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Sony Xperia XZ1: What is 3D scanning and how does it work?

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Sony released their latest flagship in IFA a few months back and the device has built-in 3D scanning capabilities. Obviously, this was a feature that I got particularly excited over, and finally, I got to test it out.

This is the Sony Xperia XZ1

In true Sony fashion, the handset is sleek, boxy, and to me, very reminiscent of a chocolate bar.

Sony Xperia XZ1

It has flagship functionalities like powerful cameras (which take great photos and have super slow-mo video capabilities), a Full HD display, and a top-of-the-line Snapdragon processor.

But, most importantly, it has 3D scanning capabilities!

Now, I know that 3D scanning isn’t particularly new — you could download apps to be able to get this function on most devices — but Sony’s implementation allows you to do more fun things with your scan. You’ll see later on.

Let the 3D scanning begin!

All scanning is done via the 3D Creator app that’s built in. Though originally available on the Xperia XZ1, the app has been made available to other Sony devices, as well.

Sony Xperia XZ1 3D scanning

Said app allows for four different types of scanning modes: 360 degrees of your head, face, free form, and food. Now, I know what you’re thinking: What ever would I need to scan? Well, I’d imagine a lot. Food photography, for one, will never be the same. Imagine having 3D scans of your meals instead!

Sony Xperia XZ1 3D scanning food

Or, scan your friends to remember them by, always! Below is a scan or Marvin, our Managing Editor, which is an effective reminder to always double-check the grammar in my articles.

Besides, at this point, it’s not a matter of what you need to do, but what you can do with the 3D scanning — and you can do a lot.

How to 3D scan

Sony, in theory, makes it easier for people with no prior 3D scanning experience (i.e., me) to create scans.

Sony Xperia XZ1 3D scanning process

Figure 1

I enlisted the help of Chay, GadgetMatch’s Creative Director (perfect because I’d imagine this to be a creative activity), to put the 3D scanning app to the test.

This is how it goes: You open 3D Creator and start off by picking which type of scan you’d want to do. I chose the “head scan” for this tutorial. This means we scan 360 degrees of Chay’s likeness. The first step (as shown in Figure 1) entails fitting the subject’s face into an outline. You are then instructed, by big directional arrows, to move around the subject for the actual scanning (see Figure 2).

Sony Xperia XZ1 3D scanning a girl

Figure 2

Seems easy enough, yes? I’ve seen people do it during the launch in IFA, and I’ve even witnessed it being done to me at the Xperia XZ1’s local launch. So, I tried…

Sony Xperia XZ1 3D scanning

Figure 2.1

… and tried…

Sony Xperia XZ1 3D scanning

Figure 2.2

… and tried harder.

Sony Xperia XZ1 3D scanning

Figure 2.3: Chay getting really bored

Guess what? It wasn’t as easy as it looked. Who knew following a line could be so hard?

You also need perfect lighting and very accurate spacial-navigation skills for the perfect scans. But, let’s be honest — no one’s perfect, especially at first try. And then, there were times when the app just froze. It’s a learning process with the end of each scan telling you what went wrong, or what you could fix to better the scan (Figure 3).

Sony Xperia XZ1 3D scanning

Figure 3

When we finally finished, we ended up with less than perfect scans. Still, workable 3D scans are very impressive feats in themselves.

Sony Xperia XZ1 3D scanning results

Figure 4

In theory, we could make really detailed mini versions of Chay’s head — if we were patient enough to perfect how to do it.

Final product!

So, okay, I scanned Chay. Now what?

Well, you can 3D print all the mini-Chays you want! In some countries, Sony has even partnered with 3D printing services to make this process quick and seamless.

But, if you’re not the figurine-lover type like me, fret not: 3D Creator also has AR integration. You can dress up your mini-Chays in funky dino suits (just one among the many options) and make it dance around the real Chay like I did! Think Snapchat’s Bitmoji AR features, only better.

Sony Xperia XZ1 3D scanning AR

There are pre-set poses and actions you can make the 3D-scanned avatar do. Take photos, shoot videos, you name it. You can even use your 3D scan as a live smartphone wallpaper because, why not? The app also has social media integration so you can share said scans away. Also, a crowd favorite: GIF stickers are a possibility! See below:

Sony Xperia XZ1 3D scanning

So, is Sony’s 3D scanning worth it?

There’s still much to be improved. Don’t get me wrong — this is some great tech, but user experience can be made better, easier. I have no doubt, however, that the developments would come sooner or later.

Bottomline is: Sony has found an enjoyable way to integrate 3D scanning tech in our 2017 lives because let’s be real, who 3D prints stuff for fun? On the other hand, I send fun GIFs to people on a daily basis and this level of personalization is a dream.

Some may argue this is another useless smartphone feature, but in the age of animated emojis, I would argue otherwise.

SEE ALSO: Sony Xperia XZ1 and XZ1 Compact Hands-On

[irp posts=”19367″ name=”Xperia XZ1 and XZ1 Compact stick to Sony’s proven formula”]

Explainers

The secrets behind iPhone 13’s Cinematic Mode

Together with Apple’s VP for iPhone Product Marketing as well as their Human Interface Designer

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For the first time ever, we had a three-way interview with Apple’s VP for iPhone Product Marketing, Kaiann Drance as well as one of their leading Human Interface Designers, Johnnie Manzari. If you’re not starstruck enough, both of them appeared in Apple’s September 2021 Keynote event!

