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Samsung Galaxy A51 Unboxing : What Will We Find Inside?

Samsung Galaxy A51 Unboxed : What Will We Find Inside?

Samsung just sent us their new Galaxy A51 smartphone, and we unboxed it to see what’s inside! Check it out!

 

Samsung Galaxy A51 : At A Glance!

The Samsung Galaxy A51 comes with a large 6.5-inch edge-to-edge Infinity-O display, with a Super AMOLED panel.

It is powered by the Samsung Exynos 9611 mobile platform, and comes with 6 GB LPDDR4x memory, and 128 GB internal storage.

It has a 32 MP front camera, and a quad-camera system at the back, which consists of :

  • a 48 MP main camera (f/2.0 aperture)
  • a 12 MP ultra-wide camera (f/2.2 aperture)
  • a 5 MP macro camera (f/2.4)
  • a 5 MP depth sensor (f/2.2)

 

Samsung Galaxy A51 Unboxed : What Will We Find Inside?

Once we unboxed the Samsung Galaxy A51, this is what we found inside :

  • Samsung Galaxy A51 smartphone
  • Samsung Galaxy A51 clear bumper case
  • Samsung Galaxy A51 documents – Quick Start Guide, Warranty Card, Regional Lock Guide
  • Samsung basic earphones
  • 15 W Samsung travel fast charger
  • USB-C data and power cable
  • Tray extractor pin

 

Samsung Galaxy A51 Specifications

Specifications Samsung Galaxy A51
Display 6.5-inch Infinity-O display
– Super AMOLED
– 1080 x 2400 pixels (~394 ppi)
Operating System Android 10 Q
System Platform Samsung Exynos 9611
Processor 4 x ARM Cortex-A73 cores (2.3 GHz)
4 x ARM Cortex-A53 cores (1.7 GHz)
GPU ARM Mali-G72 MP3
RAM 6 GB LPDDR4x
Storage 128 GB internal storage
microSD slot (512 GB)
Front Camera 32 MP sensor with f/2.2 aperture
Rear Cameras Quad Camera System
– 48 MP main camera (f/2.0)
– 12 MP ultra-wide camera (f/2.2)
– 5 MP macro camera (f/2.4)
– 5 MP depth sensor (f/2.2)
Connectivity 4G : LTE
Wi-Fi : 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth : BT5.0
USB : USB Type C 2.0
Fingerprint Sensor Yes, In-Display
Battery 4,000 mAh battery
15W fast charging
Dimensions 73.6 mm wide
158.5 mm tall
7.9 mm thick
Weight 172 g

 

Samsung Galaxy A51 Price + Availability

The Samsung Galaxy A51 is available in three colour options – Prism Crush Black, Prism Crush White and Prism Crush Blue, with a fourth colour option of Prism Crush Pink in some countries.

It has a recommended retail price of RM 1,299 / ~S$436 / ~US$314 / ~£242 / ~A$467. Here are online purchase options :

 

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The Realme 3 (RMX1821) Review – An Incredible Bargain!

The new Realme 3 smartphone is here! It boasts a new design, new cameras, and a more powerful processor – all at an INCREDIBLE PRICE!

Find out what the Realme 3 offers over its predecessor, and why we gave it out Reviewer’s Choice Award!

 

The Official Realme 3 Tech Briefing

Let’s start off with the official Realme 3 (64 GB | 32 GB) tech briefing!

 

India + International Variants

Before we kick off the preview, we need point out that there are two Realme 3 variants. Internationally, it runs on the MediaTek Helio P60. Yes, the same mobile SoC used in the far pricier OPPO F9.

The Indian variant though runs on the faster MediaTek Helio P70 mobile SoC. What’s different?

  • Its four high-speed ARM Cortex-A73 cores run 2.1 GHz, instead of 2.0 GHz
  • Its ARM Mali-G72 MP3 GPU runs at 900 MHz, instead of 800 MHz

Basically, the Helio P70 variant has a slightly faster CPU, with a GPU that is said to be 13% faster.

 

Realme 3 Colour Options

Globally, there are three colour options – Radiant Blue, Dynamic Black and Classic Black. However, here in Malaysia, they are only bringing in the Radiant Blue and Dynamic Black, which are 3D gradient colours.

The Radiant Blue colour combines semi-transparent blue-green colours with a silver mirror reflective layer.

The Dynamic Black colour, on the other hand, is created by black and blue painting in three separate spray and bake sessions, with pearl powder added to add depth.

 

Realme 3 Price List + Deals

The Realme 3 (64 GB | 32 GB) will be available in two configurations, from 6 April 2019 onwards.

  • 3 GB RAM + 32 GB storage : RM 599 / ~US$ 147 / £ 112
  • 4 GB RAM + 64 GB storage : RM 699 / ~US$ 172 / £ 131

 

Unboxing The Realme 3

The Realme 3 (Price Check) comes in a grey cardboard box that features the new Realme visual identity.

Let’s take a look at the box and unbox it to see what’s inside!

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

  • One Realme 3 smartphone, wrapped in plastic
  • One Realme 3 clear TPU bumper case
  • One set of Realme 3 documents
  • 10 watt Realme fast USB charger
  • One micro USB data and power cable
  • One SIM tray extractor pin

We really like its bundled bumper case, and highly recommend that you use it. It provides a thick protective border along all sides of the display. It is also thick enough to protect the camera bump.

Next Page > The Realme 3 Up Close | How To Setup | Full Specifications

 

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The Realme 3 Smartphone Up Close!

Evolving from last year’s Realme 2, the Realme 3 uses the same form factor.. In fact, it is just 0.1 mm shorter, and 0.1 mm thicker – virtually similar in size!

The Realme 3 (64 GB | 32 GB) retained the 6.2-inch display, with the same resolution of 720 x 1520 pixels. The display notch has, however, been replaced with a smaller dewdrop notch.

Realme also added Gorilla Glass protection, although we are not sure what version they used. Most of what’s changed is literally under the hood.

On the left side, you will find the SIM tray positioned right above the two Volume buttons.

The Power button is located on the right side.

Realme chose to stick with the old micro USB port, probably to ensure compatibility with older cables and devices. The new bidirectional USB Type C port is, frankly, far more convenient to use. We are glad to see the 3.5 mm audio port though.

The only microphones we spotted are here – between the audio port and micro USB port. It looks like it may lack noise cancellation capabilities. The longer row of ports are the speaker ports.

 

Setting Up The Realme 3 Smartphone

It’s really easy to setup the Realme 3 (64 GB | 32 GB). After all, it is running on the new Android 9.0 Pie. It should take you no more than 5 minutes to set it up as a new device.

 

Realme 3 Specifications Compared

We created this table to show you the differences between the Indian and International variants. You can also compare them against last year’s Realme 2 smartphone.

SpecificationsRealme 3 (India)Realme 3 (International)Realme 2
Display6.2-inch display
- 720 x 1520 pixels
- 19:9 aspect ratio, 271 ppi
6.2-inch display
- 720 x 1520 pixels
- 19:9 aspect ratio, 271 ppi
6.2-inch display
- 720 x 1520 pixels
- 19:9 aspect ratio, 271 ppi
ProtectionCorning Gorilla GlassCorning Gorilla GlassNA
Operating SystemAndroid 9.0 with ColorOS 6.0Android 9.0 with ColorOS 6.0Android 8.1 with ColorOS 5.1
PlatformMediaTek Helio P70MediaTek Helio P60Qualcomm Snapdragon 450
Processor4 x ARM Cortex-A73 cores (2.1 GHz)
4 x ARM Cortex-A53 cores (2.0 GHz)
4 x ARM Cortex-A73 cores (2.0 GHz)
4 x ARM Cortex-A53 cores (2.0 GHz)
8 x ARM Cortex A53 cores (up to 1.8 GHz)
Graphics ProcessorARM Mali-G72 MP3 (900 MHz)ARM Mali-G72 MP3 (800 MHz)Qualcomm Adreno 506
Memory3 GB / 4 GB RAM3 GB / 4 GB RAM3 GB / 4 GB RAM
Storage32 GB / 64 GB internal flash storage
microSD card (up to 256 GB)
32 GB / 64 GB internal flash storage
microSD card (up to 256 GB)
32 GB / 64 GB internal flash storage
microSD card (up to 256 GB)
Front Camera13 MP image sensor with f/2.0 lens13 MP image sensor with f/2.0 lens8 MP image sensor with f/2.2 lens
Rear Camera13 MP image sensor with f/1.8 lens
2 MP depth sensor
13 MP image sensor with f/1.8 lens
2 MP depth sensor
13 MP image sensor with f/2.2 lens
2 MP depth sensor with f/2.4 lens
Fingerprint SensorYes, Rear-mountedYes, Rear-mountedYes, Rear-mounted
Other SensorsLight Sensor, G-sensor, Acceleration sensor, Proximity Sensor, E-compassLight Sensor, G-sensor, Acceleration sensor, Proximity Sensor, E-compassLight Sensor, G-sensor, Acceleration sensor, Magnetic induction, Proximity Sensor
NFCNot availableNot availableNot available
Battery4,230 mAh lithium-ion battery4,230 mAh lithium-ion battery4,230 mAh lithium-ion battery
Dimensions75.6 mm wide
156.1 mm tall
8.3 mm thick
75.6 mm wide
156.1 mm tall
8.3 mm thick
75.6 mm wide
156.2 mm tall
8.2 mm thick
Weight175 g175 g168 g
Available ColoursBlack, Dynamic Black, Radiant BlueBlack, Dynamic Black, Radiant BlueDiamond Black, Diamond Red, Diamond Blue

Next Page > Realme 3 Key Features

 

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Dewdrop Notch Display

The Realme 3 (64 GB | 32 GB)has a 6.21-inch display with a resolution of 720 x 1520 pixels, like the Realme 2.

But Realme upgraded it with a dewdrop notch, and added Gorilla Glass protection. This gives it a distinct advantage over smartphones at the similar price range, like the HONOR 8C.

Thanks to the smaller notch, there is a lot more space for your notifications. It also increases the screen-to-body ratio to 88.3%.

 

A Big Boost In Performance!

The last generation Realme 2 used the Qualcomm Snapdragon 450, which is a decent mid-range mobile SoC.

This year, the Realme 3 (64 GB | 32 GB) gets a big performance boost in the form of the MediaTek Helio P60.

It boasts four high-speed ARM Cortex-A73 cores and four low-power ARM Cortex-A53 cores – all running at 2.0 GHz. In addition, it has a faster ARM Mali-G72 MP3 GPU running at 800 MHz.

On top of that, the Helio P60 is fabricated on the newer 12 nm FinFET process technology. This means a significantly lower power consumption, and thermal output.

The MediaTek Helio P60 modem supports LTE Cat7 (300 Mbps) download and LTE Cat13 (150 Mbps) upload, as well as 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity.

 

Memory + Storage

The Realme 3 (64 GB | 32 GB) comes with 4 GB of RAM with 2.25 GB of free memory to use. If you opt for the 3 GB model, you will probably have 1.25 GB of available memory to use. That’s still more RAM than entry-level smartphones come with!

The base model comes with 32 GB of storage., Our higher-end model comes with 64 GB, of which 48 GB or 75% is free to use.

This is enough space to store about 13,000 photos or 6 hours of 1080p videos.

 

MicroSD + SIM Card Tray

If you don’t find 64 GB of storage sufficient, the Realme 3 (64 GB | 32 GB) comes with a dedicated microSD card slot that supports up to 256 GB of additional storage.

