Posts Tagged ‘Mate’

AT&T decision to drop Huawei Mate 10 Pro reportedly made under pressure from US Congress

17 Jan

According to a report by Reuters AT&T’s decision to not sell the Huawei Mate 10 Pro, currently one of the best camera smartphones, in the US might have been made under pressure from the US Congress.

According to the report, lawmakers did pressure the communications company to drop its plans to offer Huawei’s devices to customers. AT&T is also being urged by Senators and House members to put an end to its collaboration with the Chinese manufacturer on standards for its 5G network.

The report claims that companies are being told that doing business with Huawei, China Mobile and other Chinese companies could reduce the chances of procuring government contracts. “The next wave of wireless communication has enormous economic and national security implications,” said Michael Wessel of a US-Chain security review commission. “China’s participation in setting the standards and selling the equipment raises many national security issues that demand strict and prompt attention.”

According to US intelligence information, Huawei has shared sensitive information with the Chinese government

In addition, Congress has proposed a bill that would prevent any government agencies from working with the Chinese company. The proposal says that, according to US intelligence information, Huawei has shared sensitive information with the Chinese government, and that Chinese security agencies can make use of Huawei equipment to spy on US businesses.

As one would expect, Huawei insists that its technology does not come with any built-in tools for access to US communications infrastructure. The company also told Reuters that its equipment is used by 45 of the world’s top 50 carriers, for all of whom security is a priority.

The good news is that If you are based in the US and did like the Mate 10 Pro’s camera performance in our full review, you’ll still be able to purchase the device, just not through a carrier. Instead you can buy the unlocked version on Amazon, Best Buy and other retailers.

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Huawei Mate 10 Pro camera review

13 Jan

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The Mate 10 Pro is Huawei’s new flagship smartphone and the latest in its line of Leica-camera equipped devices. The dual-cam setup combines a 12MP RGB sensor with a 20MP monochrome chip. Like on previous high-end Huaweis, the latter allows for a native black-and-white mode, and Huawei claims that the combination of captured image data from both sensors leads to improved dynamic range and lower noise levels.

Both of the dual-cam lenses feature a fast F1.6 aperture, and optical image stabilization is on board as well. The high-resolution setup allows for what Huawei calls a 2x lossless zoom, and PDAF combined with laser and depth sensors enables fast and precise autofocus. The Mate 10 Pro is capable of recording 4K video at 30 fps and the front camera captures images at an 8MP resolution.

Huawei isn’t relying on hardware alone though—AI and neural networking are applied to improve the quality of the fake bokeh mode, and object recognition for automatic scene selection also relies on some AI magic. Finally, motion detection is being used to reduce motion blur in low light conditions.

Find out how Huawei hardware and software play together and the Mate 10 Pro shapes up in our testing on the following pages.

Key Photographic / Video Specifications

  • Leica-branded dual-camera
  • Dual 12MP RGB / 20MP Monochrome
  • F1.6 aperture
  • OIS
  • 2x lossless zoom
  • 4-in-1 AF with depth, contrast, PDAF and laser
  • dual-LED flash
  • 4K video
  • 8MP front camera

Other Specifications

  • 6″ 2160 x 1080 OLED HDR display, 18:9 aspect ratio
  • Corning Gorilla Glass
  • EMUI 8.0 / Android 8.0 (Oreo)
  • Hisilicon Kirin 970 CPU Octa-core
  • 128GB storage, 6 GB RAM or 64GB storage, 4GB RAM
  • microSD, up to 256 GB
  • Hi-Res 32bit audio
  • 4000 mAh battery with fast charging

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AT&T won’t sell the Huawei Mate 10 in the US over political concerns

12 Jan

Chinese device manufacturer Huawei was widely expected to announce its first distribution partnership for a flagship smartphone in the US with carrier AT&T at CES this week. However, the carrier pulled out of the agreement at the last minute for reasons that are not entirely clear, though there is some interesting speculation.

According to a report by the New York Times, it appears Huawei’s strong ties with the Chinese government and a fear of espionage have played an important role in the decision. This means that Huawei yet again won’t have an opportunity to compete eye-to-eye with its main rivals Apple and Samsung in the US, as its flagship device Mate 10 Pro will only be available to buy online, through retailers such as Amazon or Best Buy.

If you live in the US and are not so concerned about Chinese espionage, the Mate 10 Pro is definitely worth a closer look. With a 6-inch 18:9 OLED screen, Kirin 970 processor, 6GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, and its Leica-branded 12MP dual camera setup, it’s firmly placed in the high-end bracket of the market. That’s a lot smartphone for the $ 800 retail price.

