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Huawei officially announces Harmony OS

Android should be worried

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A few months ago, the Trade War took an ugly turn and its effects were seen on consumer technology for the first time. As a security measure, the U.S. barred Huawei from doing any business with American companies. In a nutshell, Huawei could no longer depend on Android and use Play Services for its smartphones.

This was the tipping point for the Chinese giant and it vowed to not succumb to external pressure. Immediately, there were reports that Huawei has ramped up work on its own operating system, dubbed Hongmeng OS back then. And even though the U.S. scaled back sanctions after a few weeks, it was clear to Huawei, it needs a backup plan.

On August 9, Huawei has finally shown off its new operating system, officially called Harmony OS. Keep in mind, the development has been in process for years, but it got an accelerated push due to the ban.

At the Huawei Developer Conference, the company said Harmony OS is built on a microkernel, meaning it can be deployed on a wide range of devices. This is similar to Google’s Fuchsia OS, but it leverages in-house “Ark” compiler to process multiple languages like C/C++, Java, and Kotlin. Additionally, HTML5, Linux, and even Android apps will be able to run on the OS in the coming future.

Huawei will be releasing a Software Development Kit (SDK) soon for developers to make apps across multiple devices like televisions, smartphones, smartwatches, and even car kits.

The first device to run Harmony OS will be launched by Honor and it’ll be a smart television. We won’t be seeing a smartphone running Harmony OS this year and the company still affirms its dependence on Android.

Work on version 1.0 of the OS was started two years back and version 2.0 of its microkernel will be released next year while version 3.0 arrives in 2021. The company’s Consumer Business Group CEO Richard Yu also added Harmony OS will be faster and safer than Android.

According to Huawei, there’s no root access in the OS, making it safer than Android. They also boasted EAL 5+ certification, an international standard for assurance levels. Lastly, the operating system will be made open-source in the near future.

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This is the best time to buy the Galaxy S20

Good things come to those who wait

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When is the best time to buy the Samsung Galaxy S20? Most might say that it’s right after its release. Whether we admit it or not, being one of the first to own the latest tech is always a good feeling. But there’s also a benefit to waiting it out a little longer.

A new product insight from iPrice indicates being patient could help you net the Galaxy S20 for less. Partnering with Samsung Philippines, iPrice researched the best time to buy the Galaxy S20. The research took into account the price drop of Galaxy flagships over the year, starting from the S8 up until the recent S10. They looked into two different time periods after a flagship’s release to determine its price.

Six-month outlook

If you can’t wait any longer than a year, then you should wait for six months to pass after the Galaxy S20 has been released. The research from iPrice found that the price of Galaxy flagships may drop by 21% after six months. As such, you may get a better deal buying the S20 six months from now than on March 6.

How will a 21% price drop compare across S20 variants?

  • Galaxy S20 — from PhP 49,990 to PhP 39,492
  • Galaxy S20+ — from PhP 55,990 to PhP 44,232
  • Galaxy S20 Ultra — from PhP 69,990 to PhP 55,292

One-year outlook

Here’s where it gets interesting. Galaxy S10’s price dropped by 45% after a year, while Galaxy S8 and S9’s price dropped by 30%. The research estimates that the price drop of Galaxy S20 may fall between 30-45%.

Even when you factor in the much conservative 30% price drop, you still get big savings with PhP 34,993 than today’s price of PhP 49,990 for S20. For S20+, you get PhP 39,193. Finally, for the Galaxy S20 Ultra, the price drops to PhP 48,993.

If you’re looking to save, it is best to wait some months before buying a brand-new Galaxy S20. Prices do fluctuate, so the final price after a few months maybe higher or lower than the estimates. As a general advice, it is better for you to wait before buying a brand-new device to weather out the demand and any issues that may appear after release.

See also: Galaxy S20 price and availability in the Philippines

 

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Honor announces Honor 9X Pro and View 30 Pro globally

MWC cancellation couldn’t hinder Honor’s plan

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Huawei’s sub-brand Honor, through a virtual conference in Barcelona, expanded its Internet of Things (IoT) portfolio and announced the Honor 9X Pro and Honor View 30 Pro. Due to the U.S. ban, Honor is also relying on Huawei Mobile Services to replace Google apps.

Honor 9X Pro

The Honor 9X Pro has a 6.59-inch Honor FullView display. Powering the phone is a Kirin 810 chipset and a Mali G52 GPU. For extended gaming, the phone also houses a liquid cooling system. On the rear is a 48-megapixel primary camera, followed an 8-megapixel wide-angle lens and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. Backing the phone is a 4000mAh battery.

It will be available in France, Germany, the Netherlands, Egypt, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Malaysia, starting March 2020, with a starting price of EUR 249.

Honor View 30 Pro

The Honor View 30 Pro is the first 5G phone from Honor and features a Matrix camera for improved photography. Among the main features of the phone is the device’s Kirin 990 chipset which Honor claims will help the phone deliver an industry-leading 5G experience.

The phone comes with a triple camera setup on the rear that consists of a 40-megapixel Sony IMX600 primary camera, a 12-megapixel wide-angle lens, and an 8-megapixel telephoto sensor. It has a 4100mAh battery that supports 40W fast charging. The company hasn’t confirmed market availability, price, or release date yet.

Through the Huawei AppGallery, the phones have access to a number of new features including a new app store. The company is actively trying to reduce its dependence on Google’s services and is also working on its own operating system — Harmony OS.

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Samsung has started making 16GB RAM for mobile

How much RAM does a smartphone actually need?

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Samsung has announced it began mass production of its 16GB LPDDR5 (Low Power Double Data Rate 5) mobile RAM package. Just a handful of months back the company started making 12GB RAM.

The latest 16GB mobile RAM package uses eight 12-gigabit (Gb) chips and four 8Gb chips. The chips are made based on the 10nm process, Samsung confirmed.

With 5G just around the corner, smartphones will need more storage, faster processors, and even more memory. The next generation of wireless communication is capable of transferring a huge amount of data, in turn, demanding more hardware resources. The recently launched Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra houses the latest 16GB chip and comes with a tag price of US$ 1,399.

This new RAM chip will not only boost the memory on-board but is also expected to be 30 percent quicker and consumes 20 percent less energy than the previous generation LPDDR4X chips. LPDDR5 chips can support transfer speeds up to 5,500 Mbps (687.5 MB/s).

Samsung has also revealed it’s working on a more efficient chip that’ll support transfer speeds of 6,400 Mbps. It expects to mass-produce the chip in the second half of 2020.

Samsung claims that this new standard will “allow ultra-high-resolution graphics on premium smartphones for highly immersive mobile gaming experiences”.

In the last few years, smartphones have become extremely powerful and there’s no limit to it. On the other hand, laptops have stuck to 8GB or 16GB of RAM for a long time. Windows 10 and macOS are well optimized to run within these parameters.

Interestingly, while Android OEMs are gearing up their phones with more and more RAM, Apple has refrained from getting involved in a numbers game. iPhones with just 3GB RAM often out-perform Android counterparts with 8GB or even 12GB of RAM. At the end of the day, a lot of it depends on the software and its level of tuning.

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