In India, Xiaomi’s Redmi and Mi smartphones tend to hog the limelight, but back home in China, the company is known for a wide-range of products, including smart home devices. In India too, Xiaomi has been expanding the presence of the brand, and we now have Mi Home Security camera, Mi LED TVs, Mi Air Purifiers, and other products being sold in the country.
The Mi Home Security Camera 360 is one such device that Xiaomi has introduced in India for a price of Rs 2,699?. The camera is capable of recording footage at up to 1080p or Full HD resolution, has a slot for a microSD card, and is capable of motion detection. The camera can also record video in the dark with the Infrared Night vision. It also has a Talkback feature thanks to 2-way audio.
Mi Home Security Camera 360° review
When it comes to home security cameras, there’s always the question do you need these, and do they really solve a problem? To answer the second part, CCTV cameras, definitely do not deter petty crime. I have seen in my own locality and house how thieves have broken in twice and stolen bicycles, despite there being CCTV cameras in the house and in other homes.
It is also unnerving how sometimes these thieves will just stare straight in the camera and walk off with what they came to steal. All you are left with is footage of the thief, and unless the police takes some action not much is going to happen.
So then are CCTV cameras really needed inside the house? Despite the very obvious lack of deterrence, there are some advantages to having such devices inside a house. They do help home-owners at least keep a track of what is going on, and can alert should someone break in.
With the Mi Home Security Camera 360 the number of features and simplicity of using this is what works in its favour. The Mi Home Security Camera 360° has a continuous footage playing on my phone, whenever the device is online or switched on, which I found very useful.
Once both the camera and your phone are connected via the Mi Home app, you can control it from anywhere, which many urban users will find useful. Other CCTV cameras in the market also offer apps and the ability to see footage, but its not as simple and fluid as the Mi camera.
The Mi Camera’s motion detection feature is useful and accurate. I found myself relying on this when I was alone at home during the night. I had the camera in the drawing room with motion detection and alerts on, which was a good way of keeping an eye on the main entrance in case there was any cause for alarm.
The camera also helps when you are out of the house, as we were traveling for Diwali. I could check-in once in a while to see if anyone else was coming in, other than my help. The camera’s 360-degree motion meant I could move it around from the app, while on holiday and see all that was within the scope of the camera.
Another useful feature in the camera is that when motion detection is on, it will send alerts on the app. A small clip of that instance is sent as a message and you can see it to check if all is okay.
Many users will find the camera is a good one to install in bedrooms, if they are going away for a vacation. It is one of the simplest way of checking in and keep tabs that nobody is breaking in while you are away.
The audio call feature also works accurately on the Mi Security Home camera. For those with pets alone at home, you can perhaps try calling them. However, it’s not something I am too keen on trying. Pets, especially dogs can get disconcerted when a camera suddenly starts shouting their name, and might get more confused and upset.
Mi Security Camera can be fitted to a wall as well or users can just keep it on their table or wherever else they find convenient. What I liked is that with the Mi camera, nobody requires a fancy setup to access footage. Plus, you can always switch off the camera when you are back home for more privacy.
I had some issues with the camera as well. The first one with Mi Security camera was setting it up, when it would not connect to the WiFi. I was told connecting to the Asia server would fix the problem, which it did. Another issue that I faced was with the motion detection.
When I first set up the camera, it did not detect the motion, even though I walked by two or three times within range of the camera. I did not get alerts from the app capturing this movement, which I thought was odd. But after that first initial hiccup, the camera was regular in sending notifications for motion detection.
Mi Home Security Camera 360° review: Should you get?
If you are someone who stays away from home for long hours or travel far too often, the Mi Home Security Camera 360° can be a useful device in helping you keep tabs on what’s going on at home. Especially, if you have some valuables at home, a camera inside the home can be deterrence as well, though it might not always work.
The Mi Home Security camera does what it claims, and thanks to the simple user interface makes it easy to set up and use, which many customers will appreciate
Xiaomi has been working on improvements for in-display fingerprint scanning
By Nancy Cohen
Fingerprint sensors—modern tools of convenience or awkwardly placed tools that are just plain difficult for instant use?
Aamir Siddiqui in XDA Developers is no stranger to the shortcomings in present-day in-display fingerprint scanners. He thinks they have “a long way to go before they can completely and perfectly replace the conventional fingerprint scanners,” but he foresees change.
“In-display fingerprint scanners are fast gaining popularity, and we are surely going to see a lot more of them in 2019. While the current generation in-display scanners may not be quicker or even more reliable than the conventional fingerprint scanners, future generations of this tech will continue to improve on these areas to provide a better experience.”
Better news does seem to be in the wings; The Verge’s Sam Byford, who covers Asia happenings, reported on in-display fingerprint sensors being worked on by Xiaomi.
The news revolves around a new type of in-display fingerprint scanner technology which has been confirmed by Xiaomi President and co-founder, Lin Bin. GSMArena similarly described a “next gen under display fingerprint scanner.”
The new sensor will solve one big issue, and that is being unable to unlock the phone without having to look at the screen. User to fingerprint sensor: Hey, you’re reading one tiny tiny area of my screen. Just.
