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.

Accessories

Redmi Earbuds S are the most affordable TWS offering

The price is unbelievable

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In India, Xiaomi’s Redmi division looks after the affordable segment while Mi-branded products are for the premium segment. On the side, POCO is now an independent brand. Continuing with the new strategy, Redmi today announced the launch of their new TWS earbuds, the Redmi Earbuds S.

Just a couple of weeks ago, the Mi True Wireless Earphones 2 were announced in the country but they are far from affordable. To bridge this gap, the Redmi Earbuds S has been unveiled. It’s worth noting that they are the same as the Redmi AirDots S, which were launched in China earlier.

The Earbuds have 7.2mm drivers and are IPX4-rated for water resistance. The individual buds weigh only about 4.5g each. The company’s marketing has focused on how good their bass is, but we’ll be able to confirm that in our review later.

For connectivity, it leverages SBC codec, a commonly used protocol via Bluetooth. However, a low-latency mode has also been added to aide gaming. The earbuds are said to deliver four hours of playback on a single charge and the case can extend this to 12 hours.

The Earbuds S also has a physical button on either side to control media playback or skip tracks. The gaming mode can be triggered by pressing the function key thrice.

The Redmi Earbuds S will cost INR 1,799 (US$ 23) and will go on sale starting May 27 via Mi.com and Amazon.

These earbuds are an entry-level option for someone who’s looking for a pair of TWS earbuds. Instead of rich features, the point of this product is to offer an affordable option to the end-user.

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India

Realme Watch launches with a touchscreen display and HR tracker

High on features, light on the pocket

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This is the first watch from Realme and we’ve been waiting for it for a long time. The company teased its existence multiple times and considering the brand’s reputation, we knew it’ll have a very competitive price. Thankfully, the watch is now official, and here’s everything you need to know.

It comes with a 1.4-inch touchscreen display with a resolution of 320 x 320 pixels, a maximum brightness of 380 nits, and Gorilla Glass 3 protection. Currently, it comes pre-loaded with 12 watch faces and the company has confirmed more than a hundred will be available via an OTA update soon.

The smartwatch offers real-time heart rate monitoring using the built-in PPG sensor and records results every five minutes. Furthermore, it also has a SpO2 monitoring system to track the blood oxygen level.

On the fitness front, it has 14 different sports modes such as Badminton, Cricket, Indoor Run, Outdoor Run, Walk, and Yoga, among others. Health-based features also include sleep monitoring, sedentary reminders, hydration reminder, and meditation relaxing.

Just like all other smartwatches or bands, it can receive notifications from your phone via Bluetooth, control music playback, and unlock the phone via Android’s smart unlock system. Unlike the Apple Watch, you can’t pick-up voice calls but it’ll let you reject the call or mute the notification.

Realme Watch runs on a proprietary OS and can be linked to your phone via the Realme Link app. It supports 20mm removable wrist straps and has an IP68-certified body that can resist dust and water.

The Realme Watch is priced at INR 3,999 (US$ 53) and will be available via Flipkart and Realme.com from June 5. The additional color straps will cost INR 499 (US$ 7) later.

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India

Realme TV is a very affordable option with Android TV and HDR 10

Realme is going after Xiaomi, again!

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Realme is a fairly young brand when compared to established players like Xiaomi, Samsung, and OnePlus. But that isn’t stopping it from making bold moves like taking digs at Xiaomi and aggressively expanding its product lineup.

Today the brand unveiled the Realme TV in India. In comes in two sizes, 32-inch with 1366 x 768 resolution and 42-inch with 1920 x 1080. The brand says the TV has a premium look with a bezel-less design. The smart TV segment is turning out to be a very lucrative segment in developing markets and Xiaomi’s TV lineup currently dominates it.

Coming back to the Realme TV, it has Chroma Boost Picture Engine that optimizes the brightness, color, contrast, and clarity for top-notch viewing experience. The same technology is used in its smartphones as well and can the panel can deliver up to 400 nits of brightness.

It runs on Android TV out-of-the-box, bringing along support for Google Assistant and other bundled apps. Popular media streaming platforms like Netflix, YouTube, Prime Video, and more are also available. In fact, the remote has a dedicated button for YouTube, Netflix, and Prime Video.

Powering it is a MediaTek quad-core processor with in-built support for HDR 10, and 8GB internal storage. For audio, it features four 24W stereo speakers with Dolby audio support. Port options include a couple of USB ports, three HDMI ports, one AV port, and one digital audio port. Wireless connectivity includes Bluetooth 5.0 and WiFi.

The Realme TV 32-inch is priced at INR 12,999 (US$ 170) and the 43-inch model is priced at INR 21,999 (US$ 290). It shall go on sale starting June 2 via Flipkart and Realme.com.

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