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Honor 20 and 20 Pro hands-on review

Introduction

For the first time, Honor departs from its usual flagship releasing scheme by launching not one but two devices at once. And as per tradition in the Android world, it’s a Pro and non-Pro version. Unlike most OEMs, Honor decided to make the size of both handsets identical, with the Pro taking an edge over the vanilla Honor 20 with better under-the-hood features. In this hands-on review, we will be looking at both.

And as it turns out, the Honor 20 Pro is the first in the industry in more than one way. Design-wise, the phone comes with a unique back glass design that Honor likes to call Dynamic Holographic glass back. It consists of several layers achieving that 3D depth effect when viewed from an angle. It does look pretty cool in person and it’s a step up from the gradient color designs gaining popularity lately.

Honor 20 Pro Body: 154.6 x 79.97 x 8.44 mm, 182 grams, glass front and back, metal side frame. Screen: 6.26″ All-view IPS LCD, 1080 x 2340px resolution; ~412 ppi. Chipset: HiSilicon Kirin 980 CPU; (2×2.6 GHz Cortex-A76 & 2×1.92 GHz Cortex-A76 & 4×1.8 GHz Cortex-A55); Mali-G76 MP10. Memory: 8GB RAM, 256GB built-in storage. OS: Magic 2.1 UI based on Android 9.0 Pie. Rear camera: Main: 48MP, f/1.4, PDAF, EIS, OIS, AIS; Ultra-wide: 16MP, f/2.2, 117° FOV, no AF; Telephoto: 8MP, f/2.4, OIS, 3x optical lossless, 5x hybrid; Macro: 2MP, f/2.4, 4cm fixed focus; LED flash; Laser autofocus; 2160p@30 video recording with all cameras except for the macro. Front camera: 32MP, f/2.0; 1080p@30fps video recording. Battery: 4,000 mAh, 22.5W SuperCharge fast charging. Misc: IR blaster, side-mounted fingerprint reader, punch-hole camera design, Vitual 9.1 Surround Sound (with headphones only), Dynamic Holographic back design coming in Phantom Blue and Phantom Black.

In addition to the ever-changing holographic glass back, the Honor 20 Pro incorporates the industry’s first camera with f/1.4 aperture. Moreover, the lens is coupled with a large 48MP stabilized Sony IMX586 sensor capable of taking great nighttime shots.

Honor 20 Body: 154.25 x 79.97 x 7.87 mm, 174 grams, glass front and back, metal side frame. Screen: 6.26″ All-view IPS LCD, 1080 x 2340px resolution; ~412 ppi. Chipset: HiSilicon Kirin 980 CPU; (2×2.6 GHz Cortex-A76 & 2×1.92 GHz Cortex-A76 & 4×1.8 GHz Cortex-A55); Mali-G76 MP10. Memory: 6GB RAM, 128GB built-in storage. OS: Magic 2.1 UI based on Android 9.0 Pie. Rear camera: Main: 48MP, f/1.8, PDAF, EIS, AIS; Ultra-wide: 16MP, f/2.2, 117° FOV, no AF; Macro: 2MP, f/2.4, 4cm fixed focus; 2MP depth sensor; LED flash; 2160p@30 video recording with all cameras except for the macro. Front camera: 32MP, f/2.0; 1080p@30fps video recording. Battery: 3,750 mAh, 22.5W SuperCharge fast charging. Misc: IR blaster, side-mounted fingerprint reader, punch-hole camera design, Vitual 9.1 Surround Sound (with headphones only), Dynamic Holographic back design coming in Midnight Black, Sapphire Blue and Icelandic White.

The standard Honor 20, on the other hand, misses on some of the features. Although very minor, some differences could be very impactful

Honor 20 Pro gets 111 score in DxOMark test, matches the OnePlus 7 Pro

The Honor 20 Pro may not have the prestigious Leica label next to its camera, but the DxOMark review shows that it’s one of the best – with a score of 111, it matched the OnePlus 7 Pro. Only two phones with a higher total score are the Huawei P30 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S10 5G.

