Features

18 biggest hits and misses of 2018

More misses than hits once again

Published

on

We don’t want to do it, but we have to. Twelve long months have passed and we need to look at both the best and worst of the year.

What you’re about to read are the biggest hits and misses in the tech, gaming, and lifestyle world for 2018. Let these be the basis of what’s to come in 2019 and beyond.


Miss: Newly discovered bugs leave two decades of devices vulnerable

This was a terrible way to start 2018. The exploits presented by Meltdown and Spectre shifted the security landscape for months to come — decades, in fact, if you count the damage they dealt.

Hit: Nokia reboots another classic: The 8810 4G

First we got the 3310 in 2017; this year, it was the 8810 — now with 4G! The banana phone we all know and love came back in a stylish yellow option, and it made us hungry for more throwbacks.

Miss: Huawei is spying on you, says US government

This was the start of several obstacles for Huawei in its pursuit of global product distribution in 2018. The investigations are still going on, and several countries have followed suit. This will likely continue to show up in headlines for the entirety of 2019.

Hit: India is now world’s second-largest mobile phone producer

Tech brands have been seeing the potential in India for both production and buying power, thus becoming the second-biggest phone manufacturer cements their place in the techie world order.

Miss: Uber sells their Southeast Asia business to Grab

What’s worse than a duopoly? A monopoly, sadly. Grab took over the ride-sharing space in Southeast Asia, resulting in no alternative for commuters who want options on their smartphones.

Hit: Thanos of Avengers: Infinity War comes to Fortnite

When you put together 2018’s most popular movie and video game in one package, you get absolute chaos that everyone can enjoy! It was madness that resonates to this day.

Miss: ZTE faces ban from using Qualcomm, Android on their phones

ZTE was another Chinese company that experienced misfortune in the US. President Donald Trump later came to their rescue, but the damage was already done to ZTE’s image.

Hit: The Roots, Jimmy Fallon, and Ariana Grande perform her new single with Nintendo Labo

Now this was a collab that we thoroughly loved! Ariana Grande’s hit song played with Nintendo’s cardboard Labo was a match made in heaven. LSS, anyone?

Miss: Microsoft recalls Windows October update due to deleting issues

Losing files is never cool, especially when it happens without you knowing because of a major bug. Windows 10’s October update was a major headache for everyone, and took what felt like forever to resolve after even more mess-ups.

Hit: WHO officially recognizes gaming addiction as a mental health disorder

While mental health disorders suck, recognizing one as a legit problem is a definite hit. WHO reminded everyone in 2018 that video game addiction is real, and it can cause more harm than good.

Miss: Google is shutting down Google Plus after data leaks

The oft-forgotten social network got dealt its final blow after it was revealed that user data was leaked and Google+ was subsequently destined for closure. This is a Google-made product, mind you, making this breach even more worrisome.

Hit: Huawei takes Apple’s crown as second-largest smartphone brand

No one saw this coming a few years ago — except Huawei, of course! While Apple still enjoys record-breaking sales, the Chinese giant could at least savor the fact that all its hard work has been paying off.

Miss: Stan Lee passes away at 95

The most significant pop culture icon to pass away in 2018 was Stan Lee. It’s gonna be hella sad to no longer see his cameo appearances in upcoming superhero flicks. 😭

Hit: Apple is now worth $1,000,000,000,000

Those are a lot of zeros! With Tim Cook at the helm, Apple has been experiencing its most fruitful results since the company started. Watch them fight for that next trillion.

Miss: Tumblr will start banning porn this month

Tumblr has turned from being a haven for porn into a hub for… things that aren’t porn. While sexy creators scramble for another platform to share on, Tumblr struggles to form a newer, cleaner identity.

Hit: Esports added to the official sports for the 2019 SEA Games

What a victory for the competitive gaming community in Southeast Asia! Esports is finally getting the recognition it deserves, placing its PC, mobile, and console warriors alongside traditional athletes in 2019’s major event.

