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Xiaomi’s new Redmi Note 4 sets another budget benchmark

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Within less than a year of releasing the Redmi Note 3 and considering it a resounding success, Xiaomi decided to go ahead and launch the successor, the Redmi Note 4, in China. As you’d expect, the short time gap didn’t allow a lot of revolutionary features to be developed in time for the new model, but the minor changes seem to be worth the effort.

Not to be confused with the Redmi Note 4G from 2014, the new Redmi Note 4 continues Xiaomi’s philosophy of cramming as many features as possible in a cost-effective assembly. And like the Redmi Note 3, the smartphone we have now pushes what’s possible in an entry-level product by offering a metal unibody and fingerprint scanner, two features exclusive to midrange and high-end flagships just over a year ago. Similarities between the Redmi Note 3 and Note 4 extend to the 5.5-inch LCD screen with a Full HD 1080p resolution.

Of course, what really matter in a successor are the upgrades. The Redmi Note 4 is naturally expected to be a lot faster thanks to a MediaTek Helio X20 processor on the inside and Xiaomi’s latest Android interface, MIUI 8, handling the software. It’s unlikely we’ll see Android 7.0 Nougat on this handset for now, but the beauty of MIUI is in its update frequency that’s independent of Android’s slow rollouts.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 4

The rest of the specs are incremental upgrades: We now have a slightly larger 4,100mAh battery, a 64GB storage option (the previous high was 32GB), the choice of expanding the internal storage using a microSD card in place of a second SIM card, and a marginally better 13-megapixel main camera.

The quick release might sound a little desperate after news broke out about Xiaomi dropping in market share ranks both globally and in its homeland of China last quarter, but the manufacturer insists that they’re still in the game, having also released a one-of-a-kind budget phone with a dual-camera setup, the company’s largest smartphone to date, and its first highly affordable MacBook clone.

Xiaomi is now in a good position to undercut the competition like it has before, especially now that the likes of ASUS and Samsung are focusing on the midrange segment. But this is assuming the Redmi Note 4 has a global launch. As of writing, the handset will only be available in China, and it’ll begin tomorrow, August 26. The 16GB storage variant will retail for CNY 899 (approximately $135), while the more generous 64GB version will cost CNY 1,199 (around $180). You’ll have the colors gold, gray, and silver to choose from.

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

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Meitu will launch a triple selfie camera phone

Showing the selfie some love!

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This year signaled the renaissance of smartphone photography. Starting with Huawei, the triple camera system revolutionized the Instagram game. Suddenly, everyone can take extraordinarily impressive photos from a phone. Of course, the revolution remains exclusive to the coveted rear camera.

Sadly, the front-facing selfie camera has gotten no love. Instead of working on the camera’s hardware, companies have resorted to cheaper smoothing software. The so-called beautification feature paled in comparison to the sharpness of advanced rear cameras.

Thankfully, a handful of companies are working on improving selfie cameras as a whole. Fresh off a Xiaomi acquisition, Chinese company Meitu has revealed its plans for a more capable selfie shooter.

Image source: TENAA

Spotted on TENAA, the Meitu MP1801 sports an astonishing three selfie cameras. According to the posting, the future smartphone will have a 12-megapixel + 20-megapixel + 8-megapixel front-facing camera combination. Sadly, it doesn’t specify what these cameras are for. Based on speculation, its main driver will likely be the 12-megapixel sensor. Meanwhile, the 20-megapixel and 8-megapixel sensors could be wide angle and depth sensors, respectively.

On the flip side, the phone will have a standard 12- and 8-megapixel rear camera combination. Under the hood, it will sport a 6.21-inch OLED screen, an unidentified hexa-core processor, 8GB of RAM, and up to 256GB of internal storage.

Design-wise, the Meitu phone looks similar to the company’s previous selfie beast — the Meitu V6. At the time, the Meitu V6 delivered amazing selfies. Given the company’s reputation, the upcoming triple selfie camera phone will likely follow in the V6’s success.

With Xiaomi taking the reins, Meitu will likely launch this amazing selfie shooter sometime soon. Regardless, this answers the uncertainty that initially surrounded Xiaomi’s acquisition of the company.

