Features

Huawei Nova 5T vs Samsung Galaxy A50s: Midrange heavy hitters

Which one’s for you?

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We’re entering the fourth quarter of the year and that means there’s a second wave of smartphones that are ready for your purchase just ahead of the holiday rush. Two of those are these heavy-hitting midrangers: the Huawei Nova 5T and the Samsung Galaxy A50s.

Before we go on any further, take a look at how the two stack up on paper.

There’s a fair number of similarities and differences and we’ll try to break them down for you one by one.

Display and UI

The differences in the display are almost negligible. Whether you’re indoors or underneath bright sunlight, the displays of both the Nova 5T and the Galaxy A50s are more than adequate.

As it is right now, the EMUI version on the Nova 5T currently doesn’t have a night mode even if you enable developer options. Which is why we can’t wait for EMUI 10 to arrive on this phone as an update. The new and improved UI should take the Nova 5T to another level.

In terms of bells and whistles on EMUI and ONE UI, this one ultimately comes down to preference. We have a whole other output in mind for different Android UIs but that’s a topic for another day.

We’ve transitioned to using full screen gestures and really like EMUI’s implementation better. It’s a lot closer to Android 10. You can swipe from either side to go back, swipe up one to go to the home screen, and hold and swipe up for recent apps. The one on the ONE UI is closer to Android 9 in that it just essentially hides the navigation bar and asks you to swipe up from where the recent apps, home, and back buttons used to be.

Processor and performance

This where the Nova 5T looks so much better at first glance. It’s literally carrying the internals of the P30 Pro — that’s Huawei’s flagship for the first half of the year. And that chip is no joke. It literally can handle anything you throw at it.

However, the Exynos 9611on the Galaxy A50s is no slouch either. We noticed some slow down — which has addressed via a software update — of the Exynos 9610 on the Galaxy A50. But we’re inclined to believe the same thing won’t happen to the Galaxy A50s. This chip is flagship grade and can more than hold its own.

We tried a few games on both devices and the Nova 5T was ahead by a hair. The Nova 5T seemed to launch some games a few milliseconds faster. Titles like Honkai Impact 3 and Asphalt 9 ran smoothly. Curiously, the Galaxy A50s edged the Nova 5T in launching PUBG mobile. But again, only by a few milliseconds. Mobile Legends isn’t a particularly difficult game to run so both phones had no trouble running it.

For other regular tasks, these midrangers are more than capable of handling them. We even watched a VLIVE on both phones with the video player floating on top of Twitter and the apps ran flawlessly.

Multi-camera showdown

We didn’t have enough time to dig too deep into all of the cameras. We’ll reserve that for a more detailed look in a separate camera shootout.

But to give initial impressions, the few shots we’ve taken so far suggest that the Nova 5T captures more detail with its main cameras. This is especially true with the wide angle camera which we find more useful than the telephoto lens.

Selfies are about the same and will mostly be decided by the software’s post-processing. Again, watch out for the upcoming camera shootout to really scrutinize images.

 

Design and other features

We’ve talked about the Nova 5T’s design identity and it appears Huawei put more thought into it than Samsung did with the Galaxy A50s. While both phones strived for a standout look, the Nova 5T’s approach — especially with the Midsummer Purple variant — appear more deliberate in targeting those that truly value self-expression.

The Samsung Galaxy A50s is made of plastic which helps push costs down but the Huawei Nova 5T is able to do this despite sticking to a metal body.

The Nova 5T doesn’t have the heft you feel from some premium phones, but we can argue that it’s a good thing. Nobody wants to carry around a heavy phone for no apparent reason.

The Huawei Nova 5T goes for a 3D back and one that builds upon the changing colors that it has been known for. In this regard, Huawei has distinguished itself, pioneering this kind of look. The Galaxy A50s has a curious shattered glass like design that we’ve seen before from OPPO.

This ultimately will go down to what speaks to you aesthetically. But we’re giving Huawei some plus points for sticking to its identity.

Both phones also have a fingerprint unlock system. On paper, the Galaxy A50s looks more advance with its in-display sensor. However, in practice, the fingerprint sensor on the Nova 5T situated on the power button is way faster and makes a lot of sense ergonomically.

You can unlock your phone whether the display is upright or facing down. That’s convenience at its finest.

