Category Archives: Android

Huawei Mate 20 X Review – 7.2 inch OLED Goliath of a Smartphone

Welcome to my review of the Huawei Mate 20 X smartphone.

My review is split into several parts. A comparison with the Huawei Mate 20 Pro, usability and UI, Audio, Camera and final verdict. The audio section includes a loudspeaker shootout between the Mate 20 Pro as well.

Key Features

– 7.2 inch OLED 1080p screen
– Kirin 980 Processor 7nm
– 5,000 mAh battery with TÜV safety-certified HUAWEI SuperCharge
– GPU 2.0 Turbo Technology
– Dual symmetrical speakers at both ends of the device, plus a super high dynamic range up to 40 db
– The world’s first liquid multi-dimensional cooling system with Vapour Chamber (VC) and Graphene Film used in smartphones.
– 40 MP main RGB lens captures great details in everyday photos, while the 8 MP telephoto lens will focus on your distant shots and the whole new 20 MP Leica Ultra Wide Angle Lens is perfect for the landscape photos and macro shots.
– 24 MP front camera
– AI Video Modes
– AI Cinema Mode and Directors Cut
– M Pen stylus (optional)
– Wireless Projection, Desktop mode

Main Review

Conclusion

The Huawei Mate 20 x is an incredible media machine and highly recommended if you can live with its footprint.

Huawei Mate 20 X accessories on Amazon UK

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Pixel 3 Camera Review with 40 amazing photos!

Welcome to my Pixel 3 Camera Review.

For this review I have focused on the photo quality as this is the Pixel 3 forte.

The Pixel 3 or 3 XL feature a camera that in auto mode delivers a good photo pretty much every time. Video quality is good but Google decided not to include 4K 60fps. Also the video audio quality is sub par compared to its major competitors like the iPhone Xs, Samsung Note 9 and Huawei Mate 20 Pro.

The Pixel 3 manages to use its single rear lens to great effect but ultimately the super res zoom cannot compensate for proper optical zoom. It also is competing in a world where phones are having 3 or more lenses on the rear which translates into extreme flexibility.

Despite this, for portrait/people shots it really performs exceptional well. Take a look at the video review. There is a front camera shot at night. The level of detail was astonishing. The front cameras include a normal and wide lens to allow you to get more people or more of the background in the shot.

The Pixel 3 Camera also takes shots with fantastic detail and dynamic range. The new night sight mode turns darkness into daylight.

Pixel 3 Camera Review

Conclusion

If you predominantly take photos, you cannot go wrong with the Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL.

Pixel 3 / 3 XL cases on Amazon UK

Huawei Mate 20 Pro Review vs iPhone Xs/Xr, Samsung Note 9 and Pixel 3 XL

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro review. This is my review after using the phone for one month.

Key Features

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro features the new Kirin 980 7nm chipset, with its dual NPU. This is so important as it ups what’s possible in the photography field, but does this translate into video as well? More in my video review below. The video options extend to some flashy Video AI options eg Video AI colour which keeps the person(s) in colour and everything else in black and white.

In terms of connectivity, the phone has Cat 21, that’s 1.4 Gigabits per second. The latest Bluetooth 5 is now included with the respective codecs. the Mate 20 Pro has a huge 4,200 maH battery. Not only that it has “Reverse Wireless Charging” – a first for a phone to share power wirelessly.

Unlike Apple, Huawei include a supercharger in the box. This is the new 40Watts supercharger that can recharge the huge battery to 70% in just 30 mins. Qi Wireless is now included at 15 watts which is double the industry standard. Both charging methods have been safety certified by independent company.

The Mate 20 Pro is all about its camera and I am sure that is what you are all most interested in. Co-engineered with Leica and taken up to the next level. On board is a 40mp RGB f/1.8 lens, 8mp telephoto with OIS, 20mp f/2.2 ultra wide sensor, dual tone flash. As the main sensor is so good now, there is no need for the monochrome sensor. Front camera is 24mp fixed focus.

The Mate 20 Pro features new photo AI modes. Super macro gets as close as 2.5cm from subject. On the P20 Pro, it could identify 500 scenes and scenarios, but now with dual NPU that has risen to 1,500. The AI knows how to keeps the right stuff in focus too. There is so much to cover on the cameras, so I have created to separate videos so far on the camera. See below.

Part 1 – Camera Review includes the Camera App UI with explanations, tips and tricks and sample footage from all modes

Part 2 – Based on new firmware, another look at the video improvements and new features

Security has been improved with a new 3D Facial dot matrix unlock. It can be used to secure information on the device as well. An under the screen finger print sensor is also included. Huawei’s backup now extends to NAS systems for extra versatility.

