Features

Huawei P30 Pro vs Apple iPhone XS: Which flagship phone takes better photos?

The P30 Pro takes on the iPhone XS

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Huawei‘s new P30 series has hit the market. The best in the series is the P30 Pro with its new quad cameras, curved OLED display, and powerful chipset. A flagship phone like the P30 Pro needs the best set of features available and be worthy of people’s hard-earned money.

Usually, people ask how it fares against an iPhone. To answer curious buyers, let’s compare the P30 Pro and the iPhone XS from Apple.

Specs and Features

Let’s start by checking the key specifications of the two devices. Here’s a quick rundown of their notable features:

Huawei P30 Pro
Apple iPhone XS
Display 6.47-inch OLED
DCI-P3 HDR
5.8-inch OLED
Dolby Vision / HDR10
Processor Kirin 980 A12 Bionic
Memory 8GB 4GB
Storage 256GB 64GB/256GB/512GB
Rear cameras 40MP f/1.8 RYYB
20MP ultra-wide
8MP 5x optical zoom
ToF sensor
12MP f/1.8
12MP 2x optical zoom
Front camera 32MP f/2.0 7MP f/2.2
IR sensor
Battery 4200mAh 2658mAh
Security features In-screen fingerprint scanner, Face recognition Face ID
OS Android 9 Pie w/ EMUI 9.1 iOS 12

Both are premium phones from their respective manufacturers. They have the best displays in their class. The P30 Pro and the iPhone XS both sport an OLED panel with vibrant colors and deep blacks. To maximize the screen’s real estate, Huawei and Apple both resort to a notch. However, the P30 Pro’s notch is a lot smaller than the iPhone’s; it doesn’t take much of the interface.

Apple iPhone XS and Huawei P30 Pro | GadgetMatch

Inside, the phones have two different processors. The P30 Pro is powered by a Kirin 980, while the iPhone XS has the A12 Bionic. Both homebaked silicons are powerful and unstoppable. Built using the same latest 7nm process, they are extremely efficient compared to other processors.

The P30 Pro has twice the memory capacity of the iPhone XS, which allows better multitasking. For storage, the P30 Pro comes with 256GB as standard. If that’s not enough, it has expandable storage as well using Huawei’s Nano-Memory cards. Meanwhile, the iPhone’s base configuration starts at 64GB; upgrading to 256GB will cost you more.

Apple iPhone XS and Huawei P30 Pro | GadgetMatch

Huawei phones usually last more than a day with heavy use; the P30 Pro will be no different. It has a long-lasting 4200mAh battery compatible with 40W SuperCharge using its bundled USB-C charger. It can also top up wirelessly and share its juice via reverse wireless charging. Meanwhile, the iPhone XS has an inferior 2658mAh cell inside; it also charges slower.

Security-wise, the P30 Pro and iPhone XS differ in approach. The P30 Pro can be unlocked in two ways: using the in-screen fingerprint scanner or AI facial recognition. The iPhone XS lacks a fingerprint reader, limiting users to Face ID.

Perhaps the biggest difference between the P30 Pro and iPhone XS is their software. Obviously, the iPhone XS runs on iOS while the P30 Pro has EMUI 9.1 based on the latest Android Pie. The Android operating system allows users to take control of their device. Meanwhile, Huawei’s custom skin makes it more productive by adding useful features and optimizations.

Cameras

In the camera department, the P30 Pro outnumbers the iPhone XS with its new Leica Quad Camera system.

Apple’s top-of-the-line phone comes with a pair of 12-megapixel sensors. The iPhone’s primary shooter has an f/1.8 aperture. The secondary camera features 2x optical zoom.

On the other hand, the P30 Pro has one of the most complex mobile camera systems. It has a main 40-megapixel RYYB f/1.6 camera, a 20-megapixel ultra wide-angle shooter, an 8-megapixel periscope-style 5x optical zoom, and a special ToF sensor.

Let’s see how the two phones perform in different scenarios starting in broad daylight. With plenty of light available, both phones are able to capture a bright image with lots of details.

The bright sunlight can get harsh at times. This is where HDR (high dynamic range) mode comes in handy. Both phones have Auto HDR. Whenever you shoot against the light, it automatically kicks in.

Artificial bokeh is a thing for both the P30 Pro and iPhone XS. Capturing a closeup of a flower with a smooth background blur is just an easy task for the two.

When you need to get really close, the P30 Pro’s camera can do macro without any extra accessory needed. You can clearly see the details of this tealight candle holder.

Most of the images uploaded on social media are about food. With the P30 Pro’s AI scene recognition, you can take tasty images of your lunch and upload to Instagram right away.

