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The Official HONOR 8C Tech Briefing, Price + Deals!

The Official HONOR 8C Tech Briefing, Price + Deals!

HONOR just launched the HONOR 8C – the entry-level companion to their HONOR 8X smartphone. Here are the official HONOR 8C tech briefing, price and deals!

 

The HONOR 8C Tech Briefing

Zhao Zhiwei, Head of HONOR Malaysia, shared the HONOR 8C’s key features in this video!

Display

The HONOR 8C comes with a 6.26-inch IPS display with a HD+ resolution of 720 x 1520 pixels. It is a FullView display that offers a 86.6% screen-to-body ratio.

Performance

It runs on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 632 mobile SoC, which has eight Kryo 250 cores running at 1.8 Ghz, and an Adreno 506 GPU.

RAM + Storage

The HONOR 8C comes with 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of internal flash storage. It has a microSD card slot that supports up to 256 GB of additional storage.

Cameras

In the front, it has an 8 MP camera with a soft light flash. In the back, its 13 MP PDAF camera has a large f/1.8 aperture, and is paired with a 2 MP depth sensor.

Battery

Powering everything is a large 4,000 mAh lithium-ion polymer battery. HONOR says that it will last up to 2 days.

 

HONOR 8C Spécifications

SpecificationsHONOR 8C
Display6.26-inch IPS display
-720 x 1520 pixels (269 ppi)
Operating SystemAndroid 8.1 Oreo with EMUI 8.2
System PlatformQualcomm Snapdragon 632
Processor8 x Qualcomm Kryo 250 (1.8 GHz)
Graphics ProcessorQualcomm Adreno 506
Memory3 GB
Storage32 GB
microSD card (up to 256 GB)
Front Camera8 MP sensor with soft light flash (3 levels)
Rear CameraDual Lens Camera
- 13 MP PDAF camera with f/1.8 aperture
- 2 MP depth sensor
ConnectivityWiFi : 802.11b/g/n (2.4 GHz only)
Bluetooth : BT 4.2
USB : micro USB 2.0
Battery4,000 mAh lithium-ion polymer battery (non-removable)
Fingerprint SensorYes, Rear-mounted
Other SensorsGravity Sensor, Proximity Sensor, Ambient Light Sensor, Digital Compass
NFCNo
Dimensions75.94 mm wide
158.72 mm tall
7.98 mm thick
Weight167.2 grams
Colour OptionsBlue / Gold / Black

 

HONOR 8C Price + Availability

The HONOR 8C is officially priced at RM 599 / ~US$ 147 / ~£111. It will be available for retail sale from 5 April 2019 onwards in three colour options – Blue, Gold and Black.

Lazada Exclusive First Sales

HONOR partnered up with Lazada to offer the Blue and Black models starting 27 March 2019 onwards. In addition, the first 1,000 buyers will receive an exclusive tote bag featuring their catbassador of the British short-hair persuasion!

 

Recommended Reading

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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) :

 

Recommended Reading

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The OPPO R17 Pro Smartphone In-Depth Review!

The OPPO R17 Pro is only the third smartphone to feature a dual aperture camera, after the Samsung Galaxy S9+ and Galaxy Note9. But is that all that is unique about it?

In our comprehensive review, we will take a close look at the OPPO R17 Pro (MY | US) , and show you why we gave it our Reviewer’s Choice Award!

Updated @ 2019-01-22 : Added a new Corning Gorilla Glass 6 section and new information in other sections. Also added two new battery recharging speed comparisons.

Originally posted @ 2019-01-05

 

New Design, New Focus

The OPPO R17 Pro (MY | US) is quite unlike previous OPPO smartphones. Instead of focusing on its selfie capabilities, it now focuses on its rear camera, boasting a new dual-aperture main camera paired with a secondary telephoto camera.

It also features a very premium design, with a large waterdrop display with as well as a new 3D misted glass design for its chassis. OPPO even opted to embed the fingerprint sensor into the display!

 

OPPO R17 Pro Price + Availability

The OPPO R17 Pro (MY | US) has a recommended retail price of RM 2,699 / ~US$ 643 / ~£499. It was made available for purchase on 1 December 2018.

Here are some direct purchase links :

 

Unboxing The OPPO R17 Pro

The OPPO R17 Pro (MY | US) comes in a very premium purple box. Quite a step above their previous models.

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Once you fully unbox theOPPO R17 Pro (MY | US), you’ll find the following items :

  • One OPPO R17 Pro smartphone
  • One OPPO R17 Pro TPU bumper case
  • One OPPO R17 Pro User Guide + Information Guide
  • One 50 watt OPPO SuperVOOC power adaptor
  • One OPPO SuperVOOC USB Type C cable
  • One pair of earphones
  • One SIM tray ejection pin

Next Page > The OPPO R17 Pro Up Close, Specifications + Setup

 

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The OPPO R17 Pro Up Close!

The OPPO R17 Pro (MY | US) has a large 6.4-inch AMOLED display with a resolution of 1080 x 2340 pixels.

But thanks to its thin bezels, and water drop notch, it is not a particularly large device.

It is protected by the latest Corning Gorilla Glass 6, and has a 3D misted glass back with a beautiful colour gradient.

The OPPO R17 Pro (MY | US) runs on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 platform using Android 8.1.0. It comes with a whopping 8 GB of LPDDR4x memory, and 128 GB of internal flash memory.

All that is powered by a large 3,700 mAh battery, in a chassis that is only 7.9 mm thick, and weighs just 183 grams.

 

OPPO R17 Pro Specifications

SpecificationsOPPO R17 Pro
Display6.4-inch AMOLED display
- 1080 x 2340 pixels (402 ppi)
- 91.5% display-to-body ratio
ProtectionCorning Gorilla Glass 6
Operating SystemAndroid 8.1.0 with ColorOS 5.2
PlatformQualcomm Snapdragon 710
Processor2 x Qualcomm Kryo 360 Gold cores (2.2 GHz)
6 x Qualcomm Kryo 360 Silver cores (1.7 GHz)
Graphics ProcessorQualcomm Adreno 616
Memory8 GB LPDDR4x memory
Storage128 GB internal flash storage
No microSD card slot
Front Camera25 MP Sony IMX576 sensor with f/2.0 lens
Rear CamerasDual Aperture Camera
- 12 MP Sony IMX362 sensor with f/1.5 and f/2.4 apertures
- Optically stabilised (OIS) with dual-tone LED flash

Telephoto Camera
- 20 MP sensor with f/2.6 lens

ToF Camera
- 43,200 pixel sensor with LED NIR pulsed emitter
Connectivity4G : LTE
WiFi : 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (dual band)
Bluetooth 5.0
USB : USB 2.0 Type C
SIM Support2 x nano SIM cards
Dual SIM, Dual Standby capable
NFC CapabilityYes
OTG CapabilityYes
Fingerprint SensorBuilt Into Display
Other SensorsE-Compass, Light Sensor, Proximity Sensor, G Sensor
Battery3700 mAh lithium-ion polymer battery
- supports 50 W SuperVOOC fast charging
Dimensions74.6 mm wide
157.6 mm tall
7.9 mm thick
Weight183 grams
Colour OptionsRadiant Mist / Emerald Green
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How To Setup The OPPO R17 Pro

Here’s a quick guide on how to setup the OPPO R17 Pro smartphone :

Next Page > OPPO R17 Pro Key Features

 

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Waterdrop Notch + Thin Bezels

Like many top-of-the-line Android smartphones trying to one-up Apple’s notched design, the OPPO R17 Pro (MY | US) features a small “waterdrop notch“.

Also known as a raindrop or dewdrop notch, it gives you a much larger notification area on both sides.

Together with the thin bezels, the waterdrop notch allows the OPPO R17 Pro to deliver an astounding 91.5% screen-to-body ratio. This maximises the display size without increasing the size of the device.

 

Qualcomm Snapdragon 710

The OPPO R17 Pro (MY | US) runs on the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 710, which is a 10 nm mobile SoC. it has eight Kryo 360 cores with an Adreno 616 GPU, a Spectra 250 ISP, a Hexagon 685 DSP and the X16 LTE modem.

It has a 2+6 cluster architecture with two high-performance Kryo 360 Gold cores (based on the ARM Cortex-A75) running at 2.2 GHz, and six Kryo 360 Silver cores (based on the ARM Cortex-A55) running at 1.7 GHz for less intensive tasks.

The Snapdragon 710 offers 20% better CPU performance and 35% better GPU performance than the Snapdragon 660, with 30% lower power consumption. It also has twice the AI performance!

 

Large Storage But No Expansion Option

The OPPO R17 Pro (MY | US) comes with a large 128 GB storage capacity, but there is no expansion option. It only has a single tray for two nano SIM cards.

Although 128 GB should be more than enough for most users, it would have been nice if OPPO had made it a hybrid SIM slot instead. This would have given those who don’t need a second SIM slot, the option of using it for a microSD card.

The microSD card is also useful for another reason. The OPPO R17 Pro (MY | US) 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.

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In-Display Fingerprint Sensor

Fascinatingly, the OPPO R17 Pro (MY | US) comes with an in-display fingerprint sensor. This gives you the convenience of a front fingerprint sensor with a large display.

It’s surprisingly quite accurate and fast to use. But in case you need more login options, you can use a passcode and/or facial recognition.

Next Page > The OPPO R17 Pro Cameras

 

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The OPPO R17 Pro Front Camera

The R17 Pro (MY | US) continues OPPO’s tradition of high-resolution selfie cameras. It boasts a 25 MP front camera built around the Sony IMX576 sensor, and a bright f/2.0 lens.

The f/2.0 lens allows for better low-light performance, which is important since the R17 Pro does not have a front LED flash. It also supports real-time HDR, which will greatly increase the dynamic range of your selfies.

This 25 MP front camera takes photos with a resolution of 5760 x 4312 pixels, and a 4:3 aspect ratio. But despite its very high resolution, the front camera is limited to recording 1080p videos.

 

Three Cameras? Or Two?

The OPPO R17 Pro (MY | US) has what appears to be three cameras at the back. Yet OPPO only mentioned two cameras, so what’s the deal with the third camera? Let’s break it down for you…

Dual Aperture Main Camera

The main camera is a dual aperture camera that is eerily similar to that to Samsung Galaxy S9+ and Galaxy Note9 smartphones. Built around the 12 MP Sony IMX362 sensor, it automatically switches its aperture between f/1.5 and f/2.4 depending on the lighting condition.

This allows for better pictures in low-light conditions, while allowing for greater depth of field in bright conditions. We will share some photo samples with you later, but you can also check out the amazing photos we took in Sydney and the Blue Mountains!

The Sony IMX362 is also a Dual Pixel sensor, which is an autofocus technology that uses the dual photodiodes in every pixel on the image sensor for phase-detection autofocus. This allows for faster and more accurate focusing, because it uses many more autofocus pixels, instead of just a few dedicated pixels (usually less than 5% of the total).

The main camera also supports 3-axis optical image stabilisation, which compensates for hand shake in three dimensions.

2X Telephoto Camera

Like the Samsung Galaxy S9+ and Galaxy Note9, the OPPO R17 Pro (MY | US) has a 2X telephoto camera with f/2.6 lens. However, instead of using the same 12 MP sensor as the main camera, they opted for a higher resolution 20 MP sensor.

Here are some comparisons to show you the utility of the telephoto camera :

Time-of-Flight Camera

The third camera is a ToF (Time-of-Flight) camera.

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Paired with an LED emitter that sends out pulses of invisible near infra-red light, its sensor captures the reflected light to create a 3D map of objects and their distances.

Its 43,200 pixel sensor does not allow for very detailed 3D profiles, and from what we understand, the system is limited to a range of about 3 meters.

So its utility is probably limited. Perhaps why OPPO did not mention it in their website at all.

Next Page > More OPPO R17 Pro Features

 

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3D Misted Glass Design

The OPPO R17 Pro‘s case has an etched surfaced that OPPO calls 3D misted glass. It has a satin-like feel that is resistant to fingerprint smears.

The Radiant Mist case, in particular, is really a sight to behold, with its beautiful blend of blue and purple hues.

The satin-like surface will feel a little slippery, but that’s not going to be a problem if you use its bundled bumper case. We love how the bumper case is coloured, and actually complements the hues.

 

Corning Gorilla Glass 6

The OPPO R17 Pro (MY | US) is not just beautiful, it’s also very tough. In fact, OPPO claims that it is the first smartphone in the world to be protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 6!

According to Corning, this 6th-generation Gorilla Glass is up to twice as tough as Gorilla Glass 5. It can tolerate 15 consecutive impacts on a rough surface from a height of 1 meter without breaking!

 

SuperVOOC Battery

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The OPPO R17 Pro (MY | US) has, not one, but two batteries – each with a maximum capacity of 1850 mAh. This gives it a total of 3,700 mAh (14.24 Wh).

This bi-cell battery design is necessary to support SuperVOOC fast charging. The special 50 Watt SuperVOOC charger and cable it comes with, will recharge its battery about 10X faster than an ordinary USB charger.

In fact, OPPO says that a 10 minute charge will bring the battery from 0% to 40%. We will put it to the test later in this review…

 

Ergonomics

Despite its slightly larger 6.4-inch display, the OPPO R17 Pro (MY | US) is physically smaller than the Samsung Galaxy Note9! Of course, one may argue that it’s not a true 6.4-inch display due to its display notch… even though it is a small waterdrop notch.

Its curved edges make it a better fit in the hand, and the back surface has a silky-smooth feel. But as advertised, it is resistant to fingerprint smears.

The AMOLED display is really brilliant. The colours are more vivid, and it is brighter under sunlight, than typical LCD displays. The FHD+ resolution of 1080 x 2340 pixels though is a non-standard 19.5:9 display ratio that will result in some pillarboxing when you watch movies.

 

Available Memory & Storage

The OPPO R17 Pro (MY | US) does not allow monitoring of the available system memory, but this workaround showed that with a clean system, it has 5.46 GB of free memory.

This is just over 68% of its 8 GB memory, and is more than enough to run several memory-guzzling apps at the same time. However, it does point to a considerable amount of bloat.

There is also A LOT of storage space for you to use, because you can’t just pop in a microSD card for extra storage. The OPPO R17 Pro comes with 128 GB of internal flash storage, with about 105 GB of free space.

That is enough space to store about 28,000 photos, 23 hours of 1080p videos, or 4.5 hours of 4K videos.

Next Page > OPPO R17 Pro Camera Performance – Photos

 

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OPPO R17 Pro Camera Performance – Photos

The OPPO R17 Pro (MY | US) has a main 12 MP camera that automatically switches between the f/1.5 and f/2.4 apertures.

The maximum 12 MP resolution is attained with the 4:3 aspect ratio, with 4032 x 3024 pixels, and a file size of between 3.5 MB and 5 MB.

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

We have more samples in our separate article – OPPO R17 Pro Photos Of Sydney + The Blue Mountains!

The resolution and detail of the OPPO R17 Pro‘s main 12 MP camera is really amazing. Download the original photos and expand them to see how much detail it captured.

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Like the Samsung Galaxy S9+ and Galaxy Note9, it was especially good at night or low-light shots, capturing details in the shadows that is just not possible with other smartphone cameras.

But watch out when it switches to the f/1.5 aperture. It makes for great low-light performance, but it naturally creates a very narrow depth of field. You must be careful in framing the shot, or focusing on the subject, or it may end up out-of-focus.

You can take advantage of the wider f/1.5 aperture in manual mode too, to create a nicer bokeh effect for portraits.

Its ToF camera seems to be used as a depth sensor, to help the main camera separate the subject from the background. This allows it to apply a software bokeh effect to the background in the Portrait mode.

Next Page > OPPO R17 Pro Camera Performance – Video Recording

 

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OPPO R17 Pro Camera Performance – Video Recording

The OPPO R17 Pro (MY | US) can record not just 1080p videos, but also 4K videos. Surprisingly, its front camera can only record 1080p videos even though it has a much higher-resolution sensor.

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

In this video, watch carefully when we switch between the main camera and the telephoto camera, and back. You will see that while the main camera is stabilised, the telephoto camera is not.

