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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”]

Enterprise

Philippines: Huawei ban ‘will have a little impact’ on the country

States the Philippines’ robust cybersecurity measures

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Throughout the past few days, the Huawei debacle has devastated companies and consumers across the globe. Everyone is falling for the fear. Huawei’s long-standing suppliers have cut ties with the company. Huawei’s consumers are getting rid of their favored headsets. The wave has swept the whole world.

Naturally, the Philippines isn’t immune. Recently, smartphone retailers and resellers have started refusing Huawei devices from their stores. Local Huawei users can’t easily sell their devices to the second-hand market anymore.


However, an important question still stands. How much will the Huawei ban affect the Philippines?

Of course, the ban originates from Trump’s trade war against China. Among other reasons, the American government cites the company’s inherent cybersecurity risks as the prime motivator. Supposedly, Huawei’s telecommunications hardware can transmit valuable data to the Chinese government. Given the Philippines’ proximity to China, are we also at risk?

According to the Department of Information and Communications Technology, Huawei’s ban “will have a little impact in the Philippine telecommunications industry.” Shared through a Facebook post, the DICT assures users of the country’s robust cybersecurity measures. As of now, the department has not reported any cybersecurity breaches coming from Huawei equipment.

Likewise, shortly after the news broke, local telcos confirmed continued support for Huawei’s devices. According to the DICT, “they will diversify in their present and future procurements of equipment to make their networks more robust and future proof.” The department is also imposing strict rules on local telcos regarding network monitoring. The statement also quickly adds the imposition of the same rules on a potential third telco.

Is the DICT’s statement believable? For now, Huawei’s impact is still marginal at best. Companies and consumers are going on the perceived risk of the future. Right now, Huawei has not announced drastic changes to its products yet. Existing Huawei products still support Google.

Of course, cybersecurity is another issue. The risk will always exist when foreign companies control the telecommunications equipment of another country. At the very least, the DICT isn’t treating the whole debacle as a non-issue. Hopefully, the department’s promises are an optimistic sign for the country’s telecommunications industry.

SEE ALSO: Huawei granted 90-day extension before total ban

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IGTV adds support for horizontal video

No longer exclusive to vertical content

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When Instagram’s IGTV platform first launched, it was special for its focus on vertically oriented videos. The reasoning here is that this is how people naturally hold their smartphones, and vertical video recording has become a standard.

Unfortunately, IGTV didn’t exactly fly from the get-go. Even after certain adjustments, such as integrating its system into Instagram itself for better exposure, content creators and casual users couldn’t fully embrace the platform.


In yet another move — possibly the most drastic yet — IGTV will now support landscape videos. This comes as a response to both creators and viewers who want to upload and watch videos in “a more natural way.”

“Ultimately, our vision is to make IGTV a destination for great content no matter how it’s shot so creators can express themselves how they want,” wrote Instagram on its blog.

The blog reminds us that a similar change happened to Instagram in 2015, when you could start uploading photos in non-square formats. IGTV hopes that this transformation will have the same positive effect.

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OPPO K3 introduces pop-up camera to budget segment

Includes midrange specs and fast charging

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It’s looking like pop-up cameras are here to stay. After making a splash last year, more and more smartphones have been using this implementation for notch-less displays.

The latest to join the trend is the OPPO K3, a budget smartphone with midrange specifications. Not only does it have a 16-megapixel camera that elevates from the top, it also owns a fast Snapdragon 710 chipset and a 6.5-inch OLED panel with an under-display fingerprint scanner.


That’s fantastic for a phone that retails at CNY 1,599 (US$ 230) for the 6GB+64GB model and CNY 1,899 (US$ 274) for the 8GB+128GB variant.

And the generous features don’t end there. The OPPO K3 also comes with VOOC 3.0 fast charging, a hefty 3765mAh battery, and a 16- plus 2-megapixel dual-camera setup on the back.

The only downsides are the micro-USB port instead of the more preferable USB-C, and the ColorOS 6 skin on top of Android 9 Pie, which purists may say isn’t as feature-packed as other Android skins.

The OPPO K3 is already available in China. International availability, as always, will happen at a later date if we’re lucky.

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