SEE ALSO: Meitu V6 Review: A luxury selfie smartphone

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Samsung Galaxy A9 with quadruple rear cameras is up for grabs

Is this every photographer’s dream phone?

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This year has been underwhelming for Samsung. Even though its flagship phones like the Galaxy S9 and Note 9 are top-class, they haven’t been selling like hot cakes due to rising competition from the likes of Huawei and OnePlus. Secondly, the company is facing cut-throat competition in the midrange and budget segment from Xiaomi, OPPO, and Vivo.

Hence, Samsung has decided to completely revamp its strategy for the coming year and has already started launching phones that have unmatched capabilities. The Galaxy A7 was the first product that brought in a triple rear camera setup to the midrange segment following the success of the P20 Pro.

Now, the brand has unveiled the Galaxy A9 in India that brings in four cameras on the rear. To further sweeten the deal, it also incorporates Samsung’s Infinity Display technology and a glass build.

The phone has a 6.3-inch Full HD+ AMOLED display with an aspect ratio of 18.5:9. Usually, a majority of the devices from Samsung house an Exynos processor, but the A9 is powered by the popular midrange Snapdragon 660 SoC along with 6GB RAM in the base variant. A second option is also available that has 8GB RAM, and internal storage remains constant at 128GB in both the options.

On the rear is a vertical module that houses the four cameras: a 24-megapixel primary sensor, a 10-megapixel telephoto sensor with 2x optical zoom, an 8-megapixel wide angle camera, and lastly a 5-megapixel depth sensor for bokeh effects. On the front is a 24-megapixel selfie shooter that supports facial unlock.

Unlike the Galaxy A7, this phone has a fingerprint sensor on the back. It runs on Samsung Experience UI that’s built on top of Android 8.0 Oreo and includes the Bixby smart assistant and Samsung Pay. The Galaxy A9 is backed by a 3800mAh battery that charges via a USB-C port.

The phone will be available exclusively online starting November 28 from Flipkart. The base offering of 6GB is priced at INR 36,990 (US$ 515) and the 8GB option costs INR 39,990 (US$ 560).

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Huawei reveals its foldable, 5G-ready smartphone prototype

Bigger than Samsung’s Infinity Flex!

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Image source: ETNews

It begins! After Samsung’s blockbuster announcement recently, the foldable smartphone revolution is well underway. Rumors have begun materializing into concrete news.

After Samsung, Huawei has finally revealed its hand. Previously, the company announced rough plans without revealing a lot of details. At the time, Huawei’s deputy chairman Ken Hu confirmed a foldable, 5G-ready phone for next year’s lineup.

Now, Huawei has unveiled the development team’s considerable progress with the project. According to Korean website ETNews, the company conducted a private demonstration of a foldable smartphone prototype. Aside from its flexibility, the prototype demonstrated the company’s support for 5G technologies. The private demo consisted mainly of Korean telco networks.

According to a Korean government official present during the demo, Huawei’s progress was better than expected.

The report further details the specifications of the existing prototype. According to the report, the prototype has an enormous 8-inch screen when unfolded. Folded, the smartphone has a wieldy 5-inch screen. With that, Huawei’s foldable prototype outsizes Samsung’s model. Based on their previous presentation, Samsung’s prototype has a 7.3-inch/4.6-inch screen combination.

Unlike Samsung’s in-house product, Huawei will source its screen from China’s BOE Technology Group. Throughout the year, the Chinese tech giant has been constantly developing flexible screens for future use. With this focus, BOE goes directly against Samsung as a rival in flexible screen technology. BOE’s positioning makes it a perfect source for Huawei.

Unfortunately, no photos have surfaced from this session. At most, the report includes an artist’s rendering based on various rumors revealed throughout the past few weeks. Noticeably, the render shows a truly bezel-less display when unfolded. However, the folded render curiously portrays a notched screen.

According to the report, Huawei will announce the official product at MWC 2019. The phone itself will launch sometime between 2019’s first and second quarters. Because of the demo session’s focus on 5G networking, it will likely launch alongside the world’s first 5G network launch.

SEE ALSO: Huawei Mate 20 Review: The simpler sibling

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