Miss: China bans Apple from selling iPhones

While the western world gives Huawei and ZTE problems, Apple is facing a serious ban in China. Although it only affects older iPhone models, the hit in sales could impact future sales in the world’s biggest consumer market.

Miss: Samsung will re-evaluate fake Supreme partnership after criticism

This made hypebeasts around the world go whaaaat. The partnership initially seemed too good to be true, and that’s because it was. After all the backlash, Samsung has been asking the cool kids in their departments how to fix this.

Features

Capturing Europe using only a smartphone

Three countries, one device

Published

on

When traveling to picturesque countries, it’s normally best to take a dedicated camera with you. After all, that’s what they’re for: Capturing scenes with utmost quality.

However, traveling light is another factor, and if possible, bringing as few devices as possible. I thought to myself, Why not use a single smartphone to document my entire trip? And so I did.


I brought the top-ranked camera phone with me to three European countries — namely France, Germany, and Austria — and let it take all my shots. Yes, I let the Huawei P30 Pro see what I saw, and it did not disappoint.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The phone’s biggest strength for a traveler has to be its four rear cameras that offer different levels of zoom, from 0.6x all the way to 50x hybrid zoom if you’re feeling daring.

Its ultra-wide camera has to be the most handy, though, especially when trying to capture as much of a scene as possible. I used this everywhere I went, even for closeups and portraits needing more background.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

As you can see, the P30 Pro is fantastic at dynamic range thanks to AI optimization. All I have to do is turn on HDR+ and let the phone do all the computing. Needless to say, not once did I feel that there wasn’t enough color or brightness in my photos.

Another interesting feature is the RYYB color sensor, which draws in more light for sharper photos even in low-light environments. This allowed me to go full auto even during nighttime.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Speaking of nighttime, Huawei’s signature night mode makes a return with even smarter illumination. It’s amazing how well the cameras can see at night, whether it’s using the regular or ultra-wide lens.

It takes only a few seconds for the app to stitch all the multiple exposure into one attractive image. Once finished, you have what looks like a long exposure shot on a tripod, but done using only your hands.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

When you need a little more control with your compositions, there’s a pro mode to help out. This gives you the chance to play around with lots of settings to achieve the perfect shot.

It might seem a little daunting at first to newbies, but the adjustments are made in real time, so you can see how each setting affects the final product. The manual focus scrolling is a personal favorite of mine.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Of course, selfies matter too, and Huawei equipped the P30 Pro with a wide 32-megapixel selfie shooter to handle all your self portraits. This becomes especially important when there’s no one else to take your photos.

The P30 Pro’s camera app offers lots of beauty and background blurring options for selfies, so you still have control over how you look in the end. HDR comes in handy as well when the scene gets too bright.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

But what I loved most about bringing the P30 Pro as my sole camera around Europe was its auto mode. When time is of the essence and there’s no chance to make last-second adjustments, this mode does all the work for me.

I can’t count the number of times I double-pressed the volume down button to go straight to the camera app and snap a picture in front of me. It’s the feature I used most by far, making my travels that much easier.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

To be honest, going into this, I was a bit scared about relying on only one smartphone to do everything for me, from navigating places and researching about the top spots to visit, to documenting every step of the way.

Fortunately for me, the Huawei P30 Pro never faltered, and was, in fact, an incredibly reliable all-in-one camera. This is definitely going into my pocket again for my next trip.


This feature was produced in collaboration between GadgetMatch and Huawei.

Continue Reading

Features

Comparison: Is the Huawei P30 Lite the best midrange phone today?

The affordable Huawei P30 phone with great specs

Published

on

Flagship devices are indeed the best you can get. Yet, midrange offerings are more attractive to consumers because of their budget-friendlier price tags. You don’t always have to spend a lot of cash for a good smartphone. That’s why we’re going to take a look at two of the hottest phones in the market today: the Huawei P30 Lite and the Samsung Galaxy A50.

