Huawei Mate 40 Pro Huawei Mate 40 Pro

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The Huawei Mate 40 Pro’s cameras are actually smart

Perfect for lazy point-and-shooters

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Part of writing tech reviews means I also take product photos for a living. It may seem easy at first, but I can guarantee that it takes some practice to get good shots. The same is true for when we take sample photos.

However, I’m human (occasionally trash) and I get tired and lazy too. I had a different article in mind for this feature at first but I wasn’t too happy with some of the shots I took with the Huawei Mate 40 Pro.

But then it hit me. Isn’t this the whole point of having a smartphone camera? It’s supposed to do a lot of the processing and beautification on its own. So what I’m going to show you right now are some of the shots I was “moderately okay” with to showcase just how smart the Mate 40 Pro is as a point-and-shoot-camera.

Insane HDR

Huawei Mate 40 Pro

The level of detail in this photo is already impressive on its own. The pot with the dead plant/s (I’m not much of a plant person, sorry) is placed against the light source which is the window.

Despite that, not only was the Mate 40 Pro able to produce a shot showing the pot’s details, it also captured the view outside the window.

Not impressed? Here’s what it looked like right before I took the photo.

A little mind-blowing, right?

10X Zoom is the zoom sweet spot

The Huawei Mate 40 Pro can go all the way up to 50X Zoom. But we all know maxxed out zoom levels don’t really produce images you’d be inclined to post on social media.

Thankfully, (and as you can see in the plant screenshot) the camera app actually guides you to different shooting perspectives for optimal use.

When you fire it up, you have the normal distance or 1X zoom. Click the button on the right and you go straight to wide. Click to the left of 1X and you have 5X zoom, and click to left most node and you have 10X Zoom.

So how good is it?

This was taken in 1X at night while I was taking a brisk-ish walk around our compound.

What did I tell you? Lazy shot, right? But it looks fair. The scene was aptly lit and the night mode wasn’t very aggressive. But put your attention on the figure in the middle. Here’s what it looks like after shooting in 10X Zoom.

The level of detail at 10X Zoom, and at night at that, is simply astonishing. It’s such a clean shot given the conditions it was in.

Night Mode is unreal

While we’re at it, let’s talk about the Huawei Mate 40 Pro’s Night Mode. Huawei, in recent years, has done a pretty good job with their night mode. As I mentioned, it’s no longer overly aggressive when it doesn’t need to be.

But when there’s little to no light source, Night Mode really kicks into high gear. Here’s a screenshot of the basketball court before I took the photo.

If I’m not mistaken, this was around seven or eight in the evening. There’s a faint light around the court, but since there’s a pandemic, we can’t really use it to play hoops. That’s why it’s lights off for now.

But here’s the final shot.

Personally, I think the post-processing was extremely aggressive here. The AI was working extra hard filling-in what it thought the colors were of the sky and the trees. It missed a little bit on the ring though as it isn’t green at all in real life.

That said, this is a fantastic showcase of what the Mate 40 Pro’s Night Mode can do even in near pitch-black scenes.

Here’s a bonus night mode shot just to showcase how good it is on an adequately lit scene.

Huawei Mate 40 Pro

Trying (and failing) at toy photography

The following morning, I decided to try my hand at ‘toy photography.’ So over the pandemic, one of the things I did to cope was buy a few anime figures. But it’s not something I’ve actually done before so this was mostly just for the heck of it and to see how the Mate 40 Pro can do under ample light conditions.

I shot poorly (I think), but the Mate 40 Pro did a lot of heavy lifting. It only occurred to me that perhaps having this colorful a backdrop wasn’t the best idea for highlighting a toy figure.

But here’s the portrait mode shot.

Huawei Mate 40 Pro

Any Shoto Todoroki stans reading this?

It’s a little darker than in real life, but the background blur is fantastic. Look at the lights on the building in the background. The subject could have been clearer if my hands had been steadier but overall, this isn’t bad at all.

I didn’t really read up on how to do this before trying it but based on some stuff I’ve seen online, toy photography is also about highlighting the details. The zoom function shines here again.

On the left is the 1X shot and on the right is the 5X Zoom. The quality suffers a little but it still manages to showcase the underfoot details of the figure.

I tried taking a closer shot with a bright background. The Mate 40 Pro still captured a fair amount of detail with ample lighting on the subject despite the overpowering source of light on the background.

Again, I wasn’t really too happy with the background so I figured I’d wrap things up. I took one last shot — a face close-up using 5X Zoom.

I haven’t spent that long of a time with the Mate 40 Pro so I was having trouble with focusing. Despite my shortcomings, the image still came out a little okay.

When I actually tried (a little)

A little later on we had to shoot a video for Huawei. It was a rush project so I figured I’d meet up with MJ to wrap things up quickly. With his influence, I actually tried taking proper photos and here’s how they came out.

Huawei Mate 40 Pro

Oh and here’s portrait mode on an actual person.

Huawei Mate 40 Pro

Perfect for point-and-shooters

I’m willing to bet most people really don’t want to bother with too many settings or tweaking things here and there. The Huawei Mate 40 Pro really shines in this aspect as the combination of its hardware plus AI shooting does a lot of heavy lifting for most users.

Huawei Mate 40 Pro

But my general advice is still try a little (haha). It won’t take a lot of effort to capture something amazing when you have the Mate 40 Pro with you.

Watch our Huawei Mate 40 Pro Unboxing and Review.

