India

Xiaomi’s new Redmi Note 9 series now official

Quality specs for less, as usual

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Xiaomi just announced a new addition to their Redmi Note series: the Redmi Note 9 Pro. Since they aim to fuel technological development and adoption in India in particular, the Redmi Note 9 Pro series brings support for ISRO’s indigenously developed navigation system: NavIC.

Redmi Note 9 Pro Max

For the first time, Xiaomi India’s best-selling series Redmi Note introduces a Pro Max variant. This variant features the improved “Aura Balance” design with a 16.9-centimeter FHD+ Dot Display. This Cinematic 20:9 screen and the in-display front camera brings an immersive experience through maximized display size. It’s no surprise that this is Redmi’s largest ever display on a smartphone.

The camera

Display aside, the phone features a quad rear camera setup that fits snugly on the glass back. The quad rear set-up consists of a 64MP Samsung ISOCELL Bright GW1 camera, an 8MP ultra-wide camera, a 5MP macro camera, and a 2MP depth sensor. Xiaomi claims  the square design allows a more consistent field-of-view, decreasing the inconsistent shifting of focus when switching lenses.

Meanwhile, the front has a 32MP in-display camera that enables high quality photography, videography and AI Face Unlock while keeping the display undisturbed.

What’s inside

The Redmi Note 9 Pro Max has the Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G coupled with the Adreno 618 GPU clocked at 750MHz. To further improve performance, Xiaomi partnered with ISRO and Qualcomm Technologies to innovate and pioneer navigational tech bringing both NavIC and Qualcomm Snapdragon together. NavIC is ISRO’s indigenous navigation system, which allows lesser Time To Fix (TTF) and better accuracy across India and 1500km around the Indian subcontinent.

The phone features the first of it’s series category to be decked out with a Z-axis linear vibration motor. The Z-axis linear motor enables flagship-like haptic experience, giving users an accurate reading of their location when on Google Maps and motion control gameplay.

Battery

Now, begs the question: how long can it last? The Redmi Note 9 Pro Max can take a beating for more than just a day with it’s 5020mAh battery while maintaining a slim profile.

Redmi Note 9 Pro

The Redmi Note 9 Pro, of course like the Redmi Note 9 Pro Max, gets decked out with latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G. And, like the Redmi Note 9 Pro Max, it also brings support for NavIC.

The Redmi Note 9 Pro also has a quad rear camera set-up composed of: a 48MP Samsung ISOCELL Bright GM2 camera, an 8MP ultra-wide angle camera, a 5MP macro lens, and a 2MP depth sensor. For selfie lovers, the phone has a 16MP front camera.

As for the battery, the phone has a 5020mAh battery that can take more than a day of non-stop use.

Availability

Redmi Note 9 Pro Max will be available in three color variants: Interstellar Black, Aurora Blue and Glacier White in INR 14,999 (US$ 202) to INR 16,999 (US$ 229) — depending on storage. It will be available on mi.com, Amazon India, Mi Homes, and Mi Studios starting 25th March.

Redmi Note 9 Pro will be available in three color variants: Interstellar Black, Aurora Blue and Glacier White for INR 12,999 (US$ 175) to INR 15,999 (US$ 215) on mi.com, Amazon India, Mi Homes and Mi Studios starting 17th March.

Both the devices will be available across all offline partner stores soon.

Apps

Google launches virtual visiting profile called People Cards

Time to google yourself!

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Have you ever googled yourself? If not, this new feature on Google search will surely prompt you to give it a shot. The search engine wants to make it easier to find new people and has unveiled a new feature in India called People Cards.

People Cards act like your virtual visiting card. If someone’s looking for you on Google, they’ll usually come across a few social media profile links or any other online content you’re associated with. Thanks to the new card, you can directly control how much information you want to keep up front.

The feature is limited to the mobile app for now. To set up your own card, all you need is an active mobile number and a Google account. It’s also limited to India for the time being and only supports English.