Other than new camera sensors, newer camera features are also found on the new iPhone 13 Series. One of those is the new Cinematic Mode.

If you’ve watched some of our latest iPhone videos including the Sierra Blue iPhone 12 Pro Max unboxing, we’ve let you take a sneak peek on that new video mode.

We’re not gonna lie, it’s one amazing camera feature Apple has managed to deliver.

But what are the secrets behind it? And are you curious how technicalities work?

Watch our 16-minute interview with the Apple executives explaining why Cinematic Mode is the next big thing in mobile videography.

 

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Hands-On

Apple iPhone 13 and 13 mini Unboxing and Hands-on

Which iPhone 13 is your GadgetMatch?

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After we unboxed the Sierra Blue iPhone 13 Pro Max and gold iPhone 13 Pro, it’s time to do the same to these iPhone 13 babies.

Changes with the new iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini aren’t just about the “odd” camera placement. Other than the new wide camera sensor, there’s a more powerful A15 Bionic Chip, smaller notch, and more.

Watch our iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini Unboxing and Hands-on video now to find out more!

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Huawei nova 8i: Huawei’s awesome SUPER midranger

An awesome midrange comeback

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Midrange smartphones have been the middle ground for people who want the premium of a higher end smartphone but don’t want to burn their pockets. Huawei gives in to this demand and claims the title of midrange king as they dethrone all other midrangers with their new nova 8 series — the nova 8 and nova 8i.

Here, we’ll put the spotlight on the Huawei nova 8i.

Build and design

Inheriting the Huawei P Series’ signature stylish aesthetic, the Huawei nova 8i has a fancy and premium design. It is slim, sleek, and has exquisite curved edges, which makes it really easy to grip.

Checking out its back, you’ll definitely notice the quad camera setup that’s surprisingly not bulky at all. It also has a noticeable resemblance with the Huawei Mate 30. But we’ll talk more about the cameras later on.

What also caught our attention is the gradient finish of this Moonlight Silver variant that we have which is absolutely stunning.

Fantastic display

The Huawei nova 8i has an edgeless 6.67-inch display with ultra-narrow bezels around it. This results in an immersive viewing experience for browsing your social media pages or watching your favorite music videos.

The Huawei nova 8i also sports full HD+ resolution and DCI-P3 color gamut, giving us that rich and vibrant color reproduction. Once again, Huawei taps on Tuv Rheinland for certification on low blue light emittance to ensure eye comfort for long hours of work and play. It also has a natural tone feature which automatically adjusts the colors on the display depending on your surroundings.

Gaming

Just as you would expect from a midrange phone, gaming is also something you can do with the nova 8i. With its 180Hz touch sampling rate, your favorite mobile games feel very responsive, making the gaming experience really enjoyable.

When you’re deep into gaming, the last thing you want is to be interrupted by a call or message. Well, you don’t have to worry about that since the Huawei nova 8i has a gaming assistant. You can enable settings so you won’t be disrupted and you can indulge yourself fully to the game.

But the experience is not the only thing that’s fast with the nova 8i. The 66W Huawei SuperCharge can juice up this phone up to 68 percent in just 20 minutes and can fully charge it in just 38 minutes. You can literally stare at your phone as your battery indicator rises.

Cameras

Here’s where the fun part starts. Cameras: 64MP f/1.9 main, 8MP f/2.4 ultra-wide, 2MP f/2.4 macro, 2MP f/2.4 depth, 16MP f/2.0 selfie.

The nova 8i has a quad camera setup with a 64MP main camera which uses a big 1/1.7-inch CMOS sensor. It means its camera sensor has the ability to let in more light. This results to a cleaner image and better low light performance.

And we’re telling you, this sensor is not messing around.

It lets you capture the highest resolution images you could probably ever need. Different from the usual software upscaled images typically seen on an ordinary smartphone. This gives you the capability to zoom in and crop your captured image yet still maintain a tremendous amount of details.

With the powerful cameras that the nova 8i has, you can definitely maximize its features to create your content whether just for leisure, a passion project, or social media content for your business.

EMUI and multitasking

As for its software, the Huawei nova 8i runs on EMUI 11 bringing in a bunch of convenient features that boosts your efficiency. For one, if you’re someone who loves multitasking, the multi-window feature is perfect as it lets you operate multiple apps on your screen.

Speaking of apps, Huawei’s app gallery is loaded with great ones from top shopping apps like Shopee and Lazada, to the most trending ones like TikTok.

And if in case you’re having trouble finding the app for you, Petal Search has got you covered. Just type in the app or whatever it is you’re looking for and Petal Search looks it up for you on different sources making sure you get the absolute best results.

Taking screenshots has never been this easy. You can do so by just swiping down using three fingers.

And for security, a new safe sharing feature has been included on the nova 8i. We now get the option to delete information of your phone and other details before sharing your photos or screenshots.

nova 8i — easy to recommend

Jam packed with features, the nova 8i just enables you to do so much. From capturing great photos and videos to having a seamless gaming and online experience, the nova 8i is an easy phone to recommend. At its price point, it is truly worthy of its crown.

The Huawei nova 8i retails for PhP 13,999. It’s available via online Huawei Store, Lazada, Shopee and Huawei experience stores.


This feature is a collaboration between GadgetMatch and Huawei Philippines.

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