Four Innovation awards were also given out in this year's Editor's Choice segment, with the aim of recognizing innovative products and cutting-edge technologies that have emerged during the eligibility period. Two of them have made it to this category and they are the Samsung Galaxy Fold and the ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo UX581.
The Samsung Galaxy Fold was one of the most important phone launches of 2019. It's a landmark phone, not just for Samsung but for the entire phone industry. Granted, it got off to a rocky start, but Samsung should be commended for swiftly taking action and correcting its course. More importantly, the Galaxy Fold will be remembered in history as being the first mass-market foldable phone, selling at least 400,000 units and that's an impressive achievement.
It's also a showpiece, not just for foldable display technology, but what's possible if price was of no concern and all the latest in mobile and display technology were crammed into one phone. In short, it's a glimpse into the future. It's still early days yet for foldable displays and foldable phones but if foldable phones do take off in the near future, we all have the Galaxy Fold to thank.
Reference: Samsung Galaxy Fold hands-on
Massive advances in cellular and wireless connectivity means mobile computing is now more important than ever. Certainly, apart from phones, notebooks have seen the biggest changes and improvements in terms of form factor and design. Hybrid form factor notebooks such as convertible and detachable notebooks are more popular than ever and have helped people become more productive. And now, it seems like we are on the cusp of a new era of notebooks thanks to the ASUS ZenBook Pro 15 UX581, which features not one but two displays.
To be fair, dual display notebooks are not entirely new but the ZenBook Pro 15 UX581 deserves accolades for being the most refined and thoughtful dual display notebook that we have seen yet. Most importantly, it overcomes the issue of a second display just for the sake of it. On the ZenBook Pro 15 UX581, the second display, called the ScreenPad Plus, is 14 inches large and shares the same horizontal pixel count as the main display so that content flows seamless from one display to the next. ASUS has even gone to the trouble of ensuring it has a matte display and that it's placed as close to the main display as possible and at a fixed angle so that users' eyes can glance at the two displays easily. In short, the two displays isn't just a gimmick, it really works and, in the right hands, can be really helpful.
Reference: ASUS ZenBook Pro UX581 review
Phones today are not just communication devices, they are also cameras. Which is why brands work so hard at ensuring their phones take brilliant pictures. Doing this requires great camera sensors and Samsung has just provided ammunition to phone makers in the form of its ISOCELL Bright HMX mobile image sensor.
It’s a sensor that takes photos at mind-boggling 108-megapixels and has a large sensor size of 1/1.33-inch. Its sheer size allows it to take photos, especially in low-light conditions. But size aside, it also has pixel-binning technologies that enable it to combine its tiny pixels to create a larger one to take bright, albeit lower resolution photos. This should mean better photos especially in challenging lighting conditions – a problem that plagues all smartphones because of their tiny sensors. Not only do you get detailed photos, but you could potentially crop in and still get very usable images without resorting to telephoto mode.
The first phones to use Samsung’s ISOCELL Bright HMX are already in the market and they seem to be capable of taking some really impressive photos. First out is Xiaomi's Mi Note 10 Pro, and Samsung's very own Galaxy S20 Ultra is hitting the shelves next month.
More are expected to come throughout the rest of the year so 2020 could very well turn out to be a landmark year for mobile phone photography, spearheaded by Samsung's game-changing mobile sensor.
Reference: Xiaomi Note 10 Pro review
For a full list of content related to the HWM and HardwareZone.com Tech Awards 2020 outcome, you can refer to the following links: