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MIUI 12 Launch by Xiaomi at 5:30PM Today: Key Features and How to Watch Live

MIUI 12 Launch by Xiaomi at 5:30PM Today: Key Features and How to Watch Live

Xiaomi has already tested MIUI 12 among testers in India, and it remains to be seen if the custom Android interface features any India specific touches.

  • News18.com
  • Last Updated: May 19, 2020, 10:55 AM IST

Xiaomi MIUI 12 is set to be launched officially today, after making its first official appearance last month. Having been under pilot testing for some time, MIUI 12 is now ready for prime time action among the legions of Xiaomi users in India. The latest version of Xiaomi’s custom Android interface comes with a number of improvements, as well as new features to aid difficulties in usage. The live action from Xiaomi’s official unveiling of the global MIUI 12 ROM can be caught online later today, and here’s everything you need to know about it.

Live stream

The Xiaomi MIUI 12 global ROM launch will be held via an online live stream later today, at 8PM Beijing Time. Indian users can catch the launch live by accessing the YouTube live stream on Xiaomi’s official channel. In India, the live stream will begin at 5:30PM IST. The live stream of the MIUI 12 unveil will also take place on Xiaomi’s official social media handles, and interested parties can catch it live on the company’s Facebook and Twitter accounts as well.

Expected new features

Among the highlights of MIUI 12 are three main features — Dark Mode 2.0, AI calling and live transcript, and a security feature called ‘barbed wire’. With Dark Mode 2.0, Xiaomi is introducing an always-on display for its phones for possibly the first time, bringing it up to speed with various implementations of always-on displays by the likes of OnePlus, Samsung and others. It will be interesting to see how Xiaomi’s take on the always-on display differs from its competitors.

The second major new feature are enhanced privacy features, where reports suggest that Xiaomi is taking a randomised virtual ID approach towards installed apps. This will seemingly protect users from directly sharing their email addresses. Simultaneously, MIUI 12 will reportedly maintain logs of app data requests and data accesses on phones, in a bid to reinstate user faith in the company’s data privacy practices. This will be particularly important to observe, since Xiaomi has recently faced considerable backlash over roguish data collection practices through its browser apps.

The other security feature is called ‘barbed wire’, and is Xiaomi’s implementation of the limited app permission access feature on Android. This will allow users to let an app access a particular permission for only a limited period of time, therefore limiting which app can misuse user data.

Other features aboard MIUI 12 will include a new AI calling feature, which will live transcribe incoming calls and offer preset responses as answers. The feature may prove to be particularly important for users with hearing disabilities. The full list of features, including any India-specific new features (if any), will be revealed in a few hours. To view it live, tune in to the live stream above.




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Redmi Note 9 Pro Max First Sale in India: Price, Specifications and More

Xiaomi is finally going to host the first sale of the Redmi Note 9 Pro Max. Launched alongside the regular Note 9 Pro in March, the Max variant was delayed due to the coronavirus lockdown. The handset is very similar in terms of design and features when compared to the Note 9 Pro with minor differences.

The first sale will be happening today at 12PM and customers can purchase the handset from Mi.com and Amazon India. Of course, as per government directives, the delivery of non-essential items is restricted to Orange and Green zones.

SPECIFICATIONS AND PRICE

The handset comes with a 6.67-inch LCD display with a punch-hole placed on top center and a quad-camera setup in a square module. Like the previous Redmi Note 8 series, it has Gorilla Glass on the front and back, but this time the cameras are also protected with the same. Other notable design features include a side-mounted fingerprint scanner similar to the Poco X2 and the Realme 6 series.

The device is powered by the 8nm-based Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G which should be more efficient and slightly more powerful than the 730G. The smartphone will be offered in a total of three variants including 6GB RAM with either 64GB or 128GB of storage and an 8GB RAM option with 128GB internal storage. There is also a dedicated microSD card slot to expand the storage further.

