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Samsung Galaxy Note 9 beats Galaxy S9+ at DxOMark

Despite having the same cameras

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When the Galaxy Note 9 first came out, Samsung didn’t promote its camera performance that much, instead saying that it uses the same setup as that of the Galaxy S9+ but with more intelligent features. Interestingly, the Note 9 went through some camera tests, and as it turns out, is significantly better at shooting than its non-stylus equivalent.

Imaging authority DxOMark made these findings recently, giving the Note 9 an overall score of 103 compared to the 99 of the S9+. For additional comparison, the Note 9 is tied with the HTC U12+ for the second spot, and they both trail the Huawei P20 Pro which still leads with 109 points.

DxOMark claims that when comparing the Note 9 to the S9+, the former does better at autofocus consistency, image stabilization, zooming in on subjects, and utilizing Samsung’s portrait mode. All these revolve around the image sensors, which explains why the two phones can have the same hardware but different performance.

Breaking down the score further, the Note 9 garnered 107 for the photo category, gaining praise for its great dynamic range, detail retention, and color reproduction. As for videos, it does well enough at subject tracking, exposure accuracy, and noise reduction to earn a score of 94.

Both these numbers handily trump the Galaxy S9+ and secure the Note 9 as Samsung’s best camera phone ever. From our own experience, we can say with certainty that this is true.

You can learn more in our hands-on video:

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Realme X2 Pro with Snapdragon 855+, 50W charging launches

The new flagship killer?

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Realme has been on a tear in 2019 and the company has no plans of stopping  after finally launching the Realme X2 Pro. It’s filled to the brim with latest features and will be going up against Xiaomi’s K20 Pro as well as the OnePlus 7T.

After its official unveiling in China and Europe last month, the Realme X2 Pro has now made its way to India. The phone has a premium design consisting of glass and metal.

On the front is a 6.5-inch Full HD+ AMOLED panel with 90Hz refresh rate and a small water-drop notch on the top. Powering the phone is a Snapdragon 855+ processor along with 8GB RAM in the base variant. For authentication, an in-display fingerprint scanner has been provided along with support for face unlock.

The camera is a major highlight and the flagship phone houses a set of four sensors on the rear: a massive 64-megapixel primary lens, a 13-megapixel telephoto lens, an 8-megapixel wide-angle lens and a 2-megapixel portrait lens. The front water-drop notch houses a 16-megapixel camera for selfies.

The battery capacity is 4,000 mAh and it comes with support for blazing-fast 50W SuperVOOC Flash Charge. Realme claims it can completely charge the phone within 35 minutes.

On the software front, Realme is sticking with Android 9 Pie and ColorOS 6.1 but an update to Android 10 is already in the works.

Realme X2 Pro is priced at INR 29,999 (US$ 417) for the 8GB+128GB option and INR 33,999 (US$ 475) for the 12GB+256GB variant.

The company also launched Realme X2 Pro Master Edition in Red Brick and Concrete color variants with 12GB+256GB configuration costing INR 34,999 (US$ 486). The sale for the Master Edition will start during Christmas.

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LG launches the first 8K OLED TV in Singapore

Massive display at a massive price

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Image credit: LG

Remember when LG launched their first 8K OLED TV at IFA 2018? Fast forward to November 2019, they finally made it available in Singapore — a first in Southeast Asia.

Just a refresher, the LG 88Z9 boasts a vibrant 88-inch OLED bezel-less display with a massive resolution of 8K Ultra HD (7680 x 4320). It’s composed of 33 million self-emitting pixels that make it stand out from the competition. The additional Cinema HDR, Dolby Vision support, Advanced HDR by Technicolor (up to 4K), Hybrid Log Gamma, and HDR10 (up to 8K) all make up for a perfect viewing experience.

The α (Alpha) 9 Gen 2 8K processor is responsible for upscaling native 4K (or Full HD) clips to 8K content, all while reducing noise. It also processes ambient lighting conditions to achieve the perfect level of brightness. There’s also an integrated 80W speaker system, which is clear and rich. The 5.1 Virtual Surround Sound and Dolby Atmos make it more immersive when watching flicks.

Other TV-inclusive features are the built-in Google Assistant and support for Apple’s AirPlay 2 and HomeKit. These provide easier controls over the TV even with just a voice command.

LG’s skilled engineers manually assembled each unit. The sophisticated Art Furniture Stand features a top-of-the-line aluminum and is carefully crafted by hand. There are only a limited number of units being produced to ensure quality in the long run.

To prove its durability, LG runs a series of TV tests. There’s an Aging Test which makes it run for 168 hours. It’s also placed inside a room above 40 degrees Celsius for 48 hours to ensure perfect performance in harsh conditions. At last, there’s an additional quality test where the TV is simulated in various viewing scenarios.

The LG 88Z9 Signature OLED TV currently retails at SG$ 59,999.

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Google Pixel 4 XL fails a bend test

Apparently, made of plastic inside

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Image source: JerryRigEverything

Prior to its official announcement, Google’s Pixel 4 was one of the most leaked phones in recent history. Even before Google could say a word, the world has seen the latest flagship from all possible angles. Unfortunately, the Pixel 4’s buzz died down immediately after the official launch. Even sadder, the smartphone’s latest appearance in the news is about a failed bend test.

As you’ve likely read from the headline, the Google Pixel 4 XL has failed a crucial bend test. Administered as always by the infamous JerryRigEverything, the test ended in a hopelessly broken flagship. Like most bend tests, the vlogger applied hand pressure twice — on a front bend and a back bend.

The first front bend concluded without a hitch. However, the second bend test cracked the phone’s upper and lower portions. Notably, the upper crack ran below the device’s camera, alluding to a clear divide between inside sections.

After the first video dropped, the vlog went deeper, hollowing out the Pixel 4 XL’s insides to discover the cracks’ true cause. Apparently, despite the glass and aluminum covering the outside of the phone, a huge chunk of the inside is molded in plastic. The design decision makes the phone lighter than other phones of similar caliber. However, it also reduces the phone’s internal integrity.

The Google Pixel 4 XL starts at US$ 899. If you’re planning on making this smartphone your daily driver, keep it out of your back pocket.

SEE ALSO: Google Pixel 4, Pixel 4 XL still great for photos, now with 90Hz panel

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