.

#9 (3x Zoom)

#10 (10x Zoom)

Macro

Although there are no dedicated macro lenses for both smartphones, taking macro shots was possible thanks to zoom.

#11

#12

Food

There’s always a better food shot between two different phones — and it clearly shows.

#13 (Wide)

#14 (Zoom)

Night Mode

To test both phone’s camera prowess, these were taken in a scene without sufficient lighting other than the night city line.

#15 (Ultra-Wide)

#16 (Wide)

#17 (Zoom)

Faces

A comparison for people who shoot a lot of selfies and portraits.

#18 (Selfie Portrait Mode)

#19 (Portrait Mode)

#20 (Night Portrait Mode)

Results

Have you made your final photo picks? Check out the results below:

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra:

1A / 2A / 3A / 4B / 5A

6A / 7A / 8A / 9A / 10B

11B / 12B / 13B / 14B / 15B

16A / 17B / 18B / 19A / 20A

Xiaomi Mi 11:

1B / 2B / 3B / 4A / 5B

6B / 7B / 8B / 9B / 10A

11A / 12A / 13A / 14A / 15A

16B / 17A / 18A / 19B / 20B

Conclusion

Even if we all have our preferences in choosing the best photo, the Galaxy S21 Ultra has proven its advantage in the smartphone camera department.

Other than the accurate White Balance detection, it’s also able to preserve the right amount of details, contrast, saturation, and even performs well under harsh daylight (HDR) or low-light scenarios. Not to mention, all lenses have wider Field of View (FoV) versus its competitor.

Its better AI processing and camera software algorithms also make better foreground and background segmentation. Producing creamier bokeh while being able to keep the details (even fine hair strands) intact.

Mi 11’s camera quality isn’t horrendous. Although it has AWB and autofocus inconsistencies, it was still able to keep up especially with shots taken by its main (wide) 108-megapixel sensor. While these two smartphones rock different sets of cameras including the 108-megapixel sensors (Galaxy S21 Ultra with ISOCELL HN3 / Mi 11 with ISOCELL Bright HMX), Xiaomi still delivered great and promising photos. For someone who wants to get a smartphone with great set of cameras at the fraction of the cost of the S21 Ultra, this is still a solid option.

SEE ALSO: Galaxy S21 Ultra vs Mi 10T Pro: Camera shootout | Xiaomi Mi 11 vs Mi 10T Pro: Camera shootout

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