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Huawei recently unveiled the Nova 3 in India, an affordable flagship priced at Rs. 34,999, adding a new contender to the likes of the OnePlus 6, the Asus ZenFone 5Z and the Honor 10. Much like the other affordable flagships in the market today, the new Huawei Nova 3 packs in top-of-the-line specifications at a relatively affordable price, making it a compelling competitor in the race to take the crown for the best affordable flagship. But does the flagship hardware included in the device actually live up to the company’s hype? Or is it just another wannabe flagship killer that’s trying to get a piece of OnePlus’ market in the country? If you’re been asking these questions yourself, then you’ve come to the right place, as here we’ll be taking an in-depth look at the Huawei Nova 3 to find out if Huawei’s claims have any substance or if it’s just marketing mumbo-jumbo to mislead the consumers.Huawei Nova 3 Specifications
Being an affordable flagship, the Huawei Nova 3 packs in top-of-the-line hardware to deliver the best performance, while cutting corners in a few areas which aren’t as essential to the average consumer. Let’s take a look at the hardware specifications of the Huawei Nova 3, before we move on to the review:
Display6.3-inch 2340x1080p IPS LCD
ProcessorHisilicon Kirin 970
Primary Camera16MP f/1.8 + 24MP f/1.8 (monochrome)
Secondary Camera24MP f/2.0 + 2MP
Operating SystemEMUI 8.2.0 based on Android 8.1 Oreo
Dimensions & Weight157 x 73.7 x 7.3 mm, 166gm
PriceRs. 34,999What’s In the Box
For the purpose of this review, we received the Iris Purple variant of the Huawei Nova 3 that comes in a minimal white box that has the device’s name written up front. Inside the box, Huawei has included the regular set of accessories, including:
9V/2A charging brick
USB Type-A to USB Type-C cable
SIM ejector tool
PaperworkDesign and Build Quality
On the back, the glass has a shimmery dual-tone finish that changes colors depending on the angle at which you look at the device. Personally, I found it a bit tacky as it isn’t as subtle as the finish found on Huawei’s flagship P20 Pro, but a number of people around the office liked it as it made the device stand out. Bang in the center of the back lies the circular fingerprint sensor, with the vertically oriented dual camera setup placed on the top right corner, along with an LED flash underneath.
Both the power button and the volume rocker reside in a comfortable position on the right edge of the device, with the power button sporting a slight texture which will allow you to differentiate it from the volume rocker. The buttons are made up of metal and have a great tactile feel which gives the device a really premium feel.
Up on top, the device just has a tiny hole for the secondary microphone, while the SIM card slot resides on the left edge of the device. The Nova 3 includes a hybrid dual-SIM tray which will allow users to either install two SIM cards or one SIM card and a micro-USB card for expansion.
The bottom edge of the device houses a single speaker, the primary microphone, a USB Type-C port for charging and data syncing, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. The Huawei Nova 3 has a very modern design and premium build quality, befitting any flagship device launched in 2023. It’s only shortcoming is that it’s extremely slippery, but that can be easily solved by slapping on a case or a skin, which you’d probably do as soon as you get the device.Display
The Huawei Nova 3 sports a 6.3-inch IPS LCD display with a resolution of 2340×1080 pixels, giving it an aspect ratio of 19.5:9. At first, I was disappointed that the device didn’t include an OLED display, but upon using it for a couple of days I realized that it wasn’t all that bad. The display can get fairly bright, aiding in sunlight visibility, and it looks quite vibrant out of the box. In case you don’t like the default color profile, Huawei also gives you the option to customize it according to your personal preference through the color mode and temperature settings in the display menu.
One minor flaw that I found with the display is that the area around the notch is slightly darker than the rest of the display, possibly because the backlight can’t reach the edges properly. However, I got used to that in no time and it wasn’t a major hinderance in any way. While I wish Huawei would have included an OLED panel on the Nova 3, the included LCD isn’t all that bad and if you haven’t used a smartphone with an OLED display before, you won’t have any problems adjusting to the lower contrast ratio.Speakers and Audio
The single bottom firing speaker on the Nova 3 isn’t all that loud and it can get easily muffled while using the phone in the landscape mode. It’s not bad, per se, but it isn’t good either and I’ve definitely heard better smartphone speakers before. I wish Huawei had placed the speaker in a different location or included a better speaker unit, which would have greatly improved the phone’s overall sound output.