The square camera module is placed at the center and is raised from the main body. It includes a 64-megapixel main sensor next to an 8-megapixel ultrawide camera. There is also a 5-megapixel macro camera and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. At the front, there is a 32-megapixel selfie camera placed in the punch hole. According to the company, the camera is capable of shooting RAW photography and some nifty tricks in pro mode while shooting video.

The battery unit is rated at 5,020mAh which is said to be the biggest on a Redmi Note device. It supports 33W fast charging (provided in the box) as well. Rest of the features include support for 4G VoLTE, NaVIC GPS, dual-SIM card slots, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, side-mounted fingerprint scanner, P2i coating, USB Type-C and a 3.5mm headphone jack. The handset will come with Android 10 with MIUI 11. There are three colour options to choose from including Aurora Blue, Glacier White, and Interstellar Black.

As for the Redmi Note 9 Pro Max pricing, the 6GB + 64GB variant is priced at Rs.16,499, the 6GB + 128GB variant is priced at Rs 17,999 while 8GB + 128GB variant is priced at Rs. 19,999. The pricing is different from what we saw during the launch due to revised GST rates in the country.



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Xiaomi Mi 10 5G vs OnePlus 8: Chinese Mid-Range Flagship Brawl

Xiaomi re-introduced its high-end Mi branded smartphone range in India by announcing the Mi 10 yesterday through an online launch event. The new Mi 10 comes with high-end specifications that one would expect from a flagship smartphone, however it is also the most expensive smartphone the company has launched in India.

This also puts the handset in direct competition with the reigning champion, OnePlus. So it made sense for us to compare Xiaomi’s new offering with the latest and hottest from OnePlus.

Xiaomi Mi 10

The new Mi 10 5G is powered by the latest Snapdragon 865 chipset and supports 5G connectivity. It comes with a 6.67-inch 1080p AMOLED display with a refresh rate of 90Hz and 180Hz touch response rate. The company says it offers a peak brightness of 1,120 nits and offers 5,000,000:1 contrast ratio. It will be offered in two variants in India, 8GB RAM + 128GB storage and 8GB RAM + 256GB storage. Xiaomi is making use of LPDDR5 RAM and UFS 3.0 storage standard.

In terms of camera, the Mi 10 houses a 108-megapixel camera with a 1/1.33-inch sensor along with OIS (Optical Image Stabilisation), the second camera is a 13-megapixel ultra-wide camera with 123-degree FOV. The other cameras include a 2-megapixel macro sensor and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. The front camera of the device is 20-megapixels and is placed in the punch-hole cutout.

The battery is rated at 4,780mAh along with support for 30W fast wired and wireless charging. There is also support for 10W reverse charging that is Qi-compatible. The brand has further included Wi-Fi 6 to make for overall faster download and upload speeds via Wi-Fi networks. It runs on the latest MIUI 11 based on Android 10. Both variants will be available in Coral Green and Twilight Grey colour options.

The Mi 10 5G is priced at Rs 49,999 for the base variant going up to Rs 54,999. According to the company, the pricing is a combination of the China price and 18-percent GST.

OnePlus 8

The OnePlus 8 comes with the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor. OnePlus is offering a high-end 12GB RAM this time apart from the 8GB RAM version. Notably, this will be the LPDDR4X memory unlike the LPDDR5 RAM being offered on the Pro variant, which doesn’t necessarily make it slow by any means. Storage options include 128GB and 256GB UFS 3.0 dual-lane.

The display has curved edges like the Mi 10. It is a 6.55-inch Fluid AMOLED panel with 90Hz refresh rate and a FullHD+ resolution of 2400×1080 pixels. It also supports HDR10+ and is said to be ‘meticulously tuned’ color accuracy rating of JNCD around 0.4. (JNCD means “Just Noticeable Color Difference” which is an indicator for measuring color accuracy used by companies including DisplayMate). Considering the OnePlus 7T offered peak display brightness of 1000nits, we are expecting similar performance from this display.

