News

Huawei P40 Series with ‘visionary photography’ now official

A visionary set of phones?

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Huawei is on a mission to give regular users the power to take professional-level photos with just a smartphone. The latest attempt in this undertaking is the Huawei P40 series consisting of three phones — the Huawei P40, Huawei P40 Pro, and Huawei P40 Pro+.

Notably, this is the first time for Huawei to launch three phones for the P-series. But what makes each one different? Let’s start with the primary talking point — the camera setup.

Visionary Photography

Here’s what each P40 series phone has.

Huawei P40 Huawei P40 Pro Huawei P40 Pro+
50MP f/1.9 RYYB Ultra Vision

(Wide)

50MP f/1.9 RYYB Ultra Vision

(Wide)

50MP f/1.9 RYYB Ultra Vision

(Wide)

8MP f/2/4 Telephoto

(3x Optical)

40MP f/1.8 Cine Lens

(Ultra-wide)

40MP f/1.8 Cine Lens

(Ultra-wide)

16MP f.2.2 Ultra-wide 12MP f/3.4 Periscope

(5x Optical)

8MP f/4.4 Super Periscope

(10x Optical)

Huawei ToF Lens 8MP f/2.4 Telephoto

3x Optical

Huawei ToF Lens

 

There’s a lot to digest here but what Huawei did is equip all three phones with their latest and greatest — the 50MP f/1.9 RYYB Ultra Vision Wide lens which is the main camera. It’s the largest sensor on a smartphone camera in the market today.

In the simplest terms, the larger sensor will allow more light to come into the lens promising better photos at night and in low light situations.

Huawei also has a brand new focusing tech. They say the P40 series phones have eight focus points per pixel. This makes it easier for the phone to quickly focus on the subject even if it’s moving.

The optical zoom that was one of the main highlights of the P30 series is still here with optical zoom differing from each phone. The P40 has up to 3x zoom, the P40 Pro up to 5x, and the P40 Pro+ up to 10x.

There’s an interesting inclusion of another telephoto lens on the P40 Pro+, which Huawei says should take the zoom capabilities even further. The AI image stabilization equipped on all three phones will come in handy for the usual shake you get when zooming in.

Visionary Performance

Naturally, Huawei put the best of what it can offer inside the P40 series. Powering each phone is the Kirin 990 5G processor. The company claims it has 460 percent better neural processing power. If previous flagships are any indication, this practically means it can handle literally any task you throw at it.

Other carry over features that have been improved are as follows:

  • In-display fingerprint sensor — Now 30 percent larger and is supposed to be faster with new unlock patterns to choose from.
  • 40W wireless charging — The wireless charger doesn’t come with the device but this should be one of the fastest wireless charging tech available right now.
  • Face unlock — Again supposed to be faster and now with an IR sensor on the pro models

Speaking of face unlock, the P40 Pro phones have a 32MP dual front-facing camera setup with autofocus. More than taking better and wider selfies, the front-facing cameras can record 4K video at 60 FPS. Handy for when you want to record yourself.

Visionary Experience

The Huawei P40 series is still running Android 10 with EMUI 10 on top. If you’ve been following the news at all, Huawei is in a bit of a pickle against the US government, as such they are going all in on Huawei Mobile Services or HMS.

If you’re worried about the app situation, the AppGallery is slowly but surely adding apps that most of us use. The company is also working on AppSearch inside AppGallery to bring more apps to Huawei phones.

For the rest, Huawei has suggested using the PhoneClone app where you can copy most of the apps from your old phone over to your new Huawei phone.

Huawei’s newest flagship  will now also come with its own voice assistant named Celia. Much like how you talk to any other voice assistant, you can just say “Hey Celia,” and follow it up with a command to execute a task.

The catch? At launch, it’s only currently available in the UK, France, Spain, Chile, Mexico, and Colombia.

The P40 series is also introducing MeeTime — a video calling app much like FaceTime and Google Duo. Other than being able to make 1080p video calls, the tech behind it should also be applicable in other functions that other developers may adapt for its apps.

Like Celia, the feature’s availability is only limited to a few countries: Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain.

A few other specs are different for each phone. Here’s a quick look.

