News

Huawei’s P30 ad might have used a stock image [Updated]

Super zoom or super fail?

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Image source: Weibo

Following their usual release schedule, Huawei has started their promotional campaign for the P30 series. As such, substantial leaks and preliminary posters have surfaced online. Recently, the company launched new posters ahead of the series’ much-awaited launch. Huawei CEO Yu Chengdong shared the images on Chinese social network, Weibo.

Naturally, the new posters focused on the series’ best feature: the periscope zoom camera. Recently, Huawei also released an incredibly detailed photo of the moon, teasing the P30 Pro’s superzoom capabilities. Likewise, the posters have also advertised the series’ launch: March 26 in Paris. (In fact, one of the posters depicts a zoomed in image of the Eiffel Tower.)

However, without the actual phone, the posters can’t accurately prove the P30’s camera capabilities. Several from the series seem too good to be true. One poster depicts an erupting Anak Krakatau, a volcano off the coast of Indonesia. Curiously, the volcano last erupted late last year. Additionally, the recent eruption collapsed a major section of the volcano. Currently, the volcano is only a mere shadow of its former glory.

Left: Huawei’s poster. Right: Tom Pfeiffer’s image

Further, a reverse image search of the same poster yields a similar photo taken in 2009. The decade-old photo was taken by Tom Pfeiffer, a photographer from Volcano Discovery. The photo is likewise available in all its pixels on Getty Images.

Of course, Huawei might have used another photo instead of this one. At the time of this writing, the other posters have not yielded any results from a reverse image search.

Regardless of the photo used, marketing trickery isn’t a foreign concept in the smartphone industry. In the past, Huawei has duped smartphone photography ads before. Recently, Samsung has also done the same thing. In its defense, Huawei has posted the following statement in the past: “The mobile photos and the content [are] made for illustration only. There might be a difference in the product visuals and sizes than reality, as well as the ad/film content.”

Update (3/12/19): Since the article’s publishing, Huawei’s posters have reached a more global audience. In light of this controversy, the company has issued an official statement:

We’ve been made aware that there might have been some misunderstanding regarding our recent HUAWEI P30 Series teaser posters. We would like to reiterate that those are, in fact, only teaser posters, and are only intended to hint at the unique new features that will come with the HUAWEI P30 Series. Huawei has acquired the licenses to the original images and the posters are artistic renditions of said features only. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank the media for their interest in our posters. We have much to announce in the coming weeks. Please stay tuned!

SEE ALSO: Latest Huawei P30 series leak confirms a few features

News

Facebook will launch its cryptocurrency called Diem

Managed by a not-for-profit association

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Facebook had plans to launch a new cryptocurrency called Libra, but the project received a lot of criticism, and key partners gradually walked away. But that’s not enough to demotivate Facebook. The social network says it intends to launch a stablecoin called Diem in 2021.

The pilot will be launched with a single stablecoin pegged to the US dollar as it scales back its global ambitions of revolutionising developing markets. The project was formerly known as Libra in 2019, but recently the name is changed to Diem.

A stablecoin is pegged against a fiat currency (like US dollars). Hence its value isn’t as volatile as other cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. However, stablecoin can still leverage blockchain technology to enable quick transactions.

The Diem Association is the digital currency project group of Facebook, which aims to launch the Diem as the single US dollar stablecoin with 26 corporate firms and non-profit organizations.

The non-profit is based out of Switzerland and was supposed to apply for a license there, but it recently relocated to the United States regulator. It intends to create a sophisticated blockchain digital payment system that will permit real-time eCommerce transactions with Diem stablecoins.

Keep in mind, Facebook doesn’t own the cryptocurrency is merely a part of the association, like other stakeholders. The organisation is supposed to serve as a monetary authority for the cryptocurrency and reach people who don’t have access to traditional banking systems.

“Diem is planning to launch the payment system from the USA in the first phase because initially, the project will focus on the USA as its target market,” Diem Association said. It will be based largely on payments between individual consumers, potentially allowing users to buy goods and services.

Read Also: Mastercard will start accepting cryptocurrencies this year

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News

Sharp launches the AQUOS R6 with a 1-inch camera sensor, Leica optics

It also has a super fluid 240Hz display

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Image by GadgetMatch

Sharp offers a lot of products that are known by a lot of globally. While they may not be a popular smartphone brand, the AQUOS line is pretty big in Japan. In line with their existing AQUOS-branded smartphones, they unveiled the AQUOS R6. It may look like any other smartphone, but this is one of a kind.

1-inch Camera Sensor with Leica

2021 is a year where rear cameras multiplied in a lot of smartphones. But the Sharp AQUOS R6 only has one large 20MP 1-inch camera sensor. For an ideal comparison, that’s the same camera sensor size you’ll find on the Sony RX100 VII and the RX0 II. This means that there’s minimal crop when shooting photos and results to better image quality.

