Protect and optimize your PC or Mac with these premium software picks

Clean your laptop and protect from malware

There seems to be a trend for tidying up right now. In her Netflix hit of that name, Marie Kondo asserts that, by keeping a clutter-free living space, you can improve productivity. I’d like to dismiss it as rhetoric except, for me at least, it’s so very true.

Your computer is the same, but more so. Having a machine full of useless junk and pointless applications can be a massive drag on the system resources. By cleaning and repairing it you can significantly increase the speed and performance of your machine. It’s like a hardware upgrade, but quicker and cheaper.

Once your system is sparkling new, you’ll want to protect it from the ever-increasing threat of viruses and malware. We’ve got a selection of premium software packages to optimize and protect your device below.

Advanced System Repair Pro

Advanced System Repair Pro

Advanced System Repair Pro is an all-in-one fix and tune-up service for your PC. The multi-scan feature intelligently scans and analyzes your computer, getting to the root issues affecting your machine’s performance. A host of features can then be used to get your system purring.

Advanced System Repair Pro features:

  • One-click maintenance
  • Junk cleaner
  • Put draining apps to sleep
  • Disk defrag
  • Malware removal
  • Privacy cleaner
  • System tweak/optimizer
  • Registry cleaner

This software scored an epic 9.4 out of 10 from over 2,000 reviews on Trustpilot, and it’s just $29.95. To get your copy or to find out more, hit the button below

SpyHunter

For a solution more specifically dedicated to Malware detection and removal, SpyHunter is an advanced option for Windows machines.

The fiends on the dark side of the internet are constantly working on the next generation of malware to wreak havoc on the world’s computers. Fortunately, SpyHunter is prepared. It’s specially designed to adapt and update as malware continues to evolve and become more sophisticated, so it will pick up threats that may evade detection by other programs.

SpyHunter features:

  • Adaptive malware remediation functionality
  • Advanced anti-rootkit technology
  • Customized malware fixes
  • 24/7 technical support

You can pick up SpyHunter from $39.99. There’s a 30-day money-back guarantee and you can even try it once for free. To get started, tap the button below.

Combo Cleaner

Combo Cleaner

If you’re a Mac user we’ve got something for you too. Combo Cleaner is a disk cleaner, privacy shield, and antivirus all in one. Equipped with award­-winning virus, malware, and adware scan engines, it’s a complete solution for Macs.

Combo Cleaner at a glance:

  • Keeps your Mac secure
  • Recovers disk space
  • Protect your privacy
  • 24/7 support

You can get started for free, and prices for a license start at $44.95. As with SpyHunter, you also have a 30-day money-back guarantee and a professional support team available around the clock.

Hit the button below to check it out.

Watchdog Anti-Malware

Watchdog Anti-Malware

According to the website, Watchdog Anti-Malware is a “second-layer, second-opinion, cloud-based, multi-engine malware scanner with real-time protection, designed to protect your computer from malware that your primary anti-virus misses.”

That might be a bit of a mouthful, but it’s a testament to the sophisticated nature of the protection that Watchdog provides. You can never be too careful now that we do everything online, so having a second level of protection is worth considering.

Watchdog Anti-Malware benefits:

  • Multi-engine malware scanning
  • Removes unwanted apps, toolbars, and add-ons
  • Very fast scanning
  • Very easy to use
  • Doesn’t slow down your PC

Watchdog is extremely optimized and lightweight, and there are a variety of packages available. For example, the one-year subscription for one PC is just $22.95 right now.

Follow the link below to find out more.

The AAPicks team writes about things we think you’ll like, and we may see a share of revenue from any purchases made through affiliate links. To see all our hottest deals, head over to the AAPICKS HUB.

Deal: Save some cash on Samsung tablets, Chromebooks, or a new TV

Samsung products are usually some of the best, but they also tend to be some of the priciest. Luckily, there are often Samsung deals running all over the web so you can get the best for less!

For example, right now Samsung.com is running a handful of deals on some cool products. The best deals are actually in the television section, so if you’re in the market for a new TV you should absolutely scope these out. However, there are also some cool deals on Samsung tablets, computer monitors, Chromebooks, and more!

