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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.

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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.

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Gaming

TNC Predator, Afreeca Freecs Fatal win Predator League APAC 2019

For Dota 2 and PUBG, respectively

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After three long days of battle in Bangkok, Thailand from February 15 to 17, two champions have emerged from the two featured games of the Predator League in Asia Pacific 2019.

For Dota 2, it’s TNC Predator from the Philippines; and for PUBG, the champ is none other than Afreeca Freecs Fatal from South Korea.

Their winnings come from a prize pool worth US$ 250,000. Each champion receives US$ 75,000 for their efforts, while the runners-up split the remaining pot.

The grand event concluded after over 3,500 competing teams from 16 countries were eventually reduced to only 26 groups in Bangkok for the finals.

This was the Predator League’s second event in the APAC region. In 2018, it was held in Indonesia. Next year’s event will take place in the Philippines.

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Cameras

Fujifilm X-T30 is a lightweight 4K mirrorless camera

Cheaper version of the X-T3

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Image credit: Fujifilm

After Canon‘s announcement of the new EOS RP, it’s now Fujifilm‘s turn to present their latest offering: the X-T30. Fuji’s new mirrorless interchangeable camera is the successor to 2017’s X-T20.

The X-T30 is positioned to be a cheaper variant of the flagship X-T3 camera, but they actually share many common features and specs. It’s got a compact and lightweight body at just 383g which looks similar to the premium model, but with some minor changes at the back. It’s got a focus joystick instead of a d-pad, but retains the touchscreen.

Speaking of, it’s a 2-way tilting LCD panel with 1.04 million dots. The EVF, on the other hand, is a 2.36-million-dot OLED color viewfinder with a near 100 percent coverage area.

Image credit: Fujifilm

Inside the camera is a 26.1-megapixel APS-C X-Trans CMOS sensor with an ISO range of 160 to 12800, which is expandable up to 51200, and backed by an X-Processor 4. With this, the X-T30 can shoot 30fps at 1.25x crop and 20fps without a crop using the electronic shutter. If you wish to use the mechanical shutter, the speed will be reduced to 8fps.

It has a hybrid AF system with 100 percent phase-detect AF, face detection, and eye tracking. Autofocus is also improved even in low-light. Focusing can be selected either through the touchscreen or joystick.

When it comes to video, the camera can shoot 4K at 30fps and up to 120fps when downscaled to 1080p. It’s capable of 10-bit recording and 4:2:2 DCI 4K video through the HDMI port. Fujifilm’s Film Simulation modes are also available.

The Fujifilm X-T30 will be available in March starting at US$ 899 for the body only. It’ll go up to US$ 999 when bundled with an XC 15-45mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS lens, or US$ 1,299 when bundled with an 18-55mm f/2.8-4 lens.

SEE ALSO: Fujifilm Instax SQ20 hands-on: How good is it?

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MWC 2019

LG V50 ThinQ will be company’s first 5G smartphone

Arriving right before MWC 2019

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We have yet another leak ahead of LG’s press conference happening right before Mobile World Congress 2019. This time, it’s for the company’s first 5G smartphone, the V50 ThinQ.

It comes in the form of a tweet by Evan Blass, who also spilled the beans on LG’s upcoming G8 ThinQ flagship a few days ago.

This confirms that the 5G smartphone LG will be showing off at MWC in Barcelona, Spain is the V50 ThinQ. Previously, we knew of such a handset coming on February 24, but we didn’t know what branding it would go under.

The leak, however, points to exclusivity with US carrier Sprint. It might also be a limited partnership, but we can more or less confirm that the V50 ThinQ will carry a Snapdragon 855 chipset in order to handle 5G signals.

In addition, we can see an extra camera on the front and back as compared to the G8 ThinQ’s setup. Sadly, it seems like the wide notch is sticking around.

Surprisingly, the V50 ThinQ is launching less than five months after the V40 ThinQ’s release. LG may be prioritizing its 5G rollout and needs an existing series to lay it on.

We’ll learn more once LG takes the stage on February 24 to reveal all its new devices, which might also include a foldable phone.

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