Both phones aren’t your average midrangers. They offer more features than before, including ultra-wide camera lenses, crazy-fast processors, and plenty of memory to spare.


Let’s get right into the comparison.

Specs and Features

Let’s start by listing the key specifications of each phone to see which one is better on paper. Here’s a quick rundown of their notable features:

Huawei P30 Lite
Samsung Galaxy A50
Display 6.15-inch Full HD+ IPS LCD 6.4-inch Full HD+ Super AMOLED
Processor Kirin 710 Exynos 9610
Graphics Mali-G51 MP4 Adreno 512
Memory 6GB 6GB
Storage 128GB 128GB
Rear cameras 20MP f/1.8
8MP ultra-wide
2MP depth sensor
25MP f/1.7
8MP ultra-wide
5MP depth sensor
Front camera 32MP f/2.0 25MP f/2.0
Battery 3340mAh 4000mAh
Other features Rear fingerprint scanner, Face unlock In-display fingerprint scanner, Face unlock
OS Android 9 Pie w/ EMUI 9 Android 9 Pie w/ One UI

Since both are specifically made for the midrange segment, the two phones are quite on par with each other. Of course, each has its own strength. Let’s talk about that next.

Design-wise, the two phones sport a tiny notch on their displays. When you flip the phone over, both also have a glossy finish. The P30 Lite has a 3D glass back for easy grip and one-handed use. Meanwhile, the Galaxy A50 uses an inferior plastic panel. If you hold both, you’ll notice the P30 Lite feels more solid and premium. The P30 Lite’s back won’t scratch easily as well.

In the display department, the Galaxy A50 has the advantage with its Super AMOLED display. It produces really punchy colors and deep blacks. It’s also supposedly more efficient, giving the battery life a boost. For outdoor visibility, the P30 Lite’s LCD panel appears to be brighter. If you use your phone a lot under the sun, the P30 Lite’s luminance will benefit you more.

People love to talk about the specs, so let’s dive into that already. The P30 Lite is powered by Huawei’s own Kirin 710 processor paired with 6GB of memory and 128GB of storage. On the other hand, the Galaxy A50 is powered by Samsung’s Exynos 9610 processor with 6GB of memory and 128GB of storage as well.

The only difference here is their chipsets; but, their overall performance is pretty much the same. Also, both run Android 9 Pie out of the box with customizations on top. Being a Huawei phone, the P30 Lite has EMUI 9; meanwhile, the Galaxy A50 has One UI. Whichever you prefer, the two skins offer added features like GPU Turbo on EMUI for a smoother gaming experience.

It’s already 2019; we’re happy to share that these two midrange phones have a reversible USB-C connector for charging. Likewise, both support quick charging and fast chargers are included in the box.

Speaking of which, the Galaxy A50 has a bigger 4000mAh battery compared to the P30 Lite’s 3340mAh cell. However, when it comes to real-world performance, the difference between the two won’t be noticeable. Huawei phones have always had good battery life.

Lastly, their security features are quite similar, but differently executed. Both have fingerprint scanners as standard. However, the Galaxy A50 has its scanner built into the display, which can be a bit slow at times. Meanwhile, the P30 Lite has a tried-and-tested rear-mounted reader, which is faster and more reliable.

Cameras

Moving on to the cameras, there are three rear shooters on each phone. The P30 Lite carries a main 24-megapixel sensor with an f/1.8 aperture. Meanwhile, the Galaxy A50 has a 25-megapixel sensor with an f/1.7 aperture. On the software side, AI scene detection is available on both devices which should help in taking the best-possible photo.

Here are a few samples taken using the main cameras:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

What set these two apart from other midrange phones in the market are their secondary cameras. The P30 Lite and Galaxy A50 both have 8-megapixel sensors with ultra wide-angle lenses that could easily fit in a lot of subjects in just one shot.

