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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.

Lifestyle

Samsung is collaborating with a Supreme rip-off

Announced in China

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Historically, tech companies have not usually paired with lifestyle brands. Being lifestyle objects in their own right, smartphones have collaborated with other brands only for incredibly premium promotions. That said, they can surprise us sometimes.

In Samsung’s case, the surprise comes in two packages. Recently, Samsung China announced a startling partnership with lifestyle brand Supreme. In lifestyle circles, the red-boxed brand is a haven for hypebeasts.

Samsung’s new collaboration is not with that brand. Instead, the Korean tech company has partnered with a known Supreme knock-off. Strangely, both the original Supreme and Samsung know this fact.

Naturally, Supreme’s popularity has spawned dozens, if not hundreds, of knock-off brands. Supreme Italia, Samsung’s partner, is one of those brands. Earlier this year, Supreme Italia was embroiled in a legal battle with the original Supreme based in New York City. In a rare outcome, the fake brand triumphed over the original. On inception, Supreme Italia trademarked its properties in its homeland, Italy. The move perpetually protected the fake company under Italian law.

During Samsung China’s launch event for the Galaxy A8s, Supreme Italia announced the collaboration. Apparently, the fake brand is expanding its operations in China, enlisting Samsung as an official partner. The original Supreme does not have rights to sell its products in China.

Funny enough, all three parties — the original Supreme, Supreme Italia, and Samsung — know about the knock-off.

“Supreme is not working with Samsung, opening a flagship location in Beijing, or participating in a Mercedes-Benz runway show. These claims are blatantly false and propagated by a counterfeit organization,” the original company said in a statement to Hypebeast.

Likewise, Samsung China confirmed the issue. In a deleted Weibo post, Samsung China digital marketing manager Leo Lau said: “We are collaborating with Supreme Italia, not Supreme NYC.”

Ironically (or appropriately), Samsung has been in similar patent issues before. Months ago, the company lost a patent infringement battle with its rival, Apple.

SEE ALSO: Samsung’s new prototype has a very weird notch

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Samsung Galaxy A8s debuts with Infinity-O display

Yet another upcoming design trend?

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Enough with the rumors and premature announcements. It’s time to make the Galaxy A8s official.

If you haven’t heard, this is Samsung’s first smartphone to feature the Infinity-O display, which utilizes a punch-hole design instead of the ubiquitous notch found on most phones today to house the 24-megapixel selfie camera.

It’s certainly a unique way to make the most of the screen’s real estate and avoid taking up too much space on the front. The only trouble here is Samsung seems to have settled for a 6.4-inch 1080p LCD instead of its signature AMOLED panel.

Another non-Samsung feature is the use of a midrange Snapdragon 710 chipset in place of the usual Exynos SoC found in most Galaxy smartphones. It’s a great processor though, and it’s paired with up to 8GB of memory and 128GB of expandable storage.

The rear has a triple-camera setup consisting of a 24-megapixel f/1.7 camera, 10-megapixel telephoto shooter, and an additional 5-megapixel sensor for depth sensing to create creamier backgrounds. Beside these is a standard fingerprint scanner.

To our delight, the 3400mAh battery can be charged through the phone’s USB-C port. To our dismay, the handset also comes with 2017’s Android 8.1 Oreo. FYI, it’s almost 2019.

The three available colors are green, blue, and gray. Availability is currently exclusive to China beginning later this month. Price is unknown, but expect it to cost somewhere between the Galaxy A7 and A9.

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Android 9 Pie update now available for Xiaomi Mi A1

The perks of Android One

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After the Mi A2, it’s now Mi A1’s turn to get a taste of Google’s latest software. Being under the Android One program, the Mi A1 will finally get a clean version of Android 9 Pie.

The Android Pie update for the Mi A1 may have come a bit late, but it’s still sooner compared to most Android phones out there. The new firmware weighs more than 1GB to download, so be sure to have a solid connection when updating.

It brings all the benefits of Android Pie plus support for FM radio which wasn’t available before. The change log also mentions new navigation options, but the Mi A1 already has capacitive keys.

The update is already confirmed to be available in South Asia and it’ll soon roll out to all markets. The Mi A1 was launched with Android Nougat and it received the Oreo update. Android Pie is the second major update for the phone.

If you’re unfamiliar with the Mi A1, you may watch our review below. It’s still available at a discounted price in select stores, making it a great budget-friendly phone.

SEE ALSO: 24 Hours in Busan with the Xiaomi Mi A1

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