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Realme C21 Battery review: Falls a bit short

Realme C21 Battery review: Falls a bit short

Appearing in June 2020, the Realme C21 lands in our Essential (under $200) segment and features a large-capacity 5000 mAh battery, which we have recently tested. Here are some of the key results.

Key specifications:

  • Battery capacity: 5000 mAh
  • 10W charger
  • 6.5-inch, 720 x 1600, 60 Hz, IPS LCD display
  • Mediatek Helio G35 (12 nm) chipset
  • Tested ROM / RAM combination: 64 GB + 4 GB

About DXOMARK Battery tests: For scoring and analysis in our smartphone battery reviews, DXOMARK engineers perform a variety of objective tests over a week-long period both indoors and outdoors. This article highlights the most important results of our testing. (See our introductory and how we test articles for more details about our smartphone Battery protocol.)

Test summary

Pros

  • Autonomy of more than two days (57 hours) with moderate use
  • Low power drain when the phone is fully charged and unplugged

Cons

  • Slow to charge with a 10W charger
  • Poor charging efficiency

The Realme C21 put in a disappointing performance in all sub-scores for a device in its category, achieving just one small point more than the Realme C11, which comes with a different memory combination and slightly fewer pixels, but otherwise has the exact same OS, chipset, battery, and charger.

We compared the Realme C21’s performance in several key categories with three other Essential segment devices, the Wiko Power U20, the Vivo Y20s, and brand stablemate Realme C11; battery capacity, charger, display type and resolution, and processor specifications for all four devices are shown in the table below.

Realme C21

Wiko Power U20Vivo Y20sRealme C11
Battery capacity (mAh)

5000

600050005000
Charger

10W

10W18 W

10W

Display type

LCDLCDLCD

LCD

Display resolution

1600 x 720

1640 x 7201600 x 720

1560 x 720

Chipset

Helio G35Helio G35Snapdragon 460

Helio G35

Autonomy (64)

How long a battery charge lasts depends not only on battery capacity but also on other aspects of the phone’s hardware and software. The DXOMARK Battery autonomy score is composed of three performance sub-scores: (1) Stationary, (2) On the go, and (3) Calibrated use cases. Each sub-score comprises the results of a comprehensive range of tests for measuring autonomy in all kinds of real-life scenarios. 

Light Usage

83h

Light

Active: 2h30/day

Moderate Usage

57h

Moderate

Active: 4h/day

Intense Usage

35h

Intense

Active: 7h/day

The Realme C21 posts below-average autonomy results for its price range, especially in our stationary and on the go tests.

Realme C21 reaches 57 hours of autonomy with moderate use, which is around 8 hours fewer than the average in its segment. Even though the Realme C21 has the same battery capacity as the Vivo Y20s, the Vivo supplies 12 hours more autonomy.

As for linearity, the last 20% of the C21’s battery indicator represents 17.6% of the capacity, meaning that the last several percentage points fall down a little bit more quickly than at other percentage levels.

Realme C21 Battery review: Falls a bit short 1

Stationary

Vivo Y72 5G

Best: Vivo Y72 5G (104)

A robot housed in a Faraday cage performs a set of touch-based user actions during what we call our “typical usage scenario” (TUS) — making calls, video streaming, etc. — 4 hours of active use over the course of a 16-hour period, plus 8 hours of “sleep.” The robot repeats this set of actions every day until the device runs out of power. 

The Realme C21 comes in an hour behind the C11 and behind its other competitors. It manages nighttime consumption correctly, averaging an overnight drop of less than 2%.

Typical Usage Scenario discharge curves

Realme C21 Battery review: Falls a bit short 2

On the go

Samsung Galaxy M51

Best: Samsung Galaxy M51 (96)

Using a smartphone on the go takes a toll on autonomy because of extra “hidden” demands, such as the continuous signaling associated with cellphone network selection, for example. DXOMARK Battery experts take the phone outside and perform a precisely defined set of activities while following the same three-hour travel itinerary for each device.

The Realme C21 did not live up to expectations for its segment, and is last among its rivals except for camera use, where its performance is just above average.

Estimated autonomy for on the go use cases (full charge)

Realme C21 Battery review: Falls a bit short 3

Calibrated

Samsung Galaxy M51

Best: Samsung Galaxy M51 (100)

For this series of tests, the smartphone returns to the Faraday cage and our robots repeatedly perform actions linked to one specific use case (such as gaming, video streaming, etc.) at a time. Starting from an 80% charge, all devices are tested until they have expended at least 5% of their battery power.

The Realme C21 struggles to maintain decent autonomy when its screen is on, coming in below the competition for gaming and video uses. It puts in an average performance when its screen is off (idle mode, music streaming, calling). On a positive note, it does better than the Wiko Power U20 for calling and music streaming, even though the Wiko has a significantly bigger battery.

Estimated autonomy for calibrated use cases (full charge)

Charging (53)

The DXOMARK Battery charging score is composed of two sub-scores, Full charge and Quick boost. Full charge tests assess the reliability of the battery power gauge; measure how long it takes to charge a battery from zero to 80% capacity and from 80 to 100%; and measure how long and how much power the battery takes to go from an indicated 100% to an actual full charge. With the phone at different charge levels (20%, 40%, 60%, 80%), Quick boost tests measure the amount of charge the battery receives after being plugged in for 5 minutes. 

Wired

Wired

Charging a 5000 mAh battery with a 10W charger inevitably equates to a sub-par experience, which unfortunately is still too common for devices in the Essentials segment. Coming with an 18W charger, only the Vivo Y20s shows better results in this comparison.

Power consumption and battery level during full charge

Realme C21 Battery review: Falls a bit short 4

Full charge

OnePlus 9

Best: OnePlus 9 (106)

As it supports only 10W, the Realme C21 suffers from very slow charging. Nevertheless, it can charge 80% of its battery in 1 hour 50 minutes and achieves 100% in 3 hours 07 minutes. (That it takes more than an hour to top off above 80% can be explained by the fact that the C21 charges at the maximum supported power from 0% to 80%, after which  the charging speed slows down to preserve the battery.)