Which one is your GadgetMatch? 

The Huawei Nova 5T and Samsung Galaxy A50s have very little difference in terms of overall performance.

The Galaxy A50s has battery life and the dying headphone jack going for it, but the Nova 5T more than makes for it in other departments. It has more RAM (8GB vs 6GB), can potentially do more with its quad-cameras, takes better low-light selfies, and charges faster thanks to SuperCharge. Huawei’s 22.5W SuperCharge system can take you from zero to 50 percent in just 30 minutes. It’s fast and efficient.

The decision might come down to aesthetics and comfortability with the UI. You’re gonna have to pick as well which notch you prefer — you have the Infinity-U on the Galaxy A50s and a punch-hole that sits on the top left side on the Nova 5T.

Whichever one you choose, know that you’re getting a phone that can more than keep up with all your tasks, social media usage, gaming and look good while it’s at it.


This feature was produced in collaboration between GadgetMatch and Huawei Philippines.

Hands-On

Google Pixel 4 and 4XL Unboxing and Hands-on

New features, same price

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The most leaked phone in history is now official. The new Pixel 4 and 4XL may look similar the outside but come with better cameras (yes there are now two), sport a Radar for faster face unlock, and introduce new air gestures. But is it worth upgrading?

This is our Google Pixel 4 and 4XL unboxing and hands-on.

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Entertainment

Joker, Jowable, Jojo Rabbit: Now Playing

Live, love, laugh!

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The GadgetMatch team just went through a rigorous back-to-back coverage starting from IFA 2019, iPhone 11, Vivo NEX 3, Huawei Mate 30 Pro, and many more. Like us, people are overwhelmed with smartphone launches one after another.

What kept us sane was these forms of entertainment we watch and play in passing. Here’s what’s Now Playing in GadgetMatch:

Movies to see

 

Steven Universe: The Movie
Leez: If you’re a fan of Steven Universe and the last episode left you feeling unsettled by how it neatly tucked the whole series, then you’re in luck. The movie doesn’t fall short in tackling the heart-wrenching significance of struggles and obstacles to be better and be who you are. It’s a movie that dives deep into lost friends and lost memories. You definitely need to check this out.

 

Jowable
MJ: No other film in this century has captured how I’ve been feeling for years now, except Jowable. This film tackles the joys, pains, and misadventures of singlehood in a comical approach. But don’t think it’s all just for laughs, Jowable is totally unpredictable — full of plot twists to keep you entertained while preaching you some deep life lessons that Buddha can’t even.

 

Jojo Rabbit
Luigi: Provocative and funny. How else can you describe Taiki Waititi’s upcoming comedy? This World War II satire features a German boy trying to hide a Jewish girl while being aided by his imaginary friend, Adolf Hitler (played by Waititi himself).

 

Joker
Kevin:  Not your usual origin story of a villain. Joker tackles mental health, human nature, and the society that we’re living in now. Partner those with Joaquin Phoenix’s stellar acting and what you get is a cinematic piece that moves you and makes you think about what “being normal” really is.  It’s best to see it on the big screen so be sure to catch it while it’s still showing.

Shows to binge-watch

 

Player reacts to his Highlights | House of Highlights
Rodneil: I haven’t been able to commit to watching a series of late so for my dwindling downtime, I’ve resorted to watching these one-off series on YouTube. Plus I also miss NBA basketball, so this is a great way to scratch that itch.

 

Marianne
Luigi: People have proclaimed Marianne as the most frightening series of 2019. As a horror enthusiast, I don’t think it is. However, this French horror series is still an excellent addition to the Netflix playhouse of monsters. Plus, that French accent is oh-so-sexy.

 

Vagabond
Rodneil: Gotta admit, I only considered watching because it stars Suzy Bae. But the story is gripping and the cinematography is pretty darn good. It’s about a stuntman who loses his nephew in a plane crash that was made to look like an accident but there’s more to it than just that.

Albums/Songs/Podcasts to listen to

 

데자 부 (Deja Vu) by Dreamcatcher
Vincenz: Although the song doesn’t sound as intense as their other releases, the latest music video tells a deeper story. There is a line that struck me: “Now I’m holding this pain,” especially that it talks about betrayal and abandonment. The melodic musical arrangement accompanied by contrasting light and dark visuals blend so well together — which gives a surreal and melancholic feeling to listeners and viewers alike.

