Samsung S20 Ultra Review

The Samsung Galaxy S20 series was released back in Mar 2020, with three variants, the S20, the S20 Plus and the S20 Ultra. The S20 Ultra is the best of the best, sporting a 6.9″ massive display, an improved camera system with higher quality main camera shots and enhanced zoom. The hardware internals in the S20 Ultra is basically the best available now. As a trade-off, it’s relatively heavier and thicker, and also more expensive.

Key Features

The S20 Ultra display is great, the colors are vibrant and offers good brightness and readability. You can turn on 120Hz frame rate, which makes animations on the phone very smooth. This mode is best for gaming, and there are increasingly more games supporting the higher refresh rate. You can’t run 120Hz at full resolution though, Samsung applies a resolution cap at 2400 x 1080 for the 120Hz mode, which could be an attempt to save battery life, and reduce heat. I personally didn’t find the resolution to be a big issue. It’s probably not a technical limitation, since OnePlus and OPPO were able to do it on their 120Hz phones at the higher resolution, so maybe Samsung could turn it on in future, but I wouldn’t bet on it. To support the higher refresh rate, the touch sampling rate of this phone is 240Hz. It’s not immediately apparent, but it helps to make the phone feel more responsive.

The S20 Ultra has a 5000 mAH battery, that’s more than 10% larger than the S20 Plus. In addition, the S20 Ultra features 45W wired fast charging but the default charger in the box is only good up to 25W. So you would need to buy the charger separately. As I was reading, it appears the 45W is only triggered at specific conditions and other comparisons between the 25W and 45W charger indicates that the latter is probably only around 10-20% faster.

Let’s talk about the S20 Ultra camera. A 108MP rear camera, 40MP front camera, 100X zoom. The camera hardware and software has improved in this iteration, and what I like is that it generally works well enough in auto mode to allow you take great photos easily. I did experience that at times, especially in low light conditions, the autofocus can be more miss than hit, taking a while to achieve a proper focus.

Overall, landscape photos, portraits are all great. Photos are generally well saturated and vibrant. Night mode is a little too aggressive in requiring a long exposure time, and while it generally adapts well to minor shakes, getting your subjects (esp. kids) to stay still for almost 10 second is impossible.

The ultra-wide is one of the widest, and distortion is limited. The last camera feature is the 100X Space Zoom. It’s interesting but really more of a gimmick. While you can make out some details, it’s really just a mash of colour at that level of detail.

Is the S20 Ultra worth it? That really depends on how much you are willing to fork out for a phone.

Should we, as the tech community, be at Samsung’s throat about this price? Maybe. It’s insanely high for a normal, conventional glass slab phone. Hell, the Galaxy Z Flip cost $20 less than the Galaxy S20 Ultra and it’s a more charming and fun device. Some people will argue there is no reason to spend over $500 on a phone, and maybe for some, that’s true. The cameras, performance, display, and battery life will all be good enough on those devices. The Galaxy S20 Ultra isn’t about good enough. It’s about the best phone a power user can get and it’s going to cost you a lot to get that.

If the price still seems too high, you should get the regular Galaxy S20 or Galaxy S20+, or even a OnePlus 8 Pro. Those are considerably cheaper than the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra. At the time of writing this review, the Galaxy S20 is available on Amazon for $1,000, the S20+ is available for $1,200, and OnePlus 8 Pro is at $899. If you were to get a Galaxy S20 instead of the Galaxy S20 Ultra, the $400 you save could be spent on a 1TB Micro SD card, 2 wireless chargers, some cases, a second 25W wired charger, and still have some money left over. If I were a reasonable man, I would have done that instead. The differences between the devices aren’t worth $400

Realme 6i – Helio G80 available in Singapore

Realme, one of the newest growing smartphone brand, has unveiled the newest member of the realme 6 series quad camera family in Singapore– the realme 6i.

