Xiaomi is out with its latest flagship – the Mi 9. Packing in the company’s very first AI triple camera, 20W wireless charging and the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Mobile Platform, it’s a powerhouse. All this, for around half the price of your typical flagship phone! Intrigued yet? Read on.
Xiaomi’s new Mi 9 borrows few design cues from last year’s Mi 8. The major difference in the design though is the Mi 9’s “all curve” back. While the rear of the Mi 8 sported rounded edges but a flat back, the curve of the Mi 9’s Gorilla Glass 5 rear is continuous on all four sides.
Xiaomi uses a mix of glass and metal for the Mi 9’s body and makes the phone look gorgeous, but at the same time slippery as well. So, you might want to quickly wrap up the Mi 9 in a phone case as you soon as you purchase it. The Mi 9 is also a slim phone, measuring a mere 3.5mm at its thinnest point.
Three color options are available with the Mi 9 – Ocean Blue, Lavender Violet, and my personal favorite – the glossy Piano Black, which was coincidentally also the colour of our review unit. On the left edge, you get the dual SIM slot and a dedicated Google Assistant button. On the right edge, you have the power button and the volume controls.
On the top edge, there is a note cancelling microphone and something we weren’t expecting in the Mi 9 – an IR blaster! This is welcome addition and a very useful feature when you pair it with the Mi Remote app, because you can now control all sorts of devices, from TVs to air-conditioning units with your phone.
The Mi 9 comes with a USB-C port on the bottom edge, along with the speaker grilles placed on either sides of it. No 3.5mm audio jack here – and it doesn’t matter these days, since most phones on the market have stopped including them. And of course you have lots of great options when it comes to wireless earbuds, too.
And now, the part you have been waiting for – the Mi 9’s triple camera setup. Flip the phone around and you come face to face with the triple camera module at the back of the device. The camera module, though, juts out of the phone’s glossy back and I was worried I would end up scratching the cameras, until I found out it is covered by sapphire glass for protection. Phew! That’s a sigh of relief.
The top-most camera of the camera setup features a “halo ring accent” around it. This holographic ring actually shifts colour when you tilt the phone – so you get orange, blue and green ring around the main camera. The Xiaomi Mi 9 comes with a 6.39-inch 19.5:9 AMOLED display, which is very vibrant.
The display offers a 1080-by-2340 resolution and it bright enough when viewed in bright surroundings. Good thing that the display also supports HDR viewing. The display is protected by the Gorilla Glass 6 and it also comes with an in-display fingerprint sensor, which was quite accurate and fast most of the times.
On the front, you also get a 20-megapixel camera, which also doubles as an RGB face unlock solution if you’re comfortable using it. Xiaomi’s Mi 9 also comes with some useful features such as the Reading mode, which shifts the colour temperature to warmer hues and reduces blue light output in evenings or in dark environments for more comfortable viewing.
There is also an Ambient Display (always-on display) feature, which lets you glance at the screen to check the time or to see whether there are any pending notifications. This is super useful, especially when you are in meetings and do not want to miss any important notifications, without disturbing the entire room with notification alerts. And there is also a tiny white notification LED set into the phone’s thin bezel to help with this, too, without being too intrusive.
Under the Hood
The Mi 9, as mentioned before, is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor, which is the latest Qualcomm chip on the market for smartphones right now. This is coupled with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage, which can be expanded further via the dual SIM slot.
The Mi 9 runs Android 9.0 Pie as the operating system, with Xiaomi’s MIUI 10 on top of it. The overall layout and logic behind MIUI 10 make it quite intuitive, even for first time users. While the phone comes with a bit of third-party bloatware, you can easily uninstall them if you would like to.
If you like to personalize your devices to the maximum extent, then the Mi 9 is the device for you. The device allows you to toy around with features such as power on/off schedules, homescreen transition effects, a system-wide dark mode, and Second Space.
One of the features I loved in the device is the Second Space. This is a password-protected subdivision of the user experience. Once you set this up, your can use it to hide away apps, images and other content that you don’t want prying eyes to access without your knowledge.
