News

New Redmi 4 lineup completes Xiaomi’s stellar year

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Xiaomi Redmi 4 Prime

Xiaomi has been absolutely killing it this year with releases such as the bezel-hating Mi Mix, dual-camera-touting Mi 5s Plus, and visually stunning Mi Note 2. However, these are all premium products, so the China-based company made it a point to launch a trio of budget-friendly offerings before the year ends.

Here’s what we have in order of most to least expensive: the Redmi 4 Prime, Redmi 4, and Redmi 4A. Priced at CNY 899 ($133), CNY 699 ($104), and CNY 499 ($74), you can’t expect anything out of the ordinary, but they sure are affordable.

Redmi 4 Prime

Let’s begin with the top-level Redmi 4 Prime. The all-metal variant feels kind of like a midrange device for what it offers. You get a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor, which can handle everyday tasks with ease, plus a decent amount of memory and internal storage at 3GB and 32GB, respectively.

Xiaomi Redmi 4 Prime

Xiaomi Redmi 4 Prime

What it holds back on is screen size; it’s only 5 inches in diameter, but has more than enough pixels packed into it at 1920 x 1080. There’s also a 13-megapixel shooter above the fingerprint scanner at the back, and a 5-megapixel front camera for selfies. A thick 4100mAh battery keeps the lights on.

Xiaomi plastered its iPhone-like MIUI 8 interface over Android 6.0 Marshmallow on the Redmi 4 Prime, as well as on the other two phones. Gold, silver, and gray are the available colors, and they can be purchased beginning today.

Redmi 4

The 5-inch middle model of the pack looks nearly identical to the Prime version, except its LED flash is located to the right of the rear camera and isn’t as fancy as the dual-tone unit of the more-capable variant.

Xiaomi Redmi 4

Xiaomi Redmi 4 (left) and Redmi 4 Prime (right)

As expected, everything is toned down to lower the price. The processor is a less powerful, yet still decent Snapdragon 430, and both the memory and screen resolution have been reduced to 2GB and 1280 x 720 pixels, respectively.

While the battery capacity remains at 4100mAh, the built-in storage is limited to 16GB, so you’d have to rely on a microSD card to squeeze in more files. The three offered colors are the same, and are available as of November 7, as well.

Redmi 4A

Despite being the cheapest of the lot, the Redmi 4A is still a good deal, thanks in part to its full-metal body and similar hardware configuration to the regular Redmi 4 — the same 5-inch 720p display, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of expandable storage, and same pair of cameras.

Xiaomi Redmi 4A

Xiaomi Redmi 4A

What it lacks is a fingerprint sensor, and both the processor and battery capacity take a hit; you only get a Snapdragon 425 chipset and 3120mAh battery here. The bonus is you have a choice between more attractive gold and rose gold colors, and the latest MIUI with Marshmallow is still on board.

Availability comes a little later — November 11, to be exact.

Limited shipping, for now

Like most Xiaomi smartphones, these three Redmi 4 handsets are exclusive to China at the moment. But unlike their more expensive siblings, they should experience international shipping like past generations of the Redmi line.

We predict India seeing the next launch, while the rest of Asia will have to rely on gray market shops before Xiaomi decides to expand further.

[irp posts=”7235″ name=”Mi Mix is Xiaomi’s ceramic concept of the future”]

Source: Xiaomi, (2)

News

Facebook is working on a smartwatch with two cameras

The company has ambitious goals

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Facebook Reality Labs

Reports emerged earlier this year that Facebook is planning to launch a smartwatch next summer. The watch will have a display and two cameras that can be detached to take photos and video like you would on a smartphone or GoPro camera.

According to The Verge, one camera on the front of the watch display will be used for video calling. In contrast, the other 1080p camera with auto-focusing will be detachable for capturing pictures and videos. The content could then be shared on Facebook and Instagram and other apps owned by the company.

Facebook is working with third-party companies to create accessories attached to the camera, such as backpacks. It is also working with wireless carriers in the US to support wireless connectivity.

With a camera system designed in-house, Facebook could offer a new feature that’s not usually found on a smartwatch. The wearable segment is already very saturated, making it quite difficult for newcomers to justify their existence. Backed by Android’s custom version, the wearable will feature a heart rate monitor and other features that have become standard across the segment.

The Verge also notes that future iterations of the smartwatch could “serve as a key input device for its planned augmented reality glasses.” It’ll be available in three colors: white, black, and gold.

In terms of pricing, Facebook has reportedly “discussed pricing the device at roughly US$ 400,” which will put it up against offerings from other established makers such as Apple and Samsung. Facebook is working on second and third generations and plans to use technology it acquired from CTRL-labs to achieve its vision.

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Apps

The US revokes Trump’s executive order that banned TikTok

A level-playing field for everyone

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President Joe Biden signed an executive order on Wednesday that sets criteria for the government to evaluate the risk of apps connected to foreign adversaries. It’s specifically meant for apps like TikTok and WeChat, which President Trump banned.

It should use an “evidence-based approach” to see if they pose a risk to US national security, said Biden. If apps are found violating fundamental laws, a ban can be imposed. The task of identifying threats has been given to the US Commerce Department.

Trump’s executive order particularly targeted TikTok and WeChat. Instead, Biden is opting for a level-playing field for everyone. Biden shares the same concerns as Trump, but their approach is vastly different.

Under the previous administration, TikTok remained in a precarious position as Trump sought to ban the app unless it sold to an American company. A proposal was produced that would have seen Oracle and Walmart owning a US entity of the service and taking responsibility for handling TikTok’s US user data and content moderation.

But there were numerous legal challenges, and before they could be ironed out, Trump lost the election. The Biden administration’s new executive order does not affect those negotiations, which are a separate process. The order also calls upon federal agencies to develop recommendations – for future executive actions or legislation — on how to protect the data of US citizens.

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Computers

AMD unveils new Radeon PRO workstation GPUs

Based on the same architecture as the next-gen consoles

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PRO W6000

AMD may be facing some shortages in their chips for the remainder of this year, but it’s not stopping them just yet. Within their GPU lineup, Team Red looks to launch a more powerful AMD Radeon PRO W6000 series of workstation graphics. This time around, they’ve integrated a familiar and powerful type of RDNA architecture to boost your workstation’s graphical performance.

See, AMD designed the new Radeon PRO W6000 series of workstation GPUs for heavier, more complex workloads. From demanding architectural design to 4K video rendering, these new GPUs will ideally handle all of these with ease. One of the big reasons behind this is that these GPUs are built using the RDNA 2 architecture. Yes, it’s the same architecture behind the GPUs of the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X|S!

Apart from graphical performance boosts, the Radeon PRO W6000 series also offers realtime ray-tracing for faster renders. Essentially, the GPU has more enhanced compute units that boost design renders by up to 46 percent compared to previous generations. Along with AMD’s Smart Access Memory, you can even unlock higher performance for supported AMD Ryzen CPUs.

AMD will roll out their Radeon PRO W6000 series of GPUs in this fashion, along with their SRPs:

  • Now Available: AMD Radeon PRO W6800 (US$ 2,249)
  • Starting July 2021: AMD Radeon PRO W6600M (in select countries and mobile workstations)
  • Q3 2021: AMD Radeon PRO W6600 (US$ 649)
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