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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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[irp posts=”12207" name=”One month with Xiaomi’s Yuemi mechanical keyboard”]

Source: Xiaomi

Enterprise

UK will allow Huawei to build 5G network

With a few exceptions

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Huawei and “banning” have become so synonymous today. Every headline practically begs the question: Who will ban Huawei next? When will Huawei catch a break?

To those following the entire saga, Huawei is already on the cusp of a much-needed breakthrough. Several countries are still on the fence regarding the Chinese company. The international outlook isn’t as bleak as the American one makes it seem.

Today, one of those ambivalent countries has made a decision. After meeting with the country’s National Security Council, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has allowed Huawei into its 5G network industry. The development comes after Brussels has reportedly made the same decision as well. (Belgium has not issued an official statement regarding its decision yet.)

Regardless of the initiating country, Johnson’s decision is conclusive. Like a stack of dominos, the world’s 5G industry is falling into place, in favor of Huawei. Naturally, no one wants to feel left out. “We want world-class connectivity as soon as possible,” British Digital Secretary Nicky Morgan said.

“But this must not be at the expense of our national security,” he continued. Despite the favorable decision, the UK remains vigilant regarding potential cybersecurity risks. Though allowed in the country, Huawei cannot touch the country’s “most sensitive networks.” These will likely include networks that specialize in transferring official information.

Previously, the country was on an on-and-off relationship with the Chinese company. For some moments, the UK considered a favorable decision from the get-go. For others, you noticed their warier side. Regardless, Huawei has landed a significant blow against America’s crusade against Huawei integration.

The US is still adamantly warning nations against adopting Huawei, encouraging them to implement bans just as they did. The country has even threatened to disconnect from countries that allow Huawei in. With the UK’s decision, will the US keep enforcing its iron fist against Huawei’s technology?

SEE ALSO: UK Prime Minister caught using a Huawei P20

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Her GadgetMatch

Samsung Airdresser is a smart personal dry-cleaning closet

It can clean, deodorize, and straighten your clothes

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My desire to live a luxurious, connected life awakened when Samsung showcased the Airdresser. It’s a closet that will keep your clothes cleaned and straightened, without having to go to a dry cleaner.

Samsung’s Airdresser utilizes powerful air and steam through various technology to refresh and sanitize your clothes. Beginning with JetSteam, the Airdresser blasts steam through its Air hangers. Then, it sanitizes your clothes, effectively killing allergens, germs, and viruses.

It also uses its Deodorizing Filter function to get rid of any odor and unpleasant smells building up. Fret not, even if the Airdresser is a cabinet, it has Self Clean technology which cleans its interior, using a combination of heat, air, and steam.

The Airdresser prolongs your clothes’ lifespan, as well. Through HeatPump Drying, the cabinet cools down your clothes to dry it gently and quickly — reducing heat damage and shrinkage. The AirDresser then smooth out creases without using an iron through its Wrinkle Care System.

It dehumidifies, too, drawing air to remove moisture so your clothes are protected while smelling fresh. More importantly, the Airdresser isn’t limited to clothes. Its technology is built to handle towels, coats, wraps, shawls, and even fur! It’s definitely going to make anyone’s life easier.

Samsung has launched the Airdresser globally, but it’s expected to be available on select markets like UK and Russia. It will retail for GBP 1999.

SEE MORE: Being connected isn’t what makes a smart home a dream home

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Nokia 2.3 has AI on a budget

Another competitive budget offering from Nokia

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Nokia is continuing to make a stride in the Philippines by offering competitive budget and midrange smartphones at an attractive price. Now, it is bringing another budget device to the country — the Nokia 2.3.

The third iteration of the popular Nokia 2 series is now available in the country starting January 25. Each purchase comes with a free Bluetooth speaker and a case.

The best part about this phone is the price. At PhP 5,990, Nokia 2.3 is an affordable proposition to other budget devices from Chinese tech companies.

Features

Nokia’s budget device does not skimp on features even with its low asking price. Unlike other budget devices, it features a metal unibody design that makes it feel premium compared to others.

In the camera department, the phone features dual rear cameras consisting of 13MP and 2MP setup. It also features an immersive 6.2-inch HD screen with a waterdrop notch that house the selfie camera.

Nokia is touting two-day battery life with a 4,000mAh battery packed inside.

However, what makes Nokia 2.3 a standout in the sea of budget devices is its guaranteed two years of OS updates. The phone will receive an update to Android 10 later this year. Besides, this phone is part of Android One, so expect smooth and solid performance from its stock-like OS.

The Nokia 2.3 is available on all Nokia physical stores nationwide. Buyers may also head to Nokia’s Lazada, Shopee, MemoXpress, and ArgoMall online store.

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