The audio range is surprisingly rich and balanced. However, it has rather poor noise cancellation capabilities, which means you will record a lot of background noise.

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

When we switched to 4K, we immediately noticed a drop in the main camera’s stabilisation capabilities. It is still optically stabilised but no longer electronically stabilised. Basically, it performs just like the telephoto camera.

Video Recording Test #3 : Xmas Carnival (1080p)

This 1080p video recording shows the effectiveness of the main camera’s OIS and EIS capabilities. While rather impressive, it could do with a little fine-tuning.

You may note some jerkiness when we pan the R17 Pro. It means the EIS has been overly optimised for static shots. It needs to be “loosen” for better stabilisation while walking.

Video Recording Test #4 : Xmas Carnival (4K)

When you record in 4K, there is basically no electronic image stabilisation. You can literally feel every step we took.

But note too how much detail it captures, and how well it adjusts to changing lighting conditions.

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Video Recording Test #5 : Street Market (1080p)

Again, this shows just how stable the video is at 1080p. But note the presence of wind noise. OPPO should look at adding wind reduction capabilities to the R17 Pro.

Video Recording Test #6 : Street Market (4K)

Because the flooring is not entirely flat in the street market, this video will show you just how much of a difference EIS makes in a video recording.

Next Page > OPPO R17 Pro Performance – Work, Gaming, Battery

 

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Work Performance – PCMark

We tested the OPPO R17 Pro’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 S9 Samsung Galaxy A7 2018
Performance Score (Average) 7361 6475 5618 5379
Web Browsing 7695 6572 5357 5278
Video Editing 5499 5387 5265 4413
Writing 6649 5617 4673 5056
Photo Editing 13326 10740 7560 7427
Data Manipulation 5764 5331 5616 5147
Review Links Honor Play Review   Galaxy S9 Review Galaxy A7 2018 Review
Price Check MY | US | UK MY | US MY | US | UK MY | US | UK

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 is impressively fast. It was just 12% slower than the Honor Play‘s Kirin 970, and 15% faster than the Exynos 9810 used in the Samsung Galaxy S9.

 

Gaming Performance – 3DMark

Next, we tested the OPPO R17 Pro’s gaming performance using 3DMark, using the Ice Storm Unlimited test.

Ice Storm Unlimited Samsung Galaxy S9 Honor Play OPPO R17 Pro Samsung Galaxy A7 2018
Gaming Score 39588 31622 15354 15354
Graphics 45577 37351 15788 15788
Physics 27116 20576 14005 14005
Graphics Test 1 267.9 fps 208.9 fps 136.5 fps 136.5 fps
Graphics Test 2 157.2 fps 132.8 fps 45.8 fps 45.8 fps
Physics Test 86.1 fps 65.3 fps 44.5 fps 44.5 fps
Review Links Galaxy S9 Review Honor Play Review   Galaxy A7 2018 Review
Price Check MY | US | UK MY | US | UK MY | US MY | US | UK

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 performed as well as the Exynos 7885 used in the Samsung Galaxy A7 2018. This means it is about 40-50% as fast as flagship SoCs in 3D games.

 

Battery Life – PCMark

We then tested the OPPO R17 Pro’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 S9
Battery Capacity 3,700 mAh 3,300 mAh 3,750 mAh 3,000 mAh
Battery Life 11 hours 54 mins 11 hours 25 mins 9 hours 56 mins 9 hours 6 mins
Review Links   Galaxy A7 2018 Review Honor Play Review Galaxy S9 Review
Price Check MY | US MY | US | UK MY | US | UK MY | US | UK

The OPPO R17 Pro (MY | US) did very well in this test, delivering almost 12 hours of battery life!

That is about 2 hours (20%) longer than the Honor Play, which has a similarly-sized battery.

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Battery Recharging Performance

The OPPO R17 Pro (MY | US) comes with a 50 watt SuperVOOC power adaptor and cable. But while you can use any other USB Type C cable, it is important that you use the special SuperVOOC cable.

Using Standard USB Cable

Without SuperVOOC Honor Play Samsung Galaxy
A7 2018
Samsung Galaxy
S9
OPPO R17 Pro
Battery Capacity 3,750 mAh 3,300 mAh 3,000 mAh 3,700 mAh
Battery Life 18 Watts 7.75 Watts 18 Watts 50 Watts
Review Links 92 mins 115 minutes 108 Minutes 199 minutes
Price Check 40.8 mAh / min 28.7 mAh / min 27.8 mAh / min 18.6 mAh / min
Review Links Honor Play Review Galaxy A7 2018 Review Galaxy S9 Review  
Price Check MY | US | UK MY | US | UK MY | US | UK MY | US

With an ordinary USB Type C cable, it took us 199 minutes (3 hours, 19 minutes) to fully recharge the R17 Pro. That means it charges roughly as fast as a 5 watt USB charger…

Using SuperVOOC Cable

With SuperVOOC OPPO R17 Pro Honor Play Samsung Galaxy
A7 2018
Samsung Galaxy
S9
Battery Capacity 3,700 mAh 3,750 mAh 3,300 mAh 3,000 mAh
Charger Output 50 Watts 18 Watts 7.75 Watts 18 Watts
Recharging Time 33 minutes 92 mins 115 minutes 108 Minutes
Recharging Speed 112 mAh / min 40.8 mAh / min 28.7 mAh / min 27.8 mAh / min
Review Links   Honor Play Review Galaxy A7 2018 Review Galaxy S9 Review
Price Check MY | US MY | US | UK MY | US | UK MY | US | UK

With the bundled SuperVOOC cable, it only took us less than 33 minutes to fully recharge the R17 Pro! Amazing!

SuperVOOC is roughly 3X faster than fast chargers used in other smartphones. For example, it took the Honor Play 92 minutes to fully recharge its similarly-sized battery using an 18 watt fast charger.

This gives the OPPO R17 Pro (MY | US) an incredible battery life : recharging ratio of 21.5 : 1. A rule of thumb – for one hour of battery life, you just need to charge it for 3 minutes!

The downside though is that if you forget to bring the SuperVOOC cable, the R17 Pro will recharge half as fast as other smartphones.

Next Page > OPPO R17 Pro Verdict + Award, Full Specifications

 

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Our Verdict + Award

After the gimmicky OPPO Find X, we were pleasantly surprised by the OPPO R17 Pro (MY | US). It may not run on a flagship-class processor, but it is definitely a much better device.

Like the Find X, the R17 Pro has a large and beautiful 6.4-inch AMOLED display, albeit with a waterdrop notch. On the plus side, it has better Gorilla Glass 6 protection.

The OPPO R17 Pro (MY | US) is their first smartphone to feature a dual-aperture camera. That is far more useful and practical than the pointless sliding camera in their Find X flagship device.

It takes great photos, automatically switches its aperture to deliver the best photos for the lighting condition. We sure are glad we took it on our trip to Sydney and the Blue Mountains!

It also takes great 1080p videos, with the the ability to switch between the main and telephoto cameras. However, it’s a pity that 4K videos, and videos recorded by the telephoto camera, are not stabilised.

The new in-display fingerprint sensor may seem to be a gimmick, but it’s not. It’s surprisingly quite accurate and fast, and is practical to use.

We LOVE its SuperVOOC flash charging capability. It only takes just 33 minutes to recharge the OPPO R17 Pro (MY | US) from 20% to 100%. But if you forget to bring the SuperVOOC cable, it will take 6X longer to recharge, making it twice as slow as other smartphones…

We also need to point out the lack of a microSD card slot. Sure, the R17 Pro has a large storage capacity, but we would like the option to add storage, or keep our photos and videos on a microSD card.

That said, the OPPO R17 Pro (MY | US) offers a great combination of leading-edge features in a beautiful package, and an attractive price point. It certainly did well enough to earn our Reviewer’s Choice Award. Great job!

 

Where To Buy The OPPO R17 Pro?

The OPPO R17 Pro (MY | US) has a recommended retail price of RM 2,699 / ~US$ 643 / ~£499. It was made available for purchase on 1 December 2018.

Here are some direct purchase links :

 

OPPO R17 Pro Specifications

SpecificationsOPPO R17 Pro
Display6.4-inch AMOLED display
- 1080 x 2340 pixels (402 ppi)
- 91.5% display-to-body ratio
ProtectionCorning Gorilla Glass 6
Operating SystemAndroid 8.1.0 with ColorOS 5.2
PlatformQualcomm Snapdragon 710
Processor2 x Qualcomm Kryo 360 Gold cores (2.2 GHz)
6 x Qualcomm Kryo 360 Silver cores (1.7 GHz)
Graphics ProcessorQualcomm Adreno 616
Memory8 GB LPDDR4x memory
Storage128 GB internal flash storage
No microSD card slot
Front Camera25 MP Sony IMX576 sensor with f/2.0 lens
Rear CamerasDual Aperture Camera
- 12 MP Sony IMX362 sensor with f/1.5 and f/2.4 apertures
- Optically stabilised (OIS) with dual-tone LED flash

Telephoto Camera
- 20 MP sensor with f/2.6 lens

ToF Camera
- 43,200 pixel sensor with LED NIR pulsed emitter
Connectivity4G : LTE
WiFi : 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (dual band)
Bluetooth 5.0
USB : USB 2.0 Type C
SIM Support2 x nano SIM cards
Dual SIM, Dual Standby capable
NFC CapabilityYes
OTG CapabilityYes
Fingerprint SensorBuilt Into Display
Other SensorsE-Compass, Light Sensor, Proximity Sensor, G Sensor
Battery3700 mAh lithium-ion polymer battery
- supports 50 W SuperVOOC fast charging
Dimensions74.6 mm wide
157.6 mm tall
7.9 mm thick
Weight183 grams
Colour OptionsRadiant Mist / Emerald Green

 

Recommended Reading

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The Realme 2 Pro In-Depth Review – Max Power, Max Style!

The Realme 2 Pro is a new mid-range smartphone that promises Max Power, Max Style. It’s a shot across the bow of other smartphone brands, with its combination of performance, features, looks and incredible price point.

In our in-depth review, we will take a close look at the Realme 2 Pro, and show you why this mid-range smartphone is taking the industry by storm!

 

The Realme 2 Pro Tech Briefing!

Here is the official Realme 2 Pro (Malaysia | Indonesia) tech briefing in Jakarta. Unfortunately, it’s in Indonesian, but the slides are still informative.

 

Realme 2 Pro, Realme 2 and Realme C1 Comparison

Realme launched three smartphones in Jakarta – the Realme 2 Pro, the Realme 2, and the Realme C1. Here is a comparison of the three models, which look quite similar :

 

Realme 2 Pro Price + Deals

The Realme 2 Pro is now available in both Indonesia and Malaysia.

Indonesia

Sales began at 11 AM on 23 October 2018, at the following prices :

  • 4 GB RAM + 64 GB storage : Rp 2,899,000 (~US$ 191 / ~£144 / ~RM 792)
  • 6 GB RAM + 64 GB storage : Rp 3,299,000 (~US$ 217 / ~£164 / ~RM 902)
  • 8 GB RAM + 128 GB storage : Rp 3,699,000 (~US$ 244 / ~£184 / ~RM 1,011)

Malaysia

Sales began on 7 November 2018, at the following prices :

  • 4 GB RAM + 64 GB storage : RM 849 (~US$ 204 / ~£155)
  • 6 GB RAM + 64 GB storage : RM 949 (~US$ 228 / ~£174)
  • 8 GB RAM + 128 GB storage : RM 1,099 (~US$ 264 / ~£201)

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However, Shopee will offer the Realme 2 Pro at these special prices on 28 November 2018 :

  • 4 GB RAM + 64 GB storage : RM 799 (~US$ 192 / ~£146)
  • 6 GB RAM + 64 GB storage : RM 899 (~US$ 216 / ~£164)
  • 8 GB RAM + 128 GB storage : RM 999 (~US$ 240 / ~£183)

If you are interested to purchase the Realme 2 Pro at the awesome 12/12 deal, stake out this page!

 

Unboxing The Realme 2 Pro

The Realme 2 Pro (Malaysia | Indonesia) is not available for sale yet, but we were one of the few to receive the first retail units. Let’s unbox it and see what we find inside!

Once you fully unbox the Realme 2 Pro (Malaysia | Indonesia), you will find the following items :

  • One Realme 2 Pro smartphone
  • One Realme 2 Pro clear TPU bumper case
  • One Realme 2 Pro warranty card
  • One 10 watt Realme USB charger
  • One microUSB 2.0 cable
  • One SIM card tray extractor pin

Next Page > The Realme 2 Pro Up Close + Specifications

 

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The Realme 2 Pro Up Close!

The Realme 2 Pro (Malaysia | Indonesia) has a very large 6.3-inch Full HD+ display, that is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass. It has a resolution of 1080 x 2340 pixels, and a dewdrop notch, giving it a 90.8% screen-to-body ratio.

It also boasts a great-looking 15-laminate glass back that sounds and looks exactly like honor’s Aurora Glass. The only downside with all glass backs – it’s highly susceptible to smudges.

The Realme 2 Pro (Malaysia | Indonesia) runs on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 660, which has eight Qualcomm Kryo 260 cores that run at up to 2.2 GHz. Graphics processing is handled by the Qualcomm Adreno 512 GPU, and it comes equipped with the Qualcomm All-Ways Aware sensor hub and the Qualcomm AI Engine.

Realme did not skimp on memory, equipping the Realme 2 Pro (Malaysia | Indonesia) with the 4 GB, 6 GB or 8 GB of the latest LPDDR4x memory.  They were also generous with its storage – offering either 64 GB of eMMC 5.1 flash storage, or 128 GB of UFS 2.1 flash storage.

All that is powered by a 3,500 mAh battery, packed in a chassis that is only 8.5 mm thick, and weighs just under 175 grams. It is recharged by a 10 watt fast charger. Here are Realme’s lab test results on its battery :

Standby 16.5 hours
Music Playing (WiFi) 12 hours
Video Playback (WiFi) 10 hours
Surfing the Internet (WiFi) 12.5 hours

Although the smartphone industry is moving towards USB Type C ports, the Realme 2 Pro (Malaysia | Indonesia) uses the good old micro USB 2.0 port. While not bidirectional, it is compatible with existing USB cables and accessories – a key consideration for the market it’s targeted at.

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Realme 2 Pro Specifications

SpecificationsRealme 2 Pro
Display6.3-inch display
- 1080 x 2340 pixels
- 19:9 aspect ratio, 409 ppi
Operating SystemAndroid 8.1 with ColorOS 5.1
PlatformQualcomm Snapdragon 660
Processor4 x Qualcomm Kryo 260 Gold cores (2.2 GHz)
4 x Qualcomm Kryo 260 Silver cores (1.84 GHz)
Graphics ProcessorQualcomm Adreno 512
Memory4 GB / 6 GB / 8 GB LPDDR4x SDRAM
Storage64 GB eMMC 5.1 flash storage, OR
128 GB UFS 2.1 flash storage
microSD card (up to 256 GB)
Front Camera16 MP image sensor with f/2.0 lens
Rear Camera16 MP Sony IMX398 image sensor with f/1.7 lens
2 MP depth sensor with f/2.4 lens
Single LED flash
Fingerprint SensorYes, Rear-mounted
Other SensorsLight & distance sensor, acceleration sensor, gyroscope, geomagnetic sensor
NFCNot available
Battery3,500 mAh lithium-ion battery
Dimensions74.0 mm wide
156.7 mm tall
8.5 mm thick
Weight174 g
Available ColoursBlack Sea, Blue Ocean, Ice Lake

Next Page > The Realme 2 Pro Key Features

 

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Dewdrop Notch

The Realme 2 Pro (Malaysia | Indonesia) has a bezel-less display, with a dewdrop notch (also known as a teardrop notch). It requires a good deal of engineering prowess to squeeze in a front camera, a light sensor, a proximity sensor, and a speaker into the tiny notch.

The dewdrop notch allows for a larger display area, specifically space for more notifications. Barring the complete removal of the notch, this is about as good as it gets!

 

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.

 

There are 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.

