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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

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Elon Musk quits OpenAI group to avoid conflict with Tesla

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Elon Musk (File Photo)

 San Francisco, Feb 23: SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk has quit the board of OpenAI, a non-profit artificial intelligence (AI) research company he co-founded that aims to promote and develop friendly AI that benefits the humanity.

“Elon Musk will depart the OpenAI Board but will continue to donate and advise the organisation. As Tesla continues to become more focused on AI, this will eliminate a potential future conflict for Elon,” the research group said in a blog post on Thursday, welcoming some new donors.

In 2014, Musk said AI was humanity’s biggest existential threat later adding that the United Nations needed to act to prevent a killer robot arms race.

OpenAI has fast become a significant voice in the global machine learning community.

Its research has been wide-ranging, including teaching computers to control robots with minimal instruction and the creation of AI agents to play popular video game Dota.

OpenAI recently contributed to the “Malicious Use of Artificial Intelligence” report, which warned AI was ripe for exploitation by rogue states, criminals and terrorists.

Drones turned into missiles, fake videos manipulating public opinion and automated hacking are just three of the threats from artificial intelligence in the wrong hands, experts said in the report.

They said that those designing AI systems need to do more to mitigate possible misuse of their technology and that governments must consider new laws to tackle such misuse.

IANS

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Airtel offers Rs 2,000 cashback on Motorola, Lenovo 4G device

As part of the offer, Moto C would be available for Rs 3,999, Moto E4 for 6,499 and Lenovo K8 Note for Rs 10,999.

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AIRTEL

New Delhi, Feb 23: As part of its “Mera Pehla Smartphone” initiative, Telecom services provider Bharti Airtel announced to offer a cashback of Rs 2,000 on select 4G Motorola and Lenovo smartphones.

Two popular 4G smartphones from Motorola — Moto C, Moto E4 and Lenovo K8 Note are available with the offer.

As part of the offer, Moto C would be available for Rs 3,999, Moto E4 for 6,499 and Lenovo K8 Note for Rs 10,999.

“We look forward to working with Motorola to bring smartphones within the reach of more and more customers,” Vani Venkatesh, Chief Marketing Officer, Bharti Airtel, said in a statement.

“It is a great opportunity for Airtel subscribers to upgrade to 4G and enjoy the meaningful experiences across Motorola & Lenovo smartphones,” added Sudhin Mathur, Managing Director, Motorola Mobility India and Lenovo MBG India.

IANS

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New iPhone app to aid heart attack survivors

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Corrie app

New York, Feb 23: A new iPhone-based app may help patients who survived a heart attack to maintain their health and reduce the number of hospital readmissions, according to a study.

The “Corrie” app is the first cardiology app for the Apple CareKit platform and is designed to help patients navigate the hospital discharge process by educating them about heart disease.

The app allows them to keep track of medications, follow-up appointments and lifestyle changes needed after a heart attack.

“We have found there are many gaps in care in patients recovering from a heart attack,” said lead author William Yang, from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, US.

“We wanted to engage patients in their own care, and help them transition from the hospital to home using existing technology,” Yang added.

Heart attack patients “may suddenly have new doctors and more medical visits, including cardiac rehab, and the app helps them track and centralise all those appointments”, he said.

The app helps patients to keep track of all their medications, including how much to take and at what time.

It also syncs with the Apple Watch to monitor heart rate and keep track of how much they are walking and with a Bluetooth blood pressure monitor.

Yang said the app has also proven useful to patients even while they were still in the hospital as it allows patients to store important medical information on the app.

The results were presented at the American College of Cardiology’s Cardiovascular Summit in Las Vegas.

IANS

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