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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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Twitter is also considering a deal with TikTok

According to new reports

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Throughout the past week, everyone threw TikTok around like a hot potato. President Donald Trump announced and signed an expansive ban covering TikTok and WeChat, effective starting September 15. That is, unless both companies can reach an acquisition agreement with an American company. Since then, only Microsoft rose as the main suitor for the video-sharing platform. However, according to a new report, Twitter is also considering a deal with TikTok.

Reported by the Wall Street Journal, both parties have allegedly already engaged in talks for a possible deal. Of note, however, the report talks about a “possible combination,” rather than an outright acquisition. Whether or not the wording is critical remains to be seen.

According to the report, a potential deal will involve significant hurdles for both parties. On the one hand, Twitter is potentially courting the platform’s American operations, which are still facing a ban next month. On the other hand, a merger between the two will unify two globally dominant platforms into one.

Though Microsoft can benefit from a stronger presence in the social media industry, Twitter is already a dominant force. If it acquires TikTok, the company’s position will only grow stronger.

Of course, this is all just speculation at this point. No one knows who will ultimately land the popular video-sharing platform yet. Only Microsoft and Twitter have entered any sort of discussion with the Chinese company — publicly, at least. Though a potential buyer on its own right, Apple has already declined any sort of interest for the Chinese company.

SEE ALSO: TikTok is considering moving to the UK

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Qualcomm reportedly urged US to reverse the Huawei ban

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Yesterday, Huawei confirmed the inevitable end of the Kirin chip, owing to the heightening American ban. When it launches later this year, the Huawei Mate 40 series is the last phone to feature the iconic processor. Despite the terrible news, Huawei’s fate is still up in the air. For one, the Trump administration can still (unlikely) reverse everything, restoring Huawei’s former status on top of the industry. In another likelier scenario, a third-party chip supplier can provide some much-needed supply for the ailing Chinese company. Today, Qualcomm reportedly urged US to reverse the Huawei ban.

It’s still a shocking plot twist. Qualcomm has clashed with the Chinese company in the processor industry before. Naturally, when the bans rocked the smartphone industry, the company’s continued dominance flourished at the rival’s major losses. However, Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf soon announced long-term pursuits to court Huawei’s business. The supposed courting fell silent just as quickly.

Today, however, the Wall Street Journal has leaked a presentation detailing Qualcomm’s lobbying to reverse the ban. According to the document, the chip-making company wants to lift exporting restrictions so it can sell its chips to Huawei. With the export ban in place, the US will allegedly drive Huawei’s business away from America and into competitors from other countries like Samsung and Mediatek.

Of course, it’s also important to note that this is different from an operating license. Amidst the ban, a few American companies have applied for a license to sell components to Huawei. Qualcomm has not applied for such a license — at least, not yet. Instead, the company wants every export restriction lifted, allowing other companies to also do business with Huawei.

Lobbying is only one thing. It’s still up to the US government, ultimately. However, American companies are also fighting the extensive ban. Only time will tell if things will go back to how they were.

SEE ALSO: Mate 40 is the last Huawei phone to feature Kirin chips

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Chinese brands dominate Q2 2020 smartphone sales in Southeast Asia

vivo, realme, OPPO, Huawei, and Xiaomi takes the top spots

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According to the latest data by Canalys, Chinese brands dominated the Q2 2020 smartphone sales in Southeast Asia. Both vivo and realme also demonstrated positive year-on-year growth for the quarter.

Chinese brands that dominated smartphone sales include OPPO, vivo, realme and Xiaomi. All in all, these brands captured the top 5 spots in the overall smartphone sales for the whole quarter.

The only non-Chinese smartphone brand that made it to the top 5 is Samsung, capturing 21% of the total sales. The latest figures also affirm that Samsung is still the leader of the pack when it comes to smartphone sales.

OPPO came close to Samsung on overall smartphone sales. It captured 20% of the overall sales shares. vivo, realme, and Xiaomi follow next with 18%, 12%, and 11% shares, respectively.

Year-on-year growth is also down for most brands during the second quarter when most countries started implementing quarantine measures. However, the pandemic didn’t stop vivo and realme from registering a positive growth — they garnered 20% and 102 growth, respectively.

Canalys also saw a 13% quarter-on-quarter increase on smartphone sales, which is good news for these brands. It’s also a sign of recovery for the smartphone market in the region as most countries start to ease their stringent quarantine measures.

The Philippines’ top five smartphone vendors

The situation is more or less the same in the Philippines. Chinese brands dominate the smartphone market in the country. Samsung, however, managed only to snag the second place as vivo takes the crown with a 21% unit share for Q2 2020. It also registered a positive 18% growth during the quarter, which is impressive given the situation the country faced at that time.

realme managed the third spot, registering 18% of the total smartphone shipment. What’s more impressive about the brand is its 254% year-on-year growth, which is a hundred percent more than the regional growth numbers. The aggressive marketing and pricing of its products really helped realme register a healthy growth despite the challenges posed by Q2 2020.

Coming in at the fourth and fifth spots is OPPO and Huawei. However, both brands took a toll this quarter, with year-on-year growth on the decline.  Xiaomi, which is fifth on the regional top smartphone vendors, is nowhere to be seen this time around.

The recent smartphone sales figure just shows how Chinese brands have overtaken the smartphone market in Southeast Asia. It also showed another thing: most brands are having a hard time during these uncertain times. Perhaps, there could be improvements in smartphone sales as the world enters into the third quarter of 2020.

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