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Meizu M6 Note [REVIEW]

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Ah, Meizu – big name in the field of Chinese smartphone technology. Known for their big specifications and their own Android distribution called FlyMe OS which this phone uses. Now we’re checking out their M6 Note model which cost us $300. Dual camera, 4Ah battery, 4GB of RAM and a SD625 chipset with an eight-core 2.0GHz processor. $300 is maybe too much? We won’t know until we take a look.

Build quality and buttons

The design of this phone reminds me of OnePlus 3T, with the rounded home button, front camera positioning and the antenna lines on the back. For its size, the M6 Note feels pretty heavy in the hand, it’s glass is very slightly curved which is a nice touch and I like how they put the flash inside the antenna line on the back. It fits nicely in hand and the buttons on the side are fairly extruded and easily located. Pressing them feels good, but it could be better. Their click is loud and tactile, but they seem a bit too hard to press. It’s also kind of unfortunate that the power button isn’t textured. Beyond the home button, the volume and power buttons are the only one. This phone doesn’t have any capacitive buttons. In the case of this phone, they’re replaced with a navigation bar despite this phone having a physical home button. Very weird combination, if you ask me. It looks like they tried the iPhone approach to navigation.

Android system

Meizu put their FlyMe OS on this phone, which differs quite a lot from the stock Android design and has some elements which greatly remind me of Apple’s iOS. Also, it still has Android 7.1.2 Nougat even though Oreo is in the game for quite a while now. FlyMe is a pretty well designed and sleek skin, even though it’s maybe overdesigned in some aspects. Big problem here is the navigation. Because of the lack of back and task switch buttons; navigation can get pretty confusing since it’s done by using fingerprint gestures. Of course, Meizu solved that problem by putting a navigation bar on the bottom. It’s true that it solves a problem, but then we have two home buttons. I feel like such redundancy because of lazy design is completely unnecessary. When it comes to bloatware, FlyMe is somewhere in the center. They put in their own app store alongside Google Play and also their own memory cleaner application. Most of the other applications are also theirs, but I don’t count that as bloatware since they’re elementary system applications like a calculator or a gallery. Android purists stay away – but those who don’t feel the need to have the stock Google experience, feel free to dig in. FlyMe shouldn’t cause any problems to you.

Battery

M6 Note comes with a nice 4Ah under its hood. Paired with a battery efficient Snapdragon 625 chipset, we should keep our expectations quite high. Like I expected, the battery life is great. With a full battery in the morning and average use without too much video gaming – the battery can last up to two days without many issues. Of course, if you’re a more active smartphone user, chances are that you’ll be going to bed with the battery at 30-40%. In the half hour that I played Asphalt 8, the battery depleted 11%, which means you probably got a bit less than 10 hours of gameplay on a full charge. Since this is a phone and not Nintendo’s new handheld breakthrough – 10 hours is more than enough to cover that long line in the dentist’s office.

Benchmark and real-life performance

First, let’s do the benchmarks. On geekbench, this phone has gotten 844 for single core and 4139 for multi core. For a RenderScript compute test it got 3119 points. With an Antutu benchmark, it scored 75338 points. With regular usage the phone is very snappy. There may be a bit too many animations for some but they somehow managed to make them all smooth no matter what’s running in the background. Multitasking is also working perfectly! Still, Android has 4GB of RAM at its disposal which is more than enough for a regular user. It’s all fast and smooth until we get to the videogames. I took a graphically intensive game “Asphalt 8” for a test, and I can say it was kind of playable at highest settings. Playable, but not much more – the FPS was somewhere around 20 and it didn’t change a lot when I put the graphics on medium. If you’re planning to buy this phone for modern mobile games, it may be smarter to consider some other options. For everything else, though, the performance is great and poses no problem!

