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The details of the new features are as follows:
The calendar schedule supports taking a picture and users can import them
Universal Cards: Stacked cards can auto rotate and display when the scene changes. Also, combined cards can auto – alter their size as the number of cards rises or drops.
Charging: Optimizes Turbo mode charging for super – fast charging speed.
Pure mode: boosts pure mode, expands security, gives a pop-up window for secondary confirmation of programme jumps, lowers the danger of misoperation, and makes each jumping step clear and controllable.Models that are getting the new HarmonyOS 3 update
The Huawei Mate 50 series can upgrade to this update. In addition to the Mate 50 series, there is a folding screen phone that is also getting the new update. The exact models that can get the update include
HUAWEI Mate 50
HUAWEI Mate50 Pro
HUAWEI Mate 50 RS Porsche Design
HUAWEI Mate 50E
HUAWEI Pocket S
Huawei will not stop at the models above. In addition to the models above, the following Huawei phones will receive the update push in early to mid – June
HUAWEI P50 Pro
HUAWEI Mate Xs2
HUAWEI P50 Pocket
HUAWEI nova 10
HUAWEl nova 10 Pro
HUAWEI MatePad Pro 11-inchHarmonyOS 3.0 upgrades Key features
Here are some key features of HarmonyOS 3.0:Gizchina News of the week
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Stack widgets: HarmonyOS 3.0 has a new widget stack feature that allows users to stack multiple widgets on top of each other, making it easy to access multiple widgets at once
Large folders: HarmonyOS 3.0 allows users to create large folders with up to 100 items. This makes it easier to handle them and access files
Security: HarmonyOS 3.0 has new privacy and security features that protect user data and prevent illegal access
Performance: HarmonyOS 3.0 is designed to be fast and responsive, with better output for a wide range of devices
Super device: HarmonyOS 3.0 has a new super device feature that allows users to connect multiple devices and control them from a single system.
UI development system: HarmonyOS 3.0 uses
, a declarative UI development system that allows developers to create adaptable UI elements that work across a wide range of devices
Multi – terminal deployment: HarmonyOS 3.0 supports multi – terminal deployment. This makes it easy for developers to create apps that work across multiple devices.
All – scenario design guides: HarmonyOS 3.0 provides all – scenario design guides that take into account human factors, devices, and environments. This allows developers to create the ideal user experience for all scenarios
Flexible hardware requirements: HarmonyOS 3.0 was developed as a distributed operating system for various devices with memory sizes ranging from 128KB to over 4GB. Hence, the hardware needs are flexible for the operating system and it may only need 128KB of memory for some devices
Seamless interactions: HarmonyOS 3.0 allows for easy link between devices. This also makes it easy for users to switch between devices and complete tasks
Handy service widgets: HarmonyOS 3.0 has handy service widgets that bridge the divide between devices, making it easy for users to complete tasks across many devices
Declarative User Interface framework: Apps for HarmonyOS are mostly built using components of
, a Declarative User Interface framework. ArkUI elements are adaptable to various devices and include new interface rules
Smart home integration: HarmonyOS 3.0 uses AI to link smart home devices. This makes it easy for users to control their smart home devices from a single platform
Intelligent voice recognition: HarmonyOS 3.0 has a smart voice recognition feature that allows users to control their devices using voice commands
AI image recognition: HarmonyOS 3.0 uses AI image recognition to identify and categorize images. This makes it easy for users to find and handle their photos
AI translation: HarmonyOS 3.0 has an AI translation tool that allows users to translate text and speech in real time
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Of course, many smartphone enthusiasts will want to know the daily performance of these devices. Thus, this comprehensive review looks at the performance of these smartphones. It considers the camera, gaming and battery life as well as design.Huawei Mate 50 Pro Vs iPhone 14 Pro Camera
When it comes to mobile phone images, both Huawei and Apple are difficult to defeat. Both have their own unique image styles and their own audiences. Therefore, for consumers, choosing a style that you can accept is often more important than looking at hardware parameters. Therefore, we will not say too much about the parameters.
