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These are not 2020’s best smartphones, but they sure are the most exciting and most talked about.

The Moto razr and Galaxy Z Flip capture everyone’s attention with something cool, innovative, and retro — and we love it when out sentimental bones are tickled.

More importantly, both smartphones are attempting to do the same thing — finding ways in which foldable displays can solve practical problems. They share so much in common, but which one is better?

Build & Durability

Can a phone with a foldable display survive the wear and tear of everyday use? The biggest difference between the Z Flip and the razr is the material used in their displays.

On the razr, like every other foldable phone we’ve seen thus far, it’s plastic. Meanwhile, the Flip is made of ultra-thin glass.

Which is more durable? Theoretically – glass should be more durable. It definitely feels sturdier.

Now while foldable displays are an impressive feat of engineering, the hinge mechanism is probably more impressive — not to mention more important.

Hinge

Each company has a different approach. Motorola calls theirs a “zero-gap” hinge design, so when closed there’s hardly any space sandwiched between the folded display. When the phone is closed the display forms a teardrop shape inside the hinge.

Samsung, on the other hand, took what it learned from the Galaxy Fold and applied it to the Flip – the updated hinge uses a Dual Cam mechanism. Cams are rotating or sliding pieces in mechanical linkages.

This allows the Flip to not only fold and unfold but also stay put at a 90-degree angle. Inside there are bristles that brush away dust or lint that might get trapped inside.

Design

Motorola intentionally designed the Moto Razr to look like the iconic Motorola Razr. Its shape, chin, and even the curves on its top are inspired by the original. Right now it only comes in black, but a gold model has been announced.

The Galaxy Z Flip comes in black, purple, and in some markets gold. Its shape resembles a Galaxy S20. So much so that when open – it looks just like it. Same rounded corners and a stainless steel frame albeit much narrower.

Performance

Neither of these two phones has specs that will rival the best 2020 has on offer. That said – the Galaxy Z Flip is still very powerful, with an updated version of last year’s top of the line processor from Qualcomm – Snapdragon 855+ and if you don’t know what that means.

Just know that it was the most powerful processor last year, chosen to run high-end gaming phones like the ASUS ROG Phone 2. The Razr only runs a midrange series processor from Qualcomm. It also has less RAM and less storage, and a smaller battery.

Camera

Samsung has a longstanding reputation of excellence in smartphone cameras and the flip is no different. It’s got two 12MP cameras — a wide-angle and an ultra-wide-angle lens. On the other hand, the Moto Razr only has one camera — a 16MP wide-angle camera.

Price

Because it was announced later, Samsung wisely priced the Flip at US$ 1,380. That’s US$ 120 less than the Razr.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

Watch the whole comparison on our YouTube channel to determine if the Moto razr or the Galaxy Z Flip is your GadgetMatch.

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Honor 50 and Honor 50 Lite launch globally

With Google Mobile Services (GMS)

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Honor’s bounce back smartphones since parting ways with Huawei is something we’re keeping an eye on. Today, they just launched the Honor 50 and Honor 50 Lite — both still with traces of its Huawei lineage but with Google Mobile Services.

This new pair of smartphones hasn’t strayed too far from Huawei. But operating independently from the company blacklisted in the USA means gaining access to what Huawei lost — Google Mobile Services or GMS.

Honor 50

The Honor 50 is recognizing the growing trend of short-form videos. With this in mind, they put a 32MP front-facing camera with a 90-degree viewing angle so you can shoot for TikTok, Reels, or YouTube Shorts.

On the back, meanwhile, you’ll find the 108MP main camera flanked by an 8MP ultra-wide angle camera as well as throwaway additions 2MP depth, and 2MP macro cameras.

It has a 6.57-inch, 75-degree curved AMOLED screen that supports 120Hz refresh rate. If you’re into mobile gaming, it also has a 300Hz touch sampling rate so remain competitive. Powering the device is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 778 5G chip with a Turbo X GPU, again for high performance and lag-less mobile play.