The photo score of 117 is higher than most flagships out there. The review commends the camera for a great dynamic range – the best shadow and highlight preservation on a phone yet – as well as excellent exposure and noise levels. The rendering of fine detail is not quite perfect, which keeps this camera from potentially climbing a spot higher.

The video score of 97 matches the P30 Pro and S10 5G scores. The combination of OIS and EIS produces steady images. Colors are vivid in bright and dim lighting conditions alike. Fine detail is again the one spot where the camera could be improved.


Honor 20 Pro photo samples

The autofocus (Laser plus phase detection AF) was commended in both photo and video modes. Even though the Pro lacks a dedicated depth sensor (unlike the Honor 20), it still produces great bokeh shots.

Standby for our own report on the Honor 20 Pro, the non-Pro model too.

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Meizu 16Xs launch event set for May 30

Meizu 16s arrived last week and now its time for the more affordable variant, called Meizu 16Xs. The new device already appeared on TENAA with images, later followed by specs, and now the company has started sending out invites for the official launch event. It will take place on May 30 in China.

The invitation hints at a triple camera setup that we already know will have a 48 MP main shooter, coupled with 8 MP + 5 MP additional snappers. Other specs include a 2 GHz octa-core processor, likely as part of a Snapdragon 670 or Snapdragon 675 chipset. The phone with a model number M926Q will also have an AMOLED panel with Full HD+ resolution and a UD fingerprint scanner.


Meizu 16Xs

Other specs of the upcoming phone include a 3,900 mAh battery, 6/64 GB memory with a micro SD slot for up to 256 GB more and a 16 MP selfie shooter. Although the images on TENAA are with the screen turned off, we expect the very same ultra-thin bezels on top and bottom without any notch whatsoever.

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Watch the Honor 20 Series announcement live here

Honor’s event for its 20 series phones is about to begin – we should be seeing the Honor 20 and Honor 20 Pro go official in a few minutes. The launch event will be held in London and the live stream starts at 1PM UTC.

Thanks to the several leaks, we’ve seen both the regular and Pro versions in the flesh as well as camera samples and Geekbench tests so we know what to expect.

The highlight of the Honor 20 Pro will be its 48MP f/1.4 main camera, which is bound to perform well in low-light environments. It will be paired with a 16MP f/2.2 ultra wide, 8MP f/2.4 telephoto and 2MP f/2.4 macro lens rounding out the camera department.

The internals will rely on the swift Kirin 980, paired with 6 or 8GB RAM. As expected the software side is covered by EMUI 9.0 running on top of Android 9 Pie. That’s all we have for now, stay tuned for more news and coverage after the event concludes.

Sony details its mobile plans, lists countries it's pulling out of

Sony held its Corporate Strategy Meeting laying out its plans going forward. The mobile division, in particular, is long away from its glory days and was merged with the TV, audio and camera divisions two months ago in hopes to bring it back to profitability.

The aim is to leverage the brand’s recognition across sectors like gaming, music and TV’s to bolster smartphone appeal and according to Sony, the Xperia 1 is the first example of this approach.

Now the company announced its planning to cut operational costs by 50% and will pull out of several markets in order to focus on a smaller client base. The focus regions include Japan, Europe, Taiwan and Hong Kong. At their expense, Sony is pulling out of India, Australia, Canada, South America, Mexico, Africa, and the Middle East.

The main goal is to have the smartphone business profitable starting with the 2020 financial year. Sony is trying to stay afloat and this plan showcases a slow but certain strategy to do so.

Source | Via

Asus releases bootloader unlock tool and kernel source code for ZenFone 6

Asus unveiled the ZenFone 6 last week, and today, this Taiwanese tech giant has released the bootloader unlock tool and kernel source code for its 2019 flagship. You can download both of these by heading over to the source link at the end of this article.