Realme C21 Battery review: Falls a bit short 5

Quick boost

Oppo Reno6 5G

Best: Oppo Reno6 5G (108)

Both Realme devices and the Wiko Power U20 use 10W chargers, so once again the Vivo Y20s with its 18W charger handily beats them all, providing at least an hour more autonomy for a 5-minute charge at all stages.

Realme C21Wiko Power U20Vivo Y20sRealme C11
Autonomy boost (hh:mm)20%1:251:232:451:24
40%1:271:252:361:24
60%1:291:242:321:24
80%1:201:191:451:22
Percentage boost20%3.7 %2.8 %5.5 %3.6 %
40%3.7 %2.9 %5.2 %3.6 %
60%3.8 %2.8 %5.1 %3.6 %
80%3.4 %2.6 %3.5 %3.5 %
Energy consumed20%1049 mWh1029 mWh1508 mWh990 mWh
40%1063 mWh1045 mWh1425 mWh994 mWh
60%1087 mWh1033 mWh1387 mWh999 mWh
80%981 mWh971 mWh962 mWh971 mWh

Efficiency (64)

The DXOMARK power efficiency score consists of two sub-scores, Charge up and Discharge rate, both of which combine data obtained during robot-based typical usage scenario testing, outdoor mobility testing, charging evaluation, and power measurements, and then take into consideration the device’s battery capacity.

Posting the same score as the C11, the Realme C21 is ahead for its Discharge efficiency, thanks mainly to its lower consumption when gaming, but it’s behind for Charge up and overall efficiency.

Realme C21 Battery review: Falls a bit short 6

Charge up

OnePlus 9

Best: OnePlus 9 (84)

The Realme C21s charge up efficiency is only 67%, which is significantly lower than the average in its segment, though it is comparable to the performances of its competitors in this review. The C21 showed good residual power draining when fully charged and when unplugged; its C11 sibling showed better overall charge efficiency and slightly lower residuals when plugged in (trickle charge).

Realme C21 Battery review: Falls a bit short 7

Discharge

Apple iPhone 13

Best: Apple iPhone 13 (121)

The Realme C21 has the same chipset as its C11 sibling and the Wiko device, and shows the same discharge currents in most use cases, with the exception of gaming, where the C11’s 2 GB RAM configuration had an adverse impact on its score.

As noted previously, the Realme C21 is very efficient compared to its rivals when its screen is off.

Conclusion

As with most devices in the Essentials segment, the Realme C21’s charging performance is hampered by a too-small charger. Although it comes in behind its Wiko and Vivo rivals in this review, the C21 manages to edge out its C11 sibling by a point, and shows decent autonomy (57 hours) with moderate use.

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Great from ultra-wide to short tele

Great from ultra-wide to short tele

The Oppo Find X3 Pro is the brand’s top-end flagship for 2021, built to compete with the best high-end devices, and with a price that positions it in the ultra-premium segment. Phone features include a 6.7-inch AMOLED QHD+ display with 120 Hz refresh rate, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 chipset with 12 GB RAM and 256 GB of storage, and fast 65W SuperVOOC charging.

As you’d expect, this ultra-premium device comes equipped with plenty of cameras, too. There’s a quad-cam on the rear, including a 50 MP standard-wide main camera, a 50 MP ultra-wide, a 13 MP tele-lens module for 5x “hybrid optical zoom” shots, and a 3 MP microscope camera (not covered by our test protocol).

For video, the Find X3 Pro shoots 4K footage at both 60/30 fps with video stabilization, boasts a video zoom feature at the 4K 30 fps setting, and you can drop the resolution for super slo-mo effects at 1080p/240 fps or 720p/480 fps.

Let’s find out how Oppo’s 2021 flagship shapes up for smartphone photography as we break down the scores and compare image samples across all the attributes we test.

Key camera specifications:

  • Primary: 50 MP 1/1.56″ Sony IMX 766 sensor, f/1.8-aperture lens, PDAF and OIS
  • Ultra-wide: 50 MP 1/1.56″ Sony IMX 766 sensor, f/2.2-aperture lens with 110.3° field of view and PDAF
  • Tele: 13 MP sensor, f/2.4-aperture lens
  • Microscope: 3 MP sensor, 60x magnification, FHD video, f/3.0-aperture lens
  • LED flash
  • Ambient light & flicker detection system
  • Video: 2160p/60 fps, 1080p/240 fps, 720p/480 fps, video zoom

About DXOMARK Camera tests: For scoring and analysis in our smartphone camera reviews, DXOMARK engineers capture and evaluate over 3000 test images and more than 2.5 hours of video both in controlled lab environments and in natural indoor and outdoor scenes, using the camera’s default settings. This article is designed to highlight the most important results of our testing. For more information about the DXOMARK Camera test protocol, click here. More details on how we score smartphone cameras are available here.

Test summary

Great from ultra-wide to short tele 8
Oppo Find X3 Pro

Great from ultra-wide to short tele 9

131

camera

Pros

  • Vivid and pleasant color in most photos and videos
  • Good detail in all photos and videos
  • Reliable preview image
  • Good texture and noise compromise in ultra-wide photos
  • Accurate depth estimation in bokeh photos
  • Extended dynamic range in night photos
  • Fast and smooth video autofocus
  • Mostly effective video stabilization

Cons

  • Photo exposure instabilities in high-contrast scenes
  • Video exposure adaptation instabilities
  • Underexposed low-light videos
  • Slow autofocus in low-light photos
  • White balance errors in low-light photos and videos
  • Luminance noise often visible in photos
  • Strong noise in low-light videos

Securing an excellent overall score of 131, the Oppo Find X3 Pro eases effortlessly into the upper echelons of our smartphone photography rankings. It scores a point better than the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max at 130, and matches the score achieved by the slightly more affordable Vivo X50 Pro+. A little daylight remains between Oppo’s latest flagship and our current top two devices, the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra at 143 and the Huawei Mate 40 Pro+ at 139, with some key differences among the devices in our analysis. Nevertheless, the Oppo Find X3 Pro remains one of the best devices we’ve had the pleasure of testing.

Great from ultra-wide to short tele 11

The Oppo Find X3 Pro delivers nice exposure and color in almost all images shot with the primary camera.

