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The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro is finally in our hands! Unlike the usual blue iPhone unboxing videos you see, ours come in white and gold respectively.

If you’re still confused which model to buy, this video discusses points that might actually help you decide which features are more important for you. I know you can’t wait. Quickly head over to our Apple iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro unboxing and buyer’s guide by clicking this link right here.

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Huawei Mate 40 Pro price and availability in Singapore

Is this the Mate for you?

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Huawei’s latest and greatest smartphone — the Huawei Mate 40 Pro — has arrived in Singapore.

The Mate 40 Pro continues the Mate line’s legacy of being a fantastic all around smartphone. It delivers the best in terms of design, build, cameras, and performance.

An all-around camera

Huawei’s mobile camera tech is one of the best in the business and there’s more of the same in the Mate 40 series.

The three phones come with an array of camera features found in Huawei phones past, all improved and upgraded. There’s Dual Cine Cameras, Steady Shot, Tracking Shot, Audio Focus, Audio Zoom and the list goes on.

A testament to how smart its cameras are is how you can lazily shoot with it and you’d still come up with pretty darn good shots.

Huawei Mate 40 Pro

A leap in performance

Every single phone in the Mate 40 series is powered by Kirin 9000 5G. Huawei is calling it “the most sophisticated 5nm 5G SoC  available.”

It features a three-level power efficiency architecture with cores running at clock frequencies of up to 3.13Ghz. Really, all you need to know is it’s extremely powerful, extremely efficient, and it’s close to mind-boggling the things that it enables the phone to do.

The 24-core Mali-G78 GPU on the Mate 40 Pro and Mate 40 Pro+ is the most powerful GPU ever on a Huawei device. It’s great for intense graphic performance and works well with the 90Hz screen refresh rate and 240Hz touch sampling rate.

Of course, having 5G means it’s gonna take a toll on the battery. The Mate 40 has a 4,200mAh capacity while the Mate 40 Pro and Mate 40 Pro+ have 4,400mAh. But more than the numbers, Huawei says the phones are equipped with tech to handle the demands of 5G.

A new user experience

We’ve already been introduced to EMUI 11 and all it’s wonderful features. So there’s all of that plus a handful of improvements in several areas.

Smart Gesture Control makes a return. It’s the feature that lets you hover your hand over the device to wake it up, navigate, and answer a call. Like magic!

Huawei is also expanding Petal Search to Petal Maps, essentially replacing everything it lost with Google and putting their own stamp on it while making sure to communicate that it’s all private and secure.

Watch our Huawei Mate 40 Pro Unboxing and Review.

Pricing and availability

The Huawei Mate 40 Pro will be available in Singapore in limited quantities in two color variants: Mystic Silver and Black starting December 12 at a retail price of SG$ 1,598

Customers will also receive a HUAWEI SuperCharge Wireless Stand (40W) worth S$148 with every purchase, while stocks last.

Huawei Mate 40 Pro Singapore

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Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra vs Galaxy Note 5: 20 changes in 5 years

A testament to Samsung’s smartphone superiority

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Note 5 vs Note 20 Ultra

I clearly remember the day Samsung announced the first-generation Galaxy Note last 2011 at IFA Berlin. Back then, it got all of the attention because it’s one of the first few “phablets” with a gigantic 5.3-inch display, simply dwarfing the 4.3-inch-touting Galaxy S II. Other than the big screen, the inclusion of S-Pen is what set it apart from other contenders.

Ever since that release, I’ve dreamed of owning one — until I had my first Note with the Galaxy Note 5. Five years later, I had the chance to get my hands on the newest Note flagship, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

Image by GadgetMatch

As a long-time Note fan, it’s amazing to see how Samsung tried their very best to keep up with the smartphone game by undergoing certain improvements and changes. It’s also been a while since we’ve had a dedicated Galaxy Note comparison article so why not make a new one?

