Two major flagships, one inevitable clash. This is our Huawei Mate 40 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G.
Let’s jump right in and see how these two stack on paper.
|Huawei Mate 40 Pro||Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra|
OLED, HDR10, 90Hz
Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 120Hz, HDR10+
|SoC + GPU||Kirin 9000 5G (5 nm)
|Exynos 990 (7 nm+)/ Qualcomm SM8250 Snapdragon 865+ (7 nm+)
Mali-G77 MP11/ Adreno 650
|RAM + ROM||8GB + 256GB
8GB + 512GB
|12GB + 128GB
12GB + 256GB
12GB + 512GB
|MAIN CAMERAS||50 MP, f/1.9, 23mm (wide), 1/1.28″, 1.22µm, omnidirectional PDAF, Laser AF
12 MP, f/3.4, 125mm (periscope telephoto), PDAF, OIS, 5x optical zoom
20 MP, f/1.8, 18mm (ultrawide), PDAF
|108 MP, f/1.8, 26mm (wide), 1/1.33″, 0.8µm, PDAF, Laser AF, OIS
12 MP, f/3.0, 120mm (periscope telephoto), 1.0µm, PDAF, OIS, 5x optical zoom, 50x hybrid zoom
12 MP, f/2.2, 120˚, 13mm (ultrawide), 1/2.55″, 1.4µm
|SELFIE CAMERA||13 MP, f/2.4, 18mm (ultrawide)
TOF 3D, (depth/biometrics sensor)
|10 MP, f/2.2, 26mm (wide), 1/3.2″, 1.22µm, Dual Pixel PDAF|
|OS||Android 10, EMUI 11,HMS||Android 10, One UI 2.5. GMS|
|BATTERY + CHARGING||4400mAh
Fast charging 66W
Fast wireless charging 50W
Reverse wireless charging 5W
Fast charging 25W
USB Power Delivery 3.0
Fast Qi/PMA wireless charging 15W
Reverse wireless charging 4.5W
As with most phones in the same category these days, the gaps are narrow and the differences minute. Most of the time, it comes down to preferences. As beings who like to look and make initial assessments, how the Mate 40 Pro and the Galaxy 20 Ultra look will drive the decision between the two.
The smartphones we’re comparing today clash most in the looks department. The Mate 40 Pro, while the larger phone in Huawei’s two major flagship series, dwarfs in comparison to the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.
The size makes the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra almost exclusively a double-handed phone. It’s difficult to use on one hand alone, unless you have unusually large hands. The camera module also protrudes so much that, uncased, it’ll be wobbly when set it down on a table.
Meanwhile, the Mate 40 Pro has a large display while still being welcoming to beings with a smaller pair of mitts. The camera module with its space ring design is distinctly Huawei Mate and does not protrude as much.
Both also come in new-ish colors with the Galaxy S20 Ultra coming in with the bronze finish and the Mate 40 Pro in Mystic Silver that will speak to anyone with a sleek style.
This is one of those areas that are just too close to call. It’s a testament to how far mobile consumer tech has come. Throw any task at either of these phones and they’ll handle it like a champ.
One thing the Mate 40 Pro has going for it is that it’s performance will be consistent across the board no matter where in the world you get it. The same can’t be said for Samsung which ships the Note 20 Ultra with two processors — one Qualcomm and the other Exynos. Markets that get Exynos feel slighted. This isn’t an issue with the Mate 40 Pro that’s just Kirin 9000 5G through and through.
Exynos equipped Note 20 Ultras tend to heat up more when pushed to the brink. It’s a problem that has been historically associated with the chip. Hopefully, Samsung is able to fix it in the next iteration.
Meanwhile, the Kirin 9000 5G is just an absolute workhorse that gives you a performance that’s undeniably flagship-level. Switching from one app to another is seamless, refresh rate is fast, and your overall interaction with the device will just be a breezy and smooth experience.
This also means a variance in overall battery life. Power management doesn’t rely solely on how many mAh the phone is equipped with. The processor does a lot of heavy lifting in this department as well. In our usage, you’ll feel more at ease if you forget to charge the Mate 40 Pro overnight vs the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.
More on juicing up the devices, the Mate 40 Pro edges the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra here by a mile thanks to its support for 66W SuperCharge.
With the Mate 40 Pro relying solely on Huawei Mobile Services (HMS), it’s easy for most people to assume that the Galaxy S20 Ultra will wipe the floor with the Mate in the software department.