The bootloader unlock tool weighs 753KB in size whereas the kernel source code weighs around 165MB. With these, you can install a custom ROM on your ZenFone 6, or can develop one yourself. But, do keep in mind that unlocking the bootloader will void the warranty of your smartphone and you also won’t receive any OTAs from Asus.

The Asus ZenFone 6 is powered by Snapdragon 855 SoC and has an interesting design – it features a dual camera at the back which flips up, allowing it to be used for selfies and video calls.

You can check out our hands-on review of the ZenFone 6 to learn more about the new flagship.

Source | Via

OnePlus 7 Pro initial stock sells out in China

After hitting markets around the world, the OnePlus 7 Pro finally made its way to China for pre-orders via online retailer JD.com and local fans did not waste their time. Just several minutes after the pre-orders began, the phone went out of stock. There were reportedly more than a million registrations, meaning some fans were left empty-handed.

OnePlus 7 Pro sales in China will begin on May 23 in three configurations. The base 6/128GB model will start at CNY 3,999 ($579), the 8/256GB one will go for CNY 4,499 ($652) while the top of the line model with 12GB RAM and 512GB storage will set buyers back CNY 4,999 ($724).

Want to know more about the flagship OnePlus, then head over to our full written review or check out the video rundown below.

Source (in Chinese) | Via

vivo Z5x to be launched on May 24, as press images confirm its design

The vivo Z5x that we’ve been hearing about since the past weekend will go official on May 24 at an event in China which will start at 7.30 PM local time. vivo hasn’t divulged any details about the Z5x yet, but, the smartphone’s been listed on JD.com along with its press renders confirming its design.

These renders show us that the Z5x will come with thin bezels and a display having a hole in the top-left corner for the selfie camera. Around the back, it has a triple camera setup placed vertically in the left which is accompanied by a fingerprint reader.


vivo Z5x

On the right side of the phone is the volume rocker and power button, and to the left appears to be a dedicated key for vivo’s AI-based digital assistant Jovi. The smartphone also has a headphone jack at the bottom on the left side of the USB port.

The listing further reveals that the Z5x will be offered in Extreme Night Black and Phantom Black colors, and it will come in four configurations – 4GB/64GB, 6GB/64GB, 6GB/128GB, and 8GB/128GB.

The vivo Z5x is listed on JD.com with a price tag of CNY9,999 ($1447), but that’s likely just a placeholder. We will have to wait until Friday to know the actual price of this smartphone and the rest of its hardware details.

Source 1, 2, 3 (all in Chinese) | Via 1, 2

OnePlus 7 and 7 Pro get Android Q Beta

Soon after releasing the kernel source code for the OnePlus 7 Pro, OnePlus has dropped the Android Q Beta for its 2019 flagship as well as the vanilla OnePlus 7.

Both the OnePlus 7 and 7 Pro run Android Pie out-of-the-box, and we are still a few months away from the moment the stable build of Android Q hits these smartphones. Hence, if you want to get a taste of Android Q on your smartphone right now, you can head over to the source link below for full instructions.

However, do note that this beta build comes with its fair share of known issues including but not limited to the following:

Ambient Display is not working System stability issues Cannot send SMS when VoLTE is on Navigation gesture is not working Recovery mode doesn’t work Some apps may not function as expected when running on this Developer preview release Issue with MTP that doesn’t allow you to copy rollback file from PC to Phone

If you are still willing to risk installing Android Q Beta, make sure that your phone has at least 3GB of storage available, with the battery level at or above 30%.

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Honor 20 placeholder appears on Flipkart app

The Honor 20 series is going official later today, but if you head to the Flipkart app and tap on “Mobiles” – just under the search bar, you’ll see a teaser for the Honor 20 already.

The landing page on the app has an excerpt about what we can expect from the Honor 20 and there’s a livestream window embedded so you can tune in right from the Flipkart app. Following more of the text is a teaser video with the tagline “you deserve better”.

At the very bottom of the page is a “Notify me” button where interested buyers can get more information about the upcoming Honor 20 once it releases. We can safely say that the Honor 20 series will be available from the online retailer in India soon after it is announced.