Oppo’s 2021 ultra-premium handset does very well in the Photo category, where its score of 139 currently ranks 4th. By and large it posts excellent scores across the range of Photo test attributes, with particularly strong results for color, autofocus, texture, bokeh, and artifacts. So photographers can expect vivid and pleasant color, good detail retention, and accurate target exposures from the primary camera in almost all lighting conditions.

It’s not infallible, with occasional exposure instabilities resulting in blown highlights in bright light, or clipped shadows in low light. But even so, dynamic range remains good and correct exposure on faces in tricky lighting conditions is an additional plus point.

Some mild noise is usually visible in photos, including in outdoor HDR scenes and in lower light conditions, but signal interference is generally managed well compared to other devices. In very low light, autofocus isn’t quite as snappy as we’d like and white balance occasionally misses the mark, but those quibbles aside, Photo image quality is very high.

The device also fares well in the specialty areas of bokeh and night photography. Bokeh mode was tested at 2x magnification. Overall results are good, with accurate subject segmentation and warm but pleasant color; and although some noise is visible, it’s uniformly distributed across the sharp and blurred areas.

Great from ultra-wide to short tele 12

Oppo Find X3 Pro, bokeh shot, accurate depth estimation

Great from ultra-wide to short tele 13

Oppo Find X3 Pro, bokeh shot, warm but pleasant color

The Find X3 Pro also does an impressive job on low-light cityscapes, where target exposures are accurate, with extended dynamic range, good color, and lots of detail. Autofocus can fail shooting night portraits, and some motion blur and unnatural skin tone rendering is evident when using flash, but on the whole its night photography credentials are good, especially on those cityscapes.

Great from ultra-wide to short tele 14

Oppo Find X3 Pro, impressive cityscapes at night… 

Great from ultra-wide to short tele 15

…with wide dynamic range and good color  

The Oppo Find X3 Pro achieves a good but not amazing score of 71 in our Zoom category, where we evaluate ultra-wide and tele-lens shots.

The ultra-wide module is the stronger performer, with outstanding texture and noise results when compared to many other ultra-premium devices. Exposure and color are as nice as we observed on the main camera, too. We measured the ultra-wide camera at a focal length of 15 mm, which is a useful range for landscape or architecture.

Where the Find X3 Pro lags behind the very best devices at the top of the leader board is for tele-lens shots. Its 5x hybrid optical zoom solution offers acceptable detail in both close- and medium-range zoom shots, but zoom HDR capabilities are limited and noise is often visible. Push the magnification a little harder to long-range and resolution is also fairly limited, resulting in a noticeable loss of detail compared to devices with a 120 mm-equivalent (5x optical) tele-lens like the Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra.

Great from ultra-wide to short tele 16

Oppo Find X3 Pro, long-range zoom, limited level of detail and high noise

Great from ultra-wide to short tele 17
Oppo Find X3 Pro, ultra-wide angle, nice exposure and color, well-controlled distortion correction, good detail with low noise

With an excellent Video score of 111, the Oppo Find X3 Pro also maintains its position as a top-ranked device for moving images. The Find X3 Pro defaults to the ultra-wide module for video, but we tested it using the main camera at 4K/30fps resolution, which achieves the best compromise between stabilization, exposure, texture, and noise. You can 60fps select manually, which will help improve video quality in bright light, but the Find X3 Pro doesn’t offer an automatic variable frame rate like we saw on the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra. (This is a handy feature for achieving the best video quality across a range of lighting situations without any user intervention, and it would be nice to see Oppo incorporate it in the future.)

Video strengths include fast and accurate autofocus with smooth tracking and effective stabilization in most scenarios. There’s a little jello here and there, as well as a slight difference in frame sharpness in low light, but walking and handheld videos are generally stabilized well. Video details are generally nicely preserved and noise is well controlled outdoors, with a little temporal and localized interference evident when the light levels drop.

Video exposure is good, but some steps and instabilities during adaptation are visible; slight clipping occurs in bright light; and some videos in low light are underexposed, although low-light exposure improves when a face is detected. On the whole, video color is accurate and pleasant, too. Just watch out for instabilities in low light, where white balance adaptation can be slow and color casts can be visible.

Below you can find a detailed analysis and image samples for all Photo, Zoom, and Video sub-attributes, as well as comparisons with some of the Oppo Find X3 Pro’s key competitors, including the Huawei Mate 40 Pro+, the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max, the Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra, and the OnePlus 9 Pro.

Photo

The Oppo Find X3 Pro achieves a Photo score of 139. In this section, we take a closer look at each sub-attribute and compare image quality against competitors.

Great from ultra-wide to short tele 18

Exposure and Contrast

Huawei Mate 40 Pro+

Best: Huawei Mate 40 Pro+ (109)

In these tests we analyze target exposure, contrast, and dynamic range, including repeatability across a series of images. Tests are undertaken in a wide range of light conditions, including backlit scenes and low light down to 1 lux. The score is derived from a number of objective measurements in the lab and perceptual analysis of real-life images.

These samples show the Oppo Find X3 Pro’s exposure performance in a high-contrast outdoor scene compared to the competition.

Great from ultra-wide to short tele 19

Oppo Find X3 Pro, fairly wide dynamic range, only slight highlight clipping

Great from ultra-wide to short tele 20

Huawei Mate 40 Pro+, preserves the highlights a little better

Great from ultra-wide to short tele 21

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max, shadows and highlights slightly clipped

Great from ultra-wide to short tele 22

Color

Huawei Mate 40 Pro+

Best: Huawei Mate 40 Pro+ (105)

In these tests we analyze color rendering, skin tones, white balance, and color shading, including repeatability across a series of images. The score is derived from a number of objective measurements in the lab and perceptual analysis of real-life images.

These samples show the Oppo Find X3 Pro’s color performance in outdoor lighting compared to the competition.

Great from ultra-wide to short tele 23

Oppo Find X3 Pro, vivid and pleasant color with accurate skin tones

Great from ultra-wide to short tele 23

Huawei Mate 40 Pro+, vivid and pleasant color with accurate skin tones

Great from ultra-wide to short tele 25

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max, vivid and pleasant color with accurate skin tones

Great from ultra-wide to short tele 26

Autofocus

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max

Best: Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max (109)

In these tests we analyze autofocus accuracy and shooting time, including repeatability, in the lab. We test focus failures, depth of field, and tracking of moving subjects using perceptual analysis of real-life images.

