The mid-range segment is perhaps the most saturated in the smartphone market. Just about every manufacturer is battling it out with phones that offer decent specs and more and more features at very competitive prices.

f9 n3i cam 1 - OPPO F9 vs Huawei Nova 3i: Which One Takes Better Photos?Today, we’re taking a look at two such devices – the OPPO F9 and the Huawei Nova 3i. Both are fairly new to the market. Both have dual rear cameras, and are being marketed for their imaging prowess. Oh, and they’re priced pretty close too. The F9 at PhP17,990, and the Nova 3i at PhP15,990.

Camera

f9 n3i cam 3 - OPPO F9 vs Huawei Nova 3i: Which One Takes Better Photos?Both devices are equipped with dual rear cameras – a 16MP primary, and a 2MP secondary, the latter used for adding the depth of field effect to your photos. Both are also fitted with AI Scene Detection that enables the camera to optimize itself depending on your subject. Up front, the OPPO uses a single 25MP sensor, while the Nova 3i utilizes a 24MP + 2MP combination.

While having AI enabled is fine for most scenarios, there are times when you’ll just want to have it off. Sadly, the F9 doesn’t have any option for you to disable its AI, while the Nova 3i does. Our test today will involve a number of scenarios to determine each device’s strong and weak points. All shots were done in Auto Mode and to be in equal grounds, with AI-enabled.

Indoor
oppo f9 indoor2 - OPPO F9 vs Huawei Nova 3i: Which One Takes Better Photos?nova 3i indoor2 - OPPO F9 vs Huawei Nova 3i: Which One Takes Better Photos?

Here, we have a photo taken in a fairly lit area inside a mall. Photos taken by both the F9 and the Nova 3i exhibit good sharpness and detail. Both also manage to control the graininess in the dark areas. The only notable difference is the Nova 3i tends to add a bit more brightness to the photo, as seen on the can of Coke. No clear winner here. (F9 – 1, Nova 3i – 1)

Plants
oppo f9 od 2 - OPPO F9 vs Huawei Nova 3i: Which One Takes Better Photos?nova 3i od 1 - OPPO F9 vs Huawei Nova 3i: Which One Takes Better Photos?

In this instance, the photo shot on the OPPO F9 looks a bit darker, and looks less saturated. On the other hand, the one taken by the Nova 3i has richer colors, and more emphasis.

If it was a contest of which one looks more eye-candy, then the Nova 3i wins. But I prefer a more natural looking photo, as close as to what my eyes can see. In that regard, the OPPO F9 bags this round. (F9 – 2, Nova 3i – 1)

Cityscape/Structure
oppo f9 cs2 - OPPO F9 vs Huawei Nova 3i: Which One Takes Better Photos?nova 3i cs1 - OPPO F9 vs Huawei Nova 3i: Which One Takes Better Photos?

Next up, we took a photo of a popular museum, at around 5:30PM.

cityscape zoomed2 - OPPO F9 vs Huawei Nova 3i: Which One Takes Better Photos?While the photos seem similar from afar, zoom in and you’ll see that the photo shot on the OPPO F9 is more grainy than the one taken by the Nova 3i (F9 – 2, Nova 3i – 2).

Depth of Field
oppo f9 dof2 - OPPO F9 vs Huawei Nova 3i: Which One Takes Better Photos?nova 3i dof1 - OPPO F9 vs Huawei Nova 3i: Which One Takes Better Photos?

While only using a single lens, the OPPO F9 can still dish out a decent depth of field effect. Still, the Nova 3i’s dedicated camera for depth of field yields a more refined effect.

depth of field compare2 - OPPO F9 vs Huawei Nova 3i: Which One Takes Better Photos?It’s not noticeable until you zoom in though. This one’s close, but I’ll have to hand it to the Nova 3i (F9 – 2, Nova 3i – 3).

HDR
oppo f9 hdr1 - OPPO F9 vs Huawei Nova 3i: Which One Takes Better Photos?nova 3i hdr1 - OPPO F9 vs Huawei Nova 3i: Which One Takes Better Photos?

This time, a photo of a busy intersection in a cloudy day. We checked to see what the HDR mode of both phones can do. And while both managed to properly distribute light to every subject in the image, though the photo taken by the F9’s is slightly more grainy in some parts such as the black signboard on the top left (F9 – 2, Nova 3i – 4).

Low Light
oppo f9 ll2 - OPPO F9 vs Huawei Nova 3i: Which One Takes Better Photos?nova 3i ll1 - OPPO F9 vs Huawei Nova 3i: Which One Takes Better Photos?

Here’s a sample of a low-light shot in the streets of Manila. Both phones showcased decent prowess in their shots.

low light compare2 - OPPO F9 vs Huawei Nova 3i: Which One Takes Better Photos?Zoom in on the illuminated sign board though, and you’ll see that the text is still readable on the photo taken by the F9, and is barely visible on the photo taken by the Nova 3i (F9 – 3, Nova 3i – 4).

Selfie
oppo f9 selfie1 - OPPO F9 vs Huawei Nova 3i: Which One Takes Better Photos?nova 3i selfie1 - OPPO F9 vs Huawei Nova 3i: Which One Takes Better Photos?

In this instance, both phones were able to showcase good details but the Nova 3i’s AI is more aggressive in amping up the colors to make things look more lively. Again, it’s down to what you’ll do with the photo. But in this case, the F9 wins due to its on point color accuracy (F9 – 4, Nova 3i – 4).

Selfie (Depth of Field)
oppo f9 sb1 - OPPO F9 vs Huawei Nova 3i: Which One Takes Better Photos?nova 3i sb1 - OPPO F9 vs Huawei Nova 3i: Which One Takes Better Photos?

