News catch up: Week ending 23rd August

  • Here’s some of the news you might have missed this week.

OnePlus and Huawei win top awards before big German consumer electronics show

OnePlus and Huawei should be proud after winning prestigious EISA (Expert Imaging and Sound Association) awards ahead of next week’s IFA technology showcase in Berlin.

OnePlus snagged the ‘Best Smartphone 2020-21’ award for the OnePlus 8 Pro.

“We are honored to receive the EISA’s best smartphone of the year award for the OnePlus 8 Pro, our most technologically advanced and beautifully designed flagship phone so far,

“At OnePlus, we work hard to constantly create the best experience for our users, and the OnePlus 8 Pro demonstrates our commitment to sharing the best technology with the world.”

Pete Lau, Founder and CEO of OnePlus.

Meanwhile, Huawei picked up an award for the P40 Pro in the ‘Best Smartphone Camera’ category, and ‘Best Smartwatch’ went to the Huawei Watch GT 2.

“We are thrilled to continue our winning streak with EISA and pleased with the recognition of two of our standout products, the Huawei P40 Pro and Huawei Watch GT 2,

“With every device, Huawei is committed to bringing new and exciting experiences to consumers, from a smartwatch that can push your workout limits with the Huawei Watch GT 2 to a smartphone that is breaking boundaries of smartphone photography with the Huawei P40 Pro.”

Kevin Ho, President of Handset Business, Huawei Consumer Business Group.

Zepp launches the Zepp E Circle and Zepp E Square smart watches

Zepp has introduced the Zepp E line-up of wearables, ‘designed with wellness in mind’.

The watches boast a 3D curved bezel design, always-on-display, 11 sports modes, and water resistance to five atmospheres.

With the integrated heart rate sensor, the health metrics include sleep (even including short naps), stress monitoring, plus blood-oxygen saturation measuring.

A Personal Activity Intelligence feature turns the data into a single metric to give a easily understood score to help advise the user on the state of their physical condition.

Both the Zepp E Circle and Zepp E Square watches have a pure-black 3D curved bezel free glass display with a polished stainless-steel back fused together.

Despite being just 9mm thin, the watches can last up to seven days on a single charge.

Multiple strap designs are available, including metal, leather and fluoroelastomer.

The Zepp E watches will go on sale from September 1st in the UK, with prices starting at £209.

More information: Zepp

Samsung Galaxy Note 20s go on sale

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra 5G are now on sale in the UK, available to buy from all Samsung channels, Samsung KX, nationwide experience stores and selected partners.

Samsung is also offering trade-in discounts, 0% finance and other deals via networks on pay-monthly contracts.

The newly launched Note devices are accompanied by the two new Galaxy S7 and S7+ tablets, Galaxy Watch 3 and Galaxy Buds Live.

More information: Samsung Note 20 line-up

Mobvoi launches ultra-affordable TicWatch GTX

Here’s another new smart watch, and another watch that won’t break the bank. The TicWatch GTX from Mobvoi will retail for just £54.99.

The TicWatch GTX is available now to pre-order, and includes 14 workout modes, personalised watch faces and up to ten days battery life.

The watch is the result of manufacturer Mobvoi’s desire to develop a watch that includes all the everyday essentials, including workout functionality, sleep tracking, push notifications and all at a lower price point.

Data can be accessed via your smartphone or the watch itself.

A total of 21 watch faces can be chosen from, as well as using a photo from your smartphone as a background.

More information: Mobvoi

Amazon Echo Flex helps you tell the time

Amazon has launched another accessory for the Echo Flex USB port, giving users the ability to check the time and perform other tasks like setting timers.

The £14.99 add-on requires you to already own an Echo Flex, but you can likely expect bundle deals to pop up from time to time.

The Echo Flex is the most affordable way to add Alexa to any part of your home, by simply plugging into any standard electrical socket. Other accessories include a motion sensor and nightlight.

More information: Amazon UK

Huawei issues Photography Tips for World Photography Day

August 19th was World Photography Day and Huawei published guidance for getting the most from your smartphone camera….

