Category Archives: Tech News

A Tour of Bristol’s architectural highlights – Shot on the Huawei P20 Pro in black & white

Bristol is full of architectural delights. From the Grand Hotel above in Broad Street to some spectacular buildings in Corn Street.

But it’s not just Corn or Broad Street that holds some architectural gems. Walking around the City centre reveals more great places.

A short walk down to the canal reveals even more buildings.

All these photos were shot on the Huawei P20 Pro using its dedicated monochrome mode.

The above are just a snapshot into the architecture of Bristol city centre.

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Huawei P20 Pro Audio Review vs iPhone X, Samsung Galaxy S9+ & Google Pixel 2 XL

Welcome to my Huawei P20 Pro Audio Review.

In this review I take a look at the audio options and quality of the Huawei P20 Pro covering speakers, bluetooth, wired (dongle) and other options including some external DACs.

Useful Links

Huawei P20 Pro, cases & accessories latest deals on Amazon UK
Latest deals on bluetooth headphones on Amazon UK

Landhydrock House – One of National Trust’s Best Houses – Shot on the Huawei P20 Pro

Landhydrock House #nationaltrust #huaweip20pro

The Landhyrock House stands in 890 acres above the River Fowey in Cornwall near Bodmin. It has been owned and managed by the National Trust since 1953.Much of the present house dates back to Victorian times but some sections date from the 1620s. It is a Grade I listed building and is set in gardens with formal areas. The hill behind the house is planted with a fine selection of shrubs and trees.

Landhydrock House #nationaltrust #huaweip20pro

Landhydrock House #nationaltrust #huaweip20pro

Landhydrock House #nationaltrust #huaweip20pro

Lanhydrock estate belonged to the Augustinian priory of St Petroc at Bodmin but the Dissolution of the Monasteries during the 1530s saw it pass into private hands. In 1620 wealthy merchant Sir Richard Robartes, of Truro, acquired the estate and began building Lanhydrock House, designed to a four-sided layout around a central courtyard and constructed of grey granite.

Landhydrock House #nationaltrust #huaweip20pro

Landhydrock House #nationaltrust #huaweip20pro

Landhydrock House #nationaltrust #huaweip20pro

Robartes died in 1624 but work on the building was continued by his son John Robartes, 1st Earl of Radnor, a notable public figure who served as Lord Privy Seal and Lord President of the Council. The embattled walls were built of rough, massive granite blocks with years 1636 and 1642 on the walls, indicating when they were built.

Landhydrock House #nationaltrust #huaweip20pro

A barbican gate was added and the house was garrisoned by Parliamentary forces in August 1644 when Sir Richard Grenville took possession.

Landhydrock House #nationaltrust #huaweip20pro

Landhydrock House #nationaltrust #huaweip20pro

During the 18th century the east wing of the house was demolished leaving the U-shaped plan seen today.

Landhydrock House #nationaltrust #huaweip20pro

Landhydrock House #nationaltrust #huaweip20pro

Landhydrock House #nationaltrust #huaweip20pro

The public tour is one of the longest of any National Trust house and takes in the service rooms, nurseries and some servants’ bedrooms, as well as the main reception rooms and family bedrooms. In 2004 it was one of the Trust’s ten most visited paid-entry properties, with over 200,000 visitors.

Fangs #HuaweiP20Pro

Landhydrock House #nationaltrust #huaweip20pro

Landhydrock House #nationaltrust #huaweip20pro

All the above photos were shot on the Huawei P20 Pro. Below some monochrome mode shots of the exterior.

Landhydrock House #nationaltrust #huaweip20pro

Landhydrock House #nationaltrust #huaweip20pro

The interior shots were shot using the night mode as light was fairly dim inside most of the rooms. The lack of light is used to protect paintings and other old items that can deteriorate under bright lighting. The night mode is a hand held mode (no tripod needed or used) that shoots up to 6 seconds. For all of the above shots, the P20 Pro choose a 4 second shutter.

Useful Links

Latest pricing on Huawei P20 Pro, cases & accessories on Amazon UK
Info Source – Wikipedia

Huawei P20 Pro Camera Review & Showcase – Every Video & Photo Mode Tested

Welcome to my Huawei P20 Pro Camera Review & Showcase.

