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Nokia X6 [REVIEW]

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Nokia, a famous name, a company that was one of the best and most known. Not only did they create the world-renowned Nokia 3310, they also had their own open source mobile operating system based on GNU / Linux, and had helped to create many cellular network standards we use every day.

The X6 or 6.1 Plus is currently Nokia’s most popular smartphone that has recently emerged in the middle of this year with a very nice set of features and specs. It packs a Snapdragon 636 chipset with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal flash memory. There is also a dual camera setup, a fingerprint reader and a pretty stock Android OS! It’s about time we take a look at this phone more closely, starting with its build.

1. Build quality

Based on the photos of this phone, the back of it looks like the most common plastic, but the reality is very different. The whole thing feels very heavy in hand, and the glass back really helps it. Because of the oleophobic layer on both sides, fingerprints stop being such a problem, and the back retains its dark and deep black appearance.

The edges of the screen are also very rounded, and the notch on the top only pushes that style further. The buttons look nice but unfortunately have a fairly short travel and feel really shallow on click.

On the back we have a dual camera setup with a three-tone flash and a fingerprint reader that’s almost perfectly flush with the phone’s back – all bordered with chrome edges. The glass design of this phone surely increases its chances of cracks, but the glass panels are hard and the edge is made of aluminum, which protects against many usual drop scenarios.

2. Android OS

When it comes to the operating system on this phone, the situation is great! As I’ve mentioned, this phone is running  Android One. What’s Android One? It’s a program that has been launched by Google in order to reduce the fragmentation of their operating system. Because of this, the system on this cell phone is very light, with virtually zero bloat applications and frequent OTA upgrades. The only additional applications you receive are part of the Google Apps package, and can be disabled.

Notch support is not that impressive; imagine you stick some black tape in the middle of your status bar. Bam, you got the notch on this phone. Applications do not even try to use the aesthetic potential of this notch and it’s completely useless in most cases. Even in applications like gallery and Youtube, the content does not go around the notch but has a sudden black limit on top.

Since this is practically stock android, there aren’t many additional functions, if any. In front of you is a platform where you get to build the required functionality by downloading applications which you need yourself.

3. Performance

With its 64-bit octa-core Snapdragon 636 processor running at 1.8GHz, this device receives 114873 points on the Antutu benchmark. GeekBench gives it 1332 for single core test and 4864 for multi core test. The Renderscript test within GeekBench gives a score of 4497 points. Numbers usually only tell half of the story, but how is this cell phone in normal, day to day use?

As expected, it does not have much trouble with 2D performance in apps and Android interface in general. Microstutters are a thing here and there, but within rational limits. Surfing the Internet and using applications is fast and without any problems.

Performance in demanding graphics games like PUBG Mobile is not perfect, but the game is still very playable, even at the highest options I could set. Less demanding games do not have any performance problems, though. This is a highly energy-saving chip, but it’s still a lot stronger than the well-known Snapdragon 625.

4. Screen

Here, X6 presents a classic IPS LCD panel with a not-so-classic aspect ratio, and the same can be said for this notch at the top. The screen has a ratio of 19:9 and therefore it feels rather small in hand despite its diagonal size of a whopping 5.8″! The FHD+ screen of this ratio has a resolution of 1080×2280, which is more than sufficient considering its size.

Since this screen is IPS, color and contrast are pretty moderate and comfortable even though they cannot reach the absurd results that OLED panels reach these days. Again, the minimum brightness gets very dark and the maximum is fairly bright; you should not have any problems with using it during the day.

5. Cameras

Of course, there’s a configuration with two cameras on the back. We have a 16MP + 5MP configuration where one camera is the main one and the other serves to detect the depth. On the front we have a 16MP camera with f/2.0 aperture, just like the main camera.

All these cameras do not break any expectations. The reproduction of images under various conditions is actually good, but the problem is it’s very limited application which doesn’t even have a proper Manual mode! It does have some cutesy effects, though. The night will cause noise, but within rational levels – just do not expect all the photos from that party last night to turn out perfectly clean and bright.

