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Xiaomi Mi 5s and 5s Plus set to challenge iPhone 7 and 7 Plus

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Another Xiaomi launch, another pair of Apple clones. This isn’t to say the Chinese brand’s newest flagships aren’t any good; in fact, the Xiaomi Mi 5s and 5s Plus are up there with the very best, and they don’t cost a fortune.

Despite having a little “s” attached to their names, the pair of smartphones are significant upgrades over the original Mi 5 launched last February. Back then, we compared Xiaomi’s flagship at that time to the Samsung Galaxy S7. Now, the similarities are closer to the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. Even the promotional image below screams copycat.


xiaomi-mi5s-iphone7-20160927

Compare the Xiaomi Mi 5s promotional image above with the iPhone 7’s below

The signs are all there: a completely metal unibody construction for both the 5.15-inch Mi 5s and 5.7-inch Mi 5s Plus, the usual iPhone-like MIUI Android interface, and some features taken straight out of Apple’s playbook. Let’s look into them now.

The highest-end Mi 5s, which is the 4GB RAM with 128GB internal storage configuration, has a pressure-sensitive display, similar to what Apple applied on its last two iPhone generations. It’s definitely a bonus if you want expanded interactivity with your apps’ options, but if it goes down the same path as the iPhones, then third-party support might be limited for a while. Huawei did it first on Android with its Mate S handset last year, yet there has barely been any backing from software developers since then.

What’s unique to the Mi 5s — and this isn’t even available on the larger Mi 5s Plus — is the ultrasonic fingerprint scanner powered by Qualcomm’s Sense ID. It may sound needless with regular sensors already being blazing fast, but this type is a lot more secure thanks to its added accuracy, plus it can work through wet hands and may be placed under the handset’s glass panel. We had a chance to try it ourselves and we must say, it really is the best fingerprint-scanning technology out there, and we’re glad Xiaomi finally managed to incorporate it.

xiaomi-mi-5s

The specs are expected of a newly launched flagship: We have Qualcomm’s best processor in the Snapdragon 821, a 12-megapixel shooter at the back with a 4-megapixel one up front, and an acceptable 3200mAh battery capacity.

The 4GB memory with 128GB storage model we mentioned earlier will retail at RMB 2299 (almost $345), and the 3GB memory with 64GB storage version will go for RMB 1999 (slightly above $299). Colors offered are silver, gray, gold, and rose gold, with availability beginning on September 29 in China.

Surprisingly, the Mi 5s Plus doesn’t just lack the high-tech fingerprint scanner of its smaller sibling (although, there’s a regular one at the back), it also doesn’t offer a pressure-sensitive display. Instead, the 5.7-inch phablet opts for a 13-megapixel dual-camera setup, very similar to Huawei’s implementation on the P9; one image sensor captures in monochrome, while the other in full color. Image detail will be a lot sharper thanks to the combined effort of two lenses, which is far better than Xiaomi’s previous attempt.

xiaomi-mi-5s-plus-2

Other advantages of the Mi 5s Plus are the larger 3800mAh battery, bigger display (it maxes out at 1920 x 1080 pixels like the more compact Mi 5s, though), and the choice of having 6GB of RAM. The processor is the same as the chip found in the Mi 5s, and both phones have Quick Charge 3.0-enabled USB Type-C ports. As you can tell, the Plus variant may not be as innovative as the Mi 5s, but it definitely has more multimedia muscle in its circuits.

Its cheapest configuration, which has 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, costs as much as the top-end Mi 5s at RMB 2299 ($345). The model with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage isn’t much of a jump in price, and seems like a more worthwhile purchase; you can buy one for only RMB 2599 ($390). Colors options and availability are the same as that of the Mi 5s.

xiaomi-mi-5s-plus

[irp posts=”12207" name=”One month with Xiaomi’s Yuemi mechanical keyboard”]

Source: Xiaomi

Enterprise

Facebook will launch a cryptocurrency called Libra in 2020

In partnership with Mastercard, Visa, Uber, and many others

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Image credit: Facebook

Facebook is more than just social networking. They’re also a hardware company and a software developer. Soon, the social media giant will also serve financial services using their own cryptocurrency called Libra. With the creation of Libra is a new Facebook subsidiary named Calibra, which will handle the company’s global currency powered by blockchain technology.