Huawei Mate 50 Pro is equipped with a 13-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera, a 64-megapixel periscope telephoto camera, and a 50-megapixel super-optical camera. It also supports proximity light sensors, laser focus sensors, 10-channel multi-spectral sensors, XMAGE Huawei images, etc. The iPhone 14 Pro comes with a 48-megapixel main camera, a 12-megapixel telephoto camera, a 12-megapixel ultrawide and a TOF 3D LiDAR scanner. This smartphone also comes with a new ProRAW mode. This mode gives images that are much better and also much larger in size.
Simply put, the highlights of the Huawei Mate 50 Pro are variable aperture, F1.4 large aperture, Huawei XMAGE image style and a 200x zoom range. As for the iPhone 14 Pro, it has a better 48MP main camera, supports ProRAW mode, and the sensor size also improves.Daytime Images
First of all, in the daytime with good light, you can clearly see the difference between the two. The iPhone 14 Pro is still in the “high-saturation style”, the sky is bluer, and the building tone is relatively simple. However, when the photo was taken, the sun was almost setting, but the iPhone 14 Pro did not restore this scene.Ultra-wide-angle proofs
In terms of ultra-wide-angle, the control of colour temperature by the two basically continues the style of the main camera. The iPhone 14 Pro is still more beautiful, and the Huawei Mate 50 Pro is generally warmer, but the colours are richer, especially since the colour reproduction of the sky is very good.
In addition to different styles of colours, the resolution of the ultra-wide-angle of the two is quite satisfactory. Although, the edge details have some declines, but the overall performance is acceptable. In addition, the control of ultra-wide-angle distortion should be praised. Both are excellent.Main camera images
This time, the iPhone 14 Pro adds a new mode called ProRAW. When this mode is active, the details of the proofs will rise sharply. Of course, RAW photos store more information. They are often used for photo creation, professional photographers, or photography enthusiasts who like to retouch their own pictures.
Generally, they will be used more. If you also have an iPhone 14 Pro in your hand, then try to adjust some photos you like. However, it is important to note that ProRAW images are quite large. A single image could be 75MB minimum. Have this in mind while using this modeNight main camera proof
In the night scene, both flagships show a very good night scene purity, and the picture is full of details. Although the overall colour style is very different, each has its own flavour. We can’t tell which one you will prefer.
In addition, the overall performance of the Huawei Mate 50 Pro is better in the processing of highlights and shadows. For example, in the lower-left corner of the screen, the iPhone 14 Pro is already black. It is difficult to see the appearance of the building without zooming in. However, the details of the Huawei Mate 50 Pro are very clear and the brightness is higher.
It is important to note that this situation does not mean that the night scene of the Huawei Mate 50 Pro is necessarily better. Of course, if you prefer bright and colourful night scenes, the Huawei Mate 50 Pro is obviously more in line with your needs.Conclusion
In conclusion, all the ideas above are simply those of the tester after using the camera of both smartphones. Both the Mate 50 Pro and the iPhone 14 Pro perform very well in day and night photography. However, the camera output style of both smartphones are unique. The Huawei Mate 50 Pro pursues the details of the picture, whether it is the brightness, colour or light and shade of the picture. Compared with the iPhone 14 Pro, it is different. Therefore, in most scenarios, the look and feel of the Huawei Mate 50 Pro is actually better.
Anyone who has been reading GizChina for some time will know that once I’ve fallen for a phone I just continue to use it no matter what else launches. Eventually, I do move to a new device, but that new phone needs to be something special to get me to switch.
A few weeks ago Huawei sent over the flagship Mate 10 Pro for me to review, it’s a great phone with stunning photography features, amazing battery life and a quality look and feel, but is it all enough?Huawei Mate 10 Pro Review – Design
We’re at the peak of phone design and while that might sound exciting it actually isn’t really. Don’t get me wrong, the Huawei Mate 10 Pro is a good looking phone and is made of some of the best materials around and to a standard other phone makers could only dream of, but it’s hardly a unique looking phone is it.
In addition to the rear fingerprint scanner, the glossy rear of the phone is home to dual Leica cameras, LED flash and laser focus module. Those components are highlighted on the rear of the phone and sit on a slightly lighter colored band to the rest of the phone.