Let’s be clear. It’s actually not the first smartphone with a 1-inch camera sensor. In fact, Panasonic managed to put it in the Lumix DMC-CM1 way back in 2014 but it’s more of a smart camera rather than a smartphone with a large camera sensor. Currently, Xiaomi’s Mi 11 Ultra has the closest sensor size at 1/1.12-inches.

Image by GadgetMatch

With the recent news of Leica ending its partnership with Huawei, Sharp has managed to grab it with its new 7P (seven-element) Summicron lens. Not only does it have a wider f/1.9 aperture, it also features a 19mm focal length which is closer to an ultra-wide Field of View.

Other features worth noting are the lack of OIS as they rely on Sharp and Leica’s EIS technology as well as the inclusion of a ToF sensor and a flash module. For farther subjects, you need to rely on digital zoom instead.

Super Fluid 240Hz Display

Image by GadgetMatch

Another highlight of the AQUOS R6 is its super smooth and responsive 6.67-inch Pro IGZO Display with a 240Hz refresh rate — double than the usual 120Hz displays on most 2021 flagships. It’s not the first 240Hz smartphone display, rather Sharp’s AQUOS zero2 smartphone from May 2020.

Just like in Samsung’s Galaxy S21 series and OnePlus’ 9 Pro, it features a display with a variable refresh rate that goes as low as 1Hz to save battery power. But unlike their AMOLED displays, this one is based on OLED that lacks that extra thin layer of TFTs to achieve better colors.

It also has a WUXGA+ resolution of 2,730 x 1,260 pixels, a contrast ratio of 2,000,000:1, as well as a max brightness of 2,000 nits — making it one of the most advanced smartphone displays ever made.

Beneath the display is where the under-display fingerprint sensor lies. It’s equipped with Qualcomm’s 3D Sonic Max ultrasonic fingerprint sensor which is the largest in the world and it’s 11 times larger than the conventional scanner.

Flagship-grade

Image by GadgetMatch

Just like any other 2021 flagship, Sharp’s AQUOS R6 offers the latest 2021 hardware in a smartphone. That includes the Snapdragon 888 chipset with 5G support, as well as 12GB of LPDDR5 RAM and a measly 128GB UFS 3.1 storage with an option to expand via a microSDXC card of up to 1TB.

If you always worry about battery, it has a large 5,000mAh battery that would be fine for a day. It also has an IPX8 certification which isn’t tested for dust resistance. Instead, it’s better than IP68 in terms of water resistance as it can be submerged into water deeper than 1 meter.

Image by GadgetMatch

There’s also a dedicated key for Google Assistant at the side of the phone so you don’t have to always say “Hey Google” and wait for the assistant to open.

Pricing and Availability

Image by GadgetMatch

The Sharp AQUOS R6 is offered only in two colors: black and white.

There’s currently no word about pricing and global availability but in Japan, the AQUOS R6 will be available in June 2021 through their popular carriers Softbank and NTT DoCoMo.

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Laptops

MSI launches new gaming laptops and Creator series

Complete with all sorts of features for the best gaming and creation experience

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MSI

MSI continues to roll out new and exciting gaming devices, and these are no exception. This time around, they’ve turned their attention to the gamers and content creators. Packed with the latest hardware and exciting new features, these gaming laptops should bring out the gamer and creator in you.

The Creator Series

The company first unveils their new Creator series of laptops dedicated for the content creators. These new laptops not only come with gaming-ready hardware, but also with new features for a creator-friendly workspace. For starters, the MSI Creator Z16 and Creator M16 feature a True Pixel QHD+ display with a 16:10 aspect ratio. Meanwhile, the MSI Creator 17 comes with a Mini LED UHD display.

Underneath both these laptops are the latest Intel Core H processors and NVIDIA RTX 30 series GPUs. While these pose incredible gaming power, these also provide enough juice for HD video rendering and streaming. Also, these devices come with M.2 SSDs inside for faster boot and application load times.

Upgrading the gaming line

Apart from the new Creator series, they’ve also managed to upgrade their current lineup of gaming laptops. Like the Creator series, these laptops also come with the latest Intel processors and NVIDIA RTX GPUs. Also, these gaming laptops now come with display options with up to a 360Hz refresh rate fit for the competitive gamers out there.

In particular, the following laptops will now feature these upgraded hardware: MSI GE76/66 Raider, MSI GP76/66 Leopard, MSI GS76/66 Stealth, and the MSI Pulse GL76/66.

Finally, they’re releasing a new line for their MSI Sword and MSI Katana laptops featuring the art of Tsuyoshi Nagano. Inside the laptops, you will find the same upgraded hardware from their other gaming laptops. In terms of display options, however, these laptops will only support FHD at a 144Hz refresh rate. Both laptops feature wallpapers design by Nagano, who was best known for his work on the Romance of the Three Kingdoms video game series.

Pricing and availability for these laptops have yet to be announced. Here’s where to buy in the Philippines.

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