Performance-wise, the Xiaomi Mi 9 excels in everything you throw at it. In both AnTuTu, 3DMark and Geekbench benchmarks, the Mi 9 aced the tests with flying colours. I did not experience any lags or performance issues, even when playing graphics-intensive games.
Xiaomi packs in a dedicated performance booster that kicks in when the phone detects that you’re playing a game. It frees up memory and processing resources, and ensures that notifications and other distractions don’t get in the way of your gaming session. This is good, if you really want to enjoy a purely fantastic gaming experience.
Camera – Performance
The Mi 9 is Xiaomi’s first attempt at a triple-camera phone and I am glad to report it is one of the best when it comes to photography. The main camera is a 48-megapixel primary sensor, which features a wide f/1.75 aperture. You also get a 12-megapixel (Samsung S5K3M5) telephoto sensor that offers a 2x lossless optical zoom.
The third camera is a 16-megapixel (Sony IMX481) ultra wide-angle sensor – it boasts a 117-degree field of view. Since the Mi 9 comes with laser autofocus, it delivers impressively fast and accurate focusing, significantly reducing the risk of blur in shots. What you end up with are truly amazing shots, even under low-light conditions!
All this is great – but what blew me away is the sheer quality of videos shot using the Mi 9. The videos shot were possibly the best I have seen on any smartphone till date. With the Mi 9, you are able to shoot at up to 4K resolution at 60fps. That explains the phone’s impressive DxO mark scores – the Mi 9 offers brilliant auto focus, contrast adjustment and image stability in videos.
While the Mi 9 comes with a 3300nAh battery, which is slightly smaller than rival flagships on the market, the improved efficiency of the Snapdragon 855 processor will ensure you get more juice per squeeze. On a single charge, I was able to get a little more than a day’s worth of battery life, which is awesome.
The phone comes with an 18W wired charger which recharged the battery from 0% to 55% in about 30 minutes. A full recharge of the phone took about 1 hour and 15 minutes, which is not bad. Mi 9 also supports wireless charging, so you you can use any Qi-compatible charging pad to achieve that. At the launch event of the phone, Xiaomi also said that the Mi 9 supports impressively fast 20W wireless charging. This is made possible by a new fan-cooled charging pad that Xiaomi is selling separately.
At the launch event, Donovan Sung of Xiaomi said that the company strives to make smartphones for fans based on what their fans want. The company has held to this promise for years bringing in flagship products that often match or exceed the performance and quality of rival flagships on the market, but coming in at a lower price point.
This holds true for the Xiaomi Mi 9 – it is combines powerhouse performance, brilliant design and build quality and an outstanding camera to back up the promises, at a price point lower than that of rival flagships on the market. For this very promise and delivery, the Xiaomi Mi 9 walks away with the Gadget Voize Editors’ Choice award.
Price: AED 1849
Bytedance Reveals Full Pico 4 XR Headset Specs
Pico Interactive has revealed in a tweet on Thursday its upcoming Pico 4 headset along with a series of specifications for the head-mounted display (HMD).
Imagination, the only limitation #PICO4
PICO 4 is well-equipped to provide an enhanced #VR experience without compromising comfort.
Let us know which features you love the most!
— PICO XR (@PICOXR) September 22, 2022
The tweet shows the following features along with updates on the company’s website:
- 5300 mAh high-capacity battery
- Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 processor
- Adreno 650 graphics processing unit (GPU) and 8 GB of RAM
- Ultrawide pancake optics with a 105-degree field of view (FoV)
- Colour passthrough mixed reality (MR) visuals
- Motorised Interpupillary Distance adjustments of 62-72 millimetres
- 4K+ Super-Vision Display of 4320 x 2160
- 6 degrees of freedom (DoF) with submillimetre positioning and millimetre tracking accuracy
- High-Fidelity spatial audio
- Hypersense haptic controllers with vibrations from 50Hz to 500Hz
- Weighing at just 586 grammes with its strap included, the standalone device can also tether to gaming PCs for top virtual gaming experiences at 90Hz refresh rates and 1200 pixels per inch (PPI).