You’ll have to visit Samsung.com to see all the deals, but here are the highlights we found:

As we mentioned before, there are quite a few more deals on the site if you want to dig deeper, but these are the ones that jumped out at us the most!

Click below to check out all the Samsung deals.

Affiliate disclosure: We may receive compensation in connection with your purchase of products via links on this page. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. See our disclosure policy for more details.

Chrome feature might let you link directly to specified text on a page

best android browsers featured image

A potential new Google Chrome feature is making its way to the Canary version of the browser (via Chrome Story). The new feature will allow users to share links to specific sections of web pages, even those pages which don’t have anchor links.

Let’s say you want to send an email to someone with a reference to a piece of data within a long news article. If you wanted to point the email recipient to a particular spot on the shared page, how would you do it? Unless the information you want to share has an anchor link attached to it, there’s no easy way to share a URL that points someone to a very specific part of a page.

Editor’s Pick

This new Chrome feature would solve that problem by enabling a user to highlight a section of text and then create a custom URL that points directly to that one section. The feature will be called Scroll to Text, so named because it would load the URL as usual and then scroll to a specific piece of text on that page automatically.

The code commit related to Scroll to Text just appeared, so it will be a while before it makes it to the Canary build of Google Chrome. If it has a successful run in Canary, it will make its way to the beta version of Chrome, and then, hopefully, to the stable build most of us use.

Since most people stuck in a situation where Scroll to Text would be helpful usually just take a screenshot or ask people to use CTRL-F when they arrive at a page, this will likely save a lot of headaches.

NEXT: One month test: Can a Chromebook replace my main computer?

Best Buy’s Presidents Day sale is open to all with huge electronics deals

Get in on this.

The Presidents Day sale from Best Buy is officially open to everyone. Still, it’s good to know that My Best Buy members can get early access to sales like this. It’s free and easy to become a My Best Buy member, so there’s no reason you can’t get in on these deals ahead of everyone else. Whatever prices you find online, you can also find in store. Best Buy is also offering free shipping on a lot of items, even some that don’t meet the regular threshold of $35. The sale goes through February 18.

There are smaller sales covering a bunch of different models within the larger sale. For example, if you want to setup your own home security system, you can get the Ring Alarm 5-piece kit on sale for $159.99 with a free 2nd-gen Echo Dot. Then you can add to it with video doorbells or spotlights, all of which you can save money on in this sale featuring Ring discounts.

If you need an inexpensive laptop you can save as much as $200 on Chromebooks and ultrabooks from a variety of brands including Dell, Asus, and Lenovo.

Some of the best deals in this sale include:

Check out the full sale and all the ways you can save thanks to Mr. Washington.

See at Best Buy

Don’t get super comfy with your neighbor’s Poké Stops and Gyms in Pokémon Go

Pokemon Go how to make pokestops

If you live in an area where Poké Stops and Gyms are somehow in your neighbors’ yards, we have some bad news. According to Variety, a proposed settlement filed in a California court will do away with them all if it’s approved.

The proposed settlement stems from a lawsuit that New Jersey resident Jeffrey Marder filed in 2016 against Niantic Labs, The Pokémon Company, and Nintendo. In the lawsuit, Marder claimed that Pokémon Go’s Poké Stops and wild Pokémon encouraged players to trespass on other people’s properties.

Editor’s Pick

“During the week of Pokémon Go’s release, strangers began lingering outside of his home with their phones in hand,” reads part of the lawsuit.

“At least five individuals knocked on Plaintiff’s door and asked for access to Plaintiff’s backyard in order to ‘catch’ Pokémon that the game has placed at Plaintiff’s residence.”

