Tag Archives: AMOLED

vivo V21 + V21e Smartphones : What You Need To Know!

vivo V21 + V21e Smartphones : What You Need To Know!

vivo just launched their V21 and V21e smartphones, offering a phenomenal 44 MP front camera as their killer feature!

Here is what you need to know about the new vivo V21 and V21e smartphones!

 

vivo V21 + V21e Smartphones : 44 MP Selfie FTW!

On 28 April 2021, vivo launched their V21 and V21e smartphones, both offering a phenomenal 44 MP front camera as their killer feature!

Let’s start with this official vivo V21 series promotional video, which gives you a quick overview of their key features.

And now, here is a quick overview of their key features :

Performance

The vivo V21 is powered by the MediaTek Dimensity 800U, while the V21e runs on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G.

They both have 8 GB of RAM, with the ability to expand it with 3 GB of Extended Memory (virtual memory).

They both come with 128 GB of internal storage, which can be expanded using a microSD card.

44 MP Selfie Camera

Both smartphones come with a 44 MP selfie camera, with a wide f/2.0 aperture; and support for Super Night Selfie and AI Night Portrait.

The higher-end vivo V21 boasts two world leading features :

  • its 44 MP selfie camera supports optical image stabilisation (OIS), which allows you to take super-steady photos and videos even while walking!
  • it is the first phone to feature Dual Selfie Spotlight, for radiant selfies even in low light conditions!

Triple Rear Cameras

Both models feature the same triple camera setup – a 64 MP main camera, an 8 MP wide-angle camera, and a 2 MP macro camera.

The higher-end vivo V21 main’s camera has a slightly wider f/1.79 aperture, compared to f/1.89 for the V21e.

6.44-inch AMOLED Display

They both come with a 6.44-inch AMOLED display, which is HDR10 certified.

The higher-end vivo V21’s display is brighter at 500 nits, and comes with a higher 90 Hz refresh rate.

Large Fast-Charging Battery

Both models run on a large 4,000 mAh battery, which supports 33 watt fast charging. And yes, they both come with the 33 watt charger in box!

 

vivo V21 + V21e : Specification Comparison

We created this table to make it easy for you to compare both models :

Specifications vivo V21 vivo V21e
Display Size 6.44-inch
Display Panel AMOLED
Resolution 1080 x 2400 pixels
Brightness 500 nits 430 nits
Refresh Rate 90 Hz 60 Hz
Operating System Funtouch OS 11.1 (Android 11)
Platform MediaTek
Dimensity 800U
Qualcomm
Snapdragon 720G
RAM 8 GB
Storage 128 GB
Front Camera 44 MP OIS (f/2.0) 44 MP (f/2.0)
Rear Cameras 64 MP (f/1.79)
8 MP wide-angle (f/2.2)
2 MP macro (f/2.4)
64 MP (f/1.89)
8 MP wide-angle (f/2.2)
2 MP macro (f/2.4)
Connectivity Network : 4G LTE
Wi-Fi : 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz
Bluetooth : BT 5.1USB : Type C
GPS GPS, Beidou, Galileo, GLONASS
Battery 4,000 mAh
Charging 33 W fast charging
Dimensions 73.90 mm wide
159.68 mm tall
7.29 mm thick
74.37 mm wide
161.24 mm tall
7.38 mm thick
Weight 176 g – 177 g 171 g

 

vivo V21 + V21e : Price + Deals

Both models are available for purchase with immediate effect, at these launch prices :

  • V21 (8 GB + 128 GB) : RM1,599 (about US$390 / £280 / A$502 / S$518)
  • V21e (8 GB + 128 GB) : RM1,299 (about US$317 / £228 / A$408 / S$421)

Here are online purchase options :

If you pre-order either smartphone from now until 4 May 2021, you wlll receive :

  • 1-year extended warranty
  • 1-year screen crack protection
  • RM 50 instant rebate
  • free gifts worth RM349 (V21) / RM209 (V21e)

 

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Xiaomi Mi 11 : What You Need To Know!

Xiaomi just launched the Mi 11 – their latest flagship smartphone, boasting studio-grade cameras and top-of-the-line performance.

Here is what you need to know about the Xiaomi Mi 11 smartphone!

 

Xiaomi Mi 11 : What You Need To Know!

On 8 February 2021, Xiaomi launched the Mi 11 – their latest flagship smartphone, built around the latest Snapdragon 888 mobile platform.

Let’s start with their official launch presentation on the Mi 11 smartphone :

6.81-inch 120 Hz AMOLED Display

The Xiaomi Mi 11 has a large 6.81-inch AMOLED display, with a 120 Hz refresh rate and a 480 Hz sampling rate.

It has a resolution of 1440 x 3200 pixels, a maximum brightness of 1500 nits, and is protected by Gorilla Glass Victus.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 888

The Mi 11 is the first Xiaomi smartphone to feature the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 mobile SoC, fabricated on the 5 nm process.

It boasts eight CPU cores with a triple-tier architecture, consisting of :

  • 1 x Kryo 680 Prime core (based on ARM Cortex-X1) at up to 2.84 GHz
  • 3 x Kryo 680 Gold cores (based on ARM Cortex-A78) at up to 2.42 GHz
  • 4 x Kryo 680 Silver cores (based on ARM Cortex-A55) at up to 1.8 GHz

It also comes with an Adreno 660 GPU, Hexagon 780 DSP, Spectra 580 ISP and a built-in X60 5G/LTE modem.

RAM + Storage Options

The Xiaomi Mi 11 comes with 8 GB of LPDDR5 SDRAM memory running at 3200 MHz.

Xiaomi will offer 128 GB and 256 GB storage options, with no external storage expansion through a microSD card.

Cameras

In the front, the Xiaomi Mi 11 has a 20 MP selfie camera, with an f/2.2 aperture. In the back, it has a triple-camera system that consists of :

  • 108 MP main camera, f/1.85 aperture
  • 13 MP ultra-wide camera, f/2.4 aperture
  • 5 MP macro camera, f/2.4 aperture

This triple-camera system is supported by a single LED flash.

 

Xiaomi Mi 11 : Specifications

Specifications Xiaomi Mi 11
Display 6.81-inch AMOLED display
– 1440 x 3200 pixels, 515 ppi
– 120 Hz refresh rate
– 480 Hz sampling rate
– HDR10+, DCI-P3 colour gamut
– 1500 nits max. brightness
Protection Corning Gorilla Glass Victus (front)
Operating System MIUI 12.5 (Android 11)
Platform Qualcomm Snapdragon 888
Memory 8 GB LPDDR5-3200
Storage Options 128 GB / 256 GB (UFS 3.1)
External Storage None
Front Camera 20 MP selfie camera (f/2.2)
Rear
Cameras
108 MP Samsung HMX (f/1.85) main camera
13 MP (f/2.4) ultra-wide camera
5 MP (f/2.4) macro camera
Connectivity 5G / 4G / 3G / 2G
Wi-Fi : WiFi 6
Bluetooth : BT 5.2
USB : USB Type C
GPS Support GPS, AGPS, GLONASS, BeiDou
NFC Yes
IR Emitter Yes
Fingerprint Sensor In Display
Audio Dual speakers tuned by Harman Kardon
Battery 4,600 mAh
Charging 55 watt wired,
50 watt wireless
Width
Height
Thickness
74.6 mm
164.3 mm
8.06 mm
Weight 196 g

 

Xiaomi Mi 11 : Price + Availability

The Xiaomi Mi 11 will come in two variants, at these price points :

  • 8 GB + 128 GB : €749, approximately $903 / £657 / A$1172 / S$1203 / RM3688
  • 8 GB + 256 GB : €799, approximately $963 / £699 / A$1250 / S$1283 / RM3934

There will be two colour options – Horizon Blue (left) and Midnight Gray (right).

 

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Samsung Galaxy S21 Series Launch : Get Ready!

The Samsung Galaxy S21 smartphones are almost here! Are you guys ready for it?

While we wait for the official launch, here is everything we know about it so far!

 

Samsung Galaxy S21 Series Launch : Get Ready!

The Samsung Galaxy S21 series of smartphones is scheduled to launch on 14 January 2021 – on the last day of CES 2021.

This is unlike previous years, when they would launch it during Mobile World Congress in February or March.

This time, it’s as if Samsung wanted to quickly kick off a fresh start for their smartphones on a new year!

Like the 2021 Samsung TV first look, this will be a global event that will be streamed online on the official Samsung website.

 

Samsung Galaxy S21 Series : What We Know So Far!

Until the Samsung Galaxy S21 series launches, here is what we know so far… based on what’s been leaked.

Three Models

Samsung will offer three models :

  • 6.2-inch Galaxy S21
  • 6.7-inch Galaxy S21+ (Galaxy S21 Plus)
  • 6.8-inch Galaxy S21 Ultra

Displays

All three models will come with a Dynamic AMOLED display, with dynamic refresh rates of up to 120 Hz.

  • Galaxy S21 : 6.2-inch Dynamic AMOLED display (1080 x 2220, 120 Hz)
  • Galaxy S21+ : 6.7-inch Dynamic AMOLED display (1080 x 2220, 120 Hz)
  • Galaxy S21 Ultra : 6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED display (1440 x 2960, 120 Hz)

Performance

All three Samsung Galaxy S21 smartphone models will either use the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888, or the Samsung Exynos 2100.

Geekbench 5 Scores Single Core Multi Core
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 1,135 3,794
Samsung Exynos 2100
(Rumoured)
1,108 3,963

Samsung will offer memory options of 8 GB to 12 GB (Ultra), and storage options of 128 GB, 256 GB and 512 GB (Ultra).

Unlike the S20 series, the S21 series is rumoured NOT to come with a microSD card slot at all. 🙁

Front Camera

We believe the Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21+ will both come with a 10 MP front camera, in a central punch hole.

Only the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra will come with a higher-resolution 40 MP front camera.

Front Cameras

Both the Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21+ will come with a triple camera system :

  • 12 MP main camera
  • 12 MP ultra-wide camera
  • 64 MP telephoto camera

Only the Galaxy S21 Ultra will come with a significantly better quad-camera system, with a laser autofocus system :

  • 108 MP main camera
  • 12 MP ultra-wide camera
  • 10 MP telephoto camera (3X zoom)
  • 10 MP telephoto camera (10X zoom)

S Pen Stylus

The Samsung Galaxy S21 will not have an integrated S Pen, like the Galaxy Note20 series.

However, the Galaxy S21 Ultra will support an external S Pen, with an optional case with a storage slot.

Battery

The three models will come with different battery sizes :

  • Galaxy S21 : 4,000 mAh
  • Galaxy S21+ : 4,800 mAh
  • Galaxy S21 Ultra : 5,000 mAh

 

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2020 HP OMEN 15 Gaming Laptop : What You Need To Know!

The new 2020 HP OMEN 15 offers better gaming performance, and a 15.6-inch display with a phenomenal 300 Hz refresh rate!

Here is what you need to know about the latest OMEN gaming laptop from HP!

 

2020 HP OMEN 15 : What You Need To Know!

The 2020 HP OMEN 15 is a 15.6-inch gaming laptop, built around the 10th Gen Intel processor, and the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER Max-Q GPU.

It features a new redesigned chassis, with a smaller footprint over the last generation, and a new OMEN diamond logo in a blue to green gradient.

Gaming Performance

The 2020 HP OMEN 15 comes with two 10th Gen Intel processor options :

  • Core i7-10750H – a 6-core, 12-thread processor with a 12 MB L3 cache
  • Core i5-10300H – a 4-core, 8-thread processor with an 8 MB L3 cache

Graphics-wise, you have a lot more options to choose from, albeit all NVIDIA GPUs :

OMEN Tempest Cooling Technology

The 2020 HP OMEN 15 comes with the industry’s first IR thermopile sensor optimise cooling performance and reduce noise levels.

And its OMEN Tempest Cooling Technology features enlarged vent openings and up to a 12 V fan with three-sided venting for five-way airflow!

15.6-inch Display With 4K or 300 Hz Options!

The 2020 HP OMEN 15 has a 15.6-inch display, with different panel options to suit your requirements.

Those who want to work and game on the OMEN 15 can opt for the 4K AMOLED display, with 100% DCI-P3 colour gamut and HDR 400 support.

HP Fast Charge

The 2020 HP OMEN 15 comes with either a 3-cell or a 6-cell battery, which supports HP Fast Charge.

If you are in need of a fast charge, just power it down and you can go from 0% to 50% in just 45 minutes!

RGB vs Red Backlit Keyboard

The 2020 HP OMEN 15 comes with a full-sized keyboard, with 26-key rollover, and anti-ghosting technology.

You can opt for either a simple dragon red backlight, or a 4-zone RGB backlight, to complement its shadow black keys.

 

2020 HP OMEN 15 : Specifications + Options

Specifications 2020 HP OMEN 15
OS Options Windows 10 Pro
Windows 10 Home
CPU Options Intel Core i7-10750H
Intel Core i5-10300H
Chipset Intel HM470
Display Size 15.6-inch
Display Options 4K AMOLED display, 400 nits, 100% DCI-P3, HDR400
4K IPS display, 400 nits, 100% sRGB, 120 Hz
FHD IPS display, 300 nits, 100% sRGB, 300 Hz
FHD IPS display, 300 nits, 72% NTSC, 144 Hz
FHD IPS display, 300 nits, 72% NTSC
FHD IPS display, 250 nits, 45% NTSC, 144 Hz
FHD IPS display, 250 nits, 45% NTSC
GPU Options Intel UHD Graphics
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER Max-Q
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti
NVIDIA GeForce RTX GTX 1650
Memory Options 2 x SDRAM slots (dual channel)
Up to 32 GB DDR4-2933
Storage Options Up to 512 GB Intel SSD + 32 GB Intel Optane
Up to 1 TB PCIe NVMe TLC M.2 SSD
Up to 2 x 512 GB PCIe NVMe TLC M.2 SSDs (RAID 0)
1 x SD card reader
Networking 10/100/1000 Gigabit LAN
Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX-201 (2×2) + Bluetooth 5
I/O Ports 1 x USB Type C (GTX 1650 and 1650 Ti only)
1 x Thunderbolt 3 (all other models)
1 x USB Type A with HP Sleep and Charge
2 x USB Type A
1 x RJ-45
1 x headphone / microphone combo
1 x power port
1 x Mini DisplayPort
1 x HDMI 2.0a
Keyboard Options Red backlit with / without numeric keypad
4-zone RGB backlit with / without numeric keypad
Touchpad HP Imagepad with multi-touch support
Camera + Mic HD webcam + dual-array digital microphones
Audio Dual speakers by Bang & Olufsen
HP Audio Boost with DTS:X Ultra support
Battery Options 6-cell, 70.29 Wh Li-polymer battery
3-cell, 52.5 Wh Li-polymer battery
Power Adaptor 200 W power adaptor
150 W power adaptor
Dimensions 357.96 mm wide
239.7 mm deep
22.5 mm thick
Weight From 2.36 kg

 

2020 HP OMEN 15 : Price + Availability

The 2020 HP OMEN 15 is available with immediate effect, with a starting price of RM4,439 – approximately US$1,089 / £816 / A$1,469 / S$1,459.