The highly polished finish continues on to the metal frame of the Huawei Mate 10 Pro making up the smooth chassis where a power button, volume control, SIM tray, IR remote and USB Type C plug are all found. You keen-eyed readers will have noticed that I missed the 3.5mm headphone jack. Well, that’s because there isn’t one on the Mate 10 Pro. What you do get though are some of Huawei’s own Type C in-ear headphones (they’re rather good too!).
Huawei has made sure that the Mate 10 Pro looks and feels premium while ensuring that the all screen phone is comfortable to hold, and they’ve succeeded, but be warned that the glossy finish is susceptible to attracting fingerprints and greasy marks, and the smooth finish means that losing your grip or your phone sliding off a table is more likely to happen. Within the first hour of owning the Huawei Mate 10 Pro, I’d already managed to lose grip and it also managed to slide off a table, luckily both times I was able to catch the phone before it hit the ground.
Not that I would be all that concerned if the phone had hit the ground as I’m confident that the high-quality nature of the phone would ensure it survived. Using the Mate 10 Pro after using the OnePlus 5 as my personal phone for months is a revelation, the Huawei is leagues ahead in material and finish.Huawei Mate 10 Pro Review – Hardware
Huawei has built a phone that looks and feels like a flagship, and the specs follow this trend.
A 6-inch display in a phone measuring 154.2 x 74.5 x 7.9mm would have been a feat of magic this time last year, but with phone makers going for “full-display” (Huawei call it FullView Display) many smartphones are leveling up in screen size. Huawei has also pushed up the resolution with a 2160 x 1080 OLED display offering a pixel density of 402ppi.
Using a phone with 18:9 display might not sound like much of an upgrade over a standard phone, but you just try to use a 2023 flagship for a few days then move back to your regular screen phone. Chances are that old phone will feel just that, old!
Another nod to this phones flagship intentions is the Huawei Kirin 970 chipset. This is a self-developed octa-core CPU made up of 4 x Cortex A73 2.36GHz + 4 x Cortex A53 1.8GHz cores. The GPU is a Mali-G72 MP12 GP. It’s all good stuff and ensures that Huawei’s Android 8.0 based EMUI runs buttery smooth in every situation.
Speaking of EMUI, from my time using the phone I can say that Huawei has done a great job of creating a super stable ROM with some very nice features. The Mate 10 Pro comes with a ‘tips’ app that teaches you some of the neat gestures that EMUI supports, my favorite being a knuckle tap to capture a screenshot. EMUI also has a killer camera app, but I’ll tell you more about that below.
While I’ve enjoyed EMUI I do find that sometimes I get a notification dot (on an app icon or in the settings) but I’m unsure as to what I’m being notified too.
Again, only last year a sub 8mm phone with 4000mAh battery would be a pretty rare sight but Huawei has managed this with the Mate 10 Pro. The battery is enough to give the Mate 10 Pro a full 2 days of battery life on a single charge and thanks to the fast charge feature can be topped up in no time at all.
While the battery life is very impressive I’m still not sure if this is due to the fact Huawei has made a great job of optimisation or if it has something to do with the data connection. Like all modern Android phones, the Mate 10 Pro is an LTE smartphone, but it also has the worst signal strength of any phone I have ever owned! Compared to any other phone I have tested the Mate 10 Pro is the only phone that has ever left me with no signal what-so-ever in areas where I usually have full bars. On the other hand, the WIFI signal is very good and while I’m not usually able to receive WIFI in my bedroom the Mate 10 Pro manages too just grab the backend of the signal.Gizchina News of the week
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WIFI phone calls are supported on the Mate 10 Pro too, but I found the quality to be patchy when testing this out, but this could have been down to our office WIFI. Another feature that Huawei has built in is a WIFI assistant that is meant to be smart enough to help you switch between networks or even between WIFI and DATA on the fly. Due to the poor LTE (and 3G and 2G) performance of the Mate 10, I ended up turning this feature off.
Beneath the dual Leica rear cameras is a fingerprint scanner. There’s not much to say about this other than it is fast and accurate.
If you check out the photos of the Mate 10 Pro you’ll see that Huawei has added a built-in IR remote but there is no 3.5mm headphone jack. Instead, you have to use the USB Type C plug in the base along with the supplied USB Type C headphones. And for those of you wondering, audio is amazing!