If approved, the proposed settlement would apply to those who own or lease property within 100 meters of a Poké Stop or Gym. Here’s what the proposed settlement would require Niantic to do:

  1. Maintain a database of requests from residents whose properties are within 40 meters of a Poké Stop or Gym.
  2. Retain the aforementioned requests for at least a year.
  3. Use “commercially reasonable efforts” to resolve complaints during a three-year period.
  4. Communicate resolutions to complaints within 15 days.
  5. Send a warning message to Pokémon Go Raids that include 10 or more players.
  6. Avoid putting new Poké Stops or Gyms on single-family residential properties.
  7. Receive requests from county or city governments to use their hours of operation for Poké Stops and Gyms located in parks.

Lastly, the proposed settlement would award each plaintiff $1,000 and award attorneys fees and reimbursement for expenses stemming from the case.

It’s unknown if the court will accept the proposed settlement. We’ll update this post if anything changes.

Add Bluetooth to nearly any car with this $8 AmazonBasics kit

Go hands-free with this discounted Bluetooth kit.

The AmazonBasics Bluetooth Hands-Free Car Kit is on sale for only $7.58 right now which is an insane deal. It sometimes sells for as much as $30. It’s currently an add-on item however, meaning it can only be shipped in orders totaling $25 or more.

You don’t need to replace your head unit or trade in your current car, all you need is this hands-free Bluetooth kit and a few minutes of time to install it. All you do is plug the power cable into the cigarette lighter socket and then the 3.5mm audio cable into the Aux input of your vehicle. Then simply pair your phone with the setup, and voila, you have Bluetooth to receive calls, listen to music and more.

There are other similar products that enable you to begin using Bluetooth in your vehicle too. They might not be as affordable, but you’d likely find higher sound quality by choosing an option like Nulaxy’s Bluetooth FM Transmitter or the Aukey Bluetooth Receiver kit, which comes with a powerful USB car charger too. As an owner of the second suggestion, I’m a huge fan of how easy it is to start playing my favorite songs while I’m trying to get on the road in a hurry.

See at Amazon

Enable two-factor authentication (2FA) in Fortnite and get a free gift

Grab that Valentine’s Day glider right now!

Fortnite is a free-to-play third-person shooter with building mechanics. The title has become a cultural sensation due to its unique blend of expressive gameplay. In February 2018, Epic Games stated that the title was played by roughly 3.4 million gamers concurrently. Since then, that figure has ballooned to over 8.3 million.

Due to the tremendous popularity of the game, Fortnite accounts are at higher risk of being targeted. Epic Games is aware of this problem and wants users to enable two-factor authentication (2FA) on their Fortnite accounts. For those unfamiliar with 2FA, the feature requires you to enter an extra code sent to a secondary device in order to sign in. This prevents hackers from gaining access and wrecking havoc. In order to incentivize this, the team just announced that anyone who upgrades their account security will indirectly receive an exclusive Valentine’s Day item in the game.

This is definitely a great way to promote the feature because it got me to upgrade right away! There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for sweet in-game loot. The Valentine’s Day item is a heart-shaped glider called the “Heartspan Glider.” However, acquiring it is a little complicated. After you enable 2FA on your account, you can gift the glider for free to anyone. However, you’ll need to find someone who’ll gift it back to you.

If you’re playing a match, message others to see if they’re willing to gift you the glider, but be prepared to reciprocate the favor. This is slightly annoying because it would’ve been easier had players just received the glider after enabling 2FA. However, in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, it has to be through giving. Be sure to follow our step-by-step guide below if you want to enable 2FA on your Fortnite account.

Cultural sensation

Fortnite

Free at Microsoft Store

A free-to-play shooter that has taken the world by storm

Fortnite is a third-person action game where you can either save the world with friends, or compete in a creative battle royale mode to be the last person standing.

Enable two-factor authentication (2FA) in Fortnite and get a free gift

Grab that Valentine’s Day glider right now!

Fortnite is a free-to-play third-person shooter with building mechanics. The title has become a cultural sensation due to its unique blend of expressive gameplay. In February 2018, Epic Games stated that the title was played by roughly 3.4 million gamers concurrently. Since then, that figure has ballooned to over 8.3 million.

