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Today’s best tech deals: $600 off a Samsung 4K HDTV, $500 off a Dell laptop, and more

Green Monday may be a totally made up holiday, but the sales are real. So real, in fact, that they’re still going strong.

If you’ve still got some people to shop for or are just looking for some stuff for yourself, we’ve rounded up the best deals on tech products we could find today. From Amazon gadgets to 4K TVs to a pet DNA kit, we’ve got you covered no matter who you’re shopping for.

Featured Deals

Dell Inspiron 15 5000 Core i5-8250u Quad-Core 1080p 15.6″ Laptop w/ 8GB RAM + 256GB SSD — $599.99 at Dell (list price $749.99)

Dell Inspiron 14 7000 Core i7-7500U 14″ 1080p IPS Laptop w/ 256GB SSD — $495.99 at Dell (list price $959.99)

55″ Samsung UN55MU6300 4K HDR-Pro Smart TV + $200 Dell GC — $599.99 at Dell (list price $799.99)

Dell UltraSharp UP3017 30″ 2560×1600 IPS LED Monitor (Refurb w/ 1-Year Dell Warranty) — $599 at eBay (list price $829.99)

Luma Home 802.11ac Dual-Band WiFi Mesh Router (3-Pack) — $149.99 at Amazon (use code: 20OFFLUM – list price $299)

Samsung Galaxy S8 64GB Unlocked Smartphone + $100 Amazon GC + Qi Charger — $724.99 at Amazon (list price $848.95)

Amazon Echo Show 7″ Touchscreens w/ Alexa — $149.99 at Amazon (list price $229.99)

Samsung EVO Select 128GB microSDXC Card w/ Adapter — $36.99 at Amazon (list price $44.99)

PlayStation VR Bundle w/ Gran Turismo Sport Bundle — $199.99 at Dell (list price $399.99)

55″ TCL 55S405 4K Ultra HD Roku Smart LED HDTV — $399.99 at Amazon (list price $599.99)

Amazon Echo Buttons, An Alexa Gadget (2-Pack) — $19.99 at Amazon

ARCHEER 25W 2.1Ch Bluetooth Speaker w/ Subwoofer — $34.19 at Amazon (use code: 23AJAQHF – list price $59.99)

August Bluetooth Keyless Smart Lock 2nd Gen (Works w/ Alexa) — $129.99 at Amazon (list price $229.99)

Philips Hue White and Color Kit w/ 4 Bulbs — $139.97 at Amazon (list price $199.99)

Today Only: Philips Sonicare AirFloss Rechargeable Electric Flosser — $32.99 at Amazon (list price $49.99)

Today Only: Wisdom Panel 3.0 Breed Identification DNA Test Kit — $50.99 at Amazon (list price $79.99)

More of the best deals from TechBargains.

Laptop & Desktop Computers

Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Intel Core i7-7500U 15.6″ 1080p Laptop w/ 1TB HDD — $599.99 at Dell (list price $909.99)

Dell Inspiron 15 5000 Core i5-7200U 15.6″ Win10 Pro Laptop w/ 256GB SSD — $499.99 at Dell (list price $759.99)

Dell OptiPlex 3050 Intel Core i5-7500 Quad-Core Kaby Lake Win10 ProTower Desktop — $599 at Dell (list price $970)

Dell S2317HJ 23″ 1080p IPS Monitor w/ Wireless Charging Stand + $100 Dell GC — $179.99 at Dell (list price $239.99)

HP 27er 27″ 1080p IPS Panel LED LCD Monitor — $152.99 at Amazon (list price $279.99)

Dell Inspiron 15 5000 Core i5-8250u Quad-Core 1080p 15.6″ Laptop w/ 8GB RAM + 256GB SSD — $549.99 at Dell (list price $749.99)

Dell Inspiron 14 7000 Core i7-7500U 14″ 1080p IPS Laptop w/ 256GB SSD — $496.99 at Dell (list price $959.99)

Dell UltraSharp UP3017 30″ 2560×1600 IPS LED Monitor (Refurb w/ 1-Year Dell Warranty) — $599 at eBay (list price $829.99)

More Laptops & Desktop PC Deals here.

