Despite improvements in glass technology, cracked screen remain the biggest drawbacks of large-display phones. JOEL DORFAN looks at a solution called Impossible Tempered Glass.
As smartphones arrive with ever-larger displays, they become ever-more vulnerable to damage when dropped. Despite ongoing improvements in glass technology, the cracked screen is still the bane of many phone-users’ lives.
There are a number of hybrid cases on the market that offer high levels of protection, but at a cost in convenience. Typically these are two-part cases with a neoprene or silicone inner plus an ABS plastic outer case. The idea is that, if the phone is dropped, the flexible inner will absorb the shock while the case bears the brunt of the knock. These cases do work incredibly well, but can tend to be a bit bulky.
To address this, Patchworks Global has developed The ITG Level case – for Impossible Tempered Glass. It is a one-piece case, but has a dual layer incorporating polycarbonate and TPU (Thermoplastic polyurethane). This provides the protection of a two part hybrid case, but reduces the bulk.
The case is specially designed 1mm higher than the surface of the ITG tempered glass screen protector. This allows the user to place the phone face-down without worrying about anything coming in contact with the screen.
The version of the ITG level case and ITG PRO Tempered Glass we received was for the IPhone 6, but is available for other devices too.
At firstsight, both products look incredibly well made. Immediately one can see that these products are designed to give maximum protection to the phone.
The ITG PRO Tempered Glass offers 93.7% transparency, giving users clarity and maintaining the Retina display experience offered by Apple.
The glass is marketed as being both scratch and oil resistant. In daily use this means that coins, keys or other sharp objects in your pocket will not damage the screen, and finger prints can easily be wiped off. We tested both of these features and both claims proved true, while the unit maintains the original touch feeling.
Fitting these types of screen protector can be quite fiddly and I did struggle a little, but the job was made easier by using the supplied guide pin to help get things properly lined up.
All the buttons are easy to use. Port openings are wide enough for compatibility with third party chargers and high-end headphones.
It is claimed that, if this case is properly fitted to the phone, it will meet or exceed the military drop test. This means 26 consecutive free fall drops from a 4 foot (1.2m) height at various angles. While we were not brave enough to subject our phone to this abuse, that’s still an impressive claim. However, looking at the construction and fit, there is no reason to believe this not to be true.
The price of the combination of the ITG PRO Tempered Glass plus the ITG Level case is $48.95. Bought separately the pricing is $38.95 and $29.95 respectively. While not cheap, it’s a small price to pay to protect an expensive phone from accidental damage.
* These products are available online from http://patchworks.us/
Huawei Mate 20 Pro matches camera benchmark record
A benchmark by DxOMark sees the triple-cam handset tie with the P20 Pro for best smartphone camera on the market.
The Huawei Mate 20 Pro has come out top in a camera benchmark test that assesses all aspects of smartphone camera performance.
DxOMark, which conducts rigorous hardware testing and is trusted as an industry standard for image quality measurements, has just released the results of its in-depth analysis of the Huawei Mate 20 Pro smartphone camera.
The Huawei Mate 20 Pro is the Chinese manufacturer’s latest top-end device. Building on the P20 Pro’s camera technology, the Mate 20 Pro comes with a Leica-branded triple-camera setup, but swaps its stable-mate’s monochrome camera for a super-wide-angle module, offering a 35mm-equivalent focal length range from 16 to 80mm—the widest of all current smartphone cameras.
The handset is in direct competition with the Apple iPhone XS Max, the Google Pixel 3 XL, the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, among other. How does it fare?
“With a total photo score of 114, the Huawei Mate 20 Pro ties the record-setting score of its cousin, the P20 Pro,” says DxOMark. “The overall Photo score is calculated from sub-scores in tests that examine different aspects of its performance under different lighting conditions.”
The Huawei Mate 20 Pro achieves a photo score of 114 points. In stills mode, the Mate 20 Pro’s triple camera captures images with good target exposure and a wide dynamic range, recording both good highlight and shadow detail even in difficult high-contrast situations. Noise levels are well under control down to low light levels, and the camera’s white balance system and colour rendering settings produce a pleasant colour response in almost all circumstances.
At 97 points, the Mate 20 Pro is very close to the best for video as well, thanks to a fast and smooth autofocus system with good tracking performance, accurate white balance as well as pleasant colour rendering, and low levels of noise, especially in bright shooting conditions. Our testers also liked the exposure system’s ability to adapt quickly and smoothly to changes in illumination.
It was not all good news. DxOMark also had some criticism for the device.
Click here to read about the drawbacks of the Mate 20 Pro camera, and other positives.
SA car wins
The final stage of Dakar 2019 drew to a close at the bivouac in Pisco, Peru, and saw Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa’s Nasser Al Attiyah and Mathieu Baumel bring home their South African-built Toyota Hilux for
The Qatari driver ensured his French navigator, who turned 43 years old on Thursday, 17 January, received a great birthday present, when the pair arrived at the final time control of Dakar 2019 with teammates Giniel de Villiers and Dirk von Zitzewitz in close formation. The two Toyota Hilux crews completed the entire stage together, as De Villiers / Von Zitzewitz waited nearly 55 minutes for the leaders to start the stage, in order to shadow them to the finish.
The emotions bubbled over for Team Principal Glyn Hall, who found himself without words as his two crews drove into the media area after the time control. “This victory was long overdue,” he finally managed, before being swamped in a sea of well-wishers.
The winning driver, however, was much more vocal: “We are so happy to win the Dakar – not only for ourselves, but also for Toyota and the entire Toyota Gazoo Racing SA team. Everyone has worked so hard for so long, and really deserve this. Thank you for letting us drive this car.”
Toyota Gazoo Racing SA led Dakar 2019 from the first to the last stage, with Al Attiyah/Baumel drawing first blood, before handing the mantle to De Villiers / Von Zitzewitz during stage 2. But then a disastrous Stage 3 saw the Qatari retake the lead – a lead he didn’t relinquish despite some of the toughest stages yet seen on any South-American Dakar.
“When we first heard that the rally was going to take place only in one country, we were skeptical,” said Hall after regaining composure. “But the organisers made sure that this year’s race will long be remembered as one of the toughest tests in the last decade.”
Al Attiyah / Baumel’s victory at Dakar 2019 means that Toyota Gazoo Racing has now won both of the world’s toughest automotive races – the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and the DakarRally.
Click here to read Glyn Hall’s comment on winning the Dakar Rally, as well as the rankings.