The landing page also mentions the Honor 20 will be using the Kirin 980 CPU and Honor Super Charge, bringing the battery from 0% to 50% in a half hour.

We are expecting to see two Honor 20 phones be announced in London: The Honor 20 and Honor 20 Pro. At least on the Pro model, we are expecting to see a triple camera setup comprising of a 40MP main camera, a 16MP ultra-wide camera, and an 8MP telephoto one.

A leak also suggested the tiny sensor isolated from the triple cam cluster could be a dedicated 2MP macro camera. We will know if that’s the truth in a few hours.

The Honor 20 series announcement event starts at 1PM UTC.

Redmi K20 confirmed to have a 4,000 mAh battery

Sometimes we don’t need leaks about an upcoming smartphone, because the company announces the specs one bit at a time. Redmi has just revealed the battery capacity of the upcoming K20 flagship on Weibo – it will be 4,000 mAh, confirming previous rumors.

The poster simply says something in the lines of “Want More” with “4000 mAh long life” and it doesn’t get any clearer than that. Whether this will be the power cell of the regular Redmi K20 or the rumored mightier Redmi K20 Pro, we are yet to determine at the launch next Tuesday.

The 4,000 mAh capacity is not a huge deal for the Xiaomi subsidiary after all even the Redmi 3s had such a battery. The talking point is actually the expected fast-charging, which will be a first for a Redmi smartphone. The other phone from the manufacturer with such capabilities is only the flagship Mi 9 that allows for speeds up to 27W.

Source (in Chinese) | Via

US FCC officially supports T-Mobile Sprint merger, DOJ still not convinced

On Monday, the FCC released a statement announcing its support behind the T-Mobile and Sprint merger. FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr cites the benefits that the combined network would allow for people in rural areas that don’t have choice for broadband and wireless.

I support the combination of T-Mobile and Sprint because Americans across the country will see more competition and an accelerated buildout of fast, 5G services.

Carr adds that the proposed merger will “strengthen competition in the U.S. wireless market and provide mobile and in-home broadband access to communities that demand better coverage and more choices,” As per the statement, this appears to be Carr’s main reasoning for supporting the merger. The idea that the US would lead in 5G development globally really excites the Trump administration, who appointed its current FCC Chairman – Ajit Pai.

The FCC also released a redacted report outlining T-Mobile and Sprint’s proposal, pertaining to the specific technicalities of the merger, including the fate of the companies’ combines MVNO’s, which include Virgin Mobile, Boost Mobile, and Merto by T-Mobile. The proposal suggests the merged companies would choose to sell Boost to an interested buyer.

The report also mentions that Sprint customers are guaranteed “equal or better” rate plans on the New T-Mobile. There is a clause that says the plans might be adjusted to compensate for increase in taxes, fees, and surcharges.

On the other hand, the Department of Justice will not be sold with promises of faster 5G rollout and service for rural areas. The DoJ will decide the fate of the merger based on potential anti-trust issues that could arise if the merger was to go through.

John Legere and Marcelo Claure during the March 12 Congressional hearing

As much as T-Mobile CEO John Legere can talk up the merger and make promises, the anti-trust issues exist on paper. The ones that were brought up during a Congressional hearing were:

Post-merger, there are going to be many leftover Sprint stores and thousands of employees would be laid off Historically, when major carriers in Europe merged, service rates became more expensive

In the proposal, T-Mobile and Sprint even added that it would voluntarily agree to pay exorbitant amount in fines, should any of the promises be broken. Of course, this was enticing for the FCC, but the DoJ has the final say.

Source 1 | Source 2 | Via 1 | Via 2

Oppo Reno and Reno 10x zoom reach the UK in early June

Following their world debut in China, and then their international launch last month, the Oppo Reno and Reno 10x zoom are now ready to enter the UK as well.

The Chinese company has officially announced the launch details for the UK. The vanilla Reno is going to be the first to make the trip across the pond, arriving on June 5 for £449. The Reno 10x zoom will join it one week later, on June 12, priced at £699.

