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Sony is working on a rollable smartphone

Will the Xperia rise again?

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Image source: SlashGear

After a failed debut, the foldable smartphone is ready to give it another go. Samsung and Huawei are gearing for a new launch date sometime in the fall. Soon, keen consumers can finally buy the Galaxy Fold or the Mate X. Previously, both companies suffered critical hitches before their initial launches, prompting a much-needed redesign.

However, the wheels of innovation never stop. Bypassing the current foldable revolution, Japanese tech maker Sony is working a whole new form factor. According to tech leaker Max J, the company is testing a rollable phone prototype. The experiment Xperia model will tout a new “nautilus” design.

Supposedly, it uses flexible LG Display technology. Earlier this year, LG debuted a rollable OLED TV at CES 2019. The Korean company has already perfected the technology elsewhere. Sony will pioneer the new display for the smartphone market.

Underneath, the rollable prototype will carry a Qualcomm SM7250 chipset, a 10x zoom camera, and a 3220mAh battery. However, the final retail version will likely have a more powerful Snapdragon 855 processor. It will also have a Qualcomm X50 modem, prepping for 5G connectivity. Unfortunately, the prototype’s design will constrain its hardware. The phone’s current hardware is only a shade of today’s modern standards.

Sony’s future Xperia is a work in progress. As such, the prototype has a lot of unknowns. For one, will the prototype completely roll into a scroll? Can it double as a smartwatch? As with most pioneering innovations, the rollable smartphone will need a lot of time to marinate.

At the very least, Sony is hard at work. The company is aiming for a December or early 2020 launch.

SEE ALSO: Sony Xperia Ace is what the Xperia XZ4 Compact could have been

India

Mi Watch Revolve Active is a premium fitness tracker with 14 days battery

Has more than 100 workout modes

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Mi Watch Revolve Active A

The Mi Watch Revolve was launched last year, and it sits in a comfortable spot — not too expensive, but loaded. Now, the brand’s expanding its offering and bringing in a much more fitness-oriented product dubbed the Mi Watch Revolve Active.

As the name suggests, the watch is designed to keep you outdoors as much as possible. Or in the new normal, as active and fit as possible. It has a far more sturdy build and continues the premium design language.

It has a 1.4-inch AMOLED display with an always-on display, eliminating the need to touch the screen just to view the time or other essential details. In addition, the screen is protected by Gorilla Glass 3 and weighs just 32 grams.

The fitness front comes equipped with LifeQ Health algorithm, which analyzes more than 30 key data points like blood oxygen, stress, heart rate, sleep quality, energy levels, calories burned, and more. All these data points are leveraged to process your lifestyle, fitness regime, and overall performance.

Together, these data points deliver more accurate blood oxygen levels (SpO2), sleep cycles, real-time heart rate, stress levels, body’s oxygen consumption (Vo2 Max), and calories burned. In addition, more than 117 workout modes are supported, including triathlons, swimming, HIIT, Boxing, Water sports, and Yoga.

GPS tracking features an Airoha GPS chip that supports GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, and BDS navigation systems.  Simple operations will be far simpler when you summon Alexa, as the watch supports the voice assistant for reminders, alarms, and other instructions.

The Mi Watch Revolve Active is water-resistant up to 50 meters and comes pre-installed with basic apps like alarm, timer, stopwatch, weather, find my phone, flashlight. It connects to the phone via Xiaomi’s Wear App and has a mini-store for watch faces, which has more than 100 options right now.

Lastly, Xiaomi says the watch can deliver up to 14 days of battery life on a single charge. If you toggle the long battery mode, it can stretch up to 22 days. While these numbers may seem inflated, Xiaomi has an irrefutable history of delivering solid numbers in the real world.

Price and availability:

The Mi Watch Revolve Active is priced at INR 9,999, and sales start from June 25. It’ll be up for purchase via Amazon, Mi.com, and other partner stores. It comes in Beige, Black, and Navy Blue watch case options, with six strap color options, including Black, Blue, Green, White, and Purple.

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India

Mi 11 Lite launches with Snapdragon 732G, triple-rear cameras

The lightest phone to launch in 2021 so far

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The second wave of Coronavirus has eased in India, and the country is gradually opening up. A few brands decided to avoid any new launches amid the raging pandemic, creating a vacuum in an otherwise fast-paced industry. Thankfully, Xiaomi has returned with a new offering, and it’s called the Mi 11 Lite.

The Mi 11 series is designed to offer a more premium experience without making a huge dent in your pocket. It follows the same design language as the Mi 11X but is far more thinner and light. At just 6.8mm thickness and 157g weight, it’s touted to be the lightest phone of 2021 so far.

On the front, its got a 6.5-inch AMOLED screen with Full HD+ resolution, a 90Hz refresh rate, and Gorilla Glass 5 protection. In addition, to make the phone lighter, Xiaomi incorporated a “flat flexible OLED” and a redesigned circuit board that is 35 percent smaller than conventional ones.

Powering the Mi 11 Lite is a Snapdragon 732G processor with up to 8GB RAM and expandable storage. A side-mounted physical fingerprint scanner is included for authentication, and there are dual speakers with Hi-Res Audio support.

The rear sports a triple camera setup consisting of a 64-megapixel primary sensor, an 8-megapixel wide-angle lens, and a 5-megapixel telephoto sensor. There’s a 16-megapixel selfie camera that is housed in a punch-hole cut-out. The software supports AI Beautify, Night mode, Time burst, and much more.

Backing these internals is a 4250mAh battery with 33W fast charging. The brand claims the battery has an endurance rating of more than 100 hours, and the compatible fast charger is bundled along. The Mi 11 Lite is IP53-certified for minor dust and water splashes.

The Mi 11 Lite is priced at INR 21,999 (US$ 300) for the 6GB+128GB option and INR 23,999 (US$ 325) for 8GB+256GB. It’s available in three color options — Jazz Blue, Tuscany Coral, and Vinyl Black. Pre-orders start from June 25, and the sale starts from June 28 via Flipkart, Mi.com, and partner physical stores.

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News

Facebook is now cloning features from Clubhouse, the audio chat app

Facebook has lost its originality

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Facebook is launching podcasts and live audio streams in the US. It includes Live Audio Rooms, its version of the popular app Clubhouse that allows people to listen and participate in live conversations.

The feature will be launched over the next few months, at first with a small number of creators. It’s currently allowing public figures with verified accounts to start live audio rooms and invite anyone else to speak. Both products will become more broadly available in the weeks and months ahead, as more people, podcasts and Groups are brought on board.

However, all users in the US will be able to access rooms and listen to the conversation. The drop-in audio chat genre has received massive traction in the last few months and it peaked when Clubhouse became available for Android.

Clubhouse Alternative

Twitter has also released a new feature called Spaces. It’s also in beta right now and features a lot of bugs and connectivity issues. Facebook is hoping that it’ll be perfectly positioned for the larger market when the concept becomes mainstream. Facebook’s Live Audio Rooms will allow up to 50 speakers, but there is no limit to the number of listeners.

Facebook started as an original social network that was far better than the competition. Over the years, it has developed a notorious reputation for cloning features from others apps. It started with Snapchat-inspired Stories, and copying has now become an integral part of the company’s philosophy.

Being a huge company, it has the resources to quickly churn out these features and release them for testing. Last year, it created video rooms that competed against a new hype — Houseparty. Even Reels was launched as a direct knock-off of TikTok, which was banned in India and faced uncertainty in the US. Critics argue that Big Tech’s “borrowing” of ideas from smaller companies can stifle competition.

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