News

Xiaomi launches the insane-looking Mi Mix Alpha

Almost entirely all screen!

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We literally haven’t seen anything like this before. Xiaomi showcased today a concept smartphone that’s made almost entirely of a display. No, that’s not an exaggeration. It’s called the Mi Mix Alpha.

The screen on the Alpha wraps around the device. Xiaomi is calling it the surround display. This makes for an absolutely insane 180.6% screen-t0-body ratio. That’s unheard of. Xiaomi says they used aerospace-grade titanium alloy together with a single piece of sapphire glass embedded in high-precision ceramics to pull-off this design.

Having a device like this means there are no physical buttons. Instead, the sides of the device — which are still made of the display — are pressure sensitive. A linear motor simulates physical touch to still give you that feel.

While we just recently saw the Vivo NEX 3 and the Huawei Mate 30 Pro push limits on the display with similar implementations of no physical buttons, what Xiaomi has done here is pushing things even further.

The display only really stops right around the camera module on its back. Status icons are displayed on the side and having a screen on its back means you don’t need a front-facing camera. You simply flip the phone over and use the display on its back as a monitor while still using the rear camera module.

Insane cameras

Speaking of the cameras, the Mi Mix Alpha has a triple camera module. It’s home to an even more insane 108MP primary lens, a 20MP ultra wide angle camera, and a 12MP telephoto camera that also supports 2X optical zoom and Dual PD focus.

Xiaomi shared a photo on their official Twitter account to showcase the Alpha’s camera capability. The photo below showcases how you don’t lose detail even after zooming the photo up to eight times.

 

Another shot shows off its wide-angle prowess.

Top-of-the-line specs

A phone that looks this exceptional has to also perform exceptionally. To do that, Xiaomi put a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+ SoC on the Alpha to go along with 12GB of RAM and 512GB of internal storage. It’s also equipped with a 4050mAh battery that supports 40W wired fast charging.

Other announcements: Mi 9 Pro 5G, MIUI 11, and Mi Full Screen TV Pro

Also announced during the event is a 5G variant of the Mi 9 Pro. This is Xiaomi’s second 5G smartphone. It’s seven-antenna design allows it to get a download speed of up to 2.02Gbps (lab) and 1.78Gbps (field test). Xiaomi says this is 10 times faster than the standard Mi 9. The device will come in Dynamic White and Titanium Black.

The Mi 9 Pro 5G will alunch with MIUI 11. It features new always-on display effects, dynamic font-scaling, among other things. This is launching on closed beta today for Chinese users via WeChat. The open beta will be available on September 27 on 17 Chinese devices. There are no confirmed dates yet for global users.

Lastly, Xiaomi also launched the Mi Full Screen TV Pro. It’s a 4K UHD Smart TV that supports 8K video playback. It’s available in three sizes: 43”, 55” and 65”.

Laptops

Surface Pro 7 and Laptop 3: Price in Singapore

They’re finally here

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Last October, Microsoft took the wraps off the Surface Pro 7 and Laptop 3. Worldwide release soon followed in November. Now, it’s Singapore’s turn to receive these devices as Microsoft is bringing them in the country.

Surface Pro 7

Here are the prices of the different Surface Pro 7 variants:

  • Core i5, 128GB SSD, 8GB RAM — SG$ 1,388 (Platinum)
  • Core i5, 256GB SSD, 8GB RAM — SG$ 1,788 (Platinum and Matte Black)
  • Core i7, 256GB SSD, 16GB RAM — SG$ 2,188 (Platinum and Matte Black)
  • Core i7, 512GB SSD, 16GB RAM — SG$ 2,688 (Platinum and Matte Black)
  • Core i7, 1TB SSD, 16GB RAM — SG$ 3,288 (Platinum)

Microsoft’s Surface Pro 7 comes with a 12.3-inch IPS display. Powering the device is a 10th-gen Intel Core processors with Iris Plus graphics for performance boost. It looks exactly like the Surface Pro 6, and the only thing differentiating them is an USB-C port which replaced the DisplayPort.

Surface Laptop 3

Along with the Surface Pro 7, Microsoft also launched the Surface Laptop 3. This year, they are releasing a bigger 15-inch variant, which is a first for the Surface Laptop line. This variant will come to Singapore along with the traditional 13.5-inch variant.

