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Mi Mix 2: Good design language but an underperforming camera

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MIMIX2

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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

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Apple lied to customers about iPhone X series, Lawsuit alleges

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San Francisco, Dec 16 :A lawsuit filed in a US court has accused Apple of making false claims about the screen sizes and pixel counts of the displays in its iPhone X series.

The suit filed on Friday in the District Court of Northern California alleges that the Cupertino, California-headquartered tech giant lied about the screen sizes of iPhone X, iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max devices by counting non-screen areas like the notch and corners,CNET reported.

The two plaintiffs who filed the suit are seeking class action status, according to the report.

The suit alleges that Apple is falsely marketing the new line of iPhones as “all screen”.

For example, the screen size of iPhone X is “only about 5.6875 inches”, and not 5.8 inches as claimed by Apple, the complaint stated.

The plaintiffs also allege that the iPhone X series phones have lower screen resolution than advertised, the CNET report said on Saturday.

Apple was sued over its products earlier also. A lawsuit filed in June alleged that the screen of Apple Watch has a tendency to “crack, shatter or detach from the body of the watch.”

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Nokia 7.1: HMD Global nearly perfects this one

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New Delhi, Dec 15: HMD Global, the Finnish company that manufactures and markets the iconic Nokia-branded phones, has launched devices in India at a steady pace this year.

Its mid-priced smartphones, including the Nokia 7 Plus that was launched in April, were received fairly well in the highly-competitive Indian smartphone landscape.

The handset maker’s focus has been on manufacturing value-for-money devices for the price-conscious Indian buyers with good hardware and neat Android One experience.

Its latest offering, the Nokia 7.1 Plus, is a new mid-ranger that comes in a single configuration of 4GB RAM with 64GB on-board storage for Rs 19,999.

The device is the first to feature “PureDisplay” screen technology for HDR10 cinematic-quality entertainment.

Here’s how the Nokia 7.1 fared in real-life usage.

Talking about its biggest USP — “PureDisplay” screen technology that enables HDR10 support on the display — indeed translated into deeper contrast and vivid colours on supported applications.

HDR10 essentially converts SD content into HDR content on supported apps.

The full HD+ 5.84-inch screen with 19:9 aspect ratio was the best feature of the smartphone.

However, the smartphone doesn’t compromise on design either, which was clearly visible as soon as we picked it up; the aluminium frame laid over glass rendered an appealing design to the phone.

Our gloss midnight blue review unit looked beautiful when held up in light. However, the glass back also meant the phone becomes a fingerprint magnet.

Despite the use of glass in the front and back, the phone felt every bit solid in our hands.

In the middle sits a vertically stacked dual-lens camera set-up while the fingerprint sensor sits just below it.

Talking about the front of the phone, there’s a notch, though it was smaller than many other handsets, thus giving us ample space to either side for the status bar.

The addition of a standard 3.5-mm headphone jack and futuristic USB type-C fast-charging surely were added bonuses.

The rear camera set-up includes a main 12MP sensor with an f/1.8 aperture, and a secondary 5MP lens. The ZEISS tuned camera let us take some pretty good pictures with enough details and good dynamic range. We particularly liked how the shooter handled close-up shots.

Low-light imaging was satisfactory and at par with most smartphones in the same price segment. There’s an 8MP lens in the front for selfies that also supports the much-talked about portrait-style Bokeh effect.

Thanks to Android One, this is an easy to understand device sans any bloatware which also means there are no unnecessary apps.

There’s a Qualcomm SnapDragon 636 system on chip (SoC) on-board which certainly isn’t a flagship chipset. However, the handset handled most tasks, including browsing multiple social media accounts and videos pretty smoothly.

What doesn’t work?

The 3060mAh battery is typically average and would barely last a day on a single charge. We also noticed the phone was performing a bit sluggishly on certain occasions that included heavy gaming.

Conclusion: The Nokia 7.1 stands out in this price segment, courtesy its design language. The sleek, glass sandwich design is to be considered and so does the neat Android One experience.

By Krishna SinhaChaudhury

(Krishna SinhaChaudhury can be contacted at [email protected] <mailto:[email protected]>)</mailto:[email protected]>

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Pre-order Microsoft Surface Go now on Flipkart in India

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New Delhi, Dec 15: With an aim to take on the Apple iPad Pro and Samsung Galaxy Tab S4, Microsoft on Saturday brought its smallest and affordable Surface Go device to India, starting at a price of Rs 38,599.

Weighing at just 1.15 pounds and 8.3 mm thin, the 10-inch, two-in-one device is now available for pre-order with Flipkart, the company said in a statement.

The Surface Go with 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage will cost Rs 38,599 while the 8GB RAM and 128GB variant can be purchased for Rs 50,999.

The Surface Go type cover (black) will cost an additional Rs 8,699 and the signature type cover (colour) will cost Rs 11,799.

Microsoft launched the Surface Go globally earlier this year.

The 2-in-1 device comes with the Surface Pen — with 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity and a 3:2 high-resolution “PixelSense” custom calibrated display designed to render the pages of most school textbooks.

Powered by the 7th Generation Intel Pentium Gold Processor 4415Y and protected by Gorilla Glass 3, the device offers up to nine hours of battery life.

Surface Go also has several ports for various needs, including Surface Connect for charging and docking, USB-C 3.1 for data, video, and charging, a headphone jack and a MicroSD card reader for storage expansion.

For users who require connectivity via video calls, the Surface Go features a 5-MP HD camera and rear auto-focus 8MP HD camera, along with dual microphones.

“Commercial customers can opt for Windows 10 Pro which brings essential business security features to protect devices and infrastructure from modern threats,” said Microsoft.

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