Category Archives: Reviews

OnePlus 7 Pro First Impressions + Camera Test on new firmware

At 7am this morning, my OnePlus 7 Pro received the new firmware OS 9.5.5 which incorporated big updates for the camera.

I waited for this update before releasing my first impressions video to ensure I gave the phone a fair opportunity to fix a few things and improve the camera.

So what do I think of the phone ? And how good is the camera now?

Advertisements

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.

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

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 – 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”.

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.