Features

‘We had something even better than that’ — Huawei and Samsung’s foldable war begins

Consumers are the winners here

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Without a doubt, the biggest stars in the consumer tech world these past two weeks have been the Mate X and Galaxy Fold. Not only are they ushering in a new era of folding smartphones, but they’re made by the top-two phone manufacturers, as well.

As the pioneers of this new category, it goes without saying that Huawei and Samsung will go at each other for foldable supremacy for months — or years — to come. Neither of the products has been rolled out to the consumer market yet, but some choice words by Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei’s mobile division, have already been spoken.

In an interview with Business Insider, he said, “I feel having two screens, a front screen, and a back screen makes the phone too heavy,” when referring to the Galaxy Fold of Samsung.

Yu claims that Huawei had a prototype similar to the Galaxy Fold’s design which he deemed “not good” and subsequently canceled. “We had several solutions, but we canceled them. We had three projects simultaneously. We had something even better than that, killed by me,” he added.

Clearly, the final executions these two brands chose to use are largely different from one another and offer solutions to different problems.

For Huawei, the Mate X has the slimmer, more intuitive design with a single large display that folds outward to create two smaller screens. You can see it in action here:

According to those who have tried out the device, the cons here are in the lack of protection for that one screen, as well as the absence of a dedicated front camera while unfolded.

Coincidentally, those are issues that the Galaxy Fold addresses. Because Samsung’s smartphone-tablet hybrid folds inward, the primary display is protected by the outer shell and its secondary screen. In addition, there’s a pair of cameras on the larger screen’s notch for better video calls.

However, that total of six cameras and the additional display lead to a much thicker form for the Galaxy Fold. These are what Yu was referring to earlier, leading to the final design of the Mate X.

Of course, Huawei’s product is also much more expensive than the already-pricey Samsung foldable — about US$ 600 more to be exact, or the cost of a premium midrange smartphone.

Until both products hit the market and we get to use them side by side, there’s no way fair way of concluding which one is better. Not to be forgotten, Xiaomi and OPPO’s foldable concepts are also on the horizon, providing either more innovative or less pricey alternatives to the two top players.

Ever since Huawei began alternating with Apple for the world’s number two spot in smartphone market share, the Chinese company has been trading jabs with Samsung with every flagship release, and this case is no different.

Besides the foldable battle we have going on, Samsung and Huawei have gone as far as having opposite placements for the hole-punch camera. Here’s how it looks on the recently launched Galaxy S10 series:

In case you haven’t noticed, Huawei had done the exact opposite with the Nova 4, setting the in-display camera on the upper-left part of the phone. Which implementation is more practical ultimately comes down to personal preference, although Huawei’s sub-brand Honor does have a well-researched explanation for its placement.

Here’s an except from my review of the Honor View 20, which also chose the upper-left location:

The basis is the Gutenberg Diagram, which says that eyes naturally fall to the top-left corner of an area called the primary optical area (POA). Eye motion then goes across and down to other sections.

On the other hand, Samsung’s top-right hole punch makes more sense for right-handed people who want to take a quick selfie. As selfie experts always advise, having the camera point downward is more flattering than one that looks up your nose.

The point here is that Huawei and Samsung are targeting different audiences: those who want their hole-punch camera on the left or right; professionals who prefer three or six cameras; media junkies who wish for two screens or one primary folding display.

Everyone who complained that smartphone innovation came to a halt in the past two years have far less to complain about now. This new form factor manufacturers have been dubbing “foldables” is leading the way for how brands innovate and what consumers believe they need.

But before we start throwing money at these shiny gadgets, we have to wonder: Are foldables providing solutions to problems that don’t actually exist? That’s possible, too. However, as long as companies are trying something different and letting this new category occupy the ultra-premium segment while existing tech goes cheaper in price, consumers win here.

Honestly, anything’s better than the megapixel or screen density race from a few years back. Smartphones are beginning to feel fresh again.

Smartphones

vivo V25 and V25 Pro Unboxing and First Look

They’re more than just their color-changing glass backs

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Remember the color-changing vivo V23 5G and V23 Pro announced during the early months of 2022?

Well, these phones now have their successors.

The V25 and V25 Pro are vivo’s two newest smartphones.

They offer compelling hardware despite being in the midrange segment.

But what makes the vivo V25 different from the V25 Pro?

Here’s our two-way vivo V25 and V25 Pro Unboxing and First Look to know more.

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Features

Vivo’s road to becoming a top smartphone photography choice

Thanks to the X80 series, V23e 5G

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Earlier this February, vivo released the mid-range V23 5G series. Then, two months ago they introduced the flagship X80 series proving that the brand means business when it comes to becoming one of the top choices for mobile photography.

In fact, GadgetMatch already did two separate Camera Shootouts with the X80 Pro – one against the Huawei P50 Pro and another versus the iPhone 13 Pro Max wherein it matched up quite nicely when pitted against other premium flagship phones.

To recap, the vivo X80 Pro in particular sports a 50MP ultra-sensing GNV sensor for its main camera, with a 48MP IMX598 wide-angle camera, 12MP IMX663 portrait camera, and 8MP 5X periscope camera completing the setup.

The entire X80 series is also powered by ZEISS optics, with all lenses meeting ZEISS T coating standards. Aside from that, vivo also champions image stabilization with the Gimbal Portrait Camera, Active Centering OIS System, and 360-degree Horizon Leveling Stabilization for smooth photos and even videos.

Among the things that also stood out for the X80 series was its night photography and videography. These were made possible by the vivo V1+ Chip of the series which was designed to enhance night video denoising and HDR performance even under the most challenging lighting conditions.

vivo’s ZEISS Super Night Cameras across the entire vivo X80 series make them superior night photography options, which features such as Super Night Video and AI Video Enhancement

The vivo V23e 5G doesn’t lag far behind as well, with Natural Portrait Mode, AI Portrait Restore, and steady video shooting on its camera setup that includes a 50MP main, 8MP super-wide angle, and 44MP front camera.

So the next time you consider buying a smartphone for its mobile photography and videography capabilities, these vivo models should surely be on your shortlist.

 

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24 Hours Series

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4: First 24 Hours

With an unboxing of the Z Fold4 and its special S-Pen case!

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During the first of the Flip or Fold: First 24 Hours series, Michael Josh went around New York with the Galaxy Z Flip4.

In the second part, he now has the Galaxy Z Fold4 with him.

After unboxing comes the usual battery life test by bringing it around the streets of Manhattan.

Other than that, a mini camera shootout was performed against the Galaxy Z Fold3.

Watch our Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 Unboxing and First 24 Hours video to know everything about it.

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