This graph shows the Oppo Find X3 Pro’s autofocus performance while handholding the device in our lab analysis at a light level of 5 lux.

Great from ultra-wide to short tele 27

The Oppo Find X3 Pro’s, autofocus is accurate and usually fast to lock on except in very low light, where focusing speeds can be a little erratic.

Great from ultra-wide to short tele 28

Texture

Xiaomi Mi 11

Best: Xiaomi Mi 11 (111)

In these tests we analyze texture on faces and objects, including objects in motion, in a range of light conditions, using several lab test setups and perceptual analysis of real-life images.

This graph shows the Oppo Find X3 Pro’s texture measurements compared to the competition.

Great from ultra-wide to short tele 29

The Oppo Find X3 Pro recorded a high level of detail in most lighting conditions in the lab.

Great from ultra-wide to short tele 30

Noise

Huawei P40 Pro

Best: Huawei P40 Pro (99)

In these tests we analyze noise on faces and objects, including objects in motion, in a range of light conditions, using several lab test setups and perceptual analysis of real-life images.

These samples show the Oppo Find X3 Pro’s noise performance in an outdoor scene compared to the competition.

Oppo Find X3 Pro, outdoor scene

Great from ultra-wide to short tele 32

Oppo Find X3 Pro, crop: slight noise visible

Huawei Mate 40 Pro+, outdoor scene

Great from ultra-wide to short tele 34

Huawei Mate 40 Pro+, crop: slightly visible noise

OnePlus 9 Pro, outdoor scene

Great from ultra-wide to short tele 36

OnePlus 9 Pro, crop: more visible noise

Great from ultra-wide to short tele 37

Bokeh

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra

Best: Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra (75)

For these tests we switch to the camera’s bokeh or portrait mode and analyze depth estimation, bokeh shape, blur gradient, and repeatability, as well as all other general image quality attributes mentioned above. The score is derived from perceptual analysis of real-life images.

These samples show the Oppo Find X3 Pro’s bokeh simulation under outdoor conditions compared to the competition.

Great from ultra-wide to short tele 12

Oppo Find X3 Pro, accurate depth estimation

Great from ultra-wide to short tele 39

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max, accurate depth estimation, nice contrast

Great from ultra-wide to short tele 40

OnePlus 9 Pro, accurate depth estimation, lack of detail

Great from ultra-wide to short tele 41

Night

Huawei Mate 40 Pro+

Best: Huawei Mate 40 Pro+ (82)

In these tests we shoot a selection of images in pitch-black darkness as well as with city lights in the background providing some illumination. We shoot sample images with the camera at default settings in both flash-auto and flash-off modes. We analyze all image quality attributes but we pay particular attention to exposure, autofocus, and color. We do not test night modes that have to be activated manually.

These samples show the Oppo Find X3 Pro’s night performance in auto-flash mode compared to the competition.

Great from ultra-wide to short tele 42

Oppo Find X3 Pro, auto-flash mode, good exposure with visible motion blur on the face

Great from ultra-wide to short tele 43

Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra, auto-flash mode, low exposure but less motion blur on the face

Great from ultra-wide to short tele 44

OnePlus 9 Pro, auto-flash mode, low exposure but less motion blur on the face

Great from ultra-wide to short tele 45

Artifacts

Google Pixel 4

Best: Google Pixel 4 (75)

In these tests we check images for optical artifacts such as vignetting, flare, lens softness in the corner, distortion, and chromatic aberrations, as well as for processing artifacts such as ghosting and fusion errors, hue shift, and ringing.

This sample shows ringing artifacts on the Oppo Find X3 Pro.

Oppo Find X3 Pro, artifacts

Great from ultra-wide to short tele 47

Oppo Find X3 Pro, crop; ringing along high contrast edges

Great from ultra-wide to short tele 48

Preview

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max

Best: Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max (77)

In these tests we analyze the image quality of the preview image and the differences between preview images and captured images, particularly in terms of exposure, dynamic range, and bokeh effect. We also check the smoothness of the field-of-view changes on the preview image when zooming with both buttons or when using the pinch-zoom gesture.

These samples show the Oppo Find X3 Pro’s preview performance under 1000 lux lighting in the lab.

Great from ultra-wide to short tele 49

Oppo Find X3 Pro, preview image

Great from ultra-wide to short tele 50

Oppo Find X3 Pro, final image: similar exposure to preview

Zoom

The Oppo Find X3 Pro achieves a Zoom score of 71. The Zoom score includes the tele and wide sub-scores. In this section, we take a closer look at how these sub-scores were achieved and compare zoom image quality against competitors.

Great from ultra-wide to short tele 51

Wide

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra

Best: Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra (54)

In these tests we analyze the performance of the ultra-wide camera at several focal lengths from 12 to 20 mm. We look at all image quality attributes, but we pay particular attention to such artifacts as chromatic aberrations, lens softness, and distortion.

These samples show the performance of the Oppo Find X3 Pro’s ultra-wide camera in daylight conditions compared to the competition.

Great from ultra-wide to short tele 52

Oppo Find X3 Pro, excellent detail right to the edges

Great from ultra-wide to short tele 53

Huawei Mate 40 Pro+, wide field of view

Great from ultra-wide to short tele 54

OnePlus 9 Pro, strong noise visible

Great from ultra-wide to short tele 55

Tele

Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra

Best: Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra (133)

In these tests we analyze all image quality attributes at focal lengths from approximately 40 to 300 mm, paying particular attention to texture and detail. The score is derived from a number of objective measurements in the lab and perceptual analysis of real-life images.

These samples show the Oppo Find X3 Pro’s tele performance indoors using a medium-range zoom setting.

Oppo Find X3 Pro, medium-range zoom

Great from ultra-wide to short tele 57

Oppo Find X3 Pro, crop: low detail and visible noise

Huawei Mate 40 Pro+, medium-range zoom

Great from ultra-wide to short tele 59

Huawei Mate 40 Pro+, crop: good detail, low noise

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max, medium-range zoom

Great from ultra-wide to short tele 61

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max, crop: lack of detail, noise

Video

The Oppo Find X3 Pro achieves a Video score of 111. A device’s overall Video score is derived from its performance and results across a range of attributes in the same way as the Photo score. In this section, we take a closer look at these sub-scores and compare video image quality against competitors.