After riding that nostalgia train, I tried listing down 20 changes from Galaxy Note 5 to the latest Galaxy Note 20 Ultra — that’s five Note generations passed in just five years. Here’s a testament to Samsung’s smartphone superiority.

1. Size

One obvious change is with their sizes. In 2016’s standards, the Galaxy Note 5 is simply one of the biggest smartphones you can own alongside its cousin, the Galaxy S6 Edge+, as well as Apple’s iPhone 6s Plus. But with a larger display, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra simply makes the Note 5 look like a “regular-sized” piece of slab.

2. Display

Speaking of display, the Galaxy Note 5 has a 5.7-inch Super AMOLED display with a 60Hz refresh rate. On the other hand, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra sports a massive 6.9-inch Dynamic AMOLED display with a smoother 120Hz refresh rate.

The new display tech is a huge step-up not just for the Note line, but for Samsung’s mobile display technology. Other than the large size gap, the Note 20 Ultra also features a curved edge display that first made its debut on the Galaxy Note Edge.

3. Material

The Galaxy Note 5 was the start of a new era where removable batteries became a thing of the past. While nothing much has changed with the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, its back is now matte instead of the shiny and glossy back of the Note 5 that’s super smudgy and prone to fingerprints and hairline scratches.

The newer Note also feels more premium even without a case because of the new material. Although the Galaxy Note 5 has curved edges on its back, it still failed to achieve better ergonomics because of its flat front which the newer Note has managed to ace because of its symmetrical design. Also, the aluminum frame was replaced by a sturdier and more elegant-looking stainless steel frame.

4. Ports

Samsung still kept the micro USB port on the Galaxy Note 5. The Galaxy Note 7 paved the way for the introduction of USB-C in the Note series — which the Note 20 Ultra still has today. Other noticeable differences are the placements of the S-Pen and speaker grilles and the removal of the 3.5mm audio jack.

5. Sensors

To make way for that edge-to-edge display, Samsung has excluded the physical fingerprint scanner on the Note 5. While it was still present until the Galaxy Note 9 (just moved at the back), the newer Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is equipped with an ultrasonic in-display fingerprint reader which made its debut on the Galaxy Note 10 series.

Other than that, the heart rate sensor of the Note 5 was also removed and is nowhere found on the latest Note flagship. This sensor has moved to smartwatches which is more widely available compared to when the Note 5 first came out.

6. S-Pen

Samsung introduced the clicking mechanism on its digital pen with the Galaxy Note 5 to imitate a retractable ballpoint pen. Several generations after, the mechanism still exists but the new S-Pen of the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra has a Bluetooth connection for Air Actions. It’s also battery-powered and can be charged through its slot.

The fine ergonomic when writing is still there but the newer one is slimmer and has a slimmer nib. Other than that, the Note 20 Ultra has a 9-millisecond latency which makes scribbling and sketching closer to reality as if you’re writing on a paper.

P.S.: Both versions of the S-Pen work on both devices; Note 5’s S-Pen works on the Note 20 Ultra and vice versa. I accidentally inserted the Note 20 Ultra’s S-Pen all the way to the Note 5 slot but of course, the older S-Pen won’t fit inside the new S-Pen slot.

7. Rear Cameras

Their rear cameras also signify the biggest jump in Samsung’s Galaxy Note line. The Galaxy Note 5 sports a single 16-megapixel f/1.9 camera sensor on its back. During my early time with this phone, it took a lot of great shots in such form factor. That’s a realization that Samsung seriously focused on their camera department.

Five years after, the megapixel size of the main sensor multiplied nearly 6.5 times! Other than the 108-megapixel f/1.8 camera, you also get two 12-megapixel telephoto and ultra-wide lenses, making it a triple-camera setup. The additional ToF 3D and Laser AF (Autofocus) sensors make the quality better than ever.