Huawei has done a marvelous job in just a year to get developers on board and make plenty of apps available on their phones via the App Gallery and Petal Search.
EMUI 11 and ONE UI 2.5 also comes down to preference. In terms of default aesthetics, ONE UI might look cleaner but it also offers less customization. If you’re the type who really wants to make their device feel like their own, you’ll have a field day with EMUI 11’s wealth of customization options.
The ability to personalize what appears on the Eyes On/Always On display, the massive number of themes, and even the option to choose what shows up on screen while it’s locked all help make the Mate 40 Pro truly feel like your own.
As professional video-makers, we’ll always prefer to use our mirrorless cameras to make our stuff. However, not everyone does what we do for a living. For most people, they just want to document life’s moments.
The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra’s biggest feature to this end is Single Take which was introduced in the Galaxy 20 Series. It essentially captures a moment in various ways. It sounds great on paper but is mostly gimmicky in practice.
Meanwhile, the Huawei Mate 40 Pro made improvements on already existing features. If you’re gonna go into vlogging with the Mate, the selfie camera has plenty of shooting capabilities to enhance this experience.
They added a host of new vlogging solutions like AI tracking and Audio Zoom to help you capture your subject better both in video and audio. If you’re shooting something fast-paced, there’s Super motion image stabilization to help you get a good shot, and if you need to whip up something quick, there’s Vlog story made that takes dramatic shots for you — all you need to do is point and shoot!
Want to up the quality? The Mate 40 Pro’s selfie video can now take 4K at 60PS. You can even take Slow Mo videos with it for even more dramatic effect.
Huawei also took extra time to add other helpful features that are part of their whole Cine Camera approach. For instance, both the front and back cameras are HDR-capable and have fantastic video stabilization.
Another thing that sets the Mate 40 Pro’s shooting capabilities apart is the dual-view feature. You can shoot from the front and rear cameras simultaneously. It opens the possibilities for plenty of creative shots.
As far as quality and stabilization goes, we’ll leave the assessment to you with the videos below. Bare in mind, these were edited down to 1080P 30PS for faster processing. No other edits were applied.
Huawei Mate 40 Pro
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
Now onto everyone’s favorite — photo comparisons. People like to have fun with these, dissecting every detail, composition and color reproduction. It’s understandable given how plenty of us still live out some version of our lives on social media where we can’t help but our best foot forward.
To make the comparisons easier for everyone, all the photos on the left side were taken with the Huawei Mate 40 Pro while those on the right side were taken with the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.
The photos are untouched save for being resized and collaged all for your convenience.
The one obvious difference in the photos above is how the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra photos tend to highlight even the really darker areas in certain scenes. It’s not a faithful reproduction of the scene but is a little more social media ready.
If you’re a fan of warmer tones, that seems to be where the Mate 40 Pro shines. Plus it really made that damn juicy burger look super appetizing.
Taking closer shots from afar this time at 5X Zoom, again the difference is pretty apparent. The Mate 40 Pro produces warmer shots while the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra tends to crank up the highlights more than necessary.
A closer look will also show that the Mate 40 Pro does a better job at retaining a bit more detail.
10X Zoom appears to produce images similar to 5X Zoom. Warmer and more detail with the Mate 40 Pro.
This one’s almost pretty darn even. If you want that creamy bokeh look for your profile image, both phones do a fantastic job of applying separation between the subject and the background.
The key differentiator, again, is the color reproduction. The Mate 40 Pro is more faithful to the actual colors of the scene vs the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.
The roles reversed a little here with the Mate 40 Pro applying more highlights than the Galaxy S20 Ultra. This is a default on most Huawei phones and works really well in low-light scenarios.
We’re back to the rear cameras and the ultrawide angle lenses of the two tell mostly the same tale — warmer shots for the Mate 40 Pro and higher highlights and whites on the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.
But overall, ultrawide angle shots taken on both have no noticeable distortion which is a win for us all.
Which one is your GadgetMatch?
At the end of the day, the choice is up to you and what you ultimately value. This comparison was pretty close with the primary differentiators being the size and design, image reproduction, and overall access.
Oh right. Pricing. The Huawei Mate 40 Pro retails for PhP 55,999 while the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra will set you back at a maximum of PhP 72,990.
This feature is a collaboration between GadgetMatch and Huawei Philippines
realme GT Master Edition: Unboxing and First Impressions
Does it remind you of a suitcase?
realme has a new phone — the realme GT Master Edition — and we’re gonna take it out of the box. We’ll also tell you what we initially think because these are the only things we’re allowed to do. For now.
