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Xiaomi VP Hugo Barra is resigning, going back to Silicon Valley [Updated!]

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Hugo Barra

Xiaomi’s highly popular vice president, Hugo Barra, will soon be leaving the company to return to his roots in Silicon Valley. The fate of the Chinese manufacturer and Mr. Barra himself are shrouded in mystery.

Update: He’s joining the Facebook team in Silicon Valley!


No one but Barra and his close friends saw this coming. His last day will be right after next month’s Chinese New Year, after which he’ll “take some much-needed time off before embarking on a new adventure back in Silicon Valley.”

Barra was pivotal in turning Xiaomi into the international tech giant it is today. What began as a simple startup composed of just a few members nearly seven years ago, is now a multi-billion dollar company with revenues coming mostly out of China and India.

Hugo Barra shows off the Xiaomi Mi 5 at MWC 2016

As the Global VP of Xiaomi for more than three years, Barra took control of their international push using his product management experience during his days as vice president of Google’s Android platform. The work he put into the Chinese company definitely paid off; what was once considered to be just an Apple copycat, now produces smartphones as groundbreaking as the Mi Mix and as well-rounded as the Redmi 4 Prime.

Despite his resignation, he believes Xiaomi is in good hands under the leadership of current CEO Lei Jun. It’s uncertain how this will affect the image of the brand, since Barra’s western background helped the company reach non-Chinese regions. It was only earlier this month when he took the stage at CES to show off Xiaomi’s best new products.

As for Barra, describing his next step as a “new adventure back in Silicon Valley” is terribly vague. Chances are we’ll be seeing him join forces with one of the already established tech leaders in San Francisco, California, or another startup altogether.

With rivals OPPO, Vivo, and Huawei leading smartphone sales in China, Xiaomi will have to regroup soon or else lose even more footing in the world’s largest handset market.

Update: As expected, Hugo Barra really is joining forces with an established tech company. In a post shared by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg himself, it says Barra will lead all of Facebook’s virtual reality efforts, including its Oculus team. Read the entire post below:

[irp posts=”8704" name=”You can ride on this Xiaomi”]

Image credit: Hugo Barra

MWC Shanghai 2019

OPPO officially introduces Under-Screen Camera technology for phones

The future of borderless devices

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After teasing it a few weeks ago, OPPO has finally introduced its new front-facing camera solution. The notch hasn’t been the most appealing in terms of design. Likewise, moving parts in a phone such as a pop-up or flipping camera mechanisms have raised some concerns about durability.

Today, OPPO leaped forward with its Under-Screen Camera or simply USC. In order to deliver a full-screen experience without resorting to any of the previous camera solutions, OPPO has put the camera right behind the screen.


Using a customized camera module that captures more light, the camera can see better even though it’s being covered by a display panel. With the help of special algorithms and artificial intelligence, OPPO’s Under-Screen Camera is further enhanced.

Additionally, the screen itself works alongside with the camera by zoning control. Basically, it knows which pixel not to light up when the camera is in use to avoid any unnecessary blockage. The new Under-Screen Camera technology of OPPO is not just for taking selfies or video calls though, it can also do face unlock just like a normal front camera.

While a camera hiding behind the screen is pretty amazing, the technology is young. There’s a lot of processes it needs to undergo in order to capture a decent image like HDR processing, haze removal, and white balance calculations. Still, OPPO promises that the quality of the captured images will be “on par with mainstream devices.”

Like OPPO’s previous innovations, it’s yet to be confirmed which phone will have this technology. OPPO did say it’ll come in the near future.

SEE ALSO: OPPO patents its own rotating camera phone

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MWC Shanghai 2019

Vivo steals the show at MWC Shanghai 2019 with 5G and 120W charging tech

5G is everywhere

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Vivo is in full force to deliver the latest technologies. The Chinese company is mainly developing new innovations around 5G technology. While 5G is yet to become widely available, the solutions from companies like Vivo are ready to take full advantage of it.

In the list of Vivo’s strategy to embrace the 5G era are 5G-enabled smartphones, AR glasses, smart watches, smart headphones, and many more. Basically, the company will adopt a multi-application approach in developing 5G devices.


Vivo’s first commercial 5G smartphone is already on display at MWC Shanghai 2019. Vivo has been developing a 5G phone since last year using their NEX flagship series. Additionally, Vivo’s sub-brand, iQOO, also has a 5G-enabled model of its gaming device. Vivo’s 5G phone will be available in Q3 2019.

Vivo iQOO 5G | GadgetMatch

Apart from consumer phones, Vivo also developed the AR Glass. The Vivo AR Glass is essentially an AR headset with dual-screen display support and 6DoF technology. It connects via Vivo’s 5G smartphone to deliver ultra-fast connectivity.

Vivo’s AR Glass can act as a controller for select games. Moreover, the AR headset can be the display for mobile office apps, while the phone acts as the keyboard. The five types of applications that are currently supported by Vivo AR Glass are mobile games, mobile office, 5G theatre, facial recognition, and object recognition.

Vivo Super FlashCharge 120W | GadgetMatch

Lastly, but definitely not the least, is Vivo’s new fast-charging technology. 5G will consume a lot of juice from the user’s device, that’s why Vivo opted to come up with an incredible charging solution.

According to Vivo, the Super FlashCharge 120W will only need five minutes to charge a 4000mAh battery from zero to 50 percent. More information about Vivo’s new charging technology is available here.

SEE ALSO: Vivo’s Super FlashCharge 120W will fully charge your phone in an instant

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MWC Shanghai 2019

Vivo’s Super FlashCharge 120W will fully charge your phone in an instant

Currently the fastest charging solution

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Aside from quality cameras, phone nowadays should have fast charging technologies. Manufacturers implement their own solutions like OPPO’s VOOC and Huawei’s SuperCharge, while some support a universal standard such as Qualcomm’s QuickCharge. Vivo, on the other hand, wants to be ahead of everyone with their ground-breaking innovation.

At MWC Shanghai 2019, Vivo showcased its new Super FlashCharge 120W. As its name implies, it delivers 120W ultra-high-power charging, which is a first in the industry. Cutting to the chase, Vivo’s fast charging tech can charge a large 4000mAh cell from zero to 50 percent in just five minutes. A full charge will take 13 minutes since the charging speed has to slow down when near full capacity.


Vivo’s Super FlashCharge 120W features a new charge pump technology using a specially designed USB-C cable and a travel charger. Technically, the charging brick delivers 20V/6A or simply 120W.

Most fast charging technologies that are available in the market today deliver around 10 percent charge in five minutes, while a 100 percent-charged battery will take about an hour. The closest to Vivo’s is Xiaomi’s yet-to-be-unveiled 100W speed.

While Vivo’s tech is certainly exciting, there’s no exact timeframe for its availability. Perhaps Vivo is still finalizing and making sure that it’ll deliver its promised speeds even if it’s already mass-produced.

SEE ALSO: This is how Vivo’s V15 Pro elevates your gaming experience

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