Smart Home Devices

Amazon Echo Dot Alexa Enabled Mini Speaker — $29.99 at Amazon (list price $49.99)

2nd Gen Amazon Echo Bluetooth Wireless Smart Speaker — $79.99 at Amazon (list price $99.99)

Magicfly Portable Wireless Doorbell Kit (2 Transmitter 2 Receiver) — $19.49 at Amazon (use code: 4LRABJIG – list price $49.99)

Amazon Echo Show 7″ Touchscreens w/ Alexa — $149.99 at Amazon (list price $229.99)

August Bluetooth Keyless Smart Lock 2nd Gen (Works w/ Alexa) ± $129.99 at Amazon (list price $229.99)

Philips Hue White and Color Kit w/ 4 Bulbs — $139.97 at Amazon (list price $199.99)

Amazon Echo Buttons, An Alexa Gadget (2-Pack) — $19.99 at Amazon

More Smart Home Deals here.

HDTVs & Home Entertainment

65″ Sony XBR65X850E 4K UHD Smart LED HDTV + $250 Dell GC — $1198 at Dell (list price $1998)

60″ Vizio E60-E3 4K HDR Ultra HDTV + $250 Dell GC — $699.99 at Dell (list price $969.99)

Pioneer VSX-1131 7.2-Ch MCACC AV Receiver w/ Dolby Atmos (2x HDMI Out) — $299 at Amazon (list price $449.99)

Amazon Fire 4K TV Stick w/ Alexa Remote — $54.99 at Amazon (list price $69.99)

Sony Playstation Plus 12-Month Membership (PS3, PS4, Vita) — $39.99 at Amazon (list price $59.99)

55″ Samsung UN55MU6300 4K HDR-Pro Smart TV + $200 Dell GC — $599.99 at Dell (list price $799.99)

PlayStation VR Bundle w/ Gran Turismo Sport Bundle — $199.99 at Dell (list price $399.99)

55″ TCL 55S405 4K Ultra HD Roku Smart LED HDTV — $399.99 at Amazon (list price $599.99)

More TV Deals here.

Smartphones

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 64GB 6.3″ Unlocked Smartphone + $100 Amazon GC + Qi Charger ‚ $949.99 at Amazon (list price $1074.99)

Huawei Mate 9 64GB Oct-core 1920×1080 Unlocked 5.5″ Smartphone — $399.99 at Amazon (list price $499.99)

Huawei Honor 6x 5.5″ Dual Sim 4G Unlocked GSM Smartphone — $149.99 at Amazon (list price $199.99)

Samsung Galaxy S8 64GB Unlocked Smartphone + $100 Amazon GC + Qi Charger — $724.99 at Amazon (list price $848.95)

More Smartphone Deals here.

Electronics & Components

Lightning Deal: $40 Apple iTunes Gift Cards ($10 Multi-pack) — $34 at Amazon (list price $40)

Huawei + Harman Kardon MediaPad M3 8.0 8.4″ Android 32GB Tablet — $219 at Amazon (list price $299)

Amazon Fire HD 8″ 16GB WiFi Tablet w/ Alexa — $49.99 at Amazon (list price $79.99)

All-New Amazon Fire HD 10 32GB 10.1″ 1080p WiFi Tablet — $119.99 at Amazon (list price $149.99)

Kindle Paperwhite 6″ E-reader — $99.99 at Amazon (list price $119.99)

WEme USB-C to 3-Port USB 3.0 Hub w/ Gigabit Ethernet Adapter — $16.99 at Amazon (use code: OAMYOYKP – list price $22.99)

Samsung Gear 360 4K UHD 360° VR Camera — $129 at Amazon (use code: 40OFF360 – list price $229.99)

Sonos PLAY:1 Wireless Streaming Smart Speaker (For Alexa Users) — $147.10 at Amazon (list price $199.99)

Cowin E-7 Active Noise Cancelling Bluetooth Headphones — $38.99 at Amazon (use code: M8TUC9ZO – list price $69.99)

TOTU BT-2 Bluetooth Wireless In-Ear Headphones (Black) — $14.99 at Amazon (use code: EFCTH5O4 – list price $24.99)

Luma Home 802.11ac Dual-Band WiFi Mesh Router (3-Pack) — $149.99 at Amazon (use code: 20OFFLUM – list price $299)

Samsung EVO Select 128GB microSDXC Card w/ Adapter — $36.99 at Amazon (list price $44.99)

ARCHEER 25W 2.1Ch Bluetooth Speaker w/ Subwoofer — $34.19 at Amazon (use code: 23AJAQHF – list price $59.99)

More Electronics & Tech Deals here.

