*Points in disappointment*
It's got a bloody stupid notch!
Over the years, very few phone makers other than Samsung have produced a phone that might tempt an iPhone stalwart to switch to Android, but Huawei may have just joined the elite. Huawei’s new flagship threatens to match or best any rival with its photography - particularly in low light. The Chinese giant took the wraps off …
I have got some really nice photos from phones that none of my DSLRs could get, mainly because I always carry the phone and the DSLRs were at home at the time I saw the shot.
Yes you can get better cameras than a phone one, but most of them will be more bulky than a phone and usually not around at the time and likely draw more attention than a phone when you take photos.
+1000, back in 2005 I "invested" in one of the first ever megapixel ( well 1.3 ) camera phones a sanyo m570. the reason, was we'd just had our daughter and whilst I had a great camera I knew I'd always have my phone and I have hundreds of OK, not great quality pictures but i HAVE pictures that I wouldn't have if I'd set myself only to use my camera.
"Can someone tell me how much a standalone compact camera, of similar size and with similar image quality, would cost?"
Well my SLR cost about the same, but that only gets taken out on special occasions or for deliberate photography sessions... The rest of the time it's my phone that's the main camera for photos of kids and random things when out and about.
Like it or hate it, having a decent camera on your phone is extremely convenient and it's how most images are taken these days... People who rate that as an important feature are more likely to pay the extra... I'm not really one of those people anymore, most smartphone cameras are "good enough" to me now.
A lot less cash
.. Because physics
Yes super sensitive and high density sensors can do amazing stuff with a small amount of light
But a "proper camera" has a massive lens in comparison to a phone, so even with more "low tech" sensors and image processing the huge (in comparison) amount of light more than compensates - so as long as fairly recent tech in a new compact camera then it will be better, but beware compacts using old tech.
But the image processing tech improvements do make a difference, especially when you compare old tech to new: I have a (very in tech change terms) old Nikon DSLR body and some very nice quality zoom lenses (that were back i the day used on a "film" SLR body).
Over a year ago the camera was being put through its paces with a few days of wildlife photography (often the "targets" quite distant, moving at speed).
I got some nice pics, but (at the time quite new) bridge camera was used by one of my friends (bridge has inbuilt (non changeable) lens, significantly smaller than smallest of my lenses, but as "new" (at the time) far better electronic "wizardry"): The resolution of comparable images was far better with his camera, as was focus / image stabilization on (hand shot - non tripod mounted) small targets at speed, showing that although light gathering is key (all things being equal) that the tech makes a difference and new tech can outperform low tech even when that low tech has better optics *.
It is very impressive seeing the improvements in image processing tech in digital kit over the years
* improvement more visible on JPEG images, as bridge had far beter conversion algorithm / tech, but bridge advantage still visible on RAW so not just an artifact of image format.
It's like a rundown of everythingI don't care about in a phone.
Even-more-stupendously-ridiculous camera features that I'll never use, and more cameras to use them on.
Stupid display ratio and "follow the crowd" design nonsense.
Slow-mo video, so people can piss about doing things that are totally useless for even more time.
No removable storage or battery.
No headphone jack.
"You would think they are deliberately copying Apple and their stupidly expensive iphone X with this. Hang on ........"
The P20 Pro will be on sale on the High St, SIM-free and unlocked, for £799, which is £200 cheaper than the X. So not quite so stupidly expensive, and it's hardly the only option out there. The P20 Pro is Huawei saying "look what we can do", and I for one see far more potential here than in animated turds or personalised emoji (*). This tech has useful real-world ramifications which will filter into mainstream devices in a couple of years.
(*) Google's AR Stickers excepted, 'cos photographing your 6 year-old nephew next to an Imperial Stormtrooper makes you the best uncle evar! :-)
The P20 Pro will be on sale on the High St, SIM-free and unlocked, for £799, which is £200 cheaper than the X.
£799. I can (and have) bought a decent secondhand car and a decent brand new phone for less than that. Being £200 cheaper than something that's already ludicrously overpriced is a fairly lukewarm achievement.
@ian Michael Gumby:"... you're getting in to the true cost of the phone itself."
Not even close. An iPhone X 64Gb that retails for $999 costs $370* to make. That's some SERIOUS markup but reports suggest that the X's sales are disappointing with Apple slashing production.