As the successor to realme 5i, realme 6i brings with it a huge upgrade in camera, performance, and design. The first in its segment, the realme 6i also features the MediaTek Helio G80 processor ensuring a powerful and speedy performance for both mainstream users and gamers alike. In terms of camera, the realme 6i sees an upgrade to a 48MP AI Quad Camera set up, featuring a 48MP main camera, 119° ultra-wide-angle lens (8MP), portrait lens (2MP) and 4cm ultra macro lens (2MP). Combined, this creates a striking photo experience with clearer and beautiful images. For the best screen experience possible, the realme 6i features a 6.5″ HD+ mini drop fullscreen with a dewdrop 30.9% smaller than average.

The colours of Green Tea and White Milk further bring this ethos to life, and injects the phone with a youthful tone, in-line with realme’s global brand.

The realme 6i will be available in two colours; Green Tea and Milk White (4+128GB) and will be priced at $269. The phone will be on sale from 5 June 2020 at all official authorised retailers island wide as well as realme’s Lazada and Shopee flagship stores.

Launch promotion includes free realme 10,000mAH Powerbank worth S$69 with every realme 6i purchased on realme’s flagship stores on Lazada and Shopee between 5th June to 12th June.

Key Features

Supporting the processor is an octa-core CPU with a frequency of up to 2.0GHz, allowing the phone to deliver a 35% and 17% improvement on single-core and multi-core performance respectively compared to the previous generation of phones.

Meanwhile, the phone’s Mali G52 1000MHz GPU delivers 25% better performance for greater image quality and a more stable frame rate, something that will ensure the realme 6i stands out in the gaming world.

In terms of camera, the realme 6i sees an upgrade to a 48MP AI Quad Camera set up, featuring a 48MP main camera, 119° ultra-wide-angle lens (8MP), portrait lens (2MP) and 4cm ultra macro lens (2MP). Combined, this creates a striking photo experience with clearer and beautiful images.

To ensure the phone can keep up with the power it houses, realme has equipped the realme 6i with the largest battery yet. Packing 5000mAh of power, with triple safety protection the realme 6i boasts the longest, safest battery life. The phone also supports 18W(9V2A) quick charge to reduce charging time.

Sudio Ett – ANC Earbuds Review

Sudio’s Ett is their latest wireless earphones and first to feature Active Noise Cancelling.

Specifications

Box contents laid out below. There’s a free tote bag, usage guide, a warranty card, one charging cable, and many ear tips included! Which is good, as it let me find the perfect fit.

  • Active Noise Cancellation (ANC)
  • 6 hours play time, 4 hours with ANC
  • Total battery life: 30 hours, 4 extra charges with the carrying case
  • Wireless charging & quick-charge with USB-C (15 mins for 1 hour play time)
  • IPX5 water protection
  • Dual-microphone, with transparency mode activated during phone calls for enhanced sound quality
  • Multi-function button for controls
  • Automatic pairing
  • Siri & Google assistant compatible
  • Available in 4 colours: Black, White, Green & Pink
  • Free home delivery to your doorstep (worldwide)
  • Weighs 5 g per earbud
  • Bluetooth 5.0

The Sudio Ett is ready to pair the moment it is removed from the charging case. And after initial pairing, you wouldn’t need to do it again. Everything pairs by itself automatically from then on. The Ett also switches back to pairing mode by itself once the connection is terminated; an audio prompt will tell you the earbuds have reverted to scanning mode. Generally easy to use, but might be troublesome if you want it to pair with another device without having to turn bluetooth off on your current one.

The Ett switches on the moment you remove the earbuds from the charging case. To switch it off, press and hold any button for 6 seconds. To switch it back on, you have to return them to the charging case first. I accidentally turned it off and I found it rather troublesome that I had to return them to the case first, but otherwise it’s rather simple to use. But at least there’s still a physical button to control.

The Sudio Ett now features a new colour Matte Green, which might appeal to some, especially for a more rugged look.