Tools & Home Improvement, Kitchen Gadgets, and more

Today Only: Philips Norelco Multigroom Beard, Stubble & Body Trimmer — $39.95 at Amazon (list price $75)

Today Only: Philips Sonicare Flexcare Platinum Electric Toothbrush — $99.95 at Amazon (list price $149.99)

Today Only: Dyson Ball Animal Complete Upright Vacuum w/ Bonus Tools (Refurb) — $260 at Amazon (list price $389)

Today Only: iFetch Interactive Ball Launchers for Dogs — $85.99 at Amazon (list price $115)

23andme DNA Ancestry Test Kit — $79 at Amazon (list price $99)

Blendtec 1560W 3HP Total Blender Classic w/ FourSide Jar — $189.99 at Amazon (list price $364.03)

Anova Sous Vide Precision Cooker Immersion Circulator (Bluetooth) — $99 at Amazon (list price $149)

Bostitch 3-Tools & 6-Gal 150PSI 2.6SCFM Compressor Combo Kit — $199 at Amazon (list price $530)

Aicok 1500W 8-Cup Variable Temp Stainless Steel Electric Kettle — $29.92 at Amazon (use code: 4F4QWRET – list price $40.99)

Ragnaros 70W 110V Adjustable Thermostat Soldering Iron Kit — $26.99 at Amazon (use code: NTF8UWRC – list price $35.99)

Nursal Rechargeable Cordless Water Flosser — $29.99 at Amazon (list price $36.99)

PowerBlock Sport Adjustable 5 to 50-Pounds Dumbbell Set — $229.99 at Amazon (list price $299.99)

Fitkeeper Smart Body Scale — $24.99 at Amazon (use code: 6I2R8PG4 – list price $31.99)

Little Giant Alta One 22ft Ladder — $162.92 at Amazon (list price $203.65)

TaoTronics Solar Powered LED Outdoor Lights w/ Flame Effect (2-Pack) — $28.99 at Amazon (use code: 6RUPV8YR – list price $39.99)

Innoo Tech Outdoor Christmas Laser Lights — $26.67 at Amazon (use code: TM5PA9M7 – list price $45.99)

Amagabeli 8″x6″ Stainless Steel Cast Iron Skillet Scrubber — $6.30 at Amazon (use code: HESTRN8F – list price $13.99)

Dr.meter OLED Display Fingertip Pulse Oximeter — $9.99 at Amazon (use code: ZEVZJNE9 – list price $19.99)

Oak Leaf 16.4ft Waterproof Flexible LED Strip Lights — $5.99 at Amazon (use code: KBWEJMKH – list price $9.99)

Zojirushi SM-KHE48AG Stainless Steel Mug (16oz) — $19.87 at Amazon (list price $45)

Enkeeo Anti-Fog 100% UV400 Protection Snow Goggles — $9.90 at Amazon (use code: UQTCI9UK – list price $29.99)

Today Only: Philips Sonicare AirFloss Rechargeable Electric Flosser — $32.99 at Amazon (list price $49.99)

Today Only: Wisdom Panel 3.0 Breed Identification DNA Test Kit — $50.99 at Amazon (list price $79.99)

More Home Deals here and for more great deals visit TechBargains.

Huawei Mate 10 Pro is great where it counts: Camera and battery life

Huawei’s new flagship phones, the Mate 10 and the Mate 10 Pro, are like a typical Hollywood blockbuster — polished in all areas, but entirely void of originality. 

This has always been the case for Huawei, which is still struggling to get significant traction in the U.S. despite being the world’s second-largest smartphone manufacturer. I’ve given up waiting for Huawei to wow me; instead, I’d like to see the company produce a phone that’s really, really good at everything. 

With the latest duo of large-screened flagships, Huawei still hasn’t done it, but it came really, really close. 

The biggest problem with Huawei Mate 10 Pro is that it’s worse, in some regards, than the cheaper, Huawei Mate 10. The two phones share the same cameras and the same Huawei-designed Kirin 970 processor, but they’re different in several key areas.