One of the P30 Pro’s periscope-style lens module is unique. The phone can zoom in 5x optically or go up to 10x using software tricks. The iPhone XS can do only up to 2x optical zoom. Maxing it out 10x is too much for the phone to handle.

If 10x isn’t enough, did you know the P30 Pro has a maximum digital zoom of 50x? Well, the quality is not as great compared to the 10x zoom. It just barely gets the job done.

The P30 Pro can get really close; it can also get ultra wide. With a dedicated super wide-angle shooter, the P30 Pro can fit in a whole building complex in one frame. That’s something iPhones can’t do — at least for now.

Huawei is proud of the P30 Pro’s capability to shoot nice portrait stills even if the lighting condition isn’t ideal. The HDR feature in Portrait Mode works like charm.

When shooting in Portrait Mode, the iPhone XS uses its secondary camera with 2x zoom. You’ll have to step back to fit your subject.

That’s not the case with the P30 Pro. The ToF sensor helps the main 40-megapixel camera identify the subject and apply the effects without cropping.

The main camera’s wide aperture lens is perfect when shooting in Portrait Mode in dimly lit environments. The P30 Pro can shoot brighter images with more pleasing bokeh.

Since we’re already in the dark, it’s time to put the Night Mode to the test. The iPhone doesn’t have a proper Night Mode; the P30 Pro has. The difference is more apparent in the samples below.

Night Mode is not just for taking photos in the dark, though. It can also help take a sharper and more detailed image whenever you want to.

Additionally, the amazingly flexible Night Mode also works with the P30 Pro’s ultra wide-angle shooter.

For selfies, the P30 Pro has a 32-megapixel front camera. Meanwhile, the iPhone’s front has a 7-megapixel sensor accompanied by the Face ID’s IR sensor. As you can see from the samples below, the P30 Pro’s front camera has a wider FOV than the iPhone XS.

Conclusion

With a new set of hardware and software features, the P30 Pro has its advantages over last year’s iPhone XS. In the camera department alone, the P30 Pro’s new Leica Quad Camera can deliver the best photos using a mobile phone. Zooming in or going ultra wide is not an issue for the P30 Pro. However, the iPhone XS clearly lacks the hardware for it.

Get the Huawei P30 Pro while it’s hot for PhP 50,990. It’s available in three color options: Breathing Crystal, Aurora, and Black.


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

Apps

Ultrahuman: The essential app to get you through quarantine

Getting through isolation days through workout and meditation

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Taking care of our physical and mental health is very much important now more than ever. With everything that has been going on in the world, it’s not surprising that people are taking extra steps to advocate and practice self-care.

One way to do this is by adding good habits everyday and being disciplined to sustain these habits.

With self-care as one of their ultimate goals this year, Martynne and MJ decided to try Ultrahuman: an all-in-one fitness app that includes all the good habits they are currently incorporating in their lives — from workout to meditation.

For a few weeks, they put the app to a test and this is their verdict:

Meditation

Martynne: I am a huge advocate of meditation and it has been a life-changing practice for me, as someone who finds a hard time focusing and being in the present.

Ultrahuman has a wide range of course options that can match a specific mood or emotion. One of my personal favorites is the Managing Anger course, which helped me take a step back, consolidate my feelings and give compassion to myself throughout the process.

The Singles option with one-time meditation tracks helped me become more mindful and grounded whenever I feel overwhelmed in the middle of a workday. The productivity course, on the other hand, kept my eyes glued to my laptop screen until I finished what I needed to do.

The only thing I didn’t like about it, though, is the visuals seem basic to me, and the “dark” interface is much more fitting for the workout option.

Workout

MJ: When gyms are closed and home workouts aren’t fun anymore, how do you remain committed to your fitness goals? That’s what Ultrahuman did: Filling the gap by providing fun workouts and challenges that you can do in a span of weeks. It’s similar to how Nike Training Club presents their videos albeit more personalized.

The Ultrahuman app comes with guided videos from renowned trainers, and watching their instructions during your exercises felt like having a live session with a personal trainer. Unlike most fitness apps that offer video-on-demand workouts, Ultrahuman remembers that we are all beginners, offering a collection of videos through challenges that suit different levels.

After living a sedentary lifestyle, I knew I have to ease up when working out again. The app did wonders in helping me stay active by gradually increasing the difficulty of my challenges, without straining my body or having myself complain about how difficult a certain workout routine is.

Sleep

Martynne: There was an instance that I had a bad case of insomnia and I needed something to put me to sleep.

I tried listening to Ultrahuman’s Bedtime Stories and it reminded me of the sleep podcasts I used to listen to on Spotify.

