News

Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 improves on predecessor in every way

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The original Mi Mix was a trendsetter for getting near-borderless smartphones to the mass market before the likes of the LG G6 and Samsung Galaxy S8. As the successor, the Mi Mix 2 banks on improving on every aspect of the original’s winning formula.

Obviously, the primary attention goes to the screen once again. Now smaller, the 6-inch 1080p LCD screen is narrower as well with a 18:9 aspect ratio (compared to last year’s 17:9), but with the same super-slim bezels.

The aluminum frame makes a return, along with the ceramic back that set the first Mi Mix apart. It’s slightly more curved on the back this time, even though the display itself is totally flat.

To make the front more seamless, the 5-megapixel front-facing camera is all black so it blends in with the bottom chin better. So yes, you still have to rotate the phone if you want to take selfies or go on video calls.

For the single 12-megapixel rear camera — which now has optical image stabilization but no secondary shooter — an 18K gold rim can be found around the lens, just like on the Exclusive Edition of the Mi Mix.

As you’d expect, Xiaomi fitted the Mi Mix 2 with some of the best specifications you could find on a modern flagship: a Snapdragon 835 processor, 6GB of memory, up to 256GB of non-expandable storage, and a hefty 3400mAh battery. What’s missing is a 3.5mm audio port, like on the Mi 6.

There’ll also be a Special Edition of the Mi Mix 2 with more memory at 8GB and a set storage of 128GB. It’ll come in a ceramic unibody with a choice between two colors: black or white. The former has 18K gold rims for both the rear camera lens and fingerprint scanner, while the latter owns rose gold rims for the two circles.

Correction: The Special Edition has 8GB of memory

And for the cherry on top: The Mi Mix 2 will retail for CNY 3,299 (US$ 505) for the 64GB storage version, CNY 3,599 (US$ 555) for 128GB of storage, and CNY 3,999 (US$ 615) for the largest 256GB configuration. The Special Edition costs CNY 4,699 or about US$ 720.

Like with other China-launched gadgets, global availability for both models is still uncertain.

SEE ALSO: Xiaomi unveils Mi A1 with Android One and dual cameras

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Entertainment

Selena Gomez’s new music video was shot on an iPhone 11 Pro

This might just be the best smartphone camera to date

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We’ve all heard the pitch — smartphones can be used to grace a cover shoot for a magazine or film an entire music video. Some people find it hard to believe that smartphones are now as powerful as ever.

However, acclaimed director Sophie Muller shocked the world when she directed Selena Gomez’s latest music video which was shot entirely on the new iPhone 11 Pro.

“Lose You To Love Me” by Selena Gomez

Singer-songwriter Selena Gomez dropped her much anticipated single. Entitled “Lose You To Love Me,” the song tackles the road to self-discovery and promoting self-love. Gomez says, “This song was inspired by many things that have happened in my life since releasing my last album.”

Gomez promoted the music video in a tweet with the hashtag #ShotOniPhone.

Promoted by Apple

The music video was originally meant for Selenators and other pop culture connoisseur. To garner even more attention, Apple uploaded a one-minute clip on its YouTube channel promoting the music video as shot on its latest iPhone.

 

This isn’t the first time that a video was taken using an iPhone. To date, iPhones are being regarded for their highly capable cameras favored by photographers and videographers alike. This recent promotion is only a testament to how the iPhone 11 Pro might just be the best smartphone camera you can ever buy this year. If you want to see its capability, watch Selena Gomez’s full music video.

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Realme’s ColorOS 7 will have near-stock Android

Veering away from OPPO?

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For months there have been rumors and reports about Realme working on its own Android skin, often called “Realme OS.” However, in a recent Q&A video, Madhav Sheth, CEO of Realme, confirmed that phone will continue to be based on ColorOS.

The next major iteration of the skin is dubbed ColorOS 7 and expected to have a near-stock Android experience. What this means is, instead of a complete UI overhaul, the system will retain a majority of Android’s factory design and make incremental changes that don’t hinder the primary experience.

We’ve seen OnePlus ship OxygenOS with a similar philosophy and it has worked out very well for them. From a development point of view, pushing updates to phones could become easier if the core of Android remains untouched. Though there are more factors involved in designing a new update and this may not necessarily materialize.

Madhav also added that this ColorOS 7 will be exclusive to Realme phones, which could mean it won’t be available on OPPO’s phones. Unfortunately, a timeline of the software release hasn’t been shared yet.

This announcement comes just after a week of Xiaomi announcing its MIUI 11 update. The two brands are involved in a fierce battle for supremacy and company employees have often been vocal about this on social media.

There are also reports suggesting that Realme is testing ads within the System UI onboard Realme 1. A recent update to ColorOS 6 has unleashed ads within the Settings app. While this isn’t unheard of and Xiaomi phones have been doing this for quite some time, Realme hasn’t officially announced any secondary plans for ancillary monetization.

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Apps

Twitter is finally getting a dark mode for Android!

Updates are rolling out today

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Welcome to the dark side! Twitter is finally rolling out a true dark mode for its Android app. The short-form social media network tweeted an official announcement on its own account. The message is simple: “You can now go lights out on Twitter.”

Twitter is rolling out the update starting today. To activate the feature, swipe open the left-hand options panel. On the lower-left corner, a lightbulb button can easily turn the feature on and off. It will also prompt an automatic toggle that turns the feature on at sunset.

Likewise, Android users can also access the feature through the usual settings menu. From the “Settings and privacy” menu, you can open the “Display and sound” submenu to toggle the new dark mode.

Notably, Twitter for Android already had a rudimentary dark mode — called Dim — in the past. However, the previous iteration was only a dark blue, a far cry from a true, energy-saving dark mode. Twitter’s new “lights out” mode is finally a true black.

Regardless, if you’re a fan of the old Dim mode, the option is still available. The true dark mode, however, is a blessing for energy savers.

Previously, Twitter already released a true dark mode for iOS users. Android’s version was a long time coming. Thankfully, we’re finally here in the dark side. The update should roll out soon for all Android users.

SEE ALSO: Twitter is secretly saving your deleted DMs

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