Just to recap the Huawei P20 Pro rear cameras feature a co-engineered Leica Triple Camera New AI-assisted camera system. The 3 lenses are as follows. A 40mp RGB sensor. a 20mp monochrome sensor and a 8mp zoom sensor. The P20 Pro can do 3 x optical zoom and up to 5 x lossless zoom.

– The front camera is 24mp.
– A huge 4,000mAh battery.
– 6gb ram & 128gb storage
– 6.1 inch full vision OLED display.
– Bluetooth codecs APTX, APTX HD , LDAC , HWA

So what can the Huawei P20 Pro capture? Let’s take a look.

Useful Links

My Huawei P20 Pro Flickr Album
Latest pricing on Huawei P20 Pro, cases & accessories on Amazon UK
Latest pricing & more info on Optoma NuForce BeFree 8 on Amazon UK
Latest pricing on Bose Soudsport Wireless Free earphones on Amazon UK
Latest pricing on Sony WH-1000MX2 on Amazon UK

Huawei P20 Pro – First Impressions incl Camera & Audio + My Top 10 Tips & Tricks

Welcome to my Huawei P20 Pro First Impressions which includes a live demo of the camera, analysis and my personal top 10 tips and tricks.

My Huawei P20 Pro is setup will all my apps too, so I have included a quick tour of what’s installed on this phone.

In case your’re wondering this is what you get in the box –

Below is the full list of what is included –

– The phone itself, the Huawei P20 Pro
– The battery is built in, all 4,000mAh
– High current charger for super fast charging
– USB Type-CTM digital headset
– Warranty card
– Quick start guide
– A protective case – ideal so you don’t scratch phone within minutes of opening box by accident
– USB Type-CTM to 3.5mm headphone adapter
– Eject tool

The Huawei P20 Pro rear cameras feature a co-engineered Leica Triple Camera New AI-assisted camera system. The 3 lenses are as follows. A 40mp RGB sensor. a 20mp monochrome sensor and a 8mp zoom sensor. The P20 Pro can do 3 x optical zoom and up to 5 x lossless zoom.

– The front camera is 24mp.
– A huge 4,000mAh battery.
– 6gb ram & 128gb storage
– 6.1 inch full vision OLED display.
– Bluetooth codecs APTX, APTX HD , LDAC , HWA

As you will see in my video review below, I have been testing all the best bluetooth headphones with this phone incl AirPods, Bose Soundsport Wireless, Sony WH-1000MX2 and Optoma NuForce BEFree8.

DxOmark scored the Huawei P20 Pro and overall score of 109 points, which is 10 points clear of any other current flagship phone.

So one of the shooting modes on the P20 Pro is handheld night mode. Using the AI camera you can take up to 6 seconds hand held long exposure night shot. It can also shoot an ISO over 100,000. If you look at my previous post to this one, you will see a comparison of the night shots taken in auto, night mode hand held and pro mode. In auto one of my shots had an ISO of 12,800.

Shot below taken in night mode, hand held, with a 5 second exposure.

Anyway, sit back and enjoy my first impressions along with my top 10 tips and tricks.

Useful Links

Latest pricing on Huawei P20 Pro, cases & accessories on Amazon UK
Latest pricing & more info on Optoma NuForce BeFree 8 on Amazon UK
Latest pricing on Bose Soudsport Wireless Free earphones on Amazon UK
Latest pricing on Sony WH-1000MX2 on Amazon UK

Huawei P20 Pro – Shooting at Night with the Camera – It’s a BEAST – Auto vs Night vs Pro mode all compared

The task was simple. Take the new Huawei P20 Pro and see how its 3 rear camera setup performed at night The Huawei P20 Pro is able to take 4-5 second hand held long exposure shots without using a tripod.

So how did it do? Well the shots below were taken in time order just before it went completely dark outside.

The shot above is taken in auto, hand held. The exif data shows is ISO 1,250 and the shutter speed of 0.06 seconds.