We analyze the same image quality attributes in our Video tests as for still images, such as exposure, color, texture, and noise, but we also include such temporal aspects as speed, smoothness and stability of exposure, white balance, and autofocus transitions.

NOTE: The sample video clips in this section are best viewed at 4K resolution. 

Great from ultra-wide to short tele 18

Exposure and Contrast

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra

Best: Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra (103)

This graph shows the Oppo Find X3 Pro’s video target exposure performance compared to the competition.

Great from ultra-wide to short tele 63

The Oppo Find X3 Pro’s video target exposure is a little low under dim lighting conditions.

Great from ultra-wide to short tele 22

Color

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra

Best: Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra (105)

These video stills show the Oppo Find X3 Pro’s video color in outdoor lighting compared to the competition.

Great from ultra-wide to short tele 65

Oppo Find X3 Pro, accurate white balance and vivid color

Great from ultra-wide to short tele 66

Huawei Mate 40 Pro+, well rendered color with a warm color cast

Great from ultra-wide to short tele 67
OnePlus 9 Pro, good saturation with a slight warm color cast
Great from ultra-wide to short tele 26

Autofocus

These sample clips show the Oppo Find X3 Pro’s video autofocus performance in outdoor lighting compared to the competition.



Oppo Find X3 Pro, smooth autofocus tracking



Huawei Mate 40 Pro+, smooth tracking



OnePlus 9 Pro, focus failures

Great from ultra-wide to short tele 28

Texture

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra

Best: Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra (97)

These video stills show the Oppo Find X3 Pro’s video texture under 300 lux lighting conditions in the lab compared to the competition.

Oppo Find X3 Pro, video still

Great from ultra-wide to short tele 71

Oppo Find X3 Pro, crop: high level of detail

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G, video still

Great from ultra-wide to short tele 73

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G, crop: high level of detail

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max, video still

Great from ultra-wide to short tele 75

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max, crop: fine details are lost

Great from ultra-wide to short tele 30

Noise

Huawei Mate 40 Pro

Best: Huawei Mate 40 Pro (105)

These video stills show the Oppo Find X3 Pro’s video noise performance in low light compared to the competition.

Oppo Find X3 Pro, video still

Great from ultra-wide to short tele 78

Oppo Find X3 Pro, crop: coarse localized noise is visible

Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra, video still

Great from ultra-wide to short tele 80

Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra, crop: less visible noise

OnePlus 9 Pro, video still

Great from ultra-wide to short tele 82

OnePlus 9 Pro, crop: slightly better than the Find X3 Pro

Great from ultra-wide to short tele 45

Artifacts

Oppo Find X2 Pro

Best: Oppo Find X2 Pro (94)

For video artifacts, we check for the same kinds of artifacts mentioned in the Photo section, along with such video-specific artifacts as frame rate variation in different light conditions, judder effect, and moving artifacts (artifacts such as aliasing, color quantization, and flare can often be more intrusive when moving than in a still image).

This graph shows the advantage of an adaptive frame rate that automatically increases its fps in good lighting to improve image quality. The Find X3 Pro dropped points here due to the lower frame rate over 100 lux compared to devices like the Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra. Of course you can select 60 fps manually, but it’s better if a device implements an effective algorithm that does it for you.

Great from ultra-wide to short tele 84

OnePlus 9 Pro: 4K 60 fps is possible, but like the Xiaomi, the OnePlus device adapts automatically.

Great from ultra-wide to short tele 85

Stabilization

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra

Best: Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra (102)

In these tests we analyze residual motion when handholding the camera during recording, as well as when walking and running with the camera. We also look for stabilization artifacts such as jello effect, sharpness differences between frames, and frame shift (abrupt changes of framing).

These sample clips compare the Oppo Find X3 Pro’s video stabilization in outdoor conditions.



Oppo Find X3 Pro, effective stabilization



Huawei Mate 40 Pro+, effective stabilization



OnePlus 9 Pro, effective stabilization

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dudler’s latest blog : stop just short of infinity

dudler's latest blog : art, snap or reportage

Stop just short of infinity

8 May 2021 7:35AM  
Views : 81
Unique : 66

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I’ve built a good few of these blogs around what you might call ‘interesting cameras’ – the sort of thing that you may have seen once in a large secondhand window, or perhaps an eccentric friend had one once. (I am that eccentric friend: and it was me that caused it to leave the display window down the side of that shop…) Here’s one more to add to the list…

It is seven or eight years old, and it was one of those weird and eccentric things – back when Sony were a second-string manufacturer of cameras, although they made sensors for a large number of better-known companies, including Nikon and Pentax. They’d started playing with full-frame mirrorless, years before anyone else thought of it, and even more weirdly, they used the megasensor they had produced for the Nikon D800 in one of the two versions.

An insightful salesman in Jessops told me that Sony could afford to bring out new models simply as a testbed for sensors and ideas – the real profits came from sensor sales elsewhere. So they were, effectively, Beta-testing with early adopters. Even though I accepted this, and had decided that I wanted to have consistent delivery from my cameras, I bought a secondhand Alpha 7R a few months after getting my Alpha 7: the sheer quality attracted me.

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They wouldn’t get away with it now. Perceived value is a very strong idea in consumer goods, and even the most basic consumer-grade devices must have heft and feel like a million dollars. Making one of the most expensive bodies in your range slightly plastickly and stripped back is not good marketing. And the downsides didn’t stop there…

All the DSLRs and translucent-mirror cameras in the Sony range had image stabilised sensors, but the first-generation Alpha 7 bodies didn’t, and the Sony range was notably short of IS lenses. The initial offerings of native E-mount glass were a weird mix of the truly lamentable (the kit zoom had IS, but not much else going for it) and the fabulously costly Zeiss optics. I suspect that most of us shelled out a couple of hundred quid extra for an adaptor to allow us to use older Sony and Minolta lenses.