The problem for Huawei is that if people can't be persuaded to spend a grand on a phone from a 'premium' brand like Apple, they're sure not gonna throw down 800 or 900 on a Huawei.
>The gobsmacking photos it can take in low light are partly down to the hardware, and partly down to “AI image stabilisation”, with the phone taking an eight-second exposure then weeding out artefacts and blur. I’m not sure why it’s called AI when really it’s interpolation, but that’s modern tech marketing for you.
The reason is that before you interpolate you really should align the separate pictures, otherwise your interpolation becomes just another blur. You need to identify and then align common points or landmarks. This process is called stacking and has been used in astro-photography for years and year. The aligning is hard, otherwise all phone cameras would have had this the last 15 years. And this is where an AI might do the job.
If it has two sim slots, seems fairly common for phones in Asia to offer two SIM slots with the 2nd slot doubling as SD card slot if you don't want to use a 2nd SIM.
I could understand more dropping SD card if they lacked the 2nd SIM slot entirely. 128GB of storage may be passable for not having SD card.
My ~4 year old Note 3s which are my daily drivers have 128GB and 256GB SD cards. Storing thousands of pictures on those SD cards is slow but for tons of HD video it works well in combination with MHL for HDMI TVs when traveling(I have a Note 4 that I bring along on travel as well with another 256GB SD card). To think the phone I had before the Note 3 with (at the time) 96GB total flash(32GB base + 64GB SD), was a HP Pre3 with 8GB total flash(no SD card).
My SD cards, like my removable batteries aren't things that are swapped often, I change batteries probably once per year(to new battery), and SD card at this rate every 2 years(to larger size).
"...very few phone makers other than Samsung have produced a phone that might tempt an iPhone stalwart to switch to Android..."
Apple themselves did.
Their iPhone 7 caused me to replace the iPhone 4S with a lovely Asus Zenfone 3.
I wouldn't have even looked at the Android ecosystem if the iPhone 7 hadn't omitted the headphone socket.
Thank you Apple. I had no idea that the transition was so painless and the grass so green.
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KM complained, "...no headphone jack yet there's room for FOUR CAMERAS."
The iPhone 7 actually does have room for a headphone socket, as so convincingly demonstrated by the wonderful 'Strange Parts' gentleman on YouTube who, as an individual geek, retrofitted a headphone socket into the iPhone in a perfectly professional manner.
Point being, if he can do it, then Apple could have done it.
The *only* reason left standing is that Apple would prefer to have the several billions of dollars in wireless earbuds sales revenue to stash in the Cayman Islands.
It's quite probable that this *is* part of a strategy to move the brand upmarket. Even if it doesn't itself sell in silly quantities, it might have a "halo" effect on their other, lower-end models and in turn let them get away with charging more for them.
Unfortunately, that bloody notch- which was stupid on the iPhone X in the first place- just makes it look like a wannabe.
Nope. Been stung once and not again by Huawei. Too few rom updates (I have a media pad tablet that has had none - not one since purchase) and terrible after sales support. Compare this to OnePlus who are still putting out updates for the OP3 on a very regular basis months after they stopped selling them.
They've improved. My Honor 8 is up to the Feb. security patch and I can see that the March patch is in testing. We're supposed to get Oreo by May, which while it is slow isn't much slower than any other non-Google vendor for a phone that's over a year old.
I can always wish for more and faster updates, but by the (poor) standards of the general Android marketplace, they're not bad. Not great either, mind.
Someone needs to do a shootout between a real camera and a "hyper megapixel" phone camera.
One thing I have noticed with most phone cameras is that they do extreme jpeg compression, thus rendering those megapixels almost useless. My photos from ca 2003 taken with an EOS 300D still look better than mobile phone images.
A lot of trickery is used, such as stacking to increase signal-to-noise, but that only works for certain types of subjects. Like HDR which sometimes works, sometimes not, depending on what moves between images.
It's hard to beat a large APS-C sensor.
@Timmy B:"Agreed totally. When I bought my camera I was told that only a small part is the sensor/body and it's the glass that really matters. Spent far more on lenses than body and still get great pictures from my 5 year old EOS 1000D."
And what's the call quality like on your camera Timmy?
"One thing I have noticed with most phone cameras is that they do extreme jpeg compression, thus rendering those megapixels almost useless. My photos from ca 2003 taken with an EOS 300D still look better than mobile phone images."
Apple iPhones and most Android flagship phones now offer the ability to shoot in RAW.