The battery life is relatively good, even with noise cancelling on. With the casing, you can extend it for a few more times. Also, the Ett’s casing can be charged wirelessly. Definitely a plus since wireless charging has become more common today.

Sound Quality

No major issues over the sound. It’s generally well balanced and suited for a range of music. One thing to highlight though, not sure if it’s due to the ANC, I tend to get listening fatigue after about an hour or so.

I was quite happy with the ANC on the Sudio ETT. Sitting next to a rather noisy fan, it was able to filter away the buzz and hum from the fan even though I was less than a meter away from it. One challenge was that it requires you to manually turn it on each and every time. For a seamless transition from music to phone calls, transparency mode automatically lets ambient noise through so you can better hear yourself speaking.

Conclusion

Sudio has continued to improve on it’s previous generations of earbuds. Unfortunately, the prices have also increased. Considering that the market is also becoming more competitive, buyers are spoilt for choice and would need to be discerning as to what they feature they really require. But for those needing an IPX5 earbuds and ANC, the Ett fits the bill. Here’s a code for those interested to get 15% off: gadgetreactorEtt at https://www.sudio.com/sg/. There’s free delivery worldwide and comes with 18 months warranty.

New Razer Opus wireless headphones comes with ANC

Razer has launched the Razer Opus wireless headphones that features THX® Certified audio and advanced hybrid Active Noise Cancellation. It will be available at select retail outlets at a recommended retail price of SGD299.90 in September 2020.

With most streaming services now providing high quality audio, a set of headphones able to produce the detail and nuances of these high definition streams is essential. But the sounds of everyday life, from the background hum of the city to the hectic lifestyle of working from home with others around you, can intrude on the listening experience, spoiling your focus and the enjoyment of high-fidelity recordings.

Less noise, more clarity

The Razer Opus uses an Advanced Hybrid Active Noise Cancelling (ANC) system to cancel out external noise, with four dedicated ANC microphones designed to accurately tune out a broad range of external frequencies, resulting in a cleaner, uninterrupted listening experience.

The Razer Opus is THX Certified, ensuring the highest possible audio standards. To achieve the requirements for THX certification, fine details such as a frequency range and response must be capable of delivering clear, detailed vocals and deep impactful bass with zero distortion at high volumes. The result is a pair of headphones that delivers crystal clear audio with a broad, perfectly balanced soundscape.

“Even with our many years of experience in creating headsets for one of the most demanding audiences in the world, the design of the Razer Opus required us to rethink every detail,” said Alvin Cheung, Senior Vice President of Razer’s Peripherals Business Unit. “With the Razer Opus headphones, we are able to deliver a listening experience that will satisfy even the most discerning audiophile, in any environment.”

High comfort, maximum versatility

The Razer Opus’ low weight and plush leatherette foam ear cushions and headband provide a comfortable, pressure-point free fit for long periods of use. Each battery charge lasts up to 25 hours with ANC on, allowing users to enjoy a continued, uninterrupted high-quality sound experience while in a noisy environment.

With additional useful features such as the Quick Attention Mode when needing to hear the outside world and the optional 3.5mm analogue input for maximum device compatibility, the Razer Opus is one of the most versatile and adaptable ANC headphones available.

ABOUT THE RAZER OPUS:

  • THX Certified – For clear vocals & dialog, no distortion, and great noise isolation
  • Advanced ANC – Hybrid active noise cancellation with 4 dedicated ANC mics
  • Crafted for Comfort – Plush leatherette foam ear cushions and headband
  • Opus Mobile App – THX-tuned EQ presets, automatic settings, and battery status
  • Quick Attention Mode – For situational awareness whenever you need it
  • Auto Pause / Auto Play – For seamless media playback
  • On-the-Go Design – Up to 25 hours with ANC on, 3.5mm jack, and carrying case
  • Drivers: 2 x 40mm dynamic drivers
  • Weight: 265g
  • Frequency response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz
  • Microphone: 4 for hybrid ANC, 2 for voice chat
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.2 & 3.5mm
  • Codecs: AAC & APTX, 4.2, A2DP, AVRCP, HFP

Hackthebox: Admirer Writeup

Here’s my writeup for the Admirer Hackthebox Linux machine – 10.10.10.187. It’s an interesting challenge and learnt a couple of new things along the way. Password is the root hash in /etc/shadow and in the following format: M5g******************************f10

Protected Area

This content is password-protected. Please verify with a password to unlock the content.