Audio quality in calls is pretty great, which is a given if you’re investing in a smartphone at this price point. I had absolutely no qualms with the call quality either and the receiver also heard me quite clearly. Due to the average speaker included in the device, using the speakerphone during calls wasn’t a great experience and it could have been improved significantly had Huawei included a better speaker.Cameras Rear Cameras
Thanks to the monochrome sensor and the AI assist feature, the Nova 3 also performs quite well in low-lighting conditions, capturing a surprisingly good amount of light. Images captured in low-light conditions have surprising amounts of detail with great dynamic range and little to no noise. I was truly impressed with the camera’s low-light performance as it even manages to capture decent images when it’s almost pitch black. Just take a look at these camera samples and see for yourself:
As expected, the Nova 3 has a portrait mode as well which delivers great images time and time again. Portrait images captured using the rear camera setup have a great bokeh effect and decent edge detection, with the camera slightly faltering in low-light conditions. Portrait images captured using the camera are definitely usable and might even be better than those captured by its competitors. Just take a look at these samples:
Interestingly, the Nova 3’s secondary monochrome sensor can be used on its own to capture stunning black and white images. Photos captured by the monochrome sensor are arguably better than those captured by the primary sensor and have better dynamic range and significantly more details. Here are a few comparative samples captured using the monochrome and color sensors:
All-in-all, the Huawei Nova 3’s four cameras are actually worth the hype and I would like to extend my heartiest congratulations to the company on achieving such standards at this price range. On the downside, however, the company needs to take a hard look at the camera UI and consider decluttering it a bit to make it easier to use for the average consumer. I would also really appreciate it if Huawei gave more important settings, like the monochrome and PRO mode, the center stage rather than promoting its useless AR lens and Qmoji features which aren’t that great.Performance
Performance wise, the Huawei Nova 3 stacks up well against the best smartphones in the market today as it packs in the company’s flagship Kirin 970 processor, which can also be found on the P20 Pro, a smartphone almost twice the price of the Nova 3. For some reason, the review unit shipped with an unlocked bootloader which prevented us from installing any major benchmarking software on the the device. It seems like the company is worried about the device’s performance and how its flagship chipset stacks up against the Snapdragon 845 which powers most popular flagship smartphones.
Benchmarks aside, the Huawei Nova 3 performed quite well in real world use, with the UI optimized well enough to deliver lag free performance at all times. The phone felt quite snappy, with apps taking minimal amount of time to load up and remaining in memory even when a number of demanding games were opened right after. The fingerprint sensor felt really snappy and the IR assisted face unlock feature also worked quite well, although it isn’t as fast as the face unlock feature on OnePlus devices which only makes use of the front facing camera.
Gaming on the Huawei Nova 3 was also pretty great and I tried out a bunch of demanding games like PUBG Mobile, Shadowgun Legends, Asphalt 9: Legends, and Tekken, and the phone didn’t lag out on me even once. As expected, the games automatically selected the highest possible graphics settings each time and playing the games on the near bezel-less display was an immersive experience. Despite the fact that the Kirin 970 chip didn’t fare quite as well as the Snapdragon 845 in synthetic benchmarks, it’s still a capable chip and you surely won’t be disappointed by its performance.Software
On the software side of things, the Huawei Nova 3 runs the company’s EMUI 8.2.0 based on Android 8.1 Oreo. I’ll admit that I’m slightly biased against any skinned versions of Android and I prefer a stock or near-stock Android experience over anything else, but I had absolutely no issues with Huawei’s custom skin in my time with the device. Much like other skinned versions of Android, EMUI is chock full of customization options which give users a number of features that they’d not find in stock Android, so if you’re into that you might like the Nova 3’s UI much more than I did.
Huawei has also packed in full-screen gesture navigation on the device which makes use of a pill, like the one found on Android P. The gestures are quite fluid, but they aren’t as intuitive as the ones implemented by Xiaomi or Vivo, so I’d suggest that you stick to the usual navigation buttons for now. In case you don’t like the skinned UI as much, you can always install your favorite Android launcher, Nova (lol) being my go-to choice, and customize it completely to your personal preference. Since the software experience is quite subjective and differs from user to user, I won’t hold the customized UI design against Huawei as I faced absolutely no problem in my time with the device, despite the fact that I didn’t really like the looks of it.Battery
The smartphone ships with a 9V/2A charging brick which is capable of charging the device quite quickly. In my testing, the device charged from 10 to 60 percent in an hour and forty five minutes, reaching 100 percent in a total of two hours and twenty five minutes. As you can already tell, charging the Nova 3 is a bit slow and it’s not even remotely close to charging speeds delivered by OnePlus’ Dash Charge technology. Another thing worth noting is that the smartphone charges rather uniformly, unlike other fast charging solutions which charge up the device pretty quickly up to 50 percent and then slow down a bit before reaching 100 percent. This means that the Nova 3’s charging solution isn’t exactly ideal for quick top-ups and you’ll have to charge the device for at least an hour if you want to get close to 50 percent charge on your device.