Between the sensor size and the quality of the lens, DSLR will always have the edge over a phone camera, but even so, the gap is narrowing. E.g. https://www.phonearena.com/news/Galaxy-S8-vs-2000-mirrorless-camera-and-DSLR-Ultimate-camera-face-off_id94035
Generally, we're at the point where mobile phone photos are generally Good Enough, especially a) the truism about "the best camera is the one you have with you" is definitely true and b) these days most photos are uploaded to a social media platform where they'll be downsampled to 2MP and then squinted at on a mobile phone's screen.
I have a P10 plus and don't see any problems with some of the features complained about. The EMUI is no better or worse than other Android skins or native Android. I don't have any problems using it or things that annoy me about it.
I don't have a problem with the fingerprint sensor where it is either. Never had a problem unlocking or dropping the phone while trying to unlock. Having one round the back seems odd as you would have to pick up the phone to use it.
Mine does have an SD card slot, but with 128Gb onboard, I still have 90Gb free after a year of use and plenty of photos, videos and music stored. I am not seeing the loss of that slot as such an issue as it was when phones only had 8Gb storage.
As with computers, internal storage (and RAM, to a similar degree) is increasingly pretty much the only thing which can be trimmed by OEMs looking to cut costs. Still, the march of progress has meant that even budget Android phones have a relatively decent amount of built in storage.
Over in Apple land though, it's still overly expensive to upgrade iPhone storage. Looking at mymemory.co.uk, branded 64GB cards cost around £17 while branded 128GB cards cost around £25.
Meanwhile, it currently costs £150 to upgrade from 64GB to 256GB - or roughly three to four times as much as the same amount of storage on SDXC cards.
Admittedly, it's not an exact comparison - interestingly, it looks like most of the major Android OEMs have stopped offering multiple storage-size options, at least on the CW website. But I doubt that there's any technical reasons which justify such a high markup!
1) A night-photo setting where you have to keep the camera (and the subject(s)!) stationary for 8 seconds.
2) 960fps slo-mo filming at 720p.
Are those really useful features, or just gimmicks that'll be used once or twice and then forgotten about?
Equally: a 3x optical zoom feature on a dedicated 8MP lens. Is this really needed? You'd be able to get nearly the same level of "optical" zoom by cropping the 40MP image, as Nokia did with the Lumia 1020[*]
It does feel like phone "innovations" are increasingly shallow, and driven by marketing rather than actual technological developments.
That said, I did just pick up an LG V30, precisely because it has an 120-degree ultra-wide lens. And this weekend, I was in London indulging in two of my preferred vices - drinking beer in obscure pubs and hunting down interesting street art.
So, lots of photos. And while I haven't done a scientific comparison, a rough breakdown would be:
* 60% with the 16mp main camera on the V30
* 30% with the 13mp 120mm lens on the V30
* 5% with the Nikon at 1x zoom - it has a slightly wider FoV than the 16mp main camera on the V30
* 5% with the Nikon at a higher zoom level
So yeah, in an urban/social-drinking setting, the wide angle lens was definitely more useful than optical zoom. In fact, I'm mildly surprised that other phone companies haven't gone down the ultra-wide route, especially for the "selfie" front camera!
[*] a quick beer-mat calculation indicates you're going from ~8000x6000 to 3200x2400, so it'd be the equivalent of ~2.5x zoom. And yes, I know the two lenses have differing f-stops, and there's other factors such as bokeh, etc. But it still feels like an overly expensive solution looking for a problem...
To the commentards here who are like, "who the hell are Huawei" or "Huawei have no brand recognition" or "Huawei have no tech expertise" or "Huawei/Android never get any updates"
Third largest smartphone manufacturer after Apple and Samsung.
All Android phones released now come with Oreo = project treble = more timely updates and more of them and the possibility to install LineageOS
These are the specs for the P20 pro, I'll leave it up to you to figure out if they're worth €900. (I think they are.)
Huawei are one of the few that design their own SoC I believe, here's how it stacks up against the competition:
disclaimer: have a Huawei Mate 9, just got Oreo, it rocks, do not see what the fuss over EMUI is at all
Qualcomm knows that if it wants developers to build and optimize AI applications across its portfolio of silicon, the Snapdragon giant needs to make the experience simpler and, ideally, better than what its rivals have been cooking up in the software stack department.
