Features

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”]

Features

Xiaomi Mi Mix 4 leaks, Redmi vs Realme: The Rewind

It’s a megapixel party

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Here are the top stories on GadgetMatch this week.

1. Xiaomi Mi Mix 4 leaks

Xiaomi’s 108-megapixel camera phone might finally have a name — and it’s a familiar one.


Leaks suggest that the phone Xiaomi has been teasing is the Mi Mix 4 and the camera isn’t the only thing that stands out about it.  In fact it might have four lenses. Joining the main shooter are a 16-megapixel superwide lens

A 12-megapixel lens, and a periscope lens.

According to rumors we could be looking at a phone powered by the Snapdragon 855 Plus with 12GB of RAM and 1TB of internal storage. Supporting the massive specs is a 4,500mAh battery that supports 30W fast charging. Those numbers are insane.

The rumor also suggests the Mi Mix 4 might come with 5G and will re-introduce the headphone jack to the Mi Mix lineup.

There are no details about the front-facing camera. So we don’t know for sure if it’s sliding mechanism similar to the Mi Mix 3 or if we will finally see the under display camera that Xiaomi teased a while back.

We won’t find out for sure until September — that is if that rumored month of announcement also holds true.

2. Phones with 64MP cameras finally named 

It appears Xiaomi and Realme are on the path to a head-on collision

Earlier in the year, Realme teased a photo taken with a 64MP camera with Realme’s watermark on it. Just weeks ago, Xiaomi also announced that they’re working on a phone with 64MP cameras. It didn’t take too long for both companies to reveal the names of the handsets.

Redmi’s general manager shared an image taken with the 64MP camera with the phone name clearly showing Redmi Note 8 Pro.  Digging deeper, leaks suggest the phone will sport a whopping 5,000mAh battery and will be powered by the gaming-centric MediaTek Helio G90T processor A chip that hopes to rival Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855.

Over on the Realme side, the company recently launched the Realme 5 series but towards the end of the event they also teased their 64MP camera phone — the Realme XT. Rumors suggest it will sport the Snapdragon 855 plus further solidifying the potential clash that these two phones are in for.

Redmi though will be officially launching on August 29th and we might not see the Realme XT until end of September or early October.

3. Huawei in ‘battle mode’ amid US turmoil

Huawei just can’t stay out of the news.

After Trump’s latest pledge to ease Huawei’s restrictions, the US government has yet to deliver the goods. Earlier this year, Huawei gained a 90-day temporary operating license. That license has expired this week but the US government extended the license for another 90 days. Huawei isn’t happy since it still means they are in limbo.

Huawei’sCEO Ren Zhengfei issued an all-hands-on-deck ultimatum for his employees implying that underperformers will be sacked. The CEO remains determined and optimistic saying Huawei will “survive” and that they will “dominate the world.”

4. Xiaomi, OPPO, and Vivo are playing nice

File sharing in an open ecosystem like Android can be… challenging.

If you’ve experienced the wonders of Apple’s Airdrop no file sharing app really comes close. Three Chinese companies want to change that.

Xiaomi, OPPO, and Vivo have banded together forming a new cross-brand direct file transfer alliance. With this new, yet to be named file sharing feature devices of all three brands will be able to transfer files at 20 MB/s without the need of a third-party service like ShareIt.

It’s a huge step forward considering the three brands own 50% of China’s smartphone market. If this proves to be successful, it might encourage brands like Huawei to also join the fray.

5. NVIDIA GeForce Now will bring PC games to Android devices

Is cloud gaming the future?

That’s a loaded question but for now, it seems brands are gearing up for it. After the announcement of Google Stadia and Microsoft’s xCloud now comes NVIDIA’s GeForce Now. 

The cloud gaming platform has been in beta for PC, Mac, and NVIDIA Shield TV but now they’re offering something new. GeForce Now will also be available on Android.

This means you’ll be able to play Triple A games on PCs  using your Android smartphone. There is no exact date when GeForce Now will be available to the public as well as how much the platform will cost. But what it offers is promising so we will all gladly wait.


The 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.

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Hands-On

Realme 5 Pro Hands-On: It’s all about the numbers

Finally a real competitor

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Realme has launched a wide array of phones this year and it doesn’t look like they’re stopping anytime soon. The brand is extremely aggressive about marketing and thanks to immense pressure from Xiaomi, Vivo, and Samsung, they’ve unveiled the Realme 5 Pro.

It has a faster processor, quad-camera setup on the rear, and flashier design. While the Realme X is built for a slightly more premium experience, the Realme 5 Pro is intended to be an affordable all-rounder that excels at everything.


A plastic design that looks flashier

We have the Blue variant and Realme calls this a holographic design due to the reflection and slight color gradient. We’ve previously seen this diamond cut design language in a lot of other phones and it offers a new choice to users instead of just relying on a plain metal back.

The phone feels sturdy enough and has slightly curved corners for an ergonomic user experience. Realme says the phone is splash resistant including the buttons as well as the charging port.