The Mate 10 Pro has more storage than the Mate 10 out of the box, but it doesn’t support memory cards. It has water resistance, but no headphone jack. It has a beautiful, 6-inch OLED screen, but it has lower resolution, and — due to the different aspect ratio — the display actually smaller than the Mate 10’s 5.9-inch LCD. 

The bottom line: Whichever of these two phones you choose, it’ll be a compromise. 

I’ve used the Mate 10 Pro as my main phone over the last two weeks, and I’ve used the Mate 10 alongside it for comparisons. Let’s start with the traits and features that are the same on both devices.

Performance and battery life

Huawei uses its own Kirin chipset for its phones, and I’ve never had complaints about it. These two phones are powered by the octa-core Kirin 970 coupled with a Mali G-72 GPU, and it’s been blazing fast in day-to-day use. The Pro variant has 6GB of RAM compared to the regular Mate 10’s 4GB, but I haven’t noticed a difference there — and in my previous experience, anything over 4GB in a smartphone is mostly overkill these days. 

Huawei Mate 10 Pro (top) and Mate 10 (bottom)

Huawei Mate 10 Pro (top) and Mate 10 (bottom)

Image: Stan Schroeder/Mashable

However, the Mate 10 Pro came with an unpleasant surprise: Bugs. I’ve gotten accustomed to Huawei’s phones being very polished and bug-free, but here I’ve had problems with Facebook, which crashed intermittently (and often). This could’ve been due to the third-party keyboard I use (I don’t like SwiftKey, which comes by default); once I switched to a different keyboard, the problems stopped. 

The Huawei Mate 10 Pro consistently produces attractive photos.

Both phones have a huge, 4,000mAh (milliamp-hour) battery that charges very fast, and that’s their biggest strength. Just like previous phones from the Mate series, these two go on forever. They’re better than any flagship I’ve recently used, including the LG V30 and the iPhone X. The battery easily endured a day and a half of intensive use; only once, when I was traveling and really bashing the Mate 10 Pro with tasks all day, did the battery come close to 20% at the end of the day. If battery life is important to you, either phone will satisfy you — though keep in mind that neither model supports wireless charging.

The Mate 10 Pro’s stereo speakers sound great. They sound is just a little bit tinny compared to the iPhone X (which has the best speakers I’ve heard on any smartphone), but they’re far better than the sound coming from LG V30’s crummy speaker. 

Huawei is especially proud of the Mate 10 Pro’s AI chip. Other than a few camera tricks, described below, I didn’t notice any benefit of this chip in daily use. 

The camera that mimics everyone

For the Mate 10 Pro (and the Mate 10, which has the exact same cameras), Huawei seems to have decided to throw in every feature present on competing flagships. The Leica-branded rear dual camera has a 20-megapixel, black-and-white sensor coupled with a 12-megapixel color sensor, both with a stellar f/1.6 aperture (same as LG’s V30). On the front, the 8-megapixel camera has an f/2.0 aperture. 

Huawei Mate 10 Pro's camera wouldn't activate portrait mode bokeh on these cute kittens, but I've achieved a similar effect with the wide aperture mode.

Huawei Mate 10 Pro’s camera wouldn’t activate portrait mode bokeh on these cute kittens, but I’ve achieved a similar effect with the wide aperture mode.

Image: Stan Schroeder/Mashable

The dual cameras, coupled with the phone’s AI smarts, allow Huawei to do neat tricks like the faux-bokeh Portrait mode, a feature popularized by the iPhone Plus models. Huawei’s version works surprisingly well — even on the single front camera — and sometimes it produces photos that are just as good, or better, than the “portrait” photos taken by the iPhone X. 

Huawei Mate 10 Pro's portrait mode does a better job of isolating the subject and blurring only the background.

Huawei Mate 10 Pro’s portrait mode does a better job of isolating the subject and blurring only the background.

Image: Stan Schroeder/Mashable

The iPhone X, on the other hand, blurs everything besides the face. It also looks pretty good, and the colors are a bit warmer, but overall isn't much better than the Mate 10 Pro's photo.

The iPhone X, on the other hand, blurs everything besides the face. It also looks pretty good, and the colors are a bit warmer, but overall isn’t much better than the Mate 10 Pro’s photo.