Make announces Virtually Maker Faire And FREE Family Maker Camp

If you need ideas for projects while at home, check out Make’s Virtually Maker Faire And FREE Family Maker Camp!

Making means different things to people, but is a common thread and community uniting the Make Community.

Family Maker Camp encourages making and hands-on learning at home. Making is fun and engaging for kids as well as adults.

What is making? It can be many things and use all kinds of materials and tools. Making is usually defined as a project shaped by your ideas and interests. Making is as much about the process of taking an idea and bringing it to life. Making integrates science and technology as well as arts and crafts.

Family Maker Camp provides inspiration, guidance and an opportunity to share what you do with others online. We have many projects that will help you get started and continue to develop new skills and a maker mindset.

Most importantly, Family Maker Camp will connect you with a community of makers of all ages who have a broad range of interests and skills. We will introduce you to makers online and have them talk about their projects and their process.

Xiaomi Mi 10 Available in Singapore

Xiaomi has launched the latest devices in its popular Mi smartphone series, Mi 10 and Mi 10 Pro. For the first time ever in Singapore, each device in Xiaomi’s new flagship line is 5G-ready out of the box, enabling the next generation in mobile connectivity. Starting from 13th May 2020, Mi 10 will retail starting from SGD 1,099 and Mi 10 Pro will retail at SGD 1,399. In addition, pre-order promotions for the new smartphones with amazing smart hardware gifts will also be available from May 8-12, 2020.

In a nutshell, the Mi 10 is equipped with the Qualcomm SnapdragonTM 865, an 108MP quad-camera with 8K video recording and a 6.67” 3D curved AMOLED with TrueColor technology. However, while the Mi 9 used to be approx <$600, the Mi 10 now retails for over >$1,000, sadly no longer in the “affordable” flagship range.

Quad camera setup with ultra-clear 108MP sensor captures the ultimate photo and video content

Mi 10 Pro brings photography and videography to the forefront with its impressive hardware setup and software features. Packed with an impressive 108MP primary sensor, Mi 10 Pro offers one of the biggest smartphone sensors currently on the market. 

In addition to shooting ultra-clear 108MP shots, users can document scenes in full perspective, thanks to Mi 10 Pro’s 20MP ultra wide-angle lens. The device includes two dedicated telephoto lenses that cover a wide range of focal lengths: users can snap gorgeous portraits at 2x zoom, or faraway subjects up to 50x zoom with the OIS-stabilized ultra long-range zoom lens. The main camera’s laser autofocus module, AI 2.0, Night mode 2.0, and dual-flash join forces to capture unrivaled details during daytime photography and brighter, clearer photos at night. 

When it comes to videography, Mi 10 Pro goes all in. The device offers the industry-leading UHD 8K 30fps video recording feature to capture every moment in detail, while its unique video modes – including Portrait video, Color focus, ShootSteady, Vlog, and slow motion – allow users to easily create movie-grade content. Mi 10 Pro also offers a Pro mode with additional software options for those striving for a more professional video quality. 

World’s best smartphone audio experience with symmetrical dual speakers

Leveraging best-in-class audio hardware, both Mi 10 Pro and Mi 10 sport a symmetrical dual speaker system on both the top and bottom. The setup involves two 1216 super-linear speakers and a 1.2cc/1.0cc-equivalent speaker chamber with up to 0.65mm/0.5mm speaker amplitude, respectively. Both devices have been specially tuned at every discrete volume level which assists in producing superior sound fidelity. These features come together to create an extraordinary and immersive smartphone audio experience, with Mi 10 Pro earning a DxOMark Audio score of 76, ranking number one globally. 

