WOWei! Huawei and the Huawei Mate 9

huawei_mate_9_pro___huawei_smartphone

Wow! Huawei. The company has been very busy last year and was literally everywhere, reinforcing its global presence. On a more personal note, after a wonderful Huawei APAC Innovation Day which I had the chance to attend, in Sydney (November 2nd), I could set my sights on the official announcements to come from Germany (November 3rd).

Among the new products, the Huawei Mate 9 made a remarkable appearance. Now, with the CES running at full speed, the Mate 9 was, yet again, part of the announcements made by CEO Richard Yu and is now due to sell in the USA (Jan 6th).

With the Mate 9, Huawei showed that innovation is not simply a word. The Mate 9 comes with a sleek design and packs some serious power too. And how could I not mention the fact that there are two versions of it? A standard one and a second one created in collaboration with Porsche Design (!). Both built on the same frame with an aluminium casing but different types of screens.

Huawei Mate 9 or Huawei Mate 9 by Porsche Design?

The team at Porsche Design has decided to take a page from Samsung by fitting their version of the Mate 9 with a curved screen, partly covering the sides of the phone. For Samsung lovers, it does look similar to the screen available on the Galaxy Note 7.

When it comes to buttons and the handling of the phone, Huawei have opted for a similar positioning as what is seen on the P9, for example, putting all of them on the right hand side. In the same way, the fingerprint sensor is positioned at the back of the phone, under the camera(s), once again built in collaboration with Leica.

Did I write cameras? Indeed. The novelty seen on the recent iPhone 7 is already an old story (see the Huawei P9 for example) – but such a good one – at Huawei as they do boast a double camera module. And an even better photo quality.

huawei-mate-9-leica-camera

The technology is premium

The classic version of the phone offers a 5.9-inch full HD screen, a Kirin 960 processor and 4GB of RAM with 64 GB of storage (which can be increased by using a micro SD card).

The Porsche Design one goes even further with a 5.5-inch AMOLED QHD screen, a Kirin 960 and 6GB of RAM (!!!) with 256 GB of storage (which can not be extended with an SD card though).

They both share the same module for photography, with a 20 megapixels monochrome camera and an RGB one of 12 megapixels.

The front camera offering an “acceptable” 8 megapixels.

Add 4G compatibility, Wifi 802.11, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS and GLONASS to the party, with a 4,000 mAh battery and a USB-C port.

And with the fast charging feature, the battery will be back to 50% within 30 minutes.

What more?

Straight out of CEO Richard Yu’s CES speech, the Huawei Mate 9 comes with a pre-installed voice-interactive app giving access to Amazon Alexa. And the Mate 9 pro, as well as the Porsche Design version, will eventually support Google Daydream.

The phone also comes with a new artificial intelligence feature that learns the daily habit of a user.

Gorgeous, smart, (super) powerful. What else? With Huawei seizing the “Manufacturer of the year” award from Android Authority, the company not only dominated 2016 but looks like they are ready to keep growing in 2017.

Update: A little after publishing this post, news came up and the Huawei Mate 9 was awarded a “Best of CES 2017” title. Huawei and the Mate 9 are definitely owning this CES 2017. 

huawei-mate-9-best-of-ces-2017-wsj

Disclaimer: I am part of the Huawei KOL (Key Opinion Leaders). This review, however, only reflects my honest and unbiased opinion and interest in this device.

Welcome to the 3D room 

What if the movie played out in front of you but also all around you? Or you could immerse yourself in data and act on them live?  

Well,  just one small piece here from a visit paid to UTS thanks to Huawei

Technology keeps evolving and the applications are amazing. 

Spiderman with Samsung Galaxy Note 7 exploding in his face - Thisissamstown.com

Why Samsung had it coming

Anime character - thisissamstown - blog - Samsung Galaxy Note 7

Samsung in the news these days:

Samsung: Another Smartphone Exploded and It’s Not the Galaxy Note 7 (Fortune)

The Fatal Mistake That Doomed Samsung’s Galaxy Note (Wall Street Journal)

Samsung’s Doomed Note 7 Is Shackled To The Heroic Galaxy S8 (Forbes)

Among many (many) other headlines, here is a glimpse of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 crash. A drama of worldwide and scary proportions.

We are talking about a smartphone which has been officially banned by airlines, a botched recall and exploding (again) replacements. In the end, a catastrophic time for Samsung which may sound the bell on an era when they could still compete with Apple.

The beast is now wounded and the predators are circling.

But should Samsung not have known better? Let me delve into my personal Samsung history to shed some light on battery issues.

At first was the dumbphone

My first encounter with a Samsung mobile phone dates back to a dozen years ago. At that time, not yet utterly concerned by the works to tech, I had only heard friends complaining about the low quality of batteries on their Samsung phones and the fact that they would tend to “die” easily.

That is when my father purchased his very first mobile phone. A Samsung. Keep in mind that with about no technical literacy, his mobile phone was the most basic of dumb phones and the use of it mostly limited to phone calls here and there.

Yet, even with a very reasonable usage, the battery started draining utterly fast after a few months and literally died within six. All hail dumb phones, a new one could be bought… for a price.

When smartphones die

Time to move on to my second encounter with a Samsung phone. A smartphone I actually bought in a moment of weakness – as a replacement after my iPhone 4 was stolen. I can not remember the exact model, an average one which still promised strong features.

It remained strong for a few weeks, until I had downloaded apps and started using it “at scale”. However, the most concerning feature was the heavy heating of the battery when charging it or using mobile data. Not long later, followed by sudden shutdowns and slow starts.

Until, within I think 4 months of purchase, it completely died while I was using it.

The poor thing froze, went dark and never restarted.

Second sudden death.

I will not run through another long story. My mother later bought the same model (I told her not), went through the same rollercoaster of slow system, overheating phone and sudden death.

A corporate failure

At this point, my personal experience is only similar to thousands of others. And when such similar issues occur over a lifetime, there is no way they are not documented and identified.

With a normal next step being to act on them.

This is where Samsung has failed completely. They have failed to acknowledge these issues and take actual action to correct these recurring problems.

It still is difficult to define precisely the root causes of the Galaxy Note 7 without internal data but Samsung’s past always hold clues about such a regular problem.

Not paying attention to these (enough?) seems to have led to a catastrophic outcome.

At least for Samsung. There could hardly have been any worse time for this fail than now. With Google announcing the Pixel phone, Kodak trying to rise from its ashes, LeEco entering the US market with a bang and Huawei ruling the smartphone world, good competitors are not lacking. And they will, no doubt, fill the empty seat.

 

Information Technology Anime - Japan - ThisIsSamsTown

Making IT great again

it-anime

Yes we can! Make IT (Information Technology, Duh!) great again. While borrowing some catchphrases to make this Sunday post a little more appealing, I am staring at my screen thinking that, yes, IT infrastructure is definitely not the sexiest of themes.

Yet, once again I have been proven wrong. In recent news, coming from the land of the rising sun – Japan – IT infrastructure may become appealing again. In order to generate or increase interest in this matter, our Japanese friends have found a new way to get students to focus on their textbooks rather than their manga.

Enter the “Systers”, a group of fairies living in IT devices. These cute anime girls are actually part of a project aiming at generating interest from students for the less “sexy” topics of technology such as building computer networks (the subject of the first volume).

And, would you believe it, it works! :)

Well then, Japan seem to have found the solution to fix failing education systems.

Let’s Learn with Anthropomorphisms! The name of the series and quite a fitting rallying call too.

Making IT great again ;)