News

Redmi 9 now official in the Philippines

Jam-packed with features

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Alongside the launch of POCO F2 Pro in the Philippines is the launch of an entry-level smartphone from Xiaomi. The Redmi 9 is now officially available in the country, and it comes with a competitive price tag despite its jam-packed specs.

The Redmi 9 is a big upgrade over its predecessor. It now has a quad-camera setup that allows for more versatility. The main camera is a 13MP wide-angle camera. There’s also an 8MP ultra-wide-angle + 5MP macro camera which should allow for better landscape and close-up shots. Rounding up the camera setup is a 2MP depth sensor.

On the display front, users can expect a bigger and better screen. The display is now 6.53 inches and the resolution is bumped to full HD. The waterdrop notch is here to stay, housing the device’s 8Mp selfie camera.

Redmi 9 vastly improves on the performance front too. There’s a new MediaTek Helio G80 processor powering the device. Xiaomi claims the device has a 207% improved performance over its predecessor. MIUI 12 based on Android 10 is available out of the box. To top it all off, there’s a 5,020 mAh battery inside with support for 18W fast charging.

Plus, there’s a 3.5mm headphone jack, IR blaster, NFC, and dual SIM + microSD card support on this device. Redmi 9 is really jam-packed with features for an entry-level smartphone.

 Pricing and availability

The best part about the Redmi 9? It starts at PhP 6,990 for the 3 / 32GB variant. There’s also a 4 / 64GB variant that retails at PhP 7,490. It is now available on Xiaomi’s official online store at Shopee starting June 16. Customers can grab the device in a variety of colors: Carbon Grey, Ocean Green, Sunset Purple.

There’s also a one-day flash sale happening on Shopee. Customers can snag the Redmi 9 3 /32GB variant at PhP 500 off or PhP 6,490 only for June 16.

Redmi 9 will retail on other sales channels starting from June 30. It will be also available for purchase at the Xiaomi Official Store on Lazada from July 7, 2020 with a special one-day price of PhP 6,490 (PhP 500 off) for the 3GB+32GB variant.

Laptops

Lenovo presents new Yoga lineup in the Philippines

16GB RAM + 1TB SSD combo!

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Lenovo decks out smarter and more premium laptops in the Philippines, revealing the 5th-generation of Yoga devices. Designed for consumers with sophisticated taste, the Yoga laptops presents new form factors in style.

Yoga 9 series

Lenovo’s new headliners come in the form of two premium, innovative, and versatile notebooks: the Yoga Slim 9i and the Yoga 9i convertible, both starting at PhP 99,995.

The two laptops are powered by up to the latest 10th-gen Intel Core i9 HK-series processors, with Intel Xe graphics. Moreover, both laptops come with stylish design, smart features, and power-efficient batteries.

Yoga 7 series

Another lineup of powerhouse devices is thin and light laptops from the Yoga 7 Series. There’s the Yoga Slim 7i Pro (price starts at PhP 64,995), fueled by Intel Core i7 processors and NVIDIA’s GeForce Mx450 GPU, balancing speed and power. It’s a powerful companion for multitasking, video editing, and more.

For those who are always-on-the-go, particularly executives and businessmen, the Yoga Slim 7i Carbon (starts at PhP 59,995) is a perfect match. It packs a 15-hour battery life and powerful performance while looking elegant with a stunning Moon White finish coupled with a featherweight, portable design.

On the other hand, the Yoga 7i (price starts at PhP 59,995) offers an ultra-thin convertible with a long-lasting battery, at approximately 16 hours. It’s designed for balanced performance, making it the perfect work-and-play companion.

In case you need a compact notebook, the Yoga Slim 7i presents an all-metal machine-cut premium device with a clamshell design.

Yoga 6

The most portable powerhouse, so far, is the Yoga 6 (price starts at PhP 49,995). It houses a top-performing AMD Ryzen 7 4700U processor with built-in AMD Radeon graphics inside a compact 13-inch chassis. Despite its ultra-compact size, this laptop can last up to 18 hours of computing and entertainment activities.

IdeaPad 5 and 3 series

The IdeaPad lineup has just evolved, bringing fast and intuitive devices to help bring ideas to life. The IdeaPad Slim 5i (price starts at PhP 42,995) prides itself on narrower bezels and innovative charging via Type-C connection, compared to most laptops in the same bracket. There’s also the IdeaPad Flex 5i (price starts at PhP 49,995) featuring super-fast connectivity, advanced display technology, and a 360-degree hinge for flexibility. It also comes with Lenovo’s Digital Pen.

For those looking for value-for-money laptops, the IdeaPad Slim 3i offers just that. It’s available in two variants: Core i7 (starts at PhP 44,995) or Core i3 with MX GPU (starts at PhP 29,995).