Here are some online purchase options :

 

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Samsung Galaxy Note20 | Note20 Ultra : Colour Comparison!

We had the exclusive opportunity to get our hands on all colour options for the Galaxy Note20 and Galaxy Note20 Ultra smartphones!

Take a look at the three Galaxy Note20 colour options, and the three Galaxy Note20 Ultra colour options!

 

Samsung Galaxy Note20 | Note20 Ultra : A Quick Primer!

The Samsung Galaxy Note20 and Galaxy Note20 Ultra are the next-generation phablets featuring the S Pen.

They are both powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+ in the United States, and the Samsung Exynos 990 globally.

Recommended : Samsung Exynos 990 Performance : How Fast Is It?

Samsung Galaxy Note20

The Samsung Galaxy Note20 has a 6.7-inch Super AMOLED+ display, with a Full HD+ resolution.

It will come with 8 GB of RAM, up to 256 GB of storage, and a 4,300 mAh battery. Its triple camera system will support 8K video recording :

  • a 12 MP main camera,
  • a 12 MP ultra-wide camera, and
  • a 64 MP telephoto camera with 30X Space Zoom

Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra

The Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra has a 6.9-inch Dynamic AMOLED display, with a 2K+ resolution.

It will come with 12 GB of RAM, up to 512 GB of storage, and a 4,500 mAh battery. Its triple camera system will come with laser focusing and support 8K video recording :

  • a 108 MP main camera,
  • a 12 MP ultra-wide camera, and
  • a 12 MP telephoto camera with 50X Space Zoom

 

Samsung Galaxy Note20 | Note20 Ultra : Colour Comparison

We had the exclusive opportunity to get our hands on all colour options for the Galaxy Note20 and Galaxy Note20 Ultra smartphones!

Check out the colour options for all six Note20 models in this video, and tell us – which colour do you prefer?

 

Samsung Galaxy Note20 | Note20 Ultra : Colour Options

Samsung will offer the Galaxy Note20 in three colour options – Mystic Green, Mystic Gray and Mystic Bronze.

Samsung will offer the Galaxy Note20 Ultra in three colour options – Mystic Bronze, Mystic Black and Mystic White.

 

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Samsung Galaxy Note20 | Galaxy Note20 Ultra Video Leaked!

Just before the official launch of the Samsung Galaxy Note20 smartphones, an AT&T video leaked…

Take a look at the leaked video… and check out the key features and specifications of the Note20 and Note20 Ultra smartphones!

 

Samsung Galaxy Note20 | Galaxy Note20 Ultra Video Leaked!

This AT&T video of the Samsung Galaxy Note20 and Galaxy Note20 Ultra smartphones leaked ahead of the official launch, confirming earlier leaked information.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+

The US market will receive the super-fast Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+ in their Galaxy Note20 / Note20 Ultra devices.

The Plus version offers a faster Prime core (3.1 GHz, instead of 2.84 GHz), and a 10% faster Adreno 650 GPU.

The Snapdragon 865+ also adds Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2 capability, although it’s likely that Samsung may lock it at regular Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1 for “consistency”.

Globally, we expect Samsung to use the Exynos 990 mobile SoC that powers the Galaxy S20 series.

Recommended : Samsung Exynos 990 Performance : How Fast Is It?

50X Space Zoom | 30X Space Zoom

Samsung is not going to use the Galaxy S20 Ultra‘s folded lens design, replacing 100X Space Zoom with :

  • Galaxy Note20 Ultra : 50X Space Zoom
  • Galaxy Note20 : 30X Space Zoom

Different Displays

The two models will come with different displays with different resolutions :

  • Galaxy Note20 Ultra : 6.9-inch Dynamic AMOLED (2K), curved edges
  • Galaxy Note20 : 6.7-inch Super AMOLED+ (FHD+), flat

But both displays will support 120 Hz refresh rates, and HDR10+ colour.

Colour Options

Samsung will offer three colour options per model :

  • Galaxy Note20 Ultra : Mystic Bronze, Mystic Black, Mystic White

  • Galaxy Note20 : Mystic Green, Mystic Gray, Mystic Bronze

Battery Capacities

The video also confirmed earlier leaked information that they will have different battery capacities :

  • Galaxy Note20 Ultra : 4,500 mAh
  • Galaxy Note20 : 4,300 mAh

They will both support wireless charging with reverse charging capability, of course.

 

Samsung Galaxy Note20 | Galaxy Note20 Ultra : Specifications

Specifications Galaxy Note 20 5G Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G
Display 6.7-inch Infinity-O Display
Super AMOLED + Panel
6.9-inch Infinity-O Display
Dynamic AMOLED (LPTO) Panel
Display Features HDR10+, 120 Hz refresh rate
Display Resolution 1080 x 2400 pixels 1440 x 3040 pixels
Protection Corning Gorilla Glass 7, IP68
Operating System One UI 2.0 (Android Q)
Platform Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+ / Samsung Exynos 990
Memory 8 GB LPDDR5 12 GB LPDDR5
Internal Storage 128 GB / 256 GB 256 GB / 512 GB
External Storage Hybrid MicroSD Slot (up to 512 GB)
Front Camera 40 MP camera
Main Cameras 12 MP main camera (f/1.8)
12 MP ultra-wide camera (f/2.2)
64 MP 30X Space Zoom camera (f/2.0)
108 MP main camera (f/1.8)
12 MP ultra-wide camera (f/2.2)
12 MP 50X Space Zoom camera (f/3.0)
Laser focus sensor
Connectivity Bluetooth 5.1
WiFi-AX
USB 2.0 Type C
Fingerprint Sensor 3D Sonic Max
Battery 4,300 mAh 5,000 mAh
Charging 25 W 45 W
Dimensions NA NA
Weight NA NA

 

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vivo X50 + X50 Pro Gimbal Smartphones Compared!

vivo is about to launch the X50 and X50 Pro smartphones, with a unique gimbal camera system!

Here is a comparison of the two upcoming vivo smartphones, to help you decide between the two!

 

vivo X50 + X50 Pro : Official Presentation!

Let’s start with the official vivo X50 and X50 Pro presentation, which gives you an overview of both models, with their specifications at the end.

 

vivo X50 + X50 Pro Smartphones Compared!

The vivo X50 and X50 Pro smartphones are similar in many ways, but with some crucial differences :

Display : Only Different At The Edges

They both come with a 6.56-inch AMOLED display, with a Full HD+ resolution of 1080 x 2376 pixels, and a 90 Hz refresh rate.

The only difference – the basic X50 has a flat display with 2.5D edges, while the X50 Pro display has 3D curved edges.

Performance : Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G

They are both built around the Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G mobile SoC, which features eight Qualcomm Kryo 475 processor cores, and the Qualcomm Adreno 620 GPU.

Memory + Storage : Only Storage Capacity

They both also come with 8 GB of RAM, and fast UFS 2.1 internal storage, without a microSD card slot.

The only difference is the X50 comes with 128 GB of storage, while the X50 Pro has 256 GB.

Front Camera : Same 32 MP Camera

They both feature the same 32 MP punch hole camera in the front, with f/2.5 aperture.

Rear Cameras : An Extra 5X Telephoto Camera

They both come with a 48 MP gimbal camera, a 13 MP 2X telephoto camera, an 8 MP ultra-wide camera and a 5 MP macro camera.

The X50 Pro, however, comes with an additional 8 MP periscope telephoto camera that offers 5X optical zoom.

Connectivity : The Same

Both models are 5G-capable, although that’s not much good since 5G connectivity is extremely rare, if available at all.

They both support WiFi-AC connectivity, as well as Bluetooth 5.1. They also use the bidirectional USB Type C charging and data port.

Battery + Charging : Slightly Bigger Battery

The X50 has a 4,200 mAh battery, while the Pro model has a slightly larger 4,315 mAh battery. They both support 33W fast charging.

 

vivo X50 + X50 Pro : Specifications Compared!

We summarise their key specifications for an easier comparison in this table :

Specifications vivo X50 vivo X50 Pro
Display Type 6.56-inch AMOLED (2.5D edge) 6.56-inch AMOLED (3D edge)
Display Features 1080 x 2376 pixels (398 ppi)
90 Hz refresh rate
Protection NA
Operating System Funtouch 10.5 (Android 10)
System Platform Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G
CPU 1 x Kryo 475 Prime core (2.4 GHz)
1 x Kryo 475 Gold core (2.2 GHz)
6 x Kryo 475 Silver cores (1.8 GHz)
GPU Qualcomm Adreno 620
RAM 8 GB
Storage 128 GB (UFS 2.1)
NO microSD card slot
256 GB (UFS 2.1)
NO microSD card slot
Front Camera 32 MP sensor with f/2.5 aperture
Rear Cameras 48 MP gimbal camera (f/1.6, OIS)
13 MP 2X telephoto camera (f/2.46)
8 MP ultra-wide camera (f/2.2)
5 MP macro camera (f/2.48)
48 MP gimbal camera (f/1.6, OIS)
8 MP 5X telephoto camera (f/3.4)
13 MP 2X telephoto camera (f/2.46)
8 MP ultra-wide camera (f/2.2)
5 MP macro camera (f/2.48)
Connectivity Network : 4G LTE, 3G
Wi-Fi : WiFi-AC (2.4 / 5 GHz)
Bluetooth : BT 5.1
USB : USB Type C 2.0
Fingerprint Sensor Yes, Under Display
NFC Yes
Battery 4,200 mAh Li-Ion battery
– 33W fast charging
4,315 mAh Li-Ion battery
– 33W fast charging
Dimensions 75.4 mm wide
159.5 mm tall
7.55 mm thick
72.8 mm wide
158.5 mm tall
8.0 mm thick
Weight 174.5 g 181.5 g

 

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Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra : An In-Depth Review!

The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra is the big brother of the Galaxy S20 family. The ultimate expression of Samsung’s vision for a flagship smartphone.

We hope our in-depth review of the new Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra will help you decide if this is the smartphone for you.

Find out the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra is truly worth our Editor’s Choice Award!

 

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra : The Big Brother!

The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra is the big brother of the Samsung Galaxy S20 family, the other two being the Galaxy S20 Plus and the Galaxy S20.

Beyond its size, it is the ultimate expression of its Samsung designers of their vision of a flagship smartphone for 2020.

In this table, we compare the key specifications of the three models :

Specifications Galaxy S20 Ultra Galaxy S20+ Galaxy S20
Model SM-G988 SM-G986 SM-G981
Display Size 6.9-inch 6.7-inch 6.2-inch
Display Panel Dynamic AMOLED (HDR10+ certified)
Display Resolution 1440 x 3200 pixels
Pixel Density 511 ppi 525 ppi 563 ppi
Display Refresh 60 Hz / 120 Hz
Operating System Android 10 with One UI 2.0
Protection IP68 + Gorilla Glass 6
System Platform Samsung Exynos 990 / Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
RAM 16 GB LPDDR5 (512 GB)
12 GB (128 / 256 GB)
12 GB LPDDR5 (5G)
8 GB LPDDR5 (4G)
Internal Storage 128 GB / 256 GB / 512 GB 128 GB
External Storage microSD (up to 1 TB)
Front Camera 40 MP camera 10 MP camera
Rear Cameras 108 MP main camera
48 MP 10X telephoto
12 MP ultra-wide
DepthVision camera
12 MP main camera
64 MP 3X telephoto
12 MP ultra-wide
DepthVision camera
12 MP main camera
64 3X MP telephoto
12 MP ultra-wide
Connectivity Wi-Fi : 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax
Bluetooth : BT5.0
USB : USB Type C 2.0
Fingerprint Sensor Yes, In-Display Ultrasonic Sensor
Audio Dolby Atmos stereo speakers tuned by AKG
Battery 5,000 mAh battery
45W fast charging
4,500 mAh battery
25W fast charging
4,000 mAh battery
25W fast charging
Dimensions 76.0 mm wide
166.9 mm tall
8.8 mm thick
73.7 mm wide
161.9 mm tall
7.8 mm thick
69.1 mm wide
151.7 mm tall
7.9 mm thick
Weight 220 g (4G)
222 g (5G)
188 g (4G)
188 g (5G)
163 g

 

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra : Price + Availability

Samsung is only offering two colour options – Cosmic Black, and Cosmic Gray.

Here are its recommended retail prices :

  • Malaysia : RM 4,999 (128 GB)
  • United States : $1,399.99 (128 GB) | $1,599.99 (512 GB)
  • United Kingdom : £1,199 (128 GB) | £1,399 (512 GB)
  • Australia : A$1,999 (128 GB)

Here are the online purchase options for the Samsung Galaxy S20 family :

Malaysia

Singapore

United States

United Kingdom

Australia

 

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra : Contents

After unboxing the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra, this is what you will find :

  • Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra smartphone
  • Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra bumper case
  • Set of Samsung Galaxy S20 documents
  • 25 watt Samsung Fast Charger
  • AKG earphones (USB Type C) with spare ear buds
  • USB Type C cable
  • SIM tray extractor pin

Next Page > Hands-On, 120 Hz Display, Battery Performance

 

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Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra : Hands-On Experience

In this exclusive video, we present to you our hands-on experience of the Galaxy S20 Ultra smartphone in both colour options – Cosmic Black, and Cosmic Gray!

