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Huawei’s new P9 and P9 Plus phones take a swing at low-light photography

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Huawei, it seems, is really into making premium phones now. Fresh off giving the world the Google Nexus 6P and Huawei Mate 8, the leading smartphone brand in China and number 3 worldwide, having shipped more than 100 million phones in 2015, has unveiled yet another high-priced product in the 5.2-inch P9 and 5.5-inch P9 Plus.

Whereas the Nexus 6P and Mate 8 were all about providing a speedy user experience and pushing the limits of screen size in somewhat manageable form factors, the P9 series’ most marketable quality can be found around the back. To be clear, that’s not to say the P9 and P9 Plus lag behind the curve, or other phones in Huawei’s portfolio for that matter (but we’ll get to this shortly).

A pair of 12-megapixel, Leica-certified cameras sit flush on the back of the P9 and P9 Plus, and Huawei is confident that you’re going to want to use them as soon as you get your hands on its latest creations.

Huawei P9 rose gold

Huawei P9 in rose gold

One of the rear cameras feature a monochrome sensor, while the other packs a traditional smartphone-camera sensor. When they work brilliantly together, just like the Wonder Twins from Superfriends, or for the younger crowd, Batman and Superman in the last act of Batman v. Superman, they’re supposed to produce brighter, clearer shots in low light.

Huawei says they can let in three times more light information and increase contrast by as much as 50 percent. And to that we say: Let’s leave it for consumers and experts in the tech community to determine whether or not the dual-camera setup is worth the money.

We do applaud Huawei’s efforts to try and get smartphones to do a better job of taking photographs where light is scarce. But adding another rear-facer and making the back of a very personal device look at you with horror, like you just plugged a 110-volt hair dryer into a 220-volt socket, isn’t what we had in mind. It certainly doesn’t help that the P9’s fingerprint sensor resembles an open mouth, thus completing the look of a shocked rear panel.

Huawei P9 Plus gold

Huawei P9 Plus in gold

Huawei has also thrown in a laser autofocus module, two-tone flash, and optical image stabilization for less shaky photos and videos into the P9 range’s admittedly expansive set of photography-related features. For the selfie-obsessed youth, the 8-megapixel front camera should suffice.

The P9 and P9 Plus don’t skimp on computing power and memory options, either, with both phones sporting an in-house HiSilicon Kirin 955 chip — the fastest in a Huawei smartphone to date — with as much as 4GB of RAM and 64GB of expandable storage (for the higher-end P9 variant and P9 Plus).

The P9 has a 3,000mAh built-in battery, which is slightly less than the 3,400mAh cell packed into the back of the P9 Plus. But regardless of which P9 variant you go with, you’d be happy to know that there’s a USB Type-C connector with fast charging on the bottom of either handset.

The P9 and P9 Plus resemble last year’s P8, and to a lesser extent, the Nexus 6P, and the company says the phones make use of a metal unibody for a more cohesive and seamless construction.

They’re only 6.95mm thick and have bezels that measure 1.7mm, so Huawei continuing to build fairly compact handsets with big displays isn’t a trend that will likely fizzle out any time soon. A resolution bump to 1,440 x 2,560 pixels (from 1,080 x 1,920) would have been a welcome development, but unfortunately the P9 carries the same, full-resolution display as its predecessor.

The Huawei P9 is priced at £449 ($630 or Php29,000) in the U.K., while P9 Plus retails for £549 ($780 or Php36,000). Shipping starts mid-May.

[irp posts=”2258" name=”Huawei P9 and P9 Plus gear up for Southeast Asia release”]

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Apple, Samsung sold fewer smartphones in 2018 — report

Huawei won the game, though

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2018 wasn’t a great year for smartphones in terms of sales, but not every company took a hit last year. According to the latest report by Gartner, the total number of devices sold in 2018 was 408.358 million, a 0.1 percent growth from 407.845 million. The biggest losers are Apple and Samsung, both in Q4 and the whole year.

Apple sold 11.8 percent fewer units during the holiday season compared to the same quarter in 2017. Samsung also sold fewer phones during the last quarter, but the South Korean company still managed to maintain a big gap from competitors.

According to the report, Apple is mostly affected in Greater China since buyers are now delaying their upgrades as they wait for bigger innovations. Alternatives are gaining popularity due to their cheaper prices as well.

While two of the biggest names in the industry suffered loss, Huawei, on the other hand, increase their sales and is now close in taking Apple’s coveted second spot. The Chinese tech giant managed to sell an extra 52 million phones in 2018.

Xiaomi and OPPO also gained a few extra millions of sales during the last quarter of 2018. Interestingly, Xiaomi was able to overtake OPPO the whole year with 7.9 percent market share versus 7.6 percent.

SEE ALSO: Apple users take longer to upgrade than before

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Huawei official confirms P30 Pro’s quad camera setup

Through a leaked photo

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Image source: Weibo

In a month, Huawei will finally launch the successful P20 series’ successor — the Huawei P30 and P30 Pro. Given last year’s success, the P30 series has some huge boots to fill. Thankfully, existing rumors are already painting a colorful portrait for us.

As the launch beckons just around the corner, Huawei has officially confirmed the series’ most highlighted rumor — the quad rear camera. Last year, the P20 Pro flaunted an amazing triple rear camera system. This year, leakers and rumor mills have speculated on one more camera. After much speculation throughout the past few months, a Huawei official has suddenly leaked the information himself.

On Chinese social network Weibo, Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei Consumer Business Group, posted an incredibly close-up shot of the recent full moon. As is standard with most Chinese smartphones, the photo came with an incriminating watermark.

Image source: Weibo

Strangely, Yu still tried to blur out the phone’s model. Despite the blur, the “Leica Quad Camera” label is blatantly clear. Further, the blur still doesn’t completely hide the starting letter, “P.” Obviously, the P20 series does not have the indicated quad camera setup. Also, the blur isn’t big enough to cover “Mate 20 Pro.” The P30 Pro is the only possible option.

Intentional or not, Yu’s leak is the biggest hype maker for the upcoming launch. If the P30 Pro can shoot moon shots like that, it will likely offer an enjoyable shooting experience. Regardless, the Huawei P30 series is only a month away. Huawei has a lot of momentum going into the launch.

SEE ALSO: Huawei is now accepting registrations for the P30 series in Singapore

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Nokia 6 and 2.1 get updated to Android 9 Pie

True to the promise

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Nokia 2.1 | GadgetMatch

HMD Global, the company that creates the new Nokia phones, is keeping their promise to users of the original Nokia 6 and the entry-level Nokia 2.1 by seeding the Android 9 Pie update according to schedule.

Both the Nokia 6 and Nokia 2.1 phones should start getting the sweet update to Google’s latest Android version. Like with any rollout, the process is done gradually; some users might have to wait for a bit to get theirs.

For the Nokia 6, the update weighs around 1.7GB and it also brings the latest February 2019 security patch. This is the phone’s second major version upgrade. It was released in 2017 with Android Nougat and got updated to Android Oreo last year.

The Nokia 2.1, on the other hand, gets the Android Pie (Go edition) since it’s a phone with 1GB of memory. The lightweight version of Android makes sure that things will run smoothly despite the limited memory and storage capacity.

Based on HMD Global’s schedule, the Nokia 3.1 Plus was supposed to receive Android Pie in January, but it was missed. The Nokia 3.1 and Nokia 5.1 are next in line for the update.

SEE ALSO: HMD Global shares Android Pie update roadmap for Nokia phones

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