Major improvements on the new lineup

Lenovo just made history, bringing the widest range of devices with a powerful 16GB RAM and 1TB SSD combo in the Philippines. Together with the previously launched Yoga Duet 7, the suite spans 10 devices — Yoga Slim 91, Yoga 9i, Yoga Slim 7 Pro, Yoga Slim 7i Carbon, Yoga Slim 7, Yoga 7i, Yoga 6, IdeaPad Slim 5, and IdeaPad Flex 5 — with a starting price of PhP 49,995.

Freebie galore

With the exception of the IdeaPad Slim 3i (Core i3 variant), all the devices come with pre-installed Microsoft Office Home & Student 2019 (worth PhP 6,995) and Lenovo’s 3-year Premium Care Warranty (worth PhP 9,100).

Lenovo also teams up once again with Herschel this holiday season, handing out a limited edition Herschel merchandise for every purchase of participating devices. Customers availing select devices under the Yoga 9, 7, and 6 series will get a Lenovo x Herschel Stowaway Jacket (worth PhP 10,995), Gibson Travel Bag (worth PhP 7,495), and Spokane Sleeve (worth PhP 3,495), and other Lenovo accessories for free.

Those purchasing select devices of the IdeaPad 5 and 3 series will also receive the Stowaway Jacket and other accessories. Certain models of the IdeaPad 3 series will also get the Stowaway Jacket and a Fifteen Hip Pack (worth PhP 2,495) among other freebies.

The Lenovo and Herschel Holiday collection runs from November 1, 2020, to January 31, 2021. Only purchases made at official Lenovo stores — online and offline –, as well as authorized Lenovo Partners’ branches and their online stores, will be honored. Customers are required to keep the Sales Invoice as proof of purchase. Other terms and conditions apply. For the full mechanics of the promo, visit this link.

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Apps

Zoom is now rolling out end-to-end encryption for free, paid users

But there’s a twist

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Video conferencing service Zoom has announced it’s rolling out end-to-end encryption for all users globally. It’s now available for users as a technical preview for the next 30 days and users can provide feedback.

The technical preview means the company is still working on the feature and user feedback could bring changes to the end implementation. End-to-end encryption means that the company hosting the service too cannot snoop around. The encryption key is saved with the user and all communication between two people remains secured.

The feature is opt-in only, meaning users have to manually go to the Settings tab and enable end-to-end encryption. You’ll also be prompted to create a one-time passcode, which Zoom says will help them prevent abuse. By default, Zoom meetings and webinars use AES 256-bit GCM encryption for audio, video, and application sharing.

Due to the added security layer, you won’t be able to dial-in on calls via an ordinary phone. Additionally, it’ll disable a few features like join before host, cloud recording, streaming, live transcription, Breakout Rooms, polling, 1:1 private chat, and meeting reactions.

End-to-end encryption is available on Mac and PC, the Zoom Android app, and Zoom Rooms. It’s yet to roll-out on iOS since the updated patch hasn’t received approval from Apple’s App Store yet.

Zoom says that this is just a part of their security update and the company plans to roll out better identity management and E2EE SSO integration as part of phase 2. Altough, the latter is scheduled for 2021.

Lastly, Zoom for Android has received a new update and it brings along support for live streaming to YouTube.

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India

Xiaomi continues to lead India’s smartphone market

realme has clocked maximum growth though

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India is the world’s second-largest smartphone market and a majority of it is concentrated in the entry-level or affordable range. So naturally, it’s a prime market for companies like Xiaomi, realme, Samsung, OPPO, and vivo.

Xiaomi has consistently been India’s top smartphone maker in terms of units shipped since 2018. The streak doesn’t seem to be ending anytime soon as the brand managed to capture 26.1 percent market share in Q3 2020, according to a report by Canalys.

Samsung comes in second with a share of 20.4 percent. Xiaomi and Samsung have recorded an annual growth of 9 percent and 7 percent respectively. vivo comes in third with 17.6 percent share, followed by realme at 17.4 percent. Interestingly, realme scored maximum annual growth at a whopping 23 percent.

In total, 50 million units were shipped in the country, an all-time record high for a single quarter. The country was under a strict lockdown in March and April due to the Coronavirus spread and e-commerce services or stores were fully closed. Hence, shipments during Q2 of 2020 were radically low. In fact, phones were often being sold in the black market amid the restrictions.

Apple is a negligible player if we go by market share because its offerings are premium. However, it also achieved double-digit growth in the quarter and Canalys says it sold more than 800,000 units of the new iPhone SE.

The lockdown was slowly relaxed from May, opening up stores and ramping up e-commerce activity. Most professions have shifted to the work-from-home model and even students are now attending classes via digital mediums.

Smartphones are the backbone of India’s digital economy and their sales were expected to rise. While other industries like tourism and aviation have lost a huge chunk of their value, the technology and electronics industry has remained unhindered.

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