It comes with a 4,300mAh battery with support for 66W Honor SuperCharge technology for fast wired charging. You can go from zero to 70 percent in just 20 minutes, claims Honor.

The phone runs on Android 11 but with Magic UI 4.2 on top for its own unique Android flavor.

Honor 50 Lite

The Honor 50 Lite shares much of the same features. Some key differences are its 6.67-inch FullView display and the 64MP main camera.

Pricing and availability

The Honor 50 comes in Frost Crystal, Emerald Green, or Midnight Black. There’s also the special HONOR Code edition. Honor describes it as “an innovative colorway incorporating the “HONOR” logo across the back cover.”

Pricing are as follows:

  • 6GB+128GB — EUR 529 (around US$ 614)
  • 8GB+256GB — EUR 599 (around US$ 695)

Meanwhile, the Lite version comes in just the 6GB+128GB variant and retails for EUR 299 (around US$ 347).

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The Xperia PRO-I is Sony’s first smartphone with a 1-inch camera sensor

The same camera sensor from the Sony RX100 VII

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Remember when Sharp launched the first 1.0-inch camera sensor in a smartphone? Well, Sony has finally entered the scene.

If you’ve recently picked up a Sony Xperia PRO, you might not be too thrilled about this news. This isn’t a new smartphone line from Sony, rather the successor to the Xperia PRO announced in MWC 2020.

Xperia 1 III with the PRO treatment

Just like the Xperia 1 III, the Xperia PRO-I has a 6.5-inch 4K HDR OLED display. While not the same 240Hz panel found on its Sharp counterpart, its 120Hz refresh rate is still smooth and capable in today’s needs. Other than the screen, it also has other similarities like a microSDXC card slot, Gorilla Glass 6 and Victus protection, IP65/68 water and dust resistance, among others.

Under the hood, it’s packed with the latest Snapdragon 888 5G chipset — a leap ahead from Xperia PRO’s Snapdragon 865 that was also launched this year. It also has a 4500mAh battery with support for 30W fast wired charging and a sole 512GB + 12GB configuration.

Alpha-grade cameras

What sets the Xperia PRO-I apart from its cousin and sibling are the new set of cameras — particularly that large 1-inch Exmor RS camera sensor you barely find on smartphones nowadays. Rather, it’s found on capable compact cameras like the Sony RX100 VII.

On paper, it still has triple 12MP cameras like the Xperia 1 III. The difference is that the 12MP wide camera has a dual variable aperture of f/2.0 and f/4.0 for that seamless bokeh transitioning like a real point-and-shoot. Ultra-wide is the same at 12MP f/2.2 with 124-degree FoV (Field of View) but the telephoto lens is a downgrade from 3-4.4x optical zoom to just 2x. There’s also a 0.3MP 3D iToF camera for depth-sensing.

On a greater note, the cameras have high-index optical glass spherical lenses that were fit in such slim form. They’re also coated with ZEISS T* coating to avoid pesky reflections — which can also be seen in our vivo X70 Pro+ camera shootout.

For photography

For mobile photographers, the Xperia PRO-I is a true gift from gods. It has Phase Detection AF as well as OIS for less blurry photos even in the dimmest situations. It even supports 12-bit RAW support for flexible color grading especially in pro-grade monitors.

The Xperia PRO-I boasts 315 AF (Autofocus) points, Real-time Eye AF plus Real-time tracking and object tracking for precise tracking and shooting. The wide lens can shoot up to 20fps continuous shooting while the ultra-wide and telephoto lenses are restricted to 10fps. The wide lens also has an anti-distortion shutter to reduce that rolling shutter effect.

To make any Xperia PRO-I user feel at home, there’s a dedicated shutter button as well as a single shortcut key just like on any Sony camera. This ensures better focusing and shooting especially when you always shoot photos in a hurry.

