Wake up ahead of the curve.

We cover all the latest devices and developments, across the tech-iverse. Our newsletter will help provide your daily dose of tech content.

How Huawei made 10x optical zoom on a smartphone, and more

☕ Good morning! Ahead of the weekend I’ve found more gaming links than usual. Not that weekends mean much anymore? Anyway, the other thing happening is Dalgona coffee, a kind of whipped iced coffee out of South Korea. Links below!

Huawei's P40: Pro, but probably not for everyone

The Huawei P40 series launched online yesterday, and Huawei's latest had a few surprises, including real 10x optical zoom in its new third Pro Plus model. (Pro Plus. Yep.)

  • Huawei is persisting with wide availability through Asia and Europe despite the lack of Google services, notably the Google Play store just to get apps.
  • Huawei does offer its AppGallery as a replacement but it is not good, and even just downloading Facebook forces you to sideload the app from a link.
  • The best solution is to clone Google apps from a previous device, and Huawei is counting on more technical people capable of working around the limitations.

What’s new?

  • The series has grown to three, with the P40, P40 Pro, and P40 Pro Plus.
  • This is a hat-tip to the likes of Apple and Samsung, the latter which launched the S20, S20 Plus and S20 Ultra.
  • Aside from other improvements, there’s a 90Hz refresh rate screen, and it gets the new Kirin 990 processor that was also in the Huawei Mate 30
  • Huawei has a virtual/voice assistant: like the Google Assistant or Siri or Bixby, Celia handles things from voice commands. The closeness of Siri and Celia is coincidental, we’re sure.
  • Probably the biggest feature is in the camera. 
  • The new camera systems are impressive in their promises, as they usually are in Huawei’s P series.
  • In the P40 Pro Plus there’s 10x optical zoom: not digital, or hybrid, but optical. Which is pretty nuts. 
  • It’s done with a sequence of mirrors inside the camera bump to lengthen the focal distance, which provides zoom! 
  • Our technical writer Rob Triggs said he was impressed in his Huawei P40 camera technology explained piece, noting that some tradeoffs must exist somewhere…

Details:

  • All the specs for the Huawei P40, P40 Pro, and P40 Pro Plus.
  • And pricing/availability: P40: 799 EUR/available on April 7, P40 Pro: 999 EUR, also April 7, P40 Pro Plus: 1399 EUR, June.
  • And here’s an early look: Huawei P40 Pro hands-on: The biggest smartphone camera sensor so far (Android Authority).
  • The question, really, isn’t about Huawei’s hardware which has been at the top or next-best for some years. It’s software. 
  • The ways around Google’s lack of support for the device seem pretty hacky and painful still, and once again it’s the software experience that commands the quality, enjoyment, and utility of the smartphone above all other factors.
  • Managing to entice people away from an Android phone they understand is not easy outside of China.

Round Up:

🍎 The Apple Mac transition from Intel CPUs to Apple’s own designed ARM chips seems like it is happening. We’ve talked about this a few times, noting it’s been rumored for years, but now it seems more likely than ever, and faster than expected. From Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple is set to release “several” ARM-based Macs in 2021, both laptops and desktops. If you want just one reason outside of Apple controlling its own destiny, it’s that processors will cost “40-60% less” (MacRumor).

♻ Also, there’s some furor that the new iPad Pro 2020 Apple A12Z Bionic SoC, is actually just a renamed A12X with an enabled GPU core. This implies it’s a processor with a higher binning, which is common for the likes of Intel and AMD, but seems to be a first for Apple (notebookcheck.net).

📉 Samsung reportedly disappointed with Galaxy S20 sales so far (Android Authority).

👍 OnePlus to extend warranties, return periods due to coronavirus (Android Authority).

📸 Sony Electronics Corporation is the new name for a new Sony holding that will merge its electronics, imaging, and mobile into one division. Explainer here, and there’s hope expressed this will stop Sony’s own divisions competing with each other, and do better for consumers. (Medium).

🍏 Apple makes its pro video and audio editing software free to use for 90 days: test out Final Cut Pro X and Logic Pro X (9to5Mac).

🏎 'GTA Online' gets competitive F1 racing today called Open Wheel Racing (Rockstar).