If you like all those large numbers, the newer Note 20 Ultra can record in an ultra-clear 8K/24fps resolution while the Galaxy Note 5 can shoot at 4K/30fps max — and both resolutions aren’t fully-maximized up until this day.

8. Front Camera

A larger hole doesn’t mean its better. The Note 20 Ultra has a bigger 10-megapixel f/2.2 front camera compared to the 5-megapixel f/1.9 selfie shooter of its predecessor. Video quality is better at 4K/60fps max while the latter can manageably shoot up to 2K/30fps.

9. Sound

Other than the new designation for their speaker grilles, one notable change is the inclusion of stereo speaker in the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. The Galaxy Note 5 only had a mono bottom-firing speaker. This makes the multimedia experience better and more dynamic.

Those microphones were also leveled-up. You get to record crystal clear and a surround sound audio with the upgraded mics found in the Note 20 Ultra.

10. Software

Samsung’s ultra-buggy and bloatware-filled TouchWiz that’s found on the Galaxy Note 5 got replaced by One UI with a more striking and visually-appealing set of icons and animations.

The new UI is a drastic change for someone like me who used TouchWiz for a long time, considering it was one of the biggest drawbacks of owning a Samsung smartphone in the previous years.

11. Processor

Samsung ditched the Snapdragon variant for the Galaxy Note 5 in favor of their very own Exynos 7420 chipset. Several generations after, Samsung brought back the two chipset options with a Snapdragon 865 variant as well as the Exynos one. Fair enough, my review unit came with the Exynos 990 processor.

After years of innovation, Samsung’s in-house chip improved so much that it can keep up with its Snapdragon counterpart. Performance in the new Note has been topnotch. Meanwhile, the 5-year-old Note 5, although usable, suffered from stutters and lags mainly due to software and hardware degradation.

12. RAM and Storage

In today’s standards, the Galaxy Note 5’s 4GB RAM won’t be enough for the everyday needs of a pro user. Meanwhile, the newer Note 20 Ultra has triple the amount of memory with a whopping 12GB RAM that helps you do multitasking with ease.

Storage options for the older Note were only limited to 32GB and 64GB, while finding a 128GB variant was very rare. This year’s Note starts with that storage capacity, followed by 256GB and 512GB, plus a microSD slot for better expandability — which the Note 5 failed to keep during its time (making it the only Note device without a dedicated memory card slot).

13. Power

Over the years, every Android smartphone has significantly increased their battery capacities. Although Samsung faced the hardest bang with the battery fiasco of the beloved Galaxy Note 7, they have learned their lesson by improving their batteries’ safety and technology in every Note (and even S) flagship phones.

Generations after that, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra was able to pack a beastly 4,500mAh battery over the Note 5’s minuscule 3,000mAh unit.

14. Charging

Charging technology has vastly improved over these years. With the bundled 25W charger, it can fill it up from zero to 100 percent in just 70 minutes. Buying an optional 45W charging brick would speed it up more.

On the other hand, the Galaxy Note 5 has a lower battery rating yet charging speeds are a little bit longer at around 90 minutes with the bundled 15W charger.

15. 5G vs 4G LTE

5G right at Bonifacio Global City, Taguig (PH)

As you can see in the photo above, 5G speeds in the Galaxy Note 5 Ultra are instantaneous over the regular speeds you get while using 4G LTE in the Note 5.

It’s not totally a deal breaker for now as there are only a handful of 5G-enabled hotspots around the world that can maximize this feature. Still, it’s amazing to see how Samsung made the latest Note future-ready.

16. Desktop eXperience

This is a feature that’s totally missing on the Galaxy Note 5. Die-hard Samsung users would know that Samsung DeX was first introduced in the Galaxy S8 and Note 8 series via an optional dock. This is made to level up the use of their flagship smartphones by hooking up an external monitor, keyboard, and mouse into the dock to mimic a desktop-grade experience.

Although this isn’t new on the Note 20 Ultra, the ability to use it wirelessly is definitely a bump-up to make a wireless and cordless DeX-perience. And yes, it successfully runs on my MacBook Pro just via a single USB-C cable.