However, with a quick flip up to night mode in the Huawei P20 Pro camera app, and the above is a 4 second hand held shot. No tripod and a 4 second long exposure. Super impressive stuff. The ISO is 1,000 with a 4 second shutter speed. Look how much less noise there is in this shot.

But if you happen to have a tripod, the manual modes can perform wonders. This is using night mode again, but with a 8 second shutter speed. The ISO was forced down to ISO 100.

A bit of fun above. Using the light painting mode to capture some car light trails. It is now getting close to total darkness, except for the street lamps. The above shot was a 12.6 seconds exposure with an ISO 64. A tripod was used.

Now while I was using the tripod, I used the dedicated monochrome mode to shoot the above. A 8 second exposure. ISO 50.

I cannot stress enough how pitch black it was inside the church. The above shot is auto mode. The ISO is 12,800 with a 0.06 second exposure. That’s right the ISO went as high as 12,800 in this shot. With a upcoming software update, the P20 Pro will be able to shoot with an ISO as high as 102,000.

But as mentioned above, the Huawei P20 Pro has a special night mode. Now it performed a 5 second hand held long exposure. ISO 3,200. Look at how superb the shot is!

And finally, the shot above was taking in Pro mode, ISO 100 with a 8 second exposure.

Some very impressive shots from the Huawei P20 Pro at night/pitch black.

Huawei P20 Pro – How to increase front camera video from 720p to 1080p

The Huawei P20 Pro can shoot up to 4K video using the rear cameras but when you check the settings for the front camera video, it maxes out at 720p.

Actually, it has two 1080p video settings for the front camera. So you might be asking where are the 1080p video options. Well despite Huawei having tidied up the camera app, it is still confusing in places, and activating 1080p video on the front camera is crazily complex.

One thing to remember with the Huawei Camera app is to check the camera settings when choosing a different mode, as often additional settings may appear dependent in the mode you are active in.

However, to get 1080p video on the front camera is not so obvious. Open camera app. Turn phone horizontal. Switch to front camera. If you now check the video size options, 720p is the highest. Exit settings and go back to camera screen. Bottom left is an icon for Beauty mode. Tap the icon Now turn it completely off. Now go back to the video settings and you will see the two 1080p front video size options.

Simple really!

Samsung Galaxy S9+ New Firmware hits UK devices – Full details

A new firmware for the Samsung Galaxy S9+ is now live and available to download in the UK. This is the second firmware update for the S9+.

The firmware is 317mb and whilst Samsung note that call quality has been improved and also the quality of the wallpapers, there are many performance and bug fixes.

After installing this update, the device security is updated to the 1st March 2018 security patch.

If you don’t see the update on your phone, just go into settings and manually check for the update.

Huawei P20 Pro – Camera Analysis of First Photos from the phone + Adobe Lightroom edited versions

The Huawei P20 Pro is the first phone with 3 Leica co-engineered rear cameras totally 68mp. There is a 40mp RBG, 20mp monochrome and 8mp telephoto sensor. Using advanced AI and computational photography the Huawei P20 Pro is able to pull off some masterstrokes. So let’s take a look at some photos from the P20 Pro, all shot in auto at 10mp. My thanks to Jonathan Morris for allowing me to use his photos. I would imagine the software is not quite final retail but it still gives a good idea on the quality. My retail P20 Pro arrives next week.

With all these photos, auto mode with AI on, was used. There is a clear pattern of how the P20 Pro decides on what settings to use when AI option is enabled. The field above is slightly dark in places, but gives a real feel for what the eyes could see. This pattern is repeated in a number of shots.

The same goes for the house above. The P20 Pro does have auto HDR as one of the AI options, but this is not always the best option.

The AI mode selected blue sky, so made everything extra blue. Quite vivid and maybe too over the top for some but I actually don’t mind it.

You can turn of the AI if required. The forest path above is really well balanced and I do like this picture.

The above photo is taken with HDR on, which was selected by the AI feature whilst in auto mode. The post processing and look is something I quite enjoy, but what do you think so far?

Ok so let’s up the ante and show you my 5 second edits in Adobe Lightroom mobile of the above shots. Before anyone asks, I did not use snapseed. I am not a fan of snapseed filters. The Lightroom edited shots are 3 times larger in size too. These aren’t adjusted perfectly either, I just wanted one type of edit to see what difference it made to the photos.

