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Huawei Mate 20 series launches with Kirin 980, new Leica cameras, wireless charging

Absolutely jam-packed inside and out

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Huawei, like most brands, try their best to cram as many features as they can into a single smartphone. Having done the best they could with the P20 Pro earlier this year, Huawei’s next attempt lies in the newly launched Mate 20 series, which is feature-packed to the brim.

Before anything else, there are two models again: a regular Mate 20 and a Mate 20 Pro. They look and feel quite different, despite owning mostly the same internals.

Let’s begin with the higher-end Mate 20 Pro. Yes, it has wide notch containing a 3D depth-sensing array to go with the 24-megapixel selfie shooter for better face scanning, but that’s on top of a 6.39-inch 1440p curved HDR OLED display — allowing the phone to come equipped with an in-display fingerprint reader.

Mate 20 Pro

More fascinating, however, are the Leica cameras on the rear. Like the P20 Pro, there are three in place, but they’re arranged in a square format. One is a 40-megapixel main camera, another has 20 megapixels and an ultra-wide lens, and the final module offers 8 megapixels with 3x optical zoom — no monochrome sensor this time.

Another headline feature is wireless reverse charging, which allows you to charge any other smartphone wirelessly by simply placing it on top of the Mate 20 Pro’s 4200mAh battery. Getting the large capacity to full is pretty quick too, thanks to the bundled 40W SuperCharge adapter.

Memory and storage combo is standard at 6GB and 128GB, respectively. The latter is expandable up to 256GB, but only through Huawei’s new Nano Memory Card standard, which has the same size as a nano-SIM card.

The regular Mate 20 is less amazing on paper, but doesn’t stop short of being a premium smartphone. While the 24-megapixel selfie camera is still there, there are no additional sensors for 3D face recognition in the smaller notch, and even though the 6.53-inch 1080p RGBW HDR LCD is larger, it isn’t curved on the edges and doesn’t offer an in-display fingerprint scanner.

Left: Mate 20, Right: Mate 20 Pro

You’ll also notice a similar square camera setup, but there are a few differences: the 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. Below this is a standard fingerprint sensor.

Other compromises include a marginally lighter 4000mAh battery (with no wireless reverse charging), slower 22.5W bundled SuperCharger, lack of IP68-rated water and dust resistance, and 4GB+128GB base memory and storage (although a 6GB+128GB option is still available, plus Nano Memory Card expansion).

Left: Mate 20, Right: Mate 20 Pro

As for similarities, there are quite a few. The most prominent one is the shared use of Huawei’s brand-new Kirin 980 chipset, which we first saw at IFA Berlin 2018. Next is the color options: Emerald Green, Midnight Blue, Twilight, Pink Gold, and Black.

And since we’re nearing the end of 2018, it’s only right for these flagships to sport Android 9 Pie topped with Huawei’s home-baked EMUI 9 skin. They are both dual-SIM as well, as long as you don’t use the second slot for the aforementioned Nano Memory Card.

Pricing goes like this: 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. Availability begins on October 16.

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Leica is looking for a new partner after breakup with Huawei

Xiaomi could be the next partner

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Leica

Leica and Huawei made cutting-edge phones that could often defeat professional cameras when it comes to photography. Sadly, the partnership may have to an end as reports suggest the lens maker is looking for a new partner after ditching Huawei.

According to Teme on Twitter, Leica and Huawei have decided to call off the partnership. It isn’t surprising because Huawei’s P and Mate series are radically hit due to American sanctions, barring it from using Google Play Services, Arm chipset architecture, and more. Sales have dropped massively outside of China, and its Honor division has been sold to another Chinese conglomerate.

However, it doesn’t mean Leica has given up. The German optics giant is now looking for a new partner, and the probable candidates include Xiaomi and Honor. Teme suggests it could be Xiaomi. But Leica could also proceed with a multi-brand partnership similar to Zeiss, with possible candidates being Xiaomi, Sharp, and Honor.

The partnership adds a lot of weight and becomes an instant selling point for many photography enthusiasts. Leica’s implementation on Huawei’s phones has received critical acclaim, beating benchmark numbers and setting new records.

