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Xiaomi Mi 8 is company’s newest flagship and it has a notch

Comes with a special variant!

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Xiaomi just wrapped up its annual launch event and the Chinese tech company presented a number of devices. Of course, the star of the show is their new flagship phone: the Mi 8. After months of speculation and rumors, Xiaomi’s new phone is finally official.

The Mi 8 is Xiaomi’s 8th-anniversary phone hence the skip in the numbering scheme and disregard for the number seven. The rumors were true about the Mi 8: It has a notched display, a Snapdragon 845 processor, and 6GB of memory.

The phone’s notched display is a 6.21-inch Super AMOLED panel with a Full HD+ resolution and 18.7:9 aspect ratio. The notch is pretty wide compared to Huawei’s or LG’s but it’s got something similar to the iPhone X. It owns a 20-megapixel AI-powered front camera, sensors, earpiece, and additional infrared lighting and lens to support 3D face scanning. During the launch, Xiaomi simply called it Face ID, which is a straightforward copy from Apple’s book.

Like its predecessor, the Mi 8 also has dual rear cameras. Both have 12-megapixel sensors but with different lens openings: f/1.8 and f/2.4. The main shooter is used for everyday photography and low-light scenes, while the other is for telephoto. AI is also present on the Mi 8’s rear shooters using 4-in-1 pixel binding for better low-light shots.

Xiaomi is proud to brag about the Mi 8’s DxOMark score of 99 points overall. Based on DxOMark’s ranking, the Mi 8 is now the best Xiaomi shooter beating the Mi Mix 2S and is even higher than the iPhone X. The photo category alone is rated at 105.

The rest of the Mi 8’s specs include a USB-C port for audio, charging, and data transfer, dual GPS, rear fingerprint sensor, and the latest MIUI software.

As always, there’s a special variant of the flagship Xiaomi phone. For the Mi 8, Xiaomi is not favoring ceramic bodies anymore because a see-through back panel is now a cooler feature.

Called the Explorer Edition, this Mi 8 variant gives you a peek at the internals of the phone which is pretty sweet. Not only that, it’s also Xiaomi’s first device to have an in-display fingerprint sensor — now that’s special.

The Xiaomi Mi 8 has a starting price of CNY 2,699 (US$ 420) for the base model with 64GB of storage. The 128GB version is priced at CNY 2,999 (US$ 470) while the most expensive version with 256GB storage will go for CNY 3,299 (US$ 515).

The Explorer Edition will have only one variant with 8GB of memory and 128GB of storage for CNY 3,799 or roughly US$ 590.

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Essential fires 30 percent of workers, announces new mobile device

No, it’s not a smartphone

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Despite enjoying a year in smartphone royalty, Essential just isn’t that essential anymore. Preceding the Essential Phone’s launch, the startup gained substantial hype owing to its ownership. Headed by Android co-founder Andy Rubin, it promised an unrivaled Android experience wrapped inside a beautiful package.

Truly, the first Essential Phone garnered positive reviews across the board. Among others, it was one of the more beautiful phones in 2017. Unfortunately, the phone’s price deterred most users from switching. Naturally, the startup’s first outing failed to meet expectations.

Drawing from this initial disappointment, Essential hinted at an eventual buyout a few months ago. Moreover, Rubin cancelled the Essential Phone 2’s development. However, months later, the startup (and everyone else) clearly exaggerated its demise. The company and its plans for a second phone still exist.

Sadly, its continued existence is still in dire jeopardy. The company has recently announced major layoffs in its workforce. As of today, Essential Products has fired 30 percent of its employees.

Despite the astonishing number, the startup has maintained its silence on possible reasons for the pink slips. One can only assume that this stems from its failed sales targets. Regardless, Essential remains hopeful for the future. “We are confident that our sharpened product focus will help us deliver a truly game-changing consumer product,” according to a spokesperson for the startup.

Reportedly, Essential is already working on a second mobile device for the future. Unfortunately, the planned device will not succeed the Essential Phone. Instead, it will leverage artificial intelligence to deliver an autonomous mobile experience.

Notably, the startup hesitates to use the word “smartphone.” While the device can make calls and send messages, it hopes to do more. For one, it can call, message, and plan events on its own without user input. Essentially, the device will replace humans as the primary digital communicators.

By the end of this year, Essential will out a prototype for this device. By then, the startup will finally reveal a possible roadmap for the future. Presently, the future-less startup’s survival is anything but assured.

SEE ALSO: Essential Phone is now a true Pixel-like flagship Android phone for only $399

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Xiaomi confirms 10GB RAM and 5G connectivity of the Mi Mix 3

Are we ready for these advancements?

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Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S | GadgetMatch

Xiaomi is set to announce their latest flagship phone — the Mi Mix 3. While the phone has been leaked a number of times already (but not as much as the Pixel 3), there are some features we’d like to get early confirmation for. Thankfully, Xiaomi gave us two teasers than confirmed not just one, but two major features of their upcoming smartphone.

When Xiaomi announces the Mi Mix 3, it’ll be the first phone to officially have 10GB of memory. OPPO did try to make a 10GB version of the Find X, but it’s probably sitting in their office at the moment.

To be honest, we’re not sure if it’s logical to have a phone with 10GB of memory, but we’re already at that stage. The Mi Mix 3 will probably have a lot more memory to spare than most standard laptops people currently own.

The second confirmed feature is something we’re already expecting — 5G connectivity. The Mi Mix 3 is one of the world’s first 5G-capable phones. It could even be the first widely available 5G phone if Xiaomi will release the Mi Mix 3 to its key markets immediately.

A lot of users probably won’t be able to take advantage of 5G for now, but this will make the Mi Mix 3 future-proof.

Other than these two, not much has been revealed yet about the Mi Mix 3. Xiaomi is teasing the phone as a device wherein art meets technology. Well, the existing Mi Mix series is already proof of that, but the Mi Mix 3 will surely bring something new to the table.

The Mi Mix 3 will be officially announced on October 25 in Beijing, which signals that the phone will be available in China first. We’re expecting the phone to retail internationally shortly after, just like the Mi Mix 2S.

SEE ALSO: Xiaomi teases Mi Mix 3 in full, reveals pop-up mechanism for cameras

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Malaysia

Vivo Y81i arrives as affordable full-screen smartphone

Notch and all

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Vivo may be becoming more aggressive in the midrange and premium segments, but that doesn’t mean they’re letting go of the budget range just yet.

The Y81i is a testament to that, and it just unveiled itself in Malaysia. It’ll retail for MYR 599, which converts to around US$ 144.

It’s similar to the recently launched Y81 in a lot of ways, including the notched 6.22-inch 720p display, 13- and 5-megapixel rear and front cameras, and 3260mAh battery.

The main differences — and reason why this model is cheaper — is the lower-end MediaTek MT6761 processor, 2GB of memory, and 16GB of storage for the Y81i.

There’s no fingerprint scanner on board, but it does come with face recognition for quick unlocking.

The available colors are black and red. No word yet when this will reach other countries.

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