Other notable features include NFC, dual SIM support and options for either 4GB RAM + 64GB ROM or 6GB RAM + 128GB ROM.Huawei Mate 10 Pro Review – Camera
IF you’re looking at the Huawei Mate 10 Pro as your next phone then the chances are you are drawn to this phone for the stunning camera specifications.
Huawei has teamed up with Leica once again on the Mate 10 Pro with the main cameras being a 20-megapixel monochrome sensor with secondary 12-megapixel RGB sensor both with F1.6 apertures.
Other phone brands might leave the camera specs there and call it good, but Huawei has taken the cameras to the next level with OIS, PDAF, Laser focus and Depth Auto Focus! The dual cameras will let you take native black and white photos (a feature I’ve played with very little) and also gives the phone 2 x optical zoom.
The front camera is a fixed focus F2.0 8 megapixel sensor. I prefer the fact that the rear camera is the main focus of the Huawei Mate 10 Pro, other phone makers have been adding better front sensors to their devices but I’ve found performance to be lacking. Huawei has got it the right way around with both the front and rear cameras offering great performance in all situations.
In addition to the hardware, the Mate 10 Pro also has a feature-packed camera application that uses AI to assist you to take the perfect shot.
In auto mode, the Mate 10 Pro will use its dedicated AI chip to determine what you’re about to shoot and adjust the settings to suit. Pointing the Mate 10 Pro at flowers means the camera app switches to a ‘nature’ setting and shows a small leaf icon. Point the camera at food and the setting switch automatically to food mode. Other modes include pet, person, text and night. If the app doesn’t recognize the subject no icon will show and you’ll be shooting in a regular auto mode.
You can trick the AI, for example, a stuffed toy shows up as a pet, and photos of food will also get the food setting to show up. I’ve still not been able to get the pet setting to show when taking photos of my brother though, but I continue to try.
As for performance, the Huawei Mate 10 Pro is the best camera phone I have ever used! The photos are simply stunning in all situations and the amount of detail the camera picks up is truly unbelievable. Check out some photos samples below.Huawei Mate 10 Pro Review – Photo Gallery What I love about the Huawei Mate 10 Pro
The dual Leica camera, F1.6 aperture and clever camera AI are incredible!
Battery life is a solid 2 days of heavy use.
Audio is sublime.What I don’t like about the Huawei Mate 10 Pro
Data connectivity is dreadful.
Smart WIFI/Data switching isn’t all that smart.
Odd notifications that don’t seem to notify me of anything.Huawei Mate 10 Pro Review – Conclusion
Huawei has made a top of the line phone that boasts features that everyone will love and appreciate. The cameras are incredible and for the first time, I feel that a phone is getting to DSLR beating levels of performance. Battery life is surprisingly good too, although they did take out the 3.5mm headphone jack to get a larger battery in the phone.
What is annoying though is the very poor data connectivity. While a strong WIFI signal is much appreciated, the fact that I’m more surprised to have a signal rather than not is a very bad sign. There are times I simply cannot use my phone, and while the camera, audio, and screen are stunning, a phone isn’t all that much use if you can’t call anyone or connect to the web.
I’m hoping with all my heart that an update will pop up to resolve the poor data issue, but as of the time of writing that has yet to come.
The Mate X is proof the future is nearly here, but you might not want to buy a first generation foldable phone. But there’s no doubt this is better hardware than the Galaxy Fold – we’ll have to wait and see if the software is as good.
Huawei, the embattled Chinese tech superpower, has announced its first foldable smartphone at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The device, called the Mate X, came just four days after the fanfare of Samsung’s similar Galaxy Fold device.
Tech Advisor was at a preview event to view the new phone before its announcement. We weren’t allowed hands-on time but saw the device working in a demo area. No media at all were allowed to hold the device so photographs will have to suffice for now.
The Mate X comes in interstellar blue (the little of it that isn’t screen), though that’s hard to see in real life.
Here’s our first impressions on a stunning new form factor for smartphones.