Here are the samples using the normal camera versus the ultra wide-angle shooter:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Let’s not forget about selfies. Using the P30 Lite’s 32-megapixel front camera and the Galaxy A50’s 25-megapixel front shooter, you can take detailed and bright selfies, especially with plenty of light around you.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Beauty mode is always available when you need it. A little touch-up wouldn’t hurt, right?

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Conclusion

Is the P30 Lite the best midrange phone today? With the essentials in check and the extra features Huawei has put in, the P30 is indeed a great phone in its segment. Additionally, it’s got a premium build which gives it an edge over the competition.

Those looking to buy one can get the P30 Lite for PhP 16,990 in the Philippines — which is PhP 1,000 cheaper than Samsung’s. The P30 Lite is available in three colors: Midnight Black, Pearl White, and Peacock Blue.


This feature was produced in collaboration between GadgetMatch and Huawei Philippines.

Continue Reading

Features

Huawei P30 Pro vs Apple iPhone XS: Which flagship phone takes better photos?

The P30 Pro takes on the iPhone XS

Published

on

Huawei‘s new P30 series has hit the market. The best in the series is the P30 Pro with its new quad cameras, curved OLED display, and powerful chipset. A flagship phone like the P30 Pro needs the best set of features available and be worthy of people’s hard-earned money.

Usually, people ask how it fares against an iPhone. To answer curious buyers, let’s compare the P30 Pro and the iPhone XS from Apple.


Specs and Features

Let’s start by checking the key specifications of the two devices. Here’s a quick rundown of their notable features:

Huawei P30 Pro
Apple iPhone XS
Display 6.47-inch OLED
DCI-P3 HDR
5.8-inch OLED
Dolby Vision / HDR10
Processor Kirin 980 A12 Bionic
Memory 8GB 4GB
Storage 256GB 64GB/256GB/512GB
Rear cameras 40MP f/1.8 RYYB
20MP ultra-wide
8MP 5x optical zoom
ToF sensor
12MP f/1.8
12MP 2x optical zoom
Front camera 32MP f/2.0 7MP f/2.2
IR sensor
Battery 4200mAh 2658mAh
Security features In-screen fingerprint scanner, Face recognition Face ID
OS Android 9 Pie w/ EMUI 9.1 iOS 12

Both are premium phones from their respective manufacturers. They have the best displays in their class. The P30 Pro and the iPhone XS both sport an OLED panel with vibrant colors and deep blacks. To maximize the screen’s real estate, Huawei and Apple both resort to a notch. However, the P30 Pro’s notch is a lot smaller than the iPhone’s; it doesn’t take much of the interface.

Apple iPhone XS and Huawei P30 Pro | GadgetMatch

Inside, the phones have two different processors. The P30 Pro is powered by a Kirin 980, while the iPhone XS has the A12 Bionic. Both homebaked silicons are powerful and unstoppable. Built using the same latest 7nm process, they are extremely efficient compared to other processors.

The P30 Pro has twice the memory capacity of the iPhone XS, which allows better multitasking. For storage, the P30 Pro comes with 256GB as standard. If that’s not enough, it has expandable storage as well using Huawei’s Nano-Memory cards. Meanwhile, the iPhone’s base configuration starts at 64GB; upgrading to 256GB will cost you more.

Apple iPhone XS and Huawei P30 Pro | GadgetMatch

Huawei phones usually last more than a day with heavy use; the P30 Pro will be no different. It has a long-lasting 4200mAh battery compatible with 40W SuperCharge using its bundled USB-C charger. It can also top up wirelessly and share its juice via reverse wireless charging. Meanwhile, the iPhone XS has an inferior 2658mAh cell inside; it also charges slower.

Security-wise, the P30 Pro and iPhone XS differ in approach. The P30 Pro can be unlocked in two ways: using the in-screen fingerprint scanner or AI facial recognition. The iPhone XS lacks a fingerprint reader, limiting users to Face ID.