Moving over to productivity, you can now print seamlessly to a wifi printers. PC Desktop mode is now wireless enabled using a miracast enabled screen/TV. This also means you can use desktop mode indepently of the phone.

The design of the phone and camera setup is distinctive and easily identifiable. It has glass with a textured pattern to aid grip, resists fingerprints. Beautiful and practical. It is also IP68.

The sound and audio functionality of the Mate 20 Pro has been improved with some neat tricks. Below is an in depth look at the speakers, bluetooth, USB C earphones and more, plus some headphone recommendations.

Main Review

Let’s move to the main review now, where I will cover off all my key findings and recommendations after using the phone for a month.

Conclusion

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro is a fabulous phone from Huawei feature packed to the gills with technology and innovation.

Huawei Mate 20 Pro on Amazon UK

Huawei Mate 20 Pro Audio Review – Bluetooth, Loudspeaker, USB C Earphones, DACs & Dongles

Welcome to my Huawei Mate 20 Pro Audio review. This review looks at the audio quality covering bluetooth, loudspeaker, the included USB C earphones and USB C to 3.5mm dongle, using other USB C dongles and DACs and which headphones are best.

Key Audio Features

– 32-bit/384kHz audio
– Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
– Bluetooth 5.0, BLE, SBC, AAC, aptX, aptX HD, LDAC and HWA Audio
– USB 3.1, Type-C 1.0 reversible connector, USB On-The-Go
– DivX/XviD/MP4/H.265/WMV player
– MP3/eAAC+/WMA/WAV/FLAC player

So how does all the above specs translate into audio quality. Lets take a close up look now.

If you wish to get a Huawei Mate 20 Pro and all accessories, check out the options on Amazon UK

Huawei Mate 20 Pro Camera Review – all modes photos & videos

Welcome to my Huawei Mate 20 Pro Camera Review. In this review I have tested all the photo and video modes, explained the camera app interface and UI, sort of a mini tutorial, plus you get to see what the max resolutions are per mode.

So what lenses does the Mate 20 Pro have? 4 in total. 3 rear lenses, a 40mp main sensor, a 20mp ultra wide and a 8mp telephoto lens. The front camera is 24mp. The camera system is co-engineered with Leica.

Below are some photos from the camera.

A very windy day, but I still managed a close up of a bee feeding.

With the sun behind the church entrance, the ultra wide lens created a lovely effect.

My camera review includes shots of the moon, high action, pitch black, low light, all video modes, Video AI, stabilisation tests, zoom tests and much much more, plus my honest verdict on the whole phone from just a camera point of view, and then compared to the iPhone Xs Max and Note 9.

Of course, the Mate 20 Pro has many other unique or great features, like fast wireless charge, reverse wireless charging and did you know the bottom speaker is integrated into the USB C port!

The Main Event

Get the Huawei Mate 20 Pro and all accessories on Amazon UK.

Huawei Mate 20 Pro vs Huawei Mate 20 – The Visual Differences

Huawei has just announced several new smartphones. So let’s take a look at the differences between the Huawei Mate 20 Pro and the standard Mate 20.

First up the standard Mate 20 has a wider body. It also lacks a notch as it doesn’t have the Dot Matrix Face Unlock system that the Mate 20 Pro includes.

Eagle eyed people will also notice the standard Mate 20 has a headphone jack.

Not shown, but both feature the same look/design of rear camera configurations, but the Mate 20 Pro comes with a superior configuration.

So which do you prefer? The Huawei Mate 20 or Mate 20 Pro?

Huawei Mate 20 Pro – First Impressions plus Camera UI & Samples

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro is the new flagship phone from Huawei. I am very excited about this new phone, having spent some early access time using it.

Key Features

First up it features the new Kirin 980 7nm chipset, with its dual NPU. This is so important as it ups what’s possible in the photography field. Now the Huawei Mate 20 Pro can recognise the skeleton form of a human being, not just photos, but in videos in precise detail. This means it can optomise parts of images live even during video. See my video below with the sample of Video AI colour.

In terms of connectivity, the phone has Cat 21, that’s 1.4 Gigabits per second. The latest Bluetooth 5 is now included with the respective codecs.

What’s a phone without a decent battery? Well the Mate 20 Pro has a huge 4,200 maH battery. Not only that it has “Reverse Wireless Charging” – a first for a phone to share power wirelessly.

