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iPhone 11 Pro vs. Galaxy Note 10

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James Martin/CNET

Of the three new iPhones Apple announced Tuesday, two of them — the iPhone 11 Pro (starting at $999) and the iPhone 11 Pro Max (starting at $1,099) — break the $1,000 price threshold that Apple itself helped create when it introduced the iPhone X in 2017. Since then, the $1,000 superphone has become the norm for 4G devices, with premium 5G phones like the $1,300 Galaxy S10 5G and Note 10 Plus 5G reaching even higher costs. But what you get for your money doesn’t always line up the same, especially when you compare two phones with the same price.

In the case of the iPhone 11 Pro, its greatest competition are two Samsung phones: the recently launched Galaxy Note 10 ($949) and March’s Galaxy S10 Plus ($1,000). To staunch iPhone fans, these Samsung devices will hardly matter. Rather, their question will come down to which iPhone 11 model to buy. But if you’re asking which high-end phone gives you the best value for money, the trade-offs are interesting and instructive.


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iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max are packed with camera features

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Keep in mind that we won’t know which phone is “best” until after testing the iPhone 11 Pro and Note 10 or S10 Plus side-by-side. But we do have a pretty good idea how they’ll compete.

If you’re looking for the absolute cheapest premium phone, the regular iPhone 11 (which updates the iPhone XR) starts at $699, and the Galaxy S10E starts at $750. (If you want to get real low, here are the best phones we’ve tried for under $500.)

Galaxy S10 Plus has the largest OLED screen

For a long time, a bigger screen meant a better screen, but that’s an unfair summation now. If you prefer a smaller display, the iPhone 11 Pro’s 5.8-inch screen still gives you plenty of room to run, without the bulk of a bigger phone.

For pixel density, the Galaxy S10 Plus takes the crown, with 522 pixels per inch versus the iPhone 11 Pro’s 458 ppi and the Note 10’s 401 ppi. That said, these differences are usually negligible to the naked eye. What matters most is how brilliant the clarity, how crisp the detail and how legible the words are in bright light.

Color tone is also intangible — some screens look more yellow, and others a harsher blue. We’ll need to compare them side by side in a variety of lighting scenarios to know for sure. For now, let’s call it a draw.

Screen size and resolution

iPhone 11 ProSamsung Galaxy Note 10Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus
Display size, resolution5.8-inch OLED Super Retina XDR; 2,436×1,125 pixels6.3-inch AMOLED; 2,280×1,080 pixels6.4-inch AMOLED; 3,040×1,440-pixels
Pixel density458 ppi401 ppi522 ppi

iPhone 11 Pro’s triple camera holds a lot of promise

In an Apple first both the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max get a third camera on the back, a 13-megapixel ultra-wide angle lens to go along with the main camera sensor and telephoto lens with 2x optical zoom.


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Hands-on with the iPhone 11’s ultra-wide-angle camera

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Both Galaxy phones have this too, plus the ability to seamlessly switch among all three lenses. It’s the image quality we’re unsure about. In our previous photo tests, the Galaxy S10 Plus and iPhone XS each have an advantage, depending on the scene. But the iPhone 11 Pro has new sensors that could change the way that it processes pictures.

We’ll also compare the phones’ dedicated night mode, which Apple glossed over without sharing much about. The S10 Plus and Note use the exact same software and camera lenses.

Front and rear cameras

iPhone 11 ProSamsung Galaxy Note 10Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus
Camera12-megapixel (wide), 12-megapixel (ultra-wide), 12-megapixel (telephoto)12-megapixel (wide-angle), 16-megapixel (ultra-wide angle), 12-megapixel (telephoto)12-megapixel (wide-angle), 16-megapixel (ultra wide-angle), 12-megapixel (telephoto)
Front-facing camera12-megapixel with Face ID10-megapixel10-megapixel, 8-megapixel

Yet there are ways that the iPhone 11 Pro might stand out. Deep Fusion is a new Apple camera feature we’ll see in the future that promises to combine nine photos to make a single composition with greater detail and reduced image noise. Apple also will let you start recording video while you’re taking stills, which is the first time we’ve seen this feature on any phone.

