Xiaomi Redmi Y1: Budget selfie-centric phone with satisfactory performance

The Redmi Y1 is priced at Rs 8,999 for the base model with 32GB storage and 3GB RAM and Rs 10,999 for higher variant with 64GB storage and 4 GB RAM

Redmi Y1

In its first shot at the selfie-centric smartphone segment, Chinese smatphone manufacturer Xiaomi has come up with not one but two budget devices — the Redmi Y1 and Redmi Y1 Lite. While the Lite variant costs Rs 6,999, the Redmi Y1 price at Rs 8,999 for the base model (32GB storage and 3GB RAM) and Rs 10,999 for the premium variant with 64GB storage and 4 GB RAM.

Business Standard reviewed the Redmi Y1 to test its selfie camera capabilities, besides the overall smartphone performance. Here are our observations:

Camera

The Redmi Y1 sports a 16-megapixel front camera, coupled with an LED flash. The images captured using the selfie shooter come out clean, but show heavy post-processing. The soft flashlight assists in taking low-light shots but limits the use only to selfies. The overall picture quality is nothing exceptionally good but praiseworthy for its price segment.

The 13MP rear camera takes better photographs than the higher resolution front-facing selfie camera. It performs well in bright lighting but shakes in low-light conditions.

Performance

This selfie-centric smartphone is no powerhouse. Running on Qualcomm’s entry-level Snapdragon 435 SoC, it does well in daily tasks like checking emails, browsing the web, calling and messaging, with no signs of a lag. The performance takes a toll, however, during processor-intensive tasks like broadcasting live video on social media channels for extended hours, or playing games while keeping screen recorder active in the background.

The dual-SIM smartphone offers VoLTE capabilities on both SIMs, with good network reception and a satisfactory call quality. Also, there is a dedicated memory card slot that comes in handy for additional storage.

The smartphone runs Android Nougat 7.1.1 out of the box, covered under MIUI 8.5. The recently announced MIUI 9 Global ROM is scheduled to come sometime this month.

Design

The smartphone wears a metallic finish that looks premium. The front is covered with a 5.5-inch HD screen, which is bright but marred at times by limited pixels per inch. The screen is covered with a 2.5D Gorilla Glass that blends perfectly in the chassis.

The sensor placed on the back recognises fingerprints quickly, even if your fingers are moist. It takes almost no time to unlock the screen, irrespective of how you are holding the phone in your hand.

Battery

The Redmi Y1 Features houses a 3,080 mAh battery that keeps the show running for almost a day. The software-optimised battery assistant helps keep the phone running optimally but requires regular check-ups to clean the processes that drain the battery in the backdground.

Verdict

With a price starting at Rs 8,999 for the base model, the Xiaomi Redmi Y1 meets the need of selfie lovers. Being a budget smartphone, the Redmi Y1 seems like an updated Redmi 4 with a few major changes here and there. In the sub-Rs 10,000 price segment, the smartphone could be a challenger to the Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie.

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Nokia 5 with 3GB RAM in India for Rs 13,499

HMD Global, which owns Nokia-branded phones, on Monday announced that “Nokia 5” will be available in India in a new configuration with 3GB RAM at Rs 13,499.

Nokia 5 3GB RAM

The device features 5.2-inch IPS HD display with sculpted Corning Gorilla glass and comes with 13MP rear camera with phase detection auto-focus camera (PDAF) and 8MP front camera with auto-focus.

“Nokia 5 has already forged a reputation for being a beautifully-crafted phone which punches well above its weight. Now we have added more memory so fans can get enhanced performance in the same precision-engineered design,” Ajey Mehta, Vice President India, HMD Global, said in a statement.

The device is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 mobile platform and has internal memory of 16GB that can be expanded up to 128GB via microSD card slot. It sports 3000mAh battery.

The 3GB Nokia 5 will be available for a week on Flipkart from November 7. The device will also be available in selected retail outlets from November 14.

Samsung Galaxy J5 gets new security patch: Here’s why it is important

The update addresses Blueborne vulnerability and is currently rolling out to Galaxy J5 users in Europe via over the air (OTA)

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Samsung has released a critical software upgrade for its budget Galaxy J5 smartphone. The update addresses the Blueborne vulnerability, which was recently identified as a serious threat that spreads through Bluetooth and takes control over user devices.

The update with firmware number J530FXXU1AQI3 is currently rolling out to Galaxy J5 Update users in Europe via over the air (OTA). Recently, Samsung had released the security patches to address Blueborne vulnerability for several its flagship series smartphone– Galaxy S, Note and A series.

Other smartphone manufacturers such as Motorola are also pushing out the security patch to address the vulnerability.