Premium design and build quality
Great camera performance
Good battery life
Cluttered camera UI
Slow charging speedsHuawei Nova 3 Review: Would Definitely Recommend!
In conclusion, the Huawei Nova 3 is a great affordable flagship which brings an amazing camera, good battery backup and decent performance to the table. Despite its poor benchmark scores, the Nova 3 might be the best affordable flagship in the market today and it stacks up quite well against other affordable flagships, like the OnePlus 6 and the Asus ZenFone 5Z. The smartphone really shines in the camera and battery life department, however, it does fall slightly behind in the performance and audio department. The OnePlus 6, with its OLED display and near stock Android UI, also delivers a better user experience.
Buy from Amazon: (Rs. 34,999)
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Extremely affordable lifetime plan
10 simultaneous connections
Free cloud storage and password manager includedCons
Smaller feature set
No independent audit
Issues with streaming site blockingOur Verdict
FastestVPN is extremely affordable, allows up to 10 simultaneous connections, and has decent enough speeds. Unfortunately its claimed no-log policy isn’t backed up by a third-party audit and there are issues with streaming sites blocking connections. FastestVPN might not be the best, but the lifetime plan gives you premium features for a rock-bottom price.Best Prices Today: FastestVPN
FastestVPN in brief:
P2P allowed: Yes
Simultaneous device connections: 10
Business location: Cayman Islands
Number of servers: 300+
Number of country locations: 39+
Cost: $7 per month, $24.95 per year, or $40 for a lifetime plan
FastestVPN’s name says it all: It aims to be the fastest VPN service around. It’s no easy feat to lead with a superlative like that and back it up. FastestVPN strives to be a top VPN and at least on the surface, it makes a persuasive case for itself.
The company is based in the Cayman Islands, which bodes well for privacy and security. The service also offers a solid premium feature set, with 10 simultaneous connections, P2P optimized servers, no logs, and stated promises to unblock region locks on most of the top streaming platforms.
Note: This review is part of our best VPNs roundup. Go there for details about competing products and how we tested them.FastestVPN: Features and services
From the time of our last review, FastestVPN has once again upgraded the design of its application to make it simpler and easier to use across devices. Upon first opening the application in Windows, you’ll find a list of countries you can connect to in the main screen, making it easy to get started right away. Off to the right you’ll find the FastestVPN trademark lightning-bolt button to connect, along with basic info about the connection (IP address and server location). In the top-right you’ll have three buttons for the home screen, account info, and settings.
FastestVPN provides three protocol options and an auto option, which chooses the best of the three for your tasks.
The settings screen is similar to what we’ve seen in previous versions of the app. Here you can switch your VPN protocol between IKEv2, TCP, UDP, and Auto. The Auto protocol option is new and when chosen will theoretically give you the best protocol among the other three according to your given tasks.
For only $40 for a lifetime plan, FastestVPN is certainly worth considering.
Below the VPN protocol options are checkboxes for things such as an Internet kill switch as well as options to Launch at startup, Redial automatically if connection drops, and Auto connect after launch—all standard fare for most modern VPN applications. The kill switch is a nice feature though and isn’t provided by all VPN services.
As for servers, it’s a little unclear how many servers FastestVPN actually has. It claims “Servers Available in 39+ Countries and 55+ Locations,” but we found that what servers are actually available will depend somewhat on the device and application you are using. Additionally, it has a limited number of streaming-specific servers and D-VPN (Double VPN) servers that bounce your connection through more than one server to provide double encryption.
FastestVPN has app support for a ton of devices.
FastestVPN has done a great job providing app support for a ton of devices. These range from the standards such as Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android, to others such as Linux, Roku, and Amazon Firestick, among others. It even has browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox.
Unfortunately, one area that seems to be missing from all of FastestVPN’s apps is information regarding each specific server’s load or latency figures. This is useful if you’re looking to connect to the fastest server in a given location, and frankly it’s a missed opportunity in the application design. Regardless, the applications are straightforward and easy to use across all devices.
One other quirk we noticed was a problem with the Windows application when installing. It seems that it may not have the proper certification with Microsoft, which causes Windows Defender to flag the application and present an error message that halts the installation process. This is easy enough to bypass, but may be confusing at first.
FastestVPN also provides a few bonus features such as helpful 24/7 chat and email support, a free password manager, and up to 2TB of cloud storage.FastestVPN: Performance
In our performance tests we compared the base speed of our internet to that of different server locations across the world to see how our internet speed connected to a VPN compares to our base internet speed.
Last time around we saw FastestVPN hitting 45 percent of the base speed in our tests averaged across all locations. At the time, that was a huge bump from the 30 percent base speeds in our initial review of the service.
