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Mi Mix 2: Good design language but an underperforming camera

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MIMIX2

Tech Review:

New Delhi, Oct 31 : Smartphones with bezel-less screens have become one of the biggest trends this year with handset majors like Samsung, Apple, LG and Micromax turning to displays with 18:9 aspect ratio for an immersive viewing experience.

But it was Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi that started the buzz last year with Mi Mix — the first Android smartphone to ditch thick bezels and the traditional aspect ratio of 16:9.

Mi Mix was introduced as a concept phone, and this year the company has taken a step further with the introduction of Mi Mix 2 that has a premium design language and refined ergonomics.

The Rs 35,999 smartphone falls in the “affordable flagship” category and is being seen as the company’s attempt to break away from its usual “value-for-money” image.

How does it fare when it comes to real-world performance? Let’s see.

At the first glance, Mi Mix 2 impresses with its ceramic body and premium looks. The frame is made of 7-series aluminium alloy that renders a sturdy feel, appears to be strong enough to withstand a few falls.

The ceramic back has a glossy finish and catches light that makes it look incredible. In fact, it is the only mainstream ceramic smartphone that competes with Android co-creator Andy Rubin’s “Essential” phone which is not yet available in India.

The 5.99-inch IPS display has good brightness levels that helps lessen the reflective nature of the glass.

Moreover, the Corning Gorilla Glass 4 on the front, an 18K gold-plated camera ring and gold-coloured “Mix designed by Xiaomi” branding at the rear makes the device stand out in the crowd.

Mi Mix 2’s primary 12MP camera equipped with Sony IMX386 sensor is the same that comes with the company’s flagship Mi 6 smartphone.

The rear shooter with an f/2.0 aperture, phase detection auto-focus (PDAF) and dual LED flash captured good photos, with enough details in proper light only.

Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset with 6GB RAM that results in smooth performance.

Xiaomi’s custom user interface (UI) MIUI 8 based on Android Nougat 7.1.2 is decent enough. However, fans of stock Android operating system (OS) may dislike the interface because it has slightly larger square icons for apps and customisation is limited.

In addition to impressive looks, we found the smartphone’s battery life to be among the best.

The phone runs a 3,400mAh battery but there is almost zero battery drain when the device is idle, unlike many flagship phones out there.

Having said that, we also did not notice the smartphone getting heated up during browsing or while running multiple applications in the background.

The battery lasted a little over a day on moderate usage which should appeal to most users.

What does not work?

Unlike what we had expected, there was noticeable distortion in the images in low-light conditions and inconsistent ambient lighting.

The location of 5MP front camera is rather awkward as it has been moved down to the chin of the device. It is capable of taking selfies that are not up to the mark.

Conclusion: Mi Mix 2 is a good attempt by Xiaomi to break away from its usual “budget smartphone brand” image. The smartphone has an appealing ceramic body phone and offers good battery life. However, smartphones such as OnePlus 5 and Honor 8 Pro easily outperform it in terms of camera performance.

IANS

Business

Black Friday Deals: Realme to bring offers on Realme X3 Superzoom, X50 Pro, Buds Air Neo and more

The Black Friday sale will take place on Realme’s online store, Flipkart and Amazon.

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Over the last few years, online and offline retailers have been offering their Black Friday deals for almost an entire week ahead of Thanksgiving, and some of these deals and offers last well after the Cyber Monday sale.

Black Friday Sale is here!!

After Xiaomi, handset maker Realme on Thursday announced a Black Friday Sale that would arrive with several offers and discounts on a range of its products. The Black Friday Sale would be live for 24 hours and would start November 27, 12:00 AM. The sale would see massive discounts on a range of Realme smartphones including Realme 6i, Realme 6, Realme X3 Superzoom and X50 Pro, and various AIoT products such as Realme Buds Classic, Realme Smart Watch, Realme Buds Air Neo and Realme Smart Cam 360°.

“Realme would also be hosting the ‘Realme Days’ sale offering similar discounts on its own website Realme.com, Flipkart and Amazon.in,” the company said in a statement.

The Black Friday sale will take place on Realme’s online store, Flipkart and Amazon. In addition to the discounts, SBI credit cardholders can avail of 5% cashback on EMI transactions.