Here is what the Blueborne vulnerability is and why the security updates are important

BlueBorne is a malicious code that spreads from one device to another via Bluetooth. It allows hackers to take control of affected devices by running commands in devices that go unnoticed by the users. Unlike other malicious viruses, the BlueBorne does not require the user to click on a link or download something over the internet. It just spreads through Bluethooth, even if the other device is not paired with the affected device. It spreads even when the Bluetooth is set as undiscovered.

How to safeguard your device

The best way to keep your device protected from BlueBorne vector is to update your device with the latest security patches deployed from operating system (OS) developers or original equipment makers (OEMs). Most of the OEMs and OS developers have already started releasing patches to address the vulnerabilities associated with BlueBorne vector.

Another way to protect your device is by switching off your Bluetooth. The device security should be set to allow minimum access to Bluetooth-based services. This is no proper solution but can shield the device till you receive the security patch to address the vulnerabilities.

Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie: A mid-range smartphone with good dual front cameras

Priced at Rs 14,999, the phone is superb for selfie lovers, but its overall performance and battery disappoint

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The concept of front camera in phones dates back to the time when mobile phone makers were toying with the idea of internet-enabled devices with video call features. But the front camera’s journey has come a long way since: What used to be a video camera with pixelated output is now much more advanced and packed with robust features to meet millennials’ growing demand for tools that help them stay updated on social media platforms.

Taiwanese electronics giant Asus is among the smartphone makers that have taken the front camera game very seriously and are innovating to make it even better. With the announcement of the Zenfone 4 Selfie series, the company has brought to the table two smartphones with dual selfie cameras – the Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro and Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie (dual camera). Also announced recently was an entry-level smartphone with software-based enhancements for the front camera.

Business Standard reviewed the dual-front-camera variant of the Zenfone 4 Selfie to test its camera capabilities, besides the overall smartphone performance. Here are our observations:

Are self-driving cars the future of mobility for disabled people?

Self-driving cars present fundamentally new ways to think about transportation and accessibility

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Self Driving Cars could revolutionise how disabled people get around their communities and even travel far from home. People who can’t see well or with physical or mental difficulties that prevent them from driving safely often rely on others – or local government or nonprofit agencies – to help them get around.

Autonomous vehicle technology on its own is not enough to help these people become more independent, but simultaneous advances in machine learning and artificial intelligence can enable these vehicles to understand spoken instructions, observe nearby surroundings and communicate with people. Together, these technologies can provide independent mobility with practical assistance that is specialized for each user’s abilities and needs.

Also Read : Here’s what the Nobel Prize tells us about the state of economics

A lot of the necessary technology already exists, at least in preliminary forms. Google has asked a blind person to test its autonomous vehicles. And Microsoft recently released an app called “Seeing AI” that helps visually impaired people better sense and understand the world around them. “Seeing AI” uses machine learning, natural language processing and computer vision to understand the world and describe it in words to the user.

In the lab I run at Texas A&M, along with the Texas A&M Transportation Institute, we are developing protocols and algorithms for people with and without disabilities and autonomous vehicles to communicate with each other in words, sound and on electronic displays. Our self-driving shuttle has given rides to 124 people, totaling 60 miles of travel. We are finding that this type of service would be more helpful than current transportation options for disabled people. Read More

You can buy Google Pixel 2 in India for Rs 61,000 from November: Key facts

Pixel 2 will be priced at Rs 61,000 for 64GB variant and Rs 70,000 for 128GB. Pixel 2 XL 64GB will cost Rs 73,000 and Pixel 2 XL 128GB will be available for Rs 82,000.

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Betting big on the best combination of artificial intelligence (AI), software and hardware, Google on Wednesday launched Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL smartphones and refreshed Daydream View virtual reality (VR) headset for India.

Pixel 2 comes in just black, clearly white and kinda blue colours while Pixel 2 XL has just black and black and white variants.

The pre-orders commence on October 26. The devices will be available in over 1,000 stores across the country and on Flipkart starting November 1 (Pixel 2) and November 15 (Pixel 2 XL).

Pixel 2 comes with a 5-inch and Pixel 2 XL with a 6-inch Full-HD OLED displays with Portrait Modes on both rear and selfie cameras.

Rated 98 by independent camera testers DXO, the rear camera comes with Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS) and Electronic Video Stabilisation (EVS) technology to remove shaky photos and videos.

The camera can also click “Live Photos” by recording up to three seconds of footage.

It also has AR Stickers and Pixel users would get free unlimited storage on Google Cloud to store photos and videos in the original quality. The devices have IP67 rating making them water and dust resistant. Read Full Article >>>

 

The Apple iPhone X vs iPhone 8: What are the big differences?

As the dust settles, it’s time for a comparison of the new iPhones’ key features, from size and screen to biometrics and battery

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If you follow Apple, you know by now that the company just made its biggest phone announcement in years. There’s the iPhone 8, a pretty update to the line that began with the iPhone 6 in 2014. Then there is the iPhone X, a major overhaul that Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook called “the future of the smartphone.”

Let’s go over the major differences: