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Xiaomi Mi 8 SE is a smaller, flagship-grade borderless smartphone

The first to have the Snapdragon 710 processor

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Part of Xiaomi’s launch event today included the introduction of a “Lite” version of its flagship smartphone. Since Xiaomi likes to take cues from Apple, they didn’t call it the Mi 8 Lite or the Mi 8 Mini, but rather Mi 8 SE.

The Mi 8 SE is a toned-down version of the Mi 8 with midrange pricing and specs, but it has the same premium materials like an aluminum frame and glass back. Like the Mi 8, it also has a notched display, although it doesn’t sport the same infrared-powered Face ID feature. The panel is a 5.88-inch Super AMOLED with a Full HD+ resolution and 18.7:9 aspect ratio.

Design-wise, the Mi 8 SE is more angular yet it still has a high screen-to-body ratio that’s in the same league as the Mi Mix 2S. It also has high-resolution shooters including a 20-megapixel front sensor with large 2µm pixels for better low-light selfies. There’s also an AI-powered dual rear camera setup using a 12- and 5-megapixel combo.

The phone is the first to have the new Snapdragon 710 processor that’s built on the 10nm node and can handle AR and AI well. It’s a flagship-grade chip for midrange devices like the Mi 8 SE, but at a cheaper price point. According to Xiaomi, it’s 20 percent better in overall performance compared to the Snapdragon 660 while delivering 40 percent lower power consumption when playing games or during 4K video playback.

The Mi 8 SE has a 3120mAh battery with support for 18W Quick Charge 3.0 through its USB-C port, a rear fingerprint reader, and will run the latest MIUI 10.

It’s priced starting at CNY 1,799 (US$ 280) for the 4GB version and CNY 1,999 (US$ 310) for the 6GB variant — both have 64GB of storage. Both come in black, gold, red and blue colors. Global launch or even Chinese availability are yet to be confirmed.

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This wallpaper is somehow causing Android devices to crash

Something about the color

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Wallpapers are one of the most personal ways to customize our phones. Whether it’s a photo of a loved one, a pop culture icon, or just a default one, smartphones become much more colorful and dynamic because of wallpapers. That said, the only time you should fear a wallpaper is when you accidentally show off a very NSFW wallpaper to a very SFW public. However, a new and mysterious wallpaper is striking fear into the hearts of every Android user.

On their official Twitter page, renowned Samsung leaker Ice Universe posted a seemingly innocuous wallpaper with a dire warning: “Never set this picture as wallpaper, especially for Samsung mobile phone users!” The photo depicts a picturesque lakeside sprinkled with tall, coniferous trees; a minuscule island stands at the lake’s center; warm sunlight filters through thick clouds, disturbed only by towering mountains.

Further, when posted to Weibo, the photo changes, losing its purplish-orange hue. In its altered form, the wallpaper becomes harmless. The leaker suspects that the Chinese social network filters out the photo’s “harmful ingredients.”

Original (left) and Weibo format (right) | Image source: Ice Universe / Twitter

(As I was writing this article, I tried putting the photo on Photoshop to analyze its elements. When I downloaded it directly from Twitter and placed it on the software, Photoshop also filtered the hue out. There’s something off about this photo.)

Naturally, after the leaker posted the photo, curious users tried the wallpaper for themselves. As expected, Ice Universe’s warning turned into reality for some. Strangely, the wallpaper’s mysterious power picks and chooses which smartphones to brick. However, based on the flurry of responses, it’s exclusively an Android issue. Besides Samsung models, Google’s Pixels and Xiaomi’s phones are victims. Curiously, only newer models are affected.

According to a Korean forum, the problem lies in the wallpaper’s image profile. Apparently, the raw image was created using GIMP, a Photoshop alternative. Unlike other image manipulation software, GIMP operates in color profiles beyond those that Android is compatible with. As such, Android gets confused when loading the photo as a wallpaper, causing crashes and bricks. Some have also speculated on an error in encoding. Regardless, it seems that the photo’s color profile is at fault.

Still, don’t try it out. If you do try it out, convert it to sRGB first.

SEE ALSO: Samsung Galaxy Fold 2 might now be in mass production

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Android 11 launch delayed due to US protests

#BlackLivesMatter

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Image source: Android Developers / YouTube

Coronavirus-related delays are commonplace in this newfound era. The global health crisis has forced various companies from various industries to postpone their much-anticipated annual events. So far, we’ve seen event cancellations, launch delays, and digital migrations. Today, another anticipated launch has been postponed. However, for perhaps the first time in a while, the delay isn’t canceled due to the ongoing pandemic.

In an official tweet from Android’s Twitter account, Google announced the postponement of Android 11’s unveiling. Previously, the company earmarked June 3 as the upcoming operating system’s debut. The launch would have introduced the system to developers for optimization with their apps before a more public release. That will now have to wait.

“We are postponing the June 3rd event and beta release,” Google said. “Now is not the time to celebrate.” Instead, the company will release more details “soon.”

Besides the ongoing pandemic, the United States is now buckling under a lot of civil uprising across several states. The protests are calling for justice for the brutal death of George Floyd, an African American man, under the custody of Derek Chauvin, a white police officer. In less than a week, a revolutionary spirit rushed through the entire country, resurrecting the #BlackLivesMatter movement from very recent memory. Since then, several companies and personalities have used their respective platforms and audiences to spread awareness, goodwill, and justice towards the issue.

Besides Android 11, Google has also quietly delayed the launch of the Pixel 4a for coronavirus-related reasons, according to previous reports.

SEE ALSO: Apple and Google release contact tracing software all over the world

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OnePlus accidentally disables OnePlus 8 Pro’s x-ray camera worldwide

Update rolling out in India

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Weeks ago, OnePlus confirmed a brewing privacy controversy surrounding the recently released OnePlus 8 Pro. Apparently, the premium smartphone’s Photochrom filter can penetrate through thin material like plastic or clothing. Despite OnePlus’s assurances to the contrary, several reviewers have demonstrated the feature’s strong capabilities. As a result, OnePlus has promised to disable the feature temporarily before working on a more permanent solution.

Surprisingly, after all the hullaballoo, OnePlus is disabling the feature only in Chinese smartphones. Presumably, the invasive feature is a more serious threat in China, compared to other nations. However, a recent update reveals a change of mind. Further, a followup hints at conflicting decisions inside OnePlus.

In India, OnePlus 8 Pro users are receiving new OTA updates — Oxygen OS 10.5.9.IN11, 10.5.9.IN11AA, and 10.5.9.IN11DA — that carries only one item in the patch notes, as posted in the OnePlus forums. As you might expect by now, the exactly similar patches remove the Photochrom filter temporarily “for adjustment.” In this case, “temporarily” is hugely short-term. The update promises the feature’s return “around June.”

However, after users spotted the update, OnePlus has quickly issued a statement, saying that the updates rolled out accidentally. Apparently, the company did not intend to disable the feature for non-Chinese models. As such, an upcoming OTA update will re-enable the feature.

Naturally, if you don’t live in India or China, your OnePlus 8 Pro still has the controversial Photochrom filter. However, OnePlus’s lingering uncertainty in India marks similar uncertainty in handling the privacy controversy.

SEE ALSO: OnePlus 8 Pro review: Best of the best

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