 

The Realme 2 Pro Cameras

The Realme 2 Pro (Malaysia | Indonesia) has a very high-resolution 16 MP front camera, with a bright and wide f/2.0 aperture. It takes photos with a resolution of 4608 x 3456 pixels. Realme did not reveal the sensor model, but it’s quite likely the Sony IMX398.

Note : You can see the row of tiny speaker ports  right above the front camera.

In the back, the Realme 2 Pro (Malaysia | Indonesia) has a dual-lens camera, supported by a single LED flash. It is made up of an image camera with a 16 MP Sony IMX398 sensor and a very wide f/1.7 aperture, paired with a 2 MP depth sensor and a f/2.4 aperture.

This dual-lens camera does not have optical image stabilisation, but supports electronic image stabilisation (EIS). The depth sensor does not actually take any pictures. Instead, it lets the camera to more accurately differentiate the subject from its background, allowing for more realistic software bokeh effects.

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Fast Fingerprint Sensor

The Realme 2 Pro (Malaysia | Indonesia) comes with a fast FPC 102x fingerprint sensor located at the back. In our tests, it is very fast and accurate, supporting 360-degree recognition.

In addition to the fingerprint sensor, the Realme 2 Pro also supports face recognition, and of course, the good old 6-digit passcode.

Next Page > More Realme 2 Pro Key Features

 

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Triple Card Tray

The Realme 2 Pro (Malaysia | Indonesia) has Dual SIM, Dual Standby capabilities, with support for 4G on both SIMs. It also supports the addition of a microSD card, for additional storage of up to 512 GB.

It comes with a triple card tray, so you can insert a microSD card while still using two nano SIM cards. In other words, you get to have your cake and eat it too!

 

The Ergonomics

Despite its notch, the Realme 2 Pro (Malaysia | Indonesia) feels like the Samsung Galaxy S9+. In fact, they both have the same width and thickness. Even with its slightly larger 6.3-inch display, the Realme 2 Pro is actually a wee bit shorter than the Galaxy S9+.

Thanks to its bezel-less display and elongated design, it feels smaller than the 5.5″ Samsung Galaxy S7 edge, and even 5.2″ smartphones like HTC 10. This is why it fits even smaller hands well, and fits better in smaller pockets.

The Realme 2 Pro (Malaysia | Indonesia) has a nice 6.3-inch IPS display with a Full HD+ resolution of  1080 x 2340 pixels. That gives it an ultra-wide / ultra-tall 19:9 aspect ratio, which will result in some pillar boxing – a black bar will be present on the left and right sides of the video clip.

 

Setting Up The Realme 2 Pro

The Realme 2 Pro (Malaysia | Indonesia) comes with Android 8.1.0 Oreo installed. The setup process is pretty easy, as we demonstrate in this video. You can also see how easy it is to train the fingerprint sensor.

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Available Memory & Storage

Realme offers the Realme 2 Pro (Malaysia | Indonesia) with memory options of 4 GB, 6 GB and 8 GB of LPDDR4x memory. Our review sample came with the full 8 GB. Its ColorOS 5.2 does not allow us to check the amount of free memory, but we used AIDA64 to confirm that it has 5 GB of free memory.

With ColorOS and background apps taking up 3 GB of RAM, that is a lot of bloat… eerily similar to the Samsung Galaxy S9+. But with 5 GB of free memory, you really have nothing to worry about. Even the Galaxy S9+, a premium flagship smartphone, only has 3 GB of free memory!

The Realme 2 Pro (Malaysia | Indonesia) also comes with either 64 GB of eMMC 5.1 flash storage, or 128 GB of the faster UFS 2.1 flash storage. Our model came with 128 GB, of which 103 GB is free to use.

This is enough space to store about 24,000 photos, or 11 hours of 1080p videos, or 5.5 hours of 4K videos. If that’s not enough, you can top it up with a microSD card (up to 256 GB).

Next Page > Realme 2 Pro Camera Performance – Photo + Video

 

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Realme 2 Pro Camera Performance – Photos

The Realme 2 Pro (Malaysia | Indonesia) has a very capable dual-lens camera with the excellent 16 MP Sony IMX398 sensor and a very wide and fast f/1.7 aperture. You can think of it as a lower-resolution cousin of the new Samsung Galaxy A7 2018‘s triple-lens camera, sans the wide-angle camera.

The maximum 16 MP resolution is attained with the 4:3 aspect ratio, with 4608 x 3456 pixels, and a file size of between 4 MB and 6 MB.

Here are eight 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 of the photos are incredible. You can really see the detail of flower carpel and petals, the individual buds of the broccoli florets, and the texture of the grains. The colour reproduction was also excellent – not just vivid, but also accurate.

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. Notice how quickly the rest of the picture is out-of-focus in the broccoli and star anise pictures.

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Realme 2 Pro Camera Performance – Video Recording

Surprisingly, the Realme 2 Pro (Malaysia | Indonesia) supports 4K, as well as 1080p, video recording. Even more expensive models like the Samsung Galaxy A7 2018 do not offer 4K video recording.

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

In this video, you can see the amount of detail the sensor captures, even at just 1080p. Its cameras do not support OIS (optical image stabilisation), but it fortunately supports electronic image stabilisation capability.

Noise cancellation was decent, but the audio was too bright and lack bass and range. That said, this is very good performance for a mid-range smartphone.

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

First thing you will notice is that electronic image stabilisation (EIS) seems to be disabled or less effective in 4K. You will also notice the greater amount of detail recorded in each frame. Note too how its  was able to control the bright highlights.

Video Recording Test #3 : Street Market (1080p)

As you can see, the Realme 2 Pro has good electronic image stabilisation, thanks to its high resolution sensor and fast processor.

Video Recording Test #3 : Street Market (4K)

But when we switched to 4K, it no longer had electronic image stabilisation, so the video was noticeably jerky.

Next Page > Realme 2 Pro Work + Gaming Performance, Battery Life + Recharging Performance

 

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Work Performance – PCMark

We tested the Realme 2 Pro’s performance using PCMark, which simulates work applications like web browsing, playing video, writing text and editing photos.

Work 2.0 Realme 2 Pro Honor Play Honor 10 Samsung Galaxy A7 2018
Performance Score
(Average)
7842 7361 7106 5379
Web Browsing 7863 7695 7295 5278
Video Editing 6756 5499 5159 4413
Writing 6498 6649 6752 5056
Photo Editing 16030 13326 12910 7427
Data Manipulation 5359 5764 5524 5147
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The Realme 2 Pro (Malaysia | Indonesia) was superb in this test, with its Snapdragon 660 beating even the Honor Play and Honor 10‘s Kirin 970 flagship SoC. It was, amazingly, 45% faster than the the new Samsung Galaxy A7 2018 in this test.

 

Gaming Performance – 3DMark

We tested the Realme 2 Pro’s gaming performance using 3DMark, using the Ice Storm Unlimited test.

Ice Storm Unlimited Honor Play Honor 10 Realme 2 Pro Samsung Galaxy A7 2018
Gaming Score 31622 30560 24812 15354
Graphics 37351 34801 26455 15788
Physics 20576 21423 20383 14005
Graphics Test 1 208.9 fps 206.2 fps 147.4 fps 136.5 fps
Graphics Test 2 132.8 fps 119.5 fps 94.3 fps 45.8 fps
Physics Test 65.3 fps 68.0 fps 64.7 fps 44.5 fps
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The Realme 2 Pro (Malaysia | Indonesia) had pretty good gaming performance. It was only about 20% slower than the Honor Play and Honor 10, which boast a 12-core GPU; and a whopping 62% faster than the Galaxy A7 2018‘s dual-core GPU.

 

Battery Life – PCMark

We then tested the Realme 2 Pro’s battery performance using PCMark. It basically ran the PCMark work tests until its battery capacity dropped to 20%.

Work 2.0 Samsung Galaxy A7 2018 Honor Play Honor 10 Realme 2 Pro
Battery Life 10 hours 25 mins 9 hours 56 mins 8 hours 56 mins 6 hours 58 mins
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Despite its rather larger 3,500 mAh battery, the Realme 2 Pro (Malaysia | Indonesia) had a battery life just shy of 7 hours. Note that this is not just screen-on time. It’s running the Work 2.0 benchmark over, and over again, for 7 hours!

The new Samsung Galaxy A7 2018, in comparison, has a 50% longer battery life even though it only has a smaller 3,300 mAh battery.

A major reason is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 660. It is a powerful mid-range chip, but built on the older 14 nm process technology. That means it consumes more power than newer chips built on 10 nm or even 7 nm process technologies.

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Battery Recharging Performance

The Realme 2 Pro comes with a 10 watt fast charger. Let’s take a look at how fast it recharges the 3,500 mAh battery.

The Realme 2 Pro (Malaysia | Indonesia) took just over 2 hours (122 minutes) to recharge its battery from 20% to 100%. This is an average performance, considering it’s using a 10 watt charger.

Its battery life : recharging ratio of 3.9 : 1 is also average. A rule of thumb – for one hour of battery life, charge it for 15.5 minutes.

The fastest recharging happened up to the 85% level. This took just 68 minutes. Then the recharging speed slowed down, and it took an astounding 54 minutes to top up the remaining 15%.

Next Page > Realme 2 Pro – Our Verdict + Award, Price + Deals

 

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Our Verdict + Award

When the Realme 2 Pro debuted in Jakarta, it received a thunderous response. And why not? It offered a ton of great features in a very classy bezel-less metal + glass design, at incredibly low price points.

The Realme 2 Pro (Malaysia | Indonesia) comes with a very large 6.3-inch bezel-less display with a very small dewdrop notch. This is what you would expect in a smartphone that costs at least twice as much.

It also comes with generous amounts of fast RAM and storage. You can opt for 4 GB or 6 GB or even 8 GB of the latest LPDDR4x memory. It comes with a minimum of 64 GB of storage, with a 128 GB option. All without breaking the bank!

Realme did not skimp in the photographic department either. The Realme 2 Pro (Malaysia | Indonesia) comes with a high-resolution 16 MP front camera with a fast and bright f/2.0 lens.

In the back, it has a dual-lens camera that boasts an impressive 16 MP Sony IMX398 image sensor with a very bright f/1.7 lens. It is supported by a 2 MP depth sensor, allowing it to deliver more realistic software bokeh effects. The result – incredibly good photos worthy of smartphones that cost 2-3X as much!

If that’s not impressive enough, we should point out that it even supports 4K video recording! Albeit, without electronic image stabilisation. Still, this is a feature you wouldn’t expect in this price range!

The Realme 2 Pro (Malaysia | Indonesia) also has good work and gaming performance, handily beating even the new Samsung Galaxy A7 2018 in both aspects.

Of course, it has some limitations. For one thing – it has rather poor battery life – lasting just under 7 hours in our stress test. It also has rather slow recharging performance. To be more accurate, recharging up to 85% is fast, but topping up to 100% takes a long time.

But if you can live with its limited battery life, and don’t mind taking a longer time to recharge, the Realme 2 Pro (Malaysia | Indonesia) is an incredibly great deal. So many flagship-class features in such a slim and beautiful metal and glass body, and offered at such incredible price points. What is there not to like?

That’s why we have no qualms awarding it our Editor’s Choice Award! Congratulations, Realme!

 

Realme 2 Pro Price + Deals

The Realme 2 Pro is now available in both Indonesia and Malaysia.

Indonesia

Sales began at 11 AM on 23 October 2018, at the following prices :

  • 4 GB RAM + 64 GB storage : Rp 2,899,000 (~US$ 191 / ~£144 / ~RM 792)
  • 6 GB RAM + 64 GB storage : Rp 3,299,000 (~US$ 217 / ~£164 / ~RM 902)
  • 8 GB RAM + 128 GB storage : Rp 3,699,000 (~US$ 244 / ~£184 / ~RM 1,011)

Malaysia

Sales began on 7 November 2018, at the following prices :

  • 4 GB RAM + 64 GB storage : RM 849 (~US$ 204 / ~£155)
  • 6 GB RAM + 64 GB storage : RM 949 (~US$ 228 / ~£174)
  • 8 GB RAM + 128 GB storage : RM 1,099 (~US$ 264 / ~£201)

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However, Shopee will offer the Realme 2 Pro at these special prices on 28 November 2018 :

  • 4 GB RAM + 64 GB storage : RM 799 (~US$ 192 / ~£146)
  • 6 GB RAM + 64 GB storage : RM 899 (~US$ 216 / ~£164)
  • 8 GB RAM + 128 GB storage : RM 999 (~US$ 240 / ~£183)

If you are interested to purchase the Realme 2 Pro at the awesome 12/12 deal, stake out this page!

 

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The 3X Camera Xiaomi Mi A2 Smartphone In-Depth Review!

A year after Xiaomi released their first Android One smartphone – the Mi A1, they released the Xiaomi Mi A2 together with a lower-end Mi A2 Lite model How does it fare, in light of new rivals like the Realme 2 Pro and the Samsung Galaxy A7 2018Let’s find out in our Xiaomi Mi A2 in-depth review!

 

The Xiaomi Mi A2 Tech Briefing

The new Mi A2 (US | UK | MY) is an Android One device with a traditional rectangular 18:9 display. Powered by the more powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 660, it comes with at least 4 GB of memory but lacks a microSD card slot. Here is an early Xiaomi Mi A2 tech briefing by Allen An.

The lower-end Mi A2 Lite, on the other hand, has a wider 19:9 display with a notch, and is powered by the rather dated Qualcomm Snapdragon 625. It comes with at least 3 GB of memory, and a microSD card slot.

 

Xiaomi Mi A2 Colour Options

The Xiaomi Mi A2 (US | UK | MY) will come in three colours, at least initially – Blue, Black and Gold. Here is a look at all three colours!

Xiaomi Mi A2 Price + Availability

Here is the Xiaomi Mi A2 launch price comparison for a few countries. Please note that the Indian pricing is not yet confirmed, because they have not yet been launched in India.

Model RAM + Storage US Europe China India Malaysia
Mi A2 4 GB + 32 GB $290 €249 Rs 20,000
4 GB + 64 GB $325 €279 RMB 1,599 Rs 22,500 RM 999
6 GB + 128 GB $410 €349 RMB 1,999 Rs 28,100 RM 1,199

Here are some direct purchase links in Malaysia :

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  • Mi A2 (6 GB + 128 GB) : RM1,099
  • Mi A2 (4 GB + 64 GB) : RM899

Here are some direct purchase links in the US :

Here are some direct purchase links in the US :

 

Unboxing The Xiaomi Mi A2

Let’s unbox the Xiaomi Mi A2 (US | UK | MY), and see what we find inside its white box!

Once you fully unbox the Xiaomi Mi A2 (US | UK | MY), you will find the following items :

  • One Xiaomi Mi A2 smartphone
  • One Xiaomi Mi A2 TPU bumper case
  • One Xiaomi Mi A2 User Guide
  • One 10 watt Xiaomi USB power adaptor
  • One USB Type C charging and data cable
  • One USB-C to 3.5 mm audio adaptor
  • One SIM tray extractor pin

Next Page > Xiaomi Mi A2 Up Close + Specifications

 

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The Xiaomi Mi A2 Up Close!

The Xiaomi Mi A2 (US | UK | MY) has a 5.99-inch IPS display, with a Full HD+ resolution of 1080 x 2160 pixels and a 18:9 aspect ratio. The display is protected by Gorilla Glass 5, while the metal body has a matte finish that is resistant to fingerprint smears.

It is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 – a mid-range SoC with four Qualcomm Kryo 260 Gold high-speed cores running at 2.2 GHz, and four Qualcomm Kryo 260 Silver low-power cores running at 1.8 GHz. It also comes with the fast Qualcomm Adreno 512 GPU.

The Mi A2 (US | UK | MY) comes with either 4 GB or 6 GB of memory and 32 GB, 64 GB or 128 GB of internal storage. Our review sample is the mid-range model with 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage. It has a longish model name of M180402SG.

All that is powered by a 3,000 mAh lithium-ion battery, in a thin metal chassis that is only 7.3 mm thick, and weighs just 166 grams. We are glad to report that it has the new USB Type C port, and comes with a 10 watt USB charger.

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Xiaomi Mi A2 Specifications

Here are the specifications of the Xiaomi Mi A2 and the Mi A2 Lite compared!