The company is using all their favorite buzzwords again to generate… well… buzz for the phone. Words like disruptive, game changer, flagship experience — the works. It gets too hypey, but that’s what you gotta do to standout in an industry dominated by the likes of Apple and Samsung. I digress.
Take a look at the realme GT Master Edition specs before we proceed with the unboxing:
- Display — 6.43″ AMOLED, 120Hz refresh rate
- Processor — Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G 5G
- RAM — 8GB + up to 5GB DRE (Dynamic RAM Extension)
- Storage — 128GB and 256GB
- Battery — 4,300mAh, Dual-cell design, 65W SuperDart charging
- Rear Cameras — 64MP f/1.8 main camera, 8MP f/2.3 119° ultra-wide lens, 2MP f/2.4 macro lens
- Selfie Camera — 32MP
- OS — Android 11, realme UI 2.0
- Color Options — Voyager Grey, Daybreak Blue
It came in this cool tiny travel suitcase. It’ll be a recurring theme.
Opening it reveals two boxes safely tucked in between foams for shock absorption.
The left box, as you can see, is just black with the trademark yellow realme logo. On the right side is the box of the actual phone itself.
The left box is filled with different realme items.
Some stickers, keychains, and more.
It also has printed pictures of shots taken using the realme GT Master Edition.
Now, onto the main event — the box of the phone itself.
Opening the box, you’ll see this warm welcoming message.
Inside this, you’ll find the usual documentation — warranty, manual, all that good stuff.
Lift that and you’ll be greeted by the realme GT Master Edition.
Wrapped in plastic with an indicator of where the in-display fingerprint sensor is located.
Lift that layer where the phones and you’ll find the plasticky case.
It looks exactly like the back of the phone except it’s a shade lighter and doesn’t feel quite as good.
Underneath it is the USB Type-C cable.
And as you may have gleaned from the photo above, the SIM tray ejector tool lies under it.
When you life the case, you’ll see the 65W SuperDart power brick.
That’s it for everything inside the box. Now let’s look at the phone.
Here’s a good look at the back of the realme GT Master Edition.
As mentioned earlier, the whole suitcase and travel thing is the main theme of this phone’s design. The horizontal grids were meant to replicate the look of a suitcase to trigger the thought of travel. It’s kind of cruel given the general travel restrictions still imposed on us because of the pandemic. But maybe that’s just me.
Signed by Naoto Fukasawa.
Responsible for the design is Naoto Fukasawa. He even signed the thing on the back. It’s a puzzling move to say the least. I’m fairly certain 90 percent of the people who will end up purchasing this phone will have zero idea who Fukasawa is. But congrats, you have his autograph now!
Fukasawa is a Japanese industrial designer. He is most known for his works with retail company MUJI. Now, I’m sure a lot of you will be familiar with MUJI. Even then, I don’t think the idea of a renowned designer’s signature being on your phone’s back is something you’ll find thrilling or enticing.
realme continues to make these wild choices for back designs. It’s brave and bold which is in keeping with their whole approach. Personally, these aren’t things I find appealing. Then again, an oldie like me is likely not their target market. I just wanted to get that off my chest.
Looks aside, that back feels great
realme says it’s called the concave vegan leather — the first of its kind in the smartphone industry. I’m not gonna pretend to understand the whole process so here’s an excerpt from realme’s infosheet explaining the thing:
“realme has adopted a more challenging way – the polymer material is turned into an initial three-dimensional shape through the injection molding process, and then use the hot pressing process to synthesize the vegan leather with the substrate, and finally achieve the integrated concave vegan leather shape.”
Did you get that? Basically, all of that was needed to achieve the uneven finish with the feel of leather. It’s a lot to take in but all you need to know is that it feels great to touch and isn’t slippery at all.
Bottom: Speaker grille, USB-C port, and suprise — 3.5mm headphone jack.
Button placements are your usual. Power button on the right side and the volume buttons as well as the SIM card tray on the left side.
Here’s the realme GT Master Edition with the case on.
It mimics the look of concave vegan leather but feels nowhere near it. I cannot, in good conscience, recommend using this case if you want to preserve that leather feeling. Really wish realme came up with vegan leather case too.
The phone’s wallpaper looks like a pavement.