Unlike Apple, Huawei include a supercharger in the box. This is the new 40Watts supercharger that can recharge the huge battery to 70% in just 30 mins. Qi Wireless is now included at 15 watts which is double the industry standard. Both charging methods have been safety certified by independent company.

The Mate 20 Pro is all about its camera and I am sure that is what you are all most interested in. Co-engineered with Leica and taken up to the next level. On board is a 40mp RGB f/1.8 lens, 8mp telephoto with OIS, 20mp f/2.2 ultra wide sensor, dual tone flash. As the main sensor is so good now, there is no need for the monochrome sensor.

The Mate 20 Pro features nNw photo AI modes. Super macro gets as close as 2.5cm from subject. On the P20 Pro, it could identify 500 scenes and scenarios, but now with dual NPU that has risen to 1,500. The AI knows how to keeps the right stuff in focus too. There is so much to cover on the cameras, so much so, I will be creating two special posts.

The AI now extends to video with special video modes eg AI Colour video. This keeps the person in colour while the res of video is in black and white.

Security has been improved with a new 3D Facial dot matrix unlock. It can be used to secure information on the device as well. An under the screen finger print sensor is also included. Huawei’s backup now extends to NAS systems for extra versatility.

Moving over to productivity, you can now print seamlessly to a wifi printers. PC Desktop mode is now wireless enabled using a miracast enabled screen/TV. This also means you can use desktop mode indepently of the phone.

The design of the phone and camera setup is distinctive and easily identifiable. It has glass with a textured pattern to aid grip, resists fingerprints. Beautiful and practical. It is also IP68.

Accessories

Huawei are bringing a selection of cases with the new phones as well as the new fast 15w Qi charger.

First Impressions

Conclusion

I am genuinely bowled over by the Huawei Mate 20 Pro and can’t wait to explore if further!

Huawei Mate 20 Pro on Amazon UK

Huawei Mate 20 Lite – Tips and Tricks plus Camera

Welcome to my Huawei Mate 20 Lite Tips and Tricks plus Camera.

Key Specs

– Dimensions 158.3 x 75.3 x 7.6mm
– Weight 172g
– 6.3 inch IPS display, resolution 1080 x 2340 pixels, 19.5:9 ratio, 409 ppi density
– EMUI 8.2 ,Android 8.1 (Oreo)
– Chipset Hisilicon Kirin 710
– Internal 64 GB, 4/6 GB RAM
– Rear AI Camera Dual lesnes, 20 MP, f/1.8, PDAF + 2 MP, depth sensor
– Front AI Selfie CAMERA Dual lenses, 24 MP + 2 MP, depth sensor
– 3.5mm jack
– Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
– NFC Yes
– Radio FM radio
– USB 2.0, Type-C 1.0 reversible connector
– Sensors – Fingerprint (rear-mounted), accelerometer, proximity, compass
– Battery – Non-removable Li-Ion 3750 mAh battery

The Huawei Mate 20 Lite features automatic AI beautification. This makes your selfies stand out and is achieved as the front-facing camera has a 24 MP lense + 2 MP lens that provides the bokeh. The AI optimises the photo based on eight scene categories to capture a stunning selfie.

In addition, AI-enhanced HDR technology allows for real-time previews of HDR images and video recordings, delivering true colour images and vivid recordings even in backlit environments.

Fancy a bit of fun, You can animate yourself with AI-powered 3D Qmojis that recognise and imitate your facial expressions, movements, and voice. Create personalised Qmoji GIFs and videos for easy social media sharing. I had a blast using these features.

The rear 20 MP + 2 MP dual-camera with f/1.8 aperture allows for creative flair to be achieved for your photos with optical bokeh. The AI provides 22 categories of object and scene recognition–based optimisations that make your photos look more professional.

Slow motion. No problem. Slow down time with 16x Slow-Mo, at 480 frame per second, in 720p resolution.

The Huawei Mate 20 Lite has a 3750 mAh battery with HUAWEI Quick Charge helping keep you on the move. All phones should have decent sized batteries like the Mate 20 Lite.

When it comes to the essentials of connectivity, the Adaptive AI-driven connectivity cleverly adjusts to your environment to keep you in touch. Elevator mode quickly recovers 4G signal and optimises network performance, while HUAWEI GEO provides more accurate positioning service and improves performance even in tunnels. AI also optimises ambient noise cancellation in loud and windy environments.

Video

Huawei Mate 20 Lite latest pricing on Amazon UKClick HERE.

Spigen Essential Fast Wireless Charger Review – The safe low cost option! Why pay more?