The variants and the prices are as follows:

13.5-inch variant

  • Core i5, 128GB SSD, 8GB RAM — SG$ 1,488 (Platinum)
  • Core i5, 256GB SSD, 8GB RAM — SG$ 1,888 (Platinum and Matte Black)
  • Core i7, 256GB SSD, 16GB RAM — SG$ 2,288 (Platinum and Matte Black)
  • Core i7, 512GB SSD, 16GB RAM — SG$ 2,888 (Platinum and Matte Black)

15-inch variant

  • Ryzen 5 3580U, 256GB SSD, 8GB RAM — SG$ 2,188 (Platinum and Matte Black)
  • Ryzen 5 3580U, 256GB SSD, 16GB RAM — SG $2,488 (Platinum and Matte Black)

Microsoft’s Surface Laptop 3 comes with an Intel Core processors with Iris Plus graphics or an AMD Ryzen processors with Vega graphics. Design-wise, it is the only Surface device in a traditional laptop form factor. Like the Surface Pro 7, it also did away with the DisplayPort in favor of USB-C.

Accessories

Buyers of Surface Pro 7 and Laptop 3 may want accessories to go with their newly purchased devices. Microsoft has them covered with the following peripherals:

  • Surface Arc Mouse — SG$ 118
  • Surface Pen — SG$ 148
  • Signature Type Cover for Surface Pro 7 — SG$ 249

They come in a variety of colors including Ice Blue, Poppy Red, Black and Platinum.

Surface devices and accessories are available at Best Denki, Challenger, Courts, EpiCentre @ ION Orchard, Harvey Norman, and Lazada. Business customers can avail the device at AsiaPac, JK Technology, and UIC. Alternatively, consumers can head to Microsoft’s store to buy the device.

SEE ALSO: Microsoft Surface family Hands-On

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News

OPPO AR Glass launches, works like the HoloLens

Looks like the HoloLens

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At its on-going OPPO Inno Day 2019 conference, the company has today announced its first AR Glasses. These new augmented reality smart glasses run OPPO’s Glass OS and work quite a lot like the Microsoft HoloLens or Google Glass.

The announcement comes at a time when the smartphone company has said that it is now focusing on diversifying its portfolio of product categories. According to Android Authority, the Oppo AR Glass will be released in 2020, however, the specifics on exact availability or pricing are yet to be revealed.

The AR glasses include support for 3D surround sound to offer users an immersive AR experience. It also comes with various modes of interaction, including gestures and voice recognition.

The company didn’t go into detail about the technical aspects of these AR glasses, suggesting it’s still at the prototyping and development stage. It does reveal that the eyewear sports as much as four cameras, two fisheye, one HD, and one Time-of-Flight (ToF) to give it a comprehensive view of the world

OPPO didn’t give a release date for the glasses, but it also announced other new products. The company said its first smartwatch will be released in the first quarter of 2020, and it announced a 5G CPE connection Hub.

OPPO founder and CEO Chen Mingyong said that the company plans to invest a whopping CNY 50 billion (US$7.1 billion) in research and development over the next three years. In addition to 5G and AR, research will focus on IoT and AI

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India

How to identify counterfeit Xiaomi products

Always purchase via official channels

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Xiaomi is most popular for its smartphones, but the brand makes a wide range of other products that range from lifestyle to smart home. It has also invested in a lot of companies like Yee Light, Amazfit, Huami, and more.

Most of the quirky products are sold exclusively in its home market of China, though the brand is slowly trying to get them to other markets. Accessories like power banks and earphones are among the fastest-selling and Xiaomi is often unable to match the demand.

This has created a huge vacuum for counterfeit products. Recently, fake Xiaomi products worth INR 13 lakh (US$ 18,200) were seized by the local police in New Delhi, India. Even in Mumbai, counterfeit copies are sold widely on the streets as well as reputed offline stores.

These counterfeit products are not trust-worthy because they barely have any quality norms. Using fake copies can also be hazardous in case of powerbanks or charging bricks.

If you’ve recently purchased a Xiaomi product or intend to buy something in the future, follow these steps to ensure you’ve received a genuine offering.

  • Mi Powerbanks come with a security code that can be used to verify its authenticity. Just enter the code on Xiaomi’s website here.
  • Ensure that the packaging is original. Makers of counterfeit products are trying to replicate the original packaging, but often fail.
  • Mi Band will have no compatibility issue and will seamlessly connect to Mi Fit app.
  • Lastly, purchase products via authorised channels only. These include Mi.com, Mi Stores, and Mi Partner Stores.

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