The OnePlus 8 also offers a 4,300mAh battery. According to the company, the large battery provides 13% more battery capacity compared to its predecessor. Of course, there is Warp Charge 30T which is claimed to charge from 1% to 50% in 22 minutes. There is sadly no wireless charging on this, which is an advantage for the Mi 10.

In the camera department, there is a triple camera setup at the back highlighted by the 48-megapixel Sony IMX586 sensor similar to what the company used last year. Rest of the cameras include a 16-megapixel sensor with an ultrawide lens, and a 2-megapixel macro camera. This means that there is no telephoto camera on the new OnePlus 8. The front camera is a 16-megapixel sensor with a fixed focus.

Other important features including an in-display fingerprint scanner, face unlock, stereo speakers, Dolby Atmos support, USB-C 3.1, NFC and so on. The handset will be offered in three colours- Onyx Black, Interstellar, Glow, and Glacial Green.

The OnePlus 8 is available in a 6GB RAM and 128GB base variant priced at Rs 41,999. There are also 8GB RAM + 128GB storage (Rs 44,999) and 12GB RAM + 256GB storage (Rs 49,999) variants.

Which One Should You Buy?

Yes, the Mi 10 is more expensive, but for the extra money, you get 30W wireless charging, a higher resolution and possibly better camera, bigger battery, as well as faster RAM standards. On the other hand, the OnePlus 8 offers a more refined software experience with Oxygen OS, which is quite crucial. While we haven’t got the chance to test either of them, it is a tough answer. But on paper, the Mi 10 does take the win.

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Xiaomi Mi 10 to Launch Today in India: How to Watch Live Stream

Xiaomi is finally bringing the Mi 10 to India today through an online event. The Mi 10 series, that launched in China back in February, will be launched after a previous event was cancelled due to the Coronavirus outbreak. By the looks of it, the company is planning to bring the Mi 10 and not the Pro variant to India, which sort of makes sense. The company is also expected to launch the Mi True Wireless Earphones 2 as well as the Mi TV Box alongside the flagship smartphone.

The launch event is scheduled to begin at 12PM IST and will be live-streamed on Xiaomi India’s official YouTube channel. You can also tune in by watching the live stream embedded here:

Mi 10 Specifications and Expected Price

The smartphone is pretty similar to the Mi 10 Pro, with a few differences. It is powered by the new Snapdragon 865 chipset and supports 5G connectivity. It comes with a 6.67-inch 1080p AMOLED display the refresh rate of 90Hz. The company says it offers a peak brightness of 1,120 nits and offers 5,000,000:1 contrast ratio. Xiaomi launched the phone with up to 12GB of LPDDR5 RAM and 256GB of UFS 3.0 storage.

In terms of camera, the Mi 10 houses a 108-megapixel camera with a 1/1.33-inch sensor along with OIS (Optical Image Stabilisation), the second camera is a 13-megapixel ultra-wide camera with 123-degree FOV. The other cameras include a 2-megapixel macro sensor and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. The front camera of the device is 20-megapixels and is placed in the punch-hole cutout.

The battery is rated at 4,780mAh along with support for 30W fast wired and wireless charging. The brand has further included Wi-Fi 6 to make for overall faster download and upload speeds via Wi-Fi networks. It runs on the latest MIUI 11 based on Android 10.

The Mi 10 was launched in three variants in China including an 8GB RAM and 128GB storage variant for CNY 3999 (Rs 41,000 approx), an 8GB RAM and 256GB storage variant priced at CNY 4299 (Rs 44,000 approx) and the top-end variant with 12GB RAM and 256GB storage priced at CNY 4699 (Rs 48,000 approx). Pricing is going to be crucial for Xiaomi as it will be competing with the likes of OnePlus, iQoo and Realme.

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Xiaomi Wants to Turn Every TV Smart With the Mi Box 4K

Xiaomi offers a wide range of models under its Mi TV range, but according to statistics there is still a large number of non-smart TV users in the country. To address that, the company has launched a new Android TV box. The new Mi Box 4K is a tiny device that can convert your regular TV into a smart TV. It can hook onto your TV using HDMI and comes preloaded with all of the popular video streaming apps including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ Hotstar and so on.