SpecificationsXiaomi Mi A2Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite
Display5.99-inch IPS display
- 1080 x 2160 pixels (403 ppi)
5.84-inch IPS display
- 1080 x 2280 pixels (432 ppi)
ProtectionCorning Gorilla Glass 5Unknown
Operating SystemAndroid 8.1 OreoAndroid 8.1 Oreo
System PlatformQualcomm Snapdragon 660Qualcomm Snapdragon 625
Processor4 x Kryo 260 Gold (2.2 GHz)
4 x Kryo 260 Silver (1.8 GHz)
8 x ARM Cortex-A53 (up to 2.0 GHz)
Graphics ProcessorQualcomm Adreno 512Qualcomm Adreno 506
Memory4 GB LPDDR4X SDRAM3 GB LPDDR3 SDRAM
Storage64 GB internal storage
No microSD card slot
32 GB internal storage
microSD card slot
Front Camera20 MP IMX376 sensor with f/1.75 lens
- single LED flash
- 1080p @ 30 fps video
5 MP sensor with f/2.2 lens
- 1080p @ 30 fps video
Rear CameraDual Lens Camera
Main Camera : 12 MP Sony IMX486 sensor with f/1.75 lens
Low-Light Camera : 20 MP IMX376 sensor with f/1.75 lens
- PDAF capability
- Dual-tone LED flash
- 2160p @ 30 fps video
12 MP Sony IMX486 sensor with f/1.8 lens and PDAF capability
5 MP depth sensor with f/2.2 lens
- Dual-tone LED flash
- 2160p @ 30 fps video
ConnectivityWiFi : 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (dual band)
Bluetooth : BT 5.0
USB : USB 2.0 Type C
WiFi : 802.11/b/g/n (dual band)
Bluetooth : BT 4.2
USB : microUSB 2.0
RadioNoNo
GPSWith A-GPS, GLONASS, BeidouWith A-GPS, GLONASS, Beidou
Infra-red EmitterYesYes
Fingerprint SensorYes, Rear MountedYes, Rear Mounted
Other SensorsAccelerometer, Gyroscope, Proximity, CompassAccelerometer, Gyroscope, Proximity, Compass
Battery3,000 mAh lithium-ion4,000 mAh lithium-ion
Dimensions75.4 mm wide
158.7 mm tall
7.3 mm thick
71.6 mm wide
149.3 mm tall
8.7 mm thick
Weight166 g178 g
Available ColoursBlack, Gold, Blue, Red, Rose GoldBlack, Gold, Lake Blue

Next Page > Xiaomi Mi A2 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.

 

There are 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.

 

The Xiaomi Mi A2 Cameras

The Xiaomi Mi A2 (US | UK | MY) boasts a very high-resolution front camera, with a 20 MP Sony IMX376 image sensor. Its very bright f/1.75 lens lets you take great selfies even in less-than-ideal conditions. And when it gets very dark, it even has a dedicated LED flash to make sure you can capture a selfie!

At the back, the Xiaomi Mi A2 (US | UK | MY) has a dual camera system. Its main camera has a 12 MP Sony IMX486 PDAF sensor, with a f/1.75 lens. It also has a low-light camera that pairs a 20 MP Sony IMX376 sensor with f/1.75 lens. They are supported by a dual-tone LED flash.

The pairing of a high-resolution 12 MP main camera, with a higher-resolution 20 MP low light camera, is a curious choice. Let’s take a look at this comparison of three figurines in very low-light conditions :

Despite having the same f/1.75 apertures, and smaller pixels, the 20 MP low light camera does indeed have superior low light performance./

Unfortunately, the low-light camera must be activated manually using the Manual option. It doesn’t automatically get selected when you use the other camera options. And there does not seem to be an option to use it to record low-light videos.

 

Fingerprint Sensor

The Xiaomi Mi A2 (US | UK | MY) uses the FPC 102x fingerprint sensor located at the back. In our tests, it is very fast and accurate, supporting 360-degree recognition.

Surprisingly, the Mi A2 does not support face recognition login, only Swipe, Pattern, PIN code and password. So the fingerprint sensor is going to be really handy for fast logins.

Next Page > What’s Missing? How To Setup, Free Memory + Storage

 

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No 3.5 mm Audio Port

Although it is physically possible to squeeze in a 3.5 mm audio port into the Mi A2’s thin 7.3 mm chassis, Xiaomi chose to limited the 3.5 mm port.

Instead, they included a USB-C to 3.5 mm audio port adaptor. This allows you to continue plugging in your earphones and hands-free kit. You just cannot use them while charging your Mi A2 at the same time.

 

No MicroSD Card Slot

The Xiaomi Mi A2 (US | UK | MY) has Dual SIM, Dual Standby support, with a SIM tray that accepts two nano SIM cards. However, they chose to eliminate the microSD card slot. They did not even make SIM2 a hybrid SIM slot, that could double as a microSD card slot.

That means you must rely solely on the internal flash storage – there is no way to expand storage in the Mi A2. This is something iPhone users will be familiar with, but not Android users.

So unless you don’t intend to take many photos or videos, or install many apps or games, you should opt for the higher storage capacities of 64 GB or 128 GB.

 

Setting Up The Xiaomi Mi A2

The Xiaomi Mi A2 (US | UK | MY) comes with Android 8.1 Oreo installed. The setup process is pretty easy, as we demonstrate in this video. You can also see how easy it is to train the fingerprint sensor.

 

Available Memory & Storage

Xiaomi offers the Mi A2 (US | UK | MY) with either 4 GB or 6 GB of RAM. Our review sample came with 4 GB of RAM. MIUI does not allow us to check the amount of free memory, except through the hidden Developer Options.

From what we can see, about half of the memory is used at all times by MIUI and background apps, leaving you about 2 GB of free memory to use. That is good enough for a few memory guzzling apps to use.

The Xiaomi Mi A2 (US | UK | MY) has storage options of 32 GB, 64 GB and 128 GB. We highly recommend you opt for 64 GB or 128 GB, because it does not come with a microSD card slot, so you can’t add more storage. Our review sample came with 64 GB of storage, of which just over 48 GB is available to use.

This is enough space to store about 12,000 photos, or 5 hours of 1080p videos, or 2.5 hours of 4K videos. If that’s not enough, then you should opt for the 128 GB storage option. Remember – there is no microSD card expansion option.

Next Page > Xiaomi Mi A2 Camera Performance – Photo Samples

 

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Xiaomi Mi A2 Camera Performance – Photo Samples

The Xiaomi Mi A2 (US | UK | MY) has a very capable 12 MP main camera, with the new Sony IMX486 PDAF image sensor and a very bright f/1.75 lens.

The maximum 12 MP resolution is attained with the 4:3 aspect ratio, with 4000 x 3000 pixels, and a file size of between 4 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 of the Xiaomi Mi A2 (US | UK | MY) is really amazing. It managed to capture the intricate details of the broccoli florets, the grape stems, and even the texture of the tiny white pepper seeds. The colours are also very nice – vivid but not excessive to the point they become unrealistic.

The wide f/1.75 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.

Here are additional Mi A2 photo samples taken by Xiaomi’s Allen An using its 12 MP main camera.

And here are two more Mi A2 photo samples taken using its 20 MP low-light camera with Super Pixel capability.

Next Page > Xiaomi Mi A2 Camera Performance – Video Samples

 

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Xiaomi Mi A2 Camera Performance – Video Samples

We are glad to report that Xiaomi did not cripple the Mi A2’s awesome main camera in any way, allowing it to record up to 4K videos at 30 fps. However, they do not allow you to use the low-light camera in the back to record any video, and they limit the high-resolution 20 MP front camera to recording only 1080p videos.

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

Look at the detail captured by the Sony IMX486 sensor in this video. Even at 1080p, it’s amazing how much detail you can see in the video. The camera does not support optical image stabilisation (OIS), but its electronic image stabilisation (EIS) capability works great.

We, however, want to point out some focus and exposure issues which detracts from an excellent camera performance. In addition, Xiaomi went overboard with their noise cancellation – the audio range is unnaturally thin and overly bright.

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

The resolution is really incredible at 4K, but notice how theXiaomi Mi A2 (US | UK | MY) loses its electronic image stabilisation capability. This is a shame, because the Snapdragon 660 should be fast enough to handle electronic image stabilisation…

Video Recording Test #3 : Street Market (1080p)

As this video shows, the Xiaomi Mi A2 (US | UK | MY) has very good electronic image stabilisation, when you are recording 1080p videos. Noise cancellation is very good, although the resulting audio range is too bright and lacks bass.

Video Recording Test #4 : Street Market (4K)

Once you switch to 4K video recording, the Xiaomi Mi A2 (US | UK | MY) loses its electronic image stabilisation capabilities. The video is noticeably jerkier…

Next Page > Xiaomi Mi A2 Performance – Work, Gaming, Battery + Recharging Speed

 

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Work Performance – PCMark

We tested the Xiaomi Mi A2’s performance using PCMark, which simulates work applications like web browsing, playing video, writing text and editing photos.

Work 2.0 Xiaomi Mi A2 Realme 2 Pro Honor Play Samsung Galaxy
A7 2018
Performance Score
(Average)
8233 7842 7361 5379
Web Browsing 8543 7863 7695 5278
Video Editing 6356 6756 5499 4413
Writing 7471 6498 6649 5056
Photo Editing 15999 16030 13326 7427
Data Manipulation 5828 5359 5764 5147
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Despite using the same SoC as the Realme 2 Pro, the Xiaomi Mi A2 (US | UK | MY) is 5% faster in the Work 2.0 benchmark. It is also 12% faster than the flagship-class Kirin 970 used in the Honor Play, and a whopping 53% faster than the Samsung Exynos 7885 used in the Samsung Galaxy A7 2018.

 

Gaming Performance – 3DMark

We tested the Xiaomi Mi A2’s gaming performance using 3DMark, using the Ice Storm Unlimited test.

Ice Storm Unlimited Honor Play Xiaomi Mi A2 Realme 2 Pro Samsung
Galaxy
A7 2018
Gaming Score 31622 26731 24812 15354
Graphics 37351 29302 26455 15788
Physics 20576 20452 20383 14005
Graphics Test 1 208.9 fps 162.9 fps 147.4 fps 136.5 fps
Graphics Test 2 132.8 fps 104.6 fps 94.3 fps 45.8 fps
Physics Test 65.3 fps 64.9 fps 64.7 fps 44.5 fps
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The Xiaomi Mi A2 (US | UK | MY) has 8% faster gaming performance than the Realme 2 Pro, despite being powered by the same SoC. This makes it just 15.5% slower than the flagship-class Kirin 970 used in the Honor Play, and 74% faster than the Exynos 7885 used in the Samsung Galaxy A7 2018.

 

Battery Life – PCMark

We then tested the Xiaomi Mi A2’s battery performance using PCMark. It basically ran the PCMark work tests until its battery capacity dropped to 20%.

Work 2.0 Samsung Galaxy
A7 2018
Honor Play Realme 2 Pro Xiaomi Mi A2
Battery Life 10 hours 25 mins 9 hours 56 mins 6 hours 58 mins 5 hours 39 mins
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Battery life is a sore point for the Qualcomm Snapdragon 660. It is powerful, but it is a 14 nm chip that guzzles power compared to newer chips built on the 10 nm or 12 nm process technology.

Hence, we are not surprised to see the Xiaomi Mi A2 (US | UK | MY) last just over 5.5 hours in our stress test. Let’s remember that it only has a 3,000 mAh battery, while the Realme 2 Pro, which uses the same Snapdragon 660 SoC, comes with a larger 3,500 mAh battery.

 

Battery Recharging Performance

The Xiaomi Mi A2 comes with a 10 watt fast charger. Let’s take a look at how fast it recharges the 3,000 mAh battery.

The Xiaomi Mi A2 (US | UK | MY) took just under 108.5 minutes (1 hour 48.5 minutes) to recharge its battery from 20% to 100%. That’s an average performance, considering it’s using a 10 watt charger.

That is a battery life : recharging ratio of 3:1. A rule of thumb – for one hour of battery life, charge it for 20 minutes.

The fastest recharging happened up to the 90% level. This took just 71 minutes. Then the recharging speed slowed down, and it took a further 37.5 minutes to top up the remaining 10%.

Next Page > Our Verdict, Where To Buy, Recommended Reading

 

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Our Verdict

The Mi A2 (US | UK | MY) continues the Xiaomi DNA of delivering an excellent set of features at a very compelling price point. It combines a powerful Snapdragon 660 platform, with a large Full HD+ display, and three high-resolution cameras. All for less than RM 1,200 / US$ 420.

Their cameras bear special mention, because Xiaomi seemed to pay special attention to them. The main 12 MP camera uses the latest Sony IMX486 PDAF image sensor, while the secondary rear camera and the front camera both use the higher-resolution 20 MP Sony IMX376 image sensor!

Believe it or not, all three cameras are paired with very bright f/1.75 lens. This means they will work very well in less-than-ideal lighting conditions. This puts these cameras on par with those used in many flagship-class smartphones.

And if that’s not enough, the secondary 20 MP rear camera is actually a special low-light camera which actually delivers on its promise of capturing better low-light photos with less noise than is possible with the main 12 MP camera (even though it has larger pixels).

However, we have to wonder if users will really find the low-light camera all that useful. Particularly when it can only be activated in the Manual mode, and cannot be used to record low-light videos. Unless you are into night photography, it is likely that most users will find a telephoto or wide-angle camera far more useful.

We also have to question Xiaomi’s decision to do away with a microSD card slot. Having the option to add a microSD card is more than just saving some money, or the flexibility of adding more storage. It allows users to record their photos and videos directly into a microSD card, preventing them from being lost should they drop the phone into water or physically damage it.

The lack of the 3.5 mm audio port is not really that big a deal, especially when they threw in a free USB-C adaptor. What concerns us most is the relatively small battery. Yes, it allows the Mi A2 to be thinner and lighter, you will have to live with a relatively short battery life.

Still, the Xiaomi Mi A2 (US | UK | MY) offers a great package for its price point. There are very, VERY few smartphones that offer such high performance, with flagship-class front and rear cameras, at such price points.

 

Where To Buy The Xiaomi Mi A2?

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Here are some direct purchase links in Malaysia :

  • Mi A2 (6 GB + 128 GB) : RM1,099
  • Mi A2 (4 GB + 64 GB) : RM899

Here are some direct purchase links in the US :

Here are some direct purchase links in the US :

 

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The Definitive Realme 2 vs. Realme C1 Comparison!

Realme began their global expansion with three big bangs – the Realme 2 Pro, the Realme 2 and Realme C1 smartphones. While the Realme 2 Pro is clearly positioned as a killer mid-range smartphone, there is still some confusion about the Realme 2 and Realme C1 smartphones.

Despite their names, both Realme smartphones are very similar in many aspects. They are even similar in design and size! In this comparison, we will show you the differences between the two Realme smartphones. Find out which is the best option for you!

 

Realme Smartphone Video Comparison

Let’s start with a video comparison of the three new Realme smartphones!

 

Realme 2 vs. Realme C1 – By The Numbers!

Display : Same

Both Realme smartphones have the same 6.2-inch IPS display with a HD+ resolution of 720 x 1520 pixels.

CPU + GPU : Same

Both Realme smartphones run on the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 platform, with eight ARM Cortex-A53 CPU cores and the Adreno 506 GPU.

Memory : 2 GB vs. 3 / 4 GB

The Realme C1 comes with 2 GB of RAM, while the Realme 2 comes with either 3 GB or 4 GB of RAM.

Storage : 16 GB vs. 32 / 64 GB

The Realme C1 comes with 16 GB of storage, while the Realme 2 comes with either 32 GB or 64 GB of RAM.

Front Camera : 5 MP vs. 8 MP

The Realme C1 comes with a 5 MP front camera, while the Realme 2 comes with a higher-resolution 8 MP front camera.

Rear Camera : Same

Both smartphones boast the same dual-lens camera, with a 13 MP image sensor, and a 2 MP depth sensor. Their dual-lens camera is also supported by a single LED flash.

Fingerprint Sensor : Only In The Realme 2

Only the Realme 2 comes with a fingerprint sensor, and it’s located at the back.