As far as video is concerned, the X6 can shoot up to 30fps in 2K resolution. For mobile, that’s more than enough. It also supports electronic image stabilization with the help of a gyroscope, but even though the stabilization is excellent, you can see that it’s electronically stabilized.

6. Audio capabilities

The audio output of this cell phone is not that spectacular. Although the frequency response is very flat, the THD is higher than usual and there’s some stereo crosstalk. With all that, there is also a weak amplifier.

For earbuds this should not be a problem, but whoever plans to use some proper cans with this phone will probably not have the best results. The sound was very quiet on my 55Ω AKG cans. Fortunately, the 3.5 mm headphone jack looks good and the connector will retain a good contact with your headphones.

The speaker, on the other hand, has a very clear and pretty loud sound! Deep sounds do not resonate too much through the chassis as they should, but that’s nitpicking. Distortion is in average levels which is nice to see. You’ll hear the your ringtone perfectly and it can even be used for music when you just forgot to take that Bluetooth speaker.

7. Battery

This cell phone has a 3060mAh battery which is quite the fair number for such a mid-ranger. With the chipset that this cell phone has, you should easily get a full day of proper use. I played Smash Hit for 10 minutes and in those 10 minutes the battery has been depleted by 2%. In the Lab501 battery benchmark application, I launched the most demanding “Gaming” test in which the battery fell by only 3% during 10 minutes of testing at maximum brightness.

By these numbers you should be able to play games for about 7 hours if you recharge the battery before. Pretty satisfactory results and it’s not strange to see that since this is a pretty efficient 14nm chipset!

8. Additional functions

When it comes to additional functions, there’s a fingerprint reader and an FM radio receiver. As I’ve said, the fingerprint reader is practically completely flush with the rest of the back so sometimes it’s a bit of a problem to find it, but thankfully it’s pretty fast! Even when my finger was wet or dusty, the reader could identify the fingerprint and unlock the cell phone.

FM reception is average but the application is great, with advanced support for RDS, named lists and FM Stereo. The GPS is also not too fast since it takes about half a minute to get my location.

9. Conclusion

In the first few days of use, this phone did not impress me. It does everything good, but never great. Again, this is one of the few mobile phones that are a part of the Android One program and this is one of its most important features. After all, I realized that this was a mid-range phone and that it was pretty good deal for about $180. There are many modern things like the notch, double cameras and a new efficient chipset from Qualcomm. Looking at all of this, I congratulate Nokia on another proper smartphone – Good to see you back, old friend.

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New Flagship Mi 10 Ultra Was Released Today

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Photo: Xiaomi

Today Xiaomi has launched the new flagship model in Mi 10 line – Mi 10 Ultra. The new model was unveiled at the special online event. The launch of a new product coincided with a special day for the company – the 10 years anniversary of Xiaomi.

Photo: Xiaomi

The display looks totally borderless and fascinating – the 6.67-inch OLED display and 120Hz refresh rate.

The work capabilities are provided with an 8-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor. The model has a liquid cooling system containing the graphite layer which helps to effectively manage the smartphone`s temperature during work.

What about the camera? The model comes with four rear cameras (48 MP main sensor, 20MP ultra-wide-angle camera, 12MP portrait camera and a telephoto lens with 120x superzoom).

The video makers will appreciate the 8K video recording feature.

Talking about selfie – there is a 20 MP camera for perfect shots, videos, and video calls.

The new model has got a 4500mAh powerful battery. The full charge can be done in 23 minutes thanks to the 120W fast charging.

Also the model can be charged wirelessly in 40 minutes (50W wireless charging is supported).

Also, the model has got the other traditional and useful features – fingerprint sensor (in the display), NFC, stereo speakers. The smartphone will come with MIUI 12 on board.

Photo: Xiaomi

The model will come with three RAM options – 8, 12, and 16 GB and 128, 256, and 512 internal memory options.

Mi 10 Ultra has three colors – black, silver, and transparent.