That adaptor’s an interesting thing in itself. Effectively, it’s got the AF mechanism from an Alpha 900 DSLR in it, offering a 9-point AF array, fed through a translucent mirror, and coupled to an electric motor to focus the lenses. By the standards of 2013, the performance wasn’t impressive – but it was a cheaper way in than the Zeiss stuff… And the system grew on you, slowly.

Meanwhile, things were developing elsewhere. The fact that there was no mirror box meant that the lens mount was far closer to the sensor than in anything else on the market, and the space meant that it was possible to put an adaptor in the gap that would allow absolutely any electronic DSLR lens to sit on the front of a Sony. Metabones were very happy to sell Canon and Nikon users clever little devices that let their owners upgrade their sensors – remember that at the time, 22mp was Canon’s limit – and cut weight massively.

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Just like Volkswagen Passats, successive generations of Alpha 7s have put on weight and features (does anyone remember the earliest Passat? A lovely, well-made and functional car, but with rather basic features, modest performance and a rather tinny feel?) The original bodies actually look small compared with the latest generation, and while there aren’t a lot on the market, I don’t think the rarity is driving the price up.

For landscape and studio work, where high ISO performance (mediocre) and fast AF don’t matter, an original 7R simply offers stunning resolution and sharpness. As with any camera, you learn to work around the slightly random ergonomics, and I’m finding that I can us mine as a works horse and backup to the more modern cousins that occupy my photographic front line. And if you’re on a tight budget but need that massive quality, maybe you’ll see one around. Take a serious look – you may be delighted with the results.

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dudler’s latest blog : the long and the short of it?

dudler's latest blog : art, snap or reportage

The long and the short of it?

27 Apr 2021 2:05PM  
Views : 59
Unique : 52

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Bless ‘em all! Bless ‘em all! The long and the short and the tall.

Format… It’s what you do to your memory cards after clearing images to your hard drive. It’s the size and shape of your sensor. And it’s the orientation and ratio of the sides of your image. You can actually choose whether to make an image long and thin, or square: and vertical or horizontal.

I’m not sure how much I thought about very much it until I got a copy of Charlie Waite’s first book, The Making of Landscape Photographs, which (Long South American River tells me) was published in 1993. It surprised me that the images were square, because Charlie Waite used a Hasselblad for most of his work, and didn’t normally crop the images. They’re beautiful examples of the art of composition.

Interestingly, Colin Prior’s first book, Highland Wilderness, was published the same month, and as Waite is a master of square images, Prior deploys panoramic frames to devastating effect. It might be tempting for some to some to try to decide which format is ‘better’ – but it may be more productive to consider why you might choose to use one or the other, or something in between for any given picture.

Some cameras offer a choice of format, in that they will produce JPG images that have a different format from the sensor: in this, they are like the APS film introduced in 1996 – cameras had a switch to choose between a panoramic, a ‘classic’ and a ‘high definition’ format – in each case, the same amount of film was exposed, but the camera imprinted data on the film so that in processing, only a part of the frame was printed for classic and panoramic frames.

This wasn’t quite as clever as it seems – the biggest prints, the panoramic ones, were from a 9.5mm strip across the centre of the 30mm-long frame, and a 4” wide print from this is starting to look a little bit grainy and soft. Mind you, this is gigantic compared with the panoramic frame on a MFT digital camera… Fortunately, modern sensors have upped the game compared with mass-market print film.

But here’s the thing: you don’t need a masked viewfinder to shoot different formats. If you do even minimal processing (and I’d advocate doing more, always, just to polish the gem) you have the opportunity to crop your picture. And if you are a reflective photographer, you will be able to look at the subject and decide, when you are shooting, how you want to frame and crop the final image. There is no shame in discarding part of the image if it isn’t contributing to the final result.

I found that an APS camera with a zoom lens invited me to take panoramic format images at the long end of the zoom: the results could be grim, with a very compact zoom that had a maximum aperture of f/6.7 at the long end! But the ability to see how a panoramic would look through the viewfinder invited me to explore details on the horizon.

APS film was a curious, late development of film: within a decade, digital cameras made it look like the evolutionary wrong turn that I think it was. Ken Rockwell says it was created out of greed, not need, and it was certainly a very ‘consumer’ phenomenon, with more sizzle and less steak.

But don’t dismiss the idea of using different formats: you can use a long thin frame to tell an extended story that winds across the print like a country road, or bring stability and solidity to an old tree with a square frame. And there’s always the full frame, uncropped as Cartier-Bresson intended, with its near approach to the Golden Ratio. Just like the choice of colour or mono, of contrast and tonal balance, it’s an artistic choice you can make with every exposure.

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dudler’s latest blog : a short blog but long on ideas

dudler's latest blog : art, snap or reportage

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A short blog but long on ideas

25 Apr 2021 7:36AM  
Views : 102
Unique : 89

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It’s short because I was busy yesterday, and so I’m writing this at 7-20 in the morning, and I have things to do this morning. That’s different from much of the last year, for me! And the model returned some kit I lent her around Christmas 2019…

Yesterday, for the first time since October, I went out with a model to take pictures. We drove in convoy to Cannock Chase, and spent an hour or two wandering around and occasionally stopping for pictures. It was relaxing and delightful on a cool and sunny day. And when I got home, there was a daughter wanting to come round and do her lesson preparation in the garden…

So there will be blogs about my Alpha 900 and how big and heavy it feels after a break. And possibly why it convinced me that there might be something to this digital stuff after all. A blog about walking and looking for pictures. Maybe one about light and ‘seeing’ it for its possibilities. But that’s all for now…

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Lenovo Legion Phone Pro Audio review: Falling short of expectations

Lenovo Legion Phone Pro Audio review: Falling short of expectations

The Lenovo Legion Phone Pro is aimed at gamers, with a set of features designed to make it irresistible to adrenaline junkies wanting to conquer imaginary worlds, win virtual races, and in general have fun in the digital universe. It features the state-of-the-art Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+ 5G, designed for gamers, and with up to 16 GB of RAM and 512 GB of storage, it has as much oomph as a lot of laptops. Other gamer-friendly features include fast-charging dual batteries and a 6.65-inch, 2340 x 1080 AMOLED display that refreshes at up to 144 Hz.

