Honor 20 Pro – Hands on with the Quad Camera – It’s a Beast!

Honor launched its new flagship. It comes with quad camera with a Sony IMX586 48MP Main Camera, featuring the advanced AI Ultra Clarity mode and AIS Super Night mode. The quad camera is also packed with the 16MP Super Wide Angle Camera, 8MP Telephoto Camera, and the 2MP Macro Camera, which allows users to capture wider and closer with Optical Image Stabilisation.

HONOR 20 Series boasts a 6.26″ all-view display with a 91.7% screen-to-body ratio. the industry-leading GPU Turbo 3.0, offering users an enhanced visual and tactile experience, an immersive audio experience through the Virtual 9.1 Surround Sound feature powered by Histen 6.0. This is the first time that this cutting-edge technology is applied to smartphones. The Virtual 9.1 surround sound supports most earphones and packs an in-built dual microphone with noise reduction.

So let’s take a first look at this phone as I went hands on at the official London launch.

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Oppo Reno 10x Zoom First Impressions & Camera

Oppo held its UK launch of its Oppo Reno range of handsets.

These included, the Oppo Reno, Oppo Reno 10x Zoom and Oppo Reno 5G.

EE will be offering the 5G version. The Oppo Reno is an all screen phone with a shark fin pop up front camera.

I took a closer look at the Oppo Reno 10x Zoom, the UI, camera interface and a few camera samples.

iFi Audio xCan Portable Power Amp vs iFi Audio xDSD Portable DAC Amp – Review & All the Differences!

Welcome to my review and comparison between the iFi Audio xCAN and xDSD.

Intro – What are they?

xCAN is a dual-mono portable headphone amplifier with up to 1,000mW of power per channel plus it also includes bluetooth. It retails for £299.

xDSD is portable headphone amp DAC that can playback high-quality digital audio file formats. Hi-Res True Native playback for all music formats from MP3 to DSD512, PCM768 and 2xDXD. It retails for £399.

Connections

xCAN – digital SPDIF or via analogue 2.5/3.5mm jack connection. iFi’s S-Balanced technology means that you gain the advantages of a balanced connection even when using an unbalanced one.

xDSD only 3.5mm jack using iFi’s S-Balanced® circuit delivers maximum performance from single-ended and balanced headphones alike. You can connect to Apple devices using the CCK Lightning to USB adapter. The design of the xDSD allows for a secure fit. See video below for more info. The 3.5mm coaxial/TOSLINK combo SPDIF input allows connections to older DAPs and CD players.

Extra Features

xCAN 3D+® opens up your music to give you the spaciousness of a live-concert atmosphere. and XBass Ⅱ® analogue bass correction system corrects headphone/speaker bass response to deliver a more natural sound to the midrange frequencies.
xDSD has 3D+ and the original XBass+

xCAN uses the parent company AMR’s Global Master Timing® (GMT)/ Memory Buffer System. solves the problem of digital SPDIF jitter.

xCAN USB C to charge
xDSD micro USB to charge

Bluetooth

xCAN – ESS Sabre 44.1/48k 16-Bit (AAC, aptX, aptX LL and SBC)
xDSD – AAC & APT-X

Battery

xCAN – 18 hours, 12 hours with bluetooth
xDSD 10 hours

Power

xCAN upto 1,000mw in balanced at 32 ohms, 6 volts max too (3 volts in s balanced mode/ 600mw)
xDSD upto 500mw but at 16 ohms, 270mw at 50 ohms, remember xCAN was 1,000mw at 32 ohms so significantly more powerful. Max voltage 3.8 volts.

Weight

xCAN / xDSD both weigh 127g

Sound Quality

xCAN the extra oomph really make the xCan squeeze every last drop out of your headphones. From my Fiio FA7 and AKG and Sennheiser HD600, all sounded excellent. Excellent bass extension, seperations and more. Genres from dance, classical and jass , rock all handled with aplomb. Like everything, all depends on the quality of the source, but then there is bluetooth. This is a good sounding option, iFi have gone to a lot of trouble to get the best sonically. Not all Bluetooth is made equally. Highly convienant having bluetooth. Having the Xbass and 3D+ really is a godsend too. Some headphones like my AKG really benefit from a slight bass boost.