Image: Stan Schroeder/Mashable

However, Huawei has also stuffed in some features that simply don’t make sense. For example, the “lossless 2x zoom” — again, a feature nicked from the iPhone — means the phone takes a photo at 20-megapixel resolution and then digitally zooms it, which is why the feature isn’t available when you’re already taking photos in 20-megapixel resolution. Worse, even the 20-megapixel resolution photos aren’t exactly that, as the phone combines the information from the black-and-white 20-megapixel sensor and the color 12-megapixel sensor to create a 20-megapixel photo.

Huawei's software combines the information from the 20-megapixel monochrome camera and the 12-megapixel color camera into one. In this case, the photo is slightly over-sharpened and unnatural.

Huawei’s software combines the information from the 20-megapixel monochrome camera and the 12-megapixel color camera into one. In this case, the photo is slightly over-sharpened and unnatural.

Image: STAN SCHROEDER/MASHABLE

But here’s the kicker: The Huawei Mate 10 Pro consistently produces attractive photos. They’re not always perfect, and anyone who knows photography will probably dislike the overprocessing that sometimes turns photos into something that resembles a painting, but I’ve been able to catch a good-looking shot on the first try almost every time, which cannot be said for all Android phones. The cameras, both rear and front, were also reasonably fast and performed well in all light conditions — even in dark rooms and during late-night strolls. 

Huawei Mate 10 pro took the best photo of this night vista (check full photo below). The iPhone X's photo is a lot brighter but that results in horrific loss of detail in areas that are already bright. On the other hand, the LG V30 takes a horribly smudgy, barely usable photo.

Huawei Mate 10 pro took the best photo of this night vista (check full photo below). The iPhone X’s photo is a lot brighter but that results in horrific loss of detail in areas that are already bright. On the other hand, the LG V30 takes a horribly smudgy, barely usable photo.

Image: STAN SCHROEDER/MASHABLE

Thanks to the AI chip, the Mate 10 Pro’s camera can intelligently recognize certain scenes and objects and adjust accordingly. It happens every now and then and is a nice showcase for Huawei’s AI tech, but it’s not something that will make a big difference in the way you use the smartphone. 

Every camera would struggle with this low-light scene. Huawei Mate 10 Pro doesn't do a perfect job but it beats both the iPhone X and the LG V30 (see above).

Every camera would struggle with this low-light scene. Huawei Mate 10 Pro doesn’t do a perfect job but it beats both the iPhone X and the LG V30 (see above).

Image: Stan Schroeder/Mashable

Generally, the Mate 10 Pro’s camera is both a huge improvement over the Mate 9’s camera and a worthy competitor to the best smartphone cameras out there, which is a huge accomplishment by Huawei. 

Rejoice, it comes with Android 8.0

The Mate 10 Pro and the Mate 10 come with Android 8.0 out of the box, covered by Huawei’s EMUI skin. I applaud the former and don’t mind the latter — though it takes some getting used to for first-timers, Huawei’s software has been refined over the years and is generally just as good, or better, than the skins you’ll find on other Android phones. 

Huawei’s knuckle gestures feel as an afterthought at this point — I’d accidentally launch one sometimes and only then would I remember that they exist. But there’s an awesome one I consistently use: The double-knuckle-tap to get a screenshot. 

Huawei Mate 10 Pro's OLED screen isn't as bright as the iPhone X's but I was quite happy with it. And yes, it "only" has a 2,160 x 1,080 pixel resolution, but I assure you you won't notice a difference between that and a higher-res OLED screen.

Huawei Mate 10 Pro’s OLED screen isn’t as bright as the iPhone X’s but I was quite happy with it. And yes, it “only” has a 2,160 x 1,080 pixel resolution, but I assure you you won’t notice a difference between that and a higher-res OLED screen.

Image: Stan Schroeder/Mashable

Issues still include features that are unnecessarily hidden in the Settings menu, some degree of bloatware and Huawei’s own software which sometimes requires registration, and I’ve thoroughly skipped. I only have patience to do that once on a phone — sorry, Huawei — and I choose Google. 

Screen, design, and headphone jack blues

Now we arrive at the confusing part. When it comes to internals, the Mate 10 Pro is pretty much the same as the regular Mate 10. But on the outside, they’re very different. The Mate 10 is a wider, bigger phone. It has a 2,560 x 1,440 pixel LCD screen. The Mate 10 Pro’s screen has a smaller resolution (2,160 x 1080) and a different aspect ratio (18:9), but it’s an OLED and its contrast and blacks are better. For me, the Mate 10 Pro wins this one, but some will prefer the Mate 10’s wider format and bigger screen estate. 