Even if you don’t use that much storage, using a microSD card will help protect your data in the event the phone is damaged or destroyed.

Those who need dual SIM capability will be delighted to know the Realme 3 comes with two dedicated nano SIM slots. So you can use two SIM cards together with a microSD card. This is as good as it gets!

 

Fingerprint Sensor

The Realme 3 (64 GB | 32 GB) retained the same rear fingerprint sensor as the Realme 2. It is fast and accurate, taking only about a dozen finger presses to register. 

The Realme 3 also supports basic facial recognition using the front camera. It is certainly convenient, but for those who are security conscious, we recommend sticking with the fingerprint sensor.

 

Aesthetics

Despite its very modest price point, the Realme 3 (64 GB | 32 GB) looks premium, thanks to its injection-moulded unibody with curved edges and a really beautiful gradient colour scheme.

This combination of a curvy silhouette and gradient colours, with a mirror-like finish gives the Realme 3 a really premium look and feel.

Realme offers a classic Black option in some countries, but most countries will have two 3D gradient colour options – Dynamic Black and Radiant Blue.

The Radiant Blue colour combines semi-transparent blue-green colours with a silver mirror reflective layer.

The Dynamic Black colour, on the other hand, is created by black and blue painting in three separate spray and bake sessions, with pearl powder added to add depth.

Next Page > Realme 3 Camera Features + Ergonomics

 

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Better Cameras

The Realme 3 (64 GB | 32 GB) has a new 13 MP main camera with a new, brighter f/1.8 lens. While it is still a 13 MP sensor, this sensor has larger 1.12 µm pixels.

The brighter lens and larger pixels will deliver better low-light performance with lower noise levels.

In addition, this new camera now supports 90 fps slow-motion video recording at the 720p resolution.

Like the Realme 2, it is still paired with a 2 MP depth sensor, and supported by a single LED flash.

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..

The front camera has been upgraded with a higher-resolution 13 MP sensor with a brighter f/2.0 lens. The Realme 2, you may recall, has an 8 MP front camera with f/2.2 lens.

 

Nightscape Mode

For the first time at this price range, the Realme 3 (64 GB | 32 GB) camera has a Nightscape mode.

Like the HDR feature, it takes multiple shots in quick succession and combine them for a brighter scene, and to bring out the details in the shadows.

Nightscape goes beyond, applying a combination of AI and anti-shake algorithms to dramatically increase exposure in extremely dim lighting, while keeping noise under control.

 

Chroma Boost Mode

Also new to this price range is the Realme 3’s Chroma Boost mode. It is similar to the Scene Optimiser feature in flagship devices like the Samsung Galaxy S10+ or the Samsung Galaxy Note9.

It uses AI algorithms to recognise scenes in a photo, and automatically optimise the photo’s colour, dynamic range and detail. The resulting pictures have greater dynamic range and have more vivid colours.

 

Ergonomics

Despite its large display size, the Realme 3 (64 GB | 32 GB) is just 75.6 mm wide, and 156.1 mm tall. Thanks to its narrow bezels and dewdrop notch, it feels relatively compact in the hand.

Even though it only delivers a HD+ resolution on such a large screen, the icons and text look sharp and crisp. Realme did not reveal its maximum brightness, but it held up well in bright sunlight.

The ultra-wide aspect ratio is great for playing games, but you will have to live with some pillarboxing – a black bar on each side of a movie.

Next Page > Realme 3 Camera Performance – Photo + Video Samples

 

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Realme 3 Camera Performance – Photo Samples

The Realme 3’s main camera has a new 13 MP sensor with larger 1.12 µm pixels. In addition, it is paired with brighter f//1.8 lens usually found in flagship-class smartphones.

The maximum 13 MP resolution is attained with the 4:3 aspect ratio. The photos are 4160 x 3120 pixels in size; with a file size of between 3 MB and 4 MB.

Here are 12 high-resolution unedited samples for you to check out. Click on them to load the full-sized photos. You can also download them to examine up close.

Despite its modest price point, the Realme 3 (64 GB | 32 GB) is delivering close to flagship-class photos. Blow up the picture to 100% and marvel at the detail the sensor captured.

Even without using its Chroma Boost feature, the camera is already capable of producing remarkably vivid colours.

We have to point out though that the camera is not great for macros. It has trouble focusing at short distances. But you can get pretty good results if you are careful about the focus distance.

The bright f/1.8 aperture naturally creates a narrow depth of field, with a nicer bokeh effect. But for the ultimate bokeh effect, you should leverage its Portrait mode, which leverages its depth sensor to separate the subject from the background and lets you create really nice bokeh for the background.

 

Realme 3 Camera Performance – Video Samples

The Realme 3 (64 GB | 32 GB) only supports 1080p video recording from both the front and rear cameras. Here are two video samples.

Video Sample #1 : Piano Performance

When you play the video, you will notice that it lacks both optical and electronic stabilisation. So if you can afford it, get a gimbal. It will iron out this problem.

Later in the video, you will see us zoom in and out. The Realme 3 does not have a zoom lens, but it has a 2X software zoom button. However, we don’t recommend using it because it seems to have focus issues.

The audio recording was not good either. It was overly bright, with too much echo and an odd background buzz. Without doubt, the Realme 2 Pro has superior video recording capabilities.

Video Sample #2 : Street Market

In this video, you can clearly see that there is no stabilisation of any kind. So make sure you get a gimbal if you want to do serious video recording.

You can also clearly hear the background buzz we were talking about in the previous video. That’s not wind noise, because we are not moving that fast. It’s just ever-present in the video, even when we paused for a moment.

Next Page > Realme 3 Performance – Work, Gaming, Battery Life + Recharging Speed

 

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Work Performance – PCMark

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

Work 2.0 Realme 3 Honor Play OPPO R17 Pro Samsung Galaxy A7 2018
Performance Score 7309 7361 6475 5379
Web Browsing 7779 7695 6572 5278
Video Editing 5292 5499 5387 4413
Writing 7479 6649 5617 5056
Photo Editing 13871 13326 10740 7427
Data Manipulation 4921 5764 5331 5147
Review Links   Honor Play
Review
OPPO R17 Pro
Review
Galaxy A7 2018
Review
Price Check MY MY | US | UK MY | US MY | US | UK

The Realme 3 (64 GB | 32 GB) did very well in this test. Its MediaTek Helio P60 virtually matched the flagship-class Kirin 970 powering the HONOR Play.

It was 13% faster than the far more expensive OPPO R17 Pro, and 35% faster than the Galaxy A7 2018 smartphones!

 

Gaming Performance – 3DMark

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

Ice Storm Unlimited Honor Play Realme 3 OPPO R17 Pro Samsung Galaxy A7 2018
Gaming Score 31622 20205 15354 15354
Graphics 37351 19444 15788 15788
Physics 20576 23414 14005 14005
Graphics Test 1 208.9 fps 119.9 fps 136.5 fps 136.5 fps
Graphics Test 2 132.8 fps 65.3 fps 45.8 fps 45.8 fps
Physics Test 65.3 fps 74.3 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 MY | US MY | US | UK

The Realme 3 (64 GB | 32 GB) also delivered good gaming performance. It was 36% slower than the HONOR Play which boasts the flagship-class Kirin 970 mobile SoC.

On the other hand, it was 32% faster than the OPPO R17 Pro and Galaxy A7 2018,, which are both more expensive mid-range smartphones!

 

Battery Life – PCMark

We then tested the Realme 3’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 Realme 3 Honor Play
Battery Capacity 3,700 mAh 3,300 mAh 4,230 mAh 3,750 mAh
Battery Life 11 hours 54 mins 11 hours 25 mins 10 hours 35 mins 9 hours 56 mins
Battery Utilisation 5.18 mAh / min. 4.82 mAh / min. 6.66 mAh / min. 6.29 mAh / min.
Review Links OPPO R17 Pro
Review
Galaxy A7 2018
Review
  Honor Play
Review
Price Check MY | US MY | US | UK MY MY | US | UK

Thanks to its large battery, the Realme 3 (64 GB | 32 GB) delivered a good battery life of 10.5 hours. Note that this is not just screen-on time. It’s running the Work 2.0 benchmark over, and over again, for 10.5 hours!

That said, it is the least efficient model in this comparison, using 6% more power than the HONOR Play, 28.5% more than the OPPO R17 Pro, and 38% more than the Samsung Galaxy A7 2018.

 

Battery Recharging Performance

The Realme 3 comes with a 10 watt fast charger. Let’s take a look at how fast it recharges the 4,230 mAh battery.

Recharging Speed OPPO R17 Pro Honor Play Samsung Galaxy A7 2018 Realme 3
Battery Capacity 3,700 mAh 3,750 mAh 3,300 mAh 4,230 mAh
Charger Output 50 Watts 18 Watts 7.75 Watts 10 Watts
Recharging Time 33 Minutes 92 mins 115 minutes 190 minutes
Recharging Speed 112 mAh / minute 40.7 mAh/ / minute 28.7 mAh / minute 22.3 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

The Realme 3 (64 GB | 32 GB) took 3 hours and 10 minutes (190 minutes) to recharge its battery from 20% to 100%. This is not very good performance for a 10 watt charger, because the Galaxy A7 2018 recharges 29% faster with its less powerful 7.75 watt charger.

Its battery life : recharging ratio of 3.3 : 1 is also below average. A rule of thumb – for one hour of battery life, you’ll need to charge it for 18 minutes.

Next Page > Realme 3 – Our Verdict + Award | Specification Comparison

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Our Verdict + Award!

Since its inception, Realme has shocked the industry with their ability and willingness to push against the boundaries of what’s possible.

Their first slew of smartphones were incredible value propositions that helped make Realme a household name in just a few months. And they did it without noticeably sacrificing quality or features.

The new Realme 3 (64 GB | 32 GB) impressed us no less with its incredible combination of great features, a classy unibody design, and an unbelievable price point. Unbelievably, it is a BIG UPGRADE from its predecessor, the Realme 2.

First, they gave it a big performance boost with the MediaTek Helio P60 processor.  Impressively, the Realme 3 (64 GB | 32 GB) was as fast as the flagship-class Kirin 970 in work performance, and delivered 32% faster gaming performance than the mid-range Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 and Samsung Exynos 7885 processors.

Next, they upgraded the display; replacing the wide notch with a small dewdrop notch, and adding Gorilla Glass protection. The biggest upgrades though came in the form of its front and rear cameras.

In the front, Realme replaced the 8 MB selfie camera with a higher-resolution 13 MP camera with a brighter f/2.0 lens.

In the back, it upgraded the 13 MP camera with a new sensor with larger pixels, and a new, brighter f/1.8 lens. This camera also boasts new AI capabilities in the form of Nightscape and Chroma Boost photography modes.

Everything was packed into a really classy unibody chassis with a large 4,230 man battery. The Radiant Blue model is especially beautiful, with its blue-green gradient tones.

Now, here is the punchline. These features are not unique to Realme. You can find them in other smartphones from other brands. But only the Realme 3 offers all that at these incredible price points :

  • 3 GB RAM + 32 GB storage : RM 599 / ~US$ 147 / £ 112
  • 4 GB RAM + 64 GB storage : RM 699 / ~US$ 172 / £ 131

Ultimately, the Realme 3 (64 GB | 32 GB) offers you a powerful mid-range smartphone with high-resolution front and rear cameras, at the price point of entry-level smartphones!

For delivering an incredible value proposition.. an incredible bargain.. yet again, we proudly award the Realme 3 our Reviewer’s Choice Award! Great job, Realme!

