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Xiaomi Redmi 6A Review: Best budget smartphone?

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Xiaomi has become one of the top selling brands in India and it has achieved this feat with the help of selling good devices priced aggressively for Indian customers. Redmi 6A is Xiaomi’s latest budget offering, which comes with a number of improvements over the previous generation Redmi 5A.

Redmi 6 and Redmi 6A are also among the first Xiaomi phones to launch with the MediaTek processor in a long time. Let’s find out if the new Xiaomi Redmi 6A is worth the upgrade.

Xiaomi Redmi 6A specifications: 5.45-inch HD+ 1440 x 720 resolution display | MediaTek Helio A22 processor | 2GB RAM +16GB internal storage/3GB RAM +32GB internal storage | expandable memory via dedicated microSD card slot (up to 256GB) | 13MP primary camera | 5MP secondary camera | 3,000mAh battery | MIUI 9.6 based on Android 8.1 Oreo

 

Xiaomi Redmi 6A price in India: Rs 6,599 (2GB RAM +16GB internal storage), Rs 7,499 (3GB RAM + 32GB internal storage)

Redmi 6A review

Xiaomi last year launched the Redmi 5A in India, which was one of the best smartphones consumers could have purchased under the budget of Rs 7,000. Still, Redmi 6A doesn’t feature looks that set it apart from other smartphones around the same price bracket.

The device has an 18:9 aspect ratio display with thin side bezels, a single camera setup on the back, a 3.5mm audio jack up top, and a microUSB port on the bottom edge. Redmi 6A comes with dual-SIM card capabilities and a separate slot for the microSD card. Redmi 6A is pretty light thanks to its plastic build, which some might like and others might not.

Xiaomi Redmi 6A Review: What’s good?
Redmi 6A sports a polycarbonate build but does not feel like any other budget phones around this price due to its metallic matte finish. The device is very easy to handle with one hand and sturdy enough to be able to handle a few accidental drops.

Redmi 6A’s display appears to be on par with other budget handsets that I have tested. Indoors, the display is crisp and vibrant. In the dark, the brightness levels can be turned down considerably, which is ideal for reducing eye strain.

Redmi 6A is one of the first smartphones to be powered by MediaTek’s new Helio A22 processor, which doesn’t disappoint as the device runs very smoothly even while performing demanding tasks. Playing light games like Shadow Fight 2 and Subway Surfer was a breeze for the device, however, when it came to heavy games like Asphalt 8 and PUBG Mobile, there were noticeable lag and frame drops. Considering the price I consider that the phone is well worth every penny in the performance department.

In well-lit conditions, the camera performed really well, the shots were sharp, colours vibrant and the images had a good amount of detail in them. The device also comes with an HDR mode, which is not common in budget smartphones. As for the front camera, the device can take decent daylight selfies. The images came out sharp and focused, however, the colours aren’t so accurate.

The device usually required around 2 hours 45 minutes to be completely charged from 0-100 per cent during our testing period. It did heat up a bit while charging.

During our testing, Xiaomi Redmi 6A was able to last a full day on a complete charge with average usage patterns like making and receiving calls, using social media apps and checking emails.

Xiaomi Redmi 6A Review: What’s not so good

Redmi 6A’s camera struggles in low-light. I found the shots taken with the camera to have very less detail and a lot of noise, which does make this seem like an upgrade over the previous generation phone. The low-light performance of the front camera is also a big disappointment, the shots taken had no detailing and were quite grainy.

The display does work well when indoors, however, when you take the device outside it is a completely different story. Even with the brightness notched up to its maximum, the display is a bit difficult to read, and on most occasions, I found myself covering the screen to use the device.

The auto brightness feature also feels to be a letdown, as it wasn’t as accurate as expected. I mostly ended up adjusting the brightness manually to suit the lighting conditions.

MIUI takes a bit of time to get used to for new users who haven’t ever used a Xiaomi smartphone before, due to multiple customisations and the absence of an app drawer. The device also has tons of bloatware, most of which cannot be uninstalled and hinders usability. However, this can be overcome with the help of a launcher app like Nova launcher or the POCO launcher.

Xiaomi Redmi 6A Review: Verdict

Redmi 6A is a capable smartphone for the price. At the price, it delivers on performance, specifications, and is a compact and easy to use smartphone. However, the phone does have its fair share of cons like low-light camera performance, no fingerprint sensor and using the smartphone outside under direct sunlight. For under Rs 7,000 this is not a bad option, though Realme C1 will give tough competition to the phone as well.


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Tech-Film

Xiaomi has been working on improvements for in-display fingerprint scanning

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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.”

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Xiaomi Mijia Laser Projector 4K With 150-Inch Virtual Screen Launched in China

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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.

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Ultimate Ears Boom 3 Wireless Speaker with ‘Magic Button’ Launched in India

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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.

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