17. Water and Dust Resistance

Another Note-worthy feature that’s not in the Galaxy Note 5 is an IP certification rating. The old Note can withstand tiny splashes but it simply wouldn’t protect it from a full immersion in water and dust.

The Galaxy Note 7 had an IP68 rating, making it the first Note device to do so. It basically makes the phone withstand dust and water of up to 1.5 meters for thirty minutes. This rating continued generations after up until the latest Note 20 Ultra.

18. Android Software Support

For the first time in forever, Samsung has committed to a three-year support to Android software updates — which will make the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra receive an Android 13 update in 2022. The current phone runs One UI 2.5 based on Android 10 with an upcoming One UI 3 based on Android 11.

Meanwhile, the Galaxy Note 5 only lasted until Android 7.0 Nougat with TouchWiz Grace UX while the ability to run Android 9.0 Pie with One UI was entirely based from the Custom ROMs of several modders found at XDA-Developers.

19. Color Options

The Galaxy Note 5 was available in four different eye-catchy colors: Black Sapphire and Gold Platinum were the most common units people were rocking that time while White Pearl and Silver Titan were harder to find.

On the other hand, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra has three colorways with Mystic White being the common denominator among the two devices. There’s also a neutral Mystic Black unit and a more premium-looking Mystic Bronze color — and the photos above prove that claim.

20. Launch Price

With all the spec bump and feature upgrades, it comes as no surprise that the latest Note 20 Ultra retails more than double the price of the Note 5 from five years ago.

The base 32GB model of the Note 5 retailed for US$699 (PhP 32,990) while the base 128GB Note 20 Ultra 5G was launched at US$ 1299.99 (PhP 72,990).

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Infinix ZERO 8: An eclectic, affordable flagship

Eccentric yet sturdy!

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There’s a new brand in town, and it’s ready to shake up the lower midrange category in the Philippines. Meet the Infinix ZERO 8. It’s a competitive midrange smartphone with promising specs, packed in an affordable package.

From Hong Kong to the World

A bit of history, Infinix is a Hong Kong-based smartphone company with R&D in France and South Korea. It started conquering the Middle East and North Africa, and it seemingly wants to heighten its presence in Asia.

In the Philippines, the brand is making strides in the affordable segment. It launched an affordable Note 7, and the ZERO 8 tries to take the spotlight.

Personally, I’ve heard of Infinix but I never got the chance to try it. Gladly, the opportunity came when the Infinix ZERO 8 found its way to my home.

The box came in a beautiful gray and silver box

Of course, it contains every essential accessory you’ll need for your smartphone

It comes with a SIM ejector tool, a clear case, a charging cable, and an adapter.

Infinix takes it up a notch on its white cables, pairing it with silver accents

Yes, the phone has a headphone jack in case you’re asking

The unit I have comes in a Black Diamond colorway

But before we dive in, let’s take a quick look at its ‘promising’ specifications

Processor

MediaTek Helio G90T

Configuration

8GB + 128GB

Battery

4500mAh + 33W SuperCharge

OS

Android 10

Front camera

48MP + 8MP

Dual-Flash Light

Rear camera

64MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP

Quad-Flash Light

Display

6.85” FHD+

90Hz refresh rate

2460×1080 resolution

Dimension

168.74 x 76.08 x 9.07mm

So, what? I’m eclectic

Let’s start with the elephant in the room: the phone’s eccentric rear design. Seeing how Infinix has its smartphones designed in France, there’s no wonder the products come out a little extra. French design, as I’ve always perceived it, seemed grand and flashy.

Infinix ZERO 8

vivo S1 Pro

That’s what the Infinix ZERO 8 is: Commanding attention with a design rooting from previously launched smartphones. For instance, the diamond-shaped camera placement is reminiscent of the vivo S1 Pro. On another note, Infinix stated the design was inspired by the Louvre’s Diamond-glass design.