 

Go Up by SB19
Vincenz: SB19 has been garnering attention for weeks. They sound like a K-Pop boy group because they were trained by a Korean agency. Although I’m not totally a fan, I appreciate their music especially since it talks about aiming high and achieving your dreams. Despite the hard choreography, their live vocals sound great. P-Pop is finally improving!

 

Linkin Park Favorites
Rodneil: It’s been quite a stressful past couple of weeks for me. To combat the urge of setting myself on fire, I’ve been listening to a lot of my favorite Linkin Park songs. The collection is mostly from the Hybrid Theory and Meteora albums. Listen to the full playlist.

 

 

Feel Special by TWICE
Rodneil: TWICE’s gradual concept change is evident in their new song Feel Special. More than that, though, the song seems to hold a special place in the members’ hearts as it alludes to their struggles. Especially Mina who is struggling with anxiety and begged off from parts of their tour but still participated in the album with strong support from the other members.

Games to play

 

Madden NFL 20
Gab: I know how everyone is on some hype train towards the recently released NBA 2K20 video game, but there are other sports-related games out there. As someone who is starting to have a level of interest with the NFL, Madden NFL 20 introduced me to how American football actually works. If you need a quick change of pace from shooting the basketball, I suggest you try scoring touchdowns.

 

NBA 2K20
Rodneil: Echoing what Gab said on his NBA 2K20 review — this game essentially feels like a massive patch for NBA 2K19. That’s not entirely a bad thing. It’s still the superior NBA simulation game and for it to improve, EA needs to step up big time with NBA Live. Will still play it because it’s my number one way to destress.

 

The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening
Luigi: As a child, I never played the original Link’s Awakening on the Gameboy. I joined the Zelda party way too late. Thankfully, this Switch remake plays like a traditional game on the Gameboy. The new Link’s Awakening brings a lot to the table for both new and old players. It’s a well-polished game that doesn’t rely too much on nostalgia.


Now Playing is the GadgetMatch team’s favorite games, movies, TV shows, and more each month. If you’re curious to know what we’re into at the moment, this is what you should check out. So grab your popcorn, get some drinks, and enjoy what’s now playing!

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Best Smartphones

Best Budget Smartphones below $200

October 2019 Edition

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Welcome to GadgetMatch’s list of the best smartphones priced below US$ 200! Each month, we update our selection with the budget-friendly phones we believe are most deserving of your hard-earned savings.

Even though the spotlight has been on high-end smartphones this entire year, there have been a few surprisingly good entry-level handsets coming out lately, as well. So good, in fact, that we had to reassess our entire list.

Here they are in no particular order:

ASUS ZenFone Max M2 ($175)

We were disappointed to find out that the ZenFone Max Pro M2 went above the US$ 200 mark, but we still have the non-Pro Max M2 to buy at this price point. Fortunately, the fast Snapdragon 632 processor, large 4000mAh battery, and dual rear cameras remain.

REVIEW: ASUS ZenFone Max M2

Redmi Note 7 ($150)

Xiaomi blew everyone away when it announced the Redmi Note 7 with its class-leading specs and design. It’s been selling like hotcakes for a good reason: In terms of pure performance, nothing rivals this in the sub-US$ 200 category.

READ MORE: Redmi Note 7

 

OPPO A5s ($117)

The OPPO A5s perhaps is best looked at as a transition device more than anything else. It does what you expect out of budget smartphones. It’s good to have “for now” but you might look elsewhere for a more reliable daily driver.

REVIEW: OPPO A5s

Realme 5 (US$ 154)

Realme is giving Xiaomi a run for its money on our top-of-mind easy phones to recommend. The Realme 5 is a real treat for people looking for a budget smartphone that provides more than what they need.

HANDS-ON: Realme 5

Samsung Galaxy A20 ($190)

Samsung’s revived Galaxy A-series proves that the company cares about every price segment. The Galaxy A20, in particular, is the most well-rounded below US$ 200 thanks to its ultra-wide camera, AMOLED display, and hefty battery.

REVIEW: Samsung Galaxy A20


Update as of October 2019:

  • The Realme 5 replaced the Realme C2 on this list

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