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Review: Oppo Reno Edition

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Oppo created a sort of an excitement among the media community when it announced it is going to launch a smartphone with 10X zoom. At the launch event, the company showed off the Reno 10X Zoom Edition, along side a very humble Reno Edition without the 10X zoom. The commercial launch of the Reno 10X Zoom Edition hasn’t been decided yet, but we did receive the Reno Edition a couple of days ago for review.

Specs
The Oppo Reno Edition is a base model that comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 processor, 6GB of RAM, and a 256GB of internal storage. It also comes with a shark fin popup camera for selfies, which is rated at 16-megapixels. The popup camera also houses a rear flash and the earpiece.  

The phone runs on Android 9.0 Pie as the operating system with Oppo’s very own ColorOS 6 running on top of it. The phone weighs around 187 grams and feels really premium in the hands. The overall build quality and design is quite good. The rear of the phone’s body is slightly curved. 

The right edge of the phone has the power buttons, while the volume rockers and the dual SIM slot can be found on the left edge. It is quite surprising though that there is no support for microSD for storage expansion. On the top, you have the shark fin popup front camera, while on the bottom you get a 3.5mm audio jack and a USB-C port for charging the phone and syncing the data. The phone is powered by a 3765mAh battery.

Display
Since the display of the Reno Edition does not include a notch, the viewing experience is fantastic – it is all display without any distractions. The display is 6.4-inch Samsung AMOLED panel and the phone comes packed in a body that has slim bezels. Oddly enough, the box the phone comes packaged in is very long. The Opportunity Reno Edition also comes with an in-screen fingerprint reader. 

Camera
As mentioned earlier, the front facing popup camera is rated at 16-megapixels with an aspect ratio of f/2.0. On the rear, you get a dual camera setup – one is a 48-megapixels camera that comes with an aspect ratio of f/1.7, while the other is a 5-megapixels camera for depth of field. 

The front camera pops up when switching to the front camera or enabling the flash. Should you happen to drop the phone, Oppo has implemented a failsafe to automatically retract the shark fin. It will even retract if you toss the phone in your hand and catch it.

Performance
We ran the AnTuTu and Geekbench benchmarks on the device to check out its real world performance. The results were typical for any device running the Snapdragon 710 processor. Having said that, performance on the device was butter smooth. 

We did not encounter any lag during gaming sessions or multi-tasking between multiple apps. Photos and videos shot using the Oppo Reno Edition were brilliant. We ended up with some amazing shots, even under low light conditions.

Verdict
While there are a few things you won’t like about the Oppo Reno Edition, such as no microSD support, ColorOS sign-in for large third-party application installs, and so on, there’s a lot more to like about the device. The Oppo Reno Edition comes packed with an AMOLED display that is a treat to watch. 

It also combines high end build and finish with a very polished UI on top of the operating system. It also offers really good performance, excellent camera capability, and decent battery life. And when all of this is available at an attractive price point of AED 1899, it makes for a very good proposition. 

Price: AED 1899

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External HDDs

Review: WD My Passport SSD (1TB)

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WD’s new My Passport SSD is a gorgeous-looking external SSD storage device that offers storage capacities ranging between 256GB to 2TB. The variant we have reviewed here is the 1TB version that comes in very distinct greyish-silver and black colour tones. While the drive is USB Type-C and USB 3.1 Gen 2 read, it is also compatible with USB 3.0, USB 2.0, and USB-A ports.

Inside the box, you get the WD My Passport SSD drive, a USB Type-C to Type-C cable, a Type-C to Type-A adapter, a quick start guide, and the warranty info. Outside the box, the drive comes preformatted with exFAT, for compatibility with Windows and Mac. On paper, the drive offers fast read speeds of up to 540 MB/s, thanks to the USB 3.1 Gen 2 bus, which is also known as USB 3.1.

The drive measures ‎8.89-by-4.57-by-0.99 cm in dimension and weighs around 40.82-gms. The drive also offers hardware encryption. So, you can set a password to help keep it protected with built-in 256-bit AES hardware encryption with WD Security software. In addition, it can also withstand drops from a height of up to 6.5-feet.

On paper, the drive offers data transfer speeds of up to 540 MB/s. In order to test its performance, we ran two benchmarks on it – CrystalDiskMark 8 and ATTO Disk Benchmark 4.0.1. On CrystalDiskMark, we were able to clock a sequential read speed of 462 MB/s and a write speed of 461 MB/s. On ATTO Disk Benchmark, we clocked a read speed of 432 MB/s and a write speed of 440 MB/s.

