News

Huawei P9 and P9 Plus gear up for Southeast Asia release

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Let’s face it: Smartphones won the war on casual photography.

And if you find yourself taking more photos and videos with your smartphone than with your compact camera, then Huawei might have something that’ll convince you to retire your point-and-shoot gear or dump them in the “to sell” bin altogether.

The number three mobile vendor globally, which shipped more than 100 million units in 2015 and raised its revenue to over $60 billion year-over-year, has unveiled the pricing and launch date for the premium Huawei P9 and P9 Plus smartphones for some parts of Asia.

Both promise to deliver a camera experience that’s second to none, thanks in no small part to a pair of cameras resting flush on their backs. The cameras have been co-engineered with prominent German camera maker Leica, which has lent its name — and to a limited extent, its camera cred — to the Chinese OEM.

Huawei says one of the cameras on the back of the P9 phones makes use of a traditional 12-megapixel color sensor; the other has a monochrome or black-and-white sensor that crams in as many megapixels.

Huawei p9 colors

The two work in tandem to produce the clearest and most detailed image possible. More impressively, this particular setup helps the phones capture better-quality photos in situations that even a modern camera phone would struggle with.

Huawei’s P9 and P9 Plus don’t skimp on processing power and memory options either, as both devices feature top-shelf silicon in the HiSilicon Kirin 955 chip that has up to 4GB of RAM and up to 64GB of expandable storage. Fast charging is also promised with either model.

What they lack, though, is a bleeding-edge display, with neither the P9 nor P9 Plus offering anything higher than 1080p resolution on their AMOLED screens.

The lackluster pixel density is more of a concern with the 5.5-inch P9 Plus than with the 5.2-inch regular model — but then again, unless you’re a stickler for on-screen details, you probably won’t mind too much, if at all.

The latest Huawei luxury phones are slated to launch in the Philippines next month. The exact pricing hasn’t been confirmed yet, but the P9 is expected to start at P25,000 ($530). The P9 Plus, meanwhile, could retail for around P30,000 ($635).

In Malaysia, the P9 series could debut by end-May, carrying a price tag between RM2,000 and RM2,600. Launch details haven’t been listed for other Southeast Asian markets, but the phones could see a wider rollout later this month or in early June. Price points will likely be comparable to those mentioned above.

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Gaming

TNC Predator, Afreeca Freecs Fatal win Predator League APAC 2019

For Dota 2 and PUBG, respectively

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After three long days of battle in Bangkok, Thailand from February 15 to 17, two champions have emerged from the two featured games of the Predator League in Asia Pacific 2019.

For Dota 2, it’s TNC Predator from the Philippines; and for PUBG, the champ is none other than Afreeca Freecs Fatal from South Korea.

Their winnings come from a prize pool worth US$ 250,000. Each champion receives US$ 75,000 for their efforts, while the runners-up split the remaining pot.

The grand event concluded after over 3,500 competing teams from 16 countries were eventually reduced to only 26 groups in Bangkok for the finals.

This was the Predator League’s second event in the APAC region. In 2018, it was held in Indonesia. Next year’s event will take place in the Philippines.

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Cameras

Fujifilm X-T30 is a lightweight 4K mirrorless camera

Cheaper version of the X-T3

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Image credit: Fujifilm

After Canon‘s announcement of the new EOS RP, it’s now Fujifilm‘s turn to present their latest offering: the X-T30. Fuji’s new mirrorless interchangeable camera is the successor to 2017’s X-T20.

The X-T30 is positioned to be a cheaper variant of the flagship X-T3 camera, but they actually share many common features and specs. It’s got a compact and lightweight body at just 383g which looks similar to the premium model, but with some minor changes at the back. It’s got a focus joystick instead of a d-pad, but retains the touchscreen.

Speaking of, it’s a 2-way tilting LCD panel with 1.04 million dots. The EVF, on the other hand, is a 2.36-million-dot OLED color viewfinder with a near 100 percent coverage area.

Image credit: Fujifilm

Inside the camera is a 26.1-megapixel APS-C X-Trans CMOS sensor with an ISO range of 160 to 12800, which is expandable up to 51200, and backed by an X-Processor 4. With this, the X-T30 can shoot 30fps at 1.25x crop and 20fps without a crop using the electronic shutter. If you wish to use the mechanical shutter, the speed will be reduced to 8fps.

It has a hybrid AF system with 100 percent phase-detect AF, face detection, and eye tracking. Autofocus is also improved even in low-light. Focusing can be selected either through the touchscreen or joystick.

When it comes to video, the camera can shoot 4K at 30fps and up to 120fps when downscaled to 1080p. It’s capable of 10-bit recording and 4:2:2 DCI 4K video through the HDMI port. Fujifilm’s Film Simulation modes are also available.

The Fujifilm X-T30 will be available in March starting at US$ 899 for the body only. It’ll go up to US$ 999 when bundled with an XC 15-45mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS lens, or US$ 1,299 when bundled with an 18-55mm f/2.8-4 lens.

SEE ALSO: Fujifilm Instax SQ20 hands-on: How good is it?

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MWC 2019

LG V50 ThinQ will be company’s first 5G smartphone

Arriving right before MWC 2019

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We have yet another leak ahead of LG’s press conference happening right before Mobile World Congress 2019. This time, it’s for the company’s first 5G smartphone, the V50 ThinQ.

It comes in the form of a tweet by Evan Blass, who also spilled the beans on LG’s upcoming G8 ThinQ flagship a few days ago.

This confirms that the 5G smartphone LG will be showing off at MWC in Barcelona, Spain is the V50 ThinQ. Previously, we knew of such a handset coming on February 24, but we didn’t know what branding it would go under.

The leak, however, points to exclusivity with US carrier Sprint. It might also be a limited partnership, but we can more or less confirm that the V50 ThinQ will carry a Snapdragon 855 chipset in order to handle 5G signals.

In addition, we can see an extra camera on the front and back as compared to the G8 ThinQ’s setup. Sadly, it seems like the wide notch is sticking around.

Surprisingly, the V50 ThinQ is launching less than five months after the V40 ThinQ’s release. LG may be prioritizing its 5G rollout and needs an existing series to lay it on.

We’ll learn more once LG takes the stage on February 24 to reveal all its new devices, which might also include a foldable phone.

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