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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.

Enterprise

Philippines: Huawei ban ‘will have a little impact’ on the country

States the Philippines’ robust cybersecurity measures

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Throughout the past few days, the Huawei debacle has devastated companies and consumers across the globe. Everyone is falling for the fear. Huawei’s long-standing suppliers have cut ties with the company. Huawei’s consumers are getting rid of their favored headsets. The wave has swept the whole world.

Naturally, the Philippines isn’t immune. Recently, smartphone retailers and resellers have started refusing Huawei devices from their stores. Local Huawei users can’t easily sell their devices to the second-hand market anymore.


However, an important question still stands. How much will the Huawei ban affect the Philippines?

Of course, the ban originates from Trump’s trade war against China. Among other reasons, the American government cites the company’s inherent cybersecurity risks as the prime motivator. Supposedly, Huawei’s telecommunications hardware can transmit valuable data to the Chinese government. Given the Philippines’ proximity to China, are we also at risk?

According to the Department of Information and Communications Technology, Huawei’s ban “will have a little impact in the Philippine telecommunications industry.” Shared through a Facebook post, the DICT assures users of the country’s robust cybersecurity measures. As of now, the department has not reported any cybersecurity breaches coming from Huawei equipment.

Likewise, shortly after the news broke, local telcos confirmed continued support for Huawei’s devices. According to the DICT, “they will diversify in their present and future procurements of equipment to make their networks more robust and future proof.” The department is also imposing strict rules on local telcos regarding network monitoring. The statement also quickly adds the imposition of the same rules on a potential third telco.

Is the DICT’s statement believable? For now, Huawei’s impact is still marginal at best. Companies and consumers are going on the perceived risk of the future. Right now, Huawei has not announced drastic changes to its products yet. Existing Huawei products still support Google.

Of course, cybersecurity is another issue. The risk will always exist when foreign companies control the telecommunications equipment of another country. At the very least, the DICT isn’t treating the whole debacle as a non-issue. Hopefully, the department’s promises are an optimistic sign for the country’s telecommunications industry.

SEE ALSO: Huawei granted 90-day extension before total ban

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IGTV adds support for horizontal video

No longer exclusive to vertical content

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When Instagram’s IGTV platform first launched, it was special for its focus on vertically oriented videos. The reasoning here is that this is how people naturally hold their smartphones, and vertical video recording has become a standard.

Unfortunately, IGTV didn’t exactly fly from the get-go. Even after certain adjustments, such as integrating its system into Instagram itself for better exposure, content creators and casual users couldn’t fully embrace the platform.


In yet another move — possibly the most drastic yet — IGTV will now support landscape videos. This comes as a response to both creators and viewers who want to upload and watch videos in “a more natural way.”

“Ultimately, our vision is to make IGTV a destination for great content no matter how it’s shot so creators can express themselves how they want,” wrote Instagram on its blog.

The blog reminds us that a similar change happened to Instagram in 2015, when you could start uploading photos in non-square formats. IGTV hopes that this transformation will have the same positive effect.

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OPPO K3 introduces pop-up camera to budget segment

Includes midrange specs and fast charging

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It’s looking like pop-up cameras are here to stay. After making a splash last year, more and more smartphones have been using this implementation for notch-less displays.

The latest to join the trend is the OPPO K3, a budget smartphone with midrange specifications. Not only does it have a 16-megapixel camera that elevates from the top, it also owns a fast Snapdragon 710 chipset and a 6.5-inch OLED panel with an under-display fingerprint scanner.


That’s fantastic for a phone that retails at CNY 1,599 (US$ 230) for the 6GB+64GB model and CNY 1,899 (US$ 274) for the 8GB+128GB variant.

And the generous features don’t end there. The OPPO K3 also comes with VOOC 3.0 fast charging, a hefty 3765mAh battery, and a 16- plus 2-megapixel dual-camera setup on the back.

The only downsides are the micro-USB port instead of the more preferable USB-C, and the ColorOS 6 skin on top of Android 9 Pie, which purists may say isn’t as feature-packed as other Android skins.

The OPPO K3 is already available in China. International availability, as always, will happen at a later date if we’re lucky.

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