Selfies get way more attention, too, with a wide-angle view (the Galaxy phones have this, as well), slow-mo selfies and better 4K video recording. There’s a jump up from 7 to 12 megapixels as well. While these “slofies” are drawing internet fire, this is a feature I could see Samsung and other rivals adding to their phone within a year.


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Processing power is up in the air

Apple’s chipset is always a little inscrutable. The company compares speed and efficiency compared to the previous models, but it’s tough to weigh one processor — in this case the A13 Bionic chip — with another completely different chipset, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 used in the Galaxy S10 Plus and Galaxy Note 10.

Based on the iPhone’s 11’s video and photography promises (e.g., 4K video at 60fps, slow-mo selfies and the kind of computational photography you need to process night mode photos) we can guess its chip will be a beast. But so is the Snapdragon 855.

Once again, we’ll have to test everything from gaming silkiness and hard graphics rendering to photo processing speeds and even completing everyday tasks.

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Apple’s ambitious photo tools will take power and speed.


James Martin/CNET

iPhone battery life could give Samsung the chase

Apple has told us just that the iPhone 11’s, Pro’s and Max’s batteries will last up to an hour, four hours and five hours longer than last year’s counterpart phones, respectively. That’s… not very descriptive, considering that everyone uses their phones differently.

Apple doesn’t share battery capacities the way every other manufacturer does, but CNET runs internal tests to establish a baseline we can use to compare phones. We start at 100% and loop a video in airplane mode (with volume and screen brightness at 50%) until it turns off.

Battery life projection

iPhone 11 Pro (projection based on CNET’s iPhone XS battery drain test)Samsung Galaxy Note 10Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus
Battery live on video loop test17 hours, 17 minutes16 hours (tests continue)21 hours
Battery capacityUnknown3,500 mAh4,100 mAh

We’re still testing the Galaxy Note 10, but so far the phone has an average of 16 hours run time. If that average holds and the iPhone 11 Pro’s battery life lives up to Apple’s claim, it could surpass Samsung’s $950 phone.

Samsung’s storage is way cheaper than iPhone

Apple doesn’t offer expandable storage and Samsung usually does (though the Note 10 is one exception). Apple also starts off the iPhone 11 Pro at 64GB of on-board storage compared to 256GB with the Galaxy Note 10 and 128GB for the cheapest Galaxy S10 Plus configuration.

Compared to the iPhone 11 Pro, Samsung gives you double the storage to buy the base model Galaxy S10 Plus (which also supports a 512GB external storage card), and quadruple the ROM if you buy the Note 10 (again, not to be confused with the $1,099 Note 10 Plus).

You’ll pay $1,149 to jump up to 256GB of storage on the iPhone 11 Pro, which is a $200 surcharge over the Note 10 for the same capacity.

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The Note 10 costs $50 less than the iPhone 11 Pro, but has quadruple the storage.


Juan Garzon/CNET

Security and software updates: iPhone 11 has the edge

Apple has always had the advantage here, since it can push software and security updates to all its supported phones at the same time. For example, iOS 13 will come to eligible iPhones on Sept. 19.

Meanwhile, most phone-makers take time to get the latest version of Android in line with their proprietary software skins. For example, Google’s Pixel phones are the only ones to sport Android 10 right now. Samsung and others do routinely upgrade their phones with patches, but major OS updates take longer to sync up.

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These Samsung phones can wirelessly charge other devices.


Angela Lang/CNET

Extras to push you over the edge

dark-mode-androiddark-mode-android

System-wide dark mode is coming to Android phones and iPhones.


Jason Cipriani/CNET

All have:

  • Water-resistant coatings
  • Fast wired charging
  • Wireless charging

iPhone 11 Pro has:

  • Face ID unlocking

Note 10 has:

  • Reverse wireless charging, which lets you charge wireless accessories and other phones on the back of the device
  • S Pen stylus, a Samsung power feature unique to the Note line

S10 Plus has:

  • A dedicated headphone jack
  • Expanded storage support

When we’ll have a winner

First we’ll need to review the iPhone 11 Pro, then we’ll need to run some deep comparison tests with the Galaxy S10 Plus and Note 10, starting with the camera.