Since it is an SSD drive, there are no moving parts and hence it is less susceptible to over-heating and data corruption issues.
For a price of AED 700, the WD My Passport SSD (1TB) is a very lightweight external storage device that does its job as advertised.

Price: AED 700

WD My Passport SSD (1TB)
AED 700










  • Final Rating

3.5









Summary

On paper, the drive offers data transfer speeds of up to 540 MB/s. In order to test its performance, we ran two benchmarks on it – CrystalDiskMark 8 and ATTO Disk Benchmark 4.0.1. On CrystalDiskMark, we were able to clock a sequential read speed of 462 MB/s and a write speed of 461 MB/s. On ATTO Disk Benchmark, we clocked a read speed of 432 MB/s and a write speed of 440 MB/s.

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Editors Choice

Review: Honor 50

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The new Honor 50 is the company’s first major smartphone launch since Honor spun out of its parent company Huawei as a standalone brand. The Honor 50 was launched recently on the regional market and will be very soon available on the local market. Since Honor is now an independent brand, it brings along all the goodness of Google Mobile Services.

While the company was working on the Honor 50, it also conducted a market study of its own. In the study, it asked vloggers, what their key pain points were. There were four major pain points – video stabilisation, choosing various angles to shoot, complicated editing process post-shoot, and noisy recorded voice. So when Honor set out to build the Honor 50, it wanted to address those issues.

And looks like it has been able to with the Honor 50. We have been testing out Honor 50 for over a week now and in this review, we will tell you why the Honor 50 is the best vlogging phone on the market right now.

DESIGN AND DISPLAY
The Honor 50 comes in a stunning design. It exhibits a classic modern design with familiar touches such as the curved display, slim bezels, and a reflective rear. On the front, you will find the 6.57-inch 75° curved OLED display, which connects to the middle frame and back panel, with 2.5D polishing glass edges on both the upper and lower sides of the display.

This makes the Honor 50 feel premium and even though the company has used premium material to build the Honor 50, it is quite lightweight at 175-gms and slim at 7.8mm. So, the phone feels far less bulky than many of its rivals.

The display offers an FHD+ resolution of 2340-by-1080 pixels and supports 1.07 billion colours and a 100% DCI-P3 colour gamut. You also get support for up to 120Hz refresh rate and support for low blue light, thanks to the TÜV Rheinland Certification.

In terms of colours, you can choose from Frost Crystal, Emerald Green, Midnight Black, and the brand new HONOR Code. Just above the display is the 32MP 90° Front Camera. On the top edge, you will find two noise-cancelling microphones, while on the bottom edge, you will find the dual SIM tray, a noise-cancelling microphone, the USB-C charging port, and the speaker grille.

On the right edge, you get the volume rockers and the power button, while the left edge is flush of anything. Turn the phone around and we come face to face with the most important feature of the Honor 50 – its quad-camera module.

CAMERAS
The camera module sports a dual-ring design, which the company says is inspired by twin-lens reflex cameras. The Honor 50 features a 108MP main camera with a 1/1.52-inch large sensor, ensuring ultra-high-resolution shots of 12032-by-9024 pixels. Its f/1.9 wide aperture allows more light through the lens, enabling greater clarity even in dimly-lit environments. The main camera also supports 10x digital zoom for photos and 6x zoom for videos.

You also get an 8MP wide-angle camera with a 112º angle of view and f/2.2 aperture. The lens is supported by specialised correction technology, thereby minimising perspective distortion to perfectly showcase scenery in full. There’s also a 2MP bokeh camera that brings a pleasing out-of-focus blur to the photo. And finally, you also get a 2MP macro camera to take close-up shots.

In addition to these rear cameras, the Honor 50 also features a 32MP front camera that enables users to take perfect selfies and videos. The front camera also comes with a 90ºviewing angle, allowing more people and scenery to be captured in pictures. Thanks to its AI processing capabilities, it also produces high-quality selfie photos at night.

VLOGGING FEATURES
The HONOR 50 comes packed with six multi-video shooting modes, with combinations that use the front and rear cameras at the same time. In just one take, you can choose from six modes to make the vlogging experience fun, exciting and engaging.

The “Front to Rear Recording” mode, allows you to switch between the front and rear camera while shooting video content. This means, you don’t need to stop recording while switching between the front and rear cameras, which is a brilliant addition for content creators.

