News

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

Published

on

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

Source: Xiaomi

Accessories

Huawei’s FreeBuds 2 Pro can charge wirelessly on top of Mate 20

Maybe it can do more than the AirPods

Published

on

Image credit: WinFuture.de

Earlier this year, Huawei released an AirPods clone dubbed the FreeBuds. We weren’t able to test it for ourselves due to the limited availability in select regions. This time around though, Huawei might want to make it more accessible because it’ll be a perfect companion for the upcoming Mate 20.

The FreeBuds 2 Pro will be the Mate 20’s ideal wireless earphones. Rumors have it that it’ll be used with the Mate 20 for AI-based speech recognition. Like Apple’s AirPods, they are in a portable case, which also works as a charging dock. But, the FreeBuds 2 Pro will have a Qi standard wireless charging option.

Image credit: WinFuture.de

Not only that, but the case can also be charged when placed at the back of a Mate 20. This means you can share your phone’s juice to the FreeBuds anytime and anywhere.

According to leaked marketing materials obtained by WinFuture.de, it’ll take about three hours to fully charge the FreeBuds 2 Pro wirelessly or two hours when done through a USB-C connection. The wireless earphones can last three hours on a single charge and up to 20 hours when you keep recharging them in the battery case.

Image credit: WinFuture.de

As for the FreeBuds 2 Pro’s specs, it supports Hi-Res Wireless Audio with a bitrate of up to 560 Kbps. It also has a built-in bone sensor that captures the user’s voice via bone conduction and distinguishes it from other people’s voices using AI.

Price-wise, expect the FreeBuds 2 Pro to go on sale from EUR 150 to EUR 160.

SEE ALSO: Leaked Huawei Mate 20 copies from Apple and Samsung

Continue Reading

News

Huawei will launch a foldable, 5G-ready smartphone

Coming in the middle of 2019

Published

on

It’s that time of the year again. Towards the end of the year, the world’s biggest smartphone makers start making their huge promises for next year. For example, Samsung has already begun its annual run of rumors and leaks for the Galaxy S10.

However, among all the promises already out, the market has constantly peddled foldable screens and 5G networks. Most companies have promised future iterations of one or the other. For example, Xiaomi already conducted 5G network tests for launch next year.

Taking the cake, Huawei has promised both features in one fell swoop. Next year, the company will launch a foldable, 5G-ready smartphone.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, Huawei’s deputy chairman Ken Hu confirmed the company’s plans. According to Hu, Huawei’s first 5G-ready phone will “introduce a foldable screen.” To add, the phone will launch in the middle of next year.

Curiously, this release schedule falls in between the upcoming Mate 20 series and the successors of the P20. Whatever the phone is, it will likely stay away from Huawei’s major lines.

Months ago, Huawei also hinted a foldable, gaming-centric phone coming this year. At the time, the rumored phone lived exclusively in speculative territory. Now, with the Mate 20 series on the horizon, Huawei’s plans are more concrete.

With official confirmation, next year will finally see the rise of the foldable phone running on 5G networks. Like Huawei, Samsung has also promised a foldable phone soon after the launch of the Galaxy S10 series.

If anything, next year’s new trends should spell a sigh of relief from this year’s obsession with the notch and multiple cameras.

SEE ALSO: Huawei Mate 20 Pro official cases leak online

Continue Reading

News

Apple iPhone XS Max undergoes scratch and bend tests

Spoiler alert: It doesn’t bend!

Published

on

The latest iPhones from Apple are available in key markets around the globe. Quite a number of people already have their hands on one (including us), so it’s time to review the phone. While we’re still working on our insights about the new iPhone XS, let’s witness the device go through a series of durability tests.

If you’re fond of seeing phones go through sharp blades, you should definitely check out Zack Nelson’s JerryRigEverything channel on YouTube. The latest phone to suffer on his table, of course, is the newest iPhone — the iPhone XS Max to be specific.

Unsurprisingly, the iPhone XS Max practically survived the whole test. The front and back glass body managed to withstand scratches like most high-end smartphones on the market. The stainless steel frame did get scratched too, but Zack pointed out that it’s less prone to damages compared to previous aluminum-made iPhones.

Everything was not perfect, though. Apple claimed that the new iPhone XS and XS Max have “sapphire crystal lens cover” for the dual rear cameras. That’s ideal to fully protect the camera from unsightly scratches which will greatly affect the image quality. Unfortunately, it seems to be just a marketing gimmick. Compared to an actual and pure sapphire crystal face of a Tissot wristwatch, the iPhone’s lens cover is not hard enough and it scratches easily.

At least, the iPhone XS Max didn’t bend at the end of the video.

SEE ALSO: Pocophone F1 gets tested for durability

Continue Reading

Trending