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Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 7 is a true bang for the buck smartphone

It has a 48-megapixel camera

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Xiaomi has been known to offer affordable smartphones with great specs and features through its Redmi series. Starting today though, Redmi is now a sub-brand just like Pocophone. The first phone under this new arrangement is the Redmi Note 7.

As the first phone to be part of the Redmi sub-brand, the Note 7 gives it all. It’s got a 48-megapixel camera, Snapdragon 660 processor, big screen, massive battery, and a really attractive price tag.

Image credit: Xiaomi

The Redmi Note 7’s main selling point is its main 48-megapixel Samsung-made sensor. But of course, all those pixels will be used to create a crisper image at 12 megapixels — just like with Huawei flagship phones. It’s paired with a 5-megapixel secondary shooter which is responsible for AI scene recognition and edge detection for creating the bokeh effect. For selfies, there’s a 13-megapixel sensor in front of the phone.

The phone’s display measures 6.3 inches with a small cutout for the selfie camera. It’s protected by Gorilla Glass and has a resolution of Full HD+. Xiaomi claims a screen-to-body ratio of 84 percent and the back panel is also made of premium glass.

Image credit: Xiaomi

The Snapdragon 660 processor may already be old, but it’s still fast and reliable. Also, for a budget phone, a well-known midrange processor is very welcome to join the party.

Keeping the Redmi Note 7 lighted up is a large 4000mAh battery that supports Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 4. Xiaomi finally shifted to USB-C for its Redmi phones and using a fast charging brick, the Note 7 can be fully charged in under two hours.

Image credit: Xiaomi

Price-wise, the Redmi Note 7 is a steal. The base model with 3GB of memory and 32GB of storage starts from CNY 999 or around US$ 150. The 4GB/64GB variant is slightly more expensive at CNY 1,199 (US$ 180), while bumping up the memory to 6GB will jack it up to CNY 1,399 (US$ 210). The available color options are blue, red, and black.

Pre-orders have already started in China, with shipments scheduled for January 15. The phone is only available in China for now, but it’ll be available in other Xiaomi markets very soon.

SEE ALSO: Xiaomi’s AirDots Pro is the latest AirPods copycat

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This wallpaper is somehow causing Android devices to crash

Something about the color

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Wallpapers are one of the most personal ways to customize our phones. Whether it’s a photo of a loved one, a pop culture icon, or just a default one, smartphones become much more colorful and dynamic because of wallpapers. That said, the only time you should fear a wallpaper is when you accidentally show off a very NSFW wallpaper to a very SFW public. However, a new and mysterious wallpaper is striking fear into the hearts of every Android user.

On their official Twitter page, renowned Samsung leaker Ice Universe posted a seemingly innocuous wallpaper with a dire warning: “Never set this picture as wallpaper, especially for Samsung mobile phone users!” The photo depicts a picturesque lakeside sprinkled with tall, coniferous trees; a minuscule island stands at the lake’s center; warm sunlight filters through thick clouds, disturbed only by towering mountains.

Further, when posted to Weibo, the photo changes, losing its purplish-orange hue. In its altered form, the wallpaper becomes harmless. The leaker suspects that the Chinese social network filters out the photo’s “harmful ingredients.”

Original (left) and Weibo format (right) | Image source: Ice Universe / Twitter

(As I was writing this article, I tried putting the photo on Photoshop to analyze its elements. When I downloaded it directly from Twitter and placed it on the software, Photoshop also filtered the hue out. There’s something off about this photo.)

Naturally, after the leaker posted the photo, curious users tried the wallpaper for themselves. As expected, Ice Universe’s warning turned into reality for some. Strangely, the wallpaper’s mysterious power picks and chooses which smartphones to brick. However, based on the flurry of responses, it’s exclusively an Android issue. Besides Samsung models, Google’s Pixels and Xiaomi’s phones are victims. Curiously, only newer models are affected.

According to a Korean forum, the problem lies in the wallpaper’s image profile. Apparently, the raw image was created using GIMP, a Photoshop alternative. Unlike other image manipulation software, GIMP operates in color profiles beyond those that Android is compatible with. As such, Android gets confused when loading the photo as a wallpaper, causing crashes and bricks. Some have also speculated on an error in encoding. Regardless, it seems that the photo’s color profile is at fault.

Still, don’t try it out. If you do try it out, convert it to sRGB first.

SEE ALSO: Samsung Galaxy Fold 2 might now be in mass production

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Android 11 launch delayed due to US protests

#BlackLivesMatter

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Image source: Android Developers / YouTube

Coronavirus-related delays are commonplace in this newfound era. The global health crisis has forced various companies from various industries to postpone their much-anticipated annual events. So far, we’ve seen event cancellations, launch delays, and digital migrations. Today, another anticipated launch has been postponed. However, for perhaps the first time in a while, the delay isn’t canceled due to the ongoing pandemic.

In an official tweet from Android’s Twitter account, Google announced the postponement of Android 11’s unveiling. Previously, the company earmarked June 3 as the upcoming operating system’s debut. The launch would have introduced the system to developers for optimization with their apps before a more public release. That will now have to wait.

“We are postponing the June 3rd event and beta release,” Google said. “Now is not the time to celebrate.” Instead, the company will release more details “soon.”

Besides the ongoing pandemic, the United States is now buckling under a lot of civil uprising across several states. The protests are calling for justice for the brutal death of George Floyd, an African American man, under the custody of Derek Chauvin, a white police officer. In less than a week, a revolutionary spirit rushed through the entire country, resurrecting the #BlackLivesMatter movement from very recent memory. Since then, several companies and personalities have used their respective platforms and audiences to spread awareness, goodwill, and justice towards the issue.

Besides Android 11, Google has also quietly delayed the launch of the Pixel 4a for coronavirus-related reasons, according to previous reports.

SEE ALSO: Apple and Google release contact tracing software all over the world

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OnePlus accidentally disables OnePlus 8 Pro’s x-ray camera worldwide

Update rolling out in India

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Weeks ago, OnePlus confirmed a brewing privacy controversy surrounding the recently released OnePlus 8 Pro. Apparently, the premium smartphone’s Photochrom filter can penetrate through thin material like plastic or clothing. Despite OnePlus’s assurances to the contrary, several reviewers have demonstrated the feature’s strong capabilities. As a result, OnePlus has promised to disable the feature temporarily before working on a more permanent solution.

Surprisingly, after all the hullaballoo, OnePlus is disabling the feature only in Chinese smartphones. Presumably, the invasive feature is a more serious threat in China, compared to other nations. However, a recent update reveals a change of mind. Further, a followup hints at conflicting decisions inside OnePlus.

In India, OnePlus 8 Pro users are receiving new OTA updates — Oxygen OS 10.5.9.IN11, 10.5.9.IN11AA, and 10.5.9.IN11DA — that carries only one item in the patch notes, as posted in the OnePlus forums. As you might expect by now, the exactly similar patches remove the Photochrom filter temporarily “for adjustment.” In this case, “temporarily” is hugely short-term. The update promises the feature’s return “around June.”

However, after users spotted the update, OnePlus has quickly issued a statement, saying that the updates rolled out accidentally. Apparently, the company did not intend to disable the feature for non-Chinese models. As such, an upcoming OTA update will re-enable the feature.

Naturally, if you don’t live in India or China, your OnePlus 8 Pro still has the controversial Photochrom filter. However, OnePlus’s lingering uncertainty in India marks similar uncertainty in handling the privacy controversy.

SEE ALSO: OnePlus 8 Pro review: Best of the best

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