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How the Galaxy Note20’s S Pen Delivers a More Powerful and Productive Notetaking Experience

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Photo: Samsung

The Note series is and always has been about maximizing productivity – an idea that’s best embodied by the smartphones’ signature accessory: the S Pen.

When designing the series’ newest additions, to empower users to be as productive as possible, the team behind the Galaxy Note20 and Note20 Ultra made enhancing the S Pen and the Samsung Notes app top priorities. The result of their extensive efforts is a smoother and more intuitive note-taking experience – one that’s more accurate and responsive, makes navigating your device a breeze, and makes capturing, editing and sharing your ideas effortlessly easy.

Click on the video below to learn more about the S Pen’s newest tools and tricks.

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OPPO Reno4 Series: AI-enhanced Smart Sensor, a new era in smartphone technology

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Photo: OPPO

Population density and population mobility is increasing daily all around the world and more people are becoming tech savvy with each passing day. Internet and information technology have gradually and consistently penetrated into our lifestyles. Staying always connected through the internet has made privacy protection one of the trickiest problems for smartphone users. On the other hand, for smartphone brands, the ability to continuously update technologies and create products with excellent user experience are also growing challenges.

Reno4 is equipped with a new AI-enhanced smart sensor, which is an attempt made by OPPO for building products in the AI-smart era. This smart sensor can identify the owner of the mobile phone and intelligently decide whether to show the detailed content in a notification, while enabling touchless operation of the mobile phone. With the new AI-enhanced smart sensor, Reno4 realizes the integrated functions of N-in-one such as AI assistant, privacy security and touchless gesture operation. It supports the original intention of the OPPO brand and its Research & Development team to make mobile phones smarter and maximize the experience and the technology.

Smart sensors, an answer to users’ demand of better privacy protection

For some time in the recent years, OPPO has been cultivating the Southeast Asian market, since it first entered the Indonesian market in 2012. According to a survey by Euromonitor International, comparing the market share of OPPO in 2019 and 2014, Thailand increased to 4.8 times, Indonesia 4.7 times and Vietnam 2.9 times. With further expansion of market share, OPPO realized that mobile phone users in the Southeast Asian market are also increasingly demanding privacy protection. Simultaneously, the population density in this market is increasing and people are living a more connected lifestyle. Mobile phones, as the most important social interaction tools, are becoming more and more vulnerable to threats against information privacy for the owners. For instance, your friends may accidently catch a glimpse of critical or private content on your phone.

After performing a market research, OPPO realized that the functions which the smart sensor provides could help bridge the gaps in market demand, especially for privacy protection. In the past, there were two solutions in the industry. The first was the use of radar, which can effectively reduce the power consumption of mobile phones; yet this also means that the footprint of the sensor is increased and the screen ratio is reduced accordingly. Also, the radar itself has limited recognition capabilities, thus the scenarios to be implemented are restricted. The second was to use an ordinary camera for real-time shooting to recognize motions and faces, being able to achieve smart control, but in this case the power consumption brought by the function is huge. Both solutions have their own limitations, OPPO had to find another way.

● Smart Spying Prevention
Based on that, OPPO decided to apply the AI-enhanced smart sensor to the field of smart spying prevention, which is constructed by utilizing a low power consumption sensor in combination with an intelligent recognition algorithm. The sensor could not only be used in privacy protection, but also could extend the scenarios in Smart AirControl, Smart Rotation, and Smart Always On. Many high-end smart home devices have equipped smart spying prevention technology as an auxiliary function. For instance, high-end home security monitoring equipment leverages DVS technology to capture only the outlines of people in its range – helping protect the privacy in living spaces. Similar with that, when your Reno4 receives a message, AI-enhanced smart sensor on the phone could identify whether only the mobile phone’s owner is watching the screen. If not so, the content of the notification would be hidden to protect the user’s privacy.

To be specific, the setting of the entire recognition logic makes the spying prevention more humane and comprehensive, which is a great companion to its advanced hardware. The sensor will first probe how many faces are in the scale.
• If only 1 face is detected, the main camera will be turned on to identify whether the face is of the owner him/herself; if it is, then it displays the entire message.
• If the sensor detected that there is more than one person (or no person) facing the display, then the notification will still be shown but the content will not be shown.

A smart sensor that can do much more – innovation improving user experience

The AI-enhanced smart sensor technology also introduced advanced AI capability to Reno4, which enables some futuristic features such as touch-free control and smart rotations. In recent years, gesture recognition has become another popular way of human-computer interaction and has been widely used in many fields, especially in the automotive field in smart cars. With the continued trend of marginal innovation in smartphone industry, gesture control may become an inevitable function of smartphones. OPPO joins this race with the AI-enhanced smart sensor. OPPO believes that such innovative and optimal functional user experiences are inspirational to the mobile phone AI assistant race.

• Smart AirControl
Reno4 is the first OPPO phone to bring full-screen gestures to their line-up. The Smart AirControl allows you to interact with Reno4 without touching the display and could perform tasks such as scroll up and down the pages on some popular apps like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok. More conveniently, in a short period of time, the owner does not need to do a “starting up” gesture every time he or she scrolls the screen. It is also worth mentioning that this feature allows you to answer the call without touching your phone, which brings great convenience to those who work with plastic gloves most of the time.

Photo: OPPO

• Smart Rotation
For most of us, especially the ones who prefer operating their phone while lying in bed, it is inconvenient when the content on the phone automatically flips to vertical when the Auto Rotate function is on. Based on this user insight, OPPO also introduces Smart Rotation to Reno4 with AI-enhanced smart sensor. When the phone and your face is rotated simultaneously, the AI-enhanced Smart Sensor and pose-recognition algorithm intelligently detect the orientation of your face and the phone to help determine whether to rotate the screen. There are some of the rotation scenes you often encounter:

When the phone is rotated from vertical to horizontal:
• If the face stays still – for example if you are watching a video and rotate your Reno4 – the screen will rotate.
• If the face rotated with the phone (such as lay in bed), the screen will not be rotated Surely this function could offer users a more immersive experience in various lifestyle scenarios in a smart manner.

• Smart Always On Display
Making full use of the characteristics of this AI-enhanced Smart Sensor, OPPO also applies functions to enrich user experience, such as “Smart Always On Display”. This feature can identify whether a user is continuously watching the mobile phone, so that the screen will not turn off. This feature makes Reno4 more intelligent and provides better using experience.

In addition, on software level, a special brightening algorithm will make the sensor work better in low light. Even when the level of luminance is lower than 1 lux, Reno4’s AI-enhanced Smart Sensor can function well.

Photo: OPPO

The future of technology – convergent products

The development of mobile phones can be roughly divided into the feature phone era and the smartphone era. In recent years, it has entered the evolutionary stage of artificial intelligence era. What sets two eras apart is the ability to solve problems using new and improved solutions. AI is a very broad concept, and R&D for AI in smartphones means to identify and develop new solutions that provide human beings with more convenience in terms of communication.

Digital experiences enabled by AI assistance, especially virtual assistance, is considered to be one of the major recent technological advancement and most promising consumer trend. The form we are most familiar with is virtual assistant, such as Microsoft’s Xiaoice or Cortana. The AI-enhanced smart sensor and its Smart AirControl and privacy protection functions have brought new possibilities to smartphone AI assistant. More recently, the future in smartphone features – AI assistants – may become more invisible and subtle. Finding a balance between easy operation and false touch, Smart AirControl is relatively easy to operate, avoiding false touch, it is an attempt and exploration in the field of human-device interaction. Even you could be like Iron Man and have your very own “Jarvis” or “Friday”. A futuristic AIOT form could be foreseen, to replace operating the devices with your phone or remote control.

To further enhance user experience, OPPO put large amount of effort in the high-end hardware and software. Strategically, with rapid development of emerging technology, OPPO has stepped into the Era of Convergence, in which OPPO is not placed only as a mobile device company. It will also deep dive into the whole technology world to create convergent products for all.

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