Features

ASUS ROG Phone gets everyone hyped, Memoji is a thing: Weekend Rewind

ASUS wows, as Lenovo disappoints

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Here are this week’s top stories on GadgetMatch.

1. ROG Phone gets everyone buzzing

Even if you hid under a rock over the past week, you still might have heard all the noise that the ASUS ROG Phone made right before Computex 2018. This is a phone built with gamers in mind. The design is distinctly ROG with specs that match today’s top-of-the-line flagships. However, what sets it apart are the accessories available for purchase right when the device launches. These include a controller by GameVice, a desktop dock similar to what we’ve seen with Samsung DEX, and a TwinView dock that adds not only physical buttons but also another display.

2. Dual screen laptops are coming

Speaking of dual displays, ASUS wasn’t done making noise. They also also launched the ZenBook 15 Pro with the ScreenPad. Screen what now? Instead of the usual trackpad, ASUS put a display on its new ZenBook and it can do anything from being a second screen to enhancing the experience for certain apps.

It doesn’t end there. ASUS also showcased Project Precog — a laptop that completely takes away the physical keyboard and replaces it with another screen. Not to be outdone, Lenovo announced the Yoga Book Generation 2 which will also sport dual screens. Unfortunately, Lenovo’s next announcement was a dud.

3. Where’s the “all-screen” phone at, Lenovo?

People swooned as teasers of an “all-screen” Lenovo Z5 spread online but those swoons quickly turned into sighs as Lenovo revealed a Z5 that sports a notch. Lenovo took the “expectation versus reality” meme to heart. If you can get past the disappointment of not getting an all-screen phone, what you get with the Z5 is a midrange phone that promises AI-integration on its cameras.

4. Pixel 3 XL will look a lot like its predecessor

In yet another uninspiring smartphone design news, XDA Developers showed a leak of the Pixel 3 XL. The rear remains unchanged and you will be forgiven if you think this is the Pixel 2 XL. What’s different though is that it’s rumored to have two front-facing cameras that’s housed inside — can you guess? — yes, a notch.

5. Memoji, Dark Mode, and more awesome Apple-made OS things

Rounding up this week is a sort of encouraging news. While there was no hardware announcement at this year’s WWDC, we were peppered with a bunch of new features coming to iOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS.

iOS 12 will now feature tongue tracking on Animojis and AR Emoji killer (if you think it was ever really alive) Memoji which is an Animoji version of yourself. The next macOS is called Mojave and it introduces a slew of new features including a Dark Mode, stacks for decluttering your desktop, and more. You can read about the 18 most notable WWDC updates here.


Weekend Rewind is our roundup of top news and features you might have missed for the week. We know the world of technology can be overwhelming and not everyone has the time to get up to speed with everything — and that includes us. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the rewind.

Automotive

Teaching robots new tricks

Older replacement parts made available

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Technology has played a big role in automotive production. In the past, body panels were made by hand — by hammering sheet metal into a mold to get the desired shape. It required individual skills and craftsmanship to produce quality parts and took time to finish.

Today, these parts are all made by machines (or robots) in a process called die stamping which only takes seconds to finish. Thanks to them, car manufacturers can now produce quality products with minimal manpower.

This also allowed car brands to come out with new models with short intervals in between. And with every new update, these robots had to be reprogrammed and replaced — leaving old stamps decommissioned. The result? Owners of older car models are running out of replacement parts.

To address this, Nissan has come up with a process to program robots to create phased out parts. They call it dual-sided dieless forming.

The technique involves two robots working from opposite sides of a steel sheet with perfect synchronicity. Using diamond-coated tools to gradually shape the steel, this technique is cost-effective and can make a wide variety of replacement parts available for discontinued models. Previously, this was not possible due to high costs and limitations on equipment.

Dual-sided dieless forming had previously been considered too difficult to commercialize but thanks to Nissan’s Production Engineering Research and Development Center, the brand made three major breakthroughs.