Photography and video

The camera on this phone is quite a hit and miss case. Some photos look great while others look bland and unsaturated. Of course, since we got two cameras at our disposal, let’s check out what can we do with them. In the case of M6 Note, we can use the second camera only for the depth of field effect because of its lower resolution. I personally feel like adding a second camera for gimmicky effects is a bit wasteful, and this example doesn’t help. The effect on its own is a bit too accentuated, and it cuts corners kind of imprecisely. In most cases it’ll work fine unless it encounters a sharp edge which it’ll blur like it’s a part of the background. The camera also has a manual “pro” mode which could be better. You can only change the white balance to a few rough presets which is a big no-no since that impacts the photo greatly. Thankfully, you can change the shutter speed to some pretty extreme values which is a big plus because it allows shooting in bad light conditions. Beyond the white balance issue, this manual mode isn’t too limited – just like it should be. The camera also has a 120FPS mode which films in some weird, interpolated 720p format. 4K video recording also snuck in there, and it’s pretty good, just like its FullHD recording. It’s 4K isn’t the sharpest that I’ve seen, but I don’t see any signs of interpolation.

The speaker and audio output

M6 Note has a single speaker on the lower right corner next to the charger. Its speaker, although not winning any competitions, does its job great! It has some extra sibilance, but it’s all within tolerance on phone speakers. There’s not much bass, but the bass that’s there makes the phone’s case vibrate. The mids are nicely accentuated, and even though the highs are the loudest here – the whole sound signature is nice. There’s no distortion on the highest volume, but the volume isn’t too high anyways. The audio out is great on paper if we ignore the weird spikes in distortion. I also measured the frequency response… And stereo crosstalk. The sound is okay with a pair of big headphones, albeit not too loud. There are no problems with ear buds, though. Last, but maybe the most important thing – the headphone jack. There’s not much to be said there, the connector is tight and your cable won’t fall out. Bravo Meizu!

Screen

M6 Note uses a classic IPS LCD panel with the resolution of 1080×1920 which is FullHD in portrait mode. The brightness goes to some pretty low levels which are great for night usage, but there’s a bit of a problem on the flip side of that story. The screen of this phone isn’t too bright on maximum brightness. It can be used in sunlight, but it can get quite tough. Beyond that, the screen doesn’t really have any problems. The colors are like we’d expect them to be on an IPS LCD panel – normal and not too accentuated.

Conclusion

Meizu M6 Note is a phone which doesn’t bring anything new to the table. It’s a jack of all trades but master of none. It has a good bang for the buck, Flyme system isn’t bad and has a few interesting features, hardware is pretty decent, the phone is built nicely and it all seems okay. I just believe that for the price of $300 there are more enticing options.

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Phones

5 Reasons To Buy New Mi 10

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This week Xiaomi has presented new flagship smartphone models Mi 10 and Mi 10 Pro. The presentation was in an unusual online format because of coronavirus in China. But the company prepared for it on a really high level making the video stream on different online platforms.

So, let’s talk about the new models and 5 reasons why you should change your smartphone to the new one Mi 10.

Reason 1 – Display

Mi 10 features really best 6.67 inches SuperAMOLED display with resolution 2340*1080 pixels. As you can see the frames are really small which creates the effect of total bezel-less display. The model has rounded edges, but all the display is protected with durable Corning Gorilla Glass.

Reason 2 – Top configuration

The model is equipped with a Snapdragon 865 eight-core processor. The performance was increased by up to 20 percent compared with the previous generation.

Reason 3 – Updated Memory

The model uses the LPDDR 5 memory standard which is high-tech and modern. Xiaomi is the second brand after Samsung who implements this decision into smartphones. Also, the model uses Wi-Fi 6 technology.

Reason 4 – Cool camera

The model has four camera sensors situated on the rear panel. The most powerful sensor is 108MP which is supplemented with one 13MP sensor and two sensors with 2MP resolution.

Thanks to the AI algorithms the user can work with original photo testing different effects.

Another interesting feature is text recognition. Sometimes when you should take a photo of documents or book pages the shadow of the smartphone can ruin the photo making some zones not visible for reading. But thanks for AI algorithms it’s not a problem anymore.

Reason 5 – A powerful battery

In order to keep the necessary level of performance, the model has a 4780 mAh battery. Thanks to the cooling system the model can be fully charged in 56 minutes. Moreover, it supports wireless charging.

The global launch date is currently unknown. So stay tuned.

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The Google Assistant-powered “Ambient Mode” is rolling out to OnePlus devices

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Photo: OnePlus Community

By partnering with Google, OnePlus is excited to bring the Google Assistant-powered “Ambient Mode” to your OnePlus device (available onOnePlus 3 and above).

Ambient Mode is a “proactive” Google Assistant experience that is available whenever the device is being charged. You can access proactive information and suggestions on weather, agenda, entertainment, reminders, and more. The feature can also be used to turn a phone into a digital photo frame or as the interface to control smart home devices, such as lights, or music players. Check out this video made by Google to learn more:

To opt-in this feature, please connect your OnePlus device to the charger, click the notification and follow the guidance to finish the setup process, or you can enable this feature in Google App Settings > Assistant > Devices (Phone). Please note that this is a staged rollout, which might take up to a week to a full release, your patience will be appreciated.

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10 things to know about Android 10

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Photo: Google

Android 10 is here! With this release, Google focused on making your everyday life easier with features powered by on-device machine learning, as well as supporting new technologies like Foldables and 5G. At the same time, with almost 50 changes related to privacy and security, Android 10 gives you greater protection, transparency, and control over your data. This builds on top of their ongoing commitment to provide industry-leading security and privacy protections on Android. Google also built new tools that empower people of all abilities, and help you find the right balance with technology.

Here are the 10 things you should know, centered on innovation, security and privacy and digital wellbeing:

Simpler, smarter, and more helpful

1. Smart Reply now suggests actions. So when someone sends you a message with an address or a YouTube video, you can open and navigate in Google Maps or open up the video in YouTube—no copying and pasting required. And Smart Reply now works across all your favorite messaging apps.

2. Come to the dark side… with Dark Theme. You can enable Dark Theme for your entire phone or for specific apps like Photos and Calendar. It’s easier on your eyes, and your phone battery too.

3. Take advantage of larger, edge-to-edge screens with the new gesture navigation. With simple swipes, you can go backwards, pull up the homescreen, and fluidly move between tasks. After switching, you won’t want to go back to visible buttons.

4. With a single tap, Live Caption will automatically caption videos, podcasts and audio messages across any app—even stuff you record yourself. Live Caption will become available this fall, starting with Pixel.

New privacy and security features put you in control

5. You can choose to only share location data with apps while you’re using them. You’ll also receive reminders when an app that you are not actively using is accessing your location, so you can decide whether or not to continue sharing.

6. In a new Privacy section under Settings, you’ll find important controls like Web & App Activity and Ad Settings in one place.

7. With Google Play system updates, important security and privacy fixes can now be sent to your phone from Google Play, in the same way your apps update. So you get these fixes as soon as they’re available, without having to wait for a full OS update.

Find the right balance with technology for you and your family

8. You have greater control over where and when notifications will alert you. Mark notifications as “Silent” and they won’t make noise or appear on your lockscreen, so you’re only alerted by notifications when you want to be.

9. Now Family Link is part of every device running Android 10, right in settings under Digital Wellbeing. Parents can use these tools to set digital ground rules like daily screen time limits, device bedtime, time limits on specific apps, and more. They can also review the apps children install on their devices, as well as their usage.

10. Want to be in the zone but not off the grid? Digital Wellbeing now brings you Focus mode. Select the apps you find distracting—such as email or the news—and silence them until you come out of Focus mode. Sign up for the Beta to try it.

There’s lots more in Android 10, including a new enterprise feature that lets you use different keyboards for your personal and work profiles, app timers for specific websites so you can balance your time on the web, new gender-inclusive emoji, and support for direct audio streaming to hearing aid devices.

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