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Xiaomi Launches the 12S Series of Smartphones Co-Engineered with LEICA in Mainland China

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Xiaomi has launched its 12S Series of smartphones in mainland China. Aiming to redefine what’s possible with mobile photography, the range-topping Ultra model features a new 1-inch Sony sensor and imaging systems co-engineered with Leica.

The star of this particular show is the 12S Ultra’s rear triple-camera array. Its 48-megapixel ultra-wide module uses a Sony IMX586 image sensor that’s paired with an 8P Leica Summicron 13-120mm F2.2 aspherical lens which is designed to reduce flaring, ghosting, and chromatic aberrations. Other notable features include dual-PD autofocus and support for macro shooting.

The 50.3-MP wide-angle camera is even more impressive, with Xiaomi boasting that it “sets a new precedent in smartphone cameras, approaching traditional cameras in terms of hardware specifications.” The module employs Sony’s new 1-inch IMX989 sensor with a quad-Bayer pixel array and 23-mm F1.9 optics with a multi-layer ultra-low-reflectance coating. Optical image stabilization and octa-PD phase AF are also on offer.

And the trio’s final member is a 48-MP telephoto that uses the same sensor as the ultra-wide but works with a 120-mm F4.1 periscope lens. Optical and electronic image stabilization is cooked in here, along with a bunch of Leica filters for authentic or vibrant photographic styles, to help mobile photographers achieve an authentic Leica feel.

Still images can be recorded in 10-bit RAW format for easier post-production tweaking, with Xiaomi noting that “when using Adobe Lightroom to open photos shot on Xiaomi 12S Series, Adobe Camera RAW software will automatically optimize photos based on metadata, providing professional photographers with a good starting point for post-production.”

The Ultra is also the “first Android device to support Dolby Vision HDR video recording and playback” for the promise of vivid colors, excellent contrast, and rich details. Users can tap into 7,680 x 4,320 video recording at 24 frames per second, 4K at up to 60 fps, or Full HD at 480 fps for slow-motion capture – though dropping the video resolution down to 720p puts super slow-mo speeds of 3,840 fps at their disposal.

Moving around the front, there’s a 32-MP selfie cam punching through the 6.73-inch Samsung E5 AMOLED display with Dolby Vision TrueColor. That 3,200 x 1,440-resolution, 522-ppi screen features 10-bit native color and support for the DCI-P3 color gamut too, has an adaptive refresh rate of 120 Hz, and can manage 1,500 nits of peak brightness.

The handset runs Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8+ Gen1 mobile chipset, which is said to have a core area that’s 21 percent smaller than the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, and promises improved processing and graphics performance while also proving more energy efficient. System support comes with up to 12 GB of LPDDR5 RAM and 512 GB of UFS 3.1 storage, while a brand new liquid cooling system helps keep the smartphone running smoothly during heavy usage loads.

Wlsewhere, there’s dual 5G, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2 with support for high-resolution streaming via the LDAC codec (aptX Adaptive is also included), and a 4,860-mAh battery with 50-W wireless charging or 67-W cabled charging, plus the phone can juice up other devices over 10-W reverse wireless charging. It’s also reckoned to be the first flagship to sport two surge chips from improved battery management.

The 12S Ultra is IP68-rated for dust- and water resistance, rocks Dolby Atmos speakers, and runs Xiaomi’s MIUI 13 operating system, which is based on Android 12. It launches initially in mainland China in two color options for a starting price of RMB 5,999 (about $895). The other two models that complete the new 12S Series are the standard 12S which starts at RMB 3,999 and the 12S Pro, which has a starting price of RMB 4,699. The global rollout schedule has yet to be revealed.

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Apple Detects Spyware Targeting iPhones in Multiple Countries

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Apple has issued a second spyware attack warning to iPhone users in 98 countries, raising concerns about the growing threat to mobile security. This follows a similar alert in April targeting users in 92 countries.

While specific details about the latest attacks remain under wraps, the alert serves as a stark reminder of the evolving threat landscape. India is one confirmed country where users received the notification.

Spyware, a particularly invasive type of malware, can grant attackers complete access to an iPhone, including encrypted messages, audio, and video. The notorious Pegasus spyware from NSO Group is a well-known example.

“Apple detected that you are being targeted by a mercenary spyware attack that is trying to remotely compromise the iPhone associated with your Apple ID -xxx-,” Apple wrote in its new spyware alert.

Adding to the concern, researchers recently revealed the return of LightSpy, a “particularly dangerous” campaign capable of pinpointing a target’s location with “near-perfect accuracy.”

The worrying aspect of these attacks is their ability to exploit “zero-click” vulnerabilities, meaning infection can occur without any user interaction, such as opening a malicious link or attachment.

This highlights the importance of remaining vigilant and following Apple’s security recommendations, which may include updating your device to the latest iOS version.

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Acer Launches Chromebox Mini

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As the digital landscape evolves, businesses are increasingly seeking ways to engage with audiences. Digital signage and interactive kiosks are at the forefront of this trend, with the market expected to reach $30.56 billion by 2028. Acer addresses this demand with mini-PCs designed for digital signage and kiosks. Their Chromebox Mini CXM1 is a secure and reliable mini-PC that can drive up to three displays simultaneously. It’s compact, silent, and features the latest connectivity options like Wi-Fi 6E and Gigabit Ethernet.

Powered by ChromeOS, the Chromebox Mini CXM1 offers fast deployment, automatic updates, and long-term support. Additionally, the cloud-based Google Admin console allows for remote management and customization. The Chromebox Mini CXM1 complements Acer’s existing line-up of digital signage solutions, including Large Format Displays (LFDs). Acer offers LFDs in various configurations, from high-resolution 4K displays to interactive whiteboards. These LFDs seamlessly integrate with the Chromebox Mini CXM1 using a VESA mounting kit.

Acer’s large format displays are designed for consistent performance and stunning clarity. They cater to various needs, including promotional signage, education, and corporate collaboration. With robust management tools and automated security, Acer displays require minimal maintenance, allowing businesses to focus on creating engaging content. Acer’s Chromebox Mini CXM1 and LFDs provide businesses with a comprehensive suite of tools for impactful advertising, information sharing, and customer interaction.

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Creator Tools

Sony Unveils Next-Gen ZV-E10 II Vlogging Camera with New Lens Kit

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Sony Middle East and Africa has launched the ZV-E10 II, the successor to their popular ZV-E10 vlogging camera. The new model builds on the strengths of the original while adding improved performance and features for content creators. The ZV-E10 II boasts a new 26-megapixel sensor and the latest BIONZ XR image processing engine for better image quality. Autofocus and video capturing have also been enhanced, with features like a new vertical format user interface and improved battery life.

The camera offers two key functions for creating professional-looking content: Creative Looks and Cinematic Vlog Setting. Creative Looks provides a variety of presets for different looks, while Cinematic Vlog Setting automatically adjusts settings for a cinematic feel.

Key Highlights:

  1. Upgraded 26MP Exmor R CMOS sensor and BIONZ XR processor
  2. Improved autofocus and video capturing
  3. Cinematic Vlog Setting for Automatic Video Optimization
  4. Vertical shooting mode with a rotating user interface
  5. Upgraded battery for extended recording time
  6. Compact and lightweight design

The ZV-E10 II camera body will be available in selected countries from July 2024. Sony also announced the E PZ 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OSS II lens, a compact zoom lens ideal for the ZV-E10 II. This lens is lightweight, offers good image quality, and features built-in image stabilization. The E PZ 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OSS II will be available in black in selected countries from July 2024.

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