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Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro First Impressions

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Redmi Note 6 Pro is the latest smartphone from the Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi that’s set to launch in the Indian market. It succeeds the Redmi Note 5 Pro, which has been a popular choice in the sub-Rs. 15,000 segment in the country since its launch nine months ago. Xiaomi now faces competition from new models including the Asus ZenFone Max Pro M1, Nokia 6.1 Plus, Motorola One Power, and Honor 8X at around the same price. The Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro will fight back against these competitors. It shares many of its internals and design elements with the Redmi Note 5 Pro, but also sports a new display 6.26-inch 19:9 full-HD+ display with a notch.

The smartphone will be launched at an event in New Delhi scheduled for November 22, at which
its pricing will be announced. The Redmi Note 6 Pro price in India is expected to be close to that of the Redmi Note 5 Pro, which started at Rs. 14,999 and went up to Rs. 16,999 — though the phone (and two other Xiaomi offerings) got Rs. 1,000 cheaper on Friday. However, given the recent hike in the prices of other Redmi models, the Redmi Note 6 Pro could be priced slightly higher as well. We got to spend some time with the Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro ahead of its launch, and here are our first impressions.

Redmi Note 6 Pro specifications and design

 

As compared to its predecessor, the display on the Redmi Note 6 Pro has slightly larger dimensions and has a notch. It has a resolution of 1080×2280 and a maximum brightness of 500 nits. In our brief time with this phone, its display seemed to have good viewing angles, with accurate colour and contrast. We did, however, notice slight backlight bleeding along the top edge at the maximum brightness level. The 2.5D curved edges help the display glass meet the frame of the phone smoothly.

Apart from a few cosmetic changes, the Redmi Note 6 Pro strongly resembles the Redmi Note 5 Pro. The new model is 0.21mm thicker and slightly wider but feels the same in your hand as would the Redmi Note 5 Pro. On the front, the phone is devoid of any hardware or capacitive navigation buttons; instead users can choose from onscreen buttons or MIUI’s gestures. There is a familiar dual camera setup at the back. There is also a small physical fingerprint sensor at the back. When we tried it, there seemed to be a slight lag unlocking the phone, but we will be testing it more ahead during our review process.

The Redmi Note 6 Pro sports the lock/ power button and volume buttons on the right, and a hybrid dual-SIM tray on the left. This tray can take either two Nano-SIMs or one Nano-SIM and a microSD card at a time. Storage is expandable up to an additional 256GB. On the bottom, there is (still) a Micro-USB port, the external speaker on the right, and a faux speaker grille on the left for symmetry. The 3.5mm headphone jack, microphone, and IR emitter are all placed on top of the smartphone.

Though the Redmi Note 6 Pro any kind of an IP-rating for dust/ water resistance, it does sport a water-repellant P2i coating, which should provide basic protection against spills and if you are caught in the rain.

The rear cameras are slightly improved. While there’s still a 12-megapixel primary autofocus sensor and a 5-megapixel secondary depth sensor, both have wider f/1.9 apertures compared to the cameras on last year’s model, theoretically allowing for more light to be captured for clearer shots. Daylight shots seemed crisp, in our limited time with the Redmi Note 6 Pro. We were unable to test low-light photography, but you can stay tuned for our final review, coming up soon, in which we will have full details of this phone’s camera performance.

One of the major new features with this generation is the dual selfie camera setup. There is a 20-megapixel primary sensor and a 2-megapixel depth sensor on the front for portrait shots. Photos taken in good lighting were clear, and the bokeh effect was accurate.

The Redmi Note 6 Pro, much like its predecessor, has an all-metal back with a smooth matte finish, making it slightly slippery. The large body is also a little difficult to hold. Xiaomi does help you with a bundled TPU case for a better grip. Weighing in at 182g, the Redmi Note 6 Pro feels solid in the hand and is only about 1g heavier than the Redmi Note 5 Pro.

At its core, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro disappointingly uses the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 as its predecessor. We would have preferred a slightly more powerful processor, such as the Snapdragon 660, which the Chinese phonemaker uses in its Mi A2 smartphone. Xiaomi could even have opted for the MediaTek Helio P60 SoC, now that Redmi smartphones are coming to India with MediaTek processors. However, we will have to wait till we can fully review the Redmi Note 6 Pro in order to find out whether this is still good enough, and whether Xiaomi has made any other tweaks to improve the usage experience.

There will be two variants of the Redmi Note 6 Pro in India – one with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, and the other with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. Performance was smooth and we experienced no lag in the time we spent with the 6GB RAM variant. Our full review will detail performance benchmarks, extensive real-world usage, and more.

Redmi Note 6 Pro software

The Redmi Note 6 Pro runs MIUI 10 on top of Android 8.1 Oreo, with no official timelines announced for an Android 9.0 Pie update. As with previous MIUI-based Xiaomi smartphones, this one too comes with a tonne of customisations, proprietary apps, and additional features. For starters, there is a Security app with functions including a RAM cleaner, security scanner, battery manager, data usage overview, and more.

Preloaded apps on the phone include Amazon Shopping, Facebook, PhonePe, Netflix, NewsPoint, Dailyhunt, Opera News, Opera Mini, and BHIM ABPB. This phone also gets the ShareChat app, from an Indian company backed by Xiaomi.

The AI face unlock feature felt smooth on the Redmi Note 6 Pro. Registering a face was super fast, as was unlocking the handset. It isn’t quite as accurate as 3D face unlocking, considering it can unlock the phone even when you are not facing it. We will test this feature thoroughly in our upcoming review.