Samsung removed the dedicated Bixby button, so the only buttons you will find are the Volume control and Power buttons along the right edge.

The hybrid SIM tray is located at the top, with a second microphone that is used for noise cancellation.

Like the Galaxy Note 10, the Galaxy S20 Ultra no longer has the 3.5 mm audio jack. So you will only find the USB Type C connector at the bottom, flanked by the speaker and main microphone ports.

The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra does not come with an internal DAC, so you will need to use the provided USB Type C earphones, or purchase a USB-C audio adaptor with a built-in DAC.

 

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra : 120 Hz Display

One of the new features introduced in the Galaxy S20 Ultra is a 120 Hz refresh rate for its Super AMOLED display.

Doubling the refresh rate to 120 Hz allows for smoother scrolling and a more realistic gaming experience.

However, running the display at 120 Hz will reduce the Galaxy S20 Ultra’s battery life.

The display not only refreshes twice as often, the GPU has to work twice as hard.

This is why Samsung sets the display to 60Hz by default.

To ensure it will last a long time, Samsung gave it a very large 5,000 mAh battery. The corresponding Galaxy S10 Plus from last year only has a 4,100 mAh battery in comparison.

On top of that, the S20 Ultra supports 45 watt fast charging, although it only comes with a 25 watt fast charger out to the box.

 

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra : Battery Life!

We ran the PCMark Work 2.0 battery life test until its battery capacity dropped to 20% several times, with the display set to 60Hz and 120Hz. Here were the best results we obtained :

So there you have it – increasing the display refresh rate on the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra from 60Hz to 120Hz will reduce its battery life by about 21% or roughly 2.5 hours.

Work 2.0 Black Shark 2 Pro Galaxy S20 Ultra
(60 Hz)
Galaxy Note10+ Galaxy S10+ Galaxy S20 Ultra
(120 Hz)
Battery Capacity 4,000 mAh 5,000 mAh 4,300 mAh 4,100 mAh 5,000 mAh
Battery Life 12 hours 25 mins 11 hours 32 mins 10 hours 32 mins 10 hours 17 mins 9 hours 4 mins
Battery Utilisation 4.30 mAh / min. 5.78 mAh / min. 5.44 mAh / min. 5.32 mAh / min. 7.35 mAh / min.
Review Links Black Shark 2 Pro Galaxy Note10+ Galaxy S10+
Price Check UK | MY | SG | AU US | UKMY | SG | AU USUKMY US | UK | MY US | UKMY | SG | AU

Now we can see why Samsung set the display to 60Hz by default. If battery life is important, keep it at the default refresh rate of 60Hz.

But if you prefer to enjoy the 120Hz display, go on right ahead. Thanks to its large 5,000 mAh battery, the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra will last you quite a few hours!

 

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra : Recharging Speed

The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra supports 45 watt fast charging, but only comes with a 25 watt fast charger. Let’s find out just how fast it recharges its 5,000 mAh battery.

Galaxy S20 Ultra Galaxy Note10+ Black Shark 2 Pro Galaxy S10+
Battery Capacity 5,000 mAh 4,300 mAh 4,000 mAh 4,100 mAh
Charger Output 25 watts 25 watts 27 watts 15 watts
Recharging Time 57.5 minutes 63 minutes 67 minutes 91.6 minutes
Recharging Speed 69.6 mAh / min. 54.6 mAh / min. 47.8 mAh / min. 35.8 mAh / min.
Review Links Galaxy Note10+ Black Shark 2 Pro Galaxy S10+
Price Check US | UKMY | SG | AU USUKMY UK | MY | SG | AU US | UK | MY

Impressive! Even with the same 25 watt fast charger that shipped with the Galaxy Note10+, the Galaxy S20 Ultra recharged its battery 27.5% faster!

It has an excellent battery life : recharging ratio of 12:1. A general rule of thumb – for one of hour battery life, you just need to charge it for 5 minutes.

The fastest recharging happened up to the 85% level. This took just 37 minutes. Then the recharging speed slowed down, and it took a further 20.5 minutes to top up the last 15%.

Next Page > Work + Gaming Performance, RAM + Storage

 

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Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra : Performance

The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 in the United States, and Samsung Exynos 990 in the rest of the world.

Here is a comparison of the key specifications of the Exynos 990 vs Snapdragon 865 :

Exynos 990 Snapdragon 865
Process 7 nm EUV 7 nm N7P
CPU Cores 2 x Exynos M5 (2.7 GHz)
2 x Cortex-A76 (2.5 GHz)
4 x Cortex-A55 (2.0 GHz)
1 x Kryo 585 (2.8 GHz)
3 x Kryo 585 (2.4 GHz)
4 x Kryo 485 (1.8 GHz)
GPU Mali-G77 MP11 Adreno 650
Memory Support LPDDR5 LPDDR5
Storage Support UFS 3.0 / 2.1 UFS 3.0
5G Modem Exynos 5123 (Separate)
– 7.35 Gbps
Snapdragon X55 (Separate)
– 7.5 Gbps

 

Samsung Exynos 990 Work Performance : PCMark

We tested its performance using PCMark, which simulates work applications like web browsing, playing video, writing text and editing photos.

Work 2.0 Galaxy S20 Ultra Galaxy Note10+ Black Shark 2 Pro Galaxy S10+
Mobile Platform Exynos 990 Exynos 9825 Snapdragon 855+ Exynos 9820
Performance Score
(Average)
10678 8981 8384 7846
Web Browsing 9287 8293 6768 8583
Video Editing 6331 9166 5948 5524
Writing 11660 9579 9226 9076
Photo Editing 29560 19376 17595 10710
Data Manipulation 6849 6155 6339 6450
Review Links Galaxy Note10+ Black Shark 2 Pro Galaxy S10+
Price Check US | UKMY | SG | AU USUKMY US | UKMY | SG | AU US | UK | MY

What a nice surprise! Samsung Exynos has historically been rather poor at work performance.

The last-generation Exynos 9825 and Exynos 9820, for example, were significantly slower than their Qualcomm counterparts – the Snapdragon 855 and Snapdragon 855+.

But the Exynos 990 is 36% faster than the Exynos 9820 (its predecessor), and 13% faster than the Snapdragon 855.

 

Samsung Exynos 990 Gaming Performance : 3DMark

We tested its gaming performance using 3DMark, with these results.

3DMark Galaxy S20 Ultra Black Shark 2 Pro Galaxy Note10+ Galaxy S10+
Mobile Platform Exynos 990 Snapdragon 855+ Exynos 9825 Exynos 9820
Sling Shot Extreme (OpenGL) 6723 6258 5037 4470
Sling Shot Extreme (Vulkan) 5848 5386 4794 4314
Sling Shot 8075 8127 4883 4343
Review Links Black Shark 2 Pro Galaxy Note10+ Galaxy S10+
Price Check US | UKMY | SG | AU US | UKMY | SG | AU USUKMY US | UK | MY

Not bad at all! Samsung caught up with Qualcomm in gaming performance as well.

The new Exynos 990 was 7.5% faster than the Snapdragon 855+, that powered high-end gaming smartphones like the Black Shark 2 Pro, in Sling Shot Extreme, matching it in the easier Sling Shot benchmark.

Notably, the Exynos 990 was 50% faster than its predecessor, the Exynos 9820 that powered the Galaxy S10+.

 

Samsung Exynos 990 Gaming Performance : AnTuTu

We then tested the Exynos 990 using AnTuTu, yielding these results :

AnTuTu Galaxy S20 Ultra Black Shark 2 Pro Galaxy Note10+ Galaxy S10+
Mobile Platform Exynos 990 Snapdragon 855+ Exynos 9825 Exynos 9820
AnTuTu Score 518159 434168 348397 330549
CPU 151510 126170 101187 100272
GPU 218164 1881588 156700 149930
Memory 78457 65052 72051 68188
UX 70028 54788 18459 12159
Review Links Black Shark 2 Pro Galaxy Note10+ Galaxy S10+
Price Check US | UKMY | SG | AU US | UKMY | SG | AU USUKMY US | UK | MY

Will you look at that? The Samsung Exynos 990 was 19% faster than the Snapdragon 855+, and 57% faster than its predecessor, the Exynos 9820!

 

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra : RAM + Storage

The top-of-the-line model pairs 16 GB LPDDR5 memory with 512 GB fast UFS 3.0 storage. The other two models come with 12 GB LPDDR5 memory, and either 128 GB or 256 GB storage.

If that’s not enough, the Galaxy S20 Ultra has a hybrid SIM tray, which allows you to use either two nano SIM cards simultaneously, or one nano SIM card and a microSD card for additional storage.

It also supports eSIM, which allows you to activate and swap mobile plans without using a physical SIM card; as well as the possibility of using two mobile plans with a microSD card!

Our review sample was the base model, which means it comes with just 12 GB of LPDDR5 memory, and 128 GB of internal storage.

Of that, 7.5 GB of memory and 104 GB of storage is free and available to use, out-of-the-box.

Next Page > Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra Camera Features

 

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Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra : Camera Features

In the front, it has a single 40 MP camera with a wide f/2.2 aperture.

At the back, it has a quad-camera system, which consists of :

  • a 108 MP main camera with f/1.8 aperture, PDAF and OIS,
  • a 48 MP telephoto camera (10X hybrid optical zoom) with f/3.5 aperture and OIS,
  • a 12 MP ultra-wide camera with f/2.2 aperture,
  • a VGA DepthVision camera with f/1.0 aperture (for depth sensing)

In addition, it is the first Samsung smartphone to be able to record 8K videos!

We can also see a third microphone in the camera bump, which is used to support Audio Zoom – letting you zoom into the action and focus on sound from the subject, while reducing ambient noise.

10X Hybrid Optic Zoom

The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra uses a folded lens design, to deliver a 10X Hybrid Optic Zoom range in a slim design.

The lens lays flat, and is positioned at the bottom of the camera. Light from the aperture is redirected by a prism into the lens, refracting at a 90-degree angle to increase the focal length.

Space Zoom Technology

Space Zoom combines their Hybrid Optic Zoom, with AI multi-frame processing enhancements to give you incredible zoom ranges.

  • Hybrid Optic Zoom : longer zoom range by cropping their new super resolution sensor, and pairing it with new zoom lens
  • AI Multi-Frame Processing : better image quality of digitally-zoomed images through AI algorithms

Bright Night Mode

The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra also offers a Bright Night Mode to greatly improve its low-light photography capability.

Recommended : Samsung Galaxy S20 Bright Night Mode : How Useful Is It?

Without Bright Night mode enabled, you cannot make out the Minion prisoner’s hands and feet, or the details of Darth Minion’s armour.

But when we took the same scene with Bright Night mode turned on, the brightness and clarity of the scene is greatly boosted!

You can now see the Minion prisoner’s hand and feet, and the intricate details of Darth Minion’s armour, even though both are in the shadows!

In fact, even though we intentionally framed the scene with the light at the back, you can clearly see the details of all three Minions and the teddy bear.

Next Page > Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra Photo Samples

 

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Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra : Camera Performance

The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra uses the Samsung ISOCELL Bright HM1 sensor, which is notable for its large 1/33-inch sensor size and ultra-high resolution of 108 MP.

But it defaults to 12 MP – combining nine pixels into one for better image quality, especially in low-light conditions.

At the default 12 MP resolution using the new HEIC file format, each 4000 x 3000 pixel picture has a file size of only about 1-3 MB.

Even using the HEIC file format, the full 108 MP resolution of 2000 x 9000 pixels has a much larger file size of 10-20 MB!

Recommended : Samsung Galaxy S20 Camera Technologies : What’s New?

Here are 8 high-resolution unedited samples for you to check out. Click on them to load the full-sized photos, which you can also download to examine.

The pictures look really good at the default 12 MP, with great detail even if you blow them up 100%. You really don’t need to go full 108 MP.

However, please note that the main camera has a very narrow depth-of-field. While this makes for great background bokeh (the flower picture above), it can be very difficult to focus on the subject.

Take a closer look at the broccoli picture, for example. Look at how only a narrow section of florets are in focus, with the rest quickly going out-of-focus.

Next Page > Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra Video Samples

 

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Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra : Video Samples

The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra is capable of recording 8K video from its 108 MP main camera, albeit only for 5 minutes, and without electronic image stabilisation, only optical image stabilisation provided by the lens.

It retains the ability to switch between cameras, and the Camera app has been modified to allow you to zoom all the way to 100X. However, the preset steps are much wider now.

Take a look at these 1080p, 4K and 8K video samples we took :

Video Sample #1 : Blues Band (1080p)

The image quality at 1080p is exceptional, with good control of the exposure. Image stabilisation by the main camera was good, but there was some shakiness when we switched to the telephoto camera.

Its audio quality and noise cancellation were also very good. Even though it was breezy that day, you can’t hear any wind noise.

Video Sample #2 : Blues Band (4K)

This is our favourite video recording resolution. Good image quality at a high resolution, with good exposure.

Video Sample #3 : Blues Band (8K)

The detail at 8K was exceptional, and the image stabilisation (only optical) was better than we expected. But we noticed some autofocus issues – you can see some seeking even though no one is moving.

Video Sample #4 : Street Market (1080p)

In this test of its image stabilisation capabilities, you can see that at 1080p, the S20 Ultra does a very good job of cancelling out hand shake while walking.

Video Sample #5 : Street Market (4K)

Image stabilisation at 4K was very good too. Very smooth video even while walking.

Video Sample #6 : Street Market (8K)

At 8K, there is some noticeable jerkiness, but thanks to OIS, it actually turned out better than we expected.

Next Page > Samsung Galaxy S20 – Our Verdict + Award!

 

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Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra : Our Verdict + Award

As the biggest and baddest smartphone in the S20 family, the Galaxy S20 Ultra boasts everything Samsung could fit inside.