The box is powered by a quad-core Amlogic processor, and there is 2GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage. It supports 4K streaming as well as HDR10 format which means you can enjoy high-quality content from supported apps including Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. Other than that, there is support for Dolby audio as well. Of course, this is an Android TV box so it comes with Google’s latest platform based on Android 9.0 as well as some nifty features like a data saver mode.

Sadly the ports are limited as you get a single HDMI and a USB 2.0, which would let you attach USB drives, but at slower speeds. There is also an audio out port and support for Bluetooth 4.2. The device also offers a wide support for video and audio file formats so you can use it as a local media player as well. There is also Chromecast Ultra built-in so you can cast 4K content on it from any supported device.

It is however one of the most affordable ones on the market with pricing starting at Rs 4,999. Xiaomi will be selling it for Rs 3,499 for a limited period. As a comparison, the Amazon Fire TV stick is priced at Rs 3,999 for the HD version and Rs 5,999 for the 4K version. The first sale of the new Mi Box 4K is scheduled for May 10 at 12PM. It will be available via Flipkart and all Xiaomi stores including Mi stores.

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Mi 10 5G Launched in India at Rs 49,999: Specifications, Variants, Availability and More

Xiaomi has launched its new premium smartphone, the Mi 10 5G, in India. The handset marks the return of the company’s flagship range to the country after it launched the Mi 5 back in 2016. The handset was launched via an online event alongside two more products, the Mi True Wireless Earphones 2 and the Mi Box 4K.

Specifications

The new Mi 10 5G is powered by the latest Snapdragon 865 chipset and supports 5G connectivity. It comes with a 6.67-inch 1080p AMOLED display with a refresh rate of 90Hz and 180Hz touch response rate. The company says it offers a peak brightness of 1,120 nits and offers 5,000,000:1 contrast ratio. It will be offered in two variants in India, 8GB RAM + 128GB storage and 8GB RAM + 256GB storage. Xiaomi is making use of LPDDR5 RAM and UFS 3.0 storage standard.

In terms of camera, the Mi 10 houses a 108-megapixel camera with a 1/1.33-inch sensor along with OIS (Optical Image Stabilisation), the second camera is a 13-megapixel ultra-wide camera with 123-degree FOV. The other cameras include a 2-megapixel macro sensor and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. The front camera of the device is 20-megapixels and is placed in the punch-hole cutout.

The battery is rated at 4,780mAh along with support for 30W fast wired and wireless charging. There is also support for 10W reverse charging that is Qi-compatible. The brand has further included Wi-Fi 6 to make for overall faster download and upload speeds via Wi-Fi networks. It runs on the latest MIUI 11 based on Android 10. Both variants will be available in Coral Green and Twilight Grey colour options.

Additionally, the company has also launched the Mi 30W Wireless Charger based on Qi standard. The charger will be an add-on accessory for the Mi 10 and comes with a built-in cooling fan. It is priced at Rs 2,299 and is available at a special pre-order price of Rs 1,999. Expect it to compete against the recently launched OnePlus Warp Charge 30 Wireless Charger.

Price and Offers

The Mi 10 5G is priced at Rs 49,999 for the base variant going up to Rs 54,999. According to the company, the pricing is a combination of the China price and 18-percent GST. Pre-orders start at 2PM today (May 8) on Amazon India and Mi.com. It will be available via Mi partner stores as well, however, the company hasn’t shared the official availability date of the handset.

Xiaomi is offering a cashback of up to Rs 3,000 if you buy the phone using HDFC Bank cards. Customers pre-ordering the Mi 10 5G will also get a Mi Wireless Power Bank worth Rs. 2,499. There will also be no-cost EMI options for purchasing the phone online and offline.

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Xiaomi True Wireless Earphones 2 Launching in India on May 8

After confirming the India launch date of its flagship smartphone, the Mi 10, Xiaomi has another surprise for its fans. Managing Director Manu Kumar Jain has announced that the company will be bringing its first true wireless earphones to the country on the same day as the Mi 10.

