Features

AsiaPOP Comicon Manila 2018: What to expect

All things pop culture!

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AsiaPOP Comicon (APCC) is back in Manila as Asia’s biggest pop culture convention, bringing together the local geek community and international stars for three days. It’s set to happen from July 27 to 29, 2018 at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.

Now on its fourth year, AsiaPOP Comicon 2018 promises a whole new level of geeky experience. This year, there are dedicated Halls for Netflix (Hall N), Marvel (Hall M), and Disney (Hall D), which include their own booths and exclusive content premiering on the main stage, along with merchandise, collectibles, and surprises happening during the event.

Here are what we’re excited to see:

Netflix is back!

Netflix will premiere never-before-seen content, and both Finn Jones of Marvel’s Iron Fist and Mike Colter of Marvel’s Luke Cage will be the celebrity headliners brought by the streaming giant. They also have Adi Shankar and Takashi Yoshizawa of Castlevania and Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters conducting a special panel to discuss their shows.

There’ll be a booth for fans to enjoy, with replicas of sets from Stranger Things and Riverdale from last year, along with new sets featuring Luke Cage and Iron Fist. Expect it to be a crowd-favorite as every corner is Instagram-worthy!

The Netflix booth will open at 12nn on July 27, and 10am on July 28 and 29.

What’s next for Marvel?

Marvel is back for the third time to treat fans with exclusive content. It’s been a tradition for APCC fans to visit the hall to find out what’s next in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).

As if the epic ending in the recent Avengers: Infinity War wasn’t enough to make you curious about what’s happening next, Hall M is guaranteed to tease its fans with more surprises not just in film and in the MCU, but across its different platforms including TV, mobile games, and animation.

D is for Disney

Disney will feature special content from Walt Disney Animation Studios. DisneyLife, an app dedicated to the world of Disney, Pixar, Star Wars, and Marvel, will also be launched at APCC.

Fans will be treated to exclusive Disney merchandise and an immersive experience at the Disney booth, which will also be complemented by the Marvel booth, allowing fans to interact with life-size statues of superheroes from the MCU.

Jollibee will have its own Funko Pop collectible

Jollibee, a popular fastfood chain in the Philippines is celebrating its 40th year. A great way to mark this momentous event is by having its very own Funko Pop collectible.

Teased last month on Jollibee’s official Facebook page, everyone is hyped to see this collectible unveiled during APCC.

All the coolest costumes in one scene!

Get ready to see those swords swinging! The Cosplay Authority Global Challenge (CAGE) is an annual cosplay competition, and it’s back with special cosplayer guests such as Leon Chiro, Vera Chimera, Canvas Cosplay, and Yugana Senshi Uon. They’ll also sit as this year’s judges for the competition wherein participants can win prizes worth over US$ 18,000.

There’s a lot happening in this pop culture gathering. APCC fans can bring home collectibles, meet and greet artists, and experience a fun-filled weekend. Are you excited? Check out the full schedule here. If you haven’t bought your ticket, they’re still available at SM Tickets outlets and online. See you there!

Features

What does the GPU Turbo do to your phone?

Is it more than just a marketing gimmick?

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It’s been two months since Huawei rolled out the GPU Turbo update to its smartphones. Promised with a 60 percent increase in performance and reducing 30 percent on power consumption, a lot of fans and users were excited after the announcement.

Back then, everyone (including me) was hyped about lag-free games and longer battery life while playing. However, upon receiving the update, I began to wonder: Has GPU Turbo delivered what it promised?

What’s inside the update?

GPU Turbo was originally marketed as an improved gameplay experience, available only to PUBG and Mobile Legends: Bang Bang.

The Game Suite app, which comes with the update, offers an uninterrupted gaming feature, hiding all notifications when enabled (except for calls, alarms, and low-battery alerts).

Mistouch prevention is another feature to avert users from clicking the back and home button while playing — perfect for when you want to focus on your game.

Screenshots by Miguel Pineda, Huawei Mate 10 user

To some older smartphones like the Huawei Mate 10, the Game Suite App offers three performance modes: Gaming mode, which improves game performance but increases power consumption; Smart mode, which balances performance and power consumption; and Power saving mode, which saves power but reduces game performance.

For the newer Huawei P20 Pro (which I’ve been using) and Honor Play, it only has a gaming acceleration mode to toggle on or off.

Thoughts on the reduced power consumption

Because I used the Mate 10 before and recently transitioned to the P20 Pro, I’ve experienced the GPU Turbo update in both phones and I can guarantee that they’ve delivered on lowered power consumption.

With Game Suite, I can put my phone on power saving mode to further save battery. For instance, I was only able to drain the Mate 10 down to 15 percent during a 12-hour road trip despite switching between the games I play and other apps, such as Messenger, Netflix, Spotify, and taking photos and videos every once in a while. The same goes for the P20 Pro.