Infinix ZERO 8

Samsung Galaxy A51

Meanwhile, the prism that refracts across its glass body is similar to Samsung’s Galaxy A50 and A51. Infinix also used the same approach as Samsung’s changing patterns, albeit with a more minimal matte V-shape design from top to middle.

Combining both familiar designs from more expensive brands, Infinix presented a unique proposition delivered to the lower midrange segment.

Smartly designed?

Accompanying the ZERO 8’s eccentric rear design are its sides that are minimally and smartly designed. The top part is clean AF, while the bottom part sports a headphone jack, a USB-C port, and its speaker grilles.

On the left, you can find its SIM tray while on the right are its single volume rocker and a fingerprint scanner that also works as a power button. Personally, I love the fingerprint scanner. It reads swiftly, allowing quick access to your phone.

A treat for those who like it big

The Infinix ZERO 8 sports a 6.85-inch FHD+ display with a 2460×1080 resolution and 90Hz refresh rate. It’s a humongous and powerful handset for tiny hands, but for the price it commands, this affordable flagship is a steal.

Navigating the phone can be as smooth as other premium smartphones. In the entertainment department, it makes for a perfect little portable cinema.

Watching Start-Up on Netflix was quite an experience. The visuals are strikingly vibrant although the blacks are a little bit faded. Audio, on the other hand, can be as loud as most wireless speakers.

One time, I had the phone play Netflix’s Emily in Paris while I work and the sound filled the whole room. For context, my room is double the size of most studio apartments in Manila. Yes, it was LOUD.

Easy to hold, hard to navigate

The Infinix ZERO 8 comes with a hefty build. Even though it weighs heavier compared to smartphones in the same bracket, the curved edges provide easy grip. I didn’t feel like I’m gonna drop the phone accidentally or it will slip off my hands. Coming from someone with tiny hands, somewhat, I felt secure.

But the easy-grip isn’t just what I need. Having a tall and robust phone like this makes it difficult for me to navigate the phone with one hand.

Shake your inner Marie Kondo

Privileged complaints aside, the Infinix ZERO 8 runs a customized XOS Dolphin 7 UI based on Android 10. There are a lot of pre-installed applications, which also blew up my notifications. The Marie Kondo in me is shaking, I had a hard time looking at and cleaning the interface.

Gladly, most of them are removable. The XOS interface also comes with a Smart Panel which you can customize, making it easy to access important apps and tools. Aside from that, the XOS carries a plethora of helpful features for a more mindful smartphone usage

If it comes with a cleaner UI, maybe I would recommend this phone for people dabbling in mindfulness while staying connected.

A rear camera story

The Infinix ZERO 8 has a total of six cameras. On its rear, you can find a quad-camera setup: a 64-megapixel main camera, an 8-megapixel ultrawide lens, and two 2-megapixel depth sensors.

To be perfectly honest, I had a fun time using the ZERO 8’s rear cameras. It’s an affordable phone, yet it produces vibrant photos especially in the daytime. Low light and indoor shots aren’t looking good, though. For reference, you may scroll the photos I took in my neighborhood, in a Panda-themed café, and in Starbucks.

Daytime

Ultra-wide angle

1x Auto

2x Auto

Indoor Lowlight – Daytime

Ultra-wide angle | Cafe de Esa, Philippines

1x Auto | Cafe de Esa, Philippines

2x Auto | Cafe de Esa, Philippines

Indoor Lowlight

Ultra-wide angle | Starbucks Sierra Valley

1x Auto | Starbucks Sierra Valley

2x Auto | Starbucks Sierra Valley

Photographing food

Auto mode

Auto mode

Portrait mode

I love taking photos of my food and beverages. So, yes. I used the ZERO 8 to capture my favorite breakfast meals from a cafe and a restaurant in Tanay, Rizal. Surprisingly, the ZERO 8 can produce appetizing photos, thanks to its aggressive post-processing in different lighting conditions.