 

Realme 3 Specifications Compared

SpecificationsRealme 3 (India)Realme 3 (International)Realme 2
Display6.2-inch display
- 720 x 1520 pixels
- 19:9 aspect ratio, 271 ppi
6.2-inch display
- 720 x 1520 pixels
- 19:9 aspect ratio, 271 ppi
6.2-inch display
- 720 x 1520 pixels
- 19:9 aspect ratio, 271 ppi
ProtectionCorning Gorilla GlassCorning Gorilla GlassNA
Operating SystemAndroid 9.0 with ColorOS 6.0Android 9.0 with ColorOS 6.0Android 8.1 with ColorOS 5.1
PlatformMediaTek Helio P70MediaTek Helio P60Qualcomm Snapdragon 450
Processor4 x ARM Cortex-A73 cores (2.1 GHz)
4 x ARM Cortex-A53 cores (2.0 GHz)
4 x ARM Cortex-A73 cores (2.0 GHz)
4 x ARM Cortex-A53 cores (2.0 GHz)
8 x ARM Cortex A53 cores (up to 1.8 GHz)
Graphics ProcessorARM Mali-G72 MP3 (900 MHz)ARM Mali-G72 MP3 (800 MHz)Qualcomm Adreno 506
Memory3 GB / 4 GB RAM3 GB / 4 GB RAM3 GB / 4 GB RAM
Storage32 GB / 64 GB internal flash storage
microSD card (up to 256 GB)
32 GB / 64 GB internal flash storage
microSD card (up to 256 GB)
32 GB / 64 GB internal flash storage
microSD card (up to 256 GB)
Front Camera13 MP image sensor with f/2.0 lens13 MP image sensor with f/2.0 lens8 MP image sensor with f/2.2 lens
Rear Camera13 MP image sensor with f/1.8 lens
2 MP depth sensor
13 MP image sensor with f/1.8 lens
2 MP depth sensor
13 MP image sensor with f/2.2 lens
2 MP depth sensor with f/2.4 lens
Fingerprint SensorYes, Rear-mountedYes, Rear-mountedYes, Rear-mounted
Other SensorsLight Sensor, G-sensor, Acceleration sensor, Proximity Sensor, E-compassLight Sensor, G-sensor, Acceleration sensor, Proximity Sensor, E-compassLight Sensor, G-sensor, Acceleration sensor, Magnetic induction, Proximity Sensor
NFCNot availableNot availableNot available
Battery4,230 mAh lithium-ion battery4,230 mAh lithium-ion battery4,230 mAh lithium-ion battery
Dimensions75.6 mm wide
156.1 mm tall
8.3 mm thick
75.6 mm wide
156.1 mm tall
8.3 mm thick
75.6 mm wide
156.2 mm tall
8.2 mm thick
Weight175 g175 g168 g
Available ColoursBlack, Dynamic Black, Radiant BlueBlack, Dynamic Black, Radiant BlueDiamond Black, Diamond Red, Diamond Blue

 

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Samsung Galaxy A50 + Galaxy A30 Price + Specifications!

At a celebrity-studded “Era Of Live” event, Samsung launched the Galaxy A50 and Galaxy A30 smartphones! Get the full low-down o the new Galaxy A50 and Galaxy A30 smartphones!

 

The Samsung Galaxy A50 Smartphone

The Samsung Galaxy A50 is designed to replace the Samsung Galaxy A7 2018.

Built around the new Samsung Exynos 9610 mobile SoC, it has four fast ARM Cortex-A73 cores running at 2.3 GHz, and four low-power A53 cores running at 1.7 GHz.

It has an ARM Mali-G72 GPU, and comes with 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of internal flash storage. Powering it all is a large 4,000 mAh battery that supports 15 watt fast charging.

Like the Galaxy A7 2018, it boasts a triple camera system with a 25 MP main camera (f/1.7 aperture), an 8 MP ultra-wide angle camera (f/2.2 aperture), and a 5 MP depth sensor.

It also features an in-display fingerprint sensor, but unlike the Galaxy S10 series, it uses an optical sensor instead of an ultrasonic sensor.

 

The Samsung Galaxy A30 Smartphone

The Samsung Galaxy A30, on the other hand, is positioned just above the Galaxy M20 smartphone which launched separately on the same day.

It uses the same Exynos 7904 mobile SoC, with two fast ARM Cortex-A73 cores running at 1.8 GHz, and six low-power A53 cores running at 1.6 GHz.

It has an ARM Mali-G71 GPU, and comes with 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of internal flash storage. Powering it all is a large 4,000 mAh battery that supports 15 watt fast charging.

It has an improved version of the Galaxy M20‘s dual camera system. Its main camera has a higher- resolution 16 MP sensor with a brighter f/1.7 aperture. But it uses the same 5 MP ultra-wide angle camera with f/2.2 aperture.

 

Samsung Galaxy A50 + Galaxy A30 Specifications

Here is a table comparing the specifications of the Galaxy A50 vs the Galaxy A30.

SpecificationsSamsung Galaxy A50Samsung Galaxy A30
Display6.4-inch Super AMOLED display
-1080 x 2340 pixels
- 19.5:9 aspect ratio
6.4-inch Super AMOLED display
-1080 x 2340 pixels
- 19.5:9 aspect ratio
Operating SystemAndroid 9.0 PieAndroid 9.0 Pie
System PlatformSamsung Exynos 9610Samsung Exynos 7904
Processor4 x ARM Cortex-A73 (2.3 GHz)
4 x ARM Cortex-A53 (1.7 GHz)
2 x ARM Cortex-A73 (1.8 GHz)
6 x ARM Cortex-A53 (1.6 GHz)
Graphics ProcessorARM Mali-G72 MP3ARM Mali-G71 MP2
Memory6 GB4 GB
Storage128 GB
microSD card (up to 512 GB)
64 GB
microSD card (up to 512 GB)
Front Camera25 MP sensor with f/2.0 lens16 MP sensor with f/2.0 lens
Rear CameraTriple Camera System
- 25 MP main camera with f/1.7 lens
- 8 MP ultra-wide angle camera with f/2.2 lens
- 5 MP depth sensor with f/2.2 lens
Dual Camera System
- 16 MP main camera with f/1.7 lens
- 5 MP ultra-wide angle camera with f/2.2 lens
ConnectivityWiFi : 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 GHz + 5 GHz)
Bluetooth : BT 5.0
USB : USB 2.0 Type C
WiFi : 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 GHz + 5 GHz)
Bluetooth : BT 5.0
USB : micro USB 2.0
Battery4,000 mAh lithium-ion battery (non-removable)
- supports 15 W fast charging
4,000 mAh lithium-ion battery (non-removable)
- supports 15 W fast charging
Fingerprint SensorYes, In-DisplayYes, Rear-Mounted
Other SensorsAccelerometer, Gyro Sensor, Geomagnetic Sensor, Hall Sensor, Light Sensor, Proximity SensorAccelerometer, Gyro Sensor, Geomagnetic Sensor, Hall Sensor, Light Sensor, Proximity Sensor
NFC / Samsung PayNo / NoNo / No
Dimensions74.7 mm wide
158.5 mm tall
7.7 mm thick
74.7 mm wide
158.5 mm tall
7.7 mm thick
Weight166 grams165 grams
Colour OptionsWhite / Black / BlueWhite / Black / Blue

 

Price + Availability

Both the Samsung Galaxy A50 and the Galaxy A30 are available with immediate effect at these prices :

They will both be available in three colour options – Blue, Black and White.

 

Recommended Reading

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HUAWEI Mate 20 with Triple Leica Cameras In-Depth Review!

As the huge crowds at the HUAWEI Mate 20 sales launch show, the HUAWEI Mate 20 has been a huge MAJOR success.

We were amongst the first to receive the HUAWEI Mate 20, and here is our in-depth review. Find out why it won our Editor’s Choice Award!

Updated @ 2018-12-08 : Added a few updates, including new photos from Sydney.

Originally posted @ 2018-11-16

The HUAWEI Mate 20 Series

Instead of one flagship device, HUAWEI released three smartphones in the Mate 20 series. Let’s compare their specifications :

SpecificationsHUAWEI Mate20 XHUAWEI Mate20 ProHUAWEI Mate20
Display7.2-inch OLED display
- 1080 x 2244 pixels (345 ppi)
- DCI-P3 colour gamut
6.39-inch OLED display
- 1440 x 3120 pixels (538 ppi)
- DCI-P3 colour gamut
6.53-inch IPS display
- 1080 x 2244 pixels (381 ppi)
- DCI-P3 colour gamut
System PlatformHiSilicon Kirin 980HiSilicon Kirin 980HiSilicon Kirin 980
Memory6 GB LPDDR4x6 GB or 8 GB LPDDR4x4 GB or 6 GB LPDDR4x
Storage128 GB internal storage
NM card slot (up to 256 GB)
128 GB pr 256 GB internal storage
NM card slot (up to 256 GB)
128 GB internal storage
NM card slot (up to 256 GB)
Front Camera24 MP sensor with f/2.0 lens24 MP sensor with f/2.0 lens24 MP sensor with f/2.0 lens
Rear CameraTriple Leica Camera System
- 40 MP wide-angle camera with f/1.8 lens
- 20 MP ultra-wide-angle camera with f/2.2 lens
- 8 MP telephoto camera with f/2.4 lens
Triple Leica Camera System
- 40 MP wide-angle camera with f/1.8 lens
- 20 MP ultra-wide-angle camera with f/2.2 lens
- 8 MP telephoto camera with f/2.4 lens
Triple Leica Camera System
- 12 MP wide-angle camera with f/1.8 lens
- 16 MP ultra-wide-angle camera with f/2.2 lens
- 8 MP telephoto camera with f/2.4 lens
ConnectivityNetwork : LTE Cat. 21, LTE Cat. 13
WiFi : 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (dual band)
Bluetooth 5.0
USB 3.1 Type C
Network : LTE Cat. 21, LTE Cat. 13
WiFi : 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (dual band)
Bluetooth 5.0
USB 3.1 Type C
Network : LTE Cat. 21, LTE Cat. 13
WiFi : 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (dual band)
Bluetooth 5.0
USB 3.1 Type C
Water-ResistanceSome, IP53Yes, IP68Some, IP54
Battery5,000 mAh Li-Po battery
- supports fast-charging
4,200 mAh Li-Po battery
- supports fast-charging
- supports 15 W wireless charging
4,000 mAh Li-Po battery
- supports fast-charging
- supports 15 W wireless charging

HUAWEI Mate 20 Series Price + Availability

After overtaking Apple, HUAWEI is aiming its sights at Samsung. It is a steep mountain to climb, with a huge gap in their sales, and the overwhelming popularity of the Samsung Galaxy Note9, but they’re counting on the Mate 20 will help them gain on Samsung.

They officially released the Mate 20 smartphones for sale on 27 October 2018, with overwhelming response.

Here are their official retail prices :

  • HUAWEI Mate 20 with 6 GB RAM + 128 GB storageRM 2,799 / ~US$ 700
  • HUAWEI Mate 20 Pro with 8 GB RAM + 128 GB storage : RM 3,599 / ~US$ 900

And here are some direct purchase links for your convenience :

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Unboxing HUAWEI Mate 20

The HUAWEI Mate 20 (US | UK | MY) comes in a black premium cardboard box. Let’s unbox it and see what we find inside!