  • Large 6.9-inch high-resolution display – check!
  • 120 Hz Dynamic AMOLED panel – check!
  • Powerful new Samsung Exynos 990 platform – check!
  • Lots of free memory – check!
  • 5G connectivity – check!
  • 40 MP front camera – check!
  • 108 MP main camera – check!
  • 10X Hybrid Optic Zoom – check!
  • 100X Space Zoom – check!
  • 8K video recording – check!
  • AKG-tuned stereo speakers – check!
  • Large 5000 mAh battery – check!
  • Very fast battery charging – check!

If you want the very best Android smartphone money can buy, the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra would be right at the top of a very, very short list.

The only complaints we have are pretty short :

  • it should have come with at least 256 GB of storage
  • it has a rather short battery life, especially with the display at 120 Hz
  • it is on the bulkier and heavier side
  • it is not cheap!

On the last point, it should be pointed out that if you pay peanuts for your smartphone, you often get one designed for monkeys. It should come to no surprise that we find ourselves wishing we earned enough to afford one.

For those with deep pockets, this is really one of the best, if not the best, Android smartphones you can buy in 2020. That’s why we have no qualms but to give it our Editor’s Choice Award. Congratulations, Samsung!

 

Samsung Galaxy S20 Smartphones : Where To Buy?

Here are the online purchase options for the Samsung Galaxy S20 family :

Malaysia

Singapore

United States

United Kingdom

Australia

 

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ASUS ROG Phone 2 Global vs Tencent Edition Comparison!

Worried that gamers are swarming for the highly-affordable ROG Phone 2 Tencent Edition, ASUS urgently touted the advantages of the delayed ROG Phone 2 Global Edition.

Let’s compare the specifications of the ROG Phone 2 Tencent Edition against the ROG Phone 2 Global Edition model!

Note : ASUS has since renamed the Global Edition as the Elite Edition, with a STRIX Edition as the “global version” of the Tencent Edition, with a 1TB Ultimate Edition.

 

ROG Phone 2 – Super Fast Phone, Super Slow Rollout

ASUS launched the ROG Phone last year, calling it the world’s first smartphone designed for mobile gaming. Unfortunately, they squandered that advantage with an ultra-slow rollout in a fast-moving industry.

More nimble, new competitors like Black Shark not only introduced their own gaming smartphones, they literally surged past them.

The Black Shark 2, for example, launched way back in April 2019 with the Snapdragon 855, and they launched the Black Shark 2 PRO that is powered by the same Snapdragon 855+ that the ROG Phone 2 uses… in JULY 2019.

Of course, the ROG Phone 2 boasts a 120 Hz display, with a 1 ms response time that totally crushes the likes of Black Shark 2 and Black Shark 2 PRO, and should guarantee silky-smooth gameplay, albeit at the expense of battery life.

That’s why ASUS gave it a massive 6,000 mAh battery – so it will last for quite a few rounds. The downside? It weighs almost a quarter of a kilo and is almost a full cm thick.

Of course, Black Shark has publicly pooh-poohed the usefulness of a 120 Hz display in this recent Q&A session :

Instead of a higher refresh rate, they opted to use DC dimming to reduce eyestrain, and an integrated DSP with MEMC (Motion Estimation, Motion Compensation) capabilities to eliminate unwanted judder and blur.

There is also the issue of ASUS quietly setting the ROG Phone 2 to use a 60Hz refresh rate instead, to improve battery life.

Recommended : ROG Phone 2 : How To Turn On 90Hz / 120Hz Refresh Rate!

[adrotate group=”1″]

 

ASUS ROG Phone 2 Global vs Tencent Edition

Back in August 2019, ASUS and Tencent revealed the ROG Phone 2 Tencent Edition in China, powered by the Snapdragon 855 Plus platform.

However, ASUS did NOT want anyone to think or talk about the Tencent Edition because it is MUCH CHEAPER, and is a darn better deal than the Global Edition that they only introduced in October 2019.

They urged their media friends to talk up the ROG Phone 2 Global Edition instead. But in our honest opinion, the Tencent version is a better deal for gamers. Here’s why!

Recommended : Why ROG Phone II Tencent Is Better Than The Global Edition!

For your convenience, we compare the specifications of both models in this table :

Specifications ASUS ROG Phone 2
Global Edition
ASUS ROG Phone 2
Tencent Edition
Display 6.59-inch AMOLED display (1080 x 2340 pixels)
– 108% DCI-P3 colour gamut, 10,000:1 contrast ratio
– up to 120 Hz refresh rate, 1 ms response time
Chassis Glass Back Cover Glass + Metal Back Cover
System Platform Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Plus
Processor 1 x Qualcomm Kryo 485 Gold core (2.96 GHz)
3 x Qualcomm Kryo 485 Gold cores (2.42 GHz)
4 x Qualcomm Kryo 485 Silver cores (1.8 GHz)
GPU Qualcomm Adreno 640 (672 MHz)
RAM 12 GB LPDDR4X 8 GB LPDDR4X
Storage 512 GB / 1 TB UFS 3.0 128 GB UFS 3.0
Front Camera 24 MP front camera
Rear Cameras 48 MP main camera, with Sony IMX586 sensor, f/1.79 lens
13 MP ultra-wide camera, with 125-degree field of view
4G Network LTE Cat18
– 211 Mbps UL, 1.2 Gbps DL
LTE Cat16
– 150 Mbps UL, 1.0 Gbps DL
Connectivity WiFi : 802.11ad, 4×4 MIMO
Bluetooth : BT 5.0
WiFi : 802.11ac, 2×2 MIMO
Bluetooth : BT 5.0
Sensors Accelerometer, E-Compass, proximity sensor, Hall sensor, ambient light sensor, in-display fingerprint sensor, gyro, ultrasonic AirTrigger shoulder buttons
Audio Dual front-facing speakers with DTS:X Ultra
Battery 6,000 mAh battery
Charger 30 watt 18 watt
AeroActive Cooler Yes No
Bundled Case Aero Case Bumper Case
Box Type Six Prism Box Square Box
Dimensions 77.6 mm wide x 170.99 mm tall x 9.78 mm thick
Weight 240 g

 

Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Plus

In case you are wondering, the Snapdragon 855 Plus is just a speed-binned version of the regular Snapdragon 855. They are virtually identical.

The only differences are the clock speeds of two parts in the Snapdragon 855 Plus :

  • its single high-performance Kryo 485 Gold core is clocked at 2.96 GHz, instead of 2.84 GHz.
  • its Adreno 640 GPU is clocked at 672 MHz, instead of 585 MHz.

In other words, its advantage in mobile gaming is a 4% increase in the short boost performance of the CPU, and a 14.9% increase in peak GPU performance.

Recommended : The Snapdragon 855 Plus vs Snapdragon 855 Comparison!

 

ROG Phone 2 Global vs Tencent : Price + Availability

ASUS finally released the Global Edition (now renamed Elite Edition) in the US and India in September 2019, with other countries like Malaysia receiving a limited number in mid-October 2019.

Based on the US, European and Chinese launch prices of $899, €899 and RMB 5,999, it is a whopping 23% more expensive than the Black Shark 2 PRO – an extra RM 700 / ~US$240 / ~£136 / ~A$249!

The ROG Phone 2 Tencent Edition is much cheaper, of course. Its RMB 3,499 retail price in China translates into approximately RM 2,059 / ~US$499 / ~£399 / ~A$724!

That is 80% off the cost of the Global Edition, and 31% cheaper than the Black Shark 2 PRO!

Recommended : ASUS ROG Phone 2 vs Black Shark 2 PRO : Who Wins?

In the beginning, it was only available officially in China and India… and while you can purchase one off the grey market, you would not receive any warranty or even OTA updates for them.

But the good news is ASUS has finally released the STRIX Edition, which is basically the global version of the Tencent Edition.

Recommended : Why ROG Phone 2 STRIX Is BETTER Than Elite / Ultimate!

 

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ROG Phone 2 : How To Turn On 90Hz / 120Hz Refresh Rate!

The ASUS ROG Phone 2 boasts an excellent 120Hz display, but did you know that ASUS secretly set it to just 60Hz?

In this guide, we will show you how to switch the ROG Phone 2 from 60Hz to 90Hz or 120Hz!

 

ROG Phone 2 : 120Hz Display Stuck At 60Hz

The ASUS ROG Phone 2 (MY | SG | US | UK | AU) comes with a really nice and large 6.59-inch AMOLED display.

Its 1080 x 2340 resolution is much lower than the likes of Samsung Galaxy Note10+ or Galaxy S10+, but it boasts a 108% DCI-P3 colour gamut and a 120Hz refresh rate.

Now, that 120Hz refresh rate is the ROG Phone 2’s key selling point. ASUS claims it gives gamers a real advantage against their opponents, as well as a nicer, silkier gaming experience.

However, unbeknownst to many – ASUS actually sets the ROG Phone 2 (MY | SG | US | UK | AU) to use a 60 Hz refresh rate, making it no different from its chief rival – the Black Shark 2 PRO (MY | SG | AU | UK).

Amazingly, many gamers and some reviewers were not aware of this. If you see people commenting on how smooth the ROG Phone 2 display looks, without mentioning they manually turned on the 120Hz refresh rate – that’s just the placebo effect! 😀

Recommended : ASUS ROG Phone 2 vs Black Shark 2 PRO : Who Wins?

 

Why Does The ROG Phone 2 Use 60Hz And Not 120Hz?

Simple – as we pointed out from the very beginning – the 120Hz refresh rate will use up a lot more power than 60Hz.

Both the Qualcomm Adreno 640 GPU and the ROG Phone 2’s AMOLED display, has to work twice as hard with a 120Hz refresh rate, compared to 60Hz.

That’s why ASUS gave the ROG Phone 2 (MY | SG | US | UK | AU) a large and heavy 6,000 mAh battery. The 120Hz refresh rate would have been murder on battery life.

But ASUS also knew that reviewers and early users would comment about the poorer battery life, even with such a large battery. So the solution was apparently to quietly set the AMOLED display to use a 60Hz refresh rate.

Recommended : Why ROG Phone 2 STRIX Is BETTER Than Elite / Ultimate!

 

ROG Phone 2 : How To Turn On 90Hz / 120Hz Refresh Rate!

Now, poorer ROG Phone 2 battery life aside, it would be really foolish to pay so much more for a 120Hz display only to have it run at 60Hz. That would be like buying a Porsche with a 80 km/h speed limiter installed.

So we created this video guide to help you switch your ROG Phone 2 (MY | SG | US | UK | AU) from its default 60Hz refresh rate to 90Hz or 120Hz.

ASUS offers a total of three ROG Phone 2 refresh rate options – 60Hz (default), 90Hz and 120Hz.

You can switch the refresh rate on-the-fly, but unfortunately, it’s not part of Quick Settings. ASUS buried it in the Display settings.

Here is the quickest way to switch the ROG Phone 2’s refresh rate :

  1. Swipe down from the top of the ROG Phone 2 display to access Quick Settings.
  2. Tap on the Settings icon at the lower right corner, to bring up the Settings screen.
  3. Tap on the Display option.

  1. Under Display settings, tap on the Refresh rate option.
  2. You will see that your ROG Phone 2 is set to use 60 Hz by default.
  3. You can now select either 90 Hz or 120 Hz.

Just select the refresh rate you prefer, and the display will flicker a little as it changes the refresh rate.

That’s it – you are ready to go! Enjoy the higher refresh rate!

Recommended : Why ROG Phone II Tencent Is Better Than The Global Edition!

 

ASUS ROG Phone 2 : Where To Buy

Here are online purchase options for the ASUS ROG Phone 2 :

You can also purchase the much cheaper ROG Phone 2 Tencent Edition in the grey market. *

* Please note that if you purchase a grey market Tencent unit, you will not be entitled to warranty outside of China.

 

Recommended Reading

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Black Shark 2 PRO – EVERYTHING You Need To Know!

The Black Shark 2 PRO really impressed us when it came out, offering a great set of mobile gaming features at an affordable price point!

Here is everything you need to know about the Black Shark 2 PRO!

 

The Black Shark 2 Pro Gaming Smartphone

Black Shark 2 Pro (MY | SG | AU | UK) is a mid-cycle update of the Black Shark 2 gaming smartphone that launched back in April.

Like the recently announced ASUS ROG Phone 2, it mainly features an upgrade to the Snapdragon 855 Plus mobile platform.

Flagship Class Performance

The Black Shark 2 Pro (MY | SG | AU | UK) runs on the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Plus mobile platform, and comes with either 8 GB RAM and 128 GB of storage, or 12 GB RAM and 256 GB of storage.

Notably, it comes with UFS 3.0 storage, which is about 2X faster than the UFS 2.1 storage in Black Shark 2.

Recommended : The Snapdragon 855 Plus vs Snapdragon 855 Comparison!

Ludicrous Mode

To guarantee maximum gaming performance with no dropped frames, the Ludicrous Mode locks the CPU into its maximum clock speed.

Mille-Feuille Full Area Liquid Cooling System

The Black Shark 2 Pro (MY | SG | AU | UK) features a Mille-Feuille full area liquid cooling system that keeps the entire device cool, as opposed to just cooling the CPU and GPU.

AMOLED Display With DC Dimming

Black Shark 2 Pro (MY | SG | AU | UK) comes with a large 6.38-inch AMOLED display with DC dimming to reduce strain on the eyes.

It also boasts an integrated DSP with MEMC (Motion Estimation, Motion Compensation) capabilities to eliminate unwanted judder and blur.

Low Latency Touch Screen

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It claims to have the “world’s lowest latency touch screen“, with a response time of only 43.5 ms, slightly less than the iPhone XS at 45 ms and the Galaxy S10 at 60 ms.

Black Shark 2 Pro Has 5-Hour Battery Life

Despite its size, it only comes with a 4,000 mAh battery.  However, they assure us that it will let you game for up to 5 hours before it needs a recharge.

X+2 Antenna

To ensure maximum wireless connectivity, it features an enhanced X+2 antenna design.

The two additional side antennas help the X-type smart antenna transfer data wirelessly no matter how you grip the phone.