Best in Show – See our MWC 2023 Award Winners!Price and availability
OK, so it is expensive. A Mate X with 8GB RAM and 512GB storage will cost €2,299. That’s compared to the €2,000 Galaxy Fold. £1,000 iPhone X from 2023 eat your heart out.
Huawei said the phone will ship from the ‘middle of 2023’. It’s since been delayed and though a UK release date is unknown it has been confirmed that Mate X will go on sale in China on 15 November.
When it does finally go on sale the Mate X is said to have had a bit of a spruce up since we last saw it, now with the Kirin 990 chip and upgraded cameras. Trusted Reviews has unearthed images at TENAA that reveal a new ToF camera and mention two variants: 6GB RAM/128GB storage and 8GB RAM/256GB storage.Screen to be believed
Debatably more a tablet than a phone, the Mate X appears to outdo Samsung by having three displays – the largest of which is 8in, has no notch impediment and is edge to edge.
The device has a display on the front and the back when closed but can fold outwards, opposite to the book-like opening on the Galaxy Fold. On the Mate X these displays are actually one single panel that can fold along a hinge. Maybe it’s because we’ve seen it up close, unlike the Fold, but the Mate X just looks better.
We saw a similar concept on the Royole Flexpai at CES but that was a mere prototype – Huawei is fully flexing its might here, and the Mate X is leagues ahead and ready for market.
The 8in main tablet display is practically bezel-less where the Fold has a large camera notch cut-out.
The Mate X has a 6.6in display on the front when closed that acts as a traditional smartphone display. It looks pin sharp, running the same Android 9 Pie with EMUI 9 that you’d find on the Mate 20 Pro. It also shares the Kirin 980 processor of that phone, along with a Balong 5000 7nm 5G chipset, so it’s a phone ready for the next-gen of mobile networking.
The foldable design means this likely insanely expensive concept phone has a screen that is fully plastic, with no glass in sight.Opposite number
The Mate X is a svelte thing that is only 11mm thick when fully closed and a ridiculous 5.4mm when unfolded. As Huawei pointed out, that’s thinner than practically every phone out there, and even thinner than Apple’s latest iPad Pro.
The Mate X will be too expensive and alien for a lot of people but for us, this is one of the most impressive pieces of modern smartphone design in years. Like the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, it hints at where consumer technology is heading and has seemingly come out of nowhere.
It will be to Samsung’s chagrin that one of its key rivals has outdone it on this front.Design chops
Huawei’s decision to have the cameras on a bar module that you hold at one end seems to be the correct decision here and is reminiscent of the Kindle Oasis.
The bar holds the camera set up, USB-C port and more while dual batteries in each half of the display makes up a 4500mAh battery. Huawei said it has developed 55W SuperCharge tech for the Mate X that will charge it from 0-85% in 30 minutes.
More specs will follow, as at our briefing there were no questions taken despite the lack of further details.
Huawei demoed the phone behind a rope (yes, really) and showed the phone in every way you can use it. Shut, the 6.6in display looks manageable albeit in two hands, while the rear display seems to be there to basically act as a selfie mirror. We’re sure there are more practical uses, but really, it’s just there to bleed into the front screen as the device’s large display when it’s opened.Behind the veil
The decision to show media the device in this controlled fashion has us believe that, again like Samsung, Huawei has made a technological marvel but is cautious about the software bugs. A room with scores of tech journalists will quickly find way to pick holes in a new device as much as they have just fawned over it.
We’re not sure when we’ll be able to go hands-on with the Mate X but it’s certainly a giant leap into the mobile future. It doesn’t feel like the sea change of the original iPhone but it hints at the creativity new technologies are giving to smartphone companies in 2023 that allow them to think beyond the black slab design.
The fact this product comes from Huawei, a manufacturer that has raced to the top of the OEM tree in less than five years, is all the more impressive.Related stories for further reading
As far as we’re aware, the main camera sensor inside the HUAWEI Mate 20 Pro is essentially the same as the P20 Pro. It’s a 40MP, 1/1.7-inch sensor with 1.0µm pixel sizes that can be combined via pixel binning to produce 2µm 10MP shots for better light capture. The lens retains a f/1.8 aperture and 27mm focal length.