Once you fully unbox the HUAWEI Mate 20 (US | UK | MY), you will find the following items :

  • One HUAWEI Mate 20 smartphone
  • One HUAWEI Mate 20 TPU bumper case
  • One HUAWEI Mate 20 Quick Start Guide + warranty information
  • One 22.5 watt HUAWEI SuperCharge power adaptor
  • One USB Type C data and charging cable
  • One pair of earphones and microphone
  • One SIM tray ejection pin

Next Page > HUAWEI Mate 20 Up Close + Key Features

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The HUAWEI Mate 20 Up Close!

The HUAWEI Mate 20 (US | UK | MY) boasts a large 6.53-inch IPS display, with a resolution of 1080 x 2244 pixels. But thanks to its thin bezels, it does not feel like an overly large device.

The HUAWEI Mate 20 (US | UK | MY) runs on the new HiSilicon Kirin 980 platform using Android Pie. It comes with 6 GB of LPDDR4x memory, and 128 GB of internal flash storage. All that is powered by a large 4,000 mAh battery, in a chassis that is only 8.3 mm thick, and weighs just 188 grams.

Dewdrop Notch

The HUAWEI Mate 20 (US | UK | MY) has a large 6.53-inch IPS display, with a resolution of 1080 x 2244 pixels. To maximise the display area, while minimising the actual device size, it uses very thin bezels and a dewdrop notch. Also known as a raindrop notch, this is a very small notch that gives us a larger  notification area.

HUAWEI Kirin 980

Although Apple was the first to launch smartphones with a 7nm mobile SoC, the HUAWEI Kirin 980 is technically the first 7 nm mobile SoC in the world. It is also the first to come with two NPUs, a Cat.21 modem and support for faster LPDDR4X-2133 memory.

The Kirin 980 also uses a new 2+2+4 cluster architecture, with two ARM Cortex-A76 high-performance cores running at 2.6 GHz, two additional ARM Cortex-A76 cores running at 1.92 GHz and four ARM Cortex-A55 cores running at 1.8 GHz for background or less-intensive workloads.

It also comes with a 24-core ARM Mali-G76 GPU and two NPUs, which should double both its graphics and AI performance. On top of that, it supports LTE Category 21 download speeds of up to 1.6 Gbps, as well as dual frequency GPS (L5 + L1) for 10X more accurate positioning.

For more details, check out The Official HUAWEI Kirin 980 Tech Briefing + Demos!

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Hybrid SIM + NM Card Tray

The HUAWEI Mate 20 (US | UK | MY) comes with a hybrid SIM + NM card tray. It has slots for two nano SIM cards, but the second SIM slot can be filled with an NM card for extra storage (up to 256 GB).

What is an NM card? Short for Nano Memory, the NM card is a HUAWEI invention that is basically a smaller version of the microSD card. In fact, it is shaped exactly like a nano SIM card, and is designed to fit the same slot.

While NM card may be the future, it is quite hard to get hold of – only HUAWEI makes and sells them. And they are pricier than microSD cards – the 128 GB NM card costs £55 in the UK, and RM 299 here in Malaysia.

Unless you are prepared to pay a premium for an NM card, be prepared to live without additional storage…

Fingerprint Sensor

The HUAWEI Mate 20 (US | UK | MY) features a rear fingerprint sensor, located right below the square camera module at the back. This is a very fast and accurate fingerprint sensor that is easy to train and use.

Like all other rear fingerprint sensors – it cannot be used while the Mate 20 is mounted on a car dashboard.

Its close proximity to the Leica camera module increases the risk that you will smear their lenses while trying to locate the sensor… which is made even more likely by the sensor’s almost completely flat profile, which offers little tactile sensation.

Fortunately, the cutout in the TPU case that comes with the HUAWEI Mate 20 (US | UK | MY) helps guide your finger to the sensor.

Next Page > The HUAWEI Mate 20 Front Camera + Leica Triple Cameras

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The HUAWEI Mate 20 Front Camera

The HUAWEI Mate 20 (US | UK | MY) has serious photography chops. In the front, it has a very high-resolution 24 MP camera with f/2.0 lens.

In this close-up shot, you can just about make out the light sensor to its upper left, and the row of tiny speaker ports.

The front camera takes 24 MP photos with a resolution of 5632 x 4224 pixels. Despite its very high resolution, the front camera is limited to recording 720p videos.

The HUAWEI Mate 20 Leica Triple Cameras

The HUAWEI Mate 20 (US | UK | MY)’s key selling point though is its Leica triple camera system in the back. It consists of three different cameras, supported by an LED flash :

  • 12 MP sensor with standard lens and f/1.8 aperture
  • 16 MP sensor with wide-angle lens and f/2.2 aperture
  • 8 MP sensor with 2X telephoto lens, and f/2.4 aperture

All three cameras support laser autofocus, phase focus and contrast focus, as well as HUAWEI AI Image Stabilisation. Let’s check out how useful the three cameras are in these three photo comparisons, which you can click on to check out the full, original photos :

1X View vs. Wide-Angle View

Wide Angle vs. 1X Video vs. 2X Zoom (Vertical)

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Wide Angle vs. 1X Video vs. 2X Zoom (Horizontal)

Next Page > Hyper Optical Pattern, Battery, Ergonomics, Memory + Storage

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Hyper Optical Pattern

The HUAWEI Mate 20 (US | UK | MY) is available in four colours – Black, Twilight, Midnight Blue and Emerald Green. They all have a special glass texture which is non-slip and anti-fingerprint.

The Midnight Blue and Emerald Green colours are unique though, because they have a unique Hyper Optical Pattern, which you can see below.

The Hyper Optical Pattern is not just about looks though. It also imparts a matte finish that gives you a better grip, with a textured surface that is resistant to fingerprint smears.

Bigger Battery + Wireless Charging

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The HUAWEI Mate 20 (US | UK | MY) come with a bigger 4,000 mAh lithium-ion polymer battery, which should allow it to last longer, especially with its more efficient 7 nm Kirin 980 SoC.

It supports the HUAWEI SuperCharge fast charging technology. With its 22.5 watt charger, you just need 30 minutes to get from 1% to 58%!

It also supports 15 watt fast wireless charging. However, it does not support reverse wireless charging. That feature is only available in the Mate 20 Pro.

Ergonomics

Despite its larger 6.53-inch display, the HUAWEI Mate 20 (US | UK | MY) is slightly smaller than the Samsung Galaxy Note9!  Of course, one may argue that it’s not a true 6.53-inch display due to its display notch.. even though it is a small dewdrop notch.

Thanks to its relatively small form factor, it fits quite well in our hands. It is still a two-handed device, of course, but it will fit better in your pocket than the longer Galaxy Note9. We also like its textured back which gives a better grip, and is more resistant to fingerprint smears.

The HUAWEI Mate 20 (US | UK | MY) lacks the higher-resolution and more brilliant WQHD+ OLED display of the higher-end HUAWEI Mate 20 Pro, or the Samsung Galaxy Note9. But it’s not something you would notice unless you compare them side-by-side. More importantly, it’s bright enough to use outdoors without looking washed out.

Please note that its FHD+ resolution of 1080 x 2244 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.

Available Memory & Storage

The HUAWEI Mate 20 (US | UK | MY) does not allow monitoring of the available system memory, but this workaround showed that with a clean system, it has between 2.9 GB and 3.3 GB of free memory.

That is between 48% and 55% of its 6 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.

The HUAWEI Mate 20 (US | UK | MY) comes with 128 GB of internal flash storage, with about 113 GB of free space to use. This is enough space to store about 31,000 photos, 19 hours of 1080p videos, or 11 hours of 4K videos.

There is thankfully A LOT of free space for you to use, because you can’t just pop in a microSD card for extra storage. The Mate 20 offers storage expansion only using their NM card. You can buy 128 GB NM card for £55 in the UK, and RM 299 here in Malaysia.

Next Page > HUAWEI Mate 20 Camera Performance – Photos

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HUAWEI Mate 20 Camera Performance – Photos

The HUAWEI Mate 20 (US | UK | MY) has a main 12 MP camera with f/1.8 lens. The maximum 12 MP resolution is attained with the 4:3 aspect ratio, with 4608 x 3456 pixels, and a file size of between 3 MB and 5 MB.

Here are fourteen 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.

The resolution and detail of the HUAWEI Mate 20‘s main camera is truly incredible. Download the original photos and expand them to see how much detail it captured.

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We especially love its macro capability, which allows you to take really close-up shots. Many competing cameras lack a macro mode, and have trouble focusing close up.

The f/1.8 aperture naturally creates a very narrow depth of field, with a nice bokeh effect. But you have to be more careful in framing the shot, because the subject may end up out-of-focus.

If you need a stronger bokeh effect, the HUAWEI Mate 20 (US | UK | MY) has a Wide Aperture mode, which is very similar to the Live Focus capability of the Samsung Galaxy Note9.

It basically uses the main camera as a depth sensor, to help the telephoto camera in separating the subject from the background. This allows the Mate 20 to apply a software bokeh effect to the background. You can adjust the amount of bokeh effect after taking the photo.

Next Page > HUAWEI Mate 20 Camera Performance – Video Recording

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HUAWEI Mate 20 Camera Performance – Video Recording

The HUAWEI Mate 20 (US | UK | MY) can record not just 1080p videos, but also 4K videos, from its main camera. Surprisingly, its front camera can only record 720p videos even though it has a much higher-resolution sensor.

HUAWEI has traditionally been weak in video recording capabilities, so let’s see how well the Mate 20 fares in this regard…

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

In Mr. Yang’s live rendition of one of Emil Chau’s best songs – Friends, you can see just how sharp and detailed the video is, and just how well its electronic image stabilisation (EIS) worked. Note too how the Mate 20 allows you to switch between its three cameras while recording the video.

The only problem we have with the Mate 20 is its rather poor noise cancellation capabilities. It really detracts from its rather rich audio range.

Instead of focusing on the audio from the back, and using the other microphones to cancel sound from other directions, it just recorded from all directions.

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

In his rendition of The Last Waltz from 1967, you will see some autofocus issues in the beginning. But the image quality was very good, and so was its electronic image stabilisation (EIS) capabilities.

Its ability to zoom in and out of the scene was also incredibly useful, although there’s a weird jerk after each switch. It’s certainly not seamless as it is with the Samsung Galaxy Note9.

The recorded audio was, however, richer than the Galaxy Note9, albeit with less than stellar noise cancellation. However, in this video, the lack of noise cancellation worked to its benefit – you can hear people from the sides and the back singing.

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

The HUAWEI Mate 20 (US | UK | MY) does not support optical image stabilisation (OIS), but it has pretty good electronic image stabilisation (EIS) capabilities. While not as smooth as smartphones with OIS cameras, it does a good job of preventing you from creating nausea-inducing videos.

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

When we switched to 4K, EIS was thankfully still enabled. However, we noticed that it was less effective at this higher resolution, compared to when we recorded the 1080p video above.

Do note though how much richer the audio recording is. HUAWEI definitely did a better job in the audio department, although they could do better at noise cancellation.

Next Page > HUAWEI Mate 20 Performance – Work, Gaming, Battery, Recharging Speed

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Work Performance – PCMark

We tested the HUAWEI Mate 20’s performance using PCMark, which simulates work applications like web browsing, playing video, writing text and editing photos.

Work 2.0 HUAWEI Mate 20 Honor Play Samsung
Galaxy Note9
Samsung
Galaxy A7
Performance Score
(Average)
10215 7361 5557 5379
Web Browsing 10960 7695 5763 5278
Video Editing 6147 5499 5410 4413
Writing 12506 6649 5421 5056
Photo Editing 20262 13326 5898 7427
Data Manipulation 6514 5764 5316 5147
Review
Price Check
Review
Price Check
Review
Price Check

The new HiSilicon Kirin 980 demonstrated just how fast it is. It beat the Honor Play, which uses the last-generation Kirin 970, by almost 39%! It was almost 84% faster than the Exynos 9810 used in the Samsung Galaxy Note9, and is 90% faster than the Exynos 7885 used in the Galaxy A7 2018.

