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Motorola unveils foldable Razr

Motorola has relaunched a new Razr flip phone, dubbed the Moto Razr 2019, that flips out into a full 6.2 inch smartphone – without a display crease on its fold.

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The iconic Moto Razr flip phone has returned, but instead of a tiny LCD with a T9 keyboard, users get a 6.2 inch OLED foldable Android phone. Having a foldable OLED display puts the new Moto Razr in the same league as the Huawei Mate X and Samsung Galaxy Fold. This also, naturally, means it’s extremely expensive, starting at $1500 in the US, and is locked to Verizon for now.

Two major aspects make this device stand out: the hinge design, and the unfolding design. The new hinge uses an interesting unfolding technique, that features a large air gap to allow the hinge to move out the way of the display. This is vital for reducing the crease to the point where it’s no longer noticeable.

Credit: Yanko Design

The way it unfolds seems a bit more practical than the other phone-to-tablet designs we’ve seen so far. Instead, we now see a smartphone-in-hand, which means when closed, the device is really small, but normal-sized (by 2019 standards) when unfolded. It also allows the Razr to dethone the Galaxy Note 10+ for the crown of the tallest phone on the market. It’s great to see a different kind of foldable.

The design remains strikingly similar to its older sibling, with some improvements like a fingerprint sensor on the chin, and a much larger camera lens.

The biggest drawback is the spec-to-price ratio, for a Snapdragon 710, which is not a flagship processor. At half the price, one could get a Snapdragon flagship or another equivalent flagship processor device from Samsung, Huawei, LG, or even an iPhone 11. 

Fortunately, it comes packed with 6GB of RAM, so performance will likely be smooth for those who aren’t playing graphics-intensive games. Another huge plus for nostalgic users is retro mode, which skins the phone with a small screen and T9 keyboard, like its 2004 sibling.

Motorola says the device will be available in Europe, Latin America, Asia, and Australia. The new Razr will launch in the US first, and only on Verizon, on 9 January 2020, with preorders starting 26 December.

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Leak reveals Huawei P40 Pro

A high-resolution render of the Huawei P40 Pro, released by Evan ‘Evleaks’ Blass, shows that it will probably include five rear lenses, two front lenses, and a ceramic build. BRYAN TURNER investigates

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The highly-anticipated Huawei P40 Pro is set to be unveiled in Paris in late-March. Many rumours surround its hardware build as well as its software capabilities since Huawei lost the rights to preload Google Apps on the phone.

From the leak, it seems the P40 Pro will feature a near-bezelless screen, like the Mate 30 Pro, which debuted late last year. The screen drops the notch, in favour of a dual-camera cut-out, similar to the Samsung Note 10+. The leak also shows there are small buttons on the side of the device for volume control and locking the device. This is an interesting step back from the buttonless Mate 30 Pro.

The most impressive aspect is the seven cameras which this device will house, five on the back and two on the front. The rear camera system seems to showcase a slight bump, and features a new type of periscope-style telephoto camera. This is expected to provide an 18-240mm equivalence between ultrawide and telephoto. The device is also expected to provide a whopping 13x optical zoom, thanks to the periscope camera.

The build is expected to be glass on the front and back, both of which are curved for ergonomics. From the render, it showcases classy design using ceramics. On the bottom, there’s a USB Type-C port with a speaker grill. And there’s no surprises about the absence of a headphone jack, which hasn’t featured for a while now.

The only real question-mark hanging over this device is: what about Google apps? Huawei is currently touring Europe, showing off the power its smartphones still have without having Google apps installed. Hopefully, they will fill that education gap before the release date of the P40 Pro, less than two months away.

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Canon announces Robotic Camera System

True remote control photography is now possible, thanks to a Canon Robotic Camera System called the CR-S700R.

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Canon has announced a remote control system for still image shooting, to be available in February 2020. Sports photography and news media use remote photography extensively to capture still images from various viewpoints or angles that cannot be achieved with conventional photography methods. The Robotic Camera System CR-S700R is a release driven by the needs of professional photographers to operate cameras remotely for still images.

The system revolves around a remote pan head that can be used to remotely control and shoot still images using an EOS camera. The system includes a small and lightweight gateway box, an IP camera controller called the CR-G100.

The Camera Remote Application CR-A100 (not included in the package) enables users to control multiple cameras from a PC, display live view images, and remotely trigger a camera or simultaneously shoot with multiple cameras.

The remote pan head uses a centre-type rotational axis that makes the optical axis of the camera perpendicular to the rotational axis of the remote pan head, enabling smooth remote operations like zooming, panning, tilting, and rolling. Ideally suited to follow subjects that move at high speed during sporting events, the remote pan head benefits from a compact design with a turning radius of approximately 260mm, and can be used upright or underslung.

The IP camera controller CR-G100 is a gateway device to connect the camera and the remote pan head. It connects to a PC for remote operation using a wired LAN (Ethernet) cable. The extremely compact and lightweight design has been developed specifically for still image shooting. Various terminals (digital terminal, Ethernet terminal, remote control terminal, among others) necessary for connecting to cameras and pan heads are grouped together to organise previously complicated and bulky wired connection.

The Camera Remote Application CR-A100 software controls the Robotic Camera System CR-S700R and cameras via a PC. It displays live view images from multiple cameras using the IP camera controller CR-G100 and can control a single camera or simultaneous shoot using multiple specified cameras, streamlining the workflow of still image shooting at the news site.

The Robotic Camera System CR-S700R and the Camera Remote Application CR-A100 will be available from mid-February 2020.

For more information and details on product specifications, visit: https://www.canon-europe.com/pro/remote_ptz/CR-S700R

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