While the OPPO F9’s depth of field effect is only software-driven, it’s still more than decent for your usual social media posts. In this case though, the Nova 3i’s dual front cameras can generate a slightly more refined effect (F9 – 4, Nova 3i – 5).

Selfie (Low Light)
oppo f9 sll 2 - OPPO F9 vs Huawei Nova 3i: Which One Takes Better Photos?nova 3i sll 1 - OPPO F9 vs Huawei Nova 3i: Which One Takes Better Photos?

As far as details are concerned, the F9 and the Nova 3i are neck and neck with a selfie in low light. As usual, the latter’s AI tends to enhance colors just a bit too much, making the photo look less natural. It does, however, demonstrate good control of the lights in the background, which is a bigger deciding factor (F9 – 4, Nova 3i – 6).

And the winner is…

f9 n3i cam 4 - OPPO F9 vs Huawei Nova 3i: Which One Takes Better Photos?Based on our tests, the Nova 3i surpasses the F9 by a couple of points. The good thing is that you can’t go wrong with either of these phones. The Nova 3i may be better as far as photo quality is concerned, but it all boils down to what you prefer.

If having a good camera is your highest priority in buying a smartphone, go with the Huawei Nova 3i. If you want something that’s more of an all-rounder, go for the OPPO F9.

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Emman has been writing technical and feature articles since 2010. Prior to this, he became one of the instructors at Asia Pacific College in 2008, and eventually landed a job as Business Analyst and Technical Writer at Integrated Open Source Solutions for almost 3 years.

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Tokyo Game Show Special Coverage

Tokyo Game Show 2018

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Witness this year’s biggest gaming convention in Asia, the Tokyo Game Show 2018. This September 19, our team will fly to Tokyo, Japan, to be part to TGS 2018. Special thanks to our brand partners Huawei Mobile, PLDT Home, Smart Communications and Cherry Mobile for making this coverage possible.

The Gadget Pilipinas Team was given access to a press briefing with Hidetaka Miyazaki, Director from From Software and a bit of hands-on gameplay. Here’s our take on the hands-on gameplay and the insights from the press interview. We also  figured a listicle is in order to rundown why this game will match the hype surrounding it.

Here’s our Top 5 reasons why “Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice” is to die for.

1) The game is Tenchu-inspired

sk8lqukaqalhq2mrzkqd 770x433 - Top 5 reasons "Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice" is to die forIf you’ve played any of the Tenchu games in previous game consoles, you know that the use of the grappling hook to set-up a one-slash-stealth kills from above is a hallmark of the series. Zipping to rooftops and treetops will be the go-to move in this game to get rid of sentries. And yes, those ever-so glorious decapitations and dismemberments with the stealth kill are present.

2) Casual or hardcore can play

sn1rmqcvrwomyuttaoyq 770x433 - Top 5 reasons "Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice" is to die forFrom Software is notorious for challenging games and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is no exception. However, Hidetaka Miyazaki, Director of From Software, revealed that he himself is a casual gamer and has made it clear that the game should be accessible to beginners and experienced players alike.

3) Upgradeable prosthetic arm

jjn6e6ivua5u142iukql 770x433 - Top 5 reasons "Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice" is to die forThat prosthetic arm that Sekiro has isn’t just for looks. It can launch a grappling hook and is upgradeable too. No details were revealed but its good to know that a skill-tree based system is in place. Think Horizon Zero Dawn or Spiderman on the way skill and gadgets are upgraded. Tech upgrades set in feudal Japan? What’s not to like?

4) Play the style that suits you

jo1pi5md3myj0pxynz9p 770x433 - Top 5 reasons "Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice" is to die forStealth like Tenchu or head-on like Dark Souls? It’s up to you. What’s clear is that you can’t use stealth for the whole campaign since the game wasn’t designed that way. Stealth can be used to thin enemy numbers and to preserve your health before confronting the big boss. The mix of stealth and hack and slash is always a good mix to change-up the pace and should suit any gameplay style.

5) Single-player only campaign can last 20 to 30 hours 

ocxemodvr6oa72argpyo 770x433 - Top 5 reasons "Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice" is to die forThat’s the length of the campaign as per Miyazaki. The game is focused-solely on the single-player experience. No more wayward players who can just jump-in and help or derail your campaign. From Software also focused on the story-telling. Given that no resources were spent in developing the multiplayer aspect, expect the campaign to take it up a notch.

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice will be released on March 22, 2019 on PC, Xbox One and the Playstation 4.

Our Tokyo Game Show 2018 Coverage is brought to you by our brand partners: Huawei Mobile Philippines, PLDT Home Fibr, Smart and Cherry Mobile. Access our coverage here.

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Heads-up, Pro Evolution Soccer (PES) players. The PES game you’re playing on your phone is going to get a major upgrade.

For starters, the visuals will get a major overhaul and will be using Unreal Engine 4 – the same graphics engine used in triple A games for consoles and PCs. With the use of Unreal Engine 4, PES will be inching closer to how it looks versus its console port. It

Next, over 3,000 new animations, improved player AI with every playstyle accounted for, and realistic ball movements has been optimized for fans to enjoy the ultimate soccer game.

And lastly, 10 new league licenses from Europe, South America and Asia have been added, including Japan’s J. League.

The best part? Despite these updates,  Winning Eleven 2019 is still free-to-play (with in-game purchases).

PES 2019 promises to give a life-like behavior of the beautiful game and should take competitive mobile sports gaming to new heights.

Screen Shot 2018 09 21 at 1.16.38 AM 640x327 - TGS 2018: PES mobile game to be updated to "Winning Eleven 2019" this December!

More about the game and new features, here.

Our Tokyo Game Show 2018 Coverage is brought to you by our brand partners: Huawei Mobile Philippines, PLDT Home Fibr, Smart and Cherry Mobile. Access our coverage here.

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