Recently, OnePlus teamed up with Hasselblad to deliver an above-average experience but failed to impress. With Huawei on the sidelines right now, there’s an excellent opportunity for companies to join the trend and dominate the photography segment.

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OPPO Reno6 series leaks, likely to launch on May 22

Just a week to go!

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File photo: OPPO Reno5

OPPO Reno6 series is said to launch quite soon and will replace the Reno5 lineup. The Reno6 Pro and Reno6 Pro+ have recently received 3C and TENAA certifications, revealing quite a bit about their hardware.

It’ll make its debut at the brand’s mid-year gala event that will be held on May 22nd. The Reno6 Pro+ will have a 6.55-inch display and a 2200mAh battery. It’s expected that to have two battery packs, so the total output should be ideally 4400mAh. Rumors suggest it could sport a Dimensity 1200 chipset, though this can’t be confirmed immediately.

The Reno6, on the other hand, shall house a 6.4-inch AMOLED screen with Full HD+ resolution, punch-hole cut-out, and a 90Hz refresh rate. The device might ship with 12GB RAM and 256GB internal storage that could be expandable. The Dimensity 900 SoC is expected to offer better performance than the Dimensity 820 and Snapdragon 768G chipsets.

The cameras could have a 64-megapixel primary shooter and a 32-megapixel front camera for selfies. Details about the other rear sensors aren’t available right now.

We’ll just have to wait a week to find out what OPPO has in store for everyone. The Reno lineup has worked wonders for the Chinese brand in the midrange segment. Despite OnePlus’ Nord, the Reno lineup has stood strong and continues to attract photography enthusiasts.

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ASUS Zenfone 8 Series: Price and availability in the Philippines

Pre-orders come with a freebie!

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Zenfone 8 Flip

Yes, they’re back for real! After skipping a couple of generations, ASUS is bringing back the Zenfone to the Philippines. They’re bringing over both Zenfone 8 Series phones — the Zenfone 8 and Zenfone 8 Flip!

Both phones are flagship level being powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor. But they’re pretty different. Here’s a quick look at their specs side by side.

Zenfone 8

Zenfone Flip 8

Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 Qualcomm Snapdragon 888
Display 5.9” Samsung AMOLED, 120Hz 6.67” Samsung AMOLED, 90Hz
OS Android 11, Zen UI 8 Android 11, Zen UI 8
Configuration 6GB + 128GB

8GB +128GB

8GB + 256GB

16GB + 256GB

*No storage expansion

8GB +256GB

*Up to 2TB storage expansion via MicroSD

Battery 4,000mAh 5,000mAh
Cameras 64MP Sony IMX686

12MP Ultra-wide

12MP front-facing

64MP Sony IMX686

12MP Ultra-wide

8MP telephoto

*Flip camera module

The Zenfone 8 is unique in that it offers flagship capabilities in a compact body. The phone has a 5.9″ display Samsung AMOLED display. For comparison, the closest thing to it overall is the iPhone 12 mini which has a 5.4″ display.

Watch our Zenfone 8 review

 

Meanwhile, the Zenfone 8 Flip is ASUS sticking to their guns and offering something unique in the flagship segment. As the name suggests, this has the Flip camera module. So when taking selfies, you’re essentially using the best cameras on the phone that’s typically only on the rear for every other flagship.

Read our Zenfone 8 Flip Unboxing and First Impressions

Zenfone 8 Flip

Price and availability

The ASUS Zenfone 8 Series is available for pre-order starting May 14, 2021 at official ASUS Concept Stores,
accredited online and offline shops. Successful pre-orders will get a free Rhinoshield Solidsuit Hardcase and a JBL Go 3.

Pricing are as follows:

  • ASUS Zenfone 8 Flip, 8GB + 256GB, Galactic Black and Glacier Silver — PhP 39,995
  • Zenfone 8, 16GB + 256GB, Obsidian Black — PhP 39,995
  • Zenfone 8, 8GB +128GB, Obsidian Black and Horizon Silver — PhP 34,995
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