Oh, and its camera is also one of the best among the current crop of flagship phones.

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Photo Mate Raw conversion app for Android goes freemium

28 Nov

Photo Mate, arguably the most comprehensive image viewer and Raw-developer application for Android devices, has been updated to version R3 3.2. But that’s not the exciting part: the best part is that it’s now available as a free ad-supported version.

The new version still offers most of the features available in the full app—such as decoding and basic editing of raw files, cropping, exporting, rating and image stacking. The workflow has just been augmented with ads, which will be visible in the gallery, and users have to watch a video ad before switching to editing mode.

Users who already own the app continue to get the full feature set and ad-free experience, while new users can decide between the ad-supported version or upgrade to the full version via an in-app purchase that removes ads and gets you access to the following extra-features:

  • Luminance and Sharpening
  • Layer editing
  • Custom export presets
  • Organizing and filtering of images in a library
  • Batch renaming and export
  • Custom watermarks
  • Display calibration
  • Side-by-side image comparison
  • Display of geo-tagged images on map

An upgrade to the full version will cost you $ 6.50 on Google Play, and more information is available on the Photo Mate website. You can also still read our comprehensive review of the app below:

Review of Photo Mate R2

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Huawei Mate 9 quick review

14 May

The Huawei Mate 9 comes with specifications that are in many ways very similar to the slightly newer P10 model. However, as the Chinese manufacturer’s current flagship phablet, the Mate 9 offers a Full-HD display that is, at 5.9″, quite a lot larger than the P10’s 5.1″ equivalent and is overall a chunkier and heavier device.

Like on all recent Huawei high-end models, the Mate 9’s dual-camera was co-developed with German camera manufacturer Leica. It comes with a 20MP monochrome sensor that is combined with a 12MP RGB chip to achieve better image results than conventional cameras. Both lenses feature an F2.2 aperture, complemented by a 6-axis optical image stabilization system and a 4-in-1 hybrid AF that combines contrast detection, phase detection, laser time-of-flight measurements and depth information. The Mate 9 can also record 4K video and has a front camera features an 8MP sensor and F1.9 aperture.

In terms of imaging features, the Mate 9 offers everything you would expect from a true high-end smartphone. The camera app’s Pro mode gives you manual controls and DNG Raw capture. There are panorama and HDR modes and some dual-cam based features, such as a portrait mode with a simulated shallow depth-of-field effect. 

The Mate 9 camera app allows you to adjust all essential shooting parameters using virtual sliders.

The rest of the specification is all worthy of a flagship model as well. Android 7.0 and Huawei’s EMUI 5.0 launcher are powered by the in-house Kirin 960 chipset and the large 4000mAh battery comes with Huawei’s own quick-charging system.

Key specifications:

  • Dual-cam with 12MP RGB sensor and 20MP monochrome sensor
  • F2.2 apertures on both lenses
  • Optical image stabilization 
  • Hybrid AF with contrast detection, phase detection and laser measurement
  • 4K video
  • Manual control over shutter speed
  • DNG Raw capture
  • 8MP / F1.9 front camera
  • 5.9″ LCD IPS display with 1080p
  • Android 7.0
  • Kirin 960 chipset
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB storage and microSD-slot
  • 4000mAh battery with quick charging

Image quality in good light

In good light the Mate 9 camera captures images with good exposure and pleasant colors that are vibrant but still natural. The dual-cam setup is also capable of maintaining better highlight detail than many competitors, making the Huawei a good choice for shooting in high-contrast situations. 

The Leica lenses provide very good sharpness across the frame and into the corners. When viewing the Huawei’s low-ISO image output at a 100% there are no artifacts such as chromatic aberrations, color bleeding or moire but blue skies show noticeable luminance noise. Fine low-contrast textures, such as distant vegetation, are a little smeared by noise reduction but overall the Huawei captures very good detail. 

 ISO 50, 1/1751 sec

In the scene below the Mate 9 camera maintains very good highlight detail in the bright sunshine.

 ISO 50, 1/1307 sec

The Huawei Mate 9 colors are vibrant but not quite as punchy and unnaturally saturated as on some competitors.

 ISO 50, 1/1715 sec

In the portrait scene below the camera does a very good job at balancing exposure between in the bright sunlit background and the shaded subject.

 ISO 50, 1/428 sec

Image quality in low light conditions

In low light the Mate 9 camera performs very well across the ISO range. Color response and white balance are good, even in mixed light situations, and the camera produces good exposures down to very low light levels. 