Black Shark 2 Pro Gaming Audio

Its audio system is designed specifically for gamers, with dual front-facing speakers. They are also 25% larger than speakers of a standard smartphone.

It also comes with three gaming microphones – two of them noise-cancelling microphones in the front to  ensure clear in-game voice chats.

4D Gaming Experience

Unlike regular smartphones, it can recognise different environments, weapons, movements and actions (e.g. hits), and can automatically vibrate itself to create a 4D gaming experience.

Black Shark 2 Pro Host Mode

If you want to play on a larger display, you can connect Black Shark 2 Pro (MY | SG | AU | UK) to a TV or monitor using a HDMI cable. Then you can play your games like a console with the optional GamePad 3.0 accessory.

Fast Charging While Gaming

It supports 27 watt fast charging, which gives you 30 minutes playing time with a quick 5-minute charge, and one full hour of gaming with just 10 minutes of charging.

You don’t even have to stop playing. Even if, for example, you are playing PUBG, it will recharge to 15% in just 30 minutes.

Recommended : Black Shark 2 PRO In-Depth Review : A Real Gaming Beast!

 

Black Shark 2 Pro Specifications

For your convenience, we compare its specifications against the Black Shark 2.

Specifications Black Shark 2 Pro Black Shark 2
Display 6.39-inch AMOLED display (1080 x 2340 pixels, 403 ppi)
– 108.9% DCI-P3 colour gamut, 430 nits max brightness
System Platform Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Plus Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
Processor 1 x Kryo 485 Gold core (2.96 GHz)
3 x Kryo 485 Gold cores (2.42 GHz)
4 x Kryo 485 Silver cores (1.8 GHz)
1 x Kryo 485 Gold core (2.84 GHz)
3 x Kryo 485 Gold cores (2.42 GHz)
4 x Kryo 485 Silver cores (1.8 GHz)
GPU Qualcomm Adreno 640 (672 MHz) Qualcomm Adreno 640 (585 MHz)
RAM 8 GB / 12 GB LPDDR4X-2133 (Dual Channel)
Storage 128 GB / 256 GB UFS 3.0 128 GB / 256 GB UFS 2.1
Front Camera 20 MP front camera with f/2.0 aperture
Rear Cameras 48 MP Sony IMX586 sensor with f/1.75 aperture
12 MP telephoto camera with f/2.2 aperture
Connectivity 4G : LTE Cat18 – 211 Mbps UL, 1.2 Gbps DL
WiFi : 802.11ac, 4×4 MIMO
Bluetooth : BT 5.0
Audio Dual, front facing speakers
Vibration Sense Yes
Fingerprint Sensor Yes, In-Display Optical Sensor
Other Sensors Gyroscope, geomagnetism, gravity, distance, ambient light and ForceTouch sensors
Battery 4,000 mAh battery
Charger 27 watt, with USB-C cable
Dimensions 75.01 mm wide x 163.61 mm tall x 8.77 mm thick
Weight 205 g

 

Black Shark 2 Pro Colour Options

Black Shark offers five colour options globally :

  • Myth Ray
  • Racing
  • Gulf Blue (aka Racing)
  • Iceberg Grey (aka Freezing Blade)
  • Shadow Black (aka Black Bolt)

However, only these three colours will be available in Malaysia :

  • Shadow Black / Black Bolt
  • Iceberg Grey / Freezing Blade
  • Gulf Blue / Racing

 

Black Shark 2 Pro Price + Availability

It comes in two variants, with these recommended retail prices :

  • 8 GB + 128 GB : RM 2,499 / ~US$599 / £545 / ~A$879 / S$739
  • 12 GB + 256 GB : RM 2,999 / ~US$709 / £635 / ~A$1,059 / S$869

Here are some online purchase options :

Malaysia

Singapore

United Kingdom

Australia

 

Recommended Reading

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2019 HUAWEI Watch GT Active | Elegant Prices + Availability!

HUAWEI just unveiled three new Watch GT smartwatches – two Watch GT Active models, and a new Watch GT Elegant model for ladies. Here are their prices and availability!

 

The 2019 HUAWEI Watch GT Active | Elegant Smartwatches

The HUAWEI Watch GT smartwatches feature a tough stainless steel chassis, with a ceramic bezel and double crown controls. They are all waterproof up to 5 ATM.

The HUAWEI Watch GT Active has a 46 mm body with a 1.39-inch AMOLED touchscreen display (454 x 454 pixels). It has a battery life of about 14 days.

The HUAWEI Watch GT Elegant, on the other hand, has a smaller 42 mm body with a 1.2-inch AMOLED touchscreen display (390 x 390 pixels). It has a battery life of about 7 days.

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The 2019 HUAWEI Watch GT Active | Elegant Price + Availability

The 46 mm HUAWEI Watch GT Active will be sold at RM 899 / ~US$ 220 / ~£ 168 / ~€ 196 from 6 April 2019 onwards. It is available with Dark Green and Orange straps.

The 42 mm HUAWEI Watch GT Active will be sold at RM 799 / ~US$ 195 / ~£ 149 / ~€ 175 from 4 May 2019 onwards.

 

Coming Soon : HUAWEI Audio + Eyewear Accessories!

Here is a sneak peek of what HUAWEI will be introducing soon  – a mini Bluetooth speaker, HUAWEI Freelace and the HUAWEI – Gentle Monster Eyewear!

 

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The Samsung Galaxy A9 2018 Review – 4X Camera, 4X Fun?

The Samsung Galaxy A9 2018 smartphone is the world’s first smartphone with four rear cameras, but are its four cameras really a game-changer?

Do 4X cameras really give you 4X the fun?

Read our in-depth review and find out if the Samsung Galaxy A9 2018 (MY | US | UK) truly has a winning formula in its four cameras!

Updated @ 2019-02-02 : Updated with additional photos and information, as well as a new battery recharging speed comparison.

Updated @ 2019-01-19 : Upgraded to an in-depth review, with 3 additional pages and 5 new videos.

Updated @ 2018-11-26 : Upgraded to a preview of the Samsung Galaxy A9 2018, with three videos.

Originally posted @ 2018-09-21


 

The Samsung Galaxy A9 2018 Revealed!

The Samsung Galaxy A9 2018 (MY | US | UK) is the world’s first smartphone to feature FOUR cameras in the rear. They are arranged in the same vertical line, matching the triple cameras of the Samsung Galaxy A7 2018.

As their designer, Sang Il Park, recently revealed, the Samsung Galaxy A9 2018 (MY | US | UK) is targeted at Millennials with a new minimalistic yet expressive design language.

 

Samsung Galaxy A9 2018 Colour Options

Samsung is offering the Samsung Galaxy A9 2018 (MY | US | UK) in three colour options – Lemonade Blue, Bubblegum Pink, and Caviar Black. Here is a video comparing the three colour options:

 

Samsung Galaxy A9 2018 Price + Availability

Although Samsung revealed the Samsung Galaxy A9 2018 (MY | US | UK) at the Galaxy UNPACKED KL 2018, it was only available for sale in November 2018. Here in Malaysia, sales kicked off on 23 November 2018.

Its launch price was €599 in Europe, and £549 in the United Kingdom. That works out to around US$ 699 in the United States, and RM 2,885 in Malaysia.

However, Malaysians are SUPER LUCKY because Samsung is only selling the Galaxy A9 2018 at RM 1,999 / ~US$ 477 / ~£372!

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Here are some direct purchase links (accurate as of 1 February 2019) :

 

The Samsung Galaxy A9 2018 Up Close!

The Samsung Galaxy A9 2018 (MY | US | UK) has a very large 6.3-inch AMOLED display with a Full HD+ resolution of 1080 x 2220 pixels. This is an Infinity Display, which means it has very thin bezels, allowing it to deliver a more immersive viewing experience in a smaller package.

The Samsung Galaxy A9 2018 (MY | US | UK) runs on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 octa-core processor with 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of internal flash storage.

The Snapdragon 660 is a mid-range SoC from mid-2017. It pairs four high-performance Kryo 260 Gold cores with four low-power Kyro 260 Silver cores, and comes with a fast Adreno 512 GPU.

Its key selling point though are its photography capabilities. Specifically, it boasts a very high-resolution 24 MP front camera, and FOUR rear cameras. We will take an in-depth look later in this preview.

All those capabilities are powered by a 3,800 mAh battery, ensconced in a chassis that is only 7.8 mm thick, and weighs only 183 grams. Unlike the Galaxy A7 2018, the Galaxy A9 2018 comes with the bi-directional USB Type C port.

Next Page > The Samsung Galaxy A9 2018 Key Features

 

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Qualcomm Snapdragon 660

Launched in May 2017, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 is a powerful mid-range mobile SoC.

It combines eight Qualcomm Kryo 260 processor cores, with an Adreno 512 GPU, a Snapdragon X12 modem, a Spectra 160 camera ISP and a Hexagon 680 DSP.

It has two processor clusters – a high-performance cluster of four Kryo 260 Gold cores running at 2.2 GHz, and a low-power cluster of four Kryo 260 Silver cores running at 1.84 GHz.

 

The Kryo 260 Gold is a semi-custom version of the Cortex-A73, while the Kryo 260 Silver is a semi-custom version of the Cortex A53.

Performance-wise, the Snapdragon 660 is up to 20% faster in processor performance than the previous year’s Snapdragon 653, and up to 30% faster in graphics performance.

 

Rear Fingerprint Sensor

Unlike the Samsung Galaxy A7 2018 which uses a side fingerprint sensor, Samsung uses a rear fingerprint sensor in the Galaxy A9 2018 (MY | US | UK).

The rear fingerprint sensor offers a familiar log-in option for many users, but it is not be possible to use while the Galaxy A9 2018 is attached to a car mount.

But more importantly, this is a new swipe-type fingerprint sensor that is much faster and accurate to use. We were impressed with how fast it took to register our fingerprints using this fingerprint sensor.

 

Dedicated Bixby Button

Unlike the Samsung Galaxy A7 2018, the Samsung Galaxy A9 2018 (MY | US | UK) supports Samsung Bixby. It even has a dedicated Bixby button.

If you are concerned about accidentally triggering the Bixby button, we are glad to report that Samsung fixed that by swapping the position of the Bixby button with the Power button.

This means the Bixby button will be the sole button on the left side, while the Volume Control and Power buttons are on the right side. This should eliminate the chance of accidentally pressing the Bixby button while trying to change the volume.

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Triple Card Tray

The Samsung Galaxy A9 2018 (MY | US | UK) has Dual SIM, Dual Standby capability, with support for LTE Cat12 downloads and LTE Cat13 uploads. The good news is – it comes with a triple card tray. In addition to the two nano SIM cards, it has a dedicated slot for a microSD card.

Now, it comes with 128 GB of internal storage, which should be plenty for most users. Even so, the microSD card slot allows you to add more storage – up to 512 GB. That would give you more storage than many laptops!

The microSD card is also useful for another reason. The Samsung Galaxy A9 2018 (MY | US | UK) is not water-resistant, so storing your recorded photos and videos on the microSD card protects them, in case you accidentally drop your phone into water… or let a car run over it.

Next Page > 4X Cameras, 4X Fun?

 

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24 MP Front Camera

In the front, the Samsung Galaxy A9 2018 (MY | US | UK) has a 24 MP camera built around the Sony IMX576 sensor, and f/2.0 lens.

The Sony IMX576 is the world’s highest-resolution image sensor, and is usually used only in flagship devices like the HUAWEI Mate 20 Pro.

The wide f/2.0 aperture will help ensure that low-light selfies are possible, even without flash.

 

4X Cameras In The Back!

The marquee feature of the Samsung Galaxy A9 2018 (MY | US | UK) is its quad-camera module in the back. It is, after all, the world’s first smartphone to feature four rear cameras.

Supported by a single LED flash, the quad camera module is made up of :

  • a 24 MP primary camera with f/1.7 lens and OIS (optical image stabilisation)
  • an 8 MP wide-angle camera with f/2.4 lens and 120º FOV
  • a 10 MP telephoto camera
  • a 5 MP depth sensor with f/2.2 lens

Even though there are four cameras, only three of them actually take pictures or videos. The depth sensor is not an imaging camera, and is only used for better depth perception, and subject separation (from the background).

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The wide angle camera boasts the same 120° viewing angle as the human eye, while the telephoto camera gives you extra reach. Here are some photos to show you the differences between the three cameras :

The 5 MP depth sensor is slaved to the main camera, allowing to deliver Live Focus and more accurate software bokeh capabilities. That said, we have to question why it is even necessary.

After all, the telephoto camera could have done a better job, as the Samsung Galaxy S9+ and Samsung Galaxy Note9 have proven. Using the telephoto camera would also have enabled Dual Capture.

Next Page > IP68? Ergonomics, How To Setup, Available Memory + Storage

 

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No IP68 Water Resistance

Last year’s Galaxy A7 2017 was the first Samsung Galaxy A series smartphone to boast IP68 dust- and water-resistance.

That means it was capable of withstanding complete immersion in water up to 1.5 m in depth, for up to 30 minutes.

Unfortunately, Samsung dropped this capability in the Samsung Galaxy A9 2018 (MY | US | UK). This is a real shame, because the IP68 dust- and water-resistance is a major KSP (key selling point) for Samsung. It is one of the ways they are able to differentiate their A series smartphones from the competition.

 

Ergonomics

The Samsung Galaxy A9 2018 (MY | US | UK) has a very large 6.3-inch AMOLED display. But because it’s an Infinity Display – basically it has thin bezels, it is still comfortable to hold. It is about the same size as a 5.7-inch smartphone like the Samsung Galaxy Note FE (Price Check).

Of course, this is still a two-handed device, because of its height. If you prefer to use only one hand, you can turn on the One-handed mode option.

The Super AMOLED display is beautiful as always. However, the Full HD+ resolution of 1080 x 2220 pixels results in a non-standard 18.5:9 display ratio. Watching movies will result in some pillarboxing – a black bar on each side of the movie.

The gradated colour scheme at the back is beautiful, and surprisingly smudge-resistant. And from what we understand, the front and back are protected by Gorilla Glass 5. Even so, we recommend using the bundled clear TPU bumper case – it protects the glass panels, while still showcasing the beautiful back.