Due to the tremendous popularity of the game, Fortnite accounts are at higher risk of being targeted. Epic Games is aware of this problem and wants users to enable two-factor authentication (2FA) on their Fortnite accounts. For those unfamiliar with 2FA, the feature requires you to enter an extra code sent to a secondary device in order to sign in. This prevents hackers from gaining access and wrecking havoc. In order to incentivize this, the team just announced that anyone who upgrades their account security will indirectly receive an exclusive Valentine’s Day item in the game.

This is definitely a great way to promote the feature because it got me to upgrade right away! There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for sweet in-game loot. The Valentine’s Day item is a heart-shaped glider called the “Heartspan Glider.” However, acquiring it is a little complicated. After you enable 2FA on your account, you can gift the glider for free to anyone. However, you’ll need to find someone who’ll gift it back to you.

If you’re playing a match, message others to see if they’re willing to gift you the glider, but be prepared to reciprocate the favor. This is slightly annoying because it would’ve been easier had players just received the glider after enabling 2FA. However, in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, it has to be through giving. Be sure to follow our step-by-step guide below if you want to enable 2FA on your Fortnite account.

Cultural sensation

Fortnite

Free at Microsoft Store

A free-to-play shooter that has taken the world by storm

Fortnite is a third-person action game where you can either save the world with friends, or compete in a creative battle royale mode to be the last person standing.

Huawei Mate 20 Pro camera review (Video!)

This is the one you’ve been waiting for. Today we are taking a look at the Huawei Mate 20 Pro’s camera performance. Is it all it’s cracked up to be?

Huawei has built quite a reputation in smartphone photography, so its latest and greatest entered the market with high expectations. Its triple-camera array, Leica lenses, high-resolution sensors, and wide feature set certainly put it out to be among the best, at least on paper. We are here to find out if the amazing spec sheet translates to equally stunning shots.

I took it out for a spin across continents, taking into account different settings, scenarios, lighting situations, moods, and environments. Here’s what I found.

Photos have been resized for quicker loading times, but that is the only editing these images have undergone. If you want to pixel peep and analyze the full resolution photos, we have put them in a Google Drive folder for you.

Huawei Mate 20 Pro camera specs

  • Main cameras
    • Wide angle: 40MP, f/1.8
    • Ultra wide angle: 20MP, f/2.2
    • Telephoto: 8MP, f/2.4
    • Autofocus: Laser focus, phase focus, contrast focus
    • Image stabilization: AIS (Huawei AI Image Stabilization)
    • Flash: Dual LED
    • Video: 4K at 30fps, FHD+ at 30fps, FHD at 60fps, 720p at 30fps
  • Front camera
    • 24MP, f/2.0
    • Support 3D Depth Sensing Camera
    • Video: FHD+ at 30fps, FHD at 30fps, 720p at 30fps

Huawei Mate 20 Pro camera app

Fans of Huawei smartphones will feel right at home with the Huawei Mate 20 Pro. It uses the same interface as the P20, P20 Pro, and other popular handsets from the Chinese manufacturer.

Editor’s Pick

I happen to like the app for its abundant features and ease of use. Unlike camera applications from other manufacturers, everything is pretty straightforward here. Aperture, Night, Portrait, Photo, Video, and Pro mode sit clearly between the viewfinder and the shutter button. Selecting the “More” option brings up advanced features like Watermark, Time-lapse, AR lens, Slow-mo, Document scanning, HDR, Panorama, and even Underwater (which requires a special case).

It’s all there; no feature is hiding in the settings menu or using weird secondary buttons. The only feature Huawei put in an odd location is the HiVision mode, which can scan QR codes, barcodes, texts, products, and objects. The mode can scan text to see a translation, point at a product to see shopping options, and more. It is quite fun and worked perfectly every time.

The rest of the app is pretty straightforward, but it can get a bit crowded. A lot of features have been thrown into this phone and the UI takes a hit. The few onscreen options change in every mode, and the settings can get confusing, since they also adapt to your current mode. However, the learning curve isn’t as complex as with other smartphones.

So many features have been thrown into the Huawei Mate 20 Pro that the UI takes a hit.