Holographic diamond cut back

The power button is located on the right

Volume buttons and SIM-tray are located on the left

Realme has finally endorsed USB-C and the headphone jack continues its legacy

A sharp and well saturated display

The Realme X has an AMOLED panel, but this one sports an LCD screen. This cost-cutting measure shouldn’t be a major drawback since the display is very sharp and bright enough. The colors are punchy, but tend to look too saturated sometimes. Thankfully, you can adjust or even schedule the screen’s warmth.

It’s 6.3-inch screen has Gorilla Glass protection and houses a small water-drop style notch on the top. The bezels are small and the chin is quite paltry as well.

A powerful processor that’s perfect for regular use

Powering the phone is an octa-core Snapdragon 712 processor that clocks at 2.3Ghz. A dedicated NPU looks after AI operations and the base option comes with 4GB of RAM. Storage is expandable via a microSD card.

Four cameras to help you get the best shot

It has a 48-megapixel primary sensor, an 8-megapixel wide-angle lens, 2-megapixel macro lens, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. Rest assured, you’re covered from all ends. Whether its a low-light shot or a huge group photo, this setup is perfect for the average Joe.

For selfies, the notch houses a 16-megapixel front-facing shooter. Realme has added a handful of modes like Chromaboost, Nightscape, and Portrait Mode in the camera app.

ColorsOS to get you through the day

The Realme 5 Pro ships with ColorOS 6.0 and a few minor changes include new icons, smoother transitions, and filtering.

A near-perfect battery

It has a 4,000mAh battery and it is sufficient to get you through a day of heavy usage. It supports VOOC 3.0 fast charging technology and can charge your phone completely in about an hour and a half.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

The Realme 5 Pro ticks all the boxes, and we’ll be doing an in-depth review soon. For now, it offers a robust camera setup, substantial performance, and a new design. Although, a few cost-cutting measures like plastic build and LCD display are clearly visible.

ColorOS can be a deciding factor since it still isn’t well refined. If you’re looking for a long-lasting phone that has consistent updates, a Nokia-branded phone or Xiaomi’s Mi A3 are the only alternatives in this price segment. And even though the Redmi Note 7 Pro was launched just a few months back, it may have lost its edge in this ever-changing world due to a better processor, versatile camera, and faster charging.

SEE ALSO: Realme 5 series pricing and availability in India

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Camera Shootouts

Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ vs Huawei P30 Pro: Camera shootout

The current king and queen of flagship smartphones

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Samsung has launched the Galaxy Note 10 series, which currently holds the crown in DxOMark camera ratings. Previously sitting was Huawei’s flagship, the P30 Pro. Both smartphones currently pride themselves as leaders in smartphone photography, so it’s time to compare through a blind shootout!

With this shootout, you’ll get a chance to analyze each photo and pick which one is the better shooter for you. Photos are shot in auto mode with default settings. Of course, no post-processing was done except for resizing so you can easily view the images. The answer sheet can be found at the end of this comparison.


#1

#2

#3

#4

#5

#6

#7

#8

#9

#10

#11

#12

#13

#14

#15 – Selfie

#16

#17 – Portrait Mode

#18

Results

Galaxy Note 10+ — 1A, 2B, 3B, 4A, 5A, 6A, 7A, 8B, 9A, 10B, 11A, 12B, 13A, 14A, 15B, 16A, 17A, 18B

P30 Pro — 1B, 2A, 3A, 4B, 5B, 6B, 7B, 8A, 9B, 10A, 11B, 12A, 13B, 14B, 15A, 16B, 17B, 18A

Personally, both photos are astounding on their own. The Note 10+ and P30 Pro proves that they are indeed the king and queen of smartphone photography.

But when they’re being pitted against each other, the Galaxy Note 10+ shines when it comes to color reproduction. Its daylight photos have a better white balance complemented by high contrast which results in vibrant and saturated colors as seen in the blue skies and greenery. Even its night shots, the photos produced are more alive making every photos ready for uploading on social media. No more post-processing needed. However, it struggles in dark and low-light photos.

On the other hand, the P30 Pro produces brighter and warmer photos at daylight. Its colors are a little bit washed out due to added brightness and lesser contrast, however, mobile photography enthusiasts wouldn’t even bother since the photos produced can be altered depending on the user’s liking.

Furthermore, the P30 Pro provides a raw feeling on its night shots. It may be a little bit less vibrant compared to the Galaxy Note 10+, but it allows users to experiment and apply their artistic style on their captured photos during post-processing.

Optical Zoom

The Galaxy Note 10+ shines with its highly-rated cameras, but it’s still behind the P30 Pro when it comes to optical zoom. The Note 10+ has a 2x optical zoom while the P30 Pro has a 5x optical zoom.

Conclusion

It’s safe to say that both smartphones are winners at their own game, as it all comes down to a user’s preference. Thankfully, we’re now in an era where premium smartphones provide the best value their users deserve. All that’s left is for people to choose which phone they should buy.

So, how did you feel about the results? Did it help you decide which phone is really your GadgetMatch?

Share your thoughts about this shootout and connect with us on our social media channels. Don’t forget to join our growing community of fellow Matchketeers! If you have more suggestions, feel free to hit me up on Twitter.

 

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