We’ll get to those as soon as we can. In the meantime, here are the five iPhone 11 camera features we’re looking forward to most and here’s the full spec comparison among all the new iPhone 11 models.

Originally published earlier this week.

iPhone 11 Pro vs Note 10 vs S10 Plus

iPhone 11 ProSamsung Galaxy Note 10Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus
Display size, resolution5.8-inch OLED Super Retina XDR; 2,436×1,125 pixels6.3-inch AMOLED; 2,280×1,080 pixels6.4-inch AMOLED; 3,040×1,440-pixels
Pixel density458 ppi401 ppi522 ppi
Dimensions (Inches)5.67×2.81×0.32 in5.94×2.83×0.31 in6.20×2.92×0.31 in
Dimensions (Millimeters)144×71.4×8.1 mm151×71.8×7.9 mm157.6×74.1×7.8 mm
Weight (Ounces, Grams)6.63 oz; 188 g5.93 oz; 168 g6.17 oz.; 175 g
Mobile softwareiOS 13Android 9.0 PieAndroid 9.0 with Samsung One UI
Camera12-megapixel (wide), 12-megapixel (ultra-wide), 12-megapixel (telephoto)12-megapixel (wide-angle), 16-megapixel (ultra-wide angle), 12-megapixel (telephoto)12-megapixel (wide-angle), 16-megapixel (ultra wide-angle), 12-megapixel (telephoto)
Front-facing camera12-megapixel with Face ID10-megapixel10-megapixel, 8-megapixel
Video capture4K4K4K
ProcessorApple A13 BionicQualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor, or Samsung Exynos 9825Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
Storage64GB, 256GB, 512GB256GB128GB, 512GB, 1TB
RAMNot disclosed8GB8GB, 12GB
Expandable storageNoneNoUp to 512GB
BatteryNot disclosed, but Apple claims it will last up to 4 hours longer than iPhone XS3,500 mAh4,100 mAh
Fingerprint sensorNone (Face ID)In-screenIn-screen (ultrasonic)
ConnectorLightningUSB-CUSB-C
Headphone jackNoNoYes
Special featuresWater resistant (IP68); dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM); wireless chargingS Pen stylus; Wireless PowerShare; hole punch screen notch; water resistant (IP68)Wireless PowerShare; hole punch screen notch; water resistant (IP68); Fast Wireless Charging 2.0
Price off-contract (USD)$999 (64GB), $1,149 (256GB), $1,349 (512GB)$949$1000 (128GB), $1,249 (512GB), $1,599 (1TB)
Price (GBP)£1,049 (64GB), £1,199 (256GB), £1,399 (512GB)£899£899 (128GB)
Price (AUD)AU$1,749 (64GB), AU$1,999 (256GB), AU$2,349 (512GB)AU$1,499AU$1,499 (128GB)

Apple iPhone XS

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Edmonton-based startup Mover acquired by Microsoft

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Mover, an Edmonton-based startup that offers data migration services, was acquired by Microsoft today. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The announcement was made Monday, with Mover co-founder and CEO Eric Warnke stating in a blog post that it has been a fantastic journey these last eight years, and Mover was ready to embark on its next chapter.

“Our technology makes us one of the fastest OneDrive and SharePoint document migrators in the world.”

Microsoft bought the company with plans to integrate Mover’s data migration service, which moves files online between cloud storage providers, with Microsoft 356. Mover’s technology will now help customers to migrate data to OneDrive and SharePoint.
Mover currently supports migration from over a dozen cloud service providers, including Box, Dropbox, Egnyte, and Google Drive, the integration will help users more easily transfer their files from those platforms to Microsoft’s OneDrive and SharePoint, enabling seamless file collaboration across Microsoft 365 apps and services, including the Office apps and Microsoft Teams. According to a Microsoft blog post from Jeff Teper, corporate vice president of Microsoft Office, the Mover integration is currently available with more plans and details to be revealed at Microsoft’s annual Ignite conference being held in November.