Pico’s SLAM infrared optical positioning system also taps the headset’s visual sensors for tracking body positions and movement for added precision. Additional features include a PICO motion tracker with 3DoF positioning for monitoring legs, arms, and other body placements for lifelike motion capturing.
Pico’s PICO OS 5.0 will also integrate TikTok social media posting for communication and updates with online friends in real-time, along with sharing VR video feeds. The software’s Pico Video app will also provide avatar-based VR concerts, 6DoF interactive films, theatre, live interest, and other experiences.
The OS will also include Sports Centre, which leverages the company’s CalSense fitness algorithm for accurate calorie management and workout routines. It will also provide data statistics, workout plans, and social workout connectivity with other users.
The Beijing-based firm will launch for purchase across South Korea, Japan, Spain, France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, and many other European spots, but has not yet pinned a US release date and aims to open sales in Singapore, Malaysia, and China at later dates, according to reports. According to resellers, the device will cost £379 and £449 for the 128 GB and 256 GB models, respectively.
The news comes after Pico teased audiences with fresh announcements on the Pico 4 via TikTok and YouTube, noting that the upcoming headset would likely target consumers and enterprises. Formerly titled Project Phoenix, previous data from US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) filings revealed the standalone device used an Android Q OS and Qualcomm processors, among others.
Pico also released its Neo3 Link headset in late May for £399, with preorders shipping in early June. The headset has been widely seen as a direct competitor to the Meta Quest 2, with the most recent device challenging Meta Platform’s upcoming Meta Quest Pro, or Project Cambria enterprise-level headset.
Video: Kieslect Smart Calling Watch Kr Review
The Kieslect Smart Calling Watch Kr comes packed with a 2-in-1 core calling chip that allows you to make and receive calls from within the smartwatch:
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Kieslect Smart Calling Watch Kr
$70 (AED 260)
The Kieslect Smart Calling Watch Kr monitors and records your heart rate, blood oxygen levels, stress level, and even your sleep patterns. In addition, there are 70 workout modes on the smartwatch which include running, treadmill, walking, skipping, tennis, badminton, basketball, baseball, cricket, and so on.
OPPO Launches the Reno8 Series of Smartphones and IoT Devices
OPPO has launched its latest Reno series flagship, the all-new OPPO Reno8 Series alongside a range of IoT products. The latest series includes three 5G models; the Reno8 Pro 5G, Reno8 5G, and Reno8 Z 5G, each equipped with cutting-edge technology ensuring an all-around flagship experience. In tandem, OPPO also launches three new, state-of-the-art IoT products: the OPPO Pad Air, OPPO Band 2, and the OPPO Enco Buds2.
Ethan Xue, President of OPPO MEA said, “We are excited to announce the launch of our latest Reno8 Series and new line-up of exciting IoT products including the brilliant OPPO Pad Air, our first tablet which aims to create a smarter life and seamless cross-scenario experience for users across the region. At OPPO, we strive to provide our customers with an immaculate user experience, constantly pushing the boundaries of innovation and developing products that make people’s lives easier and more convenient. The Reno8 Series redefines the realms of mobile experience across performance, design, technology, and imaging, and we cannot wait to see how the market responds.”
Designed to be a Portrait Expert in every aspect, the Reno8 Pro 5G is equipped with OPPO’s first self-developed imaging NPU, MariSilicon X, elevating the device to deliver a series of innovative camera features. The Reno8 Pro 5G also features a Streamlined Unibody Design, smooth flagship-level performance, and fantastic all-around experience through ColorOS 12.1. As a Portrait Expert, the Reno8 Pro 5G brings ultra-clear portrait photos and videos to all-new heights with its powerful hardware foundations.
