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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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPwpFojqFww

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

Apps

Disney+ expanding to more than 50 places this year

Check out the list here

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Emerging as one of the biggest streaming platforms today, Disney+ is expanding its operations to more countries and territories this year. Starting in the summer of this year, the platform will find its way to 42 more countries and 11 new territories.

Despite the popularity of its content, Disney+ doesn’t have the widest global market owing to its limited availability. Currently, the platform is available only in 64 countries. Obviously, the biggest markets — like the United States and the United Kingdom — already have it. That, however, leaves out smaller territories that have expressed interest in the platform. But the expansion hasn’t stopped.

As announced via The Hollywood Reporter, Disney+ is expanding to over 50 new places. However, despite the size of its expansion, Disney has not announced exact launch dates or pricing schemes for any of the below countries.

The full list of new countries, arranged alphabetically, include the following: Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Bahrain, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Egypt, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kosovo, Kuwait, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Malta, Montenegro, Morocco, North Macedonia, Oman, Palestine, Poland, Qatar, Romania, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Vatican City and Yemen.

Disney+ will also expand to these 11 territories: the Faroe Islands, French Polynesia, French Southern Territories, St. Pierre and Miquelon Overseas Collective, Åland Islands, Sint Maarten, Svalbard & Jan Mayen, British Indian Ocean Territory, Gibraltar, Pitcairn Islands and St. Helena.

Is your country part of the list?

SEE ALSO: Disney+ coming to the Philippines soon?

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Gaming

The Steam Deck finally launches on February 25

Starts shipping out February 28

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The Nintendo Switch was one of the boldest experiments in gaming. Could a console successfully meld home-based gaming with mobile gaming? The answer is: It certainly could! The Switch, despite its flaws, is still one of the most successful consoles that Nintendo has ever released. Now, years after its launch, other brands are finally returning or introducing themselves to the mobile gaming market. Valve, after announcing the device last year, is finally launching its own take, the Steam Deck, on February 25.

Last year, Valve, the company behind Steam, announced the Switch-like gaming console for PC gamers. As what that implies, the Steam Deck can play your Steam library inside its lithe but powerful frame. Squeezed in by two controllers, the 7-inch device blasts through games with a quad-core Zen 2 CPU, an AMD APU, 16GB of RAM, and up to 512GB of SSD storage.

Naturally, the Steam Deck incited a lot of hype for gamers. It was finally possible to easily play PC games while on the road. However, despite the hype, the device went through an unsurprisingly rocky launch schedule. Initially pegged for a holiday launch, it was pushed back due to ongoing shortages.

Now, we finally have a date. On February 25, Valve will start sending out order emails to those who previously bought reservations, as stated in their latest blog post. Customers will then have three days to push through with their order. Shipments will start flying out on February 28.

Those who haven’t reserved yet can still do so for US$ 5, but the waiting time might take a while since Valve is so close to launch. The Steam Deck will start selling at US$ 399 and will go up to US$ 649 for the most premium model.

SEE ALSO: Steam launches first portable console, the Steam Deck

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News

Redmi Note 11 series officially launches

Featuring 4 devices

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Redmi Note 11 series

Xiaomi just announced the Redmi Note 11 series. It’s a massive line that has four smartphones. These are the Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G, Redmi Note 11 Pro, Redmi Note 11S and Redmi Note 11. The series promises upgrades across the board from cameras, performance, and charging speeds.

Flagship-level camera setup

Each member of the Redmi Note 11 series is equipped with sensors that won’t leave you wanting in the camera department. The Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G, Redmi Note 11 Pro, and Redmi Note 11 feature 108MP primary sensors.

Specifically, they are using the Samsung HM2 with a 1/1.52″ sensor size. It leverages 9-in-1 pixel binning technology as well as dual native ISO to deliver incredible images with higher dynamic range and colour performance, with excellent results even in dim light.

AMOLED goodness

Members of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 series’ screen sizes vary. But they all have FHD+ AMOLED DotDisplay featuring DCI-P3 wide color gamut. There’s also 1200nits brightness. And last but certainly not the least, a 120Hz screen refresh rate with a 360Hz touch sampling rate. Impressive numbers, especially for the Redmi Note line.

The series is powered by more than capable Snapdragon and MediaTek chipsets. These are able to handle any task from the most basic like social media browsing, to the most demanding like playing games and multitasking.

Here’s a quick look at the specs.

Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G

Redmi Note 11 Pro

Redmi Note 11S

Redmi Note 11

Display

120Hz

6.67” FHD+ AMOLED DotDisplay

90Hz

6.43” FHD+ AMOLED

DotDisplay

Rear camera

108MP main camera

8MP ultra-wide camera

2MP macro camera

108MP main camera

8MP ultra-wide camera

2MP macro camera

2MP depth camera

50MP main camera

8MP ultra-wide camera

2MP macro camera

2MP depth camera

Front camera

16MP in-display front camera

13MP in-display  front camera

Dimension & Weight

164.19mm x 76.1mm x 8.12mm

202g

159.87mm x 73.87mm x 8.09mm

179g

Processor

Snapdragon 695

MediaTek Helio G96

Snapdragon 680

RAM+ROM

LPDDR4X

UFS 2.2

Audio

Dual speakers

3.5mm headphone jack

Security

Side fingerprint sensor

AI Face Unlock

Charging

5,000mAh (typ) battery

Supports 67W wired turbo charging

5,000mAh (typ) battery

Supports 33W wired Pro fast charging

Connectivity

SIM 1 + Hybrid (SIM or MicroSD)

NFC

IR blaster

Dual SIM + MicroSD

NFC**

IR blaster

Variant**

6GB+64GB, 6GB+128GB, 8GB+128GB

4GB+64GB, 4GB+128GB, 6GB+128GB

Available colors

(Depends on region)

Graphite Gray,

Polar White, Atlantic Blue

Graphite Gray,

Polar White, Star Blue

Graphite Gray,

Twilight Blue, Pearl White

Graphite Gray,

Twilight Blue, Star Blue

Pricing and availability details to follow.

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