This time around we didn’t see quite the same jump, but we did notice a slight improvement of up to 49.5 percent of the base download speed when connected to FastestVPN’s servers. Furthermore, we saw an admirable 68 percent of the base upload speed. These are solid numbers and FastestVPN’s recent upgrade to 10Gbps+ speed servers is obviously making a difference for its users.
FastestVPN has specific servers to use to unblock streaming sites.
FastestVPN does an alright job at getting around region locks and geo-restricted content. Using its normal servers was rather hit or miss when trying to access sites such as Netflix and Disney+. Some servers were able to bypass the region locks while many others were actively blocked and the streaming sites wouldn’t load properly. That being said, FastestVPN (at the time of writing) has seven streaming-specific servers, which all worked just fine in our tests. The only issue here is that if you want to access content from countries other than these streaming-server locations, you may be out of luck.FastestVPN: Security and privacy
FastestVPN security features.
FastestVPN’s official business location is the Cayman Islands. This might sound kind of sketchy at first glance, but the company says that this was on purpose in order to avoid any laws requiring them to keep browsing records on its customers.
The service uses the industry standard AES 256-bit encryption and comes with IPv6 and DNS leak protection. Our DNS leak tests proved that there were no IP or DNS leaks while using the VPN. This is important as IP and DNS data leaks can allow for outside parties to know your true location and watch your activity while online.FastestVPN: Final thoughts
FastestVPN has improved upon its service since the last time we tested it, but there are some areas that still need improvement. It’s obvious that it doesn’t have the same resources as some of the largest VPN services, but nonetheless it’s still able to make the core VPN features work.
Despite what is stated in its name, it may not be the fastest VPN, nor does it have the most robust feature set. But that’s not the main draw anyways. The company seems to know where it stands in the marketplace and it’s leaning heavily on privacy and cost.
It offers enough speed and security for most everyday uses, and extras such as free Cloud storage and a password manager are welcomed additions. Ultimately, it’s the price that will appeal to most people and for only $40 for a lifetime plan, FastestVPN is certainly worth considering.
Editor’s note: Because online services are often iterative, gaining new features and performance improvements over time, this review is subject to change in order to accurately reflect the current state of the service. Any changes to text or our final review verdict will be noted at the top of this article.
It may sound obvious to compare the MateBook 13 to the MacBook Air, but it’s hard not to. With such similar designs there’s little to tell the laptops apart on aesthetics, but as soon as you look at the internals Huawei’s laptop pulls sharply ahead. The only real compromises are on webcam quality and battery life, though the latter could be a dealbreaker for anyone considering switching from Apple.
Huawei’s MateBook X and MateBook X Pro are some of the best looking laptops on the market, but they each came with a few compromises – and hefty price tags. That’s all the more reason to to be excited about the MateBook 13, which brings the same style at a friendlier price.
Announced at CES 2023, the MateBook 13 looks an awful lot like the X and X Pro – with a few compromises, to be fair – but shaves a few hundred off the price, turning it into a competitive rival to the likes of the MacBook Air or the new Dell XPS 13 and potentially one of the best laptops of 2023.Price and availability
The MateBook 13 is out now, and comes in two models – with specs varying slightly between regions. In the UK, the base model is £899 (available from Amazon or Currys) and comes with a Core i5 processor and 256GB of storage. The higher end model – the one we were given to review – costs £1099 (from Amazon, Currys, Very, Argos, or AO) and includes a faster i7 processor and double the storage, 512GB. Both models have the same 8GB RAM and integrated Intel graphics.
Specs in the US are almost the same. The base model is the same – a Core i5 processor and 256GB storage, though it comes in a silver finish – and will cost you $999 (from Amazon, B&H, or Newegg), but the pricier version is a little different. In addition to the i7 processor and 512GB storage, the US model includes an Nvidia MX150 graphics card for $1299 (from Amazon, B&H, or Newegg).
Considering that the MacBook Air starts from £1,199/$1,199 for a model with less storage than Huawei’s, while the XPS 13 starts from £999/$899 for an i3 processor, that pricing is already seriously competitive, and anyone looking for a compact, portable laptop around that price point should at least be considering the MateBook 13.Apple-ish aesthetics
If you’ve seen any of Huawei’s recent laptops then the MateBook 13 will appear immediately familiar. There’s the same grey finish (with silver on the cheaper American model), with minimal bezels, an expansive touchpad, and all-metal construction.
It will probably also appear familiar if you’ve seen Apple’s latest MacBook and MacBook Air, and it’d be hard not to admit that Huawei’s designers owe a debt to Apple’s. That’s partly what will fuel the inevitable comparisons to the new Air, and the MateBook comes out surprisingly well.
The 13in, 2160 x 1440 touchscreen display is in the same 3:2 aspect ratio Huawei’s favoured for a few years. It’s a squarer, boxier format than you might be used to, which results in a lot of letter-boxing when you watch movies or TV, but leaves you with plenty of vertical screen real estate when you’re working or browsing the web. That makes it ideal as a work device, if less optimal for curling up in bed with Netflix.
The keyboard is pretty lovely, with comfortable key spacing and a really responsive, short action. These are very low-profile keys, which might take a little getting used to for some, but undeniably easy to type on. The trackpad is a bit less appealing – the size is great, but there’s a very slight stickiness to it, with just a bit too much drag for my liking. It feels slightly wrong to me, in a way that’s hard to pin down, and I’d recommend trying to check the laptop out in person if you can to make sure it won’t bother you.
You also get a fingerprint reader built into the power button, so you can turn the device on and unlock it with just one touch. It gets a bit confused sometimes when waking the laptop up from sleep – press the button when you mean to just read your fingerprint and you might end up accidentally putting it back to sleep – but once you get the hang of it it does tend to be fairly responsive.
At 1.3kg it’s not super lightweight, and this is clearly where the corners were cut to keep that price down – it’s not heavy, but it’s got a bit more heft than it looks like it should. For comparison, it’s the same weight as the larger MateBook X Pro – which has a 13.9in display and a bigger battery to justify the size – though in fairness it’s still only fractionally heavier than its Apple rival.Undercutting the competition
Specs are surprisingly impressive for the price, and this is where the MateBook 13 really pulls away from its Apple and Dell equivalents. The fact that the base £899/$999 model packs an i5, 8GB RAM and 256GB storage is undeniably competitive.
The premium model is arguably even better value, especially in the US. In the UK you’re looking at £200 extra for the i7 and double storage, while in the US it’s an extra $300, but that also gets you the MX150 graphics card. That makes the MateBook 13 one of the cheapest ultrabooks with a discrete GPU you can find. The only real downside here is the RAM – 8GB isn’t bad, but it lags behind the rest of the specs, and may put off anyone hoping to use it for proper video or photo editing on the go.
The webcam is also a bit of a letdown. Megapixels aren’t everything, but a 1Mp camera is, well, not good. That’s the sort of compromise I’d be perfectly happy to make because I never really use my webcam much anyway, but for anyone regularly using their laptop for video calls it’s likely to feel like a real limitation.
Battery life is also a bit of a concern. I use the original MateBook X as my daily laptop, and there are a lot of things I love about it, but battery life ain’t one of them. The MateBook 13 has a similar capacity, and it shows – it lasted nine hours in our continuous video playback test, two hours less than the XPS 13. In daily usage, I’ve probably been getting 5-6 hours from it – not terrible, but it’s undeniably lagging behind the competition. At least the fact that it uses USB-C for charging means it’s easy to top up anywhere, and will work with any USB-C PD battery pack.Verdict
It may sound a bit obvious to compare the MateBook 13 to the MacBook Air, but it’s hard not to. With such similar designs there’s little to tell the laptops apart on aesthetics, and as soon as you look at the internals Huawei’s laptop pulls sharply ahead.
The base model offers double the storage of Apple’s for £300/$200 less, while the more expensive one manages to include a faster processor, double the storage, and a discrete GPU in the US, and still comes out cheaper than Apple’s £1,399/$1,399 SKU.
The only real compromises are on webcam picture quality and battery life, though the latter could be a dealbreaker for anyone seriously considering switching from San Cupertino.Specs Huawei MateBook 13: Specs
13-inch 3:2 (2160 x 1440) touchscreen display
8th Generation Intel Quad Core i5 or i7 processor
Intel UHD Graphics 620 or Nvidia GeForce MX150 (US-only)
256GB or 512GB SSD
41.8 WHr battery (built-in)
2x USB-C 3.1
1x 3.5mm headphone jack
Full size, backlit chiclet keyboard
Windows Hello fingerprint reader
14.9mm x 286mm x 211mm
The new iPad Air 3 is the follow-up to a legendary tablet, the iPad Air 2. The second-generation iPad Air introduced a thinner profile, laminated digitizer, and Touch ID to Apple’s tablet lineup for the very first time. The iPad Air 2 was also well-regarded for its speed — sporting 2GB of RAM for the first time in any iOS device, and a new chip that put an emphasis on GPU performance.