As for the audio, Lenovo has installed dual front-facing speakers and a quad-microphone system with Qualcomm noise reduction technology. Lenovo says the four mics are a feature again aimed at gamers who might want to record themselves at e-sports events with a degree of audio sophistication.

Audio specifications include:

  • Two front-firing speakers
  • Qualcomm noise reduction technology
  • No headphone jack
  • Four microphones

About DXOMARK Audio tests: For scoring and analysis in our smartphone audio reviews, DXOMARK engineers perform a variety of objective tests and undertake more than 20 hours of perceptual evaluation under controlled lab conditions. This article highlights the most important results of our testing. Note that we evaluate both Playback and Recording using only the device’s built-in hardware and default apps. (For more details about our Playback protocol, click here; for more details about our Recording protocol, click here.)

Test summary

Lenovo Legion Phone Pro Audio review: Falling short of expectations 86
Lenovo Legion Phone Pro

Lenovo Legion Phone Pro Audio review: Falling short of expectations 87

59

audio

Our DXOMARK Audio testing protocol placed the Lenovo Legion Phone Pro in the lower ranks of smartphones for audio performance with an overall mark of 59, although its score in the gaming use case was somewhat more respectable. Among other gamer phones, for example, it had lower audio scores than the Asus ROG 3, which had a 75, and the Nubia Red Magic 5S, with a 64.

In Playback testing, the Lenovo Legion Phone Pro had a fairly good dynamics performance, especially in the games use case, where attack is precise and well-respected, and punch is powerful. The speakers, side-by-side and facing forward in landscape mode, are nearly impossible to occlude while gaming, another plus. The volume performance is solid. On the negative side, a lack of clarity hinders tonal balance. Muffled treble and prominent, inconsistent midrange impairs performance in the spatial attribute, especially in the cases of localizability and distance. At nominal volume, bass distortion is evident.

Lenovo Legion Phone Pro Audio review: Falling short of expectations 89

Gaming on the Lenovo Legion Phone Pro

As a recording device, the Lenovo Legion Phone Pro had good volume performance in most of the use cases, and fairly good occlusion performance as well. In the memo and meeting use cases, the device performed well, producing stereo recordings that were almost free of artifacts. The score was pulled down by a variety of negative factors, however. Timbre performance was poor in most use cases. Artifacts emerge as a problem as soon as the volume is too high, and this was especially notable in the electronic concert use case, where the recorded audio was simply bad overall. The poor artifacts performance gets in the way of the spatial and dynamics performances when the device is used for video on both the front and rear cameras.

Sub-scores explained

The DXOMARK Audio overall score of 59 for the Lenovo Legion Phone Pro is derived from its Playback and Recording scores and their respective sub-scores. In this section, we’ll take a closer look at these audio quality sub-scores and explain what they mean for the user.

Playback

Lenovo Legion Phone Pro Audio review: Falling short of expectations 90

Timbre

Lenovo Legion Phone Pro

62

78

Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro

Timbre tests measure how well a phone reproduces sound across the audible tonal range and takes into account bass, midrange, treble, tonal balance, and volume dependency.

Lenovo Legion Phone Pro Audio review: Falling short of expectations 91

The Lenovo Legion Phone Pro has inconsistent midrange, and the low-mids are too prominent in portrait mode.

The Lenovo Legion Phone Pro provides an average performance for playback timbre. Treble is muffled on some items, and the midrange is inconsistent. The low-mids are too prominent in portrait mode and at maximum volume, and resonances on the low end impact bass performance.

Lenovo Legion Phone Pro Audio review: Falling short of expectations 92

Dynamics

Lenovo Legion Phone Pro

66

75

Huawei Mate 20 X

DXOMARK’s dynamics tests measure how well a device reproduces the energy level of a sound source, and how precisely it reproduces bass frequencies.

Its dynamics score of 66 places the Lenovo Legion Phone Pro in pretty good company — nine points from the best phone we have tested so far in this category, the Huawei Mate 20 X. The attack performance is good, especially in the games use case, where transients are well preserved. The punch performance is also solid when playing games.

Lenovo Legion Phone Pro Audio review: Falling short of expectations 93
Lenovo Legion Phone Pro Audio review: Falling short of expectations 94

As for the drawbacks, the excess of low-mids impairs the attack, especially at soft and maximum volumes. Bass resonances hinder bass precision at both nominal and maximum volumes.

Lenovo Legion Phone Pro Audio review: Falling short of expectations 95

Spatial

Lenovo Legion Phone Pro

46

77

Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro

The sub-attributes for perceptual spatial tests include localizability, balance, distance, and wideness.

Lenovo Legion Phone Pro Audio review: Falling short of expectations 96

In the spatial wideness sub-attribute, the Lenovo Legion Phone Pro is actually narrow.

The Lenovo Legion Phone Pro’s disappointing score in the spatial attribute has a number of causes: The lack of clarity in timbre has an impact on localizability; centered elements are slightly unbalanced to the right; the wideness is not wide — in fact, it’s narrow, especially when playing movies. Further, the audio scene doesn’t rotate when the phone is in inverted landscape. Muffled tonal balance and low-mid dominance make voices sound further away than the screen position, impairing distance performance.

Lenovo Legion Phone Pro Audio review: Falling short of expectations 97
Lenovo Legion Phone Pro Audio review: Falling short of expectations 98
Lenovo Legion Phone Pro Audio review: Falling short of expectations 99

Volume

Lenovo Legion Phone Pro

72

79

Realme X2 Pro

Volume tests measure both the overall loudness a device is able to reproduce and how smoothly volume increases and decreases based on user input.

With a 72, the Lenovo Legion Phone Pro is in the upper range of volume performance among the devices we’ve tested, trailing the Realme X2 Pro by 7 points. The device has a smooth, consistent volume increase, and our engineers appreciated that dynamic content had good intelligibility at minimum volume. Maximum volume was loud enough.

Hip-HopClassical
72.2 dBA71.2 dBA
Lenovo Legion Phone Pro Audio review: Falling short of expectations 100

Artifacts

Lenovo Legion Phone Pro

85

90

Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G

Artifacts tests measure how much source audio is distorted when played back through a device’s speakers. Distortion can occur both because of sound processing in the device and because of the quality of the speakers.

