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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

Redmi 7A offers a solid budget phone experience

Continuing the legacy of great value

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When we first reviewed the Redmi 5A, we dubbed it the best smartphone you could buy below US$ 100. But then the Redmi 6A happened, and it wasn’t nearly as impressive. Fast forward to the Redmi 7A, which looks to bring Xiaomi’s entry-level A-series back to its roots.

Xiaomi once again placed a capable Snapdragon chipset in its lowest-end Redmi model. This time, it’s the Snapdragon 439. With the 4000mAh battery, this phone is built to last long on a single charge.


The memory and storage options of 2GB+16GB and 3GB+32GB aren’t as impressive, especially against today’s standards, but as the previous two generations had proven. they’re sufficient for basic apps and tasks.

On the back is a single 13-megapixel camera while the front houses a standard 5-megapixel shooter. As for the display, it’s a 5.45-inch 720p LCD with no notch or hole in it. Once again, there’s no fingerprint scanner to be found.

Indeed, this is as basic as it gets for a smartphone, but like the Redmi 5A and 6A, the Redmi 7A is suitable for first-time smartphone users and those who needs an inexpensive secondary phone.

While no official pricing has been announced yet, it’s expected to retail for no more than US$ 100 like its predecessors. We’ll learn more during the Redmi K20 launch happening on May 28.

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Enterprise

Huawei’s phones can’t use microSD cards anymore

Another casualty of the ban

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Everyone knows what happened to Huawei. As the week winds down, the Trump ban is dismantling the Chinese company piece by piece. Most notably, Google has stopped its business dealings with Huawei. Soon after, hardware company ARM ceased support for future Huawei chips. Huawei has lost considerable support on both hardware and software sides.

Now, the company has lost another major backer. Reported by Nikkei Asian Review, the SD Association has revoked Huawei’s membership status. As the name suggests, the trade group dictates the SD and microSD standards of the industry. The Chinese company cannot use the standard for future devices anymore. Fortunately, Huawei can still use the memory cards for existing phones.


However, the latest bridge-burning has drastically changed the company’s future. Given everything, Huawei’s future does not include Google, ARM, and microSD extensions, among others. All three components are major parts of today’s phones.

Fortunately, the loss of microSD support isn’t a deadly deal. Huawei can still use other standards for memory card extension. The company also has its own proprietary standard called the Nano Memory Card. Of course, proprietary hardware is almost always a turn-off. Despite cushioning the SD Association loss, the Nano Memory Card isn’t as appealing as the universally available microSD card.

In other news, Huawei has also “temporarily” lost access to the Wi-Fi Alliance. Much like the SD Association, the Wi-Fi Alliance dictates the connectivity standards of devices. Thankfully, Huawei can still use Wi-Fi in its devices. However, the company cannot participate in any discussions to shape Wi-Fi’s future.

Likewise, Huawei has voluntarily withdrawn from JEDEC, a trade group that defines semiconductor standards. As with the Wi-Fi Alliance, the company cannot contribute to any future discussions.

Fortunately, both restrictions don’t impact the company’s future as much. However, Huawei’s future is slowly moving away from industry standards. If the company hopes to survive, Huawei must develop its own proprietary hardware or find replacements elsewhere.

SEE ALSO: Philippines: Huawei ban ‘will have a little impact’ on the country

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Enterprise

Philippines: Huawei ban ‘will have a little impact’ on the country

States the Philippines’ robust cybersecurity measures

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Throughout the past few days, the Huawei debacle has devastated companies and consumers across the globe. Everyone is falling for the fear. Huawei’s long-standing suppliers have cut ties with the company. Huawei’s consumers are getting rid of their favored headsets. The wave has swept the whole world.

Naturally, the Philippines isn’t immune. Recently, smartphone retailers and resellers have started refusing Huawei devices from their stores. Local Huawei users can’t easily sell their devices to the second-hand market anymore.


However, an important question still stands. How much will the Huawei ban affect the Philippines?

Of course, the ban originates from Trump’s trade war against China. Among other reasons, the American government cites the company’s inherent cybersecurity risks as the prime motivator. Supposedly, Huawei’s telecommunications hardware can transmit valuable data to the Chinese government. Given the Philippines’ proximity to China, are we also at risk?

According to the Department of Information and Communications Technology, Huawei’s ban “will have a little impact in the Philippine telecommunications industry.” Shared through a Facebook post, the DICT assures users of the country’s robust cybersecurity measures. As of now, the department has not reported any cybersecurity breaches coming from Huawei equipment.

Likewise, shortly after the news broke, local telcos confirmed continued support for Huawei’s devices. According to the DICT, “they will diversify in their present and future procurements of equipment to make their networks more robust and future proof.” The department is also imposing strict rules on local telcos regarding network monitoring. The statement also quickly adds the imposition of the same rules on a potential third telco.

Is the DICT’s statement believable? For now, Huawei’s impact is still marginal at best. Companies and consumers are going on the perceived risk of the future. Right now, Huawei has not announced drastic changes to its products yet. Existing Huawei products still support Google.

Of course, cybersecurity is another issue. The risk will always exist when foreign companies control the telecommunications equipment of another country. At the very least, the DICT isn’t treating the whole debacle as a non-issue. Hopefully, the department’s promises are an optimistic sign for the country’s telecommunications industry.

SEE ALSO: Huawei granted 90-day extension before total ban

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