Design-wise, the Mate 10 Pro is far more elegant thanks to smaller bezels and a slimmer frame. The Mate 10 looks is more phablet-like and offers more screen real estate, both in terms of resolution and surface size. 

On the back, a stripe that’s slightly darker than the rest of the phone extends from side to side and over the vertically positioned cameras. It’s a nice touch that gives the phone a dash of originality. As is typical of Huawei’s high-end phones, both are incredibly well made and feel solid in the hand. 

The Mate 10 doesn't look very different than the Mate 10 Pro but it feels much bigger in the hand.

The Mate 10 doesn’t look very different than the Mate 10 Pro but it feels much bigger in the hand.

Image: Stan Schroeder/Mashable

Then there’s the question of the headphone jack. The Mate 10 has it, the Mate 10 Pro doesn’t. It’s a big deal for some users, me included, since phones without a headphone jack offer no clear benefits at this point. But then again, the Mate 10 Pro is actually water resistant, while the Mate 10 can only withstand a splash.

I prefer the Mate 10 Pro’s screen, look, format and fingerprint sensor placement, but the Mate 10 wins in other areas.

The fingerprint sensor (which is blazing fast, by the way), is located on the back of the Huawei Mate 10 Pro, but it sits on the front of Mate 10, below the screen. I like the sensor on the back, but some may prefer it the other way around. 

The lack of memory card support on the Mate 10 Pro is especially troubling. I keep all my music on an SD card which I ferry from phone to phone as I change them (which, admittedly, I do far more often than a typical user). I cannot do that with the Mate 10 Pro. Its 128GB of included storage (there’s also a special variant with 256GB of storage) is generous enough, but this is still an issue. The Mate 10, on the other hand, will happily accept a microSD card up to 256GB in capacity. 

All these differences make the choice between these phones quite tough. The price difference, which I’ll talk about in a second, is important, but it’s not just that. For me, neither phone gives me everything I want — I prefer the Mate 10 Pro’s screen, look, format and fingerprint sensor placement, but the Mate 10 wins in other areas. Worse, there are phones out there that offer everything in one package: LG’s V30, which I’ve reviewed, has the headphone jack, water resistance, memory card support, and an OLED screen. 

Price and availability

Huawei prices its flagship phones comparable or just a little bit cheaper to Samsung and Apple’s flagships, and it’s usually hard to justify that price. 

This applies to the Mate 10 Pro and the Mate 10 as well. At 799 euros ($955) in Europe, the Mate 10 Pro costs more than the Pixel 2 XL or a LG V30, and roughly the same as the Galaxy Note 8. The phone isn’t available in the U.S., but at that price it would be a tough sell.  

The Mate 10 is significantly cheaper at 699 euros ($835) and is actually a better buy, all things considered.

Still, I can easily recommend any of these two on two features alone: great camera and amazing battery life. If these are important to you — and I’d say they’re very important to most everyone who owns a smartphone — Huawei’s latest flagships are both a good buy. 

Huawei Mate 10 Pro/Mate 10

The Good

Amazing battery life Great cameras Very good performance

The Bad

Neither of the two phones has all the features a top flagship should have Price could be lower Some bugs

The Bottom Line

Huawei’s latest duo of phones are a good buy if you want a good camera and great battery life. For a more complete set of features, there are better options out there.

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iPhone 8 launch propels Apple to growth in China after 18 months of sales dips


Apple is finally back to growth in China.

The company has broken a run of sales decreases that stretches back six quarters thanks to promising early signs for the newly released iPhone 8, according to a new report from Canalys. The analyst firm recorded 40 percent annual growth for Apple in Q3 2017 with 11 million shipments during the three-month period.

Apple’s revenue from China is down by more than 50 percent from two years ago, according to its most recent Q2 earnings, so growth is much-needed. However, despite progress, the firm ranked only fifth in the Canalys report.

Huawei led the field with 22 million shipments, fractionally ahead of Oppo (21 million — the only annual decline) and Vivo (20 million). Xiaomi, which is rejuvenated in 2017, came in fourth.

Beyond the raw data there are a few notable takeaways worth digging out.

Firstly to Apple, which Canalys believes is not out of trouble in China.