Introducing Xiaomi’s most elegant smartphone design with unmatched TrueColor Display

Beauty and functionality join forces to form Xiaomi’s most elegant smartphone design ever. Both Mi 10 Pro and Mi 10 sport a 3D curved front and back with smooth contoured edges and slim side bezels to enable the Mi series’ most comfortable in-hand feel yet. To ensure durability, both devices are outfitted with Corning® Gorilla®Glass 5 on both the front and back. Mi 10 Pro flaunts an anti-glare finish and frosted glass rear panel, while Mi 10 offers a gorgeous glossy back. Moreover, the devices’ specially designed discrete in-display front camera minimizes bezels and allows for more display area. 

Featuring a dazzling 6.67” curved AMOLED edge-to-edge DotDisplay with TrueColor technology, Mi 10 Pro offers unparalleled color accuracy for serious creatives and casual consumers alike with a JNCD 0.55 and △E <1.1. This new generation display technology yields higher brightness (up to 1200nit maximum brightness) and better power efficiency over its predecessor, while a 90Hz SmoothSync display provides fast and fluid screen response for a stutter-free experience. 

All in all, Mi 10 Pro and Mi 10 deliver Xiaomi’s most pleasant display ever. Dual brightness sensors offer accurate brightness detection, while various brightness modes ensure ultimate eye comfort. In fact, both devices are TÜV Rheinland low blue-light certified, and verified by HDR10+ for their vivid visual experience. 

Leading performance and speed with SnapdragonTM 865 + LPDDR5 + UFS 3.0

Mi 10 Pro and Mi 10 feature the latest 5G-enabled flagship Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 865 5G Mobile Platform. Enhancing CPU, GPU, AI performance and the overall user experience, the 7nm chipset features a maximum clock speed of 2.84GHz with the new Kyro™ 585 based on the ARM Cortex-A77 architecture, and also touts improvements in power-efficiency. The powerful chipset is accompanied by ultra high-speed RAM and storage combinations – LPDDR5 and UFS3.0, offering exceptional write-read data and powerful computing capabilities. 

Moreover, the devices boast LiquidCool 2.0 – an advanced cooling system consisting of a large vapor chamber, as well as multi-layer graphite and graphene stacks that dissipates heat generated during long-term use to ensure peak performance. This robust overall hardware setup earned Mi 10 Pro a compelling AnTuTu benchmark score of 602,660. 

Catering to the increasing demand for high speed content consumption in the 5G era, Mi 10 Pro and Mi 10 not only offer 5G network connection, but also support 5G MultiLink for simultaneous connection to three networks (2.4G/5G Wi-Fi and mobile data) at once for quick connection switching. Additionally, both devices feature Wi-Fi 6 support, the most advanced Wi-Fi standard currently available. This significantly increases the upload and download speed, while reducing network congestion when connected to multiple devices. 

Wireless charging-enabled high capacity batteries team up with ultra-realistic haptic feedback systems

Under the hood, Mi 10 Pro packs an ultra-high-capacity 4,500mAh battery that enables a triple fast charging experience with 50W wired charging, 30W wireless charging, and reverse wireless charging. Mi 10 sports a 4,780mAh battery and offers 30W wired and wireless charging, as well as reverse wireless charging.

Mi 10 Pro and Mi 10’s ultra-realistic vibration system delivers crisper, more realistic haptic feedback than ever before with 150 different vibration options. These updated haptics improve acceleration strength and consistency, and provide sophisticated vibration for the user. Mi 10 Pro and Mi 10 also offer multifunctional NFC and IR blaster for daily access of swift payment transactions and quick remote control of home appliances.