News

Huawei P40 Series with ‘visionary photography’ now official

A visionary set of phones?

Published

on

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.

Apps

4K streaming could be cheaper soon

Thanks to the H.266 format

Published

on

Watching 4K videos on YouTube or Netflix is taxing on mobile data, consuming about a gigabyte or more. But a new compression method could change 4K streaming soon.

Developed by Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute, the H.266 / Versatile Video Coding format aims to bring a more efficient way of compressing and streaming videos digitally. This new standard is meant to replace two existing standards — the H.264/AVC and H.265 HEVC.

Compared to the two, H.266 can transmit 4K videos at a much lower file size. The institute says H.266 can transmit a 10-minute UHD video at only 5GB of data.

This is almost 50 percent more efficient than the most advanced video format in the market, H.265 HEVC. Right now, HEVC requires 10GB of data to transmit the same 10-minute UHD video. As such, consumers can expect cheaper 4K streams with the H.266 format.

For example, a 25-minute 4K video that clocks in at 4GB can be streamed at a much lower 2GB with the new format. This will drastically reduce data and bandwidth consumption for consumers and companies.

The new video format also tries to solve the patent royalty system that has long plagued H.264 and H.265. Right now, companies have to deal with the messy system of paying licenses and royalties just to include these formats to their apps and websites. H.266 does away with these licenses, promising a better deal than the old formats.

Support and availability

As of right now, support for H.266 is being worked on both the software and hardware level. According to the institute that developed the format, Media Coding Industry Format is working on chip designs that support the new format on a hardware level.

Meanwhile, the institute is working on an encoder and decoder software which will be released this autumn.

It is worth noting, however, that H.266/VVC is not the only format that promises to improve 4K streaming on devices. Most tech companies today are adopting AV1 alongside VP9. These two formats are developed by separate organizations.

Right now, these formats — along with the H.266 — promise a better way of streaming 4K that will ultimately benefit everyone.

Continue Reading

Apps

Google removes 25 apps for secretly stealing your data

The apps were downloaded more than 2 million times

Published

on

Google has removed 25 apps from its Play Store for slyly collecting your data in the background. The apps were collectively downloaded more than 2.3 million times before the company clamped down.

According to French cybersecurity firm Evina, the malicious apps were developed by the same threat group. They seemed to offer different functionalities but were fundamentally designed to phish data.

The apps disguised themselves as step counters, image editors, video editors, wallpaper apps, flashlight applications, file managers, and mobile games. While offering some functionality on the front, the end-goal was always to collect user data.

Basically, what these sinister apps do is steal Facebook user’s credentials if they regularly open the account on their phone. The phishing app would overlay a web browser window on top of the official Facebook app and load a fake Facebook login page. You’d assume you’re logging in to your account, but in reality, you just handed over your username and password.

Image by Evina

Evina discovered the flaw in these apps and contacted Google for further action at the end of May. Once the company’s findings were verified, the apps were kicked from the Play Store. Google not only removed the apps from the Play Store but also disabled them on users’ smartphones and informs them via the Play Protect feature.

In recent times, users are increasingly aware of phishing and data collection since social platforms like TikTok have also been caught red-handed. Apple has emphasized its focus on privacy and announced a host of new features to protect the user via iOS 14. Even Xiaomi has added a range of new methods to protect the user in MIUI 12.

Continue Reading

News

realme X3 SuperZoom, realme Watch arrive in PH

At really competitive prices

Published

on

realme truly is shaking things up with the launch of two new devices to add to its ever expanding portfolio. The realme X3 SuperZoom and the realme Watch are now officially in the Philippines.

realme X3 SuperZoom: First flagship smartphone in PH

The company is referring to The realme X3 SuperZoom is the first flagship smartphone that they are bringing over to the Philippines.

Inside, it’s powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+ processor with 12GB of RAM and 256 GB of internal storage. It has a 6.6-inch IPS LCD display with support for 120Hz screen refresh rate.

It has a quad-camera setup. The main 64MP ultra-high resolution wide angle camera is flanked by the 8MP ultra-wide angle lens, an 8MP periscope lens, and a 4MP macro lens.

The 64MP lens is the Samsung ISOCELL GW1 — the same sensor realme has used for their 64MP phones. The periscope lens is capable of up to 60X hybrid zoom which is great as long as you don’t do creepy things with it.

realme has also been proud of the work they have done on their phone’s Night Mode, taking it even a step further with Starry Mode. This is essentially an astrophotography feature that should come in handy when we’re finally allowed to actually stay outdoors.

In front it has a 32MP camera and it shares some video shooting features with the rear camera like UIS Video Stabilization, and in-software bokeh effect.

realme Watch

The realme Watch, meanwhile, is a fitness band that doesn’t look like most fitness bands. It foregoes the slimmer design and instead gives us a 3.5cm (1.4”) display.

It has 14 different workout and sports modes, has a camera shutter, water reminder, and meditation features. The watch can also track your heart rate, sleep, and monitor your blood-oxygen levels.

Price and availability

The realme X3 SuperZoom will retail for PhP 24,990 (US$506). Pre-order starts on July 9 to July 17 in realme concept stores, kiosks and select stores nationwide.

During the pre-order period, customers will also get to claim exclusive realme Buds Air Black worth PhP 3,990 (US$ 81).

The realme Watch will retail for PhP 3,990 (US$ 81) and will be available alongside the X3 SuperZoom. Customers may avail the device at PhP 1,000.00 off during Lazada’s 7.15 mid-year sale.

Continue Reading

Trending