Oppo Reno lands in the UK early next month. Pretty competitive pricing pic.twitter.com/lr9NBDsRX6

— Alex Dobie (@alexdobie) May 20, 2019

It looks like Oppo is getting serious about increasing its official presence in Europe, and that’s good to see because more competition is always going to benefit consumers.

The Oppo Reno comes with a 6.4″ 1080×2340 AMOLED touchscreen, the Snapdragon 710 chipset, 6/8 GB of RAM, 128/256GB of non-expandable storage, a 48 MP main camera with a 5 MP depth sensor on the back, a 16 MP motorized pop-up selfie camera, Android 9 Pie with ColorOS 6 on top, and a 3,765 mAh battery.

The Reno 10x zoom on the other hand sports a bigger 6.6″ display with the same resolution, the Snapdragon 855 at the helm, the same storage options, the same main camera but with an 8 MP ultrawide companion and a 13 MP periscope lens that enables 5x optical zoom. The same selfie cam is baked in, but the more expensive model has a beefier 4,065 mAh battery.

US delays Huawei ban for 90 days, its Android license is temporarily back

The Huawei ban saga doesn’t show any signs of reaching an end soon, but that’s not surprising since it’s still early days. As we reported earlier, Google revoked the Chinese company’s Android license, being forced to do so by a Trump order. In the meantime, the US Commerce Department has effectively delayed some of the consequences of that order for Huawei by 90 days starting today.

In this period Huawei will be able to purchase American-made goods “in order to maintain existing networks and provide software updates to existing Huawei handsets”, according to a Reuters report. However, “the company is still prohibited from buying American parts and components to manufacture new products without license approvals that likely will be denied”.

The Android license revocation has thus been put on hold for 90 days too, which means that in this time Huawei can still certify OS updates with Google for existing handsets. Whether or not this time frame will be long enough to ensure such certifications are given for Android Q updates for Huawei’s existing handsets remains to be seen, but we assume the Chinese company will do its best to receive them.

It still can’t launch any new phone that isn’t already certified by Google to use its services. The Honor 20 and Honor 20 Pro launching tomorrow have likely already undergone that process so they’re ‘safe’, and the foldable Mate X may be in the same situation. But for phones that are to launch later in the year, the future is looking anything but bright at this point.

The reprieve that Huawei got expires on August 19, and perhaps the US and China will smooth things over until then with further trade negotiations.

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vivo unveils IQOO Space Knight Limited Edition

Chinese smartphone maker vivo is unveiling a new edition of its IQOO (pronounced “eye-kyoo”) gaming phone, inspired by the Chinese National Space administration. This edition comes with maxed out RAM (12GB) and 256GB of storage.

This edition of the IQOO comes is packaged in a special box with a small gift box with a custom engraved nameplate on a piece of metal used to build the Shenzhou space craft.

The back of the IQOO itself has a different finish – it’s a matte finish that wraps along the edges of the back of the IQOO with what looks to be like the Kevlar finish used on the back of some phones like the Pocophone F1.

The IQOO has a 6.41-inch Super AMOLED display with a 91.7% screen-to-body ratio with Full HD+ resolution. The phone is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 CPU and Adreno 640 GPU. The phone comes with Android 9.0 and Funtouch OS out of the box.

There’s also an in-display fingerprint sensor and it’s powered by a 4,000mAh battery with support for 44W fast charging.

There are three rear camera consisting of 12MP, 13MP, and 2MP cameras – wide, ultra-wide, and telephoto, respectively. There’s a 12MP front-facing camera with f/2.0 aperture.

Other than the packaging and its contents, the hardware finish, and presumably some preloaded Space Knight themes, the specs are all identical to the standard editions of the vivo IQOO.

The standard edition vivo IQOO is priced at 4,298 CNY (~$622) so you can expect to pay a premium for this edition. vivo hasn’t announced pricing or availability for the Space Knight Edition but we are certain this edition won’t be available outside of China.

Source | Via