For an extra £100.

xDSD gives you a decent DAC with good amp but not as powerful as the xCAN. However, partnering both together will bring a big smile on your face.

Of course, if you want a great DAC but extreme power to drive any headphone, iFi Audio have you covered with the micro iDSD Black Label, with a max of 10 volts, 4,000mW of power at 16 ohms. This costs £599, is much bigger but still portable.

Video Review and Comparison

Conclusion

The iFi Audio xCAN is a fantastic portable headphone amplifier and highly recommended. If you need a decent DAC and amp then look no further than the xDSD.

Useful Links

For more information and specs, click on the respective links below.

xCAN on Amazon UK
xDSD on Amazon UK
Micro iDSD Black Label on Amazon UK

Huawei P30 Pro Review including 150+ Stunning Photos

Welcome to my Huawei P30 Pro Review. I have already posted a dedicated camera review, so please check this out.

Key Features

– 40mp Wide Angle Lens f/1.6 with OIS
– 20mp Ultra Wide Angle Lens f/2.2
– 8MP Telephoto f/3.4 OIS
– ToF Sensor – Time of Flight
– Underscreen front speaker for the earpiece
– Underscreen fingerprint sensor
– Infra Red Blaster
– USB Type C
– Desktop mode
– 4,200mAh battery
– Video AI Effects
– Incredible colour hardware options
– 40w Super Charging
– 15w Qi Fast Charging
– Reverse Wireless Charging

The Huawei P30 Pro features quite a significant camera upgrade over the P20 Pro with its new RYYB sensor in the main camera. The use of red yellow yellow blue photocells on the sensor surface rather than the traditional red green green blue Bayer array provides offer 40 percent higher light sensitivity over the P20 Pro, as yellow lets in more light than green.

With a 5 x fixed optical zoom lens, installed periscope style, the P30 Pro can manage 10 x lossless and up to 50 x digital zoom. If macro is your thing, the super macro mode can get as close as 2.5cm away from the subject. This is done using the ultra wide lens.

Other key features is being able to use an ISO up to 409,600. And no that isn’t a typo. So what I have done, is create a video below to give you an idea of what the P30 Pro can deliver with out of the box firmware. Future firmwares will improve the phone and add more functionality.

But then there is the rest of the phone with a kitchen sink approach. So sit back and enjoy my review, covering the positives and negatives.

Video Review

Conclusion

The sum of all the parts make this an amazing offering and experience. Highly recommended.

Useful Links

Huawei P30 Pro info & pricing plus cases

Photographing Wild Cats & Bears with the Huawei P30 Pro

The Huawei P30 Pro is a phone with such a versatile camera, and one that has a 5 x optical zoom, 10 x lossless zoom and up to 50 x digital zoom. With that in mind, I decided to put it through it paces at Dartmoor Zoo.

The film “We Bought a Zoo” featuring Matt Damon is a true story based on Dartmoor Zoo.

So sit back and enjoy all the photos and videos of the wild cats and bears at Dartmoor Zoo.

BenQ treVolo S – Portable Electrostatic Bluetooth Speaker REVIEW – Redefining sound!

Welcome to my review of the BenQ treVolo S Portable Electrostatic Bluetooth Speaker. The BenQ treVolo S retails for £149 / $199.

It is the world’s smallest portable Bluetooth speaker featuring Electrostatic Speaker Technology. Electrostatic speakers deliver superb clarity and accuracy. The vertical dispersion of the entire thin-film diaphragm offers bi-directional sound projection for a more detailed audio performance and accurate delivery of natural, crisp and clear sounds. The dual amplifiers and dual woofers finish the sound off.