When looking back at the iPad Air 2, it goes without saying that the third-generation model has some big shoes to fill. And as you’ll see from our iPad Air 3 review, it proves to be a worthy, if not a slightly boring follow-up, because it’s essentially an iPad Pro lite.Specifications
Apple A12 chip with Neural Engine
P3 wide color display
Compatible with Smart Keyboard and first-gen Apple Pencil
Dual stereo speakers
8-megapixel f/2.4 rear camera
7-megapixel f/2.2 FaceTime HD camera
3.5mm headphone connection
Several additional Gigabit-class LTE bands
Silver, space gray, and gold color options
The 3rd-generation iPad Air starts at $499 with 64GB of flash storage, while a 256GB model sells for $649. Cellular versions of the iPad Air 3 can be acquired for a $130 premium, bringing a max-configured iPad Air 3 to $779.00, easily within striking distance of the $799 starting price of the 11-inch 2023 iPad Pro.Watch: iPad Air 3 review
Subscribe to 9to5Mac on YouTube now for more video reviewsUnboxing
Inside the iPad Air 3 box, you’ll find the typical stuff that you normally find in an iPad unboxing. There’s the iPad Air 3 unit itself, a packet with regulatory/legal information, getting started guide, and Apple stickers.
Unlike the new iPad Pro models, which utilize USB-C and come with a new 18W power adapter, Apple includes the typical Lightning to USB-A cable, and a 12W power adapter inside the third-generation iPad Air box.10.5-inch semi-pro iPad
Apple channeled the 2nd-generation 10.5-inch iPad Pro, released in June 2023, as the inspiration for the iPad Air 3. The most obvious indicator of this is when looking at its form factor. Instead of a 9.7-inch display like the previous generation iPad Air, the new model sports a 10.5-inch display with 2224×1668 resolution like the 2nd-generation iPad Pro.
Another notable enhancement to the iPad Air 3 involves the display, which now supports P3 wide color. The backlight is also brighter (500 nits vs 450 nits) and features a stronger antireflective coating with just 1.8% reflectivity.
The 3rd-gen iPad Air is barely heavier than the 2nd-gen model (1.00 vs 0.96 pounds), but it features a slightly larger form-factor coupled with a larger display and reduced bezels. This results in a tablet that looks like a more modern take on the iPad Air 2.
The exterior of the new iPad Air 3 looks a lot like the 10.5-inch iPad Pro, but it’s the processor that really pushes it into “iPad Pro Lite” territory. The iPad Air 3 comes with the same six-core A12 Bionic chip with Neural Engine found inside Apple’s flagship iPhone XS smartphone, which means that performance gets a huge upgrade over the A8X found in the iPad Air 2 and also bests the 2023 iPad Pro.
CPU performance on the iPad Air 3 is better than the 2023 10.5-inch iPad Pro
The rear facing 8-megapixel f/2.4 camera appears to be very similar to the hardware found in iPad Air 2, which means photos and video won’t be great, but it also means no camera bump. I don’t shoot many photos or videos with my iPad, so I’ll happily take an outdated camera if it means no camera bump.
The f/2.2 FaceTime HD camera, on the other hand, receives a nice 7-megapixel upgrade from the measly 1.2-megapixel shooter found on the iPad Air 2. And instead of 720p HD video recording, the new FaceTime HD camera supports full HD 1080p capture along with Retina Flash. Both cameras support wide color capture and Live Photos.
Battery life remains the same thanks to a larger 30.2‐watt‐hour-rated rechargeable lithium‑polymer battery. This allows the unit to maintain its 10-hour all-day battery life rating despite a larger display and faster processor.
The release of the iPad Air 3 marks the first time that the Smart Connector, used exclusively for attaching Apple’s Smart Keyboard, appears on an iPad not donning ‘Pro’ branding. Therefore, the same Smart Keyboard that worked with the 10.5-inch 2nd-generation iPad Pro also works with the new 10.5-inch iPad Air 3.
Artists and prolific note-takers will be happy to learn that the iPad Air 3 works with the first-generation Apple Pencil or the more budget-minded Logitech Crayon. Hence, if you’re a student or creative professional who’s looking to transition to a tablet-based workflow, then the iPad Air just became a legitimate option for you.Where the 10.5-inch iPad Pro remains better
I refer to the new iPad Air 3 as the iPad Pro “Lite”, because although it’s heavily inspired by the 10.5-inch iPad Pro, it lacks some of the pro hardware’s key features.
First and foremost, the iPad Air 3 lacks support for ProMotion, the adaptive display refresh technology that results in smoother screen interactions and enhanced Apple Pencil support. It’s difficult to explain why ProMotion is so nice without seeing it in action, but the best way I can describe it is that it makes scrolling smoother, content on-screen easier to read while scrolling, and reduces Apple Pencil latency.
Another big difference is that the 2023 iPad Pro sported a far-superior rear-facing camera that supported 4K video capture. The 12-megapixel f/1.8 camera on that iPad Pro model still holds up well today and even came equipped with optical image stabilization, a feature that current iPad Pro models lack.