Edgar Cervantes

Master AI is less reliable, though. It can recognize the type of image you are shooting and automatically apply software enhancements to best fit the shot. I like what it can do when it gets things right. Shots with plenty of sky in the frame will get a more vibrant blue hue. Throw plants into the frame and the greenery will get more vibrant. You can learn more about it in our explanation post.

Regardless, I found it got things wrong about 25 percent of the time. Sometimes it thought I wanted to capture text when there was just large writing in the background. Sometimes it went into wide mode when I didn’t want it to. I decided to keep Master AI off (you can toggle it in the settings). It is a cool enhancement feature many of you will enjoy if you can get past its inconsistencies, but I prefer tweaking my images manually.

  • Ease of use: 8/10
  • Intuitiveness: 7/10
  • Features: 10/10
  • Advanced Settings: 10/10

Score: 8.8


Daylight

Daylight picture sample with Huawei Mate 20 Pro back camera
Daylight picture sample with Huawei Mate 20 Pro back camera
Daylight picture sample with Huawei Mate 20 Pro back camera
Daylight picture sample with Huawei Mate 20 Pro back camera

Smartphone cameras get the best results in broad daylight, when the shooter doesn’t need to struggle for light. Direct sunlight can also make shots harder to judge though, as even mid-end cameras can output awesome photos with the right exposure.

More light also means stronger shadows, which usually tests the camera’s dynamic range. The Huawei Mate 20 Pro seems to have been great at recognizing differences in exposure and automatically turning HDR on. We can mostly see this in images one, three, and four.

The first image looks very uniform, equally exposed across the frame. There is plenty of detail in the clouds, as well as around the trees and grass. The third and fourth images show detail where I didn’t think they would, given the high contrast in light and direct sunlight within the frame.

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro is doing very well in the Daylight section, but not much better than the other great camera smartphones out there. The true differences will shine in other sections of the review.

Edgar Cervantes

My only real complaint in this section is that the second image is underexposed. It shows plenty of detail in buildings and moving cars, but it’s a bit dark. That’s disappointing, especially considering some of these images where actually taken in slightly darker environments.

Otherwise, colors are vibrant, detail is abundant, and dynamic range is quite surprising. So far the Huawei Mate 20 Pro is doing very well, but not much better than the other great camera smartphones out there. The true differences shine in other sections of the review.

Score: 9/10


Color

Color picture sample with Huawei Mate 20 Pro back camera
Color picture sample with Huawei Mate 20 Pro back camera
Color picture sample with Huawei Mate 20 Pro back camera
Color picture sample with Huawei Mate 20 Pro back camera

Are those shrimp in the first image? Maybe mini lobsters? Whatever they are, they look appetizing, likely because their red hue really pops. The vibrant red stands out, almost to the point of looking artificial. This issue isn’t repeated in the other images, though, where bright colors pop without giving off an over-edited appearance.

The blue Porsche 911 GT3 RS is easily the best car I have driven in my life, so I am glad the picture does it justice by making it look shiny and vibrant.

Edgar Cervantes

The blue Porsche 911 GT3 RS is easily the best car I have driven in my life, so I am glad the picture does it justice by making it look shiny and vibrant. I also love how you can appreciate the water droplets and green grass. The same can be said about the fourth image, where the colors are uniformly vibrant, yet natural.

Even in foggy London, the yellow containers and bright red double deckers manage to stand out without looking out of place. Huawei seems to have found a way to make colors pop and still look natural, at least most of the time. However, even though vibrance and saturation are acceptable, these images’ contrast does lean more toward the heavier side.

I will say the second and fourth images look a tiny bit under-exposed, though. If you look at my face, you can see signs of over-softening and lack of detail. You can barely see detail in my beard. So while, colors are nice, I wish the camera got more detail.

Score: 8.5/10


Detail

Datail mode picture sample with Huawei Mate 20 Pro back camera
Datail mode picture sample with Huawei Mate 20 Pro back camera
Datail mode picture sample with Huawei Mate 20 Pro back camera
Datail mode picture sample with Huawei Mate 20 Pro back camera

Fans of the Huawei P20 Pro will find something very important lacking in the Huawei Mate 20 Pro specs. The monochrome sensor is not in the Huawei Mate 20 Pro, and it’s a feature many of us will certainly miss, because it added all the detail to the legendary P20 Pro photo quality. The Monochrome mode is still there, but it no longer uses a dedicated sensor. It essentially just turns a regular photo black & white.