At the core of this unrivalled portrait experience is OPPO’s first self-developed imaging NPU, MariSilicon X, which provides an immense level of dedicated computing power for the Reno8 Pro 5G’s imaging features, all while consuming even less power. Built on cutting-edge 6nm process technology and industry-leading DSA architecture, MariSilicon X is able to deliver an incredible 18 trillion operations per second (18 TOPS) of dedicated image processing power. With this large computing power and high data throughput, MariSilicon X can perform lossless real-time 4K AI processing and up to 20bit HDR fusion in the RAW domain, while achieving up to 8dB signal-to-noise ratio for images. Through its ability to directly process images in the lossless RAW domain, MariSilicon X acts as an unmatched foundation for the Reno8 Pro 5G’s ultimate imaging experience.
The Reno8 Pro 5G’s stellar hardware lineup also includes Dual Sony Flagship Sensors in the form of the new generation IMX709 RGBW front camera sensor and the flagship IMX766 main camera sensor:
- The IMX709 sensor introduces an all-new RGBW pixel array to capture more light without reducing colour information. Together with DOL-HDR technology embedded in the sensor, the IMX709 enables the Reno8 Pro 5G’s front camera to easily capture high-quality selfies in any scenario. The IMX709 also supports AutoFocus on the front camera for the first time, enabling 2x zoom when taking selfies. With a minimum focal distance of 15cm, it’s possible to capture super close-up shots using the Reno8 Pro 5G’s front camera, offering unprecedented detail in selfies.
- On the rear camera, the IMX766 delivers an enhanced portrait experience with its large 1/1.56-inch sensor size and features like All Pixel Omni-Directional PDAF and DOL-HDR.
Powered by MariSilicon X and the Dual Sony Flagship Sensors, the Reno8 Pro 5G provides a flagship-level portrait camera experience. It is also the first time that 4K video shooting has been brought to a smartphone at this price point – with 4K Ultra Night Video, users can capture ultra-clear portrait videos at night, while 4K Ultra HDR Video optimizes portrait videos taken in the presence of strong backlight. Both features can significantly improve image quality and colour expression in pictures, avoiding over-exposure in bright areas while retaining the maximum amount of detail in dark areas. For those who want to add movie-quality effects to their photos and videos, the Reno8 Pro 5G also offers features like Portrait Mode, Hyperlapse, and 960fps AI Slow-motion.
For the first time in the Reno series, the Reno8 Pro 5G features a flagship-level Streamlined Unibody Design, eliminating the standalone camera ‘bump’ commonly seen on other smartphones. The stunning seamless design makes the phone comfortable to hold while preventing dust from getting trapped around the camera area. Also, on the rear of the phone, the Prominent Binocular Camera Module and Ring Flash featured in the camera area highlight the phone’s powerful camera features through their distinct design.
On the front of the device, the Reno8 Pro 5G features a 6.7″ Ultra-Clear AMOLED display with a 93.4% screen-to-body ratio, support for 1 billion colours, and a 120Hz refresh rate for a guaranteed smoother and more comfortable viewing experience with enhanced interaction. The display is also HDR10+, SGS Low Motion Blur, SGS Low Blue Light certified, and HDR certified for Amazon and Netflix. Measuring just 7.34 mm in thickness, and weighing just 183 g, the Reno8 Pro 5G is the thinnest Reno series handset yet and will be available in two new stunning colour finishes – Glazed Green and Glazed Black.
Powering the Reno8 Pro 5G’s smooth performance is the MediaTek Dimensity 8100-MAX integrated 5G SoC. Built on the industry-leading 5nm process, the octa-core SoC delivers more powerful performance with even lower power consumption. The Reno8 Pro 5G comes with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of ROM storage. The handset also introduces the highly efficient LPDDR5 read and write storage management system for the first time on the Reno series.
To help users enjoy its all-around flagship-level performance for longer, the Reno8 Pro 5G delivers a faster, safer, and more reliable experience. Among these, super-fast 80W SUPERVOOC is able to charge the Reno8 Pro 5G’s 4500mAh battery to 50% in only 11 minutes, and a 5-minute charge is enough to provide two hours of mobile gaming. Meanwhile, with the Battery Health Engine’s help, the Reno8 Pro 5G’s battery lifespan can be extended up to 1600 charge/discharge cycles, or roughly four years of average use. Further to this, with the inclusion of OPPO’s 5-Layer Charging Protection, the Reno8 Pro 5G has passed TÜV Rheinland’s Safe Fast-Charge System Certification in recognition of its outstanding overall safety performance.