 

Setting Up The Samsung Galaxy A9 2018

The Samsung Galaxy A9 2018 (MY | US | UK) runs on Android 8.0 Oreo, with Samsung Experience 9.0. It is very easy to set-up, and should take only about 5-7 minutes to complete.

In fact, it should take less time than usual, because the fingerprint swipe sensor is very fast and accurate. You only need about three swipes to register a fingerprint!

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Available Memory & Storage

The Samsung Galaxy A9 2018 (MY | US | UK) comes with 6 GB of LPDDR4 memory. There is relatively little bloat, with 3.9 GB (65%) of memory available for use. This is plenty enough to run several apps simultaneously, even memory-guzzling games.

It comes with 128 GB of internal flash storage, of which just under 109 GB is freeto use. That is enough space to store about 15,500 photos, 14 hours of 1080p videos, or 5 hours of 4K videos. If that’s not enough for you, you can top it up with a microSD card of up to 512 GB in capacity!

Next Page > Camera Performance – Photo + Video Samples

 

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Samsung Galaxy A9 2018 Camera Performance – Photo Samples

The Samsung Galaxy A9 2018 (MY | US | UK) uses the superb 24 MP Sony IMX576 in its primary camera, with a really bright and fast f/1.7 aperture. It is supported by an 5 MP depth sensorwith f/2.2 aperture.

The maximum 24 MP resolution is attained with the 4:3 aspect ratio, with 5664 x 4248 pixels, and a file size of between 6 MB and 7 MB.

Here are six high-resolution unedited samples for you to check out. Click on them to load the full-sized photos, which you can also download to examine.

The resolution and detail in the Samsung Galaxy A9 2018’s photos are incredible. You can see the intricate detail of the flower petals, the individual buds of the broccoli florets, and the texture of the pepper seeds.

It also did a great job of bringing out the colour of the subject matter. Every colour is accurately rendered and automatically “amped up” by AI algorithms. If you do not like the increased vividness though, you can turn off the Scene Optimiser feature.

The f/1.7 aperture naturally creates a very narrow depth of field, with a nicer bokeh effect. But you have to be more careful in framing the shot, because the subject may end up out-of-focus.

The Samsung Galaxy A9 2018 (MY | US | UK) has a Live Focus feature, but it’s not the same as the Live Focus capability in Samsung Galaxy Note9, even though it has a telephoto camera. Instead, it uses the depth sensor to separate the subject from the background, before applying a software bokeh effect to the background.

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Samsung Galaxy A9 2018 Camera Performance – Video Samples

Even though Samsung used the Sony IMX576 sensor in both front and rear main cameras, they limited the front camera to 1080p video recording.

They enabled 4K video recording for the rear cameras, but with electronic image stabilisation disabled. Image stabilisation is only enabled for 1080p or lower resolution videos.

Video Recording Test #1 : Piano Performance (1080p)

At 1080p, the electronic image stabilisation is pretty good. However, the Galaxy A9 2018 appears to have trouble controlling the brightness – the pianist, Mr. Yang, appears too dark while the bright background is overly bright.

Its noise cancellation wasn’t very good, but on the upside – the audio range is wide and rich.

Video Recording Test #2 : Piano Performance (4K)

When we increased the resolution to 4K, the video was noticeably more jerky although it was better than  we expected it to be.

Note the 5-7 seconds after we switch to the telephoto camera (and back). For a few seconds, the camera has trouble focusing, and there is a sudden jerk as it finds its focus.

Video Recording Test #3 : CNY Showcase (1080p)

The image stabilisation is good, but we noticed that the camera has some trouble focusing on a new scene as we walked up and down the showcase.

Video Recording Test #4 : CNY Showcase (4K)

Even without image stabilisation, the jerkiness was less obvious than we expected. Again, there was a slight delay before the camera focused correctly. Note how the lanterns look blur as we reach the top of the showcase, before the camera focused on them properly.

Next Page > Samsung Galaxy A9 2018 – Work, Gaming, Battery Performance

 

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Work Performance – PCMark

We tested the Samsung Galaxy A9 2018’s performance using PCMark, which simulates work applications like web browsing, playing video, writing text and editing photos.

Work 2.0 Honor Play OPPO R17 Pro Samsung Galaxy A9 2018 Samsung Galaxy A7 2018
Performance Score 7361 6475 5867 5379
Web Browsing 7695 6572 5966 5278
Video Editing 5499 5387 5195 4413
Writing 6649 5617 5324 5056
Photo Editing 13326 10740 8445 7427
Data Manipulation 5764 5331 4987 5147
Review Links Honor Play Review OPPO R17 Pro Review Galaxy A7 2018 Review
Price Check MY | US | UK MY | US MY | US | UK MY | US | UK

Even though the Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 is a rather dated mid-range SoC, it held up admirably against the newer mobile SoCs. In fact, it was 9% faster than the Samsung Exynos 7885 used in the Galaxy A7 2018, and just 9% slower than the next-generation Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 used in the OPPO R17 Pro.

 

Gaming Performance – 3DMark

Next, we tested the Galaxy A9 2018’s gaming performance using 3DMark, using the Ice Storm Unlimited test.

Ice Storm Unlimited Honor Play Samsung Galaxy A9 2018 OPPO R17 Pro Samsung Galaxy A7 2018
Gaming Score 31622 26082 15354 15354
Graphics 37351 29129 15788 15788
Physics 20576 19093 14005 14005
Graphics Test 1 208.9 fps 162.4 fps 136.5 fps 136.5 fps
Graphics Test 2 132.8 fps 103.8 fps 45.8 fps 45.8 fps
Physics Test 65.3 fps 60.6 fps 44.5 fps 44.5 fps
Review Links Honor Play Review OPPO R17 Pro Review Galaxy A7 2018 Review
Price Check MY | US | UK MY | US | UK MY | US MY | US | UK

Despite its age, the Galaxy A9’s Snapdragon 660 has pretty good gaming performance. It is 70% faster than the OPPO R17 Pro‘s Snapdragon 710, and comes within 17.5% of the flagship-class Kirin 970 that powers the Honor Play smartphone. Not bad!

 

Battery Life – PCMark

We then tested the Galaxy A9 2018’s battery performance using PCMark. It basically ran the PCMark work tests until its battery capacity dropped to 20%.

Work 2.0 OPPO R17 Pro Samsung Galaxy A7 2018 Honor Play Samsung Galaxy A9 2018
Battery Capacity 3,700 mAh 3,300 mAh 3,750 mAh 3,800 mAh
Battery Life 11 hours 54 mins 11 hours 25 mins 9 hours 56 mins 9 hours 13 mins
Review Links OPPO R17 Pro Review Galaxy A7 2018 Review Honor Play Review
Price Check MY | US MY | US | UK MY | US | UK MY | US | UK

The problem with using an older 14 nm SoC like the Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 is the higher power consumption which results in a shorter battery life. Even though it has slightly more battery capacity, the Galaxy A9 2018 (MY | US | UK) has a shorter battery life than the two smartphones with 10 nm processors in this comparison :

  • 43 minutes (7%) shorter than the Honor Play, with its flagship-class Kirin 970; and
  • 2.5 hours (22.5%) shorter than the OPPO R17 Pro with its mid-range Snapdragon 710.

That said, 9 hours plus of battery life is nothing to sneeze at. Let’s remember – that’s over 9 hours running the benchmark non-stop. Its real-world battery life will be significantly longer

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Battery Recharging Performance

The Samsung Galaxy A9 2018 (MY | US | UK) comes with an adaptive fast charger with a power output of 15 W. Take a look at how fast it recharged the 3,800 mAh battery.

Recharging Speed OPPO R17 Pro Samsung Galaxy A9 2018 Honor Play Samsung Galaxy A7 2018
Battery Capacity 3,700 mAh 3,800 mAh 3,750 mAh 3,300 mAh
Charger Output 50 Watts 15 Watts 18 Watts 7.75 Watts
Recharging Time 33 Minutes 91.5 minutes 92 mins 115 minutes
Recharging Speed 112 mAh / minute 41.5 mAh / minute 40.7 mAh / minute 28.7 mAh / minute
Review Links OPPO R17 Pro Review Honor Play Review Galaxy A7 2018 Review
Price Check MY | US MY | US | UK MY | US | UK MY | US | UK

It took the Samsung Galaxy A9 2018 (MY | US | UK) just under 92 minutes to recharge its battery from 20% to 100%. Its 15 watt charger actually recharges faster than the Honor Play‘s 18 watt charger.

That is a battery life : recharging ratio of 6:1 – a good ratio. A rule of thumb – for one hour of battery life, charge it for 10.5 minutes.

The fastest recharging happened up to the 85% level. This took just 56 minutes. Then the recharging speed slowed down, and it took a further 35.5 minutes to top up the remaining 15%.

Next Page > Samsung Galaxy A9 2018 – Our Verdict, Specifications, Where To Buy!

 

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Our Verdict

Last year, the Samsung Galaxy A7 2017 really impressed us with a great combination of features and performance. It was also the first Galaxy A series smartphone to feature IP68 dust- and water-resistance, as well as the USB Type C port.

For 2018, Samsung chose to “split” its replacement. The Samsung Galaxy A7 2018 is really a “lite” version, and the true A7 2017 replacement is this – the Samsung Galaxy A9 2018.

Samsung introduced a number of new features. The marquee feature is the world’s first quad-camera system in the rear, and a new 24 MP front camera. Together with the Galaxy A7 2018, it is also the first Galaxy A series smartphone to feature an Infinity Display, with ultra-thin bezels.

In addition, Samsung not only doubled its memory to 6 GB, they actually quadrupled its storage capacity to 128 GB. And unlike the Galaxy A7 2018, it comes with a rear fingerprint sensor, a USB Type C port, and a larger battery with a faster 15 watt charger.

The quad camera system is a bit of an oddball. With the telephoto camera in the mix, the Samsung Galaxy A9 2018 (MY | US | UK) does not actually require the depth sensing camera. As Samsung Galaxy S9+ and Samsung Galaxy Note9 have proven, the telephoto camera can double as a depth sensor.

When it comes to photos, both its front and rear cameras are excellent, with its main 24 MP camera particularly great in low-light conditions, thanks to its fast and bright f/1.7 lens. The additional telephoto and ultra wide-angle cameras also proved to be useful in getting more creative shots.

Too bad its video recording capabilities was not as good as we expected. We also bemoan the lack of IP68 water-resistance. We hope Samsung will look into improving its video recording capabilities, and adding IP68 into next year’s model.

That said, we have to commend Samsung for the great design they adopted for the Samsung Galaxy A9 2018 (MY | US | UK). It is really a work of art. If you like a great-looking smartphone, this is definitely something to consider.

 

Samsung Galaxy A9 2018 Specifications

SpecificationsSamsung Galaxy A9 2018
Display6.3-inch AMOLED display
-1080 x 2220 pixels
Operating SystemAndroid 8.1 Oreo
System PlatformQualcomm Snapdragon 660
Processor4 x Qualcomm Kyro 260 (2.2 GHz)
4 x Qualcomm Kyro 260 (1.8 GHz)
Graphics ProcessorQualcomm Adreno 512
Memory6 GB
Storage128 GB
microSD card (up to 512 GB)
Front Camera24 MP Sony IMX576 sensor with f/2.0 lens
Rear CameraQuad Camera System
- 24 MP primary camera with f/1.7 lens and OIS
- 8 MP wide-angle camera with f/2.4 lens and 120º FOV
- 10 MP telephoto camera with f/2.4 lens
- 5 MP depth sensor with f/2.2 lens
ConnectivityWiFi : 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (dual band)
Bluetooth : BT 5.0
USB : USB 2.0 Type C
Battery3,800 mAh lithium-ion battery (non-removable)
Fingerprint SensorYes, Rear-mounted
Other SensorsAccelerometer, Gyro Sensor, Geomagnetic Sensor, Hall Sensor, Proximity Sensor, RGB Light Sensor
Samsung Pay (NFC)Yes
Dimensions77 mm wide
162.6 mm tall
7.8 mm thick
Weight183 grams
Colour OptionsCaviar Black, Lemonade Blue, Bubblegum Pink

 

Where To Buy The Samsung Galaxy A9 2018

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Here are some direct purchase links (accurate as of 1 February 2019) :

 

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The ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom – iPhone 7 Plus Killer At Half The Price!

Ever since they were announced at Computex 2016, ASUS has churned out a number of ZenFone 3 models, like the ZenFone 3 Ultra phablet and the eponymous ZenFone 3 smartphone. But what mobile photographers have been waiting for was ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom (ZE553KL).

The ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom (Amazon | Lazada) is the photography-focused ZenFone 3 model designed to take on the Apple iPhone 7 Plus (Amazon | Lazada) head-to-head, and beat it in every aspect. Yet it costs only half as much! Don’t believe us? Read on and find out for yourself!

 

The ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom vs. The Apple iPhone 7 Plus

We are serious about the ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom (Amazon | Lazada) taking on the Apple iPhone 7 Plus (Amazon | Lazada). Check out this comparison of their specifications and see how they compare with each other!