  • The development of advanced programs capable of controlling both robots with a high degree of dimensional accuracy, enabling the formation of detailed convex and concave shapes.
  • The application of a mirrored diamond coating to tools, reducing friction while eliminating the need for lubrication. This has numerous benefits, including consistency of surface quality and low-cost, environmentally friendly operation.
  • The generation of optimized pathfinding logic for robots, drawing on the ample expertise and press-forming simulation techniques ordinarily used by Nissan’s production engineering teams. This enabled Nissan to achieve high quality results early in the development process.

Nissan plans to continue with this development and pursue mass production.

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Camera Shootouts

Mi 9T Pro vs Galaxy A50s vs Nova 5T vs A9 (2020): Camera Shootout

Which one takes the best photos?

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The midrange segment is becoming even more competitive. A plethora of smartphones was launched at nearly similar price points, and it’s tough to pick out the best among the bunch. Now that we’re nearing the end of 2019, we decided to have a camera shootout to help our readers find out which one shoots the best photos.

Participating in this shootout are Xiaomi’s flagship killer, the Mi 9T Pro; Samsung’s revamped midrange contender, the Galaxy A50s; Huawei’s flagship-like midranger, the Nova 5T; and OPPO’s massive smartphone, the A9 (2020).

Instead of the usual one-on-one comparisons, here’s a four-way “grand” shootout for you to enjoy. Analyze these photos and the camera’s performance, then decide which you believe looks best. Of course, all settings are on auto and no filters were applied. The photos are only resized for you to load the images faster.

The answers to this test will be at the bottom of the page. Let’s start!

Food

Flatlay

Macro

Shade

Portrait Mode

Ultra-wide angle

Regular

Maximum Zoom

Landscape

Backlit

Flower

Vegetation

Color Reproduction

Selfie

Night

Neon Light

Want to know which phone took which? Here are the answers:

A: Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro

B: Samsung Galaxy A50s

C: Huawei Nova 5T

D: OPPO A9 (2020)

The competition in the midrange bracket is getting tight. All of the smartphones shine respectively. At the end of the day, each round comes down to your preference — whether you like your photos warm or cool, or if you prefer highly saturated and vibrant photos, or if you need certain modes to suit your needs for smartphone photography.

We’re lucky to live in an era where affordable smartphones are as powerful and as competitive as any flagship and premium smartphones. So, what do you think? Which one is the best shooter for you, and which one is your GadgetMatch?

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Features

Huawei Nova 5T vs OPPO Reno vs Galaxy A70: Three-way comparison

Which one offers the most value?

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It’s very unusual for one person to be carrying three phones at a time. So to put some semblance of structure in this three-way comparison among the Huawei Nova 5T, the OPPO Reno, and the Samsung Galaxy A70, we’re going to be a little more straightforward with this piece.

You can expect most of our comparisons from here on out to be looked at from these five categories: General performance, media consumption, UI and design, gaming, and everyone’s favorite — cameras.

Let’s jump right in!

Everyday performance: Reliable all throughout 

When we say everyday performance, this could mean anything from keeping up with your friends on Facebook, stalking your crush on Instagram, answering emails, and replying to chats. You know, the usual.

All three smartphones do a fantastic job at what we like to call “the basics.” As they should, given all three are midrangers with the Nova 5T even carrying the Kirin 980 — a flagship-level processor that is also equipped on the Huawei P30 Pro.

In case you’re wondering, the OPPO Reno carries a Snapdragon 710 SoC while the Galaxy A70 is rocking the Snapdragon 675. One key difference we don’t see here is the size of the chips. The Kirin 980 measures 7nm while the Snapdragon 710 and 675 come in at 10nm and 11nm respectively.

The differences are minute, but taking up a smaller space goes a long way in adding more components to each phone, which in turn helps with overall performance.

Media consumption: Size and weight matters

How many times have you told yourself, “just one more episode,” before dozing off with your phone unceremoniously landing on your face?

This happens to the best of us. And you wouldn’t want that happening while using the OPPO Reno. It’s easily the heftiest of the three which makes holding the phone in your hand while getting through 40-50 minute episodes of your favorite shows extra tiring.

Meanwhile, the Galaxy A70 is the longest of the bunch. This also adds some imbalance while you’re holding the phone for an extended period.