Gaming Performance – 3DMark

Next, we tested the HUAWEI Mate 20’s gaming performance using 3DMark, using the Ice Storm Unlimited test.

Ice Storm Unlimited HUAWEI Mate 20 Samsung
Galaxy Note9
Honor Play Samsung
Galaxy A7
Gaming Score 61595 42598 31622 15354
Graphics 72523 51199 37351 15788
Physics 40327 26825 20576 14005
Graphics Test 1 386.2 fps 330.2 fps 208.9 fps 136.5 fps
Graphics Test 2 266.4 fps 167.9 fps 132.8 fps 45.8 fps
Physics Test 128.0 fps 85.2 fps 65.3 fps 44.5 fps
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Price Check
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Price Check

The HiSilicon Kirin 980 once again proved its superiority. It was almost twice as fast as its predecessor, the Kirin 970 (which powered the Honor Play.

Impressively, it proved to be 45% faster than the Samsung Galaxy Note9, and was 4X faster than the Galaxy A7 2018!

Battery Life – PCMark

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

Work 2.0 HUAWEI Mate 20 Samsung
Galaxy A7
Samsung
Galaxy Note9
Honor Play
Battery Life 12 hours 19 mins 10 hours 25 mins 10 hours 15 mins 9 hours 56 mins
  Review
Price Check
Review
Price Check
Review
Price Check

Even though it has the same battery capacity as the Samsung Galaxy Note9, and is almost twice as fast in the Work 2.0 test, the Mate 20 lasted two hours longer in this stress test!

This means the HUAWEI Mate 20 (US | UK | MY) is about 20% more efficient than the Galaxy Note9. VERY IMPRESSIVE!

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Battery Recharging Performance

The HUAWEI Mate 20 comes with a 22.5 watt HUAWEI SuperCharge power adaptor. Let’s see how fast it recharges the 4,000 mAh battery.

It took the HUAWEI Mate 20 (US | UK | MY) just over 118 minutes (1 hour 58 minutes) to recharge its battery from 20% to 100%. Not particularly good performance, considering it’s using a high-powered 22.5 watt charger.

The Samsung Galaxy Note9, in comparison, took under 107 minutes (1 hour 47 minutes) to recharge its 4,000 mAh battery with a less powerful 15 watt charger. The Note9 is thus 9% faster and 14% more efficient than the Mate 20 in this aspect.

This slower battery recharging speed gives the HUAWEI Mate 20 (US | UK | MY) a battery life : recharging ratio of 6.3 : 1 – a good ratio. A rule of thumb – for one hour of battery life, charge it for 9.5 minutes.

The fastest recharging happened up to the 90% level. This took just under 84 minutes. Then the recharging speed slowed down, and it took a further 35.5 minutes to top up the remaining 10%.

Next Page > HUAWEI Mate 20 Verdict + Award, Full Specifications, Purchase Links

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Our Verdict + Award

The HUAWEI Mate 20 (US | UK | MY) is a seriously impressive smartphone. Powered by the very powerful HiSilicon Kirin 980, it trounced its rivals in both work and gaming performance. If that’s not impressive enough – it delivered all that performance with an exceptionally long battery life!

It also boasts serious camera chops with a 24 MP front camera, and a Leica triple lens camera. Far from being a marketing ploy, the Mate 20 delivers incredibly detailed photos with a very useful automatic macro mode, and a Wide Aperture mode for greater bokeh effects.

Its video recording capabilities was less impressive, but only in comparison to its more expensive rivals like the Samsung Galaxy Note9 and the Samsung Galaxy S9+.

Now, it’s not perfect. HUAWEI made a particularly controversial decision in swapping out the microSD card slot for the new NM card slot. Only HUAWEI currently makes and sells NM cards, so buying the Mate 20 means you either pay HUAWEI a premium for their new NM card, or stick to internal storage.

HUAWEI also made the questionable decision of limiting the front camera to 720p video recording. Now, we understand the need to differentiate the cheaper HUAWEI Mate 20 (US | UK | MY) from its more expensive Mate 20 Pro brother. However, why set the limit to 720p, and not 1080p? It is, after all, the year 2018… not 2016.

But other than these two issues we are pointing out, the HUAWEI Mate 20 (US | UK | MY) is an exceptionally good deal. Hence, we have no qualms awarding it our Editor’s Choice Award. Congratulations, HUAWEI, on a job well-done!

HUAWEI Mate 20 Purchase Links

Here are some direct purchase links for your convenience :

Full HUAWEI Mate 20 Specifications

SpecificationsHUAWEI Mate20
Display6.53-inch IPS display
- 1080 x 2244 pixels (381 ppi)
- DCI-P3 colour gamut
Operating SystemAndroid 9.0 Pie
System PlatformHiSilicon Kirin 980
Processor2 x ARM Cortex-A76 cores (2.6 GHz)
2 x ARM Cortex-A76 cores (1.92 GHz)
4 x ARM Cortex-A55 cores (1.8 GHz)
NPUHiSilicon M1 x 2
Graphics ProcessorARM Mali-G76 MP24
Memory4 GB or 6 GB LPDDR4x
Storage128 GB internal storage
NM card slot (up to 256 GB)
Front Camera24 MP sensor with f/2.0 lens
Rear CameraTriple Leica Camera System
- 12 MP wide-angle camera with f/1.8 lens
- 16 MP ultra-wide-angle camera with f/2.2 lens
- 8 MP telephoto camera with f/2.4 lens
ConnectivityNetwork : LTE Cat. 21, LTE Cat. 13
WiFi : 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (dual band)
Bluetooth 5.0
USB 3.1 Type C
GPSGPS (L1 + L5 dual band) / AGPS / Glonass / BeiDou / Galileo (E1 + E5a dual band) / QZSS (L1 + L5 dual band)
NFCYes
Fingerprint SensorYes, Rear-Mounted
Other SensorsGravity, Ambient Light, Proximity, Gyroscope, Compass, Hall Sensor, Laser Sensor, Barometer, Infra-red, Colour Temperature
Water-ResistanceIP54
Battery4,000 mAh Li-Po battery
- supports fast-charging
- supports 15 W wireless charging
Dimensions77.2 mm wide
158.2 mm tall
8.3 mm thick
Weight188 grams

Suggested Reading

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Honor Play In-Depth Review – Mobile Gaming FTW!

The Honor Play debuted in China last month as a gaming-centric smartphone, and it’s coming to a store near you. Read our In-Depth Review of the Honor Play, and find out why it’s designed for mobile gaming!

 

The Honor Play – Designed For Mobile Gaming

The Honor Play is specially-designed for mobile gaming. From the front, it looks like the Honor 10 (Price Check, with a display notch and an ultra-wide FullView display. Instead of an Aurora Glass back panel, it features a metal unibody design and a larger 6.3-inch display.

Like the Honor 10 (Price Check), the Honor Play is powered by the Kirin 970 SoC, which features a Neural Processing Unit (NPU) that speeds up certain AI functions. To ensure that you get to play your games for hours on-end, it comes with a larger 3,750 mAh LiPo battery that supports 18 W fast charging.

 

Honor Play Full Specifications

Here are the specifications of the Honor Play (US Price Check | MY Price Check), compared against the Honor 10 (Price Check) smartphone.

SpecificationsHonor PlayHonor 10
Display6.3 inch Full HD+ IPS display
- 1080 x 2340 pixels (409 ppi)
- 83% screen-to-body ratio
5.84" Full HD+ IPS display
- 1080 x 2280 pixels (432 ppi)
- 19:9 aspect ratio
Operating SystemAndroid 8.1 Oreo with EMUI 8.2Android 8.1 Oreo with EMUI 8.1
System PlatformHisilicon Kirin 970Hisilicon Kirin 970
Processor4 x ARM Cortex-A73 (2.4 GHz)
4 x ARM Cortex-A53 (1.8 GHz)
4 x ARM Cortex-A73 (2.4 GHz)
4 x ARM Cortex-A53 (1.8 GHz)
Graphics ProcessorARM Mali-G72 MP12ARM Mali-G72 MP12
Memory4 GB RAM4 GB RAM
Storage64 GB internal flash storage
microSD card slot (up to 256 GB, shared with SIM 2 slot)
128 GB
No microSD card slot
Front Camera16 MP sensor with f/2.0 lens
- 1080p video recording @ 30 fps
24 MP sensor with f/2.0 lens
Rear CameraDual Lens Camera with LED flash
- 16 MP PDAF sensor with f/2.2 lens
- 2 MP depth sensor with f/2.4 lens
- 4K / 1080p video @ 30 fps
Dual Camera System
- 16 MP RGB sensor with f/1.8 lens
- 24 MP monochrome sensor
- single LED flash
SIM CapabilityDual SIM, Dual Standby
Hybrid SIM Card Slot (shared with microSD)
Dual SIM, Dual Standby
ConnectivityWiFi : 802.11a/b/g/n/ac dual band
Bluetooth : BT v4.2
USB 2.0 Type C
WiFi : 802.11a/b/g/n/ac dual band
Bluetooth : BT v4.2
USB 2.0 Type C
GPSYes, with A-GPS, GLONASS, BDSYes, with A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS
FM RadioYesYes
Fingerprint SensorYes, Rear-MountedYes, Front-Mounted
Other SensorsAccelerometer, Gyro, Proximity, CompassAccelerometer, Gyro, Proximity, Compass
Infrared EmitterNoYes
Battery3,750 mAh Li-Po battery (non-removable)3,400 mAh Li-Po battery (non-removable)
Dimensions74.3 mm wide
157.9 mm tall
7.5 mm thick
71.2 mm wide
149.6 mm tall
7.7 mm thick
Weight176 g153 g
Available ColoursBlack, Blue, VioletPhantom Blue / Phantom Green / Midnight Black / Glacier Grey

 

Unboxing The Honor Play

The Honor Play (US Price Check | MY Price Check) comes in a plain white box. It is, after all, a mid-range smartphone. Don’t expect bling.

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

  • One Honor Play smartphone
  • One soft TPU bumper case
  • One SIM tray extractor pin
  • One 18 watt Huawei Quick Charge USB adaptor
  • One USB Type C cable

The package may be sparse but practical. Who needs cheap earbuds? What’s more important is that it comes with a free TPU bumper case so you can protect your new smartphone right out of the box!

Next Page > Honor Play Up Close, Cameras + Fingerprint Sensor

 

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The Honor Play Smartphone Up Close!

Designed for mobile gaming, the Honor Play (US Price Check | MY Price Check) is powered by the Kirin 970 SoC, which features a Neural Processing Unit (NPU) that speeds up certain AI functions. To ensure that you get to play your games for hours on-end, it comes with a larger 3,750 mAh LiPo battery that supports 18 W fast charging.

Because it is a larger device, the Honor Play is heavier than the Honor 10 (Price Check). But surprisingly, it is slightly thinner even though with a 10% larger battery!

 

Front + Rear Cameras

The Honor Play (US Price Check | MY Price Check) comes with a high-resolution selfie camera in the front. It has a 16 MP sensor, paired with a fast f/2.2 lens. There appears to be a laser diode on the other side, which is probably used for their AR emoji and 3D face lighting features. It doesn’t have a flash, but uses screen flash instead.

