News

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

Gaming

Steam announces when next sales are

Autumn, Winter, Spring

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Christmas is right around the corner. If you want to get a head start on buying something for yourself, it’s important to know when the biggest sales are. Now, gamers have a date on when they can bust out their wallets. Valve has officially announced when the autumn, winter, and spring Steam sales are happening.

The next sale — the traditional Autumn Sale — will happen between November 22 through 29. It’s quite a big gap for a head start, but it should give gamers a healthy library to play when the Christmas vacation starts.

On the other hand, if rush shopping is more you, the Winter Sale will happen between December 22 through January 5. It’s a Christmas treat.

If you’re familiar with Steam’s usual calendar of sales, you might not have heard of a Spring Sale before. Traditionally, the platform holds the Lunar New Year Sale in lieu of a seasonal theme. This time, Steam is keeping things consistent. The newly dubbed Spring Sale will happen between March 16 through 23. It’s also a later date than the previous Lunar New Year Sale.

Steam sales are usually a treat for gamers who play on a PC. Though the platform frowns on gigantic 95 percent off discounts now, platform-wide sales events can still house delectable bargains. Now, whether or not you’ll have time to play all of them is another story altogether.

SEE ALSO: Steam: No more 95% off sales

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WIKO 10 smartphone introduced to the Philippines

French brand joins entry-level segment

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WIKO 10

French brand WIKO is entering the Philippine market and challenging competitors, introducing the WIKO 10 smartphone in the country.

Operating on Android 12, the entry-level WIKO 10 will have identical specs and features like most counterpart devices in its segment.

First off, it is powered by a Helio G37 chipset and a 5,000mAH battery that support for 22.5W WIKO SuperCharge and wireless reverse charging which powers smaller devices like a smart band or wireless headsets.

With 4GB of memory and 128GB storage, the phone may also be used for gaming, given that it has a multi-stage overheating current control mechanism incorporated.

The display is a 6.74-inch (1600 x 720) large full-screen LCD with an aspect ratio of 20:9. 

When it comes to the camera setup, the smartphone has a triple camera setup at the back bannered by a 50MP main shooter (F1.8) that has a Smart HDR feature. In front is an 8MP selfie camera.

Other features include:

  • Dual SIM
  • microSD slot
  • 4G LTE
  • WiFi
  • Bluetooth
  • 3.5mm audio jack
  • Fingerprint scanner

WIKO Buds 10 also released

Alongside the phone’s launch, WIKO has also announced the WIKO Buds 10, a pair of wireless earbuds with Bluetooth 5.2 technology that offers up to 30 hours of usage with its charging case.

The earbuds have a 12mm dynamic driver to deliver high-quality audio with deep bass. It also has environmental noise cancellation. What sets this pair apart from the others is its built-in dual mics for voice capturing.

Pricing, availability

The WIKO 10 will be available in three colors: Klein Blue, Silver, and Black. It will retail for PhP 8,990 on Shopee, Lazada, and authorized WIKO stores and kiosks.

The WIKO Buds 10, meanwhile, will be sold for PhP 1,499.

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Password-less logins: OPPO joins FIDO Alliance

Advancing authentication standards

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OPPO Find X5 Pro

OPPO announced that is has joined the FIDO Alliance, an open industry association that develops authentication standards to reduce reliance on passwords worldwide.

As a part of the alliance, OPPO will support the development and implementation of the latest FIDO standards for password-less logins by utilizing cryptography and the protocols defined by the association itself.

The smartphone brand will actively use FIDO standards on its smart devices. They will work with FIDO’s other affiliates to provide users a faster but more secure sign-in experience across their devices. 

Launched publicly in 2013, the Alliance was founded by renowned global companies such as PayPal, Lenovo, NokNok Labs, Validity Sensors, Infineon, and Agnitio.

The first deployment of FIDO authentication happened in 2014, involving the Samsung Galaxy S5. Users were allowed to login and shop online with just a swipe of a finger wherever PayPal is accepted.

The Alliance’s latest authentication specification, FIDO2, provides a secure and convenient technical framework supported by companies including Google, Microsoft, and Qualcomm.

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