For videography

4K HDR 120fps video recording is what makes this more pro of smartphone. There’s also an Optical SteadyShot with FlawlessEye for shake-free videos when panning and roaming around. You should take note though that these features are only accessible to the 24mm wide lens.

Object tracking are also supported in video mode so you can continuously record footage with one subject in focus.

For vlogging

The Xperia PRO-I is advertised as a great compact vlogging camera, too. It has Eye AF in video so the subject is still focused even when recording one’s self. Other than that, there are also stereo mics, one of which is a mono mic found on the rear side to record crystal clear audio. It even has an Intelligent Wind Filter to avoid muffled recordings outdoors.

Image by GadgetMatch

There are also vlogger-centric accessories like the 3.5-inch Vlog Monitor a la professional cinema camera monitor. This is for you to see yourself while using the great rear camera setup since the Xperia PRO-1 doesn’t have a flip screen like the RX100 VII.

Other than that, there’s also the Shooting Grip which is a common vlogging accessory you see from Sony users. This serves as both a handling grip and a mini tripod and a mount for an external mic.

For cinematography

With Xperia PRO-I’s cinematic 21:9 display, shooting 21:9 content also makes a whole lot sense. As mentioned earlier, 4K HDR 120fps recording is included to capture crisp and clear footages.

There are also eight (8) color styles perfected by Sony for you to capture cinema-grade content even with a device that fits in the palm of your hands.

For multimedia needs

Other than the inclusion of microSDXC card slot for people who need it on the go, the Sony Xperia PRO-I also has a strap hole to attach straps like a typical camera. At the same time, they’re still keeping the 3.5mm audio jack in 2021! This is to make sure that audiophiles can still enjoy LDAC and Hi-Res audio that works mostly in Sony’s wired headphones.

Pricing and availability

Sony sells the Xperia PRO-I in a single Frosted Black colorway at a whopping retail tag of EUR 1799 (US$ 2078) — that’s almost US$ 500 less than the original Xperia PRO. The Vlog Monitor gives you an additional EUR 199 (US$ 230) and the needed back cover attachment is an added EUR 89.99 (US$ 104) in the cart.

It will be available starting on December in the UK, France, Germany, the Netherlands and other European regions. Availability in other countries will follow in 2022.

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Xiaomi 11T Series launches in the Philippines

A trifecta of Xiaomi smartphone goodness

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xiaomi 11T series

The Xiaomi 11T Series has finally made it way to the Philippines. This set is the Xiaomi 11 family consisting of the Xiaomi 11T Pro, Xiaomi 11T, and the Xiaomi 11 Lite 5G NE. Those with a “T” are promising content creation goodness on a flagship package, while the Lite one is bringing flagship power in a tiny package.

We’ve covered the specs and features in this article. We’ll post excerpt of which towards the and of this pricing article. Now, we’re going to make this quick and jump straight to what you came here for.

Pricing and availability

Xiaomi 11T Pro

  • 8GB+256GB — PhP 27,990
  • 12GB+256GB — PhP 29,990

Xiaomi 11T

  • 8GB+128GB — PhP 21,990
  • 8GB+256GB — PhP 24,990

The Xiaomi 11T Pro and Xiaomi 11T come in three colors with a brushed finish: Meteorite Gray, Moonlight White, and Celestial Blue.

You can also pre-order the Xiaomi 11T Pro and Xiaomi 11T in Authorized Xiaomi Stores from October 24 to 29 and get a Mi Robot Vacuum and Mi Recyclable Eco Bag worth PhP 10,000.

Xiaomi Philippines will also have an open sale on October 30, 2021 where buyers of the Xiaomi 11T and Xiaomi 11T Pro will get a free Xiaomi 11T Series Edition Bluetooth Speaker worth PhP 3,250.