The voices are relaxing, and the stories come with meditation and sound effects, but I realized I can be impatient with slow stories. I resorted to the app’s soundscapes and brain music, and they helped a lot to relax my brain and finally shut my eyes off.

I don’t exactly know what’s the science behind brain music, but they really work sometimes.

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Accessories

Nokia E3100: Trying new buds for work to workouts

Yes, Nokia has earbuds now

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Nokia E3100

Nokia and I go way back. It was the mobile phone brand of my youth. Our history includes a series of phones that predate the existence of touchscreen ones we use now. Everyone had a Nokia device then. In recent years, it’s become a rarity. So imagine my surprise when I first heard that Nokia is now making earbuds. How did it fare against the audio giants of our time?

First impressions

I got a hold of the Nokia E3100 Essential True Wireless Earphones. Compared to my old set of earbuds (Anker Zolo Liberty+), this one’s battery case and earbuds are extremely light, almost the same weight as a tube of drugstore lipstick.

The buds can operate up to 2.5hrs with a single charge, and up to 10 hours with help of the rechargeable battery case. Super convenient to pack if we still had our old lifestyle of going out daily.

On the job

I used to be able to maximize my earbuds on my commute — listening to music or watching series whenever I’m in transit. Nowadays, I mainly connect my headset to my laptop for Zoom meetings and other virtual work calls.

The Nokia E3100 did not disappoint on the sound side. Audio from the people I’m in the call with was always clear and crisp. But, it can be a hit-or-miss as a mic. The earbuds have a built-in microphone on the right side, but my experience with it left me wanting. There was a point when I had to switch back to the laptop microphone in the middle of a call just so people can hear my voice clearly.

Nokia E3100

On the mat

I also tried the Nokia E3100 for a few home workout sessions. Since the earbuds fit my ears perfectly, there’s no fear of it falling out in the middle of jumping jacks.

Another nice surprise is how you can easily skip or repeat tracks via push button controls on the earbuds. Less distractions to your exercise momentum! The only time I have to reach for my phone is when I want to switch to a different playlist.

Nokia E3100

Is the Nokia E3100 your GadgetMatch?

It’s reliable as an earpiece for listening to music, working out, and watching series. But when it comes to the demands of working from home, the current built-in mic just won’t do.

Nokia has to work on the voice sensitivity and responsiveness of the earbuds’ mic in order to take on this new age of virtual calls and meetings.

The Nokia E3100 retails for PhP 1,999 (US$ 41)

Buy here

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Hands-On

OPPO A74 Hands-On: The 7 things I love about you

A budget smartphone that doesn’t feel like one

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The OPPO A74 was announced not too long ago. While the OPPO A94 is just around the corner, the A74 comes with a lesser price tag — but that doesn’t mean they scrapped a lot of features.

Frankly speaking, I’ve enjoyed using it for about a week now. For the record, this is actually my first time trying an OPPO phone. I’d say, it’s not a total slouch because (in Miley Cyrus’ voice), “there are 7 things I love about you”.

1. Premium-like design and feel

First thing’s first, the phone’s back is made entirely out of polycarbonate plastic. While it’s not prone to cracks and shatters, the phone simply scratches too easily — regardless if you safely put it on tables. Fortunate for clumsy users, there’s an included clear case inside the box.

That said, I still like its premium-like look. As I always say, I’m not the biggest fan of flashy, gradient smartphones but this Midnight Blue colorway looks elegant on its own. I’d pick it over the blander-looking Prism Black option (even if black is one of my favorite shades).

On hand, it feels slim and lightweight. I barely felt the heft when holding the phone with my one hand despite that large display. The curves flow well with your hands, too. Most smartphones these days have a slightly uncomfortable feeling due to sharper phone corners.

2. Crisp and vibrant display

As we’re already on the topic, the A74 packs a 6.43-inch AMOLED display — the same display found on the A94.

The display is vibrant enough even under the harsh sunlight. While it only has a Full HD+ resolution, it still looks crisp. The only downside of this one is the lack of faster refresh rate. I know what you’re thinking. Some affordable smartphones offer faster 90 to 144Hz displays. In return, you get a less bright and vibrant IPS-LCD display.

I’m not complaining with the A74’s conventional 60Hz refresh rate. For one, it saves battery power, and two is because I value a more color accurate display than the latter. But hey, take my opinion with a grain of salt as it’s just my preference in smartphone displays.

Another thing that makes it look “premium” is the inclusion of its punch-hole camera. That simply looks better versus a dewdrop notch.