SpecificationsASUS ZenFone 3 ZoomApple iPhone 7 Plus (32 GB)
Display5.5" Full HD AMOLED display
- 1080 x 1920 pixels
- 500 nits brightness
5.5" Full HD IPS display
- 1080 x 1920 pixels
- 625 nits brightness
ProtectionPremium aluminium-alloy frame
2.5D contoured Corning Gorilla Glass 5
IP67-rated dust and water-resistance
Dual-ion exchange strengthened glass
Operating SystemAndroid 6.0 MarshmallowApple iOS 10
PlatformQualcomm Snapdragon 625Apple A10 Fusion
Processor4 x ARM Cortex-A53 cores (2.0 GHz)
4 x ARM Cortex-A53 cores (1.4 GHz)
2 x Apple Hurricane cores (2.34 GHz)
2 x Apple Zephyr cores (2.34 GHz)
Graphics ProcessorQualcomm Adreno 506PowerVR 7XT GT7600 Plus
Memory4 GB LPDDR3 SDRAM (933 MHz)3 GB LPDDR4 SDRAM
Storage64 GB internal flash storage
microSD card (up to 2 TB, shared with SIM2)
32 GB internal flash storage
No microSD card slot
Front Camera13 MP PixelMaster camera
- Sony IMX214 sensor
- f/2.0, 5-element Largan lens
7 MP camera with f/2.2 lens
Main Camera12 MP PixelMaster 3.0 camera
- Sony IMX362 sensor (1.4 µm pixels)
- f/1.7, 6-element lens
- Dual Pixel PDAF technology
- 4-axis, 4 stops Optical Image Stabilization for steady photos
- 3-axis Electronic Image Stabilization for shake-free videos
12 MP camera
- Sony Exmor RS sensor
- f/1.8, 6-element lens
- Optical image stabilisation
Zoom Camera12 MP sensor (unknown model) with f/2.6 lens
- 2.3X fixed optical zoom
- 12X maximum zoom (digital + optical)
12 MP sensor with f/2.8 lens
- 2X fixed optical zoom
- 10X maximum zoom (digital + optical)
Connectivity4G : LTE Cat4
WiFi : 802.11b/g/n
Bluetooth : 4.2
4G : LTE Cat12
WiFi : 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth : 4.2
SIM CapabilityDual SIM, Dual Standby with Hybrid SIM tray
- nano SIM slot 1 (3G / 4G)
- nano SIM slot 2 (3G / 4G) / micro SD
Single nano SIM only
NFC CapabilityNoYes
GPSGPS, AGPS, GLONASS, BDSGPS, AGPS, GLONASS
Fingerprint SensorYes, Rear-MountedYes, built into Home button
Audio192 kHz / 24-bit Hi-Res Audio support
5 magnet speaker with NXP Smart Amp
Dual microphone with noise cancellation
VoLTE support
DTS Headphone:X virtual surround sound technology
No Hi-Res Audio support
Stereo speakers
FM RadioYesNo
Battery5,000 mAh lithium-ion battery
Supports reverse charging
2,900 mAh lithium-ion battery
No reverse charging support
Dimensions77 mm wide x 154.3 mm tall x 7.99 mm thick77.9 mm wide x 158.2 mm tall x 7.3 mm thick
Weight170 grams188 grams
Colour OptionsNavy Black, Glacier Silver, Rose GoldRose Gold, Gold, Silver, Black, Jet Black
PriceUS$ 329US$ 769

We will go into more detail later, but first, let’s unbox the ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom!

 

Unboxing The ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom

The ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom (Amazon | Lazada) is a premium smartphone, so it comes to no surprise that ASUS gave it the full treatment. It even comes with a soft case and a pair of ZenEar earphones!

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Inside the box, you will find the following items :

  • One ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom (Amazon | Lazada) smartphone
  • One ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom soft case
  • One set of ASUS ZenFone 3 User Guide, Warranty leaflet and IMEI stickers
  • One 10 W ASUS charger with a 3-pin adaptor
  • One USB Type C cable
  • One pair of ASUS ZenEar earphones with four spare earbuds
  • One SIM card tray ejector pin

Next Page > The ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom Key Features

 

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The ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom (ZE553KL)

The ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom has a 5.5″ display like the iPhone 7 Plus, but it is slightly smaller and lighter. Instead of the usual IPS display though, the ZenFone 3 Zoom uses an AMOLED display that is protected by the latest Gorilla Glass 5 cover with a 2.5D edge, and a full metal unibody chassis.

The ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom (Amazon | Lazada) uses the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 SoC as the ZenFone 3 smartphone. It comes with 4 GB of LPDDR4 memory and 64 GB of internal flash memory. All that is powered by a large 5,000 mAh battery.

The button placements are the same as that of other ZenFone 3 models – the Power and Volume control buttons are on the right side, with the hybrid SIM slot on the left side, and the fingerprint sensor on the back.

Like many thin devices, the audio port on the ZenFone 3 Zoom (Amazon | Lazada) is located at the bottom, next to the bidirectional Type C USB port. But note that it is still using USB 2.0 standard, not the latest USB 3.1 standard.

 

Hybrid SIM & Fingerprint Sensor

The ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom (Amazon | Lazada) has dual SIM, dual standby capability. It has a hybrid SIM tray for two nano SIM cards. The second SIM card tray (SIM2) doubles as a microSD card slot (up to 256 GB). Both SIM1 and SIM2 support 3G and 4G connectivity, but only one SIM card can connect to the 3G / 4G network – the other can only connect to a 2G network.

The ZenFone 3 Zoom (Amazon | Lazada) has an all-aspect fingerprint sensor located at the back, just under the main cameras. Our tests showed that it requires just 10 finger presses to register a fingerprint, and is very fast and accurate in recognising the registered fingerprint.

 

The ZenFone 3 Zoom Cameras

The ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom (Amazon | Lazada) boasts a 13 MP front camera, built around the Sony IMX214 sensor and a 5-element Largan lens with f/2.0 aperture. It does not have a dedicated LED flash but uses screen flash instead, like the Apple iPhone 7 Plus (Amazon | Lazada).

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Like the iPhone 7 Plus, the ZenFone 3 Zoom (Amazon | Lazada) has a dual camera system, with a main camera and a zoom camera. This is different from the dual-lens camera of the Huawei Mate 9 or the Honor 8 smartphones, which combines images from two cameras with the same focal length.

Its main camera boasts the Sony IMX362 sensor with large 1.4 µm pixels, and Dual Pixel PDAF technology. It is coupled to a 6-element lens with f/1.7 aperture, and boasts 4-axis, 4-stops optical image stabilisation as well as 3-axis electronic image stabilisation capabilities.

The zoom camera has a 12 MP sensor of unknown model, paired with a 59 mm f/2.6 lens. This gives us a 2.3X optical zoom over the main camera. The Apple iPhone 7 Plus (Amazon | Lazada) has a similar zoom camera, with a shorter 2X zoom and an f/2.8 lens.

Next Page > The Initial Setup, Ergonomics, Available Memory & Storage

 

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Setting Up The ZenFone 3 Zoom

The ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom (Amazon | Lazada) runs on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow, and is very easy to set-up. If you are setting it up as a new device, it should take you only 5 minutes to finish the setup process.

 

The Ergonomics

The ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom (Amazon | Lazada) is a 5.5″ smartphone that is 7.7 cm wide, so it is a two-handed device. But because it’s reasonably thick at just under 8 mm, it offers better grip than its thinner rivals. The large display with its full HD resolution is just perfect for watching movies. We also applaud ASUS for using an AMOLED display – it is generally more vivid and power-efficient.

We especially like the satin finish of the anodised aluminium chassis. It is smooth and comfortable to touch, and is resistant to fingerprint smears. Adding on the provided soft case greatly increases grip, but the Power button may be harder to activate.

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Available Memory & Storage

The ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom (Amazon | Lazada) comes with 4 GB of LPDDR4 memory, of which 2.2 GB (55%) is free to use. That is more memory than some smartphones ship with! You will never run out of memory with the ZenFone 3 Zoom!

The ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom (Amazon | Lazada) also has 64 GB of internal flash memory. Of that, just under 52 GB is available to use. If that’s not enough, you can top it up with a microSD card (up to 256 GB).

Next Page > Camera Performance – Photos

 

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Camera Performance – Photos

The ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom (Amazon | Lazada) uses the excellent Sony IMX362 sensor for its main camera, which boasts very advanced optical and electronic image stabilisation and a fast f/1.7 lens. The full 12 MP resolution is attained with the 4:3 aspect ratio. Each picture has a resolution of 3928 × 2944 and a file size of between 4 to 8 MB.

Here are 16 high-resolution samples for you to check out. Click on them to load the full-sized photos, which you can also download to examine.

As the picture show, the ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom (Amazon | Lazada) can really produce amazing pictures. The automatic HDR capability worked great too, adding dynamic range whenever the light permits. The final result – very vivid colours, even in low light. For that, we have to thank the Sony IMX362 sensor with its large 1.4 µm pixels, and the fast f/1.7 lens.

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Next Page > Camera Performance – Video Recording

 

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Camera Performance – Video Recording

The ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom’s photographic capability extends beyond just photos. It is capable of recording videos at resolutions of up to 2160p (4K) at 30 fps. It also boasts advanced optical and electronic image stabilisation as well as support for Hi Res Audio. Let’s check out how well it does…

 

Test #1 : Blues Band (1080p)

The image stabilisation seems to do a very good job, but notice the occasional jerks. We have no idea why it happens, but it seems to only afflict the 1080p video recordings. It did produce very good audio though, and had good control of the bright background.

 

Test #2 : Blues Band (4K)

Electronic image stabilisation appears to be turned off, so there is more wobbling at 4K, but there’s no sign of the sudden jerks in our 1080p example above. The resolution at 4K is amazing!

 

Test #3 : Rainbow Waterfall

This is another test of the ZenFone 3 Zoom’s image stabilisation capabilities. Oddly enough – there is no sign of the sudden jerks. This probably means that the jerks we saw in the first video is likely to be software-related. Probably errors in electronic image stabilisation.

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Test #4 : Logging Camp

A 4-wheel drive ride is a great way to test the advanced image stabilisation capabilities of the ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom. As you can see, it did a pretty good job on this rugged logging trail. It may not appear so, but we were seated at the back shaking non-stop. 😀

 

Test #5 : Jungle Ride

Here is another video on the same 4×4 Hilux truck ride through the Pahang jungle. Nice job on the image stabilisation, ASUS!

Next Page > Work Performance, Battery Life & Recharging Speed

 

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Work Performance – PCMark

We tested the ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom’s performance using PCMark, which simulates work applications like web browing, playing video, writing text and editing photos.

ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom ASUS ZenFone 3 Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017) OPPO F1s
Work Performance Score
(Average)
6655 6405 4954 3884
Web Browsing 7595 8045 5143 3688
Video Playback 4545 3469 4515 3789
Writing 7264 7316 4948 4141
Photo Editing 7824 8246 5243 3933

Both the ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom (Amazon | Lazada) and the original ZenFone 3 smartphone use the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 SoC, so it’s no surprise they perform about the same. They both did much better than the Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017), and the OPPO F1s in this test.

 

Battery Life – PCMark

We then tested the ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom’s battery performance using PCMark. It basically ran the PCMark work tests until its battery capacity dropped to 20%.

The Samsung Galaxy A9 Pro is so popular because it has a large 5,000 mAh battery. The ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom (Amazon | Lazada) with a large 5,000 mAh battery as well, even though it’s much smaller in size. But more importantly, it has a much longer battery life of 17.25 hours –  33% longer than the Galaxy A9 Pro!

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Battery Recharging Performance

The ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom (Amazon | Lazada) comes with a 10 W charger, instead of more powerful 15-18 W chargers common in other flagship devices. Take a look at how fast it recharged the 5,000 mAh battery.

It took the ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom (Amazon | Lazada) about 160 minutes (2 hours 40 minutes) to recharge its battery from 20% to 100%. This is 20% longer than what the Samsung Galaxy A9 Pro (with a similar 5,000 mAh battery) took with its 15 W charger. Overall, it has a battery life : recharging ratio of 6.5 : 1, which is good but not exceptional.

Next Page > Gaming & Overall Performance, Our Verdict & Award

 

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Gaming Performance – 3DMark

We tested the ZenFone 3 Zoom’s gaming performance using 3DMark, using the Ice Storm Unlimited test.

ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom ASUS ZenFone 3 Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017) OPPO F1s
Gaming Score 13844 13956 13540 7666
Graphics 13372 13484 13548 7511
Physics 15797 15903 13510 8265
Graphics Test 1 80.3 fps 80.5 fps 81.1 fps 49.4 fps
Graphics Test 2 45.6 fps 46.1 fps 46.2 fps 24.4 fps
Physics Test 50.1 fps 50.5 fps 42.9 fps 26.2 fps

Like the ZenFone 3, the ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom (Amazon | Lazada) did well in this test, matching the Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017), and coming in twice as fast as the OPPO F1s.

 

Overall Performance

AnTuTu is a nice benchmark for testing various performance aspects of Android devices.

ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom ASUS ZenFone 3 Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017) OPPO F1s
TOTAL SCORE 63218 62761 56431 41486
3D SCORE 12966 18816 15458 4868
– 3D (Marooned) 7878 10861 10511 3188
– 3D (Garden) 5088 7952 4947 1679
UX SCORE 24089 26794 18496 17640
– UX Data Secure 5713 5077 5295 4885
– UX Data Process 2991 4198 2612 2542
– UX Strategy Games 4193 7503 3671 2829
– UX Image Process 7893 6879 3373 3885
– UX I/O Performance 3299 3137 3545 3499
CPU SCORE 20683 23689 16459 14336
– CPU Mathematics 4264 6950 3132 3142
– CPU Common Use 6673 6311 5199 4805
– CPU Multi-Core 9746 10428 8128 6389
RAM 5480 6797 6018 4643

The ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom (Amazon | Lazada) did well in this test, beating the Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017) by 12%, and the OPPO F1s by 52%.

 

Our Verdict & Award

While ASUS may not make a point about it, it is obvious that they are targeting the ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom (Amazon | Lazada) squarely at the Apple iPhone 7 Plus (Amazon | Lazada). They even eschewed the innovative zoom camera in the original ASUS ZenFone Zoom for the same dual camera system used in the iPhone 7 Plus. However, they were not aiming to copy, as much as beat, the iPhone 7 Plus on as many aspects as possible.

The iPhone 7 Plus has a 7 MP front camera with f/2.2 lens? ASUS gives the ZenFone 3 Zoom a 13 MP front camera with f/2.0 lens!

The iPhone 7 Plus has a 12 MP Sony Exmor RS main camera with f/1.8 lens? ASUS tops that with the latest 12 MP Sony IMX362 sensor with Dual Pixel PDAF technology and a f/1.7 lens!

The iPhone 7 Plus has a 12 MP zoom camera with 2X optical zoom and f/2.8 lens? The ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom gives you a 12 MP zoom camera with 2.3X optical zoom and f/2.6 lens!

