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Xiaomi announces Mi Crowdfunding program for products in India

Mi Bluetooth Audio Receiver and Mi Selfie Stick Tripod are currently available

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Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi has announced a new program called Mi Crowdfunding in India. Under this program, Xiaomi will post a curated list of innovation-driven products and the company will start selling these products only when a specified number of people support the product.

Crowdfunding is used by companies to test consumer interest for unique products, usually when companies aren’t sure of the product’s success. Under this program, the interested customers show their support by paying the product’s price in advance.

However, only after reaching a certain sales number will the product be shipped to the customer. In case the product fails to meet the targeted sales in the set timeline, customers will get their money back.

To kick off Mi Crowdfunding, Xiaomi has introduced two new products: the Mi Bluetooth Audio Receiver and Mi Selfie Stick Tripod, which are priced at INR 999 (US$ 15) and INR 1,099 (US$ 17) respectively. The first is a headphone amplifier that connects to smartphones via Bluetooth 4.2. The tripod selfie stick does exactly what it says — it’s a combination of a tripod and a selfie stick. It also comes with a Bluetooth shutter remote control.

Mi Bluetooth Audio Receiver

Mi Selfie Stick Tripod

 

The platform accepts payments via most online payment methods, but Cash on Delivery (CoD) is not accepted. Online payment methods include credit card/debit card, internet banking, and payment wallets. Further, in the event that the price of a certain product is changed, those who have already paid will not be affected.

Xiaomi India’s Online Sales Head Raghu Reddy said that the crowdfunding platform, which was only operational in China until now, will help Xiaomi gauge what products buyers want. Xiaomi will bring new products to the platform every quarter.

SEE ALSO: Mi MIX 2S hands-on: Xiaomi’s pride and joy

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Xiaomi Haul: Spring Edition

Xiaomi is not just about smartphones

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Xiaomi is primarily known for their value-for-money smartphones that sell like hotcakes during online flash sales. But like CEO Lei Jun said in an open letter recently, Xiaomi is more than a hardware company; they are an innovation-driven internet company.

Much to my excitement, the Chinese company started opening physical Mi stores all around Asia in recent years selling not just smartphones, but also products ranging from smart home tech to toys to fashion items.

Fast forward to 2018, Xiaomi now has a whole ecosystem of products from startups and companies that they funded. In the last few months, I’ve acquired a few of them from trips abroad and the mall so now it’s time to unbox and start using them.

Amazfit Pace, CNY 799 / PhP 6,200

Xiaomi produces its own fitness trackers but they look like, well, a fitness tracker that doesn’t look good on most people’s wrists. Amazfit Pace is also one of the smartwatches available at Mi stores, and arguably one of the better looking ones. It has a heart rate sensor and GPS built-in, modes for running, walking, biking, and more. It promises 5 days of battery life, and you can even sync your data through the Strava app.

The box comes with the watch, user guide and warranty information, a micro-USB cable (sigh), and a charging dock.

Functions are honestly quite limited for it to be a full-fledged smartwatch; there are no other apps available for download right now since it runs on its own OS. And, it still looks very much like a sports watch so it’s not something I would wear everyday to work or to my brother’s wedding. But if I were to get really serious about tracking my activities and fitness goals, I’d still rather wear something that looks like a watch and not a hideous band of rubber.

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Insta360 Nano S hands-on: What’s new?

An improved 360 camera!

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Last year, I first tried out the plug-and-play Insta360 Nano and I was introduced to the world of 360 videos. Boy, did I have fun with it. From 360-degree Facebook Live shows to cute tiny planet videos, there were a lot of media possibilities. And, it didn’t stop there. Later on in the year, the Insta360 ONE was released and it was a 360 camera game-changer with 4K video capabilities and standalone recording functions.

This year’s release is the Insta360 Nano S: An updated version of that first camera with the best qualities of the second.

It looks and feels like the Insta360 Nano. It’s almost identical and it still connects via Lightning port to your iPhone. But, it can do a lot more.

Unlike the Insta360 Nano, this camera can work without being plugged to a phone since it has a microSD slot.

This thing has two 20-megapixel fisheye cameras that are capable of shooting 4K 360-degree videos or 20-megapixel photos.

Basically, it can take cool shots like this:

via GIPHY

It’s the multiple export modes, though, that makes the Nano S more fun. You can save photos and videos using the different MultiView modes to get different perspectives. I’m not just talking about 360 videos, either. This option below gives you both front and back views simultaneously.

This one gives you three different perspectives all at the same time because why not!

The tiny earth effect, a classic Insta360 favorite, is still available as one of the export modes.

Think of all the great things you can capture!

Of course, this camera comes with FreeCapture capabilities first introduced to us on the Insta360 ONE. This just means that you can edit the 360-degree video you’ve already shot and export it as a normal video. The best part? You can choose what specific POV you’d want on that 2D video as the Insta360 app allows you to pick out scenes and edit to your liking. There’s also real-time stabilization for smoother video, which is always a great thing.

The Nano S combines the best that Insta360 has to offer. If you’re interested in getting yourself a 360 camera, this might be worth looking into.

Tough luck if you aren’t an iPhone user, however. Although the company has announced that an Android version may be coming, there isn’t any concrete news on this yet. The Insta360 Nano S retails for US$ 239.

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OnePlus Bullets Wireless earphones fix common wireless earphones issues

Magnetic and wonderful!

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OnePlus’ launch event in London may have been mostly about its latest flagship smartphone, but the company’s new wireless earphones are making a splash, as well.

The Bullets Wireless are out to solve the issues commonly found in most wireless earphones, in hopes that consumers will finally consider going fully cordless.

Besides the usual features one would boast about audio products — including high-quality sounds and an excellent fit — the Bullets Wireless have a cool function you’ll love: a magnetic touch for turning it on and off.

When joined together, the buds are turned off; split them apart, and they’re ready for pairing and your music. Super convenient, and makes me want a pair even more!

Speaking of convenience, there’s fast charging, too. With only 10 minutes of charging, you can supposedly get five hours’ worth of usage time. And this works through USB-C, so it’ll work with your current smartphone charger — most likely.

The best part: It won’t cost an arm and leg. Beginning June 5, you can purchase the Bullets Wireless for GBP 69 in the UK, EUR 69 in other parts of Europe, and US$ 69 in the US.

OnePlus claims that they’ve been working on prototypes for years, but were never really satisfied until now. We’re certainly optimistic about its place in the audio space.

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