Points for consistency, I guess? It’s running Android 11 with a coat of realme UI 2.0. If you’re an OPPO user, this UI going to feel familiar. It’s almost like ColorOS which isn’t a bad thing. The whole UI feels clean and easy to navigate.
What’s surprising are the overwhelming number of apps pre-installed. Sure, you have ones that you’ll likely install like Facebook, Messenger, and Netflix. But for every one of those useful apps, there’s a couple more that’s just flat out bloatware. There are also incessant notifications about apps you can download from their App Market. I know “disrupting” is their thing but maybe not like this?
Cameras to die for?
realme made a big deal about the back design and just as much as they did, they also said the cameras on this thing are fantastic. Hence, the inclusion of printed photos taken with it in this special unboxing package. We have no samples to show you just yet. We’ll take a step outside, observing health and safety protocols of course, to see if we can come up with stunning images ourselves.
The realme GT Master Edition (that’s a mouthful) is a decently-sized smartphone with concave vegan leather for its back that feels absolutely fantastic. It has an overall clean UI that’s bogged down a little bit by bloatware. We’ll explore its performance and camera prowess in the review. By that time, we’ll also know how its price so watch out for it.
Should you buy the Sony WF-1000XM4?
Here’s a quick guide
Sony is back again with another top-of-the-line pair of true wireless (TWS) earbuds and it’s one that’s worthy of your consideration. Roughly a couple of years after the launch of the Sony WF-1000XM4, we now have the Sony WF-1000XM4. Should you spend your hard earned cash on it? That’s what we’ll try to answer.
We do have a pretty comprehensive review of the WF-1000XM4. But if that’s a little too long for you, consider this article the TLDR. Let’s dive right in.
It’s within your budget
It should go without saying but in hard times such as now, one shouldn’t mindlessly splurge on the shiniest new tech out there. That said, if you can shell out PhP 13,999 (US$ 280 / SG$ 379 / MYR 1099) then by all means, grab this pair. It’s easily one of the best devices in its category and is definitely worth every penny.
You’re an Android user
Sony has this tech called LDAC. While it’s not exactly hi-res audio, it’s likely the closest thing to it. Here’s an entire explainer from the SoundGuys if you want a deep dive on it. And sadly, this format isn’t supported by any iPhone as of writing. To experience the absolute best audio quality that the WF-1000XM4 has to offer, you’re better off being on Android.
Now, that’s not to say it’s terrible on iPhones or any other device. In fact, we’ve used this on both an iPhone and a Mac and the audio quality is still a blessing to the ears. You’re not getting the ‘absolute best’ but it’s still better than most others.
You care about the environment
Sony moved away from the usual box you expect from devices of this caliber. Instead, they’re using recycled packaging for the WF-1000XM4. It’s plastic free and is made from a special blend of paper.
It’s a move to the more sustainable side of things and it’s one we’re totally down with. Besides, if you’re looking for that premier feeling, there’s no shortage of that on the device itself.
You’re not a fan of the AirPods design
Pretty much every other manufacturer who jumped on the TWS market followed Apple’s cue. That means TWS earbuds that have a stem. While we’ve gotten used to the look over the years, the general perception is still that if it has a stem, it’s an AirPods copycat. This despite other brands giving their own spin on it.
The stem isn’t just for show though. For most of these earbuds, they serve as a mic. During our tests, they’ve generally performed better in call situations over ones that don’t have them.
The Sony WF-1000XM4 is still pretty decent for voice and video calls, so if you can live with that and want something that doesn’t stick out of your ear too much, then this is the choice for you.
You want something for multiple uses
Multiple uses in every kind of sense. The WF-1000XM4 promises up to eight hours of music playback with noise cancellation switched on, and the case can supply an additional 16 hours of battery life via charging. That’s pretty consistent with our usage.
Trust us, you’re not gonna have these on for eight hours straight anyway. With its IPX4 rating, it’s water resistant enough to take with you for workouts. After freshening up from exercise, you can use it for a few work meetings here and there. And then you can cap your day by listening to your favorite podcast or music — for us, it’s been a heavy dose of TWICE tracks, STAYC’s “Stereotype” and some Slow Jams to put us to bed.
That’s what regular daily use looks like. And we’ve only had to charge the device after two to three days. Of course, that’ll vary depending on your usage — which, no matter what that may be, the WF-1000XM4 can handle mightily.
SEE ALSO: Sony WF-1000XM4 review: Simply the best
This kid-friendly podcast is a cool way to teach Philippine history
It’s called ‘Habilin’ and is a 12-part podcast
There are a handful of key events and highlights throughout Philippine history that our kids should be mindful of as they grow up and begin to become more socially aware and involved.