The “Dual-View Recording (Front/Rear)” mode, allows you to simultaneously shoot with both the front camera and the rear main camera. The dual view shows what is captured by both cameras side by side. Then, there’s the “Dual-View Recording (Rear/Rear)” mode, which lets you shoot with both the rear main camera and the wide-angle camera at the same time. The main camera also supports 6x zoom while video shooting. The dual view shows what is captured by both cameras side by side.

You also get the “Picture in Picture” mode, which lets you overlay the view of the front camera onto the bigger view of the rear camera or vice versa. It is particularly useful if you want the audience to focus on the content but still let them see the person recording. The “Fast-Motion Recording and Slow Motion Recording” mode allows you to capture the object or themselves with slow or fast motion effects, creating a cool and unique layer to video content. And finally, the “Single to Dual-View Recording” mode allows you to change from shooting in a single camera to dual cameras at any time while recording.

The vlogging features of the Honor 50 don’t stop there! On top of the six multi-video shooting modes, you also get a “Story” mode, which includes nine sets of different video story templates that help you create cool videos based on different shooting scenarios. The HONOR 50 also allows you to use beauty mode while using the front camera, wide-angle shots while shooting a video, and capture photographs from the video content, fulfilling the different needs of content creators and vloggers.

One of the features that any vlogger would like, is to be able to use a pair of TWS earbuds for recording content directly onto their smartphones while vlogging. While using such a setup on most phones out there on the market has been a hit and a miss, Honor seems to have sorted those issues with the Honor 50.

The device now supports long-distance True Wireless Stereo Recording so you can use the microphone in your Bluetooth earbuds and create videos without headphone cables in the way. This feature is compatible with TWS earbuds from major brands, including the company’s very own Honor Earbuds 2 Lite. We did test this feature out with a pair od TWS earbuds and the feature worked really well.

PERFORMANCE
The unit we tested, came with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage space. In the benchmarks we ran, the Honor 50 performed really well. In fact, it posted similar scores to some flagship Snapdragon 888-powered devices. Even while gaming, the Honor 50 performed well. In terms of connectivity, the Honor 50 has you covered, as it supports 5G, in addition to packing in NFC, Bluetooth 5.2, and Wi-Fi 6.

When it comes to the camera performance, the Honor 50 does not disappoint. The main camera and selfie shooter, the both, offered versatile images and videos. Since the 108MP main lens packs in a large sensor, it helps the lens capture more light for better results in almost all lighting conditions, even in dimly lit or darker environments. All of the footage had crisp detail, with punchy and vibrant colours.

Another area where the Honor 50 shines is its video capabilities. Honor has put in lots of efforts to offer a multitude of features aimed at content creators and vloggers and quality shows. Whether it was recording using split-screen, picture-in-picture, or a combination of front and rear lenses, the quality was consistent.

VERDICT
Coming in at a price point of AED 1999, the Honor 50 is truly the best vlogging phone out there on the market, since it offers an elegant design and build quality, excellent hardware and software experience, and a boatload of vlogging features. The Honor 50 thus walks away with the Gadget Voize Editors’ Choice award.

Price: AED 1999

Honor 50
AED 1999










  • Final Rating

4









Summary

When it comes to the camera performance, the Honor 50 does not disappoint. The main camera and selfie shooter, the both, offered versatile images and videos. Since the 108MP main lens packs in a large sensor, it helps the lens capture more light for better results in almost all lighting conditions, even in dimly lit or darker environments. All of the footage had crisp detail, with punchy and vibrant colours.

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Reviews

Video: HUAWEI nova 9 – Will This Be the New Camera King?

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The Huawei nova 9 offers a flagship-grade 6.57-inch, 120Hz OLED panel and 10-bit colour depth, potent Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G processor, a capable 50MP main camera, a 32MP selfie camera with 4k support, and runs EMUI 12 on Android 11. Check out our review of the nova 9 and the pre-order details below:

Pre-order the new Huawei nova 9 for AED 1,799 and get gifts worth AED 980, which includes the Huawei FreeBuds 3 worth AED 529; Petal One VIP subscription that includes Huawei Video, Huawei Mobile Cloud, and Huawei Music; and 1 Year Premium subscription to STARZPLAY. And if you order the black colour variant of the nova 9, you get additional free gifts worth AED 499.

Pre-Order here: https://consumer.huawei.com/ae-en/offer/huawei-nova-9/

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HUAWEI nova 9
AED 1799










  • Final Rating

4









Summary

The Huawei nova 9 offers a flagship-grade 6.57-inch, 120Hz OLED panel and 10-bit colour depth, potent Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G processor, a capable 50MP main camera, a 32MP selfie camera with 4k support, and runs EMUI 12 on Android 11.

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