Key Features / Specs

– Unique electrostatic speaker technology
– Dual 12w woofers and dual amplifiers
– Lossless music playback via USB connection
– Several playback modes – duo mode (pair two treVolo S for stereo sound), standard and non distorted 3D sound
– NFC
– USB DAC/charging
– Batteries last up to 18 hours on a charge
– Bluetooth 4.2 with AAC codec support
– Input Types‎ – 3.5 mm stereo input / USB audio‎
– Key Definition‎s – Power, BT pairing, Volume +, Volume -,3D (mode), play/pause‎
– LED Indicator‎ Power key : Red LED x1; Green x1 ,BT Pairing Key : Blue LED x1‎
– Dimension‎s 96.3x 157.5 x 63.2mm (Closed)‎
– Weight 1kg‎

After removing the treVolo S from its packaging, I was pleasantly surprised at the solid construction. The electrostatic speakers open out from the sides of the speaker (watch video to fully appreciate the design, operation and sound)

There are a few ways to connect to the speaker. NFC for quick pairing, standard bluetooth or via USB for the highest quality sound. There is an android and iOS app available to assist with linking another speaker together and well as quickly toggling between standard and non distorted 3D sound.

As the treVolo S uses electrostatic speaker technology, (this is normally found in high-end speaker systems), this means it has a really low distortion rate that is only one-tenth of the rate of conventional speakers. There is also no cabinet resonance. One of the key sound characteristics of electrostatic speakers, is the natural and spacious sound. Listening to a variety of genres with the treVolo S and this sound quality is obvious from the get go and a joy to listen to.

Genres auditioned. Classical, jazz, blues, rock and pop. Listening to some of my favourite classical pieces, the treVolo S has an wonderful transparency and emotion. Clear vocals and mid range with just the right amount of bass. Female jazz singers sounded superb. With rock and pop, once gain great clarity with just the right amount of bass. These do not have a V shaped sound with over compensated bass. The treVolo S is designed to play high quality lossless music, yet even via bluetooth its reproduction is beautiful.

As a tip for placement, do not push these back against a wall. Electrostatic speakers emit sound from both sides, so leave some space behind and place speakers at ear level when listening.

Video Review

Conclusion

Gorgeous sound and design. Highly recommended. 9.5/10.

Useful Links

BenQ treVolo S on Amazon UK – Click HERE
BenQ treVolo S on Amazon US – Click HERE.
BenQ website

Huawei P30 Pro – Camera Review –

Welcome to my Huawei P30 Pro Camera Review. This is the first review of many to come covering the Huawei P30 Pro.

Key Features

– 40mp Wide Angle Lens f/1.6 with OIS
– 20mp Ultra Wide Angle Lens f/2.2
– 8MP Telephoto f/3.4 OIS
– ToF Sensor – Time of Flight

The Huawei P30 Pro features quite a significant camera upgrade over the P20 Pro with its new RYYB sensor in the main camera. The use of red yellow yellow blue photocells on the sensor surface rather than the traditional red green green blue Bayer array provides offer 40 percent higher light sensitivity over the P20 Pro, as yellow lets in more light than green.

With a 5 x fixed optical zoom lens, installed periscope style, the P30 Pro can manage 10 x lossless and up to 50 x digital zoom. If macro is your thing, the super macro mode can get as close as 2.5cm away from the subject. This is done using the ultra wide lens.

Other key features is being able to use an ISO up to 409,600. And no that isn’t a typo. So what I have done, is create a video below to give you an idea of what the P30 Pro can deliver with out of the box firmware. Future firmwares will improve the phone and add more functionality.

Video Review

Conclusion

The Huawei P30 Pro shows strong promise with incredible flexibility. The out of the box firmware does have some bugs, which should be eliminated with the next couple of firmwares.

Useful Links

Huawei P30 Pro pricing and more info plus cases on Amazon UK

Huawei P30 Pro – The new smartphone phone with 50 x zoom – First shots

The Huawei P30 Pro packs a range of cameras on the rear and front.

The rear cameras featuring a 40mp wide, 20mp ultra wide, 5 x optical zoom and a depth sensor. There is a 32mp front camera.

There’s a lot of special features available from 5 x optical zoom, 10 x lossless and upto 50 x zoom. ISO up to 409,000. That’s insane. That means in auto mode the camera can see in the dark. Then there’s the dedicated modes from night, aperture, light painting and so much more.

Above a normal shot and then the ultra wide.

And then there’s the 5 x optical zoom and followed by 10 x optical.

Using digital zoom you can go up to 50 x zoom, although the quality takes a big hit. At 50 x zoom I could see the birds nesting.

Then there’s the next trick from the Huawei P30 Pro. Super macro mode. Using the ultra wide lens you can get as close as 2.5cm away from the lens.