  1. Think about the story: The most impactful narratives are often the ones which inspire people. Whether it’s friends and family, or something more personal, when capturing the world around you, think about what the photo is trying to say, and use the camera to tell your own story.
  1. Perspective is Key: Having a smartphone as a professional camera means you can hold it at all sorts of unusual angles you wouldn’t be able to achieve with a DSLR. Try mixing it up, by getting on the same level as your subject, shooting from lower down or near ground level. This will give the viewer a perspective they likely have not seen before, and can lead to a more captivating photo.
  2. Up close and personal: The natural beauty and complexity of human life is evident through the subtleties within the different facial expressions of your subject. Using the Portrait Mode on the P40 Pro and other Huawei smartphones, you can capture professional level photography with the click of a button, creating a Bokeh effect similar to that of a DSLR. Take advantage of the all new portrait algorithm on the P40 Pro and capture a new headshot with incredible studio-like quality, even at night, thanks to its low light capabilities.
  1. The rule of thirds: The ‘rule of thirds’ will help make your content more aesthetically pleasing. Imagine horizontal and vertical lines dividing the image in three each way; where the lines cross is an aesthetically pleasing place to put the focal point of your image. You can also use gridlines on Huawei devices to make the rule of thirds easier to navigate.
  1. Look for layers: Reflections can be the easiest way to add layers to your images. Keep an eye out for puddles after a rain or shop windows, even the body of a parked car. With good timing and a spot-on exposure, you can turn an average scene into something spectacular.
  1. Low light: The sun doesn’t have to be shining for that Insta-worthy shot. Early mornings and late afternoon when the sun is at its lowest are the prime times for shooting, he light is soft and golden and the shadows give everything depth. Play around with the position of the sun in your photos – for example, you can backlight subjects for an interesting silhouette effect. Huawei’s 50MP Ultra Vision Camera helps to take in massive light and detail for super clarity.
  1. Into the night: Sometimes the most magical pictures are taken under the cloak of darkness or the light from the stars above. Thanks to the P40 Pro Ultra Vision Sensor, which works in tandem with the other powerful cameras in the array, even in the dark, the stunning night skyline can be captured with great lighting, sharp colour and low noise.
  1. Zoom in: With the advancements in smartphone photography zoom capabilities, subjects which were once inaccessible are now prime targets for beautiful shots. Take the P40 Pro’s industry leading telephoto lens for example, with this you can capture incredible close-ups of birds in their natural habitat from metres away, without spooking them. With the phone’s Macro lens, you can capture the intricate detailing of a flower’s petal, which would usually go unnoticed to the naked eye. Compare the extraordinary image quality and clarity of the same scene shot 5x optical zoom.
  2. Use AI effects: Don’t be afraid to use AI effects to help shape your image and bring the detail to life. Thanks to the new Huawei Golden Snap feature, the camera can now identify 18+ scenes to ensure you get the best shot every time. The phone also features a tool help you remove any passers-by or unwanted reflections, combining several frames into one so you can have a clean background ensuring the focus of your shot stands out.
  1. Shoot in Raw: To really take your shots to the next level, try shooting in raw or Pro mode. Raw files are much bigger which means they have more colour brightness information stored in the file. When it comes to editing the shot afterwards, this means you can get loads of extra detail from the shadows, and if you have overexposed any parts, you can dull down the bright sections.

VOXI offers 12GB for £12 in latest deal

VOXI, Vodafone’s virtual network, is offering a new plan with 12GB of data (including endless data for social media) for £12 per month.

The flexible, contract-free, deal allows you to start, pause or stop at any time.

Also included within the deal is unlimited calls and texts, plus free roaming in 48 European destinations.

More information: VOXI

Home workers can enjoy interruption-free Internet with Vodafone ‘Work and Play’

Vodafone is offering home workers the ability to work without any hindrance from other users in the home hogging bandwidth.

With prices starting from £21 per month (35Mbps FTTC service), for existing Vodafone mobile customers, the second broadband connection can be dedicated for a single device if there are other people in the home that could impact the connectivity with video streaming, file downloading and online gaming.

For non-Vodafone mobile users, the prices start at £23 per month for 35Mbps and £25 per month for 67Mbps.

It has been noted elsewhere that a cheaper alternative is to look at your router settings to see if you can already prioritise data, or cap data speeds for other users in the home, to get the same result without a second connection.

More information: Vodafone Work and Play


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