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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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Gadgets

Review: Huawei MateBook 14s

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Huawei has been churning out one awesome laptop after another in quick succession. We recently reviewed the company’s brilliant MateBook 14 which offered a 2K eye-comfort full-view display and metal unibody, 11th Gen Intel Processor, super device features, up to 16GB RAM+512GB SSD ROM, long battery life, and 65W SuperCharge and Shark-fin cooling fan tech. And today, we are reviewing the new 14s, which was launched a couple of weeks ago, and comes in at a price point starting at AED 5,299.

Huawei has used aluminium-alloy to construct the MateBook 14s and it comes in two colour variants – Space Gray and Spruce Green. The MateBook 14s packs in lots of features – it offers a 2.5K HD Huawei Fullview touch Display that offers a 90hz refresh rate and a 90% screen-to-body ratio. It also offers a 100% sRGB (typical) colour gamut.

The display of the MateBook 14s can also render 1.07 billion colours to show vibrant colours and smooth transition, and the aspect ratio is rated at 3:2. The display is also certified by TÜV Rheinland for low blue light for improved eye protection with zero colour cast. It is also TÜV Rheinland Flicker Free Certified. The display can also automatically adjust the brightness to fit every situation.

The MateBook 14 also offers a new keyboard layout. And unlike the MateBook 14, where the web camera was built into the keyboard as a popup camera, this time around, the web camera has moved to the top center of the display. The overall footprint of the laptop is quite compact.

Huawei packs in a 14-inch display into a slim bezel with the overall weight of the laptop tipping the scales at 1.43-kgs. In terms of connectivity, you get plenty!

On the left edge, you will find two USB-C ports that support data, charging, and DisplayPort. In addition, you also get one HDMI port, and a 3.5mm audio jack. On the right edge, you get one USB3.2 Gen 1 port.

As mentioned earlier, the web camera, which offers a resolution of 720p, is now built into the top center area above the display. Under the hood, the MateBook 14s variant we received was powered by Intel’s Core i7-11370H processor. There is also a variant that runs on Intel’s Core i5-11300H processor. You also get Intel Iris Xe Graphics.

In terms of memory, you get to choose between 8GB or 16GB LPDDR4x Dual Channel, while storage options include either 512GB or 1TB NVMe PCIe SSD. The battery is rated at 60Wh and Huawei packs in a 90W supercharger, too. When it comes to wireless connectivity, the Huawei MateBook 14s supports IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax, and Bluetooth 5.1.

The full-size keyboard is quite nice to use – it offers a 1.5mm key travel and it is backlit, too. The touchpad support multi-touch and you also get Huawei Share built-in. The power button also comes with a built-in fingerprint reader for added security. The laptop is equipped with four speakers and four microphones.

The Huawei MateBook 14s runs on Windows 10 operating system and you will be able to upgrade to Windows 11.

Since the Huawei MateBook 14s is part of the company’s Super Device, multi-screen collaboration between your laptop and smartphone is seamless. Just tap your phone on the touch board, and your Huawei smartphone and the MateBook will transform into one super device even without an internet connection. By this, you will be able to transfer to and from your smartphone to your MateBook with ease.

You can also take advantage of the PC and tablet multi-screen collaboration feature. If you own a Huawei MatePad 11 or a MatePad Pro, you can use the multi-screen collaboration feature in three different scenarios. In Mirror Mode, you can mirror the Huawei MateBook 14s screen to a tablet’s display, thus allowing you to directly work on files and annotate documents, or draw/sketch with the Huawei M Pencil of the tablet.

In Extend Mode, you can transform your Huawei MatePad Pro into a second screen, providing extra screen space to display more content. This can be very useful for online shopping or when you are browsing the internet and there are so many items to explore. The Collaborate Mode enables cross-platform interactions, allowing you to transfer content such as text, images, and documents between connected devices with a simple drag and drop.

The laptop also supports Pop Up Pairing which can be used for seamless pairing between your Huawei MateBook 14s and your Huawei wireless earbuds such as Freebuds 4, Freebuds 4i, and Freebuds Pro. As mentioned earlier, the MateBook 14s comes with a high capacity 60Wh battery. According to Huawei, you get around 13 hours of continuous 1080p video playback on a single charge.

And since the MateBook 14s also comes with a nifty 90W power adapter, you can get up to 3 hours of battery life with just a 15-minute charge. During our review, we clocked almost 12 hours of battery life on a single charge, which is excellent. Another stand-out feature of the MateBook 14s is the “Personal Voice Enhancement” function. This feature filters out your surrounding ambient noises and other people’s voices during meetings and calls, to ensure you’re always crystal clear.

The Huawei MateBook 14s is a very powerful device considering it packs in an H-series i7 processor and 16GB of RAM. Even though it offers a tiny footprint, it can easily handle graphics-heavy workloads such as rendering videos on applications such as DaVinci Resolve, and even the occasional gaming sessions.

If you are one of those who want stellar performance but don’t want to lug around a heavy laptop, then the Huawei MateBook 14s is just for you.

Price: AED 5299 onwards

Huawei MateBook 14s AED 5299 onwards
  • Final Rating
4

Summary

Since the Huawei MateBook 14s is part of the company’s Super Device, multi-screen collaboration between your laptop and smartphone is seamless. Just tap your phone on the touch board, and your Huawei smartphone and the MateBook will transform into one super device even without an internet connection. By this, you will be able to transfer to and from your smartphone to your MateBook with ease.

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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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