So with all these shots, I applied the same editing sequence in Adobe Lightroom mobile, for speed and uniformity.

Every shot has auto tune ticked, +10 on clarity, +5 on dehaze, -7 on vignette and +5 on the shadows on top of the auto adjusted amount.

But do you like the enhanced look? What do you think of the house now?

The blue sky IMO is way OTT now.

In some of the shots, the quick editing makes a difference, but I do prefer some of the original versions. But what is your opinion?

Stay tuned for a lot more Huawei P20 Pro coverage.

Useful Links

Photo source – Jonathan Morris

Latest deals on Huawei P20 Pro and cases

Huawei P20 Pro – What’s in the box ? Details of everything included

In case you’re wondering what’s in the box of the Huawei P20 Pro, I can confirm it includes an awful lot of goodies. So what does Huawei include?

Below is the full list of what is included –

– The phone itself, the Huawei P20 Pro

– The battery is built in, all 4,000mAh

– High current charger for super fast charging

– USB Type-CTM digital headset

– Warranty card

– Quick start guide

– A protective case – ideal so you don’t scratch phone within minutes of opening box by accident

– USB Type-CTM to 3.5mm headphone adapter

– Eject tool

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

Huawei P20 Pro – The Photographers Dream Smartphone – With a 68mp Leica Triple Rear Camera Setup

Yesterday, Huawei announced the new Huawei P20 Lite, P20 and P20 Pro. They also announced the luxury version of the Huawei P20 Pro, the Porsche Design Mate RS.

Let me start by saying the P20 lite and standard P20 are not a patch on the P20 Pro. My advice is to buy the P20 Pro as it is a totally difference phone to the lower models. Here’s why?

– The rear cameras feature a co-engineered Leica Triple Camera New AI-assisted camera system. The 3 lenses are as follows. A 40mp RGB sensor. a 20mp monochrome sensor and a 8mp zoom sensor. The P20 Pro can do 3 x optical zoom and up to 5 x lossless zoom.

– The front camera is 24mp.
– A huge 4,000mAh battery.
– 6gb ram & 128gb storage
– 6.1 inch full vision OLED display.
– Bluetooth codecs APTX, APTX HD , LDAC , HWA
– DxOMark – The camera leap frogged everything else by a massive margin. Here’s is what DxOmark said in summary –

“With an overall score of 109 points, the Huawei P20 Pro sets a new benchmark for smartphone cameras on DxOMark.com, outscoring all of its closest rivals, such as the Apple iPhone X, the Google Pixel 2, and the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus by a margin that is close to or higher than 10 points. Much of this is due to the Huawei’s outstanding still image capabilities that earn it an unprecedented Photo score of 114 points. The large sensor in the main camera combined with the B&W sensor allows for excellent low-light performance and class-leading dynamic range; the dedicated 80mm equivalent tele-lens in combination with the high-resolution monochrome chip, delivers the best zoom performance we’ve seen on a smartphone to date. The monochrome chip is also used to help generate the P20 Pro’s excellent bokeh-simulation.

And the P20 Pro is no slouch either in video mode, thanks to class-leading image stabilization, a good autofocus, and very low noise levels. At 98 points, it just manages to push the Google Pixel 2 off the number one spot in the video ranking, making the P20 Pro the best all-around mobile device for imaging that money can currently buy.”

So one of the shooting modes on the P20 Pro is handheld night mode. Using the AI camera you can take up to 6 seconds hand held long exposure night shot. It can also shoot an ISO over 100,000.

There is a lot more to the P20 Pro, but hopefully you get that this is a leap forward in camera innovation over anything else currently on the market. The P20 Pro is available from all UK carriers and most major retailers too.

Now of course, if money is no object, there is the Porsche Design version. This is called the Porsche Design Mate RS. It comes in a stunning black and in China there is a red finish. The cost 1,550 euros.

The Porsche Design features the same camera setup as the P20 Pro, in fact most of the phone is the same, except for the following upgrades.