Where is the monochrome sensor? It’s not in the Huawei Mate 20 Pro, and it’s a feature many of us will miss.

Edgar Cervantes

The effects of a monochrome sensors are complex, but I will try to simplify it. Camera sensors are made of photosites, which capture light information. In color sensors, individual photosites only record one of the three specific basic colors (red, green, or blue). Meanwhile, in monochrome (black & white) sensors, photosites grab all light information they can, resulting in more minute detail.

The Huawei team swears software optimization can replicate the same level of detail as the monochrome sensor, but I disagree. I could see much more detail in Huawei P20 Pro shots.

Landscape mode picture sample with Huawei Mate 20 Pro back cameraIt’s not like the Huawei Mate 20 Pro can’t capture good detail, it’s just that the P20 Pro was exceptional. This one seems at least on par with the other high-end smartphones, when it comes to photo detail. Zoom into the locks, bird feathers, or wood. You will notice the image has been both over-softened and over-sharpened. This will result in a photo that looks great from afar, but all detail goes away once you look closer. I mean, just look at the 100 percent crop to the right. It is so over-softened it straight up looks like a painting.

I have to give Huawei a lower score in this section. Not exactly because it did badly, but because it took a step back by getting rid of the monochrome sensor. Replacing it with a super wide-angle lens, though, might bring some feature you will love, like macro functionality (more on that in a bit).

Score: 7/10


Landscape

Landscape mode picture sample with Huawei Mate 20 Pro back camera
Landscape mode picture sample with Huawei Mate 20 Pro back camera
Landscape mode picture sample with Huawei Mate 20 Pro back camera
Landscape mode picture sample with Huawei Mate 20 Pro back camera

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro is especially good at landscape photography. Its great dynamic range ensures a uniformly exposed frame, vibrant colors, and high contrast, and that super wide-angle lens really keeps everything is in frame.

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro is especially good at landscape photography.

Edgar Cervantes

The second image wouldn’t have been possible without the super wide-angle lens. There’s some distortion, but it made for the right composition. I was in a London Eye cabin, so I couldn’t really step back to get more into the frame. It was either the deformed edges or nothing!

As we mentioned in the Detail section, zooming in is where it all goes downhill. Otherwise, the Huawei Mate 20 Pro can take some great landscape shots, especially if you need to go wide and really get it all in frame.

Score: 8.5/10


Portrait mode

Potrait mode picture sample with Huawei Mate 20 Pro back camera
Potrait mode picture sample with Huawei Mate 20 Pro back camera
Potrait mode picture sample with Huawei Mate 20 Pro back camera
Potrait mode picture sample with Huawei Mate 20 Pro back camera

Portrait mode simulates the bokeh effect (officially known as “blurry background”). We often see this effect in DSLR cameras using lenses with a wide aperture and shallow depth of field. Phones can’t do this naturally, so they use multiple lenses to figure out distance between the foreground and background in relation to the subject, and artificially add blur to things at farther distances.

The main issue with this is phones often do a bad job outlining the subject, getting confused about what is really in the distance. This results in blurring areas that shouldn’t be, or leaving background parts in focus. Sadly, this happened with the Huawei Mate 20 Pro. It is most obvious around the wind pipes and the glass behind David, where some spots are left in focus when they shouldn’t.

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro can definitely take a nice shot in portrait mode, but it will get things wrong often. Gotta keep an eye on its mistakes!

Edgar Cervantes

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro portrait mode does a really good job when it gets things right, though. There are no significant mistakes in image one and four, and they look rather nice. The camera recognizes how far something is and blurs accordingly. In the image of me sitting in front of the ocean, you can see the beach is more blurred out than the boardwalk (which is closer to me).

In summary, the Huawei Mate 20 Pro can definitely take a nice shot in portrait mode, but it will get things wrong often. Gotta keep an eye on its mistakes!

Score: 7.5/10


HDR

HDR picture sample with Huawei Mate 20 Pro back camera
HDR picture sample with Huawei Mate 20 Pro back camera
HDR picture sample with Huawei Mate 20 Pro back camera
HDR picture sample with Huawei Mate 20 Pro back camera

High dynamic range (HDR) is used to evenly expose a frame with multiple levels of light. Traditionally it’s done by mixing photos taken at different exposure levels. The end result is an image with reduced highlights, increased shadows, and more even lighting.

In this phone HDR can be left in auto, turned off, or forced on. For this set of images we forced HDR on, just to make sure we got the best results.

When I first tried my hand at HDR on the Huawei Mate 20 Pro I was near the London Eye. I didn’t exactly walk out surprised, as plenty of detail under the tree was lost in the shadows. I was quite impressed by the high dynamic range mode once I started to play more with it, though.

I was especially impressed by the second image, which, despite having direct sunlight in the frame, managed to show quite a bit of detail around the people’s clothing, furniture, beach, and other elements. Of course, it’s all relative. We can really see it all in the image, but we were surprised to see much more than a silhouette. Given the circumstances, the phone did extremely well.

Furthermore, the picture of the stone bus decoration really showed us how much the camera can really do when you force HDR on. That dark alley was pitch black to the naked eye. Sure, the camera had some issues figuring out the white balance, but we also pushed it to its farthest limits.

Score: 8.5/10


Low-light

Night picture sample with Huawei Mate 20 Pro back camera
Night picture sample with Huawei Mate 20 Pro back camera
Night picture sample with Huawei Mate 20 Pro back camera
Night picture sample with Huawei Mate 20 Pro back camera

In and of itself, the Huawei Mate 20 Pro does alright darker environments with its regular auto mode. You know the deal — higher ISO, wider aperture, and slower aperture can degrade the quality of the photo, affect the depth of field, and blur the image. The Huawei Mate 20 Pro has a little something up its sleeve, though.

Editor’s Pick

The phone’s Night mode will take multiple shots at different exposures, then grab the best from all images and turn them into a single, improved low-light shot. It actually works wonders. Exposure itself will be similar, but in Night mode images lack motion blur, noise, and other elements often seen in low-light shots.

As you can see, outdoor low-light photos look crisp and well exposed, with plenty of detail in both the shadows and highlights. Go to extremely dark situations and you can still somewhat appreciate the subjects, like we see in image two. It’s not the best shot, by far, but it is really good considering the situation. What mostly affects it is white balance.

Score: 9/10


Macro

Macro shots sample with Huawei Mate 20 Pro back camera
Macro shots sample with Huawei Mate 20 Pro back camera
Macro shots sample with Huawei Mate 20 Pro back camera
Macro shots sample with Huawei Mate 20 Pro back camera

That super wide-angle lens is really cool for getting more content in the frame, but I for one am more excited about its macro photography capabilities. The new super wide-angle camera makes it possible to focus on your subject even as close as 2.5cm from the camera!

A super wide-angle lens is really cool, but I am more excited about its macro photography capabilities.

Edgar Cervantes

When you want to take a macro shot, just zoom out to 0.6x and close in on your subject. I could focus in on water droplets, a decaying lock, a tree, and a stuffed animal. The amount of detail you can get from such a close distance is stunning.

READ: 40MP shootout: Huawei Mate 20 Pro vs Nokia Lumia 1020

It sure is a fun feature to have! Detail is nice, but this gives you a level of functionality you won’t really find in other smartphone cameras. That is why it gets a perfect score.

Score: 10/10


Selfie

Selfie with Huawei Mate 20 Pro front camera
Selfie sample with Huawei Mate 20 Pro front camera
Selfie sample with Huawei Mate 20 Pro front camera
Selfie sample with Huawei Mate 20 Pro front camera in low light

To some of you, selfies are what smartphone cameras are all about. If you really care for selfie quality, you should probably look elsewhere. The Huawei Mate 20 Pro’s front-facing camera gets the job done, but it is far from being a main contender in the selfie department.