Jain confirmed the information on Twitter and also said that there have been thousands of comments from fans asking about this product category. Xiaomi currently doesn’t offer any true wireless earphones in India, despite having four models selling in China. The small teaser video shared with the tweet suggests that we could see the Mi True Wireless Earphones 2 make their way to the country. These already sell in China and some parts of Europe.

The decision to finally bring true wireless earphones to India could be because Realme has done exceptionally well with its Buds Air earphones. They were also recently said to be the second best selling true wireless earphones in the country in 2019 right after the Apple AirPods.

The Mi True Wireless Earphones 2 look similar to the Apple AirPods with a slightly thicker stem. They even offer similar pairing animations when you connect them to your Xiaomi phone. These come with a magnetic charging case having a USB Type-C port and a button to check the status of the battery. Speaking of which, battery life is said to last 4 hours while the case adds up to 14 hours of total battery life. Other features include touch gestures to control music as well as the ability to trigger the digital assistant (hopefully Google Assistant) will be supported.

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Xiaomi Mi 10 to Finally Launch in India on May 8: Everything You Need to Know

Xiaomi had launched the Mi 10 and Mi 10 Pro flagship smartphones in China back in February and it seems that the more affordable variant is going to make its way to India.

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Why So Sneaky Xiaomi: Preloaded Apps, Ads, Browser Breaches and More

Xiaomi is in the line of fire. A recent report pointed out a major security flaw where the company’s phones send a large amount of user data to remote servers outsourced by certain Chinese partners. The report said that data collected through preinstalled apps on Xiaomi’s MIUI interface include browsing history, accessed services, app usage behaviour as well as music listening preferences.

Xiaomi India did respond to the allegations in an official statement, saying that the claims are “incorrect and not true.” While the long statement might be enough to reassure consumers’ faith in the brand, the information given out by independent cybersecurity researcher Gabi Cirlig cannot be ignored. Considering I have reviewed a few Xiaomi smartphones in the past, there are certain things that do give the undeniable feeling that the company’s MIUI interface is flawed. And it is a consistent experience which makes me say that. I am absolutely not alleging that Xiaomi is saving user data to some remote servers, but there are certain things that make it pretty evident that some data is being collected. Even if it isn’t, doesn’t help with the privacy sentiment which consumers are now becoming more aware of. Also, there is a lot of clutter and preloaded stuff on the custom Android ROM that is a bit of a nuisance.

ALSO READ

Xiaomi Users, Beware: Your Data is Being Read by Chinese Servers

THE TEST

I did a quick experiment by resetting a Redmi Note 9 Pro and going through the setup procedure in detail. Things look pretty much in order, the phone asks me to sign into my Google account and the regular set of permissions. Things start to get interesting once I get a prompt to log into my Xiaomi account. There is an Additional Settings page asking you to enable certain services. These include Location as well as prompts for User Experience Programme, sending diagnostic data automatically, personalized ads and Glance for Mi.

While the first one is straightforward, the user experience and diagnostic data is essential information sent to Xiaomi so they can analyze it and improve on bugs and issues in future updates. Now, this is something that a lot of manufacturers do and it doesn’t seem suspicious to a large extent.

Then there are personalized ads, for which the company has faced a lot of flak in the past. Xiaomi has given users the option to disable this, however, when you do so, a warning pops up saying that while you won’t get personalized ads, you will still get ads that are irrelevant to your interests and you can seek further information by reading the company’s privacy policy.

Lastly, there is the Glance for Mi which is an information tab sitting on the left-most home screen of the phone. This gathers information to offer personalized content including app shortcuts, news, sports updates, calendar events, as well as suggestions to download apps.

In my opinion, you should switch off the personalized ads toggle during the setup, especially if you don’t want to be spammed with annoying notifications and pop-ups. If you plan to use the Glance with Mi feature, then keep the toggle on, else switch it off as well. As for the company accessing your data for User Experience and diagnostic data shouldn’t be an issue, but if you are privy of your data, you can turn them off and they shouldn’t affect the functioning of the device.