“Our technology makes us one of the fastest OneDrive and SharePoint document migrators in the world,” Warnke said in the blog post. “My team has proven this time and time again by setting migration speed records for the industry, always meeting customer needs. Security, file fidelity, and transfer accuracy are core tenets of our company and we take pride in our reputation.”

Founded in 2012, through the Vancouver Growlab accelerator, Mover originally began as a product called Backup Box, which allowed users to move data back and forth between cloud storage services. In the earlier days, as ‘the cloud’ was still gaining traction, Mover then decided to tackle to problem of data migration. In 2013, Mover raised $1 million (listed on Crunchbase as its total funding to date) in a seed round from Canadian and American investors, including Double M Partners, Yaletown Venture Partners, Amplify, and Medra Capita, as well as angel investors Jarl Mohn, Rick Barry, and Dennis Phelps.

“We have met thousands of wonderful customers and moved more data than I ever imagined. It has been an honor to be trusted by you and your fellow customers,” said Warnke. “On behalf of everyone at Mover, thank you to all our family, friends, customers, partners, investors, and allies who helped us get to where we are today. We couldn’t have done it without you.”

Image source Mover via Twitter

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New Huawei Google Confirmation

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Huawei has confirmed that the U.S. blacklist stripping Google software and services from its devices is hurting—and, worse, there is no solution in sight. The Chinese tech giant has sourced alternative options for almost everything included in its consumer devices. But not Google—that’s the bridge too far. And it gets worse—with various workarounds coming to nothing, and any in-house replacement still years away, Huawei has also confirmed it does not have a solution yet in sight. Bad news for users. And bad news for the company, with the likely toll on international sales.

Since May, Huawei has been fending off the impact of a U.S. blacklist that restricts access to its U.S. supply chain. The sanctions stop the company using U.S. hardware or software in new devices. And while the tech giant has launched a program to un-Americanize its supply chain, it accepts that it can replace hardware components but not Google’s core Android software. “We can continue to use the Android platform, since it is open-source,” Huawei’s PR chief Joy Tan told the Financial Times, “but we cannot use the services that help apps run on it.”

In reality Huawei had hoped for some political respite, for Trump to soften sanctions outside of core areas of critical infrastructure security. But, despite a few false starts, there has been no softening as yet. Huawei has spent months looking for an audience with the U.S. administration—but Tan told the FT that they have yet to secure a meeting, “either within the Trump administration or on Capitol Hill.”

All this came to a head with the Huawei Mate 30 launch in September. A device that should have prompted countless tech columns lauding its camera, processor and display innovations, instead it had the company fielding endless questions around Google workarounds to prevent the stunning new flagship falling flat in key markets outside China. Short answer—again, despite a number of false starts, there are no Google workarounds available to the millions of normal would-be buyers.

“There are so many Android users in Europe and south-east Asia,” Tan admitted, “they’re so used to these Google applications on top of Android phones.” The really bad news for Huawei’s loyal fanbase is that there isn’t a solution likely to appear any time soon. Google, it seems, is Google.

Shortly after the blacklist was announced, Huawei’s consumer boss Richard Yu announced an in-house operating system he claimed would replace Android on smart devices, running the same apps, providing a seamless way out. But it was misleading. HarmonyOS has now launched—but it is not suited to smartphones, designed instead for larger, simpler IoT devices like smart TVs. There is also the small matter of an Android development community that would need to expand to cover a new OS.

All of which was confirmed by Tan. Developing an Android replacement, she accepted, will take years, assuming it’s even possible. “We have to find alternative solutions for that ecosystem,” she said, “but it’s going to take some time to build.” Despite months of speculation to the contrary, it is now evident that the only current option is open-source Android without Google’s services, including the Play Store and its apps.