Battery : Same

Both smartphones are powered by the same 4,230 mAh lithium-ion battery.

Colour + Finish : Diamond Cut vs. Mirror

The Realme 2 comes with a Diamond Cut glossy finish with 15 tangent planes. It is available in two colour options – Diamond Black and Diamond Red.

The Realme C1, on the other hand, has a mirrored glossy design, and comes in the Mirror Black and Navy Blue colour options.

Size + Weight : Same

Both Realme smartphones have the same dimensions, and even weight! They are both 75.6 mm wide, 156.2 mm tall and 8.2 mm thick, and they both weigh just 168 grams.

Price : Cheap, Cheaper… CHEAPEST!

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The Realme 2 comes in two variants. The high-end 4 GB + 64 GB model costs RM 699 / Rp 2,299,000 / ~US$ 167, while the mid-range 3 GB + 32 GB model costs RM 599 / Rp 1,999,000 / ~US$ 143.

The Realme C1 is available only with 2 GB RAM + 16 GB storage. It has a launch price of just RM 499 / Rp 1,499,000 / ~US$ 119!

But amazingly, Realme is currently offering the Realme C1 at just RM 399 in Malaysia for a limited time! That’s a RM 100 off – a 25% discount! You can get it from this link!

 

Realme 2 vs. Realme C1 Specifications Compared!

SpecificationsRealme 2Realme C1
Display6.2-inch display
- 720 x 1520 pixels
- 19:9 aspect ratio, 271 ppi
Operating SystemAndroid 8.1 with ColorOS 5.1
PlatformQualcomm Snapdragon 450
Processor8 x ARM Cortex A53 cores (up to 1.8 GHz)
Graphics ProcessorQualcomm Adreno 506
Memory3 GB / 4 GB RAM2 GB RAM
Storage32 GB / 64 GB internal flash storage
microSD card (up to 256 GB)
16 GB internal flash storage
microSD card (up to 256 GB)
Front Camera8 MP image sensor with f/2.2 lens5 MP image sensor with f/2.2 lens
Rear Camera13 MP image sensor with f/2.2 lens
2 MP depth sensor with f/2.4 lens
Fingerprint SensorYes, Rear-mountedNot available
Other SensorsLight Sensor, G-sensor, Acceleration sensor, Magnetic induction, Proximity Sensor
NFCNot available
Battery4,230 mAh lithium-ion battery
Dimensions75.6 mm wide
156.2 mm tall
8.2 mm thick
Weight168 g
Available ColoursDiamond Black, Diamond Red, Diamond BlueNavy Blue, Mirror Black
Launch PriceRM 599 - 699
Rp 1,999,000 - 2,299,000
RM 499
Rp 1,499,000

 

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The Realme 2 PRO Price, Deals, Specifications + More!

The Realme 2 PRO smartphone has now been unveiled in Jakarta and Malaysia to thunderous applause. Here are the Realme 2 PRO price and offers, as well as its official tech briefing and full specifications!

Don’t forget to read our in-depth review of the Realme 2 Pro smartphone!

 

Who Is Realme?

Created by OPPO as a sub-brand, Realme recently became an independent brand. Realme Southeast Asia Marketing Director, Josef Wang, gave a quick overview of Realme as a new smartphone brand, and how well they did in their first market – India.

 

Realme Interview Session

We also had the opportunity to grill Realme’s Josef Wang and Felix Christian about their ties with OPPO and the three new Realme smartphones that they just revealed!

 

The Official Realme 2 PRO Tech Briefing

The Realme 2 PRO (Malaysia | Indonesia) is a mid-range smartphone offering many of the latest smartphone features at an affordable price point. It comes in three colour options – Black Sea, Blue Ocean and Ice Lake.

 

Realme 2 PRO Specifications

SpecificationsRealme 2 Pro
Display6.3-inch display
- 1080 x 2340 pixels
- 19:9 aspect ratio, 409 ppi
Operating SystemAndroid 8.1 with ColorOS 5.1
PlatformQualcomm Snapdragon 660
Processor4 x Qualcomm Kryo 260 Gold cores (2.2 GHz)
4 x Qualcomm Kryo 260 Silver cores (1.84 GHz)
Graphics ProcessorQualcomm Adreno 512
Memory4 GB / 6 GB / 8 GB LPDDR4x SDRAM
Storage64 GB eMMC 5.1 flash storage, OR
128 GB UFS 2.1 flash storage
microSD card (up to 256 GB)
Front Camera16 MP image sensor with f/2.0 lens
Rear Camera16 MP Sony IMX398 image sensor with f/1.7 lens
2 MP depth sensor with f/2.4 lens
Single LED flash
Fingerprint SensorYes, Rear-mounted
Other SensorsLight & distance sensor, acceleration sensor, gyroscope, geomagnetic sensor
NFCNot available
Battery3,500 mAh lithium-ion battery
Dimensions74.0 mm wide
156.7 mm tall
8.5 mm thick
Weight174 g
Available ColoursBlack Sea, Blue Ocean, Ice Lake

Don’t forget to read our in-depth review of the Realme 2 Pro smartphone!

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Realme 2 Pro Price + Deals

The Realme 2 Pro is now available in both Indonesia and Malaysia.

Indonesia

Here are the Realme 2 Pro price list in Indonesia, with sales beginning on 23 October 2018 :

  • 4 GB RAM + 64 GB storage : Rp 2,899,000 (~US$ 191 / ~£144 / ~RM 792)
  • 6 GB RAM + 64 GB storage : Rp 3,299,000 (~US$ 217 / ~£164 / ~RM 902)
  • 8 GB RAM + 128 GB storage : Rp 3,699,000 (~US$ 244 / ~£184 / ~RM 1,011)

Malaysia

Here are the Realme 2 Pro price list in Malaysia, with sales beginning on 7 November 2018 :

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  • 4 GB RAM + 64 GB storage : RM 849 (~US$ 204 / ~£155)
  • 6 GB RAM + 64 GB storage : RM 949 (~US$ 228 / ~£174)
  • 8 GB RAM + 128 GB storage : RM 1,099 (~US$ 264 / ~£201)

However, Shopee will offer the Realme 2 Pro at these special prices on 11 November 2018 :

  • 4 GB RAM + 64 GB storage : RM 799 (~US$ 192 / ~£146)
  • 6 GB RAM + 64 GB storage : RM 899 (~US$ 216 / ~£164)
  • 8 GB RAM + 128 GB storage : RM 999 (~US$ 240 / ~£183)

If you are interested to purchase the Realme 2 Pro at the awesome 11/11 deal, stake out this page!

Next Page > Realme 2 PRO Key Features, Complete Realme Jakarta Presentation 

 

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Realme 2 PRO Key Features

Here is a summary of its key features :

Dewdrop Full HD+ Display

The Realme 2 PRO (Malaysia | Indonesia) features a 6.3-inch Full HD+ display with a dewdrop notch. This gives it a 90.8% screen-to-body ratio. It is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass.

Crystal-like Dewdrop Back Cover

The back cover uses a 15-layer laminate technology to deliver a glossy effect with a dewdrop curved design.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 AIE

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 has eight Qualcomm Kyro 260 cores that run at up to 1.95 GHz. It includes the fast Qualcomm Adreno 512 GPU, the Qualcomm All-Ways Aware sensor hub and Qualcomm AI Engine.

High-Speed RAM + Storage

The Realme 2 PRO (Malaysia | Indonesia) offers the latest LPDDR4x memory technology, as well as UFS2.1 flash storage of 128 GB. Its storage can be further expanded with a microSD card (up to 400 GB).

Note : The 64 GB storage option uses the slower eMMC5.1 standard.

Long-lasting 3,500 mAh Battery

The Realme 2 PRO (Malaysia | Indonesia) has a large 3,500 mAh battery that is managed by their AI Power Master software to provide all-day endurance, by intelligently suspending inactive apps and processes to minimise power consumption. Here are the results of Realme’s lab tests :

Standby 16.5 hours
Music Playing (WiFi) 12 hours
Video Playback (WiFi) 10 hours
Surfing the Internet (WiFi) 12.5 hours

Studio-Quality Portraits

The Realme 2 PRO (Malaysia | Indonesia) has a main camera built around the 16 MP Sony IMX398 sensor and f/1.7 lens. It supports fast Dual Pixel auto-focus, and electronic image stabilisation (EIS) for video recordings. It also offers 16 AI scenes.

Don’t forget to read our in-depth review of the Realme 2 Pro smartphone!

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The Complete Realme Jakarta Presentation

Here is the complete Realme Jakarta presentation for the Realme 2 Pro, Realme 2 and Realme C1 smartphones :

 

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The Realme 2 Price, Offers, Specifications + Tech Briefing!

The Realme 2 smartphone has now been unveiled in Jakarta and Malaysia to thunderous applause. Here are the Realme 2 price and offers, as well as its official tech briefing and full specifications!

 

Who Is Realme?

Created by OPPO as a sub-brand, Realme recently became an independent brand. Realme Southeast Asia Marketing Director, Josef Wang, gave a quick overview of Realme as a new smartphone brand, and how well they did in their first market – India.

 

Realme Interview Session

We also had the opportunity to grill Realme’s Josef Wang and Felix Christian about their ties with OPPO and the three new Realme smartphones that they just revealed!

 

The Official Realme 2 Tech Briefing

The Realme 2 smartphone is a more premium version of the Realme C1 smartphone. Designed with the tagline “Power Meets Style” in mind, the Realme 2 boasts more elaborate craftsmanship than is usually seen in its market segment.

It is currently in its original Indonesian, but we are in the process of dubbing it in English, so check back later for the English translation!

 

Realme 2 Specifications

SpecificationsRealme 2
Display6.2-inch display
- 720 x 1520 pixels
- 19:9 aspect ratio, 271 ppi
Operating SystemAndroid 8.1 with ColorOS 5.1
PlatformQualcomm Snapdragon 450
Processor8 x ARM Cortex A53 cores (up to 1.8 GHz)
Graphics ProcessorQualcomm Adreno 506
Memory3 GB / 4 GB RAM
Storage32 GB / 64 GB internal flash storage
microSD card (up to 256 GB)
Front Camera8 MP image sensor with f/2.2 lens
Rear Camera13 MP image sensor with f/2.2 lens
2 MP depth sensor with f/2.4 lens
Fingerprint SensorYes, Rear-mounted
Other SensorsLight Sensor, G-sensor, Acceleration sensor, Magnetic induction, Proximity Sensor
NFCNot available
Battery4,230 mAh lithium-ion battery
Dimensions75.6 mm wide
156.2 mm tall
8.2 mm thick
Weight168 g
Available ColoursDiamond Black, Diamond Red, Diamond Blue

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Realme 2 Price + Offers

Here are the Realme 2 price list and offers in Indonesia and Malaysia!

Indonesia

Sales began at 11 AM on 16 October 2018, with the following Realme 2 price list :

  • 3 GB RAM + 32 GB storage : Rp 1,999,000 (~US$ 131 / ~£100 / ~RM 545)
  • 4 GB RAM + 64 GB storage : Rp 2,299,000 (~US$ 158 / ~£120 / ~RM 655)

Malaysia

Sales will begin on 24 November 2018, with the following Realme 2 price list :

  • 3 GB RAM + 32 GB storage : RM 599 (~US$ 144 / ~£109)
  • 4 GB RAM + 64 GB storage : RM 699 (~US$ 168 / ~£128)

Next Page > Realme 2 Key Features, Complete Realme Jakarta Presentation 

 

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Realme 2 Key Features

Here is a summary of its key features :

2.5D Composite Multi-Laminate Back Panel

The Realme 2 features a diamond-inspired back cover made from a composite material with multiple glass-like layers that are scratch- and wear-resistant. It is also optically-coated to deliver  a refractive lustre.

Notch Full Screen

The Realme 2 has a 6.2-inch Notch Full Screen, with 88.8% screen-to-body ratio. Thanks to its bezel-less design, it offers a 17% larger view for gaming and multitasking.

Long-lasting 4,230mAh Battery

The Realme 2 has a large 4,230 mAh battery that is managed by their AI Power Master software to provide all-day endurance, by intelligently suspending inactive apps and processes to minimise power consumption. Here are the results of Realme’s lab tests :

Normal Network Calls 44 hours
Music Playing (WiFi) 18 hours
Video Playback (WiFi) 15 hours
Gaming (WiFi) 10 hours
Surfing the Internet (WiFi) 18 hours

AI Power Manager

Without affecting smooth working of apps, AI Power Manager automatically optimises the power consumption of apps and controls the number of active processor cores.

  • App-Freezing Power Saver: Smartly restricts apps running in background to reduce overall power consumption and extend battery life. On average this feature allows the applications to save power by 5%-11%, and it can also be manually adjusted.
  • Quick App Freezing: AI Power Manager can put the background apps in the quick-freezing folder to effectively cut off the frequent and meaningless mutual wake-up between apps to save power. Laboratory data: About 5% energy saved per 24 hours compared to mobile phones without turning on app-freezing.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 octa-core processor

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 is an octa-core processor built on the 14 nm process technology, and runs at 1.8 GHz.

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  • Efficient, low power consumption with the ARM Cortex-A53 processor cores that consumes less power, and employs an efficient performance boosting feature;
  • Its GPU is 25% faster in image rendering, with 30% lower power consumption than the Snapdragon 435.

Memory + Storage

The Realme 2 in two variants – 3 GB of RAM with 32 GB of storage, or 4 GB of RAM with 64 GB of storage. It can be upgraded with a microSD card of up to 256 GB in capacity.

AI Photography

The Realme 2 has an AI-powered dual camera in the rear. It consists of a 13 MP camera paired with a 2 MP depth sensor, that is capable of recording 1080p videos. In the front, it has an 8 MP selfie camera that supports Portrait Mode, and AI Beauty Selfies.

 

The Complete Realme Jakarta Presentation

Here is the complete Realme Jakarta presentation for the Realme 2 Pro, Realme 2 and Realme C1 smartphones :

 

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The Realme C1 Price, Offers, Specifications + Tech Briefing!

The Realme C1 smartphone has now been unveiled in Jakarta and Malaysia to thunderous applause. Here are the Realme C1 price and offers, as well as its official tech briefing and full specifications!

 

Who Is Realme?

Created by OPPO as a sub-brand, Realme recently became an independent brand. Realme Southeast Asia Marketing Director, Josef Wang, gave a quick overview of Realme as a new smartphone brand, and how well they did in their first market – India.

 

Realme Interview Session

We also had the opportunity to grill Realme’s Josef Wang and Felix Christian about their ties with OPPO and the three new Realme smartphones that they just revealed!

 

The Official Realme C1 Tech Briefing

The Realme C1 smartphone is really a cut-down version of the Realme 2 smartphone. Offered at an incredibly low price, it’s designed to be the “New King of Entry Level” smartphones, in Realme’s own words.

It is currently in its original Indonesian, but we are in the process of dubbing it in English, so check back later for the English translation!

 

Realme C1 Specifications

SpecificationsRealme C1
Display6.2-inch display
- 720 x 1520 pixels
- 19:9 aspect ratio, 271 ppi
Operating SystemAndroid 8.1 with ColorOS 5.1
PlatformQualcomm Snapdragon 450
Processor8 x ARM Cortex A53 cores (up to 1.8 GHz)
Graphics ProcessorQualcomm Adreno 506
Memory2 GB RAM
Storage16 GB internal flash storage
microSD card (up to 256 GB)
Front Camera5 MP image sensor with f/2.2 lens
Rear Camera13 MP image sensor with f/2.2 lens
2 MP depth sensor with f/2.4 lens
Fingerprint SensorNot available
Other SensorsLight Sensor, G-sensor, Acceleration sensor,
Magnetic induction, Proximity Sensor
NFCNot available
Battery4,230 mAh lithium-ion battery
Dimensions75.6 mm wide
156.2 mm tall
8.2 mm thick
Weight168 g
Available ColoursElectric Blue, Electric Black

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Realme C1 Price + Offers

The Realme C1 is now available in Indonesia and Malaysia.