ALSO READ

Xiaomi India Says it is Not Collecting Any More of Your Data Than What You Allowed

The issues don’t stop here. The phone setup then asks whether you want to download additional apps, specifically from Xiaomi’s own app store. This is a problem in itself as a bunch of recommended apps having a size of over 1GB are pre-selected. I highly recommend to deselect all of them or skip this step altogether to avoid your device to load up unnecessary apps. Through this, Xiaomi is technically force-feeding its own app store called ‘GetApps’ to customers. Xiaomi has confirmed that the app store has security certification based on tests carried out by Avast, Tencent, and Kingsoft. Having said that, Xiaomi’s app store still has certain apps that run in the background, display full-screen ads, and even monitor screen unlocking functionality. On top of that, unless you revoke notification access, the app store also throws random suggestions of apps for you to download. It is best to completely block all notification access form the GetApps store.

Despite skipping the optional installation of apps, you will notice that some apps are already installed on the phone. In my case apps like Facebook, Amazon India, Helo, Zili, Opera Browser, and so on. Thankfully you have the option of completely removing these apps.

As for the pre-installed Xiaomi apps, which cannot be completely removed from the device, are yet again a nuisance. Apps like Mi Music and even the Clock app seek permission and ask you to agree to certain privacy policies. Unless you agree to them, you cannot use the app. The Music app, just like the GetApps store, will generate many notifications, hence revoking all notification access is advised.

Last but not the least, the default Xiaomi browser app. I suggest you completely disable this app. Long press on the app icon, and revoke all permissions, notification access, clear data, and uninstall updates. Not only does this browser send you unnecessary notifications, but it also potentially sends user data to Chinese servers, even in Incognito Mode.

THE SOLUTION

In case you own a Xiaomi smartphone, especially any of the Redmi or, a Poco device that runs on the company’s MIUI interface, chances are that you will face a similar experience. It is best to remove or disable the apps that you are less likely to use. Additionally, make sure that you disable notification access from all such apps. There shouldn’t be any issues with the company’s A-series phones as well as the Redmi Go, as they come with stock Android, although the ‘Mint Browser’ is a Xiaomi product.

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Xiaomi Mi Robot Vacuum Mop-P is Here, But You Can Only Get One in September

Xiaomi has launched a new product category in India. The Mi Robot Vacuum Mop-P is the company’s first automatic robot vacuum cleaner featuring a laser navigation system along with sweeping and mopping functions.

The company says that the Mi Robot Vacuum-Mop P features 12 different multi-directional sensors. The Laser Distance Sensor (LDS) helps in scanning a surrounding in 360° with an 8-meter range up to six times per second. It supports two kinds of cleaning modes – Sweeping and Mopping mode and Sweeping only mode. The Sweeping and Mopping mode and the Sweeping Only mode use the 2-in-1 tank and a 550 ml large dust box (included with the product box) respectively. The robot is said to simulate manual cleaning with dual-direction repeated wiping. There’s a 3200mAh lithium battery that offers up to 110 minutes of cleaning.

Other important features include a high-end brushless motor and new air duct design, with a maximum suction capability of 2100Pa. It is also equipped with an anti-collision sensor, an anti-fall sensor coupled with LDS navigation based on SLAM (Simultaneous Localization and Mapping) algorithm so it can navigate accurately, cross obstacles and sense the surrounding environment. The vacuum cleaner has built-in Wi-Fi capability and can connect to the Mi Home app to provide better control options. Users will also get an option to view the virtual map that the vacuum “sees”. Users can also set automated cleaning schedules and even schedule the cleaning of a particular partition at any specific time.

The new Mi Robot Vacuum Mop-P will be selling for Rs 24,999, but it will be initially sold via a crowdfunding campaign for Rs 17,999. This means that you can essentially reserve one for yourself for the lower price. However, the catch here is that shipping only begins post-September 15, which is about 5 months from today.