– the fingerprint sensor is embedded under the front glass of the phone. There is also a second fingerprint sensor on the rear.
– storage is increased from 128gb of the P20 Pro to either 256gb or 512gb.
– The speakers are upgraded
– Porsche Design skin and logos. Phone is curved beautifully.
– 10 watt Qi Fast Wireless Charging is added.

My review of the P20 Pro will be coming soon in a few weeks time. Below are some useful links –

Huawei P20 Pro incl accessories on Amazon UK
Porsche Design Huawei Mate RS
Huawei website

Soussons Forest, Dartmoor National Park – Shot on the Samsung S9+

Yesterday I visited Soussons Forest in Dartmoor National Park and took some photos with my Galaxy S9+. The above shot in the forest is of 3 of my labradors running along the path. Tiggy is out front with Sophie and George holding up the rear.

Photographing trees allows for some superb tree symmetry.

My 4 labradors loved running along the path. Also it was the first day in ages where it wasn’t snowing.

First shot shows Fury in the lead. And the next shot is of George and Sophie running together.

Stunning views.

The forest colours are fantastic to capture.

The above shot used the 2 times zoom of the S9+. Without the optical zoom the shot would be rubbish. In the distance you can see Bellever Tor.

Catching the sun for that special shot.

And finally, logging occurs in the forest.

Aune B1s Portable Headphone Amp Review – Class A Amp

Welcome to my review of the new Aune B1s Portable Headphone Amp. The Aune B1s was sent to me by Aune to evaluate.

The Key Specifications

– Frequency response (from 10 Hz to 20 kHz): ±0.02dB
– THD + n: 0.00015% @300Ω
– SNR: 124dB @300Ω
– Crosstalk: <110dB @300Ω
– Max output: 6.443Vrms 18.4dBu(10Hz to 20kHz)
– Headphone output power: @300Ω 84mW , @600Ω 42mW ,@32Ω 74mW
– Class-A: 25mW/16R 50mW/32R
– Size: 125×65×18(mm)
– Weight:230g

For the review of the Aune B1s a range of headphones were used. Sennheiser HD579, HD598 HD660s, Sennheiser Momentum in ears, Sony XBA-1 Balanced Armatures, Fiio F9 Pro in ear and Beyer Dynamic DT770 Pro 80 and 250 ohm headphones.

Genres tested included rock, pop, classical, blues and jazz.

The main video part of the review covers off the sound in more detail along with the results using the above headphones.

In summary, warmer headphones like the Sennheiser sounded much nicer and were a good match. The Sony XBA-1 sound awful.

Using the Aune B1s allowed for plenty of power to drive my Beyers DT770 Pro, both the 80 and 250 ohms. The same applied to the over ear Sennheiser.

Where the pairing worked, more detail and soundstage occurred. Jazz and blues genres in my opinion worked the best.

Conclusion

The Aune B1s is a neutral sounding amp and therefore its pairing is best suited to warmer sounding headphones. Otherwise the sound lacks excitement as it is so neutral.

Useful Links

Best selling Aune products on Amazon UK

Bose Soundsport Free Wireless Earphones Review vs AirPods, Sony WF-1000X, Optoma NuForce BE Free8 & More

Welcome to my review of the Bose Soundsport Free Wireless Earphones. These are Bose’s answer to Apple’s AirPods and all the other totally wireless earphones on the market.

Key Specifications

– Truly wireless for total freedom of movement
– Volume EQ adjustment for music sound clear and powerful
– Earbuds are sweat and weather resistant (with an IPX4 rating) and come with 3 different pairs of Stay Hear+ Sport tips (in sizes S/M/L) that provide a comfortable and secure fit
– Up to 5 hours of play time with each charge and an additional 10 hours with the charging case
– Track lost earbuds with the Bose Connect app’s “Find My Buds” feature
– Bose Connect app also updates the firmware

Conclusion

The Bose Soundsport Free Wireless earphones are excellent and recommended depending on where and with what device you’re using them with in terms of bluetooth capabilities.

Useful Links

Bose Soundsport Free Wireless earphones latest pricing on Amazon UK
Optoma NuForce BE Free8 Wireless Earphones latest pricing on Amazon UK

Optoma NuForce BE Free8 review
Sony WF-1000X review