To create your own card, just:

  • Open the Google app on your phone.
  • Search for “add me to Search.”
  • You’ll immediately see a prompt to set up your card and after mobile number authentication, you’re all set.

You can enter brief details about yourself, add a bio, link social media profiles, and even make it easier to connect with you by publishing your email, website, or mobile number.

While the feature makes discovering people easy, it also opens a floodgate of privacy concerns. Spammers can easily collect information from the partially open system. We advise our readers to proceed with caution and ensure they’re not divulging any personal details.

Individuals who have already created their cards can opt-out of the experience anytime. In the case of people who share the same name, Google Search will show multiple modules.

The search giant says it has a number of mechanisms to fight spam and abuse. Only one card can be created by an account and you can flag a card in case of false information or an imposter.

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India

Mi TV Stick turns any TV into a smart TV

Why get a new TV when you can transform the old one

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Today Xiaomi launched the Mi TV Stick in India. It’s a simple HDMI thumb drive that can turn any TV into a smart TV. The brand had announced it globally in July, along with the Mi Electric Scooter Pro 2, the Mi Smart Band 5. However, India is yet to see get the latter.

Coming back to the Mi TV Stick, it runs on Android TV 9. With an onboard processor, the stick can turn any HDMI-enabled TV into a smart TV. The plug and play factor can be attractive for frequent travelers who can seamlessly connect to their “television” on the go in any hotel room.

Although, the Mi TV Stick is built for a different audience. According to a February 2020 report by Cisco, TV would be the second biggest medium to connect to the internet by 2023. For a developing country like India, the low-cost factor plays a crucial role.

It sports a quad-core Cortex-A53 CPU and an ARM Mali-450 GPU, along with 1GB RAM and 8GB storage. It’s powered by a micro-USB port and connects to the TV via an HDMI port.

It can stream up to Full HD at 60fps. The Mi TV Stick comes with support for apps like Netflix, YouTube, Prime Video, Disney+ Hotstar, and more. The apps can be downloaded via Google Play Store. It also comes with a Bluetooth remote, which does not need to be pointed towards the device to operate.

The Mi TV Stick is priced at INR 2,999 (US$ 40) and will be available via Flipkart, Mi.com, and Mi Stores from August 7. However, if you want to stream content 4K resolution, you can get the Mi TV Box 4K priced at INR 3,999 (US$ 53). Xiaomi’s offering will go up against Amazon’s Fire Stick, which is priced at INR 3,999.

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India

Redmi 9 Prime launches with quad-cameras and Helio G80

Realme should be worried

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After a brief sabbatical, Xiaomi is back with its blitzkrieg strategy. The company has gradually announced the Redmi 9 series in India, covering every possible price segment. Going after the affordable segment, it has now launched the Redmi 9 Prime and it’ll go up against the Realme 5i and Narzo 10A.

At first glance, the design of the phone looks identical to the POCO X2. However, it has substantial changes including a water-drop notch, rounded edges, and a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner. The back has a gradient color with a ripple texture that adds to the premium feel.

On the front is a 6.5-inch Full HD+ display with Gorilla Glass 3 protection and TÜV Rheinland low blue light certification. Powering the phone is a MediaTek Helio G80 processor with 4GB RAM. Storage is expandable via a microSD card.

The rear sports a quad-camera setup consisting of a 13-megapixel primary sensor, an 8-megapixel wide-angle lens, a 5-megapixel macro sensor, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. For selfies, an 8-megapixel camera is located on the front.

Backing these internals is a 5020mAh battery that supports 18W fast charging. Although, the in-box charger is rated for 10W only. In line with all other Redmi phones, it ships with MIUI 11 out-of-the-box and supports face unlock.

The Redmi 9 Prime has two configurations available. The 4GB+64GB option costs INR 9,999 and the 4GB+128GB variant costs INR 11,999. The phone shall be available from August 17 via Amazon, Mi.com, Mi Stores, and other offline partners. Color options include Space Blue, Mint Green, Matte Black, and Sunrise Flare.

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