Indonesia

Priced at Rp 1,499,000 (~US$ 99 / ~£75 / ~RM 409), sales began on 30 October 2018.

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On 11 November 2018, Lazada Indonesia will offer the Realme C1 at just Rp 1,399,000 (~US$ 92 / ~£70 / ~RM 382), for one day only. Get the deal here!

Malaysia

Priced at RM 449 (~US$ 108 / ~£82), sales will begin on 22 November 2018.

It will be offered at a special price of RM 399 (~US$ 96 / ~£73) on Lazada Malaysia, from 22 November to 22 December 2018.

Next Page > Realme C1 Key Features, Complete Realme Jakarta Presentation 

 

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Realme C1 Key Features

Here is a summary of its key features :

Notch Full Screen

The Realme C1 has a 6.2-inch Notch Full Screen, with 88.8% screen-to-body ratio. Thanks to its bezel-less design, it offers a 17% larger view for gaming and multitasking.

Nature-Inspired Design

Mimicking the natural reflection of a water surface, the rear panel is made of 12 layers of nanoscale composite material. The result is a mirrored design that reflects light with every movement you make.

Long-lasting 4230mAh Battery

The Realme C1 has a large 4,230 mAh battery that is managed by their AI Power Master software to provide all-day endurance, by intelligently suspending inactive apps and processes to minimise power consumption. Here are the results of Realme’s lab tests :

Music Playing (WiFi) 18 hours
Video Playback (WiFi) 15 hours
Gaming (WiFi) 10 hours
Surfing the Internet (WiFi) 18 hours

AI Power Manager

Without affecting smooth working of apps, AI Power Manager automatically optimises the power consumption of apps and controls the number of active processor cores.

  • App-Freezing Power Saver: Smartly restricts apps running in background to reduce overall power consumption and extend battery life. On average this feature allows the applications to save power by 5%-11%, and it can also be manually adjusted.
  • Quick App Freezing: AI Power Manager can put the background apps in the quick-freezing folder to effectively cut off the frequent and meaningless mutual wake-up between apps to save power. Laboratory data: About 5% energy saved per 24 hours compared to mobile phones without turning on app-freezing.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 octa-core processor

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 is an octa-core processor built on the 14 nm process technology, and runs at 1.8 GHz.

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  • Efficient, low power consumption with the ARM Cortex-A53 processor cores that consumes less power, and employs an efficient performance boosting feature;
  • Its GPU is 25% faster in image rendering, with 30% lower power consumption than the Snapdragon 435.

Memory + Storage

The Realme C1 comes with 2 GB RAM and 16 GB of internal flash storage. It can be upgraded with a microSD card of up to 256 GB in capacity.

AI Photography

The Realme C1 has an AI-powered dual camera in the rear. It consists of a 13 MP camera paired with a 2 MP depth sensor, that is capable of recording 1080p videos. In the front, it has a 5 MP selfie camera that supports Portrait Mode, and AI Beauty Selfies.

 

The Complete Realme Jakarta Presentation

Here is the complete Realme Jakarta presentation for the Realme 2 Pro, Realme 2 and Realme C1 smartphones :

 

Recommended Reading

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The 4X Camera Samsung Galaxy A7 2018 (SM-A750) Review!

Samsung recently launched the Galaxy A7 2018 smartphone, with triple rear cameras at the incredible Galaxy UNPACKED KL 2018, and we received one of the first units! Read our in-depth review and find out if this is the smartphone for you!

Updated @ 2018-11-02 : Upgraded to a full review, with four new pages, five videos and many new photos.

Updated @ 2018-10-16 : Upgraded to a preview of the Samsung Galaxy A7 2018, with three videos.

Updated @ 2018-10-15 : Added the CPU and GPU specifications of the Samsung Galaxy A7 2018!

Updated @ 2018-10-12 : Added the official Samsung Galaxy A7 2018 (and Galaxy A9 2018) presentation, as well as its price and pre-order offer!

Originally posted @ 2018-09-21


 

The Samsung Galaxy A7 2018 Smartphone Revealed!

Samsung revealed the Galaxy A7 2018 and Galaxy A9 2018 smartphones in a glamorous Galaxy UNPACKED event that was held for the first time in Malaysia, with Korean celebrities like Yook Sung-jae, AOA (Ace of Angels) and DJ Soda, headlining the event.

As their designer, Sang Il Park, recently revealed, the Samsung Galaxy A7 2018 (MY | US | UK) is targeted at Millennials with a new minimalistic yet expressive design language.

 

Samsung Galaxy A7 2018 Colour Options

Samsung is offering the Samsung Galaxy A7 2018 (MY | US | UK) in four colour options – Black, Blue, Gold and Pink. Here is a video comparing the four colour options:

In many countries, only three of those four colour options will be available for sale, at least initially. Here in Malaysia, it will only be available in Black, Blue and Gold colours.

 

Samsung Galaxy A7 2018 Price + Availability

The Samsung Galaxy A7 2018 (MY | US | UK) officially launched on 11 October 2018 at the Galaxy UNPACKED 2018 event in Kuala Lumpur, and is currently available for purchase.

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It has a recommended retail price of RM 1,299 / ~US$ 325 / ~£236.

Here is the cheapest price we found online (as of 1 November 2018) in Malaysia :

And here are the direct purchase links in the US and UK :

  • Samsung Galaxy A7 2018 (International Version) : $329.99
  • Samsung Galaxy A7 2018 (UK Version) : £309.99

 

Unboxing The Samsung Galaxy A7 2018

The Samsung Galaxy A7 2018 is not available for sale, but we managed to get our hands on one of the first retail unit, albeit one meant for the German market. Let’s unbox it, and see what we find inside!

Once you fully unbox the Samsung Galaxy A7 2018, you will find the following items :

  • One Samsung Galaxy A7 2018 smartphone
  • One set of Samsung Galaxy A7 2018 documents
  • One 7.75 W Samsung travel adaptor
  • One micro-USB 2.0 cable
  • One pair of white Samsung earphones
  • One SIM tray extractor pin

Next Page > The Samsung Galaxy A7 2018 Up Close + Specifications

 

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The Samsung Galaxy A7 2018 Up Close!

The Samsung Galaxy A7 2018 (MY | US | UK) has a large 6.0-inch Super AMOLED display with a Full HD+ resolution of 1080 x 2220 pixels. This is an Infinity Display, which means it has very thin bezels, delivering a more immersive viewing experience. Especially with its support for Dolby Atmos.

The Samsung Galaxy A7 2018 (MY | US | UK) runs on Samsung Exynos 7885 octa-core processor with 4 GB of RAM and 128 GB of internal flash storage. The Exynos 7885 is a mid-range SoC, which pairs two high-performance ARM Cortex-A73 cores with six low-power ARM Cortex-A53 cores.

All that is powered by a 3,300 mAh battery, ensconced in a chassis that is only 7.5 mm thick, and weighs less than 170 grams.

Surprisingly, Samsung reverted to a micro-USB 2.0 port, even though the previous-generation Galaxy A7 2017 was their first model to feature a USB-C port. They also ditched the IP68 dust- and water-resistance that was a key feature of the Galaxy A7 2017.

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Samsung Galaxy A7 2018 Specifications

SpecificationsSamsung Galaxy A7 (2018)
Display6.0-inch Super AMOLED display
- Full HD+ resolution (1080 x 2220 pixels)
- Corning Gorilla Glass protection
Operating SystemAndroid 8.1 Oreo
PlatformSamsung Exynos 7 octa (Samsung Exynos 7885)
Processor2 x ARM Cortex-A73 (2.2 GHz)
6 x ARM Cortex-A53 (1.6 GHz)
Graphics ProcessorARM Mali-G71 MP2 (1100 MHz)
RAM4 GB RAM
Storage64 GB or 128 GB internal flash storage
microSD slot (up to 512 GB)
Front Camera24 MP sensor with f/2.0 lens
Rear CameraTriple Camera System
- Main 24 MP PDAF camera with f/1.7 lens
- Wide-Angle 8 MP camera with f/2.4 lens
- 5 MP depth sensor with f/2.2 lens
Network4G : LTE Cat12, 3CA
ConnectivityWiFi : 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 / 5 GHz)
Bluetooth v5.0
micro-USB 2.0
GPS SupportGPS, GLONASS, BeiDou
Fingerprint SensorYes, Side-Mounted
Other SensorsAccelerometer, Gyro, Geomagnetic, Hall sensor, Proximity, RGB light sensor
NFCYes
Water ResistanceNo
Battery3.300 mAh lithium-ion battery
Dimensions76.8 mm wide
159.8 mm tall
7.5 mm thick
Weight168 g
Available ColoursBlack, Blue, Gold

For details and specifications of the Samsung Galaxy A9 2018, please click here!

Next Page > The Samsung Galaxy A7 2018 Key Features

 

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Four Cameras, 4X The Fun?

The key selling points of the Samsung Galaxy A7 2018 (MY | US | UK) are its front and rear cameras.

It has a single front camera, built around the incredibly high-resolution 24 MP Sony IMX576 sensor and f/2.0 lens. In dark conditions, its front camera can combine four pixels into one for even better low-light performance.

Despite its high resolution though, Samsung opted to limit to recording just 1080p videos.

In the back, it features a triple camera system, which is made up of :

  • a main 24 MP camera with f/1.7 lens,
  • 120° wide angle 8 MP camera with f/2.4 lens, and
  • a 5 MP depth sensor with f/2.2 lens.

Even though there are three cameras, only two 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).

The 24 MP main camera uses the same high-resolution Sony IMX576 sensor, with very bright and fast f/1.7 lensThe depth sensor is slaved to the main camera, allowing to deliver Live Focus and more accurate software bokeh capabilities.

The wide angle camera, on the other hand, boasts the same 120° viewing angle as the human eye. Here are some photos to show you just how useful the ultra-wide angle camera can be :

Both imaging cameras feature a new Scene Optimizer technology that uses AI algorithms to identify the subject and automatically adjust its colour, contrast and brightness for the best possible image quality.

However, just like with the front camera, Samsung limits both rear cameras to 1080p video recording.

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Side Fingerprint Sensor

For the first time, Samsung is deploying a side fingerprint sensor, that doubles as a power button. It allows for smaller bezels, while allowing the fingerprint sensor to be used even when the Galaxy A7 2018 (MY | US | UK) is attached to a car mount.

The side fingerprint sensor takes some getting used to, because there is less tactile guidance. It is harder to determine (by feeling) where the sensor is. But the good news is muscle memory will kick in eventually.

For ease of use, we would recommend registering the third finger of your left hand, and/or the thumb of your right hand.

Next Page > More Samsung Galaxy A7 2018 Features

 

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Triple Card Tray

The Samsung Galaxy A7 2018 (MY | US | UK) has Dual SIM, Dual Standby capability, with support for LTE Cat12 connectivity. 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 64 GB of internal storage, which should be plenty for most users. The microSD card slot allows you to add more storage – up to 512 GB.

The microSD card is also useful for another reason. The Samsung Galaxy A7 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.

 

A Step Backwards

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 A7 2018 (MY | US | UK). This is a real shame, because the IP68 rating is a major KSP (key selling point) for Samsung. It is one of the few ways they are able to differentiate their A series smartphones from the competition.

The Samsung Galaxy A7 2017 was also the first Galaxy A series smartphone to use the USB Type C port, with 15 watt fast charging capability. The Samsung Galaxy A7 2018 (MY | US | UK), however, reverted to the old micro-USB 2.0 port, and slower 7.75 watt charging.

Samsung also trimmed its battery capacity to 3,300 mAh, down from 3,600 mAh in the Galaxy A7 2017.

 

The Ergonomics

The Samsung Galaxy A7 2018 (MY | US | UK) has a large 6.0-inch display, but feels more like a 5.5-inch smartphone, thanks to its Infinity Display. Basically it has thin bezels, allowing Samsung to fit the large screen into a smaller body.

While it fits comfortably in our hands, this is definitely a two-handed device. If you prefer to use only one hand, you can turn on the One-handed mode option (Settings > Advanced Features).

The Super AMOLED display is beautiful as always. However, the FHD+ resolution of 1080 x 2220 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.

Even though it lacks the gradated colour scheme of the Samsung Galaxy A9 2018, it has a very shiny, albeit easy-to-smudge, glass back panel with a 2.5D curved edge all around. Very classy. Just watch out for those fingerprints!

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Setting Up The Samsung Galaxy A7 2018

The Samsung Galaxy A7 2018 (MY | US | UK) runs on Android 8.0 Oreo out of the box, and is very easy to set-up… although you may get stuck a bit registering your fingerprints! If you are setting it up as a new device, it should take you only 5-7 minutes to finish the setup process.

 

Available Memory & Storage

The Samsung Galaxy A7 2018 (MY | US | UK) comes with 4 GB of LPDDR4 memory. There is relatively little bloat, with 2 GB (50%) of memory available for use. This is plenty enough to run several apps simultaneously, even memory-guzzling games.

The Samsung Galaxy A7 2018 (MY | US | UK) comes with 64 GB of internal flash storage, with 51 GB of free space for you to use. That is enough space to store about 10,000 photos, or 6 hours of 1080p videos.

If that’s not enough, you can top it up with a microSD card (up to 512 GB), for a total storage capacity of 1 TB!

Next Page > Samsung Galaxy A7 2018 Camera Performance – Photos + Video Recording

 

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Samsung Galaxy A7 2018 Camera Performance – Photos

The Samsung Galaxy A7 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 sensor with 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 4 MB and 6 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 A7 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 star anise.

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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 A7 2018 (MY | US | UK) has a Live Focus feature, but it’s not the same as the Live Focus capability in Samsung Galaxy Note9, because it lacks the telephoto camera. Instead, it uses the depth sensor to separate the subject from the background, before applying a software bokeh effect to the background.

 

Samsung Galaxy A7 2018 Camera Performance – Video Recording

Despite its highly-capable sensor and powerful SoC, Samsung limited the Samsung Galaxy A7 2018 (MY | US | UK) to 1080p video recording from both front and rear cameras. Fortunately, they maintained the ability to switch between the two rear cameras, while recording a video – a very useful feature!

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

In this video, you can see the amount of detail the sensor captures, even at just 1080p. Its cameras do not support OIS (optical image stabilisation), but its electronic image stabilisation capability works great.

Its auto-focus capability was also excellent – you don’t see the camera losing focus and seeking – a very irritating problem in some cameras.

Noise cancellation was decent, but the audio was too bright and lacks bass. With Samsung excelling in image quality, we think it’s time they look into improving the audio quality instead.

Video Recording Test #2 : Street Market (1080p)

The Samsung Galaxy A7 2018 (MY | US | UK) has very good electronic image stabilisation, thanks to a combination of its high resolution sensor and the 1080p video recording limit.

Next Page > Samsung Galaxy A7 2018 Performance – Work, Gaming, Battery

 

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Work Performance – PCMark

We tested the Samsung Galaxy A7 2018’s performance using PCMark, which simulates work applications like web browsing, playing video, writing text and editing photos.

Work 2.0 Honor Play Honor 10 Samsung
Galaxy S9
Samsung
Galaxy A7 2018
Performance Score
(Average)
7361 7106 5618 5379
Web Browsing 7695 7295 5357 5278
Video Editing 5499 5159 5265 4413
Writing 6649 6752 4673 5056
Photo Editing 13326 12910 7560 7427
Data Manipulation 5764 5524 5616 5147
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Samsung Exynos SoCs have never been particularly strong in work applications, and the Samsung Exynos 7885 is no exception. After all, it only has two high-performance ARM Cortex-A73 cores.

 

Gaming Performance – 3DMark

We tested the Galaxy A7 2018’s gaming performance using 3DMark, using the Ice Storm Unlimited test.

Ice Storm Unlimited Samsung
Galaxy S9
Honor Play Honor 10 Samsung
Galaxy A7 2018
Gaming Score 39588 31622 30560 15354
Graphics 45577 37351 34801 15788
Physics 27116 20576 21423 14005
Graphics Test 1 267.9 fps 208.9 fps 206.2 fps 136.5 fps
Graphics Test 2 157.2 fps 132.8 fps 119.5 fps 45.8 fps
Physics Test 86.1 fps 65.3 fps 68.0 fps 44.5 fps
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The Samsung Galaxy A7 2018 (MY | US | UK) has modest gaming performance. Unlike the Honor Play and Honor 10, which boast a 12-core GPU, or the Galaxy S9 with its 18-core GPU, the Galaxy A7 2018 only has a dual-core GPU.