There’s always an in-display fingerprint scanner which might not be the fastest, but it still gets the job done and is more reliable than a Face Unlock especially in this particular time.

3. Great for multimedia consumption

“Love resembles misty dream” – IU (2021)

This is already a given since it has an AMOLED display. But other than that, despite having just mono speakers, it’s surprisingly loud with a full sound that doesn’t sound tinny and distorted.

Watch Law School on Netflix if you want your mind to F(ail or function)

While it doesn’t feature any HDR10 capabilities, it’s still a viewing pleasure when watching YouTube videos (especially K-Pop music videos) and Netflix series and films.

OPPO was also able to put a 3.5mm audio jack in such a slim  form factor. There’s a set of earphones inside the box. This is great for users who already have an existing pair and also don’t want to spend fortune for another wireless earbuds.

4. Less-confusing Android User Interface

Out of the box, it already runs Android 11 with the ColorOS 11.1 skin. Over the years, I got used to Xiaomi’s MIUI and Samsung’s One UI but as I get to use their interface for long, the more it gets confusing.

To my surprise, the ColorOS looks clean and tidy. It’s not bombarded with unwanted UI elements and at the same time, I love the overall look and feel of the icons and the interface. I also commend how organized the settings are that aren’t as cluttered as other Android skins.

5. Optimum performance

On paper, the A74 is packed with a Snapdragon 662 chipset, 6GB of memory, and 128GB of onboard storage with an option to expand with a microSD slot through its Hybrid SIM tray. Opening basic apps such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more are quick. Even switching between apps is snappy fast as long as you don’t get too hard on it.

While it may not sound like a lot, it still is a smartphone capable of running popular titles such as PUBG, Mobile Legends, Genshin Impact, and Asphalt 9.

It also has this handy Game Focus Mode which basically is a game sidebar tool when playing games that turns off unwanted notifications and boosts performance so you can enjoy the game you’re playing.

When I played Call of Duty: Mobile, I was able to play with no stutters or lags. While the graphics setting isn’t maxed out to high, medium seems fine already especially that you can see game artifacts and farther enemies in this setting anyway.

6. Large battery capacity and fast charging support

To makes this a lot better, it packs a bountiful 5,000mAh battery — which is very surprising for me considering it has a slim and lightweight form factor.

If your phone already ran out of juice, there’s a bundled 33W fast charger out of the box. OPPO is true to its words as it’s capable of filling it up for around 54 minutes — same as advertised. And for everyone’s convenience, it’s equipped with a USB-C port.

7. Decent main camera

The OPPO A74 packs a trio set of cameras: a 48-megapixel f/1.7 wide (main) camera, and two 2-megapixel f/2.4 depth and macro sensors. I would’ve wished for an ultra-wide camera instead but they decided to put one on the A94.

While video recording is limited to just 1080p Full HD, its HDR and AI work wonders when shooting photos indoors.

Samples look better when they’re shot outside in broad daylight. If you’re always into posting your photos in social media, the A74 won’t disappoint.

Zooming in on the subject with 2x zoom is still doable but sometimes, it has a hard time focusing. This is already given because it doesn’t have a dedicated telephoto lens. Nevertheless, images still look great even if it’s an accidental bokeh shot.

Just don’t use the 5x digital zoom as it’s not helpful at all. It’s either grainy or blurred with a too healthy helping of HDR processing.

Wide | 5x zoom

Wide | 5x zoom

For night mode, don’t get your hopes up as it’s barely usable in low-light conditions. At first, I thought it was just the blurry camera lens, but after taking two more night shots at around three seconds in wide (1x) mode, nothing has changed.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

If you’re a long-time OPPO user and you just want to upgrade your OPPO experience without sacrificing too much on money, the A74 is simply a great smartphone to get. With a price tag of PhP 11,990, it’s simply isn’t the cheapest budget smartphone you can buy right now.

Get the OPPO A94 if you can shell out an additional PhP 2,000 — only if you want a Mediatek chipset, an additional 2GB of memory, and the inclusion of an ultra-wide camera. But if we’re talking about better features, you can’t go wrong with the A74 simply because it has a competitive Snapdragon chipset, bigger battery with faster charging, and most of all, a cheaper price tag.

If you’re keen on trying another smartphone brand, there’s the Redmi Note 10 that has a cheaper retail price of just PhP 9,990 (6GB/128GB variant) with an upgraded Snapdragon 76 minus the ColorOS experience.

If you don’t care about design and just want a smartphone of the same kind, there’s the POCO M3 with identical hardware, but with an IPS-LCD display, a slightly larger battery capacity minus the fast charging — all for a pocket-friendly price of PhP 7,990.

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