Additionally, OPPO’s Ultra-Conductive Cooling System applies industry-leading materials to the Reno8 Pro 5G in order to significantly improve heat dissipation performance and ensure that the phone can run smoothly at all times within a comfortable temperature range. Powered by the flagship-level hardware, the Reno8 Pro 5G users can enjoy an all-around smooth experience that has been awarded an A Rating in TÜV SÜD’s 36-Month Fluency test.
For mobile gamers, the Reno8 Pro 5G is also packed full of system-level optimizations tailored to gaming. 90Hz high-refresh mode for PUBG Mobile enables a more immersive gaming experience, while features like Ultra Touch Response and Background Update deliver consistently smooth gameplay.
Tying this all together is ColorOS 12.1 — the gateway to a smarter, smoother, and safer smartphone experience. Features like Air Gestures and Multi-Screen Connect help to dramatically improve productivity, enabling more intelligent and convenient ways of working. Highly imaginative Omoji also gives users more creative ways to personalize their phone and operating system. To ensure user privacy and safety, ColorOS 12.1 comes with features like Anti-peeping for Notifications, Require Password to Power Off, and Recent Tasks Protection, all of which have contributed to the Reno8 Pro 5G being awarded authoritative third-party privacy and security certifications, including ePrivacy, ISO27001, ISO277001 and more.
The Reno8 5G features Dual Sony Flagship Sensors and several AI-enhanced imaging features such as Ultra Night Video and Night Portrait, the Reno8 5G is designed to make you shine in daily life. Alongside its professional camera capabilities, the Reno8 5G features a Streamlined Unibody Design, delivering a more refined texture. By adopting 80W SUPERVOOCTM with Battery Health Engine, the MediaTek Dimensity 1300 SoC, an upgraded Super-Conductive VC Liquid Cooling System, and ColorOS 12.1, the new Reno8 5G provides strong durability, reliable performance, and all-round smooth experience to users.
Powered by several AI-enhanced imaging features such as AI Portrait Retouching and Bokeh Flare Portrait, the new Reno8 Z 5G is designed to offer users unlimited styles for their portraits. Alongside its outstanding camera capabilities, the Reno8 Z 5G features a glass back cover and the Integrated OPPO Glow. By adopting the Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 5G Mobile Platform and optimized ColorOS 12.1, the Reno8 Z 5G offers more reliability and convenience to users.
Launching alongside the Reno8 Series is the OPPO Pad Air, OPPO Enco Buds2, and OPPO Band 2 to cater to users’ entertainment, relaxation, work, and health needs in a truly immersive OPPO experience. With the 6.94mm ultra-slim body and weighing just 440g, the OPPO Pad Air tablet makes it effortless to carry around. Powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 Mobile Platform, OPPO Pad Air sports a 10.36-inch 2K display with quad speakers supporting Dolby Atmos. Meanwhile, OPPO Pad Air comes equipped with the new ColorOS for Pad system. Its more efficient and smoother smart connection functions take the large-screen experience to a higher level.
Featuring surging bass output, 28-hour long-lasting battery, remote camera control, and ultra-clear call audio with built-in noise cancellation, the OPPO Enco Buds2 is one of the most competitive wireless earbuds in the market. Lastly, the OPPO Band 2 offers users an exclusive 1.57-inch large full view screen, and inspiring new looks. In addition to blood oxygen monitoring and sleep cycle analysis, OPPO Band2 also supports snoring risk assessment and includes an exclusive professional tennis mode and various sports modes taking your workout experience to a whole other level.
The Reno8 series and OPPO IoT products are now available to pre-order across OPPO’s regional websites and retail partner stores at a recommended retail price of AED 2,799 for the Reno8 Pro 5G, AED 1,899 for the Reno8 5G, AED 1,499 for the Reno8 Z 5G, AED 899 for the OPPO Pad Air, AED 219 for the OPPO Band 2, and AED 119 for the OPPO Enco Buds2.
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