“This means you have to be very specific about where you tap your finger, and makes it almost impossible to unlock your phone without looking at the display,” wrote Hadlee Simons in Android Authority.
Byford reported on a video demonstrating a prototype phone with a new fingerprint sensor that has an active area of 25 x 50mm. Translation: users could unlock it more easily by tapping, Byford said, “within a much larger region than the thumbprint-sized scanners found on several phones released last year.”
Siddiqui similarly noted that “Xiaomi claims that you can unlock the phone without looking at the screen now, which shows off their confidence in the larger recognition area.”
Bam-boom. “You can set up your finger with only one tap and then unlock the locked screen with pressing pretty much everywhere,” said GSMArena. Since the active authentication area is 25mm x 50.2mm, said Simons in Android Authority, “it’s an exponentially bigger area than that found on commercially available in-display fingerprint sensors right now.”
GSMArena added, “According to Lin Bin, the unlocking area is 50 mm by 25 mm, which is more than five times the UD area now and over 15 times the standard scanner on the back, used by Xiaomi.”
On Friday, Ajaay Srinivasan, The Mobile Indian provided some background: “The news comes from a video posted on Bin’s Weibo account which revealed the latest implementation of the advanced in-display fingerprint scanning technology. The video reveals a Xiaomi prototype device feature a new fingerprint unlock sensor which spans for an area that measures at 50 x 25 mm.”
Dates? Byford said Xiamoi president Lin Bin did not mention when such a device would become a shipping product.
GSMArena noted what Bin had to say moving forward. If it has a “great reception among fans, the company will consider placing the scanner in future devices.”
If you have ever fumbled around trying to access your fingerprint scanner, you will appreciate this video, posted on January 15, showing Xiaomi’s improved access design where unlocking does not mean you are required to look at the screen.
Beyond the obvious advantage of being able to access the scanner more easily on the screen, there is another plus that was noticed by Sahil Kapoor in iGyaan: “Notably, the fingerprint sensor appears to be very fast and accurate.”
Xiaomi Mijia Laser Projector 4K With 150-Inch Virtual Screen Launched in China
Although ordinary projectors are still a popular option, laser projectors have been gaining prominence in the last couple of years. These projectors are designed differently, allowing for a shorter throw area and the ability to project even in a well-lit room. The latest laser projector to make the news comes from Chinese electronics company Xiaomi through its Mijia brand. The company has launched the Xiaomi Mijia Laser Projector 4K in China, priced at CNY 9,999 (approximately Rs. 1,05,000). As the name suggests, the projector sports a 4K resolution on its virtual 150-inch screen projection.
The new Xiaomi Mijia Laser Projector 4K is the successor to the previous Mijia Laser Projector, which was previously priced at CNY 9,999 but came with a full-HD resolution. The latest product keeps the price and virtual screen size the same, but bumps up the resolution to 4K (3840×2160 pixels).
For now, the product is available as a pre-sale offer, and can be booked for an advance payment of CNY 100 (approximately Rs. 1,050). As with other laser projectors, the Xiaomi Mijia Laser Projector 4K can be placed near a wall or projector screen, and directly project onto it from a short throw. This allows for easier placement as compared to traditional long-throw projectors, along with a virtual screen size of up to 150 inches.
The Xiaomi Mijia Laser Projector 4K comes with built-in speakers, three HDMI ports, one USB port, and sockets for audio and Ethernet cables. You also get smart connectivity with the MIUI TV interface and a remote to control the projector. Unlike the TV range, the projector is a part of the Mijia brand from Xiaomi.
Ultimate Ears Boom 3 Wireless Speaker with ‘Magic Button’ Launched in India
Wireless speakers come in all shapes, sizes and prices, but there has been a tendency for certain products and brands to stand out from the competition. One such popular brand has been Ultimate Ears (UE), the personal audio manufacturer owned by Swiss computer peripherals manufacturer Logitech. The Boom range from Ultimate Ears has been among its most popular lines, and the latest product from the line is the Ultimate Ears Boom 3. The new wireless speaker has been launched in India, priced at Rs. 15,995.
The Ultimate Ears Boom 3 is set to go on sale on Amazon India starting January 17. The product will be available in three colour options – Black, Blue, and Red. The speaker comes with an IP67 water resistance rating, which means that it is certified to survive significant exposure to water and dust, and can therefore be used safely outdoors. Interestingly, the Ultimate Ears Boom 3 floats in water, a feature that would appeal to a lot of buyers.
Another new feature on the UE Boom 3 is the ‘Magic Button’, which is said to make music control and playback easier. The speaker does retain the cylindrical design of its predecessors, although the styling has been refreshed. However, the familiar ‘plus’ and ‘minus’ physical volume buttons are still there. The USB port has also been repositioned to make charging the speaker a bit easier.
As the successor to the capable Ultimate Ears Boom 2, the UE Boom 3 was launched in August last year globally, and has taken a few months to see a launch in India. Interestingly, the UE Boom 2 is also still on sale for around Rs . 10,000.