The camera at the back uses a dual-lens system that consists of a 16 MP camera (with a PDAF sensor and f/2.2 lens), and a 2 MP depth-sensing camera. The depth-sensing camera helps the main camera differentiate between the subjects in a photo and its background, allowing for more accurate software bokeh effects.

Please note that the main camera lens module will protrude through the TPU bumper case. The bumper case, therefore, cannot prevent damage to the main camera.

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Fingerprint Sensor

Honor opted to go with a rear fingerprint sensor with the Honor Play (US Price Check | MY Price Check). It is very fast and accurate, and allows you to trigger specific actions with different fingers.

The only downside? You can’t use it to unlock the device while it’s attached to a car mount. That’s when you need to use the Face Unlock feature. It uses the front camera and facial recognition algorithms to authenticate your identity, so it will work even with the Honor Play mounted on your car’s dashboard.

Next Page > Hybrid SIM, Display Notch, GPU Turbo, AI Game 4D Experience, Game Suite

 

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Hybrid SIM Tray

Unlike the Honor 10 (Price Check), the Honor Play has a hybrid SIM tray. This means the SIM 2 slot doubles as a microSD card slot. You can either use a second nanoSIM card, or a microSD card for extra storage capacity.

Its 64 GB internal storage capacity is plenty for many people, but microSD storage offers additional peace of mind – even if the phone is physically damaged or destroyed, you can still recover your data or photos and videos from the microSD card.

 

Display Notch

The Honor Play (US Price Check | MY Price Check) has a Full HD+ display with an aspect ratio of 19.5:9, and a resolution of 1080 x 2340 pixels. It features a display notch that is noticeably larger than that of the Honor 10 (Price Check).

The display notch allows for notifications to be confined to the top, giving you more space for your work… or really, your games. Heh… In games or apps that do not support the notch, it will simply “disappear” by turning black.

 

GPU Turbo

GPU Turbo is a hardware and software combination that increases the “efficiency” of the GPU by up to 60%. It does not mean you get a 60% boost in frame rate, although Honor says it will greatly reduce the jitter rate (variance between the highest and lowest frame rates), while appreciably increasing the overall frame rate.

Honor also claims that it will reduce the Kirin 970 SoC‘s power consumption by 30%, extending its battery life.  In a specific test using King Glory 1.34.1.11, the Honor Play lasted 4.5 hours – 30 minutes longer than the Apple iPhone X (Price Check).

How does GPU Turbo work? From what we understand, it uses a proprietary algorithm in the graphics driver to detect the change between the current frame being rendered, and the next one. This allows the Honor Play to boost CPU and GPU performance for completely new frames, and reduce them for frames with few changes.

The only downside? GPU Turbo support is currently limited. Extremely limited. From what we understand – it will only work with PUBG Mobile, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang and King Glory. Naturally, game support will be extended to more games over time.

 

AI Game 4D Experience

The Honor Play also offers an “AI Game 4D Experience” with a feature they call Smart Shock. In certain games (like PUBG), Smart Shock will vibrate the device according to the type of weapon used in the game.

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The AI Game 4D Experience also includes the 3D Gaming Audio capability. Basically, it’s a 3D spatial surround sound effect that helps you to judge the azimuth of a particular sound effect (like footsteps or an explosion).

 

Game Suite

This is a software feature that reduces network latency and game lag, and offers an uninterrupted gaming experience. Turning it on restricts the notifications that you receive, and allows you to play your game while receiving calls simultaneously.

You will only receive notifications for incoming calls, your alarms and low power alerts. Even these notifications will appear smaller, so they won’t disrupt your gaming experience.

Next Page > Setting Up The Honor Play, Ergonomics, Available Memory + Storage

 

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Setting Up The Honor Play

Setting up the Honor Play (US Price Check | MY Price Check) is easy, and takes no more than 10 minutes if you are setting it up as a new device. Take a look at a video of the initial setup process.

 

Ergonomics

The Honor Play (US Price Check | MY Price Check) is definitely much larger than the Honor 10 (Price Check). In fact, it is about the same size as the Samsung Galaxy S9+ – they both have similar-sized displays. It is a phablet that is a better fit for those with bigger hands and pockets.

The 6.3-inch IPS display is bright and brilliant even in daylight, which means you get to play your games wherever you go. The non-standard 18:9 aspect ratio of the main display section gives you more screen space for gaming, but you will get some pillarboxing while watching movies.

 

Available Memory + Storage

For a mid-range smartphone, the Honor Play (US Price Check | MY Price Check) comes with rather large memory and storage capacities. It has 4 GB of memory, of which 1.52 GB (38%) is available for use. That is a considerable amount of bloat, but still enough to run several memory-guzzling apps at the same time.

The Honor Play comes with 64 GB of internal storage, of which just under 51.2 GB (80%) is available for use. That’s enough for over 12,000 photos, or 5.5 hours of 1080p videos, or 2.5 hours of 4K videos.

Next Page > Honor Play Camera Performance – Photos + Videos

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Camera Performance – Photos

The Honor Play (US Price Check | MY Price Check) has a depth-sensing dual-lens camera, with a 16 MP image sensor paired with f/2.2 lens.  Photos from this camera have a 4:3 aspect ratio, with 4608 × 3456 pixels and an average file size of between 2 MB and 3 MB.

Photos from the wide-angle secondary camera have a 4:3 aspect ratio, with 3264 × 2448 pixels and an average file size of between 6 MB and 7 MB.

Here are 10 high-resolution samples from this 16 MP camera for you to check out. Click on them to load the full-sized photos, which you can also download to examine.

As you can see, the Honor Play’s main camera can take really great photos, with bright, vivid colours. And the software bokeh effect is much more accurate, thanks to its depth-sensing camera. However, note that its dual-lens design requires a greater distance to work, so it won’t be able to focus if the object is very close – less than 10 cm or so.

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Camera Performance – Video Recording

Despite its humble price point, the Honor Play (US Price Check | MY Price Check) supports 4K video recording. There is a 10 minute limit, and each clip is also limited to 4 GB in size. It even supports the newer and more efficient H.265 (HEVC) codec.

The Honor Play also supports electronic video stabilisation. However, it is disabled for videos that are recorded in 4K or 1080p at 60 fps.

Video Recording Test #1 : Piano (1080p)

The video stabilisation while recording at 1080p was very good. It’s not quite gimbal-level of stabilisation, but close enough. The Honor Play also showed good control of the highlights – you can see deep into the Padini Concept Store in the background. The recorded audio though was overly bright and lacks dynamic range.

Video Recording Test #2 : Piano (4K)

The 4K resolution is amazing, but there is noticeably less control of the highlights. The video is also jerky, because the Honor Play does not support video stabilisation at this resolution.

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

The Honor Play’s video stabilisation is very good at this resolution. It felt like it was attached to a gimbal. There was minimal jerkiness even when we panned. There was also good control of the highlights. Very good!

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

Switching to 4K recording disabled video stabilisation, so the end result was a very jerky video. If you really want to record in 4K using the Honor Play, you should do so when it’s attached to a tripod or a gimbal.

Next Page > Work Performance, Battery Life + Recharging Speed

 

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Work Performance – PCMark

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

Work 2.0 Honor Play Honor 10 ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 Samsung Galaxy S9
Performance Score
(Average)
7361 7106 6118 5618
Web Browsing 7695 7295 5815 5357
Video Editing 5499 5159 4898 5265
Writing 6649 6752 5722 4673
Photo Editing 13326 12910 10041 7560
Data Manipulation 5764 5524 5240 5616
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The HiSilicon Kirin 970 is a flagship SoC and it shows. Powered by the Kirin 970, both Honor Play and Honor 10 (Price Check) devices beat the ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 as well as the Samsung Galaxy S9 (Price Check)!

 

Battery Life – PCMark

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

Work 2.0 ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 Honor Play Samsung Galaxy S9 Honor 10
Battery Life 14 hours 12 mins 9 hours 56 mins 9 hours 6 mins 8 hours 56 mins
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Despite its large 6.3-inch display, the Honor Play (US Price Check | MY Price Check) managed to deliver a battery life of just under 10 hours!

Thanks to its larger 3,750 mAh battery, it will last about one hour longer than the Samsung Galaxy S9 (Price Check) or Honor 10 (Price Check) smartphones. Only the ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (Price Check), with its phenomenal 5,000 mAh battery, lasted longer.

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Battery Recharging Performance

The Honor Play supports 18W fast charging, and comes with an 18W quick charger. Take a look at how fast it recharged its 3,750 mAh battery.

It took the Honor Play (US Price Check | MY Price Check) just 92 minutes (1 hours 32 minutes) to recharge its battery from 20% to 100%. This gives it a battery life : recharging ratio of just under 6:5.

Next Page > Gaming Performance, Our Verdict + Award, Price + Availability

 

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Gaming Performance – 3DMark

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

Ice Storm Unlimited Samsung Galaxy S9 Honor Play Honor 10 ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1
Gaming Score 39588 31622 30560 19752
Graphics 45577 37351 34801 20707
Physics 27116 20576 21423 17008
Graphics Test 1 267.9 fps 208.9 fps 206.2 fps 113.5 fps
Graphics Test 2 157.2 fps 132.8 fps 119.5 fps 74.6 fps
Physics Test 86.1 fps 65.3 fps 68.0 fps 54.0 fps
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As expected, the 12-core ARM Mali-G72 used in the Honor Play (and Honor 10) is fast, flagship-class GPU. The faster Samsung Galaxy S9 (Price Check) actually uses the same GPU, just with 18 cores.

 

Our Verdict

As Huawei’s sister company, Honor has a reputation of offering similar models with better features at an even more affordable price point. The Honor Play (US Price Check | MY Price Check) is yet another example of the incredible value for money that Honor always offers.

The Honor Play is really an improved version of the HUAWEI nova 3i smartphone. They both have the same 6.3-inch FullView display with a notch, and the same 16 MP + 2 MP depth-sensing dual-lens main camera.

Where they differ though are mainly in five aspects.

  • The HUAWEI nova 3i has a 24 MP + 2 MP depth-sensing dual-lens front camera, while the Honor Play only has a 16 MP front camera.
  • The Honor Play features a flagship-class HiSilicon Kirin 970 SoC, while the nova 3i only uses a mid-range Kirin 710 SoC.
  • The HUAWEI nova 3i comes with 128 GB of internal storage, while the Honor Play only comes with 64 GB of storage.
  • The Honor Play comes with a larger 3,750 mAh battery, while the nova 3i only has a 3,340 mAh battery.

This is why Honor is far from being Huawei’s little brother. They are a key driver of Huawei’s phenomenal growth. By offering devices with even better features at a lower price point, Honor always has a price-performance advantage over its bigger brother.

We earlier reviewed the smaller Honor 10 (Price Check), which is a great smartphone in its own right. It too is great for gaming and comes with a gorgeous Aurora Glass back panel. The Honor Play is, in a way, a larger version of the Honor 10.

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Powered by the same flagship-class Kirin 970 SoC, which features a Neural Processing Unit (NPU), it offers a much larger display for greater enjoyment of movies and games. It also comes with a larger battery that gives you longer battery life.

The Honor Play (US Price Check | MY Price Check) also comes with GPU Turbo and “AI Game 4D Experience” with Smart Shock built-in. While both features currently have very limited reach, so don’t expect much from them just yet. However, they are steps in the right direction towards a more immersive gaming experience.