The Redmi Note 6 Pro has the same 4,000mAh battery capacity as its predecessor, and supports the same 10W level of charging. It has a battery saver mode that can be customised to cut out activity from apps that might be draining the battery in the background.

Stay tuned to Gadgets 360 for our extensive review of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro, coming up very soon, in which we test its display, design, performance, software, battery life, camera, and value for money.


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Tech-Film

Bose Frames AR Audio Sunglasses Launched in India, Priced at Rs. 21,900

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Over a year after originally showcasing its audio AR sunglasses, Bose is bringing them to the Indian market. The company on Thursday announced that the sunglasses, which are simply known as Bose Frames, will go on sale beginning next week in the country alongside Bose Frames Lens Collection. The Bose Frames combine three functionalities into one device – premium sunglasses, wireless headphones, and audio AR features. The Bose Frames are the company’s first product to be based on the company’s AR platform.

The Bose Frames carry a price tag of Rs. 21,900 and will be offered in two universal styles – the larger Alto and the smaller Rondo. The Bose Frames Lens Collection of non-polarised and polarised lenses will retail at Rs. 1,990 and Rs. 2,990, respectively. The sales open June 20 via select resellers and Bose stores in the country.

The Bose Frames are essentially a pair of sunglasses that pack a tiny Bose audio system in the temples. This audio system effectively turns them into a wireless pair of headphones. The Bose Frames also include a microphone and multi-function button on the right temple for power and pairing, Siri and Google Assistant, calls and commands, or to pause and skip songs.

 

“With a proprietary open-ear design, they [Bose Frames] take micro-acoustics, voice control, and personal audio to an entirely new level, so users can stream music and information, take and make calls, and access virtual assistants from — while keeping playlists, entertainment, and conversations private,” Bose said in a statement.

Like many wearable devices, the Bose Frames act as a companion device to your smartphone and need the same for processing the information and connecting to the Web.

As we mentioned earlier, the Bose Frames will be released in two designs – Alto and Rondo. Alto is square and angled, whereas Rondo is round and smaller. Both can block up to 99 percent of UVA/UVB rays and weigh just 45 grams. The lenses can be easily popped out and replaced.

Apart from the audio capabilities, the Frames are also compatible with Bose’s AR platform. The Bose Frames don’t include any visual AR capabilities, but they can provide audio AR input to enhance your experience.

“[Bose Frames] knows where you are and what you’re facing using a 9-axis head motion sensor and the GPS from your iOS or Android device — and automatically adds a layer of audio through Bose AR apps, connecting that place and time to endless possibilities for travel, learning, entertainment, gaming, and more,” Bose explained.

Bose AR apps can be downloaded using Bose Connect app and are only available for iOS right now. Android apps are being developed, according to the company’s website.

The company claims that onboard battery can last up to 3.5 hours for playback and up to 12 hours on standby. It can be fully recharged in less than two hours.

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Novel device can quickly detect strokes

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Scientists have developed a device that can monitor blood flow and help quickly diagnose and treat strokes.

A stroke, one of the leading causes of death worldwide, occurs due to poor blood flow to the brain — a condition known as cerebral ischemia.

Its diagnosis must be done within the first few hours for treatment to be effective, researchers said.

 

The hybrid device, developed by researchers at the China Academy of Engineering Physics and Army Medical University in China, relies on a combination of to light measuring techniques which could diagnose cerebral ischemia non-invasively and faster than the techniques used currently.

“We can measure blood volume, blood oxygenation and blood flow using suitable near-infrared techniques,” said Liguo Zhu, from China Academy of Engineering Physics.

Zhu said that “near-infrared light penetrates one to three centimetres and allows researchers to probe under the skin.”

The working of the instrument relies on the combination of the near-infrared diffuse optical spectroscopy, which analyses the light scattered from the tissues to calculate the amount of oxygen and blood within an area, and the diffuse correlation spectroscopy, which analyses fluctuation in the tissue-scattered lights to measure blood flow.

“Both techniques share the same detectors, which decreases the number of detectors compared to other instruments,” said Zhu.

“The team’s device can record a comprehensive profile of a body part’s hemodynamics, or blood circulation. Devices should measure as many ‘hemodynamic parameters’ as necessary to obtain an accurate diagnosis, as ‘the hemodynamics of stroke is complex’,” said Hua Feng, from Army Medical University.

Another advantage of the device is that it is cheap and compact, which would make more accessible to the people, and hence, help treatment, diagnosis and chances of stroke, researchers said.

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Parineeti ‘still learning’ to play badminton

The Kashmir Monitor

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Actress Parineeti Chopra has not started shooting for ‘Saina’ yet and says she is still learning how to play badminton.

Parineeti on Thursday said that the shooting for the biopic will commence in October.

“Hi everyone, we have not started the shoot of ‘Saina’ yet. I am still learning how to play Badminton! We will start in October once I get better at it! Four months to go,” she tweeted.

 

Parineeti had replaced actress Shraddha Kapoor in the Saina Nehwal biopic, which is being directed by Amole Gupte.

She will next be seen in ‘Jabariya Jodi’ along with actor Sidharth Malhotra. The film is scheduled for release on August 2. Directed by Prashant Singh, ‘Jabariya Jodi’ is based on ‘Pakadwa Vivah’ (forced marriage), which was once rampant in Bihar.

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