The impact of the iPhone X, the much-anticipated device that goes on sale November 1, isn’t reflected in this report but already limited supply around the phone and its expensive price tag — which starts at $1,000 for the most basic model — may mean the phone doesn’t deliver stellar growth that the U.S. firm saw in China when it released the iPhone 6, its first larger sized device.

“Apple is unlikely to sustain this growth in Q4,” Canalys’ Mo Jia said in a statement.

“While the iPhone X launches this week, its pricing structure and supply are inhibiting. The iPhone X will enjoy a healthy grey market status, but its popularity is unlikely to help Apple in the short term,” Jia predicted.

Beyond Apple — which is so often the focus when studying smartphone sales in China, given its importance to the company — it is clear that a few brands now dominate the Chinese smartphone market.

The top five sellers in Q3 2017, according to Canalys’ numbers, accounted for a massive 75 percent of all devices shipped in China. The analyst firm is predicting that Xiaomi may break into the top three thanks to its usually-impressive performance on China’s major online shopping day — 11/11 — and offline retail, but, that side, it is hard to see any others making headway on the top players at this point.

That’s particularly important because data suggests that growth in the Chinese smartphone market is topped out.

The Canalys report estimated that the market dropped by five percent year-on-year to 119 million shipments. That’s a second successive quarterly drop.

China remains the single largest market for smartphone firms on the planet, but the declines explain why many firms have expanded their focus to cover fast-growing markets like India, which overtook the U.S. on shipments numbers in Q3, and Southeast Asia.

These regions do not yet rival China but, when competition is tough and the market is shrinking, they represent more accessible opportunities for revenue.

Huawei Mate 10 Pro is an AI-powered phone with a unique design

China’s top smartphone maker, Huawei, has recently overtaken Apple in global smartphone sales and it’s second just behind Samsung. 

But with their new, most ambitious smartphone yet — the Mate 10 — the Chinese company is finally ready to take on the competition from all sides. 

The first thing that really strikes you about the Mate 10 and its more powerful variant, the Mate 10 Pro, is the snazzy, sleek, compact design, particularly compared with the past models.

Both the Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro have an aluminium frame, glass back and front which is slightly bent around the edges and really slim bezels on top and bottom.

On the back, the Leica-branded vertical dual-camera module is encased in a horizontal strip that is in a lighter colour compared to the rest of the phone.

In the Pro version that strip, situated just above the fingerprint sensor and combined with the almost bezel-less screen, gives the phone a unique flavour, putting it on par with the new Note 8 or the LG V30. 

Image: huawei

Another important development on the Pro is the massive 6-inches, 18:9 display with 2160×1080 resolution and — finally — OLED technology. Until now, Huawei had obstinately refused to improve full HD, which is still the screen resolution of the Mate 10 version. 

But with the OLED screen, the Mate Pro is telling the iPhone and others things are getting serious. 

In September, after Apple launched its brand-new iPhone X with a much-talked about facial recognition feature, Huawei mocked the American tech giant with a Facebook video which branded their new device #TheRealAiPhone. 

And certainly, in the pre-briefing attended by Mashable, the Mate 10’s AI features took the biggest part of the Chinese company’s PR effort. So what’s all the fuzz about? 

The Mate 10 Pro will have Huawei’s new Kirin 970 chipset and according to Huawei it will be the “world’s 1st smartphone with dedicated neural network processor unit”. 

The chipset has a dedicated AI chip, called NPU or Neural Processing Unit, which is able to simultaneously process complex computing while interacting with its surroundings. Huawei claims the NPU has 25% improvement on performance and 50% on efficiency compared to the normal CPU chip. 

A chart produced by Huawei showed that in a minute the Mate Pro is able to recognise 2,005 photos, while the iPhone 7 Plus 487 and the Samsung S8 just 95. 

Among other things, this means the AI engine is able to give you smart tips based on the hour of the day, prioritising apps you’re more likely to use for example, or switching to low-light or eye-care mode. 

Image: HUAWEI

With Microsoft’s translation app, pre-loaded in the phone, the NPU is able to give fast real-time translation replacing the original text in augmented reality mode while pointing at anything that needs translation. 

But it’s with the camera — Huawei calls it “intelligent photography” — that the NPU has a vast area of applications. 