Overall, the Honor Play (US Price Check | MY Price Check) offers a great combination of a large high-resolution display with flagship-class performance and a large battery, in a svelte metal-glass chassis. In fact, when compared to the HUAWEI nova 3i, the Honor Play is obviously the better choice.

This is why we believe the Honor Play deserves our Reviewer’s Choice Award. Congratulations, Honor!

 

Honor Play Price + Availability

The Honor Play launched in China in June at RMB 1,999, which is about US$ 293 / MYR 1,189. Honor started rolling it out globally in August, with the following countries being first :

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  • Malaysia : RM 1,249 (10 August 2018)
  • Singapore : SGD 429 (8 August 2018)
  • Philippines : PHP 15,990 (13 August 2018)

You can now purchase the Honor Play at these online stores :

Go Back To > First PageMobile Devices | Home

 

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The Honor 10 AI Camera Smartphone Reviewed!

Officially launched on 15 May 2018 in  London, the Honor 10 is one of the most eagerly-anticipated mid-range smartphone of 2018. It offers a flagship processor with an AI chip, a full HD+ display and large memory and storage capacities at an affordable price point.

In this review, we will take an in-depth look at the Honor 10 – its key features, specifications and performance. We will also look at the quality of the photos and videos its AI Camera takes.

 

Honor 10 Specifications

SpecificationsHonor 10
Display5.84" Full HD+ IPS display
- 1080 x 2280 pixels (432 ppi)
- 19:9 aspect ratio
ProtectionCorning Gorilla Glass
Operating SystemAndroid 8.1 Oreo with EMUI 8.1
PlatformHisilicon Kirin 970
Processor4 x ARM Cortex-A73 cores (2.4 GHz)
4 x ARM Cortex-A53 cores (1.8 GHz)
Graphics ProcessorARM Mali-G72 MP12
Memory4 GB
Storage128 GB
No microSD card slot
Front Camera24 MP sensor with f/2.0 lens
Rear CameraDual Camera System
- 16 MP RGB sensor with f/1.8 lens
- 24 MP monochrome sensor
- single LED flash
SIM CapabilityDual SIM, Dual Standby
ConnectivityWiFi : 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (dual band)
Bluetooth 4.2
USB 2.0 Type C
GPSYes, with A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS
NFCYes
Fingerprint SensorYes, front-mounted
Infrared EmitterYes
Battery3,400 mAh lithium-ion polymer battery (non-removable)
Dimensions71.2 mm wide
149.6 mm tall
7.7 mm thick
Weight153 g
Available ColoursPhantom Blue / Phantom Green / Midnight Black / Glacier Grey

 

Unboxing The Honor 10

The Honor 10 (Price Check) comes in a white cardboard box with a simple 10 printed in blue. Let’s unbox it, and see what we find inside!

To keep costs low, Honor provided only the essentials in the Honor 10 package :

  • One Honor 10 (Price Check) smartphone
  • One clear TPU bumper case
  • One 22.5 W Huawei SuperCharge charger
  • One USB Type C cable
  • One SIM tray extractor pin

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The Honor 10 Smartphone Up Close

The Honor 10 (Price Check) is built around the powerful Kirin 970 SoC with a dedicated NPU, with a 5.84″ Full HD+ display with a “notch”. It also comes with a dual-camera system, and large memory and storage capacities.

And you might have noticed it by now – the Honor 10 (Price Check) boasts the really great-looking Aurora Glass back that was first introduced in the Honor 8. What you might not have noticed – the Honor 10 does not come with a microSD card slot. More on that later…

Next Page > The Honor 10 Key Features

 

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The Honor 10 Cameras

The Honor 10 (Price Check) comes with a very high-resolution selfie camera in the front. It has a 24 MP sensor, with a fast f/2.0 lens. That allows it to better handle low-light conditions – important since the front camera does not have any flash.

Its killer feature is the AI Camera at the back. It consists of a 16 MP RGB camera with f/1.8 lens, and a 24 MP monochrome camera. This dual-camera set-up does not only improve depth perception (for more accurate bokeh effects), it also creates sharper, more detailed pictures.

The RGB sensor captures the colour data, while the monochrome sensor captures the details, with less noise and greater sharpness. Both cameras then combine their sensor data to create a final image that is sharper and with greater detail than would be possible with a single RGB camera

 

Fingerprint Sensor

The Honor 10 (Price Check) uses a front fingerprint sensor. The sensor is completely flat, which looks great because it merges seamlessly with the black bezel. Placing it in the front makes it is great for those who want to use their Honor 10 while it’s attached to a car mount.

The sensor is quite accurate but is rather hard to train, as our setup video will show. It is also relatively slow to detect your fingerprint. For best results, you’ll need to press your finger against the sensor with some force.

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No MicroSD Card Slot

The Honor 10 (Price Check) is the first Honor smartphone to do away completely with the microSD card slot. The tray you see below fits up to two nano SIM cards, but there is no microSD card tray.

Honor could have given it a hybrid SIM slot, as Samsung has done with the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ smartphones. Instead, they chose not to include a microSD card slot, and give the Honor 10 a large storage capacity of 128 GB.

 

Display Notch

The Honor 10 (Price Check) has a Full HD+ display, with an aspect ratio of 19:9 and a resolution of 1080 x 2280 pixels. It features the display notch made popular by the iPhone X.

Although the notification icons nearest to the notch can appear “cut-off”, the Honor 10 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.

Next Page > Initial Setup, Ergonomics, Available Memory + Storage

 

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Setting Up The Honor 10

Setting up the Honor 10 (Price Check) is quite easy, and takes no more than 10 minutes if you are setting it up as a new device. We only faced some issues in registering our fingerprints. Honor needs to look at that fingerprint sensor…

 

Ergonomics

The Honor 10 (Price Check) is an amazingly small smartphone, even though it sports a display that is almost 6″ is size. It is just over 7.1 cm wide, and under 15 cm tall, and weighs just 153 g. This is despite sporting the multilayer Aurora Glass back. It naturally fits very well for those with small hands, and small pockets.

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.

 

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Available Memory & Storage

For a mid-range smartphone, the Honor 10 (Price Check) comes with rather large memory and storage capacities. It has 4 GB of RAM, of which 1.62 GB (40.5%) is available for use. That’s plenty to run several memory-guzzling apps at the same time. Interestingly, the Honor 10 has more free memory than the Samsung Galaxy S9!

Honor chose to give the Honor 10 (Price Check) smartphone a TON of storage – 128 GB, with a whopping 115 GB of free space. That is enough to store about 28,750 photos, or 18 hours of 1080p videos, or 8 hours of 4K videos.

Next Page > Honor 10 Camera Performance – Photos + Videos

 

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Camera Performance – Photos

Honor did not reveal the sensors used in their dual camera system, but the final photos have a 24 MP resolution with the 4:3 aspect ratio, with 5632 x 4224 pixels. 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.

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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Camera Performance – Video Recording

Despite having 24 MP sensors on both front and rear cameras, the Honor 10 (Price Check) is only capable of recording 4K videos from the main AI camera. The 24 MP front camera can only record 720p videos. The 4K video recording by the main camera is also limited to just 10 minutes. This was likely done to prevent sensor overheating.

Video Recording Test #1 : Piano (1080p)

First off – we can see that there is no optical or electrionic image stabilisation, so the video can get very jerky. The audio, while clear, is very thin and overly bright (too much emphasis on treble).

Video Recording Test #2 : Piano (4K)

The 4K resolution is amazing, and there is good control of the highlights. You can see right into the Padini Concept Store. The audio recording is, however, quite a letdown. Honor should try to tone down the emphasis on the high frequencies, and boost the lower frequencies for a more balanced sound.

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

There is absolutely no image stabilisation, so you get to experience every shake and jolt. Remember – we recorded this in the two-handed mode.

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

When recording at 4K, there appeared to be somewhat more noticeable jerkiness. Overall – not a very pleasant video to watch!

Next Page > Honor 10 Work Performance, Battery Life + Recharging Speed

 

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Work Performance – PCMark

We tested the Honor 10’s performance using PCMark, which simulates work applications like web browing, playing video, writing text and editing photos.

Work 2.0 Honor 10 Samsung Galaxy S9 Samsung Galaxy S9+ Samsung Galaxy A8 2018
Performance Score
(Average)
7106 5618 5303 5197
Web Browsing 7295 5357 5155 5035
Video Editing 5159 5265 4998 4433
Writing 6752 4673 5158 5607
Photo Editing 12910 7560 7082 7238
Data Manipulation 5524 5616 4458 4183
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The Kirin 970 powering the Honor 10 (Price Check) is a true flagship SoC. Look at how fast it was at Work 2.0, beating the Samsung Galaxy S9 (Price Check) by 26%, and Galaxy S9+ (Price Check) by 34%.

 

Battery Life – PCMark

We then tested the Honor 10′ battery performance using PCMark. It basically ran the PCMark work tests until its battery capacity dropped to 20%.

Work 2.0 Samsung Galaxy S8 Samsung Galaxy S9 Samsung Galaxy S9+ Honor 10
Battery Life 10 hours 32 mins 9 hours 6 mins 9 hours 5 mins 8 hours 56 mins
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The Honor 10 (Price Check) has a slightly smaller 3,400 mAh battery than the 3,500 mAh battery of the Samsung Galaxy S9+ (Price Check). It managed to last just under 9 hours in this stress test.

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Battery Recharging Performance

The Honor 10 (Price Check) comes with a Huawei SuperCharge fast charger with a power output of 22.5 W. Take a look at how fast it recharged its 3,400 mAh battery.

It took the Honor 10 (Price Check) about 107 minutes (1 hour 47 minutes) to recharge its battery from 20% to 100%. This is 11.5 minutes longer than Samsung Galaxy S9+ (Price Check) with its 18 W fast charger.

This gives it a rather poor battery life : recharging ratio of 5:1, even with a high-powered fast charger. Honor really needs to look into addressing this issue.

Next Page > Honor 10 Gaming Performance, Our Verdict

 

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Gaming Performance – 3DMark

We tested the Honor 10s’ gaming performance using 3DMark, using the Ice Storm Unlimited test.

Ice Storm Unlimited Samsung Galaxy S9+ Samsung Galaxy S9 Honor 10 Samsung Galaxy S8
Gaming Score 42489 39588 30560 29509
Graphics 49852 45577 34801 33279
Physics 28009 27116 21423 21130
Graphics Test 1 308.6 fps 267.9 fps 206.2 fps 173.1 fps
Graphics Test 2 167.0 fps 157.2 fps 119.5 fps 124.3 fps
Physics Test 88.9 fps 86.1 fps 68.0 fps 67.1 fps
Review
Price Check
Review
Price Check
Price Check Review
Price Check

While the Kirin 970 was very fast at work applications, it did not do so well in games. Its ARM Mali-G72 GPU only has 12-cores, while the ARM Mali-G72 GPU used in the Samsung Galaxy S9 (Price Check) by 26%, and Galaxy S9+ (Price Check) has 18 cores.

Even so, the Honor 10’s gaming performance was more than decent for a mid-range smartphone. It was slightly faster than the Galaxy S8, which uses the older ARM Mali-G71 GPU (with 20 cores).

 

Our Verdict

The Honor 10 (Price Check) is a rather impressive smartphone. It is a mid-range smartphone based on the Kirin 970 flagship platform, with 4 GB of RAM and a whopping 128 GB of flash storage. And it looks really good, thanks to its Aurora Glass back, and the almost bezel-less design.

It was no surprise to see the Honor 10 power through our benchmarks like a champ. It was especially fast at work applications, while offering good flagship-class gaming performance. And with so much RAM and storage space, there’s really nothing it cannot handle.

