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Huawei Mate 30 Pro retakes position as DxOMark camera king

An excellent score of 121

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Huawei Mate 30 Pro’s impressive specs truly raises the bar for a 2019 flagship phone. Among its impressive specs are the quadruple rear cameras found in this flagship.

Looking at the raw specs of the camera alone, there is a 40MP wide-angle lens, 40MP ultra-wide-angle lens, 8MP telephoto lens, and a Time-of-Flight (T0F) 3D depth-sensing camera in the back. In the front, there is a 32MP camera and a ToF sensor. But there is more to that raw specs in creating a good photo. Fortunately, Huawei delivers on all fronts as proved by DxOMark’s camera review.

The cameras alone are so impressive that DxOMark gave Mate 30 Pro a high score of 121. The score is the highest given by DxOMark, dethroning the score of 117 previously set by Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ 5G.

Mate 30 Pro’s  Night Mode is more or less represented by this photo of Shanghai at night.

Impressive for photo stills

DxOMark gave a score of 131 for photos taken by the Mate 30 Pro. The Mate 30 Pro capture high levels of detail even in low light conditions. Apparently, its cameras capture photos with minimal noise and lots of detail in low light.  The photos also show a good balance of noise and detail — something tricky to achieve for a smartphone.

In terms of exposure and color, the Mate 30 Pro performs very well. Photos are well-exposed and retained a high dynamic range (HDR) even in low light conditions. Also, they are well-saturated more than the P30 Pro, which DxOMark found to be a positive aspect in favor of the Mate 30 Pro.

Night Mode shooting is also favorable for the Mate 30 Pro. It did well in low-light conditions, whether or not the flash is on. As a matter of fact, DxOMark remarked that its night mode is the best among all flagships.

Zooming on subjects is no problem at all for the Mate 30 Pro. It may have lost the P30 Pro’s 5x optical zoom, but the 3x optical zoom in this phone still captures excellent photos. Zoom shots in close and medium range are captured with good details. Meanwhile, autofocus is not a problem as the cameras were quick to focus, in all conditions. Most smartphones struggle with low-light, but the phone’s autofocus locks on the subject immediately.

Those who love their bokeh would be happy with the Mate 30 Pro. The photos taken show excellent depth estimation and detail, but they can be undersaturated and lacking in HDR. Also, the 18MM field-of-view limits what can fit inside a photo taken by the phone.

The phone won’t disappoint selfie lovers too, as it took selfies with good exposure and HDR. Colors are accurate and details are good. It is worth noting, however, that the lens are fixed-focused, unlike other flagships released this year.

Videos are great, but not the best

For the videos taken by the Mate 30 Pro, DxOMark gave a score of 100. Samsung Note 10+ 5G scored higher with a 101. Still, the phone captures videos with good detail and minimal noise in all conditions.

The Mate 30 Pro lacks HDR video recording; nonetheless, colors are vivid and exposure is accurate in most conditions. The autofocus is fast and accurate, while stabilization is good. Its cameras compensated well for the walking motion and camera shake.

And last, the Mate 30 Pro captures videos in 4K by default.

Aside from the impressive camera specs, the Mate 30 Pro packs a 6.62 inch edge-to-edge screen which curves at 88 degrees. The new Kirin 990 processor is powering the device which enables 5G connectivity. Battery is sufficient at 4,500 mAh which can be charged with either 22W or 40W Huawei SuperCharge.

It is available in various color variants: Emerald Green, Space Silver, Cosmic Purple, Black. A vegan leather option is also available, coming in two colors: Forest Green and Orange.

News

OxygenOS 11 will come with major design changes

Eerily similar to OneUI

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OnePlus fans have always sworn by OxygenOS for its stock-like Android experience. However, that may soon change with the release of OxygenOS 11, the latest iteration based on the upcoming Android 11.

OnePlus dropped these changes on the latest developer preview of OxygenOS last August 11.  While these may change before the final release, some of them are already causing a stir among many fans and Android users.

Inspired by OneUI

The biggest takeaway from OxygenOS 11 is its likeness to OneUI. Clearly, OnePlus took some design inspiration from Samsung’s skin. The big headers and large empty spaces are straight out of OneUI’s playbook. Almost all system apps — settings, contacts, messages, and weather app — from OxygenOS 11 have been redesigned with this design principle. Even the drop-down notification shade and Shelf gets the redesign treatment.

Photo by dsmonteiro from OnePlus

To OnePlus’ credit though, this new version of OxygenOS is much more coherent on adhering to its own design language. OnePlus’ brand redesign culminated with a brand-new font, and it is debuting as OnePlus Sans here.