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This isn’t just about beating the iPhone 7 Plus (Amazon | Lazada) on specifications. The ASUS PixelMaster 3.0 camera on the ZenFone 3 Zoom (Amazon | Lazada) is amazing. It produces some of the best pictures and videos we have ever seen. Its 4K video recording and audio recording quality was especially good.

ASUS didn’t just stop at the ZenFone 3 Zoom’s photographic capability. To make sure the photos and videos look great on the device itself, they opted for an AMOLED display, instead of a regular IPS display. They even packed in a large 5,000 mAh battery, in a form factor that is smaller and lighter than the iPhone 7 Plus (Amazon | Lazada) with its puny 2,900 mAh battery.

But arguably, what’s most impressive about the ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom (Amazon | Lazada) is the fact that it delivers its superior capabilities at half the price of the Apple iPhone 7 Plus (Amazon | Lazada)! We don’t know how ASUS managed to do that, but we think their efforts deserves no less than our Editor’s Choice Award! Congratulations, ASUS!

 

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The ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom Smartphone Launched!

23rd March, 2017 — ASUS today announced ZenFone 3 Zoom (Amazon | Lazada), the world’s slimmest and lightest 5.5-inch smartphone with a high-capacity 5000mAh battery and a dual-camera system that delivers photographic perfection.

 

The ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom

ZenFone 3 Zoom’s innovative dual-camera system consists of two cameras: A main camera with an f/1.7-aperture, 25mm wide-angle main lens paired to a 12MP SONY IMX362 sensor with large 1.4µm pixels (1/2.55in sensor size); and a dedicated 59mm, 12MP zoom camera with an instant 2.3X optical zoom and a 12X total zoom.

This setup ensures sharp focus for subjects at any distance. ZenFone 3 Zoom (Amazon | Lazada) also has the first ASUS SuperPixel Camera that enables it to shoot photos quickly and clearly in night-time or low-light environments. The SuperPixel Camera combines advanced hardware and software enhancement by ASUS SuperPixel technology to achieve light sensitivity that is 2.5 times[1] (2.5X) greater than that of the Apple iPhone 7 Plus (Amazon | Lazada), and 10 times that of an average smartphone.

ZenFone 3 Zoom (Amazon | Lazada) houses an incredible 5000mAh battery that has a much higher capacity than that of an average smartphone. This is paired to a powerful yet energy-efficient Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 14nm processor, enabling the new smartphone to achieve an amazing 6.4 hours of continuous 4K UHD video recording and an outstanding 42 days of standby time.

The high-capacity battery also gives ZenFone 3 Zoom (Amazon | Lazada) the ability to double up as a power bank to charge other devices. Remarkably, the high power density of the battery allows it to be fitted into a super-slim, 7.9mm full-metal chassis that weighs a mere 170 grams, making it the world’s thinnest and lightest 5.5-inch smartphone with a 5000mAh battery.

[1] Compared to the iPhone 7 Plus (Amazon | Lazada) main camera (f/1.8 with 1.22µm pixel size)

[2] Compared to average smartphone cameras (f/2.0 with 1.0µm pixel size)

 

Built for photographic perfection

The ZenFone 3 Zoom (Amazon | Lazada) is the most accomplished camera smartphone to date from ASUS, with a list of new features designed to make it unrivalled in mobile photography. These include:

Dual-camera system — ZenFone 3 features an all-new ASUS SuperPixel Camera for unbeatable low-light photography, plus a dedicated 12MP, 59mm camera for instant 2.3X optical zoom and 12X total zoom, making the best camera mode for different subject types and focal lengths instantly available to photographers.

The main SuperPixel Camera is ideal for shooting general subjects and macro shots as close as 10cm, while the optical-zoom camera is excellent for distant subjects. The biggest advantage of having two cameras with lenses of different focal lengths is the ability to let users switch lenses and compose in different perspectives.

ASUS SuperPixel CameraZenFone 3 Zoom (Amazon | Lazada) features a new main ASUS SuperPixel Camera that can shoot photos quickly and clearly in night-time or low-light environments. The SuperPixel Camera consists of three main components:

  • Large 1.4-micron pixel size — Larger pixels increase the camera’s sensitivity to light, and decrease the graininess of resulting photos, especially those shot in low-light environments. ZenFone 3 Zoom (Amazon | Lazada) uses the Sony IMX362 sensor with pixels measuring 1.4 microns (µm) wide pixels and a 1/2.55-inch sensor size, which is one of the largest of any smartphone camera sensors, making the camera excellent for low-light photography.
  • Large f/1.7 lens aperture — the large aperture allows for more light to enter the sensor compared to other smartphone cameras.
  • ASUS SuperPixel technology — A combination of the new ASUS SuperPixel engine hardware and image digital-signal-processing software that that boosts light sensitivity up to four times (4X) by intelligently controlling ISO levels while shooting, and removing noise in post-shot processing.

High-resolution SuperPixel selfiesZenFone 3 Zoom (Amazon | Lazada) features one of the highest-resolution front-facing cameras of any smartphone. It has a 13MP SONY IMX 214 sensor with an f/2.0 aperture lens that shoots high-resolution selfies and also benefits from ASUS SuperPixel technology to achieve twice the light sensitivity. It also features a new ‘screen flash’ mode that uses the display as a flash in low-light environments.

ASUS 0.03s TriTech+ autofocus ZenFone 3 Zoom (Amazon | Lazada) has an improved ASUS TriTech+ autofocus system with new Dual Pixel PDAF technology as one of its three focusing technologies along with the second-generation laser autofocus and subject tracking autofocus. ASUS TriTech+ automatically chooses the best technology to use depending on the subject, and achieves focus in an amazingly fast 0.03 seconds — the world’s fastest autofocus.

  • Dual Pixel PDAF — Each pixel on the sensor is now divided into two phase-detection sections that can detect the movement of subjects by analyzing the variations between the light rays hitting the two sensors. Working together with all the other 12-million pixels on the sensor, ZenFone 3 Zoom (Amazon | Lazada) is able to achieve rapid phase-detection autofocus even in low-light conditions.
  • Second-generation laser autofocus — Which has three times (3X) the range of standard laser focusing systems which can benefit shooting close-up subjects within 1.5 meters.
  • Subject-tracking autofocus — The system cleverly tracks moving subjects while the user is shooting, so they will never be out of focus. Subject tracking is enabled by default for both still images and videos.

RAW file supportZenFone 3 Zoom (Amazon | Lazada) offers photographers the freedom to shoot and store compositions in RAW format. RAW files save the full data of the photo captured by the camera’s sensor and are ideal for enhancement with editing software, where users are able to uncover fine details in areas of shadow, or recover overexposed areas in the highlights, with much less degradation of of image quality when compared to editing JPEG image files. RAW support will be available with Android 7.0 ‘Nougat’.

Full Manual mode — This mode enables full control over ZenFone 3 Zoom’s extensive camera settings. These includes white balance, exposure value (EV), focus, and ISO settings, and an impressive shutter-speed selection of between 1/16000 sec and 32 seconds. In ZenFone 3 Zoom (Amazon | Lazada), this mode also allows users to override the automatic camera selection and choose to use either the 25mm, f/1.7 lens of the main camera or the 59mm lens of the zoom camera.

Continuous autofocus 4K UHD video recording — For video recording, ZenFone 3 Zoom’s subject tracking autofocus system allows the smartphone to continuously focus on subjects while recording video at stunning 4K UHD resolution.

ZenFone 3 series camera featuresZenFone 3 Zoom (Amazon | Lazada) also comes with all the powerful photographic features of the ZenFone 3 series including:

  • Four-axis optical image stabilization (OIS) and three-axis electronic image stabilization (EIS) to prevent hand movements from blurring photos or making videos appear shaky.
  • Ultra-sharp 4K UHD video recording at 3840 x 2160 resolution.
  • RGB Color-correction sensor that automatically adjusts the colors in a photo to look natural and accurate.
  • 48MP Super Resolution mode that combines four native 12MP photos to create a single image with exceptional 4X clarity, greater detail and less noise.
  • 19 different unique and versatile modes that optimize the camera to shoot scenes or add special effects to photos.

 

Ultra-large 5000mAh battery and reverse-charging ability

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With a charge rating of 5000mAh, ZenFone 3 Zoom’s battery has one of the highest capacities of any smartphone — and the world’s highest capacity in its class.

Paired with the powerful yet battery-efficient 14nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor, this high-capacity battery enables ZenFone 3 Zoom (Amazon | Lazada) to achieve an amazing 6.4 hours of continuous 4K UHD video recording time, or 42 days of standby time, without worrying about running out of charge.

ZenFone 3 Zoom (Amazon | Lazada) is the world’s slimmest and lightest 5.5-inch 5000mAh smartphone, and is a mere 7.9mm thin and weighs just 170 grams. ZenFone 3 Zoom’s high battery capacity also lets it double up as a high-speed power bank for charging other devices via an automatic reverse-charging capability.

 

Strong-yet-beautiful display

ZenFone 3 Zoom’s display is a 5.5-inch Full HD AMOLED panel with high 500cd/m2 brightness for outdoor-readable images with extreme clarity and contrast, and a color gamut that is more than 100% of the NTSC color space. It also features a blue-light filter that prevents eye strain over long periods of viewing.

ZenFone 3 Zoom (Amazon | Lazada) is also one of the first smartphones to have a Corning Gorilla Glass 5 display cover panel that is 70%-more resistant to drop damage compared to the previous Gorilla Glass generation. This panel has been crafted and shaped to fit within the phone’s beautifully small, sandblasted aluminum-alloy body. A fingerprint sensor is conveniently placed at the back of the smartphone for easy accessibility.

 

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OPPO F1 Plus Smartphone First Look

Yesterday, OPPO officially launched the OPPO F1 Plus smartphone – their ultimate Selfie Expert smartphone. Also known as the OPPO R9 in Chinese and Indian market, the OPPO F1 Plus sports a 16 MP selfie camera with f/2.0 lens as its killer feature. Right after the launch, we managed to get some time with a demo unit of the OPPO F1 Plus, so enjoy our first look at the OPPO F1 Plus smartphone!

For more photos and the video of the OPPO F1 launch event with Nora Danish, click here!

 

First Look At The OPPO F1 Plus Smartphone

In this video, we will show you the key features of the OPPO F1 Plus smartphone. Please note that while some websites may list the OPPO F1 Plus as featuring an IPS display, it really has an AMOLED display. Hope you like it!

Here is the transcript of our quick look of the OPPO F1 Plus smartphone :

Transcript of the OPPO F1 Plus first look video
Today, we are going to take a look at the OPPO F1 Plus. With a launch price of RM 1,898 or about 475 US dollars, this is the larger and higher-end model of the OPPO F1 launched in January.
It is very sleek at just 6.6 mm (thick). On the left side, you will find the two Volume keys.
Like many ultra-thin smartphones, the earphone port is placed at the bottom, together with the USB and microphone ports.
The OPPO F1 Plus also sports a fast front-facing fingerprint sensor that can unlock the phone in just 0.2 seconds. Note the 2.5D rounded edge on the Gorilla Glass 4 cover.
On the right side, you will find the Power button, with the SIM card slot above it. This is a hybrid SIM slot, which means it can either accept two SIM cards, or one SIM card and a microSD card.
Now, this is the OPPO F1 Plus’ killer feature – an incredible 16 MP selfie camera with f/2.0 lens. It doesn’t have a dedicated LED flash but uses the screen to produce enough light for the ultimate high-resolution selfie.
Curiously, the OPPO F1 Plus only comes with a 13 MP rear camera with f/2.2 lens, and a single LED flash instead of a dual-tone flash. Needless to say, the OPPO F1 Plus caters to those who take more selfies than regular photos!
The OPPO F1 Plus has a beautiful 5.5” AMOLED display with a full HD resolution. It is powered by an octa-core MediaTek Helio P10 chip, with 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of internal flash storage.
Surprisingly, it runs on Android 5.1 Lollipop, instead of Android 6 Marshmallow. However, it features the latest OPPO ColorOS 3.0. OPPO claims that ColorOS 3.0 reduces app startup time by 25% and increases battery life by 40%.
The OPPO F1 Plus has a decent 2,850 mAh lithium polymer battery that can last for 14 hours of heavy use, at least according to OPPO. It also supports VOOC flash charging, which can recharge 75% of its battery in just half an hour.
The OPPO F1 Plus also comes with 64 GB of internal flash storage. This will be very helpful in keeping all those high-resolution selfies. Out of 64 GB, you will have about 51.5 GB of free space left to use.
So there you have it – the OPPO F1 Plus smartphone!

OPPO F1 Plus Smartphone Specifications

Here are the official specifications for the OPPO F1 Plus smartphone :

SpecificationsOPPO F1 Plus Smartphone
Operating SystemAndroid 5.1 with ColorOS 3.0
PlatformMediaTek MT6755 (Helio P10)
Processor8 x ARM Cortex-A53 (2.0 GHz)
Graphics ProcessorARM Mali-T860 MP2
Display5.5" AMOLED display
- 1080 x 1920 resolution (401 ppi pixel density)
ProtectionCorning Gorilla Glass 4 (2.5D rounded edges)
Memory4 GB LPDDR3 SDRAM
Storage64 GB internal flash storage
Hybrid microSD slot (up to 128 GB)
Front Camera16 MP Hi-Light camera with f/2.0 lens
- Samsung ISOCELL sensor
Rear Camera13 MP sensor with f/2.2 lens and single LED flash
ConnectivityGSM: 850/900/1800/1900MHz
WCDMA: 850/900/1900/2100MHz
FDD-LTE: Band 1/3/5/7/8/
TD-LTE: Bands 38/40/41
WiFi : 802.11a/b/g/n (2.4 GHz / 5 GHz)
Bluetooth 4.0
SIM CardHybrid SIM card slot
- supports two nano SIM cards, OR one nano SIM card and one microSD card
GPS SupportYes
NFC SupportNo
Fingerprint SensorYes, 0.2 second detection
Battery2,850 mAh lithium-ion polymer battery (non-removable)
Available ColoursGold / Rose Gold

 

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