The Honor 10 (Price Check) is also one of the smallest smartphones with a 6″ display. Ergonomically, this is great for those with smaller hands, or small pockets

Its AI camera also worked as advertised, producing really high-quality 24 MP photos. This is yet another flagship feature Honor packed into this mid-range smartphone. However, its video recording capabilities are rather dismal.

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The Honor 10 AI camera does not support optical image stabilisation, and for some reason, Honor neglected to enable even electronic image stabilisation. So the video we recorded were shaky, even when recorded with two hands. The recorded audio was also too thin and overly bright.

Finally, it has a rather lacklustre battery life, lasting just under 9 hours in our stress test. While not the worst we have seen, it could be better.

Now, it is easy enough to criticise the Honor 10’s shortcomings, but we have to remember that this is a mid-range smartphone that is 30-40% cheaper than flagship smartphones with equivalent features. That itself is Honor’s chief accomplishment with the Honor 10 (Price Check).

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The Samsung Galaxy S9 – Everything You Need To Know!

Samsung just revealed the Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ at the 2018 Mobile World Congress! Here are their key features, prices, specifications, pictures, price and availability!

Article Update History

Check out what was updated recently!

Updated @ 2018-02-26 : Updated details of its dual aperture camera, ISOCELL Fast sensor, price and availability. Also added a new section on the Enterprise Edition.

Updated @ 2018-02-20 : Updated the specifications and features of the Galaxy S9/S9+. Added new sections on the colour options, and the Samsung DeX Pad.

Updated @ 2018-01-31 : Updated details on their Variable Aperture camera. Added new sections on IntelligentScan and their new ISOCELL Fast sensor. Also posted their launch prices.

Updated @ 2018-01-20 : Added a video, as well as details on their launch details, model numbers and battery capacities.

Updated @ 2018-01-15 : Added details of the new variable aperture camera, and the Super Slow-mo feature. Also updated their specifications.

Originally posted @ 2018-01-12


 

The Samsung Galaxy S9 / S9+ Revealed!

Like the Samsung Galaxy S8, there will be two sizes – the Galaxy S9 (SM-960) with a 5.8″ display, and the larger Galaxy S9+ (SM-965) with a 6.2″ display.

The US and Chinese models will be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 SoC, while the rest of the world will receive the Samsung Exynos 9810 SoC instead.

This year though, Samsung will increase the feature differentiation between the two sizes. Let’s take a look…

Memory & Storage

The Samsung Galaxy S9+ will come with 6 GB of LPDDR4x memory, with 64 GB, 128 GB and 256 GB storage options, as well as a possible 512 GB model for “select markets” on a “temporary” basis.

The Samsung Galaxy S9 will only come with 4 GB of LPDDR4x memory, and either 64 GB or 128 GB of storage.

New Dual Aperture Camera Updated!

Both models will feature a new, unique dual aperture camera. It was first used in the rare and expensive Samsung W2018 smartphone (available only in China). The camera has a mechanical aperture that lets you switch between an incredibly bright f/1.5 aperture, and the f/2.4 aperture for a deeper depth of field.

For the first time as well, Samsung will also differentiate the two sizes by offering a dual camera setup like the Galaxy Note8 only in the Galaxy S9+. The second 12 MP camera (with a fixed f/2.4 aperture) adds Live Focus and Dual Capture capability to the Plus model, as well as the ability to switch lenses on-the-fly while recording videos.

The smaller Galaxy S9 will not support the Live Focus and Dual Capture capability we love so much in the Galaxy Note8. This would make the Galaxy S9+ a more enticing model for mobile photography enthusiasts.

New Samsung ISOCELL Fast Sensor Updated!

Samsung will also introduce their latest ISOCELL Fast S5K2L7/9 sensor in the new cameras. This is a 12 MP sensor with large 1.4 µm pixels for excellent low-light performance.

The Fast designation means it comes with its Dual Pixel and Super PD capabilities. It also boasts a 3-stack FRS (Fast Readout Sensor) that allows high-speed captures of Full HD video.

Super Slow-Mo Updated!

Both smartphones will come with a new Super Slow-mo feature. It allows you to record slow-motion 1080p video at 960 fps / 4K video at 120 fps. However, this feature is apparently limited to models using the Samsung Exynos 9810 SoC.

IntelligentScan

Instead of using a point cloud facial recognition system like Apple Face ID, and future honor smartphones, the Samsung Galaxy S9 will feature IntelligentScan. It combines the existing facial recognition and iris scanning capabilities to improve accuracy and security, even in low light or super bright conditions.

Fingerprint Sensor

The position of the fingerprint sensor was, finally, brought into central alignment. This makes it easier to use, especially in the Galaxy S9+ because the dual camera setup means the fingerprint sensor is positioned even lower.

The fingerprint sensor’s close proximity to the main camera though means you are still very likely to smudge the lens with your oily fingers.

Bixby & Earphone Port

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Despite rumours that Samsung will be ditching the dedicated Bixby button and 3.5 mm earphone port, they will definitely be part of both devices.

Same Batteries

Both devices will come with the same battery capacities of their predecessors – 3000 mAh for the Samsung Galaxy S9, and 3,500 mAh for the larger Galaxy S9+.

However, they should have a longer battery life, thanks to their more efficient processors. They will also support the new 15 W fast wireless charging capability.

AKG-Tuned Stereo Speakers

The two new Samsung flagship smartphones will feature stereo speakers tuned by AKG.

Don’t forget to click to the next page to check out the specifications and launch details of the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+!

 

Enterprise Edition New!

Samsung will also be offering an Enterprise Edition of both devices. These are basically specially-configured Galaxy S9 or Galaxy S9+ smartphones for corporate clients.

You can read more about the Enterprise Edition devices in our article – The Samsung Galaxy S9 Enterprise Edition Details Leaked!

Next Page > DeX Pad, Colour Options, Specifications, Price & Availability

 

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Samsung DeX Pad

Samsung will be introducing a new DeX docking station called the Samsung DeX Pad. It will have a flat design, which allows the display to be used as a touch pad. It also lets you make use of the Galaxy S9’s earphone port.

You can read more about the new DeX Pad in our article – Details of the Samsung DeX Pad Leaked!

 

The Samsung Galaxy S9 Colour Options

The Samsung Galaxy S9 / S9+ will be available with four colour options – Midnight Black, Lilac Purple, Coral Blue, Titanium Silver. Here are three of them, as provided by Evan Blass.

 

Samsung Galaxy S9 / S9+ Specifications

Here are the specifications of the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ smartphones that we managed to obtain.

SpecificationsSamsung Galaxy S9+Samsung Galaxy S9
ModelSM-965SM-960
Display6.2" Super AMOLED Infinity Display
- 1440 x 2960 pixels (529 ppi)
5.8" Super AMOLED Infinity Display
- 1440 x 2960 pixels (570 ppi)
Operating SystemAndroid 8.0Android 8.0
System PlatformQualcomm Snapdragon 845 (US)
Samsung Exynos 9810 (Worldwide)
Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 (US)
Samsung Exynos 9810 (Worldwide)
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 845
- 8 x Qualcomm Kyro 385 (2.8 GHz)

Samsung Exynos 9810
- 4 x Custom CPU core (2.9 GHz)
- 4 x ARM Cortex-A55 (1.9 GHz)
Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
- 8 x Qualcomm Kyro 385 (2.8 GHz)

Samsung Exynos 9810
- 4 x Custom CPU core (2.9 GHz)
- 4 x ARM Cortex-A55 (1.9 GHz)
Graphics ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 845
- Qualcomm Adreno 630

Samsung Exynos 9810
- ARM Mali-G72 MP18
Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
- Qualcomm Adreno 630

Samsung Exynos 9810
- ARM Mali-G72 MP18
Memory6 GB LPDDR4x SDRAM4 GB LPDDR4x SDRAM
Storage64 / 128 / 256 GB internal flash storage
microSD card slot (up to 256 GB)
64 GB internal flash storage
microSD card slot (up to 256 GB)
Front Camera8 MP sensor8 MP sensor
Main CameraDual Camera System
- Main Dual Aperture Camera with 12 MP Dual Pixel sensor, OIS lens with f/1.5 and f/2.4 variable apertures
- Telephoto camera with 12 MP Dual Pixel sensor, OIS lens and f/2.4 aperture
- dual-tone LED flash
Dual Aperture Camera
- 12 MP Dual Pixel sensor with 1.4 μm pixels
- OIS lens with f/1.5 and f/2.4 variable apertures
- dual-tone LED flash
Super Slow-moYes, 720p (0.2 seconds)Yes, 720p (0.2 seconds)
Samsung Live FocusYesNo
ConnectivityQualcomm Snapdragon 845
- LTE Cat18 : 1.2Gbps DL / 150 Mbps UL
- WiFi : 802.11ac (2x2)
- USB Type C

Samsung Exynos 9810
- LTE Cat18 : 1.2Gbps DL / 200 Mbps UL
- WiFi : 802.11ac (2x2)
- USB Type C
Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
- LTE Cat18 : 1.2Gbps DL / 150 Mbps UL
- WiFi : 802.11ac (2x2)
- USB Type C

Samsung Exynos 9810
- LTE Cat18 : 1.2Gbps DL / 200 Mbps UL
- WiFi : 802.11ac (2x2)
- USB Type C
Iris ScannerYes, with IntelligentScan capabilityYes, with IntelligentScan capability
Fingerprint SensorYes, Rear-MountedYes, Rear-Mounted
Bixby ButtonYesYes
Dust & Water ResistanceIP68IP68
AudioAKG-tuned Stereo Speakers
3.5 mm audio jack
AKG-tuned Stereo Speakers
3.5 mm audio jack
FM RadioYesYes
Battery3,500 mAh lithium-ion battery
15 W Fast Wireless Charging Capability
3,000 mAh lithium-ion battery
15 W Fast Wireless Charging Capability
Dimensions73.8 mm wide
158.1 mm tall
8.5 mm thick
68.7 mm wide
147.7 mm tall
8.5 mm thick
Weight189 g163 g
Available ColoursMidnight Black / Coral Blue / Lilac Purple / Titanium SilverMidnight Black / Coral Blue / Lilac Purple / Titanium Silver

 

Samsung Galaxy S9 / S9+ Price & Availability Updated!

Here is the timeline for the launch and availability of these new Samsung flagship smartphones :

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Samsung Galaxy S9 Unpacked launch event : Sunday, 25 February 2018
Pre-Order
begins : Friday, 2 March 2018
Delivery
begins : Friday, 16 March 2018

Here are the reported launch prices :

Samsung Galaxy S9 : KRW 950,000 / US$ 719.99 / £ 739
Samsung Galaxy S9+ : KRW 990,000 / US$ 839.99 / £ 869

Don’t forget to click to the next page to check out the many leaked pictures of the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+!

Next Page > Leaked Pictures of the Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+

 

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The Most Credible Leaked Pictures

There are many “leaked pictures” on the Internet, but these are the most credible photos we found. They all tie in with what we know so far about the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ smartphones. Check them out!

The Olixar Cases

These cases were leaked by Olixar. The clear case designs, in particular, offer the clearest look at the two Samsung smartphones.

Pictures Leaked From China

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Box Sleeve Leaked From Vietnam

This picture of the outer sleeve for the Samsung Galaxy S9‘s box, which was purportedly leaked from Vietnam. It seems to be genuine, with the specifications matching what we know so far. Notably, it confirms the variable aperture camera, and the Super Slow-mo feature.

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