Welcome to my review of the Spigen Essential Fast Wireless Charger.

I wanted an additional Qi Fast Wireless charger. The issue with many cheap Qi wireless charger is safety. Some make your phone get too hot. Some just don’t work properly. Then there are different speeds of charging wirelessly.

Fortunately, I came across the Spigen Essential Fast Wireless Charger. It cost me £15.99 on Amazon UK . Today it is on sale at £14.99.

The Key Features

– Spigen is an Associate Memeber of Qi Membership (Qi Registration ID: 2093)
– Advanced Safety Features
– Improved Wireless Charing Usability
– Dual Coils for Portrait & Landscape
– Anti-slip mat, portable design and overcharging protection technology all combined
– Compatible with All Qi-Enabled Smartphones incl new iPhones, iPhone 8 / 8 Plus / X, as well as the Samsung Galaxy S8, S8 Plus, S7, S7 Edge, Note 9 etc.
– Angle works with FACE ID

What’s In The Box:
1 x Spigen Essential Fast Wireless Charger (Model: F303W)
1 x USB to Micro USB Cable
1 x User Guide

There are several things I like about this charger. First is the angle. It is great to see the screen and is angled so it works with FACE ID. The charger surface is an anti slip mat. It has safety features to prevent overheating. This is covered off more in my video review below.

Conclusion

I had a number of cheaper wireless chargers which I have no thrown in the bin. The Spigen design is so much better and safer. Highly recommeded.

Buy one from Amazon UK.

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 – Real User Review + Camera Showcase + Exynos Edition

Welcome to my review of the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, the exynos version.

Key Specifications

– Android Oreo 8.1.
– 6.4in 2960×1440 Super AMOLED, 516ppi.
– Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 or Samsung Exynos 9810.
– Adreno 630 or Mali-G72 MP18.
– 128GB/512GB storage.
– 6/8GB RAM.
– 12Mp dual cameras, f/1.5-2.4 and OIS, f/2.4.
– 8Mp f/1.7 front facing camera.

Coming from the Samsung Galaxy S9, surely the Note 9 can’t be that different. On paper it might look similar, even the software looks like home from home, but this phone is like no other.

Samsung this time around bumped the battery up to 4,000 mAh, made the S-Pen bluetooth capable with controls from taking a photo by pressing the S-Pen button to tons more. Increased storage options from 128gb to 512gb. Plus support for micro SD cards. 6gb ram comes with the 128gb whereas the 512gb storage option has 8gb ram.

Out of the box comes android 8.1 and new software features with the camera.

Put bluntly, the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is a dream machine from including everything in such a sleek form factor. Samsung stills manages to retain the headphone jack and IP68.

So sit back and enjoy my review, camera showcase, tips and tricks, comparisons and final conclusion.

Buy cases on Amazon UK – Click HERE.
Buy the Note 9 on Amazon Uk – Click HERE.

Nokia 5 – Check out the Camera Samples from the 13mp camera

The Nokia 5 is made from a solid piece of 6000 series alumimium. It runs on a near stock version of android, called android one and it is a joy to use. My full review will be up this weekend, along with some tips and tricks. This is sat squarely in the budget category too, with 2gb ram and 16gb storage which is expandable with a micro SD card. You can buy this from Amazon UK for just over £110.

So what can the 13mp rear camera achieve when it comes to taking photos?

Let’s take a look.

The Dominos sign is looking crispy. Nothing wrong with this shot.

Again, another good shot. Maybe could do with a little brightening up, but overall pretty reasonable.

Above is the front facing 8mp camera, taken indoors. My face is a little pale as it hasn’t exposed perfectly for the light that is streaming through the glass window.

A couple of sheep on Dartmoor that were moving fairly quickly. Again, quite a fairly reasonable shot.

Before the storm. My village. Quite like this shot.

So what happens when we take the above shot, edit it in Snapseed using the HDRscape filter. A more dramatic shot!

Above, post box. This is the snapseed edit. Camera was aimed towards the sun, so the original shot was a little too dark, but snapseed helped make the shot a little bit more interesting.

I will talk more about my conclusion on the Nokia 5 camera and the rest of the phone in my main review. So stay tuned.

If you fancy buying one of the budget gems, you can pick one up from Amazon now.

UAG Monarch case for Samsung Galaxy Note 9 – Lightweight yet Tough!

The UAG Monarch Series case for the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 Case is designed & precisely engineered to provide a case that meets double the Military Standard for drop & shock protection. The UAG Monarch case is available for other phone models too.