 

Battery Life – PCMark

We then tested the Galaxy A7 2018’s battery performance using PCMark. It basically ran the PCMark work tests until its battery capacity dropped to 20%.

Work 2.0 Samsung
Galaxy A7 2018
Honor Play Samsung
Galaxy S9
Honor 10
Battery Life 11 hours 25 mins 9 hours 56 mins 9 hours 6 mins 8 hours 56 mins
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Now that is really amazing battery life – just short of 11.5 hours! This is not just screen-on time. It’s running the Work 2.0 benchmark over, and over again, for over 11 hours!

It lasted 1.,5 hours longer than the Honor Play, 2 hours longer than the Samsung Galaxy S9, and an astounding 2.5 hours longer than the Honor 10!

Of course, it was still not as good as last year’s Galaxy A7 2017, which lasted 12 hours on its larger 3,600 mAh battery.

 

Battery Recharging Performance

The Samsung Galaxy A7 2018 (MY | US | UK) comes with an adaptive fast charger with a power output of 7.75 W. Take a look at how fast it recharged the 3,300 mAh battery.

It took the Samsung Galaxy A7 2018 (MY | US | UK) just 115 minutes (1 hour 55 minutes) to recharge its battery from 20% to 100%. Pretty good performance, considering it’s just using a 7.75 watt charger.

That is a battery life : recharging ratio of 5.8 : 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 90% level. This took just 87.5 minutes. Then the recharging speed slowed down, and it took a further 27.5 minutes to top up the remaining 10%.

Next Page > Our Verdict, Where To Buy The Samsung Galaxy A7 2018?

 

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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.

This year’s Samsung Galaxy A7 2018 (MY | US | UK) followed through, introducing a new 24 MP front camera, as well as a new triple rear camera system. Together with the Galaxy A9 2019, it is also the first Galaxy A series smartphone to feature the Infinity Display, with ultra-thin bezels.

If that’s not enough, it is the first Samsung smartphone to feature a side fingerprint sensor, allowing you to unlock it with your fingerprint even when it’s mounted to your car’s dashboard.

However, the Samsung Galaxy A7 2018 (MY | US | UK) also took a step backwards in some areas, to better differentiate it from the higher-end Galaxy A9 2019.

It lost its IP68 dust- and water-resistance rating, and reverted to the old micro-USB 2.0 port. Its fast charging capability was also cut from 15 watts to just 7.75 watts. It also came with a slightly smaller battery (3,300 mAh, instead of 3,600 mAh), with a slightly shorter battery life.

That does not mean it’s a better idea to just get last year’s Galaxy A7 2017. The new Galaxy A7 2018 (MY | US | UK) has a faster processor, more memory and double the storage. On top of that, it has a larger 6.0-inch display in a narrower, slimmer and lighter body!

More importantly, Samsung made the Galaxy A7 2018 MUCH CHEAPER. The Galaxy A7 2017 had a launch price of RM 1,899 (~US$ 475). The new Galaxy A7 2018 has a launch price of just RM 1,299 (~US$325) – a whopping 32% price reduction!

Ultimately, the Samsung Galaxy A7 2018 (MY | US | UK) offers great value for your money, if you don’t mind the lack of IP68 water-resistance, and the micro-USB 2.0 port.

 

Where To Buy The Samsung Galaxy A7 2018?

The Samsung Galaxy A7 2018 (MY | US | UK) officially launched on 11 October 2018 at the Galaxy UNPACKED 2018 event in Kuala Lumpur, and is currently available for purchase in four colour options – Black, Blue, Gold and Pink. Here is a video comparing the four colour options:

In many countries, only three of those four colour options will be available for sale, at least initially. Here in Malaysia, it will only be available in Black, Blue and Gold colours.

It has a recommended retail price of RM 1,299 / ~US$ 325 / ~£236.

Here is the cheapest price we found online (as of 1 November 2018) in Malaysia :

And here are the direct purchase links in the US and UK :

  • Samsung Galaxy A7 2018 (International Version) : $329.99
  • Samsung Galaxy A7 2018 (UK Version) : £309.99

 

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The Spectacular HUAWEI Mate20 Sales Launch + Roadshow!

Excited about the HUAWEI Mate20 series of smartphones? HUAWEI just kicked off the Mate20 sales launch and roadshows! Look at how amazing it was!

 

The HUAWEI Mate20 Sales Launch + Roadshow!

HUAWEI Malaysia kicked off, not one, not two, but THREE official sales launch roadshows on the 27th and 28th of October 2018 at Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, Queensbay Mall in Penang and AEON Bandar Dato Onn, Johor Bahru.

For those who don’t know yet, the HUAWEI Mate20 Pro is selling for RM 3,599 / ~US$ 900. It runs on the HUAWEI Kirin 980, and comes with 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of internal flash storage. The Mate20 Pro features three rear cameras (40 MP + 20 MP + 8 MP), a 24 MP selfie camera, and is powered by a 4,200 mAh battery.

The HUAWEI Mate20, on the other hand, is selling for RM 2,799 / ~US$ 700. It runs on the HUAWEI Kirin 980, and comes with 4 GB or 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of internal flash storage. The Mate20 features three rear cameras (16 MP + 12 MP + 8 MP), a 24 MP selfie camera, and is powered by a 4,000 mAh battery.

 

The HUAWEI Mate20 Sales Launch Offer

HUAWEI had a special Mate20 sales launch offer for the first 1,600 customers.

The first 1,000 customers at Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, the first 300 customers at Queensbay Mall and the first 300 customers at AEON Bandar Dato Onn will each receive a FREE DJI Tello worth RM 469, with every purchase of a HUAWEI Mate 20 Series smartphone!

 

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Only 6,000 Fairy Pink Vivo V11i Available For Sale!

Vivo today officially unveiled the limited-edition Fairy Pink Vivo V11i smartphone. It is part of their effort to support breast cancer awareness in October. Here are the full details!

 

Only 6,000 Fairy Pink Vivo V11i Available For Sale!

The Vivo V11i is the latest Vivo smartphone that features an AI camera that helps the user take the best pictures possible in any scenario. They are now making 6,000 units of the limited-edition Fairy Pink Vivo V11i smartphones to show support for breast cancer awareness.

“The Fairy Pink is not an ordinary colour variant of the V11i. We are revealing this new colour in line with Pink October as a way of showing support to the cause of breast cancer awareness,” said Mike Xu, Chief Executive Officer of Vivo Malaysia. “Malaysia has always been a key market for Vivo in the Southeast Asia region, and to bring in the Fairy Pink V11i is a way of showing our commitment to this market. The Fairy Pink serves as a beautiful addition to the Starry Night and Nebula colour line-up for the V11i, and we believe this will help us further strengthen our position here in Malaysia.”

 

Fairy Pink Vivo V11i Price + Availability

Vivo Malaysia will make just 6,000 units of the Fairy Pink V11i for sale at RM 1,299 / ~US$ 325.

They will go on sale nationwide on 1 November 2018 at all Vivo concept stores, the official Vivo eStore, and eCommerce platforms like Lazada, Shopee and 11street.

It will also be available at authorised resellers starting 3 November 2018.

 

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The ASUS ROG Phone – Everything You Need To Know!

ASUS just revealed the long-awaited ROG Phone – arguably the world’s first smartphone designed specifically for mobile gaming.

Here is everything you need to know about the ROG Phone – the official tech briefing, its key features and specifications… and its price list and pre-order deals!

 

The ASUS ROG Phone Revealed!

Powered by specially speed-binned 2.96 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 SoCs, the new ROG Phone boasts a unique GameCool vapor-chamber cooling system, with a detachable AeroActive Cooler for an extra cooling boost. This ensures that the ROG Phone can sustain hours of non-stop mobile gaming without burning your fingers!

It also boasts a top-of-the-line AMOLED display with a blazing 90 Hz refresh rate and a 1 ms response time to ensure a blur-free gaming experience. On top of that, it is capable of delivering HDR visuals with a very wide colour gamut which is in excess of DCI-P3!

The ROG Phone includes gaming-centric features like unique side-mounted ports, and the enhanced, ultra-responsive game controls — including two programmable ultrasonic AirTriggers and advanced force-feedback haptics.

For greater gaming enjoyment, ASUS also create a range of expansion accessories :

  • the TwinView Dock for dual-screen handheld mode;
  • the Mobile Desktop Dock for desktop-style gaming; and
  • the Gamevice controller with WiGig Dock using 60 GHz Wi-Fi for big-screen gaming.

 

ASUS ROG Phone Specifications

SpecificationsASUS ROG Phone
Display6.0-inch AMOLED display
- 1080 x 2160 pixels, 18:9 aspect ratio
- 550 nits brightness, 108.6% DCI-P2 colour gamut
- 90 Hz refresh rate, 1 ms response time
ProtectionCorning Gorilla Glass 6
Operating SystemAndroid Oreo 8.1
PlatformSpecially-binned Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
Processor8 x Qualcomm Kyro 385 cores (2.96 GHz)
Graphics ProcessorQualcomm Adreno 630
Memory8 GB LPDDR4X memory
Storage128 GB or 512 GB internal flash storage (UFS 2.1)
NO microSD card slot
Front Camera8 MP sensor with f/2.0 lens
Main Rear Camera12 MP Sony IMX363 sensor with f/1.7 lens
- 4-axis, 4-stops optical image stabilisation (OIS)
- Dual Pixel with PDAF capability
Secondary Rear Camera120° wide-angle camera
Connectivity4G : LTE Cat13 UL (150 Mbps), Cat18 DL (1.26 Gbps)
WiFi : 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 GHz + 5 GHz)
Bluetooth : BT v5.0
SIM CapabilityDual SIM, Dual Standby
- 4G capable on both nano SIM cards
AudioDual front-facing 5-magnet speakers
- with dual NXP 9874 smart amplifiers
- supports Hi-Res Audio and DTS:X Ultra
GPSGPS / GLONASS / Beidou / Galileo / QZSS
NFCYes
Battery4,000 mAh
- supports 30 W fast charging
Dimenions76.16 mm wide
158.83 mm tall
8.3 mm thick
Weight200 grams

 

The ASUS ROG Phone Price + Pre-Order Deals Revealed!

In this video, Leo Tseng, Country Manager of ASUS Malaysia, reveals the ASUS ROG Phone price list and pre-order deals!

Here are the official ASUS ROG Phone price list, including its accessories :

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  • ROG Phone (128 GB) : RM 3,499 / ~US$ 875
  • ROG Phone (512 GB) : RM 3,999 / ~US$ 1,000
  • ROG Phone Case : RM 199 / ~US$ 50
  • ASUS Professional Dock : RM 299 / ~US$ 50
  • Gamevice for ROG Phone : RM 349 / ~US$ 75
  • Mobile Desktop Dock : RM 599 / ~US$ 150
  • ROG Suitcase : RM 599 / ~US$ 150
  • ASUS WiGig Display Dock : RM 899 / ~US$ 225
  • TwinView Dock : RM 999 / ~US$ 250

The ROG Phone is available for pre-order from 22 October to 4 November 2018. Its accessories will only be available in November.

Next Page > ASUS ROG Phone Key Features + Accessories

 

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ASUS ROG Phone Key Features

Here is a summary of the ROG Phone’s key features, as explained by ASUS (with most of the marketing hyperbole edited out) :

Gaming Performance

ROG Phone runs on a specially-selected octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chip that is speed-binned for maximum performance — delivering sustained clock speeds of up to 2.96 GHz. It is paired with  8 GB of RAM and either 128 GB or 512 GB of fast UFS 2.1 flash storage.

To prevent thermal throttling, the ROG Phone features an exclusive GameCool cooling system that uses a highly-efficient 3D vapor-chamber with a 16X-larger surface area for heat dissipation. It is paired with a copper heat spreader and carbon cooling pads on the circuit board for maximum cooling performance.

It also comes with a detachable external AeroActive Cooler for an extra cooling boost when the going gets really tough.

The ROG Phone also comes with a special X Mode. A single tap frees up all background RAM and dedicates it to your game, optimizes game-data processing performance, and maximizes the efficiency of the AeroActive Cooler. X Mode also prevents RAM-eating and battery-sapping app activity, based on a customizable list of apps.

90 Hz AMOLED Display

The ROG Phone features a large 6-inch AMOLED display with a 90 Hz refresh rate and a 1 ms pixel response time for blur-free gaming. It also boasts a wide 108.6% DCI-P3 color gamut, with high-dynamic-range (HDR) capability and a 10,000:1 contrast ratio. To protect your investment, this AMOLED display is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 6.

Gaming Controls

The ROG Phone is designed to give gamers total control and a more console-like experience, with three unique ultrasonic AirTrigger touch sensors.

Two of these AirTrigger sensors are optimized as left / right triggers at the top of the display for landscape-mode gaming (the third is designed for use in portrait mode), and they’re fully programmable to activate any available on-screen action: aiming, firing, inventory selection.

Gamers can now free up two extra fingers to control gameplay, giving them the edge over their thumb-bound rivals. AirTriggers use ultrasonic technology, so they only need a feather-light touch — just 20 grams compared to rival touch-sensitive controls that need up to 4X the force. An advanced haptic actuator provides a powerful force-feedback system for a more immersive gameplay.

Charging Convenience

Charging a smartphone while playing can make gaming impossibly awkward. It has an optimised layout for landscape-mode gaming. There’s an additional side-mounted custom USB-C connector that supports direct charging, HDMI output, gigabit LAN and headphones.

And when the AeroActive Cooler is deployed, it provides a side-mounted USB-C port and 3.5mm headphone jack for unhindered gameplay. The side connector’s also used for the exclusive expansion modules, including the Mobile Desktop Dock and TwinView Dock.

ASUS Aura RGB Lighting

This is ASUS’ first smartphone to feature their proprietary ASUS Aura RGB lighting. Its illuminated rear ROG logo can display a whole rainbow of lighting schemes: static, breathing, strobing or color cycling. Lighting effects can be triggered with phone events such as incoming calls, notifications and more.

Gaming Audio

It has two front-facing speakers that are driven by individual smart amplifiers to maximize volume and minimize distortion. It is powered by an audio engine that supports 24-bit/192Khz Hi-Res Audio playback. DTS Headphone:X provides theater-quality virtual surround-sound over headphones, and there’s support for high-definition audio via Bluetooth.

Long-Lasting Battery

Powering all that is a high-capacity 4,000 mAh battery. The bundled power adapter supports ASUS HyperCharge, a direct-charge technology that delivers more power (up to 20 W) for shorter, safer charge times. It also lets the ROG Phone stay cooler when it’s charging.

 

ASUS ROG Phone Accessories

TwinView Dock

The TwinView Dock turns it into a dual-screen console for the ultimate gaming and live-streaming experience. It has a 6-inch AMOLED (2160 x 1080) auxiliary screen that’s great for split-screen live-streaming, extended game display or group communication.

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It also packs a front-facing quad-speaker system, two extra physical trigger buttons, dual-haptic force-feedback engine, an enhanced cooling system and a high-capacity 6000 mAh extended battery pack.

Mobile Desktop Dock

The Mobile Desktop Dock allows gamers to connect ROG Phone to an external 4K UHD monitor, mouse and keyboard. ROG Phone can be used as an auxiliary display, hooked up to a wired gigabit LAN and drive a 5.1-channel surround-sound system via the SP/DIF output.

Gamevice + WiGig Dock

With the Gamevice controller and the WiGig Dock — using 60GHz 802.11ad Wi-Fi — it morphs into a portable console with a full inventory of physical gaming controls and ultra-low-latency wireless display connectivity.

It packs dual analog joysticks, left and right fire triggers and bumpers, a D-pad, along with A,B,X,Y and L3, R3 buttons.

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The Honor 8X Sneak Preview – Fresh From The Oven!

Two years ago, Honor launched the honor 8 smartphone with its iconic Aurora Glass finish. Here is our sneak preview of the honor 8X that we got fresh from the oven!