The Nova 5T probably has the most balanced attributes in terms of size and weight, making it easier to hold the phone. And with its surprisingly light weight despite being made out of metal, it won’t hurt as much if you drop it on yourself.

The OPPO Reno and the Galaxy A70 both use AMOLED displays while the Nova 5T opts for an IPS LCD screen. At first we thought the Reno and A70 would be far and away better viewing experiences but the difference is almost negligible.

UI and Design: All can be… cleaner

We’re not really solid fans of any of the UIs. If you’ve been using Samsung recently, then you’re probably already used to ONEUI as it’s essentially a cleaner and faster version of TouchWiz. ONE UI is snappy and has less bloat. It’s a welcome change but one that still requires plenty of refinement.

We think ColorOS does look cleaner than ONEUI but something about it just doesn’t feel as snappy. The next iteration of the UI should focus on speed if it hopes to feel as premium as the way OPPO is trying to make the external design of the Reno.

EMUI is fast and probably offer more customization than ONE UI and ColorOS. Its implementation of the swipe gesture for fullscreen is already Android 10-esque and it’s easier to switch the look of the icons should you wish to do so. And since we’ve already gotten a glimpse of how clean EMUI 10 will look, it’s easy to give it an edge over the other two UIs.

Design-wise it will all come down to preference. The A70 is the most-plane looking, the OPPO Reno looks sleek, and the Nova 5T — with its 3D holographic design — is loud and flashy. Of course, if none of the looks appeal to you, there’s always the option of slapping case on the phone.

Gaming: Size matters part 2

These are the dimensions for each phone: Nova 5T (154.3 x 74 x 7.8 mm), OPPO Reno (156.6 x 74.3 x 9 mm), Galaxy A70 (164.3 x 76.7 x 7.9 mm). Why is this relevant? The length of the A70 lends itself nicely to games that are played in landscape mode.

If you have big hands, it just makes it easier to hold the phone as you move around and adjust your aim or press button. The differences may not look like a lot on paper, but it’s these little things that make it or break it for some people.

The Reno and A70 also have their own implementations of a Game Assistant. This helps concentrate the processor’s power and RAM to gaming while you’re playing. It also adds a nifty feature of blocking notifications so you can focus on your game. This wasn’t readily present on the Nova 5T.

Performance-wise, it was the Novat 5T that automatically had most settings on high graphics, thanks largely to GPU Turbo 3.0 working in tandem with 8GB of RAM. While the Reno and A70 can handle it, going down to medium might provide a better experience. There’s no need for that on the Nova 5T. Factor in the Nova 5T’s 128GB of internal storage, and you’ve got a phone that can store all of your favorite games.

Cameras: The more the merrier

What we’re going to do here is drop a few samples in this order: Nova 5T, OPPO Reno, and A70. Carefully scrutinize each one to see the output you like the most.

Food

Portrait

Selfie

Normal, Zoom, Wide

Nova 5T

OPPO Reno

Galaxy A70

You’re probably wondering why there’s no wide for the Reno and no zoom for the A70. That’s because they simply don’t have those lenses. This is the inherent advantage of the Nova 5T. Its triple camera setup is versatile giving you different perspectives all in one phone.

Final thoughts

The differences are minute and looks-wise it will come down to preference. But when it comes down to it, the Nova 5T just has more to offer overall. If you feel like you need a wide angle lens, go with the A70. If you zoom is your thing, then it’s the Reno for you.

However, wouldn’t it be nice to have all those options? That’s what the Nova 5T gives you, on top of a flagship-level performance in a sturdy metal body with a fully customizable UI.

But here’s the kicker. The Nova 5T offers all of that at the base price of PhP 18,990. Meanwhile, the OPPO Reno and the Galaxy A70 will have you spending north of PhP 22,000. So, if you’re looking for overall value among the three, it’s clear the Nova 5T should be your pick.

SEE ALSO: Huawei Nova 5T vs Samsung Galaxy A50s: Midrange heavy hitters


This feature was produced in collaboration between GadgetMatch and Huawei Philippines.

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