Portrait mode doesn’t look good, though. I know some people who use portrait mode to capture their food to replicate some stellar shots from mirrorless cameras, but it looks like the trick won’t work with the ZERO 8’s cameras.

Greenery

Greenery, whether it’s sunny, cloudy, or raining, still looked vibrant. This kind of processing makes it perfect for social media posting. However, the quality might suffer even more since social media platforms lower the image quality.

Clearly, the ZERO 8 is already suffering from a loss of details especially when you zoom in. Photos might look blurry when zoomed in on Instagram.

Selfie cameras underneath

For its front cameras, it carries a dual-camera setup: a 48-megapixel main sensor and an 8-megapixel ultra-wide lens. Uniquely, the selfie cameras are placed underneath the display. It’s not protruding nor sunken when you let your fingers grace the screen. It’s weirdly smooth and neat. And I like it.

Selfie with proper daylight

Auto mode

Beauty mode

Portrait mode

As you can see, the front camera system is quite aggressive when it comes to post-processing in beauty and portrait mode. Thankfully, the daylight allowed the photos to reproduce vibrant colors and have a proper white balance, even in different modes.

Selfie in poor lighting condition

Auto in wide-angle mode

Beauty mode

Portrait mode

In low light, the ZERO 8’s front cameras struggle. It produces a bluish tint leaning to a cooler hue for different modes, except when you use the wide-angle mode. Surprisingly, the change in temperature only happens when taking wide-angles in low-light.

You can also notice the loss in details. But then again, this is an affordable flagship. Temper your expectations, or upgrade to a more expensive option but with better camera systems.

Reaaaally long-lasting battery

In the midst of reviewing this phone, I lost power and water supply in my neighborhood after the onslaught of Typhoon Ulysses. I was off from work for a week, and the fully-charged Infinix ZERO 8 drained to 25 percent on the fifth day. I didn’t expect this device to last that long, even on standby.

Unlike the Galaxy M31 (6000mAh) which went from 100 to 33 percent on standby in a week, the Infinix ZERO 8 drained slower, having only 4500mAh battery capacity. I haven’t even used its power-saving features, which makes the phone a promising companion.

But my normal usage made the phone last for more than a day. I’m not heavy in gaming seeing how I spent most of my days balancing work, personal hobbies like fitness, art, and entertainment. For heavy, power users, the phone might still be good enough for a day.

If you run out of juice, fret not. It’s capable of up to 33W of fast charging, which gives you an hour and a few minutes to fully charge its large battery. That is, if you’re using a fast charging adapter. If your charger takes forever, don’t worry. The phone has a Safe Charging feature which automatically disconnects the phone when it’s fully charged. You can let your phone charge while you sleep at night.

Power, speed, and performance

As I’ve said before, this handset has a 90hz refresh rate. We had a crash course on smartphone display’s refresh rate and I will say it again here: We don’t really need it to be that high unless you’re playing graphics-intensive games. Which this smartphone can handle well.

I logged in to my League of Legends: Wild Rift account to play and I had a sweet time. With cooling technology, you won’t worry about overheating issues. It also has 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal. Gone are the days where you scramble to delete photos and other files just to make space and to prevent your phone from slowing down.

The only reason I didn’t play enough is because of two reasons: I’m juggling a lot of things, and the phone is too heavy for me. It would strain my hands if I play for more than 30 minutes.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

The Infinix ZERO 8 is a promising flagship for those looking for the best they can afford, without breaking the bank. It has an eccentric design, a long-lasting battery, speed, power, and performance — all at an affordable price.

Unlike most midrange phones carrying the same specs, the Infinix ZERO 8 retails for PhP 12,990. It comes in two colors: Black diamond and Silver diamond. It’s currently available in Lazada.

SEE ALSO: Infinix Note 7: Best underrated budget phone?

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