That's why on Wednesday the fabless chip designer introduced what it's calling the Qualcomm AI Stack, which aims to, among other things, let developers take AI models they've developed for one device type, let's say smartphones, and easily adapt them for another, like PCs. This stack is only for devices powered by Qualcomm's system-on-chips, be they in laptops, cellphones, car entertainment, or something else.
While Qualcomm is best known for its mobile Arm-based Snapdragon chips that power many Android phones, the chip house is hoping to grow into other markets, such as personal computers, the Internet of Things, and automotive. This expansion means Qualcomm is competing with the likes of Apple, Intel, Nvidia, AMD, and others, on a much larger battlefield.
The UBPorts community is in the final stages of preparing its next release and it's calling for testers.
Many of them are a few years old now, so there's a good chance that you've already replaced them and they sit unloved and neglected in a drawer. The starred entries in the list of devices are the best supported and should have no show-stopping problems. In order of seniority, that means: the LG-made Google Nexus 5 (2013); the original Oneplus One (2014); two models of Sony Xperia X, the F5121 and F5122 (2016); and Google's Pixel 3a and 3a XL (2019).
A Linux distro for smartphones abandoned by their manufacturers, postmarketOS, has introduced in-place upgrades.
Alpine Linux is a very minimal general-purpose distro that runs well on low-end kit, as The Reg FOSS desk found when we looked at version 3.16 last month. postmarketOS's – pmOS for short – version 22.06 is based on the same version.
Huawei's long established trading relationship with Leica to integrate the German camera maker's technology into its phones is over, the companies have confirmed.
From February 2016, all Huawei flagships were slated [PDF] to have Leica-developed lenses and branding.
Researchers at the University of California San Diego have shown for the first time that Bluetooth signals each have an individual, trackable, fingerprint.
In a paper presented at the IEEE Security and Privacy Conference last month, the researchers wrote that Bluetooth signals can also be tracked, given the right tools.
However, there are technological and expertise hurdles that a miscreant would have to clear today to track a person through the Bluetooth signals in their devices, they wrote.
The United States last week quietly eased its ban on investors holding stock in, or otherwise profiting from, Chinese companies that are felt to have ties to China's military.
The ban was first imposed by president Donald Trump with a 2020 executive order that forbade US-based individuals or entities owning shares in private Chinese companies identified as offering support to China's military, intelligence, and security agencies, by auditing their "development and modernization."
President Biden later issued a similar order of his own.
There are lots of software keyboards for smartphones and tablets alike, but one stands head and shoulders above the rest… However you can't have it.
Last year, Microsoft bought Nuance for just shy of $20 billion, mainly for its voice-to-text tools. Nuance also owned Swype, which it killed off in 2018. Microsoft, meanwhile, also owns Swiftkey, which it still offers.
A critical flaw in the LTE firmware of the fourth-largest smartphone chip biz in the world could be exploited over the air to block people's communications and deny services.
The vulnerability in the baseband – or radio modem – of UNISOC's chipset was found by folks at Check Point Research who were looking for ways the silicon could be used to remotely attack devices. It turns out the flaw doesn't just apply to lower-end smartphones but some smart TVs, too.
Check Point found attackers could transmit a specially designed radio packet to a nearby device to crash the firmware, ending that equipment's cellular connectivity, at least, presumably until it's rebooted. This would be achieved by broadcasting non-access stratum (NAS) messages over the air that when picked up and processed by UNISOC's firmware would end in a heap memory overwrite.
First Look The /e/ Foundation's de-Googled version of Android 10 has reached the market in a range of smartphones aimed at the privacy-conscious.
The idea of a privacy-centric version of Android is not new, and efforts to deliver are becoming friendlier all the time. The Register interviewed the founder of the /e/ Foundation in 2020, and reported on /e/ OS doing rather well in privacy tests the following year. Back then, the easiest way to get the OS was to buy a Fairphone, although there was also the option of reflashing one of a short list of supported devices.
India's government has reportedly started probes into the local activities of Chinese tech companies Vivo and ZTE, prompting a rebuke from China's foreign ministry.
As was the case when Indian authorities seized $725 million from Chinese gadget-maker Xiaomi, the investigations focus on possible irregular financial reporting that may amount to fraud, according to newswire Bloomberg's original report on the matter.
A Bloomberg reporter asked about the state of the investigations at the daily press conference staged by China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which produces a transcript of each day's event.
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