The last-generation iPad Pro also shipped with 4GB of RAM, while the 2023 iPad Air sports 3GB of RAM. It’s largely assumed that the extra GB of RAM in the iPad Pro is there to support the ProMotion adaptive display technology, which the new iPad Air doesn’t have.
GPU performance on the iPad Air 3 isn’t as good as the 2023 10.5-inch iPad Pro
And although the A12 Bionic chip yields much faster CPU performance than the A10X found in the 2023 iPad Pro, the A10X has better GPU compute performance, which isn’t surprising given that it’s a X-branded chip that places more emphasis on GPU performance. Thus, if you’re a gamer, or someone who works with other GPU-intensive tasks, the 2023 iPad Pro might actually perform better in some areas.
The final standout difference between the two models is the lack of quad-speaker support, which makes possible landscape stereo sound, a staple of iPad Pro models. Instead, there’s a simple stereo speaker setup found on the iPad Air 3. In my opinion that’s not a big deal for a mid-range offering like the Air 3, but it’s a noticeable change when watching movies and listening to music if you’re used to the quad-speaker setup.Filling the gap A big upgrade over the budget $329 iPad
Although it gained support for the Apple Pencil last year, the $329 iPad lacks support for a version of the Smart Keyboard, because it doesn’t come with a Smart Connector. If you’re someone who plans on using their iPad to write long-form content, this is something to consider. You can always pair a cheap Bluetooth keyboard, but the Smart Keyboard provides a more seamless experience.
While the Apple A10 chip found in the budget iPad is decent enough for modest tasks, it’s nowhere near the CPU or GPU performance of the A12 Bionic found on the new iPad Air 3. With this in mind, the iPad Air will enjoy a longer shelf-life than the budget-minded iPad.Other options to consider…
If you decide to configure your iPad Air 3 with cellular connectivity and 256GB of storage, you will have to decide whether it’s worth upgrading to the iPad Pro. The difference between a maxed our iPad Air 3 and a base model 11-inch iPad Pro is only $20, and Apple undoubtedly prices it this way to make buyers consider stepping up to the next tier.
The iPad Pro offers a larger display, a substantially more exciting design, along with enhancements like ProMotion, USB-C, and Face ID. It’s currently severely limited by iOS 12, but it has a higher ceiling when it comes to gaining new features via future iOS updates. Be sure to read our full 2023 iPad Pro review for a hands-on look at what it’s like to use it.
There’s also the 2023 iPad mini 5, which released alongside the new iPad Air 3. The iPad mini 5 is essentially an iPad Air 3 in the body of an iPad mini. It’s the tablet to get if portability is the most important thing to you. It has most of the features of the iPad Air 3, but obviously lacks the bigger display, and it doesn’t come with a Smart Connector for connecting a Smart Keyboard. Again, if portability trumps everything else in your eyes, then the iPad mini is a great option, and you don’t have to make any performance sacrifices.9to5Mac’s Take
Let’s not over think it. Apple sorely needed a midrange tablet offering in its lineup, and the iPad Air 3 answers that call nicely. It’s anything but exciting for seasoned iPad users, and it brings nothing to the table that we haven’t seen before, yet it fills an important need in Apple’s lineup.
The iPad Air 3 is boring, but in a Toyota Camry, this-is-a solid-everyday-vehicle boring type of way. It’s a mid-range tablet with a mid-range price that makes very few compromises, but it’s also anything but exciting.