Huawei P40 Huawei P40 Pro Huawei P40 Pro+
Display 6.1” 6.58” 6.58”
Battery 3800mAh 4200mAh 4200mAh
Colors Ice White, Black, DeepSea Blue Ice White, Black, DeepSea Blue Black, White

(Material is Ceramic)

Compared to the P20 series and P30 series, the colors are more subdued. The glass back on both the P40 and P40 Pro will also come in two matte finishes that they say will be more resistant to fingerprint smudges — Silver Frost and Brush Gold.

Visionary Design

Now that we’re at it, the colors bring us to the P40 series’ design.

Let’s go back a little bit to the camera module. Huawei says the P-series had always been designed with the thought that people will be holding it horizontally when taking photos, thus the module — which looks a lot like the ones on Samsung’s latest phones — had always been aligned left when facing the back of the phone.

Speaking of which, the P40 and P40 Pro are still made with glass but now with a matte finish. However, for the P40 Pro+, the company opted to go with ceramic just to mix things up.

In terms of IP rating, the P40 is at IP53 while the P40 Pro and P40+ are both IP68.

Huawei has also kept its curved displays. Even doubling down on it by adding curves at the top and bottom. We’re still unsure how that helps in day-to-day use, but it’s there and hey, it looks good.

Speaking of a display, the P40 series will have a 90Hz screen refresh rate. A happy middle ground between the 60Hz of yesteryears and the 120Hz on Samsung’s S20 series and the ROG Phone 2.

Pricing and availability

The Huawei P40 wit 8GB RAM and 128GB of storage is priced at EUR 799 while the Huawei P40 Pro with 8GB RAM and 256GB of storage will retail for EUR 999. Both phones will be available starting April 7, 2020.

Meanwhile, the Huawei P40 Pro+ with 8GB RAM and 256GB of storage will retail for EUR 1399. We’ll have to wait a while as it will only be available starting June 2020.

Visionary Phone?

With a lot of uncertainty in the present given everything that’s happening, there’s a lot of focus on the P40 series’ being about the future.

It’s been months now since the company’s biggest software hurdle. They are now slowly gaining momentum with unmistakably top-of-the-line hardware and Huawei Mobile Services (HMS) at its core.

Is there enough on the P40 series to carry Huawei through? We’ll need to test the phones for it for sure. While you wait for that, first check out our Hands-On video.

Health

Garmin’s Venu 2 Plus features voice control built for the busy lifestyle

And 24/7 health monitoring

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Venu 2 Plus

With lots of smartwatches in the market today, Garmin sets itself apart with multiple offerings specific for every niche and budget.

For instance, their Venu 2 and Venu 2S, which were introduced last year, are excellent everyday wearables. The hybrid design of traditional meets modern is a stylish and unique choice. And they’re packed with multiple functions that support overall health and fitness.

This year, Garmin is introducing another addition to the Venu Series, the Venu 2 Plus. It somehow looks the same with previous Venu watches, but with upgraded features to support a busy lifestyle.

Answer calls and control options on your wrist

Venu 2 Plus

Perhaps the biggest upgrade from the past Venu series is the built-in intelligent voice control. The Venu 2 Plus features a combination of speaker and microphone made for easier voice calls and commands.

The Venu 2 Plus Voice Assistant is compatible with Siri, Google Assistant, or Bixby. This way, users can utilize their smartphone’s voice assistant to send texts, ask questions, control compatible smart home devices, and more.

The voice feature is especially helpful when you don’t want to stop mid-workout just to set controls. It’s also a lifesaver when running errands, and you want to limit touching your screen.

The battery life can last up to nine (9) days in smartwatch mode and up to eight (8) hours in GPS + Music mode.

24/7 monitoring of your health

Venu 2 Plus

Maintaining our health while dealing with work and other things can be quite hard especially in this pandemic. But the good thing is, we are more mindful of our wellbeing now more than ever.

Garmin’s Venu 2 Plus is a great companion to track your whole day of activities. There’s no need to write on your planner or create separate trackers in Notion. Most health trackers you need are packed inside this timepiece conveniently slapped on your wrist.

It features all-day monitoring and data analysis of your overall health including heart rate (with user-configurable alerts for high or low readings), advanced sleep with sleep score and insights, breathwork activities, fitness age, respiration, Pulse Ox, all-day stress, hydration, and women’s health (menstrual cycle tracking and pregnancy tracking).

Price and availability

The Garmin Venu 2 Plus retails for PhP 25,695.