Hands-On

Why the Samsung Crystal UHD 2021 is a must have in your 20s

Make happy TV-viewing memories

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Samsung Crystal UHD TV 2021

Your 20s is a wonderful time. You fumble your way into adulthood and find your footing in the grand scheme of things. It’s a process that isn’t always pretty, but the whole experience can be elevated and extra fun with the right companion. Yes, we’re talking about a TV. Specifically, the Samsung Crystal UHD 2021. Why? Because Samsung — The World’s Number 1 TV Brand — sponsored this video and the Crystal UHD is actually, really pretty good.

Netflix and chillin’

You’re gonna want to do a lot of Netflix and chillin’ in your 20s. So, while you cool down and get your chill on, the Samsung Crystal UHD TV has your back with all the Netflxing and whatever other things you want playing to set the mood.

You see, when you’re actually watching, the TV’s Dynamic Crystal Colors is a treat for the eyes. Colors are vibrant and crisp, dark scenes pop, and the display gets pretty bright putting an end to the age-old question – lights on or lights off. Doesn’t matter. Whatever you choose, the picture quality will be crystal clear.

This is possible because the TV is really just smart. It upscales non-4K content and adjusts videos scene-by-scene making sure you’re getting the best picture possible.

And it doesn’t even have to be Netflix strictly. This 4K TV comes pre-installed with plenty of other streaming apps like YouTube, AppleTV, Viu, and HBO GO. You can also install other apps like VLIVE and Facebook Watch. Speaking of Viu and HBO GO. You actually get fantastic deals when you buy a Samsung Crystal UHD TV?

That’s a lot of streaming whatever and chillin’ which is so much better on a TV than say your smartphone or laptop.

Where will I put it?

Ah yes, space. It’s always a tricky subject perhaps even more so when you’re in your 20s. Where do I put this? Where do I place that? Was I being too clingy? Or maybe I wasn’t around enough? You know, that sort of thing.

Thankfully, the Samsung Crystal UHD TV comes in many different sizes. It goes anywhere from 43 inches all the way up to 85 inches.

Size matters, yes. And Samsung has one that will definitely fit your space.

You see, the TV has this AirSlim design making it just 25mm thin. That’s about as thin as you can get for a TV of this caliber.

That makes it easy to slide into whatever kind of space you have. Whether that’s in the living room with your family, your bedroom, or your studio apartment.

You can already picture it, right? Yeah, us too.

While we’re on the topic of Space, the TV actually takes this into consideration when it comes to sound. As they are, the speakers already deliver good audio. But say, you’re in a larger space. You can simply switch the sound mode to Amplify and it’ll fill-up your room stat. And we all know every viewing experience is better with that feeling of surround sound.

Make me wanna take it home

Alright, alright. We see you’re really interested now. We’re gonna rapid fire this part. We know you’ve moved most of your entertainment to streaming. So of course, the remote control is tailored for that lifestyle. No more of those numbers you barely press these days. Just a nice button and directional pads with shortcuts Netflix or Prime video and an easy toggle volume and channel controls.

And if for some reason you lose the remote into the abyss that is your room because that’s just a thing that happens. Fret not, because you can easily control the TV via the Samsung SmartThings App on your smartphone that you refuse to put down.

The Samsung Crystal UHD 2021 also has three HDMI ports so you can take things further by getting a soundbar, connecting your laptop, and if you’re into gaming, hooking up a gaming console.

So, if you’re into gaming, you’ll be happy to know that the Samsung Crystal UHD TV is next-gen console ready. Whether you’re into Xbox or PlayStation, you’re gonna get 4K and 60Hz of gaming goodness. And that… is a life changer.

And if you’re working from home the TV actually supports Bluetooth 5.2. This lets you connect speakers and PC peripherals to turn your TV into a monitor. Best of all, you’re not gonna grope your way through it because the TV has built-in menus to set this up. Just wow.

You can buy the Samsung Crystal UHD TV now at any authorized Samsung dealer, and they’ll even set it up for you at your request.. Top notch service with a top notch TV, for a top notch you.

We know you’re picturing it now… watching the game with your buddies, snuggling with your S/O, or just winding down after a long day of work. These are the moments you cherish in your 20s. And these are moments best spent with a TV. Which one? We’ve made our case. The choice… is crystal clear.


This feature is collaboration between GadgetMatch and Samsung Philippines.

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Explainers

The secrets behind iPhone 13’s Cinematic Mode

Together with Apple’s VP for iPhone Product Marketing as well as their Human Interface Designer

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For the first time ever, we had a three-way interview with Apple’s VP for iPhone Product Marketing, Kaiann Drance as well as one of their leading Human Interface Designers, Johnnie Manzari. If you’re not starstruck enough, both of them appeared in Apple’s September 2021 Keynote event!

Other than new camera sensors, newer camera features are also found on the new iPhone 13 Series. One of those is the new Cinematic Mode.

If you’ve watched some of our latest iPhone videos including the Sierra Blue iPhone 12 Pro Max unboxing, we’ve let you take a sneak peek on that new video mode.

We’re not gonna lie, it’s one amazing camera feature Apple has managed to deliver.

But what are the secrets behind it? And are you curious how technicalities work?

Watch our 16-minute interview with the Apple executives explaining why Cinematic Mode is the next big thing in mobile videography.

 

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Hands-On

Apple iPhone 13 and 13 mini Unboxing and Hands-on

Which iPhone 13 is your GadgetMatch?

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After we unboxed the Sierra Blue iPhone 13 Pro Max and gold iPhone 13 Pro, it’s time to do the same to these iPhone 13 babies.

Changes with the new iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini aren’t just about the “odd” camera placement. Other than the new wide camera sensor, there’s a more powerful A15 Bionic Chip, smaller notch, and more.

Watch our iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini Unboxing and Hands-on video now to find out more!

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