According to Facebook, Libra is aimed to help people save, send, or spend money even if they don’t have a bank account. Basically, Calibra will be a financial service app that uses Libra for its transactions. It’ll allow users to use Libra on mobile and send to almost anyone.


It’s worth noting that Libra isn’t like Bitcoin. Libra will be a form of digital money backed by a reserve of assets. Moreover, Facebook is not alone in this venture.

While Facebook is building Libra, it’ll be supported by venture capital firms, crypto firms, nonprofit organizations, and massive corporate financial, technology, and telecommunications service providers. The list includes Mastercard, Visa, Coinbase, eBay, PayPal, Stripe, Spotify, Uber, Lyft, and Vodafone.

Image credit: Libra/Facebook

The end goal is to create a truly mainstream cryptocurrency. Libra is envisioned to be a decentralized global form of payment. It’ll be used to buy almost anything. It’s also planned to be used for loans and credit.

Any financial transactions will require personal information and privacy isn’t Facebook’s strongest suit. Although, the company says Calibra will not share account information or financial data with its servers or any third party without the customer’s consent.

By 2020, Calibra will introduce a digital wallet for Libra which will be available in Facebook’s Messenger, WhatsApp, and as a standalone app. Calibra is still in its early stages and Facebook will have to take an extra step to overcome the hurdles this new cryptocurrency has to face, especially when it comes to privacy.

Facebook promises to give updates about Calibra in the near future. For now, those interested to be first in line can sign up here. Additionally, more information regarding Libra is available here.

SEE ALSO: Basics of cryptocurrency: Risks and benefits

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Dr. Mario World is coming to Android and iOS in a few weeks

A classic coming back to life!

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Image credit: Nintendo

After a week from E3 2019, Nintendo has announced the release of its latest mobile game. The Japanese game company has been reviving its classic titles lately and the newest one coming to our phones is Dr. Mario World.

The new Nintendo game for mobile will be available for iOS and Android on July 10 for free. Pre-registration is already open on the App Store and Play Store.


A new trailer for Dr. Mario World gives us our first look at the game. From the looks of it, it’s going to be pretty different yet familiar. Instead of a Tetris-style gameplay where the capsules fall down the screen, Dr. Mario World will require players to drag the capsules on the playing field. Since the game will be played on phones with touchscreens, this approach makes better sense than left-right buttons.

Like most free-to-play titles, the game will have in-app purchases that’ll help players progress in the game. The game also has countdown timers and character customizations.

The original Dr. Mario game came out in 1990 and it instantly became one of the best Nintendo titles. It was originally developed for the NES. It was ported and remade for multiple platforms after.

Source: Nintendo

SEE ALSO: Nintendo reveals new Pokémon games for the Switch

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Huawei dealers offer ‘Special Warranty Program’ that promises 100% refund

Retailers and fans rally with Huawei

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Huawei P30 series | GadgetMatch

Amidst the issues and controversies surrounding Huawei, the company still has a solid customer base. However, the effects of the US trade ban must have affected the sales of Huawei phones, because the retailers are offering a pretty special (and interesting) warranty service for its phones and tablets.

In the Philippines, over 30 partner retailers and dealers of Huawei are offering a “Special Warranty Program.” Under the Special Warranty Program, customers who will purchase new Huawei phones or tablets are assured that they’ll no have issues concerning the use of Google apps and services such as the Google Play Store, Gmail, Google Maps, Photos, Chrome, and YouTube. Additionally, it covers non-Google apps as well such as Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp.


If ever Google completely cut ties with Huawei, which will greatly affect future Android updates and security patches, the partner retailers and dealers will offer 100 percent refund of the devices covered by the Special Warranty Program. Terms and conditions apply, of course. According to Intogadgets, one of the partner retailers, the refund will apply to devices that are within the two-year warranty period and free from any defects or damages.

Screenshots of retailers/dealers offering the special warranty

The new warranty program wishes to address the growing concerns from consumers regarding Huawei phones. It’s no secret that the company is currently facing a difficult situation with their partnership with Google because of the US trade ban. Huawei currently relies on Google-made apps and services including the Android operating system running on their phones.

SEE ALSO: Google: Cutting off Huawei is an even bigger threat

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