The phone replicates the 12-megapixel colour/20-megapixel monochrome combination of the Mate 9, with Bokeh effect, digital zoom and optical image stabilization. 

This time, though, those first-class Leica optics will have an impressive f/1.6 lens aperture, just like the LG V30, meaning that in low-light situations the camera will perform better than the f/1.8-equipped iPhone 7, allowing 25% more light. 

Huawei prides itself of the AI-powered object-recognition function that lets the camera identify objects in real-time so that it can swiftly change its settings and adjusts its metrics accordingly. 

At the moment, the categories are: snow, food, sunset, cat, dog, flower, plant and portrait, but Huawei claims the machine-learning system will add more categories as they become available. 

It is not clear whether these functions will overall improve your pictures or they’re just gimmicky.

Mashable briefly tried out the phone’s AI-fuelled camera system and while some features are actually useful — it seemed to swiftly and simultaneously detect night mode + portrait + words, and automatically adjust hue, temperature and sharpness — in other examples, such as the distinction between plant vs flower, it all seemed a bit preposterous. 

Image: HUAWEI

A professional photographer in the room explained how the camera’s intelligent core can help you shoot more accurate pictures of a green field at sunset, for example, as the colour “green” notoriously messes with your camera settings. Only time and a more throughout review will tell the truth. 

The Mate 10 will be available in four colours — Mocha Brown, Champagne Gold and Pink Gold — while the Mate 10 Pro is available in: Midnight Blue, Mocha Brown, Titanium Gray and Pink Gold. 

The Pro will have 6GB RAM + 128GB of memory while the Mate 10 will have 4GB RAM and 64GB memory. Both will have a 4,000mAh battery.

There will also be an exclusive Porsche design variant in Diamond Black. 

The Mate 10 costs 699 euros while the Pro will be at 799 euros. The Porsche design is at a staggering 1395 euros. 

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Chinese smartphone makers closing the gap on iPhone, Samsung


While Samsung and Apple continued to occupy long-time number one and two spots in the global smartphone market in the second quarter of the year, Chinese Android OEMs Huawei, Oppo and Xiaomi are continuing to close the gap.

Analyst Canalys’ latest smartphone market figures show third placed Huawei now nipping right at Apple’s heels. It said Huawei shipped 38 million units in the quarter vs Apple’s 41 million iPhones, with year-over-year growth at 20 per cent and two per cent respectively — the latter despite anticipation building for a significant iPhone refresh later in the year.

Apple reported strong earnings itself yesterday, with investors especially excited about signals of a mega Q4 in its pipeline. Yet consumers evidently didn’t hold off buying iPhones entirely in Q2.

In terms of growth, Canalys said Oppo and Xiaomi were the top performers in the quarter, taking fourth and fifth spot, and growing shipments 44 per cent and 52 per cent respectively. (Late last month the analyst also reported a notable sales spike for Xiaomi on its home turf, estimating it shipped 15M smartphones in Q2 in China, ranking fourth — though Huawei maintained first place with shipments of 23M units.)

Global smartphone market leader Samsung shipped more than 79 million units in the quarter, although its year over year growth was “relatively flat”, and its lead is also being eroded by faster growing Android OEM rivals.

The analyst suggests its therefore hitting a pricing ceiling for its Galaxy brand as multiple rivals work against premium pricing in the Android space — a competitive factor that may even limit Apple’s room for making upward price manoeuvres when it refreshes the iPhone.

“Shipments of the [Samsung Galaxy] S8 have been strong in some regions, but there are signs that demand has been overestimated,” noted Canalys senior analyst Tim Coulling in a statement. “Canalys’ channels research has revealed inventory buildup in Europe, which when combined with discounting in the U.S., indicates Samsung may be testing the limits of Android smartphone pricing.”

“As Apple looks to refresh the iPhone, even with its unique user experience, it too must justify any significant price increases with tangible improvements to both feature set and design,” he added.

Overall, more than 340 million smartphones shipped in Q2, an increase of almost 4 per cent year on year. Although the analyst noted that smartphone markets in India and China both slipped into decline in the quarter.

In North America, it said smartphone shipments in the second quarter increased around 7 per cent, year on year, while Apple grew iPhone sales by 10 per cent — again despite consumer anticipation for a flagship update in fall (and the launch of Samsung’s Galaxy S8 flagships).