🎁 Best free games right now for Xbox, Stadia, PlayStation, PCs and Nintendo Switch (CNET).

🎮 Nintendo had a surprise ‘Direct Mini’ yesterday, with a bunch of games and updates dropping and announcements. (Ring Fit Adventure got an update which I’m happy about!) (Engadget).

🎮 Epic Games behind Fortnite and Unreal, is getting into videogame publishing with its new Epic Games Publishing label. What matters is that it will cover up to 100% of development costs for profit sharing, game creators retain 100% of IP and creative control. Public terms are rare in gaming, and this creates new competition (Polygon).

👨‍✈️ Microsoft ‘Flight Simulator' developers explain its 'shared world' multiplayer, and honestly, I can only imagine how excited some people are about this development (Windows Central).

Also at Microsoft…a company-wide reply-all email chain unfolded yesterday (Twitter).

🤔 Cyber insurer Chubb had data stolen in Maze ransomware attack (TechCrunch).

📈 Houseparty, Discord, Zoom, and Marco Polo downloads explode amid coronavirus pandemic (VentureBeat).

🎸 Nine Inch Nails just dropped two free albums to both soothe and unnerve you in self-isolation (AV Club).

🥼 Most read on Wired all week: The Ibuprofen debate reveals the danger of COVID-19 rumors (Wired).

🔧 Tesla smart home HVAC: Elon Musk considers the new product again (electrek.co).

🚰 Ode to the $5 pot scraper (CNET).

Dalgona coffee, including recipe (LA Times).

🧪 Do people become immune to COVID-19 after recovering from it? (r/askscience).

🤔 What has the COVID-19 virus made you realize? (r/askreddit).

Friday Fun

First of all, following up from yesterday: Triscuit confirms that its name *does* stand for 'electricity biscuit' (Mashable).

Bonus: 10 days into the lockdown in Malaysia (r/funny):

Another safe weekend ahead for us all,

Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor.

PREVIOUS NEWSLETTER
Article Archive

Nanoleaf Canvas review: Light it up!

The Nanoleaf Canvas adds a really fun color-changing accent to whichever room you can install them it, but it's unlikely to be your main source of light because it gets expensive fast.
November 25, 2019

Sony PlayStation 5: Release date, price, games, and more

Here's all news and rumors on Sony's PlayStation 4 successor.
June 26, 2019

How to transfer music from a computer to an iPhone

You just ripped music from your CDs to a PC. We show you how to transfer music from a computer to an iPhone.
May 16, 2019

Best Oculus Rift games (May 2019)

Looking for some great virtual reality action on your Oculus Rift? Look no further! We compiled some of the best Oculus Rift games on the market.
May 14, 2019

Best Wine Apps for iOS

Relax with a nice glass of wine! These are the best wine apps for iOS.
May 10, 2019

How to connect a computer to a TV

Want to expand your PC's desktop to the big living room TV? We show you how to connect a computer to a TV.
May 10, 2019

How to change Alexa’s name and voice

Here are some ways to create a more personalized experience.
May 6, 2019

Roku remote not working? Here are some possible fixes

Issues with the Roku remote are annoying but should easily be solved. Here's a list of possible solutions.
May 4, 2019
Load More
Newsletter Archive

How Huawei made 10x optical zoom on a smartphone, and more

The P40 keeps taking camera tech further, but is anyone going to buy?
2 days ago

Weathering the lockdown with good tech news, Triscuit, and more

Triscuit. Three biscuits or something right? Wrong.
3 days ago

2020 iPad Pro reviews are out: the good and bad, and more

Today's a good day for anyone who already owns an iPad!
4 days ago

Xiaomi’s latest and greatest smartphone (if you can get it), and more

Mind you, this might be the first time Xiaomi hasn't delivered an affordable flagship
5 days ago

Apple’s AirPower wireless charger may not be dead yet, and more

AirPower is back! Or at least, hasn't gone anywhere yet.
6 days ago

YouTube, Netflix cut video quality in Europe, and more

Coming to you with 25% less data used...
March 20

New things: iPad Pro gets a cursor, MacBook Air gets a usable keyboard, PlayStation 5 news, and more

New things! Finally!
March 19

Location data may be tapped for COVID-19, and more

Wash your hands, give the government your location data
March 18
Load More