News

Qualcomm launches faster and better Snapdragon 845

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Smartphones are about to get faster and stronger once again. As with every year, Qualcomm has announced their SoC processor for next year, the Snapdragon 845.

At their recently concluded Snapdragon Technology Summit in Hawaii, Qualcomm unveiled the details for its flagship-bound Snapdragon 845 processor. The high-end SoC (system on a chip) boasts faster performance, graphics, and image processing.

With four performance cores (clocking in at 2.8GHz) and four efficiency cores (at 1.8GHz), the Snapdragon 845 delivers 19 to 25 percent more performance over the Snapdragon 835.

Compared to last year’s Adreno 540 GPU, the Snapdragon 845 rocks an Adreno 630 upgrade. The new GPU promises a 30 percent boost in graphics performance and power efficiency. The upgrade also delivers 2.5 times more display throughput and increases flagships’ support for VR and AR apps.

The Snapdragon 845’s biggest improvement is in its image signal processor (ISP), the Spectra 280. The ISP equips phones with the ability to shoot 4K Ultra HD videos in HDR. It offers a 97 percent wider color gamut for more natural images.

The Spectra 280 can take 720p videos at up to 480 frames per second. Further, it can film 60fps videos with only a 16-megapixel camera.

Image source: Ars Technica

Taking after its rivals at Apple, the Snapdragon 845 is now compatible with face unlocking. Whereas Apple uses 30,000 dots for theirs, Qualcomm’s face unlock uses a more accurate 50,000 dots.

While 5G speeds are still far off into the future, the Snapdragon 845 builds itself ready for the technology. With its new Qualcomm X20 LTE modem, internet speeds can reach a maximum of 1,200Mbps. The modem adapts the new 60GHz 802.11ad standard.

Meanwhile, Bluetooth 5 boosts wireless connectivity by allowing faster transfers and more efficient battery usage. The latter supports a move for better compatibility with truly wireless earphones.

Whether we’ll see these features next year is still up to the smartphone manufacturers themselves. Some phones may opt to forego some features for others, for example.

The new chip, however, is already expected to launch with the flagships of Google, HTC, and Samsung. It’s also expected to make its way to Windows 10 PCs.

SEE ALSO: Snapdragon 450 is Qualcomm’s newest midrange chipset

MWC 2018

Huawei MediaPad M5 series brings the best out of Android tablets

With two sizes to choose from

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Huawei may not have launched any smartphones at Mobile World Congress 2018, but the MediaPad M5 lineup of tablets will certainly fill in the Android gap.

There are two sizes to choose from: 8.4 inches and 10.4 inches — the latter of which also has a MediaPad M5 Pro version.

The panels are covered by 2.5D glass, making multimedia content extra enjoyable to watch on the sharp 2560 x 1600-pixel resolution. And to really make the experience complete, there are Harman Kardon-tuned speakers (two for the smaller tablet and four on the larger model) capable of high-res audio.

They share a high-end Kirin 960 processor (the same found on Huawei’s flagship smartphones), 4GB of memory, up to 128GB of expandable storage, and Android 8.0 Oreo with Huawei’s special EMUI 8.0 interface. A 13-megapixel camera with autofocus can be found on the back, while the front sensor has 8 megapixels.

The MediaPad M5 Pro’s key selling point is its inclusion of Huawei’s pressure-sensitive M-Pen for taking down notes and drawing. Each size also offers LTE connectivity so you won’t have to rely on Wi-Fi or a hotspot, and all support Huawei’s QuickCharge technology.

You may choose from two distinct colors: space gray and champagne gold.

We’ll update this space with pricing and availability per region once they’re available.

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Laptops

Huawei MateBook X Pro has FullView Display and NVIDIA graphics

As gorgeous as it is powerful

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At Mobile World Congress 2018, the spotlight is on Android smartphones and tablets, but that doesn’t mean Windows laptops — being the mobile devices that they are — can’t share a part of the stage.

Huawei is leading the Windows charge with the MateBook Pro X, which is their first notebook to own a FullView Display. The 13.9-inch 3K (3000 x 2000 pixels) touchscreen is absolutely gorgeous, and is part of a body that’s only 14.6mm thin and 1.33kg light.

To keep the display free of bezels and maintain the 91 percent screen-to-body ratio, the webcam sits discreetly on the keyboard and pops up when a button is pressed. Even more convenient is the fact that the MateBook Pro X charges through USB-C, meaning your smartphone can use the same charger.

Under the hood is all the horsepower you need. The MateBook Pro X comes with an 8th-generation Core i7 or i5 processor, discrete NVIDIA GeForce MX150 graphics, up to 16GB of memory, and up to 512GB of fast SSD storage. For energy on the go, there’s a 57.4Wh battery that can last up to 14 hours of typical work usage.

The MateBook Pro X is a multimedia powerhouse, too. In addition to the breathtaking display, there’s a Dolby Atmos Sound System on board with custom quad speakers. And if you’d rather use your own headphones or external speakers, you’ll be happy to know a 3.5mm audio port is available on the side.

We have two colors to choose from: space gray and mystic silver.

Pricing and availability per region will follow as soon as the information is available.

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MWC 2018

LG announces V30S ThinQ with artificial intelligence built in

It’s all about AI

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As early reports suggested, LG didn’t introduce a completely new flagship at MWC 2018 but rather an updated V30 handset with the company’s artificial intelligence (AI) platform, ThinQ built in.

More and more companies are banking on AI. If you recall, the ThinQ platform of LG was first introduced at CES 2018 earlier this year and the V30S ThinQ is LG’s first AI phone. According to LG, the focus of their AI platform for phones is on the camera and voice recognition features.

LG V30S ThinQ in Moroccan Blue

With Vision AI, the new V30 will have three new intelligent camera features. First is the AI Cam which analyzes subjects in the frame and automatically sets the shooting mode among eight categories: portrait, food, pet, landscape, city, flower, sunrise, and sunset.

In the short time we spent with the phone, we can confirm that the AI functionality does work as promised. We shot a couple of food snaps over dinner, and some flowers outside our AirBnB, and the resulting photos indeed look better than those compared to the original V30. More exhaustive tests and samples will come soon in a Hands-On piece.

Then there’s QLens that lets you visually search for products. For example, you see an item that you like and to know more about it or purchase it online, you can point the phone’s camera to it and it’ll look it up for you. Lastly, the Bright Mode aims to enhance low-light photography on the V30 by pixel binding.

As for the voice recognition, LG has Voice AI which allows users to run apps and tinker with settings through voice commands. That’s not a groundbreaking feature nowadays, but it works with Google Assistant and it’ll be an LG-exclusive with direct and specific functions.

LG V30S ThinQ in Platinum Gray

The LG V30S ThinQ (quite a mouthful) is built on the V30’s physique and they look identical, but specs-wise, it received some upgrades. The updated phone now has 6GB of memory and 128GB of expandable storage, but if you need more space, there’s a V30S+ ThinQ variant with 256GB of storage.

In an effort to make the new V30S ThinQ distinguishable from the older version, LG gave it two new colors: Moroccan Blue and Platinum Gray. Both have a lenticular finish on the back which displays different hues under certain lighting conditions.

Reps from LG tell GadgetMatch, the V30S ThinQ will be available in Korea in the next 2-3 weeks, and will roll out to other markets soon.

SEE ALSO: LG V30 Review: Can it replace your vlogging camera?

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