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Xiaomi Redmi Pro brings dual-cam system to budget phone category

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We knew it was only a matter of time before the dual-camera set-up in a smartphone becomes mainstream. After all, one camera just doesn’t cut it when you want better focus and depth perception. Xiaomi is the latest company to join the fray with the newly launched Redmi Pro.

The 5.5-inch device uses sensors from different manufacturers: a 13-megapixel Sony IMX258 main lens for the still image and a 5-megapixel Samsung assistive sensor for that DSLR-like bokeh effect you probably want. You may even adjust the focus point after taking a photo.

To show the Redmi Pro’s camera prowess, Xiaomi has released the following sample images.

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The Redmi Pro is also Xiaomi’s first smartphone to get an OLED display — a full-HD at that — to make visuals eye-popping.

We’re surprised the company has introduced the dual-camera and OLED screen technologies into the entry-level Redmi lineup, not into the flagship Mi series. It makes us wonder how Xiaomi is going to set its next top-of-the-line phone apart.

Not that we’re complaining, considering the base model, which comes with 3GB of RAM, 32GB of ROM, and MediaTek Helio X20 10-core processor, costs only 1,499 yuan or about $225. Even the variant with 3GB of RAM, 64GB of internal storage, and MediaTek Helio X25 64-bit deca-core chipset is priced at just 1,699 yuan or roughly $255, and the version with 4GB of RAM, 128GB of internal memory, and Helio X25 processor sells for only 1,999 yuan or around $300.

At those prices, you already get a brushed-metal unibody, a 2.5D curved glass up front, a fingerprint sensor at the bottom of the screen, a USB Type-C port, dual-SIM and VoLTE support, an IR blaster, and Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow-based MIUI 8 OS.

To top it off, you may not have to worry about charging the Redmi Pro often because it boasts a huge, 4,050mAh battery. Fast charging should keep you sane as well.

Xiaomi has not announced any international launch for the Redmi Pro yet. The August 6 availability of the gold and silver models is only for the Chinese market, but we’re pretty sure it will soon be sold in India, the second largest smartphone market after China.

The low-cost Redmi series is Xiaomi’s most successful line of devices. The Chinese company sold more than 110 million Redmi units — or 1.2 units per second — in three years.

With the entry of the Redmi Pro, coupled with Xiaomi’s strategy to use celebrity brand ambassadors and traditional advertising for the first time, that number may probably rise significantly, hopefully enough to take on Chinese rivals Huawei, OPPO, and Vivo, which research firm IDC says beat Xiaomi in terms of global shipment volumes in the first quarter of 2016.

[irp posts=”9920″ name=”Xiaomi Redmi 4 Prime Review”]

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Samsung Galaxy M51 price and availability in the Philippines

Another monster battery phone!

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Samsung’s new beast — the Galaxy M51 — is finally making its way to the Philippines. With an official listed page on the Samsung Philippines website, the arrival of this monster battery phone is imminent.

The Galaxy M51 prides itself with a massive 7000mAh battery that supports 25W fast charging. This new midrange phone sports a 6.67-inch Super AMOLED+ Infinity-O display. On its front, you can find an in-display fingerprint scanner and a punch-hole camera housing a 32-megapixel shooter.

It’s powered by an octa-core Snapdragon 730G processor, equipped with 8GB RAM and 128GB internal storage. For extra storage, it comes with a MicroSD slot up to 512GB.

Meanwhile, its rear features a quad-camera setup: a 64-megapixel primary sensor, a 12-megapixel ultra-wide-angle lens, a 5-megapixel depth sensor, and a 5-megapixel macro camera.

Regarding its ports, the Galaxy M51 uses a USB Type-C port and the well-loved 3.5mm audio jack. In line with all other Galaxy-branded phones, it’ll ship with OneUI out-of-the-box and Samsung Knox, Samsung’s multi-layered security feature.

Price and availability

The Samsung Galaxy M51 will retail for PhP 19,990 and will come in two colors: Black and White. It will be exclusively available online starting September 25, 2020, at Samsung’s official online store, eCommerce partners such as Lazada, Shopee, Abenson, and MemoXpress, and telecom companies like Globe and Smart. Early birds can score up to PhP 2,098 worth of freebies from September 25-28, 2020.

SEE ALSO: Samsung Galaxy M31: How long does a 6000mAh battery last?

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Instagram is being sued for spying on a user’s camera

Accessed a camera without permission

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The world of social media is rapidly sinking into a period of reckoning. Earlier today, the Trump administration has announced a definitive takedown of TikTok and WeChat starting this Sunday. Apparently, American social media platforms can’t catch a break as well. In the United States, Instagram is being sued for spying on a user’s camera.

Reported by Bloomberg, a New Jersey Instagram user, Brittany Conditi, filed the complaint against the company in a San Francisco court. According to the lawsuit, Instagram accesses an iPhone’s camera even when the app isn’t currently active.

Conditi argues that the practice is deliberate and “lucrative” for the company. Instagram allegedly uses the obtained data for “valuable insights and market research.”

According to Facebook (who owns Instagram), the issue is a bug and does not indicate any deliberate attempts to spy on users. The company has also said that the bug is now patched in the latest version.

Regardless, Facebook and Apple have butted heads in the past. Since the introduction of iOS 14, Apple has upped its efforts to curb any untoward privacy violations from apps. Even without the current allegations, Facebook’s concern (or lack thereof) for privacy is well documented.

Currently, Facebook and Instagram are in a race to catch up with TikTok in the short-form video-sharing trend. Instagram, for one, recently launched Instagram Reels, its own take on TikTok.

SEE ALSO: Facebook is paying users to delete their accounts

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TikTok and WeChat will be banned from app stores in the US

So, did the Oracle deal go through?

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After months of escalating, the US Commerce Department has announced it’ll ban business transactions with TikTok and WeChat. The two apps are owned by Chinese giants ByteDance and Tencent, respectively.

Practically, you won’t be able to directly download the app via stores like Play Store and App Store. Furthermore, companies are also barred from hosting these apps in the US. Essentially, the user won’t be able to download the app from third-party websites that are hosted in the US.

It also blocks US companies from providing services through WeChat “for the purpose of transferring funds or processing payments within the U.S.”

However, it remains unclear whether the announcement means the Oracle-TikTok deal won’t be going through. The Trump administration wanted ByteDance to sell its local TikTok operations to an American company.

In the last few months, multiple American giants like Walmart, Twitter, and Microsoft were interested in getting their piece of TikTok. But things haven’t moved smoothly and the Chinese government isn’t keen on handing over TikTok’s algorithm to an American company.

While Oracle has been chosen for a deal with ByteDance, the latter continues to maintain that the ongoing process isn’t an acquisition and Oracle shall be a technology partner. This is in stark contrast to what President Trump envisions as a business takeover.

The app ban could be a tactic to pressure the Chinese, but we can’t be certain of that right now. Going by the latest statements, it’s clear that the administration wants to completely block user’s access to these apps and is willing to go the extra mile.

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