Noise and the effects of noise reduction become more intrusive as the ISO value goes up but the Huawei always maintains a good balance between noise reduction and detail retention. Chroma noise is well under control and grain tends to be fine and less intrusive than on some competitors. Even shots captured in very dark scenes still show some finer textures and decent edge detail. Overall the Mate 9 camera performs very well in low light, letting the Huawei compete with the very best in dim conditions. 

At ISO 100 a very minor reduction of detail is just about noticeable but you have to zoom in to a 100% view to see. Color and exposure are very good. 

 ISO 100, 1/100 sec

The ISO 250 shot below was captured in a tungsten-lit interior. The white balance system is doing a good job at producing a fairly neutral color response that preserves some of the scene’s warm atmosphere. At full-size view luminance noise becomes visible but the grain size is very small and much less intrusive than the smeared ‘noise blobs’ on some other cameras.

 ISO 250, 1/33 sec

The camera does a good job in the difficult light conditions of the indoor scene below. The optical image stabilization usually keep things steady but, like on most smartphone cameras, at slow shutter speeds even minor subject motion leads to slight softness.

 ISO 640, 1/17 sec

For the night scene below the camera’s auto mode selected ISO 1250. In these difficult conditions noise is visible even at smaller image sizes and a lot of fine detail has been eradicated by noise reduction. However, in comparison to many competitors the Mate 9 is still doing a very good job. Some low-contrast textures are preserved and noise levels are comparatively low. The auto exposure system is also doing an excellent job at balancing the bright portions of the scene against the darker elements. 

 ISO 1250, 1/4 sec


The Mate 9’s dual-LED flash performed well in our testing. When using the flash the camera tends to keep ISO pretty low, allowing for good detail and low noise levels. Exposure is good with subjects across the table but can get a little too dark at slightly longer distances. Auto white balance usually ensures natural skin tones, even in mixed light situations. 

 ISO 320, 1/25 sec

Front camera

The Mate 9’s front camera comes with an 8MP resolution and resolves good detail in bright light. It also offers better dynamic range than most front cameras we have seen and deals very well with bright backlit scenes, such as the one below. As you would expect, image quality starts suffering as light levels get lower but a display flash function allows for self-portraits even in very dark situations.

 Front camera, ISO 50, 1/1427 sec

Panorama mode

The Mate 9’s panorama mode works in the same way as on other recent Huawei high-end models. You can capture both vertical and horizontal panoramas and a guide line helps you keep things as straight as possible during recording. 

At usually just over 10,000 pixels wide the Mate 9’s panorama images are quite a bit smaller than on recent iPhones or Samsung Galaxy models and only cover a 180 degree angle of view. However, image detail is pretty good, there are only minor stitching errors and the mode deals well with moving subjects in the scene. 

Vertical panorama, 11274 x 3072 pixels

DNG Raw capture

When shooting in its Pro mode you can set the Mate 9 camera to save DNG Raw files in addition to JPEG images. 

Out-of-camera JPEG, ISO 50, 1/1000 sec

The Raw sample below was converted in Adobe ACR. We applied some negative digital exposure compensation and slightly lifted the shadow areas for an overall more natural tonal distribution and applied some small-diameter sharpening. If you click through to the full-sized version you can see that by doing so you can achieve noticeably better detail and reduce highlight clipping on some of the brighter elements in the scene (though the better highlight roll-off has as much to do with being able to access ACR’s cleverness as anything the phone is contributing). 

DNG Raw file, converted in Adobe ACR


The Huawei Mate 9 can capture video in up to 4K resolution and 120 fps slow motion clips at 720p. The 1080p Full-HD sample below shows good color and detail but panning is not quite as smooth as the best in class. The quality of the stereo sound recording is good in most situations. 


The Huawei Mate 9 comes with high-end components that are wrapped up in a solid metal body with a premium look and feel, a comprehensive imaging feature set, a well-structured camera app and very good image quality across all light levels. In bright light the Mate 9 camera lags very slightly behind the best in class in terms of image detail and noise but delivers excellent dynamic range, making it a great camera for shooting in high-contrast situations.

In lower light the camera maintains an excellent balance between noise reduction and detail retention at all light levels and even images taken in very low light still show some fine textures, making the Huawei an excellent choice for mobile photographers who like shooting in dim conditions. Panning in video mode is not quite as smooth as on the iPhone or Google Pixel devices but if video is not too high up your list the Huawei Mate 9 is a very powerful tool for mobile photography.