Freebies also await those who pre-order the Xiaomi 11T and Xiaomi 11T Pro in Xiaomi’s online stores. For every purchase of the Xiaomi 11T on the Xiaomi Shopee Global Store from October 24 to 29, buyers of the Xiaomi 11T Pro will get a free Mi Watch and Wireless Earphone 2 Basic. Those who decide to get the Xiaomi 11T will also be getting a Mi Watch Lite and Wireless Earphone 2 Basic.

An open sale will also be happening starting October 30 where every purchase of the Xiaomi 11T and Xiaomi 11T Pro will entitle buyers to a free Xiaomi Mi True Wireless Earphones 2 Basic.

Meanwhile, the Official Xiaomi Philippines Shopee store will also be including a free Mi Robot Vacuum  and eco bag with every purchase of the Xiaomi 11T.

Each purchase of the device comes with a 1+1 year limited warranty and free screen replacement within six months.

Xiaomi 11 Lite 5G NE

  • 6GB+128GB — PhP 16,990
  • 8GB+128GB — PhP 18,990
  • 8GB+256GB — PhP 20,990

Pre-orders of the Xiaomi 11 Lite 5G NE on the Xiaomi Shopee Global Store from October 24 to 29 will also include a free Mi Watch Lite.

On the Open Sale on October 30, buyers will be receiving a Xiaomi Mi True Wireless Earphones 2 Basic for free.

Xiaomi 11T Pro

the Xiaomi 11T Pro is the first smartphone to ship with Xiaomi’s 120W Hypercharge Technology. The company says it can juice fully juice up the phone’s 5,000mAh battery from zero to 100 percent in only 17 minutes.

That means you’ll have more time to spend creating with its triple rear camera setup. That’s a pro-grade 108MP wide angle lens, a 5MP 2x telemacro lens, and an 8MP 120° ultra-wide angle lens.

The pro-grade lens will do a lot of the heavy lifting in the “Cinemagic” department but it won’t be without help. Aiding it is the Xiaomi 11T Pro’s computational filmography capabilities. These enable features like AI Cinema modes, 8K recording and HDR10+. Xiaomi says this lets the phone take videos with the same smart ISO technology found in digital cameras.

As this is a flagship smartphone, the rest of it is pretty par for the course for a 2021 premium phone. It’s powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor with the following configuration options: 8GB+128GB, 8GB+256GB, and 12GB+512GB.

The Xiaomi 11T Pro has a 6.67’’ FHD+ 120Hz AMOLED flat display. And the display comes with the usual flagship bells and whistles: TrueColor, Dolby Vision and HDR10+.

Xiaomi 11T

The Xiaomi 11T shares many similarities with the Pro variant. In fact, they’re almost indistinguishable at first glance. But the devil, of course, is always in the details.

Here’s everything that’s the same:

  • 6.67’’ FHD+ 120Hz AMOLED flat display
  • Triple camera setup: 108MP wide angle + 5MP 2x telemacro + 8MP 120° ultra-wide
  • 5000mAh battery

Here’s everything that’s different:

  • Mediatek Dimensity 1200-Ultra SOC
  • 8GB+128GB and 8GB+256GB configurations
  • 67W Wired Charging

Xiaomi 11 Lite 5G NE

If you’re not after the absolute best that Xiaomi has to offer but still want something competent, here’s the Xiaomi 11 Lite 5G NE.

It has a 6.55” AMOLED DotDisplay with all that TrueColor and Dolby Vision goodness and a 90Hz refresh rate. Despite the size, it’s pretty lightweight weighing at only 158g.

The Xiaomi 11 Lite 5G NE is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G chip and comes in the following configurations: 6GB+128GB, 8GB+128GB, and 8GB+256GB. Its 4,250mAh battery supports 33W fast charging.

Lastly, it’s also packing a triple camera setup: 64MP wide, 8MP ultra-wide, and 5MP telemacro. There’s a 20MP front-facing camera for selfie takers.

It’s worth noting that Xiaomi promised three Android Upgrades and four security patches for this set of smartphones.

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