Camera shootout samplesDetail at a distance
A 40-megapixel camera is overkill for most shooting situations, but it’s really good for capturing extra detail in long distance and macro shots. That’s what we’re predominantly going to test here, looking for fine details, as well as general color balance and exposure.
First, a full-frame outdoor shot. The most obvious difference here is the color balance. The Lumia 1020 opts for a warmer, more colorful pallet than the Mate 20 Pro. However, the Mate 20 Pro gets the nod here for its more realistic look. The Lumia 1020 oversaturates the grass.
Closer inspection of the 100 percent crop reveals very similar levels of detail between the two cameras. The Mate 20 Pro has its pros and cons here. While there’s a smidgen of extra detail and highlight capture on the roof tiles, the sharpening and denoising algorithms ruin other aspects of the image.
This is particularly noticeable in the shadows. While the Lumia 1020 presents smooth shadows on the side of the house, the Mate 20 Pro creates a spackled, painted-looking effect that’s not very realistic. The tree is also captured much more clear on the Mate 20 Pro, while the Lumia presents a very soft image that almost blurs the branches into the sky. Although HUAWEI’s extra clarity comes partly from the use of some sharpening in its post-processing pipeline.
Unfortunately, the Lumia 1020 becomes increasingly noisy and smudged looking towards the edges of the image. It’s not unusual for camera resolution to be superior in the center of a camera frame, but the 1020 suffers from this problem quite noticeably. The Mate 20 Pro holds up a little better at the edges (see the grass and leaves in the image below), but we can again clearly see the heavy denoise algorithm working on the branches and shadows.
Time for another outdoor example, but we’ll save some space and just look at the crop this time. Key things to look for in this picture is the clarity of the metal bars on the left, the noise and clarity of the text on the right, and the depth of the blacks in the shadows underneath the sculpture.
Here the Lumia 1020 appears sharper in the foreground, particularly on the top left of the crop and around the edges of the sculpture. However, the background on the right of the crop is noticeably noisier and less defined than the Mate 20 Pro’s photo. It’s clear HUAWEI’s heavier reliance on denoise post-processing works better in some areas than others, and it doesn’t look very good on straight lines. Overall the colors are both pretty good.
One final outdoor crop. Again, the Mate 20 Pro’s details pop more than the Lumia’s, but this is again a mix of post-processing and some small improvement to its resolvable resolution. The straight lines on the brickwork appear to suffer from HUAWEI’s denoise algorithm once again, but the sharpening does pick out some extra dynamic range in the texture detail. The Lumia is noisier than HUAWEI once again, which can be easily observed in the sky. There are definitely pros and cons to each camera here.
One final note. The branches on the left in the Lumia 1020 picture seem slightly purple, a telltale sign of chromatic aberration from the camera lens. The effect pops up with the Mate 20 Pro, but to a lesser extent. The Mate 20 Pro isn’t immune from problems in this picture though — there’s a clear border on the top edge of the building.
This doesn’t appear on the branches, where the Mate 20 Pro produced a noticeable halo, and it’s clear the sharpening effect isn’t as strong as before. This could be the result of the sharpening and denoise algorithm, or perhaps from multi-frame exposure stitching.Macro shots
However, there’s an odd haloing effect around the edge of the leaves in the Mate 20 Pro picture. It’s tough to tell if this the result of a typical oversharpening problem or a side effect of multi-frame exposure processing. The highlights are arguably also slightly overexposed in this image, which some purists certainly won’t care for. The painting effect of the denoise algorithm can also be noticed on some of the leaf textures.
In this final shot, again the HUAWEI Mate 20 Pro comes out clearer, albeit with some rather strong highlights. Although most of the details are again like for like. The Nokia Lumia 1020 seems to have a little trouble keeping everything in focus, seemingly because of trouble with light capture, which is indicated by the rather large amount of noise near the bottom of the crop.
Overall, the Mate 20 Pro captures a smidgen more detail but is much heavier on the post-processingLow light performance
Performance in low light is simple enough to judge. Less noise is obviously desirable, as long as an excessive denoise algorithm doesn’t brush over details. The P20 Pro was rather overzealous in that regard last time we tested, but the Mate 20 Pro has clearly dialed back the level of denoise processing applied.
