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Xiaomi Mi Note 2 has curved display, high-end specs

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Xiaomi MI Note 2 glacier silver

Just as you thought Xiaomi couldn’t do any better than the Mi 5s and 5s Plus, the Chinese manufacturer decided to outdo itself and launch its Mi Note 2 flagship phablet before the holidays. We may have our Galaxy Note 7 replacement.

We can’t call the Mi Note 2 a perfect clone of Sammy’s discontinued engineering marvel, but it comes close in several ways. The most obvious similarity is the 5.7-inch dual-curved OLED display; it’s so comparable to the Note 7’s, we wonder if Samsung provided the panel itself.

[irp posts=”4798″ name=”Xiaomi Mi 5s and 5s Plus set to challenge iPhone 7 and 7 Plus”]

The downside is the limited Full HD 1080p resolution, lower than the Quad HD 1440p normally found on handsets sized 5.5 inches and up. While it isn’t something you’d normally fuss over, the lack of pixels is noticeable if you’re thinking of hooking it up to a virtual reality headset.

Contrary to the leaks we witnessed last week, the Mi Note 2 does not have a dual-camera setup. It’s a surprising omission, considering this being Xiaomi’s supposed best, but the unique imaging capabilities are probably best left on the recently launched Mi 5s to keep it relevant.

Instead, there’s a single 22.5-megapixel camera at the back with a basic set of autofocusing and LED flash features, and no optical image stabilization. The front-facing shooter isn’t anything exciting either, only having an 8-megapixel sensor and autofocusing to its credit.

Xiaomi Mi Note 2 silver and black

Xiaomi Mi Note 2 in glacier silver and piano black

Aside from the sexy display, nothing really shouts “buy me” when looking at the Mi Note 2. You do get a collection of the finest chipset specifications, although they aren’t anything we haven’t seen before.

For one, there’s Qualcomm’s top-performing Snapdragon 821 processor, along with a choice of either 4GB of memory and 64GB of internal storage, or 6GB of memory and 128GB of storage. Picking the latter configuration nets you a future-proofed smartphone for at least the next six months… hopefully.

Go a little bit deeper, and you’ll a find high-quality audio chip capable of 24-bit/192kHz music playback, as well as a satisfactory 4070mAh battery with the ability to charge at a rapid pace thanks to Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0 technology.

Xiaomi Mi Note 2 specs and pricing

Xiaomi Mi Note 2’s highlighted specs and pricing

To be honest, we were expecting a lot more from the Mi Note 2. Yes, the hardware is all there, yet we can’t help but feel underwhelmed after all we’ve seen from recent competitors and the leaks themselves. Call us spoiled, or hungry for some innovation — or just wanting the simultaneously unveiled Mi Mix more.

Spending CNY 3,299 ($487) rewards you with the top variant in Xiaomi’s home country, while CNY 3,499 ($517) is needed if you purchase one outside of China. Make sure to get the latter, global model for the additional 4G LTE frequency bands and English settings out of the box. You also have the option of going for the cheaper CNY 2,799 ($412) version that has 4GB of RAM with 64GB of storage.

The only colors available are piano black and glacier silver, and shipping of units will begin in early November.

[irp posts=”4119″ name=”Xiaomi Mi Max unboxing and hands-on review”]

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Finally! Grab users may now pay directly using GCash

Much-awaited partnership

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GCash Grab

Grab Philippines and GCash have finally struck a partnership deal that will make payments on the superapp even easier and more convenient.

Starting February, users will be able to add GCash as a direct payment method on the Grab app, making cashless transactions on food and grocery deliveries, car transport, and other services cashless.

Prior to the collaboration, GCash users could only send money from their account to their GrabPay wallet, and vice-versa, causing a bit of hassle switching in between apps on one’s phone screen.

The partnership also means there will be no more transaction fees unlike before when Grab users have to cash in using their credit or debit cards or linked bank accounts.

Grab customers may also avail of GCash exclusive deals, and even get treats when they pay using the e-wallet.

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Samsung offers $100 for Galaxy S23 preorders

Or the upcoming Galaxy Book

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The Galaxy S23 series is coming. Samsung has officially scheduled the first Galaxy Unpacked event of the year for early February, heralding the coming of the Galaxy S23 series. While the flagship series will certainly wow a lot of users, buying one might crumple bank accounts so soon after the holidays. Luckily, Samsung is holding an early reservation promo ahead of the Galaxy Unpacked event.

If you reserve either the new Galaxy S23 or the new Galaxy Book now, Samsung is giving away US$ 50 worth of Samsung Credit. Additionally, users can reserve both devices and get US$ 100 worth of credit for use on any eligible products in the store.

Simply by signing up with your email address, you can use this link to save up to US$ 100 when you shop with Samsung.

The promo ends next Wednesday, February 1, by 11:59pm EST.

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Apple halts development of in-house chip

Broadcom is still in

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Apple is currently on a quest to reduce its reliance on third-party components for its devices. For the most part, the company is successful in doing so. Apple Silicon is already an important part of the brand’s identity — with work on more in-house components ongoing. Now, Apple is reportedly pausing development on one of its upcoming chips.

According to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple will delay the development of its in-house connectivity chip. In the meantime, the brand will keep relying on Broadcom for the same components, going into the iPhone 15 series.

To be clear, the paused component only deals with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. Apple is still developing its in-house modem for 5G connectivity — according to outside reports, at least. While the Broadcom deal will still continue, Qualcomm might still get the axe after Apple develops its replacement chip.

Given the positive response to Apple Silicon, building more in-house components might ultimately work well for the brand. If anything, the company can rest easier by controlling how one of its components is produced.

Besides Apple, other brands are also developing their in-house chipsets to rival component makers like Qualcomm. Google, for instance, is doing relatively well with the Tensor lineup. Additionally, though the upcoming series will rely on Qualcomm, Samsung is currently working to bring the Exynos lineup to match current standards.

SEE ALSO: Apple iPhone 15 Rumor Roundup: Goodbye Pro Max, hello Ultra

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