The Lenovo Legion Phone Pro impresses in the artifacts attribute, scoring just five points below the top score by the Black Shark 3 Pro and the Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra. The positioning of the speakers behind the screen makes them difficult to block with your fingers. But there was some bass distortion on certain content at nominal and maximum volumes, and our experts noticed clipping at maximum volume in several cases as well.

Recording

Lenovo Legion Phone Pro Audio review: Falling short of expectations 90

Timbre

Lenovo Legion Phone Pro

47

85

Apple iPhone SE

Recording was not a strong suit for the Lenovo Legion Phone Pro, and in terms of the timbre sub-category, it is a bottom-dweller along with the Black Shark 2 Pro, which so far has the lowest score of 43. The timbre of the device is focused in the midrange, with imprecise trebles and a lack of bass. In high SPL scenarios such as the electronic music concert use case, tonal balance is strongly thrown off by heavy distortions across the whole spectrum.

Lenovo Legion Phone Pro Audio review: Falling short of expectations 102

In selfie video, the Lenovo Legion does a fairly good job of producing precise trebles.

Prominent high-mids make recordings sound canny and tinny, especially in life video. In selfie video, trebles are more precise, improving performance.

Lenovo Legion Phone Pro Audio review: Falling short of expectations 92

Dynamics

Lenovo Legion Phone Pro

50

78

OnePlus 8

Here again in the dynamics attribute, our engineers found the Lenovo Legion Phone Pro wanting. Its score of 50 plants it squarely in the lower end of the spectrum. Strong spectral artifacts hinder the envelope performance, especially in our high SPL scenarios (electronic music concert, for example), where the audio scene is not at all well preserved. In particular, the bass and drum strikes lose dynamics in the process of being recorded.

Lenovo Legion Phone Pro Audio review: Falling short of expectations 104
Lenovo Legion Phone Pro Audio review: Falling short of expectations 105

The sound noise reduction was was not very effective in any use cases except memo, where the noise canceling feature improved performance.

Lenovo Legion Phone Pro Audio review: Falling short of expectations 95

Spatial

Lenovo Legion Phone Pro

50

74

Asus ROG Phone 3

While the overall score for spatial was low for the Lenovo Legion Phone Pro, there were some positives. In the memo app, recordings are in stereo, delivering a better overall spatial performance. That memo app records precise treble, allowing for better distance and localizability performance. But in life video and selfie video, mono recording got in the way of effective expression of spatial qualities.

Lenovo Legion Phone Pro Audio review: Falling short of expectations 107

The Lenovo Legion Phone Pro produced stereo recordings in the memo and meeting use cases.

Lenovo Legion Phone Pro Audio review: Falling short of expectations 99

Volume

Lenovo Legion Phone Pro

46

88

Huawei Mate 30 Pro 5G

The Lenovo Legion Phone Pro struggled with the volume attribute, getting a score that placed it much closer to the Nubia Red Magic 3S at the bottom with a 40 than the Huawei Mate 30 Pro at the top with an 88. There were two aspects to the score in this attribute. In the perceptual testing, our engineers noted that the loudness of recordings was good overall. But that was outweighed by far by a 0 score in the objective testing to see at what level of loudness the Lenovo Legion Phone Pro could record without picking up a lot of artifacts. Even at 90 decibels, the recordings were loaded with distortion and pumping.

Here are our test results, measured in LUFS (Loudness Unit Full Scale). As a reference, we expect loudness levels to be above -24 LUFS for recorded content:

MeetingLife VideoSelfie VideoMemo
-29.5 LUFS-17.6 LUFS-16.1 LUFS-22.1 LUFS
Lenovo Legion Phone Pro Audio review: Falling short of expectations 100

Artifacts

Lenovo Legion Phone Pro

44

82

Asus ROG Phone 2

Artifacts were problematic for the Lenovo Legion Phone Pro. A far-from-perfect noise canceling algorithm produced pumping, gating, and background noise level variations. At high SPL, distortions affect the recording to the point that the original content is severely degraded and hard to hear. You can hear some of those artifacts for yourself in this sample recording:

Lenovo Legion Phone Pro Audio review: Falling short of expectations 110

Background

Lenovo Legion Phone Pro

17

58

Apple iPhone XS Max

The Lenovo Legion Phone Pro struggled with background, landing near the bottom among the devices we’ve tested. Resonances in the high-mids increase the background, which is already too present. Pumping and volume variation impair the whole timbre of the background. In the memo app, the noise reduction algorithm takes several seconds to respond when activated, creating an unpleasant volume fluctuation.

Conclusion

Considering the high-quality components and big ambitions expressed in the marketing campaign for the Lenovo Legion Phone Pro, its results in our audio testing are disappointing. The device turned in an average performance in playback, with one high point coming in dynamics, especially in the games use case, where the precise, well-respected attack and powerful punch accurately reflect the energy of the content. The positioning of the speakers behind the screen is appropriate for a gamer phone, as they are difficult to occlude while playing. Volume performance is solid. On the negative side, tonal balance is affected by a lack of clarity, and muffled treble and inconsistent midrange hinder the spatial performance, especially for localizability and distance.

As a recording device, the Lenovo Legion Phone Pro is not terribly adept, but again, this may be a function of priorities. The device worked fairly well in the memo and meeting use cases, with few artifacts and stereo recording. But the timbre performance was poor in most use cases, and especially in the electronic concert use case, where the recorded audio was simply bad. The poor artifacts performance contributed to the poor dynamics and spatial performances in life video and selfie video, and the recordings in those cases were mono. Had the device been better designed for recording, its overall score would have been better.

Playback

Pros

  • Above-average dynamics performance, especially in games use case
  • Well-positioned speakers
  • Good volume performance

Cons

  • Lack of clarity impedes tonal balance.
  • Muffled treble and inconsistent midrange muddle localizability and distance.
  • Bass distortion at nominal volume

Recording

Pros

  • Adequate in meeting and memo use cases
  • Good occlusion performance

Cons

  • Artifacts are an issue, especially in high SPL scenarios.
  • Mono recording in life video and selfie video
  • Poor timbre performance, with imprecise trebles and lack of bass

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