Martial Law is one of them. It’s one of the most discussed historical topics until now, even just in a casual setting, 49 years after it was declared.
Nowadays, people still find themselves confused or have trouble talking about a keystone moment in Filipino history. It is no secret that the Marcos dictatorship, which spanned over a decade, affected millions of Filipinos.
It plunged the country into overwhelming debt, countless human rights violations, and consequences that are still being paid for today and will continue to be paid for by generations to come — as all verified and fact-checked by sources.
Yes, it’s a topic that’s serious, but we’d also want the next generation to be in the know and encourage them to take a stand as they look back at an important piece of collective history.
So one might ask: how do we begin to talk to kids about Martial Law?
Enter “Habilin,” a 12-part podcast and animated series about the heroes who fought for our freedom, produced by The Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines, Sandigan Para sa Mag-aaral at Sambayanan (SAMASA), and the Give a Hoot podcast.
The unsung heroes
Going with a unique approach with its production and story angles, the podcast project showcases the lives of ordinary Filipinos who stood up for their rights and empowered citizens, providing different point of views for its young audience.
Through thoughtful storytelling, eye-catching animation, and immersive sound design in its episodes available in both video and podcast forms, “Habilin” is able to cater to the more techy youth and share with them powerful stories they may have never heard of before.
Sister Mariani Dimaranan, Lazaro Silva, and Lumbaya Gayudan
Sister Mariani Dimaranan, Lazaro Silva, and Lumbaya Gayudan — these are all names kids might not be familiar with, but in just a few minutes, they will be hooked to their inspiring stories of heroism.
“Habilin” has a feature on Elma Tangente, a “binukot”, or a young Visayan noblewoman chosen by her tribe to be sheltered from the public eye. But after they were forced out of their land by the military, she joined the guerilla movement and organized different communities, bringing them together to fight against the dictatorship.
She gave up her binukot status and went to a school run by student activists, where she learned to read and write and became interested in social issues. This is where she realized what being a “chosen one” truly means: to empower her community.
Another episode features Nestor Principe, a karate instructor and community organizer. Nestor and his brothers learned martial arts to defend their community against gangs and rogue policemen. After becoming a karate champion, he toured the world as a bodyguard for a Malaysian official until he learned about the First Quarter Storm.
When he went back to school, he absorbed more knowledge about national issues. Upon the declaration of Martial Law, he fled to Cordilleras. Despite not speaking the local language, he found ways to discuss the state of the nation and convinced more people to fight the dictatorship. Principe, who was martyred in 1973, exchanged fighting with fists to using his words to defend others.
Armando Palabay, meanwhile, tells the story of an Ilocano local living in a society that was devoted to the Marcoses. When Palabay and his brother saw that it was important to help people see the truth behind the propaganda, they told their classmates about the injustices, and staged protests as poems, plays, and songs.
Palabay’s story teaches kids the importance of standing for what is right, even if it’s difficult under the circumstances he was in.
Lights of hope
“Habilin” features Filipinos from all walks of life: unsung heroes, which include a beauty queen and a nun. The courage of these unlikely heroes shows that no matter where they come from, anyone can carry a light of hope for a new future.
“I hope young Filipinos understand that they, too, can use their voice to stand up against injustice and oppression,” says Tricia Aquino, producer of Give A Hoot and chief content officer at PumaPodcast, the award-winning podcast production company behind the series’ sound design. “I hope ‘Habilin’ helps them learn our history, so that they can, in turn, tell the stories of those who fought for democracy.”
The “Habilin” series reminds us that everyone has the capacity to be a source of light in dark times, and that we have a responsibility to remember our history. Like them, you, too, can inspire the next generation to what’s right and what’s good for the rest of the country — in your own little ways.
There is no doubt that innovations in technology have made our lives easier and more comfortable in the modern times. But it’s also led to the age of disinformation and fake news.
The is why it’s all the more vital for kids to hear the real-life stories of everyday heroes that inspire and lead. Like the producers of “Habilin”, it’s only necessary for these history stories to be part of our regular conversations so we may #NeverForget and protect the freedom that we’ve gallantly fought for.
Give A Hoot is a podcast on communication for social change. Listen to the “Habilin” podcast series on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to podcasts. The animated version is also available on the Commission on Human Rights’ of the Philippines’ Facebook and Youtube pages.
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