It is available in 3 colors: Black, Ivory, and Powder Gray. You can purchase through Garmin Brand Stores, kinetic.com.ph, Lazada, Shopee, and Garmin PH Viber Community. They currently have an ongoing promo: the first 75 customers can get a free Garmin Tote Bag for every purchase.

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Computers

HP unveils Experience Hub flagship store in Malaysia

X-Hub for short

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X-Hub

Computer company HP on Wednesday announced the opening of the HP Experience Hub (X-Hub) flagship store in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The X-Hub is a seamless online-to-offline (O2O) experiential retail experience for tech consumers.

The physical store in Malaysia is combined with an integrated O2O platform to create a seamless omnichannel commerce journey across six Southeast Asian countries.

More immersive retail experience

The Experience Hub unifies the retail experience across the Southeast Asia region, connecting the Kuala Lumpur flagship store to 82 online stores spread across Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, with Thailand and Vietnam to follow in March 2022.

Online consumers may be able to personally interact with HP Live Advisors, a team of dedicated experts based on the X-Hub via real-time video calls and chat functions.

These will be made available in preferred local languages, while live streams on the latest HP products is also made possible via the HP Virtual Showroom.

This way, consumers will be able to continue shopping without having to be in Malaysia physically.

Interactive ‘Test Drive’ stations

As for customers who want to visit the physical store in Malaysia, there are interactive ‘Test Drive’ stations to experience all of HP’s technology.

These stations include:

  • Premium (High-end consumer devices)
  • Gaming (Laptops, desktops, and monitors)
  • Commercial (Business-grade devices)
  • Print (Home and office printing)

Visitors can also access personalization services such as custom engraving and printing, or connect to in-store or online HP Live Advisors for real-time inquiries.

Location

The HP X-Hub flagship store in Malaysia is located at Pavilion Bukit Jalil (level 4) in Kuala Lumpur.

The flagship store was created in partnership with Thunder Match Technology Sdn Bhd, Malaysia’s largest tech retailer. HP also partnered with Shopee and Lazada. Both of which support the online experience.

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News

Samsung announces Exynos 2200 chip

Likely powering Galaxy phones of 2022

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Samsung’s newest flagship mobile processor has just been announced. It’s the Samsung Exynos 2200 and it comes with Xclipse GPU Powered by AMD RDNA 2 Architecture.

The new processor promises “ultimate mobile phone gaming experience, as well as enhancing the overall experience in social media apps and photography.”

Ray Tracing on mobile phones

The Xclipse GPU equipped on the Exynos 2200 boldly claims it will achieve accelerated ray tracing (RT) and variable rate shading (VRS) on mobile phones. These are high graphics features previously only available on PCs, laptops, and consoles.

Ray tracing is a rendering technique that uses rays of light to project images or objects onto your screen. These show more accurate, more realistic images as the rays trace back to any source of light in the surrounding. For more, read: The future for all games: Ray Tracing explained

Enhanced 5G and fortified security

The Exynos 2200 integrates a fast 3GPP Release 16 5G modem supporting both sub-6GHz and mmWave (millimeter Wave) spectrum bands. With E-UTRAN New Radio – Dual Connectivity (EN-DC), which utilizes both 4G LTE and 5G NR signals, the modem can boost the speed up to 10Gbps.

It also comes with Integrated Secure Element (iSE) to store private cryptographic keys as well as to play a role as RoT (Root of Trust). Also, an inline encryption HW for UFS and DRAM has been reinforced to have user data encryption safely shared only within the secure domain.

Better image processing

As with any brand spanking new chip, the Samsung Exynos 2200 also promises better image processing — moving or otherwise. It’s designed to support the latest image sensors for ultra-high resolution of up to 200 megapixel (MP). At 30 frames-per- second (fps), the ISP supports up to 108 MP in single camera mode, and 64+36 MP in dual camera mode.

It can also connect up to seven individual image sensors and drive four concurrently for advanced multi-camera setups. For video recording, the ISP supports up to 4K HDR (or 8K) resolution.

It decodes videos up to 4K at 240fps or 8K at 60fps and encodes up to 4K at 120fps or 8K at 30fps. he advanced display solution features HDR10+ adding more dynamic range and depth to the picture and offers refresh rates of up to 144Hz.

The Exynos 2200 is currently in mass production.

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