Always-on display makes a debut

Another big thing debuting on OxygenOS 11 is always-on display (AOD). Technically, OnePlus’ phones had an always-on display in the form of ambient display. However, the implementation in the new version of OxygenOS is much closer to how other phone manufacturers implement AOD. The company even threw some slick new AOD styles, including the unique “Insights” style.

Zen Mode, Gallery, dark mode, and RAM optimizations

Some of the apps get new additions and optimizations for OxygenOS 11. Zen Mode gains a new sharing feature that enables users to share their sessions with other users. The gallery app, on one hand, has a revamped explore tab that automatically creates stories based on taken shots.

Users can now set dark mode to toggle automatically too. There are tweaks to the dark mode and more system apps now support it too.

Furthermore, OxygenOS 11 brings RAM optimization that should address aggressive app killing in the background. This is a small but welcome change considering that OnePlus ranks among the worst offender for aggressive RAM optimization.

Developer preview out now

Users who are willing to try out OxygenOS 11 may do so by downloading it directly from OnePlus’ website. As of now, it is only available for technically-inclined users of the OnePlus 8 series. A public beta is not long in the tooth now, considering that stable Android 11 is almost here.

All-in-all, OxygenOS 11 is set to be a major design change that will surely polarize long-time OnePlus fans and users. Perhaps, this change will be another in the long line of controversial decisions that OnePlus did in an effort to catch up with major phone manufacturers.

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Accessories

Sony WH-1000XM4 price and availability in the Philippines

Right around how much we expected it to be

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Sony’s best just got better as the Sony WH-1000XM4 is now official and has come to the Philippines.

New to the headphones in its 4th iteration is Multiple device pairing. This has been one of this headphones’ weaknesses and it has finally been addressed. You can now connect the Sony WH-1000XM4 to two devices simultaneously.

When a call comes in, your headphones will know which device is ringing and connect to it automatically. You’ll also be able to quickly switch your headphones to either of the two devices in a single tap.

Sound of the WH-1000XM-line has always been stellar and the XM4 should be no different. The ever-reliable QN1 is still here for noise-cancellation but it’s now paired with a new Bluetooth Audio SoC. It can sense and adjust to music and noise at over 700 times per second.

It now also has Edge-AI, DSEE Extreme which more accurately rebuilds audio lost during digital compression for a full fidelity experience. The 360 Reality Audio feature is now also making its way to these headphones. It lets listeners enjoy a custom immersive musical field that is perfectly optimized for each individual user.

The WH-1000XM4 also supports Google’s helpful new Fast Pair feature that lets you easily locate where you left your WH-1000XM4 by ringing them.

Lastly, there’s Speak-to-chat. Previously, you had to cover one of the ear cups to disable the noise-cancelling for a short period. Now, you only have to speak and the headphones will recognize your voice, automatically stop your music and let in ambient sound so you can conduct a conversation without removing your headphones.

Pricing and availability 

The Sony WH-1000XM4 will retail for PhP 19,999 and is available in the Philippines starting August 14, 2020 in all Sony Centers and dealers nationwide.

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Enterprise

TikTok has collected user information illegally

They know who you are

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For months now, the US has hounded TikTok for potentially enabling Chinese cyber espionage. ByteDance, TikTok’s owner, is a Chinese company, making it a prime target for data collection. Of course, despite the numerous warnings, TikTok’s transgressions have only started appearing en masse recently. Today, a new conspiracy adds another drop to the overflowing bucket. Unfortunately, it’s a big one. Apparently, TikTok has collected user information illegally for over a year. TikTok knows who you are.

Reported by the Wall Street Journal, TikTok collected and sent valuable MAC addresses and advertising IDs to ByteDance until around November of last year. Of note, Google prohibits this questionable practice, banning apps that practice the method. However, TikTok applied a layer of encryption that hid the practice from the Play Store.

For the unfamiliar, MAC addresses are much more valuable than IP address. While IP addresses constantly change, MAC addresses are more difficult to alter. Most users will usually cycle through the lifespan of a device without giving their MAC addresses a second thought. However, the MAC address is an incredibly unique identifier for your device. Only you should ideally have that address. That said, TikTok’s sketchy collection tactic is much weightier than normal.

According to TikTok’s policies now, the platform does not collect these identifiers anymore. However, it doesn’t bode well for long-time TikTok users since last year. At its most docile, the practice likely facilitated advertising opportunities for the platform. However, it is still highly illegal to collect that data without permission. If anything, the report will give cybersecurity pundits more ammo against the already struggling company.

More than a week ago, Trump had already signed a ban against the app, giving the platform only until September 15 to divest its American assets over to an American corporation.

SEE ALSO: French privacy watchdog is now probing TikTok

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