  • Realme is offering discounts from Rs 1,000 up to Rs 7,000 for its Black Friday sale. Realme X50 Pro has received the biggest discount of Rs 7,000 bringing its price down to Rs 34,999 from Rs 41,999. Realme X50 Pro with 12GB RAM and 256GB storage also gets a discount making its offer price Rs 40,999.
  • Realme X3 SuperZoom will be available with a Rs 4,000 discount on all three variants. Realme X3 has also received a Rs 3,000 discount on both its variants. Realme C3, Realme 6, Realme 6i, and Narzo 20 Pro can be purchased with a discount of Rs 1,000.
  • In the AIoT portfolio, Realme Buds Air Neo would be available at a discounted price of Rs 1999, along with the Realme Buds Wireless Pro for Rs 3199 and Realme Buds Air Pro at a special price of Rs 4299. These offers would be applicable on all purchases made through Realme’s official website Realme.com.
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India

India’s ban on 43 Chinese apps draws mixed reactions

While announcing the ban on 59 apps in June, the ministry also said that it received “many representations raising concerns from citizens regarding security of data and risk to privacy relating to operation of certain apps.”

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New Delhi: While Indian startups have largely welcomed the government’s move to ban 43 more Chinese apps, taking it to a total of 267 in a span of about five months, experts have also cautioned that users deserve more information and transparency about the reasons behind the actions.

Extending its support to the latest “digital strike” on Tuesday that banned 43 more Chinese apps, homegrown short video-sharing platform Chingari said that some of the apps in the new list “were banned earlier as well but they just cloaked themselves under a new identity to enter the Indian market.”

“The ban is a very smart move and sends out a clear message that Chinese apps cannot use such tactics to engage in activities that are ‘prejudicial to India’s sovereignty’. At the same time, we would like to assure our Chingari family that the safety of their data is our highest priority,” Sumit Ghosh, CEO, Co-founder Chingari, said in a statement.

One of the banned apps include Snack Video which offered homegrown short video apps, that gained traction following ban on TikTok, very tough competitions.

“This is yet another welcome move from the government to stand against Chinese apps that always have had serious privacy issues. We happily extend our support to all the language users and creators of Snack Video especially who are residing in tier 3/4 cities to come and join Bolo Indya,” said Varun Saxena, Founder and CEO, Bolo Indya.

However, Mishi Choudhary, Founder of SFLC.in, a legal services organisation working on law, technology and policy, said that the Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology “has made it a practice of issuing orders banning websites citing vague reasons without offering details that users deserve when being deprived of access to information.”

Earlier on June, 29, the government had blocked access to 59 mobile apps and on September 2, 118 more apps were banned under section 69A of the Information Technology Act.

In addition, the government in late July, cracked down on 47 more mobile apps, most of which were reportedly clones or lite variants of the Chinese apps banned in June.

Launching the fresh assault on 43 Chinese apps on Tuesday, the Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology said the “action was taken based on the inputs regarding these apps for engaging in activities which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order.”

While announcing the ban on 59 apps in June, the ministry also said that it received “many representations raising concerns from citizens regarding security of data and risk to privacy relating to operation of certain apps.”

“What started with the ironical assertion that the government was worried about personal data — considering we are still dithering on a personal data protection law and stories about data theft are so rampant that they don’t even make it to front page news anymore — has now turned into an unfortunate trend,” Choudhary said.

“If these Chinese apps are indulging in notorious practices which they might be, more information and transparency would help users see these orders as necessary instead of what they look like now –a sign of controlling choice,” she added.

SafeHouse Technologies, a cyber security tech enterprise that provides solutions to secure mobile phones, has welcomed the government’s move to ban 43 more Chinese apps, saying that “the government has yet again proved that the security and hygiene in the Indian smartphone and app ecosystem needs to be maintained.”

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India

Landline users need to prefix ‘0’ to call mobile phones starting Jan

Come January 1, landline users across India will need to prefix all calls to any mobile phone with a `0′ , with the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) calling on telcos to modify the dialing pattern for such calls in line with the sector regulator’s recommendations.

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Kolkata: Come January 1, landline users across India will need to prefix all calls to any mobile phone with a `0′ , with the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) calling on telcos to modify the dialing pattern for such calls in line with the sector regulator’s recommendations.

The move is likely to create fresh numbering resources for mobile services amid the continuing rise in India’s mobile user base and the decline in wireline connections.

The DoT, in a circular, dated November 20, has backed the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s recommendations and mandated telcos to ensure all landline subscribers are “given a `0 dialing’ or STD facility” to be able to connect with mobile phones under the new calling system from next year.


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