Find out what’s new in the honor 8X, and see why it’s really quite different from its namesake!

 

The Honor 8X Specification Comparison

First, let’s compare the specifications of the new honor 8X against the honor 8. Look at the difference :

Specificationshonor 8Xhonor 8 (Premium)
ModelJSN-L22FRD-L14 (US), FRD-L19 (EU & Asia)
Available ColoursNASapphire Blue, Sunrise Gold
Display6.5-inch IPS display
- 1080 x 2340 resolution (396 ppi)
5.2-inch LTPS LCD display
- 1080 x 1920 resolution (423 ppi)
- 1500:1 contrast ratio, 96% NTSC colour gamut
ProtectionNACorning Gorilla Glass 3
Operating SystemAndroid 8.1 with EMUI 8.2.0Android 6.0 with Huawei Emotion UI 4.1
Processing PlatformHiSilicon Kirin 710HiSilicon Kirin 950
Processor4 x ARM Cortex-A73 (2.2 GHz)
4 x ARM Cortex-A53 (1.7 GHz)
4 x ARM Cortex-A72 (2.3 GHz)
4 x ARM Cortex-A53 (1.8 GHz)
i5 co-processor
Graphics ProcessorARM Mali-G51 MP4ARM Mali-T880 (650 MHz)
System Memory4 GB LPDDR4 memory4 GB LPDDR4 memory
Storage64 GB internal flash memory
microSD slot (supports up to 400 GB)
64 GB internal flash memory
microSD slot* (supports up to 128 GB)
* shared with SIM2 (L19)
Selfie Camera16 MP sensor, with f/2.0 lens
- 720p video recording
8 MP sensor, with f/2.4 lens
- 1080p video recording
Main Camera20 MP PDAF sensor with f/1.8 lens
2 MP depth sensor
Dual 12 MP cameras (monochrome + colour)
- Sony IMX286 sensor
- f/2.2 lens, dual LED flash and hybrid auto-focus
- 1080p video recording with EIS
GPS SupportGPS / AGPS / GLONASSGPS / AGPS / GLONASS
SIM SupportDual nano SIM, Dual Standby Single nano SIM (L14)
Dual nano SIM, Dual Standby (L19)
Connectivity4G : LTE FDD LTE Cat13 : 150 Mbps (UL), LTE Cat12 : 600 Mbps (DL)
3G : WCDMA
2 G : GSM
Bluetooth : 4.2 BLE
OTG, VoLTE
4G : LTE FDD LTE Cat6 : 51 Mbps (UL), 301 Mbps (DL)
3G : WCDMA
2 G : GSM
Bluetooth : 4.2 BLE
OTG, VoLTE
WiFi Capability802.11 a/b/g/n (2.4 GHz only)
Hotspot supports up to 4 devices
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 GHz, 5 GHz dual-band)
Hotspot supports up to 8 devices
USB PortmicroUSB 2.0USB 2.0 with USB Type C interface
Fingerprint SensorYes, rear-mountedYes, 3D fingerprint recognition, 0.4 second unlock with Smart Key customisation
Infra-Red TransmitterNoYes, with Smart Control 4.0
NFC SupportNoYes, tag read/write, P2P transfer, mobile payment
AudioHiSilicon Hi6402 audio DSP with Dolby DTS and HiRes Audio support
Dual-microphone noise reduction
Battery3,750 mAh lithium-polymer battery
18 W fast-charging capability
2,900 mAh lithium-polymer battery
18 W fast-charging capability
Dimensions76.6 mm wide x 160.4 mm tall x 7.8 mm thick71.0 mm wide x 145.5 mm tall x 7.45 mm thick
Weight175 g153 g
Launch PriceNARM 1,899 (~US$ 475)

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The Honor 8X Up Close!

The new honor 8X looks deceptively small. It actually boasts the industry’s largest display, edging out the Samsung Galaxy Note9, and matching the Apple Xs Max. Yet it still fits comfortably in our hands, thanks to extremely thin bezels and a display notch.

Despite its more modern design, honor went back a little, reintroducing the old microUSB 2.0 port. This is surprising since they first introduced the bidirectional USB-C port in the honor 8 two years ago!

They also dropped the IR transmitted at the top, which allowed the.honor 8 to be used as a remote control.

Next Page > The honor 8X Key Features

 

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New Level Of Mid-Range Performance

The honor 8X smartphone boasts the new Kirin 710 mobile SoC from HUAWEI’s HiSilicon subsidiary.

It is not the flagship-class SoC like the Kirin 950 used in the honor 8, but thanks to advances in semiconductor design and fabrication, it offers better performance with lower power consumption.

The Kirin 710 is actually a mid-range version of the Kirin 970 SoC that powers the honor 10 smartphone.

It uses the same four high-performance Cortex-A73 cores, with the same four low-power Cortex-A53 cores – just with slightly lower clock speeds.

It is paired with 4 GB of LPDDR4 memory, and 64 GB of internal flash storage.

Advances in LTE technology allows the Kirin 710 to deliver much faster Cat13 upload speeds of up to 150 Mbps, and Cat12 download speeds of up to 600 Mbps.

However, its WiFi support is limited to a/b/g/n protocols, and only in the 2.4 GHz band.

 

Display Notch

The honor 8X has a Full HD+ display, with an aspect ratio of 19:9 and a resolution of 1080 x 2340 pixels. It features the display notch made popular by the iPhone X, to maximise its display size.

Although the notification icons nearest to the notch can appear “cut-off”, the hnor 8X is smart enough to work around the notch. In games and applications that don’t support the notification area, it just displays the main 1080 x 2240 section.

 

The Honor 8X Cameras

Hidden in the display notch is a high-resolution 16 MP camera with f/2.0 lens. It is supposedly capable of recording 1080p videos, but in our early firmware, it is limited to 720p video recording.

We were hoping that the honor 8X’s AI Camera would be based on the dual-camera design of the honor 10 and the honor 8 smartphones, they went instead with a single 20 MP camera paired with a 2 MP depth sensor.

The 20 MP camera uses a PDAF (phase detection autofocus) sensor paired with a fast and bright f/1.8 lens.

The 2 MP depth sensor has only one job – to deliver better depth perception, so the honor 8X can better differentiate the background from the subjects and more accurately apply the software bokeh effects.

Despite its high-resolution image sensor, the 20 MP camera can only record 1080p videos at up to 60 fps. It is not optically-stabilised, and surprisingly lacks electronic image stabilisation.

 

Fingerprint Sensor

To maximise display size in a relatively small form factor, honor had to use a rear fingerprint sensor. You may recall that they used a front sensor for the honor 10.

The honor 8X’s rear fingerprint sensor is very good – easy to train and works fast and accurately. The only problem that all rear fingerprint sensors have – you can’t use it while it’s attached to a car mount. If you intend to use it while driving, make sure you set-up and use the Face unlock feature.

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Triple Slot Tray

honor smartphones all have dual SIM, dual standby capabilities. However, to save space, the honor 10 offered two nano SIM trays and removed the microSD card slot. The honor 8, on the other hand, opted for a hybrid SIM tray – the second nano SIM can be swapped out for a microSD card.

The honor 8X offers the ultimate option – a triple slot tray. You can use a microSD card to expand its storage, while still using two nano SIM cards.

 

Ergonomics

With its very large 6.5-inch display, the honor 8X is definitely a much larger smartphone than the honor 8 or honor 10 smartphones.

The honor 8X is just over 76 mm wide, and 160 mm tall, but remains under 8 mm thick. It is comparable in size to the new Apple iPhone Xs Max, but quite a bit lighter at just 175 grams.

The IPS display is very bright and vivid indoors, and does a decent job outdoors despite not being an AMOLED display. The non-standard 19:9 aspect ratio, while useful in giving you more screen space, will result in some pillarboxing for movies.

Next Page > honor 8X Camera Performance – Photos + Videos

 

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honor 8X Camera Performance – Photos

honor did not reveal the model of the sensor used in the 20 MP main camera, but the photos have a resolution of 5120 x 3840 pixels, with the 4:3 aspect ratio.

Despite the high resolution, Honor appears to use a more efficient (or lossier) compression algorithm, resulting in a file size of between 3 MB and 4 MB in most photos.

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

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honor 8X Camera Performance – Video Recording

Despite its high-resolution 20 MP sensor, the honor 8X can only record 1080p videos at up to 60 fps. Here are two videos we recorded to test its video recording capabilities.

Honor 8X Video Recording Sample #1 : Piano

First off – we can see that there is no optical or electrionic image stabilisation, so the video can get very jerky. The audio also lacks sufficient noise cancellation.

On the bright side, the image quality is very good, and the colours are vivid, albeit a little oversaturated. There is also very good control of the highlights. A shame about the lack of stabilisation.

Honor 8X Video Recording Sample #2 : Food Fair

The lack of image stabilisation is obvious from the jerkiness. A real shame because the image quality is very good.

 

Never Coming – The Full Review

When HONOR loaned us this unit, they said that it was a production unit running on a beta version of the firmware.

We were planning to upgrade this preview to a full review after testing with a production firmware, but the review sample never received it.

 

Recommended Reading

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Samsung Galaxy Note9 Review – Quietly Revolutionary!

We know just how eager everyone is to read about the new Samsung Galaxy Note9 smartphone. Is it the best Note Samsung ever made? Is it much better than the already impressive Galaxy Note8? Is it worth buying?

Here is our comprehensive review of the Samsung Galaxy Note9 smartphone. Let’s see if it’s an evolutionary upgrade, or a revolutionary device… and find out why it won our Editor’s Choice Award!

Updated @ 2018-09-10 : A major update of the review with many new photos and videos added. We also updated many aspects of the review, adding new details about the Galaxy Note9.

Originally posted @ 2018-08-24


 

Samsung Galaxy Note9 Colour Options

The Samsung Galaxy Note9 (US | MY Web | MY App) will come in FOUR colour options, but the Lavender Purple colour will be limited to certain countries, at least initially. The other colours are, from left to right : Midnight Black, Ocean Blue and Metallic Copper.

The Ocean Blue colour is the most interesting because it features an S Pen in a contrasting yellow colour.

 

Where To Buy The Galaxy Note9

Here are some direct links to purchase the Samsung Galaxy Note9 in Malaysia.

  • Samsung Galaxy Note9 with 128 GB storage : RM 3,699 (Web | App)
  • Samsung Galaxy Note9 with 512 GB storage : RM 4,599 (Web | App)

Here are some direct links to purchase the Samsung Galaxy Note9 in the US.

  • Samsung Galaxy Note9 (128 GB, International Unlocked) : $849
  • Samsung Galaxy Note9 (128 GB, US Unlocked) : $999.99
  • Samsung Galaxy Note9 (512 GB, International Unlocked) : $1,214
  • Samsung Galaxy Note9 (512 GB, US Unlocked) : $999.99

 

Unboxing The Samsung Galaxy Note9

The Samsung Galaxy Note9 (US | MY Web | MY App) comes in a premium black box, which is virtually the same used for the Galaxy Note8 (Price Check).

Once you fully unbox it, you will find the following items :

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  • One Samsung Galaxy Note9 smartphone
  • One clear TPU bumper case
  • One set of Samsung Galaxy Note9 documents
  • One 15 W Samsung adaptive quick charger
  • One USB Type A to USB Type C data and power cable
  • One micro-USB to USB-C adaptor
  • One USB Type A to USB T Type C adaptor
  • One pair of AKG earphones with spare earbuds
  • One S Pen nib extractor with spare nibs
  • One SIM tray extractor pin

Next Page > Samsung Galaxy Note9 Up Close + Key Features

 

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Samsung Galaxy Note9 Up Close!

The Samsung Galaxy Note9 (US | MY Web | MY App) has the largest Infinity Display ever – a 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display. It is slightly wider, thicker and heavier than the Galaxy Note8 (Price Check), and comes with the dual camera system from the Galaxy S9+ (Price Check), albeit in a horizontal arrangement.

Just like in the Galaxy S9+ (Price Check), they shifted the fingerprint sensor into a central position. Otherwise, the new Galaxy Note9 looks deceptively similar to its predecessor, the Samsung Galaxy Note8 (Price Check).

That has led quite a few pundits to call it a minor or evolutionary upgrade, rather than a distinctive device in its own right. Are they right? Let’s find out!

 

New Bluetooth S Pen

The new Bluetooth S Pen looks deceptively like the S Pen from before. In fact, it features the same basic design with a 0.7 mm tip and 4,096 pressure levels as the S Pen from the Galaxy Note8 (Price Check) and the Samsung Galaxy Note FE (Price Check). But that’s where all similarity ends.

The new S Pen is a Bluetooth Low Energy device that lets you use the shutter button to remotely perform a variety of tasks. For example :

  • Hold the shutter button to open any app you wish. By default, it launches the Camera app.
  • When the camera is activated, press the shutter button once to take a picture, or twice to switch between the front and main cameras.
  • Press the shutter button once to go forward in an app or browser, or twice to go backwards.

Its Bluetooth capability also allows the Galaxy Note9 to sense when you forget your S Pen and warn you. This will greatly reduce, if not eliminate, the chance of losing your S Pen.

Samsung also introduced a new S Pen Signature Colour for the Galaxy Note9 (US | MY Web | MY App). Every S Pen will now write in its signature colour when you are using the Screen Off Memo mode.

The only problem with the Signature Colour feature? Samsung has not updated its Samsung Notes app to include the ability to change its background to black – the colour of the Screen Off Memo mode. So currently, whatever you write in the Signature Colour will be quite hard to read in Samsung Notes. Samsung needs to address this quickly!

You don’t need to worry about powering it. Hidden inside is a tiny Seiko K8373 supercapacitor. The expensive supercapacitor is not only highly durable and withstands extreme temperatures, it recharges in a flash – just 40 seconds of charging will give you 30 minutes of use!

Photo Credit : iFixit

It is also simple to recharge – the new S Pen recharges automatically when it is docked. You can even check the power level, but you really don’t need to worry about running out because :

a) the supercapacitor only powers the remote control feature, and

b) the stylus itself is still powered electromagnetically by the Galaxy Note9, and will never run out of power!

For more secret features of the new Galaxy Note9 S Pen, read The 7 Secret Galaxy Note9 S Pen Features You Never Knew!

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4,000 mAh Battery

The Samsung Galaxy Note9 (US | MY Web | MY App) comes with a 4,000 mAh battery – 21% larger than the 3,300 mAh battery of the Galaxy Note8 (Price Check. Yet the Galaxy Note9 is just 0.2 mm thicker and 6 grams heavier.

The Samsung Galaxy Note9 (US | MY Web | MY App) naturally supports fast charging in both wired and wireless (WPC and PMA) modes. It continues to use the standard 15 watt Samsung fast adaptive charger, so expect a longer charging time for its beefier battery.

Later in this review, we will examine its battery life, and battery recharging speed…

Next Page > Samsung Galaxy Note9 Camera Features

 

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Samsung Galaxy Note9 Cameras

The Samsung Galaxy Note9 (US | MY Web | MY App) retains the same 8 MP front camera with the Samsung S5K3H1 sensor, and f/1.7 lens from the Samsung Galaxy Note8 (Price Check). It is capable of recording 4K videos at 30 fps, and has great low-light capability. It doesn’t come with an LED flash but uses screen flash for more even lighting.

At the back, the Samsung Galaxy Note9 (US | MY Web | MY App) inherits the awesome dual camera system from the Samsung Galaxy S9+ (Price Check) smartphone. It consists of a dual aperture camera, and a telephoto camera.

Unlike other dual camera systems, it works like two separate cameras that captures images simultaneously! This allows it to create pictures with amazing adjustable bokeh through its Live Focus feature, while giving you the Dual Capture option to capture photos from both cameras simultaneously!

The dual aperture camera uses the superb Samsung ISOCELL SAK2L3 image sensor, and has a large mechanical aperture that automatically switches between :

  • a large f/1.5 aperture, for incredible low-light performance and bokeh, or
  • the f/2.4 aperture for a greater depth of field.

The f/1.5 aperture is the widest aperture so far in a smartphone, offering just over ⅓ stop more light than the f/1.7 ape