Perhaps the biggest difference between the P30 Pro and iPhone XS is their software. Obviously, the iPhone XS runs on iOS while the P30 Pro has EMUI 9.1 based on the latest Android Pie. The Android operating system allows users to take control of their device. Meanwhile, Huawei’s custom skin makes it more productive by adding useful features and optimizations.

Cameras

In the camera department, the P30 Pro outnumbers the iPhone XS with its new Leica Quad Camera system.

Apple’s top-of-the-line phone comes with a pair of 12-megapixel sensors. The iPhone’s primary shooter has an f/1.8 aperture. The secondary camera features 2x optical zoom.

On the other hand, the P30 Pro has one of the most complex mobile camera systems. It has a main 40-megapixel RYYB f/1.6 camera, a 20-megapixel ultra wide-angle shooter, an 8-megapixel periscope-style 5x optical zoom, and a special ToF sensor.

Let’s see how the two phones perform in different scenarios starting in broad daylight. With plenty of light available, both phones are able to capture a bright image with lots of details.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The bright sunlight can get harsh at times. This is where HDR (high dynamic range) mode comes in handy. Both phones have Auto HDR. Whenever you shoot against the light, it automatically kicks in.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Artificial bokeh is a thing for both the P30 Pro and iPhone XS. Capturing a closeup of a flower with a smooth background blur is just an easy task for the two.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

When you need to get really close, the P30 Pro’s camera can do macro without any extra accessory needed. You can clearly see the details of this tealight candle holder.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Most of the images uploaded on social media are about food. With the P30 Pro’s AI scene recognition, you can take tasty images of your lunch and upload to Instagram right away.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

One of the P30 Pro’s periscope-style lens module is unique. The phone can zoom in 5x optically or go up to 10x using software tricks. The iPhone XS can do only up to 2x optical zoom. Maxing it out 10x is too much for the phone to handle.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

If 10x isn’t enough, did you know the P30 Pro has a maximum digital zoom of 50x? Well, the quality is not as great compared to the 10x zoom. It just barely gets the job done.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The P30 Pro can get really close; it can also get ultra wide. With a dedicated super wide-angle shooter, the P30 Pro can fit in a whole building complex in one frame. That’s something iPhones can’t do — at least for now.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Huawei is proud of the P30 Pro’s capability to shoot nice portrait stills even if the lighting condition isn’t ideal. The HDR feature in Portrait Mode works like charm.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

When shooting in Portrait Mode, the iPhone XS uses its secondary camera with 2x zoom. You’ll have to step back to fit your subject.

That’s not the case with the P30 Pro. The ToF sensor helps the main 40-megapixel camera identify the subject and apply the effects without cropping.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The main camera’s wide aperture lens is perfect when shooting in Portrait Mode in dimly lit environments. The P30 Pro can shoot brighter images with more pleasing bokeh.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Since we’re already in the dark, it’s time to put the Night Mode to the test. The iPhone doesn’t have a proper Night Mode; the P30 Pro has. The difference is more apparent in the samples below.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Night Mode is not just for taking photos in the dark, though. It can also help take a sharper and more detailed image whenever you want to.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Additionally, the amazingly flexible Night Mode also works with the P30 Pro’s ultra wide-angle shooter.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

For selfies, the P30 Pro has a 32-megapixel front camera. Meanwhile, the iPhone’s front has a 7-megapixel sensor accompanied by the Face ID’s IR sensor. As you can see from the samples below, the P30 Pro’s front camera has a wider FOV than the iPhone XS.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Conclusion

With a new set of hardware and software features, the P30 Pro has its advantages over last year’s iPhone XS. In the camera department alone, the P30 Pro’s new Leica Quad Camera can deliver the best photos using a mobile phone. Zooming in or going ultra wide is not an issue for the P30 Pro. However, the iPhone XS clearly lacks the hardware for it.

Get the Huawei P30 Pro while it’s hot for PhP 50,990. It’s available in three color options: Breathing Crystal, Aurora, and Black.


This feature was produced in collaboration between GadgetMatch and Huawei Philippines.

Continue Reading

Trending