Honor 30 series goes official with three options to choose from

There’s something for everyone



Huawei’s sub-brand Honor has announced the Honor 30 Series. It’ll be the brand’s flagship series for a while though sales are currently limited to China. Due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, a lot of prime markets like India and the Philippines are closed-off at the moment.

It has launched three phones in the series — Honor 30, Honor 30 Pro, and Honor 30 Pro+.

Honor 30

It gets a 6.5-inch curved OLED display with Full HD+ resolution and a punch-hole cutout for the front camera. Powering the phone is a HiSilicon Kirin 985 processor along with 6GB RAM in the base option. Backing the internals is a 4000mAh battery with 40W fast charging.

On the rear is a quad-camera setup consisting of a primary 40-megapixel sensor, an 8-megapixel wide-angle lens, an 8-megapixel periscope lens for 5x optical zoom, and a 2-megapixel macro sensor. On the front is a 32-megapixel selfie camera.

It’s available in three configurations. The starter option with 6GB+128GB specs is priced at CNY 2,999 (US$ 425), the second option gets 8GB+128GB and costs CNY 3,199 (US$ 455), and lastly the 8GB+256GB variant is marked at CNY 3,499 (US$ 495).

Honor 30 Pro

It shares the same design language as the Honor 30 but has a few specification differences. On the front is a slightly bigger 6.6-inch curved OLED display with Full HD+ resolution and an elongated cut-out for the front cameras. Powering the phone is a HiSlicon Kirin 990 processor and standard 8GB RAM. Though, it also gets expandable storage via a microSD card. It gets the same 4000mAh battery and 40W fast charging as the Honor 30.

The rear camera setup includes a 40-megapixel primary sensor that has the same specifications as the one on Honor 30, a 16-megapixel wide-angle lens, and an 8-megapixel periscope lens. Yes, this “pro” version gets only a triple-camera setup. However, the front has a 32-megapixel primary sensor along with an 8-megapixel wide-angle lens for selfies.

The 8GB+128GB option will cost CNY 3,999 (US$ 565) while the 8GB+256GB variant is priced at CNY 4,399 (US$ 625).

Honor 30 Pro+

Just like the previous two, this one also gets incremental upgrades and in turn, providing more options to the end-user. It has the same display as the Honor 30 Pro, but with a 90Hz refresh rate. Powering the phone is also the same HiSlicon Kirin 990 processor. Even the battery capacity and charging speeds are the same. However, this one also supports 27W fast wireless charging as well as support for reverse charging.

All camera specifications remain the same, but the primary rear sensor has been bumped to 50-megapixel. It will also have IP54 water and dust resistance. All the three phones come with Magic UI 3.1 that’s based on Android 10.

The 8GB+256GB option costs CNY 4,999 (US$ 710) and the 12GB+256GB variant is marked at CNY 5,499 (US$ 780). For now, sales are limited to China and there’s no timeline available for other markets.


Galaxy S22 Ultra will look like a Galaxy Note phone

Based on a new render



The Galaxy Note series is in a state of limbo. After the rise of the brand’s foldable phones, Samsung toned down on the iconic Note series. The brand hasn’t even launched a new entry yet – if it even is launching one this year. If you’re a fan of the series, there’s still hope. Based on new renders, the upcoming Galaxy S22 Ultra will look remarkably similar to the Galaxy Note series.

Rendered by Steve Hemmerstoffer and based on currently known leaks, the upcoming premium smartphone will reportedly have a built-in dock for the S Pen. Of course, the series had already received stylus support, but the Galaxy S21 series never had a dock for the pen.

Additionally, the renders show a quad rear camera setup much like the previous series. However, the layout does look a bit different from its predecessors. Either way, the upcoming flagship has a hint of familiarity for those more used to the Galaxy Note series.

Unfortunately, the render doesn’t show how the S Pen will look like. For the past few iterations, Samsung did confirm that more optimized S Pens are coming for different devices.

In other details, the renders also show that the headphone jack is here to stay.

Right now, it’s still early to tell if the renders are what the real deal will look like. A lot can still happen between now and the projected launch window in January.

SEE ALSO: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 review: Do-It-All device

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US drops charges against Huawei heir Meng Wanzhou

Allowed to return to China



Huawei MateBook D 15

Is the Huawei saga finally reaching its conclusion? For years, the American government has hounded the Chinese company for its ties to its respective country’s government. The administration then issued several bans, forcing Huawei to either find alternatives or give up its business. To the company’s dismay, Huawei has already suffered intensive damage. Now, amid their victory, the United States is throwing the company a bone by dropping its charges against Huawei heir Meng Wanzhou.

Back in 2018, Canadian authorities arrested the daughter of Huawei’s founder Ren Zhengfei. Meng, who is also Huawei’s chief finance officer, was indicted with charges related to an illegal trade deal in Iran. Since then, the company’s heir found herself stuck in a limbo between house arrest and potential extradition to the United States.

Her chapter in the ongoing Huawei struggle is apparently over. In the United States, Meng pleaded not guilty to the government’s charges and agreed to take responsibility for her role in the deal. For their part, the government has dropped the charges in an apparent agreement with the CFO. Meng was allowed to return home to China.

Though Meng Wanzhou is off the leash, Huawei still has an uphill battle because of the said deal. Further, the company is still fighting against bans from the American government. Huawei has already fallen off the ranks in terms of success in the smartphone realm.

SEE ALSO: Huawei wants to help scale-up startups in Asia Pacific

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Xiaomi blacklists “Samsung” and other terms from its phones

But there’s a reason why



Throughout the past few years, Chinese smartphones have received a lot of flak for its ties to geopolitical issues. Both Huawei and ZTE have already suffered through bans from the American government. Naturally, Xiaomi is in a similar boat. Unfortunately, because of a new research report, things might get worse before they get better.

According to a report published by the National Cyber Security Centre in Lithuania, Xiaomi’s smartphones automatically download a list of terms that they blacklist. The list includes sketchy terms like “China,” “Taiwan Solidarity Union,” and other geopolitical terms. Obviously, including China-related terms can cause a bit of alarm for users elsewhere. However, the blacklist might have uses outside of the obvious.

Spotted by XDA Developers, Xiaomi uses the list for advertising purposes. Besides the China-related terms, the list also includes its brand rivals like “Samsung” and “ZTE.” It also includes pornography and piracy terms. Most ironically, the list also blocks its own smartphone models. The publication spotted that the blacklist is used solely by the smartphone’s advertising platform. Which does make sense now.

The list is designed to block out ads from competing companies and its own (which makes sense since someone who owns a Xiaomi phone probably doesn’t need to see a Xiaomi ad anymore). Blocking pornographic and piracy-supporting ads also makes sense. The China-related terms remain problematic, but there is no indication that Xiaomi uses the list for anything other than advertising.

Further, Xiaomi should activate the filter manually. The automatic download doesn’t automatically mean that the phone is censored. That said, there is still a possibility that Xiaomi can use the filter for more geopolitical reasons. At the very least, current reports don’t point toward that for now.

SEE ALSO: Xiaomi 11T series focuses on mobile filmmaking

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