If you prefer smaller smartphones you should have a closer look at the Huawei P10, which offers very similar all-around specifications in a noticeably smaller package. 

Huawei Mate 9 sample gallery

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DxOMark image quality test report released for Huawei Mate 9

24 Dec

The Mate 9 is Huawei latest flagship smartphone and comes with a Leica-powered dual-camera that combines a 20MP monochrome sensor with a 12MP RGB chip. Image data from both sensors is combined for optimized image quality.

The test engineers at DxOMark have now put the new technology through its paces and with a score of 85 the Mate 9 performs respectably but cannot take one of the top spots. It slots in at a joint 12th position, just behind the LG G5 and iPhone 7. It shares this spot with the LG V20, which was also recently added to DxO’s mobile rankings.

In still image mode the testers liked the good detail preservation, accurate white balance and good exposure of the device but deducted points for inconsistent color in cloudy conditions, color casts with flash use and some ghosting artifacts. Video footage also showed good detail and exposure and was well-stabilized. On the downside, there is a noticeable jello effect when recording while walking and visible noise and reduced detail in low light. You can read the full report on

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Huawei Mate 9 comes with next generation Leica dual-cam

04 Nov

Huawei has today launched its latest top-end phablet, the Mate 9. The new device features a large 5.9″ LCD IPS display with 1080p resolution and 1500:1 contrast ratio. In the camera department the Mate 9 comes with a new dual-camera that, like its counterpart in the P9, was co-developed with camera manufacturer Leica.

The new version of the Huawei dual-cam boosts resolution of its monochrome sensor to 20MP (up from 12MP in the P9) with a 12MP color chip. Both lenses feature an F2.2 aperture. There is a new 6-axis optical image stabilization system and a 4-in-1 hybrid AF system that combines, contrast detection, phase detection, laser time-of-flight measurements and depth information. 

As before, image data from both sensors is combined to achieve better image results than conventional cameras. Like on the P9, the dual-camera can also simulate the bokeh of a fast lens on a DSLR, but Huawei says the effect has been improved and is now visible in the live-view image. 

In addition the camera features a new hybrid zoom system, which uses image information from the 20MP monochrome sensor for ‘lossless’ digital zooming of the 12MP standard image output. Huawei says that, thanks to improved compression methods, the camera’s 4K video mode creates smaller file sizes without a loss in image quality. The front camera features an 8MP sensor and F1.9 aperture. 

Android 7.0 and Huawei’s EMUI 5.0 launcher are powered by the in-house Kirin 960 CPU, which, according to Huawei, delivers 180% more performance than the predecessor Kirin 950. Huawei also claims the 4000mAh battery is good for 2.5 days of normal use per charge, or 1.7 days of intensive use. An improved version of Huawei’c quick charging system is on board as well. The Huawei Mate 9 with 4GB RAM, 64GB storage and microSD support will be available in mocha, black, white, gold, space grey and silver and cost €699 in Europe (approximately $ 775). 

Huawei also introduced a limited Porsche Design edition of the Mate 9. This luxury device comes with 6GB of RAM, 256GB of internal memory and features a 5.5″ curved 2K AMOLED display. Other specifications are identical to the standard Mate 9. The Porsche Edition will be sold exclusively through Porsche Design Stores and set you back a hefty €1395 ($ 1545).

Related: Huawei P9 Review

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Huawei Mate S camera review

07 Apr

The Huawei Mate S boasts a 13MP RGBW sensor, an F2.0 lens and optical image stabilization, with a build quality that places it at the premium end of the market. While its spec positions it against the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S6 and LG G4, if your priority is imaging capabilities the Mate S can’t quite match the competition. Read more

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Photo Mate R3 brings improved Raw editing on Android

02 Feb

Photo Mate, arguably the most comprehensive Raw image editing app for Android, has received a substantial update. Version R3 comes with an all-new rendering engine for both Raw & JPEG editing. This includes improvements to all the important adjustments, such as contrast, shadows, highlights and exposure. Read more

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Review: Photo Mate R2 brings Raw processing to Android devices

18 Jan


Ever since the original Apple iPad was launched in 2010 tablets have been the image viewing and presentation device of choice for many photographers. Tablets can also be a good alternative to fully-fledged laptops for those who prefer to travel light. However, up to now, tablets have not been a serious option for those photographers who prefer to shoot in Raw format. Enter Photo Mate R2: a fully-featured raw converter for Android. Read our review to find out how (and how well) it works. 

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