Despite the blacklist starting to bite—and it gets worse in November, when current temporary exemptions on certain suppliers ends, Huawei released strong trading results last week. In the first three quarters of this year, the company generated $85 billion in revenues, up 25% year-on-year, signing more than 60 5G contracts with leading global carriers and shipping 185 million smartphones. But almost all of those smartphones either predated the loss of Google or targeted the Chinese market, where Google is not available. The next set of results matters much more.

Huawei isn’t the only company under the hammer—Google itself is being hit hard by the restrictions. Losing access to Huawei and tens of millions of consumers, increasing its dependence on Samsung, losing revenue streams. “Many of our suppliers are talking with the U.S. government,” Tan told the FT, “including Google, I’m sure.”

And so Huawei continues to hope Beijing can secure trade talk concessions from the Trump administration before too many consumers shift elsewhere, at which point it will face the time and cost involved in winning them back.

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Leaked PS5 devkit photo stylized in 3D renders

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A bit ago a leaked photo showed off the PlayStation 5 devkit’s design, confirming the original V-shaped patent sketch was authentic. Now some digital renders capture the that design in 3D form.

The renders come from LetsGoDigital and are stylized digital recreations of the actual physical PS5 development kit, complete with the manta ray color scheme, front-facing buttons and USB ports, and distinct ventilation.

leaked-ps5-devkit-gets-stylized-3d-rendersleaked-ps5-devkit-photo-stylized-3d-renders

Leaked PS5 devkit on the left, 3D render on the right.

The design is still pretty striking, but we shouldn’t expect the final PlayStation 5 to look like this. Final consumer-facing products are almost always different than their respective devkits, except of course for the Xbox One X.

Devkits are built specifically to push the system’s internal hardware–in this case a high-end AMD SoC outfitted with a powerful Navi GPU and an 8-core, 16 thread Zen 2 CPU–well past its limits and stress test the system’s full capabilities. Developers are encouraged to basically break the system under extreme load to see what it can do, hence the crazy ventilation system and tapered chassis that’s built specifically for heat regulation.

As devs refine their games and learn how to best optimize the hardware, and give real-time feedback to Sony, the PS5’s design will change and morph. But until then it’s important to have as much cooling as possible especially when dealing with GPU-intensive tech features like ray tracing, native 4K (and maybe even 8K) gaming, high frame rates, and a dearth of environmental, lighting, and physics effects.

Also it begs to question…is this the devkit for the PlayStation 5 Pro, or the base PS5? Or do they both use the same devkit and the base PS5 model is simply scaled down some, maybe sans the super-fast PCIe 4.0 SSD?

leaked-ps5-devkit-gets-stylized-3d-rendersleaked-ps5-devkit-gets-stylized-3d-renders

This system design is also great for stress-testing older legacy PlayStation games on the new hardware, namely PS4 games. Sony confirmed the PS5 will natively play PS4 games, but it might also play every generation from PS1, PS2, and even PS3 onward. The idea is to have as much headroom to see what kinds of horsepower is needed to not only run PS5 games, but older PS4 games enhanced for the system.

The PS5 devkits are also made to stack onto each other and can apparently be flipped to run upside-down for utility and easy access to the console’s disc drive, which will play BD-XL Blu-ray discs that hold up to 100GB of data.

Sony is expected to reveal the PS5 in a special event in February 2020. The console will release in Holiday 2020, and sources tell TweakTown the PS5 will launch sometime in December 2020.

Check below for more info and confirmed specs.

PlayStation 5 confirmed specs:

  • Navi GPU Zen 2 8-core, 16 thread CPU
  • Sources: December 2020 release date
  • Ultra-fast SSD (likely via PCIe 4.0)
  • Support for 4K 120 Hz TVs
  • Ray-tracing enabled
  • 8K graphics support (probably video, not gaming)
  • Plays all PS4 games
  • Separate SKUs that ship on BD-XL Blu-ray discs
  • New controller with extensive haptic and tactile feedback
leaked-ps5-devkit-gets-stylized-3d-renders
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