News

Samsung Galaxy S9+ takes top spot on DxOMark

Beats the Pixel 2 and iPhone X

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One of the biggest questions on everyone’s mind whenever a new smartphone launches is, “How good are the cameras?” While it’s often subjective and difficult to gauge from early photo samples, imaging authority DxOMark’s numeric ratings provide a good idea of where a handset’s cameras stand.

The latest entry is Samsung’s Galaxy S9+. It launched during Mobile World Congress earlier this week and is the first Galaxy S smartphone to own dual cameras of any sort. The setup turned out well for Samsung, as the cameras have been bestowed the highest rating ever on DxOMark’s mobile scoring.


With an overall score of 99, the Galaxy S9+ is a point higher than the previous king, the Pixel 2, and two points above the 97 of the iPhone X and Mate 10 Pro. That’s an impressive feat considering how strong the competition was during our own camera shootouts.

Here’s the breakdown of the numbers:

Where the Galaxy S9+ truly shines is in the still photos department. Its 104 points are way above the previous top score of 101 by the iPhone X. Meanwhile, the 91 video score is quite good, too, losing only to the 96 of the Pixel 2.

DxOMark praises the Samsung flagship for having no real weakness. The Galaxy S9+ is strong in all aspects, and performs well in any lighting situation. Other advantages are the secondary lens on the back for optical zooming (something the smaller Galaxy S9 doesn’t have) and a true portrait mode that blurs out the subject’s background.

But before Samsung can celebrate, they have to accept that it’s still early in 2018. With flagships from Huawei coming out soon and both Google and Apple releasing even better smartphones later this year, these rankings can easily turn to another’s favor.

We’ll have to get the Galaxy S9+ in our hands for a full review before we can attest to these scores. Stay tuned for that.

Computers

Qualcomm announces a 5G variant of the Snapdragon 8cx

In partnership with Lenovo

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5G on smartphones is already established by multiple manufacturers, but how about laptops? Qualcomm and Lenovo collaborated together to push next-generation connectivity on notebooks.

Last year’s Snapdragon 8cx chip has been upgraded this year to have 5G connectivity and it’s aptly called the Snapdragon 8cx 5G. While current laptops can have cellular connectivity, it’s not as efficient as Qualcomm’s solution. Essentially, notebooks running on Snapdragon 8cx 5G chip is always connected to the internet just like a smartphone, but without the compromise in battery life.


5G means super-fast speed which will enable Snapdragon 8cx 5G devices to load online files like it’s from local storage. Also, 8K streaming and AR/VR applications will connect seamlessly.

Since Qualcomm’s new 5G SoC is based on its previous version, it still has the key features including multi-gigabit connectivity and multi-day battery life with support for enterprise applications and security. The 5G modem used here is Qualcomm’s own Snapdragon X55 5G. 5G is not yet widely available, but the chip also sports Category 22 LTE with peak speeds of up to 2.5Gbps.

The chip is yet to come to purchasable consumer devices, but we expect it to become available first with Lenovo. Qualcomm promises to showcase more in early 2020 or when 5G is already accessible globally.

SEE ALSO: Snapdragon 855’s official AnTuTu benchmark score beats the competition

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Gaming

AMD announces faster 12-core Ryzen chips

Coming in July

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The processing war is starting up again. Fresh out of the oven, AMD has announced a variety of new chips for launch this year. In a recent press conference, Dr. Lisa Su, AMD’s chief executive, presented the company’s future — 12 cores and 7 nanometers.

First up, the 12-core Ryzen 9 3900X CPU will boast a boost clock of 4.6GHz and a base clock of 3.8GHz. It will also sport 70MB of cache memory. Notably, AMD’s new chip will go up against Intel’s Core i9-9920X. Su demonstrated her chip’s performance against Intel’s driver. In comparison, the Ryzen 9 3900X performs more efficiently and cooler than Intel’s chip. Most impressively, AMD’s chip will retail for only US$ 499, a far cry from Intel’s US$ 1,199 price tag.


Likewise, the 8-core Ryzen 7 3700X touts the same improved efficiency. According to Su, the new chip will have a boost clock of 4.4GHz and a base clock of 3.6GHz. It will churn out 15 percent better efficiency than its predecessors. It will also produce only 65 watts of heat when active. The Ryzen 7 3700X will retail for only US$ 329, compared to its rivalling Intel Core i7-9700K’s US$ 385 price tag.

For more power, the Ryzen 7 3800K boasts more performance. Demonstrated on stage, the chip can play modern games remarkably well: 34 percent higher frame rate on League of Legends and Counter Strike: Global Offensive; 22 percent higher on PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds; 21 percent faster on Overwatch; 15 percent faster on Dota 2; and, 14 percent faster on GTA V. Similarly, it performs 37 percent faster on multi-threaded tasks. It will retail for US$ 399, compared to the Intel Core i9-990K’s US$ 484 price tag.

Besides the iconic Ryzen series, AMD also teased a new initiative: the Navi architecture. Unlike the company’s other offerings, the Navi team will build chips based on the new 7nm architecture. According to Su, the new architecture will ship with the upcoming Radeon RX 5000 series. Compared to Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 2070, the upcoming Navi chips will tout higher clock speeds and more efficient power usage. AMD is motivated to do everything better with the Navi architecture.

Unfortunately, AMD has not released a lot of details surrounding the upcoming chip. AMD is delaying a more detailed launch for June’s E3 show. However, the company has confirmed an appropriate July 7 release date for the new 7nm chips.

SEE ALSO: AMD reveals next-generation 7nm graphics card

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News

ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 receives global Android Pie update

More features coming up

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The ZenFone Max Pro M1, which had been a mainstay on our Best Smartphones list, is officially seeing its Android 9 Pie update roll out internationally.

This comes a little over a year after the phone’s original launch. According to ASUS’ official online forum, the update is targeting model ZB602KL, which is the international unit. The update’s version number is 16.2017.1905.053.


The update is about 1.5GB in size and can be accessed by checking the System Updates option under System in the main settings menu. ASUS says that the update’s push is happening in batches, so it may take longer for some users to receive it.

The hefty update includes all the features that are bundled with Android Pie, along with the latest security patch from ASUS and some bug fixes.

Last month, only the Indian version of the ZenFone Max Pro M1 could be updated to Android Pie.

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