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In recent years, organizations are employing disruptive technologies that can help them stay ahead in the market while ensuring enhanced customer services in real-time. Out of these technologies, data analytics and cloud practices are gaining more popularity owing to their vast usability. By leveraging data analytics solutions, companies gain actionable insights for making informed decisions. Adopting cloud practices allows streaming and processing of data on a real-time basis, while reducing the data storage expenses.A Dynamic Technology Leader
Keith Angell holds 30 years of experience in C-level and board positions at venture capital and private equity-backed technology companies. Prior to becoming Pythian’s CEO, Angell was a Pythian board member where he helped develop the “Value Creation” plan for the company. Besides Pythian, he currently serves on the boards of ManageServe Technologies, an SAP-certified managed services provider; Anexinet Corporation, an IT services provider; and Eze Castle Integration, a managed services and technology solutions provider. At Pythian, Angell’s focus is on “customers first and employees always”. He is leading the company through the next critical stage of high growth in the enterprise data, analytics, and cloud market. Angell began his career in a management development program that provided “best-in-class” management techniques. From there, he worked at consulting practices that gave him a true appreciation for myriad enterprise issues that affect several industries. When Angell entered into leading venture capital and private equity-backed high growth technology companies, he was well-prepared to leverage these insights to become a successful and respected CEO. His goal is to pass those skills on to the next generation of leaders.Fostering Diversity: A Ladder to Success
Angell observed a lack of diversity in many of the companies he has worked with. As a result, he’s made it a priority to build teams that represent a variety of leaders, skill sets, and global perspectives in the companies he has led. This approach ensures opportunities across a broad spectrum of people which benefits more than just the individuals involved – it provides tremendous value to the organizations.Factors Shaping Leaders of Tomorrow
Angell believes every great leader should possess a passion for continued learning and growth. This is especially important in the world of technology, which is changing more rapidly than ever before. Interpersonally, every leader must learn to listen—to customers, employees, partners, stakeholders, and even the competition. Intellectual curiosity and listening discernment are vital attributes of great leaders.Equating Customer Needs with Innovations
Pythian is investing in two key areas: first, in its customers and their evolving needs relative to data, analytics, and the cloud; and second, in its people. The company’s technical teams possess a wealth of IT certifications and specializations, which allows them to meet the specific goals of each client by creating and delivering the most innovative solutions. The powerful combination of Pythian’s extensive expertise in data, analytics, and the cloud, combined with a commitment to keep on top of the latest technologies, makes it the perfect partner to help mid and large-size businesses transform to deliver better business outcomes faster in today’s rapidly changing digital economy.Creating Right Cloud Analytics Solutions Leading the Change in Data Analytics Market
Pythian supports organizations every day that are struggling with unprecedented volumes of data but lack proper data governance, architecture, security, and strategy. These companies need a partner that can help them leverage the value of this data and glean valuable insights through cloud-based analytics. Angell’s vision for Pythian is to enable these organizations to harness the incredible power and value of their data so that the benefits are realized by their employees and customers, as well as on the top and bottom lines of their revenue statements.Radiating Key Advice to Budding Talents
1) Customers – meet with customers EVERY day to understand their goals and help them achieve those outcomes. 2) Employees – develop a collaborative, consensus-building leadership style that brings people together and enables them to successfully achieve the company mission.
Google Pixel foldable release date tipped with controversial cameras
Google’s effectively spilled the beans when it comes to their upcoming Pixel foldable smartphone. This device seemed inevitable since the company started including foldable display features with the newest version of Android and Android development for the near future. But now, here in the latest version of the official Google camera app, codes show the device is in development and appears to be in the pipeline for an expected release in the year 2023.
Per an APK file investigation at 9to5Google, the latest Google camera app shows the Pixel foldable smart device with a few key details ready for release next year. This device is attached to a set of cameras that’d indicate it was using the same main camera sensor* as appears on the notably thin-bodied Google Pixel 5, likely allowing the entire device to avoid the massive bump included with the Pixel 6.
The camera system on the Google Pixel 5 remains more than good enough for the average user – especially as Google continues to develop the smart camera software that works with the device’s specific set of cameras and sensors. The Google Pixel foldable will likely pull focus away from the back-facing camera given its far more important foldable display panel inside – along with a pair of front-facing cameras.
Code indicates that the Google Pixel foldable will work with two identical front-facing cameras. This almost certainly suggests that there’ll be one on the outside when folded closed, and another inside when folded open.
*The Pixel foldable code in the Google camera app also shows a second camera sensor at the back of the device: the Sony IMX386. This is a 12MP camera sensor that’s appeared in a variety of devices over the past several years, including the Nokia 9 PureView, Huawei Mate 10 Pro, Xiaomi Mi Max 2, and the Motorola Moto Z2 Force. This is an RGB/Monochrome camera with a 6.20 mm (1/2.9″) sensor that rolls with 1.25 μm size pixels (unit cell size) that was released at right around the same time as a very comparable IMX sensor released at the same time that was included with the first Google Pixel.
It’s highly likely that this camera will be used as intended by Sony, as an ultrawide camera, and that it’ll be promoted as a “folded” camera. That’ll mean the user will snap photos with this camera while the Pixel is folded closed, using the front (non-foldable) display as a viewfinder. It’s highly likely that if Google releases a Pixel foldable with a restriction on this camera (folded only), they’ll quickly find users flipping their lids, seeking ways to use the camera in both folded and unfolded configurations – that’s basically a given.
It’s highly likely we’ll see the Google Pixel foldable released in the first half of the year 2023. Google has Android 12L in development now, with an expected release date of March of 2023. Take a peek at Android 12L and notice the release schedule – development is going on now, with an expected final public release after February of 2023 on into March.
Sound like a good time for Google to release their first Pixel foldable, right in time to make use of the software they’ve announced for a device with a big and/or foldable display? Given all we know about Google’s release schedule and previous Pixel reveal dates, we estimate a March 22nd reveal date, then (barring any supply issues), a release date of March 25, 2023 – we shall see!
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