And above some further shots from the camera.

There is a new firmware incoming which improves the cameras and others aspects of the phone.

Watch out for lots more coverage on the Huawei P30 Pro both on my website here and on my YouTube Channel “gavingadgets”.

Roku Press Paws – a pet friendly remote

Today, 29th March, Roku is introducing a new product to its streaming portfolio.Roku Press Paws is a pet-friendly streaming remote designed specifically for pets to enhance their TV experience.

For full details and product video, please visit roku.com/en-gb/press-paws-uk.

· Animal-Themed Shortcut Buttons: Ergonomic shortcut buttons get your dog to their favourite shows faster, giving them direct access to pet-themed channels including Animal Planet, where they can catch the latest “Evan Goes Wild” episode, and The Pet Collective on The Roku Channel, where they can watch hours of clips, entertaining memes, and funniest animal videos

· Bark Assistant Technology: The Press Paws remote works seamlessly with your Roku player or Roku TV and features “Bark Assistant Technology.” Various commands are at your pet’s disposal, like bark-to-play, bark-to-pause (for emergency bio breaks) and bark-to-mute

· Built in Sub-WOOFer: We built a Sub-WOOFer into the Press Paws Remote that produces very high frequencies, so your hound’s sound is happy in the home

The Roku Press Paws Remote will be available for purchase in the UK for £19.99 via Roku.com starting 1st April 2019.

Happy Streaming! Grab yours on Amazon UK https://amzn.to/2OCWxGC

Nokia 9 Pureview – A Photographer’s First Impressions + Camera Samples

Welcome to my Nokia 9 Pureview, a Photographer’s First Impressions.

The Key Features

The Nokia 9 Pureview features 5 rear cameras with Zeiss optics. Each of the five cameras automatically adopt the optimal settings for various parts of the scene and then fused into a single HDR photo with texture and detail from both the shadows and the highlights. All 5 cameras shoot simultaneously.

The five cameras create an incredibly accurate depth map of your image. This gives you ultimate focal control when editing the photo long after the shot is taken. Up to 1,200 layers of depth are captured.

So now sit back and enjoy the first impressions which include –

– Full Camera UI
– System UI
– Audio Test
– Camera Samples
– Current Pro & Cons Demonstrated

Video Review

Useful Links

Latest pricing on Nokia 9 and cases on Amazon UK – click HERE.

Fiio BTR3 Review – Bluetooth Headphone Amp for converting wired into wireless headphones!

Welcome to my review of the Fiio BTR3 Bluetooth Headphone Amp adapter and USB DAC. The Fiio BTR3 retails for £61.99.

The Key Features

– integrated clip

– small size

– upgradeable firmware

– all available Bluetooth codecs supported

– good sound

– mic for calls

– voice assistant support

Video Review

Latest pricing on Amazon UK and more info click HERE.

iFi Audio micro iDSD Black Label DAC Review – A Power Beast

Welcome to my review of the iFi Audio micro iDSD Black Label DAC. The iFi Audio micro iDSD BL labels retails for £599.

Key Features

– Burr Brown chipset plays high resolution music files natively, including Octa-DSD512, PCM768, and Double DXD
– Up to 10V, 4000mW of power
– Built-in iEMatch for sensitive in-ear monitors and Bit Perfect sound
– Portable with up to 12 hours of playback
– 1.5A SmartPower USB to charge your smart device
– 3D+ and XBass+
– AMR Global Master Timing femto-precision clock system upgraded for ‘super low’ phase-noise and jitter
– MQA support

Video Review

Conclusion

The iFi Audio micro iDSD BL is one hell of a DAC and amp that is able to drive any headphone to decent levels. As a desktop device it works extremely well, yet it can be used as a portable device that lasts 12 hours on battery. Highly recommended.

For more info and the latest pricing on Amazon UK, click HERE.

UAG Plyo iPad Case Review – Ultimate Impact Protection for your iPad

Welcome to my review of the UAG Plyo iPad Case. This case is clever as it is compatible with all the following iPads –

– iPad Air 1
– iPad Air 2
– iPad Pro 9.7
– iPad 5th Gen
– iPad 6th Gen

It also has built in impact protection, auto wake/sleep and more.

Video Review

Conclusion

The UAG Plyo case for iPad provides strong impact protection, extra grip and more. Recommended. Discover the full range of UAG cases on Amazon UK.

Meze Empyrean Headphones Review – One of the Best Headphones in the World!

Welcome to my review of the $2,999 Meze Empyrean Headphones.

Key Specifications & Features

– Drivers – Rinaro Isodynamic Hybrid Array
– Style – Open Circumaural
– Frequeny range – 4 – 110,000 Hz
– Impedance Ohms 31.6
– Nominal SPL 100 dB (1 mW/1kHz)
– Max SPL 130db

Some background behind the Meze Empyrean headphones and what makes them special. Meze Audio collaborated with Rinaro, and in doing so created lightest and most advanced planar magnetic drivers in the world.

The Empyrean Driver combines individual switchback and spiral-shaped voice coils. This unique shape allows sound to be targeted with more accuracy around the natural form of the ear. The frame is fiberglass infused ABS. The driver is a hybrid magnetic array, symmetrically placed on each side of the diaphragm, with neodymium magnets specifically arranged into a hybrid array to create efficient isodynamic magnetic field required for a uniform activation across the whole diaphragm surface.

The diaphragm is manufactured from a custom developed isotropic thermally stabilised polymer with a conductive layer. End result is an ultralight yet rigid diaphragm has been achieved. The switchback coil is more efficient at reproducing lower frequencies and is positioned in the upper part of the driver. The spiral coil is more efficient at reproducing middle-high frequencies and is positioned directly over the ear canal enabling more direct sound waves to enter the ear without any time delays. Total harmonic distortion (THD) measures under 0.1% in the whole frequency range. Upper-frequency limit of audio reproduction is a massive 110,000 Hz. They are also ultra efficient at 100db@1mw/1kHz , meaning you get the high performance without needing amplification.

They are also a patent pending isodynamic hybrid array driver, which is a world’s first in planar magnetic headphones.

The rest of the headphone comprises of anatomically designed ovate earcups and an anthropometric earpad design. The Isomagnetic ear cup attachment utilises the demagnetising field generated by the driver to hold the ear cup in place whilst also redirecting the magnetic field back into the driver and improving driver efficiency. Patented ferromagnetic plates channel the magnetic field back into the driver, increasing output.

The pressure distribution wings consist of a carbon fibre headband and leather headrest and is the most comfortable headphone I have ever worn. The main skeleton of the headphone is made from a single piece of sculpted aluminium, that takes 20 hours in a CNC machine. The entire headphone is hand assembled.

The testing process used amps from Audio GD, iFi Audio, Fiio BTR3 and a Honor View 20 smartphone. Tidal and tracks on my computer covering every genres were listened to. The main focus was with the following music –

– Orff Carmina Burana – Live from the Forbidden City – Shanghai Symphony Orchesta
– Diana Krall – Various
– Norah Jones – Varios
– Badflower – Ok I’n sick
– Bruce Springsteen – The Live Series
– Gary Clark – This Land

As mentioned before, the comfort of these headphones is off the charts. The most comfortable pair of headphones I have ever worn.

The sound experience. I am calling it an experience because that is exactly what the Meze Empyrean create. You sit back, forget you are wearing headphones and get absorbed into the music. Timing is phenomenal, fast, quick. The soundstage is large, precision placement of voices and instruments. Vocals sound inviting, dynamic and expressive. It didn’t matter what I chose, everything was a delight to hear. Mids and treble were delicate, not too forward either. There was no harshness in the treble. Bass was deep and dynamic and quick.

Opera is not a genre I listen to a lot, but the Carmina Burana was wondeful to listen to. In fact I had only planned to listen to the first track, but ended up listening to the entire album.

Another aspect of these headphones is just how easy they are to drive. Obviously, better amplification improves the overall performance, but with modest amps these still sounded excellent.

Video Review

Conclusion

The Meze Empyrean are in a class of their own. Not only are they one of the best headphones in the world, they are easy to drive, look magnificent, but they are so comfortable you could wear them for as long as you wanted. Verdict – just buy them!!

Useful Links

Meze Empyrean on Amazon UK
Meze Audio Website