Editor’s Pick

With enough light you get nice results, like in image one and three. My skin is detailed, you can see much of my beard’s hair strands, and colors are nice.

Things stop looking so nice once the sun goes down, though. Just look at the last photo. There is no detail in the hair and the shot is very softened. The second shot even shows signs of motion blur.

Selfies will come out alright if you put enough effort into them, but we expected more from what Huawei claims to be the best camera smartphone in the industry.

Score: 7.5/10


Video

A beautiful sunset is a great test subject for a camera. There is usually plenty of detail to see in the sand and water. Not to mention the contrasting brightness does a great job at testing dynamic range in video. As you can see in the video below, people quickly turned into silhouettes when pointing the camera at the sunset.

Turn around to take a look at the boardwalk and it all changes, though. There is plenty of detail in the people, wood, and shrubbery. Colors are vibrant, yet well balanced (unlike the Huawei P20, which saturated colors to hell). Image stabilization isn’t exactly the best we have seen, but it is pretty good considering I am not the smoothest walker out there.

Score: 8.5/10


Conclusion


Huawei Mate 20 Pro rear triple camera setup

Overall score: 8.4

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro is a great camera and it might deserve a higher score, but I came into this review with high expectations. The Huawei P20 Pro had great detail and stunning colors — it was overall an amazing camera.

I am disappointed by the fact that I actually believe the Huawei Mate 20 Pro to be a step down in terms of camera quality.

Edgar Cervantes

I actually believe the Huawei Mate 20 Pro is a step down in terms of camera quality, mostly thanks to the absence of the monochrome sensor (which brought more detail to images) — that’s disappointing. I for one would give up the macro capabilities and the wider angle lens for more detail in general images. Those features are really cool, but I think they’re fads many will forget about after the hype dies down.

Regardless, the Huawei Mate 20 Pro is still among the best cameras out there, and we know some of you will believe it to be the king of smartphone cameras. You wouldn’t necessarily be wrong — it’s a seriously good performer. Dynamic range (and HDR) is up to par with the latest and greatest. It seems Huawei finally found a way to make colors vibrant without giving them an over-saturated, fake look. You can get stunning results in low-light with Night mode. If you are into macro photography, you can get some amazing results I never thought possible on a smartphone.

It’s not a bad investment, but I’m going back to the Huawei P20 Pro right after I am done with this review (which is now).

Samsung stores opening in malls just in time for the Galaxy S10 launch

The Samsung logo.

The launch of the Samsung Galaxy S10 is only days away at this point. However, it turns out Samsung has more to debut than just its latest batch of smartphones: the first bonafide Samsung stores.

On February 20, 2019, Samsung will open three Samsung Experience Stores in New York, California, and Texas. The specific locations are as follows:

  • The Americana at Brand in Los Angeles, CA
  • Roosevelt Field on Long Island in Garden City, NY
  • The Galleria in Houston, TX

If you don’t live near those three places, don’t fret, as Samsung will also be opening temporary pop-up stores in various locations across the U.S. sometime in March. Android Authority will also be on hand at the Long Island store on opening day, so be on the lookout for our writeup on that.

Editor’s Pick

Along with the Samsung Galaxy S10, the Samsung stores will sell other smartphones from the company, such as the Samsung Galaxy Note 9. There will also be smartphone accessories, televisions, tablets, laptops, and many other different Samsung products.

Customers will also be able to get technical support on any Samsung products they own, including walk-in repair of their mobile devices.

Aside from the mini-stores inside many Best Buy locations, this will be the first time Samsung has opened its own dedicated retail shops in the United States.

Samsung also operates a location called Samsung 837 in New York City where you can try out many Samsung products. However, Samsung 837 is not a store, in that you can’t buy any of the products there.

Samsung will be hosting a live stream launch event for the Galaxy S10 at Samsung 837, which you can read more about here.

NEXT: Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus (12GB RAM model) looks mighty fine in Luxurious Ceramic White