This example is a clear win for the HUAWEI Mate 20 Pro. Not only is the noise far less pronounced, but the color balance and exposure are notably better too. There is still some noise present, but that’s normal for such small pixel sizes in very low light. The Lumia 1020 struggled to focus with light any lower than this and clearly suffers from a substantial amount of grain. We can also see colors leaking across pixels, resulting in poorly defined edges around our little Android figure. Say what you will about about mobile camera technology development over the past five years, low light performance has improved substantially.The scientific method
If you’re not a fan of this subjective testing I’ve also put both phones through our camera testing suite, where we can accurately measure color accuracy, resolvable resolution, noise, and more. Here are the results.
Based on the numbers from our lab, the HUAWEI Mate 20 Pro is the better shooter in detail capture, noise, and color accuracy. The Nokia Lumia 1020 still performs reasonably well by today’s standards, but the image quality towards the edges of the frame prevents the camera from fully realizing the benefits of its high-resolution sensor. At the very least, we can conclude HUAWEI’s work on the lenses and color processing in the Mate 20 Pro pay off.
In real-world shots, we see the scientific analysis clearly reflected in the level of detail and colors from our sample shots. That being said, some lingering issues with HUAWEI’s sharpening and denoise algorithms prevent this from being a home run. The situation has improved from the P20 Pro, but there’s clearly still room to further tweak HUAWEI’s camera setup. Even so, it’s the best 40MP smartphone shooter in town.
Few desktop environments have benefited from the recent diversity of interfaces more than Mate and Xfce.
A year ago, Mate hadn’t even reached general release. However, since then, it has been influential in making Linux Mint the distribution of choice among experienced users. Similarly, after years of being the third most popular desktop environment, Xfce has become one of the major alternatives.
However, despite their similarities, which one is likely to appeal to you depends on what you are looking for in an interface.
The newfound popularity of the two desktops is explained largely by the fact that both are based on GNOME 2. Mate is a fork of GNOME 2, openly intended as an alternative for those dissatisfied with GNOME 3 and Ubuntu’s Unity. Having spent several years consciously imitating it, Xfce also resembles GNOME 2, down to the wording of many menu items and dialog boxes.
As a result, both Mate and Xfce can be classified as traditional desktops. They consist of a desktop display, a panel and a launcher, and both are largely free of 3-D effects, the influence of mobile devices or any effort to innovate in any major design elements. Contrariwise, each includes the technically useless screen-saver, presumably in keeping with tradition and users’ expectations.
Each is an obvious example of the type of interface that was introduced in the mid-1990s, and remained dominant until the last four years.
However, the aims of Mate and Xfce differ strongly, to judge from each project’s home page. Mate proclaims itself “the traditional desktop environment,” and so far its developers have sought to do little else than to continue to make a popular desktop environment easily available.
By contrast, Xfce’s home page summarizes the desktop environment as “fast and low on system resources, while still being visually appealing and user friendly.” Like Mate, Xfce generally lives up to its self-description.
In addition, Xfce still shows signs of its more geeky past. The project only added user-friendliness as its goal around 2006. Even a few years after that, Xfce hadn’t completed the simple, user-friendly task of adding a desktop launcher.
Instead, for the first year of its existence, Xfce emphasized speed and a small footprint. Evidence of these priorities lingers even now in the interface’s inconsistencies and the tendency towards buttons and lists in dialogs and configuration settings. One or two dialogs, such as the Setting Editor might still seem formidable to less experienced users. So might the file manager’s option to “Open Parents.”
Nor has Xfce spent as much time as modern alternatives like Unity have in worrying about such details as rounded-corners or the width of scroll and slider bars. Despite the introduction of user-friendliness as an equal goal, to this day Xfce tends to have a blocky, slightly awkward appearance.
By contrast, Mate draws upon a decade of incremental development for GNOME 2. If it is less consistent and less current than modern desktop environments, it is still more consistent and less old-fashioned in appearance than Xfce.
At the same time, if Mate is faster than GNOME 3, it is less responsive than Xfce in every way imaginable, from start time to the speed with which windows open and shut.
But these generalities are only part of the story. There may be individual features scattered through both desktop environments that influence your choice as well.
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