As a power user, I already get a lot of things done with these highly efficient smartphones and GPU Turbo; these allowed me to do more on a single charge. However, it’s a different case for gaming.

Improved gaming experience, but there’s a catch…

When I started playing games on gaming mode (or game acceleration mode on the P20 Pro), I could run Mobile Legends: Bang Bang on a high frame rate with the highest graphics setting available. Compared to how the game stuttered and lagged during 5v5 clashes, with GPU Turbo, it now runs smoothly, as if I have a smartphone made for gaming.

System notice when enabling the high frame rate on Mobile Legends: Bang Bang and the effects it may have on your gameplay

As shown above, most mobile games will notify their users about the possible repercussions of higher frame rates and using the best settings available. To prove that a smartphone with GPU Turbo can handle this, I sought out to confirm my suspicions.

After asking fellow Huawei users, I found out that after installing GPU Turbo, energy consumption is a lot faster than before. Their smartphones also heat up more easily, especially when playing games with the game acceleration mode on. This isn’t part of what was promised, and it’s pretty disappointing.

It’s not yet perfect

In my experience, GPU Turbo tries to boost performance above a smartphone’s limit hoping that users can experience better gameplay.

GPU Turbo can’t choose when to perform its best. It’s an update that is constantly running in our smartphones without any way to switch it off. We can only hope that Huawei will address these issues for the next batch of updates.

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Hands-On

Huawei Mate 20 Pro Hands-on: Best phone of 2018?

Huawei outdoes itself again

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In an industry where incremental updates are the new norm, Huawei manages to wow us again — barely a year after the release of the P20 Pro. The Chinese company is back with the Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro which might just be the best among the best this year.

In this video, we go over the phones’ new designs, updated cameras, and new memory card format. We also go through the differences between the Huawei Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro.

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Features

Huawei Mate 20 vs Mate 20 Pro: What are the differences?

Price isn’t the only factor

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Huawei has once again launched two flagships phones at the same time; one comes with a Pro moniker, while the other does not. Like before, there are some significant differences between the Mate 20 pair to take note of.

While we wait to get our hands on the Porsche Design Mate 20 RS and Mate 20 X, here are the two phones we already know everything about.

Display

One obvious difference is in their displays. While the Mate 20 Pro goes for a notched 6.39-inch 1440p curved HDR OLED display — certainly a mouthful — the regular Mate 20 has a 6.53-inch 1080p RGBW HDR LCD with a much smaller notch.

The Pro model justifies the larger notch by housing a more complex camera system for secured facial recognition, but if that doesn’t matter to you, the regular variant’s Dew Drop notch may be more appealing — and definitely less intrusive.

In addition, the Mate 20 Pro’s OLED tech allows it to curve the edges and equip an in-display fingerprint scanner. It’s essentially the more modern-looking design of the pair.

Performance

Since both models have Huawei’s Kirin 980 chipset installed, pure performance is virtually identical. The Pro and non-Pro also share the same memory and storage configuration of 6GB and 128GB, respectively, although the plain Mate 20 has a more affordable 4GB memory variant available, too.

Another minor difference: The 4200mAh capacity of the Mate 20 Pro, along with the more energy-efficient OLED, provides it with potentially longer battery life than what the Mate 20’s 4000mAh capacity and LCD panel offer.

A more significant advantage for the Mate 20 Pro is its inclusion of a 40W SuperCharge adapter in the package — noticeably better than the 22.5W output of the Mate 20’s. Plus, the Pro version can charge other phones wirelessly using wireless reverse charging tech.

Cameras

Perhaps, you’ll care most about the difference in camera quality and performance. While it’s too early to make photo and video comparisons, an initial look at specs shows that the Mate 20 Pro may have an edge.

There are three modules in place for the Pro: One is a 40-megapixel main camera, another has 20 megapixels and an ultra-wide lens, and the final unit offers 8 megapixels with 3x optical zoom

As for the Mate 20, its main camera has only 12 megapixels, the ultra-wide shooter settles for 16 megapixels, and the 8-megapixel telephoto camera goes up to only 2x optical zoom.

Despite the larger notch of the Mate 20 Pro, they share the same 24-megapixel selfie camera.

Pricing and colors

This part largely depends on where you reside, but in an ideal setting, all five colors — Emerald Green, Midnight Blue, Twilight, Pink Gold, and Black — should be available for both models.

Pricing is another matter, and it again depends per region. In Europe, the Mate 20’s 4GB+128GB configuration retails for EUR 799 and its 6GB+128GB model goes for EUR 849. The Mate 20 Pro’s sole 6GB+128GB variant costs EUR 1,049, making it more expensive by EUR 250 and EUR 200, respectively.

In Singapore, the Mate 20’s 6GB+128GB setup retails for SG$ 998, while the Mate 20 Pro is at SG$ 1,348 — a difference of SG$ 350.

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