Key Features include –

– Handcrafted, feather-light construction with 5 layers of protection
– Top grain leather and alloy metal hardware
– Soft impact-resistant core & honeycomb traction grip
– Oversized tactile buttons & protective screen surround
– Compatible with Samsung Pay and Samsung Fast Wireless Charging
– Meets 2X Military drop-test standards (MIL STD 810G 516.6)
– 10-Year Limited Warranty

Buy the UAG Monarch case at Amazon UK

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 – What’s in the box? Details of everything included

In case you’re wondering what’s in the box of the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, I can confirm it includes an awful lot of goodies. So what does Samsung include?

Below is the full list of what is included –

– The Note 9

– S Pen

– USB cable

– Earphones

– Ejection pin

– USB power adapter

– USB connector

– S Pen nibs

– Tweezer for S Pen nibs

– Clear Cover case (carrier and region dependant)

– Quick start guide

– USB connector leaflet

As you can see, Samsung have you covered completely in the included stuff in the box.

Samsung Galaxy S9 Duos – The Two Week Experiment

The Samsung Galaxy S9 was released back in March this year. I had the larger S9+ which was good to use. Battery life was poor though. So 4 months later, has all the firmwares made the S9 a formiddable device.

Well, one thing that hasn’t changed, the battery life is still shockingly poor.

The S9 Duos is the official dual sim version of the S9. Either 2 nano sims or one nano sim and a micro SD card. So whats my verdict after obtaining a S9 again, and using it for 2 weeks. Well, its a complex device. First of all, setting it up from scratch took a lifetime, as its on Android 8.0 instead of 8.1, and instead of using Google’s Smart unlock, Samsung insists on using its own system, Samsung Pass, that uses your eyes to reveal the passwords. And that is a pattern repeated in many apps, duplication galore. The good news, some of Samsung’s own apps are better than Google’s default ones, so you just need to pick and choose whcih app you want to do what with. At the end of the day, I ended up with a phone that can do more.

And more is a feature of the S9. It has more hardware and software features than any other phone on the market, as well as the best screen on a phone. The size of the S9 versus the S9+ is far easier to hold and use one handed too. It is just let down by a battery that is too small and means you will need to charge it during the day. I have managed 4.5 to 5 hours screen on time regularly, which sounds great, and it is, except standby time is dreadful.

The camera on the whole is fast, fluid and reliable. See shot above. Looks good enough. Video recording is very good and one of the best phones on the market for video. Audio from the video is excellent too. It is not the best phone for photos though, but its good enough.

A headphone jack. Its included and its useful from time to time. Quality is excellent too, just needs some efficient headphones. And then there is the bluetooth setup, which is superb.

There’s more to the S9 with the DeX system, enabling the S9 to be used as a processor/computer with a screen and keyboard attached. I really like how it handles USB drives and such like, moving data quickly across. Having a micro SD card slot has been handy too, switching cards when needed.

All in all, its been a good phone to use, albeit nothing super exciting. Let’s hope the Note 9 with its 4,000mAh battery can last a whole day between charges!

Below are my original reviews of the S9+.

Useful Links

Samsung Galaxy S9 & S9+ deals & accessories on Amazon UK

Sunset on Dartmoor National Park in 4K 60FPS – Filmed with a Samsung Galaxy S9

Out of all of the phones I have used in 2017 and 2018, the Samsung Galaxy S9 is still the king when it comes to video recording. The video quality is excellent and the microphones record top notch audio. The phone itself still has a headphone jack and the best display of any phone. The Samsung Galaxy S9 (not plus) is a great sized phone too. Fits nicely in the hand with a superb body to screen ratio.

I went out last night and ended up with a short video capturing some of the scenes around sunset on Dartmoor National Park, along with a short time-lapse.

Apart from the Samsung Galaxy S9 I also used a DJI Osmo Mobile 2 . If you are into video, you should not be without this stabiliser. It’s cheap yet brilliant at the same time.

It just so happens that Amazon are selling the Samsung Galaxy S9 in the dual sim version at a discounted price of £619, and including a Samsung LEVEL Bluetooth speaker and a pair of AKG Y50BT Bluetooth Headphonesat no extra charge (all products must be added to basket, discount applied at checkout). – Learn more, click HERE.

When you watch the video below, make sure to change the video quality to 4K.

Useful Links

Samsung Galaxy S9 Dual Sim + Promotion on Amazon UK
DJI Osmo Mobile 2 on Amazon UK
Samsung HyperKnit case for the S9 – lovely case